Mv Charon 1936

ruud
14th December 2005, 16:15
Ahoy,
Found this company postcard, the Charon;
CHARON (2) was built in 1936 by Caledon Ship Building & Engineering Co. at Dundee with a tonnage of 3703grt, a length of 336ft, a beam of 51ft 2in and a service speed of 12 knots. Sister of the Gorgon she was built for the Ocean Steam Ship Co. and West Australian Steam Navigations Co's joint operation between Singapore and Western Australian ports. She was only ordered when the Australian Steam Navigation Co. lost the Minderoo in 1935. In 1936 she became fully owned by the Ocean Steam Ship Co. when the West Australian Stem Navigation Co. pulled out of the trade due to fierce competition. During 1943 she played a very important wartime role when she kept the Australian base at Milne Bay supplied. She made 30 round trips between Sydney and New Guinea without any damage whatsoever. This class of ship had specially strengthened bottoms which enabled them to call at ports where they were required to settle on the mud at low tide. She was sold to Malayan Shipbreakers Ltd of Singapore in 1964 for demolition but before she actually faced the torch in August 1965 she was sold several times at one time being renamed Seng Kong No.1.

Note:Source of details: www.red-duster.uk.co (http://www.red-duster.uk.co/)

R651400
15th December 2005, 03:32
Along with a large passenger compliment, sometimes school children returning from school holidays, Charon and Gorgon were also livestock carriers, mainly sheep from W.Australia to Singapore.
There have been postings recently on the delights of Bugis street, Singapore. I wonder how many members can say they've sampled a delicious plate of mutton soup in that very same street?
Charon and Gorgon were eventually replaced by the magnificent Centaur.

Trade Wind
31st March 2006, 09:59
"Blue Funnel Line Motorship "Charon", The Marine Engineer (February, 1937), pp 37 to 39. Feature includes General arrangement plan (elevation, and engine room plan, plus limited technical description. A more detailed treatment was given to "Gorgon" in the same journal in 1934, including deck plans. For a model of Charon's engine built by and donated by Burmeister & Wain, Copenhagen, visit the Science Museum, London, the shipping section 2nd floor.

In the 1990s Judith Ludbrook published a book called "Schoolship Kids" (Perth, WA) about featuring experiences in Charon of the voyages before and after Christmas when the whole ship was given over to transporting children attending School in Western Australia, from Fremantle to Singapore and back again. Air travel of course killed this trade off.

Sarah K
16th October 2009, 23:42
I'm interested in finding more about the Charon and Gorgon as I think my father served on both of them during WW2. Can any one help. Crew lists of the time would be most helpful

teb
17th October 2009, 07:47
Back in the good old days!!! Charon and Gorgon were considered by many in Blue Funnel to be Laurence Holts private yachts rather than mainstream company ships. To be appointed to either of these vessels was considered indeed fortunate ( you could say one of the chosen!!!!) Teb(==D)

BillH
17th October 2009, 08:58
I'm interested in finding more about the Charon and Gorgon as I think my father served on both of them during WW2. Can any one help. Crew lists of the time would be most helpful
Detail extracted from my book on CD - Blue Funnel Odyssey

307. GORGON (3) (1933 - 1964) Gorgon class steel motorship.
O.N. 162391. 3,533g. 2,120n. 320.3 x 51.2 x 21.6 feet.
6-cyl. 2 S.C.D.A. (450 x 1200mm) oil engine made by Akt. Burmeister & Wains Maskin-og-Skibsbyggeri, Copenhagen. 4,000 BHP. 14 kts.
22.8.1933: Launched by the Caledon Shipbuilding & Engineering Company Ltd., Dundee (Yard No. 344), for the Ocean Steamship Company Ltd.

1933: Completed 50:50 for the West Australian Steam Navigation Company Ltd., (Bethell, Gwyn & Company, managers) and The Ocean Steamship Co.Ltd.

1936: Purchased outright by the Ocean Steamship Company Ltd.

29.3.1940: Requisitioned for Government service.

14.4.1943: Survived bombing by aircraft whilst in Milne Bay, New Guinea.

10.8.1964: Delivered to Leung Yau Shipbreaking Company Ltd., for demolition at Hong Kong.

308. CHARON (3) (1936 - 1964) Gorgon class steel motorship.
O.N. 164308. 3,703g. 2,217n. 320.3 x 51.2 x 21.6 feet.
6-cyl. 2 S.C.D.A. (450 x 1200mm) oil engine made by Akt. Burmeister & Wains Maskin-og-Skibsbyggeri, Copenhagen. 4,300 BHP. 14 kts.

14.10.1936: Launched by the Caledon Shipbuilding & Engineering Company Ltd., Dundee (Yard No. 357), for the Ocean Steamship Company Ltd.

1936: Completed.

1964: Sold for 47,213 to Malayan Shipbreakers Ltd., Singapore for demolition thence to Chan Kai Kit, Panama, and renamed SENG KONG NO. 1.

18.5.1964: Delivered to Liam Bee Company, for demolition at Singapore.

8.1964: Resold to Chan Chai Chieh, Taipei, (Panama registry), but remained at breakers yard.

8.1965: Demolition commenced.

Palmerston
3rd August 2010, 09:20
I recall the Charon ran aground on route to Fremantle in 1956. There is a photo of it in one of the Perth newspapers at the time damaged and listing on arrival.

Pat Kennedy
3rd August 2010, 09:43
Back in the good old days!!! Charon and Gorgon were considered by many in Blue Funnel to be Laurence Holts private yachts rather than mainstream company ships. To be appointed to either of these vessels was considered indeed fortunate ( you could say one of the chosen!!!!) Teb(==D)

Teb,
I didnt think so. I saw them both on my first trip in the Achilles in 1958, both anchored in Singapore Roads.
I was told that 'those two ships never go home, if you are sent to join one of them, you are there for two long years'.
That did it for me, homesick as I was, and the sight of them thereafter made my blood run cold, although I needn't have worried as they were manned by Malay or Chinese deck crowd.
regards,
Pat(Thumb)

holland25
3rd August 2010, 15:03
In 1960 I travelled from London to Genoa in the company of a 2nd mate whose last ship had been either the Gorgon or the Charon. He raved about them, and I think his observations about Perth probably had some influence on my later choices. He must have not been keen on going home, because we were going to join the Ulysses, which didnt go home all that much either, at that time.

R651400
3rd August 2010, 15:27
Teb,
I didnt think so. I saw them both on my first trip in the Achilles in 1958, both anchored in Singapore Roads. Pat, I'm trying to work out your sighting of two ships that run a regular service between Malaysia and WA eg while Charon was Singapore bound Gorgon was WA bound and my guess in 1958 never the twain did meet.
From a R/O point of view I have to agree with Teb viz to be appointed to either was the icing on the cake.

Pat Kennedy
3rd August 2010, 15:34
Pat, I'm trying to work out your sighting of two ships that run a regular service between Malaysia and WA eg while Charon was Singapore bound Gorgon was WA bound and my guess in 1958 never the twain did meet.
From a R/O point of view I have to agree with Teb viz to be appointed to either was the icing on the cake.

Well, There they were, one ahead of the other, and not far away was another old bucket that never came home, the Tyndareus.
Pat

R651400
13th August 2010, 05:33
At the end of the Hadji season Tyndareus laid up in Singapore roads though I remember seeing her once in London Royals circa 1957.
As for Charon and Gorgon perhaps there was also a lay up period.
Have a contact who was on the 1924 Asphalion on the Singapore WA run who might be able to answer the question.