|Site Map | Search Warsailors.com |Merchant Fleet Main Page | Warsailors.com Home|
Manager: Halfdan Ditlev-Simonsen & Co.,Oslo
Built in Gothenburg in 1930.
Captains: C. B. Nielsen at first, but when he became ill, Captain Agvall Bertrand Henriksen took over the command in San Pedro on June 10-1940, remaining until the end of the war. (This external page states that the latter captain had been on board since Apr.-1939).
Velma was under the control of The Ministry of War Transport from June 9-1940, and was operated by Anglo American Oil Company, London for the duration.
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.
Errors may exist, and some voyages may be missing.
The captain says that on Apr. 10-1940, the day after the German invasion of Norway, Velma arrived San Pedro, California, where she was docked for misc. minor repairs before departing in ballast for Talara on Apr. 27. She picked up some fuel oil there which was taken to Antofagasta and then she headed back to San Pedro again. On arrival there on June 9 she was taken over by Anglo American Oil Company, London. She subsequently loaded fuel oil for Wellington, New Zealand, from there she headed to Singapore where she was ordered to get degaussing and a gun installed, but due to the fact that it would take too long to wait for this to be done (there were a lot of ships at Singapore yards at the time) she was sent via Colombo to Abadan, where crude oil was loaded for Melbourne. Having unloaded at the latter port she proceeded to Sydney, where she was docked, and this time a gun platform was built and degaussing added. At the same time protection was built around the bridge and a motor was installed in the starboard lifeboat. By the time all this was completed it was the autumn of 1940 at which time she departed Sydney for Abadan in ballast. From there she took a cargo of sun oil to Suez, via Aden to join a convoy (for the first time), with arrival Suez on Dec. 25 - This must have been Convoy BN 11, in which she's listed, together with Eidsvold, Fosna, Gunny, Gylfe, Norfold and Vilja (external link). The voyages mentioned here are detailed on Page 1 of the archive documents.Having unloaded, she returned to Abadan in ballast (in fact, she's listed as bound for Abadan with Convoy BS 12 from Suez at the beginning of Jan.-1941 - external link; Octavian and Sygna are also named), then picked up a cargo of crude oil for Swansea which she reached via Cape Town (according to the archive document, she stayed there for several weeks) and Freetown (for convoy to Belfast). This voyage had been made in Convoy SL 72, which departed Freetown on Apr. 17-1941 and arrived Liverpool on May 13 (link in Voyage Record); Velma stopped at Belfast Lough that day before continuing to Swansea, with arrival there on May 16. She stayed in Swansea for quite a while because she had to be further equipped for sailing in the war zones; for instance, a new radio as well as an emergency set were installed. She was then ordered to New York (the captain says in convoy only as far as the Azores) - with Ingertre and Hjalmar Wessel, she's listed in Convoy OB 333, which originated in Liverpool on June 10 and dispersed on the 21st, Velma arriving New York June 29 (she had sailed from Swansea on June 8, from Milford Haven on June 9). Her degaussing cable was replaced in New York before she was ordered to Trinidad* to load fuel oil for Gibraltar - 2 such voyages were made, both without convoy.
On Dec. 14-1941, she left Gibraltar for Trinidad where a cargo of fuel oil was loaded, which was taken to the U.K., via Halifax for convoy, arriving Halifax in Jan.-1942. She's listed among the ships in Convoy HX 173, which departed Halifax on Febr. 1 and arrived Liverpool on the 14th; Velma stopped at Loch Ewe on Febr. 13, according to Page 2. The captain says that she from then on until the end of the war was in regular service between the U.K. and the U.S. with the exception of 1 voyage to Gibraltar, but as can be seen from the table above (and the archive documents) this is not entirely correct. He adds that most of the time her cargoes were loaded in New York, though some were picked up in Philadelphia, Boston and Norfolk. It'll be noticed, when going to the various archive documents, that she occasionally had long stays in port.
When on a voyage to New Orleans on March 18-1942, Velma rescued 14 survivors from the Norwegian Tønsbergfjord, torpedoed on the 6th (others had been rescued by a Dutch steamer on the 13th - follow the link for details). This must have been while she was in the westbound North Atlantic Convoy ON 71*, which had originated in Liverpool on Febr. 26-1942 and dispersed on March 8. Velma's destination is indeed given as New Orleans and she arrived there on March 23. She now went in for repairs (possibly of damages caused by a heavy storm that month?), then headed for Houston where she loaded a cargo for the U.K. again, but travelled there in a roundabout way, because she first went to Curacao (Page 2), then on to Freetown for convoy to the U.K. She's listed as sailing in Convoy SL 110, which left Freetown on May 13-1942 and arrived Liverpool on June 4. She had a cargo of gas oil, sailing in station 53. The Norwegian Polarsol and Thorshøvdi also took part - see the external link provided in the Voyage Record for more convoy information.
Later that month, she's listed in the westbound North Atlantic Convoy ON 105*, departing Liverpool on June 19, arriving Halifax on the 30th. Having made a voyage to Curacao and back to Halifax (Page 2), she headed back across the Atlantic with a cargo of fuel oil on Aug. 16 in Convoy HX 203 (she had initially started out in the previous convoy on Aug. 9, HX 202, but had returned to Halifax with engine problems). The following month, she's said to have collided with 2 other ships in convoy and had to return for repairs; according to A. Hague she collided with the American John Winthrop on Sept. 11-1942, while in the westbound Convoy ON 129* (originated in Liverpool Sept. 11, Velma had sailed from Clyde that day). However, he does not mention a collision with a 2nd ship. It looks like repairs were required, because she does not show up again until Convoy ON 137*, which departed Liverpool on Oct. 9 and arrived New York on the 29th; Velma had sailed from Clyde on Oct. 10.
Her subsequent voyages are shown on Page 2; convoy information is available in the Voyage Record above.
Christmas that year was celebrated at sea while in Convoy HX 219, leaving New York on Dec. 13, arriving Liverpool on the 29th. Velma, sailing in station 84, had a cargo of Admiralty fuel for Clyde, where she arrived on Dec. 28.She returned to New York in Jan.-1943 with Convoy ON 161, arriving New York Jan. 31, having served as Escort Oiler, according to A. Hague. She subsequently spent quite a long time there. Page 2 gives departure as Apr. 6, when she joined Convoy HX 233, cargo of Admiralty fuel, station 32. She arrived Clyde and Bowling on Apr. 21, and just a few days later, she can be found in the westbound Convoy ON 180*, originating in Liverpool Apr. 24 (Velma sailed from Clyde that day and again served as Escort Oiler), arriving New York May 14 (Commodore was in Reinholt). We now find her in Convoy HX 240 (Escort Oiler), which left New York on May 19 and arrived Liverpool on June 4; Velma stopped at Belfast Lough that day. Her destination is given as Milford Haven, and she had station 83 of the convoy, arriving her destination on June 5 - see Page 3. She left Milford Haven again on June 9, joining the westbound Convoy ON 188*, which originated in Liverpool on June 10 and arrived New York on the 26th (Commodore in Abraham Lincoln), and already on June 30, she was ready to depart with Convoy HX 246 (Escort Oiler), bound for Invergordon with a cargo of Admiralty fuel, station 31. Acanthus, Rose and Potentilla are named among the escorts for this convoy.
At the end of July, she joined the westbound Convoy ON 195* (Escort Oiler), departing Liverpool on July 31 (Velma again joined from Clyde - Commodore was in Abraham Lincoln), arriving New York on Aug. 13, and a week later she can be found in Convoy HX 253 (Escort Oiler), again bound for Invergordon, station 72. She subsequently returned across the Atlantic with Convoy ON 201* (Escort Oiler), which left Liverpool on Sept. 9 and arrived New York on the 24th - this time she joined from Loch Ewe. She left New York again on Sept. 28, joining Convoy HX 259* (Escort Oiler) in order to return to the U.K., but only went as far as St. John's, N.F., where she arrived Oct. 5, having experienced some sort of defects, according to A. Hague. She did not leave St. John's again until Nov. 12, proceeding to Sydney, C.B. and Halifax, then on to Boston, where she also appears to have spent a long time - again, see Page 3. Convoy information is shown in the Voyage Record above.
She was scheduled for Convoy HX 277 from New York on Jan. 28-1944, but did not sail. Instead of heading to the U.K. with this convoy, she made a voyage to Gibraltar and back to the U.S. (Convoy info in the table above), later joining Convoy HX 288 from New York on Apr. 18 (Escort Oiler, 60 depth charges), for which the Norwegian Laurits Swenson acted as Commodore Vessel, while Emma Bakke's captain served as Vice Commodore. Velma's destination is given as Scapa, and she arrived there, via Loch Ewe, on May 6, returning later that month with Convoy ON 237*, which departed Liverpool on May 19 (Velma sailed from Loch Ewe that day) and arrived New York on June 3 (Commodore in Brimanger, Vice Commodore was the captain of Laurits Swenson). On June 10, she's listed in Convoy HX 295 back to the U.K. (Escort Oiler, 60 depth charges - Commodore in Elisabeth Bakke), and at the beginning of July, we find her in the westbound Convoy ON 243*, departing Liverpool on July 3; Velma sailed from Belfast Lough on that date, arriving New York on the 18th, continuing to Philadelphia the next day (Page 3). The Commodore was in Reinholt.
She went back in the other direction on July 25 with Convoy HX 301 from New York (Escort Oiler, spare depth charges), bound for Swansea, with arrival there Aug. 9; her voyages in this period are shown on Page 4. The Commodore for this convoy was again in Reinholt, while Samuel Bakke served as the Vice Commodore's ship (as will be seen when following the link, this was a very large convoy). Velma subsequently headed back to the U.S. on Aug. 18 with Convoy ON 249*, which arrived New York on Sept. 2 (Vice Commodore in Norma), and later that month she's listed, with destination Devonport, in the Halifax section of Convoy HX 309 (Escort Oiler, spare depth charges - Vice Commodore in Laurits Swenson).
There's a Canadian mess boy named Albert Archibald Barter listed as having died on Velma on Oct. 14-1944 on the website of Canadian Merchant Navy War Dead Database (external link - type Velma in the field for vessel). I'm not sure what had happened to him. According to Page 4, Velma was at Barry on that date. At the end of that month, she joined the westbound Convoy ONS 35*, which originated in Liverpool on Oct. 29 and arrived Halifax on Nov. 15 - Velma, however, is said to have been bound for New York on that occasion, though arrival New York is not given on the archive document referred to above. On Dec. 2, she shows up in the slow Halifax-U.K. Convoy SC 162 (Escort Oiler, 60 depth charges), destination Londonderry, with arrival Dec. 16, and Christmas and New Years Eve of that year were celebrated while in the westbound Convoy ON 274* (Escort Oiler), which departed Southend on Dec. 23 and arrived New York on Jan. 8-1945 (Commodore in Samuel Bakke) - Velma stopped at Halifax on Jan. 6, having sailed from Londonderry on Christmas Eve.On Jan. 16-1945, she was ready to join Convoy SC 165 from Halifax (Escort Oiler, 60 depth charges); her destination is given as Sheerness. The following month she appears in the westbound Convoy ON 284* (Escort Oiler), departure Southend Febr. 10, arrival New York March 1 (Commodore in Abraham Lincoln); Velma, however, stopped at Halifax on Febr. 26, and from there she later joined the slow Convoy SC 169* on March 7 (Escort Oiler, 60 depth charges), arriving Liverpool on the 21st. Acanthus and Buttercup are named among the escorts - see SC convoy escorts. A week later, she joined the westbound Convoy ON 293* (Escort Oiler), which arrived New York on Apr. 15 (Commodore in Tungsha), but Velma was again bound for Halifax, where she arrived Apr. 12, proceeding to Boston a week later, remaining there for quite a long time (Page 4), before returning to Halifax. Her last Trans-Atlantic convoy voyage was made in the slow Halifax-U.K. Convoy SC 177* (Escort Oiler), departure Halifax May 26, arrival Liverpool June 8 - Velma arrived Portsmouth that day.
Sold to a Liberian company in 1956 and renamed Valmar. Later transferred to Venezuela and was broken up during 1961-62 (this external page has more details).
Back to M/T Velma on the "Ships starting with V" page.
The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, the captain's report from "19 Oslo-skips historie under verdenskrigen, fra April 1940 til krigens slutt i 1945" (The story of 19 Oslo ships during WW II), Harald Nicolaisen - 1945, "The Allied Convoy System", Arnold Hague and misc. - (ref. My sources).