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D/T Moira
Updated Dec. 19-2008

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

Crew List

Owner: D/S Marna A/S
Manager: Sigurd Owren, Oslo
1560 gt, 744 net, 2400 tdwt
Signal Letters: LIZB

Built by Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd., Wallsend, Sunderland in 1935.

Captain: William Thorsen

Her voyages are listed on these original images from the Norwegian National Archives:
Page 1 | Page 2 | Page 3 | Page 4


As will be seen on Page 1 above, Moira was at Cabanas when war broke out in Norway on Apr. 9-1940, departing that day for New Orleans, where she arrived Apr. 12.

Her 1941 voyages start on Page 2 and continue on Page 3. The latter document also shows some of her 1942 voyages, while the rest are listed on Page 4.

 Final Fate - 1942: 

Moira departed New Orleans on June 14-1942 for Vera Cruz in ballast (another source says June 12 - see also Page 4). On June 17 she was torpedoed amidships, port side by U-158 (Rostin), 25 35N 96 20W (east/southeast of Port Isabel). The port side of the bridge was blown away, and the chart house, radio room and wheel house destroyed. The helmsman, Able Seaman Alf Kristensen was never seen again. The crew took to the lifeboats and had moved away from the ship when the U-boat started to shell her, and she eventually sank.

On June 18, the 18 in the lifeboats, 3 of whom were injured, were found by the fishing vessel Ranger (Skipper George Watie McNeir, here's a Guestbook message from his daughter), which towed them to Port Isabel, Texas.

U-158 had also been responsible for the attacks on Finnanger and Nidarnes - follow the links for more info. The boat was sunk on June 30 that same year with the loss of all on board - ref. link at the end of this page.

The captain's story:
The captain's own account is included in "Menn uten medaljer". He says Moira was en route from Galveston to Vera Cruz when she was torpedoed off Corpus Christi. He woke from a deep sleep that morning to find his cabin filled with "fog" and most of its furniture broken, the panels torn off the walls. He scrambled out on deck and found the upper bridge gone. Steward Karlsen, who had been on his way to wake the captain, carrying a cup of coffee, when the torpedo hit was unconscious on deck. Running aft, the captain encountered Chief Engineer Johansen who said he had seen the torpedo before it hit, but too late to notify the people on the bridge.

Captain Thorsen says Moira didn't sink until the U-boat had fired at her from all sides, 30 rounds in his estimation, and she sank 1 1/2 hour after the torpedo had struck. They rowed around searching for the missing able seaman, but did not find him. The motorboat was found full of water and damaged, but a keg of drinking water was transferred to one of the lifeboats (I believe there were 2 boats) for future use. They then set sail on a northwesterly course in the hope of reaching Rio Grande (the time 09:30 is given).

The steward had a crushed knee and a couple of broken ribs, the 1st mate had sustained bad injuries to his face, while the cook had serious burns on his stomach after having gotten a kettle of boiling water over him. Their shipmates did what they could for them. An American aircraft flew over the next day, but though they waved and tried to attract attention as best they could it kept going. They later found out the pilot had thought they were fishermen. Later that same day they encountered a large fleet of fishing vessels, one of which came over and took them in tow, and a few days later they were relaxing at a hotel in New York. An inquiry was held there on June 24-1942 with the captain, the 2nd mate (officer on watch), Able Seaman Mikkelsen and the 1st engineer appearing.

On Aug. 20th Captain Thorsen was told to join D/T Frontenac, and again he was torpedoed - follow the link for details.

Crew List:
Able Seaman Nygren had previsously served on
Evita and Rita. Following the loss of Moira, he joined Martin Bakke, Baalbek, Crawford Ellis, Chr. Th. Boe and General Fleischer.

William Thorsen
1st Mate
Wilhelm A. Thøring
2nd Mate
Erling Tobiassen
Able Seaman
Charles Nygren
Able Seaman
William Strømsvold
Able Seaman
Einar Mikkelsen
Able Seaman
Amund Langva
1st Engineer
Anton S. Johansen
2nd Engineer
Leif Nikolaisen
3rd Engineer
Fritz Nilsson
Gunnar Engelbrektsen
Karl Knudsen
Ove Paulsen
Sivert Steen
Torleif Rød
Karl Johan Karlsen
Kolbjørn Gabrielsen
Mess Boy
Gustav J. Juliussen

Able Seaman
Alf Kristensen

Back to Moira 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, "Menn uten medaljer", A. H. Rasmussen - (ref. My sources).


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