Fuel tank, Latham 47.02

On January 10, 1929, fisherman Martin Jørgensen found a fuel tank on the shore at Borge in Lofoten. His son, Julian Sortland, reported this to Lofotposten’s editorial staff, 📜 who were further asked to inform the police chief. The tank was handed in to the local sheriff and then transported to the police chief in Svolvær.

Newspaper descriptions of the tank contained details such as: “The drain pipe is worn away, but the filler pipe and drain pipe are in order, the plugs are attached by strings. Around both ends of the tank is an indented edge, and the paint is slightly scraped off. As far as one can see there is no inscription. At one end of the tank is a hemispherical bulge.”📜

The chief of police in Svolvær was able to confirm that the tank’s filler pipe bore a brass plate almost identical to that on the tank found in October 1928. This tank, however, could hold only 500 litres. The plate read: “Essence. Contenance 500 litres, Hydravion Latham.”

Detail photo of the brass plate stamped: “Essence. Contenance 500 litres, Hydravion Latham.” Photo: Lofotposten 17.1.1929 / National Library of Norway.
The tank was photographed in Svolvær before being transported to the Ministry of Defence in Oslo. Photo: Lofotposten 17.1.1929 / National Library of Norway.

The tank was empty and dry inside, and since it remained sealed with taps closed, investigators concluded that the fuel had been exhausted during the Latham’s flight. This was used as a new basis for calculating how far the flying boat had travelled before the tanks were removed from the hull.

This tank was later donated to the current Norwegian Maritime Museum in Oslo, and is now on display at the Polar Museum in Tromsø, The Arctic University museum of Norway. The tank was digitized in 2021 by AHR, The Arctic University of Norway.

The tank in Augmented reality (AR)

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Sources:
Kristensen, Monica: Amundsens siste reise
Hovdenak, Gunnar: Roald Amundsens siste ferd 📜
Latham-ferden: Roald Amundsens endelikt. Utgitt av Vågemot miniforlag 📜

1872
Roald Amundsen born July 16
1880
Starts at Otto Andersen’s School
1886
Jens Engebreth Amundsen dies
1887 – 1889
Polar interest aroused
1890
Starting university
1893
Gustava Amundsen (née. Sahlqvist) dies
1893
Mountain ski tour with Urdahl and Holst
1894
Hunting in Arctic waters with the Magdalena
1895
Ship’s Officer’s exam
1896
Hardangervidda with Leon
1897 – 1899
Belgica expedition
1899
Cycling from Christiania to Paris
1900
Studying geomagnetism in Hamburg
1903 – 1906
Gjøa expedition
1907
Polar bears as draft animals
1908
Amundsen buys Uranienborg
1909
The North Pole reached?
1910 – 1912
Fram expedition
1914
Amundsen becomes a pilot
1916 – 1917
The polar ship Maud is being built
1918
Maud expedition
1922
Nita and Camilla move in
1923
Uranienborg for sale
1924
Amundsen goes bankrupt
1925
To 88 degrees north
1926
Norge expedition
1927
Lecture tour in Japan
1928
Latham flight
1928
Fuel tank. Latham 47.02. Found in 1929
1934 – 1935
Uranienborg becomes a museum
1938
Betty’s house burns down
2015
A chest full of photographs is discovered
2020
Roald Amundsen’s home goes digital