The Official Site Of The Red Duster, Merchant Navy Research Site
Shipwrecked Mariners Christmas Card Appeal
MN Veterans Badge

Commonwealth & Dominion Line
Port Line

Page 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8

The Fleet

PORT DARWIN (2) was built in 1918 by Workman, Clark & Co. at Belfast with a tonnage of 8179grt, a length of 500ft 6in, a beam of 60ft 5in and a service speed of 14 knots. Delivered to the Commonwealth & Dominion Line she was one of three sisters built with modified counter sterns, the only three in the fleet with that stern design. Deployed on the Australian service for the whole of her working life she was broken up at Barrow in August 1949 after completing 123 voyages. (Photo: John Clarkson Collection)

PORT DENISON (3) was built in 1918 by Workman, Clark & Co. at Belfast with a tonnage of 8191grt, a length of 500ft 6in, a beam of 60ft 5in and a service speed of 14 knots. Sister of the Port Darwin she was delivered to the company in June 1918. She became the company's first war loss when she was sunk in 1940. On 26th September she sailed from Methil in Fife as Commodore ship and centre column leader in a convoy bound for New Zealand. At 19.50 hrs, when the ship was six miles north-east of Peterhead, an aircraft approached the ship showing navigation lights which gave the impression that it was friendly. It turned out to be German and dropped two bombs. One missed but the second hit the Port Denison abreast of the funnel blowing a large hole in the starboard side which caused the engine room to flood. In the early hours of the next morning the ship sank with the loss of 16 lives. Convoys had been instructed to fire on any aircraft which approached from ahead or astern which was the usual bombing run but on this occasion the instruction had not been carried out. Allied aircraft had been instructed to fly parallel with convoys and never to cross them and the convoy gunners were so 'trigger happy' that 'out of range' was added to the parallel instruction by the RAF. (Photo: Iain Lovie Collection)

PORT BOWEN was built in 1919 by Workman, Clark & Co. at Belfast with a tonnage of 8267grt, a length of 480ft 8in, a beam of 62ft 5in and a service speed of 14 knots. Although build to a similar specification as the Port Darwin she was the first of the wider beamed steam turbined vessels but her engines always gave trouble with blade creeping and shedding. On 19th July 1939, during a voyage from Picton to Wanganui, she ran aground at Castleshore Beach in New Zealand. Her cargo of over 2000 tons of coal was jettisoned but had little effect as the current bumped her along the beach and carried her further inshore. She was finally declared a total constructive loss and after the remaining cargo and fittings were removed was broken up where she lay. (Photo: Iain Lovie Collection)

PORT CAROLINE (3) was built in 1919 by Workman, Clark & Co. at Belfast with a tonnage of 8263grt, a length of 480ft 10in, a beam of 62ft 5in and a service speed of 14 knots. The first of a class of ten ships the design was based on Tyser's Port Miwaru/Lyttleton which, in turn was similar to the Port Darwin but with a cruiser stern. She began her career with an incident when, after loading cargo at Middlesbrough at the start of her maiden voyage, she collided with Ellerman's City of Valencia. Equipped with steam turbines she had to return to her builder after only six months for an engine refit. During the Second World War she continued to operate on the meat run and during this period her stern house was decked over to the sides and liferafts installed for the gunners use. In March 1949 she carried wool from Sydney to Odessa in the Ukraine after which she completed the return voyage in ballast. After arriving back in London in the following October she was used as a cold meat storage ship for the Ministry of Food until she sailed for Blythe where she arrived on 21st February 1950 for breaking up by Hughes, Bolckow. (Photo: Cyril Simmons)

PORT NICHOLSON (2) was built in 1919 by R & W Hawthorn, Leslie & Co. at Newcastle with a tonnage of 8402grt, a length of 500ft 6in, a beam of 60ft 4in and a service speed of 14 knots. In 1928, during a voyage to New Zealand she had to put into Pago Pago when her cargo caught fire. Fire again damaged the Port Nicholson in 1937 when she was moored adjacent to the Government Cool Stores in Melbourne when it caught fire. The ship had cattle on board and these were saved by having water hosed onto them as they waited in their pens. In 1938 she hit and sank Gamecock Towing's tug Ocean Cock with the loss of four lives. On 16th June 1942 she was hit by two torpedoes which had been fired by U-87 off Portland, Maine in position 42.11N 69.25W whilst forming part of convoy XB.25. The first torpedo exploded in the engine room killing two of the crew and the second hit towards the rear of the ship causing her to settle by the stern. Survivors were taken off by a Canadian corvette. A further tragedy occurred when the Port Nicholson's master, Captain Jeffrey, the Chief Officer and the CO of the corvette boarded the ship to assess the damage and chances of salvage. Without any warning the ship suddenly lurched, pivotted to the vertical and quickly sank with the loss of all three lives. (Photo: Iain Lovie Collection)

PORT ADELAIDE (3) was built in 1919 by R & W Hawthorn, Leslie & Co. at Newcastle with a tonnage of 8422grt, a length of 481ft 2in, a beam of 62ft 4in and a service speed of 14 knots. Similar to the Port Caroline she had an uneventful career until on 6th June 1942 ,whilst forming part of an Atlantic convoy, she collided with T & J Harrison's Historian without any loss of life or fatal damage. Surviving the war she eventually arrived at Inverkeithing on 21st August 1949 to be broken up by Thos. W. Ward. (Photo: Dick Henshaw)

PORT KEMBLA (2) was built in 1920 by Workman, Clarke & Co. at Belfast with a tonnage of 8435grt, a length of 500ft 6in, a beam of 60ft 4in and a service speed of 14 knots. Although outwardly the same as her sisters her holds were designed to carry bulky cargoes. On 8th July 1926 she was wrecked on a reef on Little San Salvadore Island in the Bahamas during a voyage from London to New Zealand via Newport News and the Panama Canal. (Photo: Iain Lovie Collection)

PORT CAMPBELL (2) was built in 1922 by Workman, Clarke & Co. at Belfast with a tonnage of 8308grt, a length of 500ft 6in, a beam of 60ft 4in and a service speed of 14 knots. Surviving the war and after an uneventful career she arrived at Briton Ferry on 12th May 1953 for breaking up by Thos. W. Ward. (Photo: John Clarkson Collection)


PORT AUCKLAND (1) was built in 1922 by Workman, Clarke & Co. at Belfast with a tonnage of 8308grt, a length of 500ft 6in, a beam of 60ft 4in and a service speed of 14 knots. During a 'Battle of Britain' daylight raid on the London Docks on 15th September 1940 her AA guns shot down one of the three German aircraft lost on that day. On 17th March 1943, while forming part of convoy SC 122 which had left New York twelve days previously, she was torpedoed by U-305 south-east of Cape Farewell in the Atlantic. The U-boat had fired a spread of two torpedoes the first of which hit the Port Auckland in the starboard side engineroom and the second hit the Zouave, of Turner, Brightman, which sank in 5 minutes. Just after midnight of the following day the U-305 fired a further torpedo into the ship followed by a third which sank her with the loss of 8 lives. A second convoy, the HX 229 which was sailing in two halves, was also attacked by the 'wolf pack' which was made up of 21 submarines. The attack was finally aborted when Liberator aircraft carrying depth charges arrived on the scene. Out of 88 ships in the combined convoys 22 were lost, the highest number lost in a single 'Battle of the Atlantic' encounter. Fortunately, with the development of long range aircraft the Atlantic convoy routes became more and more protected and, thereafter, the Allies lost fewer and fewer ships. (Photo: Iain Lovie Collection)

PORT HUNTER (4) was built in 1922 by Workman, Clarke & Co. at Belfast with a tonnage of 8437grt, a length of 500ft 6in, a beam of 60ft 4in and a service speed of 14 knots. In June 1942 she left Liverpool bound for New Zealand as part of convoy OS.33 (OS=UK to Freetown) carrying a cargo of ammunition. On 11th July she had left the convoy to proceed independently to the Panama Canal but was shadowed and shortly after torpedoed by U-582 500 miles north-west of Sierra Leonne. The convoy had been attacked by three U-boats, the U-582, the U-116 and the U-201. All the convoy members saw was an immense flash on the horizon. Seventy crew members, fourteen gunners and three passenger lost their lives but there were three survivors - crew members who had been sleeping on deck and were blown into the water. Her master, Captain J.B. Bradley had been in command of the Port Dennison when she was lost in 1940. In all six ships in convoy OS.33 were sunk. (Photo: Iain Lovie Collection)

PORT HARDY (2) was built in 1922 by R & W Hawthorn, Leslie & Co. at Newcastle with a tonnage of 8705grt, a length of 481ft 2in, a beam of 60ft 4in and a service speed of 14 knots. Although similar to other ships in her class she was equipped to carry 650 emigrants. On 16th January 1941 she joined convoy HX 121 at Halifax, a convoy which was comprised of 48 ships in 9 columns. Twelve days later, on 28th April when the convoy was north of Rockall, the first attack began and one ship was sunk at 15.20 hrs. Forty minutes later the Port Hardy was hit on the port side abaft the main mast by a torpedo fired by U-96 with the loss of one life. The U-boat had fired a spread of three torpedoes at the Hunting tanker Oilfield which was hit by one of them. The second sped past and hit Lorentzen's Caledonia while the third carried on to hit the Port Hardy. The crew abandoned ship to be rescued by the Zaafaran (Pharnic S.N. Co.) and the ship finally sank at 19.20 hrs. (Photo: Iain Lovie Collection)

PORT BRISBANE (1) was built in 1923 by Workman, Clark & Co. at Belfast with a tonnage of 8315grt, a length of 500ft 6in, a beam of 60ft 5in and a service speed of 14 knots. On 19th November 1940 in a position west of Cape Leeuwin she received an RRR radio message from the Shaw Saville & Albion ship Maimoa which indicated that it was under attack from a surface raider. The master of the Port Brisbane heeded the warning and turned away from the scene heading north at full speed until darkness fell when he resumed his original course. At 21.45hrs on 21st November, although in darkness, a shot was fired across her bows whereupon she presented her stern to the raider and sped away at full speed. The raider, which turned out to be the Pinguin (HSK 5, Schiff 33 the ex Kandelfels of DDG 'Hansa'), gave chase and continued to fire at the ship. The Port Brisbane managed to send out the 'RRR' signal until the radio masts was carried away and the ship set on fire. The crew then took to the lifeboats and the ships was sunk the next day. Nine days later the Pinguin sank the Port Wellington and in all captured 28 ships of which 12 were sunk. The remainder were a fleet of Norwegian whaling vessels who were operating in the Antarctic and these were ordered to proceed to Bordeaux. (Photo: Iain Lovie Collection)

PORT WELLINGTON (1) was built in 1924 by Workman, Clark & Co. at Belfast with a tonnage of 7868grt, a length of 470ft 1in, a beam of 60ft 5in and a service speed of 14 knots. She was damaged in 1937 when she was moored adjacent to the Government Cool Stores in Melbourne when it caught fire. On 30th November 1940 she was captured by the German surface raider Pinguin and sunk on the following day after the Germans had removed stores to enable the Pinguin to leave the Indian Ocean. The German ship then sailed for the Antarctic where she captured the Norwegian whaling fleet. (Photo: Iain Lovie Collection)

PORT CURTIS (2) was built in 1920 by Workman, Clark & Co. at Belfast with a tonnage of 8278grt, a length of 450ft 2in, a beam of 58ft 5in and a service speed of 12 knots. After sixteen years of service she was sold, in 1936, to Counties Ship Management of London, renamed Tower Dale and re-engined to triple expansion. In 1937 she was sold to J. A. Zachariassen of Nystad in Finland where she remained until June 1945 when she was taken over by the Soviet Union as war reparations and renamed Kronstadt. By 1965 the name was being spelt Kronshradt although the Cyrillic spelling was unchanged and by 1968 her port of registry was Vladivostock. The final entry in Lloyds Register was in 1969-70 where after a period of use as a storage vessel she was probably broken up locally. (Photo: Iain Lovie Collection)

PORT DUNEDIN was built in 1925 by Workman, Clark & Co. at Belfast with a tonnage of 7463grt, a length of 466ft 10in, a beam of 59ft 10in and a service speed of 12 knots. She was the company's first motorship and also the first on that route. In December 1937, outward bound from London in thick fog, she hit Blue Star's inbound Australia Star in the Thames. On 25th September 1962 she arrived in Genoa where she was broken up.

Next
Page 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8

 

Navigation Bar
Navigation for the Official Merchant Navy Research Site Red-Duster.co.uk
To Contact The Webmaster with comments about this site please e-mail:
webmaster@red-duster.co.uk

Merchant Navy Association is a registered charity in England & Wales - Registered No. 1135661
Website Created by Clarke Design & Media Ltd

 
the home of the Red Duster visit the Bridge a host of information awaits you visit the radio room pass us your groups details to add to our notice board use the chartrooms extensive link listings the merchant navy association official website the merchant navy association guestbook did you know about the merchant navy ships and shipping early days of the merchant navy sailing ships Click Here for more information about the new Veterans Badge