[MAB Notes: 1. Although many postwar news stories, like this one, say that Olympic sank two U-boats, she in fact sank only one. 2. The original name of Majestic was Bismarck, not Fuerst Bismarck.]
The News York Times, 16 December 1924
FINAL TRIP BY HAYES, MAJESTIC'S MASTER
Sir Bertram Now to Quit Sea After 25 Years in Command of White Star
NEVER HAD AN ACCIDENT
Knighted for Sinking Two U-Boats That Imperiled Olympic and 3,500 U. S.
Sir Bertram Hayes, D. S. O., Commodore in the British Royal Naval
Reserve and master of the White Star liner Majestic, brought his ship in
yesterday on his final voyage, as he retires from active sea service
when he arrives in Southampton, England, on Tuesday, Dec. 23.
Knighthood and the Distinguished Service Order were conferred on Sir
Bertram by King George because the officer, while in command of the
Olympic, sank two German submarines off the Isle of Wight on May 12,
1918, and was thereby able to land 3,500 American soldiers then on their
way to France. It was not known until two months later, when the Olympic
was dry docked, that one of the submarines had fired a torpedo which
struck the liner amidships on the starboard side, but fortunately did
During the war the Olympic carried 300,000 soldiers and sailors safely
across the Atlantic. Sir Bertram said yesterday that he never had had an
accident during his twenty-five years in command of White Star liners.
"One of the happiest thoughts I have as I go into retirement," he added,
"is that I have had the confidence of those who employed me, of the men
who sailed with me and under me and of the traveling public."
He has been in sea service forty-five years. His most disagreeable task,
he said, was taking the Fuerst Bismarck from Hamburg to Southampton.
where the big liner was renamed Majestic.
The captain is overwhelmed with the manifestations of affection shown to
him by his crew and the presentations to be made to him. "I feel that it
is I who ought to make the presentations to them," he said, "but I
cannot do that for more than a thousand officers and men." He will bid
them good-bye at the Palace Theatre in Southampton.
The captain is 60 years old and a bachelor. He is very popular here. He
will make his home at Fairfield, near Liverpool. Captain George R.
Metcalfe, R. N. R., will succeed him. The new master came over as a
passenger on this voyage to get a few hints in the handling of the