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M/S Somerville
Updated July 16-2012

To Somerville on the "Ships starting with S" page.

Source: Historical Department, MAN B&W Diesel, Copenhagen, who also supplied this picture, as well as this one and all the pics below.

Manager: A. F. Klaveness & Co. A/S, Oslo
4265 gt

Built by Burmeister & Wains Maskin- og Skipsbyggeri, Copenhagen in 1929.

Captain: ? Bolt

Related items on this website:
Guestbook message - From the son of Haakon Werner Hofsten, who sailed on Somerville, as well as Mosfruit, Belinda, Gausdal, Evanger and Temeraire.
Warsailor Stories - On this page I've included the personal story of someone whose brother was on board Somerville at some point in the war (there's also a link to the original, Norwegian version of the story). While there are no details on the 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.

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

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

Voyage Record
From Apr.-1940 to June-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 are missing.

Departure From To Arrival Convoy Remarks
1940 Apr. 1 Shanghai Los Angeles Apr. 22 Independent
May 1 Los Angeles Vancouver May 6 Independent
May 14 Vancouver Seattle May 15 Independent
May 18 Seattle Los Angeles May 22 Independent
May 23 Los Angeles Balboa June 3 Independent
June 5 Cristobal Bermuda June 12 Independent
June 12 Bermuda BHX 50 See link to HX 50
June 17* Bermuda portion joined main convoy Liverpool June 30 HX 50 *Commodore's notes say June 19
(see page about HX 50)
Page 1 gives arrival June 27
(also, missing movements)
July 31 Liverpool OB 192 Dispersed 54 26N 20 16W, Aug. 4
Convoy available at OB 192
(external link)
Aug. 4 Dispersed from OB 192 Cristobal Aug. 18 Independent
Aug. 19 Balboa Nauru Sept. 12 Independent
Sept. 17 Nauru Balboa Oct. 11 Independent
Oct. 13 Cristobal Bermuda Oct. 19 Independent
Oct. 22 Bermuda BHX 83 See link to HX 83
Oct. 27 Bermuda portion joined main convoy Milford Haven Nov. 9 HX 83
Nov. 9 Milford Haven Avonmouth Nov. 11 Independent
Nov. 21 Avonmouth Barry Nov. 21 Independent
Dec. 23 Barry Milford Haven Dec. 24 Independent
Dec. 25 Milford Haven Milford Haven Dec. 26 OB 265 A. Hague says:
Put back, collision with unknown ship.
Convoy available at OB 265
(external link)
Dec. 31 Milford Haven Cardiff Jan. 1-1941 Independent A. Hague says:
Further collision, with Skeldergate, Jan. 1
1941 Febr. 12 Cardiff Barry Febr. 12 Independent
March 4 Barry Milford Haven March 5 Independent
March 6 Milford Haven Liverpool March 8 Independent
March 12 Liverpool OB 297 For Middle East.
Dispersed 61 28N 21 59W, March 17.
Convoy available at OB 297
(external link)
March 17 Dispersed from OB 297 Capetown Apr. 14 Independent
Apr. 15 Capetown Aden May 1 Independent
May 2 Aden Suez May 7 Independent On to Port Said, May 16
(Page 1)
May 21 Port Said Alexandria May 22* Independent *Page 1 gives arrival May 24.
May 29 Alexandria Port Said May 30 Independent Arrived Suez June 4
(Page 1)
June 4 Suez Bombay June 15 Independent
June 24 Bombay Mormagoa* June 26 Independent *Page 1 says Mormubao
(should probably be Mormugao)
June 28 Mormagoa Galle July 1 Independent Notional sailing date
July 6* Galle Capetown July 25 Independent *July 4?
(Page 1)
July 31 Capetown Trinidad Aug. 23 Independent
Aug. 27 Trinidad Halifax Sept. 7 Independent
Sept. 10 Halifax HX 149
Sept. 24 From HX 149 Avonmouth Sept. 26 BB 80 Convoy available at BB convoys
(external link)
Oct. 1 Avonmouth Cardiff Oct. 1 Independent
Oct. 13 Cardiff Newport Oct. 13 Independent See also Page 2
Oct. 22 Newport Milford Haven Oct. 23 Independent
Oct. 24 Milford Haven Freetown Nov. 18 OS 10 Convoy available at OS 10
(external link)
Nov. 22 Freetown Capetown Dec. 8 Independent
Dec. 10 Capetown Aden Dec. 26 Independent
Dec. 27 Aden Suez Jan. 2-1942 Independent Later arr. Port Said, Jan. 14
(Page 2)
1942 Jan. 16 Port Said Alexandria Jan. 16 Independent
Jan. 26 Alexandria Port Said Jan. 27 Independent On to Suez, Febr. 2
(Page 2)
Febr. 9 Suez Colombo Febr. 22 Independent
Febr. 24 Columbo Fremantle March 9 Independent
March 10 Fremantle Adelaide March 15 Independent
March 18 Adelaide Melbourne March 21 Independent
* Apr. 18 Melbourne Balboa May 13 Independent
*It looks like she left Melbourne for Geelong on Apr. 8, with arrival same day, proceeding from Geelong to Balboa on Apr. 12 - see Page 2.
May 15 Cristobal Key West May 20 Independent See also narrative below
May 21 Key West Hampton Roads May 26 KN 102 Convoy available at KN convoys
(external link)
May 26 Hampton Roads New York City May 28 Independent
June 1 New York City Cape Cod Bay Independent
June 2 Cape Cod Bay Halifax June 4 BX 22 Convoy available at BX convoys
(external link)
June 7 Halifax Belfast Lough June 18 HX 193 Again, see Page 2
July 4 Belfast Barrow July 5 Independent
July 19 Barrow Clyde July 20 Independent
July 21 Liverpool* OS 35 *From Clyde, July 22
(Page 2)
For Suez.
Detached Aug. 10.
Convoy available at OS 35
(external link)
Aug. 10 Detached from OS 35 Capetown Aug. 24 Independent
Aug. 27 Capetown Aden Sept. 12 Independent
* Sept. 13 Aden Suez Sept. 19 Independent
*According to Page 2, she left Aden Sept. 13, arrived Port Said Sept. 28, left Port Said for Suez Oct. 7 with arrival same day.
Oct. 8 Suez Fremantle Nov. 4 Independent
Nov. 4 Fremantle Melbourne Nov. 11 Independent
Nov. 16 Melbourne OC 45 Detached Nov. 19.
Convoy available at OC convoys
(external link)
Nov. 19 Detached from OC 45 Auckland Nov. 24 Independent
Dec. 9 Auckland Napier Dec. 11 Independent
Dec. 15 Wellington Balboa Jan. 9-1943 Independent A. Hague says:
Napier/Wellington passage unknown
1943 Jan. 16 Cristobal Gitmo Jan. 20 ZG 19 Convoy available at ZG convoys
(external link)
Jan. 22 Gitmo New York City Jan. 27 GN 37 Convoy available at GN convoys
(external link)
Jan. 30 New York City Liverpool Febr. 13 HX 225 Left Liverpool for Clyde, June 2
(see Page 3)
June 4 Clyde OS 49/KMS 16 Convoy split, June 13.
Available at OS 49/KMS 16
(external link)
June 13 Convoy split up Gibraltar June 15 KMS 16G Convoy will be added.
See ships in KMS convoys
June 16 Gibraltar Philippeville June 19 KMS 16 For Philipville.
Convoy will be added.
See link above
June 26 Philippeville Gibraltar June 29 XTG 2 Convoy available via this page
(external link)
July 2 Gibraltar Dakar July 9 RS 6 Convoy available via link above
July 12 Dakar Freetown July 14 RS 8 Convoy available via link above
July 17 Freetown Rio July 30 Independent
July 30 Rio Santos July 31 Independent
Aug. 8 Santos Rio Aug. 9 Independent
Aug. 10 Rio Bahia Aug. 14 JT 4 Convoy available at JT convoys
(external link)
Aug. 20 Bahia Freetown Aug. 29 Independent
Sept. 3 Freetown SL 136 Rendezvoused w/MKS 24, Sept. 14.
Convoy available at SL 136
(external link)
Sept. 14 SL 136 & MKS 24 joined up Liverpool Sept. 25 SL 136/MKS 24 Convoy available at SL 136/MKS 24
(external link)
Oct. 27 Liverpool OS 57/KMS 31 For Italy.
Convoy split, Nov. 9.
Available at OS 57/KMS 31
(external link)
Nov. 9 Convoy split up Passed Gibraltar Nov. 10 KMS 31G For Italy.
Convoy will be added.
See ships in KMS convoys
Nov. 10 Passed Gibraltar Augusta Nov. 16 KMS 31 For Augusta.
See also narrative below.
Convoy will be added.
See link above
Nov. 17 Augusta Taranto Nov. 18 AH 9 Convoy available at AH convoys
(external link)
Dec. 8 Taranto Augusta Dec. 10 HA 11 Convoy available at HA convoys
(external link)
Dec. 11 Augusta New York City Jan. 3-1944 GUS 24 Augusta to USA.
Convoy available at GUS convoys
(external link)
1944 Febr. 1 New York City Baltimore Febr. 2 Independent
Febr. 9 Baltimore New York City Febr. 11 Independent
Febr. 13 New York City Liverpool Febr. 29 HX 279
March 15 Liverpool Halifax March 31 ON 228 Convoy will be added.
See ships in ON convoys
Apr. 2 Halifax St. John, N.B. Apr. 4 HF 111 Convoy available at HF convoys
(external link)
May 20 St. John, N.B. New York City May 22 Independent
May 26 New York City Gitmo June 2 NG 437 Convoy available at NG convoys
(external link)
June 2 Gitmo Trinidad June 9 GAT 139 Convoy available at GAT convoys
(external link)
June 9 Trinidad TJ 35 Detached independent to Capetown, June 30.
Convoy available at TJ convoys
(external link)
June 30 Detached from TJ 35 Capetown July 8 Independent
July 11 Capetown Port Elizabeth July 13 Independent
July 21 Port Elizabeth Durban July 23 Independent
Aug. 3 Durban Port Elizabeth Aug. 5 DC 56 Convoy available via this page
(external link)
Aug. 11* Port Elizabeth Capetown Aug. 15 DC 57 *Page 4 gives Aug. 13.
Convoy available via link above
Aug. 18 Capetown St Helena Aug. 25 Independent
Aug. 29 St Helena Ascension Sept. 1 Independent
Sept. 1 Ascension Freetown Sept. 5 Independent
Sept. 8 Freetown SL 170 8 Passengers.
Rendezvoused w/MKS 61, Sept. 18.
Convoy available at SL 170
(external link)
Sept. 18 SL 170 & MKS 61 joined up Falmouth Sept. 24 SL 170/MKS 61 Convoy available at SL 170/MKS 61
(see also this page,
external links)
Sept. 25 Falmouth St. Helens Roads Sept. 26 EBC 114 Convoy available at EBC convoys
(external link)
See also Page 4
Sept. 26 St. Helens Roads Southend Sept. 27 FTC 20A Convoy available at FTC convoys
(external link)
Sept. 28 Southend Hull Sept. 29 FN 1494 Convoy available at FN convoys
(external link)
Oct. 22 Hull Southend Oct. 24 FS 1613 Convoy available at FS convoys
(external link)
Oct. 24 Southend New York City Nov. 10 ON 262 Convoy will be added.
See ships in ON convoys
Dec. 1 Hampton Roads* Gibraltar Dec. 17 UGS 62 *From New York, Nov. 30
(Page 4).
Convoy available at UGS convoys
(external link)
Dec. 19 Gibraltar Augusta Dec. 23 Independent
Dec. 27 Augusta Brindisi Dec. 28 Independent
Dec. 30 Brindisi Bari Dec. 31 Escorted
Dec. 31 Bari Ancona Jan. 3-1945 Escorted
1945 Jan. 14 Ancona Bari Jan. 15 Escorted (Voyage to Bari not included, Page 4)
Jan. 15 Bari Gibraltar Jan. 21 Independent
Jan. 22 Gibraltar Casablanca Jan. 23 GC 112 Convoy available via this page
(external link)
Jan. 29 Casablanca New York City* Febr. 14 GUS 68 Casablanca to USA.
*New York not mentioned, Page 4.
Convoy available at GUS convoys
(external link)
Febr. 14 New York City Boston Febr. 16 Independent
Febr. 19 Boston St. John, N.B. Febr. 20 Independent
March 3 St. John, N.B. St. John, N.B. March 4 Independent Put back, weather
March 4 St. John, N.B. New York City March 6 Independent
March 8 New York City UGS 79 Detached, March 23.
Convoy available at UGS convoys
(external link)
March 23 Detached from UGS 79 Alexandria March 31 Independent
Apr. 9 Alexandria Gibraltar Apr. 15 Independent
Apr. 15 Gibraltar Rio May 2 Independent
May 17 Rio Rosario May 23 Independent
June 3 Rosario Buenos Aires June 4 Independent Subsequent voyages:
Page 4 & Page 5

 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 links provided for more convoy information; the Commodore's notes and/or escort's reports are also available for some of them and several Norwegian ships took part.

As will be seen when going to Page 1 of the archive documents, Somerville was on her way from Shanghai to Vancouver when war broke out in Norway on Apr. 9-1940. She stopped at Los Angeles on Apr. 22, proceeding to Vancouver on May 1, arriving May 6. The following month, she's listed in the Bermuda portion of Convoy HX 50 to the U.K., and together with Hardanger, Knoll, Stargard and Taborfjell, she later joined Convoy OB 192, departing Liverpool on July 31, dispersed Aug. 4. Ref. external link provided within the Voyage Record; no destination is given for Somerville, but from the archive document, we learn that she arrived Cristobal on Aug. 18 - final destination is given as Ocean Island; she arrived Nauru on Sept. 12. In Oct.-1940, we find her in the Bermuda portion of Convoy HX 83, cargo of phosphates for Avonmouth, where she arrived on Nov. 11, later proceeding to Barry, where she remained for over a month. With destination Philadelphia, she subsequently joined Convoy OB 265, which originated in Liverpool on Dec. 26, but she was involved in a collision and returned to port (Milford Haven). Again, ref. link in the table above for more convoy details. Going back to the archive document, we see that she spent several weeks in Cardiff, where she had arrived from Milford Haven on Jan. 1-1941, perhaps some repairs had been undertaken there? (she also spent quite a long time in Barry the following month). According to A. Hague, she had also collided with the British Skeldergate on Jan. 1 - I have no further details on any of these collisions.

She appears again (together with Elg) in Convoy OB 297, which left Liverpool on March 12-1941 and dispersed on the 17th, Somerville arriving Table Bay on Apr. 14, proceeding to Aden the next day, then on to Suez, Port Said and Alexandria. Her subsequent voyages are shown on Page 1.

Skipping now to Sept. 10-1941, when she joined Convoy HX 149 from Halifax to the U.K., along with the Norwegian Daghild (station 63), Brasil (83), Thorsholm (33), Innerøy (35), Thorshov (64), Aristophanes (43), Glittre (24), Lise (44), Harpefjell (86), Brant County (87) and Kollbjørg (73), as well as the Panamanian Norvik (Norwegian managers and, therefore, listed under the N's on this website, sailing in station 84, behind Brasil). A. Hague has also included Ringstad (93), President de Vogue (46) and Abraham Lincoln (97) in this convoy. Somerville (general cargo, station 66) arrived Avonmouth on Sept. 26 - see also Page 2. A month later, she can be found in station 33 of Convoy OS 10, which left Liverpool on Oct. 25. She had 1120 tons ammunition, 450 tons naval stores, 750 tons railway wagons and 563 tons motor transports. Follow the link in the Voyage Record for more convoy info; Fana, San Andres and Rio Verde are also listed (Fana returned, having collided with Rio Verde, according to A. Hague). Somerville arrived Freetown on Nov. 18, having started out from Milford Haven on Oct. 24.

On May 17-1942, she rescued 27 survivors from the American Ruth Lykes, which had been sunk by U-103 - ref. external links at the end of this page. The survivors were taken to Key West, Florida, where she arrived on May 20, but in the meantime, 1 of the survivors had died of his injuries. From Key West, she headed to Hampton Roads and New York, then on to Halifax, joining Convoy HX 193 on June 7; Somerville stopped at Belfast for about 2 weeks, before proceeding to Barrow on July 4. Later that month, she made a voyage to Cape Town; she's listed in station 95 of Convoy OS 35, originating in Liverpool on July 21. Again, see the link in the table above for more details (Velox is also listed). Somerville arrived Table Bay on Aug. 24, having sailed from Clyde on July 22. The rest of her 1942 voyages are shown on Page 2 and Page 3, the latter document also listing her 1943 voyages. Convoy info for some of them can be found in the table above.

With a general cargo for Liverpool, she's listed in Convoy HX 225, leaving New York on Jan. 30-1943, initially in station 132, later in station 122, and it now looks like she remained in Liverpool for almost 4 months (Page 3). She's listed as bound for Philippeville in Convoy KMS 16*, having started out from the U.K. (along with Corvus, Elg, Jan and Måkefjell) on June 4 in the combined Convoy OS 49 / KMS 16, which had split up on June 13, Somerville arriving Philippeville on June 19. Having made voyages to Gibraltar, Dakar, Freetown, Rio de Janeiro, Santos, back to Rio and on to Bahia, she headed back to Freetown, and on Sept. 3 we find her in Convoy SL 136 from there. This convoy joined up with Convoy MKS 24* from Gibraltar on the 14th, the combined convoy then proceeding to the U.K. More details are available via the external link provided in the Voyage Record (Elg is again listed). Somerville's cargo is given as bauxite and general, and she subsequently remained in Liverpool for a month (Page 3).

On Nov. 11-1943, she was on a voyage from Liverpool to various ports in the Mediterranean when she was attacked by aircraft while in station 75 of Convoy KMS 31* east of Oran (36 12N 00 07W), but escaped unharmed. 4 ships were sunk, namely the British Birchbank (2 died) and Indian Prince (1 died), the Belgian Carlier (72 died) and the French Nivose (number of casualties not known). 1 ship was damaged (American Josiah Parker, possibly also the British Takliwa?). The external website that I've linked to at the end of this page identifies the aircraft as Do 217's and He 111's, as well as Ju 88's. Askeladden, Egda, Frontenac, Germa, Knoll, Lido, Norlom and Polartank are also named in KMS 31. Along with Somerville and Jenny, some of these ships had started out from the U.K. in the combined Convoy OS 57 / KMS 31, which had departed Liverpool on Oct. 27 and split up on Nov. 9 - names of ships in this convoy can be found via the external link in the table above. Somerville arrived Augusta safely on Nov. 16, and having made a voyage to Taranto and back to Augusta, she headed to the U.S. on Dec. 11, arriving New York City on Jan 3.-1944 - again, see Page 3, the Voyage Record has convoy info.

After having spent about a month in New York, she made a voyage to Baltimore, then returned to New York, joining Convoy HX 279 on Febr. 12-1944 (Febr. 13?), general cargo for Liverpool (Emma Bakke's captain served as Vice Commodore), and with Buenos Aires, Emma Bakke, Fernwood, Herbrand, Laurits Swenson (Commodore Vessel), Solfonn and Sørvard, she returned across the Atlantic with Convoy ON 228*, which departed Liverpool on March 15 and arrived New York Apr. 1. Somerville, however, was bound for Halifax, where she arrived on March 30, proceeding to St. John, N.B. on Apr. 2, remaining there for several weeks. Her subsequent voyages are shown on Page 3 and Page 4, while convoy information to match some of them can be found in the Voyage Record above.

In Sept.-1944, she's listed in Convoy SL 170, which left Freetown on Sept. 8 and joined up with Convoy MKS 61* from Gibraltar on Sept. 18, the combined convoy arriving Liverpool on Sept. 26 - according to the archive document (Page 4), Somerville arrived Falmouth on Sept. 24. Her voyage information is given as Durban (Aug. 3)/St. Helena-Loch Ewe/Liverpool, cargo of filled bombs, copper, hides, wool, fruit pulp, phormium tonax, sperm oil, asbostos, sundries and 8 bags of mail. A. Hague says she also had 8 passengers on board on this voyage. Belnor, Novasli and Sophocles also took part, Belnor having joined with the MKS portion, while the others were in the SL convoy. Somerville later arrived Hull on Sept. 29, spending about 3 weeks there, and together with Anna Knudsen, Dalfonn, Fosna, Norma, Skotaas and Spinanger, she subsequently joined the westbound North Atlantic Convoy ON 262* (departure Southend Oct. 24, arrival New York Nov. 10). From the U.S., she headed to Gibraltar on Nov. 30.

Further voyages are shown on Page 4 and Page 5 (to Apr.-1946). Again, convoy information for some of these is available in the table above.

* 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 MKS and KMS convoys will also be added, but for now, see the section listing ships in all MKS convoys and the section for ships in all KMS convoys.

More details on the other Norwegian ships named on this page can be found via the alphabet index below, or go to the Master Ship Index

(info from a posting to my Ship Forum by T. Eriksen):

Sold in 1950 to Hamburg-Amerika Linie AG (HAPAG), Hamburg, Germany, renamed Sachsenwald. Sold in 1953 to Schulte & Bruns Schiffahrtsges. GmbH, Hamburg and renamed Ursula Schulte. Belonged to Schulte & Bruns, Hamburg in 1956 under the name Dukegat (new engine 1960). Sold in 1966 to Dubai National Shipping Corp., Dubai, renamed Mohammed Abbas. Sold in 1973 to Tayeb & Co. (Ocean Trade W.L.L.), Kuwait, renamed Shaheen. Deleted from Lloyd's Register in 1976. Probably in use as storage vessel. (Note: Another poster says she did not become Dukegat until after 1960, and she still had that name in 1969, at which time she went to owners in Pakistan - I have no way of confirming this).

Related external links:
Hyperwar - The rescue of survivors from Ruth Lykes is mentioned under the entry for May 17-1942 (The Official Chronology of the U.S. Navy in World War II by Robert J. Cressman). See also this page, mentioning Convoy KMS 31.

The attack on Ruth Lykes

The attack on KMS 31

See also
SS Takliwa

Back to Somerville on the "Ships starting with S" page.

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


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