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Owner: A/S Ranella
Built by Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd., Wallsend, Sunderland in 1912.
Captain: Conrad Martinius Mørland, later served as captain on Suderholm
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.
According to Page 1 of the archive documents, Ranella was on her way from Houston to Lisbon when war broke out in Norway on Apr. 9-1940. It'll also be noticed that she had a long stay in Mobile at the end of that year. Her 1941 voyages also start on this document.
In Jan.-1941, she's listed among the ships in Convoy BHX 104 from Bermuda, bound for Holyhead and Southampton with diesel oil. According to Arnold Hague, she became a straggler from this convoy on Febr. 4 and joined up with the slow Convoy SC 20, which had left Halifax on Jan. 22. In March we find her in Convoy OG 57, which originated in Liverpool on March 27 and arrived Gibraltar on Apr. 11; Ranella, however, was bound for Curacao, where she arrived on Apr. 18 (having started out from Milford Haven on March 26). OG 57 will be added to an individual page in my Convoys section, but in the meantime, the ships sailing in it are named on this page. Loke, Salamis and Suderholm are also listed. Ranella returned to the U.K. in May with the slow Convoy SC 31 from Halifax, bound for Clyde, where she arrived May 30.
Ranella left Glasgow already on June 4-1941, bound for New York in ballast, sailing in convoy OG 64 until the morning of June 10, at which time she left the convoy and continued alone (A. Hague says she detached on June 12). OG convoys were Gibraltar bound, but ships bound for North America sailed in them for protection for a while, then detached after a few days. Jürgen Rohwer and Roger W. Jordan both say Ranella was in the convoy when sunk. Other ships sailing in OG 64 are named on this page; Gudvin, Kos VII, Kos X, Kos XI, Kos XII, Lisbeth, Loke and Norse King are also included.
On June 12, she was torpedoed by U-553 (Thurmann), position 43 39N 28W. The torpedo detonated in No. 4 tank on the port side, leaving a hole in each side of the ship and causing her to heel over. After the crew had gotten away from the ship in the 2 starboard lifeboats (the port motorboat had been destroyed) another torpedo was fired, about half an hour after the first, hitting behind the mast and breaking her in 2, but when she still refused to sink the U-boat proceeded to shell her. She was hit in the foremost bunker tank which exploded in a column of fire, and she finally went down.
The 2 lifeboats got separated on the 2nd day. The captain's boat with 15 men reached Terceira, Azores on June 22, while the 1st mate's boat with 14 men sailed for 12 days, 300 n. miles before reaching Figueira da Foz, Portugal in the early morning hours of June 24. The latter group was later sent to Lisbon, arriving in the morning of June 25. Those in the captain's boat left Terceira on June 28 and arrived Lisbon on July 4. An inquiry was held there on July 11-1941 with the captain, the 1st mate, and the steward appearing.
There's an amusing story attached to the sinking of Ranella, whether true or not I don't know. After she had been torpedoed and he had taken care of the ship's confidential papers, the captain calmly asked Steward Bjørløw to "get me a coat would you, it might get a bit chilly in the lifeboat", whereupon the steward looked in the captain's wardrobe, carefully selected a coat and said "what do you think captain, is this one perhaps a bit too nice to wear in a lifeboat?".
More info on the other Norwegian ships named on this page is available via the alphabet index below, or go to the Master Ship Index.
Related external links:
Back to Ranella on the "Ships starting with R" 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), and misc. (ref. My sources).