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Manager: H. M. Wrangell & Co. A/S, Haugesund
Delivered in July-1931 from Burmeister & Wain's Skibs- & Maskinbyggeri, Copenhagen (586) as Noreg to Skibs-A/S Corona (H. M. Wrangell & Co. A/S), Haugesund.
Captain: Andreas Høviskeland all through the war.
Noreg served as oiler for the convoy escorts (Admiralty service).
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 (where the Convoy column is left blank, it means convoy is not known).
Errors may exist, and some voyages may be missing.
According to Page 1 of the archive documents, Noreg was on her way from Beaumont to Naples when war broke out in Norway on Apr. 9-1940.
With fuel oil for Clyde, she's listed in the slow Sydney (C.B.)-U.K. Convoy SC 3, from which the Norwegian Lotos was sunk in Sept.-1940 - follow the links for more info. There's a note regarding Noreg in one of the original documents for this convoy saying that she was "not traced" - I'm not sure whether this means she did not sail, or perhaps it simply means she lost touch with the convoy. This voyage is not included on Page 1 above, though the page does show that she was at Clyde on Oct. 13. In fact, she's listed, with destination New York, in Convoy OB 228, originating in Liverpool on Oct. 13, dispersed Oct. 17, Noreg arriving New York Nov. 3 (Dokka was sunk - follow the link for details). The ships sailing in this convoy are named at the external website that I've linked to within the Voyage Record, while some reports are available on my own website on this page (see also the external link at the end of this page). Astra, Brask, Chr. Knudsen, Gudrun, Polyana and Topdalsfjord are also listed. Having made a voyage to Curacao and on to Bermuda, Noreg was scheduled for the Bermuda portion of Convoy HX 94 at the beginning of Dec.-1940, but instead joined HX 96 (Bermuda portion), destination Clyde, where she arrived Dec. 29, remaining there for quite some time (Page 1).
In Febr.-1941 she's listed in station 45 of Convoy OB 286, joining from Clyde, her destination being Port of Spain. She arrived Trinidad on March 6, the convoy having been dispersed on Febr. 17. She was scheduled to return in Convoy HX 116 from Halifax on March 21, but instead joined the next convoy on March 27, HX 117 (it'll be noticed, when going back to the archive document, that she had not arrived Halifax from Trinidad until March 23).
She was damaged by an incendiary bomb when the outward bound convoy in which she sailed was attacked by aircraft on May 12-1941, but damages were minor (A. Hague gives no convoy for this date in his record above). In June she appears, together with Heina and Ingerfem, in Convoy OB 330, which originated in Liverpool on June 2 and dispersed on the 7th - ref. external link in the table above. Her destination is given as Curacao, where she arrived June 22, having sailed from Clyde on June 3 - again, see Page 1. She returned to the U.K. in July with the Bermuda portion of Convoy HX 137, bound for Clyde with Admiralty fuel in station 45, subsequently joining the westbound North Atlantic Convoy ON 3, originating in Liverpool on July 31. Noreg's destination is again given as Curacao, where she arrived on Aug. 22, having started out from Clyde Aug. 1.
From Curacao, she sailed to Gibraltar and back, then proceeded to Halifax in order to join Convoy HX 154 on Oct. 10, together with the Norwegian Hilda Knudsen, Kaia Knudsen, Ranja, Tai Shan, Samuel Bakke, Emma Bakke, Polarsol, Skiensfjord, Toronto, N. T. Nielsen-Alonso and Svenør. Some of these ships, including Noreg, subsequently joined the westbound Convoy ON 32 the following month. Noreg's destination is given as Trinidad, and she had station 44 of the convoy, which left Liverpool on Nov. 1. She arrived Trinidad on Nov. 23, having started out from Milford Haven Oct. 31 - see Page 2. Her last convoy voyage that year was made with Convoy HX 167, which left Halifax on Dec. 27. Noreg stopped at Reykjavik on Jan. 9-1942, later making a voyage to Russia, as will be seen in the next paragraph.Noreg was the only Haugesund ship to take part in the Murmansk convoys during the war. She served as Escort Oiler for the combined Convoy PQ 9 / PQ 10 consisting of 10 merchant ships, leaving Reykjavik on Febr. 1-1942, arriving Murmansk safely on the 10th. The other ships were the British Atlantic, Empire Selwyn and Trevorian, the Russian Ijora, Revolutsioner, Friedrich Engels and Tbilisi, the American West Nohno and the Panamanian El Lago (and possibly the Russian Kiev). The Norwegian armed whalers Hav and Shika were part of the escort group for this convoy. Noreg returned with Convoy QP 8, which left Murmansk on March 1 and consisted of 15 merchant ships; namely all the ones listed above except Trevorian, and with the addition of British Workman, British Pride, Elona, Explorer (all British), the American Larranga, and the Panamanian Cold Harbor. Due to bad weather the convoy was scattered on March 4 and during this time the Russian Ijora was sunk by the German destroyer Friedrich Ihn (Tirpitz was out with 3 destroyers searching for PQ 12, in fact Convoy QP 8 met this convoy on the 7th). Larranga was also separated from the convoy in the south westerly gale on March 4 but arrived Iceland safely. QP 8 split up on March 9, with 5 of the ships arriving Hvalfjord on the 11th and the rest of the ships, including Noreg, heading for Akureyri, with arrival March 10.
On March 23 Convoy RU 16 left Reykjavik for the U.K. and Noreg is listed among the ships, but with a note saying "not for U.K.". She was bound for the U.S. at the time, and on March 25 she joined the westbound North Atlantic Convoy ON 79*, which had originated in Liverpool on March 23 and also included Brant County, Grey County, Hallanger, James Hawson, Meline, Norefjord, Stigstad and Trondheim. The convoy arrived Halifax Apr. 7; Noreg, however, arrived New York on the 8th, remaining there for a month, before proceeding to Halifax - see Page 2. On May 14, she's listed as bound for Iceland in the slow Halifax-U.K. Convoy SC 84, and arrived Reykjavik May 29, leaving again on June 4 for Loch Ewe in Convoy RU 26. From Loch Ewe, she took her place, along with Ferncourt, Frontenac, Garnes, Idefjord, Kaia Knudsen, Kong Haakon VII (Commodore Vessel), Lista, Maud, Mirlo, Scebeli, Sommerstad, Thorshøvdi, Tijuca and Troubadour, as well as the Panamanian Norvinn (Norwegian managers) in the westbound Convoy ON 103*, which had originated in Liverpool on June 12. Noreg arrived New York on June 27, and after having made voyages to Key West and Trinidad, she returned to New York and on to Halifax (convoy details in table above), heading back to the U.K. on Sept. 6 in Convoy HX 206 from there (having been cancelled from the previous convoy, HX 205). Via Loch Ewe, she arrived Scapa Flow on Sept. 19.
Together with Anna Knudsen, Athos, Bello, Brimanger, Emma Bakke, Garonne, Grey County, Kosmos II, Minerva, Molda, Nueva Granada, Petter II (returned), Polarsol, Polartank, Sandanger, Skandinavia, Thorshavet, Thorshov and the Panamanian Norbris (Norwegian managers) she subsequently went back across the Atlantic in Convoy ON 133* (originated in Liverpool Sept. 25, arrived New York Oct. 11), and after having made a voyage to Curacao and back to New York (convoy info in Voyage Record) she returned to the U.K. on Nov. 27 in Convoy HX 217, cargo of fuel for Clyde. Follow the link for more information - the Commodore's narrative is also available. Rose, Eglantine and Potentilla are named among the escorts. Noreg later joined the westbound Convoy ON 155 on Dec. 19, but returned to port, subsequently joining Convoy ON 157, arriving New York on Jan. 15-1943, having served as Escort Oiler, according to A. Hague. The Commodore was in Skiensfjord.
On Jan. 30-1943, we find Noreg in Convoy HX 225 from New York to the U.K. According to the Commodore (follow link), she became a straggler during the night of Febr. 10. Her destination is given as Scapa, where she arrived (via Loch Ewe) on Febr. 16; see Page 3. She later headed to the U.S. again with Convoy ON 170, which originated in Liverpool on March 3 and arrived New York on the 20th, then made another voyage to Curacao and back to New York, before returning to the U.K. with Convoy HX 235 on Apr. 18, her destination being Invergordon, arriving there May 5. Together with Brimanger, Gefion, Laurits Swenson (Commodore Vessel), Santos, Tungsha, Vinga and Washington Express, she started her voyage back to the U.S. in Convoy ON 183* just a few days later (convoy originated in Liverpool May 10, arrived New York May 25), and at the end of that month she can be found among the ships in Convoy HX 242, departing New York on May 31; Noreg was again bound for Scapa, where she arrived June 16. In July she's listed, along with Anna Odland, Belinda, Brimanger, Dagrun, Fernmoor, G. C. Brøvig, Germa, Heimvard, Kaia Knudsen, Lista, Morgenen, Norheim and Skandinavia, in Convoy ON 194*, originating in Liverpool July 24, arriving New York Aug. 7 - Noreg had sailed from Londonderry on July 25. Acanthus, Potentilla and Rose were among the escorts for a while (see ON convoy escorts).
From the U.S., she headed to Bizerta on Aug. 16, arriving Sept. 6, Convoy UGS 15 - again, see Page 3 for details on her voyages in this period. She experienced air attacks there, but escaped unharmed. From Bizerta she later joined up with Convoy GUS 16, which left Alexandria on Sept. 19 and arrived Hampton Roads Oct. 15; Noreg arrived New York that same day, having sailed from Bizerta on Sept. 24 - ref. external links in the Voyage Record for more convoy details. It now looks like she remained in New York for several weeks, before crossing the Atlantic again. Arnold Hague has included her, together with Buenos Aires, Emma Bakke (Vice Commodore), Ivaran and Laurits Swenson (Commodore Vessel), in Convoy HX 269*, which left New York on Dec. 2-1943 and arrived Liverpool on the 16th; Noreg arrived Scapa (via Loch Ewe) on Dec. 17, according to the archive document.
In Jan 1944 she was again back in the Murmansk convoys as escort oiler; leaving Loch Ewe on Jan. 12 as the only Norwegian ship in Convoy JW 56A, reaching the Kola inlet on Jan. 28 (having sheltered at Akureyri from Jan. 18 to Jan. 21).
In the book "Sjøfolk i krig" by Leif M. Bjørkelund I found a personal story told by Able Seaman Johan Byrkja describing the passage of Convoy JW 56A. Byrkja had previously served on another Haugesund ship, M/S Geisha, as well as on M/T Thorshavet. As mentioned above, Noreg had recently arrived from New York with a cargo of fuel oil, and anchored at Greenock where some extra supplies started to show up; things like sheep skin coats, boots, wool underclothes, mittens etc., as well as 6 Oerlikons, so it didn't take long for the crew to figure out where they were headed next. He says Noreg was also given the addition of an extra storm bridge on the starboard side where a hose was placed (for replenishing the escorts) and depth charges were also brought on board (also for the escorts). I wonder if he has gotten the convoys mixed up when telling his story, afterall this book is based on interviews with seamen 50 years after the war was over, so it's quite possible. I say this because he lists King George V and Victorious as 2 of the escorts, none of these ships are mentioned by Bob Ruegg/Arnold Hague in connection with this convoy ("Convoys to Russia"). Also, she had served as Escort Oiler several times before, so it would seem this equipment had been added much earlier(?). When approaching Iceland a hurricane hit them with full force. A distress call was received from a Liberty ship which was about to go down, and shortly thereafter another vessel went down (again, this is not mentioned by Ruegg/Hague at all, but ships were sunk later on in the passage).
Due to the horrendous weather the convoy was ordered to Siglufjord, Iceland, and according to Byrkja's story Noreg was one of the few ships arriving without bad damages or lifeboats destroyed. He says the convoy had consisted of 25 ships but only 12 were able to continue their voyage (according to Ruegg/Hague, 5 of the original 20 ships did not proceed beyond Iceland, or returned to Loch Ewe. As mentioned, the convoy sought shelter at Akureyri, Iceland from Jan. 18 until the 21st). 2 American and 1 British merchant were sunk during this passage, and a British destroyer damaged (this would be the Penelope Barker - Commodore Vessel, which was indeed a Liberty Ship, and Andrew G. Curtin, also a Liberty Ship, the British Fort Bellingham and the British destroyer Obdurate, my page for JW 56A has the details). Byrkja says that being as they were the supply ship (i.e. "oiler") they had a radio and a speaker on board so that they could be contacted by the escorts day and night, and they were under a "Blue Warning", meaning all guns had to be armed continuously. Noreg had 9 of them, a 4 inch aft, 2 -3 inch and the rest 20 inch Oerlikons. 5 British soldiers manned the largest, while the crew manned the rest when they weren't on their regular sea duty; in other words, they were on some sort of duty 24 hours a day. He says they caught what sleep they could, while fastened to the guns. If they set the gun at the right height and locked it, it was possible to sleep with their arms on the gun.
Byrkja says that one night the attacks got really bad. He was at the helm and had the speaker right over his head, getting increasingly annoyed at having to listen to all the jibberish (it was all in code), when suddenly a voice came on saying "This is the Commanding officer of the convoy - admiral..", he can't remember the name. Then the voice continued politely "are we going to get a ship through to Russia or not?". Then a brief pause - "If so, then see the hell to it that we do!". A number was then called out and ordered to rescue survivors of a torpedoed ship, then another number was called and ordered to beat the enemy down on that side, and "see to it that it gets done". Byrkja says it was obvious the man was furious, and the results were amazing to watch; depth charges exploding, guns firing etc.
Noreg returned with Convoy RA 56 along with 38 other ships, departing Febr. 3-1944. This was a combination of the ships that had been in the eastbound convoys JW 56A and JW 56B. The convoy arrived Loch Ewe without incident on Febr. 11 - according to Page 3, Noreg arrived Clyde on the 12th, proceeding to Devonport on the 19th. The Panamanian Norlys (Norwegian managers) had also served as escort oiler for this convoy.
Noreg went back to Russia in Convoy JW 58, a large convoy which left Loch Ewe on March 27 and arrived the Kola Inlet on Apr. 4. No merchant ships were lost on this passage, but 4 U-boats were sunk; follow the link to my page about this convoy for more info. Noreg's return voyage started on Apr. 28 in Convoy RA 59 and she was again the only Norwegian ship. She had a number of British seamen as passengers on board as did all the other ships, including the escorts (some also had Russian personnel as passengers). The rest of the convoy consisted of 33 American and 7 British ships and was also attacked by U-boats resulting in the loss of the American William S Thayer and 43 crew and passengers on Apr. 30, 192 were rescued. 3 U-boats were subsequently sunk; the convoy dispersed and arrived Loch Ewe and Clyde May 6 and 7 respectively.
With Brimanger (Commodore Vessel), Emma Bakke, Ferncourt, Glarona, Herbrand, Laurits Swenson (whose captain served as Vice Commodore), Maud, Mosli, Norefjord, Norma, Pan Scandia, Skaraas and Velma, Noreg now headed across the North Atlantic again, having joined Convoy ON 237*, which left Liverpool May 19 (she joined from Clyde) and arrived New York June 3, returning a week later with Convoy HX 295, for which Elisabeth Bakke acted as the Commodore Ship. Early in July we find Noreg in the westbound Convoy ON 243* (originated in Liverpool July 3, arrived New York July 18), again with several other Norwegian ships, namely Geisha, Grey County, Kaia Knudsen, Mosli, Norden, Norse Lady, Reinholt (Commodore Vessel), Rutenfjell, Skaraas, Sommerstad, Sørvard and Velma. Some of these ships, including Noreg, are also listed in Convoy HX 301 from New York on July 25, a very large convoy for which Reinholt again served as the Commodore Vessel, while the Vice Commodore was in Samuel Bakke. Noreg's destination is given as Kingsnorth, and according to Page 4, she arrived there, via various other ports, on Aug. 13.
She later joined Convoy JW 60 from Loch Ewe on Sept. 15-1944, arriving the Kola Inlet on Sept. 23, then departed Kola on Sept. 28 in Convoy RA 60 for her return voyage, together with 31 other ships. Edward H Crockett, with a cargo of 1659 tons chrome ore and Samsuva, cargo of pitprops, were sunk by U-310 on Sept. 29, with the loss of 1 man from the American ship and 3 from Samsuva. (For info, Edward H. Crockett had also previously arrived U.K. with Convoy HX 301). The original Advance Sailing Telegram for Convoy RA 60 gives Noreg's destination as "Clyde for onward routing to U.S.A.", but she made another voyage to Russia and back before proceeding to the U.S. This was made in Convoy JW 61, departing Loch Ewe on Oct. 20, arriving the Kola Inlet without losses on Oct. 28. The Norwegian Marathon is also listed in this convoy, but there's some disagreement in my sources; follow the link to Marathon for an explanation. For her return voyage on Nov. 2 Noreg took part in Convoy RA 61. No ships were lost, though the frigate Mounsey was torpedoed (by U-295) and had to return to Kola. It'll be noticed, when going back to Page 4, that these voyages are not included.
Before the next convoy headed east, the battle ship Tirpitz had been sunk and a serious threat to the Arctic convoys was thereby eliminated, though the U-boats remained a threat, as the thermal layers of the Arctic made the spotting of them by Asdic almost impossible.
A visitor to my site (Philippe van Wersch) has told me that on Jan. 28-1945 Noreg, together with Dagmar Bratt, arrived at Delfzijl in the Dutch province of Groningen with a total of 3600 tons of food for the starving Dutch. However, this date does not fit with the fact that Noreg is listed, with G. C. Brøvig, John Bakke (Commodore Vessel), Marit II, Solfonn and Strinda, in Convoy ON 276*, which departed Southend Jan. 2 and arrived New York Jan. 18. She headed back across the ocean on Jan. 23 with Convoy HX 334 (Commodore in Samuel Bakke - Acanthus is named amont the escorts, see HX convoy escorts). The original convoy document gives Noreg's destination as Belfast Dock; she arrived Londonderry on Febr. 6, Belfast the next day, subsequently joining the westbound Convoy ON 284* from there. Abraham Lincoln (Commodore Vessel), Fernwood, Norsol, Sverre Helmersen, Toronto, Troubadour and Velma are also named in this convoy, which started out from Southend Febr. 10 and arrived New York March 1 - again, see also Page 4.
According to A. Hague, her return voyage was made in Convoy HX 343*, departing New York on March 9, arriving Liverpool on the 24th - Noreg stopped at Clyde that day. Biscaya (returned), Brimanger, Katy, Skaraas, Skotaas and Tai Shan are also listed. The following month we find her, along with Dageid, G. C. Brøvig, Polartank, Strinda, Montevideo, Tai Shan and Thorshavn, in Convoy ON 296*, which left Liverpool Apr. 12 (Noreg joined from Clyde) and arrived New York on the 30th, and A. Hague now has her in Convoy HX 354*, which left New York May 3 and arrived Liverpool May 18 - in other words, VE Day was celebrated at sea. Going back to Page 4, we see that Noreg arrived Sheerness on May 20. She had again been in the company of other Norwegian ships, namely Carl Oftedal, G. C. Brøvig, Salamis, Strinda and Washington Express. Her last convoy voyage was made, together with Hilda Knudsen, Laurits Swenson, Meline, Salamis and Samuel Bakke (Commodore Vessel), in Convoy ON 305*, departing Southend on May 26; Noreg arrived Hampton Roads on June 12.
As can be seen from A. Hague's Voyage Record, Noreg often served as Escort Oiler and also carried extra depth charges on board.
Page 5 shows some of her voyages at the end of 1945, as well as some 1946 voyages.
Laid up at Bøvågen in July-1958. Sold in Dec. that year to I/S Geron (Per Lodding), Oslo and renamed Geron. At Oslo Sept. 19-1959, in use as a depot ship. Delivered to Norsk Skipsopphugging (breakers), Christiania Spigerverk, Grimstad in Aug.-1960.
Related external links:
Back to Noreg on the "Ships starting with N" page.
The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, "Våre motorskip" by Leif M. Bjørkelund and E. H. Kongshavn, "Convoys to Russia 1941-1945" by Bob Ruegg and Arnold Hague, "Sjøfolk i krig", Leif M. Bjørkelund and misc. - ref. Sources/Books.