|Site Map | Search Warsailors.com |Merchant Fleet Main Page | Warsailors.com Home|
To Gunny on the "Ships starting with G" page.
Owner: A/S Nesjar.
Built by Eltringhams Ltd., Willington-Quay-on-Tyne in 1920. According to the external website that I've linked to above, she was delivered in June-1920 as Gunny to A/S Eliassens Rederi (J. Eliassen), Bergen. From May-1930, owned by D/S A/S Gunny (J. Eliassen), Bergen, same name. From Jan.-1934 by D/S A/S Gunny (Eilert Lund), Bergen, no name change. From June-1937, A/S Nesjar (Eilert Lund), Bergen.
Captain: Otto Henrichsen.
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 some voyages are missing.
As will be seen when going to Page 1 of the archive documents, Gunny arrived St. Thomas on Apr. 10-1940, the day after the German invasion of Norway. She had started out from Demerara on Apr. 6.
With Eidsvold, Fosna, Gylfe, Norfold, Velma and Vilja, she's listed in Convoy BN 11, which departed Aden on Dec. 18-1940 and arrived Suez on the 25th. From Suez, she proceeded to Alexandria, with arrival Dec. 31, departing again on Jan. 12-1941, arriving the Zuez Canal on the 13th. About a week later, we find her, with a cargo of cotton, in station 63 of Convoy BS 13, again with Eidsvold and Norfold in company, as well as Høegh Hood, Nyholm and Thorsholm. This convoy left Suez on Jan. 19 and was dispersed on the 27th, Gunny arriving Mombasa on Febr. 7.
With a cargo of 3100 tons manganese ore and 367 tons mahogany logs, she departed Takoradi (West Africa) on Jan. 30-1942 for New York via Trinidad for orders, arriving Port of Spain on Febr. 16. According to "Nortraships flåte", while Gunny was at Port of Spain, U-161 torpedoed 2 ships nearby on Febr. 19 (this must have been the American Mokihana and the British British Consul, both damaged - ref. external links at the end of this page). Therefore, when she left Port of Spain for New York in the morning of Febr. 23 she was provided with escorting aircraft until she was 50 n miles out (2 other ships were with her on departure Port of Spain, but I don't know their identity).
On March 2, while heading northeast at a speed of 9 knots (course 321° true, not zig-zagging, in heavy sea, wind southeast force 4, weather clear and fair, visibility good), she was hit on the starboard side near No. 4 Hatch at the poop deck by a torpedo from U-126 (Bauer), position 27 09N 66 33W*, the explosion blowing off the entire stern of the ship (the boiler and ore cargo exploded), and she sank in about 30 seconds.
3rd Mate Sigurd Nedberg was on watch on the bridge at the time and went down with the ship. 3rd Engineer Olav Brattaule, who was on duty in the engine room, immediately ran up on deck, at which time he noticed that the entire after deck was under water (the engines were stopped from the deck control). He was pulled under when the ship sank, but survived. Able Seaman Håkon Hansen was at the helm, the captain was asleep in his office, and by the time he reached the boatdeck the ship was already half under water. He ran back to his cabin to fetch the ship's papers and when he came out again she sank and he was pulled under. Some men had manned the starboard and port lifeboats, but as Gunny sank they too were pulled under.
When the captain surfaced he managed to grab a hold of a broken hatch, then he and 12 others were able to climb onto 2 rafts. They had no food nor water, and were cold, wet and miserable in the ensuing stormy weather. The injured Chief Engineer Birger Jørgensen died on the 4th day and was buried in the sea; he had a badly injured leg and was in great pain the whole time. The assumption was that gangrene had set in.
The remaining 12 survivors were rescued by the Swedish M/S Temnaren (voyage Gothenburg-Progreso) early in the morning of March 9 and landed in Progreso on March 13, where the Norwegian Vice Consul (Felix Lejeune) came on board and took them to Merida, as there were no hotels in Progreso. 4 men were admitted to hospital, while the rest were treated by a doctor who came to the hotel.
The survivors later stated they never saw a U-boat, but none of them doubted that it had been a torpedo that had caused the sudden explosion. "Nortraships flåte" says that 10 Norwegians and 4 of other nationalities were lost with Gunny.
Maritime hearings were held in New York on Apr. 8-1942, with Captain Henrichsen, 3rd Engineer Olav Brattaule and Ordinary Seaman Henry Moe appearing (the latter had just come off duty at the helm 10 minutes before the torpedo hit, and was on the after deck when the explosion occurred).
Stavern Memorial commemorations - 10 Norwegians are commemorated here, Kurt Fredrickson is not included, maybe he was Swedish? (11 Norwegians and 3 of other nationalities are listed above). This would also fit in with the "Nortraships flåte" statement that 10 Norwegians and 4 of other nationalities lost their lives.
Back to Gunny on the "Ships starting with G" page.
The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, statements at the maritime hearings received from Ken Dunn, who in turn got them from the Maritime Museum in Oslo, and misc. others as named within the above narrative (ref. My sources). Also, a memorandum dated March 27-1942 and another dated Apr. 13-1942, both signed U.S.N.R. Ensign A. J. Powers, based on survivors' statements, received from Tony Cooper, England.