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D/S Varild

To Varild on the "Ships starting with V" page.

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Manager: Egil Næsheim, Haugesund
1086 gt

Delivered in July-1910 from Bergens mek. Verksted as Gaula to Kulkompagniet af 1871, Bergen. 1086 gt, 633 net, 1575 tdwt, 223.9' x 33.2' 15.2', Triple exp. (BMV). Purchased in 1929 by Egil Næsheim A/S, Haugesund, renamed Varild.

Captain: David Humlebrekk

 Final Fate - 1940 (Norway still neutral): 

Departed Horten, Norway on Jan. 22-1940 in ballast for Sunderland (to pick up a cargo of coal) and was not heard from again. According to J. Rohwer she was torpedoed and sunk by U-18 (Mengersen) the next day, however, there's a possibility this is incorrect. The Norwegian Bisp disappared around the same time, listed by Rohwer as sunk by U-23 (Kretschmer) on Jan. 24. In a posting to the forum, Roland Berr gives his reasons for believing it was U-18 that sank Bisp, and U-23 that sank Varild. Here's what leads him to this conclusion:

Bisp left Southend on January 20th, bound for Åndalsnes. So she should be going northeast, not west. U-18 sighted a steamer at 00.50 on Jan. 23-1940 in position AN 4183 (58 29N 00 10W). The steamer was zigzagging and had no position lights. Mengersen started to shadow this ship, he wrote it was too bright for an attack at this time. At 06.49 he fired a single torpedo in position AN 4224 (58 59N 01 13E) with no result. At 07.01 a second torpedo followed in position AN 4221 (59 05N 0113E) with the result of sinking this ship. Roland says: "Now take a map and draw in these three positions. This steamer sailed in a northeastern course!"

Varild left Horten on January 22nd, bound for Southend. She crossed the northern North Sea at the narrowest part about a line Bergen - Orkneys. U-23 sightet a steamer on January 23rd at 20.20 in position AN 2623 (59 59N 00 10W). A first attack failed, the torpedo remained in the tube. At 22.13 a second attack again failed, the torpedo became a Kreisläufer (circle runner). The next day at 18.15, U-23 sighted the ship again and dived for a third attack in position AN 2658 (59 29N 00 22W). At 19.08 she sank the ship with a single torpedo. Roland believes this must have been Varild adding: "Now draw this positions again on a map. Definately a southern course!"

There were no survivors from Varild (15 died). The following are commemorated at the Stavern Memorial which I've linked to below, listed in alphabetical order:
1st Mate Harry N. Aas, Mate Sjur Berge, Stoker Einar Ellingsen, Jr. Ordinary Seaman Erling K. Hansen, Able Seaman Hans Hansen, Stoker Oscar Hansen, Captain David Humlebrekk, Able Seaman Jens Jensen Årvik, Able Seaman Alf Madsen, Engineer Karel L. Pedersen, Able Seaman Morten S. Stangeland, Mess Boy Einar A. Sand, Chief Engineer Nils K. Stubeng, Steward Kristian Tjerandsen, and Donkeyman John M. Tveita.

For info, U-23 was also responsible for the loss of Fredville earlier that month - follow the link for more details.

Related external links:
Stavern Memorial commemorations - Middle names and birthdates/home towns are included.

The thread on's forum which has the information on Varild and Bisp from Roland Berr.

U-23 | Otto Kretschmer

U-18 | Ernst Mengersen

Back to Varild on the "Ships starting with V" page.

Other ships by this name: Haugesund had previously had other ships by this name, one of which was originally delivered in Oct.-1882 as Scotia for Edw. & George Hay, Königberg, 623 gt. Purchased in 1911 by A/S Varild (Valdemar Skogland & Johs. Østensjø) and renamed Varild. Taken over by Valdemar Skogland alone, then sold in 1915 to Bjørnstad & Co., Christiania. Ran aground near Scarborough on Dec. 8-1919 on a voyage Skien-Grimsby with wood pulp. Another ship had been delivered in Nov.-1889 as Kong Ragnar for the Søndenfjeldske Norske Dampskibsselskap, Christiania, 636 gt. Sailed as Foldin from 1909, then Varild 1921 for D/S A/S Varild (Bjørnstad & Co.), Christiania. Purchased in 1923 by Egil Næsheim A/S, Haugesund. Ran aground and sank on Sept. 16-1928 at the inlet to Siglufjordur, Iceland on a voyage Grangemouth-Iceland with empty barrels. ("Våre gamle skip").

The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Våre gamle skip", Leif M. Bjørkelund & E. H. Kongshavn (pre war history), and misc. as named within above text - (ref. My sources).


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