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Manager: Erling H. Samuelsen, Oslo
Built by Burmeister & Wain's Maskin- og Skibsbyggeri A/S, Copenhagen, delivered in Aug.-1920 as Theodore Roosevelt for Fred Olsen & Co., Oslo. Owners became Erling H. Samuelsen I/S Rederi II A/S in Apr.-1936, renamed Helgøy.
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 (please be aware that some of the listings are incomplete).
Errors may exist, and some voyages are missing.
As will be seen when going to Page 1 of the documents received from the Norwegian archives, Helgøy was on her way from Buenos Aires to Oslo, Norway when the country was invaded by the Germans on Apr. 9-1940, but was diverted to Liverpool and arrived there, via Rio de Janeiro and Freetown, on May 24, having sailed in Convoy SL 30 from Freetown on May 1 - ref. link provided within the table above. A month later, she's listed, together with Ferncastle, Hird, Litiopa, Notos and Tautra, in Convoy OB 174, which left Liverpool on June 25 and dispersed on the 30th, Helgøy arriving Kingston, Jamaica on July 13, proceeding to New Orleans on the 18th, with arrival there on July 22. From New Orleans, she later headed to Bermuda, leaving again on Aug. 15 in the Bermuda portion of Convoy HX 66 (the Norwegian Norne was sunk - follow the link for details). According to the Commodore's notes for HX 66, Helgøy lost touch with the convoy during the night of Aug. 24/25; she arrived Greenock on Aug. 30. She subsequently appears to have spent quite a long time in Liverpool. She had arrived there from Clyde on Sept. 1 and did not leave until Dec. 14, when she joined Convoy OB 259, along with Belinda, Dalfonn, Erviken (returned), Hørda, Idefjord, Leiesten, Taranger and Thorshavet. Helgøy arrived New York on Jan. 2-1941, the convoy having been dispersed on Dec. 17. She did not leave New York again until Apr. 12 - A. Hague says she had required propeller repairs. (The OB convoys mentioned here are availabale via the links provided within the table above).
She was scheduled for Convoy HX 121 from Halifax to the U.K. on Apr. 16-1941, but did not sail (Caledonia was sunk - follow link for info). She was also cancelled from HX 122, bound for Liverpool with a general cargo, supercargo and 6 bombers, but eventually got away with HX 123 on Apr. 25 and arrived Liverpool on May 13 - see also the cruising order/Commodore's notes (the Commodore names Helgøy among the ships that were "inclined to drop back at night and in spite of signals made little improvement" and adds that she was slow at signalling). In June she shows up, with destination Montreal, in Convoy OB 336, originating in Liverpool on June 15, dispersed June 25 - again, see link within the Voyage Record; Ravnefjell and Topdalsfjord are also listed. Helgøy arrived Montreal on July 3, having started out from Glasgow on June 16. She headed back to the U.K. on July 23 with Convoy HX 140, together with the Norwegian Skiensfjord (97), Boreas (16), Velox (56), Velma (96), Alaska (106), Stiklestad (95), Vardefjell (84), Evita (114), Olaf Bergh (124), Thorshov (83), Ferncastle (113), Bonneville (82), Thorshavet (43) and Madrono (112). Beth and Petter were also initially in this convoy but left due to engine problems. Helgøy joined from Sydney, C.B. (again, see Page 1).
She later joined the westbound North Atlantic Convoy ON 12, which left Liverpool on Sept. 1-1941, but she put back to Loch Ewe on Sept. 5, and does not show up again until ON 22* on Oct. 2. According to A. Hague, she had again required repairs, but I have no further info as to why. Her destination is given as Montreal and she arrived there on Oct. 17, having been detached from the convoy on the 13th. (Eglantine is named among the escorts - see ON convoy escorts). She subsequently returned to the U.K. in Convoy HX 159 from Halifax on Nov. 8. A. Hague says that she arrived Belfast Lough in tow on Nov. 23 following an engine room explosion.
Going back to Page 1, we see that she did not leave Belfast until March 10/11-1942, at which time she proceeded to Clyde, and from there, she joined the westbound Convoy ON 77*, which had originated in Liverpool on March 17 and dispersed on the 28th, Helgøy arriving St. John, N.B. on March 30. The following month, we find her among the ships in Convoy HX 185 from Halifax, and in May, she's listed in the westbound Convoy ON 95*, which originated in Liverpool on May 15. Helgøy sailed from Clyde that day and arrived Halifax on May 27, later continuing to Montreal, where she arrived, via Sydney, C.B., on June 5 - her voyages in this period are shown on Page 2. She headed back across the Atlantic in Convoy HX 196 from Halifax at the end of June, and having made some voyages around the U.K. she joined the westbound Convoy ON 131*, in order to go back to Halifax, where she arrived Oct. 1, having sailed from Loch Ewe on Sept. 18 (it'll be noticed, when going back to the archive document, that she had spent several weeks at North Shields/Tyne that summer - more repairs?). Commodore for this convoy was in Abraham Lincoln. Helgøy left Halifax again on Oct. 20, joining Convoy HX 212, in which Kosmos II and others were sunk. Frontenac was also torpedoed - follow the links for more info. This time, Abraham Lincoln served as Vice Commodore. The Commodore's report is also available for this convoy, which had originated in New York on Oct. 18. Helgøy was bound for Cardiff with general cargo in station 114, arriving her destination, via Belfast Lough, on Nov. 4.
She now appears to have spent a long time in Falmouth; she had arrived there from Cardiff on Nov. 22-1942 and departure is given as May 27-1943 - again, see Page 2. A few days later, she joined the westbound North Atlantic Convoy ON 187*, which originated in Liverpool on June 1 and arrived New York on the 15th; Helgøy sailed from Milford Haven on May 31 and arrived Halifax June 13. She returned in Convoy HX 248, which had originated in New York on July 15, but Helgøy, bound for Glasgow with general cargo, again joined from Halifax a few days later, together with the Norwegian California Express, Bajamar and Bañaderos. See also the Commodore's report. Helgøy arrived Glasgow on July 29. The following month, we find her in the westbound Convoy ON 197*, which started out in Liverpool on Aug. 14 and arrived New York on the 28th; Helgøy joined from Clyde and was bound for St. John, N.B., where she arrived, via Halifax, on Aug. 29 - see Page 2 and Page 3. She later proceeded to New York and Hampton Roads, and from the U.S., she now headed to Port Said. A. Hague's Voyage Record has convoy information for some of her subsequent voyages.
She was scheduled to sail to the U.K. in Convoy MKS 37 from Gibraltar on Jan. 22-1944, but is crossed out on the form, though according to A. Hague she did take part in this convoy from Port Said as far as Gibraltar, having left Port Said on Jan. 10 - see the 2nd table on my page about this convoy. To complete her voyage to the U.K., she joined the next convoy, MKS 38*, departing Gibraltar on Febr. 1. This convoy joined up with the Freetown Convoy SL 147 the next day and arrived Liverpool on Febr. 14 - see link in the table above, Germa, Jenny, Norefjord, Norelg and Sirehei are also named.
She now headed to the U.S. again, having joined Convoy ON 229*, departing Liverpool on March 23-1944, arriving New York Apr. 7. Acanthus and Eglantine are named among the escorts - see ON convoy escorts. Her subsequent voyages are shown on Page 3, while convoy info for some of them can be found in the table above.
Skipping now to Aug. 17-1944, when she's listed in Convoy MKS 59* from Port Said. From Gibraltar, the convoy joined up with Convoy SL 168 from Freetown on Aug. 30, before continuing to the U.K. as the combined Convoy SL 168/MKS 59 (link in Voyage Record). Helgøy later went to New York again, having joined Convoy ON 263*, departing Southend on Oct. 29, arriving New York Nov. 15 (Commodore in Samuel Bakke). From New York, she again headed to Port Said the following month, arriving Jan. 5-1945. The rest of her voyages are shown on Page 3 and Page 4.
Marek Twardowski, Poland has told me she was damaged in a collision at some point during the war - I have no further info on that.
Purchased by GAL in Aug.-1950 and renamed Mikolaj Rej. Transferred to PLO, Gdynia Jan. 1-1951. Chartered to Chipolbrok (joint Polish-Chinese shipping company) June-1951. Grounded in Suez Canal on Apr. 13-1954 whilst on voyage from Taku Bar, India, to Gdynia. Refloated by use of local tugs and towed to Great Bitter Lake. Sold in 1960 to PR of China and renamed Nan Hai 148. Presumed broken up 1970.
Back to Helgøy on the "Ships starting with H" page.
Other ships by this name: Norway had another, much smaller Helgøy after the war, delivered in Dec.-1951 from A/S Seutelvens Verksted, Fredrikstad as Helgøy to Troms Fylkes Dampskibsselskap, 285 gt, local passenger/cargo vessel. Sold in June-1972 (Åsmund Bjørkmo, Kvaløsletta near Tromsø), converted to refrigerated cargo vessel at Svolvær, renamed Polar Trans upon completion in March-1974. Sold in 1980 to Curaçao, registered in Anquilla and in service in the Caribbean, still around in 1995 (199 gt). Another Helgøy was built for Troms Fylkes D/S in 1978, 476 gt, still in service in 1996. (Info from company fleet list, Finn R. Hansen).
The text on this page was compiled with the help of: Misc. sources. Pre war and post war details were received from Marek Twardowski, a Polish visitor to my website.