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D/S Kommandøren
Fylkesbaatane i Sogn & Fjordane, Bergen

(Norwegian Homefleet WW II)

Back to Kommandøren on the "Homefleet Ships starting with K" page.

Taken at Balholm, Sogn.
Received from Bjørn Milde, Norway (from his own postcard collection).

 Pre War History: 

Delivered on June 30-1891 from Akers Mek. Verksted, Oslo as Kommmandøren to Nordre Bergenhus Amts Dampskibe, Bergen. Steel hull, 161,8’ x 24,4’ x 12,7’, Tripple Expansion (Akers) 116nhk, 12 knots, 445 gt. In regularly scheduled passenger/cargo/mail express service Bergen-Sogn og Fjordane. Rebuilt in 1910 at Stavanger Støberi & Dok, Stavanger, new boiler. Ran aground in Jan.-1911 near Rongevær, minor damages. Ran aground in Herdlafjord in 1913. The company changed its name on Jan. 25-1919 to Fylkesbaatane i Sogn & Fjordane, Bergen. Rebuilt in 1922 (well was enclosed). Rebuilt and modernized in 1930 (543 gt?). Ran aground at Segløya between Skerjehamn and Eivindvik in Apr.-1938, heavily damaged, repaired.

 WW II: 

When the war started in Norway on Apr. 9-1940 she was on her way to Sogn. On Apr. 25 she was in Sognefjorden with passengers and soldiers who were going to Gudvangen (for further travel to Valdres via Voss). After she had departed Vik heading for Balestrand, she was attacked with bombs and machine gun fire from German aircraft, and though no bombs hit, she was damaged by the machine gun fire. All the passengers had managed to get below deck and there were no injuries. (The company's Nesøy and Gudvangen were also attacked by the same aircraft that day). Kommandøren then continued to Balestrand and on to Leikanger, where the soldiers disembarked. A German reconnaissance aircraft came over Leikanger several times, attacking with machine guns, then dropped 11 bombs along the main road in the center of Leikanger. Kommandøren's captain, Thorvald Kornelius Johannesen was on shore close to where one of the bombs hit and was seriously injured. A man by the name of Carlsen who ran the restaurant on board was also injured. Gustav Lie from Leikanger Hotell took care of Carlsen and an injured boy, and when he was about to place them in his car to take them to a doctor he found the injured captain on the side of the road. The aircraft kept attacking, hitting the car with several bullets. The doctor decided that the 2 injured men had to be sent to a hospital in Lærdal, but the captain died on board Kommandøren en route, as the company's first victim of the war. Kommandøren was subsequently laid up near Kvamsøy along with Gudvangen until the fighting in the south of Norway was over.

Requisitioned by the Germans for a brief period in 1940 (without having been repaired), repaired in the fall of 1940 and back in regular service. Ran aground near Flatøy in Alverstraumen on the night leading up to Febr. 9-1945, partially sunk, no injuries. Refloated by a salvage vessel in March-1945 and towed to Sukkerhusbryggen in Bergen, later moved to Søndre Nykirkekai to wait for repairs, and was still there on March 29 when she was accidentally torpedoed by a drunken crew member of the German S-13. The official cause was given as operating error, see the thread on my Ship Forum about this incident. She blew up and sank in seconds alongside the quay. Able Seaman Alf H. Larsen was on duty (the only one on board) and was killed instantly. More lives could easily have been lost because the company's Nordfjord I was at Nordre Nykirkekai nearby and workers had been in the process of loading the cargo for the next morning's voyage, but fortunately they were taking their food break when the torpedo was fired.


Raised in 1946 and taken to Kjøkkelvik, Askøy. Sold in Nov. that year for breaking up.

Related external link:
The 2 who died
- Home towns and birthdates of Captain Johannesen and Able Seaman Alf H. Larsen are given.

Back to Kommandøren on the "Homefleet Ships starting with K" page.

(The info on this ship was received from T. Eriksen, Norway - his sources: "Fjordabåten" by Dag Bakka jr. 1994, "Bergenske Fjordabåter” Ingem. Fænn for Bergens Tidende 1974, and "101 Fjordabåtar, FSF 1858-2000" by Magnus Helge Torvanger 2000).

Norway had previously had a whale factory named Kommandøren I, originally delivered in 1897 as Craftsman to owners in Liverpool, 6196 gt. Sold in 1919 and renamed Hampstead Heath, then sold in 1923 to H. A. Christensen A/S, Sandefjord, and converted to whale factory at Framnæs mek.Værksted, becoming 6546 gt. Renamed Kommandøren I for Hvalfanger-A/S Vega (H. A. Christensen A/S), Sandefjord in 1924. Sold and renamed Ernesto Thornquist in 1927, ran aground in a storm on Oct. 16-1950 in Antarctic Bay, South Georgia.

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