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M/S Snestad

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

Source: Bjørn Milde's postcard collection.

Another picture of the ship is available on's website (external link).
See also this external page.

Manager: A. F. Klaveness & Co. A/S, Oslo
4114 gt

Built by Kockums Mekaniska Verkstads A/B, Malmö, Sweden in 1926.

 Final Fate -1940 (Norway still neutral): 

Torpedoed by U-53 (Grosse) on Febr. 11-1940 and sunk, 58 40N 13 40W (Hocking gives it as "about 100 miles west of the Hebrides"), when on a voyage in ballast from Bergen to Philadelphia.

Jan-Olof Hendig, Sweden has sent me a copy of an article that appeared in the Norwegian paper "Tidens Tegn" on Febr. 16-1940 in connection with the maritime hearings on that date. According to the captain (not named) they departed Bergen at 13:00 on Febr. 9, steering courses that took them about 60 n. miles north of Shetland and about 30 n. miles south of the Faroe Islands. From about noon on the 10th they steered 245° true in order to go about 60 n. miles north of Rockall. At about 11 o'clock on the 11th they suddenly heard a loud bang in the ship. The 3rd mate, who was on duty on the bridge saw a column of flame, smoke and water from the after deck, level with the top of the after mast. The lifeboats were launched immediately. One of the tackles for the motorboat, which was placed aft, had been damaged in the explosion so that the boat hit the water bow first and was half filled, with the result that Able Seaman Ramsøy ended up in the water and had to swim back to the boat. After the entire crew had gotten safely in the boats they rowed away from the ship, then about 20 minutes to half an hour after the first explosion a second explosion was heard, followed by a tremendous column of smoke, flames and water which hid the ship from view. When they were able to see clearly again, only the foreship was visible, with the bow pointing straight up. Within 3 minutes Snestad had disappeared. The attacker was not seen at all.

The motorboat was bailed and after about half an hour they were able to get the motor started, but half an hour later the propeller axel broke (this was a result of damages from the explosion), so the survivors were distributed among the other 2 boats and the motorboat was let go, as it kept taking in water. At about 8 in the morning (Febr. 12) a ship was seen and an hour later they were all picked up by Albert L. Ellsworth, which subsequently continued her voyage.

At 01:10 on Febr. 13, a shot was heard, followed by a shaking of the ship, so all the lifeboats were launched. However, the ship still had quite a bit of speed so that the first boats left her side before all those on board had managed to get into them, with the result that 9 were left behind. They were able to launch a raft, then jumped overboard, but the ship still had such a great speed that 2 of Snestad's survivors, Jr. Ordinary Seaman Hans Aaserud and Deck Boy Peter Blix ended up so far away from the raft when they jumped overboard that they were unable to reach it and drowned. About 10 minutes after the first shot 2 flashes of light were seen with about 1 1/2 minute between them, the last one appearing like a tremendous column of fire, smoke and water, and at the same time more shots were heard, then nothing further was heard or seen. (U-50 had fired two torpedoes at Albert L. Ellsworth - follow the link for details).

The boats remained on the water until daylight and by 08:30 they had been taken aboard Albert L. Ellsworth again.

Related external links:
Stavern Memorial commemoration - Jr. Ordinary Seaman Hans Aaserud is commemorated. Peter Blix may have been a foreginer, possibly Danish? The Norwegian text says 34 survivors from Snestad were picked up by Albert L. Ellsworth after 22 hours and taken to Bergen.

Operations information for U 53 and for U-50 (

U-53 | U-50

Back to Snestad on the "Ships starting with S" page.

The company had lost a steamship named Snestad to WW I, built in Sunderland 1907, 2349 gt. Torpedoed and sunk by UB-23 off Ushant on Oct. 21-1916, voyage Bilbao-Middlesbrough with cargo of ore.


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