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To Idefjord on the "Ships starting with I" page.
Manager: Den norske Amerikalinje, Oslo
Launched on Apr. 9-1921 by Canadian Vickers Ltd., Montreal (Yard No. 81) for NAL, delivered in June-1921.
Related items on this site:
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 some voyages are missing.
As will be seen when going to Page 1 of the archive documents, Idefjord was on her way from New York to Norway in March/Apr.-1940, but was diverted to Clyde (Norway was invaded on Apr. 9). Via Kirkwall, where she remained for over a month, she arrived Greenock on May 12.
That summer, she's listed as bound for Montreal in Convoy OB 182, which originated in Liverpool on July 11 and dispersed on the 14th, Idefjord arriving Montreal on July 24, proceeding to Quebec the next day (she had joined from Clyde). Brant County, Ila, Mexico, Nova and Stigstad are also named in this convoy. Idefjord headed back to the U.K. at the end of that month in the Halifax-U.K. Convoy HX 62, joining with the Sydney, C.B. portion, bound for Glasgow with general cargo, station 54. Together with Heina, Nea, Ringstad, Sama, Thalatta and Thorshavn, she subsequently joined Convoy OB 203, originating in Liverpool on Aug. 24, dispersed on the 28th, Idefjord arriving Montreal Sept. 7 (having started out from Clyde Aug. 25). Later that month, we find her in Convoy HX 76, again joining from Sydney, C.B., and the following month, she shows up in Convoy OB 231, which originated in Liverpool on Oct. 19 and also included Norefjord, Rena and Skaraas. Idefjord again joined from Clyde and arrived Montreal Oct. 31, the convoy having been dispersed on the 23rd. With a general cargo for Glasgow, she returned in Nov.-1940 in the Sydney. C.B. portion of Convoy HX 86, arriving her destination on Nov. 27, later joining Convoy OB 259, along with Belinda, Dalfonn, Erviken (returned), Helgøy, Hørda, Leiesten, Taranger and Thorshavet. This convoy left Liverpool on Dec. 14 (Idefjord sailed from Clyde that day) and dispersed on the 17th, Idefjord arriving St. John, N.B. Dec. 27. Again, see Page 1.
In Jan.-1941, she sailed in Convoy HX 102 from Halifax, bound for Avonmouth and Swansea with a general cargo. She arrived Avonmouth Febr. 1, Swansea Febr. 11, subsequently joining Convoy OB 289, originating in Liverpool on Febr. 20, dispersed 4 days later, Idefjord arriving St. John, N.B. on March 7 (the Norwegian G. C. Brøvig was torpedoed and damaged - follow the link for details. Geisha also took part and Sveve is mentioned, but she returned to port). It now looks like Idefjord remained at St. John for quite a long time (Page 1), before she on Apr. 3 proceeded to Halifax in order to join Convoy HX 119B on Apr. 6, carrying a general cargo and planes, arriving Avonmouth (via Belfast Lough) on Apr. 25, Swansea on May 5. About a week later, she's listed as bound for Montreal in Convoy OB 322 (originated in Liverpool May 12, dispersed May 20 - Belinda, Bollsta, Lista and Solitaire are also listed). She arrived Montreal on May 28, having sailed from Milford Haven on the 11th, then headed back to the U.K. in June in Convoy HX 131, bound for Swansea with a general cargo and trucks in station 94 of the convoy. As can be seen when following the link, she's listed in the Sydney (C.B.) portion, but according to Page 2 of the archive documents, she left Halifax on June 7, though this could be a misprint; she had previously arrived Sydney, C.B. from Montreal on June 4, and no voyage from there to Halifax is shown.
In July that same year, she's listed in Convoy OB 343 in which the Norwegian Ferncourt was bombed and damaged - follow the link for more info. Arosa, Evviva, Fanefjeld, Grado, Henrik Ibsen, Måkefjell, Nesttun, Slemdal, Spurt, Star, Suderholm and Taborfjell are also named in this convoy, which started out in Liverpool July 6-1941 and dispersed July 21. Idefjord's destination was Montreal again, and she arrived there on July 22, having detached from the convoy on July 18, according to A. Hague. She did not leave Montreal again until Aug. 29 (Page 2), when she proceeded to Halifax, and with a general cargo and 6 passengers, she headed back across the Atlantic on Sept. 4 in station 35 of Convoy HX 148, along with the Norwegian Ørnefjell (55), James Hawson (83), Grey County (93), Stigstad (64), Herbrand (52), Egda (54), Vivi (76) and Mirlo (23), as well as the Panamanian Norvinn (Norwegian managers, therefore listed on this website, station 53, between Herbrand and Egda). A. Hague has also included Gefion in this convoy. The following month, Idefjord is listed as bound for Montreal in the westbound North Atlantic Convoy ON 24*, which originted in Liverpool on Oct. 8 and dispersed on the 15th, Idefjord arriving her destination Oct. 24 (she had started out in Milford Haven on Oct. 7). On Nov. 8, we find her in Convoy HX 159 from Halifax, and her last Trans-Atlantic voyage that year was made in the westbound Convoy ON 46* (originated in Liverpool Dec. 13, dispersed Dec. 21; Idefjord joined from Clyde). Her destination is given as St. John, N.B. on that occasion, and she arrived there on Dec. 29.
On Jan. 13-1942, she's listed in Convoy HX 170 from Halifax, then returned to St. John, N.B. again the following month with Convoy ON 67*, in which the Norwegian Eidanger, Finnanger and Sama (among others) were sunk - follow the links for details. This convoy originated in Liverpool on Febr. 14 and arrived Halifax on March 1; Idefjord started out from Milford Haven and arrived St. John (via Belfast Lough) March 2 - again, see Page 2. She headed back to the U.K. on March 15 in Convoy HX 180, returning with Convoy ON 85* (departure Liverpool Apr. 10). This time, she was bound for Halifax, where she arrived on Apr. 22, having sailed from Milford Haven on Apr. 9 - see also Page 3. In May, she can be found in Convoy HX 189, together with the Norwegian Troubadour, Kong Haakon VII, Olaf Bergh and Scebeli, and in June she's listed as bound for Montreal in Convoy ON 103*, which sailed from Liverpool on June 12 (Commodore was in Kong Haakon VII); Idefjord started out in Milford Haven on the 11th and arrived Montreal July 3 (via misc. other ports, again see Page 3 of the archive documents).
I also have her in Convoy HX 199 from Halifax on July 19, and she later joined the westbound Convoy ON 121* in order to travel to Sydney, C.B., the convoy leaving Liverpool on Aug. 12. Idefjord arrived Sydney, C.B, via Halifax, on Aug. 27, then proceeded to Montreal (Page 3), later returning to Sydney, C.B., and according to A. Hague, she went back to the U.K. in the Sydney portion of the slow Convoy SC 101. She's also listed in the westbound Convoy ON 139*, which originated in Liverpool on Oct. 16 and arrived New York on Nov. 1; Idefjord sailed from Clyde on the 16th and arrived Halifax Oct. 30. With a general cargo and mail, she was scheduled to return in Convoy HX 214 a few days later, but instead joined the next convoy, HX 215, which left New York City on Nov. 11 and arrived Liverpool on the 25th. Idefjord joined this convoy from Halifax and stopped at Clyde on the 25th. She returned to Halifax the following month with Convoy ON 153, station 55, arriving Halifax on Dec. 28 (Bello was sunk - follow link for details).
On Febr. 8-1943, she's listed in Convoy HX 226 from New York, for which Laurits Swenson served as Commodore Vessel. Idefjord had a general cargo for Garston, arriving there on Febr. 25 (according to Page 4), returning to Halifax in March with Convoy ON 173* (departure Liverpool March 13, arrival Halifax March 29). She headed back to the U.K. again on Apr. 14 in the Halifax portion of Convoy HX 234; see also the Commodore's report (Commodore was again in Laurits Swenson). She later joined the westbound Convoy ON 184*, which left Liverpool on May 15 and arrived New York on the 31st (Commodore in Samuel Bakke); according to the archive document mentioned above, Idefjord arrived Halifax May 29, remaining there for almost a month. In June, we find her in Convoy HX 245, which had originated in New York on June 23, but Idefjord joined from Halifax on the 26th, taking up station 78 of the convoy, bound for Glasgow with general cargo. In the middle of July, she shows up in the westbound Convoy ON 193* (departure Liverpool July 16, arrival New York July 31), again bound for Halifax, where she arrived July 28, having joined from Clyde. According to A. Hague, she had a fire on board on Aug. 5 and was repaired at Halifax.
She did not leave Halifax again until Sept. 24, joining Convoy HX 258*, according to A. Hague. This convoy had started out in New York on Sept. 22-1943 and arrived Liverpool on Oct. 6 (Idefjord stopped at Clyde Oct. 5). She's subsequently listed in the westbound Convoy ON 207*, originating in Liverpool on Oct. 18, arriving New York on Nov. 4 - Idefjord again joined from Clyde and had St. John, N.B. as her destination, arriving there, via Halifax, on Nov. 3 (Page 4). A. Hague now has her in Convoy HX 266*, which started out in New York on Nov. 13 and arrived Liverpool on the 27th (Commodore in Brimanger); Idefjord again joined from Halifax and stopped at Clyde on Nov. 27. She shows up again in another westbound convoy the following month, namely ON 215*, which left Liverpool on Dec. 9 and arrived New York on the 28th - Idefjord sailed from Clyde on the 9th and arrived St. John, N.B. Dec. 27. Commodore was in Abraham Lincoln.
In Jan.-1944, we find her in Convoy HX 274, again joining from Halifax, and again bound for Glasgow with general cargo, and the following month, she joined the westbound Convoy ON 223* in order to go back to St. John, N.B. (convoy departed Liverpool on Febr. 7, arrived New York on Febr. 24 - Idefjord joined from Clyde and arrived St. John Febr. 23, again see Page 4). In March that year, she's listed in the Halifax portion of Convoy HX 282, bound for Tyne with grain, general and meat, then returned to St. John with Convoy ON 231*, which included 14 other Norwegian ships, namely Bernhard, Ferncourt, Haakon Hauan, Spinanger, Østhav, Solstad, Vav, President de Vogue, Heranger, Kong Haakon VII, Thorsholm, Skaraas, Høyanger and Nordanger. This convoy departed Liverpool on Apr. 7 and arrived New York on the 24th. Idefjord arrived St. John that day, via Halifax (having joined from Loch Ewe), and subsequently went back to the U.K. in May with Convoy HX 290, joining from Halifax and bound for Glasgow with a general cargo and grain. In June, she's listed as bound for Montreal in Convoy ON 239*, leaving Liverpool on June 3. According to Page 5, she sailed from Clyde that day and arrived Quebec on June 19, Montreal that same day.
In July, she sailed in Convoy HX 298, joining from Sydney, C.B., bound for Tyne with a cargo of flour. She later joined the westbound Convoy ON 248(F)*, which left Liverpool Aug. 6 and arrived New York Aug. 20; going back to the archive document, we see that Idefjord sailed from Loch Ewe on Aug. 6 and arrived Gaspe Aug. 16, L'Anse aux Cousins that same day (she had parted company with the convoy on the 13th, according to A. Hague). She returned across the Atlantic the following month in the Halifax portion of Convoy HX 307, along with Buenos Aires, Fagerfjell, Frontenac, John Bakke (Commodore ship), Kaia Knudsen, Thorsholm and Stiklestad. Idefjord had a cargo of lumber and arrived Immingham on Sept. 24. She's now listed as bound for Rimouski in the westbound Convoy ON 258* (convoy departed Southend on Oct. 6, arrived New York on the 24th). She arrived Quebec on Oct. 24, Rimouski 2 days later (Page 5). With a cargo of lumber, she was scheduled to go back in the other direction with the Sydney, C.B. portion of Convoy HX 318 the following month, but instead joined the Sydney portion of the next convoy, HX 319, and arrived Falmouth on Dec. 9 - see Page 6. The Commodore was in the Norwegian Villanger.
Again, please note that all these convoys had several Norwegian ships.
I've included this account because of the "human" aspect, and because of the close proximity to occupied Norway. Especially in the north of the country people suffered greatly, and relied more than any others on the kindness and dedication of the seamen and others. Idefjord carried the first, much needed supplies to the Norwegian civilians in Finnmark after the Norwegian forces had already landed there the month before (ref. my account under M/T Herbrand and the links at the end of this page for related history).
As mentioned, Idefjord had arrived the U.K. in Convoy HX 319 at the end of 1944. She left Loch Ewe on Dec. 30 in Convoy JW 63, consisting of 38 ships and a strong escort, which included the Norwegian destroyer Stord, arriving the Kola Inlet safely on Jan. 8-1945 (1 ship, the American Adolph S. Ochs had returned to Loch Ewe). The Norwegian D/T Norfjell was also in this convoy. Idefjord took on board a cargo of around 200 tons gifts from British and American aid organizations for the people of Finnmark, and also 32 passengers (medical personnel for Kirkenes). On Jan. 20, Idefjord and the Russian Vjatka left for Liinahamari, escorted by 4 Norwegian and 2 Russian war ships - possibly Convoy KP 1? (external link - Eglantine is named among the escorts). One of the Russian ships was torpedoed and damaged (probably the destroyer Razjarennyj, torpedoed by U-293 on Jan. 20), but the convoy arrived its destination otherwise unharmed.
When Idefjord arrived Norway, there was not much left of Finnmark, the German forces having burnt everything in their wake before retreating, and only a few houses were left standing. The population had been forced to evacuate beforehand, though some had stayed behind and hid in caves in the mountains. Idefjord left for Kirkenes in the morning of Jan 22, again under a strong Norwegian/Russian escort, arriving that same afternoon. Stockholm Radio was apparently quite excited about this event and announced to all the world that a large Norwegian transport had arrived Kirkenes with supplies. Hess in U-995 must have had his radio on, because on Febr. 9 that U-boat carefully navigated up the fjord and sent a torpedo at Idefjord while she was anchored at the pier, but missed twice and withdrew.
The next day, Idefjord had finished unloading her cargo and departed with a Norwegian escort for Liinahamari where the escort was reinforced with Russian vessels and aircraft, before leaving Kola Inlet on Febr. 17 with Convoy RA 64, consisting of 33 ships with the Norwegian Commander Ullring as Commodore in the British Samaritan. Before leaving, 500 civilian evacuees from Sørøy were embarked. (My Norwegian Guestbook has a message from someone whose parents were among those evacuated from Sørøy. Aboard the American Lebaron Russel Briggs a passenger gave birth to a son 2 days after departure; he was named Lebaron and later became a captain). Soon after departure, the British sloop Lark was torpedoed by U-968 (total loss); this sloop had earlier sunk U-425 with the help of the corvette Alnwick Castle. The American Thomas Scott with 41 evacuees on board was torpedoed and sunk, also by U-968. The American crew made sure all the evacuees got safely in the lifeboats, and a British destroyer rescued them all before the ship sank. The corvette Bluebell was torpedoed and sunk by U-711 with the loss of all on board except 1.
The convoy later encountered bad weather and was split up, but by the 20th the Commodore had most of them together again. That same morning they were attacked by more than 25 enemy aircraft, which withdrew when they couldn't penetrate the escort. The hurricane force winds caused the convoy to scatter again, and again they had been reassembled when a force of torpedo bombers attacked, but missed, on Febr. 23. However, the straggler Henry Bacon, with 19 Norwegian evacuees on board, was hit by a torpedo after having defended herself for 65 minutes. Several of the American crew volunteered their places in the lifeboats to the evacuees, mostly women and children, thereby losing their own lives when their ship sank (22 died, including Captain Alfred Carini and 7 gunners out of a complement of 41 and 26 gunners). The 64 survivors were rescued by escort vessels and taken to Scotland. The convoy arrived Clyde on March 1.
My Guestbook has a message from someone who was on board HMS Zambesi at the time, and was involved in the rescue of survivors from Henry Bacon. He says HMS Zest was also involved in this operation. If anyone wants to contact him for more information, I can supply his address; my contact address has been provided at the bottom of this page, and also at the end of the Guestbook page. See also this Guestbook message.
NOTE: According to Bob Ruegg/Arnold Hague ("Convoys to Russia"), all 65 who had abandoned Henry Bacon were still alive when the destroyers found the lifeboats, including the 19 Norwegian civilians, but 26 of the ship's crew and Armed Guard died in the sinking.
Upon the Russian advance into the north of Norway the Germans were driven westwards from East Finnmark placing Sørøya west of Hammerfest in a critical situation. The 500 civilians had been brought to Murmansk by the destroyers Sioux, Zambesi, Zealous and Zest (Captain Roger Hicks) detached from Convoy JW 64 by the Flag Officer of that convoy. My page about D/S Skiensfjord has more on JW 64 and also a summary of an article about the Sørøy evacuees. Captain Hicks had previously been on board the destroyer Antelope which took part in the evacuation of Svalbard in Sept.-1941 (he died in 1997). For his part in the evacuation from Sørøy and his actions in Convoy RA 64 (rescuing survivors from Henry Bacon) he was awarded "Ridder av 1. klasse av Den Kongelige Norske St. Olavs Orden" (Knight of 1st Class of the Royal Norwegian St. Olav's Order). Here's a picture of the medal sent to me by Harald Hallberg, Norway. He says that No. 2 from the right in the picture was made by Spink during the war; only 53 were awarded, mostly to Non-Norwegians. It's in gilded silver and somewhat smaller than the other "knight crosses" from 1882, 1906,1942 and 1937-2002 respectively.
Related external link:
Idefjord departed Clyde in Convoy JW 65 with a new cargo for Kirkenes on March 11-1945; again the Norwegian Stord was one of the escorts. German U-boats were waiting in the Kola Inlet and torpedoed two American cargo ships on March 20 (Horace Bushnell, U-995 - total loss - and Thomas Donaldson, sunk by U-968. The escorting sloop Lapwing was also sunk that day, either by U-968 or U-716). Idefjord proceeded to Kirkenes, unloaded her cargo until Apr. 20, then continued to Liinahamari with the Russian merchant ship Onega. After they had again left Liinahamari on April 22 in Convoy PK 9, escorted by 4 Norwegian Naval vessels (Eglantine among them - a direct link to this convoy has been provided within the Voyage Record above) and several Russian ones, they were immediately spotted by U-997 (Lehmann), and both ships were torpedoed, 69 11N 37 07E. Onega sank in a few minutes, but Idefjord, which had received a torpedo on the port side, stayed afloat (a British gunner died). The crew went in the lifeboats, but after the escorts Tromøy and Karmøy (ex British trawler Inchkeith) had investigated the damages further, most of them went on board again. I've seen an account that says it was a mad rush to get Norwegians back on board, because if the Russians had boarded first, the ship would have been theirs, since it had been abandoned in Russian waters. This is confirmed in this Guestbook message. Idefjord was taken in tow, arriving Murmansk on April 23 for temporary repairs.
On August 5-1945, Idefjord left Murmansk, arriving Gothenburg on Sept. 7 for permanent repairs. En route she had been forced to spend some time at the yard in Stavanger, Norway, as the temporary repairs made at Murmansk proved insufficient to take her all the way to Sweden. See also Page 6 and Voyage Record above.
Idefjord was sold to Ila Jernstøperi A/S (Egil Alnæs, manager), Trondheim in 1959, and renamed Ilafjord. Sold to Japanese shipbreakers in 1960 and arrived Osaka on April 21 for breaking up. Demolition commenced at Sakai on April 25-1960. I've been contacted by her last owner's son, who says he has inherited Idefjord's bell and a lifebuoy, and is planning to donate these items to Grenselandmuseet in Kirkenes, Norway.
More related external links:
Back to Idefjord on the "Ships starting with I" page.
Den Norske Amerikalinje had 3 ships by this name at various times, this was the 2nd one.
The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, Norwegian America Line fleet list, "Convoys to Russia" Bob Ruegg / Arnold Hague, and misc. - (My sources).