Ships hit by U-boats


American Steam merchant

Photo courtesy of the Mariners Museum, Newport News VA

Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage7,460 tons
Completed1921 - Los Angeles Shipbuilding & Drydock Corp, San Pedro CA 
OwnerMatson Navigation Co, San Francisco CA 
HomeportSan Francisco 
Date of attack19 Feb 1942Nationality:      American
FateDamaged by U-161 (Albrecht Achilles)
Position10° 38'N, 60° 30'W - Grid ED 9889
Complement45 (0 dead and 45 survivors).
RouteBaltimore (2 Feb) - Port of Spain, Trinidad - Middle East 
Cargo7300 tons of lend-lease war material 
History Completed in October 1921 as West Prospect for US Shipping Board (USSB). 1927 renamed Golden Sun for Oceanic & Oriental Navigation Co, San Francisco CA. 1938 renamed Mokihana for Matson Navigation Co, San Francisco CA.

1948 sold to Greece and renamed Frixos for M.A. Embiricos, Andros. Broken up at Osaka in March 1954. 
Notes on event

At 05.32 hours on 19 Feb 1942, U-161 attacked the harbour of Port of Spain, Trinidad and torpedoed the Mokihana lying at anchor in the approaches, which was seen to sink so that only the bow was visible. The British Consul at anchor was also hit, caught fire and sank in shallow waters. However, both ships were salved.

The Mokihana (Master Charles Porta) lay two miles from the wharf in 40 feet of water with all anchor, cargo and port lights burning and silhouetted against the lights on shore. One torpedo struck on starboard side, just forward of the bridge. The explosion opened a hole of 35 feet by 45 feet in the hull and the ship sank to the bottom. There were no casualties among the eight officers, 28 crewmen and nine armed guards (the ship was armed with one 3in, four .50cal and two .30cal guns).

After temporary repairs, the Mokihana left Port of Spain on 2 May 1942, but the ship came in troubles due to unsatisfactory repairs three days later in 16°40N/65°12W and had to be towed to the Virgin Islands and then to San Juan, Puerto Rico by USS Partridge (AT 138) and the tug USS Mankato (YNT 8), arriving on 12 May. After more repairs, she arrived at Galveston, Texas on 15 June for permanent repairs and returned to service in September 1942.

On boardWe have details of 1 people who were on board

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