M/v Diomed; 7,980gt L 491 feet.
The water was very murky, when it came to
identifying "D" boats, they looked so similar to the "A's". Their official
name was A class mark V's, but were called "D" boats, by the men who
sailed on them. and to add to the confusion half of them had traditional
"A" boat names. The difference between them to the casual observer at
least, was subtle. "D" boats had a lifeboat each side of the sailors
house, aft of No4 hatch, they
had an extra small cargo hatch, and two derricks on the poop (see model
photos). And the bulwarks on the wings
of the bridge were steel instead of the "A" boats woodwork. Other
differences were more on paper, D boats were about 200gt larger, and were
longer by about 30 feet.
Demodocus was the first to be built, on the Tyne by
Vickers in 1955, and the Ajax, from the same yard, which cost £1.45
million, was the last. They like the "A" boats were very much the "Tramps"
of the company, none of them had a regular run, and their trips would be
anything from 3½ to 5½ months, they would call at the less well known
ports of Sumatra, Java, Borneo, and the Philippine Islands.
Like most of the other Blue Funnel cargo boats, they
fell to the axe, in 1972-73, but unlike the steam turbine's which were
scrapped, all six of these "D" boats, went on to trade under the Chinese
flag for a further ten years or so.
In the Fleet
||Sold in 1973, Scrapped as "Kaigo" in
||Sold in 1972, Scrapped as "Hong QI" in
||Renamed Deucalion 1972, sold 1973.
Scrapped as "Kailok" in 1982.
||Left the fleet 1973. Scrapped as "Kaiyun"
||Left the fleet 1973. Scrapped as "Kaising"
||Left the fleet 1972. Scrapped as "Zhan
Dou 51" Scrapped in1984?
Capt Neville Lester and Capt Gwilym Owen, for the ships
Mr Gwyn Jones, for the model photographs, and all his help
with these pages.