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M/S Mosfruit
Updated June 26-2010

To Mosfruit on the "Ships starting with M" page.

Crew List

From Bjørn Milde's postcard collection.

Another picture is available on this external page (click in it to enlarge).

Ownerer: A/S Mosvold Shipping Co.
Manager: Martin Mosvold, Farsund
2714 gt, 1520 net, 4300 tdwt
Signal Letters: BLVX

Built by Eriksbergs Mekaniske Verkstads A/B, Gothenburg, Sweden in 1938.

Captain: Jens Lassen Ugland. He later joined Christian Michelsen and died when that ship was sunk in 1943 - follow the link for more details.

Related items on this website:
Guestbook message - From the son of Haakon Werner Hofsten, who sailed on Mosfruit (see crew list further down on this page), as well as Belinda, Somerville, Gausdal, Evanger and Temeraire.
Another Guestbook message stating that Jens Lassen Ugland had also commanded Mosdale at one point.
Guestbook message - From the the grandson of Arne Hopsdal. He also served on Bralanta.
Guestbook message from a relative of the captain of Empire Hope, which picked up survivors from Mosfruit (see narrative below).

Mosfruit was one of several fast going fruit carriers, which went back and forth across the Atlantic without an escort, and up until July of 1942 she was the one that had the most Atlantic crossings to her name.

Her voyages are listed on these original images from the Norwegian National Archives:
Page 1 | Page 2

Please compare the above voyages with Arnold Hague's Voyage Record below.

  Voyage Record
From March-1940 to June-1942:  

(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.

Departure From To Arrival Convoy Remarks
1940 March 3 Boston Liverpool March 12 Independent
March 21 Liverpool Boston* March 31 Independent *Arrived New York, Apr. 3
(Page 1 - Also, missing voyages)
Apr. 18 Halifax Liverpool May 2 HX 36
May 10 Liverpool New York City May 19 Independent Later arrived Boston, May 26
(Page 1)
May 29 Boston Hampton Roads May 31 Independent
June 3 Hampton Roads Liverpool June 13 Independent
June 22 Liverpool New York City July 2 Independent On to Havana, Aug. 17.
Missing voyages, Page 1
Oct. 22 New York City Halifax Oct. 24 Independent
1941 Jan. 6 Halifax St. John, N.B. Jan. 7 Independent
Jan. 27 St. John, N.B. Liverpool Febr. 6 Independent
March 6 Liverpool St. John, N.B. March 17 Independent
March 24 St. John, N.B. Halifax March 25 Independent
March 25 Halifax Liverpool Apr. 4 Independent
Apr. 11 Liverpool Montreal Apr. 22 Independent
May 3 Montreal Holyhead May 14 Independent
* May 16 Holyhead Cardiff May 18 Independent
* May 17 Holyhead Cardiff May 18 BB 21 Convoy available at BB 21
(external link)
*According to Page 1, she left Holyhead on May 16 - she's included in the BB convoy, but may have made this voyage independently?
May 24 Cardiff Milford Haven May 25 Independent
May 27 Milford Haven Montreal June 5 Independent
June 10 Montreal Liverpool June 20 Independent
June 26 Liverpool Montreal July 5 Independent
July 17 Montreal Liverpool July 26 Independent
Aug. 1 Liverpool Montreal Aug. 10 Independent
Aug. 16 Montreal Liverpool Aug. 25 Independent
Aug. 30 Liverpool Montreal Sept. 7 Independent Missing voyages, Page 2
Sept. 24 Montreal Clyde Oct. 3 Independent
Oct. 11 Clyde Montreal Oct. 20 Independent
Oct. 26 Montreal Liverpool Nov. 5 Independent
Nov. 13 Liverpool St. John, N.B. Nov. 23 Independent On to Halifax Nov. 28
(Page 2).
Dec. 1 Halifax Liverpool Dec. 9 Independent
Dec. 17 Liverpool St. John, N.B. Dec. 26 Independent
Dec. 31 St. John, N.B. Liverpool Jan. 9-1942 Independent
1942 Jan. 17 Liverpool St. John, N.B. Jan. 28 Independent
Febr. 3 St. John, N.B. St. John, N.B. Febr. 4 Independent Put back, fire in hold
Febr. 14 St. John, N.B. New York City Febr. 16 Independent
March 26 New York City St. John, N.B. March 28 Independent
Apr. 2 St. John, N.B. Liverpool Apr. 13 Independent
Apr. 18 Liverpool Liverpool Apr. 19 Independent Put back, fire in hold
(voyage not mentioned, Page 2)
May 3 Liverpool St. John, N.B. May 11 Independent
May 22 St. John, N.B. Halifax May 23 Independent
May 23 Halifax Belfast May 30 Independent
May 31 Belfast Lough Cardiff June 1 Independent
June 7 Cardiff St. John, N.B. June 16 Independent
June 24 St. John, N.B. Independent Sunk - See "Final Fate" below


As will be seen when going to Page 1, Mosfruit was in New York when war broke out in Norway on Apr. 9-1940, departing that day for Fernandina, where she arrived on Apr. 12, continuing to Brunswick the next day. She later proceeded to Halifax, joining Convoy HX 36 from there to the U.K. on Apr. 18 - follow the link for details; other Norwegian ships also took part.

It looks like she spent quite a long time in New York that year. She had arrived there from Liverpool on July 2 and departure is given as Aug. 17, when she proceeded to Havana. She also had quite a long stay at Hampton Roads the following month, and at the end of that year, she was in Halifax for a long time. She had arrived there from New York on Oct. 24-1940; departure is given as Jan. 6-1941, when she proceeded to St. John, N.B., then headed to the U.K. on Jan. 27, arriving Liverpool on Febr. 6, remaining there for a month, before returning to St. John, N.B.

Page 2 also has some 1941 voyages as well as her 1942 voyages. It'll be noticed that she spent several weeks in New York that year. She had left St. John, N.B. for Halifax on Febr. 3 but put back to St. John the next day; according to A. Hague, she had had a fire in her hold. She later proceeded to New York, with arrival Febr. 16, and did not leave again until March 26 - perhaps some repairs had been necessary?

 Final Fate - 1942: 

Mosfruit, on charter to Canadian Pacific Steamships, had left St. John, N. B. on June 24-1942, bound for Liverpool with general cargo and frozen meat. She was last reported in position 53 25N 40 00W on June 28, doing 14 knots. When she had not arrived her destination at the estimated time, escort groups were requested on July 5 to keep an eye out for her or her lifeboats. It turned out that at 14:30 GMT on June 30, when about 600 n. miles from the northwest coast of Ireland, U-458 (Diggins) had gotten a direct hit with one of his torpedoes, striking forward of the bridge, port side (possibly in No. 2 hold). The wheelhouse, chart house and radio room were damaged, probably because of the vibrations and the weight of the surrounding cement protection. The helmsman, Able Seaman Nerdal, was blown down to the deck, the radio operator had to break through the top part of the door to get out. The No.'s 2 and 3 hatches blew up, the engine stopped immediately and she listed to port. The port boat was partly destroyed and was pulled along by its tackles, but the starboard lifeboat was successfully launched and moved away from the ship to pick up 3 who had jumped overboard (the 2nd engineer, the 4th engineer and Able Seaman Høifødt). By then the ship had straightened up somewhat, but the foreship was deep in the water.

This picture is from the album of K. Diggins, the Commander of U-458, received from Peter Schmid, Kiel and used here with permission
(this external page has more pictures from K. Diggins' album).

A British passenger by the last name of Allan was found to be missing, so the captain and 6 men went back on board to look for him (the 1st mate, the radio operator, the 1st engineer, the 3rd engineer, Mechanic Johannessen and the galley boy). He was found in the passengers' quarters, in shock and with a head wound. After he had been helped into the boat, the captain and the others quickly gathered some blankets, food and other necessities, while the radio operator made another unsuccessful attempt to send an SOS. Also, the 1st engineer announced that there was no way that her engine could be started again. Those who had remained in the lifeboat now informed them that a periscope was seen; this was also spotted from the ship, but it disappeared again soon afterwards. They launched the starboard gig and returned to the lifeboat which was waiting about 1/2 mile away. A collective hurrah was given in gratitude that everyone had survived; that is - 33 crew, 3 passengers, 3 dogs and a cat.

About 2 hours had now passed since the torpedo had struck. The periscope was seen several times, and those in the lifeboats stayed in the vicinity of the ship in the hopes of being able to make use of the motorboat, which was placed on the No. 4 hatch and would hopefully float free if/when the ship sank. Also, fearing they had insufficient quantities of water for that many people, they wanted to see if anything could be rescued from the port lifeboat. With sail set on the lifeboat and the gig in tow, they moved further away from the ship. The men in the gig were transferred to the lifeboat. About half an hour later, when the boats were about 1.5 n. miles away, the U-boat came up and set Mosfruit ablaze with 56 shells, and within another half hour, 3 hours after the initial attack they lost sight of her - still burning and in a sinking condition (sunk 56 10N 23 20[40?]W).

The boats sailed for 7 days towards Ireland. The British Allan Beattie was beginning to show the strain by then, asking permission to "go to his cabin"; he also wanted to "bring the captain his tea". The next day, on July 8 they were spotted by the British Empire Hope (Captain G. Williams - see also this Guestbook message) 40 n. miles off the Irish coast (west/northwest of Tory Island) and taken to Belfast the same day. (The cat had died on the 3rd day as it was always licking salt water off its fur). The young Beattie, though clear minded again, was shaky and uneasy so he was taken to a hospital. The 3 passengers remained in Belfast while Mosfruit's crew left for Liverpool on a passenger vessel. 3 men were subsequently admitted to the Norwegian hospital in Westwood with severe swelling in their legs, namely Able Seaman Høifødt, the electrician and the cook, while the rest were distributed between the Norwegian Hostel, Hanover Hotel and Nunns Hotel.

The maritime hearings were held in Liverpool on July 17-1942 with the captain, the 2nd mate (officer on watch), Able Seaman Gustavsen (lookout) and the 2nd engineer appearing.

George Monk, England has told me that Captain Jens Lassen Ugland received a British "Commendation" (his source: Seedies List of awards to the British Merchant Navy which includes awards to Allied merchant seamen).

Crew List - No casualties:

Jens Lassen Ugland
1st Mate
Kåre Sørensen
2nd Mate
John Olav Herholdt
3rd Mate
Årleif Antonsen
Radio Operator
Tormod Andersen
Harald Halvorsen
Julius Thomas
Able Seaman
Sverre Gustavsen
Able Seaman
Haakon Hofsten
Able Seaman
Asbjørn Nerdal
Able Seaman
Asbjørn Høifødt
Ordinary Seaman
Arne Martinsen
Ordinary Seaman
Bernhard Pratt
Jr. Ordinary Seaman
Kenneth Appleby
1st Engineer
Sverre Jansen
2nd Engineer
Arvid Christiansen
3rd Engineer
Harry Arendal
4th Engineer
Fritz Christoffersen
Refrigerator Engineer
Anders Tufteland
Knut Skorve
Rolf Johannessen
Torbjørn Lian
Lloyd Greenwood
Peder Pedersen
Ragnar Karlsen
Hans Karlsen
Ole Jansen
Arne Hopsdal
Sverre Reinertsen
Galley Boy
Olav Rutledal
Mess Boy
Per Gulliksen
Saloon Boy
Petrus Breuseker
Allan Beattie
? Allan
+ 2 more British passengers

Related external links:
Operations information for U-458


The Empire Ships - On the "Mariners" website. Empire Hope can be found on this page (as will be seen, this ship was also sunk a little over a month later).

Back to Mosfruit on the "Ships starting with M" page.

The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, "Sjøforklaringer fra 2. verdenskrig", Norwegian Maritime Museum, Volume II, and misc. (ref. My sources).


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