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Owner: Victor Jenssens Rederi A/S
Built by Harlan & Hollingsworth Corp., Wilmington, Delaware in 1915. Previous name: Silver Shell until 1930.
Captain: Thorstein Berg.
As will be seen when going to Page 1 above, Soli was on her way from Singapore to Mombasa when war broke out in Norway on Apr. 9-1940. It'll also be noticed that she had quite a long stay in Singapore that summer.
Soli is listed as sailing in Convoy BN 6, which originated in Bombay on Sept. 23-1940 and arrived Suez Oct. 11. The Norwegian Borgestad, Liss and Strix are also listed. Soli had started out from Aden on Oct. 5. Later that month, we find her in Convoy BS 7, departing Suez on Oct. 20, dispersed Oct. 28, Soli arriving Abadan on Nov. 5, according to Page 1. Brattdal and Svenør are also included. Both these convoys are available via the external links provided below.
On March 8-1942 the Japanese moved into Rangoon, and on the 23rd they occupied the Andama Islands in the Bay of Bengal. The powerful Japanese naval forces could now be utilized elsewhere, and the Admirals Nagumo and Ozawa quickly seized the opportunity. On March 31 Nagumo headed for Ceylon with 5 aircraft carriers, 5 battle ships, 3 cruisers and 8 destroyers. At the same time Ozawa headed for the east coast of India with 1 aircraft carrier, 6 cruisers and 4 destroyers. (Japanese submarines had already been operating in the Bay of Bengal for quite a while).
The British fleet under Admiral Somerville had been reinforced by the battle ship Ramillies, among others (after the losses in the China Sea), but the fleet was still inferior to that of the Japanese, and Somerville made the decision to keep it in a defensive position west of India, with the result that when Nagumo approached Ceylon on Apr. 5 Somerville was 600 n. miles further west and unable to do anything. After a British reconnaissance aircraft had spotted the Japanese forces on Apr. 4, all ships able to do so were ordered to get out of Colombo, and by the next morning the harbour was practically empty.
D/T Soli and D/S Fingal, however, had not been able to leave, and were both still there when an attack occurred on the 5th. Almost 130 aircraft had been sent out from Nagumo's aircraft carrier for the attack on Colombo that day, but only 3 small naval vessels in the harbour were hit in addition to Soli. She had 5 Norwegian officers and a crew of 24 Chinese on board, none of whom were injured or killed (they had probably moved to a shelter when the alarm went). Soli was on fire when the attack was over, and though the fire was quickly extinguished she had to be condemned because of the damages. Beached at Colombo.
The other Norwegians on board at the time (in addition to Captain Berg) were 1st Mate Reidar Lochting, 2nd Mate Victor Simonsen, 3rd Engineer Randulf Nilsen (see also crew list for Brattdal) and Steward Halvdan Pedersen. According to this external page, the 3rd engineer had also served on Arena and following the loss of Soli he joined Storanger, later Tai Yang.
It'll be noticed, when going to Page 2 of the archive documents, that Soli had arrived Colombo on Oct. 17-1941, and there are no voyages listed at all for 1942. Had she been there that whole time?
Refloated on Jan. 4-1952, broken up at Karachi.
Related external links:
Back to Soli on the "Ships starting with S" page.
Norway had previously had a Solli, spelt with 2 l's, back in the early 1900's. This was a whale factory, built in Sunderland in 1888 as Banan of 1007 gt. for Banan A/S, Thorvald Dannevig, Kristiania. Later owned by the whaling company Nimrod A/S (Chr. Nielsen, Larvik) from 1910-1913 and used at Svalbard. She became Solli for D/S Granli A/S (Lie & Røer), Kristiania in 1913, changed owners a couple of times between 1914 and 1915, at which time she became the Munk for Christoffersens Dampskipsrederi A/S, Brevk. Renamed Fjeldli in 1916 (Bergen), sunk in the North Sea by a German U-boat on Apr. 14-1917, on voyage from Copenhagen to London with cement and sand. ("Damp - Dampskipets æra i Vestfold").
The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, and misc.