mercredi 22 septembre 2010

La vie agitée du TSS Rinjdam (1901) de la Holland American Line

TSS Rijndam (1901) de la Holland American Line aux environs de 1904

SS Rijndam dans les docks après avoir été camouflé. Il est encadré par les barges Arthur et Henrietta Long.
At the New York Navy Yard after being painted in "dazzle" type camouflage, 1918. The barge Arthur is alongside her bow, and the barge Henrietta Long is second outboard on the starboard side of the transport at right.


Rijndam (aussi orthographié Rinjdam), a été construit sur les chantiers de Harland & Wolf Ltd. à Belfast (Irlande). Ce paquebot de ligne en fer est lancé en 1901 pour la Nederlandsche-Amerikaansche Stoomvaart Mastschappij (Holland American Line)*, et mis en service sur la ligne Rotterdam-New York (voir ses caractéristiques en anglais ci-après).
Rijndam en chemin en 1919. Underway in 1919.

A en croire les textes disponibles, il semble que sa vie d'aventures ait commencé en mai 1915 après son abordage par le vapeur fruitier norvégien Jospeh J. Cuneo. Sauvé par l'US Navy, il est interné à New York, puis en mars 1918, saisi par les douanes US ainsi que 88 autres vaisseaux hollandais, dont 31 furent reversé au service de l'U.S. Navy. C'est ainsi que Rijndam devint transport de troupe en mai 1918.

Rijndam quittant New York vers 1919. Off New York City, circa 1919. Photographed by E. Muller, Jr.

Il part de New York le 10 mai, en convoi avec President Lincoln, Covington, le transport britannique Dwinsk, et les vapeurs italiens Caserta et Dante Alighieri. Convoi rejoint le même jour par les transports américains Lenape, Pastores, Wilhelmina, Princess Matoika, Antigone et Susquehanna, le Britannique Kursk et l'Italien Duca d'Aosta, partis de Newport News, Virginia. Le croiseur américain Frederick servait d'escorte à ce 35e convoi US de la guerre; il sera remplacé le 25 mai par 11 destroyers. Trois jours après, le convoi parvenait à Brest sans encombre. Au retour, le 31 mai, Rijndam échappa au U-90 qui causa la perte du President Lincoln. Au convoi suivant, le 15 juin, il était accompagné de Kroonland, Finland, DeKalb, George Washington, Covington, Dante Alighieri et du vapeur Vauban. Ils furent rejoints de la même façon par Lenape, Wilhelmina, Princess Matoika, Pastores et Czar. Ils étaient escortés par les croiseurs North Carolina et Frederick, et les destroyers Stevens et Fairfax. Le Texas et divers destroyers les accompagnant de place en place. Le convoi arriva le 27 juin à Brest. Rijndam débarqua encore trois fois des troupes à Brest jusqu'à novembre 1918, et une fois à Saint-Nazaire en juillet. La paquebot effectua sept rotations jusqu'au rapatriement des troupes américaines en mars 1919. Il transporta en moyenne 3000 soldats à chacun de ses 26 traversées de l'Atlantique.
Les officiers du Rijndam posent sur le pont en 1919. Ship's Officers posed on board, 1919. Photographed by Taylors Studio, Norfolk, Virginia.

Rijndam est rendu à la Holland America Line en octobre 1919 qui, après une remise en état, le remet sur sa ligne d'origine. Il quitte Rotterdam le 31 juin 1920. En mai 1925, il est réaménagé en classe Touristes uniquement. En 1926, il retrouve une troisième classe. Le 18 septembre 1926, le bateau devient une université flottante pour 506 étudiants new-yorkais. Pendant sept mois autour du monde, il porta l'inscription "University World Cruise" peinte sur chacun de ses flancs. En décembre 1928, le bateau est vendu à la casse.
*La Holland America Line a été fondée 1873 sous le nom de Netherlands-America Steamship Company mais est plus connue comme Holland American Line après l'inauguration des lignes pour l'Amérique du Nord.

Rijndam au port vers 1919. In port, circa 1919.

The Rijndam, built in steel by by Harland & Wolf Ltd., Belfast, Ireland, was launched in 1901 as a passenger liner for the Nederlandsche-Amerikaansche Stoomvaart Mastschappij (Holland American Line)*, for the Rotterdam to New York service. She was 12,527 gross tons, 575 feet (170m) in length and 62 feet (19m) wide. She was coal powered steam triple expansion engines with twin screws. Her service speed was 15 knots (28 km/h). She carried 2,282 passengers with 286 first class, 196 second class and 1,800 third class.
On 25 May 1915,
Rijndam was rammed by the Norwegian-flagged fruit steamer Joseph J. Cuneo about 10 nautical miles (19 km) south of the Nantucket Shoals. Responding to the SOS, U.S. Navy battleships Texas, South Carolina, Louisiana, and Michigan, rescued 230 passengers from the damaged liner. Interned at New York during World War I, she was seized during March 1918 by United States Customs officials along with 88 other Dutch vessels, 31 of which entered U.S. Navy service.
Des troupes de retour aux Etats-Unis embarquent sur Rijndam à Saint-Nazaire vers 1919. Homeward-bound troops boarding the ship at St. Nazaire, France, circa 1919. Photographed by V.J.M.

Rijndam was commissioned 1 May 1918 at New York for service as a troopship, with Commander John J. Hannigan in command. Rijndam departed New York 10 May 1918 on the first of six convoy voyages to Europe before the war's end, accompanied by President Lincoln, Covington, British troopship Dwinsk, and Italian steamers Caserta and Dante Alighieri. The group rendezvoused with a similar group that left Newport News, Virginia, the same day, consisting of American transports Lenape, Pastores, Wilhelmina, Princess Matoika, Antigone, and Susquehanna, the British troopship Kursk, and the Italian Duca d'Aosta. American cruiser Frederick served as escort for the assembled ships, which were the 35th U.S. convoy of the war. On 21 May, the escort Frederick left the convoy after being relieved by 11 destroyers. Three days later the convoy sighted land at 06:30 and anchored at Brest that afternoon. On her return journey on 31 May 1918, Rijndam was nearly torpedoed in the same attack by German submarine U-90 that resulted in the loss of President Lincoln. On her next transport voyage, Rijndam left New York on 15 June with Kroonland, Finland, DeKalb, George Washington, Covington, Italian steamer Dante Alighieri, and British steamer Vauban and met up with the Newport News portion of the convoy-which included Lenape, Wilhelmina, Princess Matoika, Pastores, and British troopship Czar -the next morning and set out for France. The convoy was escorted by cruisers North Carolina and Frederick, and destroyers Stevens and Fairfax; battleship Texas and several other destroyers joined in escort duties for the group for a time. The convoy uneventfully arrived at Brest on the afternoon of 27 June. Rijndam landed troops and supplies at Brest, France, on three more occasions through November 1918, and called once at Saint-Nazaire during July. Rijndam made seven round-trip voyages from Quiberon, Saint-Nazaire, and Brest, France, following the end of World War I, returning U.S. troops and personnel to Newport News, Virginia; Norfolk, Virginia; Hoboken, New Jersey; and New York. In March 1919, Rijndam and Princess Matoika raced each other from Saint-Nazaire to Newport News in a friendly competition that received national press coverage in the United States. Rijndam, the slower ship, was just able to edge out the Matoika-and cut two days from her previous fastest crossing time-by appealing to the honor of the soldiers of the 133rd Field Artillery returning home aboard her and employing them as extra stokers for her boilers.
She carried over 3000 passengers on many of her 26 trips across the Atlantic, completing her active service upon arrival at New York 4 August 1919 from Brest. Transferred from the Cruiser and Transport Force on 11 August 1919 to the custody of the 3rd Naval District,
Rijndam was released from service and returned to the Holland America Line in October 1919. After a refit she returned to her prewar route with her first voyage from Rotterdam June 31, 1920. In May 1925 the accommodations were changed from the layout listed in the below chart to become Cabin and Tourist classes only. In 1926 this again changed to Cabin, Tourist and Third classes. On September 18, 1926 the ship began a seven month world cruise as a floating university in charter for the University of New York, carrying 506 students. "University World Cruise" was painted on both sides of the hull. The ship was sold as scrap in December 1928, arriving in Hendrik Ido Ambacht, Netherlands in April 1929. Demolition being done by N.V. Frans Rijsdijk's Industriele Ondernemingen.
*Holland America Line history dates to an 1873 founding as the Netherlands-America Steamship Company, later known as Holland America after its transatlantic service started to the Americas.

Les photos proviennent de la Naval History and Heritage.