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Owner: A/S Kristian Jebsens Rederi
Built by Bergens mek. Verksted, Bergen in 1930.
Captain: Haakon Tronstad.
(Received from Don Kindell - His source: The late Arnold Hague's database).
Follow the convoy links provided for more information on each (where the "Convoy" column is left blank it means that convoy is not known).
Errors may exist, and some voyages are missing.
Together with the Norwegian Balduin, Vigsnes is listed in Convoy OA 137, which departed Southend on Apr. 27-1940 and dispersed on the 29th, Vigsnes arriving New York on May 20 - ref. external link provided in the Voyage Record. She proceeded to Baltimore the following day, remaining there for over 3 weeks - see Page 1 of the archive documents. Having made a voyage to Newcastle, N.B., she returned to the U.K. in June; according to A. Hague this voyage was made independently. She arrived Immingham on July 15, subsequently making some voyages around the U.K., before she on Aug. 3 joined Convoy OA 193, which was dispersed on Aug. 7, Vigsnes arriving Sydney, C.B. on the 18th. Eastern Star, Fido, Helle, Regin, Solferino and Trolla are also listed in this convoy - again, see the external link provided in the table above.
From Sydney, C.B., she proceeded to Rimouski, then returned to Sydney, C.B. in order to join the slow Convoy SC 3 on Sept. 2. Vigsnes had a cargo of lumber and was bound for Belfast and Grimsby, arriving Belfast on Sept. 17, Grimsby on Oct. 14 (Page 1). "Nortraships flåte" states that when the escort HMS Dundee and the British Empire Volunteer were torpedoed and sunk on Sept. 15, Vigsnes and the Norwegian Granfoss stopped and picked up 6 and 20 survivors respectively from Dundee, then a little later Granfoss rescued 27 from Empire Volunteer. However, it was not Granfoss that picked up the Empire Volunteer survivors, but Granli - please see Granli - Page 2 for a report on this incident, in which Fido is also said to have picked up survivors from both ships. Note that Convoy SC 3 had a lot of Norwegian ships, among them D/S Lotos, which was unable to keep up and was sunk - follow the link for details. In Nov.-1940, we find Vigsnes in Convoy Convoy OB 244, which lost several ships. Her destination was again Sydney, C. B., where she arrived on Dec. 6, the convoy having been dispersed Nov. 22 (she had started out from Oban on Nov. 18).
She headed back to the U.K. again on Jan. 12-1941 in Convoy SC 19 from Halifax, bound for Great Yarmouth with a cargo of lumber in station 74, with arrival there on Febr. 18 - again, see Page 1 as well as Page 2. As will be seen when following the link to this convoy, Vigsnes is mentioned in the Commodore's notes as being among the ships that were "splendid in the way they obeyed all signals and kept together under fierce(? under fire?) and very trying circumstances, not knowing when their turn was coming next". An Analysis of attacks by U-boat is also available for this convoy, see also Ruth I. A month later, Vigsnes is listed in Convoy OG 56. This was a Gibraltar bound convoy, which originated in Liverpool on March 17 and arrived Gibraltar on Apr. 2, but Vigsnes arrived Sheet Harbour on Apr. 4, having parted company with the convoy on March 24, according to A. Hague. She had started out from Oban on March 18. This convoy will be added to an individual page in my Convoys section in due course; in the meantime, please go to ships in all OG convoys; the Norwegian Atle Jarl, Hørda, Rym and Sneland I are also included. Vigsnes was scheduled for the slow Halifax-U.K. Convoy SC 29 on Apr. 19, but instead joined Convoy SC 30 on Apr. 29, cargo of mechanical pulp for Rochester, where she arrived (via various other ports) on May 29. See also the Commodore's narrative and escort's report.
According to A. Hague, she later joined a convoy that he has given the designation OB 341A, which is said to have departed Liverpool on July 2-1941 and arrived Halifax on the 18th. Vigsnes, however, was only bound for Reykjavik, arriving there July 8, having been detached the day before. From Page 2, we learn that she had sailed from Loch Ewe on July 4. It'll be noticed, when following the link to this convoy in the Voyage Record above, that escorts only are named, while Vigsnes has ended up, together with Brisk, Evanger, Fana, Leikanger, Novasli, Nueva Granada, Nyholt, Polartank, Ringstad, Sommerstad, Thorøy, Thorshavn and Thorsholm, in OB 341, which had started out in Liverpool on June 30 and dispersed on July 6. I suspect that some of the ships named in OB 341, in fact, belong in OB 341A(?). Note also that a total of 82 ships are listed in OB 341, which should only have 35.
Vigsnes did go further afield later that month, when she headed to Pictou, N.S., having joined Convoy OB 345, which had originated in Liverpool on July 11 and also had Halifax as its final destination, arriving on July 26. Vigsnes arrived Pictou that day, having sailed from Reykjavik on July 15 (Page 2). Other Norwegian ships listed in this convoy are Belita, Bello, Geisha, Havprins, James Hawson, Marit, Ørnefjell, Salamis, Selvik, Solsten and Tanafjord. Vigsnes remained at Pictou for over a month before proceeding to Sydney, C.B. in order to join Convoy SC 43 back to the U.K. on Sept. 5, again with several other Norwegian ships in company - they are named in the section for ships in all SC convoys (will later be added to an individual page).
She was subsequently in service around the U.K., carrying coal - see Page 2, Page 3, Page 4, Page 5, Page 6, and Page 7, as well as the Voyage Record above. On charter to The Ministry of War Transport from 1943 to 1945.
In June-1943, she headed to Gibraltar, joining Convoy OS 50/KMS 17. Follow the link in the Voyage Record for more details on the combined convoy - see also my own page for the Gibraltar portion, KMS 17; several Norwegian ships are listed. Vigsnes arrived Gibraltar on June 29 (Page 7), remaining in that part of the world for quite some time (she did not go back to the U.K. again until Aug.-1944). Early in Dec.-1943 she's mentioned, without voyage information, in Convoy MKS 33 - scroll down to the second table on that page. As can be seen, A. Hague has attached a note saying "Probably this convoy". According to Page 8 of the archive documents, she arrived Bizerta on Dec. 9, but it's unclear where she had come from; the previous entry shows her arriving Naples (from Malta) on Oct. 17. A. Hague suggests she had started out from Augusta on Dec. 6. This archive document also shows occasional long stays in port.
Vigsnes is said to have rescued a pilot in 1943 (no further details are available).
In May-1944, she made a voyage from Bizerta to Bone with Convoy MKS 50. The external website that I've linked to below lists her as scheduled for Convoy SL 163/MKS 54 in July, but she did not sail. (SL 163 from Freetown joined up with the MKS portion from Gibraltar on July 11, before proceeding to the U.K. as a combined convoy, and Vigsnes was scheduled to join with the latter, which will also be added to my own Convoys section, as will MKS 50 - see ships in all MKS convoys). It'll be noticed, when going back to the above Voyage Record, that A. Hague has included her in MKS 54, but she only travelled as far as Gibraltar, where she arrived on July 10, having started out from Algiers on the 7th. A. Hague says she arrived with defects, so this could be the reason why she did not continue. She did, however, head to the U.K. the following month, joining Convoy XK 18, departing Gibraltar on Aug. 7. Vigsnes arrived Ardrossan on Aug. 20, later proceeding to Clyde, where she spent a long time; see Page 8 (possibly for repairs?). She also had a long stay in Swansea later on.
More information on the other Norwegian ships named here can be found via the alphabet index at the end of this page, or go to the Master Ship Index.
Vigsnes had left Cardiff on Jan. 22-1945 with 2000 tons of coal for Mersey. She was torpedoed and sunk the next day by U-1172 (Kuhlmann), position 53 32N 04 19W, after having left Convoy MH 1 that day (external link - incomplete listing). She was off Anglesey at 16:50 when the torpedo hit in the port foreship, and with steam, water and smoke filling the engine room it was impossible to stop the engine. Vigsnes listed to the port side and started to sink; while the starboard boat was successfully launched with 17 men, 2 jumped overboard and 6 kept to the raft and motor lifeboat aft. She sank within 10-15 minutes. The lifeboat picked up the rest of the survivors and all 25 reached Anglesey at 22:30 that same night.
As is the case with D/S Galatea, there is some uncertainty as to whether U-1172 or U-1051 sank this ship. Both U-boats were known to be operating in the Irish Sea at the same time, and both were lost there with all hands shortly thereafter, within a day of each other, but no signals concerning this sinking were transmitted from either. Ref. external links at the end of this page.
See also Spinanger.
Related external links:
S/S Vigsnes - Technical data and funnel (Darren Dypevåg).
Back to Vigsnes on the "Ships starting with V" page.
Another ship named Vigsnes was delivered for A/S Kristian Jebsens Rederi, Bergen in Dec.-1947, 1931 gt, built in Sunderland. Sold in 1965 to A/S Liv (Arne Østensjø d. y.), Haugesund, incl. a 2 years time charter. Returned 1967 and renamed Pax (Haugesund). Sold in Dec.-1969 to Cyprus and renamed Carpo. Sold in Febr.-1972 to Passage West, Ireland for breaking up.
The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, "Axis Submarine Successes of World War Two", Jürgen Rohwer, "The Allied Convoy System", Arnold Hague, "Sjøforklaringer fra 2. verdenskrig", Volume II (Norwegian Maritime Museum), and misc. - (ref. My sources).