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Manager: Bruusgaard, Kiøsterud & Co., Drammen
Built by Hong Kong & Whampoa Dock Co. Ltd., Kowloon, Hong Kong in 1940.
According to R. W. Jordan, she was managed by John Bruce & Co., Glasgow during the war.
The Memorial for Seamen in Stavern, Norway (external link) says that Captain John A. Pedersen died during an air attack while at Penang on Dec. 8-1942. Note, however, that according to Page 4, Hermelin was en route from Benghazi to Alexandria on that date. But I've received an E-mail from Jan Visser, who runs this website and who says: "December 1941 seems to me a more correct date, since I have the following information. During December 1941 (exact date unspecified), Hermelin entered port at Sabang (a small island with a harbor off Sumatra's northwestern tip) with about 300 holes in her superstructure, caused by bomb shrapnel. She was repaired locally by personnel of the Sabang Steenkolen Maatschappij. Source: F.C. Backer Dirks 'Zo maar een terugblik: de laatste dagen van Sabang onder Nederlandse driekleur', Marineblad 1970, pp. 128-132." "Våre falne", a series of 4 books naming Norwegian WW II casualties, also gives the date as Dec. 8-1941, adding that his wife died in the same air attack. (Hermelin's voyages in this period are also shown on Page 4).
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 (where the "Convoy" column is left blank, it means that convoy is not known).
Errors may exist, and several voyages are missing.
It looks like Hermelin was in Hong Kong when war broke out in Norway on Apr. 9-1940 - see Page 1 of the archive documents. She did not leave again until May 5, arriving Amoy 2 days later, then traded between Hong Kong and Bangkok until Aug.-1940.
Hermelin, carrying war materials, arrived Singapore in Convoy BM 10 on Jan 25-1942. This convoy, which had originated in Bombay on Jan. 8, is available via the external links provided within the table above. Hermelin had started out in Rangoon on Jan. 14, and is said to have joined the convoy at sea on Jan. 22. The 2nd external website that I've linked to within the Voyage Record adds that the convoy arrived Singapore with the 44th Indian Infantry brigade group (6000 men), vehicles and stores for the 18th division. Hermelin left Singapore again on Febr. 4, arriving Bombay Febr. 17, then spent almost a month there before proceeding to Karachi on March 14, with arrival March 16, not leaving until Apr. 21. She also appears to have spent a long time in Alexandria later that year, having arrived there from Port Said on Aug. 4; departure is given as Nov. 9. Again, see Page 4 of the archive documents.
On Jan. 3-1943, she arrived Alexandria from Benghazi, then joined Convoy MH 3 on Jan. 21 in order to return to Benghazi, arriving on Jan. 23. She subsequently travelled to Tobruk, then back to Benghazi and Alexandria, again spending quite a long time at the latter port, where she had arrived Febr. 26 - departure is given as March 25 (for Tripoli, Libya) - see Page 5. Convoy information for her subsequent voyages can be found in the Voyage Record.
She had arrived Alexandria from Port Said on Sept. 2-1943, then made a voyage to Malta with Convoy MKS 24. For info, this convoy arrived Gibraltar on Sept. 13, then continued to the U.K., after having joined up with Convoy SL 136 from Freetown the next day, the combined convoy arriving Liverpool on Sept. 25. Hermelin, however, being bound for Malta, where she arrived on Sept. 9, was not part of the Gibraltar-U.K. convoy. Follow the link for the names of other ships taking part.
A message in my Guestbook states that Hermelin was present at Bari when the big explosion occurred there on Dec. 2-1943, but quickly got away, spending the night just north of Bari, after having taken part in the defence with her Oerlikons. On board at the time, from Jan.-1943 to June/July-1944, was a 17 year old Danish messboy named Edmund Petersen, whose story has been included in a new book entitled "Krigssejler 1939-45" by Klaus Rydahl. Hermelin also had a British gunner, who received injuries to his knee from shrapnel. When she returned to Bari the following morning to continue unloading, dead seamen were floating around in the harbour. Hermelin received about 50 men from other ships, these were later landed at Syracuse. My page about Bollsta has further details on what happened at Bari that day. Note that Hermelin is listed among the ships in Convoy AH 10, which had left Augusta on Nov. 26-1943; Hermelin had arrived Bari on Nov. 28, according to A. Hauge. Some of the ships that were sunk at Bari are also listed in this convoy (John Harvey and John L. Motley). With Somerville, Hermelin left Bari again with Convoy HA 11 on Dec. 8, arriving Augusta Dec. 10, continuing to Bizerta and Bone the next day. Again, see the links to these convoys provided in the Voyage Record (see also Page 5).
Together with the Norwegian Fernbank and Pan Aruba, she's later listed in Convoy KMS 36*. For info, this convoy had started out from the U.K. on Dec. 15-1943 as the combined Convoy OS 62/KMS 36 which split up off Gibraltar on Jan. 2-1944, the OS portion proceeding to Freetown, while the KMS portion went to Gibraltar. Hermelin, however, joined from Bone (left Jan. 6-1944), so she was not present from the U.K., and her destination is given as Augusta, where she arrived on Jan. 9. In March that same year, she shows up in Convoy KMS 44*, which left Gibraltar on March 17 and arrived Port Said on the 27th, but Hermelin was again bound for Augusta, where she arrived on March 22, having started out from Algiers on the 19th. Bruse Jarl, Egerø, Elise, Meline and Topdalsfjord are also named (convoy originally started out from the U.K. on March 3 as the combined Convoy OS 70/KMS 44, and split up off Gibraltar on March 15). The following month, she's listed, together with Belpareil, Borgholm, Hai Lee, Solør and Troubadour, in Convoy KMS 46*, departing Gibraltar on Apr. 6, arriving Port Said, her destination at the time, on the 16th; Hermelin had started out from Augusta on Apr. 11; see Page 6 (this convoy had also originally been part of a combined convoy from the U.K. which split up off Gibraltar, namely OS 72/KMS 46).
Hermelin did not leave Port Said again until May 26, when she proceeded to Alexandria, and is subsequently listed, with Facto, Gylfe, Høegh Hood and Tore Jarl, in Convoy MKS 52* (from Port Said June 8-1944, to Gibraltar June 20). Hermelin's voyage information is given as "Alexandria to Augusta"; she had left Alexandria on June 9, and arrived her destination on the 14th. (For info, MKS 52 joined up with the Freetown Convoy SL 161 on June 20, the combined convoy arriving Liverpool on July 2, but as already noted, Hermelin was not bound for the U.K.).
In July, we find her in Convoy SL 163/MKS 54 - MKS 54* departed Port Said June 28 and arrived Gibraltar July 10, but Hermelin had started out in Augusta on July 3. Jan joined from Algiers, Norelg is listed, but was bound for Augusta, Suderholm joined at Port Said, bound for Palermo, Vigsnes joined from Algiers, arrived Gibraltar with defects, according to A. Hague. Off Gibraltar, MKS 54 joined up with the SL 163 (from Freetown) on July 11, the combined convoy arriving Liverpool on July 22; Hermelin arrived Preston that day (Page 6). Lago and Snar are also listed in the combined convoy. Follow the link provided in the table above for more info. From Preston, Hermelin proceeded to Liverpool on Aug. 15, with arrival that same day and according to the archive document, she did not leave again until Oct. 13, arriving Port Said, via Belfast Lough, on Nov. 5, having sailed in Convoy OS 92/KMS 66*, which had split up off Gibraltar on Oct. 25, having originated in Liverpool on the 15th. Bosphorus, Fernbank, Hardanger and Ragnhild are also listed.
It'll be noticed, when going back to Page 6, that no 1945 voyages are listed from March 27 and onwards (it looks like she headed to Leyte that day), except for a stop at Hong Kong, Sept. 11-18. Departure Hong Kong is given as March 3-1946.
As mentioned, Hermelin arrived Hong Kong for the first time after war's end sometime between Sept. 11 and Sept. 18-1945.
On March 2-1953 she was in a collision with the French passenger liner La Marseillaise at Yokohama and sustained some damage. Sold in 1972 to Kwok Wah Shipping Co., Panama, and renamed Treasure Country. Sold to Fuji Marden & Co. for scrap and in Apr.-1977 breaking up commenced in Hong Kong.
Back to Hermelin on the "Ships starting with H" page.
This company also had a ship named Hermelin post war, originally built in 1955 as Bow Plate for Rederiet Odfjell, Bergen, 4621 gt. From 1964 she sailed as Sunndalsfjord for Den Norske Amerikalinje, then managed by Bruusgaard Kiøsterud & Co. from July-1973, renamed Hermelin. Later names: Arafura Dua (Panama) 1979, Fullwind Lucky 1980, sold for breaking up that same year.
The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, E-mails from Roger W. Jordan - and misc.