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Sunday, 30 May 2010

H.M.N.Z.S. TUI


(Photo courtesy of RNZN Museum)
Ship No 316
Third of the three ship order for the New Zealand Navy to be completed in the yard.

This class was based on the design of an experimental Royal Navy minesweeping trawler were the first new ships to enter service with the Royal New Zealand Navy, their principal peace time function was training, and in wartime, minesweeping and escort duties. After working up in Northern England she went to New Zealand In December 1942, the four ships of the 25th Minesweeping Flotilla, comprising the three 'Bird class' corvettes HMNZS Kiwi, Tui, and Moa, with HMNZS Matai as senior ship, had deployed to the Solomons.
Ship details:

Type: Bird Class Trawlers

Pennant No.: T234/P33

Launched : 26/08/1941

Commissioned: 26/11/1941

Displacement (full load): 937 tonnes

Dimensions: 51.2m length, 48m height, 9.1m beam, 4.7m draught

Engines: 1-shaft reciprocating engine, oil fired, max speed 13 knots

Armament: 1 x 102mm [4”] gun

Minesweeping equipment

ASDIC [anti-submarine equipment]

1 x twin Hotchkiss light MG mounting

1 x 20mm gun (from 1942), a further 2 x 20mm fitted unofficially in 1943

Complement: 33-35 officers and ratings


Hell or High Water: New Zealand Merchant Seafarers Remember the War Hell or High Water: New Zealand Merchant Seafarers Remember the War
Following the successful publication of the larger format Oral History Series, these titles are being re-released in trade at a lower price point, in order to meet the increasing interest in military history. During WW2 thousands of New Zealanders served in New Zealand, British and other Allied merchant marines. Many braved the deadly German U-Boat threat during the Battle of the Atlantic - the longest campaign of the war - and sailed in perilous convoys to Arctic Russia, Malta and other high risk routes. Others manned transport and hospital ships and took part in the Allied landings in North Africa, Italy and Normandy, with 105 100 Kiwi merchant seafarers killed, 28 taken prisoner, five of whom died in Japanese captivity, but these figures are artificially low, with many others listed as general British losses. While these figures are small compared to other services, no other civilian group faced such constant risk and the vital contribution of this 'fourth' service has never received the recognition it deserves. The book includes firsthand accounts from men who survived air and submarine attacks, sometimes enduring days adrift in open lifeboats, a seaman awarded the George Cross during the 1942 pedestal convoy to relieve Malta and another who spent three years in Changi prison, amongst many other stirring and poignant accounts of life at war.



(Photo courtesy of RNZN Museum)

H.M.N.Z.S. TUI also hunted down a Japanese submarine and through her persistent and brave actions she eventually sank the submarine I-17 a sister vessel of I-1 which had been sunk by her sister ships Moa and Kiwi.


The Japanese submarine was more than twice the size of Moa, and there was only 6 survivors from the submarine all picked up by H.M.N.Z.S. Tui and returned to Noumea.



Battle Honours:
Atlantic 1942

Guadalcanal 1942-43
Ship’s Motto:
Tohea te Tohe (Be brave and be determined)
The ship’s motto was approved in February 1952 by the Naval Board.

Japanes Submarine of the Same Class as sunk by H.M.N.Z.S. TUI
 
 
Imperial Japanese Navy Submarines 1941-45 Imperial Japanese Navy Submarines 1941-45
The Imperial Japanese Navy in World War II possessed the most technologically advanced and varied submarine fleet in the world. Ranging from the largest pre-nuclear submarines in the world to manned torpedoes, with the fastest combat vessels and midget submarines operating alongside craft capable of carrying floatplane bombers, the fleet should have been an awe-inspiring and highly effective force. Yet, despite playing a crucial scouting role and being equipped with the best torpedoes available, the Japanese submarine fleet was surprisingly ineffective. With unique color plates, Mark Stille highlights the technical details of this diverse fleet, including the design successes and operational errors as well as investigating the underlying causes behind the failures of one of the greatest naval forces in the Pacific.


 

H.M.N.Z.S. KIWI


(Photo courtesy of RNZN Museum)  
Ship No 315

Second in line of the three ship order for H.M.N.Z.N.
She was 157 feet and 6 inches length overall with a beam of 27 feet and 6 inches and a draught of 15 feet and 6 inches.

She was launched from the yard on 7th July 1941.

Ship details:
Type: Bird Class Trawlers

Pennant No.: T102

Commissioned: 1941

Displacement (full load): 937 tonnes

Dimensions: 51.2m length, 48m height, 9.1m beam, 4.7m draught

Engines: 1-shaft reciprocating engine, oil fired, max speed 13 knots

Armament: 1 x 102mm [4”] gun

Minesweeping equipment

ASDIC [anti-submarine equipment]

1 x twin Hotchkiss light MG mounting

1 x 20mm gun (from 1942), a further 2 x 20mm fitted unofficially in 1943
Complement: 33-35 officers and ratings




Hell or High Water: New Zealand Merchant Seafarers Remember the War
This class was based on the design of an experimental Royal Navy minesweeping trawler were the first new ships to enter service with the Royal New Zealand Navy, their principal peace time function was training, and in wartime, minesweeping and escort duties. After working up in Northern England she went to New Zealand In December 1942, the four ships of the 25th Minesweeping Flotilla, comprising the three 'Bird class' corvettes HMNZS Kiwi, Tui, and Moa, with HMNZS Matai as senior ship, had deployed to the Solomons.

H.M.N.Z.S. Kiwi (T102) was to take part in many adventures during the long and dangerous days of World War II including the sinking of the Japanese Submarine I-1 while working in tandem with her sister ship H.M.N.Z.S. Moa.







A remarkable feat for these gallant little ships to under take, and her full story will be told on the new website.


HMNZS Kiwi post-war
During this action she rammed the submarine, which was over twice her size, damaging her bow and was sent back to Devonport for repairs. After repair, she returned to the Solomon’s area, remaining there till almost the end of the Second World War, returning to Auckland in August 1945 to help in the clearance of the Auckland minefields, going into reserve shortly afterwards. She re-commissioned in 1948- 1949, 1951-1952, and 1954-1956 for use as a training ship, before finally paying off in 1956. She was sold for scrap in 1964 and broken up shortly afterwards.
(My thanks to RNZN Museum)






The Japanese Submarine Force and World War II The Japanese Submarine Force and World War II
When first published in 1995, this book was hailed as an absolutely indispensable contribution to the history of the Pacific War. Drawing heavily from Japanese sources and American wartime intercepts of secret Japanese radio messages, a noted American naval historian and a Japanese mariner painstakingly recorded and evaluated a diverse array of material about Japan's submarines in World War II. The study begins with the development of the first Japanese 103-ton Holland-type submergible craft in 1905 and continues through the 1945 surrender of the largest submarine in the world at the time, the 5300-ton I-400 class that carried three airplanes. Submarine weapons, equipment, personnel, and shore support systems are discussed first in the context of Japanese naval preparations for war and later during the war. Both successes and missed opportunities are analyzed in operations ranging from the California coast through the Pacific and Indian Oceans to the coast of German-occupied France. Appendixes include lists of Japanese submarine losses and the biographies of key Japanese submarine officers. Rare illustrations and specifically commissioned operational maps enhance the text.




H.M.N.Z.S. MOA

Ship No 314
The “MOA” was one of a three ship order for the New Zealand Navy, a “Bird Class” armed trawler. This class was based on the same design as H.M.S. Bassett, with further improvements over a period of time. They were the first new ships to enter service with the Royal New Zealand Navy.

This class of vessel was designed for training in seamanship, gunnery, minesweeping, and torpedo work. They were quickly converted for use as minesweepers and escort duties.


H.M.N.Z.S. MOA
(Photograph's courtesy of RNZN. Museum)

Ship details:
Type: Bird Class Trawlers

Launched: 15/04/1941

Commissioned: 26/11/1941

Displacement (full load): 937 tonnes

Dimensions: 51.2m length, 48m height, 9.1m beam, 4.7m draught

Engines: 1-shaft reciprocating engine, oil fired, max speed 13 knots

Armament: 1 x 102mm [4”] gun

Minesweeping equipment

ASDIC [anti-submarine equipment]

1 x twin Hotchkiss light MG mounting

1 x 20mm gun (from 1942), a further 2 x 20mm fitted unofficially in 1943
Complement: 33-35 officers and ratings


Shipwreck, Scuba Diving and Fossil e-Books

H.M.N.Z.S MOA (T233) had an eventful war serving as part of a minesweeper flotilla in the Solomon Islands, and working long and dangerous hours in the area of Guadalcanal,
She took part in the sinking of the Japanese submarine I-1 and many other adventures, before being sunk by Japanese dive bombers.

Japanese Submarine I-1

(Photograph's courtesy of RNZN. Museum)
H.M.N.Z.S. MOA (7th April 1943) was hit by two bombs in Tulagi, Harbour while re-fuelling and she sank within 4 minutes with the loss of five crewmen, and a total of 15 wounded.

Saturday, 29 May 2010

H.M.S. SWORD DANCE





H.M.S. Sword Dance
Ship No 313

Was an order for an Armed Trawler of the Dance Class, to also undertake minesweeping duty? She was very similar to the “Tree class” ships.


Part of “The little ship Navy” The Dance class armed trawlers where a slight improvement on the “Tree class” although the same tonnage they were better armed.

She was 463 tons with a length overall of 150 feet and a beam of 27 feet and 6 inches with a draught of 14 feet and 6 inches.

She was laid down on 2nd of March 1940, and launched from the yard on 3rd September 1940 (The war was one year old on this day)

She was commissioned into H.M. Forces on 20th of January 1941, and she was lost in a collision of the North East of Scotland in July 1942.

She was the only one of the Dance class armed trawlers to be lost during World War II.

H.M.S. SALTARELO

Ship No 312


Was an order for an Armed Trawler of the Dance Class, to also undertake minesweeping duty? She was very similar to the “Tree class” ships.

Part of “The little ship Navy” The Dance class armed trawlers where a slight improvement on the “Tree class” although the same tonnage they were better armed.

She was 463 tons with a length overall of 150 feet and a beam of 27 feet and 6 inches with a draught of 14 feet and 6 inches.

She was launched from the yard on 6th August 1940, H.M.S. Saltarelo survived the war and was sold on by the navy to Portugal and renamed Salvador Correia.

Friday, 28 May 2010

H.M.S. STORNOWAY



Ship No 311


Bangor Class Twin Screw Minesweeper.

With reciprocating engine, along with being rather slow, they were not really known for there good sea keeping abilities and were more like a cork in a bath tube, which makes the story of the men who served on them through all kinds of rough weather all the more remarkable.


She was laid down on 17th July 1940 and launched on the 10th June 1941, after sea trials she was commissioned into the Royal Navy on 17th November 1941 as a Minesweeper.

She was 171 feet and 6 inches length overall, with a beam of 28 feet and 6 inches, she drew a draught of 15 feet and 6 inches.

“Stornoway” became one of the famous 13th Minesweeping Flotilla and steamed over 60,000 miles and swept up over 2,000 mines; did duty off the Irish coast, English Channel, and attended at Dieppe raid, and survived countless air and E-boat attacks; transferred operations to North African coast and took part in Pantellaria and Sicilian landings; swept channel in front of King’s visit to Malta in July 1943; present at all operations on Italian coast and survived attacks from R-boats, bombers, and coastal batteries; visited Capri where inhabitants organised and held first dance since Italy entered the war. (For more of her story visit Leith Built Ships on War Service)
H.M.S. Stornoway was also involved in the Allied invasion of Southern France in 1944. Her many adventures would require a better platform to tell, so it will also go onto the new website, when it is ready.

H.M.S. Stornoway survived the war and was sold on by the Navy in September 1946.

H.M.S. SIDMOUTH


Ship No 310


Bangor Class, Twin Screw Minesweeper.
With reciprocating engine, along with being rather slow, they were not really known for there good, sea keeping abilities and were more like a cork in a bath tube, which makes the story of the men who served on them through all kinds of rough weather all the more remarkable.

She was laid down on 11th June 1940 and launched on the 15th March 1941, after sea trials she was commissioned into the Royal Navy on 4th August 1941 as a Minesweeper.

She was 171 feet and 6 inches length overall, with a beam of 28 feet and 6 inches, she drew a draught of 15 feet and 6 inches.

“A sister ship of H.M.S. “Stornoway” She saw a great deal of service as leader of a minesweeper flotilla. In August 1942 she was one of the minesweepers which swept the channel ahead of the raiding force which attacked Dieppe. On one occasion she made a record by sweeping a distance of 600 miles in seventy two hours.

Another of her more exiting exploits was the invasion exercises in 1943 when she led her flotilla to within three miles of the French coast without being observed.”

H.M.S. Sidmouth survived the war and she was sold by the navy in January 1950.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

H.M.S. POLYANTHUS



Ship No 309


H.M.S.Polyanthus
Flower Class Corvette.


She was ordered on 25th July 1939

Her keel was laid on 19th March 1940 and she was launched from the yard on the 30th of November 1940, after successful sea trials she was commissioned on 24th April 1941.

She had a length overall of 190 feet with a beam of 33 feet and draught of 17 feet and 6 inches. At 811 tons, another of the many unsung small ships that worked tirelessly during World War II. A Sister ship to H.M.S. Dianthus, she was to give sterling service in the protection of Convoy’s crossing the North Atlantic, helping to keep Britain supplied in her darkest times.

On 21 September 1943 the German U-952 fired a torpedo at an escort of the convoy ON-202 and heard after three minutes a detonation, followed by sinking noises. HMS Polyanthus (Lt. J.G. Aitken, RNR) was hit and sank immediately at position 57.00N, 31.10W. The British frigate HMS Itchen picked up one survivor, but he died when the frigate was torpedoed and sunk two days later by U-666.

(H.M.S. Polyanthus was the only warship sank by U-952 out of 14 ships sent to the bottom by the Hamburg built U-952, which was sunk by U.S. bombs in harbour at Toulon in August 1944)

(H.M.S. Itchen was unlucky in the fact that she was the only ship to be sunk by the U-666, which in turn was sunk herself in early 1944 with the loss of all hands.)

H.M.S. PETUNIA



Ship No 308


H.M.S. Petunia


Flower Class Corvette.
She was ordered on 25th July 1939

She had a length overall of 190 feet with a beam of 33 feet and draught of 17 feet and 6 inches. At 723 tons, another of the many unsung small ships that worked tirelessly during World War II. She was launched from the yard on 19th of September 1940


One of her many adventures included her part in the rescue of some of the passengers from the torpedoed liner,
“Empress of Canada”, 21,517grt, (Canadian Pacific Ltd) which, had been sailing independently from Durban to Takoradi and the U.K. on government service, carrying over 1500 passengers including military personnel and Italian PoW's. On the 14th March 1943 the ship was torpedoed in the South Atlantic about 420 miles SSW of Cape Palmas by the Italian submarine Leonardo Da Vinci and sank in position 01' 13S 09' 57W. The ships Captain, 273 crew, 26 DEMS gunners and 1,188 passengers were rescued by the Corvette's HMS Crocus and “Petunia”, as well as the Destroyer HMS Boreas and the Ocean Boarding Vessel Corinthian and landed in Freetown. 44 crew and 348 passengers were lost. (For more visit Leith Built Ships on War Service page)
For a full and pretty comprehensive Naval History of H.M.S. Petunia

H.M.S. Dianthus



Ship No 307


H.M.S. Dianthus
Flower Class Corvette.

She was ordered on 25th July 1939

Her keel was laid on 31st October and she was launched from the yard on the 9th of July 1940, after successful sea trials she was commissioned on 17th March 1941.

She had a length overall of 190 feet with a beam of 33 feet and draught of 17 feet and 6 inches. At 811 tons, another of the many unsung small ships that worked tirelessly during World War II.

H.M.S. Dianthus had a very eventful war, which included sinking a U-Boat (U-379) she rammed and depth charged the enemy submarine until it sank. (Her many adventures will feature on the new website coming soon)

She was sold to a Norwegian Company for use as a whaler, and to this use she was used until she was towed to the breakers yard in 1968.
(For more on H.M.S. Dianthus.)

H.M.S. Delphinium


Ship No 306

H.M.S.Delphinium.
Flower Class Corvette.


She was ordered on 25th July 1939

Her keel was laid on 31st October 1939, she was launched on 6th June 1940 and commissioned into service with the Royal Navy on 15th November 1940.

She had a length overall of 190 feet with a beam of 33 feet and draught of 17 feet and 6 inches. At 718 tons, Delphinium operated in the Mediterranean theatre, throughout WWII. H.M.S. Delphinium had many adventures and close calls during World War II, so many in fact that a simple blog is unable to do justice to the stories of the service lives of the unsung heroes of the war at sea.

She survived the war only to be broken up in 1949.

Ship No 305

Was another cancelled order for a Grab Hopper Dredger for Greymouth.

While the five previous orders had been quickly cancelled this was to make way for the huge war effort to supply the Royal Navy with warships of all types, and along with the two “Tree Class” armed trawlers H.M.S. Hazel and H.M.S. Hickory, there was an immediate order for the supply of four “Flower Class” Corvettes.

Ship No 303 & 304

Was an order for two motor coasters from General Steam Navigation Company, again both orders were cancelled due to the outbreak of World War Two.

Ship No 301 and 302

An order from Booth Line for two Motor Coasters, both cancelled due to the outbreak of War.

H.M.S. Hickory

Ship No 300

Was an order for an Armed Trawler of the Tree Class, to also undertake minesweeping duty.


She was the sister ship of H.M.S. Hazel, with a length overall of 150 feet, and a beam of 27 feet and 6 inches, with the same draught at 14 feet and 6 inches. With a crew compliment of around 35.

Launched from the yard on 24th February 1940, She had a short service life, as she was unfortunately sunk by a mine in the English Channel on 21st October 1940.

H.M.S. Hazel

Ship No 299

Was an order for an Armed Trawler of the Tree Class, to also undertake minesweeping duty?
She was 150 feet length overall with a beam of 27 feet and 6 inches and draught of 14 feet and 6 inches; she was laid down on 16th August 1939 and launched from the shipyard 5 months later on 27th December 1939.

“The strength and endurance of the Tree Class Anti-Submarine Trawlers were exemplified by H.M.S. “Hazel” during her eleven months service in northern waters.


She was unlucky during this commission – unlucky in two ways. Whatever convoy she escorted on any route, she ran into no enemy, but plenty of bad weather. Even on her way home she ran into gales and one of her boats was stove in. But she with-stood everything and always returned safely to her base.

Once the ship was kept pinned to a quay by a gale for three days, and on another occasion, when a big merchant ship alongside was blown out of harbour, the crew of “Hazel” stayed up all night in a successful effort to hold the ship to her buoy.

The gale blew a house down and broke windows all over the town.

The ship’s Commanding Officer was the lieut.-Commander R. Dwyer, R.N.R. and he frequently drove the ship through 30 feet seas “It was like being on a gigantic scenic railway” he said”. (For more on Leith Built Ships on War Service)

Saturday, 22 May 2010

The Outbreak of World War II

3rd day of September 1939 was the start of the war for the U.K. and for the Royal Navy and the Merchant Navy the war started on this day.


The sinking of the passenger liner Athenia, without warning by a U-Boat on this day, was the first day of conflict that was to last for 6 (six) long years, with never a rest day on the worlds oceans.

Flower Class Corvette.

Ship No 297 & 298

Was an order from Gas Accumulator Company for two small unattended Lightships, both of 25 tons, with an overall length of 30 feet and beam of 14 feet with draught of 7 feet.

Ship No 296

Unknown vessel, which I have been unable to find out about, she was 500 tons, so she was a fair size of vessel at the time, with a length overall of 163 feet and a beam of 28 feet.


She was ordered by Hannan Samuel & Company.

She may have been a small coaster that was taken over by the War Ministry as she was on the building berths as the conflict started.

M.S.C. MERLIN

Ship No 295


Merlin was the second of another four ship order for Diesel-engined tugs from the Manchester Ship Canal Company Ltd.
She was 131 gross tons and powered by a single screw Crossley Diesel engine producing 770 h.p.
She had an overall length of 86 feet and a beam of 23 feet, and a draught of 12 feet.
She was launched on 27th February 1940.
They were superior it was said at the time to the steam powered tugs previously built for the company.

M.S.C. Merlin (Ship No 295)

M.S.C. MALLARD

Ship No 294

Mallard was the first of another four ship order for Diesel-engined tugs from the Manchester Ship Canal Company Ltd.
She was 131 gross tons and powered by a single screw Crossley Diesel engine producing 770 h.p.
She had an overall length of 86 feet and a beam of 23 feet, and a draught of 12 feet.
She was launched on 12 December 1939.
They were superior it was said at the time to the steam powered tugs previously built for the company.

Mallard gave great service for 31 years before being sold, and working under a few other names, before being broken up in 1986 giving her a service life of 47 years. (Not a bad return on the initial investment cost)
M.S.C. Mallard (Ship No 294)

M.V. EDINA

Ship No 293

Was an order from a local Leith shipping Line named J. Currie and Company Ltd.
She was an identical ship to “Oriole” being a single screw motor cargo vessel, at 489 tons, with a length overall of 160 feet and a beam of 27 feet, with draught of 14 feet.
She was launched from the yard 16th of October 1939.
Edina was to go on and have an eventful time during World War II and also took part in the invasion of Europe on D-Day 1944.

M.V.Edina
In 1945 she was, sold to Dundee, Perth & London Shipping Co., Dundee and renamed Gowrie.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

M.V. ORIOLE



Ship No 292

Was an order for a single screw motor cargo vessel for the General Steam Navigation Company Ltd.


She was 489 tons and had a length overall of 160 feet with a beam of 27 feet and draught of 14 feet.

She was launched from the yard on the 15th of August 1939 just a month before war was declared. Her service during the conflict was eventful and she took part in the D-Day invasion of the Normandy Beaches.

M.V. Oriole (Ship No 292)

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

M.V. UNDERWOOD

Ship No 291

Underwood was one of the ships on the stocks (building berth) at the outbreak of World War II.
She was an order for a twin screw motor vessel from the company of Franch Fewick of Australia.
At 1,990 tons this large modern motor vessel was for the coastal trade in Australia and New Zealand.
She had a length overall of 255 feet, and a beam of 45 feet, and a draught of 21 feet and 6 inches.
The “Underwood” was one of the merchant ships on the stocks at Leith when war broke out. Building to the direction of the Union Steamship Company of New Zealand, Ltd., she was taken over by the Ministry of War Transport on completion.

With her enormous, hatch opening of 96 feet. (With her sister ship, the “Port Tauranga,” built three years earlier, the largest hatches on Lloyd’s Register), made her ideally suited for the transport of tanks, aircraft, guns, and other vital supplies to Russia.

During a voyage from the Thames to the Clyde, (1944) the convoy in which she was sailing was subjected to a particularly daring attack by E-Boats. In misty weather the enemy craft lay close in shore near the Lizard, and as the convoy passed, attacked it from the land and least protected side. The “Underwood” was one of the vessels lost when hit by torpedoes from the fast motor torpedo boats of the enemy.

Port Tuaranga, was the sister ship of M.V.Underwood.

Monday, 17 May 2010

M.S.C. BADGER

Ship No 290

Badger was one of a four ship order for the Manchester ship canal Company to help re-quip there fleet for service in the canal.

She was a single screw tug with I.H.P. 750, at 144 grt, she was launched from the yard on the 8th March 1939. She was 86 feet length overall and with a beam of 23 feet and draft of 12 feet. This fine tug was to provide sterling service during a long working life until 1966 when decommissioned, she was then towed to Troon along with her sister-ship Bison, for breaking up by West of Scotland Ship-breakers.

M.S.C. BADGER (Ship No 290)

Sunday, 16 May 2010

M.S.C. BISON

Ship No 289
Bison was one of a four ship order for the Manchester ship canal Company to help re-quip there fleet for service in the canal.

She was a single screw tug with I.H.P. 750, at 144 grt, she was launched from the yard on the 21st April 1939. She was 86 feet length overall and with a beam of 23 feet and draft of 12 feet. This fine tug was to provide sterling service during a long working life until 1966 when decommissioned, she was then towed to Troon for breaking up by West of Scotland Ship-breakers.

M.S.C. Bison (Ship No 289)

KHARGUN

Ship No 288


Was the final Bumb Barge to be launched as part of the large order from Anglo Iranian Oil, at 309 tons and with a length overall of 309 tons.

At the same size as the other barges, with a length overall of 160 feet and a beam of 25 feet, and draught of 8 feet and 6 inches. This large order was to see the yard through to 1939, and would mean continuity of work to keep bread on the table of the riveters, platers and shipwrights for a while.

The barges that were built would no doubt be put to good use during the coming conflict that was soon to engulf the world.

KHUMAIN

Ship No 287
Second from last in the order from Anglo Iranian Oil for Bumb Barges, at 309 tons, with a length overall of 160 feet, and a beam of 25 feet, with a draught of 8 feet and 6 inches.

KNUNSAR

Ship No 286
Another in the order for Bumb Barges from Anglo Iranian Oil, again at 309 tons, with a length overall of 160 feet and a beam of 25 feet, the barge would draw 8 feet and 6 inches when in the water.

KAVAR

Ship No 285
Was part of the large order for Anglo Iranian Oil Company ltd, at 309 tons, and with a length overall of 160 feet, beam of 25 feet and the same draught as the rest of the order at 8 feet and 6 inches.

KHAMIR

Ship No 284
Next in line from the same order from Anglo Iranian Oil, although this Dumb Barge had a name that had been noted, she was the same size at 309 tons, with a length overall of 160 feet and beam of 25 feet, draught at 8 feet and 6 inches.

Ship No’s 276 to 283

The next eight of the Dumb Barges did not seem to have been given names that I have been able to find, they were all at 309 tons with the same length overall at 160 feet with beam of 25 feet and draught of 8 feet and 6 inches.

KARIND

Ship No 275
Was the second in line of the order from Anglo Iranian Oil,

She was another Dumb Barge of 309 tons, with an overall length of 160 feet and a beam of 25 feet, with draught of 8 feet and 6 inches.

KANGAN

Ship No 274
Was the first of a large order from Anglo Iranian Oil Company, the order was for a Dumb Barge of 309 tons, with an overall length of 160 feet and a beam of 25 feet, they had a draught of 8 feet and 6 inches.

Saturday, 15 May 2010

M.V. PURIRI

Ship No 273

Was another order from New Zealand but this time for the Anchor Line Co. This order was for a coaster of 927 tons.
She had an overall length of 180 feet and a beam of 35 feet, with a draught of 14 feet.
She was launched from the yard on 25th October 1938.

At the outbreak of World War II the motor vessel “Puriri” was taken over by the New Zealand Navy and converted to the role of Minesweeper, and re-named H.M.N.Z.S. Puriri, it was while doing this dangerous work that on 14th May 1941,
She struck a mine in the Hauraki Gulf in New Zealand’s North Island; she sank with the loss of five of her crew (all ex-merchant seamen reservists)
M.V."Puriri" Ship No 273

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Ship No 271 and 272

Was the remainder of the order from Wilson Son & Company and they were both barges of the same weight and size. At 85 tons each, and a length overall of 85 feet and, with a beam of 16 feet. The order was completed some time in 1938.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Ship No 270

Was an order for a stern wheeler from Wilson Son & Company. She could have been a self powered barge, or a small tug, as I have no name for her, just the yard number.


She was 85 tons and with a length overall of 88 feet and, with a beam of 17 feet and 3 inches.

This was part of a three vessel order for the same customer.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

M.V.KARITANE

Ship No 269

She was the 3rd ship to be ordered by the Union Steamship Company of New Zealand.


With a length overall of 275 feet and a beam of 45 feet and draught of 21 feet and 6 inches, she was a large coaster for her day. At 2,534 tons she was launched from the yard on 21st December 1938.

She saw service during World War II serving as a transport ship for the U.S. Forces.

This large motor ship was in fact the last vessel built for this company before war arrived.

As soon as the war reached the Pacific, she went into service as a transport for the United States Forces, who formed a very high opinion of her design and performance.

Friday, 7 May 2010

M.V. KOPARA

Ship No 268

Was the second ship ordered by the Union Steamship Company of New Zealand.
She was to run the coastal trade from the North Island to the South Island of New Zealand and she was also to be one of the ships bought by the U.S.Navy, and re-named U.S.S.Kopara, where she served with distinction during World War II.

She was not big as coasters go at 679 tons, and with a length overall of 190 feet and a beam of 35 feet and 8 inches, with a draught of 18 feet and 8 inches.

She was launched from the yard on 30th July 1938.

The following is some of her story during World War II
M.V. Kopara re-named U.S.S. Kopara (AG-50)
“Kopara” had been identified early in the hostilities in the South Pacific as a suitable vessel for the servicing operations in forward area’s of the U.S. Forces. Initially under charter with a mostly New Zealand crew she was then purchased by the U.S. Government and manned by a U.S. Navy crew.

Some service history as follows.

1941

Reports of drifting mines sighted by ships long distances from the areas in which they had been laid came in from time to time, and doubtless there were others that escaped observation. On 30 August the coastal vessel Kopara sighted a mine 16 miles northeast from White Island, in the Bay of Plenty. She and the Port Tauranga, which came up about twenty minutes later, shot off all their rifle ammunition without success, but on her return passage from Auckland the Kopara, in company with the Margaret W, found the mine and sank it in a shooting match in which about one hundred rounds were fired. Two other mines sighted far out in the Bay of Plenty were sunk by rifle fire from ships.

After a week at Auckland, the flotilla carried out searching sweeps from Cuvier Island northward to Needles Point, the northern tip of Great Barrier Island, until 16 September 1941, when that stretch of sea was declared free of mines. The Gale and Muritai were then sent to begin cross searches in the Cradock Channel, while the Matai went to Mercury Bay, where a drifting mine had been found by fishermen. She found that they had moored the mine about three miles off Castle Rock in a highly dangerous state, with its mooring spindle half withdrawn. The Matai towed the mine out and sank it some five miles east from Ohena light. During the check search in the Cradock Channel three mines were swept and sunk by rifle fire, well clear of the line which the senior officer thought he had established previously. Because of his uncertainty about the direction in which the mines had been laid in the Moko Hinau sector, he could not guarantee that the area was clear. An intended check sweep north of the Moko Hinau-Maro Tiri line was cancelled because of the difficulty of getting accurate fixes in the prevailing poor visibility, and the flotilla returned to Auckland on 20 September.

1942

She sailed from Auckland to Noumea, Espirito Santos, Guadal Canal and return to Auckland round about July/September 1942 for the U S Army(Marine Core).
30 August 1942: Richardson & Co coaster Kopara, under charter to the United States Navy, survives a Japanese air raid off Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands; later commissioned as USS Kopara, the ship serves with American Pacific forces until 1945.

M.V. “Kopara”
The motor ship “Kopara” owned by the Richardson Company of New -Zealand, played a useful and colourful part in the war in the Pacific.


For four years the “Kopara” had a lively career serving the American Forces in the Pacific. She made her first journey to Guadalcanal during the operations which opened the Allied offensive in the Pacific, and while there came under heavy bombing, fortunately without injury. For this journey she was manned by a Richardson crew, under Captain Wallace, a deep sea mariner who brought the vessel out from Scotland.


After her first journey to Guadalcanal, the “Kopara” was taken over by the American authorities and manned by an American Crew, plying regularly between Australian and New Zealand ports and the forward bases of the Allied Forces in the South Pacific. At one period the “Kopara” was reported lost, as the result of a convoy action in which her companion ships were scattered to the four corners of the compass by the threat of Japanese submarines. The American authorities actually reported her loss, but she turned up unharmed.


The “Kopara’s” carrying capacity and other special features of her construction made her an ideal vessel for service in forward areas. She was regarded so highly in fact by the American authorities that her design has been copied and larger editions of the “Kopara” are now in commission. Owing to her special lifting capacity with her big hatches, electric winches, and big slings she was able to discharge her cargo with the minimum of delay. She was reported as being the only vessel that was able to discharge 1,000 tons of cargo overnight at one period of the hostilities against Japan.


Specially built for the coastal trade in New Zealand, the “Kopara” was launched in 1938, and later loaded at Antwerp for her voyage out to the Dominian. She lay in Antwerp at the time of the Munich crisis in 1938, and the crisis had a marked effect upon the movement of ships from the port, numerous German vessels making hurried departures for their home ports as the threat of war became more obvious.


The “Kopara’s” cargo-carrying capacity was a feature which attracted much attention when she was introduced to the New Zealand coastal trade, and her relitivly high speed was another feature, which must have appealed to the American authorities when they took her over for Pacific duties. She has two holds of approximately 67,000 cubic feet of space, and her hatches were designed for easy and speedy handling of cargo.


Captain F.S. Bates, who formerly commanded the “Kopara” in her coastal trading, is again in charge of the ship, which recently under-went an extensive overhaul and refitting preliminary to her return to “civvies”

Taken from the book published in 1946 by the shipbuilder Henry Robb Ltd, Leith Scotland.
KOPARA was formely owned by Richardson & Co and sold to Karlander Line of New Guinea during 1966 was renamed SARANG. The vessel has a monthly sailing from Sydney calling at Brisbane, Honiara, Kieta and Rabaul. General cargo. First voyage 29 June 1966


She was broken up in 1987, after a working life of almost 50 years, being another fine tribute to the workmanship of her builders at the Henry Robb shipyard at Leith, Scotland.



From Wikipedia.

USS Kopara (AK-62/AG-50) was a cargo ship purchased by the U.S. Navy during World War II. She was responsible for delivering goods and equipment to locations in the war zone.

Kopara (AK-62) was built in 1938 by Henry Robb Limited of Leith, Scotland. She was purchased in early August 1942 from her owner, Richardson & Co., Napier, New Zealand, through the New Zealand Government; and commissioned 21 September 1942 at Auckland, Lt. (j.g.) H. R. Greeley in command.

Reclassified as AG-50 on 23 September, Kopara departed Auckland 5 October for supply runs from Noumea, New Caledonia, and Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides, to Guadalcanal and Tulagi, Solomons. Arriving Noumea 9 October, she steamed on the 14th for Espiritu Santo to take on board supplies for the embattled American force on Guadalcanal. Loaded with torpedoes and general cargo and escorted by Nicholas (DD-449), she departed 19 October. Kopara arrived Lunga Roads during midwatch 22 October and began unloading operations which were completed that evening despite harassing gunfire from enemy shore batteries and a noon attack by Japanese dive bombers. Protected by Nicholas, Kopara departed Guadalcanal undamaged and returned to Noumea 27 October.

During the next few months, Kopara continued supply runs to the Solomons; and, while she unloaded at Guadalcanal and Tulagi 13 through 15 November, American battleships, cruisers, and destroyers fought the enemy in two fierce night naval battles off Savo Island. From 20 February to 26 June 1943, she carried cargo along the sea lanes between Auckland, Noumea, Efate, and Espiritu Santo. And from 11 July to 17 September she shuttled supplies between New Zealand and Norfolk Island.

After a voyage to the New Hebrides, Kopara departed Noumea 10 November to resume supply duty in the Solomons. She reached New Georgia 16 November; and, for almost 8 months, ranged the waters of Melanesia from Bougainville to New Caledonia bringing supplies to forces which loosened the enemy's hold on the Bismarck Archipelago and New Guinea. Returning to New Caledonia 7 August 1944, she began supply runs eastward out of Noumea. Between 10 August and 21 December she made four voyages to Fiji, American Samoa, and the Ellice Islands. She departed Noumea 24 December and steamed via Norfolk Island to Auckland 3 January 1945.

Kopara decommissioned 12 January and was turned over to the New Zealand Joint Purchasing Board for return to her previous owner, Richardson & Company, Napier. Kopara operated under several names after World War II including SS Sarang in 1966, SS Cherry Chepat in 1970, and SS See Hai Hong in January of 1987. Final Disposition: broken up in 1987.

Kopara received one battle star for World War II service. Her crew was eligible for the following medals:

• American Campaign Medal

• Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (1 star)

• World War II Victory Medal

Career (US)


Laid down: date unknown

Launched: in 1938 as SS Kopara


Acquired: 21 September 1942

Commissioned: 23 September 1942

Decommissioned: 12 January 1945

Struck: 19/01/1945

Fate: broken up in 1987

General characteristics

Displacement: 679 tons

Length: 193 ft (59 m)

Beam: 35 ft 8 in (10.87 m)

Draught: 18 ft 8 in (5.69 m)

Propulsion: two sets of four-cylinder diesel engines, twin screws


Speed: 12 knots

Armament: four 40mm guns
Some more service history with thanks to the staff at Navsource and at http://www.history.navy.mil/



Reclassified as AG-50 on 23 September, Kopara departed Auckland 5 October for supply runs from Noumea, New Caledonia, and Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides, to Guadalcanal and Tulagi, Solomons. Arriving Noumea 9 October, she steamed on the 14th for Espiritu Santo to take on board supplies for the embattled American force on Guadalcanal. Loaded with torpedoes and general cargo and escorted by Nicholas (DD-449), she departed 19 October. Kopara arrived Lunga Roads during mid, watch 22 October and began unloading operations which were completed that evening despite harassing gunfire from enemy shore batteries and a noon attack by Japanese dive bombers. Protected by Nicholas, Kopara departed Guadalcanal undamaged and returned to Noumea 27 October.
During the next few months, Kopara continued supply runs to the Solomons; and, while she unloaded at Guadalcanal and Tulagi 13 through 15 November, American battleships, cruisers, and destroyers fought the enemy in two fierce night naval battles off Savo Island. From 20 February to 26 June 1943, she carried cargo along the sea lanes between Auckland, Noumea, Efate, and Espiritu Santo. And from 11 July to 17 September she shuttled supplies between New Zealand and Norfolk Island.
After a voyage to the New Hebrides, Kopara departed Noumea 10 November to resume supply duty in the Solomons. She reached New Georgia 16 November; and, for almost 8 months, ranged the waters of Melanesia from Bougainville to New Caledonia bringing supplies to forces which loosened the enemy's hold on the Bismarck Archipelago and New Guinea. Returning to New Caledonia 7 August 1944, she began supply runs eastward out of Noumea. Between 10 August and 21 December she made four voyages to Fiji, American Samoa, and the Ellice Islands. She departed Noumea 24 December and steamed via Norfolk Island to Auckland 3 January 1945. Kopara decommissioned 12 January and was turned over to the New Zealand Joint Purchasing Board for return to her previous owner.
Kopara received one battle star for World War II service.

Saturday, 1 May 2010

SOUTH STEYNE

Ship No 267
This fantastic photograph is by courtesy of Nick Pellier (Ferries of Sydney)


South Steyne was one of the most famous ships to be designed and built by the shipyard of Henry Robb. She was ordered from the Port Jackson Ferry Company in Sydney Australia. She was to become the most well known of all the ferries working out of Circular Quay in Sydney and served the populace of this great city for many, many years.

She is now used as a floating restaurant in Darling Harbour and who knows what the future will bring for this iconic vessel.

She was 1203 tons, with a length overall of 220 feet and a beam of 38 feet.

She was launched from slipway No 4 at the Leith shipyard of Henry Robb on 1st April 1938.



Launch of the "South Steyne" (Ship No 267)
Note the side paddle tug. Ready to take her in tow.

Some Notes:-
30th June 2008, 9:15am. World's largest operational steam ferry returns to Darling Harbour. Quote from the Manly Daily: "The South Steyne was the grandest Manly ferry ever to grace Sydney's waterways and was everyone's favourite as she plied her trade from 1938-1974, crossing the Heads more than 100,000 times." She was also the only ferry licenced to sail outside the Heads and from 1953 until 1973 made regular trips to Broken Bay each Sunday giving many Sydneysiders their first experience of an ocean cruise. Designed by J Ashcroft; built by Henry Robb and Company of Leith, Scotland.
Statistics: 1,203 tons gross/536 tons nett; 67m long with a beam of 11m maximum passenger capacity of 1871. Traditional Manly Ferry style with two passenger decks, built of timber, iron and steel, powered by a magnificent Harland & Wolff four cylinder triple expansion steam engine, boilers could use coal or other fuels. She could exceed 17 knots. Fitted with radion in 1953 and later radar. Upper deck damaged by fire in 1974. 1988 refitted as restaurant/cruising vessel. Also once used as a Royal Yacht for the Queen.

South Steyne arrives in Sydney 1938.

Statement from NSW government inventory about South Steyne

The South Steyne was the best known of the Manly ferry line which played a major role in the suburbanisation of Sydney and in the development of its recreational patterns. It is a very high quality example of naval architecture and an outstanding example of the plating (having no flat plates) for which Henry Robb of Leith was famous. It is the finest example of the most significant Australian contribution to sea navigation technology - the development of high speed, double-ended operation in deep sea conditions. It has an intact operating example of propulsion by steam reciprocating engine. It epitomised the Manly ferry as part of Sydney's image and its popular urban culture; and remains, like the Harbour Bridge, a powerful piece of Sydney imagery. It is held in high esteem by the local community and remains in the collective memory of the nation. It provides a working example of the propulsion and auxilary functions of marine steam power. (Heritage Office 1992)

Date Significance Updated: 18 Feb 99

Note: There are incomplete details for a number of items listed in NSW. The Heritage Branch intends to develop or upgrade statements of significance and other information for these items as resources become available.


The Battle for Australia The Battle for Australia
In early 1942 Australia lay weak and unprepared as an unprecedented succession of victories saw the rampant Japanese Imperial Army and Navy sweep southwards. The Battle for Australia had begun. It was a battle that would be fought in Malaya, Singapore, Sumatra, Java, Borneo, Timor and Ambon, and across New Guinea and Papua, at Rabaul, Port Moresby, Kokoda, Milne Bay and Lae. It quickly spread to the skies over northern Australia and to the seas around and near Australia, including the Coral Sea. John Curtin was the new leader of Australia at this moment of greatest peril. As Curtin rallied the country to a stance of total war, his desperate calls for aid from both Britain - against the obstructiveness of Winston Churchill, who described the fight against Japan as the 'lesser war' - and the United States, produced consequences that would forever change the balance of Australia's strategic relationships. Yet Curtin was also a man mentally and physically on the brink of breakdown at this most crucial time. The Battle for Australia , researched in Australia, Britain and Japan, is a compelling and revealing narrative history of those dangerous days.


Physical Description 1988

South Steyne is a double-ended, double-screw steamship powered by a 3,250 IHP triple expansion steam engine (manufactured by Harland & Wolff, Belfast). It was the largest ferry to operate on Sydney Harbour, designed and constructed to ocean-going ship standards. 1203 gross tonnes, 67 metres in length and with a beam of 11 metres. It has a double-ended riveted steel hull, steel superstructure to sun deck level, steel bulwarks, teak decks and wheelhouses, 8 watertight bulk-heads, bar keel, double bottom under engine only. Two funnels (one dummy containing water tank).

Historical Notes.

The Port Jackson and Manly Steamship Co. Ltd. was the best known of the Sydney ferry operators and was famous for the large and comfortable steamers which it ran to the seaside suburb and resort of Manly. The ferry service played a significant role in opening up settlement in that region from the 1850s. Patronage was growing steadily in the 1930s and the need to increase fleet capacity and the need for faster vessels led the Port Jackson Co. to order a new ferry boat.

In December 1936 the General Manager of the Port Jackson Co., Walter Leslie Dendy went to Britain to study sea transportation, propulsion techniques and to order a new ferry. By March 1937, seven shipbuilders had submitted tenders. The contract was awarded to the Scottish shipbuilder Henry Robb Ltd. for a steam reciprocating ship. The engine was built by Harland & Wolff Ltd., Belfast. The keel of the vessel was laid at Robb's Leith Yard in October 1937 and launching took place in April 1938. The name of the vessel came from the promenade behind the ocean beach at Manly.

Sydney Australia
Pedder and Mylchreest Ltd. of London was entrusted the task of delivering the ship 12,000 miles to Sydney. Captain R. M. Beedie was the master for the sixty-four day voyage. During the voyage, the South Steyne performed well and found no difficulty in the monsoonal conditions.
The South Steyne arrived in Sydney on 9 September 1938 and for the next 36 years gave faithful service on the Manly ferry run. The ferry had a justified reputation as a fine sea-going boat. For some 20 years it also ran Sunday ocean cruises to Broken Bay, north of Sydney and followed the Boxing Day yacht races to sea. South Steyne was withdrawn from service in 1974 amid uncertainty about the future of the service. At that time it was the last steam ferry operating in Sydney. About a week after the last run a fire broke out in the fan engine room and severely damaged that area and the promenade deckhouse above.

The South Steyne passed through a number of ownerships with intermittent conservation and restoration work being undertaken. In 1988 it was refitted as a cruising vessel/function centre and entered service in Melbourne, its first function was as 'Royal Yacht' for the Queen in April 1988. In 1991 it was sold to a Newcastle owner and was returned to NSW, initially to Newcastle, then to Sydney, where it is now moored in Darling Harbour. (Heritage Office 1992)

Two great Sydney Icons.
South Steyne passing Sydney Opera House being built.

Some more notes of interest.
S.S. South Steyne


The S.S. South Steyne is a 224' (70 metre) long steamship making it the world's largest operational steam ferry. Built in Leith, Scotland for the Port Jackson and Manly Steamship Company, the South Steyne was launched on April 1st, 1938 and on July 7th 1938, it steamed the 22,000 kilometres to Australia arriving on September 19th the same year.


The South Steyne has been an icon of Sydney since 1938. As the famous Manly ferry, it crossed between Circular Quay and Manly over 100,000 times over its 36 years, carrying well in excess of 92 million passengers.


Her career finished on August 25th, 1974 when she caught fire at her Balmain berth and was withdrawn from service as a commuter ferry.

Flight + Hotel = SAVE

M.S.C. ARROW

Ship No 266




Was the third in a long line of tugs to be ordered by the Manchester Ship canal .

One of a four ship order built for the Canal, the others being MSC Archer, MSC Badger & MSC Bison. Served in the canal until 1968 when sold to Northern Slipway Co and resold to Malta Tug & Lighter Co in 1970 along with MSC Archer. Fate is unknown after that.

She was a single screw tug with I.H.P. 750, at 144 grt, she was launched from the yard on the 26th of July 1938. She was 86 feet length overall and with a beam of 23 feet and draft of 12 feet. This was in the day when a tug looked like the great work horse that she was.

M.S.C. ARCHER

Ship No 265




Was the second in a long line of tugs to be ordered by the Manchester Ship Canal.

She was One of four sister ships built for the Canal, the others being MSC Arrow, MSC Badger & MSC Bison. Served in the canal until 1968 when sold to Northern Slipway Co and resold to Malta Tug & Lighter Co in 1970. along with MSC Arrow. Fate is unknown after that.

She was a single screw tug with I.H.P. 750, at 144 grt, she was launched from the yard on the 29th April 1938. She was 86 feet length overall and with a beam of 23 feet and draft of 12 feet. This fine tug was to provide sterling service during a long working life.

M.S.C. Archer (Ship No 265)