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Kosmos II
Whale Oil Factory

Updated Dec. 4-2011

To Kosmos II on the "Ships starting with K" page.

Crew & Passenger List

(A picture is available at - external link).
Another picture can be found on this external page (click in it to make it larger).

Owner: Hvalfangerselskapet Kosmos II A/S
Manager: Anders Jahre, Sandefjord
16 966 gt, 25 410 tdwt.
Signal Letters: LDDI

Built by Workman Clarke, Belfast in 1931

Captains: Einar Gleditsch, later Milliam Kihl

Related items on this website:
A Guestbook message from the daughter of Severin Samuelsen.
Another message (in Norwegian), from the grandson of a crew member, Trygve Johannessen.
Guestbook message from the grandson of Captain Thomas Dixon, master of SS Barrwhinn, re Ragnar Sognes and Finn Wathne.
Guestbook message from the grandson of Aksel Studsrød (see crew list). He later served on Morgenen and Para.

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

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

  Voyage Record
From Apr.-1940 to Oct.-1942:  

(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 several voyages are missing.

Departure From To Arrival Convoy Remarks
1940 Apr. 5 Cape Verdes Teneriffe Apr. 9 Independent A. Hague says:
Returning from Antarctic whaling.
See also Page 1
Apr. 14* Teneriffe Gibraltar Apr. 21 Independent *Page 1 gives departure Apr. 17.
Apr. 26 Gibraltar Portland May 5 HG 28F Left Porland May 26
(Page 1).
May 28 Weymouth Bay Plymouth May 30 Independent Again, see Page 1
(see also narrative below).
June 2 Plymouth OG 32F For Curacao.
Detached June 4.
Convoy will be added.
See ships in OG convoys
June 4 Detached from OG 32F Curacao June 20 Independent
July 21 Curacao Hampton Roads July 26 Independent
July 27 Hampton Roads New York City July 28 Independent A. Hague says:
Traded NYC/Aruba or Curacao to Dec.-41.
Missing voyages:
Page 1 & Page 2
1941 Dec. 9 New York City Curacao Dec. 15 Independent
Dec. 17 Curacao New York City Dec. 24 Independent
Dec. 29 New York City Curacao Jan. 4-1942 Independent
1942 Jan. 6 Curacao New York City Jan. 13 Independent
Jan. 18 New York City Curacao Jan. 25 Independent See also narrative below.
Jan. 26 Curacao New York City Febr. 5 Independent
Apr. 6 New York City Hampton Roads Apr. 7 Independent
Apr. 10 Hampton Roads Curacao Apr. 19 Independent
May 18 Curacao Key West Independent
May 27 Key West Hampton Roads June 1 KN 104 Convoy available at KN 104
(external link)
June 2 Hampton Roads New York City June 3 Independent (See also Page 2).
June 12 New York City Boston Independent (Stop at Boston not mentioned, Page 2).
June 17 Boston Halifax June 20 BX 25 Convoy available at BX 25
(external link)
June 21 Halifax Clyde July 2 HX 195 A. Hague says:
100 Passengers
July 10 Clyde ON 111 For NYC.
Dispersed 41 15N 71 25W, July 24.
Convoy will be added.
See ships in ON convoys
July 24 Dispersed from ON 111 New York City July 25 Independent
Aug. 22 New York City Cape Cod Bay Independent Page 2 gives arrival Boston Aug. 24.
Aug. 28 Cape Cod Bay Halifax Aug. 30 BX 35B Convoy available at BX 35B
(external link)
Aug. 30 Halifax Clyde Sept. 11 HX 205 A. Hague says:
140 Passengers
Sept. 25 Clyde New York City Oct. 11 ON 133 For NYC.
Convoy will be added.
See ships in ON convoys
Oct. 18 New York City HX 212 A. Hague says:
82 Passengers.
Sunk - See "Final Fate" below.

 Some Convoy Voyages & Misc.: 
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 on them, several Norwegian ships took part.

From Page 1 of the archive documents, we learn that Kosmos II was at Teneriffe when war broke out in Norway on Apr. 9-1940, having arrived there that same day from the whaling grounds (via St. Vincent). A week later, she proceeded to Gibraltar, then joined Convoy HGF 28 to the U.K. on Apr. 26, together with Sevilla, Stalheim, Bur and Einar Jarl. Kosmos II's destination is given as Portland and Thameshaven, and she had station 62 of the convoy, arriving Portland on May 5. The external website that I've linked to below now has her in Convoy OA 158GF, which left Southend on May 30 and joined up with Convoy OB 158GF on June 2, the combined convoy forming the Gibraltar convoy OG 32F, which arrived there on June 7. Kosmos II, however, was bound for Curacao, so left the convoy on June 4 in order to proceed to her destination, where she arrived on June 20 (according to the archive document she had sailed from Falmouth on May 30, arriving Plymouth that same day, leaving again on June 2). OG 32 will be added to my Convoys section - see ships in OG convoys. The Norwegian Abraham Lincoln, Buesten and Thorshavn are also included.

Her subsequent voyages are shown on Page 1. It'll be noticed that she remained in Curacao for a month, before proceeding to Hampton Roads then on to New York, where she also had a long stay. She arrived there on July 28 and departure is given as Dec. 6, when she headed to Aruba. Her 1941 voyages also start on this document and continue on Page 2, which also shows her 1942 voyages.

The German U-Boat commander Hardegen in U-123 had sunk several ships in January-1942, on his first "Paukenschlag" patrol to the U.S. coast, and being out of torpedoes he was preparing to go home. When he experienced technical problems he surfaced about 17 n. miles northeast of Cape Hatteras in order to make repairs. Kosmos II, whose captain at that time was Einar Gleditsch, spotted the U-boat and decided to take advantage of the situation. While the radio operator notified the maritime authorities, the captain steered his ship at full speed towards the U-boat with the intention of ramming it. At the last minute the U-boat managed to start the engines, headed towards deeper waters, submerged and disappeared. For info, this episode, which took place on Jan. 19-1942, is also described from Hardegen's point of view in the book "Operation Drumbeat" by Michael Gannon. From Page 2, we learn that Kosmos II was on her way from New York to Curacao on the date in question, having left New York the day before. From Curacao, she subsequently returned to New York, with arrival Febr. 5 and as can be seen she now had another long stay there; departure is given as Apr. 6. She also appears to have spent a month in Curacao that spring.

In June that year, she can be found among the ships in the Halifax-U.K. Convoy HX 195, returning across the Atlantic the following month with Convoy ON 111*, which originated in Liverpool on July 10 and dispersed on the 24th, Kosmos II arriving New York on July 25, subsequently remaining there for about a month (she had started out from Clyde on the 10th). Acanthus, Montbretia and Potentilla are named among the escorts for this convoy - see ON convoy escorts. With fuel oil for Clyde, Kosmos II headed back to the U.K. on Aug. 30 with Convoy HX 205 from Halifax, station 44. Acanthus, Montbretia and Potentilla are again named among the escorts, as is Eglantine. Kosmos II arrived Clyde on Sept. 11 and later that month we find her in the westbound Convoy ON 133* (departure Liverpool Sept. 25, arrival New York Oct. 11 - Kosmos II again joined from Clyde). As can be seen below, her return voyage proved to be her last.

* The ON convoys mentioned above will be added to individual pages in my Convoys section in due course - in the meantime, the ships sailing in them (and escorts) are named in the section listing ships in all ON convoys. Several Norwegian ships took part.

More information on the other Norwegian ships mentioned here is available via the alphabet index at the end of this page, or go to the Master Ship Index.

Related external links:
OA & OB convoys - As can be seen, Kosmos II is listed in OA 158GF (she's not included in A. Hague's listing for this convoy, but the listing is incomplete).

Operation Drumbeat (Paukenschlag)

 Final Fate - 1942: 

As mentioned, Kosmos II had arrived New York from the U.K. on Oct. 11-1942. She departed New York again on Oct. 18 and is listed in station 22 of Convoy HX 212. As can be seen when following the link, several Norwegian ships took part, the captain of Abraham Lincoln acting as Vice Commodore. The Commodore's report on the passage is also available for this convoy. Kosmos II had a cargo of 21 000 tons crude oil, as well as 3 landing craft*, 8 aircraft and large cases of equipment for the latter. Captain at that time was Milliam Kihl.

On Oct. 28, she was torpedoed amidships, starboard wingtank No. 3 by U-606 (Döhler), position 55 15N 28 10W. According to a report presented at the subsequent hearings this attack took place at 02:30 (**). The explosion rendered her steering inoperable and the deck cargo (aircraft) was set on fire. The situation became very difficult in that the Greek passengers on board started launching the lifeboats in a panic, and 2 of the boats were destroyed. When things were finally under control, the captain did give the order to lower the lifeboats and 4 were successfully launched with about 100 people. All they had left on board Kosmos II was a motorboat and 2 small workboats, as well as 10 rafts. The people in the lifeboats were picked up by the British D/S Barrwhin and some of the escorting corvettes, and the lifeboats were later seen drifting off.

About 50 men remained on board and managed to extinguish the fire. Kosmos II then sailed on to try to catch up with the convoy, with Barrwhin and HMCS Rosthern nearby, but was torpedoed again by U-624 (von Soden-Fraunhofen), this time in the engine room on the port side, and immediately started to sink. The only remaining motor lifeboat was destroyed, so all they could do was make use of the rafts; some jumped overboard. Kosmos II was shelled, then a third torpedo hit her amidships and broke her in two, whereupon she sank within 4 minutes. Before the after deck was under water the gunners by the 6" gun had seen a surfaced U-boat and had fired at it.

23 men were on a raft, helplessly listening to the cries from shipmates in the water around them, unable to go to their aid. After two and a half hours and a dramatic rescue operation in the heavy seas they were taken on board Barrwhin and a corvette. 2 more rafts were also found, one with 4 men, the other with 2, 1 of whom later died. Barrwhin now had a total of 60 people from Kosmos II.

On Oct. 29, Barrwhin was also hit by a torpedo (U-436, Seibicke), amidships on the port side, then by another(?) a few minutes later in about the same place. Again, the Greek passengers from Kosmos II made the situation extremely difficult by storming to the lifeboats in a panic, while others had to take to rafts or jump overboard. After about 8 hours, 90 survivors were rescued by the Canadian corvette HMCS Kenogami. 24 from Barrwhin had died, including 12 of the survivors from Kosmos II.

*According to J. Rohwer the landing craft were LCT-2190, LCT-2192 and LCT-2284, which also sank when Kosmos II went down.

** It has been very difficult to summarize this report, in that the times are simply given as, for example, 2.30 without indicating whether it's am or pm. In this particular case the report says she was struck at 2.30, and after the ship was under control at 15:00 they continued, but judging from what is found in other sources, the 15:00 here is an error and should probably be 03:00? This report states that the 2nd attack occured at 5.40 (probably 05:40?) and a few seconds later another torpedo struck in the after pumproom and broke her in 2.
A report included in "Nortraships flåte" gives the time as 01:30 (Oct. 28) for the first attack and 05:30 on the same date for the second, saying the 3rd torpedo hit just a few minutes after the 2nd torpedo; half an hour after they had continued their journey at 05:00 to try to catch up with the convoy, so there seems to be a lot of confusion here. Also, eye witness reports don't always match up with official reports - see the Commodore's log for HX 212.
According to Charles Hocking, Kosmos II was on a voyage from New York to Clyde, and was torpedoed at 03:45 on the 28th, about 600 miles southeast of Cape Farewell. Second torpedo hit at 07:20. He says 40 out of her complement of 129 were lost.
Roger W. Jordan's "The World's Merchant Fleets 1939" states that 40 died, 110 survived, and gives the position 54 40N 29W for the first attack, 54 30N 29 55W for the second.
J. Rohwer gives the German time 05:37 Oct. 28 for the first attack in quadrant AK 6578, and date Oct. 29 at 03:05 for the second in quadrant AL 5441. He does not mention a 3rd torpedo, nor does he mention her being shelled.

Maritime hearings were held in Liverpool on Nov. 6-1942 with 1st Engineer Larsen, 4th Mate Andersen and Able Seaman Holm Hansen (helmsman) appearing, and in Glasgow on Nov. 11-1942 with the 2nd mate (duty on bridge, 1st attack), Boatswain Studsrød, Able Seaman Holtan and Able Seaman Paulsen appearing.

A report presented at the hearings states she had a crew of 73. On board were also 47 people who had been deported from the U.S., sent on board by the American emigration authorities in New York (most of these appear to have been Greek, as noted in the text above), and 13 military personnel to guard them. Additionally, 20 Norwegian 1st mates who were en route to Dumbarton to be trained as gunners by the Norwegian Navy were on board (these helped serve as signalmen and gunners on this voyage; 1 of them, Anton Karlsen, on duty by the gun amidships, was seriously injured in the 1st explosion). 14 of the latter group were among the 50 who remained on board to help get the ship under control after the 1st attack. These numbers add up to a total of 153; as far as I can make it, 103 are named below. It would appear 5 crew are missing from this list, as well as the majority of the "deported" people

"Nortraships flåte" states that the final death toll was: Captain Kihl, 18 Norwegian crew, 6 Norwegian soldiers, 1 Norwegian and 2 Greek passengers, and 5 of the Norwegian 1st mates who were on their way to Dumbarton. The report presented at the hearings says that 55 from Kosmos II were picked up by HMCS Kenogami on Oct. 30 and taken to Londonderry with arrival Nov. 1, adding that the "remaining 51" were landed in Liverpool. In other words, numbers vary according to source.

D/T Frontenac was also torpedoed while in Convoy HX 212 - follow the link for details. One of the external websites that I've linked to below has more on this convoy battle and names of other ships sunk. Again, see also my own page about Convoy HX 212 with a report on the passage.

Crew & Passenger List:

2nd Mate
Oscar Holmboe
Olsen Dahl
4th Mate
Jens Martin Andersen
Aksel Studsrød***
Able Seaman
Erling Nilsen
Able Seaman
Fredrik Svendsen
Able Seaman
Thorleif Larsen
Able Seaman
Erling Jacobsen
Able Seaman
Arnt Thorvaldsen
Able Seaman
Hans Myre
Able Seaman
Einar Olafsen
Able Seaman
Thorleif Holtan
Able Seaman
Tarjei Eilefsen
Able Seaman
Peder Pedersen
Able Seaman
Hans Sundby
Able Seaman
Lars Henriksen
Able Seaman
Gunnar Maar Hansen*
Able Seaman
Oliver Olsen
Able Seaman
Anton Tveitan Antonsen
Able Seaman
Håkon Holm Hansen
Able Seaman
Armaurer Hansen
Able Seaman
Alf Paulsen
Able Seaman
Alf Hovda Nautnes
Able Seaman/Gunner
Bjarne Lie
Able Seaman/Gunner
Trygve Johannessen**
1st Engineer
Hjalmar Larsen
2nd Engineer
Ludvig Klasen
3rd Engineer
Karl Johan Karlsen
Anton Kongsvik
Hans Undrum
Håkon Trollsås
Johannes N. Nilsen
Julius G. Bjurvold
Olaf Magnussen
Hjalmar Tormod Grundvik
Leif Bettum
Finn Larsen
Gunnar Amundsen
Johannes Haugen
Trygve Pedersen
Johannes Fanebust
Edvard J. Eide
Ludvig Ringdal
Nils Pedersen
Kjell Olsen
Sverre Amundsen
Mess Boy
Rolf T. Rutendahl
Mess Boy
Chirino Cesar
Mess Boy
Wilfred Venloo
Mess Boy
Edvard Edvardsen
* Also served on Tigre
**See Guestbook message from grandson
***Guestbook message from grandson
Surviving passengers en route to Dumbarton
Johan Faanes
Kåre Landgraff
Thorvald Svihus
Martin Edvardsen
Ola Nygaard
Johan Sperre
Martin Bråten
Konrad Kjær Andersen
Severen Samuelsen*
Ragnar Sognes**
Christian Jacobsen
Sigfred Grønseth
Finn Wathne**
Aake Andersen
Jørgen Arnesen
*See a message from daughter
**See this Guestbook message
Other surviving passengers (guards)
Worm Hirsch
Jens Henrik Jebsen
Andreas Mjaatveidt
Christian Tjersland
Olav Stamnes
Oddleif Fors
Karl Hvaal
Angus McDonald
Casualties / Crew

Milliam Kihl

1st Mate
Jacob Eftang

3rd Mate
Brynjar Bagger

Radio Operator
Hjørleif Midtun

Radio Operator
Arne Hansen

Kristian Holm

Able Seaman
Odmar Jens Jensen

Able Seaman
Otto Bjønnes

Able Seaman
Sigurd Hansen

4th Engineer
Oddvar Christensen

Ole Nilsen

Miller Bakke

Einar Mohn Hansen

Åge Sørensen

Olaf Andersen

Einar Andersen

Mess Boy
Nils Nilsen

Mess Boy
Kåre Larsen

Mess Boy
Robert Arnesen
Casualties / Passengers en route to Dumbarton

Anton Karlsen

Willie Johansen

Bernt Dahle

Einar Wollnick

Fritz Schau
Other passengers (guards)

Karl Vaagenes

Arnold Johansen

Rolf Waldemar Petersen

Magnus Brandvold

Mathew Larew

Einar Bjerkan

Johan Severin Karlsen*

* Listed as "deported from U.S.A."

Related external links:
Stavern Memorial Commemorations - 28 are commemorated at this Memorial for Seamen in Stavern. Arnold Johansen, Rolf W. Petersen and Einar Bjerkan are not listed. **There's a Mathias Leren, possibly identical to the Mathew Larew (which could be misspelt in the crew list).

Stavern Memorial commemorations / Sourabaya - Sourabaya was one of the other sips sunk in Convoy HX 212. The second one on this list, Oskar Arnold Dalen is said to have died in Liverpool in Nov.-1940, but I believe the other 2 died when she was sunk(?).

HX-212, 26 - 29 Oct 1942

The attack on Barrwhin

U-606 | U-624

Operations information for U-606

Operations Information for U-624

Back to Kosmos II on the "Ships starting with K" page.

I've also come across a Kosmos IV, Anders Jahre, Sandefjord, 13 474 gt, built 1937 - the following details about this ship was found on the website Riversea International: Tonnage is given as 14 716gt, built in 1937 by Deutsche Werft, Hamburg (197) as WALTER RAU for Rau Neusser Oelwerke, Neuss. Depot ship at Gdynia 1940-1945. To UK 11/1945, to Norway 12/1945. 1946 KOSMOS IV, Anders Jahre group. Lengthened 1951. 1971 KYOKUSEI MARU. In LR 1990, not 1994 .

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


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