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M/S Kong Sverre
Updated Dec. 3-2011

To Kong Sverre on the "Ships starting with K" page.

A picture (shown as Reina, post war) is available on this external page (click in it to make it larger).

Another Kong Sverre was in German control (formerly Kong Haakon) - see Kong Haakon in the "Homefleet" section.

Manager: Nortraship
7238 gt

Delivered in Nov.-1941 as Empire Grenfell to Ministry of War Transport. Tramp ship, built by William Doxford & Sons Ltd., Pallion, Sunderland. 7238 gt, 443 ft (oa), 429 ft. x 56.5 ft. Launched June 30-1941, completed in Nov.-1941. One of 19 Empire ships transferred to Nortraship in 1942. My list of Empire Ships has the names of the other 18. Kong Sverre was taken over in Hull on Sept. 28-1942.

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

Note that some of the voyages shown on Page 1 above are her voyages when still Empire Grenfell. She had arrived Loch Ewe from Halifax under that name on Sept. 12-1942 with Convoy SC 98. Her destination is given as Hull, where she arrived on Sept. 19/20 and was subsequently taken over by Nortraship on the 28th, as mentioned. She left Hull again on Oct. 17.

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

Voyage Record
From Oct.-1941 to July-1945:

(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
1941 Oct. 19* Humber Methil Oct. 20 FN 533 From Hull.
Convoy available at FN 533
(external link)
*See note below & Page 1
*As can be seen when following the link to FN 533, A. Hague has included her in this convoy, but the ship had not been delivered yet at that time (also, she did not become Kong Sverre until Sept.-1942). She did, however, leave Humber on Oct. 19 (arrived Methil Roads that same day) but this took place in 1942 - in other words, the convoy information is an error and the above entry should be ignored.
1942 Oct. 20 Methil Clyde Oct. 23 EN 152 Convoy available at EN convoys
(external link)
Nov. 8 Clyde Algiers Nov. 25 KMS 3 See also narrative below.
Convoy will be added.
See ships in KMS convoys
Dec. 9 Algiers Clyde Dec. 23 MKS 3Y Missing movements, Page 1.
1943 Jan. 21 Clyde Bougie Febr. 8 KMS 8 Convoy will be added.
See link above
Febr. 18 Bougie Clyde March 2 MKS 8 A. Hague says:
Algiers to U.K.
Missing movements:
Page 1 & Page 2
March 24 Clyde Halifax Apr. 13 ON 175 Convoy will be added.
See ships in ON convoys
Apr. 14 Halifax St. John, N.B. Apr. 16 HF 48 Convoy available at HF convoys
(external link)
Apr. 27 St. John, N.B. Halifax Apr. 29 FH 51 Convoy available at FH convoys
(external link)
May 3 Halifax Liverpool May 17 HX 237
June 16 Liverpool New York City July 1 ON 189 Convoy will be added.
See ships in ON convoys
July 24 New York City Hampton Roads Independent
July 27 Hampton Roads Port Said Aug. 24 UGS 13 Convoy available at UGS convoys
(external link)
Aug. 24 Port Said Beirut Aug. 26 Independent
Sept. 24 Beirut Iskenderun Sept. 28* Independent *Page 2 gives arrival Sept. 25.
Oct. 14 Iskenderun Haifa Oct. 15 Independent
Oct. 15 Haifa Port Said Oct. 16 Independent Left Port Said for Suez, Oct. 19
(Page 2).
Oct. 19 Suez Aden Oct. 25 Independent
Oct. 25 Aden AB 18 Detached Nov. 1.
Nov. 1 Detached from AB 18 Fremantle Nov. 17 Independent
Nov. 19 Fremantle Melbourne Nov. 26 Independent
Dec. 9 Melbourne Adelaide Dec. 10 Independent
Dec. 11* Adelaide Port Pirie Independent A. Hague says:
Notional dates
*Page 2 gives departure Adelaide Dec. 16, arr. Port Lincoln Dec. 17.
Dec. 20 Port Pirie Colombo Jan. 13-1944 Independent
1944 Febr. 4 Colombo Melbourne Febr. 23 Independent
Febr. 25 Melbourne Sydney, N.S.W. Febr. 27 Independent
March 8 Sydney, N.S.W. Iquique Apr. 4 Independent
Apr. 16 Iquique Wellington May 14 Independent
May 14 Wellington Fremantle May 27 Independent
May 29 Fremantle Aden June 23 Independent
June 23 Aden Suez June 29 Independent Missing movements, Page 2
July 24 Port Said New York City Aug. 17 GUS 47 Port Said to USA.
On to Hampton Roads, Aug. 30
(Page 2).
Sept. 2 Hampton Roads Augusta Sept. 24 UGS 53 Convoy available at UGS convoys
(external link)
Sept. 24 Augusta Bari Sept. 27 AH 69 Convoy available at AH convoys
(external link)
Oct. 1 Bari Ancona Oct. 4 Escorted
Oct. 12 Ancona Brindisi Oct. 13 Escorted
Oct. 15 Brindisi Augusta Oct. 16 HA 72A Convoy available at HA convoys
(external link)
Oct. 16 Augusta Casablanca Oct. 23 GUS 55 Augusta to Casablanca.
Convoy available at GUS convoys
(external link)
Nov. 1 Casablanca New York City Nov. 18 GUS 56 Casablanca to USA.
Convoy available at link above
Dec. 18 New York City Passed Gibraltar Jan. 4-1945 UGS 64 Convoy available at UGS convoys
(external link)
1945 Jan. 4 Passed Gibraltar Augusta Jan. 8 Independent
Jan. 15 Augusta Bari Jan. 17 Independent
Febr. 5 Bari Gibraltar Febr. 10 Independent
Febr. 11 Gibraltar Casablanca Febr. 12 GC 116 Convoy available at GC 116
(external link)
Febr. 17 Casablanca Baltimore March 6 GUS 72 Casablanca to USA.
Convoy available at GUS convoys
(external link)
See also Page 3
March 27 Baltimore Hampton Roads March 27 Independent
March 29 Hampton Roads Passed Gibraltar Apr. 14 UGS 83 Convoy available at UGS convoys
(external link)
Apr. 14 Passed Gibraltar Port Said Apr. 21 Independent On to Suez same day
(Page 3).
Apr. 22 Suez Aden Apr. 27 Independent
Apr. 27 Aden Madras May 8 Independent
May 19 Madras Calcutta May 29 Independent
June 10 Calcutta Capetown July 2 Independent
July 3 Capetown Santos July 17 Independent Subsequent voyages, Page 3

 Some Convoy Voyages: 
For information on voyages made in between those mentioned here, please see the documents received from the Norwegian archives and Hague's Voyage Record above. Again, please note that some of the voyages shown on Page 1, are her voyages when still Empire Grenfell. She had arrived Loch Ewe from Halifax under that name on Sept. 12-1942 with Convoy SC 98. Her destination is given as Hull, where she arrived on Sept. 19/20 and was subsequently taken over by Nortraship on the 28th. She left Hull again on Oct. 17.

Follow the convoy links provided for more details on them, several Norwegian ships took part.

Kong Sverre served as military transport for the Torch operations (Athos has a list of Norwegian ships taking part in these operations). She arrived Algiers from Clyde on Nov. 26/27-1942, according to the archive document mentioned above (another source says Nov. 24, while A. Hague gives Nov. 25), after having been attacked by German aircraft several times; the first time on Nov. 20. Troubadour was in the same convoy. Kong Sverre was credited with hitting one of the planes, which caught on fire and crashed in the sea behind them. Examining all the information available to me, I suspected that this might have been Convoy KMS 3*, in which Prins Harald and the British Grangepark were sunk by U-263 on Nov. 20. Many details in J. R. Hegland's "Nortraships flåte" account of the aircraft attack on Kong Sverre that day led me to this tentative conclusion, and with A. Hague's Voyage Record, this has now been confirmed - Kong Sverre is indeed listed in this convoy, which departed Clyde on Nov. 8 (Page 1 gives her departure as Nov. 6/7). Hegland also mentions that 3 ships on the starboard side of the convoy were hit, one ship started to burn (Prins Harald?), the other's after part broke off, while a third received a torpedo in the net defences, where it exploded. Eye witnesses on board Troubadour could not determine whether the torpedoes came from an aircraft or a U-boat, but the details fit in with a footnote in J. Rohwer's "Axis Submarine Successes of World War Two" stating, "two ships were seen sinking and one burning. One torpedo (from U-263) exploded in the net defences of Ocean Pilgrim." (The British Trentpark was sunk by aircraft while in KMS 3 on Nov. 24).

The following month, we find her in a convoy referred to by A. Hague as Convoy MKS 3Y - scroll down to the second table on my page for Convoy MKS 3. Kong Sverre had left Algiers on Dec. 9 in order to join this convoy. Other Norwegian ships in this portion were Bosphorus (just released from internment in Algiers), G. C. Brøvig and Brisk, while Troubadour and Selvik are listed in what is referred to as MKS 3X.

In Jan.-1943, Kong Sverre is listed (with Ferncliff and Troubadour) in Convoy KMS 8*, which left Clyde on Jan. 21. She arrived Bougie on Febr. 8, departing again for the U.K. on the 18th, taking station 83 of Convoy MKS 8. She arrived Greenock March 2, and later that month, she joined the westbound North Atlantic Convoy ON 175*, which originated in Liverpool on March 24 and arrived New York Apr. 16. Kong Sverre, however, was bound for Halifax, where she arrived Apr. 13, having started out from Clyde on March 24 - her voyages in this period are shown on Page 2. She returned to the U.K. in Convoy HX 237, originating in New York on May 1, but Kong Sverre joined from Halifax a few days later (Sandanger and Brand were sunk - fllow the links for details). She was bound for Liverpool with general cargo, arriving on May 17, subsequently remaining there for a month, before heading back across the Atlantic with Convoy ON 189*, departing Liverpool on June 16, arriving New York July 1. Acanthus, Potentilla and Rose are named among the escorts - see ON convoy escorts.

From the U.S., she subsequently sailed to Port Said, Beirut, Iskenderun and Haifa, then back to Port Said and on to Aden, and on Oct. 25, I have her in Convoy AP 50 / AB 18, together with Egerø, Havkong and Heimvard. Kong Sverre arrived Fremantle on Nov. 17, continuing to Melbourne and Adelaide a couple of days later.

Skipping now to July 24-1944, when we find her among the ships in Convoy GUS 47 from Port Said. The Norwegian Tricolor, Fernplant, Polartank and Lidvard also joined this convoy from Port Said, while Topdalsfjord later joined from Bizerta. Gard is also mentioned. Kong Sverre was on a voyage from Abu Sultan (had left July 8) and arrived New York Aug. 17.

Her subsequent voyages are shown on Page 2 and Page 3, while convoy information for some of them is available in the Voyage Record above. From Page 3, we learn that she got to go home to Norway in Sept.-1945, remaining there for several weeks, before proceeding to Baltimore. It also looks like she may have spent Christmas in Norway that year.

On my page Warsailor Stories I've included the personal story of someone whose brother was on board Kong Sverre at some point in the war - the first story on that page (there's also a link to the original, Norwegian version). While there are no details on this ship, it's an interesting story about 5 brothers and a sister who served outside of Norway during the war; the brothers on 17 different ships altogether. Another sister was involved in "illegal" activities in Norway, as was the father.

* The ON convoys mentioned here will be added to individual pages in my Convoys section; in the meantime, the ships sailing in them (and escorts) are named in the section listing ships in all ON convoys. The KMS convoys will also be added, but for now, please see ships in all KMS convoys.


Sold in Dec.-1945 to P. Kleppe, Bergen and renamed Martha Kleppe. Sold to A/S Rona (Tollak J. Skogland), Haugesund in Apr.-1959 and renamed Reina - (that company's 2nd ship by that name, the first one was the ex Estrella). Reina was sold in Febr.-1960 to Cia. Naviera Overseas Transport S. A., Panama (J. W. Elwell & Co., U.S.A.) and renamed Miami. Under Liberian flag from 1964 (1965?) as Impala (Tenodian Shipping Co., Liberia). Sold in 1968 for breaking up in Taiwan and arrived Kaohsiung on May 1. (Skogland also had a 3rd ship by the name Reina from Dec.-1960 until July-1962, ex Norwegian Goya, ex German Kamerun. Became Svanholm of Haugesund in 1962, then Hilde of Bergen in 1963, before being sold to Piræus in 1964 and renamed Mellina).

Related external link:
Empire Ships - Empire Grenfell and be found on this page.

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

The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, "Våre motorskip", Leif M. Bjørkelund & E. H. Kongshavn, and details received from Barbara Mumford (pre war and some of the post war info) - her source: Mitchell & Sawyer's "Empire Ships".


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