The SS Ting Sang – Port Glasgow built, first owner, Indo-China Steam Navigation Co. Ltd.

Our article,BAAG Naval Section Intelligence Summary, October 1942, ship repair, maintenance and movements,linked below, mentions that the “Tin Shan formerly Jardines vessel is also undergoing repairs [in Shamshuipo – but these two words are almost illegible] Dock. Source 68 [word and number handwritten]

Stephen Davies: The ship is actually the Ting Sang or, in most databases, Tingsang. Jardines usually had the separate words, but almost all databases like Lloyd’s Register perversely joined them up!


ICSNCo’s SS Tingsang in Chefoo Harbour Courtesy: and Charlotte Bleasdale

It was an interesting ship with a jolly chequered career:
Name TINGSANG Official number 146517FlagIMO GBR
Year built 1922 Date launched 19/12/1921 Date completed 02/1922
Vessel type Cargo General Vessel description Steel Screw Steamer
Builder Dunlop, Bremner & Co Ltd, Port Glasgow Yard  Inch Yard Yard no 346
Tonnage 2256 grt / 1232 nrt  Length 285.0 ft Breadth 42.6 ft Depth 20.0 ft  Draft
Engine builder Dunlop, Bremner & Co Ltd, Port Glasgow
Engine detail 1-screw. T3Cyl. (21, 34 & 57 – 42)in. 180lb. 298nhp. 14knots.First owner Indo-China Steam Navigation Co. Ltd., London / Hong Kong  First port of register London
The Ting Sang  first arrived in HK from acceptance, coming from Glasgow via Tourane (Danang) on April 21st 1922, going to mooring C29 and immediately afterwards going into regular service on the China coast HK-Shanghai, departing on 30th April. She was skippered by Capt C. Campbell from acceptance and for the next few years.
Perhaps the most baffling bit of data about her is in the National Archives. There – BT 389/30/15 – a card which tracks the Tingsang’s movements from 1940 to 1945 (and puzzlingly seems to have a complete blank from 1940 until she is in Trincomalee in August 1945!) suggests that at some point pre-war she had become the Tien Hsiang, which can’t be correct. What exactly the ship got up to during the war I have no idea. My hunch is that she spent it in the Indian Ocean/Pacific theatre and there is evidence ( that she was on regular convoy duty – this is a record of Convoy JS2X from Rangoon to Colombo in Feb 1942.
She was back in Indo-China Steam Navigation Co. Ltd employ in 1947, see The Straits Times, 1 March 1947, Page 7 where she is leaving Singapore for Hong Kong and Kobe.

SS Tingsang undated, no location provided Courtesy:

Her subsequent years 1947-54 are quite well tracked, her shift to the Panamanian register once she became the Oriental Phoenix being recorded in the SCMP on Jan 21st 1950.
Other names
Subsequent owners and registration history
1947 Tientsin Nav Co. Ltd. – Chinese Maritime Trust Ltd., Tientsin
1950 Pacific Union Marine Corp., Panama – C. Y. Tung
1954 P. C. Ray & Co. (India) Ltd., Calcutta
1958 Bengal Line Ltd., Calcutta
Vessel history
09/1965 sank at Calcutta while under repair, refloated 08/11/1972, broken up in 1973.

I have a hunch that in Beancaker to Boxship there may be a picture of the ship as the Oriental Phoenix in the Tung Group story, even if it isn’t in the Jardine section.
  1. Ivon A Donnelly – Website devoted to his life, work and maritime artistic accomplishments 
Related Indhhk articles:
  1. BAAG Naval Section Intelligence Summary, October 1942, ship repair, maintenance and movements

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