Site Map | Search |Merchant Fleet Main Page | Home 

M/T Norden
Updated March 9-2012

To Norden on the "Ships starting with N" page.

This picture was received from Bjørn Milde, Norway, and is from his own postcard collection.
It was taken while unloading at Trafford Park (year unknown).

Received from Arve Wiborg, Norway.

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

Manager: H. Kuhnle, Bergen
8440 gt

Built in Hamburg in 1931.
According to the external page that I've linked to above, she was delivered as Norden in March that year to Skibs A/S Norden (Halfdan Kuhnle), Bergen. Owned from 1937 by Halfdan Kuhnles Rederi A/S (Halfdan Kuhnle), Bergen.

Captain: Svend Borge Pedersen, until he died in Sept.-1941. He's commemorated at the Stavern Memorial (external link) - date and cause are not given, but he's listed in "Våre falne" (a series of 4 books naming Norwegians who lost their lives during the war) as having died on Norden when off Australia on Sept. 3-1941and was buried in Albany, Australia (from Page 2, we learn that Norden arrived Albany on Sept. 3-1941, having left Melbourne Aug. 27). According to this message in my Norwegian Guestbook, 1st Mate Nils S. Sætre subsequently took over as captain (for the rest of the war).

Hired by the Admiralty as Fleet Auxiliary?

Related item on this website:
A Guestbook message from the son of Rufus Donald Symons, who served on this ship (as well as Høegh Hood and Honningsvaag). He's interested in getting in touch with someone who served with his dad. His E-mail address can be obtained by contacting me via the address at the bottom of this page.

Her voyages are listed on these original images from the Norwegian National Archives:
Page 1 | Page 2 | Page 3 | Page 4 | Page 5 | Page 6

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

  Voyage Record
From March-1942 to Oct.-1944:  

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

Follow the convoy links provided for more information on each.

Errors may exist, and as can be seen, this record is incomplete.

Departure From To Arrival Convoy Remarks
1942 March 1 Colombo SU 1 Earlier voyages:
Page 1 & Page 2
A. Hague says:
Detached March 2
(Page 2 gives arrival Fremantle, March 17).
Convoy available at SU 1
(external link)
Missing voyages, Page 2 above
Nov. 10 Bombay P Gulf BP 59B Convoy available at BP 59B
(external link)
Page 2 gives arrival Abadan, Nov. 17
(also, more missing voyages)
1943 Apr. 6 Curacao Gitmo Apr. 9 TAG 52 Earlier 1943 voyages:
Page 2
Curacao to Gitmo.
Convoy available at TAG convoys
(external link)
Apr. 9 Gitmo New York City Apr. 17 GN 52 Convoy available at GN convoys
(external link)
Missing voyages, Page 3
Aug. 5 Boston Halifax Aug. 7 BX 67 Convoy available at BX convoys
(external link)
Aug. 9 Halifax Liverpool Aug. 24 SC 139 Missing movements, Page 3
Sept. 2 Clyde New York City* Sept. 18 ON 200 Convoy will be added.
See ships in ON convoys
*Convoy ON 200 did arrive New York City on Sept. 18, but according to Page 3, Norden arrived Shelburne, N.S. on that date, later proceeding to Halifax, with arrival Sept. 25.
Oct. 17 Halifax Cape Cod Canal Oct. 19 XB 79 Convoy available at XB convoys
(external link)
Missing movements, Page 3
Nov. 4 Hampton Roads Algiers Nov. 23 UGS 23 For Algiers.
Convoy available at UGS convoys
(external link)
Dec. 1 Algiers Port Said Dec. 9 KMS 33 Algiers to Port Said
(missing 1943 movements:
Page 3).
Convoy will be added.
See ships in KMS convoys
1944 Febr. 4 Port Said Gibraltar Febr. 16 GUS 30 Earlier 1944 voyages:
Page 3 above.
Port Said to Gibraltar.
Convoy available at GUS convoys
(external link)
??* Febr. 21 Kilindini Aden March 1 DKA 12 Convoy available at DKA 12
(external link)
*The above voyage does not fit in.
Febr. 26 Gibraltar Hampton Roads* March 18 GUS 31 Gibraltar to USA.
*Arrived Baltimore, March 18
(Page 3).
Convoy available at GUS convoys
(external link)
May 3 Hampton Roads Fayal* May 15* UGS 41 For Fayal.
Convoy available at UGS convoys
(external link)
*Page 3 agrees her destination was Fayal, but arrival there is not given. Instead, the document states she arrived Bermuda on May 6, returning to Baltimore a few days later, then on to Philadelphia and New York in June.
June 10 New York City Liverpool* June 24 HX 295 See also narrative below.
56 depth charges
*Stopped at Clyde, on to Bowling
(missing movements, Page 3)
July 3 Liverpool New York City July 18 ON 243 Escort Oiler.
Convoy will be added.
See ships in ON convoys
July 25 New York City Liverpool Aug. 8 HX 301 Escort Oiler
Aug. 12 Barry* Falmouth Aug. 13 EBC 70 *From Milford Haven.
See also Page 4
(missing movements).
Convoy available at EBC convoys
(external link)
Aug. 18 Belfast Lough New York City Sept. 2 ON 249 Convoy will be added.
See ships in ON convoys
Sept. 16 New York City Liverpool* Oct. 3 HX 309 *Stopped at Clyde
(Page 4)
Oct. 12 Liverpool* New York City Oct. 29 ON 259 Escort Oiler.
*From Clyde, Oct. 11.
Subsequent voyages:
Page 4, Page 5 & Page 6
Convoy will be added.
See ships in ON convoys

 Misc. WW II & Some Convoy Voyages: 
For information on voyages made in between those mentioned here, please see the documents received from the National Archives of Norway and A. Hague's Voyage Record above. Follow the convoy links provided for further details; several Norwegian ships took part in them.

As will be seen when going to Page 1 of the archive documents, Norden departed Sydney for The East Indies on Apr. 8-1940, the day before the German invasion of Norway. She stopped at Brisbane on Apr. 11, proceeding to Thursday Island on the 13th.

After the fall of France in the summer of 1940 the sympathies in the overseas colonies to a great extent appeared to be for the Vichy government, but in some places active de Gaulle groups were attempting to swing the opinions towards the side of the allies (General de Gaulle had escaped to England with his forces, known as "The Free French"). In the French colonies in the Pacific opinions varied. On the New Hebrides the support was for de Gaulle, while the situation on New Caledonia further west was more unclear. At Noumea the French gunboat Dumont d'Urville was bringing pressure to bear for Vichy support, but a de Gaulle group in the city planned a coup de force on Sept. 19 and had called for assistance from Vila on the New Hebrides. M/T Norden played a part in this intermezzo, as follows:

She left Vila on Sept. 16 escorted by the Australian cruiser Adelaide. On board Norden was Vila's governor, M. Sautot who had been called upon to take power on New Caledonia, once the de Gaulle group at Noumea had cleared the way. The plan was for a boat with de Gaulle's markings to meet them on arrival off Noumea, but when they got there on Sept. 19, it was nowhere to be seen. Therefore, the cruiser approached the harbour to investigate, and the French gunboat sent a boat out to ask the purpose of Adelaide's arrival. It was then noted that de Gaulle's flag had been raised in the harbour, and the guns on the gunboat were in a lashed position. As it turned out Adelaide and Norden had showed up at a critical moment, as the coup attempt had been close to failing. The commandant at the land batteries had given the order to fire at the incoming ships, but the sergeant by the guns had at that moment decided to support de Gaulle and refused to follow order. M. Sautot could now march in triumph to the governor's house. The external website that I've linked to at the end of this page has more on this incident.

Going back to Page 1 of the archive documents, we see that Norden subsequently sailed to Sourabaya, where she arrived Oct. 4, and it looks like she stayed there for over a month before making voyages to Balik Papan, Melbourne, Adelaide, Port Pirie etc., remaining in that part of the world for quite some time. See also Page 2. It'll be noticed that there's quite a gap in her voyages for 1942. She had arrived Fremantle on May 8 and departure is given as July 26, when she headed to Bahrein.

This Guestbook message says the following:
"My late father Rufus Donald Symons was employed by Nortraship in Freemantle Western Australia in July 1942 & signed on as an engine boy on the M.T. Norden. He was 16 years old & said there were other "foreigners" in the crew, an Englishman, a Scotsman & an Australian Navy gunner. The Scotsman was later lost overboard in heavy seas off Madagascar in about September 1942. The ship went into dry dock in Bombay in about October 1942 & he was transferred to deck as a deck boy. He paid off the M.T Norden in early 1943". (According to the archive document mentioned above, Norden was in Bombay from Oct. 26 to Nov. 10-1942, when she proceeded to Abadan, with arrival there Nov. 17, continuing to Sydney, via Bandar Abbas, the next day. Note that A. Hague has included her in Convoy BP 59B, departing Bombay Nov. 10 - ref. external link provided within the Voyage Record).

Her 1943 voyages also start on Page 2 and continue on Page 3 (as will be seen, she had a long stay in Baltimore that year). On Aug. 9-1943, we find her in the slow Convoy SC 139 from Halifax to the U.K. She arrived her destination Heysham on Aug. 27, according to the archive document. Together with Biscaya, Bralanta, Buenos Aires, Emma Bakke, Fagerfjell, Haakon Hauan, Herbrand, Ivaran, Laurits Swenson, Norheim, O. B. Sørensen and Reinholt, as well as the Panamanian Norbris (Norwegian managers), she subsequently joined the westbound North Atlantic Convoy ON 200*, originating in Liverpool on Sept. 2, arriving New York on the 18th; Norden, however, arrived Shelburne, N.S. that day, having started out from Clyde on the 2nd.

She later headed to Algiers, having joined Convoy UGS 23, which departed Hampton Roads on Nov. 4-1943 - ref. external link provided in the table above. She arrived Algiers on Nov. 23, then made a voyage from there to Port Said with Convoy KMS 33*, which left Gibraltar on Nov. 29 (Norden sailed from Algiers on Dec. 1) and arrived Port Said Dec. 9. Grena, Lago, Ledaal, Loke, Norelg and Skotaas are also listed. (For info, this convoy had originally started out in the U.K. on Nov. 16 as the combined Convoy OS 59/KMS 33 and split up on the 28th, the OS convoy continuing to Freetown, while the KMS portion arrived Gibraltar on Nov. 29 - ships not bound for Gibraltar would then proceed to their respective destinations, still in KMS 33; some ships also joined along the way).

She returned to the U.S. again in Febr.-1944, having sailed in Convoy GUS 31, which originated in Port Said Febr. 14 and arrived Hampton Roads March 18 - Norden, however, joined this convoy from Gibraltar, having sailed from there on Febr. 26, and arrived Baltimore March 18 (she had previously arrived Gibraltar from Port Said with Convoy GUS 30). In May that year, she's said to have made a voyage from the U.S. to Fayal, having joined Convoy UGS 41, which left Hampton Roads on May 3 and had Port Said as its final destination. Her arrival Fayal is not given on Page 3, which says she arrived Bermuda on May 6, leaving again for Baltimore on the 10th (these 3 convoys are also available at the external site that I've linked to in the Voyage Record).

She was scheduled for the New York-U.K. Convoy HX 294 at the beginning of June-1944 (Commodore in Abraham Lincoln, Vice Commodore in Geisha), but instead joined the next convoy on June 10, HX 295, for which Elisabeth Bakke served as the Commodore Vessel. According to A. Hague, Norden carried 56 depth charges on this voyage; she arrived Bowling (via Clyde) on June 25. With Geisha, Grey County, Kaia Knudsen, Mosli, Noreg, Norse Lady, Reinholt (Commodore Vessel), Rutenfjell, Skaraas, Sommerstad, Sørvard and Velma, she returned across the Atlantic with the westbound Convoy ON 243*, serving as Escort Oiler. This convoy left Liverpool July 3 and arrived New York on the 18th, and a week later we find her in Convoy HX 301 from New York; Reinholt again served as the Commodore Vessel, while the Vice Commodore was in Samuel Bakke. Norden again acted as Escort Oiler; her destination is given as Mersey, Milford Haven, Falmouth and Devonport (her voyages in this period are shown on Page 4).

She went back to the U.S. again in Convoy ON 249*, departing Liverpool Aug. 18, arriving New York Sept. 2 (Norden had joined from Belfast Lough). She had again been in the company of several other Norwegian ships, namely Frontenac, Gylfe, Høyanger, Høegh Hood, Kaia Knudsen, Laurits Swenson, Lista, Maud, Minerva, Norma (Vice Commodore), Skaraas, Skiensfjord, Torborg and Velma. Later that month, we find her named among the ships in Convoy HX 309, bound for Clyde and Scapa. Vice Commodore for this convoy was in Laurits Swenson. Norden is also listed as Escort Oiler for Convoy ON 259*, which left Liverpool on Oct. 12 and arrived New York on the 29th. John Bakke, Laurits Swenson (whose captain served as Vice Commodore), Thorshov and Villanger (Commodore Vessel) are also listed.

From New York, Norden later headed to Baltimore, where she remained for several weeks. The rest of her voyages are shown on Page 4, Page 5 and Page 6 (to Apr.-1946). Further convoy information is not available.

* These convoys will be added to individual pages in my Convoys section in due course, with more information on each; in the meantime, the ships sailing in them are named in the section listing ships in all ON convoys. The KMS convoys will also be completed, but for now, please see ships in all KMS convoys.

For more details on the other Norwegian ships mentioned on this page, please see the alphabet index below, or go to the Master Ship Index.


According to this external page, she was owned from Nov.-1951 by Valparaiso Comp. Maritime S.A., Panama, renamed Victorius. Sold to the U.K. in 1954 for breaking up.

Related external link:
HMAS Adelaide - This page also has some information on the incident discussed in the first couple of paragraphs of my narrative.

Back to Norden on the "Ships starting with N" page.

The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, and misc. - (ref. My sources).


 Site Map | Search |Merchant Fleet Main Page | Home