Cultural History Encyclopedia

More information about this article

More information about this article

Published 16. December 2003

Last update 04. June 2019

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Memorial at Rugsund church for war victims in the Second World War



The 19-year-old Johan Friis from Rugsund died in the first Norwegian shipwreck after the Second World War broke out in 1939. In 1994, the Rugsund "sokn" (sub-parish) erected a memorial stone dedicated to him and the three others from the "sokn" who lost their lives due to war actions. The stone stands at the Rugsund church.

SS Leikanger from Bergen belonged to the shipping company H. Westfal-Larsen. Two men from Bremanger lost their lives when the ship was torpedoed on 27 July 1942. SS Leikanger had a close call a year earlier. On 18 September 1941, the ship was attacked by a German bomber in a convoy on the English east coast. The ship was hit, but the bomb lay undetonated on the deck. With the utmost care, the crew managed to dump the bomb overboard.

SS Leikanger from Bergen belonged to the shipping company H. Westfal-Larsen. Two men from Bremanger lost their lives when the ship was torpedoed on 27 July 1942. SS Leikanger had a close call a year earlier. On 18 September 1941, the ship was attacked by a German bomber in a convoy on the English east coast. The ship was hit, but the bomb lay undetonated on the deck. With the utmost care, the crew managed to dump the bomb overboard.

Owner: I Nortraships flåte.

Date: Ukjend.

Photographer: Ukjend.

Biographies in the bookVåre falne

"FRIIS, JOHAN, seaman, Davik. Born 5 July 1921 in Bergen, son of lawyer Henrik Friis, Rugsund, died 1943, and Gudrun Fosteland, Bergen, died 1935. Went to sea early. Worked as a greaser on SS Ronda, and lost his life when the ship sank on 13 September 1939."

"HAUG, HILMAR, seaman, Davik. Born 26 May 1923 in Bergen, foster son of Oliver Kolseth, born 1878 at Davik, died 1936, and Anna Klubben, born 1883. Escaped to England by motorboat in August 1941 and worked in the merchant marine as a seaman. Lost his life on 27 July 1942 when SS Leikanger was torpedoed en route from Cape Town to Trinidad."

"LOFNES, JOSTEIN, fisherman, seaman, Davik. Born 4 June 1918 at Davik, son of Johan O. Lofnes, born 1884 same place, died 1920, and Anne née Yri, born 1884 at Innvik. Escaped with some friends to England in a small motorboat and reported for service in the merchant marine. Last worked on SS Leikanger, and lost his life when the ship was torpedoed two weeks after she left Cape Town en route to Trinidad."

"LEIRGULEN, OLAI EDWIN, engineer, Laksevåg. Born 26 December 1918 at Davik, son of Oluf Leirgulen, died 1924 at Davik, and wife Bertine, born 1892 same place. Married 1946 at Davik to Elfrid Larsen, born 1920 at Laksevåg. 1 child. Escaped from Norway by motorboat 1941. Joined the Navy, and served as an engineer on various corvettes, i.a. on Potentilla. Fell ill in service, and died on 16 December 1946. Buried at Davik."

SS Ronda

Johan Friis from Davik and Lars Bakkebø from Fjaler were among those who lost their lives in the first Norwegian shipwreck in the Second World War. SS Ronda of 8 425 DWT belonging to the shipping company of J. Ludwig Mowinckel in Bergen hit mines on Wednesday 13 September 1939 off the coast of the Netherlands. Most likely the ship hit three mines and sank in a matter of two minutes. It was impossible to lower the lifeboats, but 20 men were saved from the sea. 16 crew members and two passengers lost their lives.

SS Leikanger

Both Hilmar Haug and Jostein Lofnes lost their lives when SS Leikanger went down in the south Atlantic on 27 July 1942. The ship was en route from Cape Town to Trinidad with 1000 tonnes of ore. Two torpedoes hit simultaneously and in less than a minute, the survivors struggled for their lives among wreckage in the sea. 13 men managed to get up on a life raft and were rescued after three days. 18 men died, among these 13 Norwegians.

 

resources:

Rustung Hegland, Jon: Nortraships flåte. Krigsseilasen under den allierte offensiv. Band 2. Oslo 1976.
Våre Falne. 1949-1951. Oslo.

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