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M/S Belpamela
Christen Smith, Oslo

(Norwegian Homefleet WW II)

Back to Belpamela on the "Homefleet Ships starting with B" page.

Picture source: Markus Berger.

The above 2 pictures were received from Bjørn Milde, Norway (from his postcard collection).

Tonnage: 3215 gt, 1869 net, 4518 tdwt.
Machinery: 4 cyl. 2T single acting Sulzer DM (Armstrong Whitworth), 1350 bhp.

Delivered in Febr.-1928 from Armstrong Whitworth & Co., Ltd., Newcastle upon Tyne (1028) as Belpamela to Rederiet Belmoira A/S (Christen Smith), Oslo. Taken over by Skips-A/S, Belships Co. Ltd. (Christen Smith), Oslo in Oct.-1935.

 WW II: 

Under German control from July 12-1940 (as per a posting to my Ship Forum).

According to J. Rohwer 3 torpedoes from U-32 (Jenisch) exploded a few yards away from Belpamela on March 2-1940. The Swedish Lagaholm was sunk that day. Uboat.net (external link) says that Lagaholm and Belpamela had been ordered to Kirkwall by the British armed boarding vessels HMS Northern Sky and HMS Northern Princess for contraband inspection. U-32 had first attacked Belpamela with three torpedoes at 01.12, 02.12 and 04.56 hours, but all detonated prematurely. The survivors from Lagaholm were picked up by Belpamela and landed at Kirkwall and North Ronaldsay.

According to a message in my Guestbook this ship was capable of carrying heavy locomotives etc. like so many of Christen Smith's vessels. (For more information on these ships, see my text for Belray). The poster of this message says she was used before the war to take a Pacific locomotive from England to USA for an exhibition, and points out that the picture above in fact shows her carrying what looks like locomotives. The message also says that Belpamela was attacked by Mosquitos from the Banff Strike Wing in Scotland on Apr. 2-1945. This was the attack in which Concordia and D/S William Blumer were sunk. Hektor was also damaged according to the webpage under "Related external link" below.


Went down with 16 locomotives on board off Newfoundland on Apr. 11-1947. This detail was received from the poster of the Guestbook message, who is looking for more information on the loss (I have the poster's E-mail address in my files). There's also a second posting to my Guestbook about this ship, from someone who's doing research on French railways, saying: "During the last voyage, from North America to France, the ship transported 17 steam engines, SNCF-type 141-R (German scheme: 1-D-1, English scheme: 2-8-2), multifunctional engine (passenger and freight trains); standard steam engine of the SNCF after world war II. Totally, France had ordered 1140 locomotives of this type, but finally they only got 1123 because of Belpamela's loss". 9 died. Yet another Guestbook message states that according to the book "SNCF locomotive list" by John Davies only 16 locomotives had been transported by Belpamela (and finally lost in Atlantic on 13th April 1947). The 17th locomotives had been lost during unloading in Marseille but the author doesn't give any details.

Related external link:
Sorties Flown by Banff Strike Wing - Gives details on the above aircraft attack, scroll down to Apr. 2-1945.

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