Military Wiki
SS Empire Antelope
Name: Ophis (1919-28)
Bangu (1928-41)
Empire Antelope (1941-42)
Owner: United States Shipping Board (1919-37)
United States Maritime Corporation (1937-41)
Ministry of War Transport (1941-42)
Operator: Owner operated except:-
Moss Hutchinson Line Ltd (1941-42)
Port of registry: United States Tacoma (1919-37)
United States New York (1937-41)
United Kingdom London (1941-42)
Builder: Todd Dockyard and Construction Corporation, Tacoma
Yard number: 9
Launched: 30 July 1919
Completed: 5 August 1919
In service: 30 September 1919
Out of service: 2 November 1942
Identification: US official Number 219009 (1919-41)
Code letters LTDP (1919-41)
ICS Lima.svgICS Tango.svgICS Delta.svgICS Papa.svg
UK Official Number 168205 (1941-42)
Code letters BCGT (1941-42)
ICS Bravo.svgICS Charlie.svgICS Golf.svgICS Tango.svg
Fate: Torpedoed and sunk by U-402, 2 February 1942
General characteristics
Tonnage: 4,782 GRT
Length: 380 ft 5 in (115.95 m)
Beam: 53 ft 1 in (16.18 m)
Depth: 27 ft (8.23 m)
Propulsion: 1 x triple expansion steam engine (Todd Dry Dock & Construction Co, Tacoma) 339 hp (253 kW)
Speed: 10 knots (19 km/h)
Complement: 42 crew (plus 8 DEMS gunners)

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Empire Antelope was a 4,782 ton cargo ship which was built as Ophis in 1919. She was renamed Bangu in 1928. In 1941 she was renamed Empire Antelope. She was sunk by U-402 on 2 November 1942.


Ophis was built by Todd Dry Dock and Construction Corporation, Tacoma as yard number 9. She was allocated United States Shipping Board hull number 2630.[1] She was launched on 30 July 1919 and completed on 5 August 1919.[2] Delivery was on 30 September 1919.[1] Ophis was powered by a triple expansion steam engine and could make 10 knots.[2]

She was owned by the United States Shipping Board.[3] In March 1920, Maritime Salvors Ltd, London reported that they had been involved in the salvage of Ophis.[4] On 29 November 1920, Ophis came to the rescue of the Norwegian 3-masted barque Hebe, which had been dismasted off the Azores, Portugal. Hebe was towed in to Fayal.[5] In 1928, she was renamed Bangu[3] On 26 January 1931, she lost her propeller 200 nautical miles (370 km) south of Bahía Blanca, Argentina.[6] She was passed to the United States Maritime Commission in 1937,[3] and laid up as part of the reserve fleet.[7] In 1941, Bangu passed to the Ministry of War Transport and was renamed Empire Antelope.[3]

War Service[]

Empire Antelope was a member of a number of convoys during World War II.


Convoy ON 37 sailed from Liverpool on 15 November 1941 and dispersed during the night of November 23/34. Empire Antelope sailed from Aultbea.[8]

SC 77

Convoy SC 77 departed Halifax, Nova Scotia on 30 March 1942 and arrived at Liverpool on 16 April. Empire Antelope was carrying a cargo of steel and other general cargo, destined for Garston.[9]

SC 94

Convoy SC 94 departed Sydney, Nova Scotia on 31 July 1942.[10] Five ships from the convoy were torpedoed by simultaneous attacks of U-176 and U-379 at 13:25Z on 8 August. Detonations of the five sinking ships caused hasty abandonment of three additional ships (including Empire Antelope) whose crews believed they had been torpedoed.[11] Empire Antelope's crewmen reboarded their slightly damaged ship and arrived at Liverpool on 13 August.[10]

SC 107

Empire Antelope departed New York City on 24 October 1942 with 5,560 tons of general cargo as a member of Convoy SC 107.[10] At 08:04 hrs (CET)[12] on 2 November 1942, U-402, captained by Baron Siegfried von Forstner, fired a torpedo and sank Empire Antelope at 52°26′N 45°22′W / 52.433°N 45.367°W / 52.433; -45.367. All fifty crew members were saved by convoy rescue ship SS Stockport and landed at Reykjavík on 8 November.[7]

Official number and code letters[]

Official Numbers were a forerunner to IMO Numbers.

Bangu used the US Official Number 219009 and the Code Letters LTDP.[13] Empire Antelope used the UK Official Number 168205 and the Code Letters BCGT.[14]


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Todd Pacific Shipyards, Inc., Tacoma WA". Ship Building History. Retrieved 2 January 2009. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "2219009". Miramar Ship Index. Retrieved 2 January 2009.  (subscription required)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 "EMPIRE - A". Mariners-L. Retrieved 2 January 2009. 
  4. "Error: no |title= specified when using {{Cite web}}". 5 March 1920. 
  5. "Error: no |title= specified when using {{Cite web}}". 1 December 1920. 
  6. "Error: no |title= specified when using {{Cite web}}". 28 January 1931. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Empire Antelope". Retrieved 2 January 2009. 
  8. "CONVOY ON (S) 37". Warsailors. Retrieved 2 January 2009. 
  9. "CONVOY SC 77". Warsailors. Retrieved 2 January 2009. 
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Hague, Arnold (2000). The Allied Convoy System 1939-1945. Naval Institute Press. p. 135&137. ISBN 1-55750-019-3. 
  11. Milner, Marc (1985). North Atlantic Run. Naval Institute Press. p. 145. ISBN 0-87021-450-0. 
  12. "EMPIRE ANTELOPE". Ubootwaffe.;nr=7. Retrieved 2 January 2009. 
  13. "LLOYD'S REGISTER, STEAMERS & MOTORSHIPS". Plimsoll Ship Data. Retrieved 2 January 2009. 
  14. "LLOYD'S REGISTER, NAVIRES A VAPEUR ET A MOTEURS". Plimsoll Ship Data. Retrieved 2 January 2009. 

Coordinates: 52°26′N 45°22′W / 52.433°N 45.367°W / 52.433; -45.367

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