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D/S Finmarken

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

Received from Bjørn Milde, Norway (from his own postcard collection).

Manager: Vesteraalens Dampskipsselskab, Stokmarknes.
1119 gt

Built by Trondhjems mek. Verksted, Trondheim in 1912. Express cargo/passenger service coast of Norway.

Captain: Ragnar J. Falck.

 An Unsuccessful Escape Attempt: 

On June 7-1940 cabinet minister Trygve Lie had a meeting with commanding Admiral H. Diesen, the British naval attaché Rear Admiral H. Boyes, the acting Director of Shipping, naval captain O. Siem, and chief of staff from the the Naval Defence Department G. Hovdenak (the war in Norway as such was over by this time). The meeting took place in Tromsø, and it was decided to send the Norwegian merchant ships that were in the North of Norway at this time to a British port, to prevent them from falling into German hands.

The ships were to gather at Kågsund north of Tromsø and be ready to depart that same night. Admiral Cunningham offered to supply two armed trawlers for escort, on the condition that departure took place no later than midnight, otherwise it would be impossible to join up with the last, slow going British evacuation convoy, which was to leave Harstad at 10 that night. (Cunningham had arrived Tromsø on the cruiser Devonshire to take King Haakon to safety - also June 7. Several allied troopships and transports, cruisers and destroyers had already arrived and left, in connection with the evacuation of the about 30 000 allied troops and equipment from the north of Norway).

When Hovdenak arrived Kågsund that night, together with Lieutenant R. Tamber, only 4 ships were ready to sail. Due to the danger of air attacks Hovdenak gave the order to sail, without waiting for other ships, and Tamber embarked D/S Nova which, together with Hestmanden, joined up with a British westbound convoy on the 11th, and reached Thorshavn on June 12.

Hovdenak went on board D/S Prins Olav, and by June 8 he considered it inadvisable to wait any longer, so together with D/S Finmarken, D/S Prins Olav left (bombed and set on fire, follow link for info). D/S Ariadne joined them later (but was also attacked and sunk). D/S Ingerfire, inward bound from Svalbard with a cargo of coal was warned of the situation by Hovdenak and ordered to change course and go to Thorshavn, where she arrived safely. Unfortunately, Finmarken encountered German aircraft and was forced to return to Norway (but ended up in Nortraship's register).

(See also D/S Borgund).


Continued in the same service as Finmarken until 1956, then as Vågan from Febr. 1956 until Jul. 8-1956, when she was taken out of this service. Sold to Rogaland Sjøguttskole in 1957 and used as training ship Gann.

Picture of Gann, ex Finmarken, received from Bjørn Milde, Norway (postcard collection).

For info, in the spring of 1999, all the records of Vesteraalens Dampskibsselskab from 1881 to 1988 were donated to The National Archives of Norway (external page). 2 lovely pictures of Finmarken, as well as pictures of other Hurtigruten ships can be found on this external page (click on them to enlarge - text is in Norwegian).

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

Other ships by this name: Ofotens & Vesteraalens Dampskibsselskab has a ship named Finnmarken today (spelt with 2 n's), built 2002. Another Finnmarken, delivered May 29-1956 was given as a gift to the Hurtigruten Museum in Stokmarknes (both links are external).

The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland and misc. other.


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