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Manager: Martin Mosvold, Farsund
Built by Bethlehem Steel Co., Sparrow's Point, Maryland in 1921. Previous name: Henry Deutsch de la Meurthe until 1930.
On Barbara Mumford's and J. Gordon Mumford's website (about convoy ON 154) I came across some details on someone who served on Torborg. They have a separate section on misc. Merchant Navy Radio Officers, and one of the stories (external link) is about Robert Cobb, who was the radio operator on the Norwegian South America when she was torpedoed in Apr.-1944. He also served on Chr. T. Boe.
According to this external page, Torborg's captain from 1939 and all through the war was Martin August Askelund.
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. (Where the "Convoy" column is left blank, it means that convoy is not known).
Errors may exist, and some voyages are missing.
Judging from the information found on Page 1 of the archive documents, it looks like Torborg was in Rotterdam when war broke out in Norway on Apr. 9-1940, having arrived there from Las Piedras on Apr. 3.
Together with the Norwegian Grey County, Lynghaug, Nueva Granada and Snar, she's later listed in Convoy OA 139, which left Southend on May 1 and dispersed on the 4th, Torborg arriving Port Arthur independently on May 21. She returned to the U.K. the following month with Convoy HX 49, in which Eli Knudsen and Randsfjord were sunk - follow the links for details. Torborg was bound for Manchester with crude oil and joined the convoy from Bermuda. She arrived her destination on June 24, and it'll be noticed, when going back to Page 1, that she subsequently remained there for a long time; departure is given as Sept. 15, when she proceeded to Liverpool.
We now find her, along with Alfred Olsen, Gard, Hørda, Lyra and Siremalm (returned), in Convoy OB 215, which left Liverpool on Sept. 17 and was dispersed on the 21st., Torborg arriving Aruba independently on Oct. 6. She proceeded to Bermuda already that same day in order to join the Bermuda portion of Convoy HX 81 on Oct. 14, cargo of fuel oil for Manchester, where she arrived Nov. 9, remaining there for over 3 weeks. Early the following month, she shows up, with Alaska and Gallia, in Convoy OB 255, leaving Liverpool on Dec. 7. Her destination is given as Aruba / Las Piedras, however, she returned to port, subsequently joining Convoy OB 258 on Dec. 12 (together with Suderholm). This convoy was dispersed on Dec. 15, Torborg arriving Aruba on Jan. 4-1941, Las Piedras the next day. See the external links provided within the table above for more on the OA and OB convoys (another section of the same site also has Sandanger in OB 255, but it looks she sailed in the next convoy instead - see also Nyland).
In Jan./Febr.-1941, she can be found in station 93 of Convoy HX 106, for which Topdalsfjord served as Commodore Vessel. Torborg again joined with the Bermuda portion (having previously been cancelled from HX 103 - going back to Page 1 we learn that she had arrived Bermuda from Las Piedras on Jan. 14, too late to join this convoy). In March she's listed, with Brant County, Ferncourt, Kongsgaard, Ranja and Taurus, in Convoy OB 301, originating in Liverpool on March 23, dispersed March 27, Torborg arriving New York independently on Apr. 9. Her voyages in this period are shown on Page 2. From New York, she made another voyage to Aruba and Las Piedras, before proceeding to Halifax. She was scheduled to return to the U.K. in Convoy HX 126 on May 10, in which John P. Pedersen and several others were sunk (follow the links for much more info), but she did not sail. She was also cancelled from HX 127 on May 16, but finally got away with Convoy HX 128 on May 20, cargo of crude oil for Ardrossan, station 44, arriving her destination on June 6. She subsequently joined Convoy OB 337, which originated in Liverpool on June 20 and also included Buccinum, Facto, Ila, Inger Elisabeth and Sirehei. The convoy was dispersed on June 28 and Torborg arrived Curacao independently on July 12/13, having sailed from Greenock June 20 (again, see the external links provided within the Voyage Record for more OB convoy information).
Many independent voyages now followed - they are listed in the Voyage Record and on Page 2, which shows a long stay in Bombay in the spring of 1942. See also Page 3. In Oct.-1942, she shows up in Convoy PA 6, departing Bandar Abbas for Aden on Oct. 15 - ref. link provided in the Voyage Record; Thordis and Østhav are also listed. This was followed by a few more independent sailings. Further details on her voyages in the period Oct.-1942 to Aug.-1943 are available on Page 3 above and Page 4 of the archive documents; as can be seen, many of these are missing from A. Hague's record.
In Sept.-1943 I have her in a document for Convoy PA 54 / PB 57, together with Havkong, Norfjell, Norfold, Ima and Europe (A. Hague has not included her in any of these convoys - see Voyage Record). At the end of the following month she made a voyage from Malta to Bizerta with Convoy MKS 29; her final destination was U.S.A. - scroll down to the second table on my page about MKS 29. From Bizerta, she later joined Convoy GUS 20 in order to complete her voyage to the U.S., and arrived Baltimore on Nov. 25. As can be seen when going back to Page 4, she now appears to have spent a long time there; departure is given as Apr. 13-1944, when she proceeded to New York.
She was scheduled for the New York-U.K. Convoy HX 288 on Apr. 18-1944 (Commodore in Laurits Swenson, Vice Commodore captain of Emma Bakke), but instead joined the next convoy on Apr. 27, HX 289, bound for Shellhaven, where she arrived, via various other ports, on May 19 (Page 4). At the beginning of June she joined the westbound North Atlantic Convoy ON 239* (originated in Liverpool June 3 - Torborg sailed from Loch Ewe that day). This convoy, which also included Evanger, Henrik Ibsen, Idefjord, John Bakke, Mui Hock, O. B. Sørensen, Thalatta, Vav and Vinga, arrived New York on June 22, but Torborg went to Baltimore June 23, proceeding independently to New York on June 30, with arrival on July 1. 2 days later, she joined Convoy HX 298 in order to return to Shellhaven (Page 5). Together with Frontenac, Gylfe, Høegh Hood, Høyanger, Kaia Knudsen, Laurits Swenson, Lista, Maud, Minerva, Norden, Norma (Vice Commodore), Skaraas, Skiensfjord and Velma, she later went in the other direction again with Convoy ON 249*, wich originated in Liverpool on Aug. 18 and arrived New York Sept. 2 (Torborg had again joined from Loch Ewe).
What follows is a summary of an article found in "Tilbakeblikk" written by A. K. Thommessen. Convoy information has been added by me, based on A. Hague's database (ref. links in the table above). Part of his story can be found on my page about Topdalsfjord:
He says she left New York again on Sept. 15-1944 and arrived Philadelphia on the 17th to pick up a cargo of fuel oil, before heading to Hampton Roads where she anchored up on Sept. 20. In addition to Arne K. Thommessen, gunners at this time were Wilhelm Hansen, Reidar H. Berntsen and Ingolf Ingvaldsen. Her armament consisted of a 4" gun and four 20 mm Oerlikons, as well as some rifles. She was also fitted out to supply the escort vessels with oil while at sea (I'm not sure when this was done, but perhaps this explains her long stay in Baltimore from Nov.-1943 to Apr.-1944?). On Sept. 22 she joined a convoy for Gibraltar, arriving on Oct. 8 (A. Hague has her in Convoy UGS 55). Most of the ships in the convoy continued to various Mediterranean ports while Torborg stayed in Gibraltar to unload the fuel oil, before departing for Baltimore on Oct. 12, with arrival on Oct. 29 (Convoy GUS 54). Again, see also Page 5.
After having been at a yard in Baltimore until Nov. 14, she proceeded to Norfolk to pick up another cargo of fuel oil, then headed to Hampton Roads for convoy, but remained there until Nov. 21 before orders came for her to go out and meet a Mediterranean convoy (Convoy UGS 61). After having passed Gibraltar she was ordered to Augusta (still in convoy according to Thommessen, while A. Hague says she left the convoy on Dec. 7, the convoy itself going into Gibraltar that day). She arrived Augusta early in the morning of Dec. 11, but was ordered to Naples that same day, with arrival Dec. 12 (Page 5), enduring a number of air attacks while there. 3 of the gunners were now needed elsewhere and left the ship, and when Markus Jacobsen joined her on Dec. 15, he and A. Thommessen were the only gunners on board for the trip out from Naples on the 16th, after part of the fuel oil had been discharged there. She arrived Oran in a small convoy on Dec. 19 (A. Hague says she sailed independently), and the remainder of the fuel oil was unloaded before she on Christmas Eve left for Gibraltar and on to the U.S (with Convoy GUS 62).
She reached Baltimore on Jan. 11-1945, at which time she went back to the yard. Gunner Jacobsen left and was replaced by Leif M. Pedersen on Jan. 17. On Jan. 23, she sailed alone for Curacao, arriving Febr. 1, then took on board a cargo of crude oil, departing the next day for New York, again alone. She did not arrive New York until Febr. 11 and did not stop, but continued to Halifax (via Boston, according to Page 5. She's listed, with several other Norwegian ships, in the Boston-Halifax Convoy BX 146 - Boston is not mentioned in Thommessen's article). She now joined a convoy for the U.K., with departure Halifax on Febr. 25. This was Convoy SC 168*, in which the Norwegian Ferncliff, Iron Baron, Kristianiafjord, Lago, Marie Bakke, Peik and Vera also took part. Due to her slow speed, Torborg lost the convoy and ended up alone on the ocean after 3 days, but arrived Mumbles (near Swansea) safely on March 14. Again, new orders were received and she proceeded into the channel, with arrival Gravesend on March 20 (Convoy BTC 97?). While unloading the crude oil they could clearly hear the V2 bombs over London.
When leaving the harbour she collided with another tanker, though received only minor damages and was able to continue towards Belfast to meet a convoy for the U.S. This time, she had no problems keeping up with the speed and reached Baltimore on Apr. 16, having sailed in Convoy ON 293*, which had left Southend on March 27 and included the Norwegian Egda, Katy, Samuel Bakke, Skaraas, Tungsha (Commodore Vessel) and Velma. For the third time she went to a yard for repairs of a leaking cylinder which, it appears, didn't get fixed properly the first two times. She did not leave Baltimore again until May 31. Her subsequent voyages (to March-1946) are shown on Page 6.
Sold in 1947? Sold in 1948 to Neste O/Y (A/B Henry Nielsen O/Y) Helsingfors, renamed Neste. Owned from 1953 by Polskie Linie Oceaniczne, Gdynia as Wspolpraca. Broken up in Bremerhaven by Eisen und Metall KG Lehr & Co in 1956 (from a posting to my Ship Forum by Maurice Voss). See also this external page.
Back to Torborg on the "Ships starting with T" page.