|Site Map | Search Warsailors.com |Merchant Fleet Main Page | Warsailors.com Home|
Manager: Leif Erichsen, Bergen
Built by Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd., Wallsend, Sunderland in 1924. Previous name: Lenfield until 1937. According to the external website that I've linked to above, Lenfield was managed by E. J. Sutten & Co., Newcastle upon delivery in Dec.-1924. From 1929, Confield S.S. Co. Ltd. (E. J. Sutton & Co), Newcastle, no name change until 1937 when she was sold to Leif Erichsens Rederi A/S (Leif Erichsen), Bergen and renamed Lenda.
Captain: Caspar Bjørseth
Her voyages are listed on this original image received from the National Archives of Norway.
Judging from the information found on the archive document above, Lenda was in Glasgow when war broke out in Norway on Apr. 9-1940. Later that month, she's listed in Convoy OB 134, voyage from Glasgow to Digby in ballast, station 43. The convoy originated in Liverpool on Apr. 22 and dispersed on the 26th. See the external link below. Lenda had sailed from Glasgow on Apr. 21 but arrivial Digby, N.S. is not given on the archive document. She later arrived Halifax on May 30.
Related external link:
Lenda was on a voyage from Digby and Halifax (departed Halifax on June 15-1940) to The Downs and Hull with 1921 standards of sawn lumber loaded at Port Wade, N.S, when she was torpedoed, then shelled at about 24:50 on June 27 by U-47 (Prien), position 50 12N 13 18W (about 160 n. miles southwest of Fastnet). The torpedo had missed, and since they were alone on the ocean Prien could safely save his torpedoes and use his guns instead. For 20 minutes the crew endured the shelling, taking cover behind the casing of the cabins amidships and behind the deck cargo as best they could, until the lumber caught on fire. The captain and 2 others then attempted to lower the starboard dinghy, but it immediately filled with water, splintered by the shellfire, so they had to give it up. The shelling had also damaged the port lifeboat, but when it finally stopped the captain and 6 men left the ship in this boat while the majority got in the starboard boat with the 2nd mate in command and rowed away from the wreck. Some had jumped overboard and were picked up by the lifeboat.
As the 2 boats came together the 1st mate was found to be missing. The port boat had stayed afloat on the airtanks for a while, but it sank shortly afterwards, so all 27 were now in the other boat. They decided to stay close by until daylight in the hope of finding the 1st mate. Lenda was on fire aft and amidships and the sea entered through holes at the waterline on the port side. She was listing heavily to starboard, but as soon as it got light enough she was boarded again and the 1st mate was found dead on the port side of the upper bridge. The port dinghy was lowered and 8 of the men transferred to that, whereupon both boats left the ship, the lifeboat towing the dinghy, setting a course for Fastnet Light on the southwest coast of Ireland. Shortly after they had left the wreck again, two powerful explosions were heard, followed by a tall column of flames which appeared to be coming from the engine room. She stayed afloat for a while with the help of the cargo, but finally sank.
The survivors were rescued that same afternoon (after about 12 hours in the boats); the captain and 18 men from the starboard boat by the destroyer HMS Hurricane and the 8 from the dinghy by HMS Havelock. They were landed in Plymouth on June 30 and July 2 respectively. Maritime hearings were held there on July 5-1940 with the captain, the 2nd mate, the 3rd engineer, Able Seaman Lein (lookout), and Ordinary Seaman Ludvigsen (helmsman) appearing. None of them appear to have been aware of the fact that the U-boat had also sent off a torpedo at the ship. The captain stated that Lenda might stay afloat on her cargo for some time and that it might be possible to salve the ship and part of the cargo, so it looks like they had not actually seen her sink. (According to the archive document, she was abandoned, partly submerged on June 30[?]).
Related external links:
Back to Lenda 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, and misc. (ref. My sources).