SS Minnewaska

 

Ship Specifications:

Tonnage - 14,317
Length - 600'. 3"
Beam - 65'.4"
Builder - Harland & Wolff, Belfast
Launch Date - 12 November 1908
Maiden Voyage - 1 May 1909
Destruction - Struick a mine on 21 November 1916
Operated by A.T.L. 1909 - 1915
4 Masts, Steamer, 4 decks and shelter deck, fitted with electric light, submarine signaling device and refrigerating machinery, water ballast
Twin Screws, 16 knots, quadruple expansion engines by builder with 8 cylinders of 30", 43", 63" and 89", stroke 60", 1,222 n.h.p, steam pressure 200 lbs
Depth of hold - 39'.6"
Port of Registry - Belfast


A number of Officer's horses were also shipped to the Gallipoli Peninsula but were not landed. Minnewaska was present at the Gallipoli landings with the first battalion of the Royal Australian Regiment lining the rails to watch their third brigade digging in ashore. The troops she had carried were transferred to destroyers for the actual landings. According to a post on the Great War Forum Minnewaska was involved in a minor collision with Derfflinger off Anzac Cove on April 28. The Australian War Memorial collections include several photographs of taken on board Minnewaska or showing her in service as a transport, and these can be found by searching the website. Minnewaska, defensively armed with a gun mounted on her stern, made five voyages ferrying troops and artillery to the Dardanelles. Evidently she had some narrow escapes from torpedoes and mines, but she finally came to grief en route to Saloniki when on November 29, 1916 she struck a floating mine in Suda Bay, Crete (laid five days earlier by UC 23). She was transporting 1,600 troops on this occasion and had a crew of 200.

The ship threatened to "turn turtle" after the explosion but Captain Gates, who ordered everyone into their life belts and had lifeboats and rafts at the ready, managed to keep control of the ship. He was able to run her into shallow water and she came to rest not far from the shore 50 yards west of Cape Deutero at the entrance to Suda Bay. Gates was decorated with the Order of the British Empire for his actions, which saved many lives. It took about two hours to evacuate the ship and the men were rescued without loss by the trawler Danestone, the drifters Principal, Trustful and Deveronside, and the destroyer Grampus.
Minnewaska's bottom had been torn away by the mine and she had to be abandoned on the beach where she lay. In 1918 she was sold to Italian shipbreakers for scrap and was broken up in situ.

minniwaska

SS Minnewaska

 

 

 



 


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