Site Map | Search |Merchant Fleet Main Page | Home 

M/S Maloja
Updated Febr. 1-2012

To Maloja on the "Ships starting with M" page.

Crew List

Pictures are available on this external page (click in them to enlarge).

Owner: Skibs-A/S Avanti.
Manager: Tschudi & Eitzen, Oslo
6400 gt, 9400 tdwt.
Call Sign: LCKJ.

Built by Fredriksstad Mekaniske Verksted A/S, Fredrikstad, Norway in 1930. Previous name: Danwood until 1936.
According to the external page that I've linked to above, she was owned by A/S Danwood (Danchert Smith), Oslo when she had the name Danwood; owned from 1935 by Statens Skibsfond (Lauritz Kloster), Oslo, then renamed Maloja for Skibs A/S Avanti (Tschudi & Eitzen), Oslo in 1936.

Captain: Fritz Blomseth.

Her voyages are listed on these original images from the Norwegian National Archives:
Page 1 | Page 2

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

Voyage Record
From Nov.-1940 to Nov.-1942:

(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 Nov. 9 Yokohama Nauru Nov. 24 Independent A. Hague says:
Previously traded west coast Canada/Japan.
Earlier voyages, Page 1
Nov. 25 Nauru Auckland Dec. 8 Independent
Dec. 18* Auckland Dunedin Dec. 20 Independent A. Hague says:
Notional sailing date
(*Page 1 gives Dec. 14)
1941 Jan. 1 Halmers Whyalla Jan. 10 Independent
Jan. 12 Whyalla Newcastle, N.S.W. Jan. 17 Independent Notional sailing date
(Page 1 agrees w/Jan. 12)
Jan. 19 Newcastle, N.S.W. Melbourne Independent
Jan. 25 Melbourne Nauru Febr. 7 Independent
Febr. 17 Nauru Ocean Island Febr. 17 Independent
Febr. 23 Ocean Island Auckland March 6 Independent
March 21 Auckland Newcastle, N.S.W. March 28 Independent
March 30 Newcastle, N.S.W. Adelaide Apr. 3 Independent
Apr. 9 Whyalla Newcastle, N.S.W. Apr. 13 Independent
Apr. 18 Newcastle, N.S.W. Sydney, N.S.W. Apr. 18 Independent
Apr. 19 Sydney, N.S.W. Nauru Apr. 28 Independent
May 3 Nauru Ocean Island May 4 Independent
May 15 Ocean Island Lyttleton May 27 Independent
May 29 Lyttleton Dunedin May 31 Independent
June 11 Port Chalmers Sydney, N.S.W. June 19 Independent
July 7 Sydney, N.S.W. Brisbane July 9 Independent
July 12 Brisbane Rockhampton July 14 Independent
July 17 Rockhampton Aden Aug. 18 Independent
Aug. 25 Aden Suez Aug. 31 Independent Missing movements, Page 2
Sept. 19 Suez Aden Sept. 25 Independent
Sept. 25 Aden Bombay Oct. 2 Independent
Oct. 12 Bombay Durban Oct. 31 Independent
1942 March 23 Durban Freetown Apr. 9 Independent
Apr. 26 Freetown Belfast Lough May 17 SL 108 Convoy available at SL 108
(external link)
May 19 Belfast Lough Avonmouth May 21 BB 176 Convoy available at BB 176
(external link)
June 22 Avonmouth Milford Haven June 23 Independent
June 24 Milford Haven Clyde
July 1 Liverpool* OS 33 *From Clyde - See Page 2
For Takoradi.
Detached July 20.
Convoy available at OS 33
Also, much more at OS 33
(external links)
July 20 Detached from OS 33 Takoradi July 24
July 31 Takoradi Freetown Aug. 5 LS 12 Convoy available at LS 12
(external link)
Aug. 14 Freetown Clyde Sept. 4 SL 119 Convoy available at SL 119
(external link)
Sept. 26 Clyde Liverpool Sept. 27 Independent On to Ellesmere Port & Eastham
(Page 2)
Oct. 11 Liverpool ON 138 For Takoradi.
Detached Oct. 21.
Convoy will be added.
See ships in ON convoys
Oct. 21 Detached from ON 138 Independent Sunk - See "Final fate" below.

 Some Convoy Voyages – 1942: 
For information on voyages made prior to and in between those mentioned here, please see the documents received from the National Archives of Norway and A. Hague's Voyage Record above.

Her 1940 voyages are listed on Page 1 of the archive documents, which also shows some of her 1941 voyages.

It'll be noticed, when going to Page 2, that she spent several months in Durban, where she had arrived from Bombay on Oct. 31-1941. Departure date is given as March 23-1942, when she proceeded to Freetown, with arrival Apr. 9. According to the external website that I've linked to below, she was scheduled for Convoy SL 107 on Apr. 16, but instead joined the next convoy, SL 108, which departed Freetown on Apr. 26 and arrived Liverpool on May 19, voyage Bombay-Freetown-Mersey, station 51 (Beth and San Andres are also listed) - Maloja stopped at Belfast Lough on May 17, having become a straggler. Mike Holdoway (the webmaster of the site) has told me that her cargo (8,038 tons) consisted of: Linseed 2,224 tons, Manganese ore 2,000 tons, Oilcake 1,522 tons, Cotton waste 500 tons, Myrabolam 450 tons (a dried fruit containing tannin), Cotton Duck 432 tons, Peas 300 tons, Castorseed 200 tons, Soapstone Powder 130 tons, Hemp 68 tons, Bone meal 50 tons, Sundries 162 tons. Together with the Norwegian Galatea, Kul, Leka and Tres, she's now listed in Convoy BB 176 from Belfast Lough on May 19, and arrived Avonmouth on May 21, remaining there for a month.

At the beginning of July that year, she's named among the ships in the Freetown Convoy OS 33 (station 33), ref. external links provided in the Voyage Record above for a lot more information on this convoy; several ships were sunk. Mike has told me that Maloja joined from Clyde on July 2 and was bound for Takoradi with a cargo of RAF and Government stores, arriving her destination without incident (on July 24, according to Page 2). She was armed with a 4" (or 4.7") gun, 8 machine guns and kites. Other Norwegian ships named are Sophocles, Jenny and Ingria. With a cargo of iron ore, Maloja later returned to the U.K. in station 23 of Convoy SL 119, which left Freetown on Aug. 14 and arrived Liverpool on Sept. 4; Maloja arrived Clyde that day (the Norwegian Petter is also listed).

More details on the other Norwegian ships mentioned here can be found with the help of the alphabet index at the end of this page, or go to the Master Ship Index.

Related external link:
SL/MKS convoys - As can be seen, Maloja is mentioned in Convoy SL 107, but did not sail.

 Final Fate - 1942: 

Maloja departed Liverpool on Oct. 11-1942 with a cargo of 1020 tons coal and 87 aircraft, sailing in a convoy until Oct. 29 (A. Hague says she was detached Oct. 21), at which time she left the convoy to continue alone to Takoradi. In fact, she's listed with that destination in the westbound North Atlantic Convoy ON 138. This convoy will be added to an individual page in my Convoys section in due course, in the meantime, see the section naming ships in all ON convoys. The Norwegian Evanger (Commodore Vessel), Ferncliff, Harpefjell, Henrik Ibsen, Lista, Norheim and Petter II are also included.

She was in position 11 58N 27 08W on Nov. 8 when U-128 (Heyse) sent a torpedo into her (Jürgen Rohwer gives the position as 11 25N 27 00 W). It detonated in the engine room, port quarter. Maloja's gun was destroyed in the explosion, as was the radio equipment so that no SOS could be sent. The 2nd engineer, who was on duty, was killed in the blast and several were injured, the electrician so severely that he was left on board when the lifeboats were launched, as it was very obvious he could not be saved. His only words to the 1st Mate when he spoke to him were "I'm going to die". To another he said "could you not get a sheet and cover me up". He had been standing on the starboard poop deck when the torpedo struck (an iron construction had fallen on him), talking to Able Seaman Reksten, who was also injured but not as severely. The British A. Dobbie, who had been in the galley, was badly burnt.

All the lifeboats were launched, though one of them was damaged and leaking so had to be bailed continuously. The survivors were in the boats when the second torpedo hit, severing the after part of the ship. Maloja didn't sink (it has been indicated that the holds may have contained airtight barrels to keep the ship afloat long enough to make the removal of cargo possible) so the U-boat came up and shelled her, until she was an inferno of flames and finally sank - according to (external link), the boat fired 80 shells from the deck gun, 50 rounds of 37mm and 65 rounds of 20mm gunfire. A report based on statements from the survivors says that she was under attack for 4 hours, and some of them thought there were more than 1 U-boat taking part as it seemed as though the shells were coming from several directions.

One of the lifeboats had a radio trasmitter which was used the next morning to send out SOS, repeated 3 hours later. The motorboat towed the other boats. They had very little water, because 2 of the water kegs had been destroyed, so only those who were injured received water rations that morning. The 39 survivors, 9 of whom were British gunners, were rescued shortly after noon that day (Nov. 9) by Egyptian Prince (Captain E. J. Roberts) en route to Freetown (this ship is listed in Convoy ON 141, which had left Liverpool on Oct. 24 - again, see ships in all ON convoys; Commodore was in Samuel Bakke). Egyptian Prince had a naval doctor as a passenger, Ian Martin Scott, who immediately gave medical care to the injured men. The survivors were landed in Freetown (Nov 13?).

The maritime hearings were held in Glasgow on Dec. 11-1942 with Captain Blomseth, 1st Mate Wichstrøm, and Able Seaman Trosby (lookout at the time of attack) appearing.

For info, U-128 had also been responsible for the attacks on O. A. Knudsen, South Africa and Andrea Brøvig earlier that year - follow the links for more details.

Crew List:
This list was received from Tschudi & Eitzen, Oslo.

Fritz Blomseth
1st Mate
Adolf Wichstrøm
2nd Mate
Cato Svendsen
3rd Mate
Erik Wiig
Radio Officer
Sigurd Hansen
Sigurd Moen
Johan Såstad
Able Seaman
Arne Gulliksen
Able Seaman
Leif Trosby
Able Seaman
Wilhelm Vedvik
Able Seaman
Bernhard Vallestad
Able Seaman
Karl Reksten
Able Seaman
Henry Georg Olsen
Able Seaman
Fredrik Olsen
Able Seaman
Asbjørn Nerdal
Able Seaman
Henry Karlsen
Able Seaman*
Anfinn Rønning
1st Engineer
Lars Olsrød
3rd Engineer
Georg Smefjell
Kristian Gauthum
Otto M. Jakobsen
Anton Strømmen
Karsten A. Kjølner
Rudolf Nilsen
Egil Olsen
Dennis Ross
Rasmus Larsen
Harry Selsaa
Galley Boy
Alexander Dobbie
Mess Boy
Jim Paterson

Additionally, 9 British gunners were also rescued; I don't have their names.


2nd Engineer
Arne Paulsen

Eugen Gulbransen

Related external links:
Stavern Memorial commemorations - Able Seaman/whale catcher Anfinn Rønning*, listed among the survivors above, is also commemorated at this memorial for seamen in Stavern, Norway. According to the book "Våre falne", which lists Norwegian WW II casualties, he was rescued after several days on a raft(?) after the sinking of Maloja, but died at a hospital in Glasgow on Jan. 15-1943, and is buried in Glasgow.


Back to Maloja on the "Ships starting with M" page.

There was also a Swiss ship named Maloja (steam), built 1906, 1788 gt - According to Charles Hocking she was bombed by German aircraft, then torpedoed and sunk by U-boat on Sept. 7-1943 near Ajaccio, Corsica, but Markus Berger (his and Peter Bichel's website is at Swiss Ships) has told me that Maloja, named after a village and pass in Canton Graubünden, Switzerland, was sunk by British aircraft, adding the following: "Attacked mistakenly on 7th September 1943 at 16:15h off Cap Revellata, Corsica by 10 British aircraft of the Coastal Command, with machine-guns and torpedoes. Maloja sank after being hit by a torpedo, on fire within 13 minutes in a position 42 50 N 8 11 E, about 30 nautical miles Northeast of Calvi. The wreck lies in 2800 meter below water level. Three sailors from Portugal died, the Dutch First officer and the Swiss cook were seriously wounded."

The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, "Sjøforklaringer fra 2. verdenskrig", Volume II (Norwegian Maritime Museum) and misc. - ref My sources.


 Site Map | Search |Merchant Fleet Main Page | Home