Født: Sanisdal - 25 februar 1922
Bosted: Kristiansand - Kristiansand kommune.
Død: 12 mai 1943
Torgny Thygesen var på M/T " Sandanger", og omkom 12. mai 1943 da skipet ble torpedert, på reise fra New York til Belfast.
Kildene forteller:Krigsseilerregistert skriver:
M/T " Sandanger" ble torpedert den 12 mai 1943 av tysk ubåt U 221 (Kapitänleutnant Hans- Harwig Trojer ) og synker i pos. N 47.19' W 21.41' på reise New York til Belfast. Hun var lastet med 7000 tonn bensin og 700 tonn parafin. Hadde avgått New York i konvoi den 1/5, men mistet konvoien i tett tåke 5 dager senere. Ble truffet av 3 torpedoer med få sekunder mellomrom og det oppsto øyeblikkelig brann ombord. Man fikk satt ut en livbåt og 19 personer kom seg ombord i denne. Disse ble den 22/5 tatt opp av en kanadisk jager og landsatt neste dag i Londonderry. Resten av mannskapet på 20 personer omkom.
www.uboat.net skriver:At 22.28 hours on 12 May 1943 the M/T " Sandanger" (Master Sigurd Jamne), a straggler from convoy HX-237 due to thick fog, was hit amidships, in the pump room and in #6 tank by three torpedoes from the german, type VIIC u-boat U-221, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Hans- Harwig Trojer, holder of the german Knights Cross, and caught fire immediately. Some survivors tried to abandon ship in boats and rafts but they died in the burning sea. After the tanker broke in two, the stern sank while the burning forepart remained afloat. Because of the fast combustion, an area of low pressure was created, which caused a very strong wind to blow in along the water from the high pressure area outside of the flames, and this wind split the flames on the starboard side in two. This phenomenon saved the 19 survivors in the only intact lifeboat. They rowed for 40 minutes through this area away from the flames that burned just a few feet above their heads and behind them. The tanker sank completely about 90 minutes after the hits, but the fuel burned for several hours on the water surface. 20 crew members, including the master and all deck officers were lost. The survivors set sail and were spotted several times by aircraft, one of them dropped a portable radio transmitter that made it possible that they were picked up on 22 May by HMCS Kootenay (H 75) and landed at Londonderry the next day.
Våre Falne skriver:
THYGESEN, TORGNY, matros, Kristiansand. Født 25. februar 1922 i Sannidal, s. av Nils Thygesen, f. 1892 i Drangedal, og Ingeborg Emilie f. Larsen, f. 1894 i Søndled. Var på M/T " Sandanger", og omkom 12. mai 1943 da skipet ble torpedert, på reise fra New York til Belfast.
Minnehallen i Stavern skriver:
M/T " Sandanger" var på reise i konvoi lastet med 7.000 tonn parafin og 7.000 tonn bensin bestemt for Belfast. 12. mai 1943 ble hun torpedert av tysk U221 ( Kapitänleutnant Hans- Hartwig Trojer ) i posisjon 4600 N og 2100 W.
Tre torpedoer traff, og hele skipet sto øyeblikkelig i flammer. Mannskapet sprang for livet til redningsmateriellet, samtidig som ilden åt seg ut over sjøen. En livbåt med 19 mann ble låret rett ned i flammene på havet.
M/T " Sandanger" brakk i to, og forskipet fløt som et kjempemessig bensin bål. Livbåten var lenge truet av den intense heten og flammene.
Nå inntraff et fenomen som reddet båten. På grunn av den sterke og hurtige forbrenning på skipet oppsto et lavtrykks område utenfor flammene. Den forårsaket at en meget sterk vind blåste inn langs vannet fra høytrykksområdet utenfor flammene, og denne vinden delte flammene i to. Båten ble manøvrert inn i dette området, og i 40 minutter rodde mannskapet for livet under en flammebru som sto bare noen fot over båten. Bensin og flammer fulgte etter den, og sto tidvis bare noen meter fra båten. Heten var intens, men de kom seg ut i åpent vann.
Båten heiste seil. 10 dager senere ble den observert av en kanadisk jager som landsatte folkene i Londonderry 23. mai 1943. På M/T " Sandanger" omkom kapteinen, alle dekksoffiserene og en stor del av dekks- og midtskipsbesetningen, til sammen 20 mann.De norske som omkom med M/T " Sandanger":
Gustav Uhrbom - 3. Styrmann, Ernst Totland - 3. Maskinist, Torgny Thygesen - Matros, Kai Edvard Sand - Motormann, Oddmund Pettersen - Stuert, Arve Pettersen - Matros, Wilhelm Johannes Olsen - Fyrbøter, Nils Nilsen - Styrmann, Aleksander Martinsen - Skytter, Teis Lundegård - Maskinist, Hjalmar Sahl Ludvigsen - Båtsmann, Kristian Olsen Lerpoll - Skytter, Karl Birger Karlsen - Matros/skytter, Arne Leonard Kanestrøm - Matros/skytter, Sigurd Johannes Jamne - Skipsfører, Arne Holm - Radiotelegrafist, John Holden - Motormann, Oscar Holmboe Dahle - Styrmann, Rolf Anker Christensen - Motormann.
Final Fate - 1943:
M/T " Sandanger" had been to Casablanca in Febr./March-1943. She had arrived New York again on Apr. 14 (Page 4), and was scheduled for Convoy HX 235 to the U.K. on Apr. 18, but did not sail. She was also cancelled from the next convoy, HX 236.
Departed New York on May 1, bound for Belfast Lough and Swansea in Convoy HX 237, which encountered heavy fog. When visibility improved off St. John's, Sandanger found herself alone on the ocean.
That afternoon they met a Dutch tug escorted by an armed trawler, and M/T " Sandanger" joined them, following directions from the trawler, as the tug was headed for the convoy.
At dawn the trawler was gone, and Sandanger and the tug continued through that day and the following night, with a somewhat altered course.
The next morning, May 8 the tug signalled that an attempt would be made to find the convoy as an "incomplete radio message" had been received.
That same day Sandanger received the position the convoy would be in the following day and consequently headed for that position, but reaching the meeting place at noon on May 9, no convoy could be seen.
In the morning of the 10th they met a ship belonging to the same convoy, and later that morning another 2 ships.
At noon that day they were at the meeting place again, but still no convoy could be found, so the ships proceeded at full speed.
2 days later, on May 12, M/T " Sandanger" was hit on the port side by 3 torpedoes from U-221 (Trojer), 1 striking amidships, 1 in the pumproom and 1 in No. 6 tank, position 46N 21W.
M/T " Sandanger" was immediately engulfed in flames, as she had a cargo of 7000 tons paraffin and 7000 tons gasoline. Only the starboard aft motor lifeboat remained intact, and had to be lowered straight down into the burning sea.
The engine had been stopped by the 2nd engineer, but M/T "Sandanger" still had some speed so that the boat had drifted a few meters away from the side of the ship. One of the mechanics was seen hanging in the net, before jumping into the flaming water. He tried to swim to the boat, but gave up before he reached it.
The boatswain was also half way down the ship's side when he called to the others to keep rowing. He then reboarded the ship.
The starboard raft was seen to be thrown down into the flames and several jumped overboard after it, never to be seen again.
The after part of M/T "Sandanger" sank while the forepart stayed afloat like a giant bonfire. Those in the lifeboat were wet with benzine and the boat itself had also been sprayed, so they were in great danger from the flames and intense heat, until a phenomenon occurred which saved them.
Because of the fast combustion, an area of low pressure was created, which caused a very strong wind to blow in along the water from the high pressure area outside of the flames, and this wind lifted and split the flames on the starboard side in two. The lifeboat was maneuvered into this area, and for about 40 minutes the men rowed for life underneath a "bridge" of flames just a few feet above their heads, gasoline and flames floating in their wake.
The fire went out about 5 hours after M/T "Sandanger" had been torpedoed, and those in the lifeboat rowed the whole time to keep away from the flames.
According to a report presented at the maritime hearings the attack had occurred at 19:00 on May 12, and at 01:00 on May 13 they could finally set sail, heading in the direction M/T "Sandanger" had originally been going.
However, the wind changed and in the morning they had to go straight west, keeping this course for 2 days. In the morning of the 3rd day they managed to get the motor started and set an easterly course, but after 43 hours they ran out of petrol so the rest of the time they sailed.
U-221 gave the attack position as grid position BE1934 (appr. 49 03N 20 55W) and the time of attack as 22:28 CET on May 12-1943. Page 4 of the archive documents gives the time as 19:05 for the aft part, 20:30 for the forepart.
On May 14, a four engined bomber aircraft had sighted the boat and dropped water and food.
The following day 3 aircraft had circled them and 1, believed to be a Sunderland, dropped a first aid kit as well as a portable American Bendix radio. Although there was no radio operator in the boat, it was used frequently, and it was later learned that these signals had been heard, and were largely responsible for their rescue.
The next day (May 16) a merchant ship was sighted but they were not seen. Finally, on the 22nd, they were picked up by the Canadian destroyer HCMS Kootenay (H-75) which landed them in Londonderry on May 23.
Out of a crew of 39, 20 had died, including the captain, the British Radio Operator Ronald Boardman (age 18), and all the deck officers.
The inquiry was held in Glasgow on June 3-1943 with the 1st and 2nd engineers, and Able Seamen Marthinsen and Ulriksen appearing.
Kilder: Krigsseilerregisteret, www.uboat.net, Våre Falne, Minnehallen i Stavern og www.warsailors.net
Registernummer London: 26638
Registernummer New York: 15912
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)
Thygesen, ble tildelt Krigsmedaljen Dato for tildeling ukjent