Was loaned a VHS tape on Saturday that has a bunch of footage of BC Ferry mishaps over the years including great footage of the collision in 1970...However even more interesting to me is very "RARE" footage taken on board the Princess Kathleen in 1952....Same voyage when she ran aground and so the whole flooding and sinking is on there in living colour!....To my knowledge the only footage in existence???....Maybe wrong...Really neat to have regardless!
That would be very interesting to see. If you are able to convert it to a format that can be shared on this forum please do so. As this is in regard to one of the old CP Princesses I believe that it is okay to post this on the thread you have created here.
Also by Robert Turner, check out Those Beautiful Coastal Liners. It feature lots of superb photos, including several of the P Kathleen. Some say that the Kathleen, and her sister, the original P Marguerite, were the finest passenger vessels to ever have operated on the North American west coast.
I was talking to my neighbour a while ago, and I found out that he was an assistant engineer on the Kathleen in her final days. He was on her when she sank, and he showed me the only memento he saved from her: the bailer from the lifeboat he used to ferry passengers to shore. I will get a pic next time I see him.
Anyway, in talking to him he mentioned the physical condition that the engine room was kept in while the ship was in service. Apparently, it was absolutely immaculate. All brass surfaces shone at all times, the deck plate was repainted and scrubbed at least once per month, and the pipes and lines that ran in the ceiling were all copper and brass, and these were also polished.
Unfortunately, the one thing he didn't take at that time was photos. So, I was wondering if there was anybody hanging around this forum who might have a photo or two of the interior and machinery spaces of the Princess Kathleen. Actually, I would like to see any photos anybody might have of her.
If anyone has slides or anything like that, I would be glad to sort through them or do whatever it takes to see them. I would even be willing to purchase them if that's what it takes. I should make it clear that I am only interested in them for personal use, I'm not looking to make a book or anything.
So, if anybody can help me, I would greatly appreciate it.
Just found this thread after a buddy of mine told me about it. I live in Juneau and frequently dive on the shipwreck of the Princess Kathleen. It's my favorite wreck to dive, in fact I've been on it twice already this month!
The wreck is deteriorating rapidly but is still beautiful. There a places where the brass still shines!
I'm always interested in adding memorabilia to my small collection so if anyone has cool images or anything, I'd love to see them. There doesn't seem to be much available as far as pictures of the interior of the ship at all. Just what you see in the books.
I have a copy of the original drawings from when she was built but nothing from after the refit. Does anyone know where she was refit after the war?
She went through a very significant refit following the war, to allow more cars to be carried and other general improvements, since it was at the time when the coastal steamship services were going through major changes.
Chances are you are seeing differences from this refit. Unfortunately, the shipyards that did the work on the Kathleen no longer exist, so I don't know where you might find the old plans.
I am looking forward to seeing some video or pictures. Thanks.
Don't know whether anyone out there can help - but I'm trying to locate someone who knows of the whereabouts of the Princess Kathleen between January 1945 (when she was in the Med, sometimes in convoy, sometimes not) and when she returned to service on the triangle run after she was refitted after war work.
Reason: My dad left Malta on the ship to return home in 1945, and though I have some info, I don't have that much!
Can you help? Ian Monton - Penistone, South Yorkshire, England
from Pacific Princesses (Robert Turner, Sono Nis Press), p.169:
She sailed both alone and in convoy to Malta during the German siege of the island, carried invasion troops to Tobruk and to Italy, and witnessed the surrender of the Italian fleet in 1944. Later she was present at the surrender of the enemy forces on Rhodes and took onboard as a prisoner General Wager, the German commander. She also carried Jewish refugees to Palestine and transported thousands of Allied soldiers being reassigned as the war in the Mediterranean came to a close. Finally, in 1946 she was relinquished by the British admiralty and returned to the CPR.
Perhaps you already have that info, if not, hope that helps.
I've just found this forum and I'm hoping someone will be able to help me in my quest.
I recently found on Ancestry.com a person called Alfred P Perry who sailed as a fireman or wiper (what's a wiper by the way?) on the Princess Kathleen from 1932 - 1936 at least. He crops up on the Manifest list of Aliens which I think had to be shown when the crew visited each port and needed to go ashore. It says he was English and the birth year of 1914 is right but I need to find out if it is the right person or not by finding out his date of birth and where he lived in England. How can I find out the details of when he was signed on by the shipping line? Are there any records anywhere?
Also, on the web, an Alfred P Perry crops up in the Legion Magazine under the obituaries. On the date he died, he was aged 76 and so 1914 works out right, in the British Columbia area, which also fits, as the Princess Kathleen serviced that area on its runs. Could these both Alfred P Perrys be the same person? Perhaps when the war started he enlisted for Canada? How can I find out more?
It seems probable that he worked on the Kathleen during peace time prior to WW II, and then transferred to the Canadian Naval Reserve and served on one or both of the CP Princesses while they were in military use in the Mediterranean from 1941 to 46.
Last Edit: Nov 2, 2008 18:14:17 GMT -8 by WettCoast
Post by D'Elete BC in NJ on Nov 3, 2008 5:44:45 GMT -8
You might want to try the actual legion branch listed in the Last Post, and speak to the branch president. Looking at the Last Post, this is the contact information for the branch. www.rcl292.ca/mt.wilson/
I also found the following comment on one web page while looking for the military records database:
...The only problem with these modern records is that they are protected by the Access to Information and Privacy Act's. Full service record information can be obtained by the actual serviceman who served. If the serviceman had died and a researcher is trying to obtain information the TWENTY YEAR RULE comes into play. What this means is that the researcher must provide proof that the serviceman has been dead for a period of TWENTY YEARS. Proof must also be given as to the relationship of the person requesting and the dead serviceman. The Requestee must also prove thay they are a CANADIAN CITIZEN or LIVING IN CANADA. If any of these criteria are not met information supplied will be limited and some information from the records WILL NOT be supplied to the researcher.
This might mean you are limited to the types of information you can request, though it might not, I'm really not sure! This statement is echoed in the forum post, but it also states all restrictions are removed 20 years after the service person's death.
I had an Uncle who was Alfred Peter Perry. He was born in 1914 in Scarborough, Yorkshire and lived all of his childhood in East London. I am wondering if the seaman Alfred Peter who was on the Princess Kathleen was him. Unfortunately there are many people in England who have the Perry name.
In my Genealogy research I have not found a marriage or death for him. I am now assuming he left England for adventure abroad.
If there is anyone out there who may know something I would love to hear from them.
Thanks to everyone who has replied to my post - I have noted all the suggestions you have made and links you have given me. Seems like it is extremely difficult to get information (same as here in England) but I shall try.
My father was one of two off-duty Pan Am pilots who helped cut a trail from the ship to the highway. I still have the red fire axe my dad kept. My son is career US Navy, a ship-board Damage Control and HazMat Firefighter, and a Community Volunteer Firefighter, so the axe and story will remain in good hands. There was an article in the Fairbanks News-Miner about the incident. I have text copied two letters and include them for you. The Fairbanks News Miner may have an archived story.
I have no further info, but some pics may be stashed here. I would be pleased to hear more from others on thihs incident. -------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rescue: Princess Kathleen
Captain R.W. (Dick) Hawley, Pan American Airlines (deceased)
First Officer Jim McGinnis, Pan American Airlines
Both Seattle based pilots, both were veteran AK & YT bush pilots prior to employment with Pan Am. --------------------------------------------------
Jim McGinnis wrote to Dick on 12-13-1983 "Dear Dick
Here are your slides back. I had copies made and also negatives of the two of the ship and sent them to the (Fairbanks) News Miner. Haven't heard back yet from Sturgis so I don't know what he is going to do with the story.
Brings back a lot of memories of the early days, Dick. It'll never be the same, too many people, too many roads; the only time this summer we felt at all isolated was off the west coast of Baron of Island and even there we saw the occasional fishing boat. And if we thought there were a lot of hunters 20 years ago, look at them now!! and fisherman!! Good God what chances does a poor fish have now. I guess we've seen the best of it.
We'll stop by sometime, Dick, I promise Best of the holidays to you and Irene.
It was Sept 7, 1952. Jim McGinnis and myself had brought PAA Clipper 923 from Seattle the day before, weather was stinky. We left Juneau by car, about day light to see if it was good enough to get a few hours of salmon fishing at Tee Harbor, before departing for Seattle at 2:00 PM.
It had stopped raining but the wind was still blowing a gale. As we approached Lena Point , after running around at Tee Harbor, Jim spotted what appeared to be a boat ashore on Lena Point. After backing up and taking a better look, we thought we had best investigate.
We started out along the beach but had to take to the woods to cross some rocky headlands
…our surprise when we came upon the prow of the Princess Kathleen in the timber. Below the prow was a flat area where some of the ship's crew had assembled a hundred or more passengers and were attempting to get a good fire going, passengers were waiting under blankets
A small Coast Guard boat was loading people to transport them to Tee Harbor.
Someone (from the ship) came to where we were standing and asked us what island we were on. our reply was "island hell" this is the mainland, we just walked over from the highway about a mile away. He disappeared and returned soon with a ship's officer. He asked us if we could lead any people to the highway
We said "yes, give us 9 or 10 men with axes and ropes as there were some rocky draws and ravines". Jim and I started off blazing trees and cutting basalt with fire axes, alternating with each other. The seamen worked behind us until we had a passable path way.
Another chap showed up who lived in the area , and he re-directed us to some summer home. In fact he on ahead with word we were coming, so hot coffee was available as busses were called to take people to Juneau
……when we arrived at the cabins some people were……….coffee
We returned back along the trail helping to grub out roots and to help some of the passengers, some wearing mink coats over night gowns and shod only in house slippers and hastily gathered clothing and blankets
All in all, I think we led close to 300 people from the Princess Kathleen over that hastily swamped out trail. We had to leave shortly as we had a Pan Am flight to take out that afternoon.
(end of Dick Hawley letter)
--------------------------------------------------------------------- attached notes and references Sept 7 1952 3:15 AM Coral Cumm(?) photos…?
Disaster log of ships Jim Gibbs Superior Publishing Co.
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner 200 North Cushman Street Fairbanks, Alaska 99701 Reporter name - Sturgis Mailing address Fairbanks Daily News-Miner P.O. Box 70710 Fairbanks, Alaska 99707-0710 main phone number–(907) 456-6661.
58 years after she went down, the Princess Kathleen is in the news again. Not in a good way, unfortunately. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Old sunken ship spewing oil By RANDY BOSWELL, Canwest News ServiceFebruary 25, 2010
A storied Canadian steam-ship that offered luxury cruises for decades along the British Columbia coast, then served a crucial role during the Second World War transporting troops, supplies and Jewish refugees, is now adding an unfortunate chapter to its rich history: the polluting of a major Pacific Ocean inlet.
The Princess Kathleen, a Canadian Pacific cruise ship that sank in a storm off southeast Alaska nearly 60 years ago, has been identified as the source of a persistent oil slick in waters north of Juneau after U.S. Coast Guard officials dived to the wreck site last week.
All 400 passengers and crew were rescued when the 120-metre, 5,900-tonne vessel ran aground on Sept. 7, 1952. But an estimated 580,000 litres of fuel went down with the ship.
Recent reports of leaking oil above the Princess Kathleen's resting place in the Lynn Canal, North America's deepest fiord and part of the spectacular tourist route between Juneau and Skagway, prompted the underwater inspection.
"Based on the recent reports of a sheen from the Princess Kathleen and our concern for the environment, the coast guard felt diving on the vessel to determine its actual condition was necessary," Capt. Melissa Bert, commander of the agency's Juneau section, said in a statement.
"Any action we take with regard to this vessel will be done in conjunction with our state and local partners, and balance our concern for the environment and its historical significance."
The investigation, which involved an initial probe using a remotely operated submersible, is being paid for through the U.S. Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund, the coast guard stated.
The Princess Kathleen, which now rests on a slope in 25 to 50 metres of water, was built for Canadian Pacific at a Scottish shipyard in 1925. Along with her nearly identical sister ship the Princess Marguerite, Princess Kathleen became one of the company's showcase passenger vessels in the 1920s and 1930s, carrying tourists between Vancouver, Victoria and Seattle.
After its deployment as a troopship in the 1939-45 war, including numerous runs to the Allies' strategically important Mediterranean Ocean base in Malta, the Princess Kathleen was put back into service as a cruise ship on Canadian Pacific's Vancouver-to-Alaska route.
On its last summer voyage in 1952, the ship encountered rough water and became stranded on the rocky Alaskan coast. The passengers and crew were safely moved to shore in lifeboats, and the Princess Kathleen slipped beneath the waves about 10 hours later, with photographers documenting every moment of the ship's slow-motion demise.
The details provided by Randy Boswell re the sinking of the Kathleen, and its history with CP's BC Coast Service, do not exactly agree with Robert Turner's accounting of the history in his book The Pacific Princesses. Bad weather was apparently a factor in the sinking but it was not a storm that done her in.
The story does point to the long term issue of the fuel oil left aboard her, still apparently leaking to the surface almost 60 years after the sinking.
Might fuel oil leaking from the QotN still be in the news in 2056?