M V Abosso

tons 11,330
type Motor Freighter
nationality BR
built 1935 - Cammel Laird & Co Ltd, Birkenhead
company Elder Dempster Lines Ltd, Liverpool
voyage on government service from Cape Town (9 Oct) to Liverpool
cargo 207 passengers, 3000 tons of wool and 400 bags of mail
master Capt. Reginald William Tate
casualties 340 lost from a complement of 393
attacker U 575
date 29.10.1942
time 2213
fate torpedoed
square reported BD3761
position 48.30N/28.50W
Notes Technical
passenger cargo vessel - motor - 2 screws
11,330 GRT - 7,820 DWT
460'8" x 65'2" x 26'
Abosso had accommodation for 251 first class, 74 second class and 332 third class passengers - launched on 19 June 1935 - completed 8 September 1935 - commenced maiden voyage on 16 October 1935 under Capt. J.C. Shooter. Collided on 27 June 1939 with the British coaster YEWFOREST in dense fog, 22 miles off Ushant. On 24 May 1941 she sustained slight damage when attacked by a Focke Wulf Condor.

 


Complement of the Abosso - this is by kind permission of various researchers and submitted by Lucas Troia
  29 Oct, 1942 at 22.13 CET, U-575 fired four torpedoes at the unescorted ABOSSO, but only one of them hit. At 22:28 a second torpedo hit the ship and she sank at 23:05 CET. On 2nd November survivors were rescued by the sloop HMS BIDEFORD. Among the passengers was also a Dutch submarine crew (34 men from the submarines K-IX, K-X and K-XII), which was on the way to England to man the Dutch submarine Haai (ex HMS Varne (P-66), under construction). Their commander Lt-Cdr H.C.J. Coumou protested 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 Lt-Cdr Coumou) survived the sinking and the Dutch Navy was unable to replace the crew. The submarine was handed over to the Norwegian Navy and was renamed ULA (which sank U-974 on 19 Apr, 1944). The Master, 148 crew, 18 gunners and 173 passengers were lost; 34 crew, 2 gunners and 17 passengers were rescued by the sloop HMS BIDEFORD (L.43) (Lt-Cdr W.J. Moore) and landed at Londonderry.


Mr Tom Millar is enquiring about his father who was on of the lucky ones rescued from the MV Abosso in 1942- here are some pictures and further details. Tom wrote:
Since my request on information about MV Abosso I have found out although he sailed on the "Abosso" he transferred to MV Sangara, another Elders ship, and it was on this ship when it was torpedoed.

Officers of the ship M V Abosso - My late father, Thomas Millar, was Chief Engineer on M V Dixcove and M V Abosso, that was torpedoed off West Africa in the 2nd World War unfortunately his discharge book went down with the vessel. His seaman No was 941854. My father is second on the left, middle row (seated) - Tom Millar

The R.O.'s on the Abosso's last voyage were

MARCONI & HF/DF RADIO OFFICERS:

(6, also on main Crew List)

ATACK, FREDERICK REX
DOWLING, RICHARD JOSEPH
HOOD-WEBB, RICHARD ERNEST LEONARD
STARLING, JOHN GIDNEY
TEBBIT, HAROLD PAUL LISTER
VINCE, WALTER REDVERS

Officers of the ship M V Abosso - My late father, Thomas Millar, was Chief Engineer on M V Dixcove and M V Abosso, that was torpedoed off West Africa in the 2nd World War unfortunately his discharge book went down with the vessel. His seaman No was 941854. My father is second on the left, middle row (seated) - Tom Millar

 

THis is a copy of one page of his (Thomas Millar) Certificate of Discharge Book that I have.
The first page states that it is a renewal book for one lost when Vessel "Eupion" (not an Elder boat) was torpedoed & sunk on 3-10-1918 off Ireland and the last entry was : discharged 18-12-1932, Hamburg as Chief Engineer, M V Dixcove.
His next book which would have contained all the relevant information about his next vessels including M V Abosso was lost at sea when he was torpedoed


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