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Manager: Chr. J. Reim, Porsgrunn
Delivered in July-1939 from Porsgrunds Mek. Værksted A/S, Porsgrunn (104) as cargo vessel Frisco to Chr. J. Reim, Porsgrunn. Steel hull, "Porsgrunn-type" (engine aft and bridge amidships), 246.6 x 37.9 x 18.2. Compound + Low pressure turbin (Porsgrunds) 133nhp, 10 knots.
Captain: Thor Thorsen
Related item on this website:
With a cargo of pulp for Rouen, Frisco is listed in the original Advance Sailing Telegram for the Norway-U.K. Convoy HN 11 in Febr.-1940 - follow the link for more convoy info; several Norwegian ships took part. She's also included, together with Listo and Ørnefjell, in Convoy FS 98, departing Tyne on Febr. 16, arriving Southend on the 18 - ref. external link below.
It looks like she returned to Norway - accordig to Page 1 of the archive documents, she left Bergen on March 21-1940 and arrived Corner Brook on Apr. 11; in other words, she was at sea when war broke out in Norway on Apr. 9. Her 1941 voyages also start on this document.
Related external link:
Frisco was the first Norwegian ship to be torpedoed in Operation Paukenschlag (described at the last external link provided at the end of this page). She was on a voyage from Savannah to Argentia, N. F., having left Savannah on Jan. 5-1942 with a cargo of lumber (see Page 2), and was attacked off Long Island by U-130 (Kals) on January 12, approximate position 44 50N 60 20W.
1 torpedo hit on the port side, the explosion causing a large hole below the water line and killing the lookout, Herman Urheim. The crew was ordered aft, while the captain and 1st Mate Bernt Arnold Berntsen went to the bridge, and 2nd Mate/Radio Operator Erling Ellefsen went to send an SOS. 5 minutes later another torpedo hit amidships, also on the port side, killing the 3 officers, setting the ship on fire and causing her to list heavily to port.
The position given above is from survivors' statements, who gave the time as 18:20 EST. U-130 recorded the position as Grid position BB 5826 (approximately 46 21N 58 35W), giving Frisco's course as 065º, steaming at 11 knots. One torpedo was fired at 01:16 CET from 1200 metres, 2nd torpedo fired from 430 metres.
The port boat was successfully launched with 9 people, and soon afterwards a starboard boat was lowered with 6 crew members who watched Frisco burn for about half an hour before losing sight of her (the 2 boats had parted company shortly after clearing the ship). The 6 were rescued by the Faroe Islands fishing schooner Mjoanes in the afternoon of the 14th (approx. 46 24N 57 20W) and landed at North Sydney, N.S. on the 16th where they were taken care of by the Navy League. The other boat was never seen again, which meant that 10 Norwegian, 2 British and 1 Swedish seaman had died.
Non Norwegian sources place this sinking on Jan. 13, but this is probably a matter of different time zones used. J. Rohwer does not mention a second torpedo.
Related external links:
Back to Frisco on the "Ships starting with F" page.
This company had previously had another ship by the name Frisco, also built in Porsgrunn (1928).
The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, pre war history is from T. Eriksen, Norway (his sources: Article about Chr. J. Reim by Kjell Malmgren and Dag Bakka Jr. in "Skipet" 4.88), sinking report based on survivors' statements (from Public Records Office, Kew) and some details from U-130's KTB received from a visitor to my website, "Sjøforklaringer fra 2. verdenskrig", Volume I (Norwegian Maritime Museum) and misc. other - (ref. My Sources).