|Site Map | Search Warsailors.com |Merchant Fleet Main Page | Warsailors.com Home|
Updated Sept. 11-2010
Manager: Tønsberg Hvalfangerselskap A/S, Tønsberg
Built by C. Connell & Co. Ltd., Glasgow in 1905 as general cargo vessel Knight Templar for Knight SS Co. Ltd., Liverpool. According to the 1st external website that I've linked to above she was launched on Oct. 10-1905, delivered the following month. Sold to Norway in 1925 and converted to whale factory Orwell. Follow the link mentioned for further pre-war history.
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, Orwell left Aruba on Apr. 7-1940, 2 days before the Germans invaded Norway; she arrived Trinidad on Apr. 15, later proceeding to Gibraltar and Oran (A. Hague indicates she may have made another stop before she arrived Trinidad).
Later that year, she's listed in station 94 of Convoy SL 55, which left Freetown on Nov. 12. This convoy arrived Liverpool on Dec. 2, but Orwell's destination is given as Gibraltar, where she arrived on Nov. 27 (cargo of FFO), continuing to Trinidad a week later. According to the archive document, she had sailed from Table Bay on Oct. 27; this stop at Freetown is not mentioned on the document, but it does say she was bound for Freetown. G. C. Brøvig and Vav are also listed in this convoy, ref. external link provided in the Voyage Record. From Trinidad, she headed to Bermuda and was scheduled for the Bermuda portion of Convoy HX 100 at the end of Dec.-1940, but instead joined the Bermuda portion of the next convoy in Jan.-1941, HX 101, bound for Liverpool where she arrived, via Clyde, on Jan. 29.
On March 14-1941, she was damaged during an air attack in Liverpool, and it looks like repairs were necessary because she did not leave Liverpool until May 17, when she's listed in Convoy OB 323, together with Grena, Lise, Salamis and Sama (link in Voyage Record). Orwell arrived Curacao on June 10, the convoy having been dispersed on May 25. From Curacao, she now headed to Gibraltar (Page 1) and in July, she's listed in Convoy HG 67, departing Gibraltar on July 8, arriving Liverpool July 24; Orwell, however, was bound for Trinidad, where she arrived July 23, having been detached from the convoy on July 10, according to A. Hague. This convoy is not available among the HG convoys listed in my own Convoys section, but see the link in the table above for more details - Gudvin and Trolla are also included.
Orwell proceeded to Halifax on July 26, with arrival Aug. 5, and on Aug. 10 she took station 54 of Convoy HX 144 in order to sail to the U.K., along with the Norwegian Suderøy, Polartank, Hallanger, Eidanger, Havprins, Grena, Evanger, Norse King, Vinland, Ranja and Sommerstad. Orwell's voyages in this period are shown on Page 2. With Bello, Bernhard, Daghild, Gefion, Helgøy, James Hawson, Kollbjørg, Lise, Nueva Granada, Slemmestad, Solstad, Thorsholm and Vivi, she later joined the westbound North Atlantic Convoy ON 22*, which originated in Liverpool on Oct. 2 and dispersed on the 15th, Orwell arriving Curacao on Oct. 24 (Eglantine is named among the escorts - see ON convoy escorts). On Nov. 10, we find her in the slow Sydney (C.B.)-U.K. Convoy SC 54, bound for Londonderry, where she arrived on Nov. 24. Eglantine is again named among the escorts, as is Montbretia. Orwell now appears to have spent several months in Liverpool; the reason for this long stay is not known (and the handwritten note on the archive document, which might give an explanation, is illegible).
In June-1942, she's listed in station 24 of Convoy OS 30, voyaging from Liverpool to Curacao via Trinidad in ballast. OS 30 left Liverpool for Freetown on June 1 and also included Leiv Eiriksson, San Andres and Tankexpress (link in table above); Orwell arrived Trinidad on June 22, Curacao on the 28th. From there, she headed to Gibraltar, then back to Curacao and Trinidad and on to New York, and according to Arnold Hague, she returned to the U.K. again in the slow Convoy SC 102*, which left New York on Sept. 19 and arrived Liverpool Oct. 6. Orwell was bound for Londonderry, where she arrived Oct. 5. She had again been in the company of several Norwegian ships, namely Aragon, Aun, Bestik, Borgfred, Fjordheim, Nea, Norvarg, Solitaire and Solsten (though Nea and Solitaire returned to port). The following month, we find her in the westbound Convoy ON 144*, originating in Liverpool on Nov. 7, arriving New York on Nov. 27; according to Page 2, Orwell arrived New York on Nov. 29, having sailed from Belfast Lough on the 8th. Eglantine, Montbretia, Potentilla and Rose were among the escorts for a while, and several Norwegian ships took part, namely Bencas, Bestik, Borgfred, Cetus, Ingertre, Minister Wedel, Norlom, Suderøy and Titanian. Follow the link to my page about Monbretia for more details on the passage of this convoy, which lost several ships, including Montbretia.
Orwell subsequently made a voyage to Guantanamo and Trinidad, before returning to New York, with arrival Jan. 1-1943 - again, see Page 2; convoy information can be found in the Voyage Record. A. Hague has now included her, together with Bencas, Carmelfjell, Chr. Th. Boe, Fernbank, Gezina, Herma and Stigstad, in the slow Convoy SC 116*, departing New York on Jan. 4, arriving Liverpool on the 29th (some of the Norwegian ships were only bound for St. John's). Acanthus and Eglantine are named among the escorts (see SC convoy escorts). Orwell, cargo of FFO (station 83), stopped at Londonderry again on Jan. 28/29, remaining there until Febr. 14, when she left to join the westbound Convoy ON 167*, which originated in Liverpool on Febr. 14 and arrived New York March 8. A. Hague says she served as Escort Oiler for this convoy. Gulhaug (joined from Halifax), Herbrand, Norvarg and Novasli are also listed. Orwell later spent quite a long time in Baltimore; she had arrived there from New York on March 12 and departure is given as May 26, when she returned to New York - see Page 3.
A few days later she joined Convoy HX 242 (Escort Oiler, according to A. Hague). She's listed in the Halifax portion, which sailed on June 2, but this appears to be incorrect, because according to the archive document, she did start out from New York on May 31. The Commodore says, "Orwell drops her speed very quickly in moderate head seas and could not maintain speed of convoy. The latter was reduced to enable her to keep up. The Master was doubtful about maintaining convoy speed before departure. Consider this ship should not be included in fast convoys." She was bound for Milford Haven and Devonport, arriving Milford on June 16, Devonport the next day, later returning with Convoy ON 190*, which originated in Liverpool on June 24 and arrived New York July 9 and also included Brajara, California Express, Dageid, Fjordaas, Gefion, Høyanger, Lynghaug, Mosli, Norefjord, Norsol, Polartank, Skiensfjord and Tarifa.
On July 19-1943, she's listed in the slow Convoy SC 137 from Halifax, again bound for Milford Haven and Devonport, arriving Milford on Aug. 3, Devonport on the 4th. With Brajara, Dageid, Helgøy, Leiv Eiriksson, Pan Aruba and Slemmestad, she subsequently returned in Convoy ON 197*, which originated in Liverpool Aug. 14 and arrived New York Aug. 28. Orwell, however, was bound for Halifax, where she arrived on Aug 25, having sailed from Milford Haven on the 13th (Page 3). On Sept. 3, we find her in the slow Convoy SC 141 from Halifax, later heading in the other direction again with Convoy ON 205* (from Liverpool Oct. 5, to New York Oct. 23 - Orwell sailed from Milford Haven Oct. 5 and arrived Halifax Oct. 20). Abraham Lincoln (Vice Commodore), Ferncourt, Fernwood, Kaldfonn, Skotaas and Spinanger are also named in this convoy. Orwell's last Trans-Atlantic voyage that year was made in Convoy SC 145 from Halifax on Oct. 24; she arrived Scapa Flow on Nov. 9. Potentilla and Rose were among the escorts for a while (again, see SC convoy escorts).
Her next voyage across the Atlantic was made in Jan.-1944, when she joined the westbound Convoy ONS 27*, originating in Liverpool on Jan. 13, arriving Halifax on the 31st; Orwell arrived New York on Febr. 3, having started out from Clyde on Jan. 14. Buttercup, which later came under the Norwegian flag following the loss of Tunsberg Castle, is named among the escorts (see ONS convoy escorts) and Ferncliff, Fjordheim, Iron Baron (returned), Maud, Norse Lady, Petter II, Stirlingville, Suderøy (Commodore Vessel - returned) and Vinland are also listed. Having spent a month in New York, Orwell proceeded to Boston on March 2, later to Halifax in order to join Convoy SC 155 on March 14. Via Belfast Lough, she arrived her destination Londonderry on March 30, according to Page 3.
The following month, she made a voyage to Reykjavik, with arrival Apr. 15, and now appears to have spent several months there. The archive document gives departure as Oct. 4, and she's listed in the Reykjavik-Loch Ewe Convoy RU 137, which arrived Loch Ewe on Oct. 8. With Fernwood, Heranger, Polartank, Skaraas, Slemmestad, Sørvard and Thorhild, she later went across the Atlantic again, having joined Convoy ON 269*, which left Liverpool on Nov. 29 and arrived New York Dec. 15, but according to Page 4, Orwell arrived Halifax on Dec. 12, having started out from Clyde on Nov. 28. She had time for one more Trans-Atlantic voyage before that year was over and this was made in Convoy SC 163 from Halifax on Dec. 17, her destination Londonderry, with arrival Dec. 30.
In Jan.-1945, we find her, along with Danio, Iron Baron, Lago, Norvarg, Romulus, Solstad, Sommerstad (returned), Vera and Vinga, in the westbound North Atlantic Convoy ONS 40*, departing Liverpool on Jan. 12, arriving Halifax on the 30th (Orwell had sailed from Londonderry on Jan. 13). She was scheduled for the slow Halifax-U.K. Convoy SC 166 on Jan. 31, but instead joined SC 167 on Febr. 16 (Novasli was sunk - follow the link for details). Orwell's destination is given as Avonmouth - she stopped at Scapa Flow on Febr. 27, later arriving Avonmouth on March 4 (Page 4). A little over a week later she joined Convoy ONS 44*, which originated in Liverpool on March 12 and arrived Halifax March 31 and also included Bernhard, Mui Hock and Stirlingville (Commodore Vessel). A. Hague now has her returning in station 33 of the slow Convoy SC 172* (cargo of sun fuel), departing Halifax on Apr. 6, arriving Liverpool Apr. 22 - Orwell stopped at Belfast Lough the day before. Annik, Arosa, Glarona, Maud, Minerva, Norelg, Sandviken and Solstad also took part.
According to the archive document, Orwell left Belfast Lough on May 3, when she joined the westbound Convoy ONS 49*, arriving Halifax on May 18 - in other words, VE Day was celebrated at sea. Askepot, Brush, Evanger, Germa, Grey County, Henrik Ibsen, Iron Baron, Maud and Velox are also included. Together with Geisha (listed as British, but this was a Norwegian ship), Germa, Hardanger, Heimgar, Lago, Sir James Clark Ross, Slemmestad, Sommerstad, Strix and Velma, she's now listed (again with a cargo of sun fuel, station 43) in Convoy SC 177*, which left Halifax on May 26 and arrived Liverpool June 8 - Orwell arrived Greenock on the 10th.
As will be seen when going back to Page 4, she got to go home to Norway already in July-1945. The document shows her voyages to March-1946.
According to the extrnal website that I've linked to below, Orwell was sold to Eisen & Metall, Hamburg for breaking up in 1954, arriving Hamburg on Nov. 26 that year.
Back to Orwell on the "Ships starting with O" page.
Tønsberg had previously had another whale factory by this name, built in Glasgow in 1897, 3789 gt, became Norwegian in 1911. Later renamed Whale in 1925 when the new Orwell (ex Knight Templar) took over, then Congo from 1930, broken up 1934. This external page has more info on her history.