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Owner: A/S Havtor
Built at Porsgrunds Mek. Verksted, Porsgrunn, Norway (91), delivered in Apr.-1930 to above owners. 245.7' x 37.9 x 18.3', 4 cyl. comp. (PMV), 136 nhp.
Captain: Kjell Bugge
Related items 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.
Errors may exist, and several voyages are missing.
Havtor is listed in Convoy HN 6 from Norway to the U.K. in Dec.-1939/Jan.-1940.
Judging from the information on Page 1 of the archive documents, she was at Rouen when the Germans invaded Norway on Apr. 9-1940, having arrived there from Villa Real on Apr. 1. (According to A. Hague, she had been to Casablanca just prior to this).
In July that year, we find her, together with Måkefjell and Nesttun, in Convoy OA 186, which left Methil on July 18 and dispersed on the 21st (ref. link provided within the table above). Her destination is given as Sydney, C.B., station 74, and according to the archive document, she arrived there on Aug. 4 (her departure Methil Roads is given as July 20). Having made a voyage to Campbellton, N.B. she returned to Sydney, C.B., and on Aug. 25 she joined the slow Convoy SC 2, in which the Norwegian Gro and others were sunk - follow the links for details. Havtor had a cargo of lumber for Ipswich, and the original Advance Sailing Telegram for this convoy indicates she had been cancelled from Convoy HX 68. She arrived Ipswich, via Belfast Lough, Clyde and Methil Roads, on Oct. 8. The following month, she shows up in Convoy OB 244, which lost several ships, as will be seen when following the link (see also the external link provided below). Havtor was bound for St. John's, N. F. on that occasion, and appears to have remained there for quite a while; Page 1 gives departure as Febr. 2-1941, with arrival St. John, N.B. on Febr. 7. From there, she later proceeded to Halifax, where she arrived Febr. 18.
With a cargo of pit props, she was scheduled to return to the U.K. in the slow Halifax-U.K. Convoy SC 23 that same day, but did not sail. She was also cancelled from Convoy SC 24, then joined SC 25 on March 10, but was unable to maintain the convoy speed and returned to Halifax, subsequently joining Convoy SC 26 on March 20, from which Helle and several others were sunk (again, follow the links for info). Havtor arrived Belfast Lough on Apr. 8, later continuing to Barry, with arrival Apr. 13 - see Page 2.
In May, A. Hague has included her in Convoy OB 326, which left Liverpool on May 22 and dispersed on the 29th, Havtor arriving Reykjavik the next day. Again, see the link provided in the table above for more convoy information, Strix and Tijuca are also named.
Related external link:
Havtor departed Reykjavik again alone in ballast for Pictou, N.S. in the afternoon of June 10-1941. Her position at 17:40 (GMT) on June 11 was 63 36N 28 05W. At 18:45* a torpedo struck in the engine room, port side. The torpedo, which had been fired by U-79 (Kaufmann) had been seen 20 seconds before it hit by all those who were present on the bridge, namely the captain, the 1st mate and Able Seaman Halvorsen, who was at the helm. The captain ordered the lifeboats launched, while the 2nd mate/radio operator sent out an SOS. The port boat was found to be destroyed, and the explosion had thrown a roll of wire into the starboard boat, so that the bread tank and the motor had been damaged, and during the launching the boat was filled with water. The 1st mate and 4 men went in it to get it bailed and to fish Able Seaman Hapgood out of the water.
Havtor did not sink, which gave the captain time to dump the secret papers overboard and organize assistance for the 8 injured men. While working to bring the wounded to safety, the engine room and boiler room were found to be filled with water and many cabins were destroyed. Chief Engineer Alf Andersen and Stoker Anders Johnsen were found dead in their cabins, while Stoker Andrew O'Dea, who had attempted to get out through the porthole on the starboard side, was found there unconscious, and had gotten so stuck it was impossible to free him, so they simply had to leave him behind. Both his legs had been broken. Able Seaman Philip Cairnes was on duty in the engine room and was believed killed there when the torpedo struck, while Able Seaman Ole Lorentzen and Ordinary Seaman Alexander Baird were off duty and in their cabin which was blown away as a result of the explosion.
The 14 survivors set off in the starboard lifeboat at 19:10, and at that time they spotted the periscope of the U-boat about 150-200 meters off. They rowed in an easterly direction, and at 22:40, when they were about 5 n. miles from the ship, they could hear that she was being shelled - 50-60 shells were fired. After having been hit by 4 or 5 of them, Havtor finally went down around 23:05.
The lifeboat set sail back to Iceland (it was impossible to get the motor started), sailing for the first 24 hours but when the wind died down somewhat on the 13th they had to row in between, then on the 14th there was hardly any wind at all so they rowed most of the time. At about 04:40 (GMT) that morning they had seen 3 British aircraft flying in formation, coming in from the east and passing the boats about 1 n. mile off, then disappearing in a westerly direction. The shipwrecked men waved to them (the rockets in the boat had been rendered useless by water) but did not appear to have been seen. At about 21:00 some ships were seen in the horizon. The following day, June 15 the wind had increased and was approaching a gale force with heavy seas, so they had to use oil to calm them. At 13:00 a fishing cutter was spotted and an hour later they were picked up by the motor fishing vessel Pilot, 5 n. miles northwest of Reykjavik, and with the lifeboat in tow they arrived Reykjavik at 18:00 that same afternoon. The 8 injured men were admitted to hospitals while the others were accommodated with the assistance of the Norwegian Navy.
The maritime hearings were held in Reykjavik on June 19 with the captain, the 1st mate, Able Seaman Halvorsen, and Able Seaman Sandersen appearing.
Related external links:
Back to Havtor on the "Ships starting with H" page.
Other ships by this name: This company had previously had another steamer by the name Havtor, built in Newcastle, originally delivered as General Roberts to Barnes, Guthrie & Co., Cardiff in Jan.-1882 - 1427 gt. Later had the name Bankchef Fasting for owners in Kristiansund N (G. Fraven) from 1891, then purchased in 1899 by Gjerdsø & Bakkevig, Haugesund and renamed Havtor. Sold in Sept.-1917 to A/S Havtor (Olsen & Ugelstad), Christiania, then managed by P. Meyer from 1919. Became the Swedish Gunvall in 1924 (Johan A. Edvall, Oskarshamn). Broken up in U.K. in 1936. Also, another Havtor had been delivered to A/S Havtor (P. Meyer) in Jan.-1925, 999 gt. Became Swedish Skagul in 1929, lost following a collision on Sept. 30-1942. In 1951 another Havtor was delivered to A/S Havkong (P. Meyer), Oslo, built by Kockums, Malmö, 15 846 gt. Sold in 1965 to owners in Piræus, renamed Archontissa. Broken up 1970. The name was used again in 1967 when a Havtor was delivered to A/S Havtor (P. Meyer), Oslo, built in Gothenburg, 42 506 gt. Sold in 1975 and renamed Bantry (Torvald Klaveness, Oslo). Renamed M Efes for Turkish owners in 1978. Broken up 1992.
The text on this page was compiled with the help of: Misc. sources, incl. "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, "Sjøforklaringer fra 2. verdenskrig", Norwegian Maritime Museum, Volume I, and misc. for cross checking info - ref. My sources.