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To Fernbrook on the "Ships starting with F" page.
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.
Errors may exist, and some voyages are missing.
As can be seen when going to Page 1 of the archive documents, Fernbrook was en route from Wanganui to Nauru when war broke out in Norway on Apr. 9-1940.
That summer, she's listed in Convoy SLF 38, departing Freetown for the U.K. on July 4. Fernbrook had a cargo of wheat and sailed in station 43 of the convoy. The following month, we find her in Convoy OB 194, which left Liverpool on Aug. 6 and also included Balla, Beth, Granli and Madrono. Fernbrook arrived Tampa independently on Aug. 23, the convoy having been dispersed on the 10th. Both these convoys are available via external links provided within the Voyage Record above. Her subsequent voyages are shown on Page 1. Her 1941 voyages also start on this document; it'll be noticed that she spent quite a long time in New York that year, from June 21 to Sept. 5. Page 2 has more 1941 voyages as well as her 1942 voyages (another 2 months were spent in New York that year, from Febr. 27 to Apr. 23) and some 1943 voyages, while the rest are shown on Page 3. Convoy information for some of them can be found in the Voyage Record.
On Oct. 4-1943, 7 aircraft came in over the convoy she was sailing in but were met by fierce fire from the ships (this was probably Convoy UGS 18, in which she's listed, having departed Hampton Roads on Sept. 15). Several more attacks followed that evening and bombs were dropped, one of which landed in the water near Fernbrook, causing her starboard engine to stop and some damages in the engine room, leading those who were present there to think she had received a direct hit. At about the same time a powerful explosion was heard, followed by a splash causing a tall column of oil-mixed water above the ship, before numerous aircraft parts landed on her deck. About half an hour later another 3 aircraft appeared, again met by fire from the ships and 2 were believed to have been shot down. According to the gunners' report 1010 projectiles were fired from Fernbrook that day, no one was injured in the incident. A direct link to this convoy has been provided in the table above and as will be seen, some ships were hit by aircraft. The Norwegian Egda, Fridtjof Nansen, G. C. Brøvig, Mosli, Petter, Selvik, Slemmestad and Vanja (returned) are also listed, but please note that some of them joined en route and were not present from the U.S. Convoy UGS 18 arrived Port Said Oct. 13, Fernbrook continuing to Suez the next day, and according to A. Hague she hit the Suez Canal bank and required repairs. She did not leave Suez again until Jan. 30-1944.
Skipping now to March-1944, when I have her in Convoy GUS 33. This convoy, which also had a number of Norwegian ships (follow the link for their names), departed Port Said on March 5 and arrived Hampton Roads on Apr. 4, but many ships had other destinations and left the convoy, while others joined along the way. In fact, Fernbrook joined from Alexandria on March 6; she arrived New York Apr. 3 - again, see Page 3.
German bombers were a serious threat to allied shipping in the Mediterranean from the new year of 1944, because about 100 modern bombers were stationed in the South of France, their primary goal being the large UGS convoys from U.S.A., carrying supplies to the allied forces in Italy. Fernbrook was in Convoy UGS 40 for Port Said (station 54), consisting of 77 ships ("Nortraships flåte" says 65 ships, A. Hague names 101 merchant ships), 17 escort vessels as well as the British cruiser Caledon. The convoy was attacked by a total of 62 aircraft off Cape Bengut in the evening of May 11-1944. The attack lasted for 40 minutes; no ships were hit, but 19 planes are said to have crashed in the sea, giving a convincing example of how important and useful it was to have decent armament on the merchant ships. According to a gunner's report from Fernbrook, 1 aircraft fell in the water on her port side between ship No. 34 and 35, and another came down in flames near No. 74 and 75. Gezina, Norelg, Pronto and Salamis are also named in UGS 40, which had departed Hampton Roads on Apr. 23 and arrived Port Said on May 19, but again, please note that they were not all present from the U.S. See the external link provided in the table above (as well as at the bottom of this page).
Some of the gunners on Fernbrook at that time were:
The following month, Fernbrook is listed in Convoy GUS 44, which left Port Said on June 24 and arrived Hampton Roads on July 18. This convoy also had other Norwegian ships, follow the link for info. Several ships joined along the way, while others parted company, but Fernbrook went all the way to the U.S., arriving Baltimore on July 19.
Sold in 1959 to Santilana Compania Naviera SA, Panama, and renamed Kalamai (Greek flag). Transferred to MA Karageorgis, Piraeus in 1960. While at Alexandria on Jan. 20-1965, having arrived from Hamina, Finland with a cargo of sugar, steel bars and timber, she caught fire in the engine room and was scuttled. Later refloated and on Sept. 22-1965 berthed at Alexandria and condemned. Sold to Poul Christensen, Nakskov, Denmark, to be resold for breaking up. On Jan. 4-1967 she left Alexandria in tow for Piraeus, and arrived there on Jan. 11. Sold to Brodospas, for breaking up at Split, Yugoslavia.
Convoy UGS 40 - More on the air attacks
Astrup Fearnley - The Fearnley company today
Back to Fernbrook on the "Ships starting with F" page.
Another Fernbrook was delivered in Oct.-1976 for the management of Fearnley & Eger, 9375 gt. Sailed as Hesperus for Helge R. Myhre, Stavanger from 1978, later as Kongsgas 1984 for Brødrene Olsen, Stavanger. Had various owners and managers before she was sold for breaking up around 2002.
The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, "Tilbakeblikk", E-mails from R. W. Jordan (post war info) and misc. - ref. My sources.