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S.S. Birmingham City


 
Gross Tonnage:6,194Net:3,844
Dimensions:395' 5" x 55' 0" x 31' 4"MC Type:1037
 
Builder:Chickasaw Shipbuilding & Car Co.
Chickasaw, AL
Hull #
USMC Hull #
Date of Build:
Delivered:
2

1920
6/20
Engines:3SB(Spt), 9cf, GS180, HS8919 FDEngine Builder:Hooven, Owens Rentschler Co.
Hamilton, Ontario
Navigation:GyCDecks, etc.:1 Deck(Stl) & Shelter Deck(Stl), Web Frames & Longitudinal Framing, Fitted for Oil Fuel

Began Isthmian Service:1920Ended Isthmian Service:1943

----------------------------------- Vessel History -----------------------------------
Date
Vessel
#
Vessel
Name
Vessel
Owner
Call Ltrs
Home
Port
Flag
1920
220160
Birmingham CityU.S. Steel Products Co.
New York
LWRC
New YorkUS
1930
220160
Birmingham CityAugust: Isthmian Lines, Inc.
New York
LWRC
New YorkUS
1933
220160
Birmingham CityIsthmian Lines, Inc.
New York
KUTT
New YorkUS

Events:
2/14/20: Launched.

Disposition DateComments
19431/8 - The vessel sailed from Trinidad, BWI to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, with 10,000 tons general cargo, Michael Francis Barry Master, serving as the Commodore's flagship in Convoy TB-1. While steaming 6 knots, position 07.12 N, 55.37 W, about 50 miles North of Paramaribo, Dutch Guiana, a torpedo struck the American tanker BROAD ARROW off the BIRMINGHAM CITY's port beam, with the resulting fire lighting up the entire convoy of 12 vessels and 4 escorts. Just a minute later at 11:41 PM, a torpedo fired from U-124 (Mohr) struck the vessel on the port side amidships at the #3 hold. The explosion blew the port lifeboats off the ship, destroyed the fireroom bulkhead, causing the ship to sink on an even keel in 3 minutes. The surviving 9 officers, 29 crewmen and 18 armed guards immediately abandoned ship. The #1 motor lifeboat capsized on launching, tossing the men into the water, drowning several. Survivors also left the ship in the #3 boat, while others jumped and swam to several rafts. The men righted #1 and emptied the rafts. The USS PC-577 rescued the survivors 10 hours after the attack. Three officers, 2 crewmen and 5 armed guards died, most from drowning. The survivors landed at Paramaribo, Surinam.






SS Birmingham City

Launching sequence 1.



SS Birmingham City

Launching sequence 2.



SS Birmingham City

Launching sequence 3.

The information on this web site is the kind contribution of our Historian, Skip Lewis, 2003. Skip, whose dad sailed for Isthmian, is an avid collector and researcher of everything Isthmian and States Marine. In his quest, he has used many sources and publications including Lloyd's of London and Imperial Steel by John Atherton.

If you have any questions about, or information for, this website, please contact us.

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