SS Orcades

From Our Contribution

HMT Orcades.jpg
Name HMY Orcades
Builder/Built 1937 Vickers-Armstrong Ltd, Barrow-in-Furness
Type Ocean Liner
Displacement 23,456 tons
Speed 21 knots


Built for the Orient Line to operate between Australia and England. The Admiralty requisitioned her in 1939 and had her converted into a troopship.

On 9 Oct 1942 the German submarine U-172 attacked her about 410 km south west of Cape Town. Orcades crew and gunners fought to fend off the submarine and save their ship, and it took U-172 two and a half hours and seven torpedoes to sink her. When she eventually sank she took 45 members of crew with her, but 1,022 survivors were picked up by the SS Narwik. Orcades Master, Charles Fox, was decorated by the Crown and Lloyd's of London for his bravery and leadership.

In 2014 the wreck of Orcades was discovered in 4800 meters of water by survey company Deep Ocean Search.

Soldiers carried

Port Tewfik to Oosthaven, Sumatra 31 January - 15 February 1942

2nd/3rd Machine Gun Battalion

The 105 Transport Company on 17 February 1942 disembarked at Tanjong Priok (Jakarta's port)

Colombo to Port Adelaide 28 February - 14 March 1942