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D/S Blenheim
Fred. Olsen & Co., Oslo

(Norwegian Homefleet WW II)

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

This picture was received from Bjørn Milde, Norway (from his postcard collection).
Here's another Picture of Blenheim (from a distance, taken in Oslo harbour, Apr./May-1940)
sent to me by Erling Skjold, Norway (from his own collection).
He also sent the 2 pictures below, which shows her when in use by the Germans in Oslo, 1940.

Tonnage: 1807 gt, 1045 net, 2000 tdw.
Dimensions: 362.4 x 51.4 x 23.0’.
Machinery: 3Exp.(Nyland), 474 nhp.

Delivered in May-1923 from Nylands Verksted, Kristiania as Blenheim for A/S Ganger Rolf (Fred. Olsen & Co.), Kristiania. Passenger vessel/Newcastle route.

 WW II: 

Blenheim was in Oslo when Norway was invaded on Apr. 9-1940 and was taken over by the Germans and used as troop ship. Caught on fire on April 22-1941 and exploded in Porsangerfjorden while transporting German troops. 138 men died, 148 people were rescued by the Norwegian ship Kvalø (numbers vary according to source).

Erling Skjold's grandfather was on board Blenheim, having joined the ship in Narvik (he was later killed when Breda was attacked), and Erling has told me that Blenheim came from the south, with 4 officers and 173 soldiers from the 6th SS Infantry Regiment as well as misc. equipment like armoured cars and vehicles etc. There were also 3 men from "Gebirgsjägerregiment" 137. According to Erling's sources, 6 of Blenheim's complement and 2 pilots died, as well as 104 of the German soldiers. Most of the crew members were arrested and underwent intensive interrogations by Gestapo, but the incident was ruled an accident. His grandfather's detailed account of the events surrounding the fire and what followed later has been added to my Norwegian Warsailor Stories page (text is in Norwegian, but I'll try to get it translated at a later time).


The wreck was salvaged by Erling Sannes, Bodø in 1946 and towed to Ofoten, then to Bodø in 1948, before continuing to Brügge, Belgium for breaking up as it proved impossible to sell the wreck for repairs.

Related external link:
Some of the casualties - 8 are commemorated at this memorial for seamen in Stavern, Norway, namely: Trimmer Harald Aronsen, Steamship Girl Ragna Kristine I. Hansen, Able Seaman Odd Mareno Henriksen, Steamship Girl Agnes Josefine Johansen, Steamship Girl Ragnvarda Cecilie Kristiansen, Saloon Girl Svanhild Irene Kristiansen, Coastal Pilot Halfdan Sigurd Kristoffersen, and pilot Lorentz Schjønning Warholm.

The Norwegian text at the above website states the following (the date conflicts with what I have listed):
Blenheim was on a voyage from Hammerfest to Porsanger on Apr. 22.-1944 (error) with a large number of German troops and vehicles. She caught on fire southeast of Repvågneset. The crew attempted to beach her, but all on board had to leave the ship or jump overboard due to the intense flames; many drowned. The abandoned and burning ship drifted over to the east side of the fjord and stranded near Brenna where she eventually burnt out. The wreck later ended up in Andersbukta (a bay) where it could still be seen a couple of years after the war. 104 people died altogether, 8 were Norwegian crew.

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

The company later had another ship by this name, built 1951. Caught on fire in the North Sea in May-1968. Sold to A/S Ugland in Dec.-1968, converted to car carrier.

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