In Saxon times, a descendant of royal blood.
(ACV-33: dp. 7,800; 1. 495'8"; b. 69'6"; ew. 111'6"; s. 18 k.; cpl. 890; a. 2 5", 16 40mm., 27 20mm.; cl. Prince William)
AVG-33, an aircraft escort vessel, was laid down on 9 June 1942 at Tacoma, Wash., by the Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding Co., under a Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 244); named Glacier, for a bay in Alaska, on 1 August 1942; reclassified as an auxiliary aircraft carrier, ACV-33, on 20 August 1942; launched on 7 September 1942; sponsored by Mrs. Richard P. Luker, the wife of Capt. Luker, the commanding officer of the Seattle Naval Station; and commissioned at the builder's yard, on 12 July 1943, Comdr. Ward C. Gilbert in command.
Having been "firmly assigned" to the United Kingdom under lend-lease on 25 June 1943, Glacier was fitted out at the Puget Sound Navy Yard, Bremerton, Wash., and, upon completion of that work, sailed for Vancouver, British Columbia, arriving the same day. Decommissioned on 31 July 1943, the ship was simultaneously turned over to the British, who renamed her Atheling, and assigned her the "pendant number" D.51.
Atheling operated under the White Ensign for the duration of World War II and through most of 1946 until returned to American custody at Norfolk, Va., on 6 December 1946. Declared "not essential to the defense of the United States," the ship was struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 7 February 1947.
Sold through the Naval Disposal Agency to National Bulk Carriers, Inc., of New York, in November 1947, the ship was ultimately acquired by Achille Lauro of Naples, Italy, in September 1947 who had the ship stripped at Jacksonville, Pla., and converted to a passenger liner at Naples. Renamed Roma, the ship commenced passenger service in the summer of 1951. Outside of service from 1953 to 1956 on the North Atlantic shipping routes, Roma spent the bulk of her peacetime career carrying passengers between the Mediterranean Sea and Australia. After finally reaching Spezia on 4 September 1967 to be laid up, Roma was scrapped the following December at Vado, Italy.