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M/S Chr. Knudsen
Updated June 7-2011

To Chr. Knudsen on the "Ships starting with C" page.

Crew List

Source for all the pictures on this page: Historical Department, MAN B&W Diesel, Copenhagen.
Click on this link for a picture from her launching. has another picture (external link).

Owner: A/S Borgestad.
Manager: Gunnar Knudsen, Porsgrunn
4904 gt, 2939 net, 8490 tdwt.
Call Sign: LCGH.

Delivered from Burmeister & Wains Maskin- & Skibsbyggeri, Copenhagen, Denmark (335) in Aug.-1925 as Chr. Knudsen to A/S Borgestad, Porsgrunn. 381.2' x 54.7' x 25.9', 2 x 6 cyl. 4 TEV DM (B&W), 1780 bhp.

Captain: Bjarne Sand.

Related items on this website:
Gustbook message from the grandson of Olav Espe, one of the casualties.
Another message - See also narrative below.
Guestbook message - I'm assuming this is from the captain's grandson.
Guestbook message from the nephew of another casualty.

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 May-1940 to Apr.-1942:

(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 some voyages are missing.

Departure From To Arrival Convoy Remarks
1940 May 17 Freetown Cork June 2 SL 32 Earlier voyages, Page 1
For Cork.
Convoy available at SL 32
(external link)
June 26 Cork Milford Haven Independent
June 27 Milford Haven Mobile July 19 A. Hague says:
Apparently independent.
July 29 Mobile Bermuda Aug. 6 Independent
Aug. 9 Bermuda Sydney, C.B. Aug. 12 Independent
Aug. 15 Sydney, C.B. Clyde Aug. 30 SC 1 See also narrative below
Sept. 1 Clyde Swansea Sept. 4 Independent
Oct. 10 Swansea Milford Haven Oct. 11 Independent
Oct. 12 Milford Haven OB 228 Dispersed Oct. 17.
See also OB 228
(external link)
Oct. 17 Dispersed from OB 228 Durban Nov. 24 Independent
Nov. 26 Durban Lourenço Marques Nov. 28 Independent
Dec. 10 Lourenço Marques Capetown Dec. 16 Independent
Dec. 16 Capetown Freetown Dec. 31 Independent
1941 Jan. 1 Freetown Oban Jan. 26 SL 61S Convoy available at SL 61S
(external link)
Jan. 30 Oban Methil Febr. 2 WN 77 Convoy available at WN convoys
(external link)
Febr. 6 Methil Immingham Febr. 8 FS 405 Convoy available at FS convoys
(external link)
Missing movements, Page 1
May 11 Humber Oban May 14 EC 18 Convoy available at EC convoys
(external link)
May 16 Oban OG 62 Detached, May 20
Convoy will be added.
See ships in OG convoys
May 20 Detached from OG 62 Three Rivers May 31 Independent
June 6 Three Rivers Halifax June 15 Independent
June 25 Halifax Sydney, C.B. June 26 Independent
July 1 Sydney, C.B. Loch Ewe July 17 SC 36 Convoy will be added.
See ships in SC convoys
July 17 Oban Methil July 20 WN 154 Again, see also Page 1
Convoy available at WN convoys
(external link)
July 21 Methil Hull July 23 FS 547 Convoy available at FS convoys
(external link)
Aug. 18 Hull Oban Aug. 22 EC 61 Convoy available at EC convoys
(external link)
Aug. 24 Oban Freetown Sept. 14 OS 4 For Capetown.
Convoy available at OS 4
(external link)
Sept. 19 Freetown Capetown Oct. 4 Independent
Oct. 11 Capetown Port Elizabeth Oct. 14 Independent
Oct. 14 Port Elizabeth Durban Oct. 18 Independent Via East London
(Page 2).
Oct. 21 Durban Lourenço Marques Oct. 22 Independent
Nov. 8 Lourenço Marques Capetown Nov. 14 Independent
Nov. 14 Capetown Trinidad Dec. 12 Independent
Dec. 13 Trinidad Sydney, C.B. Dec. 27 Independent See also narrative below
1942 Jan. 3 Sydney, C.B. SC 63 Dispersed Jan. 13
Jan. 13 Dispersed from SC 63 Loch Ewe Jan. 17 Independent
Jan. 18 Loch Ewe Kirkwall Jan. 21 WN 232 Convoy available at WN convoys
(external link)
Jan. 28 Kirkwall Methil Roads Jan. 29
Jan. 30 Methil Middlesbrough Jan. 31 FS 713 Convoy available at FS convoys
(external link)
Febr. 26 Middlesbrough Methil Febr. 27 FN 641 Convoy available at FN convoys
(external link)
Febr. 27 Methil Loch Ewe March 1 EN 52 Convoy available at EN convoys
(external link)
March 3 Loch Ewe New York City March 24 ON 72 Convoy will be added.
See ships in ON convoys
Apr. 8 New York City Independent Sunk - See "Final Fate" below

 Some 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 more details on them, several Norwegian ships took part.

A. Hague has included Chr. Knudsen in Convoy SL 32, which left Freetown on May 17-1940. Her cargo consisted of cereals and she had station 43, bound for Cork, where she arrived on June 2 - see Page 1. A direct link to this convoy has been provided in the table above, the Norwegian Spero and Strombus are also listed.

With a cargo of scrap iron for Swansea, she was scheduled for the Bermuda portion of Convoy HX 64 in Aug.-1940, but instead proceeded to Sydney, C.B., joining Convoy SC 1 from there on Aug. 15, and arrived Swansea on Sept. 4 (the Norwegian Eva was sunk - follow the link for details). The following month, she joined Convoy OB 228, which originated in Liverpool on Oct. 13 and dispersed on the 17th, Chr. Knudsen arriving Durban Nov. 24. The Norwegian Astra, Brask, Dokka (sunk - follow link for info), Gudrun, Noreg, Polyana and Topdalsfjord also took part; again, ref. link in the table above (my own page about OB 228 only has some reports).

In Jan.-1941 we find her, with a cargo of iron, in Convoy SLS 61, departing Freetown on Jan. 1, arriving Liverpool on the 26th; Chr. Knudsen stopped at Oban that day, later proceeding to Methil Roads and Immingham - see Voyage Record. According to Page 1, she left Immingham on March 3 in order to go to Table Bay, but returned and did not leave again until May 9. She's later listed, together with Atle Jarl, Rolf Jarl and Storanger, in Convoy OG 62, which originated in Liverpool on May 15 and had Gibraltar as its destination. Chr. Knudsen, however, was bound for Three Rivers, where she arrived independently on May 31, having detached from the convoy on May 20, according to A. Hague (she had started out from Oban on May 16). This convoy will be added to an individual page in my Convoys section; in the meantime, the ships sailing in it are named on the page listing ships in all OG convoys.

On June 6 she sailed to Halifax, then proceeded to Sydney, C.B. in order to join the eastbound Convoy SC 36 on July 1, cargo of wheat, station 22. This convoy is not yet available among the SC convoys included on my website, but will be added - A. Hague's listing can be found at ships in all SC convoys. The Norwegian Berto (returned), Bjerka, Bollsta, Don, Einvik, Loke, N. T. Nielsen Alonso, Rena and Rym are also listed. Chr. Knudsen arrived Hull, via Loch Ewe and Methil Roads, on July 23. The following month, she made a voyage to Freetown with Convoy OS 4, originating in Liverpool on Aug. 23. This is the convoy in which Segundo was sunk, follow link for details. Beth, Elg and Ingria are also named; ref. link in the table above. OS 4 arrived Freetown on Sept. 11. Chr. Knudsen had started out from Oban on Aug. 24 and Page 2 gives her arrival Freetown as Sept. 14. Her final destination is given as Table Bay, where she arrived Oct. 4.

She was scheduled for Convoy SC 62 from Sydney, C.B. on Dec. 27-1941 (having arrived there from Trinidad that same day), but instead joined Convoy SC 63 on Jan. 3-1942, cargo of manganese ore for Middlesbrough, where she arrived, via various other ports, on Jan. 31, remaining there for almost a month.

At the beginning of March that year, she's listed in station 54 of the westbound North Atlantic Convoy ON 72, and arrived New York on March 24, having sailed from Loch Ewe March 3. This convoy, which had originated in Liverpool on March 3 and arrived Halifax on the 19th, will also be added to my Convoys section, but for now, the ships sailing in it (and escorts) are named at ships in all ON convoys. Sirehei also joined, but returned to port.

More information on all the other Norwegian ships named on this page is available via the alphabet index below, or go to the Master Ship Index.

 Final Fate - 1942: 

Chr. Knudsen departed New York again alone on Apr. 8-1942 for Cape Town with general cargo and Nitrate. Assumed torpedoed and sunk on or around April 10, possibly by U-85 (Greger). This U-boat was in turn sunk with all her men by USS Roper on April 14, which is one of the reasons why there has been such uncertainty over the loss of Chr. Knudsen. This was the first U-boat that did not return safely from Operation Paukenschlag.

In my Norwegian guestbook there's a message from Wolfang Klaue, dated July 18-2001, translated to Norwegian on request. At that time Klaue, together with an American friend, was about to write the story of U 85. (He was born in Greger's hometown, Lieberose, Greger being his father's neighbour). They wanted to tell the story from 3 sides, that of the U-boat, that of the victims of this boat's attacks and that of the crew of the American destroyer Roper, which sank U-85. The message was posted in an effort to find relatives of the victims of Chr. Knudsen, and/or former employees of the Borgestad company in Porsgrunn. In Sept.-2002, Wolfang Klaue contacted me again to let me know about an article that appeared in the Norwegian Newspaper "Aftenposten" on Sept. 20, showing the fruits of his investigations. The article states, among other things, that the mayor of Lieberose, Kerstin Michelchen has given Borgestad's an official apology for the sinking of Chr. Knudsen, and that shipowner Christen Knutsen personally travelled to Lieberose to meet the mayor. Christen Knutsen says this was not the first time that Captain Bjarne Sand had his ship sunk from under him by a German U-boat - the first time was near Nantucket on Oct. 8-1916, and on that occasion he got a "receipt" from the U-boat commander confirming that he had sunk the ship (also a Gunnar Knudsen vessel, also named Chr. Knudsen - see "Other ships by this name" at the end of this page). This is now hanging on the wall of the shipping company's office in Porsgrunn.

Klaue's own father could easily have become a victim himself, having been picked by Greger as crew for U-85, but when he arrived Kiel to join the boat, it had already departed for Horten.

Crew List - No survivors:
*My Norwegian Guestbook has a message from the grandson of Olav Espe, looking for more info on him (E-mail address can be supplied via my contact address at the bottom of this page). He had also served on Tres and Karlander.
See also this Guestbook message as well as this one.


Bjarne Sand

1st Mate
Trygve Kristian Berg

2nd Mate
Kåre Asbjørn Strøm

3rd Mate
Johannes Olsen

Radio Officer
Thomas Youll*

Nils Jensen

Haldor Skjulestad

Able Seaman
Andreas Kornelius

Able Seaman
Thoralf Mikkelsen

Able Seaman
Olav Espe*

Able Seaman
Karsten Oskar

Able Seaman
Erik Andersen

Able Seaman/Gunner
Ernst Rolf

Ordinary Seaman
Alfred B. Hansen

Ordinary Seaman
Ove Mårtensen

Ordinary Seaman
Carsten Cristofer

Ordinary Seaman
George William
Hull (age 18)

Chief Engineer
Trygve Leonard

2nd Engineer
Ingeman Kristian

3rd Engineer
Kaleb Korner
C. Høiland

4th Engineer
Martin Asplund

Einar Einertsen

Fredrik Anton

Bjørge Presthagen

Ivar Baugerød

Waldemar Laurin

Johan Sverdrup
L. Larsen

Henry Stewart*
County Durham
(age 19)

Thor Wilhelm

Walter Christian
Hilt Kühnell

Galley Boy
Robert Hemp

Mess Boy
Albert Hoggins*
(age 16)

Mess Boy
Ernest Anderson*
County Durham
(age 18)

* Denotes those who are commemorated at Tower Hill, Panel 28 - they can be found by entering each name in the relevant search field on the The Commonwealth War Graves Comm. website (external link) using WW II and 1942 in the other search fields to narrow the search.

Related external links:
Stavern Memorial commemorations - This website (Stavern Memorial for Seamen) says that 25 Norwegians and 8 of other nationalities died. 26 Norwegians are named, but the carpenter is listed twice, once as Nils Petter Gjærum, and again as Nils Jensen (as can be seen, the same birthday is given) - his father's name was Jens, hence the Jensen. The list agrees largely with mine above (some names are spelt differently, and some titles are also different).

Operation Paukenschlag

Back to Chr. Knudsen on the "Ships starting with C" page.

Other ships by this name: This company had also had a Chr. Knudsen back in 1875, built in Porsgrund that year for J. C. & G. Knudsen, Porsgrund, 587 gt. This vessel was sold in 1903 to new owners in Porsgrund and renamed Nordkap (P. Jacobsen). Condemned after having sprung a leak when on a voyage Liverpool-Port Arthur, Texas on Apr. 1-1906. In July-1905 a new Chr. Knudsen (steamship) was delivered to A/S Borgestad (Gunnar Knudsen), Porsgrund, built in Middlesbrough, 3878 gt. Converted to tanker in 1912, 4224 gt. Torpedoed by U-53 on Oct. 8-1916 off Nantucket Light Ship, voyage New York-London with gas oil (this is the ship mentioned in my narrative above). Note that this external page has excerpts from her deck journal as well as statements from the subsequent maritime hearings re this incident - text is in Norwegian.

The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, "Sjøforklaringer fra 2. verdenskrig", Volume I (Norwegian Maritime Museum), and misc. others as named within the text above for cross checking info. - ref My sources.


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