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Owner: Rederi A/S Nidaros
Built by G. M. Standifer Construction Co., Vancouver, WA, in 1919. Previous names Wawalona until 1928 (United States Shipping Board), Wisconsin until 1939 (Bulk Carriers Co., Portland? later Wisconsin Steamship Co. Inc., New York).
R. W. Jordan's "The World's Merchant Fleets 1939" gives this ship 6076 gt. J. Rohwer agrees with 6132 gt, and so does "Lloyd's War Losses, Vol. I" (Rohwer may of course have used this source).
Captain: Magne Hegvik
Related item on this website:
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.
As can be seen, the record is incomplete.
According to a Norwegian source (unfortunately, I can no longer find this source) Nidarland was on a voyage from Sweden to Trinidad, via Bergen on Apr. 8-1940 (the Germans invaded Norway the next morning), probably to join a convoy, but continued north upon news of the invasion. She's said to have gone to Florø first, then to Eikefjord, where she stayed until May 30(?), when she was able to escape to Shetland. This date should probably be Apr. 30; from Page 1 of the archive documents, we learn that she was in St. Michaels on May 22/23 and in Demerara on June 3. The document says she had been detained in Bergen on Apr. 26 (and indicates that she had indeed come from Sweden), but was able to get to Kirkwall at the beginning of May. As can be seen, she later arrived Trinidad on June 8.
Her 1941 voyages are shown on Page 2, which also has some of her 1942 voyages (it looks like she spent over a month in Baltimore early that year).
According to Arnold Hague, Nidarland took part in Convoy TAW 2, which left Trinidad on July 5-1942 and arrived Key West on the 14th; the Norwegian Glarona is also listed (again, see also Page 2). Later that month, Nidarland appears in Convoy KN 123, departing Key West on July 24, arriving Hampton Roads on the 29th, this time with the Norwegian Daghild, Ferncliff and San Andres in company. The following month we find her in Convoy KS 529, which sailed from Hampton Roads on Aug. 10 and arrived Kew West on the 16th - it'll be noticed, when going to Page 3, that Nidarland's arrival Key West is given as Aug. 18 (Britamer, Siranger, Thorhild, Torfinn Jarl and Vinga are also included in this convoy). She's now listed, together with Dea, Siranger, Torfinn Jarl and Vinga, in Convoy WAT 15, departing Key West on Aug. 18, arriving Trinidad on the 27th - the archive document gives her arrival as Aug. 30. More info on all these convoys is available via the external links provided in the table above.
As will be seen when going back to Page 3, Nidarland (on charter to Alcoa Steamship Co.) had sailed from Trinidad to Montevideo, then on to Santa Fe, before proceeding to Buenos Aires, with arrival there on Oct. 10-1942. She left Buenos Aires again on Oct. 14 with about 8435 tons zinc concentrate in No.'s 1, 2, 3 and 4 holds, and 179 silver ingots in No. 3 hold, bound for Baltimore, via Trinidad for bunkers.
She was on course 234° true, sailing at a speed of 9 knots and was in position 11 41N 60 42W when she was torpedoed by U-67 (Müller-Stöckheim) in the morning of Nov. 9. Time is given as ca. 08:05 ship's time. In a memorandum dated Nov. 21-1942 (Navy Department, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Washington), signed U.S.N.R. Lieutenant H. V. Stebbins, based on a summary of statements by 1st Mate Olav Søbstad, time is given as 16:05 GCT. The memorandum adds that the weather was clear with a choppy sea, wind east/northeast force 2 or 3 and visibility good. No other ships were in sight, but 2 planes had flown overhead 10 minutes prior to the attack, and Nidarland had hoisted recognition flag and numeral as well as the Norwegian flag, and had put out name boards on both the port and starboard side, but all these had been taken down a minute later, except the Norwegian flag, which was still flying when attacked. She was not zig-zagging, radio was silent and not previously used. It was daylight and 2 lookouts were on the bridge, 1 aft, the helmsman and 2 officers on duty on the bridge.
2 torpedeos were believed to have struck simultaneously, the first in No. 3 hold, the second in No. 4 hold, both on the starboard side, sending parts of her cargo high in the air, and causing the top of the mast and radio aerial to fall down. She immediately started to sink and the captain gave the order to abandon ship, so no distress signal was sent and there was no time to examine the damages. She had a six-pounder but this was never fired as the gun crew was not aboard (according to the memorandum). Some of the U.S Navy and British codes were thrown overboard, others went down with the ship.
On the bridge at the time were the 1st mate - who had been on watch until 08:00 ship's time and had just been relieved by the 2nd mate - the lookout, Able Seaman Reistad, and the helmsman, Able Seaman Smith. Able Seaman Brekke was by the aft gun - no U-boat or wake of torpedoes had been seen by anyone. The starboard lifeboat and the motorboat on the same side were blown overboard; only the port boat could be used and was successfully launched. The main deck was already under water at that time. Some men aft were seen to be jumping overbord, so the midships, port side raft was released, and some of the men in the water managed to get into it, while others held on to misc. debris.
When all those who had assembled on the boat deck had gotten into the lifeboat they intended to get away as quickly as possible in order to avoid the suction as the ship was sinking. Just then the 1st engineer was seen standing at the rail, and they urged him to jump, but he appeared to be in shock and did not react (last seen waving to the survivors, according to the memorandum). As the edge of the boat deck was now already in the water, they could not go alongside with the lifeboat again. The ship sank head first about 2 minutes after the torpedoes had struck.
The lifeboat rowed around and picked up 4 (5?) from the water as well as the 9 who were on the raft, including the captain, who had been in his office when the attack occurred. A search for the 1st engineer proved in vain, so the 34 proceeded to row and sail towards shore, landing on the north point of Tobago in the morning of Nov. 10 (Norwegian report says at 06:00). After a short stay they sailed on and arrived Plymouth (Tobago) that same afternoon (the memorandum gives time of landing as 14:00 GCT), then continued by car to Scarborough where they were given food and clothing as well as accommodations while waiting for passage to Port of Spain.
The maritime inquiry was held in New York on Dec. 15-1942 with the captain and the 1st and 2nd mates appearing.
Related external links:
Back to Nidarland on the "Ships starting with N" page.
Geo. Hansen had another ship by this name after the war, ex Liberty Ship Frederick C. Hicks, built in 1944, 7207 gt - became Norwegian Nidarland in Sept.-1947, then Trya in 1950 (Gørrissen & Klaveness, Oslo). Sailed under the Liberian flag as Bendita from 1952 (Seres Shipping Inc, New York), then under the Greek flag as Despina K from 1958 (same managers). In 1959 she came under the management of Ceres Shipping Co., London, then from 1961 N. J. Vlassopulos Ltd., London. Sailed under the Lebanese flag from 1963 (same managers), then managed by Palmco Shipping.Inc, New York from 1966. Ran aground on May 19-1967 near Mexico (5 m northeast of San Lazaro Light, 24 52N 112.16W), voyage Tokyo-Guayaguil in ballast. Broke in 2 in June, total loss.
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, summary of statements by 1st Mate O. Søbstad received from Tony Cooper, England, and misc. other as named within text above (ref. My sources).