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Owner: Jørgensen's Rederi A/S
Built in Gothenburg in 1931.
Captain: Jens Marcussen.
Related item on this website:
Her voyages are listed on this original document from the Norwegian National Archives.
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.
When war broke out in Norway on Apr. 9-1940, Eli was on her way from Durban to River Plate - see the archive document. From River Plate she later proceeded to Montevideo, then on to Freetown, and with a cargo of grain, she's now listed in station 64 of Convoy SL 35, which left Freetown on June 8 and arrived Liverpool on the 25th; Eli arrived Weymouth Bay on June 26, Portland the next day. The Norwegian Para and Stirlingville also took part in this convoy - ref. link provided in the tabe above. On June 30, A. Hague has included her, along with Stirlingville, Elna E, Rimac and Vestvard, in Convoy FN 209 from Southend. Eli arrived Hull on July 2, leaving again on the 12th in order to sail to Hampton Roads, where she arrived July 29, continuing to Philadelphia that same day, with arrival July 30.
Eli departed Philadelphia again in the evening of Aug. 8-1940 with a cargo of 7072 tons steel for Swansea, via Halifax for convoy, arriving Halifax on Aug. 12. She was scheduled for Convoy HX 65, but did not sail - she may have arrived too late to join, as this convoy left on Aug. 12 (as can be seen when following the link, HX 65 lost several ships). Instead, she left Halifax in the morning of Aug. 16 in Convoy HX 66, in which the Norwegian Norne was sunk. (It'll be noticed that Eli is included among the ships in the Bermuda portion in the Advance Sailing Telegram for this convoy, but she belongs in the Halifax section).
Upon approaching the English coast the Commodore reported that her destination was to be Methil. The captain requested they be sent to a port on the west(?) coast since Eli had no armament, and the destination was altered to Clyde where she anchored on Aug. 30. There had been some problems with her degaussing the day before and this was temporarily repaired while at Clyde.
She left again in the morning of Sept. 9 in Convoy WN 14. She was bound for London(?), and now had a machine gun and two other guns on board. Eli was the 2nd ship in the outer column of the convoy, which consisted of 6 columns (this would make her station 62). Early in the morning of Sept. 10 the convoy started sig-zagging, and shortly afterwards, at about 07:30 the captain and 3rd mate spotted an aircraft approaching from astern flying very low, before dropping a bomb which detonated in No. 5 hatch (144° 12 n. miles off Skerryvore). Engine Boy Danielsen, who at that time was on the after deck was blown overboard. It soon became apparent that the bomb had caused leakage, so the engines were stopped and boats launched, but while this was taking place the aircraft returned, opened fire with its machine gun and dropped an incendiary bomb through the engine skylight, then another bomb detonated in No. 3 hatch.
The starboard boat was full of bullet holes and capsized, but the port boat and the motorboat got away and picked up those who were in the water. Carpenter Eivind Müller, who had been at the helm and was seriously injured by the bullets, was rescued at the last moment by the captain and 3 others in the motorboat. By then their ship had sunk by the stern and several men had been pulled under. A British gunner drowned; he had been among those who had been in the capsized lifeboat, and though Able Seaman Norman Hansen had managed to get a hold of him he had to let go after having been pulled under twice while holding on to him.
It looked as though the aircraft was getting ready to come back for a 3rd attack but was stopped by an armed trawler which subsequently picked up the survivors. Engine Boy Danielsen was found drifting on a wooden hatch and was also picked up. The injured carpenter and Able Seaman Fjellvik (shot in the hip) were given first aid, but the carpenter had lost a lot of blood from his wounds and was in great pain, so the trawler left the convoy and landed them in Stornoway for medical treatment that evening. The 1st Engineer, who had had a malaria attack was also admitted to the hospital.
The carpenter died in the afternoon of Sept. 12. The following day the remaining survivors, except for the 2 in hospital, travelled to Leith with arrival Sept. 14. The maritime hearings were held there on Sept. 18-1940 with the captain, the 1st mate, the 3rd mate, the deck boy (lookout on bridge), and the 2nd engineer appearing.
Part of the captain's account of this incident is included in "Menn uten medaljer", though strangely it's not by Captain Marcussen; the name is given as Karl Jørgensen. Here's a translated summary:
The captain's story:
Related external link:
Back to Eli on the "Ships starting with E" page.
Other ships by this name: Norway had another steamship by the name Eli (built 1870 according to Charles Hocking - delivered Jan.-1909 according to "Våre gamle skip" (this is very strange - almost a 40 years difference!); both agree on owner Peder Lindøe, Haugesund and the tonnage 1107 gt). Struck a mine and sank off Scarborough on Dec. 25-1914, when on a voyage Blyth-Rouen with 1658 tons coal. Captain was Adolf Sveen who, together with the crew was rescued by D/S Alastair of Aberdeen. A website visitor has informed me that she probably struck a mine laid by the German Kolberg at the same time as she bombarded Scarborough and Filey, the wreck lies 3 miles S by E of Scarborough (54 15 12N 00 18 30W).
A fishing vessel, M/B Eli left Leirvik on Jan. 2-1942 with 7 people on board and arrived Shetland on Jan. 6 - follow the link for details. Skipper was Erik Hollekim.
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), "Menn uten medaljer", A. H. Rasmussen and misc. - ref. My sources.