TIP | Titanic Related Ships | Birma | Russian American Line

(ex-Arundel Castle)

Russian American Line

Image of ss Birma (Russian American Line)

Length: 415.0 ft
Breadth: 45.7 ft.
Draft (or Depth): 27.9 ft.
Tonnage: 4,661 (gross); 3,984 (underdeck); 2,982 (net)
Engines: Triple expansion, 3 cyl. 30", 441/2", 80" x 54" stroke
Speed: 13 knots
Builder: Fairfield & Co., Ltd., Glasgow
Launched: October 2, 1894
Maiden Voyage: February 16, 1895
Disposition: 1924 - Scrapped in Italy.

Port of Registry: Libau (Liepaja)
Flag of Registry: Russian
Funnel color: Buff
Company flag: Blunt-nose pennant, divided horizontally, top-to-bottom: white-blue-red; white six-pointed star on blue (center) stripe
Signal Letters: N H B F
Wireless call letters: S B A
Details: Steel hull; 1 funnel; 4 masts; single screw; 4 decks; Accommodation: First 200; second 100; third c. 1,150


Relationship to Titanic disaster / inquiries.

Eastbound, New York-Rotterdam-Libau. At 12:30 a.m. April 15, when the distress call was sent out from Titanic, was approximately 100 miles southwest of the sinking site. The message was logged at 11:55 p.m. Birma time with the distress position 41.46N., 50.14W. Birma turned from her course to assist.


October 2, 1894

Launched for the Castle Line as Arundel Castle.

February 16, 1895

Maiden voyage, London-Port Natal-Delagoa Bay-Table Bay (arrived Apr. 3)


Sold to the East Asiatic Steam Ship Co., Denmark. Renamed Birma


Transferred to the Russian East Asiatic Steam Ship Co., Ltd.

December 8, 1908

First voyage, Libau-New York (arrived Dec. 23).


Renamed Mitau (Russian American Line)

August 1914

Laid up at Kronstadt


Reverted to the East Asiatic Steam Ship Co. Re-renamed Birma.

January 1921

Sold to the Polish Navigation Co. (Polish American Line); renamed Josef Pilsudski.

November 1921

Detained at Kiel for payment of repairs.


Became Wilbo (German registry).


Scrapped in Italy


Courtesy: John P. Eaton. Used with permission.
Image Courtesy: Jeff Newman and greatships.net