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Updated Oct. 31-2012
Owner: Vestfold Corp., a subsidiary of Vestfold Whaling Co. Ltd., London, associated with Johan Rasmussen & Co.
Built by Furness Shipbuilding Co., Middlesbrough in 1931. Whale factory.
Captain: Emil Haga.
(Received from Don Kindell - His source: The late Arnold Hague's database).
Follow the convoy links provided for more information on each.
Since this was a Panamanian ship, I do not have a Voyage Record from the National Archives of Norway and, therefore, comparison cannot be made and accuracy confirmed, except in cases where she's listed in original convoy documents on my website.
Vestfold is listed among the ships in the Halifax-U.K. Convoy HX 38 on Apr. 26-1940, bound for Mersey with whale oil, station 34. According to A. Hague, she became a straggler on May 1, but arrived Liverpool safely on May 11. He has later included her in Convoy OB 159, leaving Liverpool on June 1. Her destination is given as Aruba, and she had station 42 of the convoy - she arrived Curacao on June 20, the convoy having been dispersed on June 4 - ref. link provided in the Voyage Record. Crux (for Cardiff only) and Hallfried are also named.
According to A. Hague, she made a voyage to Cape Verdes 2 days later, then returned to Curacao and unless some voyges are missing from his record above, she remained there for a month before proceeding to Barbados, and from there to Freetown, where she arrived Sept. 5. A. Hague says she was subsequently used as static oil hulk at Freetown until June 4-1942, when she's listed in Convoy SL 112, which left Freetown on June 4 and arrived Liverpool on the 23rd. Vestfold was on a voyage from Freetown to Belfast with a cargo of fuel and diesel oil, station 63, and arrived Belfast Lough on June 22. The Norwegian Bralanta, Glittre, Herbrand, Norsktank and Atlantic are also listed; again, see the external link in the table above for more on this convoy. A. Hague also shows a long stay at Tyne that summer.
In Aug.-1942 we find her in station 53 on the original document for the westbound North Atlantic Convoy ON 123. Her destination is not given, but A. Hague says she arrived New York on Sept. 6. She headed back to the U.K. on Sept. 17 with Convoy HX 208 from New York - it'll be noticed that she's included in the Halifax portion, but it looks like she joined from New York. The Commodore's narrative is also available for this convoy; Vestfold is mentioned under Oct. 1, noted for good signalling. Her destination is given as Clyde, where she arrived Oct. 1. From there, she joined the westbound Convoy ON 139, which originated in Liverpool on Oct. 16 and arrived New York Nov. 1 (see ships in all ON convoys), returning in Convoy HX 215 on Nov. 11, again bound for Clyde - this time, the Commodore is not quite as happy with her, as will be seen when going to my page about this convoy. Her last convoy voyage that year was made in Convoy ON 153 to New York, in which Bello and others were sunk - follow the links for details.
More information on the Norwegian ships named here can be found via the alphabet index at the end of this page, or go to the Master Ship Index.
Vestfold is listed in the Halifax portion of Convoy HX 222, which sailed from Halifax on Jan. 8-1943, but according to A. Hague she joined from New York on the 6th. She had a cargo of 17 386 tons oil and the Lend-Lease LCT-2239, LCT-2267 and LCT 2344 as deck cargo, also carrying passengers. On Jan. 17, she was torpedoed and sunk by U-268 (Heydemann). The 3 landing craft were also lost. Roger W. Jordan and Jürgen Rohwer both give the position as 61 25N 26 12W, with Jordan adding that 19 died, 56 survived (agreeing with Lloyd's numbers). There seems to be some disagreement with regard to these numbers in that "Convoy Rescue Ships" by Arnold Hague states that the rescue ship Rathlin picked up 68 survivors. Hague offers the possible explanation that 12 gunners may not have been recorded by Lloyd's. The rescue operation was made very difficult by the fact that the engines were still running when the crew went in the lifeboats, resulting in several near collisions while the rescue vessel tried to approach the boats, because Vestfold was cruising in circles. Norwegian ships in this convoy were Glittre, Thorhild, Molda, Lynghaug, Nueva Granada and Tai Shan.
The following Norwegians are commemorated the the Stavern Memorial (link below):
For info, the U-boat that sank Vestfold was sunk with all hands a month later - see external link below.
Related external links:
Back to Vestfold on the "Ships starting with V" page.
Other ships by this name: Norway had lost a Vestfold to WW I, built Sandefjord 1907, 1883 gt for P. Johannesen, Tønsberg, w/various later owners. Sunk by a German U-boat in 1917. Also, Det Helgelandske Dampskibsselskab, Sandnessjøen had a small Vestfold in 1879, later renamed Bodø for Bodø Dampbaadlag (1892), lost Apr. 11-1906 after having run aground off Kalvik, voyage Bodø-Kalvik. This ship had been built in Scotland in 1861 for unknown owner, 124 gt. Additionally, another Vestfold was built for Johan Rasmussen & Co. in 1950, and another in 1956 as well as in 1967 (all listed at the above website).
The text on this page was compiled with the help of: Misc. sources as named within the above text.