A Tribute to the Swedish American Line
The White Viking Fleet - 100 Year Anniversary 2015
25 Years on the Internet


Carl-Otto Claesson
On the Bridge 1923 - 1955

Carl-Otto Claesson

"Från livbåt till flytande palats"
som skildrar Carl-Otto Claessons liv iliv till sjöss
finns nu i nyutgåva i två delar:

Del 1: Mina pojkår i stenriket och ubåtskriget.
Del 2: 32 år på bryggan i Svenska Amerika Linien


Mina pojkår i stenriket och ubåtskriget


32 år på bryggan i Svenska Amerika Linien


Båda delarna är uppdaterade med ny information och nya foton.

Läs mer hos Bokus.com

Från Livbåt Till Flytande Palats
Nu Som Ebok

Boken har länge varit slutsåld i inbunden
utgåva, men finns nu som ebok.

Boken kan beställas hos de etablerade nätbokhandlarna.

Läs mer om eboken här


On September 9 1953 the New York Times deemed the following story newsworthy. It is quoted here somewhat abbreviated.


  Carl-Otto Claesson, first officer of the Swedish American liner Gripsholm, was transferred from the ship to the Coast Guard cutter Manitou at Quarantine yesterday afternoon after a five-day siege of stomach ulcer trouble. His condition was described as not serious.

The Gripsholm docked at Pier 97, Hudson River , at 3 P.M. with 922 passengers from Goeteborg. Mr. Claesson took the long way around in reaching Roosevelt Hospital , which is but a few blocks from where the liner berthed.

From the Manitou he was taken to the United States Public Health Station at Rosebank, S.I. From there a private ambulance took him to Brooklyn via the Sixty­­­-ninth Street Ferry and thence to New York International Airport at Idlewild, Queens , where he finally agreed to hospitalization here.


This ”siege of stomach ulcer trouble” foreboded the end of a most unusual service at sea.

As a young sailor on Norwegian and Swedish ships in British waters during World War I Carl-Otto Claesson saved his life three times in lifeboats when German torpedoes struck his ships.

As a young mate in the Swedish American Line he served mostly on cruises on board the Gripsholm, built in 1925.

As a senior mate on the Drottningholm during World War II he served when that ship exchanged wounded POWs between the Germans and the Allies, repatriated internees and brought war brides to their new home countries.

He became the last captain of the Drottningholm, and then served as control officer when that ship had become the Italian SS Brasil. During the ensuing years, as a popular retainer in SAL, he alternated as first officer and commander on either the Stockholm or the first Gripsholm.

This unusual life is now described in a manuscript by Göran C-O Claesson, a son of Carl-Otto Claesson. It is titled Från livbåt till flytande palats (From Lifeboats to Floating Palaces).

While discussions are going on with publishers in Sweden , excerpts from the manuscript are being translated to English. Each of them will presented here as soon as it is translated. Göran C-O Claesson is welcoming questions and comments.

E-mail <eget@brevet.se> Homepage

The chapters covering Carl-Otto Claesson's experiences at sea during the two world wars will be published in English if there is sufficient interest for such a book and if funding can be provided for the translation.

Childhood and World War I

A Mate in the White Fleet

From Prisoners of War to War Brides

The Drottningholm Turns Italian

M/S Stockholm - A Capricious Beauty

Serving under the Most Forcible Captain

The Fourth Stripe off and on.

From Roosevelt Hospital to a Building Site



Oct 15
Kjell Smitterberg

Claes Feder
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C-O Claesson
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More than 250 web pages developed and maintained by Lars Hemingstam ©1998-2023
Hasse Gustafsson and Tommy Stark have interviewed crew members and contributed many of the stories.

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