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D/S Bergensfjord
Updated Jan. 16-2013

To Bergensfjord on the "Ships starting with B" page.

Manager: Den norske Amerikalinje A/S, Oslo
Originally 10 666 gt, 6475 net.
Tonnage became 10 709 gt, 6448 net in 1921, 11 013 gt, 6406 net in 1926, 11 015 gt, 6550 net in 1930.
Dimensions: 512.4 x 61.2 x 29.4 feet.
Machinery: Two 4 cylinder quadruple-expansion steam engines by the shipbuilders, driving twin screws.
Passengers: 105 1st Class, 216 2nd Class, 760 3rd Class.

Passenger liner, launched by Cammell Laird & Co. Ltd., Birkenhead (Yard No. 787) for NAL on April 8-1913 and delivered in September that year.

In 1932 she was fitted with 2 low pressure steam turbines.

At launch 1913 - Bjørn Milde's postcard collection.
This picture also comes from Bjørn Milde, Norway and is from his own postcard collection. It shows Kristianiafjord and Bergensfjord in Bergen, 1913 - the only time they were in Bergen at the same time. (Note that this is not the Kristianiafjord listed on my K-page).

In dry dock. From a book about Akers mek. Verksted, published in 1931.

Obviously before she became a troopship.
The above picture was taken during the war. A chapter in "Tusen norske skip" mentions how dreadful she started to look after she had been transporting troops for a while, as there was no time in between transports for maintenance work to be done.
(The last 2 pictures are from the company fleet list, received from a representative of NAL).

Another picture is available on this external page (click in it to enlarge).

See also the external links provided at the end of this page for more pictures.

This was received from John McCreadie, who has also posted this message to my Guestbook, naming other Norwegian seamen (the gravestones are at Cardonald Cemetery in Glasgow, Scotland).
Checking with "Våre falne", a series of 4 books listing Norwegian WW II casualties, I find that Rolf Christophersen died of malaria in Glasgow on the date given. He served on Bergensfjord at the time (had previously been on board Oslofjord until sunk).
I can't find Osvald B. Hansen in these books, but for information on O. M. Berg, please see Varøy.

Captain: Math. Anzjøn until the fall of 1941, then 1st mate Andreas E. Velle took over.

By the end of the war Bergensfjord had carried 165,000 troops, sailed 300,000 miles, and had been at sea for 919 days.

Her voyages are listed on these original images from the Norwegian National Archives:
(unfortunately, these are incomplete)
Page 1 | Page 2 | Page 3

Please compare the above voyages with Arnold Hague's Voyage Record below.

Voyage Record
From Nov.-1940 to Dec.-1945:

(Received from Don Kindell - His source: The late Arnold Hague's database).

Follow the convoy links provided for more information.
Note that the WS convoys started out in the U.K., but Bergensfjord usually joined later on in the passage.

Errors may exist, and some voyages are missing.

Departure From To Arrival Convoy Remarks
Unfortunately, the archive documents do not show all her voyages, so comparison with A. Hague's record cannot be properly made and accuracy confirmed.
1940 Nov. 9 New York City Halifax Nov. 11 Independent See also narrative below & Page 1
Dec. 9 Halifax Liverpool Dec. 17 Independent Converted to personnel ship on arrival.
See also narrative.
1941 Febr. 7 Liverpool Freetown March 2 WS 6A 2100 troops.
Convoy available at WS 6A
See also WS convoys
(external links)
March 8 Freetown Durban March 26 WS 6 Convoy available at WS 6
(external link)
See also WS convoys above
(and narrative)
March 31 Durban WS 6* 2100 troops.
Dispersed Apr. 15.
Links above
*Should this be WS 6D? (external link - escorts only are named).
Apr. 16 Aden Suez Apr. 20 Independent
May 1 Suez Durban May 16 SW 6 1700 POW's, 134 troops.
Convoy available at SW 6
(external link)
May 27 Durban Freetown June 13 Independent
June 20 Freetown Durban July 4 WS 9A Convoy available at WS 9A
See also WS convoys
(external links)
July 11 Durban Capetown July 14 Independent
July 15 Capetown Trinidad Aug. 2 Independent
Aug. 3 Trinidad St. John, N.B. Aug. 10 Independent
Aug. 14 St. John, N.B. Clyde Aug. 22 Independent
Sept. 19 Clyde Iceland Sept. 21 DS 12 Convoy available at DS convoys
(external link)
Sept. 23 Iceland Clyde Sept. 25 SD 12 Convoy available at SD convoys
(external link)
Oct. 1 Clyde Iceland Oct. 4 DS 12B Convoy available at DS convoys
(external link)
Oct. 6 Iceland Clyde Oct. 8 SD 12B Convoy available at SD convoys
(external link)
Oct. 16 Clyde Iceland Oct. 18 DS 14 Convoy available at DS convoys
(external link)
Oct. 20 Iceland Clyde Oct. 22 SD 14 Convoy available at SD convoys
(external link)
Oct. 30 Clyde Iceland Nov. 2 DS 15 Convoy available at DS convoys
(external link)
Nov. 3 Iceland Clyde Nov. 5 SD 15 Convoy available at SD convoys
(external link)
See also Page 1
Dec. 23 Clyde Halifax Jan. 1-1942 CT 8 Convoy available at CT 8
(external link)
1942 Jan. 9 Halifax Clyde Jan. 19 NA 1 Convoy available at NA 1
(external link)
Febr. 16 Clyde Freetown March 1 WS 16 Convoy available at WS 16
See also WS convoys
(external links)
See also narrative.
March 6 Freetown Capetown March 18 WS 16 See links above
March 22 Capetown WS 16 Convoy split Apr. 3.
See links above
Apr. 3 Detached from WS 16 WS 16A Convoy available at WS 16A
(external link)
Dispersed Apr. 6.
Apr. 6 Aden Suez Apr. 10 Independent
Apr. 12 Suez Durban Apr. 23 Independent 370 troops, 1500 POW's
Apr. 25 Durban Capetown Apr. 28 Independent
May 13 Capetown Freetown May 23 Independent
May 26 Freetown Clyde June 7 Independent
June 21 Clyde Freetown July 2 WS 20 2559 troops.
Convoy available at WS 20
See also WS convoys
(external links)
July 6 Freetown Capetown July 18 WS 20 Links above
July 23 Capetown WS 20 Convoy split Aug. 1.
Links above
Aug. 1 Detached from WS 20 WS 20A Convoy available at WS 20A
(external link)
Dispersed Aug. 6.
Aug. 9 Aden Suez Aug. 14 Independent
Aug. 16 Suez Aden Aug. 20 Independent
Aug. 20 Aden Basra Aug. 27 Independent
Aug. 28 Basra Durban Sept. 13 Independent
Sept. 19 Durban Matadi Sept. 28 Independent
Sept. 29 Matadi Lagos Oct. 10 Independent
Oct. 13 Lagos Freetown Oct. 18 Independent
Oct. 23 Freetown Bathurst Oct. 24 Independent
Oct. 26 Bathurst Clyde Nov. 4 Independent See also Page 1
Nov. 14 Clyde Algiers Nov. 23 KMF 3 Convoy available at KMF convoys
(external link)
Nov. 23 Algiers Clyde Dec. 3 MKF 3 Convoy available at MKF convoys
(external link)
1943 Jan. 8 Clyde Algiers Jan. 17 KMF 7 Convoy available at KMF convoys
(external link)
Jan. 18 Algiers Gibraltar Jan. 20 MKF 7 Convoy available at MKF convoys
(external link)
Jan. 21 Gibraltar Casablanca Jan. 22 Independent
Jan. 24 Casablanca Dakar Jan. 30 Independent
Jan. 30 Dakar Bathurst Jan. 30 Independent
Febr. 2 Bathurst Freetown Febr. 4 Independent
Febr. 4 Freetown Takoradi Febr. 8 ST 55 Convoy available at ST convoys
(external link)
Febr. 12 Takoradi Freetown Febr. 15 Independent
Febr. 20 Freetown Lagos Febr. 24 ST 56 Convoy available at link above
Febr. 25 Lagos Takoradi Febr. 26 Independent
Febr. 27 Takoradi Lagos Febr. 28 Independent
March 1 Lagos Freetown March 6 Escorted
March 11 Freetown Capetown March 23 WS 27 Convoy available at WS 27
See also WS convoys
(external links)
March 26 Capetown Kilindini Apr. 4 WS 27 See links above
Apr. 14 Aden Suez Apr. 19 Independent
Apr. 21 Suez Durban May 5 Independent
May 25 Durban WS 29 Convoy split June 2.
Available at WS 29
See also WS convoys
(external links)
June 2 Detached from WS 29 Aden June 8 WS 29A Convoy available at WS 29A
(external link)
June 8 Aden Suez June 12 Independent
July 5 Port Said Operation Husky (Sicily) July 10 MWF 36 871 troops.
Convoy available at MWF 36
See also Operation Husky
and Operation Husky
(external links)
July 11 Operation Husky Malta July 12 Escorted
July 14 Malta Alexandria July 17 Escorted
July 20 Alexandria Augusta July 24 MWF 38 Convoy available at MWF 38
(external link)
July 24 A. Hague says:
Operation Husky
Port Said July 29 MEF 38 Convoy available at MEF 38
(external link)
July 29 Port Said Suez July 29 Independent
Aug. 13 Suez Alexandria Aug. 16 Independent
Aug. 19 Alexandria Algiers Aug. 24 MKF 22 A. Hague says:
Alexandria to Gibraltar
Aug. 26 Algiers Clyde Sept. 9 MKF 22
(link above)
Sept. 15 Clyde Philippeville Sept. 24 KMF 24 Convoy available at KMF convoys
(external link)
Sept. 27 Philippeville Gibraltar Sept. 30 MKF 24 Philippeville to Gibraltar for West Africa
Oct. 1 Gibraltar Freetown Oct. 7 RS 10 Convoy available at RS 10
(external link)
Oct. 14 Freetown Gibraltar Oct. 21 SR 6 Convoy available at SR 6
(external link)
Oct. 23 Gibraltar Port Said Oct. 30 KMF 25 A. Hague says:
Gibraltar to Port Said for India.
Convoy available at KMF convoys
(external link)
Nov. 3 Port Said Aden Nov. 9 Independent
Nov. 10 Aden Bombay Nov. 17 AB 20F Convoy available at AB 20F
(external link)
Nov. 22 Bombay Suez Dec. 2 Independent See also Page 1
Dec. 14 Suez Port Said Dec. 14 Independent
Dec. 16 Port Said Taranto Dec. 21 XIF 6 Convoy available at XIF 6
(external link)
Dec. 22 Taranto Philippeville Dec. 26 XIF 6A A. Hague says:
Via Augusta Dec. 23/24.
Convoy available at XIF 6A
(external link)
Dec. 26 Philippeville Clyde Jan. 4-1944 MKF 27 Joined at Philippeville
1944 Jan. 13 Clyde New York City Jan. 24 TU 6 A. hague says:
112 days refit on arrival New York.
Convoy available at TU 6
(external link)
July 18 New York City Clyde July 28 CU 32 Troops. 93 days refit on arrival
Page 1 mentions New York Sept. 1 (?),
but see narrative below
Nov. 6 Clyde Naples Nov. 17 KMF 36 1038 troops.
Convoy available at KMF convoys
(external link)
Nov. 20 Naples Oran Nov. 23 SNF 29 Convoy available at SNF 29
(external link)
Nov. 25 Oran Toulon Nov. ? Independent
Nov. 29 Toulon Naples Escorted
Dec. 2 Naples Taranto Dec. 4 Independent
Dec. 13 Taranto Piræus Dec. 16 Escorted
Dec. 16 Piræus Taranto Dec. 18 Independent
Dec. 19 Taranto Port Said Dec. 22 Independent
Dec. 28 Port Said Taranto Dec. 31 Independent
1945 Jan. 1 Taranto Piræus Jan. 3 Escorted
Jan. 4 Piræus Volos Jan. 5 Independent
Jan. 5 Volos Patras Jan. 12 Independent A. Hague says:
Must be another call here
Jan. 12 Patras Haifa Jan. 14 Independent (Again, see also Page 1)
Jan. 16 Haifa Taranto Jan. 20 Independent
Jan. 28 Taranto Haifa Jan. 31 Independent
Jan. 31 Haifa Port Said Febr. 1 Independent
Febr. 7 Port Said Gibraltar Febr. 13 Independent
Febr. 14 Gibraltar Clyde Febr. 20 MKF 39 126 troops.
Convoy will be added.
In the meantime, available at MKF convoys
(external link)
March 10 Clyde KMF 41 For Port Said.
1688 troops.
Passed Gibraltar March 17.
Convoy available at KMF convoys
(external link)
March 17 Gibraltar Malta March 19 Independent
March 19 Malta Port Said March 22 Independent (See also Page 1)
March 24 Port Said Odessa March 28 Independent 2653 Russian ex POW's
Apr. 2 Odessa Marseilles Apr. 9 Independent 2388 Allied ex POW's
Apr. 10 Marseilles Odessa Apr. 16 Independent 2482 Russian ex POW's
Apr. 18 Odessa Marseilles Apr. 23 Independent 2362 Allied ex POW's
Apr. 25 Marseilles Odessa Apr. 30 Independent 2407 Russian ex POW's
May 3 Odessa Marseilles Independent 2264 Allied ex POW's
May 11 Marseilles Gibraltar May 16 Independent
May 17 Gibraltar Clyde May 22 MKF 44 1254 troops.
Convoy available at MKF convoys
(external link)
May 27 Clyde Leith May 29 Independent
May 31 Leith Oslo, Norway June 1 Independent
June 3 Oslo Stavanger, Norway June 3 Independent
June 4 Stavanger Bergen, Norway June 4 Independent
June 6 Bergen Stavanger June 6 Independent
June 10 Stavanger Leith June 11 Independent
June 16 Leith Trondheim, Norway June 18 Independent
June 19 Trondheim Bergen June 20 Independent
June 20 Bergen Oslo June 21 Independent
June 23 Oslo Clyde June 26 Independent
July 15 Clyde Toulon Aug. 5* Independent
* This seems like an awfully long time to travel from Clyde to Toulon (?)
Aug. 5 Toulon Port Said Aug. 12 Independent Compare w/Page 2
Via Taranto?
Aug. 13 Port Said Colombo Aug. 24 Independent Again, see also Page 2
Aug. 31 Colombo Durban Sept. 10 Independent
Sept. 18 Durban Kilindini Oct. 5 Independent Compare w/Page 2
Oct. 10 Kilindini Port Said Oct. 19 Independent "
Oct. 19 Port Said Freetown Oct. 30 Independent
Oct. 31 Freetown Takoradi Nov. 4 Independent
Nov. 5 Takoradi Freetown Nov. 11 Independent Again, compare w/Page 2
Nov. 11 Freetown Gibraltar Nov. 17 Independent
Nov. 17 Gibraltar Clyde Nov. 22 Independent
Dec. 16 Clyde Oslo, Norway Dec. 19 Independent
Dec. 27 Oslo Clyde Dec. 30 Independent Subsequent voyages:
Page 2 and Page 3

 Misc. Voyages: 

Due to the invasion of Norway on Apr. 9-1940, Bergensfjord was laid up on arrival New York from Norway on April 15 (see Page 1), but was requisitioned in Nov.-1940 by the Ministry of War Transport and converted to a troopship at Halifax, Nova Scotia, where she arrived on Nov. 11. At the end of that year and early 1941, she was further fitted out for troop transport in Liverpool, completed February 2-1941, subsequently proceeding to Glasgow where 1904 soldiers were embarked for the Middle East. She departed in convoy on Febr. 6 together with another 12 troop transports and about 30 cargo vessels (note that this number exceeds what is given for Convoy WS 6A, in which she's listed for this voyage; ref. link provided in the table above), escorted by 2 cruisers and 12 destroyers. The escort was reinforced on Febr. 15 by HMS Rodney, which in turn was replaced by HMS Ark Royal on the 17th (this was shortly after the incident with Borgestad, which had been sunk in the area through which the convoy was headed - hence the strong escort; follow the link to Borgestad for details on her loss). Bergensfjord arrived Freetown on March 2. On March 22 she stopped briefly at Capetown, before heading to Durban, then on Apr. 15 she reached Aden, leaving shortly thereafter for Suez where the troops disembarked, arriving on Apr. 19. Bergensfjord's next group of "passengers" were 1700 Italian prisoners of war, guarded by 130 Indian soldiers. She departed Suez again on Apr. 30 and landed the prisoners in Durban 2 weeks later. (Info from "Nortraships flåte" - the dates here differ slightly from what is found in A. Hague's Voyage Record, which also provides some convoy information and subsequent voyages).

On Febr. 27-1942 a burial service was conducted on board, for a man who had died of a bullet wound - no further details are available. According to the record above, she was on her way from Clyde to Freetown on that date.

Bergensfjord was also used as troop transport in Operation Torch, the invasion of North Africa, which commenced on Nov. 8-1942, and which freed my father from the labor camps (my page about Athos has a list of Norwegian ships taking part). According to A. Hague, she arrived Algiers with Convoy KMF 3 on Nov. 23 (link in the table above). She was used as such again for Operation Husky - the allied invasion of Sicily, July 10-1943. A. Hague says she arrived (with 871 troops) in Convoy MWF 36 (again, ref. link in the table above). While there (at "Beach George") several air attacks took place. Gunners on board at the time were: Leif S. Hansen, Linhardt Kristoffersen, Anker J. Pedersen, Gunnar Aas, Arne L. Horn, Yngvar Helliesen (see also Topdalsfjord), Magne Olsen Langeland, Normann P. Holth, G. J. Andreasssen, Thor Jacobsen, Olav A. Evensen, Haakon Kristoffersen, Arvid Larsen, Oluf Hansen Aasvistad, Sverre E. Karlsen, Johan B. Brun Strøm, Alf R. Janzon.

She witnessed the sinking of the British hospital ship Talamba, and took on board survivors (sunk by aircraft, July 10 - ref. external links at the end of this page). After Syracuse had been secured the rest of the Royal Navy personnel Bergensfjord still had on board disembarked and she departed for Malta without escort on July 11 (this conflicts with the info in her Voyage Record; Arnold Hague says she was escorted). The following month she shows up in Convoy MKF 22, voyaging from Alexandria to Gibraltar (Algiers?), later continuing to Clyde, with arrival Sept. 9 (MKF 22 started out in Port Said Aug. 19; according to A. Hague, Bergensfjord had sailed from Alexandria on Aug. 19, arrived Algiers Aug. 24, leaving again on the 26th for Clyde, still in Convoy MKF 22). About a week later, she headed to Philippeville (see Voyage Record), then made a voyage from Philippeville to Gibraltar in Convoy MKF 24, arriving Gibraltar on Sept. 30, according to A. Hague (she had previously arrived Philippeville from Clyde with Convoy KMF 24 on Sept. 24). Her last voyage that year was made in Convoy MKF 27 to Clyde, where she arrived Jan. 4-1944, having joined from Philippeville. For information on voyages made in between those mentioned here, please refer to A. Hague's Voyage Record above.

Later that month, she made a voyage to New York, having sailed in Convoy TU 6, which arrived New York on Jan. 24-1944 (link in the table above). She did not leave New York again until July 18 (having undergone a 112 days refit, according to A. Hague) and is now listed as the only Norwegian ship in the fast New York-U.K. Convoy CU 32. Her destination is given as Clyde, and she was carrying troops, arriving Clyde on July 28. Follow the link for the names of other ships in this convoy. After this voyage, Bergensfjord was in Glasgow for engine repairs for about 3 months, then left on Nov. 9-1944 with 1058 troops (A. Hague gives departure Clyde as Nov. 6, 1038 troops, Convoy KMF 36, arriving Naples Nov. 17 - it'll be noticed, when going back to Page 1, that there's mention of New York again for Sept. 1-1944; I'm not entirely sure what that means). According to "Nortraships flåte", her subsequent route was Oran-Marseilles-Naples-Taranto-Piræus-Taranto-Port Said-Taranto-Piræus-Volo-Piræus-Patras-Haifa-Port Said-Gibraltar-Glasgow. Again, compare with A. Hague's Voyage Record.

According to A. Hague, she got to go home to Norway already in June-1945 (twice), and it looks like Christmas was celebrated in Norway that year (see Page 2). Page 3 shows her voyages to Aug.-1946.

For info, there's an interesting chapter about Bergensfjord in the book "Tusen norske ship" by Lise Lindbæk. It's the purser's diary (Sverre Knoph), describing day by day activities, voyages and conditions on board, from Dec. 19-1940 (while being fitted out in Liverpool) until New Years Eve 1941. The book was translated to English under the title "Norway's New Saga of the Sea", and consists of diaries as well as Lise Lindbæk's interviews with seamen, first published in Norwegian in New York in Nov. 1943 - see Sources / Books for tips on how to find a copy. Any effort involved in trying to find it would be well worth it. (As an example of what can be found in it see Rudzin's Diary).


Bergensfjord is said to have been chartered for one voyage to carry GI brides from Europe to the U.S. in Febr.-1946 (this does not match up with what can be found on Page 2 and Page 3 of the archive documents), then returned to Den Norske Amerikalinje. There's an interesting article in the Norwegian magazine "Krigsseileren" No. 4/1979, written by Frithjof Utne, former captain of Leka. It details a full blown mutiny on board in May-1946 when Bergensfjord was transporting about 1400 coloured soldiers from Glasgow to Kingston, Jamaica, along with about 200 civilian passengers, mostly women and children. The soldiers were armed with knives, and the situation was quite critical for a while, but they eventually surrendered, though had inflicted several injuries. Help later arrived from Kingston in the shape of the corvette HMS Ballinderry, and on arrival Kingston the soldiers were interned (going back to Page 3, we learn that she had departed Clyde on May 9 and arrived Kingston via Trinidad, but arrival date is not provided). Bergensfjord's captain at that time was Leif Hansen.

She was sold in Aug.-1946 to Panamanian Lines Inc. (Fratelli Cosulich, Trieste managers), Panama and renamed Argentina for emigrant traffic from Italy to South America. Owners restyled Mediterranean Lines Inc., Panama in 1949 (same managers). Sold to Home Lines Inc., Panama in 1952, sold again in 1953 to Zim Israel Navigation Co. Ltd., Israel and renamed Jerusalem for Israel-New York service. Renamed Aliya for Israel-Marseilles service in 1957. Arrived at La Spezia on August 13-1959 for breaking up.

Related external links:
A whole web site could be made about this ship alone, so I'll just limit myself to the above facts. Here's one that might be of more help:
Norway Heritage Project - The site has a section on NAL, with Bergensfjord's history and also has several pictures of her.

Lots of pictures of Bergensfjord, Stavangerfjord, Oslofjord and other NAL ships through the years. The main page is entitled Simplon Postcards and has postcard pictures of ships from a heap of other companies around the world, mostly post war, but also some that go further back.

SS Bergensfjord - Wikipedia article.

Operation Torch

See also
Wikipedia's article on this operation

WW II Troop Ship Crossings - Other troopships of WW II.

Hospital Ship Talamba

Eye witness story - Talamba

See also:
The invasion of Sicily - London Gazette (pdf file). The sinking of Talamba is mentioned.

Back to Bergensfjord on the "Ships starting with B" page.

Den norske Amerikalinje later had 3 more ships with the name Bergensfjord. Here's a lovely postcard picture of one of them (external link).

The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, Den norske Amerikalinje fleet list, and misc.


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