SS Gallic (1918)

SS Gallic was a cargo steamship built in 1918. During her career, she had six different owners and sailed under the flags of the United Kingdom, Panama and Indonesia. In spite of prevailing maritime superstition that it is unlucky to change a ship's name,[1] she underwent seven name changes and survived a 37-year career unscathed. She was scrapped at Hong Kong in 1956, the last surviving White Star Line cargo ship.[2]

White Star Line logo and house flag
United Kingdom
  • SS War Argus (October 1918 – August 1919)
  • SS Gallic (August 1919 – October 1933)
  • HM Shipping Controller (October 1918 – August 1919)
  • White Star Line (August 1919 – October 1933)
Operator: White Star
Port of registry: Liverpool
Route: Australian service
Builder: Workman, Clark & Co. Ltd., Belfast
Yard number: 436
Launched: 19 October 1918
Completed: 12 December 1918
In service: August 1919
Fate: Sold to the Clan Line in October 1933
United Kingdom
Name: SS Clan Colquhoun
Owner: Clan Line
Port of registry: Glasgow
Route: Atlantic cargo service
Acquired: October 1933
In service: October 1933
Out of service: February 1947
Fate: Sold to the Zarati Steamship Co. of Panama
Name: SS Ioannis Livanos
Owner: Zarati Steamship Co.
Port of registry: Panama
Acquired: February 1947
Out of service: 1949
Fate: Sold to the Two Oceans Navigation Co. (Dos Oceanos Compania de Navegacion SA) in 1949
Name: SS Jenny
Owner: Two Oceans Navigation Co. (Dos Oceanos Compania de Navegacion SA)
Port of registry: Panama
Acquired: 1949
Out of service: 1951
Fate: Sold to Djakarta Lloyd NV of Indonesia in 1951
  • SS Imam Bondjal (1951–1952)
  • SS Djatinegra (1952–1955)
Owner: Djakarta Lloyd NV
Port of registry: Indonesia
Acquired: 1951
Out of service: 1955
Fate: Sold to Japanese breakers in 1955; scrapped at Hong Kong in 1956
General characteristics
Class and type: Two-masted cargo steamer
Tonnage: 7,914 gross tons
Length: 465 ft (142 m)
Beam: 58.25 ft (17.75 m)
Installed power: Triple-expansion steam reciprocating engines, producing 5,800 ihp
Propulsion: Twin screws
Speed: 12.5 kn (23.2 km/h; 14.4 mph)
Notes: Steel construction, single funnel


Owing to the First World War and the increased demand for cargo vessels, the British government set into motion a programme to rapidly build emergency cargo ships. Of those, 22 of the Standard "G" Type were ultimately built. Among those was the SS War Argus, built for HM Shipping Controller by Workman, Clark & Co. of Belfast in 1918. She was launched on 19 October and completed on 12 December, a month after the end of the war.[3] She was then operated by the White Star Line for the government until she was officially declared surplus in 1919. In August 1919, the War Argus was purchased by White Star and renamed SS Gallic.

The Gallic then served on the Australian service as a cargo vessel, and was later switched to Atlantic cargo service. As a result of the Depression and the merger of White Star with the Cunard Line, in October 1933 the Gallic was sold to the Clan Line and renamed Clan Colquhoun. She continued her service on the same Atlantic route for the next 14 years. During the Second World War, she was operated by the Ministry of War Transport as a refrigerated cargo carrier; unlike many other cargo steamers, she survived the war without incident.[2]

In February 1947, the Clan Colquhoun was sold to the Zarati Steamship Co. of Panama and renamed Ioannis Livanos. However, her new owners sold her in 1949 to another Panamanian shipping company, the Two Oceans Navigation Company SA (Dos Oceanos Compania de Navegacion SA), which renamed her Jenny. In 1951, she was sold to Djakarta Lloyd NV of Indonesia, which renamed her Imam Bondjal, but changed this to Djatinegra in 1952. In 1955, after 37 years of service, she was sold to Japanese breakers for scrapping. While under tow from Djakarta to Osaka, on 1 December 1955 the Djatinegra was forced to put in at Lingayen in the Philippines with her engine room flooded. She was refloated on 21 February 1956 and was scrapped at Hong Kong shortly after.[2]


  1. "Renaming Your Boat,"
  2. "SS Gallic," de Kerbrech, Richard (2009). Ships of the White Star Line. Surrey, UK: Ian Allan Publishing. p. 179. ISBN 978-0-7110-3366-5
  3. "SS Gallic II ", "Titanic and Other White Star Line Ships"
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