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D/S Patria
Updated Febr. 14-2009

To Patria on the "Ships starting with P" page.

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

Owner: D/S Patria A/S 2
Manager: Oluf Skjeldbred Knudsen, Kristiansand
1341 gt, 2485 tdwt
Signal Letters: LKBU

Built in Kristiansand in 1939.

Captain: Egil H. Norman (or Harald E. Norman?).

Her voyages are listed on this original image received from the National Archives of Norway.

 Interned - 1940: 

Patria was one of the 26 Norwegian ships interned in North and West Africa 1940-1942. They are all named on my page Interned Ships. According to "Nortraships flåte" she was interned in Oran on June 22-1940*, requisitioned Sept. 6-1941, renamed Ste Christophe, sailed under the French flag, later German from Oct.-1942 (taken over in Genoa).

* Note that she's listed as scheduled for the Gibraltar-U.K. Convoy HG 35, which left on June 21-1940, but is crossed out on the form (her destination is given as Milford Haven, cargo of grain). According to the archive document, she did sail from Gibraltar that day, but not to the U.K. - she arrived Oran June 22.

My page about D/S Favør has a reference to some men escaping in a lifeboat from Patria, I'm not sure whether anyone from Patria also came along at that time, or whether they just used her lifeboat.

Partial Crew List:
"Sjømann - Lang Vakt" by Guri Hjeltnes says she had a crew of 26, 14 Norwegian, 5 escaped.
Only a few are named here. They appear to be those who were left at the time of the Allied Invasion of North and West Africa in Nov.-1942.

Egil H. Norman
1st Mate
Haakon Haakonsen
1st Engineer
Rudolf Skjerum
2nd Engineer
Alf Sørensen
Einar Mjaaland
Konrad Kristiansen
Mess Boy
Johan Pettersen

I looked these names up in Kristian Ottosen's "Nordmenn i fangenskap" (Norwegians in imprisonment) which states the following (please view this as a guide only, as I've seen some errors in this book. I believe most of the facts in this book were taken from Norwegian archives, which are not always correct either):

There's no Egil H. Norman, however, there's a Captain Harald E Norman whom I think must be Patria's captain. Listed as having been "arrested" (in this case interned) on June 22-1940, transferred(?) Oran Sept. 6-1941, released Nov. 16-1942.

The same details are given for 1st Mate Haakonsen (though release date is given as Nov. 15 for him), and for the mess boy (released Nov. 12-1942).

There's no Rudolf Skjerum spelt as above, but there's a 1st Engineer Rudolf Skjærem. Details for him are the same as listed for those above, with release date Nov. 12-1942. According to this external page, he escaped from Oran; no date is given, but he's said to have arrived England on Dec. 3-1942, so he may not have escaped, but was simply freed, as Operation Torch took place in Nov.-1942 (he had been on board since June-1939). He subsequently trained to become a Gunnery Officer, later joining Høegh Scout and Vanja and after the war, joined Bestik in order to go home to Norway.

The same arrest and release dates are given for Alf Sørensen, but his Oran transfer date is given as Jan. 27-1942 - same for Einar Mjaaland (later joined Liss?) and Konrad Kristiansen. The latter is listed as cook in this source. According to this external page, he had been the cook on Atna when the war started in the fall of 1939, later served as steward on Helgøy and Daviken (he died in 1975).

Chances are they were all at Mecheria when released(?).

 Final Fate - 1943: 

"Dictionary of Disasters at Sea during the Age of Steam 1824-1962, by Charles Hocking says she was bombed by allied aircraft on July 13-1943, while lying in Messina harbour with a cargo of explosives. The ship blew up, with the explosion causing considerable damage in the harbour.

Back to Patria on the "Ships starting with P" page.

Other ships by this name: The French Patria exploded and sank in Haifa harbour on Nov. 25-1940, having arrived with Jewish refugees. Roger W. Jordan's "The World's Merchant Fleets 1939" says the explosion was caused by a bomb planted on board by "Haganah" to prevent the vessel from taking illegal immigrants to Mauritius, 279 died. The wreck was broken up in 1952. Germany also had 2 ships by this name.

If the information at the Memorial for Seamen in Stavern is correct there was also a Swedish ship by this name
Related external link:
2 Norwegians casualties / Swedish Patria - The Norwegian text says that this ship struck a mine off Ymuiden, Holland on Jan. 19-1940 when en route from Rotterdam to Gothenburg. Mate
Ola Olaison Brudevoll and Able Seaman Johan Aksel Pettersen are commemorated.

The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, "Sjøforklaringer fra 2. verdenskrig", Norwegian Maritime Museum, Volume II, and misc. for cross checking as named within text above - (ref. My sources).


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