After trials north of Scotland, it made its next voyage from Liverpool to New York on 17 July.
The crossing was a success; the ship maintained good speed while showing that the oil-fuelled propulsion was much cheaper that coal-fuelled propulsion. The ship served in the Mediterranean for the rest of the year and was then anchored in the Solent for the whole of 1917. Returned to transatlantic passenger service in 1920, she served alongside the Mauretania and the Berengaria. During 1940 it underwent a refit in America and was defensively armed with six inch guns. The third-class gradually became a tourist class, which offered decent service at a low price. After completing troopship service, the vessel was handed back to Cunard-White Star in 1948. With the United States in the war, Aquitania (then with a troop capacity of 4,500) had been scheduled for transport duties from the United States to Australia in February, but necessary repairs delayed that. In the following year, the Mauretania rejoined her in Cunard service. In 35 years of service Aquitania had sailed more than 3 million miles and apart from one or two early Allan Line steamers no other ship served for as long in a single ownership. Aquitania carried 1.2 million passengers through an active sea career that spanned nearly 36 years, making her the longest-serving Express Liner of the 20th century. During annual winter refits in 1926 1927 and 1928 the passenger accommodation was extensively modernized. She was also the last four-funnelled passenger ship to be scrapped. Aquitania then was converted into a hospital ship, and acted in that role during the Dardanelles campaign. The first port of call was 48 hours at Freetown (West Africa) on 11 June, then 3 days at Simonstown, South Africa 20 June 48 hours at Diego Suarez, Madagascar from 30 June 24 hours at Steamer Point, Aden on 3 July, and then disembarkation at Port Tewfik, Egypt from 8 July 1942. American liners were legally part of the territory of the United States, and thus alcoholic beverages could not be served on them. However, no passenger cancelled their voyage aboard the Aquitania, despite the strong emotion aroused by this sinking. Now repainted battleship grey, in November 1941 Aquitania was in the British colony of Singapore, from which she sailed to take part indirectly in the loss of the Australian cruiser HMAS Sydney. Average speed for the voyage, a distance of 3,181 nautical miles (5,891 km; 3,661 mi) measured from Liverpool to the Ambrose Channel lightship, was 23.1 knots (42.8 km/h; 26.6 mph), taking into account a five-hour stop due to fog and the proximity of icebergs. In the wake of the Titanic sinking, Aquitania was one of the first ships to carry enough lifeboats for all passengers and crew. However, the outbreak of World War II allowed her to remain in service for ten more years. Aquitania enjoyed great success, making much profit for her company. About midway to Colombo, on 15 May, the convoy was rerouted due to the rapid German penetrations into France with the ultimate destination of Gourock, Scotland via Cape Town, South Africa and Freetown, Sierra Leone where the escort strengthened by various ships including the aircraft carriers HMS Hermes and HMS Argus and the battlecruiser HMS Hood. In WWII, the ship transported soldiers to and from Canada.
", Cunard Line ocean liner, also used as a merchant cruiser and troop transport, "United States Naval Administration in World War II—History of Convoy and Routing", A First-Hand Account of a Second World War Voyage on the, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=RMS_Aquitania&oldid=984413501. The cabins offered great comfort. In the years prior to the First World War, Mewès was charged with the decoration of HAPAG's trio of giant new ships, Imperator, Vaterland, and Bismarck, while Davis was awarded the contract for Aquitania. Aquitania was the third in Cunard Line's grand trio of express liners, preceded by RMS Mauretania and RMS … In 1916, the year that White Star's flagship, and one of Aquitania's future main rivals, Britannic, was sunk, Aquitania was returned to the trooping front, and then in 1917 was laid up in the Solent. The electrical plant, located on G deck below the waterline, consisted of four 400 kW British Westinghouse generator sets generating 225 volt direct current, with emergency power provided by a diesel driven 30 kW generator up on the promenade deck. (Author’s Collection.) The Queen Mary entered service in 1936. On 25 June it left Liverpool with a full complement of over 5,000 troops on board. The walls were adorned with prints of English seaports and portraits of Royalty and prominent people of the day. In 2004 Aquitania's service record was pushed into third place when Queen Elizabeth 2 became the longest serving Cunard vessel. In 1934, the number of passengers Aquitania carried declined to around 13,000 from 30,000 in 1929.
The convoy arrived in the Clyde and anchored off Gourock on 16 June 1940. The RMS Aquitania was the longest serving Cunard liner built in the 20th century and survived service in both World Wars. By the buildup for the invasion of Europe in 1944 troop deployments to Britain depended heavily on Aquitania and the other "Monsters" and no allowance could be made for interruption of their service for other transport requirements. The White Star Line's Olympic, Titanic and the upcoming Britannic were larger than the latest Cunard ships, Mauretania and Lusitania, by 15,000 gross tons. The year 1921 was thus an exceptional year for her; she broke a record by transporting around 60,000 passengers that year. For the remainder of the war it was employed on the Atlantic, and after the war had ended in the repatriation on Canadian and American troops. Then Aquitania was temporarily transferred from Pacific duties to support the movement of troops from the United States to Britain, sailing 30 April from New York in a large convoy that transported some 19,000 troops. The first class drawing room was decorated in the Adam style, copied from certain features in Landsdowne House in London. These ships, often termed "Monsters" until London requested the term be dropped, were Aquitania, Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth, Mauretania (II), Île de France and Nieuw Amsterdam with "lesser monsters" being other large ex-liners capable of independent sailing with large troop capacity that accounted for much of the troop capacity and deployment, particularly in the early days of the war. On 18 June 1915 it was again requisitioned by the Government, this time to serve as a troopship and assist in the Gallpoli campaign. The return journey was via Diego Suarez, Capetown, Freetown and then to Boston. Later that month the ship was sold to the British Iron & Steel Corporation Ltd for £125,000. Soon after, it was decided that hospital ships were needed, the Aquitania joined the Brittanic in healing and returning wounded soldiers home in WWI.
Repair work on the ship was finished by the end of 1914. The ship, however, remained popular and she was the third busiest in the early 1930s behind those two German liners. Originally, transport directly to Singapore was considered, but the danger from aircraft to such a valuable asset and so many troops caused a change of plans. Author C. R. Bonsor writing in 1963 states, from 1936 on it became necessary to squeeze the maximum speed out of Aquitania in order to make her a suitable running mate for Queen Mary thus 24 knot passages became regular. The RMS Aquitania was the longest serving Cunard liner built in the 20th century and survived service in both World Wars. Aquitania was launched on 21 April 1913 after being christened by Alice Stanley, the Countess of Derby, and fitted out over the next thirteen months. Aquitania, Empress of Britain and Empress of Japan, after embarking New Zealand troops at Wellington in May, sailed escorted by HMAS Canberra, HMAS Australia, and HMNZS Leander to join the Australian component off Sydney on 5 May 1940. On completion of that task in December 1949, Aquitania was taken out of service when the ship's Board of Trade certificate was not renewed as the condition of the ship had deteriorated, and it would have been cost-prohibitive to be brought up to new safety standards, namely fire code regulations. During her maiden voyage, the ship carried around 1,055 passengers, which was about a third of her total capacity. All Rights Reserved. Her architect Leonard Peskett was on board during those trips to note any defect and room for improvement. December saw the outbreak of war in the Pacific, then Japanese advances throughout Southeast Asia and toward Australia, necessitating the redeployment of defensive forces. The third class was no longer the key to the profitability of the liner, and so the company had to adapt. After returning from this the ship was to operate on the Southampton-Cherbourg-New York route, along with the Mauretania andBerengaria. The fabulous OCEANIC was the largest late mid-century ship build for cruising! Although Aquitania lacked the lean, yacht-like appearance of running mates Mauretania and Lusitania, the greater length and wider beam allowed for grander and more spacious public rooms. Aquitania was returned to Sydney on 31 January. When this was almost complete the Government was forced to requisition the Aquitania once again to serve as a hospital ship in November 1916. With four large funnels the ship would resemble the famous speed duo, but Peskett also designed the superstructure with "glassed in" touches from the smaller Carmania, a ship he also designed. She continued in service after the merger of Cunard Line with White Star Line in 1934. Several draft plans were conceived in order to determine the main axes of what should be the ship for which an average speed of 23 knots was planned. Designed to allow Cunard to compete against the larger and more luxurious, After the Cunard White Star Merger of 1934, the. On 16 September 1939 Aquitania, awaiting initial refit as a troop ship, was at pier 90 in New York along with Queen Mary while nearby, at pier 88, were the French ships Île de France and Normandie. Her career was abruptly interrupted by the outbreak of World War I, which removed her from passenger service for six years. “LUSCIOUS” LUCIUS BEEBE – First Openly Gay Celebrity!
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