|Site Map | Search Warsailors.com |Merchant Fleet Main Page | Warsailors.com Home|
To Ranja on the "Ships starting with R" page.
Owner: Rederi-A/S Ruth
Built by Götaverken A/B, Gothenburg in 1928.
Captain: Andreas Mossin
Related page 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.
Errors may exist, and some voyages are missing.
Ranja was in Sweden when Norway was invaded by the Germans on Apr. 9-1940, but was 1 of the 5 ships that escaped on Jan. 23-1941. Captain of Ranja at the time of breakout was the *British J. Nicolson (see also this Guestbook message and scroll down to Ranja). Ranja (in ballast?) was attacked by aircraft on Jan. 24, position 58 45N 04 10E, and the Swedish 1st mate Nils Rydberg, who was in the process of seeking shelter behind the concrete protection on the bridge, was hit by 5 bullets before he reached cover. He had been hit in the stomach, and though he was admitted to Balfour Hospital upon arrival Kirkwall he died 4 days later. He was post humously awarded Order of the British Empire. The 2nd mate, Viktor Boström was also Swedish. All 5 ships reached Kirkwall on Jan. 25.
147 men and 1 woman (wife of Chief Enginner Hans G. Hansen of John Bakke) had taken part in the breakout, 58 were British, 57 Norwegian, 31 Swedish and 1 Latvian. Full details on this operation (codenamed Rubble) can be found on my page about Elisabeth Bakke.
Together with Ingertre and Jenny (see also Soløy), Ranja was scheduled for Convoy OB 300, originating in Liverpool on March 20-1941, but she returned to port and later joined the next convoy, OB 301, which originated in Liverpool on March 23 and dispersed on the 27th. Brant County, Ferncourt, Kongsgaard, Taurus and Torborg are also listed - ref. link provided within the Voyage Record above. Ranja was bound for Curacao, where she arrived on Apr. 12, having started out from Clyde March 23. There's a note in connection with this convoy, saying that Ranja constantly left the convoy due to defective steering gear. With a cargo of diesel oil for Manchester, she returned to the U.K. in May in the Bermuda portion of Convoy HX 127, arriving her destination on June 6. She subsequently joined Convoy OB 335, leaving Liverpool on June 16, arriving Halifax on July 2 - Ranja, however, was bound for New York, where she arrived July 4, according to Page 1. Abraham Lincoln, Boreas, Charles Racine, Hada County, Leiv Eiriksson, Skaraas (collided - returned), Skiensfjord and Thorshavet are also named in this convoy (link in table above).
Arnold Hague has also included Ranja in Convoy HX 144, which left Halifax on Aug. 10-1941 and arrived Liverpool on the 30th. Ranja stopped by Belfast Lough on Aug. 29 before proceeding to Swansea, where she arrived on Aug. 31. The following month we find her in the westbound North Atlantic Convoy ON 15. She arrived New York on Sept. 25, the convoy having been dispersed on the 16th. On Oct. 10, she headed back to the U.K. with Convoy HX 154 from Halifax, together with the Norwegian Tai Shan, Hilda Knudsen, Kaia Knudsen, Samuel Bakke, Emma Bakke, Polarsol, Skiensfjord, N. T. Nielsen-Alonso, Toronto, Noreg and Svenør. Some of these ships, including Ranja, subsequently returned with Convoy ON 34, which left Liverpool on Nov. 7 (Acanthus is named among the escorts). Ranja's destination is given as Providence, where she arrived on Nov. 21, proceeding to New York City that same day (Page 1). According to the Commodore's notes, she was one of several ships that had lost touch after the convoy had been forced to heave to in a gale on Nov. 9 - follow the link for details. Her last Trans-Atlantic voyage that year was made in Convoy HX 163, departing Halifax on Dec. 3.
In Jan.-1942 she's listed as bound for Curacao in Convoy ON 57*, which started out in Liverpool on Jan. 13 and dispersed on Febr. 7. See also Ingrid and Astrell, as well as Page 2 of the archive documents, where we learn that Ranja arrived Galveston on Febr. 12, having sailed from Loch Ewe on Jan. 18 (Curacao is not mentioned). This convoy will be added to an individual page in my Convoys section; in the meantime, the ships sailing in it (and escorts) are named in the section listing ships in all ON convoys. Other Norwegian ships, in addition to Ingrid and Astrell and the escorting Eglantine, were Boreas, Inger Elisabeth (returned), Ingerfem and Romulus.
For more information on all the other Norwegian ships named on this page, please see the alphabet index below, or go to the Master Ship Index.
Ranja was torpedoed on March 17-1942 by U-71 (Flachsenberg) and sunk 38N 65 20W. According to a newspaper article I've received from T. Saksvik, author of the article, she was en route from Galveston to Halifax alone (in order to join a convoy) with a cargo of oil for the U.K. - again, see also Page 2, which says she had left Galveston on March 7 and arrived Houston that same day, leaving again for Halifax on March 9. She had 30 Norwegian crew, 1 Swedish and 1 Danish, as well as 2 British gunners, all of whom perished. Captain at the time was Andreas Mossin.
T. Saksvik has also added some details from U-71's KTB, describing some of the damages Ranja received. According to this, the U-boat spotted her at 17:40, then fired 2 torpedoes at 18:58 from 1400 meters, depth 2.5 meters. The torpedoes hit the bridge forward of the funnel, followed by an explosion, with an estimated 400 meters tall column of flames and a lot of smoke. At 19:07 the target was identified as an armed tanker carrying petroleum. She was on fire up to the foreship, with reduced speed, turning to port, with a port list and deeper in the water. A 2nd torpedo was fired at 19:54; a surface runner fired from a distance of 800 meters, level with the forward masts, resulting in another explosion. Entire ship on fire, no longer moving. Mast and bridge had collapsed, foredeck under water and appeared to have broken apart. She was not seen sinking but judged to have done so for sure. U-boat departed at 20:06 (towards Cape Hatteras).
(Charles Hocking gives the position as "about 450 miles east/southeast of Philadelphia" and states she was on a voyage from Houston to Halifax, loaded, agreeing with the number of casualties).
Related external links:
Back to Ranja on the "Ships starting with R" page.
The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, "Blokkadebryterne" Ralph Barker (1976), translated to Norwegian by Gunnar Thommessen from "The Blockade Busters", "Sjøforklaringer fra 2. verdenskrig", Volume II, Norwegian Maritime Museum, and misc. (ref. My sources).