Allied Warships

HMS Northern Foam (4.76)

ASW Trawler

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeASW Trawler
Class[No specific class] 
Built byDeschimag (Bremerhaven, Germany) 
Laid down 
CommissionedSep 1939 
End service 

Completed in September 1936.
Taken over by the Admiralty on 29 August 1939.
Displacement: 655 tons.
Armament: 1 4" gun.

Returned to her owner in November 1945.
Scrapped at Dunston in 1964.


Commands listed for HMS Northern Foam (4.76)

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.

1Lt. George William Houchen, RNR5 Sep 1939Oct 1940
2T/Lt. Martin Todd, RNROct 1940early 1942
3T/Lt. Keir Francis Rasmussen, RNRearly 19429 Jul 1942
4T/Lt. Bryan Webster Harris, RNVR9 Jul 194218 Oct 1943
5T/Lt. John Alexander Crockett, RNR18 Oct 1943

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Notable events involving Northern Foam include:

12 Apr 1940
Around 1840A/12, HMS Suffolk (Capt. J.W. Durnford, RN), departed Greenock with about 250 Marines on board which were to be taken to the Faeroer Islands.

The destroyers HMS Havant (Lt.Cdr. A.F. Burnell-Nugent, RN) and HMS Hesperus (Lt.Cdr. D.G.F.W. MacIntyre, RN) had arrived at Thorshavn on this day to inform the Governor of the Faroes Islands that a garrison of Royal Marines would be garrisoned there to repel a possible German invasion. The destroyers then went out to sea to await the arrival of HMS Suffolk. They made rendezvous at 1450A/13 and arrived at Thorshavn around 1630A/13.

The armed boarding vessels HMS Northern Foam (Lt.Cdr. G.W. Houchen, RNR) and HMS Northern Sky (Lt. J.E. Bromley, RNR) which were already waiting there then went alongside HMS Suffolk to take over the Marines.

The operation was completed late in the evening of the 13th when HMS Suffolk departed for the Vestfjord area near Narvik, Norway. HMS Havant and HMS Hesperus departed for Scapa Flow arriving there around 1030A/14. HMS Northern Sky resumed duties with the Northern Patrol. HMS Northern Foam remained at Thorshavn for the moment. (1)

23 Sep 1943
HMS Northern Foam (Lt. H.G. Ross) picks up 30 survivors from the British merchant Fort Jemseg and 43 survivors from the Norwegian merchant Skjelbred that were torpedoed and sunk by German U-boat U-238 in the North Atlantic, south-southeast of Cape Farewell, in position 53°18'N, 40°24'W.

15 Jan 1944

Combined convoy OS 65 / KMS 39.

This combined convoy was assembled off Oversay on 15 January 1944.

It was made up of the following merchant vessels; Agia Marina (Greek, 4151 GRT, built 1912), Alcor (Dutch, 3526 GRT, built 1920), Amstelkerk (Dutch, 4457 GRT, built 1929), Baron Napier (British, 3559 GRT, built 1930), Baron Ruthven (British, 3178 GRT, built 1925), Belgian Trader (British, 2890 GRT, built 1942), Blairnevis (British, 4155 GRT, built 1930), Bornholm (British, 3177 GRT, built 1930), Capitaine Paul Lemerle (French, 4945 GRT, built 1925), City of Derby (British, 6616 GRT, built 1921), City of Keelung (British, 5186 GRT, built 1919), City of Lancaster (British, 3041 GRT, built 1924), Congonian (British, 5065 GRT, built 1936), Coulmore (British, 3670 GRT, built 1936), Cydonia (British, 3517 GRT, built 1927), Dordrecht (Dutch, 4402 GRT, built 1928), Dromore (British, 4096 GRT, built 1920), Dunelmia (British, 5207 GRT, built 1929), Empire Derwent (British, 4026 GRT, built 1930), Empire Grebe (British, 5736 GRT, built 1918)), Empire Thackeray (British, 2865 GRT, built 1942), Empire Usk (British, 3229 GRT, built 1918), Empire Voice (British, 6828 GRT, built 1940), Fort Cumberland (British, 7134 GRT, built 1943), Fort Frontenac (British, 7148 GRT, built 1943), Fort Lennox (British, 7149 GRT, built 1943), Fort Nipigon (British, 7132 GRT, built 1942), Fort St.Nicolas (British, 7154 GRT, built 1943), Gascony (British, 4716 GRT, built 1925), Generton (British, 4797 GRT, built 1936), Glaucus (British, 7596 GRT, built 1921), Innerton (British, 5276 GRT, built 1919), John Holt (British, 4964 GRT, 1943), King Edgar (British, 4536 GRT, built 1927), Manchester Shipper (British, 7881 GRT, built 1943), Maycrest (British, 5923 GRT, built 1913), Mimosa (Greek, 3071 GRT, built 1905), Nicolas (Greek, 4540 GRT, built 1910), Nordlys (British, 3726 GRT, built 1916), Peleus (Greek, 4695 GRT, built 1928), Pilar de Larringa (British, 7046 GRT, built 1918), Princesa (British, 8731 GRT, built 1918), Prospector (British, 6202 GRT, built 1944), Recorder (British, 5981 GRT, built 1930), Royal Star (British, 7900 GRT, built 1919), Samhain (British, 7219 GRT, built 1943), Silvermaple (British, 5313 GRT, built 1937), Slemmestad (British, 4258 GRT, built 1928), Stamos (Greek, 3802 GRT, built 1914), Tobruk (Polish, 7048 GRT, built 1942) and Van Ostade (Dutch, 2890 GRT, built 1942).

The boom carrier HMS Ethiopian (5424 GRT, built 1936, A/Cdr.(Retd.) K.A.S. Phillips, RNR) was also part of the convoy as were the rescue ship Melrose Abbey (British, 1924 GRT, built 1929) and the rescue tugs HMRT Aspirant and HMRT Eminent.

On assembly off Oversay the convoy was escorted by the destroyers ORP Burza (Kmdr.ppor. (Cdr.) F. Pitulko), HMS Verity (Lt. C.G. Cowley, RN), corvettes HMS Meadowsweet (T/Lt. W.E. Saunders, RNVR), HMS Narcissus (T/Lt. G.T.S. Clampitt, RNR), HMS Orchis (T/Lt. B.W. Harris, RNVR), HMS Violet (Lt. C.N. Stewart, RNR), FFS Aconit, FFS Lobelia, FFS Roselys and the A/S trawler HMS Northern Foam (T/Lt. J.A. Crockett, RNR). As additional escorts the frigates HMCS Waskesiu (T/A/Cdr. J.H.S. MacDonald, RCNR), HMS Nene (Cdr. J.D. Birch, RD, RNR) and the corvettes HMCS Camrose (T/A/Lt.Cdr. L.R. Pavillard, RCNR), HMCS Prescott (A/Lt.Cdr. W. McIsaac, RCNVR), HMCS Snowberry (T/Lt. J.A. Dunn, RCNVR) and HMS Kenilworth Castle (Lt. J.J.Allon, RNR) were also present until 19 January 1944 when they were detached to northbound convoy SL 145/ MKS 36.

On 16 January 1944, HMS Verity was detached to join another southbound convoy KMF 28.

On 17 January 1944, the patrol vessel HMS Kilbirnie (T/Lt. E.R.H. Seddon, RNVR) joined the convoy after having departed the Clyde late on the 15th.

On 18 January 1944, the frigate HMS Towy (Cdr. M.J Evans, OBE, RN) joined the convoy after having departed Londonderry on the 17th.

On 19 January 1944, the German U-boat U-641 was sunk in the North Atlantic south-west of Ireland, in position 50°25'N, 18°49'W by HMS Violet.

On 21 January 1944, the tanker / transport Esturia (British (tanker), 6968 GRT, built 1914) and Serula (British, 2187 GRT, built 1918) departed the Azores to join the convoy.

While en-route, around 19/20 January 1944, the escort oiler San Tirso (British (tanker), 6266 GRT, built 1913) joined at sea from northbound convoy SL 145/ MKS 36.

On 27 January 1944, the convoy split into convoy OS 65 bound for Freetown and convoy KMS 33 bound for the Mediterranean.


Convoy OS 65 was made up of the merchant vessels; Amstelkerk, Bornholm, Congonian, Dordrecht, Gascony, John Holt, Mimosa, Princesa, Royal Star and Silvermaple. The corvettes Aconit, Lobelia and Roselys remained with the convoy initially.

On 26 January 1944, the merchant vessels Baron Fairlie (British, 6706 GRT, built 1925), Belgian Seaman (Belgian, 7023 GRT, built 1941), Colytto (Dutch, 4408 GRT, built 1926), Dalmore (British, 5193 GRT, built 1927), Empire Baxter (British, 7024 GRT, built 1941), Harberton (British, 4585 GRT, built 1930), Stad Haarlem (Dutch, 4518 GRT, built 1929) and Wellington Court (British, 4979 GRT, built 1930). They were escorted by the sloops HMS Leith (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) A.W. Preston, RN), HMS Sandwich (T/A/Lt.Cdr. A.J. Clemence, RNR) and the corvettes HMS Anchusa (T/Lt. R.A. Baker, RNVR) and HMS Crocus (T/A/Lt.Cdr. A.R. Mackay, RNZNVR) which were to escort the convoy to Freetown.

On 27 January 1944, the transport Mimosa and the corvettes Aconit, Lobelia and Roselys arrived at Casablanca after having been detached from the convoy.

On 27 January 1944, the following transports / tanker departed Casablanca to join the convoy; El-Biar (French, 4678 GRT, built 1927), Empire Flint (British (tanker), 8129 GRT, built 1941) and Marrakech (French, 6179 GRT, built 1914). They were escorted to the rendezvous by the patrol vessels USS PC-480 (Lt. F.W. Meyers, Jr., USNR) and USS PC-473 (Lt.(jg) A.W. Silverstein, USNR). The patrol vessels did not join the convoy but proceeded to make rendezvous with convoy OT 12.

On 3 February 1944, the El-Biar and arrived Marrakech arrived at Dakar after having been detached from the convoy while the transport Sant-Louis (French, 5202 GRT, built 1913) departed Dakar to join the convoy.

The convoy arrived at Freetown on 6 February 1944. Some ships from the convoy did not enter Freetown but continued on to their destinations independently.


Convoy KMS 39, made up of the remaining ships, proceeded towards the Mediterranean with most of the original escort of the combined convoy.

On 28 January 1944, the following transports / tanker arrived at Gibraltar; Agia Marina, Baron Ruthven, City of Keelung, City of Lancaster, Dromore, Empire Thackeray, Empire Usk, Esturia and Surula. The rescue ship Melrose Abbey, escort oiler San Tirso and HMS Ethiopian arrived at Gibraltar as did the following escort vessels / rescue tugs; ORP Burza, HMS Towy, HMS Meadowsweet, HMS Narcissus, HMS Orchis, HMS Violet, HMS Kilbirnie, HMS Northern Foam, HMRT Aspirant and HMRT Eminent. HMS Meadowsweet, HMS Violet had probably arrived early to fuel before rejoining the convoy.

The following ships meanwhile directly entered the Mediterranean; Alcor, Baron Napier, Belgian Trader, Blairnevi, Capitaine Paul Lemerle, City of Derby, Coulmore, Dunelmia, Empire Derwent, Empire Grebe, Empire Voice, Fort Cumberland, Fort Frontenac, Fort Lennox, Fort Nipigon, Fort St.Nicolas, Generton, Glaucus, Innerton, King Edgar, Manchester Shipper, Nicolas, Peleus, Pilar de Larrinaga, Prospector, Recorder, Samhain, Slemmestad, Stamos, Tobruk and Van Ostade.

They were joined by transport Baronesa (British, 8663 GRT, built 1918) coming from Gibraltar. 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), frigate HMS Dart (Cdr. J.T. Jones, RD, RNR), corvettes HMS Gloxinia (?), HMS Meadowsweet, HMS Violet, A/S trawler HMS Wolborough (T/Lt. G.A. Hartnell, RNR). The minesweeper HMS Rosario (A/Cdr. F.E. Brooking, RN) was also with the convoy as was the submarine Pipinos (Lt.Cdr. Rallis).

On 29 January 1944, the transports Blairnevis and Van Ostade arrived at Oran after having been detached from the convoy while the following transports joined the convoy coming from Oran; Alexander R. Lillington (American, 7177 GRT, built 1942), Colin P. Kelly Jr. (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Elihu Yale (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Ingertre (Norwegian, 2462 GRT, built 1921), J.E.B. Stuart (American, 7196 GRT, built 1942), John McKinley (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), John W. Brown (American, 7191 GRT, built 1942), Johns Hopkins (American, 7200 GRT, built 1943), Richard Bassett (American, 7191 GRT, built 1942), Thomas W. Hyde (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Ward Hunt (American, 7191 GRT, built 1942) and William Kent (American, 7187 GRT, built 1942).

On 30 January 1944, the transports Alcor, Coulmore, King Edgar, Peleus and Stamos arrived at Oran after having been detached from the convoy while the following transports / tankers joined the convoy coming from Oran; British Vigour (British (tanker), 5844 GRT, built 1943), Empire Guinevere (British, 7072 GRT, built 1942), Empire Tristram (British, 7167 GRT, built 1942), Far (Norwegian, 2475 GRT, built 1921), Fort Connally (British, 7133 GRT, built 1943), Loke (Norwegian, 2421 GRT, built 1915), Ocean Vesper (British, 7174 GRT, built 1942), Riverton (British, 7307 GRT, built 1943), Samholt (British, 7219 GRT, built 1943), Samson (British, 7219 GRT, built 1943) and Selvik (Norwegian, 1557 GRT, built 1920).

On 30 January 1944, the transports Chloris (British, 1171 GRT, built 1910) and Star (Norwegian, 1531 GRT, built 1922) departed Bougie to join the convoy.

On 1 February 1944, the transports Innerton and Nicolas arrived at Bone after having parted company with the convoy while the transports Chertsey (British, 6001 GRT, built 1943), Fort Fidler (British, 7127 GRT, built 1943), Fort Gloucester (British, 7127 GRT, built 1943) and Fort St.Regis (British, 7140 GRT, built 1943) joined the convoy coming from Bone.

On 1 February 1944, the transports Belgian Trader, John McKinley, Ward Hunt and William Kent as well as the AA cruiser HMS Colombo arrived at Bizerta after having parted company with the convoy while the transports Indiana (Panamanian, 5617 GRT, built 1917), John Wise (American, 7181 GRT, built 1942) and Joseph H. Nicholson (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943) joined the convoy coming from Bizerta.

On 1 February 1944, the transports Capitaine Paul Lemerle arrived at Tunis after having parted company with the convoy

On 2 February 1944, the transports Baron Napier, Baronesa and Selvik as well as the minesweeper HMS Rosario arrived at Malta after having parted company with the convoy while the transport / tanker Glenogle (British, 9513 GRT, built 1920) and Grena (Norwegian (tanker), 8117 GRT, built 1934) joined the convoy coming from Malta.

During 2/3 February 1944, the transports Alexander R. Lillington, Chertsey, Chloris, Colin P. Kelly, Jr., Dunelmia, Elihu Yale, Empire Derwent, Empire Grebe, Empire Guinevere, Empire Tristram, Far, Fort Connolly, Fort Cumberland, Fort Fidler, Fort Frontenac, Fort Gloucester, Fort Lennox, Fort St.Nicolas, Fort St.Regis, Indiana, Ingertre, J.E.B. Stuart, John W. Brown, John Wise, John Hopkins, Joseph H. Nicholson, Loke, Ocean Vesper, Pilar de Larrinaga, Richard Bassett, Riverton, Samholt, Samson, Slemmestad, Star, Thomas W. Hyde and Tobruk arrived at Augusta after having parted company with the convoy while the transports / tankers Aelbert Cuyp (Dutch, 7086 GRT, built 1942), Beaconsfield (British, 4635 GRT, built 1938), British Vigour (British (tanker), 5844 GRT, built 1943), Empire Cameron (British, 7015 GRT, built 1941), Empire Capulet (British, 7044 GRT, built 1943), Empire Copperfield (British, 6013 GRT, built 1943), Empire Glory (British, 7290 GRT, built 1943), Empire Path (British, 6140 GRT, built 1943), Fort Ash (British, 7131 GRT, built 1943), Fort Cadotte (British, 7128 GRT, built 1943), Fort Glenora (British, 7126 GRT, built 1943), Fort Kootenay (British, 7133 GRT, built 1942), Fort la Traite (British, 7134 GRT, built 1942), Fort Senneville (British, 7131 GRT, built 1942), Samarina (British, 7219 GRT, built 1943), Sambrake (British, 7219 GRT, built 1943), Sampa (British, 7219 GRT, built 1943), Samshire (British, 7219 GRT, built 1943) and Samwater (British, 7219 GRT, built 1943) joined the convoy coming from Augusta which they had departed on 2 February 1944.

On 6 February 1944, the transports / tankers Empire Cameron, Empire Capulet, Fort Ash, Fort Cadotte, Fort Glenora, Fort la Traite, Glenogle, Prospector, Samarina, Sambrake, Sampa and Samwater arrived at Alexandria after having parted company with the convoy as did HMS Dart, HMS Gloxinia and HMS Meadowsweet of the escort.

On 7 February 1944, the transports / tankers Beaconsfield, City of Derby, Empire Copperfield, Empire Glory, Empire Path, Empire Voice, Fort Kootenay, Fort Nipigon, Fort Senneville, Glaucus, Grena, Manchester Shipper, Recorder, Samhain and Samshire arrived at Port Said after having parted company with the convoy as did HMS Violet and HMS Wolborough of the escort.

On 9 February 1944, the submarine RHS Pipinos arrived at Beirut after having parted company with the convoy.


  1. ADM 53/113277 + ADM 199/361 + ADM 199/376

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

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