President Grant
Ship Number
Vessel Type
Passenger Ship
Slip Number
Launch Date
December 19, 1903
September 3, 1907
Hamburg Amerika Line
18089 grt
BP Length
600 feet
68 feet
No. of Screws
Speed (approx)
14 knots
quadruple expansion constructed in Belfast
Official No.
 President Grant

  One funnel, six masts, twin screw and a speed of 14 knots. She had accommodation for 200-1st, 150-2nd, 704-3rd and 2,300-4th class passengers. Initially named Servian, she was intended for Wilson's & Furness-Leyland Line's planned London-Boston service. In 1901, however, Wilson's & Furness-Leyland was bought by International Navigation Company, which also acquired Frederick Leyland & Company at about the same time. Since Frederick Leyland already served the Boston market, Wilson's & Furness-Leyland's Boston service never came about and the order for Servian (and her sister, Scotian) was cancelled before launching. So, after she was launched in December 1903, the ship spent four years at anchor in the Musgrave Channel, Belfast, unfinished, until purchased by the Hamburg American Line (Hapag) in 1906. Hapag initially intended to rename the ship Berlin but later changed the name to George Washington. After learning that Norddeutscher Lloyd had selected that name for its latest ship, Hapag again renamed her, this time selecting President Grant. Thus, by the time she made her maiden voyage from Hamburg to New York on 14 September 1907, she was already on her fourth name and there were more to come.
Interned at New York when World War I began in August 1914, President Grant  was seized by the United States authorities when it entered the war in 1917 and used as a troop transport.
In October she transferred to the US Army, and made 20 voyages, and in 1920 was used to repatriate Czech troops from Vladivostok [where they had been fighting the Bolsheviks] via Suez to Trieste.
In March 1921, she was handed over to the US Shipping Board, renamed President Buchanan and laid up until 1923, when she was refurbished and rebuilt with four masts by the Newport News Shipbuilding Co. Her tonnage was reduced to 17,910 and her accommodation altered to 600-cabin class and 600-3rd class passengers.
In 1924 she went to the United States Line, who named her Republic.
In 1926, she was converted to carry cabin, tourist and 3rd class passengers and on 17 July 1931 she commenced her last voyage from Hamburg to Southampton, Cherbourg and New York. She then became a US Troopship and ran between San Francisco, Hawaii and Manila and from 1932-1941 was used between New York, Panama, San Francisco and Honolulu.
In 1941 she was assigned to the US Navy as AP33 Republic and was used for Pacific trooping as far afield as Sydney, Australia. Returned to the army in 1945, she was converted at Mobile, Alabama to a Hague Convention Hospital ship and in February 1946, reverted to a troopship and was engaged on repatriation work.
She was laid up later the same year, until 1951, when she was scrapped at Baltimore.
[North Atlantic Seaway by N.R.P.Bonsor vol.1., p.413] [Merchant Fleets in Profile by Duncan Haws vol.4, p.98]