Tug towing SS Orduna to sea
|Owner:||Pacific Steam Navigation Company|
|Port of registry:||Liverpool|
|Builder:||Harland and Wolff, Belfast|
|Launched:||2 October 1913|
|Maiden voyage:||19 February 1914|
|Out of service:||November 1950|
|Fate:||Scrapped 1951 at Dalmuir, Scotland|
|Class and type:||Ocean liner|
|Length:||550.3 feet (167.7 m)|
|Beam:||67.3 feet (20.5 m)|
|Draught:||35 feet 10 1⁄4 inches (10.93 m)|
|Depth:||43.0 feet (13.1 m)|
|Propulsion:||Triple-expansion engines + low-pressure turbine; Triple screw|
|Speed:||15 knots (28 km/h)|
SS Orduna was an ocean liner built in 1913–14 by Harland and Wolff in Belfast for the Pacific Steam Navigation Company. After two voyages she was chartered to Cunard Line. In 1921 she went to the Royal Mail Steam Packet Company, then being resold to the PSNCo in 1926. Her sister ships were Orbita and Orca.
In January 1915 Orduna rescued the Russian crew of the sailing ship Loch Torridon, which had sprung a leak while transporting timber off the west coast of Ireland. Later in July 1915, en route to New York City, Orduna was targeted by a U-boat. The torpedo, which was spotted by Captain Taylor, missed the ship, which arrived safely.
In April 1923 she was involved in another rescue, transporting the crew of the barquentine Clitha, which had been abandoned and set on fire, to England after they had been rescued by the schooner Jean Campbell.
In 1925, Dean James E. Lough of the Extra-Mural Division of the New York University chartered Orduna for the transport of 213 students to France, with lectures taking place on board.
In 1938 the Orduna was used for the third and final 'Peace Cruise', carrying 460 Scouters and Guiders, including Robert and Olave Baden-Powell, and their daughter Heather, on a cruise to Iceland, Norway, Denmark and Belgium. Orduna left Liverpool on 8 August, returning on 25 August via Dover.
Robert Baden-Powell was too ill to leave the ship during the voyage, but parties of local Scouts visited him on the ship at most of the stops, while the Scouters and Guiders on the ship took the opportunity to tour local landmarks and attend receptions. During the stop at Reykjavík on Thursday, 11 August, during which Orduna moored beside the German cruiser Emden, a party from the Scouts of Iceland brought some rock on board so that Baden-Powell could still 'set foot in Iceland'. The Orduna called at Trondheim, Norway, on 15 August, Copenhagen, Denmark on 18 August, and Belgium on Sunday 21 August, before returning to England. In September 1938 she was at Nassau, Bahamas and Kingston, Jamaica
On 12 August 1940, she sailed from Liverpool arriving Nassau 30 August, with a privately organised party of 16 children from Belmont Preparatory school, Hassocks Sussex. It was part of a wider Government children's evacuation programme Children's Overseas Reception Board during World War II. When the prospect of imminent invasion threatened Britain.
With the need for military transport in the Second World War, in 1941 she was put into service by the British government as a troopship. Another task during the Second World War was that of an evacuation transport.
In the autumn of 1945 the Orduña brought back Prisoners of War and internees from the Far East, landing at Princess Landing Stage in Liverpool on 19 October. A memorial to the ships involved in the repatriation was unveiled on the Liverpool waterfront on 15 October 2011.