Site Map | Search |Merchant Fleet Main Page | Home 

M/S Bra-Kar
Updated Febr. 15-2013

To Bra-Kar on the "Ships starting with B" page.

Crew List

Owner: A/S Ganger Rolf
Manager: Fred. Olsen & Co., Oslo
3778 gt, 6900 tdwt.
Call Sign: LDGT.

Delivered in Dec.- 1928 from Akers mek. Verksted, Oslo (432), 365.5' x 51.8' x 21.9', two 6 cyl. 2T single DM (Aker) 2300 bhp.

Both pictures are from a book about Akers mek. Verksted, 1931. The 1st picture looks like it was taken at her launching.

Captain (at the time of loss): Sigurd Rasmussen

Related items on this website
M/S Bomma - info on the gold transports from Norway.
Guestbook message

Her voyages are listed on these original images from the Norwegian National Archives:
Page 1 | Page 2

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

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

(Received from Don Kindell - His source: The late Arnold Hague's database).

Follow the convoy links provided for more information on each (some listings are incomplete).

Departure From To Arrival Convoy Remarks
1940 Apr. 19 Montevideo Freetown May 5 Independent
May 9 Freetown Weymouth Bay* May 24 SL 31 *Arrived Falmouth May 24,
Weymouth Bay May 30
(Page 1).
Convoy available at SL 31
(external link)
June 1 Weymouth Bay* Southend June 2 Independent *From Portland
(Page 1).
June 2 Southend Hull June 3 FN 186 Convoy available at FN convoys
(external link)
Left Hull June 16
(Page 1).
June 18 Humber FN 198 Convoy available at link above
(Bra-Kar not included).
Detached June 19.
June 19 Detached from FN 198 Clyde June 22 Independent Again, see also Page 1
June 27 Clyde OB 175 For Montreal.
Dispersed June 30.
Convoy available at OB 175
(external link)
See also narrative below
June 30 Dispersed from OB 175 Halifax July 10 Independent
July 10 Halifax Botwood July 13 Independent
July 17 Botwood Hampton Roads July 23 Independent
July 23 Hampton Roads Cristobal July 31 Independent
Aug. 1 Balboa Los Angeles Aug. 12 Independent
Aug. 13 Los Angeles Tacoma Aug. 18 Independent
Aug. 22 Tacoma Vancouver Aug. 23 Independent
Sept. 5 Vancouver New Westminster Sept. 6 Independent
Sept. 6 New Westminster Bellingham Sept. 6 Independent
Sept. 7 Bellingham Seattle Sept. 8 Independent Notional sailing date
Sept. 12 Seattle Los Angeles Sept. 18 Independent
Sept. 20 Los Angeles Balboa Oct. 2 Independent
Oct. 3 Cristobal Halifax Independent
Oct. 16 Halifax Liverpool Nov. 2 HX 81 See also narrative below
Nov. 18 Liverpool OB 245 Dispersed in 56 35N 17 38W, Nov. 22.
Convoy available at OB 245
(external link)
Nov. 22 Dispersed from OB 245 Hampton Roads Dec. 6 Independent
Dec. 10 Hampton Roads Cristobal Dec. 17 Independent
Dec. 18 Balboa Vancouver Jan. 1-1941 Independent
1941 Jan. 24 Vancouver New Westminster Jan. 25 Independent
Jan. 29 New Westminster Seattle Jan. 30 Independent Left Seattle Jan 30
(Page 1).
Febr. 3 Tacoma Los Angeles Febr. 9 Independent
Febr. 11 Los Angeles Balboa Febr. 22 Independent
Febr. 23 Cristobal Bermuda Independent Page 2 gives arrival March 3
(see also narrative below)
March 30 Bermuda Halifax Apr. 3 Independent
Apr. 6 Halifax Belfast Apr. 22 HX 119A
Apr. 23 Belfast Liverpool Independent Arrived same day
(Page 2).
Bombed in Liverpool, sank.
See "Final Fate" below

 Some Convoy Voyages: 
For information on voyages made in between those mentioned here, please see the documents received from the National Archives of Norway and A. Hague's Voyage Record above. Follow the convoy links provided for further info; the Commodore's notes and/or escort's reports are also available for some of them and several Norwegian ships took part.

Arnold Hague has included Bra-Kar, together with the Norwegian Bonneville, in Convoy SL 31, departing Freetown on May 9-1940. According to Page 1 of the archive documents, she arrived Falmouth on May 24. The following month we find her, together with the Norwegian Belita, Egda, Norma, Solstad, Sveve and Vestland, in Convoy OB 175, which originated in Liverpool on June 27 and dispersed on the 30th, Bra-Kar arriving Halifax independently on July 10, continuing to Botwood that same day, arriving there July 13. Bra-Kar, in station 82, had a general cargo, and her destination is given as Montreal. Note that she's said to have been one of the ships that transported Norway's gold to North America that summer - perhaps this was the voyage on which she carried the gold? My page about Bomma has more details on the gold transports and the ships involved, Norma being one of them.

That fall, Bra-Kar made some voyages on the west coast of the U.S. and Canada, and also made a couple of voyages to Cristobal. With a cargo of lead, lumber and canned goods, she was scheduled to return to the U.K. in Convoy HX 80 from Halifax on Oct. 12-1940, but instead joined the next convoy on Oct. 16, HX 81, which arrived Liverpool on Nov. 2. She headed back to the U.S. again later that month, having joined Convoy OB 245, which left Liverpool on Nov. 18 and dispersed on the 22nd, Bra-Kar arriving Hampton Roads independently on Dec. 6. Snar and Teneriffa are also listed in this convoy - ref. links provided within the Voyage Record above for more on the OB convoys mentioned here. Bra-Kar's subsequent voyages are shown on Page 1 (as can be seen, she had quite a long stay in Vancouver at the beginning of 1941).

With a general cargo and airplanes for Liverpool, she was scheduled for the Bermuda portion of Convoy HX 113 at the beginning of March-1941, but did not sail. According to Page 2 of the archive documents, she had arrived Bermuda on March 3. She was also cancelled from the Bermuda portion of the next convoy on March 9, HX 114 (Hidlefjord was sunk and Kaia Knudsen damaged - follow the links for details). Going back to the archive document, we see that she remained in Bermuda until March 30, when she proceeded to Halifax, with arrival Apr. 3, subsequently joining Convoy HX 119A from there on Apr. 6 (station 84). Her destination is now given as Belfast, where she arrived on Apr. 22. This turned out to be her last Trans-Atlantic convoy voyage, as will be seen below.

For more information on all the other Norwegian ships named here, please see the alphabet index at the end of this page, or go to the Master Ship Index.

 Final Fate - 1941: 

From Belfast, Bra-Kar proceeded to Liverpool, with arrival Apr. 23-1941 (Page 2). On May 3, she experienced the air attacks on Canada Dock (cargo is given as metal and canned goods). A bomb detonated on the quay 40 meters away, blowing her hatches away. Incendiary bombs caused several fires on her decks, but were extinguished before they could do serious damage. On land, flames from a burning warehouse were spreading quickly and the wind blew them towards Bra-Kar. Soon, her gangway was on fire, as were both the starboard lifeboats and the raft. 20 minutes after the first incendiary bombs had been dropped, several others were dropped, some falling in Bra-Kar's No. 4 and No. 5 hatches, resulting in a hole of half a meter in diameter in her No. 4 hatch.

The crew were ordered to the air raid shelters. About half of them got off safely, while the remaining men chose to lower the port boat, but when more bombs fell around them, 1 detonated in the after hold, blowing the men off their feet. Under constant bombardment, they finally managed to get the boat on the water and away from the ship in the early morning hours of May 4. By May 7, she was still burning and eventually settled on the bottom - later declared a total loss. (It'll be noticed, when going back to Page 2, that the date of her loss is given as May 6).

The maritime hearings were held in Liverpool on May 14-1941 with the Captain Rasmussen, the 1st mate, the 1st engineer, the carpenter and Able Seaman Johansen appearing.

Bra-Kar was refloated in June-1941 and beached at Tranmere. She was later broken up.

Other ships in Liverpool during these attacks were D/S Sollund, M/S Mosdale and D/S Stromboli. According to J. R. Hegland's "Nortraships flåte", M/S Tai Yin and M/S Temeraire were also there, but they were in another part of the world at that time, as will be seen when following the links.

Crew List - No Casualties:
*Johannes Olafsen later served on Vito.
**Helge Kaalstad (full name Birger Helge Kaalstad) also survived the attacks on South Africa and Besholt - follow the links for details. His other ships are named on this external page.

Sigurd Rasmussen
1st Mate
Paul Strand
2nd Mate
Trygve Nilsen
3rd Mate
Lorang Småland
Oskar Karlsen
Jalvid Evensen
Able Seman
Karl Otto Bråten
Able Seaman
Sigvard Johansen
Able Seaman
Ole Tonnes
Able Seaman
Karl Overland
Ordinary Seaman
Egil Karlsen
Ordinary Seaman
K. Hemingsen
Ordinary Seaman
Helge Furnes
Jr. Ordinary Seaman
Leif Gundersen
1st Engineer
Norval Magnussen
2nd Engineer
Finn Hansen
3rd Engineer
Øistein Ulriksen
4th Engineer
Peder Eide
Arvid Ponth
Åge Svendsen
Nils Røed
Ingvald Johansen
Einar Hansen
Paul Ødegård
Gerald Hennis
Olav Henriksen
Sigurd Eriksen
Mess Boy*
Johannes Olafsen
Saloon Boy**
Helge Kålstad
Saloon Boy
Ø. Årebraat
Kaare Andersen

Back to Bra-Kar on the "Ships starting with B" page.

Other ships by this name: This was the company's 3rd ship by the name Bra-Kar. The 1st one, a steam ship of 4861 gt, was built in 1911, sold in 1915 and renamed Havø for Henrik Østervold, Bergen. Later names: Mabuhay II 1935 (still Norwegian), Japanese Ryusei Maru from 1938, sunk by USS Rasher in Febr.-1944. Their 2nd Bra-Kar (also a steam ship) was built in Glasgow in 1920, 4047 gt, sold to Spain in 1922, renamed Ayala Mendi, sank following a collision in July-1922. After the war Fred. Olsen had another ship by this name, launched on Febr. 7-1943 in Beaumont, Texas as Cape Blanco (5206 gt) for the United States War Shipping Administration, completed in May that year. She was sold in 1946 or 1947 to A/S Ganger Rolf (Den Norske Syd-Amerika Linje), managed by Fred. Olsen & Co. and renamed Bra-Kar. In May-1961 she was purchased by Wilh. Wilhelmsen and renamed Toro, but sold again in June-1967 to the Philippines and renamed Eastern Saturn. Broken up at Kaohsiung in Apr.-1974.

The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, "The World's Merchant Fleets 1939", R. W. Jordan, "Sjøforklaringer fra 2. verdenskrig", Volume I (Norwegian Maritime Museum), and the Wilh. Wilhelmsen and Fred. Olsen fleet lists - ref My sources.


 Site Map | Search |Merchant Fleet Main Page | Home