Belgian Steam merchant
|Completed||1907 - Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd, Wallsend, Sunderland|
|Owner||Compagnie Maritime Belge (Lloyd Royal) SA, Antwerp|
|Date of attack||22 Jan 1942||Nationality: Belgian|
|Fate||Sunk by U-135 (Friedrich-Hermann Praetorius)|
|Position||45° 00'N, 41° 00'W - Grid BC 9159|
|Complement||79 (65 dead and 14 survivors).|
|Route||Liverpool (12 Jan) - St. John, New Brunswick|
|Cargo||500 tons of potash as ballast|
|History||Completed in February 1907 as British steam passenger ship Arawa for Shaw, Savill & Albion Co Ltd, Southampton. 1914 requisitioned as troopship by the Admiralty and returned to the owner in 1921. 1928 sold to Germany and renamed Königstein for Red Star Linie GmbH (Arnold Bernstein), Hamburg. 1939 bought by Van Heyghen Frères, Gent for scrap, but then purchased by Cie Maritime Belge SA and renamed Gandia. |
|Notes on event|
At 22.21 hours on 22 January 1942 the unescorted Gandia (Master Maurice Potié), dispersed from the storm scattered convoy ON-56 on 16 January, was hit at the stern by one of two torpedoes from U-135 and sank by the stern within 10 minutes about 420 miles east of Cape Race. The master, 69 crew members and nine gunners tried to abandon ship in four lifeboats, but two of them were destroyed by rough seas while the remaining boats were only partially filled. Some of the men swimming in the water were picked up by the boats, including the master, but 30 men were lost in the sinking. One lifeboat with 21 occupants was in charge of the second officer after the master died of exposure and only eight crew members and two gunners were still alive when USS Bernadou (DD 153) (LtCdr R.E. Braddy, USN) rescued them on 5 February and took the survivors to Reykjavik. The other lifeboat in charge of the chief officer had been launched with 21 occupants and picked up seven others from the water after the sinking, but most of them died of exposure before the last four men were rescued by the Portuguese motor trawler João Corte Real in position 46°30N, 46°56W on 17 February and landed at Oporto on 26 February.
|On board||We have details of 79 people who were on board.|
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