Allied Warships

HMS Ness (K 219)

Frigate of the River class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeFrigate
ClassRiver 
PennantK 219 
Built byHenry Robb Ltd. (Leith, U.K.): Plenty 
Ordered11 Feb 1941 
Laid down3 Sep 1941 
Launched30 Jul 1942 
Commissioned22 Dec 1942 
End service 
History

Sold to be broken up for scrap in September 1956.

 

Commands listed for HMS Ness (K 219)

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/A/Cdr. Trevor George Payne Crick, DSC, RNNov 194227 Sep 1943
2T/A/Lt.Cdr. Rupert Henry Marchington, RNVR27 Sep 194331 Aug 1944
3T/A/Lt.Cdr. Ronald Sidney Steel, RNR31 Aug 194418 Oct 1945

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Notable events involving Ness include:


10 Feb 1943
HMS H 44 (Lt. I.S. McIntosh, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMCS Dauphin (T/Lt. M.H. Wallace, RCNR), HMCS Trillium (T/Lt. P.C. Evans, RCNR), HMS Ness (Lt.Cdr. T.G.P. Crick, DSC, RN), HMS Philante (Capt. A.J. Baker-Cresswell, DSO, RN), HMS Folkestone (Cdr.(Retd.) J.G.C. Gibson, OBE, RN), USS Spencer, USS Campbell and HMCS Rosthern (T/Lt. R.J.G. Johnson, RCNVR). (1)

16 Apr 1943

Combined convoy WS 29 / KMS 13.

This combined convoy was formed off Oversay on 16 April 1943. The convoy was divided into convoys WS 29 and KMS 13 at sea on 20 April 1943.

The combined convoy was made up of the following (troop) transports; Athlone Castle (British, 25564 GRT, built 1936), Banfora (British, 9472 GRT, built 1914), Boissevain (Dutch, 14134 GRT, built 1937), City of Edinburgh (British, 8036 GRT, built 1938), Cuba (British, 11420 GRT, built 1923), Duchess of York (British, 20021 GRT, built 1929), Dunnottar Castle (British, 15007 GRT, built 1936), Empire Kamal (British, 7862 GRT, built 1938), Empire Prime (British, 9248 GRT, built 1941), Franconia (British, 20175 GRT, built 1923), Gloucester (British, 8532 GRT, built 1941), Highland Brigade (British, 14134 GRT, built 1929), Highland Monarch (British, 14139 GRT, built 1928), Highland Princess (British, 14133 GRT, built 1930), ├Źndrapoera (Dutch, 10825 GRT, built 1925), Nea Hellas (British, 16991 GRT, built 1922), Nieuw Holland (Dutch, 11066 GRT, built 1927), Orion (British, 23371 GRT, built 1935), Ormonde (British, 14982 GRT, built 1917), Pardo (British, 5400 GRT, built 1940), Silverwalnut (British, 6770 GRT, built 1930), Staffordshire (British, 10683 GRT, built 1929), Straat Malakka (Dutch, 6439 GRT, built 1939) and Troilus (British, 7422 GRT, built 1921).

When the convoy was formed up off Oversay the escort for the combined convoy was made up of the light cruiser HMS Newcastle (Capt. P.B.R.W. William-Powlett, DSO, RN), destroyers HMS Rapid (Lt.Cdr. M.W. Tomkinson, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Venomous (Lt. H.D. Durell, RN), escort destroyer HMS Lauderdale (Lt. G.D. Pound, DSC, RN), sloops HMS Weston (Cdr. L.F. Durnford-Slater, RN), HMS Wellington (Lt.Cdr. J.T. Jones, RD, RNR), cutters HMS Gorleston (Cdr.(Retd.) R.W. Keymer, RN), HMS Totland (Lt.Cdr. L.E. Woodhouse, RN) and the frigates HMS Exe (A/Cdr. M.A.O. Biddulph, DSC, RN) and HMS Ness (A/Cdr. T.G.P. Crick, DSC, RN).

Around 1530B/18, the light (AA) cruiser HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) joined the convoy having sailed from Plymouth around 1415B/17. She parted company with the convoy after dark on the 20th.

Around 1600A/20, HMS Rapid parted company with the convoy to fuel at Casablanca.

Around 2100A/20, the Nea Hellas parted company to proceed to New York unescorted. Also around the same time HMS Charybdis parted company to proceed to Gibraltar where she arrived the following day.

Around 1030A/21, the destroyer HMS Malcolm (Cdr. J.M. Money, RN), HMS Witch (Lt.Cdr. S.R.J. Woods, RNR) and HMS Wolverine (Lt. I.M. Clegg, RN) joined coming from Casablanca. The combined convoy then split up.

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Convoy KMF 13, made up of the Banfora, Boissevai, Cuba, Duchess of York, Dunnottar Castle, Empire Pride, Franconia, Indrapoera, Nieuw Holland, Ormonde and Staffordshire escorted by HMS Weston, HMS Wellington, HMS Gorleston, HMS Totland, HMS Exe and HMS Ness set course to pass through the Straits of Gibraltar. All the merchant vessels were to proceed to Algiers, except the Dunnottar Castle which was to proceed to Gibraltar and the Boissevain and Nieuw Holland which were to proceed to Oran.

On 22 April the escort destroyer HMS Atherstone (Lt. E.N. Wood, DSC, RNVR) and HMS Holcombe (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Pinchin, DSC, RN) joined the convoy off Gibraltar.

Also the AA cruiser HMS Carlisle (Capt. H.F. Nalder, RN) joined the convoy.

The convoy arrived at Algiers on 23 April 1943.

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Convoy WS 29, made up of the Athlone Castle, City of Edinburgh, Empire Kamal, Gloucester, Highland Brigade, Highland Monarch, Highland Princess, Orion, Pardo, Silverwalnut, Straat Malakka and Troilus escorted by HMS Newcastle, HMS Venomous, HMS Malcolm, HMS Witch, HMS Wolverine and HMS Lauderdale.

At 2020A/21, HMS Rapid rejoined from fuelling at Casablanca. HMS Venomous and HMS Lauderdale were then detached to proceed to Gibraltar.

On 24 April the Gloucester was detached.

On 26 April the transport China Mail (American, 8616 GRT, built 1942) joined coming from Dakar.

The convoy arrived at Freetown on 28 April 1943.

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Convoy WS 29 departed Freetown for South Africa on 5 May 1943, it was now made up of the transports; Almanzora (British, 15551 GRT, built 1914), Aorangi (British, 17491 GRT, built 1924), Athlone Castle, City of Edinburgh, Clan Lamont (British, 7250 GRT, built 1935), Empire Kamal, Highland Brigade, Highland Monarch, Highland Princess, Orion, Pardo, Silverwalnut, Straat Malakka and Troilus.

On departure from Freetown the convoy was escorted by the light cruiser HMS Newcastle, destroyers HMS Rapid, HMS Boreas (Lt.Cdr. E.L. Jones, DSC, RN), HMS Malcolm, HMS Witch, HMS Wolverine and HMS Lewes (Lt.Cdr. M.V. Thorburn, DSC, RNVR) and the sloop Savorgnan de Brazza.

At 0930Z/6, Savorgnan de Brazza was detached.

At 1800Z/7, the City of Edinburgh, Highland Princess and Troilus split off from the convoy to proceed to Takoradi. The destroyers HMS Boreas and HMS Witch were their escorts.

At 2359B/11, HMS Rapid, HMS Malcolm and HMS Wolverine, were detached at 2359B/11 to Pointe Noire.

At 0700B/12, the destroyers HMS Racehorse (Cdr. A.F. Burnell-Nugent, DSC, RN), HMS Relentless (Lt.Cdr. R.A. Fell, RN) and HMS Rotherham (Lt. J.R.L. Moore, RN) joined coming from Pointe Noire.

In the afternoon of the 12th HMS Lewes fuelled from HMS Newcastle.

HMS Lewes was again fuelled by HMS Newcastle in the afternoon of the 14th.

In the afternoon of the 15th, HMS Relentless fuelled from HMS Newcastle.

On the 16th the Capetown section of the convoy split off, it was made up of the Almanzora, Athlone Castle, Empire Kamal, Pardo and Silverwalnut. They were escorted by HMS Newcastle, HMS Rotherham and HMS Lewes. They arrived at Capetown on the 17th. HMS Lewes then proceeded to Simonstown arriving there on the 18th.

The remaining ships, Aorangi, Clan Lamont, Highland Brigade, Highland Monarch, Orion and Straat Malakka made up the Durban section. They were escorted by HMS Racehorse, HMS Relentless and HMS Quadrant (Lt.Cdr. W.H. Farrington, RN). This last destroyer having joined on the 16th coming from Salanha Bay. HMS Racehorse and HMS Relentless were relieved on the 18th by the destroyers HMAS Norman (Cdr. H.M. Burrell, RAN) and HMS Redoubt (Lt.Cdr. N.E.G. Ropner, DSO, RN) which had departed Simonstown at 0815B/18. HMS Racehorse and HMS Relentless then proceeded to Capetown arriving later on the 18th. The Durban section of the convoy arrived there on 21 May 1943.

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On 22 May 1943, the Capetown section of convoy WS 29 departed there, it was now made up of the following transports; Alcoa Pioneer, (American, 6761 GRT, built 1941), Almanzora, Athlone Castle, Empire Kamal, Llanstephan Castle (British, 11348 GRT, built 1914), Orbita (British, 15495 GRT, built 1915), Pardo and Silverwalnut. They were escorted by the destroyers HMS Racehorse, HMS Relentless and HMS Rotherham.

On 25 May 1943, HMS Racehorse arrived at Durban to fuel.

On 25 May 1943, the Durban section of the convoy departed there, it was now made up of the following transports; Bergensfjord (Norwegian, 11015 GRT, built 1913), Clan Lamont, Leopoldville (Belgian, 11509 GRT, built 1929), Ruys (Dutch, 14155 GRT, built 1937), Selandia (South African, 8482 GRT, built 1938), Straat Malakka, Strathaird (British, 22281 GRT, built 1932) and Strathmore (British, 23428 GRT, built 1935). They were escorted by the destroyers HMAS Norman, HMS Quadrant, HMS Racehorse and HMS Redoubt. The Silverwalnut had to return to Durban due to defects.

The Capetown and the Durban section made rendezvous on 26 May and then merged minus the transports Empire Kamal and Llanstephan Castle which proceeded to Durban escorted by HMS Relentless and HMS Rotherham. They arrived at Durban on 26 May 1943. HMS Racehorse joined the three destroyers that came with the Durban section.

Around 1700C/27, the convoy was joined by the light cruiser HMS Kenya (Capt. D.P. Evans, RN) which had departed Durban at 1645C/26 to overtake the convoy.

At 1650C/28, HMAS Norman parted company with the convoy.

At 2359C/28, HMS Quadrant and HMS Redoubt parted company.

At 1100C/29, HMS Racehorse parted company.

At 0810D/2, the armed merchant cruiser HMS Chitral (A/Capt.(Retd.) G.W. Hoare-Smith, RN) joined the convoy.

At 1300D/2, HMS Kenya parted company with the convoy to proceed to Kilindini where she arrived around 1700C/4.

At 0800D/3, the armed merchant cruiser HMS Alaunia (Capt. R.H.C. Crawford, OBE, RNR) joined the convoy.

At 1230D/5, the convoy was split up in the Aden section and the Bombay section.

The Aden section was made up of; Alcoa Pioneer, Bergensfjord, Clan Lamond, Leopoldville, Pardo, Ruys and Selandia. It was escorted by HMS Chitral and arrived at Aden on 8 June 1943.

The Bombay section was made up of; Almanzora, Athlone Castle, Orbita, Straat Malakka, Strathaird and Strathmore. It was escorted by HMS Alaunia and arrived at Bombay on 10 June 1943, minus the Straat Malakka which had been detached on 9 June 1943 for Karachi where she also arrived on 10 June 1943.

19 May 1943

Combined convoy WS 30 / KMS 15.

This combined convoy was formed off Oversay on 19 May 1943. The convoy was divided into convoys WS 30 and KMS 15 at sea on 25 May 1943.

The combined convoy was made up of the following (troop) transports; Arawa (British, 14462 GRT, built 1922), Argentina (American, 20614 GRT, built 1929), Boissevain (Dutch, 14134 GRT, built 1937), Brisbane Star (British, 12791 GRT, built 1937), Deseado (British, 9641 GRT, built 1942), Duchess of York (British, 20021 GRT, built 1929), Franconia (British, 20175 GRT, built 1923), H.F. Alexander (American, 8357 GRT, built 1915), Indrapoera (Dutch, 10825 GRT, built 1925), Johan van Oldenbarnevelt (Dutch, 19429 GRT, built 1930), Letitia (British, 13595 GRT, built 1925), Mataroa (British, 12390 GRT, built 1922), Ormonde (British, 14982 GRT, built 1917), Samaria (British, 19597 GRT, built 1921), Siboney (American, 6938 GRT, built 1918), Sloterdijk (Dutch, 9230 GRT, built 1940), Staffordshire (British, 10683 GRT, built 1929) and Stirling Castle (British, 25550 GRT, built 1936).

The landing ships HMS Royal Scotsman (Lt.Cdr. J.D. Armstrong, DSC, RD, RNR) and HMS Royal Ulsterman (Lt.Cdr. W.R.K. Clark, DSC, RD RNR) were also part of the convoy.

On formation off Oversay the convoy was escorted by the aircraft carrier HMS Unicorn (Capt. Q.D. Graham, CBE, DSO, RN), heavy cruiser HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN), armed merchant cruiser HMS Corfu (Capt.(Retd.) C.C. Bell, DSO, RN), destroyers HMS Sardonyx (Lt.Cdr. A.F.C. Gray, RD, RNR), HMS Active (Lt.Cdr. P.G. Merriman, RN), HMS Boadicea (Lt.Cdr. F.C. Brodrick, RN), escort destroyers HMS Cleveland (Lt. J.K. Hamilton, RN), ORP Slazak (Kmdr.ppor. (Cdr.) R. Nalecz-Tyminski), sloops HMS Lowestoft (A/Cdr.(Retd.) L.H. Phillips, RN), HMS Wellington (Lt.Cdr. J.T. Jones, RD, RNR), HMS Weston (Cdr. L.F. Durnford-Slater, RN), Cutters HMS Gorleston (Cdr.(Retd.) R.W. Keymer, RN), HMS Totland (Lt.Cdr. L.E. Woodhouse, RN) and the frigates HMS Exe (A/Cdr. M.A.O. Biddulph, DSC, RN) and HMS Ness (A/Cdr. T.G.P. Crick, DSC, RN).

The destroyer HMS Sardonyx apparently parted company on 20 May.

HMS Cleveland fuelled from HMS Suffolk during the morning of 21 May.

At 1130Z/23, HMS Active sighted a surfaced submarine in position 42┬░16'N, 15┬░40'W at a range of about 6000 yards. Shortly afterwards HMS Ness also sighted this submarine. Both ships rushed towards to attack and the submarine was seen to crash dive. When the range was down to 2900 yards HMS Active obtained contact on the target with her Asdic. At 1143Z/23, HMS Active dropped a pattern of ten depth charges set at 150 and 300 feet. At 1150Z/23, HMS Ness dropped ten depth charges (150 and 300 feet). At 1158Z/23, HMS Active came back for another pattern of ten depth charges (350 and 550 feet). At 1212Z/23, HMS Ness dropped ten depth charges (350 and 550 feet). A double explosion was then heard by the two escorts. At 1223Z/23, HMS Active dropped ten depth charges (350 and 550 feet). At 1240Z/23, a small amount of wood and cork wreckage came to the surface as well as life-jackets, coffee tins marked 'Napoli' and a pair of fresh human lungs. At 1305Z/23, HMS Ness dropped a final pattern of ten depth charges (500, 550 and 700 feet). It is believed that the Italian submarine Leonardo Da Vinci was sunk in this attack. The most succesful Italian submarine of the Second World War disappeared with all hands. Nine officers and fifty-four ratings perished.

At 0630Z/24, the transports Brisbane Star and Deseado were detached from the convoy.

Around 1530Z/24 a German Focke Wulf aircraft attacked and dropped some bombs near HMS Unicorn but no damage was done.

At 1040Z/25 the convoy split up. All escorts proceeded with convoy KMF 15 except for HMS Suffolk, HMS Corfu which went along with WS 30. Convoy KMF 15 was made up of the transports Arawa, Boissevain, Duchess of York, Franconia, Indrapoera, Johan van Oldenbarnevelt, Letitia, Ormonde, Samaria, Staffordshire and Stirling Castle. HMS Royal Scotsman and HMS Royal Ulsterman were also part of this convoy.

On the 26th, the transport Letitia proceeded to Gibraltar as did HMS Unicorn which had on board Beaufighter aircraft and aircraft spares besides two operational squadrons which she had been able to operate during the passage. The escort destroyers HMS Farndale (Cdr. D.P. Trentham, RN), HMS Haydon (Lt. R.C. Watkin, RN) and HMS Tynedale (Lt. J.J.S. Yorke, DSC, RN) had come out to escort them in although HMS Haydon was later detached to proceed to the assistance of an aircraft that had crashed into the sea. HMS Active, HMS Cleveland and ORP Slazak also put into Gibraltar.

The transports Staffordshire and Stirling Castle were detached and arrived at Oran on 26 May.

The remainder of convoy KMF 15 arrived at Algiers on 27 May.

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Convoy WS 30 continued on to Freetown and was made up of Argentina, Brisbane Star, Deseado, H.F. Alexander, Mataroa, Siboney and Sloterdijk. Their escort of HMS Suffolk and HMS Corfu was joined by the destroyers HMS Antelope (Lt.Cdr. E.N. Sinclair, RN), HMS Foxhound (Cdr. C.J. Wynne-Edwards, DSC and Bar, RN) and the escort destroyer HMS Catterick (Lt.Cdr. A. Tyson, RN) which all came from Gibraltar. HMS Boadicea also rejoined after fuelling at Casablanca.

In the morning of May 27th, HMS Antelope fuelled from HMS Suffolk.

The convoy arrived at Freetown on 31 May 1943.

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On 3 June 1943 the convoy departed Freetown now made up of the transports Argentina, H.F. Alexander, Mataroa, Nieuw Holland (Dutch, 11066 GRT, built 1927), Siboney and Sloterdijk.

On departure from Freetown the convoy was escorted by the heavy cruiser HMS Suffolk, armed merchant cruisers HMS Carnarvon Castle (Capt.(Retd.) E.W. Kitson, RN), HMS Corfu, destroyers HMS Wolverine (Lt. I.M. Clegg, RN), HMS Boardicea, HMS Rapid (Lt.Cdr. M.W. Tomkinson, DSC and Bar, RN) and the escort destroyer HMS Catterick.

At 1500Z/6, the transport Cuba (British, 11420 GRT, 1923) and the destroyer HMS Witch (Lt.Cdr. S.R.J. Woods, RNR) joined the convoy coming from Takoradi.

At 1950Z/6, HMS Corfu and HMS Boadicea parted company with the convoy to proceed to Takoradi.

At 1445Z/9, the destroyers HMAS Norman (Cdr. H.M. Burrell, RAN), HMS Quadrant (Lt.Cdr. W.H. Farrington, RN) and HMS Redoubt (Lt.Cdr. N.E.G. Ropner, DSO, RN) joined the convoy coming from Pointe Noire.

At 1517Z/9, HMS Witch, HMS Wolverine and HMS Rapid parted company with the convoy to proceed to Pointe Noire.

Around 0730A/13, the transports Exceller (American, 6597 GRT, built 1941) and Santa Barbara (American, 6507 GRT, built 1943) joined the convoy as did the sloop Savorgnan de Brazza which had been escorting them.

On 15 June 1943 the convoy arrived at Capetown. HMS Suffolk and HMS Carnarvon Castle then went on to Simonstown. In the approaches to Capetown the destroyer HMAS Nizam (Lt. W.F. Cook, RAN) joined the escort as an enemy submarine had been reported to be operating in the area.

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On 16 June 1943, the convoy departed Capetown for Durban. It was now made up of the transports Argentina, Cuba, Exceller, Exiria (American, 6533 GRT, built 1941), H.F. Alexander, Mataroa, Nieuw Holland, Santa Barbara, Siboney and Sloterdijk.

The convoy was escorted by the destroyers HMAS Nizam, HMAS Norman, HMS Quadrant and HMS Redoubt.

On 18 June, the transport Sibajak (Dutch, 12226 GRT, built 1927) joined the convoy presumebly coming from Port Elizabeth or East London.

The convoy arrived at Durban on 20 June.

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On 25 June 1943, the convoy departed Durban for Aden / Bombay, now made up of the transports Cuba, General Fleischer (Norwegian, 5138 GRT, built 1943), Karagola (British, 7053 GRT, built 1917), Nieuw Holland, Sagoland (American, 5334 GRT, built 1913), Santa Barbara and Sibajak.

The convoy was now escorted by the destroyers HMAS Norman (now commanded by Cdr. H.J. Buchanan DSO, RAN), HMAS Quickmatch (Lt.Cdr. R. Rhoades, DSC, RAN) and HMS Rotherham (Lt. J.R.L. Moore, RN).

The armed mercant cruiser HMS Canton (A/Capt. G.N. Loriston-Clarke, RN) joined the convoy around 0900C/28 having departed Kilindini around 1745C/25.

Around 2000C/29, HMAS Norman parted company with the convoy to return to Durban via Tulear, Madagascar. HMS Rotherham and HMAS Quickmatch remained with the convoy for another 150 miles and then parted company to rejoin HMAS Norman and then proceed to Tulear.

Around 0900C/1, the armed merchant cruiser HMS Alaunia (Capt. R.H.C. Crawford, OBE, RNR) joined the convoy having departed Kilindini around 1730C/29. HMS Canton then parted company with the convoy to proceed to Kilindi taking the transports Karagola and Sagoland with her. They arrived at Kilindini around 1200C/2.

At 0310C/3, the transport Santa Barbara was detached to proceed independently to Colombo.

At 1115C/4, the transports General Fleischer and Sibajak were detached to proceed independently to Aden.

The transports Cuba and Nieuw Holland arrived at Bombay and their escort, HMS Alaunia, around 1000FG/9.

23 May 1943
The Italian submarine Leonardo Da Vinci was sunk north-east of the Azores by the British destroyer HMS Active (Lt.Cdr. P.G. Merriman, RN) and the British frigate HMS Ness (A/Cdr. T.G.P. Crick, DSC, RN).

28 May 1943

Convoy MKF 15.

[Note: Further research on this convoy is required.]

This convoy departed Algiers on 28 May 1943 for the U.K. where it arrived on 5 June 1943.

On departure the convoy was made up of the following transports; Antenor (British, 11174 GRT, built 1925), Arawa (British, 14462 GRT, built 1922), Boissevain (British, 14134 GRT, built 1937), California (British, 16792 GRT, built 1923), Dartmouth (American, 9879 GRT, built 1943), Duchess of York (British, 20021 GRT, built 1929), Franconia (British, 20175 GRT, built 1923), Indrapoera (Dutch, 10825 GRT, built 1925), Johan van Oldenbarnevelt (Dutch, 19429 GRT, built 1930), Letitia (British, 13595 GRT, built 1925), Mooltan (British, 20952 GRT, built 1923), Ormonde (British, 14982 GRT, built 1917), Samaria (British, 19597 GRT, built 1921) and Santa Rosa (American, 9135 GRT, built 1932).

On departure from Algiers the convoy was escorted by the sloops HMS Weston (Cdr. L.F. Durnford-Slater, RN), HMS Wellington (Lt.Cdr. J.T. Jones, RD, RNR), HMS Lowestoft (A/Cdr.(Retd.) L.H. Phillips, RN), HMS Gorleston (Cdr.(Retd.) R.W. Keymer, RN), HMS Totland (Lt.Cdr. L.E. Woodhouse, RN) and the frigates HMS Exe (A/Cdr. M.A.O. Biddulph, DSC, RN) and HMS Ness (A/Cdr. T.G.P. Crick, DSC, RN).

On 29 May the transports Cristobal (American, 10021 GRT, built 1939), General George W. Goethals (American, 12093 GRT, built 1942), J.W. McAndrew (American, 7997 GRT, built 1940), John Ericsson (American, 16552 GRT, built 1928), Nea Hellas (British, 16991 GRT, built 1922), Seatrain Lakehurst (American, 8108 GRT, built 1940), Staffordshire (British, 10683 GRT, built 1929) and Stirling Castle (British, 25550 GRT, built 1936).

On 30 May the transports Felix Roussel (British, 17083 GRT, built 1930), Maloja (British, 20914 GRT, built 1923) and Scythia (British, 19761 GRT, built 1920) joined coming from Gibraltar. Also joining from Gibraltar were the aircraft carrier HMS Unicorn (Capt. Q.D. Graham, CBE, DSO, RN), escort carrier HMS Tracker (A/Capt. G.C. Dickins, RN) and the destroyers HMS Javelin (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Alliston, DSC, RN) and HMS Kelvin (Lt.Cdr. J.T.B. Birch, DSO, DSC, RN).

Later on 30 May the transports Antenor, Staffordshire and Stirling Castle were detached to proceed to Freetown via Bathurst / Dakar.

Also on 30 May the Scythia was detached to proceed to New York.

The sloop HMS Totland had to be detached due to defects and arrived at Gibraltar on 30 May 1943.

[No info available on the US ships, it seems likely that the Scythia proceeded with them to the USA but further research is required.] They probably parted company with the convoy on 1 June 1943.

At 1200Z/4, HMS Unicorn, HMS Tracker, HMS Javelin and HMS Kelvin parted company with the convoy and proceeded ahead of it to the Clyde (HMS Tracker to Belfast).

The convoy arrived in U.K. waters on 4 June 1943 with the bulk of the convoy arriving at Liverpool on 5 June 1943.

20 Jun 1943

Convoy KMS 18A.

This convoy departed the Cylde on 20 June 1943.

It was made up of the following tank landing ships; LST 301 (A/Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) R.F. Hoyle, RNR), LST 305 (A/Lt.Cdr. R.M. Naylor, RNR), LST 319 (Cdr.(Retd.) J.G. Sutton, RN), LST 321 (T/A/Lt.Cdr. C.H. Metcalfe, RNR), LST 365 (T/A/Lt.Cdr. C.F. Halliday, RNR), LST 366 (A/Lt.Cdr. N. Hall, RNR), LST 406 (A/Lt.Cdr. H.J. Chaloner, RNR) and LST 424 (Lt.Cdr. G.R. Grandage, RNR).

The convoy was escorted by the sloops HMS Wellington (Cdr. G.A. Thring, DSO, RN), HMS Lowestoft (A/Cdr.(Retd.) L.H. Phillips, RN), HMS Gorleston (Cdr.(Retd.) R.W. Keymer, RN), frigates HMS Exe (A/Cdr. M.A.O. Biddulph, DSC, RN), HMS Ness (A/Cdr. T.G.P. Crick, DSC, RN) and the escort destroyer HMS Pytchley (Lt. R.H. Hodgkinson, RN).

LST 406 developed engine trouble and was detached to Londonderry.

Cover for part of the voyage was provided by the AA cruiser HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN).

The convoy arrived at Gibraltar on 29 June 1943.

19 Jul 1943

Combined convoy WS 32 / KMF 20.

This convoy was assembled off Oversay on 19 July 1943.

On assembly the convoy was made up of the following transports; Chyebassa (British, 7043 GRT, built 1942), City of Bristol (British, 8424 GRT, built 1943), Copacabana (Belgian, 7340 GRT, built 1938), Dempo (Dutch, 17024 GRT, built 1931), Esperance Bay (British, 14204 GRT, built 1922), Highland Chieftain (British, 14135 GRT, built 1929), Highland Princess (British, 14133 GRT, built 1930), Maloja (British, 20914 GRT, built 1923), Mooltan (British, 20952 GRT, built 1923), Moreton Bay (British, 14193 GRT, built 1921), Orion (British, 23371 GRT, built 1935), Rangitata (British,16737 GRT, built 1929), Rembrandt (British, 5559 GRT, built 1941), Rochester Castle (British, 7795 GRT, built 1937), Rowallan Castle (British, 7798 GRT, built 1939) and Volendam (Dutch, 15434 GRT, built 1922).

The convoy was escorted by the destroyer HMS Beagle (Lt.Cdr. N.R. Murch, RN), sloops HMS Egret (Lt. G.H. Cook, RN), HMS Pelican (Capt. G.N. Brewer, RN) and the frigates HMS Derg (A/Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) J.W. Cooper, RNR), HMS Jed (Lt.Cdr. R.C. Freaker, DSO, RD, RNR), Kale (HMS Kale (Lt.Cdr. G.W. Houchen, OBE, RD, RNR), HMS Rother (Lt.Cdr. R.V.E. Case, DSO, DSC and Bar, RD, RNR), HMS Tay (Lt.Cdr. R.E. Sherwood, RNR) and HMS Wear (Cdr. E. Wheeler, RD, RNR).

On 21 July 1943 the AA cruiser HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) departed Plymouth to join the convoy which she did early in the evening off 22 July.

The convoy split up at 2000B/25.

Convoy KMF 20, continued on to the Mediterranean. It was made up of the following transports; Cheyebassa, City of Bristol, Dempo, Highland Princess, Mooltan, Orion, Rembrandt and Volendam.

They were escorted by HMS Egret, HMS Pelican, HMS Jed, HMS Rother and HMS Wear.

At 1000B/26, HMS Charybdis parted company and proceeded ahead to Gibraltar arriving there around 2000B/26.

The convoy passed the straits of Gibraltar during the night of 27/28 July. HMS Pelican was detached and arrived at Gibraltar on 27 July.

The transports Dempo, Highland Princess, Mooltan, Orion and Volendam arrived at Algiers on 28 July 1943 escorted by HMS Egret, HMS Jed, HMS Rother and HMS Wear.

Cheyebassa, City of Bristol and Rembrandt continued on the the eastwards towards Malta as convoy KMF 20A. They were escorted by HMS Egret, HMS Jed and HMS Rother which, most likely, had fuelled at Algiers.

On 30 July 1943, HMS Egret, HMS Jed and HMS Rother arrived at Malta. Their escort duties taking over by the destroyers HMS Ilex (Lt.Cdr. V.A. Wight-Boycott, OBE, RN) and HMS Intrepid (Cdr. C.A.de W. Kitcat, RN) which had departed Malta earlier on 30 July.

The three ships of the convoy joined convoy GTX 4 on 31 July following which HMS Ilex and HMS Intrepid returned to Malta arriving on 1 August.

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Convoy WS 32 continued on towards Freetown. It was made up of the following transports; Copacabana, Esperance Bay, Highland Chieftain, Maloja, Moreton Bay, Rangitata, Rochester Castle and Rowallan Castle.

They were escorted by the destroyer Beagle and the frigates HMS Derg, HMS Kale and HMS Tay. These were joined by the destroyer HMS Douglas (Lt.Cdr. K.H.J.L. Phibbs, RN) and the frigate HMS Ness (A/Cdr. T.G.P. Crick, DSC, RN).

The convoy arrived at Freetown on 28 July 1943.

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Convoy WS 32 departed Freetown for South Africa on 5 August 1943.

It was now made up of the transports; Britannic (British, 26943 GRT, built 1930), Esperance Bay, Highland Chieftain, Maloja, Moreton Bay, Rangitata and Rochester Castle.

On 8 August 1943 the transport Nea Hellas (British, 16991 GRT, built 1922) joined the convoy coming from Takoradi. She was escorted by the destroyer HMS Wolverine (Cdr. J.M. Money, RN) which also joined the convoy.

On 9 August 1943, the transports Largs Bay (British, 14182 GRT, built 1921) and Tamaroa (British, 12405 GRT, built 1922) joined the convoy coming from Lagos.

The convoy was escorted by the destroyers HMS Beagle, HMS Bulldog (Lt.Cdr. E.J. Lee, RN), HMS Douglas and the frigates HMS Derg, HMS Kale and HMS Tay.

On 12 August 1943, HMS Beagle, HMS Bulldog, HMS Douglas and HMS Wolverine parted company after having been relieved by the destroyers HMAS Norman (Cdr. H.J. Buchanan DSO, RAN), HMAS Quiberon (Lt. G.J.A. Ashley-Brown, RAN), HMS Rapid (Lt.Cdr. M.W. Tomkinson, DSC and Bar, RN) and HMS Relentless (Lt.Cdr. R.A. Fell, RN).

The convoy arrived at Capetown in 18 August 1943.

It sailed again the following day, minus the Rochester Castle for Durban where it arrived on 22 August 1943. They had been escorted by HMAS Norman, HMAS Quiberon, HMS Rapid and HMS Relentless.

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On 28 August 1943 convoy WS 32 departed Durban for Bombay. It was now made up of the transports Britannic, Largs Bay, Maloja, Strathmore (British, 23428 GRT, built 1935) and Tamaroa.

They were escorted by the heavy cruiser HMS Hawkins (Capt. J.W. Josselyn, DSC, RN) and the destroyers HMAS Norman, HMAS Quiberon and HMS Rapid.

On 3 September 1943, the light cruiser HMS Emerald (Capt. F.J. Wylie, RN) took over from HMS Hawkins and the three destroyers which then proceeded to Kilindini where they arrived the following day after having participated in night exercises.

The convoy arrived at Bombay on 10 September minus the Strathmore which had been detached to Aden on 6 September.

24 Aug 1943
The battleships HMS Resolution (Capt. J.W. Durnford, RN), HMS Revenge (Capt. St.J. Cronyn, DSO, RN), transports Aorangi (British, 17491 GRT, built 1924), Dempo (Dutch, 17024 GRT, built 1931), Dominion Monarch (British, 27155 GRT, built 1939) departed Freetown for Gibraltar. They were escorted by the destroyers HMS Foxhound (Cdr. C.J. Wynne-Edwards, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Boadicea (Lt.Cdr. F.C. Brodrick, RN), HMS Bulldog (Lt.Cdr. E.J. Lee, RN), escort destroyer HMS Catterick (Lt.Cdr. A. Tyson, RN) and the frigate HMS Ness (A/Cdr. T.G.P. Crick, DSC, RN).

Around 0655Z/26, the destroyers HMS Brilliant (Lt.Cdr. J. Smallwood, RN) and HMS Witch (Lt.Cdr. S.R.J. Woods, RNR) joined. HMS Bulldog and HMS Catterick were then detached to fuel at Dakar.

Around 1000Z/26, the Aorangi was detached and joined the French transport Canada (9684 GRT, built 1912) that had sailed from Dakar on the 25th escorted by the frigates HMS Bazely (Lt.Cdr. J.V. Brock, RCNVR), HMS Blackwood (Lt.Cdr. L.T. Sly, RD, RNR), HMS Drury (Lt.Cdr. N.J. Parker, RN) and HrMs Johan Maurits van Nassau (Cdr. A. de Booy, RNethN).

Around 1115Z/27, HMS Bulldog and HMS Catterick rejoined and HMS Boadicea was detached to Dakar. (2)

31 Aug 1943
The battleships HMS Resolution (Capt. J.W. Durnford, RN), HMS Revenge (Capt. St.J. Cronyn, DSO, RN), transports Dempo (Dutch, 17024 GRT, built 1931), Dominion Monarch (British, 27155 GRT, built 1939), destroyers HMS Foxhound (Cdr. C.J. Wynne-Edwards, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Brilliant (Lt.Cdr. J. Smallwood, RN), HMS Bulldog (Lt.Cdr. E.J. Lee, RN), HMS Witch (Lt.Cdr. S.R.J. Woods, RNR) and escort destroyer HMS Catterick (Lt.Cdr. A. Tyson, RN) and the frigate HMS Ness (A/Cdr. T.G.P. Crick, DSC, RN) arrived at Gibraltar. (2)

4 Mar 1944

Combined convoy OS 70 / KMS 44.

This combined convoy was assembled off Oversay on 4 March 1944.

It was made up of the following merchant vessels; Angelo (British, 2199 GRT, built 1940), Archangelos (Greek, 5692 GRT, built 1918), Baron Forbes (British, 3061 GRT, built 1915), Baron Maclay (British, 6317 GRT, built 1924), Baron Stranraer (British, 3668 GRT, built 1929), Bruse Jarl (Norwegian, 1890 GRT, built 1923), Cap Cantin (British (former French), 3317 GRT, built 1933), Carslogie (British, 3786 GRT, built 1924), Empire Nile (British, 6318 GRT, built 1921), Empire Rosalind (British, 7290 GRT, built 1943), Empire Spartan (British, 7009 GRT, built 1942), Empire Spey (British, 4292 GRT, built 1929), Eurybates (British, 6276 GRT, built 1928), Fort Aklavik (British, 7132 GRT, built 1943), Fort Gaspereau (British, 7134 GRT, built 1943), Fort Liard (British, 7133 GRT, built 1942), Fort Marin (British, 7159 GRT, built 1943), Fort Nakasley (British, 7132 GRT, built 1943), Fort Richelieu (British, 7130 GRT, built 1943), Groix (British, 9975 GRT, built 1922), Helencrest (British, 5233 GRT, built 1941), Hermiston (British, 4813 GRT, built 1939), Hopestar (British, 5267 GRT, built 1936), Isipingo (British, 7069 GRT, built 1930), Janeta (British, 4312 GRT, built 1929), Jenny (Norwegian, 4706 GRT, built 1928), Kana (British, 2783 GRT, built 1929), Langleetarn (British, 4908 GRT, built 1929), Leonidas (Greek, 4573 GRT, built 1929), Lorca (British, 4875 GRT, built 1931), Matheran (British, 8007 GRT, built 1942), Monkleigh (British, 5203 GRT, built 1927), Nanceen (French, 2895 GRT, built 1929), Nurani (British, 5414 GRT, built 1941), Porjus (Swedish, 2965 GRT, built 1906), Radmanso (Swedish, 4280 GRT, built 1914), Radport (British, 5355 GRT, built 1925), Redgate (British, 4323 GRT, built 1929), Samoa (British, 7219 GRT, built 1943), Slesvig (British, 3098 GRT, built 1938), Stal (British (former Danish), 2242 GRT, built 1921), Stanhope (British, 2337 GRT, built 1919), Thomas Holt (British, 3585 GRT, built 1929), Topdalsfjord (Norwegian, 4271 GRT, built 1921), Urbino (British, 5198 GRT, built 1918), Ville de Strasbourg (British, (former French), 7007 GRT, built 1920) and Wayfarer (British, 5068 GRT, built 1925).

The rescue ship Fastnet (British, 1415 GRT, built 1928) was also with the convoy.

On assembly the convoy was escorted by the escort carrier HMS Striker (Capt. W.P. Carne, RN), frigates HMS Exe (Cdr. C.E.E. Paterson, RN), HMS Moyola (Lt.Cdr. H.N. Lawson, RD, RNR), HMS Foley (A/Lt.Cdr. C.A.H. Bird, RNVR), corvettes HMS Armeria (T/Lt. M. Todd, RNR), HMS Burdock (Lt. H.M. Collier, RNR), HMS Clarkia (A/Lt.Cdr. J.O. Williams, RNR), HMS Dittany (T/Lt. S.W. Lock, RNVR), HMS Berkeley Castle (T/Lt. F.A. Darrah, RNVR) and the A/S trawler HMS Fusilier (T/Lt. F.M. Phillips, RNVR).

The following merchant vessels of the convoy returned to the U.K. after sailing; Angelo, Hopestar and Stal.

On 10 March 1944, the frigate HMS Foley parted company with the convoy to join the northbound combined convoy SL 150 / MKS 41 while the escort oiler San Tirso (British (tanker), 6266 GRT, built 1913) joined coming from this convoy.

On 16 March 1944, the convoy split into convoy OS 70 bound for Freetown and convoy KMS 44 bound for the Mediterranean.

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Convoy OS 70 was made up of the merchant vessels; Baron Stranraer, Cap Cantin, Fort Liard, Groix, Isipingo, Jenny, Porjus, Thomas Holt and Ville de Strasbourg.

On 15 March 1944, the merchant vessels Aelbert Cuyp (Dutch, 7086 GRT, built 1942), Empire Nerissa (British, 7086 GRT, built 1943), Fort Nashwaak (British, 7134 GRT, built 1943), Fort Norman (British, 7133 GRT, built 1942), Govert Flinck (Dutch, 7178 GRT, built 1942), Langleebrook (British, 4246 GRT, built 1930), Romney (British, 5840 GRT, built 1929) and Vernon L. Kellogg (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943) departed Gibraltar escorted by the sloop HMS Enchantress (Lt.Cdr. E.D.J. Abbot, DSC, RN), frigate HMS Ness (T/A/Lt.Cdr. R.H. Marchington, MBE, RNVR) and the corvette HMS Pimpernel (Lt. H.D. Hayes, RNR). These ships joined the combined convoy when it split.

On 16 March 1944, the following transports departed Casablanca to join the convoy; Empire Cabot (British, 6715 GRT, built 1941), Finistere (French, 1158 GRT, built 1909), Fort Fairford (British, 7134 GRT, built 1943), Isaac Coles (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Parkhaven (Dutch, 4803 GRT, built 1920) and Tilsington Court (British, 6910 GRT, built 1928). They were escorted by the minesweeping sloops Chevreul, Gazelle and the patrol vessels USS PC-475 (Lt. W.W. Devine, Jr., USNR) and USS PC-480 (Lt.(jg) J.K. Miller, USNR).

On these ships joining on the 17th, the transports Empire Nerissa, Fort Liard, Langleebrook, Porjus and Romney were detached to Casablanca where they arrived later on the 17th. They were escorted by the two American patrol vessels as the two French minesweeping sloops had joined the convoy.

On 22 March 1944, the transports Finistere, Isaac Coles and Vernon L. Kellogg arrived at Dakar after having been detached from the convoy while the transport Hoggar (French, 5146 GRT, built 1923) joined the convoy coming from Dakar. The two French minesweeping sloops also proceeded to Dakar.

On 23 March 1944, the transports Cap Cantin and Fort Nashwaak arrived at Bathurst after having been detached from the convoy.

The convoy arrived at Freetown on 25 March 1944. Some ships of the convoy did not enter Freetown but proceed directly to other destinations.

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Convoy KMS 44, made up of the remaining ships, proceeded towards the Mediterranean with the original escort of the combined convoy.

On 17 March 1944, the following transports arrived at Gibraltar; Archangelos, Lorca, Redgate, Slesvig, rescue ship Fastnet and the escort oiler San Tirso arrived at Gibraltar together with the original escort of the combined convoy minus HMS Dittany.

The transports Baron Forbes, Kana, Monkleigh, Radport and Stanhope proceeded directly to Lissabon after the convoy had split. They were possible escorted by HMS Dittany which did not arrive with the other escort at Gibraltar on the 17th but only arrived there on the 20th.

The following ships of the convoy meanwhile directly entered the Mediterranean; Baron Maclay, Bruse Jarl, Carslogie, Empire Nile, Empire Rosalind, Empire Spartan, Empire Spey, Eurybates, Fort Aklavik, Fort Gaspereau, Fort Marin, Fort Nakasley, Fort Richelieu, Helencrest, Hermiston, Janeta, Langleetarn, Leonidas, Matheran, Nanceen, Nurani, Radmanso, Samoa, Topsdalfjord, Urbino and Wyfarer.

On passing Gibraltar they were joined by the transports Joshua Hendy (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Maycrest (British, 5923 GRT, built 1913) and Southgate (British, 4862 GRT, built 1926). 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 Barle (Lt.Cdr. A.H. Davies, RNVR) and the corvettes HMS Bergamot (A/Lt.Cdr. W. McInnes, RNR), HMS Bryony (T/Lt. T. Hand, RNR), HMS La Malouine (Lt. W.A. Ives, RNR) and (the Yugoslavian) Nada. The submarine HMS Spiteful (Lt.Cdr. F.H. Sherwood, DSC, RCNVR) and the rescue tug HMRT Vagrant also joined the convoy.

On 18 February 1944, the transports Carslogie, Joshua Hendy and Maycrest arrived at Oran after having been detached from the convoy while the transports Benito Juarez (American, 7244 GRT, built 1943), City of Canterbury (British, 8331 GRT, built 1922), Crawford W. Long (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Crosby S. Noyes (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Joseph H. Hollister (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Joshua Seney (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Mayo Brothers (American, 7191 GRT, built 1942), Spindleton (British, 1155 GRT, built 1943), William Kent (American, 7187 GRT, built 1942) and Zacapa (American, 5013 GRT, built 1909) joined the convoy coming from Oran.

On 19 February 1944, the transports Fort Gaspereau, Hermiston, Janeta, Leonidas and Zapaca arrived at Algiers after having been detached from the convoy while the transports / tankers Empire Addison (British, 7010 GRT, built 1942), Empire Gain (British (tanker), 3738 GRT, built 1943), Empire Southey (British, 7041 GRT, built 1942), Empire Wordsworth (British (tanker), 9891 GRT, built 1942), Esneh (British, 1931 GRT, built 1919), Fort Ash (British, 7131 GRT, built 1943), Fort Glenora (British, 7126 GRT, built 1943), Fort la Traite (British, 7134 GRT, built 1942), Hermelin (Norwegian, 1683 GRT, built 1940), Linge (Dutch, 2114 GRT, built 1928), Meonia (Danish, 5214 GRT, built 1927), Parame (French, 2337 GRT, built 1918), Samettrick (British, 7219 GRT, built 1943), Samuel V. Shreve (British, 1813 GRT, built 1943) and Solarium (British, 6239 GRT, built 1936) joined the convoy coming from Algiers.

On 20 February 1944, the transports Brighton (British, 5359 GRT, built 1928), Fort Rae (British, 7132 GRT, built 1942) and Lightfoot (British, 1894 GRT, built 1922) joined the convoy coming from Philippeville.

On 20 February 1944, the transports Bruse Jarl, Empire Gain, Fort Rae and Radmanso arrived at Bone after having parted company with the convoy while the transports Empire Cameron (British, 7015 GRT, built 1941), Empire Copperfield (British, 6013 GRT, built 1943), Empire Viceroy (British, 7803 GRT, built 1943), Graiglas (British, 4312 GRT, built 1940), Ousel (British, 1533 GRT, built 1922), Sammex (British, 7219 GRT, built 1943) and Samson (British, 7219 GRT, built 1943) joined the convoy coming from Bone.

On 21 February 1944, the transports Empire Spartan, Empire Spey, Mayo Brothers, Nanceen, Parame and Solarium arrived at Bizerta as did HMS Colombo after having parted company with the convoy while the transport / tankers Asa Gray (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Elise (Norwegian (tanker), 7910 GRT, built 1931) and Meline (Norwegian (tanker), 6983 GRT, built 1918) joined the convoy coming from Bizerta.

On 22 February 1944, the transports Graiglas, Topsdalfjord arrived at Malta after having parted company with the convoy as did HMS Spiteful and the Yugoslavian corvette Nada while the tanker Egero (Norwegian (tanker), 7590 GRT, built 1929), transport Empire Noble (British, 7125 GRT, built 1944) and the bouy / lighthouse tender Darien II (British, 459 GRT, built 1892) joined the convoy coming from Malta.

On 22 February 1944, the transports / tankers Beaconsfield (British, 4635 GRT, built 1938), Corfell (British, 1802 GRT, built 1934), Dallington Court (British, 6889 GRT, built 1929), Destro (British, 3553 GRT, built 1920), Dunera (British, 11162 GRT, built 1937), Ekaterini Coumantarou (Greek, 7777 GRT, built 1917), Empire Grange (British, 6981 GRT, built 1943), Empire Peak (British, 7045 GRT, built 1943), Fort Bourbon (British, 7133 GRT, built 1942), Fort Glenlyon (British, 7132 GRT, built 1943), Fort Senneville (British, 7131 GRT, built 1942), Ocean Liberty (British, 7174 GRT, built 1942), Ocean Vulcan (British, 7174 GRT, built 1942), Riverton (British, 7307 GRT, built 1943), Samnebra (British, 7219 GRT, built 1943), San Rafael (Panamanian, 5379 GRT, built 1919), Van der Capelle (Dutch, 7037 GRT, built 1942), Zaanstroom (Dutch, 1646 GRT, built 1920) departed Augusta to join the convoy while the following transports / tankers parted company with the convoy and proceeded to Augusta; Asa Gray, Benito Juarez, Brighton, City of Canterbury, Crawford W. Long, Crosby S. Noyes, Empire Addison, Empire Cameron, Empire Copperfield, Empire Rosalind, Empire Southey, Empire Wordsworth, Esneh, Fort Aklavik, Fort Ash, Fort Glenora, Fort la Traite, Fort Marin, Fort Richelieu, Helencrest, Hermelin, Joseph H. Hollister, Joshua Seney, Langleetarn, Lightfoot, Linge, Ousel, Samettick, Sammex, Samoa, Samson, Samuel V. Shreve, Southgate, Spindletop and William Kent.

On 26 March 1944, the transports Beaconsfield, Corfell, Elise, Empire Noble, Empire Peak, Fort Glenlyon, Ocean Vulcan, Riverton, Samnebra and Van der Capelle arrived at Alexandria after having parted company with the convoy. Also HMS Barle and HMS La Malouine arrived at Alexandria.

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

23 May 1944

Combined convoy OS 78 / KMS 52.

This combined convoy was assembled off Oversay on 23 May 1944.

It was made up of the following transports; Adviser (British, 6348 GRT, built 1939), Alex (British, 3932 GRT, built 1914), Baron Elgin (British, 3942 GRT, built 1933), Carslogie (British, 3786 GRT, built 1924), Clunepark (British, 3491 GRT, built 1928), Dago (British, 1993 GRT, built 1917), Empire Falcon (British, 4970 GRT, built 1918), Empire Wolfe (British, 2888 GRT, built 1941), Fort Churchill (British, 7129 GRT, built 1942), Godfrey B. Holt (British, 3585 GRT, built 1929), Historian (British, 5074 GRT, built 1924), Hopecrest (British, 5099 GRT, built 1935), Inverbank (British, 5149 GRT, built 1924), Lago (Norwegian, 2552 GRT, built 1929), Mathilda (Norwegian, 3650 GRT, built 1920), Nailsea Moor (British, 4926 GRT, built 1937), Northleigh (British, 5450 GRT, built 1937), Redgate (British, 4323 GRT, built 1929), Robert Morris (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Stanhope (British, 2337 GRT, built 1919), Stuyvesant (Dutch, 4249 GRT, built 1918), Thistleford (British, 4781 GRT, built 1928), Troilus (British, 7422 GRT, built 1921) and Yearby (British, 5666 GRT, built 1929).

The rescue ship Pinto (British, 1346 GRT, built 1928) was also with the combined convoy.

On assembly off Oversay the convoy was escorted by the escort carrier HMS Activity (Capt. C. Wauchope, DSC, RN), frigates HMS Ascension (Lt.Cdr. A. Wilkinson, RNR), HMS Evenlode (T/A/Lt.Cdr. G.B. Medlycott, RNR), HMS Exe (Cdr. C.E.E. Paterson, RN) and the corvettes HMNZS Arabis (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Seelye, RNZNVR), HMS Berkeley Castle (T/Lt. F.A. Darrah, RNVR), HMS Carisbrooke Castle (T/Lt. W.H. Forster, RNR), HMS Dumbarton Castle (T/A/Lt.Cdr. P.F. Broadhead, RNR) and HMS Hadleigh Castle (Lt. C. Sandeman, RN).

The transport Stanhope had to return to the U.K. arriving in the Clyde on 25 May 1944.

The tanker Scottish American (British (tanker), 6999 GRT, built 1920) later joined at sea having parted company with convoy MKS 49. This ship was to refuel the escorts.

Around 1030Z/27, HMS Activity, HMS Ascension, HMS Carisbroke Castle and HMS Hadleigh Castle parted company with the convoy to temporary join northbound combined convoy SL 158 / MKS 49 which they did around 1540Z/28.

Around 1505Z/29, HMS Activity, HMS Ascension, HMS Carisbroke Castle and HMS Hadleigh Castle parted company with combined convoy SL 158 / MKS 49 taking the escort oiler Scottish American (British (tanker), 6999 GRT, built 1920) with them. They rejoined combined convoy OS 78 / KMS 52 around 1650Z/30.

On 30 May 1944, HMNZS Arabis parted company with the convoy and proceeded to Bermuda arriving there on 6 June 1944.

Around 0300Z/3, HMS Activity, HMS Ascension and HMS Berkeley Castle parted company with combined convoy OS 78 / KMS 52 to join northbound combined convoy SL 159 / MKS 50 which they did around 0600Z/3. HMS Ascension and HMS Berkeley Castle then immediately parted company again to rejoin combined convoy OS 78 / KMS 52.

On 4 June 1944, the convoy split into convoy OS 78 and KMS 52.

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Convoy OS 78, towards Freetown, was made up of the following transports; Clunepark, Godfrey B. Holt, Northleigh and Stuyvesant.

They were joined by the following transports coming from Gibraltar; Appledore (British, 5218 GRT, built 1929), Fort Glenyon (British, 7132 GRT, built 1943), Fort Thompson (British, 7134 GRT, built 1942), Ittersum (Dutch, 5199 GRT, built 1938) and Ocean Vanity (British, 7174 GRT, built 1942).

With these ships came also the new escort for this convoy which was made up of the sloop HMS Enchantress (Lt.Cdr. E.D.J. Abbot, DSC, RN), frigate HMS Ness (T/A/Lt.Cdr. R.H. Marchington, MBE, RNVR) and the patrol vessel HMS Kilbirnie (T/Lt. E.R.H. Seddon, RNVR).

Also from Casablanca the the following transports joined on the 4th or the 5th; Gabriel Guist'Hau (French, 2325 GRT, built 1918), Lodestone (British, 4877 GRT, built 1938), Samdart (British, 7219 GRT, built 1944) and Samderwent (British, 7219 GRT, built 1944).

These ships had departed Casablanca on the 4th , escorted by the patrol vessels USS PC-473 (Lt. A.W. Silverstein, USNR), USS PC-475 (Lt. W.W. Devine, Jr., USNR) and USS PC-482 (Lt. D.W. Hunter, USNR) which did not join the convoy and returned to Casablanca on the 5th.

On 11 June 1944, the transport Slesvig (British, 3098 GRT, built 1938) departed Dakar to join the convoy.

On 11 June 1944, the Clunepark, Gabriel Guist'Hau and Northleigh arrived at Dakar after having been detached from the convoy.

Convoy OS 78 arrived at Freetown on 14 June 1944. Actually only the Slesvig and Stuyvesant arrived at Freetown with the escort. The other ships proceeded to other destinations independently.

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Convoy KMS 52 proceeded towards the Straits of Gibraltar. This convoy was made up of the transports / tanker; Adviser, Alex, Baron Elgin, Carslogie, Dago, Empire Falcon, Empire Wolfe, Fort Churchill, Historian, Hopecrest, Inverbank, Lago, Mathilda, Nailsea Moor, Pinto, Redgate, Robert Morris, Scottish American, Thistleford, Troilus and Yearby.

On 6 June 1944, the Carslogie, Empire Wolfe, Pinto, Scottish American and Thistleford arrived at Gibraltar together with the original escort of the convoy; HMS Exe, HMS Ascension, HMS Berkeley Castle, HMS Carisbrooke Castle, HMS Dumbarton Castle and HMS Hadleigh Castle.

From Gibraltar / Casablanca the transports / tanker; Benjamin Tay (British, 1814 GRT, built 1943), British Governor (British (tanker), 6840 GRT, built 1926), David Holmes (American (tanker), 7218 GRT, built 1943), Empire Dickens (British (tanker), 9819 GRT, built 1942) and Sheaf Crown (British, 4868 GRT, built 1929) joined the convoy.

Escort was now provided by the escort carriers HMS Attacker (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, DSO, MVO, RAN), HMS Hunter (Capt. H.H. McWilliam, RN), AA cruiser HMS Caledon (Capt. R.F. Nichols, RN), escort destroyer RHS Kriti, frigates HMS Evenlode (which had remained with the convoy), HMS Dart (Cdr. J.T. Jones, RD, RNR), HMS Shiel (Lt. H.P. Crail, DSC, RNR), HMS Gloxinia (Lt. D. Perry, DSC, RNR), HMS Primula (T/Lt. E.N. Wilding, RNVR), HMS Smilax (Lt. A. Branson, RNR) and A/S trawler HMS Wolborough (T/Lt. G.A. Hartnell, RNR).

On 7 June 1944, the following ships arrived at Oran Bay after having been detached from the convoy; HMS Attacker, HMS Hunter, Benjamin Tay and Sheaf Crown.

On 7 June 1944, the following transports / tanker joined coming from Oran Bay; Anglo-African (British, 5601 GRT, built 1929), Bourgogne (French (tanker), 9357 GRT, built 1937), Bret Harte (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Corchester (British, 2374 GRT, built 1927), Daniel H. Hill (American, 7177 GRT, built 1942), Empire Gareth (British, 2847 GRT, built 1942), Empire Wyclif (British, 6966 GRT, built 1941), Felix Grundy (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), George G. Meade (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), James Rumsey (American, 7181 GRT, built 1942), Josiah Bartlett (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Louisa M. Alcott (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Luther Martin (American, 7191 GRT, built 1942), Norbryn (Norwegian, 5089 GRT, built 1922), Roger Williams (American, 7177 GRT, built 1942), Sarah Orne Jewett (American, 7176 GRT, built 1944), Tobruk (Polish, 7048 GRT, built 1942), Tristram Dalton (American, 7191 GRT, built 1942) and Zacapa (American, 5013 GRT, built 1909).

Also joining from Oran Bay were the LST's USS LST-602 (Lt. J.H. Mehus, USNR) and USS LST-603 (Lt. W.B. Sweet, USN).

On 8 June 1944, the following transports were detached to Algiers; Alex, David Holmes, Empire Gareth, Hopecrest, Mathilda and Norbryn.

On 8 June 1944, the following transports joined the convoy coming from Algiers; Chateau Latour (French, 1912 GRT, built 1914), Corfell (British, 1802 GRT, built 1934), Elise (Greek, 1986 GRT, built 1919), Empire Gain (British (tanker), 3738 GRT, built 1943), Empire Strength (British, 7355 GRT, built 1942), Empire Valour (British, 1906 GRT, built 1943), Gezina (Norwegian, 1828 GRT, built 1917), Hardingham (British, 7269 GRT, built 1942), Ingertre (Norwegian, 2462 GRT, built 1921), Jennings (British, 1148 GRT, built 1943), Lucia C. (Italian, 6123 GRT, built 1922), Ocean Vulcan (British, 7174 GRT, built 1942), Odysseus (Dutch, 1057 GRT, 1922), Oregon (French, 7705 GRT, built 1929), Palermo (British, 2797 GRT, built 1938), Samaye (British, 7219 GRT, built 1943), Samuel V. Shreve (British, 1813 GRT, built 1943), Thistledale (British, 7241 GRT, built 1942) and Ulla (British, 1575 GRT, built 1930). With these ships was also the salvage vessel USS Tackle (Lt. D.V. van Sand, USNR) which also joined the convoy.

On 9 June 1944, the transport Lago arrived at Philippeville after having been detached from the convoy.

On 9 June 1944, the transports Dago, Elise, Hardingham, Ingertre, Lucia C., Samaye and Samuel V. Shreve arrived at Bone after having been detached from the convoy.

On 9 June 1944, the following transports joined coming from Bone. Beaconsfield (British, 4635 GRT, built 1938), Empire Candida (British, 2908 GRT, built 1943), Nordnes (Norwegian, 4147 GRT, built 1932), Ousel (British, 1533 GRT, built 1922) and Skagerak (Norwegian, 4244 GRT, built 1936).

On 10 June 1944, the following transports arrived at Bizerta after having parted company with the convoy; Baron Elgin, Corchester, Empire Gain, Gezina, Jennings, Sarah Orne Jewett and Zacapa.

Also HMS Caledon, RHS Kriti, USS LST-602 and USS LST-603 arrived at Bizerta the same day after having been detached from the convoy.

On 10 June 1944, the following transports / tankers joined the convoy coming from Bizerta; Andrew W. Moore (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), British Chemist (British (tanker), 6997 GRT, built 1925), Edward Burleson (American, 7244 GRT, built 1943), Egbert Benson (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Empire Noble (British, 7125 GRT, built 1944), Empire Unicorn (British, 7067 GRT, built 1943), Fort Chesterfield (British, 7100 GRT, built 1943), Fort Cumberland (British, 7134 GRT, built 1943), Fort Frobisher (British, 7134 GRT, built 1943), George Leonard (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), John W. Brown (American, 7191 GRT, built 1942), Meline (Norwegian (tanker), 6983 GRT, built 1918) and Richard Rush (American, 7180 GRT, built 1943).

On 10 June 1944, the transport Oregon arrived at Tunis after having been detached from the convoy.

On 11 June 1944, the transports Empire Falcon, Empire Strength, Palermo and Yearby arrived at Malta after having been detached from the convoy. Also the escorts HMS Evenlode and HMS Smilax arrived at Malta.

On 11 June 1944, the transports / tanker; Destro (British, 3553 GRT, built 1920), Empire Collins (British (tanker), 9796 GRT, built 1942), Fort Beausejour (British, 7151 GRT, built 1943), Fort Marin (British, 7159 GRT, built 1943), Fort Meductic (British, 7134 GRT, built 1943), Kyklades (Greek, 7157 GRT, built 1941), Marit Maersk (Greek (former Danish), 1894 GRT, built 1938), Ocean Gallant (British, 7178 GRT, built 1942), Port Melbourne (British, 9142 GRT, built 1914), Sambre (British, 7219 GRT, built 1943) and Trajanus (Dutch, 1712 GRT, built 1930) departed Augusta to join the convoy.

On 12 June 1944, the following transports / tankers arrived at Augusta after having been detached from the convoy; Andrew Moore, Anglo-African, Beaconsfield, Bourgogne, Bret Harte, Chateau Latour, Cornfell, Daniel H. Hill, Edward Burleson, Egbert Benson, Empire Dickens, Empire Valour, Empire Wyclif, Felix Grundy, Fort Frobisher, George G. Meade, George Leonard, James Rumsey, John W. Brown, Josiah Barlett, Louisa M. Alcott, Luther Martin, Nailsea Moor, Ocean Vulcan, Odysseus, Ousel, Redgate, Richard Rush, Roger Williams, Thistledale, Tobruk, Tristram Dalton and Ulla. With these ships also USS Tackle had proceeded to Augusta.

On 15 June 1944, the following transports arrived at Alexandria; Fort Beausejour, Fort Chesterfield, Fort Marin, Fort Meductic and Trajanus. With them also HMS Gloxinia, HMS Primula and HMS Wolborough arrived at Alexandria.

On 16 June 1944, the following transports / tankers arrived at Port Said; Adviser, British Chemist, British Governor, Destro, Empire Collins, Empire Noble, Empire Unicorn, Fort Churchill, Fort Cumberland, Historian, Inverbank, Kyklades, Marit Maersk, Meline, Nordnes, Ocean Gallant, Port Melbourne, Robert Morris, Sambre, Skagerak and Troilus. With them HMS Dart and HMS Shiel arrived at Port Said.

19 Jan 1945
HMS Unshaken (Lt. J.S. Pearce, RNR) conducted A/S exercises off Tobermory together with HMS Ness (T/A/Lt.Cdr. R.S. Steel, RNR) and HMS Denbigh Castle (T/A/Lt.Cdr. G. Butcher, DSC, RNVR). (3)

20 Jan 1945
HMS Unshaken (Lt. J.S. Pearce, RNR) conducted A/S exercises off Tobermory together with HMS Ness (T/A/Lt.Cdr. R.S. Steel, RNR) and HMS Loch Quoich (Lt.Cdr. G. MacClelland, DSC, RN). (3)

25 Jan 1945
HMS Unshaken (Lt. J.S. Pearce, RNR) conducted A/S exercises off Tobermory together with HMS Ness (T/A/Lt.Cdr. R.S. Steel, RNR), HMS Vestal (Lt. C.W. Porter, DSC, RN), HMS Loch Quoich (Lt.Cdr. G. MacClelland, DSC, RN) and HMS Denbigh Castle (T/A/Lt.Cdr. G. Butcher, DSC, RNVR). (3)

26 Jan 1945
HMS Unshaken (Lt. J.S. Pearce, RNR) conducted A/S exercises off Tobermory together with HMS Loch Quoich (Lt.Cdr. G. MacClelland, DSC, RN), HMS Denbigh Castle (T/A/Lt.Cdr. G. Butcher, DSC, RNVR), HMS Ness (T/A/Lt.Cdr. R.S. Steel, RNR) and HMS Godetia (Lt. R.H. Nossiter, DSC, RANVR). (3)

30 Jan 1945
HMS Vulpine (T/Lt. P.S. Thirsk, DSC, RNR) conducted A/S exercises off Tobermory with HMS Ness (T/A/Lt.Cdr. R.S. Steel, RNR) and HMS Godetia (Lt. R.H. Nossiter, DSC, RANVR). (4)

Media links


A Sailor's Tale

Moss, Richard

Sources

  1. ADM 173/17813
  2. ADM 53/118445 + ADM 118467 + ADM 199/2275
  3. ADM 173/20149
  4. ADM 173/20360

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


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