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I am a new member and new to forums so please forgive me if I state or miss the obvious.
I'm looking into my Fathers war record and experience. He survived the war, but died when I was a child so I didn't know very much to begin with.
However, I'm now getting on well and one thing I have established is a an Electrician in the R.E.M.E. he sailed for North Africa on the Nea Hellas, as part of Convoy KMF6 Depart Clyde on 26 December 1942. Arrive Algiers on 3 January 1943.
I would love to learn as much as possible about the Nea Hellas and convoy KMF6.
Can anyone help me please.
I look forward to any replies.
I will get back to you over the next few days with some details. Perhaps others might already revert but I cannot respond any earlier due to a medical condition, doctors, hospital appointments, and suchlike.
The twin-screw passenger-cargo (refrigerated) liner NEA HELLAS was originally built after the First Word War by the British-flag Anchor Line for their North Atlantic routes by Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Shipyards at Glasgow Scotland, Yard Number 595. Christened as the Turbine Steam Ship (T.S.S.) TUSCANIA, she was launched from the Govan yard on 4th October 1921 and was completed and entered service in September 1922.
Official Number : 146307
She weighed 16,991 tons, was 597' long and 70' wide. Her 6 steam turbines and twin screws were capable of 16 knots. She was the 'state of the art' in marine engineering at that simpler time, and was to lead a long and diverse sailing career spanning four decades.
Due to the depression, and bad economic times Anchor Line decided to sell their ship to the General Steam Navigation Company of Greece, which was interested in establishing a first rate Trans-Atlantic Service between Greece and the U.S. After a brief refitting, she was appropriately renamed NEA HELLAS ( 'New Greece' ) and departed from Piraeus for her first voyage on 19th of May 1939. Her new Port of Registration became Andros, Greece. The NEA HELLAS became the largest Greek flagged passenger liner, as well as the first major passenger ship to be used in regularly scheduled service between Greece and the United States.
The New York Herald Tribune noted her first arrival in New York for the Greek Line. It reported that during her first stay there, a series of parties and dinners celebrating her arrival were planned for the New York business, social, and diplomatic community. Unfortunately the festivities were short lived. Within months of her maiden crossing WWII broke out in Europe, and she was placed under allied control, and put in service as a troop transport. During the next seven years she was affectionately dubbed the 'Nelly Wallace' by her many soldier passengers. The NEA HELLAS was returned to her Greek owner in 1947, and served as Greece's flagship until 1955, when she was replaced by the Greek Line's newly commissioned OLYMPIA as the Line's new carrier for the Piraeus-New York route. She was renamed NEW YORK and put into service for the northerly route between Germany, France, Canada, and Boston. By 1959, she had reached the grand age of thirty-seven years.
On November 14, 1959 she returned to her homeport of Piraeus for the last time, twenty years after her first departure as the pride of the Greek nation. The world had changed much in that time. The advent of the Boeing 707 had cut the 14-day voyage to less than 9 hours. The age of passenger ships as a mode of transportation was quickly coming to an end. She was laid up for two years, and sold to Japanese ship breakers. On August 19, 1961 she left Piraeus for Onomichi, Japan, where she met her fate in the scrap yards.
The NEA HELLAS never attained the 'glamour ship' status of some of her contemporaries, like the QUEEN MARY, the MAURETANIA, and the NORMANDIE. Nevertheless, like many great ships long gone, she left an indelible memory for those still living, whose lives she touched. To the many thousands of Greek-Americans who spent fourteen days on a one way journey from their old world to the new one, she became a great symbolic bridge in their lives.
Much more information is available if you enter her NEA HELLAS or TUSCANIA names in the Google search facility, including her wartime activities.
I really appreciate you efforts and look forward to future posting from Angus.
Also great news about the database I will hopefully be able to complete the project I started.
and under 'Old Ships N'
Freeman of Eriskay
KMF1 was the main invasion convoy of fast ships and included some of the finest liners available, a formidable sight sailing 10 abreast and 4 deep until they split for the passage past Gibraltar and for the Algiers and Oran beachheads. That landing was on 8 November 1942. So NEA HELLAS must have been unavailable or held back to take part in the 6th convoy in support.
Continuing as a troopship, she was earmarked for the Malaya landings in 1945 and sailed from Bombay on 2 Sept and arrived at the intended beachhead on 12 Sept but in the interim period Japan had surrendered so fortunately all were spared to return to home.
p.s. found a list for the slow convoy KMS6 which sailed 2 days earlier, but KMF6 does not seem to have been charted on the web yet
Freeman of Eriskay
Thank you very much for the information and the ling to the photos they are great.
KMF.6 is listed on the convoyweb.org.uk site.
Everyone has been so helpfull since my first posting and so quick. This really seems to be a smashing group. And I'll keep logging in.
How do you find pictures of ships on the site?
You will see under Clyde for example there is a sub-board for Clyde-built ship photos.
Tugs under Towing section, etc.
You can search by ship name from the search box at head of any forum or sub-forum.
Freeman of Eriskay
I have now found some of the material that was hitherto lost and sussed out who sent it to me - none other than Gerry Deegan, stalwart of the Lower Clyde regions.
Gerry is okay with me sharing this information relating to his brother-in-law who served on the vessel and also on the famous EMPIRE HALLADALE
Thus I will put together some further snippets in the next day or two. Tomorrow's out as I am visiting my 84 year old neighbour from Eriskay who was taken unwell last week, and on Tuesday I have a personal hospital appointment, so it will probably be on Monday before I get it done.
As I said previously, I have health problems also, which is why I am awake and writing this post at 03.10..
I'm sorry your health has been giving you a hard time of late - I can empathise having had some problems of my own and this is largely responsible for how long it has taken me to get back to you on the subject of SS NEA HELLAS. However, with the kind permission of the donor of WWII Seaman's documentation I previously referred to, I have now scanned all pertinent documents which I thought would be of interest to you. Originally it was my intention to append these as attachments to a series of ClydeMaritime Forum messages. However, in total it amounts to almost 40 MB capacity so I think the best method of getting this to you is by a Memory Stick, for two reasons :
1. The Memory Stick is of 1 GB capacity so will comfortably take it all with spare
2. In this manner, you can 'play' with the content to suit your own requirements and chop and change as necessary.
What do you think?
If you are in agreement, send me mailing address information using the PM or E-mail system and I will get the Memory Stick packaged and off to you without further delay.
Angus Mac Kinnon
(with grateful acknowledgement and thanks to Gerry Deegan for use of his brother-in-law's WWII and post-WWII papers)
Anchor Line War Service - 12 pages
Anchor Line List of Honours - 2 pages
Anchor Line TSS TUSCANIA 1937 Menu - 3 pages
Anchor Line EMPIRE HALLADAE 1954 Menu - 3 pages
Anchor Line List of Catering Staff for Voyage No. 12 in 1944
Data Sheet for EMPIRE HALLADALE
Photo of Ship & Cook taken at Durban, South Africa, in 1944
Shore Leave Pass for Ship's Butcher
Seaman's Permit to Enter/Leave Glasgow Docks
Personnel Passes for Bombay Port Trust Docks
Picture of TSS NEA HELLAS of the Greek Line
1942 - D.E.M.S. Certificate issued from the Glasgow Training Centre
1944 - Christmas Card
1945 - VJ Day Commemorative Card
1946 - Certificate of Discharge from Merchant Navy
1949 - Equator Crossing Certificate for Neptune
1950 - Christmas Card - EMPIRE HALLADALE at sea
Listing of Campaign Stars, Clasps and Medals awarded to Mr Donald Connell of Glasgow's Anchor Line
Memory stick with data mailed off to you this morning, and PM responded to a few minutes ago.
Will convey your gratitude to my friend Gerry Deegan, who originally provided these papers.
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