SS Clan Alpine (1918)

SS Clan Alpine was a British cargo steamer owned by Clan Line Steamers Ltd. Launched in 1918 she was the third ship to carry this name. She was torpedoed and sunk in the Second World War whilst carrying materiel to aid the British campaigns in Africa.

Name: SS Clan Alpine
Operator: Clan Line Steamers Ltd, London
Builder: Greenock & Grangemouth Dockyard Co Ltd, Greenock
Yard number: 379
Launched: 28 January 1918
Completed: 1918
Fate: sunk on 13 March 1943
General characteristics
Class and type: Steam merchant ship
Tonnage: 5,442 tons
Length: 410.2 feet
Beam: 53.5 feet
Draught: 28.4 feet
  • steam, triple expansion engines
  • 627 nhp
Speed: 11 knots
Capacity: 11,317 tons general cargo
Crew: 69

Early history

Clan Alpine was built by the Greenock & Grangemouth Dockyard Co Ltd, Greenock for Clan Line Steamers Ltd, of London, and was launched on 28 January 1918. She was used to carry equipment and supplies for the British government during the Second World War. On 19 November 1942, whilst sailing to Saint Helena, she came across two lifeboats from the torpedoed SS City of Cairo, and took the occupants to Saint Helena.


Her last voyage was as part of convoy OS-44, which departed Liverpool on 6 March 1943 bound for Port Sudan via Walvis Bay. She was carrying 11,317 tons of general cargo, including army and naval stores. Shortly into the journey, the convoy was sailing west of Cape Finisterre on 13 March, when it was spotted by the German submarine U-107 commanded by Harald Gelhaus. At 05.30 hours she fired a number of torpedoes, and reported having hit three ships. In fact four ships had been hit, SS Marcella, SS Oporto, SS Sembilangan and Clan Alpine.

Unable to be repaired or towed to safety, Clan Alpine was abandoned. Escorting sloop HMS Scarborough picked up the survivors from the water and scuttled the ship with depth charges. The survivors were taken to Gibraltar by SS Pendeen. 26 of the crew were lost in the attack and subsequent sinking.[1]


  1. "". has 26 killed, whereas "". reports no casualties


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