169. Mala — Calanit

type: str
Departed Southern France Jul 1948, arrived 11 Jul 1948

ex-USS Mayflower, built 1896, 1780 gross tons, ex-yacht

1200 passengers

Former US presidential yacht Mayflower. Passengers included some from Exodus. Manned by American volunteers.

Note: Mala is recognized as an Aliyah Bet ship although it arrived after Israeli independence.


168. Altalena — Altalena

type: LST
Departed Port de Bouc, France 13 Jun 1948, arrived 22 Jun 1948

ex-LST-138, built 1944, 1820 gross tons, former landing ship

930 passengers

Irgun ship with 930 passengers & arms, beached at Tel Aviv during truce. Ship was attacked by Israeli Army over confusion as to disposition of armaments aboard. Ship was abandoned on fire. Menachem Begin boarded the ship when it arrived.

Name: Altalena was the pen name used by Jabotinsky in his youth.

Note: Altalena is not an Aliyah Bet ship but listed for information purposes.

Krav Emek Ayalon

167. Krav Emek Ayalon — Fabio

Departed Bandol, France 20 May 1948, arrived 29 May 1948

706 passengers

Arrived after independence, escorted by the first Israeli warship, the Eilat, formerly the Northland (No. 147). Passengers landed at Caesarea.

Name : Battle of the Ayalon Valley.

Photograph source: 75 Years of Hebrew Shipping

Medinat Yisrael

166. Medinat Yisrael — Orchidea

Departed Brindisi, Italy 8 May 1948, arrived 17 May 1948

built (unk), 240 tons

243 passengers. Included in list because it sailed before Independence.

Name: State of Israel.

Photograph source:


165. Lanitzachon — Tuglia Cristina

Departed Brindisi, Italy 8 May 1948, arrived 17 May 1948

built (unk), about 220 tons

189 passengers

Captured by HMS Pelican. Included in list because it sailed before Independence.

Name means “To Victory.”

Photograph source:


164. Nakhshon — Tadorne

type: trwlr
Departed Formia, Italy 14 Apr 1948, arrived 26 Apr 1948

ex-Tadorne, ex-La Savoie, built 1906, 402 gross tons, trawler

553 passengers

Engine trouble on first departure and immigrants transferred to Yehiam (No. 161). Picked up new passengers after repairs. 331 men, 177 women, 45 children. Severe resistance to British, many injured. Captured by the sloop Pelican off Haifa.

Name: a kibbutz in northern Israel.

Photograph source: Jack Lennard USHMM

Mishmar HaEmek

163. Mishmar HaEmek — San Michele

type: m/v
Departed Formia, Italy 14 Apr 1948, arrived 24 Apr 1948

ex-San Michele, built 1947, 401 gross tons

782 passengers

379 men, 315 women, 99 children. Captured by the destroyer Chevron off Haifa.

Name: a kibbutz in northern Israel, scene of an operation designed to break the siege of Jerusalem. +

Photograph source:

Tirat Zvi

162. Tirat Zvi — Vivare

type: schr
Departed Gaeta, Italy 3 Apr 1948, arrived 12 Apr 1948 check

ex-Vivare, built 1943, 446 gross tons, 1 mast coastal vessel

817 passengers

Captured by destroyer Virago. 467 men, 274 women, 70 children.

Name: Tirat Zvi Kibbutz which repelled an Arab attack with great loss on 20 Feb 1948; it was seen as a great victory.


161. Yehiam — Esmeralda

type: schr
Departed Gaeta, Italy 10 Mar 1948, arrived 29 Mar 1948

ex-Esmeralda, built 1944, 343 gross tons

771 passengers

Departed with only 238 passengers, took on 550 from Nakhshon (No. 164) when that ship’s engines broke down. Ship captured with no resistance by the destroyer Verulam. Immigrants taken to Cyprus on the Empire Rival.

Name: A kibbutz in Galilee taken by the Haganah, after a convoy sent to reinforce the kibbutz was ambushed and 47 soldiers were killed.

Photograph source:

Bonim v’Lochamim

160. Bonim v’Lochamim — Rondine

type: schr
Departed Bakar, Yugoslavia 18 Feb 1948, arrived 28 Feb 1948

ex-Rondine, built 1945, 410 gross tons (see No. 109)

982 passengers

This was Rondine’s third trip. Carried 511 men, 286 women, 172 children. Intercepted off Cape Carmel by the destroyer Venus. Refugees sent to Cyprus on the Empire Rival.

Name means “Builders and Fighters.”

Photograph source: