Starcrest

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Introduction

Starcrest was built in 1944 as Empire Asquith and served on many convoys and independent voyages during WW2. After this she had several names and owners and was broken up at Istanbul after a service life of 26 years. I have entitled this page Starcrest as the prime reason for creating it was to complete a full set of histories of the ships that Stan Mayes served on and she was called Starcrest at the time he served on her.

Starcrest
Starcrest - the location and date are not known. [1]

Basic Data

Item Value
Type Cargo Ship
Registered owners, managers and operators Owners: Ministry of War Transport
Managers: Counties Ship Management Co
Builders Shipbuilding Corp. Ltd. (Tyne Branch)
Yard Low Walker
Country UK
Yard number 9
Registry N/K
Official number 169187
Signal letters N/K
Call sign GFJX (as Empire Asquith)
Classification society N/K
Gross tonnage 7,082
Net tonnage 4,770
Deadweight N/K
Length 430.9 ft
Overall Length 446.3 ft
Breadth 56.2 ft
Depth 35.2 ft
Draught N/K
Engines Triple expansion steam engine with cylinders of bore 24 1/2", 37" and 70 1/16" with stroke 48".
Engine builders N.E. Marine Engineering Co. (1938)
Works Newcastle
Country UK
Boilers 2 single-ended boilers and 1 auxiliary boiler operating at 220 psi
Power 542 MN
Propulsion Single Screw
Speed 10.5 knots
Cargo capacity N/K
Crew N/K

Additional Construction Information

The Lloyds Register entry for Starcrest (then named Empire Asquith) for 1945 has the following additional information about her:

  • 2 decks
  • Cruiser stern
  • Equipped with Radio Direction Finding (RDF), Echo Sounding Device (ESD) and Gyro Compass

Career Highlights

Date Event
4 September 1944 Launched as Empire Asquith for the Ministry of War Transport
November 1944 Completed
1947 Name changed to Brockley Hill and change of owner to Brickley Hill SS Co Ltd
1951 Name changed to Starcrest and change of owner to Crest Shipping Co. Ltd.
1956 Name changed to Argosy and change of owner to Codemar Cia de Empresas Maritimas SA
1960 Name changed to Nezihi Ipar and change of owner to Ipar Transport Co. Ltd.
September 1970 Broken up at Halic Istanbul (Ilhami Soher-Balat)

Service in WW2

As Empire Asquith, Starcrest took part in a many convoys during WW2 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
Tyne, Nov 17, 1944 FS.1639 (Methil - Southend) Southend, Nov 19, 1944
Southend, Dec 3, 1944 not reported Downs, Dec 16, 1944
Southend, Dec 18, 1944 TBC.11 (Southend - M Haven) Barry, Dec 21, 1944
Barry, Dec 26, 1944 Independent Belfast Lough, Dec 27, 1944
Belfast Lough, Dec 28, 1944 ONS.39 (Liverpool - Halifax) Halifax, Jan 13, 1945
Halifax, Jan 15, 1945 HF.152 (Halifax - St John Nb)
Independent St John Nb, Jan 20, 1945
St John Nb, Feb 12, 1945 FH.159 (St John Nb - Halifax) Halifax, Feb 14, 1945
Halifax, Feb 16, 1945 SC.167 (Halifax - Liverpool) Loch Ewe, Mar 1, 1945
WN.677 (Loch Ewe - Methil) Methil, Mar 4, 1945
Methil, Mar 4, 1945 FS.1746 (Methil - Southend) Tyne, Mar 5, 1945
Tyne, Apr 3, 1945 FS.1775 (Methil - Southend) Hull, Apr 4, 1945
Hull, Apr 16, 1945 FS.1784 (Methil - Southend) Southend, Apr 18, 1945
TAM.143 (Southend - Antwerp) Antwerp, Apr 19, 1945
Southend, Apr 19, 1945 TAM.143 (Southend - Antwerp)
Antwerp, Apr 28, 1945 ATM.138 (Antwerp - Southend) Southend, Apr 29, 1945
TAM.172 (Southend - Antwerp) Antwerp, May 18, 1945
Southend, May 18, 1945 TAM.172 (Southend - Antwerp)
Antwerp, May 25, 1945 not reported
Antwerp, May 26, 1945 ATM.166 (Antwerp - Southend) Southend, May 27, 1945
not reported Southend, May 27, 1945
Southend, Jun 22, 1945 Independent Antwerp, Jun 23, 1945
Antwerp, Jul 8, 1945 Independent Downs, Jul 9, 1945
Downs, Jul 9, 1945 Independent Newport, Jul 10, 1945
Newport, Jul 20, 1945 Independent Liverpool, Jul 21, 1945
Liverpool, Sep 1, 1945 Independent Bremerhaven, Sep 6, 1945
Bremerhaven, Sep 14, 1945 Independent Barry, Sep 18, 1945
Barry, Sep 27, 1945 Independent Southampton, Sep 30, 1945
Southampton, Oct 11, 1945 Independent Bremerhaven, Oct 14, 1945
Bremerhaven, Oct 19, 1945 Independent Antwerp, Oct 20, 1945
Antwerp, Nov 10, 1945 Independent Hamburg, Nov 11, 1945
Hamburg, Nov 20, 1945 Independent Sunderland, Nov 22, 1945
Sunderland, Dec 3, 1945 Independent Hamburg, Dec 5, 1945
Hamburg, Dec 13, 1945 Independent Antwerp, Dec 15, 1945

Service post WW2

Other than the changes of name and ownership recorded in the Career Highlights section above, I have been unable to find out much about the service of this ship but would be very pleased to hear from anyone who knows more. You can contact me via the website Home Page HERE.

Stan Mayes served on her between 7 February 1952 and 17 February 1953 and accounts of his voyages can be found on the Benjidog Recollections website HERE.

Image Credits

  1. From the site owner's photo collection