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M/S Vibran
Updated Jan. 4-2012

To Vibran on the "Ships starting with V" page.

Crew List

Source: Roger W. Jordan collection (w/permission).
Another picture is available on this external page (click in it to make it larger).

Owner: Skibs-A/S Ogeka.
Manager: Knut Knutsen O. A. S., Haugesund
2993 gt, 1759 net, 3000 tdwt.
Dimensions: 322.5' x 45.8' x 26.7'.
Machinery: 9 cyl. 2tev B&W, 3200bhp, 16 knots.
Call Sign: LIYB.

Fruit/refrigerator ship, delivered in March-1935 from Helsingör Jernskibs & Maskinbyggeri, Helsingör, Denmark as Vibran to Skibs-A/S Ogeka (O. A. Knutsen). Managed by Knut Knutsen O. A. S. from March-1938.

Captain: Per Palm.

Related items on this website:
A Guestbook message from someone whose grandfather, Arthur Baker, was lost on Vibran. He was one of the passengers. The poster of that message has since sent me the complete crew and passenger list for Vibran.
Another Guestbook Message - From another relative of a casualty, Henry James Wink.
Guestbook message from the granddaughter of one of the casualties, Harry Nilsen.

Her voyages are listed on these original images from the Norwegian National Archives:
Page 1 | Page 2 | Page 3 | Page 4

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

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

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

Follow the convoy links provided for more information on each.

Errors may exist, and some voyages are missing.

Departure From To Arrival Convoy Remarks
1940 Apr. 2 Valparaiso Balboa Independent See also Page 1
Apr. 17 Cristobal Fort de France Apr. 21 Independent
Apr. 22 Fort de France Marseilles May 6 Independent
May 23 Marseilles Algiers May 24 Independent
May 26 Algiers Marseilles May 27 Independent
May 31 Marseilles Algiers June 1 Independent
June 4 Algiers Marseilles June 6 Independent
June 9 Marseilles Algiers June 10 Independent
June 15 Algiers Oran Independent
June 21 Oran Marseilles June 23 R 2F2 Convoy available at R 2F2
(external link)
June 24 Marseilles Gibraltar June 30 Independent Notional sailing date
The voyage to Marseilles is not mentioned on Page 1 of the archive documents (see also narrative below).
July 7 Gibraltar Freetown July 14 Independent
Aug. 1 Freetown Victoria, Nigeria Aug. 7 Independent
Aug. 10 Victoria, Nigeria Liverpool Aug. 28 Independent Missing movements, Page 1
Sept. 28 Liverpool OL 5 For Freetown.
Dispersed Sept. 30.
Convoy available at OL 5
(external link)
Sept. 30 Detached from OL 5 Freetown Oct. 12 Independent
Oct. 17 Freetown Duala Oct. 22 Independent
Oct. 26 Duala Milford Haven Nov. 12 Independent
Nov. 13 Milford Haven Avonmouth Nov. 15 Independent
Nov. 21 Avonmouth Freetown Dec. 4 Independent
Dec. 12 Freetown Victoria, Nigeria Dec. 16 Independent
Dec. 19 Victoria, Nigeria Freetown Dec. 24 Independent
Dec. 24 Freetown Kingston Jan. 3-1941 Independent
1941 Jan. 14 Kingston Trinidad Jan. 18 Independent
Jan. 23 Trinidad Grenada Jan. 23 Independent
Jan. 26 Grenada Bermuda Jan. 29 Independent
Jan. 31 Bermuda Liverpool Febr. 11 Independent Missing voyages:
Page 1 & Page 2
June 10 Liverpool Montreal June 21 Independent
June 23 Montreal Liverpool July 3 Independent
July 5 Liverpool Holyhead Independent
July 6 Holyhead Cardiff July 7 Independent
July 14 Cardiff Montreal July 25 Independent
July 27 Montreal Clyde Aug. 6 Independent See also Page 2
Aug. 12 Clyde Montreal Aug. 23 Independent
Aug. 26 Montreal Belfast Lough Sept. 4 Independent
Sept. 5 Belfast Lough Cardiff Sept. 8 Independent
Sept. 13 Cardiff Montreal Sept. 23 Independent
Oct. 7 Montreal Liverpool Oct. 16 Independent
Oct. 28 Liverpool Montreal Nov. 9 Independent
Nov. 13 Montreal Liverpool Nov. 23 Independent
Dec. 4 Liverpool Halifax Dec. 12 Independent
Dec. 19 Halifax Liverpool Dec. 27 Independent On to Manchester - See Page 2
1942 Jan. 6 Liverpool Halifax Jan. 16 Independent
Jan. 26 Halifax Liverpool Febr. 5 Independent Missing movements, page 2 above
Febr. 15 Liverpool Halifax Febr. 26 Independent
March 3 Halifax Liverpool March 14 Independent Missing movements, Page 3
March 21 Liverpool Halifax March 30 Independent
Apr. 16 Halifax Liverpool Apr. 24 Independent Missing movements, Page 3 above
Apr. 29 Liverpool Halifax May 7 Independent
May 12 Halifax Liverpool May 21 Independent Again, see Page 3
(missing movements)
May 26 Liverpool Halifax June 3 Independent
June 7 Halifax Liverpool June 15 Independent More missing movements, Page 3
June 20 Liverpool Halifax June 28 Independent
July 8 Halifax Belfast Lough July 15 Independent On to Avonmouth & Bristol
(Page 3).
July 22 Barry Island Halifax Aug. 1 Independent
Aug. 7 Halifax Clyde Aug. 15 Independent
Aug. 21 Clyde Halifax Aug. 29 Independent
Sept. 3 Halifax Belfast Lough Sept. 11 Independent
Sept. 11 Belfast Lough Cardiff Sept. 12 BB 219 Convoy available at BB 219
(external link)
Sept. 18 Cardiff Independent Sunk - See "Final Fate" below
(also, Page 4).


According to Page 1 of the archive documents, Vibran was on her way from Valparaiso to Oslo, Norway when war broke out there on Apr. 9-1940 - diverted to Marseilles. A French visitor to my site has told me that she called at Fort-de-France (French West Indies) on Apr. 21 and was ordered to proceed to Marseilles. Released Apr. 23, provided complying with orders from London-based operating office. Going back to the archive document we see that she arrived Marseilles on May 6, proceeding to Algiers later that month.

He adds that she sailed from Oran on June 21-1940 in Convoy R 2F2 (external link) under French escort (which means she must have narrowly avoided sharing the fate of so many other Norwegian ships that were interned in North and West Africa at that time). At Marseilles June 23. This agrees with A. Hague's information above (but this voyage is not included on the archive document).

Page 1 also shows some of her 1941 voyages (it'll be noticed that she had a long stay in Liverpool that year). These continue on Page 2, which also has some of her 1942 voyages, while the rest are listed on Page 3. See also Page 4.

 Final Fate: 

Vibran departed Cardiff on Sept. 18-1942 alone in ballast for Halifax. Torpedoed and sunk on Sept. 23 (some say 24) by U-582 (Schulte), position 42 45N 42 45W ( gives sinking position as 45 57N 30 05W, about 400 miles north-northeast of the Azores - external link).

34 Norwegian crew, 3 British, and 11 passengers died, no survivors.

J. Rohwer indicates Vibran may have been in the westbound North Atlantic Convoy ON 131 when she was sunk; this is not mentioned in my Norwegian sources. He also states the date was early in the morning of Sept. 23, and this does agree with my Norwegian source, which adds the incident was announced on a German radio broadcast on the 24th, with the date 23rd given. According to Arnold Hague, Convoy ON 131 departed Liverpool on Sept. 18 and arrived New York Oct. 4. Vibran was one of the several Norwegian, fast going refrigerator ships, so it's quite likely she was sailing alone when sunk (as can be seen in the above Voyage Record, she usually sailed independently) - besides, she's not listed in this convoy; please go to ON 131 in the section naming ships in all ON convoys. (Convoy will be added to an individual page in due course).

For info, the U-boat that sank Vibran was sunk with all hands about 2 weeks later - see the links at the end of this page for more details.

Crew & Passengers - No survivors:
Received from Annie Fowler, whose grandfather Arthur Baker was a passenger on board. See her Guestbook message
This is the official casualty list from Nortraship.
Eilert Thomassen had previously served on
Storaas, John Bakke, Evita and Maloja (see also this external page).
One of the casualties, Ordinary Seaman Per Bryn had served with Talabot when that ship endured the attack on Convoy MW 10 - follow link for details.
Here's a
Guestbook Message from a relative of Henry James Wink.
Guestbook message from the granddaughter of Harry Nilsen.


Per E. Palm

1st Mate/Radio Operator
Peder Pedersen

2nd Mate
Egil Johnsen

3rd Mate
Harald Aksdal

Radio Operator
William Sydney Davis**
(22), Glasgow

Radio Operator
Harry Nilsen*

Able Seaman
Peder S. Indbjo*

Able Seaman
Hans Særsten

Able Seaman
Bjarne Korsnes

Able Seaman
Alf Johansen

Able Seaman
Sevald Kvitanes*

Able Seaman
Jakob Ytterøy

Able Seaman
Reidar Christiansen

Ordinary Seaman
Per Bryn

Ordinary Seaman
Johan Ferås*

1st Engineer
Rangvald Walvatne

2nd Engineer
Toralf Johannesen

3rd Engineer
Edvard Sirnes

Hans Larsen

Refrig. Engineer
Alf Sjursen

Nils Figved

Alf Eriksen

Hans Jensen

Rangvald Amundsen

Jakob Holme

Eilert Thomassen

Hans Viklund

Johan Olausen*

Frithjof Svendsen

2nd Steward
Thorleif Olsen

Hilmar Bakke

Galley Boy
Torolf Skogen

Mess Boy
Kenneth A. Humphreys**
(17) Liverpool

Mess Boy
Bertie Aitken**
(age 17) Cardiff

Saloon Boy
Arvid Gannestad

Martin Selbach

Rikard Berge

Paul A. E. Bergby

Fredrik Lis Vogt
(Norw., born Milwaukee)

Arthur Baker**

Olow Nicholai Berg

Cyril Wilfred Dobson**

James Noble Hall**

Fredrik L. Stather**

Joseph H. St. Hilaire

Peter Thomson**
(Banffshire, Scotland)

Joseph A. Vallee

Henry James Wink**

Notes on men denoted *
There is no Harry Nilsen listed at the Stavern Memorial which I've linked to below, but there's a radio operator named Harry E. Refne. This must be the same man, because his birthdate is the same as that found for Harry Nilsen on the official casualty list.
Also, there's no Able Seaman Peder Indbjo, but a Boatswain Peder Samsonsen with the same birthdate.
Sevald Kvitanes is listed as carpenter at the memorial.
Johan Ferås is listed as Ingolf J. Færaas, Able Seaman.
Johan Olausen is listed as Johan O. Olavesen, Seaman.
Some other names are also spelt differently.

More details on the men denoted ** can be found by entering each name in the relevant search field on The Commonwealth War Graves Comm. website (external link - be sure to enter WW II and the year 1942 to narrow the search). As will be seen, HMS Canada is listed as "unit" for several of them.

Related external links:
Stavern Memorial commemorations - Norwegians only are commemorated at this Memorial for Seamen in Stavern, Norway. (According to this memorial page on's website, there's an unknown seaman from a ship named Vibran listed as having died in Apr.-1942, buried at the Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery in Tromsø, Norway. Possibly an HMS ship?)

Operations Information for U-582


Coast Guard Cutter Duane - I've added this link because there's a little snippet about Vibran in the text under the heading "History", saying that this cutter sighted Vibran on Aug. 12-1942, exchanged signals and, after having been found to be a friendly vessel, she was "allowed to proceed east, but was examined closely and found to have no fittings for fueling U-boats. She had clean sides, no unusual armament and a deck cargo of invasion barges". From Page 3, we learn that Vibran was on her way from Halifax to the U.K. on that date.

Knutsen OAS Shipping today - with a brief history of the company.

Back to Vibran on the "Ships starting with V" page.

Other ships by this name: Haugesund had previously had a steamer by this name, delivered in Aug. 1891 to Brødrene Knudsen, Vibransøy/Haugesund, 419 gt. From 1903 she belonged to John Knudsen, 1908 Knud Johan Knudsen, 1916 John Aug. Knudsen, and from July-1919 Knut Knutsen O.A.S., Haugesund. Renamed Vibran II in 1934 and sold in Sept-1935 to Brødrene Anda Stavanger for breaking up, converted to barge and in use in eastern Norway until the 1950's. Vibran III was built in 1954, 3265 gt, became Suroit of Bordeaux in 1965, Coccinella of Augusta in 1972 - broken up in Turkey in Dec.-1996.

The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, "Våre motorskip", Leif M. Bjørkelund & E. H. Kongshavn, "Axis Submarine Successes of World War Two", Jürgen Rohwer, "The Allied Convoy System", Arnold Hague and misc. - (ref. My sources).


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