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D/S Neptun
Det Bergenske Dampskibsselskab, Bergen

(Norwegian Homefleet WW II)

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Picture is from the fall of 1950 - All pics received from Bjørn Milde, Norway (from his own postcard collection).
T. Eriksen, Norway has told me that Neptun is loading barrels of herring for Hamburg. The freighter that can be seen in the middle of the inlet is Manon from Bekkjarvik, while the white passenger vessel alongside the quay is Stavangerske's Haugesund (ex-subchaser H.M.S. Kilbirnie) and the dark steamer alongside the quay is Haugesund D/S's Karmsund.

Tonnage: 1574 gt
Dimensions: 240.5' x 35.7' x 21.7'
Machinery: Triple Expansion (Laxevaags M&J) 200nhp 10.5 knots.

Delivered in Febr.-1930 from Laxevaags Maskin- & Jernskibsbyggeri, Bergen (142) as cargo vessel Neptun to Det Bergenske Dampskibsselskab, Bergen. Steel hull, 1574 gt, 1770 tdwt, dimensions and machinery as above. As per the summer of 1939 she was used in the Kirkenes-Bergen-Hamburg cargo line which the owners ran weekly together with Nordenfjeldske D/S with a total of 5 ships (alternating with 2 and 3 vessels in the line). BDS used Diana, Leo, Lynx and Neptun.

 WW II: 

When the Germans approached Bergen on Apr. 9-1940 Neptun was among several ships en route to this city. 9 vessels were stopped south of Bergen by Norwegian patrol boats and sent elsewhere (Stensaas, Tindefjell, Haardraade, Rogaland, Hellesund, Vestra, Jarl, Bjønn and Neptun. D/S Force was also en route to Bergen, and proceeded into port - follow the links for more details on each ship - see also San Miguel). Neptun was sent to Fanafjorden (together with Vestra and Jarl), later moved to Bjørnefjord where she on Apr. 12 was requisitioned by Norwegian military authorities and ordered into Hardangerfjord. Towards the end of that month she (and Hellesund) could be found in Ulvik, in order to unload some of her cargo, mostly food stuffs, but departed the area before the fighting started (Hellesund remained in Ulvik and was later seized by the Germans).

Neptun was subsequently laid up near Varaldsøy further into the fjord, but this must have been for a period of time only, because when she sank due to an act of sabotage at Bergen on Nov. 13-1944 she was at anchor in Sandviksbukten awaiting a convoy. One of the mates on board was connected to several illegal organisations (resistance movements), and in spite of German guards on board he had managed to attach explosives to the port side of the ship amidships. After a few hours an explosion occurred, causing a hole in her side. She was moved to shallow waters between Rieber's sea houses near Kristiansholm in Bergen harbour and Neptun sank with her deck in the water line. The mate was later arrested by Gestapo and sentenced to death, but was saved from execution by the fact that the war ended. Neptun was raised and towed to Stamnes in Osterfjorden where she was laid up for the rest of the war.


Repaired in 1945 and put back into service, used in the Trondheim-Bergen-Antwerp line 1946, together with Cygnus and Columba. In 1948-1949 this line was taken over by Bergenske's newly built Leo and Lynx, while Neptun and Columba were placed in the Trondheim-Bergen-Hamburg service along with Centaurus. Neptun continued in this line in 1951 together with Nordenfjeldske's Orm Jarl (ex Hauknes, ex Empire Consumer, ex Haga) and Ottar Jarl (the latter went all the way from Kirkenes and via Kristiansund N. This must be Ottar Jarl III, ex Northland, ex W. B. Foshay), then from 1952 she was used in Den Norsk-Tyske Hamburglinje in a joint sailing with the German companies Ernst Russ and A. Kirsten, BDS using Columba and Neptun. In 1955 Diana, Sirius and Deneb took over the service to Hamburg. Sold in July-1956 to West Indies Transport Corp., Monrovia, Liberia, renamed Los Incas. Sold in 1961 to Via Reyes Cia. Nav. SA, Panama, renamed Eagle. Deleted from Lloyd's register in 1965, fate unknown. However, see this thread on my ship forum where a response states that she was sold for use as a film prop and is said to have been positively identified in the background of a photo taken c. 1969 at Long Beach, her former Master (as Los Incas) claimed to have seen here there still afloat c. 1980 - according to 'Starke Schell files.

Back to Neptun on the "Homefleet Ships starting with N" page.

(Misc. Sources, incl. "Handelsflåten i krig", Book 5, "Hjemmeflåten - Mellom venn og fiende", Lauritz Pettersen, and info received from T. Eriksen, Norway - His sources: Article about Bergenske in "Skipet" 1-2.88, Dag Bakka Jr., and "Norges eldste Linjerederi, BDS 1851-1951", Wilhelm Keilhau).

Other ships by this name: The company had previously had another ship named Neptun until Oct.-1921. The book "Damp - Dampskipets æra i Vestfold" lists a whale catcher named Neptun, built Arendal 1884, 60 gt, sank near Saldana Bay, deleted from register in 1917.

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