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Manager: Westfal-Larsen & Co. A/S, Bergen
Delivered in Nov.-1911 from Bergens Mek. Værksted, Bergen.
Captain: Adrian Bjaarstad.
Roland Berr has told me, via a posting to my Ship Forum, that Hosanger was sighted by U-31 (Habekost) at 08:20 on Dec. 3-1939, in square AN 52. U-31 dived for an underwater attack, but broke off after recognizing her identity. (For info, Roland has assembled a large number of U-boat KTB's, which are downloadable through this external site).
Departed Tananger on Jan 26-1940 in ballast for Leith, Scotland. Torpedoed and sunk by U-20 (Klot-Heydenfeldt) the next day, 58 25N 01 53W. 17 died, 1 survived. A deckhand, Magnus Sandvik and 2 others had managed to reach a raft. His 2 shipmates froze to death while Sandvik was rescued after about 15 hours by the British trawler Northern Reward (later transferred to the British destroyer Maori).
When the torpedo hit at 23:00 on Jan. 27 he was just on his way up the ladder to the bridge to relieve the helmsman. He ran to the port lifeboat but it was destroyed, starboard lifeboat was stuck, all the lights had gone out. He had to jump overboard and stayed under water for a long time but the lifevest they all had to wear at all times helped him get back to the surface, though as he came up again Hosanger sank and he was pulled under by the suction, but again he came up, then heard 2 of his shipmates call to him from a raft. According to this story another 2 men later joined them on the raft. He says they saw the lights from passing ships now and again, and as the day started dawning 2 trawlers came very close but never saw them.
His shipmates simply quitely "went to sleep", 1 of the dead was washed away by the seas. Magnus was about to give in to the freezing cold himself when he spotted what he calls a destroyer. It went passed him at first, but then came back. Lines were thrown down to him but upon seeing that he was unable to fasten them around himself, one of the men from the destroyer jumped overboard and swam to the raft to assist. The 3 dead seamen were also taken on board.
Sandvik was later transferred to what he calls a tug which took him to Kirkwall where he was admitted to a hospital. For a while he was unable to walk; he had no feeling below his hips, but little by little, with the good care he received at the hospital he was able to move his legs again. He says the days spent there are among his fondest memories, but not so the memories of the day he had to help identify dead seamen, of whom there were many, as several ships had gone down near the Orkneys (Danish Fredensborg and England and the Norwegian Faro, all by U-20). He was able to recognize 2 from Hosanger. The maritime hearings on the Orkneys and in Norway also caused him great distress, leaving him feeling as if he himself was accused of sinking the ship. When asked his opinion as to why he had survived while his shipmates had frozen to death, he says he thinks it was due to the fact that he had been wearing wool undergarments while his mates didn't.
M. Sandvik had previously served on D/S Roy. On Jan. 8-1945 he survived the attack on D/S Fusa, having taken cover among some bales of hay and furniture on Fusa's deck. He later sailed as captain on Hardanger Sunnhordlandske Dampskibsselskap's ferries for several years.
In addition to Faro mentioned above, U-20 had also been responsible for the loss of Føina - follow link for details.
Back to Hosanger on the "Ships starting with H" page.
Westfal-Larsen later had another ship by this name - built in Malmö and delivered in Sept.-1958, became General Paez of Puerto Cabello, Venezuela in 1976.
The text on this page was compiled with the help of: Misc. sources, incl. "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, and E-mails from visitors to my website.