Site Map | Search |Merchant Fleet Main Page | Home 

D/S Octavian
Updated Sept. 3-2010

To Octavian on the "Ships starting with O" page. has a picture (external link).
As can be seen, this site says it was probably U-203 (rather than U-123) that sank Octavian. See also my narrative at "Final Fate" below.
This external page also has pictures (click in them to enlarge).

Owner: A/S Rederiet Julian
Manager: Hilmar Reksten, Bergen
1345 gt, 2610 tdwt
Signal Letters: LJXS

Built at Nylands mek. Verksted, Oslo in 1938.

Captain: Jens L. Dahl

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 Apr.-1940 to Jan.-1942:  

(Received from Don Kindell - His source: The late Arnold Hague's database).

Follow the convoy links provided for more information on each.

Departure From To Arrival Convoy Remarks
1940 Apr. 2 Halifax London Apr. 17 HX 32 See also Page 1
Apr. 25 Southend OA 136 For New Orleans.
Dispersed Apr. 27.
Convoy available at OA 136
(external link)
Apr. 27 Dispersed from OA 136 New Orleans May 16 Independent
May 21 New Orleans Mobile May 21 Independent
May 23 Mobile Bermuda May 30 Independent
May 31 Bermuda BHX 47 See link to HX 47
June 8 Bermuda portion joined main convoy Weymouth Bay June 16 HX 47
June 23 Weymouth Bay Ridham Dock June 24 Independent Again, see also Page 1
July 1 Downs Bristol July 4 OA 177G For Bristol.
Convoy available at OA 177
(external link)
See also this external page
(says Octavian & Evviva did not sail)
July 24 Bristol Milford Haven Independent
July 29 Milford Haven OB 191 For Charleston, SC.
Dispersed Aug. 2.
Convoy available at OB 191
(external link)
Aug. 2 Dispersed from OB 191 Charleston, SC Aug. 16 Independent
Aug. 20 Charleston, SC New York City Aug. 23 Independent Via Hampton Roads
(Page 1).
Aug. 30 New York City Pernambuco Sept. 16 Independent
Sept. 17 Pernambuco Capetown Oct. 2 Independent
Oct. 4 Capetown Aden Oct. 25 Independent
Nov. 3 Aden Suez Nov. 11 BN 8 Aden to Suez.
Convoy available at BN 8
(external link)
Nov. 29 Port Said Alexandria Nov. 30 Independent
Dec. 21 Alexandria Port Said Dec. 22 Independent
Dec. 31 Suez* Port Sudan Jan. 1-1941 Independent *From Port Said
(Page 1).
1941 Jan. 6 Port Sudan BS 12 Port Sudan to Bombay.
Dispersed Jan. 11.
Convoy available at BS 12
(external link)
Jan. 11 Dispersed from BS 12 Bombay Jan. 19 Independent
Jan. 28 Bombay Basra Febr. 3 Independent
Febr. 12 Basra Durban March 3 Independent
March 4 Durban Pernambuco March 21 Independent Notional sailing date
(see also Page 1).
March 24 Pernambuco New York City Apr. 10 Independent Via Hampton Roads
(Page 1).
Apr. 15 New York City Turks Is. Apr. 20 Independent
Apr. 24 Turks Is. St. John's, N.F. May 3 Independent
May 12 St. John's, N.F. Mobile May 24 Independent On to New Orleans, May 24,
see Page 2
May 25 New Orleans Galveston May 27 Independent
May 27 Galveston St. John, N.B. June 6 Independent
June 9 St. John, N.B. Liverpool, NS June 10 Independent
June 11 Liverpool, NS Botwood June 15 Independent
June 19 Botwood New Orleans July 2 Independent
July 3 New Orleans Galveston July 4 Independent
?* July 16 Galveston Independent *Compare w/Page 2
July 18 Campbellton Botwood July 22 Independent
July 25 Botwood Charleston, SC Aug. 4 Independent
Aug. 4 Charleston, SC New Orleans Aug. 9 Independent
Aug. 14 New Orleans Galveston Aug. 16 Independent
Aug. 16 Galveston Campbellton Aug. 28 Independent
Aug. 30 Campbellton Botwood Sept. 2 Independent
Sept. 6 Botwood St. John's, N.F. Sept. 8 Independent Notional sailing date
Sept. 8 St. John's, N.F. Pensacola Sept. 19 Independent
Sept. 20 Pensacola Mobile Sept. 20 Independent
Sept. 24 Mobile Galveston Sept. 26 Independent
Sept. 27 Galveston Port Alfred Oct. 10 Independent
Oct. 11 Port Alfred Montreal Oct. 12 Independent
Oct. 16 Montreal St. John's, N.F. Oct. 20 Independent
Oct. 26 St. John's, N.F. Botwood Oct. 28 Independent
Nov. 4 Botwood Beaumont Nov. 18 Independent
Nov. 20 Port Arthur Galveston Nov. 20 Independent
Nov. 21 Galveston St. John, N.B. Dec. 2 Independent
Dec. 4 St. John, N.B. Botwood Dec. 9 Independent
Dec. 23 Botwood Pensacola Jan. 4-1942 Independent
1942 Jan. 5 Pensacola New Orleans Jan. 6 Independent
Jan. 6 New Orleans Galveston Jan. 8 Independent
Jan. 9 Galveston Independent Sunk - See "Final Fate" below

 Some Convoy Voyages: 
For information on voyages made in between those mentioned here, please see the documents received from the National Archives of Norway and A. Hague's Voyage Record above. Follow the convoy links provided for further details.

Octavian, bound for London with paper, was in station 43 of the Halifax-U.K. Convoy HX 32 when war broke out in Norway on Apr. 9-1940 (the only Norwegian ship listed). While signals were being exchanged with her on Norway's entry into the war, Octavian sent the following to the escorting HMS Malaya: "We will do our best. We all want to go home and go on aktive service". According to Page 1 of the archive documents, she arrived London on Apr. 17. About a week later she joined Convoy OA 136 (along with the Norwegian Aun), departing Southend on Apr. 25, dispersed Apr. 27, Octavian arriving New Orleans on May 16. With a cargo of wood pulp for Portland, she returned to the U.K. in station 84 of Convoy HX 47, in which the Norwegian Italia was sunk. Octavian joined this convoy from Bermuda, having sailed from there on May 31, and arrived Portland June 16.

At the beginning of the following month, Arnold Hague has included her in Convoy OA 177. He has also named Evviva and Sevilla in this convoy (but I'm not entirely convinced this was the Norwegian Sevilla) - see also external links and the note within the Voyage Record above. This convoy departed Southend on July 1 and, having joined up with Convoy OB 177, formed the Gibraltar bound Convoy OG 36 on July 3 (see ships in all OG convoys), but Octavian was only bound for Bristol, where she arrived July 4, according to Page 1 (she was not part of the OG convoy). She's also listed, together with Astra, Loke (returned) and Strinda (torpedoed, follow link for more details) in Convoy OB 191, which originated in Liverpool on July 30 and dispersed Aug. 2, Octavian arriving Charleston, S.C. on Aug. 16.

From the U.S., she now headed to Pernambuco, Table Bay and Aden, and according to A. Hague she subsequently made a voyage from Aden to Suez, having joined Convoy BN 8, which had originated in Bombay on Oct. 25-1940 and arrived Suez Nov. 11 (Octavian had sailed from Aden on Nov. 3). Arena, Haraldsvang and Thorsholm are also listed.

At the beginning of 1941 we find her, together with Sygna and Velma, in Convoy BS 12, departing Suez on Jan. 3, dispersed Jan. 11. Her voyage information is given as Port Sudan to Bombay (link in Voyage Record above); she had left Port Sudan on Jan. 6 and arrived Bombay on the 19th. Page 1 has information on her subsequent voyages. See also Page 2.

More details on the other Norwegian ships mentioned here can be found with the help of the alphabet index at the end of this page, or go to the Master Ship Index.

 Final Fate - 1942: 

Octavian left Galveston on Jan. 9-1942 and was estimated to arrive St. John, N.B. on the 18th, but did not make it to her destination. She disappeared with 16 Norwegians and the Canadian Ordinary Seaman Albert Leonard Pott on board.

After the war it was claimed that she had been torpedoed and sunk by U-203* (Mützelburg) on Jan. 17 off Cape Race, New Foundland, and if this is correct, it would indicate her destination was St. John's, N. F., but Page 2 does state she was bound for St. John, N.B. Note, however, that David Sibley, a visitor to my website, has done extensive research on this incident and has come to the conclusion that it must have been U-123/Hardegen that sank Octavian on Jan. 17. She was on a course 13° at the time, carrying a cargo of sulphur and wood resin, and sank in less than a minute, having been hit on the port side. The attack is described in a quote from Hardegen's KTB included in Michael Gannon's "Operation Drumbeat"; the victim of his attack was originally claimed to be the American San José, but this ship was later lost in a collision with the American Santa Elisa.

*Jürgen Rohwer says: "The Soviet freighter Kolkhoznic (3879 gt) was damaged by a torpedo, but it is not clear which submarine was responsible. It is possible that U-203 hit this ship and not the Octavian. The latter was reported missing after Jan. 16-1942 in this area." He gives the position for the sinking of Octavian as 45N 60W (as does Roger W. Jordan's "The World's Merchant Fleets 1939").

For info, U-123 was also responsible for the attacks on Vespasian and Pan Norway, as well as the Panamanian Norness, while U-203 sank Soløy and Varangberg - follow the links for more info.

Crew List - No survivors:


Jens L. Dahl

1st Mate
Herman Bertinsen

2nd Mate
Olaf N. Nilsen

Able Seaman
Lars Eftang Olsen

Able Seaman
Edvard Dahle

Ordinary Seaman
Alf Aune Pedersen

Ordinary Seaman
Erling Østby

Ordinary Seaman
Albert Leonard Pott*

1st Engineer
Sigurd Fosse

2nd Engineer
Johan Rosback Egholm

3rd Engineer
Haakon Mjelde

Robert N. Thomsen

Olaf Brudvik

Peder Berntsen

Søren Johan Monsen

Ole Peder Olsen

Konrad Skarshaug

* Albert L. Pott is commemorated at the Halifax Memorial - see this page on The Commonwealth War Graves Comm. website (external link).

Related external links:
Stavern Memorial commemorations - (Some of the names are spelt a little differently at this memorial for seamen in Stavern, Norway. Note also that Lars Lothe had died in Dec.-1941 and was not on board when the ship was sunk.).

U-203 | Rolf Mützelburg | U-123 | Reinhard Hardegen
Operation Paukenschlag

Back to Octavian on the "Ships starting with O" page.

The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, "Sjøforklaringer fra 2. verdenskrig", Volume II, Norwegian Maritime Museum, E-mail from Mike Holdoway, England (his source: PRO), and misc. for cross checking, as named within text (ref. My sources).


 Site Map | Search |Merchant Fleet Main Page | Home