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The Mesaba (II) sailing under the White Star flag as Delphic, 1925 - 33 (Roy Muir)

S.S. Mesaba (II)

Other names: War Icarus, Delphic, Clan Farquhar
Builder: Harland & Wolff, Govan, yard number 540
Launched September 19, 1918; delivered: October 31, 1918; maiden voyage May 5, 1919; scrapped 1948
Hull: length 465'; beam 58 4"; 8,002 tons
Power: single screw; triple expansion engine by builder with cylinders of 26 ½", 44", and 73" diameter, stroke 48"; 5,500 n.h.p.; 3 double-ended boilers; 13 knots
Registered in London; official number 142695


From 1917 standardized designs for transports were introduced to help offset the crippling losses from German submarine warfare, and orders were placed in huge numbers at yards both sides of the Atlantic. British yards alone received orders for 821. At the end of the war orders not commenced were cancelled, but vast numbers of ships under construction or in service became available to civilian owners. This was one of two British-built vessels acquired by the Atlantic Transport Line (the other being the Maine IV).

This particular vessel was a G type standard design — the only one completed in wartime — and was delivered on October 31, 1918, as the War Icarus. She was purchased from the Shipping Controller in London in May 1919 and renamed Mesaba. Her maiden voyage commenced on May 5.

In 1925 she transferred within the International Mercantile Marine Company to the Oceanic Steam Navigation Co. Ltd. (White Star Line), refitted, and renamed Delphic. The White Star Line used her for their Australian service. She was laid up for a time at Milford Haven, but in 1933 she was sold to the Clan Line for £53,000 and was renamed Clan Farquhar. She was ultimately scrapped in Milford Haven in July of 1948.

Sources: The Atlantic Transport Line, 1881-1931; The Ships List; www.merchantnavyofficers.coml; www.red-duster.co.uk; 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

Mesaba in her White Star days as Delphic (Stuart Smith)Mesaba sailing under the White Star flag as Delphic, 1925 - 33 (Roy Muir)
The Mesaba (II) in her White Star days as Delphic (Stuart Smith) and sailing under the White Star flag as Delphic, 1925 - 33 (Roy Muir)


For more information ...

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

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