Født: Lyngdal - 28 april 1918
Bosted: Lyngdal - Lyngdal kommune.
Død: 16 desember 1944
Theis Theisen var matros og skytter på M/T ”Bello”. Omkom 16. desember 1944, da skipet kl 05:20 ble torpedert i Nord-Atlanteren på vei fra Glasgow til New York i ballast.
Kildene forteller:Krigsseilerregisteret skriver:
Theis Theisen ble utdannet som skytter i Dumbarton, Skottland. Etter endt utdannelse seilte han ut med M/S ""CARMFJELD"" fra 10/8-42 til 10/9-42. M/T "Bello" fr 11/11-42
Torpedert og senket den 16/12 av tysk ubåt U-610 i Nord-Atlanteren på reise fra Clyde til New York. 33 personer omkom.
www.uboat.net skriver:At 08.36 and 08.38 hours on 16 December 1942, the german, type VIIC u-boat U-610, commanded by Freiherr Walter von Freyberg-Eisenberg-Allmendingen, holder of the German Cross in Cold, fired two spreads of two torpedoes at convoy ON-153 and observed two hits on a first tanker that sank burning in 4 minutes and a hit with a column of fire on another tanker. M/T "Bello" was sunk and the Regent Lion damaged. M/T "Bello" (Master Trygve Bernt) in station #104 was hit on the starboard side by two torpedoes in the engine room. The ship sank by the stern and sank within a few minutes, leaving no time to launch the lifeboat so the survivors were forced to jump overboard and to swim to three rafts and an overturned boat. After about an hour, the master and six survivors were picked up by HMS Pink (K 137) (Lt R. Atkinson, DSC, RNR) which unsuccessfully searched for more survivors until daylight and then rejoined convoy. 28 Norwegian and five British crew members were lost. The survivors were landed in St. John’s on 29 December.
Minnehallen i Stavern skriver:
M/T "Bello" var på reise i ballast i konvoi fra Glasgow til New York sammen med 42 skip. Konvoien ble angrepet av fire ubåter, og Bello ble torpedert 16. desember 1942, sannsynligvis av tysk U-610 (Freiherr Walter von Freyberg-Eisenberg-Allmendingen) i posisjon 5145 N og 2350 W. Skipet sank så hurtig at besetningen måtte beordres til flåtene. Av ni mann på midtskipet og på dekk klarte sju å komme seg klar på flåter og på hvelvet av en livbåt. De fleste akterut antas å være drept momentant. Det samme gjaldt kanonmannskapet. Åtte mann ble reddet en times tid senere av en korvett. M/T "Bello" tok med seg i dypet 28 nordmenn og fem briter.
De som omkom med M/T "Bello":
Haakon Eriksen - Skytter, Leif Idar Øksendal - Styrmann, Theis Theisen - Matros/skytter, Ole Jørgen Olsen - Donkeymann, Johan Nikolai Pettersen - Matros, Ernst Henry Paulsen - 3. Maskinist, Sverre Olsen - Matros, Karl Andreas Olsen - Motormann, Gunnar Nilsen - Smører, Thor Nielsen - Maskinsjef, Trygve Normann Larsen - Maskinmann, Johannes Nilsen Karlsen - Sjømann, Karl Waldemar Jørgensen - Stuert, Johan Marinius Juliussen - Lettmatros, Hans Johansen - Motormann, Isak Svendsen Holte - Stuert, Vilhelm Martin Heggøy - Pumpemann, Konrad Hansten Haug - Matros, Karl Gustav Hauge - Sjømann, Magnus Edvard Haraldsen - Maskinist, Hans Arnt Hansen - Tømmermann, Håkon Olai Hammersland - Skytter, Jan Sigvard Fløysvik - Matros, Kristen Monrad Døvik - Matros, Bernhard Brudvik - Motormann, Thorleif Bleika Jensen - Sjømann/skytter, Karl Blomberg - Båtsmann, Roald Kristoffer Alsterberg - Motormann.
Final Fate - 1942:
M/T "Bello" had left Clyde on Dec. 11-1942 in ballast for New York, taking station 104 of Convoy ON 153.
At 05:20 (ship's time) on December 16 M/T "Bello" was hit by two torpedoes within a few seconds of each other.
The torpedoes had come from U-610 (von Freyberg-Eisenberg-Allmendingen), the 1st one hitting in the engine room on the starboard side, and the 2nd a little further forward.
M/T "Bello" after part was practically submerged in less than 30 seconds after the last torpedo struck, so it was believed that none of the men who were in that section of the ship could have managed to get out of their cabins.
For the same reason the gunners who were on duty on the platform were also lost. No distress signals were sent. As there was no time to properly launch the lifeboats the captain ordered the crew to the rafts. 3 rafts came clear before the ship sank (51 45N 23 50W); some men were on the overturned port lifeboat, some in liferings.
"Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, claims M/T "Bello" was torpedoed by U-356.
This U-boat was there, but did not sink any ships (ref. link to Convoy ON 153 at the end of this page).
After about an hour the 7 survivors, including the captain, were picked up by the corvette HMS Pink (K 137) which unsuccessfully searched for more survivors until daylight, then rejoined the convoy.
The survivors were landed in St. John's on Dec. 29. Convoy ON 153 arrived New York on the 31st.
28 Norwegian and 5 British seamen died, they are all named further down on this page.
The Norwegians are commemorated at the Stavern Memorial for Seamen, link below, while Billy McGee, England has told me that the following 5 young men are commemorated at Tower Hill, Panel 16:
Galley Boy Frederick Arthur Bull from Southall, Middlesex (age 19), Mess Room Boy Leslie J. Gatehouse from Highbury, London (age 17), 4th Engineer Officer Robert Goodwin (age 29), Mess Room Boy Anthony Michael Noy (age 18), and Saloon Boy Michael Alexander Peetz (age 16).
The official report on the sinking of M/T "Bello" states she was chartered to British Tanker Co. at the time of loss and says a 3rd torpedo was also fired, but missed and was believed to have struck the British Regent Lion, sailing on M/T "Bello"'s port side (this ship is listed in station 83 on the convoy document, M/T "Bello" was in station 104.
Regent Lion was damaged by U-610, later salvaged and in the U.K. at the time the report was written, Febr. 6-1943).
The time of attack is given as 07:20 GMT in this report, and position 53 N 27W, 550 - 575 miles west of Cape Clear, in stormy weather with heavy seas. The report adds that M/T "Bello" had a complement of 40, 33 of whom were missing.
"Nortraships flåte" agrees with the time 05:20 given in the 2nd mate's account below, which appears to be ship's time.
The maritime hearings were held in St. John's on Dec. 31-1942. The following were present: Captain Bernt, 1st Mate Moen, Able Seaman/Gunner Wick (at the wheel when M/T "Bello" was torpedoed; he was rescued from the capsized lifeboat), and Able Seaman Wisnes (on lookout - rescued while holding on to a door, being the first one to be picked up by the corvette). The Belgian Emile Francqui was also sunk in this convoy (U-664) with the loss of 46 lives, and U-211 sank HMS Firedrake. The report mentioned above claims that the British Tortuguero was damaged (Dec. 16) as was the British Otina (Dec. 20). Otina was sunk by U-621 on Dec. 20, with the loss of all 60 on board. Jürgen Rohwer does not name a convoy in connection with this ship, probably because she was straggling at the time, and he does not mention an attack on Tortuguero at all (note that, like Bello, Otina had also previously arrived the U.K. with Convoy HX 216, while the others, including Regent Lion, had arrived with HX 215).
Eye witness account:
According to an article found in "Krigsseileren" No. 4 for 1992 (also written by 2nd Mate R. K. Pedersen), the torpedo hit in the engine room at 05:20 while he was asleep. He ran up on deck where he found the 1st mate, the captain and a few others attempting to launch the lifeboat amidships. This boat had gotten stuck so they were all ordered to the rafts, but he was knocked overboard by the seas, though was able to get himself to the surface and on to a nearby raft, together with the captain (he says they were the only 2 on this raft).He says that a heavy storm lasting for several days resulted in Pink starting to run out of bunkers while waiting for the weather to improve, so she had to head for the nearest port, Ponta del Gada, the Azores, arriving there on Dec. 22 (again, see my page about Convoy ON 153), before continuing west to St. John's, N.F., landing Bello's survivors there on Dec. 29. Pedersen says the reason M/T "Bello" sank so quickly was the fact that she had a lot of ballast due to the storm forecasts. He does not mention a 2nd torpedo, nor does he give details on whether any other survivors joined the 2 on the raft later.
Kilder: Krigsseilerregisteret, www.uboat.net, Minnehallen i Stavern og www.warsailors.com
Tilhørte Marinen. Seilte i Uteflåten som skytter.
Registernummer London: 5992
Registernummer New York: 19865
Registernummer Marinen: Kanoner no. 586