Kollskegg. Photo courtesy of the Bjørn Pedersen's collection.

The Sinking of the Kollskegg:

On June 19, 1940, the Kollskegg commandeered by Captain Ole Sørensen left a convoy, HGF-34 after two ships in the convoy were torpedoed by German U-boat, U-48. The Kollskegg arrived at Falmouth having transported 15,000 tons of oil. Captain Sørensen was severely reprimanded for going against the orders and leaving the convoy. The following day, the ship was ordered to Southampton to unload its cargo. Because of the massive number of ships arriving from France with refugees, it was unable to unload its cargo for several weeks.

Then on July 21, 1940, the Kollskegg set out with another convoy, CW-7 headed west. On its journey, the convoy was attacked several times by nearly 80 German aircraft. The Kollskegg itself was attacked by twelve aircraft and hit by five bombs. Of the five, three bombs fell through the ship without detonating, while the other two caused serious damage and set fire to the tanker. Onboard a British gunner was killed, as well as seven men were injured (four seriously). The crew was taken to Portland by a destroyer. The tanker was tanker to Dunnose, Isle of Wright, and beached. On July 23, the Kollskegg was then taken to Southampton to be repaired. By September, she was up and running and departed for South Bank. Four days later, she went into being docked and stayed there until June 1941.

According to records, the Kollskegg set sail with Convoy OB 339 headed to Aruba. The convoy originated in Liverpool on June 26, 1941, and arrived in Halifax on July 12. She arrived in Aruba on July 20. After this, there were two voyages made to South Africa before heading back to England. There were other convoys the Kollskegg was a part of, Convoy Hx160 from Halifax on November 15 and in December heading westbound with the North Atlantic Convoy ON48 which left Liverpool on December 19 and arriving in New York on January 3, 1942.

On January 26, 1942, the Koolskegg is listed as a member of Conoy HX172 and in March with Convoy OS21, which left Liverpool on March 4 and arrived in Freetown, Sierre Lione. Her next stop was to be Aruba. She arrived in Curacao on March 26.

From here new orders were given to the captain, Leif Soyland, and departed from Willemstad, Curacao on March 29, 1942, to head back to the U.K. via Halifax to meet up with a convoy that would escort her back. Aboard the tanker was 8000 tons of Colon residue and about 6,300 tons of fuel oil for the Anglo American Oil Company.

On the way up the coast on April 6, 1942, at 8:58 PM, the Kollskegg was hit on the starboard side amidships by two torpedoes from the German U-boat, U-754. At the time, they were about 350 miles northwest of the Bermudas. After being hit, the tanker stopped for a while but then continued on at full speed towards Hampton Roads (a body of water that serves as a wide channel for the James, Nansemond, and Elizabeth rivers between Old Point Comfort and Sewell's Point where the Chesapeake Bay flows into the Atlantic Ocean, and the surrounding metropolitan region located in southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina portions of the Tidewater region).

At 2:18 AM, on the morning of April 7, the tanker was once again hit by another torpedo. This torpedo hit its mark. It struck the engine room and within four minutes the Kollskegg sunk. Four crewmen were killed in the attack. The remaining thirty-eight abandoned the ship in three lifeboats. Two of the lifeboats which held 30 men, including the captain, were rescued by Bushranger (a Panamanian merchant ship) after 21 hours and taken to Nassau, Bahamas on April 11.  On the evening of April 7, the third lifeboat stayed with two lifeboats from the Koll (a Norwegian tanker) which had been sunk by German U-boat U-571 on the night of April 6. The boats traveled together for a while until the winds picked up to gale force speed and they became separated. The eight survivors of the Kollskegg were finally rescued by the HMCS Niagara (a Canadian destroyer) on April 14 and taken to Halifax two days later.


Built: 1940 Sunk: April 7, 1942
Type of Vessel: Tanker Owner: Odd Berg, Oslo
Builder: Eriksbergs Mekaniske Verkstads A/B, Gothenburg Power: 
Port of registry: Oslo, Norway Dimensions: 
Previous Names: None  


Here is the location of the sinking: 35°20N/70°03W



Total Lost: 4, Survivors: 38

LastFirstDate of DeathPositionHomeAge
Gundersen Arthur April 6, 1942 Second Engineer Officer Revik 27
Hunter Norman April 6, 1942 Saloon Boy Ellesmere Port, Cheshire 17
Pedersen Henry F. April 6, 1942 Steward Sandøya, Brevik 47
Porter Ronald R. April 6, 1942 Galley Boy Plymouth, England 17


A  listing of the surviving crew: 

Andersen Trygve Rudolf Pumpman July 14, 1895 Bergen,  Hordaland  46
Bang  Rolf Chief Officer June 12, 1909 Tønsberg 32 
Browne Thomas Able Seaman      
*Bygnes Thorleif Olsen Able Seaman Nov. 29, 1916 Toronto 25
Carter Frederick C. Gunner      
Dahl-Gundersen Leif Able Seaman July 19, 1918 Barbu, Arendal 23
Dobson Juan Mechanic      
Enger Ernst Peter Herman Third Officer Feb. 27, 1891 Oslo 51
+Fjeldkårstad Odd Carpenter Oct. 5, 1919 Koppervik 22
Flagg Ernst DEMS Gunner      
Grønning Einar Mechanic Nov. 18, 1913 Stavanger 28
Hansen Arne Eugen Able Seaman Jan. 15, 1916 Arendal 26
Haugvik Harald Witzøe Able Seaman Sept. 3, 1921 Bremsnes 20
**Hegstad Arvid Able Seaman/Gunner April 30, 1920 Trondheim 21
Huse Ole Kristian Repairman March 2, 1915 Beren 27
Høiseth John August Able Seaman Nov. 5, 1896 Fjærklev 45
Jensen Ottar Third Engineer Officer Feb. 27, 1903 Bergen 39
Johannessen Henry Malvin Able Seaman June 5, 1916 Bergen 25
Johansen Olav Mechanic June 22, 1903 Flikka 38
Kilmark Sverre Johan Electrician March 19, 1913 Ankenes 29
Klepp Bernt Eliassen Able Seaman June 2, 1907 Volda 34
Kolstad Petter Boatswain      
Kringstad Rolf Johan Mechanic July 27, 1919 Kristiansund 22
Kristensen Arnfinn Reinhard Cook March 17, 1920 Lyngdal 22
Larsen Kåre Thorbjørn Second Officer Dec. 4, 1916 Tønsberg 25
Larsen Thorvald Mechanic June 28, 1906 Horten, Vestfold 35
Marthiniussen Einar Able Seaman/Gunner Dec. 3, 1908 Tønsberg 33
Moldestad Peder Able Seaman      
Morris William F. Radio Operator      
Morrison George Mess Room Boy      
Olsen Dan Assistant Engineer      
Olsen Håkon Aashildrød Able Seaman Aug. 3, 1915 Lasken, Sandar 26
Olsen Ole Lindemann Able Seaman      
Olsen Reidar Garder Chief Engineer Officer Oct. 4, 1893 Volden 48
Rakkestad Einar Saloon Boy Nov. 2, 1899 Løken 42
***Skorpen Martin Mechanic Aug. 15, 1898 Onarheim 43
Søyland Leif Master/Captain Sept. 21, 1907 Ramnes 34
Vige William Mechanic Jan. 5, 1914 Oslo 28

 * Survived the sinking of the Segundo on Aug. 27, 1941, by German U-boat U-577.
**Survived the sinking of the Victo on November 8, 1941, when it was bombed by German aircraft off Flamborough Head (Yorkshire coast of England).
***Survived the sinking of the Tosca on April 10, 1940, by German U-boat U-37. Served as an Oiler on Tosca.
+Was killed working on the Brisk on October 20, 1944. He also served on the Bill as a Boatswain  on Jul 29, 1942, when sunk by the German U-boat U-155

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