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Owner: A/S D/S Korsfjord
Built by Bergens Mekaniske Verksteder A/S, Bergen, Norway in 1913.
Captain: Lorentz Akse
Related item on this website:
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.
Korsfjord, in ballast for Leith, is listed as sailing in Convoy HN 20 from Norway to the U.K. in March-1940. As can be seen on Page 1, she left Dundee on Apr. 4 in order to return to Norway, and is said to have arrived Kirkwall on Apr. 9. She's not listed, but it's possible she was intended for Convoy ON 25 to Norway, from which several ships returned due to the German invasion taking place on Apr. 9 - follow the link for more details.
The following month, she's included in Convoy OA 142, which left Southend on May 4 and dispersed on the 7th, Korsfjord arriving Bayonne on May 8 (ref. external link in the table above - Taborfjell is also listed).
That fall, she made a voyage to St. John, N.B.*, where she arrived on Aug. 20, later proceeding from there to Sydney, C.B. on Aug. 27, arriving Aug. 30, and on Sept. 2 she joined the slow Sydney (C.B.)-U.K. Convoy SC 3, from which the Norwegian Lotos and others were sunk - follow the links for more details. Korsfjord had a cargo of pulp and lumber for Garston, where she arrived on Sept. 19.
Korsfjord had loaded 916 tons of herring meal at Hestery and Djupavik, Iceland in Jan.-1941, then proceeded to Reykjavik for sailing orders and route instructions - see Page 2. She departed Reykjavik for Hull via Kirkwall in the morning of Jan. 19 (she had been ordered by the British Navy Control to pass about 8 miles north of Butt of Lewis).
On Jan. 21, she collided with the British D/S Bandar Shahpour, 200 n. miles northwest of Butt of Lewis, 60 40N 12 09W. Bandar Shahpour had minor damage, whereas Korsfjord sank, with the loss of 2 men. The survivors were picked up by Bandar Shahpour and landed in Stornoway on Jan. 25 (having experienced bad weather which slowed the voyage).
What follows is an extract from Captain L. Akse's report on this incident (times are BST):
"We experienced bad weather during the 20th and 21st January, but on the evening of the 21st the wind moderated to a strong breeze from N.E. with a heavy sea and occasional squalls of snow and sleet from the same direction. There was little or no tide, but such as there was would be following the course of the wind, i.e. setting in a south westerly direction. It was the Chief Officer's watch from 7 p.m. on the 21st January to midnight, but I was also on the bridge from 7.15 p.m. until about 11.15 p.m. An ordinary seaman was keeping a lookout from the bridge and from 11 p.m. the Carpenter was at the wheel which was steem steering in a wheelhouse.
At 10.15 p.m. I set a course of S 65 E true which would be S 45# magnetic and S 48 E by the steering compass and continued on with engines working at full speed, but only making good owing to the heavy sea about 5 knots. About 11.10 p.m. whilst I was still on the bridge we experienced a heavy squall of snow and sleet which passed in about 5 minutes when as the weather was now absolutely clear ahead with a visibility for objects without lights of between one and two miles, I went below into my cabin which is immediately under the bridge to get some coffee, leaving orders with the Chief Officer to be sure and call me in the event of anything being sighted.
When I had been in my cabin about 5 minutes the Chief Officer called to me through the cabin door that he had observed two large vessels on the starboard bow, whereupon I ordered him to switch on our side lights which were dimmed to a visibility of about a mile by perforated shades placed over the bulbs as advised by the Navy Control and then ran up on to the bridge. On arriving on the bridge I saw the vessels which the Chief Officer had reported to me without lights, the leading now bearing three to four points on the starboard bow and distant about a mile and the other a little astern of her and bearing about three points on the starboard bow. Shortly afterward I made out the loom of a third vessel following the other two, all three apparently being on an opposite course to my ship and on crossing the bridge from starboard to port I made out another vessel without lights about a beam on our port side, and distant, I estimate, about half a mile. I then realized that my vessel was in between two columns of a convoy outward bound, but the vessels mentioned were in a position to pass all clear and in fact did so. We were still on our course of S 65 E true with engines working at full ahead, making about 5 knots.
About a minute after seeing the vessel on our port beam and whilst still maintaining our course and speed the lookout man reported, and at the same time I made out the loom of another vessel without lights bearing between two and three points on our port bow and distant between one and two miles. I then ordered our forward masthead light which was not dimmed to be switched on which was done by the Chief Officer. I carefully watched this vessel, and in two or three minutes when she was distant about half a mile, or a little more, as she had not broadened on our bow I concluded that she must be on our course which would cut ours from port to starboard, whereupon bearing in mind that she would be seeing our red lights as well as our masthead light I sounded one short blast on our whistle and ordered the man at the wheel to give hard a starboard wheel. To this signal the other vessel replied with two short blasts, whereupon I sounded the danger signal indicated by a series of short blasts, five or more. I did not, however, reverse my engines, expecting that the other vessel would now alter course to starboard and pass us port side to port side as she could and should have done. She, however, continued on swinging with her head to port, and in a short time with her stem struck my vessel a heavy blow on the port side in the way of No. 1 hatch at about a right angle cutting into her nearly up to the hatch coaming.
At the time of the collision my vessel was still making about 5 knots, and the other vessel appeared to be going at full speed making about 8 or 9 knots. I estimate that when the collision occurred my vessel, which owing to the heavy sea running had been sluggish on her helm, had altered under her hard a starboard wheel about 2 points. As a result of the collision our head was forced round to starboard and the vessels got more or less parallel to one another. Immediately the collision occurred I stopped the engines of my vessel and fearing she would sink ordered all hands on deck."
Korsfjord was sinking quickly by the head so the captain ordered the crew to lower the starboard and port boats. The port boat was struck by a heavy sea and filled with water, but remained afloat with its occupants still in it. However, 2 men had lost their lives. Korsfjord went down about half an hour after the collision, which had occurred at around 11:30 BST.
As mentioned the survivors were picked up by Bandar Shahpour and Korsfjord's captain says:
"Whilst on board the Bandar Shahpour the Captain of that vessel told me that some little time before the collision, whilst the 3rd Officer was in charge on the bridge, one of the Escorting vessels of the convoy had shown green Very lights which he had not understood. In my experience, however, gained from convoys I had been in, this was a signal for an emergency turn of 40 degrees to starboard, and this I told the Captain. It follows therefore, that if the Bandar Shahpour had altered 40 degrees to starboard she would have passed my vessel all clear port to port on about an opposite course as in fact did another vessel on our port side. No lights were exhibited by the Bandar Shahpour from first to last, and the only whistle signal given by her was two short blasts."
Bandar Shahpour was on a voyage from London to the Persian Gulf with general cargo, including cement, and also had 4 aircraft on deck. Checking further, I've found that she's included in Convoy OB 275 in this time period - external link. (She was later sunk by U-515 on Apr. 30-1943, Convoy TS 37).
Related external link:
Back to Korsfjord on the "Ships starting with K" page.
The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, "Sjøforklaringer fra 2. verdenskrig", Norwegian Maritime Museum, Volume I, and misc. (ref. My sources).