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The sister ship Maine II in later years as the Virginian (Naval Historical Center) i03284

S.S. Mississippi (II)

Other names: Samland, Belgic
Sisters: Maine (II), Massachusetts (II), Missouri (II)
Builder: New York Shipbuilding Corporation of Camden, New York, yard number 8
Keel laid January 2, 1902; launched December 15, 1902; delivered April 9, 1903; maiden voyage April 16, 1903; broken up 1931 in Italy
Hull: length 490' 5"; beam 50' 3"; 9,710 tons, 7,559 tons under deck and 6,353 net; 4 masts; schooner-rigged; 3 steel decks; steel shelter deck partly sheathed in wood
3 cemented bulkheads; fitted with electric light and refrigerating machinery; cellular double bottom, aft 120', under engine and boilers 83' and forward 194'
Deep tank aft 43', 980 tons, deep tank forward 35', 1,015 tons; flat keel; holds 31' 9" deep; bridge on shelter deck 128' long
Power: twin screws; triple expansion engines
2 double ended and 2 single ended boilers, 18 corrugated furnaces, grate surface 318 sq. ft., heating surface 14,106 sq. ft., forced draught, new double ended boilers in 1906
Code letters KSHG


This was one of four freighters (and two Minne class ships) built in the United States using money loaned by J. P. Morgan & Company early in the chain of events that led to the creation of the International Mercantile Marine Company in 1902. Her sister, the Massachusetts (II) was by the same builders. This ship was laid down on January 2, 1902, she was delivered on April 9, 1903, and her cost was about $729,000 (£150,000). Her maiden voyage from Baltimore to London commenced on April 16, 1903 and her third and last voyage on this route began on September 30, 1903.

The Mississippi (II) was given new double ended boilers in 1906. She was transferred to the Red Star Line on July 7, 1906, for use on their Antwerp to New York route, and renamed Samland. Captain S. Anfindsen became her master in 1907 and in 1910 she was transferred to Belgian registry. April 7, 1911, saw the first of her two Hamburg to Antwerp, Quebec and Montreal sailings begin. On August 30, 1911, she was transferred to the White Star Line (renamed Belgic) and from August she sailed on the Liverpool to Wellington service, and possibly also to Australia according to some sources.

She was returned to the Red Star Line under Belgian registry in December of 1913 for cargo service and resumed both her old name Samland and her North Atlantic sailings. Following the outbreak of war and the loss of her home port she switched the London to New York route on October 2, 1914. She was by this date being operated by the Atlantic Transport Line as a freighter, and soon after was one of two American owned vessels found to have fire bombs on board. On March 12, 1916, she sailed on first of at least three New York to Falmouth and Rotterdam voyages for the Belgian Relief Commission.

Samland resumed her Antwerp to New York route on February 28, 1919, and sailed for the last time on this route on February 6, 1931; she was sold for scrap in April and broken up later in the same year.

Sources: The Atlantic Transport Line, 1881-1931; The Ships List; www.coltoncompany.com; www.shawsavillships.co.uk; Passenger Ships of the World Past and Present, Eugene W. Smith, Massachusetts, 1977; Merchant Fleets in Profile 2; the Ships of the Cunard, American, Red Star, Inman, Leyland, Dominion, Atlantic Transport and White Star Lines, Duncan Haws, 1979

The sister ship Maine II in later years as the Virginian (Naval Historical Center) i03284
The sister ship Maine II in later years as the Virginian (Naval Historical Center) Click image for larger view.

For more information ...

Kinghorn "The Atlantic Transport Line 1881 - 1931" McFarland, 2011

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