Maritime inquiry 1939 - 1945
The information below regarding ships in the Nortraship fleet is a direct transcript of the original source "Sjøforklaringer fra andre verdenskrig (1940 - 1945)". The informasjon is collected from maritime inquiries held during and right after the war. The information may differ from the other quality assured information in Krigsseilerregisteret.
Appeared Captain Olaf Sigfried Thorkildsen ...
The vessel was manned by a crew of 18 men, including the master, 2 men short. 2 passengers, who had been brought from Norway to Svalbard, acted as fireman and trimmer.
On the voyage from Svalbard there were 56 passengers on board (including the 2 above mentioned).
Captain Thorkildsen stated that during the voyage the log books had been kept as usual, but were lost with the ship. He produced a report, prepared by him ...
Further, the captain produced a list of the 6 who lost their lives ...
The Captain produced a list of the passengers which list he handed in to the Consulate General.
The produced report was read out and the captain thereafter declared same to be correct in all respects and was approved by him as his evidence.
The vessel was a 4 hatch steamer with the engine amidships. The chief engineer and the 2nd engineer had their cabins on the starboard side at the after part of the amidships. There was to be change of watch in the engine room at 2 o'clock. The chief engineer and the doneyman were to be relieved.
Fireman Larsen has stated that he was talking with the donkeyman on the stokehold platform 2 minutes before the report. Larsen was not in the engine room and does not know whether the chief engineer had left the engine room or whether the 2nd engineeer had come down.
The captain believes that at the moment both engineers were in the engine room. Larsen cannot explain how he, himself, managed to get out.
The captein, himself, was in the saloon when the bombs fell and down there he heard 3 heavy reports in quick succession. Having come up he saw that the bombs had passed through the skylight over the engine. The cabins on the starboard side were destroyed. The cabins on the port side were damaged and the steward and the chief officer, who were in their cabins,were very seriously injured.
The captain has been told that one of the passengers, who lost their lives, Johs. Knutsen Sandvik, was at the time standing on the boat deck together with another passenger. The latter ran forward down the steps whilst Knutsen Sandvik apparently jumped down from the boat deck or went down towards aft. Further, that the other passenger, who lost his life, Arvid Bentsen, was possibly in the galley as, during the whole of the voyage, he had been assisting the cook in the galley. The galley was completely blown up.
Beyond what is mentioned above, the captain has not heard that anyone has seen anything of Knutsen Sandvik and Bentsen. The captain assumes that Bentsen lost his life in the galley. It is assumed that Knutsen Sandvik was hit by the explosion.
One of the bombs had struck the side of No. 3 hatch and torn open the whole deck. Another struck in way of the skylight over the engine.
As mentioned, the captain was in the saloon when the attack was made and heard 3 heavy reports in succession. He tried in vain to get out on the starboard side, ran to the port side an came out on deck. Then heard the machine gun fire from the areoplane. There was steam everywhere. Ran along the alley-way and came to the fore deck. No one was then on the bridge. He went up on the forecastle, but went back and looked into the cabins amidships. He got the steward out from is cabin. The latter was seriously injured, but he got into the lifeboat by himself. By then, men had come along, among others Mjaaseth. The captain took part in getting the chief officer out of his cabin; the latter was particularly badly injured and was later carried to lifeboat from the patrol vessel.
When the cheif officer had been carried out flames were seen amidships.
From the armed trawler the captain saw that the vessel was on fire amidships, but had not sunk appreciably. Another trawler now came out from shore and was going to tow the "DAGNY I".
The captain was not allowed to go on board that trawler.
From Thorshavn they were all brought by a warship to Scotland except the 7 who were taken to hospital.
The captain had heard that the "DAGNY I" sank.
At the time, the weather was fine, smooth sea. It took 2 1/2 hours down to Thorshavn, arriving about 8 o'clock in the evening. The weather was still fine.
The 1st witness, Jacob Midbøe Halvorsen, 2nd Officer on board ...
The aeroplane came across from the starboard side, at mast height, starting with machine gun fire before it came over the vessel. Some bombs fell in the water on the starboard side. Two or three struck the vessel.
The witness stopped the engine and he and helmsman Lilleskare ran from the bridge. He grabbed a lifesaving jacket with him. He jumped into the water on the port side, he had on the lifesaving jacket. He drifted past the vessel and was lying in the water for 1 1/2 hours. Was saved by the patrol boat from the trawler.
On the way to Thorshavn, on the trawler, the witness did not see any flames on the "DAGNY I", but the black smoke from amidships. The cargo was on fire. They had not yet started towing her.
After the casualty he did not see any of those who lost their lives. The witness saw the chief engineer, who was to come off duty at 2 o'clock, half an hour before the occurence.
The weather was a little hazy, some sea.
Appeared the 2nd witness, Frans Edvard Lilleskare ... ordinary seaaman on board.
Was on watch on the bridge. The deck boy came running and reported about an aeroplane. The witness saw the aeorplane coming. The aeroplane started by using machine guns. The witness saw the bombs coming, the steam was pouring out from the stokehold.
The witness assisted with the lowering of the starboard lifeboat and the light boat, went forward. From there the witness, together with Mjaasaeth, went aft and searched the crew's cabins aft. He did not happen to look into the donkeyman's cabin. Then went to the forward part of the ship and waited there.
The witness did not see anything of any of those who lost their lives.
On the way aft he saw the chief officer outside the latter's cabin.
Appeared the 3rd witness, Kolbjørn Mjaaseth, ... A. B. Seaman on board.
The witness was on watch on board and was standing by the no. 4, hatch at the after part of the ship.
The first bomb struck at the after part of the amidships on the starboard side. The second bomb at the after part of the skylight, steam everywhere.
The witness assumes that the donkeyman was having a wash down in the engine room. As to whether the engineer had come up the witness cannot say.
The witness did not see anything of any of those who lost their lives.
The witness was among those who were standing waiting on the forward part of the ship. The witness looked through the firemen's quarters. A.B. Seaman Hegland had a look thorugh the seamen's quarters. The donkeyman's cabin was locked.
Appeared the 4th witness, Kåre Gustavsen, ... fireman on board.
Was off duty and was asleep in his bunk aft. The witness did not see anything of any of those who lost their lives.
Appeared the 5th witness, Hegge Petter Johan Karlsen, ... labourer (passenger)
Wished to go wit the vessel from Svalbard. The witness saw labourer Arvid Bentsen (passenger) running towards aft on the after deck on the starboard side without lifebelt.
The chief engineer and the donkeyman were sitting on a form down in the engine room talking when the witness was down there to fetch hot water a few minutes before the explosion, perhaps about 8 minutes, no more. The witness who was standing in the coal bunker amidships and was washing up had gone there at once with the water and had washed 3 plates when the explosion occurred.