148. Geulah — Paducah

type: str
Departed Burgas, Bulgaria 26 Sep 1947, arrived 2 Oct 1947

ex-Paducah, ex-USS Paducah, built 1904, 916 gross tons, former US gunboat

1385 passengers

Former US Navy gunboat, manned by American volunteers. Sailed with the Northland (No. 147) to France and the Black Sea. Embarked her passengers in Bulgaria. 593 men, 528 women, 284 children. Escorted into Haifa by the destroyer Chaplet. Refugees taken to Cyprus on the Empire Shelter and Empire Comfort.

Name means “Redemption.”

Book: “Running the Palestine Blockade” by Capt. Rudolph W. Patzert

Photograph source: LGF Brown

Medinat HaYehudim

147. Medinat HaYehudim — Northland

type: str
Departed Burgas, Bulgaria 26 Sep 1947, arrived 2 Oct 1947

ex-Northland, ex-USCGC Northland, built 1927, 1273 gross tons, former US Coast Guard cutter

2664 passengers

Formerly the US Coast Guard cutter Northland, manned by American volunteers. Sailed with the Geulah (No. 148) to Bayonne, France, where they were fitted for passengers. Then to the Black Sea to pick up her passengers in Bulgaria.

1161 men, 1079 women, 424 children. The ships were shadowed by British ships after leaving the Dardanelles. Force and tear gas were used to disembark the passengers in Haifa. A 2-year-old child died during the voyage. The passengers were taken to Cyprus on the Empire Rest, Empire Comfort, and Snowden Smith. Later served in Israeli Navy as Elath.

Name means “The Jewish State.”

Photograph source: Haganah Archives

Af Al Pi Chen

146. Af Al Pi Chen — Farida

type: LCT
Departed Mondragone, near Gaeta, Italy 15 Sep 1947, arrived 27 Sep 1947

ex-Farida, ex-LCT(3) 441, built 1944, 350 gross tons; former landing craft

434 passengers

Carried 322 men, 115 women and 8 children, who boarded this converted landing craft near Gaeta, Italy. Captured by the destroyer Talybont after violent resistance; one person was killed and 10 injured. Taken to Cyprus on the Empire Rest and Empire Comfort.

Name means “In Spite of All, Yes!” and refers to the first little ships leaving Europe in 1938.

14 Halalei Gesher Haziv

145. 14 Halalei Gesher Haziv — Bruna

type: schr
Departed Italy 17 Jul 1947, arrived 28 Jul 1947

ex-Bruna, built 1944, 297 gross tons, wood auxiliary 3-mast schooner

685 passengers

A three-mast schooner carrying survivors from Poland, Hungary, and Romania. A two-week trip. Towed in to Haifa by HMS Rowena. Taken to Cyprus on the Runnymede Park.

Name means “14 Heroes of Aziv” after those killed at the Nahal Achziv Bridge in June 1946.

Photograph source:

Shivat Zion

144. Shivat Zion — Luciano

type: barkentine
Departed Oran, Algeria 16 Jul 1947, arrived 28 Jul 1947

ex-Luciano, ex-Bacicin, built 1902, 264 gross tons, wood auxiliary barkentine

411 passengers

These immigrants had come from North Africa, left behind by the Yehuda Halevi (No. 141). The 411 passengers included 130 children; the ship was dangerously overcrowded and was shadowed by a British destroyer. They did not resist boarding by HMS Providence, and went to Cyprus on the Empire Shelter and Empire Comfort.

Name means “Return to Zion.”

Exodus 1947

143. Exodus 1947 — President Warfield

type: str
Departed Sète, France 11 Jul 1947, arrived 17 Jul 1947

ex-President Warfield, ex-USS President Warfield, ex-President Warfield, built 1928, 1814 gross tons, excursion steamer

4554 passengers

A Chesapeake Bay excursion steamer named after the president of the steamship line (a relative of the Duchess of Windsor). The ship sailed from Baltimore crewed by American volunteers, but nearly sank in a storm and was towed back to Norfolk, Va., March 1947. Her true identity exposed, she sailed from Philadelphia going to France and then Italy. At Port de Bouc, France, she was refitted to carry 5,000 people, and they came on board at Sète. She was followed by the British warships and 22 miles off the Palestine coast was surrounded by destroyers Childers, Charity, Chieftain, and Chequers, and cruiser Ajax, and rammed on both sides during a ferocious battle. Three Jews were killed including the American first mate, William Bernstein, and 146 injured. 1,942 men, 1,632 women and 955 children were loaded on the ships Empire Rival, Ocean Vigour, and Runnymede Park. They did not go to Cyprus but returned to anchor off Port de Bouc, France. France refused to permit them to be forcibly disembarked, although 103 elderly passengers were landed. After a three-week standoff, the British were forced to return the ships with their passengers to Germany, disembarking at Hamburg, where the refugees violently resisted. The Exodus refugees were given preference on later Aliyah Bet ships.

Name: The full name of the ship was Exodus from Europe 1947, representing the recreation of the exodus from Egypt in modern times.

Books: “Exodus 1947” by David C. Holly; “Destination Palestine” by Ruth Gruber (1948).

Mordei HaGetaot

142. Mordei HaGetaot — Orietta

type: barkentine
Departed Bari, Italy 13 May 1947, arrived 24 May 1947

ex-Orietta, built 1920, 491 gross tons, wood auxiliary 3-mast barkentine

1457 passengers

A motor sailer, captured with no resistance by destroyers Brissenden and Haydon. 904 men, 518 women, 37 children.

Name means “Fighters of the Ghetto.”

Photograph source:

Yehuda Halevi

141. Yehuda Halevi — Anal

type: str
Departed Tenes, Algeria 11 May 1947, arrived 31 May 1947

ex-Anal, ex-Earl of Zetland II, ex-Earl of Zetland, built 1877, 253 gross tons, iron steamer

399 passengers

Formerly the Hebrides islands local ferry Earl of Zetland. The first to bring immigrants from North Africa, but had to leave before all had boarded. 315 men, 54 women, 29 children; a 2-year-old child died on board. Arrested by destroyer Talybont and sloop Peacock. No resistance; towed to Haifa by the minesweeper Skipjack. Immigrants taken to Cyprus on the Ocean Vigour.

Name: Yehuda Halevi (1086-1145), a native of Toledo, Spain, was the greatest Hebrew poet of his time.

Book: “The Saga of a Ship: the Earl of Zetland” by Adam Robson.

Photograph source: Algerine Associates


140. Hatikva — Tradewinds

type: str
Departed Bogliasco, near Genoa, Italy 8 May 1947, arrived 17 May 1947

ex-Trade Winds, ex-T.V. McAllister, ex-USCGC Gresham, built 1897, 741 gross tons, former Coast Guard cutter.

1414 passengers

Formerly the US Coast Guard cutter Gresham, manned by American volunteers. Rammed and captured by the destroyers Venus and Brissenden. 895 men, 479 women, 37 children, 2 newborn babies. The refugees fought to prevent the ship being boarded. The American crew members mingled with the passengers and went with them to Cyprus.

Name “Hatikva” means “The Hope” and is the title of the Jewish national hymn.

Photograph source: Algerine Associates

Shear Yashuv

139. Shear Yashuv — Galata

type: str
Departed Italy 7 Apr 1947, arrived 23 Apr 1947

ex-Galata, built (unk), about 300 tons, small steamer

768 passengers

After departure, 180 transferred from Albertina. A very crowded ship and listing heavily, captured at sea by the destroyer Cheviot. Stiff resistance to deportation.

Name means “The Remnant shall return.”

Theodor Herzl

138. Theodor Herzl — Guardian

type: str
Departed Sète, France 2 Apr 1947, arrived 13 Apr 1947

ex-Ceibar, ex-Guardian, built 1907, 1768 gross tons, former cable layer

2641 passengers

The ship was captured in a gale by the destroyer Haydon and frigate St. Brides Bay after heavy resistance during which three refugees died of injuries and 27 injured, and ship was towed in to Haifa.

Name: Herzl was the founder of Zionism (1860-1904).

Photograph source: Clifford Stephens


137. Moledet — San Felipe

type: str
Departed Metaponto, Italy 23 Mar 1947, arrived 29 Mar 1947

ex-San Felipe, ex-Egil, ex-Samuel Gustaf Hermelin, built 1876, 749 gross tons, iron passenger steamer

1588 passengers

Former Swedish coastal steamer. The ship was captured at sea with engines stopped and a heavy list. The destroyers Haydon and Charity (556), minesweeper Octavia (265) and the frigate St. Brides Bay took the passengers off at sea, including many former partisans, before the ship was towed into Haifa by tug.

1023 men, 513 women, 41 children. Passengers resisted deportation to Cyprus.

Name means “Patria” referring to the French ship sunk by the Haganah at Haifa in 1940 (see No. 60, List 1).

Photograph source: Algerine Associates