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Owner: Skibs-A/S Byfjord.
Built by Bergen mek. Verksted, Bergen, Norway in 1925.
Captain: Sven Svendsen from Dec. 6-1941.
It'll be noticed, when going to Page 1 of the archive documents above, that Anderson spent a long time in Baltimore at the end of 1940. It looks like she spent most of 1941 trading between Baltimore and Sama or Baracoa. See also Page 3 - this document shows another long stay in Baltimore in the fall/winter of 1941 and again in Halifax at the end of that year, before heading to the U.K.
Anderson was on a voyage from Halifax to Preston when she ran aground on Eastern Head, near St. Shots, New Foundland during a storm with heavy snow on February 9-1942 and was wrecked by the seas. As will be seen when going to Page 3, she had left Halifax on Febr. 7; in fact, she had been in Convoy HX 174, general cargo. Acanthus and Rose are named among the escorts. The Norwegian James Hawson, Høegh Giant, Fernwood, Vanja, Thorsholm, Athos and Beth also took part in this convoy, as did the Panamanian Norvinn - all listed on this website. More details on them can be found with the help of the alphabet index at the end of this page.
Lifeboats were lowered but one of them was crushed against the cliffs and 8 men lost their lives. "Nortraships flåte" states that from the other lifeboat the steward was knocked overboard by a wave and disappeared - however, Steward Adolf Olsen is listed among the survivors in the crew list. The memorial for seamen in Stavern, Norway lists the steward as Sigurd Andersen, who is listed as able seaman in the official crew list, and is indeed among the casualties.
The maritime hearings were held in St. John's on March 10-1942 with the captain, 1st mate Knut Kolstø, 2nd mate Nils Solgaard Olafsen, Donkeyman Erik Eriksen, and the Brazilian Able Seaman Joad Lopez Martin appearing. What follows is a summary of a report presented at the hearings.
As already mentioned, Anderson had departed Halifax on Febr. 7 for Preston in Station 53 of Convoy HX 174 (follow the link for the names of other ships in this convoy). The weather was bad all along, with fog and heavy seas as well as ice. In the course of the night leading up to Febr. 9, the convoy had been dispersed due to the fog and storm, and by daylight only 3 other ships were visible from Anderson. That morning the motor lifeboat tore itself from the tackles, and all men were called upon to save it. By the time they had succeeded in doing so at 11:30 all the other ships were out of sight, so Anderson continued alone. At 15:30 that afternoon they saw 2 corvettes, one of which signalled for them to continue at full speed to try to catch up with the ships ahead of them, and about half an hour later they did catch up with one of them, then soon afterwards the other 2 also came into view and they all sailed together for the rest of the evening, still in bad weather with heavy fog.
At 22:20, the 1st mate called for the captain to join him on the bridge because he had spotted a light which looked like a ship coming towards them. At the same time, the lookout reported ice in front of them and the engine was immediately ordered stopped and orders to reverse at full speed given, but before this order could be followed they ran aground with tremendous force. They used their whistle to warn the other ships of the dangers ahead, while also sending out SOS. One of the ships on their port quarters barely managed to avoid the same fate.
(Some of the names below are written in bold text to indicate they're mentioned for the first time, names in pale green have been mentioned before):
1st Engineer Trygve Hansen, the Polish Able Seaman Michal Kasprzyowski and Oiler Einar Ramsdal were washed overboard by the seas while trying to launch a raft from the aft of the ship. It was impossible to get to the starboard boat and the motorboat because the ship had a 30° list to starboard, and with the continuous heavy seas washing over them they were destroyed and disappeared.
The 4 survivors on the cliff managed to climb up in order to go and fetch help, and after a while they encountered some of the locals who immediately came to the stranding area to try to assist. Some other locals took the survivors to their homes where they were fed and given warm clothes.
Continuous guard was held near the wreck and at 02:00 on Febr. 10, the 1st mate signalled that they should await daylight to see what could be done. The captain assembled those who had remained on board on the bridge and in the radio room to await daylight. In addition to Captain Svendsen, they were 3rd Engineer Aksel Brunow Kristiansen, Steward Adolf Olsen, Able Seaman Joad L. Martin, Donkeyman Erik T. Eriksen, the Latvian Stoker Hugo Kikert, the Danish Stoker Poul J. Andersen, Stoker Svein Daasnes, Radio Operator Sam Ballam (from New Foundland), the British Mess Boy Leland Slauenwhite, Ordinary Seaman/Gunner Kaare Wold, the Danish Cook Wilhelm Firham, and the American Oiler Robert Pemoluma. The 3rd engineer was in bad shape at this time, having injured his legs while trying to launch one of the lifeboats, but he was taken care of the best they could under the circumstances. Also, the Brazilian able seaman received glass injuries to his face when the seas knocked out the portholes in the radio operator's room where he was sitting that morning.
At dawn the 1st mate, who was still on shore, signalled that the locals would do their utmost to send out a boat in order to take those remaining on board ashore as soon as the weather permitted. He also sent a telegram to the Norwegian Consul, Captain Olsen in St. John's to inform him of what had happened, while the others prepared for another night on the wreck.
At dawn on Febr. 11, a rowboat with 2 men came out. The injured and those who were in worst shape were sent ashore first, 5 in all. About 45 minutes later, 2 more boats came out to take the remaining 8 to safety, and by 09:00 that morning they were all on dry land. Half an hour later, S/S Brant of the U.S. Navy came to the location. They sent a doctor ashore to treat the injured, while Captain Svendsen sent another telegram to the Norwegian Consul to let him know that they were all ashore. Customs Officer Ed. J. Power had arrived from Trepassy in order to see to the wreck. That afternoon, the captain sent a telegram to the Norwegian Consul again, requesting that he inform the underwriters and that he send a surveyor to the location.
The following day (Febr. 12), Wreck Commissioner David Hicks arrived from Peters River, St. Mary Bay to see to the ship, then on the 13th S/S Brant took 15 of the crew to Argentia Bay. The 3rd Engineer was too ill to be moved so he remained at St. Shots with the captain.
Anderson was condemned by Leonar Molloy & Patrick Molloy. The captain had a hard time agreeing to this without a surveyor, but Ed. J. Power and David Hicks, as well as the people in the area convinced him that it could take a long time before surveyors would arrive, and they had to use their time wisely if any cargo was to be saved from the ship. The seas were still heavy, and her holds were already full of water.
On Febr. 14, one of the bodies, who was assumed to be 1st Engineer Trygve Hansen was buried. On Febr. 20, another 2 were buried; 1 was identified as 2nd Engineer Emil Pettersen, the other was believed to be Emil Fjelingsdal.
The captain left St. Shots together with 3rd Engineer A. B. Kristiansen on Febr. 27, arriving St. John's on March 5, the journey having taken a long time because they were travelling by horse and sled in bad weather.
Survivors & Casualties
Related external link:
Back to Anderson on the "Ships starting with A" page.
The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, "Sjøforklaringer fra 2. verdenskrig", Norwegian Maritime Museum, Volume I and misc. - ref My sources.