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SURVIVORS ADRIFT IN SOUTH ATLANTIC * - SURVIVORS

11)SURVIVORS GREECE




The Andreas was an old ship built in 1919 by Harland & Wolff in Belfast, Ireland, and it belonged to the Greek company "Ionian Steamship Co Ltd". Previously she had been known as the Philadelphia in 1919 and the New Mexico in 1933. The Liberty ship was steaming from Capetown to Dutch Guiana without a load. The 41 members of the crew and the 11 militiamen of the "Naval Armed Guard" survived, eventually reaching the Brazilian coast in four launches, one of which was motorized. 

6 other crew members were rescued by the Italian submarine and taken P.O.W. over Bordeaux, France to P.O.W. Camp Kaviari, Italy




At 03.56 hours on 24 May 1941 the unescorted Marionga dispersed from convoy OB-317 on 6 May, was hit underneath the aft mast by one torpedo from U-103 and sank by the stern within four minutes about 30 miles west-southwest of Buchanan, Liberia. The U-boat had spotted the ship 8 hours earlier, but had to wait for the night due to the very good visibility and then missed with the first two torpedoes fired at 00.36 and 01.54 hours. On 28 May, three survivors were picked up from a raft by the British steam merchant City of Rangoon in 05°42N/10°29W and were landed at Capetown on 9 June. Two survivors landed at Monrovia on 10 June.




At 11.57 hours on 13 June 1941 the unescorted Pandias (Master Petros Kontopoulos), dispersed from convoy OG-63, was hit on starboard side amidships by one G7a torpedo from U-107 about 430 miles south of the Cape Verde Islands, settled slowly by the bow and sank at 12.26 hours. The U-boat had first spotted the ship about 90 minutes earlier and had some troubles to remain in contact while overtaking her due to heavy tropical rain squalls, but was eventually in position for a submerged attack with the stern torpedo tubes. After the ship sank, the U-boat surfaced nearby and approached a lifeboat to question the survivors. The master truthfully answered the questions about name, route and cargo of the ship and was given a position fix, cigarettes, water and rum. Hessler noted in the war diary that the occupants of the boat made a jolly impression and wondered if they will still be joyful after the voyage of 500 miles that lay before them.


The 23 survivors later landed in French Guinea and were interned by the Vichy French authorities, at least two of them died during internment. 




At 14.52 hours on 28 May, 1941, the unescorted Papalemos was hit on the port side in the stern by one torpedo from U-107. The explosion destroyed large parts of the superstructure and a lifeboat. After the crew had abandoned ship in two lifeboats the sinking was accelerated with shots from the AA guns into the waterline at 16.00 hours. The U-boat went to the lifeboats with 27 men for questioning, took care of three wounded survivors and provided them cigarettes, chocolate and provisions before leaving the area on a deception course.


104 survivors eventually made ashore at Brazilian and African coast.


 

 

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