SS Fort Athabaska

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Career (UK)
Name: SS Fort Athabaska
Owner: Ministry of War Transport
Operator: J. & C. Harrison, London
Builder: Burrard Dry Dock, North Vancouver
Completed: 15 May 1943
Fate: Sunk, 2 December 1943
General characteristics [1]
Class & type: North Sands-type Fort class cargo ship
Tonnage: 7,130 GRT
Length: 441 ft 6 in (134.57 m)
Beam: 57 ft 2 in (17.42 m)

SS Fort Athabaska was a Canadian-owned Fort ship, sunk while under British naval use in 1943. With the heavy demand for British cargo ships it was given to British naval forces.

She was a North Sands type Fort ship built by Burrard Dry Dock of North Vancouver, and completed 15 May 1943.[2]

On 2 December 1943 multiple squadrons of German bombers conducted a destructive air assault on Bari Harbour in Italy. Twenty-eight Allied ships were sunk in the raid with contents of mustard gas in one of their hulls. The moment the gas spread, the harbour became a poisonous inferno. One of the ships sunk in the raid was the Fort Athabaska. The contents of the ship whilst it was stationed at Bari is unknown, but some records suggest medical/oil/ammunition supplies. The fate of the ship was sealed when multiple bombs penetrated the decks of the ship, leaving holes in the hull that could simply not be repaired. The order to abandon ship was given and the ship quickly submerged.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ DeRoy-Jones, Angela (2004). "Merchant Ships Built in Canada in World War Two". fortships.tripod.com. Retrieved 23 November 2012. 
  2. ^ Colton, Tim (2011). "Merchant Ships Built in Canada in World War Two". shipbuildinghistory.com. Retrieved 23 November 2012. 
  3. ^ "Fort Athabaska". wrecksite.eu. Retrieved 23 November 2012.