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D/T Arthur W. Sewall
To Arthur W. Sewall on the "Ships starting with A" page.
Owner: Skibs-A/S Garm
Built by W.G. Armstrong, Whitworth & Co. Ltd., Newcastle upon Tyne in 1926.
Captain: Wilhelm Pallesen.
Please compare the above voyages with Arnold Hague's Voyage Record below.
Follow the convoy links provided for more information on them.
As will be seen when going to Page 1 and Page 2 of the archive documents, Arthur W. Sewall made several voyages between New York and Curacao in the course of 1940 and 1941. It'll also be noticed that she had occasional long stays in New York.
On Oct. 23-1941, she's listed in the slow Sydney (C.B.)-U.K. Convoy SC 51, bound for Milford Haven and Southampton (she's said to have been cancelled from the faster convoy, HX 155*, which left Halifax on Oct. 16). She arrived Southampton, via Belfast Lough and Milford Haven, on Nov. 15, returning across the ocean later that month with the westbound North Atlantic Convoy ON 40*, which originated in Liverpool on Nov. 25 and dispersed Dec. 4; her destination is given as Curacao, where she arrived on Dec. 19, having sailed from Belfast Lough Nov. 26. Charles Racine (collided, returned), Egda, Evita, Fernmoor, Finnanger (returned), Rio Novo, Slemdal, Storanger, Tai Shan and Velox are also listed.
In Jan.-1942 we find her, with destination Manchester, in the slow Convoy SC 64 from Sydney, C.B. She arrived Manchester (via Liverpool and Stanlow) on Jan. 29, returning with Convoy ON 65* a little over a week later (departure Liverpool Febr. 8, dispersed Febr. 19). She was again bound for Curacao, arriving there on March 3. Bralanta, Cetus, Egda, G. C. Brøvig, Hardanger, Kaldfonn, Kollbjørg, Mirlo, N. T. Nielsen Alonso, Nueva Granada, Stiklestad, Tankexpress, Troubadour and Vav are also included in this convoy.
On March 12 that same year, she saved a man from the Norwegian Tønsbergfjord, follow the link for more details. Going back to Page 2, we learn that Arthur W. Sewall was en route from Curacao to Halifax at the time, and on March 18, she can be found among the ships in Convoy SC 75 from Halifax to the U.K. She subsequently joined Convoy OS 25 (from Liverpool Apr. 12). See the link provided within the table above - Elin K, Marathon and Sandanger are also named. Arthur W. Sewall's destination is given as Curacao, station 64; according to the archive document, she arrived Trinidad on Apr. 30, later proceeding to Freetown. Further voyages are shown on Page 3, with convoy information for some of them in the Voyage Record.
As can be seen when going back to Page 3, Arthur W. Sewall had arrived Freetown from Curacao on July 18-1942. She left Freetown again on Aug. 1 in ballast for Trinidad (for orders) and was protected by a convoy until the morning of Aug. 6, at which time the convoy was dispersed, so that she was sailing alone, following courses as instructed by the Admiralty, when she was hit by 2 torpedoes from U-109 (Bleichrodt) in 08 27N 34 21W in the afternoon of Aug. 7. The 1st one struck on the starboard side below the bridge and the 2nd in No. 7 tank. The U-boat had not been seen beforehand.
There were no casualties. 2 distress messages were immediately sent out with the emergency set (these were heard by a British vessel), and the secret papers dropped overboard. After the explosion the ship listed first to port, then to starboard and later back to port again. One of the lifeboats had been destroyed, half of the survivors took to the remaining 3 boats right away, while the rest stayed on board for about half an hour until it became clear the ship could not be saved. While the remaining 17 were launching a raft on the poop, a third torpedo missed the stern by a couple of yards (this according to maritime hearings).
The 17 on the raft paddled towards the lifeboats and at about 18:30, an hour after the first torpedo had struck, they were all well astern of the ship when a 4th torpedo hit amidships. From the boats, they later spotted a periscope and as they rowed away in the dark, they watched as the U-boat shelled their ship for a long time until she finally went down somewhere between 22:00 and 23:00. The U-boat then appeared to search the ocean with lights, but the survivors managed to row away unseen. At about 02:00 on Aug. 8 the U-boat eventually disappeared in a northeasterly direction.
All the survivors were picked up by the Greek D/S Athina Livanos on Aug. 10 and landed in Port of Spain on Aug. 19.
The maritime hearings were held in New York on Sept. 24-1942 with Captain Pallesen (in his cabin when the torpedo hit), the 2nd mate (instructing a new gunner on the gun platform at the time), 3rd mate (on duty on the bridge, having just releaved the 1st mate who was going down for a meal), Ordinary Seaman Larsen (on duty on the upper bridge), and the 2nd engineer appearing (on duty in the engine room - he's named Limkjær in the maritime statements, Thorsen in the crew list).
For info, U-109 was sunk with all hands the following spring - ref. external link at the end of this page.
Crew List - all rescued:
Norwegian, unless otherwise noted
* See this Guestbook message.
The 1st mate later served on Egerø and Skotaas.
The radio operator had previously served on Hvoslef. Following the loss of Arthur W. Sewall, he joined Kaldfonn.
The boatswain's other ships are named on this external page.
Ordinary Seaman B. Larsen later joined John Bakke, Bergensfjord and Solstad.
The pump man joined Petter II.
The steward served on Hardanger and Måkefjell.
Back to Arthur W. Sewall 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.