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Here's another picture and the story of someone who served on her from Jan.-1939, but paid off shortly before she was sunk (Johan Elgesem). His shipmates Finn T. Andersen and A. Eliassen also paid off at the same time. The text is in Norwegian. (Johan Elgesem later served on Fernbank).
Owner: Skibsaktieselskapet Thorsholm
Fruit carrier. Built by Burmeister & Wain's Maskin- og Skibsbyggeri A/S, Copenhagen in 1937.
Captain: Julius G. Lysøe had been Scebeli's captain for 5 years at the time of loss.
Related item on this website:
See also Arnold Hague's Voyage Record
Again, here is Arnold Hague's Voyage Record
Scebeli had arrived Table Bay on March 30-1940, and it looks like she was still there when war broke out in Norway on Apr. 9 - see Page 1. It'll be noticed that she later had a long stay in New York, where she arrived on May 6; departure is given as July 14, when she proceeded to Santos. Her 1941 voyages also start on this document and continue on Page 2, which also has some of her early 1942 voyages, while the rest are shown on Page 3. As can be seen, she had a long stay in Buenos Aires early that year.
In May-1942, she's listed in Convoy HX 189, departing Halifax on May 10, arriving Liverpool May 20; Scebeli stopped at Belfast Lough, before proceeding to Cardiff, where she arrived May 23. The following month, we find her in the westbound North Atlantic Convoy ON 103*, which originated in Liverpool on June 12 (Commodore was in Kong Haakon VII). Scebeli was bound for New York and arrived there on June 27, having sailed from Milford Haven June 11, Belfast Lough June 12. She later proceeded to Halifax, and from there she joined Convoy HX 199 on July 19, arriving Liverpool on the 30th. Just a few days later, she joined the westbound Convoy ON 119*, departing Liverpool on Aug. 5, arriving New York Aug. 21. According to A. Hague, she had 6 passengers on board on this voyage. She returned across the ocean again on Aug. 29, but this voyage was made independently (as were the rest of her 1942 voyages back and forth across the Atlantic). Via Belfast Lough, she arrived Bristol on Sept. 10 (Page 3).
She was on an independent voyage from New York to the U.K. with a cargo of bacon on Dec. 19-1942 when she in a bad storm collided at full speed (15 knots) with an unidentified tanker. She was damaged (bow) and taken to Horta (Azores) for temporary repairs, then continued to the U.K. in Jan.-1943, with arrival Liverpool Jan. 11; again, see also Page 3. It looks like further repairs were undertaken at Tyne, where she arrived Jan. 25 - according to Page 4 she left North Shields "for trials & Loch Ewe" on March 7-1943, arriving Loch Ewe on the 9th, then proceeded to Halifax, where she arrived March 19. A. Hague says this voyage was also made independently.
About a week later, she headed back to the U.K. in Convoy HX 231. This convoy, which started out in New York on March 25-1943 and arrived Liverpool Apr. 10, is not yet available among the HX convoys included on my website, but will be added - see ships in all HX convoys (as will be seen, other Norwegian ships also took part). According to A. Hague, Scebeli had detached from the convoy on Apr. 1 and arrived Liverpool independently on Apr. 5 - she had sailed from Halifax on March 27. Several ships were lost - ref. external link below.
Related external link:
Scebeli had departed Mersey again in ballast for New York in station 41 of Convoy ON 178 on Apr. 12-1943 - the ships sailing in this convoy are listed on this page (will later be added to its own individual page). On Apr. 21 she was torpedoed in the port foreship by U-191 (Fiehn), position 56 07N 44 26W (or U-415/Neide? See * below). At the time she was on a course 266° true, sailing at a speed of about 8 knots, in fair weather between snow squalls, temperature almost freezing, rough sea, wind NW force 5-6, daylight, good visibility.
A summary of statements by survivors, dated May 17-1943 (and signed U.S.N.R. Lieutenant J. C. Dea), states the following:
In fact, 1 was killed in the explosion, 1 drowned (the cook). The captain and 38 others stayed nearby in 3 lifeboats, the port boat having been lost. By the time they had gotten in the boats the entire foreship was under water, and it looked as if it had broken off. Two hours later, the British destroyer HMS Hurricane and frigate HMS Kale (K 241), which had been chasing the U-boats returned to the scene, and Kale picked up the survivors from Scebeli. They were landed in Argentia, New Foundland on Apr. 26.
Just for info, the above mentioned "summary of statements" also adds: "Reported that convoy (given as ON 178) passed through heavy ice from 10:00 GMT on April 24 until 05:00 on April 25, at which time the convoy was diverted to the south. Approximate position of heaviest part of ice was given as 47 53N 48 48W. On April 20, 1943, the convoy also encountered a concentration of field ice, with occasional icebergs, in approximate position of 58 04N 38 48W. Considerable ice damage was thought to have been suffered by several vessels, particularly one Liberty ship".
The captain confirms that Scebeli departed Liverpool (with a complement of 41) on Apr. 12-1943 for New York, adding she was in ballast except for about 2300 bags of mail stowed in the holds (he does not mention a convoy). He places the attack to 15:45, ship's time, with everything in front of the bridge ripped away from the resulting explosion. On the bridge at the time were 2nd Mate Alf Andersen and Able Seamen Alfred Johannesen (helmsman), Audun Hervig and Karl Allum, the latter 2 were look-outs. The captain himself had just left the bridge and was in his cabin when the explosion occurred. He was thrown up to the ceiling and got quite a bump when he came down, though was able to head back to the chart house in order to get to the ship's papers and code books, but found the entrance blocked by cement slabs and steel plates that had been put up for protection in the pilot house and chart house. The radio station was destroyed, as were the alarm installations and internal communications system. The main engine had been stopped right away by the 3rd engineer who was on duty (others on watch in the engine room were Electrician Mathisen, Refrig. Engineer Mjelde, and Mechanics Storlid, Pedersen, Reitan and Berntsen).
Scebeli quickly developed a heavy list to port as the men were getting into the lifeboats. As he came to the boat deck the captain noticed that the port midships boat had been lost during the launching effort ("Nortraships flåte" states it was lost because the men had been unable to work with it due to the ammonia gas from the engine room), so he went to the starboard midships boat and helped get it on the water. It had to move away quickly to prevent being crushed against the side of the ship. Only 10 men had managed to get into this boat. He then proceeded aft where both lifeboats were successfully lowered, and again they had to get away quickly to avoid being crushed underneath the after part of the ship, and to stay clear of the propeller which was above water by this time. Some of those who had launched the boats had to jump in the water and were fished up later, others managed to get on a raft. All 3 boats stayed fairly close to the wreck, though were separated somewhat while rescuing people from the rafts and from the water, so a proper count could not be taken until a couple of hours later when they were picked up by a British escort (this was the frigate HMS Kale), at which time 2 men were found to be missing; 1st Cook Olaf Olsen and Able Seaman Karl Allum. Captain Lysøe requested that their rescuers circle the wreck as closely as possible a few times, in the hope of finding the missing men, but with no luck.
The captain of the escort vessel stated he had to participate in the hunt for the U-boat, but offered to sink Scebeli with his guns first, providing Captain Lysøe would give his permission. Lysøe felt this was not necessary as water had already rushed into the engine room right after the explosion and Scebeli now showed clear signs of sinking on her own. Captain Lysøe concludes his report by saying 39 men had been picked up by the escort and landed in Argentia, N.F. on Apr. 26. Some had slight injuries but were given the necessary care by the doctor on board the escort, and only 1 man had a brief stay at a hospital in St. John's, N.F.
The inquiry was held in St. John's on Apr. 28-1943 with the captain, the 2nd mate (since Jan. 27-1942), Able Seamen Johannesen and Hervig, and the 3rd engineer appearing.
Related external links:
U-191 - As can be seen, this U-boat only sank 1 ship, namely Scebeli. U-191 was sunk with all hands on Apr. 23-1943 by HMS Hesperus
M/V Scebeli - Technical data (Darren Dypevåg).
Back to M/S Scebeli on the "Ships starting with S" page.
The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, some documents, including the captain's report, received from Narve Sørensen (ex Thor Dahl employee), "Sjøforklaringer fra 2. verdenskrig", Norwegian Maritime Museum, Volume II, summary of statement by survivors (a memorandum dated May 17-1943, and signed U.S.N.R. Lieutenant J. C. Dea), received from Tony Cooper, England, and misc. others for cross checking as mentioned in the text (ref. My sources).