SS Kingston Hill

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Career (UK)
Name: SS Kingston Hill
Namesake: Kingston Hill, south London
Operator: Counties Ship Management Co Ltd, London
Builder: William Hamilton & Co, Port Glasgow[1]
Completed: December 1940[1]
Out of service: 8 June 1941[2]
Identification: UK official number 168045[1]
call sign GNMM[1]
ICS Golf.svgICS November.svgICS Mike.svgICS Mike.svg
Fate: Sunk by torpedo
Status: wreck
General characteristics
Type: cargo ship
Tonnage: 7,628 GRT[1]
tonnage under deck 7,217[1]
5,595 NRT[1]
Length: 421.1 ft (128.4 m)[1] p/p
Beam: 60.4 ft (18.4 m)[1]
Draught: 35.8 ft (10.9 m)[1]
Installed power: 520 NHP[1]
Propulsion: triple-expansion steam engine; screw[1]
Crew: 62[2]
Notes: sister ships: SS Lulworth Hill, SS Marietta E, SS Michael E, SS Primrose Hill

SS Kingston Hill was a cargo ship built by William Hamilton & Co in Port Glasgow on the Firth of Clyde. She was completed in December 1940.[1] She was managed by Counties Ship Management Co Ltd of London (CSM), an offshoot of the Rethymnis & Kulukundis shipbroking company.[3] She was a sister ship of SS Lulworth Hill, SS Marietta E, SS Michael E and SS Primrose Hill, which were also managed by CSM but owned by other R&K companies.

Kingston Hill had a single 520 NHP triple-expansion steam engine[1] driving a single screw. She had eight corrugated furnaces heating two 225 lbf/in2 single-ended boilers with a combined heating surface of 7,643 square feet (710 m2), plus one auxiliary boiler.[1]

On 22 February 1941 Luftwaffe aircraft bombed and damaged the ship.[2] She was repaired at Glasgow.[2]

SS Kingston Hill is located in Africa
SS Kingston Hill
Approximate position of Kingston Hill‍ '​s wreck


In May 1941 Kingston Hill sailed from Cardiff and Glasgow laden with coal and general cargo for Alexandria in Egypt.[2] To avoid the enemy-controlled waters of the Mediterranean she was heading via Cape Town, South Africa, but was unescorted.[2] She was southwest of the Cape Verde Islands heading into the South Atlantic when the German submarine U-38 hit her with two torpedoes at 0108 hrs on 8 June 1941.[2] She sank at 0125 hrs with the loss of her Master and 13 crew.[2] 16 crew were rescued by the Royal Navy destroyer HMS Achates and returned to Greenock.[2] 26 crew were rescued by the US tanker Alabama and landed at Cape Town.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Lloyd's Register, Steamships and Motor Ships (PDF). London: Lloyd's Register. 1941. Retrieved 23 March 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Helgason, Guðmundur (1995–2010). "Kingston Hill". Guðmundur Helgason. Retrieved 30 June 2010. 
  3. ^ Fenton, Roy (2006). "Counties Ship Management 1934-2007". LOF-News. p. 1. Retrieved 30 June 2010. 

Sources & further reading[edit]

Coordinates: 9°21′N 21°24′W / 09.35°N 21.40°W / 09.35; -21.40