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Manager: Per T. Lykke, Trondheim
Built at Porsgrunds Mekaniske Verksted, Porsgrunn, Norway, delivered on Apr. 14-1939.
Captain: Thore K. Johnsen
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 several voyages are missing.
As will be seen when going to Page 1 of the archive documents, Ila was at The Downs when war broke out in Norway on Apr. 9-1940. She left for Rouen that same day, with arrival Apr. 10.
In July that year, she's listed in Convoy OB 182, which originated in Liverpool on July 11 and dispersed on the 14th, Ila arriving Sydney, C.B. on July 23. See the external link provided within the table above for more on this convoy; the Norwegian Brant County, Idefjord, Mexico, Nova and Stigstad are also listed. Ila and Brant County returned to the U.K. the following month in Convoy HX 64. Ila, bound for Sunderland with a cargo of pit props, joined this convoy from Sydney, C.B., arriving her destination, via Methil Roads, on Aug. 26. With Leikanger (and possibly others - listing is incomplete; ref. external link in Voyage Record), she later shows up in Convoy OA 213, which left Methil on Sept. 12 and dispersed Sept. 16, Ila arriving Sydney, C.B. on Sept. 27, continuing to Pointe du Chene the next day, subsequently making a voyage to Buctouche, before returning to Sydney, C.B. She was scheduled for the Sydney, C.B. portion of Convoy HX 80, but instead joined the slow Convoy SC 8 on Oct. 15, cargo of pit props for Hull. According to Page 1, she arrived Clyde on Oct. 31; arrival Hull is not given. From the same document, we learn that she headed back across the Atlantic the following month, arriving St. John's, N.F. on Dec. 21; I have no convoy information for this voyage (had she sailed independently?).
From St. John's, she sailed to Louisburg on Jan. 14-1941, then on to Halifax, where she joined the slow Convoy SC 20 on Jan. 22, cargo of pulp for London, but put back to St. John's on Jan. 30*, proceeding to Halifax a week later, joining Convoy SC 23 on Febr. 18. Her destination is now given as Rochester, and she arrived there, via Loch Ewe and Methil Roads, on March 19 - see Page 2. The following month, she made a voyage to Lisbon, having joined Convoy OG 59, which originated in Liverpool on Apr. 15 and arrived Gibraltar Apr. 28; Ila arrived Lisbon on May 3, having started out from Oban on Apr. 17. This convoy will be added to an individual page in my Convoys section in due course; in the meantime, the ships sailing in it are named on the page listing ships in all OG convoys. Bjørkhaug, Fernlane, Hjalmar Wessel, President de Vogue and Solsten are also listed. With a cargo of iron ore for Barrow, Ila headed back in the other direction on May 25 in station 83 of Convoy HG 63 from Gibraltar, and arrived her destination on June 9.
We later find her in Convoy OB 337, which originated in Liverpool on June 20 and dispersed on the 28th. Buccinum, Facto, Inger Elisabeth, Sirehei and Torborg are also listed; again, see the external link provided within the table above (incomplete). Ila's destination is given as Quebec; according to Page 2, she arrived Chandler, N.B. on July 10 (having started out from Clyde June 20). From Chandler, she proceeded to Carleton on July 15, then back to Sydney, C.B. It looks like she had been scheduled for the Sydney portion of Convoy HX 139 on July 17 (ship's name hard to decipher), but instead joined the slow Convoy SC 38 on July 22, again in the company of several other Norwegian ships. This convoy arrived Liverpool on Aug. 8; Ila stopped at Loch Ewe on the 6th, cargo of sulphate, lumber and pulp, station 11. SC 38 is not yet available among the SC convoys included on my website, but will be added - see ships in all SC convoys. She later joined the westbound North Atlantic Convoy ON 10, which originated in Liverpool on Aug. 27 (Ila joined from Loch Ewe) and dispersed Sept. 11, Ila arriving Boston, via Ambrose Channel, on Sept. 19.
Ila left Boston again for Sydney, C.B. on Sept. 25, arriving Sydney on the 28th, departing on Oct. 5 in station 74 of Convoy SC 48. See also cruising order/Commodore's notes and misc. reports. She was bound for Glasgow with a cargo of 2070 tons steel and general, but did not make it to her destination. In the morning of Oct. 15, she was hit by 2 torpedoes from U-553 (Thurmann). 1 torpedo hit below hatch No. 2, the other below the after part of the bridge, both on the starboard side, followed by violent explosions. She broke in two and sank immediately, 53 34N 29 57W*.
As it had been impossible to lower any of the lifeboats, and the raft located on Hatch No. 3 was smashed, another jammed under a davit, 6 men, including the captain, kept themselves afloat on pieces of wreckage, while the 1st mate, 1st engineer and 2 of the crew held on to the capsized motor lifeboat. Their efforts to turn the boat over failed, and 1st Engineer Hagbart Andersen soon died of cold and exhaustion.
The survivors drifted helplessly for 3 hours while the convoy continued. They were picked up at dawn by the French corvette Mimosa (one of the escorts - Captain Boger Birot) but 3rd Engineer Richard Andresen and Able Seaman Georg Falch died shortly thereafter in spite of the efforts of the corvette's crew to save them. They were buried at sea.
Mimosa landed the survivors in Reykjavik on Oct. 20 and the maritime hearings were held there on Oct. 24 with the captain, the 1st mate and Able Seaman Tvedt (helmsman) appearing, all on the bridge at the time of the attack. Ordinary Seaman Eikemo was on lookout duty. The 1st mate stated that he had been floating on his lifevest in the water for an hour when he came across the capsized motorboat which already held 3 men, adding that he was taken into a British lifeboat about an hour and a half later, so it would be reasonable to believe that the others had also been taken into that boat.
M/T Barfonn, D/S Erviken and D/S Rym were also sunk in this battle - follow the links for more details (again, see also my pages about SC 48). Other merchant ships lost were the Panamanian Bold Venture (cargo of cotton, steel and copper - 17 died), the Greek Evros (7000 tons iron ore - 30 died), the British Empire Heron (7673 tons sulphur - 42 died), Silvercedar (7300 tons steel and general - 20 died). W. C. Teagle, with a cargo of 15 000 tons fuel oil was also sunk. The remainder of the convoy arrived Liverpool on Oct. 22. The various external websites that I've linked to at the end of this page have a lot more details on this battle.
Related external links:
HMS Broadwater - This link no longer goes to the right place, but I'm leaving it up in case I should find the website again. It was a thoroughly researched site about the history and fate of this ship, one of the escorts of the convoy. This link went directly to the first page of the section describing the battle of SC 48. The subsequent pages went on to list the ships lost, their destination and cargoes, as well as the names of all the escort vessels and the attacking U-boats. It also had a description of the events surrounding the loss of the ship. 2 survivors from Erviken had been rescued by Broadwater and were lost when she was torpedoed, though the Norwegian ship was referred to as Ericson. The website included a report on the rescue of survivors, along with several other interesting reports, and a list of names of those who died.
The Kearney and Convoy SC 48 - The ships involved on all sides (from Encyclopedia of WW II Naval Battles).
U.S.S. Kearny - Interesting account of the attack on the Kearny, torpedoed by U-568 when on escort duties in Convoy SC 48, Oct. 17-1941.
Details on SC 48 escorts can also be found towards the end of
Back to Ila on the "Ships starting with I" page.
This company also had a ship named Ila in 1947, originally the German Luna, built 1938, 1126 gt. Seized by the Allies in 1945, renamed Empire Concave. Became the Norwegian Galtnes in 1946, then Ila in 1947. From 1952 she sailed as the Brazilian Sao Leopoldo, then Mironave from 1965 (still Brazilian), still in service in 1982.
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. - ref. My sources.