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To Thorshov on the "Ships starting with T" page.
See also this painting by Jan Goedhart, Holland.
Owner: Bryde & Dahls Hvalfangerselskap A/S
Built by Schiffbau & Maschinefabrik Bremer Vulkan, Vegesack, Germany in 1935.
I have in my possession her Voyage Cards from British records, which says she was time chartered to the U.K., delivered July 19-1940 - operators Br. Tank Co. These cards also mention misc. repairs.
Captain: Bjarne Svenningsen.
Thorshov crossed the Atlantic 50 times in the course of the war. She often served as Escort Oiler, also carrying depth charges on board. This is also confirmed by my father, who says (in his letter No. 4 at "Odd's letters" above): "She was equipped with what is called 'flight decks' so that we could carry 10 fully mounted air planes on each side of the ship. In the middle we had about 100 depth charges, and on starboard an extra hurricane bridge where we had an oil hose. All this has to do with the fact that we replenished the escort vessels in the convoys, and supplied them with mines, so that we could keep up the normal convoy speed at all times. This took place in the Atlantic, and later in the Mediterranean after the invasion of Italy."
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 several voyages are missing.
Judging from the information found on Page 1 of the archive documents, Thorshov was on her way from Sourabaya to Wellington when war broke out in Norway on Apr. 9-1940. She arrived Wellington (via Brisbane) on Apr. 24, remaining there for about 3 weeks. It'll also be noticed that she had quite a long stay in Singapore that fall. Her 1941 voyages also start on this document.
In the spring of 1941 she's listed, together with Dagfred, Gudvin, Lisbeth, Lise and Ravnefjell, in Convoy SL 71, which left Freetown on Apr. 8 and arrived Liverpool on May 4; Thorshov stopped at Clyde the day before. Later that month we find her, along with Erviken and Kongsgaard, in Convoy OB 324, which departed Liverpool on May 18 and dispersed May 27. From the archive document, we learn that she arrived New York on June 4, having started out from Clyde on May 19. Direct links to both these convoys have been provided within the Voyage Record above.
Having remained in New York for several weeks, she proceeded to Halifax on July 15 (Page 1) and with a cargo of benzine, she headed back to the U.K. on July 22 in Convoy HX 140 from there (station 83), together with the Norwegian Madrono (112), Boreas (16), Velox (56), Velma (96), Alaska (106), Stiklestad (95), Vardefjell (84), Evita (114), Olaf Bergh (124), Skiensfjord (97), Ferncastle (113), Bonneville (82), Thorshavet (43), and Helgøy (77). Beth and Petter were also initially in this convoy but left due to engine problems - others joined from Iceland, follow the link for more info. On Aug. 16, we find her in station 62 of the westbound North Atlantic Convoy ON 8; her destination is given as New York and she arrived there on Aug. 31, the convoy having been dispersed on Aug. 25. Her voyages in this period are shown on Page 2. With a cargo of petrol, she later joined Convoy HX 149 from Halifax on Sept. 10 (in station 64), together with the Norwegian Daghild (station 63), Brasil (83), Thorsholm (33), Innerøy (35), Aristophanes (43), Somerville (66), Glittre (24), Lise (44), Harpefjell (86), Norvik (Panamanian flag, Norwegian managers and, therefore, included on this website, in station 84, behind Brasil), Brant County (87), Kollbjørg (73) and others - again, follow the link for their names.
The following month, she headed in the other direction again with Convoy ON 24*, departing Liverpool on Oct. 8-1941, dispersed Oct. 15, Thorshov arriving New York on Oct. 25. She had again been in the company of several other Norwegian ships, namely Abraham Lincoln, Aristophanes, Brasil, Glittre, Grey County, Herbrand, Idefjord, Innerøy, Petter, Solfonn, Thorshavet and Topdalsfjord, as well as the Panamanian Norvik. On Nov. 3, she joined Convoy HX 158 from Halifax to the U.K., subsequently returning across the Atlantic with Convoy ON 42*, which left Liverpool on Dec. 1 and dispersed on the 14th. Her destination is given as Port Arthur; according to Page 2, she arrived Houston on Dec. 25. Eidanger, Glittre, Kaldfonn, Kollbjørg, Norefjord, Nueva Granada, Olaf Bergh, Slemdal and Tankexpress are also listed in this convoy.
On Jan. 8-1942, she joined Convoy HX 169 from Halifax, and the following month she's listed, with Abraham Lincoln, Atlantic, Fernmoor, Hardanger, N.T. Nielsen Alonso (the latter 2 returned) and Sandanger, in the westbound Convoy ON 63*, departing Liverpool on Febr. 2, dispersed Febr. 13. This time, she was bound for Aruba, where she arrived Febr. 21. According to Arnold Hague, she returned to the U.K. in March with Convoy HX 179, and with Polarsol, Solsten and Thorshøvdi, she later joined the westbound Convoy ON 81*, which left Liverpool on March 29 and dispersed Apr. 9, Thorshov arriving New Orleans on Apr. 19. In fact, she had served as the Commodore Vessel on this occasion. She subsequently remained in New Orleans for over a month (Page 2).
With a cargo of aviation gas, she went back to the U.K. again in June that year in Convoy HX 194 from Halifax, arriving Avonmouth (via Belfast Lough) on June 27, later joining the westbound Convoy ON 109*, together with Heranger, Laurits Swenson, Marathon, Montevideo, Norheim, Skiensfjord and Stiklestad. The convoy originated in Liverpool on July 3 and arrived Halifax July 18; Thorshov, however, was bound for New York, where she arrived July 16, having started out from Milford Haven on July 2, according to Page 3. She now made some voyages around the U.S. (convoy info in the table above), then on Aug. 30, she can be found among the ships in Convoy HX 205 from Halifax. Potentilla, Montbretia, Acanthus and Eglantine are named among the escorts for this convoy. Thorshov arrived Swansea (via Belfast Lough) on Sept. 13. With Anna Knudsen, Athos, Bello, Brimanger, Emma Bakke, Garonne, Grey County, Kosmos II, Minerva, Molda, Noreg, Nueva Granada, Petter II (returned), Polarsol, Polartank, Sandanger, Skandinavia, Thorshavet and the Panamanian Norbris (Norwegian managers), Thorshov later joined Convoy ON 133*, originating in Liverpool on Sept. 25, arriving New York Oct. 11.
Rick Pitz, a visitor to my website, has informed me via this Gustbook message that she later sailed in Convoy GAT 16, which left Guantanamo Bay, Cuba for Trinidad on Oct. 22 with 24 ships, among them several Norwegian (named in the Guestbook message). Thorshov's destination is given as Curacao, where she arrived, via Aruba, on Oct. 29. This convoy is now available via the external link provided within the Voyage Record, where we also learn that she had previously arrived Guantanamo from New York with Convoy NG 314 on Oct. 22. See also Page 3, which also shows her subsequent movements, with convoy info in the table above. Thorshov headed to the U.K. again on Nov. 11, joining Convoy HX 215 from New York; her destination is given as Avonmouth, where she arrived, via Belfast Lough, on Nov. 26/27. Her last Trans-Atlantic voyage that year was made with Convoy ON 151* which originated in Liverpool on Dec. 3-1942 and arrived New York Dec. 23 and also had Atlantic, Brasil, Brimanger, Gefion, Geisha (Commodore Vessel), Kaia Knudsen, Molda, Skandinavia and Stigstad in its ranks.
Having remained in New York for about 3 weeks, she made another voyage to Curacao and back to New York (again, see Voyage Record above and Page 3), before she according to Arnold Hague went back to the U.K. in Convoy HX 227*, departing New York on Febr. 18-1943, arriving Liverpool March 6; Thorshov, cargo of petrol (station 94), stopped at Belfast Lough on March 5, proceeding to Avonmouth the next day, with arrival there March 7. Acanthus and Eglantine are again named among the escorts (see HX convoy escorts) and several Norwegian ships took part, namely B. P. Newton, Belinda, Ferncourt, Haakon Hauan, Kaldfonn, Mosli, Norholm, Pan Aruba, Polartank (collided, returned), Skaraas, Stiklestad and Strinda. About a week later, many of these ships, including Thorshov, joined the westbound Convoy ON 173*, which originated in Liverpool on March 13 and arrived Halifax on the 29th; Thorshov, however, was again bound for New York, where she arrived March 31, according to Page 4. B. P. Newton, Emma Bakke, Dageid, Ferncourt, Frontenac, Haakon Hauan, Idefjord, Mosli, Pan Aruba, Skaraas, Stiklestad and Strinda are also listed. She headed back to the U.K. in Convoy HX 234 on Apr. 12, again bound for Avonmouth, where she arrived, via Belfast Lough, on Apr. 30. The Norwegian Laurits Swenson acted as Commodore Vessel for this convoy. See also the Commodore's Report.
With Dageid, Fernwood, Gallia, Germa, Hiram, Ivaran, Oregon Epress, Skiensfjord, Thorshøvdi and Villanger, Thorshov now joined Convoy ON 182* in order to return to New York, where she arrived on May 21-1943, the convoy having originated in Liverpool on May 6 (Thorshov had started out from Milford Haven on May 5). At the end of that month, I have her in station 122 of Convoy HX 242, which left New York on May 31 and arrived Liverpool on June 15; Thorshov stopped at Belfast Lough that day; her destination was again Avonmouth, and she arrived there on June 16. A month later, she's listed in the westbound Convoy ON 193*, which originated in Liverpool on July 16 and arrived New York July 31 (Thorshov had started out from Milford Haven on July 15). Bralanta, Chr. Th. Boe, Fagerfjell, Fernwood, Geisha, Harpefjell, Herbrand, Hiram, Idefjord, Maud, Meline, Norlom, O. B. Sørensen, Para, Samuel Bakke, Sandviken, Santos, Skaraas, Skjelbred, Stiklestad, Thorhild and Tungsha are also named in this convoy, as is the Panamanian Norlys. From the U.S., Thorshov now headed to Bizerta a week later (Page 4).
After the allied invasion of the Italian mainland, convoy after convoy of troopships, supply ships and tankers passed in an endless stream through the straits of Gibraltar in the fall of 1943, and continued to the terminals in North Africa. Due to minefields, they had to pass through in daylight, and from there they proceeded within the vicinity of land at Spanish Morocco, where there was reason to believe German agents were numerous. Europa Point to the Alboran Island could be covered at night, but along the entire stretch passed Cape Bengut, 42 n. miles east of Algiers and to Bizerta in Tunisia, the convoys could expect attacks from German U-boats or aircraft. The terminal ports themselves, where the allied forces were being built up were, naturally, important targets for the German planes, especially Bizerta, a fact which Thorshov was to experience in Aug.-1943. Fortunately, my father missed this event, as he didn't join the ship until a year later.
Thorshov had departed New York on Aug. 3 with a cargo of aviation fuel for Bizerta. On the 22nd the convoy* she was in passed through the straits of Gibraltar, and on board Thorshov all weapons were manned. On Aug. 26, they were 80 n. miles north of Bizerta when, suddenly, 3 torpedoes detonated inside the convoy, sinking the Commodore ship as well as 2? others. Nothing further happened, and they reached Bizerta the next day. On Sept. 6, while Thorshov was still unloading her cargo, an intense air attack took place. Her gunners, under the leadership of Mikal Mikkelsen, took part in the defence on this occasion, firing 1020 shots from her Oerlikon. Though bombs were falling in all directions around the ship, she escaped unscathed.
Her subsequent voyages are shown on Page 4 - convoy information for some of them can be found in the Voyage Record above. In Nov.-1943, she made a voyage from Augusta to Bizerta with Convoy MKS 31 - scroll down to the second table on that page. She had left Augusta on Nov. 17 and arrived Bizerta on the 19th, and from there, she headed to the U.S. a few days later. Page 4 also shows some 1944 voyages (with convoy info in the table above), while the rest can be found on Page 5, and it'll be noticed, that she had a long stay in Baltimore early that year.
In Apr.-1944, she started making voyages between the U.S. and U.K. again. She's listed in Convoy HX 288, for which Laurits Swenson served as Commodore Vessel, while the captain of Emma Bakke acted as the Vice Commodore. The convoy left New York on Apr. 18; Thorshov was bound for Swansea, where she arrived May 5 and according to A. Hague she served as Escort Oiler, so perhaps she had been fitted out for such service in Baltimore, which would explain her long stay there? With Fjordaas, Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Norholm, Norvarg, Rena, Solsten, Sommerstad, Titanian and Vera, she later joined the westbound Convoy ON 236*, which originated in Liverpool on May 11 and arrived New York May 27 (Thorshov joined from Belfast Lough). On June 2, we find her in Convoy HX 294. Commodore was in Abraham Lincoln, Vice Commodore in Geisha. Thorshov served as Escort Oiler again and also carried 60 depth charges, arriving Clyde on June 18. She subsequently returned across the Atlantic with Convoy ON 242* (Escort Oiler), along with Ferncliff, Fernmoor, Fjordheim, Havkong, Marit II, Molda, Peik, Samuel Bakke (Vice Commodore), Skiensfjord, Solstad, Solsten, Stirlingville, Tercero and Vera. This convoy originated in Liverpool June 25 (Thorshov joined from Clyde) and arrived New York July 11, and about a week later, she can be found in the large Convoy HX 300 from New York (Escort Oiler, 60 depth charges); her destination is given as London - see also Page 5.
The following month, she's listed in Convoy ON 250*, which originated in Liverpool on Aug. 24 and arrived New York Sept. 7 and also included Fridtjof Nansen, Haakon Hauan, Havkong, Molda, Pan Scandia and Samuel Bakke (Commodore Vessel), as well as the Panamanian Norlys. Later that month she joined Convoy HX 310 (Escort Oiler, 60 depth charges), bound for Swansea and Mersey. Commodore was in Reinholt, Vice Commodore in Høyanger; Acanthus and Rose are named among the escorts (see HX convoy escorts) - see also Buttercup and Tunsberg Castle. Thorshov now made a voyage to Philadelphia, having joined Convoy ON 259* (Escort Oiler), which left Liverpool on Oct. 12 and arrived New York Oct. 29; Thorshov arrived Philadelphia on Oct. 30 (Page 5 gives her departure Liverpool as Oct. 9). John Bakke, Laurits Swenson (Vice Commodore), Norden and Villanger (Commodore Vessel) are also listed. From the U.S., Thorshov now headed to the Mediterranean again, returning to the U.S. in Dec.-1944 - convoy info in the Voyage Record above.
She was scheduled for the New York-U.K. Convoy HX 333 on Jan. 18-1945, but did not sail. She was also cancelled from HX 335 on Jan. 28, but later joined Convoy HX 336 on Febr. 2 (Escort Oiler, 59 depth charges, Commodore in John Bakke). She arrived Southampton on Febr. 16, returning to New York with Convoy ON 287*, which left Southend on Febr. 25 and arrived New York March 14 and also included Buenos Aires, Norsktank, Roald Amundsen, Solfonn, Sophocles, Strix, Tiradentes and Østhav - Thorshov's voyages in this period are shown on Page 6, and as will be seen, she subsequently remained in New York for a month. Arnold Hague has now included her in Convoy HX 350* (60 depth charges, cargo of fuel oil and aircraft, station 114), departing New York on Apr. 13, arriving Liverpool Apr. 28. Egerø, Fosna, Gefion, Havfru, Haakon Hauan and President de Vogue are also listed.
The last convoy she took part in, along with Egda, Haakon Hauan, Havfru, Høyanger (Commodore Vessel), Norvarg, Skaraas and Temeraire, was the westbound Convoy ON 301* (Escort Oiler), which left Liverpool on May 7 and arrived New York May 22 - in other words, VE Day was celebrated at sea. My father says in one of his letters (No. 9):
In this welcome home tribute to my father in a newspaper, dated May 22-1946, the the whaling grounds are mentioned. The fact that Thorshov went to the Antarctic is confirmed in her Voyage Card from British records, received from Tony Cooper, England, which shows a few 1946 voyages. The last entry in A. Hague's record above shows her leaving Cardiff for Curacao, with arrival Jan. 10-1946. Her Voyage Card shows her leaving Curacao for Southampton on Jan. 19, then proceeded to Table Bay. She left Table Bay on Febr. 15 and was on the whaling grounds in the Antarctic on Febr. 23. The next date shows her arriving Liverpool on Apr. 26, departing for Rotterdam on the 30th of that month (agreeing with Page 6), with arrival May 3. In Sept.-1946 she was at Lake Charles, leaving that day for Southampton, where she arrived Oct. 4, leaving again on Oct. 9 for Aruba.
Sold on Apr. 29-1954 to International Mercantile Navigation Co SA, Panama, and renamed Montemar. Sold to Brodospas, for scrap, and arrived Split on Dec. 31-1959 to be broken up.
Back to Thorshov on the "Ships starting with T" page.
Other ships by this name: Thor Dahl later had two more tankers by this name, one built 1955, sold 1965 and renamed Sem. Under Liberian ownership from 1967 with the name Assimi III. Caught on fire on Apr. 26-1968 soon after leaving Tandjong Uban, sank on May 1, 5 crew were lost. Another Thorshov was built 1967. This external site has more information on both of these.
The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, "The Allied Convoy System", Arnold Hague, and misc. other for cross checking info, some of which are named in the above narrative (my sources are named on my books page).