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Manager: A/S J. Ludwig Mowinckels Rederi, Bergen
Delivered from J. & K. Smit's Scheepswerwen, Kinderdijk, Holland (684) in Febr.-1920 as Salerno to D/S A/S Otto Thoresens Linie (Otto & Thor Thoresen A/S), Oslo. 375.8' x 51.5' x 23.1', 2 x 6 cyl. 4 TEV DM (Werkspoor N.V., Amsterdam), 2300 bhp. Sold to A/S J. Ludwig Mowinckels Rederi, Bergen in 1921 and renamed Salta.
According to R. W. Jordan, this ship operated on Den norske Syd-Amerika Linje services (owned by Det Bergenske Dampskibsselskab, A/S. J. Ludwig Mowinckels Rederi and Fred. Olsen & Co.).
Captain: Erik Waldemar Kylander. According to the Stavern Memorial (external link), Captain Kylander died on Apr. 12-1944 after having fallen ill on board. See also narrative below.
Her voyages are listed on this original document received from the National Archives of Norway.
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 - see also narrative below.
This was one of the 26 Norwegian ships interned in North and West Africa 1940-1942. My page Interned Ships has a list of all of them.
According to "Nortraships flåte" she was interned in Dakar on June 22-1940 - whether this internment date is correct or not, I don't know. "Sjømann - Lang vakt" by Guri Hjeltnes says she had a crew of 33, 32 of whom were Norwegian, 24 escaped. 21 of her crew managed to escape to Bathurst in a small boat on July 27-1941, and were subsequently taken to Freetown in a British corvette, where they joined M/S Lidvard, which had arrived there after her remarkable escape (follow the link to Lidvard for details).
As can be seen in the Voyage Record, A. Hague has included Salta, with a cargo of grain and general, in station 75 of Convoy SL 37, originating in Freetown on June 25-1940, arriving Liverpool on July 12, Salta joining from Dakar; the Norwegian Sama is also listed. According to the first external website that I've linked to at the end of this page, Salta had been cancelled from Convoy SL 34, as well as from Convoy SL 35. If she was interned in Dakar on June 22, she could not have been in SL 37 either. This also becomes more evident from the next paragraphs.
A visitor to my website has sent me a copy of an interview with the 1st mate on Salta, Knut H. Helland, who was one of the 21 who escaped in the lifeboat on the same night as Lidvard got out of Dakar. He states that Salta had been en route from Buenos Aires to Norway with a cargo of grain, and carrying 16 passengers, when she encountered engine trouble and proceeded to Dakar for repairs (this must have been in the spring/summer of 1940 - see the archive document). While there, France capitulated resulting in the internment of the ships that were in port at Dakar. After his escape, Helland joined Lidvard as a radio operator and came with her to the U.S. Once in Boston he joined D/S Bris as a mate and was on board when that ship was torpedoed on April 20-1942 on a voyage from Baltimore to Natal, Brazil (follow the link to Bris for more details on this incident). Knut Helland later served on M/T Egda.
The information in the above paragraph is echoed in this message in my Norwegian Guestbook, posted by the son of someone who served on board at the time. He confirms that Salta was in Buenos Aires (giving the date as Apr. 9), loading a cargo for Norway. En route, they were told to head to Freetown for convoy, but engine trouble resulted in a new order to go into Dakar for repairs. Further problems caused their stay there to be longer than expected and they ended up being interned when France fell. He adds that his father, Alfred H. Pilskog, managed to escape with a lifeboat on May 17-1941.
Salta was, of course, freed after Operation Torch in Nov.-1942 and was again registered with Nortraship on June 11-1943. Some of the men from the torpedoed Corneville joined her that month - follow the link for more details. "Nortraships flåte" says that due to the bad state she was in, Salta was taken to Gibraltar and used as a storeship for the rest of the war(?). However, going back to the archive document, we learn that she left Dakar on July 5-1943 and arrived Freetown July 8, continuing to Takoradi a month later*.
In Apr.-1944, she's listed, again with Jenny, in Convoy STL 16, originating in Freetown on March 28, arriving Takoradi Apr. 2, but this seems odd; Salta started out from Takoradi on Apr. 1 and arrived Lagos Apr. 3. About a week later, she appears in Convoy LTS 16, which left Lagos on Apr. 11 and arrived Freetown on the 18th. However, according to the archive document, though she was bound for Freetown and the U.K., she was ordered in to Takoradi, with arrival there on Apr. 13. This may have had something to do with the fact that the captain had died. "Sjøforklaringer fra 2. verdenskrig" states that Captain Kylander died of Malaria when on a voyage from Lagos to the U.K. in 1944. The Stavern Memorial (link at the end of this page) adds he died at sea on Apr. 12-1944 after having fallen ill on board. His illness may have been a result of the internment in Africa? Some other crew members at that time were: 1st Mate Aksel Ingvaldsen, 2nd Mate Kolbjørn Werner Nilsen, 2nd Engineer David Haldorsen, and Steward Anders Emil Aarsund.
Salta left Takoradi again on Apr. 15, arriving Freetown Apr. 20. The next day, we find her listed in Convoy SL 156, which departed Freetown on Apr. 21 and joined up with Convoy MKS 47 from Gibraltar on May 3, before continuing to the U.K. as the combined Convoy SL 156/MKS 47, with arrival Liverpool on May 13, but it does not look like Salta followed this convoy to the U.K.; from the archive document we learn that she stopped at Dakar on Apr. 25 (in other words, before the MKS convoy joined); there's no mention of her arrival U.K. Bosphorus was also in company in the SL convoy. It now looks like Salta spent quite a long time at Dakar; departure is given as June 16, when she proceeded to Gibraltar, where she arrived on the 27th.
No more voyages are shown until Aug. 17-1945, when she left Gibraltar for Torrevieja - this might have been the period J. R. Hegland is referring to in "Nortraships flåte", when he says she was taken to Gibraltar and used as a storeship, rather than this taking place in the summer of 1943, as mentioned above - had she been in Gibraltar from June 27-1944 to Aug. 17-1945, as indicated on the archive document?
At the beginning of Sept.-1945, she called at Kirkwall, before proceeding to Oslo, Norway, where she arrived on Sept. 6.
Sold in Sept.-1956 to Hong Kong Navigation & Investment Co. Ltd., Hong Kong and renamed Senorita. Sank off Honshu on Jan. 30-1957, following a collision with an unknown object when on a voyage Houston, Texas-Kobe, Japan.
Stavern Memorial commemoration - Captain Erik W. Kylander is commemorated at this Memorial for Seamen in Stavern, Norway. The Norwegian text says he died on Apr. 12-1944 after having fallen ill on board, adding he was buried at sea(?).
Back to Salta on the "Ships starting with S" page.
Other ships by this name: Another Salta, also a motor vessel, was delivered to A/S J. Ludwig Mowinckels Rederi, Bergen in Aug.-1959, built in Naples. This ship was sold to owners in Bremen in 1968 and renamed Flavia. Sailed under Liberian flag from 1972, then sold that same year and renamed Feichi for managers in Hong Kong. Came under the Panamanian flag in 1976 (same managers: Ocean Tramping Co. Ltd., Hong Kong), then sold to China in 1981 and renamed Jiao Jiang. Broken up in 1988. The company's 3rd Salta was originally delivered as Baleares to I/S Freezer (Torvald Klaveness), Oslo in Oct.-1959, built in Amsterdam (my father served on this ship - see Odd's Ships). Sold to Germany in 1966 and renamed Brunstal. Sold to Norway and managed by A/S J. Ludwig Mowinckels Rederi, Bergen from 1970, renamed Salta. Sold again in June-1977 and renamed Gema, Panamanian flag. Renamed Salta again in 1985 for owners in Buenos Aires, Panamanian flag. Broken up in 1986.