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M/S Pleasantville
Updated Apr. 28-2012

To Pleasantville on the "Ships starting with P" page.

Crew List

A picture is available on this external page (click in it to enlarge).

Owner: Skibs-A/S Mandeville
Manager: A. F. Klaveness & Co. A/S, Oslo
4349 gt, 2749 net, 8311 tdwt (Jürgen Rohwer gives the tonnage as 4549 gt).
Signal Letters: LDLM

Built by Burmeister & Wain's Maskin- & Skibsbyggeri A/S, Copenhagen in 1929.

Captain: Johan Wildhagen

Her voyages are listed on these original images from the Norwegian National Archives:
(unfortunately, Page 1 has some information missing in the margin, and Page 2 is torn)
Page 1 | Page 2 | Page 3


As can be seen when going to Page 1 above, Pleasantville arrived Singapore (from Hong Kong) on Apr. 9-1940, the day of the German invasion of Norway. The document indicates this voyage had started out in Aberdeen (Wash.) and her final destination was Manila. She headed back to the west coast of the U.S. again in May, returning to Manila in July. Her 1941 voyages also start on this document and continue on Page 2 and Page 3.

 Final Fate - 1942: 

Pleasantville had departed New York City on June 3-1942 with a cargo of 3000 tons phosphate, cars, trucks, aircraft, 2 locomotives and tenders for Suez/Alexandria via Cape Town, on charter to Fearn Line, New York at the time (it'll be noticed, when going to Page 3, that she had previously had quite a long stay in New York, having arrived there from Trinidad on Apr. 10). She sailed in a convoy as far as Chesapeake Bay, then continued alone on June 6.

She was on a course 126° true, sailing at a speed of 12 knots, not zig-zagging, slight SE breeze, smooth sea and good visibility, 2 lookouts (1 on bridge and 1 on top of bridge), when she at 20:42 on June 7*, in approximate position 34 12N 68 00W was torpedoed by U-135 (Praetorius). The torpedo struck on the port side near No. 3 hatch, resulting in a hole in her side. She listed to starboard, then to port before straightening up and coming to rest with the foreship deep in the water. No SOS was sent because the antenna had fallen down. The engines were stopped from the boat deck and all 3 starboard lifeboats were launched. Shortly after the men had gotten off the ship, about 12 minutes after the first attack, the U-boat came up between the captain's lifeboat and the other 2 boats and sent off another torpedo, fired one quarter mile, 25° from aft on the port side, which exploded in the engine room, and within a couple of minutes she went down by the bow. About 10 minutes later the U-boat came over to the captain's boat, the commander asking the usual questions in German about cargo and destination etc., translated to English by a U-boat crew. The commander also asked if anyone had been wounded, then with a "sorry boys, this is war" and "I wish you good luck", the boat took off.

*The date and time given above is from the captain's report; J. Rowher says it happened at 03:16 on the 8th, German time. A sinking report (a memorandum based on survivors' statements, signed U.S.N.R. Lieutenant T. A. Courtney) gives the time as 00:50 GCT June 8, approx. position 34N 68W. The U-boat was described as rather large, 740-ton German type, approximately 350 ft in length, 2 guns mounted, 1 forward and 1 aft of the conning tower, no masts, periscope, aerials, or net cutter visible. It was last seen at 01:50 GCT, June 8-1942.

The captain's boat with 8 crew and 2 passengers set sail in a westerly direction at about 10:30, the other 2 boats being out of sight in the dark at that time. The next morning the wind died down so they continued rowing in the same direction for 2 days. In the afternoon of June 9 they spotted the masts and funnel of a ship which altered course and headed towards them (340 36N 690 55W), and at 16:35 they were picked up by the American Chickasaw City and landed in Port of Spain on June 18. The other 2 lifeboats had been located by the Polish D/S Paderewski the day after the sinking and the men taken to Trinidad.

An inquiry was held in New York on July 20-1942 with the captain, the 1st mate, the 1st engineer, and Able Seaman Sandtorv (helmsman) appearing.

Crew List:
*See also the crew list for Stigstad.

Johan Wildhagen
1st Mate
Kaare Rødnes
2nd Mate
Kåre Jensen
Radio Operator
Wallace Stevens
Harald Wadseth
Lars Kleppe
Able Seaman
Alf Tønnesen
Able Seaman
Sverre Rogne
Able Seaman
Albert Andersen
Able Seaman
Nils Gunnarsen
Able Seaman
Konrad Sandtorv
Able Seaman
Jacob Jacobsen
Able Seaman
Erling Sørensen
1st Engineer
Arnt Jensen*
2nd Engineer
Thomas Madsen
3rd Engineer
Olav Olsen
4th Engineer
Carl H. Hansen
Victor M. Iversen
Olaus Austensen
Jakob Christensen
Karl Berg
Bernhard Isdahl
Håkon Fosse
Alf Andreassen
Karl Brikland
Gustav Tindal
Olaf Olsen Lode
Jarolf Ikdal
Galley Boy
Håkon Åkesen
Mess Boy
John Laxio
Mess Boy
Robert Nicolay
Saloon Boy
Constantin Belios
Saloon Boy
Harald Dramstad
Guttorm Thorsen
Hans Dahle
+ 10 passengers
(U.S. Army officers)

3rd Mate
Karl Utseth

Able Seaman
Magne Hansen

The 3rd mate had been on watch on the bridge when the first explosion occurred and the able seaman was on lookout, believed to have been hit by shrapnel. The 3rd mate had last been seen on the boat deck.

Back to Pleasantville on the "Ships starting with P" page.

The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, "Sjøforklaringer fra 2. verdenskrig", Volume II (Norwegian Maritime Museum), summary of statements by survivors (signed by U.S.N.R. Lieutenant T. A. Courtney), received from Tony Cooper, England, and misc. (ref. My sources).


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