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To Beaufort on the "Ships starting with B" page.
Manager: Biørn Biørnstad & Co., Oslo
Built by Barclay, Curle & Co. Ltd., Glagow (621) in 1929, 5053 gt, 2961 net, 8350 tdwt, 389.1' x 52.8' x 30.6', Triple exp, (builders), 500 nhp. Entered service in Aug. that year as Beaufort for Skibs-A/S Beaufort (Biørn Biørnstad & Co.), Oslo. ("Handelsflåten i krig", book 5 gives the tonnage 5067 gt for this ship).
Captain: Haakon Sanne.
(Included in Nortraship's register, though sunk before she could get out of Norway).
Beaufort had been to Texas City, departing for Galveston on March 5-1940, with arrival Galveston on the 13th. She left again the next day; voyage is given as "Gulf for Oslo". Arrived Ålesund on Apr. 7-1940. After having discharged some of her cargo she was ordered to Øye in Norangfjord to await orders, as Norway had been invaded by the Germans on Apr. 9. On the 14th Captain Haakon Sanne was informed by the Mayor that her cargo had been requisitioned by the Norwegian military authorities. At the time she had a complement of 13, including the captain, who also had his wife with him. The rest had paid off.
In the afternoon of Apr. 25 they were attacked by bombers, the attacks lasting for almost 2 hours. Several bombs were dropped but they all hit the water. It appears there were some passengers on board, because the captain rowed 2 ladies (1 of whom may have been his wife) and a child ashore, and gave orders to the carpenter to row the crew ashore as well.
At nightfall, some of the men went back on board to get some supplies. Upon inspection of the ship, the doors and windows on the starboard side of the pilot house were found to be ruined, while the poop had minor damages. The crew remained ashore at a hotel in Øye. In the morning of Apr. 28 she was again bombed in several attacks, but though about 15 bombs were thrown against the ship none of them hit.
The following day several more attacks occurred, and though she was not directly hit, she now started to list to port and showed signs of leaking. On Apr. 30 yet another attack took place and several more the next day, May 1. During one of these attacks a bomb fell near the hotel in which the crew was staying and the inhabitants of Øye urged the captain to remove the ship or sink it, as they were of the opinion that it was due to its presence that the bombing occurred. During the past days the captain had reported the situation to the authorities and was told each time to stay put and await further orders. They had all lived ashore the whole time, with periodic visits to the ship to check on the situation. So as not to expose the population to further danger, and since the ship now had been considerably damaged, it was decided to scuttle that same evening, May 1.
According to a response to a query about Beaufort on my Ship Forum the aircraft that attacked her were He 111's.
Some of her crew members at the time were:
She was raised on Sept. 27 the following year and later laid up at Øye.
Sold in Nov.-1945 to Leif Erichsens Rederi A/S & D/S A/S Forto (Leif Erichsen), Bergen, repaired at Kalnes Mek. Verksted, renamed Geira May 17-1946. Sold in 1952 to A/S Marina (S. L. Paulsen), Bergen. In 1955 owners became A/S D/S Ranheim (same managers). Sold in 1956 to Sameiet Geira (Clemeth Dann), Oslo. Sold to Van Heyghen Freres and arrived Ghent on Nov. 25-1959 to be broken up.
Back to Beaufort on the "Ships starting with B" page.
Other ships by this name: In March-1957 another Beaufort was delivered (tanker), built in Tønsberg, 12 373 gt. Sold to France in 1964, renamed La Charente. Deleted from register in 1985. Biørn Biørnstad & Co. also managed a ship by this name in the mid 1960's, also a tanker, built in Gothenburg 1966, 41 243 gt. Sold to Piræus in 1978 and renamed Katherine Alexandra. Became Panamanian Bashayer I in 1981 (managed by Harry Borthen A/S, Oslo), renamed Cougar I for owners in Valetta, Malta in 1990. Broken up in 1992(?)