SS Empire Broadsword

Empire Broadsword was a Type C1-S-AY-1 infantry landing ship built in 1943 as Cape Marshall. She was renamed Empire Broadsword before completion and entering into service for the Ministry of War Transport (MoWT). She had a short career, entering service in December 1943 and being sunk by a mine in July 1944.

Class and type: C1-S-AY-1 Infantry landing ship
  • Cape Marshall (1943)
  • Empire Broadsword (1943-44)
Owner: War Shipping Administration
Operator: Cunard White Star Line
Port of registry: London
Builder: Consolidated Steel Corporation, Wilmington, California
Launched: 16 August 1943
Completed: December 1943
Out of service: 2 July 1944
  • United Kingdom Official Number 169737
  • Code Letters MYMJ
Fate: Struck a mine and sank
General characteristics
Length: 396 ft 5 in (120.83 m)
Beam: 60 ft 1 in (18.31 m)
Depth: 35 ft (10.67 m)
Propulsion: Steam turbines, double reduction geared driving a single screw
  • 1 × 4 in gun
  • 1 × 12 pdr gun
  • 12 × 20mm guns
Location of the sinking of Empire Broadsword.


The ship was built by Consolidated Steel Corporation, Wilmington, California as yard number 348. She was launched on 16 August 1943 as Cape Marshall.[1] She was 396 feet 5 inches (120.83 m) long, with a beam of 60 feet 1 inch (18.31 m) and a depth of 35 feet (10.67 m). She was propelled by two steam turbines which drove a single screw via double reduction gearing. The steam turbine were manufactured by Westinghouse Electrical and Manufacturing Corp, Essington, Pennsylvania.[2]


The ship was transferred under the terms of lend lease shortly after being completed in 1943 under the name Empire Broadsword.[3] She was chartered by the MoWT, and was operated under the management of Cunard White Star Line[2]

Empire Broadsword was mined and sunk off Normandy in July 2, 1944, while supporting the allied invasion of Europe.[4] Her position is 49°25′N 0°54′W.[1] Seventy survivors were rescued by USS PC-1225.[5] The wreck lies on its starboard side in 27 metres (89 ft) of water and is now a dive site.[6] Those lost on Empire Broadsword are commemorated at the Tower Hill Memorial, London.[7]

Official Numbers and Code Letters

Official Numbers were a forerunner to IMO Numbers. Empire Broadsword had the UK Official Number 169737 and used the Code Letters MYMJ.[2]


  1. "1169737". Miramar Ship Index. Retrieved 10 December 2009.
  2. "LLOYD'S REGISTER, NAVIRES A VAPEUR ET A MOTEURS" (PDF). Plimsoll Ship Data. Retrieved 10 December 2009.
  3. Colledge. Ships of the Royal Navy. p. 113.
  4. "EMPIRE - B". Retrieved 25 November 2008.
  5. "Waverly". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Navy Department, Naval History and Heritage Command. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
  6. "Legacy of the landings". Dive Magazine. Archived from the original on 13 March 2010. Retrieved 10 December 2009.
  7. "Ship Index A-F". Brian Watson. Retrieved 20 May 2011.


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