Pettersen,Tønnes Paludan

Født: Mandal - 08 september 1904

Bosted: Mandal - Mandal kommune.

Død: 28 februar 1942

Tønnes Paludan Pettersen var 1.styrmann på M/S ”Leif”. Omkom da en livbåt forsvant etter at skipet ble torpedert 28. februar 1942, på reise mellom New York og Trujillo i Vestindia

Kildene forteller:

Krigsseilerregisteret skriver:

Minnehallen i Stavern skriver:

M/S ”Leif” var på reise fra Den Dominikanske Republikk til New York med stykkgods. 28. februar 1942 ble hun torpedert av tysk ubåt U- 653 (Korvettenkapitän Gerhard Feiler) øst av Cape Hatteras i posisjon 3445 N og 6920 W. Alle mann kom fra borde i to livbåter. De to båtene hadde kontakt med hverandre til ut på ettermiddagen samme dag. I den ene livbåten var det 10 mann. Disse ble observert to dager senere av svensk skip og tatt med til Key West. Lenge håpet man å høre fra livbåten med 15 mann i, men den kom aldri til rette.

De norske som omkom med M/S ”Leif”:

Trygve Harry Torgersen - Matros, Erling Olav Syversen - Motormann, Tønnes Paludan Pettersen - 1. Styrmann, Peder Pedersen - Skytter, Robert Karlsen - Styrmann, Karsten Lystad Johansen - Maskinist, Fredrik Johan Jacobsen - Elektriker, Andreas Haaversen - 1. Maskinist, Karl Olaf Holm - Motormann, Hans Jørgen Henriksen - Sjømann. skriver:

At 08:44 hours on 28 Feb 1942 the unescorted M/S ”Leif” (Master Lars K. Holm Brynildsen) was hit by two torpedoes from the german, type VIIC u-boat , U-653, commanded by Kapitänleautnant Gerhard Feiler, holder of the German Cross in Gold, east of Cape Hatteras.

The foreship broke away and sank immediately, followed by the rest of the ship 11 minutes later. The crew abandoned ship in two lifeboats, one containing six survivors and the other 18. First they had rain, hail showers and strong winds, but as soon as the weather permitted four men (including the master) moved to the boat with less men in it. In the afternoon the boats were separated. The master and nine survivors were picked up from the first boat in the morning on 2 March by the Swedish steam tanker Sveadrott about 185 miles west of Bermuda and landed at Key West four days later. The other lifeboat with 14 survivors was never seen again.

Våre Falne skriver:

PETTERSEN, TØNNES PALUDAN, styrmann, Mandal. Født 8. september 1904, s. av skipsfører Tønnes Pettersen, f. 1857 i Mandal, d. 1918, og Petrine f. Eriksen, f. 1860 i Mandal, d. 1944. Styrmannsskole. Var 1. styrmann på M/S ”Leif” fra 1937. Omkom i en livbåt som forsvant etter at skipet ble torpedert 28. februar 1942, på reise mellom New York og Vestindia. skriver:

Final Fate -1942:

M/S ”Leif” (on charter to the Bull Line Steamship Co, NewYork) departed New York on Febr. 26-1942, assisted by a tug, bound for Ciudad Trujillo, Dominican Republic with 2300 tons general cargo, mostly cement ("Nortraships flåte" says M/S ”Leif” was en route to New York, but see also Page 6).

After her compasses had been corrected she went back up the river and anchored at Gravesend Bay in order to take on board ammunition before continuing her voyage. However, M/S ”Leif” did not make it to her destination.

At 02:00 on Febr. 28, she was torpedoed by U-653 (Feiler), position 34 45N 69 20W, east of Cape Hatteras.

A survivors' report dated March 17 states that the explosion occurred between No. 1 and 2 holds, where the cement was kept. It caused the foremast to fall on the radio shack, so that no distress call could be sent.

The officer on duty on the bridge was 3rd Mate Robert Karlsen who immediately sounded the alarm. On the bridge were also the Able Seamen Oscar Petterson and Trygve Torgersen, who after the explosion started to lower the starboard lifeboat without having been given the orders to do so (according to 2nd Mate Muller's statements at the subsequent hearings).

When the 2nd mate came up on the boatdeck and saw this he stopped them, with the result that only 4 men were in this boat, and others who belonged to it had to go to the port boat, or jump overboard. 2 lifeboats were eventually launched, and those in the water, including the captain were picked up by these, until there were 6 men in the starboard boat and 18 in the port boat. The ship sank by the bow within 6-7 minutes.

As soon as the weather permitted in the morning the captain, 1st Engineer Ole B. Kristensen, Able Seaman Arvid Berg and Mechanic Olav Klaksjord Johansen moved over to the starboard boat. They had rain, hail showers and strong winds and at around 13:00, contact with the port boat was lost.

The starboard boat used a sea anchor all that day and the following night, then as the weather improved they set sail and headed straight south all day March 1 and the following night. At 06:00 on March 2 the 10 men in the captain's boat were picked up by the Swedish Sveadrott about 185 miles west of Bermuda and landed at Key West on March 6, while the survivors in the other boat were never seen again.

The survivors left Key West by bus for Miami in the afternoon of March 7, continuing by train to New York that same evening, with arrival in the morning of March 9. Maritime hearings were held there on March 16-1942 with the captain, the 2nd mate, the 1st engineer and Able Seaman Vaagen appearing, all of whom had been off duty and in their beds when the explosion occurred. Some of the witnesses mention a survival suit, which each of Leif's crew members had, and speak very highly of it. This is probably the so called Vaco suit, distributed to all Norwegian seamen and credited for saving many lives.

Kilder: Krigsseilertreffet, Minnehallen i Stavern, og og Våre falne


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