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M/T Havsten
Updated Oct. 10-2011

To Havsten on the "Ships starting with H" page.

Crew List

Here's a picture of Havsten - external site

Owner: Skibs-A/S Havsten
Manager: Rafen & Loennechen, Tønsberg
6161 gt, 3720 net, 10 040 tdwt.
Signal Letters: LDPG

Built by Barclay, Curle & Co., Glasgow in 1930.

Captain: Gjert Sofus Olsen.

In Admiralty service.

Related item on this website:
A Guestbook message

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

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

Voyage Record
From March-1940 to Aug.-1942:

(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 March 30 Curacao Capetown Apr. 24 Independent
Apr. 28 Capetown Santos May 13 Independent
May 13* Santos Trinidad May 26 Independent *Page 1 gives departure May 15.
May 27 Trinidad Corpus Christi June 4 Independent
June 8 Corpus Christi Bermuda June 15 Independent
June 16 Bermuda Bermuda June 20 (B)HX 51 Returned.
July 24 Bermuda Aruba July 31 Independent
Aug. 4 Aruba Curacao Aug. 4 Independent
Aug. 6 Curacao Freetown Aug. 19 Independent
Aug. 29 Freetown Capetown Sept. 11 Independent
Sept. 12 Capetown Abadan Independent See also Page 1
Oct. 6 Abadan Bombay Oct. 12 Independent
Dec. 1 Bombay Abadan Dec. 6 Independent
Dec. 8 Abadan Capetown Dec. 29 Independent
Dec. 30 Capetown Freetown Jan. 11-1941 Independent
1941 Jan. 20 Freetown Swansea Febr. 11 SL 63 Convoy available at SL 63
(external link)
March 13 Swansea Clyde March 15 Independent
March 16 Clyde OB 298 For Aruba.
Dispersed March 20.
Convoy available at OB 298
(external link)
March 20 Dispersed from OB 298 Aruba Apr. 6 Independent
Apr. 9 Aruba Halifax Apr. 18 Independent
May 10 Halifax Liverpool May 28 HX 126 See also narrative below.
Missing movements, Page 1
June 8 Liverpool OB 331 For Las Piedras.
Dispersed June 19.
Convoy available at OB 331
(external link)
June 19 Dispersed from OB 331 Aruba June 29 Independent
June 29 Aruba Las Piedras June 30 Independent
July 1 Las Piedras Halifax July 10 Independent
July 11 Halifax Belfast Lough July 27 HX 138
July 28 Belfast Lough Milford Haven July 30 BB 54 Convoy available at BB 54
(external link)
July 30 Milford Haven Southampton Aug. 3 WP 12 Via Falmouth & Dartmouth (see Page 1).
Convoy available at WP 12
(external link - possibly incomplete)
Aug. 9 Solent Milford Haven Aug. 12 PW 17 Via Dartmouth & Falmouth - see Page 2.
Convoy available at PW 17
(external link)
Aug. 12 Milford Haven Oban Aug. 15 OS 3 Convoy available at OS 3
(external link)
Aug. 16 Oban ON 8 For NYC.
Dispersed 56 09N 44 32W, Aug. 25.
Aug. 25 Dispersed from ON 8 New York City Sept. 2 Independent
Sept. 23 New York City Trinidad Oct. 1 Independent
Oct. 5 Trinidad Freetown Oct. 19 Independent
Oct. 23 Freetown Trinidad Nov. 5 Independent
Nov. 7 Trinidad Freetown Nov. 21 Independent
Nov. 22 Freetown Takoradi Nov. 28 ST 9 Convoy available at ST 9
(external link - incomplete)
Dec. 1 Takoradi Lagos Dec. 3 Independent
Dec. 6 Lagos Curacao Dec. 23 Independent
Dec. 25 Curacao Cristobal Dec. 29 Independent Notional sailing date
Dec. 30 Balboa Wellington Jan. 25-1942 Independent
1942 Jan. 30 Wellington Suva Febr. 5 Independent
Febr. 10 Suva Balboa March 8 Independent
March 9 Cristobal Curacao March 13 Independent
March 15 Curacao Halifax March 28 Independent See also narrative below
Apr. 11 Halifax Reykjavik Apr. 24 SC 79 For Hvalfjordur.
See also narrative below
May 15 Reykjavik Loch Ewe May 19 RU 23 Onward to Oban, arrived May 20
(Page 2)
May 22 Liverpool* OS 29 *From Oban, May 23 - See Page 2 above.
For Trinidad.
Detached June 4.
Convoy available at OS 29
(external link)
June 4 Detached from OS 29 Trinidad June 14 Independent
June 24 Trinidad Freetown July 8 Independent
July 24 Freetown Independent Sunk - See "Final Fate" below

 Some Convoy Voyages – 1940-1942: 
Only a few of her voyages are mentioned here - for information on voyages made in between those noted below, please see the documents received from the Norwegian archives and A. Hague's Voyage Record above. Follow the convoy links provided for more details on them; several Norwegian ships took part.

As will be seen when going to Page 1 of the archive documents, Havsten was on her way from Curacao to Cape Town when war broke out in Norway on Apr. 9-1940.

With a cargo of crude oil for Brest, she's listed in the Bermuda portion of the Halifax-U.K. Convoy HX 51 on June 16-1940 - however, she returned to Bermuda and did not join the main convoy across the Atlantic. It now looks like she remained in Bermuda for quite a long time; departure is given as July 24, when she proceeded to Aruba. She also appears to have spent quite a long time in Bombay at the end of that year. She had arrived there from Abadan on Oct. 12 and did not leave again until Dec. 1.

At the beginning of 1941, we find her in station 53 of Convoy SL 63, which left Freetown on Jan. 20 and arrived Liverpool on Febr. 9 (Bur and Soløy are also listed); Havsten arrived Swansea on the 11th, remaining there for a month, before proceeding to Clyde, joining Convoy OB 298, which originated in Liverpool on March 16 and dispersed on the 20th, Havsten arriving Aruba on Apr. 6. Belinda, Evanger, Malmanger and Strinda are also named in this convoy. Direct links to both these convoys have been provided within the table above. With a cargo of fuel oil for Manchester, Havsten returned to the U.K. in Convoy HX 126 from Halifax on May 10, in which M/T John P. Pedersen and others were sunk, follow the links for much more information; several reports are available (Havsten had initially been scheduled for an earlier convoy, HX 122 which left Halifax on Apr. 20, but she did not sail. It'll be noticed, when going back to Page 1, that she had arrived Halifax from Aruba on Apr. 18; the reason for the long stay there is not known). Havsten arrived her destination on May 29.

She's now listed in Convoy OB 331, leaving Liverpool on June 8, dispersed on the 19th; Havsten arriving Aruba on June 29, continuing to Las Piedras that same day, with arrival June 30. Again, ref. external link within the Voyage Record - Barbro, Elg, Hardanger, Hellen, Ida Knudsen, Solfonn, Torfinn Jarl, Troubadour and Vivi also took part. On July 11, we find her in the Halifax-U.K. Convoy HX 138, bound for Milford Haven and Southampton, returning across the Atlantic the following month with Convoy ON 8; her destination is given as New York, where she arrived on Sept. 2, the convoy having been dispersed on Aug. 25 (Havsten had joined this convoy from Oban, where she had arrived from Milford Haven with Convoy OS 3 on Aug. 15, according to A. Hague - this was a Freetown bound convoy, which had started out from Liverpool on Aug. 13, arrived Freetown on Sept. 1 and also included Garonne and Vardefjell). Havsten's voyages in this period are shown on Page 2.

On March 25-1942, she rescued 34(?) survivors from the British Thursobank, which had been sunk by U-373 off Cape Hatteras three days earlier - ref. external link below for more details. Havsten arrived Halifax with them on March 28. According to a personal story found in "Krigsseileren" No. 4 for 1998, written by Havsten's 2nd Mate Karl Niva, the Indian crew (I believe this should be Chinese) from Thursobank were arrested for mutiny on arrival Halifax, having placed the 4 British officers in the front of the lifeboat, throwing the oars away and refusing to share the food and warm clothing in the boat with them. (This posting to my Ship Forum has the names of Thursobank's casualties - see also the other postings in the thread, starting with this query by the granddaughter of Thursobank's captain). Havsten was on a voyage alone from Curacao with a cargo of diesel oil for the convoy escort vessels in Iceland at the time. She was subsequently scheduled for Convoy SC 77 from Halifax on March 30, but instead joined Convoy SC 79 on Apr. 11; according to A. Hague, she arrived Reykjavik on Apr. 24. On May 15, she left Iceland for the U.K. as Commodore Vessel for Convoy RU 23; her destination is given as Oban, where she arrived May 20.

She departed Oban again on May 23, joining Convoy OS 29, which originated in Liverpool on May 22 and arrived Freetown on June 11. Havsten, however, was bound for Trinidad, where she arrived on June 14, having parted company with the convoy on June 4. Arosa, Fernbank, G. C. Brøvig, Hallanger, James Hawson, Meline and Tanafjord are also named; again follow the link provided in the Voyage Record for further convoy details.

Related external links:
The attack on Thursobank - This site says that only 26 survived the attack.

Operation Paukenschlag

 Final Fate - 1942: 

Havsten (on charter to British Tankers) had left Trinidad again on June 24-1942 (Page 2), arriving Freetown July 8, departing again in ballast on the 24th of that month in order to head back to Trinidad, but never made it to her destination. At 20:15 on Aug. 3, she was torpedoed by U-160 (Lassen), position 10 25N 56 00W*. At the time of attack she was on a course 268° true, sailing at a speed of 11 knots, zig-zagging, in hazy weather with a smooth sea, moderate east wind and poor visibility; no other ships were in sight. 3 lookouts were stationed, 2 of whom were on the bridge, 1 on the aft gun platform. The track of the torpedo was seen about 40 yards away, but before avoiding action could be taken, it hit in the engine room aft, starboard side, killing the 2nd engineer. Masses of steam came gushing out of the engine room, the engines had immediately stopped, her steering gear was put out of order, fires broke out fore and aft in the bunkerage, and she started to sink by the stern.

The starboard lifeboat had been destroyed, but the port boat, the motorboat (starboard) and the midships gig were launched. The motorboat, which had been launched by the captain, the 3rd mate and 2 others went aft to pick up 2 men there who had initially been trapped, but when it came back to pick up the others who were still on board, the captain and the radio operator could not be found and were believed to have been killed in the shelling taking place about 15 minutes after the torpedo attack - the 2 had remained on board to wait for replies to distress signals; the U-boat had surfaced and from 45° off the starboard bow, from a distance of 500 yards, had fired 20 rounds at the ship; about 5 hit, destroying the radio and bridge - however, Captain Gjert Olsen and Radio Operator Jack Holt had, in fact, been taken prisoners by the U-boat. The captain was at Marlag und Milag Nord for a while, but eventually came back to Norway. The radio operator also ended up at Marlag und Milag Nord. (According to U-160's KTB, the radio operator was born in England and had served in the Royal New Zealand Air Force - went to sea in Apr.-1941 - this KTB gives the time of attack as 01:59 on Aug. 4, German time, and also mentions a second torpedo fired at 02:05 German time, which missed, so the boat then started shelling the ship. The 2 prisoners were taken aboard around 04:35).

The boats set a course for Trinidad and were picked up about 26 hours later by the Argentinian tanker Juncal, which left them outside the harbour of Pernambuco in the evening of Aug. 12**. They subsequently continued into the harbour in the lifeboats.

Havsten had not been seen to sink, but when last seen she was in a sinking condition and in flames. What was not known at that time was that she had kept afloat for a few days until the Italian submarine Enrico Tazzoli (Fecia di Cossato) encountered the wreck and sent her to the bottom with 2 torpedoes in the morning of Aug. 6, position 11 18N 54 45W. According to this Guestbook message, there was also a cat on board, which was rescued by Tazzoli's crew.

The hearings were held in Pernambuco, Brazil on Aug. 23-1942, with the 1st mate, the 3rd mate, Able Seaman/Gunner Madsen, Able Seaman Pettersen (lookout on bridge), and Mechanic (Motorman) Angelsen appearing. Madsen had just come on gun duty and was thrown from the gun platform down to the poop deck, where he was buried by the seas that washed over it, but managed to climb up to the boatdeck where he joined the others in the aft lifeboat. Mechanic Angelsen had been able to get out through the messroom skylight, assisted by shipmates, then went in the gig together with the 1st mate.

For info, U-160 also sank the Norwegian Thorshavet later that year - follow the link for details.

* J. Rohwer gives position as 11 18N 54 45W, at 01:59 on Aug. 4 (agreeing with the KTB), "Nortraships flåte" gives the time as 23:54, Aug. 3 - position as in the first paragraph above.

** "Nortraships flåte" states the lifeboats reached land on Aug. 14.

2nd Mate Karl Niva says the Argentinian tanker landed them at Recife in Brazil, where they stayed for a month before being sent to New York. Many of them waited for 6 months before they could find another job. (At that time joining other allied ships was not allowed, they had to wait for a Norwegian one to become available. This rule later changed). The 2nd mate was eventually able to join M/T Kaldfonn in Febr.-1943, where he later became the 1st mate (he had previously served on Soløy and James Hawson, and had joined Havsten in Aug.-1941).

Crew List:
P = Taken prisoners

Gjert Sofus Olsen P
1st Mate
Leif Amundsen
2nd Mate
Knut Niva
3rd Mate
Hjalmar Johannes Olsen
Radio Operator
Jack Holt P
(New Zealand)
Jørgen Pihl
Able Seaman
Johannes Haydnyk
Able Seaman
Hans Martin Pettersen
Able Seaman
Ole Martin Olsen
Able Seaman
Paul Andreas Paulsen
Able Seaman
Asbjørn Gjerdsø
Able Seaman
Sverre Jegerstad
Able Seaman
Sigurd Lunde
1st Engineer
Lars Lunde
3rd Engineer
Odd Bratlie
Walter Nilsen
Thorodd Norman
Arne Isaksen
Konrad Angelsen
Petter Olsen
Pump Man
Johan Johansen
Sigurd Mitdthus
Leif Ellefsen
Engine Boy
Angus N. McDonald
Eivind Nicolaysen
Trygve Thorsen
Galley Boy
Robert Hoff
Mess Boy
Harry Hansen
Saloon Boy
John A. Ryan
William Madsen
Heming Jul Spilling
Nils Ådland

2nd Engineer
Håkon Stene

Related external links:
Stavern Memorial commemoration - The 2nd engineer is commemorated.

U-160 | Georg Lassen

Back to Havsten on the "Ships starting with H" page.

The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, "Krigsseileren", Issue No. 4, 1998 (Knut Niva's story), "The World's Merchant Fleets 1939", Roger. W. Jordan, "Axis Submarine Successes of World War Two", Jürgen Rohwer, "Sjøforklaringer fra 2. verdenskrig", Volume I (Norwegian Maritime Museum), U-160's KTB received from Roland Berr, Germany, a memorandum dated Washington Sept. 8-1942, which is a summary of statements by survivors, received from Tony Cooper, England, and misc. (ref. My sources).


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