Homefleet Main page 

D/S Irma
Det Bergenske Dampskibsselskab, Bergen

(Norwegian Homefleet WW II)

Back to Irma on the "Homefleet Ships starting with I" page.

As new 1905. Source: Bjørn Milde's postcard collection.

Source: Bjørn Milde's postcard collection (this looks like a different ship?).

After having been rebuilt, from D. Martin (original source unknown).

Tonnage: 1392 gt

Delievered from Sir Raylton Dixon & Co. Ltd., Middlesbrough in Apr. -1905 (510). nt 789; 244' pp x 32.8' x 21.1'; triple-exp. 1500 ihp, 243 nhp - 13.5 knots. Placed in service to England, later to Hamburg (1927-1931), then in Hurtigruten from 1931. Rebuilt that year and again the following year.

 WW II: 

In the express cargo/passenger service (Hurtigruten) between Bergen and Trondheim. Sunk off Kristiansund on Febr. 13-1944 by Norwegian MTB-632 (or MTB 627?) and MTB 653. 61 died, incl. 25 passengers (numbers vary according to source). See also D/S Henry.

The book, "Norsk presse under Hakekorset" (The Norwegian Press under the Swastika), Vol. II, 1946 by Gunnleik Jensson, which is a collection of newspaper articles from the war years, has a long article on the sinking of Irma and Henry. As the newspapers were under German control, they are full of propaganda and anti-British (anti-"bolsjevic") sentiment, so the account of this sinking is rather one-sided, and not necessarily based on the truth. One of the mates on D/S Henry says (in an interview) that Irma passed them at around 6:30 in the afternoon and shortly thereafter an enormous explosion was heard. They saw that she had been hit by a torpedo amidships, which broke her in 2, then immediately afterwards by another one. Henry's lifeboats were lowered, but while doing so an intense shelling occurred from the attacking torpedo boat, making it impossible for them to do anything. Then Henry too was hit by a torpedo, and as she started to sink right away they had to launch the rest of the boats, still under continuous shelling. While they were rowing away they succeeded in picking up some of the survivors in the water. Detailed, horrible scenes are described in this article. He goes on to say that one of the boats landed at Tjønnøy and another at Svaggsundet, where the survivors were well taken care of before being sent to Kristiansund. The article says that 25 survivors have arrived Kristiansund, 9 of whom are crew members, the rest passengers. It gives the names of some of the survivors and casualties from Irma and mentions Jason as one of the rescue vessels. It adds that 13 were rescued from Henry, while 2 were missing; Captain J. Dommersnes and Stoker Johan Larsen.

A follow-up newspaper article says that Irma had 31 passengers, 15 of whom were rescued. Her complement consisted of 45, 10 were rescued. Total number of casualties was estimated to about 50 people. A report from Hoplafjord said that 7 were picked out of the water by that ship, but 5 died. Pilot Torgersen says he found an oar that kept him afloat until he was rescued by one of Henry's lifeboats.

Another note appeals to the Norwegian seamen to join the German Kriegsmarine, to combat the "bloodthirsty, cynical English, whose only interest is to kill, kill, kill - anybody, anywhere at any time".

The following names are given in the article (probably incomplete):

Sophus Strømberg
1st Mate
Rolf Andreassen
1st Engineer
Kristoffer Mødsen
Mess Boy
Johan Steira
2nd Cook
Henry Heitmann
Coastal Pilot Apprentice
Coastal Pilot Apprentice
Andreas Øvsthus
Arne Holm
Harald Ananiassen
Sigurd Andreassen
Herman Ure
Sigvard Hævre
Albert Langbo
Finn Bjerkhol Nilsen
Walter Syrstad
Wilhelm Torgersen
Otto v. Ubeck
Kirsten Hansen
Muriel Vold Pettersen
Reidar Nordstein
Willy Karl Gilbert
Finn Monsen
Johan Utne
Captain of Jason
Nils Innstadnes
Casualties / Passengers

Henrik Olsen

Oscar Andersen

Michael Nilsen

Anna Sørensen

Michael Sivertsen

Rolf Richardsen

Roal H. Hansen

Harald Weden(?)

Anna Hagen

Erling Grønneberg

Einar Djupstein

Ragna Gjerder

Karsten Sekkevåg

Johan Almar Indreeide

Aksel Nordahl?
Casualties / Other

Herman Jentoft Svendsen

Johan Våkenæs

2nd Mate
Geir H. Thomsen

3rd Mate
Reidar Haugland

Radio Operator
Loni Benzen Bentung

Boatswain (Pilot?)
Johannes Holm

Ditlev M. Kalaas

Able Seaman
Kåre Rødbotten

Able Seaman
Robert M. Vinje

Able Seaman
Eilif F. Karlsen

Able Seaman
Håkon M. Birkeland

Able Seaman
Garman B. Holte

1st Engineer
Øystein B. Jordal

2nd Engineer
Laurentius Johannessen

3rd Engineer
Einar J. Ingebrigtsen

Alf Martin Thorsen Hagen

Martin Hagen

Ole B. Olsen

Åge Olsen

Finn Pedersen

Odd Solheim

Ingvart Wangberg

Stoker who signed on in Måløy
(Toralf Oliassen? Olafsen?)

Kåre Odmund Brekken

Albert J. Møreland (Morland?)

Walter Jansen

Harry Wolter

Harald O. M. Pettersen

Galley Boy
Edmund Karlsen

Galley Boy
Frithjof Tranaas

Saloon Girl
Andrea Sundbotten

Cabin Girl
Ingeborg Edvardsen

Ester Lovise Hagen

Mess Girl
Åsta Langseth

Steamship Girl
Anne Karin Jonassen

Postal Clerk
Christian Solem

1st Class Girl
Klara Pauline Hepsø

3rd Class Girl
Elin A. Olsson

3rd Class Girl
Hjørdis Lie

1st Cook
Konrad Berg Arntzen

Related external links:
Casualties - 41 are commemorated here (the Memorial for Seamen at Stavern, Norway). The Norwegian text for Irma says she was "torpedoed and shelled at Hustadvika by the Norwegian MTB 627. She was sailing with the Haugesund ship Henry, which was also sunk. 61 Norwegians from Irma were killed, only 25 rescued and taken to Kristiansund. Irma had a Norwegian crew of 43, 35 died. Additionally she had about 100 Norwegian and German passengers (anti-aircraft gunners?). Later, some of those who were rescued also succumbed to the trauma. The tug Hoplafjord came to assist and rescued 10 people, while an additional 12 were rescued by the vessel Sveggøy. Irma was hit by a torpedo amidships which broke her in two, and immediately afterwards by another torpedo. Henry lowered lifeboats and succeeded in saving several before she too was torpedoed and sunk. This is characterized as a tragic mistake. The Norwegian MTB group stationed on Shetland had standing orders not to attack civilian coastal steamers sailing alone. One explanation could be that they may have thought they had encountered a convoy, because Henry and a tug were sailing nearby".

The Irma (and Henry) Tragedy - A very detailed account on the sinking, text in Norwegian (facts and personal opinions, pictures).

Back to Irma on the "Homefleet Ships starting with I" page.

Norway had another steamer by the name Irma in the early 1900's, originally delivered in 1890 as James Speir (Cardiff), 536 gt. Purchased from England by D/S A/S Irma (M. H. Kongshavn), Haugesund in 1907 and renamed Irma. Became the Danish Hekla in 1921. Bergenske D/S also had an Irma later on, built in Glasgow in 1954. Sold in 1968 to Piræus and renamed Virma. Broken up in 1974.

  A Ba–Bl Bo–Bø C D E F G Ha He–Hø I J K L  
  M N O P R Sa–Sn So–Sø Ta-Ti To-Ty U V WYØÅ  

 Homefleet Main page