French Archives visit (1) : Norwegian ships
Posted by: Laurent Rizzotti
Date: March 12, 2004 03:29AM
During my research, I find the following data about Norwegian ships
He was sailing on 18/Feb/1940 in position 34 with the convoy 65K (16 ships from Casablanca and 8 from Meditteranean sailing to French ports under escort by 5 French escorts) that was changing course and so was disorganized when the French cargo PLM 15 was torpedoed by the U-37 and sank in 15 secondes, leaving wreckage on a wide area.
While the other ships of the convoy flee, the Rutenfjell sail to the sinking position and stopped, sending boats to search for survivors and arriving before the escorts. They found none (all crew was lost) and sailed again to join the convoy at 9h20. The French escort commander praises the Norwegian crew for its courageous act.
According to a 1940 French report comparing the effect of torpedoes on ships hit (that seem to be more powerful in the first months of 1940), the Fagerheim was cut in 3 parts when torpedoed. The after and foreparts sink at once while the middle part sank after 45 seconds.
Left the Verdon on 1 March 1940 with the convoy 36 XS (9 ships), that join at sea the convoy 30 BS (9 ships coming from Brest) and sails to Casablanca, arriving the 6 March 1940.
4) Regina (& Langanger)
According to a letter of the Norwegian master written in 1941 to the French autorities, when the French interned the ship in Bone in 1940 (no date given), they took away parts of the engine to ensure that the ship will not flee.
On 3/May/1941, seven crew members of the Regina left the ship with its motorboat, leaving behind a letter saying they will join the London Norwegian Governmentís Navy.
The seven men are listed as ;
2nd officer Magnus Nygaard
3rd officer Ansgar Askildsen
3rd engineer Viggo Kristensen
able seaman Johan Jakobsen
boatswain Knut Knudsen
ordinary seaman Wiliam Markant
ordinary seaman Runar Johansen
(source is a letter of the Norwegian master asking for a new motorboat, written in English, so probably by the Master himself)
The Regina was seized by the French on 21 June 1941, together with the Langanger.
On 24 June 1941, the crew of both ships were asked if they wanted to return to Norway or not.
Regina : 2 wanted to return to Norway, 18 didnít and asked to go to Portugal (including the master and his wife)
Langanger : 2 wanted to return to Norway (including the commander), 23 didnít and asked to go to Portugal
Nothing in the archives about the subsequent service of the ship under French and German flag.
When she escaped on 27 July 1941, the French submarine Acteon was sent towards Gambia to bring her back but found nothing.
On 7 April 1940, the Hadrian arrived at Ziguinchor, Senegal, coming from Dakar.
Coming from Port-Lyautey, Morocco, she arrived at 21h50 on 20 June 1940 off Casablanca and was ordered by a Frenc hpatrol boat to wait off this port during the night and sailed into Casablanca harbour the next morning.