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D/S Ila
Updated Nov. 1-2011

To Ila on the "Ships starting with I" page.

Crew List

A picture is available on this external page (click in it to make it larger).

Manager: Per T. Lykke, Trondheim
1583 gt, 889 net, 2425 tdw.
Call Sign: LKEH

Built at Porsgrunds Mekaniske Verksted, Porsgrunn, Norway, delivered on Apr. 14-1939.

Captain: Thore K. Johnsen

Her voyages are listed on these original images from the Norwegian National Archives:
Page 1 | Page 2

Please compare the above voyages with Arnold Hague's Voyage Record below.

Voyage Record
From Dec.-1939 to Oct.-1941:

(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.

Departure From To Arrival Convoy Remarks
1939 Dec. 25 Tyne Downs Dec. 27 FS 59 Convoy available at FS convoys
(external link)
1940 July 11 Clyde OB 182 Earlier voyages, Page 1
For Sydney, C.B.
Dispersed July 14.
Convoy available at OB 182
(external link)
Page 1 gives arrival July 23
(also, missing voyages).
Aug. 8 Sydney, C.B. Methil Roads Aug. 24 HX 64 From Sydney, C.B.
Missing movements, Page 1.
Sept. 12 Methil OA 213 Dispersed Sept. 16
Convoy available at OA 213
(external link)
Page 1 gives arrival Sydney, C.B. Sept. 27
(also, missing voyages).
Oct. 15 Sydney, C.B. Liverpool* Oct. 31 SC 8 See also narrative below.
*Arrived Clyde.
More missing voyages, Page 1.
1941 Jan. 22 Halifax St. John's, N.F. Jan. 30 SC 20 Earlier 1941 voyages, Page 1
Put back.
On to Halifax Febr. 7
(Page 2).
Febr. 18 Halifax Loch Ewe March 9 SC 23
March 12 Loch Ewe Methil March 14 WN 97 Convoy available at WN convoys
(external link)
Missing voyages, Page 2 above
Apr. 8 Blyth Oban Apr. 11 EC 4 Convoy available at EC convoys
(external link)
Apr. 17 Oban Gibraltar Apr. 28 OG 59 Arrived Lisbon May 3
(Page 2 - also, missing voyages).
Convoy will be added.
See ships in OG convoys
May 25 Gibraltar Liverpool* June 9 HG 63 *Arrived Barrow.
On to Clyde June 14
(Page 2).
June 20 Clyde OB 337 A. Hague says:
For Quebec.
Dispersed 48 17N 20 40W, June 28.
Convoy available at OB 337
(external link)
Arr. Chandler July 10 - See Page 2
(also, missing voyages)
July 22 Sydney, C.B. Loch Ewe Aug. 6 SC 38 Convoy will be added.
See ships in SC convoys
Aug. 7 Loch Ewe Methil Aug. 9 WN 163 Convoy available at WN convoys
(external link)
Missing voyages, Page 2
Aug. 29 Loch Ewe ON 10 Dispersed Sept. 11.
Missing voyages, Page 2
Oct. 5 Sydney, C.B. SC 48 Sunk - See "Final Fate" below

 Some Convoy Voyages: 
For information on voyages made in between those mentioned here, please see the documents received from the Norwegian archives and A. Hague's Voyage Record above (though the latter is incomplete). Follow the convoy links provided for more details on them; several Norwegian ships took part.

As will be seen when going to Page 1 of the archive documents, Ila was at The Downs when war broke out in Norway on Apr. 9-1940. She left for Rouen that same day, with arrival Apr. 10.

In July that year, she's listed in Convoy OB 182, which originated in Liverpool on July 11 and dispersed on the 14th, Ila arriving Sydney, C.B. on July 23. See the external link provided within the table above for more on this convoy; the Norwegian Brant County, Idefjord, Mexico, Nova and Stigstad are also listed. Ila and Brant County returned to the U.K. the following month in Convoy HX 64. Ila, bound for Sunderland with a cargo of pit props, joined this convoy from Sydney, C.B., arriving her destination, via Methil Roads, on Aug. 26. With Leikanger (and possibly others - listing is incomplete; ref. external link in Voyage Record), she later shows up in Convoy OA 213, which left Methil on Sept. 12 and dispersed Sept. 16, Ila arriving Sydney, C.B. on Sept. 27, continuing to Pointe du Chene the next day, subsequently making a voyage to Buctouche, before returning to Sydney, C.B. She was scheduled for the Sydney, C.B. portion of Convoy HX 80, but instead joined the slow Convoy SC 8 on Oct. 15, cargo of pit props for Hull. According to Page 1, she arrived Clyde on Oct. 31; arrival Hull is not given. From the same document, we learn that she headed back across the Atlantic the following month, arriving St. John's, N.F. on Dec. 21; I have no convoy information for this voyage (had she sailed independently?).

From St. John's, she sailed to Louisburg on Jan. 14-1941, then on to Halifax, where she joined the slow Convoy SC 20 on Jan. 22, cargo of pulp for London, but put back to St. John's on Jan. 30*, proceeding to Halifax a week later, joining Convoy SC 23 on Febr. 18. Her destination is now given as Rochester, and she arrived there, via Loch Ewe and Methil Roads, on March 19 - see Page 2. The following month, she made a voyage to Lisbon, having joined Convoy OG 59, which originated in Liverpool on Apr. 15 and arrived Gibraltar Apr. 28; Ila arrived Lisbon on May 3, having started out from Oban on Apr. 17. This convoy will be added to an individual page in my Convoys section in due course; in the meantime, the ships sailing in it are named on the page listing ships in all OG convoys. Bjørkhaug, Fernlane, Hjalmar Wessel, President de Vogue and Solsten are also listed. With a cargo of iron ore for Barrow, Ila headed back in the other direction on May 25 in station 83 of Convoy HG 63 from Gibraltar, and arrived her destination on June 9.

*According to "Våre falne", a series of 4 books listing Norwegian WW II casualties, Boatswain Jens Nikolai Wiik was washed overboard near Newfoundland during a storm on Jan. 27-1941. He's commemorated at the Memorial for Seamen in Stavern, Norway (link at the end of this page).

We later find her in Convoy OB 337, which originated in Liverpool on June 20 and dispersed on the 28th. Buccinum, Facto, Inger Elisabeth, Sirehei and Torborg are also listed; again, see the external link provided within the table above (incomplete). Ila's destination is given as Quebec; according to Page 2, she arrived Chandler, N.B. on July 10 (having started out from Clyde June 20). From Chandler, she proceeded to Carleton on July 15, then back to Sydney, C.B. It looks like she had been scheduled for the Sydney portion of Convoy HX 139 on July 17 (ship's name hard to decipher), but instead joined the slow Convoy SC 38 on July 22, again in the company of several other Norwegian ships. This convoy arrived Liverpool on Aug. 8; Ila stopped at Loch Ewe on the 6th, cargo of sulphate, lumber and pulp, station 11. SC 38 is not yet available among the SC convoys included on my website, but will be added - see ships in all SC convoys. She later joined the westbound North Atlantic Convoy ON 10, which originated in Liverpool on Aug. 27 (Ila joined from Loch Ewe) and dispersed Sept. 11, Ila arriving Boston, via Ambrose Channel, on Sept. 19.

 Final Fate - 1941: 

Ila left Boston again for Sydney, C.B. on Sept. 25, arriving Sydney on the 28th, departing on Oct. 5 in station 74 of Convoy SC 48. See also cruising order/Commodore's notes and misc. reports. She was bound for Glasgow with a cargo of 2070 tons steel and general, but did not make it to her destination. In the morning of Oct. 15, she was hit by 2 torpedoes from U-553 (Thurmann). 1 torpedo hit below hatch No. 2, the other below the after part of the bridge, both on the starboard side, followed by violent explosions. She broke in two and sank immediately, 53 34N 29 57W*.

As it had been impossible to lower any of the lifeboats, and the raft located on Hatch No. 3 was smashed, another jammed under a davit, 6 men, including the captain, kept themselves afloat on pieces of wreckage, while the 1st mate, 1st engineer and 2 of the crew held on to the capsized motor lifeboat. Their efforts to turn the boat over failed, and 1st Engineer Hagbart Andersen soon died of cold and exhaustion.

The survivors drifted helplessly for 3 hours while the convoy continued. They were picked up at dawn by the French corvette Mimosa (one of the escorts - Captain Boger Birot) but 3rd Engineer Richard Andresen and Able Seaman Georg Falch died shortly thereafter in spite of the efforts of the corvette's crew to save them. They were buried at sea.

Mimosa landed the survivors in Reykjavik on Oct. 20 and the maritime hearings were held there on Oct. 24 with the captain, the 1st mate and Able Seaman Tvedt (helmsman) appearing, all on the bridge at the time of the attack. Ordinary Seaman Eikemo was on lookout duty. The 1st mate stated that he had been floating on his lifevest in the water for an hour when he came across the capsized motorboat which already held 3 men, adding that he was taken into a British lifeboat about an hour and a half later, so it would be reasonable to believe that the others had also been taken into that boat.

*Rohwer gives the sinking position as 53 34N 30 10W for Ila and time as 08:23, German time, 2 minutes after the British Silvercedar had been sunk by the same U-boat. Captain Johnsen's report states that a ship ahead of them was hit at approximately 04:45 (ship's time), whereupon all of Ila's crew members were called and ordered to be ready by the lifeboats, while Ila attempted to steer clear of the wreckage and people in the water. Shortly afterwards, at approx. 04:55, Ila was struck. The captain was convinced he had heard the hissing sound of the torpedoes being fired, but the U-boat was not seen. Ila's armament consisted of a 4" gun, 1 Hotchkiss, 1 Marlin and 2 Lewis guns.

M/T Barfonn, D/S Erviken and D/S Rym were also sunk in this battle - follow the links for more details (again, see also my pages about SC 48). Other merchant ships lost were the Panamanian Bold Venture (cargo of cotton, steel and copper - 17 died), the Greek Evros (7000 tons iron ore - 30 died), the British Empire Heron (7673 tons sulphur - 42 died), Silvercedar (7300 tons steel and general - 20 died). W. C. Teagle, with a cargo of 15 000 tons fuel oil was also sunk. The remainder of the convoy arrived Liverpool on Oct. 22. The various external websites that I've linked to at the end of this page have a lot more details on this battle.

For info, U-553 was also responsible for the attacks on Ranella and Innerøy - follow the links for dates and more info.

Crew List:
Norwegian, unless otherwise noted

Thore K. Johnsen
1st Mate
Halvor Sverkeli
Able Seaman
Wilhelm Tvedt
Ordinary Seaman
Henry N. Johansen
Ordinary Seaman
Oskar Eikemo
Mathias Lexau
Percy Andersen

2nd Mate
Mauritz Pettersen

Radio Operator
Birger Mjellem

Olav H. Forvik

Able Seaman
Ola O. Hallheim

Able Seaman
Johan K. Johansen

Able Seaman
Georg Johan Falck

1st Engineer
Anders H. Andersen

2nd Engineer
Petter Buer

3rd Engineer
Richard Andresen

Alfred Johannessen

Peder Johan Sell

Eivind V. Bodsberg

Olav A. Larsen

Mess Boy
Joseph McConnell *

*Billy McGee, England has told me that Joseph McConnell is commemorated at Tower Hill, Panel 57; further details on him can be found by entering his name in the relevant search field on the The Commonwealth War Graves Comm. website (external link).

Related external links:
Stavern Memorial commemorations - 14 Norwegians are commemorated at this memorial for seamen in Stavern, Norway - 2 are listed as steward (Bodsberg and Larsen - "stuert" in Norwegian). Some of the names are spelt a little differently, and titles are also different in some cases. In addition to the Norwegians named in the table above, there's also a Boatswain Jens Nikolai Wiik commemorated - according to "Våre falne", a series of 4 books listing Norwegian WW II casualties he had been washed overboard near Newfoundland during a storm on Jan. 27-1941.

Convoy SC 48
U-553 | Karl Thurmann

HMS Broadwater - This link no longer goes to the right place, but I'm leaving it up in case I should find the website again. It was a thoroughly researched site about the history and fate of this ship, one of the escorts of the convoy. This link went directly to the first page of the section describing the battle of SC 48. The subsequent pages went on to list the ships lost, their destination and cargoes, as well as the names of all the escort vessels and the attacking U-boats. It also had a description of the events surrounding the loss of the ship. 2 survivors from Erviken had been rescued by Broadwater and were lost when she was torpedoed, though the Norwegian ship was referred to as Ericson. The website included a report on the rescue of survivors, along with several other interesting reports, and a list of names of those who died.

The Kearney and Convoy SC 48 - The ships involved on all sides (from Encyclopedia of WW II Naval Battles).

U.S.S. Kearny - Interesting account of the attack on the Kearny, torpedoed by U-568 when on escort duties in Convoy SC 48, Oct. 17-1941.

Details on SC 48 escorts can also be found towards the end of
Chapter 3 of "Joining the War at Sea". Other convoys are also discussed.

Back to Ila on the "Ships starting with I" page.

This company also had a ship named Ila in 1947, originally the German Luna, built 1938, 1126 gt. Seized by the Allies in 1945, renamed Empire Concave. Became the Norwegian Galtnes in 1946, then Ila in 1947. From 1952 she sailed as the Brazilian Sao Leopoldo, then Mironave from 1965 (still Brazilian), still in service in 1982.

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) and misc. - ref. My sources.


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