|Site Map | Search Warsailors.com |Merchant Fleet Main Page | Warsailors.com Home|
Info from Barbara Mumford (her source: "Empire Ships"): One of the ships built under United States Shipping Board contracts (WW I) and purchased from U.S.A. by British Ministry of War Transport at the beginning of WW II. Design 1105 - 9600 tdw, 410.5 ft x 54.8 ft. Engines: T3cyl. 6326 gt. Built by Skinner & Eddy Corp., Seattle, Wash. Completed as Editor (USSB) in 1919. Sailed as Empire Dunlin (M.O.W.T.) from 1941. Ran aground on Valient Rock, near New London, Long Island Sound on Apr. 26-1942 on a voyage from New York to the U.K. with a cargo of steel. Leaking; flooded and abandoned. Refloated on May 11 that same year, towed to New York and repaired. According to Page 1 of the archive documents, which shows some of her voyages while still Empire Dunlin, she arrived New York on May 13.
This was one of 19 ships transferred to Nortraship in 1942. Norlom was taken over at Hull on Oct 1-1942. (As Empire Dunlin, she had previously arrived U.K. from Halifax in Convoy SC 98). Empire Ships on my page "Ship Statistics & Misc." gives the names of the other 18 ships transferred to the Norwegian flag in 1942.
Captain: Jacob Østhassel Samuelsen (I believe he's identical to the Jacob Samuelsen who had escaped from Norway in a stolen fishing boat in July-1941 - scroll down to VA 92L on this page.
Related item on this website:
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).
As mentioned further up on this page, the information at the beginning of Page 1 shows some of her voyages while still Empire Dunlin. She had arrived the U.K. under that name with Convoy SC 98, which had left Halifax on Aug. 29-1942 and arrived Liverpool Sept. 13; Empire Dunlin stopped at Loch Ewe on the 12th, later proceeding to Hull, where she arrived on Sept. 18 and was taken over by Nortraship on Oct 1, renamed Norlom. As can be seen, she remained in Hull for quite some time.
The following month she's listed, together with Bencas (joined from Halifax), Bestik, Borgfred, Cetus, Ingertre, Minister Wedel, Orwell, Suderøy and Titanian, in the westbound North Atlantic Convoy ON 144*, departing Liverpool on Nov. 7-1942, arriving New York on the 27th, but Norlom was bound for Halifax, where she arrived Nov. 25, having started out from Oban on the 8th. Eglantine, Montbretia, Potentilla and Rose were among the escorts (see ON convoy escorts). My page about Monbretia has more details on the passage of this convoy, which lost several ships (including Montbretia). Christmas that year was celebrated while in Convoy HX 219, originating in New York on Dec. 13, but Norlom joined from Halifax on the 16th. She had a general cargo for Tyne, where she arrived Jan. 1-1943 - the Commodore says in his notes, Norlom, maximum speed 9.75 knots should not have been included in convoy.
In Febr.-1943 she's listed in the westbound Convoy ON 165; Eglantine was again among the escorts, as was Acanthus. The Commodore's narrative is also available. According to the Commodore's notes, Norlom was among the ships joining the convoy from Iceland on Febr. 8, but from Page 1, we learn that she started out from Loch Ewe on Febr. 2. ON 165 arrived New York on March 1, which was also Norlom's destination, but the archive document indicates she put into St. John's, N.F. on Febr. 23. It'll be noticed when going to my page about ON 165 that there's a note in connection with a ship named Norholm, saying that she experienced rudder trouble at 07:00 on Febr. 17, but this ship is not named in this convoy. I believe it's a mis-spelling of Norlom, and this was probably the reason why she stopped at St. John's. She appears to have remained there for quite a long time; departure is given as Apr. 24, when she proceeded to Halifax, with arrival Apr. 27.
She now made some voyages around the U.S. and in June we find her in station 42 of the slow Convoy SC 133, which left Halifax on June 5 and arrived Liverpool on the 19th; Norlom stopped at Loch Ewe on the 18th, later proceeding to Middlesbrough. In July she joined the westbound North Atlantic Convoy ONS 13*, departing Liverpool on July 14 (Norlom sailed from Oban on July 15), arriving Halifax on the 29th. Norlom, however, was bound for New York, and according to A. Hague, she transferred from this convoy to Convoy ON 193* on July 29 in order to complete her voyage to New York. ON 193 had sailed from Liverpool on July 16 and arrived New York on the 31st. Both these convoys had several Norwegian ships, namely Astrid, Geisha (Commodore Vessel), Harpefjell, Hiram, Maud, Para, Rena and Sandviken in ONS 13, and Bralanta, Chr. Th. Boe, Fagerfjell, Fernwood, Geisha, Harpefjell, Herbrand, Hiram, Idefjord, Maud, Meline, O. B. Sørensen, Para, Samuel Bakke, Sandviken, Santos, Skaraas, Skjelbred, Stiklestad, Thorhild, Thorshov and Tungsha, as well as the Panamanian Norlys (Norwegian managers, included under the N's of this website) in ON 193 - like Norlom, it looks like some of these had also transferred from the ONS convoy en route.
According to Page 1 and Page 2, she now made voyages to Guantanamo, La Romana, Macoris, Key West, back to New York then on to Boston, before heading to Halifax, where she on Sept. 15-1943 joined Convoy SC 142, cargo of sugar for Liverpool (Gausdal served as Rear Commodore Vessel). Convoy information for some of the above mentioned voyages can be found in the Voyage Record.
The following month, she's listed in Convoy OS 57/KMS 31, voyaging from Liverpool to Italy in station 53, carrying trucks and coal. This convoy, which also included Askeladden, Germa, Jenny, Lido and Somerville, left Liverpool on Oct 27 and split up Nov. 9, the Gibraltar bound ships arriving there on Nov. 10, while the OS convoy continued to Freetown, with arrival Nov. 19; see the external link provided in the table above for more convoy information (see also the external link below). The Gibraltar portion, KMS 31, will also be added to my own website, but for now, the ships sailing in it are named on this page. KMS 31 continued from Gibraltar on Nov. 10 with Port Said as its final destination. Norlom proceeded to Augusta with this convoy. She left Augusta again on Nov. 17, arriving Taranto the next day, then continued to Bari on Nov. 24, where she arrived Nov. 25 (Page 2).
Related external link:
On December 2-1943 she was still in Bari, where several tankers, ammunition ships and supply vessels were at anchor with much needed supplies for the allied armies for their advance up the Italian mainland. The Liberty ship John Harvey (captain Knowles) had a cargo of liquid mustard gas bombs (in case the enemy should resort to chemical warfare) and was guarded by a unit of the 701st Chemical Maintenance Company. In addition to Norlom, which had not yet unloaded her cargo, the Norwegian Bollsta, Vest, Lom and Salamis were present (see also my page about Hermelin). About 20 enemy aircraft attacked and one of the ammunition ships was hit and blew up (John L. Motley), starting the domino effect of events, with one ship after another catching on fire. The end result was thousands of deaths, many injured and suffering from the effects of the mustard gas. At least 17 ships were sunk. The external websites that I've linked to below will have more information - see also my page about Bollsta, where a list of ships sunk and/or damaged is available.
2nd Mate Oddmund Hjelde on Norlom reported that he was left on board with the captain and 1st Mate Einar Hansen. He himself had started to experience terrible eye pain by then from the mustard gas, flames were everywhere, on board as well as on the water. He had a flash light in his hands and signalled an S.O.S. in the direction he assumed land to be, and his signal was seen. A military rescue came out and got all 3 of them ashore. 3rd Mate Lars Nilsen, 4th Engineer Agnar Gustavsen and a British gunner had been killed, the captain died at a hospital in Bari a couple of days later, the 1st mate died Dec. 14.
From George Southern, who has written a book about the Bari incident entitled "Poisonous Inferno", I've received the following:
He asked Halvor if he was all right and he replied he was although Ian says 'we were both too much in shock to know how injured we were'. Of those moments Ian says 'All hell was going on in the harbour, fires on the water and shrapnel falling all over, and when the launch started off to take the raft in tow, perhaps a shade too quickly, both of us having nothing to hold on to, when the raft tipped we were both thrown into the water again'. Ian managed to keep afloat until the launch picked him up once more. 'I must have passed out again for I do not remember being hauled into either boat or the raft'. His shipmate Halvor Stensrud was never seen again". (Note that he's included among the survivors in the crew list).
George Southern adds:
George has since told me that he received the news at the end of Dec.-2008 that Ian Peyman had passed away.
Refloated in Nov. 1946 and broken up at Bari in 1947.
Stavern Memorial commemorations - This site says that 4 died on board, 1 in hospital and 1 man died after the war due to the effects of the mustard gas, possibly Radio Operator Halvor Jæger Stensrød(?) who is included among those commemorated here. Oddmund Hjelde is also listed among the casualties, but I believe he was still around in the 1970's. (A search for Anton Jaastad gives no results - I've tried several spellings, Jåstad, Gjørstad, Gjorstad, Gjostad etc.).
Tragedy at Bari - Describes what happened to some of the ships (Naval Historical Center).
S/S Norlom - Technical data (Darren Dypevåg)
Back to Norlom on the "Ships starting with N" page.
The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, "Sjøforklaringer fra 2. verdenskrig", Norwegian Maritime Museum, Volume II, and misc. (ref. My sources).