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Manager: Vilhelm Torkildsen, Bergen
Built in Fredrikstad, Norway in 1915. Launched as Viv.
Captain: Ingvald Mathiesen
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.
Marstenen sailed in Convoy HX 26 in March-1940. She was bound for Glasgow with canned goods, and had station 35 of the convoy, which left Halifax on March 9. Early the following month she's listed as bound for Barry in Convoy OB 124, which left Liverpool on Apr. 6 - Fernbank, Janna and Solstad are also listed. According to the external website that I've linked to below, Marstenen later joined Convoy OB 127, originating in Liverpool on Apr. 10 (dispersed Apr. 14). Her voyage information is given as Barry-Halifax, station 33, however, I'm not sure that she joined this convoy, because she shows up again (together with Annik, whose captain served as Vice Commodore) in Convoy OB 137 (left Apr. 26, dispersed Apr. 29). From the archive document, we learn that she arrived St. John, N.B. on May 13, having started out from Milford Haven on Apr. 27. She headed back across the Atlantic at the end of May, arriving Dublin on June 15. I have no convoy information for this voyage, and according to A. Hague, she had made it independently. He has now included her, along with Braga and Triton, in Convoy OB 179, originating in Liverpool on July 5, dispersed July 9. The archive document says she arrived St. John's, N.F. on July 18 (she had started out from Milford Haven on the 6th). Direct links to all these OB convoys have been provided within the Voyage Record above.
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
Marstenen had departed Indian Bay on July 23-1940 with a cargo of 789 1/2 cubic fathoms of pulpwood, of which about 200 fathoms were on deck, arriving St. John's that same day. While there, minor engine repairs were carried out, and in accordance with instructions from London, cement slabs were fitted around the bridge and wireless room for protection.
She left St. John's again on Aug. 1, arriving Sydney, C. B. on Aug. 3, departing the following day in the Sydney portion of Convoy HX 63, with arrival Belfast on Aug. 18 in order to be degaussed there. She left Belfast again in the afternoon of Aug. 21, bound for Gourock to get the electric system tested, and arrived Gourock Roads on Aug. 22. The test was carried out on the 25th, whereupon she left on Aug. 28 in convoy for London (A. Hague has included her, with Lyng and Sjofna, in Convoy WN 11 - external link - the archive document gives departure Clyde Aug. 27, destination Ridham Dock). She had passed Duncansby Head at around 18:00 on Aug. 30, and about 3 hours later those on board heard firing on the port side of the convoy, assumed to be coming from an escorting destroyer. On the bridge at the time were Captain Mathiesen, 2nd Mate Strand and Deck Boy Powell (lookout), with the Estonian Ordinary Seaman Vallist at the wheel. Steward Skogvoll had been requested by the captain to stand by the machine gun.
Suddenly, at about 21:30, when about 22 n. miles southeast of Duncansby Head a violent explosion occurred aft on the port side, with a column of water rising high in the air. She had been attacked by German aircraft, a bomb (or torpedo?) having detonated outside No. 4 hatch, causing water to rush into the engine room. The captain had seen an aircraft on the port side off No. 2 hatch, with its wing tips almost at the height of their deck cargo stanchions which measured about 17'. However, no sound had been heard from the plane, so it was assumed it had come down with its engine shut off.
All the men were subsequently ordered to the lifeboats. The port boat left with 10 men who were picked up by the Swedish steamer Birgitta (from the same convoy) and landed in Methil, later sent on to Leith with arrival there on Sept. 2. The starboard boat was kept alongside as long as possible, but as Marstenen was sinking quickly by the stern, and it looked as if she was going to capsize, they rowed away as fast as they could, and were barely away when the ship capsized to port and went under to the after part of the forecastle with her bow out of the water. The 11 men in this boat were later picked up by an escorting destroyer and landed in Leith on Sept. 1, where they were assisted by the Norwegian consul.
A tug went out to see if the wreck could be saved, but she sank that evening (Aug. 30), 58 23N 02 37W.
The inquiry was held in Leith on Sept. 10-1940 with the captain, the 2nd mate, Ordinary Seaman Vallist, Deck Boy Powell, the steward and the 1st engineer appearing.
Back to Marstenen on the "Ships starting with M" 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 II and misc. - (ref. My sources).