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D/S Bisp

To Bisp on the "Ships starting with B" page.

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Manager: Olaus Kvilhaug, Haugesund
1000 gt, 575 net, 1300 tdwt.

Delivered in Febr.-1889 from Sunderland Shipbuilding Co., Sunderland as Truno City to C. W. Furness, Hartlepool. 209.2' x 30.1' x 13.6', Triple exp. (Northeast Mar. Eng. Co., Ltd.). Purchased as Bisp from A. Jacobsen & C. Andersen jr, Bergen in 1933, by D/S A/S Bisp (O. Kvilhaug), Haugesund.

Captain: Rolf Kvilhaug (son of the manager, O. Kvilhaug).

According to A. Hague, Bisp took part in Convoy HN 5 from Norway to the U.K. in Dec.-1939 - follow the link for more details, several Norwegian ships are named.

 Final Fate -1940 (Norway still neutral): 

Disappeared after having left Sunderland, England on Jan. 20-1940 with a cargo of coal for Åndalsnes, Norway, and was reported missing on Febr. 16. According to J. Rohwer she had been sunk by U-23 (Kretschmer) on January 24, however, there's a possibility this is incorrect. The Norwegian Varild disappeared around the same time, listed by Rohwer as sunk by U-18 (Mengersen). In a posting to's forum, Roland Berr gives his reasons for believing it was U-18 that sank Bisp, and U-23 that sank Varild. Here's what he says:

"Bisp left Southend on January 20th and was destinated to Åndalsnes, as you know already. So she should be going northeast I guess, not west. U-18 sighted a steamer at 00.50h on 23.01.40 in position AN 4183 (58°29'N 00°10'W). The steamer was zigzagging and had no position lights. Mengersen started to shadow this ship, he wrote it was too bright for an attack at this time. At 06.49h he fired a single torpedo in position AN 4224 (58°59'N 01°13'E) with no result. At 07.01h a second torpedo followed in Position AN 4221 (59°05'N 01°13'E) with the result of sinking this ship. Now take a map and draw in these three positions. This steamer sailed in a northeastern course!

Varild left Horten on January 22nd and was destinated to Southend. She crossed the northern North Sea at the narrowest part about a line Bergen - Orkneys. U-23 sightet a steamer on January 23rd at 20.20h in position AN 2623 (59°59'N 00°10'W). A first attack failed, the torpedo remained in the tube. At 22.13h a second attack again failed, the torpedo became a KREISLÄUFER (circle runner). The next day at 18.15h U-23 sighted the ship again and dived for a third attack in position AN 2658 (59°29'N 00°22'W). At 19.08h she sank Varild with a single torpedo. Now draw this positions again on a map. Definately a southern course!"

There were no survivors from Bisp (14 died).

I've received the following from an Icelandic visitor to my website (these names contained Icelandic letters which don't come out correctly on this site, so I've "translated" them):
Thórarinn Sigurdur Thorlacius Magnússon, born 27.11.1906, Hvammur, Vestmannaeyjar - here's a Guestbook message from his grandson.
Haraldur Bjarnfredsson, born 23.12.1918, Efri-Steinsmeari/Medalland, Vestur-Skaftafellsseasla.
Gudmundur Eiríksson, born 30.05.1919 Vestmannaeyjar - all these died aboard Bisp 1940.

These 10 Norwegians are commemorated at the memorial for seamen in Stavern, Norway (link below).
Captain Rolf Kvilhaug, Seaman Ansgar Mattias Broholm, Assistants (engine room) Ingvald Olai Hillestad and Leif August Pedersen, Mate Martin Leonhard Høie, Stoker Erling Johannesen, Stoker Albert Anton Johansen, 2nd Mate Sverre Kvilhaug (another relative of the manager?), Steward Aksel Ottar Mikkelborg, and Ordinary Seaman Willy Spange.

For info, U-23 was also responsible for the attack on Fredville (in addition to Varild, as mentioned) - follow the link for details.

Related external links:
Stavern Memorial commemorations - The above named 10 Norwegians are commemorated at this Memorial for Seamen in Stavern, Norway.

U- 18 | Ernst Mengersen

U-23 | Otto Kretschmer

Back to Bisp on the "Ships starting with B" page.

The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Våre gamle skip", Leif M. Bjørkelund & E. H. Kongshavn, and misc. (ref. My sources).


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