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M/T Sandar
Updated June 4-2012

To Sandar on the "Ships starting with S" page.

Crew List has a picture (external page).

Owner: Viriks Rederi A/S
Manager: Halvor Virik, Sandefjord
7624 gt, 4549 net, 12 000 tdwt.
Call Sign: LCWB

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:
Guestbook message from the son of someone who sailed on Sandar and several other ships during the war.

Her voyages are listed on these original images from the Norwegian National Archives:
Page 1 | Page 2

Please compare the above voyages with Arnold Hague's Voyage Record below.

Voyage Record
From Apr.-1940 to May-1942:

(Received from Don Kindell - His source: The late Arnold Hague's database).

Follow the convoy links provided for more information on each.

Departure From To Arrival Convoy Remarks
1940 Apr. 17 Port Said Malta Apr. 21 Independent See also Page 1
Apr. 24 Malta Gibraltar Apr. 28 Independent
Apr. 29 Gibraltar Swansea May 8 HG 28
May 15 Swansea Milford Haven May 16 Independent
May 17 Milford Haven OB 149 For Trinidad.
Dispersed May 17.
Convoy available at OB 149
(external link)
May 17 Dispersed from OB 149 Trinidad June 1 Independent
June 4 Trinidad Aruba June 6 Independent
June 7 Aruba Bermuda June 13 Independent
June 16 Bermuda BHX 51 See link to HX 51
June 21 Bermuda portion joined main convoy Clyde July 2 HX 51 Missing movements, Page 1
Aug. 13 Clyde OB 197 For Abadan.
Dispersed Aug. 16.
Convoy available at OB 197
(external link)
Aug. 16 Dispersed from OB 197 Capetown Sept. 13 Independent
Sept. 14 Capetown Abadan Oct. 6 Independent
Oct. 8 Abadan Capetown Oct. 31 Independent
Nov. 3 Capetown Freetown Nov. 17 Independent
Nov. 21 Freetown Milford Haven Dec. 13 SL 56 Convoy available at SL 56
(external link)
Arrived Swansea Dec. 16
(Page 1).
1941 Jan. 24 Swansea Clyde Jan. 28 Independent
Jan. 31 Clyde OB 280 For Curacao.
Dispersed Febr. 3.
Convoy available at OB 280
(external link)
See also narrative below
Febr. 3 Dispersed from OB 280 Curacao Febr. 26 Independent
March 7 Curacao Bermuda March 13 Independent
March 13 Bermuda Halifax March 18 Independent
March 27 Halifax Clyde Apr. 15 HX 117 See also narrative.
On to Bowling
(Page 1)
Apr. 23 Clyde OB 313 For NYC.
Dispersed Apr. 28.
Convoy available at OB 313
(external link)
Apr. 28 Dispersed from OB 313 New York City May 10 Independent
July 1 New York City Halifax July 5 Independent A. Hague says:
Notional sailing date
(agrees w/Page 1)
July 6 Halifax Clyde July 21 HX 137
Aug. 12 Clyde ON 6 For Curacao.
Dispersed Aug. 24.
(See also narrative below)
Aug. 24 Dispersed from ON 6 Curacao Sept. 2 Independent
Sept. 3 Curacao Freetown Sept. 20 Independent
Sept. 28 Freetown Gibraltar Oct. 9 Independent
Oct. 15 Gibraltar Curacao Oct. 31 Independent
Nov. 2 Curacao New York City Nov. 10 Independent See also narrative
Dec. 18 New York City Sydney, C.B. Dec. 23 Independent
1942 Jan. 3 Sydney, C.B. SC 63 See also narrative.
Dispersed Jan. 13
Jan. 13 Dispersed from SC 63 Clyde Jan. 18 Independent Missing movements, Page 2
Febr. 23 Clyde OS 20 For Curacao.
Detached March 1.
Convoy available at OS 20
(external link)
March 1 Detached from OS 20 Curacao March 14 Independent
March 17 Curacao Gibraltar Apr. 2 Independent
Apr. 11 Gibraltar Trinidad Apr. 25 Escorted A. Hague says:
Escorted from Gibraltar for 48 hours.
May 2 Trinidad Independent Sunk - See "Final Fate" below

 Some Convoy Voyages: 
For information on voyages made in between those mentioned here, please see the documents received from the National Archives of Norway and A. Hague's Voyage Record above. Follow the convoy links provided for further details; other Norwegian ships also took part.

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.

What follows is from crew member Dag Midbøe's personal documents, received from Neil Carlsen, Norway, and used here with Dag's permission - see also my text under Leiv Eiriksson. He was on board Sandar from Dec.-1940 until Febr.-1942. Please compare this information with the details found on the archive document mentioned above, as well as Page 2.

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).

* Arnold Hague has included Sandar in the westbound North Atlantic Convoy ON 6 for this voyage. This convoy originated in Liverpool on Aug. 11-1941, and Sandar's destination is given as Curacao. Convoy OS 3 originated in Liverpool on Aug. 13-1941, and Sandar is indeed listed in this convoy at the external website below. Had she perhaps started out in one and transferred to the other, or joined one, only to return to port? (According to Page 1 of the archive documents, she left Clyde for Curacao on Aug. 12).

Some more details on the above mentioned convoys as given by "The Allied Convoy System", Arnold Hague:
OB 277 departed Liverpool on Jan. 22-1941, dispersed Jan. 27 - 25 ships (link below).
HX 117 departed Halifax on March 27-1941, arrived Liverpool Apr. 15 - 41 ships, 1 sunk, namely the Dutch Prins Willem II which straggled and was torpedoed and sunk by U-98 on Apr. 9 (the British Armed Merchant Cruiser Rajputana is also listed as sunk in this convoy, by U-108 on Apr. 13 - follow the link to my page about HX 117 for details).
OB 313 left Liverpool on Apr. 22-1941, dispersed on Apr. 28 - 38 ships (link in Voyage Record - Haakon Hauan, Inger Lise and Victo are also included).
HX 137 sailed from Halifax on July 6-1941 and arrived Liverpool on July 22.
The external website below has more details on Convoy OS 3, which left Liverpool on Aug. 13-1941 and had Freetown as its final destination, arriving there on Sept. 1.
HX 168 departed Halifax on Jan. 2-1942 and dispersed Jan. 13 - 36 ships (Swedish Yngaren straggled, sunk on Jan. 12 by U-43 - again, follow the link for more info).

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:
OS/KMS convoys and OB convoys. As will be seen, Sandar is listed in Convoy OS 3 (while A. Hague has included her in Convoy ON 6) and is also mentioned in OB 279. Another section of the site (based on Arnold Hague's database) has information on OB 277, but Sandar is not mentioned, nor is she included in his listing for OS 3.

See also
OB and OA convoys - In chronological order from 1939.

 Final Fate - 1942: 

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.

*O. A. Henjum later joined Thorshov, and also served on G. C. Brøvig. When I was last in Norway, I was at a birthday party for one of my relatives. Also present was a young lady who in the course of the conversation found out from my ex sister in law that I run a website about WW II seamen and ships. To make the story short, this turned out to be O. A. Henjum's daughter, who told me that she had printed out some information she had found about Sandar on the Internet (this, of course, was from my own page). She later came to my apartment and showed me her father's diary, and from that we were able to determine that he had served on Thorshov at the same time as my own father. They were both officers by that time, so would have known each other.

Crew List:
Rolf Knudsen also served on Regina.

2nd Mate
Harald Johan Wiik
3rd Mate
Alf Lund
Radio Operator
Patrick Redmond Hayden
Paulus Eriksen
Able Seaman
Samson Johansen
Able Seaman
Olav Alexander
Able Seaman
Anton Valle
Able Seaman
Rolf Marius
Able Seaman
Bjarne Sørvåg
Able Seaman
Leif A. B.
Able Seaman
Henry Johansen
Able Seaman/ Gunner
Konrad Myklebust
Ordinary Seaman
Helge Haugestad
Ordinary Seaman
Einar Tancred
Ordinary Seaman
William George
1st Engineer
Fritz Osvald Moe
2nd Engineer
Erik Kai Albertsen
3rd Engineer
Alf Holm Hansen
4th Engineer
Ernst Martin
Harald A. Johansen
Martin Paulsen
Fritz Thoresen
Makes Rapankichs
Nils Sjøstrøm
Ragnar Kjærås
Olav Kasper
Ole Jørgen
William Matheson
Engine Boy
Robert McCarroll
Gullik A.
Alf Henry
Galley Boy
John Kelly
Mess Boy
John McNeil
Saloon Boy
John Thomsen

Leif Wichberg Lie

1st Mate
Arvid Borgersen

Magnus Strandeness

Related external links:
Stavern Memorial commemorations


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).


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