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M/T Ranja
Updated Oct. 12-2010

To Ranja on the "Ships starting with R" page.

Crew List

From Bjørn Milde's postcard collection.

This picture was received from Sverre Johansen, whose uncle, John Johansen lost his life when Ranja was sunk,
and whose father was killed when Harboe Jensen went down. has another picture (external link).
More pictures are available on this external page (click in them to enlarge).

Owner: Rederi-A/S Ruth
Manager: Hagb. Waage, Oslo
6355 gt, 9520 tdwt
Call Sign: LCFB

Built by Götaverken A/B, Gothenburg in 1928.

Captain: Andreas Mossin

Related page on this website:
Ships in Sweden - lists the Norwegian ships in Sweden at the outbreak of war in Norway.

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 Jan.-1941 to Jan.-1942:  

(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
1941 Jan. 23 Gothenburg Kirkwall Jan. 25 Independent Operation Rubble
(see narrative below).
Missing movements, Page 1
March 20 Clyde OB 300 Dispersed 58N 2 25W, March 26.
Convoy available at OB 300
(external link)
Page 1 says:
Put back Rothesay, March 21
March 23 Liverpool* OB 301 *From Clyde.
Dispersed 53 59N 19 40W, March 27.
Convoy available at OB 301
(external link)
Page 1 gives arrival Curacao, Apr. 12
(also, missing voyages).
May 14 Bermuda BHX 127 See link to HX 127
May 20 Bermuda portion joined main convoy Liverpool June 2 HX 127 Missing movements, Page 1
June 16 Liverpool Halifax* July 2 OB 335 *Page 1 gives arrival New York July 4
(also, missing voyage).
Convoy available at OB 335
(external link)
Aug. 10 Halifax Liverpool* Aug. 30 HX 144 *Stopped at Belfast Lough
(Page 1).
Aug. 29 Belfast Lough Swansea Aug. 31 BB 69 Convoy available at BB convoys
(external link)
Again, see also Page 1
Sept. 11 Milford Haven ON 15 Dispersed 55 47N 30 40W, Sept. 16.
Page 1 gives arrival New York (via Belfast Lough) Sept. 25
(also, missing voyage).
Oct. 10 Halifax Liverpool Oct. 23 HX 154 Missing movements, Page 1
Nov. 7 Liverpool ON 34 For Providence, RI.
Straggled Nov. 9.
Page 1 gives arrival Nov. 21
(also, missing voyages).
Dec. 3 Halifax Liverpool* Dec. 19 HX 163 *Loch Ewe
(Page 1).
Dec. 18 Loch Ewe Methil Dec. 21 WN 220 Convoy available at WN convoys
(external link)
Missing movements, Page 2
1942 Jan. 14 Methil Oban* Jan. 17 EN 32 Earlier 1942 movements, Page 2
*Arrived Loch Ewe, Jan. 16
(Page 2).
Convoy available at EN convoys
(external link)
* Jan. 13 Liverpool ON 57 A. Hague says:
For Curacao.
Dispersed 43 20N 59 39W, Febr. 7.
Convoy will be added.
See ships in ON convoys
*Convoy ON 57 did start out in Liverpool on Jan. 13, but Ranja sailed from Loch Ewe on the 18th - see also narrative. Curacao is not mentioned on Page 2, which says she arrived Galveston on Febr. 12, leaving Galveston for Houston on March 7. Sunk shortly thereafter - see "Final Fate" below.

 Breakout from Sweden - Jan.-1941: 

Ranja was in Sweden when Norway was invaded by the Germans on Apr. 9-1940, but was 1 of the 5 ships that escaped on Jan. 23-1941. Captain of Ranja at the time of breakout was the *British J. Nicolson (see also this Guestbook message and scroll down to Ranja). Ranja (in ballast?) was attacked by aircraft on Jan. 24, position 58 45N 04 10E, and the Swedish 1st mate Nils Rydberg, who was in the process of seeking shelter behind the concrete protection on the bridge, was hit by 5 bullets before he reached cover. He had been hit in the stomach, and though he was admitted to Balfour Hospital upon arrival Kirkwall he died 4 days later. He was post humously awarded Order of the British Empire. The 2nd mate, Viktor Boström was also Swedish. All 5 ships reached Kirkwall on Jan. 25.

147 men and 1 woman (wife of Chief Enginner Hans G. Hansen of John Bakke) had taken part in the breakout, 58 were British, 57 Norwegian, 31 Swedish and 1 Latvian. Full details on this operation (codenamed Rubble) can be found on my page about Elisabeth Bakke.

*After the 2nd battle of Narvik, the crews of the British D/S Blythmoor, sunk Narvik Apr. 10, D/S Mersington Court, sunk Narvik Apr. 15, D/S Romanby, sunk Narvik Apr. 22/23-1940, and D/S Riverton, sunk Narvik Apr. 24, as well as survivors from the destroyers Hunter and Hardy (sunk, 1st battle of Narvik) had been taken through deep snow across to Sweden, where they were subsequently placed at the camp Hälsingmo north of Stockholm. George Binney used several of these men for Operation Rubble, because a great deal of the Norwegians on board, especially officers, were reluctant to take the risks involved, feeling the attempt was bound to fail. Among Ranja's crew of 26, 15 of whom were British, were also 3 able seamen from HMS Hunter.

Related external links:
Weserübung - The German Invasion of Norway. See also Battles of Narvik.

 Misc. Convoy Voyages – 1941-1942: 
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 details; the Commodore's notes are also available for some of them and several Norwegian ships took part.

Together with Ingertre and Jenny (see also Soløy), Ranja was scheduled for Convoy OB 300, originating in Liverpool on March 20-1941, but she returned to port and later joined the next convoy, OB 301, which originated in Liverpool on March 23 and dispersed on the 27th. Brant County, Ferncourt, Kongsgaard, Taurus and Torborg are also listed - ref. link provided within the Voyage Record above. Ranja was bound for Curacao, where she arrived on Apr. 12, having started out from Clyde March 23. There's a note in connection with this convoy, saying that Ranja constantly left the convoy due to defective steering gear. With a cargo of diesel oil for Manchester, she returned to the U.K. in May in the Bermuda portion of Convoy HX 127, arriving her destination on June 6. She subsequently joined Convoy OB 335, leaving Liverpool on June 16, arriving Halifax on July 2 - Ranja, however, was bound for New York, where she arrived July 4, according to Page 1. Abraham Lincoln, Boreas, Charles Racine, Hada County, Leiv Eiriksson, Skaraas (collided - returned), Skiensfjord and Thorshavet are also named in this convoy (link in table above).

Arnold Hague has also included Ranja in Convoy HX 144, which left Halifax on Aug. 10-1941 and arrived Liverpool on the 30th. Ranja stopped by Belfast Lough on Aug. 29 before proceeding to Swansea, where she arrived on Aug. 31. The following month we find her in the westbound North Atlantic Convoy ON 15. She arrived New York on Sept. 25, the convoy having been dispersed on the 16th. On Oct. 10, she headed back to the U.K. with Convoy HX 154 from Halifax, together with the Norwegian Tai Shan, Hilda Knudsen, Kaia Knudsen, Samuel Bakke, Emma Bakke, Polarsol, Skiensfjord, N. T. Nielsen-Alonso, Toronto, Noreg and Svenør. Some of these ships, including Ranja, subsequently returned with Convoy ON 34, which left Liverpool on Nov. 7 (Acanthus is named among the escorts). Ranja's destination is given as Providence, where she arrived on Nov. 21, proceeding to New York City that same day (Page 1). According to the Commodore's notes, she was one of several ships that had lost touch after the convoy had been forced to heave to in a gale on Nov. 9 - follow the link for details. Her last Trans-Atlantic voyage that year was made in Convoy HX 163, departing Halifax on Dec. 3.

In Jan.-1942 she's listed as bound for Curacao in Convoy ON 57*, which started out in Liverpool on Jan. 13 and dispersed on Febr. 7. See also Ingrid and Astrell, as well as Page 2 of the archive documents, where we learn that Ranja arrived Galveston on Febr. 12, having sailed from Loch Ewe on Jan. 18 (Curacao is not mentioned). This convoy will be added to an individual page in my Convoys section; in the meantime, the ships sailing in it (and escorts) are named in the section listing ships in all ON convoys. Other Norwegian ships, in addition to Ingrid and Astrell and the escorting Eglantine, were Boreas, Inger Elisabeth (returned), Ingerfem and Romulus.

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

 Final Fate - 1942: 

Ranja was torpedoed on March 17-1942 by U-71 (Flachsenberg) and sunk 38N 65 20W. According to a newspaper article I've received from T. Saksvik, author of the article, she was en route from Galveston to Halifax alone (in order to join a convoy) with a cargo of oil for the U.K. - again, see also Page 2, which says she had left Galveston on March 7 and arrived Houston that same day, leaving again for Halifax on March 9. She had 30 Norwegian crew, 1 Swedish and 1 Danish, as well as 2 British gunners, all of whom perished. Captain at the time was Andreas Mossin.

T. Saksvik has also added some details from U-71's KTB, describing some of the damages Ranja received. According to this, the U-boat spotted her at 17:40, then fired 2 torpedoes at 18:58 from 1400 meters, depth 2.5 meters. The torpedoes hit the bridge forward of the funnel, followed by an explosion, with an estimated 400 meters tall column of flames and a lot of smoke. At 19:07 the target was identified as an armed tanker carrying petroleum. She was on fire up to the foreship, with reduced speed, turning to port, with a port list and deeper in the water. A 2nd torpedo was fired at 19:54; a surface runner fired from a distance of 800 meters, level with the forward masts, resulting in another explosion. Entire ship on fire, no longer moving. Mast and bridge had collapsed, foredeck under water and appeared to have broken apart. She was not seen sinking but judged to have done so for sure. U-boat departed at 20:06 (towards Cape Hatteras).

(Charles Hocking gives the position as "about 450 miles east/southeast of Philadelphia" and states she was on a voyage from Houston to Halifax, loaded, agreeing with the number of casualties).

Crew List - No survivors:


Andreas Mossin

1st Mate
Johan Ravnås

2nd Mate
John Johansen

3rd Mate
Reidar Jacobsen

Radio Operator
Arve Rognerud

Evald Eriksen

Stefan Bekker

Able Seaman
Lars Johansen Løve

Able Seaman
Harald Andersen*

Able Seaman
Konrad Færø

Able Seaman
Hugo Øien

Able Seaman
Anders Skipnæs

Able Seaman
Ole Sandøy

Able Seaman
Jens Kristensen

Able Seaman
Odd Lyngsnæs

1st Engineer
Odd Barden

2nd Engineer
Wilhelm Nilsen

3rd Engineer
Olav Gamlen

Edvard Grande

Antonius Nordlie

Torger Farkvam

Leonard Hermansen

Henrik Hansen

Endre Landro

Ragnar Henriksen

Johan Martinsen

Hjalmar Myklestad

Karl Erikson

Galley Boy
Kjell Mjøs

Mess Boy
Petter Pettersen

Mess Boy
William Flåten

Mess Boy
Rolf Viger

George Craske*

Robert Cairns*

* See George Arthur Craske and a Robert Halliday Cairns (external links). I believe they could be the gunners named above. Date is given as March 16-1942 for both of them and they are both commemorated at Chatham Naval Memorial.

Related external links:
Stavern Memorial commemorations
- At first glance it looks like 31 Norwegians are commemorated here, but Boatswain Stefan Martin Bekker is mentioned twice. Otherwise the list agrees on the whole with the above, though some of the names are spelt a little differently. *Also, there seems to be a mix up with the name Harald Andersen - the one who is commemorated at this memorial for seamen (listed as boatswain) does not appear to be the same as the able seaman listed in the above table. The memorial's Harald Andersen can be found on my Merchant Marine Prisoners of War page (I've checked the birthdates, and they are the same). He died as a prisoner of the Japanese on Dec. 15-1944 - more info is available on my POW's page. This could mean that he had served on Ranja at some point, then paid off to join another ship, or it's just a simple mix-up(?)

Operations information for U-71

More on U-71

Back to Ranja on the "Ships starting with R" page.

The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, "Blokkadebryterne" Ralph Barker (1976), translated to Norwegian by Gunnar Thommessen from "The Blockade Busters", "Sjøforklaringer fra 2. verdenskrig", Volume II, Norwegian Maritime Museum, and misc. (ref. My sources).


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