SS Mendanau

Steam Merchant Vessel
Built by Blohm & Voss, Hamburg.
Completed: 1922
Seized by The Netherlands - May, 1940
Owned by Stoomvaart Mij, Netherlands
Renamed Mendanau
Length: 449.5 ft.
Beam: 58.1 ft.
Service speed: 12 knots

6,047 tons



From 'Die Handelsflotten der Welt 1942'
The Mendanau sailed unescorted from New York on July 1, 1942 carrying a cargo of locomotives, trucks, aircraft and coal bound for Egypt via South Africa. At 21.13 hours on 9 August, 1942, the Mendanau was hit by two torpedoes from U-752 on the port side almost simultaneously. The ship immediately took on a heavy list, which prevented the lifeboats from being lowered. One torpedo had hit the engine room, while the other hit the boiler room, destroying the engines and killing all personnel below. When the ship sank, one motorboat surfaced by itself and was boarded by 16 white men while 35 Lascars managed to find rafts. Later U-752 took three men from the motorboat as prisoner.
On 15 August, the motorboat arrived in Robertsport, Liberia, but although the rafts were sighted a few times, there were no survivors on them. There were only 16 survivors from a complement of 85. U-752 reported the position of the sinking as grid reference ET (04.45N, 18W).