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ex-USS PCE833, ex-HMS Kilham, ex-Sognefjord, ex-Orion, ex-Orion II, ex-Corona, Orient Explorer /+ sisters

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    Originally posted by pakarang View Post
    I'm not surprised to learn that shortly after this image was taken, she actually sunk. Looking at the list, and the open (?) shelldoor just aft of midships, only a small additional list would be enough. A very sad image indeed.
    I must agree, very sad image, and not surprised that she sank. I'm trying to imagine why anyone would attempt to tow a vessel that was in such condition. I have been involved in towing many old vessels, and we would never start a tow with obvious problems like these. We would always pump out any flood water, and make sure the vessel was on an even keel before we would even think about moving the vessel. I can only imagine that the vessel started to take on water once the tow was under way.

    It's such a shame, especially when you look back to how she used to be in the other images. She was once a very proud looking ship.
    Your charts, your radar, your eyes and ears - if all 4 agree, you may proceed with caution.


      m/s sunnfjord

      Hello again!

      After those sad images i scanned few more pics abt m/s sunnfjord
      The pics are showing different phases when hms kildwick turn into m/s sunnfjord
      Photos are taken by unknown photographer and are located in Bergen maritime museum. Book has only few photos ,but it reads in the book that, there is photo from every single day when converting kildwick to sunnfjord starting from january 1948 to may 1949.



        am-class/pce class

        Here is one of the first drawings abt this ship type



          Absorbing piks, Orionboy. I'm surprised to see that when the pilot's bridge superstructure was removed that the deck appears to be complete and all in one underneath. Would this have been for ease of construction initially? I would have expected there to have been access to below ship within the bridge fabric.

          I read that the hull construction meant a very straightforward and economic conversion to passenger use. The photo that shows one complete deck would appear to allow a blank canvas for a ship designer.

          Unbolt the gun placements, surround tubs and depth charge racks; change the colour from battleship grey; add some benches and a funnel; divide below deck up into separate cabins; lay some carpet and add wood cladding; who would ever know she had seen 2 years of war duty?


            Ship drawings

            Originally posted by orionboy View Post
            Here is one of the first drawings abt this ship type

            This is a tremendous find, Orionboy. I've looked closely at the drawings which appear to be for the Admirable Minesweeper Class, rather than the Kil Class PCE. The basic hull appears similar, but there are certain differences, ie the whaleboat on the drawing and photos of later ships/minesweepers is on port side, but on starboard on Kil Class. The drawing shows 2, twin 40mm guns side by side aft of the whaleboat and above the quarterdeck, whereas the Kil Class PCEs had 2 single 40mm Bofors guns centrally placed inline in the stern, one behind the other.

            Additionally, the drawing shows a short funnel which the Kil Class PCEs didn't have but appear to have used diesel exhaust outlets on the sides of the hull?

            Also, the Kil Class I believe had 2 20mm AA guns, whereas the minesweeper drawing lists and shows 6 of these guns.

            Almost every tech spec of the Kil Class taken from assorted sources has a different armaments list to each other, but I think one of the best sources has to be the photos of HMS Kilbride, as previously listed:

            (PCE-828, HMS Kilbride. Launched 15 May 1943; Transferred to Great Britain 31 July 1943 as HMS Kilbride (Z 02); Reclassified BEC-2)

   (Aerial photo showing deck layout)

   (Three quarter view from aircraft showing depth charge racks)

            I'm not sure where the 20mm AA guns were situated; possibly on the bridge - but I can check that with my father.

            The drawings themselves are great - surely accurate enough to build another one, if you had the resources!
            Last edited by Paul Cobb; June 9th, 2009, 00:19. Reason: Add pic refs


              I like this conversion of a war ship into a ferry!
              Lofoten '07 ...... Nordnorge '11


                More photos from Smokey's album

                Here are some more of our father's WWII photos concerning crew members from HMS Kilham:

                'Smokey on shore leave in West Africa, 1944-1945'

                'Crewmate from HMS Kilham, West Africa, 1944-1945'

                'HMS Kilham crew member, West Africa, 1944-1945'

                'HMS Kilham Australian crew member, Digger, West Africa, 1945. Note the adherance to the wartime restriction of only showing 'HMS' on the hat band, with no reference to the name of the ship'

                'HMS Kilham crew member, George, West Africa, 1945'
                Last edited by Paul Cobb; June 10th, 2009, 10:47.


                  What's in a name?

                  Another couple of photos from our father's album. These are more recent, so what's the relevance? Well, apart from the fact that they involve a ship, they sort of 'close' the story.

                  'Smokey pictured in front of the Prinz Hamlet in Hamburg in 1979, half way through a 'lads' mini cruise' we all took part in. Note in his fingers is one of the everpresent cigarettes he was always seen with. The outward journey had seen the weather become quite 'breezy'

                  'Barry, Smokey and Paul on board a VERY blowy Prinz Hamlet on the return journey of our mini cruise from Hamburg in 1979. As we reached the mid point of the North Sea crossing the breeze had become a Force 10 gale which was incessant all night long. About 95% of the passengers were all violently ill - including the 3 of us. He was embarrassed as he tells us that he had never once been seasick while serving in the navy, but a mini cruise 'got him!' Smokey vowed to stop smoking as he had felt so ill and kept to his word - first stopping cigarettes and taking up a pipe, then cutting out altogether. So, no more 'Smokey Stover', but just plain Dennis - or Dad! Strange thing is looking at this photo, that I am now as old as my father was then!'


                    Originally posted by ombugge View Post
                    There was one more of the KIL class that ended up in Norway, but did not become a ferry:
                    PCE 834 - HMS Kilkenzie - Nadodd (Cargo Ship) - Scrapped 1978
                    She was converted to cargo ship and traded in Norway and the North Sea until 1952 and was scrapped in Manila in 1978.
                    This is what is know of her:

                    The picture as Nadodd is credited to Hugo C. Lütcherath, Bergen, Norway.
                    He is obviously someone with a lot of knowledge and interest in the ships we are discussing on this forum. Can someone locate him and invite him to this forum?
                    There are connections between the threads on CV Forum. When following a link from Ralf to the early Hurtigruten ships, I came across this refr.:
                    Am 11. April 1950 die kollidiert die M/S Midnatsol (BDS) mit dem Lastschiff Nadd-Odd, im Steinsund bei Soland.
                    I bit wrong spelling but a definite connection here.


                      Hello Paul, just thought that you might be interested to know that the ferry that you, your brother and father travelled on back in 1979 is still going strong.

                      Have a look at these pages, should bring back memories of your lovely North Sea crossing!

                      She is now the 'Sveti Stefan II'.

                      History in postcards.

                      Details and photos of her.
                      Your charts, your radar, your eyes and ears - if all 4 agree, you may proceed with caution.


                        drawings for pce/am vessels

                        Im back with some scanned drawings from my archives.
                        Hope that you can see something of those , because quality isnt so brilliant.
                        Drawings are for the "sperry" electro mechanical steering system, which were same for am/pce vessels.It was one big sheet ,but i needed to put it in 3 parts that i could scan it.

                        and one photo from bridge of m/s orion (june 1995 in Loviisa Finland)

                        ps. nice to see more photos from smokeys album!


                          hms kilham

                          While looking for more info abt hms kilham i found this one:
                          It seems that there are more people to find some info of the vessel=)


                            Former Crew Member

                            Thanks for the link above.
                            I've posted a message to Tom inviting him to view this marvellous Message Board, so hopefully we may gleam some more details.
                            I'll ask Dad if he remembers Tom's Grand Father as he may recall the incident when someone lost an arm.

                            PS Paul, not sure about the 'dodgy' photo of the 3 of us in 1979, but I suppose we were young (& hung-over if I recall)


                              Originally posted by Steve.B View Post
                              Hello Paul, just thought that you might be interested to know that the ferry that you, your brother and father travelled on back in 1979 is still going strong.

                              Have a look at these pages, should bring back memories of your lovely North Sea crossing!

                              She is now the 'Sveti Stefan II'.

                              Hoped somebody would do PRECISELY what you have just done! Wondered if the ferry might still be in service. She's getting as interesting a history herself!

                              If I recall, the most important thing to us all on the return was the number of available toilets there were - and there WEREN'T sufficient believe me!

                              At first the pitching and rolling was an adventure. Everyone went to the evening disco and surged from one side of the floor to the other. Then, despite being asked to remain indoors, many were taking part in a game of 'could you go out one door on the side deck after one wave deluged the ship and run all the way down the side deck to go back in through the bottom door before the next wave soaked you?' - and the answer was NO!

                              All that was before it reached force 10. Did you know that faces can actually turn green?

                              One of our party was among the approx 5% who showed no ill effects, and he made people run for toilets again the following morning by declaring that he was off for a lavish breakfast of bacon and eggs etc!


                                hms kilham/hms kilchrenan

                                To Paul or Barry:
                                Does your father remember anything about hms kilchrenan, because in the norwegian book is a mention that hms kilham and hms kilchrenan were in same escort group.Thats also a funny coincidence that they ended both here in Finland to sail almost together ,Orion from Hamina and Kristina brahe from Kotka
                                (neighbour cities)And of course adding that they scrapped hms kilchatten(Capri corne) here as well.I also read from the book (its hard to understand,because i only know a swedish little bit ,but they are similar languages)that hms kilkenzie (later m/s Nadodd as cargo ship)and hms kildwick (m/s sunnfjord)were in same escort groups.

                                Photo of hms kilchrenan from Ivor Gerrish