MV Empire Comet

Empire Comet was a 6,914 GRT cargo ship that was built in 1940 by Lithgows Ltd, Port Glasgow for the Ministry of War Transport (MoWT). She was torpedoed and sunk by U-136 in June 1941.

Name: Empire Comet
Owner: Ministry of War Transport
Operator: Dodd, Thompson & Co
Port of registry: Greenock
Builder: Lithgows Ltd
Yard number: 941
Launched: 21 November 1940
Completed: January 1941
  • Code Letter GPFU
  • United Kingdom Official Number 166990
Fate: Sunk 17 February 1942
General characteristics
Class and type: Cargo ship
Length: 432 ft 7 in (131.85 m)
Beam: 56 ft 2 in (17.12 m)
Depth: 34 ft 3 in (10.44 m)
Installed power: 4SCSA diesel engine
Propulsion: Screw propellor
Crew: 38, plus 8 DEMS gunners
Location of the sinking of Empire Comet.


Empire Comet was built by Lithgows Ltd, Port Glasgow as yard number 941. She was launched on 21 November 1940,[1] and completed in January 1941.[2]

Empire Comet was 432 feet 7 inches (131.85 m) long, with a beam of 56 feet 2 inches (17.12 m) and a depth of 34 feet 3 inches (10.44 m). She had a GRT of 6,914 and a NRT of 4,162.[3]Empire Comet was propelled by a 4-stroke Single Cycle Single Acting diesel engine, which had eight cylinders of 29 18 inches (74 cm) diameter by 59116 (151 cm) stroke. The engine was built by J G Kincaid & Co Ltd, Greenock.[3]


Empire Comet was built for the MoWT. She was placed under the management of Dodd, Thompson & Co Ltd. Her port of registry was Greenock. She was allocated the United Kingdom Official Number 166990 and Code Letters GPFU were allocated.[3]

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

HX 118

Convoy HX 118 departed Halifax, Nova Scotia on 31 March 1941 and arrived at Liverpool on 18 April. Empire Comet was carrying a cargo of wheat.[4]

HX 174

Convoy HX 174 departed Halifax on 7 February 1942 bound for Liverpool.[5] Empire Comet was carrying a cargo of linseed, manganese ore, peanuts and tea. She had departed from Bombay, India on 12 November 1940 and sailed via Table Bay, South Africa and Halifax. She was bound for Manchester. Empire Comet straggled behind the convoy. At 22:17 (German time) on 17 February 1942, Empire Comet was hit by two torpedoes fired by the German submarine U-136 under the command of Heinrich Zimmerman. She sank at 58°15′N 17°10′W. All 38 crew and eight DEMS gunners were lost.[6] The crew are commemorated on panel 39 of the Tower Hill Memorial, London.


  1. "Launched 1940: mv EMPIRE COMET". Clydesite. Archived from the original on 3 April 2012. Retrieved 12 May 2010.CS1 maint: unfit url (link)
  2. Mitchell, W H, and Sawyer, L A (1995). The Empire Ships. London, New York, Hamburg, Hong Kong: Lloyd's of London Press Ltd. ISBN 1-85044-275-4.
  3. "LLOYD'S REGISTER, STEAMERS & MOTORSHIPS" (PDF). Plimsoll Ship Data. Retrieved 12 May 2010.
  4. "CONVOY HX 118". Warsailors. Retrieved 12 May 2010.
  5. "CONVOY HX 174". Warsailors. Retrieved 12 May 2010.
  6. "Empire Comet". Uboat. Retrieved 12 May 2010.
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