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Owner: D/S A/S Henriksen & Kierulf
Built by Porsgrund mek. Verksted, Porsgrunn in 1936.
Captains: Christian A. Hansen, (?) Skoli, and at time of loss, Finn Abrahamsen (from Jan. 13-1943).
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 (where the "Convoy" column is left blank, it means that convoy is not known).
Errors may exist, and some voyages are missing.
With a cargo of wood for Tyne, Bonde is listed as sailing in Convoy HN 17 from Norway to the U.K. in March-1940. According to A. Hague, she arrived Tyne on March 12. Judging from the information found on Page 1 of the archive documents, she was at Blyth when war broke out in Norway on Apr. 9-1940 and remained there for quite a long time.
In June* that year, she shows up in Convoy OA 172, leaving Southend on June 21, dispersed 4 days later. Bonde's destination is given as Belfast, cargo of coal, station 64. This convoy was composed of 2 parts, OA 172(1) and OA 172(2), Bonde being in Part 1, as were the Norwegian Trolla and Vestland, while Evviva was in Part 2. There's a note in connection with this convoy (Part 1) stating that Bonde and Trolla were left behind as they could not maintain 5 knots in the fresh wind and sea. (A. Hague has also included Fernbank in OA 172, see links provided within the Voyage Record). The following month we find Bonde, along with Galatea, Hjalmar Wessel, Jernland, Kul, Siak, Solferino and Tai Ping Yang in Convoy OA 190, departing Methil Roads on July 26 (again, ref. link in the table above. Another section of the site also has Solferino in this convoy, while A. Hague has this ship in OA 192). This time, Bonde was bound for Sydney, C.B. (Cape Breton) in ballast, and arrived there independently on Aug. 12 (according to A. Hague), the convoy having been dispersed on July 29.
Having made voyages to Quebec (remaining there for a month), Cap a L'Aigle, Chatham, N.B. and Newcastle, N.B., she returned to Sydney, C.B. in order to join the slow Convoy SC 6 on Sept. 27, cargo of pit props for Immingham, arriving Oct. 24 (via various other ports - again, see Page 1). The following month, she went in the other direction with Convoy OB 244. Her destination was again Sydney, C. B., where she arrived independently on Dec. 6, the convoy having dispersed on Nov. 22. Her voyages in this period are shown on Page 2. From Sydney, she proceeded to Halifax on Dec. 8, subsequently remaining there for a long time; reason not known.
With a cargo of grain for Swansea, she was scheduled for the slow Halifax-U.K. Convoy SC 22 on Febr. 8-1941, but did not sail. According to Arnold Hague, she joined Convoy HX 108* the next day, but returned to port. She's now mentioned in the original Advance Sailing Telegram for Convoy HX 112, in which Beduin and Ferm and others were sunk (follow the links for details). This convoy departed Halifax on March 1; Bonde is crossed out on the document, but A. Hague says she joined and returned to Halifax. She finally got away in Convoy SC 25 on March 10; her destination is now given as Ipswich, where she eventually arrived (via various other ports) on Apr. 11 (Page 2).
In May that same year she appears in the U.K.-Gibraltar Convoy OG 61, which originated in Liverpool on May 5 and arrived Gibraltar on the 19th. Bonde, however, was bound for Montreal, so she detached from the convoy on May 12 in order to proceed to that destination, where she arrived on May 24 (having started out from Oban on the 6th). This convoy will be added to my Convoys section; in the meantime, see this list of ships in all OG convoys. The Norwegian Berto, Gard, Leka and Vestland are also listed. With a cargo of grain, Bonde headed back to the U.K. on June 10 with Convoy SC 34 from Sydney, C.B., and arrived Southampton, via Milford Haven and Falmouth, on July 4 (again, see Page 2). Later that month we find her, again with destination Montreal, in the westbound North Atlantic Convoy ON 1, originating in Liverpool on July 26. Bonde sailed from Milford Haven on July 25 and arrived Montreal Aug. 14, the convoy having been dispersed Aug. 9. See also Page 3.
Arnold Hague now has her returning to the U.K. with Convoy SC 46*, which departed Sydney, C.B, on Sept. 24-1941 and arrived Liverpool on Oct. 10; Bonde stopped at Belfast Lough, later continuing to Swansea. She had a cargo of grain, and sailed in station 105, having previously started out with SC 43*, departing Sydney, C.B. on Sept. 5, but had returned to port on that occasion. Both these convoys had several Norwegian ships, namely Astrell, Atle Jarl, Bernhard, Bjørkhaug, Erica, Fjord, Fjordheim, Galatea, Ingerfem, Solstad, Torfinn Jarl and Vigsnes in SC 43, and Alaska, Bestik (returned), Bruse Jarl, Fidelio, Gezina, Loke, Senta and Solsten in SC 46.
According to Norwegian records, due to her difficulty in keeping up with the Trans-Atlantic convoy speeds, Bonde served for a while as "feeder" between Glasgow and London for Furness City Line from the late fall of 1941, and endured many air attacks on these voyages. This does not quite match up with her 1941 movements on Page 3 (it'll be noticed that she had long stay at Penarth at the end of that year - reason not known).
She resumed her voyages across the Atlantic in the spring of 1942, and can be found among the ships in the westbound North Atlantic Convoy ON 86*, which originated in Liverpool on Apr. 14 and included the Norwegian Bur, Drammensfjord, Harpefjell, Maud, Norhauk, Sneland I and Trolla, with Acanthus, Eglantine, Potentilla and Rose among the escorts (see ON convoy escorts). Bonde joined from Clyde; according to A. Hague, she was detached from the convoy on Apr. 27 and arrived Boston May 1, continuing to New York that same day - see also Page 4. Some of these ships, including Bonde, returned to the U.K. with Convoy SC 84, which left Halifax on May 14. Bonde had a cargo of timber for Immingham, where she arrived June 1. She's now listed, together with Askeladden, Ruth I and Veni, in the westbound Convoy ON 104*, which originated in Liverpool June 16. Bonde sailed from Loch Ewe that day and arrived Halifax July 1, continuing to St. John, N.B. the next day, then went back to the U.K. later that month in Convoy SC 92 from Sydney, C.B., cargo of grain for Avonmouth, with arrival Aug. 1. She can later be found in station 54 of the westbound Convoy ON 124, bound for Halifax, cargo of coal, arriving there Sept. 5. Other Norwegian ships in this convoy were Astrell, Ada and Solhavn.
According to Arnold Hague, she headed back to the U.K. again on Oct. 15 in the Sydney, C.B. portion of Convoy SC 105*, originating in New York on Oct. 11-1942 (Bonde had a general cargo, taking station 75). She had initially joined the Sydney portion of Convoy SC 104* on Oct. 7 (in which Fagersten and Senta and several others were sunk - follow the links for details), but had returned to port (this agrees with Page 4). Other Norwegian ships in SC 104, which was again escorted by Acanthus, Eglantine and Potentilla, as well as Montbretia (see SC convoy escorts), were Bernhard, Boreas, Garnes, Gudvor, Inger Lise, Ingerfem, Lido, Nea, Suderøy and Vinga, while Don, Far, Herma, Kirsten B, Norelg, Polarland and Ramø are listed in SC 105. (Note that my page about Potentilla has an account on the battle for SC 104).
Captain at that time was Finn N. Abrahamsen. A visitor to my website has told me that Bonde was on charter to J. E. Murrell and Son at the time of loss.
Bonde was 1 of 3 Norwegian ships in Convoy ONS 5 which originated in Liverpool on Apr. 21-1943. Please follow the link for much more information on this convoy (a 4th Norwegian ship, Gudvor, joined on Apr. 26 from Iceland, along with 2 other ships). Bonde had started her voyage from Swansea on Apr. 19 (Page 6 gives Apr. 18) and was bound for St. John's with a cargo of 1891 tons coal. I've chosen to not include details on the battle itself here, since others have already done so, far better than I ever could; see the external links at the end of this page.
As can be seen on my page about ONS 5, the convoy was arranged in 12 columns with 4 ships in each, except for column 6 which had 2 and column 12 which had 3 ships. The distance between each ship in the column was set at 800 yards, with 1000 yards between each column, making the front of the convoy 5,5 miles wide and a little over 1 n. mile deep. Bonde had station No. 82 in the convoy, behind the British Penhale; later on in the voyage the American USS Sapelo was directly in front of her, Penhale having returned to port. Fana was in station 41 and Rena (Commodore Vessel) was in station 61.
The escort group joined from Londonderry in the afternoon of Apr. 22, with the senior officer of the group being Commander Gretton in the destroyer Duncan. Other escorts were the British destroyer Vidette (joined from Iceland), the frigate Tay, the corvettes Sunflower, Loosestrife, Snowflake and Pink, and rescue vessels were the armed trawlers Northern Gem and Northern Spray. The destroyer Oribi was later ordered to leave Convoy SC 127 and go to the aid of ONS 5 when it became increasingly obvious that grave danger was imminent, and on May 2 the destroyers Offa, Impulsive, Penn and Panther were also dispatched from St. John's to the area, though Penn and Panther were forced to return to St. John's on May 4, due to the fact that it was impossible to get them replenished in the heavy weather. Duncan also had to leave for the same reason. (Uboat.net, which I've linked to at the end of this page, adds Impulsive and Northern Gem to this list of departing escorts, and operates with different dates than what is found in "Nortraships flåte", which I'm using for this narrative). By this time, Pink was far behind the convoy with 4 stragglers, one of which was the Norwegian Gudvor.
Bonde was the smallest ship in the convoy*, and her turn came at 19:50 GMT on May 5 when she was hit in the aft starboard side by a torpedo from U-266 (von Jessen) in 53 28N 44 20W, blowing 20 ft of her stern off, the engine fell down and the engine room and fire room were immediately filled with water. (Shortly before the torpedo hit, Bonde's gunners had spotted a periscope 2 cable lengths off, and had opened fire with the Oerlikon. It looks like she was in station 84 at the time of attack). The starboard lifeboat and the port forward raft were launched with 11 men, who were rescued by HMS Tay an hour later. Captain Abrahamsen, the 1st and 2nd mates, the radio operator and 2 able seamen were allowed to row back to the ship which was still afloat with the afterpart under water, and found another survivor, the 2nd engineer, making the total number of survivors 12, while 14 were gone (ref. crew list below). They were assumed killed in the explosion, which according to Captain John Gates of the British Baron Graham caused her to "jump out of the water". He adds "When the smoke and spray of the explosion had cleared away, the Bonde was already standing on her end with her bow and foredeck vertically out of the water. I looked away for a few seconds and in that time the ship sank".
On May 6, another 5 frigates came to assist; Pelican, Wear, Jed, Spey and Sennen. By then the convoy had been attacked 66 times by a large number of U-boats; it had a difficult time keeping together because of the bad weather and the ships were spread out over a wide area.
On May 9, the Commodore, Captain K. J. Brook on the Norwegian M/S Rena received a telegram (addressed to HMS Tay) from Winston Churchill which read, "my compliments to you and your unceasing fight against U-boats. Please pass to Commodore of convoy my admiration for the steadfastness of his ships".
The survivors of Bonde were landed at St. John's, N. F. on May 8 where the maritime hearings were held on the 11th.
Again, please see the external links below and my page about Convoy ONS 5 for details on other ships sunk.
For info, U-266 was sunk with all hands a few days later - ref. link at the end of this page.
Related external links:
DANFS - Destroyer Escorts - The Dictionary of American Naval Fighting ships.
Back to Bonde on the "Ships starting with B" page.
Dagfinn Henriksen and Haakon Kierulf later had another ship named Bonde, ex Liberty Ship Peter Lassen, built in San Francisco1944, 7207 gt, became Norwegian Bonde in July-1947. Ran ashore in Febr.-1949 off Ruytinge Bank, voyage New Orleans-Dunkirk. Came under Panamanian flag as Chepo in 1961 (Mariner Shipping Co., Ltd., Hong Kong, then World-Wide Shipping Ltd., Hong Kong & London in 1963), Golden Rose in 1964 (same managers). Broken up in Taiwan in 1968, having arrived Kaohsiung on Febr. 29.
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 I (Norwegian Maritime Museum) and misc. - ref My sources.