On This Day

31 October

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1937 Roxburgh Castle


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The 8,003-ton refrigerated cargo ship Roxburgh Castle (Yard No. 1187) was launched today for the Ministry of War Transport (managed by the Union-Castle Mail Steamship Company).

On 22 February 1943, Roxburgh Castle sailing alone was hit by one of three torpedoes fired by U-107 after being chased for five hours between the islands of Terceira and SaƵ Miguel in the Azores. The motor ship sank by the bow after a final torpedo struck her; remarkably her captain and crew survived the sinking and were questioned by the crew of the U-boat before it left the area. The captain, fifty-five crew members and eight gunners were landed at Ponta Delgada.

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1891 Ionia

The 6,335-ton cargo ship Ionia (Yard No. 242) was launched this morning from the south-west end of Queen’s Island for the City of Liverpool Steam Navigation Company (managers D. & C. MacIver). The twin-screw vessel intended for the Company’s service between Liverpool and Bombay and Karachi, was also provided with accommodation for about eighty First Class passengers and because of the climate she was intended to operate in special provision was made for adequate ventilation.

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1944 TF8

The 4,170-ton landing ship TF8 (Yard No. 1291) was launched today for the Admiralty.