Ships hit by U-boats


Norwegian Steam merchant

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Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage4,032 tons
Completed1914 - Tyne Iron Shipbuilding Co Ltd, Willington Quay-on-Tyne 
OwnerA/S D/S Fjeld (Anton Meidell), Bergen 
Date of attack2 Dec 1941Nationality:      Norwegian
FateSunk by U-557 (Ottokar Arnold Paulssen)
Position36° 21'N, 5° 10'W - Grid CG 9619
Complement34 (14 dead and 20 survivors).
RouteAguilas, Spain (1 Dec) - Gibraltar - Barrow 
Cargo5900 tons of iron ore 
History Completed in May 1914 as Orla for Bergvalls D/S A/S (Arvid Bergvall), Christiania. 1916 sold to A/S Ivar An. Christensens Rederi II, Christiania. 1923 transferred to A/S Ivarans Rederi (Ivar An. Christensen), Christiania. 1928 sold to D/S Eidsvold A/S (Henrik Østervold), Bergen. In August 1934 sold to A/S D/S Eir (O. Grolle Olsen & L. Hysing Olsen), Bergen. On 20 April 1937 sold to A/S D/S Fjeld (Anton Meidell), Bergen and renamed Fjord. Damaged during a storm in the North Sea in 1938, towed into the Clyde with a heavy list.

On 17 July 1940 the Fjord was unsuccessfully attacked by a German aircraft off Dartmouth. 
Notes on event

At 20.33 hours on 2 December 1941 the unescorted Fjord (Master Halfdan Tønder) was hit on starboard side in the boiler room by one of two G7e torpedoes fired by U-557 while steaming at 8 knots in fine weather off Estepona Point, Spain. Earlier that day the U-boat had observed the harbor of Malaga and was on its way back there, after chasing a ship towards Gibraltar in vain, when it spotted and identified the Norwegian ship at 18.25 hours. She sank so quickly that the crew had no time to launch the lifeboats and were forced to jump overboard, clinging to wreckage and swimming to two rafts that floated free. The master and 13 crew members were lost. One raft with 11 survivors and another with 9 managed to reach the nearby coast about 9 kilometers southwest of Estepona. They were first taken to Algeciras and questioned by Spanish naval officers, but then transported to Seville as they were not yet allowed to leave Spain. However, after none of the Norwegians took the offer to return to Norway, all survivors eventually left to Gibraltar.

The Allied consulates got busy investigating the case, as it was obvious that the U-boat attack took place well within the neutral Spanish territorial waters.

More infoMore on this vessel 
On boardWe have details of 34 people who were on board

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