HMT Menominee


The transport Menominee had the no. X2.

Tonnage: 6,919, Length: 475', Beam: 52' 3", Builder: Alexander Stephen & Sons, Glasgow, Yard No 372, Launch Date: 1897, Maiden Voyage: 1898, Destruction: Sold for scrap 1927, AKA: Alexandria, Operated by A.T.L.: 1898 - 1905. Official number 108588. Single screw, 13 1/2 knots, triple expansion engine by builder with cylinders of 32", 54", and 90" and a stroke of 66". Two double-ended and 2 single-ended boilers, 770 n.h.p., steam pressure 190 lbs. Ten bulkheads, 7 holds, 1,100 tons of coal. 120 passengers

1897 the ship was built for the Wilson & Furness-Leyland Line as the Alexandria. She made six transatlantic voyages for the line before she became one of the five sister ships purchased by the Atlantic Transport Line to replace vessels requisitioned by the U. S. Government for use as transports in the Spanish American War. The Atlantic Transport Line paid an average of £140,000 for each of these ships.

Renamed Menominee, the ship was used on the London to New York service and is recorded making 57 voyages to New York for the A.T.L. passenger service between October 1898 and February 1905, with one additional voyage in September 1914. The Ships List website states that she made three voyages to New York for the A.T.L. between September 1914 and January 1915.

1899 Sailing under the command of Captain Bocquet, she rescued all 23 crew of the sinking tramp steamer Glendower in March 1899, and Lloyds awarded medals to 16 of her crew after the incident.

May 4, 1901 Archbishop Lewis of Ontario died on board Menominee. Although seriously ill with pneumonia he had embarked with his wife and a trained nurse for a short stay in London before proceeding on to Egypt.

July 1901 Menominee rammed and sank the Gloucester fishing schooner Lucille in thick fog about ten miles west of the Nantucket shoals. The schooner's 18-man crew was picked up and taken on to New York. Menominee was steaming at half speed, sounding her siren frequently when the accident occurred. Although the men on the schooner heard Menominee approaching she was within 100 feet of Lucille when she was first seen through the thick fog.

In the early 1900s she was transferred to the Red Star Line and served this company from 1905 to 1914 working the Antwerp to Philadelphia service and carrying second class passengers. Once fitted with wireless, Menominee's call letters were "MNE." Sailing for New York in December 1903 and 500 miles West of the Scilly Isles, Menominee encountered a severe gale. "Huge waves broke over the vessel, one wave smashing the rudder head and rendering the ship totally unmanageable." Repairs were attempted and the ship drifted helplessly for several days, but she did eventually make Falmouth.

April 1915 Menominee carried part of 2nd South Midland Mounted Brigade, 2nd Mounted Division from Avonmouth to Egypt in April 1915, arriving at Alexandria on the 19th. She took the Australian 8th Light Horse to Gallipoli in May of 1915, sailing on May 6. Off Anzac Cove they were then transferred to the Beagle class destroyer Foxhound to be landed.

17 June 1915 She escaped a U-boat attack off the fort of Hellas Burnu at the entrance to the Dardanelles. She was attacked by the German UB 7 with 2 torpedoes off Hellas Burnu. UB 7 fired two torpedoes at 10.12h and 10.25h, both of which missed.

13 Mar 1916 sailed from Alexandria with 1st Battalion Royal Dublin Fusiliers for France.

23 January 1917 Menominee sailed from Marseilles to Salonika on with the 12th Battalion the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment. She is also known to have sailed from Salonica on May 31, 1917 (for Marseilles?).

In 1919 Menominee brought troops home from Antwerp to Southampton (arriving March 23) before sailing for Murmansk. She was one of the vessels that evacuated the North Russian Expeditionary Force after a campaign known at the time variously as "Churchill's War," "The Great Russian Gamble," and "Whitehall’s Folly."

October 11, 1919, Menominee sailed from Murmansk on with troops of the Middlesex Regiment and to have brought them home to Tilbury on October 17, 1919. A soldier's diary from this campaign refers to her as "SS Hungry Guts" (the Great War Forum) and another soldier who sailed out to Russia on her "accompanied by a cargo of mules" described Menominee as "a dirty old creaking one stacker."

Menominee was reconditioned by Harland and Wolff after her war service and returned to the London to New York service as a freighter in 1920. Two years later she managed to break her rudder for a second time and the Montana stood by to tow her into Falmouth for repairs. In October 1922 she was narrowly avoided a collision with the Red Star Liner Gothland as the two drifted in heavy seas and hurricane force winds and passed within 200 feet of each other. The following year under Captain Edward Finch she sent a lifeboat out in a heavy sea and rescued the six man crew of the schooner Gordon Fudge of St John’s, Newfoundland, “with great difficulty.” It was only because Menominee had drifted 20 miles off course that she chanced upon the stricken schooner.

1926, Menominee was eventually sold for scrap and she was broken up in Italy.

1st Royal Dublin Fusiliers War Diary, Mar 1916