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Owner: A/S Borgestad
Delivered from Burmeister & Wains Maskin- og Skipsbyggeri, Copenhagen, Denmark (334) in Jan.-1925 as Borgestad to A/S Borgestad, Porsgrunn, 351.3' x 51.4' x 24.2', 2 x 5 cyl. 4 TEV DM (B&W), 1700 bhp.
Captain: Lars Grotnæss.
Her voyages are listed on this original document from the National Archives of Norway.
Please compare the above voyages with Arnold Hague's Voyage Record below.
(Received from Don Kindell - His source: The late Arnold Hague's database).
Follow the convoy links provided for more information on each.
As can be seen when going to the archive document, Borgestad was on her way from Table Bay to Takoradi when war broke out in Norway on Apr. 9-1940. This voyage had started out in Melbourne on Febr. 8 and via various other ports she arrived Takoradi on Apr. 19.
It'll be noticed that she spent a month at Port Sudan later that year, before proceeding to Port Elizabeth, remaining there for a month as well (convoy info in the table above). From Port Elizabeth, she sailed to Table Bay on Dec. 30, then on to Freetown, where she arrived Jan. 19-1941.
With a cargo of cotton, she left Freetown again on Jan. 30-1941, joining Convoy SLS 64 (bound for Liverpool without an escort). The Norwegian D/S Bur and D/S Varangberg had ended up so far behind by Febr. 12 they barely had contact with the convoy. Follow the link to my page about SLS 64 for more information.
Early in the morning of February 12, in position 37 12N 21 20W (between Madeira and the Azores) the German Admiral Hipper (Meisel) attacked, at a distance of 2500 meters. In fact, the Commander of Hipper had just previously been notified of Convoy HG 53 and was given orders to attack, so when SLS 64 appeared in his course, he initially thought he had encountered HG 53 (in which D/S Tejo was sunk).
Norwegian sources claim that Borgestad was the Commodore* ship for SLS 64, saying that Captain Grotnæss must have given the order to disperse, because ship after ship turned around and desperately tried to get away, but Borgestad and the other ships at the head of the convoy had no time for such maneuvers, as Hipper was quickly advancing, and Grotnæss chose to fight, in spite of Borgestad's inferior armament. He headed directly towards Admiral Hipper, in an effort to get that ship as far away from the convoy as possible, while the gunners were loading and firing, loading and firing. When after a fierce battle Borgestad eventually sank, 30 men and 1 woman went down with her. Borgestad's 1st Mate Harald Nergaard had his American wife Norma (born Hayes) with him on the ship. She was employed as a stewardess, was 21 years old and from Tacoma.
The captain was posthumously awarded the highest ranked Norwegian decoration Krigskorset for his actions during this battle, which were officially acknowledged as having saved the convoy from total destruction by Admiral Hipper - again, this is from Norwegian sources. As it was, 7 ships went down, while 12 escaped (2 of which were damaged). The distress calls from the fleeing ships were received by the Admiralty, which dispatched the battle ship Renown and the aircraft carrier Ark Royal from Gibraltar that same afternoon, as well as some destroyers, partly to assist the convoy, and partly to catch the German ship. But Admiral Hipper, which had spent a tremendous amount of ammunition in this battle and had no interest in being engaged by the British forces in such a state, quickly headed for Brest, arriving there without having been located. For days there was great fear for the remains of Convoy SLS 64. Varangberg finally reached Gibraltar on Febr. 17, while Bur, as one of the last ships, arrived St. Miguel (Azores) on Febr. 18.
Related external links:
Back to Borgestad on the "Ships starting with B" page.
Other ships by this name: This company had previously had another Borgestad (steamship), built in Middlesbrough and delivered to A/S Borgestad (Gunnar Knudsen), Porsgrunn in June-1906, 3944 gt. Converted to tanker in 1912, 4278 gt. Sold to Oslo in the summer of 1924 and renamed Nina for A/S Oljefart (Henry Borthen & Co.), Oslo. Towed to Istanbul after having run aground in The Black Sea on Dec. 27-1927. Intended repaired at Tyne where she arrived in Febr.-1928, but condemned in May that year and sold for breaking up. Another Borgestad (tanker) was delivered to A/S Borgestad in Oct.-1948, built in Gothenburg, 10 099 gt. Sold in 1964 and renamed Sisangu (managed by Tschudi & Eitzen, Oslo). Became Panamanian Cosmo Trader in 1965, San Eduardo in 1966 (having been converted to bulk carrier, 9394 gt). Sold to Greece in 1973, renamed Montego. Sold to Panama in 1977, renamed Good View. Broken up in 1979. In Nov.-1969 a new Borgestad was delivered to the company (motor vessel), 18 523 gt. Sold to Panama in 1985 and renamed Michelle C. Renamed Karrington in 1988 fro new Panamanian owners. Broken up 1999.
The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, "Krigsseileren" No. 3, 1998, "Sjøforklaringer fra 2. verdenskrig", Volume I (Norwegian Maritime Museum), and misc. others for cross checking info. - ref My sources.