Boats escaping from Norway - WW II

starting with K

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 M/B Kaare II 

Owner: Ottar Nøvik

The story attached to Kaare II is so unique it deserves to be mentioned and remembered. I've lately learned that a book has been written about it, and an English translation exists as well (the Norwegian version, På flukt med "Kaare" [Escape with Kaare] is available at this antiquarian bookshop - external link).

Kaare II was 69 ft and had a 40 hp Wichman engine, but I'm not sure when she was built, though I've found a Kaare II, 37 gt, built 1918, call sign LJAT - with the owner listed as Anna Ertvaag Nøvik, Bremsnes (Ottar Nøvig's wife was, in fact, named Anna).

When the Germans invaded Norway on Apr. 9-1940 Ottar Nøvik was fishing for herring off the coast of Trøndelag, but went home to Bremsnes near Kristiansund to offer his services for the war effort. Kaare II's first job was to help evacuate people from Kristiansund following the heavy bombing there, and she later made several voyages for the naval authorities. On a visit home to Bremsnes later on the situation was so threatening that Nøvik realized he had to get his family out. He had left Kaare II and her 2 crew well hidden at Vega while he himself travelled south by various means of transportation, one being a borrowed motorboat which he now filled with his own family as well as that of the crew. Another 2 boats were borrowed for the purpose. He went by Titran in Trøndelag to pick up his father and the rest of his relatives before continuing to Vega, which was still free at the time, arriving there on May 17 (Norway's Constitution Day). With Kaare II they proceeded to Tromsø where the family was given lodgings at various places in town while the vessel continued her dangerous service for the naval authorities, making among other trips, a voyage to Petsamo with 60-70 refugees.

When Norway capitulated they decided to try to get out and on June 9 they departed Tromsø. On board were Ottar's wife and 6 children (5 girls and 1 boy, the oldest was 13, the youngest 7 months), his 74 year old father, six brothers and spouses plus 2 children age 3 and 5, 2 sisters and his sister-in-law's 2 brothers (1 of whom is the translator of the book to English). On reaching Skålefjord, Faroe Islands 5 days later they were not permitted to stay. They later went to Thorshavn, and when the British authorities did not allow them to proceed to England, they aimed for Canada on June 30. They encountered horrendous weather and had to seek shelter at Vestmannøy for 3 days. On July 13 they were close to the New Foundland coast when they met Fred. Olsen's Bra Kar, telling them they would reach land that afternoon. Once in St. John's there was again a problem with staying, so they continued to Sydney N. S. where a welcoming commitee in the shape of the press etc. was awaiting them. Food and clothing were brought on board and it was arranged for them to stay at a hotel to rest up from their harrowing journey.

These were on board:
Skipper Ottar Nøvik, Ingvar Engvik, Peder Engvik, Anna Nøvik, another Anna Nøvik(?), Anne Nøvik, Alfred Nøvik, Astrid Nøvik, Aud Nøvik, Bjørg Nøvik, Edit Nøvik, Halfdan Nøvik, Hans Nøvik, Helga Nøvik, Haakon Nøvik, Inger Nøvik, Karen Nøvik, Kåre Nøvik, Margot Nøvik, another Margot Nøvik, Ove Nøvik, Petra Nøvik, and Petter Nøvik (the skipper's father).

Nøvik continued in his profession as fisherman on the New Foundland banks but finding the winter weather unsuitable for the size of the vessel he again moved his family in early 1941. They stopped in New York (where once again the press was there to meet them), then via Havana and the Panama Canal they eventually ended in Vancouver on Apr. 28, and this was to be their permanent home.

This document from the National Archives of Norway shows some of Kaare II's voyages.

Later, on Ottar Nøvik and one of his brothers built a new Kaare, made for salmon, herring and halibut fishing. Another one of his brothers took over the old one. She was lost in 1962 (possibly '63) but by that time she had new owners.

In the Norwegian magazine "Krigsseileren", Issue No. 4 for 1984 there's an obituary for an Alfred Novik, possibly one of Ottar's brothers, because it mentions the Kaare II voyage to Canada. He joined Bergensfjord in Halifax as able seaman in 1940 (while the family was still in Nova Scotia), serving until Dec.-1945, and the article says that his diary from those years has been published, but no title is mentioned. After having lived in Norway for about a year, he joined the other Noviks in Vancouver. Karen Nøvik also kept a diary during their voyage to Canada in 1940. Astrid Nøvik worked for a while as a nurse at the base hospital in Little Norway, Toronto, before heading to Iceland to serve for the 330th Norwegian Squadron there for a year and a half, then transferred to a hospital in Scotland, and also later worked at the Norwegian Hospital in London. Almost a year after the war was over in Europe, she joined the rest of the family in Vancouver. She passed away at a veterans' hospital in Ottawa, Canada on Aug. 4-2008 - see her daughter's Guestbook message below.

My Guestbook has several messages from relatives of those who were on board - for instance, there's one on this page, another on this page (use "find" and "Kaare" in your browser to locate them), here's one more, here's yet another, and here's one from Apr.-2009.

 M/B Kantonella (lost) 

Left Haugesund on Febr. 19 (20?)-1941 with 9 people. Lost in a hurricane off Shetland, possibly around March 8 (? this date seems a long ways off from Febr. 19 - surely they would have reached Shetland earlier than that?). There were no survivors. 2 bodies later drifted ashore at Yell, Shetland, and the wreck of a small motorboat was also discovered. A week later another 4 bodies drifted ashore. they were all buried at Mid Yell. A memorial stone was erected for them in 1980 - my memorials page has their names, as well as pictures of the memorial stone.

 M/K Kapp I (H 111 BO) 
Pre war history: Delivered in 1908 from unknown builders in Hardanger as freighter(?) Munin to unknown owner. Wooden hull. By the 1930's she was owned by Isak Hystad, Auklandshamn in Sveio, in coastal service. Later sold to Magnus Stokka, Siggjarvåg, Bømlo and renamed Sagvåg I, in cargo service between Oslo and western Norway. Around 1937 she was sold to P/r / Severin Vikanes, Sagvåg, Stord and renamed Vikanes. Rebuilt in Sagvåg in 1938, 81' x 19' x 8', 77.78, gt 110 tdwt.

WW II: Sold on May 3-1941 to Lars & Thoralf Eiken, Espevær, renamed Kapp I, in coastal service. Escaped from Espevær on Apr. 4-1942 with 8 people. The assigned skipper was in danger of being arrested, and since he knew that the minister in the area, Peter Robberstad was also in danger he paid the parsonage at Finnås a visit and offered to take him along, but since it was Easter the latter did not feel that he could leave his congregation, so they left without him. He was later arrested and sent to Germany. Meanwhile Kapp I had a difficult voyage, and foundered upon landing in Shetland.

The following were on board:
Skipper Jan Herman Hermansen (teacher), Jan Ottar Hermansen, Klara Helene Seljen Hermansen, Solveig Seljen Hermansen, Gotfried Gustav Klem, Sigfrid Klem, Keisia Lønø, and Wilhelm Lønø.

POST WAR: Returned in 1945, then sold the following year to Johs J. Lerøy, Austrheim. As per 1949 she was owned by Kaspar Brügger, Solesjøen in Austrheim (H-6-AM). Sold in 1952 to P/r Teodor & Sverre Enestveit & Annfinn Stueland, Tjernagel in Sveio & Aksel & Odd Skimmeland, Mosterhamn, Bømlo (1/5 1/5 1/5 1/5 1/5), in coastal service. Registered in Haugesund in 1958. Sold in 1964 to Anders Kjønne, Kvalvik near Kristiansund N. Sold in 1967 to P/r / Hans Andreassen, Kristiansund N. Around 1977 she was sold to Torungen Havfiskeklubb (Bjørn Nyhus), Kolbjørnsvik near Arendal. Later laid up near Risør and used as "cabin". Sank there in 1991.

(Pre war and post war details received from T. Eriksen, Norway - His sources: "Fraktefarten i Moster", Moster Sogelag, and Halvor Habbestad and misc. others).

 M/B Kari 
Departed Rogøysund at the end of May-1943 with 5 people and arrived Wick on May 30.

On board were:
Torgrim Hannaas, Jostein Nesheim, Malvin Torgersen and his wife Benny Marie and Ivar Tønseth (and the Kompani Linge man Christian Tønseth?).

 M/B Klegg (M 230 HØ) 
Left Ålesund on Aug. 28-1941 with 7 people and arrived Lerwick on Sept. 1.

On board were:
Skipper and owner Josef Bernhard Andreas Leinevik, Simon Bogstad, Laurits Godø*, Karl Eben Edvard Lindquist (Swedish), Ivar Birger Refsnes, Solveig Oline Stavik and Odd Martin Svinø*.

* Please see this message in my Guestbook.

 M/B Klippen 
Departed Bulanded, Sunnfjord on Aug. 24-1941 with 13 people, arriving Lerwick on Aug. 26.

The following came along:
Skipper Mathias Øen, Andreas Bortheim, Johan Bortheim, Severin Bortheim, Siverth Johan Eriksen, Einar Johannes Leirvåg, Klara Lyngstad, Kåre Olseth, Odd Pettersen, Sverre Strand, Ingolf Viken, Nora Vindheim, Olaf Øen.

 M/B Knut (lost) 
Departed Glesnes in Sund on Sept. 29 or 30-1941 but never reached her destination Shetland, having encountered the storm mentioned under Utnøring.

The following were on board:
Jan Ingebrigtsen Bakke, Kjell Hylleseth, Gunnar Mork Knudsen, Jens Emil Nilsen, Sverre Emil Refsdal, Thomas Sangholt, Martin Gustav Schei, Malvin Rye Sjursen, Karl Nikolai Snekkevik, Johannes Troland and Ivar Aasheim. According to this message in my Guestbook, William H. Steinsland was also on board.

 M/B Kolbjørn (H 173 AV) 
Left Austevoll on Aug. 21-1941 with 10 people and landed near the Orkney Islands on the 23rd.

On board were:
Skipper Karl Møgster and his wife, Torkjell Heimark, Anton Kolbeinsvik, Gunnar and Magnus Nordstrand (brothers), Peder Ringdal, Torkjell Rostøen, Egil Storebø, Sverre R. Storebø.

 M/S Koralen (M 106 H) 
Departed together with Disko from Brattvåg on May 3-1940 with 21 people and arrived Thorshavn a couple of days later.

On board were:
Skipper and owner Nils S. Davik, Bjarne O. Alvestad, Karl O. Alvestad, Marie Alvestad, Ole B. Alvestad, Sigurd O. Alvestad, Ranveig Bjørlykkehaug, Harold N. Davik (born 1927), Jertrud S. Davik (born 1937), Hjørdis N. Davik, Ingebrigt N. Davik (1925), Johanne Davik, Konrad N. Davik, Nils N. Davik (1925), Odmund N. Davik, Olga S. Davik, Severin N. Davik, Svein S. Davik (born 1940), Anna N. Otterlei, Magnar O. Otterlei, Oddmund Otterlei (1937).

 M/B Kristine (lost) 
Pilot vessel, purchased for the purpose of escaping by Ingvald Rødli. Left Vedavåg, Karmøy on March 20/21-1941 with 12 people. They encountered a hurricane on the first night out and was lost in Honsvika, south of Feistein Light. A couple of days later debris was found and in the course of the summer 5 bodies drifted ashore. They were buried at Bore (3 of them had been identified).

On board were:
Alf B. Bergin, Halfdan Henry Leonard Hansen, Henry Hansen, Rolf Hansen, Ole Holtan, Torleif Natland, Ingvald Rødli, Sigurd Samuelsen, Erling Rolf Skare, Harald Sæbø, Ingolf Walderhaug, Carl Johan Widding.

 M/B Kvalen (H 23 V) 
Departed Bremnes at the end of Aug.-1941 for Ortnevik, Sogn in order to pick up the 2 wanted (by the Gestapo) Erling Marthinsson and Carl W. Müller who had escaped. However, when the vessel arrived they had already left. Kvalen then continued to Grytøyra and Bulanded to look for them, but when they didn't find them the 6 on board continued west and arrived Lerwick on Oct. 3.

Skipper was Finn Bjelland. On board were also Erling Våge and someone by the last name of Kalve as well as 2 brothers by the name of Vaardal.

 M/K Kvalsund (M 64 HØ) 

46 gt, 50 hp Wichman.
Fishing vessel, built in 1939 by Einar Hellands Båtbyggeri in Vestnes (Møre og Romsdal) for Gunnvald, Paul K. and Andreas K. Kvalsund.

Left Nerlandsøy, Herøy with 17 people on Oct. 6-1941, arriving Thorshavn Oct. 9. In allied service mostly between the British Isles and The Faroe Islands, with some trips to Iceland. Stationed at Peterhead, near Aberdeen, Scotland from 1942, she was used for landing agents and equipment in Norway and other "illegal" activities, and also took part in the forced evacuations of Finnmark. She's being restored today.

On board on the voyage to Thorshavn were:
Odd Sverre Alvestad, Perry Leif Ellingseter, Alf Halle, Alfred Ludvig Andreasen, Jakob Olav Kvalsund, Joakim Petter Olaf Pettersen Kvalsund, Osvald Jonas Joakim Kvalsund, Trygve Madsen Kvalsund, Kåre Leikanger, Henry Karsten Pareliusen, Charles Remø, Ingolf Remø*, Petter Søren Hansen Runde, Albert Eliasen Teige, Einar Asbjørn Teige, Rolf Wilhelm Ytterbø, Karsten Torvald Åsebø.

* There was an Ingolf Remø who served as 2nd mate on M/T Tankexpress when that ship was sunk. He had been on board since Nov.-1941.

Related external links
Kvalsund I/Peterhead Base

Kvalsund I - (a lot of interesting history for this vessel, in Norwegian). The site also has a nice picture, and some pictures of the restoration work on her.

I've found another Kvalsund listed in Troms Fylkes Dampskibsselskap's fleet list by F. R. Hansen. The fleet list says she was built at Skjervøy in 1939 for Kristian Lauritzen, Kvaløyvåg, 51 gt. She's said to have been damaged while mine sweeping in Finnmark 1944/45. At some point in the 1950's she was taken over by A/L Kvalsund, Skogsfjord/Tromsø. Sold in Jan.-1973 to Troms Fylkes D/S without name change and put into the "milk run" between Sommarøy and Brensholmen. Sold in Aug.-1978 to Bjørnulf Martinsen, Ersfjordbotn/Tromsø, then sold again that same year to Verner Hansen, Nord-Lenangen. The following year she was sold to Malnes & Endresen A/S, Oslo (Engineering firm), converted to yacht, remeasured to 46 gt. Sold in Jan.-1990 to Terje Groth, Oslo. Sold on June 25-1993 to H. Eriksen Alta/Oslo. In 1994 she was owned by Oddmund Kvalsund, Nerlandsøy.

 M/B Kveldulf (M 15 H) 
Departed Lepsøy on Apr. 27-1941 and arrived Thorshavn on the 30th. The boat had been stolen by the 3 who made the voyage.

On board were:
Johan Bernhard Farstad, Monrad Olav Farstad, Odd Fridtjof Rønstad.

 M/B Kvikk (M 21 NA) 
Left Aukra on Febr. 16-1941 and arrived Lerwick on Febr. 21.

These made the voyage:
Skipper Arne Grønningsæter (navigation officer KNM Olav Trygvasson), his wife Elsa and 4 year old son Elias Olav. Jakob Martin Solstad was also on board.

 M/G Kvikk (H 11 HJ) 
Left Svellingen on March 16-1941 with 5 people, arriving Lerwick on March 18.

These came along:
Arthur Hellesund, Einar Svelingen, Erling Svelingen, Herman Svelingen, Magnus Svelingen.

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