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Veterans of the Arctic Convoys 1941 - 1945

SS Atlantic

ACCNZ Member who served on this ship:
Sydney Simpson, Bulls (deceased)

Built in 1939, and owned by W. H. Cockerline & Co. of Hull, the SS Atlantic weighed 5414 tons.

SS Atlantic sailed in convoys: PQ1 + PQ9 + PQ16 + QP2 + QP8 + QP13 + JW52 + JW53 + RA54b

Members’ Ships : Merchant Navy

Ships listed on this page:
SS Atlantic; SS Cape Race; SS Dolabella; SS El Almirante; SS Eldena; SS Elona; SS Empire Beaumont; SS Empire Galliard; SS Empire Garrick; SS Harmatris; SS Induna; SS Ocean Freedom; SS Samgara; SS San Ambrosio

SS Cape Race

ACCNZ Member that served on this ship:
James W Lester (deceased), Christchurch

British freighter of 3,807 tons. Built as "Knight of St . John" by Lithgows, Port Glasgow, for Newport Liners Ltd. Launched 30 December 1929. Name changed to "Cape Race" in 1934. Torpedoed by U 60 on 10 August 1942 in position 56.45N/22.50W whilst carrying 3,979 tons of timber and 1,040 tons of steel . All 63 crew were saved .

SS Cape Race sailed on convoys PQ3 + PQ15 + QP4 + QP12

SS Almirante

ACCNZ Member that served on this ship:
Charlie Gray (deceased)

Built 1917 and 5216 tons. Built by Newport News S.B. for Southern Pacific Co.Inc. Launched 23.6.1917. Lost in collision in position 41.08N/64.27W

SS El Almirante sailed in convoys: PQ8 + QP7 + JW51a + RA52.

SS Dolabella

ACCNZ Members that served on this ship:
Michael Biegel (deceased), Lower Hutt and Patrick Meadlarkin (deceased), Papamoa

Built 1939 and weighed 8,142 tons. Built by Hawthorn Leslie, Hebburn. Owned by Anglo Saxon Pet. Co. of London. Broken up Hong Kong June 1958.

SS Dolabella sailed in convoys: JW58 + JW61 + JW65 + RA59 + RA62 + RA66.

SS Eldena

ACCNZ Member that served on this ship:
John L. Haynes, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA (former member)

Built 1919, Eldena was a freighter weighing 6,900 tons. Before the war she was owned and operated by the Robin Lines out of Seattle, Washington.

She was a flush deck freighter and was fitted with four above deck turrets with twin 50 calibre machine guns for anti-aircraft, a World War One 4" 50 cannon on the stern for surface firing, and a small turret on top of bridge with WWI twin 30 calibre Lewis machine guns. After service in Convoy PQ13, Eldena was sunk in August 1943 at position 5.50N 50.20W by German U-boat U-510 (Kptlt. Alfred Eick) while en route from Trinidad to Cape Town, South Africa.

SS Eldena sailed in convoy: PQ13 + QP11


We shall be pleased to receive photographs of Merchant Navy ships that participated in the Arctic Convoys during the Second World War. Images can be e-mailed to us at

SS Elona

ACCNZ Member who served on this ship:
Frank Roe, Christchurch (deceased)

British tanker of 6,192 tons built by Swan Hunter of Wallsend for Anglo-Saxon Petroleum Co. Ltd. Launched 27 November 1935. Broken-up in Osaka 9 September 1953.

SS Elona sailed in convoys PQ6 + QP8

SS Empire Beaumont

ACCNZ Member that served on this ship:
John Calkin (deceased)

Empire Beaumont weighed 7044 tons and was built in 1942 for the Ministry of War Transport. She was torpedoed and sunk by aircraft on 13 September 1942 at position 76.10N 10.05E. Built by Furness, Haverton Hill. Launched 31 March 1942.

SS Empire Beaumont sailed in convoy: PQ18 (sunk by enemy aircraft)

SS Empire Garrick

RCCNZ Member that served on this ship:
Tony Tobin, Wellington (deceased)

Built 1942 and 8,128 tons. Built by Swan Hunter, Wallsend. Launched 14 May 1942. Empire Garrick was sold to the British Tanker Co. in 1945 and was renamed "British Guardsman". In 1951 she was further sold to the British Oil Shipping Company and renamed 'Alan Evelyn". Duff Herbert & Mitchell Ltd took ownership in 1955 and she was again renamed 'Westbrook". The vessel was scrapped on 16 March 1960 after fire damage. Information contributed by John Player, United Kingdom.

SS Empire Garrick sailed in convoys: JW62 + JW66 + RA63 + RA67

SS Empire Galliard

ACCNZ Member that served on this ship:
Hugh Gibson (deceased)

SS Empire Galliard weighed 7170 tons and was built in 1943 for the Ministry of War Transport. She later served in: 1943 Aert van der Neer Netherlands Govt; 1946 Maasland; 1959 M.Bingul (Turkey); and was scrapped in 1966 (Istanbul).

SS Empire Galliard sailed in convoys: JW53 + "Independent"+ RA51 + RA54a

SS Harmatris

ACCNZ Member that served on this ship:
Henry Erlandsen (deceased)

A freighter of 5,395 GRT built in 1932 and owned by J & C Harrison of London. Damaged by U-454.

SS Harmatris sailed in convoys: PQ8 + QP14

SS Induna

ACCNZ Member that served on this ship:
James Campbell, Tauranga

SS Induna was a British Cargo Steamer of 5,086 tons built in 1925. Launched 26 March 1925. Built by Stephen, Linthouse. Owned by McLay & McIntyre. On the 30th March 1942 when on route from New York and Reykjavik for North Russia carrying a cargo of 2,700 tons of war material she was torpedoed by German submarine U-376 and sunk. Thirty one crew were lost from a total crew of 50.

Excerpts from a survivor's story: "In the end only 11 of the 36 ships made it to port. For those on board the vessels, the lucky ones who survived a sinking made it to lifeboats. They included (now) 84-year-old Bill Short, who found himself floating some 170 miles north of the Russian coast in 30ft seas and blizzards after his vessel, SS Induna, sank in March 1942. The air temperature was -10C and after four days at sea the 35 survivors on board had dwindled to 17. They were so cold that ice crystals had formed in their stomachs. Those who had drunk whisky in the belief it would keep them warm instead fell asleep and froze where they sat in 12 inches of water".

SS Induna sailed in convoy: PQ 13

On 9 - 13 July 2008, a conference "The Arctic Convoys - A Lifeline Across the Atlantic" was held in Reykjavik, Iceland. Under the Patronage of Ólafur Ragnur Grimsson, President of Iceland, the conference was organised by the Institute of History at the University of Iceland and Global Center and was attended by veterans, historians, academics students journalists and others interested in the Arctic Convoys of WW2. Attending was Mr Alexey Kozin, a student at Form 11th "b", Gymnasia #9, Murmansk, Russia. Mr Kozin was invited to attend the conference to present his winning essay "The Unknown Pages of the Second World War: The Tragedy of SS Induna". A copy of the essay is available here (with permission).

SS Ocean Freedom

ACCNZ Member that served on this ship:
John Middleton (deceased), Paeroa

Ocean Freedom was the second of the thirty Ocean Class Liberty ships built and was delivered in 1942 by Todd & Bath Iron S. B. Corporation, Portland, Maine, USA and weighed 7,173 tons. Ocean Freedom was sunk in port during JW53.

Note: The photo shows an Ocean Class Liberty ship similar to Ocean Freedom. If you have an actual photo of Ocean Freedom, you may e-mail it to:

SS Ocean Freedom sailed in convoys: PQ17 + QP14 + JW53

SS Samgara

ACCNZ Member that served on this ship:
John C. Foster, Dunedin (deceased)

The SS Samgara, originally the Flintshire was built in 1943 by Bethlehem-Fairfield Shipyards Inc at Baltimore in Maryland, USA with a tonnage of 7297grt, a length of 441ft 7in, a beam of 57ft and a service speed of 11 knots. A Liberty ship, she was launched as the James Carroll for the US War Shipping Administration but was completed as the SS Samgara on a Lease-Lend bare-boat charter to the M.O.W.T with Alfred Holt Co. as managers. She was purchased by Blue Funnel in 1947 as the Titan and transferred to Glen Line and renamed Flintshire in 1950. Reverting back to Blue Funnel and Titan in 1958 she was sold to Tidewater Commercial Co. Inc. of Monrovia in 1962 with the name Titanus until December 1969 when she was broken up at Minhara, Japan.

SS Samgara sailed in convoys: JW59 + RA60

SS San Ambrosio

ACCNZ Member that served on this ship:
Rholda Draffin (deceased)

British built tanker in 1935 weighing 7,410 tons.

SS San Ambrosio sailed in convoys: PQ3 + QP4 + QP5 + JW55A + JW57 + RA55B + RA57

Links to other members’ ships:

HMS Activity; HMS Anson; HMS Apollo; HMS Bahamas; HMS Belfast; HMS Bermuda; HMS Berwick; HMS Black Prince; HMS Bluebell; HMS Byron; HMS Caesar; HMS Caprice; HMS Chiltern; HMS Dasher; HMS Diadem; HMS Drury; HMS Duke of York; HMS Echo; HMS Forester; HMS Furious; HMS Glasgow; HMS Goodall;  HMS Howe; HMS Implacable; HMS Jamaica; HMS Javelin; HMS Kent; HMS Kenya; HMS Keppel; HMS King George V; RFA Laurelwood; HMS Loch Insh; HMS Loch Killin; HMS London; HMS Lookout; HMS Magpie; HMS Malcolm; HMS Musketeer; HMS Nabob; HMS Nelson; HMS Nigeria; HMS Norfolk; HMS Obedient; HMS Offa; HMS Onslaught; HMS Onslow; HMS Palomares; HMS Queen; HMS Renown; HMS Rodney;  HMS Sheffield; HMS Speedwell; HMS Speedy; HMS Striker; HMS Suffolk; HMS Tartar; HMS Tracker; HMS Trinidad; HMS Victorious; HMS Vindex; HMS Volage; HMS Wakeful; and HMS Zealous

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