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D/S Rask
Updated Oct. 14-2010

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

Crew List

Owner: A/S Rask
Manager: Sigvald Risanger, Haugesund
632 gt, 345 net, 690 tdwt
Signal Letters: LEQW

Delivered in 1890 from A. A. Wilton van Reede Czn., Papendrecht, Netherland as Göteborg to D/S A/S Marstrand (D. Torm) Copenhagen, 617 gt, 329 net, 690 tdwt, 167' x 27.2' x 17', triple exp. (A. A. Wilton v.Reede). When purchased by Olaus Kvilhaug & Co. A/S, Haugesund in 1917 she belonged to Trio Ångfartygs-A/B, Gothenburg. Renamed Uno. Sold in 1924 to Sigvart Rasmussen, Haugesund and renamed Rask. From 1929 the owners were D/S A/S Jøkul (Ths. Smedsvig), in 1934 she went to Brødrene Anda, Stavanger, then purchased in Apr.-1937 by D/S A/S Rask (Sigvald Risanger).

Captain: Sigurd M. J. Martinessen. Also, it appears Tolle or Tolli Tollisen had briefly served as captain of this ship - see my text for Deneb. (He was the captain of Røsten when that ship was sunk).

Her voyages are listed on these original images from the Norwegian National Archives:
Page 1 | Page 2 | Page 3

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

  Voyage Record
From Febr.-1940 to July-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 as can be seen, the record is incomplete.

Departure From To Arrival Convoy Remarks
1940 Febr. 8 Norwegian Waters Methil Febr. 11 HN 10
Febr. 28 Methil Norwegian Waters March 2 ON 16
March 27 Norwegian Waters Methil March 30 HN 22 Missing voyages, Page 1
Oct. 3 Clyde Methil Oct. 6 WN 20 Convoy available at WN convoys
(external link)
Oct. 11 Methil Southend Oct. 14 FS 306 Convoy available at FS convoys
(external link)
Compare w/ Page 1
(also, missing movements).
Oct. 29 Southend Methil Oct. 31 FN 322 Convoy available at FN convoys
(external link)
Nov. 2 Methil Oban Nov. 7 EN 17/1 Did not sail.
Convoy available at EN convoys
(external link)
Nov. 5 Methil Oban Nov. 9 EN 19/1 Did not sail.
Convoy available at link above
Nov. 8 Methil Oban* Nov. 13 EN 21/1 Convoy available at link above
*Arrived Kirkwall, Nov. 9
(Page 1
See also Page 2).
Nov. 20 Aberdeen Oban* Nov. 25 EN 29/1 Convoy available at link above
*Arrived Liverpool, Nov. 27
(Page 2 - Also, missing movements).
The EN convoys did have Oban as their final destination, arriving there on the dates given by A. Hague, but Rask had other destinations.
1941 July 16 Clyde Methil July 20 WN 154 Earlier 1941 movements:
Page 2 & Page 3.
Convoy available at WN convoys
(external link)
Subsequent movements:
Page 3.
See also "Final Fate" below

 Some Convoy Voyages: 
For information on voyages made after 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; several Norwegian ships took part.

Rask is listed in Convoy HN 10 from Norway to the U.K. in Febr.-1940, bound for Grangemouth with pulp. According to A. Hague, she returned to Norway at the end of that month with Convoy ON 16, and at the end of March, shortly before the German invasion of Norway, we find her in the original Advance Sailing Telegram for Convoy HN 22, bound for Leith with general cargo.

As will be seen when going to Page 1 of the archive documents, Rask left Methil on Apr. 6-1940 in order to return to Norway (Haugesund). She's not mentioned, but perhaps she was intended for Convoy ON 25?

Apart from some voyages to France that spring she was subsequently mostly in service around the U.K. Her 1941 voyages start on Page 2 (it'll be noticed that she appears to have spent a long time in Plymouth that year) and continue on Page 3.

 Final Fate - 1941: 

Rask had departed Cork alone in ballast for Newport on Oct. 19-1941, sailing within Irish territorial waters, 1-2 miles off shore along the coast. At about 18:30 that evening, when near Tuscar Rock, she was attacked by 3 German aircraft which came back several times and dropped bombs or torpedoes, all detonating in the sea.

Her 5 machine guns were manned by the 2 British gunners as well as by the 1st mate, the 1st engineer, and Able Seaman Antonsen. 2 of the attacking planes were believed to have been hit and they all took off; one of them was seen wobbling just above sea level before it disappeared out of view. The 3rd aircraft returned about 20 minutes later, flying low over the ship and suddenly a powerful explosion occurred underneath the bridge, causing the engine to stop and she heeled over to port.

The port lifeboat left the ship with 12 men on board, while the others struggled with the starboard boat which was hanging upside down because the tackle had become unhooked in the explosion. They managed to get it on the water, then stayed behind the ship for about half an hour until the captain was sure she had sunk, then rowed towards land. At about 02:00 they tied up to a light buoy for the rest of the night. The 5 in the captain's boat landed at Blackwater in the morning, Oct. 20. From there they were sent to Wexford.

Meanwhile, the port lifeboat had gotten into some ground swells near land. It was believed to have been struck by bullets from the aircraft because it was leaking, and though they bailed continuously it kept getting filled and capsized several times, with the result that 7 died (it was bitterly cold), 3 of whom were British, 3 Norwegian and 1 Swedish. The remaining 5 were rescued at about 06:00, Oct. 20 by the British Wallace Rose, which also picked up 3 bodies. The 2nd mate was landed at Wexford where he was sent to the hospital for treatment, while the others were landed in Newport that same day.

It looks like the 3 bodies were also left at Wexford, because while there, the captain made arrangements for the burial of Mess Boy Patrick Tierney, Gunner John Stanley and Stoker Otto Lie, before the survivors travelled on to Dublin, then Cardiff, with arrival in the evening of Oct. 25. The inquiry was held there on Oct. 30-1941 with the captain, the 1st engineer, the 2nd mate (officer on watch), and Able Seaman Antonsen appearing.

George Monk, England has told me that Captain Sigurd Martin Johan Martinessen received a British "Commendation" for his actions (his source: Seedies List of awards to the British Merchant Navy which includes awards to Allied merchant seamen).

Crew List:
All the casualties except the steward had been in the port lifeboat which kept capsizing (not sure how the steward died, perhaps in the initial attack?).
The gunner was lost the first time the boat capsized, the 2nd engineer the 2nd time.
The mess boy died while the 2nd mate was holding him.
According to
this external page, John W. Braathen had previously served on Chr. Knudsen. After the loss of Rask, he joined Skiensfjord and Gudrun. He died when Ingerfem was sunk.

Sigurd Martin
Johan Martinessen
1st Mate
Harald Hansen
2nd Mate
Henrik Wilhelmsen
Able Seaman
Ragnvald Victor Antonsen
Able Seaman
John William Braathen
1st Engineer
Trygve Konrad Pedersen
Arnfinn Hagebø
Johan Olsen Imøy
Edvin Pedersen
C. Danmcad

Able Seaman
Andreas Hansen

Ordinary Seaman
John Chadwick

2nd Engineer
L. Bernhard Sunde

Otto Lie

Berent Hermansson

Olaf P. Klungvik

Mess Boy
Patrick Tierney*

John Stanley*

* Patrick Tierney can be found on this page on The Commonwealth War Graves Comm. website. I can't find a John Chadwick that fits the data for Rask (perhaps he's not commemorated), but I did find a John Stanley who might be Rask's gunner. Cemetery and grave information are the same for both of them, and fits in with the captain's report stating he arranged for their burial at Wexford. (Both these links are external).

Related external link:
Stavern Memorial commemorations - 5 Norwegians are listed at this memorial for seamen in Stavern, Norway. There are 2 by the same name, namely Andreas Hansen, one listed as pumpman, the other as able seaman, and they have different birth dates, so appear to be 2 different people, unless the information is an error for one of them.

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

Other ships by this name:
Norway had a D/S Rask from 1898, managed by B. Stolt Nielsen, Haugesund, 1007 gt, taken over by Sigvart Rasmussen in 1912 (still same owners: Johan Thorsen). Owned by D/S A/S Rask from July-1915, sold in Sept. that year to D/S A/S Haug (A/S Mercator), renamed Sørhaug Febr.-1916. Sold in Aug. that year to Peder Pedersen (Smedvig), Stavanger, sold again in 1917 to Stavanger Provianteringsråd (Brødrene Olsen). Sunk Oct.17-1917 by the German cruisers SMS Brummer and SMS Bremse in convoy, 120 n. miles west of Marsteinen on a voyage Haugesund-Hull with general cargo. Sigvald Risanger also had a ship named Rask from1953, originally delivered in 1923 as Paul L. M. Russ to Ernst Russ, Hamburg, 1170 gt, named Sirius 1943-1945 for the Kriegsmarine, later given to the Norwegian State as Hesnes. Purchased by Sigvald Risanger in Nov.-1953 and renamed Rask, converted to motor vessel in 1955, sold to Greece in Aug.-1967, renamed Constantinos, then Alkmini in 1926. Broken up in Piræus in Febr.-1984. See also Post War info for Leif Erichsen's M/S Herma, which later became M/S Rask.

Additionally, I've come across another D/S Rask, 563 gt, same shipping company, built in 1920; I believe this must be identical to a ship delivered as HMS Kilmun (cable layer) for The Royal Navy in Febr.-1920, launched as gunboat in Oct.-1919, 563 gt. This vessel was purchased by A/S Rask (Sigvald Risanger) in Sept.-1946 and renamed Rask. When she was delivered in June-1948 she had been converted to cargo ship at Haugesunds Slip and had become 631 gt (motor vessel). Ran aground off Berwick light on Jan. 31-1950 on a voyage Bergen-Newcastle with cargo of herring - crew of 17 rescued by a British rescue ship. Finally, Haugesund had an M/S Rask, which had originally been the 4-masted schooner Hjalmar Sørensen (F. L. Knakkergaard, Nykøping, Denmark), built 1915, 556 gt. Purchased in March-1916 by D/S A/S Rask (Sigvart & Johan Rasmussen), renamed Rask. Remeasured in 1918 - 583 gt. Sold to London in 1923, renamed Altair in 1925 and sailed under Estonian flag, then as the Italian Sparviero from 1927, sold again in 1935, deleted from Lloyd's in 1950. ("Våre motorskip", Leif M. Bjørkelund & E. H. Kongshavn).

With regard to HMS Kilmun/Rask I've received the following (from John Gibson, Australia. Note that some of this conflicts with what I've quoted from "Våre motorskip" above, but since I don't know who is correct, I'll leave it in):
Launched 1920. Converted “KIL” class gunboat. Yard Number 756 (Smith's Dock). 634grt, 489nett, 298dwt. Dimensions 170.0' 29.6' 16.5'. Machinery triple expansion 3 cylinder by Smith's Dock. Cylinders 16" 26" 44" x 26" stroke. 1 scotch boiler, 200psi, 99nhp. The following notes were published in "Smith's Dock Monthly", January 1921, concerning this vessel: "This vessel was built to the order of the British Admiralty. It was originally intended to build her for minesweeping purposes, but she was eventually converted into an Electric Cable Carrying and Repair Ship, having special cylindrical tanks for cables and special cable repair apparatus. "Janes Fighting Ships for 1920 lists the vessel as a cable layer, being used a tender to HMS Defiance, a naval establishment at Devonport. Re-engined in 1947 with oil engine built by Mirrlees, Bickerton, & Day. Engine made in 1943. Renamed Steamer in 1948 after conversion for merchant use at Haugesund Slip, Norway. Renamed Rask in 1949, A/S Rask (Sigv Risanger), registered in Bergen. Reported wrecked after running aground 2 miles SSE of Berwick High Light on 31st January 1950, while on a voyage from Bergen to Newcastle with a cargo of herrings. The crew of 17 were picked up by a local rescue vessel, possibly the Berwick lifeboat. (Lloyds Casualty Returns).

He adds that the KIL Class gunboats were built by Smiths in 1918-1920 and were intended to be a special design with a profile intended to confuse and attack U-boats. They looked the same from both ends, having a "bow" at each end and all the masts, deckhouses, etc. duplicated fore and aft. Almost all were completed too late for the war and were converted on the stock in most cases for merchant service. He thinks Kilmun was the last one. Smiths built 36 of them in all and they were apparently very handy vessels, seeing service all over the world.

The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, "Våre gamle skip" by Leif M. Bjørkelund and E. H. Kongshavn, "Sjøforklaringer fra 2. verdenskrig", Norwegian Maritime Museum, Volume II, and misc. (ref. My sources).


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