Boats escaping from Norway - WW II

starting with V

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M/S Valborg (lost) 
Departed Glesvær in Sund on Sept. 28 or 29-1941 with 7 people, but never reached her destination, having encountered the same storm as mentioned under Utnøring.

These were on board:
Finn Emanuel Andersen, Sverre Drønen, Johannes Peder Glesnes, Arne Havnerås, Nils Olai Kallestad, Karsten Johan Nilssen, and Peder Tveit.

 M/B Valder (SF 57 K) 
Departed Batalden near Florø on Aug. 14-1941 with 5 people and arrived Lerwick on Aug. 16.

In my Norwegian Guestbook there's a message from the granddaughter of the owner of this boat, Johannes Ulriksen. She says that Valder was a 36' fishing vessel with a 1 cyl. Bolinder motor of about 10-15 hp, and that the vessel was sold in Buckie.

She has given me the following names (the first 3 were fishermen):

Her father, Vilhelm Johannessen (used the name Ulriksen after the war) and her uncle Sigurd Ulriksen. Also, Arvid Hovden and his fiancé Magnhild Solveig Leknes, and constable Oskar Hovden. Vilhelm, Sigurd and Arvid served with the Norwegian 52nd ML flotilla in the English Channel (Dover) until they in Sept.-1944 were sent to the 54th MTB flotilla, Shetland, where Oscar served the whole time.

 M/B Valder (M 9 V) 
Left Apr. 4-1941 with 9 people, arriving Baltasund on Apr. 7. They encountered engine trouble, so those on board continued to Lerwick with a local vessel.

These came along:
Peder Arthur Andreasen Bjerknes, Elias Ludvig Bernhard Løvold, Albert Mindor Theodor Martinusen, Martin Andreasen Roald, Sverre Petter Stornes, Johan Arndt Olafson Synnes, Johan Petter Hansen Synnes, Ola Knutsen Synnes and Ragnvald Synnes - all fishermen except for Ragnvald Synnes who was a shoemaker, and all from Vigra.

 M/S Vega (SF 18 A) 
Trygve Eriksen, Norway has told me she was built in 1898. In 1940 she was 40.4' x 15.9' x 5.9'.

Left Bulandet, Askvoll on May 20-1940 with 10 passengers, 8 of whom were British soldiers and 2 Norwegian officers. The skipper Jens Værøyvik and Engineer Hermann Mitdbø, transferred the passengers to a British trawler near the coast of Shetland, then returned to Askvoll. The Germans found out about the escape and a few days later the skipper also had to get out of the country - see M/S Svalen (Hermann Mitdbø left the following year - see M/S Viking further down on this page). Owner of Vega was Petter Nikøy.

The 2 Norwegians were:
Sergeant Isene and Major Ringdahl.

By a peculiar coincidence the name Major Ringdahl came up in a message on my Ship Forum in 2002. (I have since been in touch with Michelle and have ben able to pass some information on to her).

 M/B Veslemøy (H 53 B) 
Lft Bremnes on Oct. 6-1941 with 19 people, arriving Lerwick on the 8th. Voyage was organized by the "Bremnes Group".

Some of those on board were:
Skipper Gjert Oppsahl, Johan Haldorsen, Karl Høyberg, Fritjof Økland, Knut Økland.

 M/B Vest (R 270 A) 
Left Sævelandsvik on May 17-1940 with 7 people, 4 of whom were British) and arrived Lerwick the next day.

On board were:
Lieutenant Coxen, Bjarne Hagen, Sigurd Jakobsen*, ? Pridgent, Lieutenant John Olsson, Magnus Tangen, Mr Ware (Navy Inelligence Service).

* Sigurd Jakobsen returned to Norway on June 7 that year in order to organize a group on the west coast, with headquarters in Haugesund.

Vest returned from Buckie on June 4, arriving Manneshamn, Karmøy on June 7. She left Sævelandsvik again on Aug. 7-1941, this time with Bjarne Hagen and Magnus Tangen alone. This voyage came about because the group had become known to the Germans. Sigurd Jakobsen was arrested as were 17 others, but he was able to warn the 2 in time for them to get away. According to the website below, Magnus Tangen joined the Navy, while Bjarne Hagen joined the Merchant Marines.

Related external link:
Related info - This is a section of the "Arquebus" website - Vest and Sigurd Jakobsen are mentioned. There's also a picture of Vest, as well as more details on how Jakobsen was arrested. The site says that Vest was found in Scotland after the war and taken back to Karmøy (text is in Norwegian).

 M/B Vestern (M 234 HØ) 
Left Fosnavåg on May 7-1940 (together with Sandvikhorn) with about 10-12 British soldiers and 7 Norwegians, arriving Baltasund a day and half later. The agreement was that Vestern was to return to Norway, but this was not permitted by British authorities at Lerwick. Skipper and owner was Hans Feie from Fosnavåg, who subsequently joined the "North Sea Traffic", at first as skipper on one of the boats that transported intelligence people to Norway, later as pilot in the MTB Squadron at Lerwick.

According to this message in my Guestbook, Olav Huldal and Jon Igesund from Fosnavaag also came along. See also this message.

 M/B Veststein (SF 39 SV) 
Left Måløy between May 4-May 6-1940 with 8 people, including 4 soldiers who had taken part in the fighting near Voss. The intention was to take Veststein back to Norway after having landed the soldiers, but this was not permitted by the British at Lerwick.

On board were:
Skipper Ragnar Vetvik, Ragnvald Midtgård, Alf Sætremyr, Martin Totland, Colonel Stenersen and 3 other soldiers.

 M/B Veten (SF 26 B) 
Left Bremanger on Sept. 11-1941 with 14 people, arriving Lerwick the next day.

These were on board:
Skipper Edvard Lexau, Ingvar Grotle, Ottar Grotle, Ragnar Grotle, Reidar Gåsvold, Arnfinn Igland, Peder Oliversen Igland, Johan Klungreset, Anders Klungresæter, Sverre Moe, Henrik Svarstad, Ola Svarstad, Magne O. Varpe, Ole Varpe.

22'. Left Nordåsvatnet, Fana on Aug. 9-1941 with 6 people and arrived Lerwick on Aug. 11. A previous attempt had been made, but they had to return due to motor problems.

On board were:
Jørgen Blydt Blystad, Johan Wrigge Christensen, Paul Petter Mantagne Coucheron, Nicolay Gjestland, Svein Andreas Gramstad, Per Hage Remfeldt.

 M/B Viggo 
Left Lerstadnakken, Borgund on Febr. 21-1942 with 30 people, among them 2 Rinnan agents. Skipper Dyrøy was to take the passengers to Hustruhamn on the northwestern side of Valderøy, where rowboats were to take them on to Godøy. From there they were to head to Shetland as soon as they got transport. However, their departure was delayed, and they were even further dealyed when they ran aground, so that when they got to the meeting place, those who were to meet them had gone to Godøy. The agreement was, in case this should occur, that they should not wait, but return the following night at the same time, so Viggo returned to Lerstad. The Rinnan agents now managed to get ashore and notified Rinnan and Gestapo, with the result that all of them, except 4 who had already gone ashore at Lerstad, were arrested in the morning of Febr. 23, and 18 were shot at Trandum on Apr. 30. 1 of the passengers, Lars Dannevig, was probably shot while interrogated in Trondheim shortly after the arrest. The Walle Group (see my Statistics page), who had organized the voyage was now dissolved, and the event lead to the arrest of about 20 others in the district, 1 of whom, Hans Ekornes was shot in Trondheim in Oct.-1942.

On board Viggo were:
Skipper and owner Ole Dyrøy (Ålesund), Lauritz Barstad, Thora Borch-Nielsen, Lars Dannevig, Martin Emdal, Sigurd Evensmo, Ruth Møller Hansen, Didrik Nærø, Bjarne Ringdal, Gustav Adolf Johnsson (Swedish), Bjarne Jenshus, Ingvar Ålberg - as well as the following 18 who were shot at Trandum: Ole Dyrøy (Bergen), Harald Dølerud, Kåre Angel Elgenes, Per Fillinger, Jacob Friis, Andreas Gjertsen, Leonhard Godager, Arne Grønn-Disch, Ole Kjeldsberg, Alfred Larsen, Ole Lützow Holm, Einar Mjølhus, Leif Bye Nielsen, Jesper Kjell Næss, Bjarne Olsen, Birger Osland, Magnus Tuntland, Peter Young.

 M/B Viken (H 176 AM) 
Departed Hernar on March 11-1941 with 5 people, arriving Lerwick on March 12.

These were on board:
Skipper (and part owner) Hjalmar Johnsen, Martinus Antonsen, Arthur Johnsen, Harald Wilhelmsen, Johannes Wilhelmsen.

 M/S Viking (SF 174 A) 

Departed Bulandet, Askvoll on Aug. 10-1941 with 5 people and arrived Lerwick on the 12th.

On board were:
Skipper Hermann Johan Midtbø (see Vega further up on this page), Aksel Andor Hansen, Kåre Olsen Hovland, Steinar Melvær, Vemund Melvær.

 M/B Viking II (lost) 
Left Sandnes, Masfjorden on Jan. 12-1942 with about 10 people, never to be seen again (may have gone down in a storm).

Some of those on board were:
Skipper Einar Heimvik and his wife Martha, Håkon Halvardsen Duesund*, Gunhild Engelsen, Agnar Mathiassen Haukeland, Gunnar Knutsen Otterstad, Ola Larsen Reknes, Arne Bernhardsen Sandnes, Carl Gottfried Schøyen, Carsten Sæle.

* This was the brother of Ivar Duesund (previous owner of Gneist), who was sentenced to death and executed. See the external links below.

Related External links:
Mostandsreiret i Hjønnevåg - The site also mentions the Shetland traffic (text in Norwegian).
More details on Ivar Duesund - (Norwegian text)

 M/B Viking 
Departed Rauna, near Farsund on Aug. 11-1940 with 3 people. The day after departure they were forced back to the coast by heavy weather, but took off again on Aug. 13, only to encounter a storm, but eventually landed in Aberdeen in the evening of Aug. 17.

These were on board:
Alf Lindeberg, Fritjof Pedersen, Odd Kjell Starheim (I believe this is identical to the Odd Starheim who later "captured" Galtesund).


Departed Molde in July-1941 with 5 young fellows from the district. Encountered heavy weather, and 2 were washed overboard, Asbjørn Elgenes and Lars Hoel. All efforts by the others to save them failed. Asbjørn Elgenes was later washed up against a raft with survivors from a torpedoed Norwegian merchant ship. He told the shipwrecked seamen who he was, but was taken by the sea again and drowned. Due to the bad weather, Viking had to return to Norway.

 M/K Vikingen (SF 10 NV) 
According to the websites that I've linked to below, this ship was built by Lars B. Hauge in Hatlestrand in1915, purchased by Reinhard Horn e.a., Raudeberg, Vågsøy who used her for fishing along the coast of Norway, from Rogaland to Finnmark.

Left Raudeberg, Vågsøy on Aug. 28-1941 with 6 people, arriving Baltasund on Aug. 31. The boat had been stolen by the sons of the owners.

These were on board:
Ingvald Horn, Nils Sørgård, Jens Televik, Nils Televik, Anders Vedvik, his brother Wilhelm Vedvik.

Related external links:

List of some Norwegian ships - Vikingen is mentioned (text in Norwegian). Both these websites say she was taken over by Nortraships and used as fishing vessel in Scottish waters - however, she's not listed among Nortraships ships.

Further history as per above websites: Sold in the 1950's to the sons of the owners who had her until 1978, at which time she was sold to a student in Bergen. In 1986 she was taken over by students at the boat building school in Jondal, and that fall by Hardanger Fartøyvernsenter who has restored her to her original 1915 appearance.

 M/B Vikingen II 

Left Obrestad on Sept. 8-1941 with 7 people, arriving Aberdeen on the 11th.

On board were:
Skipper (and owner) Johan Kvitvær, Cato Berge, Harald Bjorland, Hans Kvitvær, Arne Obrestad, Martin Sør-Reime, and Johannes Viste - all from the Rogaland area.

 Villa II 
Pilot vessel.

Left Flatanger near Namsos on Aug. 21-1941 with 3 people, setting a course for Shetland, but due to a faulty compass they ended up on the Norwegian coast near Stad, where they managed to get a new compass, then took off again. Attacked by German aircraft and damaged, but kept going. The motor stopped (due to the damages) off Lerwick, and they were towed to shore by a patrol boat.

These came along:
Skipper Kåre Emil Iversen (son of owner), Thorleif Grong, Brynjar Hammer (Sergeant).

Related external link:
More about the escape (on the Shetland Bus website - scroll down on the page).

 M/B Viola (VA 9 F) 
Built at Svege, near Flekkefjord in 1937.

Left Spinangerfjorden near Flekkefjord on Sept. 13-1941 with 13 people (some of whom were in danger due to resistance activities), arriving Dundee, Scotland on the 15th.

On board were:
Olav Skarpenes and Ingvald Hogstad (owners of the boat), Petter Wilhelm Didrichson, Arne Gjestland and his brother Trygve Gjestland*, Tor Hugo van der Hagen, Gustav Karlsen, Tor Pedersen, Gabriel Salvesen, Sverre Strømsland, Birger Svein Syvertsen, Hans J. R. Winge and Torleif Åsmundsen.

* Dr. Trygve Gjestland should be a well known name to former WW II seamen; he worked in Newcastle until 1942, later in New York until the end of the war. He happened to be travelling with Washington Express when that ship picked up the shiprecked men from Moldanger who had been on a raft for 48 days - there's more details on this in my text for Moldanger.

According to an article in the Norwegian magazine "Krigsseileren" No. 1 for 1985, Olav Skarpenes fished with Viola until the spring of 1942, at which time she was requisitioned for special service, based in Peterhead near Aberdeen, and Skarpenes joined the Navy, taking part in operations on the Norwegian coast. The author of this article, Søren Brandsnæs escaped from Norway with Dronning Maud in Aug.-1941. Included in the article is a picture of the 13 happy escapees on Viola going into to Dundee.

6 of the 13 later lost their lives as follows:
On Jan. 1-1943, the converted whale catcher Bodø, stationed in Liverpool and used in "Local Escort" service, departed Aberdeen for Norway with 40 commando soldiers from Kompani Linge on board, including the well known Odd Starheim (see Galtesund). The group's intention was to capture a German convoy (Operation Carhampton, unsuccessful). They were landed at Tele near Flekkefjord. The owners of Viola, Ingvald Hogstad and Olav Skarpenes had joined the navy and were on board Bodø at the time; both died when she struck a mine on her return voyage.
Hans. J. R. Winge, who was in Kompani Linge, was among those who were landed at Tele by Bodø, and later died (as did Odd Starheim) following the unsuccessful attempt to take Tromøsund to a British port.
Torleif Åsmundsen, who was a dentist and worked for the Norwegian Army in Scotland, died in an accident there.
Arne Gjestland, also in Kompani Linge, died when en route to Norway in an aircraft on Nov. 8-1944.
Gabriel Salvesen sailed in the Merchant Marines for about 6 months, then he too joined Kompani Linge and was among the unfortunate men who were executed following the tragic Brattholm disaster in the spring of 1943.

When the war was over, Viola returned to Flekkefjord and remained in the district until she in 1975 was sold to a fisherman in Søgne, who had her until 1981, at which time she was sold and used for leisure. In the summer of 1983 she was sold to an owner in Arendal.

On Sept. 13-1941, some of the escapees who were from Farsund had stayed hidden behind a rock at Langøy while waiting for Viola to arrive from Flekkefjord to pick them up. 40 years later, 5 of those who took part in the escape (Petter Didrichson and Tor Pedersen had passed away by then) were reunited at Langøy, and on that rock there is now a plaque with the names of those who lost their lives in the war. The plaque was unveiled by the widow of Torleif Åsmundsen in the presence of the 5 surviving men, namely Gustav Karlsen, Trygve Gjestland, Sverre Strømsland, Birger Syvertsen and Tor Hugo van der Hagen. (The latter had also been among the 40 who were landed at Tele by Bodø).

External link related to above text:
Operation Carhampton - Text is in Norwegian.

 M/S Vita (H 95 B) 
Previous name: Thule

34 gt, 40 hp Wichmann. According to the website that I've linked to below this ship was built in 1939 by Lindstøl Skips- og Båtbyggeri A/S, Risør for Lorentz Knudsen e.a., Rolfsnes in Brandasund, .

Left Bremnes on May 8-1940 with 6 people, 4 of whom were naval officers who had organized the voyage.

On board were:
Per Danielsen, Alfred Engstrøm, Tore Holthe, Øivind Schau, Ola Tufteland, Christen Weydahl.

Used in the "Shetland Bus", making several voyages back and forth to Norway, but was later seized by the Germans (Sept.-1941).

Had the name Thule again after the war, until condemned. According to the website that I've linked to below, she was used for fishing in the North Sea after the war. Condemned in 1990, owned at that time by Magne Sjo e.a., Halsnøy. Handed over to Trondhjems Sjøfartsmuseum (maritime museum), then taken over the following year by Vitas Venner (Vita's Friends), Hitra, later transferred to Sør-Fosen Museum in 1995.

Related external link:
List of some Norwegian ships - Vita is mentioned, calling her M/S Vita I (text in Norwegian).

 M/B Volga (R 275 A) 
Left Milde in Fana on March 2-1941 with 5 people, arriving Lerwick on March 9. Skipper and owner was Peder Øyen, Bergen.

Names of passengers unavailable.

 M/S Von (B 12 B) 
Departed Solsvik near Bergen on Oct. 10-1941 with 4 people and arrived Lerwick on the 14th.

On board were:
Skipper (and owner) Thor Iversen, Ferdinand Buck, Herbert Lien and Olav Åsen.

 M/B Von (M 44 B) 
Left Ålesund on Jan. 2-1941 with about 11 people, arriving allied port safely. Skipper and owner was Peder Nøringseth from Heissa. On board was also Johnny Sulebust, names of the others unknown.

 M/B Vågsfjord (M 38 VA) 

Left Fosnavåg on June 1-1940 with 9 Norwegians and 11 British soldiers, 2 of the Norwegians having been picked up in the fjord en route (they were on their way to British port in a fishing vessel). Skipper was Nils Eilertsen from Fosnavåg, names of the others unknown. They arrived Lerwick safely.

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