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M/S Herma
Updated Oct. 18-2011

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

A picture (when Beldis) is available on this external page (click in it to make it larger).

Manager: Leif Erichsen, Bergen
2406 gt

Delivered in June-1924 from Armstrong, Whithworth & Co. Ltd., Newcastle (998) as Beldis to Skibs-A/S Christen Smiths Rederi, Oslo. 2406 gt, 1284 net, 3440 tdwt, 294.1' x 45.3' x 19.1', 4 cyl. 2T single acting Armstrong, Whithworth-Sulzer, 1350 bhp. Under British flag from 1936 as Beldisa (Lambert Brothers Ltd., London). Sold to Leif Erichsens Rederi A/S (Leif Erichsen), Bergen in 1937 and renamed Herma.

Specially built for heavy lifting, like locomotives, railroad cars etc.

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 Dec.-1941 to Oct.-1944:

(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.

Departure From To Arrival Convoy Remarks
1941 Dec. 29 St. John's, N.F. Botwood Dec. 31 Independent Earlier voyages, Page 1
1942 Jan. 10 Botwood St. John's, N.F. Jan. 12 Independent
Jan. 18 St. John's, N.F. Baltimore Jan. 25 Independent
Febr. 13 Baltimore New York City Febr. 14 Independent
Febr. 28 New York City Cristobal March 11 Independent
March 25 Balboa Tocopilla Apr. 4 Independent
Apr. 6 Tocopilla Balboa Apr. 17 Independent
Apr. 18 Cristobal Gulf Apr. 25 Independent A. Hague says:
Probably Gulfport
(confirmed by Page 2)
Apr. 26 Gulf Mobile Apr. 27 Independent
May 18 Mobile Kingston May 22 Independent
June 14 Kingston St. John, N.B. June 23 Independent
July 1 St. John, N.B. Halifax July 3 Independent
July 7 Halifax Sydney, C.B. July 9 HS 22 Convoy available at HS convoys
(external link)
July 10 Sydney, C.B. St. John's, N.F. July 13 LC 28 Convoy available via this page
(external link)
July 16 St. John's, N.F. Botwood July 17 JN 7 See also Page 2
Convoy available via link above
Left Botwood July 31.
Aug. 2 St. John's, N.F. Sydney, C.B. Aug. 5 CL 49 Convoy available via link above
Aug. 6 Sydney, C.B. Father Point Aug. 10 SQ 26 Convoy available via link above.
Missing movements, Page 2
Aug. 19 Father Point Sydney, C.B. Aug. 23 QS 28 Convoy available via link above
Aug. 23 Sydney, C.B. Argentia Aug. 26 LC 40 Convoy available via link above.
Left Argentia Sept. 1
(Page 2).
Sept. 13 St. John's, N.F. Sydney, C.B. Sept. 16 CL 57 Convoy available via link above
Sept. 17 Sydney, C.B. Halifax Sept. 19 SH 44 Convoy available at SH convoys
(external link)
Sept. 20 Halifax New York City Sept. 24 ON 128 Halifax to NYC
Oct. 3 New York City Providence, RI Oct. 3 Independent
Oct. 8 Providence, RI New York City Oct. 9 Independent
Oct. 11 New York City Reykjavik Oct. 29 SC 105 Detached to Iceland Oct. 26.
Convoy will be added.
See ships in SC convoys
Nov. 25 Reykjavik New York City Dec. 14 ON 148 Joined from Iceland Nov. 28.
Convoy will be added.
See ships in ON convoys
Dec. 22 New York City Boston Dec. 23 Independent
Dec. 25 Boston New York City Dec. 26 Independent
1943 Jan. 4 New York City St. John's, N.F. Jan. 10 SC 116 NYC to St. John's, N.F.
Convoy will be added.
See ships in SC convoys
Jan. 22 St. John's, N.F. Halifax Jan. 26 JH 31 Convoy available via this page
(external link)
Jan. 31 Halifax New York City Febr. 5 ON 160 Halifax to NYC
Febr. 27 New York City Gitmo March 6 NG 346 Convoy available at NG convoys
(external link)
March 6 Gitmo Trinidad March 12 GAT 48 Convoy available at GAT convoys
(external link)
March 14 Trinidad Bahia March 30 TB 8 Convoy available via this page
(external link)
Compare w/Page 2
(also, missing voyages - see also narrative).
June 24 Trinidad Gitmo June 30 TAG 68 Convoy available at TAG convoys
(external link)
June 30 Gitmo Key West July 5 Independent
July 5 Key West Hampton Roads July 15 Independent
July 15 Hampton Roads New York City July 17 Independent
Aug. 17 New York City Boston Independent Page 3 gives arrival Aug. 19.
Aug. 24 Boston Halifax Aug. 26 BX 70 Convoy available at BX convoys
(external link)
Aug. 28 Halifax Sydney, C.B. Aug. 30 HS 104 Convoy available at HS convoys
(external link)
Sept. 1 Sydney, C.B. St. John's, N.F. Sept. 3 BW 57 For St John's, N.F.
Convoy available at BW convoys
(external link)
* Sept. 9 St. John's, N.F. Greenland Sept. 15 SG 30 Convoy available via this page
(external link)
* Oct. 25 Greenland St. John's, N.F. Oct. 30 GS 34 Convoy available via link above
*This voyage to Greenland and back is not included on Page 3 of the archive documents.
Nov. 9 St. John's, N.F. Sydney, C.B. Nov. 12 WB 72 Had arrived St. John's from Botwood, Nov. 7
(Page 3).
Convoy available via link above
Nov. 15 Sydney, C.B. Halifax Nov. 17 SH 112 Convoy available at SH convoys
(external link)
Nov. 20 Halifax Cape Cod Canal Nov. 23 XB 84 Convoy available at XB convoys
(external link)
Nov. 23 Cape Cod Canal New York City Nov. 24 Independent
Nov. 24 New York City Baltimore Nov. 26 Independent
1944 Febr. 22 Baltimore Hampton Roads Febr. 24 Independent
Febr. 24 Hampton Roads Boston Independent
?* Febr. 28 Halifax Boston March 1 XB 98 Convoy available at link above
*Compare w/Page 3
March 15 Louisburg Halifax March 16 SH 124 Had arrived Louisburg March 9
(Page 3).
Convoy available at SH convoys
(external link)
March 18 Halifax St. John's, N.F. March 22 HJ 89 Convoy available via this page
(external link)
Apr. 2 St. John's, N.F. Halifax Apr. 5 JH 102 Convoy available via link above
Apr. 5 Halifax Boston Apr. 7 XB 103 Convoy available at XB convoys
(external link)
Missing movements, Page 3
May 11 New York City Charleston, SC May 14 NK 613 A. Hague says:
Arrived with defects.
Convoy available at NK convoys
(external link)
May 28 Charleston Charleston May 28 Independent Put back
May 31 Charleston Charleston May 31 Independent Put back
June 5 Charleston Havana Independent Page 3 gives arrival June 8.
June 12 Havana Caibarien June 13 Independent
June 16 Caibarien Key West June 17 Independent
June 17 Key West New York City June 22 KN 320 A. Hague says:
Thence Boston, arrived June 23.
Convoy available at KN convoys
(external link)
July 7 Boston New York City July 9 Independent
July 16 New York City Boston July 17 Independent A. Hague says:
Out passage unknown, from Boston July 27-1944!
(Page 3 indicates voyage to Argentia)
Oct. 1 Greenland St. John's, N.F. Oct. 6 GS 54 (Voyage to Greenland not included, Page 3).
Convoy available via this page
(external link)
Oct. 10 St. John's, N.F. Sydney, C.B. Oct. 12 WB 129 Convoy available via link above
Oct. 12 Sydney, C.B. Halifax Oct. 14 SH 172 Convoy available at SH convoys
(external link)
Oct. 17 Halifax Boston Oct. 19 XB 130 Convoy available at XB convoys
(external link)
Subsequent voyages:
Page 3, Page 4 & Page 5

 Misc. War Details: 
For information on voyages made in between those mentioned here, please see the documents received from the Norwegian archives and Hague's Voyage Record above.

As will be seen when going to Page 1 of the archive documents, Herma was at Corner Brook when Norway was invaded by the Germans on Apr. 9-1940; she had arrived there from Halifax on Apr. 7. Later that year, she had quite a long stay in New York, where she had arrived from Boston on July 28. Departure is given as Nov. 23, when she left for Trinidad.

This ship appears to have been plagued with engine problems. Her motors were reputed to have originally come from old submarines, one from an English sub, the other from a German, so that when the engines failed they would always wonder whether it was the "German" or the "Englishman" who were giving them trouble. Sometimes they both failed at once.

Herma rescued 91 survivors from the British S/S City of Winchester on May 19-1941, and landed them at Takoradi a week later (she arrived there on May 26, according to the archive document mentioned above). This ship had been torpedoed by U-103 on May 9 - ref. external link provided at the end of this page for more info. In the southern convoy routes outside Freetown it was common for merchant ships to be travelling alone at that time because of the lack of escort vessels. A group of German and Italian subs operated almost undisturbed in this area and sank no less than 30 ships in May alone. Fernlane and Alfred Olsen were just 2 of them.

Page 1 indicates that Herma had another long stay in New York that year; she had arrived from Trinidad on July 14-1941, and did not leave again until Oct. 9, arriving Cristobal Oct. 18. (Her 1942 voyages also start on this document).

She's listed in the westbound North Atlantic Convoy ON 128, which had started out in Liverpool on Sept. 5-1942, but Herma joined this convoy from Halifax and arrived New York on Sept. 24 - follow the link for more convoy information; the Commodore's narrative is also available and several Norwegian ships took part. According to A. Hague, she subsequently joined the slow New York-U.K. Convoy SC 105*, departing New York on Oct. 11, arriving Liverpool on the 31st; Herma, however, detached to Iceland on the 26th and arrived Reykjavik on the 29th - see Page 2. Bonde, Don, Far, Kirsten B, Norelg, Polarland and Ramø are also listed in this convoy. From Iceland, Herma later joined the westbound North Atlantic Convoy ON 148* on Nov. 28. This convoy had originated in Liverpool on Nov. 23 and arrived New York Dec. 13. Don and Far are again listed, as are Ada, Inger Lise and Solsten (Ramø had joined, but returned to port).

A. Hague now has her in Convoy SC 116*, departing New York on Jan. 4-1943, arriving Liverpool on the 29th, but Herma only travelled as far as St. John's, N.F., where she arrived on Jan. 10. Bencas, Carmelfjell, Chr. Th. Boe, Fernbank, Gezina, Orwell and Stigstad are also included, while Acanthus and Eglantine are named among the escorts - see SC convoy escorts. We now find Herma in station 64 of the westbound Convoy ON 160. This convoy had started out in Liverpool (for New York) on Jan. 11, but Herma joined from Halifax on Febr. 1 and arrived New York on Febr. 5.

That same month, she took on board equipment for the American installations on Fernando de Noronha (an island off South America - again, see also Page 2). An airport was being built there at the time, and Herma was laden with bulldozers and landing craft, petrol, oil and explosives. It appears they spotted a periscope on this voyage (northeast of Trinidad), and their guns were put to use, as were the "German and the Englishman" which on this occasion served a dual purpose by enabling them to speed up while at the same time thoroughly hiding them in pitch black smoke! The sighting was reported over the radio and aircraft assistance was promised from Trinidad, but it never showed up. Fortunately, nor did the U-boat/sub? again. Gunners at the time were Johan Lagerstrøm and Ingvald Wahl. A few days later Herma stopped at a small port in Brazil where some American military personell embarked before they continued to their destination.

The cargo was unloaded at Baia de Santo Antonio Bay on the northwest side of the island, which also had a fortress and a penal colony, so Herma's crew had been instructed to not launch their boats to go ashore under any circumstances; if they did they might be mistaken for escaping murderers from the penal colony and promptly fired upon from the fortress. However, the prisoners were later moved to the southwestern point of the island, though some of them were used to help unload the equipment. This took all of 7 weeks, whereupon Herma continued to New York via Pernambuco and Key West.

From Page 3 of the archive documents, we learn that she later had a long stay in Baltimore, where she had arrived from New York on Nov. 26-1943 - departure is given as Febr. 22-1944.

Her 1945 voyages start on Page 4 and continue on Page 5 (also shows some early 1946 voyages).

* 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 SC series will also be updated and completed, but for now, please see ships in all SC convoys.

For more information on all the other Norwegian ships mentioned on this page, please see the alphabet index below, or go to the Master Ship Index.


Purchased by A/S Rask (Sigv. Risanger), Haugesund in Apr.-1950 and renamed Rask. Sold in Apr.-1952 to Suomen Moottorilaiva O/Y (K. O. Weckström), and registered as Silja of Helsingfors. Managed by E. Tilhe from 1955, then renamed Satu in 1956 for Vartusari Paavo Nurmi Shipowners, Espoo, Finland. Had the name Make from 1958 for O/Y Thombrokers A/B, Helsingfors, then Ritva for Laiva O/Y Ritva (E. Poikonen), Rauma from 1963. From 1967 she sailed as Marietta for Matheos Rigas & Dinos Matropoulos, Piræus and was broken up in Greece in 1971. (See also this external page).

Related external link:
The attack on City of Winchester

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

The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Våre motorskip", Leif M. Bjørkelund & E. H. Kongshavn, "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, an article in "Tilbakeblikk", Ingvald Wahl, and misc. (ref. My sources).


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