|This website is divided into 5 main sections, as described below: The first section, "Odd Conrad Holm" is the main page for everything pertaining to WW II seamen and ships. Each of the 5 "main" pages for each subject will have a menu like the one seen at the top and bottom of this page, whereas all the "subpages" for each section will have a simpler, plainer menu, which still contains the links to the main pages for easy navigation. Additionally, each "subpage" for the Odd Conrad Holm category will contain links at the bottom of the page to "Odd's War", i.e. my father's letters, D/S Ringulv, labor camps etc. I hope this system will make my pages easy to navigate. If you prefer, you can use the Site Map.
A sailor at War - Norwegian Merchant Marine and Ships
This section is very important to me, and the reason why this website was made in the first place. It tells the story of my father whose life I am trying to piece together, especially the years before I was born. Through this website I was hoping to find someone who knew him during the most difficult time of his life; his 16 months in several labor camps in Morocco and Algeria in 1941-'42, and the dangerous Atlantic convoy crossings during the war. I've succeeded in doing just that, and it has been an incredible journey (more details on this can be found on the page about him - click in the green button above). Like so many others in the Merchant Marine, who sailed during the war, he rarely spoke about his experiences, which marked him for life, and I knew nothing about it until, through an amazing coincidence, I was lucky enough to find some letters written by him which describe what he went through. This also provided me with a ship's name on which to base my research, as well as other information that made my search for someone who knew him at that time a lot easier. He died in 1992.
I have included pictures of him and some of his war documents, the names and pictures of ships he was on during and after the war, details on all the Interned Norwegian Ships in North and West Africa early in the war, as well as a list of, and excerpts from books which cover this subject. You'll find descriptions and pictures of the 7 Norwegian war medals, and lots of links to other websites related to his story and Merchant Marines in general, as well as other WW II links.
Initially this site was meant to tell my father's story only, with a few related links, but since it was made it has continued to grow, and before I even realized what was happening, it had evolved into its present state, with information on ships and convoys, and a long list of Merchant Marine related links, no longer limited to the Norwegian MM. In Febr. 2001, due to an increasing number of e-mails I was receiving with questions about Norwegian WW II ships, I decided to start working on a list of all the Norwegian ships I could find in my various books, as I saw a great interest in, and an obvious need for such information at the time (when I started on this list, there was no info at all on the Internet, but I'm happy to see that there are now plenty of websites about ships and those who served on them during the war). I hope my website will continue to be of some help. I've limited the list to ships in service during the period 1939-1945. This section is updated every day (there are still heaps of convoys waiting to be added) and, therefore, I recommend refreshing each page to make sure you get the newest version.
In Nov.-2011, this section was awarded Knight, 1st Class of the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit (external link; there's also a Norwegian version - see also this page). Here are some pictures from the ceremony. It's important to understand that, although I've put a lot of time and effort into the site, it would never be what it is today without the input of people from all over the world. I've added acknowledgements to my books page.
I also have a Ship Forum for messages and / or questions related to WW II ships, a Find Old Shipmates Forum where you can leave the name of a seaman you're looking for, as well as a Maritime Books Market Place & Information Exchange Forum, where you can advertise books you'd like to sell (or buy), and get help with finding out of print books etc. There's also a page for personal stories, where I post stories sent to me by others.
On this site you'll also find:
A little bit about what I used to fill my days with after my children had gone away to college, links to my favorite sewing / crafting sites, and to web design and Photoshop tutorial websites. After I added the Ship Lists (which take up all my time), my sewing machine is only used for occasional repairs, so this page will no longer be updated.
Database covering the Hembre/Holm families in Nord Trøndelag county (Hegra in Stjørdal, and Frosta), the Hetland family in Rogaland county (Høyland and Gjesdal), and many other surnames from those areas of Norway. I've written briefly about my paternal grandparents Ola Markusen Hembre / Karen Jakobsdotter Røkkesaunet, my paternal grandparents Conrad Lauritz (Olsson) Holm / Anna Olava (Berg) Holm, my maternal grandparents Andreas Wildner Torsvik / Sigrid Kristine (Hetland) Torsvik, and my mother Åse (Torsvik) Holm. Pictures of them can be found in the Family Album. I've included links to others on the Internet whose ancestors tie in with mine, and a long list of genealogy links to websites which I have found to be very helpful and informative (no longer updated). See also A shoebox of Norwegian Letters (an explanation for this can be found on my Genealogy page, click in the button above). Here's my daughter's Wedding Album.
A list of links covering various subjects, including health, history, WW I, maps, misc. Norway related links and more (no longer updated). Also has links to the home pages of the other members of my family, where you'll find lots of pictures of us all and the Lawson genealogy database.
Please stop by my guestbook where you can send me a message, I would love to hear from you! This would be especially appreciated if you have additional information with regard to the Norwegian Merchant Marine, my father's ships, or any important facts related to his story that I have not included here myself.