Penarth Dock, South Wales - 150 years - the heritage and legacy  
Penarth Dock, South Wales - the heritage & legacy . . .

Volume Four - An Era of Change, Uncertainty, Depression & War - Activity at the dock during World War II . . .

H.M.S. Prins Albert off Gibraltar in late February 1946.

1946 - H.M.S. Prins Albert, nicknamed " Lucky Albert " off Gibraltar in late February 1946. [266] She was originally built in Belgium for the Oostende-Dover Line as a passenger ferry having been launched during April 1937. During July 1940 she was requisitioned by the British Royal Navy and sailed, in January 1941, to the Penarth Pontoon, Slipway and Ship Repairing Company for conversion. There she was rebuilt as an LSI(S), an Auxiliary Transport Ship, (Landing ship Infantry) under Pennant No. 4.35. Following active service she was returned to civilian use in April 1946. The Glasgow Herald [196] of 10th April 1946 carries the following fascinating reference to her : -

Clyde Waterfront - Lease-Lend Ships Prepare for Return Journey Across the Atlantic - 'The stream of "Woolworth" carriers de-storing in King George V. Dock on their way back to their American lenders has now almost died off, and the naval and auxiliary ships finding their way up the Clyde to de-store are smaller and of more varied types.

A Belgian cross-channel ship, the Prins Albert, has succeeded the Queen Emma at Plantation Quay. As H.M.S. Prins Albert, landing ship (medium), she has seen service in no fewer than ten landing operations. No wonder she was nicknamed " Lucky Albert " by Admiral  Mountbatten, for she " always came back. "

This nine year old packet, which is scheduled to develop the high speed of 25 knots on her twin screw Diesel engines of 15,000 h.p., carried on special gravity davits eight L.C.A.s, four on each side. Each of these launches was capable of accommodating 45 to 50 fully armed troops, in addition to the boat's crew which was formed from the ship's complement. The ship's job was to carry assault troops close in, and they were then landed in the small L.C.A.s, which had a speed of about 9 knots and a range of 150 miles. The launches have now been put ashore, though the heavy davits are still in position.

" Lucky Albert's " first action was in the Lofoten Isles, off Northern Norway. There was no opposition, and she withdrew with a bag of German prisoners and a couple of quislings. Her next landing was at Bruneval in February 1942, and she then took part in two raids on Bologne and in the Dieppe raid, in which she carried Lord Lovat's No. 4 Commando on their successful attack on heavy coastal defence positions.

In the Mediterranean operations she landed troops at Avoia on July 10, 1943 and at Catania three days later. Her experiences in the Scilian landing and later at Salerno were the worst she encountered, but the ship was always lucky, and was never hit. And her boats always came back.

D-Day Landing - The Prins Albert crossed to Normandy on D Day. The objective of her assault troops, including a Marine Commando, was a heavy shore battery - a suicidal project. Fortunately for all concerned the R.A.F. had already dealt with the battery from the air. South of France landings and the invasion of Rangoon River in May last year (1945) completed Prins Albert's unusually full record of war service.

The Prins Albert will return to Belgium with a skeleton crew at the end of next week. There she will be reconverted for her old Ostend - Dover run.' - Glasgow Herald [196] 10th April 1946

Penarth Pontoon, Slipway and Shiprepairing Company Limited.
1938 - An advertisement for the Penarth Pontoon, Slipway and Shiprepairing Company Limited and the associated Hodges & Company Limited at Barry Dock from a Trades Directory of Wales [671] published just prior to the commencement of WWII.
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