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Owner: Esito D/S A/S
Built as Skogstad by Robert Thompson & Sons Ltd., Sunderland in 1906, 346.5' x 50.9' x 23', Triple exp. 3 cyl. 1500 bhp (J. Dickinson & Sons Ltd.).
Captain: Guttorm Jacobsen
(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.
When war broke out in Norway on Apr. 9-1940, Victo was on her way from Sandefjord, Norway to Portland, Maine, via Halifax, according to Page 1 of the archive documents. She had previously arrived Sandefjord from Malmö, Sweden.
With a cargo of lumber for London, she's listed in station 91 of Convoy HX 48 from Halifax on June 5-1940, having been cancelled from the previous convoy, HX 47 (Italia was sunk - follow the link for details). According to A. Hague, Victo became a straggler on June 6; going back to the archive document referred to above, we see that she arrived Falmouth on June 21, London the following day, proceeding to Rochester about a week later, remaining there for a month. As can be seen, she also had quite a long stay at Tyne later on. She's mentioned as scheduled for Convoy OA 206, leaving Methil on Aug. 29, but she did not sail - see external link below. A. Hague instead has her, together with Inger Lise, Tarifa and Temeraire, in Convoy OA 208, which departed Methil on Sept. 2 and dispersed on the 6th, Victo arriving Pictou on Sept. 20 (ref. link provided in Voyage Record). She did not leave Pictou again until Oct. 14, when she proceeded to Sydney, C.B., later joining the slow Convoy SC 9 from there on Oct. 24, cargo of lumber for Tyne, where she arrived (via Clyde and Methil Roads) on Nov. 21 and again had quite a long stay there.
In Jan.-1941, we find her in Convoy OB 272, which originated in Liverpool on Jan. 10 and dispersed on the 14th. (Brask was sunk - the Norwegian Don, Ferncastle, Gezina, Kongsgaard, Marita and Ravnefjell are also listed; again, see the link provided in the Voyage Record). According to Page 1, Victo arrived Louisburg on Jan. 24, having started out from Oban on Jan. 11. A week later, she proceeded to St. John, N.B., where she stayed for almost 3 weeks before heading to Halifax in order to join Convoy SC 24 on Febr. 28, cargo of steel and lumber for West Hartlepool, where she arrived, via Loch Ewe and Methil, on March 25. The following month, she's listed in Convoy OB 313, which originated in Liverpool on Apr. 22 and dispersed on the 28th and also had the Norwegian Haakon Hauan, Inger Lise and Sandar among its ranks. Victo had sailed from Oban on Apr. 23 and arrived Galveston on May 20 - see Page 2 (this seems like an awfully long time from dispersal date). From Galveston, she later proceeded to Sydney, C.B., joining Convoy SC 35 back to the U.K. on June 20.
In Aug.-1941, she was one of several Norwegian ships in the westbound North Atlantic Convoy ON 4; her destination is given as St. John's, N.F. but it looks like this should be St. John, N.B., where she arrived on Aug. 25, the convoy having been dispersed on the 18th (Victo had joined from Loch Ewe). A few days later, she continued to Parrsboro, where she spent about 3 weeks before returning to St. John, then on to Sydney, C.B., and according to A. Hague, she headed back to the U.K. in Convoy SC 47 on Sept. 29. This convoy is not yet available among the SC convoys included in my Convoys section, but will be added - the ships sailing in it are named at ships in all SC convoys. (Eglantine is named among the escorts - see SC convoy escorts). Victo, cargo of steel and lumber, arrived Oban on Oct. 17. Page 2 indicates she was bound for London - she arrived Gravesend on Oct. 26.
More information on the Norwegian ships mentioned here can be found via the alphabet index at the end of this page, or go to the Master Ship Index.
Related external link:
As mentioned above, Victo had arrived the U.K. in Convoy SC 47 from Sydney, C.B. in Oct.-1941. She left London for Southend in ballast on Nov. 6, then departed Southend the following day in convoy for Tyne (see Convoy FN 546 - external link, incomplete listing). At about 23:30 on Nov. 8, when off Flamborough Head, she was bombed by German aircraft, 54 19 50N 00 15 45W. According to the captain's report the convoy was very scattered at the time and they had no escort. The convoy had also been attacked earlier that afternoon, so the men who operated Victo's guns were ready and fired back when the aircraft was spotted. 3 PAX rockets were fired as well as a few rounds with the 2 Hotchkiss guns and Twin Merlin. At about the same time 3 heavy explosions occurred, 1 in the waterline on the port side, 1 in the bottom of No. 3 hold and a 3rd in the sea on the starboard side. The wheelhouse and upper bridge collapsed, the engine stopped and the lights went out, steam and smoke poured out of the engine room and boiler room, and a 4' wide fracture could be seen in the deck and on the port side of the ship, right across at the forward part of the boiler room, and she was listing heavily to port.
After the crew had gotten away in 2 lifeboats they discovered that 5 men were missing, so the captain and 2 volunteers (1 of whom was Able Seaman Reinholdt Jenssen) went back on board and tried to get into the engine room to look for them but had to withdraw because of the hot steam. The bombs were still falling around the ship when they returned to the lifeboat, but while the men in the port boat were being assisted by a British ship, the captain, Boatswain Haveland and 3rd Engineer Hansen reboarded Victo and this time Donkeyman Karlsen and Stoker Andresen were found. They had managed to get up on deck themselves. On the second attempt at entering the engine room, another, badly burnt shipmate was found (1st Engineer Pedersen).
They rowed across to the British S/S Lottinge where the injured men were hoisted on board. Victo had now broken in 2 and the forepart had sunk, but the after part remained afloat. They rowed around the wreck hoping to find the other missing men, but none were seen so they left at 02:00 (Nov. 9). The survivors in the port lifeboat were picked up by S/S Skipjack, while the others were picked up by Lottinge; all were landed in Tyne later that morning, where the 3 injured men, as well as Ordinary Seaman Didriksen were taken to a hospital.
The maritime inquiry was held in Newcastle-on-Tyne on Nov. 12-1941 with the captain, the 2nd mate, Able Seaman Reinholdt Jenssen, and the carpenter attending. The 2 who could not be found were assumed killed immediately in the boiler room. Full report and survivors' statements are available at Victo - Page 2.
A visitor to my site has told me that "Shipwreck Index of the British Isles" says Victo lies off Scarborough today. Also, Ron Young has written about this ship in his "The Comprehensive Guide to Shipwrecks of the East Coast 1918 to 2003". He states that the bow section is located 4.10 n. miles NE from Scarborough Rock at a depth of 47m (fairly intact), while the after part drifted for over a mile before going down and is located 2.43 n. miles E from Scarborough Rock at a depth of 30m (collapsed and broken up), a popular diving site today.
* Paul Harkestad had escaped from Norway with M/B Fred / Fri in Sept.-1941.
Related external link:
Back to Victo on the "Ships starting with V" page.
The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Damp - Dampskipets æra i Vestfold" (pre war history), "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, "Sjøforklaringer fra 2. verdenskrig", Volume II (Norwegian Maritime Museum), and misc. (ref. My sources).