SS Île de France

From Our Contribution

SS Île de France
SS Île de France.jpg
SS Île de France 1.jpg
Name SS Île de France
Owner Compagnie Générale Transatlantique (CGT)
Builder Ateliers et Chantiers de Saint-Nazaire Penhoët
Launched 1926
In service 22 Jun 1927
General characteristics
Type Ocean Liner
Tonnage 44,356 tons
Length 241.1 m
Beam 27.7 m
Depth 9.75 m
Speed 23 .5 knots (43.52 km/h)
Capacity 537 x 1st; 603 x 2nd; 646 x 3rd class + 800 crew


Built for the "French Line" or CGT. The first liner ever to be decorated almost entirely with modern designs associated with the Art Deco style. Used on the Trans Atlantic run between France and the US east coast. When WW2 broke out she was in New York where she remained until loaned to the British in March 1940 who then converted her to carry troops and war materials in the large common spaces. She later sailed to Singapore, where she was officially confiscated by the British after the fall of France to Nazi Germany.

Ironically, all of the ship's luxurious fittings were removed for its conversion into a prison ship during World War II. Returned to her owners in February 1946, Île de France resumed transatlantic operations. In 1956, she played a key role in rescuing passengers from the SS Andrea Doria after the latter ship's fatal collision with the MS Stockholm off Nantucket. In 1959, the ship was sold off for scrap. In her final moments before the scrapyard, she served as the set for the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film The Last Voyage, in which she was partially sunk. After the shooting of the film, she was refloated and towed to her final resting place in Osaka, Japan.

Soldiers carried

Fremantle to Port Tewfik 19 April - 14 May 1941

Embarked 16 April, sailed 19 April 1941.

Port Tewfik to Adelaide 30 January - 23 March 1942

Disembarked at Bombay 6 Feb 1942 & transferred 9 Feb 1942 to SS Kosciusko , SS Madras City or SS City of Paris

Disembarked from SS Kosciusko in Fremantle and went AWOL

2/4th Australian Company AASC

Middle East to Fremantle via Massawa & Maldive Islands 29 Jan - 19 Feb 1943