Site Map | Search |Merchant Fleet Main Page | Home 

Available Discussion Forums

CONVOY HN 14 – Norway-U.K.

Sailed from Norway on Febr. 22-1940, arrived Methil Febr. 26
Received from Don Kindell (from Arnold Hague's database).

Convoy stations, cargoes and destinations are not given.

A document listing all the HN convoys states that 22 out of 37 ships scheduled for Convoy HN 14 returned to Bergen, 15 sailed, 5 of which were bound for the west coast.

The above does not quite match up with A. Hague's list, which says the following ships took part and/or returned (in alphabetical order):

Norwegian Ask - returned, listed in HN 15.

British Baron Blythswood - arrived Cardiff on March 1.

Norwegian Bessheim - returned, listed in HN 15.

Swedish Bothnia - Though A. Hague does not include this ship among those that returned, she may also have done so, because she shows up again in HN 15.

Norwegian Bruse - returned, listed in HN 15.

Norwegian Cetus - returned, listed in HN 15.

Norwegian Edna - returned, listed in HN 15.

Norwegian Fanefjeld

Swedish Framnäs (721 gt - for info, Norway also had a ship named Framnæs)

Norwegian Grana - returned, listed in HN 15.

Finnish Havnia - returned (A. Hague lists her as Norwegian, 1571 gt, but this ship was Finnish). Listed in HN 15.

Dutch? Helder - returned. A. Hague says this was the Dutch Helder of 3629 gt, however, the Advance Sailing Telegram for HN 15, in which Helder is listed, states she was British, giving her 979 gt.

Finnish Hilda (for info, Norway also had a Hilda, which A. Hague has in Convoy ON 19 the following month).

Norwegian Hjalmar Wessel

Danish Inga

Norwegian Island (638gt, see Island) - returned, listed in HN 15.

Swedish Kalix

Danish(?) Kronprins Olav - returned. A. Hague says this was the Danish ship of 2083 gt, but for info, Norway had 2 ships by this name, and in fact, one of them is listed in HN 15, where the Advance Sailing Telegram says she was 1138 gt; in other words, a Norwegian ship).

Norwegian Lysaker IV - returned, listed in HN 15.

Estonian Mall

Norwegian? Narvik (A. Hague gives this ship 5164 gt. Nortraship received a ship in 1943 which was named Narvik, 5241 gt. Norway had a 241 gt Narvik, however, it looks like this ship was not renamed Narvik until Oct.-1940. Perhaps this was the Swedish ship by this name, 4251 gt?

Estonian Orion (770 gt - for info, Norway also had a ship by this name, as did several other countries, namely Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Holland, Greece, and Gt. Britain)

Estonian Peet

Norwegian Ringhorn - returned, listed in HN 15.

Norwegain Rona - returned, listed in HN 15.

Norwegian Sado

British Salerno - returned, listed in HN 15.

Danish Skagen

Norwegian Snyg

Norwegian Sten

Norwegian Stensaas - returned, listed in HN 15.

British Teano - returned, listed in HN 15.

Norwegian Tora Elise

Norwegain Toran

Norwegian Ursa - returned, listed in HN 15.

Swedish Utklippan

For more information on the Norwegian ships in this convoy, please see the Master Index page.

The report for Convoy ON 14 contains some information on the passage of HN 14, and has been copied below.

HMS Escapade's report re Convoy HN 14 (received from T. Cooper - His source: Public Records Office, Kew):
I'm assuming here, that the escort duty for Convoy ON 14 had been completed, and that the escort vessels for this convoy were to rendezvous with Convoy HN 14 in order to escort it to the U.K., because this part of the report appears to be for this convoy, which left Norway on Febr. 22-1940.

Considerable enemy activity was reported following the Cossack-Altmark affair. Convoy ON 14, which had left Methil on Febr. 17-1940, had been ordered into Kirkwall on the 18th, until a heavy covering force (Rodney, Hood and Warspite) arrived in the area (ON 14 sailed again on Febr. 20). The early diversion of this convoy to Kirkwall had enabled the N.C.S.O. at Bergen to receive a message in time to postpone the departure of HN 14, but heavy fog prevented them from seeing the escort at the appointed rendezvous on Febr. 22. A sweep carried out by the escort to find the convoy was unsuccessful, and in the end 22 out of the 37 ships returned to Bergen, as mentioned. HMS Electra eventually met up with the majority of the remaining ships and the escort was reformed.

The Commanding Officer of Escapade did not consider it likely that the ships in Convoy HN 14 would come out, and felt that they (the escorts) should remain off the entrance until dark, proceed to the west for the night, then return at daylight, and Cairo agreed to this plan. One of the ships from Convoy HN 14, the Estonian Peet, was spotted at 16:20, signalling that the others were to the west of her. Cairo was turning 180° at that time, and the destroyers were regaining their stations ahead of her, Escort having lost contact. Escapade had to turn in order to inform Cairo and the destroyers, and in doing so, she lost contact with Peet. They searched for the convoy until dark, then proceeded to the west. At around 19:00 a signal was received saying several ships of HN 14 had been sighted steering to the southwest, making it clear that this convoy had indeed come out.

At 06:00, Febr. 23, Cairo and the destroyers spread to visibility distance (1 mile) and swept back towards Holmengrå Light on the line the ships would have taken to reach point 61 00N 00 15W, but no ships were seen. Later that morning, at 11:00, Escapade was ordered by Cairo to proceed to this position at full speed with Eclipse, in the hopes of intercepting the ships there. At 15:00 that afternoon, Escapade encountered the Danish Ringhorn and Inga (the wrong nationality is given for Ringhorn; which was Norwegian), then searched at 25 knots on course 190° from the turning point, finding no more ships. She then turned at 19:30 to meet HMS Electra and the convoy.

Early in the morning of Febr. 24, Escapade sighted Electra and 4 ships ahead. The wind had altered to north/northwest by then, blowing a gale force, with extreme visibility between snow storms. Edinburgh, Arethusa, Escort and Escapade proceeded east to locate stragglers, finding 7 ships astern, which hove to the minute they saw the escorts, but eventually 6 of them were persuaded to come on, and a convoy of 10 ships was formed.

Electra and Eclipse were detached to the westward at about 04:00, Febr. 25, together with the British Baron Kelvin and Norw. Tora Elise (note that A. Hague has Baron Kelvin in Convoy ON 14, not HN 14 - I believe this should be Baron Blythswood from HN 14). Later that morning (07:36? this page of the document is very blurry), HMS Inglefield and Imogen were sighted on the starboard beam. At this time Escapade was on the port bow of the convoy, with Escort on the starboard bow and Narwhal abreast the leading ship of the port column. At 07:55(?) Narwhal signalled a "suspicious object", and Escapade immediately turned to port and increased to full speed, sighting a U-boat on the surface a few moments later (bearing and distance are given, but not legible). At that time, the weather was calm with a swell from the north. The U-boat disappeared in the trough of the swell but was plainly visible on the crest. In the hopes of getting closer, Escapade did not open fire, as the U-boat was attempting to signal her using what appeared to be an Aldis lamp. When within 5000-6000 yards, the U-boat submerged, while Escapade ran on for another three minutes, then commenced transmitting. Almost at once contact was obtained bearing 335° distance 900 yards and she turned to attack, but contact was lost during this turn, the ship still having considerable way on her. She dropped a calcium flare by plot, ran on and turned at 1200 yards in order to attack again. Contact was regained at 1000 yards, and a second attack was commenced on course 130°.

Meanwhile, Inglefield, Escort and Imogen had followed at high speed and were within a mile and a half of Escapade when her first attack was started. Seeing these ships coming up astern so fast caused her to run on too long at high speed, hoping to be the ship to deliver the first successful attack, and contact was lost. She hauled down her contact and attacking flags, but hoisted them again when on course 130°. Inglefield then steered to pass under her stern, but when she (Escapade) turned 180° it brough her (Inglefield) right ahead, passing over Escapade's contact. The interference from Inglefield's transmissions and wake made Escapade's second attack impossible. All 4 destroyers were then within 1000 yards of the calcium flare.

At about 08:30 Escort obtained contact and went straight in to attack. Inglefield and Imogen also obtained contacts near the position of the calcium flare. Inglefield then formed the 4 destroyers in line abreast and commenced a sweep. The U-boat surfaced again at around 09:50, and this time Escapade was the furthest away. Inglefield, Imogen and Escort had boats down picking up survivors* while Escapade was ordered to rejoin the convoy, being in station ahead of the convoy by 11:45. (Escapade was under the orders of Inglefield between 12:30 on Febr. 25 and 10:00 on the 26th).

* This U-boat would have been U-63, which was sunk Febr. 25-1940, 1 casualty, 24 survivors - see this external page. (This U-boat had sunk the Swedish Santos the day before - see this external page)

At 10:00 on Febr. 26 Escapade was ordered to proceed to Rosyth, in a full gale from the south causing a short, steep sea. She had under 20% of oil remaining and bumped badly at speeds exceeding 15 knots. After passing Buchan Ness the wind and sea eased, enabling her to do 18 knots, and she anchored in E 2 berth below the bridge at 23:15.

Escorts according to this document:
Edinburgh, Arethusa, Cairo, S/M Narwhal, Escapade, Eclipse, Electra, Escort, Inglefield, and Imogen. Distant cover provided by Rodney and Hood.

See also the text re HN 14 in the text under Febr. 22, as well as text under Febr. 24 (scroll down in the text) on this external page.

Back to Convoy Index

To the next Norway-U.K. convoy in my list HN 15
To List of all Norway-U.K. Convoys


 Site Map | Search |Merchant Fleet Main Page | Home