Northern Duke built 1936 Germany at Bremerhaven by Deutsche Schiff und Maschinenbau A G Seebeck, Wessermunde Ordered by Leverhulme Ltd to absorb frozen credits in Germany She was completed on 11/1936 and went to Fleetwood as a new vessel LO 169 for her owners Mac Line Ltd
She was completed as part of the WW1 reparations program
Edward D W Lawford was the Manager whilst the vessel operated out of Fleetwood
Transferred in 1937 to Grimsby for Northern’s with H Markham Cook as manager
During one fishing trip for the Icelandic fishing grounds the vessel ran aground at Louther skerry Pentland Firth. An inquest was held and charged the skipper Henry Lead with defaulting on his duties and thus responsible for the accident. His punishment was to have his competancy certificate suspended for 2 months
Here is a copy of the court report in full
Simply click on the page to see it in large format
Requisitioned in 1939 as a Boom Defense Vessel and an Armed Boarding Vessel operating on the Northern Routes
One of her conflicts was with the U Boat U 25 Commanded by Herbert Viktor Schultze.
On 18/01/1940 She had stopped the SS PAJALA a Swedish Vessel on route from Buenos Aires to Gothenburg with a cargo of grain and cattle feed. The Northern Duke Intercepted her and because the boarding officer was not satisfied with the examination began escorting her to Lerwick for further inspection.
At tea time on the same day PAJALA was Torpedoed by U 25, the weather was not good and frequent snow squalls reduced visibilty but the Northern Duke caught sight of a submarine on the surface and fired claiming 2 hits whilst pursuing the submarine. She was able to ram the sub as it attempted to crash dive. Just as another squall came down. The Sub got away and the Northern Duke returned to rescue all of the crew of the SS PAJALA putting them ashore at kirkwall.
Perhaps if the Northern Duke had been fitted with ASDIC, the U 25 may not have been so lucky, but at that time there were just not enough units available.
The U 25 later after completeing its tour returned for repairs and continued until she went missing with all crew of 49 sailors on 08/1940. Most likley to have been mined in the North Sea.
1942 she was converted for Anti submarine duties. 03/1942 Loaned to the US Navy but was returned 10/1942. She was operating out in the South Atlantic being based at Cape Town.
Below are copies of the logs during WW2
Northern Duke was returned to her owners in 1946
11/1946 Converted to burning oil fuel.
Her registry changed to GY 442 on 12/1946
1948 her manager was W A Bennett with the same owners.
Pre 1959 John Bennett became the Manager, Pre 1963 John A Butt was manager
10/1963 she was sold to Clayton & Davie Ltd of Dunston on Tyne for Scrapping
She arrived 30/10/1963 from Grimsby being towed by FIERY CROSS and was broken up.
Her details are
- Official No 165366
- Yard Number 559
- Call Sign GYYP
- Admiralty Number FY 4.11
- GT 655 NT 233
- Dimensions 188.1′ x 28.1′ x 15.1′
- Foc’sle 31′
- Engines 1000hp 12 knots T 3 cyl & LP turbine with DR gearing & hydraulic coupling by Deutsche Schiffs und Maschinenbau AG Seebeck
- Funnel colours Grey with black top seperated by white band
Photo supplied by Photomarine Collection