SS Conte Biancamano

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ConteBiancamano reconstructed.jpg
SS Conte Biancamano in 1950s
Name: SS Conte Biancamano
Namesake: Humbert I, Count of Savoy
Operator: 1925-1932: Lloyd Sabaudo
1932-1936: Italian Line
1936-1940: Lloyd Triestino
1940-1941: Italian Line
Port of registry: 20px Genoa, Italy
Builder: William Beardmore & Co. of Glasgow, Scotland
Launched: April 23, 1925
Maiden voyage: 20 November, 1925
Fate: Seized by the United States in December 1941
Career (U.S. Navy) 65px
Name: USS Hermitage (AP-54)
Christened: 1942
Completed: 1942
Commissioned: 14 August 1942
Decommissioned: 20 August 1946
Fate: Returned to the Italian Line in 1947
Career (Italy) 65px
Name: SS Conte Biancamano
Operator: 1947-1960: Italian Line
Port of registry: 20px Genoa, Italy
Builder: Shipyards of Monfalcone
Completed: 1948
Out of service: 26 March 1960
Fate: Completed as National Museum of Science and Technology named Leonardo da Vinci
Status: Museum
General characteristics
Type: 1925-1941:Ocean liner
1941-1947: Troop transport
1947-present: Ocean liner
Tonnage: 1925-1947: 23,562 gross
1947-1960: 24,416 gross
Length: 203.56 m
Beam: 23.24 m
Height: 8.36 m
Propulsion: steam turbines double reduction unit and two propellers
Speed: 20 knots
Capacity: 180 1st class, 220 2nd class, 390 2nd class (economy), 2660 3rd class

Conte Biancamano was an Italian liner launched in 1925. The name was chosen in honor of Humbert I Biancamano, founder of the Savoy. She was built in the Scottish shipyards named William Beardmore & Co. in Dalmuir around Glasgow. She was built for the genovese shipping company named Lloyd Sabaudo. Lloyd Sabaudo also had ordered the new two more even ships, the Conte Rosso and Conte Verde which was the SS Conte Biancamano's sister ship. The ship was the hull that had a straight bow, while the machinery equipped with two steam turbines double reduction unit and two propellers, allowing to reach a speed of 20 knots and vented in two funnels. She housed 180 passengers in first class, 220-class, 200 second class, 390 economic class and third class of 2660.

First years of service

Launched April 23, 1925, made her maiden voyage on 20 November 1925 from Genoa to New York, as expected sailing on direct routing of the North American continent. The ship, equipped with pomp and provided with all the amenities most innovative for its time, was intended primarily to customers of luxury.

The last trip for the Lloyd Sabaudo was departing from Genoa to New York on 25 November 1932.

In 1932, Lloyd Sabaudo, together with other Italian shipping companies, was merged together to form the famous Italian Line by making its ships, including the Conte Biancamano and the ship was destined to direct routes to South America, after the company had made the same routes for another six trips, the last of which began on 1 July 1932.

In 1934, she was used for military purposes, carrying on behalf of the Ministry of the Navy, troops and military equipment in preparation for the war in Ethiopia.

In 1936, she was transferred to Lloyd Triestino, one of the companies in the group, which took the direct route to the Middle East.

In 1940, she returned to Italian Line and was used for a trip Genoa - Napoli - Panama - Valparaiso - Panama.

USS Hermitage (AP-54)

File:USS Hermitage AP-54.jpg
SS Conte Biancamano as USS Hermitage (AP-54)

At the start of the Second World War, she was seized and interned in the Panamanian port of Cristóbal, where she was moored. In December 1941, with the entry of the United States into the war, she was seized by the United States. She was converted into a troop transport and commissioned into the United States Navy as USS Hermitage (AP-54) in 1942. The conversion work was carried out in Philadelphia and when completed the ship could accommodate up to seven thousand men. The ship was armed with one 127/38mm gun and six 76/50mm guns.

On 8 November the allies began the invasion of North Africa, called Operation Torch. USS Hermitage departed from New York on November 2 carrying 5600 and transported troops that landed in Casablanca on November 10 and November 25. Later, on December 11, she returned to the United States and was then used in the Pacific during 1943.

Following the Normandy Landings, she made several trips between Europe and the U.S. to transport troops and return wounded prisoners, the first of which was on 16 June 1944. She was at Le Havre on 8 May 1945, the day of Germany's surrender. After the end of hostilities, she was used for the repatriation of thousands of American veterans of war, first from Europe and then the Pacific. She was withdrawn from service on 20 August 1946. During her service with the U.S. Navy, she traveled over 230,000 miles and carried 129,695 soldiers from different nations.

A return to Italy

File:Conte Biancamano a Napoli.jpg
The ship during her last voyage in Naples, 1960

In 1947, the ship was returned to Italy and underwent refit and modernization at a shipyard in Monfalcone in 1948. Structural changes saw her bow replaced with a sleeker design, as well as an increase in length overall. Interior changes included more passenger accommodations, increasing her capacity to 252 first-class passengers, 455 in cabin class, and 893 in economy class.

The refit also saw her name Conte Biancamano restored. With her structural and interior refit and modernization completed, she became the premiere ocean liner of the renewed Italian merchant fleet. Her interior refit was made possible through the collaboration of painters such as Massimo Campigli, Mario Sironi, and Roberto Crippa, as well as decorative design work by Gustavo Pulitzer and Giò Ponti. Art work including sculptures made by Marcello Mascherini were placed on the ceiling of the grand hall depicting the myth of Jason and the Golden Fleece.

On 14 July 1949, Conte Biancamano was placed on the Genoa - Buenos Aires route until 21 March 1950 when she was moved to the Genoa - Naples - Cannes - New York route.

On 26 March 1960, she began her last voyage on the Genoa - Naples - Barcelona - Lisbon - Halifax - New York route and on her return voyage. After 364 crossings of the line, during which she had carried 353,836 passengers which were put up for disarmament, and started off the demolition , which took place in La Spezia the following year. During the demolition work, the bridge, some first-class cabins and the large hall of the festivities were dismantled and reassembled in a separate pavilion. She was completed in 1964 at the National Museum of Science and Technology named "Leonardo da Vinci" in Milan.

See also

External links

it:Conte Biancamano (transatlantico)