SS Honoluluan

Steam Merchant Vessel
Built by Los Angeles Shipbuilding & Dry-dock
Completed: 1921
Owned by American-Hawaiian SS Co.
Length: 360.9 ft.
Beam: 54.1 ft.
Service speed: 11.5 knots
7,493 tons

Nationality: American



The unarmed Honoluluan (Master Charles Nathaniel Bamfort) was scheduled to travel unescorted from Bombay to Baltimore via Capetown and Trinidad with a cargo of 8,350 tons of manganese ore and jute. At 20.12 hours on 22 July, 1942, she was torpedoed by U-582 about 400 miles south of the Cape Verde Islands, at grid reference ES 3488 (08.41N, 22.12W), while proceeding on a non-evasive course at 9.6 knots. One torpedo struck the starboard side at the #5 hatch, destroying a lifeboat, opening a huge hole in the hull and jamming the steam whistle. Most of the eleven officer and 28 crewmen abandoned ship in three lifeboats. The master, the first mate and the radio operator stayed behind until a second torpedo struck at 20.40 hours between the #2 and #3 hatch, causing the ship to sink within minutes. These men jumped into the water and were picked up by one of the boats. Two hours later the ship sank with the whistle still blowing.
The survivors were questioned by the U-boat and given the course to the Cape Verde Islands and two boxes of cigarettes before leaving. All 39 men were picked up by the vessel Winchester Castle during a trooping voyage and landed in New York on 7 August.