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M/T Ferncastle
Updated Aug. 7-2011

To Ferncastle on the "Ships starting with F" page.

See also Final Fate - Ferncastle w/crew list

Received from, and painted by, Jan Goedhart, Holland.

Source: Bjørn Pedersen's collection.

The Australian War Memorial also has a picture of Ferncastle (both links are external). The caption is: Fremantle, WA. Aerial port side view of the Norwegian tanker Ferncastle, which was sunk by the German auxiliary cruiser Michel 1800 miles west/northwest of Perth on 1943-06-17. An RAN (Royal Australian Navy) DEMS rating was lost in the action. Note the 4 inch gun mounted aft.

Owner: A/S Glitre.
Manager: Fearnley & Eger, Oslo
9940 gt, 5986 net, 14 770 tdwt
Call Sign: LJEG.

Built in Hamburg in 1936.

Captain: Thoralf Andersen.

Related item on this website:
Norwegian Victims of Michel - Details on the Norwegian ships captured and/or sunk by this raider, including an account on the sinking of Ferncastle, w/ complete crew list.

Her voyages are listed on these original images from the Norwegian National Archives:
Page 1 | Page 2 | Page 3

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

Voyage Record
From Sept.-1939 to June-1943:

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

Follow the convoy links provided for more information on each.

Departure From To Arrival Convoy Remarks
1939 Sept. 20 Campana Abadan Oct. 22 Independent
Oct. 24 Khorram Shahr Kirkwall Dec. 11 Independent
1940 Febr. 12 New York City Philadelphia Febr. 29 Independent A. Hague says:
Probably via a Gulf port
March 2 Hampton Roads Philadelphia March 17 Independent Probably via a Gulf port
March 19 Philadelphia Curacao Independent
March 27 Curacao Buenos Aires Apr. 17 Independent
Apr. 24 Buenos Aires Trinidad May 9 Independent
May 14 Trinidad Aruba May 16 Independent
May 18 Aruba Halifax May 28 Independent Notional sailing date
June 2 Halifax Avonmouth June 16 HX 47
June 19 Avonmouth Swansea June 19 Independent
June 24 Swansea Milford Haven Independent
June 26 Milford Haven OB 174 For Jamaica.
Dispersed 47N 21W, June 30.
Convoy available at OB 174
(external link)
June 30 Dispersed from OB 174 Kingston July 12 Independent
July 18 Kingston Aruba July 20 Independent
July 21 Aruba Halifax July 30 Independent
July 31 Halifax HX 62 Straggled Aug. 2
Aug. 2 Straggled from HX 62 Halifax Aug. 3 Independent
Aug. 4 Halifax Avonmouth Aug. 22 HX 63 See also Page 1
Aug. 28 Avonmouth Milford Haven Aug. 29 Independent
Aug. 30 Milford Haven OB 206 For Freetown.
Dispersed Sept. 5.
Convoy available at OB 206
(external link)
Sept. 5 Dispersed from OB 206 Aruba Sept. 16 Independent
Sept. 17 Aruba Bermuda Sept. 22 Independent
Sept. 24 Bermuda Halifax Sept. 27 Independent See also narrative below & HX 76
Nov. 14 Halifax Clyde Nov. 29 HX 88 Missing movements, Page 1
Convoy will be added.
See ships in HX convoys
1941 Jan. 11 Clyde OB 272 Dispersed Jan. 14.
Convoy available at OB 272
(external link)
Jan. 14 Dispersed from OB 272 New York City Jan. 26 Independent
Febr. 26 New York City Aruba March 5 Independent
March 7 Aruba Bermuda March 12 Independent
March 12 Bermuda Halifax March 15 Independent
March 21 Halifax Clyde Apr. 9 HX 116 See also narrative below & Page 1
Apr. 23 Clyde OB 314 For Aruba.
Dispersed 61 05N 35 25W, Apr. 30.
Convoy available at OB 314
(external link)
Apr. 30 Dispersed from OB 314 Aruba May 13 Independent
May 14 Aruba Bermuda May 20 Independent
May 25 Bermuda BHX 129 See link to HX 129 below
May 31 Bermuda portion joined main convoy Clyde June 12 HX 129 Missing movements, Page 2
June 21 Clyde OB 338 For N.Y.C.
Dispersed July 3.
Convoy available at OB 338
(external link)
July 3 Dispersed from OB 338 New York City July 8 Independent
July 14 New York City Halifax July 17 Independent
July 22 Halifax Belfast Lough Aug. 5 HX 140
Aug. 7 Belfast Lough Milford Haven* Aug. 9 BB 58 Convoy available at BB convoys
(external link)
*Compare w/Page 2
Aug. 12 Avonmouth Milford Haven Aug. 13 Independent
Aug. 15 Milford Haven ON 8 Via Belfast Lough
(Page 2).
For N.Y.C.
Dispersed 56 09N 44 32W, Aug. 25.
Aug. 25 Dispersed from ON 8 New York City Sept. 3 Independent
Sept. 4 New York City Curacao Sept. 11 Independent
Sept. 14 Curacao Halifax Sept. 23 Independent
Oct. 5 Halifax Heysham Oct. 27 HX 153 Via Liverpool
(Page 2)
Oct. 30 Heysham Barrow Oct. 31 Independent (Stop at Barrow not mentioned, Page 2).
Nov. 1 Barrow ON 32 For N.Y.C.
Detached Nov. 16.
Nov. 16 Detached from ON 32 New York City Nov. 18 Independent
Dec. 30 New York City Curacao Jan. 6-1942 Independent
1942 Jan. 7 Curacao Capetown Jan. 30 Independent
Febr. 1 Capetown Durban Febr. 5 Independent
Febr. 21 Durban Abadan March 9 Independent
March 12 Abadan Colombo March 21 Independent
March 22 Colombo Melbourne Independent Page 2 gives arrival Apr. 11
Apr. 19 Melbourne Abadan May 16 Independent
May 18 Abadan Geraldton June 12 Independent
June 13 Geraldton Fremantle Independent
June 19 Fremantle Esperance Bay Independent
June 23 Esperance Bay Fremantle June 26 Independent
June 27 Fremantle Abadan July 22 Independent
July 23 Abadan Aden Aug. 2 Independent
Aug. 6 Aden Abadan Aug. 13 Independent
Aug. 16 Abadan Capetown Sept. 8 Independent
Sept. 19 Capetown Abadan Oct. 10 Independent
Oct. 13 Abadan Bandar Abbas Independent
Oct. 19 Bandar Abbas Bombay Oct. 25 PB 7 Convoy available at PB 7
(external link)
Oct. 25 Bombay BM 30 A. Hague says:
Detached off Colombo to Sydney, N.S.W., Oct. 29
Convoy available at BM convoys
(external link)
Oct. 29 Detached from BM 30 Sydney, N.S.W. Nov. 20 Independent A. Hague says:
Possibly a brief convoy in "C" Series
(available via this external page)
Nov. 27 Sydney, N.S.W. Los Angeles Dec. 23 Independent
1943 Jan. 18 Los Angeles Sydney, N.S.W. Febr. 12 Independent
Febr. 20 Sydney, N.S.W. CO 73 Dispersed Febr. 23.
Convoy available at CO convoys
(external link)
Febr. 23 Dispersed from CO 73 Abadan March 20 Independent
March 24 Abadan Bandar Abbas Independent
March 29 Bandar Abbas Bombay Apr. 4 PB 33 Convoy available at PB 33
(external link)
Apr. 8 Bombay Colombo Apr. 13 BM 48 Convoy available at BM convoys
(external link)
Apr. 19 Colombo Bombay Apr. 23 MB 33 Convoy available at MB 33
(external link)
Apr. 29 Bombay Bandar Abbas May 3 BP 78 Convoy available at BP 78
(external link)
Stop at Bandar Abbas not mentioned, Page 3
May 3 Bandar Abbas Abadan May 5 Independent
May 8 Abadan Fremantle May 31 Independent
June 5 Fremantle Esperance Bay June 8 Independent
June 11 Esperance Bay Independent Sunk - See Norwegian Victims of Michel

 Misc. Convoy Voyages: 
For information on voyages made in between those discussed here, please see the documents received from the National Archives of Norway and A. Hague's Voyage Record above. Follow the convoy links provided for more details; the Commodore's notes are also available for some of them and several Norwegian ships took part.

As can be seen when going to Page 1 of the archive documents, Ferncastle was on her way from Curacao to Buenos Aires when war broke out in Norway on Apr. 9-1940.

At the beginning of June that year she can be found among the ships in the Halifax-U.K. Convoy HX 47, in which the Norwegian Italia was sunk. Ferncastle was bound for Avonmouth with fuel oil, sailing in station 47, and arrived her destination on June 16. Later that month, she's listed in Convoy OB 174, which originated in Liverpool on June 25 (Ferncastle joined from Milford Haven) - ref. external link provided within the Voyage Record above; the Norwegian Helgøy, Hird, Litiopa, Notos and Tautra are also listed. Ferncastle's destination on that occasion was Kingston, Jamaica, where she arrived independently on July 12, the convoy having been dispersed on June 30.

At the end of July, she's mentioned in connection with Convoy HX 62, but lost touch with the convoy, as did Sveve and Salonica. The information here is a little confusing, in that Ferncastle is mentioned in the Advance Sailing Telegram for the Bermuda portion (though is crossed out). The Commodore states that she was among the ships losing touch the first and second day out of Halifax - see the text under "Notes" on my page about this convoy. I believe her listing in the Bermuda section is an error; in fact, as can be seen when going back to Page 1, she had arrived Halifax from Aruba on July 30, so probably joined the Halifax convoy for a while. She returned to port after losing touch (Halifax), subsequently joining the next convoy, HX 63, which left Halifax on Aug. 4. Again the info is confusing, because she has been given a "B" number, which usually denotes the Bermuda ships, but she's not included on the convoy form for this portion. From the archive document, we learn that she did leave Halifax on Aug. 4. She was bound for Avonmouth with diesel oil at the time, arriving there on Aug. 22.

A few days later, we find her in Convoy OB 206, which originated in Liverpool on Aug. 31 and dispersed Sept. 5. Einvik and Erviken are also included in this convoy (see link in the Voyage Recod). Ferncastle's destination is given as Freetown; Freetown is not mentioned on Page 1 of the archive documents, which states she arrived Aruba on Sept. 16, continuing to Bermuda the following day, with arrival Sept. 22. Two days later, she's listed in Convoy BHX 76 (the Bermuda portion of Convoy HX 76), but it looks like she did not sail. There's a note in the convoy document saying "to be sent to Halifax to await orders". Going back to the archive document, we see that she arrived Halifax on Sept. 27, having made the voyage independently, according to Arnold Hague. She subsequently remained in Halifax for quite a long time. A. Hague has later included her in Convoy HX 88, leaving Halifax on Nov. 14, arriving Liverpool on Nov. 30 (Ferncastle stopped at Clyde Nov. 29). This convoy is not yet available among the HX convoys on my website, but will be added - see ships in all HX convoys, the Norwegian Gallia is also named. Ferncastle had a cargo of dieso and gas oil, and sailed in station 43.

From Clyde, she later joined Convoy OB 272, which originated in Liverpool on Jan. 10-1941. Ferncastle arrived New York independently on Jan. 25, the convoy having been dispersed on the 14th. Other Norwegian ships were Brask (sunk, follow link for details), Don, Gezina, Kongsgaard, Marita, Ravnefjell and Victo (again, see the external link in the table above). Having made another voyage to Aruba and Bermuda, then on to Halifax, she was scheduled to return to the U.K. with Convoy HX 115 on March 17, but instead joined HX 116 on March 21, destination Clyde, station 22, arriving Greenock on Apr. 9, Bowling the next day. Later that month she's listed as bound for Aruba in Convoy OB 314, which left Liverpool on Apr. 23, dispersed Apr. 30, and also included Grado, Vanja, Velox and Ørnefjell. Ferncastle joined from Clyde, and arrived Aruba on May 13, leaving again the next day for Bermuda in order to join Convoy BHX 129 (Bermuda portion of HX 129) on May 25, cargo of gas oil for Clyde, where she arrived June 12. See also the Cruising order for this convoy. She can now be found in Convoy OB 338, which started out in Liverpool June 21, dispersed July 3, and also had Alaska, Malmanger, Norefjord, Skaraas and South Africa among its ranks. Ferncastle arrived New York independently on July 8. Her voyages in this period are shown on Page 2.

On July 22, she took station 113 of Convoy HX 140 from Halifax, diesel oil for Barry Roads, with arrival Aug. 8. Other Norwegian ships were Madrono (112), Boreas (16), Velox (56), Velma (96), Alaska (106), Stiklestad (95), Vardefjell (84), Evita (114), Olaf Bergh (124), Skiensfjord (97), Thorshov (83), Bonneville (82), Thorshavet (43) and Helgøy (77). Others joined from Iceland - follow the link for details. Beth and Petter were also initially in this convoy but left due to engine problems. A week later, we find Ferncastle in the westbound North Atlantic Convoy ON 8. She arrived New York independently on Sept. 2, the convoy having been dispersed on Aug. 25. She now made a voyage to Curacao, then on to Halifax, and on Oct. 5, she's listed in Convoy HX 153 from there, along with Katy, Temeraire, Sveve, Haakon Hauan, Bonneville (returned), Lista, Santos, Toronto and Andrea Brøvig. Ferncastle (and Katy) returned to the U.S. the following month with Convoy ON 32, sailing in station 55, bound for New York, where she arrived on Nov. 18, remaining there for several weeks before proceeding to Curacao again.

Ferncastle is said to have rescued seamen from British ships in the Belle Isle straits in 1941 (no further details are available).

Her 1942 voyages start on Page 2. According to "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, Ferncastle was shadowed by a U-boat in March-1942 off the west coast of India. They had a 4" gun on board, and the captain ordered the gun crew to open fire, while continuing at full speed. 13 shots were fired, whereupon the U-boat submerged and disappeared. (The Norwegian term for submarine and U-boat is "undervannsbåt", meaning "under the water boat", so when J. R. Hegland says "undervannsbåt" it does not necessarily mean a German U-boat).

Page 3 also shows some 1942 voyages as well as some 1943 voyages, while convoy information for some of them can be found in the Voyage Record above.

 Final Fate: 

Ferncastle's fate was sealed when she on June 17-1943, on a voyage from Australia to Abadan in ballast, was hit by 2 torpedoes from the German raider Michel's MTB. She had left Esperance on June 10, according to Page 3 - time of loss is given as 21:30. Please continue to Ferncastle at Norwegian Victims of Michel for much more info on this incident and the fate of her crew. There's also a crew list.

Back to Ferncastle on the "Ships starting with F" page.

The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, "Skip og menn", Birger Dannevik, and misc. - (ref. My sources).


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