Re: Mystery ships at Beirut July 1939
Posted by: de domenico
Date: March 11, 2014 12:16PM
Some shots in the dark:
SYROS of the Hellenic Coast Lines Co. Ltd, Piraeus (since 1933), ex ADRIATICOS of J. Leonidas under Panamanian flag (since 1914), ex CALORIC of the Belfast SS Co., built 1885 by Harland & Wolff at Belfast, 982 grt, seems a likely candidate.
In 1940 she became EMILIE for the Balkans & Near East Line, then ATLANTIC for S. Avgherinos, in 1942 the owner is Israel Gottesmann, Palestine, then in 1943 she becomes SHIKMONA for the Near East Shipping Co. Ltd, Haifa etc.
There is a THRASYVOULOS, owner Thr. L. Boyazides & Co., Andros, ex FORFAR (1919 to 1921) ex THESSALIA, built in 1912 by the Tyne Iron SB Co. at Newcastle, 3.691 grt, for the International Line SS Co. Ltd, Whitby. Maybe some traces of the original name were still visible. She was sunk by U 37 on 30 Oct. 1939 in the North Atlantic while en route from Swansea to Halifax with a cargo of coal.
By a curious coincidence, the German cargo THESSALIA, 2,875 grt/1921 of the Deutsche Levante Linie, reached Iskenderun (Alexandrette) from Antwerp on 25 July 1939, then on 20 August went on to Mersin and later on to Bari for lay-up. However, I don't think that a German-flag ship could carry Jewish refugees.
Last, another very likely candidate, FROSSOULA. Built in 1903 (and not 1883) at Newcastle again by the Tyne Iron SB Co., 1,255 grt, as HUSSAR for the Fisher, Renwick & Co's Manchester-London Steamers Ltd, purchased in 1915 by the French government as GENERAL LEMAN, sold in 1923 to Sarner & Cie, Marseilles then in 1924 to Louis Sicard. In 1926 under Moroccan flag at Casablanca as KILBANE, in 1934 back under the French flag at Marseilles (owner still Cie de Nav. Sicard). In Dec. 1938 sold as FROSSOULA to J. E. Vardavas & Co., Panamanian flag, in 1940 to the Phoenix SS Co. Ltd (M.M. Xylas, mgr), Panama. Sunk 15 July 1940 by German aircraft off Cape Finisterre while en route Barcelona to Glasgow with a potash cargo.
I have a sketch of the latter, if it is of any interest.
Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 03/11/2014 12:21PM by de domenico.