Misc. unnamed boats escaping from Norway - WW II

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 A boat from Arendal 
Departed Kristiansand on Sept. 21-1941 with 5 people, going westwards along the coast, then heading out to sea near Lista, where they had to land one of the passengers who had suddenly taken ill. The others arrived Aberdeen on Sept. 25 after a difficult voyage.

The remaining 4 were:
Finn Frodesen (Lieutenant), Thorleiv Moe, Finn Narvesen and Hans Syvertsen. (My Guestbook has a message from a relative of F. Narvesen).

 A boat from Hardanger (lost) 
This was a so called "seksæring"=a boat with 3 pairs of oars.

Left Dimmelsvik, Hardanger on Sept. 24-1942 with 3 people with a course for Shetland, never to be heard from again.

The 3 were:
Harald Bilberg, Andreas Lavik and Egill Vasstrand - all young students.

 A boat from Husøy (lost) 
Also a "seksæring".

Left Husøy, Sogn on Oct. 4-1940 with 4 people, never to be heard from again:

They were:
Arne Dahl, Olaf Ingolf Larsen, Olaf Pettersen, Johan Kjell Rydland.

 A boat from Smøla 
10 people from Oslo, wanted by Gestapo, were waiting outside Smøla, Nordmøre, on July 26-1941 for a warships from Shetland to pick them up. At this time a resistance group in Oslo had an "export route" via Smøla in cooperation with the Norwegian base at Scalloway, Shetland. The agreement was for a vessel to pick them up, either in the evening of July 26, or 72 hours later, but it never arrived.

2 days later, the group had purchased a 33' vessel and set off to sea on July 30 with a course for Shetland. However, the following afternoon they were observed by a German aircraft, which fired several warning shots and the escapees realized they had no choice but to return to Norway. The aircraft remained with them for 2 hours as they headed back to the coast, and also came back later and escorted them for half an hour, before taking off again. The boat reached Hustadvika the next morning. It appears the aircraft lost sight of them, so that nothing further happened to them, because most of them later managed to escape to Sweden and from there to Britain.

On board were:
Skipper Einar Tønnesen, Asbjørn Barlaup, Gudrun Engelsen Barlaup, Lars Richter Bryhn, Arne Heimsjø, Kristian Henriksen, Torbjørn Hoff, Michael Salomonsen, Martin ? (surname unknown).

 A boat from Utsira (lost) 
19' fishing boat.

Left Utsira for Shetland or Scotland with 2 people on Aug. 13-1941, never to be heard from again.

On board were:
Rune Hjartsvein Bruland, Sverre Råna - both Highs School students..

 The "Berwick boat" 

Left Kristiansand on Nov. 1-1941 with 5 people, arriving Berwick near Holy Island, Newcastle on Nov. 4.

On board were:
Tormod Abrahamsen*, Leif Havre, Sven Moe, Jan Stumpf, Kai Thorsen.

* There's a Tormod Abrahamsen mentioned in the book "Våre falne" (which lists Norwegian WW II casualties of all causes). It looks like he could be the same man, because he's said to have escaped to England with 4 friends in an open boat. He joined the Air Force on Nov. 20-1941, was subsequently ordered into the 331st Squadron (33rd? Squadron), taking part in 54 offensive operations before he died near Breda, Holland on Nov. 3-1944, while bombing a German installation (he was a sergeant in a Norwegian Spitfire squadron at the time). Received Kong Haakon VII's medal post humously.

My Guestbook has a message from the grandson of Jan Stumpf, who's still around (Apr.-2008).

 Flatøy boat (lost) 
Left Flatøy near Bergen at the end of March-1943 with 2 people, never to be heard from again.

On board were:
Bjarne Imanuel Johnsen and Olaf Emil Olsen.

 Lindhart's boat 
Open 20' motorboat.

Left Langesund on May 31-1941 with 3 people, heading for Scotland. Voyage organized by Egil Lindhart and his friends. They were picked up near Newcastle by an escort vessel, following a long and difficult voyage.

On board were:
Lars Kvardfot, Egil Lindhart and Sverre Stordal, all from Oslo.

 Mandal boat (lost) 
Believed to have left around Aug. 25-1941 with a course for England, never to be heard from again.

On board were:
Ole Kristiansen, Trygve Meier Paulsen (and others?)

 M. Ertresvåg's boat 
Martin Ertresvåg belonged to the "Nielsen Group" (see my Statistics page), and one of his boats was purchased at the end of June-1941 in order to get Sverre Nielsen and the people working with him out of the country. Marino Nilsson, one of the men in this group, who was also among those who were to make the voyage, was by this time, in fact, suspected of being in German service together with the Fehmer agent Finn Kaas. Shortly after the 7 people had departed on July 2-1941 a German vessel came alongside and German soldiers came on board, arresting them all, including Marino Nilsson. However, he was freed the following day, while the other 6 ended up in a concentration camp for the rest of the war, together with others who were arrested not long afterwards. Marino Nilsson later assisted the Germans in dissolving the Kristian Stein organization in Bergen, and many of its members died in concentration camps or were executed (again, see my Statistics page).

On board were:
Skipper Martin Ertresvåg, Lars Helseth, Hanna Kalvø, Aslaug Kristensen, Sverre Nielsen, Marino Nilsson and Arnfred Søvik - all from Ålesund.

 A kayak from Alstadkroken (lost) 
Left Alstadkroken, Bokn on May 28-1941 with 2 people, never to be heard from again.

On board were:
Einar Thorsen and Gustav Helland, both from Stavanger - They had trained all through the spring in order to be able to paddle across the North Sea.

 18' Rowboat w/sail 
Departed Marsteinen on Aug. 19-1941 with 3 people. Reached land near the north point of Scotland in the afternoon of Aug. 23, and picked up by a destroyer which took them to Scapa Flow.

These were on board:
Henrik Hop, Fredrik Persen, Øystein Øysteinsen.

 Rowboat from Finnås 
Left Finnås, Bømlo on May 16-1940 with 2 people, arriving Kirkwall on May 21, having had to row most of the time due to lack of wind. Encountered a storm, but eventually reached land near Kanair Head, Scotland, and 2 miles off they were taken on board a British warship which took them to Kirkwall.

On board were:
Johannes Baldersheim and Per Klepsvik.

 Rowboat from Skjervøy 
Left Skjervøy on May 31-1940 with 3 men who intended to head north to join the fighting, but before they reached the north of Norway, the country capitulated, so they headed south along the coast, whereupon 2 of them set out to sea near Stad on July 4. 7 days later they landed near Haroldswick in north Shetland.

These were on board:
Aksel Larsen, and Hans Larsen.

Departed Arendal on July 14-1940 with 4 people, all officers in the Merchant Marines. They had been given permission by the German harbour master to sail as far as Farsund for a little vacation, which they also did, but after a few days they took off one night and headed for England. They encountered terrible weather and ended up drifting, but were observed by a British submarine which picked them up. Being as the sub was on a mission to the Norwegian coast the 4 went back towards Norway on board (a ship was torpedoed near Egersund by the sub). At the end of July the sub landed the 4 officers in Newcastle.

They had been aided by a resistance group in Arendal and had with them the code books for a radio station operated by the group. 5 members of the resistance group were arrested after this, and were initially sentenced to death, but this was later changed to 10 years in the penitentiary. Several others involved also had to serve time in the penitentiary.

On board were:
Engineer Olav Andersen, Captain Theodor Jensen (see D/S Grado), Captain Jens Lassen Ugland (see D/S Christian Michelsen and M/S Mosfruit) and Captain Reidar Ytterlid.

 VA 77 HH 
Fishing boat which left the Mandal area on Sept. 11-1941 with 4 people, arriving Blyth on Sept. 17.

On board were:
Finn Adriansen, Ernst Enervik, Nils Lorentz Nilsen and Roy Nilsen.

 VA 92 L 
A fishing boat (stolen in Mandal) which left Farsund on July 24-1941 with 4 people and arrived Portlethen (close to Aberdeen) on July 28.

It has now been discovered that the number VA 92 L belonged to another boat. When more is known, it'll be posted here.

On board were:
Skipper Jakob Samuelsen (see also D/S Norlom), Karl Bertelsen, Kåre Langfeldt Jensen, Kåre Kirkvåg.

Martin Berthelsen (son of Karl Berthelsen) has posted 2 messages to this page of my Norwegian Guestbook - scroll to Oct. 28 and Oct. 31-2007. Here's another related message - see also this message.

Later renamed Thistle A717. The vessel was owned by a succession of local Scottish fishermen, one of of whom, Ernie McKay, Stonehaven, recognized its historical value and donated it to the Benholm and Johnshaven Heritage Society. The society's chairman, Donald Marr made an appeal in a Scottish newspaper in Sept.-2005 for more information about the boat. This newspaper article, which was sent to me by John Ross, states that the boat is 23' long and 9' wide, used to sell shellfish in Norway and had a tank in the middle to put the shellfish in. Earlier owners in Stonehaven were Murray McBay, Aberdeen bus driver Jimmy Souter, Bert Ross and Robert Ross. John Ross also sent me another newspaper article from May-1982, picturing Karl Bertelsen (who at the time worked at the Norwegian Embassy in London) with the boat that took him across the North Sea all those years ago. See also my page about Polykarp - scroll down on that page to my text about Dronning Maud.

I have also received an E-mail from John Ross, saying the following:
...."my concern is to try and find out if there is any organisation group or Museum who would be interested in the Thistle as it must be one of the last small boats used by escapees still in existence. The boat was originally owned by my uncle Jimmy Souter who was a bus driver. My father Bertie Ross who was a Shipwright / Joiner maintained it. Following the deaths of my father and uncle the boat was sold outwith the family and has sadly fallen into a state of disrepair. I visited the small fishing village of Johnshaven recently where the Thistle is lying ashore and this has prompted me to try and raise some interest so that she can be saved before it is too late. The Thistle was gifted to the Johnshaven Heritage Society in Sept 2005...."

Update: The boat is now back in Norway (Febr.-2012) and will be restored. Here's a newspaper article on the event (external link, Norwegian text). Here's another newspaper article - see also this article (both in English - I'm not sure if they'll remain online).

  Misc. Other Escapes  
A 15', sharp-sterned boat left Fanafjorden on July 23-1941 with 4 people and arrived the Orkneys on the 27th.

On board were:
Rolf Jensen, William Johansen, Harald Monsen and William Waage.


A motorboat attempted to escape in 1941. On board were Kåre Iversen Hafstad and a Dutch man by the name of Winnemüller. They were caught and sentenced to death - executed at Håøya on Febr. 25-1942.


Ingvald Iversen, Charles Johnsen and Lars Svanevik, all from Bergen, were executed at Hestvika in 1942 following an attempt to escape to England on Sept. 22-1942.


A kayak paddled southwards from Ålesund on Aug. 20-1941 with student Andreas Saxe on board. On Aug. 31 he set off to sea from Stad. 8 days later the vessel drifted ashore empty near Dregn in Romsdalsfjorden.


Eyolf Aase from Bergen escaped in March-1943 but drowned. His body was found on May 17-1943.

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