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To Nidarnes on the "Ships starting with N" page.
The boat on the slip at right is the ST ULRIC, a typical "flat bottom wood-hull goélette": initially sail boats, these single hold coastal vessels were engined in the 1920s and used to carry goods, merchandises and later, pulpwood between small villages all along the St Lawrence river and major cities up to 1970.'
Manager: Krogstad Dampskibsrederi A/S
Built by Toledo Shipbuilding Co., Toledo, Ohio in 1920. Previous name Santa Isabel until 1940 (Santa Steamship Corp. - American & Cuban Steamship Line Inc.).
Captain: Peder T. Inderberg
As can be seen when going to Page 1 above, Nidarnes was on her way from Philadelphia to Rio de Janeiro when war broke out in Norway on Apr. 9-1940. Her 1941 voyages also start on this document and continue on Page 2, which also shows her 1942 voyages. It'll be noticed that she had a long stay in New York that year..
Torpedoed by U-158 (Rostin) at about 21:10 CWT on June 3-1942 and sunk 21 17N 85 07W, in the straits of Yucatan. She had departed New Orleans on May 29 (or May 30, depending on time zone - see also Page 2), bound for Cristobal with a general cargo, including supplies for the American Army. A memorandum dated June 27-1942, signed U.S.N.R. Ensign E. D. Henderson, based on statements by survivors (Navy Department, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Washington), gives the position as approximately 21 22N 85 02W. She also had 390 tons of fuel oil in tanks No. 1, 3, 4 and in the aft peak tank, as well as in 2 settling tanks amidships, and 75 tons of fresh water in No. 2 tank. At the time she was on a course 190° true, completely blacked out, not zig-zagging, sailing at a speed of 7.5 knots in clear weather and good visibility, with a calm sea, no wind, no moonlight. 4 lookouts, 1 on the foc'sle head, 2 on the bridge, 1 on the aft gun deck. No other ships were in sight.
On the bridge were the captain and the 2nd mate, with Able Seaman Nielsen at the helm, while the 3rd mate was by the gun, and Able Seaman Hjønnevåg on lookout duty.
The torpedo struck near the aft bulkhead of No. 4 hatch on the port side, followed by 3 internal explosions, believed to be due to accumulation of fumes in the after peak fuel tank and the igniting of ammunition in the locker, setting the after section on fire. The 2nd mate and the helmsman immediately ran to the lifeboats in order to get them launched, but the ship was already so deep in the water it was impossible. She sank by the stern in 1 minute, so there was no time to send distress messages. The crew jumped overboard and clung to wreckage until life rafts broke loose.
The captain, who had gone to the starboard side, jumped overboard and swam away, having seen nobody else. He heard several small explosions and was surrounded by warm water and oil. After a while he found some debris which he held on to for about 2 hours, then climbed on a raft. He heard cries all around him, and was eventually able to move the raft in the direction of the cries with the help of a plank, but the only one he found was the 1st engineer, who later stated that he had seen the torpedo approaching at an angle of 60° to the keel of the ship from the forward side, but nobody had seen the U-boat.
At daylight, another 6 crew members keeping themselves afloat on debris were seen, 3 more were spotted shortly afterwards - these 9 were able to get onto another raft. Just a few hours later, June 4 by then, the 11 survivors were rescued by the American Curaca which landed them in Cristobal on June 9. (According to the memorandum, 6 had been picked up at 10:45 CWT and 5 at 10:55 CWT in approximately 21 17N 85 07W - this is identical to the sinking position in the first paragraph above)
The inquiry was held in New York on June. 28-1942 with the captain, the 2nd mate and the 1st engineer appearing. 13 had died (all Norwegian); some were killed on board, others drowned in the course of the night.
U-158 was sunk by American aircraft near Bermuda at the end of that month, with the loss of all hands - see external links below. This U-boat was also responsible for the attacks on Finnanger and Moira - follow the links for details.
Stoker Jørgensen had previously served (as messboy) on Sommerstad.
Related external links:
Operations information for U-158 - As will be seen, this site gives the date as June 4, this simply has to do with different time zones used. The majority of the details in my text above come from the captain's report, written in Balboa on June 12.
Back to Nidarnes on the "Ships starting with N" page.
Norway had previous had another Nidarnes, built in 1926 for Rederi A/S Nidaros (A.L. Ombudstvedt), Oslo. Sold in 1928 to Delson Steamship Co. Ltd., Montreal and renamed Delson. Sold in 1929 to Sonia Shipping Co. Ltd., Halifax and renamed Sonia. Sailed as Liverpool Packet during the war, having been sold in 1941 to Markland Shipping Co. Ltd., Liverpool, Nova Scotia. Torpedoed and sunk at the end of May-1942 by U-432.
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 survivors' statements received from Tony Cooper, England, and misc. (ref. My sources).