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336SS_MANDASOR_11
SS MANDASOR 11

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Stuart Smith



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Registered: October 2004
Posts: 3,845
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Laid down 1920 as War Genista but completed as SS Mandasor. On January 13th 1941 she left Calcutta bound for the UK with a cargo of tea, hessian and pig iron. She was sailing for Durban to bunker when on 23rd a large steamer was sighted to port on a diverging course. Mandasor was under instructions to stear away from other ships as it was known that German raiders were active in the Indian Ocean. At around 9am the following morning a small seaplane, dragging a weighted wire line, flew low across the ship straffing it with cannon and machine gun fire. The wire carried away the main and emergency aerials. The plane returned still firing and dropped bombs which all missed and after a third attack when she was shot at by the ships 3rd Officer who managed to score some hits on the plane. The previously sighted steamer appeared, turning out to be the German surface raider Atlantis who opened fire on Mandasor. The first salvo just missed the port bow but the second and subsequent salvo's hit the ship all over. Mandasor was hit in total by 60 shells before Captain Hill ordered that the ship be abandoned with holds No.1 and 3 on fire. 2nd Officer Mr. Leigh had been killed and there were several badly wounded officers and crew. The Germans sent over a boarding party which took several items of food and laid time bombs in the engine room.
Captain Hill watched from the deck of the Atlantis as his burning ship was still further crippled by the charges. She sank quickly while still in an upright state.
Photograph belongs to me but photographer unknown.
· Date: Fri, 18 February 05 · Views: 971
· Tags: 1 · Filesize: 41.5kb · Dimensions: 734 x 328 ·
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Keywords: SS MANDASOR 11
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Wed, 30 March 05 13:16

This was also told to me by Ewan McVicar, my chief R/O on my first deep sea voyage. He also added that the R/Os were on the ball, and had the spare aerial standing by and ready to rig. He said that they got it up and sent off a distress call indicating their location and the fact that they were under attack by a surface raider. This was apparently of vital interest.

Incidentally, I don't know if anyone knew Ewan, he was a real gentleman. He left Brocklebanks around the same time as myself and took up employment ashore as an engineer working for Decca on Decca Navigators. We lost touch many years ago.

Cheers,

DaveM
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pmo
member

Registered: January 2006
Posts: 1
Fri, 27 January 06 17:01

My father, Leslie Mawdsley, was killed aboard the Mandasor if anyone out there has more info It would be great to hear. I know there was a book written by Capt A Hill titled Voyage 42 but I have not been able to trace it????

Cheers

PMO
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Derek Roger
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Registered: February 2005
Location: Rothesay New Brunswick
Posts: 7,156
Fri, 27 January 06 19:51

Nice picture Sturat and a nice follow up story from the lads > Look forward to more info . Derek
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Stuart Smith

Senior Member

Registered: October 2004
Posts: 3,845
Sat, 16 July 11 07:38

I have ammended the text and changed the date of her sinking from February to January 1941. Duncan Haws gives the date as February in his Fleet book Thos and Jno Brocklebank but I have had a message from member Helen Eccles to say her grandfather John Read was on board and was one of the casualties. She gives the month as January. I checked Miramar and various sites dealing with the raider Atlantis and all give January as the date. I can only assume that Duncan Haws is wrong.
Thank you to Helen for the connection.
Stuart
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SarahFoster
Member

Registered: May 2017
Location: 29 Goldsmid Road
Posts: 2
Wed, 3 May 17 04:00

I am the granddaughter of JB Leigh who was killed on the HMS Mandasor. According to the Commonwealth War graves commission the date of the sinking was 24th January 1941 (http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/ca...ULIO%20BERNARD). I have a photo of him with other officers, which may include Captain Hill, which I will try to load onto this site
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