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D/S Sirius
Det Bergenske Dampskibsselskab, Bergen

(Norwegian Homefleet WW II)

Back to Sirius on the "Homefleet Ships starting with S" page.

Received from Bjørn Milde, Norway (from his postcard collection).
I'm assuming these are the same ships(?)

Pre War History: 

Delivered in Febr.-1885 from Flensburger Schiffbaugesellshaft, Flensburg, Germany (76) as cargo vessel Sirius to Det Bergenske Dampskibsselskab, Bergen. Iron hull, 191.2’ x 28.8’ x 20’, 877 gt, 2cyl Compound (Flensburger SBG) 150nhp. In BDS's cargo routes between the south and north of Norway most of the year. In the summertime she was spruced up and used in the tourist trade Trondheim-Nordkapp with other BDS vessels as well as Nordenfjeldske D/S's vessels. In 1893, "Hurtigruten" was established with ships from BDS, Nordenfjeldske and Vesteraalens D/S; one voyage weekly Trondheim-Tromsø in the wintertime, Trondheim-Hammerfest in the summertime. Sirius departed Trondheim in July-1895 as BDS's first vessel in Hurtigruten. Replaced in 1896 by Nordenfjeldske's Olaf Kyrre, while Sirius entered Hamburg-Kristiansand-Vadsø service. May also have substituted periodically in Hurtigruten. Rebuilt and lenghtened at Laxevaag Maskin- & Jernstøberi, Laksevåg, Bergen in 1908, 207.5’ x 28.8’ x 20.1’, 962 gt, 820 tdwt, a Tripple Expansion (Laxevaags) 950ihp engine installed. Subsequently used in several of BDS's coastal routes as well as Norway-Iceland. In 1919 she entered service Trondheim-Bergen-Stavanger-Hamburg for a while but returned to the coastal service. In 1927 some of the passenger accommodations were removed (12 cabins remained). Placed in cargo service Oslo-Kirkenes and still in this service as per the summer of 1939.

 WW II: 

Departed Narvik for Tromsø on Apr. 8-1940 (the day before the German invasion). Took a cargo of hay from Tromsø to Røsneshavn in May-1940. Pilot on board at the time was Arne Holm and someone by the name of Stenstvedt, Captain was Johan Trondsen. Departed Røsneshavn for Risøyhavn in ballast at.06.00 on May 17-1940 in order to pick up vehicles that had been requisitioned for the Norwegian forces at Helgeland. At around 02:00 on May 18, when in Solbergfjorden, between Finnlandsnes and Solbergnakken, en route towards Dyrøysund Sirius was spotted by German aircraft and attacked by machine gun fire, causing some damages to the ship. The aircraft attacked again, this time with bombs. Captain Trondsen and Pilot Holm did their best to maneuver the ship away from the falling bombs, and 5 of them hit in the sea, but a 6th hit her funnel (which fell down), then her deck, before exploding in the water. The captain ran down to the cabins and told people to get in the lifeboats. The aircraft returned to drop a 7th bomb which exploded on deck just forward of the bridge, causing her to break in 2 and she sank right away. The crew took to the port lifeboat but it got caught in one of the davits and went down with the ship. Those who had been in it ended up in the water, while the machine guns continued to fire at them. 7 crew went down with the ship while the remaining 11 started swimming towards shore, and were picked up about half an hour later by 3 rowboats that came to. From the boat that picked him up Pilot Holm saw the body of the 2nd Engineer among some debris, but nobody else. The survivors were taken care of by the locals until Lyngen and Mosken came by and took them to Harstad.

In addition to Pilot Holm, Deckboy Ingolf Refsnes and Pilot Stenstvedt were among the survivors.

Related external links:
The 7 who died
- Captain Johan Berger Trondsen, 1st Mate Erling Olai Haaland, Chief Engineer Robert Nicolaysen, 2nd Engineer Gustav Olaf Olsen, Cook Johan Andreas Martinsen, Steward Leonhard Johan Svalland and Able Seaman Håkon Analius Gudbrandsen are commemorated at this memorial in Stavern. The Norwegian text here says she was hit by 2 bombs which split her in half lengthwise, so that she opened up like a book. Some of the crew had to jump into the water, where they were still being shot at. 8 out of the 19 on board were killed, 11 were rescued.

More on this ship - Includes a picture, and Pilot Holm's statement at the maritime hearings in Trondenes on May 20-1940. The tonnage is given as 877 gt. Linked to the website ATD-Arctic Technical Divers. Also has information on D/S Nordstjernen and details on Hurtigruten, as well as a section on U-711. (Text in English).

Back to Sirius on the "Homefleet Ships starting with S" page.

(A motor vessel named Sirius was built in 1941, listed on the page that I've linked to above).

(From T. Eriksen, Norway - His sources: Articles about BDS in "Skipet" 1-2.88 by Dag Bakka Jr., "Norges eldste Linjerederi, BDS 1851-1951", by Wilhelm Keilhau, "Skipene som bandt Kysten sammen, -Hurtigruten 1893-1980" by Dag Bakka Jr., as well as the 2nd website that I've linked to above).

Former ships by this name: Haugesund lost a D/S Sirius in 1914, built at Elbing 1868, delivered as Sirius for Georg Grunau, Elbing, East Prussia, 335 gt. Owned by Kornelius Olsen, Stavanger from 1904, then purchased in 1909 by A/S Sirius (David Tjøsvold, Haugesund) and registered as Sirius of Skudeneshavn. Sold in 1910 to Bendik Stange, registered in Stavanger, sold in 1911 to D/S A/S Sirius (Johan Amundsen), Haugesund. Departed Dysart on Dec. 30-1914 with 360 tons coal for Haugesund but disappeared en route with a loss of 10 men. An empty lifeboat from the ship drifted ashore near Kristiansund N on Febr. 25-1915. ("Våre gamle skip").

There was also a Finnish and a Spanish ship by the name Sirius during the war.

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