Belgic IV

Belgic IV was built at Harland and Wolff's Belfast yard for the Red Star Line, and was originally named Belgenland. Belgenland remained at Belfast in an incomplete state, until in 1917, she was handed over to the White Star Line by the International Mercantile Marine Company, and renamed Belgic IV. On 21st June, 1917, Belgic IV was delivered as a cargo ship, wearing her highly colourful dazzle painted camouflage. Belgic IV's owners were the International Navigation Company, and she was placed on the Liverpool to New York service by the Shipping Controller.

On the 11th August, 1918, Belgic IV was unsuccessfully attacked by U-155, and in the same year, she was refitted to carry 3,000 troops, on one occasion, she carried 3,141.

During the year 1919, Belgic IV was used to repatriate U.S. troops, and was painted in her Red Star Line livery.

In the April of 1921, Belgic IV was laid up at Liverpool awaiting a refit at Harland and Wolff, Belfast.

In the March of 1922, Belgic IV finally returned to her builders, Harland and Wolff, to be completed as per her original design, and the opportunity to convert her to an oil burner was taken at this time too.

On 17th March, 1923, she was delivered to the Red Star Line, as Belgenland, and she made her first voyage on the 4th April, between Antwerp and New York. Belgenland's operating consorts on the route were Zeeland II and Lapland.

During the dredging of the Antwerp's River Schelde, in 1924, Belgenland used London as the terminus. The same year, Belgenland embarked on a round the world cruise, the largest ship to do so at that time.

In 1930, during the depression, Belgenland operated day trips out of New York.

In the January of 1932, Belgenland made her final voyage on the Antwerp to New York run. In the summer, she cruised between Antwerp and the Mediterranean.

In the March, 1933, Belgenland was laid up at Antwerp, but in July, she was cruising to the Mediterranean again.

In 1935, Belgenland was sold to the Atlantic Transport Line, of West Virginia, and renamed Columbia. She had the same coloured funnels, but with a white hull. She cruised between New York, Panama Canal, and California, but this operation ran at a loss. Columbia was tried on winter cruises, between New York, and the West Indies, again with no profit. Generally, nobody from the U.S. wanted to travel in the large third class accommodations, and even when full, the first and second class accommodations were not enough to carry the relatively empty third.

On 26th April, 1936, Columbia made her final voyage, between New York and Bo'ness, and in May, she was broken up at P.W. McLellan's Bo'ness yard.


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