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Owner: Skibs-A/S Solstad
Built by Kockums Mekaniska Verksteds A/B, Malmö Malmö, Sweden in 1927.
Captain: Odd Pettersen.
Related item on this website:
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.
Errors may exist, and some voyages are missing.
As will be seen when going to Page 1 of the archive documents, Stigstad got out of Norway on March 29-1940, shortly before the German invasion (Apr. 9), and arrived New York on Apr. 16, proceeding to Halifax a week later in order to join Convoy HX 38 on Apr. 26. Her destination is given as Manchester (according to A. Hague, she became a straggler from the convoy on May 1). With Alaska, Fana and Titanian, she subsequently joined Convoy OB 151, which departed Liverpool on May 19 and dispersed May 22, Stigstad arriving New York on June 3. Having made a voyage to Philadelphia and on to Halifax, she headed back to the U.K. on June 17 with Convoy HX 51, bound for Liverpool with a cargo of lub. oil, station 32, and in July she's listed, together with Brant County, Idefjord, Ila, Mexico and Nova, in Convoy OB 182, again bound for New York. This convoy left Liverpool on July 11 and dispersed on the 14th, Stigstad arriving her destination on July 24.
On Sept. 1-1940 we find her in station 72 of Convoy HX 70 from Halifax. This convoy arrived Liverpool on Sept. 16 (Hird was sunk; follow the link for details); as can be seen when going back to Page 1, Stigstad did not arrive Liverpool until Sept. 25. Her final destination was Manchester, where she arrived Oct. 1, later joining Convoy OB 229, departing Liverpool Oct. 15, dispersed Oct. 18. No destination is given for Stigstad (ref. link provided in Voyage Record - Cubano and Polartank are also named), but according to the archive document, she arrived Galveston on Nov. 7. She later headed to Bermuda and was scheduled for the Bermuda portion of Convoy HX 91 on Nov. 23, but instead proceeded to Halifax, joining the next convoy from there on Nov. 29, HX 92, lub. oil for Birkenhead, station 71. Via Liverpool, Stigstad arrived Manchester on Dec. 19. A report on the passage is also available for this convoy (several ships were sunk).
At the beginning of the new year she shows up, together with Ferncourt, Harpefjell, Leiv Eiriksson, Sommerstad and Torfinn Jarl, in Convoy OB 274, departing Liverpool on Jan. 14-1941, dispersed Jan. 19. Again, no destination is given for Stigstad (link in table above), but from the archive document, we learn that she arrived New York on Jan. 30. According to Arnold Hague, she returned to the U.K. in Convoy HX 110, which left Halifax on Febr. 19 and arrived Liverpool March 11. As will be seen when following the link to my page about this convoy, she's not mentioned there, but only the Bermuda portion is currently available; will be updated with A. Hague's listing for HX 110,which can be found at ships in all HX convoys (Brasil, Cetus, Charles Racine, Drammensfjord, Ferncourt, Leiv Eiriksson, Skiensfjord and Torvanger are included, some of which joined from Bermuda). From Liverpool, Stigstad again proceeded to Manchester, with arrival March 18 (Page 1), and about a week later she's listed as bound for New York in Convoy OB 302, leaving Liverpool on March 24, dispersed March 30, Stigstad arriving her destination on Apr. 10. Alaska, Solstad, Polartank, Torvanger (Commodore Vessel) and Vivi are also listed - again, ref. link in Voyage Record.
Having remained in New York for a month, Stigstad continued to Halifax in order to join Convoy HX 127 on May 16, bound for Liverpool in station 93. In June we find her, along with Bur, Chr. Th. Boe, Morgenen, Nova, Petter, President de Vogue and Vardefjell, in Convoy OB 334, leaving Liverpool on June 11, arriving Halifax on June 25. Stigstad, however, was again bound for New York, where she arrived on June 28. She was scheduled to return with Convoy HX 137 from Halifax on July 6, but instead joined the next convoy on July 11, HX 138, bound for Manchester - her voyages in this period are shown on Page 2. The following month we find her in the westbound North Atlantic Convoy ON 5, which left Liverpool on Aug. 6 and dispersed on the 14th, Stigstad arriving New York Aug. 22. She later went back to the U.K. in Sept.-1941 with Convoy HX 148, along with the Norwegian Ørnefjell (station 55), James Hawson (83), Grey County (93), Herbrand (52), Idefjord (35), Egda (54), Vivi (76) and Mirlo (23), as well as the Panamanian Norvinn (Norwegian managers and, therefore, listed on this website, station 53, between Herbrand and Egda). A. Hague has also included Gefion in this convoy. Some of these ships, including Stigstad, subsequently headed back to the U.S. with Convoy ON 20 on Sept. 25. Stigstad arrived Galveston on Oct. 21, the convoy having been dispersed on Oct. 9.
In Nov.-1941 she sailed in Convoy HX 161 from Halifax, together with the Norwegian Solfonn, Havprins, Havkong, Vav, Nueva Andalucia, Fernwood, Taborfjell, Athos, Brasil, Morgenen, Thorshøvdi and Torfinn Jarl. 1941 was rounded off by going in the other direction with Convoy ON 52*, which originated in Liverpool on Dec. 31 and dispersed Jan. 11-1942. Her destination is not given, but according to the archive document, she arrived New Orleans on Jan. 28-1942, having started out from Loch Ewe on Dec. 31. She had again been in the company of several other Norwegian ships, namely Bello, Brasil, Kaia Knudsen, Katy, Morgenen, Mosli, Nyholt, Solsten, Thorshøvdi, Tungsha and Vanja. The Norwegian corvettes Montbretia and Rose are named aong the escorts - see ON convoy escorts.
Stigstad is also named among the ships leaving Halifax in Convoy HX 177 on Febr. 25-1942 (see also Page 2), then in March she's listed as bound for New York in Convoy ON 79*. Brant County, Grey County, Hallanger, James Hawson, Meline, Norefjord, Noreg and Trondheim are also named in this convoy, which originated in Liverpool March 23 and arrived Halifax Apr. 7. Stigstad arrived New York on Apr. 7, having sailed from Loch Ewe on March 23; A. Hague says she had been detached on Apr. 3. She subsequently headed back to the U.K. on Apr. 26 with Convoy HX 187, and arrived Garston on May 9, Manchester the next day - see Page 3. With Abraham Lincoln, Daghild, Fernwood, Hardanger, Helgøy, Morgenen, N.T. Nielsen Alonso, Norbryn, Solstad and Trondheim, she now joined the westbound Convoy ON 95* in order to sail to Baytown. This convoy left Liverpool on May 15; Stigstad arrived New York on May 30, Baytown on June 12. In July she's listed in Convoy HX 199 from Halifax, and the following month we find her in station 43 of the westbound Convoy ON 123, which left Liverpool for the U.S. on Aug. 21. Stigstad sailed from Loch Ewe that day, and arrived New York on Sept. 5, remaining there for several weeks. Subsequent voyages are listed on the archive document mentioned above - convoy information can be found in the Voyage Record.
She went back to the U.K. again in Convoy HX 215, which departed New York on Nov. 11-1942 and arrived Liverpool on the 25th. Her last Trans-Atlantic voyage that year was made with Convoy ON 151*, which left Liverpool on Dec. 3 and arrived New York Dec. 23 and also included Atlantic, Brasil, Brimanger, Gefion, Geisha (Commodore Vessel), Kaia Knudsen, Molda, Skandinavia and Thorshov. Stigstad may have been scheduled to go back to the U.K. with Convoy HX 221 on Dec. 29 that year, but did not sail; the name is very difficult to decipher, and I'm not entirely sure this was Stigstad. Arnold Hague instead has her in the slow Convoy SC 116*, which departed New York on Jan. 4-1943 and arrived Liverpool on the 29th (see also Page 4). He has also included Bencas (to St. John's only), Carmelfjell (to St. John's), Chr. Th. Boe, Fernbank, Gezina, Herma (to St. John's) and Orwell, while Acanthus and Eglantine are named among the escorts - see SC convoy escorts.
As mentioned, Stigstad had arrived the U.K. from New York with the slow Convoy SC 116 in Jan.-1943. On Febr. 11, she departed Liverpool in Convoy ON 166, in order to return to New York in ballast (she had previously left Manchester on Febr. 8). In a heavy storm she fell further and further behind until she lost sight of the convoy altogether (according to the Commodore's notes, she dropped out during the night of Febr. 21 in approx. 51 10N 27 55W), and was sailing alone when she was torpedoed on Febr. 21, first by U-332 (Hüttemann), and a few minutes later by U-603 (Bertelsmann), 49 26N 29 08W. Time given on Page 4 of the archive documents is 15:05.
According to a report presented at the subsequent maritime hearings, the ship was hit by 3 torpedoes, all on the starboard side. The steward had seen the first one coming at about 15:00* and ran up to the bridge to notify the officer on watch, 2nd Mate Alvenes, but the torpedo exploded near tank No. 16 before evasive maneuvers could be made. The 4" gun aft was immediately manned. About 2 minutes later a 2nd torpedo struck below midships then a 3rd exploded in the engine room.
Both starboard boats had been destroyed by the explosion, and due to the heavy starboard list it was impossible to get the aft port boat launched, but the forward port boat was successfully lowered before Stigstad sank in 4-5 minutes and the 2 aft rafts also floated free. 34 had survived, some of whom had jumped overboard and were picked up by the lifeboat. 3 were found floating on their lifevests face down in the water, all were dead. The U-boat came up and asked the usual questions about the ship and cargo etc., then left, only to come back half an hour later to hand them several cans of bread, 12 tins of Norwegian herring in tomatoes, 7 tins of blood pudding, 12-15 lbs of prunes and 7 lbs of Danish butter, before it took off.
After having taken on board the 14 men as well as supplies from the rafts the survivors set sail for Ireland (about 700 miles away), taking care of the injured the best they could in the overcrowded lifeboat. 2 weeks later, on March 7, when about 60 miles northwest of Valentia Island, Ireland (position 52 30N 12 08W) they were located by the British trawler Thomas Boot (from the Welsh port Milford Haven, skipper A. Howie), which interrupted its fishing and landed them at Valentia the next day. Keeping in mind that this was in the middle of winter, it's hard to even imagine what those 2 weeks must have been like. Captain Pettersen says the men on the trawler gave them their own beds, and the steward stayed up all night to cook and bake for them.
On arrival Valentia they were met by representatives from Red Cross and The Shipwrecked Mariners' Society. 6 were admitted to a hospital, while the rest were distributed in various hotels. On March 16, 16 travelled to Liverpool, another 11 were able to leave on the 19th and the remaining 7 on the 23rd. The hearings were held in Liverpool on Apr. 7-1943 with the 2nd mate, the 1st engineer, the 3rd engineer, the steward, Able Seaman Edland (helmsman), and Able Seaman Taraldsen (gun duty) appearing.
Worth mentioning (found in "Handelsflåten i krig", book 4 by Guri Hjeltnes. She lists her source as an Interview with 2nd Mate Peder Alvenes, Nov. 1987 by Harris Gregersen, Rohwer 1983):
Other Norwegian ships sunk from Convoy ON 166 were M/S Ingria, N. T. Nielsen-Alonso and M/T Glittre (the latter also by U-603). Follow the links for more details (Molda, Skandinavia, Tai Shan, Tropic Star and Brasil are also listed in this convoy). My page about ON 166 has further info, including the names of other ships sunk. See also the external links below.
For info, U-332 was sunk with all hands just a couple of months later (see link at the end of this page). U-603 was also responsible for the attacks on Elin K and Brand later that year (the U-boat was sunk with all hands in March-1944).
Related external links:
Hyperwar - Linked directly to Robert Cressman's book entries for 1943 - scroll down to Febr. 20, 21, 22 and 23 for details on the attack on ON 166.
Back to Stigstad on the "Ships starting with S" page.
A. F. Klaveness & Co. A/S, Oslo also had a Stigstad post war, delivered in Jan.-1961, 13 074 gt. Later names: Ronabay from 1963 for Einar Saanum, Mandal, Panamanian Lugano from 1973, An Foo 1975, Fu Kang 1976, Julius Helm 1979, Yannis K 1980, sold for breaking up in 1982, having had an engine room fire the previous year when en route to Boston from Rotterdam.
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. as named within the narrative (ref. My sources).