Site Map | Search |Merchant Fleet Main Page | Home 

M/S Tortugas
Updated Jan. 15-2011

To Tortugas on the "Ships starting with T" page.

A picture is available on this external page (click in it to enlarge).

Crew List

Manager: Wilh. Wilhelmsen, Tønsberg
4697 gt, 2852 net, 7019 tdwt
Dimensions: 357.6' x 51.2' x 30.7'
Machinery: 6 cyl. 4 SCSA oil engine of 2500 ihp by Algemeine Electricitäts Gesellschaft, Berlin.
Service Speed: 11 knots - 12 passengers.
Signal Letters: LEFD

Launched by Deutsche Werft A.G., Hamburg (Yard No. 47) on Aug. 30-1923, completed Nov. 2.

Captain: Rolf Endresen

Operated for Ministry of War Transport.

Her voyages are listed on these original images from the Norwegian National Archives:
Page 1 | Page 2

Please compare the above voyages with Arnold Hague's Voyage Record below.

  Voyage Record
From Apr.-1940 to Nov.-1942:  

(Received from Don Kindell - His source: The late Arnold Hague's database).

Follow the convoy links provided for more information on each.

Departure From To Arrival Convoy Remarks
1940 Apr. 8 New York City Hampton Roads Apr. 9 Independent See also Page 1
*? Apr. 17 Hampton Roads Baltimore Apr. 17 Independent *Compare w/Page 1
June 5 Baltimore Hampton Roads June 6 Independent
June 6 Hampton Roads Cristobal June 14 Independent
June 16 Balboa Los Angeles June 27 Independent
June 27 Los Angeles Shanghai July 25 Independent
Aug. 7 Shanghai Iloilo Aug. 12 Independent
Aug. 22 Iloilo Los Angeles Sept. 17 Independent
Sept. 17 Los Angeles Balboa Sept. 30 Independent
Oct. 1 Cristobal Boston Oct. 10 Independent
Oct. 18 Boston New York City Oct. 19 Independent
Nov. 2 New York City Cristobal Nov. 10 Independent
Nov. 11 Balboa Los Angeles Nov. 23 Independent
Nov. 23 Los Angeles Yokohama Dec. 18 Independent
Dec. 23 Yokohama Kobe Dec. 25 Independent Notional sailing date
Dec. 30 Kobe Manila Jan. 5-1941 Independent
1941 Jan. 19 Manila Los Angeles Febr. 15 Independent
Febr. 15 Los Angeles Balboa Febr. 27 Independent
March 1 Cristobal Wilmington, NC March 8 Independent
March 12 Wilmington, NC Baltimore March 14 Independent
March 21 Baltimore New York City March 23 Independent
Apr. 13 New York City St. John, N.B. Apr. 15 Independent
Apr. 24 St. John, N.B. Halifax Apr. 25 Independent
May 7 Halifax Capetown June 6 Independent
June 10 Capetown Aden June 27 Independent
June 27 Aden Suez Independent Missing movements, Page 1
July 23 Suez Bombay Independent Page 1 gives arrival Aug. 4
(left Sept. 5).
Sept. 10 Mormagoa Capetown Oct. 3 Independent
Oct. 4 Capetown Freetown Oct. 21 Independent
Oct. 27 Freetown SL 91 Convoy available at SL 91
Formed SL 91G Nov. 8
(see SL 91G)
(external links)
Nov. 8 Formed at sea SL 91G1 Convoy split Nov. 12.
Available at SL 91G1
(external link)
Nov. 12 Formed Liverpool Nov. 20 SL 91GS Convoy available at SL 91GS
(external link)
Dec. 24 Liverpool Oban Dec. 26 Independent
Dec. 28 Oban Methil Dec. 30 WN 224 Convoy available at WN convoys
(external link)
Dec. 31 Methil Tyne Jan. 1-1942 FS 687 Convoy available at FS convoys
(external link)
1942 March 1 Tyne Methil March 2 FN 643 Convoy available at FN convoys
(external link)
March 3 Methil Invergordon March 5 EN 54 Convoy available at EN convoys
(external link)
Page 2 says "put in".
March 8 Cromarty Loch Ewe March 9 EN 55 A. Hague says:
Not in convoy.
Available at link above
March 9 Loch Ewe Halifax March 25 ON 74 For Baltimore.
Convoy will be added.
See ships in ON convoys
March 27 Halifax Cape Cod Canal March 29 XB 5 Convoy available at XB convoys
(external link)
March 29 Cape Cod Canal New York City Apr. 1 Independent
Apr. 28 New York City Capetown May 31 Independent
June 3 Capetown Basra June 29 Independent
July 7 Basra Abadan July 7 Independent
July 11 Abadan Bushire July 12 Independent
July 20 Bushire Basra July 21 Independent
July 21 Basra Colombo July 29 Independent
Aug. 4 Colombo Vizag Aug. 9 Independent
Aug. 9 Vizag Calcutta Aug. 11 Independent See also Page 2
Aug. 25 Calcutta Capetown Sept. 25 Independent
Oct. 10 Capetown Saldanha Bay Independent (Not included, Page 2)
Oct. 14 Saldanha Bay Capetown Oct. 15 Independent
Oct. 25 Capetown Independent Sunk - See "Final Fate" below

 Some Convoy Voyages: 
For information on voyages made in between those mentioned here, please see the documents received from the National Archives of Norway and A. Hague's Voyage Record above.

As will be seen when going to Page 1 of the archive documents, Tortugas got out of Norway not long before the German invasion (Apr. 9-1940). She had left Bergen, Norway on March 23 and arrived New York Apr. 7, proceeding to Newport News on Apr. 8, arriving the next day, remaining there for several weeks. Her 1941 voyages also start on this document (as can be seen, she spent 3 weeks in New York that spring, and also had quite a long stay in Bombay that fall).

Along with Titanian, she's listed in Convoy SL 91 from Freetown on Oct. 27-1941 (Ingerfire joined later from Gibraltar - see also Acanthus); ref. links provided within the Voyage Record. Tortugas arrived Liverpool Nov. 20, and it looks like she subsequently remained there for over a month (Page 1). It'll also be noticed, when going to Page 2, that she later had a long stay at Tyne (or North Shields), where she had arrived on Jan. 1-1942; departure is given as March 1.

A week later, we find her in the westbound North Atlantic Convoy ON 74, originating in Liverpool on March 9, arriving Halifax on the 25th. This convoy will be added to an individual page in my Convoys section; in the meantime, the ships sailing in it (and escorts) are named in the section listing ships in all ON convoys. The Norwegian Arosa, Beth, Borgfred, Elg, Sirehei, Thorsholm, Titanian and Tungsha are included. Tortugas had joined from Loch Ewe, and from Halifax, she proceeded to New York, where she arrived Apr. 1, remaining there until Apr. 28 (her original destination appears to have been Baltimore - again, see Page 2).

More information on the other Norwegian ships mentioned here can be found via the alphabet index at the end of this page, or go to the Master Ship Index.

 Final Fate - 1942: 

When east of Barbados in position 12 39N 54 59W, Tortugas was torpedoed and sunk by U-67 (Müller-Stöckheim) on Nov. 18-1942. At the time, she was on a voyage alone from Calcutta and Table Bay (where her engine had been inspected and minor repairs undertaken) to Trinidad and Clyde with 2200 tons manganese ore, 1000 tons of jute and 14000(?) casks of tea. She had left Table Bay on Oct. 25 (Page 2). The torpedo struck between No. 4 and 5 hatch on the port side, and she sank with the stern first in about 8 minutes.

All 38 survived and were in 4 lifeboats when the U-boat approached about 4 minutes later. Captain Endresen and 1st Engineer Trygve Jensen were taken prisoners. The captain had his wife on board, and a report based on the survivors' statements says that a request by the captain's wife to be taken with him was denied by the commander of the U-boat. The 2 officers spent 34 days on the boat before they were landed at Lorient, then sent to a prison camp (Marlag und Milag Nord). They were released in Nov.-1943 and sent to Norway, along with 25 other Norwegian seamen.

The motorboat took the other 3 boats in tow, heading west. At dawn on Nov. 19 the wind increased and in order to save on petrol they stopped towing and set sail. The 3rd mate's boat and the boatswain's boat soon sailed ahead of the other 2 lifeboats and disappeared out of sight. When the wind decreased that evening the motorboat took the 2nd mate's boat in tow, but during the night the motor stopped and they again set sail until the following morning when the towing resumed. However, they ran out of petrol that afternoon so sail was set again and the 2 boats subsequently lost sight of each other. In the morning of Nov. 22 the 1st mate's motorboat met up with the 2 lifeboats that had sailed ahead earlier on, but lost touch again.

The 10 in the 1st mate's boat saw land on Nov. 26, and landed at Guayaguare Bay, Trinidad that same afternoon. They were later sent to Port of Spain. The 18 survivors in the 3rd mate's and the boatswain's boats were picked up by the American steamer Herman F. Whiton on Nov. 26 and landed at Georgetown on Nov. 28, while the remaining 8 in the 2nd mate's boat landed at Port of Spain on Nov. 29, having been picked up by a Yugoslavian ship about 50 miles off Port of Spain.

An inquiry was held in New York on Dec. 22-1942 with the 1st mate, the 2nd engineer, Ordinary Seaman Karlsen, and Able Seaman Kristensen appearing.

The position given above is taken from the 1st mate's report presented at the inquiry. J. Rohwer gives 13 24N 55 00W, R.W. Jordan says 13 24N 54 59W. The position 14N 54W has also been noted.

For info, U-67 had also been responsible for the attacks on Kongsgaard, Nortind, Bayard, Primero and Nidarland - follow the links for details.

Crew List - No casualties:
P = Taken prisoner
The 1st mate was on duty on the bridge when the attack occurred.
Ordinary Seaman Karlsen was at the helm.
Able Seaman Kristensen was on duty by the gun.
The 2nd engineer was on watch in the engine room

Rolf Endresen
Captain's Wife
Olaug Endresen
1st Mate
Agnar Hansen
2nd Mate
Henri Lien
3rd Mate
Einar Thomassen
Radio Operator
Harold Clay
Olav Grimholt
Ole Johan Næss
Able Seaman
Kjell Sæthre
Able Seaman
Maurits Allum
Able Seaman
Nils Nilsen
Able Seaman
Ingebreth Eik
Able Seaman
Haakon Hansen
Able Seaman
Kaare Moe
Able Seaman
Ivar Ivarsen
Able Seaman/Gunner
Hans Johan Monsen
Able Seaman/Gunner
Knud Angel Kristensen
Ordinary Seaman
Thorbjørn Thoresen
Ordinary Seaman
Jacob Karlsen
Ordinary Seaman
Tormod Myklebust
1st Engineer
Trygve Jensen
2nd Engineer
Ole Meyer Olsen
3rd Engineer
Edgar Eliassen
Arne Chr. Flathaug
Birger Eliassen
Charles Johannesen
Rudolf Tillgren
Willy Veili
Aksel L. Larsen
Trygve Ambrosiussen
Anders Torkildsen
Eivind Johannesen
Sverre Pettersen
Mess Boy
James R. A. Buzzeo
Cabin Boy
James Carr
Edward E. Cave
Edwin W. C. Saunders
? Leak

Back to Tortugas on the "Ships starting with T" page.

Wilh. Wilhelmsen later had two more ships by this name, one of them being the former General Fleischer.

The text on this page was compiled with the help of: Wilh. Wilhelmsen fleet list, "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, "Sjøforklaringer fra 2. verdenskrig", Volume II, Norwegian Maritime Museum, and misc. for cross checking - (ref. My sources).


 Site Map | Search |Merchant Fleet Main Page | Home