Lucellum

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Introduction

Lucellum was launched in 1938 and did sterling service in WW2 convoys. Her overall service life was 23 years and she was broken up in 1961.

Lucellum
An old postcard of Lucellum - the date and location is not known. [1]

Basic Data

Item Value
Type Tanker
Registered owners, managers and operators Astrakhan SS Co. Limited
H.E.Moss & Co  Liverpool (Managers)
Builders Odense Staalskibs
Yard Odense
Country Denmark
Yard number 77
Registry N/K
Official number 166255
Signal letters N/K
Call sign GQQB
Classification society N/K
Gross tonnage 9,493
Net tonnage 5,726
Deadweight N/K
Length 485.6 ft
Overall Length 501.2 ft
Breadth 65.5 ft
Depth 35.7 ft
Draught N/K
Engines 7 cylinder 4-stroke cycle single-acting (4S.C.SA) oil engine - with 29 1/8” bore and 59 1/16” stroke
Engine builders Burmeistr and Wain
Works Copenhagen
Country Denmark
Boilers Auxiliary engines - 2 double boilers operating at 180 psi
Power 572 NHP
Propulsion Single screw
Speed 12.5 knots
Cargo capacity N/K
Passenger capacity N/K
Crew N/k

Additional Construction Information

The Lloyds Register entry for Lucellum for 1943-44 has the following additional information about her:

  • A single deck and cruiser stern
  • Machinery aft
  • Longitudinal framing at bottom and deck in centre tanks
  • She was fitted with echo-sounding and radio direction-finding equipment
  • Carrying petroleum in bulk

Career Highlights

Date Event
29 Oct 1938 Launched
December 1938 Completed
1955 Sold to K.Salvesen & Sons and renamed Asturia
1956 Converted to ore carrier, 10,000gt
5 October 1961 Wrecked at Cap a la Roche, St Lawrence River
30 December 1961 Broken up at Barcelona

Service Pre WW2

I have not found out any information about the service history of Lucellum before WW2.

Service in WW2

Convoys

Lucellum took part in 61 convoys and other independent voyages according to information shown in the table below which is provided courtesy of Convoyweb - see External. Ref. #4.

Departure Convoy/Independent Arrival
Halifax, Dec 27, 1939 HXF.14 (Halifax - Liverpool) Liverpool, Jan 8, 1940
OG.16F (to AT SEA - Gibraltar) Gibraltar, Feb 1, 1940
Gibraltar, Mar 17, 1940 HG.23F (Gibraltar - Liverpool) Liverpool, Mar 26, 1940
Freetown, Jun 25, 1940 SL.37 (Freetown - Liverpool) Liverpool, Jul 12, 1940
Liverpool, Sep 8, 1940 OB.210 (Liverpool - Dispersed)
Freetown, Dec 7, 1940 SL.58 (Freetown - Liverpool) Liverpool, Dec 28, 1940
Bermuda, Feb 11, 1941 BHX.109 (Bermuda - Jd HX 109)
HX.109 (Halifax - Liverpool) Liverpool, Mar 4, 1941
Clyde, Mar 28, 1941 OB.303 (Liverpool - Dispersed)
Halifax, May 6, 1941 HX.125A (Halifax - Liverpool) Liverpool, May 22, 1941
Liverpool, Jun 8, 1941 OB.331 (Liverpool - Dispersed)
Halifax, Aug 1, 1941 HX.142 (Halifax - Liverpool) Liverpool, Aug 18, 1941
Liverpool, Aug 30, 1941 ON.11 (Liverpool - Dispersed)
Halifax, Oct 5, 1941 HX.153 (Halifax - Liverpool)
Liverpool, Oct 8, 1941 ON.24 (Liverpool - Dispersed)
HX.153 (Halifax - Liverpool) Liverpool, Oct 19, 1941
Liverpool, Oct 26, 1941 ON.30 (Liverpool - Dispersed)
Halifax, Dec 3, 1941 HX.163 (Halifax - Liverpool) Liverpool, Dec 19, 1941
Belfast Lough, Dec 19, 1941 BB.113 (Belfast Lough - M Haven)
Liverpool, Jul 24, 1942 ON.115 (Liverpool - Boston)
Belfast Lough, Jul 31, 1942 ON.117 (Liverpool - Dispersed)
Halifax, Aug 19, 1942 HA.4 (Halifax - Curacao) Curacao, Aug 28, 1942
Curacao, Aug 29, 1942 WAT.16 (Key West - Trinidad) Trinidad, Aug 31, 1942
Freetown, Oct 3, 1942 SL.124 (Freetown - Liverpool) Liverpool, Oct 22, 1942
Liverpool, Oct 24, 1942 ON.141 (Liverpool - NYC) New York, Nov 10, 1942
New York, Nov 15, 1942 NK.510 (NYC - Key West) Key West, Nov 21, 1942
Key West, Nov 21, 1942 KH.420 (Key West - Galveston Bar) Galveston Bar, Nov 25, 1942
Galveston Bar, Nov 29, 1942 HK.122 (Galveston Bar - Key West) Key West, Dec 3, 1942
Key West, Dec 3, 1942 KN.211 (Key West - NYC) New York, Dec 8, 1942
New York, Dec 13, 1942 HX.219 (NYC - Liverpool) Liverpool, Dec 29, 1942
Liverpool, Jan 23, 1943 ON.162 (Liverpool - NYC)
Halifax, Feb 8, 1943 HF.35 (Halifax - St John Nb) St John Nb, Feb 10, 1943
New York, Mar 18, 1943 HX.230 (NYC - Liverpool) Liverpool, Apr 2, 1943
Liverpool, Apr 24, 1943 ON.180 (Liverpool - NYC) New York, May 14, 1943
New York, May 19, 1943 HX.240 (NYC - Liverpool) Liverpool, Jun 4, 1943
Clyde, Jun 10, 1943 ON.188 (Liverpool - NYC) New York, Jun 26, 1943
New York, Jul 8, 1943 HX.247 (NYC - Liverpool) Liverpool, Jul 22, 1943
Clyde, Oct 19, 1943 ON.207 (Liverpool - NYC) New York, Nov 4, 1943
New York, Nov 6, 1943 HX.265 (NYC - Liverpool) Liverpool, Nov 21, 1943
Liverpool, Nov 26, 1943 ON.213 (Liverpool - NYC) New York, Dec 14, 1943
New York, Dec 22, 1943 HX.272 (NYC - Liverpool) Liverpool, Jan 6, 1944
Milford Haven, Jan 14, 1944 ON.220 (Liverpool - NYC) New York, Feb 4, 1944
New York, Feb 13, 1944 HX.279 (NYC - Liverpool) Liverpool, Feb 29, 1944
Milford Haven, Mar 8, 1944 ON.227 (Liverpool - NYC) New York, Mar 22, 1944
New York, Mar 28, 1944 HX.285 (NYC - Liverpool)
SC.156 (Halifax - Liverpool) Liverpool, Apr 13, 1944
Liverpool, Apr 26, 1944 ON.234 (Liverpool - NYC) New York, May 12, 1944
New York, May 19, 1944 HX.292 (NYC - Liverpool) Liverpool, Jun 2, 1944
Methil, Aug 4, 1944 EN.417 (Methil - Loch Ewe) Loch Ewe, Aug 6, 1944
ON.248F (Liverpool - NYC) New York, Aug 20, 1944
New York, Aug 25, 1944 HX.305 (NYC - Liverpool) Liverpool, Sep 10, 1944
Liverpool, Sep 28, 1944 ON.256 (Liverpool - NYC) New York, Oct 12, 1944
New York, Oct 20, 1944 HX.315 (NYC - Liverpool) Liverpool, Nov 3, 1944
Milford Haven, Nov 10, 1944 ON.265 (Southend - NYC) New York, Nov 23, 1944
New York, Nov 29, 1944 HX.323 (NYC - Liverpool) Liverpool, Dec 13, 1944
Liverpool, Dec 19, 1944 ON.273 (Southend - NYC) New York, Jan 4, 1945
New York, Jan 13, 1945 HX.332 (NYC - Liverpool) Southampton, Jan 28, 1945
Liverpool, Feb 21, 1945 ON.286 (Liverpool - NYC) New York, Mar 9, 1945
New York, Mar 14, 1945 HX.344 (NYC - Liverpool) Liverpool, Mar 28, 1945
Falmouth, Apr 9, 1945 ON.295 (Liverpool - NYC) New York, Apr 26, 1945
New York, May 3, 1945 HX.354 (NYC - Liverpool) Liverpool, May 18, 1945

Stan Mayes served on Lucellum from 20 September 1944 until 4 November 1944 and accounts of his voyages during that period can be found in the Recollections section of the Benjidog website HERE.

Bombing

On 19th December 1941 On 19th December 1941 Lucellum was bombed and set on fire by a German bomber near Bardsey Island off Cardigan Bay. See the Roll of Honour below for details of those who were killed.

Collision

Warsailors - External Ref. #6, quotes the following from the Commodore’s Narrative for convoy ON 162. Note that the numbers in brackets refer to the ships' positions in the convoy:

On the night of Febr. 6 it was estimated that the convoy would arrive at position X X at 23:00 and accordingly a prearranged alteration of course from 262° to 222° was ordered for that time. As usual the alteration was made by whistle signal at the precise second as shown by chronometer. There was heavy rain but the columns on each side of the Commodore could be clearly seen and in addition dimmed navigation lights and blue shaded stern lights were switched on by the Commodore immediately before the turn was made.

Coptic (71), which was slightly astern of station on the starboard side of Commodore (61) repeated the two short blasts and switched on her navigation lights as did all the other leaders; but as the turn was completed the Coptic was observed to cross under the stern of the Commodore and showed up alongside about a cable distant on the port side.

The Coptic then again sheered off to port and although this was not known to me at the time she came into collision with No. 52 (Lucellum) in the other column. On the following day the Laguna (72) reported that during the prearranged alteration of course she too had been in collision with Abangarez No. 63, neither of these vessels reported the collision until interrogated by the Commodore as to the obvious damage they had received.

The Lucellum was absent from convoy and as the Coptic could give no information as to the damage she had sustained, there was considerable anxiety about her until a message was received that she had arrived in Halifax.

The weather throughout was bad and W.N.W. gales prevailed throughout most of the passage. The convoy steamed through considerable quantities of light field ice off the Newfoundland Coast. There was no enemy action.
Lucellum
An old postcard of Lucellum - the date is not known. She looks to be badly in need of a paint job. [2]

Roll of Honour

The table below lists the 7 merchant seamen lost when Lucellum was bombed on 19 December 1941. The information is derived from the Tower Hill memorial and the Commonwealth War Grave Commission's "Debt of Honour" database.

Surname Forenames D.O.D. Rank Cemetery/Memorial Grave Ref. Additional Information
Farley James Joseph 19/12/1941 Ordinary Seaman Tower Hill Memorial Panel 66. Age 21. Son of Joseph and Sarah Farley.
Fisher William 19/12/1941 Able Seaman Liverpool (Allerton) Cemetery Sec. 6. Gen. Grave 562.
Morrell Harold William 21/01/1945 Fireman and Greaser Preston (New Hall Lane) Cemetery Sec. M. C. of E. Grave 778. Age 21. Son of James H. Morrell and Violet L. Morrell, of Preston.
Murray William Potter 19/12/1941 Chief Officer Tower Hill Memorial Panel 66. Age 30. Son of James and Helen Murray; Husband of Margaret Catherine Murray, of South Shields, Co. Durham.
O'loughlin John Joseph 19/12/1941 Sailor Tower Hill Memorial Panel 66. Age 18
Rowntree John 19/12/1941 Chief Engineer Officer Tower Hill Memorial Panel 66. Age 42. Son of John and Mary Rowntree; Husband of Elsie Rowntree, of Sunderland, Co. Durham.
Velen Edwin 19/12/1941 Boatswain South Shields (Harton) Cemetery Sec. L. Grave 9483. Age 46
Tower Hill Memorial
This is a photo of the panel on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission memorial at Tower Hill commemorating Lucellum. [3]
Poppies

Service post WW2

No further specific information has been discovered other than as shown in the Career Highlights section above terminating on her being broken up in 1961 after being wrecked in the St Lawrence River.

Image Credits

  1. From a postcard in the collection of the site owner
  2. By courtesy of the Stan Mayes
  3. From the Benjidog Tower Hill Memorial website