Bjarne was born on October 2, 1902 in Drammen, Norway. He was the son of Gunhilda Andrea Tollefsen and Axel Martinius Andersen, and step bother of Arvid Morin Clausen and Rolf Morin Clausin, all of Drammen. Bjarne married Elna Lien in 1927. Prior to becoming a seaman in the early 1930's he was a postman. From 1941 - 1946 Mr. Tollefsen was a steward aboard a number of freighters out of the port of New York.
The dragger Margee & Pat was fishing on Georges Bank shortly before the gale of November 12, 1947. When she failed to return to New Bedford, the Coast Guard began a search, assisted by Army and Navy planes. The search continued until November 20, but no trace of the vessel was found.
In February 1949, a hulk was seen drifting about 100 miles east of Boston. It was thought to be either the Margee & Pat or her sister ship, the Belle, which disappeared January 9, 1949, with seventeen men aboard.