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M/S Ronda
Updated June 23-2013

To Ronda on the "Ships starting with R" page.

Received from Harald Ness, who says he found it in "Bergen og Sjøfarten IV 1914-1939".
(Original source appears to be Bergen Sjøfartsmuseum).

Received from, and painted by, Jan Goedhart, Holland.

Manager: A/S J. Ludwig Mowinckels Rederi, Bergen
5136 gt

Delivered from Deschimag Werk Weser, Bremen (915) in Apr.-1937 as Ronda to A/S J. Ludwig Mowinckels Rederi, Bergen, 5136 gt, 2981 net, 8425 tdwt, 435.2' x 55.8' x 25.2', 2 x 6 cyl. 2T MAN DM (Maschinenfabrik Augsburg-Nürnberg A/G, Augsburg), 3600 bhp. (Charles Hocking gives the tonnage 2136 gt for this ship, surely, that must be incorrect?).

Captain: Ingvald Solberg.

 Final Fate - 1939 (Norway still neutral): 

Ronda was the first Norwegian ship to be lost in WW II. She struck a mine on Sept. 13-1939, and sank in position 54 10N 04 34E (off Terschelling, Holland), on a voyage from Antwerp to New York, via Kristiansand, in order to pick up some new crew and more rescue equipment. She sank so quickly that there was no time to launch lifeboats, and most of the 20 survivors had to jump overboard. They kept themselves afloat with the help of the workboat which floated up, and on a raft made of parts from a hatch, and drifted towards the Dutch coast for 58 hours before they were picked up by the Italian Providenza (Providencia?) and landed in Vlissingen, where they spent the night at a hotel (3 had been injured and were admitted to a hospital). 13 days later, they were back in Norway.

17 had died, including the captain and his wife and 3 passengers. According to an article in the newspaper "Bergens Tidende" (Sept. 6-2009), 3 of Ronda's survivors are still around, namely Finn Krydsby, Karl A. Pedersen and Arthur Valvik.

I've received an article from Jan Goedhart, Holland about the sinking and lifeboat journey, written in Dutch (from Rotterdamsch Nieuwsblad, dated Sept. 18-1939). The names of 2 rescued Americans are given as K. Hilgendorf and D. Miller. An E. Hutchinson discovered, after he had been taken into the workboat, that his 17 year old daughter was among the casualties, while their cousin, Josephine Allen survived. The article states that 2 Canadians died (1 of of whom drowned) and also mentions 1st Mate R. Mork, saying he was in his cabin at the time of the explosion. It adds that Ronda had a general cargo and that she broke in 3, the survivors clinging to misc. debris after they had jumped overboard. This article says she had 4 passengers, all American (3 females), who had come on board in Antwerp. The 2nd mate had a whistle with him with which he signalled S.O.S. to the Italian ship, and this shrill signal was heard, whereupon they were all rescued.

According to "The Official Chronology of the U.S. Navy in World War II" (Robert Cressman), 2 Americans were among the dead, and 4 Americans among those rescued - ref. link at the end of this page.

The following Norwegians are commemorated at the Memorial for Seamen in Stavern, Norway, which I've linked to below:
Steward Karl Waldemar Aalmen
Able Seaman Lars Bakkebø
Engineer Odd Fjelstad Pettersen
Oiler Johan Friis
Oiler Sigurd Severin Hansen
Cook Trygve Milian Hansen
Mechanic Tønnes Helvik
Mess Boy Johannes Severin Iden
Engine Boy Inge Asbjørn Kvamme
Boatswain Christian Gerhard Lyhaug
Chief Engineer Sverre Vidar Normann
Oiler Ingolf Johannes Olsen
as well as Captain Solberg.

Related external links:
Stavern commemorations - 13 are commemorated, Norwegians only. The captain's wife is not included. This website says Ronda had 39 people on board, incl. 7 passengers, and that 16 crew and 2 passengers died. The site adds that she probably hit at least 3 mines.

Hyperwar - Ronda is mentioned under Sept. 13 (from "The Official Chronology of the U.S. Navy in World War II", Robert Cressman).

Back to Ronda on the "Ships starting with R" page.

This company used the name Ronda again for a motor vessel delivered to them in 1948, built in Gothenburg, 4608 gt. Collided with the American Lucile Bloomfield off Le Havre on Oct. 1-1963, towed to port, but capsized and sank alongside the quay the following day, later sold for breaking up.

The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Skip og menn", Birger Dannevg - and misc.


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