SC-42Sydney CB to UK (North Atlantic)
9 Sep 1941 - 14 Sep 1941
|The Convoy||64 ships|
|First sighting||On 9 Sep 1941 by U-85|
|Escorts||The Canadian escort group EG.24 (LtCdr Hibbard) consisting of the destroyer HMCS Skeena and the three corvettes HMCS Kenogami, HMCS Alberni and HMCS Orillia.|
The Gruppe Markgraf of 14 boats U-38 (Korvkpt. Schuch), U-43 (Kptlt. Lüth), U-81 (Kptlt. Guggenberger), U-82 (Kptlt. Rollmann), U-84 (Kptlt. Uphoff), U-85 (Oblt. Greger), U-105 (Kptlt. Schewe), U-202 (Kptlt. Lindner), U-207 (Oblt. Meyer) *, U-432 (Kptlt. Schultze), U-433 (Oblt. Ey), U-501 (Korvkpt. Förster) *, U-569 (Kptlt. Hinsch), U-652 (Oblt. Fraatz) Newly arrived boats joining the operation later:
U-372 (Kptlt. Neumann), U-373 (Kptlt. Loeser), U-552 (Kptlt. Topp), U-572 (Kptlt. Hirsacker), U-575 (Kptlt. Heydemann)
* U-boats that fired torpedo or used the deck gun
From 28 August on, the gruppe Markgraf is deployed SW of Iceland on the North Atlantic convoy route. The deployment is known to the Allied by Ultra and the following convoys are re-routed around the U-boat concentration : ON-10, ON-11, SC-41, HX-146 and HX-147. While the patrol line does not seem to find any convoy, the BdU decides to disperse the patrol line over a larger area. This order is decoded by Ultra, but the exact positions of the U-boats are not known. The convoys ON-12, HX-148 and SC-43 can make a much wider detour but SC-42 is trapped by a storm and the ice barrier and can not avoid being detected by U-85. U-85 attacks at once but has no success. Other boats come up and attack at night. U-81, U-82 and U-432 sink one ship each, U-652 damages two ships, one of which is finished off by U-372 and the other is towed back by the Orillia. U-82 misses the Skeena. During the 10th, U-432 is the contact keeper. U-85 attacks twice by day, sinking one ship, but is herself also damaged by the Skeena and Alberni. U-501 is pressed under water by a Catalina and is then sunk by the corvettes Moosejaw and Chambly, sent as a reinforcement. In the night, the U-boats press home their attacks : U-202 has no success but U-82 sinks three ships and damages one, U-432 and U-433 sink one each, U-207 sinks two and finally U-202 finishes off the ship damaged by U-82. On the 11th further reinforcements arrive : from HX-147 the 3 corvettes Wetaskiwin, Mimose and Gladiolus plus the trawler Buttermere arrive and from ON-13 the British escort group EG.2 with the 5 destroyers Douglas, Veteran, Leamington, Saladin and Skate. Also air escort is provided during daylight. U-207 is sunk by the Veteran and Leamington, U-652 makes an unsuccessful attack and U-105 sinks an independent. U-432 is the contact-keeper. In the night, the escorts keep the boats at bay. Only U-43 and U-84 fire but both miss. The following days some boats remain in contact but the strong air and sea escort, heavy seas and bad visibility make it impossible to attack. On the 14th the newly arrived U-552 is the last to have contact before the operation is broken off. On the 16th however U-98 sinks another ship from the convoy NW of the Hebrides.
Article compiled by Tom Linclau
Ships hit from convoy SC-42
48 convoys on route SC were hit by U-boats in the war.