Allied Warships

HMS Columbine (K 94)

Corvette of the Flower class

NavyThe Royal Navy
PennantK 94 
Built byCharles Hill & Sons Ltd. (Bristol, U.K.) : Richardson, Westgarth & Clark 
Ordered25 Jul 1939 
Laid down3 Nov 1939 
Launched13 Aug 1940 
Commissioned9 Nov 1940 
End service 

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

Sold on 9 August 1946.
Became the merchantile Leif Welding in 1949.
Scrapped at Grimstad in 1966.


Commands listed for HMS Columbine (K 94)

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.

1Lt. Louis Alan Sayers, RNROct 194010 Apr 1941
2T/S.Lt. Sydney John Lavis, RNR10 Apr 1941Feb 1942
3T/Lt. Alfred Laurence Turner, RNRFeb 194223 Mar 1943
4T/A/Lt.Cdr. William Joseph Griffiths, RNR23 Mar 19439 Nov 1943
5T/Lt. John Coade Grose, RNR9 Nov 1943mid 1945

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Notable events involving Columbine include:

28 Nov 1940
HrMs O 14 (Lt.Cdr. H. Tichelman, RNN) conducted A/S exercises off Tobermory with HMS Freesia (Lt.Cdr. T.G. Hill, RNR) and HMS Columbine (Lt. L.A. Sayers, RNR). (1)

29 Nov 1940
HrMs O 14 (Lt.Cdr. H. Tichelman, RNN) conducted A/S exercises off Tobermory with HMS Columbine (Lt. L.A. Sayers, RNR) and HMS Cape Mariato (T/Lt. H.T.S. Clouston, RNVR). (1)

2 Dec 1940
HrMs O 14 (Lt.Cdr. H. Tichelman, RNN) conducted A/S exercises off Tobermory with HMS Columbine (Lt. L.A. Sayers, RNR). (1)

20 May 1941
HMS Columbine (T/Lt. S.J. Lavis, RNR) picks up survivors from the Dutch tanker Marisa that was sunk on 17 May 1941 east of Freetown in position 06°10'N, 18°09'W by German U-boat U-107.

30 May 1941

Convoy SL 76.

This convoy departed Freetown on 30 May 1941 for the U.K.

The convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels; Albion Star (British, 7946 GRT, built 1919), Anadyr (British, 5321 GRT, built 1930), Asphalion (British, 6274 GRT, built 1924), Bactria (British, 2407 GRT, built 1928), Bennevis (British, 5356 GRT, built 1918), Bothnia (British, 2407 GRT, built 1928), Calabria (British, 1277 GRT, built 1916), Cape of Good Hope (British, 4963 GRT, built 1925), Capo Olmo (British, 4712 GRT, built 1923), Cathrine (British, 2727 GRT, built 1919), Clan MacPherson (British, 6940 GRT, built 1929), Clan Murray (British, 5953 GRT, built 1918), Dahomian (British, 5277 GRT, built 1929), Diomed (British, 10374 GRT, built 1922), Djurdjura (British, 3460 GRT, built 1922), Eirini Kyriaidgou (Greek, 3781 GRT, built 1922), Elswick Park (British, 4138 GRT, built 1920), English Trader (British, 3953 GRT, built 1934), Glenapp (British, 9503 GRT, built 1920), Gudrun Maersk (British, 2294 GRT, built 1937), Hamla (British, 4416 GRT, built 1929), Hampton Lodge (British, 3645 GRT, built 1911), Harbury (British, 5081 GRT, built 1933), Hatasu (British, 3198 GRT, built 1921), Kana (British, 2783 GRT, built 1929), Kerma (British, 4333 GRT, built 1928), Kiruna (Swedish, 5484 GRT, built 1921), Lackenby (British, 5112 GRT, built 1928), Lafian (British, 4876 GRT, built 1937), Lerwick (British, 5626 GRT, built 1938), Leto (Dutch, 4712 GRT, built 1929), Macgregor (British, 2498 GRT, built 1919), Magdala (Dutch (tanker), 8248 GRT, built 1931), Marylyn (British, 4555 GRT, built 1930), Miguel de Larrinaga (British, 5231 GRT, built 1924), Montferland (Dutch, 5790 GRT, built 1921), New Brunswick (British, 6529 GRT, built 1919), Observer (British, 5881 GRT, built 1928), Ogmore Castle (British, 2481 GRT, built 1919), Orfor (British, 6578 GRT, built 1921), Peebles (British, 4982 GRT, built 1936), Rinos (Greek, 4649 GRT, built 1919), River Afton (British, 5479 GRT, built 1935), Rothley (British, 4996 GRT, built 1936), Sheridan (British, 4665 GRT, built 1918), Silverlaurel (British, 6142 GRT, built 1939), Sitoebondo (Dutch, 7049 GRT, built 1916), St. Clair II (British, 3753 GRT, built 1929), Steaua Romana (British (tanker), 5311 GRT, built 1914), Sutherland (British, 5170 GRT, built 1940), Tantalus (British, 7724 GRT, built 1923), Teucer (British, 9079 GRT, built 1906), Thode Fagelund (Norwegian, 5757 GRT, built 1920), Ella (British, 1575 GRT, built 1930), Umvuma (British, 4419 GRT, built 1914) and Weirbank (British, 5150 GRT, built 1925).

On departure from Freetown the convoy was escorted by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Moreton Bay (Capt.(Retd.) C.C. Bell, RN) and the corvettes HMS Amaranthus (Lt. N.B.J. Stapleton, RNR), HMS Asphodel (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) K.W. Stewart, RN), HMS Clematis (Cdr. Y.M. Cleeves, DSC, RD, RNR) and HMS Columbine (T/Lt. S.J. Lavis, RNR).

At 1410N/1, HMS Amaranthus parted company with the convoy to return to Freetown with engine defects.

At 2320N/1, HMS Clematis parted company with the convoy.

At 2010N/4, the destroyer HMS Velox (Lt.Cdr. E.G. Roper, DSC, RN) joined the escort of the convoy in position 18°23'N, 19°37'W.

At 1800N/6, HMS Velox parted company with the convoy in position 22°56'N, 19°41'W.

At 0600N/7, HMS Asphodel and HMS Columbine parted company with the convoy in position 23°40'N, 19°27'W.

Around 1200Z/10, the heavy cruiser HMS Cumberland (Capt. G.H.E. Russell, RN) joined the convoy escort in position 32°26'N, 20°59'W.

In the early hours of 13 June the convoy was attacked by the Italian submarine Benedetto Brin which managed to sink two merchant vessels; the Djurdjura and the Eirini Kyriakides

At 1855/13, the convoy was joined in position 40°30'N, 22°35'W by the corvettes HMS Coreopsis (Lt.Cdr. A.H. Davies, RNVR) and HMS Fleur de Lys (Lt.Cdr. L.M. Carter, RNR)

During the morning of the 14th, HMS Coreopsis and HMS Fleur de Lys fuelled from HMS Moreton Bay.

During the fuelling of the corvettes the light cruiser HMS Sheffield (Capt. C.A.A. Larcom, RN) joined around 1130Z/14 in position 42°09'N, 22°07'W.

At 1030Z/16, the armed boarding vessel HMS Corinthian (A/Cdr. E.J.R. Pollitt, RNR) joined in position 47°25'N, 21°47'W.

At 1600Z/16, the armed boarding vessel Maron (Cdr. (Retd.) J.H. Blair, DSC, RD, RNR) joined in position 47°55'N, 21°51'W.

At 1630Z/16, the destroyers HMS Roxborough (Lt. V.A. Wight-Boycott, OBE, RN) and ORP Piorun (Cdr. S. Hryniewiecki) joined in position 47°55'N, 21°51'W.

At 2200Z/16, HMS Cumberland and HMS Sheffield parted company with the convoy in position 48°48'N, 21°48'W.

In the early hours of the 17th the merchant vessel Cathrine, which had straggled from the convoy, was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine U-43.

At 1730Z/18, the destroyer HMS Westcott (Cdr. I.H. Bockett-Pugh, RN) and the corvettes HMS Auricula (T/Lt. W.W. White, RNR), HMS Marigold (T/Lt. J. Renwick, RNR) and HMS Periwinkle (Lt.Cdr. P.G. MacIver, RNR) joined.

At 1740Z/18, HMS Coreopsis and HMS Fleur de Lys parted company.

At 0620A/19, the destroyer HMS Wanderer (Cdr. A.F.St.G. Orpen, RN) and the corvettes HMS Freesia (Lt.Cdr. T.P.G. Crick, RN) and HMS Hibiscus (Lt. H. Roach, RNR) joined in position 53°44'N, 17°35'W.

At 2000A/19, HMS Roxborough parted company.

On 21 June 1941 the convoy arrived in British waters and at 0625A/21, the convoy split in position 55°50'N, 08°00'W. The Clyde, Belast, Mersey and Bristol Channel sections of the convoy (25 ships) proceeded up the North Channel escorted by HMS Moreton Bay, HMS Corinthian, HMS Maron, HMS Westcott, ORP Piorun, HMS Marigold, HMS Auricula, HMS Coreopsis and HMS Fleur de Lys. The remainder of the convoy proceeded to Oban where it arrived around 1900A/21 escorted by HMS Wanderer, HMS Hibiscus, HMS Periwinkle and HMS Freesia.

In the early hours of 22 June the Swedish merchant vessel Calabria, a straggler of convoy SL 76, was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine U-141.

22 May 1942
HMS H 28 (Lt. J.S. Bridger, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Beagle (Cdr. R.C. Medley, RN), HMS Scarborough (Lt.Cdr. E.B. Carnduff, RN), HMS Sandwich (Lt.Cdr. H. Hill, RD, RNR), HMS Leamington (Lt. B.M.D. I'Anson, RN), HMS Sardonyx (Lt.Cdr. A.F.C. Gray, RNR), HMS Columbine T/Lt. A.L. Turner, RNR) and HMS Vanessa (Lt. C.E. Sheen, RN). (2)

26 May 1943
HMS Sceptre (Lt. I.S. McIntosh, MBE, DSC, RN) departed Holy Loch for exercises.

At 1800 hours the next day she joined HMS Tally-Ho (Lt.Cdr. L.W.A. Bennington, DSO, DSC, RN) and FFS Curie (Lt. P.M. Sonneville) for passage North. They were escorted by HMS Columbine (T/A/Lt.Cdr. W.J. Griffiths, RNR). (3)

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.

4 Nov 1943
HMS Thrasher (Lt. H.R.B. Newton, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with Escort Group B 2 and also with HMS Enchantress (Cdr. A.E.T. Christie, OBE, DSC, RN) and HMS Columbine T/A/Lt.Cdr. W.J. Griffiths, RNR).

Ship of Escort Group B 2 present at Lough Foyle on this day were HMS Hesperus (Cdr. D.G.F.W. MacIntyre, DSO and 2 Bars, RN), HMS Vanessa (Lt. C.E. Sheen, DSC, RN), HMS Vesper (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Rodgers, RN), HMS Mourne (Lt.Cdr. R.S. Holland, RD, RNR), HMS Campanula (T/Lt. I. Bull, RNVR), HMS Clematis (T/Lt. R.H. Farrands, DSC, RNR) and HMS Gentian (T/A/Lt.Cdr. E.W.C. Dempster, RNVR). Possibly not all of them participated in the A/S exercise though. (4)

5 Nov 1943
HMS Thrasher (Lt. H.R.B. Newton, DSC, RN) participated in A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with, first HMS Columbine T/A/Lt.Cdr. W.J. Griffiths, RNR), then with HMCS Skeena (A/Lt.Cdr. E.E.G. Boak, RCN) and HMCS Mayflower (Lt. V. Browne, RCNR) and finally with HMS Violet (Lt. C.N. Stewart, RNR) and HMS Sweetbriar (T/A/Lt.Cdr. R. Edwards, RNVR). (4)

7 Nov 1943
HMS Thrasher (Lt. H.R.B. Newton, DSC, RN) participated in A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Columbine T/A/Lt.Cdr. W.J. Griffiths, RNR). Also a practice attack was made on the corvette. (4)

2 Dec 1943

Convoy SL 142.

This convoy departed Freetown on 22 November 1943.

On departure from Freetown the convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels; Balfe (British, 5369 GRT, built 1920), Baron Elgin (British, 3942 GRT, built 1933), Cape Wrath (British, 4512 GRT, built 1940), Egton (British, 4363 GRT, built 1938), Empire Foam (British, 7047 GRT, built 1941), Empire Pibroch (British, 7046 GRT, built 1942), Empire Swale (British, 5452 GRT, built 1937), Fordsdale (British, 11023 GRT, built 1924), Gerard Dou (Dutch, 7242 GRT, built 1941), Janeta (British, 4312 GRT, built 1929), Katanga (Belgian, 5183 GRT, built 1917), Lycaon (British, 7552 GRT, built 1913), North Leigh (British, 5450 GRT, built 1937), Royal Star (British, 7900 GRT, built 1919), San Tirso (British (tanker), 6266 GRT, built 1913), Silverlarch (British, 5064 GRT, built 1924), Silverlaurel (British, 6142 GRT, built 1939), Temple Arch (British, 5138 GRT, built 1940), Troilus (British, 7422 GRT, built 1921), Umberleigh (British, 4950 GRT, built 1927) and William Hawkins (American, 7177 GRT, built 1942).

The rescue tug Thames was also part of the convoy.

On departure from Freetown the convoy was escorted by the destroyer HMS Active (Lt.Cdr. P.G. Merriman, RN), sloop HMS Enchantress (Lt.Cdr. E.D.J. Abbot, DSC, RN), corvettes HMS Bellwort (A/Lt.Cdr. N.F.R. Gill, RNR), HMS Columbine (T/Lt. J.C. Grose, RNR) and the A/S whaler HMS Southern Gem (T/Lt. P.H. Riseley, RNVR).

On 3 December 1943, the Umberleigh arrived back at Freetown after having been forced to return .

On 4 December 1943, HMS Southern Gem was detatched as was the William Hawkins which arrived at Bathurst later the same day.

On 5 December 1943, the Lycaon arrived at Dakar after having been detached from the convoy while the merchant vessels Djebel Aures (French, 2835 GRT, built 1929) and Rutenfjell (Norwegian, 1334 GRT, built 1935) departed Dakar to join the convoy as did the submarine tender Jules Verne.

Also on 5 December 1943, HMS Bellwort was detached and joined southbound convoy OS 59.

On 12 December 1943, the merchant vessels Belgian Crew (Belgian, 7048 GRT, built 1943), Fort Frobisher (British, 7134 GRT, built 1943), Thistlemuir (British, 7237 GRT, built 1942) and Tilemachos (Greek, 3658 GRT, built 1921) departed Casablanca to join the convoy. They were escorted by the patrol vessels USS PC-480 (Lt. F.W. Meyers, Jr., USNR), USS PC-481 (Lt. N.W. Roeder, USNR) and USS PC-482 (Lt. D.W. Hunter, USNR).

On these ships joining the Djebel Aures and Jules Verne were detached to Casablanca where they arrived on 13 December 1943 escorted by the three above mentioned patrol vessels.

On 14 December 1943, the convoy merged with convoy MKS 33(G) coming from the Mediterranean.

This convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels; Anadyr (British, 5321 GRT, built 1930), Baron Forbes (British, 3061 GRT, built 1915), Blackheath (British, 4637 GRT, built 1936), Boltonhall (British, 4824 GRT, built 1935), Ceronia (British (tanker), 4955 GRT, built 1929), City of Lancaster (British, 3041 GRT, built 1924), Debrett (British, 6244 GRT, built 1940), Egholm (British, 1327 GRT, built 1924), Empire Faith (British, 7061 GRT, built 1941), Empire Gareth (British, 2847 GRT, built 1942), Empire Trent (British, 5006 GRT, built 1927), Errington Court (British, 4913 GRT, built 1925), Masirah (British, 6578 GRT, built 1919), Norman Monarch (British, 7005 GRT, built 1943), Rancher (British, 5882 GRT, built 1927), Rippingham Grange (British, 10365 GRT, built 1943), Robert Maersk (British, 2294 GRT, built 1937), Schiaffino (British, 3236 GRT, built 1920), Spurt (Norwegian, 2061 GRT, built 1918) and Tarantia (British, 7268 GRT, built 1942).

The rescue ship Fastnet (British, 1415 GRT, built 1928) and the headquarters ship HMS Hilary (Capt.(Retd.) J.F. Paget, RN) were also with the convoy.

Convoy MKS 33(G) was escorted by the destroyers HMS Highlander (Cdr. C.W. McMullen, DSC, RN), HMS Walker (Lt.Cdr. A.N. Rowell, RN), frigates HMS Avon (Lt.Cdr. P.G.A. King, RD, RNR), corvettes HMS Abelia (Lt. R.I. Floris, RNZNR), HMS Asphodel (Lt.Cdr. H.P. Carse, DSC, RNVR), HMS Clover (Lt. P.H. Grieves, RNR) and the A/S trawlers HMS Northern Spray (Lt. F.A.J. Downer, RNR) and HMS Northern Sun (T/Lt. H. Meredith, RNVR).

The original escort of convoy SL 142 then parted company and proceeded to Gibraltar where they arrived on 14 December 1943.

Around 1120Z/17, the escort carrier HMS Fencer (Capt. E.W. Anstice, RN) joined the convoy.

During 20/21 December 1943, the escort was reinforced by the destroyers Hurricane, Wanderer, Watchman and the frigate Glenarm.

On 22 December 1943, in bad weather conditions the Baron Forbes straggled from the convoy.

On 23 December 1943, HMS Hilary was detached to Milford Haven where she arrived on 26 December 1943.

Around 1700Z/24, HMS Fencer, HMS Walker and HMS Abelia were detached from the convoy to proceed ahead with three of the merchant vessels (the Troilus was one of them). HMS Fencer arrived at Greenock on 26 December 1943, HMS Walker and HMS Abelia arrived at Londonderry also on the 26th.

On 25 December 1943, the Tilemachos straggled from the convoy.

The convoy arrived in U.K. waters on 27/28 December 1943.

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). (5)

Media links

With A Flower Upon The Ocean

Edward T Wilkins


  1. File (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)
  2. ADM 173/17201
  3. ADM 173/18003
  4. ADM 173/18231
  5. ADM 173/19337

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

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