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Manager: E. B. Aaby, Oslo
Built in Zalt-Bommel, Netherlands in 1916. Previous name: Triumf.
Captain: Leif Christensen
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.
(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 the archive document, Tejo was in Swansea when war broke out in Norway on Apr. 9-1940, having arrived there from Rouen the previous day. From Swansea, she proceeded to Lisbon on Apr. 27. It'll also be noticed that she spent quite a long time in Swansea that summer.
On Aug. 11-1940, we find her in station 93 of Convoy HG 41 from Gibraltar to the U.K., bound for Newport with pit props, arriving Aug. 27. The Commodore's narrative is also available for this convoy. The following month, she headed in the other direction with Convoy OG 43*, which also included the Norwegian Samlanes, Trajan and Varegg. The convoy originated in Liverpool on Sept. 20 and arrived Gibraltar Oct. 3; Tejo, however, was bound for Lisbon, where she arrived that same day, having started out from Milford Haven on Sept. 19. With general cargo for Liverpool, she's listed in Convoy HG 47 from Gibraltar on Nov. 20, arriving her destination on Dec. 4. (Note that she's also included in the previous convoy on Oct. 31, HG 46, but she could not have been in both, so perhaps she had been cancelled or returned to port? In fact, the archive document indicates she returned to Gibraltar). Her last convoy voyage that year was made in Convoy OG 48*, which originated in Liverpool on Dec. 29 and arrived Gibraltar Jan. 9-1941. This time, she was bound for Oporto, where she (according to the archive document) arrived on Jan. 14, having started out from Milford Haven on Dec. 28. Granli is also listed.
Tejo departed Oporto again on Febr. 2-1941, bound for Belfast with a cargo of wine. She arrived Gibraltar on the 5th, then left in Convoy HG 53 the following day (having been cancelled from Convoy HG 52 on Jan. 27 - she was still at Oporto on that date; again, see the archive document). On Febr. 9, HG 53 was attacked by U-37 (Clausen), and thanks to reports from the U-boat, 5 (6?) Focke Wulf 200 bombers under Hauptmann Fliegel were sent out from Bordeaux, with the result that 4 ships were sunk, and 1 damaged (later sank) in addition to the 2 already sunk that morning by U-37 (the British Courland and Estrellano). They are listed on my page about Convoy HG 53. See also the Ocean Escort's report.
At about 3 o'clock in the afternoon, Tejo became the victim of 2 bombs from Fliegel's plane, 1 exploding behind the wheelhouse on the main deck, blowing up the bridge deck and everything above it, the other near the forward mast, between hatches No. 1 and 2, 35 42N 14 38W. According to the 1st mate's statements at the subsequent inquiry, he believed the captain had been in the chart room, which was set on fire by the 1st explosion. The 1st mate was rendered unconscious, but when he came to again he ordered the hoses to be used. However, before the water came on deck the fire had spread to the 1st engineer's cabin and it was impossible to work the hoses on the bridge deck. He never saw the captain again.
The 1st mate and the 1st engineer went aft as they could not get to the forepart where the rest of the crew had assembled. The ship was on fire and in a sinking condition, listing heavily to starboard, all the lifeboats on the bridge deck were destroyed, and the motorboat on the No. 3 hatch could not be used because the steam pipes were broken so that the boat could not be lifted. At this point, a British destroyer (probably the escorting HMS Velox?) came close and launched a boat, so the 2 men jumped overboard. The 1st engineer was taken over to the destroyer by this boat, and seeing the 1st mate in the water the destroyer approached him and fished him out.
The lifeboat later saved the remainder of the crew who had stayed on the forecastle head to await assistance, except the 2nd engineer who had also jumped overboard and who was picked up by another steamer. He was subsequently transferred to the destroyer because he was injured. Able Seaman Gulbransen, who had been at the wheel, was also injured, having been blown through a hole in the bridge deck and into the saloon. Through the hole blown in the saloon, he had then been able to walk over to the port side and forward to the rest of the crew. They were taken care of by the doctor on board, and on arrival Gibraltar on Febr. 13 the Norwegian Consul met them and sent them to the Colonial Hospital, including the 1st mate, who was suffering from concussion and shock.
The inquiry was held in Gibraltar on Febr. 23-1941 with the 1st and 2nd mates and Able Seaman Gulbransen appearing; much of the information given above has been taken from their statements. The able seaman also stated that another plane had flown over the ship and fired with machine guns while they were waiting on the foredeck.
U-37 sank another ship in this convoy the next day, Febr. 10, namely the British Brandenburg. The British Iceland was sunk by Admiral Hipper the following day, and her crew taken prisoners, though they did not reveal which convoy they had come from, according to "Nortraships flåte". See M/S Borgestad for further developments.
Just for info, U-37 (which had attacked this convoy) had been responsible for the attacks on several Norwegian ships the previous year, namely Hop, Silja, Tosca and Keret - follow the links for details.
Related external links:
Back to Tejo on the "Ships starting with T" page.
The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, "The Allied Convoy System", Arnold Hague, "Sjøforklaringer fra 2. verdenskrig", Volume II, Norwegian Maritime Museum, and misc. (ref. My sources).