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D/S Bruse
Updated May 21-2011

To Bruse on the "Ships starting with B" page.

Survivors and Casualties

Manager: Fred. Olsen & Co., Oslo for Norges Statsbaner, Oslo, (Norwegian State Railways) for carrying coal for the railways.
2205 gt, 1096 net, 3000 tdwt.
Call Sign: LITH.

Built at Nylands mek. Verksted, Oslo in 1933.

Captain was Ole Torolf Brekke (who had previously been 2nd mate, later 1st mate on Bruse I, until sold in 1933 - mentioned at "Other ships by this name" at the end of this page).

Her voyages are listed on this original document received from the National Archives of Norway.

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

Voyage Record
From Jan.-1940 to Nov.-1940:

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

Follow the convoy links provided for more information on each. Where the "Convoy" column is left blank, it means that convoy is not known.

Departure From To Arrival Convoy Remarks
1940 Jan. 19 Norwegian Waters Methil Jan. 22 HN 8
Febr. 5 Methil Norwegian Waters Febr. 8 ON 10
Febr. 22 Norwegian Waters Bergen Febr. 22 HN 14 Returned
Febr. 28 Norwegian Waters Methil March 1 HN 15
March 11 Methil Norwegian Waters March 14 ON 19
March 27 Norwegian Waters Methil March 30 HN 22 Missing movements, archive document
May 1 Methil Tyne May 1 MT 62 Convoy available at MT 62
(external link)
May 14 Tyne Southend May 16 FS 170 Convoy available at FS 170
(external link)
May 18 Southend Portsmouth May 19 OA 150 For Portsmouth.
Convoy available at OA 150
(external link)
May 24 Portsmouth Plymouth May 25
June 10 Plymouth Liverpool June 11
July 10 Liverpool OB 181 For Lisbon.
With OA 181, formed OG 37, July 12.
Convoy available at OB 181
(external link)
July 12 Formed at sea Lisbon July 16 OG 37 For Lisbon.
Convoy will be added.
See ships in OG convoys
July 31 Lisbon Gibraltar Aug. 2 Independent
Aug. 11 Gibraltar Methil Aug. 26 HG 41
Aug. 27 Methil Blyth Aug. 29 FS 264 Convoy available at FS 264
(external link)
Sept. 2 Blyth Tyne Sept. 2
Sept. 8 Tyne Methil Roads Sept. 9 Independent
Sept. 14 Methil Clyde Sept. 17 OA 214 Convoy available at OA 214
(external link)
Sept. 27 Clyde OB 220 Dispersed Oct. 1.
Convoy available at OB 220
(external link)
Oct. 1 Dispersed from OB 220 Sydney, C.B. Oct. 11 Independent
Oct. 21 Sydney, C.B. Nelson, N.B. Oct. 24 Independent
Oct. 31 Nelson, N.B. Sydney, C.B. Nov. 2 Independent
Nov. 9 Sydney, C.B. SC 11 Torpedoed - See "Final Fate" below.
Nov. 23 Torpedoed Clyde Nov. 30 In tow Forepart arrived Clyde in tow, later broken up.
See narrative.

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

A. Hague has included Bruse in Convoy HN 8 from Norway to the U.K. in Jan.-1940. He says she returned to Norway early the following month with Convoy ON 10, and at the end of that month she's listed in the original Advance Sailing Telegram for Convoy HN 15 from Norway, bound for Sunderland in ballast (according to A. Hague, she had initially started out in the previous convoy, HN 14, but returned to port). A. Hague subsequently has her returning to Norway in the middle of March with Convoy ON 19, then later that month we find her in Convoy HN 22, again bound for Sunderland in ballast. Judging from the information found on the archive document, it looks like the intention was to return to Norway; she left Sunderland for Oslo on Apr. 6, but must have returned to port (due to the German invasion, which took place on Apr. 9).

In May-1940 Arnold Hague has included her, with destination Portsmouth only, in Convoy OA 150, departing Southend on May 18. Other Norwegian ships in this convoy were Bjerka, Ferncourt, Hadrian and Kaia Knudsen, all bound further afield (this convoy joined up with Convoy OB 150 on May 20, the combined convoy forming Convoy OG 30*, but Bruse was not present at that time - A. Hague gives her arrival Portsmouth as May 19). It'll be noticed, when going back to the archive document, that she later spent quite a long time in Liverpool, before making a voyage to Lisbon, having joined Convoy OB 181, together with Rolf Jarl. This convoy left Liverpool on July 10 and joined up with Convoy OA 181 on the 12th, the combined convoy forming the Gibraltar bound Convoy OG 37*, which arrived Gibraltar on July 17; Bruse, however, arrived Lisbon on July 16, remaining there for 2 weeks. With a cargo of pit props for Blyth, she headed back to the U.K. on Aug. 11 with Convoy HG 41 from Gibraltar, arriving her destination on Aug. 28, according to the archive document. The Commodore's narrative of passage is also available for this convoy.

The following month, A. Hague has her in Convoy OA 214, which left Methil on Sept. 14 and dispersed on the 17th, Bruse arriving Clyde that same day (the archive document indicates that another voyage to Lisbon had been planned). Benwood (Vice Commodore) and Harpefjell are also listed in this convoy. Later that month, we find Bruse in Convoy OB 220, which originated in Liverpool on Sept. 27, and this time she was bound further afield. The convoy was dispersed on Oct. 1, Bruse arriving Sydney, C.B. independently on Oct. 11. Bjerka, Svein Jarl and Torfinn Jarl are also named - see the external links provided within the table above for more info on all the OA and OB convoys mentioned on this page.

Having made a voyage to Nelson, N.B., Bruse returned to Sydney, C.B. in order to join a convoy back to the U.K. - this voyage proved to be her last, as will be seen below.

* The OG convoys will be added to individual pages in my Convoys section; in the meantime, the ships sailing in them are named at ships in all OG convoys.

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

 Final Fate - 1940: 

Bruse was on her way to Ipswich with a cargo of 773 standards of lumber in Convoy SC 11 when she was torpedoed on the starboard side forward of the boiler room by U-100 (Schepke) on November 23-1940, position 55 14N 12 20W*. This convoy, which had departed Sydney, C. B. on Nov. 9, had several Norwegian ships, including Salonica, which was also sunk by U-100. Commodore was Vice Admiral F. M. Austin in D/S Llandilo in column 5.

* "Nortraships flåte" says Salonica was hit at 02.46 on the 23rd, and Bruse at 03:20, while J. Rohwer lists Bruse first, using German time 01:17, giving the postion as 55 04N 12 15W (time given for Salonica is 04:36). gives the time as 04:14 for Bruse and 04:36 for Salonica (external links). 04:14 is the time given for the Dutch Ootmarsum in Rohwer's book, so it's quite possible that new findings now indicate it was the Norwegian ship that was hit at that time, and not the Dutch vessel ( gives the time as 01:01 for this ship). The archive document gives the time 11:40 for Bruse.

The weather had been bad all along, and in the dark and rainy night of the 22nd, when the convoy was to change course 18° to port in a westerly gale increasing to a full storm and heavy seas, many ships lost their stations, necessitating navigation lights to be lit in order to avoid collisions. Several ships lagged behind. The lights flashed all over the place until the early morning hours of the 23rd, resulting in U-100 spotting the convoy and sinking several ships in the disorganized formation, Bruse being one of them. The after mast and the funnel went overboard, the mast crushing the port lifeboat (where 5 men had assembled) and the motorboat as it fell, and shortly thereafter the afterpart of Bruse broke off and sank, taking the lifeboats and 17 men with it.

The captain and 4 others had been on the bridge when the torpedo struck. The captain ran into the radio station to try to get in communication with the escort, but the radio was useless so they sent up 3 rockets, and later signalled by torch to report their situation. The Canadian destroyer Skeena came to, but it was impossible to attempt a rescue under the violent weather conditions, so while awaiting daylight the survivors gathered by a raft which was secured on top of the deck cargo. In the morning, after having struggled with it for 2 hours, they eventually managed to get the raft on the water, and Skeena was able to pick them up. A 6th survivor, Able Seaman Johan Løkvik (from the afterpart) was already on the destroyer. He had been pulled under twice by the suction, but had been able to get to the surface where he had come across the waterfilled starboard lifeboat, in which he had found an SOS lamp that he used to attract the destroyer's attention. He had seen several other men in the water, and the destroyer searched for them but none were found.

The survivors were landed in Gourock on Nov. 25. Convoy SC 11 arrived Liverpool the next day, having lost 8 ships in all. In addition to the 2 Norwegian ones they were the British Bradfyne (Norse King rescued 4 survivors from one of Bradfyne's lifeboats on Nov. 25 and landed them at Belfast), Justitia, Leise Maersk, and the Dutch Bussum and Ootmarsum, all sunk by U-100. Additionally, the British Alma Dawson struck a British mine on Nov. 24 (no casualties - survivors were picked up by the Norwegian Spurt). My page about Convoy SC 11 has more details - see also the external link at the end of this page.

A few days later, an aircraft reported that the forepart of Bruse was still afloat with the cargo intact, and she was subsequently towed to shore by the tugs Seaman and Thames, arriving Clyde on Nov. 30. She was beached at Ardmaleish Point, Kames Bay where her deck cargo was discharged.

The maritime hearings were held in Glasgow on Dec. 2-1940 with Captain Brekke, the 2nd mate, Able Seaman Semmerud (helmsman), and Able Seaman Løkvik appearing.

The remainder of Bruse's cargo was later discharged at Troon, where she had arrived in Jan.-1941. Having been found to be beyond repair she was delivered for breaking up in June that year.

Captain O. T. Brekke later helped build up Nortraship's organization in London, and also served in the Home Guard. After the war, he went on to command Bruse III in 1946, thereby serving with Fred. Olsen for over 42 years. He died in 1990.

For info, U-100 had also been responsible for the attack on Simla earlier that year - follow the link for more info. U-100 was sunk the following spring - ref. external links at the end of this page.

Crew List:
According to
Lillesand Sjømannsforening (external link) Steward Løvik later joined Snar. He had also served on Stromboli.

Ole Torolf Brekke
2nd Mate
Hans Grorud Jansen
Able Seaman
Thomas E. Semmerud
Able Seaman
Olav M. Mathiassen
Able Seaman
Johan Løkvik
Mathias Løvik

1st Mate
Yngvar W. Amundsen

Haakon Evensen

Able Seaman
Otto G. Svendsen

Ordinary Seaman
Ragnvald J. Mørkestøl

Jr. Ordinary Seaman
Olai G. Hansen

Deck Boy
Sten Hilding Sørlie

1st Engineer
Karl Pettersen

2nd Engineer
Bjarne Larsen

Birger O. Nikolaisen

Alfred Karlsen

Bjarne W. Pedersen

Kristian Kristiansen

Sverre Strand

Knut Aage Lindersen

Oskar Nilsen

Mess Boy
Rolf A. Aasen Nærem

Related external links:
Stavern Memorial commemorations - The above 16 men are commemorated at this Memorial for Seamen in Stavern, Norway.

Ships hit from Convoy SC 11

U-100 | Joachim Schepke

Operations information for U-100 - 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).

Schepke & U-100 - A section of Tom Purnell's website (he writes extensively about Convoy HX 72).

Back to Bruse on the "Ships starting with B" page.

Other ships by this name: This was Fred. Olsen's 2nd steamship by the name Bruse, the 1st one was built in Christiania in 1911, sold in 1933 to Airiston Laiva O/Y, Helsinki and renamed Vienti. A picture and more details are available on this external page. The company later had another steamer by this name, with the following history:
Built in 1930 at Flensburg as Adele Traber (Trauber?) for W. Traber & Co., Germany, 2623 gt. In May-1945 she was taken as prize at Kiel by the Royal Navy and handed over to the Ministry of War Transport, managed by Sir R. Ropner & Co. Ltd. and renamed Empire Oykell. In 1946 she was allocated to Norway as a prize and renamed Bruse, being managed on behalf of the Norwegian State Railways by Fred. Olsen & Co. In Jan.-1958, after the railways had started using diesel instead of coal she was purchased by Leif Høegh & Co. A/S and renamed Høegh Bruse, then renamed Høegh Collier that same year. Sold in Febr.-1961 to OY Propsshipping Ltd., Finland and renamed Pomo. Sold in 1967 to Rauman Rahtaus OY (Rauma Chartering Ltd.), Finland and renamed Tomi. Arrived at Spezia in Febr.-1968 to be scrapped by Cantieri Navali del Golfo (info from Leif Høegh & Co. fleet list - see also this external page). Fred. Olsen purchased a ship in 1964 which was also given the name Bruse, built in Sweden in 1961 as Nordpol. Sold to Lisbon in 1971 (ref. this page - also external). Backers Rederi A/S had a ship by this name in the early 1960's, originally delivered as Axel Carl in May-1947 to owners in Copenhagen, 2287 gt. Renamed Ekholm in 1956 (of Mariehamn), then purchased by Halfdan Backer A/S (Backers Rederi A/S), Krstiansund in 1961 and renamed Bruse. Sold in 1964 to owners in Bergen, renamed Tormo. Sold to Piræus in 1965, renamed Elias P, then Anna in 1969 for new Greek owners. Arrived Bilbao for breaking up on July 26-1970. Another, more recent Bruse is discussed on this external page.

The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, "Sjøforklaringer fra 2. verdenskrig", Volume I (Norwegian Maritime Museum), "The Allied Convoy System", Arnold Hague, "Axis Submarine Successes of World War Two", Jürgen Rohwer, and misc. others for cross checking info. - ref My sources.


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