SS Empire Banner

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Name: Empire Banner
Owner: Ministry of War Transport
Operator: W T Gould Ltd, Cardiff
Port of registry: United Kingdom Sunderland
Builder: Bartram & Sons Ltd, Sunderland.
Yard number: 286
Launched: 29 June 1942
Completed: September 1942
Identification: Official Number 169028
Code Letters BCXC
Fate: Torpedoed on 7 February 1943 and sunk by U-77
General characteristics
Tonnage: 6,699 GRT
Length: 416 feet 8 inches (127.00 m)
Beam: 56 feet 6 inches (17.22 m)
Depth: 34 feet (10.36 m)
Propulsion: 1 x triple expansion steam engine (North East Marine Engine Co (1938) Ltd, Sunderland) 511 horsepower (381 kW)
Complement: 47, plus 15 DEMS gunners

Empire Banner was a 6,699 GRT cargo ship which was built by Bartram & Sons Ltd, Sunderland in 1942 for the Ministry of War Transport (MoWT). She was torpedoed by U-77 on 7 February 1943 and sunk later that day by enemy aircraft.


Empire Banner was built by Bartram & Sons Ltd, Sunderland as yard number 286. She was launched on 29 June 1942 and completed in September 1942. She was built for the MoWT[1] and was operated under the management of W T Gould & Co Ltd,[2] Cardiff.[3]

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


Convoy MKS 3X sailed from Bône, Algeria on 3 December 1942 and arrived at Liverpool on 19 December. Empire Banner joined the convoy at Algiers She was fitted with anti-torpedo nets although these were reported as being broken on departure from Algiers.[4]


Convoy KMS 8G which departed the Clyde on 21 January 1943.[5] Empire Banner was carrying 3,800 tons of military supplies, including tanks and other transport. She had departed from Penarth and was destined for Bône. On 7 February 1943, she was torpedoed by U-77 at 02:00 hours. Her position was 36°48′N 01°32′E / 36.8°N 1.533°E / 36.8; 1.533.[3] Empire Banner headed for Oran but at 06:00 she was finished off by an enemy aircraft.[6] All 47 crew, 15 DEMS gunners and 10 soldier passengers were rescued by Template:HMCS and landed at Algiers.[3]

Official number and code letters

Official Numbers were a forerunner to IMO Numbers.

Empire Banner had the UK Official Number 169083 and used the Code Letters BCXC.[2].


  1. Mitchell, W H, and Sawyer, L A (1995). The Empire Ships. London, New York, Hamburg, Hong Kong: Lloyd's of London Press Ltd. p. 24. ISBN 1-85044-275-4. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "LLOYD'S REGISTER, STEAMERS & MOTORSHIPS". Plimsoll Ship Data. Retrieved 8 March 2009. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "Empire Banner". Retrieved 8 March 2009. 
  4. "CONVOY MKS 3X & MKS 3Y". Warsailors. Retrieved 8 March 2009. 
  5. "Convoy KMS.8G". Convoyweb. Retrieved 8 March 2009.  (Select Convoy KMS 8G from side menu)
  6. "H.M.C.S. Regina K-234". The Carmody Genealogist. Retrieved 8 March 2009.