SS Clan Forbes (1938)

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SS Clan Forbes.jpg
Career Civil Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg
Name: SS Clan Forbes
Operator: Clan Line Steamers Ltd, London
Builder: Greenock Dockyard Co., Greenock
engines by J G Kincaid & Co
Yard number: 434
Launched: 8 September 1938
Fate: Scrapped in 1959
General characteristics
Class and type: Cameron class steam merchant ship
Tonnage: 7,529 tons
Length: 463.7 feet
Beam: 63 feet
Draught: 29.9 feet
Propulsion: Two x Steam Triple Exp 3cyl (HP 26", IP 42", LP 68" x 48" stroke)
LP exhaust turbines DR gearing with hydraulic couplings
Twin propeller
5 x Single Ended forced draught boilers supplying superheated steam at max pressure 220lbs.
Speed: 17.5 knots

The SS Clan Forbes was a steam merchant ship that saw service in the Second World War.


Clan Forbes was built at the Greenock Dockyard Co., Greenock as one of the Cameron class of steam merchant ships for the Clan Line. She was launched on 8 September 1938, and had her engines supplied by the firm of J G Kincaid & Co, also of Greenock. She was homeported in Glasgow. On the outbreak of the Second World War, she was put into service carrying vital supplies to Britain's allies and outposts. On 16 August 1940, before setting out on one of these convoys, she was damaged by bombs in an air raid whilst berthed at Tilbury dock. She was used to support allied operations in the Mediterranean, and was one of the three merchant ships used in Operation Collar, a convoy to supply Malta and Alexandria. An attempt by the Italians to intercept the ships led to the Battle of Cape Spartivento, after which Clan Forbes, and her sister SS Clan Fraser continued on to Malta. She spent some of her time disguised as the submarine depot ship HMS Maidstone, having been fitted with a dummy funnel.

Surviving the war, she continued in civilian service with the Clan Line, eventually serving until 1959, when she was sold for scrapping. She arrived at Hong Kong on 6 August 1959 to be broken up.