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Post Info TOPIC: SS Fort McMurray


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SS Fort McMurray
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Herbert Barlow Clegg (DOB 1904-5) served on this Canadian ship during ww2, would like to know more about her and I believe she did the Artic convoys.  He lost three ships and at least one was mined.

Love to get some info on my dear old Dad

Lita



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FORT MCMURRAY

Type:

North Sands

Tonnage:

7,133grt

Dimensions:

438.5 x 57.2

Builders:

Burrard Dry Dock Co., North Vancouver

Delivery Date:

August, 1942

Owners;Managers:

U.S.W.S.A.; Morel Ltd., Cardiff for M.O.W.T.

Post war History:

1947: U.S.M.C.;

1948: Italian owners, renamed PEGASO



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Yes, you are quite correct Alto.  But I would like to add a bit more.

The original ship building programme in North America involved what we refer to as the Liberty ships.  These were named as prominent Americans and if you raised a certain amount in War Bonds you got the right to provide a name. Very often, once they were transferred to the British they had a name change. The British allocated them out to British shipping companies to manage during the war.  Whilst the Liberty ships did a magnificent job they were slow and cumbersome so vulnerable to submarine attack. They were also quick and cheap to build as everything about them was very basic. So far as I know only two remain as museum ships, theJerimiah OBrien in San Fransisco (which I have visited) and the John W. Brown which I believe is on the east coast of USA, possibly in Baltimore. 

As Mr Clegg served in WW2 it is possible that he also served on a Liberty ship so this may be of interest to his daughter.

Following the Liberty ships were the Victory ships which were built in both the USA and Canada. These ships were bigger, sleeker and faster than the Liberty ships. Those built and operated by the USA always kept the word Victory in their name. Those operated by Canada kept the name Park and those operated by the UK had the name Fort .   Once the war was over these ships were surplus to requirements and were sold off, at which time invariably their names were changed.

So far as I know the only surviving examples of  either Victory, Park, or Fort ships are the museum ships American Victory in Tampa, Florida, Lane Victory in Los Angeles, and Red Oak Victory in Richmond California.

I have a particular interest in these ships as the 2nd Mate on the Fort Bellingham was the father of a girl I went to school with and am still in regular contact.  The Bellingham was in an Arctic convoy and was subject to submarine attack but did not initially sink..but that is a whole different story related on the internet for those that are interested.  Stu

 



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The Forts and the Parks which were built by Canadian shipyards were essentially the same as the Liberties built by U.S. shipyards, being based on the same design from Thompsons and with a later variation which was slightly larger, like the U.S.'s Victories. 

There were also variations in propulsion systems and the Canadian yards built more riveted hulls, but the profile was much the same.  Of the 436 ships built under Government contracts, 321 were full-size freighters, 43 were smaller, built to the Gray design known as "Scandinavian" to make them more suitable for Great Lakes trading, 19 were completed as tankers, 35 were Ottawa-type coasters and 18 were Rock-class ocean tugs built to the British Warrior-class design. 

Note that the names Fort and Park had no reference to the designs: the Forts were the ships transferred to the British Government and the Parks were those employed by the Canadian Government. 

ShipbuilderLocationHull #Original NameGTCompletedDisposition
Burrard DDN. Vancouver BC164                  Fort  McMurray7,13327-Aug-42Later Pegaso 1948, scrapped 1967


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CONVOY MKS 25

The document from which I've transcribed the information in the first table gives departure date (port?) as Sept. 23-1943, arrival Clyde Oct. 4 (strangely, Page 2, listing Empire Summer through Glenfinlas, gives arrival Clyde Oct. 21, and Page 3, starting with Polish Lech, gives arrival Clyde as Oct. 6).

Arnold Hague gives departure Gibraltar as Sept. 25-1943, arrival Liverpool on Oct. 8. He gives 31 ships in the Gibraltar-U.K. convoy, and indicates that MKS 25 had started out in Alexandria on Sept. 14, w/arrival Gibraltar on the 25th (listed further down on this page).

 

Transcribed from 3 documents (Advance Sailing Telegram) received from Tony Cooper - His source: Public Records Office, Kew.

This first table shows the Gibraltar-U.K. convoy. As can be seen in the second table below, some of these ships had previously arrived with the Alexandria convoy.

Ship
Nationality
Cargo
Destination
Remarks
Fortol
British
furnace oil
Clyde
Escort Oiler
British Courage
"
ballast
Clyde f. o.
To MKS 26 - crossed out
(note says "Not for U.K.")
To MKS 27 - returned to port
Listed in MKS 28
Benrinnes
"
palm kernels
Hull
 
Empire Pennant
"
frozen meat
Liverpool
 
Fort Chipewyan
"
scrap
Cardiff
From MKS 24
Bridgepool
"
iron ore
Cardiff
Arr. in tow w/engine defects
Nairung
"
general
Avonmouth
 
Dimitrios Inglessis
Greek
general Indian
Hull
 
Clan Macbean
British
manganese ore
Hull
 
Empire Wolfe
"
general
Bristol
 
Flaminian
"
general
Glasgow
 
City of Lancaster
"
general
Garston
 
Elizabeth Massey
"
iron ore
Barrow-in-Furness
Returned to Gibraltar
Listed in MKS 27
Skeldergate
"
iron ore
Middlesbrough
From MKS 24
Empire Shearwater
"
iron ore
Barrow-in-Furness
 
Bur
Swedish
iron ore
Workington
 
Kindat
British
general
Liverpool
 
Nailsea Moor
"
general
Dundee
 
Alresford
"
iron ore
Barrow-in-Furness
 
Empire Summer
"
iron ore
London (Dagenham)
 
Empire Snow
"
iron ore
Middlesbrough
Listed in MKS 26
Rossum
Dutch
none given
Loch Ewe f. o.
To MKS 26,
returned to port
Listed in MKS 27
Orkla
British
none given
Belfast f. o.
 
Willodale
"
none given
Middlesbrough
 
Linge
Dutch
none given
Cardiff
 
Trevorian
British
none given
Dundee
From MKS 23
San Francisco
Swedish
none given
Liverpool
See * below
Fort McMurray
Brittish
none given
Glasgow
 
Cape Sable
"
general
Glasgow
 
Spondilus
"
none given
Clyde
Listed in MKS 27
Rajput
"
general
Liverpool
 
Inventor
"
general
London
 
Clan Macnair
"
general
Hull
 
Ocean Strength
"
iron ore
Glasgow
 
Copeland
"
Rescue Vessel
Clyde
See notes below
Ocean Pride
"
none given
Middlesbrough
Listed in MKS 26
Glenfinlas
"
none given
Sunderland
 
Lech
Polish
none given
Liverpool
 
Empire Prince
British
none given
Leith Dock
 
Baron Fairlie
"
none given
Glasgow
 
PLM 13
"
none given
Tyne
 
Comparing the above to a list of ships in Convoy MKS 25 received from Don Kindell, based on A. Hague's own research, I find that he has also included HMS Erebus, with a note saying "detached to Channel".

* There's a San Francisco in the Advance Sailing Telegram for Convoy MKS 26, but with a different tonnage and listed as French.

The Rescue Vessel Copeland was on her 25th voyage as such, having started this voyage from Clyde on Sept. 7-1943 with Convoy KMS 26 - to Gibraltar Sept. 18, then returned to Clyde with Convoy MKS 25, Sept. 25-Oct. 8. Her previous voyage had been with Convoy ON 192 - HX 251, and her 26th voyage was to Murmansk with Convoy JW 54A. ("Convoy Rescue Ships 1940-1945", Arnold Hague). Convoys KMS 26 and ON 192 will be added to this site in due course.

Escorts (also received from Don Kindell, whose own work, covering "Royal & other Navies Day-by-Day in World War 2" can be viewed at this website):
Sept. 25-Sept. 26:
 Velox.
Sept. 25-Oct. 1: Redpole.
Sept. 25-Oct. 4: Erebus, Witch.
Sept. 25-Oct. 8: Abelia, Asphodel, Clover, Highlander, Pennywort, Walker, Westcott.
Sept. 27-Oct. 3: Scylla, Spartan.



-- Edited by altosaxx on Tuesday 12th of March 2013 04:08:52 PM

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From Alexandria, Sept. 14-1943

As mentioned, A. Hague says in his "The Allied Convoy System" that MKS 25 left Alexandria on Sept. 14, w/arrival Gibraltar on the 25th.

Transcribed from the document received from Don Kindell - Source: A. Hague's own research.

As can be seen in the first table on this page, some of these ships subsequently proceeded to the U.K. with the Gibraltar-U.K. convoy.

Ship
Nationality
Voyage
Adabelle Lykes
American
Alexandria to Gibraltar for U.S.A.
Alcinous
Dutch
Malta to Bizerta
Alexander Martin
American
Bizerta to U.S.A.
Augustin Le Borgne
French
Bizerta to Oran
Brockholst Livingston
American
Alexandria to Gibraltar for U.S.A.
Cape Sable
British
Bizerta for U.K.
Charles Piez
American
Bizerta to U.S.A.
Chertsey
British
Algiers to Gibraltar
(later to U.K. with MKS 27)
Clan Macnair
"
Alexandria to U.K.
Crackshot
"
Malta to Bizerta
Dalemoor
"
Algiers to Oran
Daniel Webster
American
Bizerta to U.S.A.
David Caldwell
"
Bizerta for U.S.A.
Edward P. Costigan
"
Bizerta to U.S.A.
Empire Coral
British
Alexandria to Malta
Empire Cormorant
"
"probably this convoy"
(A. Hague's own note)
Empire Raja
"
Alexandria to Tripoli
Empire Spartan
"
Bone to Gibraltar
Fort Cataraqui
"
Alexandria to Malta
Fort Frobisher
"
Alexandria to Malta
Fort Maurepas
"
Alexandria to Malta
Fort McMurray
"
Bizerta to U.K.
Gallium
French
Bizerta to Algiers
George H. Thomas
American
Bizerta to U.S.A.
George Matthews
"
Bizerta for U.S.A.
Govert Flinck
Dutch
Bone to Philippeville
Greystoke Castle
British
Alexandria to Malta
Gulfprince
American
Algiers to Oran (probably in tow)
Hugh Williamson
"
Bizerta to U.S.A.
Ignatius Donnelly
"
Alexandria to U.S.A.
Inventor
British
Alexandria to U.K.
James Woodrow
American
Bizerta for U.K.
Janine
French
Algiers to Oran
John Clarke
American
Bizerta to Oran
John Howard Payne
"
Bizerta to U.S.A.
Josephine Le Borgne
French
Bizerta to Bone
Lancashire
British
Alexandria to Augusta
Lewis Morris
American
Bizerta to U.S.A.
LST 79
 
Bizerta to Algiers
Narvik
Listed as Norwegian,
but see * below
Malta to Gibraltar
Ocean Strength
British
Bone to U.K.
Ocean Vagrant
"
Bone to Gibraltar for U.S.A.
Ocean Vesper
"
Alexandria to Malta
Pacheco
"
Malta to Oran
Portsea
"
Bizerta to Philippeville
Prestol
"
Bone to Philippeville
Prometheus
"
Malta to Bone
Rajput
"
Alexandria to U.K.
Robert Mærsk
"
Alexandria to Augusta
San Francisco
Swedish
Bizerta for U.K.
(see note in first table above)
San Venancio
British
Alexandria to Malta
Selvik
Norwegian
Bizerta to Oran
Shirrabank
British
Alexandria to Malta
Sofala
"
Alexandria to Malta
Speedfast
"
Bizerta to Algiers
Spondilus
"
Bizerta to Oran
Suiyang
"
Alexandria to Malta
Thomas A. Hendricks
American
Alexandria to U.S.A.
Thomas L. Clingman
"
Alexandria to U.S.A.
Thomas Nelson
"
Bizerta for U.S.A
Tore Jarl
Norwegian
Bizerta to Bougie
Trevorian
British
Bizerta for U.K.
USS Aroostook
American
Bizerta to Bone
Waipawa
British
Malta to Algiers
William Bradford
American
Bizerta to U.S.A.
William Dean Howells
"
Bizerta to U.S.A.
Willodale
British
Algiers to Oran
Winfield Scott
American
Bizerta for U.S.A.
Yankee Arrow
"
Bone to Oran
Yenangyaung
British
Malta to Bizerta
Zaan
Dutch
Bizerta to Bone
* A. Hague lists Narvik as Norwegian, with a tonnage of 5164 gt, but I think this must be an error as the Norwegian Narvik was not delivered until Jan-1944 (asCape River) and taken over by Nortraship on Jan. 22. There was a Swedish Narvik (4251 gt), but this ship had already been sunk in Apr.-1943. However,Convoy MKS 26 has a Polish Narwik - perhaps this is the ship listed above? Narwik started life as Empire Roamer in Jan.-1942 (the Empire Ships website that I've linked to at the end of this page has more on this ship). There was also an HMS Narvik, ex Norwegian whale catcher Gos 9, but this was much smaller.


Escorts:
Sept. 16-Sept. 19: Jumna.
Sept. 16-Sept. 25: Bluebell, Bryony, Camellia, La Malouine.
Sept. 19-Sept. 25: Bergamot.

 

 

Related external links:
SL, HG and MKS and MKF convoys - In Chronological order. The MKS and MKF convoys start on this page for 1942, while the 1943 convoys are listed onthis page.

Liberty Ships - Alphabetical list.
This site has more details on the "Fort" and "Ocean" ships sailing this convoy.
Empire Ships - Listed in alphabetical order. The site also has a section covering the Liberty ships.



-- Edited by altosaxx on Tuesday 12th of March 2013 04:12:50 PM

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http://fortships.tripod.com/fort_ships.htm

Related external links:
SL, HG and MKS and MKF convoys - In Chronological order. The MKS and MKF convoys start on this page for 1942, while the 1943 convoys are listed onthis page.

Liberty Ships - Alphabetical list.
This site has more details on the "Fort" and "Ocean" ships sailing this convoy.
Empire Ships - Listed in alphabetical order. The site also has a section covering the Liberty ships.

 

Hope that helps



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History of the Liberty Ships
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http://www.sunderlandmaritimeheritage.org.uk/Ships/Liberty%20Ships/history_david_aris.html



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http://www.skylighters.org/troopships/libertyships.html



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RE: SS Fort McMurray
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Liberty

The Ships That Won the War
Front Cover
Naval Inst Press1 Aug 2001 - History - 512 pages
This stirring tribute tells the complete story of the renowned Liberty ships, from their design concept and production through their war service and post war careers. Designed for speed and ease of production, Liberty ships were turned out at American shipyards so rapidly that the Allies were able to replace thousands of ships lost to U-boats and keep the vital transatlantic supply routes open. Filled with firsthand accounts, the book brings to life the amazing industrial effort and sacrifice and heroism of the men who sailed the ships in every theater of the war. The construction of the Robert E. Perry in a record-breaking five days and ongoing efforts to preserve the last surviving ships are just two of the many stories illuminating this overlooked part of World War II. Essential reading for historians and naval enthusiasts, this book is a fascinating account of one of the great achievements in maritime history.
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I believe we (UK) has just finally finished paying off the cost of em?.

Bob0



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Yes, Bob, the bill was finally paid in 2006.  By 1941 Britain was technically broke and the German submarines were sinking ships quicker than they could be built.  Churchill obviously had a word with Roosevelt. It must have gone something like this....listen my Yankee friend, we are the last man standing in Europe. If we go down, you could be next, so bloody do something about it!!!.  Not so easy said Roosevelt, we have this Neutrality Act that forbids us from getting involved unless we are at risk.  Leave it with me and I'll see what we can do.  Anyway, our cousins across the ditch came up with the Lend Lease Act which circumvented the Neutrality Act. In a nutshell, goods, like ships, aircraft, ammunitions, food, trucks , tanks and all sorts of war material could be shipped to Britain, China, and later to Russia but paid for at the end of hostilities but where practical they were to be returned to the USA. As you can imagine this ran up a bill of many billions of dollars, but our Yankee friends discounted this by about 90% and spread the repayment over about 50 years at 2% interest, with a few years at the beginning to get our affairs in order. The surviving Liberty (Sam Boats), Victories, and Forts were returned and many were sold to the Greeks and Italians although a few went to British owners, I think Cunard had a few.  Many joined the US Stategic Reserve and rows and rows of them were moored in available creeks around New York, Baltimore, Philidelphia and Boston, and they were still there in 1956/57 when I worked the US East Coast in the MV Port Quebec.

i am sure there will be PWSTS old hands who worked on the Liberty ships which were known by the Brits as Sam Boats, and of course, the Forts, and T2 tankers. It would be interesting to hear of their experiences. Stu



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Very interesting, considering I worked in Fort Mcmurray the city for 31 years. I wonder if they know about it's namesake.



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Hello there

I did write to the city but had no reply so perhaps they do not know.



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With regard to convoy MKS35, my father was sailing on the ss Benrinnes at that time.

I remember him saying that, shortly after leaving Gibraltar the convoy was divided into fast and slow vessels, with the Glen Finlas as commodore of the faster group.

This group then proceeded separately.

I hope this is of assistance.

 

David Ramsay



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