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Manager: Det Bergenske Dampskibsselskab, Bergen
Delivered in Dec.-1924 from Ateliers & Chantiers de la Seine Maritime, Worms & Cie, Le Trait (30) as Leo to Det Bergenske Dampskibsselskab, Bergen for use in service to Hamburg. 231.4' x 34.2' x 21.7', Triple exp. 980 ihp, 11 knots.
Captain: Ivar Eilertsen
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 (please be aware that some listings are incomplete).
Errors may exist, and some voyages are missing.
A. Hague has included Leo in the U.K.-Norway Convoy ON 20 in the middle of March-1940, and the following month he has her Convoy HN 25, which left Norway on Apr. 7, so she got out of the country just before the Germans invaded (Apr. 9). According to the archive document, she had started out in Stavanger on Apr. 4 and arrived Antwerp on the 11th. It'll also be noticed, that she appears to have spent a long time at Barry that spring - she had arrived there from Antwerp on Apr. 28 and departure is given as May 31, when she proceeded to Glasgow, and it looks like she subsequently remained in port until Febr.-1941 (unless voyages are missing from the record?).
Leo departed Alexandra Dock, Hull on March 11-1941 bound for Reykjavik with a cargo of about 300 tons ice and 7000 empty fish crates. She also had about 140 tons of reserve bunker coal in the tween deck. She was equipped with a Lewis gun, placed on the roof of the cabin aft. A kite had been delivered while at Hull, but it had not yet been fitted, though the captain had made urgent requests. After the compasses had been adjusted they anchored in Hull Roads, then continued to Grimsby Roads on the 12th in order to wait for a convoy.
On March 13, she proceeded in convoy to Methil, arriving there the following afternoon (see also the archive document). Due to thick fog there was no departure until March 17, but she finally left that afternoon in convoy. According to Arnold Hague, this was Convoy EN 86A (external link - left Methil March 17, arrived Oban March 20), in which she's listed together with Garonne and Einar Jarl (struck mine - follow link for details).
As she passed Butt of Lewis on March 19, about 12 n. miles off, she left the convoy as previously instructed, so appears to have been heading out alone when she was attacked by machine gun fire and bombs from a German aircraft and sunk that day, about 75 miles northwest of Butt of Lewis. 2 or 3 bombs hit the foredeck, 1 detonating in the sea close to midships. Shortly thereafter she developed a heavy list to port, with the foredeck awash in the water, so the 21 on board abandoned ship in two lifeboats, remaining in the vicinity until they saw the after part of the ship rise up before it sank, about 15 minutes after the attack.
The survivors rowed around and found some rafts, from which they took some food and clothes, before setting sail for the Hebrides. They had also found the motorboat, but it was smashed and had capsized, so they could not make use of it. They were picked up after about 4 1/2 hours by the escort vessel HMS Echo in position 59 00N 07 29W and taken to Scapa Flow, where they on March 23 were placed on board a depot ship which took them to Thurso the next day. From there they travelled to Glasgow, arriving March 25. The maritime hearings were held there on March 28 with the captain, the 2nd mate, Able Seaman Sørensen (helmsman) and the carpenter (lookout) appearing.
Back to Leo on the "Ships starting with L" page.
Charles Hocking also lists a British steamship Leo, built 1908, 1140 gt - bombed and sunk by German aircraft on July 25-1940 in the Thames estuary.
The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Bergenske, byen og selskapet" by Dag Bakka Jr., "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, "Sjøforklaringer fra 2. verdenskrig", Volume I (Norwegian Maritime Museum) and misc. - (ref. My sources).