This is a message which was posted on the old forum yesterday, Oct. 31 by Jane Sterret - I'm transferring it here to avoid a new thread starting up on the old forum. Jane's E-mail adress is email@example.com
- I hope someone can help.
"Portland, Oregon, USA
I'm writing a memoir of my childhood and am interested in hearing stories of ships in the Indian Ocean during World War II. One I'd like to hear about is the Nidaros.
I lived in southern Madagascar, the child of Lutheran missionaries (the then Norwegian Luthern Synod, headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota), and attended boarding school in Fort Dauphin, on the coast, from 1939 through 1945. Then in 1946, my father (Fredrick Hallanger) was posted to Fort Dauphin, and we lived at home.
A small steamer, the Nidaros, sailed around the island and back and forth to South Africa, carrying freight. The officers were Norwegian, and the crew were East Indian (I think). I remember the radio operator, the "sparks," a handsome young man named Thor Thorkelson, visited us whenever the Nidaros stopped in Fort Dauphin. My parents spoke Norwegian (as well as English, French and Malagasy), and we kept some Norwegian Christmas traditions, and Thor spent one Christmas Eve with us. It must have been 1946, and I was about 14, with a great crush on Thor.
On one visit, several of us kids were invited out to the ship, with a teacher, and one of the officers fired the machine gun that was mounted on the ship's stern, for our amusement, and to keep the gun in shape. Thor told a terrible story of being torpedoed earlier in the war, and surviving the North Sea's icy waters for some time before being rescued.
According to my memory, the Nidaros survived the war and continued to carry freight around the island.
Does anyone know more about the Nidaros, or even about Thorkelson? It would be great to know more, and to find pictures for my memoirs.
Your web site is amazing! I haven't read all of it but will return. History consists of so many individual stories, and it's important to preserve them. Thank you."