Burrard Dry Dock|
North Vancouver Ship Repairs
Prince Rupert Drydock & Shipyard
Victory Machinery Depot
West Coast Shipbuilders
Ministry of War Transport|
United States Maritime Commission
North Sands type
28 (enemy action)|
|Length:||424 feet 6 inches (129.39 m)|
|Beam:||57 feet 0 inches (17.37 m)|
The Fort Ships were a class of 198 cargo ships built in Canada during World War II for use by the United Kingdom under the Lend-Lease scheme. They all had names prefixed with "Fort" when built. The ships were in service between 1942 and 1985, with two still listed on shipping registers until 1992. A total of 53 were lost due to accidents or enemy action. One of these, Fort Stikine, was destroyed in 1944 by the detonation of 1400 tons of explosive on board her. This event, known as the Bombay Explosion, killed over 800 people and sank thirteen ships.
The Fort Ships were 424 feet 6 inches (129.39 m) long with a beam of 57 feet 0 inches (17.37 m). They were assessed at 7,130 GRT. The ships were of three types, the "North Sands" type, which were of riveted construction, and the "Canadian" and "Victory" types, which were of welded construction. They were built by eighteen different Canadian shipyards. Their triple expansion steam engines were built by seven different manufacturers.
The ships were built between 1941 and 1945 by ten different builders. The first to be built was Fort St. James, which was laid down on 23 April 1941 and launched on 15 October. The eight ships built by Burrard Dry Dock cost $1,856,500 each. During WWII, 28 were lost to enemy action, and four were lost due to accidents. Many of the surviving 166 ships passed to the United States Maritime Commission. The last recorded scrapping was in 1985, and two ships, the former Fort St. James and Fort St. Paul, were listed on Lloyd's Register until 1992.
Twenty-eight ships were lost due to enemy action and a further 25 due to accidents.
- On 17 May 1942, Fort Qu'Appelle was torpedoed and sunk in the Atlantic Ocean by U-135.
- On 17 August 1942, Fort La Reine was torpedoed and sunk in the Atlantic Ocean by U-658.
- On 6 March 1943, Fort Battle River was torpedoed and sunk in the Atlantic Ocean by U-410.
- On 17 March 1943, Fort Cedar Lake was torpedoed and sunk in the Atlantic Ocean by U-338 and U-665.
- On 20 March 1943, Fort Mumford was torpedoed and sunk in the Indian Ocean by I-27.
- On 30 March 1943, Fort A La Corne was torpedoed and sunk in the Mediterranean Sea by U-596.
- On 17 April 1943, Fort Rampart was torpedoed and sunk in the Atlantic Ocean by U-226 and U-628.
- On 11 May 1943, Fort Concord was torpedoed and sunk in the Atlantic Ocean by U-456.
- On 11 June 1943, Fort Good Hope was torpedoed and sunk in the Atlantic Ocean by U-159.
- On 16 July 1943, Fort Franklin was torpedoed and sunk in the Indian Ocean by U-181.
- On 20 July 1943, Fort Pelly was bombed and sunk at Augusta, Sicily, Italy.
- On 24 July 1943, Fort Chilcotin was torpedoed and sunk in the Atlantic Ocean by U-172.
- On 6 August 1943, Fort Halkett was torpedoed, shelled and sunk in the Atlantic Ocean by U-185.
- On 13 September 1943, Fort Babine was bombed and sunk in the Atlantic Ocean by Luftwaffe aircraft.
- On 19 September 1953, Fort Longueuil was torpedoed and sunk in the Pacific Ocean by U-532.
- On 23 September 1943, Fort Jemseg was torpedoed and sunk in the Atlantic Ocean by U-238.
- On 30 September 1943, Fort Howe was torpedoed and sunk in the Mediterranean Sea by U-410.
- On 4 October 1943, Fort Fitzgerald was bombed and set afire in the Mediterranean Sea by Luftwaffe aircraft.
- On 2 December 1943, Fort Athabaska was sunk by the explosion of the Liberty ship John L. Motley during the air raid on Bari.
- On 20 January 1944, Fort Buckingham was torpedoed and sunk in the Indian Ocean by U-188.
- On 25 January 1944, Fort Bellingham was torpedoed and sunk in the Arctic Ocean by U-360 and U-957.
- On 25 January 1944, Fort La Maune was torpedoed and sunk in the Indian Ocean by U-188.
- On 15 February 1944, Fort St. Nicholas was torpedoed and sunk in the Mediterranean Sea by U-410.
- On 3 March 1944, Fort McLeod was torpedoed, shelled and sunk in the Indian Ocean by I-162.
- On 19 May 1944, Fort Missanabie was torpedoed and damaged in the Mediterranean Sea by U-453. The fore section sank. The stern section was taken in tow but sank the next day.
- On 3 August 1944, Fort Lac La Ronge was damaged by a Kriegsmarine radio-controlled explosives boat off Normandy, France. She was subsequently beached at Appledore, Devon and was scrapped in 1949.
- On 23 August 1944, Fort Yale was torpedoed and sunk in the English Channel by U-480.
- On 15 December 1944, Fort Maisonneuve struck a mine and sank in the North Sea.
- On 16 July 1943, Fort Confidence caught fire at Algiers, Algeria. She was beached and was consequently declared a total loss.
- On 4 August 1943, Fort La Montee caught fire and exploded at Algiers.
- On 14 April 1944, Fort Crevier was severely damaged by the explosion of Fort Stikine at Bombay, India. She was reduced to a hulk and was scrapped in 1948.
- On 14 April 1944, Fort Stikine exploded at Bombay and was obliterated. Twelve other vessels were lost.
- On 1 February 1946, Fort Massac collided with Thornaby and sank in the North Sea.
- On 23 August 1946, Fort Boise was wrecked on the Grand Shoal, off Saint Pierre and Miquelon.
- On 18 February 1949, L'Emerillon (formerly Fort Machault) ran aground on the Sorelle Rocks off Malta.
- On 28 September 1956, Bedford Earl (formerly Fort Covington) ran aground in the Ryukyu Islands, Japan in a typhoon.
- On 14 June 1953, Bedford Prince (formerly Fort Gloucester) ran aground in the Gulf of Paria. She was consequently scrapped.
- On 10 February 1954, Catherine M. S. (formerly Fort Kilmar) ran aground off Mojima Saki, Japan. She was consequently scrapped.
- On 16 October 1954, Travelstar (formerly Fort La Baye) ran aground and caught fire in Buckner Bay. She was declared a total loss.
- On 24 March 1955, Yaffo (formerly Fort Kullyspell) ran aground in Baffy Bay. She was refloated in 1957 and taken in to Monrovia, Liberia. No further service recorded.
- On 27 May 1959, Aghios Spyridon (formerly Fort La Have) ran aground off Havana, Cuba and caught fire. Although refloated, she was declared a constructive total loss.
- On 1 July 1960, Rita (formerly Fort Rouille) ran aground off Goa, India and broke in two.
- On 1 February 1961, Cape Drepanon (formerly Fort La Cloche) ran aground in Long Island Sound. She was consequently scrapped.
- On 20 December 1963, Corfu Island (formerly Fort Saleesh) suffered an engine failure and was consequently wrecked in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence.
- On 8 April 1964, Irene X (formerly Fort Poplar) ran aground off Haiphong, China. She was subsequently refloated and scrapped.
- On 21 November 1964, Zakia (formerly Fort Capot River) was in collision with the tanker Hyperion off Cape St. Vincent, Portugal. She sank the next day.
- On 1 June 1966, Aktor (formerly Fort Sturgeon) sprang a leak and foundered in the Pacific Ocean.
- On 3 November 1966, Progress (formerly Fort Caribou) was wrecked in a typhoon at Madras, India.
- On 26 January 1967, Bodoro (formerly Fort Dauphin) was in collision with Beaver State in Chesapeake Bay. She was beached but was consequently declared a constructive total loss.
- On 12 April 1967, Silver Peak (formerly Fort Lennox) ran aground in the South China Sea 100 nautical miles (190 km) off the coast of Taiwan. She was declared a total loss and subsequently scrapped.
- On 25 February 1968, African Marquis (formerly Fort Glenora) ran aground on Kasos, Greece and broke in two.
- In 1968, Zhan Dou 76 (formerly Fort Wallace) became stranded. She was subsequently scrapped.
- On 18 December 1969, Ibrahim K (formerly Fort McPherson) ran aground at Tocra, Libya and broke up.
- Last confirmed scrapping, two ships may have been in service until the 1990s
- "'FORT', 'OCEAN' & 'PARK' TYPE SHIPS". Mariners. http://www.mariners-l.co.uk/Park1.html. Retrieved 12 August 2014.
- "The Forts". Angela DeRoy-Jones. http://fortships.tripod.com/fort_ships.htm. Retrieved 13 August 2014.
- "FORT SHIPS A - J". Mariners. http://www.mariners-l.co.uk/FortA.html. Retrieved 12 August 2012.
- "FORT SHIPS K - S". Mariners. http://www.mariners-l.co.uk/FortK.html. Retrieved 12 August 2012.
- "FORT SHIPS T - Y". Mariners. http://www.mariners-l.co.uk/FortT.html. Retrieved 12 August 2012.
- "Fort Concord". Uboat. http://uboat.net/allies/merchants/ships/2920.html. Retrieved 12 August 2014.
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