british MOWT - Ministry of War Transport (WWII) SS Mendoza (+1942)
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nationality british
purpose transport
type troop transport (ex-ocean liner)
propulsion steam
date built 1920
is nickname no
weight (tons) 8234  grt
dimensions 137.3 x 17.8 x 9.8 m
engine 2 x triple expansion engines, 2 screws
armament armed merchant ship
power 8000  s.h.p.
speed 15  knots
yard no. 1098
about the loss
cause lost torpedo
date lost 01/11/1942  [dd/mm/yyyy]
casualties  26~150rank: 545
about people
Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd., Wallsend
last owner
[1]MOWT - Ministry of War Transport (WWII), London
SS Mendoza (+1942)
period 1941 ~ 1942
prev. owners
[2]Société Générale De Transports Maritimes À Vapeur S. A. - SGTM, Marseille
SS Mendoza
period 1920 ~ 1941
captain Batho, Basil T.
complement 6
no. of crew 147
no. of passengers 250
about the wreck
depth (m.)
war grave
entered by Allen Tony
entered 17/04/2008
last update Vleggeert Nico
last update 26/05/2011
Lettens Jan12/03/2011
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Allen Tony17/04/2008Mendoza SS was a Ministry of War Transport liner of 8,234 tons (Captain B.T. Batho) sailing from Mombasa, East Africa. She was torpedoed and sunk was sunk by German submarine U-178 (Kpt. Zur See, Hans Ibekken) about 70 nautical miles (129 kilometres) ENE of its destination, Durban, South Africa.

The Glasgow-registered Mendoza, an ex-Vichy French ship captured off Montevideo by a British armed merchant cruiser, and now sailing under the Blue Funnel flag, was carrying 153 crew and some 250 passengers when it blew up taking the lives of 28 of her crew and 122 service personnel.

With her two propellers and rudder blown off, the ship settled by the stern. Ten lifeboats were launched, the survivors attempting to reach land when the American ship SS Alava arrived. While climbing the ladder, Captain Batho slipped and fell into the water, his body crushed between the ship and the lifeboat.
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 Martime Disasters of WWII
Lettens Jan12/03/2011Much less victims reported by the Germans: The master, 19 crew members, three gunners and three passengers were lost. 127 crew members, three gunners and 250 passengers were picked up by the South African armed whaler HMSAS Nigel (T 40) and the American motor merchant Cape Alava and landed at Durban.
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About Builders
 Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd., Wallsend
From: Janes Fighting Ships 1919

SWAN. HUNTER & WIGHAM RICHARDSON, LTD. (WALLSEND-ON-TYNE), Twenty-one building berths, fifteen of which are served by overhead electric cranes. Four berths covered in. Employees : about 8000. Annual gross shipbuilding capacity (1918) : 150,000 tons. Engine works : 100,000 H.P. output per year.

The dry docks dept, includes a large repairing yard with two graving docks and two floating docks. Engine works have developed the Neptune and Polar marine oil engines. Total area of works : 78 acres. Water frontage : 4000 ft. Shipyard also at Southwick-on-Wear, with three building berths. Allied firms are the Wallsend Slipway & Engineering Co., Ltd.. Wallsend ; Barclay. Curle & Co., Ltd., of Whiteinch, Govan. Elderslie and Glasgow.

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