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Owner: A/S Rask
Delivered in 1890 from A. A. Wilton van Reede Czn., Papendrecht, Netherland as Göteborg to D/S A/S Marstrand (D. Torm) Copenhagen, 617 gt, 329 net, 690 tdwt, 167' x 27.2' x 17', triple exp. (A. A. Wilton v.Reede). When purchased by Olaus Kvilhaug & Co. A/S, Haugesund in 1917 she belonged to Trio Ångfartygs-A/B, Gothenburg. Renamed Uno. Sold in 1924 to Sigvart Rasmussen, Haugesund and renamed Rask. From 1929 the owners were D/S A/S Jøkul (Ths. Smedsvig), in 1934 she went to Brødrene Anda, Stavanger, then purchased in Apr.-1937 by D/S A/S Rask (Sigvald Risanger).
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 as can be seen, the record is incomplete.
Rask is listed in Convoy HN 10 from Norway to the U.K. in Febr.-1940, bound for Grangemouth with pulp. According to A. Hague, she returned to Norway at the end of that month with Convoy ON 16, and at the end of March, shortly before the German invasion of Norway, we find her in the original Advance Sailing Telegram for Convoy HN 22, bound for Leith with general cargo.
As will be seen when going to Page 1 of the archive documents, Rask left Methil on Apr. 6-1940 in order to return to Norway (Haugesund). She's not mentioned, but perhaps she was intended for Convoy ON 25?
Apart from some voyages to France that spring she was subsequently mostly in service around the U.K. Her 1941 voyages start on Page 2 (it'll be noticed that she appears to have spent a long time in Plymouth that year) and continue on Page 3.
Rask had departed Cork alone in ballast for Newport on Oct. 19-1941, sailing within Irish territorial waters, 1-2 miles off shore along the coast. At about 18:30 that evening, when near Tuscar Rock, she was attacked by 3 German aircraft which came back several times and dropped bombs or torpedoes, all detonating in the sea.
Her 5 machine guns were manned by the 2 British gunners as well as by the 1st mate, the 1st engineer, and Able Seaman Antonsen. 2 of the attacking planes were believed to have been hit and they all took off; one of them was seen wobbling just above sea level before it disappeared out of view. The 3rd aircraft returned about 20 minutes later, flying low over the ship and suddenly a powerful explosion occurred underneath the bridge, causing the engine to stop and she heeled over to port.
The port lifeboat left the ship with 12 men on board, while the others struggled with the starboard boat which was hanging upside down because the tackle had become unhooked in the explosion. They managed to get it on the water, then stayed behind the ship for about half an hour until the captain was sure she had sunk, then rowed towards land. At about 02:00 they tied up to a light buoy for the rest of the night. The 5 in the captain's boat landed at Blackwater in the morning, Oct. 20. From there they were sent to Wexford.
Meanwhile, the port lifeboat had gotten into some ground swells near land. It was believed to have been struck by bullets from the aircraft because it was leaking, and though they bailed continuously it kept getting filled and capsized several times, with the result that 7 died (it was bitterly cold), 3 of whom were British, 3 Norwegian and 1 Swedish. The remaining 5 were rescued at about 06:00, Oct. 20 by the British Wallace Rose, which also picked up 3 bodies. The 2nd mate was landed at Wexford where he was sent to the hospital for treatment, while the others were landed in Newport that same day.
It looks like the 3 bodies were also left at Wexford, because while there, the captain made arrangements for the burial of Mess Boy Patrick Tierney, Gunner John Stanley and Stoker Otto Lie, before the survivors travelled on to Dublin, then Cardiff, with arrival in the evening of Oct. 25. The inquiry was held there on Oct. 30-1941 with the captain, the 1st engineer, the 2nd mate (officer on watch), and Able Seaman Antonsen appearing.
George Monk, England has told me that Captain Sigurd Martin Johan Martinessen received a British "Commendation" for his actions (his source: Seedies List of awards to the British Merchant Navy which includes awards to Allied merchant seamen).
Related external link:
Back to Rask on the "Ships starting with R" page.
Other ships by this name:
Additionally, I've come across another D/S Rask, 563 gt, same shipping company, built in 1920; I believe this must be identical to a ship delivered as HMS Kilmun (cable layer) for The Royal Navy in Febr.-1920, launched as gunboat in Oct.-1919, 563 gt. This vessel was purchased by A/S Rask (Sigvald Risanger) in Sept.-1946 and renamed Rask. When she was delivered in June-1948 she had been converted to cargo ship at Haugesunds Slip and had become 631 gt (motor vessel). Ran aground off Berwick light on Jan. 31-1950 on a voyage Bergen-Newcastle with cargo of herring - crew of 17 rescued by a British rescue ship. Finally, Haugesund had an M/S Rask, which had originally been the 4-masted schooner Hjalmar Sørensen (F. L. Knakkergaard, Nykøping, Denmark), built 1915, 556 gt. Purchased in March-1916 by D/S A/S Rask (Sigvart & Johan Rasmussen), renamed Rask. Remeasured in 1918 - 583 gt. Sold to London in 1923, renamed Altair in 1925 and sailed under Estonian flag, then as the Italian Sparviero from 1927, sold again in 1935, deleted from Lloyd's in 1950. ("Våre motorskip", Leif M. Bjørkelund & E. H. Kongshavn).
With regard to HMS Kilmun/Rask I've received the following (from John Gibson, Australia. Note that some of this conflicts with what I've quoted from "Våre motorskip" above, but since I don't know who is correct, I'll leave it in):
He adds that the KIL Class gunboats were built by Smiths in 1918-1920 and were intended to be a special design with a profile intended to confuse and attack U-boats. They looked the same from both ends, having a "bow" at each end and all the masts, deckhouses, etc. duplicated fore and aft. Almost all were completed too late for the war and were converted on the stock in most cases for merchant service. He thinks Kilmun was the last one. Smiths built 36 of them in all and they were apparently very handy vessels, seeing service all over the world.
The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, "Våre gamle skip" by Leif M. Bjørkelund and E. H. Kongshavn, "Sjøforklaringer fra 2. verdenskrig", Norwegian Maritime Museum, Volume II, and misc. (ref. My sources).