Pretoria Castle (II)

Union-Castle's replacement for the lost Windsor Castle, Pretoria Castle was built by Harland & Wolff at Belfast. She was launched by radio from Irene, Transvaal, by Mrs. Jan Smuts in August 1947 and entered Union-Castle's Southampton-Durban mail service in July 1948.

In June 1953, Pretoria Castle carried Government guests at the Coronation Review held at Spithead. Later, in 1962, a refitting resulted in the fore mast being reduced to funnel height, the main mast being removed, and a new mast fitted at the bridge.

In 1966, the ship was sold to the South African Marine Corp. and renamed Oranje. She remained on her old route, under Union-Castle management, and was staffed by Union-Castle officers and crew, but wore Safmarine livery. In 1969, her registry was changed from London to Cape Town.

Oranje was broken up at Kaohsiung in 1975.

Sources: Haws' Merchant Fleets; Kludas' Great Passenger Ships of the World; Mallett's The Union-Castle Line.