Shabtai Luzinsky

136. Shabtai Luzinsky — Susanna

type: str
Departed Metaponto, Italy 4 Mar 1947, arrived 12 Mar 1947

ex-Susanna, built 1946, 298 gross tons

823 passengers

First group was transferred to the Haim Arlosoroff (No. 133) when the engines broke down. After repairs in Italy, a new group was embarked. The ship was beached north of Gaza, undetected, and most of the passengers escaped the British Army cordon. Hundreds of local residents came down to the beach to mingle with the refugees who were able to evade arrest. Many residents were arrested and sent to Cyprus; some 460 local residents were returned home during the next week. Abandoned wrecked ship burned by Arabs.

Name: Named after a resident of Atarot, near Jerusalem, head of a Committee to Aid Immigrants, killed a short time earlier in Italy.

Photograph source: Haganah Archives

Ben Hecht

135. Ben Hecht — Abril

Type: yt
Departed Port de Bouc, France 1 Mar 1947, arrived 9 Mar 1947

ex-Abril, ex-USS Cythera, ex-Abril, ex-Vita, ex-Argosy, built 1930, 753 gross tons, yacht

597 passengers

The only ship sponsored by the Irgun, manned by American volunteers. Formerly a yacht, requisitioned during the war by the US Navy as USS Cythera. Captured without incident by the destroyer Chieftain, aided by Chevron and Chivalrous. 384 men, 193 women, 20 children. Among those on board were three journalists. This ship is still in service as the Santa Maria del Mare, in the Bay of Naples.

Name: Ben Hecht (1894-1964) was an American playwright and strong supporter of the Irgun.

Book: “What Ship? Where Bound?” by Shepard Rifkin, a novel recounting this voyage.

Photograph source: Haganah Archives

HaMapil Ha’Almoni

134. HaMapil Ha’Almoni — San Miguel

type: str
Departed Sète, France 3 Feb 1947, arrived 17 Feb 1947

ex-San Miguel, ex-Runeberg, ex-J.L. Runeberg, built 1876, 472 gross tons, iron passenger steamer

807 passengers

Also called Herouth or Elena. Formerly the Swedish coastal steamer Runeberg. Heavy resistance to boarding, captured by frigate St. Austell Bay and towed in by minesweeper Welfare. No resistance to deportation. 462 men, 212 women, 133 children.

Name means “The Unknown Immigrant.”

Photograph source: Algerine Associates

Haim Arlosoroff

133. Haim Arlosoroff — Ulua

Departed Trelleborg, Sweden 24 Jan 1947, arrived 27 Feb 1947

ex-Ulua, ex-USCGC Unalga, built 1912, 808 gross tons, former US Coast Guard cutter

1378 passengers

Ulua was formerly the US Coast Guard cutter Unalga, and manned by American volunteers. Embarked 664 teenage girls at Trelleborg, Sweden, then took on more refugees in Italy at Metaporto from the Shabtai Luzinsky (No. 136) whose engines had broken down. Plan to name the ship Struma was dropped for political reasons. Intercepted by British ships there was a violent battle until the ship was run aground on the beach south of Haifa, just opposite a British Army camp. Immigrants taken off by lighters and transshipped to Ocean Vigour, Empire Comfort, and Empire Lifeguard for the trip to Cyprus. 632 men, 680 women, 66 children.

Name: Haim Arlosoroff (1899-1933) was a Zionist leader in Palestine whose murder in 1933 had political overtones and has never been solved.

Book: “The Voyage of the Ulua” by Arie L. Eliav


132. Lanegev — Merica

type: brigantine
Departed Sète, France 18 Jan 1947, arrived 9 Feb 1947

ex-Merica, ex-Franco, built 1875, 296 gross tons, wood 2-mast auxiliary brigantine

647 passengers

Stopped by destroyer Chieftain and captured after fierce resistance to boarding. One refugee died in hospital. Refugees including 395 men, 181 women, and 60 children were taken to Cyprus on Empire Heywood.

Name means “To the Negev.”

Photograph source: Haganah Archives


131. Rafiah — Athina S.

type: str
Departed Bakar, Yugoslavia 26 Nov 1946, sank 5 Dec 1946

ex-Athina S., ex-Panaghia, ex-Joyeuse, built 1898, 273 gross tons, passenger steamer

785 passengers

Wrecked on Syrina (Sirna) Island in the Aegean in extremely bad weather. Reported the refugees were to be transferred to the Lochita (No. 130) at sea. Eight were lost, including three children. Survivors were rescued in a storm by the British minesweeper Providence, destroyer Chevron, and the Greek destroyer Themistocles, transferred to LST 3016 and taken to Cyprus. Women and children were taken to Palestine in Feb 1947.

Name: Town in northern Sinai, site of a British prison camp.

Photograph source: Aris Bilalis

Knesset Israel

130. Knesset Israel — Lochita

type: str
Departed Bakar, Yugoslavia 8 Nov 1946, arrived 25 Nov 1946

ex-Lochita, ex-Anna, ex-Evelyn B., ex-Elise, ex-Industria, ex-Nils, ex-Winnie, built 1889, 1870 gross tons, steamer.

3845 passengers

This ship carried the largest number to date, picking up the 600 survivors of the HaKedosha (No. 129). 11 babies born during the voyage. Captured without resistance by destroyers Haydon and Brissenden and minesweepers Octavia and Espiegle. But at Haifa efforts to transship the refugees to deportation ships were met with much resistance and two refugees were killed and 46 injured. The refugees were taken to Cyprus on the Empire Heywood, Empire Rival, and Ocean Vigour.

Name: Gathering of Israel.

Photograph source: Algerine Associates


129. HaKedosha — Agia Anastasia

type: m/v
Departed Bakar, near Rijeka, Yugoslavia 8 Nov 1946, sank 9 Nov 1946

ex-Agia Anastasia, built (unk),

600 passengers

Foundered in gale 9 Nov 1946, 600 passengers rescued by Lochita (No. 130)..

Name: Holiness. Also known as Abba Berditchev, named after one of the Jewish youths who parachuted into Yugoslavia, who was killed in 1944


128. Latrun — San Dimitrio

type: str
Departed La Ciotat, France 19 Oct 1946, arrived 1 Nov 1946

ex-San Dimitrio, ex-Södra Sverige, built 1871, 733 gross tons, iron passenger steamer

1279 passengers

Formerly Swedish coastal steamer Södra Sverige. Arrived leaking and listing heavily, 4 persons died en route. Despite resistance, with use of tear gas, ship was captured by the destroyer Chivalrous and minesweeper Octavia. Refugees were taken to Cyprus on the Empire Heywood and Ocean Vigour.

Name: The prison where Jewish leaders were detained in June 1946.

Photograph source: Algerine Associates

Bracha Fuld

127. Bracha Fuld — Fenice (2)

type: m/v
Departed Metaponto, Italy 9 Oct 1946, arrived 20 Oct 1946

ex-Alma, ex-Fenice, ex-Enrico, ex-Alma, ex-Jocelyn, ex-Rotterdam, built 1918, 313 gross tons, 2-mast steel auxiliary schooner (See No. 114)

815 passengers

Second trip by Fenice. Captured off Lebanon by British destroyer Chaplet and minesweeper Moon. Boarding delayed by rough weather. Passengers included 531 men, 262 women and 40 children.

Name: Bracha Fuld, a member of Palmach, was killed by British police at the landing of the Wingate (No. 110).

Photograph source: Algerine Associates


126. Palmach — Ariella

type: brigantine
Departed Italy 11 Sep 1946, arrived 22 Sep 1946

ex-Ariella, ex-Avvenire, ex-Carlo, built 1906, 235 gross tons, 2-mast wood auxiliary brigantine

611 passengers

Sailed with Albertina. 180 refugees transferred to Palmach at sea, and Italian crew to Albertina. Captured by minesweeper HMS Rowena. Boarding was successful only on the fourth attempt, one refugee was killed. Refugees taken to Cyprus on the Ocean Vigour.

Name: The Palmach was the elite fighting force of the Haganah.

Arba Cheruyot

125. Arba Cheruyot — Fede

type: m/v
Departed Italy 23 Aug 1946, arrived 2 Sep 1946

ex-Fede, built 1946, 512 gross tons, motor vessel (see No.113)

1024 passengers

Second trip made by Fede. Captured by destroyers Childers and Chivalrous. The boarding was the first to be strongly resisted, and two drowned by jumping off the ship. Passengers included 300 women of whom half were pregnant, and 200 children.

Name means “Four Freedoms.”

Photograph source: Haganah Archives