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D/S Inga I
To Inga I on the "Ships starting with I" page.
Owner: A/S D/S Inga.
Built by Huiskens & van Dijk, Dordrecht, Netherlands in 1921. Previous names: Marvel, then Ba.
Ken Dunn has sent me the official report concerning the sinking of this ship. With regard to her history this report states that she was built as Marvel for Fred Olsen & Co. in 1921, then adds that she may have been sold that same year to Belgian buyers (Belgian Star Shipping Co. S/A, Antwerp), while at Akers mek. Verksted A/S Oslo*. Roger W. Jordan has told me that Marvel was sold in 1921 (should this be 1924?) to Rederi A/S Ba (Th. Brøvig), Farsund and renamed Ba, later sold to A/S D/S Inga (Johan Eliassen), Bergen in 1936, and renamed Inga I. However, he says that Marvel was 1276 gt, 886 tons net.
According to the external website that I've linked to above she was delivered as Marvel in Dec.-1921 to A/S Nordsjøen, Kristiania. Owned from June-1922 by Belgian Star Shipping Co. S.A., Antwerp, same name. From July-1924, owner was Rederi A/S Ba (Th. Brøvig), Farsund, renamed Ba. From Febr.-1936, owned by A/S D/S Inga I (Johan Eliassen), Bergen, no name change. Renamed Inga I in July-1937.
Captain: Lorentz Tvedt (since Dec.-1939).
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.
Please note that errors do exist, and several voyages are missing.
According to Page 1 of the archive documents, Inga I arrived Lorient on Apr. 6-1940 - departure is not given, but it looks like she was still there on Apr. 9, when war broke out in Norway. It'll also be noticed, that she made a voyage to Dunkirk in May.
Later that year, she's listed in Convoy OB 197, which originated in Liverpool on Aug. 13 and dispersed Aug. 16, Inga I arriving Sydney, C.B. Aug. 28 (she had joined from Clyde). The Norwegian Erica, Grey County, Jamaica, Nova, Sandar and Varangberg are also listed. Inga I returned to the U.K. the following month in the slow Sydney (C.B.)-U.K. Convoy SC 5, cargo of lumber for Methil and Grimsby.
In Nov.-1940, we find her in Convoy OB 244, which originated in Liverpool on Nov. 17 and dispersed Nov. 22. Inga I sailed from Oban on Nov. 18, and her destination is given as Sydney, C.B. According to Page 2, she left St. John's, N.F. on Dec. 11, arriving Sydney, C.B. Dec. 20, so it looks like she had stopped at St. John's first (though her arrival there is not given).
She later proceeded to Hantsport and Halifax, and was scheduled for the slow Halifax-U.K. Convoy SC 20 on Jan. 22-1941, but did not sail. She was also cancelled from the next convoy, SC 21, but eventually got away with Convoy SC 24 on Febr. 28, cargo of timber, destination Belfast, arriving there on March 21, proceeding to Ardrossan the following month.
She now made a voyage to Seville, having joined Convoy OG 60, which originated in Liverpool on Apr. 26 and arrived Gibraltar May 10; Inga I arrived Seville on May 11, having started out from Clyde on Apr. 27. This convoy is not yet available in my Convoys section, but will be added - for now, the ships sailing in it are named on the page listing ships in all OG convoys; several Norwegian ships took part. She headed back to the U.K. on May 25 in Convoy HG 63 from Gibraltar. Her destination is given as Middlesbrough, cargo of pyrites, station 23. She stopped at Oban on June 8, later arriving Middlesbrough, via Methil Roads, on June 20, proceeding to Tyne a few days later - again, see Page 2.
Inga I departed Tyne again on July 7-1941 for Oban to join a convoy, but had to stop at Scapa Flow the next day for some repairs and arrived Oban July 13. Further repairs were completed at Oban and she was, therefore, delayed, not departing until July 21 in Convoy OG 69 for Gibraltar, cargo of 1670 tons coal, coke and general (convoy will be added - again, see ships in all OG convoys). The convoy was spotted by FW aircraft in the morning of the 23rd, and although that aircraft was shot down, others circled above for about an hour every day for the next 4 days, keeping an eye on its position.
About 00:30 on the 27th the first ship was sunk (British Kellwyn, 14 died, U-79), and not long afterwards a 2nd ship went down (British Hawkinge, 15 died, U-203). The rest of the night and that day were quiet, and the captain ordered the men to sleep and rest as much as they could during the day, keeping their clothes and lifebelts on at all times. The approximate position at noon was 43 37N 17 40W, according to 2nd Mate Olaf Ringsjø's and Captain Tvedt's statements at the maritime hearings.
Around midnight, the captain was on the port side of the bridge, the 2nd mate on the starboard side, when an explosion was heard. The Commodore Ship, which was sailing 4-5 cable lengths in front of them had been hit (this must have been Erato? sunk by U-126, 9 died), and 2 minutes later a torpedo was seen coming towards Inga I from the starboard side. The culprit was U-126 (Bauer). They could not alter course because there were ships on each side of them, so everyone was told to quickly get across to the port side, before the torpedo detonated in the coal bunkers on the starboard side between the engine room and boiler room. Both lifeboats on that side were heavily damaged and debris was flying everywhere, the motorboat on No. 3 Hatch was also damaged, and the port boat(s?) could not be launched in time because Inga I immediately took on a heavy starboard list.
The captain looked around for the confidential papers and found that the wooden box in which they were kept had been destroyed and the papers had disappeared among the debris. (All the ship's logs and papers were lost with the ship). As he reached the boat deck he found himself wading in water, then he was pulled under as the ship sank. When he surfaced he was able to grab hold of a broken wooden hatch cover which kept him afloat while he drifted towards a raft. All around he saw the red lights from the lifevests of other survivors. He then managed to paddle over to another raft where he found one of the stokers.
Meanwhile, the 2nd mate had jumped overboard from the starboard side of the midships deck, and he too kept himself afloat with the help of a wooden hatch cover. 2nd Engineer Emanuel Høiland, who had been on the bridge, also jumped overboard from the starboard side and found the wooden top of the wheelhouse which he and the messboy used as a raft, until picked up by a boat from the escort, being the first survivors from Inga I to be taken to the warship, where they were given clothes, first aid etc. (the escorts for OG 69 are named on this page).
Able Seaman Johan Roman Eide Nilsen, who had joined the ship at Tyne on July 3, had also been on the starboard side of the bridge when the torpedo hit, then went down to the boat deck only to find the lifeboats on that side smashed. He cut the port boat loose but was unable to get it on the water due to the listing and rapidly sinking ship (it sank within 2 minutes). He was pulled down by the suction several times, until he was finally able to surface and swim around to join the captain and others holding on to debris. He himself held on to a hatch cover until the boat from the escort vessel picked them all up. This boat made several trips back and forth within that hour. They were all easy to spot in the water because of the red lights on their lifevests.
Once aboard the escort, 3 men were found to be missing, namely Chief Engineer Bernhard Ellingsen, Ordinary Seaman Rolf Abrahamsen, who had been at the helm inside the concrete wheelhouse when the torpedo hit, and Donkeyman Ole Dolve, who had been down in the stokehold. After the Commodore Ship had been hit, 2nd Engineer Høiland (who had seen the events from the bridge) had notified the chief engineer and the Estonian 3rd Engineer, Arnold Lumiste, who had just relieved Ellingsen in the engine room, and both came up from below. The 2nd engineer had heard Ellingsen tell the donkeyman to come up on deck immediately, but he never did, possibly because he was waiting for his relief at the time. Chief Ellingsen had gone up to the bridge, wearing his lifebelt, and after the explosion the 2nd mate had told him to jump off the port side, but he did not see him do so and he never saw him again. The Estonian survived.
The escort stayed nearby and searched among the debris till well after 08:30 (3 hours after daylight), several dead bodies were passed but no more survivors were found. That afternoon they rejoined the convoy, the warship was ordered to go straight to Gibraltar where the shipwrecked men were landed on July 30, and were taken care of by the Norwegian consul.
16 survivors were rescued by the escort vessel, 3 were lost.
Other ships sunk in Convoy OG 69 (in addition to those already mentioned above) were the British Lapland (no casualties), the Swedish Norita (2 died), and the British Wrotham (no casualties). See also the external link provided at the end of this page.
The Norwegian D/S Ruth I was also in this convoy, but after Inga I had been sunk she left the convoy together with 2 British ships on the Commodore's orders and reached port safely.
Received from Kenn Dunn, who in turn received it from the Maritime Museum in Oslo, along with the Maritime Declaration.
The cook had previously survived the sinking of Eli, later joined Tai Shan (according to this external page).
Back to Inga I on the "Ships starting with I" page.
Other ships by this name: The book "Damp - Dampskipets æra i Vestfold" mentions an earlier D/S Inga (made of wood), built in Odense in 1873, 364 gt. In Danish ownership from 1873 to 1899 under the names Sif, Aage and Agge, but registered in Larvik in 1899 (Bugge & Olsen), named Inga. Sold in 1909 to Albert Grøn, Sandefjord, lost on a voyage from Stavanger to the Faroe Islands in Aug.-1915. Additionally, a visitor to my website, Ian Spokes has told me about another Inga that sank in a big storm which hit North East England in November 1901. He's interested in getting in touch with others who have more information on this, or who are also researching events relating to this storm - here is his message in my Guestbook - I have his contact address, my address is at the bottom of this page. Ian has sent me a lot of interesting details on this Inga, which was an iron barque built in Sunderland in 1877. Owner when lost was A/S Inga (T.B. Heistein).
The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, E-mail from Roger W. Jordan with regard to pre war history, report on sinking received from Kenn Dunn (he in turn received it from the Maritime Museum in Oslo - contact information for the museum can be found on the main page of the ship lists, link at the bottom of this page), and misc. others for cross checking info, incl. the Fred. Olsen fleet list, "Axis Submarine Successes of World War Two", Jürgen Rohwer, "The World's Merchant Fleets 1939", Roger W. Jordan, and "The Allied Convoy System" by Arnold Hague.