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Manager: Arnt J. Mørland, Arendal
Built at Fevig, Norway in 1916 (Sørlandets Skipsbyggeri, Fevik, Grimstad). Previous names: Standford until 1917, Stokke until 1927.
At 07:45 on Sept. 29-1939, Takstaas was stopped by 3 warning shots from U-7 (Heidel). 3 more warning shots were fired after her engine had been stopped. This took place 8-10 miles off Marsteinen light, outside Bergen, Norway when on a voyage from Norrsund, Sweden with a cargo of lumber for London. The captain was ordered across to the U-boat whose commander announced he had to sink Takstaas after having been told she was en route to England. Upon returning to his ship Captain Eltvedt ordered the crew to the lifeboats and shortly thereafter (at 08:30) a torpedo hit Takstaas amidships on the starboard side, causing her to list to starboard. According to Arendal's Seamen's Association's 150th Anniversary Book (Kristen Taraldsen) she straightened up from the initial list, whereupon the U-boat went over to the other side and fired several shells at her, causing her to break almost in two. After a while the foreship sank, while the afterpart stayed afloat and was later saved with most of the cargo intact (towed in and sold to a lumber merchant in Bergen).
The 2 lifeboats headed for land. After about half an hour a Norwegian naval aircraft came over them and continued towards Takstaas. The crew was later taken in tow to Sund in Korsfjord by the Norwegian torpedoboat Storm. From there the lifeboats managed to get to Bergen on their own, arriving that same day. They later got passage (to Arendal?) on the coastal steamer Christiania. There were no casualties.
Jan-Olof, Sweden has sent me a copy of an old newspaper clipping dated Sept. 30-1939. It contains an interview with Captain Eltvedt who states that as they knew the area around Marsteinen was guarded by U-boats they delayed sailing until daylight. After having been ordered on board the U-boat with the ship's papers, he went across in the motor lifeboat and was very politely received by the commander. The captain got the impression that the papers did not interest him all that much, as if he already knew what they contained. Heidel told the captain he was sorry, but it was his duty to sink the ship, and they were given 20 minutes to get off. The 2 boats were about 300 meters away when the torpedo was fired, probably striking in the boiler or in the engine room. When the aircarft appeared the U-boat submerged.
J. Rohwer gives the position 60 15N 04 41E for this incident. "Skip og Menn" (Birger Dannevig) places it at 08:30 the day before, Sept. 28, and states she broke in two while in tow of a Norwegian naval vessel on Sept. 29.
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