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Manager: Wallem & Co. A/S Bergen
Built by William Doxford & Sons Ltd., Sunderland in 1921.
Captain: Paul Heesch
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 (some listings are incomplete).
When war broke out in Norway on Apr. 9-1940, Erviken was on her way from Buenos Aires to Belfast - see Page 1 of the archive documents.
In June that year, she's listed as bound for Philadelphia in Convoy OB 164 (originated in Liverpool on June 9 and dispersed on the 12th - Laurits Swenson and Leiesten are also listed). She arrived Philadelphia independently on June 26, having started out from Belfast on the 10th. She was scheduled to return with the Halifax-U.K. Convoys HX 56, HX 57, HX 58, HX 59 and HX 60 in July, but did not get away until HX 61 on July 27, bound for Swansea with a cargo of steel, arriving Aug. 12 (according to A. Hague, she had been delayed in Halifax due to crew trouble). With Einvik and Ferncastle, she subsequently joined Convoy OB 206, which originated in Liverpool on Aug. 31 and dispersed Sept. 5. Her destination is given as Wabana, cargo of coal. According to the archive document, she sailed from Milford Haven on Aug. 30 and arrived St. John's, N.F. on Sept. 10, remaining there for quite a long time. She later proceeded to Halifax, with arrival Oct. 10, and with a cargo of iron ore for Cardiff, she was scheduled for Convoy HX 80 on Oct. 12 but did not sail. She's also crossed out on the original document for Convoy HX 81 a few days later, and with a note saying "returned unable to make speed", A. Hague also has her in Convoy HX 82 from Halifax on Oct. 20. It'll be noticed, when following the link to my page about this convoy, that she's not mentioned there, but this agrees with the information found on Page 1, which states she left Halifax on Oct. 20 and put back to Sydney, C.B. on the 22nd. From there, she joined the slow Convoy SC 9 on Oct. 24, and arrived Cardiff on Nov. 14. (Direct links to the OB convoys mentioned here have been provided within the Voyage Record above).
The external website that I've linked to below has her scheduled for Convoy OB 257, leaving Liverpool on Dec. 10-1940, but she instead joined OB 259 a few days later, together with Belinda, Dalfonn, Helgøy, Hørda, Idefjord, Leiesten, Taranger and Thorshavet (ref. link provided in the table above - another section of the site has also included Høyanger, while A. Hague has this ship in the next convoy, OB 260). OB 259 originated in Liverpool on Dec. 14; Erviken started out from Milford Haven on Dec. 13 and was bound for Tampa via Kingston in ballast, however, A. Hague says she returned to port, arriving Liverpool on Dec. 15, later joining Convoy OB 261, which left Liverpool on Dec. 19 and dispersed on the 22nd (link above). Going back to Page 1, we learn that she arrived Kingston on Jan. 9-1941, Tampa on Jan. 30.
With a cargo of phosphates for Leith, she was sceduled for Convoy HX 116 from Halifax on March 21-1941, but did not sail, nor did she sail in the next convoy, HX 117, but eventually got away with HX 118 on March 31, station 22. Her destination is now given as Immingham, and she arrived there, via Loch Ewe and Methil Roads, on Apr. 25. In May we find her, with Kongsgaard and Thorshov, in Convoy OB 324 (originated in Liverpool May 18, dispersed May 27 - link in the table above). According to Page 2, Erviken sailed from Loch Ewe on May 20 and arrived St. John's, N.F. on June 1, heading back to the U.K. on June 16 in Convoy HX 133 from Halifax, in which Soløy and Vigrid were sunk, and Kongsgaard was torpedoed and damaged - follow the links for details. Erviken was bound for Newport, where she arrived on July 4, cargo of iron ore. She now joined Convoy OS 1, which originated in Liverpool on July 21 - again, see the external link provided in the table above for more convoy information; A. Hague has also included Anna Knudsen, Emma Bakke, G. C. Brøvig and Jernfjeld (the latter was only bound for Glasgow), and Kos IX is named among the escorts. This was a Freetown bound convoy, Erviken, however, was bound for Tampa, Florida, where she arrived on Aug. 13, having been detached from the convoy on July 30, according to A. Hague.
More information on the other Norwegian ships named on this page can be found via the alphabet index below, or go to the Master Ship Index.
Erviken was on a voyage from Tampa to Liverpool with 9300 tons phosphate, when she was torpedoed by U-558* (Krech) in the evening of Oct. 16-1941. She was 1 of 4 Norwegian ships sunk in Convoy SC 48, which had left Sydney, C.B. on Oct. 5 (again, Page 2 shows her voyages in this period). A cruising order and the Commodore's notes, as well as misc. reports are also available for this convoy; Erviken is listed in station 104 (see also M/T Barfonn and the external links provided at the end of this page for much more information).
Erviken had stopped to rescue survivors from the British tanker W. C. Teagle when she was hit herself - in fact she almost collided with the Norwegian D/S Rym, which was out on the same errand. The torpedo struck right in front of the bridge in Hold No. 2 on the starboard side, and she sank within a minute, position 56 10N 24 30W. 1st Engineer A. Nielsen, who was on deck outside the engine room door on the port side when the torpedo hit, immediately ran to the starboard side and got into the lifeboat, but the ship sank so quickly that the seas washed him overboard. 3rd Engineer Kristian Berggren had been with him in the boat and he later saw him in the water but received no reply when calling to him (the latter was among the casualties).
The 14 survivors were picked up from rafts by two corvettes after about 4 hours.
The 4th engineer's account:
All around him people were crying for help, ships were sunk, people were killed. While trying to take stock of the situation there in the water he saw 2 little red lights in the distance and decided to swim towards them through debris and thick black oil, and before long he encountered Chief Engineer Nielsen. It appears the latter felt the red lights were too far away for them to reach, but the 4th engineer kept struggling on until he finally heard voices and found his shipmates drifting on 2 rafts. A corvette spotted them, and with the promise of returning it took off again. At 3 o'clock another British corvette appeared and picked them all up. The engineer had to be scrubbed from head to toe with kerosene before the layer of oil was finally off him. The corvette cruised around the area until daylight, but no more survivors were found, only a Norwegian ship floating on its cargo of lumber (identity is not given, but this was probably D/S Rym which did indeed have a cargo of lumber). The ship was sunk by the corvette before course was set for Londonderry, "packed" with survivors. He says they were landed on "Sunday night", which may have been Oct. 19. This leads me to believe that the corvette may have been HMS Veronica, which had also picked up the crew from Rym, see the text for that ship (a report by Rym's captain states they were landed at Londonderry on Sunday, Oct. 19).
I get the impression from a report presented at the subsequent maritime hearings, written by 1st Engineer Alf Nielsen, that he and the Swedish Stoker E. Hallgren and 2nd Engineer Kristian Heitmann were picked up by the corvette Abelia. Stoker Hallgren had told him that the 3rd mate and the cook had disappeared just by the side of the corvette. The commanding officer of the corvette had informed Nielsen that a further 8 men had been picked up by another corvette, but after they had been landed at Londonderry on Oct. 22 they found out that 10 had been saved. The numbers don't quite add up here because one of my sources mentions that 2 of Erviken's survivors had been picked up by the destroyer HMS Broadwater, formerly destroyer Mason (DD-191) and died when that ship was torpedoed by U-101 on Oct. 18. This claim was repeated on the website "HMS Broadwater" that I've linked to below (unfortunately, the website no longer seems to exist; Erviken was erroneously named "Ericson" on the site).
The survivors continued from Londonderry to Glasgow on Oct. 24 where the maritime hearings were held (date unknown).
External websites with information related to the text on this page:
HMS Broadwater - A thoroughly researched website about the history and fate of this ship, one of the escorts of the convoy. Unfortunately, the site can no longer be reached as linked, but I'm leaving it up for now, in case I can find it again, because it had so much information. The link used to go directly to the first page of the section describing the battle of SC 48. The subsequent pages went on to list the ships lost, their destinations and cargoes, as well as the names of all the escort vessels and the attacking U-boats. It also had a description of the events surrounding the loss of the ship (2 survivors from Erviken had been rescued by Broadwater and were lost when she was torpedoed, though the Norwegian ship was referred to as Ericson). The website included a report on the rescue of survivors, along with several other interesting reports, and a list of names of those who died.
Hyperwar - Robert Cressmans book "The Official Chronology of the U.S. Navy in World War II", linked directly to 1941. Entries for the dates Oct. 14 through 18 have details on SC 48.
Convoy SC 48 is also discussed towards the end of
U.S.S. Kearny - Interesting account of the attack on the Kearny, torpedoed by U-568 when on escort duties in Convoy SC 48, Oct. 17-1941.
The Kearney and Convoy SC 48 - The ships involved on all sides (from Encyclopedia of WW II Naval Battles).
Back to Erviken on the "Ships starting with E" page.
Wallem & Co. also had a D/S Erviken in WW I, built 1895, 2134 gt - torpedoed and sunk by a sub in the Mediterranean on Oct. 25-1917.
The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, "Menn uten medaljer", A. H. Rasmussen, "Sjøforklaringer fra 2. verdenskrig", Volume I (Norwegian Maritime Museum), and misc. - ref. My sources.