SS Avondale Park

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Name: Avondale Park
Owner: Canadian Government (1943)
Ministry of War Transport (1944)
Operator: Park Steamship Co Ltd (1943)
Witherington & Everett (1944)
Port of registry: United Kingdom Montreal
Builder: Foundation Maritime Ltd
Launched: February 1944
Completed: May 1944
Identification: Code Letters VDDN
UK Official Number 175378
Fate: Torpedoed and sunk, 7 May 1945
General characteristics
Tonnage: 2,878 GRT
1,653 NRT
Length: 315 feet 5 inches (96.14 m)
Beam: 46 feet 5 inches (14.15 m)
Depth: 22 feet 9 inches (6.93 m)
Installed power: Triple expansion steam engine
Propulsion: Screw propellor
Crew: 34, plus 4 DEMS gunners

Avondale Park was a 2,872 GRT Park cargo ship which was built in 1944. She was the last merchant ship to be sunk by Germany in the Second World War, on 7 May 1945, the day of German surrender.


The ship was built by Foundation Maritime Ltd. at Pictou, Nova Scotia. She was launched in February 1944,[1] and completed in May 1944.[2]

The ship was 315 feet 5 inches (96.14 m) long, with a beam of 46 feet 5 inches (14.15 m) and a depth of 22 feet 9 inches (6.93 m). She had a GRT of 2,878 and a NRT of 1,653.[2]

She was propelled by a triple expansion steam engine which had cylinders 20 inches (51 cm), 31 inches (79 cm) and 55 inches (140 cm) diameter by 39 inches (99 cm) stroke. The engine was built by Canada Iron Foundries, Three Rivers, Quebec.[2]


Avondale Park was built for the Canadian Government and operated by the Park Steamship Co Ltd. The United Kingdom Official Number 175378 and code letters VDDN were allocated. Her port of registry was Montreal, under the British flag.[2] She was later chartered by the Ministry of War Transport, who placed her under the management of Witherington & Etheridge, Newcastle upon Tyne.[1]

Avondale Park was a member of Convoy EN 591, which departed Hull on 6 May 1945 bound for Belfast via Methil. On 7 May 1945, the convoy was attacked by Template:GS and two ships were sunk, Sneland I and Avondale Park, which became the last British merchant ship to be sunk during the Second World War.[1] The sinking, at just after 23:00, was in the last hour of the Second World War in Europe, with the official surrender taking place at midnight.[3] Avondale Park sank at 56°05′N 02°32′W / 56.083°N 2.533°W / 56.083; -2.533Coordinates: 56°05′N 02°32′W / 56.083°N 2.533°W / 56.083; -2.533. Two of the 38 crew were lost.[1] A signal was sent to the U-boats on 4 May 1945 ordering them to surrender but U-2336 did not receive the signal.[4]