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Manager: Wilh. Wilhelmsen, Tønsberg
Launched on Apr. 4-1917 by Sir James Laing & Sons Ltd., Sunderland (Yard No. 659) as Sjoa. Completed on Dec. 14 under the name Appleby, and placed under the management of Furness, Withy & Co. Ltd., London (war requisition), registered owners Norfolk & North American Steam Shipping Co. Ltd. Returned to Wilh. Wilhelmsen on June 16-1920 and renamed Rinda. One of several Norwegian ships affected by the Spanish civil war when she was forced to go to Ceuta in June-1938, but was freed right away.
Captain: Niels Olsen
Armament: A 4" gun, 2 machine guns and several rifles.
Her voyages are listed on this original document received from the National Archives of Norway.
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.
Rinda struck a mine off Terschelling in Sept.-1939, brought into port and repaired.
With a cargo of sugar, she's listed in Convoy HG 14, departing Gibraltar on Jan. 8-1940, arriving Liverpool on the 17th. This convoy is not available among the HG convoys included on my own website, but I've linked directly to Arnold Hague's listing in the table above.
Judging from the archive document, she was at Moji when war broke out in Norway on Apr. 9-1940, having arrived from Torrevieja on Apr. 3, and was still there on Apr. 14. She subsequently proceeded to Hong Kong, with arrival Apr. 17.
Later that year she's listed (with Henrik Ibsen) in Convoy SLS 46, which departed Freetown on Sept. 1 and dispersed on the 13th, Rinda arriving Avonmouth on Sept. 24, cargo of oilseed - A. Hague says she had joined Convoy SL 46 en route (Sept. 19); this convoy had started out in Freetown on Sept. 3 and also included Soløy and Touraine - ref. external links provided within the Voyage Record (it'll be noticed that A. Hague lists Touraine as French, but this was probably the Norwegian ship by that name?).
From Avonmouth, Rinda later proceeded to Swansea, arriving on Oct. 8, and now appears to have spent a long time there. Departure is given as Nov. 14, when she sailed to Milford Haven. According to the external website that I've linked to below, she was scheduled for Convoy OB 246 (left Liverpool on Nov. 20), bound for Freetown and Cape Town, but did not sail. She shows up again, together with Hilda Knudsen and Kaia Knudsen, in Convoy OB 250, which originated in Liverpool on Nov. 26 and dispersed on the 29th. She arrived Freetown on Dec. 15, having started out from Milford Haven on Nov. 25, continuing to Cape Town on Dec. 16, with arrival Dec. 29. The next day, she proceeded to Mombasa, where she arrived Jan. 11-1941, then headed to Aden on Jan. 18, arriving there on Jan. 29. She now made a voyage from Aden to Suez, having joined Convoy BNF 1, which had originated in Bombay on Jan. 26 and arrived Suez Febr. 6; Rinda had sailed from Aden on Febr. 1. The Norwegian Hav is also included in this convoy - again, ref. link in Voyage Record. Rinda subsequently had a long stay at Suez - again, see the archive document.
More info on the other Norwegian ships mentioned here can be found via the alphabet index at the end of this page, or go to the Master Ship Index.
See also this chronological
Rinda was on a voyage from Haifa and Table Bay to Freetown and the U.K. with general cargo, including cotton bails and potash, when she at 21:40 on May 30-1941 was struck by 2 torpedoes and sunk off Liberia by U-38 (Liebe), position 06 52N 16 25W*. She had departed Table Bay on May 17 - see also the archive document.
As No. 4 and No. 5 hatches were blown open it was assumed that one of the torpedoes struck in the after part of No. 4 hold and the other in the forward part of No. 5 hold, both having been seen by the 1st mate just before the explosion occurred. It appeared to him as if they were only a few feet away from each other, one a little ahead of the other.
Able Seaman Per Korsvold and the British Stoker George Dwyer, who were asleep on No. 5 hatch were killed. Boatswain Oskar Holmberg was standing on deck and was killed when he was struck by a bail of cotton. Captain Olsen and Able Seaman Lyder Pettersen who were on the bridge (the latter on lookout duty) were also killed. 1st Mate Ugland was also on watch on the bridge, with Able Seaman Halvorsen at the wheel - both survived. The engine room watch consisted of 1st Engineer Tollefsen, Donkeyman Vassengen, both of whom died, and Stoker Gustavsen, who survived.
The ship had a motorboat (No. 1 boat) on the starboard side on the lower bridge, and 2 boats on the boat deck - No. 3, 481 c. feet, swung out on the starboard side and No. 5, a large motorboat, also hanging swung out of the davits on the port side. Additionally, she had a small boat (No. 2) on the port side of the lower bridge, but this was not considered a lifeboat as it did not have any air tanks, but it was fitted out with similar equipment as the other boats. The No. 4 boat (418 c. feet) was standing in its chocks, free of lashings.
Before they could launch the boats the ship capsized to port and sank, resulting in the No. 5 boat becoming jammed underneath its own davits. Both starboard boats remained lying for a moment alongside the ship, but there was not enough time to get the tackles unhooked before she went under. The men and boats were either pulled down, or washed off the boat deck, and the only boat that got clear and floated free was the No. 4 boat, with 1 man hanging on to the gunwale. Later, more men were able to get into it; some had managed to get onto rafts that had also floated free.
Burning cotton from the cargo illuminated the debris, and the survivors in the lifeboat moved around and picked up as many men as they could find, until 18 had eventually been picked up, including those on the rafts. After supplies had been transferred from the 4 rafts they searched for more survivors for 3-4 hours but none were found. 4 survivors had been injured, namely Stokers Knudsen, Gustavsen and Fosse, and Ordinary Seaman Rabbestølen. They were made as comfortable as possible under the circumstances before sail was set for Freetown.
Before Rinda sank the radio operator had sent out a distress signal, but as the ship capsized he had not been able to include their position. However, the signal had been intercepted by Freetown Station which immediately transmitted it to patrol vessels. The next day, May 31 they were located by a flying boat which in turn notified the armed trawler HMS Pict (FY 132), on patrol outside Freetown. They were picked up in the morning of June 1 and taken to Freetown, where the injured men were taken to the hospital ship Oxfordshire that evening, while the others were accommodated at a school in town.
Bernt Gustavsen had been severely burnt and stayed in hospital for 11 months after the sinking. He later joined the Norwegian Navy, but died when Montbretia was sunk in 1942. The other survivors eventually arrived Glasgow at the beginning of Aug.(? should this be July?)-1941. 5 of them were subsequently trained to be gunners (possibly at Dumbarton, Scotland where Norway had a training camp), namely Simon Jonassen, Sverre Hansen, Thorbjørn Noreng Larsen, Hans Hansen and Arnfinn Rabbestølen.
The book "Tilbakeblikk" says that after the torpedoes had struck, the funnel and the entire after deck had been blown off before the alarm could be sounded. 1st Mate Nils Ugland gives position as 220 miles west of Cape Sierra Leone, at around 10 in the evening of May 31 (in other words, a full day later - however, I'm inclined to think this is a simple printing error). His story is included in the book "Menn uten medaljer" (see My sources - link at the end of this page), probably retold to the author of this book many years later. He says he was pulled under when the ship sank but managed to fight his way to the surface again. While swimming over to the lifeboat he encountered the radio operator. The carpenter was also one of the survivors picked up from the water. Suddenly, they realized everyone's beloved cat was not among them in the boat, so they proceeded to row around into the night until, to their great joy, they heard a pitiful "miauu" in the distance. "We rowed as hard as we could and laughed and cried when we lifted the sopping wet furball aboard". The cat remained on Pict, and was ranamed "Rinda".
An inquiry was held in Glasgow on July 22-1941 with the radio operator, the 2nd and 3rd mates and the donkeyman appearing. 1st Mate Ugland had remained in Freetown, having been employed by Rinda's agents there, Sierra Leone Coaling Co. Stokers Knudsen and Gustavsen and Ordinary Seaman Rabbestølen were still in hospital in Freetown at that time, while Stoker Fosse had been left behind in Gibraltar where he had signed on another ship. Mess Boy Andreassen had joined another ship in Freetown, and 2nd Engineer Tallaksen had also remained in Freetown, believed to have signed on a Belgian ship.
Related external links:
Back to Rinda on the "Ships starting with R" page.
Wilh. Wilhelmsen had previously had another ship by this name, from 1916 till 1917, 5509 gt, built 1916, requisitioned by the British Government (but not under British flag). Wrecked in Edinburgh channel, Thames Estuary, on a voyage from Newcastle to Naples.
The text on this page was compiled with the help of: Wilh. Wilhelmsen fleet list, "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, "Sjøforklaringer fra 2. verdenskrig", Norwegian Maritime Museum, Volume II, and misc. as named within the narrative above (ref. My sources).