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Owner: Skibs-A/S Corona
Delivered on March 7-1920 from Smith's Dock & Co. Ltd., Middlesbrough as Corona to D/S A/S Corona (H. M. Wrangell & Co. A/S), Haguesund.
Captain: Einar Endresen
In Admiralty service.
Related item on this website:
Please compare the above voyages with Arnold Hague's Voyage Record below.
(Received from Don Kindell - His source: The late Arnold Hague's database).
Follow the convoy links provided for more information on each.
Corona spent most of 1940 voyaging between Shanghai, Hong Kong, Chinwangtao and other ports in the area. According to Page 1 of the archive documents, she was on her way from Chinwangtao to Hong Kong, via Shanghai, when war broke out in Norway on Apr. 9-1940.
Other Norwegian ships in Convoy BN 17, in which Corona is listed in Febr.-1941 (cargo of coal), were Lyder Sagen, Talabot, Tonjer and Wilford. Wilford is also included in Convoy BS 21 the following month, as is the Norwegian Woolgar.
What follows was received from Tony Cooper, England (it agrees on the whole with the information found in the Voyage Record above as well as in the documents received from the National Archives of Norway, though some of these voyages are not mentioned there. I believe his source is Lloyd's).
She was in Shanghai in Jan.-1941, departing on the 9th for Singapore, arriving Jan. 17, leaving again the next day for Sandheads, with arrival there on the 25th - see also Page 1. Departed Sandheads on Febr. 5, arrived Colombo on the 11th, departing again on the 12th for Aden with arrival Febr. 21. Left Aden on Febr. 24 (joining Convoy BN 17, as mentioned above) and arrived Suez on March 3. Left Suez for Aden on March 24 (Convoy BS 21), arriving Aden Apr. 1. Departed Apr. 4, arrived Durban on Apr. 18, leaving again on the 20th, arriving Port Elizabeth the next day. Left Port Elizabeth on May 18, arrived Durban on the 21st, left on May 25 for Aden with arrival June 10. Departed Aden on July 7, arrived Durban on the 29th, departed Aug. 19, arrived Lourenço Marques on Aug. 21, leaving again on Aug. 30, arriving Mombasa on Sept. 6. On Sept. 29 she left Mombasa for Kismayu, then went to Aden with arrival there on Oct. 7, leaving the next day for Berbera where she arrived on Oct. 9. Departed Berbera on the 18th of that month for Massowah where she arrived on the 21st, leaving again on the 27th for Mombasa, where she arrived on Nov. 6. She left Mombasa on Nov. 13 to head back to Kismayu, from there to Dante and on to Aden, arriving Nov. 23. She subsequently made another voyage, but destination and dates are not known, and she was back in Aden on Nov. 28, leaving 2 days later (Nov. 30) for Massowah with arrival Dec. 4, then again headed to Aden and on to Port Sudan where she arrived on Dec. 26-1941.
On Jan. 3-1942 she left Port Sudan for Assab, departing Assab on Jan. 16 for Aden with arrival on the 17th, leaving again on Jan. 20, but ran aground and was refloated by tug Tsin on Febr. 2 then proceeded to Massowah where she arrived on Febr. 5 (A. Hague gives date as Jan. 27 for grounding, refloated Febr. 5). Left Massowah on Febr. 12, arrived Aden on the 16th, departing on the 18th for Sandheads where she arrived on March 7. Departed Sandheads on March 20 for Calcutta, where she was dry docked for repairs to bottom after the earlier grounding incident at Massowah. She later left Calcutta for Sandheads, arriving Apr. 19, leaving that same day for Durban for further repairs, arrival May 14. It looks like this must have taken a long time, because departure date is given as Nov. 7, arriving Aden on Nov. 25, leaving again on the 30th for Lourenço Marques, from there to Beira where she arrived on Dec. 12. On the 20th she left Beira for Port Sudan. See also Page 2 for comparison.
Corona arrived Port Sudan (via Aden) on Jan. 7-1943, leaving again on the 10th with arrival Suez on Jan. 14 - again, see Page 2. Departed Suez on Jan. 16, arrived and then left Port Said that same day and arrived Alexandria on Jan. 17. Departed Alexandria in convoy for Benghazi on Febr. 3, with a cargo of ammunition and other war stores, 3700 tons in all (A. Hague gives the convoy designation AW 22 - ref. link provided in the table above, incomplete listing?). She had 7 Norwegian officers (named at the beginning of this page), a crew of 40 from India, an Egyptian messboy, 6 British gunners, and 49 soldiers as passengers (army personnel). At 09:15 on Febr. 5, she was torpedoed in the starboard bow by U-617 (Brandi) in 32 11N 24 46E, no casualties.
The engine was stopped and, fearing an explosion because of the ammunition in all her holds, the crew was ordered to the boats. All 4 lifeboats, the workboat and a raft were launched. Shortly thereafter the captain, 10 crew and 11 passengers were picked up by ML 1012. The captain returned to the lifeboat with the 3rd mate and 3 crew with the intention of going back to Corona. On the way they met ML 356, which had picked up others from Corona, and realizing the ship could not be saved without assistance, he decided to join the others in the motor launch, then go back to the ship with a tug later. As a soldier had been seriously injured it was decided to go to Tobruk right away, and since the motor launches could not take lifeboats in tow these were set adrift. The captain arrived Tobruk at 14:00 and crew and passengers were landed (the 1st engineer, the 2nd mate and the steward were not landed until 23:00 that night, and the remaining crew and passengers the following afternoon). On arrival Tobruk the captain was told that a tug had already gone out to try to save the ship, and at 16:00 he was informed that she was under tow. 26 of the crew and the 3rd mate were sent to Alexandria that evening, as there was no place to accommodate them at Tobruk, while the captain, the 1st mate and the 2nd engineer remained.
It appears that ML 1012 had remained at the scene and had attempted to take Corona in tow. The line kept breaking, but the 3rd attempt was successfull and towing commenced. After about an hour the tug from Tobruk arrived and took over, while those of Corona's complement who had been on board the motor launch were transferred to another boat and taken to Tobruk, with arrival there at 23:00. It also appears that some of Corona's crew had been picked up by HMS Erica which placed a boarding party on Corona, including a stoker from D/S Henrik, which had also been torpedoed by U-617 that same day (also from Convoy AW 22). Corona arrived Tobruk in tow of the tug and 2 naval vessels at 17:00 on Febr. 6, and Corona's officers and 14 crew were placed back on board.
She was extensively damaged, and had developed several leaks. The foc'sle deck line was split to the keel and from the keel to about 15 ft from the deck line on the port side. The collision bulkhead was fractured and foc'sle deck dropped 12" from the aft side windlass to stem. As she was in a sinking condition she was beached, tied up to a wreck on her port side. The tug and one of the naval vessels departed, while the other naval vessel remained overnight on her starboard side. They tried to keep her afloat the best they could by continually pumping, and during the days between Febr. 9 and Febr. 19 cargo was discharged (the 3rd mate and the 26 who had been sent to Alexandria returned to the ship on the 17th). By Febr. 23 she had received further damages and more leaks due to increasing winds and seas which caused her to knock up against the wreck, and by midnight on Febr. 23 her foredeck was under water and No. 2 hold was full of water, in spite of continuous pumping. No assistance could be provided from shore because of the high seas. They had no lifeboats so the situation was becoming quite desperate. By 4 in the morning of Febr. 24 the engine room was full of water and No. 3 hold flooded. At 10:30 a barge came alongside and all on board were ordered to leave the ship, while the officers remained on board. More cargo was discharged in the course of that day, then at 17:30 the remaining men abandoned ship.
48 of them left Tobruk that evening, as there was no place for them to stay there. They arrived Alexandria on Febr. 26 where the maritime hearings were held on March 5-1943.
For info, U-617 had also been responsible for the attack on Harboe Jensen the previous month (in addition to Henrik already mentioned above) - follow the link for details.
Related external links:
Back to Corona on the "Ships starting with C" page.
Other ships by this name:
Also, from 1926 H. M. Wrangell, Haugesund had a Corona I (owned by Corona Ld., and registered in Vigo, Spain), renamed Eik in 1931 (H. M. Wrangell & Co. A/S, Haugesund). This was a whale catcher built in Porsgrunn in 1910 as Eik, 150 gt, at that time belonging to A/S Shetland Hvalfangerselskap (Chr. Nielsen & Co., Larvik). Operated in South Shetland for A/S Norge (Chr. Nielsen) in 1911. This info was found in "Damp - Dampskipets æra i Vestfold". This book also lists a Corona II, built Oslo 1908 as Snorre (also a whale catcher), sold to Larvik in 1924 and renamed Hercules II. In 1926 she was owned by Corona Ld., H. M Wrangell, Haugesund - registered in Viga, Spain, renamed Corona II. As far as I can see these 2 latter vessels are not mentioned in "Våre gamle skip". Lillesand Sjømannsforening also has information on ships by this name (external link).
The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, "Våre gamle skip", Leif M. Bjørkelund & E. H. Kongsdal, E-mail from Tony Cooper, England (with info on misc. voyages 1941-1942), "Sjøforklaringer fra 2. verdenskrig", Volume I (Norwegian Maritime Museum), Admiralty records, received from a visitor to my website, and misc. others as named within the text above for cross checking info. - ref My sources.