Site Map | Search |Merchant Fleet Main Page | Home 

Available Discussion Forums

CONVOY HN 8 – Norway-U.K.

Sailed from Norway Jan. 19-1940 and arrived Methil Jan. 22
Summary of several documents received from Tony Cooper, England (his source: Public Records Office, Kew), supplemented with information received from Don Kindell (names of ships in convoy - from the late Arnold Hague's database).

A document listing all the HN convoys states that HN 8 had 2 British, 28 Norwegian, 3 Swedish, and 5 Finnish ships, 9 being bound for the west coast.

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

Norwegian Almora
British Baltanglia - Did not make to her destination. Torpedoed and sunk on Jan. 23-1940 by U-19, see Pluto.
British Briarwood
Norwegian Brott
Norwegian Bruse
Finnish Canopus (for info, there was also a British Canopus).
Finnish Castor (for info, Norway also had a Castor, as did Sweden and Holland).
Norwegian Cygnus (Sweden also had a Cygnus).
Norwegian Delfinus
Norwegian Erica
British Folda
Norwegian Galatea (see also Convoy HN 9A)
Norwegian Granfoss
Norwegian Graziella
Norwegian Havborg
Swedish Helfrid
Norwegian Komet
Norwegian Kongshaug
Norwegian Libra
Norwegian Nina (there was also a Finnish Nina).
Norwegian Nydalen
Finnish Oinas (A. Hague spells it Oinaas).
Finnish Parma
Norwegian Pluto - torpedoed and sunk on Jan. 23-1940 by U-19, see Pluto. (For info, there was also a Finnish and a Dutch ship by this name).
Finnish Rosenborg
Norwegian Rym
Swedish Saxen
Norwegian Sitona
Norwegian Skum (see also HN 7).
Norwegian Snyg
Norwegian Solhavn
Norwegian Spes
Danish Svanholm (listed as British by A. Hauge, but I believe she was still Danish at that time? For info, there was also a Norwegian Svanholm).
Swedish Sverre Nergaard
Norwegian Thyra (for info, there was also a Swedish and Danish Thyra).
Norwegian Torbrand
Norwegian Veni (had to leave the convoy and return to Norway at 22:30 on Jan. 19, due to engine trouble. She shows up again in Convoy HN 9A).
Norwegian Vespasian
Norwegian Vesta (there was also a Dutch and a Finnish ship by this name).
Norwegian Vestra (there was a also a British ship by this name).

The Norwegian ships in this convoy are discussed on this website. For more information on them, please go to the Ship Index.

What follows is a summary of the escorting HMS Inglefield's report of proceedings, dated Jan. 23-1940, the first part showing her operations betwen Jan. 15 and noon Jan. 19, and the second part being details from her escort duties with Convoy HN 8 from 13:00 Jan. 19 until arrival Methil on Jan. 22:

It appears Folda was the Commodore's ship, because Inglefield's report concludes by saying: " is desired to stress the excellent manner in which S.S. Folda, the convoy leader, carried out her duties. It is no exagerration to say that an efficient convoy leader halves the work and anxiety of the escort".

HMS Inglefield, Icarus, Khartoum, Kimberley and Kelvin departed Clyde at 17:45 on Jan. 15 in order to rendezvous with HMS Aurora and intercept the German merchant Trautenfels, which had been reported disabled off the Norwegian coast in 64 40N 09 40E.

The British vessels proceeded at 25 knots, but reduced to 20 knots at 02:30, due to bad visibility in heavy winds and occasional snow storms. At 02:44, Inglefield received a signal from Kimberley that she had collided with Kelvin, the latter having dropped astern and out of sight. Kimberley's damage was reported as a small hole 6' above the waterline, starboard quarter.

In deteriorating visibility speed was again reduced at 02:50 to 15 knots, then to 10 knots at 06:18, when a steep sea was encountered after passing Trodday Light.

Soon after daylight, Kimberley reported that the whole plating in the tiller flat was opening up at deck level, and that there was danger of the tiller flat being flooded, and she was consequently detached to Scapa Flow for temporary repairs of the collision damages. The remaining ships, Inglefield, Khartoum and Icarus, proceeded in a northeasterly course during the night at a speed increased to 20 knots, as the weather had moderated by then.

Orders having been received that the original operation was cancelled, Khartoum was directed to Rosyth, Icarus to Scapa to refuel at 06:00 the following morning (Jan. 17), while Inglefield set course for Clyde at 20 knots. However, on receiving information that Duncan had been in a collision and was in tow of Impulsive, Inglefield proceeded at full speed to assist, Khartoum having been ordered by her to do likewise. When Inglefield reached the position of Duncan and Impulisve at 17:00 that afternoon, Exmouth was also on the scene. Upon arriving the area, Inglefield was ordered to take over the duties of Senior Officer of the escort to the Norwegian convoy, and received simultaneous orders to search for a U-boat which had been reported off Muckle Flugga at 14:00 that same afternoon, so she set a course northward at 17:03 at 20 knots in order to do so. In view of the probability of encountering the outward bound Norwegian convoy and/or the covering force of cruisers during the night, she proceeded through the Fair Island Channel and started to search on the U-boat's possible line of advance, in case it was outward bound.

At 06:05 Jan. 18 she sighted Fortune and Firedrake, also searching for the U-boat. The ships were disposed in line abreast, 1 mile apart, continuing the sweep to the northeastward, then to the eastward. Inglefield proceeded to Sollum Voe to refuel at 09:00 that morning, having ordered Fortune and Firedrake to continue the search for the U-boat, then sailed again at 16:30 to rendezvous with Convoy HN 8. She arrived off the coast of Norway at 12:00 (should this be 24:00?), sighting the other escorts, Isis, Icarus, Impulsive, Kashmir and the sub Narwhal, carrying out an A/S search to the southward. Khartoum also joined up later, at 12:30 (24:30?). (See also this document, listing escorts for all HN and ON convoys).

The convoy was first sighted at 13:30 (19th by then), emerging through a heavy snow squall in remarkably good station, and little difficulty was experienced in directing them on to the initial course. Contact was made with Edinburgh and Glasgow at 14:30 (covering force). Inglefield took up position ahead of the convoy, while Narwhal was stationed 2 cables astern of the destroyers on the port quarter.

AT 15:56 Kashmir was forced to stop with a choked oil fuel pipe, and remained stopped until steam was raised in the other boiler, then rejoined the convoy at 16:46.

At 04:48 the following morning (Jan. 20) an S.O.S. was received from SS Nautic(?) in position 62 42N 00? 43E and Kashmir was detached at 05:00 to pick up survivors.

A pattern of depth charges was dropped on a "contact" obtained by Inglefield at 11:00 (still Jan. 20), but this later turned out to be a shoal of cod. While this was going on the convoy had been ordered to make an emergency turn of 40° starboard.

Edinburgh and Glasgow were sighted at daylight Jan. 21, Kashmir rejoined at 08:10. 10 minutes later, the westbound ships of the convoy were detached with Icarus and Impulsive, with orders to pass through the Fair Island Channel, this following a message from the Admiralty reporting that a homeward U-boat might be expected off Muckle Flugga around the 21st, and also because of the unfavourable tidal streams in the Pentland Firth. Later reports indicated that a U-boat was in the vicinity of the track of the convoy, so Kashmir and Khartoum were ordered to carry out a search astern after dark. They regained station at 22:15, both having dropped depth charges on a stationary object at 18:40, resulting in a quantity of oil coming to the surface.

There's also mention in this report of an Admiralty message received on Jan. 20, referring to the sailing of the German cruisers Leipzig and Nurnberg for an unknown operation.

Convoy HN 8 arrived off Methil at 11:45 Jan. 22.

Signed P. Todd, Captain, Royal Navy
(3rd Flotilla)

As mentioned, escorts for all ON and HN convoys are named in this document. See also the text under Jan. 19 on this external page.

Back to Convoy Index

To the next HN convoy in my list HN 9A
To List of all Norway-U.K. Convoys
To Escorts / HN & ON Convoys


 Site Map | Search |Merchant Fleet Main Page | Home