|Site Map | Search Warsailors.com |Merchant Fleet Main Page | Warsailors.com Home|
Source: Karl Henrik Henriksen, who says the picture was taken in Aarhus, Denmark on March 19-1935.
His father and grandfather served on her before the war
(his grandfather was later Vinni's captain, Karl Helmer Henriksen, ref. M/S Vinni's Story).
Eidsvold at trials. Source: Builders - received from Jan Goedhart, Holland
Owner: Skibs-A/S Eidsiva
Built in Gothenburg in 1934.
Captain: Amund Amundsen (possibly identical to the A. Amundsen of Dagrun?), later captain was Samuel Fridvold.
When Norway was invaded on Apr. 9-1940 Eidsvold was at Moji, Japan, loading scrap iron. The company's Vinni was also there at the time, as was M/S Ringwood. Eidsvold had just been chartered that day to the Japanese company Kawasaki, and their orders were to continue to India to take on board a cargo for the U.S., where the ship was to be returned to owners, but upon hearing about the invasion they remained at Moji for a few days, untill new orders came for them to head to Hong Kong. Off Formosa they received a telegram from the Norwegian consul at Kobe telling them to go into Formosa and they remained there for a week until being told to go to India. They loaded a cargo for Baltimore at Vizagapatam, north of Madras, then headed to Colombo, departing the latter on May 15, arriving Baltimore on July 1 (via Table Bay, according to Page 1). She now continued to Norfolk, departing again on July 15 (compare w/Page 1) with a cargo of coal for Buenos Aires, unloading the coal there at the beginning of the following month, before taking on a new cargo there as well as in Rosario. They subsequently left for Montreal with arrival in Sept. (again, compare w/Page 1). Once the cargo had been unloaded she was docked in Quebec, then proceeded to Halifax where 317 crates of automobiles were taken on board. At the end of Oct.-1940 she left Halifax for Aden (going around South Africa), then joined a convoy to Suez; she's listed, together with Fosna, Gunny, Gylfe, Norfold, Velma and Vilja, in Convoy BN 11, departing Aden on Dec. 18, arriving Suez on the 25th - see external link below. The cars were later discharged at Haifa, where she arrived on Dec. 29.
She was back in Suez on Jan. 1-1941 (Compare /wPage 1), continuing to Aden for bunkers (note that A. Hague has included her, together with Gunny, Høegh Hood, Norfold, Nyholm and Thorsholm, in Convoy BS 13, which left Suez on Jan. 19 and dispersed on the 27th - link below) and was also time chartered to an Australian company at that time. She then proceeded to Calcutta to pick up a cargo for Australia. This was discharged at Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney, having stopped by Fremantle for sailing instructions. New cargo (war stores?) was loaded at all 4 of the mentioned ports whereupon she went to Port Said where part of that cargo was unloaded. From Haifa she continued to The Red Sea and loaded a cargo of phosphates. Arrived Freetown (this should probably be Fremantle?) 27 days later, received orders to head for New Plymouth, New Zealand with the cargo, a voyage which took 3 weeks (? Her voyages in this period are shown on Page 2). Some of her cargo was also unloaded at Wanganui. At the beginning of Sept.-1941 she went to Sydney in ballast and was docked again before continuing to Newcastle (N.S.W.) to pick up coal for Melbourne. Having discharged there, a cargo was received at Adelaide and Fremantle for Port Said and Haifa again, arriving the latter early in Nov.-1941 (Page 2 gives arrival as Nov. 20), then departed Suez in ballast at the beginning of Dec.-1941. Having stopped by Aden, she was at Colombo from the 21st of that month until Jan. 3-1942 for the installation of cement slabs around the machine guns on the bridge, then headed for Christmas Island (south of Java) on Jan. 3.
Eidsvold arrrived Christmas Island on Jan. 12-1942 and had loaded 3700 tons phosphates for Fremantle on the 13th and 14th when a storm came up and she had to head to sea to anchor up off Margaret Beach in order to wait for the weather to improve so that she could continue loading. Every day she approached land to get in touch with the station there, but each time she was told that the weather was unsuitable.
At 14:30 on January 20-1942, 2nd Mate Sverre Bergendahl, who was on duty on the bridge reported seeing what looked like the wake of a torpedo on the port side, 2 ships lengths off and parallel to the ship. Captain Fridvold decided to go close to land and report the incident, whereupon the pilot came on board and told them they had often seen whales around the island, but to be on the safe side he advised them to stay close to land, protected by the fort there (it had one single canon), and also told them where they could beach the ship in case something happened. The lifeboats were now swung out and all the rescue equipment checked and Eidsvold was moved as close to the fort as possible - Eidsvold only had 3 Colt Marlin machine guns to defend herself with.
She was about 4 cable lengths from the fort when at 18:15 the captain spotted a periscope on the starboard side and immediately gave orders to the 1st mate, who had also come to the bridge, for full ahead and hard port wheel. Just then a torpedo was seen coming towards them, the lookout on the starboard side was told to run to the port side of the ship, and shortly thereafter the torpedo struck forward of No. 4 hatch, breaking her almost in 2 (the torpedo had come from the Japanese I-159, Yoshimatsu). The starboard lifeboat was filled with water and oil, but the crew of 31 managed to get to shore, which was only about 500 meters away, in the port boat. According to the 2nd mate's report the sub came up shortly afterwards, but a few salvos from the gun at the fort made it disappear in a hurry. It turned out the 1st engineer was missing, so the captain, the 3rd mate and Mechanic Andersen immediately went back to the ship in the pilot's boat which had come to and found him safe and sound. By 19:30 the entire complement was ashore and the shipwrecked men were given lodgings at the homes of various local families.
In the course of the following night Eidsvoll broke completely in two, and as both parts drifted towards shore and settled in shallow waters, with the 2 parts about 40' away from each other, her crew made several trips back and forth rescuing equipment, food, clothing, etc. (incl. the ship's papers). Even the radio station was disassembled and taken ashore, where it was used by the inhabitants of the island.
After over 2 weeks on Christmas Island the crew was picked up on Febr. 6 by the cruiser HMS Durban and taken to Batavia, where they waited for 10 days for further transport. The Australian passenger vessel Marella arrived from Singapore with 400 passengers (evacuees?). Her Malayan crew had apparently had enough of the war at sea and left the ship soon after arrival, thereby leaving the Marella in need of employees. The crew from Eidsvoll was sent on board to be in charge of the lifeboats in case something should happen to the ship, and arrived Sydney on March. 21. The maritime hearings were held there on Apr. 23 with the captain, the 1st mate, the 1st engineer, Assistant Flo and Able Seaman Eetzert (Dalzert?) appearing.
Captain Fridvold later joined M/S Skagerak.
The wreckage of Eidsvoll was still visible in the 1950's.
Crew List - No casualties:
Back to Eidsvold on the "Ships starting with E" page.
Othr ships by this name: Karl Henriksen has also told me about another ship named Eidsvold (a tanker) which was ordered by Skipsaktieselskapet Eidsiva (O. Ditlev- Simonsen & Sverre Ditlev-Simonsen) and launched in Febr.-1932. Before delivery in Apr. that year she was sold to Arctos Ltd., London, a Soviet company, and renamed M/T Vaarlam Avanesov. A sistership was also ordered, but before it was launched in Oct.-1933 this ship belonged to Magnus Konows Rederi and started her career as M/T Abu (identical to WW II's Hamlet?). Another Eidsvold is discussed on this external page - see also Nina.
The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, "19 Oslo-skips historie under verdenskrigen, fra April 1940 til krigens slutt i 1945" ("The Story of 19 Oslo ships during the World War, from April 1940 until the End of the War in 1945") Harald Nicolaisen - based on the ship's logs and diaries, "Sjøforklaringer fra 2. verdenskrig", Volume I (Norwegian Maritime Museum) - ref. My sources.