Wartime built -Empires, Forts and Parks

NoR
2nd February 2012, 21:32
Re wartime built Empire, Fort and Park ships. Does anybody know what bridge equipment they would have had as built ? Presumably magnetic compass and echo sounder, but what about gyro and auto pilot?

As for radar. I won't even ask.

Anybody sail on one in late fifties early sixties and what sort of equipment might they have had by then?

NoR
2nd February 2012, 23:35
What, No one sailed on a Fort, Park or Empire. i must be older than I thought.

NoR
2nd February 2012, 23:38
Yeah I know. It's pretty sad when you reply to your own posts.

Alistair Macnab
3rd February 2012, 00:11
Can't have you thinking that no one reads your signals! Frankly, I never sailed on any of the British-built 'standard' WW11 ships but visited a few operated by my company in the '50s.
Bank Line had several of these ships:
"Hazelbank" ne 'Empire Franklin" Readhead's coal burner
"Hollybank" ne "Empire Southey" Shorts coal burner
"Etivebank" ne 'Empire Aden' Bartrams coal/oil burner
"Lochybank" ne "Empire Honduras" Shorts coal/oil burner
"Shielbank" ne "Empire Takoradi" Gray, steamer.

The fact that most if not all were coal burners (don't know about the "Shielbank" but probably coal) made them dirty and unpopular but nice and cheap to buy. Remember we're talking about Andrew Weir's here!

Anyway, the bridge as I remember it was very simple. A binnacle with a steering wheel amidships and another binnacle above on the monkey island. Electronics were provided by Marconi so there would have been a wet paper depth machine. One E.R. mechanical telegraph inside the wheelhouse on the starboard side. Can't remember a smoke detector cabinet and definitely no windscreen wipers or rotary clearview windows. Wind-up 'field' telephones to the fxl, aft, ER and Master and voicepipes to the ER and Master.

That's it!

Perhaps there had been some original military stuff but by the time Bank Line got hold of them, these would have been removed. On the 12 "Liberty" Boats Bank Line bought, the ice-water drinking fountains in the accommodation had been removed!

Cheers!

dom
3rd February 2012, 00:21
sailed on Forts, Parks, and Jeeps in the 50s 60s, standard mag.compass ,the Madras City had gyro and iron mike the Uskside Uskmouth mag compass and radio d/f only

ps all where bum feeders

lakercapt
3rd February 2012, 00:24
My memories of the wheelhouse on an "Ocean" were there was a magnetic compass, steering wheel, telegraph, whistle tube to captains cabin,wet paper E/S and a hatch to sparkies place. On the monkey island was the standard compass and the D/F goniometer (the d/f was in the sparkies shack).
A switchboard for the navigation lights. A rack with the international signal flags.
A place for the bain of our life's brasso. There was a telephone (voice activated) with a wind up handle to contact the E/R forcastle and poop.
They were not well equipped

holland25
3rd February 2012, 02:01
I sailed on the Saxon Star ex Empire Strength, in early 1957. From memory she only had the basics and certainly no radar.Captain Kinghorn, who was a cadet on her in the early 50s, states, in P Heaton's book,"the Redbrook a Deep Sea Tramp", that she had two magnetic compasses,an echo sounder and an antiquated DF set, for which I can vouch. She also had an emergency Spark transmitter.She did however have HF capabilities when I was on her.

John Rogers
3rd February 2012, 02:28
What, No one sailed on a Fort, Park or Empire. i must be older than I thought.

I sailed on Forts, Parks,and Empire ships but I worked in the engine room so I never went up on the Bridge.


john

garry Norton
3rd February 2012, 02:43
The Waihemo was a fort boat and had a gyro and radar which was a pointed range finder type converted to a PPI screen later. The Wairata I think was a later built war time building I think was called a C1A.
The gyro compass was fitted to both vessels but I do not know what type as at that time I was a cadet.I think they had auto pilots.

millwall dock
3rd February 2012, 03:38
Sailed on Shahristan,ex Empire Dunnett Redheads coffin sterned built 1945,early fifties
Had mag compass and Sperry gyro with repeater on monkey island.Decca radar seldom in working order(I think it was repaired at almost every port we called at)and when it was no one trusted it--often needing the Masters authority to turn it on!
Telephone to foc'sel and poop. Voicepipe to E/R and Masters cabin.1 Kent Clear View screen.Mechanical telegraph,paper echo sounder,paper recording barometer,chronometer,lanyard operated steam whistle,1telescope and 1pair day and night binoculars,1d/f,1 megaphone for Master to yell at anybody more than 25 yards away,distress gun and rockets and a lot of 20/20 vision
Cant think of anything else---too long ago

ernhelenbarrett
3rd February 2012, 06:29
Sailed on Avistone/GBSV ex Empire Martaban on iron ore run to Med and Conakry, very basic bridge gear, no radar but had an Oceanspan 1 and D/F in the Radio Room with CR300 Receiver, cant remember the Emergency TX/RX as was quite a few decades ago, the Oceanspan had a knob near the top which you pushed in to transmit anf pulled out when receiving!!
Ern Barrett

Ron Stringer
3rd February 2012, 08:44
... the Oceanspan had a knob near the top which you pushed in to transmit anf pulled out when receiving!!
Ern Barrett

The antenna changeover switch.

NoR
3rd February 2012, 09:56
Can't have you thinking that no one reads your signals! Frankly, I never sailed on any of the British-built 'standard' WW11 ships but visited a few operated by my company in the '50s.
Bank Line had several of these ships:
"Hazelbank" ne 'Empire Franklin" Readhead's coal burner
"Hollybank" ne "Empire Southey" Shorts coal burner
"Etivebank" ne 'Empire Aden' Bartrams coal/oil burner
"Lochybank" ne "Empire Honduras" Shorts coal/oil burner
"Shielbank" ne "Empire Takoradi" Gray, steamer.

The fact that most if not all were coal burners (don't know about the "Shielbank" but probably coal) made them dirty and unpopular but nice and cheap to buy. Remember we're talking about Andrew Weir's here!

Anyway, the bridge as I remember it was very simple. A binnacle with a steering wheel amidships and another binnacle above on the monkey island. Electronics were provided by Marconi so there would have been a wet paper depth machine. One E.R. mechanical telegraph inside the wheelhouse on the starboard side. Can't remember a smoke detector cabinet and definitely no windscreen wipers or rotary clearview windows. Wind-up 'field' telephones to the fxl, aft, ER and Master and voicepipes to the ER and Master.

That's it!

Perhaps there had been some original military stuff but by the time Bank Line got hold of them, these would have been removed. On the 12 "Liberty" Boats Bank Line bought, the ice-water drinking fountains in the accommodation had been removed!

Cheers!

Thanks Alistair. Where you have written 'coal/oil' do you mean dual fuel (didn't know that was possible) ? Or converted ?

According to wiki the parks were coal burners and the forts were oil burners.

Robin Craythorn
3rd February 2012, 10:37
The 'Baron Geddes', my first ship was ex 'Empire Ploughman' built West Hartlepool 1943, orriginally coal burning but just converted to oil burning when I joined at Redheads South Shields in April 1958. Bridge equipment :- magnetic compass and binnacle on monkey island, also one in wheelhouse, Sperry Gyro Mark 16 which occasionally broke down voice pipes to Engine room and Master, one engine telegraph zig-zag clock steel shutters which could be closed over the three small central wheelhouse windows, seperate chart room with D/F and wet paper echo sounder Radio Receiver and transmitter + operator on hire from Marconi.
Regards Robin Craythorn.

NoR
3rd February 2012, 10:42
I was wondering about the gyro compass. Did the Liberties and Victories have them as standard ? Doesn't seem as if the Empires/Parks/Forts did. Would have thought that a gyro compass would have been invaluable for convoy station keeping and zig zagging in poor vis.

stores
3rd February 2012, 11:04
there was 3 types, north sands, victory and canadian type, north sands were coal fired, victory were oil fired, canadian were dual fuel, forts and parks were same ships, many launched with a fort name, later changed to a park name, oceans were same design, but welded and american built, forts were all canadian built.

Binnacle
3rd February 2012, 12:11
Sailed on four standard Empire ships -

ex Empire Patriot, joined 1948, this type were known as West Hartlepool Jeeps. Three island coal burner with woodbine funnel. Basic bridge gear, no radar or gyro. Basic comforts.

ex Empire Antigua, joined 1949, oil burner, basic bridge gear plus gyro, no radar.

ex Empire Rhodes, joined 51, bridge house rebuilt after serious fire in 45. basic bridge gear plus gyro, no radar, oil burner

Empire Darwin, former CAM ship. joined 1953, coal burner, basic gear plus gyro & radar.

Happy times.

Split
3rd February 2012, 16:44
What, No one sailed on a Fort, Park or Empire. i must be older than I thought.

I served my time on a Fort.

Magnetic compass---you got that right!

An echo sounder and RDF.

Split
3rd February 2012, 16:50
I sailed on Forts, Parks,and Empire ships but I worked in the engine room so I never went up on the Bridge.


john

I was very friendly with the 3rd engineer. He went over to visit a T2 in Colombo and came back with eyes shining. They had a real workshop down there!

Hugh Ferguson
3rd February 2012, 16:56
My near year and a half in the Empire Capulet, during trhe latter part of the war, is something I would prefer to forget about

Alistair Macnab
3rd February 2012, 18:18
Thanks Alistair. Where you have written 'coal/oil' do you mean dual fuel (didn't know that was possible) ? Or converted ?

According to wiki the parks were coal burners and the forts were oil burners.

NoR...
Coal/oil was a boiler configuration that could be converted from one fuel source to the other by the installation of burner nozzles within the firebox. There were other ramifications but the shipboard engineers were obliged to carry out the conversion and didn't like these jobs at all!

NoR
3rd February 2012, 18:49
My near year and a half in the Empire Capulet, during trhe latter part of the war, is something I would prefer to forget about

Hugh was that because of the War, the Ship or both?

But if you would rather forget............?

John Rogers
3rd February 2012, 19:00
I was very friendly with the 3rd engineer. He went over to visit a T2 in Colombo and came back with eyes shining. They had a real workshop down there!


Only time I went up on the bridge was when the Master decided to log me a days pay for being late returning to the ship,and that was on the bridge wing. I wonder why that was the custom back then. Well I guess it was better than being tied to the mast and meeting the cat with the lash.

John(Pint)

John Rogers
3rd February 2012, 19:02
I always wanted to ship out on a T-2 but never got lucky,some of my shipmates said they were a very good ships with a hell of and engine room.

John.

China hand
3rd February 2012, 19:21
I went aboard a Fort ship when I was an apprentice. I think it was in Villa Constitucion, Parana river. Maybe it was Counties, or London and Overseas, or a London Greek; I forget, and I didn't note it in my "log". But I do remember she had wooden derricks ( some of them, anyway). Would that indicate Canadian built perhaps?

stores
3rd February 2012, 19:32
hi john, i allways wanted to ship out in a liberty ship, i went aboard a greek one in pireaus in the 60,s regards, Tony.(Whaaa)

Hugh Ferguson
3rd February 2012, 20:04
Hugh was that because of the War, the Ship or both?

But if you would rather forget............?

Everything!!!

Split
3rd February 2012, 20:51
Only time I went up on the bridge was when the Master decided to log me a days pay for being late returning to the ship,and that was on the bridge wing. I wonder why that was the custom back then. Well I guess it was better than being tied to the mast and meeting the cat with the lash.

John(Pint)

I'm sorry you had to see a bridge under such painful circumstances. :@

stan mayes
3rd February 2012, 21:08
I sailed in 14 ships built during WW2 - 3 of them during the war.
Cape Howe a Standard Y type for Lyle Co - I made her maiden voyage 1943.
Neritina -Anglo Saxon Co - I made her maiden voyage 1943/44.
British Merit BTC - built 1942 - my voyage 1945.
Postwar -
Empire Shepherd MOWT built 1943 - my voyage 1945
Fort Gloucester MOWT built 1943 - my voyage 1945
Sampep MOWT Liberty ship built 1943 -my voyage 1945
Gold Ranger RFA built 1941 - my voyage 1946
Ocean Vanity MOWT built 1942 - my voyage 1947..Details exactly as stated by Lakercapt..
El Morro T2 tanker of BTC built 1944 -my voyage 1948
Trevanion Hain Co built 1944 -my voyage 1948
City of Ely Ellerman Co Liberty ship ex Samarina built 1943 -my voyage 1948
Empire Baltic ex LST 3519 built 1945 -my voyage 1949/51
Freecrest ex Empire Austen built 1942 -my voyage 1951
Starcrest ex Empire Asquith built 1944 - my voyage 1952/53
Stan

Split
3rd February 2012, 21:23
I always wanted to ship out on a T-2 but never got lucky,some of my shipmates said they were a very good ships with a hell of and engine room.

John.

They were. Everything was so different and ahead of the times. It is ironic that it took a war to change the way things were at sea.

Shower, washbasin and toilet in every cabin. The beds, or bunks, were half as wide ,again, as the bunks in Forts. Ice water machines and fridges in the wardrooms.

All this is old hat to later generations but this was in 1945 and they were still ahead of their time and setting the benchmark for future ships. It took Americans to show British shipowners that times were changing. If it was not for them we would still be using one shower and toilet for deck officers and one for engineers and the sailors would, still, be getting their fresh water by the use of a hand pump.

Split
3rd February 2012, 21:33
I went aboard a Fort ship when I was an apprentice. I think it was in Villa Constitucion, Parana river. Maybe it was Counties, or London and Overseas, or a London Greek; I forget, and I didn't note it in my "log". But I do remember she had wooden derricks ( some of them, anyway). Would that indicate Canadian built perhaps?

It might have done. The cabins had nicely finished furniture ( but you had to put a bucket under the wash basin to catch the water and you had to fill it by hand. No one used the damned things). The bridge and lifeboat decks were wood. T2's in contrast, had "tin" furniture and there was no wood to be seen anywhere. I know what I would rather have!

sidsal
3rd February 2012, 22:08
Sailed as apprentice on Fort Camosun in 1944 and 3rd Mate coasting on Fort Ville Marie in 1945.
Fort Camosun was twice torpedoed and didn't sink.. First time was 6 hours into her 1st voyage from Vancouver where she was built. 2nd time in G of Aden - beached there and then patched up and sailed to UK for repair.
Coal burner - Port Said was the fastest coaling port - women with baskets !!
Make me feel old !!

NoR
4th February 2012, 09:50
I was wondering about bunkers in dual fuel ships, presumably the coal bunker space couldn't be used for oil, so oil fuel carried in DBs ?

What were the bunkering arrangements?

lakercapt
4th February 2012, 17:34
Was not until 1956 that I sailed on a ship with Radar.
It was a very basic and when working was a great asset.
Main difficulty was that you had to get the master who had a key to unlock the controls.He was the one who decided if it was necessary or should it be kept until really needed!!!!
A big problem was that the switching on and off was a major factor in them breaking down. It was when they were left on that they were more reliable and suffered less breakdowns.

E.Martin
4th February 2012, 19:22
Fort Edmonton. Shanghaied.1955
Was told by Dock St Pool fly to Antwerp join the Federal Voyager 5 week trip
Montreal back to the UK.
We flew from Blackbushei noticed a 18 inch stilson on the wing of the plane as the plane was reving up prior to take off the stilson fell to the ground.
The 2 planes were ex Vicounts no heating we were freezing helped only by the minature bottles of spirit which they gave us.
On arrival on board at Antwerp we were told that we would be on the Canadian
coast for the season alot longer than 5 weeks,after some arguments we did sign on and sailed.
We left Antwerp April 30th arrived Montreal May 18th heavy weather all the way,when we came back 8 months later the crossing took 16 days 3 days less.
She was was a slushy old ship heading into a gale, stick her snout in fill up forrard,then stick her **** in poop one and fill up aft,on the Monkey Island
there was a massive Aldis Lamp which was used at night to check the forrard hatch covers.
On arrival at Montreal we were told that we would be bringing iron ore from Seven Islands to Contrecour which was a jetty in the middle of nowhere.
Contrecour was a village a few miles away after about a mile walk you could
get a bus,it consisted of a couple of shops a soda bar and a club,consequently
the club was popular as it was the only place to get a beer.
One amusing incident one evening most of the crowd were in the club over the other side was the Old Man with the Chief Officer,something happened so all of us were kicked out including the Captain and the CO.
We threatened to go on strike if we did not get our Canadian Coast bonus straight away,Cheap Cigarettes,Travel money for bus fares they agreed on those points.
We did 37 trips down river to Seven Islands,37 trips up river to Contrecour.
Accomodation 4 to a cabin first and last ship where Mosquito Nets were supplied,food nothing special but edible.
If we helped Chippy repair the ceiling of the hold we got a extra Canadian Dollar a hour.
We left Montreal for Hull December 10th,arrived Hull December 26th.
On the whole she was not a bad Old Ship enjoyed my time in her.
A incident while there,Second Cook and the Sparkie stole a car,they were being chased by the police when they crashed off the road,Second Cook was killed.Sparkie was deported.

Guernsey
4th February 2012, 20:56
Sailed on the Fresno City ex Empire Singapore in 1963/64 . I remember we had a gyro (located somewhere on the main deck) but cant recall an auto pilot if we did then it rarely worked.The depth sounder was some sort of rotary device but I think it was fairly accurate and a RDF which only the RO Could operate successfully. I remeber a story doing teh rounds at that time that one of the company ship ( Reardon Smiths) he had constructed a" radar scanner " out of an empty oil drum mounted it on the monkey island when at anchor with another company ship, as an act of upmanship.

stores
4th February 2012, 21:02
WOW, some trip, was she managed by Watts Watts at that time, ? or were you employed by Federal Commerce, they did have a london office, regards, STORES.(Scribe)

E.Martin
5th February 2012, 10:20
WOW, some trip, was she managed by Watts Watts at that time, ? or were you employed by Federal Commerce, they did have a london office, regards, STORES.(Scribe)

I think it was Federal Steam Navigation Company of Montreal.

Varley
5th February 2012, 10:57
[QUOTE=Guernsey;" out of an empty oil drum mounted it on the monkey island when at anchor with another company ship, as an act of upmanship.[/QUOTE].

Same story was doing the rounds in Texaco in '70s - so apocryphal? or perhaps several came up with the same idea.

david.hopcroft
5th February 2012, 19:24
Did a trip on Lokoja Palm/GWWJ ex-Empire Birdsay. As RO I remember that there was no inside way from my cabin to the Radio Room. Even up one deck and through the wheelhouse was not completely inside. I don't remember a gyro, but also don't remember someone on the wheel all the time. Had a basic Decca radar, and Seimens radio gear. I do remember the British Rail type bridge windows with the leather strap though, and that the engine telegraph came through my cabin in trunking.

David
+

bucko53
6th February 2012, 01:03
The Waihemo was a fort boat and had a gyro and radar which was a pointed range finder type converted to a PPI screen later. The Wairata I think was a later built war time building I think was called a C1A.
The gyro compass was fitted to both vessels but I do not know what type as at that time I was a cadet.I think they had auto pilots.
Waihemo ex Dominion Park ,as you say radar and gyro but no
iron mike. Three to a watch, no wheel every third watch.

stan mayes
6th February 2012, 01:29
Waihemo ex Dominion Park ,as you say radar and gyro but no
iron mike. Three to a watch, no wheel every third watch.

Hi Bucko,
No wheel every third watch.. whoever that was would do one hour
on standby then two hours on lookout and one hour on standby.
He was 'farmer' and would call the next watch..

LANCE BALL
6th February 2012, 13:18
Fort Glenora, 1946 to 1949, Magnetic steering and standard compass, telegraph
to E.R. Direction finder, walkers log streamed from bridge wing, chronometer, two sextants,captains voice pipe. Cant remember an echo sounder. For some reason the binoculars were in the captains safe with the revolver and ammunition.

dom
6th February 2012, 13:35
Waihemo ex Dominion Park ,as you say radar and gyro but no
iron mike. Three to a watch, no wheel every third watch.

think it was the Waihemo we went aboard in New Westminster,the crowd was all ashore at a funeral,we were off a Ropners job,what a surprise,deck and down below mess aft,table cloths settings for four at each table with cup AND saucer side plate knife fork and spoon for each place,went away slightly down,but we did have a gryo and iron mike two in a watch hour about lookout on the wing of the bridge

Mariner44
10th February 2012, 14:06
When in Piraeus in June 2010 my wife and I had a personal tour of a Liberty ship. The Greek watchman, ex AB, was very informative. Just 3 Liberty ships left in the world, I believe.

Hellas Liberty started life as the Arthur M. Huddell and was acquired by Greece with the intention of converting her into a floating museum dedicated to the history of the Greek merchant marine. After the Second World War, Greeks bought or were given about 100 Liberty ships to help them rebuild their merchant marine fleet.

I'm not sure whether it has yet opened to the public, but it is well worth a visit. The engines have been removed.

Attached are some of the photographs I took - 5 is the maximum permitted so I'll add more in another posting.

Mariner44
10th February 2012, 14:20
The accommodation was quite impressive for its time.

Mariner44
10th February 2012, 14:28
More to follow (one last posting)

Jeff Taylor
10th February 2012, 15:37
As many know the John Brown is on display in Baltimore, and does a number of cruises open to the public during the nice weather. It's an all-volunteer crew.

cunamara
10th February 2012, 15:55
Here are the PARK ships that were built at Saint John Shipbuliding and Drydock.
Amazing how long these ships lasted
Rockwood Park Govt of Canada (Park SS Co.) Cargo Ship 2,877 Feb-43 La Grande Hermine 1947, Vianna 1951, Cap Falcon 1955, Licola 1963, scrapped 1971
15 Camp Sussex/Dartmouth Park Govt of Canada (Park SS Co.) Cargo Ship 2,877 May-43 Captain Polemis 1946, Lumberman 1949, Chepo 1952, S.N.A.6 1952, Tourliani 1964, scrapped 1974
16 Fawkner Park Govt of Canada (Park SS Co.) Cargo Ship 2,910 Jan-44 Kooralya 1947, Mandarin Star 1960, Fortune Bay 1967, Dragonboat 1967, scrapped 1968
17 Taronga Park Govt of Canada (Park SS Co.) Cargo Ship 2,884 Apr-44 Federal Ranger 1947, Maria Toft 1948, J.E.Manne 1951, J.E.M.Naess 1956, Hermes Leader 1963, Leader One 1969, Panagia M. 1971, Merian 1975, wrecked off Othoni Is 1977
18 Bloomfield Park Govt of Canada (Park SS Co.) Cargo Ship 2,884 Sep-44 Sundale 1948, Amigo 1958, Christian S. 1960, burnt in Barranquilla 1963
19 Oakmount Park Govt of Canada (Park SS Co.) Cargo Ship 2,883 Jan-45 Oakmount 1947, Makena II 1948, Sugar Producer 1951, Curran 1956, Ocean Fortune 1957, Onbak Fadjarb 1968, deleted 1983
20 Argyle Park Govt of Canada (Park SS Co.) Cargo Ship 2,894 Jun-45 Liverpool Packet 1946, Westport 1963, Athos 1965, Aramis 1968, scrapped 1976
21 Shakespeare Park Govt of Canada (Park SS Co.) Cargo Ship 2,895 Nov-45 Sunprince 1948, Salammanna 1959, scrapped 1964

John Rogers
10th February 2012, 16:12
The accommodation was quite impressive for its time.

Thanks for the photos,the ship looks very clean,I also noticed that the lifeboats had been removed.

Derek Roger
10th February 2012, 16:25
In the mid 80,s I was General Manager of Pictou Industries ; Pictou ; Nova Scotia . In checking the records I was impressed by the yards wartime record .
From the period 27th April 1943 to 5th July1945 the yard ; then named Foundation Maritime Ltd. delivered 24 park Vessels in a period of 26 months which I found a remarkable record for a small shipyard .
Two were torpedoed the remainder stayed in service untill the late 60,s and 70,s with two continuing until 1982/3 .
They must have been well built for that era .

Regards Derek

Mariner44
10th February 2012, 18:20
Thanks for the photos,the ship looks very clean,I also noticed that the lifeboats had been removed.

The original lifeboats will have no doubt rotted away while the ship was laid up on the East River, Virginia, but the old davits are still in use.

Some more photos attached....one of which shows her before restoration.

stores
10th February 2012, 18:37
re missing lifeboats. HI JOHN, whilst laid up in the USA she was used as a scource of spare parts for the 2 operational liberties, they had to make a new rudder for Hellas Liberty, her prop came of a Victory ship, as did some of her derricks, i believe some are still missing, would have thought victory ships lifeboats were the same, ? unless allready used on the victory ship restorations, ? sad no Empires or Forts were saved. we cant even keep WW2 U Boat safe, had to slice it up. to make way for property developement. her stbd fwd lifeboat is shown in the photos,

NoR
11th February 2012, 00:25
Re accommodation. I understand that all the internal bulkheads in Liberties and Victories were steel. Is that true ? and were the Empires,Forts and Parks the same?

John Rogers
11th February 2012, 01:27
re missing lifeboats. HI JOHN, whilst laid up in the USA she was used as a scource of spare parts for the 2 operational liberties, they had to make a new rudder for Hellas Liberty, her prop came of a Victory ship, as did some of her derricks, i believe some are still missing, would have thought victory ships lifeboats were the same, ? unless allready used on the victory ship restorations, ? sad no Empires or Forts were saved. we cant even keep WW2 U Boat safe, had to slice it up. to make way for property developement. her stbd fwd lifeboat is shown in the photos,

Not sure. but I think the lifeboats were metal and they were propelled by handles not oars,(The name Fleming comes to mind) some body will know before the day is out.


John

stores
11th February 2012, 01:43
hi, john, the lifeboats were steel, cant say about fleming gear, have an idea that was invented post war. , am suprised her engine has been removed. there is a website on hellas victory, well worth a look, regards, tony.(Scribe)

Bosun ken
11th February 2012, 06:12
Sailed on the Empire Darwin '42-'43 . Wartime rig ,paravanes, 2 stern depth charges, Guns: Two bridge oerlikins, two boat deck oerlikins, a twelve pounder aft and a Jap 4 inch . Last of all obviously , eight gun Hawker Hurricane , on the focsle head . It carried two Pilots and six 'riggers .That was her wartime compliment.

Split
11th February 2012, 12:48
Sailed on the Empire Darwin '42-'43 . Wartime rig ,paravanes, 2 stern depth charges, Guns: Two bridge oerlikins, two boat deck oerlikins, a twelve pounder aft and a Jap 4 inch . Last of all obviously , eight gun Hawker Hurricane , on the focsle head . It carried two Pilots and six 'riggers .That was her wartime compliment.

I am 80 in April and went to sea in 1948. How old are you, for Pete's sake!

stan mayes
11th February 2012, 13:31
Hello Split,
To reach the age of 80 is a cause for celebration - but it is not unusual
in these times.....I am 90 and I began a life at sea in 1936..
Regards,
Stan

Split
11th February 2012, 15:35
Hello Split,
To reach the age of 80 is a cause for celebration - but it is not unusual
in these times.....I am 90 and I began a life at sea in 1936..
Regards,
Stan

Congratulations.(Applause)

I'm not celebrating, though----I'm hoping!!!

I hope that you are fit and well. It's a great advertisement that sea air does you good.

Hugh Ferguson
11th February 2012, 18:13
The Empire Capulet, which I joined in Newport in Aug.1944, had just come from the Normandy Beaches, slightly battered, but still carrying her full complement of about 20 gunners, was armed with the following:-
A 12 pounder on the f'c'stle
Two Oerlikons & two Lewis guns on the bridge.
Two Oerlikons & Fam rockets on the boat-deck: P. rocket on the Monkey Is.
Two twin Oerlikons on the after deck.
A Bofors and a 4" high angle gun on the poop.

She was also was fitted with paravanes and nets.

On the 31st Oct.1945 we dumped our remaining ammunition overboard in position 18.53N : 90.00E 113 4" A.A.shells
1220 Bofors 40mm
3666 Oerlikon shells H.E.
1836 " " tracer

E.Martin
11th February 2012, 19:00
Blast the last few posts on this forum have certainly got alot of sea time between them and experience of sea going in WW2.
Stan first went to sea in 1936 he must have seen alot of improvements in the life of a sailor.

stan mayes
11th February 2012, 20:08
Hi E.Martin,
I had 20 years at sea as AB and Bosun followed by 30 years as a ships rigger
in Thames and Medway areas..It is recorded in this site 'WW2 Convoys' and in
the Directory.
I had an eventful war as did other members of this great site..

Binnacle
11th February 2012, 21:21
Sailed on the Empire Darwin '42-'43 . Wartime rig ,paravanes, 2 stern depth charges, Guns: Two bridge oerlikins, two boat deck oerlikins, a twelve pounder aft and a Jap 4 inch . Last of all obviously , eight gun Hawker Hurricane , on the focsle head . It carried two Pilots and six 'riggers .That was her wartime compliment.

Sailed a couple of times on Culrain 53 & 56, ex Empire Darwin. She was strongly built. Solid Stem bar was unbent after collision in fog which resulted in other vessel sinking due to after hold being split open. Always wondered, if when building, for'd scantling strength had been additionaly stiffened in these Cam ships.
,

Bosun ken
12th February 2012, 00:59
I will be 88 yrs old in May , I can still recall the voyages which I made as a young J.O.S. and what our jobs were , especially being the Gunners offsider on the starboard bridge Oerlikon . My mate and I were often sent on gunnery courses , so we were expected to know all about oerlikons and other types of guns which were in use at the time. We still carried on with our other jobs , regardless , but our life jackets were always handy.

Bosun ken
12th February 2012, 01:36
Hi Binnacle I was on a coastal ship in Melbourne around that time , I saw the " Culrain " it intrigued me , it being my old ship , Were there any Shetland Islanders in the crew ? We had five A.B.s on board (. Including the Bosun) when she was the Empire Darwin ,one I met ashore, can't remember his name , but we recognized each other. I should have gone on board.

E.Martin
12th February 2012, 13:21
Hi E.Martin,
I had 20 years at sea as AB and Bosun followed by 30 years as a ships rigger
in Thames and Medway areas..It is recorded in this site 'WW2 Convoys' and in
the Directory.
I had an eventful war as did other members of this great site..

Hi Stan, Seems we have much in common I was seagoing for 11years,as AB and Bosun, then spent 36 years as a Ship Rigger for Industrial and Maritime Riggers and Cosalt,most faraway rigging job i did was Douala Cameroon,most of the work a AB could do only it was done faster,I have a lenth of rope in the garage and still practice making a three or four stranded Turks Head.
I reckon once a sailor always a sailor.

Binnacle
12th February 2012, 22:53
Hi Binnacle I was on a coastal ship in Melbourne around that time , I saw the " Culrain " it intrigued me , it being my old ship , Were there any Shetland Islanders in the crew ? We had five A.B.s on board (. Including the Bosun) when she was the Empire Darwin ,one I met ashore, can't remember his name , but we recognized each other. I should have gone on board.

Bosun Ken -
When I sailed on her there were about 5 or 6 Shetlanders aboard, including the master. I suppose you have seen this, copied from Wikipedia -

SS Empire Darwin From Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaJump to: navigation, search

Empire Darwin, as she appeared from 1941 to 1943.
Career
Name: Empire Darwin (194146)
Culrain (194659)
Mersinidi (195967)
Owner: Ministry of War Transport (194145)
South Georgia Co Ltd (194559)
North Europe & Persian Gulf Transport Corporation (195966)
Operator: Evan T Radcliffe & Co Ltd (194143)
Christian Salvesen & Co Ltd (194359)
J Livanos & Sons Ltd (195966)
Port of registry: West Hartlepool, UK (194145)
Leith, UK (194559)
Monrovia, Liberia (195966)
Builder: William Gray & Co. Ltd.
Launched: 13 May 1941
Completed: July 1941
Out of service: 1966
Identification: United Kingdom Official Number 168927 (194159)
Code Letters BCMQ (194159)

Fate: Scrapped
General characteristics
Class and type: CAM ship (194143)
Cargo ship (194367)
Tonnage: 6,710 GRT

4,870 NRT
Length: 419 ft 2 in (127.76 m)
Beam: 56 ft 7 in (17.25 m)
Draught: 26 ft 7 in (8.10 m)
Depth: 33 ft 9 in (10.29 m)
Propulsion: Triple expansion steam engine
Armament: 1 x Hawker Sea Hurricane (194143)

Empire Darwin was a British 6,765 GRT CAM ship built in 1941 by William Gray & Co. Ltd., West Hartlepool, United Kingdom for the Ministry of War Transport (MoWT). Her Hawker Sea Hurricane was involved in the last action by an aircraft flown off a CAM ship, shooting down a Focke-Wulf Fw 200 Condor on 28 July 1943.

She was sold into merchant service in 1945 and renamed Culrain in 1946. In 1953, she was in collision with a Spanish ship in the Strait of Gibraltar, sinking her. In 1959, she was sold to Lebanon and renamed Mersinidi, operating under the Liberian flag. She served until 1966, and was scrapped in 1967.

NoR
13th February 2012, 21:42
I am interested in the internal fit of these vessels. Were all the bulkheads of steel, wood or marinite. Did they have punka louvres or what kind of ventilation and or heating.

stan mayes
13th February 2012, 21:58
Greetings Bosun Ken - E.Martin and Binnacle -
Many years at sea shared by you with countless incidents and
experiences...members would like to hear of them..
Don't take your untold stories to the grave!!
Best regards,
Stan

dom
13th February 2012, 23:20
I am interested in the internal fit of these vessels. Were all the bulkheads of steel, wood or marinite. Did they have punka louvres or what kind of ventilation and or heating.

from what i can remember the Madras City had a fan in each cabin,heating??extra blanket(Jester) same as the Loch Ranza and other Forts, punka louvres were on later builds,as for the Jeeps i sailed on nothing for cooling or heating

NoR
14th February 2012, 00:00
from what i can remember the Madras City had a fan in each cabin,heating??extra blanket(Jester) same as the Loch Ranza and other Forts, punka louvres were on later builds,as for the Jeeps i sailed on nothing for cooling or heating

Surely some form of heating in the cabins? What about internal bulkheads steel or wood?

Bosun ken
14th February 2012, 00:09
For a moment I could not remember what a "Punkah-louvre " , was, seen them in dance halls in Aussie in the old days, but on ships? . The only air-conditioning I knew of in the ships accommodation those days , was wind chutes in the ports in the summer time and an extra blanket in the winter. It's so long ago , that I can't remember. Regarding the bulkheads .. They were steel

dom
14th February 2012, 00:10
internal bulkheads between cabins wood centre bulkhead between messrooms aft steel crossallyway messroom bulkhead wood,deck, some sort of composition,as for heating cant really remember

lakercapt
14th February 2012, 00:35
The heating on "Ocean" ships was by a radiator in the cabin.
As we had been on the Aussie coast for two years it was never used and in our cabin had been painted a couple of times.
Nearing the UK in winter it was turned on and the smell was terrible. It needed to be bled too as there was mostly air in it.
There were no fans.

John Rogers
14th February 2012, 02:01
At one time we were the last ship to leave Montreal,the river was full of ice and we could hear it against the hull as we went down river, as for heat we had a steam pipe running through the six man cabin back aft next to that big steel steering gear,it kept us awake some nights, but after awhile you forgot about it.
We were below the deck under the mess,our air-conditioning when, and if we needed it was the wind chute out of our porthole,not used much on the N. Atlantic runs.

John.

holland25
14th February 2012, 03:25
On the Saxon Star/Empire Strength,built in 1942 in Belfast. The R/Os cabin was on the port side of the Captains Deck. It wasnt a bad size and nicely fitted out with bunk, decent sized wardrobe and desk in dark wood possibly mahogany.The light fitting over the bunk was either copper or brass.The deck would have been red composition with a strip of carpet. There was a wash hand basin provided, and a fan. I think the heating was by a radiator,because the one in the Radio Room couldnt be turned off and as a dispensation from the Captain I was allowed to keep my watch, through Panama, without a shirt.The Radio Room and Bridge was accessed by a ladder situated in the alleyway between the Captains Cabin,which was the whole of the front of the width of the accomodation,and my cabin. On the Starboard side of the deck was a Pilots Cabin, I often suspected that this was where the other two R/Os lived during the war. At the top of the ladder the door forward led to the bridge and the after one to the Radio Room, which was the whole width of the accommodation, with a porthole at each end. From memory the bulheads were painted steel. A couple of decks down there was a little used officer's smokeroom which faced forward and from memory not badly fitted out,again in dark wood,and on the main deck forward was the officers,dining saloon.

steversonqld
14th February 2012, 03:27
Gday Gary
You mention WAIHEMO which was a Park boat laid down as Fort MACKINAC and launched as DOMINION PARK. She had an early admiralty Canadian manufactured radar and a gyro but had no auto pilot

WAIRATA was one of only 2 American built C1-As (shelter deck)that operated under the British flag. The other was Buries Markes LA ESTANCIA. She also had originally one of those antiquated radars and gyro and I think auto pilot .
Interesting her running mate WAIRIMU was the first C1-B (full scantling)built for the USMC as CAPE ALAVA in 1941. Both were motorships and why the British companies did not acquire any when the Norwegians bought 27 of the class makes me wonder
Iain Steverson

NoR
14th February 2012, 14:03
On the Saxon Star/Empire Strength,built in 1942 in Belfast. The R/Os cabin was on the port side of the Captains Deck. It wasnt a bad size and nicely fitted out with bunk, decent sized wardrobe and desk in dark wood possibly mahogany.The light fitting over the bunk was either copper or brass.The deck would have been red composition with a strip of carpet. There was a wash hand basin provided, and a fan. I think the heating was by a radiator,because the one in the Radio Room couldnt be turned off and as a dispensation from the Captain I was allowed to keep my watch, through Panama, without a shirt.The Radio Room and Bridge was accessed by a ladder situated in the alleyway between the Captains Cabin,which was the whole of the front of the width of the accomodation,and my cabin. On the Starboard side of the deck was a Pilots Cabin, I often suspected that this was where the other two R/Os lived during the war. At the top of the ladder the door forward led to the bridge and the after one to the Radio Room, which was the whole width of the accommodation, with a porthole at each end. From memory the bulheads were painted steel. A couple of decks down there was a little used officer's smokeroom which faced forward and from memory not badly fitted out,again in dark wood,and on the main deck forward was the officers,dining saloon.

Saxon Star became the Redbrook. There is a book about her here (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Redbrook-Deep-sea-Account-Management-Operation/dp/0950771406/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1329223986&sr=1-1).

Bosun ken
15th February 2012, 06:22
G'day Steve , now you have touched on something I knew of but just forgotten about the park boats which were running to New Zealand in the late '40,s, you could help me with their names as they were then , There was the Waitomo , the Wairata , Waitemata , Wairuna and one more .They were running to N.Z. Just before the Canadian Seamans Union strike. I am a bit vague on the rest of the history of these ships,and it seems that you know much more than I do,wait a minute the Waihemu.

Bosun ken
15th February 2012, 06:53
Gee,s going from bad to worse Wairimu , at that time sounded like Waihemu. Another thing I failed to mention ,about the Wairata , I always thought it was a C.2. A certain friend of mine " ring bolted" from 'Frisco ,back to N.Z. In the late forties , no names !! But you could know who I am referring too

lakercapt
16th February 2012, 00:28
After a bit of rummaging found a photoghraph of my first ship S.S. Firby which was a coal fired "Ocean" ship built in US.26448

Bosun ken
16th February 2012, 09:11
[QUOTE=Bosun ken;576078]Gee,s going from bad to worse Wairimu , at that time sounded like Waihemu. Another thing I failed to mention ,about the Wairata , I always thought it was a C.2. A certain friend of mine " ring bolted" from 'Frisco ,back to N.Z. In the late forties , no names !! But you could know who I am referring too[/QUOTE.
G'day Steve, Sorry, I thought you once sailed on the N.Z.coast as you had the histories of these ships ,as they all had Maori names,The person I was referring to was " Pincher " Martin , General Secretary of the New Zealand Seamans Union, a man well respected on both sides of the Tasman, R.I.P. Bill.

steversonqld
16th February 2012, 12:54
Bosun Ken
The Canadian Australasian Line purchased 4 Park Boats all 4 originally under Canadian Flag and Crews. Two were retained with Canadian crews Waikawa and Waitomo with mainly Aussie master and officers
The other two Waihemo and Wairuna were changed over to NZ crews after a couple of years but all 4 ended up registered in Wellington. Waitemata was converted on the stocks at Burrards and mainly ran from NZ Ports and was always with a NZ crew.They all ran via the Pacific Islands to WCNA.The two C1's C1-A Wairimu and C1-B Wairata
ran from NZ/Aussie to Indonesia/Singapore/Malaysia/ India/Ceylon in
combination with British India (all part of the P&O Group who manipulated the operation). Incidentally it was the Union Co. with a complete monopoly in this part of the world that prevented P&O going down the finacial gurgler in the 1930 depression

Bosun ken
17th February 2012, 06:43
G'day Steve. Thanks very much for clearing the picture,I have stories in my mind about these ships ,but they will have to remain there.Thanks again.

Bosun ken
21st February 2012, 05:50
On the " Empire Darwin " ,we had a contraption, at the top of the mainmast, more or less like the old T.V. Arials , and it spun around .It was manned by navy personnel .Some one said to me after, that it was an early type of radar is that correct ? Anyhow it appeared to be secret at the time...1943.!

Bosun ken
21st February 2012, 06:00
I have I pad ......no back button

Arthur Miller
21st February 2012, 18:43
Can't have you thinking that no one reads your signals! Frankly, I never sailed on any of the British-built 'standard' WW11 ships but visited a few operated by my company in the '50s.
Bank Line had several of these ships:
"Hazelbank" ne 'Empire Franklin" Readhead's coal burner
"Hollybank" ne "Empire Southey" Shorts coal burner
"Etivebank" ne 'Empire Aden' Bartrams coal/oil burner
"Lochybank" ne "Empire Honduras" Shorts coal/oil burner
"Shielbank" ne "Empire Takoradi" Gray, steamer.

The fact that most if not all were coal burners (don't know about the "Shielbank" but probably coal) made them dirty and unpopular but nice and cheap to buy. Remember we're talking about Andrew Weir's here!

Anyway, the bridge as I remember it was very simple. A binnacle with a steering wheel amidships and another binnacle above on the monkey island. Electronics were provided by Marconi so there would have been a wet paper depth machine. One E.R. mechanical telegraph inside the wheelhouse on the starboard side. Can't remember a smoke detector cabinet and definitely no windscreen wipers or rotary clearview windows. Wind-up 'field' telephones to the fxl, aft, ER and Master and voicepipes to the ER and Master.

That's it!

Perhaps there had been some original military stuff but by the time Bank Line got hold of them, these would have been removed. On the 12 "Liberty" Boats Bank Line bought, the ice-water drinking fountains in the accommodation had been removed!

Cheers!

The Lochybank was my first ship. On one of my early bridge stints, I recall a bulkhead switch with a large notice beneath it in red. This said
N.U.C. I dare not ask what this meant, but I soon learnt