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.

23. mars 1941
Ved sørvestkysten av Kreta
Bombet [av tyske fly]
Pireus - Alexandria
0 [0]
  • Referat

    15. juli 1941
    Fungerende konsul Asger Grymer


    Appeared Captain Olaf Bjønness who stated that he was the master of the M/T "SOLHEIM" ...

    The Captain produced a written statement to which he referred and had nothing further to declare.

    On being questioned, the captain stated that during the attack on the 23rd March the vessel did not receive any direct hit either by torpedoes or bombs. For fear that the vessel should be hit during this attack by aeroplanes, which continued to circle about the vessel, the whole of the crew went into the boats according to orders from the Greek destroyer. The destroyer, with the whole of the crew onboard, remained in the neighbourhood of the vessel for about two hours. Between 10 and 11 o'clock the destroyer left the damaged vessel which was then showing no sign that she was going to sinik. On the way to Suda Bay the destroyer met the tug which was on the way to the M/T "Solheim", and the captain and four men of the crew went on board same in order, if possible, to assist with eventual salving of the vessel. He further stated that the destroyer at once turned round and proceeded back to the place where they had left the ship, where they arrived the same evening and found that the vessel had disappeared. The tug arrived at the same place the next morning on the 24th March and they were then informed by the destroyer that there was nothing to be seen of the vessel and that the tug should therefore return to Suda Bay where she arrived on the 25th March at 6 o'clock in the morning.


    ... the first witness: 2nd Officer Kristian Hansen, who stated that he was aquiainted with the written statement of which he approved as his evidence in the matter.

    On being questioned, the witness stated that during th attack in the morning of the 23rd March the Greek destroyer signalled that the crew must leave the vessel immediately on account of the danger of further attacks by the aeroplanes which were circling round the ship. When the crew went into the boats the vessel was completely helpless, but did not show signs of sinking. The witness further stated that on the return of the destroyer to the place where they had left the ship there was only to be found a large patch of oil and some pieces of wreckage. The destroyer circled around without finding any other sign of the vessel.


    Appeared the second witness: 2nd Engineer Nils Dahl who stated that he was acquainted with the written statement to which he had nothing to add.

    On being questioned, the witness stated that he was in the engine room during the attack on the 22nd March at about 1915 o'clock when a heavy bomb fell close to the ship. Shortly before, the witness had heard a claterring noise, which he thought had been caused by the dropping of tools or loose objects, but which later found to have been machine gun fire. The engine was then working at slow speed. At the same moment as the engine had been put at full speed a heavy explosion was heard and the witness stopped both engines. At the same moment the engine room was filled with steam and when the witness had got half way up on the upprmost engine room ladder there was heard a noise from the auxiliary motor which then stopped by itself and the lights went out. After about 5 minutes the witness went down into the engine room again together with the Chief Engineer who had meantime closed the valves on the boilers in order to stop the steam from pouring out into the engine room and went round to see what damage had been done. It was then found that the auxiliary motor No. 1 had stopped by itself, the No. 2 was racing and had to be stopped as everything was destroyed, and that the lubricating oil cooler had broken in two. On the port side the main bottom vlave was found to have been burst and the water was pouring in, also that the ballast valve had likewise been burnt and water was also running in there. Later it was found that water was also pouring in at several other places. 'The witness shut the main valve of the starting tank as well as the fuel oil valves from the settling tank. Thereafter the witness, together with the chief engineer, went up on deck again. The hand steering was then shackled in. Later, the witness went several times down into the engine room to fetch tools and other necessary things and found that that water had continued to rise in the engine room. After about 2 hours the engine room was full of water.


    Appeared the third witness: Motorman Einar Smith who stated that he was acquainted with the written statement, to which he had nothing to add.

    On being questioned, the witnesss stated that when the explosion occurred on the 22nd March, at about 19.10 o'clock, the engine was working at full speed according to orders which had just been received from the bridge. Auxiliary motor No. 1 soon stopped by itself and the main motors were stopped according to orders from the 2nd engineer. The witness thereafter went up on deck. When the witness again came down into the engine room togehter with the chief engineer and the 2nd engineer, he saw that the electric switch board was completely destoyed and auxiliary motor No. 2 had to be stopped. The witness further saw that water was pouring in at several places in the engine room. According to orders, the witness then went up on deck again.


    Appeared the fourth witness: A.B. Seaman Ludvik Johansen, who stated that he was acquainted with the written statement to which he had nothing to add.

    On being questioned, the witness stated that he had been in the same camp at Piraeus as chief officer Otto M. Stavnum-Hansen who, on the 23rd April at about 17 o'clock, informed the witness that he, together with the rest of the crew of the M/T Marie Maersk was to leave on the same day. The chief officer thereafter assembled the crew in various motor cars and conducted them to Napoli where they stayed for 5-6 days. On the last night the chief officer received orders to take the crew of the M/T "Marie Maersk" on board a vessel which was lying at anchor some distance out. The witness wanted to get into the same boat in which the chief officer already was in order to get out to the vessel, but the boat was already full. He saw the boat with the chief officer in it leave the quay. This was the last the witness saw of the chief officer. The witness was brought onboard the vessel in another boat and then found that neither the chief officer nor four others of the crew of the M/T "Marie Maersk" whom he had seen in the same boat with the chief officer, had come on board the vessel. While being transported to the vessel the witness heard shouts for help from several places.