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D/S Fridtjof Nansen
Updated Aug. 21-2011
To Fridtjof Nansen on the "Ships starting with F" page.
Built by North Carolina Shipbuilding Co., Wilmington (60), launched on Jan. 21-1943 as Francis Nash (Barber Steamship Lines and American West Africa Line Inc., New York). Taken over by Nortraship upon delivery on Jan. 31-1943. See also "Gains 1943" on my page "Ship Statistics and Misc." for a list of the other ships added to Nortraship's fleet in 1943.
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.
As mentioned further up on this page, Fridtjof Nansen was taken over by Nortraship in Wilmington upon delivery on Jan. 31-1943, and already on Febr. 3, she left Wilmington for Hampton Roads, and from there she headed to Casablanca on Febr. 18. See Page 1 of the archive documents and the Voyage Record above.
While in Algiers on June 4-1943, she experienced an air attack, taking part in the defense by firing almost 1100 shots from her guns. She headed back to the U.S. the following day, with arrival New York June 27 (Convoy GUS 8 - see link in the table above), and from there, she joined Convoy HX 248 to the U.K. on July 15, general cargo for Manchester, where she arrived Aug. 1. The Commodore's report is also available for this convoy. The following month, she went to Bone, where she arrived on Sept. 21, having sailed in Convoy KMS 26*, which had left Liverpool on Sept. 5 and also included Atle Jarl and Sneland I. From Bone, she later went to Bizerta, then made a voyage from there to Malta with Convoy KMS 28*; she arrived Malta on Oct. 14, having sailed from Bizerta on the 12th. Boreas, Frontenac, Gezina, Lynghaug and Norvarg are also listed in this convoy, which had left Gibraltar on Oct. 7 and had Port Said as its final destination.
Fridtjof Nansen had gone back to the U.S. again at the end of 1943, arriving New York from Bizerta on Dec. 5 (Convoy GUS 21 - see Voyage Record). She was scheduled for Convoy HX 274 to the U.K. on Jan. 6-1944, but instead joined the next convoy on Jan. 13, HX 275, and arrived Liverpool, via Belfast Lough, on Jan. 29 (Samuel Bakke was Vice Commodore Ship). Together with Duala, Fagerfjell, Idefjord, Norheim and Tigre, she subsequently joined the westbound North Atlantic Convoy ON 223*, departing Liverpool on Febr. 7, arriving New York Febr. 24, and in March she made another voyage to North Africa with general cargo and misc. for the U.S. Army (Convoy UGS 36 - link in Voyage Record). On this voyage, she was rammed and damaged by the Liberty Ship Stephen C. Foster on March 26. Captain at the time was Hans O. Christensen, 2nd Mate Kristian Kristiansen, Able Seaman Johan R. Stegane (no other names available). Fridtjof Nansen arrived Oran on March 31, and according to Page 1 of the archive documents, she did not leave again until Apr. 22, arriving Algiers the next day, returning to the U.S. from there in May.
She now joined Convoy HX 296 from New York to the U.K. on June 19, general cargo for Oban (for orders), arriving there on July 2. The following month, we find her, along with Haakon Hauan, Havkong, Molda, Pan Scandia, Samuel Bakke (Commodore Vessel) and Thorshov, as well as the Panamanian Norlys (Norwegian managers), in the westbound Convoy ON 250*, which originated in Liverpool on Aug. 24 and arrived New York Sept. 7 (Fridtjof Nansen joined from Belfast Lough - see Page 2). She headed back in the other direction again on Sept. 21 in Convoy HX 310 from New York, for which the Norwegian Reinholt acted as Commodore Vessel (Rear Admiral A. R. Smithwick) and Høyanger was the Vice Commodore's ship (G. E. Sutcliff, R.N.). Acanthus, Buttercup, Rose and Tunsberg Castle are named among the escorts (see HX convoy escorts), but please note that Buttercup had not come under the Norwegian flag yet at that time. Fridtjof Nansen's last Trans-Atlantic voyage that year was made in the westbound Convoy ON 273*, which sailed from Southend on Dec. 18 and arrived New York Jan. 4-1945. She had again been in the company of other Norwegian ships, namely Glarona, Kaia Knudsen, Morgenen, Reinholt (returned), Skotaas and Sverre Helmersen.
Her subsequent voyages are shown on Page 2 and Page 3 of the archive documents (to July-1946), while convoy information for some of them can be found in the Voyage Record above. As can be seen (Page 3) it looks like she was able to go home to Norway at the end of July-1946.
Sold in Oct.-1946 to the Norwegian Government for A/S Odderø (A. I. Langfeldt & Co., Kristiansand). Sold to Lebanon in 1960 and renamed Olga (Purvis Shipping. Co. Ltd., London). Came under the management of Franco Shipping. Co. Ltd., Athens in 1962, then sailed under the Greek flag from 1966 for Olga Cia. Nav. S.A. (same managers). Owned from 1968 by Ourania Shipping Co. Ltd., Cyprus, managed by Franco Shipping. Co. Ltd., Athens & Famagusta. Broken up in Spain in 1971, having arrived Gandia on May 21-1971.
Related external links:
But see also:
Back to Fridtjof Nansen on the "Ships starting with F" page.
Other ships by this name: Norway had lost 2 steamships by this name to WW I, one built 1897, 3275 gt (Bergh & Helland) - struck a mine (laid by UC 10) and sank off the Galloper Lightship on Jan. 5-1916, cargo of Phosphate, 3 died. The other was built 1881, 2190 gt (P. Bogen) - torpedoed and sunk by a German U-boat in the North Sea on May 29-1917 (this external page has more info, as does this external page). See also this posting to my ship forum, as well as another thread starting here re. another ship by this name. This response has more details.
The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, "Liberty Ships in Peacetime, and their Contribution to World Shipping History" I. G. Steward - 1992 - and misc.