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Photo Details
Photographer:Gordy [View profile]Title:ABOSSOAdded:Jan 07, 2016
Photo Category: Cruise Ships and Liners built before 1950


Type: Motor passenger ship
Tonnage 11,330 tons
Completed 1935 - Cammell Laird & Co Ltd, Birkenhead
Owner Elder Dempster Lines Ltd, Liverpool
Homeport Liverpool
Date of attack 29 Oct 1942 Nationality: British

Fate Sunk by U-575 (Günther Heydemann)
Position 48° 30'N, 28° 50'W - Grid BD 3761
Complement 393 (362 dead and 31 survivors).
Route Capetown (10 Oct) - Liverpool
Cargo 3000 tons of wool and bags of mail
History Completed in September 1935
Notes on event
At 22.13 hours on 29 Oct 1942, U-575 fired four torpedoes at the unescorted Abosso (Master Reginald William Tate) about 700 miles northwest of the Azores, but only one of them hit. At 22.28 hours, a coup de grāce struck the ship, causing her to sink at 23.05 hours. The master, 150 crew members, 18 gunners and 193 passengers were lost.
Twelve crew members, two gunners and 17 passengers were picked up on 2 November by HMS Bideford (L 43) (LtCdr W.J. Moore, RNR), which was escorting the convoy KMS-2 and landed at Londonderry.

Among the passengers was a Dutch submarine crew (34 men from the submarines HNMS K-IX, HNMS K-X and HNMS K-XII) on their way to England to man the Dutch submarine Haai (the former HMS Varne (P 66), still under construction). Their commander, LtCdr H.C.J. Coumou, protests after he learned that the speed of the ship was only 14.5 knots and that she will make the journey unescorted. His protests were disregarded.
Only four submariners (including LtCdr Coumou) survived the sinking and the Dutch Navy was unable to replace the crew. The submarine was handed over to the Norwegian Navy as HNoMS Ula (P 66) (which sank U-974 on 19 April 1944).


Photo Credits: The Trove Australia National Library
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Photo Comments (2)

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Gordy on Jan 08, 2016 02:53 (3 years ago)
TY Peter, war is fruitless especially, when you hear stories of what you posted. Even though it was a long time ago we still feel the pain and agony these men and their families and their loved ones had to go through.
PHa on Jan 07, 2016 21:08 (3 years ago)
Thanks, Gordy, for presenting this fine liner with bad fate. German submarine U-575 was a Type VIIC U-boat in service of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during World War II. She carried out ten patrols, sailing for 463 days and sinking eight ships totalling 36,010 gross register tons (GRT) and damaged three others of 29,777 GRT. She was a member of 18 separate wolfpacks and was sunk north of the Azores by Allied ships and aircraft on March 1944. U-575 was fitted with a Snorkel. On this journey she was used as weather-boat. U-575 left St. Nazaire for the last time on 29 February 1944. After sinking HMS Asphodel northwest of Cape Finisterre on 10 March, the boat was hunted for 18 hours by convoy escorts, but escaped. Her luck ran out on the 13th when she was sunk by the combined efforts of the Canadian frigate HMCS Prince Rupert, the American destroyers USS Hobson and USS Haverfield, a British Vickers Wellington of No. 172 Squadron RAF, two B-17 Flying Fortresses of 206 and 208 squadrons and a TBM Avenger from USS Bogue. Depth charges were used in the attack. 18 men died with U-575; there were 37 survivors. (Source: wikipedia).
Regards Peter
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