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 President pointed out that the Maritime Inquiry was held in accordance with telegraphic request of the 9th April from Nortraship, London, in connection with the vessel's chief engineer, 2nd and 3rd engineers having arrived at Cape Town on the 4th April 1941 from Mauritius where they had been landed together with the vessel's 2nd officer, Jens Aarnes, and the steward, Jon Tønnesen, the two latter having travelled from Mauritius to Durban. None of the vessel's protocols or papers are available, but 2nd officer Aarnes is said to have received from the cruiser "Canberra" 3 old protocols and some papers taken from the "Ketty Brøvig" before she sank.
Appeared Abraham Abrahamsen, chief engineer on the "Ketty Brøvig" ... and stated:- that he does not know exactly where the vessel was, but only that the event was to the north of Madagascar.- 2nd officer Jens Aarnes, who travelled from Mauritius to Durban, knew the vessel's position.- The vessel was captured on the 2nd February 1941 at 7.30 o'clock in the afternoon by a German raider bearing the name of "Tamesis" of Tønsberg.- The witness was, at the time, in his cabin, but ran to the engine room when he heard the first shot. The second shot struck the funnel. 5 to 6 shots were fired, but so far as the witness knows the second shot was the only one which struck the ship.- The witness met the 2nd engineer who was on his way up from the engine room as he (the latter) thought that the first shot was the report due to the bursting of a steam pipe. The vessel then had still full speed ahead until the second shot came when they both ran down and stopped the engine. When the witness came down he at once stopped the engine without orders through the engine telegraph.- 3rd engineer Daniel Nedrebø and 4th engineer Gudmund Listeid were both wounded as they were on deck at the time, the first mentioned in the shoulder and the last mentioned in the leg and the fore arm.- The German doctor on the raider told the witness during a visit on board the "Ketty Brøvig", in order to attend to one of the crew who was ill, that Listeid would probably get a stiff knee in consequence of the occurrence.
The "Ketty Brøvig's" crew consisted of 9 officers and a Chines crew of 32 men none of whom lost their lives.
The officers were:-
Captain Erling Møller of Drammen
Chief Officer Martin Ramsland of Stavanger.
2nd officer Jens Aarnes from Lyngdal near Farsund.
3rd officer Olaf Knudsen from Stjerneøya near Mandal.
Chief Engineer Abraham Abrahamsen of Farsund.
2nd Engineer Alfred Larsen of Kristiansand, S.
3rd Engineer Daniel Nedrebø from Lyngdal near Farsund
4th Engineer Gudmund Listeid from Lista.
Steward Jon Tønnesen from Kviljo, Lista.
Of the officers, the captain, the chief officer, the 3rd officer, the 2nd, 3rd and 4th engineers as well as the steward were kept on board the raider, whilst the witness and the 2nd officer were left on board with the German prize crew. In accordance with demand made by the witness, the 2nd engineer and the steward were later, the same night, brought back again to the "Ketty Brøvig".- The 3rd engineeer, Nedrebø, came back 10 days later after having been under treatment on board the raider for his wound.- Two or three steam pipes had been broken and were repaired by the Germans the same night, after which the vessel continued without the witness being aware of the course. About 1200 tons of bunker oil was pumped over into the raider.
About a fortnight after the capture they met a German warship which the witness, after having later had the opportunity of comparing with photographs of German warship, assumes to have been the pocket battleship "Admiral Scheer" - to which there was supplied further about 12000 tons oil.- The raider "Tamesis" came up together with the warship and met again about the 26th February when about 400 tons of oil was pumped over into her, after which the raider agian disappeared.-
On the 3rd March in the afternoon they met the German cargo and passenger boat "Koburg" to which all the Norwegian officers on board the "Ketty Brøvig" were transferred, namely the chief engineer, the 2nd and 3rd engineers, the 2nd officer and the steward.- They took with them all their clothes across to the "Koburg". During the afternoon of the next day, the 4th March, whilst the "Koburg" was occupied with transferring water to the "Ketty Brøvig", the Australian cruiser "Canberra" and the cruiser "Leander" of New Zealand came up, the result of which was that the "Ketty Brøvig" and the "Koburg" were both abandoned by those on board and sunk.- The witness saw the "Koburg" go to the bottom.- The last that the witness saw of the "Ketty Brøvig" was the mast, the bow and a little of the midship above water. The witness was told by the Chinese crew, after the arrival at Mauritius, that the curiser "Canberra" had finally sunk the "Ketty Brøvig" by gunfire.
The Norwegian officers from the "Koburg" were picked up by the cruiser "Leander" and brought to Mauritius about 5 days later.- The witness did not manage to save anything and as far as he knows nor did any of the other officers, as they were not allowed to take anything with them into the lifeboats. At Mauritius they were cared for by the Military Authorities who also arranged the journey from Mauritius to Cape Town on the Dutch M/S "Tegelberg" as far as the three engineers were concerned, and they arrived at Cape Town on the 4th April this year and reported themselves at the Consulate General there on the 5th April. According to a telegram from London to the Military Authorities at Mauritius, which was read out to the Norwegian officers by the officer dealing with them, the engineers were to be sent to Cape Town, whilst the 2nd officer, Jens Aarnes, and the steward, Jens Tønnesen, were to be sent to Durban, to which place they were sent, as assumed by the witness, about 5 days after the departure of the enineeers.
The witness had neither seen nor heard anything of the officers who were transferred to the raider "Tamesis", but the 3rd engineer, Nedrebø, heard during his stay on board that vessel that there was talk about transferring them to another German vessel for transporting them to Germany.
Appeared the 2nd witness, Alfred Larsen, 2nd engineer on the "Ketty Brøvig" ... and stated that at the time he was on watch in the engine room. When he heard a shot he ran up as he thought the feed water heater had burst. On the way up he met the chief engineer who was on the way down into the engine room. They both went together down into the engine room and stopped and went astern without orders through the engine telegraph as they understood they were under gunfire.-
According to what the 2nd officer, who assisted with the pumping of oil across to the raider "Tamesis", had informed the witness, it was reckoned to be about 1200 tons of oil which was pumped across.- About a fortnight later, oil was transferred to a German warship without witness knowing how much, nor how much was later transferred to the "Tamesis".
On Monday the 3rd March the witness was transferred to the German M/S "Koburg" together with the chief engineer and the 3rd engineer, the 2nd officer and the steward. On Friday the 4th March in the afternoon between 4 and 5 o'clock the witness had to leave the "Koburg" together with the crew witnout having saved any of their belongings, nor had the chief enigneer, but the other Norwegian officers perhaps managed to save a few clothes.- The "Koburg" and the"Ketty Brøvig" were both sunk by the Germans.- The witness saw the "Koburg" sink. When the witness last saw the "Ketty Brøvig" she was lying with the deck level with the water. The officers on the cruiser "Leander", by which ship the witness and the other Norwegian officers were picked up, told the witness that on the same afternoon the "Ketty Brøvig" was sunk by gunfire by the cruiser "Canberra". The cruiser "Leander" arrived at Mauritius on Saturday the 8th March, from whence the three engineers travelled to Cape Town on the 28th March, arriving at Cape Town in the evening of the 4th Arpil this year.
The witness otherwise made statement in accordance with the 1st witness and had nothing further to state.
Appeared the 3rd witness, Daniel Nedrebø, 3rd engineer ... and stated that when the first shot was fired he was on the port side aft and ran over to the starboard side for cover, but was struck by a shell splinter in his right shoulder. The wound was later treated by the German doctor on the "Tamesis" and is now practically healed and will not cause permanent injury.- The 4th engineer, Listeid, ws wounded at the same time in his left shoulder and left arm as well as a splinter in his right leg. The knee cap was shot away so that he will undoubtedly be permanently injured by the wound.- The witness was transferred to the raider "Tamesis" on the 2nd February and 10 days later - on the 12th February - he was taken back again to the "Ketty Brøvig".- On the 3rd March the witness was transferred to the "Koburg" together with the other Norwgians from the "Ketty Brøvig".- The witness does not know how much oil was transferred to the "Tamesis" or to the German warship from the "Ketty Brøvig". He had to leave the "Koburg" together with the other Norwegian officers when the allied cruisers came up on the 4th March at about 4 o'clock in the afternoon. They were not allowed to take anything with them from the "Koburg", but the witness managed to save some small objects such as two watches, a little underwear, his papers and some cash which he was carrying in his pocket, about Kr. 1300,- in foreign currency.- The chief engineer and the 2nd engineer did not manage to save anything.- The 2nd officer and the steward probably managed to save some small objects.- When the Norwegian officers left the "Ketty Brøvig" in order to go across to the "Koburg" they were informed that they were to sign a document to the effect that they would not work agianst the Germans any more nor say anything about what they had seen and heard. This was, however, not put before them before they had to leave the "Koburg". The witness last saw the "Ketty Brøvig" with the bow in the air.- The witness later met officers from the cruiser "Canberra", at Mauritius, who told him that the "Ketty Brøvig" was sunk by gunfire from the cruiser.
When the witness left the raider "Tamesis" and said good-bye to the Norwegians and the English on board there, they told him that they were to pack up the same afternoon in order to go on board a German cargo vessel, the name of which the witness did not hear, but which was lying near the "Tamesis". One of the Germans said the the vessel was to proceed to Hamburg.