Sjøforklaring 1939 - 1945

Informasjonen nedenfor vedr. skip i Nortraships flåte er direkte avskrift av orginalkilden "Sjøforklaringer fra andre verdenskrig (1940 - 1945)". Informasjonen her er fra sjøforklaringer holdt under og rett etter krigen og kan derfor avvike noe fra den øvrige kvalitetssikrede informasjonen i Krigsseilerregisteret.

19. februar 1941
Torpedert [av tysk ubåt]
Ca, 8400 tonn stykkgods
St. Pedro - Bermuda - Liverpool
29 [29]
  • Referat

    3. april 1941
    Consul Johan Vogt Senior
    På mannskapslisten, som er på engelsk, er trolig de engelske betegnelsene A.B. (matros) og O.S. (lettmatros) byttet om - listen er skrevet av en nordmann?

    Appeared as 1st witness Chief officer Trygve Berg ...

    The witness referred in all respects to his report which had been written according to memory as all the ship's papers had been lost. He was the officer on watch and was on the bridge together with the 3rd officer Knut Herland. On the bridge were also look-out man and helmsman. The witness stated that he had a complete knowledge of all the rules for sailing in convoy and all orders had been punctually carried out. He stated that the vessel was fully equipped, and that everything was in splendid order on board, and that the casualty was not attributable to any defect, neglect or carelessnes on the part of any one on board. The last boat drill had been carried out at Bermuda on the day before departure.

    Whilst they were going into the lifeboat they lost two men; these two were however picked up by the lifeboat which was astern of the witness's lifeboat. They could not get the motor boat into the water as everything happened so quicly. He stated that the captain was sitting down having a meal when the first torpedo struck the vessel. He at once left the saloon in order to go up on the bridge, he turned round however on the steps up to the bridge, and afterwards they did not see him any more. The witness thought that one of the boats on the port side was lowered, but was not sure. They had sufficient biscuits and water in the lifeboat as well as 1 bottle locker. All the boats were amply and well supplied with provisions and water. The witness thinks that the men in the other boat were lost as nothing further had been seen of that boat. Lifesaving jackets had been handed to all the men. The rafts were lying loose on the deck, but they did not see anything of them. The chief engineer jumped over into the witness's boat as the boat into which he had first come was too crowded. This was done at a moment when the two boats came up alongside of each other.

    On being questioned, the witness stated that he he was feeling well, but that his legs were not yet quite normal.


    ... 2nd witness appeared Chief officer Konrad Jørgensen, ...

    The witness was sitting in his cabin resting when the casualty occurred. In the engine room were 4th engineer Karl Nilsen and refrigerating engineer Ludvig Johannessen. The witness was of opinion that none of those who were in the engine room could have come up before the vessel sank. The witness's cabin was on the portside, the side on which the torpedo struck. When the explosion occured it became intensely dark, and he heard water pouring in. The witness went first to the after starboard boat to which he belonged.

    He stated that everything was in complete order on board, and that the casualty was not attributable to any fault, neglect or carelessness on the part of any one on board, neither to the nature of the cargo nor to over loading, faulty distribution of the cargo or ballast, nor to the deck cargo being too high and causing a list. The witness referred in all respects to the report, which he had also signed, and made statement in accordance with the previous witness. The witness was of opinion that there were too many men in the after lifeboat, and that perhaps the others did not care to risk the jump, as the two boats were only alongside each other for a moment. He saw the U-boat just ahead of the bow of the lifeboat. The U-boat swung to starboard and directly afterwards a violent explosion was heard and seen on board the "Benjamin Franklin".

    They did not see anything more of the other lifeboat. He stated that the next morning those in the other lifeboat had been signalling with blue flares and that they had answered the signals from the witness's boat. That was the falling snow became too thick. They steered with two oars as they ad lost the sea anchor and the rudder.


    ... 3rd witnes appeared:- Carpenter Georg Gertz, ...

    The witness was sitting in the mess room aft when the casualty occured, he had been handed a lifesaving jacket. When the witness came to the falls there was already one man at each tackle, The witnes lowered himself down, but got into the water. He was however soon picked up by the forward starboard lifeboat. Everything was in splendid order on board, and all the lifeboats were in completely equipped condition. He could make no statement about those who lost their lives. He had seen the flare from the other boat.- He otherwise made statement in accordance with the previous witnesses. He also referred in all respects to the report, which he had also signed.


    ... 4th witness appeared:- Lorang Syvertsen, matros ...

    The witness was sitting in his cabin aft when the caualty occurred. All the men were up, no one had gone to bed. The witness ran out on deck when the explosion occurred. He belonged to the port boat, but got into the starboard boat. When he came up on deck he ran first to the port, but as he saw no one there, he ran across to the starboard side. He thought the torpedo had destroyed the lifeboat on the port side. Everything was in complete order on board and the lifeboats were well and amply equipped. He had not seen anything of the captain. The witness was now feeling quite well and eh otherwise made statement in accordance with the previous witnesses.