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Owner: Smedvigs Tankrederi A/S
Built by Götaverken A/B, Gothenburg, Sweden in 1928.
Captain: Ivar Kvadsheim (from Aug.-1937).
Related items on this website:
See also A. Hague's Voyage Record
As can be seen in the Voyage Record, as well as on Page 1 of the archive documents, Glittre was in Boston when war broke out in Norway on Apr. 9-1940.
In Sept.-1941, she's listed in in Convoy HX 149 from Halifax, later returning across the Atlantic with the westbound Convoy ON 24*, which originated in Liverpool on Oct. 8 and dispersed on the 15th, Glittre arriving New York on Oct. 27. Abraham Lincoln, Aristophanes, Brasil, Grey County, Herbrand, Idefjord, Innerøy, Petter, Solfonn, Thorshavet, Thorshov, Topdalsfjord and Norvik (Panamanian flag) are also listed. On Nov. 8, she joined Convoy HX 159 from Halifax in order to go back to the U.K. Her last Trans-Atlantic voyage that year was made with the westbound Convoy ON 42*, together with Eidanger, Kaldfonn, Kollbjørg, Norefjord, Nueva Granada, Olaf Bergh, Slemdal, Tankexpress and Thorshov. The convoy departed Liverpool Dec. 1 and dispersed on the 14th, Glittre arriving New York Dec. 20. Again, see also Page 3.
She headed back to the U.K. on Jan. 20-1942 in Convoy HX 171 from Halifax - Acanthus and Rose are named among the escorts. As mentioned in the table above, A. Hague says she became a straggler from this convoy and joined up with the slow Convoy SC 65 around Jan. 27 (this convoy had sailed from Halifax on Jan. 17). She arrived Liverpool on Febr. 2, Manchester Febr. 5. Later that month, she joined Convoy ON 67*, which left Liverpool on Febr. 14 and arrived Halifax March 1; Glittre, however, was bound for Aruba on that occasion and arrived there on March 8, having detached from the convoy on Febr. 26. The Norwegian Eidanger, Finnanger and Sama were sunk (follow the links for more info) and Belinda, Hamlet, Idefjord, Nueva Andalucia, Skandinavia, Strinda and Thorhild are also listed. From Aruba, Glittre proceeded to Halifax 2 days later, and from there she joined Convoy HX 181 on March 21, arriving Liverpool on Apr. 2, Manchester Apr. 4. Acanthus is again named among the escorts, as are Eglantine and Potentilla. We now find her in the westbound Convoy ON 87*, which departed Liverpool on Apr. 16 and also had Albert L. Ellsworth, Atlantic, Bralanta, Havprins, Herbrand, Katy, Norheim, Norsol, Polartank, Skandinavia, Stiklestad and Vav in its ranks. Glittre was bound for Curacao, where she arrived May 5, the convoy having been dispersed on Apr. 26. Her subsequent voyages are shown on Page 3.
That summer, she sailed in Convoy SL 112, which left Freetown on June 4-1942 and arrived Liverpool on the 23rd. Glittre, cargo of fuel oil and aviation spirit, station 32, arrived Ardrossan that day (via Clyde). Other Norwegian ships were Atlantic, Bralanta, Herbrand, Norsktank and the Panamanian Vestfold, which had Norwegian managers. A direct link to more info on this convoy has been provided within the table above. Just a few days later, Glittre joined Convoy ON 107*, which started out in Liverpool on June 26 and dispersed July 9, Glittre arriving New York the next day. Fernmoor, Garonne, Havkong, Rio Novo, Polartank and Samuel Bakke are also named in this convoy.
Glittre had arrived the U.K. with Convoy HX 222 from New York in Jan.-1943 (in which Vestfold was sunk). According to A. Hague, she later joined ON 164 on Febr. 1, but put back to Liverpool, Febr. 3 (Page 4). She left Liverpool again on Febr. 11 in ballast for New York in station 75 of Convoy ON 166. She also had on board 600 tons of fuel oil for the escort vessels.
At 06:15 GMT on Febr. 23, she was torpedoed in the engine room, port side by U-628 (Hasenschar) during the fourth attack on the convoy, position 47 00N 36 20W ("Nortraships flåte" gives the sinking position as 47 11N 35 35W). At the time of attack she was on a course 270° true, sailing at a speed of 9 1/2 knots, in clear weather with moderate seas, wind west force 2, moonlight, visibility 4 miles. In addition to the officers on watch, 5 trained lookouts with binoculars had been on duty for 15 minutes, 1 at the after gun, 2 at the 20 mm guns aft and 2 on the flying bridge - the U-boat was not seen.
The torpedo rendered the engines, the radio and the steering gear inoperable, the engine room started to flood and a small fire started, but this fire soon died out, and was considered to be caused by the ignition of gas fumes in the engine room. Attempts to send a distress message failed.
2nd engineer Hans Hansen and Motorman Olaf Evensen were killed in the engine room, while Cook Martin Melheim was killed when his cabin was demolished by the explosion.
The ship was abandoned at 06:35, but the 2 lifeboats stood by for a while to see if she could be saved. She was slowly sinking and when the after deck was at the waterline the boats departed. Shortly afterwards, at about 07:15, she received another torpedo, then a 3rd torpedo struck about 15 minutes later (U-603, Bertelsmann) and she was seen to break in half and sink at about 07:30.
After having been in the lifeboats for about 3 hours, the 34 survivors were picked up by one of the escorting corvettes (HMS Dianthus - K 95). Another ship in the convoy, the Panamanian Winkler, had dropped behind the convoy (damaged by U-628) and offered to pick them up, but the survivors had declined the offer because they were afraid Winkler was putting herself in a dangerous situation, and also because Dianthus was seen to be approaching at that time. Winkler, which had a Norwegian captain, was sunk while attempting to rejoin the convoy (by U-223). Glittre's survivors were landed in St. John's on Febr. 26 where the maritime hearings were held on Febr. 27.
Several ships were sunk in this convoy, among them M/T Stigstad, the whale factory N. T. Nielsen-Alonso and M/S Ingria - follow the links for details on these attacks. See my own page about Convoy ON 166, as well as the external links at the end of this page for more information on the battle and names of the other ships sunk. Other Norwegian ships sailing in this convoy were Molda, Skandinavia, Tai Shan, Tropic Star and Brasil.
NOTE: J. Rohwer says M/T Thorsholm was a straggler from Convoy ON 166. This is an error. More under M/T Thorsholm.
Related external links:
Operations information for U-628 (also repsonsible for the loss of Ingria).
Hyperwar - Linked directly to Robert Cressman's book entries for 1943 - scroll down to Febr. 20, 21, 22 and 23 for details on the attack on ON 166.
Back to Glittre on the "Ships starting with G" page.
The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, "Sjøforklaringer fra 2. verdenskrig", Volume I (Norwegian Maritime Museum) and misc. - (ref. My Sources). Also, a memorandum based on statements by survivors, dated March 31-1943 and signed Lieut. R.G. Fulton, USNR, received from Tony Cooper, England. The Voyage Record was also received from Tony Cooper, England - His source: Public Records Office, Kew.