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Owner: Lorentzen's Skibs-A/S
Built by Deutsche Werft AG, Betrieb Finkenwärder, Hamburg in 1936.
Captain: Ragnvald Andresen
Her voyages are listed on this original document received from the National Archives of Norway.
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.
When war broke out in Norway on Apr. 9-1940, Caledonia was on her way from Curacao to Falmouth - see the archive document.
The following month, she's listed in Convoy OA 140, which left Southend on May 2 and joined up with Convoy OB 140 on the 5th, the combined convoy forming OG 28, which arrived Gibraltar on May 10. Caledonia, however, was bound for Texas City, where she arrived independently on May 20, having detached from the OA convoy on May 5 (she had sailed from Falmouth May 3). From Texas City, she proceeded to Bermuda 4 days later, then joined the Bermuda portion of Convoy HX 48 on June 4, bound for Clyde with diesel oil, station 26, arriving June 20. With Carmelfjell, Heien, Ibis, Iris, John P. Pedersen, Lyra, Para and Suderholm, A. Hague has later included her in Convoy OB 187, originating in Liverpool on July 21, dispersed on the 25th, Caledonia arriving her destination Aruba independently on Aug. 6.
She was scheduled to return to the U.K. on Aug. 15 with Convoy HX 66 (Bermuda portion), but did not sail. The Norwegian Norne was sunk - follow the link for details. Caledonia is also mentioned in the Bermuda portion of Convoy HX 67 (scroll down to the Notes), but again did not sail. There's a note in the original document for this convoy saying "to be sent to Halifax to await orders", and going back to the archive document, we learn that she did indeed proceed from Bermuda to Halifax on Aug. 19, arriving Halifax on the 22nd, subsequently remaining there for a long time. She does not show up again until Convoy HX 82 from Halifax on Oct. 20; diesel oil for Clyde, station 32.
In Febr.-1941 she's listed in Convoy OB 291, which originated in Liverpool on Febr. 27 and dispersed on March 3. Other Norwegian ships in this convoy were Grena, Hardanger, Hilda Knudsen, Laurits Swenson, Skaraas and Storaas, as well as the the Panamanian Norvik, which is included under the N's of this website because she had Norwegian managers. Caledonia was again bound for Aruba, where she arrived on March 21, having sailed from Clyde Febr. 28.
See the external links provided within the table above for more on the OA and OB convoys mentioned here. Caledonia was scheduled to return to the U.K. with Convoy HX 120 on Apr. 10, but instead joined the next convoy about a week later, and this was to be her last voyage, as will be seen below.
More info on all the other Norwegian ships named on this page can be found via the alphabet index below, or go to the Master Ship Index.
Caledonia had left Aruba on March 31-1941 with 13 745 tons of diesel oil and fuel oil for Clyde, via Halifax for convoy. She had arrived Halifax on Apr. 9, where her degaussing cable was renewed and minor repairs undertaken, before departing Halifax in station 31 of Convoy HX 121 on Apr. 16 - see also the Cruising order/Commodore's report (as already mentioned above, she had originally been scheduled for the previous convoy).
On Apr. 28, she was torpedoed and sunk by U-96 (Lehmann-Willenbrock), position 60 03N 16 16W (northwest of the Hebrides). The torpedo hit in the engine room, port side, killing 7 men. The port lifeboat was destroyed, the engine stopped and she started to sink by the stern. The 24 who had managed to launch the starboard lifeboat desperately tried to save 5 of their shipmates who had tried to jump from the ship and into the lifeboat together with the captain, but all except the captain had missed the boat and were helplessly drifting into the burning inferno around the nearby torpedoed British M/T Oilfield (sailing next to Caledonia in station 21, 47 died). The rescue effort had to be given up because of the intense heat of the flames, and all 5 perished - they are denoted * in the crew list below.
The survivors were picked up 2 1/2 hours later by the rescue vessel Zaafaran and landed in Gourock on May 1, continuing to Glasgow that same day. The maritime hearings were held there on May 9-1941 with Captain Andresen, the 1st engineer, the 3rd engineer, the 2nd mate, and Engine Boy Struck (helmsman) appearing. 12 had died out of a crew of 35 + 2 gunners. HX 121 arrived Liverpool on May 3-1941.
"Convoy Rescue Ships 1940-1945" by Arnold Hague agrees that Zaafaran picked up 25 of Caledonia's 37 crew. Zaafaran also picked up 97 survivors from the 98 crew and passengers of the British Port Hardy (also hit by U-96). M/T Oilfield is not mentioned in that account, but the British tanker Capulet is; she had been torpedoed about 3 hours earlier that day by U-552 (Arnold Hague's "The Allied Convoy System" gives U-512), broke her back and caught fire. 9 died out of 44 crew, gunners and passengers. 17 were rescued by Zaafaran, while the destroyer Douglas probably picked up the rest before shelling the wreck (listed among the escorts for HX 121). J. Rohwer says the abandoned wreck of Capulet was sunk on May 2 by U-201. He adds that from the convoy commodore's report it's clear that Oilfield, Caledonia and Port Hardy were hit in the same attack by U-96, Port Hardy being struck by chance after the torpedo missed the intended target. See also the external link at the end of this page.
Related external links:
Back to Caledonia on the "Ships starting with C" page.
The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, "The Allied Convoy System", Arnold Hague, "Sjøforklaringer fra 2. verdenskrig", Volume I (Norwegian Maritime Museum), and misc. others as named within the text above for cross checking info. - ref My sources.