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M/T Høegh Giant
Updated Oct. 24-2011

To Høegh Giant on the "Ships starting with H" page.

Crew List

Received from Ken Dunn.
This picture can also be found in Leif Høegh & Co.'s fleet list, and I have the company's permission to use it on my site.
The Australian War Memorial has another picture of this ship, taken in Apr.-1940 (external links).

Owner: Skibsaktieselsk. Abaco, Aruba, Astrea & Noruega.
Manager: Leif Høegh & Co. A/S, Oslo.
10 990 gt, 6590 net, 16 008 tdwt.
Dimensions: 508' 1" length x 69' 2" beam.
Machinery: 7-cyl. two-stroke cycle double acting oil engine by Maschinenfabrik Augsburg-Nürnberg A.G., Augsburg.
Call Sign: LJJN.

Completed in Febr.-1937 by Deutsche Werft A.G., Hamburg.

Captain: Finn Ager Madsen.

Related items on this website:
Guestbook message from someone whose uncle served on this ship (Robert McKeich). See also the message posted on Febr. 26 (scroll down on the page)..
Robert McKeich's letter to his brother - Gives quite a bit of details about their recurrent problems with the electrical system and how he got it fixed.

Her voyages are listed on these original images from the Norwegian National Archives:
Page 1 | Page 2 | Page 3

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

Voyage Record
From March-1940 to June-1942:

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

Follow the convoy links provided for more information on each.

Departure From To Arrival Convoy Remarks
1940 March 20 Sourabaya Brisbane Apr. 26 Independent A. Hague says:
Notional sailing date.
Page 1 gives departure Apr. 2.
Apr. 26 Brisbane Wellington Independent
May 10 Wellington Miri May 28 Independent
May 31 Miri Durban June 19 Independent
June 19 Durban East London June 20 Independent
June 21 East London Port Elizabeth June 22 Independent
June 23 Port Elizabeth Capetown June 25 Independent
July 13 Capetown Tampico Aug. 6 Independent
Aug. 10 Tampico New York City Aug. 17 Independent
Aug. 21 New York City Tampico Aug. 28 Independent
Sept. 3 Tampico New York City Sept. 10 Independent
Sept. 14 New York City Tampico Sept. 22 Independent
Sept. 25 Tampico New York City Oct. 3 Independent
Oct. 10 New York City Tampico Oct. 18 Independent
Oct. 22 Tampico New York City Oct. 29 Independent
Nov. 1 New York City Tampico Nov. 8 Independent
Nov. 12 Tampico New York City Nov. 20 Independent
Nov. 26 New York City Tampico Dec. 3 Independent
Dec. 6 Tampico New York City Dec. 13 Independent
Dec. 15 New York City Tampico Dec. 23 Independent
Dec. 27 Tampico New York City Jan. 3-1941 Independent
1941 Jan. 7 New York City Tuxpan Jan. 14 Independent
Jan. 15 Tuxpan Philadelphia Jan. 22 Independent
Jan. 24 Philadelphia Tuxpan Jan. 31 Independent
Febr. 1 Tuxpan Philadelphia Febr. 8 Independent
Febr. 11 Philadelphia Tuxpan Febr. 17 Independent
Febr. 18 Tuxpan Houston Febr. 20 Independent
Febr. 24 Houston Tuxpan Febr. 26 Independent
Febr. 27 Tuxpan Philadelphia March 6 Independent
March 8 Philadelphia Tuxpan March 17 Independent
March 18 Tuxpan Philadelphia March 26 Independent
March 27 Philadelphia Tuxpan Apr. 4 Independent
Apr. 4 Tuxpan Philadelphia Apr. 11 Independent
Apr. 13 Philadelphia Tuxpan Apr. 20 Independent
Apr. 21 Tuxpan Philadelphia Apr. 28 Independent
Apr. 30 Philadelphia New Orleans May 5 Independent
May 8 New Orleans Tuxpan Independent Page 2 gives arrival May 12.
May 13 Tuxpan Philadelphia May 20 Independent
May 22 Philadelphia Tuxpan May 29 Independent
May 29 Tuxpan Philadelphia June 5 Independent
June 8 Philadelphia Tuxpan Independent
June 16 Tuxpan Philadelphia June 23 Independent
June 25 Philadelphia Tuxpan Independent Page 2 gives arrival July 1.
July 3 Tuxpan Philadelphia July 10 Independent
July 13 Philadelphia Tuxpan Independent Page 2 gives arrival July 21.
July 22 Tuxpan Philadelphia July 29 Independent
Aug. 1 Philadelphia New York City Aug. 5 Independent
Aug. 14 New York City Baltimore Aug. 16 Independent
Sept. 4 Baltimore Aruba Sept. 10 Independent
Sept. 12 Aruba Halifax Sept. 20 Independent
Sept. 28 Halifax Belfast Lough Oct. 12 HX 152
Oct. 13 Belfast Lough Avonmouth Oct. 16 BB 88 Convoy available at BB 88
(external link)
Oct. 20 Avonmouth Walton Bay Oct. 21 Independent
Oct. 24 Walton Bay Milford Haven Oct. 24 Independent
Oct. 25 Milford Haven ON 30 For NYC
Via Belfast Lough
(Page 2).
Dispersed 43 10N 5 33W, Nov. 9.
Nov. 9 Dispersed from ON 30 Port Arthur Nov. 18 Independent
Nov. 20 Port Arthur Halifax Nov. 29 Independent
Dec. 3 Halifax Clyde Dec. 19 HX 163 See also Page 2.
Dec. 24 Clyde ON 50 For Baytown.
Dispersed Jan. 3-1942.
Convoy will be added.
See ships in ON convoys
1942 Jan. 3 Dispersed from ON 50 Baytown Jan. 15 Independent
Jan. 16 Baytown Galveston Jan. 16 Independent
Jan. 22 Galveston Baytown Jan. 22 Independent
Jan. 23 Baytown Halifax Febr. 2 Independent
Febr. 7 Halifax Clyde Febr. 19 HX 174 Missing movements, Page 3
Febr. 27 Clyde ON 71 For Aruba.
Dispersed March 8.
Convoy will be added.
See link above
March 8 Dispersed from ON 71 Aruba March 18 Independent
March 23 Aruba Freetown Apr. 7 Independent
Apr. 11 Freetown Puerto la Cruz Apr. 22 Independent
Apr. 25 Puerto la Cruz Curacao Apr. 26 Independent
May 1 Curacao Freetown May 17 Independent
May 27 Freetown Independent Sunk - See "Final Fate" below


According to "Nortraships flåte", Høegh Giant arrived Brisbane in convoy from the Thursday Islands, together with other Norwegian tankers on Apr. 19-1940, in other words, 10 days after the German invasion of Norway. Please see Havbør for an explanation. Note, however, that according to Page 1 of the archive documents, she arrived Brisbane on Apr. 26, as did Havbør; they had both left Thursday Island on the 19th. Her 1941 voyages also start on this document and continue on Page 2.

 Some Convoy Voyages: 
For information on voyages made prior to and in between those mentioned here, please see the documents received from the Norwegian archives and A. Hague's Voyage Record above. Follow the convoy links provided for more details on them; several Norwegian ships took part.

Høegh Giant made her first North Atlantic convoy crossing in the fall of 1941, having joined Convoy HX 152 from Halifax on Sept. 28 (in station 92) along with the Norwegian Drammensfjord (106), Beth (44), Evita (93 - returned), Trondheim (95), Salamis (84) and Storanger (83). Høegh Giant arrived Avonmouth, via Belfast Lough, on Oct. 16. She headed back to the U.S. later that month with Convoy ON 30, station 44 (the Commodore's narrative is also available). Her destination is given as New York, but her arrival there is not given on Page 2 of the archive documents, which says she arrived Port Arthur (via Belfast Lough) on Nov. 18, having started out from Milford Haven on Oct. 25 (the convoy had been dispersed on Nov. 9). From Port Arthur, she proceeded to Halifax 2 days later, and from there, she joined Convoy HX 163 on Dec. 3 and arrived Clyde on Dec. 19, Bowling the next day. That year was rounded off by sailing back across the Atlantic with Convoy ON 50*, which originated in Liverpool on Christmas Eve and dispersed on Jan. 3-1942. Høegh Giant (station 45) arrived Baytown on Jan. 15, having sailed from Greenock on Dec. 25. The Norwegian Charles Racine, Fagerfjell, Fernwood, Fjordheim (returned), Innerøy, Sama, Skandinavia, Strinda and Taborfjell are also listed.

On Febr. 7-1942, we find her in Convoy HX 174 from Halifax, together with the Norwegian James Hawson (returned), Athos, Fernwood, Vanja, Thorsholm, Beth and Anderson (ran aground, see Anderson), as well as the Panamanian Norvinn (collided, returned). Acanthus and Rose are named among the escorts. According to Page 3, Høegh Giant arrived Bowling (via Clyde) on Febr. 21, and a few days later, she joined the westbound North Atlantic Convoy ON 71*, which originated in Liverpool on Febr. 26 and was dispersed March 8. She was bound for Aruba and had station 73, arriving her destination on March 18. Other Norwegian ships, some of which were also bound for Aruba, were Athos, Fagerfjell, Fjordaas, Gallia, Garonne, John Bakke, Malmanger, Skaraas, Solfonn, Velma and the Panamanian Norvik (included under the N's on this website).

From Aruba, she later headed to Freetown, Puerto la Cruz and Curacao, then back to Freetown, bringing us to May 27-1942, when she embarked on her last voyage.

* The ON convoys will be added to individual pages in my Convoys section in due course, along with further details on each. In the meantime, the ships sailing in them (and escorts) are named in the section listing ships in all ON convoys. The HX convoys mentioned above will also be updated to show information from A. Hague's database, but for now, please see ships in all HX convoys. Escorts for them are named on this page.

More information on all the other Norwegian ships mentioned here is available via the alphabet index at the end of this page, or go to the Master Ship Index.

 Final Fate - 1942: 

There seems to be some disagreement with regard to the events surrounding the loss of this ship, and for info I've added all the details I can find in my misc. sources.

According to Arnold Hague, she had arrived Freetown from Curacao on May 17-1942*, departing Freetown (in ballast) for Trinidad on May 27 - see also Page 3. The Norwegian book "Nortraships flåte", says she was in position 07 17N 43 06W at 06:45 on June 3 when she was hit by a torpedo below the after deck, port side (U-126, Bauer - 3 torpedoes were fired in this attack). She stayed afloat, but engines had to be stopped for about half an hour, until she at 07:30 continued at 10 knots with the gun crew at their posts. Suddenly, the U-boat was spotted a couple of hundred meters behind them on the starboard side. The gunners immediately fired, then saw 3-4 columns of water around the boat which quickly submerged. The fourth shot landed where the boat had gone under, leading them to think it had been sunk. Nothing further happened until 21:00 that same day when the U-boat again attacked, this time with 2 torpedoes which struck on the starboard side, just forward of amidships (3 torpedoes may in fact have been fired in this attack as well).

*According to this external website, Høegh Giant had been scheduled for Convoy SL 110, which left Freetown on May 13-1942, but she did not sail - as mentioned above, she had not arrived Freetown until May 17.

The captain and 3 men launched the gig, while the rest of the crew went in 2 lifeboats. The U-boat came up and called twice over to the gig, but when the captain didn't understand what was being said, 3 bursts of machine gun fire were sent above the lifeboat, injuring the captain in the arm. Høegh Giant, which was still afloat, was then shelled, but this source does not specify whether the ship actually sank at that time.

The two lifeboats with 35 survivors landed at Devil's Island at 15:00 LAT on June 13, where they were placed under guard and disarmed of a 30 caliber machine gun and 2 pistols they had with them. They were kindly treated by those who were interned there, but after 6 days they were given the choice of staying there as internees until the end of the war or leave, whereupon they quickly chose the latter, and after the boats had been re-stocked they were allowed to leave. The occupants of one of the boats were picked up by the Canadian Keymont at 15:00 GCT on June 20, about 25 miles north of Paramaribo Lightship, and those in the other by the Dutch Princess Juliana at the same time and date. They arrived Paramaribo that same day; from there they were sent to Trinidad on board the Norwegian D/S Lindvangen (according to Lindvangen's Voyage Record for this period, she arrived Trinidad on June 24). The gig, meanwhile, had landed in Trinidad on June 18 (or 21st?).

Some of the above appears to have been taken from a report presented at the maritime hearings in New York on Aug. 7-1942, signed by Captain Madsen, Ordinary Seamen Bent Eilersen (who had been at the helm when the torpedoes hit), Able Seaman Alf Fjermestad (on lookout duty), and 3rd Mate Erik Mehus (on duty on the bridge). This report says they had departed Freetown in a convoy at 06:00 on May 27, and that the convoy had been dispersed at 20:00 on the 28th, Høegh Giant continuing as per sailing orders from Navy Control, Freetown. The captain states that 15 radio signals had been sent out in 3 periods after the ship had been hit the first time, adding that she received damages between No. 6 and 8 center tanks in that attack, developing a heavy list. This report also states that the explosion from the 2 torpedoes in the 2nd attack was so powerful that the starboard bridge wing was torn off, and the motor lifeboat was smashed. While the U-boat was shelling the ship, the gig was separated from the other 2 boats, and when they were not seen at daylight, the gig set a course for Trinidad.

A memorandum, based on interviews with the survivors, dated July 11-1942 and signed by U.S.N.R. Ensign E. D. Henderson, states:
At the time of the attack she was on a course 275° true, sailing at a speed of 12.5 knots and zigzagging in moderate sea with a light easterly wind, and it was pitch dark. She had 2 lookouts, 1 on top of the wheel house and 1 on the navigation bridge. One other ship was in sight, identity not known; a cargo vessel was sighted far away at 17:00 GCT, heading southwest. Time for the first attack on June 3 is given as 10:00 GCT in 07 17N 43 06W, the torpedo striking 10' below the water line in No. 7 cargo space, port side, breaching a hole 20' in diameter and resulting in a slow flooding. The course was altered to north and speed reduced to 10 knots. The sub was sighted about 3000 yards astern and 4 rounds were fired in 5 minutes by the gun crew, forcing the sub to crash dive though no hits were scored. Høegh Giant had a 3" gun aft and 4 machine guns. The second attack is said to have taken place about 14 hours later, at midnight GCT on June 3/4 in 07 32N 44 36W, when the sub was about 500 yards distant on a relative bearing of 090° from the ship, firing 2 torpedoes which both struck the ship; the first one in No. 3 cargo hold, starboard side, about 10' below the water line, and the second one about 10' aft of the first. She was abandoned before the extent of the damage had been ascertained. The U-boat then surfaced and when last seen at 00:30 GCT on June 4, it was circling and shelling the ship.

The Naval Observer at Paramaribo later expressed the opinion that the ship had been abandoned prematurely, as she was compartmented and very hard to sink, as evidenced by the fact that she was still afloat after 3 torpedo hits and 50 rounds of shell fire. Had the gun crew remained on board "they might have forced the sub to abandon its prey". The observer pointed out that an experienced Navy gun crew might have been able to hit the boat when it surfaced during the first attack which was made in daylight.

Details from misc. sources, for info:
"The World's Merchant Fleets 1939", Roger W. Jordan says Høegh Giant was torpedoed and shelled by U-126 on June 3 in position 06 52N 42 43W. Torpedoed again the next day, June 4, position 07 32N 44 36W, sunk 07 17N 43 06W, all 39 survived.
J. Rohwer ("Axis Submarine Successes of World War Two") has included just one incident, stating she was torpedoed and shelled at 11:24 German time on the 3rd, giving the time 00:05 on the 4th according to allied sources, which gave the position as 06 52N 42 43W. Rohwer gives the U-boat's grid position as EP 6334 which is closer to the position that "Nortraships flåte" gives.
Charles Hocking simply gives the position "400 miles east of Guiana".
Leif Høegh's fleet list says Høegh Giant was sunk 650 miles northeast of the mouth of the Amazon, giving the position 7N 43 06W, adding that 4 men were saved after 15 days in a 17' gig, the other 35 after 10 days in a lifeboat.
When interviewed later, the 1st mate and 2nd mate gave the position 07 17N 43 06W at 10:00 GCT on June 3, and 07 32N 44 36W at 00:00 GCT on June 4.
The captain and 3 of the crew members gave 06 52N 42 43W at 08:45 GMT on June 3, and 07 52N 46 20W at 23:05 GMT on June 3.
Later, the captain and 3 crew gave 06 52N 42 12W at 06:45 LAT on June 3, and 07 25N 44 12W at 22:30 LAT June 3.

U-126 was also responsible for attacks on Inga I, Gunny and Leiv Eiriksson - follow the links for details. U-126 was later sunk by aircraft in the Bay of Biscay in July-1943 - see external link at the end of this page.


At the end of July, Høegh Giant's survivors were on the American passenger ship Robert E. Lee. She was on a voyage from Port of Spain to Tampa, Florida, but could not secure a pilot and was directed to New Orleans with PC-566 as escort. She had 268 passengers (mostly survivors of other sinkings), 130 crew members and 6 Naval Armed Guard. On July 30-1942, she was torpedoed by U-166 (Kuhlmann) in 28 40N 88 42W and sank after 15 minutes. 10 crew members and 15 passengers died. Other Norwegians on board were survivors from Andrea Brøvig. All the Norwegians survived and contributed to the rescue of about 185 of Robert E. Lee's passengers. (U-166 was sunk by PC-566 that same day).

According to "A Careless Word, A Needless sinking" by Arthur R. Moore, Robert E. Lee was in Convoy TAW 7 at the time (external link - as will be seen, this convoy is said to have arrived Key West on July 28, 2 days before Robert E. Lee was sunk). This book says she had a complement of 131, 6 Naval Armed Guard and 270 passengers. The ship was abandoned in 6 lifeboats and 16 rafts. PC-566, SC-519 and the tug Underwriter picked up survivors, who were landed at Venice, Louisiana, then transported by bus to New Orleans. According to this posting on my Ship Forum Robert E. Lee had arrived Antigua on July 12, left Antigua July 13, arrived St. Lucia same day. Left St. Lucia July 14, arrived Trinidad July 15. Left Trinidad July 21 (this fits with the departure date of Convoy TAW 7 - the Norwegian Athos and Ida Bakke are also listed in this convoy), arrived off Tampa July 29. No pilot was available so she proceeded to New Orleans escorted by PC-566. In other words, it looks like she was no longer in the convoy when she was sunk (this message is part of a thread that starts here).

Crew List - All survived:
Norwegian, unless otherwise noted

This list was sent to me by Ken Dunn, a visitor to my website, who in turn received it from the Maritime Museum in Oslo.

Finn Ager Madsen
1st Mate
Nils Tøgersen
2nd Mate
Alf Mølbach
3rd Mate
Erik Mehus
Radio Operator
Reginald Adams
Johannes Olsen
Alf Ødegård
Able Seaman
Petter Heen
Able Seaman
Alf Fjermestad
Able Seaman
Johan Gjølstad
Able Seaman
Earl O'Hara
Able Seaman
Mindor Fjørtoft
Able Seaman
Haakon Andreas Engh*
Able S./Gunner
Reidar Eikje
Able S./Gunner
Reidar Olsen**
Ordinary Seaman
Bent Eilersen
Ordinary S.
Henry Whitehead
Ordinary S.
Olof Berg
Ordinary S.
Magnus Rutle
Ordinary S.
Kaare Sjo
1st Engineer
Arne Arnesen
2nd Engineer
Jørgen Aslaksen
3rd Engineer
Lorents Johansen
4th Engineer
Karl J. Jørgensen
Robert McKeich*
Carl Ericsson
Mikal Selliseth***
Olaf Larsen
Erling Salomonsen
Petty Officer
Alf Svendsen
Kristoffer Christensen
William Birch
Frank Nobile
Arne Løkke
Walter Kristiansen
Olaf Rørstad
Galley Boy
Arne Nilsen
Mess Boy
Eigil Petersen
Saloon Boy
Jens Kling
*See Guestbook message and
Robert McKeich's letter to his brother

* There's a Haakon Andreas Engh who is mentioned among 16 Norwegians who are buried at Pine Ridge Cemetery, Saranac Lake, NY. He's said to have died in July-1945; ship is given as Alar. Please go to Norwegian War Graves on my Memorials page for more information about this memorial at Saranac Lake. According to "Våre falne", a series of 4 books listing Norwegian casualtis during WW II, Haakon Andreas Engh, carpenter, was injured after 3 torpedoeings of Alar and admitted to Gabriel Sanatorium in Halifax (this is incorrect, the sanatorium was in the state of New York, not far from Saranac Lake) where he died on July 17-1945. However, I have no information that Alar was ever torpedoed, so this is probably a mix-up with Høegh Giant (and possibly Robert E. Lee) and he was probably not injured, but may have come down with Tuberculosis later on (while serving on Alar?) and admitted to the sanatorium for that reason? (There's a cook named Haakon Engh in the crew list for Gro, but it may not be the same person, of course).

* There's also a Reidar Olsen in the crew list for Belmoira.

*** Mikal Selliseth had served on Høegh Giant since 1939. After her loss, he joined Alar (see link above) until 1943, then Sønnavind until 1944. From Jan.-1945 to Sept. 1945 he was on Fernplant. See also this thread on one of my forums (Gunnar Selliseth was Mikal's brother). The Høegh Ray referred to in this message was the company's first ship by that name, built in 1937, sold to France the following year and renamed Bourgogne.

Related external links:
U-126 | Ernst Bauer - also has info on the attack on Robert E. Lee.

Operations Information for U-126

PC-566 - On the website The story of U-166 which includes several underwater pictures of this boat.

PC-566 - Honesdale

Høegh's Fleet today
Høegh & Co.

Back to Høegh Giant on the "Ships starting with H" page.

The text on this page was compiled with the help of: Misc. sources, incl. "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, Leif Høegh & Co. fleet list, misc. reports and crew list received from Ken Dunn, "Sjøforklaringer fra 2. verdenskrig", Norwegian Maritime Museum, Volume I, "The Allied Convoy System", Arnold Hague, and misc. others (named within the text) for cross checking facts. The summary of statements by survivors from Høegh Giant was received from Tony Cooper, England.


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