|Site Map | Search Warsailors.com |Merchant Fleet Main Page | Warsailors.com Home|
Another picture is available at Uboat.net (external link).
Manager: Wilh. Wilhelmsen, Tønsberg
Launched by Deutsche Werft A.G., Hamburg (Yard No. 66) June 6-1925, completed July 25.
Captain: Einar Hansen
Her voyages are listed on this original document received from the National Archives of Norway.
Please compare the above voyages with Arnold Hague's info below.
(Received from Don Kindell - His source: The late Arnold Hague's database).
Follow the convoy links provided for more information on each.
From the archive document we learn that Tancred was in Alexandria when war broke out in Norway on Apr. 9-1940, having arrived there on Apr. 6. This voyage had started out in Oslo, Norway on March 10 and her final destination is given as Bombay and Rangoon. She left Alexandria again on Apr. 18, and via Port Said, Suez and Aden, she arrived Bombay on May 1, later arriving Rangoon on May 19 (via misc. ports).
That summer, she's listed in Convoy SL 41, which departed Freetown on July 25 and arrived Liverpool on Aug. 14, having joined up with Convoy SL 41F on the way. Temeraire and Tricolor also took part in the latter convoy; see the external links provided within the table above. Tancred was bound for Belfast with a cargo of groundnuts, arriving there on Aug. 12. It'll be noticed, when going back to the archive document, that she later spent about a month in Liverpool.
Tancred was torpedoed, shelled and sunk on Sept. 26-1940 by U-32 (Jenisch), 600 miles west-northwest of Valencia, Ireland when on a voyage from Liverpool to New York in ballast (about 1200 tons water ballast and 458 tons bunker oil), having departed Liverpool on Sept. 21 in Convoy OB 217 (external link) as the 4th ship in the center column. Olaf Bergh is also listed in this convoy.
According to the captain's report the escort had left the convoy around dawn on Sept. 25, with the British Nova Scotia continuing as the leading vessel of the convoy until the Commodore signalled for them to proceed to their respective destinations. Position at that time was 54 30N 20 20W. During that afternoon 2 ships from the convoy were sunk, namely Sulairia and Eurymedon, both British, and later the British Corrientes was torpedoed and damaged (later sunk). Tancred continued at full speed according to the course given by Navy Control, while zig-zagging because U-boats were in the neighbourhood.
At 07:07 GMT on Sept. 26, 14 hours and 37 minutes after dispersal, when in position 53 32N 24 35W she was hit by a torpedo in the middle of No. 2 hatch on the port side. (The Greek Papalemos was dimly visible about 3 miles to starboard, presumably from the same convoy? Not listed by A. Hague). The captain was asleep on the sofa in his cabin at the time, and the explosion threw him to the floor. Running out on deck he met the officer on watch (1st mate) who had given orders to abandon ship soon after the torpedo had struck, as she had begun to settle by the bow, and No. 1 and No. 2 holds were flooding rapidly. (Damages were on the port side abreast No. 2 hatch, about 8 ft below water line. No. 2 hold opened to the sea and the bulkhead between No. 2 and 3 holds was fractured and hatch covers were blown out from No 1 and 2 holds as well as from no. 3 hold abaft the bridge). The captain saw that No. 3 hold was filling, so he also left the ship as the last person to do so about 8 minutes after the torpedo had hit. No S.O.S. had been sent because the instruments and radio station as well as the charthouse were destroyed by the torpedo.
After a while the U-boat opened fire against the broadside of Tancred with about 20 shots (at about 4000 yards), before disappearing in a westerly direction, but Tancred stayed afloat and with some volunteers the captain reboarded to get some extra provisions, the ship's log book and other valuable papers that were locked in a safe in his cabin under the bridge, as well as another lifeboat if possible. However, when he got back on board access to the safe was found to be impossible due to the damage done by the shelling.
The 3 lifeboats stayed about 1 n. mile away from the wreck until it sank, then sails were set and they headed east, keeping in view of each other. At about 04:20 on Sept. 27 a ship was sighted. S.O.S. morse signals were sent and a rocket fired and at 05:50, in position 53 52N 23 7W all 36 were picked up by Wilhelmsen's M/S Tricolor and landed in New York about a week later (according to her Voyage Record, Tricolor arrived New York on Oct. 3). The inquiry was held there on Oct. 7-1940 with the captain, the 1st mate, the 2nd engineer, and Able Seaman Knutsson (helmsman) attending.
In the way of armament Tancred had a 4" gun, a Lewis A/A and a rifle on board. She had no gunners, but the 2nd mate and the crew had been trained a little in the use of the 4" gun in Liverpool. As it happened, there had been no opportunity to use it.
The British Darcoila from the convoy was also sunk by U-32 a few hours after Tancred had been hit. Ref. external links at the end of this page. The U-boat was sunk about a month later. For info, U-32 had also been responsible for the loss of Jern, Luna, Altair, Eli Knudsen and Norne - follow the links for details.
Crew List - No casualties:
Related external links:
Back to Tancred on the "Ships starting with T" page.
Wilh. Wilhelmsen had 4 ships by this name through the years, this was the 3rd.
The text on this page was compiled with the help of: Wilh. Wilhelmsen fleet list, "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, a report from Office of the Consular Shipping Adviser, British Consulate General, New York dated Oct. 10-1940, received from a Canadian visitor to my site, who in turn received it from Canadian archives, "Sjøforklaringer fra 2. verdenskrig", Volume II, Norwegian Maritime Museum, and misc. (ref. My sources).