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.

August 8, 1940
Utenfor Newhaven
Bombet [av tyske fly]
Goole - Plymouth
Crew list
  • Abstract

    September 19, 1940
    Consul J. Gregg


    Appeared Captain Vermund Kvilhaug ...

    The vessel had a crew on board of 15 men, including the master, and there were also 3 British gunners on board.

    The vessel had a cargo of coal in and was on voyage froom Goole to Plymouth. At departure she was in every respect in completely seaworthy condition.

    The vessel was equipped with all regulation lifesaving appliances, and these were in exellent condition. Besides the two lifeboats, the vessel had a lifesaving raft and an extra boat, also a "pram".

    The vessel left Goole the 26th July in convoy. Thursday the 8th August at 2 o'clock in the night, after having passed Beachy Head, the convoy was attacked for a good one and a half hours, probably by high speed torpedo boats.

    At about half past twelve the same day, Thursday the 8th August, we had passed St. Catherine's Point. The vessel was again attacked.

    On the bridge were the officer on watch, Chief Officer Ragnvald Marcus, and the helmsman, A.B. Seaman John Johnsen, also the master, who was standing in the watch-room on the bridge.

    The lookout, presumably Ordinary Seaman Espe, was not on the forecastle head at the time, but on the bridge. Presumably the whole of the deck crew were on deck, all with life jackets on.

    A large number of aeroplanes, probably 50, of which 20 bombers, attacked the convoy.

    The vessel had two machine guns on the upper bridge and two after on the platform. They were served by three English gunners and the second officer on the upper bridge.

    Of the ships in the convoy the "Tres" was the vessel which was attacked last. The vessel flew the Norwegian flag.

    The master saw that probaly 4 bombs were dropped down on to the deck.

    The master was running down to the chartroom to save the ship's papers, which were lying ready packed in the saloon, but having come to the steps in the chartroom, the master was hit and was rendered unconscious for a short time. He received burns to hands and forehead, otherwise he was not injured.

    Having come to the chartroom he saw that it was burning everywhere in the chartroom. The master ran out on to the bridge and down on the deck to the boats. All hands were then in the boats with the exception of the cook, who lowered himself by the tackle. The cook got into the water, but was at once caught by a lifeboat. The master was placed in the port lifeboat, he was in great pain.

    The starboard lifeboat was fired on by machine gun, but no one was hit.

    The master was not quite clear-headed on account of the pain. He was placed on the deck of the tug, which picked up the crew from the boats.

    All on board were saved.

    The master was at once taken to hospital, where he lay for three weeks, un til the 27th August.

    The President stated that the chief officer, R. Marcus, had on the 15th August handed in to the Consulate General a copy of an undated report "on the bombing of the "Tres"."


    The report was read through by the master, who then stated that he had nothing to remark, with the exception that he was unaware that any of the crew had received physical injury.

    The President produced an official death certificate for Cook Bjarne Arntsen, who died on the 13th August in the Royal Naval Hospital, Haslar, according to that certificate the cause of death was I Diphtheria, II Pneumonia, Multiple Injuries.

    The master remarked that the cook had been at work every day, and the master assumed that he was quite well.

    It was difficult to get the cook on board the port lifeboat, and it was therefore assumed that the cook had received shock.

    The master received shock. Further, both ear drums were pierced. Both hands, forehead and face badly burnt, but these burns were now almost healed.

    All log books and the ship's papers were lost. The crew lost clothing and effrects. As far as the master knew, none of the officers possesed private instruments.


    The Maritime Declaration had been appointed for 5th September, when the Assessor, Captain Lassen, attended. Captain Kvilhaug had, however, not been able to attend, as there was a warning on of an aerial attack. The master remarked that he did not consider it necessary to summon the crew from Southampton to London for examination.

    The Assessor had nothinhg to remark to what had been recorded.