SS Antenor (1924)
SS Antenor (1924–39; 1945–53)HMS Antenor (1939–45)
|Owner:||China Mutual SN Co|
|Port of registry:||
|Builder:||Palmers Shipbuilding and Iron Company, Jarrow|
|Launched:||30 Sep 1924|
|Acquired:||13 Sep 1939|
|Reclassified:||Armed merchant cruiser 1939–45|
|Type:||refrigerated cargo and passenger liner|
|Length:||497.7 ft (151.7 m)|
|Beam:||62.2 ft (19.0 m)|
|Depth:||35 ft (11 m)|
|Propulsion:||4 × steam turbines; twin screw|
|Speed:||15.5 knots (28.7 km/h)|
|Notes:||sister ships: Hector, Patroclus and Sarpedon|
SS Antenor was built by Palmers Shipbuilding and Iron Company Ltd at Jarrow, England with a gross register tonnage (GRT) of 11,174, length of 487 ft 8 in, beam of 62 ft 2 in, depth of 35 ft and a service speed of 15.5 knots. She was built for Alfred Holt and Company of Liverpool, who owned Blue Funnel Line and various other shipping lines including China Mutual Steam Navigation Company. She was launched on 30 September 1924 and completed in 1925. She began her maiden voyage on 15 January 1925 from Liverpool to the Far East.
By the 1930s she was running on Blue Funnel's Eastern Service. A timetable for the Eastern Service, issued in September 1937 for the period September 1937 – October 1938, lists the ports of call as: Liverpool, Marseille, Port Said, Colombo, Penang, Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Yokohama. Kobe and Aden were additional ports of call on the return voyage. Her sister ships on the service were Hector, Patroclus and Sarpedon.
In November 1938 the Antenor carried five giant pandas, caught in Sichuan Province in China, from Hong Kong to Europe. On the voyage some of the pandas broke out of their cage on her poop deck. The pandas were the first to be brought to Europe in captivity.
World War II service
On 13 September 1939 the Admiralty requisitioned Antenor and had her converted into an armed merchant cruiser, HMS Antenor, pennant F21. She carried six 6-inch (150 mm) and two 3-inch (76 mm) guns. She served in the Mediterranean Fleet from January 1940 to April 1940, and the East Indies Station from May 1940 until October 1941.
On 31 October 1941 she was returned and used as troopship by the Ministry of War Transport (MoWT). She served in the invasion of Normandy in 1944.
She returned to commercial service with the Ocean Steam Ship Company in February 1946 and continued to serve until 1953 when she was sold to Hughes Bolckow (shipbreakers) for demolition. She arrived at the breaker's yard at Blyth, England on 19 July 1953.
- "SS Antenor (1924)". www.tynebuiltships.co.uk. Retrieved 27 Mar 2017.
- Among the crew were Lewis Owen of Llandwrog, Caernarfon who recalled to his family bringing two of the Pandas to London before the war. articleid=straitstimes19381127.2.109&sessionid=9fb04643596f4181a3eba55881450408&keyword=antenor+panda "Giant Pandas Through Singapore. Rare Animals from the wilds of China. Will be First to Reach Europe in Captivity" Check
|url=value (help). The Straits Times. 27 November 1938. Retrieved 2 February 2010.
- History of Alfred Holt and Company
- White, Horace (1961). Battleship Wharf. London. – a history of Hughes Bolckow Ltd, shipbreakers