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M/S Batavia
Updated Dec. 29-2012

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

Partial Crew List

A picture is available on this external page (click in it to enlarge).

Manager: Fred. Olsen & Co., Oslo
962 gt

Built at Odense, Denmark in 1922.

Captain: Trygve Nielsen

 WW II: 

For information on Batavia's war voyages from Apr.-1940, please see this original document received from the National Archives of Norway.

Compare the above record to the fact that A. Hague has included her in the following convoys (all these links are external, except the link to ON 20, which goes to my own Convoys section):

Convoy FS 110 - From Tyne March 2-1940, to Southend March 4.
Convoy FN 118 - from Southend March 11-1940, to Methil March 13.
A couple of days later, she can be found in the U.K.-Norway Convoy ON 20, which left Methil on March 15 and arrived Norway on the 18th.
Judging from the information found on the archive document, she was in Antwerp when war broke out in Norway on Apr. 9.
Convoy FN 158 - From Southend Apr. 29-1940, to Methil May 1 (Norwegian Audun and Brisk are also listed). According to the archive document, Batavia arrived Boston, Lincs. that day.
Convoy FS 161 - From Tyne May 3-1940, to Southend May 5 (with Brisk, Cresco, Evviva, Gaston Micard, Inger, Orania, Selvik, Tore Jarl and Torfinn Jarl). Going back to the archive document, we see that Batavia had left Boston, Lincs. on May 3, and later proceeded to Rouen, where she arrived May 6, returning the the U.K. a few days later.
Convoy FN 170 - From Southend May 13-1940, to Methil May 15 (Batavia arrived Immingham May 14, proceeding independently to Hull on the 17th.).
Convoy FS 173 - From Tyne May 17-1940, to Southend May 19 (with Balder and Kul). Batavia started out from Hull May 18 and now made another voyage to France.

Returning to the convoys on my own website, we see that there's a Batavia, with general cargo for Newcastle, listed as sailing in Convoy HN 15 from Norway to the U.K. in Febr.-1940, but nationality is given as Dutch, no tonnage is given in the Advance Sailing Telegram. I mention this, in case the nationality is an error (note, however, that A. Hague has this ship, 1279 gt, built in 1938, in Convoy HN 16, rather than HN 15) - follow the links for more info, several Norwegian ships took part in both these convoys.

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

 Interned - 1940: 

Batavia was one of the 26 Norwegian ships that were interned in West and North Africa 1940-'42.

Various sources operate with various dates and facts, as follows:

A French visitor to my website has told me that according to his records she sailed from Brest on June 12-1940 in Convoy 49 B under French escort (external link, the Norwegian Ask is also included, but note that Batavia is listed as Dutch), arrived Casablanca June 19. See also this posting to my Ship Forum which gives a slightly different date, saying that Batavia had arrived off Casablanca at 21:50 on June 20-1940 and was ordered by a French patrol boat to wait off this port during the night, then sailed into Casablanca harbour the next morning. She was coming from Port-Lyautey, Morocco, so may have stopped there on this voyage from Brest? (if the ship in this convoy was indeed the Norwegian Batavia). Seized in Port-Lyautey in July-1940. Under French flag (requisitioned) at Port-Lyautey in 1941 as Ste Madeleine. Remained inactive in Port-Lyautey 1941-42.

Going back to the archive document, we find that she had left Rouen on June 6-1940 on a voyage Rouen-Algiers, passed Ushant June 8. No arrival port or date is given for this time period, but the document adds that she was in port in Casablanca on Sept. 7 that year, and at Port Lyautey on March 10-1941.

"Nortraships flåte" says she was interned on June 28-1940. Guri Hjeltnes, "Sjømann - Lang vakt" says she was interned in Port Lyautey in Sept.-1940, requisitioned July 23-1941, the crew was sent to a camp (some camps are listed on this page, but I don't know where Batavia's crew members were held).

In June-1941, 13 men from various interned ships had attempted to escape in a lifeboat from M/S Batavia. According to "Sjøfolk i krig" by Leif M. Bjørkelund they were 1st Mate W. Andresen, 2nd Mate Helge Gundersen and 5 crew (from Batavia?), along with 1st Mate Tønseth and the 4th engineer from M/S Gran, 1st Mate Møller from Birgit (Danish), 1st Mate Michelsen from Storaa*, Steward A. Jørgensen from Hilde (Danish) and 2nd Mate Ingolf Sexe from M/S Nyhorn. But they didn't get very far before they were caught and thrown in jail for 15 days. The 2nd mate from Nyhorn was later involved in building a boat in the hold of Nyhorn, the first of 3 boats built in that ship and used in successful escapes. See Nyhorn for more details.

* Storaa was a former Danish ship, built 1918, 1967 gt. Taken over by the British when Denmark was occupied by the Germans, seized by Vichy authorities at Port Lyautey in July-1940 - scuttled when the Allies invaded in Nov.-1942. Raised and repaired in Jan.-1943, torpedoed and sunk on Nov. 3-1943 by a German motor torpedo boat off Hastings. 17 crew, 3 gunners and the pilot died. (Source: "The World's Merchant Fleets 1939", Roger W. Jordan).

Partial Crew List:
(from "Sjøforklaringer fra 2. verdenskrig", Volume I, Norwegian Maritime Museum).
I get the understanding that these were the ones who were still in Africa at the time of the Allied invasion in Nov.-1942.

"Sjømann - Lang vakt" says she had a crew of 21 Norwegians, 10 of whom escaped.

Trygve Nielsen
1st Mate
Lars Helgesen
Arne Gunnerød
Able Seaman
Birger Lund
1st Engineer
Elling Jonassen
2nd Engineer
Gøte Nord
Max Jahn
Olaf Haakonsen
Nils Andersen
Engine Boy
Konrad Nilsen
Osvall Arntsen

If required, I can look them up in Kristian Ottosens "Nordmenn i fangenskap" (Norwegians in imprisonment). I can be contacted via the address provided at the end of this page.

 Final Fate - 1942: 

Batavia was sunk by the French in river Sebou in Morocco on Nov. 9-1942 to prevent the allied ships from penetrating. ("Skip og menn", B. Dannevig says this happened on Nov. 8). An attempt was later made to raise her, but this was given up on May 28-1943. Captain Nilsen left on May 30.

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

As already indicated, there was also a Dutch Batavia (1279 gt), which was intercepted and sunk by a Japanese cruiser when on a voyage Calcutta-Karachi on Apr. 6-1942, 14 miles east of Calingapatam. (According to a visitor to my site she was sunk by the Japanese cruiser Yura and the destroyer Yugiri).

The text on this page was compiled with the help of: Misc. sources as named within the text above - (ref. My sources).


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