Født: København, Danmark - 12 februar 1898
Bosted: Mandal - Mandal kommune.
Død: 26 mars 1942
Sigurd Wathne var maskinist på D/S ”Risøy”, som ble bombet og senket av et tysk fly i Bristol-kanalen 20. mars 1942. Han døde 26. mars 1942 på General Hospital i Swansea av skader etter krigsforliset. Gravlagt i Swansea
Kildene forteller:Krigsseilerregistert skriver:
D/S ”Risøy” ble senket 20 mars 1942 av tyske fly nord av Trevose Head i pos. N 50.40', W 05.01' på reise fra Southampton til Swansea, UK med skrapjern. 1 person omkom.
Våre Falne skriver:
Wathne, Sigurd. Maskinist. Født 12.februar 1898 i København. Sønn av Carl M. Wathne f. 1860 d. 1942 i Mandal. , og Asdis Jonsdotter f. 1867 i Reykjavik. Gift 1920 i Los Angeles med Ella Knudsen f. 1898 d. 1943 i Kristiansand. 2 barn.
Var maskinsjef på D/S ”Risøy” som ble bombet i senk av tyske fly i Bristolkanalen sen 20.mars 1942. Han døde 26.mars 1942 på General Hospital i Swansea av skader etter krigsforliset. Gravlagt i Swansea. Omtalt i Medlemsblad for sportsklubben Brann i Bergen.
Minnehallen i Stavern skriver:
Sigurd Wathne var ombord i D/S ”Risøy” da den ble bombet i senk av fly i Bristolkanalen 20 mars 1942. Wathne ble hardt skadet og døde på hospital i Swansea 26 mars 1942.
Omkom ombord på D/S ”Risøy”:
Sigurd Wathne - Maskinsjef, Mandal.
Final Fate - 1942:
S/S ”Risøy”was attacked by aircraft on March 20-1942 when on a voyage from Southampton to Swansea with a cargo of 450 tons scrap iron, having left Southampton the day before.
S/S ”Risøy” was in a coastal convoy escorted by a destroyer and 3 armed trawlers (Convoy PW 128 - external link, incomplete listing. Atle Jarl, Jan, Marit II and Trolla are included).
The first attack had taken place off Portland and a tanker had been hit and damaged (Dutch Antonia?).
The captain's report says the convoy was north of Trevose Head that evening when another 3 planes came in low, and were met by fire from all the ships.
1 aircraft was hit and landed in the sea near one of the escorts, while the other two took off, only to come back twice during the next half hour.
A visitor to my website has told me that "Shipwreck Index of the British Isles" gives the position as 10 miles west (not north) of Trevose Head, Cornwall for the attack on S/S ”Risøy”.
The 4th and last attack on the convoy
(Page 6 of the archive documents gives the time as 20:14). S/S ”Risøy” was hit by a bomb in No. 3 hold, blowing the hatches off.
After having searched in vain for the missing 1st Engineer Sigurd Wathne, the crew went in the port lifeboat and rowed over to the escorting trawler HMS Ruby (T 24) which picked them up.
The trawler intended to attempt saving her, but S/S ”Risøy” sank, stern first, before they could do so.
It later turned out that the engineer had been blown overboard, picked up by the British S/S Dunrange(?) and taken to a hospital in Swansea, where he died on March 26. He was buried in Swansea on March 31.
Having been transferred to another vessel, the survivors were landed in Swansea on March 21, where an inquiry was held on Apr. 1-1942 with the captain, the 1st and 2nd mates, the 2nd engineer, Able Seaman Gård (helmsman) and Ordinary Seaman Devold (lookout) appearing.
Referat fra sjøforklaringen, 1. april 1942, Swansea, Administrator Konsul Sverre Stranger
Merknad Mannskap ifølge sjøforklaringen 16 mann og to skyttere. Skytterne ikke med i mannskapslisten.
The Captain appeared and brought with him a written statement of the incident. ...
The Captain stated as follows:- I have nothing to add to what I have said in my written statement, except that First Engineer Sigurd Wathne has since died in hospital at Swansea and was buried there yesterday. All his papers are collected by the Vice Consul, Swansea and will be forwarded by him direct to the Consul General in London.
Next appeared as first witness - First Mate Paul Georg Almos ... who stated verbally as follows:
It was my free watch when the accident happened and I have nothing further to add to what is stated by the Captain whose statement I have carefully read.The sea was perfectly calm and no wind. The crew consisted of eighteen men including the Captain and two gunners. When I called out the names of the crew immediately after the accident I missed the Chief Engineer and went to search for him without result. As mentioned in the Captain's statement we were picked up by the armed trawler "RUBY" where I remained on deck while all the others went below. I heard the Captain of the trawler giving orders to prepare a big wire rope and I understood he hoped to give tow to save the S/S ”Risøy” but the ship continued to sink and we saw the ship go down. The ship's motorboat and lifeboat were saved and taken in to Swansea. It was impossible to save the ship's papers and the other valuable documents but they were all in the heavy iron box and would sink with the ship.
Next appeared as second witness Hans Kristian Nilsen ... who stated verbally as follows:- I have read the Captain's statement and can add nothing to what is already said. I was on watch at the time when we were attacked. From the deck of the trawler "RUBY" I saw the S/S ”Risøy” go down, I should say about half an hour after the explosion.
As third witness appeared Second Engineer Alf Laurits Andersen ... who stated as follows:-
I was on watch from 7. o'clock p.m. on the night of the 20th March 1942, in the engine room. Just before 8 o'clock p.m. I had the warning that we were attacked by enemy planes and went on deck. I saw one plane circling over the ships. From then on I went up and down several times. I had just come up about 8.30 o'clock when I heard a terrific explosion and everything went dark with steam coming out from the main pipe and I noticed that the engine stopped. I did not see anybod but found my way to the life boat whcih I started to get loose. After a while some of the crew came from the foredeck to the lifeboat and we managed to get it out. The ship had not yet started to sink. We then heaved alongside the ship to the foredeck where the rest of the crew were taken on board with the exception of the Chief Engineer whom I knew to be on the deck but could not be found. I had a cup of tea on the trawler when they told me they were going to hav a try to save the S/S ”Risøy” as she up till then was sinking very slowly, but before I had finished my tea and came out on deck the ship sank.
Then appeared as fourth witness A.B. Frank Jensen Gård ... who stated as follows:-
I was on watch from 7 o'clock p.m. on the 20th March 1942, first as a lookout and from 8 o'clock p.m. at the wheel. About a quarter of an hour after I had taken over the wheel I heard a plane above my ship but my view in the wheelhouse was very limited so I saw nothing. A second time, a few minutes later, I heard a plane but nothing happened until a third when I suddenly heard and felt a terrific explosion. I managed to get out of the wheelhouse and as I got drenched by water I thought the ship was going down but when I discovered she was still afloat I managed to get to the foredeck where I later got into the lifeboat.
I saw the S/S ”Risøy” go down stern first soon after we got on board the trawler.
As last witness appeared:- Aasulv Edward Bernard Devold ... who stated as follows:-
I was on watch from 7 o'¨clock p.m. and a lookout from 8 o'clock on the port side. We had a warning about 8.00 o'clock and about 8.15 o'clock I heard a plane just above our ship. I was in charge of a gun but the gun failed to work. After a few minutes there was another or the same plane back again and as far as I could hear all the guns on board were fired an my gun after a few failures started to work but nothing happened. The plane came back a third time from starboard and therefore out of sight from my side an I did not know what happened until I was thrown by the heavy explosion from the port side to nearly over to the stb. side. I then worked my way to the foredeck where we got the raft out. In the meantime however, somebody had got the lifeboat out and we eventually all got into that boat. I saw the S/S ”Risøy” go down stern first which seemed to me to be only a few minutes after we got on board the trawler. …
D/S "Risøy"s Kaptein Kristian Nordhus rapport :
Report by Captain Kristian Nordhus to The Royal Norwegian Vice Consulate at Swansea in connection wit the sinking of the S/S ”Risøy” on the 20th March 1942.
On Thursday th 19th March 1942 the S/S ”Risøy” left Southampton loaded with scrap iron.
The vessel was in completely seaworthy condition, draught forward being 9'9" and draught aft. 13'11".
The S/S ”Risøy” joined convoy escorted by one destroyer and three armed trawlers.
On Friday the 20th March 1942, during the time between 20 and 21 o'clock, while the convoy was a little to the north of Trevose Head Light, it was attacked by 2, possibly more, enemy bomber aeroplanes.
Heavy fire was opened by all the vessels in the convoy at the aeroplanes which attacked three times.
At the third attack the S/S ”Risøy” was struck by a bomb which exploded in the no. 3 hold. When the explosion occurred it was seen that the hatches over this hold were blown into the air.
Every time we expected an attack I ordered all the men on deck, also the engine room staff, as a safety precaution in case the vessel should be hit. At suitable moments, however, a man was sent down into the engine room for any necessary regulation of the speed.
When the S/S ”Risøy” was hit, all the men were on deck and with the exception of those who were serving the machine guns and those who were required for the steering of the S/S ”Risøy”, the crew, were on the boat deck.
As we were aware that the S/S ”Risøy” would be sinking in the course of a short time we made ready to go into the boats. Before we went into the boats it was ascertained whether every one was present.
It was then discovered that Chief Engineer Sigurd Wathne could not be found. Search was then made as far as possible all over the ship in order to try to find him, but this was very difficult work owing to steam and gas pouring out from the engine room and cargo hold.
Attempt was also made to get into my cabin in order to try to save the ship's papers. This was found to be impossible and the ship's papers went down with the ship.
It was calm and clear weather and all the men (with the exception of the Chief Engineer) then went into the port lifeboat and rowed over to the escort vessel, the S/S "Ruby", which was lying only about 30 metres away. We were taken on board the S/S "Ruby" and there received very good treatment.
About 10 minutes passed from the time the vessel was struck and until we went into the boats.
The S/S ”Risøy” sank about 5 minutes after we had gone into the boats.The S/S "Ruby" remained at the place of casualty for about an hour in order, if possible, to find the missing Chief Engineer.
That part of the crew which had come on board the S/S "Ruby" were brought in to Swansea on Saturday the 21st March in the morning by another vessel.
Before we were landed, we were informed that the Chief Engineer had been picked up,out of the water in an injured state, by the S/S "Dunrange".
Chief Engineer Wathne is now at the Swansea General Hospital with one of his legs broken in several places. When I visited him, he told me that when the S/S ”Risøy” was struck by the bomb, he was on the boat deck, but was blown over board. I was on the bridge when the casualty occurred. Swansea, the 21st March 1942 K. NORDHUS, Master
Kilder: Krigsseilerregisteret, Minnehallen i Stavern, www.warsailors.com, Referat fra sjøforklaringen og Rapport fra kapteinen på D/S"Risøy"
Registernummer London: 7065
Registernummer New York: 20867
Krigsmedaljen utdeles til norske eller utenlandske militære som på en fortjenstfull måte har deltatt i krig for Norge og til norske og utenlandske sivile som under krig har ydet Norges forsvar tjenester. Krigsmedaljen utdeles post mortem til alle nordmenn og utlendinger som har kjempet i de norske styrker og Handelsflåten og falt for Norges sak. (Wikipedia)
Wathne, ble tildelt Krigsmedaljen Dato for tildeling ukjent