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Owner: A/S Rudolf
Built at Nylands mek. Verksted, Oslo, Norway in 1938.
Captain: Erling Nilsen. Also, I've received an E-mail from someone whose father-in-law, Captain Leif Petterson served on Taborfjell, adding that his mother wrote him that his name was listed among the dead in the Oslo paper (still around, July-2008, over 95 years old); however, he had paid off by the time Taborfjell was sunk. He was also called Capt. Pete and Bauxite Pete.
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 listings are incomplete).
Errors may exist, and some voyages are missing.
As will be seen when going to Page 1 of the archive documents, Taborfjell arrived The Downs from Antwerp on Apr. 9-1940, the day of the German invasion of Norway (her final destination is given as Chicago). From The Downs, she joined Convoy OA 128GF, which originated in Southend on Apr. 12 and joined up with OB 128 on the 14th, the combined convoy forming the Gibraltar bound Convoy OG 26F, arriving Gibraltar on Apr. 20. Taborfjell, however, was only bound for Falmouth, where she arrived Apr. 13/14 (in other words, she did not take part in the OG convoy). The following month, we find her (with Korsfjord) in Convoy OA 142, originating in Southend on May 4, dispersed May 7. Her destination is not given, but from the archive document, we learn that she sailed from Falmouth on May 5, heading to St. John's, N.F., but arrival date is not provided. From St. John's, she proceeded to Charlottetown and Montreal on May 14, later to Detroit and Chicago. (The OA and OB convoys are available via the external links provided within the Voyage Record).
With a general cargo for Manchester, she headed back to the U.K. with Convoy HX 53 from Halifax on June 25, subsequently joining Convoy OB 192, which originated in Liverpool on July 31 and dispersed on Aug. 4, Taborfjell arriving Montreal Aug. 13. Hardanger, Knoll, Somerville and Stargard are also named in this convoy. Taborfjell returned across the Atlantic the following month with the Halifax-U.K. Convoy HX 75, joining from Sydney, C.B. According to Page 1, she was bound for Manchester again, arriving there on Oct. 10. She now appears in Convoy OB 235, which originated in Liverpool Oct. 27 and dispersed on the 31st, Taborfjell arriving Montreal on Nov. 9, remaining there for quite a long time. She was scheduled for Convoy HX 95 from Halifax on Dec. 10, but did not sail (going back to the archive document, we see that she was at Quebec on that date, and did not arrive Halifax until Dec. 15). She was also cancelled from HX 96, HX 97 and HX 99, but eventually got away with HX 101 on Jan. 6-1941, bound for Manchester and Glasgow with a general cargo. She arrived Manchester on Jan. 24 and remained there for about a month.
In Apr.-1941 she's listed, with Charles Racine, John Bakke, Solfonn and Tigre, in Convoy OB 310, originating in Liverpool on Apr. 13, dispersed on the 18th; her destination is given as St. John's, N.F., where she arrived Apr. 25, having started out from Loch Ewe Apr. 15. The next day, she proceeded to Montreal and had another long stay there (see Page 2), before proceeding to Sydney, S.B. in order to join the Sydney portion of Convoy HX 130 at the beginning of June, again with a general cargo for Manchester, where she arrived June 20/21 (cruising order/Commodore's notes are also available). Early in July that year we find her in Convoy OB 343, which originated in Liverpool on July 6 and dispersed on July 21, Taborfjell arriving Sydney, C.B. that same day. Arosa, Evviva, Fanefjeld, Ferncourt (bombed - follow link for details), Grado, Henrik Ibsen, Idefjord, Måkefjell, Nesttun, Slemdal, Spurt, Star and Suderholm are also listed.
Having made another voyage to Montreal (where she stayed for 3 weeks - again, see Page 2), she returned to Sydney, C.B., joining Convoy HX 146 from there on Aug. 22, and arrived Manchester on Sept. 8. Together with Bello (returned), Brisk, Hallanger, Kolsdal, Lyra and Nueva Granada (returned) she later joined the westbound North Atlantic Convoy ON 21*, which originated in Liverpool on Sept. 28 and dispersed Oct. 14, Taborfjell arriving Sydney, C.B. on Oct. 15, proceeding to Montreal a few days later. She headed back to the U.K. again in Convoy HX 161 from Halifax on Nov. 21, and arrived Manchester on Dec. 7/8, then on Christmas Eve she shows up, with destination Charleston, in Convoy ON 50*. Charles Racine, Fagerfjell, Fernwood, Fjordheim (returned), Høegh Giant, Innerøy, Sama, Skandinavia and Strinda are also named. According to A. Hague, Taborfjell arrived Charleston on Jan. 11-1942, the convoy having been dispersed Jan. 3.
Her subsequent voyages are shown on Page 3. It'll be noticed that she appears to have spent a long time in Mobile, where she had arrived from Tampa on Jan. 31-1942. Departure is given as March 12, when she proceeded to New Orleans.
Taborfjell departed New York on Apr. 29-1942 for Montreal with a cargo of 16 200 sacks of unrefined sugar from Matanzas, Cuba - according to Page 3, she had sailed from Matanzas on Apr. 22 and had arrived New York Apr. 28. On Apr. 30, when about 95 n. miles east of Cape Cod, she was torpedoed by U-576 (Heinicke - according to Uboat.net, she was hit by 2 torpedoes). The detonation practically blew up the entire ship and she sank in a minute, 41 52N 67 43W. An attempt was made to launch the starboard lifeboat but the ship went down before they could do so. The radio operator, who had been asleep in his cabin, ran into the radio room in order to send an SOS but all the lights had gone out and the ship sank so quickly he had to get out on deck, then jumped overboard. He swam around for about 20 minutes until he came across a raft as well as the 2nd mate and together they managed to get onto it. With the help of a flashlight they spotted the 3rd engineer, and while they were helping him out of the water the U-boat came alongside but nothing was said or done. The 3rd engineer had been on watch in the engine room, but had come on deck just prior to the attack. The 2nd mate, who had been on duty on the bridge, had seen 3 other survivors in the water but they later disappeared. 17 had died.
The 3 survivors drifted around on the raft for 20 hours before they were rescued by the British submarine P 552 and landed at St. John's on May 7. The inquiry was held there on May 8 with all 3 survivors attending. They give the time of attack as 01:50.
For info, U-576 was sunk with all hands in July that same year - see the links at the end of this page.
Related external links:
Back to Taborfjell on the "Ships starting with T" page.
Olsen & Ugelstad had another ship by this name, built in Fredrikstad in 1936, 1288 gt. Sold to Holland in 1937 (N.v. Mij. Zeetransport, Rotterdam) and renamed Prins Frederik Hendrik. She was bombed by German aircraft on March 8-1941 on a voyage from Cardiff to Bathurst. On fire, abandoned by crew in the St. Georges Channel. 6 Dutch and 2 English seamen died, while the Norwegian Polartank rescued the the rest and took them to Swansea. According to Roger W. Jordan's "The World's Merchant Fleet 1939" there were 16 survivors.
The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, "Sjøforklaringer fra 2. verdenskrig", Volume II, Norwegian Maritime Museum, and misc. (ref. My sources).