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D/S Solferino
Updated July 9-2012

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

Crew List

Picture received from Knut Kleve (son of the steward).

Owner: Den Norske Middelhavslinje A/S
Manager: Fred. Olsen & Co., Oslo
2580 gt, 1632 net.
Call Sign: LDPA

Built at Nylands mek. Verksted, Oslo in 1918, purchased 1921.
According to this external page, she was delivered as Solferino in Sept.-1918 to D/S A/S Otto Thoresens Linie (Otto Thoresen), Kristiania. Owned from 1920 by Otto & Thor Thoresen A/S, Kristiania. Taken over by D/S A/S Spanskelinjen (Fred. Olsen & Co.), Kristiania in 1921, then transferred to Den Norske Middelhavslinje A/S (Fred. Olsen & Co.), Oslo in 1938.

Captain: Rudolf Nyegård.

Related items on this website:
A Guestbook message from the the steward's son. He has since sent me some letters written by his father, giving an excellent view into a WW II seaman's thoughts. I've added them to the
Warsailor Stories section

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.

Voyage Record
From Apr.-1940 to Febr.-1941:

(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. 13 Oporto* Lisbon Apr. 15 Independent *From Leixoes Apr. 13, via Oporto
See archive document
Apr. 26 Lisbon Oporto Apr. 27 Independent
Apr. 30 Oporto Gibraltar May 3 Independent
May 4 Gibraltar Liverpool May 13 HG 29F
May 29 Southend Kirkcaldy May 31 FN 183 Convoy available at FN 183
(external link - incomplete listing)
June 14 Kirkcaldy Methil June 14 Independent
July 30 Methil Aberdeen July 30 OA 192 Methil to Aberdeen.
Convoy available at OA 192
(external link)
Aug. 3 Aberdeen OA 193 Dispersed Aug. 7.
Convoy available at OA 193
(external link)
Aug. 7 Dispersed from OA 193 New York City Aug. 21 Independent
Aug. 21 New York City Halifax Aug. 25 Independent
Aug. 27 Halifax St. John, N.B. Aug. 29 Independent
Aug. 31 St. John, N.B. Windsor, NS Independent
Sept. 2 Windsor, NS St Francis Sept. 4 Independent
Sept. 14 St Francis, NS Sydney, C.B. Sept. 16 Independent Notional sailing date
Sept. 21 Sydney, C.B. Barrow Oct. 10 HX 75 See also narrative below
Oct. 21 Barrow Barry Oct. 24 Independent
Nov. 19 Barry Milford Haven Nov. 20 Independent
Nov. 22 Milford Haven OB 248 For Sydney, C.B.
Dispersed Nov. 26.
Convoy available at OB 248
(external link)
Nov. 26 Dispersed from OB 248 Sydney, C.B. Dec. 7 Independent
Dec. 20 Sydney, C.B. St. John, N.B. Dec. 22 Independent
Dec. 29 St. John, N.B. Halifax Dec. 31 Independent
1941 Jan. 11 Halifax Liverpool Jan. 29 HX 102 See also narrative below.
Missing movements, archive document
Febr. 23 Liverpool OB 290
Sunk - See "Final Fate" below.
Also, OB 290
(external link)

 Some Convoy Voyages: 
For information on voyages made in between those noted below, please see the document received from the National Archives of Norway and A. Hague's Voyage Record above. As will be seen when following the convoy links provided, other Norwegian ships also took part.

Judging from the information found on the archive document, Solferino had gotten out of Norway shortly before the German invasion (Apr. 9-1940) - she arrived Leixoes from Ålesund, Norway on Apr. 11.

With a cargo of cork shavings, she's listed as sailing in the Gibraltar-U.K. Convoy HGF 29 in May that year, bound for Portland, then Kirkaldy, arriving on May 31, proceeding to Methil 2 weeks later, subsequently remaining there for several weeks. The external website that I've linked to below has her in station 107 of Convoy OA 190 on July 26, bound for Aberdeen (several other Norwegian ships took part, but with destinations further afield). Note, however, that she's also listed as bound for Aberdeen in Convoy OA 192 on July 30, station 35; perhaps she had not sailed in the earlier convoy? She arrived Aberdeen that same day and together with Eastern Star, Fido, Helle, Regin, Trolla and Vigsnes, she now appears in Convoy OA 193, departing Methil on Aug. 3 (Solferino sailed from Aberdeen that day), dispersed Aug. 7. Her destination is not given, but from the archive document, we learn that she arrived New York on Aug. 21. With pulp wood for Barrow, she was scheduled to return to the U.K. in the Sydney, C.B. portion of Convoy HX 74, which originated in Halifax on Sept. 17, but she instead joined the Sydney section of the next convoy on Sept. 21, HX 75, and arrived Barrow on Oct. 10, later continuing to Barry, where she also had quite a long stay. The following month, we find her in Convoy OB 248, originating in Liverpool on Nov. 23, dispersed on the 26th, Solferino arriving Sydney C.B. on Dec. 7, having started out from Milford Haven on Nov. 22. Ringhorn was damaged - follow the link for details. (Direct links to the OA and OB convoys have been provided within the Voyage Record above; note that the listing for OA 193 is incomplete).

She was scheduled to return in Convoy HX 101 from Halifax on Jan. 6-1941, but did not sail. She had a cargo of steel and dry pulp for Manchester, and joined the next convoy on Jan. 11, HX 102, arriving her destination on Jan. 31, remaining there until Febr. 20, according to the archive document.

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 link:
OB & OA convoys - As can be seen, Solferino is listed in OA 190, but may not have sailed in this convoy?

 Final Fate - 1941: 

She was on a voyage from Manchester to Freetown with a cargo of 1500 tons coal when she was hit by two bombs from a German aircraft (FW 200) on Febr. 26-1941 and set on fire amidships. Abandoned, position 55 02N 16 25W. 2 died on board. The survivors were picked up by the Swedish Gdynia, which had a military doctor as passenger on board (by the name of Surgeon Leut. Leaven) who took care of the 5 injured men, but the captain died that same day, making the final number of casualties 3. Gdynia turned around and took the survivors to Greenock, arriving March 1.

At the time of this attack Solferino was in station 12 of Convoy OB 290 (external link), which earlier that morning (or 25th, depending on time zone used) had been attacked by U-47. I've added the abstract of the Commodore Ship M/S Samuel Bakke's Log as well as Commodore Admiral Hornell's report about the attacks on OB 290. The page includes names of ships sunk/damaged, one of them being the Norwegian Borgland - follow the link for details. Sandanger also took part in this convoy.

The maritime hearings were held in Greenock on March 4-1941 with 1st Mate Jakob Mørbeck Grimstad, 2nd Mate Morten Hoff, Carpenter Daniel Børresen, Boatswain Andreas Prydtz (at the wheel), and 1st Engineer Alf B. Andersen appearing, stating as follows:

 Summary of Statements given at the Maritime Hearings: 

2nd mate Hoff, who was on duty on the bridge stated that he had seen the Greek vessel sailing behind them (station 13) being bombed immediately prior to the attack on Solferino (this must have been Kyriakoula). He then ran to the starboard side of the bridge where the Lewis gun was ready for use, but before anything could be done, they were hit themselves. One of the casualties, Thorbjørn Larsen, had been on look-out duty on top of the wheel house, and after the bomb explosion he was not seen again. Steward Aasmund Kleve had last been seen on gun duty on the poop by the 1st engineer earlier that morning between 3 and 4.

1st mate Mørbeck Grimstad said that the attack happened around 10 o'clock while he was in bed; he was awakened by machine gun fire. (He also stated that the Greek vessel, as well as a British ship in station 15 appeared as if they had been bombed. According to A. Hague, the ship in station 15 was Melmore Head, which was bombed and abandoned - see Admiral Hornell's report). The 1st bomb hit the port lifeboat and the second between the amidships superstructure and the saloon house. The starboard boat was launched immediately with 20 men, while the remaining survivors readied the motorboat. The donkeyman had shut off the steam to the main engine before proceeding to the lifeboat. Captain Nyegård, who had been in bed in his cabin, having been up all night due to the previous U-boat attacks, had been severely injured and when he came out on the promenade deck he instructed the 1st mate to try to get hold of the ship's papers, whereupon Mørbeck Grimstad attempted to get from No. 2 hatch through a window into the glass veranda, because both ladders to the promenade deck had been blown away. However, encountering flames and smoke he had to turn around, though was able to get the ship's logbook and some blankets from his cabin.

The cabins amidships and aft were searched for possible survivors and about 20 minutes after the attack had started the motorboat pushed off with 10 men, including the captain and the 1st mate. 5 minutes later they heard the first explosion from the ammunition on board. The saloon was ablaze, and the chartroom collapsed so that the bag containing the Admiralty papers left behind was thought to have burnt up before the ship sank. When they last saw her at 11:45 she had a list of about 15° to port.

The survivors in both boats had been picked up by Gdynia at about 10:40 where they received first aid, as mentioned, but the captain died at 16:30 from internal injuries. The British gunner R. Snape had a broken arm, the 2nd mate received a cut on his arm, Ordinary Seaman Haakon Nilsen had an injured foot, while Stoker Bjarne Kristoffersen had a wound on the back of his head.

Crew List:

1st Mate
Jakob Mørbeck Grimstad
2nd Mate
Morten Hoff
3rd Mate
Halfdan Gulliksen
Daniel Børresen
Andreas Prydtz*
Able Seaman
Eugen Serbeol
Able Seaman
Oluf Norum
Ordinary Seaman
Rolf Gudmundsen
Ordinary Seaman
Haakon Nilsen
Ordinary Seaman
Kåre Magnussen
Ordinary Seaman
Ragnar Sørsether
Ordinary Seaman
Kurt Meyer
1st Engineer
Alf B. Andersen
2nd Engineer
Hans Tønnesen
3rd Engineer
Øivind Pettersen
John Kulvik
Ingvald Hansen
Gunnerius Hansen
Erling Karlsen
John A. Johnsen
Bjarne Kristoffersen
Konrad Jørgensen
Ragnar Nilsen
Trygve Bentsen
Harald Bjerkestrand
Mess Boy
Olaf Johansen
Sverre Helgesen
R. Snape

Rudolf Nyegård

Ordinary Seaman
Thorbjørn Larsen

Aasmund Kleve

Related external links:
Stavern Memorial Commemorations - 4 are commemorated at this memorial for seamen in Stavern, Norway. In addition to the 3 named above, Mate Andreas Julius Prydtz is commemorated. *He's identical to the Andreas Prydtz listed as Boatswain in my list, who survived the attack on Solferino. However, he later became ill and died in Glasgow on March 27 that same year and is buried there. (Source: "Våre falne").

Bombers & Ground Attack - info on the various types of German bombers (on the website Luftwaffe Resource Center).

Fred Olsen & Co. today

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

Other ships by this name: Norway had also lost a steamship by this name to WW I, built 1900, 1155 gt (Otto Thoresen) - sunk by UC-47 off Ushant on March 15-1917. (Italy had a small destroyer named Solferino in WW II, lost Oct.-1944).

The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, "Sjøforklaringer fra 2. verdenskrig", Volume II, Norwegian Maritime Museum, and misc - ref My sources.


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