Site Map | Search |Merchant Fleet Main Page | Home 

D/S Carl Oftedal
Updated June 2-2011

To Carl Oftedal on the "Ships starting with C" page.

When Hedwigshütte - see Post War info at the end of this page (the picture was taken in 1959 in the English Channel).
Received from Reinhard Gotz, who served on her (original source unknown).

Manager: Nortraship
7176 gt, 10 678 tdwt

Built by New England Shipbuilding Corp., South Portland, ME (3100). Launched on March 13-1945 as Liberty Ship George N. Drake for US War Shipping Administration. 423.8' x 57.1' x 34.9', Triple exp. 2500 ihp, 11 knots. Taken over by Nortraship upon delivery on March 28-1945 and placed in service as Carl Oftedal. She was one of 5 ships taken over by Nortraship in 1945, the others are named on this page. ("Bergenske, byen og selskapet", Dag Bakka Jr. gives her tonnage as 7293 gt, 10 865 tdwt).

Captain: Peder Kristian Pedersen.

This ship had 2 female, American Radio Operators from Apr. 4-1945 until Nov. 7-1945, Joan Quinn and Jean Haydock (the latter is still around) - please see the end of my page about Mosdale for more details on these girls.

Her voyages are listed on this original document received from the National Archives of Norway.

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

Voyage Record
From March-1945 to Dec.-1945:

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

Departure From To Arrival Convoy Remarks
1945 March 31 Portland, Maine Searsport Apr. 3 Independent Via Boston
See archive document
Apr. 9 Searsport Boston Independent
Apr. 20 Boston Searsport Apr. 20 Independent
May 1 Searsport Boston May 1 Independent
May 2 Boston Halifax May 4 BX 160 Convoy available at BX 160
(external link)
May 6 Halifax HX 354 Convoy will be added
See ships in HX convoys
Joined ON 300 May 10.
May 10 Joined from HX 354 Searsport May 16 ON 300 Joined at sea from HX 354.
Convoy will be added.
See ships in ON convoys
May 17 Searsport Boston May 18 Independent
May 23 Boston Cristobal June 1 Independent
June 4 Balboa Leyte Independent
July 17 Leyte Batangas July 20 Independent
Aug. 11 Batangas Subic Bay Aug. 12 Independent
Aug. 19 Subic Bay Okinawa Aug. 23 Independent
Oct. 14 Okinawa Batangas Oct. 19 Independent
Nov. 9 Batangas Leyte Independent
Nov. 13 Leyte Leyte Nov. 24 Independent
Nov. 29 Leyte San Francisco Dec. 23 Independent Subsequent voyages:
Archive document


For info, the Norwegian Meline is also listed in Convoy BX 160. Other Norwegian ships in Convoy HX 354, which had originated in New York on May 3-1945 and arrived Liverpool May 18, were G. C. Brøvig, Noreg, Salamis, Strinda and Washington Express. Carl Oftedal carried ammo/explosives and had station 44, having joined from Halifax, but as noted in the table above, she did not follow the convoy to the U.K. The westbound North Atlantic Convoy ON 300, which had started out in Liverpool on May 2 (arrived New York on May 18), also had several Norwegian ships, namely Fosna, Gefion, Heranger (Commodore Vessel), John Bakke and Viggo Hansteen, all listed on this website (see alphabet index at the end of this page). A. Hague has also included Narvik, but this does not fit in with her voyages for this period. (In fact, the ship in this convoy was the Polish Narwik, ex Empire Roamer - see this external page).

Carl Oftedal was near Okinawa in a convoy of about 50 ships in 1945 with a cargo of 8700 tons bombs, waiting for the weather to improve so that they could go in, when a typhoon suddenly hit the island, and some of the bombs came lose and were rolling around in No. 1 hold. The crew managed to secure this dangerous cargo, but shortly thereafter they heard cries for help from the sea. A lifeboat was launched and 3 men were rescued from the raging water by the 2nd mate and 4 able seamen and hauled aboard Carl Oftedal, before the boat continued to search for more. They were survivors from an American warship caught in the storm. The next morning two destroyers were notified and more survivors were found. Commander of the 7th fleet on Okinawa personally thanked captain Pedersen for what he had done. The number of men saved was not great, but the fact that Carl Oftedal, in spite of her dangerous cargo, had been the only ship out of the 50 that even attempted to assist the shipwrecked men, caught the commander's special attention.

I have received an E-mail from Jean Haydock Pugh, who served as radio operator on Carl Oftedal at the time. She says, among other things:
"I remember well that typhoon off  Okinawa with the 500-pound bombs rolling around in the hold. They told that the sailors we rescued - their first question was, "Is this the ship with the girls on it?". The end of my page about Mosdale has the complete text of her E-mail.

As can be seen when going to the archive document, Carl Oftedal went home to Norway at the beginning of 1946.


Purchased by Det Bergenske Dampskibsselskab, taken over in Norfolk, VA on Oct. 10-1946, renamed Brant County in Antwerp Jan. 22-1947 and placed in the County Line after having been rebuilt (passenger cabins added). Renamed Matang in 1954 (Halvorsen Shipping Co., Bergen - delivered Nov. 27-1954), became German Hedwigshütte* in May-1956 (Hedwigshütte Kohlen & Kokswerke AG, Hamburg), Greek Saronis in 1960 (Morania Cia Naviera SA, Piræus - A. Lusi Ltd., London, later shipbrokers J. C. Carras & Sons Ltd., London, 1965). Broken up in Taiwan in 1968, having arrived Kaohsiung on Nov. 12-1967.

*Reinhard Gotz, who served on her when she had this name (and who sent me the picture at the top of this page, says: "I Reinhard Gotz served on this ship, that was later named D. Hedwiegshutte, from 1958 to 1960, as a deck hand under Capitan Teunis and later under Capitan H. Horst. Carrying mostly bulk like iron ore, phosphate, kohl and coke from Morocco, Spain,  Norway, Sweden and Argentina. When the Norwegian company took her over, they added the extended super structure made of cedar. I was very surprised to see the history of my ship on your website and would like to add this last picture of my memory of her to your website".

Related external links:
Liberty Ships - Unfortunately, the list no longer appears to be included at this site (unfortunate, because I have 100's of links to it from my Convoys section). If I remember correctly, that particular section was hosted by Peter Thompson, who has now moved to a different site, but I cannot find his list of Liberty Ships. I'll leave the link up for now until I can find out whether it's still available somewhere. I did find an identical page here, but as will be seen, the alphabetical links receive an error.

See also:
List of Liberty Ships by Hull No. - Includes info on the men for whom the ships were named (from Wikipedia).

Back to Carl Oftedal on the "Ships starting with C" page.

The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Bergenske, byen og selskapet", Dag Bakka Jr.", Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, "Liberty Ships in Peacetime, and their Contribution to World Shipping History", I. G. Steward. See My sources.


 Site Map | Search |Merchant Fleet Main Page | Home