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Owner: Dampsk-A/S Bokn.
Delivered from Bergens mek. Verksted in March-1890 as Urda (73) to M. J. Schjelderup, Bergen. Tonnage at the time is given as 724 gt, 440 net, 900 tdwt, 195' x 28.1' x 11.1', triple exp. 92 nhp (BMV). Sold in May-1892 to Didrik Ellerhusen e.a., Bergen, then owned by Didrik Ellerhusen & Co. e.a., Bergen from 1902. Purchased by B. Stolt-Nielsen e.a. in Apr.-1906 (July-1906?). Sold in May-1915 to D/S A/S Avis (Thv. Halvorsen), Bergen. Sold in March-1916 to Rederi A/S Blidensol (Brødrene Olsen), Stavanger and renamed Blidensol, managed from June-1922 by Torjer Meling Stavanger. Sold in Oct.-1923 to Sam. Marcussens Rederi A/S (Sam. Marcussen), Oslo and renamed Granheim. Sold again in Febr.-1925 to D/S A/S Bokn (Erik Bakkevik), Haugesund and renamed Bokn.
Captain: Adolf Olai Mæle.
A. Hague has named Bokn in the Norway-U.K. Convoy HN 7 in Jan.-1940. The following month, he has included her in Convoy ON 10 from the U.K. to Norway, and in March she's listed in the original Advance Sailing Telegram for Convoy HN 20 from Norway. Her destination is given as L'Orient, cargo of cod roes. Follow the links for dates and further info; several Norwegian ships took part. From Page 1, we learn that Bokn was in Rouen when war broke out in Norway on Apr. 9, having arrived there on Apr. 7, leaving again for Swansea on Apr. 24, returning to France in May.
Later that year, she can be found, with a cargo of pig iron, in A. Hague's listing for Convoy WN 39, which left Clyde on Nov. 15-1940 and arrived Methil Nov. 19. With a cargo of cement, he has also listed her in Convoy EN 41, departing Methil on Dec. 15 (detached Dec. 19). All this agrees with the info found on the archive document, which adds she arrived Swansea on Dec. 22, remaining there until Jan. 9-1941. Both these convoys are available at the external website that I've linked to below.
On June 13-1941, when on a voyage from Maryport to Southampton with a cargo of coal, she was bombed by German aircraft. The bombs detonated very close and she sprang a leak. The captain decided to beach her near St. Ives, where she stayed for a couple of weeks until the damage could be repaired. According to Page 2, she left St. Ives for Barry Dock on July 15, arriving Barry the next day; departure is given as Aug. 21.
With a cargo of coal for Portsmouth, Bokn had departed Barry Docks on July 7-1942 and joined the eastbound coastal Convoy WP 183 (external link), escorted by the British destroyer Brocklesby (as can be seen, when following the link to this convoy, Bokn is not mentioned. However, the listing appears to be incomplete; it looks like 19 ships actually sailed). Bokn's movements in this period are shown on Page 6.
On July 9, when in Lyme Bay between Dartmouth and Portland, she was attacked by E-boats from the 2nd S-Flottille. The Norwegian D/S Kongshaug was Commodore Vessel for this convoy and was also sunk, as was the Norwegian D/S Røsten - follow the link for the names of other ships sunk in this attack.
It appears that Kongshaug was the first ship to get hit, and as Bokn was herself fired upon from both sides she had to sail past the 14 survivors in the water (they were picked up by Brocklesby within an hour). A little over 20 minutes later, Bokn went straight down after having been hit in hatch No. 2 by a torpedo from the fast attack boat S-70 (Klose) at about 01:27. 4 men went down with the suction as the ship sank, but surfaced again and were able to climb onto a raft. They were picked up by the escort a couple of hours later and taken to Portsmouth. The 4 had seen the lifebelt light from a shipmate but the wind and current had prevented them from reaching him. 12 had died, 8 of whom were Norwegian. The captain's body was later found in the water and he was buried in Portland.
The maritime hearings were held in London on July 16-1942 with the 1st mate, the 2nd engineer and the surviving able seaman appearing.
A total of 7 Norwegian ships were sunk by E-boats in the first half of 1942, 25 allied ships went down in the English Channel and on the south and east coasts of the U.K. in this period.
* Running a search for the names of the British gunners at the The Commonwealth War Graves website, I find that Daniel Hezelgrave is buried at Leeds Roman Catholic Cemetery. There's also a Charles Frederick Henry Davis who died on the date Bokn was sunk, but this does not necessarily mean it's the same person. He's commemorated at Portsmouth Naval Memorial.
Related external link:
Back to Bokn on the "Ships starting with B" page.
The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Våre gamle skip" by Leif M. Bjørkelund and E. H. Kongshavn, "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, "Sjøforklaringer fra 2. verdenskrig", Volume I (Norwegian Maritime Museum), and partial Voyage Record, received from Don Kindell, based on Arnold Hague's database - see also My sources.