Sjøforklaring 1940 - 1945
Informasjonen nedenfor er direkte avskrift av orginalkilden "Sjøforklaringer fra andre verdenskrig (1940 - 1945). Informasjonen her er fra sjøforklaringer holdt under og rett etter krigen og kan derfor avvike noe fra den øvrige kvalitetssikrede informasjonen i Krigsseilerregisteret.
The Captain, Einar Andersen appeared ...
The voyage went on well until the 8th July at 0125, convoy time, the ship was hit by a torpedoe port side, on the after deck, between 3 and 4 tanks. At the same moment the explosion occured the ship was blazing from Bridge to stern. After the explosion all four lifeboats and rafts were burning. When the ship was hit the ship was in convoy and in position.
Before leaving the ship we managed to put the flames out of one of the lifeboats on starboard side, midships, and after this, the boat was lowered by myself and the Gunnery Officer and after being in the water, we picked up sixteen men of my crew, including one motorman named Trygve Ambrosiussen, suffering from severe burns of 1, 2 and 3rd degree. We gave him first aid with resources we had at the moment.
About 0400, convoy time, all eighteen survivors in this boat were put on board a U.S.S. P.C. No. 495. Once on on board the U.S.S. ship, the motorman was taken care of by this ship's Doctor.
Once on board the U.S.S. P.C. No. 495 I discoveed that seven more members of my crew had been picked up by the P.C. No. 495 before we had been taken on board.
All the surviving members including myself were suffering from burnings.
In this way I found that twentytwo memebers of my crew were missing and we searched for them in the vicinity of the blazing ship and water up to 1400, convoy time, without any success.
In my opinion we lost such a lot of our men because when the ship was struck it happened to be in the after deck and the poop was soaked with gazoline and immediately went ablaze, most of the missing men were trapped in the flames.
At 1301, convoy time, July the 8ty, Motorman Trygve Ambrosiussen died in consequence of his burnings inspite of the efforts done to save his life. He was beried at sea on the same day with the usual ceremony.
On the 11th July, all remaining survivors, 24 men in all were transferred to the U.S.S. "SOMERS". Everybody were taken care of by this ship's Doctor. On the 17th July, in the afternoon, we arrived at this port.
Three members of my crew, ie: Gunner, Willie Svarva, Cook, Asbjørn Kaale and messboy Henry Chapman were immediately taken to the Knox Field Hospital where they are under treatment.
1st WITNESS - Gunnar Svendsen, 2nd Officer ...
That at about 0120, convoy time, I was on starboard side of the Bridge and felt the ship being struck on the port side after deck and then I heard a terrific explosion and immediately afterwards the ship went ablaze from the Bridge to stern. After this I jumped overboard into the sea and was picked up, after about half an hour, by the only lifeboat which was afloat, as all the others including the rafts, were ablaze. In this boat we were eighteen, including myself.
At about 0400, convoy time, we were picked up by a U.S.S.P.C. On this P.C. I was given food and clothes. The P.C. cruised around the place where the torpedoeing took place, for a considerable time looking for survivors but unfortunately with no success.
2nd WITNESS - Fridtjof Johansen, AB ...
From 2400 to 0100, I was on look-out on the Bridge, at 0100 I was at the wheel and I felt an explosion at about 0120 which shook the whole ship and I tried to give port wheel but it was broken so I left the wheel and walked out to the port side of the Bridge and first I saw was that port side lifeboat was ablaze as well as the whole of the ship from the Bridge to the stern, so I came back to the starboard side to see what I could do there but I only saw fire. From there I went down a rope to the storm Bridge and from there to the head of the ship where I found some pieces of wood which I tied together and with them I jumped overobard. I was in the water from about 0125 until 0400 when I was picked up by the U.S.S. P.C. No. 495.
3rd WITNESS - Øistein Gaasland, Gunner ...
At 0120 I was on duty on the gun box on the top of the Bridge when the ship was struck by torpedoe followed by a violent explosion. In my estimation the ship was struck between tanks 3 and 4. After the explosion the ship caught fire and flames were all over the aft deck.
After this I slid down one of the ropes that were hanging from the Bridge to the deck below, from where I jumped over the side into the water and swam out to a life boat that was alongside the ship. At about 0430 we were picked up by the U.S. S. P.C. 495. I remember that in the life boat we were eighteen including myself. I also remembert that the P. C. 495 cruised around the burning ship for some time looking for survivors. While I was still on board by ship I was slightly burned in different places and also hurt by feet when I jumped from the gun box to the Bridge.
A few days after having been picked up by the P.C. 495 we were transferred to the U.S.S. "SOMERS" which vessel brought us to this port.
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