S.T. Flying Admiral H66

Additional information courtesy of Mike Thompson and Andy Hall


Admiralty Number: 3651
Official Number: 144506
Yard Number: 186
Completed: 1917
As built: 360disp 125.6 x 23.5 x 12.8 feet
Gross Tonnage: 275
Net Tonnage: 106
Length: 125.6 ft
Breadth: 23.4 ft
Depth: 12.6 ft
Built: C. Rennoldson & Co Ltd, South Shields
Engine: 480ihp T.3-cyl and boiler by Shields Engineering & Dry Docks Co Ltd, North Shields


9.7.1917: Launched by C. Rennoldson & Co Ltd, South Shields (Yd.No.186) (“Castle” class) for The Admiralty as JOHN BULLOCK (Ad.No.3651).
1.9.1917: Completed as an armed trawler/minesweeper (1-12pdr).
1.7.1918: Sailed Devonport for Falmouth.
1920: Allocated to the National Fishery Scheme for the setting up of the Minesweepers’ Cooperative Trawling Society Ltd, London.
13.4.1920: Registered by The Admiralty at London (Part I & IV) as John Bullock O.N.144506 (LO345).
5.1920: At John I Thornycroft & Co Ltd, Woolston fitted out for fishing under Special Survey of Lloyd’s Register and on completion classed 100A1 Stm Trawler at Southampton. Laid up.
13.8.1920: Minesweepers’ Cooperative Trawling Society Ltd, London registered.
10.1921: Sold to Société Anonyme Armement Ostendais, Ostend.
1921: Remeasured – Belgian 186g 66n 125.5 x 23.5 x 12.7 feet.
1.11.1921: London registry closed.
11.1921: Registered at Ostend as FILIEP COENEN (O157).
22.2.1939: Sold to Saint Andrew’s Steam Fishing Co Ltd (64/64), Hull following docking and survey at Ostend.
2.1939: Remeasured – 274.56g 106.21n 125.3 x 23.2 x 12.6 feet.
3.1939: Ostend registry closed.
9.3.1939: Registered at Hull as FLYING ADMIRAL (H66) (BoT Minute RG1065/1939 dated 16.2.1939).
9.3.1939: Basil Arthur Parkes, Thornton-le-Fylde designated manager.
1939: Fishing out of Fleetwood.
5.4.1939: First landing at Fleetwood, 786 boxes grossed £926.
9.3.1940: Fishing 12 miles NW of Tory Island, Co. Donegal in company with ALVIS (H52); JOHN MORRICE (A786); PELAGOS (GN55) and SEDOCK (SN12) and reported with the Irish trawler LEUKOS (D86) also in the vicinity. Group approached by U-boat (U.38) which fired a single round at a trawler, hitting her in the engineroom and she subsequently sank. Although no conclusive evidence confirms, the trawler probably was the LEUKOS; all eleven crew lost*.
Pre 4.1940: Employed on Fishery Protection (WA/Fort William/Fleetwood).
30.5.1940: Requisitioned for war service as an auxiliary patrol vessel (Hire rate £80.4.2d/month).
6.1941: At Fleetwood to be released.
31.12.1941: Returned to owner at Fleetwood. Boston Deep Sea Fishing & Ice Co Ltd, managing agents.
28.4.1943: Typical wartime landing, Home Waters. 850 kits – hake-550, ling/coley-300.
3.3.1945: Sold to Hull Merchants Amalgamated Trawlers Ltd (64/64), Hull.
15.3.1945: Thomas Hudson designated manager.
8.11.1945: Registered at Hull as BENGHAZI (H66) (MoWT Minute RG 1062/1945 dated 6.11.1945). 11.1945: Insured value £20,000; for 1946 proposed same.
9.11.1945: Sailed Hull for North Sea grounds (Sk. G. Cooper).
21.11.1945: At Hull landed 754 kits, £2041 gross.
27.12.1946: Sailed Hull for Faroe grounds (Sk. Fred Dale); sixteen crew all told.
30.12.1946: At about 2.00am in position 120 miles NNW of Dennis Head, North Ronaldsay, hit unidentified object and leaking. Wick radio in contact following message “ … Bailing with buckets, require assistance; proceeding Faroes on course NW by N; require someone to stand by. “ At 3.30am. informed Wick radio that he had no pumps working and had 80miles to run to reach Faroes. At 4.30am Thorshavn radio stated that HnoMS HOLGERDANSKE had left Skala Fjord, Faroes and was proceeding at 17knots to stand by; ETA 11.00am. At 5.00pm. entered Skala Fjord and berthed at Thorshavn.
20.1.1947: At Hull landed 81 kits, £287 gross from broken trip.
31.1.1947: Sailed Hull for Faroe grounds, last trip before sale (Sk. Sydney Cousins).
4.2.1947: Sold to Stanley Sanger (64/64), Plymouth.
17.2.1947: At Hull landed 441 kits, £790 gross.
28.2.1947: Vessel mortgaged (64/64) to Bowmaker Ltd, Lansdowne, Bournemouth (A).
6.3.1947: Stanley Sanger designated managing owner. Boston Deep Sea Fishing & Ice Co Ltd, Fleetwood, managing agents.
31.3.1947: Sailed Fleetwood for Icelandic grounds (Sk. John Anderton); sixteen crew+ all told.
23.4.1947: Returning from Iceland grounds after a trip plagued by bad weather causing damage to structure and loss of one boat and with a catch of just over 500 boxes, put into Oban to replenish bunkers/stores. At 10.45pm. sailed for Fleetwood in good weather.
24.4.1947: In the early hours running through Firth of Lorne, caught by northwest gale (gusting 70mph) and in heavy rain and poor visibility, struck rocks off Eilean Dubh Beag (little Black Isle) and came fast with waves sweeping across the decks as she fell on her beam ends. Distress call made and in response Tobermory lifeboat launched at 1.30am. Twelve crew + abandoned in remaining boat (some reports state that a ‘passenger’ was onboard making thirteen in the boat, but this cannot be verified). In the boat the plug (bung) was missing and boat started to fill with water, ingress stemmed by 2nd Eng. Charles Bevan with his hand and laying in the bottom of the boat. On reaching shore on the west side of the island of Luing, despite all efforts, Bevan died from hypothermia; survivors walked across to Toberonochy. Four men, Skipper, Mate, Bosun and deckhand Francis (Frank) Duncan remained onboard with distress calls continuing to be made, but in the pitch black night and the ship bumping about and being swept by heavy seas, Duncan disappeared; he was presumed drowned. Sometime later vessel floated clear and righted herself only to fetch up on the rocks on west side of Fladda Island, Luing Sound and the three men were able to scramble ashore and make their way to the lighthouse; later taken off by the Tobermory lifeboat. All survivors subsequently taken and landed at Oban.
25.4.1947: With the hope of getting her off, a salvage tug was despatched from the Clyde.
26.4.1947: In a further gale, vessel slipped off rocks and sank. Declared a Total Loss.
14.5.1947: Mortgage (A) discharged.
9.8.1947: Hull registry closed. “Vessel sunk in the Firth of Lorne on 23rd April 1947 and accepted as a total loss … “

(Crew + – All Fleetwood unless stated. Sk. John Anderton; Charles F. Whiteside, Mate; Thomas Anderton, Bosun; H. Clark, Ch Eng; Charles H. Bevan, 2nd Eng; J. Barber, W. Gladwell, H. Hewitt, Frank Duncan, A. Roberts, Gorton, R. Rawlinson, Liverpool, H. Bailey Manchester, deckhands; J. Swinger, Hull and G. S. King, Liverpool, firemen; A. Skeggs, Grimsby, cook; R. G. Dunn, Liverpool, assist cook.)

(LEUKOS Lost* – Sk. James P. Thomason (28), Fleetwood & Dublin; William Donnelly, Blackpool, Mate; P. J. Scanlon, Cleethorpes, Bosun; Alexander McLeod, Stornoway, Ch Eng; Bernard Smith (23), Dublin, 2nd Eng; Thomas Mulligan, Fleetwood & Dublin & Anthony Pill, Fleetwood & Dublin, deckhands; Michael Cullen (17), Dublin, fireman; Patricio McCarthy (42) Dublin, cook; James Hawkins (17) Fleetwood & Dublin & Robert Sumler (16), Fleetwood & Dublin, apprentices.)

(John Bullock, Private, Marine, age 28, b. Tenbury, Herefordshire – VICTORY (ML143))

Click to enlarge image

S.T. Benghazi H66

S.T. Benghazi H66
Picture from the Internet

Notes : Twelve crew scrambled aboard the lifeboat but a bung was missing. Mr Bevan decided there was no time to look for the missing bung, and fearful the vessel was about to sink, he put his hand in the hole to stem the icy water.
It was decided to push off and for two hours they pulled for safety in atrocious conditions. All the time Mr Bevan kept his hands over the open bung hole and was lying in the water at the bottom of the boat.
The crew said later, “I doubt if we would have reached the shore if it had not been for Charlie. He never grumbled after we reached land and we tried to keep him warm with our clothing. But the ordeal had been too much and he died.”
The men had landed less than a mile from a village but were not aware of this until they staggered among the houses some four hours later.
Four men – Skipper Anderton, his brother Tom, the bosun, mate Charles Whiteside and deckhand Frank Duncan stayed aboard the trawler. But in the pitch black with the ship bumping about and being swept by heavy seas Mr Duncan disappeared. He was presumed drowned.

Click to enlarge images

Charlie Bevan

Charlie Bevan

S.T. Flying Admiral H66

S.T. Flying Admiral H66

28/01/2009: Page published. 3 revisions since then.
24/09/2014: Tidied page up.
27/11/2015: Added information.
14/08/2017: Removed FMHT watermark.
15/08/2017: Information updated.
17/08/2017: Information updated.
18/08/2017: Added further information and an image.
24/08/2017: Further information update.
12/09/2020: Updated history.