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D/S Ursa
Det Bergenske Dampskibsselskab, Bergen

(Norwegian Homefleet WW II)

Back to Ursa on the "Homefleet Ships starting with U" page.

Both pictures are from Bjørn Milde's postcard collection.

Tonnage: 958 gt, 1430 tdwt
Dimensions: 213.3' x 32.2' x 12.8'
Machinery: Tripple Expansion (BMV), 570 ihp 106nhp, 10 knots

Delivered in June-1911 from Bergens Mek. Værksted, Solheimsviken, Bergen (169) as cargo vessel Ursa to Det Bergenske Dampskibsselskab, Bergen. Steel hull, dimensions and machinery as above. Requisitioned by The Shipping Controller, London in 1917, operated by Temple, Thompson & Clarke. Returned to owners in 1919. As per the summer of 1939 she was in the company's cargo routes between the south and north of Norway.

 WW II: 

Refrigeration hold installed in 1940.

Ursa, general cargo for London, is listed in Convoy HN 15 from Norway to the U.K. at the end of Febr.-1940. She had initially started out in the previous convoy, HN 14, but returned to port. In March we find her in the U.K.-Norway Convoy ON 21 - follow links for more info, several Norwegian ships took part.

As per 1943 she was in service between Norway and Germany.

On Sept. 19-1944 she was in a German convoy en route from Hamburg to Tromsø and Hammerfest together with the company's D/S Lynx and Den Norske Amerikalinje's Tyrifjord, when British aircraft from Banff Strike Wing (21 Beaufighters and 11 Mosquitos according to the website I've linked to below) attacked near Stavenes in Ytre Sogn. The other 2 ships were both sunk, while Ursa escaped unharmed. A Beaufighter was shot down by flak-artillery from one of the vessels.

One sailor's story: On Apr. 9-1940, when the Germans invaded Norway the engineer Tallak Solheim was on board D/S Spica. At the time she was en route from Newcastle to Bergen, but was ordered to return to England. In May that year, while Norway was still at war she was sent to Tromsø with supplies, but returned to England. In 1941 Solheim joined D/S Roy, which was in service on the east coast of England and was sunk that same year by German motor torpedo boats. At the beginning of 1942 he joined D/S Aust. My page Norwegian Victims of T/S Thor has details on what he and his shipmates endured. He was among the 3 who were later transferred to Rhakotis, and was rescued by a German U-boat after Rhakotis had been sunk on Jan. 1-1943, then taken to France, later to Marlag and Milag Nord until June 9-1943, before being sent home to Norway, arriving there 8 days later. Having a family to feed he had to return to sea, but this time he was forced into German sea service, namely on D/S Ursa, trading between Germany and Norway, and was on board during the above mentioned attack. Solheim got through the rest of the war without any further incidents.


Sold in Nov.-1948 to Ole T. Flakke, Kristiansund, delivered on Nov. 6 and renamed Rensvik. Sold in March-1957 to Willy Bruns, Leer, Germany, renamed Leerort. Sold in the spring of 1960 to unknown breakers for breaking up.

Related external link:
Sorties Flown by Banff Strike Wing - the other side of the coin, scroll down to Sept. 19-1944.

Back to Ursa on the "Homefleet Ships starting with U" page.

(Sources:"Hjemmeflåten - Mellom venn og fiende", Lauritz Pettersen, "Bergenske, byen og selskapet", Dag Bakka Jr., and info received from T. Eriksen, Norway - His sources: Articles about BDS in "Skipet" 2.88 by Dag Bakka Jr. and "Norges eldste Linjerederi, BDS 1851-1951" by Wilhelm Keilhau).

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