Requisitioned Auxiliary – Inanda







Official Number:                       147310 

Laid down:

Builder:                                   Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson, Wallsend

Pennant No:                           

Launched:                               24 February 1925

Into Service:                            27 August 1940

Out of service:                         8 July 1942

Fate:                                      8 July 1942 torpedoed, shelled and sunk


Items of historic interest involving this ship: –


Background Data:  One of an additional group of ships requisitioned by the Admiralty and the MoWT during WW2

Career Data:


24 February 1925 launched by Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson, Wallsend as Yard Nr 1259 named Inanda for Charente Steamship Co Ltd., (T & J Harrison Ltd., Managers) Liverpool

25 February 1925 the Shields Daily News newspaper reported …


25 2 1925 Shields Daily News Inanda


12 May 1925 completed at a cost of £176,725 and could accommodate 91 single-class passengers

5 April 1929 berthed at London from Demerara, Guyana, Trinidad, Barbados and Dominica with 90 passengers

24 September 1929 berthed at London from Demerara, Guyana, Trinidad, Grenada and Barbados  with 30 passengers

19 September 1939 sailed Southend in escorted convoy OA7 for Antigua which dispersed on 22 September 1939 

8 November 1939 sailed Halifax in escorted convoy HXF8 to Dover arriving 21 November 1939

1 December 1939 sailed from Southend in unescorted convoy FN46 to Methil arriving the next day

11 December 1939 sailed from the River Tyne in unescorted convoy FS53 to Southend

21 June 1940 sailed from London on her owners’ final passenger service to the West Indies

27 August 1940 on her return to London after the above, was requisitioned for Admiralty service as an Ocean Boarding Vessel

7 September 1940 during 3 nights of bombing raids by German aircraft her accommodation was gutted, her holds were flooded and she settled on the bottom whilst fitting out in Royal Albert Docks, London with the loss of 5 lives

4 October 1940 was taken over by the British Government and was refitted, during which her passenger decks were ripped out and she became just a cargo liner

11 February 1942 she was registered in the ownership of the MoWT with T & J Harrison Ltd., as Managers and renamed Empire Explorer

8 July 1942 was torpedoed by German submarine U-575 while on passage from Demerara and Port of Spain, Trinidad to Carlisle Bay, Barbados and the U.K. carrying 1000 tons of pitch, 4000 tons of sugar and mail. After being hit by 3 torpedoes and then by further shelling from the submarine she sank early the next morning in position 11.40 N 60.55 W with the loss of 3 lives. The Master, 66 crew and 8 gunners were rescued by HM Torpedo Boat No 337 who landed them at Tobago where 14 of the crew were admitted to hospital