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Thread: Five knot convoys in the North Atlantic

  1. #11
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    Default Re: Five knot convoys in the North Atlantic

    Hi Charles and thanks for a very interesting article
    I sailed from Hull on the Baltara and the Baltavia and I seem to remember that United Baltic had a Baltrover but this of course would be a new version of the old Baltrover.
    A previous article I wrote about being stuck in the ice in the Baltic was on the Baltavia.
    Regards
    Jim Stevens

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  3. #12
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    Default Re: Five knot convoys in the North Atlantic

    Quote Originally Posted by Audrey Young View Post

    His final ship was the Empire Dryden
    From my book "The Sea is Their Grave"

    Cargo ship Empire Dryden, 7,164grt, (MOWT, Ropner Shipping Co. Ltd) loaded with a cargo of government and general stores for Alexandria via Table Bay sailed independently from New York on the 17th April 1942. On the 20th April about 237 nautical miles West, North-West of Bermuda the ship was intercepted by U-572 and hit by a torpedo in number two hold, breaking off the ship’s bow, which sank almost immediately. The remainder of the ship remained afloat in time to launch a number of boats, with some difficulty as it had not been possible to stop the ships engines. Eventually clear of the ships side she sank in just over twelve minutes in position 34’ 21N 69’ 00W. The survivors in the small jolly boat were having difficulties keeping the boat from taking on too much water so were forced to abandon it and distributed themselves between the two remaining lifeboats. The two boats attempted to remain together but became separated the following day as the weather began to deteriorate. For the next three days the Chief Officers boat with twenty-five survivors battled the sea until the weather subsided. An attempt to sail to Bermuda was rejected in case they missed the Island, so the boat set about on a westerly course. Over the coming days smoke from the funnels of a number of passing ships were sighted. Fortunately the lifeboat was equipped with smoke floats and flares, which were set off, but unfortunately they were either not seen or ignored for fear of being a U-boat trap. On the evening of the sixteenth day, the situation had become desperate and the water ration was down to one ounce a day per man, when smoke was seen on the horizon. In a last bid of desperation the men dipping some of their lifejackets in oil and setting them on fire, whilst burning the few remaining flares frantically hailed the ship. Suddenly the ship altered course steaming towards them and safety was at hand and they were eventually rescued by the American Merchant ship City of Birmingham in position 30’ 37N 77’ 15W, 475 nautical miles South-West of the sinking and landed at Bermuda three days later, The Masters boat containing twenty-six men was never seen again.
    "Across the seas where the great waves grow, there are no fields for the poppies to grow, but its a place where Seamen sleep, died for their country, for you and for peace" (Billy McGee 2011)

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    Default Re: Five knot convoys in the North Atlantic

    Sorry, I can't help you with this. I signed on the Baltrover on 20th May 1942 and don't remember a Cpt. Wells ever being mentioned.

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    Default Re: Five knot convoys in the North Atlantic

    Good one Bob. Thank you very much.

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    Default Re: Five knot convoys in the North Atlantic

    He was one of the unsung heroes. The engine room crews had the scariest job ever. When on duty down below, their chances of surviving a torpedoing were slim indeed.
    You can well be proud of him.

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  10. #16
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    Default Re: Five knot convoys in the North Atlantic

    Have tried online for copy of ‘The Sea is Their Grave’, but no luck, but saw a similar title called, I think, ‘The Sea Their Graves’. (Would ‘DeepSea’ have a copy for sale?)
    Brett Hayes

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    Default Re: Five knot convoys in the North Atlantic

    Have also looked but all i can find is a bit more on what has been posted by Billy
    Cheers

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/alla...4003894967498/

    and this
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/alla...6714169363137/
    Last edited by Doc Vernon; 4th September 2020 at 01:50 AM.
    Senior Site Moderator-Member and Friend of this Website

    R697530

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    Default Re: Five knot convoys in the North Atlantic

    Thank you Charles. Like you, Ralph signed on at 15 years old. It seems so young. He was 25 when he was lost at sea. Ten years of adventures. I wish I'd known him!

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    Default Re: Five knot convoys in the North Atlantic

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Vernon View Post
    Have also looked but all i can find is a bit more on what has been posted by Billy
    Cheers
    My book "The Sea is Their Grave" remains unpublished due to large size and the fact it does not have a wider audience.

    The-Sea-is-Their-Grave-Cove.jpg
    "Across the seas where the great waves grow, there are no fields for the poppies to grow, but its a place where Seamen sleep, died for their country, for you and for peace" (Billy McGee 2011)

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  17. #20
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    Default Re: Five knot convoys in the North Atlantic

    Quote Originally Posted by DeepSea View Post
    I have a casualty in my database from the Baltrover from the time you served on her. He is commemorated on Tower Hill Memorial, but is actually buried in New Orleans. I have never been able to discover as yet the cause of his death as he is not recorded in the 1939-45 Deaths at Sea Register.

    WELLS, Master, FREDERICK, S.S. Baltrover (London). Merchant Navy. 14th May 1942. Age 42. Buried New Orleans (Greenwood) Cemetery.
    Hi Billy, Just noticed this post as wasn't on site at the time, must have been one of my ''walk the plank'' troucings!

    45947_0023-02427.jpg

    Burial or Cremation Place Greenwood Cemetery, New Orleans, Orleans Parish, Louisiana, United States of America
    Can send you link of photograph of Fred's Headstone by email if required.
    Last edited by Marian Gray; 1st May 2023 at 11:48 AM. Reason: adding link

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