MV Prins Albert (II)
ex HMS Prins Albert, Prins Albert (II)
© A G Jones
Steel twin screw motor vessel, built and engined by Cockerill’s of Hoboken in 1937 (Yard No. 651) for the Belgian Marine Administration’s Ostend service.
- Length on deck: 113.60m (370.7 ft)(overall)/108.81m (357.0 ft) (between perpendiculars)
- Breadth of hull: 14.95m (49.9 ft)(extreme)
- Depth: 6.52m (21.4 ft) (to shelter deck), 7.59m (24.9 ft)(moulded)
- Draught: 3.81 (12.75 ft)(maximum)
- Tonnage: 2,938 gross/1,884 net
- Engines: Two 12-cylinder Cockerill/Sulzer single acting two-stroke diesels
- Power: 8,500 hp
- Speed: 24 knots
- Capacity:1,829 passengers
- Call Sign: ORAI
- Official Number: 72004
- Registry: Ostend
- Sister ships:Prince Baudouin II, Prince Philippe I
February 17th 1936: Ordered.
April 23rd 1937: Launched by the King of the Belgians in a joint ceremony with the cargo liner MOANDA.
September 1937: During trials off West Hinder light ship attained speed of 25.5 knots
Arne Pyson Collection
September 1937: Delivered to till Belgian Maritime Transport Authority, Oostende, Belgium.
October 4th 1937: Commenced service between Ostend – Dover.
Roy Thornton Collection (both)
May 18th 1940: When Germany invaded Belgium she left Ostend for Southampton via Le Havre carrying refugees.
May 28th 1940: Taken over by the British Ministry of War Transport.
June 1940: Operated as a troop-transport between England – Cherbourg – Brest – St. Malo.
July 1940: Requisitioned for air target use.
1940: Rebuilt at Harland & Wolff, Southampton.
January 1941 – September 30th 1941: Rebuilt as a armed auxiliary transport at Penarth Pontoon Slipway & Ship repairing Co and renamed HMS PRINS ALBERT.
December 26th 1941: Took part in combined operations such as on the Lofoten Islands in Norway.
1942: Took part in the Canadian attack on Dieppe.
May 1943: Left for the Mediterranean Sea.
June 1943: Took part in the invasions of Italy and Sicily.
October 1943: Returned to England.
June 6th 1944: Took part in the Normandy landings (Omaha Beach).
August 15th 1944: Took part in the landings in Southern France.
October 1944 – December 1944: Commenced service, once more, as a troop-transport.
December 1944: Refitted in Greenock.
January 1945: Left England for India.
May 2nd 1945: Took part in the capture of Rangoon.
February 9th 1946: Left Bombay for England.
Imperial War Museum, Roy Thornton Collection (Gibraltar 23/02/1946)
Roy Thornton Collection
April 26th 1946: Left England for Belgium.
May 1946 – June 27th 1947: Refitted and refurbished at Cockerill, Hoboken, Belgium.
May 28th 1947: Whilst being refitted suffered a fire.
June 28th 1947: Recommenced service between Ostend – Dover.
Roy Thornton Collection
August 1966: Laid up in reserve. However, continued to sail on most weekends in the summer season between Ostend – Folkestone and Dover.
© A G Jones (all)
© Ted Ingham (left) © Fotoflite (right)
September 7th 1968: Made her last sailing and withdrawn.
1969: Laid up in Ostend as a “dead ship”.
May 25th 1970: Sold to Van Heyghen Freres, Belgium for scrapping.
June 21st 1970: Scrapping commenced.
All information is believed to be correct and no responsibility is accepted for any errors or omissions. All items included in this article are subject to © copyright. We would like to take this opportunity of thanking: A G Jones, Ted Ingham and Arne Pyson for their assistance in producing this feature