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To Eidanger on the "Ships starting with E" page.
Manager: Westfal-Larsen & Co. A/S, Bergen
Delivered in Oct.-1938 from Sir James Laing & Sons Ltd., Sunderland, 475' x 68' x 36', 7 cyl. 2T 4800 ihp, 13 knots.
Captain: Johan Kjærstad
See also Arnold Hague's Voyage Record
Eidanger rescued 32 people (or 1 passenger, 32 crew?) from the torpedoed British steamer Bosnia on Sept. 5-1939 and landed them at Lisbon the next day (this ship had been sunk by U-47 that same day - ref.external link below; Eidanger's captain's name is given as Johannes Presthus at this time. Just a couple of days earlier, another Norwegian ship, M/S Knute Nelson had rescued 449 survivors from Athenia).
From Page 1 of the archive documents, we learn that she was on her way from San Francisco to Manila when war broke out in Norway on Apr. 9-1940. Her 1941 voyages also start on this document, while convoy information for some of them can be found in the table above.
In Aug.-1941, she's listed in the Halifax-U.K. Convoy HX 144, along with the Norwegian Polartank, Orwell, Hallanger, Suderøy, Havprins, Grena, Evanger , Norse King, Vinland and Sommerstad. A. Hague has also included Ranja in this convoy. With destination New York, Eidanger subsequently joined the westbound North Atlantic Convoy ON 18, which departed Liverpool on Sept. 19 and was dispersed on Oct. 2, Eidanger arriving New York on Oct. 7. She later proceeded to Halifax in order to join Convoy HX 156 from there to the U.K. on Oct. 22 - see also Page 2. Eglantine and Montbretia are named among the escorts for this convoy. Together with Glittre, Kaldfonn, Kollbjørg, Norefjord, Nueva Granada, Olaf Bergh, Slemdal, Tankekspress and Thorshov, she now joined Convoy ON 42, departing Liverpool on Dec. 1. Eidanger, in station 33, was bound for Aruba, where she arrived independently on Dec. 23, the convoy having been dispersed on the 14th. This convoy will be added to my Convoys section - in the meantime, the ships sailing in it (and escorts) are named in the section listing ships in all ON convoys.
More information on the other Norwegian ships mentioned here can be found with the help of the alphabet index at the end of this page.
Related external link:
Eidanger departed Belfast Lough on Febr. 15 in ballast for Mobile in Convoy ON 67 (again, see link above to "ships in all ON convoys"; Belinda, Finnanger [sunk - follow link for details], Glittre, Hamlet, Idefjord, Nueva Andalucia, Sama [sunk, follow link], Skandinavia, Strinda and Thorhild are also listed).
In the early hours of Febr. 24 (at 02:45 convoy time) she was torpedoed on the starboard side by U-558 (Krech), and badly damaged. The tanks on the forward deck were leaking and flooding quickly, the side of the ship was ripped open from amidships towards the front of the ship, and she sank deeper and deeper by the head, but the captain thought there might be a chance of saving her. Among other measures, ballast was filled aft in an effort to keep the propeller under water. She kept going at full speed, but lagged further and further behind the convoy.
About 2 1/2 hours after the first torpedo had struck (05:20), another one detonated right in front of the mast on the starboard side, and as she was quickly sinking by the bow the men were ordered to the lifeboats. Shortly thereafter they were picked up by the British rescue vessel Toward. Eidanger's captain asked Toward's captain to remain in the area until Eidanger had sunk, but since a U-boat had been seen nearby, and as Toward already had two other rescued crews on board and no escorts nearby, she immediately left the scene to catch up with the convoy, which was about 10 n. miles ahead. The survivors were landed in Halifax on March 1 where the carpenter and 3rd mate, who had received head injuries, were admitted to a hospital.
The maritime hearings were held in Halifax on March 6-1942 with the captain, the 1st and 2nd mates, the radio operator, the 1st engineer, Able Seaman Jakobsen (lookout), Able Seaman Eriksen, Ordinary Seamen Edvardsen and Valum, the boatswain, the pump man, and the 2nd engineer appearing.
By the time of this convoy battle the escort services in the North Atlantic had been reorganized. The Americans had plenty enough to take care of closer to home (Paukenschlag) so a great deal of the protection for Trans-Atlantic convoys was left to Canadian and European navy vessels. 4 American destroyers and a Canadian corvette had taken over the task of escorting ON 67 south of Iceland on Febr. 19-1942. This group was rather inexperienced and did not have up to date technical equipment, though the British rescue vessel Toward at the back of the convoy was well equipped and could notify the Commodore of suspected German traffic in the evening of the 21st. ON 67 was one of the few convoys during this period to be the victim of a concentrated attack from several U-boats. U-155 attacked the Norwegian M/S Sama just before dawn (GMT) on Febr. 22; the American destroyer Nicholson rescued 20 men, 19 were assumed dead. The British tanker M/T Adellen was torpedoed at the same time, 12 survived out of her crew of 48, 6 of whom were rescued by Toward. The battle started in earnest in the night of Febr. 24, when U-558 torpedoed the British tanker Inverarder around midnight, crew of 42 picked up by Toward (Rohwer gives the time 04:28 German time), before hitting Eidanger a couple of hours later as mentioned. By the next morning, 5 tankers and a cargo ship had gone down. 8 ships were lost in all (among them the British M/T Anadara and D/S White Crest, and the Norwegian M/T Finnanger, as already mentioned).
Related external links:
ON 67 is also discussed in detail at the end of
Back to Eidanger on the "Ships starting with E" page.
Other ships by this name: Norway had previously had a steamship named Eidanger, built 1857 as Vingåker, sold in 1899 to Sweden and renamed Laban. Sold in 1891 to Skien, Norway and renamed Eidanger, purchased by Arendals Dampskibsselskap in 1904. Sold in 1931 to be broken up. (Arendals Dampskibsselskap's website had a picture of this ship, but I can no longer find their website). Also, another Eidanger was purchased by Westfal-Larsen in Nov.-1946, originally delivered as Cape Sebastian to the United States War Shipping Administration in Aug.-1944, 5154 gt, built in Beaumont, Texas. This ship was sold to Solstads Rederi, Skudeneshavn in May-1965 and renamed Solsyn. Sold to Singapore in Nov.-1971, renamed Goodyear. Broken up in Taiwan in 1979. (Info from company fleet list). This external page has a picture of the ship.
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 World's Merchant Fleets", Roger W. Jordan, "Axis Submarine Successes of World War Two", Jürgen Rohwer - ref. My sources. The Voyage Record was received from Tony Cooper, England - His source: Public Records Office, Kew.