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D/S Brant County
Updated March 1-2013

To Brant County on the "Ships starting with B" page.

Crew List


Source: Bjørn Milde's postcard collection.


Received from, and painted by, Jan Goedhart, Holland.
More pictures are available on this external page.
Additionally, Uboat.net has a picture on this page (also external).

Manager: Det Bergenske Dampskibsselskab, Bergen
Tonnage:
5001 gt, 7875 tdwt.
Dimensions: 419.4' x 54.1' x 26.3'.
Machinery: Triple expansion 3800 ihp, 13 knots.
Signal Letters: LCFI

Operated on County Line services (Inter-Continental Transport Services, Ltd. Bergen).

 Some Pre War History: 

Delivered in Jan.-1919 from AG Neptun, Rostock, Germany (344). She had been launched in Nov.-1915 as Mülhausen, but laid up unfinished. Work re-commenced in 1918, completed Jan-1919 as Lennep for Deutsch-Australische Dampfschiffahrts Ges., Hamburg. Handed over to Gt. Britain in Aug.-1919 (F.C. Strick & Co. Ltd./Shipping Controller). Purchased by Bergenske D/S in 1921 from J. Coull & Sons, Newcastle. In 1936 cabins for 10 passengers were installed.

"Merchant Ships of the World" by Laurence Dunn, says, among other things, the following:
"In most ships there is an element of conformity and linkage with her period and trade. But not so with the Brant County, whose two slim, closely spaced funnels represented a reversion to a much earlier style. Of all the ships regularly employed on the North Atlantic, where she spent nearly all her life, no other could boast quite such a profile (this book also has a picture of the ship). With but the fewest exceptions, notably the Howick Hall, this close spacing of funnels on cargo ships had been associated with just one firm. This was the D.A.D.G. (Deutsch-Australisch D.G.) or German Australian Line who, years earlier, just before and after the turn of the century, had built a number of cargo liners with this "twin woodbine" profile".

The book adds that she was laid down to D.A.D.G. with the intended name Mülhausen, as mentioned, which conformed to D.A.D.G. policy, "yet she was completed as the Lennep, apparently named after a Dutch fiction writer of the 19th century. Such a choice suggests that there had been ideas of a sale to Holland". She was "built and engined by the Akt. Ges. Neptun of Rostock. Her main dimensions were length b.p. 419.9', breadth 54.1' and depth of hold 26.3'. The load draught was 24' 11". She had 2 decks and 5 hatches and was propelled by a set of triple expansion engines with cylinders of approx. 30, 48 3/4 and 80 3/4" diameter and 55" stroke. The 4 single ended boilers had a working pressure of 213 psi. The coal bunker capacity was 845 tons, with reserve space for a further 1,070 tons. Her speed, it would seem, was never shown in reference books, but her passage times suggest an average of 11/12 knots. Her d.w tonnage was 7, 937. Gross measurement was originally 4972, later 5289 and finally 5001.

As the Lennep she was surrendered to Great Britain in 1919 and managed on behalf of the Shipping Controller by F.C. Strick & Co. Ltd. In March-1921, while lying at Swansea, she was one of a batch of some 70 ex German ships offered for sale to British nationals. Bought by Coull & Sons, Newcastle, she was renamed Brant County and resold that year to become the largest ship of Bergenske D/S. Her red, white and black funnel markings were not theirs, but were linked with a venture started by Canada Steamship Lines, Ltd., Montreal who, in May-1921, announced the opening of a regular cargo liner service between the St. Lawrence and Europe; the Continental ports eventually settled on being Hamburg, Rotterdam, Antwerp and Le Havre. The new company was advertised as the Inter-Continental Transport Services Ltd. (County Line). The ships used in this line were generally renamed after Canadian counties and were chartered from Norwegian companies like Mowinckel, Westfal-Larsen, Bergenske D/S, L.W. Hansen and Olaf Orvig."

Captain in WW II: Norvald Brevik.

Her voyages are listed on these original images from the Norwegian National Archives:
Page 1 | Page 2 | Page 3 | Page 4


Please compare the above voyages with Arnold Hague's Voyage Record below.

Voyage Record
From Apr.-1940 to March-1943:

(Received from Don Kindell - His source: The late Arnold Hague's database).

Follow the convoy links provided for more information on each.

Departure From To Arrival Convoy Remarks
1940 Apr. 7 Dartmouth New York City Apr. 18 Independent See also Page 1
Apr. 24 New York City Philadelphia Apr. 25 Independent
Apr. 27 Philadelphia Hampton Roads Apr. 27 Independent Back to New York
(see Page 1)
May 8 New York City Halifax May 10 Independent
May 12 Halifax Brest May 27 HX 42
May 28 Brest St. Nazaire Independent
June 21 St. Nazaire Cardiff June 23 Independent A. Hague says:
Notional sailing date.
Operation Aerial
(external link)
July 2 Cardiff Swansea July 3 Independent
July 9 Swansea Milford Haven July 9 Independent
July 10 Milford Haven OB 182 Dispersed July 14.
Convoy available at OB 182
(external link)
July 14 Dispersed from OB 182 Montreal July 23 Independent (See also Page 1)
July 30 Montreal Quebec July 31 Independent
Aug. 3 Quebec Sydney, C.B. Aug. 6 Independent
Aug. 8 Sydney, C.B. Liverpool Aug. 23 HX 64
Sept. 10 Liverpool Avonmouth Sept. 13 Independent
Sept. 19 Avonmouth Swansea Sept. 20 Independent
Oct. 7 Swansea Milford Haven Oct. 7 Independent
Oct. 8 Milford Haven OB 226 Dispersed Oct. 12.
Convoy available at OB 226
See also OA 226
(external links)
Oct. 12 Dispersed from OB 226 Port Alfred Oct. 23 Independent
Oct. 24 Port Alfred Montreal Oct. 26 Independent
Nov. 8 Montreal Sydney, C.B. Nov. 11 Independent
Nov. 15 Sydney, C.B. Clyde Nov. 28 HX 87
Nov. 29 Clyde Liverpool Nov. 29 Independent
1941 Jan. 4 Liverpool St. John, N.B. Jan. 19 Independent
Febr. 3 St. John, N.B. Halifax Febr. 4 Independent
Febr. 9 Halifax Avonmouth Febr. 28 HX 108 Will be updated.
See ships in HX convoys
Also, Page 2
March 15 Avonmouth Swansea March 15 Independent
March 20 Swansea Clyde March 22 Independent
March 23 Clyde OB 301 Dispersed in 53 59N 19 40W, March 27.
Convoy available at OB 301
(external link)
March 27 Dispersed from OB 301 St. John, N.B. Apr. 5 Independent
Apr. 17 St. John, N.B. Halifax Apr. 18 Independent
Apr. 20 Halifax Avonmouth May 10 HX 122
May 21 Avonmouth Swansea May 22 Independent
May 26 Swansea Milford Haven May 26 Independent
May 27 Milford Haven OB 327 Dispersed in 52 42N 22 18W, June 1.
Convoy available at OB 327
(external link)
June 1 Dispersed from OB 327 Montreal June 10 Independent
June 24 Montreal Sydney, C.B. June 27 Independent
June 30 Sydney, C.B. Belfast Lough July 17 HX 136
July 22 Belfast Lough Avonmouth July 24 BB 51 Convoy available at BB convoys
(external link)
Stop at Belfast Lough not mentioned, Page 2
Aug. 2 Avonmouth Swansea Aug. 2 Independent
Aug. 4 Swansea Milford Haven Aug. 4 Independent
Aug. 5 Milford Haven ON 5 For Montreal.
Dispersed in 53 29N 37 35W, Aug. 14.
Aug. 14 Dispersed from ON 5 Montreal Aug. 20 Independent
Sept. 6 Montreal Halifax Sept. 9 Independent
Sept. 10 Halifax HX 149
Sept. 24 From HX 149, joined BB 80 Avonmouth Sept. 26 BB 80 Convoy available at BB convoys
(external link)
Oct. 10 Avonmouth Swansea Oct. 11 Independent
Oct. 16 Swansea Milford Haven Oct. 17 Independent
Oct. 19 Milford Haven ON 28 A. Hague says:
Detached in 46 54N 40 14W, Oct. 30.
Convoy will be added.
See ships in ON convoys
Oct. 30 Detached from ON 28 Montreal Nov. 5 Independent
Nov. 7 Montreal Quebec Nov. 8 Independent
Nov. 12 Quebec Montreal Nov. 12 Independent
Nov. 20 Montreal Halifax Nov. 23 Independent
Nov. 27 Halifax Belfast Lough Dec. 10 HX 162
Dec. 11 Belfast Lough Avonmouth Dec. 13 BB 110 Convoy available at BB convoys
(external link)
Dec. 26 Avonmouth Swansea Dec. 26 Independent
1942 Jan. 3 Swansea Milford Haven Jan. 3 Independent
Jan. 5 Milford Haven ON 54 Via Belfast Lough
(Page 3).
For St. John, N.B.
Dispersed Jan. 17.
Convoy will be added.
See ships in ON convoys
Jan. 17 Dispersed from ON 54 St. John, N.B. Jan. 24 Independent
Febr. 8 St. John, N.B. Halifax Febr. 9 Independent
Febr. 13 Halifax Belfast Lough Febr. 25 HX 175
Febr. 27 Belfast Lough Avonmouth March 1 BB 143 Convoy available at BB convoys
(external link)
March 13 Avonmouth Swansea March 13 Independent
March 20 Swansea Milford Haven March 21 Independent
March 22 Milford Haven St. John, N.B. Apr. 6 ON 79 Via Belfast Lough
(Page 3).
Convoy will be added.
See ships in ON convoys
Apr. 18 St. John, N.B. Halifax Apr. 19 BX 8 Convoy available at BX convoys
(external link)
Apr. 20 Halifax Belfast Lough May 1 HX 186
May 3 Belfast Lough Swansea May 4 BB 170 Convoy available at BB convoys
(external link)
May 19 Swansea Milford Haven May 19 Independent
May 21 Milford Haven Halifax June 5 ON 97 Via Belfast Lough
(Page 3).
For Sydney, C.B.
Convoy will be added.
See ships in ON convoys
June 5 Halifax Sydney, C.B. June 7 HS 10 Convoy available at HS convoys
(external link)
June 7 Sydney, C.B. Father Point June 9 SQ 8 Convoy available via this page
(external link)
June 9 Father Point Montreal June 11 Independent
July 27 Montreal Father Point Independent (Again, see also Page 3).
July 29 Father Point Sydney, C.B. Aug. 1 QS 22 Convoy available via link above
Aug. 2 Sydney, C.B. Halifax Aug. 4 SH 30 Convoy available at SH convoys
(external link)
Aug. 9 Halifax Belfast Lough Aug. 20 HX 202
Aug. 21 Belfast Lough Avonmouth Aug. 23 BB 212 Convoy available at BB convoys
(external link)
Sept. 1 Avonmouth Swansea Sept. 1 Independent
Sept. 8 Swansea Milford Haven Sept. 8 Independent
Sept. 10 Milford Haven Halifax Sept. 24 ON 129 Via Belfast Lough
(Page 4).
For St. John, N.B.
Convoy will be added.
See ships in ON convoys
Sept. 27 Halifax St. John, N.B. Sept. 29 HF 3 Convoy available at HF convoys
(external link)
Oct. 8 St. John, N.B. Halifax Oct. 9 FH 5 Convoy available at FH convoys
(external link)
Oct. 10 Halifax Belfast Lough Oct. 21 HX 211
Oct. 22 Belfast Lough Avonmouth Oct. 23 BB 231 Convoy available at BB convoys
(external link)
Nov. 2 Avonmouth Swansea Nov. 3 Independent
Nov. 7 Swansea Milford Haven Nov. 7 Independent
Nov. 8 Milford Haven Halifax Nov. 22 ON 145 Via Belfast Lough
(Page 4).
For St. John, N.B.
Nov. 23 Halifax St. John, N.B. Nov. 25 HF 16 Convoy available at HF convoys
(external link)
Dec. 8 St. John, N.B. Halifax Dec. 9 FH 20 Convoy available at FH convoys
(external link)
Dec. 15 Halifax Belfast Lough Dec. 28 HX 219
Dec. 28 Belfast Lough Holyhead Dec. 28 Independent
Dec. 30 Holyhead Avonmouth Jan. 1-1943 HM 91 Convoy available via this page
(external link)
1943 Jan. 9 Avonmouth Swansea Jan. 10 Independent
Jan. 18 Swansea Milford Haven Jan. 19 Independent
Jan. 21 Milford Haven Halifax Febr. 7 ON 162 Via Belfast Lough
(Page 4).
For St. John, N.B.
Febr. 8 Halifax St. John, N.B. Febr. 10 HF 35 Convoy available at HF convoys
(external link)
Febr. 21 St. John, N.B. Halifax Febr. 23 FH 38 Convoy available at FH convoys
(external link)
Febr. 25 Halifax Halifax Febr. 28 SC 121 Returned
March 2 Halifax HX 228 Sunk - See "Final Fate" below


 Misc. Convoy Voyages: 
For information on voyages made in between those mentioned here, please see the documents received from the National Archives of Norway and A. Hague's record above. Follow the convoy links provided for more information on them. Some of them also include the Commodore's narrative of passage and/or other reports and several Norwegian ships took part.

When Norway was invaded on Apr. 9-1940, Brant County was en route from Dartmouth to New York - see Page 1 (the voyage had started out in Anwerp and her final destination was Philadelphia). In May, she can be found among the ships in the Halifax-U.K. Convoy HX 42. She had a general cargo, sailing in station 83, and her destination is given as Le Havre in the original A 1 form for this convoy, while the Advance Sailing Telegram gives destination as "Brest for orders". She arrived Brest on May 26/27, then proceeded to St. Nazaire, later taking part in "Operation Aerial", according to A. Hague (the evacuation of British and Allied troops from north west France) - ref. link provided within the Voyage Record above.

That summer she's listed in Convoy OB 182, which originated in Liverpool on July 11-1940 and also included the Norwegian Idefjord, Ila, Mexico, Nova and Stigstad. This convoy was dispersed on July 14, Brant County arriving Montreal independently on July 23, according to A. Hague (Page 1 indicates she stopped at Quebec the day before). The following month we find her, with a general cargo for Garston, in the Sydney, C.B. portion of Convoy HX 64, and in Oct.-1940 A. Hague has included her, together with Grado, Laurits Swenson, Petter, Ruth I and Samuel Bakke, in Convoy OB 226, which originated in Liverpool on Oct. 9 and dispersed on the 12th, having joined up with Convoy OA 226 the day before (Grado and Ruth I had come from the OA convoy, which also included Marita but strangely, she's not mentioned in the OB convoy - Borgland was also scheduled for OB 226, but did not sail - see link in the table above). Brant County was again bound for Montreal, where she arrived, via Port Alfred, on Oct. 26. She headed back to the U.K. on Nov. 15 with the Sydney, C.B. portion of Convoy HX 87, bound for Liverpool with general cargo. According to the Commodore's notes, she fell astern of the convoy during the night of Nov 23; she arrived Liverpool, via Greenock, on Nov. 29, subsequently spending over a month there.

At the beginning of the new year, she made a voyage from Liverpool to St. John, N.B., with arrival there on Jan. 19-1941 (Page 1). Arnold Hague says this voyage was made independently. She returned to the U.K. again in Convoy HX 108, departing Halifax on Febr. 9. Only the Bermuda portion is currently available for this convoy (will be updated), but the section for ships in all HX convoys has the names of the other ships taking part. Among them are Bianca, Bonde (returned), Emma Bakke and Leikanger. Brant County arrived Avonmouth, via Barry Roads, on Febr. 28 - her voyages in this period are shown on Page 2. She's later listed in Convoy OB 301, originating in Liverpool on March 23, dispersed March 27, Brant County arriving St. John, N.B. independently on Apr. 5 (again, ref. external link in the table above - Ferncourt, Kongsgaard, Ranja, Taurus and Torborg are also named). On Apr. 20, she joined Convoy HX 122 from Halifax, bound for Avonmouth with general cargo, station 74 - see also the cruising order and Commodore's notes. She arrived Avonmouth on May 10, and later that month, we find her in Convoy OB 327, along with Madrono, Para, Stiklestad, Strinda and Torvanger. This convoy originated in Liverpool on May 28 and dispersed on June 1, Brant County arriving Montreal independently on June 10 (OB 327 lost several ships - ref. external link further down on this page).

Having remained in Montreal for 2 weeks, she proceeded to Sydney, C.B., heading back across the Atlantic again on June 30 with the Sydney, C.B. portion of Convoy HX 136, bound for Avonmouth with general cargo and misc. war stores (trucks, aircraft, guns, shells), arriving that destination on July 24. The following month, she's listed in the westbound North Atlantic Convoy ON 5, originating in Liverpool on Aug. 6-1941, dispersed Aug. 14. She was again bound for Montreal, where she arrived independently on Aug. 20 and again had a long stay there (Page 2), before proceeding to Halifax on Sept. 6. She can now be found in station 87 of Convoy HX 149 from Halifax on Sept. 10. Other Norwegian ships were Daghild (station 63), Brasil (83), Thorsholm (33), Innerøy (35), Thorshov (64), Somerville (66?), Glittre (24), Lise (44), Harpefjell (86), Norvik (Panamanian flag, Norwegian managers and, therefore, included on this website, in station 84, behind Brasil), Aristophanes (43), Kollbjørg (73) and others - folow the link for more info. According to the archive document, Brant County arrived Avonmouth on Sept. 27.

She subsequently joined Convoy ON 28* in order to return to Montreal. This convoy originated in Liverpool on Oct. 20. When it was located by U-boats on Oct. 29, the Admiralty redirected it and ordered the fastest ships (including Brant County, Polartank and Laurits Swenson) to go on alone, and Brant County arrived Montreal on Nov. 5. (The American Salinas was damaged by U-106 on Oct. 30 - ref. external link further down on this page). Other Norwegian ships were Beth, Grena, Morgenen and Ringstad. Together with Astrell, Bello, Katy, Sama, Skandinavia, Beth (returned to port) and Høegh Scout, Brant County went in the other direction again with Convoy HX 162, departing Halifax Nov. 27. Via Belfast Lough and Barry Roads, she arrived Avonmouth on Dec. 13. Norvinn (Panamanian flag, Norwegian managers) was also scheduled to be in this convoy but did not sail.

At the beginning of 1942, she joined the westbound North Atlantic Convoy ON 54*, which also had Daghild, Fenja, Gallia, Haakon Hauan, Leiesten (returned) and Lise in its ranks. This convoy originated in Liverpool on Jan. 6 and dispersed on the 17th, Brant County arriving St. John, N.B. independently on Jan. 24 - see Page 3. She subsequently returned to the U.K. with Convoy HX 175, departing Halifax on Febr. 13. According to the archive document, she arrived Avonmouth (via Belfast Lough) on Febr. 28. In March, she joined the westbound Convoy ON 79*, which originated in Liverpool on March 23 and also included Grey County, Hallanger, James Hawson, Meline, Norefjord, Noreg, Stigstad and Trondheim. ON 79 arrived Halifax on Apr. 7; Brant County arrived St. John, N.B. on Apr. 6, heading in the other direction again in Convoy HX 186 from Halifax on Apr. 20, and arrived Swansea on May 4. She later joined Convoy ON 97*, originating in Liverpool on May 22, arriving Halifax on June 5, Brant County continuing to Sydney, C.B. that same day in an HS convoy (see Voyage Record). B. P. Newton, Brimanger, Cetus, Gallia, Norfjell and Nortind are also listed in ON 97, as is the Panamanian Norvik.

Brant County now made another voyage to Montreal, where she stayed for several weeks (Page 3), before returning to Sydney, C.B. and Halifax (convoy info in Voyage Record). On Aug. 9, she headed back to the U.K. in Convoy HX 202 from Halifax, general cargo for Belfast (station 91). She was severely reprimanded for being a "bad roamer" in this convoy, but the captain "indignantly denies that it was his ship and considers that a mistake has been made" - there's more about this in the Commodore's notes on my page about HX 202. Having stopped at Belfast Lough on Aug. 20, Brant County proceeded to Avonmouth, where she arrived Aug. 23/24. She returned across the Atlantic in Convoy ON 129*, which originated in Liverpool on Sept. 11-1942 and included the Norwegian Atlantic, Kollbjørg, Meline, N. T. Nielsen Alonso, San Andres, Vardefjell (returned), Vav and Velma (returned following collision). The final destination for this convoy was New York, where it arrived on Sept. 25, but Brant County was bound for St. John, N.B. again, arriving there, via Halifax, on Sept. 29 (ref. Voyage Record above) - see also Page 4.

She started on her return voyage on Oct. 10, joining Convoy HX 211, which had originated in New York on Oct. 8, but Brant County, bound for Avonmouth with general cargo, joined from Halifax; she arrived her destination on Oct. 23. The following month, she's listed in the westbound Convoy ON 145 and witnessed 3 British ships being torpedoed on Nov. 21 (British Renown, damaged - British Promise, damaged and Empire Sailor, sunk - all by U-518). This convoy (for which Thorhild served as the Vice Commodore's ship) originated in Liverpool on Nov. 9 and arrived New York on the 25th, but Brant County was again bound for St. John, N.B., arriving there (via Halifax) on Nov. 25. Askepot, Mosli, Ørnefjell and Skaraas also took part (see also this message in my Guestbook). Her last Trans-Atlantic voyage that year was made in Convoy HX 219, which originated in New York on Dec. 13, but Brant County joined the convoy from Halifax, general cargo and mail, bound for Holyhead (arrived Dec. 28) and Avonmouth (arrived Jan. 1-1943).

She can later be found in Convoy ON 162, originating in Liverpool on Jan. 23-1943, arriving New York on Febr. 11. Brant County, however, was again bound for St. John, N.B., where she arrived, via Halifax, on Febr. 10 (Page 4). This was to be her last westbound, North Atlantic crossing; she was sunk on her return to the U.K. the following month

* The ON convoys will be added to individual pages in my Convoys section; in the meantime, the ships sailing in them (and escorts) are named in the section listing ships in all ON convoys.

More information on all the other Norwegian ships named here can be found via the alphabet index at the end of this page, or go to the Master Ship Index.

Related external link:
Ships hit from Convoy OB 327

The attack on Salinas

 Final Fate - 1943: 

Brant County joined the Halifax portion of the slow eastbound Convoy SC 121 on Febr. 25-1943 in order to head back to the U.K. (the Commodore Vessel Bonneville and several others were sunk - follow the links for details), but returned to Halifax, later joining Convoy HX 228 from there, taking station 135. This convoy had originated in New York on Febr. 28, Brant County sailed from Halifax on March 2, according to Page 4 (which gives her destination as Avonmouth). Both these convoys had several other Norwegian ships as well, as will be seen when following the links. See also the cruising order/Commodore's notes for HX 228, as well as misc. reports (where Brant County is mentioned several times) and an analysis of U-boat operations in 4 eastbound convoys sailing around the same time; here is the analysis for HX 228.

On March 10 an intense battle ensued between U-boats and escorts, resulting in the British destroyer Harvester being sunk by U-432, but the French corvette Aconit took revenge by sinking the boat (Harvester and Aconit had previously sunk U-444).

Meanwhile, several ships were torpedoed within the convoy. 36 men, including the captain and 8 passengers, died when Brant County was torpedoed by U-86 (Schug, see * below) in the early morning hours of March 11. She was bound for Newport with a general cargo as well as 670 tons explosives in No. 1 and No. 2 holds, and a large amount of carbide in No. 3 hold. When the torpedo detonated in the cargo of carbide, it was immediately set on fire.

Of the 5 men on the bridge, 2nd Mate Granum, Steward Hansen and Helmsman Fjelle managed to get aft and lower themselves into the port lifeboat which had been launched by the 3rd mate, 2nd engineer and the donkeyman. The other 2 on the bridge died, the radio operator when he jumped overboard and disappeared, the other, the captain, died in the flames. The 3 stokers who were on duty in the engine room were killed (Jan de Greef, Ingvald Eggum and Michael Lehane), while 3rd Engineer Hjalmar Holthe managed to get on deck, but had been unable to stop the engine.

The 23 who had succeeded in getting in the port boat watched as crew and passengers struggled to get 2 rafts launched, and when the boat had drifted about 200 meters away the flames on board their ship reached the TNT, causing a huge explosion, sending pieces of metal and other debris over the area (damaging the U-boat which was still on the surface ?).

What follows is an excerpt from the Commodore's report:
"03:55Z - Brant County (135) torpedoed 51 53N 28 40W. The ship fired two white rockets. Burst into flames, the fire was like an "inferno" and lit everything up like daylight. I could see the whole convoy and escorts ahead and on both wings.
04:13Z - W.T. message received "SSS de T.R. 135 Brant County torpedoed". (The operator who sent this message was a very brave, cool and gallant gentleman).
04:15Z - Brant County blew up with a tremendous explosion, throwing debris hundreds of feet into the air. (The scene was indescribable)."

The survivors were picked up half an hour later by the British Stuart Prince, another ship in the convoy. Stoker Ferdinand Olsen was badly burnt and died shortly thereafter. The survivors were landed in Liverpool on March 16, where the maritime hearings were held on March 23-1943, with the 2nd mate, the 2nd engineer, the 3rd engineer, Able Seaman Fjelle and Able Seaman Heimstad appearing.

*There's some disagreement here; J. Rohwer states that Brant County was torpedoed and sunk by U-86 (giving position as 52 05N 27 35W). Roger W. Jordan (The World's Merchant Fleets 1939) and Arnold Hague (The Allied Convoy System) both agree with my Norwegian sources, U-757, but more recent findings seem to support Rohwer's U-86 theory. This U-boat was sunk with all hands later on that year - ref. external link at the end of this page.

Crew List:
* Hjalmar Holthe is also listed for Norjerv and Vest. This external page has excerpts from his diary describing the events surrounding the loss of Brant County, and also lists some of the other ships he sailed with - text is in Norwegian.
The 3rd mate later served on
Roald Amundsen (1944).

Survivors
2nd Mate
Oddvar Granum
3rd Mate
Johan Johansen
Boatswain
Hjalmar Kjellevold
Able Seaman
Thorbjørn Olsen
Able Seaman
Tarald Heimstad
Able Seaman
Ingolf Fjelle
Able Seaman/Gunner
Søren Trane
Ordinary Seaman
Henry Watts
(British)
Ordinary Seaman
Kenneth Ballard
(British)
2nd Engineer
Lauritz Melkevik
3rd Engineer
Hjalmar Holthe*
Assistant
Karl Georgsen
Donkeyman
Harald Ballovarre
Stoker
Einar Christensen
Stoker
Gunnar Nilsen
Stoker
Catalino Sosa
(Uruguay)
Trimmer
Frederick Peters
(British)
Steward
Trygve Hansen
Cook
Harald Kjeldstrøm
Mess Boy
Leslie Hoven
(British)
Gunner
J. Pencott
(British)
Corporal
Jens Eilert Hansen
Passenger
Casualties

Captain
Norvald Brevik

1st Mate
Harald Thuestad

Radio Operator
Arne Bakke

Carpenter
Osvald Skårhaug

Able Seaman
Jan Gorrebeck
(Belgian)

Able Seaman
Harald Skålnes

Able Seaman
Odd Jacobsen

Able Seaman/Gunner
Einar Terkelsen

Able Seaman/Gunner
Thorbjørn Leinhardt

Ordinary Seaman
Peder Pedersen

Chief Engineer
August Mjeldheim

Donkeyman
Ragnvald Pettersen

Stoker
Ingvald Eggum

Stoker
Michael Lehane*
(Irish)

Stoker
Ferdinand Olsen

Stoker
Olav Hjelland Olsen

Stoker
Reinhardt Jensen

Stoker
Jan Baptist de Greef
**(Dutch)

Trimmer
Frank Logue**
(British)

Trimmer
William Rogers**
(British)

Trimmer
David Collins**
(British)

Engine Boy
George Bernard
James Kearney
***
(Canadian)

Cook
Oskar Knobelauch

Saloon Boy
Harold Davis**
(British)

Saloon Boy
Richard Aird Scott***
(Canadian)

Gunner
G. Matthews**
(British)

Gunner
C. Anderson**
(British)

Gunner
C. Craig**
(British)
Harald Thuestad had previously escaped from Norway with Anna in Jan.-1942.
His brother Gabriel died in an accident on
Velox.
Passengers who died

2nd Lieutenant
Einar Leschly
Jacobsen

Sergeant
Johan Ludvig
Bechmann

Sergeant
Petter Bjerkelund

Sergeant
Trygve Bertram
Bjørgum

Sergeant
Tellef Mykland
Tellefsen

Sergeant
Reidar Wilhelm
Andersen

Sergeant
Magnus Tøråsssen

Soldier
Arne Helgerød

** Stoker de Greef's nationality was given as Belgian in the official crew list, but according to this message in my Guestbook, he was Dutch. See also this external page.

* Michael Lehane is commemorated at the Halifax Memorial. Tore Setså, Norway has sent me a wonderful story about him, and I will attempt to add a summary of it here at a later time.

** Billy McGee, England has told me that the following 4 men from Brant County are commemorated at Tower Hill, Panel 18:
Trimmer David Collins (listed in Norwegian sources as Trimmer Daniel Collins)
Trimmer Frank Logue from Port Glasgow, Renfrewshire
Trimmer William Rogers and
Saloon boy Harold Davis.
There's also a Seaman Arthur H. W. Gill from Hotwells, Bristol (age 18) on this page - date is given as Jan. 12-1942, so unless the date is an error something must have happened to him the year before Brant County was sunk.
The initials for the British gunners were given as R. Anderson and G. Craig in my Norwegian source, but this appears to be incorrect, as The Commonwealth War Graves Comm. website has 3 gunners with the above initials (crew list) listed as having died on the date Brant County was sunk, who very likely were her gunners. See also this posting to my Ship Forum, which says:
"The three dead full names are probably:
Lance Bombardier George Ernest Matthews, of 6 Maritime Regt, Royal Artillery
Gunner Charles Henry Anderson, of 6 Maritime Regt, Royal Artillery
Gunner Christopher Craig, of 1 Maritime Regt, Royal Artillery".
Further details on all the men mentioned here can be found by entering each name in the relevant search field on the site mentioned above, using WW II and 1943 in the other fields to narrow down the results.

*** The 2 Canadians can be found in the The Canadian Merchant Navy War Dead Database.

Related external links:
Stavern Memorial commemorations - 16 Norwegian crew members are commemorated. This list is slightly different from mine above - for instance, the Donkeyman is named as Ragnvald Martin G. Kristiansen.

HX-228, 10 - 12 March 1943
U-757 | U-86

Operations Information for U-86 - This website now appears to have been taken down. Will leave the link up for now, in case an archive will be available later (see this page).

Back to Brant County on the "Ships starting with B" page.

Bergenske DS had another ship named Brant County in 1947, ex Nortraships' D/S Carl Oftedal which was taken over by Bergenske in 1946, renamed Brant County in 1947. Renamed Matang in 1954 (Halvorsen Shipping Co, Bergen), became German Hedwigshutte in 1956 (Hedwigshutte Kohlen & Kokswerke, Hamburg), Greek Saronis in 1960 (A.Lusi Ltd, London, later J.C.Carras & Sons, London, 1965). Broken up in Taiwan in 1968.

The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Bergenske, byen og selskapet" by Dag Bakka Jr., "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, "Sjøforklaringer fra 2. verdenskrig", Volume I (Norwegian Maritime Museum) and misc. others for cross checking info. - ref My sources.

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