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D/S Svein Jarl
Updated Dec. 28-2010

To Svein Jarl on the "Ships starting with S" page.

Crew List

A picture (showing sister ship Einar Jarl) is available at (external link).

Manager: Det Nordenfjeldske Dampskibsselskab, Trondheim
1908 gt, 2950 (3100?) tdwt
Signal Letters: LCZO

Delivered on Dec. 12-1919 from Trondhjems mek. Verksted as Svein Jarl (173) to Det Nordenfjeldske Dampskibsselskab. Nordenfjeldske D/S fleet list gives tonnages as 1908 gt, 1115 net, 3100 tdwt, 278' 8"/265' (loa/lpp) x 42' x 20', Triple exp. steam engine by yard, 1138 ihp at trials, 10.9 knots. Cargo hold capacity 153 400 / 161 200 bale/grain. Cargo trampship of the "three island" type.

Captain: Martin Marsteen

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

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

  Voyage Record
From March-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 March 17 Gibraltar Liverpool March 26 HG 23F Missing movements:
Archive document
Apr. 24 Liverpool* OB 135 *From Milford Haven, Apr. 25.
For Piraeus.
With OA 135, formed OG 27, Apr. 26.
Convoy available at OB 135
(external link)
Apr. 26 Formed at sea Gibraltar May 1* OG 27 *Archive doc gives arrival May 3-4
(also, missing voyages).
For Piraeus
(arrived May 10).
Convoy will be added.
See ships in OG convoys
June 13 Gibraltar Liverpool* June 19 HG 34F See also narrative below.
*Arrived Weymouth Bay, June 22,
see archive doc
(also, more missing movements).
Aug. 15 Methil OA 199 For Clarke City.
Dispersed Aug. 20*.
Convoy available at OA 199
(external link)
*According to the archive document, Svein Jarl arrived Londonderry on Aug. 19, leaving again for Clyde on Sept. 17. See also narrative below.
Sept. 27 Clyde OB 220 Dispersed Oct. 1
(archive doc gives arrival Clarke City Oct. 12, on to Sydney, C.B. Oct. 22).
Convoy available at OB 220
(external link)
Oct. 29 Sydney, C.B. Liverpool* Nov. 13 SC 10 *Clyde
(see also narrative below).
Nov. 27 Clyde Methil Dec. 1 WN 45 Convoy available at WN convoys
(external link)
Dec. 11 Methil Southend* Dec. 14 FS 359 *Arrived Rochester Dec. 16.
Convoy available at FS convoys
(external link)
1941 Febr. 4 Southend Methil Febr. 6 FN 399 Earlier 1941 movements:
Archive document
Convoy available at FN convoys
(external link)
Febr. 13 Methil Oban Febr. 17 EN 71/1 Convoy available at EN convoys
(external link)
Febr. 18 Liverpool* OB 288 *From Oban Febr. 19
(see archive doc).
Dispersed Febr. 22.
For Halifax.
Sunk - See "Final Fate" below.

 Some Convoy Voyages: 
For information on voyages made in between those mentioned here, please see the document received from the National Archives of Norway and A. Hague's Voyage Record above. Follow the links provided for more convoy information; escorts' reports and/or the Commodore's notes are also available for some of them and other Norwegian ships also took part.

A French visitor to my website has told me that Svein Jarl was stopped for examination off southern France by French patrol boats on Nov. 23-1939. Ordered to Marseilles, then allowed to proceed.

In March-1940 she's listed, along with Fernwood, in Convoy HGF 23 from Gibraltar, bound for London with general cargo, station 83. Judging from the information found on the archive document, she was in Port Talbot when war broke out in Norway on Apr. 9. She had arrived there from London on Apr. 6, and departure is given as Apr. 22. A few days later we find her, together with Høegh Scout, in Convoy OB 135, which originated in Liverpool on Apr. 24 and joined up with Convoy OA 135 on the 26th, the combined convoy forming Convoy OG 27, which arrived Gibraltar on May 3 (will be added to an individual page in my Convoys section - see ships in all OG convoys). Svein Jarl had sailed from Milford Haven on Apr. 25 and was bound for Piræus, where she arrived May 10. She subsequently made a voyage to Alexandria and back to Gibraltar, and was scheduled to return with Convoy HG 33 from there on June 8 (she had not arrived Gibraltar until June 9), but instead joined Convoy HGF 34 on June 13, in which the Norwegian Tudor and others were sunk; follow the links for more details. Svein Jarl's destination is given as Portland and London, cargo of onions. She arrived London (via Weymouth Bay) on June 26.

On Aug. 18-1940, she was attacked and damaged by German aircraft (Focke Wulf 200 Condor?), west of Bloody Foreland, position 56N 11W; she's said to have been a straggler from an Atlantic convoy. This was probably Convoy OA 199, in which she's listed as bound for Clarke City. This convoy had left Methil on Aug. 15. No one was killed, but 2 men were injured and were transferred to a British destroyer for medical treatment the next day. Svein Jarl then proceeded to Londonderry for repairs, arriving there that same day, Aug. 19, remaining until Sept. 17 when she headed to Clyde. We now find her in Convoy OB 220, originating in Liverpool on Sept. 27, dispersed Oct. 1, Svein Jarl arriving Clarke City on Oct. 12 (she had joined from Clyde - see archive document). Bruse, Bjerka and Torfinn Jarl are also named in OB 220 - see the external links provided within the table above for more details on the convoys mentioned here.

From Clarke City, she later proceeded to Sydney, C.B. on Oct. 22, with arrival Oct. 25. She had been scheduled to return to the U.K. with the slow Convoy SC 9 on Oct. 24, but instead joined the next convoy on Oct. 29, SC 10, cargo of pulp and lumber for Gravesend. The Norwegian Spes and Gaston Micard are also listed.

Her subsequent voyages are shown on the archive document (it'll be noticed that she had quite a long stay in Rochester), while convoy information for some of these can be found in the Voyage Record above.

For more information on all the other Norwegian ships mentioned here, please see the alphabet index at the end of this page, or go to the Master Ship Index.

 Final Fate - 1941: 

Svein Jarl departed Oban on Febr. 19-1941, bound for Halifax in ballast, joining Convoy OB 288, but lost the convoy in bad weather, and by Febr. 24 she had disappeared. Please follow the link to my page about OB 288 for a lot more details on this convoy. Some reports are also available, as is an account of the convoy's passage (by Roy Martin). See also the external links at the end of this page.

She's believed to have been torpedoed and sunk by U-69 (Metzler) on Febr. 23, 59 30N 21W, but as will be seen from the next few paragraphs there's quite a bit of confusion and disagreement as to who sank Svein Jarl. There were no survivors.

A visitor to my website says: "I doubt very much that who sank the Svein Jarl will become known. The attack attributed by U-69 to Svein Jarl does not fit the description of this ship. With the exception of U-107 who identified his victim Manistee and U-73 whose KTB matches up with the Master's account of the Waynegate, no U-boat identified his victim. 4 ships went missing, and of the remainder there is so much conflict with times and information from the merchant ships that few accounts match up with KTB's."

"Nortraships flåte" states that Svein Jarl was torpedoed by U-96 (Lehmann-Willenbrock), giving the position as 59 10N 21 00W. According to Jürgen Rohwer this U-boat torpedoed and sank the British Anglo Peruvian in the same convoy, Febr. 23, and also the Scottish Standard the day before (straggling from another convoy, OB 287, and already damaged by bomb hits from a German aircraft on the 21st). Rohwer does not mention Svein Jarl being a straggler from OB 288. Roger W. Jordan ("The World's Merchant Fleets 1939") gives the date of Svein Jarl's sinking as Jan. 23 (probably just a printing error). Charles Hocking ("Dictionary of Disasters at Sea during the Age of Steam - including sailing ships and ships of war lost in Action 1824-1962") says she was probably sunk on Febr. 25, about 1000 miles east of Cape Farewell. has suggested U-95 as the culprit (link at the end of this page).

Arnold Hague's "The Allied Convoy System" states that OB 288 departed Liverpool Febr. 18 and was dispersed Febr. 22. He has no ships sunk in OB 288, but 2 damaged (however, he does not include stragglers, nor ships sunk after dispersal). He also lists OB 287 as dispersed, and Scottish Standard, which Rohwer says was damaged by aircraft and sunk by U-boat, is listed by Hague as sunk by aircraft on the 21st (5 dead). Additionally, he lists the British ships Gracia (no casualties) and Housatonic (3 dead) as sunk by aircraft in Convoy OB 287, on the 19th (again, see my page about this convoy).

Just for info, U-69 was responsible for the attack on Lise the following year, while U-95 had damaged Ringhorn in Nov.-1940 and sank Taranger in May-1941 - follow the links for details. As for U-96, see Caledonia, Torungen, Tyr and Sveve.

Crew List - No survivors:


Martin Marsteen

1st Mate
Alf Andaas

2nd Mate
Victor Gjertsen

3rd Mate
Helge Hallesen

Able Seaman
Arnold Rask

Able Seaman
Georg Larsen

Able Seaman
Roald Kristiansen

Able Seaman
Odd Mikkelsen

Able Seaman
Hjalmar Olsen*

Able Seaman
Kåre Guldbrandsen

1st Engineer
Charles Nilsen

2nd Engineer
Arnt Karlsen

3rd Engineer
Wilhelm Lønø

Alfred Vik

Alfred Andersen

Johan Eriksen

Otto Gustavson

Alf Kristiansen

Karl Stadig

Nils Taranger

Håkon Johansen**

Mess Boy
Charles John Turner***

* Here's a picture of Able Seaman Hjalmar Olsen (external link).

** In the crew list, there's a notation for Cook Johansen, saying "not certain he was on board". It'll be noticed that he's included among those commemorated at the Memorial for Seamen in Stavern, Norway - ref. link below. He had a brother, Hildor Johansen, who died on D/S Rogaland during the explosion in Bergen.

*** The British messboy can be found on this external page on The Commonwealth War Graves Comm. website. He's commemorated at Tower Hill, Panel 105.

Related external links:
Stavern Memorial commemorations - This site claims that 27 died, including 25 Norwegians. Unfortunately, the site has recently been updated and as can be seen, the crew list is no longer included; the only way to find them would be by going to "Søk 2. verdenskrig", clicking on "Personer" and entering each name in the search field. Alf Andaas was listed with the last name Sandaas, Alf Kristiansen was not mentioned (but there was an Alf Aune - same person?) nor was Karl Stadig. However, there was a Hans E. Johansen, Tarald E. Johnsen, Hans Mong, Johan A. Olsen and an Øivind Skauge commemorated. The text goes on to say that a new Svein Jarl struck a mine near the west coast of Greece on Jan. 16-1948, killing 1 Norwegian, Kjell Herbert Fredriksen, who's included among the 25 Norwegians commemorated at this memorial. More details on this ship can be found under "other ships by this name" below.

The story of OB 288 - This site is about Sirikishna (Commodore Vessel for OB 288) and has a crew list for this ship, as well as a list of men lost from the various other ships in the convoy. 27 are named for Svein Jarl.

Ships hit from OB 288 - As can be seen, gives U-95 (Schreiber) as the attacker of Svein Jarl.

Operations information for U-69

U-69 | U-95 | U-96

Back to Svein Jarl on the "Ships starting with S" page.

Nordenfjeldske's other ships by this name (info from "Nordenfjeldske - 1857-1985", by Finn R. Hansen):
The company had a Svein Jarl in WW I, delivered in Apr.-1909, 1135 gt, torpedoed and sunk by U-19 on June 9-1915, when on a voyage Workworth-Kirkenes with a cargo of coal; 12 died, 3 were saved. Nordenfjeldske's 3rd Svein Jarl was originally contracted by Sprinwell Shipping Co., London with the intended name Springsound (built in Trondheim, 2102 gt), but she was taken over by German authorities and transferred to Deutsche Dampfschiff-Gesellschaft 'Hansa' Bremen, launched as Nierstein on Sept. 17-1940. Due to breach of contract she was sold to Nordenfjeldske on Febr. 13-1943 and renamed Haakon Jarl, renamed Svein Jarl in Febr.-1947. Struck a mine and sank off Patras on Jan. 16-1948, on a voyage Calamata-Patras with general cargo. 9 crew died. I've been told that the remains of this ship have been found at 26-42 m depth close to the river Evinos and the city of Mesologgi, Western Greece. See this page. This page has a picture of the ship, as well as pics of dives on her (unfortunately, the text is in Greek; here's the main page).

The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Nordenfjeldske - 1857-1985", by Finn R. Hansen, "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, "Sjøforklaringer fra 2. verdenskrig", Volume II, Norwegian Maritime Museum. and misc. (ref. My sources).


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