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.

October 15, 1941
Atlanterhavet, pos. 53.34 N, 29.57 W.
Torpedert [av tysk ubåt]
Stykkgods, stål
Sydney, NS - Glasgow
Crew list
14 [14]
  • Abstract

    October 24, 1941
    Generalkonsul Henry Bay


    Appeared the master and produced a report, prepared according to memory, about the occurrence, also a list of the missing and dead members of the crew ...


    The master referred to the produced report and in addition stated that of the 14 missing members of the crew, mess-room boy Joseph Macconnell was of British and the rest of Norwegian nationality.

    The master further stated that he was on the bridge when the vessel was torpedoed, chief officer Sverkeli was on watch and A.B. Seaman Tvedt was helmsman. It was quite dark when vhe vessel was sunk and when a torpedo struck the vessel the master was knocked unconscious and - when he came to again - went over board and clung to some wreckage until, about 3 hours later, together with some others of the crew, he was picked up by the French corvette "Mimosa". During that time the master did not see anything of the motor lifeboat.

    The ship's papers were lost at the time.

    On being questioned the master stated that A.B. Seaman Eikemo was look-out man and was at the place assigned to him at the lifeboats and there he was at the moment of the explosion after having taken part in the calling out of the rest of the crew.


    As the 1st witness appeared Halvor Sverkeli ... chief officer on board the steamship "Ila". ...

    The witness, who was on watch on the bridge, stated that when he saw another vessel in the convoy being torpedoed, he gave orders for all members of the crew to be called. This was done at once. About 5 minutes later the "Ila" was struck by 2 torpedoes and sank within one minute. When the witness left the bridge and had come amidships, a sea carried the witness over board and after having been lying for an hour in the water, kept afloat by means of the lifesaving jacket, the witness came across the motor lifeboat and got up on that upturned boat, where there were already 3 men, and was thereafter, about 1 1/2 hours later, picked up by a British lifeboat and thereafter taken on board the corvette "Mimosa". During that time the witness did not see anything of the rest of the crew.

    On being questioned the witness stated that chief engineer Hagbart Andersen, after having died on the upturned motor lifeboat, remained lying there. 3rd engineer Richard Andresen and A.B. Seaman Georg Falch, who died after coming on board the corvette "Mimosa", were buried at sea.

    The master's report was thereafter read out to the witness who cofirmed in every respect the statements made therein about the occurence ...

    As the 2nd witness appeared Wilhelm Tvedt ... A.B. Seaman on board the steamship "Ila". ...

    The witness, who was at the wheel during the morning of the 15th October 1941, stated that he steered according to the chief' officer's directions. The witness saw that another vessel in the convoy was hit by a torpedo, there was steered clear of that place and the course was thereafter shaped in the direction assigned in the confoy, but about 5 minutes later the "Ila" was herself struck by torpedo. The witness was dazed for a moment, but then jumped over board, clung to som wreckage and from there, together with som others of the crew, he was pliced up by the corvette "Mimosa".

    The master's report was thereafter read out to the witness who confirmed the correctness of its contents and declared that he was prepared, if required, to affirm this, his evidence, on oath.