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Manager: Westfal-Larsen & Co., A/S, Bergen
Delivered in Jan.-1922 from Wm. Hamilton & Co. Ltd., Port Glasgow, 425' x 56.8' x 33', Triple exp. 2300 ihp, 10.5 knots.
Captain: Elliot K. Karlsen
Please compare with this original document from the National Archives of Norway.
When war broke out in Norway on Apr. 9-1940, Davanger was on her way from Houston to Le Havre - see the archive document.
Convoy OA 138, in which she's listed, originated at Southend on Apr. 28-1940, joined up with Convoy OB 138 from Liverpool on May 1, the combined convoy forming OG 28F, which arrived Gibraltar on May 6. This convoy will be added to an individual page in my Convoys section in due course, with more information on it; in the meantime, the ships sailing in it (and escorts) are named on the page listing ships in all OG convoys. The Norwegian Italia and Vilja are also listed, both having joined with OB 138 (Italia was bound for Texas, so must have left the OG convoy at some point to proceed to her destination). Convoy OA 138 is available via the external link provided in the table above.
A French visitor to my website has told me that Davanger sailed from Oran on June 6-1940 in Convoy 27-R under French escort. West of Gibraltar the convoy merged with the French Convoy 3-KS from Casablanca. This fits in with what can be found above. According to his records she was at Le Verdon on June 13. As already mentioned in the table above, A. Hague says Davanger arrived Brest June 14, left Brest independently for Falmouth on June 20, with arrival June 22.
She's later listed in Convoy OB 201, which originated in Liverpool on Aug. 20-1940 and dispersed on the 25th, Davanger arriving Curacao independently on Sept. 13 (via Caripito). Kristianiafjord is also included in OB 201 (destination India) - again, ref. external link above.
Davanger departed Curacao again on Sept. 14-1940 with close to 10 000 tons fuel oil, bound for Bermuda for orders. She arrived Bermuda on Sept. 20 and according to the Advance Sailing Telegram for Convoy BHX 75* she left that same day in this convoy (Bermuda portion of HX 75). As mentioned above, there's a note in the document saying "To be sent to Halifax to await orders" (perhaps she made this voyage independently?). She arrived Halifax on Sept. 23, departing again for Liverpool in station 61 of Convoy HX 77 on Sept. 30, sailing right next to the Commodore Vessel (British Empire Audacity). This convoy is not yet available among the HX convoys listed on my website, but will be added - see ships in all HX convoys. The Norwegian Brandanger (sunk - follow link for details), Dagrun, Emma Bakke, Heina and Samnanger are also included.
In the evening of Oct. 11-1940 (or morning of Oct. 12, depending on time zone used in records) she was torpedoed by U-48 (Bleichrodt) in 57N 19 10W (300 miles west of Broadhaven, according to Charles Hocking). The torpedo struck in the engine room on the starboard side and she sank by the stern within 4 minutes. The motorboat, which was placed on the starboard side aft had been blown away by the explosion, and it was impossible to lower the starboard midships lifeboat, but one of the port boats was successfully launched with 4 men (the steward, Able Seaman Helmers, Ordinary Seaman Lie, and Deck Boy Long). However, the boat immediately had to be pushed away from the ship in order to avoid being crushed, so those remaining on board had to jump overboard, and only 8 managed to swim to the lifeboat to be picked up from the oil covered water. Nobody else could be seen or heard. The captain and the 1st mate had been the last 2 to jump overboard, but the captain did not make it over to the lifeboat. It was believed that the port aft boat had also been launched but it was not seen again.
The 12 survivors battled through that first night in heavy rain and high seas, and as the winds decreased somehwat the next morning they spotted 2 lifeboats from a British ship which they hailed. Upon being asked what they wanted to do, the survivors in the other boats replied they were going to remain in the area to wait for help, but the Norwegians set sail, heading east. In the morning of Oct. 18 they spotted land so course was altered for the nearest point, and early that afternoon some men came out to help them row. 2 hours later the 12 survivors were landed at Broadhaven, Ireland. They were all admitted to a hospital at Bellmullet, County Mayo.
The maritime hearings were held in Liverpool on Nov. 11-1940 with the 1st mate, the 2nd mate, the 3rd mate, the boatswain and the steward appearing.
For info, U-48 had also been responsible for the attack on Tudor earlier that year,
Another source ("Krigsseileren No. 2, 1992) lists the 1st mate as Kristian Friis Giebelhausen.
Related external links:
Back to Davanger on the "Ships starting with D" page.
Other ships by this name: Norway had previously had another Davanger, originally delivered as Ceylon in Oct.-1888 to Harloff & Bøe, Bergen. Purchased by A/S Davanger (H. Westfal-Larsen) in March-1915 and renamed Davanger. Sunk on June 14-1915 off the Hebrides by a German U-boat when on a voyage Liverpool-Archangel - no casualties. Westfal-Larsen had a steamer named Davanger, built in San Francisco as Annette Rolph in 1916, 5876 gt, purchased by Westfal-Larsen before delivery - sunk by UB 27 northwest of Hoek van Holland on March 14-1917, voyage New York-Rotterdam with grain, no casualties. In March-1954 Westfal-Larsen received another ship by this name, built in Port Glasgow. Became Panamanian Louise in 1965, broken up in Spain in 1974. The Clydebuilt Ships website has more details as well as a picture of the ship. See also Lillesand Sjømannsforening's website. The company also had a Davanger built for them in 1968, 16 585 gt - later Star Davanger 1972, Star Sea 1978 (Monrovia), Star Proteus 1979 (Piræus), Aeolian Carrier 1980 (Piræus), Marine Mistral 1988. Sold To Haugesund in 1990, Marine Trader. Sold to Hong Kong for breaking up in 1992.
The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, "Sjøforklaringer fra 2. verdenskrig", Volume I (Norwegian Maritime Museum), and misc. - ref. My sources.