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D/T Norfjell
Updated July 31-2010

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

A picture (as Nordfonn - see post war details further down on this page) is available on this external page (click in it to enlarge).

Crew List & Picture of Norfjell's gunners

Manager: Nortraship
8129 gt, 11 966 tdwt

Ocean-type tanker, built by Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd., Wallsend. Launched as Empire Saxon on Dec. 2-1941, completed Febr.-1942. 483.1 ft (oa), 465.9 ft x 59.4 ft. Engines: T3cyl.

This was one of the 19 ships transferred to Nortraship in 1942, see my page "Ship Statistics & Misc." under Empire Ships for names of the other 18. Norfjell was taken over at Tyne, Febr. 24.

Captain: Hans Hansen.

Related item on this website:
Guestbook message from the son of one of Norfjell's gunners.

Her voyages are listed on these original images from the Norwegian National Archives:
(Unfortunately, the arrival dates are missing from Page 4)
Page 1 | Page 2 | Page 3 | Page 4

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

  Voyage Record
From March-1942 to Nov.-1945:  

(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 some voyages may be missing.

Departure From To Arrival Convoy Remarks
1942 March 2 Tyne Methil March 3 FN 644 Convoy available at FN convoys
(external link)
March 3 Methil Loch Ewe March 5 EN 54 Convoy available at EN convoys
(external link)
March 10 Loch Ewe ON 75 For Aruba.
Dispersed 42N 46W, March 19.
Convoy will be added.
See ships in ON convoys
March 19 Dispersed from ON 75 Aruba March 29 Independent
March 31 Aruba Bermuda Apr. 10 Independent
Apr. 18 Bermuda St Michaels Apr. 21* Independent *Page 1 gives arrival Apr. 26
Apr. 27 St Michaels SL 107 A. Hague says:
From Azores, detached to SL 107F, May 4.
Convoy available at SL 107
See also SL 107/SLF 107
(external links)
May 4 Detached from SL 107 Liverpool May 6 SL 107F Convoy available at SL 107F
(external link)
On to Stanlow
(Page 1)
May 22 Liverpool ON 97 For NYC.
Detached June 5.
Convoy will be added.
See ships in ON convoys
June 5 Detached from ON 97 New York City June 7 Independent
June 9 New York City Hampton Roads Independent
June 13 Hampton Roads KS 510 Detached June 18.
Convoy available at KS convoys
(external link)
June 18 Detached from KS 510 Galveston June 21 Independent
July 1 Galveston Texas City Independent
July 5 Texas City New Orleans July 7 Independent
July 7 New Orleans Key West July 10 Independent
July 12 Key West Hampton Roads July 17 KN 119 Convoy available at KN convoys
(external link)
July 18 Hampton Roads New York City July 19 Independent
July 22 New York City Cape Cod Bay Independent
July 25 Cape Cod Bay Halifax July 27 BX 30B Convoy available at BX convoys
(external link)
July 27 Halifax Belfast Aug. 7 HX 200 Again, see also Page 1
Aug. 12 Belfast Lough ON 121 For NYC.
Dispersed Aug. 27.
Convoy will be added.
See ships in ON convoys
Aug. 27 Convoy dispersed New York City Aug. 28 Independent
* Aug. 31 Suez Aden Sept. 5 Independent
*This voyage has ended up in the wrong place - It belongs among the 1943 entries below and has been inserted there.
Sept. 4 New York City Key West Sept. 11 NK 501 Convoy available at NK convoys
(external link)
Sept. 15 Key West Gitmo Sept. 19 KG 602 Convoy available at KG convoys
(external link)
Sept. 20 Gitmo Curacao Sept. 24 GAT 7 Gitmo to Curacao.
Convoy available at GAT convoys
(external link)
Sept. 26 Curacao Cristobal Sept. 30 CZ 1 Convoy available via this page
(external link)
Oct. 1 Balboa Capetown Nov. 4 Independent
Nov. 6 Capetown East London Nov. 8 Independent
Nov. 19* East London Durban Nov. 19 Independent *Page 1 gives departure Nov. 17
Nov. 25 Durban DN 2 Dispersed Nov. 27.
Convoy available via link above
Nov. 27 Convoy dispersed Bahrein Dec. 13 Independent
Dec. 16 Bahrein Bandar Abbas Independent
Dec. 22 Bandar Abbas Aden Dec. 29 PA 16 Convoy available via link above
Dec. 29 Aden Suez Jan. 4-1943 Independent
1943 Jan. 9* Suez Jeddah Jan. 10 Independent *Page 1 gives departure Jan. 7
Jan. 11* Jeddah Massawa Jan. 16 Independent *Page 2 gives departure Jan. 15
Jan. 18 Massawa Aden Jan. 20 Independent
Jan. 22 Aden Bandar Abbas Jan. 28 AP 14 Convoy available at AP convoys
(external link)
Jan. 28 Bandar Abbas Abadan Jan. 30 Independent (Stop at Bandar Abbas not mentioned, Page 2)
Febr. 1 Abadan Bahrein Febr. 2 Independent
Febr. 9* Bahrein Bandar Abbas Independent *Page 2 gives departure Febr. 7
Febr. 11 Bandar Abbas PA 24 For Capetown.
Detached Febr. 16.
Convoy available via this page
(external link)
Febr. 16 Detached from PA 24 Capetown March 6 Independent
March 16 Capetown CD 10 Detached March 23.
Convoy available via link above
March 23 Detached from CD 10 Abadan Apr. 10 Independent
Apr. 12 Abadan Bandar Abbas Independent
Apr. 16 Bandar Abbas Bombay Apr. 22 PB 36 Convoy available via link above
Apr. 26 Bombay Colombo Apr. 30 BM 51 Convoy available at BM convoys
(external link)
May 19 Colombo Bombay May 23 MB 36 Convoy available via this page
(external link)
June 26 Bombay Bahrein July 1 BP 85 Convoy available via link above
Left Bahrein July 4
(Page 2)
July 6 Khasab Bay PB 47 Detached July 7.
Convoy available via link above
July 7 Detached from PB 47 Aden July 14 Independent Missing movements, Page 2
July 31 Aden Bandar Abbas Aug. 5 AP 38 Convoy available at AP convoys
(external link)
Aug. 5 Bandar Abbas Bahrein Aug. 7 Independent (Stop at Bandar Abbas not mentioned, Page 2)
Aug. 10 Bahrein Bandar Abbas Independent
Aug. 13 Bandar Abbas Aden Aug. 20 PA 49 Convoy available via this page
(external link)
Aug. 20 Aden Suez Aug. 25 Independent
* Aug. 31 Suez Aden Sept. 5 Independent
*The above voyage has been taken from the 1942 entries above - See also Page 2.
Sept. 8 Aden Bandar Abbas Sept. 14 AP 44 Convoy available at AP convoys
(external link)
Sept. 14 Bandar Abbas Abadan Sept. 16 Independent (Stop at Bandar Abbas not mentioned, Page 2)
Sept. 18 Abadan Bandar Abbas Independent
Sept. 24 Bandar Abbas Bombay Sept. 30 PB 57
Oct. 5 Bombay Colombo Oct. 10 BM 69 Convoy available at BM convoys
(external link)
Oct. 10 Colombo Madras Independent
Oct. 14 Madras Calcutta Oct. 18 Independent
Oct. 24 Calcutta Colombo Oct. 29 Independent
Nov. 2 Colombo Bombay Nov. 7 MB 53 Convoy available via this page
(external link)
Nov. 18 Bombay Bandar Abbas Nov. 24 BP 103 Convoy available via link above
Nov. 24 Bandar Abbas Abadan Independent (Stop at Bandar Abbas not mentioned, Page 2)
Nov. 27 Abadan Bandar Abbas Independent
Dec. 3 Bandar Abbas Aden Dec. 11 PA 63 Convoy available via link above
Dec. 11 Aden Suez Dec. 17 Independent Left Suez, Dec. 17
(Page 2 & Page 3)
Dec. 18 Port Said Alexandria Dec. 19 Independent
Dec. 22 Alexandria Bizerta Dec. 28 MKS 35 Alexandria to Bizerta
Dec. 29 Bizerta Augusta
1944 Jan. 3 Augusta Naples Jan. 4 VN 14A Convoy available at VN convoys
(external link)
Jan. 14 Naples Augusta Jan. 15 NV 15A Convoy available at NV convoys
(external link)
Jan. 15 Augusta Oran Jan. 20 MKS 37 Augusta to Oran
(via Bizerta - Page 3)
Jan. 25 Oran New York City Febr. 15 GUS 28 Oran to USA.
Convoy available at GUS convoys
(external link)
Febr. 17 New York City Baltimore Febr. 18 Independent
March 9 Baltimore Philadelphia March 9 Independent
March 12 Philadelphia Hampton Roads March 13 Independent
March 14 Hampton Roads Oran Apr. 5 UGS 36 For Oran.
Convoy available at UGS convoys
(external link)
Apr. 5 Oran New York City Apr. 22 GUS 35 Oran to USA.
Convoy available at GUS convoys
(external link)
Apr. 30 New York City Hampton Roads Independent
May 3 Hampton Roads Augusta May 26 UGS 41 For Augusta.
Convoy available at UGS convoys
(external link)
May 27 Augusta Naples May 28 VN 42 Convoy available at VN convoys
(external link)
June 1 Naples Augusta June 2 NV 42 Convoy available at NV convoys
(external link)
June 2 Augusta Port Said June 8 UGS 42 Augusta to Port Said, UGS 42/KMS 51 combined.
Convoy available at UGS convoys
Also, KMS 51
(external links)
Again, see Page 3
June 9 Suez Aden June 14 Independent
June 16 Aden Bandar Abbas June 23 AP 72 Convoy available at AP convoys
(external link)
June 23 Bandar Abbas Abadan June 25 Independent
June 27 Abadan Bombay July 3 Independent
July 13 Bombay Karachi July 15 Independent
July 16 Karachi Abadan July 20 Independent
July 23 Abadan Aden Aug. 2 Independent
Aug. 2 Aden Suez Aug. 7 Independent On to Port Said, next day
(Page 3)
Aug. 9 Port Said Alexandria Aug. 9 Independent
Aug. 14 Alexandria Augusta Aug. 19 GUS 49 Alexandria to Augusta.
Convoy available at GUS convoys
(external link)
Aug. 19 Augusta Bari Aug. 21 AH 62 Convoy available at AH convoys
(external link)
Aug. 22 Bari Ancona Aug. 23 Escorted
Aug. 28 Ancona Bari Escorted Arrived Brindisi, Aug. 29
(Page 3)
Aug. 31 Brindisi Augusta Sept. 2 HA 64 Convoy available at HA convoys
(external link)
Sept. 7 Augusta Hampton Roads* Sept. 28 GUS 51 Augusta to USA.
*New York City
(Page 3).
Convoy available at GUS convoys
(external link)
Sept. 30 New York City Baltimore Oct. 2 Independent
Nov. 25 Baltimore New York City Nov. 27 Independent
Dec. 9 New York City Clyde Dec. 23 HX 325 See also narrative below
Dec. 27 Clyde Loch Ewe Dec. 28 Independent
Dec. 30 Loch Ewe Molotovsk Jan. 9-1945 JW 63
1945 Febr. 9 Molotovsk Archangel Febr. 9 BK 3 Convoy not available
Febr. 13 Archangel Murmansk(?) Febr. 15 BK 3S5 Torpedoed - see narrative below.
Convoy available at BK 3S5
(external link)
Febr. 18 Molotovsk Murmansk Febr. 19 In tow
The above 3 voyages are not included on Page 4.
Oct. 20 Murmansk Tromsø In tow
Oct. 31 Tromsø Bergen Nov. 12 In tow
Nov. 14 Bergen Stavanger Nov. 15 In tow A. Hague says:
To Rotterdam June 5-1946, repaired, Nordfonn
(see Post War info below).

 Misc. 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; the Commodore's notes are also available for some of them and several Norwegian ships took part.

Shortly after having been taken over by Nortraship on Febr. 24-1942, Norfjell joined the westbound North Atlantic Convoy ON 75*, departing Liverpool on March 10, dispersed on the 19th. Her destination is given as Aruba, where she arrived on March 29, having sailed from Loch Ewe on the 10th. Brand, Brasil, Evita and Vanja are also listed in this convoy. The following month, she's included in Convoy SL 107/SLF 107. She was in the fast section (SLF), which arrived Liverpool May 6 (see links in Voyage Record). According to A. Hague she joined the convoy from the Azores. When going to Page 1, we see that she had sailed from Aruba to Bermuda, left Bermuda on Apr. 18, arrived St. Michaels on the 26th, leaving again the next day, arriving Liverpool May 6, continuing to Stanlow that same day.

Later that month we find her, together with B.P. Newton, Brant County, Brimanger, Cetus, Gallia and Nortind, as well as the Panamanian Norvik (Norwegian managers), in the westbound Convoy ON 97*, which departed Liverpool on May 22 and arrived Halifax June 5. Norfjell, however, was bound for New York, where she arrived June 7. After having made some voyages around the US, she headed back to the U.K. on July 27 with Convoy HX 200 from Halifax, for which Acanthus, Montbretia and Potentilla served as escorts for a while. S. Inselseth, who later went on to become the captain of one of my mother's ships (see M/S Mogen, post war), served on Norfjell as a gunner in this period. He paid off on Aug. 8, in other words, the day Norfjell arrived Belfast (Page 1). Just a few days later she joined the westbound Convoy ON 121* in order to return to New York, where she arrived on Aug. 28, the convoy having been dispersed the day before (originated in Liverpool Aug. 12). B. P. Newton, Carmelfjell, Gallia, Idefjord, Lista and Norfalk are also named in this convoy.

She now made voyages to Curacao, Cristobal, Table Bay, East London, Durban, Bahrein etc. Again, see Page 1 as well as Page 2. Convoy information for some of these voyages can be found in the Voyage Record above.

Skipping now to Sept.-1943, when I have her in Convoy PA 54 / PB 57, together with Torborg, Norfold, Havkong, Ima and Europe. Norfjell had left Bandar Abbas on Sept. 24 and arrived Bombay on the 30th. In Dec.-1943 she's listed in Convoy MKS 35, voyage from Alexandria to Bizerta. According to Page 3, she had departed Alexandria on Dec. 22 and arrived Bizerta on the 28th.

She's also listed in Convoy MKS 37 in Jan.-1944, voyage from Augusta to Oran (she had left Augusta Jan. 15, arrived Oran, via Bizerta, on Jan. 20). From Oran, she now headed to the U.S. on Jan. 25, arriving New York on Febr. 15 (Convoy GUS 28). Again, please see Page 3 and Hague's Voyage Record for further 1944 voyages.

She was scheduled for the New York-U.K. Convoy HX 317 at the end of Oct.-1944, but did not sail. From the archive document referred to above, we learn that she was in Baltimore when this convoy sailed, spending several weeks there before proceeding to New York. She was also scheduled for Convoy HX 324 on Dec. 4, but instead joined Convoy HX 325 a few days later.

* 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 (and escorts) are named in the section listing ships in all ON convoys.

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

 Torpedoed - 1945: 

Norfjell had arrived Clyde from New York (Convoy HX 325) on Dec. 24-1944. On Dec. 30 she joined Convoy JW 63 to Russia (see also Idefjord - the Norwegian destroyer Stord was among the escorts). On Febr. 14-1945 she was en route from Molotovsk for Murmansk in ballast in Convoy BK 3 in order to join Convoy RA 64 back to the U.K., but never made it that far. Off the Kola fjord BK 3 ran into a German U-boat line (69 22N 33 50E). Norfjell received a torpedo from U-968(?*) in the engine room, where 3rd Engineer Rolf Bakkehaug and Stoker Bernhard Nilsen were killed immediately. She had a gaping hole measuring about 14 x 5 meters in her side, but stayed afloat, was taken in tow by the escort and beached near Tree Roochia in the Kola inlet. The American Horace Gray was also torpedoed (later beached). It'll be noticed in the Voyage Record above that A. Hague gives the convoy designation as BK 3S5 at the time of attack (external link).

Norfjell's damages proved to be temporarily repairable so that she could eventually continue west for more permanent repairs, sailing from Murmansk in tow on Oct. 20, arriving Stavanger Nov.15-1945. According to Page 4, the tugs Puddefjord and Rossfjord had towed her to Tromsø first, left Tromsø in tow for Bergen on Oct. 31, left Bergen for Stavanger Nov. 14.

* J. Rohwer says Norfjell was beached and declared a total loss. He also says that Horace Gray sank under tow by Soviet tugs, this appears to be incorrect. She was taken in tow, but did not sink. Bob Ruegg/Arnold Hague ("Convoys to Russia") claim both ships were sunk, Horace Gray by U-711 and Norfjell by U-968 (Westphalen), however, Horace Gray was also hit by U-968. The convoy had gone from two columns into one by the time of the attacks and Horace Gray was No. 6 according to Arthur Moore's "A Careless Word a Needless Sinking" which states "It has been established that U-968 and not U-711 torpedoed the Horace Gray". A visitor to my site says the 2 ships were torpedoed within 5 to 6 minutes of each other, the Norwegian ship first. Records show Norfjell was torpedoed at 15:05 and Horace Gray at 15:10 (time kept on board), and American sources also confirm this time for their ship. (These times correspond to 13:05 CET used by the U-boats and 12:10 GMT). He adds: "Thus, from the time point of view U-711 was not in reckoning but U-968 certainly was". There's also a question as to which side Norfjell was hit. The Public Records Office gives it as the port side, but the captain of Horace Gray (sailing behind her), apparently saw Norfjell being hit on the starboard side, and therefore put his helm over to the port side, expecting an attack from starboard, but was torpedoed on her port side. This suggests that another U-boat might have been responsible for the attack on Norfjell (possibly U-992?). See also some postings re Horace Gray to my Ship Forum - one here and an older one on this page.

Crew List:
Mate Simonsen had previously served on Egerø and Thorsholm.

Hans Hansen
1st Mate
Rolf G. Karlsen
2nd Mate
Nils Nilsen
2nd? Mate
Olaf Simonsen
3rd Mate
Olaf Enger
Radio Operator
Stanley McDuff
Radio Operator
Walter Ferguson
Marius B. Strøm
Stig Arnold Persson
Able Seaman
Rolf Axelsen
Able Seaman
Kjell Johansen
Able Seaman
Knut Roland Bergh
Able Seaman
Asbjørn Folkestad
Able Seaman
Andreas Lunde
Able Seaman
Egil Ribe
Able Seaman
Sverre Iversen
Able Seaman
Magnus Lihaug
Able Seaman
Nick Fletos
Able Seaman
Albert Andersen
Ordinary Seaman
Frank Chadwick
1st Engineer
Hendrik Sandvik
2nd Engineer
Lorentz Pihl
4th Engineer
Victor E. Johannessen
Karl Andreassen
Jørgen N. Eide
Hans Monsen
Olaf Nyheim
Egil Ugland
Jacob Hidle
Sverre Høiem
Sigurd Johansen
Harry Hansen
Ernest Fritchards
Brynjulf Lorentzen
Knut Ax
Anker H. Riis
Galley Boy
Aksel Nordahl
Mess Boy
Ronald Berthiaum
Saloon Boy
Ronald Chapman
George Stokes
Maurice Kennedy
James Hill
John F. Hull
Charles Mann
Henry Worrow

British records say she had a crew of 41 and 8 gunners. If this is correct, one of them may have been Ken Wilcock (see * below)


3rd Engineer
Rolf Bakkehaug

Bernhard Nilsen

Norfjell Gunners
This picture was received from Martin Worrow, the son of Gunner Henry Worrow (see his Guestbook message)
On the back of the picture were the following names:
* Ken Wilcock, (Ordinary Seaman) Frank Chadwick, Charles Mann, Maurice Kennedy, George Stokes & James Hill
Martin adds:
My dad was born in London on the Banks of the River Thames in East London in 1916 and enlisted in the Army in 1939.
He was soon transferred to work as a Gunner on merchant ships, mainly oil tankers, and made many crossings of the Atlantic Ocean between the USA and Russia.


Sold to Stavanger(?) in 1946 and renamed Nordfonn for Skibs A/S Ringfonn (S. Bergesen). Sold in 1957 and renamed Norsk Jarl for Mil Tankrederi A/S (Norsk Brændselolje A/S), Oslo. Sold to British Iron & Steel Corporation, London for scrap, and allocated to P & W McLellan Ltd. Arrived at Bo'ness (Scotland) on June 27-1960 to be broken up.

Related external links:
The Empire Ships - On the "Mariners" website. Empire Saxon is listed on this page.

Stavern Memorial commemorations - The 3rd man on this list, Carpenter Ingebret Ludvik Waage died on July 14-1944 following an accident on board. According to Page 3, Norfjell was on her way from Bombay to Karachi on that date.

U-968 | Otto Westphalen

The attack on Horace Gray

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

The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, "Sjøforklaringer fra 2. verdenskrig", Norwegian Maritime Museum, Volume II, and misc. (ref. My sources).


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