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M/S Sønnavind
Updated July 17-2012

To Sønnavind on the "Ships starting with S" page.

Pictures are available on this external page (click in them to enlarge).

Owner: A/S Borgestad, Porsgrunn
Manager: Gunnar Knudsen, Porsgrunn
4965 gt, 2994 net, 8720 tdwt.

Delivered in Sept.-1935 from Bremer Vulkan, Vegesack, Germany (714) as Sønnavind to A/S Borgestad, Porsgrunn. 414.3' x 55.7' x 25.5', 5 cyl. 2T MAN DM (builders), 3400 bhp.

Her voyages are listed on these original images from the Norwegian National Archives:
Page 1 | Page 2 | Page 3 | Page 4 | Page 5

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

  Voyage Record
From Apr.-1940 to Aug.-1945:  

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

Follow the convoy links provided for more information on each.

Departure From To Arrival Convoy Remarks
1940 Apr. 2 Iloilo Balboa May 5 Independent See also Page 1
May 6 Cristobal Boston May 14 Independent
May 14 Boston New York City May 15 Independent
May 22 New York City New Orleans May 28 Independent
June 2 New Orleans Galveston June 3 Independent
June 5 Galveston New York City June 11 Independent
June 19 New York City Karachi July 31 Independent
July 31 Karachi Bombay Aug. 2 Independent
Aug. 6 Bombay Colombo Aug. 9 Independent
Aug. 10 Colombo Madras Aug. 12 Independent
Aug. 13 Madras Calcutta Aug. 16 Independent
Aug. 21 Calcutta Rangoon Aug. 24 Independent
Aug. 24 Rangoon Cochin Aug. 31 Independent
Sept. 3 Cochin Colombo Sept. 4 Independent
Sept. 6 Colombo Pt Blair* Sept. 10 Independent *Penang
Sept. 11 Penang Singapore Sept. 15 Independent
Sept. 19 Singapore Miri Sept. 21 Independent
Sept. 21 Miri Los Angeles Oct. 18 Independent
Oct. 18 Los Angeles Balboa Oct. 29 Independent
Oct. 30 Cristobal Baltimore Nov. 6 Independent
Nov. 7 Baltimore Boston Nov. 10 Independent
Nov. 10 Boston New York City Nov. 11 Independent
Nov. 21 New York City Galveston Nov. 27 Independent
Nov. 29 Galveston New Orleans Nov. 30 Independent
Nov. 30 New Orleans Baltimore Dec. 6 Independent
Dec. 7 Baltimore New York City Dec. 8 Independent
Dec. 15 New York City Cristobal Dec. 23 Independent
Dec. 24 Balboa Los Angeles Jan. 3-1941 Independent
1941 Jan. 3 Los Angeles Miri Febr. 4 Independent
Febr. 4 Miri Singapore Febr. 7 Independent
Febr. 7 Singapore Calcutta Febr. 13 Independent
Febr. 23 Calcutta Rangoon Febr. 26 Independent
March 3 Rangoon Madras March 7 Independent
March 8 Madras Colombo March 9 Independent
March 10 Colombo Bombay March 14 Independent
March 17 Bombay Karachi March 19 Independent
March 21 Karachi Bombay March 23 Independent
March 26 Bombay Allepey March 31 Independent See also Page 2
March 31 Allepey Colombo Apr. 1 Independent
Apr. 3 Colombo Singapore Apr. 9 Independent
Apr. 10 Singapore Miri Apr. 13 Independent
Apr. 13 Miri Manila Apr. 16 Independent
Apr. 18 Manila Los Angeles May 14 Independent Notional sailing date
May 15 Los Angeles Balboa May 26 Independent
May 27 Cristobal Boston June 4 Independent
June 6 Boston Philadelphia June 8 Independent
June 9 Philadelphia Baltimore June 9 Independent
June 10 Baltimore New York City June 11 Independent
June 23 New York City Cristobal June 30 Independent
July 2 Balboa Los Angeles July 12 Independent
July 12 Los Angeles Miri Aug. 8 Independent
Aug. 8 Miri Singapore Aug. 11 Independent
Aug. 11 Singapore Rangoon Aug. 16 Independent
Aug. 19 Rangoon Madras Aug. 23 Independent
* Aug. 25 Madras Calcutta Aug. 28 Independent
*Voyage taken from below and date corrected - see also Page 2.
Sept. 5 Calcutta Karachi Sept. 15 Independent
Sept. 18 Karachi Bombay Sept. 21 Independent
Sept. 23 Bombay Colombo Sept. 26 Independent
*Sept. 25 Madras Calcutta Aug. 28 Independent
*Departure should be Aug. 25 and voyage belongs above, inserted there.
Sept. 28 Bombay* Singapore Oct. 4 Independent *From Colombo
(Page 2).
Oct. 4 Singapore Miri Oct. 7 Independent
Oct. 7 Miri Manila Oct. 10 Independent
Oct. 15 Cebu Balboa Nov. 21 Independent
Nov. 22 Cristobal Boston Dec. 1 Independent
Dec. 4 Boston New York City Dec. 6 Independent
1942 Jan. 20 New York City Trinidad Jan. 28 Independent
Jan. 30 Trinidad Capetown Febr. 20 Independent
Febr. 21 Capetown Madras March 15 Independent
March 18 Madras Calcutta March 22 Independent
March 29 Calcutta Colombo Apr. 3 Independent
Apr. 10 Colombo Bombay Apr. 14 Independent
May 6 Bombay Durban May 22 Independent
May 22 Durban New York City June 22 Independent
July 12 New York City Hampton Roads Independent
July 17 Hampton Roads Key West July 22 KS 521 Convoy available at KS convoys
(external link)
July 25 Key West Trinidad Aug. 4 WAT 9 Convoy available at WAT convoys
(external link)
Aug. 6 Trinidad Capetown Aug. 31 Independent
Aug. 31 Capetown Bombay Sept. 19 Independent
Oct. 19 Bombay Karachi Oct. 22 BP 57A Convoy available at BP 57A
(external link)
Oct. 30 Karachi Colombo Nov. 4 Independent
Nov. 12 Colombo Port Elizabeth Nov. 30 Independent
Dec. 2 Port Elizabeth Punta Arenas Dec. 25 Independent
Dec. 26 Punta Arenas Balboa Jan. 12-1943 Independent
1943 Jan. 16 Cristobal Gitmo Jan. 20 ZG 19 Convoy available at ZG convoys
(external link)
Jan. 22 Gitmo New York City Jan. 27 GN 37 Convoy available at GN convoys
(external link)
March 19 New York City Gitmo March 26 NG 350 Convoy available at NG convoys
(external link)
March 27 Gitmo Cristobal March 31 GZ 26 Convoy available at GZ convoys
(external link)
Apr. 2 Balboa Fremantle May 13 Independent
May 15 Fremantle Bombay May 30 Independent
June 17 Bombay Cochin June 19 Independent
June 24 Cochin Fremantle July 8 Independent
July 9 Fremantle Balboa Aug. 15 Independent
Aug. 17 Cristobal Key West Aug. 21 Independent
Aug. 23 Key West New York City Aug. 28 KN 260 Convoy available at KN convoys
(external link)
Sept. 22 New York City Hampton Roads Sept. 23 Independent
Sept. 25 Hampton Roads Port Said Oct. 23 UGS 19 Port Said for Bombay.
Convoy available at UGS convoys
(external link)
See also Page 3
Oct. 27 Suez Aden Nov. 1 Independent
Nov. 2 Aden Bombay Nov. 10 AB 19 Convoy available at AB 19
(external link)
Nov. 27 Bombay Colombo Dec. 2 BM 76 Convoy available at BM convoys
(external link)
Dec. 13 Colombo Aden Dec. 21 Independent
Dec. 21 Aden Suez Dec. 26 Independent Again, see also Page 3
1944 Jan. 5 Port Said New York City Febr. 4 GUS 27 Port Said to USA.
Convoy available at GUS convoys
(external link)
Febr. 29 New York City Hampton Roads March 2 Independent
March 4 Hampton Roads Port Said March 31 UGS 35 For Port Said.
Convoy available at UGS convoys
(external link)
See also Page 4
Apr. 2 Suez Aden Apr. 7 Independent
Apr. 7 Aden Bombay Apr. 13 Independent See narrative below
Apr. 22 Bombay Karachi Apr. 24 Independent
May 14 Karachi Bombay May 16 Independent
May 24 Bombay Cochin May 26 Independent
June 4 Cochin Colombo June 5 Independent
June 11 Colombo Aden June 22 Independent
June 22 Aden Suez June 27 Independent Again, see also Page 4
July 4 Port Said New York City July 28 GUS 45 Port Said to USA
Aug. 21 New York City Hampton Roads Independent Page 4 gives arrival Aug. 23
Aug. 23 Hampton Roads Port Said Sept. 17 UGS 52 For Port Said.
Convoy available at UGS convoys
(external link)
Sept. 17 Suez Aden Sept. 22 Independent
Sept. 22 Aden Bombay Sept. 28 Independent
Oct. 4 Bombay Karachi Oct. 6 Independent
Oct. 11 Karachi Bombay Oct. 13 Independent
Oct. 18 Bombay Colombo Oct. 21 Independent
Oct. 31 Colombo Aden Nov. 8 Independent
Nov. 9 Aden Suez Nov. 14 Independent See also Page 4
Nov. 16 Port Said Oran Nov. 23 Independent
Nov. 24 Oran New York City Dec. 10 GUS 59 Convoy available at GUS convoys
(external link)
1945 Jan. 22 New York City Passed Gibraltar Febr. 7 UGS 70 Convoy available at UGS convoys
(external link)
Febr. 7 Passed Gibraltar Port Said Febr. 14 Independent
Febr. 15 Suez Aden Febr. 19 Independent
Febr. 20 Aden Bombay Febr. 26 Independent
March 7 Bombay Karachi March 9 Independent
March 13 Karachi Bombay March 15 Independent
March 20 Bombay Colombo March 23 Independent
March 23 Colombo Galle March 24 Independent
March 27 Galle Colombo March 28 Independent
Apr. 2 Colombo Aden Apr. 10 Independent
Apr. 10 Aden Suez Apr. 15 Independent See also Page 5
Apr. 16 Port Said Oran Apr. 22 Independent
Apr. 22 Oran New York City May 9 GUS 85 Convoy available at GUS convoys
(external link)
June 3 New York City Port Said June 22 Independent
June 23 Suez Aden June 27 Independent
June 28 Aden Bombay July 4 Independent
July 22* Bombay Colombo July 30 Independent *Page 5 gives departure July 27
Aug. 7 Colombo Suez Aug. 21 Independent Subsequent voyages, Page 5


As can be seen when going to Page 1 of the archive documents, Sønnavind was on her way from Calcutta to New York when war broke out in Norway on Apr. 9-1940. Her 1941 voyages also start on this document and continue on Page 2. It'll be noticed that she had quite a long stay in New York at the end of that year. She had arrived there from Boston on Dec. 6-1941 and departure is given as Jan. 20-1942, when she proceeded to Trinidad, with arrival Jan. 28. She also spent a few weeks in Bombay that spring, before heading to Durban. Page 3 shows another long stay in Bombay in the fall of 1942. This document also has her 1943 voyages, showing that she remained in New York City for almost 2 months early that year and also had a few weeks' stay there that fall and again at the beginning of 1944. The rest of her 1944 voyages are listed on Page 4; convoy information can be found in the Voyage Record above.

 Explosion in Bombay - 1944: 

I've come across an article in "Krigsseileren" which suggests that Sønnavind was at Bombay in the spring of 1944 when Fort Stikine caught on fire (Apr. 14), resulting in horrendous explosions and great loss of life (ref. external links at the end of this page). This is the first time I've seen mention of this ship being in the area at the time. The Norwegian ships listed as being there in other sources are Graciosa, Belray and Braganza, as well as Wallem & Co.'s Norse Trader and Iran (Panamanian flag) - follow the links for details on what happened to them. The article is written by an able seaman who had just joined the ship in New York. In addition to 3000 tons ammunition she also had general cargo, as well as cars, and according to the author of this article, she had arrived in convoy New York-Gibraltar, where the convoy was dispersed and Sønnavind continued alone to her destination. In fact, she's listed in Convoy UGS 35 in this time period - convoy left Hampton Roads on March 4 and arrived Port Said March 31 (available via the external link provided within the Voyage Record - Askeladden, Astra, Athos, Belpareil, Høegh Silverlight and Norheim are also named but note they were not all present from the U.S. and they all had different destinations). She later proceeded to Bombay, with arrival there, via Suez and Aden, on Apr. 13-1944; again, see Page 4.

He says Sønnavind was about 700-800 meters in front of the unfortunate ship, and he and some shipmates were painting the funnel, while the unloading of ammunition was underway. Suddenly one of them discovered dark clouds of smoke behind them, and through the binoculars they could see that a ship was indeed on fire, and that fire hoses and trucks were working on it. Assuming everything would soon be brought under control they continued their work, but during their coffee break they learned that the vessel's cargo of cotton, loaded on top of 4000 tons of ammunition, had caught on fire, and this made them a little more nervous; they couldn't understand why the burning ship had not been moved away so as not to endanger the entire area.

They had just climbed back on the ladders to resume their work when the first explosion occurred, burning bails of cotton flying everywhere and the sky black with smoke, followed by more explosions as the bombs and shells blew up. He says several bombs flew up without exploding, one of which landed directly in the hold of a Liberty ship which also had a cargo of bombs, so another deafening bang followed. Panic broke out, with everyone trying to get ashore, including those who had been unloading Sønnavind's ammunition. One of the Indian seamen left a load of bombs just dangling on its way up from the hold, forgetting to stop the electric winch. Fortunately one of the mates noticed it and ran over to stop it.

After a while, things became a little more quiet and the crew went back on board where they were divided into groups to check the ship over and make sure there was no burning cotton anywhere on board, and to close all the hatches. Next to No. 1 hold they found what looked like the remains of an iron door, sizzling hot, which had barely missed falling directly into the hold where the ammunition was stored. By this time, several ships had sunk and many fires had erupted along the quay.

The captain had called for a pilot so that they could get away from the inferno, but before he arrived an ammunition warehouse blew up in a giant explosion, causing even more deaths. Small vessels were running back and forth picking up bodies, fires were everywhere. The pilot finally arrived and they were able to leave the danger area and anchor up further out. They were there for a week before orders came for them to take the ammunition to Karachi (going back to Page 4 of the archive documents, we see that she left Bombay on Apr. 22 and arrived Karachi on the 24th). They took on board a cargo of rice for Bombay; a warehouse containing rice had also burnt down. He says that when they arrived Bombay again 4 weeks after the tragedy the place was still smoldering. Entire blocks of houses were gone and thousands of people killed. Sønnavind's cargo of rice was unloaded, whereupon she proceeded to various ports in India, before joining a convoy to head back to New York. In fact, she's listed among the ships in Convoy GUS 45, which left Port Said on July 4-1944. Sønnavind arrived New York on July 28, remaining there until Aug. 21.

Page 4 also has some of her 1945 voyages (as can be seen, she had another long stay in New York at the end of 1944/beginning of 1945), while the rest can be found on Page 5, which shows further long gaps in her voyages. The latter document also indicates she got to go home to Norway in the spring of 1946.


Sold in March-1963 to Cia. Naviera Unitas S/A (Syros Shipping Co., London), Panama, renamed Argolis. Sold again in 1973 and renamed Topaz III for Asia Bulk Carriers Ltd., London. Broken up in China in 1974. (Compare with the info found on this external page)

Related external links
The Bombay Explosion - Details of the events and lots of pictures.

Bombay explosion 1944

The great Bombay explosion

List of Ships lost - A section of a story detailing the first and last voyage of Fort Crevier, which has quite a bit of details about the explosion.

Fort Ships of WW II - Alphabetical list of Fort ships (also has the Ocean and the Park ships).

Back to Sønnavind on the "Ships starting with S" page.

The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Krigsseileren", Issue No. 2 for 1987 (article by Rolf Larsen) - (ref. My sources).


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