MV Empire City

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Name: Empire City
Owner: Ministry of Transport
Operator: A Weir & Co Ltd
Port of registry: United Kingdom Sunderland
Builder: Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd
Launched: 15 July 1943
Completed: November 1943
  • Code Letters BFLB
  • ICS Bravo.svgICS Foxtrot.svgICS Lima.svgICS Bravo.svg
  • United Kingdom Official Number 180046
General characteristics
Class and type: Cargo ship
Length: 428 ft 8 in (130.66 m)
Beam: 56 ft 5 in (17.20 m)
Depth: 35 ft 5 in (10.80 m)
Installed power: 2SCSA diesel engine
Propulsion: Screw propellor
Crew: 50, plus 20 DEMS gunners
Armament: Anti-torpedo nets
MV Empire City is located in Mozambique
MV Empire City
Location of the sinking of Empire City off Mozambique.

Empire City was a 7,295 GRT cargo ship which was built in 1943 by William Doxford & Sons Ltd, Sunderland for the Ministry of War Transport (MoWT). She was torpedoed and sunk on 6 August 1944 by U-198.


Empire City was built by William Doxford & Sons Ltd, Sunderland. She was launched on 15 July 1943.[1]

The ship was 428 feet 8 inches (130.66 m) long, with a beam of 56 feet 5 inches (17.20 m) and a depth of 35 feet 5 inches (10.80 m). She had a GRT of 7,295 and a NRT of 4,941.[2]

The ship was propelled by a 2-stroke Single Cycle Single Action diesel engine, which had eight cylinders of 23 58 inches (60 cm) diameter by 91 516 inches (231.9 cm) stroke.[2]


Empire City was built for the MoWT. She was placed under the management of the A Weir & Co Ltd. Her port of registry was Sunderland. The Code Letters BFLB and the United Kingdom Official Number 180046 were allocated.[2]

Empire City was a member of a number of convoys in the Second World War.

ON 212

Convoy ON 212 departed Liverpool on 19 November 1943 and arrived at New York on 5 December.[3] Empire City had departed from Milford Haven, Pembrokeshire on 18 November. She was equipped with anti-torpedo nets on this voyage.[4]

DKA 21

Empire City was a member of Convoy DKA 21, which departed Lourenço Marques, Portuguese East Africa bound for Port Said, Egypt via Aden. Empire City was carrying a cargo of 8,403 tons of coal. On 6 August 1944, she was torpedoed and sunk by U-198 off Mocímboa da Praia, Portuguese East Africa (11°33′S 41°25′E / 11.550°S 41.417°E / -11.550; 41.417Coordinates: 11°33′S 41°25′E / 11.550°S 41.417°E / -11.550; 41.417). Two crew and 10 DEMS gunners were killed. The surviving 48 crew and 10 DEMS gunners were rescued. They were landed at Pekawi, Portuguese East Africa.[5] Her captain was taken prisoner by U-198; he perished with the submarine's crew when U-198 was sunk on 12 August.[6] Those lost on Empire City are commemorated at the Tower Hill Memorial, London.[7]


  1. ^ Mitchell, W.H.; Sawyer, L.A. (1995). The Empire Ships. London, New York, Hamburg, Hong Kong: Lloyd's of London Press Ltd. p. not cited. ISBN 1-85044-275-4. 
  2. ^ a b c "LLOYD'S REGISTER, NAVIRES A VAPEUR ET A MOTEURS" (PDF). Plimsoll Ship Data. Retrieved 8 April 2010. 
  3. ^ "CONVOY ON 212". Warsailors. Retrieved 8 April 2010. 
  4. ^ "ON Convoys – 1941-1945, Convoy ON 201 through ON 249". Warsailors. Retrieved 8 April 2010. 
  5. ^ "Empire City". U-boat. Retrieved 8 April 2010. 
  6. ^ "U-198". Uboat. Retrieved 10 May 2011. 
  7. ^ "Ship Index A-F". Brian Watson. Retrieved 20 May 2011.