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D/S Roy
Updated May 21-2012

To Roy on the "Ships starting with R" page.

Partial Crew List

Owner: D/S A/S Ask
Manager: August Kjerland, Bergen
1768 gt, 969 net, 2500 tdwt
Signal Letters: LJBY

Built at South Shields in 1921. Previous name: Danae 1935.
According to this external page, she was delivered as Danae from C. Rennoldson & Co. South Shiends in June-1921 to Soc. Navale Caennaise, Caen, France. Renamed Roy for D/S A/S Ask (August Kjerland), Bergen in Dec.-1936.

Captain: Josef Thorvald Berge

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

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

  Voyage Record
From Febr.-1940 to Sept.-1941:  

(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, the record is incomplete.

Departure From To Arrival Convoy Remarks
1940 Febr. 9 Methil Norwegian Waters Febr. 12 ON 11
Febr. 16 Norwegian Waters Methil Febr. 19 HN 12
Febr. 27 Tyne Methil Febr. 28 TM 15 Convoy available at TM 15
(external link)
March 3 Methil Norwegian Waters March 7 ON 17
March 22 Norwegian Waters Methil March 25 HN 21 See also Page 1
Apr. 5 Methil Kirkwall Apr. 9 ON 25 Missing movements, Page 1
May 1 Tyne Southend* May 3 FS 160 Convoy available at FS convoys
(external link)
*Page 1 gives arrival Rouen, via Downs, May 4
(returned May 9).
May 26 Tyne Southend May 28 FS 180 Convoy available at link above.
Again, compare w/Page 1
(also, more missing voyages)
June 14 Tyne* Southend June 16 FS 195 Convoy available at link above.
*From Methil Roads, June 14
(Page 1 - Also, missing movements).
See also narrative below.
* July 26 Liverpool Gibraltar Aug. 6 OG 39 Convoy will be added.
See ships in OG convoys
*Convoy OG 39 did start out in Liverpool on July 26 and arrived Gibraltar Aug. 6, but Roy sailed from Milford Haven on July 25 and arrived Villa Real, Aug. 5, later arrived Gibraltar Aug. 10/11 - See Page 1.
Aug. 11 Gibraltar Liverpool* Aug. 26 HG 41 *Page 1 gives arrival Villa Real, Aug. 25,
should probably be Garston.
Sept. 4 Liverpool Gibraltar* Sept. 16 OG 42 *Arrived Lisbon, Sept. 16
(Page 2 - On to Gibraltar Oct. 2).
Convoy will be added.
See link above
Oct. 9 Gibraltar Liverpool* Oct. 27 HG 45 *Arrived Milford Haven
(Page 2 - Also, more missing movements).
Dec. 3 Clyde Methil Dec. 8 WN 49 Voyage not included, Page 2.
Convoy available at WN convoys
(external link)
Dec. 11 Methil Southend Dec. 14 FS 359 Convoy available at FS convoys
(external link)
Missing movements, Page 2
1941 Jan. 10 Southend Blyth* Jan. 12 FN 380 Earlier 1941 movements:
Page 2.
*Arrived Hull in tow, Jan. 12
(see also narrative below).
Convoy available at FN convoys
(external link)
Missing movements:
Page 2 & Page 3
Apr. 17 Southend Blyth Apr. 18 EC 8 Convoy available at EC convoys
(external link)
Missing movements, Page 3.
May 1 Southend Blyth May 2 EC 14 Convoy available at link above.
Missing movements, Page 3.
July 10 Southend Tyne July 11 EC 44 Convoy available at link above.
Missing movements:
Page 3 & Page 4
Sept. 23 Southend Immingham Sept. 24 EC 77 Convoy available at link above.
Subsequent movements, Page 4.
Sunk following month.
See "Final Fate" below.

 Some Convoy Voyages - 1940: 

According to A. Hague, Roy sailed in the U.K.-Norway Convoy ON 11 in Febr.-1940. He says she returned to the U.K. with Convoy HN 12 in the middle of that month, then early in March he has her in Convoy ON 17 back to Norway. Towards the end of March she's listed in the original Advance Sailing Telegram for Convoy HN 21 from Norway to the U.K., bound for the Tees in ballast, subsequently joining Convoy ON 25 in order to head back to Norway at the beginning of the following month, but due to the German invasion, which was underway at the time of arrival Norwegian waters, several ships in this convoy returned, including Roy, which arrived Kirkwall on Apr. 9. Please follow the links for more information on these convoys, several Norwegian ships took part. From Page 1 of the archive documents, we learn that Roy had been bound for Bergen at the time, but was diverted to Rouen, where she eventually arrived, via various other ports, on May 4.

The external website that I've linked to below has Roy in Convoy OA 169, which left Southend on June 17-1940 and was dispersed 2 days later. Her destination is given as Falmouth, cargo of coal. The convoy was composed of 2 parts, OA 169(1) and OA 169(2), Roy being in station 45 of Part 2, which had several Norwegian ships, namely Gulhaug, Lom, Røyksund, Thorøy and Varegg (see also Balder), while Vinland is listed in Part 1 (see the link provided - it'll be noticed that A. Hague has not included Roy in this convoy, but his listing is incomplete). According to the archive document, Roy had previously left Leith (June 12) for Nantes, but was diverted to Falmouth and Belfast. Arrival Falmouth is not given, but she later arrived Belfast Lough on June 29.

The following month, she's listed, together with Ask and Torfinn Jarl, in Convoy OG 39*, originating in Liverpool on July 26, arriving Gibraltar Aug. 6; Roy arrived Villa Real on Aug. 5, having started out from Milford Haven July 25 - again, see Page 1. About a week later, we find her in station 62 of Convoy HG 41 from Gibraltar, bound for Garston with pyrites. The Commodore's narrative is also available for this convoy. Strangely, when going back to the archive document, she's said to have arrived Villa Real on Aug. 25, but I believe this is a typing error, and shows her arrival Garston. Shortly thereafter, she lost a crew member. The 21 year old Paul August Henriksen is commemorated at the Seamen's Memorial in Stavern, Norway - ref. external link at the end of this page. According to "Våre falne", a series of 4 books listing Norwegians who died during the war, he served as a stoker on Roy when he drowned in Garston on Aug. 26-1940, and is buried there. He had previously served on Kongsgaard from 1939.

Roy now headed back in the other direction again with Convoy OG 42*, which left Liverpool on Sept. 4-1940 and arrived Gibraltar on the 16th; Roy arrived Lisbon that day. Ask, Avance I, Fagerbro, Kongshaug, Libra and Ophir are also listed in this convoy. All of them are also included in the returning Convoy HG 45 the following month. Roy had a cargo of pit props for Swansea, where she arrived on Nov. 1. Her voyages in this period are shown on Page 2.

She subsequently made voyages around the U.K. On Jan 11-1941, she caused 3 mines to detonate at once (Humber inlet?), but damages were not serious. She anchored at a buoy in the channel overnight, and was towed to Hull the next morning for repairs. Note that she's listed, together with Inger Lise, Kongshavn, Spes and Tungsha, in Convoy FN 380 on this date (see link in Voyage Record - incomplete listing). Going back to the archive document referred to above, we learn that she left Hull again for Blyth on Febr. 2.

Page 3 has more 1941 voyages, while the rest are listed on Page 4.

* The OG 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 on the page listing ships in all OG convoys.

More info on all the other Norwegian ships mentioned here can be found via the alphabet index at the end of this page, or go to the Master Ship Index.

Related external link:
OB (& OA) convoys - OA 169 is included; here is OA 169(2). See also Arnold Hague's listing for Convoy OA 169 (incomplete - Roy not mentioned).

 Final Fate - 1941: 

Roy had departed London in ballast for Blyth on Oct. 12-1941. North of Great Yarmouth (according to "Nortraships flåte") the convoy she was in was attacked by several E-boats (Convoy FN 531 - external link, incomplete listing, Fanefjeld, Lisbeth and Lom are included). Jan-Olof, Sweden has told me that "Chronology of the War at Sea 1939-45" by Rohwer and Hummelchen states the convoy was attacked north of Cromer by the 2nd MTB Flotilla (Lt-Cdr Feldt) comprising S-41, S-47, S-53, S-62, S-104 and S-105. Another visitor to my site says that "Shipwreck Index of the British Isles" gives the location as 12 miles east/northeast of Happisburgh Sands, Norfolk. The boats, some damaged, were eventually chased off by the escort, but not before Roy had been hit aft on the starboard side at 23:45 by a torpedo from S-53 (Commander Block), blowing away the whole of the poop above water. The hatch coaming of No. 4 hatch was gone and water could be heard pouring into holds No. 3 and 4. The captain's report states they had just passed Buoy No. 56 B about 15 minutes before the explosion occurred.

The starboard and port lifeboats were launched, and hearing shouts all around them they went off to assist survivors from the British freighter Chevington which had also received a torpedo (from S-105, Howaldt). The captain heard shouts from Roy, and sent 1st Mate Holmedal's boat alongside the ship, which was still afloat, whereupon H. Ditlefsen and O. Hella reboarded* to find the British stoker trapped and seriously injured, but they managed to free him and place him in the boat. The British trimmer was seen in the same situation, but by now the ship was sinking rapidly by the stern so they had to leave him. Roy sank about half a minute after they had gotten away, at 24:10, Oct. 13 and 20 minutes later the survivors in Roy's port lifeboat, including the 2 they had rescued from Chevington were picked up by the motor torpedo boat ML 145. They were landed in Grimsby at 09:30 where they were taken to the Seamen's Home. The captain's boat arrived Grimsby 2 hours later, carrying the rest of Roy's survivors as well as Chevington's captain, 1st mate and others, whom they had rescued from the water.

George Monk, England has told me that Able Seaman Helmer Ditlefsen, Donkeyman Olaf Hella and 1st Mate Simon Holmedal later received British "Commendations" for their actions (his source: Seedies List of awards to the British Merchant Navy which includes awards to Allied merchant seamen).

The maritime inquiry was held in Newcastle-on-Tyne on Oct. 17-1941 with the captain, the 1st mate, the 1st engineer, Able Seaman Ditlefsen (helmsman) and Able Seaman Yttrelie (lookout) appearing. The captain believed that those who died had either been in their cabins or in the messroom, all of which were blown away in the explosion.

* Most of the info above is from the inquiry. Via an E-mail from a visitor to my website I've been told that some of the details are inaccurate (as per Helmer Ditlefsen himself), as follows:
He gives the time as 23:35, not 23:45.
Helmer Ditlefsen and Olaf Hella did not enter the lifeboat so did not go back on Roy later; they had both remained on the ship, Ditlefsen was on deck and Hella was in his cabin. Ditlefsen helped him get to the deck, whereupon they both launched a lifeboat, Hella staying in the boat while Ditlefsen went to get 3 or 4 injured men. Jack Waudby was trapped in his cabin and was fully conscious, but Ditlefsen had to leave him as he was unable to free him. It was this lifeboat that took on board the British seamen from Chevington. The boat, which was tied to Roy while Hella and the others waited for Ditlefsen, was very nearly pulled under with the ship.

Partial Crew List:

Josef Thorvald Berge
1st Mate
Simon Holmedal
2nd Mate
name unknown
Able Seaman
Helmer Ditlefsen
Able Seaman
Andreas Theodor Yttrelie
Able Seaman
? Skorpen
1st Engineer*
Tallak Solheim
Olaf Hella
Bernhard Morgan
+ 10 more?
incl. gunners

Able Seaman
Terje Johannesen

Able Seaman
Sverre Rimestad

Jack Waudby

* See my text under Spica for more on this engineer's war experiences.

Related external link:
Stavern Memorial commemorations - As mentioned further up on this page, there's a Paul August Henriksen commemorated at this memorial in Stavern, Norway in addition to the 2 mentioned in my crew list. He had drowned in Garston on Aug. 26-1940. This, in fact, is the date Convoy HG 41 arrived Liverpool from Gibraltar, but as mentioned, Roy's destination was Garston on that occasion, and it looks like she had arrived there on Aug. 25.

Back to Roy on the "Ships starting with R" page.

(I've also come across another D/S Roy, also August Kjerland, with a gross tonnage of 4871, built in 1930).

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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