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M/S L. A. Christensen
A picture is available on this external page (click in it to make it larger).
Owner: A/S Ulabrand
Built by Deutsche Werft AG, Betrieb Finkenwärder, Hamburg, Germany in 1925.
Captain: Arne Høst Olsen
Her voyages are listed on this original image 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.
(As can be seen, several voyages are missing).
From the archive document, we learn that L. A. Christensen was on her way from Bombay to Calcutta when war broke out in Norway on Apr. 9-1940 (she had previously arrived Bombay from Los Angeles on March 30).
According to the Stavern Memorial, she lost a crew member later that year - Ordinary Seaman Håkon Johnsen is listed as having died on Sept. 10 due to illness; see the external link below.
It looks like she later spent quite a long time in Sydney. She had arrived there from Kobe on Nov. 1-1940 and departure is given as Dec. 12, when she proceeded to Port Lincoln.
With a cargo of wheat, she's listed in station 44 of Convoy SL 69, which left Freetown on March 23-1941 and arrived Liverpool on Apr. 18; L. A. Christensen arrived Glasgow that day. A. Hague says she arrived with serious engine defects, and this must have been the reason why she did not leave the U.K. again until Jan.-1942 (it'll be noticed, when going back to the archive document, that she had also spent over a month in Freetown prior to this voyage). According to the external website that I've linked to below, she had been scheduled to sail in station 43 of Convoy OS 13 in Nov.-1941, and is also mentioned among the ships in OS 14, and again in OS 15, with a notation saying she did not sail. Together with Bernhard, Brønnøy, Kattegat, Rio Branco and Slemmestad, as well as the Panamanian Norvinn (Norwegian managers), she finally got away with Convoy OS 16, which departed Liverpool on Jan. 5-1942 and arrived Freetown on the 23rd - L. A. Christensen, cargo of war stores, joined from Clyde, taking station 34. From Freetown, she proceeded to Takoradi 2 days later, then on to Durban, Karachi and Bombay, before returning to Durban, with arrival Apr. 20. According to this external page (scroll down to April 2nd) she had rescued survivors from the British Clan Ross on this voyage. This ship had been torpedoed and sunk by the Japanese submarine I-6.
Related external links:
L. A. Christensen departed Durban again in ballast on May 9-1942, bound for New York, but was later diverted to Philadelphia.
At 13:50 ship's time on June 10-1942, she was torpedoed on the starboard side between No. 1 and 2 holds by U-129 (Witt), 27 44N 63 54W, causing a tremendous explosion, blowing off the hatches and twisting the deck at No. 1 hatch. At the time, she was on a course N70W true, sailing at a speed of 10 knots, 90% zig-zag, in clear, calm weather, sea smooth with light variable wind and good visibility. No SOS was sent out because the radio station was destroyed. The foreship started to sink immediately while listing heavily to port, and she sank vertically down in 10-15 minutes. By then all 31 had abandoned ship (at 13:57) in 2 lifeboats and 1 motorboat.
The U-boat came up and took the ship's name off the rafts which were floating amongst the debris, then gave the survivors the position, as well as distance from Bermuda before taking off in a southerly direction. It was described as being a large craft, painted light gray, no streaks. The boat's name in small black letters on the foreward side of conning tower could not be read. The conning tower was tall and egg shaped (from above); 1 large gun 3" or 4" foreward, 1 smaller anti aircraft gun abaft conning tower. Appeared to be new. 2 of the boat's officers had knowledge of English, asked ports of departure and destination.
The lifeboats set sail with a course for Bermuda. They were picked up at 08:25 the next morning, June 11, by the Norwegian D/S Bill in 28 01N 63 57W and landed at Bermuda on June 12 (as can be seen when following the link to my page about this ship, Bill was sunk the following month).
Hearings were held in New York on June 23-1942 with the captain, the 2nd mate, Ordinary Seaman Nossum (helmsman), Ordinary Seaman Vistung (lookout) and the 3rd engineer appearing.
Her armament consisted of a 4" gun, 2 Marlins, 2 Hotchkiss, 4 P.A.C.'s and 1 Holman.
Crew List - No Casualties:
Back to L. A. Christensen on the "Ships starting with L" 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 - (ref. My sources). Also, a memorandum based on survivors' statements, dated July 2-1942 and signed U.S.N.R. Lieutenant T. A. Courtney, received from Tony Cooper, England.