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To Janna - Page 2
Owner: J. H. Wessels Kulforretning A/S
Built by Albina Engine & Machine Works Inc., Portland, Oregon, USA in 1919. Previous names: Glendola (Atlantic Fruit Company) until 1929, Norwegian Sveigen until 1936.
Captain: Thorbjørn Aleksander Bøttger
Her voyages are listed on this original document received from the National Archives of Norway.
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.
"Skip og menn", Birger Dannevig claims Janna rescued 16 men from the Norwegian ship Gimle in the North Sea in 1939. Another source states they were picked up by D/S Rudolf, whose captain is listed as T. Bøttger (this may be the reason for the confusion?).
I've received a document (from R. Griffiths, England) with some tidbits of information on Janna's movements during the months prior to her loss, saying the following:
Janna is listed among the ships in Convoy HX 53 leaving Halifax on June 25-1940 (follow the link for cruising order) but lost touch with the convoy and returned to Halifax 2 days later. She left Halifax again on June 29 to join Convoy HX 54, bound for Falmouth with a cargo of 819 fathoms of wood pulp. Due to thick fog the convoy could not be properly formed, so she proceeded alone as per courses and positions given by Naval Control.
On July 11 she was torpedoed by U-34 (Rollmann), position 50 34N 12 10W, about 110 n. miles 245° off the Fastnet Light. The torpedo hit below the bridge on the port side, blowing part of the bridge away and causing an immediate, heavy list to port. All 3 lifeboats were launched, but only the 2 best ones were used after having taken supplies and equipment from the 3rd boat and from the rafts. Janna went down by the bow until she stood straight up and down and disappeared in the course of 10 minutes.
As they were going into the boats the captain saw what he thought was a British aircraft circling above Janna, before flying towards land, leading him to believe that it intended to report the sinking and obtain assistance. The 2nd mate, who had gone to the radio station to send an SOS also saw the aircraft, and for this reason no SOS was sent. No assistance arrived, however. After about an hour the aircraft returned and circled the area again (this was a Sunderland from 10 RAAF Squadron). "Nortraships flåte" claims it must have been German because they weren't rescued until July 18, 5 n. miles off the coast of Ireland, in other words, according to this source they spent a week in the lifeboats. However, according to the captain's report, presented at the subsequent maritime hearings, the 25 survivors were picked up by the patrol vessel Love (Looe)*, 5 n. miles from Mizzan(sp?) Point (Mizen Head), Ireland in the afternoon of July 13. This vessel also took the lifeboats in tow, but one of the boats was lost during the night. They were landed in Milford Haven in the evening of July 14.
According to Admiralty records 2 lifeboats landed 5 miles off the Mizen Head after 2 1/2 days (this is incorrect). To attract attention the survivors had fired 3 or 4 red rockets. They had seen the Estonian steamship Kai on July 12 and went alongside (the captain gives the date as the afternoon of July 13), but for some reason the Estonian vessel steamed ahead and left the boats behind. This corresponds with the captain's statements at the hearings, saying the Estonian ship had stopped and hailed the lifeboats, leading them to believe that they were going to be picked up. However, as the boats rounded the stern of Kai in order to come up along her leeward side, Kai (cargo of timber) restarted her engines and took off.
The hearings were held in London on July 22-1940 with the captain (in his cabin at the time of the explosion), the 2nd mate (on duty on bridge), Ordinary Seaman Hedmann (helmsman) and Ordinary Seaman Johannessen appearing. See also the report of an interview with the captain on Page 2.
To Janna - Page 2
Related external links:
Back to Janna on the "Ships starting with J" page.
This company had another Janna post war. This was the ex Liberty Ship Horace Wells, built 1943, 7176 gt - which became Pehrson & Wessel's Janna in July-1947. I have a picture of a lovely painting of a this ship, painted by Jan Goedhart, Holland who sailed on her. If anyone would like to have this picture, please contact me through the address provided at the end of this page. Sold to Poland in 1959, renamed Chorzow (Polish Steamship Co.). Converted in 1968 at Gdansk for use as floating grain warehouse, renamed MP-PZZ-11, then MP-Zozie-13 in 1972 (new managers). Sold to Eckardt Marine Ltd., Hamburg for breaking up in 1980, resold to Spanish breakers at Santander.
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. others, some of which are named within above text (ref. My sources).