© Simon Bang Collection.
Year: 1905 – Name: CLARA MENZELL – Type: Cargo ship – Launch Date: 3.4.05 – Flag: DEU – Date of completion: 4.05 – GRT: 2325 – Yard No: 247 – LPP: 91.7 – Country of build: DEU – Beam: 13.8 – Builder: Flensburger of Flensburg – Number of screws/Mchy/Speed(kn):1T-9.5.
Subsequent History: 07 INGRABAN – 16 CONGO – 50 BISCO 6
Disposal Data: BU Preston 8.50 [T.W.Ward]
Source: MIRAMAR SHIP INDEX by Arrangement.
TOWA – 1930 – IMO 0000000
Year: 1930 – Name: TOWA – Type: Cargo ship – Flag: NLD – Date of completion: 5.30 – GRT: 5419 – Yard No: 448 – LPP: 128.1 – Country of build: NLD – Beam: 16.8 – Builder: P.Smit Jr of Rotterdam – Number of screws/Mchy/Speed(kn): 1T-12 – Registered owner: Maatschappij Vrachtvaart of Rotterdam.
Disposal Data: sm/t 58.50N/10.10W 11.12.40 (18*)
Notes on loss: The TOWA was a steam-driven freighter built in 1930 and of 5419 tons. She was topedoed without warning by U-96 and sunk with the loss of 18 crew whilst en route from SOREL for LONDON carrying 7778 tons grain and 48 lorries.
At 20.52 hours on 11 Dec, 1940, the TOWA (Master W. Smit) in convoy HX-92 was hit amidships on the starboard side by one G7e torpedo from U-96 and stopped. When the ship did not sink after a coup de grâce hit at 21.30 hours, the U-boat began shelling the ship at 22.02 hours.
16 rounds were fired that caused the ship to sink at 22.42 hours. The crew abandoned ship in three lifeboats, but one of them capsized when it was lowered incorrectly, the occupants fell into the sea and drowned.
The men in one of the other boats were questioned by the Germans, but they somehow misunderstood the name of the vessel as Dover. The master and four men were picked up by HMS Matabele (G 26) (Cdr R.St.V. Sherbrooke, RN), which probably also picked up the remaining survivors and landed them all at Scapa Flow on 16 December.