Allied Warships

HMCS St. Laurent (H 83)

Destroyer of the C class

NavyThe Royal Canadian Navy
TypeDestroyer
ClassC 
PennantH 83 
Built byVickers Armstrong (Barrow-in-Furness, U.K.) 
Ordered9 Jul 1930 
Laid down1 Dec 1930 
Launched29 Sep 1931 
Commissioned17 Feb 1937 
End service10 Oct 1945 
History

Decommissioned on 10 October 1945.
Sold to be broken up for scrap on 9 November 1945.

 
Former nameHMS Cygnet

Commands listed for HMCS St. Laurent (H 83)

Please note that we're still working on this section
and that we only list Commanding Officers for the duration of the Second World War.

CommanderFromTo
1Lt.Cdr. Adrian Mitchell Hope, RCN8 Dec 19375 Oct 1939
2Lt.Cdr. Harry George De Wolf, RCN6 Oct 193913 Jul 1940
3Lt. Herbert Sharples Rayner, RCN14 Jul 194018 Feb 1942
4Lt.Cdr. (retired) Edgar Lorne Armstrong, RCN19 Feb 194213 Nov 1942
5A/Cdr. Guy Stanley Windeyer, RCN14 Nov 194219 Jan 1943
6Cdr. Hugh Francis Pullen, RCN20 Jan 194312 Mar 1943
7Lt.Cdr. George Hay Stephen, DSC, RCNR13 Mar 194314 Apr 1944
8Lt.Cdr. Angus George Boulton, RCNVR15 Apr 19447 Nov 1944
9A/Lt.Cdr. Michael Grote Stirling, RCN8 Nov 19447 Apr 1945
10Lt.Cdr. George Hay Stephen, DSC, OBE, RD, RCNR8 Apr 194510 Oct 1945

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Notable events involving St. Laurent include:


16 Sep 1939

Convoy HX 1.

This convoy departed Halifax on 16 September 1939 and the bulk of the convoy arrived at Liverpool on 30 September 1939.

The convoy was made up of the following ships; Beaverford (British, 10042 GRT, built 1928), Cairnesk (British, 5007 GRT, built 1926), Capulet (British, 8190 GRT, built 1932), Carimare (French, 4459 GRT, built 1920), City of Eastbourne (British, 5563 GRT, built 1923), Consuelo (British, 4847 GRT, built 1937), Delilian (British, 6423 GRT, built 1923), Egton (British, 4363 GRT, built 1938), Gloucester City (British, 3071 GRT, built 1919), Hartismere (British, 5498 GRT, built 1933), Henri Desprez (French, 9805 GRT, built 1932), Kirnwood (British, 3829 GRT, built 1928), Mansepool (British, 4894 GRT, built 1928), Maplewood (British, 4566 GRT, built 1930), Nova Scotia (British, 6796 GRT, built 1926), Silverlarch (British, 5064 GRT, built 1924), Springdale (British, 1579 GRT, built 1937) and Vermont (French, 5186 GRT, built 1932).

On departure from Halifax the convoy was escorted by the heavy cruisers HMS Berwick (Capt. I.M. Palmer, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral S.J. Meyrick, KCB, RN), HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) and the destroyers HMCS Saguenay (Lt.Cdr. G.R. Miles, RCN) and HMCS St. Laurent (Lt.Cdr. A.M. Hope, RCN).

At 1530/17 HMCS St. Laurent parted company with the convoy

At 0545/18, the destroyer HMCS Skeena (Cdr. H.T.W. Grant, RCN) joined the convoy.

At 1845/18, HMS Berwick, HMS York, HMS Saguenay and HMS Skeena parted company with the convoy to return to Halifax where all four arrived on 20 September.

7 Oct 1939
Around 1100A/7, the battleships HMS Resolution (Capt. C.H. Knox-Little, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral L.E. Holland, CB, RN), HMS Revenge (Capt. E.R. Archer, RN) and the destroyers HMS Wolverine (Cdr. R.C. Gordon, RN), HMS Witherington (Lt.Cdr. G.C. Fryer, RN), HMS Volunteer (Lt.Cdr. H. Gartside-Tippinge, RN) and HMS Verity (Lt.Cdr. A.R.M. Black, RN) departed Portland for Halifax, Nova Scotia. Both battleships had silver on board for safe storage in Canada.

Around 1645A/7, the light cruisers HMS Emerald (Capt. A.W.S. Agar, VC, DSO, RN), HMS Enterprise (Capt. H.J. Egerton, RN), HMS Caradoc (Capt. E.W.L. Longley-Cook, RN) and the destroyers HMS Inglefield (Capt. A.G. Talbot, RN) and HMS Ivanhoe (Cdr. B. Jones, RN), departed Plymouth. Both E-class cruiser had gold bullion on board for safe storage in Canada.

Around 1900A/7 both forces made rendezvous.

The destroyers parted company around 1930A/8.

They arrived at Halifax on the 16th and were escorted into port by the destroyers HMCS Fraser (Cdr. W.B. Creery, RCN) and HMCS St. Laurent (Lt.Cdr. H.G. de Wolf, RCN) which had joined around 0630Q/16. (1)

8 Oct 1939

Convoy HX 4.

This convoy departed Halifax on 8 October 1939 and arrived at Liverpool on 22 October 1939.

The convoy was made up of the following ships; Box Hill (British, 5677 GRT, built 1920), Elona (British (tanker), 6192 GRT, built 1936), Harpenden (British, 4678 GRT, built 1930), Manchester Progress (British, 5620 GRT, built 1938), Montreal City (British, 3066 GRT, built 1920), Rockpool (British, 4892 GRT, built 1927), Rothermere (British, 5356 GRT, built 1938), Sulairia (British, 5802 GRT, built 1929), Teviotbank (British, 5078 GRT, built 1938) and Tregarthen (British, 5201 GRT, built 1936).

On departure from Halifax the convoy was escorted by the heavy cruiser HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) and the destroyers HMCS Fraser (Cdr. W.B. Creery, RCN) and HMCS St. Laurent (Lt.Cdr. H.G. de Wolf, RCN).

At noon on the 10th the escort parted company. The destroyers were to return to Halifax. HMS York proceeded on patrol.

17 Oct 1939

Convoy HX 5.

This convoy departed Halifax on 17 October 1939 and the bulk of the convoy arrived at Liverpool on 29 October 1939.

The convoy was made up of the following ships; Cairnglen (British, 5019 GRT, built 1926), Cairnmona (British, 4666 GRT, built 1918), Cairnvalona (British, 4929 GRT, built 1918), Dunaff Head (British, 5258 GRT, built 1918), Floride (French, 7030 GRT, built 1921), Gracia (British, 5642 GRT, built 1921), Hindpool (British, 4897 GRT, built 1928), Malabar (British, 7976 GRT, built 1938), Manchester Commerce (British, 5343 GRT, built 1925), New Westminster City (British, 4747 GRT, built 1929), Norwegian (British, 6366 GRT, built 1921), Penrose (British, 4393 GRT, built 1928), Rancher (British, 5882 GRT, built 1927), San Ernesto (British (tanker), 8078 GRT, built 1939), Trelissick (British, 5265 GRT, built 1919) and Vaclite (British (tanker), 5026 GRT, built 1928).

On departure from Halifax the convoy was escorted by heavy cruiser HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) and the destroyers HMCS Fraser (Cdr. W.B. Creery, RCN) and HMCS St. Laurent (Lt.Cdr. H.G. de Wolf, RCN).

Around 0930/19 the convoy was joined by the light cruiser HMS Emerald (Capt. A.W.S. Agar, VC, DSO, RN).

At 1000/19, HMS York parted company with the convoy after which she proceeded on patrol. The destroyers also parted company with the convoy on this day.

At 0600/28, the destroyers HMS Grafton (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, RN) and HMS Gallant (Lt.Cdr. C.P.F. Brown, RN) joined the convoy followed at 1600/28 by HMS Wessex (Lt.Cdr. W.A.R. Cartwright, RN). At 1700/28, HMS Emerald parted company with the convoy and set course for Plymouth.

In the early hours of 29 October the German submarine U-34 attacked the convoy and the merchant vessel Malabar was torpedoed and sunk. The survivors were picked up by HMS Grafton.

On 30 October the merchant vessel Cairnmona which had split off from the convoy was torpedoed and sunk off the west coast of the U.K. by the German submarine U-13

24 Oct 1939

Convoy HXF 6.

This convoy departed Halifax on 24 October 1939.

The convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels;
Canadian Star (British, 8239 GRT, built 1939), De Grasse (French, 18435 GRT, built 1924), Fort de France (French, 4279 GRT, built 1935), Inverdargle (British (tanker), 9456 GRT, built 1938), Manchester Division (British, 6048 GRT, built 1918) and Salacia (British, 5495 GRT, built 1937).

On departure from Halifax the convoy was escorted by the battleship HMS Revenge (Capt. E.R. Archer, RN) and the destroyers HMCS Fraser (Cdr. W.B. Creery, RCN) and HMCS St. Laurent (Lt.Cdr. H.G. de Wolf, RCN).

The destroyers parted company on the 25th.

At 1930O/30, HMS Revenge parted company with the convoy to return to Halifax.

The convoy arrived in British waters on 2 November. The French ships went to Le Havre.

10 Nov 1939

Convoy HX 8.

This convoy departed Halifax on 10 November 1939.

It was made up of the following merchant vessels; Adellen (British (tanker), 7984 GRT, built 1930), Barn Hill (British, 5439 GRT, built 1921), Baron Ailsa (British, 3656 GRT, built 1936), Benvorlich (British, 5193 GRT, built 1919), Boltonhall (British, 4824 GRT, built 1935), Bradfyne (British, 4740 GRT, built 1928), Cliftonhall (British, 5063 GRT, built 1938), Counsellor (British, 5068 GRT, built 1926), Cowrie (British (tanker), 8197 GRT, built 1931), Cressington Court (British, 4971 GRT, built 1929), Dakotian (British, 6426 GRT, built 1922), Daldorch (British, 5571 GRT, built 1930), Delilian (British, 6423 GRT, built 1923), Heinrich von Reidemann (Panamanian (tanker), 11020 GRT, built 1930), Hopemount (British, 7434 GRT, built 1929), Humber Arm (British, 5758 GRT, built 1925), Kinross (British, 4956 GRT, built 1935), Langleetarn (British, 4908 GRT, built 1929), Luxor (British (tanker), 6554 GRT, built 1930), Manchester Brigade (British, 6042 GRT, built 1918), Miralda (British (tanker), 8013 GRT, built 1936), Pellicula (British (tanker), 6254 GRT, built 1936), Persephone (Panamanian (tanker), 8426 GRT, built 1925), President Sergent (French (tanker), 5344 GRT, built 1923), Queen Victoria (British, 4937 GRT, built 1936), Ripley (British, 4997 GRT, built 1936), San Conrado (British (tanker), 7982 GRT, built 1936), San Florentino (British (tanker), 12842 GRT, built 1919), Sheaf Holme (British, 4814 GRT, built 1929), Somme (British, 5265 GRT, built 1919), Totonto City (British, 2486 GRT, built 1925), Victolite (British (British), 11410 GRT, built 1928), Virgilia (British (tanker), 5723 GRT, built 1927) and Windsorwood (British, 5395 GRT, built 1936).

On departure from Halifax the convoy was escorted by the battleship HMS Revenge (Capt. E.R. Archer, RN) and the destroyers HMCS Fraser (Cdr. W.B. Creery, RCN) and HMCS St. Laurent (Lt.Cdr. H.G. de Wolf, RCN).

HMCS Fraser and HMCS St.Laurent parted company on 11 November and returned to Halifax.

HMS Revenge parted company with the convoy at 0245O/20 and set course to return to Halifax.

The convoy arrived in British waters on 25 February 1939.

4 Dec 1939

Convoy HX 11.

This convoy departed Halifax on 2 December 1939.

It was made up of the following merchant vessels; Aldersdale (British (tanker), 8402 GRT, built 1937), Arizona (French, 5457 GRT, built 1925), Armanistan (British, 6805 GRT, built 1937), Athelfoam (British (tanker), 6554 GRT, built 1931), Athelviscount (British (tanker), 8882 GRT, built 1929), British Fusilier (British (tanker), 6943 GRT, built 1923), British Union (British (tanker), 6987 GRT, built 1927), Broompark (British, 5136 GRT, built 1939), Carslogie (British, 3786 GRT, built 1924), Caspia (British (tanker), 6018 GRT, built 1928), Clearpool (British, 5404 GRT, built 1935), Clunepark (British, 3491 GRT, built 1928), Comanchee (British (tanker), 6837 GRT, built 1936), Dorelian (British, 6431 GRT, built 1923), El Grillo (British (tanker), 7264 GRT, built 1922), Embassage (British, 4954 GRT, built 1935), Everleigh (British, 5222 GRT, built 1930), Glenpark (British, 5136 GRT, built 1939), Gogovale (British, 4586 GRT, built 1927), Hannington Court (British, 5449 GRT, built 1939), Harlingen (British, 5415 GRT, built 1933), Hartlepool (British, 5500 GRT, built 1932), Haxby (British, 5207 GRT, built 1929), Lady Glanely (British, 5497 GRT, built 1938), Llanishen (British, 5053 GRT, built 1929), Loch Dee (British, 5252 GRT, built 1937), Manchester Exporter (British, 5277 GRT, built 1918), Manchester Spinner (British, 4767 GRT, built 1918), Nailsea Manor (British, 4926 GRT, built 1937), Parracombe (British, 4702 GRT, built 1928), Parthenia (British, 4872 GRT, built 1917), Prince Rupert City (British, 4749 GRT, built 1929), Saganaga (British, 5454 GRT, built 1935), Scottish Maden (British (tanker), 6993 GRT, built 1921), Scottish Monarch (British, 4719 GRT, built 1938), Shekatika (British, 5458 GRT, built 1936), Shirvan (British (tanker), 6017 GRT, built 1925), Sire (British, 5664 GRT, built 1938), Tilsington Court (British, 6910 GRT, built 1928), Tower Field (British, 4241 GRT, built 1935), Tregarthen (British, 5201 GRT, built 1936), Urla (British, 5198 GRT, built 1924), Varand (British (tanker), 6023 GRT, built 1927), Wanstead (British, 5486 GRT, built 1928) and Wendover (British, 5487 GRT, built 1928).

On departure from Halifax the convoy was escorted by the battleship HMS Revenge (Capt. E.R. Archer, RN), destroyers HMS Hyperion (Cdr. H.St.L. Nicholson, RN), HMCS St. Laurent (Lt.Cdr. H.G. de Wolf, RCN), HMCS Skeena (Lt.Cdr. E.P. Tisdall, RCN) and the submarines Casabianca (Capitaine de corvette (Lt.Cdr.) R.L.B. Sacaze) and Sfax (Lieutenant de vaisseau (Lt.) M.J.M. Groix).

HMCS St.Laurent and HMCS Skeena parted company with the convoy at 1610Q/5 and returned to Halifax.

HMS Hyperion parted company with the convoy on the 6th and also returned to Halifax.

HMS Ramillies parted company with the convoy around 1500OP(+2.5)/13 and returned to Halifax.

In the moring of the 16th the convoy was joined by the destroyers HMS Walpole (Lt.Cdr. H.G. Bowerman, RN) and HMS Wanderer (Cdr. R.F. Morice, RN). In the afternoon the destroyers HMS Wolverine (Cdr. R.H. Craske, RN) and HMS Ardent (Lt.Cdr. J.F. Barker, RN) also joined.

Casabianca and Sfax parted company with the convoy in the afternoon of the 17th.

The convoy arrived in British waters on 18 December 1939.

10 Dec 1939

Convoy TC 1.

This convoy of troopships departed Halifax at 0510 hours on 10 December 1939 for the Clyde where it arrived on 17 December 1939.

The convoy was made up of the following troopships / liners; Aquitania (British, 44786 GRT, built 1914, carrying 2638 troops), Duchess of Bedford (British, 20123 GRT, built 1928, carrying 1312 troops), Empress of Australia (British, 21833 GRT, built 1914, carrying 1235 troops), Empress of Britain (British, 42348 GRT, built 1931, carrying 1303 troops) and Monarch of Bermuda (British, 22424 GRT, built 1931, carrying 961 troops),

Close escort was provided on leaving Halifax by the battleship HMS Resolution (Capt. O. Bevir, RN) and the Canadian destroyers HMCS Fraser (Cdr. W.N. Creery, RCN), HMCS Ottawa (Capt. G.C. Jones, RCN), HMCS Restigouche (Lt.Cdr. W.B.L. Holms, RCN) and HMCS St. Laurent (Lt.Cdr. H.G. de Wolf, RCN). These Canadian destroyers remained with the convoy until 12 December 1939 when they set course to return to Halifax.

Cover for the convoy was provided by the battlecruiser HMS Repulse (Capt. E.J. Spooner, DSO, RN), aircraft carrier HMS Furious (Capt. M.L. Clarke, DSC, RN), light cruiser HMS Emerald (Capt. A.W.S. Agar, VC, DSO, RN) and the destroyers HMS Hunter (Lt.Cdr. L. de Villiers, RN) and HMS Hyperion (Cdr. H.St.L. Nicholson, RN). At dusk on the 10th both destroyers were detached to join the local escort. They returned to Halifax with the Canadian destroyers.

Early on the 15th, HMS Emerald was detached, HMS Newcastle (Capt. J. Figgins, RN) had joined the cover force in the afternoon of the 14th to take her place.

When the convoy approached the British isles, the destroyers HMS Eskimo (Cdr. St.J.A. Micklethwait, RN), HMS Bedouin (Cdr. J.A. McCoy, RN), HMS Mashona (Cdr. P.V. McLaughlin, RN), HMS Somali (Capt. R.S.G. Nicholson, DSC, RN), HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, RN), HMS Khartoum (Cdr. D.T. Dowler, RN), HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, RN), HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), HMS Fearless (Cdr. K.L. Harkness, RN), HMS Ilex (Lt.Cdr. P.L. Saumarez, RN) and HMS Impulsive (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Thomas, RN) departed the Clyde on the 12th to sweep ahead of the convoy. HMS Imperial (Lt.Cdr. C.A.de W. Kitcat, RN) was also to have sailed but was unable to join. HMS Matabele (Cdr. G.K. Whitmy-Smith, RN) was sailed in her place and later joined the other destroyers at sea.

After German warships had been reported in the North Sea, and concerned for the safety of convoy TC.1, Admiral Forbes, departed the Clyde on the 13th to provide additional cover with the battleships HMS Warspite (Capt. V.A.C. Crutchley, VC, DSC, RN), HMS Barham (Capt. H.T.C. Walker, RN), battlecruiser HMS Hood (Capt. I.G. Glennie, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral W.J. Whitworth, CB, DSO, RN) and the destroyers HMS Inglefield (Capt. P. Todd, RN), HMS Icarus (Lt.Cdr. C.D. Maud, RN), HMS Imogen (Cdr. E.B.K. Stevens, RN), HMS Imperial, HMS Isis (Cdr. J.C. Clouston, RN) and HMS Foxhound (Lt.Cdr. P.H. Hadow, RN). The destroyers HMS Forester (Lt.Cdr. E.B. Tancock, RN) and HMS Firedrake (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Norris, RN) sailed from Loch Ewe and later joined this force at sea. Three cruisers from the Northern Patrol were ordered to patrol in position 53°55’N, 25°00’W to provide cover for the convoy. These were the heavy cruisers HMS Berwick (Capt. I.M. Palmer, DSC, RN), HMS Devonshire (Capt. J.M. Mansfield, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral J.H.D. Cunningham, CB, MVO, RN) and the light cruiser HMS Glasgow (Capt. F.H. Pegram, RN).

The light cruisers HMS Southampton (Capt. F.W.H. Jeans, CVO, RN), HMS Edinburgh (Cdr. C. Wauchope, RN, temporary in command) departed Rosyth to patrol between the Shetlands and the Faroes.

The destroyers HMS Afridi (Capt. G.H. Creswell, DSC, RN), HMS Maori (Cdr. G.N. Brewer, RN) and HMS Nubian (Cdr. R.W. Ravenhill, RN) departed Rosyth and proceeded north at high speed to try to cut of the enemy warhips if they were to enter the Atlantic.

The light cruisers HMS Cardiff (Capt. P.K. Enright, RN), HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN), HMS Delhi (Capt L.H.K. Hamilton, DSO, RN), HMS Diomede (Commodore E.B.C. Dicken, OBE, DSC, RN) which were on the Northern Patrol were to concentrate near the Faroes where they were joined by HMS Colombo (Capt. R.J.R. Scott, RN) and HMS Dragon (Capt. R.G. Bowes-Lyon, MVO, RN) which were on passage to their patrol stations.

Nothing happened and the convoy arrived safely in the Clyde on 17 December 1939. (2)

22 Dec 1939

Convoy TC 2.

This convoy of troopships departed Halifax on 22 December 1939 for the Clyde where it arrived on 30 December 1939.

The convoy was made up of the following troopships / liners; Almanzora (British, 15551 GRT, built 1914, carrying 1284 troops), Andes (British, 25689 GRT, built 1939, carrying 1358 troops), Batory (Polish, 14287 GRT, built 1936, carrying 806 troops), Chrobry (Polish, 11442 GRT, built 1939, carrying 1045 troops) Orama (British, 19840 GRT, built 1924, carrying 935 troops), Ormonde (British, 14982 GRT, built 1917, carrying 1269 troops) and Reina del Pacifico (British, 17702 GRT, built 1931, carrying 1455 troops).

A/S escort was provided on leaving Halifax the Canadian destroyers HMCS Fraser (Cdr. W.N. Creery, RCN), HMCS Ottawa (Capt. G.C. Jones, RCN), HMCS Restigouche (Lt.Cdr. W.B.L. Holms, RCN), HMCS St. Laurent (Lt.Cdr. H.G. de Wolf, RCN) and the British destroyer HMS Hunter (Lt.Cdr. L. De Villiers, RN). These destroyers remained with the convoy until 24 December 1939 when they set course to return to Halifax.

Ocean Escort was provided by the British battleship HMS Revenge (Capt. E.R. Archer, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral L.E. Holland, CB, RN) [Rear-Admiral Holland had hoisted his flag shortly before departure], French battlecruiser Dunkerque (Capt. M.J.M. Seguin and the French light cruiser Gloire (Capt. F.H.R. de Belot).

When the convoy approached the British isles, the destroyers HMS Somali (Capt. R.S.G. Nicholson, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Bedouin (Cdr. J.A. McCoy, RN), HMS Eskimo (Cdr. St.J.A. Micklethwait, RN), HMS Matabele (Cdr. G.K. Whitmy-Smith, RN), HMS Mohawk (Cdr. J.W.M. Eaton, RN), HMS Fearless (Cdr. K.L. Harkness, RN), HMS Firedrake (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Norris, DSC, RN), HMS Fury (Cdr. G.F. Burghard, RN), HMS Imperial (Lt.Cdr. C.A.de W. Kitcat, RN) and HMS Impulsive (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Thomas, RN) departed Greenock on the 25th to join the convoy on the 28th. On the 26th two more destroyers departed Greenock, these were HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) and HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, DSO, RN). These destroyers also joined the convoy on the 28th.

On the 29th the French battlecruiser Dunkerque and the light cruiser Gloire parted company with the convoy. They were escorted by the destroyers HMS Fearless, HMS Firedrake and HMS Fury until they were relieved by the French large destroyers Mogador (Cdr. P. Maerte), Volta (Cdr. C.V.E. Jacquinet), Le Triomphant (Cdr. M.M.P.L. Pothuau), Le Fantasque (Capt. P.A.B. Still), and Le Terrible (Cdr. A.E.R. Bonneau).

Four more escorts joined the convoy on the 29th. These were the minesweepers HMS Jason (Lt.Cdr. D.H. Fryer, RN), HMS Gleaner (Lt.Cdr. H.P. Price, RN).and the patrol vessels HMS Puffin (Lt.Cdr. Hon. J.M.G. Waldegrave, DSC, RN) and HMS Shearwater (Lt.Cdr. P.F. Powlett, RN).

The convoy arrived safely in the Clyde area in the morning of 30 December 1939. (2)

30 Jan 1940

Convoy TC 3.

This convoy of troopships departed Halifax on 30 January 1940 for the Clyde where it arrived on 7 February 1940.

The convoy was made up of the following troopships / liners; Aquitania (British, 44786 GRT, built 1914, carrying 2733 troops), Chobry (Polish, 11442 GRT, built 1939, number of troops unknown), Empress of Australia (British, 21833 GRT, built 1914, carrying 1577 troops), Empress of Britain (British, 42348 GRT, built 1931, carrying 1588 troops) and Monarch of Bermuda (British, 22424 GRT, built 1931, carrying 1334 troops),

Close escort was provided on leaving Halifax by the battleships HMS Malaya (Capt. I.B.B. Tower, DSC, RN), HMS Valiant (Capt. H.B. Rawlings, OBE, RN), light cruiser HMS Enterprise (Capt. H.J. Egerton, RN) and the destroyers HMS Hunter (Lt.Cdr. L. de Villiers, RN), HMCS Fraser (Cdr. W.N. Creery, RCN), HMCS Ottawa (Capt. G.C. Jones, RCN), HMCS Restigouche (Lt.Cdr. H.N. Lay, RCN) and HMCS St. Laurent (Lt.Cdr. H.G. de Wolf, RCN). These Canadian destroyers remained with the convoy until the afternoon of February 1st when they set course to return to Halifax. HMS Enterprise remained with the convoy until about 25°W when she parted company with the convoy in the afternoon 4 February to return to Halifax.

When the convoy approached the British isles, the destroyers HMS Faulknor (Capt. A.F. de Salis, RN), HMS Fame (Cdr. P.N. Walter, RN), HMS Fearless (Cdr. K.L. Harkness, RN), HMS Firedrake (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Norris, DSC, RN), HMS Foresight (Lt.Cdr. G.T. Lambert, RN), HMS Fortune (Cdr. E.A. Gibbs, DSO, RN), HMS Foxhound (Lt.Cdr. G.H. Peters, RN), HMS Fury (Cdr. G.F. Burghard, RN), HMS Daring (Cdr. S.A. Cooper, RN) and HMS Diana (Lt.Cdr. E.G. Le Geyt, RN) departed the Clyde on 2 February. HMS Delight (Cdr. M. Fogg-Elliot, RN) departed Portsmouth on the 3rd also to join the convoy. They joined the convoy in the morning of the 5th with the exception of HMS Delight which had been detached as she was unable to join on time. She was replaced by the destroyers HMS Kelvin (Lt.Cdr. J.L. Machin, RN) and HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, DSO, RN).

The convoy arrived in the Clyde on the 7th. (2)

12 Feb 1940
HMS Royal Sovereign (Capt. H.B. Jacomb, RN) returned to Halifax after convoy escort duty. She was escorted in by Canadian destroyers [unable to find out which ones but HMCS Fraser (Cdr. W.B. Creery, RCN) and HMCS St. Laurent (Lt.Cdr. H.G. de Wolf, RCN) seemed to be the most likely ones]. (3)

2 Mar 1940

Convoy HX 24.

This convoy departed Halifax on 2 March 1940.

It was made up of the following merchant vessels; Alexia (British (tanker), 8016 GRT, built 1935), Amerika (British, 10218 GRT, built 1930), Augvald (Norwegian, 4811 GRT, built 1920), Aun (Norwegian, 1908 GRT, built 1930), Botwey (British, 5106 GRT, built 1916), Brynymor (British, 4771 GRT, built 1936), Daronia (British (tanker), 8139 GRT, built 1939), Delawarean (British, 5705 GRT, built 1920), Dolabella (British (tanker), 8142 GRT, built 1939), Elisha Walker (Panamanian (tanker), 7007 GRT, built 1920), Everleigh (British, 5222 GRT, built 1930), Gemstone (British, 4986 GRT, built 1938), Geo W. McKnight (British (tanker), 12502 GRT, built 1933), Geraldine Mary (British, 7244 GRT, built 1924), Grey County (British, 5194 GRT, built 1918), H.H. Rogers (British (tanker), 8807 GRT, built 1916), Halcyon (British, 3531 GRT, built 1917), Harpagon (British, 5719 GRT, built 1935), Haxby (British, 5207 GRT, built 1929), Jersey (British, 4986 GRT, built 1936), Kajak (Estonian, 3234 GRT, built 1902), Loch Don (British, 5249 GRT, built 1937), Mount Taygetus (British, 3286 GRT, built 1921), Nidarholm (British, 2588 GRT, built 1920), Oakwood (British, 6071 GRT, built 1920), Pierre L.D. (British, 5705 GRT, built 1935), Roussillon (British (tanker), 9967 GRT, built 1936), Ruahine (British, 10832 GRT, built 1909), Rushpool (British, 5125 GRT, built 1928), Sovac (British (tanker), 6724 GRT, built 1938), Temple Moat (British, 4427 GRT, built 1928), Thalia (British, 8329 GRT, built 1926), Thistleford (British, 4781 GRT, built 1928), Toorak (British (tanker), 8627 GRT, built 1927), Tredinnick (British, 4589 GRT, built 1921), Uganda (British, 4966 GRT, built 1927), Urla (British, 5198 GRT, built 1924), W.C. Teagle (British (tanker), 9552 GRT, built 1917), Wendover (British, 5487 GRT, built 1928) and Yearby (British, 5666 GRT, built 1929).

On departure from Halifax the convoy was escorted by the battleship HMS Revenge (Capt. E.R. Archer, RN) and the destroyers HMCS Saguenay (Cdr. G.R. Miles, RCN), HMCS Skeena (Lt.Cdr. E.P. Tisdall, RCN) and and HMCS St. Laurent (Lt.Cdr. H.G. de Wolf, RCN).

The Canadian destroyers returned to Halifax on 3 March 1940.

HMS Revenge parted company with the convoy, from which quite a number of ships had straggled, around 1400O/11 to return to Halifax.

On 13 March 1940 the convoy was joined by the destroyers HMS Versatile (Cdr.(Retd.) T.A. Hussey, RN) and HMS Walpole (Lt.Cdr. H.G. Bowerman, RN).

On 14 March 1940 the convoy was joined by the destroyers HMS Wakeful (Cdr. R.L. Fisher, RN) and HMS Wolverine (Cdr. R.H. Craske, RN).

The convoy arrived in Britsh waters on 17 March 1940.

7 Mar 1940
HMS Royal Sovereign (Capt. H.B. Jacomb, RN) returned to Halifax after convoy escort duty. She was escorted in by the destroyers HMCS Restigouche (Lt.Cdr. H.N. Lay, RN) and HMCS St. Laurent (Lt.Cdr. H.G. de Wolf, RCN). (4)

2 Apr 1940

Convoy HX 32.

This convoy departed Halifax on 2 April 1940 for Liverpool where it arrived on 17 April.

Some of the merchant vessels had other destinations though.

The convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels; Antonios Chandris (Greek, 5866 GRT, built 1918), Athellaird (British (tanker), 8999 GRT, built 1930), Balmoralwood (British, 5834 GRT, built 1937), Beaconhill (Panamanian (tanker), 6941 GRT, built 1919), Benwyvis (British, 5920 GRT, built 1929), British Chancellor (British (tanker), 7085 GRT, built 1921), British Honour (British (tanker), 6991 GRT, built 1928), British Prince (British, 4879 GRT, built 1935), Capsa (British (tanker), 8229 GRT, built 1931), Carslogie (British, 3786 GRT, built 1924), Defacto (British, 4800 GRT, built 1919), Eclipse (British (tanker), 9767 GRT, built 1931), Esmond (British, 4976 GRT, built 1930), Gitano (British, 3956 GRT, built 1921), Hopecrown (British, 5180 GRT, built 1937), King William (British, 5274 GRT, built 1928), Kingswood (British, 5080 GRT, built 1929), Leontios Teryazos (Greek, 4479 GRT, built 1911), Lochmonar (British, 9412 GRT, built 1924), Minnie de Larringa (British, 5049 GRT, built 1914), Octavian (Norwegian, 1345 GRT, built 1938), Parthenia (British, 4872 GRT, built 1917), Port Hunter (British, 10735 GRT, built 1922), Queen Maud (British, 4976 GRT, built 1936), Rugeley (British, 4985 GRT, built 1936), San Alvaro (British (tanker), 7385 GRT, built 1935), Star of Alexandria (British, 4329 GRT, built 1928), Thistlegarth (British, 4747 GRT, built 1929), Weirbank (British, 5150 GRT, built 1925) and Wellington Court (British, 4979 GRT, built 1930).

On departure from Halifax the convoy was escorted by the battleship HMS Malaya (Capt. I.B.B. Tower, DSC, RN) and the destroyers HMCS Restigouche (Lt.Cdr. H.N. Lay, RCN), HMCS St. Laurent (Lt.Cdr. H.G. de Wolf, RCN) and HMCS Saguenay (Cdr. G.R. Miles, RCN).

The Canadian destroyers parted company with the convoy on 3 April and then returned to Halifax.

The convoy was joined by the destoyer HMS Vanquisher (Lt.Cdr. C.B. Alers-Hankey, RN) on 13 April 1940 and HMS Versatile (Cdr.(Retd.) T.A. Hussey, RN) and HMS Wild Swan (Lt.Cdr. J.L. Younghusband, DSC, RN) on 14 April 1940.

HMS Malaya parted company with the convoy on 14 April 1940 after she had been joined by the destroyers HMS Wakeful (Cdr. R.L. Fisher, RN) and HMS Whitshed (Cdr. E.R. Conder, RN). They proceeded to Plymouth arriving there on 15 April 1940.

HMS Vanquisher parted company with the convoy on 15 April 1940 and HMS Versatile on 16 April 1940.

HMS Wild Swan remained with the convoy until it arrived at Liverpool.

18 Apr 1940

Convoy HX 36.

This convoy departed Halifax on 18 April 1940.

It was made up of the following merchant vessels; Athelempress (British (tanker), 8941 GRT, built 1930), Blairangus (British, 4409 GRT, built 1930), Boltonhall (British, 4824 GRT, built 1935), City of Lyons (British, 7063 GRT, built 1926), Dorelian (British, 6431 GRT, built 1923), Ferncourt (British (tanker), 9918 GRT, built 1938), Ile de Batz (French, 5755 GRT, built 1918), Lyras (Greek, 5685 GRT, built 1918), Manchester Commerce (British, 5343 GRT, built 1925), Margarita Chandris (British, 5401 GRT, built 1920), Mosfruit (Norwegian, 2714 GRT, built 1938), Nailsea River (British, 5548 GRT, built 1917), Oilreliance (British (tanker), 5666 GRT, built 1929), Rio Blanco (British, 4086 GRT, built 1922), Rothermere (British, 5356 GRT, built 1938), Samuel Bakke (Norwegian, 4719 GRT, built 1929), Silveray (British, 4535 GRT, built 1925), Sithonia (British, 6723 GRT, built 1919), Sylvafield (British (tanker), 5709 GRT, built 1925), Titanian (Norwegian, 4880 GRT, built 1924), Vendemaire (French (tanker), 9228 GRT, built 1929) and Vinland (Norwegian, 4436 GRT, built 1924).

On departure from Halifax it was escorted by the battleship HMS Revenge (Capt. E.R. Archer, RN) and the destroyers HMCS Saguenay (Cdr. G.R. Miles, RCN), HMCS Skeena (Lt.Cdr. J.C. Hibbard, RCN) and HMCS St. Laurent (Lt.Cdr. H.G. De Wolf, RCN).

HMCS St. Laurent already parted company with the convoy at 1848Q/18 to return to Halifax.

The other two Canadian destroyers parted company on the 19th.

HMS Revenge parted company with the convoy at 1400N/27 to return to Halifax.

The convoy was joined by the destroyers HMS Vimy (Lt.Cdr. C.G.W. Donald, RN) and HMS Wakeful (Cdr. R.L. Fisher, RN) on 30 April.

The convoy arrived in British waters on 3 May.

1 May 1940

Convoy US 3.

The troopship Andes (British, 25689 GRT, built 1939, 1508 troops) departed Lyttelton Harbour, New Zealand (near Christchurch) on 1 May 1940. She was escorted by the heavy cruiser HMAS Canberra (Capt. W.R. Patterson, RN).

Around noon on May, 2nd, in Cook Strait they were joined by the troopships Aquitania (British, 44786 GRT, built 1914, 3627 troops), Empress of Britain (British, 42348 GRT, built 1931, 2047 troops) and Empress of Japan (British, 26032 GRT, built 1930, 1554 troops) and their escorts, the heavy cruiser HMAS Australia (Capt. R.R. Stewart, RN) and light cruiser HMNZS Leander (Capt. H.E. Horan, RN). They came from Wellington.

Early on May, 5th, HMNZS Leander parted company and proceeded to Sydney. During the forenoon the troopship Queen Mary (British, 81235 GRT, built 1936, 5059 troops) came out escorted by the light cruiser HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN). Shortly afterwards HMAS Canberra also entered Sydney harbour to pick up correspondence. Around 1600K/5, HMAS Canberra and HMNZS Leander came out together with the troopship Mauretania (British, 35739 GRT, built 1939, 2616 troops). The convoy then set course for Fremantle.

At 2045K/5, HMAS Perth parted company to return to Sydney where she arrived around 0330K/6.

At 1600K/6, off Melbourne, the troopship Empress of Canada (British, 21517 GRT, built 1922, 1615 troops) joined the convoy.

At 0630H/10, when 70 nautical miles from Rottness Island, HMNZS Leander parted company with the convoy to proceed ahead of it to Fremantle.

At 0800H/10, the light cruiser HMAS Adelaide (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN), joined the convoy and guided into Gage Roads. The transports berthed alongside Fremantle Harbour as arranged except for the Aquitania and Queen Mary. The other transports fuelled and took in water. All ships of the escort berther alongside except for HMAS Adelaide which patrolled in Gage Roads.

At 1200H/12, the convoy started to leave the harbour. On forming up course was set for Colombo.

At 2214G/15, the convoy altered course towards the Cape of Good Hope. It had been decided that the convoy was not to pass through the Mediterranean as the situation with Italy was deteriorating. During the night HMNZS Leander parted company to proceed to Colombo.

At 1529D/20, the heavy cruiser HMS Shropshire (Capt. J.H. Edelsten, RN) joined. HMAS Canberra then parted company to return to Australia.

At dawn on May, 26th, the convoy started to pass down the searched channel and entered Table Bay, Capetown.

At 0743B/26, HMS Shropshire set course to proceed to Simonstown.

The Queen Mary and Aquitania anchored in Table Bay while the other troopships berthed alongside the harbour.

At 1350B/26, the heavy cruiser HMS Cumberland (Capt. G.H.E. Russell, RN) arrived from Simonstown.

At 0300B/28, the Queen Mary and Aquitania departed Table Bay to proceed to False Bay escorted by HMS Cumberland.

At 1000B/31, the ships at Capetown, less the Empress of Japan commenced to leave the Bay led by HMAS Australia. At sea they were joined by the Queen Mary and Aquitania and their escorts HMS Shropshire and HMS Cumberland. They had departed from False Bay around 0815B/31. At the rendezvous HMAS Australia then parted company and proceeded to Simonstown.

Course was set for Freetown where the convoy arrived in the morning of June, 7th.

The convoy departed Freetown in the morning of the June, 8th. Still escorted by HMS Shropshire and HMS Cumberland but now joined by the aircraft carrier HMS Hermes (Capt R.F.J. Onslow, DSC, MVO, RN).

At 0035N/10, HMS Hermes parted company with the convoy and proceeded to Dakar.

Around 0900N/12, the heavy cruiser HMS Dorsetshire (Capt. B.C.S. Martin, RN) joined the convoy.

Around 0800N/14, the aircraft carrier Argus joined the convoy coming from Gibraltar.

Around 1000/14, the battlecruiser HMS Hood (Capt. I.G. Glennie, RN) and the destroyers HMCS Fraser (Cdr. W.B. Creery, RCN), HMCS Restigouche (Lt.Cdr. H.N. Lay, RN), HMCS St. Laurent (Lt.Cdr. H.G. De Wolf, RCN) and HMCS Skeena (Lt.Cdr. J.C. Hibbard, RCN) joined the convoy coming from the U.K. HMS Dorsetshire then parted company.

around 1500N/14, the destroyer HMS Wanderer (Cdr. J.H. Ruck-Keene, RN) joined followed around 1600N/14 by the destroyers HMS Broke (Cdr. B.G. Scurfield, RN) and HMS Westcott (Lt.Cdr. W.F.R. Segrave, RN).

The convoy arrived in the Clyde in the afternoon of the 16th.

12 May 1940

Convoy TC 4.

This convoy of troopships departed Halifax on 12 May 1940 for Liverpool where it arrived on 21 May 1940.

The convoy was made up of the following troopships; Antonia (British, 13867 GRT, built 1921, carrying 932 troops) and Duchess of Bedford (British, 20123 GRT, built 1928, carrying 1559 troops).

Escort on departure from Halifax was provided by the battleship HMS Revenge (Capt. E.R. Archer, RN) and the destroyers HMCS Saguenay (Cdr. G.R. Miles, RCN) and HMCS St. Laurent (Lt. H.S. Rayner, RCN).

On passing the gate entrance HMS Revenge struck and sank the gate vessel, trawler HMCS Ypres (T/Lt. A.H. Cassivi, RCNR).

The Canadian destroyers parted company with the convoy on the 14th.

At 0555A/20, the destroyers HMS Zulu (Cdr. J.S. Crawford, RN), HMS Escort (Lt.Cdr. J. Bostock, RN), HMS Acasta (Cdr. C.E. Glasfurd, RN), HMS Ardent (Lt.Cdr. J.F. Barker, RN) and HMS Witherington (Lt.Cdr. J.B. Palmer, RN) joined the convoy.

At 2340A/20, HMS Revenge parted company with the convoy to proceed to the Clyde escorted by HMS Acasta and HMS Ardent.

The convoy and the remaining three destroyers continued on the Liverpool.

11 Jun 1940

Convoy TC 5.

This convoy of troopships departed Halifax on 11 June 1940 for Liverpool where it arrived on 21 June 1940.

The convoy was made up of the following troopships; Duchess of Atholl (British, 20119 GRT, built 1928, carrying 1173 troops), Duchess of Bedford (British, 20123 GRT, built 1928, carrying 1792 troops), Samaria (British, 19597 GRT, built 1921, carrying 787 troops),

With them was also the troopship Empress of Australia (British, 21833 GRT, built 1914) which was to proceed to Iceland. [Number of troops on board not known.]

On departure from Iceland the escort was made up of the battleship HMS Revenge (Capt. E.R. Archer, RN) and the destroyers HMCS Assiniboine (Capt. G.C. Jones, RCN) and HMCS Saguenay (Cdr. G.R. Miles, RCN).

At 1830OP(+2.5)/12, HMCS Assiniboine and HMCS Saguenay parted company to return to Halifax.

On the 13th or the 14th the Empress of Australia parted company to proceed to Reykjavik, Iceland where she arrived on the 16th.

At 0430A/19, the destroyers HMS Wanderer (Cdr. J.H. Ruck-Keene, RN), HMCS Skeena (Lt.Cdr. J.C. Hibbard, RCN), HMCS Fraser (Cdr. W.B. Creery, RCN), HMCS Restigouche (Lt.Cdr. H.N. Lay, RN) and HMCS St. Laurent (Lt.Cdr. H.G. De Wolf, RCN) joined the convoy.

Around 0600A/20, HMS Revenge parted company with the convoy to proceed to Plymouth escorted by HMCS Skeena, HMCS Fraser, HMCS Restigouche and HMCS St. Laurent.

The convoy proceeded to Liverpool with HMS Wanderer.

12 Jun 1940
HMS Hood (Capt. I.G. Glennie, RN) is undocked ant then immediately departed Liverpool escorted by the Canadian destroyers HMCS Restigouche (Lt.Cdr. H.N. Lay, RN), HMCS St. Laurent (Lt.Cdr. H.G. De Wolf, RCN) and HMCS Skeena (Lt.Cdr. J.C. Hibbard, RCN). They were to join troop convoy US 3 on the 14th. (5)

13 Jun 1940
HMS Hood (Capt. I.G. Glennie, RN) and her three escorting destroyers, HMCS Restigouche (Lt.Cdr. H.N. Lay, RN), HMCS St. Laurent (Lt.Cdr. H.G. De Wolf, RCN) and HMCS Skeena (Lt.Cdr. J.C. Hibbard, RCN) are joined around 1130 hours by another Canadian destroyer, HMCS Fraser (Cdr. W.B. Creery, RCN), which came from Plymouth after effecting repairs at the Devonport Dockyard. (5)

14 Jun 1940
Convoy US 3, made up of the troopships (liners) Andes (25689 GRT, built 1939), Aquitania (44786 GRT, built 1914), Empress of Britain (42348 GRT, built 1931), Empress of Canada (21517 GRT, built 1922), Mauretania (35739 GRT, built 1939) and Queen Mary (81235 GRT, built 1936) with troop from New Zealand and Australia on board and escorted by the British heavy cruisers HMS Shropshire (Capt. J.H. Edelsten, RN), HMS Cumberland (Capt. G.H.E. Russell, RN) and HMS Dorsetshire (Capt. B.C.S. Martin, RN) was joined around 0800 hours by HMS Argus (Capt. H.C. Bovell, RN), which came from Gibraltar, and joined around 1000 hours by the battlecruiser HMS Hood (Capt. I.G. Glennie, RN) escorted by the Canadian destroyers HMCS Restigouche (Lt.Cdr. H.N. Lay, RN), HMCS St. Laurent (Lt.Cdr. H.G. De Wolf, RCN), HMCS Fraser (Cdr. W.B. Creery, RCN) and HMCS Skeena (Lt.Cdr. J.C. Hibbard, RCN) which came from the U.K. Shortly afterwards HMS Dorsetshire left the convoy to proceed to Gibraltar.

Later that day, around 1500 hours, the convoy was joined by the destroyer HMS Wanderer (Cdr. J.H. Ruck-Keene, RN) and around 1600 hours by two more destroyers HMS Broke (Cdr. B.G. Scurfield, RN) and HMS Westcott (Lt.Cdr. W.F.R. Segrave, RN). (6)

16 Jun 1940
HMS Hood (Capt. I.G. Glennie, RN), HMCS Fraser (Cdr. W.B. Creery, RCN), HMCS Restigouche (Lt.Cdr. H.N. Lay, RN), HMCS St. Laurent (Lt.Cdr. H.G. De Wolf, RCN) and HMCS Skeena (Lt.Cdr. J.C. Hibbard, RCN) arrived in the Clyde.

18 Jun 1940
Around 0400A/18, the battlecruiser HMS Hood (Capt. I.G. Glennie, RN) departed the Clyde for Gibraltar. She was escorted by the Canadian destroyers HMCS Fraser (Cdr. W.B. Creery, RCN), HMCS Restigouche (Lt.Cdr. H.N. Lay, RN), HMCS St. Laurent (Lt.Cdr. H.G. De Wolf, RCN), HMCS Skeena (Lt.Cdr. J.C. Hibbard, RCN) and the British destroyer HMS Wanderer (Cdr. J.H. Ruck-Keene, RN). HMS Wanderer was however replaced by the escort destroyer HMS Atherstone (Cdr. H.W.S. Browning, RN) shortly after sailing.

Around 1500A/18, rendez-vous was made with the aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal (Capt. C.S. Holland, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral L.V. Wells, CB, DSO, RN) and the destroyers HMS Faulknor (Capt. A.F. de Salis, RN), HMS Fearless (Cdr. K.L. Harkness, RN) and HMS Escapade (Cdr. H.R. Graham, RN) which had departed Scapa Flow for the Clyde the previous day but while on passage through the Minches had been ordered to make rendezvous with HMS Hood to proceed direct to Gibraltar. The destroyer HMS Foxhound had also been with HMS Ark Royal but she had been detached at 0520A/18 to fuel at Milford Haven and then rejoin.

The destroyers that had been escorting HMS Hood were detached at 1625A/18.

In the late afternoon and evening of the 20th, HMS Fearless, HMS Faulknor and then HMS Escapade fuelled from HMS Hood.

At 1830A/21, HMS Foxhound finally was able to join.

21 Jun 1940
The battleship HMS Revenge (Capt. E.R. Archer, RN) and the destroyers HMCS Skeena (Lt.Cdr. J.C. Hibbard, RCN), HMCS Fraser (Cdr. W.B. Creery, RCN), HMCS Restigouche (Lt.Cdr. H.N. Lay, RN) and HMCS St. Laurent (Lt.Cdr. H.G. De Wolf, RCN) arrived at Plymouth after convoy escort duty. (7)

2 Jul 1940
At 07.58 hours on 2 July 1940, the unescorted British passenger vessel Arandora Star was torpedoed and damaged by German U-boat U-47 about 125 nautical miles east by north of Malin Head, Co. Donegal and foundered later in position 56°30'N, 10°38'W. The ship had 479 German internees, 734 Italian internees, 86 German prisoners-of-war and 200 military guards on board. The master, 55 crew members, 91 guards and 713 Italians and Germans were lost. 118 crew members, 109 guards and 586 Italians and Germans were picked up by the Canadian destroyer HMCS St. Laurent (Cdr. H.G. De Wolf, RCN) and landed at Greenock.

15 Jul 1940
The troop transports and transports Aska (British, 8323 GRT, built 1939), Karanja (British, 9891 GRT, built 1931) and Kenya (British, 9890 GRT, built 1930), Orion (British, 23371 GRT, built 1935) and Reina del Pacifico (British, 17702 GRT, built 1931) and their escorts, the heavy cruisers HMS Cornwall (Capt. C.F. Hammill, RN) and HMAS Australia (Capt. R.R. Stewart, RN) were joined by a local A/S escort made up of the destroyers HMS Havelock (Capt. E.B.K. Stevens, DSC, RN), HMS Harvester (Lt.Cdr. M. Thornton, RN), HMCS St. Laurent (Lt. H.S. Rayner, RCN), HMS Walker (Lt.Cdr. A.A. Tait, RN) and HMS Westcott (Lt.Cdr. W.F.R. Segrave, RN).

The convoy arrived at Liverpool on the 16th minus HMAS Australia which had gone to the Clyde. (8)

4 Sep 1940
HMCS St. Laurent (Lt. H.S. Rayner, RCN) picks up 89 survivors from the British merchant Titan that was torpedoed and sunk by German U-boat U-47 about 80 nautical miles south-west of Rockall in position 58°14'N, 15°50'W.

15 Sep 1940
The Canadian merchant Kenordoc is shelled and damaged about 44 nautical miles west-north-west of Rockall in position 57°42'N, 15°02'W by German U-boat U-99. HMCS St. Laurent (Lt. H.S. Rayner, RCN) later picks up 13 survivors.

7 Oct 1940

Convoy WS 3 (Fast).

This convoy departed Liverpool and the Clyde on 7 October 1940. The convoy arrived at Suez on 16 November 1940.

The Liverpool section was made up of the troop transports; Duchess of York (British, 20021 GRT, built 1929), Monarch of Bermuda (British, 22424 GRT, built 1931) and Orontes (British, 20097 GRT, built 1929).

It was escorted by the destroyers HMS Douglas (Cdr.(Retd.) J.G. Crossley, RN) and HMCS St. Laurent (Lt. H.S. Rayner, RCN). HMCS St. Laurent however collided with a small merchant vessel very early on the 8th and had to return to Liverpool for repairs.

The Clyde section was made up of the transports; Capetown Castle (British, 27000 GRT, built 1938), Georgic (British, 27759 GRT, built 1932), Oronsay (British, 20043 GRT, built 1925) and Winchester Castle (British, 20012 GRT, built 1930).

It was escorted by the destroyers HMCS Ottawa (Cdr. E.R. Mainguy, RCN) and HMS Active (Lt.Cdr. E.C.L. Turner, RN).

At 0700/8, the Clyde section was joined by the destroyers HMS Arrow (Cdr. H.W. Williams, RN), HMS Achates (Lt.Cdr. Viscount Jocelyn, RN) and HMS Whitehall (Lt.Cdr. A.B. Russell, RN) which came from Londonderry.

At 1012/8, a large enemy bomber was seen to approach the Capetown Castle off the Clyde section and dropped a bomb which missed.

At 1050/8, HMCS Ottawa and HMS Active were ordered to close the Oronsay which had been damaged by air attack and needed assistance. HMS Active however misunderstood the order and remained with the convoy. Meanwhile the Oronsay had dropped out of the convoy.

At 1152/8, HMS Arrow joined the damaged Oronsay as well.

Around 1400/8, the armed merchant cruisers HMS Cheshire (Capt.(Retd.) M.R. Bernard, RN) and HMS Salopian (Capt.(Retd.) J.M. Alleyne, DSO, DSC, RN) also arrived on the scene. HMS Salopian later departed to continue her patrol. HMS Cheshire remained with Oronsay and the two destroyers.

At 1440/8, Oronsay got underway at slow speed and was able to increase speed to 9 knots.

At 1520/8, the ships that were with the Oronsay sighted the Liverpool section of the convoy which apparently had been delayed by bad weather conditions and therefore unable to have joined up with the Clyde section as had been intended. HMS Douglas, one of the escorting destroyers of the Liverpool section had been unable to keep up with it due to the weather conditions now joined the Oronsay group.

At 1900/8, the destroyers HMS Verity (Cdr. R.H. Mills, RN) and HMS Sabre (Cdr.(Retd.) B. Dean, RN) joined.

The destroyer HMS Viscount (Lt.Cdr. M.S. Townsend, OBE, DSC, RN) also joined but it is unknown when.

At 2115/8, the AA cruiser HMS Cairo (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) joined.

At 0205/9, HMS Arrow and HMCS Ottawa parted company with Oromsay and the other escorts to proceed to Londonderry.

Around 1030/9, the damaged Oronsay escorted by HMS Cairo, HMS Cheshire, HMS Douglas, HMS Verity, HMS Viscount and HMS Sabre arrived at Greenock.

Meanwhile the Clyde section had continued on escorted by HMS Whitehall, HMS Achates and HMS Active. As did the Liverpool section but apparently unescorted. They had failed to make rendezvous with each other in the heavy weather.

Around 1215/9, the Clyde section was joined by the light cruiser HMS Kenya (Capt. M.M. Denny, CB, RN). It seems that at this time the destroyers were no longer present.

At noon on the 12th the Clyde section, with HMS Kenya was finally joined by the Liverpool section of the convoy.

The convoy arrived at Freetown in the afternoon of October 18th.

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The convoy departed Freetown on 20 October 1940 and was made up of the Capetown Castle, Duchess of York, Georgic, Monarch of Bermuda, Orontes and Winchester Castle.

The convoy was escorted by the heavy cruiser HMS Dorsetshire (Capt. B.C.S. Martin, RN).

The convoy arrived at Capetown on 28 October 1940. HMS Dorsetshire then proceeded to Simonstown where she arrived also on the same day.

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On 30 October the convoy, now made up of the Duchess of York, Georgic, Monarch of Bermuda and Orontes departed Capetown for Suez. They were escorted by HMS Dorsetshire.

In the morning of 3 November the convoy overtook and then merged with the slow section of convoy WS 3 which was made up of the transports Dorset (British, 10624 GRT, built 1934), Erinpura (British, 5143 GRT, built 1911), Highland Brigade (British, 14134 GRT, built 1929), Khedive Ismael (British, 7290 GRT, built 1922), Oropesa (British, 14118 GRT, built 1920), Perthshire (British, 10496 GRT, built 1936) and Port Chalmers (British, 8535 GRT, built 1933) and their escort the armed merchant cruiser HMS Carthage (Capt.(Retd.) B.O. Bell-Salter, RN).

Shortly before noon the Erinpura and Khedive Ismael split off from the convoy and set course for Mombasa escorted by HMS Carthage. HMS Dorsetshire continued on with the remainder of the convoy towards Suez.

In the morning of November 11th, the light cruiser HMS Caledon (Capt. C.P. Clarke, RN) joined the convoy at the entrance to the Gulf of Aden.

The transport City of Lille (British, 6588 GRT, built 1928) and several more escort vessels, the AA cruiser HMS Carlisle (Capt. G.M.B. Langley, OBE, RN), destroyer HMS Kimberley (Lt.Cdr. J.S.M. Richardson, RN), sloops HMS Auckland (Cdr. J.G. Hewitt, DSO, RN) and HMAS Parramatta (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Walker, MVO, RAN) joined on 12 November 1940 for the passage through the Red Sea in which the Italian Navy was still active at this time.

The troopships Duchess of York and Georgic also re-joined the convoy after a brief visit to Aden. HMS Caledon also briefly left the convoy to oil at Aden before re-joining it.

Around 2130/12, the convoy entered the Perim Strait.

HMS Dorsetshire parted company with the convoy at 0915/14.

The convoy arrived at Suez on 16 November 1940. (9)

13 Nov 1940
The battleship HMS Revenge (Capt. E.R. Archer, RN) departed The Clyde for Halifax, Nova Scotia. On deparure from the Clyde she was being escorted by the destroyers HMCS Ottawa (Cdr. E.R. Mainguy, RCN), HMCS St. Laurent (Lt. H.S. Rayner, RCN) and ORP Garland (Lt.Cdr. K.F. Namiesniowski).

The then made rendezvous with the troopship Leopoldville (Belgian, 11509 GRT, built 1929) that was escorted by the destroyer HMS Highlander (Cdr. W.A. Dallmeyer, RN). These ships had departed Liverpool on the 12th.

Late on the 15th the destroyers were detached to proceed to Loch Foyle. ORP Garland sustained heavy weather damage and lost two crew overboard. She proceeded to the Clyde for repairs. [The logbook of Revenge give winds up to force 9 for 15 November. On 16 November even winds force 11-12 are noted.]

HMS Revenge and the Leopoldville arrived at Halifax on 24 November 1940. They were escorted in by the destroyer HMCS Restigouche (Cdr. H.N. Lay, OBE, RN). (10)

18 Nov 1940

Convoy WS 4B.

This convoy departed Liverpool / the Clyde on 17/18 November 1940 for Suez where it arrived on 28 December 1940.

The convoy was made up of the troopships; Andes (British, 25689 GRT, built 1939), Duchess of Atholl (British, 20119 GRT, built 1928), Empress of Canada (British, 21517 GRT, built 1922), Orcades (British, 23456 GRT, built 1937), Otranto (British, 20026 GRT, built 1925), Reina del Pacifico (British, 17702 GRT, built 1931), Strathaird (British, 22281 GRT, built 1932), Strathallan (British, 23722 GRT, built 1938), Strathnaver (British, 22283 GRT, built 1931) and Viceroy of India (British, 19627 GRT, built 1929).

The convoy was formed at sea at 0830/18 when the two sections made rendez-vous west of Oversay Light.

The convoy was escorted by the heavy cruiser HMS Norfolk (Capt. A.J.L. Phillips, RN), light cruiser HMS Edinburgh (Capt. C.M. Blackman, DSO, RN) and the destroyers HMS Highlander (Cdr. W.A. Dallmeyer, RN), HMCS Ottawa (Cdr. E.R. Mainguy, RCN), HMCS St. Laurent (Lt. H.S. Rayner, RCN), HMCS Saguenay (Cdr. G.R. Miles, RCN), HMCS Skeena (Lt.Cdr. J.C. Hibbard, RCN), HMS Bath (Cdr.(Retd.) A.V. Hemming, RN) and HMS St. Albans (Lt.Cdr.(Emgy.) S.G.C. Rawson, RN).

The AA cruiser HMS Cairo (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) joined at 0945/18.

An additional destroyer, HMS St. Marys (Lt. K.H.J.L. Phibbs, RN), joined the convoy in the afternoon of the 18th.

Destroyers HMS Bath, HMS St. Albans and HMS St. Marys parted company with the convoy at 1730/19 followed by HMS Cairo one hour later.

Destroyer HMS Highlander parted company with the convoy at 0900/20 followed at 1800/20 by the four Canadian destroyers.

Heavy cruiser HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN) joined the convoy at 1300/23. HMS Norfolk parted company with the convoy at 1600/23 and proceeded to patrol east of the Azores.

The convoy arrived at Freetown on 29 November 1940 escorted by HMS Devonshire and HMS Edinburgh.

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The convoy departed Freetown on 1 December 1940 escorted by HMS Devonshire and HMS Cumberland (Capt. G.H.E. Russell, RN).

HMS Cumberland parted company with the convoy late in the morning of December 4th having been relieved by HMS Hawkins (Capt. H.P.K. Oram, RN). HMS Cumberland then proceeded to join the South America Division.

HMS Hawkins was detached with orders to proceed to Simonstown in the morning of December 8th.

The convoy arrived at Durban on 12 December 1940 escorted by HMS Devonshire.

--------------------------------------------------

The convoy departed Durban on 16 December 1940 escorted by HMS Devonshire and HMS Shropshire (Capt. J.H. Edelsten, RN).

At 1000/18, the light cruiser HMS Southampton (Capt. B.C.B. Brooke, RN) took over from HMS Devonshire. This last cruiser then set course to return to Durban.

The convoy arrived near Aden on 25 December 1940 but it did not enter the port. HMS Southampton was briefly detached to fuel at Aden after which she rejoined the convoy. The escort was reinforced with the AA cruiser HMS Carlisle (Capt. G.M.B. Langley, OBE, RN) and the destroyers HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, RN) and HMS Kimberley (Lt.Cdr. J.S.M. Richardson, RN). HMS Shropshire was then detached from the convoy and entered Aden.

HMS Carlisle and HMS Kimberey parted company with the convoy on 27 December 1940 and joined a southbound convoy.

The convoy arrived at Suez on 28 December 1940 escorted by HMS Southampton and HMS Kandahar. (11)

2 Dec 1940
HMCS St. Laurent (Lt H.S. Rayner, RCN) picks up survivors from the British armed merchant cruiser HMS Forfar that was torpedoed and sunk by German U-boat U-99 about 500 nautical miles west of Ireland in position 54°35'N, 18°18'W.

3 Dec 1940
HMCS St. Laurent (Lt H.S. Rayner, RCN) picks up 53 survivors from the British tanker Conch that was torpedoed and sunk by German U-boat U-99 about 370 nautical miles west of Bloody Foreland in position 54°21'N, 19°30'W.

12 Dec 1940
Shortly after noon, the troopship Franconia (British, 20175 GRT, built 1923), battleship HMS Ramillies (Capt. A.D. Read, RN), aircraft carriers HMS Furious (Capt. A.G. Talbot, DSO, RN), HMS Argus (Capt. E.G.N. Rushbrooke, DSC, RN), light cruiser HMS Dido (Capt. H.W.U. McCall, RN), armed merchant cruiser HMS California (Capt. C.J. Pope, RAN) and the destroyers HMS Kelvin (Cdr. J.H. Allison, DSO, RN) and HMS Eclipse (Lt.Cdr. I.T. Clark, RN) were joined by the AA cruiser HMS Cairo (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN and the destroyers HMS Cossack (Capt. P.L. Vian, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Sikh (Cdr. G.H. Stokes, RN), HMCS St. Laurent (Lt. H.S. Rayner, RCN), HMCS Skeena (Lt.Cdr. J.C. Hibbard, RCN) and HMS Bradford (Lt.Cdr. M.T. Collier, RN). (12)

13 Dec 1940
Around 0800 hours, the aircraft carrier HMS Furious (Capt. A.G. Talbot, DSO, RN) and the destroyers HMS Kelvin (Cdr. J.H. Allison, DSO, RN) and HMS Bradford (Lt.Cdr. M.T. Collier, RN) parted company with the troopship Franconia (British, 20175 GRT, built 1923), battleship HMS Ramillies (Capt. A.D. Read, RN), aircraft carrier HMS Argus (Capt. E.G.N. Rushbrooke, DSC, RN), light cruiser HMS Dido (Capt. H.W.U. McCall, RN), AA cruiser HMS Cairo (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN),armed merchant cruiser HMS California (Capt. C.J. Pope, RAN) and the destroyers HMS Cossack (Capt. P.L. Vian, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Sikh (Cdr. G.H. Stokes, RN), HMS Eclipse (Lt.Cdr. I.T. Clark, RN), HMCS St. Laurent (Lt. H.S. Rayner, RCN) and HMCS Skeena (Lt.Cdr. J.C. Hibbard, RCN) which continued on towards the Clyde. (12)

14 Dec 1940
The troopship Franconia (British, 20175 GRT, built 1923), battleship HMS Ramillies (Capt. A.D. Read, RN), aircraft carrier HMS Argus (Capt. E.G.N. Rushbrooke, DSC, RN), light cruiser HMS Dido (Capt. H.W.U. McCall, RN), AA cruiser HMS Cairo (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN), armed merchant cruiser HMS California (Capt. C.J. Pope, RAN) and the destroyers HMS Cossack (Capt. P.L. Vian, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Sikh (Cdr. G.H. Stokes, RN), HMS Eclipse (Lt.Cdr. I.T. Clark, RN), HMCS St. Laurent (Lt. H.S. Rayner, RCN) and HMCS Skeena (Lt.Cdr. J.C. Hibbard, RCN) arrived in the Clyde. (12)

16 Dec 1940

Convoy TC 8.

This convoy of troopships departed Halifax on 23 July 1940 for the U.K.

The convoy was made up of the following troopships; Capetown Castle (British, 27000 GRT, built 1938, carrying 1415 troops), Colombia (Dutch, 10782 GRT, built 1930, carrying [unknown number] troops), Pasteur (British, 29253 GRT, built 1938, carrying 2995 troops) and Pennland (Dutch, 16381 GRT, built 1922, carrying 1865 troops).

On departure from Halifax the convoy was escorted by the battleship HMS Revenge (Capt. E.R. Archer, RN) and the destroyers HMCS Assiniboine (Capt. L.W. Murray, RCN) and HMCS Restigouche (Cdr. H.N. Lay, OBE, RN).

HMCS Assiniboine and HMCS Restigouche parted company in the morning of 17 December to return to Halifax.

HMS Revenge parted company with the convoy in the afternoon of 21 December also to return to Halifax.

On approaching the British Isles the convoy was devided into two. The Capetown Castle and Pasteur were escorted by the destroyers HMCS Ottawa (Cdr. E.R. Mainguy, RCN), HMCS St. Laurent (Lt. H.S. Rayner, RCN), HMS Worcester (Lt.Cdr. E.C. Coats, RN), HMS Watchman (Lt.Cdr. E.C.L. Day, RN), FSS Le Triomphant (Cdr. P.M.J.R. Auboyneau) and Piorun (Cdr. E.J.S. Plawski).

The two Dutch ships were escorted by the destroyers HMS Bath (Cdr.(Retd.) A.V. Hemming, RN), HMS St. Marys (Lt. K.H.J.L. Phibbs, RN), HMS Montgomery (Cdr.(Retd.) H.F. Nash, RN), HMS Witherington (Lt.Cdr. J.B. Palmer, RN) and HMS Witch (Lt.Cdr. J.R. Barnes, RN).

Both sections of the convoy proceeded to the Clyde.

Not all escorts remained with the convoy until the Clyde though.

[Further details not available at the moment.]

18 Dec 1940

Convoy WS 5A and the attack by the German heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper

This convoy departed U.K. ports on 18/19 December 1940. Destination for the majority of the convoy was Suez where the convoy arrived on 16 February 1941.

On 17 December 1940 the transport Rangitiki (British, 16698 GRT, built 1929) departed Avonmouth. She was escorted by HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) towards the rendez-vous position.

On 18 December 1940 the following troop transports / transports departed Liverpool, they formed WS 5A slow;
Anselm (British, 5954 GRT, built 1935), Atreus (British, 6547 GRT, built 1911), Bhutan (British, 6104 GRT, built 1929), City of Canterbury (British, 8331 GRT, built 1922), City of London (British, 8956 GRT, built 1907), Delane (British, 6054 GRT, built 1938), Elizabethville (Belgian, 8351 GRT, built 1922), Menelaus (British, 10307 GRT, built 1923), Orbita (British, 15495 GRT, built 1915), Settler (British, 6202 GRT, built 1939) and Tamaroa (British, 12405 GRT, built 1922). They were escorted by the destroyers HMS Witherington (Lt.Cdr. J.B. Palmer, RN), HMS Witch (Lt.Cdr. J.R. Barnes, RN), sloop HMS Wellington (Cdr. I.H. Bockett-Pugh, RN) and the corvettes HMS Clematis (Cdr. Y.M. Cleeves, DSO, DSC, RD, RNR), HMS Jonquil (Lt.Cdr. R.E.H. Partington, RNR), HMS Cyclamen (Lt. H.N. Lawson, RNR) and HMS Geranium (T/Lt. A. Foxall, RNR).

On 18 December 1940 the following troop transports / transports departed from the Clyde;
Costa Rica (Dutch, 8055 GRT, built 1910), Ernebank (British, 5388 GRT, built 1937), Leopoldville (Belgian, 11509 GRT, built 1929) and Neuralia (British, 9182 GRT, built 1912). Ernebank was however forced to return around 1800 hours on the 21st escorted by HMS Witch and HMS St. Mary’s. On the 22nd, HMS Wellington, was detached to take over the escort of the Ernebank. They were escorted by the anti-aircraft cruiser HMS Cairo (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) and the destroyers HMS Bath (Cdr.(Retd.) A.V. Hemming, RN), HMS St. Marys (Lt. K.H.J.L. Phibbs, RN), HMS St. Albans (Lt.Cdr.(Emgy.) S.G.C. Rawson, RN), HMS Worcester (Lt.Cdr. E.C. Coats, RN).

On 18 December 1940 the following troop transports / transports departed from Lough Foyle (Belfast); City of Derby (British, 6616 GRT, built 1921) and Stentor (British, 6148 GRT, built 1926). They were escorted by the destroyer HMS Venomous (Lt.Cdr. J.E.H. McBeath, RN).

The slow part of the convoy was met around dawn on the 19th by the light cruiser HMS Bonaventure (Capt. H.G. Egerton, RN) and the destroyers HMS Vesper (Lt.Cdr. W.F.E. Hussey, DSC, RN), HMS Harvester (Lt.Cdr. M. Thornton, RN) and HMS Highlander (Cdr. W.A. Dallmeyer, RN).

Around 2300/21 all destroyers parted company with the slow part of the convoy.

On 19 December 1940 the following troop transports / transports departed Liverpool, they formed WS 5A fast;
Clan MacDonald (British, 9653 GRT, built 1939), Essex (British, 13655 GRT, built 1936) and Northern Prince (British, 10917 GRT, built 1929).

On 19 December 1940 the following troop transports / transports departed from the Clyde;
Adviser (British, 6348 GRT, built 1939), Arabistan (British, 5874 GRT, built 1929), Barrister (British, 6348 GRT, built 1939), Benrinnes (5410 GRT, built 1921), Clan Cumming (British, 7264 GRT, built 1938), Empire Song (British, 9228 GRT, built 1940) and Empire Trooper (British, 14106 GRT, built 1922).

Escort for the fast section of convoy WS 5A joined around dawn on the 20th and was provided by the aircraft carrier HMS Argus (Capt. E.G.N. Rushbrooke, DSC, RN), light cruiser HMS Naiad (Capt. M.H.A. Kelsey, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral E.L.S. King, CB, MVO, RNRN), destroyers HMCS Ottawa (Cdr. E.R. Mainguy, RCN), HMCS St. Laurent (Lt. H.S. Rayner, RCN) and Piorun (Cdr. E.J.S. Plawski) which came from the Clyde. And also by the destroyers HMS Highlander, HMS Harvester and FSS Le Triomphant (Cdr. P.M.J.R. Auboyneau) which came from Londonderry. The first two of these destroyers had fuelled there after escorting the slow part of the convoy for a while. Also the aircraft carrier HMS Furious (Capt. A.G. Talbot, DSO, RN) (with fighters embarked for Takoradi) and the destroyers HMS Beverley (Cdr.(Retd.) E.F. Fitzgerald, RN), HMS Kelvin (Cdr. J.H. Allison, DSO, RN) and HMS Kipling joined from Liverpool.

The destroyers of the fast portion of the convoy were detached during the night of 21/22 December 1940.

At dawn on 23 December 1940 the slow and fast part of the convoy made rendez-vous and proceeded in company.

On the 24th, HMS Naiad parted company to return to the U.K. The heavy cruiser HMS Berwick (Capt. G.L. Warren, RN) and the light cruiser HMS Dunedin (Capt. R.S. Lovatt, RN) both joined the escort of the convoy.

At dawn on the 25th the convoy was attacked by the German heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper. She had made contact with the convoy with radar the previous day and had already made a torpedo attack shortly before 0400/25 but no hits had been obtained nor had the attack been noticed by the British.

Then shortly after 0800/25 she made visual contact with the convoy and it came as a surprise to the Germans to sight HMS Berwick.

Around 0830 hours the Germans opened fire on HMS Berwick but due to the bad visibility she soon shifted target to the troopship Empire Trooper which was not in her assigned station. The troopship was slightly damaged as was the merchant vessel Arabistan.

The convoy was ordered to scatter and HMS Berwick and HMS Bonaventure both engaged the German cruiser as did the corvette Cyclamen briefly.

Meanwhile HMS Dunedin laid a smokescreen to cover the ships of the convoy. HMS Furious flew off a few aircraft but these failed to find the German cruiser in the bad visibility.

HMS Berwick was damaged by gunfire from the German cruiser but she forced, together with HMS Bonaventure, the enemy to break off the action around 0915 hours.

In the evening HMS Boneventure was detached to search for the damaged Empire Trooper.

On the 28th the convoy was reassembled at sea (minus Empire Trooper which was ordered to proceed to Gibraltar via the Azores) and continued on to Freetown where it arrived on 6 January 1941.

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The convoy departed Freetown for South Africa on 8 January.

The convoy was now made up of the (troop) transports; Adviser, Anselm, Arabistan, Atreus, Barrister, Benrinnes, Bhutan, City of Canterbury, City of Derby, City of London, Costa Rica, Delane, Elisabethville, Empire Ability (British, 7603 GRT, built 1931), Menelaus, Neuralia, Orbita, Rangitiki, Settler, Stentor and Tamaroa.

On departure from Freetown the convoy was escorted by the aircraft carrier HMS Formidable (Capt. A.W.La T. Bisset, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral W.F. Wake-Walker CB, OBE, RN), heavy cruisers HMS Dorsetshire (Capt. B.C.S. Martin, RN), HMS Hawkins (Capt. H.P.K. Oram, RN), destroyers HMS Velox (Lt.Cdr. E.G. Roper, DSC, RN), HMS Vidette (Lt. E.N. Walmsley, RN), sloops HMS Milford (Cdr. (Retd.) the Hon. V.M. Wyndham-Quin, RN), HMS Bridgewater (A/Cdr. (Retd.) H.F.G. Leftwich, RN) and the corvettes HMS Asphodel (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) K.W. Stewart, RN) and HMS Calendula (Lt.Cdr. A.D. Bruford, RNVR).

At 0700N/9, the heavy cruiser HMS Norfolk (Capt. A.J.L. Phillips, RN) joined the convoy. She had also departed Freetown around the same time as the convoy but apparently acted independently until the time she joined the convoy.

At 0600N/10, HMS Formidable, HMS Dorsetshire, HMS Norfolk, HMS Velox and HMS Vidette parted company with the convoy. At the same time the heavy cruiser HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN) joined.

It appears that HMS Bridgewater, HMS Milford, HMS Asphodel and HMS Calendula parted company on 12 January.

At 1000B/21, the heavy cruiser HMS Shropshire (Capt. J.H. Edelsten, RN) joined the convoy and HMS Devonshire parted company.

At 1600B/22, HMS Hawkins parted company with the convoy taking the transports Anselm and City of Canterbury to Capetown where they arrived on 23 January.

The remainder of the convoy arrived at Durban on 25 January 1941 escorted by HMS Shropshire.

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The convoy departed Durban for Suez on 29 January 1941. It was now made up of the transports, Adviser, Anselm, Arabistan, Atreus, Barrister, Benrinnes, Bhutan, City of Canterbury, City of Derby, City of London, Costa Rica, Delane, Elisabethville, Empire Ability, Menelaus, Neuralia, Nieuw Holland (Dutch, 11066 GRT, built 1927), Orbita, Rangitiki, Settler, Stentor, Talamba (British, 8018 GRT, built 1924) and Tamaroa.

They were escorted by the heavy cruiser HMS Shropshire and the light cruiser HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN).

Around 0800B/30, HMS Shropshire was relieved by the light cruiser HMS Enterprise (Capt. J.C. Annesley, DSO, RN).

In the morning of 31 January the transport Delane parted company with the convoy to return to Durban due to engine defects.

At 1000CD(-3.5)/4, HMS Ceres parted company taking the transports Nieuw Holland and Orbita with her to Kilindini / Mombasa where they arrived on 5 February.

At 1440CD/5, the armed merchant cruiser HMS Hector (Capt.(Retd.) F. Howard, DSC, RN) joined.

At 1500CD/5, the light cruiser HMS Capetown (Capt. P.H.G. James, RN) joined.

At 0430CD/6, HMS Capetown parted company with the convoy having been ordered to do so.

At 1730CD/10, HMS Enterprise parted company with the convoy to fuel at Aden. She rejoined the convoy around 2130C/11.

Around 0630C/11, the convoy was joined by the light cruiser HMS Caledon (Capt. C.P. Clarke, RN) and the sloops HMS Flamingo (Cdr. J.H. Huntley, RN) and HMS Indus (Cdr. Cdr. E.G.G. Hunt, RIN). HMS Hector then parted company with the convoy.

At 2300C/11, HMIS Indus parted company with the convoy upon being relieved by the sloop HMS Grimsby (Cdr. K.J. D'Arcy, RN).

At 1830C/13, HMS Flamingo parted company with the convoy to return to Aden and HMS Grimsby parted company with the convoy taking the transport Neuralia with her to Port Sudan.

At 0400C/14, HMS Enterprise parted company with the convoy.

The convoy escorted by HMS Caledon arrived at Suez on 16 February 1941. (11)

31 Jan 1941
Around 2330A/31, ' Z Force ' departed Lamlash for Freetown. ' Z Force ' was made up of the infantery landing ships HMS Glenearn (Capt.(Retd.) L.B. Hill, OBE, RN), HMS Glengyle (A/Capt.(Retd.) C.H. Petrie, RN) and HMS Glenroy (Capt.(Retd.) Sir J.F. Paget, RN). On passing the boom at Lamlash they were joined by the destroyers HMCS Ottawa (Cdr. E.R. Mainguy, RCN), HMCS Restigouche (Cdr. H.N. Lay, OBE, RN), HMCS St. Laurent (Lt. H.S. Rayner, RCN) and HMCS Skeena (Lt.Cdr. J.C. Hibbard, RCN).

Around 0830A/1, they were joined by the light cruiser HMS Kenya (Capt. M.M. Denny, CB, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral H.M. Burrough, CB, RN) which had departed Greenock at 0001A/1.

Around 0900A/1, the troopship Georgic (British, 27759 GRT, built 1932) joined.

At 0530Z/3, the Georgic and the destroyers parted company.

At 0955N/7, the heavy cruiser HMS Dorsetshire (Capt. B.C.S. Martin, RN) joined.

At 0655N/9, the destroyers HMS Faulknor (Capt. A.F. de Salis, RN) and HMS Forester (Lt.Cdr. E.B. Tancock, DSC and Bar, RN) joined.

At 1030N/10, ' Z Force ', HMS Kenya and HMS Dorsetshire arrived at Freetown.

(13)

3 Feb 1941
Around 1010Z/3, the aircraft carrier HMS Furious (Capt. A.G. Talbot, DSO, RN) and light cruiser HMS Neptune (Capt. R.C. O'Conor, RN) on passage from Gibraltar for the U.K. were joined by the destroyers HMCS Ottawa (Cdr. E.R. Mainguy, RCN), HMCS Restigouche (Cdr. H.N. Lay, OBE, RN), HMCS St. Laurent (Lt. H.S. Rayner, RCN) and HMCS Skeena (Lt.Cdr. J.C. Hibbard, RCN). Shortly afterwards the destroyer HMS Jackal (Cdr. C.L. Firth, MVO, RN) also joined.

At 2212Z/3, starshell and a seafire was sighted. Four minutes later HMCS Ottawa and HMCS St. Laurent were detached t to investigate.

At 1205Z/4, HMCS Skeena reported ' man overboard ' and the ships turned to search.

Around 1915Z/4, HMS Neptune parted company with HMS Furious and the remaining destroyers and set course for Scapa Flow where she arrived around 1800A/5.

HMS Furious arrived in the Clyde also around 1800A/5. (14)

9 Feb 1941

Convoy WS 6A.

This convoy departed U.K. waters on 9 February 1941 and arrived at Freetown on 1 March 1941.

The convoy was formed at in position from three sections of troopships / transports coming from Avonmouth, Liverpool and the Clyde.

The convoy was made up of the following troopships / transports; Almanzora (British, 15551 GRT, built 1914), Ascanius (British, 10048 GRT, built 1910), Bellerophon (British, 9019 GRT, built 1906), Bergensfjord (Norwegian, 11015 GRT, built 1913), Burdwan (British, 6069 GRT, built 1928), Cape Horn (British, 5643 GRT, built 1929), City of Athens (British, 6558 GRT, built 1923), City of Corinth (British, 5318 GRT, built 1918), City of Hankow (British, 7360 GRT, built 1915), City of Pittsburg (British, 7377 GRT, built 1922), Consuelo (British, 4847 GRT, built 1937), Dalesman (British, 6343 GRT, built 1940), Highland Brigade (British, 14134 GRT, built 1929), Kina II (British, 9823 GRT, built 1939), Leopoldville (Belgian, 11509 GRT, built 1929), Llandaff Castle (British, 10799 GRT, built 1926), Llangibby Castle (British, 11951 GRT, built 1929), Logician (British, 5993 GRT, built 1928), Masheer (British, 7911 GRT, built 1925), Manchester Citizen (British, 5343 GRT, built 1925), Mataroa (British, 12390 GRT, built 1922), Nova Scotia (British, 6796 GRT, built 1926), Opawa (British, 10354 GRT, built 1931), Port Alma (British, 8400 GRT, built 1928), Rangitata (British, 16737 GRT, built 1929), Ruahine (British, 10832 GRT, built 1909), Salween (British, 7063 GRT, built 1937), Scythia (British, 19761 GRT, built 1920) and Thysville (Belgian, 8351 GRT, built 1922).

Escort was initially provided by the light cruisers HMS Birmingham (Capt. A.C.G. Madden, RN), HMS Phoebe (Capt. G. Grantham, RN), armed merchant cruiser HMS Cathay (A/Capt.(Retd.) C.M. Merewether, RN), destroyers HMAS Napier (Capt. S.H.T. Arliss, RN), HMAS Nizam (Lt.Cdr. M.J. Clark, RAN), HMCS Ottawa (Cdr. E.R. Mainguy, RCN), HMCS Restigouche (Cdr. H.N. Lay, OBE, RN), HMCS St. Laurent (Lt. H.S. Rayner, RCN), HMCS Skeena (Lt.Cdr. J.C. Hibbard, RCN), HMS Legion (Cdr. R.F. Jessel, RN), Piorun (Cdr. E.J.S. Plawski), ORP Garland (Lt.Cdr. K.F. Namiesniowski, ORP), HMS Keppel (?), HMS Broadwater (Lt.Cdr. C.L.de H. Bell, RD, RNR) and the escort destroyers HMS Atherstone (Lt.Cdr. R.F. Jenks, RN) and HMS Cottesmore (Lt.Cdr. J.C.A. Ingram, RN).

Information on this convoy is difficult to find but it appears that most of the A/S escort parted company with the convoy in the early evening of 12 February (according to the logbook of HMS Birmingham) and then proceeded as follows; HMAS Napier and HMAS Nizam to Scapa Flow passing north of Rockall, HMS Keppel, HMS Atherstone and HMS Cottesmore to Londonderry, HMCS Ottawa, HMS Restigouche, HMCS St. Laurent and HMCS Skeena through area 52°N to 53°N, 23°W to 20°W and then to Greenock through position 55°N, 15°W, HMS Legion, HMS Broadwater, ORP Piorun and ORP Garland through position 57°N, 19°W and then to Greenock while passing north of Rockall. All groups were to conduct A/S sweeps on their way back.

Shortly before noon on the 15th the battleship HMS Rodney (Capt. F.H.G. Dalrymple-Hamilton, RN) was sighted which was to join the convoy.

Shortly after Rodney joined HMS Phoebe parted company with the convoy to fuel at Gibraltar.

HMS Rodney remained with the convoy until 1700/16. She then set course to join convoy HX 108.

The battlecruiser HMS Renown (Capt R.R. McGrigor, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral J.F. Somerville, KCB, DSO, RN) and aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal (Capt. C.S. Holland, RN) joined the convoy at 1000/17. They remained with the convoy until 1030/21 when they were relieved by HMS Malaya (Capt. A.F.E. Palliser, DSC, RN).

HMS Phoebe rejoined the convoy shortly before noon on 23 February 1941.

Shortly after noon on 25 February 1941 the destroyers HMS Faulknor (Capt. A.F. de Salis, RN) and HMS Forester (Lt.Cdr. E.B. Tancock, DSC and Bar, RN) joined the convoy.

At 2030/25 the armed yacht HMS Surprise (Capt.(Retd.) E.C. Stubbs, RN) also joined.

Around 0900/27 the sloop HMS Milford (Cdr.(Retd.) the Hon. V.M. Wyndham-Quin, RN) and the destroyers HMS Vidette (Lt. E.N. Walmsley, RN) and HMS Wishart (Cdr. E.T. Cooper, RN) joined the escort of the convoy.

On February 28th, HMS Malaya parted company with the convoy to proceed to Freetown taking the destroyers HMS Faulknor and HMS Forester with her. Also on this day the destroyers HMS Encounter (Lt.Cdr. E.V.St J. Morgan, RN) and HMS Isis (Cdr. C.S.B. Swinley, DSC, RN) joined the escort of the convoy.

At 1226A/1, a Walrus aircraft from HMS Birmingham force landed on the water 95° from position 09°25'N, 16°39'W. Birmingham searched for the aircraft rejoining the convoy for the night not having found the aircraft. A new search was not possible without first fuelling at Freetown.

Shortly before arrival at Freetown on 2 March 1941 the corvettes HMS Calendula (Lt.Cdr. A.D. Bruford, RNVR) and HMS Clematis (Cdr. Y.M. Cleeves, DSC, RD, RNR) joined. (11)

3 Mar 1941
HMCS St. Laurent (Lt. H.S. Rayner, RCN) arrived at Halifax for a refit.

21 Jun 1941

Convoy TC 11.

This troop convoy departed Halifax on 21 June 1941 and arrived in the Clyde on 30 June 1941.

Is was made up of the troopships Andes (British, 25689 GRT, built 1930), Britannic (British, 26943 GRT, built 1930), Indrapoera (Dutch, 10825 GRT, built 1925), Pasteur (British, 29253 GRT, built 1938), Stirling Castle (British, 25550 GRT, built 1936) and Windsor Castle (British, 19141 GRT, built 1922).

On departure from Halifax the convoy was escorted by the battleship HMS Ramillies (Capt. A.D. Read, RN), battlecruiser HMS Repulse (Capt. W.G. Tennant, CB, MVO, RN) and the destroyers HMS Havelock (Cdr. E.H. Thomas, DSC, RN), HMS Harvester (Lt.Cdr. M. Thornton, DSC, RN), HMCS Assiniboine (A/Lt.Cdr. J.H. Stubbs, RCN), HMCS St. Laurent (Lt.Cdr. H.S. Rayner, RCN), HMCS Skeena (Lt.Cdr. J.C. Hibbard, RCN).

Shortly after noon on the 24th, HMCS St. Laurent and HMS Skeena parted company with the convoy and proceeded to St. John's.

Shortly after 1900/26 the destroyers HMS Cossack (Capt. E.L. Berthon, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Sikh (Cdr. G.H. Stokes, RN), HMS Inglefield (Capt. P. Todd, DSO, RN), HMS Icarus (Lt.Cdr. C.D. Maud, DSO, RN), HMS Achates (Lt.Cdr. Viscount Jocelyn, RN), HMS Active (Lt.Cdr. M.W. Tomkinson, RN), HMS Antelope (Lt.Cdr. R.B.N. Hicks, DSO, RN) and HMS Sherwood (Lt.Cdr. S.W.F. Bennetts, RN) joined the convoy coming from Hvalfjord, Iceland.

Around noon on the 27th, HMS Ramillies, HMS Harvester, HMS Havelock and HMCS Assiniboine parted company with the convoy and proceeded to Reykjavik, Iceland.

At 0900/28 the Dutch AA cruiser HrMs Jacob van Heemskerck (Cdr. E.J. van Holthe, RNN) joined the convoy.

The convoy arrived in the Clyde in the morning of June, 30th.

27 Dec 1942

German U-boat U-356 was sunk in the North Atlantic north of the Azores, in position 45°30'N, 25°40'W, by depth charges from the Canadian destroyer HMCS St. Laurent (A/Cdr. G.S. Windeyer, RCN) and the Canadian corvettes HMCS Chilliwack (T/A/Lt.Cdr. L.L. Foxall, RCNR), HMCS Battleford (T/Lt. F.A. Beck, RCNVR) and HMCS Napanee (T/Lt. S. Henderson, RCNR). HMCS Napanee also picks up 25 survivors from the British merchant King Edward that was one of U-356's last victims.

HMCS Napanee also picks up 18 survivors from the Dutch merchant Soekaboemi that was torpedoed and damaged by German U-boat U-356. The damaged Soekaboemi was later sunk by U-441.

28 Mar 1943
HMS H 44 (Lt. P.S. Beale, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Erne (Lt.Cdr. E.D.J. Abbot, DSC, RN), HMS Clare (Lt.Cdr. J.P. Stewart, DSC, RD, RNR), HMCS Shediac (Lt. J.O. Every-Clayton, RCNR), HMCS St. Laurent (Lt.Cdr. G.H. Stephen, OBE, DSC, RCNR), HMCS Kenogami (T/Lt. J.L. Percy, RCNVR) and HMCS Battleford (T/Lt. F.A. Beck, RCNVR). (15)

23 Jun 1943
HMS P 511 (Lt. C.W. Taylor, RNR) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle together with HMCS Port Arthur (T/A/Lt.Cdr. E.T. Simmons, DSO, DSC, RCNVR), HMCS St. Laurent (Lt.Cdr. G.H. Stephen, OBE, DSC, RCNR), HMCS Agassiz (T/Lt. E.M. More, RCNR), HMS Burwell (Lt. A.H. Parish, RN) and HMS Fusilier (T/Lt. F.M. Phillips, RNVR). (16)

31 Jul 1943
HMS P 511 (Lt. C.W. Taylor, RNR) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle together with HMCS St. Laurent (Lt.Cdr. G.H. Stephen, OBE, DSC, RCNR) and HMCS Agassiz (T/Lt. E.M. More, RCNR). (17)

10 Mar 1944
German U-boat U-845 was sunk in the North Atlantic, in position 48°20'N, 20°33'W, by depth charges from the British destroyer HMS Forester, the Canadian destroyer HMCS St. Laurent, the Canadian corvette HMCS Owen Sound and the Canadian frigate HMCS Swansea.

26 Mar 1944
HMS H 50 (T/Lt. A.F. Wicker, RNVR) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMCS Chilliwack (T/A/Lt.Cdr. C.R. Coughlin, RCNVR), HMCS St. Laurent (Lt.Cdr. G.H. Stephen, OBE, DSC, RCNR), HMCS Halifax (T/Lt. M.F. Oliver, RCNR), HMCS Chaudiere (A/Lt.Cdr. C.P. Nixon, RCN), HMCS Fennel (A/Lt.Cdr. W.P. Moffat, RCNVR), HMCS St. Catharines (T/A/Lt.Cdr. A.F. Pickard, RCNR) and HMCS Morden (T/Lt. E.C. Smith, RCNVR). (18)

27 Mar 1944
HMS H 50 (T/Lt. A.F. Wicker, RNVR) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMCS St. Laurent (Lt.Cdr. G.H. Stephen, OBE, DSC, RCNR) and HMCS Assiniboine (A/Lt.Cdr. R.P. Welland, DSC, RCN). (18)

8 May 1944
HMS H 50 (T/Lt. A.F. Wicker, RNVR) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMCS St. Laurent (Lt.Cdr. A.G. Boulton, RCNVR), HMCS Gatineau (Lt.Cdr. H.V.W. Groos, RCN), HMS Sunflower (T/A/Lt.Cdr. L.H. Stammers, RNVR), HMCS Mayflower (T/Lt. D.S. Martin, RCNR) and HMCS Drumheller (T/Lt. H.R. Beck, RCNR). (19)

30 Sep 1944
HMS Scythian (T/Lt C.P. Thode, RNZNVR) conducted A/S exercises off Larne with HMCS Assiniboine (A/Lt.Cdr. R.P. Welland, DSC, RCN), HMCS Chaudiere (A/Lt.Cdr. C.P. Nixon, RCN), HMCS Skeena (A/Lt.Cdr. P.F.X. Russell, RCN), HMCS Qa'Appelle (T/Cdr. J.D. Prentice, DSO, RCN) and HMCS St. Laurent (Lt.Cdr. G.H. Stephen, DSC, RCNR). (20)

Media links


Destroyers of World War Two

Whitley, M. J.


Cadillac of Destroyers

Barrie, Ron and Macpherson, Ken

Sources

  1. ADM 53/107952
  2. ADM 199/367 + ADM 199/393
  3. ADM 53/113146
  4. ADM 53/113147
  5. ADM 53/112448
  6. ADM 53/112036 + ADM 53/111885 + ADM 53/112448
  7. ADM 53/113120 + ADM 199/371
  8. ADM 53/111860 + ADM 199/381
  9. ADM 199/372 + ADM 199/1136
  10. ADM 53/113125
  11. ADM 199/1136
  12. ADM 53/113049
  13. ADM 53/114130 + ADM 53/114323 + ADM 53/114324 + ADM 53/114332 + ADM 53/114333 + ADM 53/114489 + ADM 199/409
  14. ADM 53/114483 + ADM 53/114771 + ADM 199/661
  15. ADM 173/17814
  16. ADM 173/17925
  17. ADM 173/17926
  18. ADM 173/18526
  19. ADM 173/18528
  20. ADM 173/18650

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


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