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M/S Kong Sverre
Another Kong Sverre was in German control (formerly Kong Haakon) - see Kong Haakon in the "Homefleet" section.
Delivered in Nov.-1941 as Empire Grenfell to Ministry of War Transport. Tramp ship, built by William Doxford & Sons Ltd., Pallion, Sunderland. 7238 gt, 443 ft (oa), 429 ft. x 56.5 ft. Launched June 30-1941, completed in Nov.-1941. One of 19 Empire ships transferred to Nortraship in 1942. My list of Empire Ships has the names of the other 18. Kong Sverre was taken over in Hull on Sept. 28-1942.
Convoy SC 98. Her destination is given as Hull, where she arrived on Sept. 19/20 and was subsequently taken over by Nortraship on the 28th, as mentioned. She left Hull again on Oct. 17.
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.
Follow the convoy links provided for more details on them, several Norwegian ships took part.
Kong Sverre served as military transport for the Torch operations (Athos has a list of Norwegian ships taking part in these operations). She arrived Algiers from Clyde on Nov. 26/27-1942, according to the archive document mentioned above (another source says Nov. 24, while A. Hague gives Nov. 25), after having been attacked by German aircraft several times; the first time on Nov. 20. Troubadour was in the same convoy. Kong Sverre was credited with hitting one of the planes, which caught on fire and crashed in the sea behind them. Examining all the information available to me, I suspected that this might have been Convoy KMS 3*, in which Prins Harald and the British Grangepark were sunk by U-263 on Nov. 20. Many details in J. R. Hegland's "Nortraships flåte" account of the aircraft attack on Kong Sverre that day led me to this tentative conclusion, and with A. Hague's Voyage Record, this has now been confirmed - Kong Sverre is indeed listed in this convoy, which departed Clyde on Nov. 8 (Page 1 gives her departure as Nov. 6/7). Hegland also mentions that 3 ships on the starboard side of the convoy were hit, one ship started to burn (Prins Harald?), the other's after part broke off, while a third received a torpedo in the net defences, where it exploded. Eye witnesses on board Troubadour could not determine whether the torpedoes came from an aircraft or a U-boat, but the details fit in with a footnote in J. Rohwer's "Axis Submarine Successes of World War Two" stating, "two ships were seen sinking and one burning. One torpedo (from U-263) exploded in the net defences of Ocean Pilgrim." (The British Trentpark was sunk by aircraft while in KMS 3 on Nov. 24).
The following month, we find her in a convoy referred to by A. Hague as Convoy MKS 3Y - scroll down to the second table on my page for Convoy MKS 3. Kong Sverre had left Algiers on Dec. 9 in order to join this convoy. Other Norwegian ships in this portion were Bosphorus (just released from internment in Algiers), G. C. Brøvig and Brisk, while Troubadour and Selvik are listed in what is referred to as MKS 3X.
In Jan.-1943, Kong Sverre is listed (with Ferncliff and Troubadour) in Convoy KMS 8*, which left Clyde on Jan. 21. She arrived Bougie on Febr. 8, departing again for the U.K. on the 18th, taking station 83 of Convoy MKS 8. She arrived Greenock March 2, and later that month, she joined the westbound North Atlantic Convoy ON 175*, which originated in Liverpool on March 24 and arrived New York Apr. 16. Kong Sverre, however, was bound for Halifax, where she arrived Apr. 13, having started out from Clyde on March 24 - her voyages in this period are shown on Page 2. She returned to the U.K. in Convoy HX 237, originating in New York on May 1, but Kong Sverre joined from Halifax a few days later (Sandanger and Brand were sunk - fllow the links for details). She was bound for Liverpool with general cargo, arriving on May 17, subsequently remaining there for a month, before heading back across the Atlantic with Convoy ON 189*, departing Liverpool on June 16, arriving New York July 1. Acanthus, Potentilla and Rose are named among the escorts - see ON convoy escorts.
From the U.S., she subsequently sailed to Port Said, Beirut, Iskenderun and Haifa, then back to Port Said and on to Aden, and on Oct. 25, I have her in Convoy AP 50 / AB 18, together with Egerø, Havkong and Heimvard. Kong Sverre arrived Fremantle on Nov. 17, continuing to Melbourne and Adelaide a couple of days later.
Skipping now to July 24-1944, when we find her among the ships in Convoy GUS 47 from Port Said. The Norwegian Tricolor, Fernplant, Polartank and Lidvard also joined this convoy from Port Said, while Topdalsfjord later joined from Bizerta. Gard is also mentioned. Kong Sverre was on a voyage from Abu Sultan (had left July 8) and arrived New York Aug. 17.
Her subsequent voyages are shown on Page 2 and Page 3, while convoy information for some of them is available in the Voyage Record above. From Page 3, we learn that she got to go home to Norway in Sept.-1945, remaining there for several weeks, before proceeding to Baltimore. It also looks like she may have spent Christmas in Norway that year.
On my page Warsailor Stories I've included the personal story of someone whose brother was on board Kong Sverre at some point in the war - the first story on that page (there's also a link to the original, Norwegian version). While there are no details on this ship, it's an interesting story about 5 brothers and a sister who served outside of Norway during the war; the brothers on 17 different ships altogether. Another sister was involved in "illegal" activities in Norway, as was the father.
Sold in Dec.-1945 to P. Kleppe, Bergen and renamed Martha Kleppe. Sold to A/S Rona (Tollak J. Skogland), Haugesund in Apr.-1959 and renamed Reina - (that company's 2nd ship by that name, the first one was the ex Estrella). Reina was sold in Febr.-1960 to Cia. Naviera Overseas Transport S. A., Panama (J. W. Elwell & Co., U.S.A.) and renamed Miami. Under Liberian flag from 1964 (1965?) as Impala (Tenodian Shipping Co., Liberia). Sold in 1968 for breaking up in Taiwan and arrived Kaohsiung on May 1. (Skogland also had a 3rd ship by the name Reina from Dec.-1960 until July-1962, ex Norwegian Goya, ex German Kamerun. Became Svanholm of Haugesund in 1962, then Hilde of Bergen in 1963, before being sold to Piræus in 1964 and renamed Mellina).
Back to Kong Sverre on the "Ships starting with K" page.
The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, "Våre motorskip", Leif M. Bjørkelund & E. H. Kongshavn, and details received from Barbara Mumford (pre war and some of the post war info) - her source: Mitchell & Sawyer's "Empire Ships".