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Owner: Skibs-A/S Mirva
Built by Asaki Shipbuilding Co. Ltd., Osaka, Japan in 1919. Previous names: Taigi Maru until 1920, Pacifico until 1934.
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 (it'll be noticed that some of the external listings are incomplete).
Errors may exist - this could mean that she may not have sailed in all the convoys noted here.
With a cargo of pulp for Thames, Spero is listed in Convoy HN 11 from Norway to the U.K. in Febr.-1940. She must have gone back to Norway, because at the beginning of March she can be found in Convoy HN 16, cargo of pulp for London. (There's also a Spero listed as sailing in Convoy HGF 22 from Gibraltar to the U.K., bound for London, station 54. Unfortunately, no tonnage is given, but I believe this must have been the British ship by the same name, because Convoy HN 16 from Norway had arrived Methil on March 5, HGF 22 left Gibraltar on March 9).
According to Page 1 of the archive documents, she was on her way from Newport to Freetown when war broke out in Norway on Apr. 9-1940. She arrived Freetown on Apr. 19, having sailed from Newport on the 3rd. In May that same year A. Hague has included her, along with Chr. Knudsen and Strombus, in Convoy SL 32. This convoy originated in Freetown on May 17 and arrived Liverpool June 3; going back to the archive document, we learn that Spero left Dakar on May 21 and arrived The Downs June 4. It'll also be noticed that she later spent a long time in Hull, where she had arrived June 19; departure is given as Nov. 24. The document also shows a long stay at Ayr. She had arrived there from Oban on Dec. 28-1940 and did not leave again until Febr. 18-1941, when she proceeded to Clyde.
She's subsequently listed, together with Bollsta, Polarsol and Rolf Jarl, in Convoy OG 54, which originated in Liverpool on Febr. 25-1941 and arrived Gibraltar March 14. Her destination is not given, but according to Page 1, she arrived Halifax on March 18 (having started out from Clyde Febr. 25); A. Hague says she had been detached from the convoy on March 3. OG 54 will be added to an individual page in my Convoys section, in the meantime, please see my page naming ships in all OG convoys. Spero now remained in Halifax for over a month. With a cargo of steel and dry pulp for London she had been scheduled for the slow Halifax-U.K. Convoy SC 28 on Apr. 9 but instead joined the next convoy on Apr. 19, SC 29. However, she returned to port, later joining SC 30, which left Halifax on Apr. 29 and arrived Liverpool on May 20; Spero stopped at Loch Ewe the day before. She's said to have lost touch with the convoy when it was ordered by the Admiralty to turn 150° to port in thick fog at 05:00 on May 11, but rejoined the next day. The Commodore's narrative is also available.
That summer she appears to have had a long stay at Tyne, where she had arrived on June 3; departure is given as July 14, when she proceeded to Methil Roads, then on to Loch Ewe, and from there she joined the westbound North Atlantic Convoy ON 1, originating in Liverpool on July 26. Her destination is given as Botwood, where she arrived on Aug. 10, having sailed from Loch Ewe on July 28. According to Arnold Hague she returned to the U.K., with a cargo of zinc concentrates, in station 96 of Convoy SC 44, departing Sydney, C.B. on Sept. 11-1941, arriving Liverpool on the 30th. From Page 1, we learn that she started out from St. John's, N.F. on Sept. 12 and stopped at Belfast Lough on the 29th, continuing the next day to Avonmouth, where she arrived Oct. 2. This convoy is not yet available among the SC convoys included on my website, but will be added - see ships in all SC convoys (the Norwegian Barbro was sunk; follow the link for more info - Ada, Carrier, Bollsta, Borgfred, Cetus, Gudvin, Hjalmar Wessel, Iron Baron, Lago, Marita, Rolf Jarl, Sirehei, Sneland I and South Africa are also named).
Later that month, she's said to have joined the westbound Convoy ON 29*, which departed Liverpool on Oct. 22, but she returned to port - this is not noted on Page 2 of the archive documents. She shows up again, with destination New York, in station 42 of Convoy ON 33, departing Liverpool on Nov. 3, dispersed Nov. 23, Spero arriving New York on the 28th. With a general cargo for Bristol, she joined Convoy SC 62 from Sydney, C.B. on Dec. 27, but detached for St. John's, N.F. where she arrived Jan. 3-1942; reason is not given, but she may have had some sort of a problem in this time period, because as will be seen below she was cancelled from several subsequent convoys.
She was scheduled for the Newfoundland portion of the slow Halifax-U.K. Convoy SC 65 in Jan.-1942, but did not sail, and was also cancelled from SC 66 and SC 67 (according to A. Hague, she did join the latter convoy from Wabana but returned to port - Heina was sunk, follow the link for details). Page 2 says she sailed from St. John's on Jan. 21 and was "in port Newfoundland" Jan. 27, leaving St. John's for Wabana on Jan. 29, with arrival that same day, departing again on Febr. 3 and this is when A. Hague has her as returning to port from Convoy SC 67 - see Voyage Record. The archive document also indicates that she returned to Wabana, because she's said to have left Wabana on Febr. 7, finally getting away with Convoy SC 68, which had originated in Halifax on Febr. 4. Her destination is still given as Bristol, where she arrived (via Belfast Lough Febr. 21/27) on March 1. She's later listed, along with Grado, Skottland, Sommerstad and Veni, in Convoy ON 84*, which left Liverpool on Apr. 8 and arrived Halifax on the 25th. In May she can be found in Convoy SC 84, departing Halifax for the U.K. on May 14, Spero arriving Milford Haven on May 29, Southampton June 1, cargo of flour.
She later spent over a month in Falmouth, where she had arrived on June 21 (Page 2). A. Hague gives departure as July 25, when she proceeded to Swansea, then on to Milford Haven. She now shows up, with a cargo of coal for St. John's, in the westbound Convoy ON 118*, originating in Liverpool on Aug. 1-1942. Dux, Evanger (Commodore Vessel), Nea, Norvarg, Rio Verde and Tore Jarl are also named. Spero arrived her destination on Aug. 15, remaining there for 2 months.
Arnold Hague has also included Spero in the westbound Convoy ON 152, originating in Liverpool on Dec. 9-1942 (Commodore in Bonneville). If she was in this convoy, it looks like she must have joined from Halifax, rather than from the U.K. The Commodore does not mention her among the ships in the Halifax portion, but there's a Sweo; perhaps a misspelling of Spero? According to Page 3 she sailed from Halifax on Dec. 27 and arrived New York Jan. 2-1943, proceeding to Boston the next day, with arrival Jan. 5. This is the last voyage shown in the archive documents; A. Hague says she was subsequently used as "R/N China Coaster during 1943".
According to this external page, she sailed as China Coaster for W.C.T. Hwang, Shanghai from July-1946. From 1947, owned by China Trad. Corp. (W.C.T. Hwang), Shanghai, no name change. Seized by Chinese Nationalist Authorities in 1950, then sold in 1952 for breaking up.
Back to Spero on the "Ships starting with S" page.
Other ships by this name: Haugesund lost a steamer by this name in the early 1900's, built in Christiania (Oslo) in 1891, 968 gt (987?). Ran aground and sank on March 4-1912 off Rauna near Lista on a voyage Larsnes-Porsgrunn. This ship had previously belonged to Arendal Dampskibsselskap, sold to Haugesund in 1908. Also, E. B. Aabys Rederi A/S, Oslo managed a more recent ship by this name, originally delivered to that company in May-1992 as Saga Ocean, built in Japan, 29 369 gt, renamed Spero in 1995. Managed by A/S Borgestad from Dec.-1997. Renamed Westwood Borg in 1998, Borg Arrow in 2004. (A British steamship named Spero was wrecked at Blyrev, near Larvik, Norway on Dec. 24-1917, built 1899, 1199 gt.)
The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, "The World's Merchant Fleets 1939", R. W. Jordan - and misc.