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To Mosdale on the "Ships starting with M" page.
Manager: Martin Mosvold, Farsund
Fruit carrier, built by Burmeister & Wains Maskin- og Skipsbyggeri, Copenhagen in 1939.
Captain: ? Stave.
Related items on this website:
Mosdale is said to have crossed the Atlantic 96 times, usually without a convoy, which enabled her to make the crossings faster, unload and load her cargoes very quickly and go back across again (though as can be seen from the text on this page, she sailed in quite a few convoys as well). In the summer of 1943, while in Cardiff after her 51st crossing, the King himself came on board (Haakon VII) to personally express his gratitude and admiration. The King was in exile in London during the war, and visited Norwegian ships on several occasions.
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.
Please be aware that errors do exist (this could also mean that she may not have sailed in all the convoys mentioned). Also, several voyages are missing.
Chief Engineer all through the war was Sverre Nilsen.
2nd Engineer was Kristian Johansen (on board from Jan.-1939 to June-1941 - my Norwegian Guestbook has a message from his son. Kristian Johansen died when Harboe Jensen was sunk, and his brother John Johansen was lost with Ranja).
Another Guestbook message is from someone who's looking for information on a person who seems to have disappeared from this ship in Aug.-1940, Egil Bruraas Sevaldsen. There has been no trace of him ever since; his brother is still alive (as per 2002) and would like to find out what happened to him. The same poster also left some messages in my Forum, one saying that Sevaldsen had joined the ship on July 9-1940. On the same day the following 3 men joined:
Ole Hope, Tysnes, born Oct. 11-1907
Ole Christensen, Tønsberg, born March 23-1911
J. H. Jansen, born March 10-1901.
According to the same thread, the following were also on board:
Lillesand Sjømannsforening (external link) also mentions Roy Askildsen (from Aug.-1941 to Febr.-1942, and from May-1942 to Nov.-1942), Alf Kjøstvedt (from July-1943 to March-1946) and Reidar Voll (dates not given). Click on their names to show their other ships.
Mosdale was in regular service between New York and Liverpool, usually sailing alone, often with passengers. On an eastbound voyage in a horrendous storm in Febr.-1940 S.O.S. signals were heard from the British Sea Rambler. Captain of Mosdale at that time was Captain Stave, 1st mate Gerner Sunde, 3rd Mate Andersen, 2nd Mate Bille, Radio Operator Helleland. The British vessel was found helplessly drifting that evening, and by the early morning hours it became clear that she wouldn't stay afloat much longer. 7 volunteers lowered a lifeboat from Mosdale in the raging snow storm, and through their exhaustive efforts 12 men were rescued off the doomed ship. The 7 volunteers were about to go back for the remaining 13, but a radio message was received saying that Kaia Knudsen had meanwhile come to their rescue. 2nd mate Bille later received Carnegie's medal for this heroic deed. It always amazes me that only the officer appears to have been given a medal in cases like this, when all the others had likewise risked their lives. They were: Boatswain Olsen, Able Seaman Karlsen, Able Seaman Kaldefoss, Ordinary Seaman Bendal, Ordinary Seaman Myklebust and Seaman Johnsen.
When Norway was invaded on Apr. 9-1940 Mosdale was en route from Port Arthur to Santa Marta, Colombia (see Page 1) to pick up a cargo of bananas for Oslo, but of course didn't get to see Norway again for many years. 10 months after the war was over in Europe she again steamed into the Oslofjord, and this time she did bring the bananas. I would imagine those were a welcome sight to the Norwegians after so many years of occupation and shortage of food stuffs (aside from the joy of being able to meet a son, brother or father again of course).
Mosdale was taken over by the Ministry of War Transport soon after her first voyage New York-Liverpool and back after Norway had been invaded - going back to the archive document referred to above, we see that she made her first voyage from New York to Liverpool in June/July-1940, later arriving Boston from the U.K. on July 21, proceeding to New York the next day, arriving there July 23. It'll be noticed that there's now a long gap in her voyages. Departure New York is given as Oct. 23, when she headed to Halifax, with arrival Oct. 25.
While still in Halifax, waiting for a gun to be installed, she caught on fire, but after 10 hours' intense work by officers and crew the fire was brought under control. She later proceeded to New York for extensive repairs, which took almost 2 months (some of the repairs may have been undertaken in Halifax? According to Page 1, she did not leave Halifax for New York until Dec. 14, arriving New York on the 17th, heading back to Halifax on Jan. 30-1941, then travelled to the U.K. from there on Febr. 12 - see next paragraph). In the meantime, Captain Stave had been requested to take a position in Nortraship's offices in New York, and Gerner Sunde took his place. Hans Olsen now became the 1st mate (from Nov.-1944, 1st mate was Hans Henrik Moe, who remained until Nov.-1945).
Mosdale became known as the "Bacon Ship", on regular service Canada-England, with meat and bacon usually taken on board in Montreal and unloaded in Liverpool.
As mentioned above, Mosdale had left Halifax for the U.K. on Febr. 12-1941. On Febr. 18, she rescued 11 men from a lifeboat from the torpedoed Black Osprey. The men were so exhausted and cold they couldn't move, so the 1st mate had to go down into their lifeboat and tie lines around them, before they were carefully hauled on board. Black Osprey had been torpedoed by U-96 (Lehmann-Willenbrock); her entire complement had gotten off in 3 lifeboats, but only 11 out of 36 survived. She was 1 of 3 British ships torpedoed as stragglers from Convoy HX 107, to which the Norwegian Benjamin Franklin had also belonged (torpedoed and sunk Febr. 19). The others were Edwy R. Brown and Empire Blanda - follow the link to my page about this convoy for more details. Mosdale arrived Cardiff (via Barry) on Febr. 22.
On this same voyage Mosdale had a passenger on board by the name of Armstrong, who said he had been in America for a couple of months and was now en route to England for a very important war related assignment. He seemed to know a lot about ships, having been an engineer at sea himself, and was very impressed with Mosdale. Everyone on board had thought him a pleasant chap, and were highly surprised when Mosdale's captain, after having arrived Liverpool again on May 3-1941(Page 1), received a newspaper clipping from a lady who had also been a passenger on that voyage, announcing that George Johnson Armstrong had been sentenced to death for treason at the Old Baily (he was executed in July that same year - the external website that I've linked to below has more details).
But the people on board Mosdale soon got other things to worry about. While at Liverpool (Wellington Dock) they experienced the violent bombings there that week, but escaped with damages, even when the British ammunition vessel Malakand exploded nearby, causing enormous damages to the surrounding areas. An able seaman was injured by shrapnel and was taken to a hospital. Other Norwegian ships in Liverpool during this 5 day bombing raid were M/S Bra-Kar, D/S Sollund and D/S Stromboli. (According to J. R. Hegland's "Nortraships flåte", M/S Tai Yin and M/S Temeraire were also there, but they were in another part of the world at that time, as will be seen when following the links).
She was further damaged by yet another fire in one of her holds while in Liverpool. After temporary repairs she continued to Montreal for more permanent repairs. Again, see Page 1 for a listing of her voyages in this period.
Related external links:
That summer a young female Canadian radio operator came on board, Fern Blodgett, who ended up marrying Gerner Sunde. She was 23 years old and, anxious to contribute to the war effort, she went to Radio School and was taken on immediately after she had finished (though it had to be on a Norwegian ship; Canadian ships would not allow females). She married Gerner in 1942 and both served on board all through the war. Fern setttled in Farsund after the war; she died in 1991, Gerner died in 1962. He had also served on Torgerd, Novasli, Radic, Acasta and Mosvold (all pre-war), in addition to Mostun as mentioned. Here's a Guestbook message from their daughter.
Other Canadian radio operators on Norwegian ships are named further down on this page.
"Nortraships flåte" mentions a U-boat sighting. In Apr.-1942 she was on a voyage Halifax-Liverpool when a periscope and part of a conning tower were spotted, 4 hours out from Halifax. The necessary precautions were taken, including sending a radio report, then a little over an hour later another periscope was seen. 3 rounds were fired by the gunners and another radio message sent (propably by Fern herself), but the periscope disappeared and Mosdale got away at full speed. This incident is also mentioned in the War Diary Eastern Sea Frontier on this external page (scroll down to Apr. 10-1942), which states that Mosdale reported that a periscope of a sub was sighted in 43 37N 62 08W at 1900 and that she was being chased. (According to Page 2 of the archive documents, she arrived Glasgow on Apr. 19).
Mosdale was attacked by a Focke Wulf 200 in the morning of Febr. 4-1943 when en route from the U.K. to Canada (46 11N 19 29W) - her voyages in this period are shown on Page 3. Following some rounds from the ship's Oerlikon (gunner Ingvar Tautra) the aircraft departed without having caused any damage. According to the archive document, she arrived Halifax on Febr. 10, heading back to the U.K. 4 days later, making another Trans-Atlantic voyage in March that year, arriving Halifax on the 15th (these voyages were probably made independently). Later that month A. Hague has included her, together with Athos, Katy, Norheim, Ørnefjell, Reinholt, Scebeli, Slemmestad and the Panamanian Norvinn (Norwegian managers and, therefore, listed on this website) in Convoy HX 231*, which originated in New York City on March 25 and arrived Liverpool on Apr. 10; Mosdale had joined this convoy from St. John's, N. F. (several ships were sunk, but all the Norwegian ships made it safely - ref. external link further down on this page).
About a week later she's listed as bound for Halifax with general cargo in station 112 of the westbound North Atlantic Convoy ON 179*. Athos, Boreas (returned to port), Buenos Aires, Høyanger, Katy, Molda, Norheim, President de Vogue and Tai Shan are also named in this convoy, which left Liverpool on Apr. 18 and arrived New York on May 6. Mosdale, however, arrived Halifax May 3, continuing to St. John, N.B. the next day. Some of the above ships, including Mosdale, subsequently returned to the U.K. in Convoy HX 239, which departed New York on May 13 and arrived Liverpool on the 28th - Mosdale, bound for Avonmouth with general cargo, joined this convoy from Halifax and arrived her destination (via Belfast Lough and Bristol) on May 28 - again, see Page 3. She now joined the westbound Convoy ON 188*, which originated in Liverpool on June 10, arrived New York on the 26th and also included Abraham Lincoln (Commodore Vessel), Bajamar, Bañaderos, Belinda, Duala, Evita, G. C. Brøvig, Gylfe, Kaia Knudsen, Kaldfonn, Montevideo, Skandinavia, Strinda, Thorhild, Vav and Velma. According to Page 4, Mosdale had started out from Milford Haven on June 9 and stopped at Halifax on the 24th, continuing to St. John, N.B. a few days later.
It appears she was involved in a collision at some point in 1944. I have no further details on this, except that the other ship, the British Kerry Coast, sank following the collision, though was later salvaged and repaired.
Skipping now to Febr.-1944 when Mosdale is listed (with California Express) in Convoy UC 12*, which left Liverpool on Febr. 7 and arrived New York on the 18th. Mosdale, however, was bound for St. John, N.B. again on that occasion, arriving there on Febr. 17 (having started out from Belfast Lough on Febr. 7). She then returned to the U.K., arriving Liverpool on March 3 and, along with Washington Express, is later listed as bound for Halifax in Convoy UC 15*, departing Liverpool on March 12, arriving New York on the 22nd. A. Hague says Mosdale was detached from the convoy on March 19; she arrived Halifax on the 21st, later proceeding to New York, where she arrived March 24 - again see Page 4 of the archive docs. Having remained in New York for a month, she headed back to the U.K. on Apr. 24 in Convoy CU 22, bound for London with general cargo. According to Page 5, she arrived Gravesend on May 8, later spending quite a long time in North Shields (Tyne).
We later find her, together with California Express and Hegra, in Convoy UC 26*, which left Liverpool on June 15 and arrived New York on the 27th. Mosdale had started out in Loch Ewe, and from New York, she proceeded to Halifax, arriving there June 29. Having returned to the U.K. at the beginning of July, she subsequently shows up, with destination Halifax (and again with California Express in company, as well as Martin Bakke) in the westbound Convoy UC 31*, originating in Liverpool on July 25, arriving New York on Aug. 5; Mosdale arrived Halifax on the 4th, having started out from Clyde on July 26. She commenced her return voyage to the U.K. already on Aug. 8, later appearing in Convoy UC 35*, which originated in Liverpool on Aug. 26 and arrived New York on Sept. 5, but Mosdale was bound for St. John, N.B. again, with arrival there on the 5th (California Express and Washington Express again took part). On Sept. 12 she's listed as going in the other direction in Convoy CU 39 from New York, which arrived Liverpool on Sept. 23, and a week later we find her, again with destination St. John, N.B., in Convoy UC 39B*, departing Liverpool on Sept. 30 (Washington Express is also listed). Mosdale arrived St. John on Oct. 10, returning to the U.K. 4 days later, arriving Liverpool Oct. 23.
She now shows up, with destination St. John, in Convoy UC 43A*, which left Liverpool on Oct. 29, Mosdale arriving her destination on Nov. 9 - this time, Nordahl Grieg was in company. Mosdale returned to the U.K. again shortly thereafter (again, see Page 5 of the archive documents), and at the beginning of the following month she's listed in the westbound Convoy UC 47B*, originating in Liverpool on Dec. 4. She was again bound for St. John, N.B., where she arrived Dec. 17. A. Hague has now included her in Convoy CU 52, which left New York on Dec. 26 and arrived Liverpool on Jan. 7-1945 - Mosdale sailed from St. John, N.B. on Dec. 25, and according to A. Hague, she joined the convoy at sea on Jan. 4, having stopped by St. John's, N.F. The archive document, which gives her arrival Liverpool as Jan. 9, does not mention St. John's in this period. It'll also be noticed, when going to my page about this convoy, that she's not mentioned in the original Advance Sailing Telegram, but this could simply be because she was not present from New York.
She subsequently returned to St. John, N.B. with Convoy UC 53A*, departing Liverpool on Jan. 19-1945 (with Karsten Wang and Washington Express), arriving her destination on Febr. 2. A week later she's listed in the Halifax portion of the New York-U.K. Convoy HX 337, for which Laurits Swenson served as Commodore Vessel. Mosdale was bound for Liverpool with a general cargo, meats and mail. In March she's listed as bound for St. John, N.B. in Convoy UC 60B*, which left Liverpool on March 18 (California Express again took part). Mosdale arrived her destination on the 29th, and at the beginning of the following month A. Hague has her, along with Heranger, Kaldfonn and Viggo Hansteen, in Convoy HX 348*, which originated in New York on Apr. 3 and arrived Liverpool on the 20th. Page 6 of the archive documents indicates she joined this convoy from St. John, N.B. On Apr. 27 we find her in the westbound Convoy UC 65B*, which arrived New York on May 7; Mosdale arrived Boston that day, continuing to St. John the next day. She returned across the Atlantic with Convoy CU 71, originating in New York on May 20, arriving Liverpool on the 30th. Mosdale joined from Boston.
Related external link:
Judging from the surnames, many of these girls married Norwegians - this external page has more about them.
Maude Elisabeth Steane on Viggo Hansteen from May-1944 (shot and killed at Naples in Aug.-1944, follow the link for details)
Additionally, Olive J. (Carroll) Roeckner has told me the following in an E-mail:
Their story begins on Febr. 24-44 when 19 year old Joan Quinn and 22 year old Jean Haydock (both of New York City) signed aboard the fruitship M/V Bajamar in New Orleans as stewardesses. Joan's mother was so appalled and frightened for her daughter's safety that she went to the port authorities in New York and told them her daughter was at sea on a ship. Apparently they said that was impossible, that American women could not serve on a ship, and both girls were removed from the vessel when it was in New York Apr. 14-44.
Joan and Jean both wanted to go back to sea so they trained at the Radio Maritime Trades Center in NYC and obtained their FCC Radio Telegraph licenses, signing aboard the Carl Oftedal in NYC Apr. 4-45 as 2nd and 3rd Radio Operators. (Joan was 20 by this time and must have had her mother's permission - or would she have required permission at age 20 in the U.S.?). About their wartime service I know little, other than the ship carried bombs to the South Pacific and ran into a typhoon there (which you mention on your Webpage concerning this vessel). Both girls signed off in Batangas Nov. 7-45 at war's end. (Why they signed off in the Phillipines I don't know, unless the vessel was sailing to Europe or other eastern ports and the girls wanted to return to the U.S.).
The above information concerning names, vessels and dates of signing on and off has been verified by government archives in Oslo. Whether the girls ever used their qualifications post-war I don't know. Joan Quinn passed away 4 years ago and nothing further is known concerning Jean*. All of this information has been passed on to me by Joan Montana, a long time acquaintance of Joan Quinn, who is very proud of her late friend's wartime service, brief as it was".
Helene Karoline J. Fischer Dale was the first Norwegian female radio officer in our fleet. She had previously served as stewardess on Bayard from March-1940 till Dec. that year, and on the same ship from Febr.-1941 till March-1942, before joining Laurits Swenson in the same capacity in May-1942, till July-1942. The following month she started school at Little Norway, Toronto to become a radio operator, and fresh out of school she joined Fred. Olsen's Baalbek as 2nd radio operator in June-1943 (till Sept.-1943), before joining Alf Lindeberg in Oct.-1943 where she stayed till Dec.-1945. Just 2 days after leaving Alf Lindeberg she joined M/S Fernplant, this time as 1st radio operator, remaining with this ship until March-1946. She was later awarded Krigsmedaljen and Haakon VII Frihetsmedalje - see my Norwegian War Medals page. Many women sailed with the Norwegian fleet during the war; mostly as stewardesses or saloon girls. (My mother was also a radio operator, though not during the war. Her ships can be found at Åse's Ships).
Mosdale was sold in 1954 to Blue Star Line. According to Lillesand Sjømannsforening (external link) she was renamed Albion Star, but sold again that same year to Lampart & Holt Line Ltd., Liverpool and renamed Balzac. Renamed Caroll in 1959. Sold again in 1960 to Blue Star Line Ltd., London and renamed Norman Star, renamed Basil that same year for Booth Steamship Co., Liverpool. Sold in May-1964 to Eleni D. Kyriakos & Dimitri Kyriakos, Piræus, renamed Eleni K. Sold in 1966 to Helen Shipping Corp. Panama Ltd., Piræus, renamed Eleni Kyriakos. Renamed Olga in 1969. Sold in 1970 to Kreta Shipping Co. S.A., Piræus and renamed Georgios Markakis. Sold in 1973 to Amarinthis Shipping Co. Ltd., Famagusta, renamed Nikos S. Arrived Bilbao on May 4-1973 for breaking up by Hierros Ardes.
Related external link:
Back to Mosdale on the "Ships starting with M" page.
The company later had another ship by this name, built in 1961, 15 718 gt - this external page has more details (Lillesand Sjømannsforening).
The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, "Lykkelige Mosdale - Sagaen om et skip", Eiliv Odde Hauge., and misc. others for cross checking details.