british SS Gemstone (+1942)
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  Details  
 
general
nationality british
purpose transport
type cargo ship
propulsion steam
date built 1938
status
unknown
details
weight (tons) 4986  grt
dimensions 130.5 x 17.6 x 7.5 m
engine
armament 1 x 4 inch gun
power  
speed 10.5  knots
about the loss
cause lost torpedo
date lost 04/06/1942  [dd/mm/yyyy]
casualties 0
about people
builder
Laing James & Sons Ltd. (Sir James Laing & Sons), Sunderland
owner
Alva Steamship Co., London
captain
about the wreck
depth (m.)
orientation
protected
war grave
updates
entered by Lettens Jan
entered 06/07/2011
last update Lettens Jan
last update 06/07/2011
 
  Position  
 
Lettens Jan06/07/2011
latitudehydro member
longitudehydro member
remarksCalculated as '200 mile E [90°] from BRAZIL, St. Peter and Paul Rocks'.
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dist. homeportdist. homeport
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copyright: Marinha Do Brasil
 
 copyright: Marinha Do Brasil copyright: Unknown - onbekend - inconnu copyright: Chipchase Nick  
 
 
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  History  
 
Lettens Jan06/07/2011On June 4th, the German raider Stier spotted a freighter 200 miles east of St. Paul ’s Rocks off the coast of Brazil. The commander Gerlach fired a warning shot across her bow and the freighter’s captain turned his ship stern-on to present the smallest target.

Stier fired several more salvos, all of which missed and Gemstone's Captain ordered its crew to abandon ship. The freighter was then identified as the 4,986-ton Alva Steamship Co. Gemstone, en route from South Africa to Baltimore with a cargo of iron ore. Her crew was taken on board and she was sunk by a torpedo.
Lettens Jan06/07/2011The German auxiliary cruiser Stier was responsible for the sinking of Gemstone (British), Stanvac Calcutta (Panama-flag U.S.-owned), Dalhousie (British) and Stephen Hopkins (U.S.-owned), the latter proved fatal to Stier.

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About Builders
 Laing James & Sons Ltd. (Sir James Laing & Sons), Sunderland
Philip Laing started his own yard in 1818 at Deptford. In 1844 James Laing took control of the Deptford yard. In 1849 Philip Laing, James Laing's son, joined the family firm. In 1853 James Laing was the first Wear shipbuilder to build an iron steam ship. James Laing Junior joined the family firm. By 1865 the Laing family were shipowners as well as builders. In 1871 Hugh Laing, son of James Laing Snr, joined the family business and became a Director of the yard. In 1898 the company was renamed Sir James Laing and Sons. During WWI the yard had five building berths and a graving dock arranged around the the inner side of the bend of the river at Deptford. It had the highest tonnage of any Wear yard between 1914-18 with 18 ships of 109,924 tons as well as six small naval craft. In WWII World the Deptford yard produced 41 ships, 32 of which were tankers between 1939 and 1946. Private orders were also manufactured along with eight tramps. There were five building berths operating at the end of the war. The Laing yard became the Deptford yard of the Doxford and Sunderland Group in 1966.

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SS Gemstone (+1942)
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