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.
The S/S "HYDRA 2" arrived at Bangkok, Thailand, ont eht 30/11-1941 from Singapore bound for Hong-Kong. At 00.00 o'clock on the 2/12/41 finished loading at Bangkok and left at the same time for Koh-Sichang, 52 miles from Bangkok, in order to complete the loading. At about 06.00 o'clock on the 2/12 arrived at Koh-Sichang and loading was at once commenced. During the afternoon, when the vessel had finished loading, a talegram came from the Consulate at Bangkok to stop at Kh-Sichang and to await further orders owing to the strained situation out in th eEast. At 12.00 o'clock on the 3/12 a telegram came from Bangkok to continue the voyage to Hong-Kong. The voyage passed well and satisfactorily until the morning of the 8/12/41 when, over the wireless, we heard about the war between Japan, America and England. The vessel was then abreast of Varella Light on the coast of French Indo China, about 100 miles off land. At 08.00 o'clock in the morning of the 8/12, ship's council was heald on board by the vessel's master, two officers and three engineers, all of whom were Norwegian. It was decided to set course for the nearest island of the Philippines and later proceed to Iloilo as we considered it certain that the vessel would never reach Hon-Kong, but would be sunk by the Japanese. During the morning of the 11/12, at about 09.00 o'clock, we passed through a little straith on the north side of the island of Pelavan (Phillippines) bound for Iloilo. AT 16.30 o'clock the same day, when the vessel was in the Zulu Sea, we were stopped by two English destroyers. An English officer came on board the "Hydra 2" and the captain stated that owing to the situation he wished to proceed to Iloilo. The commander of one of the English destroyers recommended that we proceed to Manila as it would be easier there to decide what to do, obtain coal and proivsions and continue the voyage. At 17.00 o'clock on the 11/12 we set course for Manila. On the 12/12 we were proceeding at reduced speed as the captain wished to arrive at Manila early in the morning of the 13/12. At about 20.00 o'clock arrived at a place about 30 miles from Manila. The vessel was then proceeding at slow speed. At 21.00 o'clock there was rung stop to the engine and the vessel was then lying drifting outside a small light at the entrance to Manila. All lights on board had been extinguished and thevessel was blacked-out. The captain had given orders to stand by in the engine room at 04.00 o'clock in the morning of the 13/12. At 21.00 o'clock on the 12/12 the captain went down from the bridge and asked the 2nd officer, who was on watch, to keep a good look-out and to call him if there should be anything out of the ordinaray. The vessel was then lying about 2 miles from land and drifting. At the time the weather was fine, dark and a little off-shore wind. The 2nd engineer was on watch in the engine room. At about 21.40 o'clock the 2nd officer became aware of a white line of foam in the sea on the starbord side and at the same time a rushing sound, and soon after the torpedo exploded a little forward of amidships in way of the No. 2 hatch. The awning on the bridge, which was of wood, as well as the chart-room and wheel-house, were blown away by the explosion. The lifeboats had been made ready during the day on the 12/12 and had been swung out clear of the ship's side and axes had been placed in the lifeboats in order to be able to cut the lashings quickly. All the six Norwegian officers managed to get up to the port lifeboat, but the axes and all inventory in the lifeboats had diseppeared owing to the explosion and as a result of this there was delay in getting the lifeboat into the sea. The vessel sank in 1 to 2 minutes and as the vessel sank the davits became hooked over the lifeboat and the lifeboat capsized with the six Norwegian officers in it. The 2nd officer, the 2nd engineer and the 3rd engineer managed to get up on to some wreckage as well as quite a number of the vessel's Chinese crew. The surviving 3 Norwegian officers and 6 Chinese were picked up by a Swedish vessel, the M/S "Colombia", at noon on the 13/12. In consequence of the explosion the 2nd officer sustained a heavy blow over the right eye and a fracture of the left wrist and the right hand somewhat bruised. The 2nd engineer sustained injury to his back and a wound on his left leg. The M/S "Colombia" was on voyage from Manila to Freemantle and we were given the best of treatment on board, and those who were exhausted and needed doctor's treatment were cared for. On the 24/12 the M/S "Colombia" aarrived at Freemantle and on the 26/12 the 3 Norwegian officers and the 6 Chinese left the ship. The 3 Norwegians stayed at His Majesty's Hotel, Freemantle, and the 6 Chinese stayed at the Sailors' Home. The 2nd officer and the 2nd engineer had to go to a doctor at Freemantle (Dr. Baker). The Norwegian Vice Consul at Perth obtained the most essential clothing for the 3 Norwegians and decided to send them to Sydney whilst the 6 Chines remained at Freemantle. On the 3/1/42 we were sent by the M/S "Duntroon" to Melbourne and arrived there on the 10/1/42 at 16.00 o'clock. At 18.40 o'clock we left Melbourne by train and arrived at Sydney at 11.00 o'clock on the 11/1. During the forenoon the nextday appeared at the Norwegian Consulate General at Sydney to report our arrival.
The following are missing from the s/s "Hydra 2":
Captain Lars Røed
Chief Officer Hjalmar Nilsen Chief Engineer Karl A. Jacobsen
also 38 Chinese.
Sydney, N.S.W., the 13th Januaray 1942
Alfon Hubert tidemann, 2nd Officer
Gunnar Sanne, 2nd Engineer
Georg Emil Hansen, 3rd Engineer