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Old 13th March 2014, 18:37
Novice 9 Novice 9 is offline  
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Good photographic site from Canada;dc
It is quite slow in loading but have a lot of pre-WW2 ships
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Old 19th March 2014, 02:07
Stillmum Stillmum is offline  
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I have just transcribed an oral history interview with a crew member of HMS Savage, one of the escort ships supporting destroyers and supply ships into Russia to defeat the post WW2 blockade. This was for an organisation called Legasee, if you are interested which is making various WW2 and later interviews public. It can be found at

I also have snippets of an interview transcription from 1993 ish of a 107 yr old man who worked on Merchant sailing ships out of Liverpool until his retirement. Also he was at Gallipoli. If people are interested I could scan in what I have (unfortunately only summaries- the tape and transcript went to the Centre for Policy on Ageing)
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Old 26th March 2014, 22:21
Iangb Iangb is offline  
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A quick plug for Flotilla Australia. John Hoskin's excellent site is an invaluable source for anyone with an interest in the history of Australian shipping.
John is asking for donations to help keep the site going, and I reckon that it's worthy cause......he's even offering free historic postcards in exchange for donations.
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Old 4th April 2014, 07:43
Barrie Youde Barrie Youde is offline  
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This is a long shot.

Please, could anybody advise where a crew-list might be found for a Portuguese merchant ship (September 1967- May1968)?

Information is that a long-established Portuguese Registry closed in 1975. It is hoped that records might have been transferred elsewhere. Any information would be most gratefully received.

Many thanks,

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Old 25th June 2014, 15:04
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Sama Sama is offline  
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On-Line Resources

Here are some on-line resources I have found useful.

Lloyd’s Register of Ships online:

Mercantile Navy List:

Board of Trade Wreck Reports:
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Old 30th June 2014, 19:38
DoreenAppleby DoreenAppleby is offline  
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Thanks for that information I will check out the sites not having much luck up to now

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Old 11th July 2014, 20:15
NAUCLER NAUCLER is offline  
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A first instance to turn to is the Head offices or Archive Service of the National Archives in any country - they can always search in archive databases or document archives where an archive is located and give you an address of the very location. Another good institution is Always the national Maritime Museum in the very country - and Portugal has probably the oldest national merchant navy traditions than any other country here in Europe - in fact they discovered Waters beyond Europe to India and China before most other countries. To my own research experience, all contacts south of Germany and outside Scandinavia/Britain should be written on paper letters to the Director of the actual National Archives - e-mails are treated with no or minimal responsibility in most Central and Southern European countries and by pure luck you can get a reply in that way, often they can read English, but replies often returns with the own local home language.

So the National Archive Agency or National archives ant the main National (or local as well) Maritime museums are good starts in this case, I guess. Also local maritime journals can have access to local crew clubs and interests of closed companies - always with extraordinary local and company knowledge. Good luck and good hunting!

Originally Posted by Barrie Youde View Post
This is a long shot.

Please, could anybody advise where a crew-list might be found for a Portuguese merchant ship (September 1967- May1968)?

Information is that a long-established Portuguese Registry closed in 1975. It is hoped that records might have been transferred elsewhere. Any information would be most gratefully received.

Many thanks,

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Old 13th July 2014, 16:10
poseidon9 poseidon9 is offline
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Does anyone know how long do they keep shiplists of port authorities from the past in archives? If I needed to know, which ships visited a port on a certain day in the past, where do I get the information? Can I find that info myself or do I need to ask for it somewhere? Thanks for possible answers.
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Old 19th August 2014, 11:42
benboats benboats is offline  
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Have just found a fantastic site said to be better than Lloyds giving all the info you need from1868 .
this is frm the site
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Old 21st September 2014, 01:25
BillPascoeDaughter BillPascoeDaughter is offline  
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How wonderful!
I haven't seen mention of the National Maritime Museum, Cornwall. I used their research service recently - volunteer researchers try to answer your questions - I found some answers. Also they have a page of research resources here:
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Old 21st September 2014, 09:55
DoreenAppleby DoreenAppleby is offline  
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Many thanks for the thread there seems to be lots of information I will have a good look at the site tonight I intend to spend the day in my garden it is so sunny today.
Thanks again

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Old 26th November 2014, 06:53
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rickles23 rickles23 is offline  
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Good photographs of WW1 and some WW2 photographs.

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Old 27th April 2015, 15:01
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davidships davidships is offline  
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MIRAMAR - Just to note that a server problem has hit Miramar over the weekend. Roger is hoping it will be fixed tonight/tomorrow
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Old 27th April 2015, 16:55
retfordmackem retfordmackem is offline  
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Originally Posted by KenLin39 View Post
Hi, spotted this site today. Just type in ships name. Ken.
did not work Ken
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Old 30th June 2015, 21:57
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Hugh MacLean Hugh MacLean is offline
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Crew lists of the British Merchant Navy - 1915

Crew lists of the British Merchant Navy - 1915. Free and searchable.

"If Blood was the price
We had to pay for our freedom
Then the Merchant Ship Sailors
Paid it in full”
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Old 24th February 2017, 14:20
poseidon9 poseidon9 is offline
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I wonder, if records for Russian and Chinese inland and river ships are available also somewhere outside of these countries.
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Old 16th May 2018, 07:08
Douglas Paterson Douglas Paterson is offline  
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For anyone interested in the history of the fishing boats and their owners please see this link to a new section on my website. Over time I should be able to add lists for all the years from approx 1900 to 1948.
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Old 1st August 2018, 12:13
Deepankar Choudhury Deepankar Choudhury is offline
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There are many different aspects to merchant navy background considerable details endures about British vendor delivers, which you can discover.

Merchant fast record is spread through various sources in a number of collections and records, and what prevails and the location of that details depends on the type of boat, its background the period.

General sources
Voyage records
Merchant ship crew records
Passenger records
Shipowner records
Final fates of ships
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Old 29th August 2018, 18:23
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Theron Theron is offline
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US Searches

The following may help with U.S. records. It is somewhat out of date since I have found additional records via and Fold3. Ancestry provides links to immigration records listing passengers and crews, while Fold3 offers access to U.S. Naval deck logs, Naval shore station reports AND UK Admiralty War diaries.


Theron P. Snell, Ph.D

Unfortunately for researchers, tracing U.S. WWII era merchant seamen and their wartime histories is complicated by the fact that the merchant service was a business first and foremost. While the War Shipping Administration (WSA) requisitioned and managed the merchant fleet, the ships themselves...and their crews...were operated and employed by private companies. Shipping companies took care of finding crews and the day to day operation of the vessels under contract with the WSA. The upshot is that the merchant seamen were civilians working for private companies. Unlicensed seamen got their jobs through the hiring halls, and the licensed officers were hired directly by the companies.

This business practice also complicates locating operational records of
any given ship. For the most part, the traditional "deck logs" have been
destroyed. In the words of US Coast Guard Information Paper #77 : "Deck logs were traditionally considered the property of the owners of the ship. After WWII, however, the deck and engine logbooks of vessels operated by the WSA [note: almost the entire fleet] were turned over to that agency by the shipowners, and were destroyed during the 1970's."

With all of this said, there are still records available, especially if you
know the name of the ship on which the person being researched actually sailed. The rest of this short piece will outline some of these records and what information they may contain. This report is divided into two major sections: 1. records pertaining to individual ships and 2. convoy records that can provide larger contexts for the individual ships in each convoy. The records are listed from most useful (the easiest to access by mail) to the least useful.


The surviving operational records of any ship, managerial records that may mention the ship and records of convoy operations are spread throughout the various records groups in The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). Fortunately, NARA is on-line at:http:// <>. Once in the site, click on "Search" and type in the records you want. You will get a list of the Records Groups that contain the records and can then "click" on the Group for a general list of files within the Records Group. You can also e-mail inquiries directly to NARA at: [email protected] <mailto:[email protected]>

To help with your search, here are several kinds of records, what you might find in them , their Records Group in NARA. and which National Archives Center holds them. Keep in mind that all the records listed here can vary in quality and completeness from voyage to voyage. Some reports are detailed while the report filed for the next voyage and written by another person might be sketchy at best.


"Ship Movement Card"

Perhaps the most central record needed is the "Ship Movement Card." This card lists all the voyages: ports of call, arrival and sailing dates and the convoy designation if any. The Cards may also contain miscellaneous information. The Card for the SS SANTA MARGARITA, for example, lists specific diversions for submarine threats as well as the record of a serious cargo fire while docked at Calcutta, India. These cards, filed by ship name, are held at NARA II:

National Archives and Records Administration
8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD 20740

"Armed Guard Voyage Reports" and Ship Files

Once the dates of voyages are known, then specific reports can be ordered. The best single source for operational details are usually the "Voyage Reports" filed by the commanding officer of the Naval Armed Guard Detachment on board the ship. These were the naval ratings who manned the guns. These reports can be perfunctory, but can also contain a great amount of detail. Reports are filed by ship name in RG 38; each ship file may also contain copies of individual messages sent/received, Armed Guard crew lists and other material, including survivors' statements if the vessel was sunk. Additionally, Naval Armed Guard "smooth logs" can be found in RG 24. These logs are the "official" record taken from the "rough" day to day log of the Armed Guard detachment. These list formal inspection
times, times the crew stood to, etc. These records are located at NARA II in College Park, MD

"Official Logs"

"Official Log Books" were issued to U.S. registered vessels engaged in
foreign trade at the beginning of each voyage. The masters turned them in after the voyage terminated. During WWII, these books were turned over to the U.S. Coast Guard and later filed in the regional archive closest to each ship's home port. Official Logs should not be confused with the traditional deck logs in which the ship masters recorded daily entries listing position, rpm's and the general operations of the ship.

Instead, "Official Logs" included a crew list and went on to record
incidents affecting the crew's health and welfare. The entries included
accidents, illnesses and crew disciplinary matters requiring the forfeiture of pay as well as routine company business issues such as monies advanced to the ship's master by the Shipping Company 's agents overseas. The logs also listed ports of call and the arrival/departure dates as well as shipboard drills and any accidents involving the ship. Thus, while it is not always possible to look up a single individual and trace his career in Federal records, it is possible to verify that the person did sail on board
a specific vessel on a specific trip.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Although these logs are available from The National Archives as outlined below, the copies will not be complete. The only parts of the log available to the public are the crew list itself, the list of ports of call if included, a lists of safety drills and any entries involving damage to the ship herself. The crew disciplinary and health records are NOT considered public record.

The following information on how to locate the Official Logs comes from the U.S. Coast Guard's "Reference Paper #77 , UNITED STATES MERCHANT VESSEL LOGBOOKS.

To obtain as much of the "Official Log" that is available, you must provide:The full name of the vesselThe name of the port where the voyage ended (normally the "home port")The approximate dates of the voyage.

This information is found on the "Ship Movement Card" detailed above.

If the logbook can be located, you will receive the logbook cover, page 3 showing the inclusive dates of the voyage, name of the master and usually the ports visited and the dates. I have also received entries detailing damage to the vessel and the lists of safety drills held at sea. NOTE: I have since requested REDACTED versions of these logs. I received copies of all pages but with the names of crew members involved in incidents redacted, leaving the incidents.

The addresses for each of the eight regional National Archives and the ports for which they hold logs are as follows. The ports listed below are for *WWII only,* but these archives hold both prewar and postwar records for these ports as well as for a few other ports not included below.


New England Region Boston, Ma;
Portsmouth, NH; Portland,
380 Trapelo Road ME; Providence, RI
Waltham, MA 02154
[email protected] <mailto:[email protected]> <>

New York City
Northeast Region
210 Varick Street
New York, NY 10014-4811
[email protected] <mailto:[email protected]> <>

NOTE: The logs for the Port of New York are filed by number. To obtain the correct logbook number, send requests that include full ship name and the dates of the desired voyages to:

The U.S. Coast Guard
Marine Inspection Office
Investigative Section, Room 312
Battery Park Building
New York, NY 10004-1466

The National Archives-Northeast Region needs the logbook number before they can search for the book.

Mid-Atlantic Region Philadelphia, PA;
Baltimore, MD;
9th and Market Streets, Room 1350 Norfolk, VA;
Wilmington, DE;
Philadelphia, PA 19107
[email protected] <mailto:[email protected]> <>

Southeast Region Savannah, GA;
Jacksonville, FL;
1557 St. Joseph Ave. Miami, FL; Tampa,
FL; Charleston, SC
East point, GA 30344
[email protected] <mailto:[email protected]> <>

Southwest Region Corpus Christi, TX;
Galveston, TX;
P.O. Box 6216 Houston, TX; Mobile, AL;
New Orleans,
Ft. Worth, TX 76115 LA; Port Arthur, TX
[email protected] <mailto:[email protected]> <>

Pacific Southwest Region Los Angeles,
CA; Port San Luis, CA (in-
P.O. Box 6719 includes only crew lists and
shipping articles)
Laguna Niguel, CA 92607
[email protected] <mailto:[email protected]> <>

Pacific Sierra Region San Francisco, CA
1000 Commodore Drive
San Bruno, CA 94066
[email protected] <mailto:[email protected]> <>

Pacific Northwest Region Seattle, WA;
Portland, OR;
6125 Sand point Way, NE
Seattle, WA 98115
[email protected] <mailto:[email protected]> <>

"Secret Logs"

"Secret Logs" contain what was considered to be confidential or sensitive information such as convoy designations, ship movements, route changes, placement within the convoy and enemy contacts. They include noon and evening star positions (longitude and latitude), distance steamed, ships contacted and routine events such as arrival and departure times. The logs also list miscellaneous events and even occasional radio messages received from higher authorities. These logs are, in some senses, a "smooth' version of the traditional deck logs. Though not as complete, these records provide an overview of a ship's voyage. These "Secret Logs' are held by the same regional archive that holds the "Official Logs" for
each vessel.

NOTE: By luck, I discovered that some of the logs listed as "Secret Logs" for the S.S. SANTA MARGARITA were indeed the traditional deck logs. It is definitely worth following through with these records.

"Vessel Performance and Cargo Reports"

These reports were filed with the Collector of Customs and include reports for vessels both departing from and arriving IN the United States. The reports have two parts. The first part lists the vessel's particulars including gross tonnage, speed, type of engine, cargo capacity, owner/operator, charter agent and agent at port of departure, charterer, shipping line, etc.

Secondly, the reports list port of call, date of arrival, time delays in
port and the cause, tons of cargo loaded and unloaded at each port
listed. For return trips, the reports include the ports of call prior to
arrival. The report also provides a summary of cargo carried , cargo
loaded at each ports and the names of the ports at which the cargo was to be discharged. They break down the cargo into long tons and cubic feet, where stored (under deck and on deck), and it goes on to list cargo by major classification and the weights. Any cargo under ten tons was listed as general. If troops were carried, the reports only note that cargo was loaded for A.T.S. (Army Transportation Service ) with no further information forthcoming due to security precautions. NOTE: THESE ARE NOT COMPLETE MANIFESTS.

These reports are most valuable for assessing a ship's role in the war
effort. They provide the best sense of what the ship was carrying both to and from the Unites States, and they illustrate the flow of goods and the logistical network upon which modern war depends. The records also offer the most accurate list of ports of call and illustrate the business side of the war. The reports are found in RG 178 Maritime Commission Records, Entry 112, Cargo, Mail Passenger Reports.War Shipping Administration (WSA) Records

Early on during the war, Admiral Emory S. Land and the other Maritime Commission administrators realized that the shipbuilding and the ship managing roles needed to be separate. To that end, the WSA was formed, with Admiral Land taking over its directorship while also maintaining his role as director of the Maritime Commission.

The WSA records, held in RG 248, are very convoluted, organized around sections of the WSA as well as by the papers of various administrators of those sections. Only a few of these records are organized by ship name. To use them well, one must know the make-up of the WSA as well as details of the voyages taken by the vessel in question. This makes using these records by mail very difficult. These would be the last records to check, since they were not generated by the ship, but rather by the land-based administrative managers of that ship.

To use these records, first access the records guide using NARA's web
site. Then use the data available from the "Ship Movement Card" to
pinpoint records that might prove fruitful. There are very useful
records, especially if the vessel in question made trips to Russia. Some of the Russia records are filed by ship name, eg.: "Outward Cargo Documentation Russian Shipping Area Vessel Files (E-28)." Additionally, The Maxwell Brandwen Papers (E-4) contain several boxes of material pertaining to shipping to and from the Persian Gulf, including daily loading operations and lists of ships in the area (Boxes 9a-h).

These records (RG 248) as well as most of the WWII Maritime Commission records in RG 178 are located at:

National Archives and Records Administration
Old Military and Civil Records
Textual Archives Services Division
Washington, D.C. 20408

NOTE: THIS May be out of date; the records may have been sent to NARA.

Currently, the U.S. Maritime Administration holds WWII correspondence files for individual vessels. These files pertain to both the construction and operational histories of each ship and include letters to and from WSA, the shipbuilding company and the shipping companies managing the particular vessel. Shipbuilding correspondence is held in the MARAD files 506-2-2-1 while the operational correspondence can be found in the 901 files. These files are valuable additions to tracing the operational history of a ship. The files on the SANTA MARGARITA, for example, contained minor design changes as she was being built as well as operational correspondence and extensive reports covering specific incidents involving the ship or her management. The records are quite
varied and are arranged chronologically.

IMPORTANT: Due to their organization and to the fact that there is no
provision for long distance research, these records are virtually
impossible to access by mail and require a personal visit to the Maritime Administration's Records Management Office. Contact the office at:

U. S. Maritime Administration
Records Management Office
400 Seventh Street SW
Washington, D.C. 20590

Be aware that there will be long delays in the response since the Records Management office is small and not staffed to do archival searches. TRY NARA FIRST!


The following Records actually provide operational information on the
convoys in which a ship might have sailed. The convoy designations for each trip can be found on the "Ship Movement Card." THE HAGUE LIST WORKS TOO...EXCEPT YOU MAY BE LIMITED TO NUMBERS OF SEARCHES.

Keep in mind that each convoy had two "commanders:" A convoy commodore managed the ships of the convoy, while the escort commander managed the naval escorts. BOTH commanders filed reports. The various records should be compared since
each focuses upon only one element of the convoy.

"Tenth Fleet Convoy and Routing Files"

These files, located in NARA II at College Park, MD, vary in substance, from very sketchy information to substantial. The files can contain lists of ships and escorts in the convoy, a map of the convoy route taken, messages passed between higher headquarters and the convoy commander, and the convoy commodore's report. Much of the message traffic covers routine, "housekeeping" issues such as the time of departure of each vessel, changes
in convoy routing , changes to the destinations of specific ships, and the like. They provide some indication of cargo as well. The convoy
commodore's reports, though, when done well, provide an excellent
operational narrative of the convoy: ships in difficulty, incidents that
occurred as well as the arrival and departures of ships from the convoy.

Also in RG 38 can be found the escort commanders' reports for
convoys. These reports are filed by Task Group, information that can be gained from the Tenth Fleet reports just cited. These reports, too, vary in content, but can provide useful operational information. These reports list escorts, merchant ships and their destinations, convoy
route, changes to the convoy and contacts or possible contacts with the enemy.

"Naval Deck Logs" (Subscribe to FOLD3 is easier)

Naval deck logs for each escort are also available. These logs record day to day incidents on board ship, including house keeping duties, crew issues as well as contacts with other ships and with the enemy. These logs become invaluable when sorting out rumors and what naval ships had direct contact with what merchant ships. The "Convoy Commodores' Reports, however, may
have much of the same general contact data (though not the house keeping details and specific actions) for all escorts; so it would be best to start with the various convoy reports and then seek individual deck logs to verify or find additional information about specific incidents. These records are filed by ship name and are located in Washington, D.C.

"Routing Instructions and Sailing Orders."

Located in RG 276 and held by NARA-Northeast, these records are more general. The routing instructions are mimeographed instructions given to all vessels in a given convoy. This material includes code names, routes to be followed and operational instructions for ships to follow. There is also the list of who received these instructions for each ship. Sailing orders, on the other hand, contain oversized chart listing all the ships in a convoy, masters, a general description of cargo and final destination. There also is a smaller chart illustrating the initial position of each ship in the convoy itself. The records are organized by convoy and date.


I trust at least some of this material is helpful.
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Old 14th June 2019, 00:36
aberhlj aberhlj is offline
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I have about twenty photos of crew members of HMS Springdale if anyone would like copies, a degaussing ship, which was at the Fall of Singapore.
My dad was Lietenant aboard and I have his diary from the time.
He made it to Australia and eventually back to Britain.
I'm trying to find out what ship he was on for D day.
I know he was in Scapa Flow before D day and I remember as a child he told me he was on the "lead ship, lead flotilla" with the admiral aboard.
He said he had a map with all the planes and ships and timings on it, about which he had to keep the admiral informed.
As a child that stuck with me as he laughed when I asked why he couldn't "just look out of the window"!
Maddeningly, I have no recollection of what ship he was on!!!
If anyone can help point me in the most likely direction, I'd be so grateful! I've tried on line searches of the government site but have come up with nothing so far.
He was also on the South African liner, Capetown Castle when it was converted to a troop carrier.
Many thanks!!
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Old 10th August 2019, 13:52
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The Loftsman The Loftsman is offline
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For research on ships built at Leith

A great start for anyone looking for ships built at Leith

Also the Blog at
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Leith-built Ships Vol 1 Cover.jpg (124.1 KB, 1 views)
The Loftsman

"Fairline" A line that is pleasing to the eye.
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Old 2nd May 2020, 05:12
Chillytoes Chillytoes is offline  
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I'm trying to access the BoT Wreck Report for SS Austral which sunk in Sydney Harbour, November 1882. I have tried the PortCities site (part of a group and a list of the wreck reports can be found there, but when I click on 1883, the site defaults to the home page. The same happens whatever year I click on. There is a posting in this thread a couple of years ago recommending the PortCities site but it just doesn't work for me. Am I missing something?
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Old 2nd May 2020, 10:36
wightspirit wightspirit is offline  
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It's here:

This might also be of interest:

Dave W
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Old 3rd May 2020, 01:07
Chillytoes Chillytoes is offline  
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Thanks Dave!
I don’t know why I couldn’t access this report. Tried with my computer, my iPad and my iPhone. Always the same result - no result! Is there some trick?
Again, many thanks.
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Old 3rd May 2020, 05:31
Chillytoes Chillytoes is offline  
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I have now read the Austral's Wreck Report, most concerning! After reading it and the report in the Nautical Magazine of November 1883, one can only feel anger at the gross ignorance and prejudice in that publication.
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