|Site Map | Search Warsailors.com |Merchant Fleet Main Page | Warsailors.com Home|
To Ragnhild on the "Ships starting with R" page.
Built by William Gray & Co. Ltd., West Hartlepool as Empire Carey. Poop length 33 ft., bridge 82 ft and forecastle 34 ft. Hull length 327.9 ft (oa), 315.5 ft (bp) and breadth 46.5 ft. Engines: T3cyl (10 knots). 2833(?) gt. Launched Oct. 20-1941, completed in Dec.-1942(? I believe this is a misprint - see next paragraph). Scandinavian-design cargo ship, meaning she was a single-deck general cargo carrier, with high bulwarks in the wells, enabling deck cargoes, especially timber, to be carried without obstruction. All lifting and handling gear was placed on the three islands. Some of these ships were adapted and became crane ships, equipped with larger derricks. Many of these were used in the Russian convoys. William Gray & Co. constructed 25 of these ships between 1941 and 1944. (This information was very kindly sent to me by B. Mumford - see her website at Convoy ONS 154. Her source: "W.H. Mitchell & L.A. Sawyer, The Empire Ships - A Record of British-built and acquired Merchant Ships during the Second World War", 2nd edition. Lloyd's of London Pr. Ltd., 1990).
Empire Carey was 1 of 19 Empire ships transferred to Nortraship in 1942 (follow the link for the names of the others). Most of the ‘Empire’-named ships that were transferred from the British to the Norwegian flag during the war years were given the prefix ‘Nor’ while some were named for members of the Norwegian Royal Family, as in the case of Ragnhild, who was one of the King's daughters. "Nortraships flåte" states she was taken over at Clyde on April 30-1942, and this would make no sense if she was not completed until Dec.-1942. This book says she was built in 1941. Checking further, I find that she had arrived U.K. as Empire Carey in Convoy SC 78 from Halifax a few days before she was taken over by Nortraship (serving as the Rear Commodore Ship, having been cancelled from Convoy HX 183). There's a Ragnhild listed as taking part in the westbound North Atlantic Convoy ON 92 in May that year. No nationality is given for this ship on the original convoy form, but I'm inclined to suspect that the date given for completion by Mitchell & Sawyer is an error (also, the first archive document below shows voyages from the spring of 1942) and that the Ragnhild in Convoy ON 92 is the Norwegian Ragnhild, ex. Empire Carey.
Related item on this website:
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 (where the Convoy column is left blank, it means convoy information is not available).
Errors may exist, and some voyages may be missing.
As mentioned further up on this page, "Nortraships flåte" states she was taken over at Clyde on April 30-1942, having been built in 1941. She had arrived U.K. as Empire Carey in Convoy SC 78 from Halifax a few days before she was taken over by Nortraship (serving as the Rear Commodore Ship, having been cancelled from Convoy HX 183). There's a Ragnhild listed as taking part in the westbound North Atlantic Convoy ON 92 in May that year. No nationality is given for this ship on the original convoy form, but I believe this was the Norwegian Ragnhild, ex. Empire Carey. In fact, this fits with the information found on Page 1 of the archive documents and as can be seen by the Voyage Record above, A. Hague agrees. She had left Clyde on May 6 and arrived Halifax on the 21st, proceeding to Sydney, C.B. the next day, then on to Montreal, where she arrived May 27. (For info, there was a Danish ship by this name, but according to R. W. Jordan's "The World's Merchat Fleets 1939" the Danish Ragnhild became Panamanian Leonatus in 1941).
Ragnhild returned to the U.K. in the slow Sydney (C.B.)-U.K. Convoy SC 87 in June-1942, general cargo and flour for Swansea, where she arrived on June 27, continuing to Southampton 2 days later. Together with Albert L. Ellsworth (from Iceland), Bjørkhaug, Borgholm, Bruse Jarl, Evviva, Facto, Fidelio, Gezina, Hjalmar Wessel, Ingerfem, Lisbeth, Loke, Norjerv, Selvik and Titanian (returned), she subsequently joined the westbound North Atlantic Convoy ON 112*, which originated in Liverpool on July 13. She was bound for Halifax, where she arrived on July 28, having started out from Milford Haven on July 12. From Halifax, she later headed to Sydney, C.B. and Clarke City, then back to Sydney, C.B. and on to Halifax in order to join Convoy SC 98 on Aug. 29, cargo of pulp for London - she stopped at Loch Ewe on Sept. 12; again, see Page 1. At the beginning of the following month she's listed, together with Fagerfjell (returned), Glarona (from St. John's, N.F.), Lynghaug, Thorsholm and Villanger, in the westbound Convoy ON 135* (from Liverpool Oct. 2, to New York Oct. 21; Ragnhild started out from Loch Ewe on Oct. 2). According to Arnold Hague, she went back across the Atlantic, with a cargo of steel and lumber, in Convoy SC 109*, which left New York on Nov. 9 and arrived Liverpool on the 30th. She was again in the company of several other Norwegian ships, namely Astrid (another one of the Empire Ships transferred to Norway, named for the King's daughter), Atlantic, Grado, Hjalmar Wessel, Iron Baron, James Hawson, Mathilda, Norse Lady, Ravnefjell, Thalatta and Veni. Ragnhild stopped at Belfast Lough Nov. 29, later arriving Milford Haven on Dec. 1, proceeding to Southampton that same day - see Page 2.
Ragnhild was in the first westbound convoy of 1943, Convoy ON 158, in which the rescue vessel St. Sunniva was lost on her first and only voyage as rescue ship, not due to U-boat activities, but due to the horrendous weather endured by so many convoys that winter. Sunniva was last seen 2 days out of Halifax and was not heard of again according to "Convoy Rescue Ships" by Arnold Hague. He adds that she was believed to have iced up and capsized without warning, a theory supported by the state of another ship from the convoy which arrived Halifax the day before with up to 10 ft thick ice in some parts. Other Norwegian ships in this convoy were Acasta, Iron Baron, Hallfried and Solitaire. (A. Hague has also included Askot, saying she put back - his listing for this convoy is available at Ships in all ON convoys). ON 158 had originated in Liverpool on Jan. 2 and arrived New York on Jan. 23, but Ragnhild stopped at Halifax, later joining Convoy ON 160 from there to New York on Febr. 1, according to the Rear Commodore's notes for ON 160 (from Page 2 we learn that she had sailed from Halifax on Jan. 31). This convoy had started out in Liverpool on Jan. 11. Her final destination was Trinidad on that occasion, and she arrived there from New York, via Guantanamo, on Febr. 20, heading back to New York in March (see convoy information provided in the Voyage Record).
Ragnhild now joined Convoy SC 126 from Halifax on Apr. 8-1943. She arrived Larne on Apr. 23, later returning to Halifax with Convoy ONS 7 on May 7, arriving Halifax on May 25. On June 27, she sailed from Halifax with Convoy SC 135, cargo of lumber for London (Page 2), and along with Titanian, Veni and Vinland, she later headed back in the other direction again in Convoy ONS 15*, which originated in Liverpool on Aug. 6 and arrived Halifax on the 21st. Ragnhild, however, joined from Oban and was bound for Quebec, where she arrived on Aug. 24. The following month, we find her in the Sydney (C.B.) section of Convoy SC 142, cargo of steel and lumber for London. Her voyages in this period are shown on Page 3.
She now started making voyages in another part of the world. Together with Far, Hjalmar Wessel, Ledaal and Roald Amundsen, she's listed in Convoy OS 58/KMS 32 in Nov.-1943, voyaging from Oban to Gibraltar with coal in station 34. This convoy left Liverpool on Nov. 5 and split up on the 18th, the KMS portion arriving Gibraltar on Nov. 19, while the OS convoy continued to Freetown. According to the archive document mentioned above, Ragnhild had sailed from Oban on Nov. 6 and arrived Bizerta on the 23rd (KMS 32*).
She's also included, with Lisbeth and Topdalsfjord, in Convoy SL 145/MKS 36 at the beginning of the new year. The SL convoy had departed Freetown on Jan. 1-1944, joined up with MKS 36 from Gibraltar on the 12th (in which Ragnhild took part), and arrived Liverpool on Jan. 24; Ragnhild arrived Barrow that day, cargo of ore and ammunition. With Cetus, Lisbeth, Novasli and Snar, she's also listed in Convoy OS 68/KMS 42, voyage Milford-Casablanca in station 124. This convoy originated in Liverpool on Febr. 12 and split up on the 23rd, the KMS portion* arriving Gibraltar on Febr. 25, while the OS convoy continued to Freetown. Ragnhild (in the OS portion) arrived Casablanca on Febr. 25, and later returned to the U.K. with Convoy SL 150/MKS 41. SL 150 had left Freetown on Febr. 21, joined up with the MKS portion* from Gibraltar on March 3, and arrived Liverpool on March 14. Ragnhild, on a voyage Casablanca-Mersey, had a cargo of phosphates on that occasion, and had sailed from Casablanca on March 2, joining the SL convoy. (Other Norwegian ships in the combined convoy were Bestik, Elg, Norvarg and Olaf Bergh). Follow the links provided within the Voyage Record for more on these convoys.
Together with Alaska, Chr. Th. Boe, Fjordheim, Minerva, Stirlingville, Tropic Star and Tungsha, she subsequently joined the westbound North Atlantic Convoy ONS 32*, which left Liverpool on March 28 and arrived Halifax on Apr. 18. Ragnhild's destination is given as Digby, where she arrived (via St. John, N.B.) on Apr. 21. In May that year we find her in the New York-U.K. Convoy HX 291, cargo of pit props for Garston, with arrival there May 27. Going back to Page 3, we learn that she had joined from Sydney, C.B., departing May 13. Vice Commodore for this convoy was in Høyanger.
Skipping now to Sept.-1944 when she was scheduled for Convoy OS 90/KMS 64 (ref. external link at the end of this page), but instead joined Convoy OS 92/KMS 66, which originated in Liverpool on Oct. 15 and also included Bosphorus, Fernbank, Hardanger and Hermelin. This convoy split up on Oct. 25, the Gibraltar portion arriving there the next day. According to Page 4, Ragnhild had started out from Milford Haven on Oct. 16 and arrived Casablanca on the 26th (KMS 66*). She returned to the U.K. in the Gibraltar portion of Convoy SL 175/MKS 66, the SL portion of which had departed Freetown on Oct. 28 and joined up with the MKS convoy* from Gibraltar on Nov. 8, the combined convoy arriving Liverpool on Nov. 15. Ragnhild was on a voyage Almeria-Barrow with iron ore, having sailed from Almeria on Nov. 1, arriving Barrow on the 16th. (The Norwegian Toledo and Heimvard also took part in this convoy). She's also listed (with Norefjord) in Convoy OS 98/KMS 72, voyage Clyde-Lisbon with coal in station 11 of the convoy, which left Liverpool on Dec. 13 and split up on the 17th. Ragnhild arrived Lisbon on Dec. 20, having started out from Clyde on the 12th.
In Jan.-1945, she's listed with a cargo of oranges in Convoy MKS 76*, which left Gibraltar on Jan. 10 and arrived Liverpool on the 21st - Tigre and Toronto are also named in this convoy. The following month, she can be found in Convoy OS 111/KMS 85. She was on a voyage from Liverpool to Gibraltar with coal in station 11 (KMS 85*), as the only Norwegian ship in the convoy, which departed Liverpool on Febr. 17 and split up on the 21st, the KMS portion arriving Gibraltar on the 25th. Note that according to Page 5, Ragnhild left Liverpool on Febr. 13 and arrived Malta March 1. Later that month, we find her (along with Drammensfjord) in Convoy MKS 89*, departing Gibraltar on March 16, arriving Liverpool on the 24th. Arnold Hague has also included her in Convoy OS 122/KMS 96, which left Liverpool on Apr. 12 and split up on the 18th. Ragnhild was bound for Oran, where she arrived on Apr. 22. Again, follow the links provided in the table above for more information. Carrying pyrites, Ragnhild later headed back to the U.K. with Convoy MKS 102*, which left Gibraltar on May 20 and arrived Liverpool on the 28th. Bestik and Tai Yin are also listed.
Renamed Penelope for John Wilson's Rederi, Norway in 1946. Belonged to Rederi A/B Pandia, Finland in 1950, Lundqvist-Rederierna, Finland in 1955. Sold in Nov.-1972 to Wackatz & Co., Gothenburg, converted to grain store/floating warehouse (engines removed). See also this external page which has more detailed post war history, saying she had the name Ingeborg in 1972 when in Swedish ownership, adding she was broken up in Denmark as Penelope in the summer of 1976.
Back to Ragnhild on the "Ships starting with R" page.
Other ships by this name: Norway had also lost a ship named Ragnhild to WW I, built 1909, 1117 gt (H. N. Hartmark & Co.) - Charles Hocking says she struck a mine and sank in the North Sea on Apr. 27-1917, but Jan-Olof, Sweden tells me she was sunk by a torpedo from UC-29 on that date, while sailing in a coastal convoy. He gives his source as "Bendert". Britain also lost a ship by this name that same year, built 1895, 1495 gt - torpedoed and sunk by a German U-boat off Flamborough Head on Sept. 3-1917. Additionally, Norway had a much smaller vessel by this name back in 1889, a local passenger vessel originally built as Bygdø in 1871, servicing Bygdøy and Kristiania. Renamed Ragnhild (of Holmestrand) in 1889, Hurum 1906.