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To Astra on the "Ships starting with A" page.
Manager: Markus Chr. Stray, Kristiansand
Laid down as War Tramp for the Shipping Controller, U.K., built by Staten Island S. B. Co., New York (695), launched as George Harbor, completed June-1919 as York Harbor for U.S. Shipping Board, New York. Renamed Astra for Skibs A/S Astra (Chr. Stray) in 1929 (1930?). Owner from 1933 was A/S Alfa, Kristiansand.
Captain: Sverre Flack.
Related item on this website:
Please compare the above voyages with Arnold Hague's Voyage Record below.
(Received from Don Kindell - His source: The late Arnold Hague's database).
Follow the convoy links provided for more information on each (where the "Convoy" column is left blank, it means that convoy is not known).
Errors may exist and some voyages are missing.
According to A. Hague, Astra sailed in Convoy OB 70 (ref. external link provided in the Voyage Record), which originated in Liverpool on Jan. 11-1940 and joined up with Convoy OA 70 on the 14th, the combined convoy forming Convoy OG 14, which arrived Gibraltar on Jan. 19. OG 14 will be added to my Convoys section; in the meantime, see the page listing ships in all OG convoys. There's also a ship by this name listed in Convoy HG 20 from Gibraltar to the U.K. the following month. Nationality is given as Panamanian in the original convoy document, but this was the Norwegian Astra.
It'll be noticed, when going to Page 1 of the archive documents, that she spent 2 months in Glasgow that spring. A. Hague says she had broken down on March 20 and was towed in for repairs. She subsequently appears in A. Hague's listing for Convoy OB 157, which originated in Liverpool on May 28-1940 and dispersed on the 31st, Astra arriving Lewisport on June 18, according to the archive document. Later that month, A. Hague has included her in Convoy HX 53. She's not mentioned on my own page about this convoy, where the information is based on original convoy documents, but perhaps this is because she joined the convoy at sea from St. John's on June 28; she's said to have arrived Preston on July 10/11. At the end of that month she's listed in Convoy OB 191, departing Liverpool on July 30, dispersed Aug. 2, Astra arriving Yarmouth, N.S. independently on the 13th (Strinda was torpedoed - follow the link for details).
On Aug. 25 we find her, with a cargo of pit props for Preston, in the slow Sydney (C.B.)-U.K. Convoy SC 2, in which the Norwegian Gro and several others were sunk; follow the links for more info. Astra arrived her destination on Sept. 16, and the following month, she shows up in Convoy OB 228, which started out in Liverpool on Oct. 13 and dispersed on the 17th, and from which the Norwegian Dokka and others were sunk (again, follow the link for details). See also the external link to this convoy provided within the the table above. The Norwegian Brask, Chr. Knudsen, Gudrun, Noreg, Polyana and Topdalsfjord are also listed, and I believe the Dutch Bussum, though not included, may also have been in OB 228 - go to my own page about OB 228 for an explanation. Astra was only bound for Reykjavik on that occasion, arriving there on Oct. 21, having sailed from Clyde on the 13th. As will be seen when going back to Page 1, she later made a voyage to Sydney, C.B.
Early in Jan.-1941, she joined the slow Halifax-U.K. Convoy SC 18, bound for Sharpness with a cargo of lumber, arriving that destination, via various other ports, on Febr. 9, later proceeding to Barry, where she remained for a month. At the end of March, she's listed in Convoy OB 304, originating in Liverpool on March 30 (Astra joined from Milford Haven), dispersed Apr. 4. However, Astra arrived Clyde on March 31, joining Convoy OB 306 from there a few days later (see links in Voyage Record). This convoy started out in Liverpool on Apr. 3 and dispersed on the 9th. Astra had detached for Reykjavik on Apr. 8, later travelling from there to Halifax, with arrival May 5, proceeding to St. John, N.B. that same day (Page 1). She was scheduled to return to the U.K. with Convoy SC 32 from Halifax on May 19 (she was still at St. John on that date), but instead joined SC 33 from Sydney, C.B. on June 1, cargo of lumber for Grimsby, where she arrived, via Loch Ewe and Methil Roads, on June 25 - her voyages in this period are shown on Page 2.
In July that year, she's listed as bound for Montreal in Convoy OB 347, originating in Liverpool on July 16, dispersed July 31. Again, see the external link in the Voyage Record (several Norwegian ships took part). According to the archive document, she arrived Port Alfred on Aug. 1, having sailed from Loch Ewe July 18. A. Hague has now listed her, with a cargo of pulp and aluminium, in station 113 of the slow Convoy SC 41, departing Sydney, C.B. on Aug. 24. This convoy is not yet available among the SC convoys included on my website, but will be added - see ships in all SC convoys. Several Norwegian ships are named, namely Akabahra, Audun (from Iceland), Balduin, Blink, Carrier (returned), Einvik (sunk - follow link for details), Evviva, Fagersten, Fanefjeld, Grado, Gudrun, Heien, Hestmanden, Hildur I (the latter 3 from Iceland), Ledaal, Leka, Lom (from Iceland), Marga, Nesttun (also from Iceland), Orania (returned), Reiaas (from Iceland), Siak and Spes. Astra arrived Barrow on Sept. 12 (Page 2).
The following month, she's included in the westbound North Atlantic Convoy ON 29, station 13. This convoy, which originated in Liverpool on Oct. 22 and dispersed on Nov. 5, has not yet been added to my Convoys section, but for now, the ships sailing in it are named in the section listing ships in all ON convoys. Astra arrived Reykjavik on Oct. 29, having sailed from Milford Haven on the 21st. According to "The Official Chronology of the U.S. Navy in World War II" by Robert J. Cressman, the destroyer Niblack (DD-424) damaged Astra in a collision at Reykjavik on Nov. 8-1941 (see the external link provided at the end of this page). This may be the explanation for the big gap in her voyages in this period (Page 2) - departure Reykjavik is given as Jan. 5-1942, when she returned to the U.K.
It'll be noticed, when going to Page 3, that she also had a long stay at Tyne (or North Shields) in the spring of 1942 - reason not known. Skipping now to July 2-1942, when I have her in Convoy RU 30 from Reykjavik, bound for Tyne with stores. She stopped at Loch Ewe and Methil Roads, before arriving Shields on July 10 and again had a long stay there. On Sept. 7, she was scheduled for Convoy RU 39 from Reykjavik, carrying vehicles for Glasgow, but instead joined the next convoy, RU 40, on Sept. 14 and arrived Glasgow on the 19th (link in the table above). The Norwegian Eldøy is also listed in this convoy (in tow of Empire Bascobel). Astra is also listed in other convoys to and from Iceland in the course of 1942 and early 1943, as can be seen in A. Hague's Voyage Record. Her 1943 voyages start on Page 4 (which shows a long stay in Iceland at the beginning of that year, with another long stay in West Hartlepool that spring).
In the summer of 1943, she sailed in Convoy OS 51/KMS 20, voyaging from Oban to Bone in station 22. This convoy originated in Liverpool on July 4 and split up on the 13th, the Gibraltar portion, KMS 20* (in which Astra and the Norwegian Sneland I took part), arriving there on July 14, while the OS convoy (in which the Norwegian Bosphorus is listed) continued to Freetown, where it arrived on July 23 - again, follow the external link provided in the above record for more convoy details. Astra arrived Bone on July 21, having sailed from Oban on the 5th. Her subsequent voyages are shown on Page 4 and Page 5, which also has most of her 1944 voyages.
In March-1944, she made a voyage from Algiers to Augusta in Convoy KMS 43*. She had sailed from Algiers on March 8 and arrived Augusta on the 12th, proceeding to Castellamare and Naples a couple of days later. Convoy information for some of her subsequent voyages can be found in the Voyage Record. In May, she's listed as bound from Augusta to Bone in Convoy MKS 50* and arrived Bone on May 27, having sailed from Augusta May 24 (convoy originated in Port Said on May 19, arrived Gibraltar May 31), continuing from Bone to Algiers with Convoy MKS 51* on June 6, arriving Algiers the next day (convoy had originated in Port Said on May 30, arrived Gibraltar June 9). Again, see Page 5.
At the end of Jan.-1945, we find her in Convoy MKS 80*, which departed Gibraltar on Jan. 31 and arrived Liverpool on Febr. 7 - Astra arrived Falmouth on the 5th, proceeding to London that same day, according to Page 6 (it'll also be noticed that she spent 2 months in Falmouth later on, with another long stay in Dundee that spring). From this document, we also learn that she went home to Norway in July-1945, and according to Page 7, showing voyages up to and including most of Nov.-1945, she went home a few more times in the course of that year.
Again, for information on voyages made in between those mentioned here, please see the documents received from the National Archives of Norway and A. Hague's Voyage Record above.
Renamed Ringen in 1946 for Ekerholts Rederi, Oslo. Broken up in Grimstad, Norway in 1960.
Related external link:
Back to Astra on the "Ships starting with A" page.
Other ships by this name: There was also a Danish ship by the name Astra. Also, Haugesund had a small steamer by this name in 1916, originally delivered as Faithful to F. H. Powel & Co., Liverpool in June-1900, 795 gt. Named Thoughtful from 1906, Suffolk Coast from 1909, then Astra from 1911 (Glasgow). Purchased by Jacob Ringen, Haugesund from owners in Porsgrunn in 1916, management taken over by Brummenæs & Torgersen on Jan. 1-1921, sold to UK in 1923. Sailed under the British flag as Elvington, and from 1934 as Kyle Bute of Liverpool until broken up in Troon in 1955.