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Postby aukepalmhof » Sun Oct 11, 2009 7:52 pm

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Built as a banana-carrier in 1921 by Newburgh Shipyard Inc., Newburg, New York for the Cuyamel Fruit Co., Honduras.
Launched under the name COMAYAGUA.
Tonnage 2.493 gross, 1.530 net, dim. 301 x 42.1 x 23.1ft.
One triple expansion steamengine, 492 nhp., speed 13.5 knots, one screw.
Passenger accommodation for 25 passengers, later reduced to 10.
Two decks, hold capacity for 25.000 stems of bananas.
December 1921 delivered to owners.
Did have two sisters the CHOLUTECA and OLANCHO.

After delivery used in the banana trade between ports in Honduras and Charleston, South Carolina.
After a merger between Cuyamel Fruit Co. and United Fruit (Great White Fleet) transferred to the Mayan SS Co.
Autumn 1933 modernized and overhauled at a yard of New Orleans.
1935 Under American flag and transferred to United Fruit. Thereafter idle for long times and laid up at New Orleans.
After outbreak of World War II acquired by the War Shipping Administration, managed by United Fruit en still used in the banana trade, armed with one 4 inch gun aft and two 30 mm caliber machine guns.

She was lost on a voyage from Puerto Barrios, Guatemala to Niquero, Cuba in ballast in position 19N 81 37W circa 14 mile west of Grand Cayman. At that time she had a crew of 42 men including 4 gunners. And was under command of Captain Peter J.Larsen.
She was torpedoed by the U-125 under command of Ulrich Folkers at 11.00 CWT on 14 May 1942. She was struck by two torpedoes, the first hit at 11.00 just forward of the midship, in the boiler room, and the second struck at 11.20 in it aftership, about 20 feet from the stern, which blew off the stern.
Six crewmembers were instantly killed, the junior engineer A.MacDougal was badly burned and died later in the hospital in Georgetown.
The crew abandoned the COMAYAGUA in boats and rafts, and when a US navy plane arrived at 11.45 which spotted the crew, he tried to locate the submarine, but without luck, he flew then to Georgetown on the Cayman Islands and dropped a note in the Commissioner’s garden, to inform him of the survivors.
The Commissioner sent the schooner CIMBOCO (on a recent 90c stamp of the Cayman islands) to pick up the survivors, and return them to Georgetown.

At the time of sinking her owner is given as Empresa Hondurian de Vapores, and she was crewed with American officers and gunners, while the crew was of Honduran nationality.

Cayman Islands 1995 25c sg806, scott705.

Source; Going Bananas by Mark H. Goldberg. Lloyds War Losses, the Second World War.
Dictionary at Disasters at Sea.
Posts: 6674
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 1:28 am


Postby D. v. Nieuwenhuijzen » Thu Sep 10, 2020 6:49 pm

comayagua f.jpg
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Engine built by Vulcan Iron Works, Beverley (Hull)
D. v. Nieuwenhuijzen
Posts: 843
Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2010 7:46 pm

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