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D/S Carl Oftedal
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).
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.
(Received from Don Kindell - His source: The late Arnold Hague's database).
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:
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.
Related external links:
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.