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To Kongshaug on the "Ships starting with K" page.
Owner: Dampsk.-A/S Kongshaug
Delivered in Nov.-1898 from Fevigs Jernbaneskibsbyggeri, Grimstad as Sicilia to D/S A/S Otto Thoresens Linje (Otto Thoresen), Christiania. Owned by D/S A/S Spanskelinjen (Fred. Olsen & Co.) from 1921. Purchased in 1935 by D/S A/S Kongshavn & Sønners Rederi (M. H. Kongshavn & Sønner), Haugesund and renamed Kongshaug. ("Våre gamle skip" gives the tonnage 1147 gt for this ship when delivered). The external website that I've linked to above has more detailed history.
Captains: N. Studsvik till end of Oct.-1940, then Einar Apeland - see narrative below.
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 as can be seen, the record is incomplete.
According to "Sjøfolk i krig" she was under British charter from the fall of 1939, mostly carrying coal from the Bristol Channel to ports in southern England, usually in convoy around Land's End.
A. Hague has included her in Convoy HN 8 from Norway to the U.K. on Jan. 19-1940, and on March 14 we find her in the original Advance Sailing Telegram for Convoy HN 19 from Norway, bound for Sables d'Olonne with cod roes. Follow the links for more convoy details; several Norwegian ships took part.
When Norway was invaded on Apr. 9-1940, she was in Barry for a contraband check and was subsequently ordered to Dunkirk to discharge her cargo of pyrites. According to Page 1 of the documents received from the Norwegian archives, she arrived Dunkirk on May 8 (having departed Barry on Apr. 29). While there, other allied ships arrived with evacuees from Antwerp and Rotterdam. (Another Haugesund ship, D/S Mammy was also in Dunkirk at this time). From Dunkirk she went to Blyth to load a cargo of coal for St. Malo, France, and as she passed Dover the evacuation of Dunkirk was well underway. Kongshaug was able to get out of St. Malo before the situation got too serious, proceeding to Swansea (compare w/information found on the archive document mentioned above) to pick up a cargo of cinders for St. Nazaire, but once there, she was ordered to join a convoy from Quiberon Bay, where a number of ships had accumulated, among them a large troop transport which was attacked by German aircraft. The convoy proceeded as far as the coast of England before it split up, some ships continuing west to the Atlantic while Kongshaug went to the Bristol channel. The Germans had dropped magnetic mines in the area around Nash Point, south of Port Talbot and several ships met their fate, among them an American tanker. The remaining ships reached Cardiff on June 22. The cinders were eventually discharged near Port Talbot.
She later made a voyage in ballast to Oporto in a convoy* heading west to the Atlantic, then south before continuing to Gibraltar. From there Kongshaug went on alone to Oporto for a cargo of pitprops, which was discharged in the Bristol Channel, to be used in the English mining industry. On arrival U.K. on Oct. 29, Captain Studsvik had to go to hospital and Einar Apeland took over. Captain Studsvik never returned to his ship, he died in London in 1943.
"Sjøfolk i krig", in which some of the above details were found, is largely based on interviews with seamen 50 years after the war (used on this website with permission from the author). The book also contains Captain Apeland's report on Kongshaug's sinking, as well as his personal account.
On July 9-1942, Kongshaug was Commodore ship for Convoy WP 183, on a voyage from Swansea to Poole with 1250 tons of patent fuel, having departed Swansea on July 7, see Page 8 above (WP 183 is available on this external page, but the listing is incomplete). On board were 17 crew and 5 naval personnel. An unidentified aircraft had been observed on the 8th but nothing further happened until the following morning, July 9 at 01:00 when she was torpedoed on the port side just in front of the bridge by the German E-boat S-48 (Mirbach). She immediately took on a list and the crew was ordered to the lifeboats, but she sank so quickly they had to jump overboard. Only 30 seconds after the explosion the captain, who was on the bridge, was standing in water up to his waist and started to swim away, but was entangled and pulled under with the suction, though managed to get himself free and to the surface, only to get pulled under again. When he came up the second time he found himself close to some debris and held on to that until he was picked up by the escorting British destroyer Brocklesby about half an hour later. He was extremely saddened to learn that 8 men were missing; 6 Norwegian crew and 2 British signallers from the Commodore's staff.
2nd Mate Johannes Strømmen had attempted to assist Steward Eritsland and Able Seaman Augustsen and some others in launching the starboard lifeboat, but Kongshaug listed so heavily to port that the boat got caught and he ended up between the ship and the forward davit and was pulled under. When he came to the surface he found a mattress to hold on to, as well as a box of lifebelts to support him until he was picked up by the destroyer about 45 minutes later. The 2nd engineer was last seen by Able Seaman Numme, who later stated that he appeared to have been paralyzed by shock. He had managed to get him aft and under cover, but had to leave him to help lower the starboard lifeboat and never saw him again. Numme jumped overboard with the others who had tried to launch this boat, and was on a raft until picked up. Able Seaman Haavik (helmsman at the time; he had only been on board for 6 days), who had also been among those who tried to launch the lifeboat, had jumped overboard and had been floating on his lifevest until the destroyer picked him up after 1 1/2 hour; he was unconscious when rescued. Stoker Berge had been asleep when the attack occurred. He was on the raft with Able Seaman Numme and another able seaman until picked up by the destroyer.
Brocklesby landed the survivors at Portsmouth that afternoon. The captain was admitted to the naval hospital as were the 2nd mate and some of the others from the crew, as well as the Commodore. Apeland was anxious to go into town to see to the rest of his men, but was under strict orders to keep to his bed as he could get a "secondary shock". He told the staff that he had no need whatsoever for such a thing, he had already had plenty. Eventually, he was allowed into town where he found the rest of the crew, none too pleased as they had been placed in a "lousy Seamen's hostel, with bad food and not a shilling to their name". Apeland borrowed some money from the agent which he distributed among his men, whereupon they were instructed to meet him at the station that evening so that they could travel to London. The maritime hearings were held there on July 17-1942 with the captain, the 2nd mate, Able Seaman Numme, Able Seaman Haavik and Stoker Berge appearing.
The convoy had been attacked by several E-boats of the 2nd S-Flotille. Captain Apeland says that soon after Kongshaug had been sunk a tanker was hit, first by a torpedo in the port side, then by another on the starboard side (this must have been the British Pomella, sunk by S-67). Then it was D/S Bokn's turn, before a large(?) troop transport with a Chinese crew sailing behind the torpedoed tanker also got 2 torpedoes (he may be referring to the Dutch Reggestrom, sunk by S-50). Additionally, D/S Røsten was sunk, as was the British Manor (by S-63), which was part of the escort (anti-submarine trawler, ex Verdunois, ex Manor), while the Belgian steamer Marie escaped harm.
In Sept.-1942, Captain Apeland joined D/S Nesttun in Southampton. In Nov.-1942, Nesttun and about 27 other ships were assembled in a convoy and headed for the Bristol channel, in order to lead the enemy into thinking an allied invasion of France was imminent - instead the Torch convoy passed unnoticed. Captain Apeland later served on D/S Lysaker V, follow the link for a summary of more of his story.
Charles Hocking ("Dictionary of Disasters at Sea during the Age of Steam - including sailing ships and ships of war lost in Action 1824-1962") says Kongshaug was shelled and sunk about 50 miles northwest of Alderney.
Related external link:
Back to Kongshaug on the "Ships starting with K" page.
Other ships by this name: M. H. Kongshavn also had a D/S Kongshaug in the early 1900's, originally delivered in 1884 as Scott Harley (of Cork), 380 gt. Sailed as Barden for H. Ellefsen, Tønsberg from 1890 (used as transport for whaling on Iceland). Purchased by M. H. Kongshavn in 1911 and renamed Kongshaug. Sunk by UB-35 (explosives) on Apr. 6-1917, 45 n. miles north of Kinnars Head on a voyage Blyth-Sandnes with 334 tons coal. Crew was picked up by a fishing vessel and taken to Fraserburg. Another D/S Kongshaug was originally delivered as Thyra (of Bergen) in 1901, 769 gt, purchased by D/S A/S Kongshaug (M. H. Kongshavn & Sønner A/S) in March-1924 and renamed Kongshaug. Drifted ashore in Siglufjordur, Iceland on Oct. 28-1934 and condemned, but was repaired and entered service as Snæfjell of Akureyri. Interned in Copenhagen in Apr.-1940. Sailed under Finnish flag 1941-1952 as Riitta H of Pori, broken up as Willy of Costa Rica in 1955.
The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, "Våre gamle skip", Leif M. Bjørkelund and E. H. Kongshavn, "Sjøfolk i krig", Leif M. Bjørkelund, "Sjøforklaringer fra 2. verdenskrig", Norwegian Maritime Museum, Volume I and misc. - (ref. My sources).