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History of the Atlantic Cable & Undersea Communications
from the first submarine cable of 1850 to the worldwide fiber optic network

Cableship Stamps - D to G

Thanks to Bill Glover for providing the stamp images and text for this page.

All material on this page is copyright © 2005 Bill Glover except as noted

Dacia Jamaica 3c 1970.JPG (34776 bytes)



Dacia Jamaica 10c 1970.JPG (38456 bytes)



Dacia St Vincent 70c 1997.JPG (28991 bytes)


Jamaica 1970 3c &10c
St Vincent <1997 <70c

Built 1867,  J. Laing & Company, Sunderland

Length 283.00 ft  Breadth 34.7 ft   Depth 17.9 ft   Gross tonnage 1856.

Purchased from Norwood & Co in 1870 by Charles Tilston Bright and converted for use as a cable ship. This included cutting the ship in two and inserting a 40 foot section. Bright then sold her to the India Rubber, Gutta Percha & Telegraph Works Company. Remained in service as a cable ship until 1915 when torpedoed off Funchal while diverting a German cable, into Brest, for the French


1870    Batabano - Cienfuegos - Santiago da Cuba (Cuba) - Kingston
1871    San Juan, Puerto Rica - St Thomas - St Kitts - Antigua - Guadeloupe -     Dominica - Martinique - St Lucia - St Vincent - Barbados - Grenada -     Trinidad - British Guiana
    Marseilles - Algiers
1872    Kingston - San Juan
    England - Spain
1873    Kingston - Colon, Panama
1874    France - Spain
1875    Chile - Peru
1879    Marseilles - Algiers
1880    Marseilles - Algiers
1881    Galveston - Vera Cruz
1882    Galveston, Texas - Coatzacoalcos - Vera Cruz, Mexico
1883    Dakar - Tenerife, Canaries
    Cadiz, Spain - Las Palmas, Canaries
    Confital - Regla, Canaries
    Garachio - Santa Cruz la Palma, Canaries
1885    Bathurst - St Jago - Cape St Vincent - St Louis - Dakar
    Bathurst - Boloma - Bissau - Konakry - Freetown - Bassam - Accra - Cotonou -     St Thomas - Principe - Libreville - Luanda
1915    Diverted German South America cable to Brest

Denison Pender St Helena 5p 1995.JPG (33946 bytes)


St Helena    1995   5p

Built 1920, Fairfield Ship Building and Engineering Co., Glasgow

Length 269.2 ft Breadth 38.1 ft Depth 23.8 ft Gross tonnage 1984

Built for the Eastern Telegraph Company as a repair ship and fitted out by the Telegraph Construction and Maintenance Company and based at Aden. Transferred in 1929 to Imperial and International Communications Ltd. During WW2 she was crewed by men from St Helena and spent most of the war in the Atlantic. After the war she returned to Aden and later transferred to the West Indies where she remained until withdrawn from service in 1963 and scrapped.

Dominia Liberia 25c 1976.JPG (54525 bytes)


Liberia         1983 25c

Built 1926, Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd

Length 488.9 ft Breadth 59.0 ft Depth 37.4 ft Gross tonnage 9273

Built for the Telegraph Construction & Maintenance Company specifically to lay the loaded cable from Canada to Fanning Island for the Pacific Cable Board. On the merger with Siemens Bros in 1935 only one cable ship was needed so DOMINIA was sold to the Russian government in 1937and renamed NICKOLAI EJOV.


1926    Bamfield, British Colombia - Fanning Island
1929    Algericas - Ceuta
    Tenerife - Gran Canaria
    Vigo - Carcavelos
1930    Willemstad - La Guayra
    Willemstad - Aruba
    Aruba - Maracaibo
    Maracaibo - Barraquilla
    Belgium - Portugal


Felix Dzerzhinsky-CG0743.jpg (12913 bytes)

DOMINIA as the FELIX DZERZHINSKY, tied up in San Francisco Harbor

Marty Bollinger has written a book on Stalin's Slave Ships and adds this interesting note on what happened to Dominia after she was sold to the Russian Government.  If you have any further information on this ship, please email Marty directly.

The Dominia was sold to the Soviet Union as you report, with the handover taking place in Amsterdam on 1 January 1937. But the story gets more interesting.

The USSR was represented personally at the handover by Eduard Berzin, the Soviet authority who had arranged its purchase. Berzin was not just any Soviet manager -- he was the founder and director of the powerful Dal'stroi organization, responsible for the operation of the infamous Kolyma Gulag system in eastern Siberia, in some of the coldest and remote parts of the world. Ultimately a million or more prisoners served in these slave labor camps and hundreds of thousands died.

The Dominia was purchased to serve as the flagship of a specialized fleet of prisoner transports, taking slave laborers from Vladivostok to Magadan. The ship was initially named Nikolai Yezhov, after the head of the NKVD (KGB). Yezhov was promptly arrested and shot, so the ship was renamed after a already-dead leader of the NKVD, Felix Dzerzhinsky.

The Felix Dzerzhinsky served in the Dal'stroi Gulag fleet for several decades and likely took a hundred thousand or more prisoners to the slave labor camps. During World War II it was deployed on Lend Lease duties across the Pacific and entered U.S. port numerous times. (I have photos of the ship at sea off the Oregon coast and in San Francisco harbor in 1942 and 1944. It was extensively upgraded and overhauled in the U.S. during the war.)

The Felix Dzerzhinsky was returned to Gulag service after the war and is one of the ships mentioned in recent joint Russia/US investigations into America POW/MIAs: there are witnesses who claim the Felix Dzerzhinsky took U.S. military personal -- imprisoned by the Soviets -- into the Gulag camps in Kolyma. The ship is also confirmed to have picked up ex Russian POWs from Germany from the US and then promptly deposited them in the labor camps. The U.S. authorities had believed the Soviets authorities were going to repatriate their freed POWs.

The final disposition of the ship is unclear, but it was removed from the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping in 1978. It may have been scrapped as early as 1968.

Text and image in this section copyright © 2006 Marty Bollinger

Earp FID 1954.JPG (35355 bytes)


Falkland Islands Deps    1954     1d

Built 1919 in Norway

Length 150.00 ft Breadth ? Depth ? Gross tonnage 350

Built originally as a fishing boat named FANEFJORD. Used for fishing and sealing. Purchased by Sir Hubert Wilkins for Lincoln Ellsworth who renamed her WYATT EARP. Used by him for Antarctic exploration. Sold to the Australian government and renamed WONGALA. Wrecked about 150 miles north of Brisbane on 25 January 1959


194?    Defence cables around Darwin during WW2

Faraday (2) Barbados 45c 1994.JPG (33831 bytes)


Barbados    1994     45c

Built 1923, Palmers Ship Building Company Limited, Newcastle on Tyne

Length 394.3 ft Breadth 48.3 ft Depth 34.6 ft Gross tonnage 5533

Owned by Siemens Brothers and retained by them when they joined with the Telegraph Construction and Maintenance Company to form Submarine Cables Ltd. The ship then being chartered to the new company. At the onset of WW2 in 1939 Faraday was laid up at Falmouth until December when she was chartered by the Admiralty to recover 265 nm of German cable lying between the Varne Bank and Ushant. It was successfully recovered and unloaded at Greenwich for reconditioning. The idea was to use the cable to link the UK to Narvik where British troops had landed but the subsequent evacuation stopped this. With nothing to do the ship was moved to the River Dart and laid up. Shortly after this move she was requisitioned by the Admiralty and renamed HMS Faraday the idea being to use her as a training ship. Once again she was chartered for a cable expedition and the cable was brought to her by two small coasters. Leaving Falmouth on the 25 March 1941 for Milford Haven in convoy with five other ships which became scattered because of poor visibility, Faraday came under attack at about 7.45 pm from a Heinkel 111 which dropped two bombs and strafed the ship with machine gun fire killing eight of the crew and injuring twenty five. The bombs exploded in the oil bunkers causing a serious fire and the crew abandoned ship, which finally sank off St Anne's Head. The Heinkel was shot down by Faraday's gunners.


1923    UK - USA New York - Canso section
1924    Barbados - Demerara
    Barbados - Trinidad
    Barbados - Turks Island
    Aldeburgh - Domburg 1 (Telephone cable)
    Cape St Vincent - Fernando Noronha (Brazil)
1926    Pacific Cable Fanning Island - Fiji section
    Balboa - Santa Elena
    Dumpton Gap - La Panne 1 (Telephone cable)
1929    Ballyhornan - Isle of Man 1
    Ballyhornan - Isle of Man 2
    Blackpool - Port Greenhaugh
1930    Dumpton Gap - La Panne 2 (Telephone cable)
1932    St Margarets Bay - La Panne 5 (Telephone cable)
1935    Australia - Tasmania (Telephone cable)
1937    UK - Holland (Two telephone cables)
    UK - Ireland (Two telephone cables)
    Aber Geirch - Howth (Two telephone cables)
    Aldeburgh - Domburg 4 & 5 (Telephone cables)
    Port Kale - Donaghadee 4 & 5 (Telephone cables)
    Aber Geirch - Howth 2
1938    UK - Guernsey - Jersey (Telephone cable)
    Jersey - Pirou 2 (Telephone cable)
    Aber Geirch - Howth 3
    Tunis - Beirut
    Nabeul - Beirut

Goliath Rwanda 1f 1977.JPG (33050 bytes)


Rwanda    1977     1f

Built ?

Length ? Breadth ? Depth ? Gross tonnage ?

First ever commercial cable ship. Laid the first Cross Channel cable in 1850 for the Submarine Telegraph Company.

The ship's name is given as Goliah in some accounts. See the main page on Goliath for further information.


1850   Dover - Cap Gris Nez

See Bill Glover's article on Goliath's work for the Submarine Telegraph Company

Flexservice 3 IOM 13p 1988.JPG (56217 bytes)


Isle of Man    1988     13p    381-2    nk     367-8    nk

Built 1982, Fosen Mek. Versted, Norway

Length 103.1m Breadth 19.4m Depth 6.6m Gross tonnage 5662

Owned by Northern Contractors International Ltd and operated by Cable & Wireless as a cable layer. Underwent a major refit in 1992 which included lengthening her by 13m. Sold to Sino British Submarine Systems in 1995 and renamed FU LAI. Based at Shanghai for cable maintenance in the area. Operated by Global Marine Ltd.


1987    UK - Isle of Man
    UK - Holland 12
1992    TAT 11
1995    China - Korea

Great Eastern Br Virgin Is $1 1986.JPG (33586 bytes)

Great Eastern Canada 36c 1987.JPG (29171 bytes)

Great Eastern Congo R 20f 1976.JPG (61034 bytes)

Great Eastern Congo R 60f 1976.JPG (60133 bytes)

Great Eastern Monaco 2f 1955.JPG (49920 bytes)

Great Eastern Monaco 95c 1965.JPG (47018 bytes)


Bhutan             1989     3n
British Virgin Islands    1986    $1, $1.50
Canada            1987     36c
Congo Republic    1976    20f, 60f
Great Britain        1987    22p
Monaco        1955    2f
Monaco        1965    95c
Portugal         1970    1-2e50

Built 1853, John Scott Russell, Milwall (London)

Length 697.6 ft Breadth 82.8 ft Depth 63.0 ft Gross tonnage 18914

Built for the Australian run but never used in that capacity. Sailed the Atlantic as a passenger ship but was not successful. Purchased by Daniel Gooch in 1864 and offered to the Atlantic Telegraph Company to lay their cable. Ended her days as an advertising hoarding for Lewis's department store. Breaking up began on 1 January 1889 and it took two years to finish the task.


1865     Ireland - Newfoundland (Failed, recovered and completed in 1866)
1866    Ireland - Newfoundland
1869    France - USA
1870    India - Aden (Part of Indo European cable)
1873    Ireland - USA
1874    Ireland - USA

The two Portuguese stamps depict Great Eastern laying the Portugal - England section of the Indo European cable. CS HIBERNIA laid this section.

Great Eastern GB 22p 1987.JPG (39909 bytes)

Great Eastern Portugal 1e 1970.JPG (32094 bytes)

Great Eastern Portugal 2e50 1970.JPG (27079 bytes)

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Last revised: 12 March, 2013

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