Født: Kristiansand - 5 desember 1892
Bosted: Kristiansand - Kristiansand kommune.
Død: 23 november 1940
Rangvald Mørkestøl var på D/S ”Bruse”, og omkom 23. november 1940, da skipetble senket 300 nautiske mil vest av Irland.
Kildene forteller:Krigsseilerregistert skriver:
D/S ”Bruse” ble torpedert 23november 1940 av den tyske ubåten U 100 (Kapitänleutnant Joachim Schenke) og synker i pos. N 55.04, W 12.15' på reise Sydney CB til Ipswich med tømmer. 16 personer omkom.
At 04.14 hours on 23 November 1940 the S/S ”Bruse” (Master Ole Brekke) in convoy SC-11 was hit by one torpedo from the german , type VIIC u-boat U-100, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Joachim Schepke holder of the German Knights Cross with Oak Leaves, and broke in two. Five survivors, including the master were picked up by HMCS Skeena (D 59) (LtCdr J.C. Hibbard, RCN). The afterpart sank, but the forepart was found a few days later with the cargo intact and was subsequently towed to shore and unloaded, but she was beyond repair and was delivered for breaking up at Troon in June 1941.
Minnehallen i Stavern skriver:
D/S ”Bruse” var på reise fra Sydney N.S. til Ipswich med 773 standard tømmer. Ble 23. november 1940 torpedert av tysk U-100 ( Kapitänleutnant Joachim Schepke ) i posisjon 5504N og 1215W. Torpedoen traff i forkant av kjelerommet. Like etter brakk akterskipet ved kullbaksen og sank med 17 mann. Forskipet fløt støttet opp av dekkslasten og med fem overlevende. De fem rigget til en flåte og lot seg flyte ned til et eskorteskip og ble reddet. Her møtte de igjen den eneste overlevende fra akterskipet. Han var blitt tatt av dragsuget, men klarte å komme seg opp på en veltet livbåt. Med den automatiske nødlampen fikk han påkalt hjelp fra eskorten. 16 mann omkom.
De som omkom med D/S ”Bruse”:
Sten Hilding Sørlie - Dekksgutt, Otto Emanuel Svendsen - Matros, Sverre Kasper Strand - Fyrbøter, Karl Pettersen - Maskinsjef, Bjarne William Pedersen - Fyrbøter, Oskar Emil Nilsen - Kokk/stuert, Birger Olai Nicolaisen - Donkeymann, Ragnvald Mørkestøl - Sjømann, Rolf Anker Nerem - Messegutt, Knut Ernst Linderzen - Kullemper, Bjarne Kristian Larsen - 2. Maskinist, Kristian Emil Kristiansen - Motormann, Alfred Karlsen - Fyrbøter, Olai Jonny Hansen - Lettmatros, Håkon Evensen - Sjømann, Yngvar William Amundsen - Styrmann,
Final Fate - 1940:
S/S ”Bruse” was on her way to Ipswich with a cargo of 773 standards of lumber in Convoy SC 11 when she was torpedoed on the starboard side forward of the boiler room by U-100 (Schepke) on November 23-1940, position 55 14N 12 20W.
This convoy, which had departed Sydney, C. B. on Nov. 9, had several Norwegian ships, including Salonica, which was also sunk by U-100. Commodore was Vice Admiral F. M. Austin in D/S Llandilo in column 5.
"Nortraships flåte" says Salonica was hit at 02.46 on the 23rd, and Bruse at 03:20, while J. Rohwer lists Bruse first, using German time 01:17, giving the postion as 55 04N 12 15W (time given for Salonica is 04:36).
Uboat.net gives the time as 04:14 for S/S ”Bruse” and 04:36 for Salonica (external links). 04:14 is the time given for the Dutch Ootmarsum in Rohwer's book, so it's quite possible that new findings now indicate it was the Norwegian ship that was hit at that time, and not the Dutch vessel (Uboat.net gives the time as 01:01 for this ship). The archive document gives the time 11:40 for S/S ”Bruse”.
The weather had been bad all along, and in the dark and rainy night of the 22nd, when the convoy was to change course 18° to port in a westerly gale increasing to a full storm and heavy seas, many ships lost their stations, necessitating navigation lights to be lit in order to avoid collisions. Several ships lagged behind.
The lights flashed all over the place until the early morning hours of the 23rd, resulting in U-100 spotting the convoy and sinking several ships in the disorganized formation, S/S ”Bruse” being one of them.
The after mast and the funnel went overboard, the mast crushing the port lifeboat (where 5 men had assembled) and the motorboat as it fell, and shortly thereafter the afterpart of S/S ”Bruse” broke off and sank, taking the lifeboats and 17 men with it.
The captain and 4 others had been on the bridge when the torpedo struck. The captain ran into the radio station to try to get in communication with the escort, but the radio was useless so they sent up 3 rockets, and later signalled by torch to report their situation.
The Canadian destroyer Skeena came to, but it was impossible to attempt a rescue under the violent weather conditions, so while awaiting daylight the survivors gathered by a raft which was secured on top of the deck cargo. In the morning, after having struggled with it for 2 hours, they eventually managed to get the raft on the water, and Skeena was able to pick them up.
A 6th survivor, Able Seaman Johan Løkvik (from the afterpart) was already on the destroyer. He had been pulled under twice by the suction, but had been able to get to the surface where he had come across the waterfilled starboard lifeboat, in which he had found an SOS lamp that he used to attract the destroyer's attention. He had seen several other men in the water, and the destroyer searched for them but none were found.
The survivors were landed in Gourock on Nov. 25. Convoy SC 11 arrived Liverpool the next day, having lost 8 ships in all. In addition to the 2 Norwegian ones they were the British Bradfyne (Norse King rescued 4 survivors from one of Bradfyne's lifeboats on Nov. 25 and landed them at Belfast), Justitia, Leise Maersk, and the Dutch Bussum and Ootmarsum, all sunk by U-100. Additionally, the British Alma Dawson struck a British mine on Nov. 24 (no casualties - survivors were picked up by the Norwegian Spurt).
My page about Convoy SC 11 has more details - see also the external link at the end of this page.
A few days later, an aircraft reported that the forepart of S/S ”Bruse” was still afloat with the cargo intact, and she was subsequently towed to shore by the tugs Seaman and Thames, arriving Clyde on Nov. 30. She was beached at Ardmaleish Point, Kames Bay where her deck cargo was discharged.
The maritime hearings were held in Glasgow on Dec. 2-1940 with Captain Brekke, the 2nd mate, Able Seaman Semmerud (helmsman), and Able Seaman Løkvik appearing.
The remainder of S/S ”Bruse”'s cargo was later discharged at Troon, where S/S ”Bruse” had arrived in Jan.-1941. Having been found to be beyond repair she was delivered for breaking up in June that year.
Captain O. T. Brekke later helped build up Nortraship's organization in London, and also served in the Home Guard. After the war, he went on to command S/S ”Bruse III” in 1946, thereby serving with Fred. Olsen for over 42 years. He died in 1990.
Kilder: Krigsseilerregisteret, Minnehallen i Stavern, www.uboat.net og www.warsailors.com
Registernummer London: 1816