Warwick Castle (3)


WARWICK CASTLE (3) was built in 1930 by Harland & Wolff at Belfast with a tonnage of 20445grt, a length of 651ft 5in, a beam of 75ft 5in and a service speed of 20 knots.

Like her sister, the Winchester Castle, she was similarly modified in 1938 to meet the conditions of the new mail contract.

In September 1939 she was taken over by the government for trooping duties.

In October 1940 she rescued some of the survivors of the sinking of Clan Chisholm.

In November 1942 she was part of the KMF 1 (UK-Mediterranean Fast) assault force for Operation Torch, the North African landings.

She landed her troops on 10th November and, empty, joined convoy MKF 1 for the return voyage home.

On 12th November at 08.50 hrs, when north of Gibraltar off the Portuguese coast, she was torpedoed by U-413 and sank 1hr.25mins later.

The U-Boat had waited under the convoy and targeted the rearmost troopship.

Date of attack

14 Nov 1942

Fate

Sunk by U-413 (Gustav Poel)

Position 39.12N, 13.25W - Grid CG 4546

Complement

462 (96 dead and 366 survivors).

Convoy

MKF-1X

Route

Gibraltar (11 Nov) - Glasgow

Cargo

Ballast

History  

Completed in January 1931 as motor passenger ship for Union-Castle Mail SS Co Ltd, London. In Sepember 1939 requistioned by the Admiralty as troopship.

Notes on loss  

At 08.44 hours on 14 Nov, 1942, the Warwick Castle (Master Henry Richard Leepman-Shaw) in convoy MKF-1X was hit by one of two torpedoes from U-413 about 200 miles northwest of Cape Espichel, Portugal.

The U-boat hit her with two coups de grâce at 08.57 hours, that caused the ship to sink about one hour later.

The master, 61 crew members and 34 service personnel were lost.

201 crew members, 29 gunners, 5 naval personnel and 131 service personnel were picked up by HMS Achates (H 12) (LtCdr A.H.T. Johns, DSO, RN), HMS Vansittart (D 64) (LtCdr T. Johnston, DSC, RN), HMCS Louisburg (K 143) (LtCdr W.F. Campbell, RCNVR) and the British motor merchant Leinster and landed at Greenock.

The Warwick Castle had been in convoy KMF-1 for Operation Torch and landed her troops on 10 November.

Launch - April 1930

Left - Being moved to the fitting out berth

Above - Fitted out and now being moved for a final paint before her sea trials

Refitted - 1938

In January 1938 she returned to her builders for a dramatic refit and a far more elegant appearance

Funnels were reduced to one and new 10 cylinder diesel engines giving an increase in service speed from 18 to 20 knots

In October 1938 she returned to the mail service


Warwick Castle

Left Gibraltar

For Glasgow

Lost 14 November 1942

Fate

Master

H R Leapman-Shaw

Lost

Chief Officer

A H Parry

Lost

First Officer

A C M Black

Survived

Cadet

D M Gordon

Lost

Second Engineer

A Heads

Lost

Snr Fourth Engineer

S T McBride

Lost

Engineers

A B Bowie

W R Campbell

Both Lost

Electrician

T M Murray

Lost

Asst Purser

C R Goodman

Lost

Bosun

W Ayles

Lost

Bosun’s Mates

A W Hollins

J C Roberts

Both Lost

Carpenter’s Mate

H E Muir

Lost

Quartermaster

Shuckford

Survived

Quartermasters

W A Chatfield

P V Connolly

Both Lost

Able Seamen

J F Arch

B Collins

A McIntyre

All Lost

Ordinary Seamen

N Emerson

W Hart

Both Lost

Deck Boys

S E Gurling

A M MacArthur

Both Lost

Painter

R M Colvin

Lost

Watchmen

C A Fall

Died 14 April 1942

Greasers

A Crook

R O Cummins

A H Hall

W G Judd

All Lost

Greaser

E H Rose

Died 3 July 1942

Chief Steward

L Pyne

Survived

Cooks

T W Mallam

F Riley

Both Lost

Asst Cooks

J Gordon

J E Hopper

J Mullen

R Savage

R A Young

Lost

Baker

W J Pratt

Lost

Asst Baker

K R Blake

Lost

Stewards

H Bicknell

V Brand

D L Finck

G F Orr

All Lost

Stewards

R W Bigg

A E Gamble

Died 12 April 1943

Died 1 August 1947

Asst Stewards

J H Anderson

S J Houghton

J Kane

W H Kennedy

J Meller

R W Mordue

J Murphy

J I Phillips

A Scott

G S Summers

S Tetley

G S Walmsley

All Lost

Pantryman

C Taylor

Lost

Asst Pantryman

J Earlie

Lost

Bartender

R A Wilkins

Lost

Asst Barkeeper

W F Gibson

Lost

Printer

J W Sharpe

Lost

Scullion

F J Farrell

Lost

Galley Boy

J Robertson

Lost

Boy

C J Fulton

Lost

Torpedoed and Sunk off Portugal - 1942

First Mail Ship on Charl Malan Quay - December 1934

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