Ships hit by U-boats


Norwegian Steam merchant

Songa under her former name Heinrich Podeus. Photo courtesy of Universiteit Leiden

Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage2,589 tons
Completed1921 - NV Scheepswerf voorheen de Weduwe Th.A. Van Duivendijk, Papendrecht 
OwnerD/S A/S Songa (Klaus Wiese Hansen), Bergen 
Date of attack22 Jan 1940Nationality:      Norwegian
FateSunk by U-25 (Viktor Schütze)
Position49° 45'N, 12° 35'W - Grid BE 3643
Complement24 (0 dead and 24 survivors).
RoutePhiladelphia - New York - Rotterdam - Antwerp 
CargoGeneral cargo, inlcuding empty barrels, sponges, motor tyres, copper, beans, coffee, cotton and tin 
History Completed in March 1922 as Dutch Witte Zee for NV Willem van Driel’s Stoomboot- & Transportondernemingen, Rotterdam. 1928 sold to Germany and renamed Heinrich Podeus for Glückauf Kohlenhandels GmbH (Heinrich Podeus), Rostock. On 26 November 1928 the ship stranded on the coast between Noordwijk and Zandvoort during a severe storm and remained beached until being salvaged after eight months. In July 1934 sold to Behnke & Sieg, Danzig and renamed Ada. In May 1938 registered in Panama for American & West Indian Shipping Corp (Otto Behnke), South Orange NJ. In December 1939 sold to Norway and renamed Songa for D/S A/S Songa (Klaus Wiese Hansen), Bergen. 
Notes on event

At 11.38 hours on 22 January 1940 the unescorted and neutral Songa (Master Otto Lie) was stopped by U-25 with four rounds across her bow in good weather about 220 miles west of Scilly Isles. Schütze ordered the crew to abandon ship in the two lifeboats after it became clear that she was carrying contraband on her first voyage for the new Norwegian owner, being routed through the English Channel and therefore obliged to stop off Deal for contraband control. At 13.26 hours, the U-boat fired one G7a torpedo from a stern torpedo tube as coup de grâce, which struck on port side amidships and caused the ship to sink within three minutes after breaking in two. The Germans provided each lifeboat with a bottle of rum and told them to steer an easterly course where they could expect to be picked up when reaching the shipping lanes. The lifeboat of the master and ten men was equipped with a motor and took the second boat in charge of the chief officer with 13 occupants in tow. However, they were forced to heave to by a strong gale after 24 hours and lost contact to each other. 13 survivors were picked up by the British trawler Lodden on 26 January and landed at Kinsale the next day. The boat in charge of the master had sighted the Fastnet Lighthouse in the evening of 26 January, but had a further night to hove to before making landfall near Rock Island Lighthouse at the entrance to the inlet of Crookhaven, from where they were taken to Goleen, Co. Cork. All survivors from Songa were reunited in Cork on 28 January.

On boardWe have details of 7 people who were on board

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