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D/S Ringhorn
Updated Oct. 15-2010

To Ringhorn on the "Ships starting with R" page.

Crew List

Owner: D/S A/S Ringhorn
Manager: Albert Schjelderup, Bergen
1298 gt, 735 net, 2160 tdwt
Signal Letters: LERQ

Built by Huiskens & van Dijk, Dordrecht, Netherlands (119), delivered in March-1920 as Hans Gude to D/S A/S Fane (Vilhelm Torkildsen), Bergen. 237.9' x 37.2' x 16.0', Triple exp. (Huiskens & van Dijk), 160 nhp. Sold to D/S A/S Ringhorn (Albert Schjelderup), Bergen in 1927 and renamed Ringhorn.

Captains: Torger N. Humlevik, at the beginning of the war. Here's a Guestbook message (in Norwegian) from his son. Captain Humlevik later took command of Gudrun. At the time of Ringhorn's loss, captain was Trygve Terkelsen.

Related item on this website:
Guestbook message from one of the survivors of Ringhorn, George Varjas, now 90 years old (2011).

Her voyages are listed on these original images from the Norwegian National Archives:
Page 1 | Page 2

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

  Voyage Record
From Febr.-1940 to Febr.-1941:  

(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 are missing.

Departure From To Arrival Convoy Remarks
1940 Febr. 22 Norwegian Waters Bergen Febr. 22 HN 14 Put back
Febr. 28 Norwegian Waters Methil March 1 HN 15
March 15 Methil Norwegian Waters March 18 ON 20
March 31 Norwegian Waters HN 23B Returned Apr. 4.
Apr. 9 Norwegian Waters Methil Apr. 12 HN 25 Missing voyages, Page 1
Aug. 4 Milford Haven OB 193 For Liverpool, NS.
Dispersed Aug. 7.
Convoy available at OB 193
(external link)
Arrived St. John's Aug. 19,
later Liverpool, NS, Sept. 19.
Again, see Page 1
(Also, more missing voyages).
Oct. 15 Sydney, C.B. Liverpool* Oct. 31 SC 8 *Arrived Clyde
(Page 1 - Also, missing movements).
Nov. 22 Milford Haven OB 248 Straggled, damaged and returned,
see also narrative below
(Page 1 gives arrival Belfast Lough, Dec. 1).
Convoy dispersed Nov. 26.
Available at OB 248
(external link)
1941 Jan. 31 Liverpool* OB 280 *From Clyde
(Page 2).
Dispersed Febr. 3.
Convoy available at OB 280
(external link)
Sunk - See "Final Fate" below.

 Misc. Convoy Voyages: 
Follow the convoy links for further details; the Commodore's notes and/or escorts reports are also available for some of them and several Norwegian ships took part. Note that all the unlinked convoys mentioned in this narrative can be found via the external links provided within the Voyage Record.

Ringhorn rescued 54 people from the Danish ship Canada off the coast of England in 1939.

In Febr.-1940, A. Hague has included her in Convoy HN 14 from Norway to the U.K., but she returned to port and subsequently joined the next convoy, HN 15, which left Norway on Febr. 28. She was in ballast for Burntisland. In the middle of March, A. Hague has her in the U.K.-Norway Convoy ON 20, and at the end of that month we find her in Convoy HN 23B, in ballast for Blyth. However, it looks like she did not sail (A. Hague says she returned, Apr. 4), because she shows up again in Convoy HN 25, which left Bergen on Apr. 7 (2 days before the German invasion of Norway), thereby ending up in Allied service. According to Page 1 of the archive documents, she was bound for Tyne, where she arrived, via Methil Roads, Apr. 15.

She later made some voyages to France, 2 in May, another in June. In Aug.-1940, she's listed as bound for Liverpool, N.S. in Convoy OB 193, which originated in Liverpool (U.K.) on Aug. 4 and dispersed on the 7th. Berto, Corvus, Ingertre, Loke, Thermopylæ and Vilja are also listed. Ringhorn arrived St. John's, N.F. on Aug. 19 (having started out from Milford Haven on Aug. 4), and did not proceed to Liverpool, N.S. until Sept. 14, with arrival Sept. 19. She now made a voyage to Annapolis and from there to Pugwash, before heading to Sydney, C.B. in order to join the slow Convoy SC 8 back to the U.K. on Oct. 15. She had a cargo of lumber for Sharpness where she arrived (via Clyde and Greenock) on Nov. 6.

Together with Solferino (see also Ledaal), Ringhorn, bound for St. John, N.B. with coal, had been in convoy OB 248, which had originated in Liverpool on Nov. 23-1940 (dispersed on the 26th), and was attacked by U-95 (Schreiber) on Nov. 28, position 55 29N 18 01W. She was damaged but continued at full speed. She had sent out a distress call and the British destroyer Wanderer was detached from another convoy (HX 89) to go and look for her, without finding her. Later that day another call was received with the information that the U-boat was still on the surface, but was falling behind, then nothing was heard from Ringhorn until she arrived Belfast Lough on Dec. 1.

"Nortraships flåte" by J. R. Hegland states that Ringhorn was struck by a torpedo in the above attack. However, J. Rohwer says she was shelled only (he says Ringhorn was built in 1919, and does not mention a convoy in connection with this incident, probably because the convoy had been dispersed by then). According to (external page), she was missed by 3 torpedoes. A visitor to my site has told me that Admiralty records state that the U-boat was sighted at 07:00 very close to the port bow. Ringhorn altered course, and the U-boat passed under her stern at the same time and was then lost in the darkness, but at about 09:45 it was sighted again. This time it opened fire and five minutes later the crew took to the lifeboats. The U-boat fired a machine gun to frighten the boats away, and then began shelling the ship again before disappearing. Ringhorn was reboarded at 16:00 and the voyage was continued as all the damage was above the main deck. These records agree with the date of arrival Belfast Lough given above (see also Page 1). The times used here are BST. "Nortraships flåte" gives the time as 08:42 for the first radio message from Ringhorn about being attacked, and 11:37 for the second call, but does not mention anything about the men going in the lifeboats.

Extract of the captain's log for Ringhorn on her voyage from Port Talbot to St. John, N.B. in November-1940 - dated Belfast Jan. 10-1941
(received from Tore A. Humlevik, the son of Captain Torger N. Humlevik; see his Guestbook message.

"Wednesday November the 20th left Port Talbot to join convoy. Tuesday November the 26th lost the convoy on account of bad weather. The same day port lifeboat was damaged by heavy sea and had to be put into the gripes.

Tuesday November the 28th about 5 am a submarine was observed close on the port bow on the surface (about 350 miles west of Ireland). Different courses were kept with utmost speed trying to escape the submarine, but at 7:45 am the submarine were observed again astern on the port quarter, about 1 mile off. Wireless S.S.S. message was sent and at the same time the submarine started firing. The engine was stopped and orders given to take to the boats. When the motorboat was lowered A.B. P. Brandal was trown between the motorboat and the ships side into the water. He injured his left arm which was quite useless. He was later picked up by the crew in the motorboat. All the time strong SW. gale was blowing with heavy sea. The submarine also fired on the lifeboats but without hitting. Several hits on the ship was observed.

After being in the lifeboats for 8 hours and the submarine could not be sighted and S/S Ringhorn kept floating, the ship was boarded with starboard lifeboat. After returning the ship was surveyed and sounded. Damage was seen over the waterline. Port side of the bridge and the steering gear were shot away. Likewise the ship was hit in the bulwark on the fore deck close to deck and the steam pipe and no. 2 hatch damaged.

The weather increased. Trying to take starboard lifeboat on board, the boat was smashed against the ships side.

At 6 pm the crew in the motorboat were taken on board. Several attempts were made to save the motorboat, but as it was rough sea and the crew were much exhausted the motorboat had to be left behind.

After dark steam was taken up and course could be set back for England. The steering engine was used with signals from top of the chartroom to the steering engine in the engineroom. Saturday November the 30th the steering gear were temporarily repaired so the ship could be steered from the lower bridge.

Sunday December the 1st the ship arrived Belfast Road. Doctor was called at once. Examining A. B. P. Brandal the doctor found that the left arm was broken and ordered P. Brandal to the hospital at once for treatment.

On arrival Belfast the naval authorities were informed at once."

It looks like Ringhorn was repaired at Belfast as she remained there for quite some time. Departure date is difficult to see on Page 1, but she arrived Clyde on Jan. 16/17-1941.

More details on the other Norwegian ships mentioned here can be found via the alphabet index at the end of this page, or go to the Master Ship Index.

For info, U-95 was also credited with the attacks on Svein Jarl and Taranger the following year - follow the links for details.

Related external links:
Ships hit from convoy OB 248

Operations information for U-95


 Final Fate - 1941: 

With a cargo of 1300 tons of coal for St. John, N.B., Ringhorn departed Gourock on Jan. 30-1941, joining Convoy OB 280, which originated in Liverpool on Jan. 31 and dispersed on Febr. 3 (see link provided within the Voyage Record; Bjørkhaug, Kaia Knudsen, Ringstad, Sandar and Vanja are also listed). She lost the convoy in bad weather on Febr. 2, and was alone in the morning of the 4th when she in position 55 46N 22 36W was hit in the starboard side near No. 2 hatch by a torpedo from U-52 (Salman), causing her to list to port. The starboard lifeboat was destroyed in the explosion. The port boat, which had reached the water because of the heavy list, turned over when the ship capsized, and the funnel fell across the boat with 10-12 men in it. 4 were able to get onto a raft, and sat for an hour (see note at * below) listening to the heart wrenching cries for help from the captain and others all around them, unable to do anything to help, as they had nothing with which to maneuver the raft, nor could they find any matches to light the lamp they had found. Besides, they were all injured and/or exhausted from their previous stay in the cold water. At dawn they spotted 1 man sitting on a capsized lifeboat, and tried desperately to reach him, but in vain.

No clothes had been found on the raft and for 6 hours the 4 on the raft and Donkeyman Soltvedt on the capsized lifeboat battled the freezing weather in their wet clothes until they were found by the British destroyer HMS Harvester (H 19 - one of the escorts for Convoy OB 280), where they got warm bathes and beds*. 121 rescued survivors from a British ship, torpedoed the night before, were already on board Harvester (this must have been HMS Crispin - ref. external link at the end of this page), so the British corvette HMS Camellia (K 31 - also one of the escorts for the convoy) was called upon to take the 5 survivors from Ringhorn to Greenock, arriving Febr. 9.

* George Varjas, one of the survivors, says in an E-mail to me:
"We were not rescued by HMS Harvester, only spotted by her and we saw the semaphor signals after which HMS Camellia appeared from nowhere and picked us up about 3pm. We were hit at 4.45 am as we were getting ready to work. The only reason we survived was that we had no boots on yet and were able to float for a few minutes when the lifeboat capsized and the raft fell off the sinking ship right behind us. The other unfortunate sailors drowned within minutes, we did not hear their cries for an hour as stated in the report".

An inquiry was held in Glasgow on May 20-1941 (should this be Febr. 20?) with Ordinary Seaman Flaten appearing. He had been thrown overboard when the ship heeled over and must have been hit in the head by something, because he was semi conscious and unable to help himself, but thanks to the cook's assistance he was brought to safety on the raft.

The captain had last been seen near the radio station, giving orders to the radio operator to send an SOS.

Crew List:

Ordinary Seaman
Ivar Flaten
Olaf M. (E?) Soltvedt
Andreas Pitka
Arne Pedersen
Galley Boy
Gyorgi Varjas*

Trygve Terkelsen

1st Mate
William Aslaksen

2nd Mate
Jørgen Edvin Hansen

Radio Operator
Øistein Sand

Able Seaman
Egil Johan Aune

Able Seaman
Jostein Opheim

Able Seaman
Martin Andreasen

Able Seaman
Erling A. Nyhus

Able Seaman
John A. Anderson

1st Engineer
Øivind Jacob Bjørkmann

2nd Engineer
Andreas Mjelde

Edvin Henry Moe

David J. Martin*

Victor Andersen

* See this Guestbook message

* The British stoker is commemorated at Tower Hill; further details on him can be found on this page at the Commonwealth War Graves Comm. website.

Back to Ringhorn on the "Ships starting with R" page.

Other ships by this name: This company had previously lost another ship by the name Ringhorn, built 1904, 1790 gt - wrecked on Port Nova Rock near Scatari Island in heavy fog on Aug. 7-1926, 5 died. After the war Albert Schjelderup acquired ex Nortraship's D/S Astrid (ex Empire Pilgrim) which was sold in 1945 to A/S Granli (mgr. Rolf Ugelstad, Oslo), and renamed Tindefjell, then sold again in 1948 to D/S A/S Ringhorn (Albert Schjelderup), Bergen, and renamed Ringhorn. Follow the link to Astrid for more details.

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. for cross checking details, as named within above text (ref. My sources).


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