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CONVOY ON 8 – U.K.-Norway

Left Methil on Jan. 15-1940 and arrived Norway on the 19th.
Received from Tony Cooper, England (his source: Public Records Office, Kew).
Names of the ships were received from Don Kindell - His source: Arnold Hague's research.

According to A. Hague, the following ships took part in ON 8:

British Baron Kelvin
Norwegian Eros
Danish Fredensborg*
British Glen Tilt
British Gullpool
British Hague
Norwegian Haukefjell
Norwegian Mathilda
Danish Oslo
Finnish Vienti

According to a list of all U.K.-Norway Convoys, ON 8 consisted of 6 British, 3 Norwegian, 1 Finnish ship (2 were not for Norway and were detached).

*Note that the Danish Fredensborg is said to have been on a voyage from Copenhagen to the U.K. when she was torpedoed and sunk by U-20 on Jan. 27-1940 - all 20 on board perished. ("Lloyd's War Losses", Vol. I, "Axis Submarine Successes of World War Two", Jürgen Rohwer - see also this external link). The Norwegian Faro and Hosanger were also sunk by U-20 that day.

The report that I've used for the rest of the info on this page states that a collision took place between HMS Duncan and the Norwegian Haukefjell. Both ships reached port. Also, Gullpool and Baron Kelvin are mentioned. About these ships, the Commanding Officer of Isis says, "S.S. Gullpool exceptionally poor at signalling and it is recommended that she should not be employed as guide. S.S. Baron Kelvin is good".

Summary of the escorting HMS Isis' report on the passage of ON 8 follows. Unfortunately, this document is very blurry and difficult to decipher, and some guessing has taken place with regard to dates and other numbers (hence my question marks), including the date of the report, which looks like Jan. 20-1940:

The convoy sailed from Methil at 18(?):00 on Jan. 15 and encountered a northerly gale and snow, which held them back the following day, Jan. 16. As mentioned, this document is extremely blurry, but it looks like Exmouth escorted 2 ships to Scapa, but their names are illegible, and none resemble any of the names listed above as being in this convoy (one of them looks like Lasso or similar, the other like Fossbeck or similar). HMS Duncan was set to collect stragglers of the convoy, rejoining with the last straggler at 24:00.

Thick weather with bad visibility continued into the next day, Jan. 17. Duncan was found to be missing about 07:30(?), otherwise the convoy was complete except for Haukefjell. Impulsive was observed far astern at 08:00, believed to be investigating, but her signal was unreadable as she turned and passed out of sight. Later in the forenoon Isis learnt of the collision between Duncan and Haukefjell, and that Duncan was in tow of Impulsive.

HMS Icarus joined the escort early on Jan. 18(?), and at daylight the convoy was formed on a broad front.

HMS Impulsive rejoined in the morning of Jan. 19, and the convoy arrived Hovden at daylight, all ships in company except for Haukefjell.

HMS Isis (S.O.), HMS Duncan (until Jan. 17), HMS Impulsive (absent while aiding Duncan), HMS Icarus, HMS Imperial, S/M Narwhal (astern of destroyers on starboard bow). This document, listing escorts for all HN and ON convoys also mentions Imogen, Exmouth, Duncan, Khartoum, Kimberley, Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Isis' report states "Covering Force - The Admiral commanding 2nd Cruiser Squadron in Edinburgh with Glasgow made contacts on 18th and 19th January".
Air Escort failed to make contact at all.

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To the next ON (U.K.-Norway) convoy in my list ON 9
To List of all U.K.-Norway Convoys


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