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Owner: Skibs-A/S Nye Kristianborg
Delivered in Dec.-1938 from Burntisland Shipbuilding Co. Ltd., Burntisland (220) as Gran to Skibs-A/S Nye Kristianborg (A/S Rederiet Odfjell), Bergen.
Captain: Søren Waage
This document received from the National Archives of Norway shows her voyages prior to being interned.
Gran was one of the 26 Norwegian ships interned in North and West Africa 1940-1942, they are all named on my page Interned Ships. Gran was interned in Casablanca following her arrival there on June 26-1940. On Sept. 21 that year she was taken to Port Lyautey with a prize crew on board, escorted by an armed trawler.
On June 19-1941 the captain was called into the office of Police de la Navigation where he received a written statement that Gran was to be placed under the French flag that same day. That morning a tug came alongside and her crew were told to pack their belongings. The Norwegian flag was removed and replaced by a French one (under protest by the captain) whereupon the crew boarded the tug and went ashore where they were placed in hotels. A written protest was presented to the French maritime authorities that same day.
The facts in the above paragraph were found in a report signed by, among others, Captain Waage himself. There seems to be some disagreement on the various dates. "Nortraships flåte" states she was interned on June 22-1940, agrees she was requisitioned June 19-1941, renamed Ste Odette for Gie. Generale Transatlantique. R. W. Jordan's "The World's Merchant Fleets" says she was seized in Casablanca Febr. 22-1940 (I believe this date must be a printing error).
A French visitor to my website has told me that according to his records Gran was seized in Port-Lyautey in July-1940. Under French flag at Port-Lyautey June 19-1941 as Ste Odette. From Port-Lyautey to Casablanca in June, possibly July-1941. Sailed from Casablanca in convoy on Aug. 3-1941. At Oran Aug. 7. In 1942, in coastal traffic off Tunisia (Bizerta to Sfax). R. W. Jordan says she was transferred to the Kriegsmarine (Nov.-1941? or 1942?) and renamed Odysseus for conversion to fighter direction ship.
1st Mate Tønseth and one of the engineers took part in an escape attempt with some other seamen who were interned in Port Lyautey - see my page about M/S Batavia for details.
Partial Crew List:
Torpedoed and sunk on Dec. 28-1942 by the British submarine HMS Ursula (Lakin) 12 miles north of Marettimo (Rohwer says this happened in position 38 09N 11 54E - he does not mention the name Odysseus). Birger Dannevig's "Skip og menn" agrees she was handed over to the Germans, but says she was lost on Dec. 30-1942 (in the Mediterranean).
Back to Gran on the "Ships starting with G" page.
Other ships by this name: Norway (Wilson & Mørland) also lost a ship named Gran to WW I, built 1907, 1153 gt - struck a mine (UC 40) and sank off Seaham on May 23-1917. See also Wallem & Co's Gran (Panamanian flag).
The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, "The World's Merchant Fleets", R. W. Jordan, "Sjømann - Lang Vakt", Guri Hjeltnes, "Allied Submarine attacks of World War Two, Jürgen Rohwer, "Sjøforklaringer fra 2. verdenskrig", Volume I (Norwegian Maritime Museum) and misc. as named within above text - (ref. My sources).