ONS-154Outward, northbound, slow (North Atlantic)
26 Dec 1942 - 30 Dec 1942
|The Convoy||45 ships|
|First sighting||On 26 Dec 1942 by U-664|
|Escorts||The Canadian escort group C1 consisting of the destroyer St-Laurent (Cdr Windeyer) and the 5 corvettes Battleford, Chilliwack, Kenogami, Napanee and Shediac. In the convoy is the rescue ship Toward, equipped with HF/DF.|
The wolfpack Spitz of 10 boats U-123 (Oblt Von Schroeter) *, U-203 (KptLt Kottmann) *, U-225 (Oblt LeimKuhler) *, U-260 (KptLt Purkhold) *, U-356 (Cdr Ruppelt) *, U-406 (KptLt Dieterichs) *, U-440 (Oblt Geissler), U-659 (KptLt Stock), U-662 (Cdr Hermann) *, U-664 (Oblt Graef) * The wolfpack Ungestum of 9 boats: U-336 (Oblt Hunger) *, U-373 (KptLt Loeser), U-409 (Oblt Massmann), U-435 (KptLt Strelow) *, U-441 (KptLt Hartmann) *, U-455 (KptLt Scheibe), U-591 (KptLt Zetzsche) *, U-615 (KptLt Kapitzky) *, U-628 (Oblt Hasenschar) *
* U-boats that fired torpedo or used the deck gun
After the first sighting, the groups Spitz and Ungestum are immediately deployed against the convoy. In the night U-356 makes 2 attacks and torpedoes 4 ships, of which 3 sink and the other one is finished off by U-441. U-441 misses the St-Laurent and the convoy. U-356 is sunk after her second attack by the St-Laurent, Napanee, Chilliwack and Battleford. Contact is lost but regained by U-225 in the afternoon of the 27th. The boat attacks during the night and damages one ship, Scottish Heather, that successfully made it back to Scotland. U-260 makes contact with the convoy in the morning of the 28th and brings up 12 boats : U-123, U-203, U-225, U-406, U-440, U-662 and U-664 from the Sptitz group and U-336, U-435, U-591, U-615 and U-628 from the Ungestum group. As soon as darkness falls, the boats attack, sometimes more than once. In 3 hrs time they sink 9 ships: First U-435 and U-203 miss, then U-591 torpedoes one ship that is finished of later in the day by U-435. U-225 sinks one and damages one, which U-662 finishes off. U-260 sinks one and U-203 misses again. U-406 torpedoes 3 ships of which none sinks immediately, but they are sunk by by U-123, U-628 and U-591. At midnight U-225 torpedoes two ships, one is later again torpedoed by U-336 but needs a third torpedo from U-225 again. U-225 takes the captain prisoner. The other ship (the ship of the convoy commodore) is also torpedoed twice, by U-123 first and then U-435, before finally sinking. Further attacks by U-203, U-435, U-628, U-664 and again U-628 against the escort and convoy fail. On daylight of the 30th the escort is reinforced by the 2 British destroyers Milne and Meteor. U-260, U-591 and U-435 are driven off. Only U-435 manages to sink ship previously damaged by U-591 in a daylight submerged attack. The auxiliary vessel Fidelity was attacked several times by U-225 and U-615 but the ships escapes thanks in part to her torpedo nets. U-435 finally sinks her in the afternoon of the 30th. U-455 keeps in touch with the convoy until night, but does not bring up any more boats to attack the convoy.
Article compiled by Tom Linclau
Ships hit from convoy ONS-154
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