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Post by shipstamps » Sat Sep 27, 2008 9:52 pm

Built as a cargo-passenger vessel under yard No 1006 by Cammell Laird, Birkenhead for the Elder Dempster Lines, Liverpool.
19 June 1935 launched under the name ABOSSO.
Tonnage 11.330 grt, 6.745 nrt, dim. 140.44 x 19.86 x 9.6m.
Powered by two 8-cyl 2S.SA oil engine, manufactured by J.G Kincaid, Greenock, 1.660 nhp., twin screws, speed 15 knots.
Passenger accommodation for 250 first, 74 second and 32 third class, crew 170.
08 September 1935 completed.

At that time was she the largest ship of the company, and built for the liner service from Liverpool to Apapa (Lagos), Nigeria.
27 June 1939 got in collision with the YEWFROST off Ushant.

08 October 1942 she sailed from Cape Town unescorted, with on board 3000 ton wool or cotton and 400 bags of mail, under command of Captain R.W. Tait and a crew of 161, 18 gunners and 3 navy W/T.
Also were on board 189 passengers under which 34 Dutch navy men from decommissioned Dutch submarines, and underway from Fremantle to England to man a new submarine under construction in the U.K. for the Dutch Government.

29 October 1942 the ABOSSO was spotted by the German U- 575 under command of Günther Heydemann in a position 48 30N 28 50W, about 700 miles N.W. of the Azores.
At 19.42 in darkness the U-boat fired four torpedoes of which one hit the portside at 19.50 and exploded, at that time a heavy sea was running. The ship got a list to port of about 30 degree, and engines stopped. Orders were given to abandon the ship, five lifeboats got away before a second torpedo of a second salvo from the U-boat hit the vessel about 25 minutes later. The ABOSSO sank a few minutes later.
During the night and the next day wind increased to force 8.

After two nights in the lifeboat the occupants of lifeboat No 5 were spotted early in the morning by HMS BIDEFORD, she was part of Operation Torch (invasion of North Africa).
Only 31 men surveyed from this lifeboat and were landed in Gibraltar, of the four other lifeboats nothing has been found.

Source: Lloyds War Losses, the Second World War. Elder Dempster Lines by Haws. Some web-sites.

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