british Counties Ship Management Co. Ltd. - Kulukundis & Rethymnis SS Empire Tower (+1943)
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nationality british
purpose transport
type cargo ship
propulsion steam
date built 1935
is nickname no
weight (tons) 4241  grt
dimensions 113.4 x 16 x 7.7 m
engine triple expansion engine
power 335  n.h.p.
about the loss
cause lost torpedo
date lost 05/03/1943  [dd/mm/yyyy]
casualties  max.42rank: 602
about people
Burntisland Shipbuilding Company Ltd., Burntisland
Counties Ship Management Co. Ltd. - Kulukundis & Rethymnis, London
captain David John Williams
complement 6
no. of crew 38
about the wreck
depth (m.)
war grave
[1] Hocking C., Dictionary of Disasters at Sea during the Age of Steam
entered by Allen Tony
entered 22/10/2007
last update Vleggeert Nico
last update 29/01/2010
Allen Tony22/10/2007
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Allen Tony05/03/2009

Empire Tower SS was a British Cargo Steamer of 4,378 tons built in 1935 by Burntisland Shipbuilding, Sunderland as the ROXBURGH SS for B. J. Sutherland & Co. Ltd, Newcastle. In 1937 she was renamed TOWER FIELD SS and in 1942 EMPIRE TOWER SS for the British Government.

On the 5th March 1943 when on route from HUELVA & GIBRALTAR for MIDDLESBROUGH she was torpedoed by German submarine U-130 and sunk. 38 crew lost from a total crew of 44.

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Claes Johnny05/03/2008At 17.45 hours on 5 Mar, 1943, U-130 attacked the convoy XK-2 northwest of Lisbon and sank four ships, the Fidra, Empire Tower, Trefusis and Ger-y-Bryn. The Empire Tower (Master David John Williams OBE) sank within 60 seconds. The master, 35 crew members and six gunners were lost. Three crew members were picked up by HMS Loch Oskaig (FY 175) (Lt G.F.S. Clampitt) and landed at Londonderry.
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About Owners
Counties Ship Management Co. Ltd. - Kulukundis & Rethymnis, London

Originally Rethymnis and Kulukundis Ltd. Operating from London and Piraeus.
About Builders
 Burntisland Shipbuilding Company Ltd., Burntisland
Burntisland Shipbuilding Co. opened at Burntisland West Dock in 1918 as an emergency shipyard during World War 1. The yard was managed by the Ayre Brothers, Amos and Wilfrid. They built a four berth yard and this enabled them to build ships up to 450 feet in length. This hi-tech shipbuilding "factory" also included an extensive railway system to carry steel to the various parts of the yard. - - In 1918 the first three ships to be built were standard "C" types, the yard then went on to build five-hold three-island tramps and twenty four-hold engines-amidship colliers. The yard also built "Arch-deck" colliers. In the 1920s the yard built a number of large tramps and from 1921 to 1929 the yard made 12 such vessels. The orders for colliers and coasters were constant during the interwar years and this managed to keep the yard solvent. During the 1930s the yard made a number of "flat-iron" colliers and coasters. In the mid 30s the demand for "Burntisland Economies" continued, and over a dozen of these were completed from 1935 to 1939. - - During WWII the yard made three "Loch" class frigates and sixty merchant hulls, tramps and colliers. In addition a number of orders were received from he Government for tramps, merchant aircraft carriers and a coaster. The yard was also making ships for private customers. - - From 1945 to 1965 the Burntisland Yard consolidated its reputation for high quality tramps and cargo-liners by making over 50 vessels.

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