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Manager: August Kjerland, Bergen
Delivered from Boele's Scheepswerven & Maschinefabriek, Slikkerveer, Holland in Dec.-1916 as Hop for A/S Hop (Laur. Christiansen), Bergen. 239.6' x 36.1' x 16.8', T3 Boele's, 163 nhp, 9 knots. From Oct.-1931 owner was Johs. Thrane, Bergen (A/S Hop having been liquidated). Owned from May-1935 by D/S A/S Fro (August Kjerland), Bergen. Ran aground on Oct. 31-1937 near Sandtorg when on a voyage from The White Sea to the U.K. Refloated by Stærkodder and assisted to Lødingen.
Captain: Kristoffer Andreas Lutenthun.
Jan-Olof, Sweden has told me that on December 21, 1939 the Swedish steamers Mars and Carl Henckel of Helsingborg were sunk by U 21 (Frauenheim). 8 survivors, 1 of whom was from Mars, were rescued by D/S Hop on Dec. 22 and taken to Kristansand the next day, where the Swedish consul, B. Due took care of them. Out of a combined crew of 36, 28 perished - 18 from Mars and 10 from Carl Henckel. The survivors from Mars had a terrible time of it, because they were the victims of mines(?) twice in a matter of a few hours. Jan-Olof has since sent me a copy of an old newspaper clipping from "Christiansands Tidende", dated Dec. 27-1939 describing their ordeal, and although these were Swedish ships, I'll include a summary here. Both ships had come from the U.K., and were sailing together.
Mars was struck amidships, sinking in the course of 1 minute so there was no time to take to the lifeboats, but 2nd Mate Herman Nilsson and 6 others had been able to cling to one of the rafts. However, it overturned so that 4 men were washed overboard, and only 3 remained when Carl Henckel came along, one of them being the 2nd mate, who said they had listened to the screams of the others for over half an hour without having been able to assist them in the rough weather. Just as he was about to get out of his wet clothes, Carl Henckel also struck a mine(?) with tremendous force. She broke in two and sank very quickly, and the 2nd mate ended up in the water again, while his 2 shipmates from Mars, Able Seaman Larsen (Danish) and Ordinary Seaman Holmquist perished. The former was believed to have died in the explosion, while the latter, a very young boy who was on one of his first voyages, had initially ended up near the same raft as the 2nd mate was clinging to, but was unable to hold on, saying, "I can't! I can't!". The 2nd mate told him, "hold on, just hold on!", but he disappeared in the deep, crying "I'll never see my home again!". One after the other was washed overboard until only 3 were left on one raft, 5 on another. They drifted around for 25 hours while the cold seas continuously washed over them until Hop picked them up, having seen their red flashes.
Shortly after the survivors were landed in Kristiansand, 2nd Mate Nilsson from Mars and Stoker Godtfred Edlund from Carl Henckel were taken to a hospital. In addition to these 2, the following were rescued: Carl Henckel's 1st Mate Emil Schaling, 2nd Mate Werner Elvstrand, Able Seaman Lennart Søderblom (Finnish), Oiler Karl Samuelsson, Stoker Nils Lindblom, and Trimmer Rune Strømwall. Both captains had died. According to 2nd Mate Elvstrand of Carl Henckel, this ship had, in fact, struck 2 mines. He said they had left England a little earlier than Mars, then waited for her to join them. Early the next morning (06:30) they were all called on deck because someone had seen the lanterns on Mars suddenly go out, and they understood that something had happened. The port lifeboat was launched, but even before it was on the water they heard a "bang" from the after part of the ship. They had struck a mine, but as it turned out it had only caused a small leak. Some of the crew stayed on board while others remained in the lifeboat next to the ship. When they realized the ship would not sink, her engine and pumps were restarted, whereupon they proceeded towards Mars' position. They soon encountered 2 rafts, one with the 3 survivors, the other empty. After having picked up the survivors, it was decided to take Carl Henckel back to England, but just as they were about to turn around, they struck the 2nd mine.
Hop was 1 of the 55 Norwegian ships lost during the neutrality period Sept. 3-1939 April 8-1940. She had left Bergen in ballast for Tyne on Febr. 3-1940 and disappeared with her 17 men, all Norwegian. According to Jürgen Rohwer's "Axis Submarine Successes of World War Two", Hop was torpedoed and sunk by U-37 (Hartmann) in position 58 55N 00 14W on Febr. 4-1940 at 04:17, German time. In a footnote he says the ship's destination was Middlesbrough and adds she had departed Bergen on Febr. 2.
From a lady in the Shetlands I've received an excerpt from the book:- "The Giving Years - Shetland and Shetlanders 1939-1945" by James W. Irvine. The chapter in question starts off by saying:
The relatives in Norway did not know what had happened to Hop until 4 years after the war. This Guestbook message has provided me with a link to more information on the Norwegian website Sogn og Fjordane Fylkeskommune (external link). If you understand Norwegian, the article in question can be found on this page. What follows has been "borrowed" from the page (there's also a picture of Hop, as well as a photo of the captain. Additionally, there's an article about Nils Jensen Nesse, with several pictures).
The site states that Captain Lutenthun's body was found on the beach at Haroldswick, Unst on Febr. 9-1940, and was buried at Baliasta, Unst along with 7 others. A memorial plaque is now in place, and the captain's daughter and son were present at the unveiling in Aug.-1994. 1 of Hop's casualties is buried at Lunna, as mentioned, while 3 are buried at Easting, Unst, and 3 at Fetlar, Unst - in other words, 15 were found.
Related external links:
Back to Hop on the "Ships starting with H" page.
August Kjerland had another ship by this name post war, this ship sailed as Westfal-Larsen's Hardanger during the war.
The text on this page was compiled with the help of: Misc. sources as named within above text - (ref. My sources).