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D/S Eastern Star
Manager: Johan Gran, Bergen
Built by Northumberland Shipbuilding Co. Ltd., Howden-on-Tyne in 1920. Launched as War Lodge, completed as Camilla Gilbert for A/S Gilberts D/S (W. Gilbert), Bergen, until 1928, then Eir owned by A/S D/S Eir (O. Grolle Olsen & I. Hysing Olsen), Bergen until 1937, Mabuhay III, Far Eastern S/S Co (Johan Gran), Bergen. Sold to Johan Gran's Rederi A/S, Bergen in 1938.
Captain: Olav Østervold
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.
Judging from the information found on the archive document, Eastern Star was on her way from Norway to Baltimore when war broke out in Norway on Apr. 9-1940. It looks like she had previously arrived Bergen from Houston (via Hampton Roads); arrival and subsequent departure Norway is not given, but she arrived Baltimore on Apr. 21.
With a general cargo for St. Nazaire, she's listed in the Halifax-U.K. Convoy HX 46 in May that year. She was diverted to London, where she arrived June 29. In Aug.-1940, A. Hague has included her, together with the Norwegian Fido, Helle, Regin, Solferino, Trolla and Vigsnes, in Convoy OA 193, departing Methil on Aug. 3, dispersed Aug. 7 - ref. link within the Voyage Record above. Eastern Star arrived New York on Aug. 18, proceeding to Philadelphia 4 days later, with arrival there on the 24th. She headed back to the U.K. in Convoy HX 75 from Halifax on Sept. 21, again in the company of other Norwegian ships, as will be seen when following the link. Eastern Star arrived Liverpool on Oct. 8, remaining there for a month. Together with Berto, Erica, Evviva, Granfoss, Iron Baron, Regin, Stargard and Trolla, she later joined Convoy OB 240, which left Liverpool on Nov. 8 and dispersed on the 13th (link in the table above). Her destination is not given, but according to the archive document (as well as Hague's Voyage Record), she arrived New York on Nov. 30.
That year was rounded off by sailing back to the U.K. in Convoy HX 99, which left Halifax on Dec. 26 and arrived Liverpool on Jan. 11-1941. Her destination is given as Manchester on the original convoy document (general cargo, station 33). The Commodore's report is also available for HX 99. He says that Eastern Star dropped astern with a hot bearing at 20:00 on Jan. 6, without making any signal, and was out of sight by the morning, but she rejoined the convoy at 08:20 on Jan. 8 in 60 20N 10 37W. She arrived Liverpool on Jan. 11, Eastham Jan. 14.
The following month, we find her in station 41 of Convoy OB 287, departing Liverpool on Febr. 16, dispersed Febr. 21; again, her destination is not given, but going back to the archive document we learn that she arrived Halifax on March 3. Later that month, on March 27, she's listed as bound for Liverpool with general cargo in Convoy HX 117, arriving Liverpool on Apr. 15. This proved to be her last eastbound Trans-Atlantic convoy voyage.
Eastern Star departed Liverpool again on May 2-1941, joining Convoy OB 318. She was bound for Halifax with about 240 tons general cargo in No. 1 hold, 218 tons naphthaline in sacks and 45 tons crysislic acid in barrels in No. 5 hold, and 16 boxed aircraft in No. 2 and 4 holds. She was the last ship in column 4 of the convoy, which according to "The Allied Convoy System", Arnold Hague was dispersed in 60 12N 34 30W on May 10. However, before this took place, late in the evening of May 7, U-94 (Kuppisch) fired a torpedo which detonated in her starboard side near No. 5 hatch, resulting in a tremendous fire in No. 5 hold and she started to sink. Able Seamen Loddengård and Fjalestad, who were in the aft messroom jumped overboard, while the rest of the crew got safely in 3 lifeboats and were picked up by the British escort trawler Daneman shortly thereafter, as were the 2 able seamen. The fire on Eastern Star spread very quickly to the midship section and she sank a couple of hours later, position 61 25N 24 18W*.
Kuppisch had fired 4 torpedoes. One of them hit and sank the British D/S Ixion (last ship in column 5), which had whisky among her cargo. Daneman had a busy time rescuing not only her crew, but also the fine whisky from the wreckage (Ixion had a crew of 105, 29 British - 76 Chinese. 86 were rescued by Nailsea Moor, the remaining 19 by escort).
Eastern Star's survivors were landed in Reykjavik on May 12. 3 of them joined the Norwegian Air Force and 4 joined the Navy, while the rest of the crew travelled to Gourock with a British transport on May 14 with arrival on May 18, then continued to Glasgow. The maritime hearings were held there on May 22-1941 with the captain, the 1st engineer, and Able Seaman Stensen appearing.
Other Norwegian ships in this convoy were D/S Borgfred, M/S Høyanger and M/T Sommerstad (A. Hague has also included Iron Baron - see this external page). The external site that I've linked to at the end of this page has more on the battle for this convoy, which lost several ships. Again, see also my own page about Convoy OB 318.
2 days after Eastern Star had been sunk, U-110 (which had also attacked Convoy OB 318) was captured - see link below, as well as my page about Borgfred.
Crew List - No casualties:
Back to Eastern Star on the "Ships starting with E" page.
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 for cross checking info as named within the above narrative - ref. My sources.