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M/T Sydhav
Updated Aug. 5-2012

To Sydhav on the "Ships starting with S" page.

Crew List

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

I've received a message in my Guestbook regarding this man, who is buried at Braamfontein cemetery in Johannesburg. According to "Våre falne", a series of 4 books naming Norwegians who died during WW II, Lt. Halfdan Thoner Nielsen was serving in the Norwegian Marines when he became ill and was admitted to General Hospital in Johannesburg where he died on the date given. He had served as 1st mate on Sydhav before the war and, therefore, I'm posting the picture of his gravestone here.

Owner: Skibs-A/S Sydhav
Manager: Trygve Lodding, Oslo
7587 gt., 4557 net, 12 120 tdwt.
Call Sign: LDIG

Delivered in March-1929 from Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd., Wallsend as Sydhav to Skibs-A/S Sydhav (Trygve Lodding), Oslo. 450.8' x 61' x 33.2', 6 cyl. 2 TEV DM (Wallsend Slipway & Eng. Co. Ltd., Wallsend), 1010 nhp.

Captain: Nils O. Helgesen

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

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

  Voyage Record
From Apr.-1940 to March-1942:  

(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 Apr. 13 Yokohama Los Angeles May 2 Independent Had arr. Yokohama from Los Angeles
See Page 1
May 15 Los Angeles Balboa May 28 Independent
June 1 Cristobal Curacao June 3 Independent Notional sailing date
June 6 Curacao Santos June 26 Independent
June 28 Santos Rio June 29 Independent
July 5 Rio Capetown July 20 Independent
July 22 Capetown Abadan Aug. 14 Independent
Aug. 16 Abadan Trincomalee Sept. 4 Independent
Sept. 7 Trincomalee Colombo Sept. 9 Independent
Sept. 11 Colombo Abadan Sept. 28 Independent
Sept. 30 Abadan Singapore Oct. 18 Independent
Dec. 14 Singapore Colombo Independent
Dec. 22 Colombo Abadan Dec. 30 Independent
1941 Jan. 1 Abadan Capetown Jan. 24 Independent
Febr. 1 Capetown Freetown Febr. 14 Independent
Febr. 21 Freetown Lagos Febr. 26 Independent
Febr. 27 Lagos Trinidad March 14 Independent
March 19 Trinidad Halifax March 28 Independent
March 31 Halifax Clyde Apr. 19 HX 118 Missing movements, Page 1
Apr. 29 Clyde OB 316 Dispersed May 5.
Convoy available at OB 316
(external link)
May 5 Dispersed from OB 316 Curacao May 20 Independent
May 26 Curacao Gibraltar June 12 Independent
June 14* Gibraltar Curacao July 2 Independent *June 18?
(see Page 1).
July 6 Curacao Freetown July 26 Independent
July 30 Freetown Curacao Aug. 14 Independent
Aug. 16 Curacao Trinidad Aug. 19 Independent
Aug. 22 Trinidad Curacao Aug. 24 Independent
Aug. 25 Curacao Trinidad Aug. 27 Independent
Sept. 1 Trinidad Puerto la Cruz Sept. 2 Independent
Sept. 3 Puerto la Cruz Aruba Sept. 4 Independent
Sept. 9 Aruba New York City Sept. 17 Independent
Nov. 21 New York City Aruba Nov. 28 Independent
Nov. 29 Aruba Halifax Dec. 9 Independent
Dec. 15 Halifax Loch Ewe Dec. 27 HX 165
Dec. 29 Loch Ewe Methil Dec. 30 WN 224 Convoy available at WN convoys
(external link)
Dec. 31 Methil Southend Jan. 2-1942 FS 687 Convoy available at FS convoys
(external link)
1942 Jan. 11 Southend Methil Jan. 13 FN 602 See also Page 2
Convoy available at FN convoys
(external link)
Jan. 14 Methil Oban* Jan. 30* EN 32 *Arrived Loch Ewe, Jan. 16
(Page 2).
Convoy available at EN convoys
(external link)
Jan. 18 Loch Ewe Oban Jan. 20 EN 33 Convoy available at link above
Jan. 24 Oban ON 59 For Curacao.
Dispersed 41 30N 52 53W, Febr. 6.
Convoy will be added.
See ships in ON convoys
Febr. 6 Dispersed from ON 59 Curacao Febr. 14 Independent
Febr. 17 Curacao Trinidad Febr. 20 Independent
Febr. 20 Trinidad Independent Sunk - See "Final Fate" below

 Some Convoy Voyages: 
For information on voyages made in between those mentioned here, please see the documents received from the National Archives of Norway and A. Hague's Voyage Record above. Follow the links provided for more convoy information; several Norwegian ships took part.

It looks like Sydhav was in Yokohama when war broke out in Norway on Apr. 9-1940 - see Page 1 of the archive documents. It'll also be noticed that she appears to have spent a long time in Singapore later that year. Her 1941 voyages also start on this document.

At the end of March-1941, she's listed among the ships in Convoy HX 118 from Halifax to the U.K., bound for Clyde with fuel oil. She later joined Convoy OB 316, originating in Liverpool on Apr. 28, dispersed on May 5, Sydhav arriving Curacao on May 20. Ref. external link provided within the Voyage Record; the Norwegian Annavore, Danio and Taranger are also listed.

Her subsequent voyages are shown on Page 1. As can be seen, she had a long stay in New York that year. She had arrived there from Aruba on Sept. 17 and departure is given as Nov. 21, when she returned to Aruba, later proceeding to Halifax. A. Hague has now included her in Convoy HX 165, which left Halifax on Dec. 15 and arrived Liverpool on the 30th; Sydhav stopped at Loch Ewe Dec. 27.

At the beginning of 1942, she's listed as bound for Curacao in the westbound North Atlantic Convoy ON 59, which originated in Liverpool on Jan. 23 and dispersed on Febr. 6, Sydhav arriving her destination on Febr. 14 (she had started out from Oban on Jan. 24, according to Page 2). This convoy will be added to an individual page in my Convoys section, but in the meantime, the ships sailing in it are named in the section listing ships in all ON convoys. The Norwegian Braganza, Hardanger (returned), Herbrand, Hilda Knudsen, Kongsgaard, Norsktank (returned), O. A. Knudsen, Pan Aruba, Salamis, Sommerstad (returned), Svenør and Thorshavet are also included.

Just 3 days later, Sydhav embarked on her last voyage.

S. Inselseth, who later went on to become the captain of one of my mother's ships after the war (see M/S Mogen), served on Sydhav until Jan.-1942; in other words, he paid off shortly before she was sunk.

 Final Fate - 1942: 

Sydhav was on a voyage from Curacao and Trinidad for Freetown, having departed Curacao in the evening of Febr. 17-1942 with 11 400 tons oil. She arrived Trinidad on Febr. 20, leaving again that same day, according to Page 2.

In the morning of March 6, she was struck by 2 torpedoes from U-505 (Loewe), the first one hitting in the engine room on the starboard side, the other a little forward of it just a couple of seconds later, 04 47N 14 57W*. The starboard lifeboat was destroyed, so the crew aft ran to the port boat, but the ship was sinking so quickly (by the stern) that all hands, including those amidships, had to jump overboard, and were pulled under with the suction. The captain and several others never resurfaced, while those who did saved themselves on 2 rafts. The U-boat was spotted about 200-300 meters away and those on the rafts heard that the Chinese mess boy, who was clinging to debris in the water, was hailed before the boat submerged without having approached the rafts. The mess boy was later pulled into the port lifeboat which was found capsized nearby and which they managed to bail, but he died from his injuries shortly thereafter so they were never able to ask him what had been said. They rowed around in the area until it got dark in the hopes of finding their missing shipmates, then headed north. Shortly after midnight on March 7 they were picked up by the British HMS Kelt and taken to Freetwon.

* This position is from J. Rohwer, the sinking report presented at the subsequent maritime hearings gives the position as 05 53N 14 30W.

In the very last issue of the Norwegian magazine "Krigsseileren" (2000) there's an article about this incident. On board was the young Thorstein Schau who had signed on Sydhav in Apr.-1941 at which time they headed for Curacao, then to London(? - this does not agree with her voyages in this period - see Page 1). He says that on that voyage they were not far away when the German Bismarck was sunk; they could hear the sounds of the guns firing (Bismarck was sunk on May 27-1941; on that date, Sydhav was on her way from Curacao to Gibraltar). He now says that at the beginning of March(?)-1942, Sydhav was again in Curacao, preparing for what proved to be her last voyage. According to Schau things started to happen already as they left the harbour area when 3 ships were sunk near the inlet, one of them being the Norwegian Kongsstein, according to him. However, this must be an error, this ship was laid up in Sweden for the duration, but he may be referring to Kongsgaard(?). He says that Sydhav was kept back for a while because of these occurrences, so even if he is referring to Kongsgaard, the dates don't quite seem to fit, in that this ship was sunk on Febr. 21-1942, and according to the 2nd mate's sinking report for Sydhav, as well as Page 2 of the archive documents, she had departed Curacao on Febr. 17 and was in Trinidad on the 20th, as mentioned. Schau adds that en route to Freetown they passed 4 ships that had been sunk, but could do nothing to help as they were not allowed to stop.

On March 6, he was asleep in his cabin when the first torpedo hit. He was out on deck within a short time, but just as he was heading for the boat deck to get to his designated lifeboat another explosion occurred which tore away the ladder he was climbing. When he came to he was in the water, but spotted a raft which he and some of his shipmates managed to get into, before finding a lifeboat with a damaged bow, righted it and climbed in. The water was seething with sharks, and to their horror they had to watch as one of their shipmates, who was floating on a mattress nearby was attacked, a sight they would never forget.

The maritime hearings were held in London on Apr. 6-1942 with the 2nd mate/radio operator, the 1st engineer and the steward appearing. The 2nd mate had been asleep when the attack occurred.

Crew List:
* Knut Sandøy had also survived the attack on Risanger, and later lost his life when Christian Michelsen was sunk.
** T. Schau had previously served on Salamis, having signed on at age 14 in Dec.-1939. After the loss of Sydhav, he joined another ship on Apr. 14-1942, possibly Bergensfjord.
The steward later served on
Olaf Bergh and Peik, according to this external page.

2nd Mate
Knut Sandøy*
Erling Bekkevold
Ole Johansen
Able Seaman
Haakon Kristoffersen
Able Seaman
Sverre B. Olsen
Ordinary Seaman
Jakob Gullaksen
Able Seaman
Ragnar J. Ryden
Able Seaman
Gunnar Vennesland
Able Seaman/Gunner
Magnus Homanberg
Ordinary Seaman
Torstein Schau**
Ordinary Seaman
Ole Solstad
Jr. Ordinary Seaman
Abrahim Swanopoel
(South African)
1st Engineer
Olaf Olsen
3rd Engineer
Ingebrigt Haugan
4th Engineer
Sverre Vaardal
Normann Gulbrandsen
Anker Andersen
Palmer Hansen
Toralf Robertsen
Fritjof Larsen
Knut Steinsvaag
Finn Bruun
Sverre Eriksen
Saloon Boy
Wang Sing Kan

Nils O. Helgesen

1st Mate
Hans Elias Hansen

3rd Mate
Magnus Iversen

Able Seaman
Kristian Pedersen

2nd Engineer
Bjarne Evensen

Halvor Grindstad

Egil Andersen

Wilhelm Larsen

Ah Kiam Goh*

Ah Heng Lee*

2nd Cook
Char Jiow Chin

Mess Boy
Woo Kang Sung

* Billy BcGee, England has told me that these men are commemorated at the Hong Kong War Memorial. More details on them can be found by entering each name in the relevant search field at the Commonwealth War Graves Comm. website, using WW II and 1942 in the other fields to narrow down the search results. Here is Ah Kiam Goh and here is Ah Heng Lee (see also this page in my Survivors & Fatalities section). I'm unable to find the other 2 Chinese crew members - perhaps the names are spelt wrong.

Related external links:
Stavern Memorial commemorations - The 8 Norwegians are commemorated at this memorial for seamen in Stavern, Norway.

The U-505 episode

U-505 - Historical Navy Ships. From the Naval Historical Center.
Capture of the U-505 - A First Person Account, By Frank P. DeNardo, Former Signalman 2/C aboard the USS Chatelain
Videos of the capture of U-505
U-505 captured by Task Group 22.3, June 4, 1944 - A lot of information on the capture of this U-boat (Archival records, from the website The U-boat Archive).
U-505 en route to Chicago - Heaps of pictures of the move.

German Battle Ship Bismarck

Back to Sydhav on the "Ships starting with S" page.

Other ships by this name: Skibs-A/S Sydhav (Per Lodding), Oslo had another tanker by this name after the war, built in Port Glasgow, delivered in March-1952, 10 946 gt, Sold in March-1961 to T. S. Bendixen A/S, Lillesand and renamed Landbreeze, broken up in Spain 1969. The Clydebuilt Ships website has some details on this ship. In Jan.-1962 another Sydhav was delivered, again managed ty Per Lodding, Oslo, built in Copenhagen, 25 706 gt. Sold to owners in Kristiansand, Norway in 1973 and renamed Benami, then Dutch Grube Carolina in 1975. Condemned and sold for breaking up in 1977, having suffered heavy fire damages following an explosion while unloading in Izmir, Turkey in Dec. of the previous year. The company's 4th Sydhav was delivered in June-1974, built in Gothenburg, 74 133 gt. From 1979 she was managed by Leif Høegh & Co. A/S, Oslo under the name Høegh Lance (Per Lodding having been purchased by Leif Høegh & Co. in Jan. that year), but renamed Sydhav again that same year (?). Sold to France (or possibly to Bermuda?) and renamed Aramis that fall, sailed as Liberian Mobil Aladdin from 1982, Alladin from 1995, Thea from 1997 (Panamanian) - deleted from Lloyd's registers 2005.

The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, "Krigsseileren", 2000, "Sjøforklaringer fra 2. verdenskrig", Volume II (Norwegian Maritime Museum), Leif Høegh & Co. fleet list, and misc. others for cross checking info - ref. My sources.


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