SS Leikanger

Steam Freighter
Built by Lithgows Ltd
Completed: 1923
Owned by A/S Westfal-Larsen
Length:374 ft
Beam: 52.2 ft
Service Speed: 10 knots
4,003 tons.

Nationality: Norwegian

From the collection of Per Erik Johnsen, Oslo.

SS Leikanger (Master: Eugen de Lange Hansen) had sailed from Beirut to Capetown and was continuing to Baltimore via Trinidad with a cargo of 1000 tons of chrome ore. On 27 July, 1942, she was hit by two torpedoes from U-752 which caused the vessel to break in two and to sink immediately. The master, 16 crew members and one British gunner were lost. Twelve crew members and one British gunner managed to get on two rafts which floated nearby. They found a crate containing signal flags and used them as protection against the sun during the day and for warmth during the night. The survivors were picked up on 31 July, 1942, by the SS Harry Luckenbach (see footnote below) and landed in Capetown on 12 August. U-752 reported the position of the sinking as grid reference ET7374 (04N,18W).


SS Harry Luckenbach


An American steam vessel of 6,366 tons, built in 1919 and owned by the Luckenbach Steamship Co, New York. On 17 Mar, 1943, while sailing in Convoy HX-229 ( New York - UK) in heavy seas, she was struck by two torpedoes from U-91 and sank within three minutes. 45 crew members and 26 gunners took to three lifeboats. The lifeboats were sighted and reported by the destroyers HMS Beverley (H 64), HMS Volunteer (I 71). Later, the corvette HMS Pennywort (K 111) sighted them but could not rescue them since she already had 108 survivors on board. Eventually, the corvette HMS Anemone (K 48) was ordered to search but it could not find them. None of the men from the Harry Luckenbach were ever seen or heard from again. The position of the sinking was given as grid reference BD 1353 (50.38N, 34.46W).

Harry Luckenbach