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D/S Haugarland
H. M. Wrangell & Co. A/S, Haugesund

(Norwegian Homefleet WW II)

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Picture of this ship when she had the name Sandefjord
(external link, text in Norwegian - here's the main page).

Tonnage: 6049 gt

Captain K. S. Stokland.

 Pre War History: 

Ore ship delivered in March-1911 from W. G. Armstrong, Whitworth & Co., Ltd., Newcastle as Sandefjord to D/S A/S Sandefjord (P. A. Grøn), Sandefjord. According to "Våre gamle skip" she was 6020 gt, 3578 net, 10 800 tdwt, 440' x 58.1' x 24.6', Triple expansion, 565 nhp (N. East. Mar. Eng.). 1915-1916 D/S A/S Sandefjord (Christensen & Stenseth), Sandefjord. 1916-1916 Christensens Dampskipsselskap A/S, Sandefjord. Taken ower by H. M. Wrangell & Co. in 1916, same owners (6026 gt), then belonged to D/S A/S Corona from 1917, same managers. "Våre gamle skip" says she was purchased by D/S-A/S Corona (H. M. Wrangell & Co. A/S), Haugesund in July-1916 together with Unita, D/S Telegraf and D/S Ellen (the latter 2 were both lost in 1917). Ranamed Haugarland in Febr.-1920. In the coal and ore trade.

 WW II: 

Arrived drydock at Rosenberg, Stavanger on Apr. 7 and was still there when the Germans invaded Norway on Apr. 9. She had recently been to Takoradi, had unloaded her cargo at Sauda, and was meant to go to Baltimore to pick up a cargo of coal for Oslo after docking. Seized by the Germans.

Placed in the coal trade. Bombed by British aircraft off the coast of Holland on Apr. 25-1941 when en route in convoy from Oslo to Rotterdam in ballast. Went to Hamburg, then to Sandefjord for repairs until Aug. 29. Attacked by aircraft (British) again on Sept. 15-1941 north of Borkum on a voyage in convoy Rotterdam-Horten. Struck a mine off Terschelling on June 10-1942 when on a voyage Rotterdam-Horten with coal and coke. Several attempts were made to take her in tow, but she eventually sank in the morning of June 11 (more details below).

Some of Haugarland's early war voyages:
In the book "Sjøfolk i krig" (Sailors at War) by Leif M. Bjørkelund (info from the book used on this website with permission from the author) there's a personal story told by one of the crew, Ordinary Seaman Kjell Kristiansen. He says the 1st mate on board in 1940 was Urban Hjelmervik, 2nd mate was Ingolf Aga, 3rd mate was Chr. Monclair. Haugarland made 3 trips to Gdynia, Poland in the fall/winter of 1940 for cargoes of coal. On her last voyage she couldn't get out due to ice in Gdynia harbour, and ended up staying there from Jan. 7-1941 until March 22. Also in Gdynia at the time were the Norwegian D/S Birk and D/S Borgsten as well as several German warships. Kristiansen says the entire Baltic Sea was frozen that winter. A channel was eventually made in the ice so that the ships could get out, and Haugarland proceeded to Oslo where she unloaded her cargo before continuing in convoy to Rotterdam via the Kiel Canal for more coal. Kristiansen goes on to describe the aircraft attack in the Helgoland bay on Apr. 25, saying he was in bed when it all started, adding that the bomb that hit them went into the ship's side and exploded below No. 2 hatch on the 'tween deck. As mentioned, because of the damages Haugarland returned to the Framnæs yard in Sandefjord where she stayed for repairs from May 3 until Aug. 29-1941, at which time she again headed for Rotterdam for a cargo of coal for Norway, but it was slow going as she sailed during the day only, then anchored up during the night in several places off the Swedish coast, presumably because of all the minefields in Danish waters. Kristiansen says they loaded the cargo at Waalhaven, where a lot of destruction could be seen in the harbour (Rotterdam had been extensively bombed by the Luftwaffe on May 14-1940, rendering around 80 000 people homeless).

Haugarland departed Rotterdam a week later, on Sept. 13, joined a convoy the next day, and when 3 British aircraft appeared over the convoy at 15:30 on the 15th no bombs were dropped at first, but around 10 minutes later another 3 aircraft appeared, one of which dropped 3 bombs, all hitting the water without exploding. As it flew over Haugarland it dropped 2 more bombs, 1 exploding in the sea, but causing no damage to the ship. As it passed over Haugarland the patrol boat fired too low and hit the opening on the bridge where the 2nd mate was injured by shrapnel. He was taken to the Marine Hospital at Cuxhaven the next day. That same day Haugarland arrived the floodgate at Brunsbüttel, then continued to Svelvik and Drammen where the coal was unloaded, before she again headed for Rotterdam.

Haugarland's last voyage:
4 more such trips followed, the last one starting from Kristiansand on May 23-1942. That day they stopped for a German patrol boat near the Norwegian/Swedish border and anchored up on the Swedish side. The next day 8 of the crew members launched a boat and escaped. Efforts to find them proved fruitless so Haugarland continued her journey to Rotterdam via the Kiel Canal, heading for Horten, Norway in convoy on June 10 with 8888 tons of coal/coke on board. At 19:30 a powerful explosion occurred, nothing had been seen, no signals had been given by the other vessels in the convoy. The gun platform and some other debris had fallen down over the steering mechanism and the crew was set to clear it away. The engine was stopped and the boats made ready as she was taking in water. At 19:50 the engine was started again and she proceeded at slow speed. At 22:50 towing was attempted, but failed - the engine was stopped again due to water in the engine and boiler room. The next day the second attempt at towing failed, she continued to take in water, the aft part was low in the water and she had a starboard list, so Captain Stokland decided to send most of the crew to the lifeboats. They were picked up by one of the German vorpost boats, while the captain, 1st mate, 3rd mate, a German officer and 2 able seamen remained on board. The motor lifeboat returned to stay alongside and at 03:30 the remaining men left the ship, but as the tug BS 4 was expected the captain and the 1st (Carl W. Fahlvik) and 2nd mates as well as the 1st (Casper Andersen) and 3rd engineers, 2 able seamen, a control officer and 3 Germans went back on board. Towing started at 06:45, emergency steering could not be used due to damages, the water was now 2 feet above the poopdeck and by 08:30 the entire aft deck was under water, so the ship was abandoned. Shortly thereafter Haugarland sank in shallow water. The crew was landed at Borkum.

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(Sources: "Våre gamle skip" by Leif M. Bjørkelund and E. H. Kongshavn, "Sjøfolk i krig", Leif M. Bjørkelund and "Damp - Dampskipets æra i Vestfold", Jonassen & Eggen).

This company had previously had another ship by the name Haugarland, originally delivered in June-1900 as Heatcraig for Dears Foster & Co., London, 4362 gt. From 1908 she sailed as Hampton for Harris & Dixon Ltd., London, then purchased in 1912 by H. M. Wrangell on behalf of the whaling company A/S Harald Haarfagre. Registered as Haugarland in Febr.-1913. Sold in Sept.-1915 to American Transatlantic Inc., New York and renamed Winnebago. Deleted from Lloyds in 1931 as S/S Ontario. ("Våre gamle skip").

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