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.

Date
February 26, 1941
Location
Bristolkanalen, 4 miles fra St. Gowen fyrskip
Cause
Bombet [av tyske fly]
Cargo
Stykkgods
Route
Newport - Milford Haven
Crew list
Komplett
Survived
37
Captured
0
Deceased
0 [0]
Missing
0
  • Abstract

    Date
    March 10, 1941
    Location
    Cardiff
    Administrator
    Konsul Sverre Stranger

    ...

    ... The Captain appeared and brought with him a written statement of the incident and full list of crew and stated as follows:-

    As mentioned in my statement we sailed from Newport at 7 a.m. 26th February bound for St. John N.B. via Milford Haven to join a convoy. The ship's logbooks were lost as there was no time to save anything. I was working in my cabin when I suddenly heard and felt a terrific explosion. I rushed up on deck and saw two planes attacking us with bombs and machine guns. The first explosion was a direct hit by No. 2 hatch and the ship commenced sinking. After the fisrt hit the planes circled round and another bomb or torpedo hit the starboard side by the engine room and exploded. Same was repeated the third time when the starboard side was again hit, this time by No. 3 hatch. The planes returned a fourth time but when they saw that the ship was sinking quickly they only used their machine guns without dropping bombs or torpedoes. The electric light failed at the first explosion and with the blacked out cabins I was unable to save anything but my attache case. All men were saved and only a few slightly injured. Otherwise I have nothing to add to what is stated in my statement.

    ...

    Thereupon appeared as first witness 2nd. Mate HANS HERIK SMITH-HANSEN ... and stated:-

    I have seen the Captain's report and can only add that I was on watch when I saw two planes in the distance. I looked at them through my binoculors but as on the previous watch several British planes had been seen I did not take any notice of these planes. Suddenly they came at hight speed in our direction on the starboard side and before I realised anything they started machine gunning and dropping bombs or torpedoes, of which one hit the ship's side by No. 2 hatch. The ship immediately took a list to starboard and started sinking. I did not notice any marks on the planes. I had no time to save anything and all we could do was to get into the lifeboats. The weather was cloudy, but fairly calm with visibility poor.

    ...

    The second witness was A.B. PAUL HERFJORD ... He stated:-

    I was working on deck and saw the two planes mentioned in the Captain's report, but as I had seen two British planes a little earlier in the morning it did not enter my mind that these two later ones could be enemy planes. I therefore did nothing until they suddenly attacked us with machine guns and torpedoes. We had to take shelter but after the second attack we managed to get the lifeboats half way out, but we were still machine gunned, and could only get the boats out after th fourth attack when the ship was quickly sinking. I had no time to save anything.

    ...

    The third witness was - A.B. KARSTEN OLAF OLSEN ... He stated:-

    I was working on the deck and had heard planes earlier in the day. About two o'clock I saw two grey planes which I thought were British and had no idea that we should be attacked until they suddenly started machine gunning and dropping bombs. I took shelter at once and later helped to get the lifeboats out, but had no time to save any of my belongings. The ship was sinking quickly after the first hit. I could see no marks on the planes.

    ...