Herman Watzinger

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Herman Watzinger
Herman Watzinger
Historical photo of Herman Watzinger
Born(1916-04-20)April 20, 1916
Wiesbaden, Germany
Died1986 (aged 69–70)
Known forCrew member on the Kon-Tiki

Herman Watzinger was a Norwegian engineer in the area of cooling technique from NTH (now NTNU) in Trondheim and a crewmember on the Kon-Tiki expedition. He was also a Milorg member during the Second World War operation Polar Bear II, which was brought to Trondheim by Captain Leif Hauge.[n 1]


Herman Watzinger was born on 20 April 1916 in Wiesbaden, Germany. He moved to Lima, Peru, in 1950. On 25 September 1952 he was awarded the Orden al Mérito por Servicios Distinguidos by the Ministry of Foreign Relations of Peru.[n 2]

He then continued with doctoral studies at NTH (NTNU), which was cancelled because of World War II, and applied for a job in the U.S and sought a visa to the U.S. He met Thor Heyerdahl in New York City, where he was asked to participate in the construction of the Kon-Tiki raft and become a member of the expedition.[1] On board the raft, where he was second in command, he was responsible for meteorological and hydrographic measurements.[2]

After the Kon-Tiki expedition, he returned to Lima in 1970, where he worked as head of fisheries, projects and advisor in freezing techniques for WR Grace & Co and Atlas.[3][4] Watzinger was also the head of a Norwegian-owned fish meal factory in Pisagua, northern Chile, with exports of fish meal to the U.S. and Europe. After that he became director of the FAO fishery Industries Division and later, of the Fisheries Department in Rome from 1970,[5] and Deputy director general of the FAO (UN Food and Agriculture) in Rome, Italy. He graduated from the NTH in hydrology and thermodynamics as his major.

He was the son of Adolf Watzinger, a long-time professor of mechanical engineering at the NTNU university in Trondheim, Norway. He died in Peru in 1986.


  1. ^ Polar Bear II was the codename for the plan and protection of harbors and port installations in Norway. A total of 123 officers were with the group. → Ward, Geoff Ward. "Erik Gjems-Onstad". Norway: War Resistance Peace. wwiinorge.com. Archived from the original on 26 April 2012. Retrieved 14 January 2013.
  2. ^ No. de Orden: 63, Caballero.


  1. ^ LIFE Magazine (20 October 1947). Cruise of the Kon-Tiki. Time Inc. p. 114. ISSN 0024-3019.
  2. ^ Boy Scouts of America (October 1951). Souting and the Kon-Tiki. Boy Scouts of America, Inc. p. 43. ISSN 0006-8608.
  3. ^ "W. R. Grace & Co. Enriching Lives, Everywhere". Grace.com. 2010-04-03. Retrieved 2013-01-14.
  4. ^ "Atlas Danmark Freshwater Generator Afgu". Atlas-danmark.com. Retrieved 2013-01-14.
  5. ^ FAO UN (1975). FAO Fisheries Report, Issue 1 - Issues 168-175. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. pp. nn. ISSN 0429-9337.

External links[edit]