Empire Ranger-Sunk 1941

1st October 2010, 21:18
I am writing this thread on behalf of a friend , his uncle being the late James Dempster Chief Engineer of the Empire Ranger which was sunk in 1941 while taking part in the Murmansk Convoy.
There was thougth to be approximately six survivors only. Adrift on a open lifeboat they were rescued by the Germans and landed in Norway.
The survivors , now POW's were marched through Norway , then Finland, finally being imprisoned in Germany.
Does anyone have any information on this event or any contact details of survivors or their families ?
Please contact me via my Ship Nostalgia E-mail box or add a post to this thread and help build up a picture of this amazing story.

Hugh MacLean
2nd October 2010, 20:48
Hello Lekie,
EMPIRE RANGER was sunk by German aircraft while sailing in convoy PQ13 on 28th March 1942. All crew took to the boats but were rescued by destroyers from the German 8th Destroyer Flotilla (Capt Ponitz).
There was thougth to be approximately six survivors only
This is not true. As far as I understand it the whole crew were rescued and taken prisoner. I can account for 47 of them - 2 died in captivity.

I have Dempster J.B. 3rd Engineer - EMPIRE RANGER - Dis A. R66673 and PoW number 127 - Milag Nord Prisoner of War camp at Westertimke Germany.

The following file from the National Archives, Kew may be of interest BT 373/107 (http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalogue/displaycataloguedetails.asp?CATID=7910477&CATLN=6&Highlight=%2CEMPIRE%2CRANGER&accessmethod=0)


Roger Griffiths
2nd October 2010, 21:43
Bob Ruegg and Arnold Hague in " Convoys to Russia" claim that 61 were rescued from EMPIRE RANGER.
I suspect this would also include 13 survivors from RACELAND.
In any event the total was more than six.
Strangly enough the KTB of the German destroyer FRIEDRICH IHN, Z25 makes no mention of the rescue.
Lekie, try a mail to Jos Odjik. He has done some extensive research on PQ13.


7th March 2011, 19:58
one survivor was Alfred Minchin who while in milag camp joined the Britishfreecorps a unit of British Waffen-SS volunteers