SS Empire Broadsword

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Class and typeC1-S-AY-1 Infantry landing ship
  • Cape Marshall (1943)
  • Empire Broadsword (1943-44)
OwnerWar Shipping Administration
OperatorCunard White Star Line
Port of registryUnited Kingdom London
BuilderConsolidated Steel Corporation, Wilmington, California
Launched16 August 1943
CompletedDecember 1943
Out of service2 July 1944
  • United Kingdom Official Number 169737
  • Code Letters MYMJ
  • ICS Mike.svgICS Yankee.svgICS Mike.svgICS Juliet.svg
FateStruck a mine and sank
General characteristics
Length396 ft 5 in (120.83 m)
Beam60 ft 1 in (18.31 m)
Depth35 ft (10.67 m)
PropulsionSteam turbines, double reduction geared driving a single screw
  • 1 × 4 in gun
  • 1 × 12 pdr gun
  • 12 × 20mm guns
SS Empire Broadsword is located in France
SS Empire Broadsword
Location of the sinking of Empire Broadsword.

Empire Broadsword was a Type C1-S-AY-1 infantry landing ship built in 1943 as Cape Marshall. She was renamed Empire Broadsword before completion and entering into service for the Ministry of War Transport (MoWT). She had a short career, entering service in December 1943 and being sunk by a mine in July 1944.


The ship was built by Consolidated Steel Corporation, Wilmington, California as yard number 348. She was launched on 16 August 1943 as Cape Marshall.[1] She was 396 feet 5 inches (120.83 m) long, with a beam of 60 feet 1 inch (18.31 m) and a depth of 35 feet (10.67 m). She was propelled by two steam turbines which drove a single screw via double reduction gearing. The steam turbine were manufactured by Westinghouse Electrical and Manufacturing Corp, Essington, Pennsylvania.[2]


The ship was transferred under the terms of lend lease shortly after being completed in 1943 under the name Empire Broadsword.[3] She was chartered by the MoWT, and was operated under the management of Cunard White Star Line[2]

Empire Broadsword was mined and sunk off Normandy on July 2, 1944, while supporting the allied invasion of Europe.[4] Her position is 49°25′N 0°54′W / 49.417°N 0.900°W / 49.417; -0.900.[1] Seventy survivors were rescued by USS PC-1225.[5] The wreck lies on its starboard side in 27 metres (89 ft) of water and is now a dive site.[6] Those lost on Empire Broadsword are commemorated at the Tower Hill Memorial, London.[7]

Official Numbers and Code Letters[edit]

Official Numbers were a forerunner to IMO Numbers. Empire Broadsword had the UK Official Number 169737 and used the Code Letters MYMJ.[2]


  1. ^ a b "1169737". Miramar Ship Index. Retrieved 10 December 2009.
  2. ^ a b c "LLOYD'S REGISTER, NAVIRES A VAPEUR ET A MOTEURS" (PDF). Plimsoll Ship Data. Retrieved 10 December 2009.
  3. ^ Colledge. Ships of the Royal Navy. p. 113.
  4. ^ "EMPIRE - B". Retrieved 25 November 2008.
  5. ^ "Waverly". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Navy Department, Naval History and Heritage Command. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
  6. ^ "Legacy of the landings". Dive Magazine. Archived from the original on 13 March 2010. Retrieved 10 December 2009.
  7. ^ "Ship Index A-F". Brian Watson. Retrieved 20 May 2011.