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CONVOY HN 7 – Norway-U.K.

Sailed from Norway on Jan. 9-1940 and arrived Methil Jan. 12
Transcribed from a report received from Tony Cooper, England (his source: Public Records Office, Kew), supplemented with information received from Don Kindell (names of ships in convoy - from Arnold Hague's database).

A document listing all the HN convoys states that HN 7 had 2 British, 19 Norwegian, 5 Swedish, 8 Finnish, and 4 Estonian ships, for a total of 38, 5 of which were bound for the west coast.

However, according to A. Hague, the following ships sailed in the convoy:

Swedish Abisko
Norwegian Activ (see the note below)
Norwegian Basel
Norwegian Bauta
Estonian Begonia
Norwegian Bokn
Norwegian Bolette
Norwegian Bollsta
Norwegian Burgos
Norwegian Corvus
Finnish Elsa S
British Fintra
Swedish Forsvik (listed as Norwegian by A. Hague, but this ship was Swedish).
Norwegian Gudvang
Norwegian Gudveig
Norwegian Hadrian
Finnish Inari
Finnish Ivalo
Norwegian Kaupanger
Norwegian Lysland
British Margo
Estonian Merisaar
Estonian Merkur
Swedish Nordöst
Norwegian Risøy
Swedish Rolf
British Salerno
Norwegian Sarpfoss
Norwegian Skum
Swedish Urd
Norwegian Vestmanrød
Finnish Vienti
Norwegian Vim
Finnish Wanda
Finnish Wilke
Finnish Wirpi

Additionally, from Erling Skjold, Norway I've received a collision report showing that the Norwegian Ek was also initially in this convoy. Following a collision with the guardboat Oster on Jan. 9, she was able to continue to the U.K.; although not damaged, it's possible she was delayed enough by the collision that she could not catch up with the convoy.

Average speed: 6.6 knots.

For more info on the Norwegian ships, please go to the Ship Index (some are listed in the Homefleet section). There's a ship named Activ included on the site, but this ship was built in 1876 and was about 89 gt. The tonnage for the ship in Convoy HN 7 is given as 507 gt, built in 1903, so this was another ship, which is not included on my website.

The convoy emerged from Holmen in 10 columns on Jan. 9-1940, course about 45° to the southward of the first routed course of 307°. Due to the thick weather and bad visibility it was not possible for the escort to hoist signals that could be seen by all the ships at the same time. The alternative was to wheel the convoy, and this was done, though it took a long time and was not completed until dark.

The leaders of the 10 columns were informed of the 2 course alterations of 30° that were to be made in the course of the night, but the other ships did not receive this information, and consequently about half of the ships became detached, the visibility that night being practically nil.

Visibility was still bad at daybreak on the 10th, and the ships present were found to be divided into 3 groups with as much as 6 miles between them, but these sections were joined up in the course of the day, while destroyers and the attending flying boat were sent to search for lost ships.

The convoy was reorganized by the 11th. Maori joined at daylight off Fair Island Channel and Khartoum was ordered to detach to the west during the forenoon of that day, proceeding alone, as none of the 5 westbound ships were in company at that time. At 15:30 that same day Afridi dropped a depth charge on a contact, Maori picking up the same contact later on, but was unable to confirm. Tartar, sailing astern, also obtained a "good contact" at 16:36 and dropped 2 patterns, but no visible results were found.

The convoy was brought in to Methil Roads at 15:30, still in thick fog, and was met by the pilot boat.

HMS Afridi, Maori, Tartar, Kandahar, Kashmir, Khartoum, Triton. See also this document, listing escorts for all HN and ON convoys, as well as the text under Jan. 7 and Jan. 9 on this external page.

Back to Convoy Index

To the next HN convoy in my list HN 8
To List of all Norway-U.K. Convoys


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