Bandar Shahpour



Bandar Shahpour was a cargo ship that was completed in 1927 and acquired this name at the request of the Shah of Persia at the time of the opening of the new port of the same name in 1929. She had a distinguished war service, survived a collision which sunk the other ship involved, and was sunk by torpedo in 1943 giving her a service life of 16 years.

Bandar Shahpour
Bandar Shahpour at anchor - date and location not known [1]

Basic Data

Item Value
Type Cargo Ship
Registered owners, managers and operators F.C.Strick & Co
Builders Gray
Yard West Hartlepool
Country UK
Yard number 982
Registry N/K
Official number 14981
Signal letters N/K
Call sign GMZV
Classification society N/K
Gross tonnage 5,236
Net tonnage 3,268
Deadweight N/K
Length 400 ft
Overall Length N/K
Breadth 53.5 ft
Depth 27.2 ft
Draught N/K
Engines Triple expansion steam engine with cylinders of bore 28", 46" and 77" and stroke of 48"
Engine builders Cen. Mar. Eng. Works.
Works West Hartlepool
Country UK
Boilers 3 single sided boilers with pressure 180psi
Power 590 NHP
Propulsion Twin Screw
Speed 12 knots
Cargo capacity N/K
Crew 78 at time of sinking
Passengers N/A

Additional Construction Information

The 1943-44 Lloyds Register entry for Bandar Shahpour contains the following additional information:

  • She had two steel decks
  • Fitted with radio direction-finding equipment

Career Highlights

Date Event
3 March 1927 Launched as Arabistan
25 April 1927 Completed
1929 Name changed to Bandar Shahpour
30 April 1943 Torpedoed and sunk

When the Shah of Persia performed the opening ceremony of the new port of Bandar Shahpour, he asked Strick to change the name of the ship to Bandar Shahpour. He agreed and the name was changed in 1929.

Service Pre WW2

I have not found any detailed information about the service history of Bandar Shahpour prior to the beginning of WW2.

Bandar Shahpour was seriously damaged on 25 September 1936 when she ran aground and was stranded at the South West Rock at The Longships in dense fog. A formal investigation was held at a court hearing and a report was issued in accordance with the Merchant Shipping Act of 1894. The Master Sidney Robert Edwards was held responsible and his Master's Certificate was suspended for a period of 12 months from 12 December 1936. The report can be found at External Ref. #39.

Service in WW2

Convoys and Other Voyages

Bandar Shahpour took part in 31 convoys and many independent voyages during WW2 according to information shown in the table below which is provided courtesy of Convoyweb - see External. Ref. #4.

Departure Convoy/Independent Arrival
Gibraltar, Sep 7, 1939 GREEN.1 (Gibraltar - Alexandria) Port Said, Sep 18, 1939
Suez, Sep 19, 1939 Independent Jeddah, Sep 22, 1939
Jeddah, Sep 23, 1939 Independent Aden, Sep 26, 1939
Aden, Sep 26, 1939 Independent Bushire, Oct 3, 1939
Bushire, Oct 4, 1939 Independent Basra, Oct 5, 1939
Basra, Oct 11, 1939 Independent
Hormuz, Nov 15, 1939 Independent Suez, Nov 25, 1939
Port Said, Nov 27, 1939 Independent Gibraltar, Dec 8, 1939
Gibraltar, Dec 8, 1939 HG.10 (Gibraltar - Liverpool) Avonmouth, Dec 16, 1939
Avonmouth, Dec 23, 1939 Independent Liverpool, Dec 24, 1939
Liverpool, Jan 1, 1940 Independent Clyde, Jan 2, 1940
Clyde, Jan 20, 1940 Independent Workington, Jan 22, 1940
Workington, Jan 28, 1940 Independent Barry, Jan 29, 1940
Barry, Feb 9, 1940 Independent Newport, Feb 10, 1940
Newport, Feb 14, 1940 Independent
Milford Haven, Feb 17, 1940 OB.93 (Liverpool - to OG 19F)
OG.19F (to AT SEA - Gibraltar) Gibraltar, Feb 25, 1940
Gibraltar, Feb 25, 1940 Independent Port Said, Mar 3, 1940
Suez, Mar 4, 1940 Independent Aden, Mar 9, 1940
Aden, Mar 9, 1940 Independent Bahrein, Mar 16, 1940
Bahrein, Mar 16, 1940 Independent Bushire, Mar 17, 1940
Bushire, Mar 21, 1940 Independent
Basra, Apr 18, 1940 Independent Aden, Apr 27, 1940
Aden, Apr 27, 1940 Independent Suez, May 2, 1940
Port Said, May 3, 1940 Independent Gibraltar, May 12, 1940
Gibraltar, May 12, 1940 HG.30F (Gibraltar - Liverpool) Portland, May 20, 1940
Independent London, May 24, 1940
Weymouth Bay, May 24, 1940 Independent
Southend, Jun 15, 1940 Independent Southampton, Jun 16, 1940
Southampton, Jun 19, 1940 OA.171G (Southend - to OG 34)
Independent Freetown, Jul 4, 1940
Freetown, Jul 8, 1940 Independent Durban, Jul 25, 1940
Durban, Jul 27, 1940 Independent Aden, Aug 12, 1940
Aden, Aug 18, 1940 Independent Bahrein, Aug 26, 1940
Bahrein, Aug 27, 1940 Independent Bushire, Aug 28, 1940
Bushire, Aug 28, 1940 Independent Kuwait, Aug 29, 1940
Kuwait, Aug 29, 1940 Independent Basra, Sep 3, 1940
Basra, Sep 16, 1940 Independent Bombay, Oct 2, 1940
Bombay, Oct 4, 1940 Independent Capetown, Oct 23, 1940
Capetown, Oct 24, 1940 Independent Freetown, Nov 5, 1940
Freetown, Nov 12, 1940 SL.55 (Freetown - Liverpool) Oban, Dec 4, 1940
Oban, Dec 4, 1940 WN.49 (Clyde - Methil) Methil, Dec 7, 1940
Methil, Dec 8, 1940 FS.356 (Methil - Southend) Southend, Dec 10, 1940
Southend, Jan 10, 1941 FN.380 (Southend - Methil) Methil, Jan 12, 1941
Methil, Jan 13, 1941 EN.56/1 (Methil - Oban) Oban, Jan 17, 1941
Oban, Jan 19, 1941 OB.275 (Liverpool - Dispersed)
Independent Stornaway, Jan 25, 1941
Stornaway, Jan 31, 1941 WN.77 (Clyde - Methil) Methil, Feb 2, 1941
Methil, Feb 2, 1941 FS.402 (Methil - Southend)
FN.436 (Southend - Methil) Methil, Mar 22, 1941
Methil, Mar 23, 1941 EN.90/1 (Methil - Oban) Loch Ewe, Mar 25, 1941
Independent Freetown, Apr 15, 1941
Freetown, Apr 17, 1941 Independent Capetown, Apr 30, 1941
Capetown, May 2, 1941 Independent Mombasa, May 12, 1941
Mombasa, May 21, 1941 Independent Bahrein, May 31, 1941
Independent Basra, Jun 1, 1941
Bahrein, Jun 1, 1941 Independent
Basra, Jun 2, 1941 Independent Kuwait, Jun 3, 1941
Kuwait, Jun 3, 1941 Independent Basra, Jun 6, 1941
Basra, Jul 2, 1941 Independent Mombasa, Jul 18, 1941
Mombasa, Aug 17, 1941 Independent Beira, Aug 22, 1941
Beira, Aug 26, 1941 Independent Mackay, Sep 1, 1941
Independent Mossel Bay, Sep 1, 1941
Mossel Bay, Sep 3, 1941 Independent
Mossel Bay, Sep 3, 1941 Independent Mackay, Sep 4, 1941
Independent Mossel Bay, Sep 4, 1941
Mossel Bay, Sep 5, 1941 Independent
Mossel Bay, Sep 5, 1941 Independent Capetown, Sep 8, 1941
Capetown, Sep 19, 1941 Independent Freetown, Oct 2, 1941
Freetown, Oct 5, 1941 SL.89 (Freetown - Liverpool) Oban, Oct 26, 1941
Oban, Oct 26, 1941 WN.198 (Oban - Methil) Methil, Oct 29, 1941
Methil, Oct 31, 1941 FS.635 (Methil - Southend) Southend, Nov 2, 1941
Spurn, Dec 6, 1941 FN.571 (Southend - Methil) Methil, Dec 9, 1941
Methil, Dec 10, 1941 EN.17 (Methil - Oban) Oban, Dec 13, 1941
Oban, Dec 15, 1941 OS.14 (Liverpool - Freetown)
Liverpool, Dec 23, 1941 OS.15 (Liverpool - Bathurst) Freetown, Jan 14, 1942
OS.14 (Liverpool - Freetown) Clyde, Jan 16, 1942
Freetown, Jan 18, 1942 ST.13X (Freetown - Takoradi)
Independent Capetown, Feb 1, 1942
Capetown, Feb 10, 1942 Independent Bahrein, Mar 2, 1942
Independent Bushire, Mar 3, 1942
Bahrein, Mar 3, 1942 Independent
Bushire, Mar 4, 1942 Independent Kuwait, Mar 5, 1942
Kuwait, Mar 5, 1942 Independent Khorram Shahr, Mar 8, 1942
Khorram Shahr, Mar 8, 1942 Independent Basra, Mar 10, 1942
Basra, Mar 20, 1942 Independent
Abadan, Mar 26, 1942 Independent Karachi, Mar 30, 1942
Karachi, Apr 5, 1942 Independent Basra, Apr 19, 1942
Basra, Apr 22, 1942 Independent Abadan, Apr 23, 1942
Abadan, Apr 23, 1942 Independent Bushire, Apr 27, 1942
Bushire, Apr 27, 1942 Independent Karachi, May 1, 1942
Karachi, May 3, 1942 Independent Mombasa, May 12, 1942
Mombasa, May 18, 1942 Independent Beira, May 24, 1942
Beira, May 30, 1942 Independent Capetown, Jun 5, 1942
Capetown, Jun 15, 1942 Independent Capetown, Jun 18, 1942
Capetown, Jul 2, 1942 Independent Capetown, Jul 27, 1942
Capetown, Jul 27, 1942 Independent
Capetown, Aug 8, 1942 Independent Freetown, Aug 24, 1942
Freetown, Sep 3, 1942 SL.121 (Freetown - Liverpool) Liverpool, Sep 21, 1942
Liverpool, Oct 24, 1942 ON.141 (Liverpool - NYC)
Liverpool, Oct 30, 1942 ON.142 (Liverpool - NYC)
ON.141 (Liverpool - NYC) New York, Nov 10, 1942
ON.142 (Liverpool - NYC) New York, Nov 21, 1942
Independent Capetown, Dec 13, 1942
Durban, Dec 22, 1942 Independent Basra, Jan 13, 1943
Independent Abadan, Feb 1, 1943
Basra, Feb 1, 1943 Independent
Abadan, Feb 6, 1943 Independent Bushire, Feb 8, 1943
Bandar Abbas, Feb 11, 1943 PB.26 (Bandar Abbas - Bombay) Bombay, Feb 17, 1943
Bombay, Feb 21, 1943 Independent
Mormagoa, Feb 26, 1943 Independent Mombasa, Mar 2, 1943
Independent Mahe, Mar 5, 1943
Mahe, Mar 15, 1943 Independent Capetown, Mar 30, 1943
Capetown, Mar 31, 1943 Independent Takoradi, Apr 15, 1943
Takoradi, Apr 26, 1943 TS.37 (Takoradi - Freetown)

Collision with Kirsfjord

The Warsailors website - External Ref. #6 has the following account of a tragic collision between Bandar Shahpour and Kirsfjord in 1941.

On Jan. 21, she collided with the British D/S Bandar Shahpour, 200 n. miles northwest of Butt of Lewis, 60 40N 12 09W. Bandar Shahpour had minor damage, whereas Korsfjord sank, with the loss of 2 men. The survivors were picked up by Bandar Shahpour and landed in Stornoway on Jan. 25 (having experienced bad weather which slowed the voyage).

What follows is an extract from Captain L. Akse's report on this incident (times are BST):

"We experienced bad weather during the 20th and 21st January, but on the evening of the 21st the wind moderated to a strong breeze from N.E. with a heavy sea and occasional squalls of snow and sleet from the same direction. There was little or no tide, but such as there was would be following the course of the wind, i.e. setting in a south westerly direction. It was the Chief Officer's watch from 7 p.m. on the 21st January to midnight, but I was also on the bridge from 7.15 p.m. until about 11.15 p.m. An ordinary seaman was keeping a lookout from the bridge and from 11 p.m. the Carpenter was at the wheel which was steem steering in a wheelhouse.

At 10.15 p.m. I set a course of S 65 E true which would be S 45# magnetic and S 48 E by the steering compass and continued on with engines working at full speed, but only making good owing to the heavy sea about 5 knots. About 11.10 p.m. whilst I was still on the bridge we experienced a heavy squall of snow and sleet which passed in about 5 minutes when as the weather was now absolutely clear ahead with a visibility for objects without lights of between one and two miles, I went below into my cabin which is immediately under the bridge to get some coffee, leaving orders with the Chief Officer to be sure and call me in the event of anything being sighted.

When I had been in my cabin about 5 minutes the Chief Officer called to me through the cabin door that he had observed two large vessels on the starboard bow, whereupon I ordered him to switch on our side lights which were dimmed to a visibility of about a mile by perforated shades placed over the bulbs as advised by the Navy Control and then ran up on to the bridge. On arriving on the bridge I saw the vessels which the Chief Officer had reported to me without lights, the leading now bearing three to four points on the starboard bow and distant about a mile and the other a little astern of her and bearing about three points on the starboard bow. Shortly afterward I made out the loom of a third vessel following the other two, all three apparently being on an opposite course to my ship and on crossing the bridge from starboard to port I made out another vessel without lights about a beam on our port side, and distant, I estimate, about half a mile. I then realized that my vessel was in between two columns of a convoy outward bound, but the vessels mentioned were in a position to pass all clear and in fact did so. We were still on our course of S 65 E true with engines working at full ahead, making about 5 knots.

About a minute after seeing the vessel on our port beam and whilst still maintaining our course and speed the lookout man reported, and at the same time I made out the loom of another vessel without lights bearing between two and three points on our port bow and distant between one and two miles. I then ordered our forward masthead light which was not dimmed to be switched on which was done by the Chief Officer. I carefully watched this vessel, and in two or three minutes when she was distant about half a mile, or a little more, as she had not broadened on our bow I concluded that she must be on our course which would cut ours from port to starboard, whereupon bearing in mind that she would be seeing our red lights as well as our masthead light I sounded one short blast on our whistle and ordered the man at the wheel to give hard a starboard wheel. To this signal the other vessel replied with two short blasts, whereupon I sounded the danger signal indicated by a series of short blasts, five or more. I did not, however, reverse my engines, expecting that the other vessel would now alter course to starboard and pass us port side to port side as she could and should have done. She, however, continued on swinging with her head to port, and in a short time with her stem struck my vessel a heavy blow on the port side in the way of No. 1 hatch at about a right angle cutting into her nearly up to the hatch coaming.

At the time of the collision my vessel was still making about 5 knots, and the other vessel appeared to be going at full speed making about 8 or 9 knots. I estimate that when the collision occurred my vessel, which owing to the heavy sea running had been sluggish on her helm, had altered under her hard a starboard wheel about 2 points. As a result of the collision our head was forced round to starboard and the vessels got more or less parallel to one another. Immediately the collision occurred I stopped the engines of my vessel and fearing she would sink ordered all hands on deck."

Korsfjord was sinking quickly by the head so the captain ordered the crew to lower the starboard and port boats. The port boat was struck by a heavy sea and filled with water, but remained afloat with its occupants still in it. However, 2 men had lost their lives. Korsfjord went down about half an hour after the collision, which had occurred at around 11:30 BST.

As mentioned the survivors were picked up by Bandar Shahpour and Korsfjord's captain says:

"Whilst on board the Bandar Shahpour the Captain of that vessel told me that some little time before the collision, whilst the 3rd Officer was in charge on the bridge, one of the Escorting vessels of the convoy had shown green Very lights which he had not understood. In my experience, however, gained from convoys I had been in, this was a signal for an emergency turn of 40 degrees to starboard, and this I told the Captain. It follows therefore, that if the Bandar Shahpour had altered 40 degrees to starboard she would have passed my vessel all clear port to port on about an opposite course as in fact did another vessel on our port side. No lights were exhibited by the Bandar Shahpour from first to last, and the only whistle signal given by her was two short blasts."

Loss of Bandar Shahpour

Bandar Shahpour was lost on 30 April 1943 after being hit by torpedoes.

The website - External. Ref. #3, provides this account:

At 22.56 hours on 30 Apr, 1943, U-515 fired two stern torpedoes at the convoy TS-37 about 130 miles southwest of Freetown and observed hits after 58 and 59 seconds. The first ship was seen sinking fast and another broke in two after being hit under the bridge. At 22.57 hours, one torpedo was fired, which struck a freighter amidships after 52 seconds. A fourth torpedo fired one minute later struck another freighter amidships, which exploded. At 22.59 hours, a fifth torpedo was fired and struck after 1 minute a ship, which immediately sank. A sixth torpedo fired at 23.01 hours hit a freighter after 1 minute 30 seconds, but the sinking could not be observed. Henke claimed five ships of 31.000 grt sunk and another of 6000 grt probably sunk. However, only four ships were hit and sunk, the Corabella, Bandar Shahpour, Kota Tjandi and Nagina.

One passenger from the Bandar Shahpour (Master Wilfred Allinson Chappell) was lost. The master, 61 crew members, eight gunners and seven passengers were picked up by HMS Birdlip (T 218) (Lt. E.N. Groom, RNR) and landed at Freetown the next day.

A personal account of the loss of Bandar Shahpour by Andy Anderson can be found in the Recollections section of the Benjidog website HERE.

Loss of Passenger

Surname Forenames Description Other information
Chappell Master Wilfred Allinson Passenger It is presumed that 'Master' is used here to denote a young person rather than a ship's Master as there is no reference in the CGWC database.

Image Credits

  1. From The Allen Collection