LLANDAFF CASTLE was built in 1926 by Workman, Clarke & Co. at Belfast with a tonnage of 10786grt, a length of 417ft 2in, a beam of 61ft 7in and a service speed of 14 knots.

Sister of the Llandovery Castle (2) she commenced operations on the Round Africa service on 6th January 1927.

1939 Requisitioned for Trooping duties around S & E Africa

In 1940 she carried the first child evacuees to South Africa and was later rushed into service as a troopship between South and East Africa in support of the Abyssinian and North African campaigns.

On 25th December 1940 she was in a convoy which was attacked by the German heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper but, fortunately, HMS Berwick forced the cruiser to break off the attack and, thereafter, the convoy was protected by Force H from Gibraltar.

In 1942 she was extensively converted to carry 1,150 men for landings off enemy held coasts and on 5th May of that year supported Operation Ironclad, the invasion of Vichy held Madagasgar which had refused to support General de Gaulle and was a possible target for the Japanese.

1942 Part of Operation Ironclad with HMS Winchester Castle

On 30th November 1942 at 17.30 hrs she was torpedoed three times by U-177 (Kaptain Gysae) 100 miles off Zululand.

When the U-Boat surfaced to confirm the name of the ship voices in the water replied 'Hardship' and 'Queen Mary'.

When Kaptain Gysae asked a group if there were any wounded he was told that they were only 'wet' so, amused, he sailed off into the night.

In fact, only two lives were lost.

Date of attack

30 Nov 1942

Fate

Sunk by U-177 (Robert Gysae)

Position 27.20S, 33.40E - Grid KP 5925

Complement

313 (3 dead and 310 survivors).

Route

Mombasa - Dar es Salaam (26 Nov) - Durban

Cargo

150 passengers and 300 tons of general cargo

Torpedoed and Sunk North of Durban - 1942

Master

From

To

W Morton-Betts

12/1926

2/1928

E F Gilbert

4/1927

6/1927


3/1928

10/1929

J Attwood

11/1929

8/1931

A H Blackman

8/1931


C Le Brocq

9/1931

11/1931

H Linklater

12/1931

5/1932

A H Hutchings

5/1932

7/1932

H R Northwood

8/1932

10/1932

C Le Brocq

11/1932

5/1934

H Schofield

6/1934

10/1935

R W Goodacre

11/1935

6/1936

G H Fogden

7/1936

3/1937

J C Brown

3/1937

8/1937

J C Simpson

8/1937

11/1937

S F Newdigate

11/1937

10/1938

J C Brown

10/1938

1/1939

Refit

H Maxwell-Hart

6/1939

8/1939

A E Castle

8/1939

8/1942

C J Clutterbuck

Ch Officer in Command

8/1942

11/1942

   Crew List

History  

Completed in January 1927

In 1940 the Llandaff Castle carried the first child evacuees to South Africa and was then requisitioned by the Admiralty as troopship.

She brought troops to East Africa for the Abyssinian campaign and to the Middle East. Early 1942 extensively converted to carry 1150 soldiers for landings off enemy held coasts.

On 5 May 1942, she took part in the Operation Ironclad, the landings at the Vichy-French port of Diego Suarez on Madagascar.

Notes on loss  

At 17.29 hours on 30 Nov, 1942, the unescorted Llandaff Castle (Master Cornwallis Jasper Clutterbuck OBE) was hit by two torpedoes from U-177 southeast of Lourenço Marques.

The ship broke in two and sank after being hit by two coups de grâce at 17.47 and 18.09 hours.

On board were 150 passengers including six Soviet diplomats with wives and children and 70 military officers with families.

Three crew members were lost.

The U-boat surfaced to question the survivors and as Gysae asked for the name of the ship voices replied Hardship and Queen Mary.

He then asked if there were any wounded he was told that they were only wet so, amused, he left the area.

The master, 155 crew members, four gunners and 150 passengers were picked up on 2 December by HMS Catterick (L 81) (Lt A. Tyson, RN) and landed at Durban.

Vessel

Built

Tonnage

Official No

Ship Builder

Engine Builder

Engine Type

HP

Screws

Llandaff Castle

1926

10763

149752

Workman Clarke

Belfast

Workman Clarke

Belfast

2 x Quadruple Expansion Steam

5500 IHP

2

Career Summary

Llandaff Castle

GJYP

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