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M/S Knute Nelson
Fred. Olsen & Co., Oslo

(Norwegian Homefleet WW II)

Back to Knute Nelson on the "Homefleet Ships starting with K" page.

 Pre War History: 
Received from a Norwegian visitor to my website (thank you!!):

Project no. 24, Yard: Odense Staalskibsværft, Odense, Denmark. Owner: A/S Borgå (Petter Olsen, Oslo).
Launched Oct. 6-1926.
Delivered Dec. 16-1926.
7468 gt - 4724 nrt - 10 355 dwt.
Tonnage reduction during the 1930's: 5749 gt - 3508 nrt - 9,460 dwt.

Scanned from Fred. Olsen & Co. fleet list, with permission from the company.

Dimensions: 435.9 feet x 56.2 feet x 36.0 feet
Machinery: 2x8 cyl. 4-TENKV (B&W Copenhagen) 951 nhp - 5,600 hp - twin screws.
Decks: 2 + shelter deck, 5 hatches, 549,000 cbft grain.
Max speed: 13 knots.

Source: Probably builder.
(Am I violating a copyright by posting this picture here? If so, please let me know and I'll remove it).

The picture on the right was received from, and painted by Jan Goedhart, Holland, who sailed on Norwegian ships for 15 years. (He posted some messages in Norwegian to my Ship Forum, one here, and another thread starting here).
 WW II: 

Captains through the war years (also from above visitor):

January 1939: Capt. Carl J. Anderssen.
Oct. 1941: Capt. Benjamin Schau.
Nov. 1941: Capt. O.H. Lervik.
Feb. 1942: Capt. Benjamin Schau.
August 1942: Capt. Reidar Solbakke.
Dec. 1942: Capt. Benjamin Schau.
Dec. 1943: Capt. Reidar Solbakke.
May 1944: Capt. Benjamin Schau until ship was sunk 27 Sept. 1944".

Captain Carl Johan Anderssen. Rescued 449 survivors from the British passenger ship Athenia on Sept. 3-1939, torpedoed northwest of Ireland by U-30 (Lemp). More could have been saved had it not been for an accident with one of Athenia's lifeboats, which in the dark came in contact with Knute Nelson's propeller and capsized. In the boat were 52 female passengers and 3 seamen, only 8 survived. Other ships to come to the aid of the survivors were the American City of Flint, the Swedish yacht Southern Cross, and the British destroyers HMS Electra and HMS Escort. My father was on board the Nidarland at that time, and mentions in one of his letters (Odd's letters - No. 4) that they too went to assist (I have not seen this mentioned anywhere else).

Knute Nelson was within German controlled waters at the time of the invasion of Norway and ended up under German control. Reported on July 5-1943 in Germany-Norway coal trade.

 Final Fate: 

Struck a mine off Jæren (Obrestad) when on a voyage from Stavanger to Oslo in convoy in the evening of Sept. 27-1944, laid by the French submarine Rubis (Rousselot) on Sept 24, sunk 58 45N 05 24E. 8 crew and 9 FLAK members were killed. Knute Nelson remained afloat long enough that some of the lifeboats could be launched; they later landed at the Nærland beach. (The escort UJ 1715 also struck a mine, 61 killed, 2 survived. The German Cläre Hugo Stinnes I was another mine victim in the convoy, 52 killed). Other ships in this convoy were the German Wolfgang Russ, Wartheland and the Norwegian Ramfoss.

"Minner og minnesmerker fra 1940-1945" by Øistein Wiik names the following Norwegian casualties (in alphabetical order):
Mess Boy Kaare Brevik (not turned 16 years old yet), Seaman Erik Nikolai Hansen, Mate Ove Fredrik Haraldsen, Chief Engineer Ragnvald Markus Kristoffersen, Mechanic Scott Johan Bår Nilsen, Mechanic Andrias Martin Rønseth, Jr. Ordinary Seaman Kjell Sethne Eriksen, and Captain Benjamin Schau.

Related external links:
Stavern Memorial Commemorations - This website claims Knute Nelson was torpedoed by an allied submarine off Jæren and sank within 8 minutes. 9 died. She had a German gunnery crew of about 50 on board (as passengers?), over half of whom died. (Charles Hocking also says Knute Nelson was torpedoed and sunk by a British sub).

Fred Olsen & Co. today

External links related to Athenia:
The Sinking of the S.S. Athenia
Maritime disasters of WW II

Back to Knute Nelson on the "Homefleet Ships starting with K" page.

(Misc. Sources incl. E-mails from Roger W. Jordan, "Allied Submarine Attacks of WW II", Jürgen Rohwer, "Senkninger og forlis fra Åna Sira til Haugesund 1939-1945" by Øistein Thomas Berge, "Handelsflåten i krig", Book 3 - "Sjømann lang vakt" by Guri Hjelsnes).

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