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D/S Mira
Det Bergenske Dampskibsselskab, Bergen

(Norwegian Homefleet WW II)

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Mira at Gudvangen - both pics were received from Bjørn Milde, Norway (from his postcard collection).
Note that this external website about D/S Mira has several good pictures of the ship, including a larger version of the photo above.

Tonnage: 1152 gt

Delivered in June 1891 from A & J. Inglis, Glasgow (219), built for the tourist trade to England. 998 gt, 850 tdwt, 202' x 30.1' x 21.2', Tripple exp. 1500 ihp, 12 knots. Lengthened at Stavanger Støberi & Dok in 1907, 1112gt, 910 tdwt, 221.7'. Between 1921 and 1927 she was used in the route to Hamburg. Rebuilt in 1927 at Laksevåg for use in Hurtigruten, new interior and bridge, 12.35 knots at trials. Refrigeration installed in 1932. Used as "reserve ship" from 1937. (From: "Bergenske, byen og selskapet", Dag Bakka Jr.).

Captain: Johan D. Sagen

 WW II: 

Mira is listed in Convoy HN 10B from Norway to the U.K. in Febr.-1940, bound for Newcastle with passengers, fresh fish and mails. Later that month she joined the U.K.-Norway Convoy ON 15, subsequently returning to the U.K. at the beginning of March with Convoy HN 16, again bound for Newcastle with fresh fish, passengers and mail. She's also listed in Convoy ON 19, which left Methil for Norway on March 11-1940 with arrival Norway on the 14th, and towards the end of that month she joined Convoy HN 21, again bound for Newcastle with fresh fish, passengers and mail - follow the links for more info, several Norwegian ships took part in all these convoys.

She was in Convoy ON 24 from the U.K. to Norway in Apr.-1940, and according to the Norwegian website about Mira that I've linked to below she was followed by German aircraft across the North Sea and attacked several times, 4 bombs exploding just a few meters from her (see also this page, giving information on convoys attacked by aircraft). She was still in Bergen when the city was invaded on Apr. 9, and was seized by the Germans, who used her as accommodation vessel for the Kriegsmarine until the winter of 1941, when all available shipping was needed for the coastal traffic.

Mira was shelled and eventually sunk by the British destroyer HMS Bedouin on March 4-1941, when on a voyage from Svolvær to Narvik. Bedouin was in the area in connection with the first allied raid on Lofoten. Mira was stopped, lifeboats were launched and the ship abandoned; 12 were injured (incl. 3 crew members and 3 German soldiers), 2 missing. The destroyer's crew helped in the rescue work and gave medical care to those who were injured, but 4 died. The external website mentioned above has Bedouin's report on this incident in English, as well as statements by Captain Johan Sagen, 1st Mate William Holthe (on the bridge with the pilot at the time), 2nd Mate Ivar Ivarsen, 2nd Engineer Harald J. Høydal, boatswain Lauritz Jakobsen, and the coastal pilot Alfred Jensen from the subsequent hearings held in Svolvær the day after the sinking. There are also some stories told by the passengers on board at the time (this in Norwegian).

Related external links:
D/S Mira - This website discusses the ship's history extensively and has several pictures. The text is in Norwegian, except for Bedouin's report on page 3, which is in English - scroll down to "Claymore", the code name for the allied operation in Lofoten (this report states that Mira did not stop following the warning shots). The site says she had been placed in the Bergen-Newcastle service in Sept.-1939.

Operation Claymore

Mira - another website for divers - text in Norwegian and English.

2 who died - At first glance it looks like 16 are listed here, but I discovered that only the 6th and 8th person on the list were from Mira, Seaman Ivar Jakobsen and Nils Mikal Kampen. All the rest were from Miranda. The Norwegian text says Mira was on a voyage from Svolvær to Narvik when she was attacked by the British destroyer Bedouin off Brettenes during the allied raid on Svolvær. Bedouin fired a warning shot to get her to stop, but when she continued another shot was fired into her bow. She still continued so the destroyer opened fire again, killing 1 of the crew and 3 passengers, injuring 12, and otherwise damaging her so badly she had to stop. The passengers and crew went in the lifeboats and she was sunk. It was said that the reason she didn't stop was that a German officer with a gun in his hand had forced the captain to keep going (there's no mention of this in the statements from the maritime hearings - besides, the captain was not on the bridge at the time of attack). The people in the lifeboats were picked up by Bedouin. 3 of the injured later died at a hospital, 1 of them in Aberdeen where some of them had been taken. A German officer and 12 soldiers were also taken to the U.K.

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