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SS George Washington

SS George Washington was built in 1907–1908 by AG Vulcan of Stettin, Germany for North German Lloyd. Intended for Bremen to New York passenger service, she was named after the first President of the United States as a way to make the ship more appealing to immigrants who then made up the majority of transatlantic passengers. On her maiden voyage in June 1909, sailing from Bremen to New York via Southampton and Cherbourg, she was the third-largest ocean liner in the world capable of accommodating nearly 2,900 passengers, with 900 divided between first and second class and the balance as third class or steerage. First class accusations were sumptuously appointed.

She garnered some fame while voyaging to New York in 1912. On the morning of 14 April, the, crew observed a large iceberg as the ship passed south of the Grand Banks of Newfoundland. After recording the ship's position, the George Washington radioed a warning to all ships in the area. The White Star steamship Titanic, some 250 nautical miles (460 km) east of George Washington's position, acknowledged receipt of the warning, Twelve hours later on 15 April, George Washington received garbled transmissions from the Titanic stating she'd struck the iceberg. Four hours later, Titanic broke apart and sank, killing roughly 1500 of the estimated 2,224 passengers and crew; the most famous maritime disaster to this day.

In 1917, George Washington was coverted into a transport ship for WW I. She hauled over 40,000 troops to and from the war and in 1919 and 1920 twice carried U.S. President Woodrow Wilson to France for the Paris Peace Conference ending the war. She returned to passenger service in 1921 until, showing her age, she was retired in 1932. In 1941, the United States Maritime Commission refitted and renamed her the USS Catlin to serve in WW II, but quickly finding her coal-fired engines too slow to protect against submarine attack, she was decommissioned again a year later. George Washington was permanantly retired in 1947. She remained tied to a pier at Baltimore until a fire damaged her in 1951, and she was sold for scrap.

This link gives General Information provided to passengers of Norddeutscher-Lloyd steamship lines 1888-1889.


Owner of originalCairis, N. T. (1979). Passenger liners of the world since 1893. New York, NY: Bonanza Books.
Date1979
File nameSS George Washington.jpg
File Size199.85k
Dimensions1691 x 717
Linked toCHMIEL, John/Jan (IMMIGRATION); CHMIEL, Peter/Piotr (IMMIGRATION)

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