|Site Map | Search Warsailors.com |Merchant Fleet Main Page | Warsailors.com Home|
Manager: S. Ugelstad, Oslo
Built by Eriksbergs Mek. Verkstads A/B, Gothenburg in 1938.
Captain: Fridtjof Olsen.
Related items 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.
Errors may exist, and some voyages are missing.
As will be seen when going to Page 1 of the documents received from the Norwegian archives, Solør was en route from Singapore to Brisbane when war broke out in Norway on Apr. 9-1940. Her voyages that year, and the majority of those made in 1941 (and 1942), took place without a convoy.
At the end of Aug.-1941 she's listed in the Halifax-U.K. Convoy HX 147, together with the Norwegian Nueva Granada, Bello, Bralanta, Sandanger, Slemmestad, Strinda, G. C. Brøvig and O. A. Knudsen. Solør arrived Bowling on Sept. 12, Ardrossan on the 14th. She was scheduled to return across the Atlantic with Convoy ON 19 on Sept. 21, but instead joined the next convoy a few days later, ON 20. She was bound for New York, and had station 82, arriving New York (via Halifax Oct. 11) on Oct. 14, having started out from Clyde on Sept. 25. See Page 2, which also shows some of her 1942 voyages, while the rest are listed on Page 3 (it'll be noticed that she spent quite a long time in Los Angeles that fall).
Skipping now to Jan. 6-1943, when she was scheduled for Convoy HX 222 from New York (Vestfold was sunk - follow the link for details), but did not sail; there's also a notation next to her name saying "not for U.K.". This may have something to do with the fact that she took part in the Torch operations, which had commenced in Nov.-1942. In fact, from Page 3 of the archive documents we learn that she sailed from New York on Jan. 13-1943 and arrived Casablanca on Febr. 2 (remaining there for several weeks). For this voyage, Arnold Hague has included her in Convoy UGS 4, and she went back to New York the following month with Convoy GUS 5, arriving her destination on Apr. 1. A. Hague's listing for both these convoys is available via the external links provided within the Voyage Record above. (My page about Athos has a list of other Norwegian ships taking part in the Torch operations). From New York, she proceeded to Baltimore a couple of days later, and as can be seen when going back to Page 3, she did not leave until May 12, when she continued to Philadelphia, then returned to New York. She was scheduled for Convoy HX 240 to the U.K. on May 19, but instead joined the next convoy on May 25, HX 241, taking station 92. She was bound for Avonmouth, where she arrived (via Belfast Lough) on June 11, heading back to New York a few days later in Convoy ON 189*, which originated in Liverpool on June 16 and arrived New York July 1. Gallia, Glarona, Kong Sverre, Roald Amundsen, Solsten and Troubadour are also listed in this convoy, while Acanthus, Potentilla and Rose are named among the escorts (see ON convoy escorts).
Solør later proceeded to Hampton Roads, and from there she now headed to Bizerta, where she arrived on Aug. 3. According to A. Hague, she had sailed from the U.S. in Convoy UGS 12 (ref. Voyage Record), but joined Convoy KMS 21 on July 29 for the last leg of her voyage (scroll down to the 2nd table on my page about this convoy). By Sept. 9 she was back in New York, joining Convoy HX 256, for which the Norwegian Topdalsfjord served as Commodore Vessel, while the Vice Commodore was in Brimanger. Solør was again bound for Avonmouth, where she arrived on Sept. 24. Just a few days later, we find her in the westbound Convoy ON 204*, which originated in Liverpool on Sept. 28 and arrived New York Oct. 15. Solør had joined this convoy from Belfast Lough; she had again been in the company of several other Norwegian ships, namely Fernmoor, Fjordaas, Minerva, Montevideo, Salamis, Tungsha, Villanger and Viva. From New York, Solør proceeded to Baltimore, and according to Page 3, she remained there for almost a month before continuing to Philadelphia.
Fred Turner says in his story in my Warsailor Stories section that Solør left Philadelphia on Nov. 19-1943 with a cargo of gasoline, bound for Algiers, docking in Algiers on Dec. 15. This fits in with the fact that she's listed as bound for Algiers in Convoy UGS 25; ref. external link in the table above - however, the dates that Fred remembers don't quite agree with the information found on the archive document mentioned above, which gives arrival Algiers as Dec. 13. Fred adds that after unloading, they returned to the U.S. and landed in New York on Jan. 19-1944 (archive doc gives arrival New York as Jan. 16 - she had made this voyage in Convoy GUS 25). Her subsequent voyages are shown on Page 4, and in the Voyage Record.
In Apr.-1944 she made a voyage from Algiers to Port Said, having joined Convoy KMS 46, which left Gibraltar on Apr. 6; Solør started out in Algiers on Apr. 8 and arrived Port Said on the 16th. This convoy will be added to an individual page in my Convoys section; in the meantime, the ships sailing in it are named in the section listing ships in all KMS convoys. She now made voyages to Suez, Aden and Abadan, then back to Aden, Suez and Port Said, and in June that year we find her in Convoy MKS 53, departing Port Said on June 18, arriving Gibraltar on the 29th; Solør, however, was bound for Augusta, where she arrived on June 24 (this convoy will also be added, but for now, please see the section listing ships in all MKS convoys). Having made a voyage to Taranto and back to Augusta (Page 4), she joined Convoy GUS 45, which left Port Said on July 4-1944 and arrived Hampton Roads on the 29th, but several ships parted company along the way, while others joined. According to the original convoy document, Solør joined from Augusta in the morning of July 9 and was bound for Baltimore, with arrival on the 29th, again remaining there for over 3 weeks before proceeding to Philadelphia (perhaps she had been fitted out for service as Escort Oiler?).
At the end of Aug.-1944 she joined Convoy HX 306 from New York to the U.K., serving as Escort Oiler for the convoy, also carrying 60 depth charges, according to A. Hague. Her destination is given as Heysham, and she arrived there on Sept. 18, returning to New York in Convoy ON 255*, which sailed from Liverpool on Sept. 22 and arrived New York Oct. 9 - Solør joined from Belfast Lough and again served as Escort Oiler. Brimanger (Commodore Vessel), Fernwood, Ivaran, Herbrand, Solfonn and Stiklestad are also listed. Some of these ships, including Solør, headed back to the U.K. on Oct. 15 in Convoy HX 314, serving as Escort Oiler again and had 60 depth charges on board. Commodore was in the Norwegian Emma Bakke. Solør subsequently went back across the Atlantic in Convoy ON 265*, and arrived Philadelphia on Nov. 24. Elg, Frontenac, Kaia Knudsen and Leiv Eiriksson are also named in this convoy. Solør was scheduled for Convoy HX 323 on Nov. 29 (Commodore in Samuel Bakke, Vice Commodore in Laurits Swenson), but instead joined the next convoy on Dec. 4, HX 324; her destination is given as Dingle. She arrived Liverpool on Dec. 19, having served as Escort Oiler, again with 60 depth charges on board. Just a few days later we find her, together with Høyanger, Kristianiafjord, Kronprinsessen, Laurits Swenson, Marathon, Molda, Samuel Bakke (Commodore Vessel), Sophocles and Velma, in the westbound Convoy ON 274*, arriving New York on Jan. 8-1945.
As already mentioned, Solør had arrived New York on Jan. 8-1945. She was on her way back to the U.K. again in Convoy HX 332, having departed New York on Jan. 13 with a cargo of 11 000 tons oil for Clyde, as well as gliders (and 60 depth charges, serving as Escort Oiler), when she was torpedoed in the port side engine room (stern) on Jan. 27 by U-825 (Stoelker) while inward bound for St. Georges Channel, position 52 35N 05 18W. Commodore for this convoy was in Abraham Lincoln.
The entire after structure was damaged, the poop dropping 4 to 5 ft. The ship was abandoned at 13:25, about an hour after the torpedo had hit. 4 had died, 40 survived and were picked up by the Rescue Vessel Zamalek. With the exception of 7 men who had been injured, the crew was placed back on board Solør the next day, while the injured men were taken to Swansea by Zamalek and admitted to Swansea Hospital.
Solør was taken in tow and beached at Oxwich Bay late at night on the 29th (again, see also Page 4). Half of her cargo and 17 gliders had been unloaded before she broke in two and was given up as a total loss. The foreward 2/3 of the ship was later refloated and broken up at Briton Ferry, while the stern portion was left at Oxwich, then salved for scrap in July 1952.
The inquiry was held in Cardiff on Febr. 6-1945 with the captain, the 2nd mate, the 2nd engineer, Able Seaman Ulleland (helmsman at the time of attack) and Ordinary Seaman Bird (lookout) appearing.
The American Ruben Dario was also torpedoed by U-825 that day, but could continue (ref. external link at the end of this page). U-1051 was apparently also in the area, ready for attack, but was never able to deliver a report as it was sunk by an escort that same day, according to "Nortraships flåte". This sinking date corresponds with a footnote in Jürgen Rohwer's book - however, Uboat.net has the 26th in the Irish Sea, saying it was U-1172 that was sunk in St. Georges Channel on the 27th - again, see the external links at the end of this page. For info, U-1051 had sunk Galatea a few days earlier, while U-1172 had been responsible for the attacks on Spinanger and Vigsnes - follow the links for details. (Rohwer has Solør listed as a steamship, but that's incorrect).
Related external links:
Back to Solør on the "Ships starting with S" page.
This company had previously had another ship named Solør - see D/S Agnes for further details.
The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, "The World's Merchant Fleets 1939", R. W. Jordan, "Sjøforklaringer fra 2. verdenskrig", Volume II, Norwegian Maritime Museum, and misc. (ref. My sources).