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M/S Tabor
Updated June 30-2013

To Tabor on the "Ships starting with T" page.

Crew List

A picture is available on this external page (click in it to enlarge).

Manager: Wilh. Wilhelmsen, Tønsberg
4768 gt, 2875 net, 7610 tdwt
Dimensions: 408.6' x 55.3' x 25.2'
Machinery: 7 cyl. 2 S.C.D.A. oil engine of 4800 ihp by shipbuilders
Service Speed: 13.5 knots - 12 passengers
Signal Letters: LJFA

Launched May 27-1936 by Akers Mekaniske Verksted A/S, Oslo (Yard No. 468), completed July 31.

Captain: Halfdan M. Andersen

Related items on this website:
Guestbook message from the son-in-law of one of the British gunners, William Doig. He also posted this message on my Ship Forum. Here's a more recent Guestbook message and Forum message.
Another message in my Guestbook, re. one of Tabor's casualties, Ordinary Seaman Leif Næss, the son of Oscar Julius Næss, who died when Trolla 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 Apr.-1940 to March-1943:  

(Received from Don Kindell - His source: The late Arnold Hague's database).

Follow the convoy links provided for more information on each.

Departure From To Arrival Convoy Remarks
1940 Apr. 7 Bergen New York City Apr. 20 Independent
Apr. 25 New York City Hampton Roads Apr. 26 Independent
Apr. 27 Norfolk, VA New York City Apr. 28 Independent
May 2 New York City Rio Grande May 22 Independent
May 23 Rio Grande Buenos Aires May 25 Independent Later arrived Rosario, June 2.
See Page 1
June 13 Buenos Aires Sydney, C.B. July 3 Independent
July 3 Sydney, C.B. Montreal July 6 Independent
July 12 Montreal Baltimore July 17 Independent
July 20 Baltimore New York City July 21 Independent
July 27 New York City Rio Aug. 12 Independent A. Hague says:
Traded NYC/S America to Oct. 4-1941.
See also Page 1 & Page 2
1941 Oct. 4 New York City Trinidad Oct. 11 Independent
Oct. 12 Trinidad Capetown Nov. 2 Independent
Nov. 3 Capetown Aden Nov. 17 Independent
Nov. 19 Aden Port Sudan Nov. 23 Independent
Nov. 26 Port Sudan Suez Nov. 29 Independent On to Port Said, Dec. 15
(Page 2).
Dec. 16 Port Said Haifa Dec. 17 Independent
Dec. 30 Haifa Port Said Dec. 31 Independent
1942 Jan. 7 Suez Aden Jan. 12 Independent Had arrived Suez, Jan. 4
(Page 2).
Jan. 14 Aden Capetown Jan. 29 Independent
Febr. 5 Capetown Freetown Febr. 18 Independent
Febr. 21 Freetown Belfast Lough March 15 SL 101 1 Passenger, 20 Mails.
Convoy available at SL 101
(external link)
March 23 Belfast Clyde March 23 Independent (Again, see also Page 2).
Apr. 4 Clyde ON 83 For NYC,
detached Apr. 18.
Convoy will be added.
See ships in ON convoys
Apr. 18 Detached from ON 83 New York City Apr. 20 Independent
May 11 New York City Capetown June 6 Independent
June 12 Capetown Aden June 27 Independent
June 27 Aden Safaga July 4 Independent To Suez, back to Safaga
(Page 3).
Aug. 17 Safaga Port Sudan Aug. 19 Independent
Aug. 23 Port Sudan Aden Aug. 25 Independent
Aug. 27 Aden Port Elizabeth Sept. 9 Independent
Sept. 11 Port Elizabeth Capetown Sept. 13 Independent
Sept. 13 Capetown Punta Arenas Sept. 30 Independent
Oct. 1 Punta Arenas Balboa Oct. 15 Independent
Oct. 17 Cristobal Gitmo Oct. 21 ZG 8 Convoy available at ZG convoys
(external link)
Oct. 23 Gitmo Baltimore Oct. 30 GN 14 Convoy available at GN convoys
(external link)
Nov. 14 Baltimore New York City Nov. 18 Independent
Nov. 20 New York City Gitmo Nov. 27 NG 323 For Cristobal.
Convoy available at NG convoys
(external link)
Dec. 2 Gitmo Cristobal Dec. 5 GZ 14 Convoy available at GZ convoys
(external link)
Dec. 6 Balboa Capetown Jan. 3-1943 Independent
1943 Jan. 8 Capetown Aden Jan. 25 Independent
Jan. 26 Aden Suez Jan. 30 Independent Arrived Port Said next day
(Page 3).
Febr. 2 Port Said Alexandria Febr. 3 Independent
Febr. 13 Alexandria Port Said Febr. 14 Independent To Suez, Febr. 17
(Page 3)
Febr. 17 Suez Aden Febr. 21 Independent
Febr. 22 Aden Independent Sunk - See "Final Fate" below

 Some Convoy Voyages: 
Only a few of her voyages are mentioned here. For information on further voyages, please see the documents received from the National Archives of Norway and A. Hague's Voyage Record above.

As will be seen when going to Page 1 of the archive documents, Tabor left Bergen, Norway on Apr. 7-1940, just 2 days before the German invasion - she arrived New York Apr. 20. Her 1941 voyages also start on this document and continue on Page 2 (it'll be noticed that she appears to have had a long stay in New York that fall), which also shows a few 1942 voyages.

At the beginning of 1942, she's listed in Convoy SL 101, which departed Freetown on Febr. 21 and arrived Liverpool on March 15; Tabor stopped at Belfast Lough that day. Her cargo is given as potash and general (A. Hague adds 1 passenger and 20 mails) and she had station 61 of the convoy. Dagrun, Drammensfjord, Elin K. and Tanafjord are also included - ref. external link provided within the Voyage Record above.

The following month she can be found, together with Emma Bakke, Katy (returned to port), Kong Haakon VII, Lynghaug, Norheim, Norsol (both returned), Olaf Bergh, Polartank (returned) and Siljestad, in the westbound North Atlantic Convoy ON 83, which originated in Liverpool on Apr. 4 and arrived Halifax on the 17th. Tabor, however, was bound for New York, where she arrived Apr. 20, having sailed from Clyde on Apr. 4 - see Page 3. This convoy will be added to an individual page my Convoys section, but in the meantime, the ships sailing in it (and escorts) are named in the section listing ships in all ON convoys.

More info on the other Norwegian ships mentioned here can be found via the alphabet index at the end of this page, or go to the Master Ship Index

On arrival New York on Apr. 20-1942, the following were on board
From "List or Manifest of Aliens employed on the vessel as members of crew"
Received from Walter Guthrie, son-in-law of William Doig. I believe he in turn received it from Ray Buck, and that the original manifest was found at

*Denotes those who were members of crew on last voyage to the U.S., the others were not.
*Denotes those who were discharged while in New York

These men were Norwegian, unless otherwise noted.

Captain Halfdan Mauritz Andersen* Signed on in Oslo on July 30-1936
1st Mate Ove Berner Olsen* Signed on in Oslo on Dec. 18-1939
2nd Mate Johannes Bache-Devold* Signed on in Oslo on March 23-1940
3rd Mate Finn Hverven** Signed on in Oslo on March 23-1940
Radio Operator Carl Christian Wischmann* Signed on in New York on July 27-1940 - see also Page 1
Steward T. Leganger Berg* Signed on in Oslo on Dec. 18-1939 - there's a note for him saying he was detained, reason not given
Cook Gunnar Olaf Martinsen* Signed on in Glasgow on March 25-1942 - if this is so, he could not have been a member of crew on last voyage to the U.S. (unless he had paid off and signed on again with a different position?)
2nd Cook Reidar Konrad Melbye-Olsen* Signed on in Glasgow on March 31-1942; again, he could not have been on board on last voyage to the U.S.
Cabinboy James McGregor Carlyle* Signed on in Glasgow on March 26-1942, Scottish - also detained
The Scottish Messboy Donald Morrison, who is said to have signed on in Glasgow on Apr. 1-1942, has been crossed out from the manifest, but he appears again further down, with a different joining date
Carpenter Hans Kristian Karlsen* Signed on in New York on Jan. 13-1941
Boatswain Karl Emil Mathisen* Signed on in Oslo on March 26-1940 - Died from fall on board while in New York, Apr. 23-1942 ("Våre falne", a series of 4 books naming Norwegians who died during the war, gives his name as Karl Emil Waldemar Mathiesen).
Able Seaman Trygve Halvorsen* Signed on in New York on Sept. 10-1941 - see also Page 2
Able Seaman Bjarne Bjerke** Signed on in New York on Sept. 23-1941
Able Seaman Arne Aasmundsen* Signed on in New York on Sept. 23-1941
Able Seaman Paul Karlsen Vindnes Signed on in Glasgow on March 27-1942 - also detained
Messboy Donald Morrison Signed on in Glasgow on March 31-1942, Scottish
Ordinary Seaman Albert E. Fowell* Signed on in Glasgow on Apr. 2-1942, Scottish
Ordinary Seaman Joseph Bacon Signed on in Glasgow on Apr. 2-1942, Scottish
Ordinary Seaman Karsten Strand* Signed on in Glasgow on March 27-1942 - detained?
Ordinary Seaman William Currie Signed on in Glasgow on Apr. 2-1942, Scottish
Ordinary Seaman Henry Fleming Erroch Signed on in Glasgow on Apr. 2-1942, Scottish
Chief Engineer Ivar Anders Andersen** Signed on in Oslo on Dec. 18-1939
2nd Engineer Magnus Oscar Gjersoe* Signed on in Oslo on Dec. 18-1939
3rd Engineer Gustav Fredrik Werner* Signed on in Oslo on Dec. 16-1939
Assistant Engineer Ole Gerhard Tangen* Signed on in New York on June 9-1941 - again, see Page 2 of the archive documents
Electrician Gulbrand Huile* Signed on in New York on Sept. 23-1941 - also detained
Motorman Thorvald Hansen** Signed on in New York on Oct. 30-1940 - see also Page 1
Motorman Leif Halsten Simonsen** Signed on in New York on June 6-1941
Motorman Hans Kristian Kjærås** Signed on in New York on March 27-1941 - also detained
Motorman Peder M. Berntsen* Signed on in New York Sept. 8-1941
Motorman Johannes Carlsson* Signed on in Glasgow March 25-1942
Motorman Olaf Antonsen* Signed on in Glasgow, Apr. 1-1942
Oiler Carl Fredrik Thilesen Signed on in Glasgow, March 25-1942
Messboy Patrick McGinty Signed on in Glasgow Apr. 2-1942, Scottish
Gunner Patrick Dennis Signed on in Glasgow March 30-1942, Irish
Gunner Ernest William Claggett Signed on in Glasgow March 30-1942, English
Gunner James Church Signed on in Glasgow, Apr. 1-1942, Scottish
Gunner William Doig Signed on in Glasgow, Apr. 1-1942, Scottish (see also Topdalsfjord)
Gunner John B. McIntosh Signed on in Glasgow, Apr. 1-1942, Scottish
Gunner Donald Stuart Signed on in Glasgow, Apr. 1-1942, Scottish
Diplomat Ivar Anders Andersen Passenger
The following joined
Birger A. Stangvik, Karl A. Pedersen, Hilmar Justad, Harald Gundersen, Einar Nicolaisen, Robert Grenslade (British), Harald Stavdal (died when Tabor was sunk) Olaf B. Berge, Sverre Bengtsen (died when Tabor was sunk), Harald K. Kittelsen, Trygve Jessing-Andresen, Erling Norman-Andresen (died when Tabor was sunk), Olaf Anton Øvretvedt, Thorbjørn Solberg and Albert B. Daviknes.

Birger A. Stangvik, who signed on in New York on Apr. 27-1942, is said to have been left in hospital, with Boatswain Mathisen, who died, as already mentioned. It looks like Birger Stangvik also died (broken spine?); on arrival New York, Tabor had a crew of 40, 12 were discharged, 2 were left in hospital and 15 signed on. Upon departure New York on May 11, she had a total complement of 41.

Tabor's subsequent voyages are listed on Page 3 (as can be seen, she left New York again on May 11-1942 for Table Bay and Aden). Convoy information for some of these voyages can be found in A. Hague's Voyage Record further up on this page.

 Final Fate - 1943: 

Tabor was torpedoed southeast of Cape Agulhas by U-506 (Würdemann) on March 9-1943, position 38 30S 23 10E, when on a voyage from Port Said via Aden to Cape Town in ballast (200 tons salt). She had sailed from Aden on Febr. 22. The torpedo, which came from the port side, detonated in the tunnel in No. 4 hold and set the tunnel and engine room on fire. The elctrician was killed there, while the 1st engineer managed to get up on deck but was very seriously burnt all over his body. 1 man in the tunnel (Mechanic Sørensen?) was blown aft by the force of the explosion and was able to climb up the ladder. All electric lights went out and machinery was rendered inoperable. SOS was sent out with the emergency set, but this was not acknowledged.

The survivors were able to get away in 4 lifeboats before a 2nd torpedo hit in the engine room (at 07:00, half an hour after the first one according to the captain's report), causing a tremendous explosion and fire, but when Tabor still didn't sink the U-boat started shelling her until she finally sank 2 hours later. The shelling had set the bridge and midships intallations on fire as well. After the ship had gone down, the U-boat came over to the lifeboats to ask the usual questions about ship and cargo.

Several of the men were injured and were taken care of as best they could, the wounded having been distributed in No. 4 boat (motor boat) and No. 3 boat. It was decided that these 2 boats should go on ahead in order to reach land as quickly as possible to get help for the injured. The 1st engineer died quietly the first evening and was buried in the sea the next day. The boats encountered stormy weather and high seas, so that boat No. 1 lost contact with the others. On March 17, No.'s 3 and 4 boats with 22 on board arrived Still Bay where the men were given medical care, then moved to Riversdale the same day. Mechanic Sørensen and Able Seaman Jakobsen were admitted to a hospital. Boat No. 2 arrived Cans Bay on March 18 with 10 survivors who were sent to Hermanus the following day (see the note and pictures further down on this page).

The men in the No. 1 boat had seen land in the morning of March 19, but that same day, when about 5 n. miles off land near Cape Agulhas, their boat capsized, and though all 12 had managed to get back in they were unable to keep the water out of it due to the heavy seas. They tried to row towards land, but in the cold water they eventually gave up and at 3 o'clock that afternoon Mechanic Foss Hansen died; by 6 o'clock another 9 were gone. The sea washed 6(?) of the bodies overboard, while the 2 survivors, 2nd Mate Devold and Able Seaman Vindnes desperately tried to reach land, until they only 20 meters from shore encountered a coral reef stretching as far as they could see in both directions. Too exhausted to row around it, they took the risk of heading straight for it and were thrown across by the seas (7 miles west of Cape Agulhas). They broke into an empty house they found and slept there till the next morning, when they met some soldiers who helped them get to Bredasdorp where they were given medical care, before being moved by ambulance to Fairmont Nursing Home in Cape Town. 12 had died, 34 had survived.

Jürgen Rohwer lists Tabor as a steamship, but that's incorrect. He gives the position 37 30S 23 15E (also found in Lloyd's War Losses). U-506 gives his grid position at the time of attack as KY 9415 (37 27S 23 12E). Charles Hocking gives the date as March 7, position "about 250 miles south of Port Elizabeth". (Page 3 gives the time as 9:10).

U-506 was sunk a few months later, in July-1943 - ref. link at the end of this page.

Crew List:
The 1st mate was on watch on the bridge when the attack occurred.
The 1st engineer, the electrician and Mechanic Sørensen were in the engine room.
According to this message in my Guestbook, Ordinary Seaman Leif Næss was the son of Oscar Julius Næss, who died when Trolla was sunk.
Birger Nikolaisens's other ships are listed on
this external page. See also crew list for Harboe Jensen and Hav.

Halfdan Andersen
1st Mate
Ove Bernard Olsen
2nd Mate
Johannes Backe Devold
3rd Mate
Albert B. Daviknes
Radio Operator
John H. Scott
Hans Karlsen
Able Seaman
Aage Arnesen
Able Seaman
Rolf Bødtker
Able Seaman
Arne Aasmundseth
Able Seaman
Nilmar Justad
Able Seaman
Antoni Johansen
Able Seaman
Ørnulf Jacobsen
Able Seaman
Paul Vindnes
Able Seaman
Birger Nicolaisen
2nd Engineer
Magnus Gjersøe
3rd Engineer
Gustav Fr. Werner
Ole G. Tangen
Trygve Andresen
Henry Sørensen
Leganger T. Berg
Finn Tellefsen
2nd Cook
Johan Berntsen
Mess Boy
José Vaz
William Doig
Ernest Claggett
John McIntosh
Donald Stuart
James Church
Patrick Dennis
+ 5 more survivors
The names of the British gunners were supplied by Walter Guthrie in this message on my Ship Forum.

Torolf Torkildsen*
Buried in Bredasdorp

Ordinary Seaman
Terje Refsnes*
Buried in Bredasdorp

Ordinary Seaman
Leif Næss*

1st Engineer
Harald Stavdal

Edvard A. Edvardsen

Sverre Bengtsen*

Kjell Foss Hansen*

Erling Andresen*
Buried in Bredasdorp

Ove Aronsen*

Aubrey Dennis Peat**

Mess Boy
Carolus J. Degenhart*

Saloon Boy
Mathew van Rensburg**

* More information on the British casualties can be found on the Commonwealth War Graves Comm. website. Aubrey Dennis Peat is listed on this page, date is given as March 19, the day they reached land. (His 16 year old brother, Keith Alan Peat is also commemorated; he had lost his life on Febr. 8-1943, having been a deck boy on S/S Newton Ash). Mathew van Rensburg can be found on this page, date is given as March 9, the date Tabor was torpedoed, but he's said to have been in No. 1 lifeboat. Both are commemorated at Tower Hill.

* Denotes those who died in No. 1 lifeboat, 5 of whom are said to have been taken ashore and buried. (This conflicts with the above narrative, saying 6 of the bodies were washed overboard, leaving only 4)

This is a picture of a memorial at Bredasdorp Cemetery, South Africa. Torolf Torkildsen, Erling Andresen, Ove Aronsen, Terje Refsnes and Carol Degenhart are named on this stone.
The picture was received from Colyn Brookes, who is involved with the MIBISA Archive Project (Military Burials In South Africa) - see this external page. It looks like he has now published a book.

Here's another picture of the memorial from further away.

Received from (and taken by) Walter Guthrie on Nov. 7-2012 at Bredasdorp Cemetery about 40km from Hermanus
(see his Guestbook message and Forum message).

I've received an E-mail from Walter Guthrie saying the following:

I understand that you were contacted recently by a Mr Louis Swart from South Africa to get hold of my contact details. I have now been contacted by him and he has been able to provide some additional information that adds significantly to the record of some of the survivors following the torpedoing of the Tabor.

It turns out that he was a boy of 10 at the time and was related to the fisherman (Mr Otto) who found the survivors from Lifeboat No 2 wandering around the harbour at Gansbaai (Cans Bay) on the morning of 18th March (I have since received an E-mail from Mr. Swart, saying he was not related to Mr. Otto; the Ottos' involvement was related to him by their eldest son). Mr Otto had difficulty communicating as he could not speak English. He quickly contacted a local hotel owner (Mr Herbert) who was English and he took the men to his hotel. He called a local nurse (Sister Welter) who came and tended to those suffering from burns (probably sunburn). He also took them to a local shop and supplied them with replacement clothing where required. Later that day they were taken to Hermanus and Mr Swart doesn't have any further information after that.

However during that first day the survivors were photographed and I have attached a copy of this photo. My late father-in-law (William Doig) is standing at the extreme right of the group. The figure in the background of the picture is the hotelier, Mr Herbert. The image is quite low resolution but it may be possible for surviving relatives of some of the other sailors to pick out individuals.

Mr Swart also sent me images of Gansbaai harbour with what might be the Tabor lifeboat pulled up on the shore. Also pictures of Mr Otto (and his wife) and Sister Welter.

Below are the pictures mentioned in this mail:

Survivors from Boat No. 2, picture taken March 18 -1943.

This shows Gansbaai harbour taken at or very close to the time the survivors landed. Mr Swart has added an arrow to indicate where the surviving sailors were found by Mr Otto. He has also circled a boat pulled up onto the land which he thinks could be the Tabor lifeboat but he cannot be 100% sure.

Mr. Otto and his wife.
Sister Welter, who helped to tend the injuries of the survivors until they were taken off to Hermanus.

Related external links:
Stavern Memorial commemorations - Norwegians only are commemorated at this Memorial for Seamen in Stavern, Norway.

U-506 | Erich Würdemann

Wilh. Wilhelmsen Today

Back to Tabor on the "Ships starting with T" page.

Other ships by this name: This was Wilhelmsen's 2nd of 3 ships by the name Tabor. The first one was built in 1905, sold in 1924 to A. Bruusgaard, Drammen, later became the Greek To Kyma (1928), broken up in Italy 1933. The 3rd Tabor was built 1952, sold to Liberia in 1968, renamed Pelasgos in '69, broken up in 1972.

The text on this page was compiled with the help of: Wilh. Wilhelmsen fleet list, "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, "Sjøforklaringer fra 2. verdenskrig", Volume II, Norwegian Maritime Museum, and misc. as mentioned within above text - (ref. My sources).


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