The Mystery Ship is HMT Empire Halladale. She was originally built as Antonio Delfino for the Hamburg-South America Line. She was delivered from the Vulcan yard in Hamburg, yard number631, in March 1922. Her maiden voyage saw her leave Hamburg for La Plata ports on 16 March 1922. In 1927 she had low-pressure turbines fitted and in 1932 was chartered to North German Lloyd as Sierra Nevada.

She reverted to Hamburg-South America Line in 1934. In September 1939 she slipped out of Bahia and broke the blockade to Germany. From April the following year she was used as an accommodation vessel for the German navy at Kiel. In 1943 she was moved to Gdynia and in 1945 took part in the evacuation of the German eastern territories. In five operations she took 20,500 people to the west.

In May 1945 she was seized by Britain at Copenhagen and refitted. Her tonnage was now 14,056grt, and she could carry 200 passengers in cabin class and 843 troops. On 4 October she entered service as HMT Empire Halladale, managed by Anchor Line for the Ministry of Transport. The picture is from her period of trooping. On 30 October 1955 she was laid up and never returned to service, and on 1 February 1956 went to Dalmuir to be broken up.

She had a sistership, Cap Norte, which had a similar career, being seized by the Royal Navy as a war prize in 1940 to become HMT Empire Trooper.

Johnny Magne Holmen, Norway

SubscribeSubscribe
Three issues for £5

Subscribe to Ships Monthly magazine and receive your first 3 issues for just £5!