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.

9. april 1941
5 mi. off Berry Hd.
Satt i brann og senket av fly [av tyske fly]
Bensin, kerosene
Dartmouth - Southampton
28 [28]
  • Referat

    19. april 1941


    The vessel's master, Captain Otto Farstad ... who had made application for the Declaration to be made, lost his life on the 16th April in London.

    Appeared Chief Officer Sverre Orseth ...

    The deck scrap log book was in the chart room, the smooth log book in the chief officer's cabin, the engineers' log books aft with the chief engineer. The books went down.

    The articles and certificates had been distributed as well as the pass-ports. The captain had packed the ship's papers in a hand bag.

    Chief officer Orseth stated that the captain and he himself had prepared a report, but the captain had not yet signed it. He produced the report ...

    When the bomb struck, it felt like a slight shock in the vessel. Heard no sound. As to whether the electric light went out, the helmsman may possibly be able to make a statement, it depends on whether the light was on in the compass. He heard the captain say:- Save yourselves as best you can. There was rung stop to the engine (probably without effect).

    Chief officer Orseth did not think it would be possible to get the motor lifeboat out as the fire spread so rapidly towards forward. He has considered, as a possibility, that benzine has poured out of the trunk. The trunk was namely full. The trunk extended from the poop to amidship. The trunk was exceptionally high, namely 5 to 6 feet.

    With regard to the question of the possibility of rescuing those who were aft, chief officer Orseth stated that the after part of the ship suddenly became a mass of flame when the benzine caught fire, and it was quite out of the question to make any attempt at saving those who were aft.

    From the lifeboat he saw part of the forward part of the ship with the bow almost vertical enveloped in flames and smoke.

    The body of the Danish 3rd engineer, Harry Peter Christian Petersen ... is not among the bodies found, as far as he knows. Engineer Petersen was off duty and was aft when the casualty occured.

    The body of the Scottish galley boy, Peter Forbes ... who lost his life, had been found.

    Peter Forbes was off duty and was aft when the casualty occured. They did not see anything of him later. ...

    The body of the motorman, Joseph Mangion ... who lost his life, has been found. ...

    The body of the English mess-room boy Joseph Corelin ... who los his life, is not among the bodies which have been found, as far as he knows. ...

    The Norwegians, who lost their lives, had their relatives in Norway and none here as far as is known.

    2nd engineer Reidar Nilssen and motorman Håkon Nilsen were on watch in the engine room.

    Chief officer Orseth is inclined to think that chief engineer Sighaug was also in the engine room at the moment of the disaster.

    On being questioned with reference to the lifesaving equipment, chief officer Orseth stated that the 2 ordinary lifeboats were equipped as prescribed, likewise the motor lifeboat. They were all provided with oil skins and extra clothes. There were 2 lifesaving rafts. They were both placed aft (on the awning spreaders). Of life buoys there were 4 aft and 6 on the bridge. Of life belts there was a chest full of these on the boat deck aft, and a chest on the bridge. Lifesaving jackets had been distributed to all and sundry. The lifesaving jackets had been bought in England in the summer of last year. A few had been bought later on account of the crew being increased. There was no spare set of lifesaving jackets, but there were life belts available for every one. The vessel had all the regulation lifesaving equipment and this was in excellent condition.


    1st witness, Einar Knudsen ... 2nd officer on board.

    On being examined, the witness made statement in accordance with chief officer Orseth ...

    Appeared the 2nd witness, Harald Magnus Olsen Brekke ... 3rd officer on board.

    On being examined the witness made statement in accordance with that of chief officer Orseth.

    The bomb struck between the main mast and the poop, probably on the No. 2 tank (the trunk) which contained benzine. The witness and 2nd officer Knudsen lowered the small motor boat from the lower bridge. The captain, the chief officer, the steward and Juliussen had managed to get forward and hauled the boat towards forward. During the lowering, the witness sustained burns.

    The witness saw nothing of Karlsen, Fjeld or the English marine on the bridge. The machine gun fire at the bridge was intense. They have probably been fired at in the shelters. The small motor boat was on the leeward side and the wind carried the benzine and the flames towards it. With refence to the possibility of rescuing those aft, the witness stated that he didi not see any possibility of getting over to the ship.


    Appeared the 3rd witness, Ragnar Bjerke ...

    The witness was standing in the wheel house when, during the machine gunfire, there was suddenly a strong flash. The electric light in the compass contiued as before, also after that flash. The witness ran out. The witness at once ran down on to the weather deck and towards forward.

    The witness did not see anything of the two Norwegian members of the crew who were standing in the machine gun houses, nor anything of the English marine.