Mona's Queen II 1885

The full index of our ship stamp archive
Post Reply
john sefton
Posts: 1816
Joined: Sun Mar 22, 2009 1:59 pm

Mona's Queen II 1885

Post by john sefton » Fri May 08, 2009 10:06 pm

Mona's Queen II
Paddle steamer built 1885 Barrow S.B. Co.
Length: 328' Beam: 38'3 Depth: 14'5
Gross tonnage: 1,559
Horsepower: 5,000
Disposed of 1929
From January 1915 to April 1919 she was continually employed as a Troop Transport from Southampton to France.
On February 6th, 1917, she left Southampton for Havre with over a thousand troops on board. It was a fine night and there was a full moon. At 11.15 p.m., when about twelve miles from Havre, and all seemed going well, the ship travelling at the rate of fifteen knots per hour [sic!], a large submarine was seen coming to the surface of the water about five hundred feet away, four points on the port bow. The Mona’s Queen went right on without reducing her speed or altering her course, and, when within about thirty feet of the submarine Captain Cain distinctly saw a torpedo discharged, which must have passed underneath his ship, for immediately afterwards he saw the track of it away to starboard.

In a few seconds after firing her torpedo, the submarine was buried in the port paddle-wheel, the steel floats of which must have struck her forward of the conning-tower, causing such damage that she immediately sank.

Those on the bridge of the Mona’s Queen obtained a view of the submarine, abaft the port paddle-box, disappearing below the surface of the water. bow first, her stern lifted well up, and her propellers revolving in the air.

The whole thing happened in less than half-a-minute, and called for a prompt decision on the part of the Captain, as to what action he should take. Fortunately, he decided to go straight ahead at full speed, which was the wisest thing to do.

Had he decided otherwise, there would have been quite a different tale to tell.

The effect on the Mona’s Queen was tremendous, and alarming, as she heeled over until her starboard paddle-box was nearly half submerged. In the engine-room, some idea of what happened may be formed, when it is remembered that the port paddle-wheel with its shaft, weighing altogether more than thirty tons, was lifted to such an extent by the impact, that the cover of the outer bearing was smashed.

The paddle-wheel, that thus disposed of the submarine, is twenty-five feet in diameter. Each of its ten floats consists of a steel plate, twelve feet by four feet, a full inch in thickness, and weighs, with its brackets, over a ton.

The Mona’s Queen was now in a semi-disabled condition, like a bird with only one wing to rely on. By working the engines slowly, however, they were able to creep into Havre and discharge their troops quite safely.

To effect the necessary repairs, it was decided to tow the ship to Southampton, and, after waiting several days for a tug boat, the return journey was commenced. It was soon realised, however, that the tug-boat was not powerful enough to tow the Mona’s Queen, particularly as the weather outside was bad.

It now became evident that they were in a very literal sense "between the devil and the deep sea." A decision had, therefore, to be made, and Captain Cain decided to try and struggle across without aid, depending entirely upon the crippled wheel holding out, the tug-boat to accompany them so as to render assistance in case of a breakdown. There were, also, two destroyers as an escort to look out for submarines, which were to be expected.

Although going rather less than half-speed. the Mona’s Queen, despite the bad weather that prevailed, was able to keep well ahead of the tug, and shortly afterwards left her out of sight, arriving at Southampton before her. The homeward journey occupied eighteen-and-a-half hours, the usual length of passage being eight hours.
Various web sites
IoM SG554
Mona's Queenll.jpg
Mona's Queenll another.jpg

Posts: 7738
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 1:28 am

Re: Mona's Queen II

Post by aukepalmhof » Fri May 15, 2009 9:52 pm

So far it is not know which U boat sank that night, and research showed that during that night not one German U boat was sunk, so most probably the submarine dived and was not sunk, it was night when it happened.

After 1917 again in the service between Fleetwood and Douglas, she left for her last voyage Douglas on 31 August 1929.
She was the last paddle steamer in the company's fleet, and she was sold in September
1929 for £5.920 to Smith & Co. of Port Glasgow for breaking up.

Post Reply