QUICK SEARCH
Join the Machal Mailing List
Who's Online
Now 1 guest online

Purity of Arms

Total Views: 1720
"Illegal" Ships Purchased in the U.S.  E-mail

“Illegal” Ships  Purchased in the U.S.


“Josiah Wedgewood” (Beauharnois) was a Canadian corvette.  It took on passengers near Savona, Italy, and arrived at Haifa on June 27 1946.  Its 1,257 passengers were interned at Atlit.  Later, it served the Israel Navy as the warship Hashomer,” K-18.

“Haganah” (Norsyd) was also a Canadian corvette.  It took on passengers at Sete, France.  At sea, the passengers were transferred to the Biryah (Akbell II), which was intercepted and towed to Haifa on July 1 1946.  Its 999 passengers were interned in Haifa.  The ship sailed again, this time taking on passengers at Bakar, Yugoslavia, from where it sailed on July 24 1946.  It was intercepted five days later and taken to Haifa by the British Royal Navy  Its 2,678 passengers were interned.  Later, it too served the Israel Navy as a warship, K-20.

“Haim Arlosoroff” (Ulua) had been a revenue cutter and a U.S. Coast Guard ship.  It loaded passengers at Trelleborg, Sweden and Metaponte, Italy.  After a battle with the British, it ran onto a reef at Bat Galim, Haifa, and 15 of its passengers and crew were interned at Atlit and 1,348 of them, including 20 stretcher cases, were deported to Cyprus.  The vessel was eventually sold for scrap.

“Ben Hecht” (Abril), a private yacht, engaged in smuggling operations during the Spanish Civil War and later served the U.S. Navy in World War II on coastal patrols.  It loaded passengers at Port de Bouc, France, was intercepted and taken to Haifa on March 8 1947.  Its 599 illegals were interned in Cyprus.  It later served the Israel Navy as the Maoz (K-22), a mother ship for seaborne commandos.

“Hatikvah” (Tradewinds), was a revenue cutter and had served as an icebreaker on the St. Lawrence River and later as a Coast Guard cutter.  It loaded passengers for two consecutive nights at Portovenere and Bogliasco on the Italian Riviera.  It was intercepted and taken to Haifa on May 17 1947.  Its 1,474 illegals were interned in Cyprus.  It then served the Israel Navy till July 27, 1948, and was sold for scrap.

 

“Exodus 1947” (President Warfield) was formerly a Chesapeake Bay excursion liner.  It took on passengers at Sète, France.  It was intercepted near Haifa after a struggle with the British on July 18 1947.  Its 4,530 illegals were returned to France, where nearly all of them refused to disembark, and they were taken to Hamburg, Germany.  There they were forced by British troops to get off the ship and were jailed.  The ship was eventually moored in Haifa harbor, where it caught fire in August 1952 and burned to the waterline.  The hulk was towed out of the way of harbor traffic and was abandoned at a nearby beach.  Eventually it was scrapped.

“Geulah” (Paducah) was originally a gunboat and then a Coast Guard cutter.  It took on passengers at Burgas, Bulgaria, was intercepted and taken to Haifa on October 2, 1947.  Its 2,644 illegals were interned in Cyprus.  After the establishment of the state, it was sold for scrap.

“Jewish State” (Northland) had been an icebreaker in the service of the Coast Guard.  Like the Geulah,” it too took on passengers at Burgas, Bulgaria, and was intercepted and taken to Haifa on October 2, 1947.  Its 2,644 illegals were interned in Cyprus.  After the establishment of the state it became the Israel Navy’s principal training ship, the Eilat A-16.

 

“Kibbutz Galuyot” (Pan York) had been a banana carrier.  It too took on passengers at Burgas, Bulgaria.  By agreement with the British, it sailed directly to Cyprus, arriving on January 1, 1948.  Upon the establishment of the state, the Kibbutz Galuyot”, now called the Pan York”, along with its sister ship, the Atzmaut(Pan Crescent), joined Israel’s state-controlled Zim line, becoming the mainstay of Israel’s fledgling merchant fleet.

 

“Atzmaut” (Pan Crescent), like its sister ship, the Kibbutz Galuyot (Pan York), had also been a banana carrier.  After taking on passengers at Burgas, Bulgaria, it too sailed directly to Cyprus by agreement with the British, arriving there on January 1, 1948.

Source:  Machal “Overseas Volunteers in Israel’s War of Independence,” World Machal 2003