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M/T South America
Manager: The Texas Company (Norway) A/S, Oslo
Completed by Nakskov Skibsværft, Nakskov, Denmark as Borneo in Apr.-1931, originally launched as Henrik Ameln for A/S Frugtfart (L. Harboe Jensen), Oslo. Borneo was laid up upon completion, then entered service as South America for The Texaco Company (Norway) A/S, Oslo in Jan.-1933.
Captain: Alf Ambjørnsen
Please compare the above voyages with Arnold Hague's Voyage Record below.
(Received from Don Kindell - His source: The late Arnold Hague's database).
Follow the convoy links provided for more information on each.
Errors may exist, and several voyages are missing (including all her 1941 voyages).
According to A. Hague, South America sailed in the eastbound North Atlantic Convoy HX 14 from Halifax in Dec.-1939/Jan.-1940. As will be seen when following the link to my page about this convoy, this ship is listed as the American South American on the original convoy form. The voyages on Page 1 of the archive documents do not start until Apr.-1940, so I cannot confirm accuracy of this information.
In March-1940, she's listed in station 22 of the Halifax-U.K. Convoy HX 27, destination Liverpool, cargo of lub. oil. The following month we find her, together with Oria, in Convoy OB 125, departing Liverpool on Apr. 8 (link in Voyage Record). This convoy joined up with Convoy OA 125 on Apr. 10, the combined convoy forming the Gibraltar bound Convoy OG 25, which arrived there on Apr. 16 (see the page listing ships in all OG convoys). Her destination is given as Port Arthur, but she went to Gibraltar first rather than proceeding to Texas. Later that month she shows up in station 14 of Convoy HG 27, leaving Gibraltar on Apr. 21. Her destination is now given as Trinidad and she left the convoy during the night of Apr. 22/23. Note, however, that Page 1 states she arrived Port Arthur from Gibraltar on May 10; Trinidad is not mentioned.
With a cargo of lub. oil, she later returned to the U.K. with Convoy HX 45. This convoy left Halifax on May 24, but South America joined with the Bermuda portion which sailed on May 23. She was bound for Manchester on that occasion, station 35, with arrival June 8. A few days later she shows up, with destination New York, in Convoy OB 167, departing Liverpool on June 13, dispersed June 17, South America arriving New York on June 28, and it looks like she subsequently spent several months there, before proceeding to Cristobal on Nov. 9. (Bjørkhaug, Garonne, Polarsol, Ruth I and Vav are also listed in OB 167 - again, ref. external link provided within the Voyage Record).
Her subsequent voyages are listed on Page 1 (showing a couple of long stays in Bombay in 1941), Page 2 (which shows another long stay in Bombay early in 1942) and Page 3. As can be seen, she also had a long stay in Bombay later on. She had arrived there from Bahrein on Nov. 5-1942 and departure is given as Jan. 20-1943, when she went back to Bahrein. Convoy information for a few of her voyages can be found in the table above.
Skipping now to June-1943, when she made a voyage from Tripoli to Alexandria with Convoy KMS 15 (see ships in all KMS convoys), and at the end of Aug.-1943 she travelled from Malta to Bizerta with Convoy MKS 23 (scroll down to the second table on that page). Again, see also Page 3, as well as Page 4.
From Bizerta, she proceeded to Oran, then headed to New York, where she arrived Oct. 4, remaining there for a month. Arnold Hague has now included her in Convoy HX 265, which left New York on Nov. 6-1943 and arrived Liverpool on the 21st (will be addded to my Convoys section but for now, see ships in all HX convoys; Commodore was in Abraham Lincoln). At the end of that month she's listed as bound for New York in the westbound North Atlantic Convoy ONS 24. This page names the other ships in this convoy. South America arrived her destination on Dec. 20, remaining there for about 3 weeks.
On Jan. 29-1944 she joined the slow Convoy SC 152 from Halifax, listed in station 41 (having been cancelled from the faster Convoy HX 274 from New York, Jan. 6). Evanger's captain served as Vice Commodore. South America's destination is given as Milford Haven and Portsmouth. She arrived Milford Haven on Febr. 15, Portsmouth Febr. 19 (Page 4), subsequently returning across the Atlantic in Convoy ON 226 at the end of that month, arriving New York on March 15. This convoy will also be added to an individual page in my Convoys section in due course, along with further details on it. In the meantime, please go to ON 226 on this page in the section listing ships in all ON convoys.
South America was on her way back to the U.K. with the slow Convoy SC 156, having left Halifax on March 29 with a cargo of 7800 tons crude oil for Manchester, when she on Apr. 6-1944 was struck by 2* torpedoes from U-302 (Sickel), in 45 04N 35 22W (according to the captain's report). Page 4 gives the time as 05:45 GMT. The 1st torpedo hit in No. 3 wingtank - No. 8 center tank behind the pumproom, port side, immediately setting her on fire. 5 minutes later another torpedo hit resulting in an enormous explosion aft. The effects of this torpedo appeared to have extinguished the fire, but the ship was broken and about to sink, so SOS was sent and orders given to take to the boats.
Those who were on the poop managed to get clear of the ship on a raft and a lifeboat and were shortly thereafter picked up by the British Rescue Vessel Goodwin. 7 men from the amidships section got into the starboard lifeboat and were also picked up by the Rescue Vessel a little later. When they left the ship she was down in the middle and about to sink.
The same U-boat had just torpedoed and sunk D/S Ruth I when South America was hit, and the Rescue Vessel proceeded to her location, but all they could see were empty lifeboats and lumber floating around, as well as a large patch of oil (survivors of this ship were picked up by another ship - follow the link for details). About 45 minutes later Goodwin returned to South America to find both ends of the ship high in the air with the midships section below water. The following day the escort went back to save the ship's papers and confidential books. At that time the after end had sunk and only a small portion of the bow was visible.
South America's crew was landed in Gourock on Apr. 13 where they were taken care of by the Norwegian consul, before travelling to Glasgow where an inquiry was held on Apr. 18 with the captain, the 1st engineer, the 1st mate and the boatswain appearing. The captain had been asleep in his cabin when the attack occurred. On watch at the time were 2nd Mate Lydersen, Able Seaman Eide, Able Seaman Jørgensen, 3rd Engineer Andvik, Mechanic Nilsen and 3rd Radio Operator Robert Cobb.
Shortly after the attack on Convoy SC 156, U-302 was sunk with all hands by the British frigate HMS Swale - see the external link below for more info.
Crew List - No casualties:
Back to South America on the "Ships starting with S" page.
Another South America was delivered to this company in Nov.-1954. Renamed Texaco South America in 1960. Sold to South Korea in 1971 and renamed Korea Hope. Broken up in 1992.
The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, "Sjøforklaringer fra 2. verdenskrig", Volume II, Norwegian Maritime Museum, and misc. (ref. My sources).