SS Empire Austen
SS Freecrest at Tilbury
|Port of registry:|
|Builder:||Lithgow's, Port Glasgow|
|Launched:||24 March 1942|
|Length:||432 ft 2 in (131.72 m)|
|Beam:||56 ft 2 in (17.12 m)|
|Depth:||34 ft 2 in (10.41 m)|
|Propulsion:||1 triple expansion steam engine (J G Kincaid, Greenock) 520 hp (390 kW)|
Empire Austen was a 7,027 ton cargo ship which was built in 1942. She was renamed Frinton in 1949, Freecrest in 1951, Fairwater in 1955 and APJ Usha in 1961. She was scrapped in 1962.
Empire Austen was built by Lithgows Ltd, Port Glasgow as yard number 969. She was launched on 24 March 1942 and completed in May.  She was built for the Ministry of War Transport and placed under the management of Honeyman & Co.
Empire Austen was a member of a number of convoys during the Second World War.
- KMS 22
- MKS 27
- OS 60
- KMS 35
In 1946, management of Empire Austen passed to Counties Ship Management (CSM). In 1949 she was sold to Frinton Shipping Ltd and renamed Frinton, operating under CSM's management. Frinton was sold to Crest Shipping Co Ltd in 1951 and renamed Freecrest. She operated under the management of Ivanovich & Co Ltd, London. In 1955, Freecrest was sold to the International Navigation Corporation, Liberia and renamed Fairwater, operating under the management of Tidewater Commercial Co Inc, Baltimore. In 1961, Fairwater was sold to Surrendra (Overseas) Private Ltd, Bombay and renamed APD Usha. She was scrapped in Bombay in 1962.
Official number and code letters
Official Numbers were a forerunner to IMO Numbers.
- Mitchell, W H; Sawyer, L A (1990). The Empire Ships. London, New York, Hamburg, Hong Kong: Lloyd's of London Press. p. 88. ISBN 1-85044-275-4.
- "EMPIRE - A". Mariners-L. Retrieved 4 January 2009.
- "CONVOY KMS 22". Warsailors. Retrieved 21 January 2008.
- "CONVOY MKS 27". Warsailors. Retrieved 21 January 2008.
- "Convoy OS.60/KMS.34". Convoyweb. Retrieved 21 January 2008.
- "Convoy KMS.35". Convoyweb. Retrieved 21 January 2008.
- "LLOYD'S REGISTER, STEAMERS & MOTORSHIPS" (PDF). Plimsoll Ship Data. Retrieved 21 January 2008.
- Account of damage to Freecrest in a hurricane in 1951.