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Manager: A. F. Klaveness & Co. A/S, Oslo
Built by Deutsche Werft A.G., Betrieb Finkenwärder, Hamburg in 1925.
Captain: Leif Bryn
Torpedoed on Febr. 18-1940 by U-61 (Oesten) and sunk 59 03N 01 08E, when on a voyage from Buenos Aires to Stavanger with a cargo of grain. The captain died.
Jan-Olof, Sweden has sent me a copy of an old newspaper clipping, dated March 16-1940, relating some information from the subsequent inquiry at the consulate in Newcastle-on-Tyne on Febr. 28, at which time 1st Mate Olaf Wroldsen, 2nd Mate A. Huseby, 2nd Engineer Waldemar Martinsen, and 3rd Engineer Arne Melsom were questioned.
The 1st mate presented a report which states that Sangstad had departed Buenos Aires on Jan 13 with a cargo of rye and wheat for the Norwegian State, properly marked as a neutral ship, with her flag lit up. Shortly after midnight on Febr. 14, when about 230 n. miles west of the Faroe Islands she was stopped by a British warship. An officer and 5 soldiers were sent on board, whereupon she was ordered into Kirkwall where she arrived on Febr 16. After her cargo and crew had been inspected she was free to leave in the afternoon of Febr. 17, setting a course for Hvidingsøy.
At 05:10 on Febr. 18, when in the position given above, a tremendous explosion occurred on the port side of the ship, plunging them into darkness and causing water to come gushing into the engine room through the skylight. The 2nd engineer was on watch and was able to stop the engine before running up. Officer on watch on the bridge at the time was the 2nd mate, who states that she was probably struck in the after part of No. 2 hatch. The 1st mate, asleep in his cabin, was flung up to the ceiling. He grabbed his lifebelt and managed to force the cabin door open and get on deck. Sangstad immediately started to sink, listing heavily to port, making the launching of the starboard lifeboat very difficult (the port boat had been destroyed). While lowering the boat the entire boatdeck was suddenly lit up by the U-boat. As soon as the lifeboat was on the water, the line was cut and orders given to come aft, but as the ship still had some movement forward the lifeboat drifted behind her, so 7 men had to jump overboard from the stern just before she sank. Among them was Captain Leif Bryn, who had come on the bridge right after the explosion and was seen swimming towards the lifeboat. He was never found, but the other 6 were picked up by the lifeboat, while 6 were on a raft.
At dawn an aircraft passed overhead, and shortly afterwards a U-boat was seen very close by. They rowed towards it while signalling in the hope of getting assistance but it continued north. About 3 hours later an aircraft circled around several times, and that afternoon a trawler was seen, but did not appear to see their signals. After sundown, 2 destroyers were spotted and this time their signals were seen and one of them approached to pick them up at about 17:45. They were landed on Febr. 21. The 6 on the raft had been picked up by another destroyer previously. Uboat.net gives their names as HMS Diana (from the raft) and HMS Brazen (from the lifeboat), adding that the survivors were landed in Kirkwall.
(J. Rohwer gives the position as 59 00N 00 25E).
For info, U-61 had also been responsible for the attack on Sydfold the previous month - follow the link for details.
Back to Sangstad on the "Ships starting with S" page.
Other ships by this name: This company had previously had a steamship named Sangstad, built in Sandefjord in 1903, 1393 gt. Sold to Mexico that same year and renamed Puebla. Then another Sangstad was built for the company in 1904 (in Sunderland), 3005 gt. Ran aground in Oct.-1909 near Gerdagrundet, Norra Kvarken, voyage Luleå-Middlesbrough with iron ore, 1 died. See also Dea, which had previously had the name Sangstad.