I am trying to get feedback from members - who might have some stories to share on the Unicorn Shipping Line in South African waters - I have quite a few images of their various ships
I hope this brings back some good memoriesSailed with them when called African Coasters way back in 1965, first ship was the Voorspeler then the Horizon on the magic run Durban-Port Louie. one time I was sent out to see what spares could be removed from one of the ship's laid up in Durban harbour but the African AB/Motor man weren't keen to go on board as they believed the ship was haunted by someone killed in the E/R, can't remember the name of the ship but know she was a steamer, interesting times.
There is a Safmarine Unicorn group on facebook - which is very active - perhaps you can send your request to them attaching 4 images of your Mkuzi as mentionedMy late father in law Captain Neil MacAlister was in command of the Mkuze around 1981- it was the last ship he was on before he died in 1984.
Neil MacAlister survived the sinking of the Dalesman and was captured while still a Merchant Navy Cadet Officer. He was interned Marlag und Milag Nord (Milag Section), Westertimke (Tarnstedt), Germany.
Milag was the Prison Camp for Merchant Navy Personnel and Marlag was the Prison Camp for Royal Navy & Commonwealth Navy Personnel.
The S.S. Dalesman was a 6 343 Ton Merchant Ship built in 1940. She was bombed and sunk by the German Luftwaffe in Suda Bay Harbour during the Battle of Crete on 14 May 1941. (This date was most probably when Neil became a Prisoner of War). The S.S. Dalesman was later salvaged and used by the German’s but recovered by Allied Forces after the War. She was Scrapped in 1956.
Neil MacAlister signed on the “Queen Mary “ in Southampton 9th December 1952 as Inter/3/Officer he was 31 years of age with 14 ½ years service his height was 5’ - 9” the ship arrived New York 21st December 1952, having sailed from Southampton 16th December 1952, he was still signed on when the ship arrived again in New York 5th January 1953, having sailed from Southampton 31st December 1952
Neil MacAlister signed on the “Queen Elizabeth “ in Southampton 2nd March 1955 as Jnr 2nd Officer he was 31 years of age with 17 years service, The ship arrived New York 4th April 1955 having sailed from Southampton, he was still signed on when the ship arrived again New York 19th April 1955
He did several trips on “Caroina” in 1951/52 . Chief officer on the “Assyria” in 1955 October, 3 trips on the “Fort Cadotte” in 1948/49, to mention but a few.
He spent several years with De Beers captaining diamond dredger off South West Africa as well as running a rock-lobster factory ship on the Island of Tristan Da Cunha.
He last years at sea was with Unicorn where he sailed the Mkuze and car carrier that he bought from her maiden voyage in St Nazaire in the later 197O's
Does anyone remember him or have photos of him? sadly his wife destroyed all his naval records and photos when she started losing it.
thanks in advance
Were you on Tugela when they sold all the bar goods in preparation for the ship being sold?I joined Unicorn in 86 straight from college as jr/o. They took 4 of us on from the UK. Sailed on the Nahoon and Tugela. Not long after that they got the two big ro/ro's Border and Barrier. They replaced the Nahoon and Kowie on the coast. Had a great time.
I am fortunate to have this book on Unicorn Lines - written by Brian Ingpen - he also wrote one or two books on Safmarine - he still has a shipping colom in one of our local shipping newspaper colom's - and a list of Unicorn Shipping fleet in 1982 - hope it brings back good memories
Thank you to all who responded with their replies and stories