HMS Justice (W140)

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Career (UK) Naval Ensign of the United Kingdom
Name: HMS Justice (W-140)
Builder: Camden Shipbuilding & Marine Railway Co.
Camden, Maine, United States
Laid down: 20 January 1943 (as ATR-20)
Launched: 18 October 1943
Sponsored by: Miss Joy D. Creyk
Completed: 24 April 1944
Acquired: 24 April 1944
Commissioned: 24 April 1944 at Boston, Massachusetts
Fate: Returned to U.S. Navy, 20 March 1946
Career (US) 100x35px
Acquired: 20 March 1946
Reclassified: BATR-20
Struck: 3 July 1946
Fate: Sold, 3 October 1947
Grounded and abandoned, Ushuaia, Argentina
54°48′35″S 68°18′29″W / 54.809694°S 68.308117°W / -54.809694; -68.308117
General characteristics
Class and type: ATR-1-class rescue tug
Displacement: 1,360 tons
Length: 165 ft 5 in (50.4 m)
Beam: 33 ft 6 in (10.2 m)
Draught: 15 ft 10 in (4.8 m)
Propulsion: triple-expansion reciprocating steam engines, single screw, 1,600 hp[1]
Speed: 12 knots (22 km/h)
Complement: 32 officers and men
Armament: 1 x 3"/50 caliber gun
3 x 20 mm guns

HMS Justice (W-140), a Royal Navy ship classified as a rescue tug, was built in the United States as U.S. Navy ATR-1-class rescue tug USS ATR-20. Never commissioned into the U.S. Navy, she was transferred to the Royal Navy under Lend-Lease at delivery. Returned to the U.S. after the end of World War II, she was redesignated BATR-20. Struck and sold for commercial service in 1946, she was eventually grounded at Ushuaia, Argentina and abandoned.

Operational history

ATR-20 was laid down by Camden Shipbuilding & Marine Railway Co., Camden, Maine, 20 January 1943; launched 18 October 1943; sponsored by Miss Joy D. Creyk; transferred to the United Kingdom under lendlease 24 April 1944; and commissioned as HMS Justice at Boston, Massachusetts, the same day, Lt. J. S. Allison, RNR, in command.

During the remainder of World War II, Justice served as a rescue tug in the Royal Navy. She reportedly served at the Normandy invasion in June 1944.[1]

Justice was returned to the U.S. Navy on 20 March 1946 and redesignated BATR-20. She was struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 3 July 1946 and sold 3 October 1947 to Leopoldo Simoncini of Buenos Aires as the Costa Rican-flagged St. Christopher.[1] In 1953 she was chartered for salvage operations in Beagle Channel on the sunken South American Hamburg Company[2] cruise ship SS Monte Cervantes along with several Argentine Navy vessels.[1]

After suffering engine trouble and rudder damage in 1954, she was laid up at Ushuaia, Argentina. She was beached and abandoned there in 1957, and, in 2004, had her remaining fuel oil removed. As of 2007,[3] St. Christopher is still grounded and abandoned at Ushuaia.[1]

Coordinates: 54°48′35″S 68°18′29″W / 54.809694°S 68.308117°W / -54.809694; -68.308117


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Priolo, Gary P. (2006-04-14). "HMS Justice (W-140)". NavSource Online. NavSource Naval History. Retrieved 2007-12-18. 
  2. "The "Monte Cervantes"". Ushuaia Divers. Retrieved 2007-12-16. 
  3. Mono Andes (2007-06-15). "Atardecer al fin del mundo." (photo of St. Christopher taken 15 June 2007). Retrieved 2007-12-18. 

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