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To Karmt on the "Ships starting with K" page.
Owner: Skibs-A/S Corona
Launched Dec.-1937, delivered in Febr.-1938 from Blythswood Shipbuilding & Co. Ltd., Glasgow as Karmt to Skibs-A/S Corona (H. M. Wrangell), Haugesund.
Captain: Arne Fjeldheim.
Related item 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.
From Page 1 of the archive documents, we learn that Karmt was on her way from Vancouver to Port Alberni when war broke out in Norway on Apr. 9-1940.
It'll be noticed, when going to Page 2, that she spent a long time in New Orleans in 1942. She had arrived there from Trinidad on Febr. 27 and departure is given as March 7, when she proceeded to Trinidad again. She also spent over a month at Table Bay later that year and similar long stays are shown all through her record.
"Nortraships flåte" has included a report from captain Fjeldheim about 2 attacks that occurred in Oct.-1942. In the afternoon of Oct. 20 they had passed a large oil slick which made the captain suspicious, and a couple of hours later they were suddenly shelled by an unknown attacker which appeared to be 1000-1500 yards away. One of the shells exploded about 50 yards off their port quarters, and a 4th shell went between Karmt's masts and landed about 1000 yards off her port bow. The gunners were ordered to return the fire, and after a while all was quiet. On Oct. 22, just as darkness was starting to fall an exploding "rocket" was observed ahead of them, estimated to be about 25 n. miles away, and Karmt altered course. Early the next morning, a white lifeboat sail was seen off the starboard bow and course altered for a while in order to determine whether it really was a lifeboat they had seen, but it disappeared before this could be established, so original course was resumed. 2 hours later, when in position 14 28N 55 30W, a torpedo was suddenly spotted coming towards them on the starboard side. The alarm was sounded while hard port wheel was given, and though it looked for a while as if they would not be able to avoid it, the torpedo ended up going parallel to them, about 10-15 meters off their starboard bow. Karmt eventually reached her destination unharmed. There is no information on where she was going at the time, but according to Page 2 of the archive documents, she arrived Trinidad on Oct. 25, having left Table Bay on Sept. 26.
She's said to have rescued 29 men from 2 lifeboats from the Panamanian tanker Heinrich von Riedemann, captain Andrew Weiler, on Apr. 17-1943. This ship had been torpedoed the night before between Aruba and Trinidad. The survivors are said to have been landed in Trinidad on the 18th (note that according to Page 2, Karmt arrived Beira on Apr. 17, having left Tamatave on the 11th). A detailed account of the sinking of this ship, and names of all 44 survivors can be found in the book "Ships of the Esso Fleet in World War II" which is fairly easy to find on the Internet (try bookfinder.com). There were no casualties. See also the external links provided below.
In June-1943, Karmt is listed as sailing in Convoy SL 131/MKS 15, general cargo, voyage from Durban and Capetown for Mersey. The Norwegian Dagrun, Anna Odland, Hallfried and Norheim also took part in this convoy. Convoy SL 131 (in which Karmt sailed) had departed Freetown on June 13, joined up with MKS 15* from Gibraltar on the 24th, and arrived Liverpool on July 4. Follow the external link provided within the Voyage Record for more information - see also Page 3 of the archive documents.
Later that month, we find her in station 22 of the westbound North Atlantic Convoy ONS 14, departing Liverpool on July 26, arriving Halifax on Aug. 9; Karmt, however, was bound for New York, where she arrived on Aug. 12. This convoy will be added to an individual page in my Convoys section, in the meantime, see the page listing ships in all ONS convoys.
Skipping now to March-1944, when I have her Convoy GUS 33. This convoy, which had a number of Norwegian ships, departed Port Said on March 5 and arrived Hampton Roads on Apr. 4, but many ships had other destinations and left the convoy along the way, as will be seen when going to my page about GUS 33. Karmt was bound for Buenos Aires, where she arrived, via Gibraltar (joined Convoy OS 71, detached Apr. 2 - link in Voyage Record), Montevideo and Santa Fe, on May 9.
In June that same year, she's listed, together with Cetus, in Convoy SL 161/MKS 52, the SL portion (in which Karmt sailed) having departed Freetown on June 11, arriving Liverpool on July 2, having joined up with the MKS convoy* from Gibraltar on the way. Early the following month, she joined Convoy OS 85/KMS 59*, voyage from Belfast to Freetown with coal, the OS portion arriving Freetown on Aug. 21, the convoy having split up on the 11th. A couple of months later she appears in Convoy SL 177/MKS 68* (ref. external link below), but note that she's also mentioned in the previous convoy, SL 176/MKS 67*, and the departure and arrival dates for that convoy match those given on Page 3 of the archive documents, which says she left Freetown on Nov. 7 and arrived Liverpool on the 25th. This would indicate she sailed in SL 176/MKS 67 (which also included Gabon), and not the next convoy (the SL portion of the latter convoy departed Freetown on Nov. 15 and joined up with the MKS portion from Gibraltar on the 26th, arriving Liverpool on Dec. 5). Karmt was on a voyage from Takoradi to Mersey, having departed Takoradi on Oct. 25, and had a cargo of palm kernels, manganese ore, cotton seed, copra, logs, rubber, ground nuts, coffee and sundries, and was also carrying 2 passengers.
Early in 1945 we find her in Convoy OS 102/KMS 76*, voyage to Augusta for Taranto area with general cargo, station 21. This convoy departed Liverpool on Jan. 2, Karmt arriving Augusta on Jan. 14, Taranto on the 19th. In Apr.-1945, she made a voyage from Casablanca to The Downs, having joined Convoy MKS 94*, in which Evviva and Jenny are also listed. Karmt arrived Downs on Apr. 17.
The attack on Heinrich von Riedemann - Uboat.net's information on the attack.
Karmt was on a voyage from Port Harcourt to Antwerp, and was in Convoy TAM 142 when she was torpedoed by U-245 (Schumann-Hindenberg) off Dover on April 18-1945 - as mentioned above, she had previously arrived Downs from Casablanca on Apr. 17 (having sailed from Port Harcourt on March 15 and arrived Casablanca, via Lagos, on Apr. 6 - see also Page 4 of the archive documents). Karmt left Downs again on Apr. 18, joining the convoy for Antwerp (see the external link provided within the Voyage Record; Jernfjeld is also listed). She had a cargo of 7539 tons of West African produce; groundnuts, palmoil and general. A visitor to my website has told me that "Shipwreck Index of the British Isles" says she also carried valuable minerals, including gold and tin concentrate which was salvaged after the war by Risdon Beazley.
The explosion occurred on the starboard side in the aftermost part of the ship, causing considerable damages, killing 4 mechanics, whose cabins were right above the explosion area, and severely injuring Gunner Øivind Rosvold, while 5 other crew members were less severely wounded. 2 of the lifeboats were destroyed, but the survivors were ordered to the remaining 3 boats. The British? armed trawler Sir Lancelot came up to them and took 3 injured men on board (Gunner Rosvold, Mechanic Sollied, and Able Seaman Kvalvik), and after having given them first aid they were transferred to another Navy vessel and taken ashore.
The others later rowed back towards Karmt, but before they reached her she turned over to port and slowly went under. An MTB then towed the lifeboats back to Sir Lancelot where the survivors were fed, while towing the boats towards shore. The survivors sailed the last 2 miles into Ramsgate in the lifeboats. Among the survivors was the Belgian pilot, who had embarked at The Downs that morning, though one of my books on Haugesund ships, "Våre Motorskip" states that the Belgian pilot was among the casualties.
Maritime hearings were held in London on May(?) 4-1945 with the captain, the 1st and 2nd mates, Able Seaman Johansen (lookout at the time) and the 1st engineer appearing. The captain's report presented at the hearings states they were torpedoed at 05:40, giving the position as "207° North Goodwin Lightvessel 2 n. miles", sank at 08:30, "212° North Goodwin Lightvessel 5 n. miles". J. Rohwer gives the attack time as 05:55, position 51 27N 01 43E
The British D/S Filleigh was also sunk in this attack.
* There's also a Ludvik Slettene listed in the crew list for O. A. Knudsen - same person?
Related external links:
Operations Information for U-245 - This site says Karmt had a total crew of 41.
Back to Karmt on the "Ships starting with K" page.
Other ships by this name: H. M. Wrangell had previously had another ship by this name, originally delivered in Febr.-1919 as Urter to D/S A/S John K. Haaland, Haugesund, 1602 gt. Sold in Oct.-1926 to D/S A/S Corona (H. M. Wrangell & Co. A/S) and renamed Karmt. Lost in a hurricane on Jan. 23-1937, 70 n. miles northeast of Shetland on a voyage Port Talbot-Bergen. 1 died, the rest of the crew were rescued by D/S Leda (Bergenske Dampskibsselskab - listed under L on this site) and taken to Bergen. One of the survivors, Paul Ellefsen wrote a book about his war experiences which includes this incident (entitled "En krigsseilers dagbok", A Warsailor's Diary). He was 16 when he was on board. The company also had a ship by the name Karmt (tanker) later on, 1955-1965. Additionally, Haugesund had a D/S Karmt as far back as 1872, when she was delivered for John Valentinsen, Haugesund, 400 gt. This was Haugesund's first ocean going steamship. Lost near Great Yarmouth on her first voyage on Dec. 11-1872, in heavy snow when en route Ålesund-Portugal with a cargo of dried fish. Captain was Michael Sunde.
The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, "Våre motorskip", Leif M. Bjørkelund and E. H. Kongshavn, "Sjøforklaringer fra 2. verdenskrig", Norwegian Maritime Museum, Volume I, and misc. others for cross checking facts as named within the above text (see my sources). The memorandum mentioned in my text was received from Tony Cooper, England.