british SS Belgian Fighter (+1942)
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  Details  
 
general
nationality british
purpose transport
type cargo ship
propulsion steam turbine
date built 1921
status
unknown
details
weight (tons) 5403  grt
dimensions 122.1 x 16.5 x 9.2 m
material steel
engine steam turbine, single shaft, 1 screw
power 661  n.h.p.
speed 11  knots
yard no. 39
about the loss
cause lost torpedo
date lost 09/10/1942  [dd/mm/yyyy]
casualties  max.5rank: 660
about people
builder
Merchant Shipbuilding Corp., Chester (Pa)
last owner
[1]Belgian Government
SS Belgian Fighter (+1942)
period 1942 ~ 1942
prev. owners
[2]British Government, London
SS Empire Lapwing
period 1941 ~ 1942
IMO/Off. no.: 168093
[3]Black Diamond S. S. Co., New York
SS Black Condor
period 1937 ~ 1941
IMO/Off. no.: 221027
[4]American Diamond Lines Inc.
SS Black Condor
period 1935 ~ 1937
IMO/Off. no.: 221027
[5]American Diamond Lines Inc.
SS Ala
period 1931 ~ 1935
IMO/Off. no.: 221027
[6]United States Government
SS Ala
period 1921 ~ 1931
IMO/Off. no.: 221027
captain
about the wreck
depth (m.)
orientation
protected
war grave
updates
entered by Claes Johnny
entered 03/10/2007
last update Allen Tony
last update 03/03/2014
 
  Position  
 
Claes Johnny03/10/2007
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longitudehydro member
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dist. homeportdist. homeport
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 ubootwaffe
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copyright: Unknown - onbekend - inconnu
 
 copyright: Unknown - onbekend - inconnu copyright: South Africa Hydrographic Office copyright: Unknown - onbekend - inconnu  
 
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  History  
 
Allen Tony06/06/2009

Belgian Fighter SS was a Belgian Cargo Steamer of 5,403 tons built in 1921 by Merchant Shipbuilding Corp, Harriman PA for the US Shipping as the ALA SS. In 1931 she was sold to American Diamond Lines Inc. In 1935 she was sold to Black Diamond Lines Inc, New York and renamed Black Condor SS. In 1941 she was given to Britain, renamed Empire Lapwing SS for the Ministry of War Transport (MoWT). In 1941 sold to Belgian Government and renamed Belgian Fighter SS.

On the 9th October 1941 when on route from Abu Zenima - Aden - Capetown - Baltimore carrying a general cargo she was torpedoed by German subnmarine U-68 and sunk when 80 miles SSE of Capetown. Five crew members were lost and two were wounded. The master, 40 crew members and six gunners were rescued. Two men were picked up by Ocean Justice and survived also the second sinking when this ship was sunk by U-505 (Zschech) on 7th November.

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  uboat.net
Claes Johnny04/10/2007Complement: 54 (5 dead and 49 survivors). Convoy: Route: Abu Zenima - Aden - Capetown - Baltimore Cargo: General cargo History: Built as American Ala for the US Shipping Board. 1931 sold to American Diamond Lines Inc. 1935 sold to Black Diamond Lines Inc, New York and renamed Black Condor. 1941 given to Britain, renamed Empire Lapwing for the Ministry of War Transport (MoWT). 1941 sold to Belgian Government and renamed Belgian Fighter.

Notes on loss: At 04.54 hours on 9 Oct, 1942, the unescorted Belgian Fighter (Master A. Costermans) was torpedoed and sunk by U-68 80 miles south-southeast of Capetown. Five crew members were lost and two were wounded. The master, 40 crew members and six gunners were rescued. Two men were picked up by Ocean Justice and survived also the second s inking when this ship was sunk by U-505 (Zschech) on 7 November.
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  uboat.net
Claes Johnny03/10/2007former names EMPIRE LAPWING voyage Abu Zenima & Aden for Table Bay & New York casualties 5 crew lost. total crew 51 attacker by U 68 date 09.10.1942 time 0454

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About Builders
 Merchant Shipbuilding Corp., Chester (Pa)
This shipyard was originally established in 1857 and had a distinguished career building fine ships. It was revived for the war effort in 1917 but was acquired by Averell Harriman's American Ship & Commerce Corporation in 1919 and renamed Merchant Shipbuilding. Like Hog Island and Submarine Boat, the yard was designed to assemble ships from parts fabricated by others. It is notable that the yard numbering system continued without interruption by five different companies. The yard was located at Front and Lloyd Streets in Chester: after it closed in 1924, it was redeveloped as a Ford assembly plant

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