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CONVOY HN 25 – Norway-U.K.

Left Bergen on Apr. 7-1940 - arrived Methil Apr. 12.
Names of ships were received from D. Kindell, and is based on information found in the late Arnold Hague's database.
The report is extracted from a document received from Tony Cooper, England (from Puclic Records Office, Kew).

A document listing all the HN convoys states that HN 25 had total of 39 ships, 12 of which were British, 9 Norwegian, 8 Swedish, 5 Danish, 2 Finnish and 3 Estonian. 2 were bound for the west coast. The convoy proceeded westward of Shetland.

According to Arnold Hague, the following 42 ships were in this convoy (in alphabetical order):

Estonian Aina (listed as British by A. Hague, 1698 gt, but he does have her as Estonian in HN 23A).

Norwegian Akabahra (see also HN 23A). There's some confusion re. this ship, please see my text for Akabahra.

Danish Alfa (844 gt. There was also a Swedish Alfa of 1261 gt, which is listed in HN 23A).

Swedish Alida Gorthon (see also HN 23B).

Britih Baron Blythswood

British Baron Vernon

Swedish Belgia (see also HN 23B).

Swedish Bifrost (see also HN 23B).

British Brighton (see also HN 23B).

Norwegian Corvus

Danish Dagö (listed as British by A. Hague, but I believe this ship was still Danish at that time - see also HN 23B).

Swedish Embla (see also HN 23B).

Swedish Falkvik (see also HN 23B).

Norwegian Fanefjeld

Norwegian Frode (697 gt - see also HN 23A. For info, Sweden and Denmark also had ships by this name, but larger).

Swedish Frost

British Fylingdale - Commodore vessel, according to report below. (See also HN 23B).

British Glen Tilt

British Gogovale

British Hardingham

Danish Irene Maria (listed as British by A. Hague, but I believe this ship was still Danish at that time).

Danish Kejserinde Dagmar (see also HN 23B).

Danish Knud (listed as British by A. Hague - see also HN 23B).

Norwegian Leo (for info, there was also a Finnish and a British ship by this name).

Danish London (1260 gt - listed as British by A. Hague, but I believe this ship was still Danish at that time).

Finnish Margareta (1860 gt. For info, Sweden also had a ship by this name, 1272 gt).

Danish Marianne (listed as British by A. Hague, 1239 gt, but I believe this ship was still Danish at that time - see also HN 22. For info, Norway and Sweden also had ships by this name. Here's the Norwegian Marianne).

Swedish Mauritz

British Minorca

British? Modesta (listed as British by A. Hague, 3849 gt, but I believe this ship was Finnish. According to "The World's Merchant Fleets 1939" by R. W. Jordan she was not taken over by MOWT until 1941).

Norwegian Ophir (see also HN 23B - for info, there was also a Dutch Ophir).

Estonian Pollux (see also HN 23B. For info, Norway also had a Pollux).

Norwegian Ringhorn (see also HN 23B).

Norwegian Risøy (see also HN 22).

Norwegian Røyksund (see also HN 23B).

Norwegian Samlanes

Norwegian Tordenskjold - Tonnage is given as 921 gt by A. Hauge, and this ship is discussed on this page of my site. See also HN 23B. Note that Norway also had a Tordenskjold of 575 gt, which is the ship listed in the Advance Sailing Telegram for HN 23B, and I believe the ship in HN 25 was also that ship, because the 921 gt Tordenskjold is said to have been in Harstad, Norway on her way north when Norway was attacked by the Germans on Apr. 9-1940.

British Tregenna

Norwegian Tres

British Treworlas (sailed from Ålesund Apr. 7).

British Trident

Finnish Wirpi

All the Norwegian ships mentioned here are included on this website, some are listed in the Homefleet section. The easiest way to find them all is via the Master Ship Index.

A document giving information on all the Norway-U.K. / U.K.-Norway convoys in general, states this convoy consisted of 10 British and 30 neutral ships, and had left Bergen on Apr. 7-1940. It was at anchor in Frosjøen, Norway when the Germans invaded the country in the morning of Apr. 9. The day before it had been ordered by Captain J. S. Pinkney in the Commodore vessel Fylingdale to weigh anchor and proceed to the rendezvous, but on failing to meet the escort the convoy returned to the anchorage. The convoy emergend again early in the morning of Apr. 9 and cruised around in territorial waters, but still no escort was seen, and as there was a risk of collisions due to heavy snow storms, it was sent back in again at 10:00, while Fylingdale remained.

In the meantime an Admiralty message had been sent by general broadcast to the British ships in the convoy, instructing them to bring it to Kirkwall without escort, passing to the westward of the Shetlands. The C.-in C., Home Fleet detailed HMS Tartar and the Polish destroyers Blyskawica, Grom and Burza to meet up with and escort HN 25. Fylingdale sighted a British and 2 German aircraft and, fearing an attack might develop, decided to return to the anchorage and to keep the convoy there. On her way in, the Admiralty message was received, and some of the British ships were already seen to be heading to sea. Inside the islands the German tanker Skagerrak was sighted, acting in a suspicious manner, and at about the same time Fylingdale was informed by a Swedish ship that enemy troops were in Bergen, so the signal "proceed to sea" was hoisted and the convoy was formed up outside.

When about 30 miles from the Norwegian coast, one of the Polish destroyers was sighted, and being hull down it was mistaken for a large German warship so Fylingdale made an enemy report by W/T. A British aircraft then directed the escort towards the convoy and the enemy report was cancelled.

37 ships ended up sailing from Norway in this convoy with another 2 British ships from ON 25 joining up later*. 3 ships were left behind, 2 of which (Norwegian) eventually arrived Allied port, while the 3rd (Danish) was seized by the Germans.

HN 25 arrived Methil at 12:00 on Apr. 12, 2 ships having been detached for the west coast. The captain of Fylingdale received a congratulatory message from the Board of Admiralty, and was later awarded an O.B.E. for the manner in which he brought the convoy to safety. The S.O. of the escort also mentioned the "exceptional smartness and efficiency" in signalling of this ship as well as 3 other British ships acting as leaders of columns.

* According to the external website that I've linked to below, this was the British Nyanza and North Devon.

Escorts mentioned on this page are:
Home Fleet (covering force), Tartar, Blyskawica, Grom, and Burza.

The text under Apr. 9 on this external page also mentions this convoy and its escorts (scroll way down in the text). It's also mentioned under Apr. 10.

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