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M/T Kollbjørg
Updated Nov. 30-2011

To Kollbjørg on the "Ships starting with K" page.

Crew List

In Port Arthur, 1937.
Received from Aage A. Wilhelmsen, Norway.
Another picture is available on this external page (click in it to make it larger).

Owner: A/S Kollbjørg
Manager: Odd Berg, Oslo
8259 gt, 12 670 tdwt.
Signal Letters: LJLX

Built by Eriksbergs Mekaniske Verkstads A/B, Gothenburg, Sweden in 1937.

Captain (when sunk): Edvin Apall-Olsen (Vav also had a captain by this last name). Previous captain, Alfred Edvardsen? See narrative below.

Her voyages are listed on these original images from the Norwegian National Archives:
Page 1 | Page 2 | Page 3

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

Voyage Record
From Aug.-1941 to Jan.-1943:

(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 external convoys are incomplete, as are some of my HX convoys; the latter will be updated).

Errors may exist, and several voyages are missing.

Departure From To Arrival Convoy Remarks
1941 Aug. 30 New York City Halifax Sept. 2 Independent A. Hague says:
Previously traded USA/S America
Earlier voyages, Page 1.
Sept. 10 Halifax Liverpool Sept. 25 HX 149 See also Page 2
Oct. 2 Liverpool ON 22 For Halifax.
Dispersed Oct. 15.
Page 2 gives arrival Oct. 17.
Convoy will be added.
See ships in ON convoys
Oct. 22 Halifax Belfast Lough Nov. 4 HX 156
Nov. 9 Belfast Lough Milford Haven Nov. 10 BB 98 Convoy available at BB convoys
(external link)
Nov. 13 Milford Haven Southampton Nov. 15 WP 65 Convoy available at WP convoys
(external link)
Missing movements, Page 2
Nov. 21 Solent Falmouth Nov. 22 PW 69 Convoy available at PW 69
(external link)
Nov. 24 Falmouth Milford Haven Nov. 25
Nov. 30 Milford Haven ON 42 For Providence R.I.
Dispersed 47 44N 45 16W, Dec. 14.
Convoy will be added.
See ships in ON convoys
Dec. 14 Dispersed from ON 42 Providence, R.I. Dec. 22 Independent
Dec. 23 Providence, R.I. New Orleans Dec. 31 Independent
1942 Jan. 5 Baton Rouge New Orleans Jan. 7 Independent Compare w/Page 2
Jan. 7 Baton Rouge* Halifax Jan. 16 Independent *New Orleans
Jan. 20 Halifax Belfast Lough Febr. 1 HX 171
Febr. 2 Belfast Lough Heysham Febr. 2 Independent
Febr. 6 Heysham Liverpool Febr. 6 Independent
Febr. 8 Liverpool ON 65 For Corpus Christi.
Dispersed 43 50N 47 45W, Febr. 19.
Convoy will be added.
See ships in ON convoys
Febr. 19 Dispersed from ON 65 St Rose March 5 Independent See also Page 2 and narrative blow.
March 15 St Rose Halifax March 28 Independent
May 3 Halifax Belfast Lough May 15 HX 188
May 16 Belfast Lough Milford Haven May 17 BB 174 Convoy available at BB convoys
(external link)
*May 26 Detached from KS 512 Galveston June 29 Independent
*Date should be June 26 and voyage belongs further down in the record - inserted there.
May 28 Milford Haven Cape Cod Canal June 12 ON 99 Via Belfast Lough
(Page 2).
For Galveston
June 12 Cape Cod Canal New York City June 14 Independent
June 16 New York City Hampton Roads Independent
June 20 Hampton Roads KS 512 Detached June 26.
Convoy available at KS convoys
(external link)
*June 26 Detached from KS 512 Galveston June 29 Independent
*Voyage inserted from above, and date corrected.
July 23 Galveston Texas City July 23 Independent
July 27 Texas City Key West Aug. 2 Independent
Aug. 5 Key West New York City Aug. 11 KN 127 Via Hampton Roads
(Page 2).
Convoy available at KN convoys
(external link)
Aug. 19 New York City Halifax Aug. 22 BX 34 NYC/Cape Cod Bay/Halifax.
Convoy available at BX convoys
(external link)
Aug. 23 Halifax Liverpool Sept. 4 HX 204 Missing movements, Page 3
Sept. 11 Liverpool New York City Sept. 25 ON 129 Convoy will be added.
See ships in ON convoys
Sept. 27 New York City Gitmo Oct. 4 NG 309 For Curacao.
Convoy available at NG convoys
(external link)
Oct. 4 Gitmo Curacao Oct. 7 GAT 11 Gitmo to Curacao.
Convoy available at GAT convoys
(external link)
Oct. 11 Curacao Gitmo Oct. 14 TAG 12 Curacao to Gitmo.
Convoy available at TAG convoys
(external link)
Oct. 15 Gitmo New York City Oct. 24 GN 12 Convoy available at GN convoys
(external link)
Nov. 19 New York City Clyde Dec. 4 HX 216 See also narrative below.
Also, missing movements, Page 3
Dec. 19 Clyde New York City Jan. 6-1943 ON 155 See narrative
1943 Jan. 14 New York City HX 223 Foundered, broke in two, sank
See "Final Fate" below

 Some Convoy Voyages: 
For information on voyages made in between those mentioned here, please see the documents received from the Norwegian archives and A. Hague's Voyage Record above. Follow the convoy links provided for more details; the Commodore's notes and/or narrative are also available for some of them and several Norwegian ships took part.

According to Page 1 of the archive documents, Kollbjørg was in Santos when the Germans invaded Norway on Apr. 9-1940. She left that day for Port Stanley. Her 1941 voyages also start on this document, and it'll be noticed that she spent quite a long time in New York that year. She had arrived there from Trinidad on June 21 and departure is given as Aug. 30, when she proceeded to Halifax in order to join Convoy HX 149 to the U.K. on Sept. 10. The following month, she's listed as bound for Halifax in station 33 of the westbound North Atlantic Convoy ON 22*, which left Liverpool on Oct. 2 and dispersed on the 15th, Kollbjørg arriving Halifax on Oct. 17 - her voyages in this period are shown on Page 2. Eglantine is named among the escorts for this convoy; see ON convoy escorts. Kollbjørg headed back to the U.K. on Oct. 22 with Convoy HX 156, Eglantine is again named among the escorts, as is Montbretia. Kollbjørg is later listed as bound for Providence in Convoy ON 42*, which originated in Liverpool on Dec. 1 and dispersed Dec. 14, Kollbjørg arriving Providence on Dec. 22. From there, she proceeded to New Orleans the next day.

In Jan.-1942, she was in the Halifax-U.K. Convoy HX 171. This time, Acanthus and Rose were among the escorts for a while. Kollbjørg subsequently returned across the Atlantic with Convoy ON 65*, which left Liverpool on Febr. 8 and dispersed on the 19th. Her destination is given as Corpus Christi; going back to the archive document mentioned above, we see that she arrived St. Rose, via New Orleans, on March 5. There's a Captain Alfred Edvardsen commemorated at the seamen's memorial in Stavern, Norway (link at the bottom of this page). According to "Våre falne", a series of 4 books naming Norwegians who died in WW II, he died in an accident in the North Atlantic on Febr. 20-1942 when Kollbjørg was on a voyage in convoy from London to New Orleans, in other words, on this voyage with ON 65. From St. Rose, she proceeded to Halifax on March 15, remaining there for quite a long time - again, see Page 2. At the beginning of May that year, we find her in station 73 of Convoy HX 188, returning at the end of that month with Convoy ON 99 (Vice Commodore in Emma Bakke). The archive document gives her destination as Galveston, and she arrived there, via New York and Hampton Roads, on June 29, remaining until July 23.

On Aug. 23-1942, she joined Convoy HX 204 from Halifax, arriving her destination Stanlow on Sept. 5 (see Page 3), and about a week later, she's listed as bound for New York in Convoy ON 129*, departing Liverpool Sept. 11, arriving New York Sept. 25. She now made a voyage to Curacao and back to New York, with arrival Oct. 24, and was scheduled to return to the U.K. in Convoy HX 213 on Oct. 26, but did not sail. She was also cancelled from HX 214 and HX 215, but eventually got away with HX 216 on Nov. 19, bound for Bowling and Ardrossan with a cargo of gasoline in station 63 of the convoy, arriving Bowling on Dec. 5, Ardrossan Dec. 7. She was subsequently scheduled to head back to New York with Convoy ON 153 later that month (Bello was sunk - follow link for details), but instead joined ON 155 about a week later. She joined from Clyde and arrived New York on Jan. 6-1943 (the Commodore's narrative is also available for ON 155 - Kollbjørg is mentioned several times). Eglantine and Acanthus are named among the escorts.

* The ON convoys will be added to individual pages in my Convoys section in due course, along with further details on each. In the meantime, the ships sailing in them (and escorts) are named in the section listing ships in all ON convoys. As will be seen, they all had several Norwegian ships.

 Final Fate - 1943: 

As mentioned, Kollbjørg had arrived New York on Jan. 6-1943 in Convoy ON 155. By Jan. 14, she was ready to return to Mersey in Convoy HX 223, together with several other Norwegian ships, among them M/T Nortind, and this was to be their last voyage.

The weather in the North Atlantic in the winter of 1942/43 was the worst in the memory of man; during a period of 20 weeks storm after storm raged for 116 days, making it difficult for the convoys to stay together, and for the escorts to protect them. This convoy encountered a bad storm which on the 24th approached hurricane force, and when an enormous breaker swept across the foredeck of Kollbjørg shortly after 1 o'clock that afternoon she broke in two behind midships (near the pump room and tank No. 5), 58 28N 41 34W. The two parts drifted away from each other, the engine was stopped by the 4th engineer, and the crew in the stern section chose to stay on board, which appeared safer than the prospects of being in lifeboats in that weather. They saw some of the crew members on the forepart of the ship, which was still afloat with the bow high up in the air, and about half an hour after the ship had broken in two they had to start the engines again in order to avoid a collision with the helplessly drifting foreship.

Nortind and the American tanker Pan Maryland went out of the convoy and stayed close to the broken ship all day, but couldn't do much in the storm, and by that evening the forepart was nowhere to be seen. Just after 22:00 those on the stern section of Kollbjørg decided to attempt to leave the ship, and managed to row in 2 lifeboats over to Pan Maryland which succeeded in taking the 26 survivors on board. However, one man was badly injured during the transfer and in spite of continuous efforts to revive him for 3 hours he died that night (Adolf Andersen). By the time they abandoned ship, the front part of the stern section had sunk down so that the propeller was out of the water.

Pan Maryland searched for the forepart, but then continued on to try to catch up with the convoy. She landed the survivors in Avonmouth in the afternoon of Febr. 3-1943. The maritime hearings were held in Cardiff on Febr. 9 with the 1st engineer, the 4th engineer, and the carpenter appearing. Carpenter Bækkevold had been on board since Aug.-1940.

Nortind, which had a cargo of gasoline was last seen at 01:00 on Jan. 25. She was too far behind the convoy to be able to catch up, and on the 26th she was sunk by U-358 (Manke), approximate position 58 30N 34 00W. All 43 died, 34 were Norwegian, 7 British, 2 Dutch passengers. Their names can be found on my page about Nortind.

According to German records Kollbjørg's forepart was sunk by U-607 (Mengersen) and U-594 (Mumm) in the afternoon of Jan. 26, position 58 20N 39 30W, but this was possibly/probably the abandoned stern section (R. W. Jordan's "The World's Merchant Fleets 1939" says she broke in 2 on Jan. 26 and was torpedoed and sunk by U-607 in position 58 40N 33 10W).

The Norwegian Brimanger, Brasil, Egda, Villanger and Norfalk were also in this convoy. More information on them can be found with the help of the alphabet index at the end of this page.

Crew List:
Martin Sletta had also served on Gunda.

Harald D. Bækkevold
Martin Sletta
Able Seaman
Finn Kristensen
Able Seaman
Nils Magnusson
Able Seaman
Trygve Skiftesvik
Able Seaman
Harry Mathisen
Able Seaman
Martin Pedersen
Able Seaman
Karl Rasmussen
Ordinary Seaman
Ottar Helland
1st Engineer
Alf G. With
2nd Engineer
Harald Hallaren
4th Engineer
Ragnar Hvidsten
John Johannessen
Johan Ellingsen
Peder Kornstad
Harald Olsen
Astor Sørensen
Svein Brurok
Adolf Amundsen
John Johnsen
Ronald Bailey
Galley Boy
Thomas Adams
Mess Boy
Andrew Gallagher
Mess Boy
Robert Muldoon
Saloon Boy
James Rodger

Edvin Apall-Olsen

1st Mate
Hans Tangen-Johansen

2nd Mate
Jesper Holsbøe

3rd Mate
Ernst Jonassen

Radio Operator
Tørres Heggelund

Able Seaman
Hartvig Hansen

Able Seaman
Andreas Thorsen

Pump Man
Adolf Andersen

Oskar Pettersen

Anton Bratteng

Albert Mikalsen

Related external links:
Stavern Memorial commemorations - As can be seen, 13 are commemorated here - 2 captains are named, namely Edvin Apall-Olsen and Alfred Edvardsen. "Våre falne", a series of 4 books naming Norwegians who died in WW II, says he died in an accident in the North Atlantic on Febr. 20-1942 when Kollbjørg was on a voyage in convoy from London to New Orleans (he had also served as captain on Eidanger). Going back to the Voyage Record above, we see that Kollbjørg was in Convoy ON 65 on that date - see also Page 2. In addition to those included in the table above, the site also commemorates an Able Seaman Erling Andresen - again, checking with "Våre falne", I find that he was, in fact, on Nortind and died when that ship was sunk while standing by Kollbjørg. He's included in my crew list for Nortind (though his name is spelt a little differently). There's also an Ordinary Seaman Albert M. Kolltveit who might be idential to Albert Mikalsen above (his full name may have been Albert Mikalsen Kolltveit).

The following links no longer work, but I'll leave them in for now, until I can find out if the site has moved, or if it has been taken down altogether:

Merchant Men at War - The British Radio Operator Eric Bissmire has been wondering about the identity of this ship for years, as he caught Kollbjørg's SOS signals (he was on another ship in the convoy at the time - see also this external webpage about him), but did not know what later happened to her until I was able to supply him with this information a few years ago. He now has a separate page on Convoy HX 223, and is aiming to gather personal information from those who took part, so if anyone can help with this, please contact him. He also has pictures of British medals, and an account of the Battle of the Atlantic.

Back to Kollbjørg on the "Ships starting with K" page.

Odd Berg, Oslo later had another tanker by the name Kollbjørg. This was the ex Empire Diamond, built 1941, which became Nortraship's Norsol the following year. Renamed Kollbjørg in 1946. Became the Swedish Storö in 1956 (Odmark & Andersson). Arrived Hong Kong for breaking up on Nov. 20-1959.

The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, "Sjøforklaringer fra 2. verdenskrig", Norwegian Maritime Museum, Volume I, and misc. for cross checking facts (ref. My sources).


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