Monthly Archives: January 2019

The MS Jutlandia

Originally published September 2, 2017.

The MS Jutlandia was built for the East Asiatic Company (EAC) by the EAC at the Nakskov Shipyard in 1934. She was 461 feet long with a beam of 61 feet and a draught of 36 feet. The Jutlandia was a combined cargo and passenger ship. She had a cruise speed of 15 knots.

During WWII she was laid up after Germany invaded Denmark and was only manned by a skeleton crew. During an allied air raid in May of 1945 she only suffered some bullet holes and a minor fire. She returned to EACservice after the war and sailed between Europe and the US East Coast.

At the outbreak of hostilities on the Korean Peninsula the Danish government pledged support for the UN effort and the Jutlandia was converted to a hospital ship as part of the Danish contribution to the UN action.

The Jutlandia did three tours of duty as a hospital ship during the Korean War. During these tours she treated military and civilians. This included the treatment of orphans and at one point the creation of a childrens ward onboard. She received the Korean Presidential Unit Citation and the ships crew and medical staff were officially decorated by the Danish Government. After her service in Korea she returned to her original service of sailing between Copenhagen and Bangkok.

In September 1960, the Jutlandia became a Royal Yacht, first serving the King of Thailand and then in 1963 serving as the Royal Yacht for Queen Margrethe II of Denmark.

On January 14, 1965 the Jutlandia left on her final voyage to Bilbao where she was scrapped.


The MV MacDhui

Originally published August 20, 2017.

The MV MacDhui was built by Barclay, Curie and Co., Ltd. of Glasgow in 1931 for Burns Philp on their New Guinea service. She displaced 4,561 gross tons with a length of 341 feet 9 inches and a beam of 51 feet 2 inches. Her engines provided 635 nhp and she could accommodate 167 first class passengers.

In March of 1931, she departed for Australia laden with coal. She worked the cargo and passenger service between Sydney and New Guinea. Until she was requisitioned by the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).

While in RAN service the MacDhui operated between Sydney and Port Moresby. On June 17, 1942 she was attacked while in harbour at Port Moresby and suffered damage. Then on the 18th she came under attack again and while attempting to avoid the bombs she struck a reef and sunk.


The Edwin Fox

Originally published June 14, 2017.

Built by William Henry Forster in 1853 the Edwin Fox is the world’s second oldest surviving merchant ship and the only remaining example of a ship that transported convicts to Australia.

Made of teak and constructed at Calcutta in West Bengal, the Edwin Fox was built as a standard trader for the East India Company. During her construction she was sold to Sir George Hodgkinson who decided to name her after a well known Quaker from Southhampton.

Her maiden voyage was in 1853 and saw the Edwin Fox sail from Calcutta to London via the Cape of Good Hope. After her arrival in London she served as a Troop Ship transporting British Forces during the Crimean War.

On St. Valentines day 1856 the Edwin Fox left on her first journey to Melbourne, Australia carrying passengers. After this journey she began trading between Chinese ports.

The British Government chartered her as a convict ship in 1858. This saw her transport “convicts” to Fremantle, Western Australia.

Reconfigured to a Barque in 1867 she commenced service on the emigrant route to New Zealand. In this role she carried 751 settlers on journeys that lasted between four to six months.

In the 1880s she was again refitted, this time as a freezer hulk, and was towed to Picton on the South Island of New Zealand.

The Edwin Fox now sits in dry dock in Picton, New Zealand and serves as a museum ship.


The Black Star Line

Originally published June 10, 2017.

The Ghanan Postal authority issued a set of 3 stamps in 1957 to commemorate the formation of the Black Star Line, Ghana’s national shipping company.

Intended to carry cargoes of equipment and materials to Ghana and sail with Ghanan produce going outward. The company originally operated in concert with Zim Israeli Navigation Company. But in 1960 the Government of Ghana decided to take over the 40% stake that Zim owned.

The first stamp in the set depicts a Viking long ship and is denominated 2½ pence.

The next stamp in the set is denominated 1 shilling 3 pence and features a Galleon.

The last stamp in the set features a representation of the MV Volta River. The stamp is denominated 5 shillings.

The MV Volta River displaced 4,959 gross tons, had a length of 420 feet with a breadth of 56¾ feet. Her draught was 24¼ feet and she had a cruise speed of 11 knots.


MV Victoria

Originally published May 6, 2017.

Issued in 1981 as one in a set of 4 commemorating Norwegian lake shipping the Motor Vessel (MVVictoria is featured on the 1k.30 value.

Built in 1882 as a Steam Ship the MV Victoria was converted to diesel propulsion in 1953. She served on the route between Skein to Dalen via the Bandak canal carrying both passengers and cargo until 1956.

The Victoria was extensively rebuilt and re-entered service in 1963 in the tourist trade. The route she operates on is considered one of the most scenic routes in Europe.

The MV Victoria is 152 gross tons with a length of 96½ feet. She has a beam of 18 feet and carries 150 passengers.


MF Storegut

Originally published May 6, 2017.

Issued in 1981 as one in a set of 4 commemorating Norwegian lake shipping the Motor Ferry (MFStoregut is featured on the 2k.30 value.

The MF Storegut was constructed as a railway ferry to work on the Tinnsjø railway ferry service on lake Tinn between Tinnoset and Mæl. She was launched on May 25th, 1956. When the Innsjø railway ferry service stopped operating in 1991 she was withdrawn from service. The Storegut is now used for chartered cultural service.

She could transport up to 21 chemical cars and accommodate 400 passengers. 1,119 Tons she was the largest lake ferry when launched. He has a length of 287 feet with a beam of 37 feet. Her draught is 12 feet.


PS Skibladner

Originally published May 5, 2017.

Issued in 1981 as one in a set of 4 commemorating Norwegian lake shipping the Paddle Steamer (PSSkibladneris featured on the 1k.10 value.

The PS Skibladner is the only paddle steamer operating in Norway. Her maiden voyage was on August 2nd, 1856. This makes her the worlds oldest paddle steamer operating a scheduled service. During her long career she has sunk twice, been re-floated and extensively renovated.

Still operating on lake Mjøsa between Eidsvoll, Gjøvik and Lillehammer she offers scenic tours and cultural events.

The PS Skipbladner is registered at 206 tons with a length overall of 164 feet and a beam of 16.6 feet. She has a draught of 8¼ feet and carries 230 passengers.


MS Fæmund II

Originally published May 5, 2017.

Issued in 1981 as one in a set of 4 commemorating Norwegian lake shipping the Motor Ship (MSFæmund is featured on the 1k.50 value.

The MS Fæmund is a historic passenger ferry that originally entered service in 1905. It replaced the original Fæmund that served on Lake Femunden in 1887. She was constructed to carry passengers, goods, mail and timber on Norway’s third largest lake.

The Fæmund is still important because many houses on the lake still don’t have road connections. Between mid June and mid September she sails between Sørvika and Elgå.

Originally constructed as a steam ship, the Fæmund was converted to diesel power in 1958. She is 78½ feet long with a beam of 17 feet. Displacing 81 gross tons, shew draws 6 feet of water, carrying between 75 and 100 passengers.


Canadian Corvettes

Originally published May 2, 2017.

On July 1st, 1942, the Canadian government issued a series of stamps to celebrate Canada and Canadianscontributions to the war effort.

The 20¢ value was titled Corvette Ready for Launching and was designed by Herman Schwartz and engraved by Clifford Dawson and Walter Rosch. The Canadian Bank Note Company printed 62,028,166 copies of the stamp. It was perforated 12 on all sides. The design is based on a photograph of HMCS La Malbaie

Pictured on the stamp is a corvette ready to be launched. This design was relevant as many of Canada’s smaller ship yards constructed “Flower” class corvettes during the war. In total the Royal Canadian Navy ordered 104 corvettes from Canadian shipyards. Canadian shipyards also built the corvettes for the Royal and US navies.

Canadian Postal Archives Database – Record on Corvette Ready for Launching
Canadian Postal Archives Database
Wikipedia – Flower-class corvette


Originally published February 21, 2017.

Solidarity was an independent Polish Trade Union that was founded on the 17th of September 1980, under the leadership of Lech Walęsa at the Lenin Shipyard in Gdańsk.

Solidarity was the first trade union to operate in a Warsaw Pact country that was not controlled by a communist party. Through its first year membership reached 9.5 million members. Membership peaked at 10 million members (about 1/3 of the working population) by its first congress in 1981.

Through the 1980’s Solidarity was a social movement that used civil resistance to advance workers rights and social change. The Polish government attempted to bust the union by imposing martial law and years of political repression.

Throughout these years Solidarity was supported by the Pope and the United States. The financial support provided by the US is estimated to be as much as $50 million.

Despite the best efforts of the Polish government, Solidarity would not be defeated and it was forced to negotiate with Walęsa and his union.

By the end of August 1989 Solidarity formed a coalition government. This was followed in 1990 by Lech Walęsa becoming president of Poland.