1922: The Launch of a Ship that Would Have an Eventful Career Across the Globe

October 21, 1922

The ocean liner RMS Franconia was launched at the John Brown & Company shipyard in the town of Clydebank, Scotland. Operated by the Cunard Line, this ship was the second one named Franconia to serve that company. (The original version of RMS Franconia had been launched in 1910 and was sunk by a German U-boat about six years later during World War I.) 

Starting in 1923, the second ship named RMS Franconia was used on a transatlantic route between Liverpool, England, and New York City each summer; during the winter months, she was used for world cruises. Following the outbreak of World War II in 1939, Franconia was refitted and used as a troopship for British military efforts. 

This vessel transported troops to India and participated in various military landings elsewhere. In 1945, she served as the headquarters ship for Prime Minister Winston Churchill and other members of the British delegation at the Yalta Conference. After the war in Europe came to an end, Franconia made several trips across the Atlantic Ocean to return American troops home and transport refugees to that part of the world. 

Following the Japanese surrender, Franconia transported British troops — including a large number of recently liberated prisoners of war — back home from India. Franconia’s post-war service also involved transporting many immigrants and refugees from England to Canada. 

After more than three decades of activity in both war and peace, Franconia was retired and scrapped in 1956.  Franconia has remained a favorite among Cunard Line ships because of her world cruises prior to World War II and distinguished service during that global conflict. As a nod to the role of that ship in bringing immigrants and refugees to Canada after World War II, the Cunard Line provided the builder’s model of Franconia to the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Photo Credit: Public Domain

For more information on the version of RMS Franconia that was launched in 1922, please check out RMS Franconia (1922) – Wikipedia

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