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Owner: Skibs A/S Leiesten
Built by Sir W. G. Armstrong, Whitworth & Co. Ltd., Newcastle upon Tyne in 1930.
Captain: Nils Jespersen
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.
With lub. oil for Milford Haven, Leiesten was in the Halifax-U.K. Convoy HX 18 in Jan./Febr.-1940 (as was the Norwegian William Blumer). In March she's listed among the ships in Convoy OB 111, departing Liverpool on March 16, dispersed March 20, Leiesten arriving Philadelphia on Apr. 3, according to A. Hague. She had station 32 of the convoy, which is available via the external link provided within the Voyage Record - Emma Bakke and Rym are also listed. When war broke out in Norway on Apr. 9, she was on her way from Philadelphia to Halifax (for Manchester) - see Page 1 of the archive documents. From Halifax, she joined Convoy HX 35 to the U.K. on Apr. 14, and arrived Manchester on May 1, remaining there for over a month. In June she's listed as bound for New York in Convoy OB 164, which left Liverpool on June 9 and dispersed 3 days later, Leiesten arriving New York on June 23 (Erviken and Laurits Swenson are also included in this convoy). She returned to the U.K. in July with Convoy HX 57, having been cancelled from HX 56. Leiesten arrived Manchester, via Greenock and Liverpool, on Aug. 9.
The following month, we find her, together with Belita and Sveve, in Convoy OB 214 (departed Liverpool Sept. 15, dispersed Sept. 18). No destination is given for Leiesten, but going back to the archive document, we learn that she arrived Port Arthur on Oct. 5, proceeding to Bermuda a few days later. From Bermuda, she joined Convoy BHX 83 back to the U.K. on Oct. 22, arriving Liverpool on Nov. 7, later continuing to Manchester again (Page 1). With Belinda, Dalfonn, Erviken (returned), Helgøy, Hørda, Idefjord, Taranger and Thorshavet, she's now listed in Convoy OB 259, which left Liverpool on Dec. 14 and dispersed on the 17th, Leiesten arriving Baytown on Jan. 8-1941 - again, see the external links in the Voyage Record for more info on the OB convoys mentioned here.
On Jan. 28-1941, she joined the Bermuda portion of Convoy HX 106 (having been cancelled from Convoy BHX 104 on Jan. 21). Commodore for HX 106 was in Topdalsfjord. Leiesten had a cargo of kerosene and diesel for Manchester, where she arrived, via various other ports, on Febr. 19. At the beginning of March she's listed, along with Tiradentes, in Convoy OB 293, departing Liverpool March 2, dispersed March 8, Leiesten arriving New York on March 22, remaining there for quite a long time, before proceeding to Halifax on Apr. 30 (Page 1). She was scheduled to return across the Atlantic with Convoy HX 125B on May 6, but instead joined HX 127 on May 16, cargo of lub. oil for London.
On June 30 that same year, she struck a mine off North Foreland, Convoy EC 40 (external link - incomplete listing). She was damaged, but no one was injured, and she was towed back to London for repairs - according to Page 2 of the archive documents, she arrived Gravesend in tow of tugs that same day, and did not leave again until Oct. 19.
The following month, we find her in station 86 of the westbound North Atlantic Convoy ON 32, bound for Curacao, where she arrived Nov. 23, heading back to the U.K. with Convoy HX 164 from Halifax on Dec. 8. She arrived Manchester, via Liverpool and Stanlow, on Dec. 28. This turned out to be her last North Atlantic crossing.
For more information on the other Norwegian ships named here, please see the alphabet index at the end of this page, or go to the Master Ship Index.
Leiesten departed Liverpool on Jan.-12-1942, voyage Manchester - Baton Rouge in ballast, Convoy ON 56 (she had sailed from Manchester on Jan. 2 and had initially joined Convoy ON 54 on Jan. 6, but had to return to port with defects, again, see also Page 2. Both these convoys will be added to individual pages in my Convoys section; in the meantime, the ships sailing in them are named in the section listing ships in all ON convoys - several Norwegian ships took part).
Convoy ON 56 was dispersed on Jan. 16 and on Jan. 23 Leiesten was struck in the engine room by two torpedoes from U-82 (Rollmann), position 45 27N 43 19W. An enormous explosion occurred, which killed the chief engineer and 3 (4?) of his men, as well as injuring several others. The captain told the 2nd mate to take the injured into a lifeboat, while he himself remained on board, along with 11 others, in order to try to save the ship, but the U-boat appeared and started shelling, so they jumped overboard and managed to get onto a raft. The British messboy Joseph Vine hesitated too long and was believed to have been killed on board by the shelling.
The survivors were rescued after 32 hours by the Greek S/S Agios Georgios and taken to Halifax on Jan. 30. Hearings were held there on Febr. 10-1942 with the captain, the 1st mate, the 3rd mate and the steward appearing. The Greek ship had been in Convoy ON 55.
Charles Hocking simply gives the position for the attack as 400 miles east/southeast of Cape Race. Roger Jordan's "The World's Merchant Fleets 1939" says 6 died, 23 survived. J. Rohwer does not mention Leiesten being shelled.
Related external links:
Back to Leiesten on the "Ships starting with L" page.
The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, "Sjøforklaringer fra 2. verdenskrig", Norwegian Maritime Museum, Volume I, and misc. others for cross checking details as named within above text (ref. My sources).