The end of Doric's White Star career

Mark Baber

Dec 29, 2000
As mentioned below, most sources place the final White Star sailing of Doric I in August 1906. When pulling together the history of the end of Coptic's White Star service which appears at The end of Coptic's White Star career I did the same for Doric.

17 May 1906: Doric I (Capt. Harry Smith) leaves San Francisco as a White
Star/Occidental and Oriental liner for the final time. She will arrive at
Yokohama on 4 June and Hong Kong on 20 June. (Source: The San Francisco
Call, 18 May and 5 and 21 June 1906.)

21 July 1906: The Pacific Mail Company announces that it has purchased
Coptic and Doric I from White Star, leaving the White Star/Occidental and
Oriental transpacific service with no ships and O&O's corporate officials
"without an occupation," although it is anticipated that they will be "taken
care of" by Pacific Mail, of which O&O is described as "merely an adjunct."
It is reportedly Pacific Mail's intention that Doric, which is presently en
route from Yokohama to San Francisco, remain in service, but Coptic (which
is at Hong Kong) is expected to be relegated to the status of a reserve
ship. (Source: The San Francisco Call, 22 and 29 July 1906.)

24 July 1906: Three days after her sale to Pacific Mail is announced, Doric
I (Capt. Harry Smith) arrives at San Francisco to complete her final White
Star/Occidental and Oriental transpacific crossing. (Source: The San
Francisco Call, 25 July 1906.)

4 August 1906: Although now owned by Pacific Mail, see 21 July, Doric I
leaves San Francisco with White Star Capt. Harry Smith still in command. As
a sign of Pacific Mail's appreciation for Doric's officers unanimously
agreeing to undertake this optional roundtrip voyage, the White Star burgee
is flying from the mizzen in addition to the Occidental and Oriental house
flag which, as was standard on the White Star/O&O service, is flying from
the main mast. (Source: The San Francisco Call, 5 August 1906; Anderson's
White Star and de Kerbrech's Ships of the White Star Line give this date
for Doric's final White Star/O&O departure from San Francisco.)

8 August 1906: This date is given in Haws' Merchant Fleets for the final
San Francisco sailing of Doric I on the White Star/O&O service.

11 October 1906: Doric I, now owned by Pacific Mail, see 21 July, arrives
at San Francisco under a White Star commander, Capt. Harry Smith, for the
final time. Chief Officer Harry Gaukroger, who has elected to remain with
his ship and Pacific Mail, will be in command when Doric sails on 21
October, while Smith and the other officers who have chosen to remain with
White Star will head for Liverpool and reassignment a week from today.
Doric will make two more San Francisco departures under her old name, on 8
January and 27 March 1907. (Source: The San Francisco Call, 12 and 17
October 1906 and 9 January and 27 March 1907.)

31 May 1907: Pacific Mail's Doric (ex-White Star Doric I; see 21 July) makes
her final San Francisco arrival under her old White Star name; when she
sails again on 11 June it will be under her new Pacific Mail name, Asia.
(Sources: The San Francisco Call, 1, 8 and 11 June 1907.)

Mark Baber

Dec 29, 2000
The San Francisco Call, 4 February 1909
Retrieved from the California Digital Newspaper Collection web site,

Pacific Mail Colors Substituted for O. and O. Flag on Liner Asia
Emblem That Has Waved for Forty Years Is Hauled Down for Last Time

The O. and O. flag, which has been a favorite on the Pacific for nearly 40
years, was hauled down yesterday for the last time on the liner Asia, and in
its place the red and blue striped emblem of the Pacific Mail company was
hoisted to the mainmast head. The Asia's smokestack, hitherto a yachtlike
yellow, was painted black, and by this afternoon all the gay and festive
touches of color about the upper works that distinguished the ships of the
O. and O. line will have disappeared and the Asia will be as close a copy of
the other Pacific Mail steamers as paint will make her. The Asia has been
under Pacific Mail management for some time, but the O. and O. company had
at least a theoretical existence until the flag came down.

The Occidental and Oriental steamship company was organized in 1872 by the
Central Pacific railroad to operate in opposition to the Pacific Mail
company. A combination was effected later on and a joint schedule was
arranged in which the Toyo Kisen Kaisha later joined. The O. and O. company
operated steamers chartered from the White Star line and under the
management of the late D. D. Stubbs the O. and O. ships won the favor of the
traveling public, and to this day the "regulars'" among trans-Pacific
travelers regret the passing of the old regime.

The building of the big liners Siberia, Korea, Manchuria and Mongolia
enabled the Harriman interests to dispense with the use of chartered ships,
and one by one the White Star liners "went home," all but the Doric and
Coptic, which were bought by the Harriman interests and renamed Asia and
Persia, respectively. The Persia is laid up at Hongkong. The Asia, which
will sail Saturday for the orient as a Pacific Mail liner, is now an
intermediate passenger ship with nothing to recall the old days but the
British flag, which still floats over the stern.


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