FerriesPast and PresentStoomvaart Maatschappij Zeeland (SMZ)

SS Mecklenburg (II) – Past and Present.

SS Mecklenburg II

Roy Thornton Collection

Roy Thornton Collection

Steel twin screw steamer, built in 1920 by Koninklijke Mij. “De Schelde”, Vlissingen. (Yard No. 170), for Stoomvaart Mij. Zeeland

Technical Data

  • Length:¬†106.8m (registered) 110.72m (overall)
  • Breadth of Hull:¬†13.01m
  • Depth: 7.29m
  • Draught:¬†4.27m (maximum)
  • Tonnage:¬†2,907 gross/1,122 net/2408 deadweight
  • Engines:¬†Two sets triple 4-cylinder Fairfield steam engines.
  • Power:¬†10,000 bhp
  • Speed:¬†22 knots.
  • Capacity:¬†377 passengers in two classes. 267 1st class 110 2nd class
  • Call Sign: PFWM
  • ID Number:¬†5605829
  • Official Number:¬†29398 (1945 – 46)
  • Registry:¬†Flushing/Netherlands
  • Sister-ships: Mecklenburg I, Oranje Nassau, Prinses Juliana I, Prinses Juliana II


November 22nd 1916: Ordered.

February 4th 1922: Keel laid.

March 18th 1922: Launched.

July 19th 1922: Delivered day service Stoomvaart Mij. Zeeland.

July 23rd 1922: Maiden voyage Vlissingen-Folkestone.

Roy Thornton Collection

Roy Thornton Collection

1927: Transferred to Flushing – Harwich.

January 1st 1927: Took the first Flushing – Harwich sailing. Boat deck extended and promenade decks fitted with glazed screens.

September 4th 1939: Laid up in Vlissingen.

May 11th 1940: Sailed via the Downs to London and laid up there.

June 17th 1940 – September 5th 1940: At Southampton then departed for Falmouth, Milford Haven and Belfast as an Accommodation Ship for the Royal Netherlands Navy (in management of William H Muller & Co (London) Ltd).

February 1941: On behalf of the British Admiralty, she was taken over as an Accommodation Ship at Portsmouth.

March 10 1941 – March 11th 1941: During an air raid on the port a bomb blast caused splinters to damage her superstructure and Promenade Deck, killing two members of her crew.

March 1941: Moved to Southampton.

April 1942: Used on the Clyde. While being made ready she was partially fitted out as a Landing Ship Infantry (Hand-hoisting).

August 2nd 1942: Left Southampton.

August 16th 1941: Arrived on the Clyde and was positioned at the entrance to Gareloch as an Accommodation Ship for Admiralty Floating Dock IV.

May 1943: Depot Ship for submarine service.

June 10th 1943: Left Clyde.

Dover Ferry Photos Library

Dover Ferry Photos Library

June 17th 1943: Arrived at Plymouth for for further LSI conversion work under pennant L 4.127. Main mast removed.

August 14th 1943: Collided with the dock wall at Millbay Docks damaging her bow.

September 2nd 1943: Left Southampton for training exercises.

June 5th 1944: Left the Solent as part of Assault Convoy J9 landing troops off Juno beach-head.

October 26th 1944: At Cherbourg.

November 12th 1944: At Rouen.

November 28th 1944: At Le Havre.

January 1945: Back at Tilbury.

August 16th 1945: While undertaking trooping sailings to Ostend, engine defects caused her to back to Tilbury and kept off sailings for ten days.

November 21st 1945 – April 4th 1946: In use as a trooper between Rotterdam and London and Harwich.

April 16th 1946: Returned to her owners.

1947: Rebuilt at Wilton Fijenoord, Schiedam. Her main mast was repositioned abreast the centre of the fourth boat. Converted to oil burning.

June 13th 1947: Maiden voyage from Rotterdam to Harwich with invited guests.

June 14th 1947: Back in 3 x weekly service Hook – Harwich; Flushing had been destroyed by war.

July 7th 1949: Re-opened the 2 x weekly Flushing/Folkestone day service.

Roy Thornton Collection   Internet Source

Roy Thornton Collection

September 8th 1952: Made final Folkestone crossing. Reserve and summer extra steamer.

October 9th 1959: Withdrawn.

October 25th 1959: Laid up in Vlissingen.

1960: Towed to Ghent.

May 13th 1960: Arrived at Van Heyghen Freres for scrapping.

All information is believed to be correct and no responsibility is accepted for any errors or omissions found. All items included in this article are subject to © copyright.

Article © Nigel Thornton and Ray Goodfellow (Dover Ferry Photos Group)


  1. So good to see the history of this ship. I have a card model of her and have always thought she is quite lovely!!

  2. So wonderful to see this information. It’s great to find something on the internet about this ship. My Grandfather, Johan Spap√©, was the Morseman and served all his career on the SS Mecklenberg II even through the war. We still have a couple of artefacts from the ship in the family.

    1. Hi,

      Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment on this article, I am always interested to hear what connection our site visitors have with a specific vessel.

      Best Wishes


  3. Hi, thank you for posting this information. My father served as a signalman in the Royal Navy. I knew he was on an Infantry Landing Ship and he landed US troops at D-Day, but never knew which ship. I found out this morning he was on the Mecklenburg. October 1943 to November 1945. Nice to see a picture of dads ship. Bruce.

  4. Hi, thank you so much for this site. I found it as I was doing some research on the 75th anniversary of D-Day. My father, Leunis Faase, was the ship’s carpenter (“chippy”) during the landing in Normandy.

  5. I was researching info on this wonderfull ship when I came across all above information . However I could not find the info I was looking for.
    I have sailed on this elegant ship for a month during my school holidays july 1956 ( I was 16 years old then). And again in August 1957 Both times as a pantry boy. During that last period we experienced a bad wheather trip during the crossing Harwich – Hoek of Holland . Although all other ferry company services were canceled, our captain (I forgot his name ) decided to undertake the crossing. After all, we were also a mail boat and mail has to be delivered in time (At least, that is my recollection of the captain’s reasoning). During that crossing we did try to sail our normal service speed of 22 miles. At one time the ship heeled 90 * over on starboard , and staid in that position for quite some time. Engines were dead, no lights , sea water was gulping in .However slowly she came upwards again and after a while we steamed – slowly this time – to the Hoek. Passengers kissed the ground on the quay. The wounded were evacuated.
    I am looking for the news paper reporting on this trip. I hope somebody can help me to find a copy. In spite of this frightening experience I continued sailing during my school holidays on MS Beatrix, and lateron in my adult life as a marine engineer for another 12 years

  6. Hi,
    I’ve just come across this very interesting and informative item.
    I’ve been researching my Grandfather’s service in the British Merchant Navy and the records from the National Archive at Kew show him enlisted on the Mecklenburg in 1940. He is listed as f+t which I believe to be fireman and trimmer. I assumed that most of the crew would have been Dutch so this is a surprise. His next ship is listed in 1944, so maybe he served aboard the Mecklenburg for the duration, possibly including the Normany landings.
    Cheers, Mike

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back to top button