SS Empire Cowper

Empire Cowper was a 7,161 GRT cargo ship that was built in 1941 by William Doxford & Sons Ltd, Sunderland, United Kingdom. She was built for the Ministry of War Transport. Empire Cowper was bombed and sunk on 11 April 1942 whilst a member of Convoy QP 10.

Name: Empire Cowper
Owner: Ministry of War Transport
Operator: R Chapman & Son
Port of registry: London
Builder: William Doxford & Sons Ltd
Yard number: 681
Launched: 23 September 1941
Completed: December 1941
Out of service: 11 April 1942
  • United Kingdom Official Number 169003
  • Code Letters BCTF
Fate: Bombed and sunk
General characteristics
Length: 428 ft 8 in (130.66 m)
Beam: 56 ft 5 in (17.20 m)
Draught: 27 feet 4 34 inches (8.350 m)
Depth: 35 ft 5 in (10.80 m)
Propulsion: Triple expansion steam engine
Location of the sinking of Empire Cowper.


Empire Cowper was built in 1941 by William Doxford & Sons Ltd, Sunderland.[1] Yard number 682,[2] she was launched on 23 September and completed in December,[1]

The ship was 428 feet 8 inches (130.66 m) long, with a beam of 56 feet 5 inches (17.20 m). She had a depth of 35 feet 5 inches (10.80 m) and a draught of 27 feet 4 34 inches (8.350 m). She was assessed at 7,164 GRT, 5,053 NRT.[3] Her DWT was 10,173.[2]

The ship was propelled by a 511 nhp triple expansion steam engine, which had cylinders of 23 12 inches (60 cm), 37 12 inches (95 cm) and 68 inches (170 cm) diameter by 48 inches (120 cm) stroke. The engine was built by John Brown & Co Ltd, Clydebank.[3]


Empire Cowper was completed in December 1941,[1] and placed under the management of R Chapman & Son.[2] The Official Number 169003 was allocated,[4] as were the Code Letters BCTF.[3]

Empire Cowper was a member of Convoy PQ 13, which departed Loch Ewe on 10 March 1942 and arrived at Murmansk, Soviet Union on 31 March.[5] She arrived at Reykjavík, Iceland on 16 March and departed on 20 March to join the convoy.[6]

Empire Cowper was a member of Convoy QP 10, which departed the Kola Inlet on 10 April and arrived at Reykjavík on 21 April.[7] On 11 April, she was bombed by Junkers Ju 88 aircraft and sunk in the Barents Sea at 71°01′N 36°00′E,[1] with the loss of nine of her crew.[8] Those lost on Empire Cowper are commemorated at the Tower Hill Memorial, London.[9]


  1. Mitchell, W.H.; Sawyer, L.A. (1995). The Empire Ships. London, New York, Hamburg, Hong Kong: Lloyd's of London Press Ltd. p. not cited. ISBN 1-85044-275-4.
  2. "William Doxford/Pallion Ship Index". John Bage. Archived from the original on 23 December 2012. Retrieved 25 April 2011.
  3. "LLOYDS'S REGISTER, NAVIRES A VAPEUR ET A MOTEURS" (PDF). Plimsoll Ship Data. Retrieved 7 July 2011.
  4. "ON160000". Mariners. Retrieved 25 April 2011.
  5. "CONVOY PQ 13". Warsailors. Retrieved 25 April 2011.
  6. "Convoy PQ.13". Convoyweb. Retrieved 25 April 2011.
  7. "CONVOY QP 10". Warsailors. Retrieved 25 April 2011.
  8. "SS Empire Cowper (+1942)". Wrecksite. Retrieved 25 April 2011.
  9. "Ship Index A-F". Brian Watson. Retrieved 20 May 2011.
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