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Manager: B. Stolt-Nielsen & Sønner A/S, Haugesund
Built in Larvik, Norway 1921. Previous name: Octo 1921. According to "Våre gamle skip" by Leif M. Bjørkelund and E. H. Kongshavn this ship was delivered (from Larvik Slip og Værksted) as Facto for A/S D/S Facto (B. Stolt-Nielsen), Haugesund in Nov.-1921. This book does not mention the fact that she had the name Octo at any point, but it does state she was originally ordered for the company A/S D/S Octo, then transferred to the Facto company in Sept. that year, so it makes sense that she was named Octo for a while. Tonnages given as 1522 gt, 883 net, 2500 tdwt, 244.8' x 39.5' x 17.1', Triple exp. 162 nhp (by yard).
Captain: Einar Kristiansen.
Her voyages are listed on these original images from the Norwegian National Archives:
Her voyages are listed on these original images from the Norwegian National Archives:
Please compare the above voyages with Arnold Hague's Voyage Record below.
(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 several voyages are missing.
Facto was in service on the coast of the U.K., Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranian.
When war broke out in Norway on Apr. 9-1940, she was on her way from New York to Pernambuco - see Page 1 of the archive documents.
In the middle of Oct.-1940, she's listed in the slow Sydney (C.B.)-U.K. Convoy SC 8, cargo of lumber for Great Yarmouth.
Together with Brisk, Egda, Hallanger, Nesttun and Senta, she later joined Convoy OB 268, which originated in Liverpool on Jan. 1-1941 and dispersed on the 4th - ref. external link provided within the Voyage Record. No destination is given for Facto, but from the archive document we learn that she arrived Sydney, C.B. on Jan. 15, having sailed from Oban on Jan. 2. The following month, she's listed as bound for London with lumber in the slow Halifax-U.K. Convoy SC 22 (departure Halifax Febr. 8), and according to Page 2, she later made a voyage back across the Atlantic, arriving St. John's, N.F. on Apr. 10. For this voyage, A. Hague has included her, along with Benwood, Evviva, Leikanger and Troubadour, in Convoy OB 303, which originated in Liverpool on March 28 and dispersed Apr. 3. She was scheduled to head back to the U.K. with the slow Convoy SC 30 from Halifax at the end of that month, but instead joined the next convoy on May 9, SC 31, again with a cargo of lumber for London. She's subsequently listed in Convoy OB 337, which originated in Liverpool on June 20 and also included the Norwegian Buccinum, Ila, Inger Elisabeth, Sirehei and Torborg. Facto arrived Sydney, C.B. independently on July 9, the convoy having been dispersed on June 28 (she had again joined from Oban). Direct links to both these OB convoys have been provided in the table above.
With a cargo of lumber, she returned to the U.K. with the slow Convoy SC 38, departing Sydney, C.B. on July 22-1941, arriving Liverpool on Aug. 8. Facto arrived Ardrossan, via Belfast Lough, on Aug. 12. This convoy is not yet available among the SC convoys included on my website, but will be added - see ships in all SC convoys. Bruse Jarl, Granfoss, Ila, Ingrid, Selbo and Senta are also named (though Senta is said to have returned after having struck ice, as did several of the other ships in this convoy). Just a few days later we find Facto in station 45 of the westbound North Atlantic Convoy ON 7; her destination is given as Sydney, C.B., where she arrived independently on Aug. 31, the convoy having been dispersed on the 25th. Early in Oct.-1941, she joined Convoy SC 48, in which several Norwegian ships were sunk, one of them being Erviken. Follow the links for more details; a cruising order and Commodore's notes, as well as misc. reports are also available for this convoy. Facto had a general cargo for Hull, arriving her destination on Oct. 26
Skipping now to May 29-1942, when I have her in Convoy SC 85 from Sydney, C.B., cargo of lumber for London. She had previously arrived Halifax from Clyde on May 6, but I have no westbound convoy information for this period (this voyage is missing from A. Hague's Voyage Record). In July she joined the westbound Convoy ON 112*, together with Albert L. Ellsworth, Bjørkhaug, Borgholm, Bruse Jarl, Evviva, Fidelio, Gezina, Hjalmar Wessel, Ingerfem, Lisbeth, Loke, Norjerv, Ragnhild, Selvik and Titanian (returned). Facto arrived St. John's, N.F. on July 25, having joined from Loch Ewe; see Page 4 (convoy had originated in Liverpool July 13). ON 112 will be added to an individual page in my Convoys section, with more information on it; in the meantime, the ships sailing in it (and escorts) are named in the section listing ships in all ON convoys. Facto was scheduled to return to the U.K. with the Newfoundland portion of Convoy SC 97 at the end of the following month (in which Bronxville was sunk - follow the link for details), but instead joined the next convoy, SC 98, cargo of newsprint, destination Ridham Dock, where she arrived on Sept. 18, having left St. John's on Sept. 1.
She served as ammunition and supply ship for the allied forces in Norh Africa 1942/1943 (several of the Norwegian ships that had been in Convoy SC 98 took part in these operations). Facto was scheduled to sail to Oran in Convoy MKS 9 in March-1943, but is crossed out on the original form so it looks like she did not sail. This convoy left Bone on March 4; going back to Page 4 of the archive documents, we see that Facto left Bone on March 6 and arrived Oran on the 9th (A. Hague has her in Convoy ET 13 for this voyage - see Voyage Record), later continuing to Gibraltar and the U.K.
On Aug. 15-1943 she's said to have been in a southbound convoy which was attacked by aircraft west of Cape St. Vincent. This must have been Convoy OS 53/KMS 23*, in which she's included, as are Norjerv, Selvik and Tigre - ref. link in the Voyage Record. This convoy originated in Liverpool on Aug. 8 and split up on the 17th, the KMS portion arriving Gibraltar the next day, while the OS convoy continued to Freetown. Facto was on a voyage from Belfast to Algiers in station 52; she arrived Algiers on Aug. 21, having sailed from Belfast Lough on Aug. 9, according to Page 5 (KMS portion). The following month, A. Hague has her in Convoy KMS 25*, voyage from Algiers to Bizerta, arriving her destination on Sept. 14, having left Algiers 2 days earlier. Danio, Måkefjell and Sirehei are also named.
Again, please go to Page 5 for information on the rest of her 1943 voyages, as well as early 1944 voyages - convoy info for some of them is given in the Voyage Record.
At the end of March-1944 she's said to have made a voyage from Oran to Bizerta in Convoy KMS 45* - Buccinum, Europe, Hjalmar Wessel and Roald Amundsen are also included. Facto's voyages at this time are shown on Page 6. At the end of Apr.-1944 she can be found in Convoy MKS 47*, along with Frontenac and Marathon; Facto left Algiers Apr. 29 and arrived Oran Apr. 30, leaving Oran again on May 7, joining Convoy KMS 49*, and arrived Bizerta May 10 (Hjalmar Wessel and Marathon had again been in company, but with different joining points and destinations). It now looks like she made a voyage to Bastia, before returning to Bizerta, then left Bizerta on June 1, joining Convoy KMS 51* in order to sail to Augusta, where she arrived June 3, continuing to Bari that same day, then back to Augusta (Askeladden, Marathon, Norbryn, President de Vogue and Star are also listed in KMS 51). We now find her, together with Gylfe, Hermelin, Høegh Hood and Tore Jarl, in Convoy MKS 52*. Facto's voyage information is given as Augusta to Bizerta, where she arrived June 15. A couple of months later she's listed, with Buccinum, Egda and Lido, in Convoy MKS 58*, voyage Augusta to Oran, with arrival Aug. 17. In Oct.-1944 she made a voyage from Oran to Augusta in Convoy KMS 65* (arrived Augusta Oct. 17). Far is also listed in this convoy.
Her subsequent voyages are listed on Page 6 and Page 7. Convoy information to match some of them can be found in Hague's Voyage Record above. It'll be noticed, on Page 7, that she appears to have spent a long time in Gibraltar at the beginning of 1945. She had arrived there from Bone on Febr. 12, and departure is given as Apr. 14, when she proceeded to Falmouth. She also spent a long time at North Shields, where she had arrived Apr. 24; she did not leave again until Oct. 6 and a few days later she headed home to Norway. Some of her 1946 voyages are also shown on this document, with a few more on Page 8.
Modernized and converted to oil fuelling at Haugesund mek. Verksted in the spring of 1952. In lumber trade in the 1950's. Sailed for Stolt-Nielsen for 39 years altogether. Laid up in Haugesund from Nov.-1957, then sold "as is" in Aug.-1960 (possibly 1961?) to A. P. Steffansen, Denmark, and used as storage vessel Ago. Sold to Paul Bergsoe & Co. and arrived at Masnedø, Denmark in Jan.-1964 for breaking up.
Related external link:
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Stolt-Nielsen had another steamship by this name in WW I, built in Sunderland 1904, 2372 gt - torpedoed and sunk by UB-18 in the English Channel on Sept. 16-1917, 16 n. miles west/northwest of Lizzard on a voyage in convoy Le Havre-Cardiff in ballast. 2 died, survivors were picked up by an American destroyer. This ship had originally been delivered in July-1904 as Hekla for A/S Hekla (Mail & Holby), Christiania. Purchased by A/S D/S Facto (B. Stolt-Nielsen), Haugesund in June-1915 and renamed Facto.
The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Våre gamle skip" by Leif M. Bjørkelund and E. H. Kongshavn and misc. otehr (ref. My sources).