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M/S Nordhav II (& Nordhav I)

To Nordhav II on the "Ships starting with N" page.

Manager: Jan L. Backer, Kristiansund
425 gt.

Trawler. When I first included this ship, I thought it was a regular merchant ship; strictly speaking, this vessel does not belong in my list, but I'll leave it in case someone is looking for information on her.

Delivered in 1913 from Cook, Welton & Gemmell Ltd., Beverley (262) as Sweeper to Thomas S. Bascomb, Grimsby, 425 gt, 217 net, 150' x 25.1' x 13.5', Triple expansion (Amos & Smith Ltd., Hull), 514 ihp. Requisitioned by the Royal Navy in 1914 as minesweeper HMS Sweeper. Sold in Apr.-1936 to A/S Nordhavet (Jan L. Backer), Kristiansund, renamed Nordhav.

Some details from misc. responses to this query on my Ship Forum:
"This was a Norwegian auxiliary trawler (1914/425) serving with 71. Minesweeper Group, Dundee. She was torpedoed 12.02A and lost with 5 men (including the CO, who was on his first voyage with her after being transferred from more dangerous duty on MTB's!). The survivors were rescued by the Norwegian minesweeper Syrian, and taken to Dundee. Served as a RN minesweeper 1914-1919 (as HMT Sweeper FY-54)" Posted by Erling Skjold, Norway.

Another (posted by Tore Setså, Norway) says:
Built: Cook Welton & Gemell Ltd. Beverly - UK
Launched: 1913
Owner: A/S Nordhavet, Kristiansund N
Displ.: 425 grt.
Dim: 150 x 25,1 x 13,5 ft.
Main eng.: 650 ihk.
Bunkers: 160 tons coal
Range: 3654 - 7 kn.
Armament: 1 x 76 mm Armstrong HK.L/40, 1 x 20 Oerlikon, 4 x 1 - 0,303 hotchkiss Mg.
Main sweep gear: Oropesa sweep
Crew: 23
Hired: Norway autumn 1939 as guard vessel
Comm. from: 1939 to 10.03.45
Operational: 07.02.41 in UK
Unit: 1. Minesweeperdiv., Dundee
C.O.: 08.06.40 - Kplt Oscar Thoresen
C.O.: 06.01.41 - 10.05.42 Lt R.E. Christiansen
05.09.42 - 24.08.44 Lt. Aksel Pedersen
24.08.44 - 10.03.45 Lt. A. Olsen

And another (by Atle Wilmar, Norway):
"The ship was hired by the Norwegian Navy 7.10.1939, outfitted at Kaarbøs mek. verksted, Harstad, 7-17.10.1939, then left for Ramsund for final fitting of gun - one 76 mm (L/40 HK Armstrong), numbered #8916".

There are also 2 postings from someone who believe their relative served on this ship, one from the sister of someone who used the name Harry Cooke, his real name was John (Jack) Purcell, the other from the grandson of Torfinn Thorbjørnsen.

See also the responses to this query on the forum, one (also by Tore Setså) saying:
"NORDHAV II belonged to the Finnmark Division (Capt. Lt. B. Bjerkelund). The vessel was ordered as patrolvessel on the coast from Tanafjord to Kirkenes, stationed in Vardø, but also later in Honningsvåg and Hammerfest. NORDHAV II did service as guardvessel to smaller convoys in the time from 9/4 to 8/6, when orders to leave for UK was received. NORDHAV II arrived safely in UK sometime later".

Another is from the grandson of someone who served on board (not named, but I believe it's the grandson of Aksel Pedersen, mentioned above), and states:
"Nordhav II came to Rosyth in Scottland tuesday 18th june 1940 via Torshavn Færøyene.
30th june 1940 SOK started Rosyth department with some of the vessels that came from Norway. My grandfather served at that time as NC at Hval V. 5th september 1942 my grandfather became master of Nordhav II. He had this comand until 24th og august 1944, while the ship was stationed at the 1st. Minesweeping division Dundee".

From other sources: Requisitioned by the Royal Norwegian Navy in Sept.-1939 and used in Finnmark. Arrived Rosyth in June-1940. Converted to minesweeper May 6-1942.

 Final Fate - 1945: 

Torpedoed and sunk by U-714 (Schwebke) on March 10-1945 at Dundee, when in Convoy FS 1753d* (U-714 was sunk with all hands just 4 days later - see the external link provided below). As mentioned, the survivors from Nordhav II were rescued by the Norwegian minesweeper Syrian, and taken to Dundee. (More details on Syrian can be found under this thread on my Ship Forum).

*I'm not sure about this convoy designation - there was a Convoy FS 1753 (external link), but the listing is incomplete so it's difficult to know whether she took part.

Known casualties:
CO, Lt. A. L. Olsen, Odd Hansen, A. N. Korneliussen, R. P. Meyer. 5 were injured. According to (external link) the attack took place in 56 41N 02 04W, 6 died and 17 survived. In addition to the 4 casualties already named here, the site has also named the British Signalmen John Taylor. He's commemroated at the Lowestoft Naval Memorial, ref. link below.

A visitor to my website has told me that "Shipwreck Index of the British Isles" says she was a fishing trawler impounded by the British, hired by the RN in June-1940 and converted to a minesweeper. Position for her sinking given by this source is 2 miles north of buoy No 25, off Montrose, Scotland.

 Nordhav I: 

The same visitor also mentions a Nordhav I, saying this was a 644 gt trawler, built 1915 as French Ocean, had misc. owners and names (Spanish Meliton D. Dominguez 1924, French Ocean II 1929, Nordhav I for Jan L. Backer 1935). Nordhav I is listed as sailing in Convoy HN 20 from Norway to the U.K. in March-1940, bound for Hull in ballast. Hired by Royal Navy in June-1940 as HMS Nordhav I and became A/P Avalon in Sept. that year. Purchased Sept.-1940, renamed Adonis in July-1941. Sunk Apr. 15-1943 by E-boat off Lowestoft, 21 of 32 crew lost. Originally Hull trawler H 308.

Related external links:

Stavern Memorial commemoration - Odd Hansen is commemorated.

John Taylor commemoration

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