Ships hit by U-boats


British Troop transport

Photo Courtesy of Library of Contemporary History, Stuttgart

Type:Troop transport
Tonnage8,233 tons
Completed1919 - Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd, Walker-on-Tyne 
OwnerAlfred Holt & Co, Liverpool 
Date of attack1 Nov 1942Nationality:      British
FateSunk by U-178 (Hans Ibbeken)
Position29° 20'S, 32° 13'E - Grid KP 8611
Complement406 (26 dead and 380 survivors).
RouteMombasa (26 Oct) - Durban 
Cargo253 military including naval personnel and 287 bags of mail 
History Completed in October 1920 as French steam passenger ship Mendoza for Société Générale de Transports Maritimes à Vapeur SA, Marseilles. On 18 Jan 1941, the Vichy French ship was captured by HMS Asturias (F 71) (Capt H. Ardill, RN (retired)) 60 miles east of Montevideo and taken to Freetown, arriving on 1 February. Transferred to the Ministry of War Transport (MoWT) and used as troop transport. 
Notes on event

At 15.33 hours on 1 Nov 1942 the unescorted Mendoza (Master Basil T. Batho) was hit aft by one stern torpedo from U-178 and stopped about 70 miles east-northeast of The Bluff near Durban. The ship had been missed by two torpedoes at 15.00 hours. She caught fire and sank after being hit amidships by a G7a coup de grâce at 16.00 hours.

The master 19 crew members, three gunners and three passengers were lost. 127 crew members, three gunners and 250 passengers were picked up by the South African armed whaler HMSAS Nigel (T 40) and the American motor merchant Cape Alava and landed at Durban.

On boardWe have details of 60 people who were on board

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