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D/S Janna
Updated Aug. 17-2012

To Janna - Page 2
(Report of an interview with Captain Thorbjørn Bøttger)

To Janna on the "Ships starting with J" page.

Crew List

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

Owner: J. H. Wessels Kulforretning A/S
Manager: Pehrson & Wessel, Drammen
2197 gt, 1269 net, 3700 tdwt
Signal Letters: LCKC

Built by Albina Engine & Machine Works Inc., Portland, Oregon, USA in 1919. Previous names: Glendola (Atlantic Fruit Company) until 1929, Norwegian Sveigen until 1936.
According to (extrnal link), she was completed in March-1919 as Glendola for US Shipping Board (USSB). Sold in 1920 to Glendola SS Corp. (Atlantic Fruit Co. Inc.), New York. Sold to Norway in 1930 and renamed Sveigen for Rederi-A/S Henneseid (Thoralf Holta), Porsgrunn. Renamed Janna in 1936 for J.H. Wessels Kulforretning A/S (Pehrson & Wessel), Drammen.

Captain: Thorbjørn Aleksander Bøttger

Her voyages are listed on this original document received from the National Archives of Norway.

Date of loss is given as July 14-1940 here.

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

Voyage Record
From March-1940 to July-1940:

(Received from Don Kindell - His source: The late Arnold Hague's database).

Follow the convoy links provided for more information on each.

Departure From To Arrival Convoy Remarks
1940 March 7 Norwegian Waters HN 17 Detached March 9
March 9 Detached from HN 17 Liverpool March 12 Independent See also narrative below
Apr. 6 Liverpool OB 124 For Halifax.
Dispersed Apr. 10.
Convoy available at OB 124
(external link)
Apr. 10 Detached from OB 124 Halifax Apr. 20 Independent
May 29 Halifax St. John's, N.F. June 1 Independent
June 18 St. John's, N.F. Halifax June 21 Independent
June 25 Halifax HX 53 Returned June 27
June 29 Halifax Independent To join HX 54
Sunk - See "Final Fate" below

 Some War Voyages: 

"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:
Arrived Eastham March 12, arrived Manchester March 13 (this fits in with the fact that she's listed in Convoy HN 17 from Norway - her destination is given as Manchester, general cargo).
Sailed March 20 (for Eastham?), sailed from Eastham March 21.
Sailed River Mersey Apr. 4 in water ballast for Cape Race for orders. Arrived Halifax Apr. 20. She's mentioned at the external website that I've linked to below as being scheduled for Convoy OB 124, which left Liverpool on Apr. 6, with a note saying that she was sighted at Liverpool Bar but did not join convoy. Note, however, that Arnold Hague states that she did sail in this convoy (as did the Norwegian Fernbank, Marstenen and Solstad - ref. link in the table above). The archive document also gives departure date as Apr. 6.
Left Halifax May 29, arrived St. John's, N.F. June 1 (departure Halifax is given as Apr. 29 in the above mentioned archive document, but this is probably an error).
From St. John's June 18, arrived Halifax June 21 (in order to join Convoy HX 53 June 25).
In a column with the heading "Anticipated Movements" it says "Allocated to SMB to load timber, pit props or wood pulp from E. Canada and Newfoundland May/June. Time chartered by Ministry of Shipping - delivered at Halifax May." Further down it says "now to load pulpwood from E. Canada or Newfoundland to UK - July/Aug."

Related external link:
OB convoys - OB 124 is included, but according to this, Janna did not join.

 Final Fate - 1940: 

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.

*This posting to's forum says this was the decoy ship HMS Beauly. It's a response to a thread starting here, which adds that the (British) aircraft that circled Janna reported to Western Approaches Command, giving the position as 50 10N 11 54W (D/F bearing of U-boat at this time gave an unreliable fix at 50 40N 12 00W). This report was passed on to HMS Harvester, Wanderer and Sandwich who had just joined Convoy HX 54 as local escort (agrees with A. Hague's info, as will be seen when following the link to my page about this convoy). See also's account on the sinking of Janna.

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.

Crew List - No Casualties:

Thorbjørn A. Bøttger
1st Mate
Jørgen G. Jørgensen
2nd Mate
Rolf Larum
Asbjørn H. Fredriksen
Able Seaman
Petter I. Brandal*
Able Seaman
Petter Pedersen
Able Seaman
Peder Driviklepp
Ordinary Seaman
Kåre Johannessen
Ordinary Seaman
Oskar Johansson
Ordinary Seaman
Nils Mikalsen
Ordinary Seaman
Ernst Hedmann
1st Engineer
Oskar Gjesdal
2nd Engineer
Adolf M. Johannessen
3rd Engineer
Severin L. Ulvestadbakken
Thoralf Thorbjørnsen
Olav Solberg
Nils Brandal
Georg Gulbrandsen
Olaf Nilsen
Mess Boy
Kåre Pedersen
+ 5 more survivors

To Janna - Page 2
(Report of an interview with Captain Thorbjørn Bøttger)

Related external links:
Stavern Memorial commemoration - *One of the survivors of Janna's sinking, Seaman Petter I. P. Brandal is listed as having died in London on Oct. 13-1940. According to "Våre falne" he died during an air raid in London on the date given, when the shelter he was in received a direct hit. He's buried in London.

U-34 | Wilhelm Rollmann

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).


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