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D/S Haraldsvang
Updated Oct. 3-2011

To Haraldsvang on the "Ships starting with H" page.

Pictures are available on this external page (click in them to make them larger).

Manager: H. M. Wrangell & Co. A/S, Haugesund.
3112 gt, 1865 net, 5010 tdwt.
Call Sign: LCBA

Delivered in March-1920 from Craig Taylor & Co. Ltd., Stockton as Thomas Haaland to D/S A/S John K. Haalands Rederi (John K. Haaland), Haugesund. 3126 gt, 1875 net, 5050 tdwt, 325.3' x 48' x 22.8', Tripple exp. 3285 nhp (N.Esst.Mar. Eng.). Sold in Oct.-1926 to D/S A/S Corona (H. M. Wrangell & Co. A/S), Haugesund and renamed Haraldsvang. In the last half of the 1930's she was in Far East service.

Captain: Halfdan Kvamsø.

Related items on this website:
Merchant Marine Prisoners of War - Has the names of some of Haraldsvang's crew members.
A thread about Haraldsvang on my Ship Forum.
Guestbook message from someone whose Finnish uncle Urho Paasi served on Haraldsvang.

Her voyages are listed on these original images from the Norwegian National Archives:
Page 1 | Page 2

Please compare the above voyages with Arnold Hague's Voyage Record below.

Voyage Record
From Apr.-1940 to Nov.-1941:

(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.

Departure From To Arrival Convoy Remarks
1940 Apr. 19 Penang Singapore Apr. 21 Independent See also Page 1
Apr. 24 Singapore Hong Kong May 2 Independent
May 4 Hong Kong Kobe May 11 Independent
May 13 Kobe Osaka May 14 Independent
May 17 Kobe Saigon June 1 Independent
June 7 Saigon Kobe June 17 Independent
June 21 Kobe *Hong Kong July 10 Independent *Missing voyages, Page 1 above
July 27 Hong Kong Hong Kong Sept. 2 Independent A. Hague says:
Voyage data unknown
(Page 1 indicates Haiphong).
Sept. 12 Hong Kong Sourabaya Sept. 20 Independent
Sept. 29 Sourabaya Batavia Oct. 1 Independent
Oct. 2 Batavia Sabang Independent
Oct. 8 Sabang Colombo Oct. 15* Independent *Page 1 gives arrival Oct. 13
(Sabang not mentioned).
Oct. 20 Colombo Aden Oct. 30 Independent
Nov. 3 Aden Suez Nov. 11 BN 8 Aden to Suez.
Convoy available at BN 8
(external link)
Nov. 18 Port Said Mersin Nov. 20 Independent
Dec. 5 Mersin Port Said Dec. 7 Independent
Dec. 19 Suez BS 11 For Mombasa.
Dispersed Dec. 27.
Convoy available at BS 11
(external link)
Dec. 27 Detached from BS 11 Mombasa Jan. 7-1941 Independent
1941 Jan. 10 Mombasa Durban Jan. 21 Independent
Jan. 24 Durban Capetown Jan. 28 Independent
Jan. 29 Capetown Pernambuco Febr. 15 Independent
Febr. 17 Pernambuco Philadelphia March 9 Independent
March 13 Philadelphia New York City March 14 Independent
Apr. 1 New York City Hampton Roads Apr. 2 Independent
Apr. 4 Hampton Roads St. Thomas Apr. 12 Independent
Apr. 12 St. Thomas Pernambuco Apr. 28 Independent
May 1 Pernambuco Capetown May 18 Independent
May 20 Capetown Durban May 25 Independent
May 29 Durban Aden June 14 Independent
June 19 Aden Suez June 27 Independent Left Suez July 17
(Page 1).
July 18 Port Said Alexandria July 19 Independent
Aug. 10 Alexandria Port Said Aug. 11 Independent Arrived Suez Aug. 12
(Page 2).
Aug. 13 Suez Port Sudan Aug. 16 Independent
Aug. 19 Port Sudan Bombay Aug. 30 Independent
Sept. 10 Bombay Colombo Sept. 26 Independent
Sept. 27 Colombo Calcutta Oct. 4 Independent
Oct. 21 Calcutta Singapore Oct. 30 Independent
Nov. 4 Singapore Palembang Independent
Nov. 9 Palembang Hong Kong Nov. 29* Independent *Page 2 gives arrival Nov. 19.
Scuttled - See narrative below

 Some War Voyages: 

Please compare this account with the details found on the archive documents as well as with A. Hague's Voyage Record above. What follows was found in "Krigsseileren No. 3 for 1986, written by Captain Kvamsø.

Captain Kvamsø says that when Norway was invaded on Apr. 9-1940, Haraldsvang was between Aden and Colombo en route to Japan via Singapore. After unloading cargo in Japan she continued to Hong Kong via Keelong (Formosa), then to Saigon to pick up a cargo of rice for Hong Kong, from there to Sourabaya with a cargo of sugar. In Mersin, Turkey a cargo of pyrites was taken on board for Philadelphia, then on to New York for war materials and to Norfolk for aviation fuel, back to Suez (around Africa), then to Alexandria (compare these voyages to Page 1). After cargo had been unloaded there she loaded cotton for Bombay, from there to Calcutta to pick up coal for Singapore, on to Palembang where a cargo of coal was loaded for Hong Kong (see Page 2). In Hong Kong, she went to a yard for a while and also had armament installed, before war materials for the Mediterranean were taken on board, but she didn't get to finish before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

Note that Arnold Hague has included her in the following 2 convoys at the end of 1940 - links have been provided within the table above:

Convoy BN 8, which started out in Bombay on Oct. 25-1940 and arrived Suez Nov. 11. The Norwegian Arena, Octavian and Thorsholm are also listed in this convoy. Haraldsvang's voyage information is given as Aden to Suez. Going back to Page 1, we find that she left Aden for Suez on Nov. 3, arrival Suez is not given - she later proceeded to Mersin, as mentioned by the captain, then returned to Suez.

Convoy BS 11 - Left Suez on Dec. 19-1940, dispersed on the 27th. Haraldsvang's destination is given as Mombasa, cargo of chrome ore. (The Norwegian Alcides and Liss are included). From Page 1 above, we learn that she did indeed leave Suez on Dec. 19-1940, and arrived Mombasa on Jan. 7-1941. Via various other ports, she subsequently headed to Philadelphia.

 Internment & Escape: 

Haraldsvang had Norwegian officers, 28? (34?) Chinese crew, 1 Dutch, 4 Swedish, 1 Polish and 1 Finnish, possibly also officers? - Here are the names of some of her crew. According to Page 2 of the archive documents, she had arrived Hong Kong from Palembang on Nov. 19-1941. On Dec. 7 (Pearl Harbor attack) she was in dock at Kowloon for various repairs and was told by the authorities to get ready to leave as soon as possible. The repairs continued and were partly completed, then the dock was filled with water whereupon she was pulled out by 3 tugs and tied up outside the dock. The yard's people continued repairs and that afternoon a barge came alongside with cargo consisting of used railroad equipment, but due to the orders to leave as quickly as possible the 1st mate refused to accept it until firm orders had been received that this could be done. Loading of cargo into Hold No. 2 and 4 started that afternoon on the captain's orders and continued through part of the night, until they at 02:30, Dec. 8 had loaded about 120 tons. That morning, she was ordered by Naval authorities to leave and anchor up at Channel Road, Kowloon Bay. Several Japanese aircraft circled above that afternon, dropping bombs nearby, so the lifeboats were partly lowered and the crew told to wear their life vests.

Early the following morning (Dec. 9) she moved closer to land, and again the area was subjected to attacks during the day and through the next day. At this time, they were told that some of the crew had to go ashore to save on provisions and on Dec. 11, 28 Chinese crew were taken off. Late that afternoon a launch from the British Admiralty came alongside with orders from the naval authorities in Hong Kong to scuttle as soon as possible, to prevent her from ending up in the hands of the Japanese, and this was done the next day. The officers were taken to the central police station where their passports were taken from them, before they were given lodgings at Marina House. They were all free to wander as they pleased.

The captain and another Norwegian escaped on Febr. 10-1943 and reached Kumning deep in China on April 27 that year. From there they flew to Calcutta, then continued to Bombay where the captain got passage to Durban on board M/S Cypria, arriving June 3. He was back in Nortraship's service on M/T Ima on June 17-1943 (the other man, whose name was Brodersen, got a job at Nortraship's office in Bombay. He's not named among Haraldsvang's crew, so must have been from another ship?). Meanwhile, back in Hong Kong, as repercussion for the captain's escape the remaining Norwegians had been placed in Stanley Internment Camp in Febr.-1943, where they stayed until Aug.-1945. Again, see the link provided above to a list of their names.

 Captain Kvamsø's own Account of the Escape: 

In the book "Sjøfolk i krig" by Leif M. Bjørkelund Captain Kvamsø's personal story is included. He was one of the men interviewed for the book, published in 1995 and based on interviews with seamen in connection with the fact that 50 years had passed since the war ended. Kvamsø's story gives details on the risky escape from Hong Hong. There's a slight conflict with the account above, in that he says they had in fact been in a camp since March 31-1942, adding that they had been "under consideration" up until that time, so it's possible they were at Marina House only while the Japanese were trying to decide whether they should be considered enemies or not. As mentioned, the escape took place on Febr. 10 the following year, and had been planned for quite some time. They were aided by a Portugese man who introduced them to another who was to be their "guide". The first step of the journey was by way of a trolley car (full of Japanese soldiers as passengers) to Wangchai, then by "sampan", paddled to the other side of the river by a Chinese woman. This took about 20 minutes, so it must have been a fairly narrow river. They were met by 8-10 soldiers who turned out to be a Chinese guerilla group, who took them through the jungle to a cabin where they were fed, before being taken to a farm to spend the night.

The following evening a frightening journey across the mountains began, but they managed to get through the Japanese lines undetected and down to the sea near New Territories, where a Chinese junk (type of boat) awaited them to take them across Mers Bay to the free China. En route they had to pass a Japanese guardboat, so in order to proceed as quietly as possible the Chinese "crew" had wrapped fabric around the oars so as not to make any noice while rowing. When approaching their destination, this crew refused to go towards shore, so they forced another junk with a Chinese family on board to come alongside and take them in, while the guerilla soldiers returned. Next step was to the nearest town by the name of Waicho, this time by sedan chairs part of the way, by bicycle the rest. At Waicho they were met by British soldiers, and stayed for about 4-5 days before being told to continue, and were placed on a river boat which took them to Kweilin, the capital of the Kwangsi province. Captain Kvamsø was able to send a telegram from there to Nortraship in Bombay to inquire about his family, as he didn't know whether they were still alive. It's unclear to me whether they had all lived in Hong Kong at the time of the Japanese invasion; the captain says his family had been at Rangoon when he last heard from them. As it turned out they were safely in Durban, South Africa.

The journey continued by train from Kweilin as far as the rails went, then by truck across the mountains to a small village where they stayed for a while before continuing further west to Kumning, where they got in contact with a British major named Hemmingway. After a few days they were taken by plane to Calcutta, but not before the airport had been bombed by Japanese aircraft, killing 300 people according to Captain Kvamsø. It was a Chinese plane with American pilots, with "Red Devils" written on the back of their coats. On arrival Calcutta they boarded a train for Bombay where they stayed for a few days. The captain then got passage on the Norwegian M/S Cypria which was about to go to the U.K. via Mombasa*, but en route a message was received to avoid Mombasa and proceed to Durban, where captain Kvamsø was finally reunited with his family. He mentions being attacked by U-boats the day before arrival Durban, but he thinks it was a northbound convoy they were really after (in which D/S Bergensfjord was Commodore Ship). After 2 weeks he joined M/T Ima, which he commanded for about 6 months.

*According to Cypria's Voyage Record for this period, she left Bombay on May 8-1943, and did go to Mombasa, with arrival May 21 - departing for Durban on May 23.

 Haraldsvang's Final Fate: 

Haraldsvang, meanwhile, had been raised by the Japanese on June 6-1942, renamed Toryu Maru, sank off Choshi on May 17-1944 after having run aground.

Related external links:
The Fall of Hong Kong

Battle of Hong Kong

Not the slightest chance - The defence of Hong Kong. Includes a listing of each individual defender - follow the links in the drop down menu on the left hand side of the page to find their names.

Back to Haraldsvang on the "Ships starting with H" page.

Haugesund (Gjerdsø & Bakkevig) had also had a ship by this name from 1899, 1550 gt (ex German Asia and Delos). Disappeared in Oct.-1903 on a voyage Trapani, Sicily-Portland with cargo of salt.

The text on this page was compiled with the help of: Misc. sources, incl. "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, "Våre gamle skip", Leif M. Bjørkelund & E. H. Kongshavn, "Krigsseileren", No. 3 for 1986 (article by Captain Kvamsø), "Sjøfolk i krig" by Leif M. Bjørkelund, "Sjøforklaringer fra 2. verdenskrig", Norwegian Maritime Museum, Volume I - based on the ship's logs and diaries, as well as the captain's report - ref. My sources.


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