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Picture by Joe MacMillan


Built: 1921   

Tonnage: 8,196 / 11,960   tons

Cargo: Tea and miscellaneous loaded in India and East African ports. 

Captured 10/Oct/39 pos. 08º 30' 05º 15'W. Sunk 17/10/39 by Adm Graf Spee pos.16º 00”S 17º 00"W. 

0 Dead.   

84 Survivors.

On 10/Oct/1939 Adm Graf Spee disguised as a French warship intercepted the merchant HUNTSMAN when heading for a Liverpool. Nevertheless the radio Officer managed to send a distress signal informing the merchant position. A boarding party was sent to take the papers but Cap. Brown had time to throw them overboard. HUNTSMAN was unarmed and could not evade.   

Once  the position of the ships was transmitted to the British, Captain Langsdorf ordered his radio Officer to send a fake signal that the merchant but with another name  was under attack by enemy submarine with incorrect position.The crew of 84 was placed on board of Graf Spee when the raider set course for a rendezvous with her support ship ALTMARK. On that opportunity Graf Spee received several tons of oil. SS HUNTSMAN was used as a supply ship until being sent to the bottom on 17/Oct/39 some 600 miles off Ascension.  

Huntsman seen from Graf Spee following her capture. Picture by Michael Pocock

Graf Spee motor boat with a boarding party seen when approaching the Huntsman by broadside. Picture by Michael Pocock

Huntsman crewmen watch the tragic fate of their ship as she plunges beneath the waves. Picture by Michael Pocock



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