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D/S Gyda
Updated Sept. 25-2011

To Gyda on the "Ships starting with G" page.

Crew List

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

Owner: Skibs-A/S William Hansens Rederi
Manager: William Hansen, Bergen
1591 gt, 934 net, 2400 tdwt
Call Sign: LDFW

Built by Laxevaags Maskin- og Jernskibsbyggeri, Bergen, Norway in 1920. Previous name: Gijonés until 1926. According to the external website that I've linked to above, she was delivered in July-1920 as Gijonés to Skibs A/S Maderas (Blikstad), Kristiania. Owned from 1925 by Skibs A/S Maderas (Blikstad), Oslo, from 1926 by William Hansens Rederi (William Hansen), Bergen, renamed Gyda. From Dec.-1926, Skibs A/S William Hansens Rederi, Bergen.

Captain: Birger Larssen

This original document received from the National Archives of Norway shows her voyages.

 Final Fate - 1940: 

Gyda had departed Glasgow for Bathurst, N. B. on July 15-1940 with 1980 tons salt, sailing alone. While in Glasgow, degaussing had been installed as well as cement slabs for protection of the wheelhouse and radio room. Due to an engine defect she had gone to Loch Swilly for repairs on the 17th, but continued her voyage at 04:00 on July 18 with a Sunderland flying boat as only escort (no one had been in contact with land during this period). She was torpedoed and sunk northwest of Ireland at 15:45 BST (British Summer Time) that same day by U-58 (Schonder), in 56N 10W*. The U-boat had not been seen beforehand (or afterwards), but the track of the torpedo was seen fired about 200 yards away. The Sunderland had circled her 45 minutes before, and again 7 minutes before the torpedo struck. Her entire starboard side was ripped away, as was the radio room and half of the bridge. The starboard lifeboat was destroyed, and the foremost fall of the port lifeboat was unhooked by the force of the explosion. Nobody had time to stop the engine before she sank in 1 minute.

1st Mate Arne Langeland, who was on duty on the bridge with the captain was blown overboard and landed about 50 meters away from the ship. Trimmer Raadberg and the steward also ended up in the water. 6 men in the aft of the ship were able to save themselves on a raft and also picked up the 3 in the water. After a search for more survivors had been made, those on the raft started to row towards Tory Island (about 75 miles away), and at about 18:00 they sighted a submarine on the surface (charging her batteries?). At first they thought it was a British trawler and signalled it but got no response.

The 9 survivors kept rowing east and were picked up at 10:00 the next morning, July 19 by the Belgian D/S Ville d'Arlon and landed in New York on July 26. The 1st mate, Jr. Ordinary Seaman E. Hansen and Mess Boy A. Siring had been injured and were given medical treatment on arrival.

11 men were lost with Gyda, including the captain and 2 engineers as well as the Canadian Radio Operator Edward Ramsey who had joined the ship in Glasgow on July 10. 1 of the casualties was Danish and 1 Finnish.

There was initial suspicion that the U-boat had somehow been notified beforehand, due to the fact that the position in which Gyda was torpedoed was identical to the first oceanic position ordered in the sailing route given at Glasgow on July 15, but a subsequent investigation by the Admiralty brought forth no confirmation of this.

The maritime hearings were held in New York on July 30-1940 with the 1st mate, the 2nd mate, the steward, Stoker Stubberud and Ordinary Seaman Torgrimsen appearing.

*J. Rohwer gives the position 55 50N 09 00W.

Crew List:
*Arne Langeland's other ships are listed on this external page (the page also contains excerpts from his diary - text in Norwegian). He had also experienced the sinking of Cate B. See also the crew list for Astrell.
Erling Hansen's ships are shown on this external page.

1st Mate
Arne Langeland*
2nd Mate
Lars Kleppe
Ordinary Seaman
Sigurd Jan Torgrimsen
Jr. Ordinary Seaman
Erling Hansen*
Deck Boy
Peder Svendsen
Asbjørn Stubberud
Erik Raadberg
Aksel Aase
Mess Boy
Arnfinn J. Siring

Birger Larssen

Radio Operator
Edward Ramsay*

Alfred Markussen

Able Seaman
Fredrik Øen

Ordinary Seaman
Oddvar Simonsen

1st Engineer
Ingolf Andersen

2nd Engineer
Waldemar Martin Jensen

? Nylund

Rolf Gundersen

Algot Kulander

Kjeld Pettersen

* The Canadian radio operator is included in the Canadian Merchant Navy War Dead Database (enter Gyda for vessel and he'll come up in the search result), and can also be found on this page at the Commonwealth War Graves Comm. website (both these links are external). He's commemorated at Halifax Memorial, Panel 17. The Norwegians are commemorated at the Stavern Memorial - link below.

Related external links:
Stavern Memorial commemorations - 9 Norwegians are commemorated at this Memorial for Seamen in Stavern, Norway. In addition to those named above (some of the names are a little different), there's a Carl Haga Nyberg, not sure what had happened to him.

U-58 | Heinrich Schonder

Back to Gyda on the "Ships starting with G" page.

Norway had previously had another Gyda, built 1883 for owners in Arendal, 682 gt, condemned 1897. There was also a Gyda until just recently, this was originally Nyholt, built 1975, later Silver Holt of Cyprus in 1991, Bow Explorer 1995 (Liberia), Norwegian Gyda in 1999. Broken up around 2002.

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. - (ref. My sources).


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