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Picture taken from CONVOY, Merchant Sailors at War 1939-1945
Picture taken from CONVOY, Merchant Sailors at War 1939-1945

Unfortunately I am unable to help with individual queries.

Please use the links below for advice on where to look for help.

This page covers only the ships my late

Norwegian grandfather, Magne O.J. Dypevåg, served on.


Click here to see Magne's Statement of Sea Service




I have Magne's passports stamped from the following destinations:

Istanbul, Bergen, Antwerp, Tyne, Stavanger, Reykjavik, Blyth, Göteborg, Helsingør, Sydbanen, Hålsingborg, Germany, Norrköping, Charlottenberg, Dover, Jacksonville, Alexandria, Jamaica, Clyde, Manchester, CCCP, London, Oslo, Pakistan, Bankok, Talbot, Leith, Liverpool, Amsterdam, Ardrossan, Sunderland, Dundee, Hull, Algiers, India...




Take a look at the dates some of these ships were lost, Magne (Mac) was one of the luckiest merchant mariners alive at the end of the war!

Magne's son, George, also worked on some of the following ships.


"Magne's" Ships:

For a full list, description, photos and history on ALL of Norways merchant fleet during WWII click here:


Can anyone identify this?
Related Pages:


Norway's Occupation & Norwegian Merchant Marine during WWII
On the afternoon of the 8 April 1940 Major-General William Steffens, the commander of the 4th Norwegian Division and the land defense of the Bergen peninsula, received the news that a German transport ship, the Rio de Janeiro, had been sunk near Lillesand on the south coast, three nautical miles off land. He realised that an attack on neutral Norway was imminent, and issued orders for immediate readiness.
Some hours earlier, the commander of the Western Naval Defense, Rear-Admiral Carsten Tank-Nielsen, had issued the following order:
"All vessels must return to their stations immediately, complete their stocks and make ready for war."
The various guardships were on vigil at the entrances to Bergen harbour, but when heavy German cruisers approached in the night, their fire proved ineffective. The forts had better guns. But when the Kvarven fort had fired its first shots, one of the German vessels signaled in English "Stop firing, good friends", and the Norwegian searchlight revealed the war pennant of the Royal Navy fluttering from her mast. For a while the Norwegian commander was bewildered, and some time passed before the fort reopened fire, but then with good effect.

Artwork by Adolf Bock, 1941
Light cruisers Köln and Königsberg
landing troops at Bergen, 9th April 1940.
Thus the cruiser Königsberg, camouflaged as H.M.S. Calcutta, was struck by three direct hits. But in spite of losses the German ships forced the southern entrance to the harbour; they lowered landing-craft, and after a short fight the small garrison was forced to withdraw.

German soldiers marching along Oslo's main street.

The Storting (Parliament) in the background.

Bergen had fallen into German hands. Seven other targets of the attack were captured within 24 hours, as was the Norwegian naval base at Horten.

The Germans used the excuse that they came to 'protect' Norway's neutrality! Hitler was led to believe from Vidkun Quisling that the French and British were going to enter Norwegian waters.

Norwegian Nazis looked upon themselves as real patriots, but were totally dependent on German military power.

Vidkun Quisling (second from right) is shown arriving at Akershus castle for the ceremony in which he was appointed Ministerpresident on 1st February 1942.


Franco-British troops were planning to cross Norway in an effort to help Finland in its fight with the Soviet Union. In fact this was a ruse to stop Germany's supply of iron ore by using Narvik as an allied base to supply the Finns and occupying the Swedish iron ore mines. There were also plans to lay mines along the Norwegian coast forcing German shipments of ore out of neutral water into open seas. This was inevitable, Norway was incapable of maintaining its neutrality, the race was on, but Britain 'missed the bus!' through inaction and indecision.

German soldiers in Norway 1940

Although the treat of occupation was never very far away (Norway was always a strong strategic point), it's armed forces were ill prepared when the actual attack started.

Deutscher Panzer in Norway April 1940

By the beginning of May, the military resistance of South Norway had been broken. To the north, in the Narvik region, German forces were outnumbered and were driven back toward the Swedish border. But the Western Allies chose to withdraw due to their setbacks on the Western Front (very shortly after the occupation of Norway started German troops were marching through France. Germany then became a direct treat to British shores! An invasion was thought to be imminent). After 62 days, the German campaign had succeeded. Norwegian defense and security policies had suffered a total defeat. King Haakon VII, Crown Prince Olaf, and their aides-de-camp were evacuated at 8pm on 7 June 1940 on the British cruiser HMS Devonshire. It would be five years before they could return.

Norwegian Machinegunner fighting at Tonsåsen

King & Prince

Two days after the departure of the King and the Nygaardsvold government the demobilization began of General Fleischer's 6th Division, which, in conjunction with the Allied Expeditionary Force, had defended North-Norway. In a short time the whole coast as far as the Russian border fell into German hands. After two months of separation the Norwegian mainland had again been united, but under enemy occupation.

Before Germany attacked Norway on 9 April 1940 the Norwegians strove to remain neutral in the war. However working ships were often 'mistaken' for Allied ships and fired upon without warning.

picture by Bjørn Jervås
Magne Dypevag

It was no doubt one of the main objectives of the Germans, when they occupied Norway, to capture or neutralise as much as they could of the Norwegian Merchant Marine. However the overwhelming part of the ships - over 4,000,000 tons - was sailing on the great oceans and lying in ports all over the world. The Germans immediately attempted to paralyse the shipping trade, succeeding in cutting off the connection between the ships and the shipowners in Norway. On 10th April the Germans made an announcement through the Norwegian broadcasting system in which all Norwegian ships were required to proceed to the nearest neutral or Norwegian port where they could then be arrested on behalf of the shipowners resident in Norway. Norse captains refused, and it was only the coastal fleet that fell into the hands of the Germans. These were mostly small and old units.

It was immediately clear that Norwegian shipowners resident in the German occupied part of Norway were no longer able to undertake the management of their ships. However an immediate decision as to how to handle this was not forthcoming, the British wanted to take over control but Norways Government objected. It was not until 16th April that an announcement was received from the Government in Norway giving instruction for Norwegian vessels to follow the directions given by the Allied Navies, and not to take orders from shipowners in areas of Norway occupied by the Germans, nor to follow the directions given by the Germans through the Norwegian broadcasting stations. In order to get the ships into normal service again under the Norwegian flag a shipping committee was appointed to take care of all administration pertaining to the Norwegian Merchant Marine (see 'Nortraship').
Norwegian ships were operating on all the great oceans during the war. The duties which they performed and the transports which they undertook were so varied that it is impossible to give a brief comprehensive survey of them. The most conspicuous feature is perhaps the participation of Norwegian ships in the operation of war. One or more Norwegian ships took part in almost every major naval war operation from the evacuation of Dunkirk in the end of May, 1940, until the invasion of the North Coast of France four years later.


See the list of ships at Norway's Merchant fleet during WWII


Armored TrainPatrol for Norwegian Partisans

Armored train patrol searching for Norwegian partisans

Bergensfjord - 1944
The Norwegian America Line's "Bergensfjord" was engaged as a troop carrier during
the whole war, and took part in the invasion of Sicily and of the Italian mainland.
This picture was taken off the Gold Coast one day in January 1944.
Many stories could be told about the efforts made by the Norwegian ships to help the military forces. The Norwegian vessels were completely unarmed and did not have any protection against mines in the early part of the war. Despite this Norwegian seamen continued to offer their support to the Allies. Main duties were that of war transports, supply services etc. including the supply of food, ammunition and reinforcements to the front lines, besides evacuating the wounded. Most of the vessels were employed in ordinary services transporting raw materials and finished products to America and Great Britain. Although the main support was given in Europe Norway also had a large part to play in the supply service for the army and navy units fighting against the Japanese. When Soviet Russia came into the war considerable shipments were sent to the Persian Gulf using Norwegian vessels. And when India was threatened by Japan it was the Norge ships who supplied munitions and goods for its defense.
Captured Norwegian crews were usually given the choice of going home to Norway, signing on French ships, or being interred in North Africa. A few went home but most of them chose to go into captivity. Norwegian captives received unbelievably bad treatment and many seamen tried to escape, fleeing to Allied areas.
Finding the time and resources to arm ships was sometimes impossible but Norwegian seamen continued to sail in spite of the almost hopeless situation. Norwegian seamen also faced the most dangerous of convoys and routes throughout the world. Mines as well as attacks by German U-boat, wolf packs, and bombers brought several reports of lost ships to Nortraship's offices almost daily. However, by the course of the second half of 1943, due to advancing technologies, war losses started to decline. So much so that January 1944 reported no war losses at all. And after the Allies captured the German submarine bases on the French Coast, the losses of ships were further reduced.
Ursa - 1944
The Ursa attacked, with the rest of its convoy, by aircraft on the 19th September, 1944
Between April 1940 and August 1944 almost 3000 Norwegian seamen lost their lives, nearly one-tenth of those who chose to serve on the ships managed by Nortraship. About 500 of the 1081 ships were lost.

Click here to view Norway's Ministry of Foreign Affairs' account of WWII




From the book Atlantic Roulette:

In July 1941 the German Admiral Raeder said that the only way to defeat Britain was to engage in decisive war against her merchant shipping.  The entire might of Kriegsmarine was focused onto achieving this.   Despite the early introduction of the convoy system the RN was stretched so thinly throughout all the oceans that the crucial Atlantic convoys lacked the necessary protection.  During 1940-1942 transatlantic convoys were slaughtered wholesale and the U-boats dubbed this their Happy Time...

Sinking of an armed troop transport in Mediterranean

...Life on a tanker was as dangerous as anything the fighting services could offer, but a merchant seaman ashore wore civilian clothes and was frequently maligned in the pubs and dancehalls.  At sea he lived in appalling conditions and was fed filthy, cockroach-laden food.  When U-boats struck he spent his 'rest' standing by on the boat deck, expecting the worst.  When his ship was sunk his pay was immediately stopped...

...The weaponless civilian Merchant Navy could never have won the war.  But without it, the war would certainly have been lost.



Flotilla Song
Mel: Lilli Marlene

Up to Cola Inlet, back to Scapa Flow,
soon we shall be calling for oil at Petsamo.
Why does it always seem to be
Flotilla number twenty-three,
up in the Arctic Ocean,
up in the Barents Sea.

Now and then we get a slightly diff'rent job,
but it's always screening around the same old mob,
watching the «A» boys prang the hun,
with ne'er a chance to fire a gun,
up in the Arctic Ocean,
up in the Barents Sea.

Once we were in Harbour swinging round the buoy,
waiting for the Drifter, but still there was no joy.
In came a signal weigh, proceed
at your best speed, great is our need.
Up in the Arctic Ocean,
up in the Barents Sea.

When we are in Harbour, do we get a rest,
all we get are signals invariably addressed
«Stord» with love from your «Comm.D».
Why are you here, get back to sea,
back to the Arctic Ocean,
back to the Barents Sea.

What is it to have a crazy no. 1,
all the rest are chockers, but they have just begun.
Poor wretched pilot sits and drinks.
The captain thinks: the whole thing stinks,
we hate the Arctic Ocean.
We hate the Barents Sea.

German U-boat in Barents Sea. Shelling of Alexandrovsk.


Rudzin's Diary - Siri Lawson's translation of part of this personal account.

My thanks to Alistair Simpson CD RCNR
The Norwegian Shipping and Trade Mission - Nortraship ¹

Have you or someone you know worked for the Norwegian Merchant Marine?

Why not buy a high quality embroidered badge showing the very rare Nortraship flag?

I am inquiring on the design and will let you know prices if you e-mail me with the quantities required

(I have managed to get someone to produce a master copy of the embroidered flag, it looks fantastic!)

Or would you prefer to use an iron-on transfer? These can be supplied in almost any size. However they must be ironed onto white cotton. They look great! Contact me for prices. Typical price is only £1 for an A6 sized transfer. offer a large 72 x 48inch Notraship flag for around £74

Just 16 days after the occupation of Norway had begun the newly created organization named "The Norwegian Shipping and Trade Mission" or, as it was usually called, "Nortraship" rented offices in the City of London. They were to take care of the management of the Norwegian Merchant Marine.
Nortraship became the official body for the administration of the Norwegian Merchant Marine during the war. It was formally under the control of the Ministry of Supply, but it occupied a very independent position, and the Director of Shipping, Mr Øivind Lorentzen, a well known Norwegian shipowner, with the powers he had been given by the Government, held very great authority in all shipping matters. As far as the administration was concerned, it was therefore possible to build up Notraship as a business organization on the model of the large shipping companies. Actually, on taking over the entire Norwegian Fleet sailing abroad, Nortraship became the largest shipping company in the world. It had at its disposal, when it started, over 4 million gross tons of shipping, and about 25,000 Norwegian seamen were in its service besides about 1,000 salaried staff who were employed at Nortraship's offices.

German U-boat versus English steamer.

Find out more at

When the Director of Shipping took up his work in London there was actually no basis from which he could start to work. The little group of Norwegian shipping people who were gathered in 144 Leadenhall Street knew that a large number of Norwegian ships was scattered all over the seven seas, but they had scant information about where these ships were going. With the assistance of the British Ministry of Shipping they soon managed, however, to get a general idea of the composition of the Norwegian tonnage which was at the disposal of Nortraship. Through the Norwegian Consuls and by direct communication with the captains information was also gradually received as to how the ships were employed. As it became clear what wold have to be undertaken, the Nortraship organization was gradually built up.
It was soon realised that it would be impossible to administer the entire Norwegian Merchant Marine from England. The war situation was also so menacing that it might be necessary to move away from London, as a result of which Nortraship might loose contact with the ships. In June, 1940, therefore, the Director of Shipping and some of his assistants went to the United States where they set up an office in New York, while Mr. Hysing Olsen, a Bergen shipowner and the representative of The Norwegian Shipowners' Association in Great Britain, took charge of the London office. The organization in America gradually took up the same range of activities as the office in London and the two organizations were in every respect given equality of status.   Several other offices were later opened to handle things further afield i.e. Bombay, Calcutta, Reykjavik and others.
m/v scebeli?
The British Government requesitioned all English shipping at the start of WWII.  In service, the ships remained under the management of the line owners, who acted as agents for the Ministry of Supply, and later for the Ministry of War Transport, which, on 1st May 1941, was formed from the Ministries of Transport and of Shipping.  Experts from the shipping lines, with civil servants from the Ministries, formed a central planning group which, for the duration of the war, was to decide where the ships would sail and what cargoes they would carry.  The owners remained responsible for maintaining and provisioning their ships, while the newley-formed Merchant Navy Pool assumed the task of crewing.



The Crew


Onboard a merchant ship, the Captain (or Master) had command; his deck officers were normally the Chief Officer (or First Mate), the Second Officer (or Mate), responsible for navigation, and the Third Officer (or Mate), responsible for signals.  The Radio Officer was responsible for WT communications.   And there would also probably be an Apprentice - a deck officer under training.   The Boatswain was the senior deck rating, and under him were the Able (certified) and Ordinary (non-certified) Seamen and deck boys.  The Ships Carpenter maintained the woodwork and plumbing above decks.

The Chief Engineer answered for the operation of the engines and ancillary equipment, the Second Engineer for the maintenance, and the Third for the electrics.  There was also a Fourth Engineer to share the watches, and under their supervision came the Donkeyman (senior engine room rating), the firemen, the trimmers (or stokers) and greasers.

The Chief Steward was in charge of all catering, with a chief cook in charge of the galley, a second cook, and an assistant steward who served the officers and attended to their cabins.

In the tramp steamers, only the master and chief engineer had their own cabins, with a toilet and bath; the deck officers shared cabins amidships below the bridge, while the engineer officers' were above the engine room.   The rest of the crew slept in two-tier iron framed bunks below the forecastle head - not the most stable portion of the ship - usually with the firemen and greasers on the port side, and the seamen, the bosun and carpenter to starboard, and they all queued up to use the head.

"It was the long Atlantic trips that were worst for cabin conditions," said one seaman, "especially on the lower decks, where the portholes couldn't be opened.  As many as eight men ate, slept, smoked and broke wind, and generally lived in those 'glory holes' with their damp clothes."


Although the following excerpts are taken from the Royal Naval Patrol Service's handbook, standards and roles would have been fairly similar for those serving as engineers in Norway's Merchant Navy.

The RNPS Engineering Handbook of 1941...

Duties of the Engineman Generally...
It is the duty of the Engineman and all ratings of his staff to do all in their power to maintain the efficiency of the machinery and to steam the ship with all possible economy consistent with safety.  With this end in view two of the most important factors to be considered are the early appreciation of the unsatisfactory behavior of any part of the machinery with subsequent action to prevent serious damage occurring and the prevention of loss of feed water...

Other parts of the manual explain about the Engine Room Log which has to be kept, detailing damage or accident to personnel or machinery and account of any unusual occurrence in the engine room (e.g. propeller fouling, ship grounding etc).

The handbook also states...

...Enginemen must, and Stokers should, be able to write and read fairly well, and know the first four rules of Arithmetic, that is Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication and Division; also Enginemen must be capable of making simple calculations involving the use of Simple, Vulgar and Decimal fractions, also Weights and Measures.  Enginemen will find that this knowledge is necessary for them to be able to make calculations relating to quantities of coal in bunkers, oil and water in tanks, etc.

During the war, merchant ship engine crews may have had the toughest of all jobs.  They could hear the gunfire and feel the explosions, often not knowing when they were in trouble.  When their ship was hit, they frequently could not make it up escape ladders or escape trunks (Jacob's ladders hung down the ventilators).  These engine crews kept the generators on line to launch boats.   Records show that most casualties on merchant ships were among the engine crews.
From Convoy, merchant sailors at war 1939-1945.

"the men in the engine-room suffered the tortures of the damned, never knowing when a torpedo might tear through the thin plates of the hull, sending their ship plunging to the bottom before they had a chance to reach the first rung of the ladder to the deck"

Edwards (1989)

*Notraship Flåt 1940-41
Norwegian Engineer
The engine room was often the brunt of torpedoes.


s/s Vilhelm Torkildsen

Vilhelm Torkildsen
Vilhelm Torkildsen
Havana, Cuba
Built 1949 by Blyth Drydock & Shipbuilding Co Ltd, Blyth, for Skibs A/S Vilhelm Torkildsens Rederi (manager Vilhelm Torkildsen)
2458 gt; 1376 nt; 3600 dwt
draught 18 ft 10 in
could carry 6 first class passengers
triple expansion engine, speed 13 knots

see a picture of George Dypevåg onboard the Vilhelm Torkildsen, returning from the USSR.

s/s Alaska



Notraship Flåte 1942-45²

d/s Alaska in Portugal, 1942, after surviving being torpedoed.
Compare the size of the hole with the people!
Steel single screw steamer; 2 steel decks. General cargo vessel.


Funnel colours (c1939)
Hull: Black with white band, red boot-topping.


Gross Registered Tons:


Deadweight Tonnage:



Length 426feet 6inches × Breadth 54feet 5inches × Draught 24feet 2inches

Call Sign:



July 1918, by J. Coughlan & Sons Ltd. in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.


Triple expansion steam engine fitted for oil fuel, 528 nominal horsepower. Built by Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd. Newcastle.

Service speed:



Dampskips A/S Alaska


Christian Haaland, Haugesund

Port of Registry:


Operators War Services:

General tramping; oil and petroleum trades.

Alaska - taken from Christian Haaland company history.


Completed July 1918 by J. Coughlan & Sons, Vancouver, as the ALASKA for the Shipping Controller, she had been laid down for Damps A/S Alaska, Haugesund, but was requisitioned after launching and placed under the management of Furness, Withy & Co.  She returned to her owners after de-requisitioning in 1920.   In 1924 she was re-engined with triple expansion engines, to give her speed of 10 knots.  Renamed PEEL COUNTY in 1930 for the same owners.  Reverted back to the name ALASKA in 1933 still under the same owners.  WWII Uteflåte.  She was sold in 1950 to Deutsche Seeverkehr A.G. Erich Lubbert & Co., Hamburg. She was renamed REG III in 1951 and later named EBBA BLUMENFELD.  1956 saw her sold again to Nordatlantische Kohlen-Schiffahrts G.m.b.H. Hamburg and renamed MANFRED STANSFIELD.  She was eventually scrapped in 1956 at Hamburg.

While traveling from Freetown to Britain the convoy she was with was attacked.   The convoy's rescue ship was sunk and, on 30th October 1942, while Alaska was attempting to retrieve survivors from a torpedoed French ship she was torpedoed herself by the German submarine U-510.  13 days later Captain Berge Mevatne managed to take her to Tagus (see picture above) with all her crew and the 56 survivors from the French ship, a few rescued Danish sailors and most of her own valuable cargo.

Click here to view this account as described in the company publication for Christian Haaland.

Magne served onboard this ship:
April 1943 - June 1943.
at/around: Tyne.

Cecilie Brøvig



°The Fleet of Leif Hoegh & Co. A.S. Oslo 1928-1968

Hoegh Clair (1949 - 1955) later renamed Cecilie Brøvig


Th. Brovig Funnel
Compound Expansion Engine.
Code Letters: LNIM
Built: 1948, by A/S Fredrikstad M/V
Service speed: ?.
Owner: A/S Egelanmds, Norway.
Sold: 1949 became 'Hoegh Clair', 1958 renamed 'Utsira', sold again to Th. Brøvig, Farsund, Norway in 1960 & renamed 'Cecilie Brøvig'.  Later sold to Hyundai of South Korea and renamed 'Atlas Pioneer' in 1968.
Port of Registry: Farsund


Magne served onboard this ship:
13 April 1959 - 5 April 1960.
as: 2nd Engineer.

s/s Bjerka

ss Levisa
Funnel Colour (c1939)
Hull: Black
Steel single screw steamer; 1 steel deck.
Call Sign: LDLX
Tonnage: 1893 (3100 deadweight)
Construction: 1916, by Detroit Ship Building Co. in Wyandotte, Michigan.
Propulsion: Triple expansion engine fitted for oil, 274 NHP. Built by the same company as the hull.
Dimensions: Length 261feet × Breadth 43feet 10inches × Draught 17feet 10inches
Service speed: 9.5knots.
Owner: Skibs A/S Orion.
Bruusgaard, Martin, and Halfdan Bodtker-Næss Jr (Shipping Co.),
Sjøfartsbygningen, Kongensgaten 6, Oslo.
Sold: A/S Nesjar (Eilert Lund) 1939.  Name change  was 1929, launched as Clinchfield.
Port of Registry: Oslo.
War Services: General tramping.


m/s Arabella

Photo by Frank Pawlowski
2 S.A 5 cylinder Burmeister & Wayne engine.


Code Letters: JXDF
Built: 1957/9, by Moss Vaerft & Dokk A/S Moss.
Tonnage: 6845gross tons, 10300deadweight
Service speed: 11.4kn.
Owner: M. Chr. Stray, Kristiansand S, Norway.
Port of Registry: Kristiansand
  Ore carrier.
...M/S Arabella was an "iron ore carrier" and she was on a long term charter to British Steel, we did visit Narvik in Norway but we also went to Africa, Canada and Spain to load the Iron ore. We always discharged the cargo in at various ports in the UK. I would think that it was the same when your grandfather was onboard.
I worked onboard as a Lettmatros, in English an Ordinary Seaman and I was there in 1971, when I was there she had a very good crew and she was overall a very good ship. Most of the crew were Norwegian...

...Regards Frank

Magne served onboard this ship:
19 November 1963 - 31 January 1964.
as: 2nd Engineer

s/s Marstenen

My thanks to Roger Jordan for this picture.
s/s Baltrover, ex Marstenen
United Baltic Corporation Funnel (c.1950)
Funnel Colours Vil. Tork. (c.1939):
Yellow with three narrow red bands, black top


Four cylinder complound steam engine.
Code Letters: GKSQ
Launched: 21 April 1949 at Fredriksstad.
Tonnage: 2168gross ton (3260 deadweight)
Dimensions: L 349feet 11inches × B 50feet 11inch × D 18feet 9inches.
Owner: Skibs A/S Vilhelm Torkildsens Rederi
Port of Registry: London
Manager: Vilhelm Torkildsen, Kong Oscarsgate 62, Postboks 38, Bergen.


Sailed from Hamburg 1st March 1950 for Izmir, Turkey, and passed Gibraltar on 9th March.  She had been sold a few days previously to a British company, United Baltic Corporation Ltd, London.  When she was delivered later in 1950, she was renamed Baltrover.  She was then on continuous service from London to Baltic ports, mainly Poland and Finland.

(This ship should not be confused with the s/s MARSTENEN, ex. VIV (built 1915) that sunk on the 30th August 1940, Bombed by German aircraft, 58 23N 02 37W, no deaths.)

Magne served onboard this ship:
17 June 1949 - 22 February 1950.
as: 2nd Engineer.

s/s Fana


Code Letters: LHWP
Built: 1950 at Blyth.
Tonnage: 2459gross tons
Dimensions: 322.2feet Long × 46.2feet Beam × 18.2feet Deep
Hull: Grey, green boot topping.?
Owners: Skibs A/S Vilhelm Torkildsens Rederi, Bergen.
Port of Registry: Bergen
Services: General Tramping around Europe, Great Lakes?.

Picture by Wagner Hansen

e-mail recieved 8th Dec. 2002

Dear mr. Dypevåg !

This picture was taken in Århus - Denmark. It was taken juli 12. 1950, and your grandfather Magne was 2. enginer on board at this day. I know because I toke service on board on this day.
Probably it was her first journey. Coal from England to Denmark.
Some were on your web site I saw the picture, and there he was.Exactly as I remember him. We worked on same turn in the engineroom but I was only "maskingut". 17 years old.
The captain on "Fana" was Nic. Knudsen and he was a war hero I later found out. I did not knew that day back i 1950, when he resolute hive me to the bathroom and under the shower because I was a little drunk.
Later on I served on the norwegian vessel S/S Askepot.

Med mange hilsener

Wagner Hansen

9th Dec. 2002

Ryomgård monday

You are very fast mr. Dypevaag.

Thank you very much - I am the one who is thanking because you have made this wonderful site.
Yes I live in Denmark now a days, but I have some relations to your area. In 1951 I lived in South Shields for half a year, and I was engaged to a very nice girl there. I wonder how she looks to day ?
Well I had exactly the same feeling as you described, when I suddenly saw Magne. I got the past right between my eyes. The result was, that I started a searching for all my old ships, and I found theme all. Their history to the very end I also got. Finally I made it as a book. "To whom it may concern" I called the book. Maybe my children or grandchildren wants to know some day : "Who was this funny old man" ?
Last time I saw Magne was in Gøteborg just before christmas 1950. For the one and only time we shaked hand, becource he also signed of and we were a bit sloppy becource of christmas.

Nu til slut en rigtig glædelig Jul til dig og dine ?? I wish you a merry christmas.

Wagner Hansen

(Not to be confused with the older Fana which was renamed Bergamo in 1947).

Magne served onboard this ship:
27 March 1950 - 13 December 1950,
1 February 1952 - 15 August 1953,
18 February 1954 - 3 August 1954.
as: 2nd Engineer - Engineer.


s/s Bergamo

s/s BERGAMO, ex. FANA, later ALPERA
Picture from Krigsseileren, 1989 Nr. 4
s/s Fana, later the Bergamo

Fred Olsen & Co. Funnel


Code Letters:
Built: 1939 at Nylands Verksted, Oslo.
Tonnage: 1396 gross tons
Dimensions: 250.9feet Long × 41.3foot Beam × 14.3feet Deep
Grey, green boot topping.?
Fred. Olsen & Co. (1947-49)
John Bruce, Glasgow (1949+)
'Bergamo' on 1 June 1947.
'Alpera' in 1949.
Port of Registry: Oslo
General Tramping around Europe, Great Lakes?.


Magne served onboard this ship:
10 March 1947 - 31 May 1947 (Fana),
1 June 1947 - 2 Sep 1947 (Bergamo).
as: 2nd Engineer - Engineer


s/s Facto

s/s FACTO, ex. OCTO
Funnel Colours (c1939):
Black with white S on broad red band
between two narrow white bands.


Steel single screw steamer; 1 steel deck.


Call Sign: LCIY
Funnel: Black with white S on broad red band between 2 narrow white bands.
Tonnage: 1522gross (2500 deadweight).
Dimensions: Length 244feet 68inches × Breadth 39feet 6inches × Draught 17feet 1inch.
Construction: November 1921, by Larvik Slip & Verksted A/S in Larvik.
Propulsion: Triple expansion engine, 138 NHP.
Trial speed: 9.5knots.
Owner: A/S D/S Facto.
Manager: B Stølt-Nielsen & Sønner A/S, Haugesund
Port of Registry: Haugesund.
War Services: General tramping.

d/s Nyland

Constructed: 1940, Nylands Shipyard, Oslo.
Tonnage: 1374ton (2605 Deadweight)
Dimensions: L 250.9feet × B 41feet 4inches × D 14.8feet.
Speed: ?
Owner: Vilhelm Torkildsen, Bergen.
Port of Registry: Bergen
NYLAND was on a voyage from River Tyne to Mackenzie (captained by Otto Kampevold), was last sighted on the evening of 5 December 1940 by the Norwegian steamer MARGA off Skerryvore. On 5 December she met terrible weather and tried to get into harbour.  However a SOS was received from NYLAND that she had ran aground on West Rock, Isle of Iona, and was about to break up. A tug boat was sent out to assist, but found no trace of crew nor ship. Crew consisted of 20; 1 was Dutch, 1 from New Foundland, 2 Swedish, 1 British, 2 Canadians and 1 Danish.  Nothing more was heard of the ship or crew until a piece of wreckage bearing her name was found two weeks later.

(Not to be confused with the Swedish s/s NYLAND war loss 28 Oct 1939).
Magne served onboard this ship:
April 1940 - November 1940.
at/around: Bristol (May); Newcastle (Nov.).
as: Fireman.

s/s Rimfakse

by Bjørn Milde
Code Letters: LERO
Built: 1921, Kockums M.V. Aktieb, Malmö
Tonnage: 1334gross tons, 2200deadweight tons
Dimensions: 235.5feet Long × 37.7foot Beam × 16.5feet Depth
Owners: D/S A/S Ringhorne
Manager: Albert Schjelderup, Bergen
Port of Registry: Bergen
Rigging: Steel single screw steamer; 1 deck; fitted with wireless; water ballast.
Propulsion: Triple expansion engine.
Time Chartered by U.K. Govt. 28 Jun 1940 until sunk - war cause 27 Apr 1941 off Scotland (11 days after Magne signed off at Blyth).

Captain in 1941 was Ivar Lønne.

She left Loch Ewe alone on 25th April 1941 with 1900 tons coal for Iceland. On the 27th, at 01.50 o’clock in position 60 10N 08 54W, she was torpedoed by U-147 (Wetjen) and sank in 2 mins. 8 men managed to get on a raft, they heard the others’ shouts out in the dark and answered them to let them know which direction the raft was in, but didn’t have anything to maneuver the raft with. They could see the U-boat in the direction the voices were coming from, but it soon disappeared.  After 2 hours the shouts stopped. At dawn the 8 managed to paddle over to another raft, which they tied to the one they were on and distributed themselves on the 2, no survivors were to be seen in the sea. At 12:45 they were observed by D/S Hengist of Leith and taken to Crabster. 10 Norwegians had died. The captain kept hoping that the U-boat had picked up some of the men in the sea, but that turned out not to be so.

Magne served onboard this ship:
January 1941 - April 1941.
at/around: Sunderland & Blyth.
as: Cook.

s/s Spurt



Funnel Colours (c1939):
Black with black L&S on white band
Hull: Black


general cargo vessel


Code Letters: LCKL
Constructed: 1918, GLakeE.
Tonnage: 2061ton (3360 deadweight)
Dimensions: L 261feet 10inches × B 43feet 9inches × D 19feet 10inches
Speed: 9knots
Owner: Skibs-A/S Lundegaard
Manager: Lundegaard & Sonner, (A, T & M Lundegaard), Farsund.
Port of Registry: Farsund
Name Change: From Craincreek to Spurt in 1929.
War Services: General tramping
Magne served onboard this ship:
June 1941 - October 1941.
at/around: Newcastle & Dundee.
as: Donkeyman.

m/v Utsira

Souvenir photo of George Dypevåg and the ship he was working on, Utsira.

Docked at Lagos, Nigeria, West Africa 1959.


2 S.A 7 cylinder oil engine.
Construction: 1955, by Oresundsvarvet A/B, Lindskrona, Sweden.
Service speed: 13kn.
Owner: Rederi A/S Kosmos (Anders Jahr & Co. A/S), Sandefjord, Norway.

Vilhelm Torkildsen, Bergen, Norway in 1968, renamed UTSIRA.

Sold in March 1969 to Astro Epico Cia. Nav. S.A., Panama. Renamed TERRY.

Transferred in May 1976 to Greek flag and homeport changes to Piraeus, renamed EFTERPI.

Sold in November 1980 to Pakistan breakers and arrived Gadani Beach 2 Jan 1981 to be broken up.

Magne served onboard this ship:
12 February 1964 - 2 March 1964.
as: Assistant Engineer

s/s Bestum

Triple steam engine


Signal: LEGA
Constructed: 1919, Dominion Shipbuilding Co. Ltd., Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Gross Tonnage: 2215
Deadweight Tons: 3630
Dimensions: Length 261feet × Breadth 43feet 11inches × Draught 21feet.
Speed: 9knots
Owner: Skibs-A/S Grøm
Manager: Einersen, K Th,  Sjøfartsbygningen 545-7, Kongensgaten 6, Oslo.
Port of Registry: Oslo, Norway
Renamed: HESSA in 1934.
War Services: General tramping
1940 - April 9th until 1945 May 7th controlled by Nortraship London.
1940 Aug. 30th took part in Convoy SC 42 consisting of a total of 64 ships from Sydney C.B. (Cape Breton) to UK ports. Bardon Christophersen was captain of Bestum at the time.  During U-boat attacks Bestum got away from the convoy, but later reached Icelandic port.
1941 Nov. ran aground near Shipwash.
1941 Nov. 22nd Vessel refloated, taken in tow to Harwich. The vessel was again attacked by German aircraft, and a bomb knocked a hole in Hold No. 2, whereupon the vessel came to rest at a depth of 20 feet.  After about a week she was successfully refloated again and taken to Harwich for the unloading of her cargo (coal) and repairs.
Magne served onboard this ship:
May 1942 - December 1942.
at/around: Newcastle & Reykjavik
as: 3rd Engineer.
In early July 1942, a convoy from New York took the U.S.Tenth Infantry Regiment, Fifth Infantry Division to Iceland to relieve a Canadian contingent that was stationed there.  If the Bestum wasn't a part of the convoy from New York, it most likely was in the convoy that took the Canadians to UK.  On 19th February 1943 a large convoy took the rest of the Fifth Infantry Division (The Second Infantry Regiment and the Eleventh Infantry Regiment) to Iceland to relieve U.S. Marines stationed there.
Convoys would form up in 1941 and 42 at Iceland for runs to Murmansk, Russia.  It is entirely possible that Bestum was a part of one or more of those convoys.

Magne's Passport is stamped Reykjavik 24th July 1942.

(An extremely dangerous time to be running around these waters - perhaps Reykjavik to/from Loch Ewe, Murmansk, Kola Inlet and/or Archangel (PQ/JW/QP/RA convoys))
Read:  Convoy is to scatter by Captain Jack Broome ISBN: 7183 0332 6
Quoted from the above book on PQ 17 (PQ17 sailed early July 1942) - "It only needs a map to convince anyone that, with the territorial situation as it was in the summer of 1942, sailing a convoy from Iceland to Murmansk was dicey.  Sailing it through permanent daylight without air cover, but well within range of almost permanent enemy air attack, was dicier...
Sailing.... in the opinion of the Commander-in-Chief, Home Fleet, [was] plain crazy."  pp84.

s/s Norlom

1919, Skinnr.
6326ton (9698 Deadweight)
L 415feet 11inches × B 54feet 10inches × 26feet 7inches.
United States Maritime Commission, Department of Commerce Bldg, Washington DC.
Port of Registry: Oslo


Registered as a U.K. tramp steamer then transferred to Norwegian flag 2 Oct 1942.
Previous owners UK Ministry of Transport.
Managers J.A .Billmeir Co Ltd.
Time Chartered by U.K. Govt. until total loss - war cause 2 Dec 1943.

2nd December 1943 bombed by German aircraft, sunk following explosion on ammunition ship, Bari harbour (7†, 36 surv); November 1946 refloated; 1947 broken up at Bari.

Magne served onboard this ship:
January 1943.
at/around: Newcastle.

m/v Scebeli

Funnel Colour (c1939)
Hull: Black with white band, red boot-topping.
Motor vessel
Code Letters: LJJT
Constructed: 1937, Akt. Burmeister & Wain, Copenhagen.
Tonnage: 3025ton (2250 deadweight)
Dimensions: Length 336feet × Breadth 45feet 10inches × Draught 19feet
Speed: 15.5knots
Owner: Skibs A/S Thorsholm
Manager: A/S Thor Dahl, Sandefjord.
Fruit carrier.
Port of Registry: Sandefjord
War Services: General tramping; oil and petroleum trades; whaling.
Riggin: Steel single screw motor vessel; 1 deck & Shelter Deck; fitted with refrigerating machinery & direction finder; cruiser stern; water ballast.
Propulsion: 2-stroke cycle, single acting diesel engine.
21st April 1943 Torpedoed while in Convoy ON178, from the Mersey to New York, by U415, sunk North Atlantic, 56 07N 44 26W (2†, 39 surv).
Magne served onboard this ship:
January 1943 - March 1943.
at/around: Tyne.

s/s Borgholm


Triple Steam Engine

Signal Letters: LCFC
Built: Feb. 1922, by A/S Akers mek Verksted, Oslo
Tonnage: 1561gross, 2525deadweight
Dimensions: Length 255feet 8inches × Breadth 39feet 7inches × Depth 17inches
Funnel: Yellow with houseflag on red band.
Hull: Grey with green boot-topping.  Or black with red boot-topping.
Service Speed: 10knots
Tonnage: 2,500
Registered: Oslo, Norway
Managed: John Bruce & Co.
U.K Govt Time Chartered from 28 Jun1940 until 8 Nov 1945.


Magne served onboard this ship:
July 1943 - June 1944.
at/around: Hull & Algiers.
as: 3rd Engineer.

s/s Vigsnes

Picture owned by Bjørn Milde, Norway

Funnel Colours (c1939):
Black with broad white band
containing black zig-zag band
Hull: Black

Triple Steam Engine
Signal Letters: LFGM
Built: Sep. 1930, Bergens mek Verksteder, Bergen.
Tonnage: 1599gross ton (2335 deadweight)
Dimensions: Length 257feet 7inches × Breadth 37feet 9inches × Draught 16feet 8inches
Speed: 10knots
Owner: A/S Kristian Jebsens Rederi
Manager: KR Jebsen Jr, Torvalmenning 8, Bergen.
Port of Registry: Bergen, Norway
Operators War Services: General tramping, mainly NW Europe to Mediterranean and North America.
1943-45 Ministery of War Transport (UK) charter.
23rd Jan 1945 torpedoed (in convoy MH1) by U1172, sunk at Caernarvon Bay, Wales, 53 32N 04 19W (0†, 25 surv).
The SS Vigsnes Norwegian, torpedoed 1/23/45 in MH.1(U.K.Coastal) by U1172 (Kuhlmann).
The U-Boat left Kristiansand on 23rd Dec. 1945. He was ordered to enter the Irish Sea via North Channel and patrol south to Anglesey then return to Norway by the same route. She had orders rescinded and was directed to go southabout Ireland into the St. George's Channel. On 21st Jan. he sunk the Galatea, 1,200 tons. On Jan.27, British Hunter-killer support group 5, composed of the American Built British Destroyer escorts Bligh, Keats and Tyler found and sunk U-1172. There were no survivors.
Magne served onboard this ship:
June 1944 - August 1944.
at/around: Algiers & Ardrossan.
as: 3rd Engineer.

s/s Melbo


Melbo - c1960
s/s Melbo, at port in Orissa, India.
Magne sent this photo to his son George inside a Christmas Card while working for
Messrs. Tidemand & Co. (India) Private Ltd., Calcutta (1960/1).
Thanks to  Mike Kelly
s/s Hemsefjell at Cleaveland, Ohio
Signal Letters: LNCZ
Built: 1948, J.Crown & Sons Ltd., Sunderland.
Tonnage: 1447gross ton, 2513deadweight
Dimensions: Length 258feet 7inches × Breadth 41feet 10inches × Draught 17feet 7inches
Owner: Kommandit-Selskapet Skips A/S Melbo & Co.
Manager: Rolf Grüner-Hegge
Port of Registry: Oslo, Norway
Change of Name: Built HEMSEFJELL, renamed RAMFOSS in 1958, renamed MELBO in 1960
Rigging: Steel single screw open shelter steamer; 1 deck & Spar Deck; fitted with direction finder, echo sounding device, gyro-compass, radar and radiotelephony.
Propulsion: Triple expansion engine with 3 cylinders fitted for oil fuel; built by North East Marine Co. (1938) Ltd., Sunderland.
Magne served onboard this ship:
October 1960 - May 1962.
at/around: India
as: Chief Engineer.
e-mail recieved 7th Oct. 2005:
Hi Darren I thought you might like these pictures. Its the ship your granfather sailed on I sailed on this ship 1958/59 the 3 pictures of Ramfoss are in Jan `59 we came from Oslo to England but hit bad weather in the North Sea and nearly sank as you can see. We had to go into Aberdeen in an emergency. The other picture (above) is when she was the Hemsefjell we used to go up the Great Lakes to Canada and America... wishes Mike Kelly
Thanks to  Mike Kelly
Thanks to  Mike Kelly Thanks to  Mike Kelly

m/s Leda

¹The Saga of Norwegian Shipping

M/S "Leda", built in Wallsend on the Tyne, 1953, and M/S "Venus", built in Helsingør, 1931 and rebuilt 1948, two of Det Bergenske Dampskibsselskab's modern passenger liners plying between Bergen and Newcastle, meeting off Bergen.

Troll and water-sprites ³
Norway and the Bergen Line
Part of Per Krohg's painting 'Norway between fairy-tale and reality' on board the Leda (II)

The Leda (I) was converted into a German hospital ship during the war on July 31, 1940. Her sister ship the Jupiter followed on August 19, 1940. The Leda (I) was serving in the Baltic when she was destroyed c1945. Leda (II) was built c1953 in Wallsend, England. Click here to see an advert for Swan Hunter's Shipyard featuring the Leda.

m/s Bergensfjord

Funnel Colours (c1939):
Yellow with red, white, blue, white, over red bands.
Hull: Silver grey, red boot-topping with white dividing line.

m/s Bergensfjord


Two four cylinder quadruple-expansion steam engines with exhaust turbine driving twin screws.
Fitted with two low-pressure steam turbines in 1932.
Passenger vessel.
Code Letters: LFBA
Gross Tonnage: 10,666ton (6,475 deadweight)
Built: 1913 by Cammell Laird & Co., Berkenhead.
Passengers: Carried 105 cabin class passengers, 216 tourist class and 760 third class passengers.
Dimensions: Length 512.4feet × Breadth 61.2feet × Draught 29.4feet.
Service Speed: 17.5knots
Owners: Norske Amerikalinje, A/S Den, Jernbanetorvet 2, Oslo.
Port of Registry: Bergen
Sold: Used on the Norway-New York service until 1940 when she became an Allied troopship. Sold to Home Lines in 1946 and renamed ARGENTINA, she was used on Italy-South America and Italy-New York voyages. Sold to Israel in 1953 and renamed JERUSALEM. 1957 renamed ALIYA. 1959 scrapped.
Operators Services:
Passenger and cargo - Stavanger, Bergen-New York; Oslo, Stavanger, Kristiansand, Bergen-New York-Portland ME-(Montreal Summer)
Bergensfjord at wartime
Bergensfjord during the war

She is described as looking terrible (inside and
out) after she had been a troop transport for a while, as there had been no
time or opportunity to give her a good repair and overhaul.

Launched on 8th April 1913 by Cammell Laird & Co. Ltd., Birkenhead (Yard No. 787) for Norske Amerikalinje.  Delivered Sep. 1913.
1921: Tonnage became 10,709 gross, 6,448 net.  1926: Tonnage became 11,013gross, 6,406net.  1930: Tonnage 11,015gross, 6,550net.
15th April 1940 lid up on arrival at New York from Oslo because of German invasion in Norway.
November 1940 requisitioned by Ministry of War Transport (UK), converted to troopship at Nova Scotia.
Returned to NAL Feb. 1946.  Sold to Panamanian Lines Inc. in August 1946 and renamed Argentina for emigrant traffic from Italy to South America.  1952 saw her sold to Home Lines Inc., Panama.  Sold again to Zim Israel Navigation Co. Ltd., Israel and renamed Jerusalem, sailing between Israel and New York.  Renamed Aliya in 1957 for Israel-Marseilles service.
Arrived at La Spezia 13th August 1959 for breaking up.
N.B. By the end of the war the ship had carried 165,000 troops, sailed 300,000 miles and been at sea for 919 days.
In February 1946 it was chartered for a voyage to carry GI brides from Europe to U.S, and then the ship was returned to Norwegian American Line.
Magne served onboard this ship:
January 1946.
at/around: Newcastle.

m/s Marzook


Code letters: 9KYM
Built: 1965, A.M. Liaaen Skips & M/V in Ålesun
Tonnage: 788 tons gross, 377 tons net
Dimensions: 177 ft. 1 in. long, 33 ft. 6 in. beam and holds 11 ft. 5 in. deep
Owners: Kuwait National Fishing Co. (United Fisheries of Kuwait . K.S.C., Kuwait.)
Port of Registry: Kuwait
Rigging:  Steel motor fish factory; 2 decks; machinery aft; fitted with direction finder, echo sounding device, radar and radiotelephony.
Propulsion: ×2 4-stroke cycle, single acting oil engines, each with 8 cylinders of 220mm diameter each; stroke 280mm;       1,000 shaft horsepower; engine by Klöckner-Humboldt-Deutz in Koln. 11 knots.


Magne served onboard this ship:
at/around: Kuwait.
as Fleet Engineer


ASMAK 1 to 8.

These were identical motor trawlers all built in 1965


1 & 2 were built by A/S Ankerlokken Verft, Floro.
3,4 & 5 were built by Flekkefjord Slip and Mask, Flekkefjord.
6 was built by Gravdal Skips, Sunde.
7 was built by A/S Mejellem & Karlsen, Bergen.
8 was built by Skaalurens Skibs, Rosendal.

Speed: 9 knots
Engines: 6cyl 4SA Oil engine by Klockner - Humboldt- Deutz.
330 BHP.
Tonnage: 151 GRT
Dimensions: 90ft L, 23ft B, 9ft D.
Owners: Kuwait National Fishing Co.
Port of Registry: Norway

At this time the Company owned two more vessels:
KOOT 22 . ex CORRENETTE 1966 . Built in Rostock 1964

KOOT 23.. ex BERNADETTE 1966 . Built in Rostock 1964.
Both fishing vessels.

Magne served onboard this ship:1971/ Fleet Engineer



m/s Jupiter

³Norway and the Bergen Line

The camouflaged Jupiter during the last months of World War I

Near the end of the 1st World War the British Government chartered the Jupiter for war-time service between Bergen and Aberdeen.
The service of the Jupiter proved of great benefit to Norway as well as to Great Britain.
Despite fears from Jupiter's peace-time owners, the Bergen Line, she met with no accident.

m/s Jupiter Web Page

Code Letters: LEBA
Built: 1915, Lindholmens M.V, Gothenburg
Tonnage: 2572 gross tons
Dimensions: 305.2 feet Long × 41.7foot Beam × 18.5feet Deep
Owners: Det Bergenske Dampskibssrlskab
Port of Registry: Bergen


Rigging: Steel single screw steamer; 1 deck; fitted with refrigerating machinery, direction finder, echo sounding device; water ballast.
Propulsion: Triple expansion engine with three cylinders.
Jupiter at Tyne Commission Quay ³

Norway and the Bergen Line

The Stella Polaris, Meteor and Jupiter at Tyne Commission Quay

Magne served onboard this ship:
January 1947 - February 1947.
as: Trimmer.

A note on tonnage

Gross Tonnage or Gross Registered Tonnage refers to the entire internal capacity of a ship in tons of 100 cubic feet each.

Net Tonnage is the ship's gross tonnage less the cubic capacity of the internal space taken up with machinery, crew and passengers i.e. space not available for cargo.

Deadweight is the ship's carrying capacity in tons, and is usually about 50% greater than its gross tonnage.

General Tramping

A tramp steamer normally displaced less than 10,000 tons and managed about 10 knots (compared to a liner, which was a cargo ship and had a normal displacement of ten to fifteen thousand tons and two or three decks to facilitate loading and stowage.  Liners could also carry passengers, and ran at about 15 knots).  The Tramp was basically a box shaped hull with sparse superstructure, built (mainly in the North-East of England) for maximum capacity, and low powered for economic operation.
A tramp could be away from home for two years and sailed no fixed routes from any port to any port (unlike a cargo ship which ran to a schedule).  Tramps were available to the highest bidder, carrying cheap and easily-handled bulk commodities.
Crew accommodation was of a basic sort and a tramp sailor did not wear a uniform whereas the crew of a liner did.
The tramp seamen bore almost half of the casualties sustained by the Merchant Navy during WWII.
Researching Norwegian Mariners

    (also see Contact Info. below)

    Seamen mustered at local seamen's offices in Norway which were closed down in 1988.  All records were then sent to the National State Archives (contact Riksarkivet for addresses).  However in order to find a seaman before the war you will need to know where he was living at that time.  There are eight Regional State Archives in Norway covering the following areas:

    1. Troms & Finnmark.
    2. More and Romsdal, Norland, Nord Trondelag & Trondelag.
    3. Bergen, Nordaland & Sogn and Fjordane.
    4. Rogaland.
    5. Oslo, Akershus & Ostfold.
    6. Hedemark & Oppland.
    7. Telemark, Buskerud & Vestfold.
    8. Aust-Agder & Vest-Agder.


    There is no central register for World War Two records as Norway's merchant marine were split into two sides:

      Nortraship controlled the Allied ships while Home Fleet (Hjemmeflaaten) was responsible for the Axis side.
      Riksarkivet (National Archives of Norway) holds registers about all those who served during WWII.
      See Siri Lawson's list of Norwegian ships during World War Two @
      The Norwegian Maritime Museum have a database covering all losses under Nortraship, including names of all seamen (survivors and casualties) involved.   However this only covers those serving on Norwegian ships, it is very hard to find info on those working onboard foreign vessels.  Also try the Sailors Memorial Hall in Stavern (see below).
      The National Archives of Norway (Norway's equivalent to the Public Record Office) holds a register of seamen's service on Norwegian ships covering the years 1949-1988 and from 1940-1945 on ships managed by the Norwegian Shipping and Trade Mission in London.  Their register of seamen from the Government Directorate for Seamen is the first central register of seamen in Norway. (see Magne's Statement of Sea Service).
      Each seaman has a registration card containing name, date/place of birth, position, nationality, domicile, marital status, sex, ship's name, dates/places of signing on and off.
      The National Archives also holds wage accounts for ships (these can be helpful if you don't know the name of a ship or the dates of service).

      Records after 1989 are held at Maritimt A/A Register, Postboks 423, N-8601 MO, Norway.

National Archives of Norway

Riksarkivet, Postboks 4013 Ulleval Stadion, N-0806 Oslo, Norway.


Norwegian Maritime Museum
Norsk sjöfartsmuseum
Bygdöynesveien 37
N-0268 Oslo


Sjømennenes minnehall
The Sailors Memorial Hall, Stavern, Norway
The Sailors Memorial Hall, Stavern, Norway
For general help and advice: Ship Forum @
Mariners Mailing List @
For info on convoy routes: @
International Registry of Sunken Ships @

Special thanks to all who helped at MARINERS-L
Visit them for the best advice online or join the List.
To subscribe to Mariners-L mailing list send an e-mail with the one word subscribe in the body of the message.

To Roger Jordan the authour of The World's Merchant Fleets 1939.

To Alistair Simpson CD RCNR for his freely given resources.

And to Siri Lawson creator of the WebSite Norway's Merchant Fleet 1939-45. Ship Forum @

Books worth reading

Convoy - Merchant Sailors at War 1939 - 1945.
By Philip Kaplan & Jack Currie.
ISBN: 1 85410 551 5.
A tribute in words and pictures to the men who made victory possible!  Many rare photos, paintings and memorabilia, with short accompanying quotes including unpublished memoirs.  A very well researched commentary, including vivid accounts and lifestyle info.  - A must-read book!
Atlantic Roulette - A Merchantman at War, June 1940: Running the Gauntlet of U-Boat Alley, E-Boat Alley and the Luftwaffe.
By Morris Beckman.
ISBN: 1-871085-32-2.
This is the story of Morris Beckman, just qualified as a wireless officer, joining his first ship in June 1940 for an epic voyage during the Battle of the Atlantic.
The Worlds Merchant Fleets 1939 - The Particulars and Wartime Fates of 6,000 Ships.
By Roger Jordan.
ISBN: 1-86176-023-X.
At the outbreak of war in 1939 over 6,000 ships, which traded across the world's oceans, became the quarry in the global conflict which permeated the operations of every shipping line on every continent.  This new book [1999] gives the details of all the ocean-going ships which were extant in 1939 and also describes the fate of those which were lost.
The book is divided by country and shipping company.  Here can be found the ships of those great companies such as British India and the United States Lines which are now no more than a memory.  Details of the builders, dimensions, funnel markings, propulsion, routes, passengers and cargoes are all given and 300 photographs illustrate a representative selection.  Details of the losses of around 3,000 of these vessels in the War are also given. - A must-have book!
Tusen Norske Skip (aka. Norway's New Saga of the Sea - The Story of her Merchant Marine in World War Two).
By Lise Lindbaek. excerpt
The Allied Convoy System 1939-1945 - Its Organization, Defence and Operation.
By Arnold Hague.
ISBN: 1-86176-147-3 (or 1-55125-033-0).
The development and operation of Allied convoys has never been so well described as in this book. The most comprehensive and detailed available.
This wide-ranging work explains how the convoy system was organized and what provisions were made for its protection; there are descriptions and illustrations of escorts, escort oilers, rescue ships, salvage tugs, and escort aircraft carriers; the tactics and weapons of the U-boat war are explained; and a huge appendix lists every North Atlantic-related convoy, with sailing and arrival dates, points of departure and arrival, number of vessels involved and number lost.  There is also an invaluable index of ships lost.
This remarkable reference work fills a significant gap in the literature of the Second World War and is an essential work for all those with an interest in how the war was won on the lonely wastes of the world's oceans.




Contact Information

  Due to the amount of e-mail I receive I have had to remove my address.


I can however be contacted via my Guestbook below.

Please no research requests.

Web address


Unfortunately I am unable to help with individual queries, please contact the following for help and advice:


National Archives of Norway
Riksarkivet, Postboks 4013 Ulleval Stadion, N-0806 Oslo, Norway.



Norwegian Maritime Museum

Norsk sjöfartsmuseum

Bygdöynesveien 37

N-0268 Oslo



Sailors Memorial Hall



Visit them for the best advice online or join the List.
To subscribe (free) to Mariners-L mailing list send an e-mail with the one word subscribe in the body of the message.



The book The World's Merchant Fleets 1939 by Roger Jordan.



And Siri Lawson's WebSite Norway's Merchant Fleet 1939-45.

Odd's Links


Have put together some info on Norwegian merchant ships of WW2 for private studies.

Would be glad to answer questions.

Tore Setså Ship Forum @




A Daily Journal of Shipping Photography


Stuck on a Norwegian Word? Click here.


¹ Taken from The Saga of Norwegian Shipping by Kaare Petersen.
² From Nortraships Flåte 1942-45 by Jon Rustung Hegland
³ Pictures taken from Norway and the Bergen Line

by Wilhelm Keilhau

° Taken from The Fleet of Leif Hoegh & Co. A.S. Oslo 1928-1968

, published 1968 - a World Ship Society publication.

* Norwegian Engineer - from the book Nortraships Flåte 1940-41 by Jon Rustung Hegland
If anyone objects to their photo/material being used on this site, please let me know, it will be removed.
Please contact me before knicking my photos.
Images may be downloaded from this site only providing they are used for personal interest and not any commercial use.


Last revised: 04 February 2004.

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Photos and text are taken from various sources.
The nature of this WebSite is such that material has been collated from a vast range of sources,
wherever possible I try to include a pop-up of where this was acquired,
there is also a list of sources/books at the bottom of this page.
Please contact me if you feel I am infringing on copyright material, it will be removed.
Any further information on these ships would be gratefully received.




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