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M/S Brand
Updated May 1-2011

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

Survivors and Casualties

Source: Jean-Pierre Charest, Québec, who adds that she's "berthed at Baie-Comeau, on the north shore of the St Lawrence river in July 1938. The little 470 tons passenger ship MATANE 1 in the foreground started servicing between south and north shores of the river in 1938 and was the first all-welded ship built in Québec province as opposed to riveted".

Source: Markus Berger (see Swiss Ships - external link).
Another picture is available at (also external link).
This external page has more (click in them to enlarge).

Owner: A/S Borgestad
Manager: Gunnar Knudsen, Porsgrunn
4819 gt, 2829 net, 8880 tdwt.
Call Sign: BLTW.

Delivered from Götaverken A/B, Gothenburg, Sweden (402) in May-1927 as Brand to A/S Borgestad, Porsgrunn. 380.5' x 54.7' x 25.7', 2 x 6 cyl. 4 TEV DM (builders), 2120 bhp.

Captain: Reidar Helgesen

Related item on this website:
Guestbook message from the daughter of David Conway, one of the survivors (see crew list below).

Her voyages are listed on these original images from the Norwegian National Archives:
Page 1 | Page 2

Please compare the above voyages with Arnold Hague's Voyage Record below.

Voyage Record
From March-1940 to May-1943:

(Received from Don Kindell - His source: The late Arnold Hague's database).

Follow the convoy links provided for more information on each.

Departure From To Arrival Convoy Remarks
1940 March 19 Geelong Balboa Apr. 23 Independent See also Page 1
Apr. 24 Cristobal Halifax May 5 Independent
May 9 Halifax Baie Comeau May 13 Independent
May 15 Baie Comeau New York City May 20 Independent Notional sailing date
May 22 New York City Baie Comeau May 27 Independent
May 29 Baie Comeau New York City June 3 Independent
June 12 New York City New York City June 24 Independent A. Hague says:
Voyage unknown
(Page 1 indicates Baie Comeau again).
June 28 New York City New York City July 8 Independent Voyage unknown
(but see Page 1).
July 10 New York City Baie Comeau July 15 Independent
July 16 Baie Comeau New York City July 21 Independent
July 23 New York City New York City Aug. 5 Independent Voyage unknown
(but again, see Page 1).
Aug. 7 New York City New York City Aug. 20 Independent Voyage unknown
(see Page 1).
Aug. 22 New York City Baie Comeau Independent
Aug. 30 Baie Comeau New York City Sept. 4 Independent
Sept. 6 New York City Clarke City Independent
Sept. 13 Clarke City New York City Sept. 19 Independent
Sept. 20 New York City Baie Comeau Sept. 26 Independent
Sept. 26 Baie Comeau New York City Sept. 30* Independent *Page 1 gives arrival Oct. 3.
Oct. 4 New York City Dalhousie Oct. 9 Independent
Oct. 18 Dalhousie Boston Oct. 22 Independent
Oct. 23 Boston New York City Oct. 25 Independent
Oct. 26 New York City Baie Comeau Nov. 1 Independent
Nov. 2 Baie Comeau New York City Nov. 8 Independent
Nov. 10 New York City Baie Comeau Nov. 15 Independent
Nov. 17 Baie Comeau New York City Nov. 22 Independent
Nov. 24 New York City Baie Comeau Dec. 1 Independent
Dec. 3 Baie Comeau New York City Dec. 8 Independent Notional sailing date
Dec. 10 New York City New York City Jan. 4-1941 Independent A. Hague says:
Voyage unknown
(but see Page 1).
1941 Jan. 18 New York City Cristobal Jan. 26 Independent
Jan. 27 Balboa Los Angeles Febr. 7 Independent
Febr. 7 Los Angeles New Westminster Febr. 12 Independent
Febr. 13 New Westminster Vancouver Febr. 14 Independent
Febr. 15 Vancouver Victoria BC Febr. 15 Independent
Febr. 18 Victoria BC Chemainus Febr. 19 Independent
Febr. 22 Chemainus Port Alberni Independent
Febr. 25 Port Alberni Balboa March 18 Independent
March 19 Cristobal Trinidad March 25 Independent
March 27 Trinidad Capetown Apr. 24 Independent
Apr. 26 Capetown Lourenço Marques May 3 Independent
May 15* Lourenço Marques Mauritius May 30 Independent Notional sailing date
(*Page 2 gives May 24).
June 13 Mauritius Capetown June 26 Independent A. Hague says:
Major engine repairs at Capetown
Oct. 28 Capetown Trinidad Nov. 25 Independent
Dec. 8 Trinidad Sydney, C.B. Dec. 23 Independent See also narrative below
1942 Jan. 9 Sydney, C.B. Clyde Jan. 23 SC 64 See also Page 2
March 11 Clyde ON 75 A. Hague says:
For Beira.
Dispersed in 42N 46W, March 19.
Convoy will be added.
See ships in ON convoys
March 19 Dispersed from ON 75 Capetown Apr. 16 Independent
Apr. 19 Capetown Port Elizabeth Apr. 21 Independent
Apr. 22 Port Elizabeth East London Apr. 23 Independent
Apr. 26 East London Durban Apr. 28 Independent
May 4 Durban Lourenço Marques May 6 Independent A. Hague says:
Engine repairs at Lourenço Marques
July 14 Lourenço Marques Trinidad Aug. 12 Independent
Aug. 16 Trinidad Kingston Aug. 21 TAW 14 Convoy available at TAW 14
(external link)
Sept. 3 Kingston Port-au-Prince Sept. 7 G 3 Convoy available at G 3
(external link)
Sept. 25 Port-au-Prince Gitmo Independent
Sept. 26 Gitmo New York City Oct. 4 GN 7 Convoy available at GN 7
(external link)
Nov. 1 New York City Sydney, C.B. Nov. 7 SC 108 Returned.
Convoy will be added.
See ships in SC convoys
Nov. 12 Sydney, C.B. Halifax Nov. 14 Independent A. Hague says:
Arrived with defects
Nov. 17 Halifax Boston Nov. 20 Independent For repair of defects
1943 Febr. 2 Boston New York City Febr. 4 Independent
Febr. 13 New York City Liverpool March 5 SC 120 Convoy will be added.
See link above.
March 24 Liverpool ON 175 A. Hague says:
For Halifax
Straggled March 29
(Page 2 gives destination New York).
Convoy will be added.
See ships in ON convoys
March 29 Straggled from ON 175 Halifax Apr. 10 Independent
Apr. 30 Halifax Halifax Independent A. Hague says:
Voyage, short, unknown*
* Sinking report for Brand states she was on a voyage from Charlottetown, via Halifax, for Liverpool - see also Page 2.
May 3 Halifax HX 237 See also narrative below.
Straggled, May 7
May 7 Straggled from HX 237 Independent Sunk - See "Final Fate" below.

 Misc. Convoy Voyages: 
For information on voyages made in between those mentioned here, please see the documents received from the National Archives of Norway and A. Hague's record above. Follow the convoy links provided for further info, several Norwegian ships took part.

When war broke out in Norway on Apr. 9-1940, Brand was on her way from Geelong to Balboa - see Page 1. Her 1941 voyages also start on this document and continue on Page 2. It'll be noticed, that she spent a long time at Table Bay that year. She had arrived there from Mauritius on June 26 and departure is given as Oct. 28, when she proceeded to Trinidad. According to A. Hague, this long stay was due to her requiring major engine repairs. From Trinidad, where she had arrived on Nov. 25, she proceeded to Sydney, C.B. on Dec. 8, arriving Dec. 23, and with a cargo of sugar for Liverpool, she was scheduled for the slow Convoy SC 62 from there on Dec. 27, but did not sail (Montbretia and Rose are named among the escorts for this convoy). She was also cancelled from Convoy SC 63 a week later (Jan. 3-1942), but got away with the next convoy on Jan. 9, SC 64. Her destination is now given as Clyde, and she arrived there on Jan. 23, remaining in that area for quite a long time.

At the external website that I've linked to below, she's listed among the ships in Convoy OS 21 in March-1942, on a voyage from Clyde to Capetown and Beira with general cargo in station 103 of the convoy, which left Liverpool on March 4 (several other Norwegian ships are also named - follow the link provided for more details). However, A. Hague has instead included her, with a general cargo for Beira, in station 51 of the westbound North Atlantic Convoy ON 75*, originating in Liverpool on March 10-1942, so she either did not join OS 21 at all, or joined and returned to port. She arrived Capetown independently on Apr. 16, Convoy ON 75 having been dispersed on March 19. Other Norwegian ships were Brasil, Evita, Norfjell and Vanja.

Brand now made voyages to Port Elizabeth, East London and Durban, then on to Lourenco Marques, where she arrived May 6. As will be seen when going back to Page 2, she subsequently spent quite a long time there; she did not leave again until July 14, when she proceeded to Trinidad, with arrival Aug. 12. Again, A. Hague says this long stay was due to engine repairs. Convoy information for some of her subsequent voyages can be found in the Voyage Record above. (It'll be noticed that she also had a long stay in New York that year).

Skipping now to Nov. 1-1942, when she according to A. Hague joined the slow Convoy SC 108* from New York, in order to sail to the U.K., but she returned to port (Sydney, C.B. - again, see Page 2), later travelling to Boston (via Halifax) for repair of defects. Having remained in Boston from Nov. 20-1942 to Febr. 2-1943, she proceeded to New York, where she joined Convoy SC 120* on Febr. 13. Both these convoys had other Norwegian ships as well, namely Bonneville, Granfoss, Snar, Torfinn Jarl and Vanja in SC 108, while Gausdal, Mathilda, Norhauk, Norsktank, Nyco and Vest are listed in SC 120. Brand had a cargo of sugar and general and sailed in station 85 of the convoy, which arrived Liverpool on March 5. She later joined Convoy ON 175*, which departed Liverpool on March 24 and also included the Norwegian Kaldfonn, Kong Sverre, Norelg, Petter and Washington Express. Brand (in station 41) lost touch with the convoy on March 29, but arrived Halifax safely on Apr. 10 - judging from the information found on the archive document, her original destination had been New York. This was to be her last westbound convoy voyage; she was sunk on her way back to the U.K. the following month.

* The ON convoys will be added to individual pages in my Convoys section, with more information on each; in the meantime, the ships sailing in them (and escorts) are named in the section listing ships in all ON convoys. The entire SC series will also be updated and completed (including the already existing convoys), but for now, please see ships in all SC convoys.

More information on all the other Norwegian ships named here can be found via the alphabet index at the end of this page, or go to the Master Ship Index.

Related external link:
OS and OS/KMS Convoys - Brand is included in Convoy OS 21 (but as mentioned, she instead sailed in ON 75).

 Final Fate - 1943: 

As mentioned above, Brand had arrived Halifax on Apr. 10-1943. According to Page 2, she left Halifax again on Apr. 30 for Charlottetown, but arrival there is not given; the document shows that she returned to Halifax again. She had been scheduled for the Halifax portion of Convoy HX 236 on Apr. 26-1943, but instead joined the Halifax section of the next convoy on May 3, HX 237, which had originated in New York on May 1. She was on a voyage from Charlottetown via Halifax for Liverpool with a cargo of 1000 tons ammunition, sulphur, 2500 tons flour and 4500 tons of various machines. She had been separated from the convoy in dense fog on May 7, and at 10:35 ship's time (11:35 GMT) on May 12, in 47 19N 24 41W, she was torpedoed on the port side aft by U-603 (Baltz), sinking in a few minutes.

2 crew and 1 gunner drowned. 39 survivors got in the 3 lifeboats that had been successfully launched, 1 from the starboard side, 2 from port (an attempt to launch a 4th boat was unsuccessful due to the heavy list). They searched for possible survivors for 3 hours, but as none were found they set sail for Ireland at 14:00. At 18:45 that same day the Canadian corvette Morden (K-170) picked them up. A Swordfish aircraft had been sighted at 16:00 that afternoon and it was believed responsible for the corvette being directed to the boats.

M/T Sandanger also became a straggler from this convoy and was torpedoed and sunk by U-221 the same day.

Captain Reidar Helgesen wrote a book about his war experiences, entitled "Dra te' sjøss" (in Norwegian, ISBN 82-992998-1-0). Issues No. 3 and 4 for 1997 of the Norwegian magazine "Krigsseileren" have some excerpts, one of which describes the events surrounding the attack on Brand. He says the convoy had been scattered, and the Commodore had ordered all the ships to meet at a certain position, but when they got to the rendezvous on May 10 the Commodore Vessel and convoy never showed up. After having waited a while along with 4 other stragglers, one ship after another started out alone and Brand followed suit.

In the morning of May 12, Boatswain Sørlie spotted the torpedo heading their way and seconds later it hit in No. 3 hold which was full of sacks of flour 50 lbs each. There was no explosion, but it must have caused a large hole in her side as she immediately started listing and sinking. Both lifeboats and a gig were lowered, but 4 men were found to be missing: 1st Mate Sørensen was thought to have been pulled under by the suction of the ship which sank by the stern in about 9 minutes. Steward Olsen had been by the starboard lifeboat but had been seen running back to his cabin. The deckboy(?) had not been seen at all and an English engine boy(?) had probably not been able to get out of the engine room in time (these titles appear to be wrong - ref. crew list below). Captain Helgesen mentions that they had 2 newly educated British radio operators on board in addition to the Norwegian one. They were both in the captain's boat, as was 2nd Engineer Thingstad.

They had started to row away when the U-boat came up, but disappeared after having been told the captain had gone down with his ship. Shortly thereafter they spotted some smoke further away, and upon investigating they found a raft with the missing deck boy who had taken full advantage of some of the equipment on the raft to get their attention. Captain Helgesen says they had had 500 tons TNT in No. 1 and No. 5 holds, so the fact that the torpedo had hit in No. 3 hold saved their lives. Not only did the sacks of flour stop it from detonating, but they had also served as "lifebelts" for several of the men who had ended up in the water.

Helgesen also mentions 3 large landing craft as being among the cargo. These were floating nearby and he briefly considered transferring to them for warmth and shelter, but quickly thought better of it as there wouldn't have been any way of navigating them, so he settled down to the task of organizing the survivors. Those in the gig were distributed among the lifeboats, before they set sail for Ireland. Captain Helgesen's account of their rescue corresponds with my text in the second paragraph. Morden arrived Londonderry very early in the morning (date not given) and after a couple of days, the shipwrecked men were sent to Liverpool.

The maritime hearings were held in Liverpool on May 24-1943 with Captain Helgesen, the 3rd mate (on the bridge at the time of attack), Able Seaman Olsen (at the wheel), Radio Operator Rasmussen and (Engine Room) Assistant Nygaard appearing. According to the 3rd mate, the 1st mate had been on the chartroom roof when the torpedo hit. After the 3 lifeboats had been launched the 2 men jumped overboard together from the starboard side, both with lifevests on, but the 1st mate was not seen again after that. The radio operator had sent out SOS before he too jumped overboard from the starboard side, then held on to some debris until he was picked up by one of the boats.

For info, U-603 had also been responsible for the loss of Stigstad, Glittre and Elin K earlier that year - follow the links for details (in fact, these were the only ships sunk by this boat).

Crew List:
The carpenter later served on Tungsha and Somerville.

Reidar Helgesen
2nd Mate
Søren Andersen
3rd Mate
Lars Larsen
Radio Operator
Oddleiv Rasmussen
2nd Radio Operator
Walter Irwing
3rd Radio Operator
Geoffrey Beaghen
Ole T. Olsen
Hans Sørlie
Able Seaman
Willy Andersen
Able Seaman
Trygve Jonassen
Able Seaman
Henry Frøderberg
Able Seaman
Henry Gundersen
Able Seaman
Reinholdt Blomquist
Able Seaman
Henry Henriksen
Able Seaman
Torbjørn Ness Olsen
Able Seaman
Thorbjørn Røed-Olsen
Ordinary Seaman
Harald Welle
1st Engineer
Hans Chr. Nanseth
2nd Engineer
Karl Thingstad
3rd Engineer
Erling Hansen
Johannes Johansen
Rolf Sulland
Lars G. Norenes
Arthur Arnesen
Alf Solheim
Leif Borgen
Sigurd Myhre
E. Guldbrandsen
Tommy Ehnebom
Mess Boy
Ernst Fogarty
Mess Boy
Eric Walsh
Mess Boy
David Conway*
Mess Boy
Henry Newsome
Mess Boy
Stanley Taylor
John Todd
Alfred Herbert Batten
H. Gaskell
Edward Balwin
Ronald Lea
*See this Guestbook message from his daughter.

1st Mate
Lauritz Sørensen

Andreas Olsen

Arthur Edward Homer*

* The British gunner is commemorated at Plymouth Naval Memorial - see this external page.

Related external links:
Stavern Memorial commemorations - Steward Andreas Evald Olsen and 1st Mate Laurits Sørensen are commemorated at this Memorial for Seamen in Stavern, Norway.


Operations information for U-603 - This website now appears to have been taken down. Will leave the link up for now, in case an archive will be available later (see this page).

HMCS Morden

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

Other ships by this name: The company's 1st Brand had been delivered in 1890, built in Port Glasgow, 2003 gt. Sold to Japan in 1914 and renamed Heiwa Maru. Broken up in 1921. Norway had another Brand (steamship) in 1915-1926. This vessel had started out as Labor of 1496 gt when it was built in England in 1901 for Oscar Hytten & C. E. Semb, Tønsberg. Had several different owners in the years to follow, then became Brand in 1915 (Gran Kahrs, Bergen). Sold to Italy 1926, renamed Federazione, 1937-1943 Marco. Bombed and sunk by British aircraft in Oct.-1943, Yugoslavia.

The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, issues No. 3 and 4 for 1997 of the Norwegian magazine "Krigsseileren", "Sjøforklaringer fra 2. verdenskrig", Volume I (Norwegian Maritime Museum), and misc. others for cross checking info. - ref My sources.


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