MV British Dragoon

British Dragoon was a 9,909 ton tanker which was built as Empire Alliance in 1943. She was renamed British Dragoon in 1945, and scrapped in 1962.

  • Empire Alliance (1943-45)
  • British Dragoon (1945-62)
Port of registry: Sunderland
Builder: Sir James Laing & Sons Ltd, Sunderland
Yard number: 747
Launched: 8 March 1943
Completed: June 1943
Out of service: 12 December 1962
  • UK Official Number 169117
  • Code letters BFJD
Fate: Scrapped in Blyth December 1962
General characteristics
Tons burthen: 9,909 GRT
Length: 482 ft 7 in (147.09 m)
Beam: 68 ft 3 in (20.80 m)
Depth: 36 ft 1 in (11.00 m)
Propulsion: 2 x 6-cylinder 4SCDA oil engines (Harland & Wolff Ltd, Glasgow) 490 hp (370 kW)


Empire Alliance was built by Sir James Laing & Sons Ltd, Sunderland[1] as yard number 747. She was launched on 8 March 1943 and completed in June 1943.[2] Empire Alliance was built for the Ministry of War Transport[1] and operated under the management of the Anglo-Saxon Petroleum Co, London[3] and later the British Tanker Company.[1]

War service

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

HX 251

Convoy HX 251 departed New York City on 7 August 1943 and arrived at Liverpool on 23 August. Empire Alliance was carrying a cargo of gas, bound for Avonmouth.[4]

UGS 34

Convoy UGS 34 which departed Hampton Roads on 23 February 1944 bound for Port Said. Empire Alliance transferred to another convoy at sea on 13 March.[5]

GUS 33

Empire Alliance joined Convoy GUS 33 at sea from Convoy UGS 34 on 13 March 1944. The convoy had departed Port Said on 5 March 1944 bound for Hampton Roads. On 14 March she left the convoy bound for Algiers.[5]

UGS 40

Convoy UGS 40 departed Norfolk, Virginia on 22 April 1944. On 11 May the convoy was bound for Bizerta, Tunisia when it came under air attack. Seventeen enemy aircraft were shot down without any of the ships in the convoy being lost.[6]


In 1945, Empire Alliance was sold to the British Tanker Company who renamed her British Dragoon.[3] On 18 January 1951, British Dragoon was in collision with the Spanish ship Santi, which sank. The collision occurred off Cape Espichel, Portugal. Thirty-six survivors were rescued by British Dragoon, which suffered some damage but managed to reach Lisbon safely.[7] She served until 1962, arriving at Blyth for scrapping on 12 December 1962.[2]

Official number and code letters

Official Numbers were a forerunner to IMO Numbers.

Empire Alliance had the UK Official Number 169117 and used the Code Letters BFJD.[1]

See also


  1. "LLOYD'S REGISTER, NAVIRES A VAPEUR ET A MOTUERS" (PDF). Plimsoll Ship Data. Retrieved 26 December 2008.
  2. "1169117". Miramar Ship Index. Retrieved 26 December 2008.
  3. "Empire-A". Mariners-L. Retrieved 26 December 2008.
  4. "CONVOY HX 251". Warsailors. Retrieved 26 December 2008.
  5. "CONVOY GUS 33". Warsailors. Retrieved 26 December 2008.
  6. "Convoy UGS-40, under extreme enemy air attack. May 11th. 1944". Mackenzie J Gregory. Retrieved 26 December 2008.
  7. "Spanish Ship Sunk After Collision". The Times (51903). London. 19 January 1951. col C, p. 4.
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