ship dempo
Rotterdam Lloyd Line
1931 - 1944

Homeport Rotterdam. The Dempo would provide service between Rotterdam and Batavia in the Dutch East Indies.

The Dempo was a sister ship to the Baloeran.

Chartered by the British Ministry of War Transport during January 1941 and converted at Liverpool for troopship service during March 1941. By March 24th 1941 the Dempo had become part of convoy WS7 forming in the Clyde which also included the Johan Van Oldenbarnevelt. The convoy reached Freetown April 4th 1941 and departed on April 7th 1941. The convoy reached Cape Town on April 16th 1941, the Dempo being one the ships to stop here for refuelling. The Dempo then sailed independantly on the same day to Durban, arriving here on April 20th 1941. The convoy sailed from Durban on April 23rd 1941, the vast majority of the ships, including the Dempo bound for Suez, arriving here on May 6th 1941.

On April 15th 1942 convoy WS18 departed the Clyde and included the Dempo, Aorangi & Rangitata. By April 29th 1942 the convoy had reached Freetown, leaving here on May 3rd 1942. Cape Town was reached on May 15th 1942, the Dempo being one of the ships calling in here. Departure from here after much re-organisation was on May 19th 1942, after picking up the Durban section the convoy sailed as one until June 2nd 1942 when three ships split off for Suez whilst the larger contingent including the Dempo sailed for Bombay arriving on June 7th 1942.

Convoy WS26 (with KMF8) sailed from the Clyde on January 23rd 1943 and included the Dempo & Sibajak. The convoys split on the afternoon of January 29th 1943 with twenty ships headed for Freetown, arriving here on February 6th 1943. Departure from Freetown was on February 9th 1943, the Dempo was in the Durban section that arrived here on February 25th 1943 for refuelling. Durban was left on March 1st 1943, the convoy split March 11th 1943, with the Dempo in the Bombay portion, arriving here on March 17th 1943.

The Dempo and Rangitata formed part of convoy KMF20 (with WS32) which sailed from Oversay on July 20th 1943. The Dempo was part of the Mediterranean bound KMF20 and split from the WS32 during the evening of July 25th 1943. The Dempo headed for the UK as part of convoy MKF20 departing Algiers on July 31st 1943 and arriving on the Clyde on or about August 8th 1943, although the ultimate destination of the Dempo is not certain.

Convoy MKF22 departed from Port Said on August 19th 1943 bound for Gibralter and the Clyde, reaching here on September 9th 1943, in the convoy were the Dempo & Christiaan Huygens.

On December 16th 1943 convoy MKF22 departed Port Said bound for the Clyde, the convoy included the Dempo headed for Liverpool, arriving here on January 4th 1944.

On March 15th 1944 the Dempo sailed as part of convoy SNF-17 from Naples to Oran in ballast (pig iron and sand). Shortly before 10.00am on March 17th 1944 some thirty miles north-north east of Bougie two ships in the convoy were hit by torpedoes fired from U-371. The Dempo was hit on the starboard side and started to settle slowly. The crew immediately began to abandon ship, attempts to beach the ship failed with the Dempo sinking just before 11.00am at position 37.08N, 05.27E. All the 333 crew were rescued.

Basic Details

Built: K.M. De Schelde, Vlissingen #189, laid down July 1929, launched July 1930, completed February 1931
Tonnage: 17,000 tons
Deadweight: 23,000 tons
Length: 573 feet, 167.96 metres
Breadth: 70 feet, 21.45 metres
Draught: 44 feet, 9.10 metres
Propulsion: Two single acting ten cylinder Schelde Sulzer 10ST76 two cycle engines producing 7,000hp each at 100rpm
Auxiliary engines: Four x 6SS38 totalling 3,120hp at 170rpm
Screws: 2
Speed: 18 knots
Passengers: 236 First, 280 Second, 70 Third, 48 Fourth

Two stern views of the Dempo, the lower one from a post card dated about 1931.

Page added September 16th 2007.
Last updated July 6th 2008.

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