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CONVOY HN 9A – Norway-U.K.

Sailed from Bergen on Jan. 27-1940 and arrived Methil on Jan. 31
Received from Tony Cooper, England.

A 1 form is not available and, therefore, convoy stations are not known, except for those mentioned in the S.O.'s report.

After Jan. 1-1940 the assembly at Bergen was always in excess of the permitted number of 32 ships, and due to the heavy congestion at this port, a change of policy had to be considered, resulting in an increase of the permitted number of ships to 40 from Jan. 15-1940, with the escort made up to 5-7 destroyers according to the number available. However, the congestion continued, necessitating the organization of a double convoy; HN 9A and HN 9 B. 4 destroyers of the Humber Force were sent to escort the latter to England, the covering force of 2 cruisers being the same for both convoys (ref. this page listing escorts for the HN and ON convoys).

According to a document listing all the Norway-U.K. Convoys, this convoy had 19 Norwegian, 9 Swedish, 4 Finnish, 4 Estonian and 1 Latvian ship, for a total of 37, 12 of which were bound for the west coast.

The following ships sailed from Bergen on Jan. 27-1940, escorted by 6 destroyers (dates are given European style, with date/month/year):

Swedish Nordia
Voyage from Gothenburg. Arrived Hull 07.02.1940.

Swedish? Vega* (for info, there was also a Norwegian Vega).
Voyage from Malmö. Arrived Shields 02.02.1940. NOT?

Finnish Ceres
Voyage from Björneborg. Arrived Shields 02.02.1940. Sailed 05.02.1940. Arrived Hull 05.02.1940.

Norwegian Haardraade
Voyage from Skien / Bergen. Arrived Shields 03.02.1940. Sailed 05.02.1940. Arrived Rochester 10.02.1940.

Norwegian Ledaal
Voyage from Bergen. Arrived Shields 02.02.1940. Sailed 05.02.1940. Arrived Rochester 09.02.1940.

Norwegian Favorit
Voyage from Bergen. Arrived Shields 02.02.1940. Sailed 03.02.1940. Arrived Grimsby 05.02.1940.

Swedish Albert
Voyage from Gothenburg. Arrived Shields 02.02.1940. Sailed 07.02.1940. Arrived Hull 08.02.1940.

Norwegian Måkefjell - Station 24.
Voyage from Bergen. Lost touch with convoy Jan. 28. Arrived Shields 15.02.1940 (note: arrived at another port before Shields )

Swedish Torne
Voyage from Narvik. Arrived Shields 02.02.1940. Sailed 03.02.1940. Arrived Middlesbrough 04.02.1940.

Swedish Leonardia
Voyage from Nyhamn. Arrived Burntisland 02.02.1940. Sailed 03.02.1940. Arrived Hartlepool 06.02.1940.

Norwegian Vesla
Voyage from Bergen. Arrived Shields 03.02.1940. Sailed 07.02.1940 for Rouen.

Norwegian Edna
Voyage from Bergen. Arrived Shields 02.02.1940.

Swedish Ingarö
Voyage from Gothenburg. Arrived Shields 07.02.1940. Sailed 08.02.1940. Arrived London (date?).

Swedish Carbonia
Voyage from Gothenburg. Arrived Grimsby 05.02.1940. Sailed 08.02.1940. Arrived Hull 08.02.1940.

Norwegian Kul - Station 43.
Voyage from Oslo. Lost touch with convoy in the afternoon of Jan. 28. Arrived Shields 06.02.1940. Sailed 07.02.1940. Arrived Northfleet / London 10.02.1940.

Norwegian Lab - Station 44.
Voyage from Bergen. Lost touch with convoy Jan. 29. Arrived Blyth 11.02.1940.

Norwegian Eikhaug
Voyage from Bergen. Arrived Sunderland 03.02.1940. Sailed 13.02.1940.

Voyage from Oslo. Arrived Grangemouth 01.02.1940.

Norwegian Nurgis
Voyage from Skien / Drammen. Arrived Erith / London 10.02.1940.

Swedish Nämdö
Voyage from Uddevalla. Arrived Methil Roads 05.02.1940. Sailed 06.02.1940. Arrived Shields 08.02.1940.

Swedish Louis de Geer
Voyage from Norrköping. Arrived Shields 02.02.1940. Sailed 03.02.1940. Arrived Hanover Hole Tier / London 10.02.1940.

Julia - Station 63. According to A. Hague's list of ships, mentioned below, this was the Greek Julia of 4352 gt, but I'm wondering if this ship might have been the Estonian Julia of 1892 gt? I say this, mainly because the document listing all the Norway-U.K. Convoys does not mention a Greek ship, but on the other hand states there were 4 Estonian ships.
Julia was on a voyage from Malmö. Detached Jan. 30. Arrived Aberdeen 06.02.1940.

Latvian Ramava - Station 64.
Voyage from Bergen / Archangle. Arrived Methil Roads 05.02.1940. Sailed 05.02.1940. Arrived Shields 08.02.1940.

Finnish Ergo - Station 71.
Voyage from Gothenburg. Lost touch with convoy in the afternoon of Jan. 29. Arrived Imperial Wharf Gravesend 14.02.1940.

Norwegian Rigel - Station 83
Arrived Leith (date?). (For info, there was also a Finnish Rigel).

Estonian Juta
Voyage from Malmö. Arrived Bristol 02.02.1940.

Norwegian Mammy
Voyage from Bergen for Havre. Arrived Ardrossan 31.01.1940.

Norwegian Veni
Voyage from Narvik. Arrived Workington 01.02.1940. See also HN 8.

Norwegian Ingerfire
Arrived Glasgow 09.02.1940 from ?

Norwegian Inger
Voyage from Trondheim. Arrived Preston 01.02.1940. (For info, Sweden and Denmark also had ships by this name).

Norwegian Vestfoss
Arrived Manchester 03.02.1940 from ?

Estonian Helios (for info, there was also a Norwegian Helios)
Voyage from Gothenburg. Arrived Belfast 31.01.1940.

Norwegian Tautra
Voyage from Trondheim. Arrived Preston 05.02.1940.

Norwegian Skotfoss
Arrived Manchester 02.02.1940 from ?

Estonian? Torni (listed as British by A. Hauge).
Arrived Preston 08.02.1940 from ?

Finnish Inga (there was also a Danish ship by this name).
Arrived Runcorn 02.02.1940 from ?

Norwegian Knoll
Arrived Ardrossan 02.02.1940 for Havre from ?

Swedish Kjell Billner
Arrived Greenock 05.02.1940 from ?

The following ships may also have been in this convoy:

Norwegian Galatea*
Voyage from Gothenburg. Arrived Shields 02.02.1940.

Norwegian Vaga
Voyage from Bergen. Arrived Shields 02.02.1940.

Norwegian? Grado*
Voyage from Malmö. Arrived Shields 02.02.1940.

Scheduled, but did not sail: Swedish Frans. Listed in next convoy.

Comparing the above to a list of ships received from Don Kindell, based on Arnold Hague's research, the ships denoted * are not included. Note that A. Hague has Galatea in Convoy HN 8.

All the ships listed as Norwegian in this convoy are discussed on this website - see the Ship Index.

Summary of HMS Inglefield's Report:
Inglefield had just escorted Convoy ON 9, which had arrived Norwegian territorial waters in the early morning hours of Jan. 27. While waiting for HN 9A that morning, an anti submarine search was conducted to the southward, parallel to the Norwegian coast. At 07:00 Edinburgh and Glasgow were encountered and the destroyers were ordered to form anti submarine screen on them. The destroyers were detached from the cruisers at 10:00, then a further anti submarine sweep was carried out while on passage to meet the convoy, Sikh and Tartar joining the escort at 13:00 and HN 9A sailed at 14:00. As there was bright moonlight, the escort took up day screening position through the following night.

Course was altered at 11:00 the next morning, Jan. 28, by a turn together to 180°, and at the same time the 12 westbound ships were detached, escorted by Inglefield and Sikh, in order to pass through the Fair Island Channel. The weather subsequently deteriorated rapidly, the wind increasing to gale force from the southeast, so the speed was reduced to 3 1/2 knots, but the escorts lost touch with the convoy between 23:00 and 03:00. At daylight, it was discovered that 2 ships were no longer in company, one of them being the Norwegian Veni, which was sighted later that day, but she never rejoined. Sikh had also lost touch during the night, but rejoined at 13:00 on Jan. 29.

Inglefield parted company off Cape Wrath at 04:15 on Jan. 30, proceeding through the Minches to Clyde with arrival at the gate at 16:00 that same day.

Inglefield's commander states that it was very difficult to get the ships in this convoy to obey signals, making it constantly necessary to order the leading ships to steer the course signalled. He goes as far as to say that the following ships should be debarred from joining future convoys, for the reasons given:

The Norwegian Mammy, which was a knot faster that the other ships, would not keep her station, in spite of frequent signals ordering her to do so. She finally went on ahead at 10:00 on Jan. 29.

The Norwegian Vestfoss parted company at 18:00 on Jan. 29 "for no apparent reason".

The Norwegian Veni lost touch, as mentioned, during the night of Jan. 28/29 and made no attempt to rejoin, though she was in sight of the convoy throughout the following day.

The Norwegian Ingerfire was too slow and could not keep her station, even when the speed was reduced to 6 knots.

Summary of HMS Isis' Report (eastbound ships):
24 eastbound ships were handed over from the Captain of the 3rd Destroyer Flotilla (HMS Inglefield) to HMS Isis at 11:00 on Jan. 28, while Inglefield parted company with the westbound ships. The A 1 form showed 26 ships for the East Coast, but Rigel was believed to have left with the westbound ships (not seen by HMS Isis) and Frans, initially scheduled for station 53, did not sail (listed in HN 9B).

Because of the force 6 southeast winds with increasing sea and swell, many of the ships were having problems, so the convoy speed was reduced to 6 knots in an effort to keep them all together, however, the speed made good was only 3 knots. By 09:00 the following morning (Jan. 29), 22 ships were present, the Norwegian Kul having gone ahead. She had been sighted by the Senior Officer of the escort who directed her to return, but in the low visibility she kept going. The weather was bad all that day, with occasional snow storms. The speed was increased to 7 knots during the forenoon, but reduced again in the afternnoon to avoid losing the rear ships.

By 09:00 the next morning only 19 ships remained in the convoy. Ramava reported being short of fuel and requested permission to proceed to Moray Firth. She was instructed to keep close to the convoy until dark, then head to Aberdeen, and was still in sight off Rattray Head that night. The weather was still bad with frequent snow squalls and low visibility. Julia was detached off Aberdeen that day (Jan. 30).

When HN 9A arrived Methil at 11:00 on Jan. 31, 17 ships were in company. Kul and Måkefjell had last been seen on Jan. 28, Ergo and Lab on Jan. 29.

HMS Isis (S.O.), Imogen, Kashmir, Tartar and Seal* (the latter stationed 3 cables abeam of leading ship of port column).
Air Escort - sighted every day.

*I'm wondering if Seal should be Sikh(?) - see this document, listing escorts for all HN and ON convoys.

See also the text under Jan. 27 on this external page, which mentions Convoy HN 9A and its escorts.

Back to Convoy Index

To the next HN convoy in my list HN 9B
To List of all Norway-U.K. Convoys


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