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Owner: Skibs-A/S Avanti.
Built by Fredriksstad Mekaniske Verksted A/S, Fredrikstad, Norway in 1930. Previous name: Danwood until 1936.
Captain: Fritz Blomseth.
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.
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.
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 Uboat.net (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.
Related external links:
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.