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Ownerer: A/S Mosvold Shipping Co.
Built by Eriksbergs Mekaniske Verkstads A/B, Gothenburg, Sweden in 1938.
Captain: Jens Lassen Ugland. He later joined Christian Michelsen and died when that ship was sunk in 1943 - follow the link for more details.
Related items on this website:
Mosfruit was one of several fast going fruit carriers, which went back and forth across the Atlantic without an escort, and up until July of 1942 she was the one that had the most Atlantic crossings to her name.
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.
Errors may exist, and some voyages are missing.
As will be seen when going to Page 1, Mosfruit was in New York when war broke out in Norway on Apr. 9-1940, departing that day for Fernandina, where she arrived on Apr. 12, continuing to Brunswick the next day. She later proceeded to Halifax, joining Convoy HX 36 from there to the U.K. on Apr. 18 - follow the link for details; other Norwegian ships also took part.
It looks like she spent quite a long time in New York that year. She had arrived there from Liverpool on July 2 and departure is given as Aug. 17, when she proceeded to Havana. She also had quite a long stay at Hampton Roads the following month, and at the end of that year, she was in Halifax for a long time. She had arrived there from New York on Oct. 24-1940; departure is given as Jan. 6-1941, when she proceeded to St. John, N.B., then headed to the U.K. on Jan. 27, arriving Liverpool on Febr. 6, remaining there for a month, before returning to St. John, N.B.
Page 2 also has some 1941 voyages as well as her 1942 voyages. It'll be noticed that she spent several weeks in New York that year. She had left St. John, N.B. for Halifax on Febr. 3 but put back to St. John the next day; according to A. Hague, she had had a fire in her hold. She later proceeded to New York, with arrival Febr. 16, and did not leave again until March 26 - perhaps some repairs had been necessary?
Mosfruit, on charter to Canadian Pacific Steamships, had left St. John, N. B. on June 24-1942, bound for Liverpool with general cargo and frozen meat. She was last reported in position 53 25N 40 00W on June 28, doing 14 knots. When she had not arrived her destination at the estimated time, escort groups were requested on July 5 to keep an eye out for her or her lifeboats. It turned out that at 14:30 GMT on June 30, when about 600 n. miles from the northwest coast of Ireland, U-458 (Diggins) had gotten a direct hit with one of his torpedoes, striking forward of the bridge, port side (possibly in No. 2 hold). The wheelhouse, chart house and radio room were damaged, probably because of the vibrations and the weight of the surrounding cement protection. The helmsman, Able Seaman Nerdal, was blown down to the deck, the radio operator had to break through the top part of the door to get out. The No.'s 2 and 3 hatches blew up, the engine stopped immediately and she listed to port. The port boat was partly destroyed and was pulled along by its tackles, but the starboard lifeboat was successfully launched and moved away from the ship to pick up 3 who had jumped overboard (the 2nd engineer, the 4th engineer and Able Seaman Høifødt). By then the ship had straightened up somewhat, but the foreship was deep in the water.
A British passenger by the last name of Allan was found to be missing, so the captain and 6 men went back on board to look for him (the 1st mate, the radio operator, the 1st engineer, the 3rd engineer, Mechanic Johannessen and the galley boy). He was found in the passengers' quarters, in shock and with a head wound. After he had been helped into the boat, the captain and the others quickly gathered some blankets, food and other necessities, while the radio operator made another unsuccessful attempt to send an SOS. Also, the 1st engineer announced that there was no way that her engine could be started again. Those who had remained in the lifeboat now informed them that a periscope was seen; this was also spotted from the ship, but it disappeared again soon afterwards. They launched the starboard gig and returned to the lifeboat which was waiting about 1/2 mile away. A collective hurrah was given in gratitude that everyone had survived; that is - 33 crew, 3 passengers, 3 dogs and a cat.
About 2 hours had now passed since the torpedo had struck. The periscope was seen several times, and those in the lifeboats stayed in the vicinity of the ship in the hopes of being able to make use of the motorboat, which was placed on the No. 4 hatch and would hopefully float free if/when the ship sank. Also, fearing they had insufficient quantities of water for that many people, they wanted to see if anything could be rescued from the port lifeboat. With sail set on the lifeboat and the gig in tow, they moved further away from the ship. The men in the gig were transferred to the lifeboat. About half an hour later, when the boats were about 1.5 n. miles away, the U-boat came up and set Mosfruit ablaze with 56 shells, and within another half hour, 3 hours after the initial attack they lost sight of her - still burning and in a sinking condition (sunk 56 10N 23 20[40?]W).
The boats sailed for 7 days towards Ireland. The British Allan Beattie was beginning to show the strain by then, asking permission to "go to his cabin"; he also wanted to "bring the captain his tea". The next day, on July 8 they were spotted by the British Empire Hope (Captain G. Williams - see also this Guestbook message) 40 n. miles off the Irish coast (west/northwest of Tory Island) and taken to Belfast the same day. (The cat had died on the 3rd day as it was always licking salt water off its fur). The young Beattie, though clear minded again, was shaky and uneasy so he was taken to a hospital. The 3 passengers remained in Belfast while Mosfruit's crew left for Liverpool on a passenger vessel. 3 men were subsequently admitted to the Norwegian hospital in Westwood with severe swelling in their legs, namely Able Seaman Høifødt, the electrician and the cook, while the rest were distributed between the Norwegian Hostel, Hanover Hotel and Nunns Hotel.
The maritime hearings were held in Liverpool on July 17-1942 with the captain, the 2nd mate (officer on watch), Able Seaman Gustavsen (lookout) and the 2nd engineer appearing.
George Monk, England has told me that Captain Jens Lassen Ugland received a British "Commendation" (his source: Seedies List of awards to the British Merchant Navy which includes awards to Allied merchant seamen).
Related external links:
Back to Mosfruit 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).