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Thread: South Africa Star

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    Default South Africa Star

    I sailed on the South Africa Star the whole of 1963. We went to Australia a couple of times and returned via Singapore. Poor accommodation but a happy ship. I was a Steward.

    Bob Sendall

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    Default

    http://www.bluestarline.org/south_africa.html

    Try the above link where there is a full history and some wonderful photos, she was in fact a U.S. Aircraft Carrier

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    Default 4 the Cpt K

    Hi K, they were known as 'MACs' A little more info here:
    MERCHANT AIRCRAFT CARRIERS (MAC-Ships)
    Oil or grain bulk cargo carriers with superstructures removed and flight decks added. Manned by Merchant Navy crews, with Fleet Air Arm personnel to maintain and fly the aircraft - mainly A/S Swordfish and Sea Hurricanes. The ships flew the Red Ensign and some aircraft carried ‘Merchant Navy’ instead of ‘Royal Navy’ on their fuselage. . jdLp.

  4. Likes Lewis McColl liked this post
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    I was told many years ago, though never proven to me, that a number of the Castle boats built after the war were built in such a manner that they could be converted to aircraft carriers. Any one got any info on this one?
    Happy daze John in Oz.

    Life is too short to blend in.

    John Strange R737787
    World Traveller

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    Yes Mate Both the S.A Vaal and the S.A Oranje were build as aircraft carriers, but the war finsh so they change them over to passenger ships, on the south Africa Run , S.A was the South African side of Union Castle Ltd, as for proof ! well try just believing, I was on both of them

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    Default UCL Reading!

    Some interesting reading on the UCL Ships here John!
    Cheers

    Pretoria Castle (1)19391942 sold to Admiralty rebuilt as aircraft carrier, 1946 re-purchased by Union-Castle, renamed Warwick Castle (4), 1962 scrapped.

    Union Castle at War - An article from "Seafari" the Union Castle Line on board magazine

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Pretoria_Castle_(F61)

    You may have read this following Article allready but thought i would put it on anyway,just other info on UCL!

    Life at Sea with Union-Castle by Rodney Gascoyne
    Senior Member and Friend of this Website

    R697530

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    The Windsor, Pendennis and Transvaal were all built with the capacity to be converted to air craft carriers should war break out again.
    Happy daze John in Oz.

    Life is too short to blend in.

    John Strange R737787
    World Traveller

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    Bob I loved sailing under the Blue Star as they where truely rough in the accomodation stacks but by heck where they great crews that where on them. The old saying of "chatty but happy" was the mantra on them. As for overtime we where never short of that on deck some of them where like a bloody forest with all the sticks and some had spare sticks stored in the hatches. They where true ships. I hear that the modern ones only have a crew of around 12 all up. Would hate to be on one of those but if it is good accomodation you are after then the new ones have it. No matter how much we whinged about them we loved the old ones. Last one I was on we had single cabins with all the mod cons and that is why it was the last one I signed on as I could not take all the bulldust that went with it.
    That's the way the mop flops.

    My thanks to Brian for this site.

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    So long ago it is like a dream now, hey! I had hair in them days and was four stone lighter.

    Never heard of anyone that I sailed with on the South Africa Star, they will all now be pensioners like me,

    Happy days though!!!

    I'm fortunate still enjoying life today!

    Bob Sendall

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    Les I have seen some of the crew of the modern day ships. Down at the mission in Port Melbourne, most are either Asian, Philipino or similar. They do not converse as we did, keep them selves much to themslves. the accomodation may be bright and comforatable but somehow I cannot see any form of comradship existing in such circumstances. All very sterile and plain.
    Happy daze John in Oz.

    Life is too short to blend in.

    John Strange R737787
    World Traveller

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