M/S TARONGA – APRIL 9 1940
The story of the Radio Operator
The Captain on M/S Taronga had decided to seak port of refuge in the City of Larvik- a Norwegian seaside city. Norway was attacked by Germany. An official message was forwarded all Norwegian ships ordering the ships not to go to Norwegian harbours. On board M/S Taronga the Radio Operation Sven Johan Johansen was working. He must have received the news. No Norwegian ships must go to Norwegian harbours. The Radio Operator left the ship. The date of his disembarkation of the ship is still unknown. But on April 9, 1940 he is still working on the ship as a Radio Operator. We do not know the reason why he left the ship and how come that he is noted signed on a new ship in Suez, Egypt on May 5, 1940? What happened to the Captain and the rest of the crew? No official information about the crew has been published –so far.
SUEZ- EGYPT -1940
Radio Operator Sven Johan Johansen- born January 28, 1907 in Oslo- signed on a new ship May 5, 1940. The name of the ship is: D/T Captain A.F. Lucas. The ship is recorded in Panama. The shipping company is: Balboa Transport Corporation, Panama. The ship was built in New York in 1903. In 1948 the ship was scrapped-broken up.
THE RECORD OF THE WAR SAILING OF SVEN JOHAN JOHANSEN
What happened to the Radio Operator who left Norway in 1940 to join the Norwegian merchant fleet – Northraship – to fight for Norway?
He was a sailor from 1940 to 1945. The list of the ships he embarked contents of 8 ships:
-M/S Taronga, D/T Captain A.F.Lukas, M/T Trondheim, M/S Prins Harald, D/S Tanafjord,M/S Hai Lee, D/S Wyern and D/S Ek.
We do not know the date of his arrival in Norway. The last ship where he had signed on was D/S Ek. The date was August 31, 1945. On May 28, 1980 was awarded the Norwegian “ Krigsmedalje” for his participation during the WWII.
So far the official information about Sven Johan Johansen is that he left a ship in Norway in 1940 and returned to Norway in 1945. If you take a look at the list of ships where he had worked, let us focus on the story of one of the ships: M/S Prins Harald.
M/S PRINS HARALD
The ship was transporting war materials for the battlefields in North Africa. The cargo contented some ammunition. The convoy KMS3 was attacked on November 20, 1942 by a German submarine U-263 about 240 miles west of Gibraltar. M/S Prins Harald was hit by a torpedo in the starboard side. On board the ship was Captain Westbye Foss-Sørensen and First Mate Jaampa Krog. They made an attempt to save the ship. Invain. The ship was blown up in a tremendous explosion. The remaining officers and a British gunner, Jack G. Jones were killed. The Radio Operator Sven Johan Johansen survived the German attack. An inquiry about the event was held in London December 7, 1942. He had to report to the inquiry about the sinking of the ship. He was searching for the Captain asking him if the use of radio was necessary: Negative answer to the question from the Captain. Then he entered the lifeboat.
The official story about the Norwegian ship which refused to die has not been written yet. Anyway we have got one name of interest to the story of the ship: The story of the Radio Operator Sven Johan Johansen who was born in Oslo but his address was officially Peder Grønsgt.2, the City of Sandefjord – a seaside city of Norway.
The most interesting part of his story is how he managed to sign on a ship in Suez, Egypt on May 5, 1940? – and how many of the members of the crew went with him?
 No information about the Captain in the book about Norwegian sailors killed during WWII: VÅRE FALNE 1939-1945. Sjøfolkenes innsats
 First Mate Jaampa Krog was the son of the famous Norwegian journalist and playwright Helge Krog. Jaampa Krog is noted in the book: VÅRE FALNE 1939-1945.Sjøfolkenes innsats. Page 301.