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M/S Tai Shan
To Tai Shan on the "Ships starting with T" page.
Manager: Wilh. Wilhelmsen, Tønsberg
Launched Aug. 10-1929 by Kockums Mekaniska Verkstads A/B, Malmö (Yard No. 160). Upon completion on Oct. 16-1929 she was registered in the ownership of Transpacific Corporation, Panama. Re-registered under the Norwegian flag at Tønsberg in 1937.
Captain: Einar Fredrik Isaachsen
Related items on this website:
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.
Tai Shan was in Sweden when war broke out in Norway on Apr. 9-1940, having arrived Gothenburg on March 20, according to Page 1 of the archive documents. With a cargo of raw iron, steel rods for aircraft, and 4 crates of carborators, all in all a valuable cargo for the RAF, she managed to escape to the U.K. on Jan. 23-1941, together with Elisabeth Bakke, John Bakke, Taurus and Ranja. Please follow the link to my page about Elisabeth Bakke to read more about "Operation Rubble".
Tai Shan was the flag ship in this operation (George Binney was on board). 147 men and 1 woman (wife of Chief Enginner Hans G. Hansen of John Bakke) had taken part in the breakout, 58 were British, 57 Norwegian, 31 Swedish and 1 Latvian. Here is a Picture from the breakout (not great quality) - Photo by Herbert Baasch, author of "Handelsschiffe im Kriegseinsatz". It shows Taurus, barely visible and Tai Shan on the way. Received from the current owner of Baasch's photo collection.
Captain at the time of the escape was Einar Fredrik Isaachsen*, who had just recently transferred from M/S Taurus, which had arrived Malmö from Copenhagen on Apr. 8-1940. Chief engineer was Reidar Otto Paulsen, while the radio operator was British, with the appropriate last name of Bell. Tai Shan arrived Kirkwall on Jan. 25. Final destination was Gourock, where they were met by representatives for British Ministry of Supply and Nortraship.
A visitor to my website, George Monk has told me that the following men received ungazetted awards for services in Operation Rubble (his source: Seedies List of awards to the British Merchant Navy which includes awards to Allied merchant seamen):
Page 1 of the archive documents lists her voyages following the breakout from Sweden. As can be seen, she spent quite a long time in Glasgow as well as in New York.
Tai Shan was attacked by Focke Wulf aircraft on Apr. 26-1941 (59 17N 10 06W), but not hit. Her returning fire damaged the aircraft, but it's not clear whether it crashed. According to the document mentioned above, she was on her way from New York to Belfast on that date, subsequently spending almost a month in Liverpool*.
In May, she made a voyage to Halifax, then proceeded to New York, where she spent a month, before returning to Halifax in order to join Convoy HX 138 on July 11, bound for Mersey with general cargo. The following month we find her, with destination Halifax, in the westbound North Atlantic Convoy ON 8. She arrived Halifax on Aug. 29, the convoy having been dispersed on the 25th. A couple of days later, she continued to New York and now had another long stay there (Page 1). She headed back to the U.K. on Oct. 10 in Convoy HX 154 from Halifax, together with the Norwegian Ranja, Hilda Knudsen, Kaia Knudsen, Samuel Bakke, Emma Bakke, Polarsol, Skiensfjord, N. T. Nielsen-Alonso, Toronto, Noreg and Svenør. According to A. Hague, Tai Shan had 12 passengers on board on this voyage; she arrived Avonmouth, via Belfast Lough and Barry Roads, on Oct. 30, remaining there for about 3 weeks, before returning across the Atlantic with Convoy ON 40*, which originated in Liverpool on Nov. 25 and dispersed Dec. 4, Tai Shan arriving New York on Dec. 12. Arthur W. Sewall, Charles Racine (collided, returned), Egda, Evita, Fernmoor, Finnanger (returned), Rio Novo, Slemdal, Storanger and Velox are also named in this convoy.
On Jan. 2-1942, she set a course for the U.K. again, joining Convoy HX 168, together with the Norwegian Fernmoor, G. C. Brøvig, Triton and N. T. Nielsen Alonso. (Brimanger was also scheduled for this convoy, but did not sail). A. Hague says she had 10 passengers on board. She arrived Liverpool on Jan. 15, and again had a long stay in port. The following month she's listed, along with Fernhill, Laurits Swenson, Montevideo and the Panamanian Norbris (Norwegian managers), in the westbound Convoy ON 69*, departing Liverpool on Febr. 20, dispersed March 6, Tai Shan arriving Halifax that same day, later proceeding to New York, remaining there for several weeks. At the beginning of May, she's listed among the ships in Convoy HX 188 from Halifax (8 passengers). According to A. Hague, she sank in dock at Liverpool - I have no further details on this but it'll be noticed on Page 1 that there's now another long gap in her voyages; departure Liverpool is given as July 31, when she proceeded to New York, having joined Convoy ON 117*, which dispersed on Aug. 15, Tai Shan arriving New York that same day. Atlantic, Norholm, Solstad and Villanger are also listed, as is the Panamanian Norlys (Norwegian managers). She headed back to the U.K. on Sept. 6 in Convoy HX 206 from Halifax (12 passengers), and her last Trans-Atlantic voyage that year was made in Convoy ON 137* (12 passengers), together with Corneville, Iris (joined from Halifax), Norholm, Norsol, President de Vogue, Stiklestad, Velma and the Panamanian Norvinn (Norwegian managers). The convoy left Liverpool Oct. 9 and arrived New York Oct. 29. Tai Shan's voyages in this period are shown on Page 2; as can be seen, she subsequently spent a long time in New York.
In Jan.-1943, we find her in the New York-U.K. Convoy HX 222, in which Vestfold was sunk (follow the link for details). Tai Shan was bound for Belfast Dock and Cardiff with general cargo, and also had passengers on board. It'll be noticed when going to my page about this convoy that she's included in the Halifax portion, but it's clear from the archive document mentioned above that she sailed from New York on Jan. 6; she arrived Belfast Lough on Jan. 21, Cardiff on the 25th. With 12 passengers on board, she returned to New York the following month in Convoy ON 166, in which the Norwegian Stigstad, Ingria, N. T. Nielsen-Alonso, Glittre and several others were sunk - follow the links for more details. Other Norwegian ships in this convoy were Molda, Skandinavia, Tropic Star and Brasil. According to Arnold Hague, Tai Shan went back to the U.K. again with Convoy HX 230*, which left New York on March 18 and arrived Liverpool on Apr. 2; Tai Shan stopped at Belfast Lough on Apr. 1, proceeding to Cardiff that same day, with arrival Apr. 3. As usual, she had been in the company of other Norwegian ships, namely Høyanger, Kong Haakon VII, Molda, O. B. Sørensen and Skjelbred. She now made a voyage to Halifax, having joined Convoy ON 179*, which originated in Liverpool on Apr. 18 and arrived New York May 6; Tai Shan arrived Halifax May 3 (having started out from Milford Haven on Apr. 17 - Page 2). Athos, Boreas (returned to port), Buenos Aires, Høyanger, Katy, Molda, Mosdale, Norheim and President de Vogue are also listed.
From Halifax, she proceeded to St. John, N.B. about a week later, remaining there for almost a month, before returning to Halifax in order to join the Halifax portion of Convoy HX 244, which had originated in New York on June 15. Tai Shan was bound for Liverpool with general cargo - the Norwegian Samuel Bakke acted as the Vice Commodore's ship for this convoy. In July we find Tai Shan, together with Anna Knudsen, Buenos Aires, Emma Bakke, Ferncourt, Ivaran, Laurits Swenson (Commodore Vessel), Norholm, Petter, Reinholt, San Andres, Skaraas (returned), Topdalsfjord, Vest, Villanger and the Panamanian Norvinn, in the westbound Convoy ON 192*, which left Liverpool on July 9 and arrived New York on the 22nd, and on Aug. 7, she left New York in Convoy HX 251, carrying a general cargo as well as 10 passengers. Commodore was again in Laurits Swenson, and Acanthus, Potentilla and Rose are named among the escorts (see HX convoy escorts). With Chr. Th. Boe, Evita, Gallia, Heranger, Toledo and Velma, Tai Shan subsequently headed back across the Atlantic with Convoy ON 201* (from Liverpool Sept. 9, to New York Sept. 24), and Arnold Hague now has her in Convoy HX 261*, departing New York on Oct. 11, arriving Liverpool on the 26th; Tai Shan arrived Cardiff that day, remaining there for several weeks. Bajamar, Duala, Elisabeth Bakke, Norsol, Pan Scandia and Vav (returned) are also named in this convoy.
Tai Shan now started voyaging to a different part of the world - her subsequent voyages are listed on Page 2 and Page 3 (it'll be noticed that she had quite a long stay in Buenos Aires in the spring of 1944 and also spent a few weeks in Liverpool that summer - A. Hague indicates she was docked with engine defects); convoy information for some of these can be found in the Voyage Record.
Skipping now to Aug.-1944, when she's listed in the fast westbound North Atlantic Convoy UC 34*, together with Hegra and Reinholt. This convoy left Liverpool on Aug. 17 and arrived New York on the 28th, but Tai Shan was bound for St. John, N.B., where she arrived Aug. 27, spending a couple of weeks there before proceeding to Halifax. From there, she joined Convoy HX 308, which had originated in New York on Sept. 13 (Vice Commodore was in the Norwegian Villanger). Tai Shan was bound for London with general cargo. She arrived Gravesend on Sept. 29 and did not leave again until Oct. 27. We now find her, along with with Dageid, Fjordaas, Helgøy, Norheim and Samuel Bakke (Commodore Vessel), in Convoy ON 263*, which departed Southend on Oct. 29 and arrived New York Nov. 15; Tai Shan arrived Galveston Nov. 20 and again had a long stay in port (Page 3), before proceeding to New York, joining Convoy HX 328 on Dec. 24. She was bound for Cardiff with general cargo, arriving that destination on Jan. 9-1945. (Commodore was in Brimanger).
Later that month, she joined Convoy ON 281*, together with Brasil, Cypria, Havprins, Thorhild and the Panamanian Norlys (from Southend Jan. 26-1945, to New York Febr. 12 - Tai Shan had sailed from Cardiff on Jan. 28). She did not leave New York again until March 9, joining Convoy HX 343*, arriving Liverpool on the 24th. A. Hague has also included Biscaya (returned), Brimanger, Katy, Noreg, Skaraas and Skotaas. Her last Trans-Atlantic convoy voyage was made in Convoy ON 296*, which departed Liverpool on Apr. 12 and arrived New York on the 30th; Tai Shan arrived Philadelphia May 1. Dageid, G. C. Brøvig, Montevideo, Polartank, Strinda, Noreg and Thorshavn are also listed.
Sold on March 17-1960 to Nichimen Co., Osaka, Japan for scrapping. Arrived Mihara on July 23-1960 and demolition commenced on the 25th at Kihara, Mihara-shi.
Back to Tai Shan on the "Ships starting with T" page.
(Tai Shan is one og the five sacred mountains of China, West Shantung province).
The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, Wilh. Wilhelmsen fleet list and misc. (ref. My sources).