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M/S Black Watch
Fred. Olsen & Co., Oslo

(Norwegian Homefleet WW II)

Back to Black Watch on the "Homefleet Ships starting with B" page.

The figurehead was made by the sculptor Ørnulf Bast, and depicts and officer of the Black Watch Regiment
(scanned from Fred. Olsen & Co. fleet list, with permission from the company).

Tonnage: 5035 gt, 2937 net

Built by Akers mek. Verksted, Oslo, delivered in 1939 for the Kristiansand-Newcastle-Oslo passenger/cargo service. 365.1' x 53.3' x 26.5'. Owned by A/S Ganger Rolf, Oslo.

 WW II: 

Laid up in Oslo Sept. 1939. Taken over in Trondheim by the Kriegsmarine and commissioned as a U-boat crew accommodation vessel at Kirkenes, Norway on Aug. 28-1940. Also used for the same purpose in Hammerfest in 1943 (Norwegian crew until March that year).

According to the website below the Black Watch:
Collided with the ice breaker D/S Fjarli in Kåfjord on March 26-1941
Ran aground in the port of Tromsø on Aug. 19-1942
Collided with the German D/S Triton at Sørkjomen on Oct 2-1942
Collided with the Norwegian M/S Sardinia in Narvik on Nov. 9-1942
Collided with the Norwegian D/S Transport at Hammerfest on Nov. 16-1942
Lost an anchor in Hammerfest on Febr. 10-1943.

 Final Fate - 1945: 

In the afternoon of May 4-1945, in an attack on the U-boat base at Kilbotn near Harstad (Operation Judgement*) by Avenger and Wildcat aircraft from the escort carriers HMS Queen (853rd squadron), Searcher (882nd squadron) and Trumpeter (846th squadron), she was bombed and sunk following an attack by 4 Wildcats and 8 Avengers of the 846th squadron (Trumpeter). She caught on fire, exploded and broke in 2. The website that I've linked to below has more details on this attack, as well as narratives in English. (Senja was also sunk that day, as was U-711, which was lying alongside Black Watch).

* "Operation Judgement" was initiated in order to destroy the U-boat depot and store ships used in the U-boat offensive against convoys to Russia. The 882nd squadron from Searcher consisted of 20 Wildcat, the 846th squadron from Strike Leader Trumpeter of 8 Avengers and 4 Wildcat, and the 853rd squadron from Queen of 8 Avengers and 4 Wildcat.

Related external link:
Black Watch - Several, gorgeous pictures and intersting detailed history of this ship. From a website belonging to a Norwegian diver, who has also included underwater pictures of the wreck (on page 4). The text is mostly in Norwegian, however, on page 3 there are some reports in English pertaining to the Avenger and Wildcat strike mentioned above, including a handwritten report on the incident in English written by Trumpeter's crew, logs in English covering the attacks on Black Watch and U-711 and pictures of the attack - click on the thumbnail documents on the various pages.

Back to Black Watch on the "Homefleet Ships starting with B" page.

(Source: R. W. Jordan and misc., including above website)

Another Black Watch was built in Lübeck in 1966, for cruises between Europe and the Canary Islands, jointly owned with Det Bergenske Dampskibsselskab, Bergen (Nor-Cargo). Sold in 1986 to Nor-Cargo, Bergen. (My husband and I went on a 2 week cruise on this ship in 1976 - marvellous!!)

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