United Kingdom
Name: SS Hoihow
Owner: China Navigation Company Ltd., London
Builder: Taikoo Dockyard & Engineering Company of Hong Kong Ltd., Hong Kong
Completed: 1933
Fate: Sunk 2 July 1943
General characteristics
Type: Passenger ship
Tonnage: 2,798 gross register tons
Propulsion: Steam engine

SS Hoihow was a British passenger ship built in 1933 in Hong Kong by the Taikoo Dockyard & Engineering Company of Hong Kong Ltd. in 1933 for The China Navigation Company of London[1] to operate on the Indochina trade.[citation needed][2]

During World War II, Hoihow was used to carry food to the United Kingdom.[citation needed]

At 02:00 on 1 July 1943, the German submarine U-181 sighted three Allied merchant shipsHoihow, under Master William Mackensie Christie, among them – in port at Port Louis, Mauritius. U-181′s commanding officer, Korvettenkapitän Wolfgang Lüth, decided to loiter offshore and wait for them to leave port. On the morning of 2 July 1943, two of them put to sea, and U-181 set out in pursuit of the second to leave, which was Hoihow. After a 10-hour chase, at 21:07 on 2 July U-181 hit Hoihow with two torpedoes in the Indian Ocean 105 nautical miles (194 km) north-northwest of Mauritius. Hoihow sank by the bow at 19°30′S 55°30′E / 19.500°S 55.500°E / -19.500; 55.500 with the loss of 145 of the 149 people aboard, including Christie, 90 crew members, seven naval gunners, and 47 passengers. The four survivors – three crew members and a passenger – were rescued by the American merchant ship SS Mormacswan, which put them ashore at Montevideo, Uruguay, on 25 July 1943.[1]


  1. ^ a b "Hoihow". Uboat. Retrieved 8 June 2016.
  2. ^ The archives of John Swire & Sons Ltd (including the papers of the Taikoo Dockyard and the China Navigation Company Ltd) are held at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London, http://www.soas.ac.uk/library/archives/