film "the san demetrio london"

barrys
22nd September 2009, 14:39
Hi there, if anybody who has watched this old film can identify the main engine for me i would be most greatful its been a talking point for a long time! I think the ship in the film didnt have this engine so they may just be engine room shots but thats only a guess. The engine layout with the rocker gear moving up on and accentric to allow the camshaft to move along to retime the engine to run in reverse seems a work of art, anyway over to you guys. many thanks Barry.

Shipbuilder
22nd September 2009, 15:24
The sister ships to SAN DEMETRIO were Sans ADOLFO, ALVARO, AMADO, AMBROSIO and ARCADIO.

The SAN ADOLFO engines are listed in the 1948 Lloyds register as:
Oil engines 4S.C.SA 8Cy. 25 9/16" - 55 1/8" 502MN

I have just copied the above from the register - means nothing to me, don't know if this is what you are looking for!

Bob

K urgess
22nd September 2009, 15:57
According to "The Saga of San Demetrio" by F. Tennyson Jesse, published by HMSO in 1942, she was fitted with a Kincaid 8 Cylinder supercharged engine of 502 NHP.
I think this question has arisen before and there are some answers in another thread.
The engine room shots in the film are not the San Demetrio.

Shipbuilder
22nd September 2009, 19:23
I have plans of similar ship SAN ALBERTO and have indeed built a model of SAN ALBERTO. Also somehwhere have one for SAN CIRILIO.
The saga of SAN ALBERTO is almost as good as DEMETRIO. Under the command of Captain Waite, she was broken in two after torpedo attack and they tried to steam (or should I say motor?) the surviving after half home, but unfortunately, it began to break up and they had to abandon, but were within striking distance of the UK when they finally went down. SAN DEMETRIO was sunk later in the war!
Bob

stan mayes
22nd September 2009, 20:09
The sister ships to SAN DEMETRIO were Sans ADOLFO, ALVARO, AMADO, AMBROSIO and ARCADIO.

The SAN ADOLFO engines are listed in the 1948 Lloyds register as:
Oil engines 4S.C.SA 8Cy. 25 9/16" - 55 1/8" 502MN

I have just copied the above from the register - means nothing to me, don't know if this is what you are looking for!

Bob

Hi Bob,
The ships you mentioned are A class -not sisters of San Demetrio which was of C D & E class,they had bigger tonnage and the mainmast was at aft end of the flying bridge..A class had their mainmast on the maindeck.
Sister ships to San Demetrio were - Conrado - Casimiro -Calisto -Cirilo -Cipriano -Delfino -Eliseo -Ernesto - Emiliano...
I made four voyages AB in San Emiliano 1941 - 42.
My pal Cliff Cottis of Tilbury was in San Demetrio at time of Jervis Bay epic.
I think he received 400 salvage money for it.
Later he was in Watts Watts Tottenham when she was sunk by the raider Atlantis,he was then a POW for four years.
Regards
Stan

sidsal
22nd September 2009, 20:26
Stan: My word - your survival through ww2 in tankers is amazing. I would have been very scared.
I relieved a 2nd mate in Esso in Cammel Laid's Birkenhead in about 1947 and he was the apprentice on San Demetrio. He was a Welsh lad like me - he was from the Lleyn peninsula. I think I heard that he died some years ago - maybe I'm wrong.

hamishb
22nd September 2009, 21:16
Hi there, if anybody who has watched this old film can identify the main engine for me i would be most greatful its been a talking point for a long time! I think the ship in the film didnt have this engine so they may just be engine room shots but thats only a guess. The engine layout with the rocker gear moving up on and accentric to allow the camshaft to move along to retime the engine to run in reverse seems a work of art, anyway over to you guys. many thanks Barry.

Hi Barry, The engine was built by K G Kincaid Greenock.
Engine No. K118 8 cylinder, 4 Stroke cycle, Buchi supercharger
Bore 740 mm x stroke 1500 mm BHP 4375 @120 Max RPM, Speed 112.25 knots rial date 13/12/38 (wouldn't have got me on sea trials on the 13th)
The maneouvering system on these engines was a delight to watch.
The shaft was a crank and this lifted the push rod followers of the fuel pump the inlet and exhaust valve pushrods clear of the camshaft which moved along in the required direction then the crank returned the followers into the working position and away we go in the opposite direction.
The legend in Stan's reply converts to
4 S.C. = 4 stroke cycle
SA = Single acting
8 CY = number of cylinders i.e 8
Hope this is helpful.
Regards
Hamish.

Shipbuilder
22nd September 2009, 21:25
Stan,
Thanks for info. I got my info from Talbot-Booth Merchant Ships, 1942, but was never actually convinced as mainmast positions are different. I would probably have built SAN DEMETRIO long ago if I was sure. I will look out my plans of SAN CIRILO and put them on here so maybe you could confirm if she is indeed sister to SAN DEMETRIO.

I know in peacetime, they didn't have white accommodation, it was either, buff, creme or even yellow - can you confirm which? although I realise they would probably be all grey when you were in them. What colour were peacetime decks, do you know? I think I saw a model of SANA DEMETRIO with red decks, but friend of mine who sailed post war in SAN VENANCIO said they were black.
Bob

Macphail
22nd September 2009, 21:39
Hi Barry, The engine was built by K G Kincaid Greenock.
Engine No. K118 8 cylinder, 4 Stroke cycle, Buchi supercharger
Bore 740 mm x stroke 1500 mm BHP 4375 @120 Max RPM, Speed 112.25 knots rial date 13/12/38 (wouldn't have got me on sea trials on the 13th)
The maneouvering system on these engines was a delight to watch.
The shaft was a crank and this lifted the push rod followers of the fuel pump the inlet and exhaust valve pushrods clear of the camshaft which moved along in the required direction then the crank returned the followers into the working position and away we go in the opposite direction.
The legend in Stan's reply converts to
4 S.C. = 4 stroke cycle
SA = Single acting
8 CY = number of cylinders i.e 8
Hope this is helpful.
Regards
Hamish.

112.25 knots (LOL) (@) (A) (EEK)

All the best,

John.

PS.

Big fan of the film because the Chief (Engineer) saved the day, as is the case during many incidents.

ROBERT HENDERSON
22nd September 2009, 21:41
Stan: My word - your survival through ww2 in tankers is amazing. I would have been very scared.
I relieved a 2nd mate in Esso in Cammel Laid's Birkenhead in about 1947 and he was the apprentice on San Demetrio. He was a Welsh lad like me - he was from the Lleyn peninsula. I think I heard that he died some years ago - maybe I'm wrong.

Sid the apprentice mentioned was from the Lleyn peninsula. I have read on line his whole seagoing wartime career, I forget his name at the moment,but have in my bookmarks.

Regards Robert

Shipbuilder
22nd September 2009, 21:47
Stan,
Further to my above, I just looked up my plans for SAN CONRADO and find that the one they give actually has SAN AMADO written on it. This is the plan. The mainmast is right aft and I understood that SAN AMADOs mast was part way up flying bridge. Can you cast any light on this? Do you think this plan is one of the sisters to SAN DEMETRIO. It seems to tally more closely with a small profile I have in another book, but there are a different number of tanks. SAN DEMETRIO profile shows 9 tanks, where this one only shows 7 - Getting totally confused now.
Bob

Shipbuilder
22nd September 2009, 22:05
Here is SAN ALBERTO that I built some years ago. 32'=1" so not very big. I built the ship and my wife painted the sea and the "droopy winged" eagle on the funnel. Don't know if we got the accommodation colour right though.
Bob

hamishb
22nd September 2009, 23:06
112.25 knots (LOL) (@) (A) (EEK)

All the best,

John.

PS.

Big fan of the film because the Chief (Engineer) saved the day, as is the case during many incidents.
OOps slight stutter should read 12.25 knots sorry
Hamish

stan mayes
22nd September 2009, 23:25
Bob,
I think that plan is of C D & E class.
The superstructure was buff -Eagle Oil called it ivory.
I made an eleven months trip in San Roberto [paid off at the breakers in Blyth on 15th November 1949] her decks were black possibly because we carried fuel oil all the time and maybe because of her age -28 years.
I do know that some of Eagle Oil had reddish-brown decks.
San Cirilo was sister to San Demetrio as were all C D & E class.
I took a photo of San Cirilo from San Roberto in Maracaibo Lake if you send your email address I will send to you with other Eagle Oil ships.
Regards
Stan

barrys
23rd September 2009, 10:44
Hamish , many thanks for your reply, thats the engine! that valve gear is a work of art would have loved to see it in operation! It seems a very well built engine from the shots that you can see, perhaps someone who worked on one can fill us in! , once again thanks for the info, regards barry. sorry hamish you have obviously .

hamishb
23rd September 2009, 11:19
Stan,
Further to my above, I just looked up my plans for SAN CONRADO and find that the one they give actually has SAN AMADO written on it. This is the plan. The mainmast is right aft and I understood that SAN AMADOs mast was part way up flying bridge. Can you cast any light on this? Do you think this plan is one of the sisters to SAN DEMETRIO. It seems to tally more closely with a small profile I have in another book, but there are a different number of tanks. SAN DEMETRIO profile shows 9 tanks, where this one only shows 7 - Getting totally confused now.
Bob

Hi Bob, I don't know if this is of any help but there is a picture of SAN DEMETRIO in http://www.clydesite.co.uk/clydrbuilt/
If you go to look up and enter the vessel name a page of details will open with the picture.
Also the engine sizes I stated were wrong, too many dittos in the list, actual size is Bore 650 mm x Stroke 1400 mm, apologies for any confusion caused
Regards
Hamish

K urgess
23rd September 2009, 12:36
There's a reference here (http://www.inverclyde.gov.uk/GetAsset.aspx?id=fAAzADYANQAyAHwAfABGAGEAbABzAGUAf AB8ADAAfAA1) (Item DB680, page 8) that Kincaid engines were Burmeister and Wain types built under licence from Harland & Wolff.
Looking through Pounder, Lamb, Sothern, etc., I can find no direct mention of Kincaid engines.
The only picture I could find of a B and W reversing gear from the right era is the one attached from "The Running and Maintenance of the Marine Diesel Engine" by Lamb, 5th edition, published by Griffin in 1945.
It may or may not resemble the gear seen in the film. I can't compare because my copy of the film has gone walkabout. (Sad)

K urgess
23rd September 2009, 13:24
Found another one from the same book.
Sorry if it's a bit fuzzy but I had to scan in two halves and stitch together.

hamishb
23rd September 2009, 15:12
There's a reference here (http://www.inverclyde.gov.uk/GetAsset.aspx?id=fAAzADYANQAyAHwAfABGAGEAbABzAGUAf AB8ADAAfAA1) (Item DB680, page 8) that Kincaid engines were Burmeister and Wain types built under licence from Harland & Wolff.
Looking through Pounder, Lamb, Sothern, etc., I can find no direct mention of Kincaid engines.
The only picture I could find of a B and W reversing gear from the right era is the one attached from "The Running and Maintenance of the Marine Diesel Engine" by Lamb, 5th edition, published by Griffin in 1945.
It may or may not resemble the gear seen in the film. I can't compare because my copy of the film has gone walkabout. (Sad)

Quite correct, Kincaid built B+W engines as a sub licecencee via Harland and Wolff in those days.
Also the reversing gear is as I remember it on the 4 stroke engines, a work of art.
Hamish.

Don Matheson
23rd September 2009, 23:15
Shipbuilder

On Monday I visited the Imperial War Museum in London. Apart from a very interesting visit I did notice they have two models of San Demitrio. One in her distressed state after her being abandoned and one in her sailing state.

I wonder if you could find the information on the masts from the IWM web site. May be possible to find the models and have a look. If both are how you built them you may just be right.

Don

K urgess
23rd September 2009, 23:25
Attached is the simple side view printed in the back of the wartime publication mentioned earlier.

Kris (Thumb)

K urgess
23rd September 2009, 23:36
And this is one of the few pictures inside the book.

Shipbuilder
24th September 2009, 07:30
Thanks for further replies. The profile plan in the HMSO book that I also have does not tally with the other plan I reproduced above. The number of tanks are different. I have never built SAN DEMETRIO, but have often thought I would if I had an accurate plan (I may actually have one somewhere as I have not yet fully catalogued what I have). I do not actually make any great efforts to locate more plans these days. I have bound volumes of The Motor Ship from about 1924 to 1966 with only a few missing. Also similar for Shipbuilding & Shipping Record, 9 volumes of The Shipping World, 5 volumes of Shipbuilder & Marine Engine Builder and three of the German Schiff un Hafen., plus three of the legendry Shipbuilder!
Consequently, I have over 4,000 small plans that would keep me busy for several lifetimes!
The subject is fascinating and I never get bored. Often, further information comes when I least expect it.
Bob

Macphail
25th September 2009, 21:48
I would say that the engine used in the movie was as per the post #18,
by Kris.
B&W built by Kincaid of Greenock, Four Stroke, Eight Cylinders.
A little sewing machine.

John.

ken dag
27th October 2009, 18:44
'San Cipriano' was used in the film 'San Demetrio London'
source " Ship & Shore" by David Stephenson Apprentice to Master in Eagle Oil.

stores
12th December 2009, 16:37
Thanks for further replies. The profile plan in the HMSO book that I also have does not tally with the other plan I reproduced above. The number of tanks are different. I have never built SAN DEMETRIO, but have often thought I would if I had an accurate plan (I may actually have one somewhere as I have not yet fully catalogued what I have). I do not actually make any great efforts to locate more plans these days. I have bound volumes of The Motor Ship from about 1924 to 1966 with only a few missing. Also similar for Shipbuilding & Shipping Record, 9 volumes of The Shipping World, 5 volumes of Shipbuilder & Marine Engine Builder and three of the German Schiff un Hafen., plus three of the legendry Shipbuilder!
Consequently, I have over 4,000 small plans that would keep me busy for several lifetimes!
The subject is fascinating and I never get bored. Often, further information comes when I least expect it.
Bob hi Amongst all those plans would there be one ov MV WANSTEAD of WATTS WATTS AND CO, or any watts ship plan, ? STORES.

japottinger
13th December 2009, 18:04
Not sure if this helps but in my copy of Eagle Fleet there is a two page section which shows silhouettes of various ships in their classes.

1936-48 11,00 tons DWT 12,000
San Conrado; Casimiro;Calisto;Cirilo;Cipriano;Delfino;Demetrio; Eliseo;Ernesto;Emiliano;Venacio;Victorio;Vulfrano; Veronoico;Vito;Velino;Virgilio
1935 10,500 tons dwt11,000
San Amado;Alberto;Alvaro;Arcadio;Ambrosio;Adolfo

douglasjamesmichael
2nd January 2010, 19:19
Originally Posted by hamishb
Hi Barry, The engine was built by K G Kincaid Greenock.
Engine No. K118 8 cylinder, 4 Stroke cycle, Buchi supercharger
Bore 740 mm x stroke 1500 mm BHP 4375 @120 Max RPM, Speed 112.25 knots rial date 13/12/38

I know Superchargers are very efficient......however no one picked up max speed 112.25Knots...........One hell of an engine - I am surprised anyone or anything caught her

Chief Engr

zebedee
22nd April 2011, 19:54
Attached is the simple side view printed in the back of the wartime publication mentioned earlier.

Kris (Thumb)

I have to say that I am puzzled by the reference to "nhp". This I understand to translate as Nominal Horse Power. Previously I have only ever met this term in connection with traction engines! According to Wikipedia it is an old-fashioned term "based on various engine dimensions but bears no relation to actual power output!"
When the formula is examined it is obvious that there is no actual relationship.
NHP = 7 x piston area x piston speed / 33 000; with no mention of pressure on the piston!
From memory of reading about them, not actual experience, I hasten to add many traction engines were sold as 7 nhp. a popular size for farmers but they actually developed 20<30 bhp.
Wikipedia does mention nhp in connection with paddle steamers as well as indicating pressures and speeds for nhp to equal bhp.
Press on regardless, Zebedee

Coastie
22nd April 2011, 23:30
Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesnt NHP translate to Nautical Horse Power?

slick
23rd April 2011, 06:52
All,
An anomaly that puzzles me, could someone tell me the difference on the funnels of Eagle Oil, under the 'droopy Eagle' some had the letter 'O' and others 'T'.
There is model of an Eagle Oil Tanker on the HQS Wellington, I really must have good look at it next time I am on board for a HCMM lunch.

Yours aye,

slick

Pat Thompson
23rd April 2011, 07:38
Greetings,

From Miramar San Demetrio was sunk by submarine launched torpedo on 17th March 1942 in position 37.02N/73.50W which is about 150 miles east of Norfolk Virginia. Have a look HERE (http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=37+02N+73+50W&sll=54.525961,-105.255119&sspn=3.315711,7.547607&ie=UTF8&t=h&z=7). The map does not come up correctly, press SEARCH MAPS and it will.

chadburn
23rd April 2011, 14:54
The vessel's with the "0" were with Eagle Oil & Sg. Co. Ltd
" " " " "T" " " Eagle Tanker Co.

Hugh Ferguson
23rd April 2011, 15:48
Whilst on this subject I wonder if anyone, Stan maybe, could know if a Mr Wintle was anything to do to do with this company. I know his family travelled in one of the Eagle Oil tankers.

stan mayes
23rd April 2011, 16:43
Further to Chadburn's information.
Eagle Oil Transport Co Ltd was formed in 1912 to carry oil produced by
the Aguilla ( Mexican Eagle) Oil Co which had been established in 1908 by
Mr Weetman Pearson who became Lord Cowdray in 1910..
Eagle Oil Transport Co Ltd ( 1912 to 1930)
Eagle Oil & Shipping Co Ltd ( 1930 to 1959)
Eagle Tanker Co Ltd (1952 to 1959)
18th March 1938 the Mexican Government 'nationalised' all Eagle Oil Co
assets in Mexico and seized' San Ricardo' and renamed her 18 DE MARZO.
In July 1959,the Eagle Oil and Shipping Co and its subsidiary,the Eagle Tanker Co were acquired outright by the Shell Group and the Eagle fleet was integrated
with that of Shell..
From 1st January 1960 the well known Eagle colours were replaced by those of
Shell Tankers Ltd.
Summer 1964 all ex Eagle tankers were renamed.
Stan

stan mayes
23rd April 2011, 16:46
Hi Hugh,
I have a history of the Eagle Oil Co but there is no mention of a Mr Wintle in it.
Stan

Dartskipper
25th January 2015, 10:50
'San Cipriano' was used in the film 'San Demetrio London'
source " Ship & Shore" by David Stephenson Apprentice to Master in Eagle Oil.

San Cipriano had been refitting and was "borrowed" for the film. All the opening scenes were filmed at ,I believe, South Shields. The "Pilot" launch was actually the Ship Yard work boat. (The large scale model of San Demetrio was for many years on display in the Imperial War Museum, Lambeth). My father Ken Kennedy was 3rd Mate standing by the Cipriano as she completed her refit, and was "press ganged" (as he told me) one Saturday afternoon to help with some technicalities. He had been planning to watch the game at St James's Park, but instead had to ring the Bridge Telegraphs for the sound track of the film. Later on, the scene of the actor playing the part of the Master of San Demetrio had to run along the catwalk several times, because Dad and his shipmates kept telling him he hadn't done it right! All the Engine Room scenes were filmed on board, and the scene of San Demetrio sailing at sea in the early part, is San Cipriano heading North on her way to the convoy rendezvous on the Mersey. Strangely enough, Dad saw the San Demetrio in the Clyde in her damaged condition, when he was an apprentice on (I think) Hornshell. He Joined Eagle Oil after a short spell on troopships in the P&O, and remained with Eagle Oil for the rest of the War. I have watched the film several times, and read the book by Calum McNeil.

norm.h
25th January 2015, 11:01
I first saw this film when I was about 9 or 10, during WW2, and have seen it once or twice since.

Something intrigued me - where did the steam to boil the potatoes come from?
They had been reluctant to fire up the galley stove fearing petrol fumes, so what about the main boilers. Surely the same hazard applied.
Then I read on WIKI that they had "repaired" the port auxiliary boiler. I wonder if this was an "exhaust gas" boiler.

The main auxiliaries must have been electric (we saw them hand-cranking a small genny), compressors for air-starting the main engine etc, but I'm still confused about the boiler.

Dartskipper
25th January 2015, 11:03
Stan,
Thanks for info. I got my info from Talbot-Booth Merchant Ships, 1942, but was never actually convinced as mainmast positions are different. I would probably have built SAN DEMETRIO long ago if I was sure. I will look out my plans of SAN CIRILO and put them on here so maybe you could confirm if she is indeed sister to SAN DEMETRIO.

I know in peacetime, they didn't have white accommodation, it was either, buff, creme or even yellow - can you confirm which? although I realise they would probably be all grey when you were in them. What colour were peacetime decks, do you know? I think I saw a model of SANA DEMETRIO with red decks, but friend of mine who sailed post war in SAN VENANCIO said they were black.
Bob

Just found this thread, I just wish my Dad was still around to help out! I remember him telling me that Eagle Oil used a dark buff for the accommodation, and the ships he saw before the War, and in the early part of the War, had black decks. (For modelling purposes, a very dark grey might be realistic). As time went on, Admiralty Grey, or a close equivalent, was used overall. Some continued with black hulls, but most were repainted grey.

Abbeywood.
1st February 2015, 12:31
Quite correct, Kincaid built B+W engines as a sub licecencee via Harland and Wolff in those days.
Also the reversing gear is as I remember it on the 4 stroke engines, a work of art.
Hamish.

While I agree that Kinkaids built quite a few Burmeister & Wain main engines as a sub-licensee of Harland & Wolff I believe they also held licenses to build other engine types as well though which types I can not immediately call to mind.
Early in my career I had the 'pleasure' of sailing in a ship with two Werkspoor main engines which were manoeuvred with a similar arr-angement as described in the main article though 'my' units were air operated rack and pinion units.
Many thanks to all for an interesting discussion.
regards, Pete'

Coastie
1st February 2015, 13:25
That film was shown recently on BBC 2 about 9am. I watched it, from the beginning for a change, on BBCi. Brilliant film.

peterpallet
3rd February 2015, 14:30
Try entering "San Demetrio" in you tube-

Just for info

Peter

Dartskipper
6th February 2015, 19:44
This film is now available as one of a three film box set. The others in the collection are The Cruel Sea, and For Those In Peril (Air Sea Rescue, both RAF launches and RN Fairmile RML's). Log on to www.simplyhe.co.uk. Look for identifying code 150137 for this collection. Only 14.99 for the set. Lots of other collectable nostalgia films and documentaries there too.

ben27
8th February 2015, 22:31
good day coastie,sm.1st feb 2015. 23:25.#41.re:"san demetrio london".as you say a brilliant film.and a true story of outstanding bravery.great post.regards ben27

Coastie
9th February 2015, 00:08
This film is now available as one of a three film box set. The others in the collection are The Cruel Sea, and For Those In Peril (Air Sea Rescue, both RAF launches and RN Fairmile RML's). Log on to www.simplyhe.co.uk. Look for identifying code 150137 for this collection. Only 14.99 for the set. Lots of other collectable nostalgia films and documentaries there too.

It's also available on Youtube for nowt!(==D)

Dartskipper
9th February 2015, 18:52
It's also available on Youtube for nowt!(==D)

Thanks Coastie, that's good info. (I've actually got all three films all ready, just posted the info for those that needed to know).

Regards (Thumb)

Roy.

david freeman
11th February 2015, 19:32
The sister ships to SAN DEMETRIO were Sans ADOLFO, ALVARO, AMADO, AMBROSIO and ARCADIO.

The SAN ADOLFO engines are listed in the 1948 Lloyds register as:
Oil engines 4S.C.SA 8Cy. 25 9/16" - 55 1/8" 502MN

I have just copied the above from the register - means nothing to me, don't know if this is what you are looking for!

Bob
I wonder apart from the engine types, who or whom were the engineers on the ship at the time of this portrayed incident?
Somewhere in my mind there is a crew list on this site??? I may be wrong. It would be interesting as I am sure as an apprentice my mentors one of them Knew this incident well: However memories are playing tricks with me.(Frogger)

beedeesea
11th February 2015, 20:44
David,
Some info here:
http://archive.org/stream/segaofsandemetri002255mbp/segaofsandemetri002255mbp_djvu.txt

Brian

david freeman
12th February 2015, 19:23
It's also available on Youtube for nowt!(==D)

Thank you: as one might say An event and a story to be retold