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D/S Dah Puh
To Dah Puh on the "Ships starting with D" page.
Survivors & Casualties (partial list)
Owner: Wallem & Co. A/S
Built in Kiel, Germany in 1922. Previous name Clara Jebsen until 1936.
Captain: Adolf Buhre
From Page 1 above, we learn that Dah Puh was on her way from Shanghai to Hong Kong when war broke out in Norway on Apr. 9-1940. Her 1941 voyages also start on this document and continue on Page 2, which also has some 1942 voyages.
Dah Puh rescued 15 men from a British ship in 1942 (Far East?) - exact date and further info unavailable.
According to Arnold Hague, she made a voyage from Bandar Abbas to Karachi in Convoy PB 10, departing Bandar Abbas on Nov. 4-1942 (Page 3 gives her departure as Nov. 6, arrived Karachi Nov. 10). The Norwegian Marit and Drafn are also listed - ref. external link below. A. Hague also spells the name Dah Pu, as does R. W. Jordan's "The World's Merchant Fleets 1939" and "Lloyd's War Losses", Vol I. My own spelling comes from "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland.
Related external link:
A sinking report, based on statements by the captain, 1st mate and others (source given at the bottom of this page), says she was operated by Mackinnon Mackenzie (Waller & Co., A/S) for Nortraship, on charter to the Ministry of War Transport. Her armament at the time consisted of a 12 pounder, 2 twin Lewis guns, and 4 P.A.C.
Torpedoed in the morning of June 28-1943 (08:05 Muscat time) by the Japanese submarine I-27 (Fukumura), while unloading cargo in Muscat harbour, en route from Basra to Karachi (independent voyage Abadan-Kuwait-Bahrein-Muscat, having departed Bahrein on June 25, arrived Muscat June 28, final destination: Karachi - see also Page 3). A horrendous explosion occurred between hatch No. 3 and 4 on the starboard side and she was split almost in 2, the afterpart sinking in a few seconds, while debris and asphalt (part of her cargo) were scattered around the harbour. The asphalt later melted in the sun and ran down from the roofs of houses in the area.
"Nortraships flåte" says 90 people had been on board when the torpedo struck, most of whom ended up in the water. Her 5 lifeboats were lowered and the British consul also provided more boats from shore to assist in the rescue work and to save as much equipment as possible from the ship.
By 21:20, holds No. 1 and 2 were full of water and her foreship also sank with only the bridge and boatdeck above water. Guards were placed on board by the British consul who also arranged accommodation for the survivors.
14 of Dah Puh's Lascar crew and about 30 Muscat coolies, who had just come on board that morning to start unloading her cargo, had lost their lives (numbers vary according to source). 4 had to be admitted to a hospital and 2 had to have a leg amputated - 1 of the injured men later died, making the total 15.
According to "Lloyd's War Losses", Vol I, she had a cargo of 500 tons bitumen & general, voyage Basra-Karachi, torpedoed 339° 2 3/4 cables from Muscat outer leading light Muscat harbour, crew of 59, 15 lost, plus 26 stevedores who were on board at the time.
On June 30, 17 of her complement, including 6 officers and 2 gunners, were picked up by the minesweeper HMS Atmosphere and taken to Khor Kuwai, where they arrived on July 1. They were subsequently transferred to a Dutch vessel which took them to Casab Bay, with arrival there that same afternoon. The 1st mate went on board HMS Adria to find out how to proceed, whereupon 6 officers and 9 from India were sent to the Dutch M/S Tosari, while the gunners and Dah Puh's armament were taken on board Adria. Captain Buhre, the 1st engineer and the remaining crew had stayed in Muscat to await other transportation.
All the crew members were interviewed following the sinking, the principal witnesses being the captain and the 1st and 2nd mates. None of them could throw any light on the circumstances that had caused the sinking, except they all agreed that the torpedo must have been fired through Duweira Gap. This belief was based on the position of the explosion and the way the ship was headed at the time. The Commanding Officer of HMS Atmosphere and divers from HMS Ceres agreed with this conclusion. From soundings taken at half water, the depth of water in Duweira Gap was considered to have been at least 10 feet at the time of sinking, which was at high water. The width of the Gap was about 25 yards. The sinking report mentioned above states that there were later some "very unreliable" reports by fishermen of having seen a torpedo track and a submarine outside Duweira Gap at the time of sinking. Additionally, Dah Puh's captain and 2nd mate thought that they may have sighted a submarine at 12:30Z the previous day, June 27, in position 24 16N 57 30E, but they had decided after consultation that it must have been a school of porpoises they had seen. (The time of sinking is given as 04:35Z, June 28 in this report, which says she had a crew of 59, 7 Norwegian officers, 38 Lascars and 14 Goanese, plus 2 DEMS ratings, no passengers - 13 Lascars killed, 2 very seriously injured). Subsequent investigations by Naval Interpreter in Muscat bazaar produced many reports of recent sightings of submarines in Muscat and at Khuryat. Crew members of the sub were reported to have been buying fish, but the interpreter considered that there was no chance of them buying fuel, water or other stores. The tail of a 21" torpedo with many Japanese characters and with the number 390 inscribed in several places was later recovered in Muscat harbour. The torpedo was apparently similar to German ones, with twin propellers double the size of British propellers. It had a twin cylinder engine. The recovered parts were dispatched to Kilindini for investigation.
The maritime hearings were later held in Bombay on July 19-1943 with the captain, the 1st engineer, the assistant, the 1st mate, and the 2nd mate appearing.
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The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, "Sjøforklaringer fra 2. verdenskrig", Volume I (Norwegian Maritime Museum) - ref. My sources. Additional details have been added from a sinking report based on interview of survivors (signed by H. T. Strawbridge, Royal Navy Commander, Officer in Charge, Hormutz) received from Tony Cooper, England.