Tanker disguise?

jaigee
30th August 2006, 12:08
http://www.fremantleports.com.au/About/PhotoGallery/19401949.asp

The above site has a photograph of the British Cavalier entering Fremantle c.1945 (about a third of the way down the page).
It has what appears to be dummy funnel midships with a very slim 'real' funnel aft. Considering the date of the photograph, was this a common practice to disguise valuable tankers during the war? It is the first time I have ever seen or heard of this.

(I have already mentioned this as a comment to an unrelated photograph in the gallery, but to reach a much wider/knowledgeable audience I thought I would start a thread here.)

gdynia
30th August 2006, 12:45
Found this on a webpage with a Google search using Dummy Funnels on Wartime Ships

The decoy ships
In November 1914, whilst progressively directing as many destroyers and other smaller craft as could be spared into anti-submarine duty, the British (and French) created the first of a small flotilla of decoy ships to expressly deal with the German U-boats. These ships came to be known as Q-ships. But they were also known as Mystery Ships, Decoy Ships or Special Service Ships. The class designation 'Q' is said to have been derived from the British naval base at Queenstown, in Ireland, where many of these ships were based. The majority of the Royal Navy's Q-ships was quite small in size - less than 4,000 tons - and included sailing ships, tramp steamers, coasters, colliers, fishing boats and marine tugs. They were deliberately kept or made to look old and run down, and usually bore a false name. Often, various false names were used at different times. The ship would often be painted in the colours of neutral nations and the silhouette of the ship changed by additions to the superstructure and by the erection of dummy funnels and masts.

Baltic Wal
30th August 2006, 13:08
BRITISH CAVALIER was built as the EMPIRE CAVALIER in 1942 and there were cases where these Empires were built with a dummy funnel to hide the fact that it was a tanker, the after funnel was designed as king posts. I have a photo of the EMPIRE CAVALIER from the NMM and there is a photo of the EMPIRE CHAPMAN in the excellent book Empire Ships by Mitchell and Sawyer.

I am not sure how many were built in this format

This was not a Q ship

jaigee
30th August 2006, 13:32
Spot on Baltic Wal (Thumb), I have just had a quick look on the NMM site and found this short description about the Empire Cavalier (subsequently re-named British Cavalier):

EMPIRE CAVALIER (Br) 50.1 1942
Tanker, Norwegian' type, motor
Ministry of War Transport, (Mungo, Campbell & Co Ltd, managers)

She has a dummy funnel rigged amidships, disguising her identity as a
tanker, her engine exhausts being led up a pair of
kingposts on the poop. Forward, a second
pair of kingposts support the dummy funnel and there is
a further pair right forward.

Peter4447
30th August 2006, 14:44
Dummy funnels were a common practice in the second world war for tankers. On this subject it is interesting to note the a few liberty ships were also built as tankers, although outwardly their liberty ship appearance was unchanged.
In the First World War, the Royal Fleet Auxiliary operated six, 5900 gross ton, fast tankers built on cargo ship lines with the funnel amidships. Cargo capacity was about 5,400 tons. They were designed to carry US oil to the UK and also to act at the same time as escorts to Atlantic convoys. They were named after leafs (Brambleleaf, Cherryleaf etc) and were manned by the commercial firm of Lane & MacAndrew. The Orangeleaf of this class lasted until 1946.
Peter4447 (Thumb)

John Rogers
31st August 2006, 02:52
I sailed on a old tanker that had a funnel mid-ships she was named the Athelmere, I believe she was built pre-war.
John.

Indie Boy
10th May 2007, 17:29
BRITISH CAVALIER was built as the EMPIRE CAVALIER in 1942 and there were cases where these Empires were built with a dummy funnel to hide the fact that it was a tanker, the after funnel was designed as king posts. I have a photo of the EMPIRE CAVALIER from the NMM and there is a photo of the EMPIRE CHAPMAN in the excellent book Empire Ships by Mitchell and Sawyer.

I am not sure how many were built in this format

This was not a Q ship

Hello,
I was on the EMPIRE CHAPMAN during the early 50's, when she was the BRITISH COMMANDO.
Where can one obtain the book ?

John_F
10th May 2007, 19:40
There is a photo in the gallery of the British Bombardier - the ex Empire Fusilier - after her conversion to "tanker looks":
http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/38228/cat/503/si/british/perpage/12
Kind regards,
John

stan mayes
11th May 2007, 00:26
During September 1944 I worked by EMPIRE BOMBARDIER in Tilbury drydock.Her dummy funnel straddled the flying bridge.She was also fitted with AND gear,torpedo protection nets..Goalpost masts with booms and nets.
She was launched as EMPIRE FUSILIER end of 1942 but completed as EMPIRE BOMBARDIER ..Managed by BTC..In 1946 she was purchased by BTC and renamed...Scrapped in Belgium in 1959

albatross1923
11th May 2007, 15:56
During September 1944 I worked by EMPIRE BOMBARDIER in Tilbury drydock.Her dummy funnel straddled the flying bridge.She was also fitted with AND gear,torpedo protection nets..Goalpost masts with booms and nets.
She was launched as EMPIRE FUSILIER end of 1942 but completed as EMPIRE BOMBARDIER ..Managed by BTC..In 1946 she was purchased by BTC and renamed...Scrapped in Belgium in 1959
Joined above ship when she was British Bombardier my first ship in my sea going career fitted out as above queens dock glasgow sailed 5TH ENGR
1ST AUGUST 1946 1ST JUNE 1947 PAID OFF GLASGOW
HOPE THIS IS OF SOME HELP KINDEST REGARDS
YOURS ALBATROSS 1923 R340006