|Site Map | Search Warsailors.com |Merchant Fleet Main Page | Warsailors.com Home|
Owner: Skibs-A/S Awilco
Completed in Sept.-1925 by Burmeister & Wain, Copenhagen (Yard No. 338) as Segundo for A/S Ivarans Rederi (Ivar An. Christensen), Oslo. 368.5' x 53.7', twin screw, 10 1/4 knots. Renamed Sud Uruguayo in 1928 (same owners), Segundo in 1930 (same owners). In 1934, manager became S. Holter-Sørensen, Oslo (same owners). Owned from 1940 by Skibs A/S Awilco (Anders Wilhelmsen), Oslo. Sister ship of Primero and Tercero.
Captain: Karsten B. Wilhelmsen
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.
As will be seen when going to the archive document, Segundo had made a voyage to Vladivostok at the end of March-1940. Departure date is not given, but it looks like she may have been on her way to Hong Kong and Calcutta when war broke out in Norway on Apr. 9.
In July-1941, we find her in Convoy HX 141, departing Halifax on July 27, arriving Liverpool Aug. 11. Several Norwegian ships took part.
She left Liverpool again on Aug. 23-1941 in ballast for St. Thomas, joining Convoy OS 4. (The Norwegian Beth, Chr. Knudsen, Elg and Ingria are also listed - see external link provided in the Voyage Record). In the evening of the 26th the convoy encountered bad weather, causing the ships difficulties in keeping their position and convoy speed, with the result that Segundo ended up somewhat ahead of, and about 5 cables to the port side of the rest. That evening the convoy was sighted by U-141 and before long 6 U-boats were heading for it.
Segundo was the first victim when she was hit in No. 2 hold on the port side by a torpedo from U-557 (Paulssen) early in the morning hours of Aug. 27, position 53 36N 16 40W ("Nortraships flåte" gives the position as 47 30N 17 00W). She quickly went down by the bow, heeling over to port. Both main engines were stopped by the 3rd engineer and before she sank in 7 minutes the starboard lifeboat and the port motorboat had been launched and were clear of the ship, though several crew members didn't get to the boats in time and had to jump overboard. As soon as the boats had gotten clear of the wreck, blue flares were lit in order to attract the attention of the escort.
After about half an hour the escorting HMS Lulworth picked up Carpenter Pedersen from a raft, then 2nd Engineer Bruvik was found on another raft. Within the next 1 1/2 hour 14 were picked up from the starboard boat, 9 from the port boat, and about an hour later 1st Engineer Pettersen and 1st mate Torgersen were found hanging on to some debris. It turned out the captain, 3 Norwegian, 1 Swedish, and 1 Estonian crew, as well as the female secretary Gudrun Torgersen had died, 27 survived.
1st Mate Arnt Olav Torgersen, who was on watch at the time of attack, later received a British "Commendation" as well as "Lloyd's War Medal for Bravery at Sea". The force of the explosion caused the bridge to collapse and buried him underneath the rubble, but he managed to get free and launch one of the motor boats with 8 men. When he heard cries from the water he jumped into the rough sea and found 2 men, but being unable to get them back to the boat he stayed with them there in the water for about an hour. Eventually, in spite of his desperate efforts to save them, they drifted away. When Lulworth found him he was clinging to a hatch-cover. Please go to Nyholt for a description of this medal and names of others who received it. George Monk, England has told me that 1st Engineer Sverre Erling Pettersen also received a "Commendation" (his source: Seedies List of awards to the British Merchant Navy which includes awards to Allied merchant seamen).
This external page (scroll down on the page to "Keefer, Charles Allan") gives an account of the rescue from the point of view of the rescuers. It states that Lieutenant Charles Allan Keefer who served on Lulworth under Commander Clive Gwinner, was awarded the Norwegian St. Olav's medal post humously in 1942. The page includes an account of the incident by Commander Gwinner as it appeared in the February 1987 edition of 'Starshell', the official publication of the Naval Officers Association of Canada, saying that when Lulworth arrived on the scene Segundo was on fire. The stormy weather hampered the rescue work and the bows of the Lulworth had to be kept (and I quote) "at 90 degrees to the burning ship with her stern into the wind and Segundo was drifting to leeside. We had rescue nets over the side of Lulworth and did manage to get a number of Segundo's ship's company to save themselves by gripping the nets as we drifted through them. My ship's company were sitting in the water holding the nets in one hand whilst using the other to hold on to the survivors. We managed to scoop up 28 survivors but the woman (Gudrun Torgersen mentioned above) wasn't strong enough to help herself and it was much too rough to risk lowering a boat. Taking all this into account, Lieutenant Keefer could not stand the sight of her failing efforts to help herself and leapt over the side to help her to safety. He succeeded and landed her on to a net from which my sailors brought her up on board. She was the wife of the Second Mate of the Segundo (this should probably be 1st Mate, judging from her name). Lieutenant Keefer, very regrettably, exhausted by his gallant efforts was never sighted again." (I also found the same incident mentioned on this external page).
From this it would appear that Gudrun Torgersen initially survived, but there seems to be some conflicting info at the site, because the text in the first paragraph says "As HMS Lulworth was about to abandon search, two men and a woman were found clinging to the wreckage. The men were saved, but as the woman, who was unconscious, was being hauled on board, she slipped from her lifejacket, disappeared below the surface, and came up astern. Lieutenant Keefer at once dived into the sea to try to save her. He reached her, but both were swept away by the heavy seas, and though search was made for an hour, neither was seen again."
The account goes on to say that the Royal Norwegian Consul in Liverpool, England sent a warm letter of appreciation to the Admiral of the Port of Liverpool (signed Johan Vogt and dated Oct. 15-1941) which was forwarded to the Admiralty who in turn sent a letter to HMS Lulworth saying that the Norwegian letter was a very pleasing tribute which reflected great credit. "It was doubtless as a result of all this that the award to Lieutenant Keefer was made."
Several Canadians who received various Norwegian (and other) medals are listed alphabetically on the site.
After Segundo had been torpedoed, U-557 sank 3 British ships in quick succession (Saugor 59 dead, Tremoda 32 dead, Embassage 39 dead) and later a 5th ship was sunk by U-558 (M/S Otaio - 26 dead).
U-557 was also responsible for the attack on Fjord later that year.
Related external links:
Back to Segundo on the "Ships starting with S" page.
The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, article written by Ian Millar found in "Krigsseileren", Issue No. 4 for 1994, "Sjøforklaringer fra 2. verdenskrig", Norwegian Maritime Museum, Volume II, and misc. Source for the picture of Gudrun A. Torgersen is "Våre falne" (ref. My sources). Pre war details were supplied by Terry Whalebone in a posting to my Ship Forum.