Homefleet Main page 

D/S Skerstad
Det Nordlandske Dampskibsselskap A/S, Bodø

(Norwegian Homefleet WW II)

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

Tonnage: 593 gt.

 Pre WW II History: 

Delivered in 1904 from Lindholmens Verkstads A/B, Gothenburg, (387) as Teutonia to Rederi A/B Teutonia (E. Roberg), Gothenburg. Steel hull, 151.3' x 26.2' x 11', 447 gt, Tripple Expansion (Lindholmen) 69nhp 379ihp, 10 knots. Rebuilt in 1918, 458 gt. Sold in 1923 to A/S Saltens Dampskibsselskab, Bodø, renamed Skjerstad and converted in Bodø for regularly scheduled coastal service, 155' x 26' x 11.6', 593 gt. Entered coastal service Trondheim-Mosjøen-Bodø-Fauske-Rognan with Oscar Bodøgaard as captain (replacing Saltens D/S's Bodin in this service, and competing with the "Hurtigruten" ships). Rebuilt in 1927, new wheelhouse. New company created for her on July 1-1927, Det Nordlandske Dampskibsselskap, Bodø (this was due to the newly established rules in Norway, stating that financial State support could not be received if a company's routes competed with its own or other State supported routes), continued in the same service.

By 1929 the fierce competition caused considerable problems, because when the company started up a new route, Tromsø-Hamburg with the cargo vessel Sulitjelma, Det Bergenske Dampskibsselskab and Det Nordenfjeldske Dampskibsselskab reacted by entering the old Hurtigruten vessel Haakon Adalstein in exactly the same route as Skjerstad, stopping at the same ports at the same times. Fees were set ever lower than those of the other, which affected the financial situation, and resulted in disagreements, lawsuits and fights. This "war" lasted for the next 6 years, and the only reason Det Nordlandske D/S was able to keep it going was the fact that people up north were loyal to them. Eventually, Nordlandske sued BDS and NFDS, but lost. However, on Aug. 8-1935 the 3 companies reached an agreement, which meant that Nordlandske took Sulitjelma out of the Hamburg route and sold her to Det Bergenske D/S, who in turn sold her to A/S Nordlandslinjen, Harstad (who used her in coastal service under the name Sigurd Hund. In return, BDS and Nordenfjeldske D/S agreed to pull Haakon Adalstein out of Skjerstad's route.

In June-1936, 1st Mate Alf Pedersen took over as captain (following the death of Oscar Bodøgaard). Rebuilt in 1936, interior improved. Route somewhat altered, with the cancellation of the service to Nord-Trøndelag, Vallersund and Linesøya in Fosna, while Berg in Helgeland was included.

 WW II: 

When the news of the German invasion was received on Apr. 9-1940 Skjerstad was on her way south to Trondheim, which was now in German control. She proceeded to Rørvik, then to Namsos where some of her cargo was unloaded, before heading back towards Bodø, unloading the remaining cargo at the ports in which it had been taken onboard. Laid up in a bay in Beiarnfjorden on Apr. 10-1940, due to the danger of German air attacks. Requisitioned on May 6 (May 16?)-1940 by British military authorities at Harstad for use as troop transport and supply vessel. Arrived Bodø on May 20-1940 in order to transport British solders to Rognan, arriving there the next day. Having unloaded she remained on stand-by in Rognan harbour, to enable the evacuation of soldiers from Rognan and further out in Langsetfjorden.

In the afternoon of the 24th, 6 German Ju-87 Stuka dive bombers came into the fjord. 3 of them proceeded to attack the densely populated Fauske, while the other 3 attacked Skjerstad, whose crew was on their way on shore to eat dinner, saw the planes coming and were able to get to safety, so no-one was killed, but the mate sustained some injuries to his leg as he hurried ashore. The first bomb landed in the sea near the port side of the ship, while another hit amidships, and though it did not explode, it caused some damages to the boiler on its run through several decks. A 3rd bomb exploded in the sea on the starboard side. That same evening another 6 Stuka's attacked, but all bombs missed. Just after midnight she was again attacked, this time by several Heinkel He-111 bombers, on their way back from a raid on Narvik harbour. Again, none of the bombs hit, but several exploded near Skjerstad, causing her to leak, and she sank with only the after mast above water.

In the summer of 1940, the salvage vessel Parat found her to be salvagable, but beyond economical repair, whereupon she was declared a total loss. The 400.000 N. Kr. insurance awarded was invested into a new coastal vessel with the same name. At some point during the war the Germans blew up the afterpart of the old Skjerstad, so that it would not interfere with other shipping.


After the war, the wreck was purchased from Den Norske Stat by (the Norwegian State) by Høvding Skipsopphugging Co. (breakers), but she was not broken up. Around 1970 the wreck was taken over by diver Odd Johnsen, Bodø who wanted to salvage the condenser for subsequent sale of the metal, but in order to do so he had to blow his way into the engine room, where he found the unexploded bomb from the war. The navy was called upon to blow it up and in doing so the entire midships section of the wreck was destroyed.

Related external links:
D/S Skjerstad
- This website is in Norwegian only, but it has several pictures of the ship, as well as interesting documents. It discusses her history extensively, and also has a detailed account of her sinking.

Skjerstad - Norwegian website for divers with text in English and Norwegian. Some details of the bomb attack, as well as a picture of the ship and a description of the wreck.

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

(Details on this vessel received from T. Eriksen, Norway - his sources: Article about Saltens D/S by Jens Chr. Egenæs in the Norwegian magazine "Skipet", 1.93, article about Nordlandske D/S by Jens Chr. Egenæs in "Skipet", 4.93 and Erling Skjold's information found at the website above).

  A Ba–Bl Bo–Bø C D E F G Ha He–Hø I J K L  
  M N O P R Sa–Sn So–Sø Ta-Ti To-Ty U V WYØÅ  

 Homefleet Main page