Daring Escape of the SS Mormacsea

28th November 2012, 13:19
The SS Mormacsea, which was a merchant freighter, was laying dockside in Trondheim, Norway in the early morning of April 9th, 1940.

The Captain, Master William McHale, and her crew were all snuggled down in there bunks enjoying the few remaining minutes of a good nights sleep when a few of these sleepy souls, including the Captain, was awakened by the noise of several aircraft circling the ship..........Whoa!!!...what is going on here??

Well just about the time the Captain decided to get up....grab his pants and make himself presentable to the 'masses'...he was notified that a German cruiser was pulling into this same harbor....and low and behold the same cruiser was asking permission to pull along side the Mormacsea. Now, this made Captain McHale just a tad uneasy....to say the least.

Once the German cruiser was secured along side the Mormacsea her captain came aboard and greeted Captain McHale.....he explained that 2,000 Nazi troops had just landed and now occupied the port of Trondheim....as well as surrounding countryside.

The German Captain wanted to make it very clear to Captain McHale that Germany had no quarrel with the U.S. or any of her merchant vessels....he and the troops were only there to protect the Norwegians against a British attack.....so he could rest easy.

The reason Captain McHale was just a tad more than 'uneasy' with all of this.....at such an early hour on this morning was.....unknown to the Germans at the times was the $4,500,000 of gold ingots buried deep in the hold of the SS Mormacsea...that held 800 tons of peat.....of which was actually headed for the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

So...immediately what was running through Capatin McHale's mind....."Hmmmmmm...how in the hell am I going to get this 'cargo' out of 'Dodge?????"

Well so now you know how gold ingots has a "headline" in this article....well if you'd care to give this one a going over....just click on this title: DARING ESCAPE OF THE SS MORMACSEA (http://navalmerchantshiparticles.blogspot.com/2010/11/daring-escape-of-ss-mormacsea.html)

4th February 2013, 00:51
good day cshortridge 73. just read your post. daring escape of the ss.mormacsea dated 28.nov.2012,22;19.it certainly was a great escape.what happend to the gold? and who,s was it?.or did the captain and crew retire early. (joke)have a good one ben27

4th February 2013, 14:34
My Father was in Southern Norway at that time with the 1st Batt Green Howards trying to hold the Axis Forces back in order to facilitate the evacuation of King Harald and those who wanted to escape from the German's. His War Diary and Medal's are held in the Green Howard's Museum. An interesting article Bud, thank's for the sighting of it.

4th February 2013, 15:10
photo.of ss Mormacsea? returning to NY is of a 'Victory' ship.(not a Hog Island)
CLIFFWOOD(1495) named by Miss Helena Richardson on Nov.12th.1919 for the Shipping Board ,aloccated to Southern States Line (mgd.Lykes Bros./Riplley SS)Later assigned to Moore & McCormack American Scantic Line later bought by MM and r/n MORMACSEA.Sold 1939 Lloyd Brasileiro r/n COMMANDANTE PESSOA wkd. Sept.2nd.1954 Cabo Sao Roque

4th February 2013, 16:08
CS Your entries are always very interesting reading, but for the lads to have a German warship tie up next to them must have been a very frightening experience. Did the Germans know of the gold, as stated it might have been theres.

5th February 2013, 10:22
cshortridge73; that is a ripping story one brave Capt. as well as crew but particularly the Norge pilot. Wonder what indeed happened to the suspect gold & why there is no record of where it went etc. It was also great to see the reference to HMS Glowworm, now that was a heroic action.

11th November 2015, 19:39
Very nice to read about my Grandfather - Capt McHale!