Ships hit by U-boats


British Steam merchant

Photo courtesy of State Library of New South Wales

Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage5,161 tons
Completed1919 - Irvine‚Äôs Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co Ltd, Middleton Shipyard, West Hartlepool 
OwnerBen Line Steamers (William Thomson & Co), Leith 
Date of attack8 Nov 1942Nationality:      British
FateDamaged by U-161 (Albrecht Achilles)
Position4° 19'N, 2° 44'W - Grid EV 7278
Complement59 (7 dead and 52 survivors).
RouteFreetown - Takoradi 
CargoMilitary stores 
History Laid down as War Crow for The Shipping Controller, completed in December 1919 as Badagry for British & African Steam Navigation Co Ltd (Elder Dempster & Co), Liverpool. 1920 transferred to Imperial Direct Line Ltd (Elder Dempster & Co), Liverpool. 1934 renamed Tower Bridge for Tower SS Co Ltd, London. 1935 renamed Benalder for Ben Line Steamers, Leith.

1947 sold to India and renamed Jaybrahma for New Dholera SS Co Ltd, Bombay. 1955 renamed Sigma Trader for Sigma Shipping Co Ltd (Mollers Ltd), Hong Kong. Broken up at Hong Kong in March 1958. 
Notes on event

At 23.47 hours on 8 Nov 1942, U-161 fired four bow torpedoes at convoy ST-40 about 60 miles southwest of Takoradi and heard hits after 4 minutes 30 seconds and 4 minutes 55 seconds. The first torpedo sank the West Humhaw and the second damaged the Benalder, which stopped and was then hit from a distance of about 5000 meters by a stern torpedo fired at 00.12 hours. The ship was towed into Takoradi the next day, unloaded and after temporary repairs continued to Capetown, where she was repaired and returned to service in August 1944.

On boardWe have details of 7 people who were on board

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