Northern Gem built 1936 in Bremmerhaven by Deutsche Schiffs und Maschinenbau AG Seebeck Wesermunde Germany She had been ordered by Leverhulme Ltd to absorb frozen credits in Germany
After completion she went to Fleetwood for Mac Line Ltd of London and had Edward D W Lawford as manager Her port of Registry was LO 109
10/1937 she was transferred to Grimsby for Northerns, William Bennett as manager 08/1939 she was sold to the Admiralty for £32,963 and converted to an Anti-submarine vessel 1940 Based at Kirkwall on the Northern patrol 05/1940 she took part in the Norwegian Campaign and was the last ship out of Narvik
1941 she was transferred to the Iceland Command and was in Convoy PQ 17 12/1941 left Murmansk in convoy JW 51B and rescued 80 survivors from HMS ACHATES by going along side whilst the destroyers depth charges were exploding under her stern
1944 she took part in Operation Neptune the Normandy landings 23/05/1944 she was back on convoy escort duties in British waters and across the channel in support of the landings until 03/04/1944 when they ended.
In the last few months of the WW2 she was involved on convoy RU 161 on route from Iceland Acting as escort with Northern Reward, Northern Sky, Cape Mariato and Sapper also Norwegian ships Namsos and Svolvar whilst bringing up the rear was Northern Spray U 979 commanded by J Meermeier was on patrol in the area when she targeted the convoy She was able to fire upon the Empire Unity 6386 Gross Tons The Northern Spray closed in on the Vessel and spotted a periscope and prepared depth charges The vessel hit something just before the charges were fired and had to withdraw and went to the aid of the Empire unity with the Cape Mariato taking over the search for the U Boat The Northern Gem along with the Northern Reward stayed on convoy It was later discovered that the trawler had hit the U Boat ripping off the ASDIC The submarine was later run aground and scuttled by the captain who was later court marshaled for this act
1943 U 952 the sister boat to U 979 was involved in action against convoy ONS 5 in which Northern Gem and Northern Foam had been on escort duties and had rescued more than 200 merchant seamen
11/1945 Returned and under took a survey and restoration at Liverpool 02/1946 she was registered at Grimsby GY 204 03/1946 the London registry was closed
03/1946 She was owned by the Hull Ice Co 11/1946 Transferring to Northern Trawlers 1959 her manager was John Bennett 1963 John A Butt was manager
1966 she was sold for Scrap to Scrappingco Srl Antwerp arriving on 15/06/1966
06/1966 the Grimsby Registry was Closed
Here are the details
- Official No 164666
- Yard No 546
- Call Sign GYYD
- Pennant FY 194
- 620 GT 254 NT
- Dimensions 188.1 x 28.1 x 15.5
- Foc’sle 31′
- Engines Powered by a Triple Expansion 1000 HP engine built by Deutsche S & M, having a 15″, 24″ & 39 7/16″ x 26″ Stroke, the Boiler was 1 SB 227lb Spt, This giving her a top speed of 16 Knots
- Funnel Colours Grey with black top separated by white band.
- Armament Fitted with 1 x 4″, 2 x 0.303″ Guns along with LMG 2 x 1 and 2 0.5″ VMG 1 x 2.
The Painting is From Steve Farrows Collection Please see link at bottom of the page
Here are copies of the log books for the WW2 part of the vessels life.
These were taken by my good friend Roger from the TNA.
The Times, Wednesday, May 13, 1953; GRIMSBY CATCH LANDED IN HOLLAND The Grimsby trawler Northern Gem, which landed 33,000 stones of fish at Ijmuiden, Holland, on Monday, was making an experiment, the owners said yesterday. “Rather than let our ships lay up I would prefer that they land their catches on the Continent,” said a spokesman of the firm. “It does seem fatuous that German ships should discharge at Grimsby while we send vessels to Holland, but it is preferable to laying up ships.”
Photo supplied by Photomarine collection
Follow the link for a report on the Northern Gems war time convoys