MV Nelson Star (1942)

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Name: Empire Castle (1942-46)
Gothic Star (1946-48)
Nelson Star (1948-58)
Patagonia Star (1958-61)
Eirini (1961-70)
Byzantium (1970-71)
Owner: Ministry of War Transport (1942-45)
Blue Star Line (1945-61)
Gregory Maritime Ltd (1961-70)
Angila Shipping Co Ltd (1970-71)
Operator: Federal Steam Navigation Co Ltd (1942-44)
Blue Star Line (1944-61)
Theodorou & Sons Ltd (1961-70)
Angila Shipping Co Ltd (1970-71)
Port of registry: United Kingdom Belfast (1942-45)
United Kingdom London (1945-70)
Cyprus Cyprus (1970-71)
Builder: Harland & Wolff Ltd
Yard number: 1125
Launched: 27 August 1942
Completed: January 1943
Out of service: 29 September 1970
Identification: Code Letters BFDM (1942-46)
UK Official Number 168520 (1942-70)
IMO Number 5099032 ( -1971)
Fate: Scrapped 1971.
General characteristics
Tonnage: 7,365 GRT
5,126 NRT
Length: 431 feet 4 inches (131.47 m)
Beam: 57 feet 3 inches (17.45 m)
Depth: 33 feet 6 inches (10.21 m)
Installed power: 4SCSA diesel engine
Propulsion: Screw propellor

Nelson Star was a 7,365 GRT refrigerated cargo liner which was built in 1942 for the Ministry of War Transport (MoWT). In 1946 she was sold to the Blue Star Line and renamed Gothic Star. She was renamed Nelson Star in 1948 and Patagonia Star in 1958. In 1961, she was sold and renamed Eirini. In 1970, she was sold to Cyprus and renamed Byzantium. Following engine damage and a fire while laid up, she was scrapped in 1971.


The ship was built by Harland & Wolff Ltd, Belfast,[1] as yard number 1125. She was a refrigerated cargo liner.[2] She was launched on 25 August 1942 and completed in January 1943.[1]

The ship was 431 feet 6 inches (131.52 m) long, with a beam of 57 feet 3 inches (17.45 m) and a depth of 33 feet 6 inches (10.21 m). She had a GRT of 7,365 and a NRT of 5,135.[3]

She was propelled by a 4-stroke, Single Cycle Single Action diesel engine, which had six cylinders 2918 inches (74 cm) diameter by 50116 inches (127 cm) stroke.[3] The engine was built by Burmeister & Wain.[2]


Empire Castle was built for the MoWT. She was placed under the management of the Federal Steam Navigation Co Ltd. She was allocated the United Kingdom Official Number 168520. The Code Letters BFDM were allocated and her port of registry was Belfast.[3]

Empire Castle was a member of a number of convoys during the Second World War.

UC 1

Convoy UC 1 departed Liverpool on 15 February 1943 bound for New York. Empire Castle was in ballast.[4]

ON 189

Convoy ON 189 departed Loch Ewe on 16 June 1943 bound for the United States. Empire Castle was a member of this convoy.[5]

In 1944, management of Empire Castle was transferred to the Blue Star Line.[2] She was sold to the Blue Star Line on 30 May 1945 and renamed Gothic Star,[2] the second Blue Star Line ship to bear that name.[6] She was renamed Nelson Star in 1947, and Patagonia Star in 1958,[2] the second Blue Star Line ship to carry that name.[6]

In May 1961, Patagonia Star was sold to Gregory Maritime Ltd, London and renamed Eirini.[2] With the introduction of IMO Numbers, she was allocated number 5099032.[7] Eirini served with Gregory's for nine years. She was sold in 1970 to Angila Shipping Co Ltd, Cyprus and renamed Byzantium.[2] On 29 September 1970, she put into Gibraltar with damaged machinery and was laid up. On 6 February 1971, she caught fire. The accommodation and bridge deck were gutted.[1] She was then taken to Malaga, Spain.On 31 July 1971, Byzantium sailed for Puerto Santa Maria, where scrapping by Desguaces y Recuperaciones del Sur SL commenced on 17 August.[2]