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Manager: Den norske Stat, Ålesund
Delivered in 1917 from Ste. Ame. des Forges & Chiantiers La Seyne, France as Barbeau to unknow French owners. 136.6' x 24' x 10.9', 303 gt, 132 net, 365 tdwt, Coumpound (Forges & Ch.). Later named Suzanne & Madelaine. Owned by P. Stephan & Co., Brest from 1921. Purchased as Jerseydene by D/S A/S Tangbrand (Trygve Matland), Haugesund in 1926, renamed Tangbrand. Sold in 1930 to R. J. Falkevik, Ålesund, sold again to Statens Kjøleanlegg og Fryseri (The Norwegian State), renamed Borgund.
Captain: Emil A. Fjørtoft
Her voyages are listed on this original document received from the National Archives of Norway.
According to Arnold Hague, Borgund made a voyage from Tyne to Methil with Convoy TM 15, departing Tyne on Febr. 27-1940, arriving Methil on the 28th (convoy is available at the external link provided below - as will be seen, the Norwegian Frode, Jacob Christensen, Mimona, Roy and Skarv are also listed). This agrees with the details found on the archive document above, which indicates she was bound for Aalesund, Norway. In fact, on March 3, A. Hague has included her in Convoy ON 17 to Norway - follow the link for more details; several Norwegian ships are named (including Frode, Jacob Christensen, Mimona, Roy and Skarv). This convoy arrived Norway on March 7.
She transported 34 German prisoners of war to the U.K. on May 1-1940 (Norway had not yet capitulated at that time, and was still at war with Germany - 13 Norwegians were on board). According to a thread on my Ship Forum the prisoners came from the German trawler Thüringen, which had been captured by the Norwegian torpedo boats Sleipner and Trygg and the patrol boat Commonwealth on Apr. 12 near Stettevik (Ålesund area). They were handed over to the authorities in Shetland on May 3, whereupon Borgund returned to Norway to help with the transport of goods in the north of Norway (the archive document gives departure Lerwick as May 7, but arrival Norway is not mentioned).
On June 7-1940, Adm. Cunningham came to Tromsø with Devonshire, and the Norwegian King and his government were evacuated that same day. Borgund had also arrived Tromsø on the 7th (again, not mentioned on the archive document), but Captain Fjørtoft found it best to leave right away (by then the allied troops were pulling out). On June 11, Borgund came across the rafts with 38 survivors from the British Glorious and 1 survivor from the destroyer Acasta, which had been one of the escorts for the aircraft carrier Glorious while evacuating British pilots and aircraft from the North of Norway. The two ships as well as the escort Ardent had had an encounter with the battle cruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau on June 8, all 3 had been sunk. German air planes showed up while Borgund was searching for survivors, but left her alone; in fact, they called for help from shore and another 5 survivors were later found by Norwegian fishing vessels, and 2 by a German sea plane. Borgund set her 39 passengers ashore at Thorshavn on June 14 and was subsequently able to continue in allied service.
Her subsequent voyages are shown on the archive document. As can be seen, she left the Faroe Islands again on June 19, arriving Kirkwall the next day, and unless some voyages are missing, she remained there for quite a long time, with another long stay at Buckie later on. She subsequently made several voyages to Iceland.
Related external links:
The loss of the HMAS Glorious - A detailed account of the sinking of Glorious, Acasta and Ardent.
The following year, Borgund disappeared while on a voyage alone from Reykjavik to Scrabster, where she was expected on March 30-1941. She had departed Reykjavik on March 25 with a cargo of fish. The assumption is she was attacked by aircraft around March 28 and went down with "all 13"? on board, two of whom were Icelandic.
I've received the following from an Icelandic visitor to my website:
"Sjøforklaringer fra 2. verdenskrig" lists 5 men as "saved". All other sources give the impression there were no survivors - hence my question mark. However, a message in my Guestbook from the daughter of Johannes Viddal reinforces the theory that there was indeed at least one survivor from this sinking. (If there were survivors, why do we not know more about what had happened to the ship?).
Related external link:
Back to Borgund on the "Ships starting with B" page.
Norway later had another ship named Borgund, originally delivered in 1949 as Barfrost to owners in Trondheim, 791 gt. Later sailed as Baby Brøvig of Farsund from 1951, before being renamed Borgund for Johan Hagenæs, Ålesund in 1954. Later names: Natasa Josephine from 1974 (Greek), Natassa 1982, Dodo V 1982. Broken up in 1983.
The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, "Våre gamle skip" by Leif M. Bjørkelund and E. H. Kongshavn, "Sjøforklaringer fra 2. verdenskrig", Volume I (Norwegian Maritime Museum), partial voyage record received from Don Kindell, based on Arnold Hague's database, and misc. others for cross checking info. - ref My sources.