Ships hit by U-boats


Norwegian Steam tanker

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Type:Steam tanker
Tonnage8,129 tons
Completed1942 - Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd, Wallsend, Sunderland 
Date of attack14 Feb 1945Nationality:      Norwegian
FateDamaged by U-968 (Otto Westphalen)
Position69° 22'N, 33° 50'E - Grid AC 8859
Complement49 (2 dead and 47 survivors).
RouteMolotovsk (9 Feb) - Murmansk - UK 

launched as British Empire Saxon on 2 Dec 1941 for the Ministry of War Transport (MoWT). Completed in February 1942, transferred to Norway on 24 February at Tyne and renamed Norfjell.

1946 sold to Skibs A/S Ringfonn (S. Bergesen), Stavanger and renamed Norfonn. 1957 sold to Mil Tankrederi A/S (Norsk Braendselolje A/S), Oslo and renamed Norsk Jarl, then sold for scrap to British Iron & Steel Co, London and allocated to P. & W. McLellan Ltd, Bo┬┤ness, arriving on 27 Jun 1960 to be broken up. 

Notes on event

Between 12.47 and 13.04 hours on 14 Feb 1945, U-968 fired torpedoes at convoy BK-3 off Kola Inlet and reported one Liberty probably damaged, one Liberty probably sunk, a tanker identified as Norness sunk and a Liberty damaged. However, the only ships hit at this time were Norfjell and Horace Gray. This attack was probably misinterpreted by U-992 (Falke), which herself attacked convoy and claimed one tanker sunk.

The Norfjell was hit by one torpedo in the engine room, killing two men on watch below and opening a hole of about 14 to 5 metres. The tanker remained afloat, was taken in tow by the escort and beached near Tree Roochia in the Kola Inlet. The damage was temporarily repaired at Murmansk and she left in tow on 20 Oct 1945 to Stavanger for permanent repairs, arriving on 15 November.

The Norfjell with 41 crew members and eight gunners had arrived North Russia in convoy JW-63 and was on the outbound voyage in convoy BK-3 in order to join convoy RA-64.

On boardWe have details of 48 people who were on board

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