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To Salonica on the "Ships starting with S" page.
Owner: A/S Venborg
Delivered in May-1912 from Wood, Skinner & Co., Newcastle (176) as Salonica to D/S A/S Otto Thoresens Linje (Otto Thoresen), Christiania. Tonnages as above, 324' x 46.5 x 19.8, Triple exp. 278 nhp (N. East Mar. Eng.). Laid up 1921 in Christiania (Oslo). Purchased in July-1921 by A/S Venborg (Brummenæs & Torgersen), Haugesund.
Captain: Ole G. Økland - D/S Thore Hafte had a captain named Ole Økland in 1942 - same person?
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.
Salonica is listed in the Norway-U.K. Convoy HN 10 in Febr.-1940, bound for Birkenhead with ore. Follow the link for more details; several Norwegian ships took part. With the Norwegian Fana, she later joined Convoy OB 110, which left Liverpool on March 16 and joined up with OA 110 on March 18, the combined convoy forming Convoy OG 22, which arrived Gibraltar on March 24 (see my page naming ships in all OG convoys). Salonica's destination is given as Savona.
She was in Longyearbyen, Svalbard in June-1940 when the decision was made in Norway to send as many Norwegian ships as possible to the U.K. (text under Finmarken has some background history). When it became known on Svalbard that Norway had capitulated a lot of the coalminers were anxious to get home, while others wanted to go to the U.S. and tried to convince Salonica's captain to take them there. But on orders from London (the Norwegian government was in exile there during the war) he departed for a British(?) port (via Iceland) on the night leading up to June 11.
As will be seen when going to the archive document, the above mentioned visit to Svalbard is not mentioned. But the document shows that she made a voyage across the Atlantic the following month - she's said to have sailed from an Icelandic port to Seydisfjord on July 1, later arriving Wabana on July 22. According to A. Hague, this voyage had been made independently. She headed back to the U.K. at the end of July with Convoy HX 62, joining from Sydney, C.B. Salonica, cargo of iron ore for Port Talbot, lost touch with the convoy due to dense fog, but arrived Port Talbot safely on Aug. 18 - follow the link for more convoy details. A few days later, she proceeded to Barry, and it'll be noticed, when going back to the archive document, that she subsequently appears to have spent several weeks there.
In Oct.-1940, we find her in station 13 of Convoy OB 224, which originated in Liverpool on Oct. 5 and dispersed on the 12th, Salonica arriving Wabana on Oct. 21 (she had started out from Milford Haven on the 5th). The Norwegian Corvus, Inger, Nesttun and Notos are also listed in this convoy - ref. external link provided in A. Hague's Voyage Record (see also my text for Touraine). On her return voyage to the U.K. the following month, Salonica was sunk.
More information on all 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.
Salonica had departed Pugwash, N.S. on Nov. 4-1940 with a cargo of 1030 fathoms of pitprops for Newcastle (again, see also the archive document). She arrived Sydney, C.B. the next day then left in Convoy SC 11 on Nov. 9.
A storm with heavy seas was encountered on the 23rd. When a ship on Salonica's port side was torpedoed all men, except 3 on duty in the engine room, were called out and told to put their lifejackets on while full speed was ordered to the engine room. Just a few minutes later, Salonica was struck by a torpedo from U-100 (Schepke), probably in the boiler room amidships, port side, position 55 16N 12 14W. There was a great escape of steam from the boiler room; the 3rd engineer and the Swiss Stoker Jakob Tobler were killed.
The port lifeboats were destroyed, the starboard boat filled with water and tipped over as it reached the water and the 16 men who were in it fell out, 14 of whom disappeared in the rough seas while 2 managed to get back on the ship with the help of the boat falls. The Canadian escort vessel Skeena had approached, and the 9 men still on board the ship were able to get in the workboat and quickly row to safety. 7 out of the 14 who had disappeared from the overturned lifeboat were also found and rescued by the British escort Enchantress which landed them in Liverpool. Those who had been picked up by Skeena were landed in Gourock on Nov. 25.
The maritime inquiries were held in Glasgow on Dec. 5-1940 with the captain, the 1st mate, the 2nd engineer, and Able Seaman Kristiansen (helmsman) appearing. The latter was one of the 2 who had managed to climb back on board after the lifeboat had capsized.
U-100 had also been responsible for the attack on Simla 2 months before.
Related external links:
Back to Salonica on the "Ships starting with S" page.
The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Våre gamle skip", Leif M. Bjørkelund & E. H. Kongshavn, "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, "The allied Convoy System", Arnold Hague, "Axis Submarine Successes of World War Two", Jürgen Rohwer, "Sjøforklaringer fra 2. verdenskrig", Norwegian Maritime Museum, Volume II, and misc. (ref. My sources).