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M/T Vera
Updated Jan. 6-2012

To M/T Vera on the "Ships starting with V" page.

Picture received from Clive A. Fisher, Australia (see his Guestbook message).

Manager: Halfdan Ditlev-Simonsen & Co.,Oslo
6485 gt, 9800 tdwt., 11 knots.

Built in Gothenburg in 1934.

Captain: Martin Andersen all through the war.
1st Mate: M. Salvesen, who also stayed on all through the war, with the exception of one voyage when he had to remain in Australia due to illness.

On charter to Australian Motorists Petrol Company until Dec. 25-1942, at which time she was taken over by Anglo-Saxon, until the end of the war.

Related items on this website:
POW's page / Vera - Seaman Arne Oswald Bjørshol, who's said to have served on M/T Vera at some point, is listed in "Ingen nåde" by Kristian Ottosen as having died in a Japanese prison camp in Java on Aug. 21-1945 (having been a prisoner since Dec. 20-1943). He's also mentioned at the Stavern Memorial for Seamen (external link), which gives the year of his demise as 1941; name of the camp is given as Moearo. "Våre falne", a series of 4 books naming Norwegians who died during the war, says he was interned in 1942, died Aug. 21-1945.
Guestbook message - A suggestion has been made that the Norwegian tanker mentioned in this message may have been Vera, but as can be seen in her Voyage Record, she left Darwin for Brisbane on Febr. 14-1942. According to Page 2 of the archive documents she stopped by Thursday Island on the 18th.

Other Halfdan Ditlev-Simonsen ships:
M/T Vanja
M/T Vav
M/T Velma
M/T Vilja
M/T Vivi

Her voyages are listed on these original images from the Norwegian National Archives:
Page 1 | Page 2 | Page 3 | Page 4 | Page 5

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

Voyage Record
From Apr.-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.

Errors may exist, and some voyages are missing.

Departure From To Arrival Convoy Remarks
1940 Apr. 5 Los Angeles Sydney, N.S.W. May 5 Independent
May 7 Sydney, N.S.W. Newcastle, N.S.W. May 7 Independent
May 8 Newcastle, N.S.W. Thursday Island May 16 Independent
May 17 Thursday Island Bahrein June 10 Independent
June 12 Bahrein Colombo June 22 Independent
June 23 Colombo Fremantle July 7 Independent
July 8 Fremantle Sydney, N.S.W. July 17 Independent
July 19 Sydney, N.S.W. Newcastle, N.S.W. July 19 Independent
July 21 Newcastle, N.S.W. Brisbane July 23 Independent
July 26 Brisbane Los Angeles Aug. 21 Independent
Aug. 30 Los Angeles Sydney, N.S.W. Sept. 29 Independent
Oct. 1 Sydney, N.S.W. Los Angeles Oct. 29 Independent
Nov. 4 Los Angeles Sydney, N.S.W. Dec. 2 Independent
Dec. 6 Sydney, N.S.W. Newcastle, N.S.W. Dec. 6 Independent
Dec. 10 Newcastle, N.S.W. Los Angeles Jan. 5-1941 Independent
1941 Jan. 10 Los Angeles San Francisco Jan. 12 Independent
Jan. 13 San Francisco Singapore Febr. 22 Independent
Febr. 24 Singapore Sydney, N.S.W. March 19 Independent Missing movements?
See also narrative below & Page 1
March 22 Sydney, N.S.W. Singapore Apr. 12 Independent
Apr. 14 Singapore Brisbane May 1 Independent
May 5 Brisbane Palembang May 19 Independent
May 20 Palembang Singapore May 22 Independent
May 30 Singapore Sydney, N.S.W. June 17 Independent
June 22 Sydney, N.S.W. Sourabaya July 7 Independent (See also narrative below).
Aug. 19 Sourabaya Singapore Aug. 26 Independent
Aug. 28 Singapore Brisbane Sept. 13 Independent
Sept. 18 Brisbane Pladjoe Oct. 3 Independent
Oct. 4 Pladjoe Singapore Oct. 5 Independent
Oct. 6 Singapore Singapore Oct. 12 Independent A. Hague says:
Voyage data unknown
(Page 2 indicates Pladjoe).
Oct. 12 Singapore Brisbane Oct. 28 Independent
Oct. 31 Brisbane Balikpapan Nov. 12 Independent
Nov. 15 Balikpapan Cape Moreton Independent
Nov. 27 Cape Moreton Sydney, N.S.W. Nov. 29 Independent
Dec. 19 Sydney, N.S.W. Fremantle Dec. 26* Independent *Page 2 gives arrival Dec. 29
(see also narrative).
1942 Jan. 7 Fremantle Telok Bay Jan. 15 Independent (See also Page 2)
Jan. 16 Telok Bay Singapore Jan. 24 Independent Notional sailing date
Jan. 26 Singapore Darwin Febr. 6 Independent
Febr. 14 Darwin Brisbane Febr. 24 Independent
Febr. 25 Brisbane Sydney, N.S.W. Febr. 27 Independent See also narrative
March 16 Sydney, N.S.W. Newcastle, N.S.W. Independent Page 2 gives arrival March 22
(seems like a long time)
March 22 Newcastle, N.S.W. Melbourne March 25 Independent
March 28 Melbourne Fremantle Apr. 8 Independent
Apr. 9 Fremantle Bahrein May 3 Independent
May 4 Bahrein Melbourne June 6 Independent See also narrative
* June 5 Los Angeles Brisbane July 4 Independent
The above voyage has ended up in the wrong place - it belongs under 1943 and has been inserted there.
June 26 Melbourne Bahrein July 31 Independent
Aug. 2 Bahrein Fremantle Aug. 31 Independent
Sept. 14 Fremantle Bahrein Oct. 8 Independent
Oct. 11 Bahrein Bandar Abbas Oct. 12 Independent
Oct. 13 Bandar Abbas PB 6 For Melbourne.
Detached Oct. 17.
Convoy available at PB 6
(external link)
Oct. 17 Detached from PB 6 Melbourne Nov. 15 Independent
Nov. 20 Melbourne Los Angeles Dec. 25 Independent A. Hague says:
Repairs at LA, also collision Febr. 3.
See also narrative.
1943 *June 5 Los Angeles Brisbane July 4 Independent
*This voyage has been taken from 1942 entries above - see also Page 2.
July 11 Caloundra* Townsville July 14 QL 2 *Brisbane.
Convoy available at QL 2
(external link)
July 16 Townsville Port Moresby July 18 TN 117 Convoy available at TN convoys
(external link)
July 24 Port Moresby Townsville July 26 NT 30 Convoy available at NT convoys
(external link)
July 27 Townsville Brisbane July 30 Independent
Aug. 2 Caloundra* Townsville Aug. 5 QL 5 *Brisbane.
Convoy available at QL 5
(external link)
Aug. 10 Townsville Port Moresby Aug. 13 TN 133 Convoy available at TN convoys
(external link)
Aug. 21 Port Moresby Townsville Aug. 23 NT 42 Convoy available at NT convoys
(external link)
Aug. 25 Townsville Gladstone Aug. 27 Independent Later arrived Brisbane Aug. 29
(Page 3).
Sept. 1 Caloundra* Townsville Sept. 4 QL 9A *Brisbane.
Convoy available at QL 9A
(external link)
Sept. 4 Townsville Port Moresby Sept. 9 TN 151 A. Hague says:
Sailed late to overtake.
Convoy available at TN convoys
(external link)
Sept. 13 Port Moresby Townsville Sept. 15 NT 48 Convoy available at NT convoys
(external link)
Sept. 18 Townsville Gladstone Sept. 19 Independent
Sept. 20 Gladstone Brisbane Sept. 21 LQ 13 A. Hague says:
Repair collision damage of July 31.
Convoy available at LQ 13
(external link)
See also narrative.
1944 Febr. 9 Caloundra* Newcastle, N.S.W. Febr. 11 PG 107 *Brisbane.
Convoy available at PG 107
(external link)
Febr. 24 Newcastle, N.S.W. Balboa March 16 Independent Compare w/Page 3
March 18 Cristobal Curacao March 21 Independent
March 26 Curacao Gitmo March 29 TAG 123 Curacao to Gitmo.
Convoy available at TAG convoys
(external link)
March 29 Gitmo New York City Apr. 5 GN 123 Convoy available at GN convoys
(external link)
Apr. 7 New York City Boston Independent
Apr. 9 Boston Halifax Apr. 11 BX 103 Convoy available at BX convoys
(external link)
Apr. 17 Halifax Clyde May 1 SC 157 See also Page 3
May 11 Clyde Philadelphia May 27 ON 236 Convoy will be added.
See ships in ON convoys
June 1 Philadelphia New York City June 1 Independent
June 2 New York City Liverpool June 19 HX 294 Missing movements, Page 3 above
June 25 Liverpool New York City July 11 ON 242 Convoy will be added.
See link above
(also, narrative below)
July 26 New York City Loch Ewe Aug. 8 HX 301
Aug. 9 Loch Ewe Methil Aug. 11 WN 618A Convoy available at WN convoys
(external link)
Aug. 12 Methil Southend Aug. 14 FS 1542 Convoy available at FS convoys
(external link)
Again, see also Page 3
Aug. 17 Southend Methil Aug. 19 FN 1452 Via Grangemouth
(Page 3).
Convoy available at FN convoys
(external link)
Aug. 21 Methil Southend Aug. 23 FS 1551 Convoy available at FS convoys
(external link)
Aug. 26 Southend Methil Aug. 28 FN 1461 Convoy available at FN convoys
(external link)
Aug. 29 Methil Loch Ewe Aug. 31 EN 428 Convoy available at EN convoys
(external link)
Sept. 1 Loch Ewe New York City Sept. 19 ON 251 Convoy will be added.
See ships in ON convoys
Sept. 26 New York City Boston Independent Page 4 gives arrival Sept. 29.
Sept. 29 Boston Halifax Oct. 1 BX 127 Convoy available at BX convoys
(external link)
Oct. 4 Halifax Milford Haven Oct. 20 SC 158
Oct. 20 Milford Haven Solent Oct. 22 BEC 12 Convoy available at BEC 12
(external link)
Arrived Portsmouth, Oct. 23
(Page 4)
Oct. 25 Portsmouth EBF 16 Detached Oct. 27.
Convoy available at EBF 16
(external link)
Oct. 27 Detached from EBF 16 Belfast Lough Oct. 28 Independent
Oct. 29 Belfast Lough ONS 35 For NYC.
Convoy will be added.
See ships in ONS convoys
Nov. 15 Joined from ONS 35 Cape Cod Canal Nov. 17 XB 134 Convoy available at XB convoys
(external link)
Nov. 17 Cape Cod Canal Baltimore Nov. 21 Independent
Dec. 9 Baltimore New York City Dec. 10 Independent
Dec. 11 New York City Boston Dec. 12 Independent
Dec. 13 Boston Halifax Dec. 15 BX 137 Convoy available at BX convoys
(external link)
Dec. 17 Halifax Avonmouth Jan. 1-1945 SC 163
1945 Jan. 3 Avonmouth Belfast Lough Jan. 5 Independent
Jan. 12 Belfast Lough ONS 40 For NYC.
Convoy will be added.
See ships in ONS convoys
Jan. 29 Joined from ONS 40 Cape Cod Canal Febr. 1 XB 144 Convoy available at XB convoys
(external link)
Febr. 1 Cape Cod Canal Philadelphia Febr. 3 Independent
Febr. 6 Philadelphia Boston Independent Page 4 gives arrival Febr. 12.
Febr. 21 Boston Halifax Febr. 23 BX 146 Convoy available at BX convoys
(external link)
Febr. 25 Halifax Liverpool March 13 SC 168 See also narrative below
(missing movements, Page 4)
Convoy will be added.
See ships in SC convoys
March 22 Liverpool ONS 45 For NYC.
Convoy will be added.
See ships in ONS convoys
Apr. 10 Joined from ONS 45 Cape Cod Canal Apr. 12 XB 156 Convoy available at XB convoys
(external link)
Apr. 12 Cape Cod Canal Philadelphia Apr. 14 Independent
Apr. 17 Philadelphia Boston Independent
Apr. 22 Boston Halifax Apr. 24 BX 158 Convoy available at BX convoys
(external link)
Apr. 28 Halifax Liverpool May 15 SC 174 Missing movements:
Page 4 & Page 5
Convoy will be added.
See ships in SC convoys
May 21 Liverpool ONS 51 For NYC.
Detached June 4.
Convoy will be added.
See ships in ONS convoys
June 4 Detached from ONS 51 New York City June 6 Independent
June 6 New York City Philadelphia June 7 Independent
June 10 Philadelphia Devonport June 23 Independent Via Plymouth
(Page 5).
June 25 Devonport Baltimore July 10 Independent Missing voyages?
(Page 5)
Aug. 20 Baltimore Port Arthur Independent Arrival looks like Aug. 28
(Page 5).
Aug. 30 Port Arthur Hampton Roads Sept. 9 Independent
Sept. 13 Cape Henry Gibraltar Independent
Sept. 28 Gibraltar Bari Oct. 3 Independent
Oct. 6 Taranto Port Said Oct. 10 Independent
Oct. 11 Suez Abadan Oct. 23 Independent
Oct. 25 Abadan Bombay Oct. 31 Independent
Nov. 3 Bombay Abadan Nov. 10 Independent Subsequent voyages, Page 5

 Misc. War Voyages: 
As will be seen, some of the dates and other details in this narrative, which is based on the captain's report (from "19 Oslo-skips historie under verdenskrigen, fra April 1940 til krigens slutt i 1945" - The story of 19 Oslo ships during WW II, Harald Nicolaisen - 1945) are slightly different from those found on the archive documents - I've left the captain's dates as they appear in his report (the discrepancy might simply be a matter of different time zones used). The captain's information has been supplemented with my own convoy information. Please follow the links provided for more info on them, several Norwegian ships took part. More convoy information is shown in A. Hague's Voyage Record.

Vera departed Long Beach on Apr. 6-1940 with a cargo for Sydney, Australia, arriving May 4. In the meantime, on Apr. 9, Norway had been invaded by the Germans, but nothing is mentioned about this in the captain's report. I would imagine they all received the news in stunned disbelief and intense concern for their families. Vera continued to Newcastle (N.S.W.) where the rest of her cargo was unloaded, whereupon she left for California again, but en route she was ordered to Cape Moreton, where new orders for Bahrein were received. She arrived the latter on June 10, picked up a cargo, then returned to Australia, via Colombo for supplies and Fremantle for routing instructions. Some of the cargo was unloaded in Sydney, the rest in Newcastle and Brisbane, before continuing to San Pedro, then back to Sydney. Another voyage San Pedro-Australia was made after having been a few days in dry dock in San Pedro. She arrived Sydney on Dec. 2-1940, then on to Newcastle to unload the rest of her cargo, before leaving for San Pedro on Dec. 9, with arrival Jan. 5-1941. See also Page 1.

A new cargo was loaded in San Pedro as well as in San Francisco for Singapore (aviation fuel), arriving the latter port on Febr. 21-1941 after a very stormy voyage. Having unloaded in Singapore, she picked up a new cargo at various places off Singapore then departed for Sydney on March 2. Two more voyages were subsequently made between Singapore and ports on Australia's west coast, before she headed to Sourabaya for various repairs (from July 7 till Aug. 18), then on to Palembang, Pladjoe etc. for cargo, leaving for Brisbane on Aug. 28, then back to Palembang (again, compare w/Page 1). This time, some of the cargo was discharged at Pladjoe, more was picked up at Pulo Samboe for Brisbane, arriving there on Oct. 28. A cargo was loaded in Balik Papan and unloaded in Sydney from Nov. 30 and onwards. On Dec. 6 she was sent to a yard for the installation of armament, and crew was sent ashore for training in the use of guns (an able seamen attempted suicide, date is given as Febr. 19, but I wonder if it should be Dec. 19? He was immediately taken to a hospital, but I'm not sure if he survived). Vera departed Sydney on Dec. 18 (19?) for Fremantle, but having collided with a tug there she had to go in for a few days of repairs. While in Fremantle, she was ordered to the Sunda Straits and from there she was sent to Osthaven, with arrival Jan. 15-1942. Her voyages in this period are shown on Page 2 of the archive documents.

She later picked up a cargo of aviation fuel in Singapore, before departing for Brisbane on Jan. 26-1942 (shortly before that city was taken by the Japanese), via Port Darwin for convoy for the first time (as can be seen in the above Voyage Record, A. Hague lists no convoy for this period). After having finished discharging in Sydney she was docked there, then went to Newcastle to pick up a partial cargo for Melbourne, and from there she continued to Bahrein, via Fremantle. Again, cargo was discharged in Sydney and Melbourne, where she also had minor engine repairs, before heading back to Bahrein and Fremantle on June 26. She later returned to Bahrein again, departing on Oct 11, in convoy from Oct. 13, with arrival Melbourne on Nov. 15 (A. Hague has included her, together with Britannia, Ima, Norfold, Peik and William Strachan, in Convoy PB 6 - ref. link in the table above). She then made a voyage to San Pedro and was at a yard there from Dec. 25-1942 until May 29-1943. (It'll be noticed, in A. Hague's Voyage Record above, that he also mentions a collision on Febr. 3 - I have no further details on this).

Vera departed San Pedro on June 5-1943 with a cargo for Brisbane, where part of the cargo was unloaded, while the remainder (aviation fuel) was discharged in Port Moresby, having arrived there in convoy from Townsville (see A. Hague's Voyage Record and Page 2). She carried two more cargoes of aviation fuel from Brisbane to Port Moresby, and a 3rd cargo had been taken on board in Brisbane when she had a problem with one of her engines, so the cargo had to be unloaded on Sept. 29, before she went in for repairs (according to Page 3, she had arrived Brisbane on Sept. 21). A. Hague mentions that she also needed repairs from another collision, which he says had taken place on July 31 that year - again, I have no further info; going back to Page 2 of the archive documents, we see that she had arrived Brisbane from Townsville the day before.

She remained at the yard until Febr. 7-1944. The after gun platform and the ammunition hold had also been enlarged, and a forward gun platform had been added, as well as new cabins for the gun crew. At the same time, a phone connection between the bridge and the various gun positions had been installed. Having taken on board bunkers, she departed for Newcastle in convoy on Febr. 9, and spent some time in dry dock there before leaving alone on Febr. 13 for Panama for further orders. Once through the Panama Canal she proceeded in convoy to Curacao, where a Finnish crew member was denied permission to go ashore. He jumped overboard to swim ashore, with the result that he had to be put in irons, but not without a fight - he had kicked the carpenter in the groin so that he needed medical treatment. (Her 1944 voyages start on Page 3 - convoy information for some of these can be found in A. Hague's Voyage Record, but it'll be noticed that there's no convoy details for her voyage to Curacao).

From Curacao Vera sailed in convoy to New York, then on to Halifax and the U.K., arriving Glasgow, Scotland on May 1-1944 with Convoy SC 157. After a brief stay at a yard for various improvements (convoy lights, blackout curtains etc.), she departed Glasgow in convoy on May 11 for New York. For this voyage, she's listed in the westbound North Atlantic Convoy ON 236*, which originated in Liverpool on May 11 and arrived New York May 27; Vera arrived Philadelphia that day, proceeding to New York on June 1. She now took a cargo to Manchester, England, having joined Convoy HX 294 from New York on June 2, for which Abraham Lincoln served as Commodore Vessel, while Geisha had the Vice Commodore on board. According to Page 3, Vera arrived Manchester, via Liverpool, Eastham and Stanlow, on June 20, continuing to Barton that same day, then back to Manchester, Eastham and Liverpool, leaving Liverpool again on June 25 in Convoy ON 242* - this time, the Vice Commodore was in Samuel Bakke. Having been run into by another ship in heavy fog on the Newfoundland banks, Vera had to go in for repairs again on arrival New York on July 12. The captain says she left New York for the U.K. with another cargo on July 24; she's listed as bound for Coryton in Convoy HX 301, for which Reinholt served as Commodore Vessel, while Samuel Bakke acted as Vice Commodore Ship again. Apart from some voyages around the U.K., she now continued in North Atlantic service for the rest of the war.

In Sept.-1944 she can be found in the westbound Convoy ON 251* to New York, in which Fjordheim was sunk (follow the link for more info - Commodore was in Tungsha. Convoy originated in Liverpool on Sept. 1 and arrived New York on the 19th; Vera joined from Loch Ewe). She headed back to the U.K. on Oct. 4 with the slow Convoy SC 158 from Halifax, and arrived Portsmouth, via Milford Haven, on Oct. 23 - her voyages in this period are shown on Page 4. At the end of that month, we find her in the westbound Convoy ONS 35*, which started out in Liverpool on Oct. 29 and arrived Halifax Nov. 15. Vera, however, arrived Baltimore on Nov. 21 (she had sailed from Belfast Lough on Oct. 29). She did not leave Baltimore until Dec. 8, when she proceeded to New York and Boston, then on to Halifax and her last Trans-Atlantic voyage that year was made in Convoy SC 163 from there on Dec. 17. Her destination is given as Avonmouth, where she arrived on Jan. 1-1945.

Later that month, A. Hague has included her in the westbound Convoy ONS 40*, which sailed from Liverpool on Jan. 12-1945 and arrived Halifax on the 30th, but Vera started out from Belfast Lough Jan. 12 and arrived Philadelphia Febr. 3, proceeding to Boston a few days later, then on to Halifax. She was scheduled for the slow Convoy SC 167 from there, but did not sail; in fact, she was still in Boston when this convoy left Halifax (Novasli was sunk - follow the link for details). A. Hague instead has her, with a cargo of crude oil and dieso, in the next convoy, SC 168*, departing Halifax on Febr. 25, arriving Liverpool March 13. Going back to Page 4, we learn that she continued to Eastham, Ellesmere Port, Manchester and Runcorn (the captain says Vera departed Manchester for New York on March 15-1945, but according to the archive document she had arrived Manchester on that date, leaving for Runcorn on March 20). She subsequently went back to Liverpool, joining the westbound Convoy ONS 45* on March 22. This convoy arrived Halifax on Apr. 11, but Vera arrived Philadelphia on the 14th.

Shortly thereafter, she proceeded to Halifax in order to join Convoy SC 174* on Apr. 28, with arrival Liverpool May 15; in other words, VE Day was celebrated at sea. She again continued to Eastham and Manchester (Page 4), before returning to Liverpool, then joined the westbound Convoy ONS 51* on May 21 (the captain of Minerva served as Vice Commodore). This convoy also had Halifax as its final destination (June 4), but Vera arrived New York on June 6. From Page 5 we learn that she continued to Philadelphia that same day, with arrival June 7. When she returned to the U.K. a few days later she sailed alone with all lights lit. Page 5 shows her voyages up to and including most of Apr.-1946. The document indicates she headed home to Norway in March-1946, but arrival date is not given.

* The ON and ONS convoys will be added to individual pages in my Convoys section in due course, 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 and on the page for ships in all ONS convoys. The entire SC series will also be updated and completed (including the already existing convoys), but for now, please go to ships in all SC convoys. As will be seen, they all had several Norwegian ships.

More information on the other Norwegian ships named on this page can be found via the alphabet index below, or go to the Master Ship Index.


According to this external page, she was owned by Billners Rederi A/B (A. Billner) Gothenburg, Sweden from May-1947, renamed Kjell. Renamed Kjell Billner in 1950. From Jan.-1956, owned by Sveriges Oljekonsumenters Riksförbund, Stockholm, Sweden, renamed Oktania. Converted to barge in Sept.-1962 and renamed Ok-Heistad. Sold in Nov.-1964 to Eckhardt & Co. GmbH, Hamburg for breaking up.

Back to M/T Vera on the "Ships starting with V" page.

Norway had previously had another ship by this name (steamship), built in Denmark 1903, 1222 gt, A. F. Klaveness. Broken up in 1933.

The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, "19 Oslo-skips historie under verdenskrigen, fra April 1940 til krigens slutt i 1945" (The story of 19 Oslo ships during WW II), Harald Nicolaisen - 1945, "The Allied Convoy System", Arnold Hague, and misc. - (ref. My sources).


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