Allied Warships

HMS Armeria (K 187)

Corvette of the Flower class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeCorvette
ClassFlower 
PennantK 187 
Built byHarland & Wolff Ltd. (Belfast, Northern Ireland) 
Ordered8 Apr 1940 
Laid down17 Sep 1940 
Launched16 Jan 1941 
Commissioned28 Mar 1941 
End service 
History

HMS Armeria is not listed as active unit in the July 1945 Navy List

Sold in 1947.
Became the merchant Deppie in 1948.
Renamed Canastel in 1950.
Renamed Rio Blanco in 1952.
Renamed Lillian in 1955.

 

Commands listed for HMS Armeria (K 187)

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
1Lt.Cdr. William Nelson Mitchell Faichney, RNRFeb 194118 Apr 1941
2T/Lt. Henry Noel Russell, RNR18 Apr 19418 May 1942
3T/Lt. Martin Todd, RNR8 May 194217 Apr 1944
4Lt.Cdr. Frederick Granger, RD, RNR17 Apr 19441 Mar 1945
5Lt. Robert Arthur Groom, RNVR1 Mar 1945mid 1945

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Notable events involving Armeria include:


18 Jun 1941

Convoy SL 78.

This convoy departed Freetown for the U.K. on 18 June 1941.

It was made up of the following transports;
Aliakmon (Greek, 4521 GRT, built 1913), Arduno (Dutch, 5163 GRT, built 1930), Atle Jarl (Norwegian, 1173 GRT, built 1919), Baron Napier (British, 3559 GRT, built 1930), Batna (British, 4399 GRT, built 1928), Blackheath (British, 4637 GRT, built 1936), Camerata (British, 4875 GRT, built 1931), Criton (British (former French), 4564 GRT, built 1927), Empire Abitity (British, 7603 GRT, built 1931), Esneh (British, 1931 GRT, built 1919), George J. Goulandris (Greek, 4345 GRT, built 1913), Kalypso Vergotti (Greek, 5686 GRT, built 1918), Keilehaven (Dutch, 2968 GRT, built 1919), Leonidas N. Condylis (Greek, 3923 GRT, built 1912), Mary Slessor (British, 5027 GRT, built 1930), Michael Jebsen (British, 2323 GRT, built 1927), Oberon (Dutch, 1996 GRT, built 1911), P.L.M. 22 (British, 5646 GRT, built 1921), Parthenon (Greek, 3189 GRT, built 1908), Rio Azul (British, 4088 GRT, built 1921), River Lugar (British, 5423 GRT, built 1937), Rolf Jarl (Norwegian, 1917 GRT, built 1920), Sobo (British, 5353 GRT, built 1937), St. Anselm (British, 5614 GRT, built 1919), stad Arnhem (Dutch, 3819 GRT, built 1920) and Venus (Dutch, 1855 GRT, built 1907).

On departure from Freetown the convoy was escorted by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Esperance Bay (Capt.(Retd.) G.S. Holden, RN), sloop HMS Bridgewater (A/Cdr. (Retd.) H.F.G. Leftwich, RN) and the corvettes HMS Armeria (T/Lt. H.N. Russell, DSC, RNR), HMS Asphodel (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) K.W. Stewart, RN), HMS Aster (Lt.Cdr. E. Hewitt, RD, RNR) and HMS Burdock (T/Lt. H.J. Fellows, SANF(V)).

The transport Criton fell out of the convoy and was ordered to return to Freetown. On 21 July she was intercepted by a Vichy French patrol vessel. When she started to make signals she was then sunk by the patrol vessel in position 09°03'N, 13°36'W.

On 21 June, HMS Bridgewater parted company with the convoy.

Around 1900N/22, the heavy cruiser HMS Shropshire (Capt. J.T. Borrett, OBE, RN) joined the convoy.

During the night of 27/28 June 1941, the convoy was attacked by two German submarines; U-69 and U-123. These managed to sink four of the transports; Oberon, River Lugar, P.L.M. 22 and Empire Ability.

In the afternoon of 28 June 1941, HMS Asphodel fuelled from HMS Shropshire.

Around 1800N/28, the convoy was dispersed due to the threat of u-boat attack.

On 29 June 1941, three transports of the now dispersed convoy were sunk by the German submarines U-66 and U-123. The transports in question were the George J. Goulandris, Kalypso Vergotti and Rio Azul.

On 30 June 1941, one more transport was sunk by U-66, this was the Saint Anselm.

Apparently the convoy was later (partially) reformed.

on 9 July 1941, the catapult ship HMS Pegasus (Capt.(Retd.) P.G. Wodehouse, DSO, RN), destroyers HMS Chelsea (Lt.Cdr. R.D.H.S. Pankhurst, RN), HNoMS Mansfield (Cdr. F. Ulstrup, RNorN), HMS Verity (Cdr. R.H. Mills, RN) and the corvettes HMS Arbutus (T/Lt. A.L.W. Warren, RNR), HMS Begonia (T/Lt. T.A.R. Muir, RNR), HMS Convolvulus (T/Lt. R.C. Connell, RNR), HMS Jasmine (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) C.D.B. Coventry, RNR), HMS Larkspur (Lt. S.C.B. Hickman, RNR), HMS Pimpernel (Lt. F.H. Thornton, RNR) and HMS Rhododendron (Lt.Cdr. W.N.H. Faichney, DSO, RNR) joined the now reformed convoy.

On 11 July 1941, the transport Blackheath and corvette HMS Arbutus collided in position 55°58'N, 10°38'W. The corvette was damaged and was escorted to Liverpool by HMS Pimpernel.

The convoy arrived in U.K. waters on 12 July 1941.

28 Jun 1941
HMS Armeria (A/T/Lt.Cdr. H.N. Russell, DSC, RNR) picks up 11 survivors from the British merchant P.L.M. 22 that was torpedoed and sunk the previous day by German U-boat U-123 west-southwest of the Canary Islands in position 25°43'N, 22°47'W. In addition HMS Armenia picked up about 100 additional survivors from other ships of the convoy and took them to other escorts of directly to Freetown (Sierra Leone).

15 Aug 1941

Convoy WS 10X

This convoy departed U.K. ports on 14/15 August 1941 for Suez where the ships arrived between 1 to 4 October 1941.

The convoy assembled in the Clyde area on 15 August 1941.

The convoy was made up of the following troop transports; Brisbane Star (12791 GRT, built 1937), Orion (23371 GRT, built 1935), Strathmore (23428 GRT, built 1935), Strathnaver (22283 GRT, built 1931), And the transports Palma (5419 GRT, built 1941) and Port Jackson (9687 GRT, built 1937).

Escort was initially provided by the heavy cruiser HMS Dorsetshire (Capt. A.W.S. Agar, VC, DSO, RN) (joined at sea on 17 August 1941 until 28 August when the convoy arrived at Freetown), the AA (light) cruiser HrMs Jacob van Heemskerck (Cdr. E.J. van Holte, RNN) (15 – 17 August) and the destroyers HMS Whitehall (Lt.Cdr. A.B. Russell, RN) (15-17 August), HMS Witch (Lt.Cdr. C.H. Holmes, RN) (15-17 August), HMS Gurkha (Cdr. C.N. Lentaigne, RN) (17-19 August), HMS Lance (Lt.Cdr. R.W.F. Northcott, RN) (17-19 August), HrMs Isaac Sweers (Cdr. J. Houtsmuller, RNN) (17-19 August) and ORP Piorun (Cdr. S. Hryniewiecki) (17-19 August).

When approaching Freetown the convoy was joined on 26 August by a local escort made up of the destroyers HMS Brilliant (Lt.Cdr. F.C. Brodrick, RN), HMS Velox (Lt.Cdr. E.G. Roper, DSC, RN) (left the convoy before noon on 27 August), HMS Wrestler (Lt. E.L. Jones, DSC, RN) and the corvettes HMS Clematis (Cdr. Y.M. Cleeves, DSO, DSC, RD, RNR) and HMS Crocus (Lt.Cdr. E. Wheeler, RNR). The convoy arrived at Freetown on 28 August 1941.

The convoy departed Freetown for Capetown on 1 September 1941. Escort was now provided by the battleship HMS Revenge (Capt. L.V. Morgan, CBE, MVO, DSC, RN) and the corvettes HMS Amaranthus (T/Lt. W.S. Thomson, RNR), HMS Armeria (T/Lt. H.N. Russell, DSC, RNR), HMS Mignonette (Lt. H.H. Brown, RNR) and HMS Woodruff (T/Lt. T. Muir, RNVR).

HMS Amaranthus parted company with the convoy around 1445Z/2 to return to Freetown due to defects.

Around 2133Z/2, HMS Revenge was rammed by the transport Orion. Damage to HMS Revenge was only minor but damage to the bow of the Orion was more serious. She dropped out of the convoy for a while but was later able to catch up again and was able of a speed of 15 knots.

At 1237Z/3, HMS Armeria, HMS Mignonette and HMS Woodruff parted company with the convoy to proceed to Takoradi.

The convoy arrived at Capetown on 11 September 1941.

The convoy departed Capetown for Suez on 14 September 1941. Escort was still provided by HMS Revenge until 22 September 1941 when the light cruiser, HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) took over until the dispersal of the convoy on 27 September 1941 when it was near Aden. The ships of the convoy then continued independently towards Suez where they arrived between 1 and 4 October 1941.

21 Aug 1941

Convoy CF 2.

This convoy departed Durban on 21 August 1941.

It was made up of the following troop transports; Duchess of Bedford (British, 20123 GRT, built 1928), Durban Castle (British, 17388 GRT, built 1938), Nieuw Zeeland (Dutch, 11069 GRT, built 1928) and Sobieski (Polish, 11030 GRT, built 1939).

On departure from Durban, around 1830B/21, the convoy was escorted by the armed merchant cruiser Queen of Bermuda (Capt. A.T.G.C. Peachey, RN).

The convoy arrived at Capetown around 0830B/24.

At Capetown, the Greek Royal family boarded the Durban Castle.

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Around 1600B/26, the convoy departed Capetown in the same composition.

Around 0700Z/29, rendezvous was made in position 23°40'S, 04°30'E, with the armed merchant cruiser HMS Cicilia (Capt.(Retd.) V.B. Cardwell, OBE, RN) which joined as second escort.

Around 0715Z/31, the Durban Castle parted company with the convoy to the north-east of St. Helena in position 15°20'S, 05°10'W. She was to proceed to Trididad escorted by HMS Queen of Bermuda.

The remainder of the convoy arrived at Lagos around 1200A on 4 September 1941.

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Around 1700A/8, the convoy, now made up of the Duchess of Bedford, Nieuw Zeeland and Sobieski departed Lagos for Freetown. The convoy was now escorted by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Cicilia and the corvettes HMS Armeria (T/Lt. H.N. Russell, DSC, RNR) and HMS Woodruff (T/Lt. T. Muir, RNVR).

The convoy arrived at Freetown around 0900N/13.

1 Sep 1941
The battleship HMS Revenge (Capt. L.V. Morgan, CBE, MVO, DSC, RN) and the corvettes HMS Amaranthus (T/Lt. W.S. Thomson, RNR), HMS Armeria (T/Lt. H.N. Russell, DSC, RNR), HMS Mignonette (Lt. H.H. Brown, RNR) and HMS Woodruff (T/Lt. T. Muir, RNVR) departed Freetown escorting convoy WS 10X.

[For more info on this convoy see the event ' Convoy WS 10X ' for 15 August 1941.] (1)

29 Sep 1941

Convoy WS 12

This convoy departed U.K. ports on 29 / 30 September 1941.

The convoy assembled assembled at sea near Orsay Island on 1 October 1941.

The convoy was made up of the following troop transports / transports; Almanzora (15551 GRT, built 1914), City of Paris (10902 GRT, built 1922), Clan Campbell (7255 GRT, built 1937), Clan Lamont (7250 GRT, built 1939), Dominion Monarch (27155 GRT, built 1939), Duchess of Richmond (20022 GRT, built 1928), Empire Pride (9248 GRT, built 1941), Empire Trust (8143 GRT, built 1941), Empress of Canada (21517 GRT, built 1922), Empress of Russia (16810 GRT, built 1913), Franconia (20175 GRT, built 1923), Highland Brigade (14134 GRT, built 1929), Highland Princess (14133 GRT, built 1930), Prince Badouin (3219 GRT, built 1933), Leopoldville (11509 GRT, built 1929), Mendoza (8233 GRT, built 1919), Narkunda (16632 GRT, built 1920), Ormonde (14982 GRT, built 1917), Perseus (10272 GRT, built 1923), Perthshire (10496 GRT, built 1936), HMS Royal Ulsterman (T/Cdr. H.F. Jackson, RNR) (3244 GRT, built 1936), Samaria (19597 GRT, built 1921), Sarpedon (11321 GRT, built 1923) and Strathaird (22281 GRT, built 1932).

The aircraft carrier HMS Argus (Capt. T.O. Bulteel, RN) was also with the convoy in an aircraft ferry role. She was able to operate aircraft for A/S patrol though.

On assembly off Oversay around 1200A/1, the convoy was escorted by the heavy cruiser HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN), AA cruiser HMS Cairo (A/Capt. I.R.H. Black, RN), armed merchant cruiser, HMS Cathay (A/Capt.(Retd.) C.M. Merewether, RN), auxiliary minelayer HMS Agamemnon (Capt.(Retd.) F. Ratsey, RN), destroyers HMS Sikh (Cdr. G.H. Stokes, RN), HMCS Assiniboine (A/Lt.Cdr. J.H. Stubbs, RCN), HMCS Saguenay (Lt. P.E. Haddon, RCN), HMS Lancaster (A/Cdr. N.H. Whatley, RN), HMS Newark (Lt.Cdr. R.H.W. Atkins, RN), HMS Stanley (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) D.B. Shaw, OBE, RN) and the escort destroyer HMS Blankney (Lt.Cdr. P.F. Powlett, DSC, RN).

The destroyer HMS Bradford (Lt.Cdr. J.N.K. Knight, RN) was also to be part of the escort. She did sail from Londonderry but had to return to that port soon after departure owning to defects.

Around 1745A/1, the destroyers HMS Verity (Cdr. R.H. Mills, RN), HMS Whitehall (Lt.Cdr. A.B. Russell, RN), HMS Witch (Lt.Cdr. C.H. Holmes, RN) joined the convoy coming from Londonderry.

Around 1715A/2, the destroyer HMS Beverley (Lt.Cdr. J. Grant, RN) joined the convoy.

Around 0940A/3, a German Focke Wolf reconnaissance aircraft was sighted to be shadowing the convoy. HMS Cairo opened fire but the aircraft, which was flying very low, kept out of range. Shadowing ceased around 1040A/2 when the convoy disappeared into a patch of fog.

Around 1800A/3, HMS Lancaster and HMS Newark were detached to proceed to Londonderry. They had reached the limit of their endurance.

Around 0100A/4, HMS Verity and HMS Witch were detached to join the battleship HMS Resolution (Capt. A.R. Halfhide, CBE, RN) which was on passage from Bermuda to the Clyde.

Around 0800A/4, HMS Whitehall parted company with the convoy to proceed to Londonderry as she had reached the limit of her endurace.

Around 0930A/4,in position 50°16'N, 26°10'W, the troop tranport Highland Princess and auxiliary minelayer HMS Agamemnon were detached to proceed to Halifax. They formed convoy CT 3. They were escorted by HMS Cathay, HMCS Assiniboine and HMS Saguenay.

Around 1400A/4, HMS Cairo was detached. She was to overtake HMS Whitehall and then return to Londonderry in company.

In the early hours of the 5th, HMS Beverley was detached as she had not been able to fuel from HMS Devonshire as the weather conditions had prevented this. She was also unable to fuel at the Azores as she had already done so in August.

Around 1700A/5, in position 44°18'N, 27°20'W, the destroyers HMS Cossack (Capt. E.L. Berthon, DSC and Bar, RN) and HMS Zulu (Cdr. H.R. Graham, DSO, RN) were met. They then took HMS Argus and HMS Sikh with them to proceed to Gibraltar. HMS Argus maintained A/S air patrol over the convoy until 1800A/5.

Around 2030A/5, HMS Royal Ulsterman and the Prince Badouin were detached to Ponta Delgada, Azores.

Around 1255A/7, the destroyer i>HrMs Isaac Sweers (Cdr. J. Houtsmuller, RNN) joined the convoy.

Around 2000A/7, in position 35°36'N, 26°31'W, HMS Stanley and HMS Blankney were detached to Ponta Delgada, Azores.

Around 1700A/8, the destroyer HMS Gurkha (Cdr. C.N. Lentaigne, RN) joined the convoy after having failed to find it the previous day.

Around 1430A/10, HMS Royal Ulsterman and the Prince Badouin rejoined the convoy.

Around 1250A/11, in position 18°12'N, 22°25'W, the destroyer HMS Velox (Lt.Cdr. E.G. Roper, DSC, RN) joined the convoy.

Around 1600A/11, in position 17°38'N, 21°59'W, the destroyer HMS Wrestler (Lt.Cdr. E.L. Jones, DSC, RN) joined the convoy.

Around 0800Z/12, the heavy cruiser HMS Dorsetshire (Capt. A.W.S. Agar, VC, DSO, RN) joined the convoy.

Around 1120N/12, the destroyer HMS Vimy (Lt.Cdr. H.G.D. de Chair, RN) joined the convoy.

Around 1145N/13, the destroyer HMS Vansittart (Lt.Cdr. R.L.S. Gaisford, RN) and the corvettes HMS Amaranthus (T/Lt. W.S. Thomson, RNR) and HMS Armeria (T/Lt. H.N. Russell, DSC, RNR) joined the convoy.

The convoy arrived at Freetown early in the afternoon on 14 October 1941.

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The convoy, minus the Narkunda departed Freetown for South Africa on 19 October. Escort was provided by the heavy cruiser HMS Devonshire which joined the convoy early on 20 October after having patrolled south of Freetown since 16 October.

Local A/S escort out of Freetown was provided from 19 to 21 October 1941 and consisted of the destroyers HMS Velox, HMS Wrestler and the corvettes HMS Anchusa (Lt. J.E.L. Peters, RNR), HMS Calendula (Lt.Cdr. A.D. Bruford, RNVR) and HMS Mignonette (Lt. H.H. Brown, RNR).

Around 1815Z/21, HMS Wrestler parted company with the convoy.

Around 1830Z/21, in position 02°00'N, 08°30'W, HMS Royal Ulsterman and Ulster Monarch were detached and proceeded to Takoradi. They were escorted by HMS Anchusa and HMS Calendula.

Around 1900Z/21, Prince Badouin parted company to proceed to St. Helena.

Around 1925A/22, in approximate position 02°10'S, 06°12'W, HMS Velox and HMS Mignonette parted company.

On 30 October 1941 the convoy was off Capetown and the following ships of the convoy then split off to proceed into that port; Clan Campbell, Dominion Monach, Empire Pride, Empire Trust, Empress of Canada, Leopoldville, Mendoza, Perthshire, Sarpedon and Strathaird as did HMS Devonshire which went to Simonstown.

The other ships of the convoy; Empress of Russia, Franconia, Highland Brigade, Ormonde, Perseus, Richmond and Samaria then proceeded to Durban where they arrived on 3 November escorted by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Derbyshire (Capt.(Retd.) E.A.B. Stanley, DSO, MVO, RN) which had joined them off Capetown early on 31 October.

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On 4 November 1941 the Strathaird departed Capetown for Durban where she arrived on 7 November.

On 5 November 1941 the following ships departed Capetown to continue their passage; Dominion Monarch, Empire Pride, Empire Trust, Empress of Canada, Leopoldville, Mendoza and Perthshire. They were escorted by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Dunnottar Castle (Capt.(Retd.) C.T.A. Bunbury, RN).

On 8 November the following ships departed Durban and joined the Capetown group at sea; Almanzora, City of Paris, Clan Campbell, Clan Lamont, Duchess of Richmond, Empress of Russia, Franconia, Nieuw Amsterdam (36287 GRT, built 1938), Nova Scotia (6791 GRT, built 1926), Perseus, Samaria and Strathaird. The escort of the Capetown group HMS Dunnottar Castle was relieved by the battlecruiser HMS Repulse (Capt. W.G. Tennant, CB, MVO, RN) which escorted the convoy from then on to until 0800C/14 when she was relieved in position 08°14'S, 40°34'E, by the battleship HMS Revenge (Capt. L.V. Morgan, CBE, MVO, DSC, RN) which then escorted the convoy until it arrived off Aden on 20 November. The convoy then dispersed and all ships proceeded to Suez independently.

On 14 November the convoy was joined by the Ascania (13900 GRT, built 1925) which came from Mombasa.

Around 0900C/17, HMS Glasgow (Capt. H. Hickling, DSO, RN) made rendezvous with convoy WS 12 in approximate position 06°06'N, 50°30'E. The Dominion Monarch, Duchess of Richmond, Empress of Canada and Perseus then split off from the convoy and continued on as convoy WS 12J towards Colombo, escorted by HMS Glasgow. This convoy arrived at Colombo on 23 November.

On 24 November the Dominion Monarch and Empress of Canada departed Colombo for Singapore as convoy WS 12V. They were escorted by HMS Glasgow until 26 November when HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) took over the escort. The convoy arrived at Singapore on 28 November 1941. (2)

4 Oct 1941
Around 1800N/4, the aircraft carrier HMS Eagle (Capt. E.G.N. Rushbrooke, DSC, RN) departed Freetown for Gibraltar. She was escorted by the light cruiser HMS Dunedin (Capt. R.S. Lovatt, RN) and the corvettes HMS Armeria (T/Lt. H.N. Russell, DSC, RNR), HMS Aster (Lt.Cdr. E. Hewitt, RD, RNR).

The Free French minesweeper / sloop Commandant Duboc also remained near HMS Eagle during the passage to Gibraltar. She was however not in company all the time.

Around 1630N/6, HMS Aster parted company.

Around 1850N/6, HMS Armeria parted company.

Around 0945N/7, the destroyer HMS Wild Swan (Lt.Cdr. C.E.L. Sclater, RN) joined.

Around 1235N/7, HMS Dunedin parted company.

Around 1135N/8, the destroyer HMS Vimy (Lt.Cdr. H.G.D. de Chair, RN) joined.

Around 1210N/8, the escort destroyer HMS Croome (Lt.Cdr. J.D. Hayes, RN) joined.

Around 1800N/8, HMS Vimy parted company.

Around 0300N/9, HMS Wild Swan was detached to fuel at Las Palmas.

Around 1200Z/10, HMS Wild Swan rejoined.

HMS Eagle, HMS Wild Swan and HMS Croome arrived at Gibraltar around 0830Z/11. (3)

15 Oct 1941

Convoy SL 90

This convoy departed Freetown on 15 October 1941 for Liverpool where it arrived on 6 November 1941.

The convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels; Abosso (11330 GRT, built 1935), Alphacca (Dutch, 5759 GRT, built 1928), City of Rangoon (6635 GRT, built 1914), Dahomian (5277 GRT, built 1929), Dalhanna (5571 GRT, built 1930), Director (5107 GRT, built 1926), Empire Success (5988 GRT, built 1921), Kalewa (4389 GRT, built 1940), Katha (4357 GRT, built 1938), Kattegat (Norwegian, 4245 GRT, built 1936), King Edwin (4536 GRT, built 1927), Kiruna (Swedish, 5484 GRT, built 1921), Kohistan (5884 GRT, built 1930), Langleetarn (4908 GRT, built 1929), Lieutenant St. Loubert Bie (6126 GRT, built 1911), Mafuta (Belgian, tanker, 6322 GRT, built 1920), Martaban (4161 GRT, built 1934), Moanda (Belgian, 4621 GRT, built 1937), Stad Haarlem (Dutch, 4518 GRT, built 1929), Temple Yard (5205 GRT, built 1937) and Warfield (6070 GRT, built 1917).

Escort was initially provided by the destroyers HMS Brilliant (Lt.Cdr. A.G. Poe, RN) (15-18 October), HMS Vansittart (Lt.Cdr. R.L.S. Gaisford, RN) (15-20 October), HMS Gurkha (Cdr. C.N. Lentaigne, RN) (15-22 October), HMS HrMs Isaac Sweers (Cdr. J. Houtsmuller, RNN) (15-22 October), corvettes HMS Armeria (T/Lt. H.N. Russell, DSC, RNR) (15-20 October), HMS Aster (Lt.Cdr. E. Hewitt, RD, RNR) (15-18 October), HMS Clover (Lt.Cdr. F.A. Shaw, RNR) (15-18 October), HMS Crocus (Lt.Cdr. E. Wheeler, RNR) (15-18 October), HMS Cyclamen (Lt.Cdr. H.N. Lawson, RNR) (15-18 October).

Distant cover for the convoy was provided during 16 to 18 October 1941 by the heavy cruiser HMS Dorsetshire (Capt. A.W.S. Agar, VC, DSO, RN) and the light cruiser HMS Dunedin (Capt. R.S. Lovatt, RN).

HMS Gurkha and HrMs Isaac Sweers both parted company with the convoy on 17 October to fuel at Barhurst. They rejoined the convoy on the 18th but left on the 22nd and then proceeded to Gibraltar where they arrived later the same day.

On 18 October three sloops joined, these were; HMS Folkestone (A/Cdr. D.E.G. Wemyss, RN) (18 October – 6 November), HMS Londonderry (Cdr. J.S. Dalison, RN) (18 – 29 October) and HMS Weston (Cdr.(Retd.) J.G. Sutton, RN) (18 October – 6 November).

No ships were lost from this convoy.

27 Oct 1941
HMS Severn (Lt.Cdr. A.N.G. Campbell, RN) departed Freetown for a few days of exercises together with the destroyer HMS Vansittart (Lt.Cdr. R.L.S. Gaisford, RN), the corvettes HMS Armeria (T/Lt. H.N. Russell, RNR), HMS Cyclamen (Lt. H.N. Lawson, RNR), HMS Aster (Lt.Cdr. E. Hewitt, RD, RNR), the A/S trawlers HMS Fandango (Lt. J.A.T. Maishman, RNR), HMS Morris Dance (Lt. A. Bruce, RCNVR) and several ML's. (4)

25 Aug 1942
HMS Queen Elizabeth (A/Capt. R. Gotto, DSO, RN) departed Freetown for Norfolk, Virginia, USA. She is escorted by the destroyers HMS Pathfinder (Cdr. E.A. Gibbs, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Quentin (Lt.Cdr. A.H.P. Noble, DSC, RN) and HMS Vimy (Lt.Cdr. H.G.D. de Chair, RN).

HMS Caledon (A/Capt. H.J. Haynes, DSO, DSC, RN) was also in company until 0945Z/26, when she parted company to proceed to Gibraltar.

Also with them were the troop transports Mooltan (British, 20952 GRT, built 1923) and Viceroy of India (British, 19627 GRT, built 1929).

At 0830N/28, the Viceroy of India parted company to proceed independently to the U.K.

At 1950N/29, the Mooltan parted company to proceed independently to New York.

On 29 / 30 August, HMS Pathfinder, HMS Quentin and HMS Vimy fuelled from the RFA tanker Abbeydale (8299 GRT, built 1937) which had departed Gibraltar on 25 August 1942 escorted by the corvettes HMS Burdock (Lt.Cdr. E.H. Lynes, RD, RNR) and HMS Armeria (Lt. M. Todd, RNR).

Around 0500O/31, the US destroyers USS Trippe (Lt.Cdr. C.M. Dalton, USN), USS Rhind (T/Cdr. H.T. Read, USN) and USS Wainwright (T/Cdr. R.H. Gibbs, USN) joined and shortly afterwards HMS Pathfinder, HMS Quentin and HMS Vimy parted company to proceed to Trinidad.

HMS Queen Elizabeth, USS Trippe, USS Rhind and USS Wainwright arrived in Hampton Roads on 5 September 1942. (5)

1 Dec 1942
HMS Armeria (Lt. M. Todd, RNR) picks up 27 survivors from the Panamanian merchant Scapa Flow that was torpedoed and sunk on 14 November 1942 south-west of the Cape Verde Islands in position 12°00'N, 30°00'W by German U-boat U-134.

14 Dec 1942
HMS P 614 (Lt. H.W. Wilkinson, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Freetown together with HMS Bridgewater (Cdr. (retired) N.W.H. Weekes, OBE, RN), HMS Armeria (Lt. M. Todd, RNR) and HMS Holcombe (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Pinchin, DSC, RN). (6)

11 Mar 1943

Convoy WS 27.

Part of the convoy that proceeded from Freetown to South Africa.

This convoy departed Freetown on 11 March 1943 for South Africa.

The composition of the convoy on departure from Freetown was as follows; Almanzora (British, 15551 GRT, built 1914), Antenor (British, 11174 GRT, built 1925), Bergensfjord (Norwegian, 11015 GRT, built 1913), Capetown Castle (British, 27002 GRT, built 1938), Christiaan Huygens (Dutch, 16287 GRT, built 1927), Leopoldville (Belgian, 11509 GRT, built 1929), Orbita (British, 15495 GRT, built 1915), Strathaird (British, 22281 GRT, built 1932) and Strathmore (British, 23428 GRT, built 1935).

On departure from Freetown the convoy was escorted by the heavy cruiser HMS Sussex (Capt. W.Y.La R. Beverley, RN), destroyers HMS Quail (Lt.Cdr. R.F. Jenks, RN), HMS Queenborough (Cdr. E.P. Hinton, DSO and Bar, MVO, RN), HMS Raider (Lt.Cdr. K.W. Michell, RN) and the corvettes HMS Crocus (T/Lt.Cdr. J.F. Holm, RNZNR) and HMS Petunia (A/Lt.Cdr. G.E. Newey, RNR).

At 0001/12, HMS Quail was detached to pick up the US transport James Parker (10021 GRT, built 1939). She rejoined with the American ship at 1300/12.

At 0200/14, James Parker parted company with the convoy to proceed to Takoradi. She was being escorted by HMS Quail.

At 0530/14, HMS Crocus and HMS Petunia parted company with the convoy.

At 1730/14, the transports Duchess of Richmond (British, 22022 GRT, built 1928), Ruys (Dutch, 14155 GRT, built 1937) and Sibajak (Dutch, 12226 GRT, built 1927) joined the convoy coming from Lagos. They were being escorted by the corvettes HMS Armeria (Lt. M. Todd, RNR) and HMS Bellwort (A/Lt.Cdr. N.F.R. Gill, RNR) which also joined the convoy escort.

At 1245/15, HMS Quail rejoined.

Between 0700 and 0935/16, HMS Queensborough fuelled from HMS Sussex.

Between 1615 and 1745/16, HMS Quail fuelled from HMS Sussex.

At 1900/16, HMS Raider was detached to fuel at Porte Noire.

At 1815/18, HMS Armeria and HMS Bellwort were detached. Shortly afterwards HMS Raider rejoined the convoy.

On 23 March the following transports arrived at Capetown; Almanzora, Bergensfjord, Duchess of Richmond, Leopoldville, Orbita, Ruys and Sibajak, as did HMS Sussex, HMS Quail, HMS Queenborough and HMS Raidar of the escort.

When the destroyers detached three other destroyers joined the Durban section of the convoy, these were HMS Foxhound (Cdr. C.J. Wynne-Edwards, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Quilliam (Capt. S.H. Carlill, DSO, RN) and HMS Racehorse (Cdr. A.F. Burnell-Nugent, DSC, RN). HMS Sussex joined from Capetown later in the day.

The Durban section of the convoy, made up of Antenor, Capetown Castle, Chistiaan Huygens, Strathaird and Strathmore, arrived there on 26 March 1943.

25 Mar 1943

Passage of floating dock AFD 24 from Trinidad to Freetown.

On 25 March 1943, the dock in tow of the tugs HMS Frisky and HMS Zwarte Zee departed Trinidad. Escort was provided by the sloop HMS Milford (Lt.Cdr. G. MacClelland, RN), corvettes HMS Tamarisk (Lt. S. Ayles, RNR), HMS Woodruff (A/Lt.Cdr. F.H. Gray, RNR) and the ASW trawlers HMS Morris Dance (T/Lt. S.A. MacKechnie, RNVR) and HMS Yestor (Lt. R.C. Holt, RNVR). A third tug was also present as stand by tug, this was HMS Oriana.

On 1 April 1943, the armed merchant cruiser HMS Alcantara (A/Capt.(retd.) J.D. Harvey, RN) and the corvette HMS Amaranthus (T/Lt. W.S. Thomson, RNR) departed Trinidad to overtake and join the 'convoy'. HMS Alcantara was to fuel the oil firing sloop and corvettes at sea during the passage to Freetown. The coal firing trawlers were to coal in Brazilian ports.

On 24 April 1943, the corvette HMS Snowdrop (Lt. P.A. Tinne, RNVR) and the motor launches HMS ML 296 (T/Lt. R.C. Breckenridge, RCNVR), HMS ML 289 (?), HMS ML 287 (T/Lt. J.B. Bramwell, RNVR), HMS ML 281 (T/Lt. P.S. Castle, RNVR), HMS ML 266 (T/Lt. D.R. Beverley, RCNVR) and HMS ML 209 (T/Lt. A.M.C. Scott, RNVR) departed freetown to make rendezvous with the convoy which did at 1130Z/26. ML 281 had however returned to Freetown on the 26th after having been detached due to a defective Asdic installation.

On 27 April 1943, the A/S yacht HMS Virginia (T/A/Lt.Cdr. J. Dobson, RNR) and corvettes HMS Armeria (Lt. M. Todd, RNR), HMS Cyclamen (Lt. A.G. Scott, RNR) and HMS Thyme (Lt. H. Roach, RNR) departed Freetown to join the convoy which they did early in the evening of the same day.

The dock and it's escorts arrived at Freetown on 28 April 1943.

6 May 1943

Combined convoy OS 47 / KMS 14.

This combined convoy was assembled off Oversay on 6 May 1943.

It was made up of the following merchant vessels; Albion Star (British, 7946 GRT, built 1919), Amstelkerk (Dutch, 4457 GRT, built 1929), Baron Dunmore (British, 3938 GRT, built 1933), Baron Yarborough (British, 3388 GRT, 1928), Brika (British, 4412 GRT, built 1929), Chateauroux (British, 4765 GRT, built 1921), City of Agra (British, 6361 GRT, built 1936), City of Auckland (British, 8336 GRT, built 1914), City of Calcutta (British, 8063 GRT, built 1940), City of Hereford (British, 5101 GRT, built 1927), City of Oran (British, 7323 GRT, built 1915), Clan Forbes (British, 7529 GRT, built 1938), Clan MacBean (British, 5000 GRT, built 1918), Clumberhall (British, 5198 GRT, built 1930), Collegian (British, 7886 GRT, built 1923), Daldorch (British, 5571 GRT, built 1930), Egret (British, 1391 GRT, built 1937), Eildon (British, 1447 GRT, built 1936), Empire Barrie (British, 7168 GRT, built 1942), Empire Beatrice (British, 7046 GRT, built 1943), Empire Brook (British, 2852 GRT, built 1941), Empire Carpenter (British, 7025 GRT, built 1943), Empire Chamois (British, 5684 GRT, built 1918), Empire Clive (British (CAM ship), 7069 GRT, built 1941), Empire Commerce (British, 3722 GRT, built 1943), Empire Cougar (British, 5758 GRT, built 1919), Empire Eve (British (CAM ship), 5979 GRT, built 1941), Empire Galahad (British, 7046 GRT, built 1942), Empire Geraint (British, 6991 GRT, built 1942), Empire Lake (British, 2852 GRT, built 1941), English Prince (British, 7275 GRT, built 1943), Explorer (British, 6235 GRT, built 1935), Filleigh (British, 4856 GRT, built 1928), Fort Anne (British, 7134 GRT, built 1943), Fort Douglas (British, 7129 GRT, built 1942)), Fort Drew (British, 7134 GRT, built 1943), Fort Thompson (British, 7134 GRT, built 1942), Fort Vermillion (British, 7133 GRT, built 1942), Govert Flinck (Dutch, 7178 GRT, built 1942), Groix (British, 9975 GRT, built 1922), Guinean (British, 5205 GRT, built 1936), Harmonic (British, 4558 GRT, built 1930), Havildar (British, 5401 GRT, built 1940), Indian Prince (British, 8587 GRT, built 1926), James Barbour (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), John Holt (British, 4964 GRT, built 1943), Kingsland (British, 3669 GRT, built 1930), Kong Haakon VII (Norwegian, 7073 GRT, built 1942), Liberian (British, 5129 GRT, built 1936), Llancarvan (British, 4910 GRT, built 1937), Lombardy (British, 3379 GRT, built 1921), Lwow (Polish, 1409 GRT, built 1932), Macharda (British, 7998 GRT, built 1938), Manchester Port (British, 7071 GRT, built 1935), Maplewood (British, 4566 GRT, built 1930), Masirah (British, 6578 GRT, built 1919), Merkland (British, 1363 GRT, built 1934), Myrtlebank (British, 5150 GRT, built 1925), Nea (Norwegian, 1877 GRT, built 1921), Nestor (British, 14629 GRT, built 1913), Nigerstroom (Dutch, 4639 GRT, built 1939), Ocean Valour (British, 7174 GRT, built 1942), Ocean Vanity (British, 7174 GRT, built 1942), Ocean Verity (British, 7174 GRT, built 1942), Pencarrow (British, 4841 GRT, built 1921), Phrontis (Dutch, 6616 GRT, built 1926), Prince de Liege (Belgian, 2588 GRT, built 1938), Rallus (British, 1871 GRT, built 1922), Salawati (Dutch, 6643 GRT, built 192), Sellinge (British, 2327 GRT, built 1916), Silversandal (British, 6770 GRT, built 1930), Spero (British, 1589 GRT, built 1922), Stad Vlaardingen (Dutch, 8501 GRT, built 1925), Stanforth (British, 1817 GRT, built 1915), Tactician (British, 5996 GRT, built 1928), Thurland Castle (British, 6372 GRT, built 1929), Topsdalfjord (Norwegian, 4271 GRT, built 1921), Trader (British, 6087 GRT, built 1940), Tynemouth (British, 3168 GRT, built 1940) and Umvuma (British, 4419 GRT, built 1914).

On assembly the convoy was escorted by the sloops HMS Scarborough (Lt.Cdr. E.B. Carnduff, RN), HMS Deptford (Lt.Cdr. H.R. White, RN), corvettes HMS Azalea (Lt. G.C. Geddes, RNR), HMS Balsam (Lt. J.E.L. Peters, RNVR), HMS Coltsfoot (T/Lt. the Hon. W.K. Rous, RNVR), HMS Mignonette (Lt. H.H. Brown, RNR), minesweepers HMS Fort York (Lt.Cdr. C.H. Corbet-Singleton, DSC and 2 Bars, RN), HMS Parrsboro (T/A/Lt.Cdr. J.G. Raven, DSC, RNVR), HMS Qualicum (T/Lt. H. Stevens, RNVR), HMS Wedgeport (T/A/Lt.Cdr. G.L. Fetherstonhaugh, RNR), HMS Hazard (Lt.Cdr. L.C. Smith, RN) and the M/S trawler HMS Prodigal (T/Lt. G.C. Norman, RNR).

Later, between latitudes 49°N and 42°N, the AA cruiser HMS Scylla (Capt. I.A.P. Macintyre, CBE, DSO, RN) was near the convoy to provide cover.

On 7 May 1943, the Ocean Valour developed a fire in her lower bunker. As she was carrying ammunition and at 0800Z/7 she was detached in position 55°18'N, 08°58'W to return to Belfast.

Around 0200Z/9, HMS Mignonette was detached to make rendezvous with the merchant vessel Empire Guinevere (British, 7072 GRT, built 1942) which had been unable to sail with the convoy and had left Barrow-in-Furness later to proceed and join the convoy via the south of Ireland.

Around 0800Z/10, HMS Mignonette and the Empire Guinevere joined the convoy in position 49°16'N, 14°12'W as did the corvette HMS Spiraea (Lt. A.H. Pierce, OBE, RNR) and the merchant vessel Ocean Volunteer (British, 7174 GRT, built 1942) which came from Milford Haven.

At 0722Z/11, when the convoy was in position 47°07'N, 14°19'W, the air cover, a Halifax aircraft (Sqdn. 58/D), reported sighting a submarine bearing 217° - 10 nautical miles from the convoy. On receipt of this report HMS Mignonette was ordered to proceed to this position and she was ordered to rejoin by 1000Z/11 if not in contact. The convoy changed course to 150°.

At 0749Z/11, the aircraft reported that she had sighted and attacked a submarine in position 280° - 8 nautical miles. HMS Fleetwood was ordered to proceed to this position and she was ordered to rejoin by 1030Z/11 if not in contact. At 0820Z/11, HMS Fleetwood reported that she was in the position marked by the aircrafts smoke float and at 0856Z/11, she reported that she was in contact. On receipt of this info, HMS Mignonette and HMS Wedgeport were ordered to join HMS Fleetwood.

The convoy altered course to 200° at 1200Z/6.

At 1345Z/11, HMS Fleetwood reported that the submarine had been sunk and that she had picked up 39 survivors and HMS Mignonette another 6. The submarine in question was U-528 which had been damaged by the depth charges from the aircraft and HMS Fleetwood. The damaged U-boat managed to surface and was then scuttled by her crew.

At 1500Z/11, HMS Fleetwood, HMS Mignonette and HMS Wedgeport were ordered to rejoin the convoy. HMS Fleetwood and HMS Mignonette were back in station by 2130Z/11. HMS Wedgeport could not find the convoy in the bad visibility and was ordered to remain behind the convoy until the following morning. At 2000Z/11, the convoy altered course to 182°

On the 12th, HMS Wedgeport was homed on to the convoy and resumed station at 1140Z/12. Earlier, the Llancarvan had to stop in approximate position 45°35'N, 14°10'W with engine trouble and at 0608Z/12, HMS Qualicum was ordered to remain with her until further orders. They were subsequently ordered to proceed to Lisbon which was the port of destination of the Llancarvan.

At 0800Z/12, the convoy was in position 44°56'N, 14°03'W, course 182°, speed 6.75 knots.

At 1315Z/14, in position 38°50'N, 12°17'W, HMS Prodigal was detached to escort Merkland to the territorial waters of Lisbon and the Brika to Huelva. HMS Prodigal was then to proceed to Gibraltar. In the end the destination of the Brika was changed to Gibraltar and HMS Prodigal escorted her to her new destination.

Also on the 14th, HMS Mignonette transferred her six German survivors from U-528 to HMS Fleetwood.

At 0600Z/15, the convoy was in position 37°15'N, 11°32'W when course was altered to 135°. HMS Fleetwood was now detached to Gibraltar to land her prisoners and complete with depth charges, ammunition and fuel and then rejoin the convoy.

At 1830Z/15, in position 36°02'N, 10°36'W, convoy KMS 14 parted company to make rendezvous with convoy UGS 8 which was effected in the afternoon of the 16th in position 35°44'N, 08°15'W. Convoy KMS 14 was made up of the following merchant vessels; Baron Yarborough, City of Agra, City of Auckland, Clan Macbean, Collegian, Daldorch, Egret, Eildon, Empire Beatrice, Empire Carpenter, Empire Clive, Empire Commerce, Empire Eve, Empire Guinevere, English Prince, Explorer, Filleigh, Fort Anne, Fort Vermillion, Govert Flinck, Havildar, Indian Prince, James Barbour, Kingsland, Kong Haakon VII, Lwow, Macharda, Manchester Port, Masirah, Myrtlebank, Nea, Nigerstroom, Ocean Vanity, Ocean Verity, Ocean Volunteer, Pencarrow, Prince de Liege, Rallus, Salawati, Sellinge, Spero, Stanforth, Tactician, Thurland Castle, Topsdalfjord, Trader and Tynemouth.

They were escorted by HMS Fort York, HMS Parrsboro, HMS Wedgeport and HMS Hazard.

In the early hours of 16th May 1943, the Maplewood straggled from the convoy and was not seen again. She proceeded independently to Freetown.

Around 0700Z/6, in position 34°43'N, 10°14'W, rendezvous was made with convoy OS 47G, the Gibraltar section of the convoy. The following merchant vessels now joined the convoy; Anglo-African (British, 5601 GRT, built 1929), Benledi (British, 5943 GRT, built 1930), Carlton (British, 7210 GRT, built 1942), Cefn-Y-Bryn (British, 5164 GRT, built 1939), Clan Murray (British, 5953 GRT, built 1918), Empire Ruskin (British, 7037 GRT, built 1942), Empire Torrent (British, 7076 GRT, built 1942), Fort Ellice (British, 7129 GRT, built 1942), Fort Livingstone (British, 7135 GRT, built 1942), Fort Simpson (British, 7133 GRT, built 1942), Jan Lievens (Dutch, 7178 GRT, built 1942), Mahout (British, 7921 GRT, built 1925), Ocean Messenger (British, 7178 GRT, built 1942), Ocean Pilgrim (British, 7178 GRT, built 1942), Ocean Trader (British, 7178 GRT, built 1942), Ocean Wayfarer (British, 7178 GRT, built 1942) and Stancleeve (British, 5970 GRT, built 1942).

They were escorted by the destroyer HMS Wishart (Cdr. H.G. Scott, DSC, RN) and the ASW trawlers HMS Foxtrot (T/Lt. J.B. Bald, RNVR) and HMS Reighton Wyke (Skr. G.M. Sutherland, RNR).

At 1000Z/16, rendezvous was made with the Casablanca section of the convoy which had departed that port on the 15th. The following merchant vessels now joined the convoy; Empire Addison (British, 7010 GRT, built 1942), Essex Trader (British, 7237 GRT, built 1943), Fort Rupert (British, 7142 GRT, built 1942) and Orient City (British, 5095 GRT, built 1940).

These had been escorted to the rendezvous with the convoy escorted by the destroyers USS Guest (T/Cdr. H. Crommelin, USN), USS Thatcher (T/Cdr. L.R. Lampman, USN) and USS Brownson (T/Cdr. J.B. Maher, USN).

These destroyers then returned to Casablanca where they arrived on the 17th having taken the following merchant vessels with them; Baron Dunmore, Empire Barrie, Fort Douglas, Fort Drew and Fort Thompson.

Around the same time the HMS Foxtrot and HMS Reighton Wyke were detached to proceed to Gibraltar. HMS Wishart was to join the combined convoy UGS 8 / KMS 14.

At 0700Z/19, in position 25°57'N, 16°27'W, the RFA tanker Fortol (2629 GRT, built 1917) and her escorts, the corvette HMS Bellwort (A/Lt.Cdr. N.F.R. Gill, RNR) and the ASW whaler HMS Wastwater (T/Lt. W.J.L. Storey, RNVR) joined the convoy. The Fortol was to fuel the escorts which commenced at 0900Z/19 when HMS Scarborough went alongside.

At 1106Z/19, when the convoy was in position 25°38'N, 16°51'W, the air escort, a Sunderland flying boat, reported having sighted a periscope bearing 120° - 14 nautical miles from HMS Scarborough, the escort leader. Immediately HMS Balsam was ordered to proceed to this position and at 1114Z/19, HMS Coltsfoot was ordered to join her. HMS Scarborough slipped from the Fortol at 1120Z/19 to also proceed to the scene.

At 1120Z/19, HMS Scarborough arrived on the reported location and with the two corvettes a large square search was carried out until 1615Z/19, but no contact was obtained. The escorts then made off to rejoin the convoy after having dropped a depth charge pattern each for exercise purposes. [No enemy submarine appeared to have been in the immediate area, closest one was U-511 but she was further to the west.]

Around 0200Z/20, HMS Scarborough, HMS Balsam and HMS Coltsfoot rejoined the convoy.

Around 1050Z/20, HMS Fleetwood rejoined the convoy from Gibraltar.

During the 20th, all escort vessels fuelled from the Fortol.

Around 1600Z/22, in position 14°52'N, 18°05'W, two merchant vessels joined the convoy coming from Dakar [No clue on their identity] escorted by local escorts. Four of the merchant vessels then parted company to proceed to Dakar escorted by the local escorts. These were the Empire Addison, Empire Cougar and Fort Livingstone. [No clue on the identity of the fourth.]

At 1100Z/23, in position 12°45'N, 18°30'W, one of the mercant vessels which was to proceed to recife was detached. This was most likely the City of Hereford.

At 1700Z/23, in position 11°08'N, 18°41'W, two additional escorts joined, these were the corvette HMS Armeria (Lt. M. Todd, RNR) and the ASW whaler HMS Buttermere (Lt. J.D.E. Lewis, RNR).

Around 1100Z/25, the convoy was approaching the end of the swept channel into Freetown. Some ships of the convoy split off forming convoy OSS 47 escorted by HMS Bellwort, HMS Armeria, HMS Buttermere and HMS Wastwater. [The ships that split off were probably the following (to be researched further); Albion Star, Amstelkerk, City of Calcutta, Clan Forbes, Empire Galahad, Empire Geraint, Guinean, Harmonic and Lombardy.]

Three merchant vessels; Lida (Polish, 1387 GRT, built 1938), Peterston (British, 4680 GRT, built 1925) and Rhesus (British, 6530 GRT, built 1911) joined convoy OSS 47 coming from Freetown escorted by the armed boarding vessel HMS Corinthian (Cdr. E.J.R. Pollitt, RNR), corvette HMS Burdock (Lt.Cdr. E.H. Lynes, RD, RNR) and the ASW trawlers HMS Birdlip (Lt. E.N. Groom, RNR) and HMS Duncton ( Lt. J.N. Burgess, RANVR).

On these ships joining, HMS Bellwort, HMS Buttermere and HMS Wastwater parted company with convoy OSS 47 and also entered Freetown.

Convoy OSS 47 continued on to Takoradi though most of the merchant vessels were detached to proceed independently before arrival at Takoradi. (7)

20 Jun 1943

Combined convoy WS 31 / KMS 17.

This combined convoy was formed off Oversay on 20 June 1943. The convoy was divided into convoys WS 31 and KMS 17 at sea on 26 June 1943.

The combined convoy was made up of the following (troop) transports; Britannic (British, 26943 GRT, built 1930), City of Lincoln (British, 8039 GRT, built 1938), Clan Macarthur (British, 10528 GRT, built 1936), Clan Macaulay (British, 10492 GRT, built 1936), Cristobal (American, 10021 GRT, built 1939), General George W. Goethals (American, 12093 GRT, built 1942), John Ericsson (American, 16552 GRT, built 1928), J.W. McAndrew (American, 7997 GRT, built 1940), Largs Bay (British, 14182 GRT, built 192), Rangitiki (British, 16698 GRT, built 1928), Samaria (British, 19597 GRT, built 1921), Santa Rosa (American, 9135 GRT, built 1932), Silverteak (British, 6770 GRT, built 1930), Stratheden (British, 23722 GRT, built 1937) and Tamaroa (British, 12405 GRT, built 1922).

Also the netlayer HMS Guardian (Capt.(Retd.) H.A.C. Lane, OBE, RN) was part of the convoy.

After assembly of Oversay the convoy was escorted by the light cruiser HMS Uganda (Capt. W.G. Andrewes, RN), destroyers HMS Arrow (Lt.Cdr. W.W. Fitzroy, RN), HMS Amazon (Lt.Cdr. D.H.P. Gardiner, DSC, RN), HMS Witherington (Lt.Cdr. R.B.S. Tennant, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Viceroy (Lt. T.F. Hallifax, RN), HMS Wallace (Lt. D. Carson, RN), HMS Woolston (Lt. F.W. Hawkins, RN), HMS Hambledon (Lt.Cdr. G.W. McKendrick, RN), HMS Mendip (Capt. C.R.L. Parry, RN), HMS Blankney (Lt.Cdr. D.H.R. Bromley, RN), HMS Blencathra (Lt. E.G. Warren, RN), HMS Ledbury (Lt. D.R.N. Murdoch, RN), HMS Brecon (Lt.Cdr. T.D. Herrick, DSC and Bar, RN) and HMS Brissenden (Lt. D.C. Beatty, RN).

On 25 June HMS Arrow and HMS Amazon parted company with the combined convoy to proceed to Casablanca to fuel. They arrived at Casablanca around 1730A/25.

Around 1730B/25, the destroyers HMS Foxhound (Cdr. C.J. Wynne-Edwards, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Bulldog (Lt.Cdr. E.J. Lee, RN) and escort destroyer HMS Blackmore (Lt. H.T. Harrel, RN) were to join the combined convoy in position 36°05'N, 07°54'W. They had departed Gibraltar earlier on the 25th.

When these destroyers joined the destroyer HMS Witherington and escort destroyer HMS Ledbury were to proceed to Casablanca.

Also the convoy was to split. Convoy KMF 17, made up of the transports Britannic, Cristobal, J.W. McAndrew, Largs Bay, Samaria, Santa Rosa, Silverteak, Tamaroa and the netlayer HMS Guardian. They were escorted by the light cruiser HMS Uganada and the escort destroyers HMS Viceroy, HMS Wallace, HMS Woolston, HMS Hambledon, HMS Mendip, HMS Blankney, HMS Blencathra, HMS Brecon and HMS Brissenden proceeded towards the Mediterranean.

On the 26th, HMS Uganda, HMS Guardian, HMS Viceroy and one of the transports arrived at Gibraltar.

On the 27th, HMS Uganda, which had rejoined the convoy after a brief stopover at Gibraltar, 7 of the transports and HMS Wallace, HMS Woolston, HMS Hambledon, HMS Mendip, HMS Blankney, HMS Blencathra, HMS Brecon and HMS Brissenden arrived at Algiers.

Meanwhile Convoy WS 31, made up of the transports City of Lincoln, Clan Macarthur, Clan Macaulay, General George W. Goethals, John Ericsson, Stratheden and Tamaroa continued on to Freetown.

The convoy was now escorted by the destroyers HMS Foxhound, HMS Bulldog and the escort destroyer HMS Blackmore.

The destroyer HMS Amazon also rejoined after fuelling at Casablanca. It had originally been the intention that HMS Arrow was also to rejoin the convoy but while at Casablanca orders had been received that she was to proceed to Gibraltar instead.

On 1 July the French armed merchant cruiser Quercy joined the convoy.

Convoy WS 31 arrived at Freetown on 4 July 1943.

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Convoy WS 31 departed Freetown on 6 July 1943.

It was now made up of the transports City of Lincoln, Clan Macarthur, Clan Macaulay, General George W. Goethals, John Ericsson, Rangitiki, Stirling Castle (British, 25550 GRT, built 1936) and Stratheden.

The convoy was now escorted by the light cruiser HMS Despatch (Capt. W.R.C. Leggatt, RN), armed merchant cruisers HMS Corfu (Capt.(Retd.) C.C. Bell, DSO, RN), Quercy, destroyers HMS Foxhound, HMS Bulldog, HMS Wolverine (Lt. I.M. Clegg, RN) and the escort destroyer HMS Blackmore.

in the early afternoon of the 7th, in approximate position 03°15'N, 14°54'W the Rangitiki was to be detached to proceed independently to Montevideo.

HMS Despatch was to arrived at Takoradi late in the afternoon of the 9th to fuel and after completion of this on the 10th she was to rejoin the convoy. HMS Wolverine also made a short call at Takoradi on the 10th to fuel and then rejoin the convoy.

On the 10th HMS Bulldog and HMS Blackmore were detached to proceed to Lagos to fuel and then escort transports from there to join the convoy. HMS Corfu was also detached on the 10th to proceed to Ascencion after first calling at Takoradi.

The destroyer HMS Witch (Lt.Cdr. S.R.J. Woods, RNR) and corvette HMS Armeria (Lt. M. Todd, RNR) had joined the convoy on the 10th.

On the 11th the transports Arawa (British, 14462 GRT, built 1922), Highland Brigade (British, 14134 GRT, built 1929), Highland Monarch (British, 14139 GRT, built 1928) and Staffordshire (British, 10683 GRT, built 1929) joined the convoy coming from Lagos. They were escorted by the destroyers HMS Rapid (Lt.Cdr. M.W. Tomkinson, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Bulldog and the escort destroyer HMS Blackmore.

When these ships joined HMS Foxhound, HMS Witch and HMS Armeria then parted company and proceeded to Lagos arriving there also on the 11th.

HMS Despatch and HMS Rapid arrived at Pointe Noire to fuel at 0700Z/14. They departed again to rejoin the convoy at 1430Z/14.

Meanwhile the destroyers HMS Quadrant (Lt.Cdr. W.H. Farrington, RN) and HMS Redoubt (Lt.Cdr. N.E.G. Ropner, DSO, RN) had departed Pointe Noire at 0900Z/14 to join the convoy.

At 1800Z/14, the Quercy, HMS Bulldog and HMS Blackmore arrived at Pointe Noire.

At 0600Z/15, HMS Wolverine arrived at Pointe Noire.

The convoy arrived at Capetown on 21 July 1943. HMS Despatch, HMS Quadrant, HMS Rapid and HMS Redoubt then continued on to Simonstown arriving there later the same day.

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A much reduced convoy WS 31 departed Capetown on 26 July 1943. It was now made up of the transports Arawa, Highland Brigade, Highland Monarch, Staffordshire, Stirling Castle and Stratheden. The convoy was escorted by the light cruiser HMS Despatch and the destroyers HMS Quadrant and HMS Redoubt.

They were relieved near Mauritius on 4 August 1943 by the heavy cruiser HMS Frobisher (Capt. J.F.W. Mudford, RN) which took the convoy to Bombay where it arrived on 13 August 1943.

HMS Despatch, HMS Quadrant and HMS Redoubt arrived at Mauritius on 5 August 1943.

26 Oct 1943
HMS Viking (Lt. R. Bannar-Martin, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Larne with HMS Milford (Lt.Cdr. G. MacClelland, RN), HMS Petunia (Lt. R.M. Roberts, RNR), HMS Armeria (T/Lt. M. Todd, RNR) and HMIS Kistna (A/Cdr.(Emgy.) R.R. Caws, RIN). (8)

27 Oct 1943
HMS Viking (Lt. R. Bannar-Martin, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Larne with HMS Philante (Capt. A.J. Baker-Cresswell, DSO, RN), HMS Armeria (T/Lt. M. Todd, RNR) and HMIS Kistna (A/Cdr.(Emgy.) R.R. Caws, RIN). (8)

2 Mar 1944
HMS Clyde (Lt.Cdr. R.S. Brookes, DSO, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Larne with HMS Armeria (T/Lt. M. Todd, RNR). (9)

3 Mar 1944
HMS Clyde (Lt.Cdr. R.S. Brookes, DSO, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Larne with HMS Armeria (T/Lt. M. Todd, RNR) and HMS Burdock (Lt. H.M. Collier, RNR). (9)

4 Mar 1944

Combined convoy OS 70 / KMS 44.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

On passing Gibraltar they were joined by the transports Joshua Hendy (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Maycrest (British, 5923 GRT, built 1913) and Southgate (British, 4862 GRT, built 1926). Also a new escort joined for the passage through the Mediterranean, this was made up of the following ships; AA cruiser HMS Colombo (Capt. H.W. Williams, RN), frigate HMS Barle (Lt.Cdr. A.H. Davies, RNVR) and the corvettes HMS Bergamot (A/Lt.Cdr. W. McInnes, RNR), HMS Bryony (T/Lt. T. Hand, RNR), HMS La Malouine (Lt. W.A. Ives, RNR) and (the Yugoslavian) Nada. The submarine HMS Spiteful (Lt.Cdr. F.H. Sherwood, DSC, RCNVR) and the rescue tug HMRT Vagrant also joined the convoy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sources

  1. ADM 53/115016 + ADM 199/395
  2. ADM 199/1138
  3. ADM 53/114165 + ADM 53/114195 + ADM 199/395
  4. ADM 173/16987
  5. ADM 53/116470 + ADM 53/116471
  6. ADM 173/17529
  7. ADM 199/963 + ADM 199/975 + ADM 199/2201
  8. ADM 173/18454
  9. ADM 173/18460

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


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