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M/T Ida Knudsen
Manager: Knut Knutsen O.A.S., Haugesund
Delivered in Oct.-1925 from A/S Nakskovs Skibsværft, Nakskov, Denmark as Ida Knudsen to D/S A/S Jeanette Skinner, Haugesund (Knut Knutsen O.A.S.). This was Knutsen's first tanker and Haugesund's largest ship at the time of delivery. 465.7' x 62.1' x 37.3', 2 x 6 cyl. 4T EV B & W, 3400 bhp, 11 knots, 2 propellers.
Captain: Kristoffer Sæbø
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.
(Received from Don Kindell - His source: The late Arnold Hague's database).
Follow the convoy links provided for more information on each.
Judging from the archive document, it looks like Ida Knudsen barely got out of Norway in time to avoid ending up in German control; she's said to have arrived Halifax from Stavanger, Norway on Apr. 15-1940 (Norway was invaded Apr. 9). Her final destination was Curacao, where she arrived, via Bermuda, on May 23. From Curacao, she headed to Dakar a few days later, then on to Cape Town and Durban.
She was also at Curacao from Apr. 22 till Apr. 25-1941, then headed to Halifax, where she arrived on May 4, joining Convoy HX 125 B 2 days later. Cruising order/Commodore's notes are also available for this convoy. She was bound for Greenock, arriving May 23.
She left Greenock again early in June for Trinidad with arrival June June 29. She's listed, together with the Norwegian Barbro, Elg, Hardanger, Havsten, Hellen, Solfonn, Torfinn Jarl, Troubadour and Vivi, in Convoy OB 331, which had originated in Liverpool on June 8 and dispersed on the 19th - ref. external link provided within the Voyage Record.
Ida Knudsen departed Port of Spain again alone on July 5-1941 (or July 4, depending on time zone) for Gibraltar with a cargo of over 13 000 tons fuel oil. While in Trinidad they had been instructed to meet the escort on July 21 in 34 30N 15 00W, and assuming that the escort would be there at the fixed time, Ida Knudsen sailed in wide zig-zags so as not to arrive at the meeting place too early. In Gibraltar at this time only two armed trawlers were available, and since no information on Ida Knudsen's position had been received the trawlers were sent to another ship in need of escort, so that when she reached the meeting place no escort was to be seen. The captain then decided to sail on, following the predetermined course in the hope of meeting the escort on her way, but was hit that same night by several torpedoes from the Italian submarine Luigi Torelli (de Giacomo), off Cape Blanca, about 70 n. miles northeast of Madeira. A report dated Port Lyautey Aug. 4-1941 and signed by the 1st mate gives the position as approx. 34 10N 14 45W, while J. Rohwer gives 34 34N 13 14W.
They had heard the hum of engines on the port side at 19:50 that night. The hope was that what they heard was the escort approaching, but to be on the safe side course was altered so that the sound was behind them, and the crew alerted (a 4" gun had been mounted aft while in Glasgow the month before). The first torpedo, which was spotted on the port quarter at around 20:10, hit near the pump room, sending oil high above the after part of the ship. 2 more torpedoes were seen, 1 passing in front, the other came from ahead and went parallel with the ship.
An SOS was sent out by the 2nd mate, the captain ordered everyone to the lifeboats, while also ordering full stop, but the engine continued to run, resulting in problems while launching the starboard amidships boat and 4 men ended up in the water. The other 3 boats were successfully launched, and no sooner were they on the water and clear of the ship's side than another torpedo hit abaft the forecastle (starboard side) and shortly afterwards another one amidships.
They tried to search for the 4 in the water but this was hampered by the sub constantly circling around, sometimes submerged, other times above the water; in fact, the captain was so close that he was able to correctly identify the sub as one of the Italian Tazzoli class. A last torpedo was sent into the engine room of Ida Knudsen at 21:00 which finally sank her and the sub disappeared (some felt there must have been 2 subs).
Two of the lifeboats with the captain and 14 of his men managed to stay together until they were rescued by the Portugese trawler Altair on July 25 (position 33 24N 09 48W is given in report) and landed in Las Palmas on July 27. They subsequently travelled to Freetown, later to the U.K., except Rudolf Otten who went to Cape Town, Cornelius Timmermann and John Amzan who went to Curacao, and Arne Hauge and Anders Stendal who were signed on Lidvard which had just escaped from Dakar.
The 1st Mate's boat with 17 men landed at Agadir, Morocco on July 28. From there they were sent to Port Lyautey where they were interned on board M/S Nyhorn. 1 of them, Egil Strømmen escaped with others from Nyhorn, in fact, he was 1 of the 5 who escaped with Captain Messel of my father's ship D/S Ringulv, reaching Gibraltar in the canvas boat Norge, which had secretly been built in the hold of Nyhorn in Apr./May-1942. The rest were interned, along with the crew from D/S Vigør, in Sidi el Ayadir, where 2 later died (see * below). 2 were given a travel permit to Sweden and Sierra Leone respectively, 2 were freed and signed on Nyhorn (mostly French crew by then?) and the rest stayed interned until the allied invasion of North Africa in Nov.-1942.
The 4 who had ended up in the water from the starboard amidhsips boat drowned, but another 2 from that boat, Able Seaman Claassens and Ordinary Seaman Meland, had managed to hold on, bail it, and landed in Tenerife on Aug. 9-1941 (possibly picked up and landed by a British vessel?). They later travelled to Liverpool. Torkel Bjørnevik, who had also been in this boat, had managed to climb back on board Ida Knudsen with the help of the ladder and later joined some others in the motorboat (the captain's boat).
Of the 5 casualties named in the crew list below, the only one who had not been in the starboard amidships lifeboat was 4th Engineer Ellingsen. Nobody seemed to know how he had lost his life, but his passport and some other belongings were found in the starboard aft lifeboat so it was believed he might have gone overboard from that boat when it was launched. Also, 1 of the crew members had seen him in the vicinity of the boat.
Maritime hearings were held in London on Sept. 11-1941 with the captain appearing (the others had not arrived England from Freetown yet).
Related external links:
Heiberg Ingemann Isaksen - arrested July 28-1941 (meaning he was interned on that date), transferred Agadir Sept. 11-1941, transferred Hospital Casablanca, died Nov. 22-1941.
Back to Ida Knudsen on the "Ships starting with I" page.
Knut Knutsen O. A. S. later had another ship by the same name, delivered from Rosenberg Mekaniske Verksted, Stavanger on Jan. 29 1958 as Ida Knudsen for D/S A/S Jeanette Skinner, Haugesund, 20 592 gt. Collided off Antwerp on Jan. 19-1964 with the DDR registered Kap Arcona. Ida Knudsen had a large hole in her bow, while Kap Arcona sank. A few years later, on Febr. 28-1969 Ida Knudsen was heavily damaged off the coast of Portugal by an earhtquake. Condemned and sold in Apr. 1969 "as is" to Achilles Halcovessis, Piræus. Repaired and back in service as Petros Hajikyriakos of Piræus. Sold in 1979 to Nissho-Iwai Co. Ltd., Tokyo for breaking up. Arrived Pusan Aug. 23 but sold again to Taiwan and delivered to Tung Ho Steel Enterprise Co., Kaohsiung Sept. 5. ("Våre motorskip").
The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, "Våre gamle skip", Leif M. Bjørkelund & E. H. Kongshavn, "Sjøforklaringer fra 2. verdenskrig", Norwegian Maritime Museum, Volume I, and misc. (ref. My sources).