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M/T Tankexpress
Updated Aug. 14-2012

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

Crew List

Owner: Skibs-A/S Tankexpress
Manager: Sigurd Herlofsen & Co. A/S, Oslo
10 095 gt, 6127 net, 15 310 dwt.
Call Sign: LJMK

Built by Götaverken A/B, Gothenburg in 1937. Previous name: Petrofina until 1939.

Captain: Anders Skånberg.

In Admiralty service from 1940 (Royal Fleet Auxiliary).

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 Apr.-1940 to July-1942:  

(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. 11 Buenos Aires Rosario Apr. 12 Independent A. Hague says:
Then traded N & S America to Aug. 23-1941
Missing voyages:
Page 1 & Page 2
1941 Oct. 6 New York City Aruba Oct. 14 Independent
Oct. 15 Aruba Halifax Oct. 23 Independent
Oct. 28 Halifax Belfast Lough Nov. 12 HX 157 Convoy will be added.
See ships in HX convoys
Nov. 17 Belfast Lough Avonmouth Nov. 19 BB 101 Convoy available at BB convoys
(external link)
Nov. 28 Avonmouth Milford Haven Nov. 29 Independent
Nov. 30 Milford Haven ON 42 For NYC.
Dispersed 47 44N 45 16W, Dec. 14.
Convoy will be added.
See ships in ON convoys
Dec. 14 Dispersed from ON 42 Houston Dec. 26 Independent
Dec. 29 Houston Halifax Jan. 6-1942 Independent
1942 Jan. 8 Halifax Belfast Lough Jan. 23 HX 169
Jan. 24 Belfast Lough Swansea Jan. 26 BB 128 Convoy available at BB convoys
(external link)
Jan. 31 Swansea Milford Haven Jan. 31 Independent
Febr. 1 Milford Haven Liverpool Febr. 2 Independent
Febr. 8 Liverpool ON 65 For Aruba.
Dispersed 43 50N 47 45W, Febr. 19.
Convoy will be added.
See ships in ON convoys
Febr. 19 Dispersed from ON 65 Aruba March 1 Independent
March 3 Aruba Halifax March 13 Independent A. Hague says:
Arrived with engine defects
Apr. 26 Halifax Belfast Lough May 8 HX 187
May 9 Belfast Lough Swansea May 10 BB 172 Convoy available at BB convoys
(external link)
May 29 Swansea Milford Haven May 30 Independent
May 31 Milford Haven OS 30 For Aruba.
Detached June 9.
Convoy available at OS 30
(external link)
See also Page 2
June 9 Detached from OS 30 Trinidad June 20 Independent
June 22 Trinidad Curacao June 24 TO 9 For Aruba.
Convoy available at TO 9
(external link)
July 1 Curacao OT 13 Detached July 4.
Convoy available at OT 13
(external link)
July 4 Detached from OT 13 Freetown July 15 Independent
July 22 Freetown Independent Sunk - See "Final Fate" below

 Some Convoy Voyages: 
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; several Norwegian ships took part.

As will be seen when going to Page 1 of the archive documents, Tankexpress arrived Buenos Aires on Apr. 9-1940, the day of the German invasion of Norway, continuing to Rosario 2 days later. It'll also be noticed that she had quite a long stay in Callao later that year. Her 1941 voyages also start on this document and continue on Page 2, which shows another long stay in New York that fall, before proceeding to Aruba. From there she sailed to Halifax, where she arrived Oct. 23 and according to Arnold Hague, she subsequently joined Convoy HX 157, which left Halifax on Oct. 28 and arrived Liverpool Nov. 13; Tankexpress stopped at Belfast Lough Nov. 12, later arriving Avonmouth Nov. 19. This convoy is not yet available among the HX convoys included in my own Convoys section, but will be added; see ships in all HX convoys. Dagfred, Egda and Fernmoor are also listed. Tankexpress had a cargo of dieso and sailed in station 74 of the convoy. With Eidanger, Glittre, Kaldfonn, Kollbjørg, Norefjord, Nueva Granada, Olaf Bergh, Slemdal and Thorshov, she returned across the Atlantic the following month in Convoy ON 42*, which originated in Liverpool on Dec. 1 and dispersed on the 14th, Tankexpress arriving Houston on Dec. 26 (she had started out from Milford Haven on Nov. 30).

On Jan. 8-1942, she's listed among the ships in Convoy HX 169 from Halifax. She arrived Swansea, via Belfast Lough, on Jan. 26, later joining the westbound Convoy ON 65*, departing Liverpool on Febr. 8. Arthur W. Sewall, Bralanta, Cetus, Egda, G. C. Brøvig, Hardanger, Kaldfonn, Kollbjørg, Mirlo, N. T. Nielsen Alonso, Nueva Granada, Stiklestad, Troubadour and Vav are also named. This time, she was bound for Aruba, where she arrived March 1, the convoy having been dispersed Febr. 19. A couple of days later she continued to Halifax, with arrival March 13; according to A. Hague, she arrived with defects. She did not leave Halifax again until Apr. 26, when she joined Convoy HX 187, and arrived Swansea, again via Belfast Lough, on May 11 (remaining there for almost 3 weeks).

The following month we find her, together with Leiv Eiriksson, Orwell and San Andres, in Convoy OS 30, departing Liverpool on June 1, arriving Freetown June 19 (ref. link in Voyage Record). However, going back to Page 2, we learn that Tankexpress arrived Trinidad on June 20, having started out from Milford Haven on May 31; A. Hague says she had been detached from the convoy on June 9. She left Trinidad again 2 days later and arrived Curacao June 24. For this voyage, A. Hague has included her in Convoy TO 9 - again, ref. external link provided in the table above (the Norwegian Arthur W. Sewall, James Hawson and Notos are also listed). From Curacao, she headed to Freetown on July 1, joining Convoy OT 13, together with Havprins, Orwell and Sørvangen. This convoy was dispersed July 4, Tankexpress arriving Freetown on July 15.

* The ON convoys will be added to individual pages in my Convoys section in due course, along with further details on each. In the meantime, the ships sailing in them (and escorts) are named in the section listing ships in all ON convoys.

More details 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.

 Final Fate - 1942: 

As mentioned above, Tankexpress had arrived Freetown on July 15-1942. She left Freetown again on July 22 in ballast for Trinidad (for orders). According to a report presented at the subsequent hearings, signed by the captain, the 1st and 2nd mates, Ordinary Seaman Sivle and Able Seaman Hansen, she was in a convoy* until the 24th, at which time she continued alone as per Admiralty instructions. The following day, at 13:05 ship's time on July 25, when south of the Cape Verde Islands she was hit by a torpedo from U-130 (Kals). A log written by the 1st mate (which is included in A. H. Rasmussen's book "Tilbake til havet") gives the position as 10 05N 26 31W. The torpedo struck on the starboard side in the after part of No. 4 wing tank, blowing away the boatdeck on that side, destroying the lifeboat and blowing the raft overboard. The iron stanchions of the starboard flying bridge were bent inwards, so that the flying bridge fell down. She listed heavily to starboard, but the engine was not stopped and her crew stayed on board, though the captain soon realized they'd be unable to escape because her speed was drastically reduced. The 1st mate repeated an SOS call four times at intervals on the W/T before the ship was abandoned, but no acknowledgment was received.

* It appears she had not been in a convoy, but other ships did leave Freetown at the same time, and they were escorted for a while.

The captain had ordered the crew to the lifeboats, which had gotten about 100 yards away from the ship when another torpedo hit, this time in the engine room on the port side, but as she still didn't sink the U-boat came up to shell her (according to, 87 rounds were fired). From the boats the crew could see that Tankexpress turned over on her side within an hour, until she turned her bottom up and was about to go down when they set sail for the coast (she sank about 2-3 hours after having been abandoned, position as given above, 750 n. miles from Freetown).

The midships motorboat and the 2 aft lifeboats had been launched; the captain, the 1st mate and 8 men in the motorboat, the 2nd mate in charge of another boat and the 1st engineer of the 3rd boat. Provisions were taken from the raft that had been thrown overboard in the explosion, and a heavy rain shower that evening enabled them to top up the water tanks. The 2 aft boats had been taken in tow by the motorboat with course for Freetown, continuing to tow until July 26*, then sails were set on all 3 boats, still tied together. After having sailed about 500 n. miles they were picked up about 250 n. miles from Freetown at 21:30 GMT on Aug. 1 by the British destroyer HMS Lightning and landed at Gibraltar on Aug. 9 (according to this external page, 3 officers and 16 men from Tankexpress had been transferred to HMS Phoebe on Aug. 2). They were accommodated in a British depot ship until the Norwegian Consul took charge of them on the 11th and provided the necessary clothing and accommodation.

* According to the 1st mate's log, mentioned above, the boats were towed until July 27. He says the motor had started to fail the night before, but they stopped at 08:00 that morning in order to repair it, before sail was set on all 3 boats. The port boat proved to sail better than the others, followed by the starboard boat, then the motorboat, and they sailed on in that order, with the 2nd mate in the foremost boat and the captain, 3rd mate and 1st mate in the motorboat, from which the navigation took place. Although the motor had been repaired, they wanted to save the petrol they had left, in case the wind should die down. A heavy rainfall that evening and throughout the night meant that rationing of water was not necessary, but they all got thoroughly soaked that night (rationing of provisions had been set according to an estimated stay of 20 days in the lifeboats), however, sunshine on the 29th enabled them to dry all their clothes. On July 31, observations showed they were in 9 51N 18 53W, having about 360 miles left to sail out of the 750. The following evening, they saw the silhouettes of several warships coming straight towards them, proving to be a flotilla of Britih warships (see next paragraph), and they were all taken aboard HMS Lightning, as already mentioned, having sailed a distance of 500 n. miles in 7 days and 6 hours.

From the son of someone who served on HMS Lightning at the time I've received this Guestbook message, saying that Tankexpress had a little dog, a skye terrier, which they gave to HMS Lightning. He became Lightning's mascot, renamed 'Flash', but was lost with some of the ship's company when HMS Lightning was torpedoed in 1943 - see this external page, which has a picture of the dog (giving the name as Flash Lightning). The rescue of Tankexpress' survivors is discussed on this page, saying 3 officers and 16 men from Tankexpress were transferred to HMS Phoebe, which was in company (as were Laforey, Lookout and Indomitable). Here's the main page, and here's's information on Lightning's loss.

The maritime hearings were held in Gibraltar on Aug. 19. The following appeared: Captain Skånberg, 1st Mate Alf Riiber Christensen, who had been on board since July-1939, first as 3rd mate until July-1941, then as 1st mate, 2nd Mate Ingolf Remø who had served as 3rd mate from Nov.-1941, then 2nd mate from Apr.-1942, Ordinary Seaman Hjalmar Sivle who had been on board since Apr.-1942. He was on lookout duty on top of the chartroom when the torpedo hit. Able Seaman Thorleif Hansen, who had served as saloon boy from March-1939, and as able seaman from about Oct.-1941 was also questioned at the hearings. When the attack occurred he was at the helm.

A month and a half after arrival Gibraltar they got passage on a troop transport to the U.K. where they joined other ships.

For info, U-130 was also responsible for the attacks on Frisco, Alexandra Høegh, Varanger, Grenanger, Malmanger and Mirlo - follow the links for more details. The U-boat was sunk with all hands the following spring (ref. link at the end of this page).

Crew List - No Casualties:
Norwegian, unless otherwise noted.
*Ingolf Remø might be idential to the Ingolf Remø who had escaped from Norway with M/K Kvalsund in Oct.-1941(?).
**This external page gives the name as Hans Hansen Rød and also lists his other ships.
***Thorleif Hansen later experienced the sinking of Hallanger.
Captain Skånberg later joined
Herbrand, Alf Riiber Christensen joined M/T Minister Wedel (and was torpedoed again), then John Bakke and Bergensfjord.

Anders Skånberg
1st Mate
Alf Riiber Christensen
2nd Mate
Ingolf Remø*
3rd Mate
Erling Salvesen
Ole Hansen
Martinius Norvik
Able Seaman
Hans Rød Hansen**
Able Seaman
Thorleif Houm Hansen***
Able Seaman
Åke Aronsen
Able Seaman
Kristen Helle
Able Seaman
John Andreas Midbø
A. Seaman/Gunner
Vidar Nilsen Skorge
A. Seaman/Gunner
Julius Hans Hansen
A. Seaman/Gunner
Johan Magnus Hay
A. Seaman/Gunner
Leif Strømø
Ordinary Seaman
Dagfin Johnsen
Ordinary Seaman
Albert Hjalmar Sivle
Ordinary Seaman
William E. Roberts
1st Engineer
Ingvald Johansen
2nd Engineer
Halvdan Schrader
3rd Engineer
Bernhard Berntsen
Simon Vitinzoff
Alf Erlandsen
Johan Gerhard Bøe
Jørgen S. Johansen
Frimann Mathisen
Torolf A. Wikøren
Yngve Gummeson
Andreas Drong Nilsen
Oskar Noddland
Johan Johansen
Harald Nilsen
Wodel Ranheim
Konrad Pedersen
Arne Solvold
Galley Boy
Jens Eriksen
Mess Boy
Silvernus Fournier
Mess Boy
Antonio Palletier
Saloon boy
Joseph Blondell

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

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


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