Site Map | Search |Merchant Fleet Main Page | Home 

M/S Touraine
Updated Apr. 9-2009

To Touraine on the "Ships starting with T" page.

Crew List

Source: Lillesand Sjømannsforening. also has a picture of this ship (external link).

Manager: Wilh. Wilhelmsen, Tønsberg
5811 gt, 3579 net, 9590 tdwt
Dimensions: 435.9' x 56.2' x 27.8'
Manager: 2x 8 cyl. 4 SCSA oile engines totalling 5100 ihp by Burmeister & Wain's Maskin- og Skibsbyggeri A/S, Copenhagen, driving twin screws.
Service Speed: 13 knots - 12 passengers
Signal Letters: LDCT

Launched by Odense Staalskibsvaerft, Odense (Yard No. 18) on Jan. 17-1925, completed Aug. 8 that year.

Captain: Sigfred Ahlgren

Her voyages are listed on this original document received from the National Archives of Norway.


As can be seen when going to the archive document above, Touraine must have gotten out of Norway shortly before the German invasion. Departure date from Oslo is not given, but she arrived Table Bay on Apr. 17-1940, later making voyages to East London, Durban, Beira and Newcastle N.S.W. From there she proceeded to Sydney, on to Brisbane and back to Sydney, then returned to Table Bay before heading to Freetown on Aug. 16, with arrival Aug. 29. She left Freetown again on Sept. 3 and is listed in station 33 of Convoy SL 46, which arrived Liverpool on the 23rd; Touraine, cargo of wool, arrived Greenock on the 22nd (convoy is available at the external link below - Soløy and Rinda are also listed).

Related external link:
Convoy SL 46 - This is A. Hague's listing for this convoy. He says Touraine was French, but this fits in with the Norwegian Touraine's voyages for this period.

 Final Fate - 1940: 

Touraine later proceeded to Glasgow, with arrival there Oct. 1, then left Glasgow on Oct. 4, and Clyde anchorage on Oct. 6 in ballast, joining a convoy*. According to the captain's statements at the subsequent inquiry, she was bound for Sydney, C.B.

On the night of Oct. 6/7, she lost touch with the convoy, and was torpedoed near hatch 4 by U-59 (Matz) at about 16:15 on Oct. 7, west of Bloody Foreland, Ireland, position 55 12N 10 18W**. She rapidly settled by the stern, and fearing further attacks the crew was ordered to the lifeboats.

* She's said to have been scheduled for Convoy OB 224 (external link), which originated in Liverpool on Oct. 5-1940, but there's a note saying she did not sail. However, according to A. Hague a ship by this name did sail in OB 224 (also external), but he says it was the French Touraine, which straggled and was sunk by U-59, so there appears to be a mix-up of nationalities here on A. Hague's behalf. (also external link), which claims she was a straggler from the next convoy, OB 225 (also external), adds that U-59 attacked Touraine again later that evening but the two torpedoes fired at 19:25 and 19:32 passed underneath her. A coup de grâce fired at 20:43 hit the ship and caused her to sink slowly at 21:39. This external page shows A. Hague's listing for OB 225, and it'll be noticed that she's not included in this convoy, which had left Liverpool on Oct. 7. Had Touraine joined OB 224 afterall? Other Norwegian ships in this convoy were Corvus, Inger, Nesttun, Notos and Salonica.

** The above position is from Wilh. Wilhelmsen's fleet list; J. Rohwer gives the position 55 14N 10 34W at 16:01.

All 35 had survived and launched 3 lifeboats which remained by the ship for a while. When last seen, her bow was high out of the water and she was heavily down by the stern.

The 1st mate's lifeboat with 11 ratings launched a sea anchor, the sea being very rough and darkness was coming on. At daybreak they tried to signal to the 3rd mate's boat (motor boat) with the help of a morse lamp, but the latter could not read the message, and by daylight (Oct. 8) the 3rd mate's boat was no longer within view. They lay at sea anchor until around noon and about an hour later a steamer was sighted, but their signals were not observed. An aircraft came over them later on, but again their signals were not seen. The weather improved that afternoon so they set sail for land, launching a sea anchor again as darkness fell. When a ship was observed to leeward, they put up a blue light and the ship altered course towards them. Shortly thereafter they were all safely on board the British armed merchant cruiser Derbyshire which landed them at Greenock on Oct. 9, having reported the existence of the other 2 boats to the Naval Authorities.

The captain's lifeboat, meanwhile, had remained by the ship until dark, then rowed with the wind astern until 10 a.m. the following morning, at which time sail was set, sighting land about 15:00 the next day, Oct. 9. At 4 a.m. on the 10th they rowed around until a bay was found on leeside where the boat was beached (Arranmore Island, Donegal), before they went to a farmhouse where they got hot tea and food. They later arrived in Glasgow.

The 3rd lifeboat landed at Tory Island in the morning of Oct. 10.

The maritime inquiry was held in Glasgow on Oct. 28-1940 with the captain, the 1st and 2nd mates, and Able Seaman Eriksen attending.

For info, U-59 (but with a different commander) had also been responsible for the attacks on Glitrefjell and Navarra - follow the links for details.

Crew List:
The 1st mate was on duty on the bridge when the torpedo struck.
The 2nd mate had just come off watch and was speaking to the 1st mate on the bridge. (He was in the captain's lifeboat). Later survived the attack on
Thode Fagelund.
Able Seaman Eriksen was at the wheel (in the 1st mate's lifeboat).
The cook was admitted to a hospital, but died of his injuries on Oct. 11.
*Able Seaman Reidar Kvam Jensen later served on Triton, Eidsvold and Colombia - he died when Christian Michelsen was sunk.

Sigfred Ahlgren
1st Mate
John Borge
2nd Mate
Jan B. Gundersen
3rd Mate
Ola Håvardsholm
4th Mate
John Østbø
Radio Operator
Halvard Billington
Thorvald Sjøberg
Able Seaman
Isak Isaksen
Able Seaman
Henry A. Thorsen
Able Seaman
Reidar Kvam Jensen*
Able Seaman
Paul Eide Hansen
Able Seaman
Ottar Emil Olsen
Able Seaman
Ranor Lund Eilertsen
Able Seaman
Bjørn Eriksen
Able Seaman
Kristian Sigvald Brakstad
Jr. Ordinary Seaman
Rolf Henningsen
Jr. Ordinary Seaman
Sverre Grøneng Espelid
Deck Boy
Johan Hilmar Wiik
1st Engineer
Oscar Engelsgård
2nd Engineer
Kristian Larsen
3rd Engineer
Edward Sem
4th Engineer
Herman Edward Hansen
Olaf Berger
Bjarne Herfjord
Lewis Brain
Oswald Emil Stenersen
Arne Norman Johansen
Rolf Kristiansen
Mantry Bakke
Einar Løve
Richard Iversen
Tore Vinjar
Karl Hamnes
Galley Boy
Thorbjørn Olai Bjerke

Odd Jensen
(died in Ireland, Oct. 11-1940)

Back to Touraine on the "Ships starting with T" page.

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


 Site Map | Search |Merchant Fleet Main Page | Home