Tunsberg Castle & Marathon
Posted by: Siri
Date: November 10, 2001 10:44AM
Can someone help me clarify a few problems I have with regard to these two ships in Arctic convoys?
According to several Norwegian books I have (and I suspect they have copied the info from eachother) Marathon was in Convoy JW 62 in Dec.-1944, as the only Norwegian merchant ship in that convoy which departed Loch Ewe on Nov. 29, but the Commodore was Norwegian (E. Ullring), and so were several of the escort vessels, namely the corvettes Tunsberg Castle and Eglantine and the escort trawlers Troms° (Trom°y?), Karm°y (Globe VI) and Jel°y, and possibly Oks°y?
All my Norwegian books say these vessels arrived Kirkenes on Dec. 7 after having escorted JW 62. Did they proceed in a "local" convoy to Kirkenes, and if so, what was the Convoy number? Or did they leave the convoy en route to Murmansk?
"Convoys to Russia" by Bob Ruegg/Arnold Hague) lists no Norwegian ship in JW 62, except for the escorts Tunsberg Castle and Eglantine (Troms°, Karm°y and Jel°y are not mentioned among the escorts at all). However, Marathon is listed in the earlier Convoy JW 61, which departed Loch Ewe on Oct. 20 and in which the Norwegian M/T Noreg acted as one of the escort oilers. No Norwegian escorts are listed for this convoy, which arrived the Kola Inlet on Oct. 28-1944.
The convoy number for Marathon's return voyage, was RA 62 which departed the Kola Inlet on Dec. 10 with 29 ships and arrived Loch Ewe on Dec. 19. This convoy also had Tunsberg Castle and Eglantine among the escorts, but Tunsberg Castle struck a mine and sank on Dec. 12.
All this is very confusing to me; if Tunsberg Castle was already in Kirkenes on Dec. 7, why would she go back to Murmansk to join this Convoy RA 62? My confusion comes from some information in another Norwegian book which says the entire Norwegian naval force (2 corvettes and 4 minesweepers) was sent to Kongsfjord on Dec. 12 in order to establish a radio station, and this is when Tunsberg Castle struck the mine.
Help in clarifying the movements of these ships during this time period, especially Tunsberg Castle, would be much appreciated.