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M/T Barbro
Updated Dec. 29-2012

To Barbro on the "Ships starting with B" page.

Casualties has a picture of the ship (external link).

Owner: Rederi-A/S Mascot
Manager: Arth. H. Mathiesen, Oslo
6325 gt, 9880 tdwt.
Signal Letters: LJHI.
(The A 1 form for Convoy HX 123 gives her signal letters as LDLO).

Built by Götaverken A/B, Gothenburg in 1934.

Captain: Lauritz Knudsen (previously of Britta).

Related item on this website:
A Guestbook message - from the nephew of one of Barbro's casualties, Odd Andersen (see crew list).

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

Please compare the above voyages with Arnold Hague's Voyage Record below.

Partial Voyage Record
From March-1941 to Sept.-1941:

(Received from Don Kindell - His source: The late Arnold Hague's database).

Follow the convoy links provided for more information on each.

Errors may exist, and the record is incomplete.

Departure From To Arrival Convoy Remarks
1941 March 15* Aruba Independent A. Hague says:
Previously traded out of U.S.A.
Earlier voyages, archive document
*The archive document gives departure Aruba as March 8, arrived Bermuda March 15.
Apr. 2 Bermuda Halifax Apr. 6 Independent
Apr. 25 Halifax Liverpool May 13 HX 123 Missing movements, archive document
June 8 Liverpool OB 331 For Aruba.
Convoy dispersed June 19.
Available at OB 331
(external link)
June 19 Dispersed from OB 331 Aruba June 29 Independent
July 1 Aruba Bermuda July 7 Independent
July 7 Bermuda Halifax July 10 Independent
July 16 Halifax Belfast Lough July 30 HX 139
July 31 Belfast Lough Swansea Aug. 2 BB 55 Convoy available at BB 55
(external link)
Aug. 8 Swansea Milford Haven Aug. 8 Independent
Aug. 10 Milford Haven ON 6 For N.Y.C.
Convoy dispersed Aug. 24
Aug. 24 Dispersed from ON 6 New York City Aug. 28 Independent
Sept. 6 New York City Sydney, C.B. Sept. 10 Independent
Sept. 11 Sydney, C.B. SC 44 Convoy will be added
See ships in SC convoys
Sunk - see "Final Fate" below

 Some Convoy Voyages: 
For information on voyages made in between those mentioned here, please see the documents received from the National Archives of Norway and A. Hague's Voyage Record above. Follow the convoy links provided for further details; the Commodore's notes are also available and several Norwegian ships took part.

According to the archive document, Barbro was on her way from Port Arthur to Lisbon when war broke out in Norway on Apr. 9-1940. It'll also be noticed that she appears to have spent a long time at Corpus Christi that summer and again later that year, with another long stay in Lisbon. While there, she lost a crew member. Engineer Karl Eyolf Andersen is commemorated at the Memorial for Seamen in Stavern, Norway - ref. link at the end of this page. According to "Våre falne", a series of 4 books naming Norwegians who died during the war, he had served as 2nd engineer on Barbro from 1938 until he died in an accident in Lisbon on Dec. 20-1940 and is buried there. Barbro had arrived Lisbon from Corpus Christi on Dec. 8.

She did not leave Lisbon again until Jan. 7-1941, heading for Trinidad, where she had another long stay (again, see the archive document), before proceeding to Aruba and Bermuda, then on to Halifax. In Apr.-1941, she's listed among the ships in the Halifax-U.K. Convoy HX 123. She had a cargo of diesel oil and had station 74 of the convoy, which left Halifax on Apr. 25 and arrived Liverpool on May 13; Barbro's destination is given as Manchester, where she arrived May 17. According to the Commodore's notes this was her first time sailing in convoy, and he says she was slow at signalling and was inclined to drop back at night. In June we find her, together with the Norwegian Elg, Hardanger, Havsten, Hellen, Ida Knudsen, Solfonn, Torfinn Jarl, Troubadour and Vivi, in Convoy OB 331, which departed Liverpool on June 8 and dispersed on the 19th, Barbro arriving Aruba on June 29 (ref. external link provided in the table above).

She returned to the U.K. the following month with Convoy HX 139, bound for Swansea with gas oil, station 103. The Commodore's Voyage Report is also available for this convoy, which left Halifax on July 16 and arrived Liverpool on the 31st. Barbro arrived her destination, via Belfast Lough, on Aug. 2. She subsequently joined the westbound North Atlantic Convoy ON 6, which originated in Liverpool on Aug. 11 and dispersed on the 24th, Barbro arriving New York on Aug. 28.

Her voyage back to the U.K. proved to be her last, as will be seen in the next paragraph.

 Final Fate - 1941: 

According to Norwegian sources she was on a voyage from Halifax to Liverpool (compare w/archive document) when she was sunk with 2 torpedoes from U-552 (Topp) just before midnight on September 19-1941 while in Convoy SC 44, escorted by 1 destroyer and 4 corvettes, Honeysuckle and Mayflower being 2 of them. Barbro had a cargo of 9000 tons petrol and all on board her, 21 Norwegians, 3 Swedes, 1 Dane, 5 British and 4 Canadians died in the flames, helplessly watched by other ships around her. "Nortraships flåte" says she sank in position 61 30N 35 07W (35 11?). Another Norwegian ship in this convoy was D/S Carrier, but she was not hit.

J. Rohwer states that Barbro was torpedoed early in the morning of Sept. 20 by U-552. In a footnote he says this U-boat hit her with 2 torpedoes, and U-69 (Zahn) tried to administer a coup de grâce but the torpedo did not detonate. Position is given as 61 30N 35 00W. The difference in dates here might simply be due to the Norwegian records using a different time zone. Charles Hocking says Barbro was on a voyage from New York to Stanlow. A visitor to my website says Barbro left New York on Sept. 6, arrived Sydney N. S. on the 10th, then departed the next day for Manchester (which agrees with the archive document). He adds that MOD records state she was torpedoed at 01:30 hours on the 20th and sank 370miles west/southwest of Reykjavik.

Convoy SC 44 is not yet available among the SC convoys included on my website, but will be added - see ships in all SC convoys. It had several Norwegian ships in addition to the 2 already mentioned, namely Ada, Bollsta, Borgfred, Cetus, Gudvin, Hjalmar Wessel, Iron Baron, Lago, Marita, Rolf Jarl, Sirehei, Sneland I, South Africa and Spero. Escorts are named at SC convoy escorts. SC 44 had departed Sydney C. B. on Sept. 11 and arrived Liverpool on the 30th, having lost 4 merchant ships (Empire Burton, Pink Star and T. J. Williams in addition to Barbro. The Canadian corvette Levis was also sunk - the external website that I've linked to at the end of this page has more info on these attacks).

More information on all the other Norwegian ships mentioned on this page can be found via the alphabet index below, or go to the Master Ship Index.

For info, U-552 was also responsible for the attakcs on Spind, Lancing and Slemdal - follow the links for details.

Crew List (No survivors)
The captain had previvous survived the loss of


Lauritz Knutsen

1st Mate
Ragnvald Tørris

2nd Mate
Paul Taylor

3rd Mate
Harald Stene

Alfred Elvebakken

Rolf Berg

Able Seaman
Knut Hansen

Able Seaman
Adolf Jacobsen

Able Seaman
Berge Sehested

Able Seaman
Johan Olsen

Able Seaman
Birger Walseth

Ordinary Seaman*
Odd Andersen

Ordinary Seaman
Sverre Mjøs

Ordinary Seaman
E. P. Botha

Ordinary Seaman
Albert Melville*

1st Engineer
Harald Hansen

2nd Engineer
Erik Larsen

3rd Engineer
Arne Johnsen

Thomas Clark

Egon Fohlstrøm

Einar Gjævran

Arne Frøiland

Kåre Ringstad

Ørnulf Jensen

Ranceford Weatherbee*

Engine Boy
Gustav Kullberg

Engine Boy
Kenneth Davies

Osvald Eriksen

Arne Arnonsen

Galley Boy
William Hughes

Mess Boy
Andrew Parsons*

Mess Boy
Simon Kruajer

Mess Boy
Michael McIsaac*

Ragnar Olsen
*See this Guestbook message

The men denoted * can be found at The Commonwealth War Graves website by entering each name in the relevant search field, using WW II and 1941 in the other search fields to narrow the search. (There's also an E. Botha listed, but the details on him do not fit with the sinking of Barbro). The 4 Canadians are also included in the Canadian Merchant Navy War Dead database (enter the ship's name in the relevant field and all 4 will come up).

Related external links:
Stavern Memorial commemorations - 22 Norwegians are commemorated at this memorial for seamen in Stavern, Norway. There's an Engineer Karl Eyolf Andersen listed. As mentioned further up on this page, "Våre falne", a series of 4 books naming Norwegian WW II casualties, says he served as 2nd engineer on Barbro from 1938 until he died in an accident in Lisbon on Dec. 20-1940 and is buried there.

U-552 | Erich Topp
Ships hit from Convoy SC 44

Back to Barbro on the "Ships starting with B" page.

Other ships by this name: Norway had a steamship by the name Barbro in WW I, built 1891, 2356 gt - torpedoed and sunk by UC 48 in the English Channel on Oct.14-1917. Another, much smaller steamer by this name was built in 1901, listed as D/S Bro on this website.

The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, "Sjøforklaringer fra 2. verdenskrig", Volume I (Norwegian Maritime Museum), and misc. others for cross checking info. - ref My sources.


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