Allied Warships

HMS Leith (L 36 / U 36)

Sloop of the Grimsby class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeSloop
ClassGrimsby 
PennantL 36 / U 36 
Built byDevonport Dockyard (Plymouth, U.K.): J.S. White & Co. (Cowes, U.K.) 
Ordered1 Nov 1932 
Laid down6 Feb 1933 
Launched9 Sep 1933 
Commissioned12 Jul 1934 
End service 
History

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

Sold and became the mercantile Byron in 1946.
Renamed Friendship in 1948.
Resold to the Royal Danish Navy on 26 August 1949 and renamed Galathea.
Galathea was scrapped at Odense, Denmark in 1955.

 

Commands listed for HMS Leith (L 36 / U 36)

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
1Cdr. Gilbert Ridley Waymouth, RN1 Nov 19382 Sep 1940
2Cdr. Roland Charlton Allen, RN2 Sep 194021 Mar 1941
3Lt.Cdr. Mark Taylor Collier, RN21 Mar 194124 Jun 1941
4Lt.Cdr. Edward Campbell Hulton, RN24 Jun 194130 May 1943
5Lt.Cdr. (retired) Alan Westbury Preston, RN30 May 194320 Mar 1945
6Lt. Robin Richard Whalley, RN20 Mar 1945mid 1945

You can help improve our commands section
Click here to Submit events/comments/updates for this vessel.
Please use this if you spot mistakes or want to improve this ships page.

Notable events involving Leith include:


19 Sep 1939
HMS Otus (Lt.Cdr. E.C.F. Nicolay, RN) conducted exercises off Singapore together with HMS Leith (Cdr. G.R. Waymouth, RN). (1)

20 Sep 1939
HMS Odin (Lt.Cdr. R.W. Moir, RN) conducted exercises off Penang together with HMS Leith (Cdr. G.R. Waymouth, RN). (2)

20 Sep 1939
HMS Otus (Lt.Cdr. E.C.F. Nicolay, RN) conducted exercises off Singapore together with HMS Leith (Cdr. G.R. Waymouth, RN). (1)

15 Nov 1939
Around 1330 hours (zone -5.5), HMS Liverpool (Capt. A.D. Read, RN), departed Colombo for Singapore. She was to replace HMS Kent (Capt. D. Young-Jamieson, RN) on the China Station.

That evening HMS Liverpool was ordered to patrol in position 05°N, 80°E as HMS Leith (Cdr. G.R. Waymouth, RN) had reported star shell in position 09°N, 68°E. HMS Liverpool was ordered to continue her passage to Singapore the following afternoon. (3)

15 Nov 1939
The light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) departed Colombo for Bombay.

Later this day a signal was received from the sloop HMS Leith (Cdr. G.R. Waymouth, RN) that starshell had been sighted in position 09°00'N, 68°10'E. HMAS Hobart then raised steam for full speed and set course for the Eight Degree Channel to proceed to this position.

The following day, HMS Leith reported that she had searched the area but had found nothing. HMAS Hobart was then ordered to continue her passage to Bombay via a route west of the Laccadive Islands. (4)

30 Mar 1940

Convoy SL 26.

This convoy departed Freetown on 30 March 1940.

It was made up of the following transports; Barbara Marie (British, 4223 GRT, built 1928), Chelatros (Greek, 3489 GRT, built 191), Cliftonhall (British, 5063 GRT, built 1938), Congonian (British, 5065 GRT, built 1936), Coronda (British ((whale oil) tanker, 7503 GRT, built 1899), Delambre (British, 7032 GRT, built 1917), Iddesleigh (British, 5205 GRT, built 1927), Janeta (British, 4312 GRT, built 1929), Kayeson (British, 4606 GRT, built 1929), Marlene (British, 6507 GRT, built ), Navarino (British, 4841 GRT, built 1937), Norman Star (British, 6817 GRT, built 1919), Ramillies (British, 4553 GRT, built 1927) and Sambre (British, 5260 GRT, built 1919).

On departure from Freetown to the convoy was escorted by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Ranpura (Capt.(Retd.) C.W.E. Trelawny, RN).

The Coronda returned to Freetown later on the 30th being unable to keep up with the convoy.

The (whale oil) tanker Peter Bogen (British, 9741 GRT, built 1925) departed Freetown later on the 30th to overtake and join the convoy at sea.

The transport Godfrey B. Holt (British, 3585 GRT, built 1929) and (whale oil) tanker Uniwaleco (British, 9755 GRT, built 1905) departed Freetown on 31 March to overtake and join the convoy at sea. They were escorted by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Dunvegan Castle (Capt.(Retd.) H. Ardill, RN).

The transport Sobo (British, 5353 GRT, built 1937) departed Dakar on 1 April 1940 to join the convoy at sea.

The transport Asphalion (British, 6274 GRT, built 1924) departed Freetown on 2 April 1940 to overtake and join the convoy at sea.

Around 1700A/12, HMS Ranpura parted company.

Around 1930A/12, the sloop HMS Leith (Cdr. G.R. Waymouth, RN) joined the convoy.

Around 0730A/13, the destroyer HMS Vansittart (Lt.Cdr. W. Evershed, RN) joined the convoy. HMS Dunvegan Castle then parted company with the convoy.

The convoy arrived in U.K. waters on 15 March 1940.

28 Aug 1940
HMS Leith (Cdr. G.R. Waymouth, RN) picks up 27 survivors from the Finnish merchant Elle that was torpedoed and sunk north-east of Ireland in position 57°43'N, 12°18'W by German U-boat U-101.

18 Oct 1940
HMS Leith (Cdr. R.C. Allen, RN) picks up 19 survivors from the Estonian merchant Nora that was torpedoed and sunk on 13 October 1940 by German U-boat U-103 north-east of Ireland in position 57°02'N, 13°11'W.

19 Oct 1940
HMS Leith (Cdr. R.C. Allen, RN) picks up 34 survivors from the British merchant Assyrian and 19 survivors from the Dutch merchant Soesterberg that were torpedoed and sunk by German U-boat U-101 about 100 nautical miles west by north of Barra Head, Outer Hebrides in position 57°12'N, 10°43'W.

19 Jun 1941
HMS H 44 (Lt. A.C.G. Mars, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Leith (Lt.Cdr. M.T. Collier, RN) and another vessel [unable to read the name in the log of HMS H 44]. (5)

20 Jun 1941
HMS H 34 (Lt. H. Winter, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Leith (Lt.Cdr. M.T. Collier, RN) and aircraft. (6)

23 Jun 1941
HMS H 34 (Lt. H. Winter, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Vanoc (Lt.Cdr. J.G.W. Deneys, DSO, RN), HMS Leith (Lt.Cdr. M.T. Collier, RN) and aircraft. (6)

26 Sep 1941
The British merchant Lapwing is torpedoed and sunk north-north-east of the Azores, in position 47°40'N, 23°30'W by German U-boat U-203. HMS Leith (Lt.Cdr. E.C. Hulton, RN) later picks up 1 survivor.

13 Oct 1941

Convoy OS 9

This convoy departed Liverpool on 13 October 1941 for Freetown where it arrived on 5 November 1941. Several merchant ships were detached en-route for other destinations.

The convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels; Adjutant (1931 GRT, built 1922), Alderamin (Dutch, 7886 GRT, built 1920), Arlesford (2472 GRT, built 1922), Annavore (Norwegian, 3324 GRT, built 1921), Baluchistan (6992 GRT, built 1940), Baron Cawdor (3638 GRT, built 1935), Baron Ramsay (3650 GRT, built 1929), Brittany (4772 GRT, built 1928), City of Barcelona (5787 GRT, built 1930), City of Dublin (1095 GRT, built 1882), City of Hereford (5101 GRT, built 1927), Cornish City (4952 GRT, built 1936), Cressado (1228 GRT, built 1913), Egba (4989 GRT, built 1914), Empire Glade (7006 GRT, built 1941), Empire Glen (6327 GRT, built 1941), Fagersten (Norwegian, 2342 GRT, built 1921), Filleigh (4856 GRT, built 1928), Fjord (Norwegian, 4032 GRT, built 1914), Graiglas (4312 GRT, built 1940), Guinean (5205 GRT, built 1936), Hadleigh (5222 GRT, built 1930), Harmonides (5237 GRT, built 1920), Harpasa (5082 GRT, built 1934), Ittersum (Dutch, 5199 GRT, built 1938), Leeds City (4758 GRT, built 1927), Leerdam (8815 GRT, built 1921), Leeds City (4758 GRT, built 1927), Leerdam (Dutch, 8815 GRT, built 1921), Loch Ranza (4958 GRT, built 1934), Madras City (5082 GRT, built 1940), Marwarri (8067 GRT, built 1935), Nigerian (5423 GRT, built 1936), Ottinge (2870 GRT, built 1940), Queen Victoria (4937 GRT, built 1936), Rembrandt (5559 GRT, built 1941), Ribera (5559 GRT, built 1940), Rio Blanco (4086 GRT, built 1922), Salabangka (Dutch, 6586 GRT, built 1920), Sheaf Crown (4868 GRT, built 1929), Spero (1589 GRT, built 1922), Stad Amsterdam (Dutch, 3780 GRT, built 1920), Stanmore (4970 GRT, built 1940), Superman (tug, 359 GRT, built 1933), Talthybius (10254 GRT, built 1912), Tintern Abbey (2471 GRT, built 1939), Treworlas (4692 GRT, built 1922) and Willemsplein (Dutch, 5489 GRT, built 1910).

Escort was initially provided by the following warships; Free French sloop / minesweeper Commandant Domine (13 – 24 October), sloops Egret (A/Capt. E.M. Haes, RN) (14 October – 2 November), Fowey (Lt.Cdr. R.M. Aubrey, RN) (14 October – 1 November), Leith (Lt.Cdr. E.C. Hulton, RN) (14 October – 1 November), Banff (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Evans, RN), Fishguard (Lt.Cdr. H.L. Pryse, RN) and the corvettes HMS Hollyhock (Lt. T.E. Davies, RNR) (14 October – 5 November), HMS Stonecrop (A/Lt.Cdr. J.V. Brock, RCNVR) (14 October – 1 November).

When approaching Freetown the following corvettes joined on 31 October; HMS Burdock (T/Lt. H.J. Fellows, SANF(V)), Clover (Lt.Cdr. F.A. Shaw, RNR) and Nigella (T/Lt. L.J. Simpson, RNR). They remained with the convoy until it arrived at Freetown on 5 November.

On 24 October 1941 the Gibraltar (and Lisbon) section of the convoy split off. This were nine merchant vessels escorted by HMS Fowey, HMS Leith and HMS Stonecrop. The destroyer HMS Wild Swan (Lt.Cdr. C.E.L. Sclater, RN) departed Gibraltar on 25 October to join the convoy on the 27th. Two more destroyers, HMS Gurkha (Cdr. C.N. Lentaigne, RN) and HrMs Isaac Sweers (Cdr. J. Houtsmuller, RNN) departed Gibraltar in the morning of 28 October and they joined the convoy in the afternoon of the next day. The convoy arrived at Gibraltar on 1 November. The previous day the ships destined for Lisbon had split off.

30 Nov 1941
HMS H 34 (Lt. W.A. Phillimore, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle together with HMS Dahlia (T/Lt. M.S. Work, RNR) and HMS Leith (Lt.Cdr. E.C. Hulton, RN). (7)

30 Nov 1941
HMS H 50 (Lt. E.T. Stanley, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Rochester (Cdr.(Retd.) C.B. Allen, RN), HMS Northern Spray (T/Lt. G.T. Gilbert, RNVR), HMS Leith (Lt.Cdr. E.C. Hulton, RN) and HMS Newport. (8)

21 May 1942
HMS H 28 (Lt. J.S. Bridger, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Stork (Cdr. F.J. Walker, DSO, RN), HMS Convolvulus (T/Lt. R.C. Connell, RNR), HMS Gardenia (T/Lt. C.J. Jackson, RNVR), HMS Leith (Lt.Cdr. E.C. Hulton, RN), HMS Bradford (Lt.Cdr. J.N.K. Knight, RN), HMS Scarborough (Lt.Cdr. E.B. Carnduff, RN) and HMS Sandwich (Lt.Cdr. H. Hill, RD, RNR). (9)

29 Aug 1942
HMS Leith (Lt.Cdr. E.C. Hulton, RN) picks up 68 survivors from the Dutch merchant Zuiderkerk that was torpedoed and damaged the previous day by German U-boat U-566 west-north-west of Lisbon, Portugal in position 40°20'N, 16°02'W. The Zuiderkerk was finally sunk with shallow set depth charges by HMS Erne.

19 Dec 1942

Convoy CF 10.

This convoy departed Capetown on 19 December 1942.

The convoy was made up of the (troop) transports; Almanzora (British, 15551 GRT, built 1914), Johan van Oldenbarnevelt (Dutch, 19429 GRT, built 1930), Largs Bay (British, 14182 GRT, built 1921) and Straat Soenda (Dutch, 6439 GRT, built 1939).

On departure from Capetown the convoy was escorted by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Alcantara (A/Capt.(retd.) J.D. Harvey, RN) and the destroyer HMS Fortune (Lt.Cdr. R.D.H.S. Pankhurst, RN).

Around 0655B/21, HMS Fortune parted company with the convoy to proceed to Simonstown.

Around 1400A/27, the corvette HMS Hydrangea (A/Lt.Cdr. J.E. Woolfenden, RD, RNR) joined the convoy.

Around 1615Z/28, the escort destroyer HMS Holcombe (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Pinchin, DSC, RN) and corvette Commandant Drogou joined the convoy.

The convoy arrived at Freetown on 29 December 1942.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The convoy departed Freetown on 1 January 1943 but now escorted by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Asturias (Capt.(Retd.) H. Ardill, RN), destroyer HMS Ilex (Lt.Cdr. V.A. Wight-Boycott, OBE, RN), escort destroyer HMS Holcombe and corvette HMS Woodruff (A/Lt.Cdr. F.H. Gray, RNR).

Around 1940Z/1, HMS Ilex was detached to participate in an A/S hunt off Dakar.

Around 1120Z/2, the corvette HMS Bellwort (A/Lt.Cdr. N.F.R. Gill, RNR) joined, having departed Bathurst on 1 January.

Around 1930Z/3, HMS Ilex rejoined the convoy having first fuelled at Bathurst. At the same time the Largs Bay escorted by HMS Woodruff parted company. The Largs Bay was to proceed to New York escorted part of the way by the corvette. HMS Woodruff arrived at Bathurst on 10 January.

Around 1800Z/4, HMS Holcombe parted company to proceed to Bathurst where she arrived on 6 January.

Around 0800Z/5, the sloops HMS Sandwich (Lt.Cdr. H. Hill, RD, RNR), HMS Leith (Lt.Cdr. E.C. Hulton, RN) and HMS Erne (Lt.Cdr. E.D.J. Abbot, RN) joined.

Around 0840Z/5, HMS Ilex and HMS Bellwort parted company to proceed to Bathurst where HMS Ilex arrived on the 6th and HMS Bellwort on the 7th.

Around 1200A/8, the convoy merged with convoy MKF 6. The three sloops did not join convoy MKF 6 but proceeded to Gibraltar where they arrived later on the 8th. (10)

15 Apr 1943
HMS H 50 (Lt. G.S.C Clarabut, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Weston (Cdr. L.F. Durnford-Slater, RN), HMS Gorleston (Cdr.(Retd.) R.W. Keymer, RN), HMS Wellington (Lt.Cdr. J.T. Jones, RD, RNR), HMS Exe (A/Cdr. M.A.O. Biddulph, DSC, RN), HMS Leith (Lt.Cdr. E.C. Hulton, RN) and HMS Coreopsis (T/Lt. B.C. Hamilton, RNR). (11)

16 Jun 1943
HMS H 34 (T/Lt. R.L. Willoughby, RNR) arrived at Lough Foyle. There she conducted A/S exercises with HMS Teviot (Lt.Cdr. T. Taylor, DSC, RN), HMS Wellington (Cdr. G.A. Thring, DSO, RN), HMS Violet (Lt. C.N. Stewart, RNR), HMS Coreopsis (T/Lt. B.C. Hamilton, RNR), HMS Leith (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) A.W. Preston, RN) and HMS Anchusa (T/Lt. H.V. Gordon, DSC, RNVR). (12)

19 Jun 1943

Combined convoy OS 50/KMS 17G.

This combined convoy assembled off Oversay on 19 June 1943.

It was made up of the following merchant vessels; Anglo-Indian (British, 5609 GRT, built 1938), Balteako (British, 1328 GRT, built 1920), Baron Douglas (British, 3899 GRT, built 1932), Baron Ramsay (British, 3650 GRT, built 1929), Baron Ruthven (British, 3178 GRT, built 1925), Basil (British, 4913 GRT, built 1928), Blairesk (British, 3300 GRT, built 1925), Calgary (British, 7206 GRT, built 1921), City of Dundee (British, 5273 GRT, built 1921), City of Eastbourne (British, 5563 GRT, built 1923), Coity Castle (British, 2767 GRT, built 1919), Colytto (Dutch, 4408 GRT, built 1926), Como (British, 1295 GRT, built 1910), Corcrest (British, 2373 GRT, built 1918), Cromarty (British, 4974 GRT, built 1936), Dalcross (British, 4557 GRT, built 1930), Dordrecht (Dutch, 4402 GRT, built 1928), Dornoch (British, 5186 GRT, built 1939), Dumfries (British, 5149 GRT, built 1935), Empire Candida (British, 2908 GRT, built 1943), Empire Fal (British, 4880 GRT, built 1914), Empire Franklin (British, 7292 GRT, built 1941), Empire Harp (British (tanker), 861 GRT, built 1942), Empire Nightingale (British, 5698 GRT, built 1918), Evviva (Norwegian, 1597 GRT, built 1921), Fort Abitibi (British, 7122 GRT, built 1942), Fort Liard (British, 7133 GRT, built 1942), Fort Nipigon (British, 7132 GRT, built 1942), Fort Senneville (British, 7131 GRT, built 1942), Glenwood (British, 4897 GRT, built 1940), Godfrey Holt (British, 3585 GRT, built 1929), Helencrest (British, 5233 GRT, built 1941), Henzada (British, 4161 GRT, built 1934), Kristianiafjord (Norwegian, 6759 GRT, built 1921), Lafian (British, 4876 GRT, built 1937), Llanberis (British, 5055 GRT, built 1928), Lysaker V (Norwegian, 1571 GRT, built 1936), Marga (Norwegian, 1583 GRT, built 1923), Merkland (British, 1363 GRT, built 1934), Nijkerk (Dutch, 5843 GRT, built 1915), Norfalk (British, 5675 GRT, built 1919), Ocean Viceroy (British, 7174 GRT, built 1942), Pendeen (British, 4174 GRT, built 1923), Pentridge Hill (British, 7579 GRT, built 1941), Phemius (British, 7406 GRT, built 1921), Richmond Hill (British, 7579 GRT, built 1940), Saltwick (British, 3775 GRT, built 1929), Sansu (British, 5446 GRT, built 1939), Silverash (British, 7750 GRT, built 1926), Souliotis (Greek, 4299 GRT, built 1917), Stad Maasluis (Dutch, 6541 GRT, built 1918), Stanhope (British, 2337 GRT, built 1919), Tiba (Dutch, 5239 GRT, built 1938), Tombouctou (British, 5636 GRT, built 1919), Trevaylor (British, 5257 GRT, built 1940), Uranienborg (British, 5257 GRT, built 1940) and Vigsnes (Norwegian, 1599 GRT, built 1930).

On assembly of Oversay the convoy was escorted by the sloops HMS Enchantress (Cdr. A.E.T. Christie, OBE, DSC, RN), HMS Leith (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) A.W. Preston, RN), HMS Aberdeen (Lt.Cdr. H. Day, RN), HMS Folkestone (Cdr.(Retd.) J.G.C. Gibson, OBE, RN) and the corvettes HMS Anchusa (T/Lt. H.V. Gordon, DSC, RNVR), HMS Coreopsis (T/Lt. B.C. Hamilton, RNR) and HMS Violet (Lt. C.N. Stewart, RNR) which joined coming from Londonderry.

The monitors HMS Abercrombie (A/Capt. G.V.B. Faulkner, RN) and HMS Roberts (A/Capt.(Retd.) R.E.C. Dunbar, RN) were also taking passage in this convoy as was the RFA tanker Orangeleaf (5983 GRT, built 1917).

On 21 June HMS Folkestone was detached to return to Londonderry for repairs to defective hull plating.

On 24 June the merchant vessel Dornoch straggled from the convoy. The next day HMS Folkestone was ordered to search for her. She had departed Londonderry to overtake the convoy on 24 June having effected repairs there.

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

En-route the merchant vessels Baron Ramsay, Merkland and Stanhope were detached to Lisbon as was the Coity Castle which was detached to Huelva.

On 27 June 1943 the convoy was split up.

The destroyer HMS Arrow (Lt.Cdr. W.W. Fitzroy, RN), A/S trawlers HMS Reighton Wyke (Skr. G.M. Sutherland, RNR), HMS Visenda (T/Lt. S.F. Archer, RNR) and A/S whaler HMS Southern Gem (T/Lt. P.H. Riseley, RNVR) took over the escort of convoy KMS 17G. These escorts, plus the corvette HMS Columbine (T/A/Lt.Cdr. W.J. Griffiths, RNR) had brought out convoy OS 50G from Gibraltar which they had departed earlier on 27 June. [For the ships of convoy OS 50G see below.]

HMS Aberdeen and HMS Folkestone from the original escort also proceeded to Gibraltar escorting convoy KMS 17G.

On 28 June the convoy escort was reinforced by the escort destroyer Holcombe and Viceroy.

Convoy KMS 17G arrived at Gibraltar on 29 June.

Convoy KMS 17G was made up of the following merchant vessels; Anglo-Indian, Balteako, Baron Douglas, Baron Ruthven, Blairesk, Como, Corcrest, Cromarty, Dalcross, Dumfries, Empire Candida, Empire Fal, Empire Harp, Empire Nightingale, Evviva, Fort Abitibi, Fort Nipigon, Helencrest, Kristianiafjord, Lysaker V, Marga, Norfalk, Pendeen, Pentridge Hill, Richmond Hill, Saltwick, , Trevaylor and Vigsnes.

The Orangeleaf also was part of KMS 17G as were HMS Abercrombie and HMS Robert.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Convoy OS 50 then continued on with the escort. It was made up of the following merchant vessels; Basil, Calgary, City of Dundee, City of Eastbourne, Colytto, Dordrecht, Empire Franklin, Fort Liard, Fort Sonneville, Glenwood, Godfrey B. Holt, Lafian, Llanberis, Nijkerk, Ocean Viceroy, Sansu, Silverash, Souliotis, Tiba, Tombouctou and Unanienborg.

These were joined by the merchant vessels which had made up convoy OS 50G which had been brought out of Gibraltar by the escortx which took over convoy KMS 17G, except for HMS Columbine which joined convoy OS 50.

The merchant vessels in question were the following; Baron Herries (British, 4574 GRT, built 1940), Biafra (British, 5405 GRT, built 1933), Empire Kangaroo (British, 6219 GRT, built 1919), Empire Miranda (British, 7054 GRT, built 1943), Empire Sunbeam (British, 6711 GRT, built 1941), Fort Fairford (British, 7134 GRT, built 1943), Fort Lac La Ronge (British, 7131 GRT, built 1942), Fort McLoughlin (British, 7129 GRT, built 1942), Fort Vermillion (British, 7133 GRT, built 1942), Industria (British, 4850 GRT, built 1940), Junecrest (British, 6945 GRT, built 1942), Madras City (British, 5080 GRT, built 1940), Ocean Verity (British, 7174 GRT, built 1942), Ocean Volunteer (British, 7174 GRT, built 1942), Temple Inn (British, 5218 GRT, built 1940), Trader (British, 6087 GRT, built 1940) and Wearpool (British, 4982 GRT, built 1936).

Later more merchant vessels joined coming from Casablanca, these were the; Dan-Y-Brin (British, 5117 GRT, built 1940), Dunkerque (French, 2477 GRT, built 1925), Elorn (French, 5482 GRT, built 1930), Finisterre (French, 1158 GRT, built 1909), Hoggar (French, 5146 GRT, built 1923), Ingleton (British, 7203 GRT, built 1942) and Schiaffino (French, 3236 GRT, built 1920).

The following merchant vessels were then detached to Casablanca; Fort Laird and Fort Senneville.

Off Dakar the following merchant vessels joined the convoy; Fort de Vaux (British, 5186 GRT, built 1918), Fort Jemseg (British, 7134 GRT, built 1943), Horace Williams (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Palacio (British, 1346 GRT, built 1927) and Salta (Norwegian, 3907 GRT, built 1920).

The following merchant vessels were then detached to Dakar; Calgary, Dan-Y-Bryn, Dunkerque, Elorn, Finisterre, Fort Lac La Ronge, Hoggar, Ingleton and Madras City.

The merchant vessel Godfrey B. Holt was detached to Bathurst.

The convoy arrived at Freetown on 8 June 1943.

13 Jul 1943

Convoy SL 133.

This convoy departed Freetown on 13 July 1943.

It was made up of the following merchant vessels; Adrastus (British, 7905 GRT, built 1923), Amstelkerk (Dutch, 4457 GRT, built 1929), Baron Maclay (British, 6317 GRT, built 1924), Bendoran (British, 5567 GRT, built 1910), Benledi (British, 5943 GRT, built 1930), Carlton (British, 7210 GRT, built 1942), City of Exeter (British, 9654 GRT, built 1914), Cochrane (British, 7203 GRT, built 1923), Cypria (Norwegian, 4366 GRT, built 1931), David Livingstone (British, 5013 GRT, built 1930), Desirade (British, 9645 GRT, built 1921), Egyptian Prince (British, 3490 GRT, built 1922), Empire Addison (British, 7010 GRT, built 1942), Empire Buckler (British, 7046 GRT, built 1942), Empire Cougar (British, 5758 GRT, built 1919), Empire Forest (British, 7025 GRT, built 1942), Empire Simba (British, 5691 GRT, built 1919), Empire Trent (British, 5006 GRT, built 1927), Fort Douglas (British, 7129 GRT, built 1942), Fort Tremblant (British, 7128 GRT, built 1942), Gambian (British, 5452 GRT, built 1937), Gascony (British, 4716 GRT, built 1925), John Holt (British, 4964 GRT, built 1943), Kaipara (British, 5882 GRT, built 1938), Mafuta (Belgian, tanker, 6322 GRT, built 1920), Malayan Prince (British, 8953 GRT, built 1926), Maplewood (British, 4566 GRT, built 1930), Mount Rhodope (Greek, 5182 GRT, built 1919), New Northland (Canadian, 3445 GRT, built 1926), Norma (Norwegian, 4487 GRT, built 1930), Ocean Hope (British, 7173 GRT, built 1942), Pinzon (British, 1365 GRT, built 1922), Rhesus (British, 6530 GRT, built 1911), Stuyvesant (Dutch, 4249 GRT, built 1918), Troilus (British, 7422 GRT, built 1921) and Wearpool (British, 4982 GRT, built 1936).

On departure from Freetown the convoy was escorted by the sloops HMS Enchantress (Cdr. A.E.T. Christie, OBE, DSC, RN), HMS Leith (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) A.W. Preston, RN), destroyer HMS Amazon (Lt.Cdr. D.H.P. Gardiner, DSC, RN), corvettes HMS Anchusa ( T/Lt. H.V. Gordon, RNVR), HMS Columbine (T/A/Lt.Cdr. W.J. Griffiths, RNR), HMS Coreopsis (T/Lt. B.C. Hamilton, RNR), HMS Violet (Lt. C.N. Stewart, RNR) and the armed boarding vessel HMS Corinthian (Cdr. E.J.R. Pollitt, RD, RNR).

Around 0600Z/15, in position 10°49'N, 17°02'W, the Wearpool was detached to proceed to Buenos Aires.

Around 1900Z/15, HMS Enchantress was detached to fuel at Dakar.

Around 0230Z/15, HMS Amazon was detached to fuel at Dakar.

Around 0600Z/16, the merchant vessel Kaipara was torpedoed and damaged by the German U-boat U-306. She was able to proceed to Dakar under her own power escorted by HMS Violet until this corvette was relieved by HMS Yestor (Lt. R.C. Holt, RNVR).

Around 1230Z/16, in approximate position 14°34'N, 17°47'W, the merchant vessel Bactria (British, 2407 GRT, built 1928) joined the convoy coming from Bathurst.

Around 1330Z/16, in position 14°36'N, 17°47'W, the merchant vessel New Northland was detached to Dakar. The Fort Douglas was also detached to Dakar with engine defects at the same time. They were escorted to Dakar by the ASW trawler HMS Fandango (T/Lt. A.G. Fisher, RNR) which had also brought out the Dakar section of the convoy (see below).

Around 1330Z/16, in position 14°36'N, 17°47'W, the merchant vessels El-Biar (French, 4678 GRT, built 1927), Finistere (French, 1158 GRT, built 1909) and Grand Quevilly (French, 2844 GRT, built 1914) joined the convoy coming from Dakar.

Around 1430Z/16, in position 14°35'N, 17°50'W, HMS Enchantress and HMS Amazon returned from fuelling at Dakar.

Around 0830Z/22, in position 29°12'N, 18°48'W, HMS Columbine and HMS Coreopsis were detached to fuel at Casablanca.

Around 2030Z/22, in position 30°08'N, 17°00'W, HMS Anchusa and HMS Violet were detached to fuel at Casablanca.

Around 1200Z/24, in position 33°54'N, 09°46'W, HMS Columbine and HMS Coreopsis returned from fuelling at Casablanca. HMS Leith was then detached to fuel at Casablanca. She rejoined on the 25th.

Around 1400Z/24, in position 34°04'N, 09°46'W, the El-Biar, Finistere and Grand Quevilly were detached to Casablanca. The patrol vessels USS PC-474 (Lt. A.D. Weekes, Jr., USNR), USS PC-482 (Lt. N.P. Hallowell, Jr., USNR) and USS PC-473 (Lt. D.F. Welch, USNR) had come out from Casablanca to escort them.

Around 1500Z/24, in position 34°14'N, 09°35'W, HMS Amazon was detached to Gibraltar where she arrived the following day.

Around 1200Z/24, in position 34°17'N, 10°30'W, HMS Anchusa and HMS Violet returned from fuelling at Casablanca.

Around 1700B/24, in position 35°45'N, 11°15'W, the convoy merged with convoy MKS 18G coming from Gibraltar.
This convoy was made up of the following ships; Antonio (British, 5225 GRT, built 1918), Badjestan (British, 5573 GRT, built 1928), Cape Wrath (British, 4512 GRT, built 1940), Clearpool (British, 5404 GRT, built 1935), Eastern City (British, 5185 GRT, built 1941), Empire Darwin (British, 6765 GRT, built 1941), Empire Tide (British, 6978 GRT, built 1941), Empire Wolfe (British, 2888 GRT, built 1941), Explorer (British, 6235 GRT, built 1935), Fauzon (French, 4376 GRT, built 1938), Gerard Dou (Dutch, 7242 GRT, built 1941), Hopestar (British, 5267 GRT, built 1936), Kingsland (British, 3669 GRT, built 1930), Schiaffino (French, 3236 GRT, built 1929), Stanhope (British, 2337 GRT, built 1919), Star (Norwegian, 1531 GRT, built 1922) and Vinriver (British, 3881 GRT, built 1917).

The landing ship Ennerdale (British, 8280 GRT, built 1941) and the tug HMRT Allegiance towing the damaged escort destroyer Derwent (Lt. P.R.C. Higham, RN) was also part of the convoy.

They were escorted by the destroyers HMS Hurricane (Cdr. E.C. Bayldon, DSC, RN), HMS Rockingham (Lt.Cdr. N.W. Duck, DSC, RD, RNR) and the corvettes HMS Borage (T/Lt.Cdr. A. Harrison, RNR), HMS Dahlia (T/Lt. M.S. Work, RNR), HMS Meadowsweet (T/Lt. W.E. Saunders, RNVR) and HMS Monkshood (Lt. G.W. McGuiness, RNR). Off these, HMS Rockingham could only use one propeller and her speed was limited to 15 knots.

Around 0750B/28, in approximate position 41°30'N, 16°04'W, the light (AA) cruiser HMS Scylla (Capt. I.A.P. Macintyre, CBE, DSO, RN) joined the convoy.

In the evening of the 28th, the convoy was attacked by German FW 200 bombers / reconnaissance aircraft. No damage was done and one of the attackers was shot down. HMS Hurricane picked up six survivors of this aircraft. Four of them wounded.

Around 0930B/29, the light cruiser HMS Sheffield (Capt. C.T. Addis, RN) joined the convoy.

In the second half of the morning of the 29th, the convoy was once more attacked by German aircraft but again no damage was done though bombs landed near HMS Scylla, HMS Rockingham, HMS Borage and HMS Meadowsweet.

Around 2225B/29, in approximate position 46°30'N, 16°00'W, HMS Scylla parted company with the convoy to proceed to Gibraltar.

Around an hour before the departure of HMS Scylla eleven of the merchant vessels split off from the main convoy and formed the ' fast section '. These then proceeded ahead escorted by the original escort of the convoy which had been with the convoy on departure from Freetown (minus HMS Amazon which had been detached to Gibraltar earlier).

Around 2200B/30, in position 50°01'N, 15°24'W, HMS Enchantress was detached from the 'fast section' to proceed to the Clyde via the south of Ireland.

Around the same time, HMS Sheffield parted company from the 'slow section' to proceed to

The 'fast section' of the convoy arrived in U.K. waters on 2 July 1943.

The 'slow section' of the convoy arrived in U.K. waters on 3 July 1943. (13)

9 Aug 1943

Combined convoy OS 53 / KMS 23.

This combined convoy was assembled off Oversay on 9 August 1943.

It was made up of the following merchant vessels; Alresford (British, 2472 GRT, built 1922), Antilochus (British, 9082 GRT, built 1906), Avon Coast (British, 1036 GRT, built 1923), Baron Fairlie (British, 6706 GRT, built 1925), Baron Forbes (British, 3061 GRT, built 1915), Botlea (British, 5119 GRT, built 1917), British Engineer (British (tanker), 6993 GRT, built 1922), Chloris (British, 1171 GRT, built 1910), Elizabeth Massey (British, 4323 GRT, built 1929), Empire Bardolph (British, 7063 GRT, built 1943), Empire Cabot (British, 6715 GRT, built 1941), Empire Capulet (British, 7044 GRT, built 1943), Empire Chamois (British, 5684 GRT, built 1918), Empire Clarion (British, 7031 GRT, built 1942), Empire Deed (British, 6766 GRT, built 1943), Empire Flame (British, 7069 GRT, built 1941), Empire Porpoise (British, 7592 GRT, built 1918), Empire Prince (British, 7030 GRT, built 1942), Empire Prowess (British, 7058 GRT, built 1943), Empire Rain (British, 7290 GRT, built 1941), Empire Shearwater (British, 4970 GRT, built 1920), English Monarch (British, 4557 GRT, built 1924), Euryades (British, 5801 GRT, built 1913), Facto (Norwegian, 1522 GRT, 1921), Fenad Head (British, 5038 GRT, built 1941), Filleigh (British, 4856 GRT, built 1928), Fort Albany (British, 7131 GRT, built 1943), Fort Ash (British, 7131 GRT, built 1943), Fort Assiniboine (British, 7128 GRT, built 1943), Fort Caribou (British, 7132 GRT, built 1943), Fort Carillon (British, 7129 GRT, built 1943), Fort Connolly (British, 7133 GRT, built 1943), Fort Drew (British, 7134 GRT, built 1943), Fort Fraser (British, 7126 GRT, built 1942), Fort Glenlyon (British, 7132 GRT, built 1943), Fort McLeod (British, 7127 GRT, built 1942), Fort St. Paul (British, 7137 GRT, built 1943), Fort Ville Marie (British, 7122 GRT, built 1941), Greathope (British, 2297 GRT, built 1926), Hilversum (Dutch, 3717 GRT, built 1920), Itinda (British, 6619 GRT, built 1938), Lanrick (British, 1276 GRT, built 1920), Leighton (British, 7412 GRT, built 1921), Lowlander (British, 8059 GRT, built 1925), MacGregor Laird (British, 4992 GRT, built 1930), Neleus (British, 6685 GRT, built 1911), New Brooklyn (British, 6546 GRT, built 1920), Norjerv (Norwegian, 5582 GRT, 1919), Northleigh (British, 5450 GRT, built 1937), Ocean Faith (British, 7174 GRT, built 1942), Ocean Valentine (British, 7174 GRT, built 1942), Penshurst (British, 1454 GRT, built 1921), Peterston (British, 4680 GRT, built 1925), Portsea (British, 1583 GRT, 1938), Selvik (Norwegian, 1557 GRT, built 1920), Solarium (British, 6239 GRT, built 1936), St. Rosado (British, 4312 GRT, built 1937), Tigre (Norwegian, 5498 GRT, built 1926), Trojan Star (British, 9037 GRT, built 1936), Tynemouth (British, 3168 GRT, built 1940), Warfield (British, 6070 GRT, built 1917) and Wayfarer (British, 5068 GRT, built 1925).

The rescue vessel Rathlin (British, 1600 GRT, built 1936) was also part of the convoy.

Also part of the convoy were the boom defence vessels HMS Barndale (T/Lt. R.L. Jones, RNR) and HMS Barnehurst (T/Lt. T. Robb, RNR).

On assembly the convoy was escorted by the frigates HMS Blackwood (Lt.Cdr. L.T. Sly, RD, RNR, with Cdr. E.H. Chavasse, DSC, RN on board as Senior Officer of the Escort Group), HMS Bazely (Lt.Cdr. J.V. Brock, RCNVR), HMS Drury (Lt.Cdr. N.J. Parker, RN), HMS Fal (Lt.Cdr. M.G. Rose, RANVR), HMS Test (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) F.B. Collinson, RD, RNR), HMS Trent (T/A/Lt.Cdr. J.G. Rankin, DSC, RNR), HrMs Johan Maurits van Nassau (Cdr. A. de Booy, RNethN) and the M/S trawlers (for passage to the Mediterranean) HMS Staffa (T/Lt. R.L. Roat, RNVR) and HMS Unst (T/Lt. F.M. Cornall, RNVR).

Around 1700Z/11, in position 51°38'N, 13°14'W, the sloop HMS Stork (Cdr.(Retd.) G.W.E. Castens, RN) joined coming from Londonderry.

Around 1300Z/12, the sloop HMS Redpole (Lt.Cdr. I.M. Carrs, RN) joined the convoy coming from Milford Haven. She had the tanker Empire Bombardier (British (tanker), 8202 GRT, built 1943) with her.

Around 0715Z/13 the light cruiser HMS Bermuda (Capt. T.H. Back, RN) arrived near the convoy to provide cover against surface attack. About an hour later she positioned herself well to the east of the convoy. She left the vicinity of the convoy the following day after the AA cruiser HMS Scylla (Capt. I.A.P. Macintyre, CBE, DSO, RN) had joined around 0535Z/14 in position 43°42'N, 14°15'W. She was stationed inside the convoy for AA protection. During daylight hours, HMS Stork and HMS Redpole were also stationed inside the convoy to provide AA protection with their 4" gun batteries. During the night there were deployed in the A/S screen.

At 0915Z/15, when the convoy was in position 39°40'N, 13°33'W, it was noticed that en enemy FW 200 aircraft was shadowing the convoy.

At 1015Z/15, two FW 200's commenced high level bombing attacks on the convoy but all bombs fell wide.

Around 1745Z/15, the convoy was attacked by (16 to 18) German FW 200 aircraft from 1./KG.40 in position 38°59'N, 12°58'W. The Warfield was heavily damaged and later sank while the Baron Fairlie and Ocean Faith were both damaged. The Baron Fairlie was making water in the engine room. HMS Bazeley remained behind to assist these ships but she later rejoined the convoy. She sank the wreck of the Warfield which was beyond salvage. HMS Bazeley was near missed and slightly damaged but this was not discovered until the ship was docked for inspection.

Around 1200Z/16, HMS Trent was detached to fuel at Casablanca.

Around 2045Z/16, HMS Scylla parted company with the convoy to proceed to Gibraltar where she arrived around 0830B/17.

Around 0600Z/16, HMS Test was detached to fuel at Casablanca.

Around 0900Z/17, the convoy split into convoy OS 53 and KMS 23.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Convoy OS 53, towards Freetown, was made up of the following merchant vessels; Antilochus, Botlea, British Engineer, Empire Bardolph, Empire Bombardier, Empire Cabot, Empire Porpoise, Empire Prowess, English Monarch, Hilversum, Leighton, MacGregor Laird, Neleus, New Brooklyn, Norjerv, Peterston, Solarium, St. Rosario, Trojan Star and Tynemouth.

They were joined by the merchant vessels; Dalcross (British, 4557 GRT, built 1930), Dumfries (British, 5149 GRT, built 1935), Fort Alexandria (British, 7127 GRT, built 1942), Fort Chesterfield (British, 7100 GRT, built 1943), Fort Kootenay (British, 7133 GRT, built 1942), Glaucus (British, 7596 GRT, built 1921), Glenpark (British, 5136 GRT, built 1939), Pentridge Hill (British, 7579 GRT, built 1941), Richmond Hill (British, 7579 GRT, built 1940), Stad Maassluis (Dutch, 6541 GRT, built 1918), Trevaylor (British, 5257 GRT, built 1940) and the boom defence vessel HMS Barbette (Skr.Lt. F. Parsons, RNR) and the rescue tug HMRT Antic which came from Gibraltar which they had departed on the 15th escorted by the destroyers HMS Isis (Cdr. B. Jones, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Anthony (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Wallace, DSC, RN) and the trawler HMS St. Nectan (T/A/Lt.Cdr. T.F. Broadhead, RNR).

The convoy was escorted by HMS Blackwood, HMS Bazeley, HMS Drury, HMS Fal and HMS Johan Maurits van Nassau. HMS Trent and HMS Test latr rejoined from Casablanca on the 18th and 19th of August respectively.

On 17 August 1943, the convoy was joined by the following merchant vessels coming from Casablanca which they had departed the previous day; El-Biar (French, 4678 GRT, built 1927), Finistere (French, 1158 GRT, built 1909), Fort Nakasley (British, 7132 GRT, built 1943) and Montaigne (French, 2770 GRT, built 1920). They were escorted by the patrol vessels USS PC-471 (Lt. G. Washburn, USNR), USS PC-473 (Lt. D.F. Welch, USNR) and USS PC-474 (Lt. A.D. Weekes, Jr., USNR). These patrol vessels did not join the convoy but returned to Casablanca arriving there on the 18th. They had taken the merchant vessel Empire Prowess with them.

Around 1000Z/22, the sloops HMS Enchantress (Cdr. A.E.T. Christie, OBE, DSC, RN), HMS Leith (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) A.W. Preston, RN), HMS Sandwich (T/A/Lt.Cdr. A.J. Clemence, RNR) and the corvette HMS Anchusa (T/Lt. R.A. Baker, RNVR) joined the convoy. HMS Blackwood, HMS Bazeley, HMS Drury and HMS Johan Maurits van Nassau then parted company to proceed to Dakar to fuel where they arrived the following day.

On 23 August 1943, the El-Biar, Finistere and Montaigne arrived at Dakar after having been detached from the convoy. The merchant vessels Fort Vercheres (British, 7128 GRT, 1942) and Thomas Holt (British, 3585 GRT, built 1929) joined the convoy coming from Dakar.

On 24 August 1943, the British Engineer and Empire Bombardier arrived at Bathurst after having been detached from the convoy. The merchant vessel Lida (Polish, 1387 GRT, built 1938) joined the convoy the following day coming from Bathurst.

The convoy arrived at Freetown on 27 August 1943. Not all merchant ships entered Freetown but continued on to their destination independently.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Convoy KMS 23, towards the Mediterranean, was made up of the following merchant vessels; Arlesford, Avon Coast, Baron Fairlie, Baron Forbes, Chloris, Elizabeth Massey, Empire Capulet, Empire Chamois, Empire Clarion, Empire Deed, Empire Flame, Empire Prince, Empire Rain, Empire Shearwater, Euryades, Facto, Fenad Head, Filleigh, Fort Albany, Fort Ash, Fort Assiniboine, Fort Caribou, Fort Carillon, Fort Connolly, Fort Drew, Fort Fraser, Fort Glenyon, Fort McLeod, Fort St. Paul, Fort Ville Marie, Greathope, Itinda, Lanrick, Lowlander, North Leigh, Ocean Faith, Ocean Valentine, Penshurst, Portsea, Selvik, Tigre and Wayfarer.

The rescue vessel Rathlin and the boomb defence vessels HMS Barndale and HMS Barnehurst were also with the convoy.

They were escorted by the destroyers HMS Isis, HMS Anthony, sloops HMS Stork, HMS Redpole, A/S trawler HMS St. Nectan and the M/S trawlers HMS Staffa and HMS Unst. Also joining on the split up of the combined convoy was the Mediterranean escort of the convoy. It had departed Gibraltar on 16 August 1943 and was made up of the sloop HMS Shoreham (Cdr. E. Hewitt, RD, RNR) and the minesweepers HMS Hythe (Lt.Cdr. L.B. Miller, RN), HMS Romney (Lt. W.E. Halbert, RNR), HMS Rye (A/Lt.Cdr. J.A. Pearson, DSC and Bar, RNR), HMS Whitehaven (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) G.W.A.T. Irvine, DSC, RNR), HMAS Gawler (Lt.Cdr.(Emgy.) W.J. Seymour, RAN), HMAS Ipswich (T/Lt.Cdr. J.S. McBryde, RANR(S)), HMAS Lismore (T/Lt. L.C.G. Lever, RANR(S)) and HMAS Maryborough (T/Lt. J.C.P. Boyle, RANR(S)).

On 18 August 1943, the Arlesford, Baron Forbes, Ocean Faith, Selvik, Rathlin, HMS Barndale and HMS Barnehurst arrived at Gibraltar after having been detached from the convoy. From the escort, HMS Isis, HMS Anthony, HMS Stork, HMS Redpole, HMS St. Nectan, HMS Staffa and HMS Unst also arrived at Gibraltar.

On 18 August 1943 the following merchant vessels joined the convoy off Gibraltar; A.C. Bedford (British (tanker), 9485 GRT, built 1918), Balteako (British, 1328 GRT, built 1920), Belnor (Norwegian, 2871 GRT, built 1926), Gulf of Venezuela (American, 6910 GRT, 1919) and Toorak (British (tanker), 8627 GRT, built 1927).

Around 1700B/19, the AA cruiser HMS Carlisle (Capt. H.F. Nalder, RN) joined the convoy coming from Gibraltar which she had departed around 1200B/19. She parted company with the convoy around 0725B/20 to return to Gibraltar where she arrived around 1915B/20.

On 20 August 1943, the Cloris, Elizabeth Massay, Greathope and Gulf of Venezuela arrived at Oran after having been detached from the convoy while the following merchant vessels joined the convoy off Oran; Edward Richardson (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Eildon (British, 1447 GRT, built 1936), Grand Quevilly (French, 2844 GRT, built 1914) and Horace Binney (American, 7191 GRT, built 1942).

Also joining from Oran were the LST's USS LST 17 (Lt. H.B. Gallagher, USCGR), USS LST 21 (Lt. C.M. Brookfield, USCGR), USS LST 25 (Lt. J.P. Houlinan, USCGR), USS LST 72 (Lt. H.A Kaye, USNR), USS LST 73 (Lt. W.K. Bradbury, USNR), USS LST 175 (Lt. E.J. Fitzgerald, USNR), USS LST 176 (Lt.(jg) J.A. Salt, USNR), USS LST 208 (Lt. R.W. Emmons, USNR), USS LST 209 (Lt. F.J. Oberg, USNR) and USS LST 261 (Lt. L.I. Reilley, USCG).

On 21 August 1943, the Avon Coast, Baron Fairlie, Empire Chamois, Empire Flame, Empire Prince, Empire Rain, Facto, Filleigh, Fort Fraser, Grand Quevilly, Lanrick and Penshurst arrived at Algiers after having been detached from the convoy while the following merchant vessels joined the convoy off Algiers; Almenara (British, 1851 GRT, built 1922), Benedict (British, 4949 GRT, built 1930), Cape Sable (British, 4398 GRT, built 1936), Empire Cato (British, 7039 GRT, built 1942), Empire Commerce (British, 3722 GRT, built 1943), Empire Salvage (British (tanker) 10746 GRT, built 1940), Jade (British, 930 GRT, built 1938), Kingsborough (British, 3368 GRT, built 1928), Miriam (British, 1903 GRT, built 1912), Ravens Point (British, 1708 GRT, built 1918) and Ville de Djidjelli (French, 1132 GRT, built 1907).

The submarines HMS Templar (Lt. D.J. Beckley, DSO, RN) and HMS Torbay (Lt. R.J. Clutterbuck, RN) also joined the convoy off Algiers for passage to Malta.

On 22 August 1943, the Fort Ash arrived at Bougie after having been detached from the convoy.

On 22 August 1943, the Benedict, Empire Cato, Fort Albany, Northleigh and Ville de Djidjelli arrived at Philippeville after having been detached from the convoy.

On 22 August 1943, the Empire Clarion, Empire Commerce, Empire Deed, Fenad Head, Fort Caribou, Fort Carillon, Fort Ville Marie and Ravens Point arrived at Philippeville after having been detached from the convoy.

Around 1800B/22, the AA cruiser HMS Colombo (Capt. D.H. Hall-Thompson, RN) joined coming from Bizerta which she had departed around 1000B/22.

On 23 August 1943, the A.C. Bedford, Armenara, Balteako, Edward Richardson, Eildon, Empire Salvage, Horace Binney, Kingsborough, Toorak and all the LST's arrived at Bizerta after having been detached from the convoy.

On 23 August 1943, the Cape Sable arrived at Tunis after having been detached from the convoy.

On 24 August 1943, the Belnor, Empire Shearwater, Fort Connolly, Fort Drew, Fort St. Paul, Jade, Miriam and Ocean Valentine arrived at Tunis after having been detached from the convoy while the following merchant vessels joined the convoy off Algiers; Beacon (American (tanker), 10388 GRT, built 1921), British Vigour (British (tanker), 5844 GRT, built 1943), Good Gulf (Panamanian (tanker), 7805 GRT, built 1938), Meroe (British, 3832 GRT, built 1928), Ovula (Dutch (tanker), 6256 GRT, built 1938), Rancher (British, 5882 GRT, built 1927) and Shirrabank (British, 7274 GRT, built 1940).

The two submarines were detached to Malta.

Around 2230C/26, HMS Colombo parted company with the convoy to proceed to Benghazi.

On 27 August 1943 the merchant vessels Egret (British, 1391 GRT, built 1937) and Trajanus (Dutch, 1712 GRT, built 1930) joined the convoy coming from Benghazi.

On 29 August 1943, the British Vigour, Egret, Euryades, Fort Assiniboine, Lowlander, Meroe, Ovula , Shirrabank and Trajanus arrived at Alexandria after having been detached from the convoy. They were escorted by HMS Shoreham, HMS Hythe, HMS Romney, HMS Whitehaven and HMAS Gawler.

HMAS Lismore proceeded to Haifa where she arrived on 30 August 1943.

The remainder of the convoy arrived at Port Said on 30 August 1943.

12 Aug 1943
HMS H 32 (Lt. J.A.R. Troup, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Leith (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) A.W. Preston, RN), HMS Sandwich (T/A/Lt.Cdr. A.J. Clemence, RNR) and HMS Wrestler (Lt. R.W.B. Lacon, DSC, RN). (14)

22 Nov 1943

Convoy SL 141.

This convoy departed Freetown on 22 November 1943.

On departure from Freetown the convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels; Agia Marina (Greek, 4151 GRT, built 1912), Akaroa (British, 15130 GRT, built 1914), Baron Ruthven (British, 3178 GRT, built 1925), Cape Sable (British, 4398 GRT, built 1936), Conakrian (British, 4876 GRT, built 1937), Dordrecht (Dutch, 4402 GRT, built 1928), Empire Arun (British, 5490 GRT, built 1922), Empire Flamingo (British, 4994 GRT, built 1920), Gascony (British, 4716 GRT, built 1925), Hilversum (Dutch, 3717 GRT, built 1920), Langleebrook (British, 4246 GRT, built 1930), Palembang (Dutch, 7070 GRT, built 1921), Princesa (British, 8731 GRT, built 1918) and Scottish American (British (tanker), 6999 GRT, built 1920).

On departure from Freetown the convoy was 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 corvette HMS Anchusa (T/Lt. R.A. Baker, RNVR).

On 25 November 1943, the merchant vessels Bosphorus (Norwegian, 2111 GRT, built 1934), El-Biar (French, 4678 GRT, built 1927), Empire Buckler (British, 7046 GRT, built 1942) and Marija Petrinovic (Yugoslavian, 5684 GRT, built 1918) departed Dakar to join the convoy.

On 3 December 1943, the merchant vessels Coulmore (British, 3670 GRT, built 1936) and Fort Gibraltar (British, 7134 GRT, built 1942) departed Casablanca to join the convoy. They were escorted to the rendezvous by the minesweeping sloop Commandant Delage and the patrol vessel USS PC-480 (Lt. F.W. Meyers, Jr., USNR) which then returned to Casablanca taking the El-Biar with them.

On 4 December 1943, the convoy merged with convoy MKS 32(G) coming from the Mediterranean.

This convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels; Arlesford (British, 2472 GRT, built 1922), Arawa (British, 14462 GRT, built 1922), Ashbury (British, 3901 GRT, built 1924), Blackheath (British, 4637 GRT, built 1936), Capitaine Paul Lemerle (French, 4945 GRT, built 1925), City of Hongkong (British, 9609 GRT, built 1924), Clan Cameron (British, 7243 GRT, built 1937), Cochrane (British, 7203 GRT, built 1923), Dalcross (British, 4557 GRT, built 1930)), Dalemoor (British, 5835 GRT, built 1922), Empire Derwent (British, 4026 GRT, built 1930), Empire Gold (British (tanker), 8028 GRT, built 1941), Empire Scout (British, 2185 GRT, built 1936), Empire Wolfe (British, 2888 GRT, built 1941), Explorer (British, 6235 GRT, built 1935), Hardingham (British, 7269 GRT, built 1942), Hartbridge (British, 5080 GRT, built 1927), Iris (British (cable ship), 1479 GRT, built 1940), Itinda (British, 6619 GRT, built 1938), Mandalay (British, 5529 GRT, built 1911), Parklaan (Dutch, 3807 GRT, built 1911), Porjus (Swedish, 2965 GRT, built 1906), Recorder (British, 2276 GRT, built 1902) and Socotra (British, 7840 GRT, built 1943).

The rescue ship Bury (British, 1686 GRT, built 1911) was also with the convoy.

The LST's USS LST 5 (Lt. J.F. Lambden Jr., USNR), USS LST 7 (Lt. F. O'Neil, USN), USS LST 306 (Lt. R.H. Kimball, USNR), USS LST 307 (Lt. J.B. Markham, USNR), USS LST 331 (Lt. J. Mazotta, USCG), USS LST 335 (Lt. H.R. Roberts, USNR), USS LST 336 (Lt. D.L. Biberman, USNR), USS LST 369 (Lt. J.P. O'Riorden, USNR), USS LST 388 (Lt. R.S. Browning, USNR), USS LST 391 (Lt. I. Ehrensall, USNR), USS LST 392 (Lt. L.R. Lemaire, Jr., USNR) and USS LST 393 (Lt. W.C. Knight, USNR) also took passage in the convoy.

Convoy MKS 32(G) was escorted by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Ranpura (Capt.(Retd.) H.T.M. Pawsey, RN), sloops HMS Rochester (Cdr. H.V. King, OBE, DSO, RN), HMS Scarborough (Lt.Cdr. E.B. Carnduff, RN), frigate HMS Tavy (T/A/Lt.Cdr. F. Ardern, RNR) and the corvettes HMS Balsam (Lt. J.E.L. Peters, DSC, RNVR), HMS Geranium (T/Lt. A.R.J. Tilston, DSC, RNR) and HMS Mignonette (Lt. H.H. Brown, DSC, RNR).

The original escort of convoy SL 141 then parted company and proceeded to Gibraltar where they arrived on 5 December 1943.

Around 1015Z/6, the escort carrier HMS Fencer (Capt. E.W. Anstice, RN) joined the convoy. She parted company around 0630Z/12 to join the combined convoy Combined convoy OS 61 / KMS 35. She was escorted to the rendezvous with this convoy by HMS Tavy which then parted company to rejoin convoy SL 141 / KMS 32.

The now combined convoy SL 141 / MKS 32 arrived in U.K. waters on 17 December 1943. The Arawa (to Clyde, arrived 14 December 1943) and Socotra (to Liverpool, arrived 12 December 1943) had been detached earlier and proceeded to their respective destinations independently.

9 Dec 1943

Combined convoy OS 61 / KMS 35.

This combined convoy assembled off Oversay on 9 December 1943.

It was made up of the following merchant vessels; Agen (French, 4186 GRT, built 1921), Anglo-Indian (British, 5609 GRT, built 1938), Baron Fairlie (British, 6706 GRT, built 1925), Barrgrove (British, 5222 GRT, built 1918), Barrington Court (British, 4910 GRT, built 1924), Chertsey (British, 6001 GRT, built 1943), Clan MacGillivray (British, 5023 GRT, built 1911), Clan MacIlwraith (British, 4839 GRT, built 1924), Commandant Dorise (British (former French), 5529 GRT, built 1917), Dimitrios Inglessis (Greek, 5275 GRT, built 1918), Drammensfjord (Norwegian, 5339 GRT, built 1920), Empire Austen (British, 7057 GRT, built 1942), Empire Boswell (British, 2898 GRT, built 1942), Empire Gale (British, 7089 GRT, built 1941), Empire Razorbill (British, 5620 GRT, built 1920), Empire Snow (British, 6327 GRT, built 1941), Fairwater (British, 4108 GRT, built 1928), Fort Covington (British, 7130 GRT, built 1943), Fort George (British, 7129 GRT, built 1942), Fort Meductic (British, 7134 GRT, built 1943), Ingleton (British, 7203 GRT, built 1942), Ingman (British, 3149 GRT, built 1907), Johilla (British, 4042 GRT, built 1937), Keilehaven (Dutch, 2968 GRT, built 1919), Kiruna (Swedish, 5484 GRT, built 1921), Linge (Dutch, 2114 GRT, built 1928), Lisbeth (Norwegian, 2732 GRT, built 1922), Madoera (Dutch, 9360 GRT, built 1922), Madras City (British, 5080 GRT, built 1940), Mahanada (British, 8489 GRT, built 1943), Manchester Commerce (British, 5343 GRT, built 1925), Manchester Port (British, 7071 GRT, built 1935), Martand (British, 7967 GRT, built 1939), Melampus (Dutch, 6336 GRT, built 1924), Merton (British, 7195 GRT, built 1941), Ocean Vesper (British, 7174 GRT, built 1942), Sobo (British, 5353 GRT, built 1937), Stad Arnhem (Dutch, 3819 GRT, built 1920), Stanhill (British, 5969 GRT, built 1942), Tactician (British, 5996 GRT, built 1928), Temple Inn (British, 5218 GRT, built 1940), Tiba (Dutch, 5239 GRT, built 1938) and Zypenberg (Dutch, 4973 GRT, built 1920).

The rescue ship Pinto (British, 1346 GRT, built 1928) was also part of the convoy as were three Greek LST's, RHS Lemnos, RHS Lesbos and RHS Samos.

On assembly the convoy was escorted by the destroyer ORP Burza (Kmdr.ppor. (Cdr.) F. Pitulko), cutter HMS Fishguard (Lt. C.D. Smith, DSC, RNR), frigates HMS Inver (Lt.Cdr. F.H. Gray, RNR), HMS Towy (Cdr. M.J Evans, OBE, RN), corvettes HMS Narcissus (T/Lt. G.T.S. Clampitt, RNR), FFS Aconit, FFS Lobelia, FFS Roselys and the A/S trawlers HMS Lady Madeleine (T/Lt. R.C. Heron, RNVR) and HMS Sapper (T/Lt. R.C. Lees, RNR).

The Clan MacGillivray had to return to the U.K. and arrived in the Clyde on 10 December 1943.

On 11 December 1943, the AA ship HMCS Prince Robert (Cdr. A.M. Hope, RCN) joined the convoy coming from Plymouth which she had departed on 10 December.

Around 1245Z/12, the escort carrier HMS Fencer (Capt. E.W. Anstice, RN) joined the convoy having parted company with northbound convoy SL 141 / KMS 32.

On 16 December 1943, HMCS Prince Robert parted company. Also the transport Linge parted company with the convoy to proceed to the Azores. She was escorted by HMS Fishguard. They arrived at the Azores on 18 December 1943.

Around 0535Z/17, HMS Fencer parted company with the convoy to join the combined convoy SL 142 / MKS 33. She joined this combined convoy around 1120Z/17. She had been escorted to the rendezvous by HMS Inver which then parted company to rejoin combined convoy OS 61 / KMS 35.

On 19 December 1943 the convoy split into convoy OS 61 bound for Freetown and convoy KMS 35 bound for the Mediterranean. The merchant vessels Barrington Court, Empire Boswell, Fort Covington and Lisbeth were detached to Lisbon.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Convoy OS 61 was made up of the merchant vessels; Commandant Dorise, Fort George, Kiruna, Merton and Sobo.

They were joined by the following merchant vessels; Baron Stranraer (British, 3668 GRT, built 1929)), Corfirth (British, 1803 GRT, built 1934), Domby (British, 5582 GRT, built 1932), Empire Farmer (British, 7049 GRT, built 1943), Fort Binger (British, 5671 GRT, built 1919), Fort Charnisay (British, 7133 GRT, built 1943), Fort Finlay (British, 7134 GRT, built 1942), Fort Yale (British, 7132 GRT, built 1942), Marrakech (French, 6179 GRT, built 1914), Middlesex Trader (British, 7421GRT, built 1942), Nairnbank (British, 5155 GRT, built 1925), Orient City (British, 5095 GRT, built 1940), Silverash (British, 7750 GRT, built 1926) and Tynebank (British, 4651 GRT, built 1922) which came from Gibraltar which they had departed Gibraltar on 19 December 1943 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 corvette HMS Anchusa (T/Lt. R.A. Baker, RNVR) which now took over the escort of convoy convoy OS 61.

On 21 December 1943, the merchant vessels Chelma (French, 4968 GRT, built 1920), El-Biar (French, 4678 GRT, built 1927) and Montaigne (French, 2770 GRT, built 1920) joined coming from Casablanca which they had departed on 20 December 1943. The Corfirth, Fort George and Kiruna were then detached to Casablanca where they arrived on 22 December 1943.

On 26 December 1943, the Chelma, Marrakech, Montaigne and Tynebank arrived at Dakar after having been detached from the convoy while the merchant vessel Canada (French, 9684 GRT, built 1912) and the minesweeping sloop Gazelle departed Dakar to join the convoy.

The convoy arrived at Freetown on 29 December 1943. Some ships of the convoy did not enter Freetown but proceed directly to other destinations.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Convoy KMS 35 was made up of the merchant vessels; Agen, Anglo-Indian, Baron Fairlie, Barrgrove, Chertsey, Clan MacIlwraith, Dimitrios Inglessis, Drammensfjord, Empire Austen, Empire Gale, Empire Razorbill, Empire Snow, Fairwater, Fort Meductic, Ingleton, Ingman, Johilla, Keilehaven, Madoera, Madras City, Mahanada, Manchester Commerce, Manchester Port, Martand, Melampus, Ocean Vesper, Stad Arnhem, Stanhill, Tactician, Temple Inn, Tiba and Zypenberg.

The Pinto and the three Greek LST's, RHS Lemnos, RHS Lesbos and RHS Samos were also part of this convoy.

On 21 December 1943, the following ships; Agen, Barrgrove, Ingman, Pinto, RHS Lemnos, RHS Lesbos and RHS Samos arrived at Gibraltar after having parted company with the convoy as did the original escort. [It is possible several other ships of the convoy made a short stop at Gibraltar.]

Early on 22 December 1943, the three Greek LST's and the merchant vessels Colytto (Dutch, 4408 GRT, built 1926), Djebel Aures (French, 2835 GRT, built 1929), Empire Pierrot (British (tug), 232 GRT, built 1943), Fomalhaut (French, 5795 GRT, built 1936), Haakon Hauan (Norwegian (tanker), 6582 GRT, built 1935), Harry A. Garfield (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Stal (British (former Danish), 2242 GRT, built 1921), Vera Radcliffe (British, 5587 GRT, built 1925) and Zena (British, 1416 GRT, built 1911) departed Gibraltar to (re)join the convoy. Also joining were the submarine tender Jules Verne, RFA salvage vessel Salvage Duke, rescue tug HMRT Mindful and the submarine HMS Sea Rover (Lt. J.P. Angell, RN). A new escort group also joined, made up of the frigates HMS Dart (Cdr. J.T. Jones, RD, RNR), HMS Inver, corvettes HMS Gloxinia (Lt. M.C. English, RNR), HMS Primula (Lt. G.H. Taylor, RNR), A/S trawler HMS Wolborough (T/Lt. G.A. Hartnell, RNR) and the A/S whaler HMSAS Southern Maid (?). Additional escorts were the AA cruiser HMS Colombo (Capt. D.H. Hall-Thompson, RN), cutter HMS Fishguard (Lt. C.D. Smith, DSC, RNR), minesweepers HMS Rosario (A/Cdr. F.E. Brooking, RN), HMS Waterwitch (Lt.Cdr. D.S. Campbell, RNVR), patrol vessel / sloop Amiral Mouchez and the A/S trawler La Setoise.

On 23 December 1943, the following ships; Dimitrios Inglessis, Haakon Hauan, Stad Arnhem, Vera Radcliffe and Zypenberg were detached to Oran, as were the Amiral Mouchez and La Setoise, while the following merchant vessels; George Dewey (American, 7225 GRT, built 1943), George Matthews (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Hilary A. Herbert (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), James G. Birney (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Loke (Norwegian, 2421 GRT, built 1915), Paul Hamilton (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942) and William Patterson (American, 7191 GRT, built 1942) joined the convoy coming from Oran. Also joining from Oran was the salvage vessel USS Tackle (Lt. J.M. Gillespie , USNR).

On 24 December 1943, the following ships; were detached to Djebel Aures, Empire Austen, Empire Razorill, Fort Meductic, Madras City and Temple Inn to Algiers as were the Jules Verne, HMS Salvage Duke and the USS Tackle. The following ships joined the convoy of Algiers; Dallington Court (British, 6889 GRT, built 1929), Empire Bairn (British (tanker), 813 GRT, built 1941), Empire Summer (British, 6949 GRT, built 1941), Esneh (British, 1931 GRT, built 1919), Harald (British, 1970 GRT, built 1903), Ile de Brehat (French, 6176 GRT, built 1919), Kosciuszko (Polish, 6852 GRT, built 1915), Loriga (British, 6665 GRT, built 1919) and Norbris (Panamanian (tanker), 7619 GRT, built 1930). The LST HMS LST 324 (T/A/Lt.Cdr. A.J. Bell, RNR) also joined the convoy.

On 25 December 1943, the merchant vessel Empire Tana () joined the convoy off Bougie.

Later on 25 December 1943, the merchant vessels Riverton (British, 7307 GRT, built 1943) and Van der Capelle (Dutch, 7037 GRT, built 1942) joined the convoy off Bougie.

Also on 25 December 1943, the Harry A. Garfield, Ingleton, Stal and Tiba were detached off Bone as was the rescue tug HMRT Mindful while the following merchant vessels joined the convoy coming from Bone; Empire Damsel (British (tanker), 784 GRT, built 1942), Ocean Stranger (British, 7178 GRT, built 1942), Star (Norwegian, 1531 GRT, built 1922) and Tintern Abbey (British, 2471 GRT, built 1939).

On 26 December 1943, the merchant vessels Harald, Keilehaven, Loke and Paul Hamilton parted company with the convoy off Bizerta as did HMS Colombo, HMS LST 324, RHS Lemnos, RHS Lesbos and RHS Samos.

The following merchant vessels joined the convoy off Bizerta; Benjamin Goodhue (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Empire Opal (British (tanker), 9811 GRT, built 1941), Joseph Hewes (American, 7177 GRT, built 1942), Mannington (British, 1127 GRT, built 1943), Theodore Foster (American, 7191 GRT, built 1942) and Ugo Fiorelli (Italian, 1600 GRT, built 1943) as did the buoy tender Sunflower (American, 1100 GRT, built 1907).

The Empire Damsel and Sunflower were subsequently detached to Porto Empedocle on the south coast of Sicily.

On 27 December 1943, the merchant vessels Drammensfjord, Kosciuszko and Manchester Port were detached to Malta as was the minesweeper HMS Waterwitch while the merchant vessels Bantria (British, 2407 GRT, built 1928) and Forthbank (British, 5057 GRT, 1929) joined the convoy.

On 27 December 1943 the following merchant vessels departed Augusta to join the convoy; Aelbert Cuyp (Dutch, 7086 GRT, built 1942), Berkel (Dutch, 2130 GRT, built 1930), Clan Murdoch (British, 5950 GRT, built 1919), Crista (British, 2590 GRT, built 1938), Empire Addison (British, 7010 GRT, built 1942), Empire Capulet (British, 7044 GRT, built 1943), Empire Daring (British, 7059 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 Caribou (British, 7132 GRT, built 1943), Fort Erie (British, 7128 GRT, built 1943), Fort Frederick (British, 7135 GRT, built 1942), Fort Nashwaak (British, 7134 GRT, built 1943), Fort St. Paul (British, 7137 GRT, built 1943), Ocean Liberty (British, 7174 GRT, built 1942), Sambrake (British, 7219 GRT, built 1943) and Sofala (British, 1031 GRT, built 1937).

On 28 December 1943, the following merchant vessels arrived at Augusta after having parted company with the convoy; Baron Fairlie, Benjamin Goodhue, Chertsey, Colytto, Empire Bairn, Empire Gale, Empire Snow, Empire Summer, Empire Tana, Esneh, Fairwater, Fomalhaut, George Dewey, George Matthews, Hilary A. Herbert, Ile de Brehat, James G. Birney, Joseph Hewes, Loriga, Mannington, Manchester Commerce, Norbris, Ocean Stranger, Ocean Vesper, Riverton, Stanhill, Star, Theodore Foster, Tintern Abbey, Ugo Fiorelli, Van der Capelle, William Patterson and Zena.

On 30 December 1943, HMS Inver arrived at Tobruk after having been detached from the convoy.

On 31 December 1943, the following merchant vessels Aelbert Cuyp, Bantria, Berkel, Crista, Empire Capulet, Empire Daring, Empire Glory, Fort Ash, Fort Erie, Fort Nashwaak, Sambrake and Sofala were detached to Alexandria as were HMS Gloxinia, HMS Fishguard, HMS Rosario, HMS Wolborough and HMSAS Southern Maid.

The remainder of the convoy arrived at Port Said on 1 January 1944 after which the two remaining escorts, HMS Dart and HMS Primula proceeded to Haifa.

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.

11 Feb 1944

Convoy SL 149.

This convoy departed Freetown on 11 February 1944.

On departure from Freetown the convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels; Ann Stathatos (Greek, 5685 GRT , built 1918), Baron Fairlie (British, 6706 GRT, built 1925), Bosphorus (Norwegian, 2111 GRT, built 1934), Dan-Y-Bryn (British, 5117 GRT, built 1940), Empire Farmer (British, 7049 GRT, built 1943), Empire Lightning (British, 6942 GRT, built 1940), Flimston (British, 4674 GRT, built 1925), Fort Charnisay (British, 7133 GRT, built 1943), Fort Yale (British, 7132 GRT, built 1942), Kong Haakon VII (Norwegian, 7073 GRT, built 1942), Mary Kingsley (British, 5021 GRT, built 1930), Middlesex Trader (British, 7421GRT, built 1942), Nicolaou Virginia (Greek, 6869 GRT, built 1920), Olaf Bergh (Norwegian, 5811 GRT, built 1921), Ragnhildsholm (Swedish, 2818 GRT, built 1929), Riley (British, 4993 GRT, built 1936), St. Clears (British, 4312 GRT, built 1936), Tynebank (British, 4651 GRT, built 1922), William Hawkins (American, 7177 GRT, built 1942) and Zarembo (American, 4957 GRT, built 1919).

On departure from Freetown the convoy was escorted by the sloops HMS Leith (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) A.W. Preston, RN), HMS Sandwich (T/A/Lt.Cdr. A.J. Clemence, RNR), corvette HMS Anchusa (T/Lt. R.A. Baker, RNVR) and the patrol vessels HMS Kildwick (T/Lt. P. Pannell, RNVR) and HMS Kilkenzie (T/Lt. B.C. Sheen, RNVR). The A/S trawler HMS Yestor (T/Lt. H. Sidmouth-Willing, DSC, RNVR) and the M/S trawler HMS Copinsay (Skr. J.A. MacTean, RNR) were with the convoy of the day of the convoys departure only.

On 14 February 1944, the merchant vessels Bactria (British, 2407 GRT, built 1928), Canada (French, 9684 GRT, built 1912), Danae II (British, 2660 GRT, built 1936), Fort Archambault (French, 5549 GRT, built 1918) and the coastal transport RHS APc-75 (?) departed Dakar to join the convoy. With them was the minesweeping sloop Gazelle which also joined the convoy.

At some point, presumably not too long after departure from Freetown, the William Hawkins and Zarembo were detached to Trinidad.

On 15 February 1944, the Olaf Bergh arrived at Dakar after having been detached from the convoy.

Also on 15 February 1944, HMS Kildwick and HMS Kilkenzie arrived at Freetown after having been detached from the convoy the previous day.

On 21 February 1944, the mechant vessel Empire Tana (British, 6148 GRT, built 1923) departed Casablanca to join the convoy which she did the following day. She was escorted by the patrol vessels USS PC-475 (Lt. W.W. Devine, Jr., USNR) and USS PC-481 (Lt. D.W. Hunter, USNR).

On 22 February 1944, the Canada and the Fort Archambault were detached to Casablanca with the Gazelle, USS PC-475 and USS PC-481. They arrived at Casablanca on 23 February 1944.

On 22 February 1944, the convoy merged with convoy MKS 40(G) coming from the Mediterranean.

This convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels; Baron Ramsay (British, 3650 GRT, built 1929), Baron Ruthven (British, 3178 GRT, built 1925), City of Christiania (British, 4940 GRT, built 1921), City of Durban (British, 5945 GRT, built 1921), City of Lancaster (British, 3041 GRT, built 1924), Clan MacInnes (British, 4672 GRT, built 1920), Cydonia (British, 3517 GRT, built 1927), Director (British, 5107 GRT, built 1926), Drammensford (Norwegian, 5329 GRT, built 1920), Dromore (British, 4096 GRT, built 1920), Empire Deed (British, 6766 GRT, built 1943), Empire Snow (British, 6327 GRT, built 1941), Finland (British, 1375 GRT, built 1939), Flaminian (British, 2711 GRT, built 1917), Gatineau Park (Canadian, 7128 GRT, built 1942), Jersey Hart (British, 7275 GRT, built 1943), Lornaston (British, 4934 GRT, built 1925), Mariposa (British, 3702 GRT, built 1914), Marita (Norwegian, 1931 GRT, built 1919), Mathura (British, 8890 GRT, built 1920), North Devon (British, 3658 GRT, built 1924), Rideau Park (Canadian, 7134 GRT, built 1943), Samark (British, 7219 GRT, built 1943), Sambut (British, 7219 GRT, built 1943), Samzona (British, 7219 GRT, built 1943), Scottish Monarch (British, 7004 GRT, built 1943) and Shahzada (British, 5454 GRT, built 1942). With these ships were also the LST's HMS LST 324 (T/A/Lt.Cdr. A.J. Bell, RNR), HMS LST 362 (Lt.Cdr. Reginald Harry Andrew Clark, RD, RNR), HMS LST 413 (T/A/Lt.Cdr. R.J.W. Crowdy, RNVR) and HMS LST 427 (T/Lt. W.R.G. Carling, RNR).

The rescue ship Accrington (British, 1678 GRT, built 1910) was also with this convoy.

Convoy MKS 40(G) was escorted by the 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), frigate HMS Tavy (T/A/Lt.Cdr. F. Ardern, RNR) and the corvettes HMS Geranium (T/Lt. G. Wallace, RNR), HMS Mignonette (Lt. H.H. Brown, DSC, RNR). The damaged escort destroyer HMS Rockwood (Lt. S.R. Le H. Lombard-Hobson, RN) was also with the convoy for passage to the U.K. where she was to undergo repairs. She had only one engine available.

The original escort of convoy SL 149 and APc-75 then parted company and proceeded to Gibraltar where they arrived on 24 February 1944.

Around 1500N/26, the escort carrier HMS Fencer (A/Capt. W.W.R. Bentinck, OBE, RN) joined the convoy.

On 1 March 1944, the four LST's, HMS LST 324, HMS LST 362, HMS LST 413 and HMS LST 427 were detached to Plymouth escorted by HMS Rockwood.

Around 0350A/2, the German submarine U-744 fired a salvo of four torpedoes in position 48°00'N, 17°23'W at what was thought to be a convoy of four tankers. It was thought that three of the tankers were hit and sunk but in fact only one ship HMS LST 362 was hit. The LST broke in two with the fore part sinking immediately without any survivors from that part. The after part remained afloat for a while and 73 surivors, on of which later died, were picked up by HMS LST 324. The U-boat was then attacked with depth charges by HMS Rockwood. The U-boat then fired a gnat, acoustic homing torpedo at the escort destroyer but this missed, most likely due to the limited speed of the escort destroyer which had only one engine operational. HMS Rockwood later picked up another 22 surivivors of which unfortunately two later died.

At 0700A/2, HMS Tavy was detached from the convoy to proceed to the aid of the detached LST's and HMS Rockwood. Also aircraft from HMS Fencer were sent to the area of the attack.

The remainder of the convoy arrived in U.K. waters on 6/7 March 1944. The Jersey Hart had been detached en-route [no further details currently available].

11 Apr 1944
HMS Vampire (Lt. C.W. Taylor, RNR) conducted A/S exercises off Gibraltar with HMS Leith (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) A.W. Preston, RN), HMS Sandwich (T/A/Lt.Cdr. A.J. Clemence, RNR), HMS Versatile (Lt. G.C. Potter, DSC, RN) and HMS Columbine (T/Lt. J.C. Grose, RNR). (15)

14 May 1944

Combined convoy OS 77 / KMS 51.

This combined convoy was assembled off Oversay on 14 May 1944.

It was made up of the following merchant vessels; Afghanistan (British, 6992 GRT, built 1940), Amstelkerk (Dutch, 4457 GRT, built 1929), Badjestan (British, 5573 GRT, built 1928), Beckenham (British, 4636 GRT, built 1937), Belgian Trader (British, 2890 GRT, built 1942), Biafra (British, 5405 GRT, built 1933), City of Khios (British, 5574 GRT, built 1925), Cragpool (British 5133 GRT, built 1928), Defender (British, 8078 GRT, built 1915), Drakepool (British, 4838 GRT, built 1924), Dunelmia (British, 5207 GRT, built 1929), Eloy Alfaro (American, 7176 GRT, built 1944), Empire Caxton (British, 2873 GRT, built 1942), Empire Foam (British, 7047 GRT, built 1941), Empire Mariott (British, 5970 GRT, built 1941), Fort Tadoussac (British, 7129 GRT, built 1941), Gascony (British, 4716 GRT, built 1925), King Frederick (British, 5106 GRT, built 1920), Madras City (British, 5080 GRT, built 1940), Marquesa (British, 8979 GRT, built 1918), Menelaus (British, 10307 GRT, built 1923), Mount Rhodope (Greek, 5182 GRT, built 1919), Nairnbank (British, 5155 GRT, built 1925), New Brooklyn (British, 6546 GRT, built 1920), Norbryn (Norwegian, 5089 GRT, built 1922), Nordeflinge (British, 2873 GRT, built 1942), Pendeen (British, 4174 GRT, built 1923), Port Darwin (British, 8063 GRT, built 1918), Stad Arnhem (Dutch, 3819 GRT, built 1920), Stanhope (British, 2337 GRT, built 1919), Tiba (Dutch, 5239 GRT, built 1938) and Tjimanoek (Dutch, 5628 GRT, built 1911).

The rescue ship Melrose Abbey (British, 1924 GRT, built 1929) was also part of the convoy.

On assembly off Oversay the convoy was escorted by the escort carriers HMS Attacker (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, DSO, MVO, RAN), HMS Hunter (Capt. H.H. McWilliam, RN), HMS Stalker (Capt. H.S. Murray-Smith, RN), frigates HMS Towy (Cdr. H.V. King, DSO, OBE, RN), HMS Anguilla (T/A/Lt.Cdr. C. Morrison-Payne, RNVR), HMS Antigua (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) D.F. White, RNR) and the corvettes HMS Knaresborough Castle (Lt. J.R. Freeman, RNR), HMS Tintagel Castle (Lt. R. Atkinson, DSC and Bar, RNR) and HMS Smilax (Lt. A. Branson, RNR). Additional escorts were the frigates HMCS Matane (A/Cdr. A.F.C. Layard, DSO, RN), HMCS Stormont (T/Skr.Lt. G.A. Myra, RCNR) and HMCS Swansea (A/Cdr. C.A. King, DSO, DSC, RCNR). These additional escorts remained with the convoy until 19 May.

The Stanhope was detached to return to the U.K. on the 16th being unable to keep up with the convoy.

On 15 May 1944, the frigate HMS Jed (Lt.Cdr. R.S. Miller, DSC, RNR) departed Londonderry to overtake and join the convoy.

On 17 May 1944, the corvette HMS Leeds Castle (T/A/Lt.Cdr. W.T. Hodson, DSC, RNVR) departed Londonderry to overtake and join the convoy.

The escort oiler Esturia (ritish (tanker), 6968 GRT, built 1914) later joined the convoy at sea. She came from the combined convoy SL 157 / MKS 48.

On 24 May 1944, the convoy split into convoy OS 77 bound for Freetown and convoy KMS 51 bound for the Mediterranean.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Convoy OS 77 towards Freetown was made up of the following merchant vessels; Amstelkerk, Dunelmia, Marquesa, Menelaus, Mount Rhodope, Nairnbank, New Brooklyn and Port Darwin.

On 23 May 1944, the following merchant vessels departed Gibraltar to join the convoy when it split up; Domby (British, 5582 GRT, built 1932), Empire Glen (British, 6316 GRT, built 1941), Empire Guinevere (British, 7072 GRT, built 1942), Empire Southey (British, 7041 GRT, built 1942), Fort Paskoyac (British, 7134 GRT, built 1934), Harmattan (British, 4558 GRT, built 1930), Van Ostade (Dutch, 2890 GRT, built 1942) and Zypenberg (Dutch, 4973 GRT, built 1920). They were escorted by the sloops HMS Leith (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) A.W. Preston, RN) and HMS Sandwich (T/A/Lt.Cdr. A.J. Clemence, RNR) which joined the convoy and took over from the original escorts.

On 23 May 1944, the following merchant vessels departed Gibraltar to join the convoy when it split up; Empire Archer (British, 7031 GRT, built 1942), Empire Dickens (British (tanker), 9819 GRT, built 1942) Empire Duchess (British, 7067 GRT, built 1943), Finistere (French, 1158 GRT, built 1909), Fort Ash (British, 7131 GRT, built 1943), Fort Glenora (British, 7126 GRT, built 1943), Medie II (French, 5078 GRT, built 1922) and President de Vogue (Norwegian (tanker), 9320 GRT, built 1935). They were escorted by the patrol vessel / sloop Amiral Mouchez, minesweeping sloops La Gracieuse and the patrol vessels USS PC-473 (Lt. A.W. Silverstein, USNR) and USS PC-482 (Lt. D.W. Hunter, USNR). These escorts did not join the convoy but set course to return to Casablanca. The six transports joined convoy OS 77 while the two tankers joined convoy KMS 51.

On 24 May 1944, the patrol vessel HMS Kilmartin (T/Lt. E.H.G. Hope, RNVR) departed Casablanca to join the convoy.

On 30 May 1944, the following transports departed Dakar to join the convoy; Tynemouth (British, 3168 GRT, built 1940), Vendome (French, 4192 GRT, built 1920) and Vinriver (British, 3881 GRT, built 1917). They were escorted by the corvette Commandant Drogou and the minesweeping sloops Annamite and Chevreul. These escorts did not join the convoy but proceeded to Dakar taking the transports Empire Southey, Finistere, Medie II and Nairnbank with them.

Convoy OS 77 arrived at Freetown 2 June 1944. Some ships from the convoy did not enter Freetown but continued on to their destinations independently and some ships of the convoy had already been detached before reaching Freetown.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Convoy KMS 51 towards the Mediterranean was made up of the following merchant vessels; Afghanistan, Bajestan, Beckenham, Belgian Trader, Biafra, City of Khios, Cragpool, Defender, Drakepool, Dunelmia, Eloy Alfaro, Empire Caxton, Empire Foam, Empire Mariott, Esturia, Fort Tadoussac, Gascony, King Frederick, Madras City, Melrose Abbey, Norbryn, Nordeflinge, Pendeen, Stad Arnhem, Tiba and Tjimanoek. The tankers Empire Dickens and President de Vogue had joined from Casablanca [see above].

The convoy was escorted by HMS Attacker, HMS Hunter, HMS Stalker, HMS Tovy, HMS Anguilla, HMS Antigua, HMS Knaresborough Castle, HMS Leeds Castle, HMS Tintagel Castle and HMS Smilax.

The entire convoy arrived at Gibraltar on 25 May 1944.

The convoy continued its passage on 28 May 1944. It was now made up of the following ships; Afghanistan, Bajestan, Beckenham, Belgian Trader, Charles A. Wickliffe (American, 7218 GRT, built 1943), City of Khios, Cragpool, Defender, Eloy Alfaro, Empire Caxton, Empire Foam, Empire Gareth (British, 2847 GRT, built 1942), Empire Mariott, Empire Strength (British, 7355 GRT, built 1942), Fort Tadoussac, Gascony, Hopestar (British, 5267 GRT, built 1936), King Frederick, Madras City, Norbryn, Nordeflinge, President de Vogue, Robert Howe (American, 7177 GRT, built 1943), Stad Arnhem, Tiba and Tjimanoek.

The submarines HMS Trenchant (Lt.Cdr. A.R. Hezlet, DSC, RN), HMS Vivid (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN), Junon and Atalante were also tanking passage eastwards in this convoy.

The convoy was now escorted by the frigate HMS Usk (Lt.Cdr. R.M. Pattinson, DSC, RD, RNR), corvettes HMS Delphinium (Cdr. V.F. Smith, DSO, RD, RNR), HMS Hyderabad (Lt. G.H. Taylor, RNR), KB Nada [Yugoslavian corvette] and the auxiliary A/S whalers HMSAS Protea (Lt. A. Thomas, DSC, SANF) and HMSAS Southern Sea (Lt.Cdr. M.R.J. Terry-Lloyd, SANF). The destroyer L'Alcyon was also with the convoy.

On 29 May 1944, the following ships were detached to Oran; Empire Gareth, Norbryn, Stad Arnhem and the submarine Atalante while the following ships joined the convoy coming from Oran; Albert A. Michelson (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Askeladden (Norwegian, 2496 GRT, built 1920), Dwight W. Morrow (American, 7225 GRT, built 1943), Edward H. Crockett (American, 7176 GRT, built 1944), George W. McCrary (American, 7181 GRT, built 1942), James Jackson (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), John S. Casement (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), John S. Pillsbury (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), John Sergeant (American, 7191 GRT, built 1942), Palermo (British, 2797 GRT, built 1938) and William Blount (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942).

On 30 May 1944, the following ships were detached to Algiers; Belgian Trader, Cragpool, Edward H. Crockett, Empire Caxton, Empire Foam, Empire Strenght, Palermo, Mount Blount and the submarine Junon while the following ships joined the convoy coming from Algiers; Andrew Pickens (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Campidoglio (Italian, 3702 GRT, built 1910), Chiswick (British, 6006 GRT, built 1943), Empire Clarion (British, 7031 GRT, built 1942), Fort Gaspereau (British, 7134 GRT, built 1943), Fort Marin (British, 7159 GRT, built 1943), John Murray Forbes (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Louis McLane (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Marathon (Norwegian, 7208 GRT, built 1930), Monte Grappa (Italian, 834 GRT, built 1943), Ocean Gallant (British, 7178 GRT, built 1942), Samoa (British, 7219 GRT, built 1943), Samsteel (British, 7219 GRT, built 1943), Stancleeve (British, 5970 GRT, built 1942), Star (Norwegian, 1531 GRT, built 1922) and Titus (Dutch, 1712 GRT, built 1930).

On 31 May 1944, the convoy was attacked by 41 German Ju-88 aircraft from II./KG.76 I. and III./KG 77 operating from Southern France. The Nordeflinge was hit by bombs and sank in position 37°02'N, 03°47'E.

On 31 May 1944, the Montegrappa arrived at Bougie after having been detached from the convoy.

On 1 June 1944, the Askeladden arrived at Bone after having been detached from the convoy while the following ships joined the convoy coming from Bone; Abel Stearns (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Iceland (British, 1236 GRT, built 1914), Ocean Rider (British, 7178 GRT, built 1942), Ocean Traveller (British, 7178 GRT, built 1942), Sampan (British, 7219 GRT, built 1943) and Samphire (British, 7219 GRT, built 1943).

On 1 June 1944, the following ships were detached to Bizerta; Badjestan, John S. Casement, John Sergeant, Titus and the destroyer L'Alcyon while the following ships joined the convoy coming from Bizerta; Facto (Norwegian, 1522 GRT, 1921), George Davis (American, 7177 GRT, built 1942), George Handley (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), John B. Hood (American, 7196 GRT, built 1942), John Cropper (American, 7177 GRT, built 1942), Kemp P. Battle (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Laurent Meeus (Belgian (tanker), 6429 GRT, built 1930), Lincoln Steffens (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Marion McKinley Bovard (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942) and Samuel Griffin (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942).

Early on 2 June 1944, the convoy merged with convoy UGS 42.

Convoy KMS 51 was at that moment made up of the following ships; Abel Stearns, Afghanistan, Albert A. Michelson, Andrew Pickens, Beckenham, Campidoglio, Charles A. Wickliffe, Chiswick, City of Khios, Defender, Dwight W. Morrow, Eloy Alfaro, Empire Clarion, Empire Mariott, Facto, Fort Gaspereau, Fort Marin, Fort Tadoussac, Gascony, George Davis, George Handley, George W. McCrary, Hopestar, Iceland, James Jackson, John B. Hood, John Cropper, John Murray Forbes, John S. Pillsbury, Kemp P. Battle, King Frederic, King S. Woolsey, Laurent Meeus, Lincoln Steffens, Louis McLane, Madras City, Marathon, Marion McKinley Bovard, Ocean Gallant, Ocean Rider, Ocean Traveller, President de Vogue, Robert Howe, Samoa, Sampan, Samphire, Samsteel, Samuel Griffin, Stancleeve, Star, Tiba and Tjimanoek.

The submarines HMS Traveller and HMS Vivid were also part of the convoy.

They were escorted by the frigates HMS Jed, HMS Usk, corvettes HMS Delphinium, HMS Hyderabad, HMS Smilax and the auxiliary A/S whalers HMSAS Protea and HMSAS Southern Sea.

20 Jul 1944

Convoy SL 165.

This convoy departed Freetown on 20 July 1944.

On departure from Freetown the convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels; Amstelkerk (Dutch, 4457 GRT, built 1929), Auretta (British, 4564 GRT, built 1935), Biafra (British, 5405 GRT, built 1933), Bradburn (British, 4736 GRT, built 1930), Brighton (British, 5359 GRT, built 1928), Congonian (British, 5065 GRT, built 1936), David Livingstone (British, 5013 GRT, built 1930), Empire Bardolph (British, 7063 GRT, built 1943), Empire Geraint (British, 6991 GRT, built 194), Empire Scott (British, 6150 GRT, built 1941), Empire Shearwater (British, 4970 GRT, built 1920), Fort Sakisdac (British, 7160 GRT, built 1943), Gabon (Norwegian, 4651 GRT, built 1931), John Laurance (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942) Langleetarn (British, 4908 GRT, built 1929), Nigerstroom (Dutch, 4639 GRT, built 1939), Stuyvesant (Dutch, 4249 GRT, built 1918) and Taranaki (British, 10534 GRT, built 1928).

On departure from Freetown the convoy was escorted by the sloop HMS Leith (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) A.W. Preston, RN) and the patrol vessels HMS Kilmarnock (T/A/Lt.Cdr. K.B. Brown, RNVR) and HMS Kilmartin (T/Lt. E.H.G. Hope, RNVR). Around 0700Z/23, in position 14°29'N, 18°05'W, the following merchant vessels joined the convoy coming from Dakar; Cap Cantin (British (former French), 3317 GRT, built 1933), Medie II (French, 5078 GRT, built 1922) and Stal (British (former Danish), 2242 GRT, built 1921). They were escorted to the rendezvous by the motor launch HMML 244 which then returned to Dakar at 0745Z/23 taking the merchant vessels Biafra and John Laurance with her.

The merchant vessel Norman Star (British, 6817 GRT, built 1919) was also to have joined with the Dakar section but she was delayed and joined later at sea, around 1600Z/23 in position 15°27'N, 18°00'W.

Around 0800Z/23, the Bathurst section of the convoy joined in position 14°36'N, 18°05'W. This was made up of the fleet tenders HM FT 1 and HM FT 10. HM FT 9 was also to have joined but she was unable to leave Bathust while HM FT 4 did leave but had to return with engine defects. HM FT 1 and HM FT 10 were escorted to the rendezvous by the patrol vessel HMS Kilchatten (T/Lt. D.M. Edwards, DSC, RNR) which did not join the convoy but set course to proceed to Freetown.

On the 25th, HM FT 10 straggled from the convoy and was unable to rejoin. She arrived at Casablanca on 1 August 1944.

On the 28th, HM FT 1 straggled from the convoy and was unable to rejoin. She was ordered to proceed to Casablanca. She arrived at Casablanca on 1 August 1944.

At 1015Z/30, in position 31°41'N, 12°03'W, the Cap Cantin was detached to proceed unescorted to Casablanca due to a medical problem on board. She arrived at Casablanca the following day.

Around 0900Z/31, in position 34°24'N, 11°09'W, the Medie II was detached to Casablanca where she arrived on 1 August escorted by the the minesweeping sloop Commandant Delage and the patrol vessel Le Ruse. These escorts had brought out the merchant vessel Harberton (British, 4585 GRT, built 1930) with them which joined the convoy at the same time the Medie II had been detached.

At 1401Z/31, in approximate position 35°03'N, 11°02'W, HMS Kilmartin was detached to Casablanca where they arrived on 1 August 1944.

At 1418Z/31, in approximate position 35°03'N, 11°02'W, HMS Kilmarnock parted company to proceed to Gibraltar taking the Brigthon with her. They arrived at Gibraltar on 1 August 1944.

Also around this time (1400Z/31), convoy MKS 56 joined in approximate position 35°03'N, 11°02'W coming from the Mediterranean. This convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels; Algonquin Park (Canadian, 7130 GRT, 1942), Avristan (British, 7266 GRT, built 1942), Empire Confidence (British, 5023 GRT, built 1925), Empire Trent (British, 5006 GRT, built 1927), Empire Wycliff (British, 6966 GRT, built 1941), Framlington Court (British, 4888 GRT, built 1924), Glaisdale (British, 3777 GRT, built 1929), Jobshaven (Dutch, 3528 GRT, built 1916), Samana (British, 7219 GRT, built 1943), Sambur (British, 7219 GRT, built 1943), Samcleve (British, 7219 GRT, built 1943) and Wanderer (British, 5079 GRT, built 1925).

The auxiliary minelayer HMS Teviotbank (Cdr.(Retd.) R.D. King-Harman, DSO, DSC and Bar, RN), submarine HMS Tactician (Lt.Cdr. A.F. Collett, DSC and Bar, RN), escort oiler San Tirso (British (tanker), 6266 GRT, built 1913) and rescue vessel Gothland (British, 1286 GRT, built 1932) were also part of convoy MKS 56 and joined the convoy.

The escort of convoy MKS 56 was made up of the destroyer HMS Hesperus (Cdr. G.V. Legassick, RD, RNR), frigates HMS Cotton (Lt.Cdr. I.W.T. Beloe, RN), HMS Gardiner (A/Lt.Cdr. W.G.H. Bolton, DSC, RD, RNR) and the corvettes HMS Flint Castle (T/Lt. S.G. Wright, RNVR), HMS Oxford Castle (T/Lt. H.E. Holden, DSC, RNR), HMS Rushen Castle (T/A/Lt.Cdr. R.C. Warwick, DSC and Bar, RNR) and HNoMS Tunsberg Castle (?) they all joined the now combined convoy SL 165 / MKS 56.

At 1420Z/31, after the convoys had merged HMS Leith parted company in approximate position 35°03'N, 11°02'W, to proceed to Gibraltar independently. She arrived at Gibraltar around 1630Z/1.

Around 1900Z/31, in position 35°13'N, 11°34'W, the escort carrier HMS Biter (Capt. A.N.C. Bingley, OBE, RN) having detached earlier that day from the southbound combined convoy OS 84 / KMS 58. She had been escorted to the rendezvous by the frigates HMS Bayntun (Lt.Cdr. L.P. Bourke, RNZNR) and HMS Foley (A/Lt.Cdr. C.A.H. Bird, RNVR). On joining convoy SL 165 / MKS 56, HMS Biter then fuelled both frigates before they parted company to rejoin the combined convoy OS 84 / KMS 58.

During 2/3 August 1944, all escorts except HMS Gardiner fuelled from the San Tirso.

Around 2130Z/5, in position 48°14'N, 18°32'W, the San Triso was detached to join the southbound combined convoy OS 85 / KMS 59. The frigate HMS Antigua (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) D.F. White, RNR) and the corvette HMS Knaresborough Castle (Lt. J.R. Freeman, RNR) had come from that convoy to escort the oiler.

Around 0535Z/3, in position 39°50'N, 18°28'W, two merchant ships joined coming from the Azores, these were the; Crane (British, 785 GRT, built 1937) and Hopestar (British, 5267 GRT, built 1936). They had been escorted to the rendezvous by the A/S trawler HMS Stafnes (T/Lt. A.T. Motion, RNVR) which did not join the convoy but returned to the Azores.

Also on the 6th, HMS Gardiner was fuelled by HMS Biter.

Around 1700Z/6, a fast section was formed and parted company with the convoy in position 50°40'N, 17°40'W to proceed ahead of the main convoy to the U.K. The fast section was made up of six merchant vessels which were the following; Amstelkerk, David Livingstone, Nigerstroom, Stuyvesant, Taranaki and Troubadour. They were escorted by HMS Biter, HMS Cotton, HMS Flint Castle and HMS Rushen Castle.

The fast section of the convoy arrived in U.K. waters on 8 August 1944.

The remainder of the convoy arrived in U.K. waters on 9 August 1944. (16)

21 Dec 1944
HMS Vampire (Lt. C.W. Taylor, RNR) conducted A/S exercises off Gibraltar with HMS Leith (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) A.W. Preston, RN), HMS Convolvulus (A/Lt.Cdr. R.F.R. Yarde-Buller, RNVR) and aircraft. (17)

22 Dec 1944
HMS Vampire (Lt. C.W. Taylor, RNR) conducted A/S exercises off Gibraltar with HMS Leith (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) A.W. Preston, RN) and HMS Convolvulus (A/Lt.Cdr. R.F.R. Yarde-Buller, RNVR). Also a practice attack on HMS Leith was made. (17)

21 Jan 1945
The battleship HMS Valiant (Capt. G.E.M. O’Donnell, DSO, RN) departed Freetown for Plymouth. She is still escorted by the frigates HMS Dovey (T/A/Lt.Cdr. T.W.F. Bolland, RNR) and HMS Wye (T/A/Lt.Cdr. R.C. Powys-Smith, RNR).

Around 1350A/27 they were joined by the sloop HMS Leith (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) A.W. Preston, RN) and the corvettes HMS Anchusa (T/Lt. R.A. Baker, RNVR) and HMS Convolvulus (A/Lt.Cdr. R.F.R. Yarde-Buller, RNVR).

At 0930A/31, the destroyers HMS Faulknor (Cdr. Douglas Eric Holland-Martin, DSO, DSC and Bar, RN) and HrMs Van Galen (Cdr. F.T. Burghard, RNethN) joined as additional escorts.

HMS Valiant and her escorts arrived at Plymouth on 1 February 1945. (18)

1 Feb 1945
Around 1015A/1, the (damaged) battleship HMS Valiant (Capt. G.E.M. O’Donnell, DSO, RN) and her escorts, the destroyers HMS Faulknor (Cdr. Douglas Eric Holland-Martin, DSO, DSC and Bar, RN), HrMs Van Galen (Cdr. F.T. Burghard, RNethN), sloop HMS Leith (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) A.W. Preston, RN), frigates HMS Dovey (T/A/Lt.Cdr. T.W.F. Bolland, RNR), HMS Wye (T/A/Lt.Cdr. R.C. Powys-Smith, RNR) and the corvettes HMS Anchusa (T/Lt. R.A. Baker, RNVR) and HMS Convolvulus (A/Lt.Cdr. R.F.R. Yarde-Buller, RNVR) arrived at Plymouth. (19)

Sources

  1. ADM 173/15873
  2. ADM 173/15814
  3. ADM 53/109584 + ADM 199/382
  4. Report of proceedings of HMAS Hobart from 1 October 1939 to 31 March 1940
  5. ADM 173/173/16782
  6. ADM 173/16761
  7. ADM 173/16766
  8. ADM 173/16795
  9. ADM 173/17201
  10. ADM 53/115299 + ADM 53/116962 + ADM 199/635 + ADM 199/1035
  11. ADM 173/17827
  12. ADM 173/17795
  13. ADM 199/585 + ADM 199/964 + ADM 199/2101
  14. ADM 173/17773
  15. ADM 173/19337
  16. ADM 199/319
  17. ADM 173/19345
  18. ADM 53/122435
  19. ADM 53/122436 + File 2.12.03.1619 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)

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


Return to the Allied Warships section