|Site Map | Search Warsailors.com |Merchant Fleet Main Page | Warsailors.com Home|
To Storviken on the "Ships starting with S" page.
Manager: Wallem & Co. A/S Bergen.
Built in Seattle, WA in 1917.
Captain: Øistein Apold.
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.
As will be seen when going to Page 1 of the archive documents, Storviken was on her way from Wanganui to Ocean Island when war broke out in Norway on Apr. 9-1940. Her 1941 voyages also start on this document and continue on Page 2, which also shows some 1942 voyages (it'll be noticed that she had quite a long stay in Hong Kong in the fall of 1941).
She usually sailed independently, but along with Fenris, she's listed in Convoy C 11, which left Colombo on March 20-1942 and dispersed the next day, Storviken arriving Aden on Apr. 1. From there, she proceeded to Busreh, where she stayed for a few weeks before continuing to Karachi.
Early the following year we find her, together with Alcides, Hilda Knudsen and Storanger, in Convoy PB 23, departing Bandar Abbas on Jan. 24-1943, arriving Bombay on the 30th. Storviken, however, was bound for Karachi, where she arrived Jan. 28, according to Page 3. In June that same year, she's listed in Convoy DN 47, which left Durban on June 10 and dispsersed on the 14th, Storviken arriving Aden June 30, continuing to Suez that same day, then on to Port Said and Alexandria, arriving the latter on July 10. The following month she appears, along with Drammensfjord, in Convoy DN 58, which left Durban on Aug. 26 and dispersed Aug. 28. This time, she was bound for Lourenco Marques, arriving there on the 28th. She subsequently returned to Durban with Convoy LMD 31, departing Lourenco Marques on Sept. 4, arriving Durban the next day, and 4 days later she can be found in Convoy DN 60 from Durban. The Norwegian Høegh Hood was also in company. Storviken arrived Mombasa on Sept. 20 (see Page 4), then left again for Aden the next day, but did not make it to her destination, as will be seen below.
More info on all these convoys is available via the links provided in the table above. More details on the Norwegian ships named here can be found via the alphabet index at the bottom of this page, or go to the Master Ship Index.
Storviken was on a voyage from Lourenco Marques via Durban and Mombasa to Aden (again, see Page 3 and Page 4) with a cargo of coal when she in the evening of Oct. 1-1943 was torpedoed in the starboard side No. 4 hold and again almost simultaneously in the engine room (causing the boilers to explode) by the Japanese submarine I-10 (Tonuzuka) and sank very quickly in 11 45N 48 07E. The radio was rendered inoperable, and the starboard lifeboat and 2 rafts were destroyed.
Captain Apold, 1st Mate Jørgen Garmo, the British Gunner Buckmaster, the British Gunner Wood and the Chinese Shih Shin Fah launched the gig, but it filled with water due to the heavy seas and was pulled under by the suction. They were able to hold on to some debris.
Meanwhile, the submarine came alongside the port lifeboat (the captain later stated that he was positive that 42 men had managed to leave the ship in this boat, the only undamaged one). When the captain could not be found, 3rd Mate Finn Kjellevik and the Chinese Stoker Chan Lai San were taken prisoners (details on their story can be found further down on this page). As the submarine left the scene it purposely hit the lifeboat so that the propeller crushed one side of it, killing some men, injuring others, and causing the boat to capsize. The sub then ran right over the area "calling out to those who were in the water with sadistic delight".
The next morning the captain and some of his crew set about gathering up debris, out of which they were eventually able to construct a raft. Some of the best swimmers from the ruined lifeboat swam for 5-6 hours, and by that evening 19 men were on the raft, though it was extremely crowded and heavy in the water. They had no water or food, and suffered under the burning sun, most of them having gotten rid of their clothes to enable them to swim more easily while gathering debris for the raft. Also, there were sharks around them the whole time.
On Oct. 3, they were about 25 miles from the coast of Africa with the wind favourable towards land, so their vests and lifebelts were sacrificed to rig up a sail while they at the same time paddled with planks of wood in an effort to reach land, but they eventually had to give up when the wind changed and they hit a strong outward current. During the subsequent 4 days, 6 died of exhaustion and the effects of sunburn.
On Oct. 6 the captain, 3rd Engineer Roland Eklund and 11 Chinese were picked up by the British escort vessel HMS Sennen, which shortly before had come across 2nd mate Per Nilsen and 3 Chinese crew on Storviken's only undamaged raft. The 17 survivors were landed at Aden on Oct. 8 where they were admitted to a hospital. 37 had died.
The maritime hearings were held in Bombay on Dec. 2-1943 with Captain Apold , Shih Shin Fah, and Chun San Bun appearing. 11 Chinese crew members had been sent to Bombay with the captain. The 2nd mate had joined another ship in Aden, the 3rd engineer was sent to London in order to join the Norwegian Navy, and 3 Chinese crew members had also joined other ships in Aden.
Related external links:
The 2 who had been taken abord the sub were separated; Finn Kjellevik had to listen to the screams of Stoker Chan Lai San who was obviously beaten. I'm not sure what eventually happened to him. After what seemed like hours a crew member brought a lump of rice and a small cup of water into Kjellevik's room. It had been pitch dark the whole time, but now somebody turned on a light and he could study his surroundings. He was in what seemed to be a cupboard, about 1 meter x 2 meters, with naked steel walls on 3 sides and a divided door on the 4th. After another couple of hours he was fetched for questioning in a room with 7 officers dressed in white uniforms, and at the top of the table was the commander himself with a long sword in front of him on the table. Afterwards, back to the cupboard and lights off. At one point he managed to get someone to open the door and let him go to the bathroom, and while there he noticed a rusty screw on top of a trash can. Before leaving the room he pretended to fall forward and in doing so descretely slipped the screw into his pocket. This was used to mark the passing of the days on the wall behind the door.
More questioning sessions followed. He had been accused of telling lies during the first one when saying he didn't know the port of destination of his ship; according to the rule on all Norwegian ships only the captain would know where they were heading. At one point he was asked to check the sharpness of the sword, which immediately drew blood from his thumb though he had barely touched it. The commander then got up, picked up the sword and, saying he was going to remove his head he swung the sword towards him. Kjellevik instinctively ducked and to his astonishment his head was still in place, but under threat that he would be put ashore without his head if he continued to lie he was sent back to the cupboard.
This scenario was repeated day after day, until one day he had 30 lines on the wall behind the door, meaning a whole month on the submarine. That day he noticed that they had stopped, and pretty soon he was fetched from his cupboard and brought ashore, where he was handcuffed and taken to a jail. The next day a man came in who told him he was in Penang, and declared he was going to wash and shave him; this was the first time since he had left Storviken that he could get cleaned up. But the questioning was not over, sometimes he was fetched from his cell in the middle of the night.
After 11 days he was again taken to the harbour, this time blindfolded, and again he found himself in the belly of a submarine, but 2 days later he was in Singapore. After 3 weeks in a camp there he was sent to Japan on a whale factory together with some other prisoners, arriving Nagasaki in the middle of Jan.-1944, then by train to Ofuna. In the summer of 1945 he was at Tokyo POW Camp No. 2, but I'm unable to determine how long he had been there. See also Merchant Marine Prisoners of War and Life in Imprisonment (where Finn Kjellevik is mentioned in the section under the heading "Transfer to Omori", as well as under the heading "Free").
Back to Storviken on the "Ships starting with S" page.
The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, "Ingen nåde", Kristian Ottosen, "Sjøforklaringer fra 2. verdenskrig", Norwegian Maritime Museum, Volume II and misc. (ref. My sources).