british Blue Star Line Ltd. (Carlisle & Co.) SS Avila Star (+1942)
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general
nationality british
purpose transport
type ocean liner
subtype/class Blue Star ocean liner 1926 (br.)
Blue Star ocean liner 1926 (br.) Almeda Star SS [+1941]
propulsion steam turbine
date built 1927
status
unknown
details
weight (tons) 14433  grt
dimensions 167.8 x 20.8 x 13 m
material steel
engine 4 x Steam turbines fitted to single reduction gear, dual shaft, 2 screws
power 13880  s.h.p.
speed 16  knots
yard no. 514
IMO/Off. no. 149791
about the loss
cause lost torpedo
date lost 06/07/1942  [dd/mm/yyyy]
casualties  max.84rank: 550
about people
builder
John Brown & Co. Ltd., Clydebank (Scotland)
engine by
John Brown & Co. Ltd., Clydebank (Scotland)
owner
Blue Star Line Ltd. (Carlisle & Co.), London
captain Master John Fisher
about the wreck
depth (m.)
orientation
protected
war grave
updates
entered by Allen Tony
entered 31/10/2007
last update Allen Tony
last update 22/09/2013
 
  Position  
 
Allen Tony31/10/2007
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 ubootwaffe
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  History  
 
Allen Tony06/07/2008Avila Star SS was a British Passenger/Cargo Steamer of 14,443 tons built in 1927 by John Brown, Clydebank for the Blue Star Line. She was powered by four steam turbines by shipbuilder, single reduction geared to two shafts.

On the 6th July 1942 when on route from BUENOS AIRES & FREETOWN for LIVERPOOL she was torpedoed by German submarine U-201 and sunk. 62 persons lost from a total of 196.

OTHER REMARKS O.N.: 149791 As refitted 1928/29: Gross : 14443 Net : 8836 Dimensions: 550.4 x 68.2 x 42.6 feet Passengers: 162 1st Class Completed: 3/1927 Renamed: 5/1929 Avila Star Refitted and lengthened: 1935 by Palmers Shipbuilding & Iron Co. Ltd., Jarrow, together with the fitting of a Maierform bow

Lost: 5/07/1942 when torpedoed by the German Submarine U-201, NE of the Azores.
ref. used 
 Stuart Cameron, clydesite.co.uk
Allen Tony02/04/2009The Blue Star liner Avila Star SS left Buenos Aires early in July, 1942, for England with 196 persons on board, including British men and women volunteers who were coming home to join the forces. On July 12th the wireless station at Lisbon received news that a British liner had been torpedoed and sunk some 500 miles to the westward. Five naval aircraft and a destroyer were despatched by the Portuguese Government to search for the ship.

In addition, military aircraft from the Azores were sent out to search. As a result the destroyer managed to pick up many survivors. It was learned that on July 5th the Avila Star had been torpedoed by two submarines, and sank in about 20 minutes. The ship had taken a heavy list, making it difficult to launch the lifeboats, one of which capsized. Fortunately the sea was calm and the remaining six boats got away in safety, but three were still unaccounted for. A further search was undertaken by the Portuguese air and sea forces and on July 23rd, one boat was sighted by a seaplane which dropped food and water. This boat, which had drifted to within 350 miles of the coast, was picked up by the sloop Pedro Nunes, and was found to contain 28 persons out of an original company of 39, the others having died from exposure....

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ref. used 
 Hocking C., Dictionary of Disasters at Sea during the Age of Steam


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About Builders
 John Brown & Co. Ltd., Clydebank (Scotland)
One of the largest naval shipbuilders in the UK, John Brown produced both battleships and cruisers in quantity for the Royal Navy and approved foreign clients (Chile, Japan). Brown's was also noted for ocean liners of the largest size and speed, including the LUSITANIA, AQUITANIA, QUEEN MARY, and both QUEEN ELIZABETHs for the Cunard Line. The company had its own steelworks in Sheffield and shipyard in Clydebank, a city actually named for its shipyard, near Dalmuir on the Clyde. At peak workforce before WWI the works directly employed over 10,000 men. In the midst of this prewar arms race and prosperity in 1907, the company issued a commemorative volume on the completion of the LUSITANIA. Not content to tout the ship herself, the company produced an impressive brag piece for the yard -- our source for many of the photos here reproduced. Notable warships built at the yard included the Japanese battleship ASAHI, the British battleships HINDUSTAN, AFRICA, and VALIANT (QE class), and the battlecruisers TIGER, REPULSE, INDEFATIGABLE, and HOOD. In 1971 Browns was sold to Marathon Oil. The shipyard remained in service to the North Sea oil industry before being closed by a successor company; the site was demolished in 2002. It is now the site of Clydebank Community College; a few of the original buildings and the giant Titan crane remain in the midst of a bulldozed wasteland. The engineering arm of John Brown continues (after several bouts of acquisition) as John Brown Engineering Gas Turbines Ltd, E. Kilbride, UK.

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  History  
 
Allen Tony02/04/2009The Blue Star liner Avila Star SS left Buenos Aires early in July, 1942, for England with 196 persons on board, including British men and women volunteers who were coming home to join the forces. On July 12th the wireless station at Lisbon received news that a British liner had been torpedoed and sunk some 500 miles to the westward. Five naval aircraft and a destroyer were despatched by the Portuguese Government to search for the ship.

In addition, military aircraft from the Azores were sent out to search. As a result the destroyer managed to pick up many survivors. It was learned that on July 5th the Avila Star had been torpedoed by two submarines, and sank in about 20 minutes. The ship had taken a heavy list, making it difficult to launch the lifeboats, one of which capsized. Fortunately the sea was calm and the remaining six boats got away in safety, but three were still unaccounted for. A further search was undertaken by the Portuguese air and sea forces and on July 23rd, one boat was sighted by a seaplane which dropped food and water. This boat, which had drifted to within 350 miles of the coast, was picked up by the sloop Pedro Nunes, and was found to contain 28 persons out of an original company of 39, the others having died from exposure.

Later another person died on the sloop. Out of a total of 171 crew and 25 passengers on board, 126 of the crew and 8 passengers were saved by the Portuguese navy and airforce.
ref. used 
 Hocking C., Dictionary of Disasters at Sea during the Age of Steam
 
 
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