Sjøforklaring 1939 - 1945
Informasjonen nedenfor vedr. skip i Nortraships flåte 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.
Captain Gabriel Hansen appeared ... He was not able to produce the Logbook, official crew list or any of the ship's papers as they were all lost when the said steamship was sunk. ...
The Master declared that everything went well on the said intended voyage until the 13th day of April instant on which date they arrived at Milford Haven to await escort in Convoy.
That on the 15th day of April instant the said steamship left Milford Haven at 10 a.m. under escort and so proceeded without anything remarkable happening until 2.20 a.m. on the next day when suddenly without any warning the said steamship was attacked in bright moonligh by an enemy aeroplane and struck by two bombs one of which fell amidships and the other aft causing considerable damage to life and ship. That within five minutes the said steamship sank meanwhile some of the crew managed to get out the port lifeboat and to get into it but before they could get away from the side of the ship the foremast of the ship while she was sinking struck the lifeboat and threw into the water those who had got into it.
That he and some of the crew managed to climb on to the bottom of the capsized lifeboat while others got on to a floating raft. While they were in this unfortunate predicament the enemy aircraft attacked them with machine guns.
That about an hour later the survivors of the crew of the said steamship were picked up by H.M.S. Kipling and brought to Plymouth where they were landed at 8.45 p.m. on the same day.
... the first witness Leif Heldal who declared that he could not produce the engine room logbook as it was lost with the said steamship.
That on the 16th day of April instant he went off watch on the "Bolette" at 2 a.m. and went to his cabin.
That about 2.20 a.m. he heard the sound of an aeroplane and then a terrific explosion occurred on board the said steamship which he found had been struck by two bombs dropped from the aeroplane. That at the same time all machinery on board the steamship stopped and the electric light went out.
That he was trapped for a time in wreckage of his cabin but after two minutes he was able to get on deck and he went to the port lifeboat.
That they got out the lifeboat and nine of the crew got into it but before they could get away the said steamship heeled over and her foremast struck the lifeboat and pushed it under the water.
That ultimately he got on to the keel of the lifeboat and sat there until a boat came from H.M.S. Kipling and rescued the survivors who were broght to Plymouth.
The second witness Bernhard Christin Andersen appeared and declared that he was the Steward of the s.s. "Bolette" and that at about 2.30 a.m. he was on the 16th day of April instant lying in his cabin when he heard a heavy blow strike the steamship followed by an explosion. That he went on deck and then heard the sound of an aeroplane firing machine guns. That he went to the port side lifeboat but did not get into it as the deck was breaking up but that he went to the raft forward.
That in the meantime the lifeboat had been launched and several members of the crew got into it. Soon afterwards the said steamship heeled over and the foremast struck him on the back of the heck and they were all thrown into the sea. That when he came up to the surface he saw the raft to which he swam and was helped on to it where he remained until, rescued by a boat from H.M.S. Kipling.
The third Witness Lauritz Johansen appeared and declared that he was serving as Boatswain on board the steamship "Bolette" on the 16th day of April instant and that at about 2.30 a.m. he was at the wheel of the said steamship the weather was fine, sea calm and moonlight with light clouds when he heard an aeroplane. That almost at once a gun on the said steamship was fired at the said aeroplane which was flying low over the said steamship. That just afterwards two bombs were dropped by the aeroplane and they struck the said steamship one just behind the bridge and other on the poop, that a fire started in No. 3 hold and the said steamship began to list to port.
That when he saw the extent of the damage caused by the bombs he left the wheel and went to the raft forward but that he did not stay there but when to help in getting the port lifeboat launched.
That he got into that boat but as the said steamship capsized and sank her mast struck the lifeboat and pushed it under the sea. That he was thrown into the water and when he came up again he swam to the raft which was floating nearby.
That ultimately he and other members of the crew on the raft were picked up by a boat from a 'Destroyer and brought to Plymouth.
Captain Hansen stated that on his own behalf and on behalf of other members of the crew who were rescued by the boat from H.M.S. Kipling it was desired to place on record sincere appreciation of the hospitality and friendliness shown to them by the Officers and crew of the Destroyer.