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Owner: A/S Eikhaug
Delivered from Nylands mek. Verksted, Oslo in Aug.-1903 as D/S Brio for A/S D/S Bonheur (Fred. Olsen), Oslo. Purchased by A/S Eikhaug (Ditlef Rasmussen) Haugesund, in Jan.-1930, renamed Eikhaug. Taken over by O. A. Knutsen in May-1935, manager became Knut Knutsen O.A.S. from 1938 (231.6 x 32.1 x 20.9; triple Exp. [Nyland], 109 nhp).
Captain: Gudmund Nygaard
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.
Errors may exist, and several voyages are missing.
Eikhaug is listed as sailing in Convoy HN 9A from Norway to the U.K. in Jan.-1940. She's said to have arrived Sunderland on Febr. 3, leaving again on the 13th. A few days later, A. Hague has included her in the U.K.-Norway Convoy ON 14, and at the end of March we find her, with a cargo of fish, in Convoy HN 23B from Norway, arriving Methil Roads on Apr. 4, thereby ending up in allied service (the Germans invaded Norway on Apr. 9).
A French visitor to my website has told me that Eikhaug, according to his records, sailed from Brest on June 6-1940 in convoy 48-B under French escort (convoy available via external link provided in the Voyage Record above - the Norwegian Kari and Skotfoss are also named). At Gibraltar June 12 (compare with details found on Page 1 of the archive documents; perhaps arrival Brest June 13 is an error and should be replaced with Gibraltar?). Sailed from Gibraltar June 14 in convoy (unnumbered, ships evacuated in emergency from Brest) under French escort. At Oran June 15. It looks like she barely avoided being interned there like so many other Norwegian ships; according to the archive document, she left Oran again for Villa Real on June 17. Arrival there is not given, but she departed Villa Real on July 6 for Gibraltar in order to join Convoy HG 37 to the U.K. on July 7, cargo of minerals. The Norwegian Spes and Varangberg are also listed. It'll be noticed, when following the link to my page about this convoy, that Eikhaug is mentioned in the Commodore's report, where he says she became a straggler on July 12 and was not able to regain her station, though he says that all ships seemed to be present in the morning of the 15th, except 2 Greek ships. Going back to the archive document, we learn that she anchored at Belfast Lough on July 20 - her final destination was Hull, where she eventually arrived, via various other ports, on Aug. 18.
The following month, A. Hague has included her, together with Brisk, Cresco and Don, in Convoy OA 216, which left Methil on Sept. 18 and joined up with Convoy OB 216 on Sept. 21. Again, see the external link in the table above. Eikhaug was bound for Sydney, C.B., where she arrived on Oct. 2, according to Page 1. Having made voyages to Dalhousie, Campbelltown and back to Dalhousie, she returned to Sydney, C.B., with arrival Oct. 10, and was scheduled to head back to the U.K. on Oct. 15 with the slow Convoy SC 8, but did not sail - she had a cargo of newsprint and pulp for Manchester. She was also cancelled from SC 9 and SC 10, but eventually got away with Convoy SC 11 on Nov. 9, in which Bruse and Salonica, among several others, were sunk. Eikhaug's destination is now given as Preston, where she arrived on Nov. 25. The Commodore, Vice Admiral F. M. Austin in the British Llandilo had a hard time keeping this convoy together, as much due to bad weather as lack of ability to understand the Commodore's orders and signalling. Austin was not very happy with the mixture of old ships he was appointed to lead, but he had some positive words for Eikhaug and her captain, saying, "especially Eikhaug, a very small ship did splendidly in view of the weather etc."
Her voyages in this period are shown on Page 2.
"We were bound from Port Talbot to Dartmouth with a cargo of 708 tons of coal. We were armed with a Lewis gun, a Hotchkiss and a Holman Projector. The crew, including myself, numbered 18, the only casualty being the Chief Officer who was wounded. The ship was degaussed and the apparatus was working.
We left Port Talbot on the 30th January and set our course as ordered by the Naval Control. On the early morning of the 31st there was a N. E. wind blowing force 3, the sea was rough and visibility was poor at times, cloudy and squally. We were doing 8 knots and our course was S 76° E magnetic when at 07:30, in position 3 miles South of the Southern part of Land's End, we were attacked by a German plane which I think was either a Heinkel III or a JU 88. The sky had cleared just then and we first saw the plane over the land and heard the sound of machine-gunning. The enemy approached on the port bow at a height of about 100-150 ft. and when within range opened fire with his machine-gun. The British soldier at the Lewis gun, which was on the port side, also opened fire as the plane flew along the port side of the ship. The Chief Officer who was manning the Hotchkiss on top of the Chartroom was wounded by a machine-gun bullet which ricochetted off the concrete slab protection round the gun, but he continued to fire until relieved by the 2nd Officer. I think our guns actually opened fire before the enemy.
After flying from ahead along the port side the plane circled astern and then flew along the starboard side opening fire with his cannon and machine-gun when within range. This time he also dropped a bomb which fell 50 yds. from the starboard side abreast of No. 3 hatch. The ship shuddered as the bomb exploded on impact with the water, sending up a column of water but not very high. The plane continued on the same course at about 150 ft. but when it was some 200 yds. ahead of us we saw it dive steeply and as it touched the water there was a dull explosion and it burst into flames, burning fiercly for about 5 minutes. We continued on our course and when we reached the spot where the plane had disappeared there was nothing to be seen only a patch of oil on the surface of the water; there were no survivors. We proceeded without further incident and arrived at Falmouth at 12:30 the same day, 31st January.
The whole crew behaved magnificently. The guns worked very well and the soldier who was at the Lewis gun on the port side ran over to the starboard side and continued to fire at the plane when it returned. The 2nd Officer took over at the Hotchkiss as the Chief Officer was wounded, and both guns let go at the enemy as fast as possible. We did not use the Holman as there is no protection round it and I called the man to take cover as I thought he would be a target for the enemy. The concrete slabs round the bridge and elsewhere were not pierced by either bullets or cannon shells, the concrete being chipped, but the protection round the Hotchkiss is only 4 ft. high and I do not think this is much use against air attacks. All guns were manned as is our custom on leaving port. One of the bullets pierced a ventilator making a hole 1" in diameter, and we found one large bullet which was handed to the Naval Authorities.
A paper tracing is attached showing the damage caused to the stern and fore end. In addition there is a buckle 6" to 1" in depth running around the ship just abaft the after engine room bulkhead, between 94 to 97 stations from keel to sheer strake port and starboard. The upper and lower decks are also buckled.
On arrival in dock photographs of the damage were taken and it is understood from the C.O. that photographs were taken by the Press Division, Admiralty, of the damage to the ship on arrival in port and before the same was cut away by the base personnel at Harwich.
If concurred in it is proposed to send R/S to Press Division requesting that a copy of the photographs taken be forwarded to this department for information and retention".
The report is signed R. James, and dated Apr. 13- '41
Eikhaug met her fate when she was torpedoed by the fast attack boat S-52 (Karl Müller) of the 4th Flotilla in the early morning hours of Sept. 7-1941 while on a voyage in Convoy EC 70 from Southend (external link), bound for Grangemouth with a cargo of 1745 tons cement (loaded at Cliffe), having departed Southend the day before. Page 3 gives the time as 03:30. The Norwegian Skum is also listed in this convoy.
According to "Nortraships flåte" the escorting Versatile saw a fast vessel approaching the convoy, but hesitated to take action for fear of attacking friendly forces, since the boat was seen passing only 400 meters from a patrol boat, which showed no signs of alarm. By the time Versatile had determined it was an enemy vessel it was already too late; 4 torpedoes were observed, and immediately afterwards, Eikhaug and the British Duncarron were hit (S-50, Karcher, also of the 4th Flotilla).
4 men, who were asleep in their cabins, awoke from the explosion and ran to the deck to find the afterpart under water. They all jumped overboard and when they came to the surface their ship was gone. They managed to cling to the remains of the hatches floating up, until they were picked up 15 minutes later by the escort (Versatile? 3 were picked up by the same destroyer, the 4th survivor, O. Skagen was rescued by a different destroyer). They thought they had heard cries from others in the water, but no others could be found.
12 Norwegians, including captain Nygaard, 2 British and 1 Spanish seaman died. 10 of the crew members had just signed on in London a little over a week before.
The survivors were landed in Lowestoft where Stoker Skagen was admitted to a hospital, having received minor injuries. The other 3 continued to London where the maritime hearings were held on Sept. 16.
"We were bound from Southend to Grangemouth with a cargo of 2000 tons of cement. We were armed with 4 machine guns. The ship was degaussed and the apparatus was working. The crew, including Master and 2 Military Gunners, numbered 21, of whom 17 are missing (this conflicts with other sources). The whereabouts of the confidential books are not known but it is presumed they were lost with the ship.
We left Southend at 0600 GMT on September 6th and formed up in Convoy EC 70. The convoy was in two columns and we were the third ship in the port column. During the afternoon of the 6th two German planes attacked the convoy for about an hour and dropped some bombs, no ship in the convoy sustained damage.
At 0230 GMT on the 7th in position 3 miles East of Sheringham Buoy* there was an explosion in the stern of our ship. The sea at the time was slight, wind light airs, weather was fine and visibility good. It was moonlight at the time. We were making 7 knots on a North-westerly course. I was asleep in my bunk at the time and did not hear the explosion, and am unable to say whether the explosion was on the starboard or the port side or whether there was any flame. Another man, who was in bed in the same room as I was, awakened me and I immediately went up on deck. The stern of the ship was then under water and as I reached the deck I saw a wall of water coming towards me and I jumped into the sea. I was not wearing a life-jacket but I managed to catch hold of one of the hatches, and after 1/4 of an hour in the water our Escorting vessel picked me up.
Our ship sank about 30/40 seconds after the explosion. I did not hear the engines of an E-boat and thought the ship had struck a mine. I did not see any rafts in the water."
Related external links:
Knutsen OAS Shipping today - with a brief history of the company.
Back to Eikhaug on the "Ships starting with E" page.
Previous ships by this name: Haugesund lost a D/S Eikhaug during WW I, originally delivered in Apr.-1900 as Lizzie for E. A. Casper & Co., W. Hartlepool, UK, 612 gt. From 1909 registered for Gregory Brook, Wadsworth/W. Hartlepool. Purchased on June 1-1912 by Sigvart Rasmussen, Haugesund and renamed Eikhaug. Sold in July-1915 to Johs. Sundfør, Haugesund, then to A/S D/S Anna Lea (Erik Grant Lea) on July 27-1915 and registered as Anna Lea of Bergen. From 1917 she sailed for Bjørnstad & Brækhus, Bergen. Disappeared on a voyage Cardiff-France, having departed Cardiff on Febr. 28-1918 with a cargo of coal. 15 men were lost. Another ship by this name was delivered in July-1919 to A/S Fart (Lars Mæland & Karluf Hansen), Haugesund, 479 gt. Sank on Sept. 26-1920 following a collision with the British D/S Trospan, about 4 n. miles off Nordre Rønner in Skagen when on a voyage Siglufjordur-Stockholm with a cargo of herring. Raised in Febr.-1921, laid up in Fredrikshavn, repaired in Haugesund in 1924, taken over in May that year by D/S A/S Risøy (M. Clausen) as Hasseløy. Lost on a voyage Faroe Islands-Blyth in ballast on Apr. 22-1925, 13 died. See also this external page.
The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, "Våre gamle skip", Leif M. Bjørkelund & E. H. Kongshavn, "Sjøforklaringer fra 2. verdenskrig", Volume I (Norwegian Maritime Museum) - ref. My sources. The survivor report was received from Roger Griffiths - His source: The Public Records Office, Kew.