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Owner: Viriks Rederi A/S
Delivered in Dec.-1928 from Burmeister & Wain's Maskin- og Skibsbyggeri, Copenhagen, Denmark as Sandar to Viriks Rederi A/S (Halvor Virik), Sandefjord. 7624 gt, 4549 net, 11 150 tdwt, 451.9' x 59.2' x 33.9', dbl. scr. 2 x 6 cyl. B&W DM. Remeasured, 7624 gt, 12 000 tdwt. (Jürgen Rohwer lists this ship as a motor vessel [not a tanker], this is incorrect).
Captain: Leif Wichberg Lie (captain may have been M. Engvik earlier in the war; this according to the Commodore's notes for Convoy HG 28).
Under Admiralty control from 1940 (Royal Fleet Auxiliary).
Related item 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.
With a cargo of crude oil, Sandar is listed as sailing in station 42 of Convoy HG 28 from Gibraltar to the U.K. at the end of Apr.-1940 - her captain's name at this time is given as M. Engvik. The only other Norwegian ship in this convoy was Morgenen. Sandar's destination is given as Swansea; according to the Commodore's notes for this convoy (follow the link to HG 28), she was sent to Milford Haven for instructions in the evening of May 7. Page 1 of the archive documents shows that she arrived Swansea on May 8, leaving again on the 15th, and A. Hague says she arrived Milford Haven the next day. She left Milford Haven again on May 17, joining Convoy OB 149, which originated in Liverpool on May 16 and also included Novasli and Hada County. Sandar's voyage information is given as Swansea-Trinidad, and she had station 43 of the convoy, which was dispersed already on the 17th, Sandar arriving Trinidad on June 1. On June 4, she proceeded to Aruba, then on to Bermuda, leaving on June 16 in the Bermuda portion of Convoy HX 51. She had a cargo of fuel oil for Clyde, and as can be seen on the archive document, she also made a stop at Bowling before returning to Clyde, remaining in that area for quite a long time, before joining Convoy OB 197, together with Erica, Grey County, Inga I, Jamaica, Nova and Varangberg. This convoy originated in Liverpool on Aug. 13 and dispersed Aug. 16. Sandar's destination is given as Abadan, where she arrived (via Cape Town Sept. 13/14) on Oct. 6.
With a cargo of crude oil, she returned to the U.K. in Convoy SL 56, which left Freetown on Nov. 21 and arrived Liverpool on Dec. 12, having joined up with SLS 56 on Dec. 9; Sandar arrived Swansea Dec. 16, remaining there for several weeks (Page 1). Mike Holdoway, the webmaster of the website about the SL convoy series has told me that according to the Commodore's report, Sandar rescued a man overboard from the Dutch Serooskerk in very heavy weather. The Norwegian Bruse Jarl, Ferm and Sirehei are also listed - ref. links in the table above for more on this convoy, as well as the OB convoys mentioned here.
According to the external website that I've linked to further down on this page, she was scheduled for Convoy OB 279, which left Liverpool on Jan. 28-1941, but she did not sail (her destination is given as Curacao). Note that Dag Midbøe, who was on board at the time (see the next paragraph), states that she had, in fact, already sailed in Convoy OB 277, which departed Liverpool on Jan. 22; however, there seems to be some disagreement on this. Arnold Hague instead has her (with Bjørkhaug, Kaia Knudsen, Ringhorn, Ringstad and Vanja) in Convoy OB 280, which originated in Liverpool on Jan. 31 and dispersed Febr. 3 - he does not mention her at all in OB 277, as will be seen when following the links provided below. From Page 1 of the archive documents, we learn that she left River Clyde Anchorage on Jan. 31 and arrived Curacao Febr. 26.
He says Sandar departed Swansea for Gourock on Jan. 23-1941, joined Convoy OB 277 on the the 24th (as mentioned, she's not listed in this convoy, but in OB 280), and arrived Curacao on Febr. 26. On March 7, she departed Wilhelmstad for Halifax where she arrived on March 17, then joined Convoy HX 117 on March 27 for Clyde, arriving Gourock on Apr. 15 (she had been scheduled for Convoy HX 116 on March 21, but did not sail). Joined Convoy OB 313 on Apr. 23 and arrived New York on May 10 (where she stayed for a long time - see Page 1). On July 1, she left New York for Halifax, arriving on July 5, joining Convoy HX 137 the following day, with arrival Gourock on July 21. Departed Gourock on Aug. 12 in Convoy OS 3*, arrived Curacao on Sept. 2, then left again on the 3rd for Freetown, with arrival there on Sept. 20. Left Freetown on Sept. 28, arrived Gibraltar Oct. 9, then headed back to Curacao on the 15th, arriving Nov. 1. Departed the following day for New York, where she arrived on Nov. 12(?). Note that she's listed as scheduled for the slow Sydney, C.B.-U.K. Convoy SC 55 on Nov. 16, but is crossed out on the form - Sandar was still in New York on that date (Page 2 gives arrival there as Nov. 10). Dag now says that she on Dec. 18 headed for Halifax(?) and Sydney N.S., arriving the latter on Dec. 23, then joined Convoy HX 168 on Jan. 2-1942, and arrived Old Kilpatrick on Jan. 18. However, she's listed in the original Advance Sailing Telegram for the slow Convoy SC 63, which left Sydney, C.B. on Jan. 3, and she could not have been in both (the original convoy documents also indicate that she had been scheduled for SC 61 on Dec. 21 and SC 62 on Dec. 27).
As mentioned, Sandar had arrived U.K. in Convoy SC 63 from Sydney, C.B. on Jan. 18-1942. A little over a month later, we find her in station 86 of Convoy OS 20, voyaging from Clyde to Curacao in ballast (Charles Racine was sunk - follow link for details). Other Norwegian ships in this convoy were Havkong, Høegh Scout and Jenny; Ingerto was scheduled, but did not sail. OS 20 originated in Liverpool on Febr. 22 and arrived Freetown on March 12; Sandar arrived Curacao on March 14, having sailed from Clyde Febr. 23 - A. Hague says she had been detached from the convoy on March 1. From Curacao, she headed to Gibraltar a few days later, and from there to Trinidad, with arrival Apr. 25 - again, see Page 2. She left Trinidad again on May 2 in order to return to Gibraltar, but did not make it to her destination.
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.
Related external links:
Sandar was on a voyage from Port of Spain to Gibraltar with 11 500 tons fuel oil when she was torpedoed amidships and sunk on May 2-1942 by U-66 (Zapp), position 11 42N 61 10W. As already mentioned, she had left Trinidad that same day. The midships section was set on fire, including the bridge, but some of those who were on duty there managed to get down to the deck with the help of a ladder. The starboard lifeboat was destroyed, but the port boat was launched with 25 men. Shortly afterwards they spotted the motorboat, and at the same time they heard another explosion from the engine room. The ship started to sink by the stern and was gone within 2 minutes (about half an hour after the torpedo had struck).
The motorboat capsized so that some of the men ended up in the water. The port boat rowed over to it to see if anyone was injured and they were told that the captain was terribly burnt. 2 men were missing, namely the 1st mate, who had been on duty on the bridge, and the boatswain. They searched for them for quite a while but could not find them. The U-boat came up and headed for the boats. The survivors were asked the usual questions about the ship, cargo, destination etc., and were given some food and first aid articles as well as the course and distance to Trinidad (215°, 60 n. miles) before it took off in a southeasterly direction.
The survivors were rescued the next day when 25 n. miles north of the inlet to Port of Spain, having been spotted by an aircraft which directed the American Alcoa Pilot to their assistance. The captain was immediately admitted to a hospital upon landing in Port of Spain but died shortly thereafter.
The maritime hearings were held in New York on May 25-1942 with the 2nd mate, Able Seaman O. A. Henjum* (helmsman), Able Seaman B. Sørvåg, and the 2nd engineer appearing. The latter had been on duty in the engine room when the torpedo struck.
Related external links:
Back to Sandar on the "Ships starting with S" page.
This company also had a Sandar later on. This was originally the German tanker Kattegat (6031 gt) which was en route to Narvik with supplies for the invasion fleet on Apr. 9-1940, but had to take refuge in the Glomfjord south of Bodø, due to the danger of mines in Vestfjord. She was discovered, and M/S Nordkapp was sent on Apr. 10 to seize her. She was scuttled, but saved and put into service under the Norwegian flag with the name Bodø. En route to Tromsø she was attacked and damaged by German aircraft. After the Norwegian capitulation of the North of Norway (summer of 1940) she again ended up in German control, was repaired and put into service under her original name Kattegat. At the end of the war she was badly damaged and being repaired at Sandefjord, where she again came under the Norwegian flag with the name Sandar. ("Handelfsflåten i krig", book 5, Lauritz Pettersen). Here's a lovely picture of this ship. The site also has info and pictures of other ships owned by Viriks Rederi. As will be seen when going to the latter link, the company also had other ships by this name.
The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, "The Allied Convoy System", Arnold Hague, "Axis Submarine Successes of World War Two", Jürgen Rohwer, "Sjøforklaringer fra 2. verdenskrig", Volume II (Norwegian Maritime Museum), Dag Midbøe's personal documents, and misc. - (ref. My Sources).