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White Star Line SS Traffic

White Star Line 3rd class passenger tender Traffic 1911-1935

Traffic was built at the Harland and Wolff Shipyards for the White Star Line and launched on April 27, 1911. Her duty was to ferry 3rd class passengers, baggage and mail from port to (originally) the RMS Olympic and then Titanic. He more luxurious sister tender Nomadic, (still in existence today) also seen on the right in the above picture, ferried the 1st and 2nd class passengers to the liners. These vessels, called tenders, were used in the smaller more shallow ports where the large liners couldn't tie up for direct loading. 

Traffic would see plenty of excitement in the years to come. At the outbreak of WWI in 1914, Traffic was used as a troop transport to the large war vessels. After the war, in 1929, Traffic was sold to a French Line working the same duties as before as a tender. Later that year, she collided with the White Star Liner Homeric sustaining considerable damage. After repairs including new propellers for better handling, Traffic ironically was involved in another collision with another IMM ship; the Atlantic Transport Line's, Minnewaska IV. 


(Right) A 1928 Hudson convertible disembarking from the tender Traffic in Cherbourg, France. Traffic had just picked up passengers and cargo from the RMS Majestic seen in the foreground (webmaster's private collection)

Surviving the years to follow, Traffic, now named Ingenieur Riebell, was in service in WWII. She was scuttled (sunk) deliberately by the French Navy in the harbor at Cherbourg to block advancing German Naval Forces.

Not to be outdone, the German Navy later raised and refitted Ingenieur Riebell as an armed convoy escort cruiser. The Ingenieur Riebell was now serving in the enemy fleet

Sadly, the former White Star Line Tender Traffic, that carried immigrant passengers to Titanic was torpedoed and sunk by the British Royal Navy on January 17, 1941. Her wreck site has not been located.





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