Født: Kristiansand - 25 september 1922
Bosted: Kristiansand - Kristiansand kommune.
Død: 06 september 1944
Walther Johan Johannessen dør 06 september 1944. D/S "Breda" ble senket 06 september 1944 på reise fra Bremen til Bergen lastet med korn.
Kildene forteller:Krigsseilerregisteret skriver:
D/S "Breda" gikk i konvoi som 6 september 1944 ble angrepet av 30 allierte fly. D/S "Breda" ble rammet av to lufttorpedoer, og det oppsto en voldsom eksplosjon i skipet. D/S "Breda" ble øyeblikkelig brukket ned midtskips og sank i Helgolands bukta. på reise fra Bremen til Bergen med kornlast. 11 av en besetning på 18 ble drept.
De som ble borte med D/S "Breda":
Eriksen, Alf Bærum, Akershus, Eriksen, Arne Oskar Østre Aker, Oslo, Gevingås, Arne Oslo , Hansen, John Severin Nøtterøy, Vestfold, Hoel, Harald Magnus Nesodden, Oslo, Johannessen, Johan Alexander Bergen, Hordaland, Johannessen, Walter Johan Kristiansand, Vest-Agder, Mørch Olsen, Berner Johannes Bergen, Hordaland, Røsten, Henry Jørgen Folldal, Hedmark , Skaug, Thorstein Severin Oslo, Skjold, John Oskar Halden, Østfold.
S/S "Breda" was torpedoed in a air attack outside Emden on September 6-1944 (so must have been under German control by then). Erling Skjold has also sent me more details on the events surrounding S/S "Breda"'s loss. He says S/S "Breda" was on a voyage from Bremen to Bergen with grain when the attack took place near Rotersand light in the Weser inlet. He has done extensive research on this ship for many years because his grandfather, John Oskar Skjold was the 2nd engineer on board, and was one of the casualties of the attack. Her armament consisted of 1 - 20 mm anti aircraft gun and 2 machine guns. A total of 200 - 20 mm shots were fired, 170 with the machine guns. Erling has spoken with surviving members of the Norwegian crew, including the galley boy who remembers how the stern gun, complete with gun crew, flew through the air while still firing. S/S "Breda" was not in convoy at the time, but S/S "Breda" sailed with the Swedish cargo ship Rosafred (built 1922, 1348 gt), which was also sunk, but with no loss of life. The fact that there were several German naval vessels in the area (in transit, not escorts) must have led the allied pilots to believe they were dealing with a convoy. Captain Skaug was on the bridge and ordered the helmsman to keep a steady course and speed when he saw the aircraft approaching.
The attack force consisted of 26 Beaufighters (13 from 455th Squadron, 13 from 489th Squadron), with only 6 aircraft of the 489th carrying torpedoes, the remaining 20 aircraft had rockets and they all had 20 mm cannons. 6 aircraft from the 455th attacked S/S "Breda" with rockets while 3 torpedo aircraft dropped torpedoes.
S/S "Breda" was hit by about 32 rockets, a great number of 20 mm shells and 2 torpedoes. The survivors stated that the captain, the German pilot and the helmsman sought shelter on the boat deck, where the pilot was killed by a shell, while the captain went down when the S/S "Breda" sank. When the helmsman came to he was in a damaged lifeboat.
The galley boy, who was only 15 years old, was doing the dishes when the galley and the cabins were perforated by the 20 mm shells, which "blew the cook to pieces" less than 1 meter away (Berner J. Mørch Olsen). Erling's grandfather was in the cabin next door and probably suffered the same fate. The galley boy managed to get to the deck where he arrived just as the ship exploded. What he remembers the most is the steam gushing up from the engine room and the horrifying screams from the men there. The midship was blown away and the masts touched eachother before she sank straight down in a matter of seconds. Survivors, none of whom had lifevests on were picked up by vessels from the 12th Vorpost Flotille and taken to Cuxhaven. The wreck of Breda was "buried" by sand shortly afterwards and is at a depth of about 1/2 a meter today (20 meters at the time of loss). At the time he sent me this info the exact number of casualties was unknown to him, but he has since spent a week doing research at Freiburg, and after more than 15 years of searching he has now been able to confirm that 11 Norwegian crew members were killed, as well as the German pilot Heinrich Lübsen (born Dec. 2-1885), making the total number of casualties 12, not 11 or 13 as stated in many sources. Members of the German anti aircraft crew were also thought to have been killed, but Erling now says that 10 men from 5th Company of the 3rd "Marinebordflakabteilung" (stationed in Oslo) and all the soldiers are listed in the relevant KTB as having survived, 2 had been injured. Lightship E - Emil (Norderney II, built 1907, 382 gt) was also sunk. When the aircraft returned to base 5 were damaged including 2 that had attacked Breda. Captain Skaug and another one of the casualties, 1st Engineer Harald Hoel had been friends and colleagues of Erling's grandfather's since before the war and they had sailed together on S/S "Breda" since 1942. Erling points out that none of the officers were very young, and this was an intentional policy on Fred. Olsen's part since the ship had started sailing regularly to Sweden. Only those officers who had families were hired to these ships, as they were less likely to run away once in Sweden (families of escapees were often harassed and/or threatened by the Germans). It was not uncommon for the younger, single crew members to escape in a Swedish port, and this was quite a problem, with ships being short-handed as a result. Captain Skaug had also sailed in WW I and had previously survived the sinking of D/S Bør on May 24-1942, whereas John Oskar Skjold had previously served on D/S Borgholm from the time she was new in 1922 until just a couple of days before the German invasion and witnessed the loss of D/S Biarritz on
January 25-1940 (survivors were rescued by Borgholm). I've translated a heart wrenching letter written by him to his wife shortly after they had rescued survivors from Biarritz; it can be found on the English version of my "Warsailor Stories" page, as well as on my page about Borgholm. Before joining S/S "Breda" he had also briefly been on Blenheim and survived the fire and explosion on April 22-1941. Oskar's detailed account of the events surrounding this fire and what followed later has been added to my Norwegian Warsailor Stories page
Kilder: Krigsseilerregisteret og www.warsailors.com