Allied Warships

HMS Coltsfoot (K 140)

Corvette of the Flower class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeCorvette
ClassFlower 
PennantK 140 
Built byAlexander Hall & Co. Ltd. (Aberdeen, Scotland) 
Ordered25 Jul 1939 
Laid down4 Sep 1940 
Launched15 May 1941 
Commissioned1 Nov 1941 
End service 
History

HMS Coltsfoot is not listed as active unit in the October 1945 Navy List

Sold in 1947 and became the merchantile Alexandra.

 

Commands listed for HMS Coltsfoot (K 140)

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
1T/Lt. the Hon. William Keith Rous, RNVR3 Jun 19414 Jul 1943
2T/Lt. George William Rayner, RNVR4 Jul 1943mid 1945

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Notable events involving Coltsfoot include:


10 Dec 1941
Around 0930A/10, HMS Regent (Lt. W.N.R. Knox, DSC, RN) departed Gibraltar for Portsmouth. She was escorted until 1900A/10 by HMS Coltsfoot (T/Lt. the Hon. W.K. Rous, RNVR)

No log is available for this period, therefore no map can be displayed. (1)

15 Dec 1941
HMS Coltsfoot (Lt.Cdr. Hon W.K. Rous, RNVR) picks up 39 survivors from the British merchant Empire Barracuda that was torpedoed and sunk by German U-boat U-77 34 nautical miles bearing 310 from Cape Trafalgar in position 35°30'N, 06°17'W.

6 Feb 1942
HMS Olympus (Lt.Cdr. H.G. Dymott, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Gibraltar with HMS Boadicea (Cdr. H.P. Henderson, RN) and HMS Convolvulus (T/Lt. R.C. Connell, RNR) and later with HMS Wivern (Cdr. M.D.C. Meyrick, RN) and HMS Coltsfoot (T/Lt. the Hon. W.K. Rous, RNVR). (2)

22 May 1942
P 44 (Lt. T.E. Barlow, RN) conducted exercises off Gibraltar together with HMS Coltsfoot (Lt.Cdr. the Hon. W.K. Rous, RNVR) and HMS Geranium (T/Lt. A. Foxall, RNR). (3)

12 Jun 1942

Operation Harpoon. Supply convoy to Malta from Gibraltar.


Timespan: 12 to 18 June 1942.

During March and April 1942 Malta had been attacked very heavily by the German and Italian air forces and was in much need of supplies. It was therefore decided that two convoy’s were to be sent, one from the west (Harpoon) and one from the east (Vigorous). This was to increase the chance of success as the enemy would have to split force if they want to attack both convoys. Also a group of minesweepers were to be sent to Malta.

Below we will give the events regarding the Harpoon convoy in chronological order.

12 June 1942.

Western Mediterranean (Harpoon convoy)

During the night convoy WS 19 Z passed the Straits of Gibraltar. This convoy had departed the Clyde on June 6th. It was made up of five merchant vessels; Burwan (British , 6069 GRT, built 1928), Chant (American, 5601 GRT, built 1938), Orari (British, 10350 GRT, built 1931), Tanimbar (Dutch, 8169 GRT, built 1930) and Troilus (British, 7422 GRT, built 1921).

Off Gibraltar the tanker Kentucky (American , 9308 GRT, built 1942) joined the convoy.

Close escort was provided by ‘Force X’ which was made up of the AA-cruiser HMS Cairo (A/Capt. C.C. Hardy, DSO, RN), destroyers HMS Bedouin (Cdr. B.G. Scurfield, OBE, RN), HMS Marne (Lt.Cdr. H.N.A. Richardson, DSC, RN), HMS Matchless (Lt.Cdr. J. Mowlam, RN), HMS Partridge (Lt.Cdr. W.A.F. Hawkins, DSC, OBE, RN), HMS Ithuriel (Lt.Cdr. D.H. Maitland-Makgill-Crichton, DSC, RN), escort destroyers HMS Badsworth (Lt. G.T.S. Gray, DSC, RN), HMS Blankney (Lt.Cdr. P.F. Powlett, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Middleton (Lt.Cdr. D.C. Kinloch, RN), ORP Kujawiak (Kpt.mar. (Lt.Cdr.) L. Lichodziejewski), minesweepers HMS Hebe (Lt.Cdr. G. Mowatt, RD, RN), HMS Speedy (Lt. J.G. Brookes, RN), HMS Rye (Lt. J.A. Pearson, DSC, RN), HMS Hythe (Lt.Cdr. L.B. Miller, RN) and the motor launches (ML’s) ML 121 (group commander Lt.Cdr. E.J. Strowlger, RNVR), ML 134, ML 135, ML 168, ML 459 and ML 462.

Also operating with ‘Force X’ was the fast minelayer HMS Welshman (Capt. W.H.D. Friedberger, RN) which was to carry stores and personnel to Malta.

Distant cover was provided by ‘Force W’ which was made up of the battleship HMS Malaya (Capt. J.W.A. Waller, RN), aircraft carriers HMS Eagle (Capt. E.G.N. Rushbrooke, DSC, RN), HMS Argus (Capt. G.T. Philip, DSC, RN), light cruisers HMS Kenya (Capt. A.S. Russell, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral A.T.B. Curteis, CB, RN), HMS Liverpool (Capt. W.R. Slayter, DSC, RN), AA-cruiser HMS Charybdis (Capt. L.D. Mackintosh, DSC, RN), destroyers HMS Onslow (Capt. H.T. Armstrong, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Icarus (Lt.Cdr. C.D. Maud, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Escapade (Lt.Cdr. E.N.V. Currey, DSC, RN), HMS Antelope (Lt.Cdr. E.N. Sinclair, RN), HMS Wishart (Cdr. H.G. Scott, RN), HMS Westcott (Cdr. I.H. Bockett-Pugh, DSO, RN), HMS Wrestler (Lt. R.W.B. Lacon, DSC, RN) and HMS Vidette (Lt.Cdr. E.N. Walmsley, DSC, RN). This force was to cover the convoy until off the Skerki Channel, the entrance to the Sicily-Tunis Narrows. The cover forces for this convoy were however rather weak. For instance the aircraft carriers were rather old and had hardly enough fighters available to provide a decent air patrol.

Then there was also a tanker force to fuel the escorts ‘Force Y’. It was made up of the RFA oiler Brown Ranger (3417 GRT, built 1941), escorted by two corvettes; HMS Geranium (T/Lt. A. Foxall, RNR) and HMS Coltsfoot (T/Lt. the Hon. W.K. Rous, RNVR).

Besides these forces four submarines were on patrol in the western Mediterranean. They were stationed between Sardinia and Sicily. These were HMS P 211 (Cdr. B. Bryant, DSC, RN), HMS P 42 (Lt. A.C.G. Mars, RN), HMS P 43 (Lt. A.C. Halliday, RN) and HMS P 46 (Lt. J.S. Stevens, DSC, RN).

By 0800B/12 the force was in full strength and proceeded eastwards at 12 to 13 knots.

The remainder of the day was uneventful except for the sighting of a Spanish merchant vessel in the evening.

13 June 1942.

On this day the convoy was shadowed continuously by German and Italian aircraft. Also it was thought an Italian submarine might have spotted the convoy but was not the case as of yet.

HMS Cairo and almost all the destroyers and escort destroyers oiled from Brown Ranger and HMS Liverpool. This was completed late in the evening.

Italian warships reported to be at sea.

Two Italian cruisers and five destroyers had been reported at daybreak (actually six detroyers were present). These were the light cruisers Eugenio di Savoia, Raimondo Montecuccoli and the destroyers Alfredo Oriani, Vincenzo Gioberti, Ascari, Ugolino Vivaldi, Nicolò Zeno and Premuda. They had sailed on the 13th from Cagliari, Sardinia. The most western British submarine on patrol HMS P 43 had attacked them at 1931 hours on the 13th. She claimed to have hit a cruiser but this was obviously not the case. Two hours later the next submarine on the patrol line HMS P 211 also sighted this Italian force but was too far off to attack.

14 June 1942.

During the night the force was spotted and reported by an Italian submarine. In fact two Italian submarines made attacks on the convoy during the night. These were the Uarsciek at 0152B/14 which fired two torpedoes at a destroyer in position 38°02'N, 05°06'E. Both torpedoes missed. Then at 0505B/14, the Giada fired four torpedoes at an aircraft carrier (probably HMS Eagle although this carrier did not report hearing torpedo explosions and HMS Argus did) and a cruiser or battleship in position 37°55'N, 06°12'E. She claimed two hits but in fact all torpedoes missed.

At dawn enemy shadowing aircraft appeared once more. The convoy was approaching the danger area for air attacks coming from Sardinia. At 1000B/12 the first radar warning came and at about the same time fighters from Eagle shot down an Italian torpedo aircraft. More of these aircraft were seen gathering about 20 miles from the convoy and form up for attack.

It was a bright and clear morning with hardly a cloud in the sky. There was little wind but such as there was came from the west and this made it difficult for the British fighter crews, especially for those from the 25-year old Argus with her small margin of speed, unless she would turn into the wind and leave the destroyer screen.

The convoy was steering east in two columns in line ahead. HMS Kenya was leading the port column while HMS Liverpool was leading the starboard one. Astern of the convoy was HMS Malaya with HMS Welshman astern of her. The aircraft carriers were operating independently to port of the convoy. Each carrier had an AA cruiser and a destroyer as escort. HMS Eagle was with HMS Cairo and HMS Wishart while HMS Argus was with HMS Charybdis and HMS Vidette.

The remaining fifteen destroyers and four minesweepers formed an all-round screen spread from three to three and a half miles from the convoy. This was done on purpose so that all ships could fire outward but also inward with a freedom that would have been impossible with a closer screen.

The air attacks began at 1030B/14. The first was a shallow dive-bombing attack by two groups, each of four or five Italian fighter-bombers (CR. 42). One group approached from astern at 12000 feet and diving to 6000 feet. The other group came from ahead at 6000 feet and dropped their bombs from 3000 to 4000 feet. Their target was HMS Argus and her consorts on the port beam of HMS Malaya. No damage was done, only one bomb fell close to HMS Charybdis. Two of the enemy planes were shot down after their attack by Fulmar’s from Eagle which were controlled by the Argus and afterwards landed aboard her. It was the policy to employ the Hurricanes from Eagle as high fighter force and the Fulmar’s from Argus as low fighter force.

A much more serious attack followed half an hour later when 28 Savoia torpedo aircraft escorted by 20 Macchi fighters conducted a combined attack with 10 Cant. high level bombers. The Savoia approached from the northward in two waves of equal strength. The first wave came in at 1110B/14 and the second soon afterwards. The first wave passed through the destroyer screen at 500 feet above the water, rounded the rear of the convoy, and attacked from the starboard side, splitting into groups before firing. They dropped their torpedoes from a height of 100 feet at a range of 2000 yards. They hit HMS Liverpool, which was leading the starboard column, when she was turning to meet the attack. Also the Dutch merchant Tanimbar was hit in the rear and she sank within a few minutes in position 36°58’N, 07°30’E.

The second wave attacked the port column dropped their torpedoes at longer range. All torpedoes missed. The Cant. bombers also came in two formations, coming from ahead out of the sun at a height of about 10000 feet. Their targets seemed to be Eagle and Argus but none of their bombs hit.

A little before 1200B/14 several torpedo planes made harmless attacks from long range. They were probably stragglers turned back by gunfire during the earlier attacks and anxious to get rid of their torpedoes before turning back to base.

Upon the whole the Italians seem to have attacked gallantly. The British fighters claimed to have shot down three enemy fighters and three torpedo aircraft. Three British fighters were lost ofwhich one was shot down in error by a ship in the screen. The convoy and escort claim to have shot down seven enemy aircraft, all Savoia SM 79’s.

HMS Liverpool was hit in the engine room and badly damaged. She could only make 3 to 4 knots on one shaft. She was ordered to return to Gibraltar being towed by HMS Antelope and screened by HMS Westcott. A long voyage during which the first 24 hours she was attacked from the air. At 1640B/14, five CR. 42 fighter-bombers attacked from astern out of the sun, luckily without hitting, though one or two bombs fell close enough to increase the ships list. At 1800B/14, the tow having parted, there was a harmless attempt by eleven high-level bombers followed by an equally harmless attempt by seven torpedo aircraft which were heavily escorted by fighters. The Liverpool and Westcott each claimed to have destroyed a torpedo plane.

At 2015B/14, now once more in tow, fife high-level bombers attacked but their bombs fell wide.

At 2230B/14, six torpedo bombers made a twilight attack from very long range only to loose one of their number to the barrage HMS Liverpool put up.

The fruitless attacks on the damaged Liverpool in the afternoon and evening of the 14th evidently occupied the remaining aircraft available to the enemy in Sardinia for as the convoy was able to continue without being attacked. It was however still being shadowed and came within range of the Sicilian air bases in the evening.

HMS Welshman had replaced HMS Liverpool at the head of the starboard column of the convoy. She however parted company with the convoy around 2000B/14 to continue the passage to Malta on her own at high speed.

At 1820B/14 German bombers appeared, about ten Ju. 88’s approached the convoy from astern at 10000 feet and then dived to 6000 feet to make the attack. Both carriers had narrow escapes, Argus in particular. A bomb pitched fine on her port bow, dived under the ship and exploded on the starboard bow. No ship was damaged however. No enemy aircraft were shot down. Six British fighters however harassed the enemy and forced several of them to release their bombs prematurely. One Fulmar was lost.

As in the morning the shallow dive-bombing attack preluded a heavy combined torpedo and bombing attack but in the evening the lapse of time was greater and dive-bombers as well as high level-bombers took part in the massed attack. It was a combination of Italians and Germans. 16 Savoia 79 bombers heavily escorted by Macchi fighters with 10 Ju 88’s and 15 Ju 87’s. The first to appear were the Savoia’s which approached from the north-east to port at about 2000B/14. They were flying well above the water. Worked their way around the stern of the convoy outside gun range to glide down and attack on the starboard side. In the meantime, a few minutes after the Savoia’s had been sighted, two groups of Ju 88’s came in from ahead at 12000 feet and dropped their bombs without effect as they flew across the screen and along the columns of the convoy. Next the Ju 87’s arrived on the port bow and attacked the port wing of the screen, diving from 7000 to 1000 feet. They narrowly missed HMS Icarus and HMS Wrestler, though they had probably hoped to reach HMS Eagle. These dive bombers took most of the attention of the screen but then at 2020B/14 the Italian torpedo-bombers came in. Most of them concentrated onHMS Malaya, HMS Argus, HMS Charybdis and HMS Vidette. They managed to drop three torpedoes within 300 yards from the carrier but she still managed to avoid them.

Around the time of these attacks HMS Middleton sighted a periscope and dropped a depth charge. Two other destroyers then hauled out of the screen and dropped depth charges. The periscope was next sighted by HMS Malaya after which HMS Speedy obtained an Asdic contact and attacked with depth charges in position 37°39’N, 09°35’E, claiming to have destroyed the enemy submarine.

This was the last encounter with the enemy before ‘Force W’ would separate from the convoy which was then to continue on to Malta only escorted by ‘Force X’.

As the convoy reached the entrance of the Narrows at 2100B/14, four Beaufighters arrived from Malta to relieve the hard worked naval aviators of the carriers. Around this time the Italian submarine Alagi attacked an aircraft carrier with two stern torpedoes in position 37°36'N, 09°53'E which both missed. The attack was not reported by either of the carriers and was probably not observed. Half an hour later ‘Force W’ turned westwards. The convoy continued eastwards with A/Capt. Hardy of HMS Cairo in command. For the passage of the Tunisian coast the five remaining merchant vessels formed a single line ahead with ‘Force X’ screening them.

At 2205B/14, as it was getting dark, eight Ju 88’s made a shallow dive-bombing attack dropping down from 6000 to 3000 feet to release their bombs. No hits were obtained. They lost two aircraft, one was shot down by a Beaufighter and the ther by gunfire from the ships. This was the end of this day’s fighting.

The Italian ships that had been reported to be at sea the previous day.

On receiving the submarines reports Vice-Admiral Leatham at Malta arranged for a striking force of Wellington aircraft to attack the enemy. Aircraft again sighted the enemy north-west of Cape San Vito, Sicily at 0255/14. At 0525/14 the enemy was sighted off Palermo. At 1800/14 two cruisers were reported to be in the harbour there. At dusk, at 2125B/14, two cruisers and four destroyers were reported to be leaving Palermo harbour but their course was not reported. Vice-Admiral Leatham judged that they were proceeding to the east to join the main Italian battlefleet that had left Taranto that same evening to operate against the ‘Vigorous-convoy’ in the eastern Mediterranean. Accordingly he stationed a naval air patrol over the Strait of Messina, with a naval air striking force at Malta standing by to attack.

‘Force W’

Vice-Admiral Curteis, who was taking ‘Force W’ westwards, also received the report of the enemy leaving Palermo and had to decide whether to strengthen ‘Force X’ with either one or both his cruisers, HMS Kenya and HMS Charybdis. He was then, at 2315/24, in position 37°30’N, 09°30’E, over 50 nautical miles from the convoy, which would be a further 100 nautical miles further on to the east by dawn on the 15th. He also judged that the Italian ships would be unlikely to be danger to the convoy and that the escort would be strong enough ‘to deter them from doing any harm’ escpecially as it would be expected that the Italians would be attacked from the air by aircraft from Malta. Apart from this he was anxious for the safety of his aircraft carriers, which would need the cruisers support while within striking distance from the enemy air bases in Sardinia. Furthermore there was barely time to overtake the convoy before by the morning. With the force available a decision either way was a gamble this might have been different had Liverpool not been torpedoed. He therefore decided against sending any reinforcement to the convoy.

15 June 1942.

Action south of Pantellaria

A/Capt. Hardy, the convoy escort commander in HMS Cairo first knew of the presence of the enemy through the report of a Beaufighter which was on it’s way to patrol above the convoy and which at 0620B/15 reported two cruisers and four destroyers to be 15 nautical miles on the port beam of the convoy. The convoy at that time was stearing at 12 knots to the south-east. The merchantmen were formed in two columns again, with HMS Cairo ahead, the five ‘Fleet’ destroyers in the screen to starboard and the four ‘Hunt’s’ to port. The minesweepers and the ML’s were astern of the convoy. A few minutes later the Italian ships were sighted hull down against the brightening sky to the eastward. They were broad on the port bow and drawing ahead of the convoy at high speed. It was now also seen that there were five destroyers present instead of the reported four. Commander Scurfield (in HMS Bedouin led out the ‘Fleet’ destroyers to attack while HMS Cairo and the remainder of the convoy escort started making smoke to cover the merchant ships, which were ordered to turn to starboard and to seek shelter in Tunisian waters. It was A/Capt. Hardy’s intention to gain as much time as possible to enable an air striking force from Malta to attack the enemy.

At 0640B/15, the Italian cruisers opened fire at a range of over 20000 yards. Their second salvo straddled HMS Cairo and others fell near the convoy before the smoke screen could take effect. The British ships could not yet reply as the enemy was still out of range. As the ‘Fleet’ destroyers gathered way, they became strung out in a loose line of bearing, nearly line ahead, in the order HMS Bedouin, HMS Partridge, HMS Ithuriel, HMS Marne and HMS Matchless, though the last ship worked up to 32 knots in the endeavour to keep up. The first to destroyers opened fire on the enemy cruisers at 0645B/15 with their guns at maximum elevation but in a quarter of an hour both Bedouin and Partridge were badly hit and stopped and the fight passed them by. Ithuriel held her fire till she got within 15000 yards, then she engaged a cruiser, which she eventually hit at a range of 8000 yards. Marne also engaged a cruiser, opening fire at over 18000 yards. In the meantime the Italian destroyers had fallen astern of the cruisers, three of them, in fact, soon left the line and disappeared to the northward. The last two enemy destroyers opened fire on the Marne from her port beam at around 0700B/15 and she and Matchless, which was astern of her, replied. Both British destroyers soon found the range and hit one of the enemy (Ugolino Vivaldi) and drove them off. They then pressed on to engage the enemy cruisers which kept their distance and were zig-zagging and making smoke to upset the aim of the British ships.

As soon as the convoy was well behind the smoke screen and on it’s way to the westward. HMS Cairo and the four Hunt class escort destroyers were proceeding south and now also engaged the two enemy destroyers which had been engaged by Marne and Matchless. At about 0700B/15 HMS Cairo came under fire from the enemy cruisers again. They were using two turrets each to engage the Cairo and two turrets to engage the ‘Fleet’ destroyers. HMS Cairo was hit by a 6” shell. She herself fired her 4” guns occasionally, though without much hope of doing real damage to the enemy.

At 0715B/15, A/Capt. Hardy decided to concentrate the remaining three ‘Fleet’ destroyers on HMS Cairo and ordered HMS Ithuriel to join him. HMS Marne and HMS Matchless continued to engage the enemy for about half an hour. Though fire from both sides was accurate no hits were obtained on either side. At 0745B/15 the Italians turned to port on which A/Capt. Hardy turned north and ordered all destroyers to join him.

Meanwhile, the convoy, 15 nautical miles away to the north-west, steering westwards, now turned to the south-east again. At 0705B/15, now deprived of the support of HMS Cairo, all destroyers and escort destroyers, and without air support, the convoy was attacked by eight German JU 87 dive bombers. They sank the Chant and disabled the Kentucky. HMS Hebe took the Kentucky in tow. The convoy then went on until 0745B/15 when course was changed to rejoin the escorts. The Italians however meanwhile where following the British escorts and kept them under fire.

At 0834B/15, A/Capt. Hardy, ordered the convoy to reverse course while Cairo and the destroyers laid a smokescreen across it’s track. This seems to have baffled the Italians which first turned to the south-west and then at 0840B/15 hauled round to the north-eastward and stood away. A/Capt. Hardy then sent the ‘Hunt’-class escort destroyers to rejoin the convoy and then led the ‘Fleet’ destroyers after the enemy. At this time HMS Cairo was hit for the second time. For the present however the Italians had given up the game. By 0930B/15 they were out of sight and the British ships then turned to rejoin the convoy.

At 1030B/15 the merchant vessel were back on their proper course to Malta, with the escort at full strength except for HMS Bedouin and HMS Partridge. Long-range Spitfires from Malta were patrolling overhead.

At 1040B/15 a few German bombers appeared but these were driven off before they could drop their bombs. The fighters were able to shot one down. Unfortunately this exhausted fuel and ammunition of the Spitfires which were operating at their extreme range so when at 1120B/15 another attack started they were not able to repel it. Their relief had not yet arrived.

It was a combination of high-level and dive bombing by Ju. 88’s and Ju. 87’s. Gunfire destroyed one of the German’s. One or two were shot down afterwards by the relieving Spitfires which had arrived during the attack. By then however the merchant vessel Burdwan was disabled. There was still 150 nautical miles to go, with the likelihood of further attacks from the air and with Italian ships nearby. A/Capt. Hardy therefore decided that he had no other choice then to sacrifice the damaged Kentucky and Burdwan as the best way to save the rest of the convoy whose speed would otherwise be reduced to six knots. He ordered HMS Hebe and HMS Badsworth to sink the cripples which enabled the remaining two merchant ships to continue at their best speed.

At 1315B/15, dive-bombers attacked yet again. And again there was no fighter cover present over the convoy. This time however the German’s were unsuccessful. One bomber out of twelve was shot down by the ships AA fire while the relief flight of Spitfires came in time to shoot down two more as the enemy retired. This was the last time the convoy was attacked from the air before it arrived at Malta under the protection from short-range Spitfires. The next threat of attack came from the Italian warships which closed the convoy once more.

After the engagement in the morning the Italian cruisers had gone back to join up with their destroyers, one of wich had been badly damaged by HMS Marne and HMS Matchless. While preparing to take this destroyer in tow the Italians were disrupted by British aircraft. Malta had been able to sent a small torpedo aircraft force to attack them. Four Albacores followed by two Beauforts attacked them about 12 nautical miles south of Pantelleria at 1030B/15. Unfortunately without success.

The two cruisers with two destroyers then went south again hoping to find stagglers from the convoy. They found HMS Hebe, which was on her way back to rejoin the convoy, having left the tanker Kentucky in a sinking condition astern. HMS Hebe sighted the enemy a long way to the north at 1255B/15. In the next half an hour the enemy was able to close as to open fire on the small minesweeper and eventually she was hit.

On receiving Hebe’s enemy report, A/Capt. Hardy, left the convoy in HMS Cairo taking the three remaining ‘Fleet’ destroyers with him; HMS Ithuriel, HMS Marne and HMS Matchless. Besides the Hebe to protect there were other ships coming back from the scuttled merchantmen and also HMS Bedouin and HMS Partridge which, A/Capt. Hardy believed to be following the convoy.

At 1355B/15 the Italians gave up the chase, presumably on sighting HMS Cairo and turned to engage a target to the westward. This could only be HMS Bedouin and HMS Partridge but A/Capt. Hardy felt bound to return to the convoy, then nearly 15 nautical miles off, though it meant leaving the damaged destroyers to their fate.

These two ships had been had been striving to preserve themselves for the King’s service ever since they had been crippled in the morning. HMS Partridge was ready to steam again by 0745B/15, three-quarters of an hour after being put out of action. She prepared to take HMS Bedouin in tow as that ship was entirely disabled. These preparations were disrupted by two Italian destroyers which had to be driven away. By 1000B/15 however Bedouin was being towed by Partridge and the two ships were proceeding slowly towards the convoy which they had orders to join. They met it at 1145B/15. There was still hope to get one engine going in HMS Bedouin but later on it became evident that this hope had to be abandoned. It was then thought best to try to make it to Gibraltar.

At 1320B/15, the Italian Squadron came into sight again and two destroyers were apparently closing the two British destroyers while there were also enemy dive-bombers flying around. HMS Partridge therefore had no choice then to slip the tow and to lay smoke around HMS Bedouin. As the enemy cruisers approached, after their chase of HMS Hebe, HMS Partridge stood away to draw their fire and in this she succeeded. She was straddled from long range at 1400B/15. It was the intention the return to HMS Bedouin later but the latter ship was torpedoed by an Italian torpedo bomber at 1425B/15 and she sank within a few minutes but not before shooting down the attacker. The enemy surface ships also sank the derelict Kentucky and Burdwan around the same time. Kentucky was finished off by the Oriani while Burdwan was possibly sunk by the Ascari.

A/Capt. Hardy rejoined the convoy at 1530B/15 after the last encounter with the Italian squadron. At 1730B/15, HMS Welshman rejoined the convoy south of Linosa coming from Malta. She had arrived there in the morning and was sent out again by Vice-Admiral Leatham as soon as she had landed her cargo.

Then at 1910B/15, there was another air attack. Upon that time the enemy had been kept away by the strong fighter escort from Malta directed by the radar in HMS Cairo. Twelve German bombers managed to close and near misses were obtained on HMS Welshman, HMS Matchless and the merchant Troilus.

A last attempt was foiled at 2040B/15 by the fighters from Malta and the ships guns. There was now only one danger to be overcome, enemy mines.

HMS Liverpool

At 1420B/15, three torpedo aircraft made a final unsuccessful attempt to attack HMS Liverpool after which she, HMS Antelope and HMS Westcott were not again molested. That afternoon the tug HMRT Salvonia arrived from Gibraltar and they took over the tow. Antelope then joined Westcott as A/S screen. With Salvonia came also the A/S trawler HMS Lady Hogarth (T/Lt. S.G. Barnes, RNR).

'Force Y'.

At 2345B/15 the Italian submarine Bronzo sighted an enemy escort vessel of the 'Kingfisher-class' which opened fire on the submarine in position 36°50'N, 00°10'E. This was HMS Coltsfoot. The submarine was depth-charged and escaped by going down to 117 metres.

16 June 1942.

It had been intended that the minesweepers would be ahead of the convoy when approaching Malta but owning to mistakes the convoy arrived first. The result was that one of the two remaining merchant vessels, the Orari, the destroyer HMS Matchless, two escort destroyers HMS Badsworth, ORP Kujawiak and the minesweeper HMS Hebe hit mines. Fortunately damage was light except for ORP Kujawiak which unfortunately sank in three minutes.

After having taken on board ammunition at Malta, HMS Cairo, HMS Ithuriel, HMS Marne, HMS Middleton and HMS Blankney departed the island in the evening to return to Gibraltar.

HMS Liverpool

Shortly after 0800B/16, the destroyer HMS Panther (Lt.Cdr. R.W. Jocelyn, RN) joined the A/S screen of the disabled HMS Liverpool. Two more vessels came out from Gibraltar to join the A/S screen, these were the corvette HMS Jonquil (Lt.Cdr. R.E.H. Partington, RD, RNR) which joined around 0940B/16. At 1530B/16, the motor launch ML 458 joined.

17 June 1942.

As HMS Cairo and the two destroyers and two escort destroyers were skirting along the African coast they were shadowed from sunrise onward. They were however not attacked until midday, when they were passed the Galita bank. From then until 2030B/17 that evening, German bombers pestered them continuously. The Germans came sometimes in flights of six, though generally in flights of two and three. Main target seems to have been HMS Ithuriel which had a tough time and sustained some minor damage due to leaks from near misses. During the attacks one enemy bomber was shot down by HMS Cairo.

At 2017B/17, they joined with Vice-Admiral Curteis with HMS Kenya and HMS Charybdis in position 37°30’N, 04°30’E. After leaving the convoy in the evening of the 14th, the Vice-Admiral had taken ‘Force W’ some 400 nautical miles to the west of Sardinia in order to avoid observation and attack while waiting for the return of ‘Force X’. His ships had however been shadowed on the 15th and was then attacked by two small groups of torpedo aircraft. Hurricanes from HMS Eagle forced them to drop their torpedoes from long range. They were also able to shoot down one of the attackers.

From the morning of the 16th to noon on the 17th, Vice-Admiral Curteis, cruised with HMS Kenya and HMS Charybdis near the rendez-vous position. HMS Malaya both aircraft carriers and the remaining destroyers had been sent to Gibraltar around 0800/16. They arrived at Gibraltar around 1030/17.

Around noon on the 17th, Vice-Admiral Curteis, with his two cruisers proceeded eastwards to meet up with A/Capt. Hardy’s force after which they proceeded in company to Gibraltar where they arrived in the early evening of the 18th.

HMS Liverpool

HMS Liverpool and her escorts safely arrived at Gibraltar late in the afternoon of the 17th. (4)

28 Jul 1942
HrMs O 24 (Lt. W.J. de Vries, RNN) arrived at Gibraltar. She was escorted in by the British corvette HMS Coltsfoot (Lt.Cdr. the Hon. W.K. Rous, RNVR). (5)

2 Aug 1942

Convoy WS 21S and Operation Pedestal.

Convoy WS 21S and the concentration of the escort forces

Convoy WS 21S departed the Clyde on 2 August 1942. The convoy was made up of the following ships;
American freighters;
Almeria Lykes (7773 GRT, built 1940), Santa Elisa (8379 GRT, built 1941), British freighters;
Brisbane Star (12791 GRT, built 1937), Clan Ferguson (7347 GRT, built 1938), Deucalion (7516 GRT, built 1930), Dorset (10624 GRT, built 1934), Empire Hope (12688 GRT, built 1941), Glenorchy (8982 GRT, built 1939), Melbourne Star (11076 GRT, built 1936), Port Chalmers (8535 GRT, built 1933), Rochester Castle (7795 GRT, built 1937), Waimarama (12843 GRT, built 1938), Wairangi (12436 GRT, built 1935), and the American tanker;
Ohio (9264 GRT, built 1940).

These ships were escorted by light cruisers HMS Nigeria (Capt. S.H. Paton, RN, flying the flag of the Rear-Admiral 10th C.S., H.M. Burrough, CB, DSO, RN), HMS Kenya (Capt. A.S. Russell, RN) and the destroyers HMS Wishart (Cdr. H.G. Scott, RN), HMS Venomous (Cdr. H.W. Falcon-Stewart, RN), HMS Wolverine (Lt.Cdr. P.W. Gretton, OBE, DSC, RN), HMS Malcolm (A/Cdr. A.B. Russell, RN), HMS Amazon (Lt.Cdr.(Emgy) Lord Teynham, RN), HMS Derwent (Cdr. R.H. Wright, DSC, RN) and HMS Zetland (Lt. J.V. Wilkinson, RN).

A cover force made up of departed Scapa Flow on the same day. This force was made up of the battleships HMS Nelson (Capt. H.B. Jacomb, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral E.N. Syfret, CB, RN) and HMS Rodney (Capt. J.W. Rivett-Carnac, DSC, RN). They were escorted by the destroyers HMS Ashanti (Cdr. R.G. Onslow, DSO, RN), HMS Eskimo (Cdr. E.G. Le Geyt, RN), HMS Somali (Cdr. E.N.V. Currey, DSC, RN), HMS Tartar (Cdr. St.J.R.J. Tyrwhitt, DSC, RN), HMS Pathfinder (Cdr. E.A. Gibbs, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Penn (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) and HMS Quentin (Lt.Cdr. A.H.P. Noble, DSC, RN). They were to rendez-vous with convoy WS 21S at sea on 3 August. HMS Penn was delayed by a defect and after topping off with fuel at Moville, Northern Ireland overtook the force and joined at sea.

The aircraft carrier HMS Victorious (Capt. H.C. Bovell, CBE, RN, flying the flag of Rear Admiral A.L.St.G. Lyster, CB, CVO, DSO, RN) and the light cruiser HMS Sirius (Capt. P.W.B. Brooking, RN) meanwhile had already left Scapa Flow on 31 July 1941 to rendez-vous with the convoy. They were escorted by the destroyers HMS Intrepid (Cdr. C.A.deW. Kitcat, RN), HMS Icarus (Lt.Cdr. C.D. Maud, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Fury (Lt.Cdr. C.H. Campbell, DSC and Bar, RN) and HMS Foresight (Lt.Cdr. R.A. Fell, RN). These ships were joined at sea on 1 August 1942 by the aircraft carrier HMS Argus (Capt. G.T. Philip, RN), loaded with spare fighter aircraft for the operation, and her two escorts the destroyers HMS Buxton (Lt.Cdr. I.J. Tyson, RD, RNR) and HMS Sardonyx (Lt.Cdr. A.F.C. Gray, RNR). HMS Argus and her two escorting destroyers had departed the Clyde on 31 July. HMS Buxton later split off and proceeded towards Canada and HMS Sardonyx proceeded to Londonderry.

The last ships to take part in the operation to depart the U.K. (Clyde around midnight during the night of 4/5 August) were the aircraft carrier HMS Furious (Capt. T.O. Bulteel, RN), loaded with Hurricane fighters for Malta, and her escorts, the light cruiser HMS Manchester (Capt. H. Drew, DSC, RN) and the Polish destroyer ORP Blyscawica (Kpt.mar. (Lt.Cdr.) L. Lichodziejewski). They were joined at sea, around dawn, by HMS Sardonyx coming from Londonderry. The destroyers parted company around midnight during the night of 5/6 August. They arrived at Londonderry on 7 August. HMS Furious and HMS Manchester then joined convoy WS 21S around midnight of the next night but HMS Manchester parted company shortly afterwards to proceed ahead of the convoy and fuel at Gibraltar.

On 1 August 1942 the aircraft carrier HMS Indomitable (Capt. T.H. Troubridge, RN), light cruiser HMS Phoebe (Capt. C.P. Frend, RN) and the destroyers HMS Laforey (Capt. R.M.J. Hutton, RN), HMS Lightning (Cdr. H.G. Walters, DSC, RN) and HMS Lookout (Lt.Cdr. A.G. Forman, DSC, RN) departed Freetown to proceed to a rendez-vous position off the Azores.

On 5 August 1942, the aircraft carrier HMS Eagle (Capt. L.D. Mackintosh, DSC, RN), light cruiser HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) and the the destroyers HMS Wrestler (Lt. R.W.B. Lacon, DSC, RN), HMS Westcott (Cdr. I.H. Bockett-Pugh, DSO, RN) and HMS Vansittart (Lt.Cdr. T. Johnston, RN) departed Gibraltar also to the rendezvous position off the Azores.

The convoy conducted maneuvering and AA exercises with the escorts between the Azores and Gibraltar during the period of 6 to 9 August. (Operation Berserk). Also dummy air attacks were carried out by aircraft from the carriers.

Passage of the Straits of Gibraltar and organization of escort forces.

The convoy then passed the Straits of Gibraltar during the night of 9/10 August 1942 in dense fog but despite this the convoy was detected by German and Italian spies and reported.

After passing the Straits of Gibraltar the convoy was organized as follows;
The actual convoy was protected a large force of warships until the whole force would split up before entering the Sicilian narrows after which ‘Force X’ under command of Rear-Admiral Sir H.M. Burrough, CB, DSO, RN was to accompany the convoy to the approaches to Malta where they would be met by the Malta Minesweeping Flotilla, which was then to sweep the convoy into the harbour. Force X was made up of the following ships:
Licht cruisers: HMS Nigeria (flagship), HMS Kenya,, HMS Manchester.
AA cruiser: HMS Cairo (A/Capt. C.C. Hardy, DSO, RN).
Destroyers: HMS Ashanti, HMS Fury, HMS Foresight, HMS Icarus, HMS Intrepid, HMS Pathfinder and HMS Penn.
Escort destroyers: HMS Derwent, HMS Bicester (Lt.Cdr. S.W.F. Bennetts, RN), HMS Bramham (Lt. E.F. Baines, RN), HMS Ledbury (Lt.Cdr. R.P. Hill, RN) and HMS Wilton (Lt. A.P. Northey, RN). Also the rescue tug HMRT Jaunty was to be part of this force.

After the escort was to be split up cover was provided by ‘Force Z’ under Vice-Admiral E.N. Syfret, CB, RN. This force was made up of the following ships:
Battleships: HMS Nelson (flagship) and HMS Rodney.
Aircraft carriers: HMS Victorious, HMS Indomitable and HMS Eagle.
Light cruisers: HMS Phoebe, HMS Sirius and HMS Charybdis.
Destroyers: HMS Laforey, HMS Lightning, HMS Lookout, HMS Eskimo, HMS Somali, HMS Tartar, HMS Quentin, HMS Ithuriel (Lt.Cdr. D.H. Maitland-Makgill-Crichton, DSC, RN), HMS Antelope (Lt.Cdr. E.N. Sinclair), HMS Wishart and HMS Vansittart. Escort destroyer: HMS Zetland. Also attached were the aircraft carrier HMS Furious (for Operation Bellows, the launching of Hurricane fighters for Malta. HMS Furious only carried four Albacore aircraft for A/S searches after the Hurricanes had been launched) and the ‘spare’ destroyers HMS Keppel (Cdr. J.E. Broome, RN), HMS Malcolm, HMS Venomous, HMS Vidette (Lt.Cdr. E.N. Walmsley, DSC, RN), HMS Westcott, HMS Wolverine, HMS Wrestler and HMS Amazon. These ‘spare’ destroyers were to take the place of destroyers in the screen ‘Force Z’ if needed, escort HMS Furious during her return passage to Gibraltar after she had completed Operation Bellows and / or strengthen the escort of ‘Force R’.

Then there was also ‘Force R’, the fuelling force. This force was made up of the following ships:
Corvettes: HMS Jonquil (Lt.Cdr. R.E.H. Partington, RD, RNR), HMS Spiraea (Lt.Cdr. R.S. Miller, DSC, RNR), HMS Geranium (T/Lt. A. Foxall, RNR) and HMS Coltsfoot (T/Lt. the Hon. W.K. Rous, RNVR).
Rescue tug: HMS Salvonia.
RFA tankers: RFA Brown Ranger (3417 GRT, built 1941, Master D.B.C. Ralph) and RFA Dingledale (8145 GRT, built 1941, Master R.T. Duthie).

Before we give an account of the passage of the main convoy we will now first describe the operations taking place in the Eastern Mediterranean (Operations MG 3 and MG 4), the launching of the Hurricane fighters for Malta by HMS Furious (Operation Bellows) and the return convoy from Malta (Operation Ascendant) as well as on submarine operations / dispositions.

Diversion in the Eastern Mediterranean.

As part of the plan for Operation Pedestal the Mediterranean Fleet had to carry out a diversion in the Eastern part of the Mediterranean. Before we go to the operations in the Western Mediterranean we will first give an account of the events in the Eastern Mediterranean.

It was at this time not possible to sent any supplies from Egypt to Malta as all supplies and forces were much needed for the upcoming land battle at El Alamein it was agreed that ‘a dummy convoy’ would be sent towards Malta with the object of preventing the enemy to direct the full weight of their air and naval power towards the Western Mediterranean.

In the evening of 10 August 1942 a ‘convoy’ (MG 3) of three merchant ships departed Port Said escorted by three cruisers and ten destroyers. Next morning one more merchant ship departed Haifa escorted by two cruisers and five destroyers. The two forces joined that day (the 11th) and then turned back dispersing during the night. The Italian fleet however did not go to sea to attack ‘the bait’.

The forces taking part in this operation were:
From Port Said:
Merchant vessels City of Edinburgh (8036 GRT, built 1938), City of Lincoln (8039 GRT, built 1938) and City of Pretoria (8049 GRT, built 1937) escorted by the light cruisers HMS Arethusa (Capt. A.C. Chapman, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral I.G. Glennie, RN), HMS Euryalus (Capt. E.W. Bush, DSO, DSC, RN), the AA cruiser HMS Coventry (Capt. R.J.R. Dendy, RN) and the destroyers HMS Jervis (Capt. A.L. Poland, DSO and Bar, DSC, RN), HMS Kelvin (Cdr. M.S. Townsend, OBE, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Pakenham (Capt. E.B.K. Stevens, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Paladin (Cdr. A.F. Pugsley, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Dulverton(Lt.Cdr. W.N. Petch, OBE, RN), HMS Hurworth (Lt.Cdr. J.T.B. Birch, RN), HMS Eridge (Lt.Cdr. W.F.N. Gregory-Smith, DSC, RN), HMS Hursley (Lt. W.J.P. Church, DSC, RN), HMS Beaufort (Lt.Cdr. S.O’G Roche, RN) and HMS Belvoir (Lt. J.F.D. Bush, DSC and Bar, RN).

From Haifa:
Merchant vessel Ajax (7797 GRT, built 1931) escorted by the light cruisers HMS Cleopatra (Capt. G. Grantham, DSO, RN, flagship of Rear-Admiral P.L. Vian, KBE, DSO and 2 Bars, RN), HMS Dido (Capt. H.W.U. McCall, RN), the destroyers HMS Sikh (Capt. St.J. A. Micklethwait, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Zulu (Cdr. R.T. White, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Javelin (Cdr. G.E. Fardell, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Tetcott (Lt. H.R. Rycroft, RN) and HMS Croome (Lt.Cdr. R.C. Egan, RN).

After dark on 11 August 1942 the force turned back and the City of Pretoria returned to Port Said escorted by HMS Eridge and HMS Hursley. The City of Edinburgh, escorted by HMS Beaufort and HMS Belvoir proceeded to Haifa. The City of Lincoln escorted by HMS Dulverton and HMS Hurworth proceeded to Beirut and finally the Ajax, escorted by HMS Tetcott and HMS Croome returned to Haifa. HMS Dido had to return to Port Said with hull defects. She was escorted by HMS Pakenham, HMS Paladin and HMS Jervis.

HMS Cleopatra, HMS Arethusa, HMS Sikh, HMS Zulu, HMS Javelin and HMS Kelvin then proceeded to carry out another diversion (Operation MG 4). They bombarded Rhodes harbour and the Alliotti Flour Mills during the night of 12/13 August but did little damage. On the way back HMS Javelin attacked a submarine contact in position 34°45’N, 31°04’E between 0654 and 0804 hours. She reported that there was no doubt that the submarine was sunk but no Axis submarines were operating in this area so the attack must have been bogus. This force returned to Haifa at 1900B/13.

Operation Bellows.

During operation Bellows, the aircraft carrier HMS Furious, started 37 Spitfire which were to proceed to Malta, when south of the Balearic Islands. The Admiralty had decided to carry out this operation at the same time as Operation Pedestal.

HMS Furious remained with the convoy until 1200B/11. She then launched the Spitfires for Malta in 5 batches between 1230 and 1515 hours. During these flying off operations she acted independently with the destroyers HMS Lookout and HMS Lightning. After having launched the last batch of Spitfires she briefly re-joined to convoy until around 1700 hours when she split off and set course for Gibraltar escorted by the destroyers HMS Malcolm, HMS Wolverine and HMS Wrestler. These were joined shortly afterwards by HMS Keppel and HMS Venomous.

Around 0100B/12, HMS Wolverine, rammed and sank the Italian submarine Dagabur which was trying to attack HMS Furious. Around 0200 hours, HMS Wolverine reported that she was stopped due to the damage she had sustained in the ramming. HMS Malcolm was detached to assist her.

At 1530B/12, the destroyer HMS Vidette joined the screen. The force then entered Gibraltar Bay around 1930B/12. The damaged HMS Wolverine arrived at Gibraltar at 1230B/13 followed by HMS Malcolm around 1530B/13.

Operation Ascendant

On 10 August 1942 the empty transports Troilus (7648 GRT, built 1921) and Orari (10107 GRT, built 1931) departed Malta after dark for Gibraltar. They were escorted by the destroyer HMS Matchless (Lt.Cdr. J. Mowlam, RN) and the escort destroyer HMS Badsworth (Lt. G.T.S. Gray, DSC, RN). They first proceeded to the south of Lampedusa, then hugged the Tunisian coast as far as Galita Island. Near Cape Bon they encountered the Italian destroyer Lanzerotto Malocello that was laying a minefield. They had a brief gunfight but this was soon ended as both sides were thinking the enemy was Vichy-French. The remained of the passage to Gibraltar was uneventful and the convoy arrived at Gibraltar shortly before noon on 14 August 1942.

Submarine operations / dispositions.
Eight submarines took part in the operation; these were HMS Utmost (Lt. A.W. Langridge, RN), HMS P 31 (Lt. J.B.de B. Kershaw, DSO, RN), HMS P 34 (Lt. P.R.H. Harrison, DSC, RN), HMS P 42 (Lt. A.C.G. Mars, RN), HMS P 44 (Lt. T.E. Barlow, RN), HMS P 46 (Lt. J.S. Stevens, DSC, RN), HMS P 211 (Cdr. B. Bryant, DSC, RN), HMS P 222 (Lt.Cdr. A.J. MacKenzie, RN). Two of these were to carry out normal dived patrol to the north of Sicily, one off Palermo, the other off Milazzo which is futher to the east. The other six submarines were given alternative patrol lines south of Pantelleria, one od which they were to take up at dawn on 13 August 1942, according to the movements of enemy surface ships that might threathen the convoy from the westward. When the convoy had passed the patrol line, which it should have done by that time, the submarines were to proceed on the surface parallel to the convoy as a screen and to dive away clear of the convoy at noon. It was expressly intended that they should be seen on the surface and reported by enemy aircraft in order to deter enemy warships from attacking the convoy.

Enemy warships did go to sea but as soon as it was clear that the enemy ships could not reach the convoy the sunmarines were ordered to dive and retire. These six sumarines had no contact with the enemy. One of the the two submarines off the north coast of Sicily, HMS P 42, managed to torpedo two Italian cruisers near Stromboli on the morning of 13 August 1942.

Now we return to the main convoy to Malta.

Passage eastwards after passing the Straits of Gibraltar.

10 and 11 August 1942.

After passing through the Straits of Gibraltar in the early hours of 10 August 1942, in dense fog, the convoy was first sighted by an Italian passenger aircraft, which sighted the convoy in the afternoon of the same day. German reconnaissance aircraft started shadowing the convoy from dawn on the 11th, and thereafter they or Italian aircraft kept the convoy under continuous observation, despite the effort of the fighters from the carriers to shoot them down or drive them off. At 1315 hours, HMS Eagle, was hit an sunk by torpedoes from the German submarine U-73 which had penetrated the destroyer screen. At that moment there were thirteen destroyers in the screen, the remainder was away from the main convoy, escorting HMS Furious during the flying off operations of the Hurricane fighters for Malta or oiling from and screening ‘Force R’ which was several miles away. Between 1430B/10 and and 2030B/11 no less then three cruisers and twenty-four destroyers fuelled from the two oilers of ‘Force R’.

At the time of the torpedoing of HMS Eagle the convoy was in four columns, zigzagging at 13 knots, with the heavy ships stationed close round it and a destroyer screen ahead. HMS Eagle was on the starboard quarter of the convoy. She was hit on her starboard side by four torpedoes which had dived through the destroyer screen and the convoy columns undetected and then torpedoed and sank the Eagle in position 38°05’N, 03°02’E (Another source gives 03°12’E but this might be a typo). The carrier sank quickly in about 8 minutes, 926 of her crew, including the Commanding Officer, were rescued by the destroyers HMS Laforey and HMS Lookout and the rescue tug HMS Jaunty. At the time of her sinking, HMS Eagle had four aircraft on patrol. These landed on the other carriers. All other aircraft were lost with the ship. The survivors picked up were later transferred to the destroyers HMS Keppel, HMS Malcolm and HMS Venomous that were to escort HMS Furious back to Gibraltar. The tug HMS Jaunty that had been involved in picking up survivors was never able to rejoin the convoy due to her slow speed.

Late in the afternoon air attacks were expected so Vice-Admiral Syfret ordered the destroyer to form an all-round screen. Indeed the air attacks started around sunset, 2045 hours. The last destroyers had just returned from oiling from ‘Force R’. The enemy aircraft that were attacking were 36 German bombers and torpedo aircraft, Ju 88’s and He 111’s, most of which attacked the convoy but a few attacked ‘Force R’ to the southward. The Junkers arrived first, diving down from 8000 feet to 2000 / 3000 feet to drop their bombs. They claimed to have hit an aircraft carrier and one of the merchant ships. Then the Heinkels attacked, they claimed to have torpedoed a cruiser but during the attacks no ship was hit. The British fighter cover was unable to attack / find the enemy in the failing light. Four enemy aircraft were claimed shot down by the ships AA fire but it appears only two JU 88’s were in fact shot down.

12 August 1942

At 0915B/12 another wave of German aircraft attacked the convoy. Some twenty or more JU 88’s approached the convoy out of the sun ahead. They were intercepted by fighters about 25 miles from the convoy. About a dozen got through to the convoy, making high-level or shallow dive-bombing attacks individually but without any result. Eight German aircraft were claimed to be shot down by the fighters and two more by AA guns from the ships. The fighters meanwhile were also busy dealng with shadowers, three of which are claimed to have been shot down before the morning attack. Around this time destroyers were also busy with numerous submarine contact which were attacked by depth charges.

Around noon the enemy launched heavy air attacks from the Sardinian airfields. Seventy aircraft approached which were heavily escorted by fighters. They attacked in stages and employed new methods.

First ten Italian torpedo-bombers were each to drop some sort of circling torpedo or mine a few hundred yards ahead of the British force, while eight fighter bombers made dive-bombing and machine-gun attacks. The object at this stage was clearly to dislocate the formation of the force and to draw anti-aircraft fire, making the ships more vulnerable to a torpedo attack which soon followed with over forty aircraft. They attacked in two groups, one on either bow of the convoy. The next stage was a shallow dive-bombing attack by German aircraft, after which two Italian Reggiane 2001 fighters, each with a single heavy armour-piercing bomb were to dive bomb on one of the aircraft carriers, whilst yet another new form of attack was to be employed against the other carrier, but defects in the weapon prevented this attack from taking place.

The enemy attack went according to plan besides that the torpedo attack was only made half an our after the ‘mines’ were dropped instead of five minutes. British fighters met the minelaying aircraft, they shot down one of them as they approached. The remaining nine aircraft dropped their ‘mines’ at 1215 hours in the path of the force, which turned to avoid the danger. The mines were heard to explode several minutes later. Only three of the fighter-bombers of this stage of the attack appear to have reached as far the screen, but HMS Lightning had a narrow escape from their bombs.

The torpedo-aircraft appeared at 1245 hours. Their number were brought down a bit due to British fighters. The remaining aircraft, estimated at 25 to 30 machines, attacked from the port bow, port beam and starboard quarter. They dropped their torpedoes well outside the screen some 8000 yards from the merchant ships which they had been ordered to attack. The force turned 45° to port and then back to starboard to avoid the attack.

In the next stage, around 1318 hours, the German bombing attack, the enemy scored their one success. These aircraft were also intercepted on their way in but about a dozen of about twenty aircraft came through. They crossed the convoy from starboard to port and then dived to 3000 feet. They managed to damage the transport Deucalion which was leading the port wing column. More bombs fell close to several other ships.

Finally, at 1345 hours, the two Reggiane fighters approached HMS Victorious as if to land on. They looked like Hurricanes and HMS Victorious was at that time engaged in landing her own fighters. They managed to drop their bombs and one hit the flight deck amidships. Fortunately the bomb broke up without exploding. By the time HMS Victorious could open fire both fighters were out of range.

The Deucalion could no longer keep up with the convoy and was ordered to follow the inshore route along the Tunisian coast escorted by HMS Bramham. Two bombers found these ships late in the afternoon, but their bombs missed. At 1940 hours, however, near the Cani Rocks, two torpedo aircraft attacked and a torpedo hit the Deucalion. She caught fire and eventually blew up.

The convoy passed some 20 miles north of Galita Island and spent the afternoon avoiding enemy submarines which were known to be concentrated in these waters. There were innumerable reports of sightings and Asdic contacts and at least two submarines proved dangerous. At 1616 hours, HMS Pathfinder and HMS Zetland attacked one on the port bow of the convoy and hunted her until the convoy was out of reach. HMS Ithuriel, stationed on the quarter, then attacked, forced the enemy to surface and finally rammed her. She proved to be the Italian submarine Cobalto. Meanwhile HMS Tartar, on the starboard quarter, saw six torpedoes fired at close range at 1640 hours, and the next destroyer in the screen, HMS Lookout sighted a periscope. Together they attacked the submarine, continuing until it was no longer dangerous. There was no evidence this submarine was sunk.

At 1750 hours, HMS Ithuriel, which was on her way back to the convoy after sinking the Italian submarine Cobalto was attacked by a few dive-bombers, when still a dozen miles astern of the convoy. At this time the convoy came under attack by aircraft stationed on Sicily. This force numbered nearly 100 aircraft. Ju.87 dive-bombers as well as Ju.88’s and SM-79’s all with a strong escort of fighters. The enemy started attacking at 1835 hours, the bombers attacking from both ahead and astern which last was the direction of the sun. The torpedo aircraft came from ahead to attack on the starboard bow and beam of the convoy.

The Italian SM-79’s torpedo bombers dropped their torpedoes from ranges of about 3000 yards outside the destroyer screen, and once again the convoy turned away to avoid them. However the destroyer HMS Foresight was hit by a torpedo and disabled. The bombers chose HMS Indomitable as their main target. She was astern of HMS Rodney at the time on the port quarter of the convoy. Four Ju.88’s and eight Ju.87’s came suddenly out of the sun and dived steeply towards HMS Indomitable from astern. Some of the Ju.87 came down to 1000 feet and the carrier received three hits and her flight deck was put out of action. Her airborne fighters eventually had to land on HMS Victorious. HMS Rodney meanwhile had a narrow escape when a bomber attacked from ahead. One enemy aircraft was claimed to have been shot down by AA fire from the ships while the fighters claimed nine more although there were about twice as much enemy fighters in the air then British.

HMS Tartar took the damaged HMS Foresight in tow and proceeded westward for Gibraltar. Next day, as they were shadowed by enemy aircraft, and enemy submarines were known to be in the area, it was decided to scuttle the cripple before both ships might be lost. HMS Tartar then torpedoed HMS Foresight a few miles from Galita Island.

Passage through the narrows, 12-13 August 1942, and the loss off HMS Manchester.

These last air attacks took place about 20 nautical miles west of the Skerki Channel and at 1900 hours, when the attacks were clearly over, Vice-Admiral Syfret turned away with ‘Force Z’. It was now up to Rear-Admiral Burrough with ‘Force X’ to take the convoy to Malta.

At 2000 hours, when the convoy was changing it’s formation from four to two columns, the convoy was attacked by Italian submarines. The submarine Dessiè attacked a freighter with four torpedoes and claimed three hits. The sound of the torpedo hits was however not caused by her attack but by an attack by the Axum which hit three ships, HMS Nigeria, HMS Cairo and the tanker Ohio.

HMS Nigeria had to turn back to make for Gibraltar escorted by the escort destroyers HMS Derwent, HMS Wilton and HMS Bicester. Rear-Admiral Burrough transferred his flag to the destroyer HMS Ashanti. The stern of HMS Cairo had been blown off and she had to be sunk as she was beyond salvage with both engines also out of action. She was scuttled by HMS Pathfinder. The Ohio meanwhile managed to struggle on.

At this time the convoy was still trying to form up the the submarine attacks messed things up and right at thus time the convoy was once more attacked from the air in the growing dusk at 2030 hours. About 20 German aircraft, Ju-88’s made dive bombing and torpedo attacks, hitting the Empire Hope with a bomb and the Clan Ferguson and Brisbane Star with torpedoes. The first of these ships had to be sunk (by HMS Bramham, the second blew up but the last eventually reached Malta. Soon after this attack, at 2111 hours, HMS Kenya was torpedoed by the Italian submarine Alagi. She was able to evade three of the four torpedoes but was hit in the bow by the fouth. She was however able to remain with the convoy.

The situation was then as follows. HMS Kenya and HMS Manchester with two merchant ships, and with the minesweeping destroyers HMS Intrepid, HMS Icarus and HMS Fury sweeping ahead, had passed the Skerki Channel and were steering to pass Zembra Island on the way to Cape Bon. HMS Ashanti, with Rear-Admiral Burrough on board was fast overhauling these ships. The other two destroyers HMS Pathfinder, HMS Penn and the escort destroyer HMS Ledbury, were rounding up the remaining nine merchant ships. The escort destroyer HMS Bramham was also catching up after having escorted the single Deucalion until she sank.

On learing about the fate of HMS Nigeria and HMS Cairo, Vice-Admiral Syfret detached HMS Charybdis, HMS Eskimo and HMS Somali to reinforce Rear-Admiral Burrough. It would take these ships several hourse to catch up with the convoy.

The main body of the convoy passed Cape Bon around midnight. Fourty minutes later enemy Motor Torpedo Boats appeared and started to attack. Their first victim was HMS Manchester which was torpedoed at 0120B/13 by the Italian MS 16 or MS 22. She had to be scuttled by her own crew. Many of her ships company landed in Tunisia and were interned by the Vichy-French but about 300 were picked up by destroyers (first by HMS Pathfinder, and later by HMS Eskimo and HMS Somali. These last two destoyers then set off towards Gibraltar.)

Four and possibly five of the merchant ships were also hit by the Motor Torpedo Boats. These were the Wairangi, Rochester Castle, Almeria Lykes, Santa Elisa and probably the Glenorchy. They were attacked between 0315 and 0430 hours about 15 nautical miles south-east of Kelibia whilst taking a short cut to overhaul the main body of the convoy. Four were lost, only the Rochester Castle survived and she managed to catch up with the main body of the convoy at 0530 hours. The Glenorchy was sunk by the Italian MS 31, the other four, of which the Rochester Castle survived as mentioned earlier, were hit by the German S 30 and S 36 as well as the Italian MAS 554 and MAS 557.

Shortly before 0530 hours HMS Charybdis, HMS Eskimo and HMS Somali had joined the main body of the convoy making the force now two cruisers and seven destroyers with the transports Rochester Castle, Waimarama and Melbourne Star. The damaged tanker Ohio was slowly catching up. With her was the escort destroyer HMS Ledbury. Astern of the main body was the Port Chalmers escorted by the destroyer HMS Penn and the escort destroyer HMS Bramham. The destroyers recued the crew of the Santa Elisa when the passed by the abandoned ship which was afterwards finished off by a German bomber. The Dorset was proceeding without escort and lastly the damaged Brisbane Star was still keeping close to the Tunisian coast independently, intending to steer towards Malta after nightfall.

At 0730 hours, Rear-Admiral Burrough, sent back HMS Tartar and HMS Somali to Kelibia to assist HMS Manchester and then go to Gibraltar. When they arrived they found out that the Manchester had been scuttled several hours earlier so they rescued those of her crew that had not reached the shore yet and then made off to Gibraltar as ordered. Besides crew of the Manchester they also picked up survivors from the Almeria Lykes and Wairangi.

The next encounter with the enemy was an air attack on the main body of the convoy at 0800 hours by German bombers. About 12 Ju.88’s made a shallow diving attack coming down from 6000 feet to 2000 feet to drop their bombs. Two dived on the Waimarama hitting her several times and she blew up immediately, one of the bombers was even destroyed in the explosion. HMS Ledbury saved some of her crew out of the blazing sea. At 0925 hours, when the Ohio, Port Chalmers and Dorset where with the main body again, a few Ju.87’s escorted by Italian fighters attacked. They dived down to 1500 to 1000 feet. HMS Kenya leading the port column, and the Ohio last ship but one in the starboard column, had narrow escapes. One of the enemy aircraft crashed on board the Ohio just after having released it’s bomb after being damaged by gunfire from the Ohio and HMS Ashanti. Another aircraft was claimed to have been shot down by fighters from Malta that had been patrolling overhead since daybreak.

Arrivals at Malta 13-15 August 1942.

At 1050 hours, about 20 bombers, mostly Ju.88’s with a few Ju.87’s, came in to attack. Target was the Ohio and she received four or five near misses and her engines were disabled. At the same time the Rochester Castle in the port column was near-missed and set on fire but she continued with the convoy. The Dorset which was astern of her was hit and stopped. The convoy went on leaving the Dorset behind with the Ohio and two destroyers.

At 1125 hours the last air attack on the main body took place. Five Italian SM.79’s attacked with torpedoes and almost hit the Port Chalmers as the torpedo got stuck in the paravane. Further attacks on the main body were held of by fighters from Malta. At 1430 hours, four minesweepers from Malta joined the main body of the convoy, these were HMS Speedy (Lt.Cdr. A.E. Doran, RN, with the group’s commander A/Cdr. H.J.A.S. Jerome, RN on board), HMS Hebe, HMS Rye and HMS Heyte. Also with them were seven Motor Launches; ML 121, ML 126, ML 134, ML 135, ML 168, ML 459 and ML 462. HMS Rye and two of the ML’s were sent towards the damaged Ohio which was ‘vital for Malta’, according to A/Cdr. Jerome.

At 1600 hours, Rear-Admiral Burrough, set course to the west with his two cruisers and with five destroyers. The Port Chalmers, Melbourne Star and Rochester Castle arrived in Grand Harbour around 1800 hours with the force of A/Cdr. Jerome. The Rochester Castle was by that time very low in the water, she had just made it into port on time.

Out were still the Ohio, Dorset and the Brisbane Star. The valuable Ohio had been helpless with HMS Penn and HMS Bramham. When HMS Rye arrived at 1730 hours, HMS Penn took the Ohio in tow. Meanwhile HMS Bramham was sent to the Dorset but soon afterwards German bombers came again and the ships were attacked repeatedly until dark. Both merchantman were hit around 1900 hours and the Dorset sank.

At daylight on the 14th HMS Ledbury arrived to help bringing the Ohio to Malta. HMS Speedy also soon arrived on the scene with two ML’s. The rest of his force he had sent to search for the Brisbane Star. At 1045 hours, enemy aircraft made their last attempt, causing the parting of the tow. Fighter from Malta shot down two of the attackers. The tow was passed again and the slow procession went on and in the morning of the 15th the vital tanker finally reached Malta.

The Brisbane Star had by then also arrived. She left the Tunisian coast at dusk on the 13th. Aircraft had attacked her unsuccessfully and one of the attackers was shot down by a Beaufighter escort that had been sent from Malta. She arrived at Malta in the afternoon of the 14th.

Italian surface ships to operate against the convoy ?

The convoy had experienced the violence of the enemy in every shape except that of an attack by large surface ships. Yet Italian cruisers and destroyers had been at sea to intercept and attack it. Two light cruiser had left Cagliari in the evening of 11 August 1942 and the heavy cruisers Gorizia and Bolzano from Messina, and a light cruiser from Naples had sailed on the morning of the 12th. That evening reconnaissance aircraft reported one heavy and two light cruisers with eight destroyers about 80 nautical miles to the north of the western tip of Sicily and steering south. It would have been possible for this force to meet the convoy at dawn on the 13th so the shadowing aircraft was therefore ordered in plain language to illuminate and attack. This apparently influenced the Italians as they had limited air cover and they turned back at 0130B/13 when near Cape San Vito. At 0140 hours the aircraft reported that it had dropped its bombs but no hits had been obtained. Similar orders were signalled, in plain language, to relief shadowers and to report the position of the enemy force to the benefit of imaginary Liberator bombers in case the Italians would change their minds and turn back. They however held on to the eastward.

The submarine HMS P 42 sighted them around 0800B/13 off Stromboli and attacked with four torpedoes claiming two hits. She had in fact hit the heavy cruiser Bolzano which was able to proceed northwards and the light cruiser Muzio Attendolo which managed to reach Messina with her bows blown off. The other cruisers went to Naples. Following the attack P 42 was heavily depth charged by the destroyers but managed to escape.

In fact the following Italian ships had been at sea; heavy cruisers Gorizia, Trieste, Bolzano, light cruisers Eugenio di Savoia Raimondo Montecuccoli, Muzio Attendolo. They were escorted by eleven destroyers; Ascari, Aviere, Camicia Nera, Corsaro, Fuceliere, Geniere, Legionaro, Vincenzo Gioberti, Alfredo Oriani, Grecale and Maestrale.

The return to Gibraltar.

The British ships returning to Gibraltar had better fortune. Having left the convoy off Malta in the afternoon of the 13th, they rounded Cape Bon around 0130B/14 and from that point until past Zembra Island they successful ran the gauntled of E-boats laying in wait.

at 0450B/14, near the Fratelli Rocks, a submarine fired torpedoes at HMS Ashanti from the surface. She was nearly rammed by HMS Kenya, which was next astern of the ‘flagship’ (Rear-Admiral Burrough was still in HMS Ashanti). The inevitable shadowers arrived soon after daylight to herald their air attacks that began at 0730 hours. They lasted until around 1315 hours. German bombers came in first with three attemps by a few Ju.88’s. This was followed by a more severe attack with about 30 bombers, Ju-88’s and Ju-87’s between 1030 and 1050 hours. An hour later 15 Savoia high-level bombers attacked followed until 1315 hours by torpedo-carrying Savoia’s. Around 20 aircraft attacking single or in pairs. Also aircraft are though to be laying mines ahead. Several ships were near missed, but no further damage was sustained. After these attacks the British were left alone and in the evening they joined ‘Force Z’.

Vice-Admiral Syfret had gone as far west as 01’E where he ordered the damaged carrier HMS Indomitable to proceed to Malta with HMS Rodney and a destroyer screen made up of HMS Ithuriel, HMS Antelope, HMS Amazon, HMS Westcott, HMS Wishart and HMS Zetland. He then turned back to the east to make rendez-vous with Rear-Admiral Burrough. HMS Rodney, HMS Indomitable, HMS Ithuriel, HMS Antelope, HMS Amazon, HMS Westcott, HMS Wishart and HMS Zetland arrived at Gibraltar in the evening of the 14th.

A few hours before they arrived the damaged HMS Nigeria and her escort had also entered port, as had HMS Tartar, HMS Eskimo and HMS Somali. On her way back HMS Nigeria had been attacked by torpedo-bombers and a submarine but she had not been hit.

Conclusion.

Out of the fourteen ships that had sailed only five arrived ‘safe’ at Malta. This was not a very high score also given the very heavy escort that had been provided also taken in mind that an aircraft carrier, a light cruiser, an AA cruiser an a destroyer had been lost and two heavy cruiser had been damaged. But the convoy had to meet very heavy air attacks by over 150 bombers and 80 torpedo aircraft, all in the space of two days. Also these aircraft were protected by fighter in much greater strength that the carriers and Malta could provide. And there were also the enemy submarines and E-boats.

The spirit in which to operation was carried out appears in Vice-Admiral Syfret’s report: ‘ Tribute has been paid to the personnel of His Majesty’s Ships, both the officers and men will desire to give first place to the conduct, courage, and determination of the masters, officers, and men of the merchant ships. The steadfast manner in which these ships pressed on their way to Malta through all attacks, answering every maneuvering order like a well trained fleet unit, was a most inspiring sight. Many of these fine men and their ships were lost. But the memory of their conduct will remain an inspiration to all who were privileged to sail with them. ‘ (6)

25 Sep 1942
HMS P 48 (Lt. M.E. Faber, RN) conducted exercises off Gibraltar together with HMS Jonquil (Lt.Cdr. R.E.H. Partington, RD, RNR) and HMS Coltsfoot (Lt.Cdr. the Hon. W.K. Rous, RNVR). (7)

23 Feb 1943
HMS H 44 (Lt. P.S. Beale, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Coltsfoot (T/Lt. the Hon. W.K. Rous, RNVR) and HMS Angle (T/Lt. E. Playne, RNVR). (8)

24 Feb 1943
HMS H 44 (Lt. P.S. Beale, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Angle (T/Lt. E. Playne, RNVR), HMS Paynter (Lt. R.H. Nossiter, DSC, RANVR) and HMS Coltsfoot (T/Lt. the Hon. W.K. Rous, RNVR). (8)

6 Mar 1943
HMS H 28 (Lt. K.H. Martin, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Scarborough (Lt.Cdr. E.B. Carnduff, RN), HMS Coltsfoot (T/Lt. the Hon. W.K. Rous, RNVR), HMS Spiraea (Lt. A.H. Pierce, OBE, RNR), HMS Rochester (Cdr. H.V. King, OBE, RN), HNoMS Rose and HMS Fleetwood (Cdr. W.B. Piggott, OBE, RD, RNR). (9)

4 May 1943
HMS Upstart (Lt. P.C. Chapman, DSC and Bar, RN) conducted A/S exercises in Lough Foyle with HMS Northern Wave (T/Lt. J.P. Kilbee, RNR), ? (can't read the ships name in Upstart's log), HMS Scarborough (Lt.Cdr. E.B. Carnduff, RN), HMS Azalea (Lt. G.C. Geddes, RNR), HMS Coltsfoot (T/Lt. the Hon. W.K. Rous, RNVR) and HMS Balsam (Lt. J.E.L. Peters, RNVR). (10)

5 May 1943
HMS H 33 (Lt. J.A. Spender, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Balsam (Lt. J.E.L. Peters, RNVR), HMS Coltsfoot (T/Lt. the Hon. W.K. Rous, RNVR), HMS Parrsboro (T/A/Lt.Cdr. J.G. Raven, DSC, RNVR) and HMS Wedgeport (T/A/Lt.Cdr. G.L. Fetherstonhaugh, RNR). (11)

6 May 1943

Combined convoy OS 47 / KMS 14.

This combined convoy was assembled off Oversay on 6 May 1943.

It was made up of the following merchant vessels; Albion Star (British, 7946 GRT, built 1919), Amstelkerk (Dutch, 4457 GRT, built 1929), Baron Dunmore (British, 3938 GRT, built 1933), Baron Yarborough (British, 3388 GRT, 1928), Brika (British, 4412 GRT, built 1929), Chateauroux (British, 4765 GRT, built 1921), City of Agra (British, 6361 GRT, built 1936), City of Auckland (British, 8336 GRT, built 1914), City of Calcutta (British, 8063 GRT, built 1940), City of Hereford (British, 5101 GRT, built 1927), City of Oran (British, 7323 GRT, built 1915), Clan Forbes (British, 7529 GRT, built 1938), Clan MacBean (British, 5000 GRT, built 1918), Clumberhall (British, 5198 GRT, built 1930), Collegian (British, 7886 GRT, built 1923), Daldorch (British, 5571 GRT, built 1930), Egret (British, 1391 GRT, built 1937), Eildon (British, 1447 GRT, built 1936), Empire Barrie (British, 7168 GRT, built 1942), Empire Beatrice (British, 7046 GRT, built 1943), Empire Brook (British, 2852 GRT, built 1941), Empire Carpenter (British, 7025 GRT, built 1943), Empire Chamois (British, 5684 GRT, built 1918), Empire Clive (British (CAM ship), 7069 GRT, built 1941), Empire Commerce (British, 3722 GRT, built 1943), Empire Cougar (British, 5758 GRT, built 1919), Empire Eve (British (CAM ship), 5979 GRT, built 1941), Empire Galahad (British, 7046 GRT, built 1942), Empire Geraint (British, 6991 GRT, built 1942), Empire Lake (British, 2852 GRT, built 1941), English Prince (British, 7275 GRT, built 1943), Explorer (British, 6235 GRT, built 1935), Filleigh (British, 4856 GRT, built 1928), Fort Anne (British, 7134 GRT, built 1943), Fort Douglas (British, 7129 GRT, built 1942)), Fort Drew (British, 7134 GRT, built 1943), Fort Thompson (British, 7134 GRT, built 1942), Fort Vermillion (British, 7133 GRT, built 1942), Govert Flinck (Dutch, 7178 GRT, built 1942), Groix (British, 9975 GRT, built 1922), Guinean (British, 5205 GRT, built 1936), Harmonic (British, 4558 GRT, built 1930), Havildar (British, 5401 GRT, built 1940), Indian Prince (British, 8587 GRT, built 1926), James Barbour (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), John Holt (British, 4964 GRT, built 1943), Kingsland (British, 3669 GRT, built 1930), Kong Haakon VII (Norwegian, 7073 GRT, built 1942), Liberian (British, 5129 GRT, built 1936), Llancarvan (British, 4910 GRT, built 1937), Lombardy (British, 3379 GRT, built 1921), Lwow (Polish, 1409 GRT, built 1932), Macharda (British, 7998 GRT, built 1938), Manchester Port (British, 7071 GRT, built 1935), Maplewood (British, 4566 GRT, built 1930), Masirah (British, 6578 GRT, built 1919), Merkland (British, 1363 GRT, built 1934), Myrtlebank (British, 5150 GRT, built 1925), Nea (Norwegian, 1877 GRT, built 1921), Nestor (British, 14629 GRT, built 1913), Nigerstroom (Dutch, 4639 GRT, built 1939), Ocean Valour (British, 7174 GRT, built 1942), Ocean Vanity (British, 7174 GRT, built 1942), Ocean Verity (British, 7174 GRT, built 1942), Pencarrow (British, 4841 GRT, built 1921), Phrontis (Dutch, 6616 GRT, built 1926), Prince de Liege (Belgian, 2588 GRT, built 1938), Rallus (British, 1871 GRT, built 1922), Salawati (Dutch, 6643 GRT, built 192), Sellinge (British, 2327 GRT, built 1916), Silversandal (British, 6770 GRT, built 1930), Spero (British, 1589 GRT, built 1922), Stad Vlaardingen (Dutch, 8501 GRT, built 1925), Stanforth (British, 1817 GRT, built 1915), Tactician (British, 5996 GRT, built 1928), Thurland Castle (British, 6372 GRT, built 1929), Topsdalfjord (Norwegian, 4271 GRT, built 1921), Trader (British, 6087 GRT, built 1940), Tynemouth (British, 3168 GRT, built 1940) and Umvuma (British, 4419 GRT, built 1914).

On assembly the convoy was escorted by the sloops HMS Scarborough (Lt.Cdr. E.B. Carnduff, RN), HMS Deptford (Lt.Cdr. H.R. White, RN), corvettes HMS Azalea (Lt. G.C. Geddes, RNR), HMS Balsam (Lt. J.E.L. Peters, RNVR), HMS Coltsfoot (T/Lt. the Hon. W.K. Rous, RNVR), HMS Mignonette (Lt. H.H. Brown, RNR), minesweepers HMS Fort York (Lt.Cdr. C.H. Corbet-Singleton, DSC and 2 Bars, RN), HMS Parrsboro (T/A/Lt.Cdr. J.G. Raven, DSC, RNVR), HMS Qualicum (T/Lt. H. Stevens, RNVR), HMS Wedgeport (T/A/Lt.Cdr. G.L. Fetherstonhaugh, RNR), HMS Hazard (Lt.Cdr. L.C. Smith, RN) and the M/S trawler HMS Prodigal (T/Lt. G.C. Norman, RNR).

Later, between latitudes 49°N and 42°N, the AA cruiser HMS Scylla (Capt. I.A.P. Macintyre, CBE, DSO, RN) was near the convoy to provide cover.

On 7 May 1943, the Ocean Valour developed a fire in her lower bunker. As she was carrying ammunition and at 0800Z/7 she was detached in position 55°18'N, 08°58'W to return to Belfast.

Around 0200Z/9, HMS Mignonette was detached to make rendezvous with the merchant vessel Empire Guinevere (British, 7072 GRT, built 1942) which had been unable to sail with the convoy and had left Barrow-in-Furness later to proceed and join the convoy via the south of Ireland.

Around 0800Z/10, HMS Mignonette and the Empire Guinevere joined the convoy in position 49°16'N, 14°12'W as did the corvette HMS Spiraea (Lt. A.H. Pierce, OBE, RNR) and the merchant vessel Ocean Volunteer (British, 7174 GRT, built 1942) which came from Milford Haven.

At 0722Z/11, when the convoy was in position 47°07'N, 14°19'W, the air cover, a Halifax aircraft (Sqdn. 58/D), reported sighting a submarine bearing 217° - 10 nautical miles from the convoy. On receipt of this report HMS Mignonette was ordered to proceed to this position and she was ordered to rejoin by 1000Z/11 if not in contact. The convoy changed course to 150°.

At 0749Z/11, the aircraft reported that she had sighted and attacked a submarine in position 280° - 8 nautical miles. HMS Fleetwood was ordered to proceed to this position and she was ordered to rejoin by 1030Z/11 if not in contact. At 0820Z/11, HMS Fleetwood reported that she was in the position marked by the aircrafts smoke float and at 0856Z/11, she reported that she was in contact. On receipt of this info, HMS Mignonette and HMS Wedgeport were ordered to join HMS Fleetwood.

The convoy altered course to 200° at 1200Z/6.

At 1345Z/11, HMS Fleetwood reported that the submarine had been sunk and that she had picked up 39 survivors and HMS Mignonette another 6. The submarine in question was U-528 which had been damaged by the depth charges from the aircraft and HMS Fleetwood. The damaged U-boat managed to surface and was then scuttled by her crew.

At 1500Z/11, HMS Fleetwood, HMS Mignonette and HMS Wedgeport were ordered to rejoin the convoy. HMS Fleetwood and HMS Mignonette were back in station by 2130Z/11. HMS Wedgeport could not find the convoy in the bad visibility and was ordered to remain behind the convoy until the following morning. At 2000Z/11, the convoy altered course to 182°

On the 12th, HMS Wedgeport was homed on to the convoy and resumed station at 1140Z/12. Earlier, the Llancarvan had to stop in approximate position 45°35'N, 14°10'W with engine trouble and at 0608Z/12, HMS Qualicum was ordered to remain with her until further orders. They were subsequently ordered to proceed to Lisbon which was the port of destination of the Llancarvan.

At 0800Z/12, the convoy was in position 44°56'N, 14°03'W, course 182°, speed 6.75 knots.

At 1315Z/14, in position 38°50'N, 12°17'W, HMS Prodigal was detached to escort Merkland to the territorial waters of Lisbon and the Brika to Huelva. HMS Prodigal was then to proceed to Gibraltar. In the end the destination of the Brika was changed to Gibraltar and HMS Prodigal escorted her to her new destination.

Also on the 14th, HMS Mignonette transferred her six German survivors from U-528 to HMS Fleetwood.

At 0600Z/15, the convoy was in position 37°15'N, 11°32'W when course was altered to 135°. HMS Fleetwood was now detached to Gibraltar to land her prisoners and complete with depth charges, ammunition and fuel and then rejoin the convoy.

At 1830Z/15, in position 36°02'N, 10°36'W, convoy KMS 14 parted company to make rendezvous with convoy UGS 8 which was effected in the afternoon of the 16th in position 35°44'N, 08°15'W. Convoy KMS 14 was made up of the following merchant vessels; Baron Yarborough, City of Agra, City of Auckland, Clan Macbean, Collegian, Daldorch, Egret, Eildon, Empire Beatrice, Empire Carpenter, Empire Clive, Empire Commerce, Empire Eve, Empire Guinevere, English Prince, Explorer, Filleigh, Fort Anne, Fort Vermillion, Govert Flinck, Havildar, Indian Prince, James Barbour, Kingsland, Kong Haakon VII, Lwow, Macharda, Manchester Port, Masirah, Myrtlebank, Nea, Nigerstroom, Ocean Vanity, Ocean Verity, Ocean Volunteer, Pencarrow, Prince de Liege, Rallus, Salawati, Sellinge, Spero, Stanforth, Tactician, Thurland Castle, Topsdalfjord, Trader and Tynemouth.

They were escorted by HMS Fort York, HMS Parrsboro, HMS Wedgeport and HMS Hazard.

In the early hours of 16th May 1943, the Maplewood straggled from the convoy and was not seen again. She proceeded independently to Freetown.

Around 0700Z/6, in position 34°43'N, 10°14'W, rendezvous was made with convoy OS 47G, the Gibraltar section of the convoy. The following merchant vessels now joined the convoy; Anglo-African (British, 5601 GRT, built 1929), Benledi (British, 5943 GRT, built 1930), Carlton (British, 7210 GRT, built 1942), Cefn-Y-Bryn (British, 5164 GRT, built 1939), Clan Murray (British, 5953 GRT, built 1918), Empire Ruskin (British, 7037 GRT, built 1942), Empire Torrent (British, 7076 GRT, built 1942), Fort Ellice (British, 7129 GRT, built 1942), Fort Livingstone (British, 7135 GRT, built 1942), Fort Simpson (British, 7133 GRT, built 1942), Jan Lievens (Dutch, 7178 GRT, built 1942), Mahout (British, 7921 GRT, built 1925), Ocean Messenger (British, 7178 GRT, built 1942), Ocean Pilgrim (British, 7178 GRT, built 1942), Ocean Trader (British, 7178 GRT, built 1942), Ocean Wayfarer (British, 7178 GRT, built 1942) and Stancleeve (British, 5970 GRT, built 1942).

They were escorted by the destroyer HMS Wishart (Cdr. H.G. Scott, DSC, RN) and the ASW trawlers HMS Foxtrot (T/Lt. J.B. Bald, RNVR) and HMS Reighton Wyke (Skr. G.M. Sutherland, RNR).

At 1000Z/16, rendezvous was made with the Casablanca section of the convoy which had departed that port on the 15th. The following merchant vessels now joined the convoy; Empire Addison (British, 7010 GRT, built 1942), Essex Trader (British, 7237 GRT, built 1943), Fort Rupert (British, 7142 GRT, built 1942) and Orient City (British, 5095 GRT, built 1940).

These had been escorted to the rendezvous with the convoy escorted by the destroyers USS Guest (T/Cdr. H. Crommelin, USN), USS Thatcher (T/Cdr. L.R. Lampman, USN) and USS Brownson (T/Cdr. J.B. Maher, USN).

These destroyers then returned to Casablanca where they arrived on the 17th having taken the following merchant vessels with them; Baron Dunmore, Empire Barrie, Fort Douglas, Fort Drew and Fort Thompson.

Around the same time the HMS Foxtrot and HMS Reighton Wyke were detached to proceed to Gibraltar. HMS Wishart was to join the combined convoy UGS 8 / KMS 14.

At 0700Z/19, in position 25°57'N, 16°27'W, the RFA tanker Fortol (2629 GRT, built 1917) and her escorts, the corvette HMS Bellwort (A/Lt.Cdr. N.F.R. Gill, RNR) and the ASW whaler HMS Wastwater (T/Lt. W.J.L. Storey, RNVR) joined the convoy. The Fortol was to fuel the escorts which commenced at 0900Z/19 when HMS Scarborough went alongside.

At 1106Z/19, when the convoy was in position 25°38'N, 16°51'W, the air escort, a Sunderland flying boat, reported having sighted a periscope bearing 120° - 14 nautical miles from HMS Scarborough, the escort leader. Immediately HMS Balsam was ordered to proceed to this position and at 1114Z/19, HMS Coltsfoot was ordered to join her. HMS Scarborough slipped from the Fortol at 1120Z/19 to also proceed to the scene.

At 1120Z/19, HMS Scarborough arrived on the reported location and with the two corvettes a large square search was carried out until 1615Z/19, but no contact was obtained. The escorts then made off to rejoin the convoy after having dropped a depth charge pattern each for exercise purposes. [No enemy submarine appeared to have been in the immediate area, closest one was U-511 but she was further to the west.]

Around 0200Z/20, HMS Scarborough, HMS Balsam and HMS Coltsfoot rejoined the convoy.

Around 1050Z/20, HMS Fleetwood rejoined the convoy from Gibraltar.

During the 20th, all escort vessels fuelled from the Fortol.

Around 1600Z/22, in position 14°52'N, 18°05'W, two merchant vessels joined the convoy coming from Dakar [No clue on their identity] escorted by local escorts. Four of the merchant vessels then parted company to proceed to Dakar escorted by the local escorts. These were the Empire Addison, Empire Cougar and Fort Livingstone. [No clue on the identity of the fourth.]

At 1100Z/23, in position 12°45'N, 18°30'W, one of the mercant vessels which was to proceed to recife was detached. This was most likely the City of Hereford.

At 1700Z/23, in position 11°08'N, 18°41'W, two additional escorts joined, these were the corvette HMS Armeria (Lt. M. Todd, RNR) and the ASW whaler HMS Buttermere (Lt. J.D.E. Lewis, RNR).

Around 1100Z/25, the convoy was approaching the end of the swept channel into Freetown. Some ships of the convoy split off forming convoy OSS 47 escorted by HMS Bellwort, HMS Armeria, HMS Buttermere and HMS Wastwater. [The ships that split off were probably the following (to be researched further); Albion Star, Amstelkerk, City of Calcutta, Clan Forbes, Empire Galahad, Empire Geraint, Guinean, Harmonic and Lombardy.]

Three merchant vessels; Lida (Polish, 1387 GRT, built 1938), Peterston (British, 4680 GRT, built 1925) and Rhesus (British, 6530 GRT, built 1911) joined convoy OSS 47 coming from Freetown escorted by the armed boarding vessel HMS Corinthian (Cdr. E.J.R. Pollitt, RNR), corvette HMS Burdock (Lt.Cdr. E.H. Lynes, RD, RNR) and the ASW trawlers HMS Birdlip (Lt. E.N. Groom, RNR) and HMS Duncton ( Lt. J.N. Burgess, RANVR).

On these ships joining, HMS Bellwort, HMS Buttermere and HMS Wastwater parted company with convoy OSS 47 and also entered Freetown.

Convoy OSS 47 continued on to Takoradi though most of the merchant vessels were detached to proceed independently before arrival at Takoradi. (12)

4 Jul 1943
HMS P 511 (Lt. C.W. Taylor, RNR) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle together with HMS Rochester (Cdr. H.V. King, OBE, RN), HMS Geranium (T/Lt. A.R.J. Tilston, DSC, RNR), HMS Mignonette (Lt. H.H. Brown, RNR), HMS Balsam (Lt. J.E.L. Peters, RNVR), HMS Coltsfoot (T/Lt. G.W. Rayner, RNVR) and HMS Azalea (Lt. G.C. Geddes, RNR). (13)

5 Jul 1943
HMS P 511 (Lt. C.W. Taylor, RNR) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle together with HMS Coltsfoot (T/Lt. G.W. Rayner, RNVR) and HMS Fame (Capt. R. Heathcote, DSO, RN). (13)

29 Jul 1943

Combined convoy OG 91 / KMS 22.

This convoy assembled off Oversay on 29 July 1943.

It was made up of the following merchant vessels; Ashbury (British, 3901 GRT, built 1924), Belnor (Norwegian, 2871 GRT, built 1926), Blairdevon (British, 3282 GRT, built 1925), Cape Sable (British, 4398 GRT, built 1936), Charles R. McCormick (American, 6027 GRT, built 1920), Cydonia (British, 3517 GRT, built 1927), Dalemoor (British, 5835 GRT, built 1922), Edam (Dutch, 8871 GRT, built 1921), Empire Foam (British, 7047 GRT, built 1941), Empire Heywood (British, 7030 GRT, built 1942), Empire Mallory (British, 6327 GRT, built 1941), Eskbank (British, 5137 GRT, built 1937), Fort Grouard (British, 7132 GRT, built 1943), Fort Rupert (British, 7142 GRT, built 1942), Fort Slave (British, 7134 GRT, built 1942), Flyingdale (British, 3918 GRT, built 1924), Gorjistan (British, 5888 GRT, built 1929), Gudvin (Norwegian, 1824 GRT, built 1918), Harpalycus (British, 5629 GRT, built 1935), Kingsborough (British, 3368 GRT, built 1928), Lossiebank (British, 5627 GRT, built 1930), Lublin (Polish, 1409 GRT, built 1932), Marrakech (French, 6179 GRT, built 1914), Martand (British, 7967 GRT, built 1939), Mont Everest (French, 5210 GRT, built 1918), Nordeflinge (British, 2873 GRT, built 1942), Ocean Courier (British, 7178 GRT, built 1942), Ocean Stranger (British, 7178 GRT, built 1942), P.L.M. 13 (British (former French), 3754 GRT, built 1921), Pencarrow (British, 4841 GRT, built 1921), Porjus (Swedish, 2965 GRT, built 1906), Suncrest (Britih, 5117 GRT, built 1940) and Tanafjord (Norwegian, 5922 GRT, built 1921).

Also part of the convoy was the boom defence vessel HMS Barbette (Skr.Lt. F. Parsons, RNR).

On assembly the convoy was escorted by the destroyers HMS Highlander (Cdr. E.C.L. Day, RN), HMS Winchelsea (Lt.Cdr. G.W. Gregorie, RD, RNR) and the corvettes HMS Abelia (Lt. R.I. Floris, RNZNR), HMS Asphodel (Lt.Cdr. H.P. Carse, DSC, RNVR), HMS Clover (Lt. P.H. Grieves, RNR) and HMS Pennywort (Lt. O.G. Stuart, RCNVR).

P.L.M. 13 soon parted company and proceeded to Belfast with engine trouble.

Around 1200Z/2, in position 46°05'N, 16°49'W, the rescue ship Goodwin (British, 1570 GRT, built 1917) escorted by the destroyer HMS Walker (Lt.Cdr. A.N. Rowell, RN) joined.

Around 0800Z/5, in position 38°15'N, 18°57'W, the light (AA) cruiser HMS Scylla (Capt. I.A.P. Macintyre, CBE, DSO, RN) joined.

Around 1200B/8, in position 35°07'N, 09°23'W, HMS Scylla parted company with the convoy to proceed ahead of it to Gibraltar.

Around 0400B/9, in position 35°17'N, 10°27'W, the Marrakech and Martand parted company with the convoy to proceed ahead to Gibraltar at 12.5 knots. HMS Walker went with them as escort.

At 1830B/9, the convoy was south of Europa Point. The remaining escort then parted company and entered Gibraltar as did the ships of Convoy OG 91, the Copeland and HMS Barbette. The ships that parted company (OG 91) were the following; Ashbury, Blairdevon, Cydonia, Fort Rupert, Fylingdale, Pencarrow and Porjus.

The remaining ships made up convoy KMS 22 and entered the Mediterranean now escorted by the escort destroyers HMS Holcombe (Cdr. S.H. Pinchin, DSC, RN), HMS Atherstone (Lt.Cdr. E.N. Wood, DSC, RNVR), HMS Liddesdale (Lt.Cdr. A.A. Mackenzie, RNR) and the corvettes HMS Hyderabad (T/Lt. T. Cooper, RNR), HMS Rhododendron (T/Lt. O.B. Medley, RNVR), HMS Coltsfoot (T/Lt. G.W. Rayner, RNVR) and HMS Jonquil (T/Lt. R.W. Tretheway, RNR).

Also the Marrakech and Martand rejoined the convoy. There was also the merchant vessels Grand Quevilly (French, 2844 GRT, built 1914), Ravens Point (British, 1708 GRT, built 1918) and Tivives (American, 5017 GRT, built 1911) which joined the convoy coming from Gibraltar.

Around 1900B/10, in position 35°56'N, 00°50'W, the Charles R. McCormick and Grand Quevilly parted company to enter Oran. From Oran the merchant vessel La Drome (French, ????, GRT, built ????) joined the convoy.

Around 2000B/11, in position 36°56'N, 03°11'E, the Cape Sable, Dalemoor, Empire Foam, Empire Mallory, Fort Grouard, Kingborough, Lublin, Marrakech, Ravens Point and Suncrest were detached to enter Algiers. From Algiers the merchant vessels Blairesk (British, 3300 GRT, built 1925)), Charles Goodyear (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942) and Paine Wingate (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942) joined the convoy as did the cable laying vessel HMS Retriever.

In the evening of the 12th the merchant vessels Lysaker V (Norwegian, 1571 GRT, built 1936), Roman (????, ???? GRT, built ????) and Ulla (British, 1575 GRT, built 1930) joined the convoy coming from Philippeville.

Around 2350B/12, in position 37°17'N, 07°32'E, the Fort Slave, Gudvin, Lysaker V, Ocean Couries, Ocean Stranger and Roman were detached to enter Bone. Around the same time the merchant vessels Empire Candida (British, 2908 GRT, built 1943) and ???? (French, ???? GRT, built ????) joined the convoy coming from Bone.

Around 1330B/13, in position 37°20'N, 09°59'E, the Charles Goodyear, La Drone, Mont Everest, Nordeflinge, Paine Wingate, Tivives and the unidentified French vessel which had joined from Bone left the convoy to enter Bizerta. Around the same time the merchant vessels Empire Newton (British, 7037 GRT, built 1942), Fort Grahame (British, 7133 GRT, built 1943), Fort Meductic (British, 7134 GRT, built 1943), Good Gulf (Panamanian (tanker), 7805 GRT, built 1938) joined the convoy coming from Bizerta as did three LST's; LST 303 (Lt.Cdr. G.F. Parker, RD, RNR), LST LST 323 (T/Lt. F.H.W. Graybrook, RNR) and LST 366 (A/Lt.Cdr. N. Hall, RNR).

Around 1615B/13, in position 37°14'N, 10°26'E, the Empire Candida, Ulla left the convoy to enter Tunis.

Around 1800B/14, in position 35°35'N, 14°00'E, the Good Gulf and Harpalycus as well as HMS Retriever and the three LST's were detached from the convoy to proceed to Malta. Also detached to Malta was HMS Jonquil from the escort. Around the same time the merchant vessels Crista (British, 2590 GRT, built 1938), Empire Austen (British, 7057 GRT, built 1942), Gulfdisc (American (tanker), 7140 GRT, built 1938), Lewant (Polish, 1942 GRT, built 1930), Talma (British, 10000 GRT, built 1923) and the RFA tanker War Krishna (5760 GRT, built 1919) joined the convoy coming from Malta. Also the merchant vessel Rodsley (British, 5000 GRT, built 1939) joined coming from Tripoli.

Around 0600B/19, in position 31°16'N, 29°34'E, the Crista, Edam, Empire Austen, Empire Heywood, Empire Newton, Fort Grahame, Fort Meductic and Talma were detached to Alexandria as were HMS Holcombe, HMS Atherstone, HMS Liddesdale, HMS Coltsfoot and HMS Hyderabad while the merchant vessels Belpareil (Norwegian, 7203 GRT, built 1926) and Marit Maersk (Greek (former Danish), 1894 GRT, built 1938) joined coming from Alexandria.

The convoy arrived at Port Said on 20 August 1943 escorted by HMS Rhododendron. (14)

30 Jul 1943
HMS Unbroken (Lt. B.J.B. Andrew, DSC, RN) departed Malta for Gibraltar. Passage was partly (until Algiers) made in the 'Nitwit' convoy. From Algiers to Gibraltar Unbroken was escorted by HMS Coltsfoot (T/Lt. G.W. Rayner, RNVR).

Unbroken was to proceed to the U.K. to refit.

For the daily positions of HMS Unbroken during this passage see the map below.

(15)

25 Aug 1943

Convoy MKS 23.

This convoy departed Port Said on 25 August 1943.

It was made up of the following merchant vessels; City of Calcutta (British, 8063 GRT, built 1940), City of Newcastle (British, 6921 GRT, built 1915), Custodian (British, 5881 GRT, built 1928), Defender (British, 8078 GRT, built 1915), Empire Garrick (British (tanker), 8128 GRT, built 1942), Fernplant (British, 5274 GRT, built 1939), Fort Chambly (British, 7130 GRT, built 1942), Fort Gaspereau (British, 7134 GRT, built 1943), Fort Grahame (British, 7133 GRT, built 1943), Fort McMurray (British, 7133 GRT, built 1942), Forthbank (British, 5057 GRT, 1929), Henry St. G. Tucker (American, 7191 GRT, built 1942), Indian Prince (British, 8587 GRT, built 1926), James Fenimore Cooper (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), James J. Maguire (British (tanker), 10525 GRT, built 1939), Kaituna (British, 4914 GRT, built 1938), Macoma (Dutch (tanker), 8069 GRT, built 1936), Miranda (Greek, 278 GRT, built 1919), Ocean Viking (British, 7174 GRT, built 1941), Peter J. Maguire (American, 7181 GRT, built 1942), President de Vogue (Norwegian (tanker), 9320 GRT, built 1935), Prince de Liege (Belgian, 2588 GRT, built 1938), Robert J. Collier (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Sofala (British, 1031 GRT, built 1937), William H. Gray (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943) and Yenangyaung (British, 5447 GRT, 1937).

The landing ship Derwentdale (Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA), 8390 GRT, built 1941) was also part of the convoy.

The convoy was escorted by the escort destroyers HMS Holcombe (Cdr. S.H. Pinchin, DSC, RN), HMS Atherstone (Lt.Cdr. E.N. Wood, DSC, RNVR), HMS Liddesdale (Lt.Cdr. A.A. Mackenzie, RNR) and the corvettes HMS Coltsfoot (T/Lt. G.W. Rayner, RNVR), HMS Honeysuckle (Lt. H.H.D. MacKillican, DSC and Bar, RNR), HMS Hyderabad (T/Lt. T. Cooper, RNR) and HMS Rhododendron (T/Lt. O.B. Medley, RNVR).

Around 1440C/28, the AA cruiser HMS Colombo (Capt. D.H. Hall-Thompson, RN) joined the convoy coming from Benghazi which she had departed around 1230C/27.

On 29 August 1943, the City of Newcastle, Custodiands, Defender, Fort Chambly, Fort Gaspereau, Fort Grahame, Forthbank, Indian Prince, Macoma, Ocean Viking, President de Vogue, Prince de Liege, Yenangyaung arrived at Malta after having been detached from the convoy while the following merchant vessels joined the convoy coming from Malta; Alexandre Andre (Belgian (tanker), 5261 GRT, built 1928), Belnor (Norwegian, 2871 GRT, built 1926), Empire Charmian (British, 7519 GRT, built 1943), Empire Moorhen (British, 5617 GRT, built 1919), Empire Trooper (British, 14106 GRT, built 1922), Harpalycus (British, 5629 GRT, built 1935), Joseph G. Cannon (American, 7181 GRT, built 1942), Karoa (British, 7009 GRT, built 1915), Kheti (British, 2734 GRT, built 1927), Lucretia Mott (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Marigot (French, 4047 GRT, built 1932), Nirvana (British, 6044 GRT, built 1914), Octane (British, 2034 GRT, built 1939), Orna (British, 6779 GRT, built 1938) and South America (Norwegian (tanker), 6246 GRT, built 1931).

The Yenangyaung apparently also rejoined the convoy after a short stop at Malta.

Also the salvage vessels HMS Salveda and HMS Salvestor joined the convoy off Malta.

The Belnor however had to return to Malta where she arrived on the 30th.

On 30 August 1943, the Alexandre Andre, Fort McMurray, Miranda, Octane, Orna and Sofala arrived at Tripoli after having been detached from the convoy.

On 31 August 1943, the Nirvana arrived at La Goulette (Tunis) after having been detached from the convoy.

On the Empire Charmian, Empire Garrick, James J. Maguire, Kheti and South America as well as the Derwentdale, HMS Salveda and HMS Colombo arrived at Bizerta after having been detached from the convoy while the following merchant vessels joined the convoy coming from Bizerta; Alexander White (American, 7191 GRT, built 1942), Chertsey (British, 6001 GRT, built 1943), Eleazar Wheelock (American, 7191 GRT, built 1942), Empire Farmer (British, 7049 GRT, built 1943), George Vancouver (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Henry Middleton (American, 7177 GRT, built 1942) and Robert M. la Follette (American, 7191 GRT, built 1943).

On 31 August 1943, the following merchant vessels joined the convoy off Bone; Fort Aklavik (British, 7132 GRT, built 1943), Fort Buffalo (British, 7100 GRT, built 1943), Kofresi (British, 4934 GRT, built 1920) and Ocean Volga (British, 7174 GRT, built 1942).

On 31 August 1943, the Chertsey and Empire Farmer arrived at Philippeville after having been detached from the convoy while the following merchant vessels joined from Philippeville; Fort Slave (British, 7134 GRT, built 1942) and Tautra (Norwegian, 1749 GRT, built 1920).

On 2 September 1943, the Marigot and Tautra as well as HMS Salvestor arrived at Algiers after having been detached from the convoy while the following merchant vessels joined from Algiers; Atlantic City (British, 5133 GRT, built 1941), Charles R. McCormick (American, 6027 GRT, built 1920) and Kosciuszko (Polish, 6852 GRT, built 1915).

On 2 September 1943, the Alexander White, Charles R. McCormick, Eleazar Wheelock, Empire Trooper, Fort Slave, George Vancouver, Harpalycus, Henry Middleton, Joseph G. Cannon, Karoa, Kofrisi, Kosciuszko, Lucretia Mott and Robert M. la Follette arrived at Oran after having been detached from the convoy.

On 4 September 1943 the convoy arrived at Gibraltar.

24 Sep 1943

Convoy MKS 26.

This convoy departed Alexandria on 24 September 1943.

It was made up of the following ships; Badarpur (British, 8079 GRT, built 1922), Clan Murdoch (British, 5950 GRT, built 1919), Delane (British, 6054 GRT, built 1938), Diplodon (British (tanker), 8149 GRT, built 1941), Drammensfjord (Norwegian, 5339 GRT, built 1920), Empire Capulet (British, 7044 GRT, built 1943), Fort Cadotte (British, 7128 GRT, built 1943), Fort Frederick (British, 7135 GRT, built 1942), Fort George (British, 7129 GRT, built 1942), Fort Glenlyon (British, 7132 GRT, built 194), Fort Lawrence (British, 7134 GRT, built 1943), George Gipp (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Glenogle (British, 9513 GRT, built 1920), Highland Prince (British, 7043 GRT, built 1942), R.C. Brennan (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Talma (British, 10000 GRT, built 1923) and Thistlemuir (British, 7237 GRT, built 1942).

The convoy was escorted by the corvettes HMS Hyderabad (T/Lt. T. Cooper, RNR), HMS Spiraea (Lt. A.H. Pierce, OBE, RNR), HMS Delphinium (Cdr. V.F. Smith, DSO, RD, RNR) and the minesweeper HMAS Gawler (Lt.Cdr.(Emgy.) W.J. Seymour, RAN). The corvettes HMS Oxlip (Lt. C.W. Leadbetter, RNR) and HMS Coltsfoot (T/Lt. G.W. Rayner, RNVR) were unable to depart on time due to defects. HMS Delphinium and HMAS Gawler were sailed in their place. Both corvettes were able to proceed after repairs to overtake and join the convoy relieving their substitutes which then returned to Alexandria.

On 28 September 1943, the following ships departed Malta to join the convoy; African Prince (British, 4653 GRT, built 1939), Benreoch (British, 5818 GRT, built 1921), Coxwold (British, 1124 GRT, built 1938), Derwenthall (British, 4934 GRT, built 1940), Duke of Athens (British, 5217 GRT, built 1940), Empire Nerissa (British, 7086 GRT, built 1943), Empire Rosalind (British, 7290 GRT, built 1943), Fort Augustus (British, 7134 GRT, built 1942), Fort Charnisay (British, 7133 GRT, built 1943), Fort Howe (British, 7133 GRT, built 1942), Fort Poplar (British, 7134 GRT, built 1942), Fort St. James (British, 7128 GRT, built 1942), Fort Stager (British, 7132 GRT, built 1943), Fort Walsh (British, 7126 GRT, built 1943), Gudrun Maersk (British, 2294 GRT, built 1937), Harpagus (British, 7172 GRT, built 1942), Ocean Valley (British, 7174 GRT, built 1942), Stanhill (British, 5969 GRT, built 1942), Ulla (British, 1575 GRT, built 1930) and Vittorino Zanibon (Italian (tanker), 1622 GRT, built 1943).

With them was also the damaged light cruiser HMS Uganda (Capt. W.G. Andrewes, RN).

The Malta section was escorted by the escort destroyers HMS Eggesford (Lt.Cdr. D.W. Austin, RN), HMS Chiddingfold (Lt. T.M. Dorrien-Smith, RN) and the corvettes HMS Alisma (Lt. G. Lanning, RANVR), HMS Jonquil (T/Lt. R.W. Tretheway, RNR) and HMS Vetch (Lt. K.M.B. Menzies, RNR).

On these ships joining the convoy both escort destroyers returned to Malta taking the following ships of the convoy with them; Badarpur, Clan Murdoch, Diplodon, Empire Capulet, Fort Cadotte, Fort Frederick, Fort George, Fort Glenlyon, Fort Lawrence, Glenogle, Highland Prince and Talma.

HMS Jonquil and HMS Vetch proceeded to Tripoli taking the Thistlemuir with them.

HMS Alisma joined the main body of the convoy as additional escort towards Gibraltar.

On 29 September 1943, the Fanad Head (British, 5038 GRT, built 1941) joined the convoy coming from Tunis.

On 29 September 1943, the following ships parted company with the convoy and arrived at Bizerta; Empire Rosalind, Fort Walsh, Gudrun Maersk, John Howland and Ulla while the following ships joined the convoy coming from Bizerta; Charles Goodyear (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Crista (British, 2590 GRT, built 1938), Empire Perdita (British, 7028 GRT, built 1943), Marigot (French, 4047 GRT, built 1932), Miriam (British, 1903 GRT, built 1912) and Richard Henry Lee (American, 7191 GRT, built 1941).

On 30 September 1943, the Empire Commerce (British, 3722 GRT, built 1943) joined the convoy from Bone.

On 30 September 1943, the following ships were detached to Philippeville; Crista, Derwenthall, Empire Perdita and Fort Charnisay while the Henry Wynkoop (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942) joined the convoy coming from Philippeville.

Around midnight during the night of 30 September / 1 October 1943, the German submarine U-410 attacked the convoy sinking the Fort Howe and heavily damaging the Empire Commerce. The aft part of the latter ship sank while the front part was towed to Bone.

On 2 October 1943, the following ships of the convoy were detached to Algiers; Coxwold, Fort Stager, Marigot, Miriam, Vittorino Zanibon and HMS Alisma while the following ships joined the convoy coming from Algiers; Abangarez (American, 4538 GRT, built 1909), Franka (Yugoslavian, 5273 GRT, built 1918) and Waipawa (British, 12436 GRT, built 1934). Also joining were the motor minesweepers HMS MMS 13 (T/Lt. A.E. Durham, RNVR) and HMS MMS 118 (A/Skr.Lt. J. Smith, DSC, RNR).

On 3 October 1943, the following ships of the convoy were detached to Oran; Abangarez, Charles Goodyear, George Gipp, Henry Wynkoop, John Howland, R.C. Brennan and Richard Henry Lee while the following ships joined the convoy coming from Oran; Dalemoor (British, 5835 GRT, built 1922), Empire Spey (British, 4292 GRT, built 1929), Kingsborough (British, 3368 GRT, built 1928) and Van Ostade (Dutch, 2890 GRT, built 1942).

The convoy arrived at Gibraltar on 4 October 1943.

26 Nov 1943

Combined convoy OS 60 / KMS 34.

This combined convoy assembled off Oversay on 26 November 1943.

It was made up of the following merchant vessels; Alex (British, 3932 GRT, built 1914), Allerton (British, 7195 GRT, built 1941), Baron Ramsay (British, 3650 GRT, built 1929), Belgian Sailor (Belgian, 7028 GRT, built 1942), Benton Field (British, 1124 GRT, built 1943), Chief Joseph (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Clan Forbes (British, 7529 GRT, built 1938), Clan MacBean (British, 5000 GRT, built 1918), Colytto (Dutch, 4408 GRT, built 1926), Elswick Park (British, 4138 GRT, built 1920), Empire Chamois (British, 5684 GRT, built 1918), Empire Chivalry (British, 6007 GRT, built 1937), Empire Jessica (British, 2890 GRT, built 1943), Empire Planet (British, 4290 GRT, built 1923), Empire Torridge (British, 4050 GRT, built 1923), Erastus Smith (American, 7244 GRT, built 1943), Fauzon (French, 4376 GRT, built 1938), Flimston (British, 4674 GRT, built 1925), Fort Alexander (British, 7127 GRT, built 1942), Fort Augustus (British, 7134 GRT, built 1942), Gabon (Norwegian, 4651 GRT, built 1931), Hardanger (Norwegian, 4000 GRT, built 1924), Inventor (British, 6210 GRT, built 1935), Jerome K. Jones (American, 7199 GRT, built 1943), Jobshaven (Dutch, 3528 GRT, built 1916), John M. Harlan (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Kaldfonn (Norwegian (tanker), 9931 GRT, built 1936), Kerma (British, 4333 GRT, built 1928), Mary Kingsley (British, 5021 GRT, built 1930), Nairung (British, 5414 GRT, built 1942), Narwick (Polish, 7031 GRT, built 1942), Nassa (British (tanker), 8134 GRT, built 1942), Norefjord (Norwegian, 3082 GRT, built 1920), Norfalk (British, 5675 GRT, built 1919), Pandorian (British, 4159 GRT, built 1941), Scorton (British, 4813 GRT, built 1939), Silverteak (British, 6770 GRT, built 1930), Simon Willard (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Souliotis (Greek, 4299 GRT, built 1917), Stad Haarlem (Dutch, 4518 GRT, built 1929), Stuyvesant (Dutch, 4249 GRT, built 1918), Thistleford (British, 4781 GRT, built 1928), Timok (Yugoslavian, 3130 GRT, built 1924), Tudor Prince (British, 1914 GRT, built 1940), Vera Radcliffe (British, 5587 GRT, built 1925), Wellington Court (British, 4979 GRT, built 1930) and William Kent (American, 7187 GRT, built 1942).

The rescue ship Fastnet (British, 1415 GRT, built 1928) was also with the convoy as was the French survey vessel President Theodore Tissier.

On assembly the convoy was escorted by the escort carrier HMS Fencer (Capt. E.W. Anstice, RN), destroyer HMS Highlander (Cdr. C.W. McMullen, DSC, RN), corvettes HMS Abelia (Lt. R.I. Floris, RNZNR), HMS Clover (Lt. P.H. Grieves, RNR), HMS Linaria (T/A/Lt.Cdr. R.H. Jameson, RNR) and the A/S trawlers HMS Northern Spray (Lt. F.A.J. Downer, RNR) and HMS Northern Sun (T/Lt. H. Meredith, RNVR).

On 27 November 1943, the frigate HMS Avon (Lt.Cdr. P.G.A. King, RD, RNR) joined coming from Londonderry.

On 1 December 1943, the frigates HMS Nene (Cdr. J.D. Birch, RD, RNR), HMS Tweed (Lt.Cdr. R.S. Miller, DSC, RNR) and corvettes HMCS Lunenburg (T/Lt. D.L. Miller, RCNVR) and HMCS Snowberry (T/Lt. J.A. Dunn, RCNVR) joined . These ships had departed Plymouth on 28 November 1943. They parted company with the convoy on 3 December 1943 to join convoy MKF 26. Also on 1 December 1943, a fighter from HMS Fencer reported shooting down a German Focke Wolf reconnaissance aircraft.

On 2 December 1943, the destroyer HMS Walker (Lt.Cdr. A.N. Rowell, RN) overtook and joined the convoy after having departed Londonderry on 30 November. She had grounded on 27 November when originally sailing to join the convoy and had needed repairs.

Also on 2 December 1943, the Allerton arrived in the Clyde after having been detached from the convoy, most likely due to engine trouble.

Around 0515Z/6, HMS Fencer parted company with the convoy to join the combined convoy SL 141 / MKS 32.

Also on 6 December 1943, HMS Linaria arrived at Horta with the Kaldfonn. They had parted company with the convoy on 4 December 1943.

On 7 December 1943 the convoy split into convoy OS 60 bound for Freetown and convoy KMS 34 bound for the Mediterranean. The merchant vessels Alex, Baron Ramsay, Elswick Park, Pandorian and Thistleford were detached to Lisbon.

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Convoy OS 60 was made up of the merchant vessels; Fauzon, Flimston, Gabon, Mary Kingsley, Nassa, Silverteak and Stuyvesant.

These were joined by the merchant vessels Bactria (British, 2407 GRT, built 1928), Celtic Monarch (British, 5824 GRT, built 1929), Empire Lightning (British, 6942 GRT, built 1940), Fort Liard (British, 7133 GRT, built 1942), Glenwood (British, 4897 GRT, built 1940), Keila (British, 3621 GRT, built 1905), Riley (British, 4993 GRT, built 1936) and Stanford (British, 5969 GRT, built 1941) coming from Gibraltar which they had departed earlier that day.

These ships had been escorted by the frigate HMS Ballinderry (Lt.Cdr. E.F. Aikman, RNR) and the corvettes HMS Aubretia (Lt. G.D. Fowler, RNR) and HMS Cyclamen (T/Lt. W.S. Joliffe, RNR) which now formed the escort of this convoy towards Freetown.

On 8 December 1943 the merchant vessel Canada (French, 9684 GRT, built 1912) departed Casablanca to join the convoy which she did later the same day. She was escorted by the sloop / minesweeper Annamite which also joined the convoy.

On 14 December 1943, the merchant vessels Lycaon (British, 7552 GRT, built 1913) and Thomas Holt (British, 3585 GRT, built 1929) departed Dakar to join the convoy.

On 15 December 1943, the Canada and Fauzon arrived at Dakar after having parted company with the convoy. They were escorted to Dakar by the Annamite.

The convoy arrived at Freetown on 18 December 1943. Some ships of the convoy did not enter Freetown but proceed directly to other destinations.

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Convoy KMS 34 was made up of the merchant vessels; Belgian Sailor, Benton Field, Chief Joseph, Clan Forbes, Clan MacBean, Colytto, Empire Chamois, Empire Chivalry, Empire Jessica, Empire Planet, Empire Torridge, Erastus Smith, Fort Alexandria, Fort Augustus, Hardanger, Inventor, Jerome K. Jones, Jobshaven, John M. Harlan, Kerma, Nairung, Narwick, Norefjord, Norfalk, Scorton, Simon Willard, Souliotis, Stad Haarlem, Timok, Tudor Prince, Vera Radcliffe, Wellington Court and William Kent as well as the Fastnet and the President Theodore Tissier.

Escort was provided by the remaining escort from combined convoy OS 60 / KMS 34.

While en-route to the Straits of Gibraltar the Kerma and Empire Jessica were detached to Huelva and Cadiz respectively.

On 9 December 1943 the original escort parted company and entered Gibraltar harbour as did the Fastnet, President Theodore Tissier, Timok and Tudor Prince. The Vera Radcliffe, which had straggled from the convoy, arrived on the 10th.

Off Gibraltar new escorts joined the convoy, these were the AA cruiser HMS Colombo (Capt. D.H. Hall-Thompson, RN), frigate HMS Cuckmere (Lt.Cdr. A. Johnson, VRD, RNVR) corvettes HMS Anemone (Lt. J.B. Sparkes, RNR), HMS Coltsfoot (T/Lt. G.W. Rayner, RNVR), HMS Convolvulus (A/Lt.Cdr. R.F.R. Yarde-Buller, RNVR) and HMS Hyderabad (T/Lt. T. Cooper, RNR). The rescue tug HMRT Mindful, minesweeper HMS BYMS 2187 (T/Lt. P. Moore, RNVR), motor minesweeper HMS MMS 20 (T/Lt. L.S. Kay, RNVR) and boom defence vessel HMS Barnehurst (T/Lt. T. Robb, RNR) also joined the convoy.

On 10 December 1943, the following merchant vessels joined the convoy off Oran; Colin P. Kelly Jr. (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), David G. Farragut (American, 7191 GRT, built 1942), Jade (British, 930 GRT, built 1938), John Blair (American, 7181 GRT, built 1942), John Howland (American, 7191 GRT, built 1943), John Murray Forbes (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), John Stevens (American, 7181 GRT, built 1942), Jonathan Worth (American, 7177 GRT, built 1943), Newton D. Baker (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Richard Rush (American, 7180 GRT, built 1943) and Russell A. Alger (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943).

Around 1304A/11, in position 36°55'N, 03°01'E, north-north-east of Algiers, HMS Cuckmere was torpedoed and heavily damaged by the German submarine U-223. She was towed to Algiers but later declared a total loss.

On the 11th the following merchant ships were detached to Algiers; Empire Planet, John M. Harlan, Russell A. Alger as was HMS MMS 20 while the following merchant ships joined the convoy off Algiers; Anglo-African (British, 5601 GRT, built 1929), Argentina (Italian, 5085 GRT, built 1907), Baron Inchcape (British, 7005 GRT, built 1917), Benjamin Tay (British, 1814 GRT, built 1943), Borgholm (Norwegian, 1557 GRT, built 1922), British Endurance (British (tanker), 8406 GRT, built 1936), Cape Hawke (British, 5081 GRT, built 1941), Chester O. Swain (American (tanker), 8146 GRT, built 1921), Empire Tana (British, 6148 GRT, built 1923), Helmwood (British, 2156 GRT, built 1923), Hjalmar Wessel (Norwegian, 1742 GRT, built 1935), Lesto (British, 1893 GRT, 1918), Marita (Norwegian, 1931 GRT, built 1919), Nolisement (British, 5084 GRT, built 1928), Thorsholm (Norwegian (tanker), 9937 GRT, built 1937) and William L. Yancey (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943). Also the motor minesweepers HMS MMS 13 (T/Lt. A.E. Durham, RNVR) and HMS MMS 48 (T/Lt. J.R. Kingdon, RNVR) joined the convoy.

On 11 December 1943, the merchant vessels Empire Daring (British, 7059 GRT, built 1943) and Fort Reliance (British, 7134 GRT, built 1942) departed Bougie to join the convoy while the Borgholm and Empire Tana were detached to Bougie arriving on the 12th.

On 12 December 1943, the merchant vessel Norefjord was detached to Philippeville while the Dux (Norwegian, 1590 GRT, built 1934) and Stancleeve (British, 5970 GRT, built 1942) joined the convoy.

On 13 December 1943, the merchant vessels Belgian Sailor, John Wise, Lesto, Narwick and HMS Mindful were detached to Bone while the Chloris (British, 1171 GRT, built 1910), Empire Gain (British (tanker), 3738 GRT, built 1943), Fort Carillon (British, 7129 GRT, built 1943), Jennings (British, 1148 GRT, built 1943) and Shirrabank (British, 7274 GRT, built 1940) joined the convoy.

Later on 13 December 1943, the merchant vessels Baron Inchcape, Empire Gain, Helmwood, Jobshaven, Norfalk and William L. Yancey arrived at Bizerta after having parted company with the convoy while the Benjamin Huntington (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Daniel H. Lownsdale (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), George Shiras (American, 7200 GRT, built 1943), George Vickers (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Gleniffer (British, 9559 GRT, built 1919), Joel Chandler Harris (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), John Hopkinson (British, 1314 GRT, built 1932), Marion McKinley Bovard (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Ocean Volunteer (British, 7174 GRT, built 1942), Patrick Henry (American, 7191 GRT, built 1941), Ponce de Leon (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Tarvisio (Italian, 5484 GRT, built 1927) and Titus (Dutch, 1712 GRT, built 1930) joined coming from Bizerta. HMS Colombo also parted company with the convoy arriving at Bizerta around 0800A/13.

On 14 December 1943, HMS BYMS 2187 and HMS HMS Barnehurst arrived at Malta after having been detached from the convoy while the minesweepers HMS BYMS 2203 (/Lt. R.D. Adam, RNVR), HMS BYMS 2204 (T/Lt. M.R. Bell, RNR), HMS BYMS 2232 (?) and the merchant vessel Talma (British, 10000 GRT, built 1923) joined the convoy.

On the 14 December 1943, the merchant vessels Comliebank (British, 5149 GRT, built 1924), Defender (British, 8078 GRT, built 1915), Fort St. Francois (British, 7125 GRT, built 1942), Newbrough (British, 5255 GRT, built 1941), Reginald A. Fessenden (American, 7213 GRT, built 1943), Trevelyan (British, 7292 GRT, built 1943) and Vasco (British, 2878 GRT, built 1939) departed Augusta to join the convoy.

On 14/15 December 1943, the merchant vessels Argentina, Benjamin Huntington, Benjamin Tay, British Endurance, Chester O. Swain, Chief Joseph, Chloris, Colin P. Kelly Jr., Daniel H. Lownsdale, David G. Farragut, Dux, Empire Chamois, Empire Chivalry, Empire Daring, Empire Torridge, Erastus Smith, Fort Alexandria, Fort Carillon, Fort Reliance, George Shiras, George Vickers, Gleniffer, Hardanger, Hjalmar Wessel, Jade, Jerome K. Jones, John Blair, John Hopkinson, John Howland, John Murray Forbes, John Stevens, Jonathan Worth, Marion McKinley Bovard, Marita, Nairung, Newton D. Baker, Patrick Henry, Ponce de Leon, Richard Rush, Scorton, Shirrabank, Simon Willard, Stad Haarlem, Stancleeve, Tarvisio, Thorsholm, Wellington Court and William Kent arrived at Augusta after having been detached from the convoy. HMS MMS 13 and HMS MMS 48 were also detached to Augusta.

On 18 December 1943, the merchant vessels Cape Hawke, Fort St. Francois and Newbrough arrived at Alexandria after having been detached from the convoy. They were escorted by HMS Coltsfoot

The remainder of the convoy arrived at Port Said on 19 December 1943.

9 Dec 1943
The AA cruiser HMS Colombo (Capt. D.H. Hall-Thompson, RN), frigate HMS Cuckmere (Lt.Cdr. A. Johnson, VRD, RNVR) corvettes HMS Anemone (Lt. J.B. Sparkes, RNR), HMS Coltsfoot (T/Lt. G.W. Rayner, RNVR), HMS Convolvulus (A/Lt.Cdr. R.F.R. Yarde-Buller, RNVR) and HMS Hyderabad (T/Lt. T. Cooper, RNR), rescue tug HMRT Mindful, minesweeper HMS BYMS 2187 (T/Lt. P. Moore, RNVR), motor minesweeper HMS MMS 20 (T/Lt. L.S. Kay, RNVR) and the boom defence vessel HMS Barnehurst (T/Lt. T. Robb, RNR) all departed Gibraltar to join the eastbound convoy KMS 34.

[For more info on this convoy see the event ' Combined convoy OS 60 / KMS 34 ' for 26 November 1943.'] (16)

6 Feb 1944

Combined convoy OS 67 / KMS 41.

This combined convoy was assembled off Oversay on 6 February 1944.

It was made up of the following merchant vessels; Ary Lensen (British, 3214 GRT, built 1930), Baltrover (British, 4916 GRT, built 1913), Bangkok II (British (former French, 8056 GRT, built 1919), Baron Forbes (British, 3061 GRT, built 1915), Baron Graham (British, 3242 GRT, built 1925), Baron Haig (British, 3391 GRT, built 1926), Belnor (Norwegian, 2871 GRT, built 1926), Boltonhall (British, 4824 GRT, built 1935), Calgary (British, 7206 GRT, built 1921), Cape Wrath (British, 4512 GRT, built 1940), Clan Cameron (British, 7243 GRT, built 1937), Cochrane (British, 7203 GRT, built 1923), Danby (British, 4281 GRT, built 1937), Empire Buckler (British, 7046 GRT, built 1942), Empire Clarion (British, 7031 GRT, built 1942), Empire Conrad (British, 7009 GRT, built 1942), Empire Cormorant (British, 5760 GRT, built 1918), Empire Galahad (British, 7046 GRT, built 1942), Empire Gareth (British, 2847 GRT, built 1942), Empire Heath (British, 6643 GRT, built 1941), Empire Lancer (British, 7037 GRT, built 1942), Empire Mallory (British, 6327 GRT, built 1941), Empire Snipe (British, 2497 GRT, built 1919), Empire Unicorn (British, 7067 GRT, built 1943), English Monarch (British, 4557 GRT, built 1924), Errington Court (British, 4913 GRT, built 1925), Explorer (British, 6235 GRT, built 1935), Fort Chesterfield (British, 7100 GRT, built 1943), Fort Henley (British, 7138 GRT, built 1943), Fort Livingstone (British, 7135 GRT, built 1942), Fort Michipicoten (British, 7152 GRT, 1943), Fort Poplar (British, 7134 GRT, built 1942), Fort Prudhomme (British, 7167 GRT, built 1943), Fort St.Joseph (British, 7151 GRT, built 1943), Glaisdale (British, 3777 GRT, built 1929), Gloucester City (British, 3071 GRT, built 1919), Hardingham (British, 7269 GRT, built 1942), Ioannis Frangos (Greek, 3442 GRT, built 1912), Junecrest (British, 6945 GRT, built 1942), King Frederick (British, 5106 GRT, built 1920), Langleebrook (British, 4246 GRT, built 1930), Leeds City (British, 4758 GRT, built 1927), Lyras (Greek, 5685 GRT, built 1918), Marija Petrinovic (Yugoslavian, 5684 GRT, built 1918), Matadian (British, 4275 GRT, built 1936), Merchant Royal (British, 5008 GRT, built 1928), Neleus (British, 6685 GRT, built 1911), Norman Monarch (British, 7005 GRT, built 1943), Ottinge (British, 2818 GRT, built 1940), Parkhaven (Dutch, 4803 GRT, built 1920)), Pentridge Hill (British, 7579 GRT, built 1941), Persier (Belgian, 5382 GRT, built 1918), Rancher (British, 5882 GRT, built 1927), Rugeley (British, 4985 GRT, built 1936), San Rafael (Panamanian, 5379 GRT, built 1919), Sansu (British, 5446 GRT, built 1939), Silverlarch (British, 5064 GRT, built 1924), Silverlaurel (British, 6142 GRT, built 1939), Starstone (British, 5702 GRT, built 1938), Thistleford (British, 4781 GRT, built 1928), Tilemachos (Greek, 3658 GRT, built 1921), Tudor Prince (British, 1914 GRT, built 1940), Tynemouth (British, 3168 GRT, built 1940) and Wanderer (British, 5079 GRT, built 1925).

The rescue ship Accrington (British, 1678 GRT, built 1910) and the rescue tug HMRT Griper were also with the convoy.

On assembly off Oversay the convoy was escorted by the escort carrier HMS Pursuer (A/Capt. H.R. Graham, DSO, DSC, RN), sloops HMS Rochester (Cdr. H.V. King, OBE, DSO, RN), HMS Londonderry (Lt.Cdr. L.B. Philpott, DSC, RD, RNR), HMS Scarborough (Lt.Cdr. E.B. Carnduff, RN), frigates HMS Tavy (T/A/Lt.Cdr. F. Ardern, RNR), HMS Tees (Lt.Cdr. R.A.D. Cambridge, DSC, RNR), corvettes HMS Geranium (T/Lt. G. Wallace, RNR), HMS Mignonette (Lt. H.H. Brown, DSC, RNR) and the A/S trawlers HMS Cape Argona (T/Lt. L.B. Payton, RNVR) and HMS Stafnes (T/Lt. A.T. Motion, RNVR).

Four of the merchant vessels of the convoy had to return to the U.K. due to defects of weather damage, these were; Baron Forbes, Lyras, Silverlaurel and Wanderer.

On 10 February 1944, the escort oiler San Tirso (British (tanker), 6266 GRT, built 1913) joined the convoy from convoy SL 147 / MKS 38.

On 12 February 1944, fighters from HMS Pursuer shot down two German aircraft that were shadowing the convoy.

On 16 February 1944, the convoy split into convoy OS 67 and KMS 41.

HMS Stafnes had been detached from the convoy and arrived at Horta, Azores on 17 February 1944.

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Convoy OS 67, towards Freetown, was made up of the following merchant vessels; Calgary, Cochrane, Empire Buckler, Empire Galahad, Empire Lancer, Fort Henley, Fort Livingstone, Fort Poplar, Gloucester City, Leeds City, Marija Petrinovic, Matadian, Neleus, Persier, Sansu and Silverlarch. The frigate HMS Tees of the escort remained with convoy OS 67.

On 15 February 1944, the frigates HMS Odzani (Lt.Cdr. L.A. Sayers, RD, RNR), HMS Aire (A/Lt.Cdr. N.K. Boyd, DSC and Bar, RNR) and corvette HMS Stonecrop (T/A/Lt.Cdr. J.H.S. Fayrer, DSC, RNVR) had departed Gibraltar escorting convoy OS 67G (the Gibraltar section of convoy OS 67) which was made up of the following transports; Agia Marina (Greek, 4151 GRT, built 1912), Appledore (British, 5218 GRT, built 1929), Baron Douglas (British, 3899 GRT, built 1932), Empire Perdita (British, 7028 GRT, built 1943), Ingleton (British, 7203 GRT, built 1942), King Edgar (British, 4536 GRT, built 1927), King William (British, 5274 GRT, built 1928) and Van Ostade (Dutch, 2890 GRT, built 1942).

On these ships arriving at the rendezvous on the 16th the convoy split. The original escort of the combined convoy, minus HMS Tees then proceeded with convoy KMS 41 towards the Mediterranean.

On 16 February 1944, the tanker Neritina (British (tanker), 8228 GRT, built 1943) departed Casablanca to join the convoy. She was escorted by the patrol vessels USS PC-474 (Lt. H.C. Hummer, USNR) and USS PC-481 (Lt. N.W Roeder, USNR). On this ship joining the convoy the transport Leeds City parted company with the convoy and proceeded to Casablanca escorted by the two patrol vessels. They arrived at Casablanca on the 17th.

On 23 February 1944, the Fort Livingstone arrived at Dakar after having been detached from the convoy while the transports Kedoe (Dutch, 3684 GRT, built 1921) and Madagascar (British, 4861 GRT, built 1912) joined the convoy coming from Dakar. Also the the sloop / minesweeper Annamite joined the convoy.

The convoy arrived at Freetown on 26 February 1944. Some ships of the convoy did not enter Freetown but proceed directly to other destinations.

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Convoy KMS 41, made up of the remaining ships, proceeded towards the Mediterranean with the original escort of the combined convoy (minus HMS Tees).

On 28 January 1944, the following transports / tanker arrived at Gibraltar; Baltrover, Baron Graham, Baron Haig, Empire Cormorant, Empire Snipe, Errington Court, King Frederick, Langleebrook, Norman Monarch, Ottinge, Tilemachos and Tudor Prince as did the rescue ship Accrington, escort oiler San Tirso and HMRT Griper. The escort, made up of HMS Rochester, HMS Londonderry, HMS Scarbrough, HMS Tavy, HMS Geranium, HMS Mignonette and HMS Cape Argona also arrived at Gibraltar.

The following ships of the convoy meanwhile directly entered the Mediterranean; Ary Lensen, Bangkok II, Belnor, Boltonhall, Cape Wrath, Clan Cameron, Danby, Empire Clarion, Empire Conrad, Empire Gareth, Empire Heath, Empire Mallory, Empire Unicorn, English Monarch, Explorer, Fort Chesterfield, Fort Michipicoten, Fort Prudhomme, Fort St.Joseph, Glaisdale, Hardingham, Ioannis Frangos, Junecrest, Merchnant Royal, Parkhaven, Pentridge Hill, Rancher, Rugeley, San Rafael, Starstone, Thistleford and Tynemouth.

On passing Gibraltar they were joined by the following transports / tankers; Arena (Norwegian (tanker), 6362 GRT, built 1927), Harrogate (British, 1029 GRT, built 1925), Palacio (British, 1346 GRT, built 1927), Parame (French, 2337 GRT, built 1918) and Robert Y. Haine (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943). Also a new escort joined for the passage through the Mediterranean, this was made up of the following ships; AA cruiser HMS Colombo (Capt. H.W. Williams, RN), minesweepers HMS Hazard (Lt.Cdr. L.C. Smith, RN), HMS Aries (A/Cdr. M.A.O. Biddulph, DSC, RN) and the corvettes HMS Anemone (Lt. J.B. Sparkes, RNR), HMS Coltsfoot (T/A/Lt.Cdr. G.W. Rayner, RNVR), HMS Convolvulus (A/Lt.Cdr. R.F.R. Yarde-Buller, RNVR) and HMS Hyderabad (T/Lt. T. Cooper, RNR).

On 18 February 1944, the transports Palacio, Parame, Parkhaven, Robert Y. Haine and Tynemouth arrived at Oran after having been detached from the convoy while the following transports joined the convoy coming from Oran; Cara (British, 1760 GRT, built 1929), Cornelius Gilliam (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Cornelius Harnett (American, 7177 GRT, built 1942), David L. Swain (American, 7177 GRT, built 1943), Gabriel Duval (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Grand Quevilly (French, 2844 GRT, built 1914), Iceland (British, 1236 GRT, built 1914), James Barbour (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Louis McLane (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Moray Coast (British, 687 GRT, built 1940), Richard Montgomery (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Thomas Cresap (American, 7200 GRT, built 1943)), Thomas Nelson Page (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), William Blount (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942) and Zane Gray (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943). The self propelled fuel barges USS Anticline (2670 GRT, built 1943, Lt. A.R. Byron, USNR) and USS Syncline (2670 GRT, built 1943, Lt. A.E. Nichols, Jr., USNR) also joined the convoy.

On 19 February 1944, the transports Cara, Empire Mallory, Glaisdale, Hardingham, Harrogate, Ioannis Frangos, James Barbour, Junecrest, Merchant Royal and Thistleford as well as USS Anticline and USS Syncline arrived at Algiers after having been detached from the convoy while the following transports / tankers joined the convoy coming from Algiers; Benito Juarez (American, 7244 GRT, built 1943), Brighton (British, 7345 GRT, built 1943), Cuba (British, 11420 GRT, 1923), Daniel Huger (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Empire Dickens (British (tanker), 9819 GRT, built 1942), Empire Guinevere (British, 7072 GRT, built 1942), Imber (British, 1899 GRT, built 1920), Nathaniel Macon (American, 7177 GRT, built 1943), Nebraska (British, 8261 GRT, built 1920) and Samspring (British, 7219 GRT, built 1943).

On 20 February 1944, the transport Empire Gareth arrived at Bone after having been detached from the convoy while the transport Fort Bell (British, 7127 GRT, built 1943) joined the convoy coming from Bone.

On 21 February 1944, the transports Cape Wrath, Iceland and William Blount as well as HMS Colombo arrived at Bizerta after having been detached from the convoy while the following transports / tankers joined the convoy from Bizerta; Bourgogne (French (tanker), 9357 GRT, built 1937), British Justice (British (tanker), 6932 GRT, built 1928), Nea (Norwegian, 1877 GRT, built 1921), Thomas Pinckney (American, 7177 GRT, built 1942) and William L. Smith (American, 7196, built 1943). The rescue tug HMRT Patroclus also joined the convoy.

On 21 February 1944, the transport Boltonhall arrived at Tunis after having been detached from the convoy.

On 22 February 1944, the transports Empire Clarion, Imber and Moray Coast arrived at Malta as did the minesweeper HMS Aries after having been detached from the convoy while the transport Toscana (British (former Italian), 9442 GRT, built 1923) joined the convoy from Malta.

On 22 February 1944, the following transports / tankers departed Augusta to join the convoy; Empire Opossum (British, 5644 GRT, built 1918), Fort Erie (British, 7128 GRT, built 1943), Newbrough (British, 5255 GRT, built 1941), Nuculana (British (tanker), 8179 GRT, built 1942), Samnebra (British, 7219 GRT, built 1943) and Samphire (British, 7219 GRT, built 1943).

On 23 February 1944, the following transports / tankers arrived at Augusta after having parted company with the convoy; Arena, Ary Lensen, Benito Juarez, Bourgogne, Brighton, Cornelius Gilliam, Cornelius Harnett, Cuba, Danby, Daniel Huger, David L. Swain, Empire Conrad, Empire Dickens, Empire Guinevere, Empire Heath, Empire Unicorn, English Monarch, Fort Bell, Fort Chesterfield, Fort Michipiconten, Gabriel Duval, Grand Quevilly, Louis McLane, Nathaniel Macon, Nea, Nebraska, Richard Montgomery, Rugeley, Samspring, San Rafael, Starstone, Thomas Cresap, Thomas Nelson Page, Thomas Pinckney, William L. Smith and Zane Gray. HMRT Patroclus also arrived at Augusta.

On 26 February 1944, the following transports / tankers arrived at Alexandria after having parted company with the convoy; Clan Cameron, Empire Opossum, Fort Erie, Fort Prudhomme, Newbrough, Samnebra, Samphire and Toscana. From the escort HMS Hazard, HMS Anemone and HMS Coltsfood also arrived at Alexandria.

The remainder of the convoy arrived at Port Said on 27 February 1944.

12 Jun 1944

Combined convoy OS 80 / KMS 54.

This combined convoy was assembled off Oversay on 12 June 1944.

It was made up of the following transports; Baharistan (British, 5479 GRT, built 1928), Baron Fairlie (British, 6706 GRT, built 1925), Baron Tweedmouth (British, 3357 GRT, built 1927), Caduceus (British, 4364 GRT, built 1927), Cap Cantin (British (former French), 3317 GRT, built 1933), Cape Breton (British, 6044 GRT, built 1940), City of Worcester (British, 5469 GRT, built 1927), Clan Matheson (British, 5613 GRT, built 1919), Deido (British, 3894 GRT, built 1928), Empire Buckler (British, 7046 GRT, built 1942), Empire Galahad (British, 7046 GRT, built 1942), Empire Prospero (British, 6766 GRT, built 1943), Empire Zephyr (British, 6327 GRT, built 1941), Fort Chambly (British, 7130 GRT, built 1942), Fort Columbia (British, 7155 GRT, built 1942), Fort Kullyspell (British, 7190 GRT, built 1943), Fort Stager (British, 7132 GRT, built 1943), Framlington Court (British, 4888 GRT, built 1924), Govert Flinck (Dutch, 7178 GRT, built 1942), Hilversum (Dutch, 3717 GRT, built 1920), Isipingo (British, 7069 GRT, built 1930), Jenny (Norwegian, 4706 GRT, built 1928), Keilehaven (Dutch, 2968 GRT, built 1919), Llanberis (British, 5055 GRT, built 1928), Ottinge (British, 2818 GRT, built 1940), Philips Wouwerman (Dutch, 7089 GRT, built 1943), Radmanso (Swedish, 4280 GRT, built 1914), Sansu (British, 5446 GRT, built 1939) and Souliotis (Greek, 4299 GRT, built 1917).

The tanker (escort oiler) Esturia (British (tanker), 6968 GRT, built 1914) was to join later at sea after having parted company with the combined convoy SL 161 / MKS 51.

The rescue ship Syrian Prince (British, 1990 GRT, built 1936) was also with the combined convoy.

On assembly off Oversay the convoy was escorted by the escort carrier HMS Searcher (Capt. G.O.C. Davies, RN), destroyer HMS Highlander (Cdr. D.A. Rayner, DSC, VRD, RNVR), frigates HMS Bayntun (Lt.Cdr. L.P. Bourke, RNZNR), HMS Foley (A/Lt.Cdr. C.A.H. Bird, RNVR), HMS Helmsdale (Cdr. C.W. McMullen, DSC, RN) and the corvettes HMS Kenilworth Castle (Lt. J.J.Allon, RNR) and HMS Portchester Castle (Lt. A.G. Scott, RNR).

On 13 June 1944, the Baron Tweedmouth arrived in the Clyde and the Jenny arrived at Liverpool after having forced to return to the U.K.

On 16 June 1944, the Caduceus arrived in the Clyde after having forced to return to the U.K.

The Empire Prosepero was detached en-route to Horta, Azores.

Around 0500Z/22, HMS Searcher, HMS Highlander and HMS Foley parted company with the convoy to join the combined convoy SL 161 / MKS 51 which they did around 0920Z/22. HMS Highlander and HMS Bayntun then parted company to rejoined the combined convoy OS 80 / KMS 54, most likely tanking the tanker (escort oiler) Esturia with them.

Also on 22 June the convoy split into convoy OS 80 and KMS 54.

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Convoy OS 80, towards Freetown, was made up of the following transports; Cap Cantin, Deido, Empire Buckle, Empire Galahad, Hilversum, Ispingo, Llanberis, Sansu and Souliotis.

They were joined on 22 June 1944 by the transports Empire Foam (British, 7047 GRT, built 1941), Empire Gale (British, 7089 GRT, built 1941), Fort Vermillion (British, 7133 GRT, built 1942), King James (British, 5122 GRT, built 1925) and King Stephen (British, 5274 GRT, built 1928). These ships had departed Gibraltar on 21 June together with the new escort for convoy OS 80 which was made up of the frigates HMS Rother (Cdr. Y.M. Cleeves, DSO, DSC, RD, RNR), HMS Ballinderry (Lt.Cdr. E.F. Aikman, RNR), HMS Inver (Lt.Cdr. F.H. Gray, RNR) and the patrol vessel HMS Kilmelford (T/Lt. H. Brown, RNR).

On 23 June 1944, the transports Agen (French, 4186 GRT, built 1921), Argyll (British, 4897 GRT, built 1939), Chelma (French, 4968 GRT, built 1920), Montaigne (French, 2770 GRT, built 1920) and Paul de Rousiers (French, 3548 GRT, built 1942) joined coming from Casablanca which they had departed the day before. They were escorted by the destroyer Trombe, minesweeping sloop La Boudeuse and the patrol vessel / sloop Amiral Mouchez. The French escort vessels did not join the convoy. On 30 June 1944, the Agen, Cap Cantin, Chelma, Montaigne, Paul de Rousiers and Souliotis arrived at Dakar after having been detached from the convoy while the transports Charles Schiaffino (French, 3664 GRT, built 1930) and Hoggar (French, 5146 GRT, built 1923) joined the convoy coming from Dakar. Convoy OS 80 arrived at Freetown on 1 July 1944 though some of the ships proceeded to other destinations independently.

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Convoy KMS 54 proceeded towards the Straits of Gibraltar. This convoy was made up of the transports Baharistan, Baron Fairly, Cape Brenton, City of Worcester, Clan Matheson, Empire Zephyr, Esturia, Fort Chambly, Fort Columbia, Fort Kullyspell, Fort Stager, Framlington Court, Govert Flinck, Keilehaven, Ottinge, Philips Wouderman, Radmanso and Syrian Prince.

On 23 June 1944, the Cape Breton, Empire Zephyr, Esturia and Syrian Prince arrived at Gibraltar together with the original escort of the convoy; HMS Highlander, HMS Bayntun, HMS Foley, HMS Helmsdale, HMS Kenilworth Castle and HMS Portchester Castle.

From Gibraltar / Casablanca the transports / tankers Gallia (Norwegian (tanker), 9974 GRT, built 1939), Henry Dundas (British (tanker), 10448 GRT, built 1937), John Howland (American, 7191 GRT, built 1943), John Stagg (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943) and Paul H. Harwood (American (tanker), 7192 GRT, built 1918) joined the convoy.

Escort was now provided by the sloop HMS Fleetwood (Cdr. W.B. Piggott, DSC and Bar, OBE, RD, RNR), minesweeper HMS Hazard (Lt.Cdr. L.C. Smith, RN) and the corvettes HMS Anemone (Lt. J.B. Sparkes, RNR), HMS Bergamot (A/Lt.Cdr. W. McInnes, RNR), HMS Coltsfoot (T/A/Lt.Cdr. G.W. Rayner, RNVR), HMS Convolvulus (A/Lt.Cdr. R.F.R. Yarde-Buller, RNVR) and RHS Apostolis.

On 24 June 1944, the transports Cape Brenton and John Howland arrived in Oran Bay after having parted company with the convoy while the transports / tanker Alexander J. Dallas (American, 7180 GRT, built 1943), Darien (Panamanian, 3683 GRT, built 1924), Fomalhaut (French, 5795 GRT, built 1936), Garonne (Norwegian (tanker), 7113 GRT, built 1931), George Davis (American, 7177 GRT, built 1942), James Moore (American, 7177 GRT, built 1943), John Trumbull (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Lincoln Steffens (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Sidi-Brahmin (British, 2439 GRT, built 1910) and Tabitha Brown (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943) joined the convoy. With them came also the tug AST-76 (Army tug) and the salvage vessel USS Restorer (Lt. C.M. Boyd, USNR).

On 25 June 1944, the transports Fomalhaut, Fort Stager, Keilehaven and Sidi-Brahmin arrived at Algiers after having parted company with the convoy while the transports / tanker Esneh (British, 1931 GRT, built 1919), Laurent Meeus (Belgian (tanker), 6429 GRT, built 1930), Ocean Faith (British, 7174 GRT, built 1942), Samesk (British, 7219 GRT, built 1944) and Sheaf Crown (British, 4868 GRT, built 1929) joined the convoy. With them the AA cruiser HMS Caledon (Capt. R.F. Nichols, RN) also joined the convoy.

USS Restorer was soon detached to Dellys.

On 26 June 1944, the transport Ottinge arrived at Philippeville after having been detached from the convoy.

On 26 June 1944, the transports Anatina (Norwegian, 4986 GRT, built 1939) and William M. Stalwart (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942) joined the convoy coming from Bone. With these ships the M/S trawler HMS Ruskholm (T/S.Lt. R.V. Brown, RNVR) also joined the convoy.

On 27 June 1944, the transport Darien as well as HMS Caledon and HMS Ruskholm arrived at Bizerta after having parted company with the convoy while the transports / tankers Chloris (British, 1171 GRT, built 1910), Corchester (British, 2374 GRT, built 1927), David Holmes (American (tanker), 7218 GRT, built 1943), Empire Usk (British, 3229 GRT, built 1918)), Monte Cucco (Italian, 834 GRT, built 1943), Norrisia (British (tanker), 8246 GRT, built 1944) and Samual V. Shreve (British, 1813 GRT, built 1943) joined the convoy coming from Bizerta.

On 27 June 1944, the transport Radmanso arrived at Tunus (La Goulette) after having parted company with the convoy.

On 28 June 1944, the transport Monte Cucco arrived at Malta after having parted company with the convoy while the tanker Badarpur (British, 8079 GRT, built 1922) joined the convoy coming from Malta.

On 29 June 1944, the transports / tankers Alexander J. Dallas, Chloris, Corchester, Empire Usk, Esneh, Fort Columbia, Fort Kullyspell, Framlington Court, Gallia, George Davis, Govert Flinck, Henry Dundas, James Moore, John Stagg, John Trumbull, Laurent Meeus, Lincoln Steffens, Ocean Faith, Paul H. Harwood, Samesk, Samuel V. Shreve, Sheaf Crown, Tabitha Brown and William M. Stewart arrived at Augusta after having parted company with the convoy as did the tug AST-76. RHS Apostolis also proceeded to Augusta.

The following transports / tankers joined the convoy coming from Augusta; Bantria (British, 2407 GRT, built 1928), Empire Brook (British, 2852 GRT, built 1941), Morialta (British, 1379 GRT, built 1940), Ninella (British (tanker), 8134 GRT, built 1943), Northia (British (tanker), 8211 GRT, built 1944), President de Vogue (Norwegian (tanker), 9320 GRT, built 1935), Samblade (British, 7219 GRT, built 1943), Tobruk (Polish, 7048 GRT, built 1942) and Wallace E. Pratt (American (tanker), 7991 GRT, built 1937).

On 2 July 1944, the following transports arrived at Alexandria; Bantria, Empire Brook and Morialta. With these ships the escorts Fleetwood, Hazard, Anemone and Bergamot also arrived at Alexandria.

On 3 July 1944, the following transports / tankers arrived at Alexandria; Anatina, Badarpur, Baharistan, Baron Fairly, City of Worcester, Clan Mathesonn, David Holmes, Fort Chambly, Garonne, Ninella, Norissia, Northia, Philips Wouderman, President de Vogue, Samblade, Tobruk and Wallace E. Pratt . With these ships the escorts Coltsfood and Convolvulus also arrived at Alexandria.

4 Jul 1944

Convoy UGS 47.

This convoy departed Hampton Roads on 4 July 1944.

On departure from Hampton Roads the convoy made up of the following transport / tankers; Abner Doubleday (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Alfred Moore (American, 7177 GRT, built 1942), American Trader (American (tanker), 8862 GRT, built 1923), Anna Odland (Norwegian, 4980 GRT, built 1939), Archbishop Lamy (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Aztec (Hunduran, 5511 GRT, built 1929), Backhuysen (Dutch (tanker), 8194 GRT, built 1942), Barendrecht (Dutch (tanker), 9385 GRT, built 1938), Booker T. Washington (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Britannia (Norwegian (tanker), 9977 GRT, built 1939), Button Gwinnett (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Caleb Strong (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Carter Baxton (American, 7191 GRT, built 1942), Chung Shan (Chinese, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Chung Tung (Chinese, 7120 GRT, built 1944), Dromus (British (tanker), 8036 GRT, built 1938), Edward Rutledge (American, 7177 GRT, built 1942), Frank Springer (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Granville (Norwegian, 5745 GRT, built 1930), Henry Middleton (American, 7177 GRT, built 1942), Hilary A. Herbert (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Isaac Coles (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), James Barbour (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), James Ford Rhodes (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), James Gordon Bennett (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), James J. Maguire (British (tanker), 10525 GRT, built 1939), Jerome K. Jones (American, 7199 GRT, built 1943), Juaquin Miller (American, 7181 GRT, built 1942), Joel Chandler Harris (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), John Chandler (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), John Davey (American, 7209 GRT, built 1943), John Fiske (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), John Harvard (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), John Sullivan (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), John W. Davis (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Jonathan Edwards (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Jonathan Elmer (American, 7191 GRT, built 1942), Jonathan Trumbull (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Joseph Leidy (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Joseph Augustin Chevalier (American, 7176 GRT, built 1944), Jotunfjell (Norwegian (tanker), 8264 GRT, built 1937), Kong Haakon VII (Norwegian, 7073 GRT, built 1942), Leslie M. Shaw (American, 7181 GRT, built 1943), Magdala (Dutch (tanker), 8248 GRT, built 1931), Pan-Maine (American (tanker), 7237 GRT, built 1936), Peter Minuit (American, 7191 GRT, built 1942), R.S. Wilson (American, 7176 GRT, built 1944), Reverdy Johnson (American, 7191 GRT, built 1942), Richard Bassett (American, 7191 GRT, built 1942), Robert Dale Owen (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Samaffric (British, 7210, built 1944), Samfaithful (British, 7210, built 1944), Samindoro (British, 7210, built 1944), Samlouis (British, 7219, built 1943), Samluzon (British, 7210, built 1944), Samnethy (British, 7210, built 1944), Samoland (British, 7255, built 1944), Samskern (British, 7210, built 1944), Samtana (British, 7210, built 1944), Samuel Blatchford (American, 7200, built 1943), Silverster Gardiner (American, 7176, built 1943), Timothy Dwight (American, 7176, built 1943), Viggo Hansteen (American, 7176, built 1943), Westmount Park (Canadian, 7133, built 1943), William L. Smith (American, 7196, built 1943), William P. Fessenden (American, 7176, built 1942) and William S. Young (American, 7176, built 1943).

Also with the convoy were the naval tanker USS Escalante (Cdr. C.L. Kiewert, USNR) and the petrol carrier USS Gauger (Lt. G.V. Davis, USNR).

On departure from Hampton Roads the convoy was escorted by the cutter USCGC Campbell (Cdr. S.F. Gray, USCG, with COMTASKFOR 61, T/Capt. J.C. Sowell, USN on board) and the destroyer escorts USS Evarts (Lt.Cdr. F.A. Harding, Jr., USNR, with COMCORTDI5 5, Cdr. R.A. Fitch, USNR on board), USS Wyffels (Lt. S.N. Gleis, USNR), USS Decker (Lt.Cdr. H.S. Cody, Jr., USNR), USS Dobler (Lt.Cdr. E.F. Butler, USNR), USS Smartt (Lt. E.R. Wepman, USNR), USS Walter S. Brown (Lt. L.C. Burdett, USNR), USS Gillette (Lt.Cdr. J.W. Daniel, Jr. USNR, with COMCORTDIV 56, T/Cdr. W.L. Harmon, USN on board), USS Underhill (Lt.Cdr. S.R. Jackson, USNR), USS Henry R. Kenyon (Lt.Cdr. A.D. Berliss, Jr., USNR), USS Gunason (Cdr. H.G. White, USNR), USS Major (Lt.Cdr. O.W. Goepner, USNR) and USS Weeden (Lt.Cdr. C.F. Tillinghast, Jr., USNR).

Also with the convoy were the patrol vessels, USS PC-1140 (Lt. F.H. Beardsley, USNR), USS PC-1168 (Lt. R.R. Hart, USNR), USS PC-1169 (Lt.(jg) R.S. Mueller, USNR), USS PC-1173 (Lt. R.S. Cathcart, USNR), USS PC-1174 (Lt. W.B. Tyler, USNR), USS PC-1244 (Lt. E.W. Stacy, USNR), USS PC-1246 (Lt. W.L. Smith, USNR), USS PC-1595 (Lt.(jg) L.H. Nightengale, USNR), USS PC-1597 (Lt. R.P. Harris, USNR) and Dague which were all on passage to the Mediterranean.

Around 0542Q/7, USS Gunason parted company to proceed to Bermuda with an appendicitis patient from USS Escalante. She rejoined the convoy around 2300Q/7.

Around 0610Q/7, the patrol vessels USS PC-1593 (Lt.(jg) J.A. Foley, USNR), USS PC-1594 (Lt. G.A. Tredick, Jr., USNR) and USS PC-1596 (Lt. J.C. McKay, USNR) joined the convoy coming from Bermuda.

At 0612Q/7, the Aztec broke down. It was estimated repairs would take six hours. USS Decker was ordered to remain behind with the stricken ship. They rejoined the convoy around 0700P/8.

On 9 July 1944, USS Escalante fuelled all the patrol vessels that had been with the convoy on departure from Hampton Roads in the following order; USS PC-1173, Dague, USS PC-1595, USS PC-1174, USS PC-1169, USS PC-1140, USS PC-1597, USS PC-1244, USS PC-1169 and USS PC-1246.

On 10 July 1944, USS Escalante fuelled the following escort vessels; USCGC Campbell, USS Walter S. Brown, USS Gillette, USS Decker, USS Major, USS Wyffels, USS Henry R. Kenyon, USS Dobler, USS Weeden, USS Smartt, USS Evans, USS Gunason, USS PC-1593 and USS Underhill.

Around 1100N/14, the tanker Var (French, 7935 GRT, built 1931) and transport Henry Baldwin (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942) joined coming from the Azores. They had been escorted to the rendezvous by the A/S trawler HMS Paynter (T/Lt. T.B.S. Brown, RNVR). HMS Paynter did not join the convoy.

Around 1030N/15, the Button Gwinnett broke down. Repairs were estimated to take about four to six hours. USS Decker was ordered to stand by. They rejoined the following morning.

During the 16th, all the escorts were fuelled by USS Escalante in the following order; USS PC-1593, USS PC-1169, USS PC-1173, USS Dague, USS PC-1596, USS PC-1140, USS PC-1174, USS PC-1597, USS PC-1595, USS PC-1593, USS PC-1168, USS PC-1246, USS PC-1594, USS Walter S. Brown, USCGC Campbell, USS PC-1244, USS Henry R. Kenyon, USS Wyffels, USS Gunason, USS Dobler, USS Major, USS Decker, USS Weeden, USS Smartt, USS Evarts, USS Gillette and USS Underhill.

Around 1630A/17, the James J. Maguire broke down. USS Decker was ordered to stand by the stricken vessel. They rejoined the convoy on the 19th.

Around 1615A/18, the following transports / tankers parted company with to convoy to proceed to Casablanca; Booker T. Washington, Jonathan Edwards, Pan-Maine and Var. They were escorted by the patrol vessel / sloop Amiral Mouchez and the patrol vessels L'Ardent and Le Resolu which had departed Casablanca earlier on the 18th. The 'Casablanca section' arrived there on the 19th.

On 19 July 1944, in the Straits of Gibraltar the transport Benjamin Tay (British, 1814 GRT, built 1943) joined the convoy as did the rescue tugs HMRT St. Day and HMRT Aspirant.

Around 1600B/20, the following transports / tankers; Aztec, Button Gwinnett, Dromus, Joel Chandler Harris, Jonathan Elmer, Richard Bassett and USS Gauger parted company with the convoy to proceed to Oran Bay.

Around the same time the following transports joined coming from Oran Bay; Bernard N. Baker (American, 7191 GRT, built 1943), Dwight W. Morrow (American, 7225 GRT, built 1943), Ezra Cornell (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Gouverneur General Lepine (French, 3509 GRT, built 1923), Howard A. Kelly (American, 7191 GRT, built 1943), Moses Rogers (American, 7181 GRT, built 1942), Sidi-Brahim (British (former French), 2427 GRT, built 1910), Theodoric Bland (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Thomas R. Marshall (American, 7200 GRT, built 1943), Ville d'Ajaccio (French, 2444 GRT, built 1929) and Walter E. Ranger (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943).

Around 1700B/20, the AA cruiser HMS Caledon (Capt. R.F. Nichols, RN) joined the convoy coming from Algiers.

Around 1734B/20, the destroyer USS Madison (T/Cdr. D.A. Stuart, USN) joined the convoy to serve as jamming ship against possible German radio controlled bomb attacks.

Around 1415B/21, the following transports; American Trader, Britannia, Gouverneur General Lepine, Henry Baldwin, James J. Maguire, Kong Haakon VII, Samoland, Sidi-Brahim, Silvester Gardiner, Ville d'Ajaccio and Walter E. Ranger parted company with the convoy to proceed to Algiers. The patrol vessel Dague was also detached to Algiers.

Around the same time the following transports / tankers joined coming from Algiers; Chiswick (British, 6006 GRT, built 1943), Empire Spartan (British, 7009 GRT, built 1942), Fort Gaspereau (British, 7134 GRT, built 1943), Fort Kootenay (British, 7133 GRT, built 1942), Fort Pembina (British, 7134 GRT, built 1942), Fort Richelieu (British, 7130 GRT, built 1943), Harlesden (British, 7273 GRT, built 1943), Ocean Gypsy (British, 7178 GRT, built 1942) and Ocean Rider (British, 7178 GRT, built 1942).

Around 1800B/22, the transports Egret (British, 1391 GRT, built 1937) and Kwai Sang (British, 2320 GRT, built 1917) joined coming from Bone. The rescue tug HMRT Aspirant was detached to Bone.

Around 2200B/22, USS Madison was detached to proceed to Oran.

Around 0730B/23, a British escort group relieved the American escorts which then proceeded to Bizerta with HMS Caledon, USS Escalante and the transport Howard A. Kelly in company. the British escorts were the following; sloop HMS Fleetwood (Cdr. W.B. Piggott, DSC and Bar, OBE, RD, RNR), minesweeper HMS Hazard (Lt.Cdr. L.C. Smith, RN) and the corvettes HMS Anemone (Lt. J.B. Sparkes, RNR) and HMS Coltsfoot (T/A/Lt.Cdr. G.W. Rayner, RNVR).

On 24 July 1944, the transport Changte (British, 4324 GRT, built 1925) joined the convoy coming from Malta.

On 24 July 1944, the following transports / tankers departed Augusta to join the convoy; Badarpur (British (tanker), 8079 GRT, built 1922), Buccinum (British (tanker), 5237 GRT, built 1910), Crista (British, 2590 GRT, built 1938), Empire Rock (British, 7061 GRT, built 1943), Fort Drew (British, 7134 GRT, built 1943), Morialta (British, 1379 GRT, built 1940) and Samfaithful (British, 7210 GRT, built 1944). These ships were most likely escorted to the rendezvous with the convoy by the A/S trawler HMS Gavotte (T/Lt. W.A. Swain, RNVR) and HMS Tango (T/Lt. R.F. Giles, RNVR) and M/S trawler HMS Egilsay (T/Lt. J.F. Squires, RNVR).

On these ships joining the following transports / tankers were detached to Augusta where they arrived on 25 July 1944; Abner Doubleday, Alfred Moore, Archbishop Lamy, Backhuysen, Barendrecht, Benjamin Tay, Bernard N. Baker, Caleb Strong, Carter Braxton, Chiswick, Dwight W. Morrow, Egret, Empire Spartan, Ezra Cornell, Fort Gasperea, Fort Kootenay, Fort Pembina, Fort Richelieu, Harlesden, Hilary A. Herbert, Isaac Coles, James Barbour, James Ford Rhodes, Jerome K. Jones, Juaquin Miller, John Chandler, John Fiske, John Harvard, John Sullivan, Jonathan Trumbull, Joseph Leidy, Jotunfjell, Kwai Sang, Leslie M. Shaw, Magdala, Moses Rogers, Ocean Gypsy, Ocean Rider, Peter Minuit, Robert Dale Owen, Samindoro, Samluzon, Samskern, Samuel Blatchford, Theodoric Bland, Thomas R. Marshall, Timothy Dwight, Viggo Hansteen, William Smith, William P. Fessenden and William S. Young. They were most likely escorted to Augusta by the three above mention trawlers.

On 28 July 1944 the transports / tankers; Changte, Crista, Granville, Joseph Augustin Chevalier, Morialta, Reverdy Johnson and Samaffric arrived at Alexandria after having been detached from the convoy. HMS Hazard, HMS Anemone and HMS Coltsfood also arrived at Alexandria.

On 29 July 1944, the transports / tankers; Anna Odland, Badarpur, Buccinum, Chung Shan, Chung Tung, Edward Rutledge, Fort Drew, Empire Rock, Frank Springer, Henry Middleton, James Gordon Bennett, John Davey, John W. Davis, R.S. Wilson, Samfaithful, Samlouis, Samnethy, Samtana and Westmount Park arrived at Port Said escorted by HMS Fleetwood.

14 Jul 1944

Convoy GUS 46.

This convoy departed Port Said on 14 July 1944.

On departure from Port Said the convoy was made up of the following ships; Algonquin Park (Canadian, 7130 GRT, 1942), Ben F. Nixon (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Charles Scribner (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Clan Macaulay (British, 10492 GRT, built 1936), Clement Clay (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Elise (Norwegian (tanker), 7910 GRT, built 1931), Francis N. Blanchet (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), George Chaffey (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Gulfpoint (American (tanker), 6972 GRT, built 1920), Henry Bacon (American, 7177 GRT, built 1942), Hoegh Silverlight (Norwegian, 5197 GRT, built 1936), Jacob Perkins (American, 7244 GRT, built 1944), James D. Trask (American, 7210 GRT, built 1944), James Monroe (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Joseph Francis (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Nonsuco (American, 5212 GRT, built 1938), Ole Bull (Norwegian, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Robert Luckenbach (American, 8152 GRT, built 1919), Samhorn (British, 7253 GRT, built 1943), Thomas L. Clingman (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Thomas Nuttall (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), William Coddington (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943) and William Patterson (American, 7191 GRT, built 1942).

On departure from Port Said the convoy was escorted by the sloop HMS Fleetwood (Cdr. W.B. Piggott, DSC and Bar, OBE, RD, RNR) and the corvettes HMS Anemone (Lt. J.B. Sparkes, RNR) and HMS Coltsfoot (T/A/Lt.Cdr. G.W. Rayner, RNVR).

On 15 July 1944, the following ships departed Alexandria and joined the convoy; Changte (British, 4324 GRT, built 1925), Charles Bullfinch (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Empire Airman (British (tanker), 9813 GRT, built 1942) and Tobruk (Polish, 7048 GRT, built 1942).

They were escorted by the minesweeper HMS Hazard (Lt.Cdr. L.C. Smith, RN).

On 18 July 1944, the following ships departed Augusta to join the convoy; Cape Howe (British, 6999 GRT, built 1943), Clausina (British (tanker), 8083 GRT, built 1938), Empire Grange (British, 6981 GRT, built 1943), Esso Baltimore (American (tanker), 7940 GRT, built 1938), Fort Columbia (British, 7155 GRT, built 1942), Francis Marion (American, 7177 GRT, built 1942), Franz Klasen (Panamanian (tanker), 12425 GRT, built 1932), George K. Fitch (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), James Jackson (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), James Manning (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), King S. Woolsey (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Longwood (British (tanker), 9463 GRT, built 1930), Moses Austin (American, 7244 GRT, built 1943), Norheim (Norwegian (tanker), 9816 GRT, built 1941), Norholm (Norwegian (tanker), 9813 GRT, built 1941), Ocean Faith (British, 7174 GRT, built 1942), Paine Wingate (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Roald Amundsen (Norwegian, 7191 GRT, built 1943), Tide Water Associated (American (tanker), 8906 GRT, built 1930), Tristram Dalton (American, 7191 GRT, built 1942), Valldemosa (British, 7222 GRT, built 1935) and William M. Stewart (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942).

On 19 July 1944, the following ships arrived at Augusta after having been detached from the convoy; Clan Macaulay, Elise, Empire Airman, Joseph Francis and Tobruk.

On 19 July 1944, the Changte arrived at Malta after having parted company with the convoy while the following ships joined the convoy coming from Malta; British Power (British (tanker), 8451 GRT, built 1936) and Cochrane (British, 7203 GRT, built 1923).

On 20 July 1944, the Gulfpoint arrived at Bizerta after having parted company with the convoy while the following ships joined the convoy coming from Bizerta; Crosby S. Noyes (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943, Empire Bombardier (British (tanker), 8202 GRT, built 1943) and the netlayer HMS Guardian (Capt.(Retd.) H.A.C. Lane, OBE, RN). Also the current escort was relieved by Task Force 60 which was made up of the cutter USCGC Bibb (Cdr. H.T. Diehl, USCG, with COMTASKFOR 60, T/Capt. R.B. Nickerson, USN, on board) and the destroyer escorts USS Vance (Lt.Cdr. F.V. Helmer, USCG, with COMCORTDIV 45, Cdr. E.J. Roland, USCG, on board), USS Lansing (Cdr. R.F. Rea, USCG), USS Durant (Cdr. C.C. Knapp, USCG), USS Calcaterra (Lt.Cdr. E.D. Howard, USCGR), USS Chambers (Cdr. H.A. Loughlin, USCG), USS Merrill (Cdr. I.J.Stephens, USCG), USS Riley (Lt.Cdr. D.H. Johnson, USNR, with COMCORTDIV 67, T/Cdr. F.G. Gould, USN, on board), USS Leslie L.B. Knox (Lt. J.A. Moffett, USNR), USS McNulty (Lt.Cdr. W.C. Jennings, USNR), USS Metivier (Lt.Cdr. E.H. Maher, USNR), USS George A. Johnson (Lt.Cdr. A. Robinson, USNR) and USS Eugene E. Elmore (T/Lt.Cdr. G.L. Conkey, USN). Also part of Task Force 60 was the naval tanker (escort oiler) USS Mattaponi (Lt.Cdr. V.J. Banks, USNR). Additional escorts were the AA cruiser HMS Colombo (Capt. C.T. Jellicoe, DSO, DSC and Bar, RN) and the destroyer escort USS Frederick C. Davis (Lt.Cdr. R.C. Robbins, Jr., USNR). This last ship was for jamming duties against German guided bombs.

Around 0345B/21, the transport Steel Inventor (American, 5686 GRT, built 1920) and the rescue tug HMRT Hengist joined the convoy coming from Bone.

Around 0700B/22, the following ships were detached to Algiers; British Power, Cape Howe, Empire Grange, Fort Columbia, Ocean Faith and HMS Guardian while the following ships joined the convoy coming from Algiers; British Chemist (British (tanker), 6997 GRT, built 1925), British Governor (British (tanker), 6840 GRT, built 1926), Gallia (Norwegian (tanker), 9974 GRT, built 1939), Henry Dundas (British (tanker), 10448 GRT, built 1937), Oscar Underwood (American, 7207 GRT, built 1944) and Samshire (British, 7219 GRT, built 1943).

Around 0610B/23, HMS Colombo was detached to Oran.

Around 0630B/23, USS Frederick C. Davis was also detached from the convoy.

Around 0700B/23, the following ships were detached to Oran; Crosby S. Noyes, Francis Marion, James Jackson, James Manning, King S. Woolsey, Moses Austin, Paine Wingate, Roald Amundsen and Tristram Dalton while the following ships joined the convoy coming from Oran; Fort Frederick (British, 7135 GRT, built 1942), George P. McKay (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Hugh M. Smith (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), John Armstrong (American, 7196 GRT, built 1943), Meyer Lissner (American, 7207 GRT, built 1943), Peter Trimble Rowe (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943) and Sherwood Anderson (American, 7207 GRT, built 1943).

Around 1000B/24, the following ships were detached to Gibraltar; Algonquin Park and Samhorm.

Around 1915B/24, the following ships were detached to Casablanca; Cochrane, Franz Klasen and Samshire while the following ships joined the convoy from Casablanca; Athelchief (British (tanker), 10000 GRT, built 1939), Booker T. Washington (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Fort George (British, 7129 GRT, built 1942), George Shiraz (American, 7200 GRT, built 1943), John T. Holt (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Jonathan Edwards (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942) and Pan-Maine (American (tanker), 7237 GRT, built 1936). These ships had been escorted from Casablanca to the rendezvous with the convoy by the minesweeping sloop La Boudeuse and the patrol vessels Le Ruse, L'Ardent and Le Resolu which then escorted the ships that were detached arriving at Casablanca on the 25th.

During 27 July 1944, USS Mattaponi fuelled USCG Bibb, USS Riley, USS Leslie L.B. Knox, USS McNulty, USS Metivier, USS George A. Johnson and USS Eugene E. Elmore.

Around 0900N/29, the tanker Henry L. Ellsworth (American (tanker), 7218 GRT, built 1943) joined the convoy coming from the Azores. She had been escorted to the rendezvous by the A/S trawler HMS Kingston Amber (T/Lt. R. Adams, RNR).

During 1 August 1944, USS Mattaponi fuelled USS Riley, USS Leslie L.B. Knox, USS McNulty, USS Metivier, USS George A. Johnson and USS Eugene E. Elmore.

Around 0830P/7, the convoy commenced to split up into two sections. The ' New York / Delaware ' section of 13 ships was escorted by USCG Bibb, USS Vance, USS Lancing, USS Durant, USS Calcaterra, USS Chambers and USS Merrill. The bulk of the convoy made up the ' Chesapeake Bay ' section which was escorted by USS Riley, USS Leslie L.B. Knox, USS McNulty, USS Metivier, USS George A. Johnson and USS Eugene E. Elmore.

The ' New York ' section arrived at it destination in the afternoon of 8 August 1944. The ' Delaware ' section (made up of one ship, the John T. Holt) had parted company with it around 1730P/7 and arrived it its destination later on the 7th, escorted by USS Chambers.

The ' Chesapeake Bay ' section, which included USS Mattaponi arrived at its destination on 8 August 1944.

25 Apr 1945
HMS Vampire (Lt. C.W. Taylor, RNR) conducted A/S exercises off Gibraltar with HMS Woodruff (Lt. W.K. Tadman, RNR) and HMS Coltsfoot (T/A/Lt.Cdr. G.W. Rayner, RNVR). (17)

Sources

  1. ADM 199/1833
  2. ADM 173/17319
  3. ADM 173/17400
  4. ADM 234/353
  5. File 2.12.03.6439 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)
  6. ADM 199/651 + ADM 234/353
  7. ADM 173/17420
  8. ADM 173/17813
  9. ADM 173/17756
  10. ADM 173/18373
  11. ADM 173/17782
  12. ADM 199/963 + ADM 199/975 + ADM 199/2201
  13. ADM 173/17926
  14. ADM 199/585 + ADM 199/975 + ADM 199/2101
  15. ADM 199/1826
  16. ADM 199/767
  17. ADM 173/20232

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


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