Ships hit by U-boats


Norwegian Steam merchant

Varangberg under her former name Jotunfjell. Photo courtesy of Bjørn Milde

Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage2,842 tons
Completed1915 - Great Lakes Engineering Works, Ashtabula OH 
OwnerReinhart Mithassel, Oslo 
Date of attack26 Sep 1941Nationality:      Norwegian
FateSunk by U-203 (Rolf Mützelburg)
Position47° 50'N, 24° 50'W - Grid BE 4156
Complement27 (21 dead and 6 survivors).
RouteMelilla - Gibraltar - Belfast - Cardiff 
Cargo4100 tons of iron ore 
History Completed in November 1915 as Morris Adler for Passolt SS Co Inc, New York. 1916 sold to Norway and renamed Jotunfjell for Olsen & Ugelstad, Oslo. 1934 lengthened and renamed Varangfjell for the same owner. 1939 renamed Varangberg for Reinhart Mithassel, Oslo.

At 14.53 and 14.57 hours on 20 Dec 1940, U-95 (Schreiber) missed the unescorted Varangberg with two G7e torpedoes in 55°30N/19°25W and let her escape because the second attack was noticed and rough seas prevented further attacks. 
Notes on event

At 00.31 hours on 26 Sep 1941, U-203 fired a spread of four torpedoes at convoy HG-73 north of the Azores and heard four detonations, but made no observations because they had to dive to evade an attack by HMS Larkspur (K 82) (Lt S.C.B. Hickman, RNR). Two ships were hit and sunk in this attack: Varangberg in station #52 and Avoceta, the ship of convoy commodore in station #51.

The Varangberg (Master Edward Steen Stenersen) was hit by two torpedoes on the port side at #1 hatch and forward of the bridge and sank immediately. The master 19 crew members and one passenger (the chief engineer of Spind, sunk by U-552 on 23 August) were lost. The survivors had no time to launch lifeboats and rescued themselves on debris and rafts that floated free until being picked up by HMS Jasmine (K 23) (LtCdr C.D.B. Coventry, RNR (retired)), which landed them at Milford Haven on 30 September.

More infoMore on this vessel 
On boardWe have details of 27 people who were on board

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