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Manager: A/S Bruusgaard, Drammen
Built by Nylands mek. Verksted, Oslo in 1924.
Captain: Leif Thue from Sept.-1938 to Aug. 19-1945.
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.
Please note that errors do exist, and several voyages are missing.
It will be noticed that some of the dates in this narrative (based on Captain Thue's report to owners) do not agree with those found on the archive documents.
When Norway was invaded on Apr. 9-1940 Marga was in Chester, Pennsylvania, with an all Norwegian crew, on time charter to Munson & Co. having been in service to the West Indies. She continued under charter until June that year. According to the captain, she arrived New York on June 5 (Page 1 says she arrived on July 5) to find that the charterers had gone bankrupt and it was decided (by Nortraship) she was to sail for Ministry of War Transport. Degaussing was installed, as well as misc. other equipment for service in the war zones. Due to crew trouble, she did not leave New York until Sept. 22, arriving Sheet Harbour on the 28th (archive doc gives 30th), having stopped by St. John, N. B. for orders. A cargo of pulp was taken on board for Grimsby, and she arrived Sydney, C. B. on Oct. 4, departing in Convoy SC 8 on Oct. 15 (Marga had originally been scheduled for Convoy SC 7, which lost several ships, including Snefjeld - follow the links for more info). During a storm on Oct. 29 the convoy was attacked (? I believe this is incorrect), which resulted in it getting scattered, and Marga arrived Rothesay Bay outside Glasgow, where she was to wait for a local convoy for the east coast. En route to Grimsby to unload her cargo, this convoy was attacked by aircraft off Peterhead; some ships were damaged but none were sunk. According to the archive document, she arrived Grimsby on Nov. 13 (as can be seen in the Voyage Record, A. Hague has her in Convoy FS 334 in this period, but I'm not sure if this convoy was attacked - Ara, Avance I, Colombia, Facto, Orania, Ringen, Stromboli and Svint are also included).
Marga continued in service between Canada and the U.K. with pulp and lumber, except for 3 voyages when she was sent via Canada and Bermuda to Georgetown, British Guiana to pick up aluminum ore for the aircraft factories in the U.K. She's listed, with destination Georgetown, in Convoy OB 256, leaving Liverpool on Dec. 8-1940; ref. external link at the end of this page. However, she shows up again with the same destination in OB 264, which left on Christmas Eve, so she probably did not sail in OB 256. Going back to Page 1, we learn that she started out from Oban on Dec. 25 and arrived Demerara on Jan. 17-1941. Fido, Nea and and Ørnefjell are also named in this convoy.
She was scheduled for the slow Halifax-U.K. Convoy SC 22 on Febr. 8-1941, but instead joined the next convoy on Febr. 18, SC 23, cargo of bauxite for Larne, where she arrived, via Belfast Lough, on March 10/11 (see Page 2). The following month, she appears in Convoy OG 58, originating in Liverpool on Apr. 6, arriving Gibraltar on the 21st (Polyana was sunk - follow the link for details), Marga, however, was bound for Demerara again, where she arrived on Apr. 28 (having joined from Clyde), so probably would have left this convoy at some point to proceed to that destination. OG 58 will be added to an individual page in my Convoys section, in the meantime, the ships sailing in it are named on the page listing ships in all OG convoys. Having made a voyage to Trinidad in May, she headed to Halifax then on to Sydney, C.B., and from there she joined Convoy SC 33 on June 1, carrying asphalte and bauxite, destination London. In July that year we find her, with destination Sydney, C.B., and together with Akabahra, Astra, Balduin, Bjørkhaug, Fido, Gudrun, Hestmanden (for Iceland), Leka, Maridal, Orania, Siak, Spes and Sveve, in Convoy OB 347, originating in Liverpool on July 16 (Marga sailed from Loch Ewe July 18), dispersed July 31, Marga arriving Sydney, C.B. on Aug. 2 - see the external link provided within the Voyage Record.
She now made a voyage to Nelson and Chatham, N.B., before returning to Syndey, C.B., and according to Arnold Hage, she subsequently went back to the U.K. in Convoy SC 41 (in which the Norwegian Einvik was sunk - follow the link for info), departing on Aug. 24, arriving Liverpool Sept. 11; Marga stopped at Loch Ewe that day. This convoy is not yet available among the SC convoys included on my website, but will be added - see ships in all SC convoys; Akabahra, Astra, Audun, Balduin, Blink, Carrier (returned), Evviva, Fagersten, Fanefjeld, Grado, Gudrun, Heien, Hestmanden, Hildur I, Ledaal, Leka, Lom, Nesttun, Orania (returned), Reiaas, Siak and Spes are also listed. The following month, she made a voyage to Iceland, having joined the westbound North Atlantic Convoy ON 29*, together with Akabahra (returned), Astra, Bjørkhaug, Boreas, Spero (returned), Spica and Trondheim (Eglantine and Montbretia are named among the escorts - see ON convoy escorts). This convoy originated in Liverpool on Oct. 22 and disperesd Nov. 5, but Marga had already arrived Reykjavik by then (Oct. 29). Again, see Page 2 for info on her voyages in this period - Page 3 has further voyages.
In Apr.-1942 she's listed, with destination Halifax, in Convoy ON 88*, which originated in Liverpool on Apr. 21 and also had Akabahra, Brisk, Bruse Jarl, Don, Evviva, Gezina, Henrik Ibsen, Inger Lise, Senta, Spurt and Star in its ranks. Marga arrived Halifax on May 6 (see Page 4), and at the end of that month she joined Convoy SC 85 from Sydney, C.B., cargo of lumber for Sharpness, where she arrived June 14, returning across the Atlantic in July with Convoy ON 114*, which originated in Liverpool on July 19, Marga arriving Halifax on Aug. 3. Astrid, Berto, Bonneville (Commodore Vessel), Ingertre, Marie Bakke, Norhauk, Titanian and Torfinn Jarl are also listed. On Aug. 29 we find her in Convoy SC 98 from Halifax (having been cancelled from the previous convoy, SC 97, for which Bonneville served as Vice Commodore Vessel and in which Bronxville was sunk - again, follow the links for more info). After having unloaded her cargo of lumber in Sharpness, where she had arrived on Sept. 17, she was fitted out for Operation Torch (though nobody knew this at the time), meaning more armament was also installed, with 12 gunners to operate it, before heading towards Gibraltar in a convoy** of 100 ships (according to the captain) on Oct. 30, later proceeding from Gibraltar to Algiers (with aviation fuel). She continued in this service as ammunition and supply ship for several months, enduring numerous aircraft attacks, though after Montgomery's victory in Tunisia it got somewhat easier, in that the enemy lost the Bizerta base, from which most of the aircraft originated. With the new British airfields along the coast they were also provided with better air protection.
In May-1943 Marga spent some time in dock in Cardiff for a general overhaul, a welcome break (according to Page 5 she had arrived there from Gibraltar on Apr. 29; see convoy info in the table above), and at the same time she had an extra gun installed on the forecastle, meaning she now had 5 anti aircraft guns mounted in various places on the ship. In June, she was finally ready to carry a general cargo to Philippeville. She's listed in Convoy OS 50/KMS 17 that month; see the external link in the table above, as well as my own page for the Gibraltar portion, KMS 17. The Norwegian Norfalk, Evviva, Lysaker V, Kristianiafjord and Vigsnes are also listed. Some of them, including Marga, are also listed in the second table on my page about KMS 17, so she continued from Gibraltar for her destination on June 30, arriving Philippeville on July 3. The combined convoy had started out from Liverpool on June 16 and had split up on the 27th, the OS portion heading to Freetown, while the KMS portion went to Gibraltar. The ships that were not bound for Gibraltar, would then continue to their various other destinations, still in Convoy KMS 17.
She was subsequently in service between the coast of North Africa and Sicily, until she on Sept. 5 was waiting for orders at Augusta, with a full cargo of ammunition and equipment as well as 150 British troops on board. That same evening Marga had the honour of being the first allied supply ship to arrive the inlet to Reggio, and the next morning she was the first to start unloading her cargo. Montgomery himself came to congratulate them, and that evening a big party was held at the newly established Navy House. D/S Brisk came in as No. 2 in this "race" to be the first, closely followed by the Belgian Prince de Liege and the British Fort Chambly. Marga then carried ammunition and fuel to ports in South Italy until she, with a full load of petrol in cans in the forward hold, and shortly after Crotone had been occupied, struck a mine at the inlet there in the morning of the 18th (dropped from aircraft the previous night) and was initially beached at Crotone, but damages were minor. 2 men, namely Stoker Olaf Løland and Able Seaman Fritz Ulrik Petersen are commemorated at the Memorial for Seamen in Stavern, Norway, which I've linked to at the end of this page. The memorial gives the date of the explosion as Oct. 3-1943, agreeing with the information found in "Våre falne", a series of 4 books naming Norwegians who died during the war. The book adds that they were buried at Crotone. Following temporary repairs at Crotone, she arrived Taranto for further repairs on Oct. 12 (Taranto had been taken by a small British force on Sept. 9). Again, see also Page 5.
After repairs had been completed she continued the service in the Mediterranean for a short period of time, before being sent to Hull to be fitted out for the Normandie invasion. Together with Gabon, she's listed, with destination Port Talbot, in Convoy SL 151/MKS 42, the SL portion of which having left Freetown on March 2-1944, joined up with the MKS portion from Gibraltar on March 14 (in which Marga took part), the combined convoy arriving Liverpool on the 24th - Marga arrived Port Talbot that same day, later arrived Hull on Apr. 30. Again, see the external link in the table above (MKS 42 will be added to my own Convoys section in due course - see ships in all MKS convoys).
With a cargo of aviation fuel she then proceeded to the Thames to await further orders; the crew had very little contact with shore during this time. Marga arrived Gold Beach on June 12-1944 and departed again June 19, according to "Nortraships flåte". She continued running between Southampton and Rouen for quite a while, and was later put into service between Humber and Ghent/Antwerp (Marga experienced one of the last E-boat attacks against a convoy at the end of the war, when off the south coast of England on a voyage from Grimsby to Ghent on Febr. 22-1945, but damages were minor - her voyages in this period are shown on Page 8). After Rotterdam had been freed she was the first Norwegian ship there since the war had started, carrying supplies for the population.
In Dec.-1945, she could finally make a visit to Norway (see Page 10).
More details on the other Norwegian ships mentioned on this page can be found with the help of the alphabet index below, or go to the Master Ship Index.
Billy McGee, England has told me that the 23 old Able Seaman Leonard Wischhusen of Marga died on Jan 16-1947 - not sure what happened to him. I found him on this page on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website (external link). Charles Hocking lists a ship named Marga, also owned by A/S Bruusgaard. Built 1924, 1595 gt - sprang a leak on February 20th 1951, and was towed into Camaret, near Brest. On March 11th she left in tow, but on March 13 there was a gale and she broke in two and sank. She had a cargo of ore. A message on my Ship Forum confirms this is the same ship as the one I've discussed here. Another reply to the query on Marga describes her present condition, and there's also a more recent message re. Leonard Wischhusen in the same thread.
The following pictures are courtesy of the webmaster of Riversea International, who adds:
Stavern Memorial commemorations - This site says the explosion while in Italy occurred on Oct. 3-1943. As mentioned in my narrative above, Stoker Olaf Løland and Able Seaman Fritz Ulrik Petersen are commemorated.
Back to Marga on the "Ships starting with M" page.
The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, "Krigsseileren" No. 2 for 1971 (article by A. H. Rasmussen), and No. 1 for 1986 (Captain Thue's report), "Menn uten medaljer", A. H. Rasmussen and misc. (ref. My sources).