American Steam merchant
|Completed||1918 - Skinner & Eddy Corp, Seattle WA|
|Owner||American-West African Line Inc, New York|
|Date of attack||8 Nov 1942||Nationality: American|
|Fate||Sunk by U-161 (Albrecht Achilles)|
|Position||4° 19'N, 2° 44'W - Grid EV 7278|
|Complement||59 (0 dead and 59 survivors).|
|Route||New York (6 Sep) - Guantanamo - Curaçao - Trinidad - Freetown (4 Nov) - Takoradi - Lagos|
|Cargo||2000 tons of lubricating oil and 3915 tons of general cargo, including cable drums and trucks as deck cargo|
|Notes on event|
At 23.47 hours on 8 Nov 1942, U-161 fired four bow torpedoes at the convoy ST-40 about 60 miles southwest of Takoradi and heard hits after 4 minutes 30 seconds and 4 minutes 55 seconds. The first torpedo sank the West Humhaw and the second damaged the Benalder.
The West Humhaw (Master Torleif Christian Selness) was struck on the starboard side at #3 hold by one torpedo which opened a hole of 25 by 15 feet in the side. The ship slowly settled by the bow and sank after about 30 minutes. As it became clear that the vessel was lost, the eight officers, 30 crewmen, 16 armed guards (the ship was armed with one 4in, four 20mm and two .30cal guns) and five passengers abandoned ship in four lifeboats. The survivors were picked up after 45 minutes by the British motor launch HMS ML-281 and landed at Takoradi.
|On board||We have details of 1 people who were on board.|
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