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Whale Oil Factory

Updated Sept. 21-2010

To Pelagos on the "Ships starting with P" page.

Source: Bjørn Milde's postcard collection.

Pelagos off Narvik in 1941. Received from Erling Skjold, Norway

Source: Roger W. Jordan collection.

This shows Athenic - also from Bjørn Milde's postcard collection.

Manager: Bruun & von der Lippe, Tønsberg (this company was associated with Anders Jahre, Sandefjord).
12 084 gt

Athenic (Pelagos' previous name) was a White Star liner, sister ship to Corinthic and Ionic, converted from passenger/general cargo in 1928 after having been sold to Norway. According to the website that I've linked to at the end of this page (these details used with permission) she had been built by Harland & Wolff, Belfast for Shaw, Savill & Albion, launched Aug. 17-1901, 12 234grt, 7833 nrt, 13 925dwt, Twin screw, 2 x 4 Quadruple expansion by builder, 4800 ihp, 14 knots, 121 1st Class passengers, 117 2nd Class, and 450 3rd Class. She made her first sailing London-Wellington on Febr. 13-1902. The page adds: "Her design incorporated a high capacity for frozen meat and for a high volume of passengers to be carried. Due to a Dock strike at Wellington in 1912 New Zealand farmers had no option other than to load their own carcasses for shipment. On February 28th 1916 she embarked British prisoners of war at Santa Cruz, which had been taken there from the German Raider Moewe, by the prize ship Westburn, the latter was later scuttled. The Liner Requisition Scheme took her up in 1917. She commenced her normal commercial service in January of 1920 and in the May rescued eighty passengers and crew from the American ship Munamar of the Munson Line, which had run aground near San Salvador, they were later landed at Newport. Sold in May of 1928 for use as a whaling factory ship to Brunn & von der Lippe, Tønsberg and converted at Smiths Dock, Tees and renamed Pelagos."

Captain: Fritz B. Gøthesen.

Related items on this website:
Guestbook message from the son of Arne Skretteberg, who served on Pelagos from 1935 till 1940.
Another message - From the granddaughter of Harry Furuhaug, who was on board when Pelagos was captured.
Norwegian Victims of Pinguin
Pelagos crew list 1941
A thread on my Ship Forum - There are are several responses.

Her voyages are listed on this original image received from the National Archives of Norway.

Please compare the above voyages with Arnold Hague's Voyage Record below.

  Voyage Record
From Nov.-1939 to Jan.-1941:  

(Received from Don Kindell - His source: The late Arnold Hague's database).

Departure From To Arrival Convoy Remarks
1939 Nov. 22 Walvis Bay S Georgia Whale Grounds Independent
1940 March 1 S Georgia Whale Grounds Capetown March 15 Independent Notional sailing date
March 15 Capetown Walvis Bay Independent
March 19 Walvis Bay Dakar Apr. 1 Independent
Apr. 3 Dakar Halifax Apr. 19 Independent
Apr. 22 Halifax HX 37 Put back to Halifax Apr. 27.
Apr. 27 Detached from HX 37 Halifax Apr. 30 Independent
Aug. 14 Halifax New York City Independent
Aug. 18 New York City Halifax Aug. 21 Independent
Aug. 27 Halifax Halifax Independent A. Hague says:
"Voyage data unknown"
(archive document indicates Curacao)
Oct. 10 Halifax Curacao Oct. 18 Independent
Oct. 20 Curacao Montevideo Nov. 8 Independent
Nov. 10 Montevideo S Georgia Whale Grounds Independent
1941 Jan. 14 Taken by Pinguin Bordeaux Independent Arrived Bordeaux, March-1941.
(A. Hague also says:
"Arrived Norway 1943").
Compare with:
Norwegian Victims of Pinguin.


Pelagos, with whale oil for Downs, is mentioned in Convoy HX 37, departing Halifax for the U.K. on Apr. 22-1940. She's crossed out on the original form; according to Arnold Hague, she detached from the convoy on Apr. 27 in order to return to port, arriving Halifax on Apr. 30. See also the archive document.

 Captured by German Pinguin - 1941: 

Pelagos was captured by the German auxiliary cruiser Pinguin on Jan. 14-1941; please continue to my page Norwegian Victims of Pinguin for more information about what happened to Pelagos and the other vessels on the herding grounds that day. There are also crew lists for the captured ships, as well as more facts about Pinguin and link to a list of Norwegian ships captured or sunk by the other German raiders.

The Shaw, Savill & Albion page that I've linked to below states Pelagos was sunk at Kirkenes, Norway in 1944, but as can be seen from my text under Pelagos on the above mentioned page, there's some disagreement and confusion over this (this appears to have been another Pelagos). See also a related thread on my Ship Forum, starting with this query.

Some of her 1945 voyages are shown on the archive document.

Related external links:
Shaw, Savill & Albion - Scroll down to Athenic for a picture and details. (As will be seen the site states she was sunk at Kirkenes on Oct. 24-1944, but raised by the Norwegians a year later and put back into service. Broken up in Germany by Eckardt & Co of Hamburg in 1962).

Pelagos - This page gives the same (erroneous) sinking details. The site also has info on other ships owned by Bruun & von der Lippe - here's the main page.

Back to Pelagos on the "Ships starting with P" page.


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