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Conakrian

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Introduction

Conakrian was built in 1937 and served extensively during WW2 undertaking many independent voyages and taking part in a number of convoys. Surviving attacks by both aerial mine and torpedo, she lived on to continue her service life until 1968 when she was broken up.


Image 1: Conakrian - Location not known but believed to have been taken in 1937. [1]

Conakrian



Basic Data


ItemData
TypeCargo Ship
Registered owners, managers and operatorsOwners: Elmina Ltd.
Managed by: United Africa Co Ltd.
BuildersFurness Steam Boat Co. Ltd.
YardHaverton Hill on Tees
Country UK
Yard number272
RegistryFreetown, Sierra Leone
Official number157536
Signal lettersN/K
Call signVPTN
Classification societyN/K
Gross tonnage4,344
Net tonnage 2,778
DeadweightN/K
Length422.5 ft
Overall Length438.3 ft
Breadth56.7 ft
Depth23.6 ft
DraughtN/K
EnginesTriple expansion steam engine with cylinders of bore 23", 38" and 65" with stroke 45".
Engine buildersN.E Marine Engineering Co. Ltd.
WorksNewcastle
CountryUK
Boilers2 single-ended and 1 auxiliary single ended boilers operating at 220 psi
Power456 NHP
PropulsionSingle Screw
Speed10 knots
Cargo capacityN/K
CrewN/K


Additional Construction Information

The Lloyds Register entry for Conakrian for 1945-46 has the following additional information about her:



Career Highlights

DateEvent
30 January 1937Keel laid
21 September 1937Launched
November 1937Completed
1949Name changed to Dahomey Palm - Registered Owner Palm Line
20 Oct 1940Damaged in air attack of Girdleness
15 Apr 1945Damaged by a mine
1959Sold to Pan-Norse Steamship Co. S.A. (Managed by Wallem & Co.Hong Kong and registered in Panama. Name changed to Southern Mariner.
1963Sold to Mariner Ocean Transport Co. S.A. (same managers)
24 Sep 1968Arrived at Hong Kong for breaking



Service Pre-WW2

I have found no information about the service history of Conakrian before WW2.



Service in WW2

Convoys

Conakrian took part in many convoys and a very large number of independent voyages during the war years according to information shown in the table below which is provided courtesy of Convoyweb - see External Ref. #4.


Departure Convoy Arrival
Liverpool, Oct 2, 1939 OB.13 (Liverpool - Dispersed)
Independent Dakar, Oct 14, 1939
Dakar, Oct 18, 1939 Independent Freetown, Oct 21, 1939
Freetown, Oct 23, 1939 Independent Port Harcourt, Oct 29, 1939
Port Harcourt, Oct 31, 1939 Independent Calabar, Nov 1, 1939
Independent Calabar, Nov 1, 1939
Independent Victoria, Nigeria, Nov 3, 1939
Calabar, Nov 3, 1939 Independent
Calabar, Nov 3, 1939 Independent Duala, Nov 5, 1939
Victoria, Nigeria, Nov 5, 1939 Independent
Duala, Nov 7, 1939 Independent Abonnema, Nov 8, 1939
Abonnema, Nov 9, 1939 Independent Forcados, Nov 11, 1939
Forcados, Nov 14, 1939 Independent Opobo, Nov 16, 1939
Opobo, Nov 20, 1939 Independent Sapele, Nov 22, 1939
Forcados, Nov 28, 1939 Independent Port Harcourt, Nov 29, 1939
Port Harcourt, Dec 1, 1939 Independent Lagos, Dec 3, 1939
Lagos, Dec 7, 1939 Independent Accra, Dec 8, 1939
Accra, Dec 8, 1939 Independent Winneba, Dec 9, 1939
Winneba, Dec 9, 1939 Independent Takoradi, Dec 11, 1939
Takoradi, Dec 11, 1939 Independent Freetown, Dec 17, 1939
Freetown, Dec 26, 1939 SL.14 (Freetown - Liverpool) Liverpool, Jan 17, 1940
Liverpool, Feb 8, 1940 OB.87 (Liverpool - Dispersed)
Independent Dakar, Feb 19, 1940
Dakar, Feb 20, 1940 Independent Bathurst, Feb 21, 1940
Bathurst, Feb 22, 1940 Independent Freetown, Feb 24, 1940
Freetown, Feb 28, 1940 Independent Monrovia, Feb 29, 1940
Monrovia, Feb 29, 1940 Independent Takoradi, Mar 3, 1940
Takoradi, Mar 4, 1940 Independent Cape Coast, Mar 5, 1940
Cape Coast, Mar 5, 1940 Independent Winneba, Mar 6, 1940
Winneba, Mar 6, 1940 Independent Accra, Mar 7, 1940
Accra, Mar 9, 1940 Independent Lagos, Mar 12, 1940
Lagos, Mar 14, 1940 Independent Port Harcourt, Mar 16, 1940
Port Harcourt, Mar 18, 1940 Independent Calabar, Mar 19, 1940
Independent Calabar, Mar 19, 1940
Calabar, Mar 20, 1940 Independent
Calabar, Mar 20, 1940 Independent
Abonnema, Mar 23, 1940 Independent Forcados, Mar 24, 1940
Forcados, Mar 27, 1940 Independent Opobo, Mar 29, 1940
Opobo, Mar 30, 1940 Independent
Forcados, Apr 5, 1940 Independent Abonnema, Apr 6, 1940
Independent Calabar, Apr 9, 1940
Independent Calabar, Apr 9, 1940
Abonnema, Apr 9, 1940 Independent
Calabar, Apr 12, 1940 Independent
Calabar, Apr 12, 1940 Independent Lagos, Apr 14, 1940
Lagos, Apr 16, 1940 Independent Freetown, Apr 23, 1940
Freetown, Apr 24, 1940 Independent Freetown, Apr 27, 1940
Freetown, May 1, 1940 SL.30 (Freetown - Liverpool) Liverpool, May 18, 1940
Liverpool, Jun 11, 1940 OB.166 (Liverpool - to OG 33)
OG.33 (to AT SEA - Gibraltar) Gibraltar, Jun 19, 1940
Gibraltar, Jul 28, 1940 Independent Freetown, Aug 7, 1940
Freetown, Aug 10, 1940 Independent Lagos, Aug 14, 1940
Lagos, Aug 15, 1940 Independent Opobo, Aug 17, 1940
Opobo, Aug 18, 1940 Independent Dagema, Aug 19, 1940
Calabar, Aug 27, 1940 Independent
Calabar, Aug 27, 1940 Independent Accra, Sep 3, 1940
Accra, Sep 3, 1940 Independent Freetown, Sep 7, 1940
Freetown, Sep 10, 1940 SL.47 (Freetown - Liverpool) Methil Roads, Oct 1, 1940
Methil, Oct 1, 1940 FS.297 (Methil - Southend) Hull, Oct 3, 1940
Hull, Oct 15, 1940 FN.309 (Southend - Methil) Methil, Oct 18, 1940
Methil, Oct 20, 1940 OA.232 (Methil - Dispersed) Aberdeen, Oct 21, 1940
Aberdeen, Feb 19, 1941 not reported
Aberdeen, Oct 8, 1941 In tow Tyne, Oct 11, 1941
Tyne, Feb 8, 1942 FN.625 (Southend - Methil) Methil, Feb 9, 1942
Methil, Mar 10, 1942 EN.57 (Methil - Oban) Oban, Mar 13, 1942
Oban, Mar 25, 1942 OS.23 (Liverpool - Freetown) Freetown, Apr 11, 1942
Freetown, Apr 19, 1942 ST.20 (Freetown - Dispersed)
Independent Takoradi, Apr 24, 1942
Takoradi, Apr 27, 1942 Independent Lagos, Apr 28, 1942
Lagos, May 1, 1942 Independent Forcados, May 2, 1942
Forcados, May 16, 1942 Independent Lagos, May 17, 1942
Lagos, May 23, 1942 LS.6 (Takoradi - Freetown) Freetown, Jun 1, 1942
Freetown, Jun 4, 1942 SL.112 (Freetown - Liverpool) Liverpool, Jun 23, 1942
Liverpool, Jul 11, 1942 OS.34 (Liverpool - Freetown)
OSS.34 (ex OS 34 - Takoradi) Takoradi, Aug 4, 1942
Takoradi, Aug 8, 1942 Independent Accra, Aug 9, 1942
Accra, Aug 13, 1942 Independent Lagos, Aug 14, 1942
Lagos, Aug 23, 1942 Independent Port Harcourt, Aug 25, 1942
Port Harcourt, Aug 29, 1942 Independent Port Harcourt, Sep 3, 1942
Port Harcourt, Sep 7, 1942 Independent Lagos, Sep 9, 1942
Lagos, Sep 14, 1942 not reported Takoradi, Sep 16, 1942
Takoradi, Sep 16, 1942 TS.18 (Takoradi - Freetown) Freetown, Sep 21, 1942
Freetown, Sep 23, 1942 SL.123 (Freetown - Liverpool) Liverpool, Oct 14, 1942
Independent Holyhead, Oct 30, 1942
Liverpool, Oct 30, 1942 Independent
Holyhead, Oct 31, 1942 HM.54 (Holyhead - M Haven) Swansea, Nov 1, 1942
Swansea, Nov 3, 1942 Independent Penarth, Nov 5, 1942
Penarth, Nov 17, 1942 Independent Clyde, Nov 21, 1942
Clyde, Nov 26, 1942 KMS.4G (Clyde - Bone) Philippeville, Dec 12, 1942
Philippeville, Dec 23, 1942 ET.6A (Bone - Gibraltar) Algiers, Dec 24, 1942
Algiers, Dec 24, 1942 MKS.4 (Bone - Liverpool) Cardiff, Jan 5, 1943
Cardiff, Feb 1, 1943 Independent Clyde, Feb 5, 1943
Clyde, Feb 26, 1943 KMS.10G (Clyde - Bone) Algiers, Mar 10, 1943
Algiers, Mar 19, 1943 TE.19 (Gibraltar - Bone) Bone, Mar 20, 1943
Bone, Apr 4, 1943 ET.17 (Bone - Gibraltar) Algiers, Apr 6, 1943
Algiers, Apr 12, 1943 MKS.11 (Bone - Liverpool) Gibraltar, Apr 14, 1943
Gibraltar, Apr 23, 1943 OS.46 (ex OS 46/KMS 13 - Freetown) Freetown, May 3, 1943
Freetown, May 10, 1943 ST.65 (Freetown - Takoradi)
TL.10 (Takoradi - Lagos) Lagos, May 16, 1943
Lagos, May 16, 1943 Independent Forcados, May 17, 1943
Forcados, Jun 1, 1943 Independent Port Harcourt, Jun 2, 1943
Port Harcourt, Jun 6, 1943 Independent Lagos, Jun 8, 1943
Lagos, Jun 12, 1943 not reported Takoradi, Jun 14, 1943
Takoradi, Jun 19, 1943 TS.45 (Takoradi - Freetown) Freetown, Jun 25, 1943
Freetown, Jun 28, 1943 SL.132 (Freetown - r/v WITH MKS 16)
SL.132S (Convoy Divided - Liverpool) Liverpool, Jul 22, 1943
Liverpool, Aug 17, 1943 KMS.24G (Liverpool - Gibraltar) Passed Gibraltar, Aug 30, 1943
Passed Gibraltar, Aug 30, 1943 KMS.24 (Gibraltar - Port Said) Malta, Sep 4, 1943
Malta, Sep 4, 1943 not reported Syracuse, Sep 5, 1943
Syracuse, Sep 11, 1943 not reported Malta, Sep 12, 1943
Malta, Sep 13, 1943 GUS.15 (Alexandria - Hampton Rds) Gibraltar, Sep 18, 1943
Gibraltar, Sep 27, 1943 OS.55 (ex OS 55/KMS 27 - Freetown)
not reported Takoradi, Oct 10, 1943
Takoradi, Oct 11, 1943 TGE.3 (Takoradi - Dispersed)
Lagos, Oct 13, 1943 Independent Forcados, Oct 14, 1943
Forcados, Oct 24, 1943 Independent Port Harcourt, Oct 25, 1943
Port Harcourt, Oct 31, 1943 Independent Lagos, Nov 2, 1943
Lagos, Nov 3, 1943 LTS.4 (Lagos - Freetown) Takoradi, Nov 5, 1943
Takoradi, Nov 10, 1943 LTS.5 (Lagos - Freetown) Freetown, Nov 14, 1943
Freetown, Nov 22, 1943 SL.141 (Freetown - r/v WITH MKS 32)
SL.141MK (r/v SL 141/MKS 32 - Liverpool) Loch Ewe, Dec 16, 1943
WN.519 (Loch Ewe - Methil) Methil, Dec 18, 1943
Methil, Dec 19, 1943 FS.1305 (Methil - Southend) Southend, Dec 21, 1943
Southend, Jan 18, 1944 FN.1240 (Southend - Methil) Methil, Jan 20, 1944
Methil, Jan 20, 1944 EN.335 (Methil - Loch Ewe) Oban, Jan 24, 1944
Oban, Jan 25, 1944 OS.66KM (Liverpool - Convoy Split)
OS.66 (ex OS 66/KMS 40 - Freetown) Bathurst, Feb 13, 1944
Bathurst, Feb 18, 1944 Independent Freetown, Feb 20, 1944
Freetown, Feb 22, 1944 STL.12 (Freetown - Lagos) Takoradi, Feb 27, 1944
Takoradi, Feb 29, 1944 Independent Lagos, Mar 2, 1944
Lagos, Mar 2, 1944 Independent Duala, Mar 4, 1944
Duala, Mar 13, 1944 Independent Forcados, Mar 14, 1944
Forcados, Mar 25, 1944 Independent Calabar, Mar 27, 1944
Independent Calabar, Mar 27, 1944
Calabar, Apr 1, 1944 Independent
Calabar, Apr 1, 1944 Independent Lagos, Apr 4, 1944
Lagos, Apr 11, 1944 LTS.16 (Lagos - Freetown) Freetown, Apr 18, 1944
Freetown, Apr 21, 1944 SL.156 (Freetown - r/v WITH MKS 47)
SL.156MK (r/v SL 156/MKS 47 - Liverpool) Liverpool, May 13, 1944
Liverpool, Jun 2, 1944 OS.79KM (Liverpool - Convoy Split)
OS.79 (ex OS 79/KMS 53 - Freetown) Freetown, Jun 21, 1944
Freetown, Jun 25, 1944 STL.25 (Freetown - Lagos) Takoradi, Jun 30, 1944
Takoradi, Jul 4, 1944 Independent Lagos, Jul 6, 1944
Lagos, Jul 14, 1944 Independent Calabar, Jul 16, 1944
Independent Calabar, Jul 16, 1944
Calabar, Jul 19, 1944 Independent
Calabar, Jul 19, 1944 Independent Forcados, Jul 21, 1944
Forcados, Aug 3, 1944 Independent
Lagos, Aug 8, 1944 Independent Takoradi, Aug 9, 1944
Independent Accra, Aug 15, 1944
Takoradi, Aug 15, 1944 Independent
Accra, Aug 19, 1944 Independent
Takoradi, Aug 21, 1944 TS.62 (Takoradi - Freetown) Freetown, Aug 26, 1944
Freetown, Aug 29, 1944 SL.169 (Freetown - r/v WITH MKS 60)
SL.169MK (r/v SL 169/MKS 60 - Liverpool) Liverpool, Sep 18, 1944
Liverpool, Oct 15, 1944 OS.92KM (Liverpool - Convoy Split)
OS.92 (ex OS 92/KMS 66 - Freetown) Freetown, Nov 4, 1944
Freetown, Nov 5, 1944 Independent Takoradi, Nov 9, 1944
Takoradi, Nov 12, 1944 Independent Lagos, Nov 14, 1944
Lagos, Nov 23, 1944 Independent Congo River, Nov 29, 1944
Congo River, Dec 7, 1944 Independent Lagos, Dec 11, 1944
Lagos, Dec 19, 1944 Independent Takoradi, Dec 21, 1944
Takoradi, Dec 24, 1944 Independent Freetown, Dec 28, 1944
Freetown, Dec 29, 1944 Independent Casablanca, Jan 7, 1945
Casablanca, Jan 10, 1945 MKS.76G (Gibraltar - Liverpool) Liverpool, Jan 21, 1945
Liverpool, Feb 11, 1945 ON.284 (Southend - NYC) Halifax, Feb 26, 1945
Halifax, Mar 16, 1945 HX.344 (NYC - Liverpool) Downs, Mar 30, 1945
Downs, Mar 31, 1945 TAM.124 (Southend - Antwerp) Antwerp, Apr 1, 1945
Antwerp, Apr 15, 1945 ATM.125 (Antwerp - Southend) Southend, Apr 17, 1945
Southend, Dec 23, 1945 In tow Tyne, Dec 25, 1945

There is a brief account by Stan Mayes who spent a short time on her after she had been mined on the Benjidog website HERE.



Torpedo Damage in 1940

On 20 October 1940 the destroyer H.M.S. Cleveland left Kirkwall with British steamer Ben My Chree and they arrived at Aberdeen at 14:00. The destroyer then escorted Submarine L-23 from Dundee to Scapa Flow and en route assisted damaged British steamer Conakrian and rescued survivors. Conakrian had been torpedoed in an air attack off Girdleness.



Rescue of Survivors of New Columbia

According to uboat.net - External Ref. #3, on 31 October 1943, Conakrian was involved in the rescue of the survivors of New Columbia which had been torpedoed by U-68 which was underthe command of Kapitänleutnant Albert Lauzemison :

At 21.14 hours on 31 Oct, 1943, the unescorted New Columbia (Master Frederick Bradley Kent) was hit in the foreship by one FAT torpedo from U-68 southwest of Bingerville, Ivory Coast. She sank by the bow after being hit in the engine room by a second FAT torpedo at 21.44 hours.

The master, 54 crew members, ten gunners and 19 Kroomen - alternatively known as Kroumen or Krumen (African sailors who had been taken on as crew) were picked up by the British merchant Conakrian and landed at Lagos. Lauzemis thought after he had questioned the crew that he had sunk the Troilus.

New Columbia was on a passage from Libreville to Lagos with a general cargo and copper when she was sunk. Remarkably, no lives were lost.



Mine Damage 1944

Conakrian struck a mine in the English Channel on 15 April 1944 whilst in convoy ATM 125 which departed Antwerp for London. She was heavily damaged when the mine exploded below #4 hold. Luckily there were no casualties and the ship survived to be towed to Tilbury Docks where her cargo was discharged.

Stan Mayes states that she was then laid up until 18th June 1945 when he joined her with a 'run crew' with the intention of her being towed to the Tyne for repair.

However off Southend we received orders to anchor the ship which we did and a few days later we - the 'run crew' left the ship - only some officers and engineers remained. Conakrian remained at anchor off Southend until 23rd December 1945 and then left under tow for the Tyne, arriving Christmas Day.




Service Post WW2

In 1949 Conakrian was sold to Palm Line and renamed Dahomey Palm. Palm Line transported palm oil from West Africa for use by Unilever, initially famous for soap and margarine production. The palm oil required for the soap making process was shipped from West African ports to the Liverpool area.


Image 2: Conakrian - Location and date not known. [2]

Conakrian

In 1959 she was sold again to Pan-Norse Steamship Co. and her name changed to Southern Mariner. This company was based in Panama but there is currently no information on how she was used.

After another change of ownership in 1963, her service continued until September 1968 when she was take to be broken up in Hong Kong.



Image Credits

  1. From the website owner's photo collection
  2. By courtesy of Stan Mayes