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Owner: A/S Moltzaus Tankrederi
Delivered from Odense Staalskibsværft, Odense, Denmark (44) in Aug.-1931 as Slemdal to A/S Moltzaus Tankrederi (Moltzau & Christensen), Oslo. 424.7' x 60.2' x 34.1', 2 x 7 cyl. 4 TEV DM (B&W), 2925 bhp.
Captain: Johan Manfred Pedersen
In Admiralty service from 1940 (Royal Fleet Auxiliary).
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.
Her 1940 voyages and some 1941 are listed on Page 1 of the archive documents. It looks like she spent quite a long time in Mobile in the fall of 1940. She had arrived there from Curacao on Sept. 2 and departure is given as Oct. 29.
At the beginning of June-1941, she was scheduled for Convoy HX 130 from Halifax, but instead joined the next convoy on June 6, HX 131, bound for Manchester with a cargo of gasoline in station 54. The following month, she's listed, together with Arosa, Evviva, Fanefjeld, Ferncourt (bombed and damaged, follow link for details), Grado, Henrik Ibsen, Idefjord, Måkefjell, Nesttun, Spurt, Star, Suderholm and Taborfjell, in Convoy OB 343, which departed Liverpool on July 6 and dispersed on the 21st, Slemdal arriving New York on July 25. Having made a voyage to Baltimore then on to Halifax, she headed back to the U.K. on Aug. 16 in Convoy HX 145, subsequently returning across the Atlantic with Convoy ON 15, which left Liverpool on Sept. 11-1941 and dispersed on the 16th, Slemdal arriving New York Sept. 24; see Page 2.
According to Arnold Hague, she later went back to the U.K. in Convoy HX 155, which departed Halifax on Oct. 16-1941 and arrived Liverpool on the 31st; Slemdal stopped at Loch Ewe on the 29th. She had a cargo of petrol and paraffin and sailed in station 33. This convoy is not yet available among the HX convoys included in my Convoys section, but will be added - see Ships in all HX convoys. The following month, she appears among the ships in the westbound North Atlantic Convoy ON 40, departing Liverpool on Nov. 25, but she's also listed in ON 42, which originated in Liverpool on Dec. 1 and dispersed Dec. 14, so she probably did not sail in ON 40, or returned to port (or the entry may even be an error - again, see Page 2). Her destination is given as Curacao, where she arrived, via Bermuda, on Dec. 28, having started out from Loch Ewe on Dec. 3. Both these convoys will be added to individual pages in my Convoys section, but in the meantime, the ships sailing in them are named in the section listing ships in all ON convoys. Other Norwegian ships in Convoy ON 42 were Eidanger, Glittre, Kaldfonn, Kollbjørg, Norefjord, Nueva Granada, Olaf Bergh, Tankekspress and Thorshov.
From Curacao, Slemdal now proceeded to Gibraltar, where she arrived Jan. 19-1942, remaining there for about a month before returning to Curacao, subsequently making voyages to Freetown, Pointe Noire, back to Curacao and Gibraltar, then on to Lisbon, with arrival there June 6.
Slemdal departed Lisbon again on June 11-1942 with a cargo of 6321 tons Admiralty fuel for Clyde, joining the northbound Convoy HG 84, which had departed Gibraltar the day before. In the early morning hours of June 15 (about an hour after midnight) she was struck by a torpedo from U-552 (Topp) in the forward hold, starboard side. On the bridge at the time were the captain, the 3rd mate, Ordinary Seaman H. Kristoffersen (helmsman), Able Seaman Gundersen (lookout) and Ordinary Seaman Jensen (lookout), while the Dutch Willem Snoeck was on duty by the aft gun. A radio signal about their situation was sent twice, while she sank deeper and deeper, until they at 01:45 decided to take to the lifeboats. As they abandoned ship in 3 boats Slemdal's foredeck was under water and the propeller above water.
The captain's boat and the 1st mate's boat remained nearby to see if she would stay afloat. The British corvette HMS Marigold came over to pick them up at 02:15, but captain Pedersen informed the commander that he preferred to wait until he knew for sure that she could not be saved. 15 minutes later the corvette announced that Slemdal had sunk and the crew in the 2 boats were quickly taken aboard as there was a U-boat nearby, giving them no time to bring the luggage from the lifeboat, so that the captain's bag containing all the ship's papers was lost. According to Captain Pedersen's report the corvette attacked the U-boat about 5 minutes after they had embarked.
The captain's report gives the position for the sinking of Slemdal as 43 28N 17 35W, while J. Rohwer gives position 43 18N 17 38W.
The captain and 6 crew were landed in Liverpool on June 20-1942, and that same day the 2nd mate and 29 crew were also landed.
Arnold Hague's "Convoy Rescue Ships 1940-1945", states that 17 of Slemdal's 37 survivors were picked up by the British rescue ship Copeland. This ship also rescued 27 survivors from Pelayo (crew of 46) and later 41 of the 43 survivors from City of Oxford which was sunk in U-552's 2nd attack (as was S/S Thurso). A. Hague says the 2 attacks came three and a half hours apart. Topp also torpedoed and sank the British S/S Etrib. Please see my page about Convoy HG 84 for more info.
The inquiry was held in Glasgow on June 25-1942 with the captain, the 3rd mate, the 2nd engineer, Able Seaman Gundersen and Ordinary Seaman Kristoffersen appearing. The 2nd engineer stated that the Polish 3rd engineer, who had been in the engine room at the time of attack, was interned by British authorities upon landing.
Crew List - No casualties:
The men denoted * were brothers.
** Ingolf Tvedt had previously escaped with 10 others from the interned M/S Nyhorn in a selfmade boat in Dec.-1941. Follow the link for more details. He later became a radio operator and sailed on G. C. Brøvig.
Back to Slemdal on the "Ships starting with S" page.
Another Slemdal (also a tanker) was delivered to A/S Moltzaus Rederi (Moltzau & Christensen), Oslo in March-1955, built in Fredrikstad, 8992 gt. Sold to owners in Sandefjord in 1961 and renamed Fossland. Renamed Anina in 1963 (Oslo owners). Sold to Greece in 1977, renamed Salamis, then Thermopylae that same year. Broken up in 1987.
The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, "Sjøforklaringer fra 2. verdenskrig", Norwegian Maritime Museum, Volume II, and misc. others as mentioned in above text - (ref. My sources).