Allied Warships

HNoMS Montbretia (K 208)

Corvette of the Flower class

Photo courtesy of Marinemuseet

NavyThe Royal Norwegian Navy
PennantK 208 
Built byFleming & Ferguson Ltd. (Paisley, Scotland) 
Ordered28 Jun 1940 
Laid down16 Nov 1940 
Launched27 May 1941 
Commissioned29 Sep 1941 
Lost18 Nov 1942 
Loss position53° 37'N, 38° 15'W

At 0851 hours on 18 November 1942, HNoMS Montbretia (Lt.Cdr. Halvor Søiland) was hit in the starboard bow by one of three torpedoes fired from U-262, while she was investigating a radar contact. The corvette had already been missed earlier that night by a torpedo from U-624 at 0603 hours. The torpedo explosion opened a large hole in the bow, the forecastle deck twisted upwards and caused the ammunition of the 4in gun to explode, sending debris of the gun platform over the after deck killing three men. The roof of the Asdic deck came down, the bridge distorted and the bulkheads in the wheelhouse stowed in, killing the helmsman. The commander gave order to abandon ship and three carley floats were launched until a second torpedo struck on the port side in the boiler room, breaking the ship in two and caused the ship to sink rapidly in position 53º37'N, 38º15'W. First it was thought that the corvette was hit by two different U-boats, but U-262 had fired a single torpedo at 0857 hours on a second escort vessel (as Franke wrong assumed), apparently the corvette turned around after the first hit and was hit by the same U-boat. The HNoMS Potentilla picked up 20 survivors from two carley floats and five from a cork net. Some of them were badly injured and two later died and were buried at sea that same afternoon. 40 Norwegians and 8 British of the crew died. 8 of the survivors were wounded.


Hit by U-boat
Sunk on 18 Nov 1942 by U-262 (Franke).

U-boat AttackSee our U-boat attack entry for the HNoMS Montbretia
Former nameHMS Montbretia

Commands listed for HNoMS Montbretia (K 208)

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and that we only list Commanding Officers for the duration of the Second World War.

1Lt.Cdr. Halvor Søiland, RNON???18 Nov 1942

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Notable events involving Montbretia include:

6 Nov 1941

Convoy SL 92.

This convoy departed Freetown for the U.K. on 6 November 1941.

The convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels; Andreas (Greek, 6566 GRT, built 1919), Baron Herries (British, 4574 GRT, built 1940), Brika (British, 4412 GRT, built 1929), Calumet (British, 7268 GRT, built 1923), City of Worcester (British, 5469 GRT, built 1927), Clan MacWhirter (British, 5941 GRT, built 1918), Clan Ross (British, 5897 GRT, built 1914), Corabella (British, 5682 GRT, built 1937), Desirade (British, 9645 GRT, built 1921), Elmdale (British, 4872 GRT, built 1941), Empire Byron (British, 5894 GRT, built 1926), Euryades (British, 5801 GRT, built 1913), Gazcon (British, 4224 GRT, built 1932), Holmbury (British, 4566 GRT, built 1925), Imber (British, 1899 GRT, built 1920), Jeypore (British, 5318 GRT, built 1920), Lynhaug (Norwegian, 2829 GRT, built 1919), Maro (Greek, 3836 GRT, built 1924), Mary Slessor (British, 5027 GRT, built 1930), Meliskerk (Dutch, 6045 GRT, built 1919), Mokambo (British, 4996 GRT, built 1938), Nagpore (British, 5283 GRT, built 1920), New Brunswick (British, 6529 GRT, built 1919), Observer (British, 5881 GRT, built 1928), Penrose (British, 4393 GRT, built 1928), Pentridge Hill (British, 7579 GRT, built 1941), Richmond Hill (British, 7579 GRT, built 1940), Ripley (British, 4997 GRT, built 1936), San Francisco (Swedish, 4933 GRT, built 1915), Sandown Castle (British, 7607 GRT, built 1921), Savoia (British, 5490 GRT, built 1922), Skeldergate (British, 4251 GRT, built 1930), Sobo (British, 5353 GRT, built 1937), Tore Jarl (Norwegian, 1514 GRT, built 1920) and Zouave (British, 4256 GRT, built 1930).

The RFA tanker Rapidol (2648 GRT, built 1917) was also with the convoy to test the concept of an oiler for the escorts. She remained with the convoy until 12 November 1941.

On departure from Freetown the convoy was escorted by the destroyers HMS Vansittart (Lt.Cdr. R.L.S. Gaisford, RN), HMS Velox (Lt.Cdr. E.G. Roper, DSC, RN) and the corvettes HMS Burdock (T/Lt. H.J. Fellows, SANF(V)), HMS Marguerite (Lt.Cdr. A.N. Blundell, RNR) and HMS Starwort (Lt.Cdr. N.W. Duck, RD, RNR).

HMS Velox returned to Freetown on 12 November 1941, presumably she had parted company with the convoy on 10 November.

The heavy cruiser HMS Dorsetshire (Capt. A.W.S. Agar, VC, DSO, RN) and light cruiser HMS Dunedin (Capt. R.S. Lovatt, RN) provided close cover for the convoy during 12 and 13 November 1941.

On 11 November 1941 the sloop HMS Egret (A/Capt. E.M. Haes, RN) and cutters Banff (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Evans, RN) and Fishguard (Lt.Cdr. H.L. Pryse, RN) joined the convoy. They were then to fuel from the Rapidol but apparently only HMS Egret did so.

On 12 November 1941, HMS Vansittart,HMS Burdock, HMS Marguerite and HMS Starwort parted company to join convoy OS 10 coming from the U.K. taking the Rapidol.

On 24 November 1941, the destroyers HMS Foresight (Cdr. J.S.C. Salter, RN), HMS Fury (Lt.Cdr. T.C. Robinson, RN), escort destroyers HMS Badsworth (Lt.Cdr. M.S. Townsend, DSC and Bar, OBE, RN) and HMS Croome (Lt.Cdr. J.D. Hayes, DSO, RN) joined.

On 25 November 1941, the destroyer HMS Forester (Lt.Cdr. E.B. Tancock, DSC and Bar, RN) joined.

Later on 25 November 1941, HMS Foresight, HMS Forester, HMS Fury, escort destroyers HMS Badsworth and HMS Croome parted company with the convoy.

HMS Egret parted company with the convoy on 29 November 1941.

On 30 November 1941, the corvette HNoMS Montbretia and A/S trawler HMS Man o' War (T/Lt. W.W. Creber, RNR) joined the convoy but parted company again later the same day.

A/S trawler HMS Arab (T/Lt. C.A. Shillan, RNVR) was with the convoy on 1 December.

The convoy arrived in U.K. waters on 1 December 1941.

15 Aug 1942
HMS H 43 (Lt. J.C.Y. Roxburgh, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HNoMS Montbretia and HNoMS Potentilla. (1)

19 Sep 1942
HMS H 32 (Lt. J.R. Drummond, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HNoMS Montbretia and HNoMS Potentilla. (2)

Media links

U-Boat Attack Logs

Daniel Morgan and Bruce Taylor
(£ 38.25)


  1. ADM 173/17252
  2. ADM 173/17217

ADM numbers indicate documents at the British National Archives at Kew, London.

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