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D/S Kong Harald
Det Nordenfjeldske Dampskibsselskab, Trondheim

(Norwegian Homefleet WW II)

Back to Kong Harald on the "Homefleet Ships starting with K" page.

Source: Bjørn Milde's post card collection. He also sent me the next 2.

The following pictures are scans of old glass slides (100 years old), and were received from Dr. Marek Mietelski (who has given piano concerts in Norway several times. He's a professor at Krakow Academy of Music).

The pictures were taken by Dr. Jan Lewicki, former Secretary of a Private Chancellery of the Austrian emperor Franz Josef I. Dr. Mietelski has told me that Jan Lewicki was born in Przemysl in 1869 (Galicia) and died at Zakliczyn n/D. (distr. Tarnów) in 1954. He studied law at the University of Lvov where he took a doctor's degree as well. "After his sojourn in Lvov in an interwar period (till 1944), Mr Lewicki has refuged westwards (as thousands of Polish people) against Russians and their Red Army and he has settled down accidentally at Zakliczyn n/D. But being a pensioner, refugee and well on advanced years - he has had a room at the presbytery, given him by a local parish-priest, where he has spent last years of his life on the very modest conditions." He gave his slides to Dr. Mietelski in 1952.

The two captions were written in the photographer's own hand.

Please note that I've since been told that the following 3 pictures do not show Kong Harald, but a larger, possibly foreign ship (the pictures may have been taken while the photographer was on a voyage with her, hence the confusion with the caption).

 Pre War History: 

Delivered in Oct.-1890 from Joh. C. Teclenborg, Geestemunde as Kong Harald (102) to Det Nordenfjeldske D/S, 955 gt, 588 net, 209' 8"/198' 2" (loa/lpp) x 29' 7 1/2" x 15' 4 1/2"-22' 8 1/2" (d-dl), triple exp. steam engine, 1050 ihp, 12 knots. Certified for 300 passengers, cabins for 70. Placed in the company's Hamburg service on completion, and in the tourist service to North Cape in the summertime. Arrived Bergen on Nov. 22-1890 on her first voyage after delivery. In 1892 her interior was redone, and in 1893 a spare propeller was added. Damaged in 1894 after a collision with Orion at Aalesund harbour, repaired in Trondheim (Nordre Verft). Repaired again in Dec.-1896 following a collision with the brig Deborah in Herløfjord. Collided with Olav Trygvesøn off Fuglehuk on Apr. 17-1897, docked and repaired at Akers Mekaniske Verksted (shipyard in Oslo), completed on Apr. 26 and returned to service. Departed Trondheim for North Cape with 16 passengers on June 23 that same year, then went to a yard for her summer overhaul in May-1898, and again the following year when new propellers were installed in May/June-1899.

On Febr. 23-1900 she went aground near Ballsta in Lofoten, repaired at Trondheim mek. Verksted. From June till Oct.-1900 she was at a yard for various alterations and additions. By June-1909 she had been lengthened (at Trondheim mek. V.) and had become 1110 gt, 679 net, 865 tdwt, 230' 6"/219' loa/lpp, 17.400 cub. ft. cargo capacity. On Dec. 25-1915 she was assisted by Tanahorn, the naval vessel Fridtjof and Erik Jarl after having run aground near Hornøyskjæret. Ran aground off Støttrota near Meløy on Apr. 12-1921. Collided with Haakon Jarl (II) in heavy fog near Landego on June 17-1924. Haakon Jarl sank and 17 people died. Ran aground near Leikua north of Vallersund on March 13-1926, but managed to continue to Trondheim for repairs. Had a fire in 1st Class shortly after departure Kirkenes on Febr. 17-1929, returned to Kirkenes, repaired in Trondheim. D/S Ranen drifted into Kong Harald during a storm in Rørvik harbour on Febr. 9-1934, minor damages. On July 19-1936, on departure Trondheim with the assistance of the tug Ladejarlen, the tug was pulled under and the engineer died. On Oct. 6-1937 Kong Harald was towed to Trondheim for repairs following engine trouble near Ørnes.

 WW II: 

Kong Harald indirectly got involved in an allied raid on Lofoten on Dec. 27-1941 when she was stopped by naval forces in Vestfjord and with a prize crew on board sent to Skjelfjord, Flakstadøy together with D/S Nordland. The intention was to send both ships to Gt. Britian but this idea had to be given up due to the shortage of bunkers, so instead some of the most important engine parts were removed and the vessels abandoned. 14 of Kong Harald's crew joined the allied forces when they returned to Britain after the raid. Kong Harald was repaired and reentered service.

She was again taken by the British on Dec. 26-1942 (in Lofoten), but freed. Attacked on Jan. 21-1943 by 2 Norwegian motor torpedo boats in Frøysjøen near Bremanger, but 2 torpedoes from one of the boats missed. Crew on the other boat recognized the ship just before firing, and the attack was haulted. On Dec. 23-1943 she left Trondheim for the north of Norway. The following July (1944) she again narrowly missed being sunk, this time by a sub on Folla; the 2 torpedoes passed underneath the ship (this episode is not mentioned at all in Rohwer). That same month she was docked in Trondheim for repairs after having touched the ground near Stokmarknes (Mosken took over her route meanwhile), then back in service on July 22-1944, only to be taken out again in Sept. due to engine troubles. Badly damaged during an allied air attack while repairing at Bergen Mekaniske Verksted, Laksevåg on Oct. 4-1944.


Placed in Hurtigruten service in June-1945, and was then in and out of Hurtigruten in the course of the next couple of years, partly due to mechanical problems and partly because of general overhauls. She was rebuilt at Trondheim Mekaniske Verksted from Febr. till July-1948, new funnel, boatdeck lengthened and interior renewed. Ran aground near Heggebåen south of Florø on Oct. 17-1950. The passengers were taken on board Atløy and Toftholm and Kong Harald went to Trondheim to be laid up. Sold in Febr.-1951 to Ostende Remorquage Letzer SaA, Antwerp along with Tordenskjold and renamed Westende. Used as "bathing" vessel near Ostende. To Brugge in June-1954 for breaking up.

Related external links:
Operation Anklet - 2nd raid on Lofoten. The site also has an account on Operation Claymore, the 1st Lofoten raid which took place in March-1941 (the German M/S Hamburg was lost in this raid, as was the Norwegian D/S Mira).

Hurtigruten Company Flags - This is a section of a German website about Hurtigruten.

Kong Harald - The newest Kong Harald, in service today, built 1993, 11 200 gt, owned by Troms Fylkes Dampskibsselskap, Tromsø.

Back to Kong Harald on the "Homefleet Ships starting with K" page.

(Main source: "Nordenfjeldske - 1857-1985", Finn R. Hansen).

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