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Messages Page 9 - Starting Jan.-2009

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Dec. 1

From: Brian Thompson

Ship sunk by cannon fire in Caribbean?

According to family role, my great uncle Hunter Thompson (same name as the famous American author) was aboard a United Fruit Co. ship when it was sunk by a German U-boat. Interestingly, the German submarine surfaced and sunk it with cannon fire, after giving the crew and passengers five minutes to evacuate. He then berated them for being six hours late, since the ship had experienced engine trouble which had delayed it in port! My question, after reading about similar freighters sunk in the region, (i.e. the Cadmus and the Gundersen) where could I find more info on such a sinking?


Dec. 4

From: Capt. Eric Troels Wiberg

O. A. KNUDSEN Survivors: Retracing their steps in Bahamas, looking for grave, conclusions

Dear Mrs. Siri Lawson -

Inspired by your research I spent 4 days camping in the bush and beaches of Abaco Island in the Bahamas looking for the grave of the dead Norwegian sailor Olaus Johannesen from the O.A. KNUDSEN, sunk by U-508 under Ulrich Heyse on 19 Feb. 1942. For a map location of the Sawmill Sink hole (Cornwall Camp 1), and since the Google Earth Map I used didn't transfer to email so well, I suggest you plug the coordinates - 26° 13' 3.57" N 77° 12' 37.99" W into whatever median you prefer - see this link

About my trip to Abaco to find a buried Norwegian Seaman in a lumber camp, having walked several square miles in the bush north and south of Crossing Rocks ('Cornwall 1' near Sawmill Sink hole and the apparent former location of 'Cornwall 2'‚ a mile south and west of Crossing Rocks, in both cases guided by experienced pig hunters and artisanal farmers, I am now convinced that in all probability Olau Johannessen (sp?) of the OA Knudsen died in a hospital, probably in Marsh Harbor, and was most likely buried in or around the town. To verify this I will need to check the Parish, hospital or government records of the time mid March 1942. I base my conclusion/s on the following:

1) None of the older people I interviewed, Mr. Lowe who lived in Cornwall 2 and Millville and men born in the 1920s from Crossing Rock have any recollection of any person, white, foreign, or not buried at the lumber mills.

2) Young people who frequent the Sawmill Sink and have toured the area extensively as well as pig hunters and farmer/gatherers (who probe the bush to find trees like sapodilla, mango, etc, which were probably planted by lumber workers or their families) have any recollection of a grave site or buried individual in the area.

3) It was clear from interviews that the oral tradition was strong and that the locals know/knew their area extremely well - it is inconceivable to me that something as 'exciting' and likely to draw first-hand witness accounts and gossip as a Norwegian dying in the woods and being buried there would have escaped notice (to buttress this point a younger tour guide told of the 'legend' and 'ghost stories' of someone allegedly buried by the 'Rocky Point' former landing, and how the place was 'haunted' since - this and more would have been generated by Johannessen's grave.

4) I walked all around the area, esp the sinkhole, for literally over a square mile, in an informal grid pattern and expanding and contracting circles. I found plenty of evidence of machinery, of foundations, of piping, glass bottles, areas where domestic plants had grown, and an area which had been bulldozed, but nothing even resembling a mound, burial plot, stone marker (granted if he was buried flush with the earth - a difficult task in such a rocky environs, and marked with just a wood cross (unlikely with so many stones readily available), it is feasible the marker was burned in one of the many brush fires that have scoured the area over 70 years). I didn't find anything in the larger area indicating a likely grave site.

5) The history I read about his burial was by a Norwegian amateur historian interviewing Norwegian seamen/records by the crew that had already left Abaco while Olaus was still living and thus were not first-hand witnesses to his demise or burial. They had moved to Nassau on the government steamer and thence were re-assigned.

6) Given that the sick man's condition deteriorated badly and the lumbermen clearly were not caregivers by profession and had access to vehicles, it is likely they would have wanted to move him to professional care and off their property and responsibility, if at all possible. There were at least 2-3 days for them to do so, even if it was done by boat/sea and not primitive tracks/roads.

I did however find the likely area that he and the crew were taken - it makes sense from the narrative, from the geography (I camped on the East shore in 2 beach locations and drove to the West shore as well as Sandy Point/Rocky Point). I attach a lovely / artistic photo taken of the Sawmill Sink hole and a link where you can find it on Google Earth ˆ as you can see it is mile/s or less from Schooner Bay and also Bahama Palms, and near one of the narrowest points of Great Abaco.

Sawmill Sink Night Photo
See in Google Earth, by CurtBowen
CurtBowen, on July 4, said: Crocodile Cave, Abaco The moon raises above the pine forest as we paint the emerald waters of Crocodile Cave......

DETAILS 8 km from Crossing Rocks, Marsh Harbour (The Bahamas) 26° 13' 3.57" N 77° 12' 37.99" W

I hope this information helps and that together perhaps we can either

a) find Olaus' final resting place

b) give visitors/residents some history behind the Sawmill Sink hole and/or the OA Knudsen survivors.

NOTE - my main source of info was a short listing on the ABACONIAN website as follows - the editors, the Ralphs, have been extremely helpful in introducing me to contacts and providing leads.

In 1929 Cornwall was listed as Mill No 1 South of High Banks in West side forest by blue hole now called Sawmill Sink, then moved to Cornwall Mill No 2 (1 mile?) South of Crossing Rocks on West side, then moved to Cross Harbour Mill inland at Cross Harbour on South Abaco shore. It was begun in 1929 when US firm Milleville began constructing a freight dock which was subsequently destroyed by hurricane.

The story of the OA Knudsen as I write it is available at www.uboatsbahamas.com and:

Ulrich Heyse, in command of U-128 which was less than a year into its commission, had enjoyed success off the Florida coast with the attacks on the US-flagged tankers PAN MASSACHUSETTS on 19 February and CITIES SERVICES EMPIRE three days later, leaving 25 killed off Cape Canaveral. He cruised eastward through the Bahamas and struck the closest blow to the islands of the war a week later when, just after 3PM, he sent a torpedo racing into the hull of the O. A. KNUDSEN, a Norwegian tanker carrying 11,007 tons of vaporizing oil. The ship and her crew refused to die, however, and for twelve hours, well into the next morning, the submarine and the merchantmen played a deadly game of cat and mouse. The U-Boat would attack, the seamen would re-board the ship and send Mayday signals, the U-Boat would attack, the crew would board again, repair the engines and steam for land, and the cycle would repeat itself, until sailors re-boarded to extract petrol for the motorized life boat. The merchant ship NUEVA ANDALUSIA reported a ship afire to the US military but no vessels or aircraft were sent to aid the ship or its crew (this became the subject of an allied inquiry)[i] Just before 3AM on the 6th of March Heyse attacked with gunfire, setting it alight so that it finally burned and sank.

The victims‚ master and crew set off for land, 65 miles away, and reached the coast of Great Abaco just north of Hole in the Wall, the following day. They were towed ashore by a schooner and landed in the vicinity a timber wharf called Wilson City, from whence they were taken to a lumber mill at Cornwall. One of the men, Able Seaman Olaus Johannesen, was unfit for further travel and when the survivors set off for the hospital in Nassau on the eighth of March, he was left behind. He had been a miner in Svalbard, Norway until he left his hometown after the Germans occupied it. Two days later he died in the care of the lumberman, and, when the weather and poor infrastructure prevented their moving his corpse, he was buried on site. Within a few years the lumber around Cornwall had been harvested and the lumbermen moved on, vacating their temporary community and leaving Johannesen's bones alone in the bush. There no longer is a Cornwall, Abaco.[ii]

One of Johannesen's crew mates, Able Seaman/Gunner Waldemar Lund had escaped from Norway before the Nazi invasion by sailing a small boat across the North Sea in the fall. Blinded in one eye by U-128's gunnery attack, he and the crew were met on arrival Nassau by the Duke of Windsor who personally provided them all with new clothes. Because Lund lost his injured eye during a two-week convalescence in Nassau, the authorities tried to list him as unfit for further service in merchantmen, but he vigorously objected, pointing out that one eye was quite adequate for looking down a barrel and taking aim. He later sailed for many years as a gunner. [iii]

The Norwegian source, from one of my footnotes, says:

Siri Holm Lawson, 2006. She writes: The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Våre motorskip", Leif M. Bjørkelund & E. H. Kongshavn, article found in Issues No. 2 for 1975 of the magazine "Krigsseileren" (The War Sailor), "Tusen norske skip", Lise Lindbæk, "The World's Merchant Fleets", Roger W. Jordan, Axis Submarine Success of World War Two", Jürgen Rohwer, "Englandsfarten", Ragnar Ulstein, "Sjøforklaringer fra 2. verdenskrig", Norwegian Maritime Museum, Volume II, (ref. My sources). Some details were found in a summary of statements by survivors, received from Tony Cooper, England (from British archives). warsailors.com/singleships/oaknudsen, June 2009.

Thanks again for your continued interest,

Eric T. Wiberg

[i] Uboat.net and Holm, Siri Lawson, cited below and in bibliography.

[ii] In 1929 Cornwall was listed as Mill No 1 South of High Banks in West side forest by blue hole now called Sawmill Sink, then moved to Cornwall Mill No 2 (1 mile?) South of Crossing Rocks on West side, then moved to Cross Harbour Mill inland at Cross Harbour on South Abaco shore. It was begun in 1929 when US firm Milleville began constructing a freight dock which was subsequently destroyed by hurricane. The author believes that Cornwall can be found by following the railway tracks or bed inland from Wilson City. The curator of the Wyannie Malone Museum in Hope Town as well as developers in Abaco are assisting to identify the site and clear the grave. Cornwall is believed to have been abandoned after the war.

[iii] Siri Holm Lawson, 2006. She writes: “The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Våre motorskip", Leif M. Bjørkelund & E. H. Kongshavn, article found in Issues No. 2 for 1975 of the magazine "Krigsseileren" (The War Sailor), "Tusen norske skip", Lise Lindbæk, "The World's Merchant Fleets", Roger W. Jordan, Axis Submarine Success of World War Two", Jürgen Rohwer, "Englandsfarten", Ragnar Ulstein, "Sjøforklaringer fra 2. verdenskrig", Norwegian Maritime Museum, Volume II, (ref. My sources <http://www.warsailors.com/freefleet/boeker.html> ). Some details were found in a summary of statements by survivors, received from Tony Cooper, England (from British archives).” warsailors.com/singleships/oaknudsen, June 2009.

See O. A. Knudsen


Nov. 21

From: Julie Brierley

HMS Broadwater

My grandfather was rescued onto HMS Broadwater after his ship HMS Teagle was torpedoed, he did not survive the torpedo of the Broadwater. ANY information regarding the Broadwater and any relatives remaining would give great comfort to us. We have never had contact from anyone, I have just discovered a memorial service took place at a Cathedral with at the time four survivors and other relatives we did not know about it .


Nov. 18

From: John Lord


I wonder if you can help me. I have been trying to research some old photographs that belonged to my grandmother. One of the pictures is of a male in what appears to be Naval Uniform. The Royal Navy say that it is not an RN uniform but might be Merchant Navy Uniform.

One of my grandmother's possessions was a BDS sugar spoon marked 'SY Meteor'. I know that BDS had two ships called Meteor. I am trying to find crew lists for the period 1914 - 1930. It is likely that the man in the photograph came from Littleborough in Lancashire England.

Unfortunately there is no one left in the family who can help with his name. I would like to start by finding out if it is a BDS uniform. Do you have any idea where I can start?


Nov. 17

From: Martin Cherrett

Survivors report from Arne Kjode


I found the full survivor report at Kew ( National Archives - used to be Public Record Office) which you may be interested in. I was able to add some details thanks to your site.


The original report gives two different spellings of the name of the surviving officer - I do not know if you (or anyone) have any further information. It would be nice to get it correct.

its an amazing story even if it is typical of the period.

Excellent website.

Here's my page about Arne Kjøde


Nov. 17

From: John Fjeld

D/T Mirlo - Nils J Fjeld (1910-1990)


Yesterday I 'googled' my father Nils Johannes Fjeld.

I discoverd on your site the story of the final hours of the vessel D/T Mirlo (he was Steward) and how the crew spent days in life rafts.

My father was a very very private man and never told 'tales' of his time at sea. My knowledge of his 15 years at sea is very scant. He did tell me once that he was torpedoed twice and one time spent days in the life boats. I did not know much more than that.

He married in London in May 1943 moved to Cardiff where he was the manager and chef of the Norwegian Cafe from then till 1963. In the afternoons he would visit ships in Cardiff docks as part of his duties as the Seamans Welfare Officer. In 1963 he moved to Milford Haven where until his retirement he spent 365 days a year looking after the needs of the Norwegian sailors docked in the harbour.

I suspect his intense love for the job stemmed from his understnding of the need for support when far away from home and at sea.

If anybody remebers him it would be so good to hear from them

I do have photos of some of the vessels he served on and must now take a look at them afresh.

Yesterday was a strange day for me. I felt as if i had relived a small time in his life. I must research more.

Thank you so much

John Fjeld
Bristol UK

See my page about Mirlo


Nov. 13

From: Roger Seymour

Personal memory

I was 3 years old when my mother C V Seymour and I joined a convoy which sailed out of Halifax on Jan 25th 1943. Passage was arranged by Furness Withy Co and the ship we were on was the SS Baltrover. I haven't been able to locate in the records this ship on any convoy sailing at that time. I am certain that the dates are accurate from my mother's records. Do you think you should add SS Baltrover to your list of ships in convoy HX 224 or convoy SC 118?
Sorry to say my only memory is being told not to throw orange peel overboard as the U boats looked for garbage trails when hunting convoys.

(Baltrover is listed in Convoy SC 119).


Nov. 6

From: Bradley Sheard


Near the bottom of your page for "Bidevind" you have a link to the website of the "Seeker". Next to the link you write "the text for Norness is not quite correct." While this is not my website, a large part of the text is a reproduction of an article I wrote about first diving the wreck of the Norness. I am curious as to what is not quite correct, and if it is the article or something else on the website. I believe that the article I wrote is fairly well researched, but would certainly like to know if there is something I have gotten wrong. I like your site very much and find it very informative and useful in my own research. I am a diver and underwater photographer, and spend my summers here diving many of the World War II wrecks off the American coast. I have also been to Norway twice, diving the wrecks in Narvik and Tromso.
Brad Sheard

(The text referred to on my page about Bidevind had to do with the caption for some pictures, and not the article mentioned above).


Nov. 4

From: Valerie A. Vance

N/S Haugland I - 4 Nov 2009

I have a copy of the original log from N/S Haugland I on its journey to England in 1941. Magnus and John Boge are my ancestors. My grandfather was Albert Andreason (Anderson after naturalization) and was a fisherman by trade. He entered the U.S. via New York and lived in Minnesota and either North or South Dakota and Washington State. He owned property in the Dakota's and also owned property in Port Orchard Washington. He was born on April 12, 1885 and died in 1975. I have been trying to find any information on my Norwegian ancestry but have found it very difficult.

Here's my information for Haugland I.


Oct. 28

From: Jeanette Johnston Barnett

SS Lancing 1918

My Dad (deceased in 1972) was a crew member of S S Lancing. He boarded it in Melbourne Australia. Shortly after, the captain (Olafsen) committed suicide. I have my father's log book in which he has some interesting notations as well as the Captain's suicide, which he notes as his being "well liked" and "a good man". I remember his many fondly remembered stories about Lancing and his time there.

(This is not the Lancing discussed on my website).


Oct 27

From: Alvar


Just another turn on the M/S Nordvard...
agreeable photos can be seen here


and here


keep well,


(Here's my text about Nordvard).


Oct. 24

From: William Leach

Stella Polaris

Hello. I was a passenger on the Stella Polaris leaving Bergen to New York about June 9 1946. I and my parents arrived at Bergen from Newcastle aboard the "Jupiter" the first ship I saw in the harbor was the newly built "Saga" I at first thought this what we are going to board. Nope, when I first saw the "Stella Polaris, I fell in love I was 14. Do you have any information regarding the June trip from Bergen to New York, I have a copy of the passenger list.

William Leach.

(The ships referred to above can be found in the Homefleet section of this website)


Oct. 19

From: Don Pottie

DS Spind

This an incredible site. A MOST SINCERE THANK YOU for all your work. Amature researchers like myself are in heaven when we see what is available thanks to the efforts of people like youself.

Always Remembered Never Forgotten


Cape Breton NS

Here is what I have on D/S Spind


Oct. 18

From: Jessica de Fazio

Frank Vicovari

Frank was my second uncle. I recently read his story "I rode a German Raider" I would love more information or pictures of him. Either way if someone could get back to me, I would appreciate it.
Thank you.

Jessica de Fazio

The above refers to a previous Guestbook message. See also this message and Silvaplana.


Oct. 18

From: Thomas Smith

MT Arena

I can confirm that the picture of the ship Svolder on the web page was the one later renamed the Arena. I joined the Arena in October 1948 in Melbourne Australia and the ships bell was still marked Svolder
Thomas Smith

(The above is in response to a question I had on my page about M/T Arena, regarding the picture there).


Oct. 17

From: Alvar

Norvarg... Norvard... whaaaatt??

Well, Norvarg happens to be the misterious photo on Nordvard page. As is here:


which, btw, is the same picture, but written thing down below has been cut off.

mmmm... anyway, failed so far to find Rotarian (Grace Line), Empire Elk or other names's photos,
but her last destiny, out of Lloyd register(erased her in 1971)
as ZHAN DOU 46
with this exhaustive name list:

"ZHAN DOU 46 (BP?U) on the Huangpu River, Shanghai in July 1979, ex HO PING 46-71, NORTHERN GLOW-59, NAN CHIANG-50, NORVARG-46, EMPIRE ELK-42, CONDOR-40 (W.R.Grace & Co)(Grace Line) ex ROTARIAN-27 (U.S. Govt.), launched as PAPHOS (4748/20).
Note: during that time ship photographing in China was strictly forbidden!!! "

Ok, the ship looks quite changed now, but
you can see is the same, open your minds !

Best Regards,


(See also the message further down on this page).


Oct. 15

From: Mike Lewis


Hello there,

I've been trying without any success to obtain a photo of HMS Gos VII/ HMS Calm, my friends uncle Harry Hall was killed on this ship, do you have any ideas where I could obtain one?

Many thanks for your time and help

(I suggested asking on my Ship Forum - The Gos whalers are discussed on this page).


Oct. 15

From: Willem Pop

Convoys SC 129 and HX 237

I think a have supplemamentary information for you about the convoys SC 129 and HX 237. It is one chapter of my book (7,5 Mb) "Vanaf de brug gezien" ("View from the bridge"). This chapter is translated from Dutch in Englisch. How can I send it to you?

W. Pop
The Netherlands

Willem is referring to my pages about SC 129 and HX 237.


Oct. 14

From: Alvar

M/S Nordvard

Yeah, I am grateful to your extensive work, as you got me interested in the other side of the raiders, I must say. And I became interested in the people too. So am thankful to you. Became aware of that people and their lifes, and their coming and goings, etc. Also I collected good and detailed info on other ships too.

On Norvard I must say, yes, that picture does not belong there and therefore if I can be a bit of a help to you, here we go:

on this site:

There is a detailed article on the Norvard re-floating. Somewhere below the page there is links to 8 PDF articles on the matter. Wonderful pictures from Nordvard are inside, I believe 3 taken from Pinguin and some already as Donau, and several more. Also the plans from Nordvard.

Well, hope this little piece of info was useful to you, if you werent already aware of it.

Best Regards, and thanks again


The picture referred to above can be found on this page.


Oct. 13

From: Roald Hansen


Regarding this entry below.
I would like to ask if anyone knows which of the 3 life boats my grandfather was in when the Norland was sunk. He was Boatswain Eliot Hansen.

Thanks in advance.
Roald Hansen.

"From: William Cohen

M/V Norland

I was a crew member of the M/V Norland torpedoed in May 1942. I would like to contact anyone in the Glover family from Scotland as I have photographs and newspaper cuttings regarding the ship and its crew.
Thank you for your help.

See Norland and this Guestbook message"

The last message in quotation marks above is an earlier Guestbook message posted by William Cohen - his address has been passed on to Roald Hansen. Here's my Norland page.


Oct. 13

From: Jackie Norris

MT Norsol

Nov 25 Ross Thomas.

I am contacting you for my father Kenneth Mannion a DEMS gunner who joined the MT Norsol in November 1943 at Stanlow oil dock, Ellesmere Port. As written by my Dad, 'I knew your father Chief Radio operator Thomas and the second op. Jacobs. There were 11 Brits on board, 7 DEMS; J Mawson, L Cultherson, J Adamson, W Jones, J Wynn also a Geordie and a Killack. 2 Radio operators and 2 mess boys, ? Bird, name unknown. I personally altered an army battle dress to fit your Father on the first mates sewing machine. I have several photographs of the Norsol and guns crew also of a ships Captain transferred via a breeches harness from the Norsol to an American destroyer in mid Atlantic. The photo's were taken from the ships boat in either Augusta Sicilly, Taranto Italy or the Azores. On my first convoy, we carried 1/2 a cargo of Benzol to the USA. The Norsol was the 1st ship into the Azores to take fuel for the USA Airforce base, all recorded on film by the American crew, all this was on the same trip. I sailed on the MT Norsol to Taranto, Casablanca, Bari, Hiafa, Algiers, Oran and to and fro to the USA. Convoys a head of us and those that followed were punished, we were very lucky. Captain Amundsen came up the ladder to Monkey Island on the top of the Bridge and said to me personally " We have done it, D Day June 1944". I left the MT Norsol in January 1945 and joined Fort Poplar in February 1945.

Memories of days gone bye.

This all corresponds to the write up on the MT Norsol from para; According to Arnold Hague re convoy HX 261 and ending 3 para later; at the beginning of 1945.
I hope this has been helpful to you, my Father is very pleased to have been able to help you.

Jackie Norris for Kenneth Mannion.

My page about Norsol can be found here - the message above is in response to an earlier Guestbook message from Ross Thomas. I've passed Jackie's father's information on to him (but he has not responded).


Oct. 12

From: Ricker Jones

M/T Lincoln Ellsworth

I am trying to locate crew members (families) of the M/T Lincoln Ellsworth. Captain Tichendorf was the Master in November 1929 when the Lincoln Ellsworth assisted the British Merchant Ship SS Norwich City which ran aground on the reef of Gardner Island in the Central Pacific. I am looking for any possible photographs taken during this event.
Thank You,
Rick Jones

Here's my page about Lincoln Ellsworth. Ricker's address can be provided.


Oct. 8.

From: Hilda Pedersen Mahon


In researching my father's brother's death aboard the Borgestad I was intrigued by the story about Norma Nergaard (nee Hayes). I am so glad she was recognised by the American authorities. My father married my English mother and we five children grew up in Liverpool, England. Although we have contact with the Norwegian family we have never taken an interest in researching the family history. We have researched a great deal of our Mother's family history. We then realized that the only Pedersens are in England, my father being the only brother to have sons. This lead us to Oivind Pedersen (3rd Engineer) who went down on Borgestad. Reading the story brought tears to my eyes. Any other crew family members out there?

I noticed the post by Paul Kelley, regarding Ole Sundby. I also live in Milton, MA.

(Here's my page about Borgestad, referred to above).


Oct. 8.

From: Walter Guthrie

M/V Tabor Picture?

Hi there

Back in 2007 you were very helpful in guiding me while researching the servive history of my late father-in-law. I did eventually find details of the other gunners who served with him on the M/V Tabor and who survived the sinking by torpedo off the coast of South Africa in 1943. I have put a new post on the Ship Forum with the names of the others which may be useful. However, I have a picture among his war artifacts which is anotated on the back as his ship before it was torpedoed. I have no way of knowing if this is a picture of the M/V Tabor and none exist in the pictures section of your website. Is there a means by which I can upload this image and have it viewed by an "expert" to check if it is likely to be the Tabor or some other vessel entirely?

many thanks

Walter Guthrie

The picture has now been posted here on my Ship Forum. Here's my page about Tabor.


Oct. 1

From: Roland Wright

Estonian Merchant Ships

A fascinating site, I could read and read, your knowledge of ships is amazing, my request is can you direct me to a site where I can find names of Estonian ships which sailed between Estonia and Newcastle 1937 - 39, crew lists would be fantastic, but I doubt if any available. I am trying to put together my family history, I was born Newcastle 1938, my mother died 1943, I am told by last living relative that my father was a captain on an Estonian ship, was recalled to Estonia after his ship had repairs completed in Glasgow in 1938, he was never heard from again, traced by Salvation army to Buchenwald, he was Jewish, I have asked an Estonian tracing site for help, but they require a litle more information than I have at present, a name of ships may help.
I now live in Liverpool UK.
thank you in anticipation

(I recommended that Roland post his query to my Ship Forum).


Sept. 22

From: Morwenna Essex

What happened to Thomas Williams?

In my 94year old Mother's effects I found a letter from the wife of Thomas Williams who was serving on the SS Charante as it made a dash from Norway/Sweden during the war. At the time of writing Mrs Williams had had a letter from the War Office to say her husband was missing feared drowned, but that she had heard from someone from another village that he had been seen in a PoW camp (this had not been confirmed).Where can I find information about what did happen? The date on the letter was June 1st, no clue on the envelope as to what year. Thanks for any help that is given. It makes me feel very thankful to all those families who suffered so much, both in the ships and at home worrying, so that we can enjoy a "free" life today.

See Charente crew list


Sept. 13

From: Edward Holmes

Transatlantic Liners

Thank you for providing me with information on Frederick Humble. As a thank you i have 4 pdfs about 4mbs each which i can send you if you would like them. The detail may or may not be of use to you. Its just my way of saying thanks. I will need to know where to send them.

(See crew list for Thorshavet)


Sept. 9

From: Axel Överby


Hi, I will have to write in English even though i have a strong roots to Norway. But i found this due to an article on the web that i was reading about my grandfather so there was a link on your page. I think you have done fantastic job here and these information do have a lot of historical value to honour those sailors that fell in WW2.

Best regards Axel Överby

See Havørn


Sept. 4

From: Robert W. Van Derveer


The Indian names that sound Italian, are actually Portuguese. The sailors probably came from somewhere near Goa.

(See Alcides)


Aug. 30

From: Pauline Jenkins

Norvinn/Panama Liverpool 1943

Thank you for your site, it's very informative. My father served on the Norvinn between 17 Feb 1943 to 12 Apr 1943. I hope this information is useful. Kind regards.

Here is my page about Norvinn


Aug. 26

From: Alison Payne


I am e-mailing on behalf of my father, Donald Payne who has no computer. He is writing a book on Merchant Aircraft Carriers in WW2. He is a successfully published author, & flew Swordfish on Atlantic & Russian convoys. He thought Deane Wynnes account (March 23 ) of how he survived the sinking of the Kingsbury very moving, HX229. It gives the reader a good idea of the sort of thing many merchant seamen went through, & he would like to quote from some of it. Can you give him permission to do this? Or could you give me Deane Wynnes e-mail address, to enable us to contact him directly? The usual acknowledgements would of couse be given. I look forward to hearing from you.

FANTASTIC web site, thank you.

Deane Wynne's e-mail address has been provided. The story referred to in this message can be found on this page.


Aug. 25

From: Shawn Cromett

Skudd 4 and 5

"A French visitor to my site has told me that Skudd 4 and Skudd 5 were seized in the Atlantic by the French auxiliary cruiser Victor Sch..? lcher (text muddled) on Apr. 12-1940 (3 days after the German invasion of Norway) and ordered to Casablanca, arrived Apr. 14. Both released a few days later. Skudd 4 and Skudd 5 are both listed as sailing in Convoy HGF 32 from Gibraltar to the U.K. in May/June-1940."

The French auxuliary cruiser was the Victor Schoelcher.

(See Skudd whalers).


Aug. 25

From: Ingrid Lundteigen


A note to thank you for your extensive research and efforts to compile and present this information. I have recently learned more details about my uncle's involvement with the war and appreciate understanding more about the circumstances of that time.

With respect,
Ingrid Lundteigen

(See M/B Glimt on this page).


Aug. 22

From: Paul Jayson

HMS Zambezi

My father served on HMS Zambezi and I would be interested in contacting Harold Dickens (Gunner HMS Zambezi) who left a message on July 14th 2009.

Thank you.

(Address has been provided).


Aug. 18

From: Jennifer Soppitt

Elisabeth Bakke

Hello from Northern Ireland!
I am contacting you to let you know a discovery i made while searching for information on my grandfather Francis Caldwell of Islandmagee (1911-69. I found a passenger list that he was on in 1943, which was the Elisabeth Bakke from Glasgow to New York. This dates the 27th May 1943, and i noticed on the site there may have been some confusion as to information around that time. I thought you may be interested to gather more information. I have a copy of the passenger list, which states there were 10 crew/passengers on board. I know my grandfather ended up in Aruba as he was on his way to work for the Esso lake tankers.

hope this helps!,
kind regards,

Here is my page about Elisabeth Bakke


Aug. 13

From: Joakim Johansen


The 12 of October Mr Hans Hauss report about his birth father Wilfred Guldbrandsen.

We had a Wilfred Guldbrandsen in my family, who was Born and raised in Fredrikstad, Norway. He went to sea and stayed there for a long time. When he returned he never told much about his time on the sea.

Does anybody out "there" have any information about Mr Guldbrandsen ? Could this Mr Guldbrandsen be the same Guldbrandsen Mr Hauss is writting about ?

I just came over this page and will of course read on as much as possible to find out more.

If Mr Hauss read this, maybe you have some more information you could help me out with?

Joakim Johansen

Address has been provided.


Aug. 12

From: Justin Andersen

m/t Thorøy


Just re visited your site after some time. Was delighted to see the war record of Thorøy of which my father was Chief Officer and for sometime Radio Officer. A day by day record throughout the war is fascinating. Strangely enough we now live a few miles from Swansea docks which was a regular port of call.

I'm sure I told you before my father, Carsten Isaac Andersen, became master of Thorshov shortly after the war.

Many thanks.....Justin Andersen

Any further information on either ship would be most welcome. Is it true that Thor Dahl, the owners, is now a property company?

(See my pages about Thorøy and Thorshov).


Aug. 8

From: Peter Gerloff

HMS Hurst Castle

Can anyone tell me more about the Hurst Castle as my Father George Gerloff served on her till she was sunk by U482

(I've suggested a posting to my Ship Forum).


Aug. 3

From: Jack

Convoy data base

I love the information you post about the convoys in the Atlantic....I play a WWII naval simulation game and I write missions for groups of players on the internet. They LOVE the fact the missions I write are SO historical....They just eat it up....my only question is do you have plans to include the convoys with the designation AT, KP, OS, GN or TS ????


See the website http://www.convoyweb.org.uk/hague/


Aug. 1

From: Andy Saunder

Tres and Olav Espe

I wonder if you can help me?

I am researching for a book on Convoy CW9 "Peewit" on 8 August 1940 in which the Tres was involved. Also, next week we begin to film for a BBC documentary (for 2010) to mark the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.

I was very interested to see that you have had contact from a relative of Olav Espe and would be very interested to have contact with him.

I hope to hear from you!

Andy Saunders

Address has been provided. Here's my page about Tres.


July 31

From: Paul Kelley

M/S Nyhorn


On page 8 you show Ole Sundby with an asterisk so I'm assuming that you didn't know whether or not he actually escaped. Well he did! He's still living (93 years young) in Milton MA.

The asterisks in the crew list on my page about Nyhorn denote those who are mentioned in the crew list for Fjord when that ship was sunk (according to my source).


July 29

From: Theron P. Snell

M/T Petter


I have studied Convoy UGS-18 extensively using U.S., French and German records. The U.S. convoy lists do not show this ship as part of the convoy coming from the USA.


(Here's M/T Petter)


July 27

From: Kevin Crawford

M/S Vito

Hi, just a note to thank you for such a wonderful site. My father Andrew Crawford sailed on the MS Vito during the second world war, and very seldom spoke about his time on board the ship.This site has filled in all the gaps for me, as well I printed a lot of material and gave to dad, he was over the moon with it. He rang last week to say he had just done a radio interview on his time abord the Vito, so once again thank you
Kevin Crawford
Sydney, Australia.

Vito is discussed on this page


July 21

From: Stephen C. Young

HMCS Milltown

Just wanted to say thank you for this website with all the info on the convoys. My father served on the minesweeper HMCS Milltown, serving as an escort during the war and participated in the D-Day Operation Neptune, sweeping in front of the invasion fleet. My children never met him so I'm writing a book about him and the ship. Your website has taught me a lot. Still have questions? Anyway, thank you again.


July 14

From: Harold Dickens

Info Regarding the SS Henry Bacon

I was a Gunner on the HMS Zambezi along with the HMS Zest that left the Convoy to return to pick up survivors of the sinking SS Henry Bacon. If anyone wishes to learn anything else about this operation then please feel free to contact me...

I was involved with the Russian Convoys for a Period of 12 months doing four round trips between Scapa flow and Kola Bay in Russia......
Looking forward to hearing from you
Harold Dickens...Aged 87

If anyone wants to contact Harold, I can pass on his address. This incident with Henry Bacon is mentioned on my page about Idefjord. See also Convoy RA 64.


July 1

From: Geoff Puddefoot

Norwegian ships chartered by the British Admiralty

I wonder if you can help me, please. I am currently writing the second volume of a history of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary and in the section on WW II I need some further information.
1) Were Norwegian ships chartered by the Admiralty after the fall of Norway?
2) If so, what types, tankers or cargo ships?
3) Who managed the chartered ships?
4) Who crewed these vessels?

I'm sorry it's rather a long list but any help would be very much appreciated,
Geoff Puddefoot

(Although it wouldn't answer all his questions, I referred Geoff to a Wikipedia article about Nortraship).


June 29

From: Ken Skorstad

M/T Vardefjell

Correct name on Able Seaman/Gunner Harald Storstad at M/T Vardefjell is Harald Skorstad (my uncle). He died May 21, 1997 in Sebastian, Florida, USA, 75 years old. More info here: http://www.sjohistorie.no/personer/s/1229343919.17?distrikt=None

Here is my page about Vardefjell


June 27

From: Karen Lode Nady

Thanks: 2 Lindtners

Dear Siri,
You cannot imagine how important your website has been helping my family learn more about our own history. I want to thank you. My father's parents died when he was a young child. He was adopted and raised by his aunt and uncle and they moved to the United States when he was 8. His brother and sister (twins) were raised by separate family members in Stavanger and my dad never saw his brother again. My father was, however, given a furlough from Camp Smestad, Oslo in May or June 1945 to attend his brother's funeral in Stavanger. His brother was Nicolai Lindtner Olsen, who died of his injuries when a torpedo hit the M/T Spinanger. I have been told that thousands of people came to the funeral, as his ashes were among the first to return home to Norway.

Warsailors provided the name of the ship, a picture of the damage to the side and link to Minnenhalen where Nicolai's name is listed. We learned about his other ship, the M/S Fernhill which had also been torpedoed. I used the online copy of "Våre Falne", available on the Norwegian digital archives, to find pictures of my uncle and his 3 shipmates who died on the Spinanger. Because the death dates for the other 3 are listed at January 15th and my uncle Nicolai's as January 17th, we now know he was the motorman brought up from the engine room by another brave sailor named B. S. Thoren.

It is poignant that the M/T Spinanger was torpedoed on January 15th, my father's birthday. He was in the Ardennes, fighting the Battle of the Bulge. Nicolai died on the January 17th and on the 18th my father was pulled back from the battle front. One brother spared. My father is a very spry 91. He has told me over and over that I know more about his family that he did! I have recently managed to connect him to other members of the US Army's 99th Infantry Separate. It was a special group of 1,001 Norwegian speaking men, trained to ski and invade Norway. They landed at Normandy instead.

The other discovery on your web-site is Nicolai Frederick Lindtner, Captain of the Lidvard. After reading Warsailors, I bought a copy of "Flight from Daker"‚ and read the full story. I searched the online parish records in Stavanger and found that we are distantly related. The Captain of the Lidvard's father was one of the 15 children of Skipper Nicolai Jansen Lindtner. My family descends from one of the other children. My uncle Nicolai Lindtner Olsen, was Captain Lindtner's 3rd cousin.

I continue to read your site for more information about life on the ships, sailors memories etc as it helps me understand what life was like on the ships, in Norway during the war and after. These are all pieces of the puzzle. I do have one question. Do you know what happened to gunner B.S. Thorsen? He must have survived the war as he is not listed in "Våre Falne". Have your heard from anyone in his family? I would very much like to know. Again, thank you so much for your commitment to keeping the story of the warsailors alive on your web-site.

Karen Lode Nady

What Karen is referring to is my page about Spinanger and Fernhill. Here is a searchable online version of "Våre falne". They are also available at Digitalarkivet; scroll down to No. 325 (not searchable as far as I can see).


June 24

From: Jim O'Keefe

Voice of Ameriwarning to Norwegian Merchant Marine

I am a retired school teacher/amateur writer and slueth of sorts. I am in the process of writing an article about the Voice of America. The goverment maintained 2 transmiters in my hometown of Scituate, MA in 1940 under the call letters WRUL. Local legend reports that a short wave signal out of Scituate, MA- in April of 1940- saved a large number of Norwegian merchant ships from falling into the hands of the Germans. The broadcast told them to "go to a neutral port". Would you have any info on this subject? By the way, great job on this web site!! Thank you!!

Jim O'Keefe


June 18

From: John Beaber

Link Update

Hi!!! You have a great site... while looking through your site I noticed that you have a link to my site which I have had to move to a new location. The site name is "Deliverance, it has come!"- (Los Baños) and the new link is http://ithascome.bravehost.com/index.html

This is on your pow camps page http://www.warsailors.com/POWs/powcamps.html



June 6

From: Graham Joyce

Thank you

Thank you for all your work on this site. We have been trying to piece together infomation about the life of my father-in-law Arne Johnsen. Your website reveals some information about the minesweeper "Harstad" sunk on Febr. 26-1943 in Lyme Bay. Your website lists that 22 died and 1 was wounded. That 1 was my father-in-law. He was the only survivor, enduring many hours in the freezing water. His friend on the Harstad - and one of those not on your list - was Olaf Markussen from Steigen. After the war Arne lived happily in England until his death in 1999. He married an English woman and has five grandchildren.
Please feel free to contact me if you would like more information.
Best regards
Graham Joyce

(Harstad is identical to the whale catcher Kos XVII).


May 27

From: Barbara Wilson

Seeking historical records


I am the daughter of a wartime merchant mariner (Canadian) who worked on merchant ships out of the UK, and later Canada, from 1939-43. His name was Lorne Franklin Wilson, b. 1918 in Honeywood, Ontario (north of Toronto).

He made frequent runs out of Halifax to ports in the UK and Africa. The only clue I have about any of his ships or travels is the name Dalcross - a ship.

Can you provide any references I might consult to find out more about his merchant history?

Thank you very much


May 25

From: Pauline Rudzin Loftis


Dear Siri:
I just wanted to say hello to you on this Memorial Day and let you know what a wonderful website you have. Haven't talked to you in a few years, but with my daughter now home from college and very knowledgeable with computers, she is able to restore many of my father's old photos and can send them to you if you are interested. Dad took so many photos that I have not been able to identify the sailors or ships, but maybe you or others could. Let me know if you are interested.

Hope everything is going well with you and your family.



(Pauline's father was a shipmate of my father's on Ringulv - see his diary).


May 20

From: John McMeechan

Re: D/S Enid

Good evening from the Shetland Islands!
I have recently been researching the story of an old ships lifeboat, which has been lying around my home island of Unst for many years now. Seems like it is one of the lifeboats from the Norwegian vessel Enid which, as you note on your splendid website, was lost off the North of Shetland in January 1940. I wasn't sure how "live" this site still was so thought it best to contact you directly to see if you might be interested in reading the newspaper cuttings from that time. These confirm that the second lifeboat, under command of the ships mate, did in fact come ashore in Shetland.

They don't perhaps add much to the detail you have already, but may be of interest and can be emailed across easily, along with a photograph of how she looks some 60 years later.

Seems like you have a lot of messages to deal with so if I don't hear from you, no worries, I'll assume you're not interested.

With all good wishes from your Viking neighbours across the North Sea.

Best regards

(Here is what I have on Enid - the pics of the lifeboat will be added to the page).


May 19

From: Harold B. Ulich


Siri, are you interested in OLD pictures from Norway? (1910-1935) My grandfather was an amateur photographer and I have many of his old pictures, mostly in Finnmark. Some are glass slides that I have put in my computer. In a lot of them I have no idea who the people are. Some show a ship in a fjord or at anchor.

He was very interested in the Sami people also the Museum at Maihaugen.

Your site is great and I will be back many times.


May 19

From: Liv (Semmelmann) Elliott

Ferdinand Semmelmann

I am helping my daughter do a search on my father's family during their time in Hong Kong and Shanghai during the war. I was so surprised to see my beloved grandfather's name listed on your website. As you said in your introduction the people who went through this time period didn't speak much about their experiences so I only know small tidbits of information. My grandfather was working for a shipping company when taken prisoner in Shanghai. He had been the captain of various ships out of Hong Kong and Shanghai from what I understand and was one of the few who could successfully navigate around the cape of south america. Because of this the Japanese wanted him to navigate one of their supply/war ships on this route. When he refused they took one of his eyes making his life difficult as a sea captain once back in Norway after the war.

I could go on but just wanted to thank you for having set up such a website. I will ask his other living relatives if they have records of the ships he navigated and let you know if I find out any relevant information for your site. My father (Ferdinand's son) was the only member of his family not taken prisoner as he had just sailed off to join the Norwegian airforce before the Japanese invaded.

Liv is referring to an entry on my POW's page, under S.


May 18

From: Phil Sunderland

Bajamar & Kaare II


Tusen takk for your website. I last emailed you on Nov 11 (06, I think), with information on my uncles J. F. and Leiv A. Sonderland, and their connections with Bajamar and Balzac.

While at loose ends today I found my way back to your site, to find, much to my joy the trip reports for Bajamar.

I have the brief letters that Johan wrote to my father, with allusions to his travels, but of course no details because of wartime security concerns. I can now correlate them with the ship's passages, right up to Johan's joyous reunion with his dear wife, my 'tante Annik', who was caught in Norge during the occupation. She was waiting for Bajamar on the pierhead at Cardiff when Bajamar arrived, described very poignantly in Johan's letter.

Thanks again for all your work.

I'm left wondering if you've had any success in learning more about your father's lost years in N. Africa?

Ha de bra


See my page about Bajamar. (Here is Phil's earlier message).


May 18

From: Samantha Stewart

Norwegian ships

Hi, wondering if you can help me which i hope you can....I am trying to find the names of all the ships that docked in the Castries harbour St. Lucia West Indies around 1915 to 1920. I belive they were norwegian and were there for the purpose of collecting coal. I hope that you can help me and I THANK YOU in advance regards Samantha.

(I'm afraid I can't help with this).


May 10

From: Chris Anderson

Whalers from Haugesund

Your website is excellent and I've used it to track my father's voyages as a gunner on British, Dutch and Polish merchant ships in WWII.

However I'm hoping you can point me in the right direction to find information and photographs on a whaling boat I spent a week on board as a boy in the summer of 1960. At that time I lived in Lochboisdale in the island of South Uist in the Scottish Outer Hebrides. The whalers came from Haugesund to the west coast of Scotland every summer in search of whales and called regularly at Lochboisdale for provisions etc. As a boy of 14 years I was fascinated by the whale boats and the crews were very friendly to the locals. They offered to take me out on a whale hunting trip in the seas between the outer islands and the Scottish mainland. The boat I sailed on was the "Faery". (I don't know if I've got the spelling correct.) Where could I find information and photographs of Haugesund whalers of that period ?

Any advice would be much appreciated.


Chris Anderson

(I've suggested my Ship Forum).


Apr. 27

From: Erik Carlsen

Missing ship from Norway

D/s TORA Haugesrederi Arendal 1956.
is it porsibel to gett a pithcjur from this bout.
I hav fam: in danmark joing the tripp in 1/1-1956 Heis namn WASH oVE cARLSEN FROM nEÆSTVED IN DANMARK.
All best from ERik Carlsen

(Various suggestions have been offered).


Apr. 26

From: Joe Baker

Contact email

I was on the Lark when it departed for Fremantle from Manila. I note a CDR Louis Dorny had a post on your website in 2004.

Would you have an email address for him?

(Address has been passed on)


Apr. 22

From: Denise Graham

Kaare II

My mom Helga Novik was aboard the Kaare II for her crossing from Norway. It is great to see their trip documented. She was very young, although she does have some memories about it. Thanks for the article and keeping the Novik story alive.

The story referred to above can be found at Kaare II.


Apr. 22

From: Torrey Mosvold

m/s Mosfruit 1938

I have been give some photos from the maiden voyage + owners / capitan and guest. Mosfruit was a sister ship to Mosdale /Mostun /Moshill / Mosstrand.
How do i attache the photos?

(My contact address is at the bottom of this page. Here's my page about Mosfruit).


Apr. 21

From: Asbjørn Olsen Kårvik

M/T Norsol

I regret not having seen this before now.

"Aug. 19 2003
From: Asbjørn Olsen Kårvik

Picture of M/T Norsol

I have a picture of m/t Norsol and m/t America which I have found in my fathers photoalbum. Do you have any interest of these for your picture archive?"

"Thank you so much - yes, I'd be very interested, but when I tried to tell you so by using the E-mail address you have given, my mail came back as undeliverable.

If you see this Asbjørn, please contact me again."

(The above is in response to a message from 2003, in which a faulty E-mail address had been given, so that I could not contact the poster).


Apr. 17

From: Carol Nylen

Family connection

My father was Hjalmar Nylen, he often spoke of his family in Norway that owned a fleet of ships. His life seemed to be covered in a layer of mystery. His Mothers Name was Hulda Pedersen (second marriage). I did have an uncle that would visit us that was a captain of a ship his name was Carl Olsen. Could you suggest to me a way for me to dig deeper into this?

(Various suggestions have been offered).


Apr. 10

From: DiAnna Cowles

Pan Norway Crew Decendent

I was very pleased to find this site. I am the American daughter of Captain Johan Arndt Bach. My mother traveled on the ship in South America but left the ship in New York when the ship became part of the Allied Forces and the men chose not to return to occupied Norway. I received a medal as a young girl from King Olav for my father who died in New York soon after returning from his ship. He never returned to Kragero, Norway where his home was. I have a few questions about the Pan Norway's crew.
I understand the crew were reassigned to an Allied ship and was in the South Pacific after the sinking of the Pan Norway and a few men survived to go home to Norway. What was the ship's name and were in the South Pacific did they go. I heard one of the crew and the Captain of the german Uboat wrote books about the sinking. The Captain of the uboat was a former friend of my fathers and their meeting on the sea in that circumstance was very unusual.

How he happened to have an American daughter is another very interesting story, but has nothing to do with the Pan Norway. Any information you can provide will be most appreciated!

(I'm afraid I don't know which ship(s) the various crew members joined after the sinking of Pan Norway. Yes, I believe Hardegen did write a book).


Apr. 10

From: Douglas C. Smith

Dyngeland brothers

Re the message from Virginia Jorgensen Ruppe of 25/3/09, I have published the full story of the escape on the lifeboat "Eva", with photos taken by the crew, in our local magazine "Shetland Life". I can send a copy if I can have an address please.
One of the crew is still alive in Oslo.
Should I perhaps send it to you for onward transmission?

(This is in reference to a message further down on this page, posted on March 25 - address has been passed on).


Apr. 5

George Johnstone

Special Pension fund

Hello Siri, I was wondering if you could help me with a query. I served on the D.S. Blink during World War 2 and was trying to find out about the special pension fund for those who served on Norwegian ships during world war 2.

On http://members.tripod.com/~merchantships/merchantseamentributelinks3.html it mentioned the link as: postmottak@sjofartsdir.dep.no as the contact link but it doesnt appear to be valid. As your name is mentioned as a contributer for addresses i was wondering if you possibly had the correct link? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

RegardsGeorge Jonhstone

Address has been passed on (it can be found on Sjøfartsdirektoratet's website at http://www.sjofartsdir.no/no/). Here is D/S Blink.


Apr. 2

From: Thijs Baars


The Jøsenfjord is still alive.
The ship is in Holland in Schagen. I know that because I live there for a few years and a just heard from my ex boy friend its for sail!
I have been a few years ago in Oslo to the Ships museum and I talk to some body who was very enthousiat about the ship and told me there is a club off dampskip?? owners??
Maybe you now more about it and are interrest to get the ship back home.
best regards Thijs

Here's my information on Jøsenfjord.


March 30

Douglas C. Smith

"Haugland 1" and "Blia"

I live in Shetland and am now 81 years old, so it has been a real delight for me to read through your messages and see so many names of people and boats which I can remember. My hobby has been reading and translating Norwegian wartime books into English, purely for my own enjoynment, and I have met many authors and veterans who served in the Norwegian forces stationed here during the war.
I can remember the "Haugland 1" lying at Hay's pier in Lerwick before she went to Buckie. I also have seen a hatch cover from "Blia" in the Sjofartsmuseet in Bergen.
The base for the 54th. (Norwegian) M.T.B. Flotilla was built on the site of my father's herring-curing yard here in Lerwick.
Congratulations on your website!
Hilsen fra Shetland,

(Here is my information for Haugland I and here is Blia).


March 28

From: Arne Ivar Solbak

M/V Marie Bakke, March 25th 2009

Hi Siri

I'm a regular guest to your web site and was reading Brigid Marie's message regarding M/V Marie Bakke and the Captain's name, which sounds like Sunde to me.

(The above is in reference to a message further down on this page).


March 27

From: Ken Cole

My service

I joined a Norwegian vessel ss Spurt early 1941 and served on her until end 1942 when I was moved to British ships.
My identical twin brother Peter also served on a Norwegian ship ss Selbo and sadly was killed when she was torpedoed off Bone on 28th November 1942.

I also lost a good friend Les Hill when the Nowergian ship Bjorkhaug blew up in Algiers in 1943.

Spent my life in the shipping industry.

very interested in the war period and enjoyed reading your site.


ken Cole

Here is Spurt, here is Selbo and here is Bjørkhaug.


March 25

From: Virginia Jorgenson Ruppe

The Shetland Bus

Are any of the men still alive who were part of the Shetland Bus? I just finished reading the book Shetland Bus. Very exciting as well as interesting.

I belong to a Sons of Norway Lodge here in Owatonna, MN. One of our members had three uncles who sailed from Bergen to Shetland with people. Their last name was Dyngeland.

Ginny Ruppe

(The Dyngeland brothers are mentioned in my Shetland Bus section - they can be found via my Search page).


March 25

From: Brigid Marie

Marie Bakke

My Dad was Scot but my Mom was Norwegian. When I was very little, and briefly living in Longview, Washington (a port city between the Pacific and Portland) we went to the port one night in the 60's and had dinner on the ship with the Captain. My Mom called him her Uncle. I thought her name for him was pronounced like "Soon-e" but I'm not sure. I was really little and only have the most dim of memories of that. I don't know the name of that ship but I remember her telling me that a ship he served on as an officer (captain?) was the Marie Bakke. I was alledgedly named after his ship as he was a very beloved Uncle. Her family name was Gullikson, but I think he was family on her Mom's side.

Does anyone have any information on that vessel or men that served as a Captain on her? The only family I have that would remember is gone.

I live in the US and a comment can be left on my blog at www.mausersandmuffins.blogspot.com or posted to this guest book. Thank you!


March 25

From: Douglas C.Smith

Arctic Convoys - Chulmleigh

Having visited the Tromso cemetery twice and seen the graves of the crew, I am reseaching the loss of the "Chulmleigh" and the survivors, one of whom returned home here to Shetland. I have found one email so far on your excellent site and would like to think that more may be on the list. I have just read "Goldfinder" which gives a lot of detail of the cargo.

Tusen takk!


March 21

From: Vanessa


My Merchant Marine Uncle was killed at age 25 on Dec. 2 943 during the tragedy at Bari, Italy ..he was on one of those 17 or 18 ships in the Adriatic Sea on that terribly tragic fateful day

His name is Louis Joseph Misinonile

I wish to find someone who survived that day and if he is still alive, I would love to speak with him.



(Vanessa's address can be provided, my contact address is at the bottom of this page).


March 13

From: Rose Smith

Alpherat survivor 1943

I saw a mesaage posted Jan 17th from C. Golding that they were a survivor of the sinking of the Alpherat in the Med in 1943. My mother, aged 21, travelling alone was also a survivor & I was hoping to be able to contact C. Golding. Thank you very much, Rose Smith

(Address has been passed on).


March 12

From: Rob Packham

Convoy OG 66 - HMS Malvernian

Hello there.
What an excellent site you have created. Many thanks and really helpful to someone like me researching my Uncle John Packham. He was killed on 1st July 1941 on HMS Malvernian whilst on convoy escort OG66 from UK to Gibraltar. I am trying to locate the Convoy report, Attack report or anything relating to the event. (used your Ships forum the other day) Malvernian was bombed by Focke-Wulf Condor aircraft and was eventually abandoned and sunk. Some crew got to Spain whilst most were captured and spent the rest of the war in POW camps. I plan to visit the UK National Archives at Kew and there is an interesting recorded interview at the Imperial War Museum from an officer on the ship describing the attack and his subsequent years as a POW (he escaped and when recaptured ended up in Colditz!)
I see on you Ships section you have OG1 through OG89 available (to be added in due course) and would value your advice about how I might obtain a copy of OG 66?
Sorry to bother you with this.
With kind regards
Rob Packham

Here is the page on my website that Rob is referring to. The same information can be found at this external website. I would imagine he can find the convoy reports at the Public Records Office in Kew.


March 7

From: Alex

M/T Pericles

Just to say that what hit Pericles were not torpedo boats or midget submarines, but a sort of "suicide" fast boat with 300kg explosive where the sole crew man jumps itself overboard in last moments. The explosive drops from boat when this is destroyed against target and is supposed to explode under the target, it has a pressure set.


No need to spend time thanking :)

Here is my page about Pericles (I thanked him anyway :-) ). As will be seen, I also have an external link at the end of that page to information about "Modified Touring Boat" (Barchino).


March 3

From: Bjørn Pedersen

GOL - vessels in home waters during WW II


First and foremost - a truckload of compliements for your excellent work with thos World War 2 link. It is extremely much appreciated by all ship lovers in Norway - and also abroad.

Just noticed that you asked questions about the photo you had gotten about the S/S GOL built 1920. The photo you got is definitely of another GOL built after the WW 2, so suggest you delete it and wait for some one else to come up with it

Kind regards



March 1

From: Lanice Lusitania Ferrao

MV Toulouse 1974

I would like to know more about the survivors of this ship. I am the niece of Joseph Martin Fernandes , 29 yrs who sailed on MV Toulouse which foundered off Ishigaki on August 21, 1974. Any contact with the company/agent could also help.

Thank you

Lanice Lusitania Ferrao

(Lanice is referring to a note I have on my page about the WW II Toulouse, as well as this Guestbook message).


Febr. 28

Renato Barahona

Dicto/American Cardinal

I'm writing a book about the S.S. Kefalos, formerly known, among other names, as the Dicto:

"Other ships by the name Dicto: This company had previously had another ship named Dicto (turbine ship) from 1928. Delivered in July-1917 to A/S D/S Dicto (B. Stolt-Nielsen), Haugesund, later managed by Oscar Bakkevig from Nov.-1927 - 3892 gt. Sold in Nov.-1928 to E.B. Aaby, Oslo, then sold again in 1933 to American Foreign S.S. Corp., New York. Sailed as American Cardinal in 1936, then under Panamanian, Greek and Israeli flags until 1962." (This is a note from my text for the WW II Dicto).

This ship made a famous trip from Mexico to Israel in 1948 with a cargo of smuggled arms. Unfortunately, I've been unable to find photographs of the vessel as it appeared when it was first launched in 1917, as well as when it was named the American Cardinal. Any ideas about how I could secure pictures of the ship under these two names?

Thank you.

Renato Barahona
Professor, Department of History
University of Illinois at Chicago

(I referred Renato to my Ship Forum)


Febr. 26

From: M. Ushaw

S.S Inga - Charles Scheen Holm


Can anyone provide any information regarding the S.S Inga? We are researching a family member by the name of Charles Scheen Holm from Olso (Kristiania) whom was a Quay Officer.

Charles married Grace Dudeck a board the S.S Inga in 1901.

We have had no success finding out anything about this ship.

Any help or suggestings would be greatly appreciated.

Curious - from NZ

(I referred the poster to my Ship Forum).


Febr. 22

From: Hassen algeria

I wonder if u re sir the right person I have been looking for since 1993.

First I m very poured of beeing one of alot of person who sent to u messages, and I m realy happy to write to u sir hoping that I ll get from u a little help , just to know some news from a friend has the same name CHRIS HAZELGRAVE as u; oreginaly from Australia, a capitain ship. He was living in Germany and married. I meet him in 1993 im Zell am Hamersbach...One year later I leaft germany, and unfortunatly I lost the contact with him.
I just wanna know if there's some similarity or it's true. Thank u a lot

(I'm not entirely sure what Hassen is referring to here - he may have found the name Hazelgrave in his search, probably in this Jan. 26-2006 Guestbook message, where a Gunner Hazelgrave is mentioned - he died when Bokn was sunk).


Febr. 20

From: Andy Lawson

Best Wishes and Web Site Congratulations

Hi there Siri,

There's a coincidence, yet another Lawson.

I was researching tanker accidents and found "Olav Ringdal Junior" described as one of your father's ships.

Your web site it extremely well made and I congratulate you on its high quality and the interesting facts it contains.

With very best wishes to you and your family,



Febr. 19

From: Jacqueline Lewis

Norwegian merchant navy

I have been trying to locate the name of a Nowegian ship that was torpedoed by German U boat after peace was declared after first world war, my grandfather Karl Harald Blomberg a Swede was killed, I did see a plaque with his name on it at The Norwegian Seamans Church in London about 50 yrs ago but have had no luck. I do not know the name of the ships as my father also a merchant seaman died some 20 yrs ago, is there any listings of merchant seaman that died during those circumstances, thank you


Febr. 18

From: Theron P. Snell, Ph.D

Convoy CU-36

As a historian, I have researched CU-36 extensively. I want to correct one minor error and add information:
First, The HMS HURST CASTLE was NOT part of the CU-36 escort. She and the rescue ship PINTO(?) were part of a second convoy. Secondly, the S.S. SANTA MARGARITA in CU-36 was also carrying the men of the 978th Engineer Maintenance Company as well as general cargo.

Here is my page about Convoy CU 36.


Febr. 17

From: Kelvin Jaggs

Dutch ship ss FARMSUM

Could you let me know if you have any information with regards to the SS FARMSUM that was in the convoy OB 252 departing Liverpool November 1940 going to Buenes Airies? I believe it was sunk on 7th December 1940 by U99.

Do you have a list of any surviving crew members? As my uncle John William Jaggs was recorded as being a ships cook on this vessel.

I believe the survivors were picked up by HMS AMBUSCADE in late December and landed at Greenock, Scotland.

Would you be able to supply any information with regards to a Dutch website that may hold further information.

Your help would be much appreciated.


Febr. 11

From: Ed Offley

Researching 1943 convoy battles

Dear Siri,

I am currently researching for a narrative nonfiction history of the key WWII convoy battles during March-May 1943, and while exploring your website (with its excellent information on individual convoys) I came upon the story from Wynne Dean on his experiences on the SS Kingsbury in Convoy SC 122. I would very much like to contact him, if he is still alive, to obtain permission to use some material from his oral history, and to pose some additional questions. If he is deceased, could you send me contact information for any surviving relatives?

Sincerely, Ed Offley

(The story referred to above can be found on this page - address has been passed on).


Febr. 10

From: Tim Brant

"Svend Foyn" October 1941

Pumpmen Kai Linneman, Haakom Hermansen, Lars Gullaksen and Arthur Kristiansen. Could you please advise if they received any recognition for their work in keeping the ship afloat after being torpedoed. If so, what was their award? If you do not have such information, could you please tell me where I may enquire?

Thank you.


Febr. 9

From: Madalene Bowler

Lungwha camp

I am trying to locate Elizabeth Alexandra Robb who was interned in Lungwha camp. She was my mother's sister and we lost touch after she left China. I was interned in Weishien camp. I realise Mrs Robb is probably dead by now but wondered if she had any relatives or if anyone remembers her and could tell me a little about her. My mother died in 1939 when I was 4 years old so have no knowledge of their lives and would love to hear from someone. Hope you can help. All the best, Madalene

(If anyone can assist Madalene, please let me know via the address posted at the bottom of this page).


Jan. 30

From: John Bedigan

Charente- Operation Performance

I sent a message in 2006, stating that my Dad, an A/B aboard the Charente, was alive and healthy. Unfortunately, he passed away on his 88th birthday on 27th January 2009, after a short illness.

(Here's Charente's crew list at the time of break out from Sweden).


Jan. 29

From: Tomas Nikonoff

My father

Thank you for a very important website. I´m writing my fathers history and I have found very valuable information here. He sailed with M/S Hav, Noravind, OB Sörensen, M/S California Express and DS Ingerlise during convoys and until 1947. After living in Oslo a few years after the war, he settled in Gothenburg, Sweden, where I was born in 1960.
Keep up the good work!

Here are the ships mentioned:
Hav - Noravind - O. B. Sørensen - California Express - Inger Lise


Jan. 28

From: Richard Blue

Teachers during occupation

A few years ago I visited the war museum in Narvik. Fascinating things I had never heard about. The guide indicated that the schools were supposed to teach "nazification". The teachers refused. Every tenth teacher was taken aboard a ship in cramped quarters and shipped above the Arctic Circle. Many died. Do I have this right? Did this happen? I had never heard about it before. Being a high school English teacher and now an aspiring writer I can't help but think it is terrific material for a novel, but I obviously need more information. Can you help me, or point me in the right direction.

Thank you.

(For info, the ship in question was Skjerstad - There's a lot of literature on this, but I'm not sure if any of it is available in English).


Jan. 24

From: Stan Simons

John Bakke

Thank you very much for posting my notes in your Guestbook and for giving me the correct spelling of "hvordan har De det". I am surprised that I remembered this phrase so closely after more than 60 years! Does it mean "How are you today"?
Thank you again.

Stan Simons, Herefordshire, U.K.

(My reply: "Hvordan har De det" means simply How are you. "De" is the old fashioned formal way of saying "you". It's not used at all anymore, we just use the less formal "du" for you).


Jan. 23

From: John Allan

message page jan 2002

Someone named Kara was inquiring about the sinking of the SS Antigone during world war 2. My brother in law who is nearing the end of his days was deckboy on this ship, he would be willing to give any info regards the sinking.
Regards John Allan
PS May I congratulate you on an excellent site

(Address has been forwarded).


Jan. 20

From: Tim Robinson

Merchant navy

Do you know were i might get some pictures of my grandad? His name is Benjamin Ford service number R60754. He was a stoker in the merchant navy, he served between 1939 till 1945. He died in 1961 the year I was born. I know he was in the Russian convoys and he got the Atlantic Star.

Much appreciated.

Tim Robinson

(I'm afraid this is not someting I can assist with, besides, the wrong E-mail address was left, so I cannot contact Tim - I would think the family would be the first to ask for a picture....).


Jan. 20

From: Mr. S. Simons

M.V. John Bakke

I am pleased to find this site with information about the Norwegian vessel 'John Bakke' and its history during WWII. I have been compiling my stories from that war and some of my more vivid memories are of the time when I was posted abroad, travelling on board this vessel as one of the British troops going, as it turned out, to Sicily for the invasion. My R.A.F.unit was 306 MSSU (Mobile Signals Servicing Unit) and we had some 20 vehicles plus drivers on board. I vividly recall the first approach to Sicily with the dive bombing from the JU 87 (Stuka) planes stationed just up the coast from Augusta our planned landing place and seeing vessels burning amidst the intense anti-aircraft fire from the convoy. As this was so intense most of the convoy had to make its way back to Malta, returning the next day to a landing area a short distance away from which we made our way up into the hills overlooking the sea. The main part of our unit came to join us shortly after on the troopship 'Franconia' and we saw bombs landing either side of this ship, fortunately they missed. I recall the hammocks in which we slept above the mess tables and the fire watching and deck scrubbing with which we helped. I learned one or two words of Norwegian from the very friendly crew, mostly forgotten now though 'Voden Hardiday' (this is spelt: "hvordan har De det") seems to come to mind.

I hope that this might interest someone and maybe establish further contacts.
Thank you once again for setting up this site.

Stan Simons

(John Bakke is discussed on this page).


Jan. 16

From: Stewart Henderson Holder

Sinking of the TSS ATHENIA

Dear Madam,

Would it be of any interest to know that we have a copy of the SSS transmitted by the Radio Operator of the TSS ATHENIA.

Our Father Leslie John Holder was the Radio Operator on duty on board the British Destroyer HMS ELECTRA that took part in the rescue mission.

Best wishes,

Stewart Henderson Holder ( Second Son )


Jan. 16

From: Mary Wheeler

Saloon boy

Hello, I wonder if you could tell me what a 'Saloon Boy' would have been on the merchant ships? An uncle of ours recently passed away in December age 83 and I've been looking through his things, I know he was in the merchant navy, but have now found out that he was on the 'Velma Norwegian' which sailed from Swansea, according to his notes. I entered his name in the 'war sailor search' and found a 'Clifford Roberts' (which was his name) a 'saloon boy'and British! But this was on the 'Thorstrand' and not on the 'Velma' I wonder if it could be him and maybe they changed ships sometimes? I would be very grateful if you could help in some way, thank you Mary Wheeler, S Wales, UK

(Here's my page about Thorstrand, where Clifford Roberts is mentioned in the crew list. It's possible he joined Velma after her loss).


Jan. 11

From: Gerd Hønningstad

SS Chulmleigh

I am interested in contacting David Clark and others that have posted notes re. SS Chulmleigh which sank in Spitzbergen 1942. My father was the doctor who took care of the 9 surivicors. For this he got The British Empire Order. He was himself "stuck" on Svalbard after the Fritham expedition, the boats Selis and Isbjørn was bombed by the Germans, and my father was one of the survivors. The leader of the Fritham exedition died. Mr. Sverdrup.
Kind regards Gerd Hønningstad

(Addresses have been forwarded).


Jan. 8

From: Andrew Rozefelds

List of crew on the Taurus (Operation Rubble)

Hi Siri,

Congratulations on the website!

I am trying to track down information on my father. He was Latvian and his name was Francis Rozefelds.

I know very little about his life. He was a merchant seaman.

He was in the port of Narvik when the germans blew up the ship he was on (I dont know the name of the ship).

He was then involved in Operation Rubble and was on the Taurus. I was wondering if you have access to the crew list that were involved in Operation Rubble?

I have ordered the Blockade Busters from a bookshop but am still awaiting supply of the book.

Any suggestions you have would be most welcome.

best wishes Andrew


Jan. 7

From: Elisabeth Lønnå

Shiplists as sources

Hello, I have contacted you before because I am writing this book about Maritime Women. I see now that you have a very nice entry about Canadian radio officers. I have a technical question: Only some of the ship sites in your Shiplists have crew lists. I assume that these are the ones that were torpedoed and sank or were lost, and that the crew lists are taken from the "sjøforklaringer" - maybe with some additions. Am I right? Do you know if all sjøforklaringer from the war are included?
Your site is really extremely good and I am very thankful to you now that I am using it this way.
Best wishes from Elisabeth

(The Canadian radio operators mentioned above are named on my page about Mosdale).


Jan. 4

From: Piotr Staszewski


According to the book "SNCF locomotive list" by John Davies only 16 locomotives had been transported (and finally lost in Atlantic on 13th April 1947) by SS Belpamela. The 17th loco had been lost during unloading in Marseille but Author doesn't give any details.

(Belpamela is discussed on this page).


Jan. 3

From: Andrew Adams

D Day Ships

Ref: June 3 2007

From: Jean-Pierre Vanhoof: D-Day ships

If Mr Vanhoof wishes to contact me I can give him information on HMS Astral and the 'Kansas' lightvessel.

Best wishes

Andy Adams

(Address has been forwarded).


Jan. 2

From: Andrea Williams


Hello - I hope you can help me to locate the owners or, alternatively, an association representing the sailors on board the Herstein when it was bombed in Rabaul harbour in January 1942.

A small group of us are trying to get more acknowledgement for all those who lost their lives on the Montevideo Maru.

There is going to be a plaque commemorated in Subic Bay (Philippines - about 150 miles from where the Montevideo Maru sank) next July 1. Perhaps there may be representatives of the lost sailors interested in hearing more details.

We are also hoping to find out all the information we can about the sinking and who was on board. The nominal roll of passengers on board, brought to Australia in late 1945, has since disappeared.

If you can help put us in contact with those connected with the Herstein we would appreciate it.
Many thanks
Andrea Williams

(Here is my page about Herstein and a crew list).

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