Encyclopedia Titanica


New York Times

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Retired Skipper of Olympic Served in the British Navy During the World
Commander of Leviathan and Majestic on Last Voyages They Ever Made
News was received yesterday from Liverpool, England, of the death in a
hospital in that city of Captain John W. Binks, retired shipmaster of
the White Star Line and a lieutenant commander in the Royal Navy. He was
65 years old.

Captain Binks served at sea for forty-five years, of which thirty-five
were spent in the service of the White Star Line.

After he retired in December, 1934, Captain Binks navigated the two
largest ships of their day on their last trips. In March, 1937, he
commanded the Majestic on her final voyage from Southampton to Rosyth,
Scotland, to become a training ship for naval cadets.

On Jan. 20, 1938, Captain Binks arrived in New York to take over the
command of the former United States liner Leviathan, which had been sold
to shipbreakers, and navigated her to England for Metal Industries,
Ltd., which bought the big liner for scrap.

Captain Binks commanded the White Star liner Olympic for three years and
met with his only major accident, he said, in May, 1934, when his ship
sank the Nantucket Lightship in a fog and caused the death of seven of
the crew of eleven on board at the time.

He attended the inquiries that were held in New York and in London,
remained in command of the Olympic until Dec. 20 of that year, when he

When he reached England in February, 1938, with the Leviathan and a
scratch crew of 125 officers and men Captain Binks said that it was the
toughest voyage he had ever made.

Including his five years in sailing ships, the skipper had traveled
1,500,000 miles, he once estimated.

During the World War he served in the monitor Humber at Gallipoli and on
scouting service in the North Sea.

His widow survives.

Related Ships

Majestic (1922)


Mark Baber, USA


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Encyclopedia Titanica (2007) CAPT. JOHN W. BINKS OF WHITE STAR DIES (New York Times, Monday 6th February 1939, ref: #5656, published 28 August 2007, generated 20th March 2023 10:24:06 PM); URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/capt-john-w-binks-white-star-dies.html