COFEPOW member, Sylvia Bullen-Bell has prepared the article for addition to our website
S. S. GLOUCESTER CASTLE was sunk on 15/07/1942 in South Atlantic between Freetown and Cape Town by German Raider N. 28. 51 survivors were saved out of 101 by the raider and transferred to the oil tanker “KARL KNUDSEN2 on 02/02/1942: thence brought to Singapore on 01/10/1942. The “KARL KNUDSEN” is a German vessel camouflaged as an oil tanker. Raider N.28 also had on board survivors of other vessels sunk e.g. “HUMPHREYS”, “CALCUTTA”, “JAMESTOWN”, “PATILLA”, AND “LYLE PARK”, 18 survivors of “GLOUCESTER CASTLE” were brought to Singapore and sent to Loyang, 9 to Naval Base.
S. S. WILLIAM HUMPHREYS oil tanker, was sunk on 16/07/1942 in S. Atlantic by N.28. 28 survivors were saved out of 46 and transferred to “KARL KNUDSEN”. Thence to Singapore. Of the latter only 10 were left in Singapore of which, 8 arrived at Loyang and 2 at Naval Base.
M. S. DALHOUSIE was sunk on 09/08/1942 in S. Atlantic just off Rio by German Raider N.23 operating with N.28. All were saved by the raider and transferred to “KARL KNUDSEN” on 27/08/1942: thence to Singapore. Of the 12 survivors left in Singapore, 8 were sent to Loyang and 4 to Naval Base. N. 23 carried no other survivors.
S. S. EMPRESS OF ASIA was bombed on 05/02/1942 off Pulo Bukum Singapore by Jap planes and caught badly on fire. Later the ship was abandoned. The ships company were about 400 strong of which about 120 are believed to be civil internees (C. G). It has only been possible to establish the names as included in this roll.
S. S. EMPIRE MARCH was sunk on 02/01/1943 in the South Pacific by German Raider No. 28. 4 officers and 21 men were saved; 11 officers and 22 men were lost. Included in the men saved were three coloured firemen who were kept on board the Raider when she landed survivors at Singapore on 10/02/1943. Survivors were sent by the IJA to 18 Div. area.
S. S. EUGENE LIVANOS was sunk on 07/12/1942 in the South Pacific by German Raider No. 28. Four of the crew were saved but it is not known how many were lost.
M/S SAWOKLA was sunk on 19/11/1942 at 8.34p.m. in Lat. 23 degrees S. Long. 80 degrees 54’ E. by German Raider No.28. Ship left New York on 20/06/1942. 39 of crew were saved and 20 lost. Survivors landed Singapore 19/02/1943.
S. S. EMPIRE DAWN was sunk by German Raider No. 26 in the Atlantic on 12/09/1942. Vessel was en route Suez to Trinidad to load Bauxite for London. Raider machine gunned lift boat after vessel had been heavily shelled. There were 21 survivors (two died on Raider) who were taken to Tg Prick, Batavia. Known names are overleaf.
The “SIN KHENG SENG” left Singapore on 12/02/1942 for unknown place manned by officers and men of “EMPRESS OF ASIA” incl. Captain Smith, 3rd Engineer – Donnelly, 2nd Engineer and 44 others. No information as to final disposal of this ship or party. Later information states that Capt. Smith reached U.K.