Official Number: 165366
Yard Number: 559
Gross Tonnage: 655
Net Tonnage: 233
Length: 188.1 ft
Breadth: 28.1 ft
Depth: 15.5 ft
Engine: T.3-cyl & LP turbine with DR gearing & hydraulic coupling by Deutsche Schiffs und Maschinenbau AG Seebeck, Wesermünde.
Built: Deutsche Schiffs und Maschinenbau AG Seebeck, Wesermünde
1936: Ordered by Leverhulme Ltd, London to absorb frozen credits in Germany.
11.1936: Completed by Deutsche Schiff und Maschinenbau AG Seebeck, Wesermünde (Yd.No.559) for MacLine Ltd, London (Leverhulme Ltd) as NORTHERN DUKE.
3.12.1936: Registered at London (LO169). Operating out of Fleetwood (Edward D. W. Lawford, manager).
28.12.1936: First landing at Fleetwood 350 boxes grossed £644.0.0d.
3.1937: Transferred to Hull (Boyd Line Ltd, managers).
13.3.1937: Sailed Hull for Bear Island grounds (Sk. Henry Lead).
3.4.1937: At Hull landed 2,107 kits grossed £1,158.
30.7.1937: Sailed Hull for Icelandic grounds (Sk Henry Lead); fifteen crew, two passengers.
31.7.1937: Having proceeded up east coast, at about 2.00pm, in dense fog and reduced speed with whistle sounding at regular intervals course was altered to NNW for Duncansby Head. At about 8.00pm the course was altered to WbyN in order to pick up Noss Head fog signal, speed further reduced to slow. At about 9.30pm. Noss Head fog signal was heard and at 10.00pm. course was altered to NNE parallel to the coast along the 20 fathom line to pick up Duncansby Head fog signal. At about 10.45pm after hearing the fog signal and judging Duncansby Head to be abeam altered course to ESE until 40 fathoms was obtained but the skipper decided weather was too thick to proceed through the Pentland Firth. Course was changed to SSE to get within range of Noss Head fog signal and decided to dodge within the fog signals of Duncansby Head, Noss Head and Pentland Skerries.
1.8.1937: At 6.00am. with Duncansby Head fog signal bearing NW at an estimated distance of seven miles the course was set NNW at 3 knots with high water slack. At 7.00am. the Pentland Skerries fog signal was heard which the skipper judged to be half a point on the starboard bow and a reading showed 27 fathoms. Course and speed was maintained until about 7.35am. when rocks and a reef were seen ahead by both skipper and mate. Ship was put hard a port and engine telegraph to full astern, but before ship could gather stern way she ran up on reef at southern end of Louther Skerry, Pentland Firth; using engine attempted to refloat. About noon LADY SHIRLEY (H464) connected but at high water failed to refloat due to wire fouling her propeller; cleared and stood by.
2.8.1937: Before high water, Aberdeen salvage tug IRONAXE (296g/1916) arrived on scene from Lyness. Connected but failed to refloat. 3.8.1937: On night tide refloated by IRONAXE, examined and found to be making little water, proceeded under own power to Aberdeen with tug escort. After examination by divers and taking on an additional pump she was cleared for single voyage to Hull for survey and repair.
16.9.1937: Sailed Hull for Bear Island grounds last trip before sale (Sk. Garforth).
6.10.1937: At Hull landed 1,228 kits grossed £1,026.
9.10.1937: Sold to Northern Trawlers Ltd, London (H. Markham Cook, Grimsby, manager).
22.10.1937: At BOT Formal Investigation (S.390) held at Hull, the Court found Sk. Lead in default and suspended his ticket for two months.
1.9.1939: Requisitioned for war service as a patrol/armed boarding vessel (1-4”, AA weapons) (P.No.4.11) (Hire rate £425.15.0d/month).
18.1.1940: Escorting neutral Swedish motor ship PAJALA (6873/1924) to Kirkwall for inspection. At 1625 some 10 miles 72° from North Rona, PAJALA was hit forward by a torpedo, from Uboat (U25). All thirty five crew taken onboard before a second torpedo hit aft at 1703 and the vessel foundered. Uboat engaged with gun forced to dive and was attacked unsuccessfully with depth charges. HM Destroyers ASHANTI (P.No.F51 ) and KIMBERLEY (P.No.F50) ordered to the scene.
1942: Fitted out for anti submarine duties.
3.1942: Transferred on loan to US Navy.
10.1942: Returned to Royal Navy and operated in South Atlantic based at Cape Town.
10.1.1946: Returned to owner.
11.1946: Converted by Palmers Hebburn Co Ltd, Hebburn for burning oil fuel, F.P. above 150° F at a cost of ca.£12,000.
11.1946: Remeasured 622g 233n.
12.1946: London registry closed.
12.1946: Registered at Grimsby (GY442).
1951: On an Icelandic trip, arrested for alleged illegal fishing and escorted to Vestmannaeyjar. Case proven and fined 74,000 kroner (£1,620).
9.1956: Off the northern Norwegian coast (Sk. W. Greene).
15.9.1956: In very heavy seas, wind WSW force 9 went to the assistance of the American ‘Liberty’ steamer PELAGIA (7328grt/1943), Narvik for Baltimore with untrimmed iron ore cargo. About 5.10 am GMT steamer was struck by heavy sea and tarpaulins on no.1 hatch damaged but could not go forward to replace tarpaulins. Down by the head with seas breaking over back to no.3 hold prepared to abandon ship Six crew got away in no.2 lifeboat and ship foundered at about 2.30pm GMT.
16.9.1956: Directed by Royal Norwegian Air Force Catalina picked up five persons* only survivors of a crew of thirty-seven, took lifeboat onboard with body of dead crewman.
17.9.1956: Landed survivors and lifeboat at Harstad.
Pre 1959: John Bennett appointed manager.
8.7.1960: On an Icelandic trip (Sk. Peter May). Fire in accommodation, one man died and three others injured.
Pre 1963: John A. Butt appointed manager.
10.1963: Sold to Clayton & Davie Ltd, Dunston-on-Tyne for breaking up.
30.10.1963: Arrived Tyne from Grimsby in tow of FIERY CROSS (192grt/1957).
Note * – Sk.Greene, who was a Fleetwood man, received the personal thanks of President Eisenhower and presented with a gold pocket watch for his seamanship in picking up the five men (one died in boat).
Click to enlarge images
14/01/2009: Page published.
29/05/2014: Information updated.
20/08/2014: Picture 4 added.
23/02/2015: Added information.
16/07/2015: Picture added.
27/07/2015: Picture added.
25/11/2017: Removed FMHT watermarks from images.
29/06/2021: Updated history.