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M/T Buesten
Updated May 26-2011

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

Survivors and Casualties

Picture received from Roger. W. Jordan.
From Bjørn Milde's postcard collection.

See also this external site for another picture, as well as some more technical details on the ship. More pictures are available on this external page (click in them to enlarge).

Owner: Tønsbergs Rederi-A/S
Manager: Rafen & Loennechen, Tønsberg
5187 gt, 3041 net, 8100 tdwt.
Call Sign: LCFS.

Built by Barclay Curle & Co., Glasgow (616) in 1927.

Captain: Otto Arnfred Farstad.

Related items on this website:
A Guestbook message from the nephew of one of the survivors, Anthony Sandberg (looking for more details).
A Norwegian Guestbook message from the grandson of Simon Sinclair Fjeld (one of the casualties).

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 Febr.-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.

Errors may exist, and some voyages are missing.

Departure From To Arrival Convoy Remarks
1940 Febr. 5 Milford Haven Independent? In Convoy OB 85?
Or OA 85?
Febr. 6 Convoy formed at sea Passed Gibraltar Febr. 13 OG 17 Convoy will be added.
See ships in OG convoys
Convoy OG 17 was a combination of Convoy OB 85 and OA 85, which formed OG 17 at sea on Febr. 6. I'm not sure whether Buesten had started out from the U.K. alone, or whether she had been part of the OA convoy or the OB convoy, because the information for OB 85 and OA 85 is incomplete (both are external links).
Febr. 13 Passed Gibraltar Constanza Independent
Febr. 26 Constanza Gibraltar March 6 Independent
March 9 Gibraltar Liverpool March 18 HG 22F See also Page 1
March 29 Liverpool Milford Haven March 27(??) OB 119 For Constanza.
Convoy available at OB 119
(external link)
Apr. 1 Milford Haven OB 120 For Constanza.
With OA 120, formed OG 24, Apr. 3.
Convoy available at OB 120
(external link)
Apr. 3 Formed at sea Passed Gibraltar Apr. 8 OG 24 For Constanza.
Convoy will be added.
See ships in OG convoys
Apr. 8 Passed Gibraltar Oran Apr. 11 Independent See narrative below.
Apr. 12 Oran Malta Apr. 16 Independent
Apr. 20 Malta Haifa Apr. 25 Independent
Apr. 26 Haifa Port Said Apr. 27 Independent
Apr. 28 Port Said Malta May 2 Independent
May 2 Malta Gibraltar Independent
May 7 Gibraltar Swansea May 17 HG 29 See also Page 1
May 21 Swansea Newport May 22 Independent
May 29 Newport Milford Haven Independent
* May 30 Liverpool OB 158 *Page 1 gives departure Milford Haven, May 31.
For Aruba.
With OA 158, formed OG 32F, June 2.
Convoy available at OB 158
(external link)
June 2 Formed at sea OG 32F For Aruba.
Detached June 5.
Convoy will be added.
See ships in OG convoys
June 5 Detached from OG 32F Aruba June 20 Independent
June 21 Aruba Bermuda June 27 Independent
June 28 Bermuda BHX 54 See link to HX 54
July 3 Bermuda portion joined main convoy Milford Haven July 15* HX 54 *Page 1 gives arrival July 13.
July 16 Milford Haven Foynes Independent Arrived July 18(?)
See Page 1
July 21 Foynes Kingston Aug. 7 Independent
Aug. 8 Kingston Galveston Aug. 15 Independent
Aug. 16 Galveston Bermuda Aug. 24 Independent
Aug. 27 Bermuda BHX 69 See link to HX 69
Sept. 1 Bermuda portion joined main convoy Clyde Sept. 11 HX 69 Missing movements, Page 1
Sept. 26 Clyde OB 219 For New Orleans.
Dispersed in 57 11N 29 32W, Sept. 30.
Convoy available at OB 219
(external link)
Sept. 30 Dispersed from OB 219 Baton Rouge Oct. 19 Independent
Oct. 21 Baton Rouge Bermuda Oct. 30 Independent See also narrative below
Nov. 3 Bermuda Oban Nov. 21 BHX 86 Failed to return when convoy ordered.
Nov. 22 Clyde Methil Nov. 26 WN 43 Convoy available at WN 43
(external link)
Missing movements:
Page 1 & Page 2
1941 Jan. 26 Methil Loch Ewe Jan. 28 EN 62/1 Convoy available at EN 62
(external link - incomplete)
Jan. 30 Loch Ewe OB 279 Dispersed in 62N 23 10W, Febr. 2.
Convoy available at OB 279
(external link)
Febr. 2 Dispersed from OB 279 Galveston Febr. 25 Independent
Febr. 28 Galveston Baytown Febr. 28 Independent
March 2 Baytown Bermuda March 11 Independent
March 11 Bermuda Halifax March 15 Independent
March 17 Halifax Belfast Lough Apr. 2 HX 115
Also has info on BB 3
Apr. 3 Belfast Lough BB 3 Detached Apr. 5.
Convoy available at BB 3
(external link)
Apr. 5 Detached from BB 3 Plymouth Apr. 7 Independent On to Dartmouth, Apr. 9
(Page 2).
Apr. 9 Plymouth* Independent *From Dartmouth
(Page 2).
Sunk by aircraft.
See "Final Fate" below

 Misc. 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 record above. Follow the convoy links provided for more details on them. Some include the Commodore's notes and/or narrative, and several Norwegian ships took part.

Buesten is listed in Convoy OG 17* in Febr.-1940. As mentioned in the table above, this was a combination of Convoy OB 85 and OA 85, which formed OG 17 at sea on Febr. 6. I'm not sure whether Buesten had started out from the U.K. alone, or whether she had been part of the OA convoy or the OB convoy. Her destination was Constanza, where she arrived independently, but date is not given. She headed back to the U.K. with Convoy HGF 22 from Gibraltar on March 9, arriving Liverpool on March 18. At the end of that month she shows up, together with the Norwegian Belinda, in Convoy OB 119, departing Liverpool on March 29. Her destination is given as Constanza again, station 52, but it looks like she headed to Milford Haven, later joining the next convoy from there a few days later, OB 120. This convoy also joined up with an OA convoy of the same number, forming the Gibraltar bound Convoy OG 24* on Apr. 3. Her destination is still given as Constanza, but a French visitor to my website has told me that she was seized off Algiers by French patrol boats on Apr. 10 (the day after the German invasion of Norway), and ordered to Oran, where she arrived on Apr. 11. Later released. According to Page 1, she proceeded to Malta on Apr. 12. (The external website that I've linked to within the table above has more on the OB and OA convoys; as will be seen, the Norwegian Augvald is also included in OB 120).

The following month we find her in station 44 of Convoy HG 29, which left Gibraltar on May 7 and arrived Liverpool on the 17th. Buesten, however, was bound for Swansea and according to the Commodore's notes, she left the convoy for her destination on May 15 (see my page about HG 29). The Norwegian Katy and Finnanger are also listed. At the end of that month she shows up in Convoy OB 158, originating in Liverpool on May 30. This convoy joined up with Convoy OA 158 on June 2, forming the Gibraltar bound convoy OG 32F*, which arrived there on June 7, but Buesten (in station 56) was bound for Aruba, where she arrived independently on June 20 (Page 1), having detached from the convoy on June 5. The Norwegian Abraham Lincoln, Kosmos II and Thorshavn are also named.

* The OG convoys mentioned here will be added to individual pages in my Convoys section; in the meantime, the ships sailing in them (and escorts) are named at ships in all OG convoys.

From Aruba, she headed to Bermuda already on June 21, then went back to the U.K. again in Convoy HX 54, which originated in Halifax on June 29, but Buesten joined with the Bermuda section on July 3, having left Bermuda on June 28. Her destination is given as Foynes, where she arrived July 18. (The Norwegian Janna was also intended for this convoy, but could not find it and was torpedoed and sunk on July 11 - follow the link for details). She now made a voyage to Kingston, Jamaica, again see Page 1 - according to A. Hauge, this voyage was made independently. From Kingston, she proceeded to Galveston, then on to Bermuda in order to join the Bermuda portion of Convoy HX 69 on Aug. 27. She had a cargo of benzine, and arrived Greenock on Sept. 11. Together with Abraham Lincoln and Harpefjell, she subsequently joined Convoy OB 219, originating in Liverpool on Sept. 25, dispersed on the 30th; Buesten's destination is given as New Orleans on that occasion and she arrived there on Oct. 19 (having sailed from Clyde Sept. 25).

She was scheduled to return to the U.K. with the Bermuda portion of Convoy HX 85 on Oct. 28 (having previously made an independent voyage from Baton Rouge to Bermuda), but did not sail. There's a note in my document for this convoy indicating that she was to sail in the next convoy, HX 86. The Bermuda convoy, BHX 86, left on Nov. 3, but returned on Nov. 5, however, Buesten failed to return when the convoy was ordered to do so. From the archive document, we learn that she arrived Oban on Nov. 21, so it looks like she made this voyage independently. From Oban, she proceeded to Leith on Nov. 22, with arrival Dec. 8 (via Methil Roads and Grangemouth), remaining there for several weeks (Page 1 and Page 2).

The Bermuda convoy that later joined up with Convoy HX 86 was BHX 87, rather than the usual BHX 86; in other words, the same number as the corresponding main convoy. As mentioned, BHX 86 had returned to Bermuda - see the notes on my page about HX 86. (Not sure, but this might have something to do with the presence of Admiral Sheer in this time period? See Convoy HX 84).

At the end of Jan.-1941 we find her in Convoy OB 279, which originated in Liverpool on Jan. 28 and dispersed Febr. 2 (link in Voyage Record), Buesten arriving Galveston independently on Febr. 25 - she had started out from Loch Ewe on Jan. 30 - see Page 2. A. Hague has also included Beduin, Kristianiafjord, Madrono, Norefjord, President de Vogue and Solsten in this convoy. (Braganza and Sandar were scheduled, but did not sail). From Galveston, Buesten proceeded to Baytown a few days later, with arrival there on Febr. 28.

More information on all 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.

 Final Fate - 1941: 

In Baytown, Texas Buesten had loaded a cargo of kerosene in the forward tanks, benzine in the aft tanks on March 1-1941, about 7200 tons in all. The next day she proceeded to Bermuda, then on to Halifax, where she arrived on March 15 - again, see Page 2. She subsequently joined Convoy HX 115, which departed Halifax for the U.K. on March 17. She stopped briefly at Belfast Lough on Apr. 2, joining Convoy BB 3 the next day, and arrived Plymouth on Apr. 7. According to a report re. an aircraft attack on Convoy BB 3, which has been added to my page about HX 115, she had detached from the BB convoy on Apr. 5.

In the evening of April 9 she's said to have been in a coastal convoy from Dartmouth for Southampton when the convoy was attacked by German He 111 aircraft (see also D/S Bjørnvik), but A. Hague states she was on an independent voyage at the time, having left Plymouth that same day. Note that Page 2 says she had sailed from Plymouth to Dartmouth on the 9th, leaving Dartmouth again the same day. Buesten defended herself with her 4 machine guns, and the aircraft attacking her with gun fire as well as bombs had no hits. She was attacked several times and when 5 naut. miles off Berry Head a bomb eventually hit in the after deck, immediately setting her on fire (51 21 07N 03 24 11W). 19 Norwegians, 1 Danish, 1 Maltese and 7 British died on the after deck which was quickly engulfed in flames.

A visitor to my website has sent me some information from "Shipwreck Index of the British Isles" and "Dive South Devon" saying that the Heinkel 111's attacked with bombs, but heavy anti-aircraft fire by 5 British gunners made them miss, so they used 7.92 mm machine gun and 20 mm cannon fire which set off the explosion.

In spite of the flames starting to reach the boat deck, 7 managed to get the motorboat amidships launched and away from the ship and the burning sea around it. They were picked up by the escort an hour later and taken to Dartmouth the next morning. The steward and the 2nd mate were injured, but not seriously.

Captain Farstad, who survived this attack, was killed just a week later during an air attack on London on Apr. 16. He's buried in London (Norwegian Cemetery).

The maritime hearings were held in London on Apr. 19-1941 with the 1st mate, the 2nd mate, the 3rd mate and the ordinary seaman appearing. As mentioned, the captain had lost his life 3 days before.

(The wreck was shelled and sunk the next day, according to "Nortraships flåte").

Crew List:

Otto A. Farstad
1st Mate
Sverre Orseth
2nd Mate/R. O.
Einar Knudsen
3rd Mate
Harald Magnus
Olsen Brekke
Ordinary Seaman
Ragnar Bjerke
Deck Boy
Johan Marinius
Anthony Sandberg*
*See also this Guestbook message

Sigvald Einar
Knutsen Hove

Sverre Olsen

Able Seaman
Arne Karlsen

Able Seaman
Kåre Knutsen Tornes

Able Seaman
Norman Lilleheil

Able Seaman
Bjarne Olaf Berg

Able Seaman/Gunner
Simon Sinclair Fjeld*

Able Seaman/Gunner
Thomas Hill*

Able Seaman/Gunner
John F. Jones*

Able Seaman/Gunner
Fredrick Chriswick*

Able Seaman/Gunner
John Austin*

Ordinary Seaman
Ivar Aanerudhagen

Ordinary Seaman
Thomas Tomassen Roen

Ordinary Seaman
Hans Ludvig Framness

1st Engineer
Olaf Kornelius
D. H. Sighaug

2nd Engineer
Reidar Kristian
Andreas Nilssen

3rd Engineer
Harry Peter
Christian Petersen

Håkon Nilsen

Birger Tollefsen

Joseph Mangion*

Einar Andreas Eriksen

Pump Man
Ole Johnson

Martin Gjerdevik

Marius Johan

Einar H. Kiran

Galley Boy
Peter Forbes*

Mess Boy
Joseph Conlin*

Norman S. Hughes*

* Billy McGee, England has told me that Buesten's Mess Room Boy Joseph Conlin, age 16, is commemorated at Tower Hill, Panel 21. More info on him, as well as Galley Boy Peter Forbes (age 16) and Mechanic Joseph Mangion (age 59) can be found on the The Commonwealth War Graves Comm. website by entering each name in the search field, with 1941 in the other field to narrow the search. I also found a Thomas Hill, John F. Jones, Frederick Chriswick, John Austin, and a Norman S. Hughes whom I believe might be identical to the British men listed above (can't be 100% sure of course - the cemetery listed for John Austin is in France, which would seem odd if it's the same man, however, not all the bodies were found immediately). See also this page in my Survivors & Fatalities section.

Related external link:
Stavern Memorial commemorations - Captain Farstad is also commemorated at this Memorial for Seamen in Stavern, Norway.

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

The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, "Sjøforklaringer fra 2. verdenskrig", Volume I (Norwegian Maritime Museum), and misc. others for cross checking info. - ref My sources.


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