Ships hit by U-boats


Norwegian Steam merchant

Photo courtesy of H. Larsson-Feddes collection

Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage4,287 tons
Completed1921 - Canadian Vickers Ltd, Montreal, Quebec 
OwnerDen Norske Amerikalinje A/S, Oslo 
Date of attack22 Apr 1945Nationality:      Norwegian
FateDamaged by U-997 (Hans Lehmann)
Position69° 40'N, 33° 14'E - Grid AC 8852
Complement? men (1 dead and ? survivors).
RouteKirkenes - Liinahamari - Murmansk 
History Completed in June 1921

On 30 Dec 1944, the Idefjord left Loch Ewe in convoy JW-63, carrying supplies (including 200 tons gifts from British and American aid organizations) and 32 passengers (medical personnel for Kirkenes), arriving the Kola Inlet on 8 Jan 1945. On 20 January, the Idefjord left in convoy KP-1 for Liinahamari. In the morning of 22 January, she departed for Kirkenes, again under a strong Norwegian and Soviet escort, arriving that same afternoon. The ship brought the first much needed supplies for the Norwegian civilians in the Finnmark, because the retreating German forces had burnt everything. Stockholm Radio was apparently quite excited about this event and announced to all the world that a large Norwegian transport had arrived Kirkenes with supplies.
At 16.15 hours on 8 Feb 1945, U-995 (Hess) fired a spread of two torpedoes at the Idefjord lying at the pier in the harbour of Kirkenes. 20 minutes later another torpedo was fired, but all torpedoes missed the ship by 30-40 meters. The next day, the ship departed with a Norwegian escort for Liinahamari after unloading her cargo and proceeded then also escorted by Soviet warships and aircraft to Kola Inlet. On 17 February, she departed in convoy RA-64 with 500 civilian evacuees from Sørøy on board, arriving the Clyde on 1 March.

1959 renamed Ilafjord for Ila Jernstøperi A/S (Egil Alnæs), Trondheim. Broken up at Osaka in April 1960. 
Notes on event

On 11 March 1945 the Idefjord left the Clyde in convoy JW-65 loaded with supplies, proceeded via Kola Inlet to Kirkenes and unloaded her cargo until 20 April. Then she continued to Liinahamari together with the Onega. On 22 April, they left this harbour as the only merchants in convoy PK-9. At 05.08 hours on 22 April 1945 U-997 attacked convoy, damaged the Idefjord and eight minutes later sank the Onega.

The Idefjord was struck on the port side in the bow by one torpedo. One British gunner was lost and the crew abandoned ship in the lifeboats, but most of them returned after the Norwegian M/S-trawlers HNoMS Tromøy and HNoMS Karmøy had investigated the damage. The ship was taken in tow stern-first, arriving in Murmansk at 04.00 hours on 23 April for temporary repairs.

On 5 Aug 1945 the Idefjord left Murmansk for Gothenburg, but was forced spend some time in Stavanger, because the temporary repairs proved insufficient. The ship arrived at Gothenburg on 7 September for permanent repairs.

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