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M/S Eli
Updated July 16-2011

To Eli on the "Ships starting with E" page.

Crew List

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Owner: Jørgensen's Rederi A/S
Manager: J. C. Jørgensens Eftf., Grimstad
4332 gt, 2629 net, 7870 tdwt
Call Sign: LCGO

Built in Gothenburg in 1931.

Captain: Jens Marcussen.

Related item on this website:
Merchant Marine Prisoners of War - Eli 's 18 year old ordinary seaman Trygve Lindeberg had payed off in Kobe in Nov.-1939 due to illness. Scroll down to the L's for more details on him.

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

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

Voyage Record
From June-1940 to Sept.-1940:

(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 several voyages are missing.

Departure From To Arrival Convoy Remarks
1940 June 8 Freetown Liverpool June 25 SL 35 Earlier voyages:
Archive document
Convoy available at SL 35
(external link)
June 30 Southend Hull July 2 FN 209 Convoy available at FN 209
(external link)
Left Hull July 12
(see document above - also, missing voyages).
Aug. 16 Halifax Liverpool* Aug. 31 HX 66 See also narrative below
*Arrived Greenock
Sept. 9 Clyde WN 14 Sunk - See "Final Fate" below.
Convoy available at WN 14
(external link)


When war broke out in Norway on Apr. 9-1940, Eli was on her way from Durban to River Plate - see the archive document. From River Plate she later proceeded to Montevideo, then on to Freetown, and with a cargo of grain, she's now listed in station 64 of Convoy SL 35, which left Freetown on June 8 and arrived Liverpool on the 25th; Eli arrived Weymouth Bay on June 26, Portland the next day. The Norwegian Para and Stirlingville also took part in this convoy - ref. link provided in the tabe above. On June 30, A. Hague has included her, along with Stirlingville, Elna E, Rimac and Vestvard, in Convoy FN 209 from Southend. Eli arrived Hull on July 2, leaving again on the 12th in order to sail to Hampton Roads, where she arrived July 29, continuing to Philadelphia that same day, with arrival July 30.

 Final Fate - 1940: 

Eli departed Philadelphia again in the evening of Aug. 8-1940 with a cargo of 7072 tons steel for Swansea, via Halifax for convoy, arriving Halifax on Aug. 12. She was scheduled for Convoy HX 65, but did not sail - she may have arrived too late to join, as this convoy left on Aug. 12 (as can be seen when following the link, HX 65 lost several ships). Instead, she left Halifax in the morning of Aug. 16 in Convoy HX 66, in which the Norwegian Norne was sunk. (It'll be noticed that Eli is included among the ships in the Bermuda portion in the Advance Sailing Telegram for this convoy, but she belongs in the Halifax section).

Upon approaching the English coast the Commodore reported that her destination was to be Methil. The captain requested they be sent to a port on the west(?) coast since Eli had no armament, and the destination was altered to Clyde where she anchored on Aug. 30. There had been some problems with her degaussing the day before and this was temporarily repaired while at Clyde.

She left again in the morning of Sept. 9 in Convoy WN 14. She was bound for London(?), and now had a machine gun and two other guns on board. Eli was the 2nd ship in the outer column of the convoy, which consisted of 6 columns (this would make her station 62). Early in the morning of Sept. 10 the convoy started sig-zagging, and shortly afterwards, at about 07:30 the captain and 3rd mate spotted an aircraft approaching from astern flying very low, before dropping a bomb which detonated in No. 5 hatch (144° 12 n. miles off Skerryvore). Engine Boy Danielsen, who at that time was on the after deck was blown overboard. It soon became apparent that the bomb had caused leakage, so the engines were stopped and boats launched, but while this was taking place the aircraft returned, opened fire with its machine gun and dropped an incendiary bomb through the engine skylight, then another bomb detonated in No. 3 hatch.

The starboard boat was full of bullet holes and capsized, but the port boat and the motorboat got away and picked up those who were in the water. Carpenter Eivind Müller, who had been at the helm and was seriously injured by the bullets, was rescued at the last moment by the captain and 3 others in the motorboat. By then their ship had sunk by the stern and several men had been pulled under. A British gunner drowned; he had been among those who had been in the capsized lifeboat, and though Able Seaman Norman Hansen had managed to get a hold of him he had to let go after having been pulled under twice while holding on to him.

It looked as though the aircraft was getting ready to come back for a 3rd attack but was stopped by an armed trawler which subsequently picked up the survivors. Engine Boy Danielsen was found drifting on a wooden hatch and was also picked up. The injured carpenter and Able Seaman Fjellvik (shot in the hip) were given first aid, but the carpenter had lost a lot of blood from his wounds and was in great pain, so the trawler left the convoy and landed them in Stornoway for medical treatment that evening. The 1st Engineer, who had had a malaria attack was also admitted to the hospital.

The carpenter died in the afternoon of Sept. 12. The following day the remaining survivors, except for the 2 in hospital, travelled to Leith with arrival Sept. 14. The maritime hearings were held there on Sept. 18-1940 with the captain, the 1st mate, the 3rd mate, the deck boy (lookout on bridge), and the 2nd engineer appearing.

Part of the captain's account of this incident is included in "Menn uten medaljer", though strangely it's not by Captain Marcussen; the name is given as Karl Jørgensen. Here's a translated summary:

The captain's story:
Karl Jørgensen says the attack happened when they were 6 n. miles off the coast of Scotland. The aircraft swept the deck with machine gun fire and "left" a bomb which "felt as if the bottom was falling out of the ship". Everyone ran to the boatdeck and attempted to launch the boats, while the aircraft swung around and came back, then "let the bullets spatter along the deck, and dropped a bomb in the engine room and another one in No. 3 hatch". The port lifeboat was successfully lowered, but the tackle to the starbord boat was shot off with the result that the boat plunged to the water with 8 men in it, though furtunately they all had their lifevests on and were eventually picked up by the other lifeboat. "Those of us who were left on board, the steward, 3 men and I, managed to get the motorboat on the water and place the carpenter in it; he had a nasty rip in his thigh from a shrapnel and was bleeding heavily". They got clear of the ship, though felt as though they were going to be pulled under as she sank, but all went well. The aircraft returned at this point with the apparent intent of firing at the lifeboats, but a trawler came to assist and the aircraft withdrew. Jørgensen(?) says 5 minutes had passed from the time the first bomb was dropped until Eli sank.

Crew List:
*Øven Knutsen later served on Veni, Skaraas, Thorshov and Nueva Granada.
Nils O. Jørgensen later joined Tai Shan and Inga I (see crew list for the latter)
Kåre Eriksen died when Skrim was sunk

Jens Marcussen
1st Mate
Arne Slettebøe
2nd Mate
Leif Weidemann
3rd Mate
Henry Alstad
Karl Otto
Able Seaman
Johan Johansen
Able Seaman
Norman Hansen
Able Seaman
Sigurd Christensen
Ordinary Seaman
Øven Knutsen*
Deck Boy
Fritz Bjørnhaug
Jr. Ordinary Seaman
Bjarne Bruflot
Deck Boy
Olaf Baann
1st Engineer
Fredrik A. Petterø
2nd engineer
Gerhard Aurland
3rd Engineer
Arthur Flem
4th Engineer
John Sivertsen
Alin Fjellvik
Alf Andersen
Petter E. Sørensen
Olaf Christiansen
Sigurd Barth
Karsten Strand
Engine Boy
Alf Danielsen
Harry Larsen
Nils Oscar
Galley Boy
Kåre Eriksen*
Mess Boy
Jørgen Jørgensen
British Gunner
Name unknown

Eivind Müller

British Gunner
Name unknown

Related external link:
Stavern Memorial commemoration - The carpenter is commemorated at this Memorial for Seamen in Stavern, Norway.

Back to Eli on the "Ships starting with E" page.

Other ships by this name: Norway had another steamship by the name Eli (built 1870 according to Charles Hocking - delivered Jan.-1909 according to "Våre gamle skip" (this is very strange - almost a 40 years difference!); both agree on owner Peder Lindøe, Haugesund and the tonnage 1107 gt). Struck a mine and sank off Scarborough on Dec. 25-1914, when on a voyage Blyth-Rouen with 1658 tons coal. Captain was Adolf Sveen who, together with the crew was rescued by D/S Alastair of Aberdeen. A website visitor has informed me that she probably struck a mine laid by the German Kolberg at the same time as she bombarded Scarborough and Filey, the wreck lies 3 miles S by E of Scarborough (54 15 12N 00 18 30W).

A fishing vessel, M/B Eli left Leirvik on Jan. 2-1942 with 7 people on board and arrived Shetland on Jan. 6 - follow the link for details. Skipper was Erik Hollekim.

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), "Menn uten medaljer", A. H. Rasmussen and misc. - ref. My sources.


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