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M/S Duala
Updated July 7-2011

To Duala on the "Ships starting with D" page.

Source: Sverre Johansen (postcard collection).

Owner: A/S Castillo
Manager: Chr. Gundersen & Co., Oslo
1800 gt

Built by Götaverken A/B, Gothenburg, Sweden in 1938.

Captain: Ole Thommesen

1st engineer on this ship from Jan. until July-1943 was Adolf K. Lines. He had previously been on board Langanger until she was requisitioned. He later served on Gabon (1944).

Some more crew members are named in the narrative further down on this page.

Related items on this website:
Interned ships
Guestbook message
Another message from crew member Otto K. Jørgensen's nephew (see the text further down on this page).
A posting to one of my Forums.
Warsailor story - Radio Operator Christian S. Christensen's story.

Her voyages are listed on these original images from the Norwegian National Archives:
(unfortunately, Page 2 has some information missing in the margin)
Page 1 | Page 2 | Page 3

Please compare the above voyages with Arnold Hague's Voyage Record below.

Voyage Record
From May-1940 to -Nov.-1945:

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

Follow the convoy links provided for more information on each.
(It'll be noticed that some of the external convoys are incomplete).

Departure From To Arrival Convoy Remarks
1940 May 18 Bermuda Casablanca May 26 Independent Earlier voyages, Page 1
May 31 Casablanca Bordeaux K 1 Convoy available via this page
(external link)
See also the narrative below
June 10 Bordeaux Dakar June 24 Independent Interned by the French at Dakar
(again, see narrative)
1943 March 4 Dakar Sherbro Island Independent After release by French post Operation Torch
(external link)
Page 1 gives arrival Sherbro abt. March 12
March 16 Sherbro Island Freetown March 16 Independent
March 21 Freetown Gibraltar Apr. 2 SR 3/1 Convoy available via this page
(external link)
Apr. 5 Gibraltar Liverpool Apr. 12 MKF 11A Convoy available at MKF convoys
(external link)
June 10 Liverpool Halifax June 24 ON 188 Convoy will be added.
See ships in ON convoys
June 27 Halifax St. John, N.B. June 29 HF 62 Convoy available at HF convoys
(external link)
July 6 St. John, N.B. Halifax July 7 FH 64 Convoy available at FH convoys
(external link)
July 10 Halifax Belfast Lough July 21 HX 247
July 21 Belfast Lough Cardiff July 22 BB 310 Convoy available at BB convoys
(external link)
July 29 Cardiff Milford Haven July 29 Independent
July 30 Milford Haven Halifax Aug. 11 ON 195 For St. John, N.B.
Convoy will be added.
See ships in ON convoys
Aug. 16 Halifax St. John, N.B. Aug. 18 HF 71 Convoy available at HF convoys
(external link)
Aug. 25 St. John, N.B. Halifax Aug. 27 FH 73 Convoy available at FH convoys
(external link)
Aug. 29 Halifax Bristol Sept. 12 HX 254
Sept. 19 Bristol Milford Haven Sept. 19 Independent
Sept. 22 Milford Haven Halifax Oct. 7 ON 203 Convoy will be added.
See ships in ON convoys
Oct. 13 Halifax Liverpool Oct. 25 HX 261 Convoy will be added.
See ships in HX convoys
Nov. 6 Liverpool Halifax Nov. 20 ON 210 Convoy will be added.
See ships in ON convoys
Nov. 28 Halifax Liverpool Dec. 10 HX 268 Convoy will be added.
See ships in HX convoys
Dec. 24 Liverpool Halifax Jan. 8-1944 ON 217 Convoy will be added.
See ships in ON convoys
1944 Jan. 15 Halifax Liverpool Jan. 28 HX 275
Febr. 7 Liverpool Halifax Febr. 22 ON 223 Convoy will be added.
See link above
March 8 Halifax Liverpool* March 22 HX 282 *Page 2 gives arrival Bristol March 21
March 28 Bristol Belfast Lough March 29 Independent
March 31 Belfast Lough New York City* Apr. 15 ON 230 *Arrived Halifax Apr. 15
(Page 2).
Convoy will be added.
See ships in ON convoys
Apr. 16 Halifax Boston Apr. 19 XB 104 Convoy available at XB convoys
(external link)
Apr. 30 Boston Argentia, N.F. May 4 Independent A. Hague says:
Probably a USN organised convoy
May 10 Argentia Cape Cod Canal May 13 ARG 10 Convoy available via this page
(external link)
May 13 Cape Cod Canal New York City May 14 Independent
May 30 New York City Bermuda June 1 NY 93 Convoy available at NY convoys
(external link)
June 2 Bermuda San Juan, P.R.
June 6 San Juan, P.R. Gitmo June 8
June 13 Gitmo Cristobal June 17 GZ 72 Convoy available at GZ convoys
(external link)
June 18 Balboa Punta Arenas June 20 Independent
June 25 Punta Arenas Los Angeles July 3 Independent
July 12 Los Angeles Pearl Harbor July 19 Independent
July 21 Pearl Harbor San Francisco July 28 Independent
Aug. 3 San Francisco Pearl Harbor Aug. 10 Independent
Aug. 13 Pearl Harbor San Francisco Aug. 20 Independent
Aug. 25 San Francisco Pearl Harbor Sept. 1 Independent
Sept. 3 Pearl Harbor San Francisco Sept. 9 Independent
Sept. 15 San Francisco Pearl Harbor Independent
Sept. 25 Pearl Harbor San Francisco Oct. 1 Independent
Oct. 8 San Francisco Pearl Harbor Oct. 15 Independent
Oct. 17 Pearl Harbor San Francisco Oct. 24 Independent
Oct. 30 San Francisco Pearl Harbor Nov. 7 Independent
Nov. 9 Pearl Harbor San Francisco Nov. 17 Independent
Nov. 23 San Francisco Pearl Harbor Dec. 4 Independent
Dec. 6 Pearl Harbor San Francisco Dec. 14 Independent
Dec. 16 San Francisco Pearl Harbor Dec. 24 Independent
Dec. 29 Pearl Harbor San Francisco Jan. 5-1945 Independent
1945 Jan. 11 San Francisco Pearl Harbor Jan. 19 Independent
Jan. 22 Pearl Harbor San Francisco Jan. 29 Independent
Febr. 7 San Francisco Pearl Harbor Febr. 14 Independent
Febr. 16 Pearl Harbor San Francisco Febr. 23 Independent
Febr. 28 San Francisco Pearl Harbor March 7 Independent
March 10 Pearl Harbor San Francisco March 17 Independent
March 22 San Francisco Pearl Harbor March 29 Independent
Apr. 1 Pearl Harbor San Francisco Apr. 8 Independent
Apr. 13 San Francisco Eniwetok Apr. 28 Independent
Apr. 29 Eniwetok Guam May 4 Independent
May 8 Guam San Francisco May 26 Independent
June 15 San Francisco Pearl Harbor June 22 Independent
June 25 Pearl Harbor San Francisco July 2 Independent
July 5 San Francisco Pearl Harbor July 12 Independent
July 29 Midway San Francisco Aug. 7 Independent
Aug. 11 San Francisco Eniwetok Aug. 25 Independent
Aug. 26 Eniwetok Guam Aug. 30 Independent
Aug. 31 Guam Tinian Sept. 4* Independent *Page 3 gives arrival Sept. 1.
Sept. 5 Saipan San Francisco Sept. 21 Independent
Oct. 2 San Francisco Tinian Independent
Nov. 3 Tinian Guam Independent Subsequent voyages, Page 3 above.


According to the first external website that I've linked to at the end of this page, Duala sailed in station 34 of Convoy OA 55 in Dec.-1939. This convoy departed Southend on Dec. 18 and joined up with Convoy OB 55 from Liverpool on Dec. 20, the combined convoy forming Convoy OG 11, which arrived Gibraltar on Dec. 26 (see ships in all OG convoys). Note that A. Hague has not included Duala in OA 55 (external link); However, he has a British Diala in station 34, perhaps there's a mix up here? (I have no way of knowing which is correct).

From Page 1 of the archive documents, we learn that she was on her way from Norway to Bermuda when war broke out in Norway on Apr. 9-1940. She arrived Bermuda on Apr. 12, remaining there for over a month (unless voyages are missing from the record), before proceeding to Casablanca on May 18. She later headed to Bordeaux and then on to Dakar, where she arrived June 24.

Duala was one of 26 Norwegian ships interned in West and North Africa - See this page for a list of all 26. As usual, different sources give different dates and information. "Nortraships flåte" says she was interned in Dakar on June 24-1940, later requisitioned and renamed St. Sabine. Returned to Nortraship on March 3-1943 as Duala (following the Allied invasion). A French visitor to my website has given me the following from French records: She sailed from Casablanca on May 31-1940 in convoy 1-K* under French escort. At Brest early June-1940. Sailed from Brest on June 13-1940 in convoy 50-BF** under French escort (compare with A. Hague's info in the Voyage Record, as well as Page 1). Arrived Casablanca on June 19. Seized in Dakar in July-1940. Under French flag at Dakar in 1941 as Ste Sabine.

According to Guri Hjeltnes ("Handelsflåten i krig") Duala had 28 Norwegian crew, 1 of whom went home while 20 managed to escape; I have the names of 7 of them (from "Krigsseileren", Issue No. 4, 1984, which has an article about a reunion of the 7, 43 years after the event). They were Deckboys Sverre Solberg and Otto Kristian Jørgensen*** (both 16 years old at the time), Cook Ingvald Heimgård, Ordinary Seamen Anker Thorbjørnsen and Leif Kristiansen, Engineer Assistant Lars Gjelstad, and Messboy Harry Hansen.

* A posting by Alain Croce to my Ship Forum lists the other ships in this convoy, as follows (see also the external link to this convoy below):
Robur III, Karanan, Bennekom, Alcar, Stad Haarlem, Tourkia, Wickenburgh, Saint Yves, Clintonia, Redgate and Sevilla, escorted by auxiliary patrol boat Hardi II. He adds that off Cape Spartel, Convoy 1-K was joined by Convoy 26-R** sailing from Oran and consisting of Artesien, Roubaisien, Capitaine Maurice Eugene, Saint Bnasile, Petrophalt, Cornouailles, Sainte Maxime, Aragaz, PLM 17 and Luminetta. Between Cape Saint Vincent and Cape Finisterre, two auxiliary patrol boats joined the escort, namely Terre Neuve and Victoria.

** Convoy 50BF is available on this external page, but Duala is not included. However, the information may be incomplete. Here is Convoy 26R and Convoy 1K. As can be seen, the latter listing also includes the ships from Convoy 26R - it's possible the information shows the convoy after the 2 had joined up.

*** In my Norwegian Guestbook, there's a message from Otto K. Jørgensen's nephew. He has told me that Otto's cousin, James Jørgensen lost his life when Bramora was sunk, and Otto's brother Henrik was the captain of Honningsvåg during the war. After his escape, Otto went to Canada where he trained at Little Norway, and later served for the 333rd Squadron until the end of the war.

 Some Convoy Voyages – 1943-1944: 
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 record above. Follow the convoy links provided for more details; the Commodore's notes and/or narrative are also available for some of them and several Norwegian ships took part.

Duala was a fruit carrier, but like so many of the other fruit carriers she transported meat during the war, as well as fish.

As can be seen in the Voyage Record, she's said to have made a voyage to Freetown and Gibraltar following her release from internment. From Gibraltar, she proceeded to Liverpool on Apr. 5, arriving on Apr. 12, remaining there for quite a long time - again, see Page 1 (presumably, an overhaul was necessary after such a long time in internment). A couple of months later, A. Hague has included her in the westbound North Atlantic Convoy ON 188*, departing Liverpool on June 10. The Norwegian Abraham Lincoln (Commodore Vessel), Bajamar, Bañaderos, Belinda, Evita, G. C. Brøvig, Gylfe, Kaia Knudsen, Kaldfonn, Montevideo, Mosdale, Skandinavia, Strinda, Thorhild, Vav and Velma are also listed. This convoy arrived New York on June 26, but according to the archive document, Duala stopped at Halifax on the 24th, continuing to St. John, N.B. a few days later. She returned to the U.K. with Convoy HX 247, which had originated in New York on July 7, but Duala joined from Halifax on July 11. According to the Commodore's notes, she had been among a group of ships that formed a fast section, which had parted company with the convoy in 55 32N 20 56W; date not given. Her cargo is given as general and meat, destination Cardiff, where she arrived (via Belfast Lough) on July 22. About a week later, she joined the westbound Convoy ON 195*, originating in Liverpool on July 31, arriving New York Aug. 13; Duala sailed from Milford Haven on July 30 and arrived Halifax on Aug. 12, proceeding to St. John, N.B. a few days later, with arrival Aug. 18. Abraham Lincoln (Commodore Vessel), Bajamar, Bañaderos, Vav and Velma had again been in company, as had Christian Michelsen, Egerø, Gallia and Washington Express.

With a general cargo and mail for Bristol, Duala headed back across the Atlantic again at the end of that month in Convoy HX 254, station 116, having joined with the Halifax portion (HX 254 had originated in New York on Aug. 27-1943). She arrived Bristol on Sept. 12, and later that month she joined the westbound Convoy ON 203*, together with California Express, Dageid, Gefion, Lista, Norholm, Polartank, Skaraas, Trondheim, Vav and Vinga, as well as the Panamanian Norlys, which had Norwegian managers and is included under the N's on this site. ON 203 had originated in Liverpool on Sept. 22 and arrived New York Oct. 10, but Duala again joined from Milford Haven and stopped at Halifax on Oct. 7, subsequently joining Convoy HX 261* from there about a week later, arriving Liverpool on Oct. 25. Bajamar, Elisabeth Bakke, Norsol, Pan Scandia, Tai Shan and Vav (returned) are also named in this convoy, which had originated in New York on Oct. 11. On Nov. 6 we find her in the westbound Convoy ON 210*, with Buenos Aires, California Express (Commodore Vessel), Gallia, Heranger, Marit II, Pan Scandia and Vinga. This convoy arrived New York on Nov. 23, but Duala's destination was again Halifax, where she arrived on Nov. 20, joining Convoy HX 268* from there shortly thereafter, arriving Liverpool on Dec. 10. Other Norwegian ships in this convoy were John Bakke, Pan Scandia, Reinholt (Commodore Vessel) and Strinda (HX 268 originated in New York on Nov. 26). The year was rounded off by sailing back to Halifax in Convoy ON 217*, departing Liverpool on Christmas Eve, arriving New York on Jan. 10-1944 - Duala arrived Halifax on Jan. 8. Brimanger, Fagerfjell, John Bakke, Norheim, Pan Scandia and Reinholt are also listed. Again, see also Page 1.

With meats and general for Liverpool, she can now be found in the Halifax portion of Convoy HX 275, which had originated in New York on Jan. 13-1944 (Vice Commodore in Samuel Bakke). Duala arrived Liverpool on Jan. 28, and on Febr. 7 she left with the westbound Convoy ON 223*, along with Fagerfjell, Frithjof Nansen, Idefjord, Norheim and Tigre. Duala was again bound for Halifax, arriving there on Febr. 22, returning to the U.K. the following month in the Halifax portion of Convoy HX 282, bound for Bristol with meat, with arrival March 21. Another Trans-Atlantic voyage was commenced at the end of March, when she joined Convoy ON 230*, which also had Morgenen, Pan Scandia and Villanger in its ranks. A. Hague says she arrived New York on Apr. 15, but according to Page 2, she arrived Halifax that day, continuing to Boston the following day.

Later that year she was in service from San Francisco for the troops in Honolulu for a year, returning to San Francisco every 3 weeks. The men on Duala were in the lucky position to have the company of several women working on board as messgirls (American).

Duala's captain was Ole Thommesen according to a personal story sent to me. While on charter to the American Navy she made many voyages to the Pacific, also to Pearl Harbor. She also followed the invasion forces to Saipan, Guam and Tinian. Christian S. Christensen, the radio operator on board who has told this story, says that Duala was in the harbour of Tinian when the aircraft which dropped the first atom bomb on Hiroshima on Aug. 6-1945 took off from the island. "We knew nothing about this historic event until the plane returned, and then we understood something out of the ordinary had happened". The harbour area was strictly guarded the whole time and the use of radio was prohibited. (Compare with the listing on Page 3).

Christensen has also added the following:
"On the return voyage to Norway we had a cargo of bananas, with half a load for Rotterdam and Stockholm. We were on charter to Salen. Lots of people showed up on the quay in Stockholm wanting to get to Oslo. Sailed into the Oslofjord on June 23-1946 with the entire complement on the boatdeck, where all the papers necessary to get them paid off were ready. I had spoken to the office responsible for discharging the crew, many of whom had been on board for several years. I handed out the papers and skipper Ole Thommesen from Narestø thanked everyone for their time on obard."

* The ON convoys will be added to individual pages in my Convoys section, with more information on each; in the meantime, the ships sailing in them (and escorts) are named in the section listing ships in all ON Convoys. The entire HX series will also be updated and completed (including the already existing convoys - some have already been updated), but for now, please see ships in all HX convoys.

For more information on all the other Norwegian ships mentioned on this page, please see the alphabet index below, or go to the Master Ship Index.

Related external links:
OB 55 / OA 55 - Here is A. Hague's listing for OA 55, where Diala is listed instead of Duala, as mentioned in the first paragraph of my narrative above.

Camp Norway

Back to Duala on the "Ships starting with D" page.


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