Liberty ship LEICESTER Federal SNC - Ships Nostalgia
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Liberty ship LEICESTER Federal SNC

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  #1  
Old 18th October 2018, 00:00
Stephen J. Card's Avatar
Stephen J. Card Stephen J. Card is offline  
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Liberty ship LEICESTER Federal SNC

LEICESTER : Federal Steam Navigation Co.

I have several photos of the LEICESTER, one showing the ship in Bermuda, September 1948.

I am looking at details on the cross trees on all three masts. On the outer end of the three there are fittings that I cannot identify. The fitting might be some kind of davit, The base appears to about 36 inches high and diameter 24 inches. The arm would be, say 48 inches (approx). The same fittings are on photos of the ship when she was in war as SAMESK. She came to Federal in 1947.

One might be a davit to lowering the blocks coming down for overhaul. I don't think so. Also might be for hoisting cargo clusters. I don't think so.

Oh, I have gone through of hundreds of photos of Liberty ships. None of the ship seem to have the odd fittings.

Any idea?

Many thanks,

Stephen
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File Type: jpg leicester foundation josephine img759.jpg (120.3 KB, 100 views)
File Type: jpg leicester foundation josephine.jpg (395.9 KB, 84 views)
File Type: jpg Leicester%20Moored%20before%203rd%20hurricane.jpg (36.8 KB, 86 views)
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  #2  
Old 18th October 2018, 07:31
R651400 R651400 is offline  
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Blue Funnel managed and eventually bought eight WW2 Sam class liberties.
Pictorially only one of them appears to show cross-trees with similar addition.
Laid down (Bethlehem-Fairfield Baltimore No.2250) as the ss Simon B Elliott completed as Samnesse and under Blue Funnel as Eumaeus/Glen Line Glenshiel.
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  #3  
Old 18th October 2018, 08:26
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David Wilcockson David Wilcockson is offline  
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Could they be lashing points for vertically stowed derricks when high capacity deck cargo carried?

There is a photo of Ericbank at Cape Town with the same fixtures.

Last edited by David Wilcockson; 18th October 2018 at 08:51..
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Old 18th October 2018, 08:53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen J. Card View Post
LEICESTER : Federal Steam Navigation Co.

I have several photos of the LEICESTER, one showing the ship in Bermuda, September 1948.

I am looking at details on the cross trees on all three masts. On the outer end of the three there are fittings that I cannot identify. The fitting might be some kind of davit, The base appears to about 36 inches high and diameter 24 inches. The arm would be, say 48 inches (approx). The same fittings are on photos of the ship when she was in war as SAMESK. She came to Federal in 1947.

One might be a davit to lowering the blocks coming down for overhaul. I don't think so. Also might be for hoisting cargo clusters. I don't think so.

Oh, I have gone through of hundreds of photos of Liberty ships. None of the ship seem to have the odd fittings.

Any idea?

Many thanks,

Stephen
I have not seem these before but could they be fittings to control Carley Floats or some other emergency craft when stowed against the stays?

Howard

Last edited by howardang; 18th October 2018 at 11:15..
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Old 18th October 2018, 09:17
seaman38 seaman38 is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by howardang View Post
I have not seem these before but could they be fittings to control Carley Floats or some other emergency craft when stowed against the stays?

Howard
Carley floats were designed and fastened to stays so that they could be cut away and fall overside, this was on the assumption that every deck seaman carried a knife (which in the old days we did, now its a comb!), in addition that when troops were carried they also had knives. There is a reported incident during WWII that many new troops were drowned 6 miles off the French coast because they had not been given an order to cut the floats free and the vessel sank with Carley floats still fastened to the stays. If memory serves me correct she was the Belgian liner 'Leopoldville'

I would agree that the fittings are for stowing the derricks in a vertical position for deck cargo purposes, as a lot of copra deck cargoes carried in Federals trading areas and it is very voluminous. Also as I recall many if not all NZSC vessels were so equipped on the mast tables
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Old 18th October 2018, 11:40
price price is offline  
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Farley Mowatt relates the story of the Leicester in 1948, her rescue and ultimate fate in his excellent book "The Serpents Coil" ISBN-58574-287-2
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Old 18th October 2018, 13:08
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Thanks everyone. On the ball with Ships Nostalgia this morning.

Definitely a securing point for vertical stowage of derricks. Her is a close photo of BENVRACKIE. Shows to be 'double' points, Hatch 1 and Hatch 2 etc. LEICESTER had fewer points.

Deck cargo? Well, definitely during the war would be considerable amounts of deck cargo and vertical stowage of derricks would be necessary.

Many thanks.

Stephen
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  #8  
Old 18th October 2018, 21:14
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Mast Table extra fittings...

The idea that these unusual fittings were for derricks stowed vertically is half correct. What about the additional derricks that were heeled on the outboard side of masthouses and supported from the table by topping gear? These additional derricks were used to carry anti-torpedo nets that were suspended from the rigs , lowered over the side, and shrouded the vulnerable parts of the ship amidships on both sides. The nets were of metal mesh and were employed slightly above the sea surface and down to perhaps the loaded draught of the ship but often somewhat less than that. These nets were very heavy and difficult to employ but they did stop torpedoes which exploded on contact with the nets perhaps some 15-20 feet from the ship. Seemed to keep ships safe where the system was employed.

A further indication of this facility is/was the cast derrick heel fixture welded to the masthouse sides. Such nets were supposed to be a fixture on all explosive armament-bearing cargo on ships but this was by no means universal. I had not heard of Liberty ships being part of the programme but perhaps some SAM Boats were so fitted after reaching the UK and being assigned to live ammunition-carrying? Andrew Weir's Bank Line had 12 Sam Boats. I did not know of the "Ericbank"s extra features.

Alistair Macnab.
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Last edited by Alistair Macnab; 18th October 2018 at 21:20..
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Old 19th October 2018, 00:11
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There is a picture of the torpedo nets on the Samforth in my gallery.
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Old 19th October 2018, 02:03
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Thanks Alistair.

In 1939 The QUEEN OF BERMUDA was taken up by the Admiralty as an Armed Merchant Cruiser. The decided the ship was decided to be fitted with a full set of anti torpedo nets. After the trails the ship was returning to Portsmouth and the nets were hung from booms off the side of the ship but the nets were raised above the waterline. QOB passed the flagship and a signal was flashed to QOB, " Pardon me Her Majesty, but your slip is showing."

Stephen
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