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D/T Litiopa
Updated Dec. 21-2011

To Litiopa on the "Ships starting with L" page.

Crew List

Pictures are available on this external page (click in them to make them larger).

Manager: Martin Mosvold, Farsund
5356 gt, 3171 net, 8000 tdwt.
Signal Letters: LCSR - later BMGF

Built by Bartram & Sons Ltd., Sunderland (238) in 1917 as Oleary, then named Dockleaf for Royal Navy until 1919. From 1919 till 1920, The Shipping Controller (Lane & Macondrew Ltd.), London - same name. Owned by Anglo-Saxon Petroleum Co. Ltd., London from 1920 till 1922, no name change. Renamed Litiopa in 1922, same owners. Sold in 1929 to A/S Mosvolds Rederi, Kristiansand, no name change. From 1931, A/S Mosvolds Rederi II (Martin Mosvold), Kristiansand, same name. From 1933, A/S Mosvolds Rederi II (Martin Mosvold), Farsund. Purchased by Hamburger Mineralöl - Import Ernst Jung in May-1939, intended delivered in Houston on Sept. 3 that year, but because of the outbreak of war this did not come to pass. (See also the external website that I've linked to above, which shows slightly different details).

Captain: Trygve Olsen.

In Admiralty service from 1940 (Royal Fleet Auxiliary). One of the oldest tankers in Nortraship's Fleet, and in such a condition that she under normal circumstances probably would have been taken out of the fleet.

Her voyages are listed on these original images from the Norwegian National Archives:
Page 1 | Page 2 | Page 3

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

Voyage Record
From Febr.-1940 to Oct.-1943:

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

Follow the convoy links provided for more information on each.

Departure From To Arrival Convoy Remarks
1940 Febr. 5 Curacao Las Piedras Independent
Febr. 9 Las Piedras Liverpool March 5 Independent
Apr. 2 Liverpool* Corpus Christi Apr. 27 Independent *See also Page 1
May 9 Corpus Christi Bermuda May 20 Independent
May 23 Bermuda BHX 45 See link to HX 45
May 29 Bermuda portion joined main convoy Liverpool June 7 HX 45 Missing movements, Page 1
(see also narrative below)
June 25* Liverpool OB 174 For NYC.
Dispersed 47N 21W, June 30.
Convoy available at OB 174
(external link)
*Page 1 gives departure June 28
June 30 Dispersed from OB 174 New York City July 12 Independent
Sept. 10 New York City New York City Sept. 12 Independent A. Hague says:
Returned after collision
Oct. 4 New York City Aruba Oct. 12 Independent
Oct. 13 Aruba Bermuda Oct. 20 Independent
Oct. 21 Bermuda Halifax Oct. 25 Independent
Dec. 14 Halifax Liverpool Dec. 30 HX 96 See also narrative below
1941 Jan. 12 Liverpool OB 273 Dispersed Jan. 16.
Convoy available at OB 273
(external link)
Jan. 16 Dispersed from OB 273 Aruba Febr. 5 Independent
Febr. 10 Aruba Freetown March 2 Independent
March 8 Freetown Curacao March 23 Independent
March 25 Curacao Takoradi Apr. 16 Independent
Apr. 20 Takoradi Curacao May 8 Independent See also Page 1
May 11 Curacao Takoradi June 2 Independent
June 5 Takoradi Curacao June 25* Independent *Page 1 gives arrival June 23.
June 27 Curacao Takoradi July 22 Independent
July 25 Takoradi Curacao Aug. 14 Independent
Aug. 15 Curacao Kingston Aug. 18 Independent
Aug. 21 Kingston New Orleans Aug. 27 Independent
Sept. 18 New Orleans New Orleans Sept. 19 Independent
Sept. 22 New Orleans Aruba Oct. 2 Independent
Oct. 5 Aruba Trinidad Oct. 8 Independent
Oct. 11 Trinidad Puerto la Cruz Oct. 12 Independent
Oct. 13 Puerto la Cruz Aruba Oct. 15 Independent
Oct. 18 Aruba Trinidad Oct. 21 Independent
Oct. 27 Trinidad Puerto la Cruz Oct. 28 Independent
Oct. 29 Puerto la Cruz Aruba Oct. 30 Independent
Nov. 3 Aruba Curacao Nov. 3 Independent
Nov. 5 Curacao Aruba Nov. 5 Independent
Nov. 7 Aruba Takoradi Dec. 1 Independent
Dec. 8 Takoradi Curacao Dec. 29 Independent
1942 Jan. 2 Curacao Takoradi Jan. 26 Independent
Febr. 12 Takoradi Curacao March 6 Independent
March 13 Curacao New Orleans March 22 Independent
Aug. 14 Pilottown Beaumont Independent
Aug. 17 Beaumont Mobile Aug. 19 Independent (See also Page 2)
Aug. 25 Mobile Key West Aug. 28 Independent
Aug. 29 Key West New York City Sept. 4 KN 135 Convoy available at KN convoys
(external link)
Sept. 13 New York City Gitmo Sept. 20 NG 305 For Las Piedras.
Convoy available at NG convoys
(external link)
Sept. 20 Gitmo Aruba Sept. 23 GAT 7 Gitmo to Aruba.
Convoy available at GAT convoys
(external link)
Sept. 24 Aruba Curacao Sept. 24 AW 3 Convoy available via this page
(external link)
Sept. 26 Curacao Las Piedras Sept. 26 Independent
Sept. 29 Las Piedras Curacao Sept. 29 Independent
Oct. 5 Curacao Gitmo Oct. 8 TAG 10 Curacao to Gitmo.
Convoy available at TAG convoys
(external link)
Oct. 15 Gitmo New York City Oct. 24 GN 12 Convoy available at GN convoys
(external link)
Oct. 31 New York City Gitmo Nov. 7 NG 318 For Curacao.
Convoy available at NG convoys
(external link)
Nov. 7 Gitmo Curacao Nov. 10 GAT 20 Gitmo to Curacao.
Convoy available at GAT convoys
(external link)
Nov. 12 Curacao Gitmo Nov. 15 TAG 20 Curacao to Gitmo.
Convoy available at TAG convoys
(external link)
Nov. 16 Gitmo New York City Nov. 23 GN 20 Convoy available at GN convoys
(external link)
Dec. 6 New York City Gitmo Dec. 13 NG 327 For Curacao.
Convoy available at NG convoys
(external link)
Dec. 13 Gitmo Curacao Dec. 18 GAT 29 Gitmo to Curacao.
Convoy available at GAT convoys
(external link)
Dec. 21 Curacao Gitmo Dec. 24 TAG 30 Curacao to Gitmo.
Convoy available at TAG convoys
(external link)
Dec. 24 Gitmo New York City Jan. 1-1943 GN 30 Convoy available at GN convoys
(external link)
1943 Jan. 23 New York City Gitmo Jan. 29 NG 339 Convoy available at NG convoys
(external link)
Jan. 29 Gitmo Curacao Febr. 2 GAT 41 Gitmo to Curacao.
Convoy available at GAT convoys
(external link)
Febr. 5 Curacao Gitmo Febr. 8 TAG 40 Curacao to Gitmo.
Convoy available at TAG convoys
(external link)
Febr. 8 Gitmo New York City Febr. 16 GN 40 Convoy available at GN convoys
(external link)
Febr. 22 New York City Gitmo March 1 NG 345 Convoy available at NG convoys
(external link)
March 1 Gitmo Curacao March 5 GAT 47 Gitmo to Curacao.
Convoy available at GAT convoys
(external link)
March 12 Curacao Gitmo March 15 TAG 47 Curacao to Gitmo.
Convoy available at TAG convoys
(external link)
March 15 Gitmo New York City March 23 GN 47 Convoy available at GN convoys
(external link)
Apr. 27 New York City Gitmo May 4 NG 358 Convoy available at NG convoys
(external link)
May 4 Gitmo Curacao May 8 GAT 60 Gitmo to Curacao.
Convoy available at GAT convoys
(external link)
May 11 Curacao Gitmo May 14 TAG 59 Curacao to Gitmo.
Convoy available at TAG convoys
(external link)
May 14 Gitmo New York City May 22 GN 59 Convoy available at GN convoys
(external link)
June 1 New York City Gitmo June 9 NG 365 Convoy available at NG convoys
(external link)
June 9 Gitmo Curacao June 12 GAT 67 Gitmo to Curacao.
Convoy available at GAT convoys
(external link)
June 21 Curacao Trinidad June 24 GAT 69 Curacao to Trinidad.
Convoy available at link above
July 3 Trinidad TJ 1 Detached July 20(?).
Convoy available at TJ convoys
(external link)
See also B. P. Newton
July 6(?) Detached from TJ 1 Takoradi July 28 Independent
Aug. 4 Takoradi Freetown Aug. 10 TS 49 Convoy available via this page
(external link)
Aug. 18 Freetown Takoradi Aug. 23 ST 74 Convoy available at ST convoys
(external link)
Aug. 27 Takoradi Freetown Sept. 1 TS 51 Convoy available via this page
(external link)
Sept. 8 Freetown Lagos Sept. 14 Independent
Sept. 19 Lagos Takoradi Sept. 21 LTS 2 Convoy available via link above
Sept. 24 Takoradi Freetown Sept. 29 Independent
Oct. 1 Freetown Takoradi Oct. 6 Independent
Oct. 11 Takoradi Lagos Oct. 13 TGE 3 Convoy available via link above
Oct. 16 Lagos Independent Sunk - See "Final Fate" below
(also, Page 3)

 Some Convoy Voyages: 
For information on voyages made in between those discussed 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 more info on them - several Norwegian ships took part

When war broke out in Norway on Apr. 9-1940, Litiopa was on her way from the U.K. to Corpus Christi, where she arrived Apr. 27 - see Page 1 of the archive documents. On May 9, she proceeded to Bermuda, joining the Bermuda portion of Convoy HX 45 on May 23, having been cancelled from the earlier convoys, HX 42, HX 43 and HX 44. She arrived Liverpool on June 7, later proceeding to Stanlow and Manchester. According to A. Hague, she subsequently joined Convoy OB 174, which left Liverpool on June 25 and dispersed on the 30th (the archive document gives her departure date from River Mersey as June 28). She was bound for New York, where she arrived on July 12. The Norwegian Ferncastle, Helgøy, Hird, Notos and Tautra are also listed in OB 174 - ref. external link provided in the Voyage Record. Litiopa now appears to have spent a long time in New York, and also had a long stay in Halifax later that year, having arrived there from Aruba and Bermuda on Oct. 25. She was scheduled for Convoy HX 93 to the U.K. on Dec. 3, but did not leave Halifax until Dec. 14, when she joined Convoy HX 96, arriving Liverpool on the 30th.

In Jan.-1941 she's listed, with Anna Knudsen, Augvald, Finnanger (returned) and Thorshavn, in Convoy OB 273, departing Liverpool on Jan. 12, dispersed on the 16th, also available via link in the table above. Litiopa's destination is not given, but from Page 1, we learn that she arrived Aruba on Febr. 5, later proceeding to Freetown and Curacao.

Her 1942 voyages start on Page 2 (it'll be noticed, that she appears to have spent a long time in New Orleans that spring and summer), which also shows some early 1943 voyages. These continue on Page 3. Convoy information to match some of them is available within Hague's Voyage Record.

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

 Final Fate -1943: 

Litiopa (on charter to Anglo-Saxon Co.) had departed Lagos, Nigeria on Oct. 16-1943, bound for Freetown in ballast escorted by the armed trawler HMS Orfasy. On Oct. 21 the sound of depth charges from Orfasy was heard twice, before Litiopa was shaken by a heavy explosion nearby. Suddenly, at around 03:30 on Oct. 22, in 06 18N 11 55W, she found herself the victim of intense shelling from the port side, and at about the same time she was also attacked from the starboard side.

At the time of attack she was sailing at a speed of 7.5 knots on course 307° true, not zig-zagging, radio silent, completely blacked out, in rainy weather with a calm sea, wind southwest force 2, no other ships in sight. The visibility was poor as it was very dark with no moon or stars. There were 3 lookouts; 1 on the starboard bridge and 1 by the gun aft, while the 2nd mate was on the port side of the bridge.

The first shell had struck the aft gun platform, damaging the gun. One of her machine guns and a lifeboat were also damaged in the attack, with the shelling from both sides continuing for a considerable time. Her engine was stopped and her crew ordered to be ready by the lifeboats. About 15 minutes later she was again fired upon from the starboard side and this time 4 lifeboats were launched, as the ship was on fire and listing to starboard. All 35 survived these attacks, though from the lifeboats they thought they saw 3* U-boats taking part in the shelling, which lasted until 05:00 that morning.

* It appears only 1 U-boat attacked, namely U-68 (Lauzemis). The Orfasy had previously gone down with all her men. Roger Jordan and Jürgen Rohwer both say Litiopa was torpedoed and sunk (as opposed to shelled) by U-68. In an effort to clear this up, I posted a query to the forum (see my query w/responses - external link), and Roland Berr responded as follows (this appears to be from U-68's KTB, so the times given here are probably German time):

"This sinking must have been a really frustrating event for Lauzemis. He sighted the Litiopa in the evening of 21 at 20.00h. He wrote about a shadow ahead followed by two PCs. At 23.53h he fired two torpedos against the tanker and one more against a corvette. The two against the tanker are commented with one word NOTHING. The third one sunk the Orfasy. At 00.40h on 22. he fired an FAT against the Litiopa, which passed behind the ship. At 02.11h U-68 fired its fourth torpedo, this one was a misfire. At 02.14h U-68 was shaken by an explosion behind the boat. Lauzemis guessed it was his last torpedo. His comment: Its enough. All clear for gunattack. At 04.27 U-68 begun to fire with all guns. The 10.5 cm fired against the machinery, the Vierlingsflak took Litiopa's backward gun under fire, the double flaks fired at the bridge. There was no fire from the tanker, the crew left the ship. At 04.48h U-68 fired a cdg torpedo which became a Kreisläufer. At 04.59h the u-boat continued with artillery fire. At 05.41 another torpedo was shot, again a failure. At 05.52h U-68 fired the last torpedo, again with no result. From 06.00h till 06.27 Lauzemis continued with artillery fire. Alltogether there had been 58 rounds by 10.5 cm with minimum 50 hits. The boat left the scene with Litiopa burning and in sinking condition. There is no other sub mentioned! The nearest boat on that day was U-103 in position FD 23."

The lifeboats were separated in the dark, but at daylight the motorboat with 12 men and the starboard midships boat with 9 men met up again. After having plugged up the bullet holes in the motorboat, the other boat was taken in tow and they returned to their ship which was still afloat, but badly damaged and on fire, listing heavily to starboard with her stern deep in the water. Ammunition started to explode and she eventually capsized and sank at 12:45.

The lifeboats then headed for land, 1 of them arriving Robertsport, Liberia that same day, 2 boats arrived on the 23rd while the 4th was towed in by a corvette later that day. Stoker Smith, the 1st mate and the saloon boy were injured, but not seriously. On the 24th they were all taken to Freetown by the corvette, with arrival the following day.

They later got passage (via Gibraltar to where?) on the British passenger ship Orbita (used as troopship - Captain E. H. Large). 2 of Litiopa's crew members died on board this ship, both of heart failure. They had been treated in the ship's hospital, but 1st Engineer Stausland died on Nov 10*, and Cook Haagensen died on Nov. 15; both were buried at sea.

*According to Arnold Hague, Orbita was in Convoy SR 7 on this date (external link), having left Freetown on Nov. 5. She arrived Gibraltar Nov. 12, left Gibraltar Nov. 15 in Convoy MKF 25A (scroll down on the page) and arrived Liverpool Nov. 24.

The inquiry was held in Liverpool on Nov. 29-1943 with the captain, the 2nd mate, the 3rd engineer (since Jan.-1943), Able Seaman Backman, Able Seaman/Gunner Homanberg, Able Seaman/Gunner Hansen, and the boatswain appearing. The 2nd mate, who was the officer on watch when the attack took place, stated that the cook had stopped eating after departure Freetown.

The majority of the info in my account above was taken from misc. Norwegian records. A memorandum based on survivors' statements, dated Nov. 22-1943 and signed USNR Lieut. Robert G. Fulton, gives slightly different details, saying for instance that the "captain had ordered engines to be stopped, but apparently engine room did not receive order for during the attack and after the launching of boats tanker continued to cruise in a circle at a slow speed. At dawn when survivors were in the boats, the ship could be seen to be slightly down by the stern with a 15° list to starboard; smoke and flames were issuing from the engine room. When boats met about 3 miles on port quarter of ship, a discussion went on about going back on board but nothing resulted. No distress signal sent, captain apparently believed that escort would send one." This memoranudm says the ship had been abandoned at 03:10 GMT, the captain's boat being the last to leave at 04:00, then adds, "The HMS Snowdrop, dispatched from Freetown to rescue survivors, succeeded in saving the entire crew of 35, either by picking them up at sea or at Robertsport, where some survivors had landed, either directly from their boats or by rescue plane (Pan-American amphibious plane took 8[?] survivors from one boat while at sea and landed them at Robertsport). All survivors, except one, were landed at Freetown at 12:00 GMT, 25 October. Attack was made by possibly two but probably 3 subs, which were probably of the German 740 ton class, armed with guns about 4" calibre located both fore and aft of conning tower. Because of poor visibility, details of the appearances of the sub would not be ascertained. When last seen, 3 subs were surfaced, proceeding in line in an unknown direction."

Her position when first attacked on the 22nd is given as 05 58N 11 30W, at 03:00 GMT. The date of her eventual sinking is given as Oct. 23 at 12:50 GMT, and the memorandum also gives some details on the explosions heard prior to the attack on Litiopa, as follows (dates seem off):

"At 23:00 GMT, 22 October, an explosion was heard by the crew described as sounding like a depth charge which seemed to be very close. Nothing more was heard until 00:30 GMT, 23 October, when 3 explosions in quick succession were heard. These explosions were not so loud as the first one, but also were similar to depth charge explosions. At about 01:00 GMT one extremely heavy explosion was heard which caused the Litiopa to vibrate and shake considerably. None of the explosions were visible. Inasmuch as the escorting vessel, HMS Orfasy, has never been heard from since the date of sinking, nor have any survivors or wreckage therefrom been found, it is possible that the last explosion may have been the one that disintegrated the escorting vessel."

Crew List:
* These 2 men survived the attack, but later died en route from Freetown.
Einar Hansen had previously served on
Meline. He later served on Topdalsfjord, Astrid, Noravind and Dageid (see this external page).
The 2nd engineer later served on

Trygve Olsen
1st Mate
Alf Mølback
2nd Mate
Arnfinn Larsen
3rd Mate
Karsten Johansen
Radio Operator
Lars Røstvig
2nd Radio Operator
Edward Broome
3rd Radio Operator
Colin Ridley
Harald Kristiansen
Arnold Lindquist
Able Seaman
Erik Backman
Able Seaman
Alfred Vold
Able Seaman
Mauritz Pedersen
Able Seaman
Antoni Lorenc
Able Seaman
Einar Hansen
Ordinary Seaman
Peter Diston
1st Engineer
Georg Stausland*
(died Nov. 10-1943)
2nd Engineer
Gunnar Gundersen
3rd Engineer
Gerhardt Syvertsen
Johan Abrahamsen
Arne Achre
Martin Hatledal
Hjalmar Eggers
Karsten Stangeland
Brynjulf Lindal
Johan Haugestad
Arthur Smith
Knut Andersen
S. Kamara
(W. African)
J. Renner
(W. African)
Bernt Olsen
Reidar Haagensen*
(died Nov. 15-1943)
Galley Boy
Hugh Kicullen
Saloon Boy
Alfred M. Johansen
Magnus Homanberg
Terje Johansen

Related external links:
Stavern Memorial commemorations - The chief engineer and the cook are commemorated.

Operations information of U-68


HMT Orfasy - Includes casualty list - click on "crew" (I notice that the text about her loss has been taken directly from my site).

HMS Orfasy -'s account. The site also has some information on HMS Snowdrop, which is said to have picked up Litiopa's survivors (ref. narrative above).

Trawlers lost during WW II - List of British trawlers lost in WW II - from Forbes Wilson's website about his grandfather, "The Royal Naval Reserve Record of John Wilson".

Back to Litiopa on the "Ships starting with L" page.

The text on this page was compiled with the help of: A document received from Theodor Dorgeist, Germany, "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, "Sjøforklaringer fra 2. verdenskrig", Norwegian Maritime Museum, Volume I, and misc. (ref. My sources). Some details have also been added from a summary of survivors' statements found in a memorandum dated Nov. 22-1943, received from Tony Cooper, England.


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