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SS Upada in Mediterranean Sea


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#1 grosjean545

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 05:02 PM

Hi!

I'm a new member from France (Excuse-me, but I don't speak very well english, but I do my best!)

My great grandfather was captain of the british Steamer SS Upada (British India Steam Navigation) during the WWI. His name was Richard S B Butler.
He was attacked by german submarines in Mediterranean Sea, but the ship didn't sink.
I don't know a lot about my great grandfather, but I know there is a book with some information about him and his ship :

David Masters : "ID" New tales of the submarine war", 1935.

Somebody could help me to find what the author wrote about my great grandfather in this book? Because it's difficult to find it in french library.
Perhaps, somebody have some pictures about the Upada?

Thanks in advance.

#2 Lancashire Fusilier

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 05:22 PM

Welcome to the Forum.
Your Great Grandfather's ship SS Upada was attacked by German U-Boat, U50, killing 3 crew, and damaging but not sinking the SS Upada.
This action happened on U50's sixth patrol, details of which are as follows :-
On her sixth patrol, UB-50 encountered the Imber, a 2,514 long tons (2,554 t) British steamer and torpedoed her south of Cape St. Maria di Leuca, though she survived. Three days later, UB-50 sank the War Swallow, a 5,216 long tons (5,300 t) British merchant ship carrying coal from the River Tyne to Port Said. Another three days passed before UB-50 found her next target, the Italian steamer Adria 1, a ship carrying cotton from Palermo to Tunis. It sank, but no lives were lost. Two days later, the 5,257 long tons (5,341 t) British steamer Upada was torpedoed by UB-50 killing three, but was only damaged. UB-50 sank the Messidor, a 3,883 long tons (3,945 t) British coal steamer two days later, sinking the ship and killing one. The following day, she torpedoed the Rutherglen, a 4,214 long tons (4,282 t) British steam merchant carrying coal. That was followed by an attack on the Magellan, a 3,642 long tons (3,700 t) British steamer on the following day. She sank with one man. The last ship sunk on the patrol was the Antonio S., a 153 long tons (155 t) Italian sailboat sunk off of the coast of Tunisia.

#3 Lancashire Fusilier

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 05:29 PM

Here are some further details regarding U50 :-
UB-50 was a German Type UB III submarine or U-boat in the German Imperial Navy (German: Kaiserliche Marine) during World War I. The U-boat was ordered on 20 May 1916. She was commissioned into the Pola Flotilla of the German Imperial Navy on 12 July 1917 as SM UB-50.
The submarine conducted seven patrols and sank 38 ships during the war for a total loss of 97,284 long tons (98,845 t). She operated as part of the Pola Flotilla based in Cattaro. UB-50 surrendered on 16 January 1919 with the remainder of the Pola Flotilla following an order by Admiral Reinhard Scheer to return to port. During her passage through the Straits of Gibraltar, she managed to sink the old battleship Britannia. UB-50 was later broken up at Swansea.
UB-50 was ordered by the Kaiserliche Marine on 20 May 1916. She was built by Blohm & Voss, Hamburg and following just under a year of construction, launched at Hamburg on 6 January 1917. UB-50 was commissioned later that same year under the command of Franz Becker. Like all Type UB III submarines, UB-50 carried 10 torpedoes and was armed with an 88 millimetres (3.5 in) deck gun. UB-50 could carry a crew of up to 34 men and had a cruising range of 9,040 miles (14,550 km. UB-50 had a displacement of 516 long tons (524 t) while surfaced and 651 long tons (661 t) when submerged. Her engines enabled her to travel at 13.5 knots (25.0 km/h; 15.5 mph) when surfaced and 7.5 knots (13.9 km/h; 8.6 mph) when submerged.
Commanders: Franz Becker (July 1917)
Heinrich Kukat (July 1918)
Victories: sunk 38 ships.
LF.

#4 Lancashire Fusilier

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 05:50 PM

Apparently, your Great Grandfather's ship SS Upada, was actually attacked by U-Boats not once, but twice, U48 & U50, here are the records :-

Name Upada
Type Steamer
GRT 5,257 tons
Country British
Built 1899
Builder A. & J. Inglis, Glasgow
Operator British India Steam Navigation Co., Ltd., Glasgow
History

U-boat attacks on Steamer Upada

Date U-boat Loss type Position Location Route
26 Apr 1918 - UB 48 (Wolfgang Steinbauer) - Damaged Torpedoed - 39.50N, 07.00E SW of Cape Spartivento - Marseilles to Port Said

1 Casualty

21 Jul 1918 - UB 50 (Heinrich Kukat) - Damaged Torpedoed - 40.52N, 06.38E - Bizerta to Marseilles

3 Casualties

#5 Lancashire Fusilier

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 06:03 PM

The Upada was sold to Japan in 1924 and renamed the Toyohiko Maru.
LF.

#6 sotonmate

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 06:48 PM

There is a website for ships built on the River Clyde in Scotland,where the UPADA was built.
This site has a slideshow of many vessels,which MIGHT include this ship,but I have been looking at pictures now for quite a few minutes and haven't seen it yet ! The problem is there is no list of photos and you have to wait 10 seconds for the picture to change just in case UPADA arrives on the screen !
You might like to see for yourself !
http://www.clydesite...t/slideshow.asp
Ships shown go back as far as the 1800s.
Bon Chance !

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#7 sotonmate

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 07:06 PM

There is a copy of the book on Amazon.com for US$27.

Sotonmate

#8 seaJane

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 12:41 AM

Or for $10 here http://m.biblio.com/.../169707451.html

However - there is also a copy in the Gosport Naval Collection which is about 10 minutes from where I work, so I'll look into it tomorrow evening.

#9 grosjean545

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 01:47 PM

Hi everybody,

Thank you for all information about german U-boats in mediterranean sea.
I know my great grandfather got the Mercantile's Medal and the Lloyd's Medal after WWI for this. He was in London Gazette too.

Unfortunately, I didn't find any pictures about Upada online.
And, I can't buy the book for the moment, because I don't know how many lines are about my great grandfather, and it's an expensive book for me (with shipping).

So, if someone has got this book, could you do a copy for me, please, just the lines about Upada.

Thanks in advance.

#10 Lancashire Fusilier

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 02:31 PM

Hi everybody,

Thank you for all information about german U-boats in mediterranean sea.
I know my great grandfather got the Mercantile's Medal and the Lloyd's Medal after WWI for this. He was in London Gazette too.

Unfortunately, I didn't find any pictures about Upada online.
And, I can't buy the book for the moment, because I don't know how many lines are about my great grandfather, and it's an expensive book for me (with shipping).

So, if someone has got this book, could you do a copy for me, please, just the lines about Upada.

Thanks in advance.


This is the Mercantile Marine War Medal your Grandfather received.
Regards,
LF.

Attached Files



#11 grosjean545

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 11:07 AM

Thank you for the medal's picture.


Anybody knows where I could find some army reports about these events? Maybe is there a captain's report about this attack ? Where could it be found in the archives ?
I also would like to know more about the boat itself and its shipment and I don't know where to look for this type of information.

Thanks for your help.

#12 sotonmate

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 11:54 AM

No files seem to be listed in the National Archives Catalogue.
I think that the ship had a normal regular journey between Europe and India,which would include passengers and cargo,and would have expected a file in the Board of Trade series such as BT27 (voyages from the UK) or BT26 (voyages to the UK).These give passenger lists and ports visiting,and might have a report from the Captain on any incidents on voyage. None seen though.

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#13 sotonmate

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 12:08 PM

http://www.clydesite...hip.asp?id=1917

No picture but a few details.

#14 Lörscher

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 01:29 PM

In fact there are files available at The National Archives, Kew, London:

ADM 137/4043
Enemy submarines: particulars of attacks on merchant vessels in Mediterranean, April 1918

ADM 137/4135
Enemy submarines: particulars of attacks on merchant vessels in Mediterranean, July/August 1918

Within both these files you will find the report of the master (an form filed by him) dealing with the exact circumstances of these episodes.

For April 1918 see also french steamer LEOPOLD D'OR which was sunk on the same attack by UB 48 and for July 1918 see also french steamer BOSPHORE which was missed by an torpedo on the same attack by UB 50.

Oliver

#15 sotonmate

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 04:49 PM

Grosjean

As Oliver has provided records that I haven't seen before I shall have to take a look out of interest ! I shall tell you what it says if I can see them later this month.

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#16 Lörscher

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 07:59 PM

Sotonmate,

within these specific files you have all the vessels attacked (sunk, damaged, missed) in the mediterranean for April 1918 and the other file July/August 1918. The reports are sorted alphabetically, so UPADA should be found near the end of course :)


Oliver

#17 sotonmate

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 04:12 PM

Oliver

Thank you. Saves me a bit of time !

Sotonmate

#18 DannyManta

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 06:08 PM

thats very interesting and to be attacked twice, real heros

#19 sotonmate

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 11:43 AM

gj545

Yesterday at the National Archives I read the two files as advised by LORSCHER.
ADM137/4043 April 1918 had no report for the action of 26 April. I extended this to May (ADM137/4044) just in case the report was a late arrival ! Nothing there either.
ADM137/4135 Jul-Aug 1918 does have a report,it shows your Great Grandfather as the Captain. I took some digipics of the pages,so if you send me your e-mail by PM here,I will send them to you.

Sotonmate

If you reply here to this first you may then get 5 posts in total and can use the PM system.

#20 GJH

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 12:20 PM

You might like to try searching on the following names, as the SS UPADA was sold to the Japanese in 1923 and re-named

Toyohiko MARU, 1938 sold renamed NISSO MARU No 1, 1940 sold renamed TOKUZAN MARU.

She sank following a collision in 1971.

You may find some pictures of the above named vessel

Good luck

#21 grosjean545

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 12:09 PM

Thank you for all you've done for me!

I'm very happy to have some information, because my grand father didn't spek a lot about his father's life. I think he didn't know a lot a bout his father. He died when my great father was really young.

I found the name of 3 seamen who died in this attack:
- Abdul Aziz Akim Alt (lascar)
- Abdus Suban (trimmer)
- Ismail Yunus (bhandary)

Once again, thank you!

#22 sotonmate

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 10:14 AM

gj545

You PM'd me and asked what the questions were on the Attack incident report form,as I had only sent you the answers which formed the content of the file I sent you on UPADA. It occurrs to me that our friend LORSCHER may have a copy as he has more knowledge on these matters than we do. You could PM him,or if anyone here has the questions (I noted that those reports which were made in the French language included the questions in French also) then they may share them with you.

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#23 Lörscher

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 10:05 PM

Hi all,

I defenitely have the form somethere for this answers, but having returned now from an week long absence (to the german archives :-)) I'm asking you to please give me 2 or 3 days to get back in work modus...

Usually you have all the attacks against merchant vessels within these files I have mentioned, but some are not there but in other files, well, just too many files to check at Kew...

Have found the reference there the attack on UPADA on 25.04.1918 will defenitely be found:

ADM 137 / 1586
french areas II and IV, March and April 1918

Sorry that it's now to late for Sotonmates visit to TNA... :blush:


Oliver

#24 grosjean545

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 11:27 AM

Sotonmate and Lorscher, I would like to thank you a lot for your help in this quest!

Any information about Upada (1917-1918) in the Great War is welcomed.
I've already learnt a lot about my great grandfather's adventures thanks to you.

I would like to live nearer LNA to look into archives by myself.

Thank you!

PS: For the moment, I didn't find any pictures of the Upada (with this name or japan name), but I think she was like the other steamers I could watch on internet.

#25 sotonmate

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 09:01 PM

gj/Oliver

I started the file search and I will finish it the next time ! I have made a note of the new file ADM137/1586 and will look in a few weeks time.
GJ,I was looking to see if there were other ships of the same build as the UPADA. They were built for the British&India Steam Navigation Company. I found none as yet,but you might like to see if others were built for B&ISN around the same year(s) as UPADA. They often made a new plan for a ship and used it more than once,so to look at one was like looking at another ! Even if they weren't built in the same shipyard the same plan would be used to make the ship.

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