Ships hit by U-boats


Dutch Steam merchant

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Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage6,047 tons
Completed1922 - Blohm & Voss, Hamburg 
OwnerNV Stoomvaart Mij ´Nederland´, Amsterdam 
Date of attack9 Aug 1942Nationality:      Dutch
FateSunk by U-752 (Karl-Ernst Schroeter)
Position4° 45'N, 18° 00'W - Grid ET 7385
Complement85 (69 dead and 16 survivors).
RouteNew York (1 Jul) – Trinidad – Table Bay – Alexandria 
Cargo6000 tons of government stores, including locomotives, trucks, aircraft, coal and military supplies 
History Completed in May 1922 as German Cassel for Deutsch-Australische DG, Hamburg. 1927 transferred to Hamburg-Amerika Linie (Hapag), Hamburg. On 10 May 1940, seized by Netherlands in Sourabaya and renamed Mendanau
Notes on event

At 21.13 hours on 9 Aug 1942 the unescorted Mendanau (Master S. Jonker) was hit on the port side by two torpedoes from U-752 almost simultaneously in the engine room and the boiler room about 400 miles southwest of Freetown. The explosion destroyed the engines and killed all men on watch below. The ship immediately took on a heavy list, which prevented the launching of most lifeboats and sank within three minutes. Only the motorboat had been lowered by sixteen Europeans who were questioned by the Germans after the U-boat surfaced nearby. The chief engineer, the radio operator and a gunner were taken prisoner. The Germans had observed up to 70 Lascars swimming in the large field of debris, but only about 35 of them managed to rescue themselves on rafts that floated free. The men in the motorboat were apparently afraid that it will capsize when boarded by the Lascars so they told them that it could not carry more men and left, arriving on 15 August in Robertsport, Liberia. The survivors on the rafts were never seen again, only the empty rafts were later sighted a few times.

On boardWe have details of 71 people who were on board

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