Matang

My parents travelled from Britain to Penang in 1934 on a vessel “Matang”.
What is the correct descriptor of this vessel? MV, SS ? ?
Thanks Emlyn

I have found one reference to the Straights Steamship Company vessel MATANG as TSS. The meaning of TSS can be either “twin screw steamship” or “turbine steam ship” or both. I could not find anything else about the ship or its builders so can’t give a good reference. If you can find some records from Straights Steamship from the 1960s you might be able to construct a fuller history of the ship. Try these links:

http://catalogue.nla.gov.au/Record/2657074

Scroll down on this link to find a photo of Matang.

http://www.merchantnavyofficers.com/straits2.html

The boat had an interesting history. When the Japanese threatened Singapore, the ship was one of several that escaped across the Indian Ocean to India and Africa. Matang was stationed in West Africa and carried troops and war equipment up the rivers.

The ship was finally sent to the breakers in 1963 so the old girl had a long and interesting life.

Good luck finding more information.

[QUOTE=Steamer;19889]I have found one reference to the Straights Steamship Company vessel MATANG as TSS. The meaning of TSS can be either “twin screw steamship” or “turbine steam ship” or both. I could not find anything else about the ship or its builders so can’t give a good reference. If you can find some records from Straights Steamship from the 1960s you might be able to construct a fuller history of the ship. Try these links:

http://catalogue.nla.gov.au/Record/2657074

Scroll down on this link to find a photo of Matang.

http://www.merchantnavyofficers.com/straits2.html

The boat had an interesting history. When the Japanese threatened Singapore, the ship was one of several that escaped across the Indian Ocean to India and Africa. Matang was stationed in West Africa and carried troops and war equipment up the rivers.

The ship was finally sent to the breakers in 1963 so the old girl had a long and interesting life.

Good luck finding more information.[/QUOTE]
Sorry I have taken so long to reply. Thankyou for your help. Emlyn

[QUOTE=Emlyn;19876]My parents travelled from Britain to Penang in 1934 on a vessel “Matang”.
What is the correct descriptor of this vessel? MV, SS ? ?
Thanks Emlyn[/QUOTE]

Hi - Emlyn: My partner’s Grandfather Captain W. Phillips was Straits Steamship Company Captain in that era and certainly skippered the Matang late 30’s to 40’s up to the Japanese invasion.
We have just returned from Singapore hoping to piece together some more information. He had a house in Singapore and another in Penang. He took the Matang with other Straits vessels to Freetown on the West Coast of Africa as the Japanese arrived. In Freetown she was able to undertake River duties as she had a ‘light draft’ and this is mentioned with Captain Phillips in K.G.Tregonning’s Home Port Singapore togerther with many references to the ship.

Any information you have would be most gratefully received. Your parants names and why they were travelling, any information on the voyage - ports on route and where they stayed in Penang etc etc. would be fantastic.

Many thanks,

David

My Grandfather, Edwin Henry Powell, was, as far as I know, the Master on SS Matang in 1936. I have a picture of him on the bridge if it is of any interest to you.

Best wishes,
Sue.