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Owner: Skibs-A/S Novasli
Built by Robert Thompson & Sons Ltd., Sunderland in 1920. Previous names: Ronalee until 1922, Maplewood(?) until 1929.
Captain: Leiv Midthassel
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.
Errors may exist, and some voyages may be missing.
Novasli, carrying cotton and sulphur for Liverpool, can be found among the ships in the Halifax-U.K. Convoy HX 31 on March 29-1940, station 24. She arrived Liverpool on Apr. 12; in other words, she was at sea when war broke out in Norway on Apr. 9, see also Page 1. The following month she briefly sailed in Convoy OB 149, departing Liverpool on May 16. Her voyage information is given as Liverpool-Cardiff, and she had station 43 of the convoy; according to the archive document, she arrived Barry on May 18. Sandar and Hada County are also listed in this convoy, both bound further afield. Novasli shows up again, together with Nyland, Simla and Thyra, in Convoy OB 155, originating in Liverpool on May 26. This convoy joined up with Convoy OA 155 on May 29, forming the Gibraltar bound convoy OG 31, which arrived there on June 3. Novasli was bound for Malta from Barry with coal, station 56, and arrived Malta on June 10, remaining there for a month. (OG 31 will be added to an individual page in my Convoys section, but for now, see the page listing ships in all OG convoys). Ref. external links provided within the Voyage Record for more info on these convoys, as well as other convoys she sailed in that year, including Convoy SL 57S. This convoy left Freetown on Nov. 28 and arrived Liverpool Dec. 22 (the archive document gives her departure Freetown as Nov. 25 and she stopped at Milford Haven, before proceeding to Swansea, where she arrived Dec. 23).
Novasli received minor damages in an air attack in Swansea, Jan. 17/18-1941. It appears these took quite some time to repair, because there's now a long gap in her voyage information on Page 1, from Dec. 23-1940, when she had arrived Swansea, to March 7-1941. According to the external website that I've linked to further down on this page, she was scheduled for Convoy OB 295, which left Liverpool on March 8, but she instead joined Convoy OB 296, together with Ingerfire and Lysaker V. This convoy originated in Liverpool on March 10 and dispersed March 15. Her destination is given as South Africa; going back to the archive document, we learn that she arrived Freetown on Apr. 6, having started out from Milford Haven on March 9. She later appears, along with Elg, Fana, Hardanger, Lysaker V and Tanafjord, in Convoy SL 73, leaving Freetown on Apr. 27, arriving Liverpool on May 25; Novasli, cargo of ore, arrived Workington that day, remaining there for over a month.
In July she made a voyage to Three Rivers and Montreal. According to A. Hague, this voyage was made in a convoy which he has designated OB 341A, originating in Liverpool on July 2, but as can be seen when following the link in the table above, escorts only are named. Instead, she has been included among the ships in Convoy OB 341, which originated in Liverpool on June 30 and dispersed July 6, but it looks like the ships in these 2 convoys have been listed on the same page (it'll be noticed that there are too many ships). OB 341A had Halifax as its final destination, but according to A. Hague, Novasli was detached from this convoy on July 14. She had sailed from Clyde on July 3 and arrived Three Rivers on July 20, proceeding to Montreal 4 days later.
From Montreal, she later headed to Sydney, C.B. and Arnold Hague has now included her in Convoy SC 40* from there on Aug. 10-1941, together with Brisk, Henrik Ibsen, Ingerfire, Nesttun, Selvik, Spurt and Suderholm. Novasli stopped at Belfast Lough on Aug. 29, before continuing to Cardiff 2 days later (again, see Page 1). The following month, she joined the westbound North Atlantic Convoy ON 16, bound for Halifax, where she arrived on Oct. 4, the convoy having been dispersed on Sept. 27. Having made voyages to Montreal and Quebec, she headed back to the U.K. again on Nov. 4 in the slow Convoy SC 53 from Sydney, C.B., cargo of wheat for Mersey. She later joined the westbound Convoy ON 43*, which departed Liverpool on Dec. 3, but she returned to port (arrived Oban Dec. 8), and shows up again in Convoy ON 45*, originating in Liverpool on Dec. 9, dispersed Dec. 16, Novasli arriving Halifax on Dec. 30, continuing to St. John, N.B. that same day - see Page 2. Selvik is also listed in ON 43, while Heimgar, Spinanger and Veni are named in ON 45, though Veni returned to port.
She was scheduled for the slow Halifax-U.K. Convoy SC 67 at the end of Jan.-1942, but did not sail (the Norwegian Heina was sunk - follow the link for details). She was also cancelled from the next convoy, SC 68, but eventually got away with SC 69 on Febr. 10, cargo of grain for Ipswich, station 22. She arrived Ipswich, via various other ports, on March 5, returning across the Atlantic later that month with Convoy ON 80*, together with Para and Tore Jarl (from Liverpool March 27, to Halifax Apr. 15). On Apr. 30, she headed back to the U.K. in Convoy SC 82 from Halifax, cargo of grain for Hull, where she arrived May 19 (remaining there for several weeks). In July she's listed, together with Akabahra, Hallfried, Heimgar and Henrik Ibsen, in Convoy ON 110*, which originated in Liverpool on July 6. Novasli arrived Halifax on July 22, having started out from Loch Ewe on the 6th. She subsequently spent a couple of weeks in New York, before returning to Halifax, and with a cargo of steel and general for Immingham, she joined Convoy SC 98 on Aug. 29, arriving her destination on Sept. 17 (she had been cancelled from the previous convoy, SC 97, in which Bronxville was sunk - follow the links for more info).
Together with Astrid, Fana, Glarona (from Halifax), Iron Baron, Lisbeth and Ravnefjell (also from Halifax), she later joined the westbound Convoy ON 136* (departure Liverpool Oct. 3, arrival New York Oct. 26; Novasli stopped at Halifax Oct. 24, having joined from Loch Ewe), and in Nov.-1942 we find her in Convoy SC 111*, which departed New York on Nov. 25 and arrived Liverpool Dec. 17; Novasli, cargo of lumber, joined from Halifax and stopped at Belfast Lough before proceeding to Swansea and Plymouth - her voyages in this period are shown on Page 3. Brush, Gudvor, Harpefjell, Heimgar, Norjerv, Sevilla and Sir James Clark Ross are also listed, though quite a few of them returned to port (it looks like this convoy encountered bad weather).
In Febr.-1943 she's listed among the ships in Convoy ON 167*, which originated in Liverpool on Febr. 14 and arrived New York March 8, Novasli, however, was again bound for Halifax, where she arrived on March 6, having sailed from Belfast Lough on Febr. 13. Gulhaug (from Halifax), Herbrand, Norvarg and Orwell are also named in this convoy. At the end of that month she shows up in Convoy SC 125 from Halifax. Eglantine, Potentilla and Rose are named among the escorts (see SC convoy escorts). In June she's listed in the westbound North Atlantic Convoy ONS 10*, departing Liverpool June 8, arriving Halifax June 27. This time she was bound for St. John, N.B., where she arrived on June 29, having started out from Oban on the 9th - see Page 4. She had again been in the company of several other Norwegian ships, namely Acasta, Cetus, Fjordheim, Grey County, James Hawson, Mathilda, Ravnefjell, Sirehei and Titanian. Following a month's stay at St. John, Novasli proceeded to Halifax in order to join Convoy SC 138 on July 30, steel and timber for London. In Sept.-1943 she's listed, along with Acasta, Astrid, Bernhard, Hiram, Norse Lady, Rena (Commodore vessel) and Titanian, in the westbound Convoy ONS 19* (from Liverpool Sept. 26, to Halifax Oct. 14; Novasli had again joined from Loch Ewe). Her last Trans-Atlantic voyage that year was made in Convoy SC 147, joining from Sydney, C.B. (convoy started out in Halifax on Nov. 19), cargo of steel and lumber for London.
She now headed to another part of the world. On a voyage from Oban to Gibraltar with coal, she's listed in station 25 of Convoy OS 66/KMS 40, which originated in Liverpool on Jan. 24-1944 (Commodore in Norwegian Rena). However, she returned to port (Clyde, Jan. 30), later joining Convoy OS 68/KMS 42, voyage Clyde-Gibraltar in station 22. This convoy, which also included Cetus, Lisbeth, Ragnhild and Snar, departed Liverpool on Febr. 12 and split up on the 23rd (24th?), the Gibraltar bound ships arriving there on Febr. 25, while the OS convoy continued to Freetown, where it arrived March 5. Novasli was in the KMS portion* and continued from Gibraltar to Augusta with this convoy, arriving Augusta on March 2, according to A. Hague's record. Page 5 has her voyages in this period. The following month, she's included in Convoy SL 155/MKS 46, along with Anna Knudsen, Lago, Mathilda and Norefjord. The SL convoy had started out from Freetown on Apr. 11, joined up with the MKS convoy from Gibraltar on the 23rd, the combined convoy arriving Liverpool on May 3. Novasli was in the MKS convoy*, and arrived Workington on May 4.
She later went in the other direction again in Convoy OS 83/KMS 57, which departed Liverpool on July 12. She was on a voyage from Belfast for Gibraltar with coal. The convoy split up on July 23, with the majority of the ships, the Gibraltar portion, arriving there on July 25 (this also included the Norwegian Astrid and Bestik), while the rest went to Freetown with arrival Aug. 3. From Gibraltar, Novasli continued to Bizerta, still in Convoy KMS 57*, arriving Bizerta July 30, proceeding to Augusta the next day. Having made a voyage to Naples, she returned to Augusta, then joined Convoy MKS 60*, which had originated in Port Said (Aug. 27) and arrived Gibraltar on Sept. 7 - Askeladden, Suderholm and Tigre are also listed. Novasli, however, had sailed from Augusta on Sept. 1, arrived Algiers Sept. 5, leaving again for Gibraltar that same day, and from there she continued to Casablanca. From Casablanca, she subsequently returned to the U.K. with Convoy SL 170/MKS 61. The SL portion of this convoy, in which Novasli is listed, had originated in Freetown on Sept. 8-1944, joined up with the MKS portion* from Gibraltar on Sept. 18, and arrived Liverpool on Sept. 26. Novasli was bound for Ipswich, cargo of phosphates. Going back to Page 5 of the archive documents, we learn that she had left Casablanca on Sept. 18 and arrived Ipswich, via various other ports, on the 30th. Belnor, Somerville and Sophocles also took part in this convoy, Belnor having joined from Gibraltar with the MKS portion, while the others were in the SL convoy.
In Nov.-1944 we find her, together with Mathilda, in Convoy OS 94/KMS 68, voyage Milford-Gibraltar with coal in station 21 (convoy departed Liverpool on Nov. 3 and split up Nov. 7, the KMS portion*, in which Novasli took part, arriving Gibraltar Nov. 13). She now made a voyage to Huelva and back to Gibraltar, and according to A. Hague, she returned to the U.K. in the MKS portion* of Convoy SL 177/MKS 68. The SL convoy had left Freetown on Nov. 15 and joined up with the MKS convoy from Gibraltar on the 26th, the combined convoy arriving Liverpool on Dec. 5; Novasli arrived Ardrossan on Dec. 4, according to Page 6. Please follow the external links provided within the table above for more information on the OS/KMS and SL/MKS convoys mentioned here (it'll be noticed that one section of the site also has Gabon and Karmt in the latter convoy, but not Novasli, while A. Hague's listing shows Cypria and Thalatta, in addition to Novasli, but not Karmt and Gabon).
At the end of that year we find Novasli, with Annik, Cetus, Ferncliff, Germa, Mui Hock and Tercero, in the westbound North Atlantic Convoy ONS 39*, which originated in Liverpool on Dec. 28-1944 and arrived Halifax Jan. 13-1945; Novasli arrived Philadelphia on Jan. 17, having sailed from Clyde on Dec. 28. As will be seen, her return voyage to the U.K. proved to be her last.
Related external link:
As mentioned, Novasli had arrived Philadelphia from the U.K. on Jan. 17-1945. She had taken on board 1123 standards of lumber, before leaving for Boston and Halifax on Febr. 4 (this according to Page 6 of the archive documents; another source says she left Philadelphia on Febr. 7), arriving Halifax on Febr. 13. She left Halifax again on Febr. 16 for Swansea Bay and London in Convoy SC 167, station 31 (A. Hague has her in station 54 - see his listing for SC 167 at ships in all SC convoys).
She had reached St. Georges Channel on March 2, and was just off Milford Haven when she was torpedoed in the stern by (possibly) U-1302 (Herwartz), 52 04N 05 42W*. The rudder and propeller were blown away, she had a crack behind midships on both sides from the gunwhale and as far down as they could see, with an opening of about 1' wide from the rail and down, and water gushed into the engine room. It took the 1st engineer only a few minutes to run down and stop the engine, and there was already about 8-10' of water in No. 4 hold.
3 lifeboats were sent away from the ship while the captain, the 1st mate, the radio operator, steward and mess boy remained on board, and that afternoon she was taken in tow. However, the water kept rising in the engine room and hold and the aft section sank deeper and deeper, until the engine room and boiler room were full of water and the sea was washing over the midships deck around 18:00 that evening (9 hours after the explosion had occurred). Consequently, those who were left on board also abandoned ship in a lifeboat that was tied alongside. About an hour later what was left of her was seen to be on fire.
The survivors were picked up by the trawler HMS Helier II (FY-312), which shelled and depth charged the wreck, and by midnight she was gone. Novasli's crew were landed in Milford Haven in the early morning hours of March 3. An inquiry was held in Cardiff on March 8-1945 with the captain, the 1st and 3rd mates, the 1st engineer, and Able Seaman Båtnes (helmsman) appearing.
The British King Edgar was also in this convoy and believed torpedoed by the same U-boat. One of my Norwegian sources says U-1302 was sunk on March 7, and this corresponds with what is found at uboat.net (ref.link below). Therefore, no report by this U-boat on the sinking of the 2 ships is available.
Crew List - No casualties:
Related external link:
Back to Novasli 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. as named within the text above - (ref. My sources).