SMS Teodo

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Career (Austria-Hungary) 100x35px
Name: SMS Teodo
Builder: Stabilimento Tecnico Triestino (STT), Trieste
Yard number: 501
Laid down: 14 March 1914
Launched: 8 January 1915
Completed: 17 February 1916
Fate: ceded to Italy as war reparation, 1921
Name: 1921: SS Teodo
1924: SS Barbana
1926: SS Barbana G
1940: SS Empire Airman
Owner: 1921: Italian Government, Ministry of Transport
1924: Ministry of Marine, Italy
1926: Società Anonima di Navigazione Garibaldi, Genoa
1940: Ministry of War Transport
Operator: Owner operated except:-
Mark Whitwill & Son Ltd, Bristol (1940)
Port of registry: 1921: 22x20px Genoa
1940: United Kingdom Newcastle upon Tyne
Identification: Italian official number 1496 (1926-40)
UK Official Number 165788 (1940)
Code letters NFVG (1926-40)
Code letters GLZT (1940)
Fate: sunk by U-100, 23 September 1940
General characteristics
Tonnage: 6,561 GRT
Displacement: 13,200 Tons[1]
Length: 449 ft 8 in (137.06 m)
Beam: 55 ft 6 in (16.92 m)
Depth: 34 ft 1 in (10.39 m)
Propulsion: 1 x triple-expansion steam engine (STT) 369 hp (275 kW)
Speed: 14 knots (26 km/h)
Complement: 112 (as SMS Teodo)[1]
Crew: 37 (SS Empire Airman)[2]

SMS Teodo was a 6,561 ton collier built in 1915 for the Austro-Hungarian Navy. She was ceded to Italy in 1921 as a war reparation. She was renamed Barbana in 1924 and Barbana G in 1926. In 1940, she was seized by the United Kingdom and renamed Empire Airman. On 21 September 1940, Empire Airman was torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U-100.


SMS Teodo was built by Stabilimento Tecnico Triestino, Trieste as yard number 501 and launched on 8 January 1913, being completed on 17 February 1916.[3] SMS Teodo was a Pola Class collier of the Austro-Hungarian Navy.[4] At the end of the First World War, under Article 137 of the Treaty of Saint-Germain, SMS Teodo was classed as a merchant ship[5] and passed to the Italian Government Ministry of Transport. In 1924, she was passed to the Italian Ministry of Marine, and renamed Barbana. In 1926, she was sold to the Società Anonima di Navigazione Garibaldi, Genoa and renamed Barbana G. She was captured off Leith and taken to Methil[2] on 10 June 1940 and passed to the Ministry of War Transport, being renamed Empire Airman[6] under the management of Mark Whitwill & Sons Ltd, Bristol.[7]


HX 72

Convoy HX 72 sailed from Halifax, Nova Scotia on 9 September 1940.[8] Empire Airman was carrying a cargo of iron ore,[9] she was bound for Cardiff.[10] At 00:22 on 22 September, Empire Airman was hit by a torpedo fired by U-100. The ship was taken in tow, but sank on 23 September at 55°11′N 15°07′W / 55.183°N 15.117°W / 55.183; -15.117. Thirty three of the thirty seven crew were killed in the attack. Four survivors were rescued by HMS La Malouine.[2]

Official number and code letters

Official Numbers were a forerunner to IMO Numbers.

Barbana G had the Official Number 1496 on the Italian register.[11] Empire Airman had the Official Number 165788 on Lloyds Register.[7]

Barbana G used the Code Letters NFVZ.[11] Empire Airman used the Code Letters GLZT[7]


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Teodo 17 Feb 1916". Retrieved 2008-12-19. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Empire Airman". Retrieved 2008-12-19. 
  3. ""1165788"" (subscription required). Miramar Ship Index. R.B. Haworth. Retrieved 2008-12-19. 
  4. "Colliers". Retrieved 2008-12-19. 
  5. "Treaty of Peace between the Allied and Associated Powers and Austria; Protocol, Declaration and Special Declaration". Retrieved 2008-12-19. 
  6. "Empire - A". Mariners. Retrieved 2008-12-19. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 "NAVIRES A VAPEUR ET A MOTEURS". Plimsollshipdata. Retrieved 2008-12-19. 
  8. "The Attack on Convoy HX 72". Annemarie Purnell. Retrieved 2008-12-19. 
  9. "The Attack on Convoy HX 72". Annemarie Purnell. Retrieved 2008-12-19. 
  10. "EMPIRE AIRMAN".;nr=13. Retrieved 2008-12-19. 
  11. 11.0 11.1 "NAVIRES A VAPEUR ET A MOTEURS". Plimsoll Ship Data. Retrieved 2008-12-19. 

External links

Coordinates: 54°0′N 18°0′W / 54°N 18°W / 54; -18