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To Toronto on the "Ships starting with T" page.
Manager: Wilh. Wilhelmsen, Tønsberg
Launched on Aug. 17-1927 by Chantier et Ateliers de St. Nazaire (Penhoët) S.A., Grand Quevilly, Rouen (Yard No. V 5). Completed Jan. 30-1928.
Captain: Karl Waarøe.
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 (where the "Convoy" column is left blank, it means that convoy is not known).
According to Page 1 of the archive documents, Toronto was on her way from Santos to New York when war broke out in Norway on Apr. 9-1940. Her 1941 voyages also start on this document and continue on Page 2. It'll be noticed that she occasionally had long stays in port.
She's said to have joined Convoy HX 153 from Halifax on Oct. 5-1941, but returned to port, later joining Convoy HX 154 on Oct. 10, together with the Norwegian Hilda Knudsen, Kaia Knudsen, Ranja, Tai Shan, Samuel Bakke, Emma Bakke, Polarsol, Skiensfjord, N. T. Nielsen-Alonso, Noreg and Svenør. Some of these ships, including Toronto, subsequently returned with Convoy ON 34, which originated in Liverpool on Nov. 7 and dispersed Nov. 21, Toronto arriving New York Nov. 25, remaining there for over 3 weeks (she had joined from Clyde). Acanthus is named among the escorts for this convoy. Toronto headed back to the U.K. on Dec. 21 with Convoy HX 166 from Halifax, and arrived Avonmouth, via Belfast Lough and Barry Roads, on Jan. 7/8-1942.
As can be seen when going back to Page 2, she subsequently had a long stay in Avonmouth; departure is given as May 8-1942, when she proceeded to Milford Haven, and a few days later we find her in Convoy OS 28, which originated in Liverpool on May 12 and arrived Freetown May 30 (3 ships sunk - ref. external link at the end of this page). Toronto, however, was bound for Capetown, where she arrived June 13, having sailed from Milford Haven on May 11. Astrell, Hallanger (returned), Santos and Spinanger are also named in this convoy; ref. external link provided in the Voyage Record. (Another section of the same site says that Fernbank was scheduled but did not sail and has also added Leiv Eiriksson, but this ship sailed in OS 30).
Toronto's subsequent voyages are listed on Page 2 above (showing a long stay in Baltimore in the fall of 1942) and Page 3; convoy information for some of these can be found in the Voyage Record.
On May 1-1943, she was attacked by aircraft when in a convoy near Benghazi, with a cargo of bombs and petrol, position 32 40N 19 50 E - A. Hague has her in Convoy MW 27 from Alexandria at this time (external link - Pronto and Stirlingville are also listed). Two British ships were hit (troop transport D/S Erinpura, and the tanker British Trust), but Toronto escaped with just temporary engine trouble. The convoy is said to have shot down 5 planes that day. Her cargo was unloaded in Tripoli, Libya, then for her return voyage to Port Said on May 18 she took on board about 400 Italian prisoners. According to Page 3, she arrived Port Said, via Alexandria on May 23.
After 3 weeks in Port Said being equipped for invasion, she went to Alexandria, took on board a cargo of petrol, tanks and large trucks, as well as 150 British soldiers, and was Vice Commodore ship for a convoy which departed on June 29-1943, bound for Sicily (compare w/Page 3, voyage not included? - it'll be noticed in A. Hague's record above, that she's listed with a similar cargo in Convoy MWS 37 [external], departing Alexandria on July 6 - Hermelin, Marit and Strix are also named). After having unloaded at Avola for 3 days, she left with 4 other ships for Syracuse, which had just been taken by the allied forces, then 3 days later she again left (for Tripoli) with 350 Italian prisoners on board, among them the General for the Napoli divison and his staff. She headed back to Alexandria and Port Said a few days later, this time as Commodore Vessel (possibly Convoy MES 37? External link; Belpareil, Hermelin and Strix are also included). She arrived Port Said on July 27, according to the archive document.
She was now fitted out for invasion again, then took on a cargo in Port Said, with further loading of cargo in Beirut, where 300 Indian soldiers embarked. However, the next voyage was cancelled, whereupon the soldiers disembarked, and Toronto returned to Port Said to unload all the war materials. This turned out to be the last of her invasion duties, and she now proceeded to Haifa to load a general cargo for the U.K. Going back to Page 3, we see that she made a voyage from Haifa to Alexandria and Tripoli. She's later said to have made a voyage from Tripoli to Bizerta with Convoy MKS 26 on Sept. 28-1943, arriving Bizerta Sept. 30. Having made a stop at Bone, she returned to Bizerta then back to Bone again, proceeding to Gibraltar with Convoy MKS 27, before continuing to the U.K. with the Gibraltar-U.K. portion of Convoy MKS 27 on Oct. 14, together with the Norwegian Brønnøy and Sneland I (follow the link to MKS 27). Toronto's destination is given as Dundee and she arrived there (via Loch Ewe) on Oct. 30, continuing to Tyne on Nov. 9. The archive document now shows a big gap in her voyages, from Nov. 11-1943, when she arrived North Shields, to July 17-1944, when she left "for trials". A. Hague says she had an engine room fire on Dec. 14 - see also the note below.
Following the trials, she proceeded to Methil and Loch Ewe, and we now find her, along with Abraham Lincoln, Alaska, Atlantic, Brimanger (Commodore Vessel), Dageid, Dalfonn, Danio, Fernwood, Ivaran, James Hawson, Kaldfonn, Leiv Eiriksson, Petter, Skotaas, Strinda, Thorhild, Tiradentes, Vardefjell, Velox and Ørnefjell, in the westbound North Atlantic Convoy ON 246*, which originated in Liverpool on July 25-1944 and arrived New York Aug. 9; Toronto was bound for Baltimore, but it looks like this was cancelled - arrival there is not given on Page 3. Having spent 3 weeks in New York, she continued to Hampton Roads, then headed to Alexandria and Port Said.
Skipping now to Jan.-1945, when she made a voyage from Casablanca to the U.K. in Convoy MKS 76* (Ragnhild and Tigre are also listed). The following month she's listed, together with Abraham Lincoln (Commodore Vessel), Fernwood, Noreg, Norsol, Sverre Helmersen, Troubadour and Velma, in the westbound North Atlantic Convoy ON 284*, departing Southend on Febr. 10, arriving New York March 1, spending another 3 weeks there. Her subsequent voyages are shown on Page 4 (with convoy info in Voyage Record). From this document, we also learn that she went home to Norway in Sept.-1945, and again in Dec.-1945 (it looks like Christmas was celebrated in Norway that year). Some of her early 1946 voyages are listed on Page 5.
Sold to A/S D/S Fjeld, (Anton Meidell), Bergen on Oct. 3-1951, and renamed Hordnes in 1952. (My father served as radio operator from Oct.-1951 till Dec.-1951). Sank off Swinoujscie on May 22-1956 after striking the wreck of S/S Orion while on a voyage from Murmansk to Stettin with a cargo of apatite (see also this Guestbook message). Refloated on Sept. 21-1956 and later towed to Kiel, arriving Febr. 6-1957. Condemned and sold to Eckhardt & Co. on March 19-1957 for scrapping. Arrived Hamburg on March 23, demolition commenced Sept. 30.
Related external link:
Back to Toronto on the "Ships starting with T" page.
Wilh. Wilhelmsen later had two more ships by this name, 1956-1973, and1983-1990 (had several other names).
The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, Wilh. Wilhelmsen's fleet list, and misc. issues of the magazine "Krigsseileren" (ref. My sources).