LURLINE (III) 1932, Matson Line

Built by Bethlehem Shipyard at Quincy, Mass, USA
18,163 GRT
632 x 79
twin screw, 22 knots
Passengers: 475 first class, 240 tourist; crew: 359

Launched by Mrs. William P. Roth, wife of president of Matson Navigation company July 18, 1932. She was delivered January 5, 1933 with her maiden voyage from New York January 12, 1933 to San Francisco-Los Angeles-South Seas and Oriental cruise. Her service route was San Francisco-Los Angeles-Honolulu.

In World War II she was assigned to the U.S. Navy for use as a transport and sailed around the globe carrying thousands of troops. Returned to Matson Line in May 1946 and reconverted to luxury liner at United Engineering in Alameda, California, redelivered April 1, 1948. Her maiden voyage from San Francisco April 15, 1948 she re-entered the San Franscisco-Los Angeles-Honolulu service.

Turbine damage at Los Angeles forced her out of commission and into lay up in February 1963. She was then put up for sale.Bought by Marfuenza Cia, S.A. with Chandris Line as managers September 1963 and renamed ELLINIS. She was refitted and repaired at North Shields, UK with accommodation for 1,668 passengers in one class, and fitted with a curved bow which increased her length to 642 feet. She sailed from North Shields to Piraeus December 21, 1963 and began her first voyage December 30, Piraeus-Sydney. In 1964 she began round the world service Rotterdam-Sydney-Rotterdam. She arrived at Rotterdam July 25, 1974 to have a damaged turbine replaced from her broken up former sister HOMERIC (ex-MATSONIA). Cruising only after 1975. ELLINIS made her final Chandris season in the summer of 1980 and was laid up at Piraeus on October 14. She was cannibalized for parts (mostly for the BRITANIS her former Matson Line sister), she was scrapped in 1987.

Radio station: In November 1941, the Lurline made a visit to Australia. The ship was noted at both edges of the continent on 8820 kHz when it was in contact with the maritime station KRO in Hawaii. As was the custom of the day, this ship was licensed with a callsign,KIEK, that could also be used for the relay of broadcast programming. It would appear that radio broadcasts were made from transmitter KIEK which were also heard in Australia and reception reports were sent to their address in San Franciso. Five years later in 1946, QSLs were received in Australia, stating that the special transmitter had since been removed.

Location: Off the Australian coast.


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