Sampep

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Introduction

Sampep was a Liberty Ship built in the U.S.A. She was launched in 1943 and put in the service of the Ministry of War Transport serving in many convoys during WW2. After the war she returned to U.S. ownership and broken up in 1968 giving her an overall service life of 25 years.

Sampep
Sampep - date and unknown but location noted as Vancouver. [1]

Basic Data

Item Value
Type Cargo Ship
Registered owners, managers and operators British Government - Ministry of War Transport on bare-boat charter from W.S.A. - managed by Houlder Bros & Co. Ltd.
Builders California SB Corp
Yard Terminal Island
Country USA
Yard number 242
Registry N/K
Official number 169715
Signal letters N/K
Call sign BFNV
Ship Design EC2-S-C1
Gross tonnage 7,219
Net tonnage 4,380
Deadweight N/K
Length 422.8 ft
Overall Length N/K
Breadth 57 ft
Depth 34.8 ft
Draught N/K
Engines Triple expansion steam engine with cylinders of bore 24.5", 37" and 70" with stroke 48".
Engine builders Joshua Hendy Iron Works
Works Sunnyvale California
Country USA
Boilers N/K
Power N/K
Propulsion Single Screw
Speed 11 knots
Cargo capacity N/K
Crew N/K

Additional Construction Information

The Lloyds Register entry for Sampep for 1945 has the following additional information about her:

  • She was built using electric welding
  • She had a cruiser stern
  • She was fitted with echo-sounding and radio direction-finding equipment
  • Although fitted with a triple-expansion steam engine, she was fitted to use oil as fuel rather than coal

Sampep was one of 184 Liberty ships built in the U.S.A. and known as 'SAM' ships. The SAM standing for 'Superstructure Aft of Midships'.

Career Highlights

Date Event
17 August 1943 Launched as Victor F.Lawson
August 1943 Completed
1943 Change of name to Sampepand change of owner to British Government
1948 Change of name to Victor F.Lawson and change of owner to U.S Government
26 March 1968 Taken to be broken up at Portland, Oregon (Oregon Shipwreckers Inc)

Service in WW2

Sampep took part in a very large number of convoys according to information shown in the table below which is provided courtesy of Convoyweb - see External Ref. #4. The table also includes various independent voyages undertaken by this ship during the wartime period

Departure Convoy/Independent Arrival
Los Angeles, Sep 12, 1943 Independent Hobart, Oct 11, 1943
Hobart, Oct 13, 1943 Independent Karachi, Nov 9, 1943
Karachi, Nov 22, 1943 PB.64 (Bandar Abbas - Bombay) Bombay, Nov 26, 1943
Bombay, Dec 5, 1943 BM.77 (Bombay - Colombo) Colombo, Dec 10, 1943
Colombo, Dec 11, 1943 JC.29 (Colombo - Calcutta) Madras, Dec 16, 1943
Madras, Jan 6, 1944 CJ.11 (Calcutta - Colombo) Colombo, Jan 9, 1944
Colombo, Jan 10, 1944 MB.61 (Colombo - Bombay)
Independent Aden, Jan 21, 1944
Aden, Jan 23, 1944 Independent Suez, Jan 29, 1944
Port Said, Jan 30, 1944 MKS.39 (Port Said - Gibraltar) Gibraltar, Feb 11, 1944
Gibraltar, Feb 11, 1944 MKS.39G (Gibraltar - r/v WITH SL 148)
SL.148MK (r/v SL 148/MKS 39 - Liverpool) Loch Ewe, Feb 24, 1944
WN.549 (Loch Ewe - Methil) Methil, Feb 27, 1944
Methil, Feb 28, 1944 FS.1376 (Methil - Southend) Southend, Mar 1, 1944
Southend, Jun 6, 1944 ETM.1 (Southend - Seine Bay) Seine Bay, Jun 7, 1944
Seine Bay, Jun 9, 1944 FTM.2 (Seine Bay - Southend)
Southend, Jun 13, 1944 ETM.8 (Southend - Seine Bay) Seine Bay, Jun 14, 1944
Seine Bay, Jun 16, 1944 FTM.9 (Seine Bay - Southend) Southend, Jun 17, 1944
Southend, Jun 23, 1944 ETM.15 (Southend - Seine Bay) Seine Bay, Jun 24, 1944
Seine Bay, Jun 26, 1944 FTM.19 (Seine Bay - Southend) Southend, Jun 27, 1944
Southend, Jun 29, 1944 ETM.21 (Southend - Seine Bay) Seine Bay, Jun 30, 1944
Seine Bay, Jul 3, 1944 FTM.26 (Seine Bay - Southend) Southend, Jul 4, 1944
Southend, Jul 8, 1944 ETM.30 (Southend - Seine Bay) Seine Bay, Jul 9, 1944
Seine Bay, Jul 13, 1944 FTM.36 (Seine Bay - Southend) Southend, Jul 14, 1944
Southend, Jul 16, 1944 ETM.38 (Southend - Seine Bay) Seine Bay, Jul 17, 1944
Seine Bay, Jul 20, 1944 FTM.43 (Seine Bay - Southend) Southend, Jul 21, 1944
Southend, Jul 29, 1944 ETM.49 (Southend - Seine Bay) Seine Bay, Jul 30, 1944
Seine Bay, Aug 2, 1944 FTM.55 (Seine Bay - Southend) Southend, Aug 3, 1944
Southend, Aug 15, 1944 ETM.61 (Southend - Seine Bay) Seine Bay, Aug 16, 1944
Seine Bay, Aug 19, 1944 FTM.71 (Seine Bay - Southend) Southend, Aug 20, 1944
Southend, Aug 23, 1944 ETM.65 (Southend - Seine Bay) Seine Bay, Aug 24, 1944
Seine Bay, Aug 27, 1944 FTM.75 (Seine Bay - Southend) Southend, Aug 28, 1944
Southend, Aug 31, 1944 ETM.69 (Southend - Seine Bay) Seine Bay, Sep 1, 1944
Seine Bay, Sep 6, 1944 FTM.79 (Seine Bay - Southend) Southend, Sep 7, 1944
Southend, Sep 9, 1944 ETM.73 (Southend - Seine Bay) Seine Bay, Sep 10, 1944
Seine Bay, Sep 16, 1944 FTM.4A (Seine Bay - Southend) Southend, Sep 17, 1944
Southend, Sep 30, 1944 ETM.80 (Southend - Seine Bay) Seine Bay, Oct 2, 1944
Seine Bay, Oct 9, 1944 FTM.12A (Seine Bay - Southend)
Southend, Oct 15, 1944 TMM.3 (Southend - Seine Bay) Seine Bay, Oct 16, 1944
Seine Bay, Oct 23, 1944 MTM.6 (Seine Bay - Southend) Southend, Oct 24, 1944
Southend, Nov 3, 1944 TMM.11 (Southend - Seine Bay) Seine Bay, Nov 4, 1944
Seine Bay, Nov 7, 1944 MTM.13 (Seine Bay - Southend) Southend, Nov 8, 1944
Southend, Dec 3, 1944 TAM.7 (Southend - Antwerp) Antwerp, Dec 4, 1944
Antwerp, Dec 15, 1944 ATM.13 (Antwerp - Southend) Southend, Dec 16, 1944
TAM.27 (Southend - Antwerp) Antwerp, Dec 24, 1944
Southend, Dec 24, 1944 TAM.27 (Southend - Antwerp)
Antwerp, Dec 29, 1944 ATM.23 (Antwerp - Southend) Southend, Dec 30, 1944
Southend, Jan 4, 1945 TAM.39 (Southend - Antwerp) Antwerp, Jan 5, 1945
Antwerp, Jan 8, 1945 ATM.33 (Antwerp - Southend) Southend, Jan 9, 1945
Southend, Jan 18, 1945 TAM.53 (Southend - Antwerp) Antwerp, Jan 19, 1945
Antwerp, Jan 22, 1945 ATM.43 (Antwerp - Southend) Southend, Jan 23, 1945
Southend, Jan 29, 1945 TAM.64 (Southend - Antwerp) Antwerp, Jan 30, 1945
Antwerp, Feb 1, 1945 ATM.51 (Antwerp - Southend) Southend, Feb 2, 1945
Southend, Feb 14, 1945 TAM.80 (Southend - Antwerp) Antwerp, Feb 15, 1945
Antwerp, Feb 21, 1945 ATM.71 (Antwerp - Southend) Southend, Feb 22, 1945
Southend, Feb 28, 1945 TAM.94 (Southend - Antwerp) Antwerp, Mar 1, 1945
Antwerp, Mar 3, 1945 ATM.81 (Antwerp - Southend) Southend, Mar 4, 1945
Southend, Mar 13, 1945 TAM.107 (Southend - Antwerp) Antwerp, Mar 14, 1945
Antwerp, Mar 17, 1945 ATM.95 (Antwerp - Southend) Southend, Mar 18, 1945
TAM.143 (Southend - Antwerp) Antwerp, Apr 19, 1945
Southend, Apr 19, 1945 TAM.143 (Southend - Antwerp)
Antwerp, Apr 21, 1945 ATM.131 (Antwerp - Southend) Southend, Apr 22, 1945
TAM.151 (Southend - Antwerp) Antwerp, Apr 27, 1945
Southend, Apr 27, 1945 TAM.151 (Southend - Antwerp)
Antwerp, Apr 29, 1945 ATM.140 (Antwerp - Southend) Southend, Apr 30, 1945
Southend, May 6, 1945 TAM.160 (Southend - Antwerp) Antwerp, May 7, 1945
Antwerp, May 8, 1945 ATM.148 (Antwerp - Southend) Southend, May 9, 1945
TAM.171 (Southend - Antwerp) Antwerp, May 17, 1945
Southend, May 17, 1945 TAM.171 (Southend - Antwerp)
Antwerp, May 19, 1945 ATM.159 (Antwerp - Southend) Southend, May 20, 1945
Southend, May 24, 1945 TAM.178 (Southend - Antwerp) Antwerp, May 25, 1945
Antwerp, May 26, 1945 ATM.166 (Antwerp - Southend) Southend, May 27, 1945

Service post WW2

I have been able to find relatively little information about the service life of Samrep after the war apart from the following:

Transport of Tanks

At the end of the war, a large quantity of military equipment needed to be returned to the UK and Sampep was one of the ships involved in this. There is an account from this time, including a description of an accident resulting in the Bosun losing a leg, by Stan Mayes on Benjidog Recollections website HERE.

Grounding 1946 Singapore

On 14 December 1946, The Straits Times carried a short article which said:

No Damage to Sampep

Divers of Fleet Salvage who have carried out a comprehensive survey of the 7,219-ton Houlder Brothers ship Sampep have reported that no damage has been suffered to the ship's bottom as a reult of her recent grounding. The Sampep which was carrying a cargo of more than 2,000 tons of Mauritius brown sugar to Singapore when she ran aground at Selat Sinki, off Pu'au Bukom is now lying in the Roads. Orders for the discharging of the sugar cargo have been given by the ship's agents Boustead and Co. Ltd.

As far as I can ascertain, this was the island now known as Pulau Bukom which is about 3 miles South of the main island of Singapore. It is now the site of a Shell oil refinery.

The Canberra Times of 12 December 1946 had this to say:

SHIP RE-FLOATED OFF REEF

Singapore, Wednesday

The merchant ship Sampep was re-floated 26 hours after she grounded in the Salapsinki (sic) coral reef, a few miles south of Singapore. Her cargo of 2,000 tons of Australian sugar from Singapore is intact.

Fire Damage 1948 Canada

There is a reference to a fire that seriously damaged Sampep in 1947 in the proceedings of the U.S. National Fire Protection Association - External Reference #48:

On August 25, at Port Alberni, B.C., fire in a wooden warehouse on the shore end of the pier sped above and beneath the 1,000-foot-long wharf, involved one and a half million feet of lumber' on the wharf and jumped to the superstructure and deck load of the liberty freighter Sampep. Here again, 9 undivided areas without fixed fire protection" doomed the wharf. This fire is an excellent example of "the need for what Rear Admiral Higbee refers to as "in-port seamanship." "In-port seamanship," in the words of Admiral Higbee, "involves safe moorage and readiness to get underway whenever the ship is jeopardized by surrounding conditions or when the ship itself may become a menace to the port and public safety." The S.S. Sampep was moored to the wharf fore and aft and also had her starboard anchor down (contrary to port regulations). There was no steam in the boilers. This lubberly state of affairs permitted the extension of fire to the vessel and also diverted the attention of many firefighters and the only fire boat from their attack on the pier fire.
Sampep
Sampep - after the fire. [1]

Clearly the fire damage was repairable as Sampep continued in service until 1968 when she was broken up at Portland Oregon.

Image Credits

  1. By courtesy of Stan Mayes.