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To Bralanta on the "Ships starting with B" page.
She also sent me the following 3 pictures:
Another picture is available on this external page (click in the little thumbnail to enlarge).
Manager: Ludv. G. Braathen, Oslo
Built in Malmö in 1936.
Captains: Christian Fredrik Arnesen. Also, Captain Olaf Bjønnes (from the sunken ship M/T Solheim, March-1941) was on Bralanta for 3 years, then he served on Nordahl Grieg until the end of the war. Captain Arnesen again took over on Bralanta in the fall of 1943. 1st mate at that time was Rich. Ulvestad.
Related items on this website:
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.
Errors may exist, and several voyages are missing.
According to A. Hague, she often served as Escort Oiler for the Trans-Atlantic convoys.
As will be seen when going to Page 1 of the documents received from the National Archives of Norway, Bralanta was on her way from Los Angeles to Yokohama when war broke out in Norway on Apr. 9-1940 (see also Captain Arnesen's story). Several more such voyages were made in the course of 1940 and up until March-1941; it'll be noticed that she spent a long time in Los Angeles that spring, with another long stay in New York that summer, before proceeding to Halifax. From there, she joined Convoy HX 147 to the U.K. on Aug. 29 (station 102), along with the Norwegian Nueva Granada (station 104), Bello (station 114), Solør (station 54), Sandanger (station 103, which means she was the 3rd ship in the 10th column, right behind Bralanta and in front of Nueva Granada), Slemmestad (station 95), Strinda (station 63), G. C. Brøvig (station 44) and O. A. Knudsen (in station 112). With destination Curacao, she subsequently joined the westbound North Atlantic Convoy ON 18, which left Liverpool on Sept. 19 and dispersed on Oct. 2, Bralanta arriving Curacao independently on Oct. 12. She proceeded to Halifax already the next day in order to join Convoy HX 156 back to the U.K. on Oct. 22. Eglantine and Montbretia served as escorts for a while.
The following month, we find her in station 75 of the westbound Convoy ON 36, which originated in Liverpool on Nov. 13 and dispersed on Nov. 25 (26?). Eglantine and Montbretia are again named among the escorts - the Commodore's narrative is also available. The original convoy document gives Bralanta's destination as New York, as does Page 1, however, she arrived Corpus Christi on Dec. 8, having sailed from Clyde on Nov. 14. She headed back to the U.K. again shortly after Christmas with Convoy HX 167, which left Halifax on Dec. 27. Other Norwegian ships in this convoy were O. A. Knudsen, Thorshavet, Suderøy, Meline, Noreg, Abraham Lincoln, Sandanger, Cetus, Bonneville and Herbrand. Bralanta stopped at Belfast Lough on Jan. 10-1942, before proceeding to Avonmouth, where she arrived Jan. 13.
The external website that I've linked to at the end of this page, mentions Bralanta in Convoy OS 18 at the end of Jan.-1942, but she did not sail. Instead, A. Hague has included her in the westbound North Atlantic Convoy ON 65* about a week later, together with the Norwegian Arthur W. Sewall, Cetus, Egda, G. C. Brøvig, Hardanger, Kaldfonn, Kollbjørg, Mirlo, N. T. Nielsen Alonso, Nueva Granada, Stiklestad, Tankexpress, Troubadour and Vav. This convoy originated in Liverpool on Febr. 8 and dispersed on the 19th, Bralanta (station 62) arriving her destination Aruba independently on March 2. Her voyages in this period are shown on Page 2. Later that month, she's listed in Convoy HX 181 from Halifax (Acanthus, Eglantine and Potentilla were among the escorts, just for one day), but according to Arnold Hague she became a straggler from that convoy and joined up with the slow Convoy SC 75 on March 26, arriving Liverpool on Apr. 3. A couple of weeks later, we find her in Convoy ON 87*, departing Liverpool on Apr. 16, dispersed Apr. 26. She was again bound for Aruba, where she arrived independently on May 5. Other Norwegian ships in this convoy were Albert L. Ellsworth, Atlantic, Glittre, Havprins, Herbrand, Katy, Norheim, Norsol, Polartank, Skandinavia, Stiklestad and Vav.
From Aruba she travelled to Freetown, then joined Convoy SL 112 from there on June 4 (station 92) in order to return to the U.K. This convoy, which also included Atlantic, Glittre, Herbrand, Norsktank and the Panamanian Vestfold (Norwegian managers), arrived Liverpool on June 23 (see link in Voyage Record); Bralanta stopped at Belfast Lough on the 22nd, before continuing to Swansea, with arrival June 24. She now joined another westbound North Atlantic convoy, namely ON 111*, which originated in Liverpool on July 10 and also had Bronxville, Hjalmar Wessel, Kosmos II, Lynghaug, Nueva Granada and Pan Aruba in its ranks (though Hjalmar Wessel and Pan Aruba returned to port). Acanthus, Montbretia and Potentilla are named among the escorts; see ON convoy escorts. Bralanta arrived Halifax on July 22, having sailed from Milford Haven July 8 (via Belfast Lough). Her subsequent voyages are listed on Page 2, convoy information for them can be found in the Voyage Record above (as can be seen, she had a long stay in New York that fall).
Skipping now to Oct. 26-1942, when she's listed in Convoy HX 213 from New York City. The original convoy document gives her destination as Mersey and Stanlow, cargo of fuel oil, station 81 (it'll be noticed, when going to my page about this convoy, that she's included among the ships in the Halifax portion, but from the archive document referred to above, we learn that she did indeed start out from New York). She arrived Liverpool on Nov. 10, Stanlow Nov. 10/11, then back to Liverpool Nov. 14. A few days later, she headed back to New York with Convoy ON 147*, departing Liverpool on Nov. 17, again with other Norwegian ships in company, namely Abraham Lincoln (Commodore Vessel), Egda, Katy, Norfalk and Nortind. This convoy arrived New York on Dec. 4, Bralanta's arrival is given as Dec. 6 on Page 3. She was now scheduled to return to the U.K. in Convoy HX 219 from New York on Dec. 13, but did not sail and also cancelled from the next convoy, HX 220. Instead, she made a voyage directly from the U.S. to Oran in Jan.-1943, as can be seen in the Voyage Record (and Page 3).
She now took part in the Allied operations in North Africa (my page about Athos has a list of Norwegian ships taking part). From Oran, where she had arrived on Febr. 3-1943, she continued to Algiers, then made a voyage from there to Gibraltar with Convoy MKS 8, according to A. Hague (Gibraltar not mentioned on the archive document), before heading back to the U.S., arriving New York on March 12 - again, please go to Page 3 and the Voyage Record for information on this and her subsequent voyages.
At the beginning of May-1943, she was scheduled for Convoy HX 237 from New York to the U.K. (Sandanger and Brand were sunk, follow the links for details), but instead joined the next convoy a week later, HX 238 - her destination is given as Stanlow, where she arrived May 23/24, continuing to Ince May 26. She subsequently returned to New York with Convoy ON 187*, departing Liverpool on June 1, arriving New York on the 15th. The Norwegian Annik, Athos, Braga, Elisabeth Bakke, Fagerfjell, Frontenac, Helgøy, Kronprinsen, Lista, Morgenen, Norbryn, Norefjord, O. B. Sørensen, President de Vogue, Toledo and Vanja are also listed, as is the Panamanian Norvinn, which is included on this website because she had Norwegian managers. Some of these ships, including Bralanta, headed back across the Atlantic again on June 23 in Convoy HX 245, bound for Swansea with a cargo of pool fuel, station 93, arriving Swansea (via Belfast Lough) on July 7, according to Page 3. She later joined the westbound Convoy ON 193*, which originated in Liverpool on July 16 and arrived New York July 31. As usual, several Norwegian ships took part, namely Chr. Th. Boe, Fagerfjell, Fernwood, Geisha, Harpefjell, Herbrand, Hiram, Idefjord, Maud, Meline, Norlom, O. B. Sørensen, Para, Samuel Bakke, Sandviken, Santos, Skaraas, Skjelbred, Stiklestad, Thorhild, Thorshov and Tungsha, as well as the Panamanian Norlys (Norwegian managers).
Bralanta was scheduled for Convoy HX 251 from New York on Aug. 7 (Commodore was in Laurits Swenson - Acanthus, Potentilla and Rose escorted for a while, see HX convoy escorts), but instead joined the next convoy on Aug. 14, HX 252, bound for Mersey, station 82; A. Hague says she served as Escort Oiler - see also Santos, the Commodore's narrative, these collision reports, as well as this report. The convoy arrived Liverpool on Aug. 28-1943; already on Sept. 2, we find her in the westbound Convoy ON 200*, which arrived New York, Bralanta's destination, on Sept. 18. Fagerfjell, Herbrand and O. B. Sørensen were again in company, as were Biscaya, Buenos Aires, Emma Bakke, Haakon Hauan, Ivaran, Laurits Swenson, Norden, Norheim, Reinholt and the Panamanian Norbris. From the U.S., Bralanta now sailed to North Africa again - please see Hague's Voyage Record (and Page 3).
The next time she came to the U.K. again was in Jan.-1944, when we find her in Convoy HX 275 from New York (serving as Escort Oiler - Samuel Bakke served as Vice Commodore). Bralanta was bound for Clyde and Stanlow, arriving Clyde on Jan. 28, Stanlow (via Liverpool) Febr. 6/7 - see Page 4. She subsequently joined Convoy ON 224 (according to A. Hague), but returned to port following a collision with the American tanker Sharpsburg (cargo of aviation fuel), which had run into Bralanta in Queens Channel off Liverpool on Febr. 14. Sharpsburg had arrived from the U.S. with Convoy CU 13. Volunteers from Bralanta helped save the crew (with the exception of 2 men). Both ships caught on fire but they were brought under control. A British destroyer and a pilotboat also took part in the rescue. The captain of Bralanta at this time is listed as Christian Arnesen again.
In the very last issue of "Krigsseileren" (2000) there's a detailed account of this dramatic rescue written by the carpenter, Johan H. J. Rørstad, who was in command of a lifeboat with 4 other volunteers, namely Pumpman Hervik, Able Seamen Jan Kristiansen, and someone named Bergen (probably a nickname?) and Jensen. The collision took place in heavy fog just after departure. The crew of Bralanta could see that crew from the burning American tanker started to jump overboard, and the captain asked for volunteers to go to the port lifeboat and try to save as many as they could. Against all odds they battled the burning oil covered seas and managed to pick up 15 men. 1 had simply reached his arms up in the air and quitely let himself sink, but Jan Kristiansen tore his clothes off and jumped in after him. He was gone for a long time, but came back to the surface with the unconscious man. To their great relief, a light cruiser now arrived on the scene and the American seamen, all in shock, were helped on board. Just then, they saw Bralanta's starboard motor lifeboat which had picked up another 2 men. This boat, in command of the 1st mate, took the lifeboat in tow back to Bralanta, damaged by the fire but afloat, and 2 1/2 hours after they had first set off in the lifeboat they were back on board. (This event is also described in Norwegian in Captain Arnesen's story).
As already mentioned, Bralanta had returned to port after the collision, later joining Convoy ON 225* (Escort Oiler), which left Liverpool on Febr. 22-1944 and arrived New York March 8 (Sharpsburg also headed back to the U.S., joining Convoy UC 14, which left Liverpool on March 1 - see ships in all UC convoys). Abraham Lincoln (Commodore Vessel), Ferncourt, Haakon Hauan, Lista, Marit II, Montevideo, Skiensfjord and Thorsholm are also listed in this ON convoy, as is the Panamanin Norlys. (The corvette Buttercup, which was later transferred to the Norwegian flag after the loss of Tunsberg Castle, is named among the escorts - see ON convoy escorts). Bralanta subsequently remained in New York for quite a long time (for repairs - Page 4), until she on May 5 joined Convoy HX 290 (Escort Oiler), which arrived Liverpool on May 19 (for Sharpsburg, see CU 23 and CU 30).
A week later, she's listed as Commodore Vessel for Convoy ON 238* (also, Escort Oiler), departing Liverpool on May 26, arriving New York on June 9 (also included Fernwood, Jotunfjell, Morgenen, Skotaas and Thorsholm). According to Captain Arnesen's story, the Commodore was Sir N. N. Cochrane (should be E. O. Cochrane). Later that month, she joined Convoy HX 296 from New York (again serving as Escort Oiler). Her destination on that occasion is given as Mersey, Milford Haven and Portsmouth - again, see Page 4. The last North Atlantic convoy she sailed in was Convoy ON 245* (Escort Oiler), which originated in Liverpool on July 18 and arrived New York on Aug. 2, and also included Chr. Th. Boe, Emma Bakke (Commodore Vessel), Fjordaas, Gudvor, Mathilda, Montevideo, O. B. Sørensen, Petter II and Tanafjord.
Continued to serve under the Norwegian flag until the early 1960's and was broken up during 1962-63.
Back to Bralanta on the "Ships starting with B" page.
The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, article in "Krigsseileren" No. 3, 2000, and misc. others for cross checking info - ref My sources.