Albert Johan Moss was born 14 December 1882 in Bergen, Norway as one of six children of Eduard and Dorothea Moss.
At age 16 years he started his career as a sailor.
In the autumn 1911, Albert Moss was first officer on board the Norwegian cargo ship SS Hebe on its way from a Swedish port in the Baltic to Preston on the west coast of England. Outside Preston, Lancashire, Albert and the rest of the crew at SS Hebe fell victim to a dramatic shipwreck on the 11th of December. The ship was crushed against the cliffs, but fortunately the entire crew was rescued by a lifeboat from nearby Southport. Albert returned to Bergen just in time to celebrate Christmas with his siblings.
Struggling with collapsible B on board Titanic, he was swept overboard, but after some time in the cold water, he reached the same, now upturned lifeboat, and managed to climb up on it.
''A survivor of the Titanic tragedy came to port yesterday in the person of Chief Officer Foss [sic] of the Norwegian sugar boat Norheim, which arrived from San Domingo with a large cargo of sugar late Saturday. With an engineer, J. P. Petersen, formerly of the Norheim, Foss leaped over the side as the Titanic began to settle. For three hours he swam and floated on the icy water before he was picked up. His companion was drowned.'' (Boston Herald, May 26, 1913, p. 5)
'...Moss said he was standing among other passengers watching the women being placed in the boats, when the mate of the Titanic singled him out and asked whether he was a seafaring man. Receiving an affirmative answer, the officer commanded him to man one of the boats.' (Delaware County Daily Times, Chester, Delaware, 24 April 1912, p. 9)
After two weeks at hospital in New York he continued to Philadelphia and on board Norheim as planned. Later on he was appointed captain at another Norwegian steamer Nordkyn. Although Norway was not a part of WW1, Nordkyn was torpedoed off Morocco. Albert and all the crew members managed to enter the lifeboats and reached a Moroccan town after three days.
Safely home in Bergen he married his own niece Ingrid, the daughter of his elder brother Bernhard. He then had a ten year long pause from his seafaring life, and Ingrid and Albert had three children Gunvor, Egil, and Reidun; the latter later married to Håkon Bertelsen and had five children.
In 1930 Albert returned to sea in coal transport from Spitzbergen to Germany. This continued until 1941 when the coal steamers were transferred from Spitzbergen via Iceland to Scotland. Here he took over as a captain at S/S Munin in freight along the British coasts until June 1944. Then Albert and Munin were engaged in the freight of ammunition and other goods during the invasion in Normandy for the rest of WW2.
Eventually, in January 1946 he was allowed to return to Bergen and meet again with family and friends. There he lived a long and quiet life as a pensioner together with Ingrid, children and grandchildren until his death on 4 July 1973. Although he gave some interviews to radio and newspapers, Albert did not like to speak about his experiences at sea, neither the Titanic disaster nor other of his sinister experiences.
Peter Engberg, Sweden
- Another sources says 2nd mate.
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(2016) Albert Johan Moss Encyclopedia Titanica (ref: #1043, accessed 3rd December 2016 03:38:31 PM)
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