The Briswas a Norwegian steam ship of 2,027 gross registered tons which was sunk by U-201 on the night of 20th April 1942 230 nautical miles northwest of Bermuda and 330 miles east of Cape Hatteras. Bris was built in 1938 by Trondhjems Mekaniske Verksted in Trondheim Norway. The ship was 289 feet long, 44 feet wide and 18.4 feet deep. A triple-expansion steam engine produced 188 net horse power and propelled the ship at roughly 11 knots.
The ship originally left New York for Baltimore on the 12th of April. It presumably topped up on cargo before departing for Brazil on Saturday the 18th of April, 1942. Here voyage instructions were issued by the British Naval Control authorities in Baltimore.
Bris gunner and Able Seaman Johannes Hauge of Norway
Source: Norwegian national archives, http://www.sjohistorie.no/personer/1380139162.02?distrikt=None
Then came salvation: at 8:15 pm on May 3rdan Army airplane sighted the lifeboat which attracted its attention with red flares and a white flag at position The men had voyaged roughly 450 miles. According to the Eastern Sea Frontier Enemy Action Diary, a later flight by the Army Air Corps at 1:42 am May 4th reported sighting three lifeboats. It is possible the plane sighted Bris’ other lifeboat with Captain Hansen and 8 other men in it and yet another boat from one of the numerous ships sunk by U-boats off the Hatteras area that bloody spring.
Chester O. Swain, Source Auke Visser’s Esso Tankers site, http://www.aukevisser.nl/inter/id98.htm
Mason, Jerry, http://www.uboatarchive.net
AB Gunner Johannes Hauge http://www.sjohistorie.no/personer/1380139162.02?distrikt=None
Auke Visser’s International Esso Tankers Site, http://www.aukevisser.nl/inter/id98.htm
Wrecksite.eu for specs of the ship: http://www.wrecksite.eu/wreck.aspx?15595