Requisitioned Auxiliary – San Patricio

 San Patricio





San Patricio


Official Number:                      139006

Laid down:

Builder:                                  Armstrong, Whitworth & Co Ltd., Low Walker, Newcastle

Launched:                              15 February 1915

Into Service:                            4 May 1915

Out of service:                         November 1918

Fate:                                      Sunk March 1943


Items of historic interest involving this ship: –


Background Data:  One of an additional group of ships requisitioned by the Admiralty during WW1 to augment the ships of the RFA

Career Data:


15 February 1915 launched by Armstrong, Whitworth & Co Ltd, Low Walker, Newcastle as Yard Nr: 857 named SAN PATRICIO for Eagle Oil Transport Co Ltd., London

16 February 1915 the Newcastle Journal newspaper reported …


16 2 1915 Newcastle Journal San Patricio


4 May 1915 completed and requisitioned by the Admiralty for service as a Water Carrier, name unchanged

January 1916 became an Admiralty Oiler, name unchanged

3 August 1916 berthed at Port Victoria, Sheerness from Mexico and Bermuda with 9 passengers and 3 DBS. Captain Jas Tully was Master

14 January 1917 while on passge at 10°30S 35°15W was stopped by HMS AMETHYST (3rd Class Cruiser) to have her identity checked

20 May 1917 at Bristol Royal Infirmary Able Seaman John A Tait discharged dead as a result of an accident

29 July 1918 at 26°12N 12°45W Greaser George Miles discharged dead from natural causes

November 1918 returned to her owners

23 December 1919 sailed King George Dock, Hull for Tampica, Mexico

16 January 1920 arrived at Tuxpan

16 August 1920 berthed at Avonmouth from Mexico with 7 passengers. Captain J P Thomson was Master

12 December 1920 radioed she was 80 nm west of Cape San Antonio

27 February 1921 berthed at Gosport to discharge

7 May 1921 sailed Baltimore to Tuxpan

8 May 1921 radioed she was off Hatteras

12 June 1921 berthed at Avonmouth from Mexico with 7 passengers and 1 DBS

19 September 1922 at a hospital at Buenos Aires Fireman William Headley Coventry discharged dead through natural causes 

5 November 1922 berthed at Philadelphia from Tampico

20 November 1922 Pennsylvania Hospital, Philadelphia Sailor James Shiels discharged dead through natural causes

17 February 1923 arrived at Fayal with damage to her propeller  – one blade gone and anothet badly bent

8 July 1923 arrived at Montevideo from San Francisco

24 August 1923 arrived at San Francisco from Buenos Ayres

10 April 1924 sailed Rio de Janerio for Buenos Ayres

19 June 1924 sailed Tuxpan for LEFO

12 July 1924 arrived at Avonmouth

14 October 1924 at Montevideo

14 January 1927 in dry dock on the River Tyne

1929 purchased by Southern Whaling & Sealing Co Ltd (N.C.Watt, Manager), Dunedin, New Zealand, converted into a whale factory ship and renamed SOUTHERN PRINCESS

25 August 1929 sailed Birkenhead Dock for the Ross Sea

7 March 1931 at sea at 65°22S 51°40E Labourer Jens Olsen Topstad discharged dead from a fractured skull

2 May 1932 anchored off Brixham, Devon

25 January 1933 at 63°35S 85°12E 2nd Officer Reginald Kornelius Johensen discharged dead from natural causes

20 December 1933 radioed that she had seriously damaged her rudder in heavy weather and was sheltering in the Antartican pack ice

15 May 1935 anchored off Brixham, Devon

26 August 1936 the crew went on strike at Sandefjord, Norway. A number of British seaman sent from the UK to replace the strikers joined in the strike and kidnapped the Mate and blockaded the ship preventing it being moved

20 October 1936 sailed the River Tyne

2 April 1937 sailed Pt. Natal

28 April 1937 at 52°08N 6°00W Fireman George William Knowles discharged dead having fallen overboard and being lost at sea

1938 owners now Southern Whaling & Sealing Co Ltd, London – name unchanged

5 March 1939 sailed from Durban, South Africa to Antartica

16 October 1939 sailed the Tyne to Liverpool independently arriving 20 October 1939

21 October 1939 sailed Liverpool in escorted convoy OB23. The convoy dispersed on 26 October 1939 and she sailed independently to Aruba arriving 5 November 1939

9 November 1939 sailed Aruba to Durban independently arriving 7 December 1939

9 December 1939 sailed Durban independently to South Georgia whaling grounds arriving 17 December 1939

17 March 1940 sailed South Georgia whaling grounds independently to Cape Town arriving 28 March 1940

1 May 1940 sailed Freetown to Liverpool in escorted convoy SL 30 arriving on 18 May 1940

1940 purchased by South Georgia Co Ltd (Chr Salvesen & Co, Managers) London – name unchanged

2 April 1940 at Cape Town, South Africa Doctor Geoffrey F Cobb discharged dead from poisoning

10 February 1941 sailed Freetown to Liverpool in escorted convoy SL65 arriving on 8 March 1941

25 April 1941 sailed Halifax to Liverpool in escorted convoy HX123 arriving 13 May 1941

17 July 1941 sailed Liverpool to Halifax in escorted convoy OB348 arriving 31 July 1941

11 December 1941 sailed Belfast Lough to Liverpool in convoy BB110 arriving  the next day 

10 Sepetember 1942 sailed New York to Guantanamo in convoy NG304 arriving on 17 September 1942 and onto Curacao arriving  21 September 1942

24 September 1942 sailed Curacao joining convoy TAG8 to Guantanamo arriving 27 September 1942

29 September 1942 sailed Guantanamo in convoy GN8 to New York arriving 7 October 1942

18 October 1942 sailed New York in escorted convoy HX212 to the River Clyde arriving 1 November 1942. ss Fort Amherst – late to become RFA AMHERST – also sailed in this convoy as far as Halifax

4 December 1942 sailed the River Clyde and joined escorted convoy ON151 from Liverpool to New York arriving 23 December 1942

29 December 1942 sailed New York in escorted convoy HX221 to the River Clyde arriving 13 January 1943

2 February 1943 sailed the River Clyde and joined escorted convoy ON164 from Liverpool to New York arriving 19 February 1943

8 March 1943 sailed New York in escorted convoy HX229 

17 March 1943 torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine U-600 in position 50°36N 34°30W while on passage from New York – The Clyde with a cargo of fuel oil, landing craft and  locomotives. Four members of the crew were killed. They are remembered with pride on the Tower Hill Memorial on panel 100


Southern Princess