SS Taormina (1908)

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The Taormina
Career (Italy) Civil Ensign of Italy
Name: SS Taormina
Namesake: Taormina, Sicily
Owner: 1908–1912: Italia Line
1912–1918: Lloyd Italiano
1918–1929: Navigazione Generale Italiana
Port of registry: Genoa
Route: 1908–1912: Genoa–New York–Philadelphia
1912–1919: Genoa–New York
1919–1923, 1927: Genoa–Marseille–New York
Builder: D. & W. Henderson Ltd.
Launched: 1908
Maiden voyage: Genoa–New York–Philadelphia, 3 September 1908
Fate: scrapped, 1929
General characteristics
Tonnage: 8,282 GT
Length: 482 ft (147 m)
Beam: 58.3 ft (17.8 m)
Propulsion: two steam engines
twin screw propellors
Speed: 16 knots (30 km/h)
Capacity: Passengers (as built):
60 first class
2,500 third class
Troops: 2,680 (one voyage)
Notes: one funnel, four masts

SS Taormina was an Italian ocean liner for the Italia Line, Lloyd Italiano, and Navigazione Generale Italiana. The ship was named after Taormina, Sicily. Launched in 1908, she sailed from Genoa to New York and Philadelphia for most of her career. During World War I she was employed as a troopship carrying United States troops to France for one voyage in July 1918. She was scrapped in 1929.


Taormina was built in 1908 by D. & W. Henderson Ltd. of Glasgow for the Italia Soc. di Navigazione a Vapore, known as the Italia Line. Taormina sailed on her maiden voyage from Genoa to New York and Philadelphia beginning on 3 September 1908. In 1909, accommodations for 120 first-class passengers were added, and in 1910, her accommodations were again reconfigured so as to carry 60 first-class and 120 second-class passengers.[1]

After beginning her last Italia Line voyage on 16 December 1911, Taormina was taken over by Lloyd Italiano in 1912 and put in Genoa–New York service. When Lloyd Italiano, first purchased by Navigazione Generale Italiana (NGI) in 1911, was completely absorbed in 1918, Taormina began sailing under the NGI banner.[1]

In July 1918, Taormina was chartered for one voyage as a United States troopship. On 26 July, Taormina, loaded with 2,680 officers and men,[2] departed for France in the company of U.S. Navy transports Finland and Kroonland. The group met up with Navy transports Pocahontas and Susquehanna, and the Italian steamers Duca d'Aosta and Caserta from Newport News, Virginia.[3] American cruisers Pueblo and Huntington, and destroyers Rathburne and Colhoun escorted the transports.[4] On 2 August, Finland developed engine trouble and fell back from the convoy, but by the next day, she and a destroyer that stayed with her had rejoined the convoy.[5] The convoy arrived in Brest on 7 August. Taormina arrived back in the United States on 20 August, ending her one U.S. troopship voyage.[3]

In 1919, Taormina was put on the Genoa–Marseille–New York route, making her last voyage on 8 August 1923. In 1927, she returned to the same route for one roundtrip voyage. She was scrapped at Savona in 1929.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Ship Descriptions - T U". Retrieved 24 June 2008. 
  2. Crowell and Wilson, p. 555.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Crowell and Wilson, p. 614.
  4. Crowell and Wilson list the destroyer as "Calhoun". The only USS Calhoun ever was a former Confederate steamer captured during the American Civil War.
  5. Van Kleeck, Gordon. "Pvt. Gordon Van Kleeck, Co. F. 51 Pioneer Inf., American Expeditionary Forces". Ancestral Photographs of Upstate New York. Roxy Triebel. Retrieved 21 June 2008.