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M/S Borgestad
Updated Apr. 18-2011

To Borgestad on the "Ships starting with B" page.

Crew List

Source: Historical Department, MAN B&W Diesel, Copenhagen - (see their museum website, external link).
They also sent me this picture from the launching.

Received from Robin Maguire, Australia.

Borgestad under attack (received from Erling Skjold, Norway).

Another picture is available on this external page (a click in the picture will make it larger).

Owner: A/S Borgestad
Manager: Gunnar Knudsen, Porsgrunn
3924 gt, 2336 net, 6750 tdwt.
Call Sign: LDYA.

Delivered from Burmeister & Wains Maskin- og Skipsbyggeri, Copenhagen, Denmark (334) in Jan.-1925 as Borgestad to A/S Borgestad, Porsgrunn, 351.3' x 51.4' x 24.2', 2 x 5 cyl. 4 TEV DM (B&W), 1700 bhp.

Captain: Lars Grotnæss.

Related items on this website:
2 messages in my Guestbook from Norma Nergaard's niece.
Guestbook message from a relative of one of Borgestad's casualties, 3rd Engineer Øivind Pedersen.

Her voyages are listed on this original document from the National Archives of Norway.

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

Voyage Record
From Apr.-1940 to Febr.-1941:

(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. 1 Durban Capetown Apr. 4 Independent Earlier voyages:
Archive document
Apr. 8 Capetown Takoradi Apr. 19 Independent
Apr. 26 Takoradi Baie Comeau Independent Arrived Sorel May 20
(see archive doc.).
May 27 Baie Comeau Botwood June 1 Independent
June 5 Botwood Cristobal June 23 Independent
June 24 Balboa Los Angeles July 7 Independent
July 7 Los Angeles Tacoma July 13 Independent
July 15 Tacoma Vancouver July 16 Independent
July 24 Vancouver Colombo Sept. 9 Independent
Sept. 18 Colombo Bombay Sept. 24 Independent
Sept. 24 Bombay Por Sudan Oct. 8 BN 6 For Port Sudan
(left convoy Oct. 7).
Convoy available at BN 6
(external link)
Nov. 7 Port Sudan BS 8 For Port Elizabeth.
Dispersed off Aden, Nov. 12.
Convoy available at BS 8
(external link)
Nov. 12 Dispersed from BS 8 Port Elizabeth Nov. 30 Independent
Dec. 30 Port Elizabeth Capetown Jan. 2-1941 Independent
1941 Jan. 3 Capetown Freetown Jan. 19 Independent
Jan. 30 Freetown SLS 64 Sunk - See "Final Fate" below


As can be seen when going to the archive document, Borgestad was on her way from Table Bay to Takoradi when war broke out in Norway on Apr. 9-1940. This voyage had started out in Melbourne on Febr. 8 and via various other ports she arrived Takoradi on Apr. 19.

It'll be noticed that she spent a month at Port Sudan later that year, before proceeding to Port Elizabeth, remaining there for a month as well (convoy info in the table above). From Port Elizabeth, she sailed to Table Bay on Dec. 30, then on to Freetown, where she arrived Jan. 19-1941.

 Final Fate - 1941: 

With a cargo of cotton, she left Freetown again on Jan. 30-1941, joining Convoy SLS 64 (bound for Liverpool without an escort). The Norwegian D/S Bur and D/S Varangberg had ended up so far behind by Febr. 12 they barely had contact with the convoy. Follow the link to my page about SLS 64 for more information.

Early in the morning of February 12, in position 37 12N 21 20W (between Madeira and the Azores) the German Admiral Hipper (Meisel) attacked, at a distance of 2500 meters. In fact, the Commander of Hipper had just previously been notified of Convoy HG 53 and was given orders to attack, so when SLS 64 appeared in his course, he initially thought he had encountered HG 53 (in which D/S Tejo was sunk).

Norwegian sources claim that Borgestad was the Commodore* ship for SLS 64, saying that Captain Grotnæss must have given the order to disperse, because ship after ship turned around and desperately tried to get away, but Borgestad and the other ships at the head of the convoy had no time for such maneuvers, as Hipper was quickly advancing, and Grotnæss chose to fight, in spite of Borgestad's inferior armament. He headed directly towards Admiral Hipper, in an effort to get that ship as far away from the convoy as possible, while the gunners were loading and firing, loading and firing. When after a fierce battle Borgestad eventually sank, 30 men and 1 woman went down with her. Borgestad's 1st Mate Harald Nergaard had his American wife Norma (born Hayes) with him on the ship. She was employed as a stewardess, was 21 years old and from Tacoma.

*Although the information in the above paragraph is correct to a certain extent, I have now received some details that would indicate Borgestad (in station 51) was not the Commodore Vessel; Captain Murray, the captain of the British Warlaby was Commodore (in station 31) and the captain of the British Margot was Vice Commodore (station 11) - see also the text for Febr. 12 in this report re. Convoy HG 53, which again indicates Warlaby was the Commodore's ship. Also, Borgestad was not the only ship to attempt to ward off Admiral Hipper. Again, see my page about Convoy SLS 64 for an article received from Roy Martin, a visitor to my website. It includes a list of other ships sunk.

The captain was posthumously awarded the highest ranked Norwegian decoration Krigskorset for his actions during this battle, which were officially acknowledged as having saved the convoy from total destruction by Admiral Hipper - again, this is from Norwegian sources. As it was, 7 ships went down, while 12 escaped (2 of which were damaged). The distress calls from the fleeing ships were received by the Admiralty, which dispatched the battle ship Renown and the aircraft carrier Ark Royal from Gibraltar that same afternoon, as well as some destroyers, partly to assist the convoy, and partly to catch the German ship. But Admiral Hipper, which had spent a tremendous amount of ammunition in this battle and had no interest in being engaged by the British forces in such a state, quickly headed for Brest, arriving there without having been located. For days there was great fear for the remains of Convoy SLS 64. Varangberg finally reached Gibraltar on Febr. 17, while Bur, as one of the last ships, arrived St. Miguel (Azores) on Febr. 18.

MORE on Norma Nergaard:
Those of you who live in Scotland and have access to a library might be able to find some articles written by Norma Nergaard in Glasgow Sunday Mail, dated July 16, 23 and 30, and Aug. 6-1938. Her parents were born in England and after having graduated from High School in Tacoma in the summer of 1938 she and her elder sister Mabel travelled to England on board Borgestad, in order to visit relatives in Scotland. Since the ship was not certified for passengers they were hired as mess girls, sailing south along the U.S. coast, stopping in San Pedro, California, Panama and Jamaica, then through the Caribbean before heading north to London, arriving 45 days later. Once in England, they purchased 2 used bicycles and headed for Scotland where Norma was subsequently hired as a journalist for the newspapers Edinburgh Record and Glasgow Sunday Mail, and it was for the latter that she wrote some articles about her travels. When the war broke out she returned to Tacoma, and when Borgestand showed up on the west coast in the spring(?) of 1940 she met up with Harald Nergaard again (see also the archive document for Borgestad's movements in this period). They were married at the end of June that same year. She was again hired as a mess girl so that the bride and groom could be together. They had a 10 days' "honeymoon" in Ceylon while Borgestad was there. Norma was posthumously awarded Krigsmedaljen in May-1946 (also pictured on my War Medals page). See also these 2 messages in my Guestbook from her niece (dated Sept. 23 and Sept. 24-2002).

Crew List - No survivors:


Lars Grotnæss

1st Mate
Harald Nergaard

2nd Mate
Erling Ellingsen

3rd Mate
Georg Gjertsen

Harry Karlsen

Halvor Flåtelien

Able Seaman
Jørgen Hansen

Able Seaman
Halvor Rogn

Able Seaman
Oskar Austenå

Able Seaman
Paul Skaugen

Ordinary Seaman
Kjell Palmgren

Ordinary Seaman
Olaf Olsen

Jr. Ordinary Seaman
Thorleif Nicolaysen

Jr. Ordinary Seaman
Kåre Haraldsen

1st Engineer
Christoffer Johansen

2nd Engineer
Ragnvald Halvorsen

3rd Engineer*
Øivind Pedersen

4th Engineer
Gotfred Andersen

Åge Larsen

Halvor Andersen

Bernhoff Morfjord

Oskar Bjørnø

Bjørn Hansen

Reidar Kristiansen

Trygve Hansen

Lars Jøntvedt

1st Cook
Thoralf Thorsen

2nd Cook
Gunnar Amundsen

Norma Nergaard*
Mess Boy
Asbjørn Waag
Mess Boy
Jens Hobber
* See this Guestbook message.

* Norma Nergaard's niece (ref. her Guestbook messages) has told me that Norma is commemorated on the WW II memorial at Olympia, WA. I found her on this page at the Washington State Memorials website. I also found her by running a search for her name at this website (National WW II Memorial, Washington, D.C.). Both these links are external.

Related external links:
Stavern Memorial commemorations - Some of the names are spelt a little differently here. Norma Nergaard is also included.

Admiral Hipper

SL Convoys - Has casualty lists for the ships sunk in SLS 64, click on the link to each ship.

The story of Borgestad has been compared to that of the well known
Jervis Bay (see also Convoy HX 84).

Back to Borgestad on the "Ships starting with B" page.

Other ships by this name: This company had previously had another Borgestad (steamship), built in Middlesbrough and delivered to A/S Borgestad (Gunnar Knudsen), Porsgrunn in June-1906, 3944 gt. Converted to tanker in 1912, 4278 gt. Sold to Oslo in the summer of 1924 and renamed Nina for A/S Oljefart (Henry Borthen & Co.), Oslo. Towed to Istanbul after having run aground in The Black Sea on Dec. 27-1927. Intended repaired at Tyne where she arrived in Febr.-1928, but condemned in May that year and sold for breaking up. Another Borgestad (tanker) was delivered to A/S Borgestad in Oct.-1948, built in Gothenburg, 10 099 gt. Sold in 1964 and renamed Sisangu (managed by Tschudi & Eitzen, Oslo). Became Panamanian Cosmo Trader in 1965, San Eduardo in 1966 (having been converted to bulk carrier, 9394 gt). Sold to Greece in 1973, renamed Montego. Sold to Panama in 1977, renamed Good View. Broken up in 1979. In Nov.-1969 a new Borgestad was delivered to the company (motor vessel), 18 523 gt. Sold to Panama in 1985 and renamed Michelle C. Renamed Karrington in 1988 fro new Panamanian owners. Broken up 1999.

The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, "Krigsseileren" No. 3, 1998, "Sjøforklaringer fra 2. verdenskrig", Volume I (Norwegian Maritime Museum), and misc. others for cross checking info. - ref My sources.


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