On 17th December 1913, Germany’s 35,000 ton Columbus was launched at F. Schihall shipyard in Danzig for Norddeutscher Lloyd. Work continued on Columbus until August 1914 when all work stopped due to the outbreak of World War One.
Following the war Columbus had to be handed over to Britain as war reparation. She was purchased by the White Star Line in 1921 and her construction was completed in Danzig but under Harland and Wolff supervision.
On 22nd January 1922 the ship arrived in Southampton and was renamed Homeric. The White Star Line wanted Homeric along with Majestic (II) to take the places intended for Titanic and Britannic (II).
Under the command of Captain FB Howarth Homeric left Southampton on 15th February on her maiden voyage to New York. Homeric arrived in New York two days late due to high seas and westerly gales.
On 25 the August 1923 Homeric was delayed leaving New York for Cherbourg and Southampton by 45 minutes when half an hour before she was supposed to leave the fireman and coal trimmers let the steam go down and refused to work, with 40 of them leaving the ship, after White Star refused to pay them a £6 bonus to work shorthanded because 15 of them had deserted the ship. The 40 crew members returned to the ship and work resumed after replacements were hired for the deserters.
Between October 1923 – March 1924 Homeric was given a refit by Harland and Wolff which included changing her from being a coal powered ship to an oil powered ship.
On 3rd September 1925 Homeric come very close to crashing into an anchored schooner in New York and nearly grounded in mud off the statue of Liberty after a number of boats drifted across her course.
While Homeric was entering the harbour at Constantinople on 14th February 1926 she lost her starboard anchor after being run into by Charterhurst.
Homeric had to leave a lifeboat with the Italian schooner Giacomo in the English Channel on 9th July 1927 after Homeric collided with her. Homeric was not damaged.
After completing a Mediterranean cruise in 1930 Homeric’s Second cabin class was removed and she become only a first and tourist third class ship.
Homeric left Southampton on her last transatlantic voyage on 1st June 1932 after that voyage she was used only for cruising.
On 27th September 1932 Homeric was accidently rammed by Cia Transmediterrania’s Isla de Tenerife while she was at anchor in Tenerife. Homeric was only slightly damaged.
When the White Star Line merged with Cunard in May 1934 Homeric become part of the new Cunard white star fleet and flew both the Cunard and White Star flag.
In July 1935 Homeric represented Cunard White Star at the Spithead fleet review which celebrated the Silver Jubilee of King George V. Soon after this Homeric was laid up.
Homeric was sold for £74,000 for scrap to Thomas W Ward LTD, on 26th February 1936.