Alan A. Dale
|Operator:||D/S Norden, Copenhagen|
|Builder:||Nakskov Skibsværft A/S, Nakskov|
|Out of service:||1941|
|Fate:||Requisitioned by U.S. Maritime Commission, 1941|
|United States Navy|
|Name:||Alan A. Dale|
|Operator:||Union Steam Ship Company of New Zealand|
|Out of service:||1944|
|Fate:||Sunk, 23 December 1944|
|Length:||122.3 m (401 ft 3 in)|
|Beam:||17.5 m (57 ft 5 in)|
|Propulsion:||2 × diesel engines, 2,300 bhp (1,715 kW)|
|Speed:||13 knots (24 km/h; 15 mph)|
The ship was built in 1938 at the Nakskov Skibsværft A/S yard at Nakskov, Denmark. Under the name Nordvest she was owned and operated by D/S Norden of Copenhagen. After the outbreak of World War II she remained in port in the United States and was one of the 84 foreign ships seized by the U.S. Maritime Commission under the Ship Requisition Act (Executive Order No. 8771), signed on June 6, 1941. She was subsequently reflagged under Panama and operated by the Union Steam Ship Company of New Zealand. As well as her civilian crew she carried a contingent from the USN Armed Guard.
Alan A. Dale sailed independently for Tocopilla, Chile, arriving there in October 1941, then returned via the Panama Canal to Baltimore in early December. On December 15, 1941, she sailed from Halifax to Belfast as part of Convoy HX 165, returning to the United States as part of Convoy ON 59 in January 1942. After another Atlantic crossing, (Convoys HX 179 and ON 89), she sailed alone from Hampton Roads on June 1, 1942, to the Indian Ocean, calling at Cape Town, Abadan, Bahrein and Bombay, before returning via Durban, Trinidad and Guantánamo Bay, and arriving at New York City, on November 2.
Alan A. Dale then took part in operations following Operation Torch, the Allied invasion of North Africa, sailing between Hampton Roads and Oran three times between December 1942 and July 1943. The ship then returned to Atlantic crossings, making four more return voyages between the East Coast of the United States and ports in Britain between August 1943 and June 1944.
In July 1944, after sailing from New York to Liverpool, she moved to the south coast of England, crossing the English Channel to the Bay of the Seine following the Normandy landings, and returning to New York in September 1944. She sailed once more between New York and Liverpool and back in October–November 1944, before sailing from New York in October to the Solent. From there, on December 21, she sailed as part of Convoy TAM 26, bound for Antwerp.
The Alan A. Dale was sunk by a German Biber midget submarine in the Westerschelde off Terneuzen on 24 December 1944 at position Coordinates: . All 65 men on board survived the attack. The wreck was removed during June 2003 as part of an operation to improve shipping access to Antwerp.
- "Alan A. Dale cargo ship 1938-1944". wrecksite.eu. 2012. Retrieved 21 July 2012.
- "Foreign Passenger and Cargo Ships Taken Over by U.S Maritime Commission during World War II". American Merchant Marine at War. 2011. Retrieved 21 July 2012.
- Bradshaw, Mitchell A. (July 1, 2002). "World War II Oral History Interview". New Jersey Military and Veterans Affairs. Retrieved 22 July 2012.
- Hague, Arnold (2009). "Convoy Database". convoyweb.org.uk. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 21 July 2012.
- Mozolak, John (2009). "New York Ships to Foreign Ports September 1939-August 1945 "A"". janda.org. Retrieved 21 July 2012.
- Paterson, Lawrence (2006). Weapons of Desperation German Frogmen and Midget Submarines of World War II. Chatham Publishing. p. 139. ISBN 978-1-86176-279-5.
- Hallas, Dave. "German Midget submarine operations". uboat.net.