Olympic was the first and only of the three ships to complete a crossing of the Atlantic. Laid down at Harland & Wolff shipyards in Belfast and when work began on the Olympic, the keel was laid on 16 December, 1908 in slip number 2, launched the followed two years later on 20 October, 1910 and was completed on 31 May, 1911, a special day for White Star as this was also her sister Titanic's launch day.
From Liverpool, the Olympic's official port of registry, she sailed to Southampton to prepare for her maiden voyage on 14 June and due to a collision with RMS Hawke repairs to Olympic delayed Titanic's maiden voyage.
After the sinking of her sister ship, the Olympic was refitted at huge cost and for the next two years she sailed with no hitches. While still making commercial voyages the Olympic helped rescue the crew of the sinking British battleship Audacious in October 1914. Later in the war Olympic served as a troop ship carrying thousands of Canadians to the front. It was during this service that Olympic obtained her nickname "The Old Reliable".
On 12 May, 1918 Olympic made its most notable achievement during the war for the ramming and sinking of German submarine U103. After the war, Olympic returned to service and by July 1920, she was refitted, cleaned and converted to oil fuel. Due to Britannic's loss during the war, Olympic was now the last remaining ship of the original trio.
However in New York on 22 May, 1924 another collision for Olympic with Furness Bermuda liner Fort St. George meant her entire stern frame had to be removed and replaced, an operation that had never been done on a ship of her size. And then in 1929 the Olympic was involved in a most peculiar incident. On 18 November, a few degrees from Titanic's last known position Olympic was steaming ahead when the ship was shaken continuously for two full minutes. Despite the unusual experience she was unaffected.
In 1934 White Star announced it was merging with its archrival Cunard this signaled the beginning of the end for Olympic and almost all the ships in the White Star fleet. In fact the following year Olympic's end came, and her summer sailing schedule for 1935 was cancelled after 257 round trips to America.
In 1935 she was sold to Sir John Jervis a member of the British parliament who, concerned about job loss due to the Depression, immediately re-sold her to Thomas Ward and Sons Ship Breakers in Jarrow, Scotland.
Olympic had a long and successful life serving the North Atlantic route. She entered passenger service in 1911 and served the White Star Line until 1935, at which time she was retired and eventually broken up for scrap, her dismantling took two years to complete.