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D/S Kong Haakon
later Kong Sverre (1942)
Det Stavangerske Dampskibsselskab, Stavanger

(Norwegian Homefleet WW II)

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Kong Haakon in the middle (on the right is Finmarken).
From Bjørn Milde's postcard collection.

 Pre War History: 

Delivered in Aug.-1904 from Schømer & Jensen, Tönning, Germany as Kong Haakon to Det Stavangerske Dampskibsselskab, Stavanger. Hull of steel, 196’ x 28,7’ x 21,7’, 874 gt. Engine: Tripple expansion ( S&J)1200ihk, 13,2 knots. In coastal service Bergen- Oslo, registered for 400 passengers in this service. In July-1919 she was placed in Hurtigruten service Bergen-North Norway (Stavangerske's first vessel in this route), then following the delivery of Sanct Svithun in July-1927 Kong Haakon returned to the Bergen-Oslo service, but stepped into the Hurtigruten service as needed.

 WW II: 

In Apr.-1940 she replaced Sanct Svithun while that ship was at the yard, service in Hurtigruten to the North of Norway. While southbound, between Hammerfest and Havøysund on Apr. 9-1940 (the day of the German invasion) she was requisitioned by Norwegian military authorities in Tromsø for a few local troop transports, then requisitioned by British authorities for the same purpose. Later that year she was freed and continued in regularly scheduled service in the free section of the North of Norway, until the Norwegian forces capitulated, at which time she proceeded south to Trondheim.

The Germans wouldn't allow any ships in service on the coast of Norway to carry names of the (exiled) Norwegian royal family, so the name was changed to Kong Sverre in Febr.-1942. Reported on Nov. 30-1942 at Oslo.

After Sanct Svithun had been sunk on Sept. 30-1943, Kong Haakon/Kong Sverre was again placed in Hurtigruten (to Tromsø). In March-1944 she was attacked by 3 torpedoes from an unknown vessel near Stadt while northbound, but was not hit. Badly damaged during the big explosion in Bergen on Apr. 20-1944 (ref. D/S Rogaland), managed to get to Stavanger at her own power but did not reenter service during the war.


Returned to owners in May-1945, repaired at Det Stavangerske Dampskibsselskab's own yard at Klaseskjeret, Stavanger (876 gt) and renamed Kong Haakon. Reentered Hurtigruten service to North of Norway. When the company's new Sanct Svithun was delivered, Kong Haakon was taken out of Hurtigruten service in May-1950 and laid up in Stavanger. Sold in Jan.-1953 to Eisen & Metall AG, Hamburg for breaking up, departing Stavanger in tow for Hamburg on Febr. 23-1953.

Back to Kong Haakon on the "Homefleet Ships starting with K" page.

(A great deal of this info was received from T. Eriksen, Norway).

Norway had also had a Kong Haakon during World War I, managed by H. M. Wrangell & Co. from March-1898. This ship was built in Newcastle in 1889, delivered in Oct. that year as Earndale for A. Earnshaw, Newcastle, 2231 gt. She was shelled and sunk by the German UC-65 on June 24-1917, 8 n. miles southwest of Cap Ferret on a voyage in convoy from Aguelas, Spain to Ardrossan, Scotland with cargo of ore. Crew of 24, only 4 were saved. This posting to my Ship Forum has the names of those who perished. ("Våre gamle skip").

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