Allied Warships

HMS Crocus (K 49)

Corvette of the Flower class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeCorvette
ClassFlower 
PennantK 49 
Built byA & J Inglis Ltd. (Glasgow, Scotland) : Kincaid 
Ordered25 Jul 1939 
Laid down26 Oct 1939 
Launched26 Jun 1940 
Commissioned20 Oct 1940 
End service 
History

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

Sold on 22 July 1946 and became the merchantile Annlock.
Scrapped in Hong Kong in 1952.

 

Commands listed for HMS Crocus (K 49)

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. Edward Wheeler, RNR14 Aug 194026 Jan 1942
2T/Lt. John Ferdinand Holm, RNZNR26 Jan 19423 Oct 1943
3T/A/Lt.Cdr. Alan Rochfort Mackay, RNZNVR3 Oct 194321 Sep 1944
4T/Lt. David Gordon White, RNVR21 Sep 1944mid 1945

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Notable events involving Crocus include:


12 Mar 1941

Convoy SL 68.

This convoy departed Freetown on 12 March 1941 bound for the U.K. but it was dispersed on 21 March 1941 due to the threat of German attack. The ships were ordered to proceed independently to either Halifax, Bermuda or Trinidad.

This convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels; Aldington Court (British, 4891 GRT, built 1929), Alexandra (Greek, 4355 GRT, built 1913), Alphacca (Dutch, 5759 GRT, built 1928), Alpherat (Dutch, 5759 GRT, built 1928), Andalusian (British, 3082 GRT, built 1918), Baron Inchcape (British, 7005 GRT, built 1917), Beckenham (British, 4636 GRT, built 1937), Bendoran (British, 5567 GRT, built 1910), Benwyvis (British, 5920 GRT, built 1929), Bosworth (British, 6672 GRT, built 1919), Brika (British, 4412 GRT, built 1929), Brittany (British, 4772 GRT, built 1928), Cap des Palmes (French, 3082 GRT, built 1935), City of Dieppe (British, 7958 GRT, built 1929), Clan Macilwraith (British, 4839 GRT, built 1924), Clan Macnab (British, 6076 GRT, built 1920), Clan Macwhirter (British, 5941 GRT, built 1918), Clan Ogilvy (British, 5802 GRT, built 1914), Cressdene (British, 4270 GRT, built 1936), Djambi (Dutch, 6984 GRT, built 1919), Dolius (British, 5507 GRT, built 1924), Dordrecht (Dutch, 4402 GRT, built 1928), Edward Blyden (British, 5003 GRT, built 1930), Eemland (Dutch, 4188 GRT, built 1906), Fernbank (Norwegian, 4333 GRT, built 1924), Glenshiel (British, 9415 GRT, built 1924), Gloucester Castle (British, 8006 GRT, built 1911), Henri Mory (British, 2564 GRT, built 1920), Hermiston (British, 4813 GRT, built 1939), Hoegh Scout (Norwegian (tanker), 9924 GRT, built 1939), Indochinois (British, 6966 GRT, built 1939), Jaarstroom (Dutch, 2480 GRT, built 1922), Jhelum (British, 4038 GRT, built 1936), King Stephen (British, 5274 GRT, built 1928), Leighton (British, 7412 GRT, built 1921), Mandalika (Dutch, 7750 GRT, built 1930), Mary Kingsley (British, 5021 GRT, built 1930), Medjerda (Dutch, 4380 GRT, built 1924), Meerkerk (Dutch, 7995 GRT, built 1916), Moena (Dutch, 9286 GRT, built 1923), New Columbia (British, 6574 GRT, built 1920), Niceto de Larrinaga (British, 5591 GRT, built 1916), Nicolaou Zografia (Greek, 7050 GRT, built 1913), Oltenia (British (former Rumanian), 6394 GRT, built 1928), P.L.M. 27 (British, 5633 GRT, built 1922), Parkhaven (Dutch, 4803 GRT, built 1920), Port Auckland (British, 8789 GRT, built 1922), Port Sydney (British, 9129 GRT, built 1914), Prince Rupert City (British, 4749 GRT, built 1929), Riley (British, 4993 GRT, built 1936), Robert Maersk (British, 2290 GRT, built 1937), Rochester Castle (British, 7795 GRT, built 1937), Saint Gobain (Swedish (tanker), 9959 GRT, built 1936), St. Merriel (British, 4980 GRT, built 1925), Sticklestad (Norwegian (tanker), 9349 GRT, built 1938), Strix (Norwegian (tanker), 6219 GRT, built 1930), Susan Maersk (British, 2355 GRT, built 1923), Tapanoeli (British, 7031 GRT, built 1924), Thyra (Swedish, 1796 GRT, built 1925) and Widestone (British, 3192 GRT, built 1920).

On departure from Freetown the convoy was escorted by the light cruiser HMS Mauritius (Capt. W.D. Stephens, RN), armed merchant cruiser HMS Canton (A/Capt. C.A.G. Nichols, MVO, RN), corvettes HMS Calendula (Lt.Cdr. A.D. Bruford, RNVR), HMS Crocus (Lt.Cdr. E. Wheeler, RNR), and HMS Marguerite (Lt.Cdr. A.N. Blundell, RNR) and the auxiliary A/S trawlers HMS Kelt (T/Lt. W.T. Hodson, RNVR) and HMS Turcoman (Skr. A.G. Day, RNR).

On 15 March the battleship HMS Malaya (Capt. A.F.E. Palliser, DSC, RN) and destroyer HMS Wishart (Cdr. E.T. Cooper, RN) joined the convoy. HMS Mauritius then parted company taking HMS Wishart with her.

In the evening of March 17th, the German submarine U-106 attacked the convoy. Two of the merchant vessels were sunk in the attack. These were the Andalusian and the Tapanoeli.

Also on the 17th (very late in the evening) the merchant vessels Clan Macnab and collided. The former sank on 18 March 1941 as a result of the collision. The Clan Macnab was heavily damaged but remained with the convoy until early in the afternoon of the 18th when she no longer could keep up. She was ordered to proceed to the Cape Verde Islands but she sank a few hours after having been detached from the convoy.

Early on the 18th another German submarine attacked the convoy, this was U-105 attacked the convoy. One merchant vessel was sunk in the attack. This was the Medjerda.

Shortly after midnight during the night of 18/19 March, U-105 attacked the convoy again sinking the merchant vessel Mandalika.

Very late in the evening of March 20th, U-106 attacked at convoy again and the merchant vessel Meerkerk was torpedoed and damaged as was HMS Malaya.

A few hours later U-105 made another attack run. Two merchant vessels were torpedoed and sunk during this run, these were the Benwyvis and the Clan Ogily.

Around 1800B/21 it was decided that the convoy would be scattered in position 21°00'N, 24°48'W, and that the ships were to proceed independently to either Halifax, Bermuda or Trinidad. The damaged ocean escort, HMS Malaya set course for Trinidad being escorted by HMS Crocus until 2000/23. HMS Canton was ordered to proceed to Bermuda searching for enemy supply vessels between 24°N / 28°N and 38°W / 42°W en-route.

8 Apr 1941

Convoy SL 71.

This convoy departed Freetown on 8 April 1941 and arrived in U.K. waters on 4 May 1941.

It was made up of the following merchant vessels; Abosso (British, 11330 GRT, built 1935), Adda (British, 7816 GRT, built 1922), Afrika (British, 8597 GRT, built 1920), Baron Erskine (British, 3657 GRT, built 1930), Baron Fairlie (British, 6706 GRT, built 1925), Bhima (British, 5280 GRT, built 1939), British Hussar (British (tanker), 6944 GRT, built 1923), City of Auckland (British, 8336 GRT, built 1914), City of Christchurch (British, 6009 GRT, built 1915), City of Yokohama (British, 7341 GRT, built 1922), Clan MacTaggart (British, 7622 GRT, built 1920), Dagfred (Norwegian, 4434 GRT, built 1930), Egton (British, 4363 GRT, built 1938), Empire Governor (British, 8657 GRT, built 1925), Empire Progress (British, 5249 GRT, built 1918), Evinos (Greek, 5627 GRT, built 1919), Grangepark (British, 5132 GRT, built 1919), Gudvin (Norwegian, 1824 GRT, built 1918), Janeta (British, 4312 GRT, built 1929), Jedmoor (British, 4392 GRT, built 1928), Kurdistan (British, 5844 GRT, built 1928), Leonidas N. Condylis (Greek, 3923 GRT, built 1912), Lisbeth (Norwegian, 2732 GRT, built 1922), Lise (Norwegian (tanker), 6826 GRT, built 1931), Llangibby Castle (British, 11951 GRT, built 1929), MacGregor Laird (British, 4992 GRT, built 1930), Margalau (British, 4541 GRT, built 1926), Meerkerk (Dutch, 7995 GRT, built 1916), Mount Mycale (British, 3556 GRT, built 1907), Myrtlebank (British, 5150 GRT, built 1925), Nagpore (British, 5283 GRT, built 1920), New Brooklyn (British, 6546 GRT, built 1920), New Westminster City (British, 4747 GRT, built 1929), Newton Ash (British, 4625 GRT, built 1925), Nigerian (British, 5423 GRT, built 1936), Peribonk (British, 5673 GRT, built 1937), Princesa (British, 8731 GRT, built 1918), Ravnefjell (British, 1339 GRT, built 1938), Rhesus (British, 6530 GRT, built 1911), River Lugar (British, 5423 GRT, built 1937), Ross (British, 4878 GRT, built 1936), Sandown Castle (British, 7607 GRT, built 1921), Santiago (Panamanian, 3864 GRT, built 1908), St. Lindsay (British, 5370 GRT, built 1921), Stad Arnhem (Dutch, 3819 GRT, built 1920), Thorshov (Norwegian (tanker), 9955 GRT, built 1935), Tysa (Dutch, 5327 GRT, built 1938) and Veerhaven (Dutch, 5291 GRT, built 1930).

On departure from Freetown the convoy was escorted by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Cilicia (Capt.(Retd.) V.B. Cardwell, OBE, RN) and the corvettes HMS Clematis (Cdr. Y.M. Cleeves, DSC, RD, RNR), HMS Crocus (Lt.Cdr. E. Wheeler, RNR), HMS Cyclamen (Lt. H.N. Lawson, RNR) and HMS Marguerite (Lt.Cdr. A.N. Blundell, RNR).

Around 1515N/10, the light cruiser HMS Mauritius (Capt. W.D. Stephens, RN) joined the convoy escort.

Around 0630N/17, the four corvettes parted company with the convoy.

Around 0800ON(+1.5)/23, the heavy cruiser HMS London (Capt. R.M. Servaes, CBE, RN) joined the convoy escort and around two hours later HMS Mauritius parted company with the convoy.

Around 0600N/29, HMS London parted company with the convoy.

Around 0930N/30, HMS Cilicia parted company with the convoy. By then the first ships of the A/S escort had joined. [For the moment we lack details of the composition of the A/S escort in home waters and sources are contradicting so further research is required.]

27 Apr 1941

Convoy SL 73.

This convoy departed Freetown on 27 April 1941 for the U.K.

On departure from Freetown the convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels; Agios Georgios (Greek, 4248 GRT, built 1911), Alcyone (Dutch, 4534 GRT, built 1921), Atland (Swedish, 5203 GRT, built 1910), British Chemist (British (tanker), 6997 GRT, built 1925), Brynymor (British, 4771 GRT, built 1936), Celtic Star (British, 5575 GRT, built 1918), City of Florence (British, 6862 GRT, built 1918), Clan Skene (British, 5214 GRT, built 1919), Daronia (British (tanker), 8139 GRT, built 1939), Defoe (British, 6245 GRT, built 1940), Elg (British, 4014 GRT, built 1930), Empire Gunner (British, 4492 GRT, built 1906), Fana (Norwegian, 1375 GRT, built 1939), Guelma (British, 4402 GRT, built 1928), Hardanger (Norwegian, 4000 GRT, built 1924), Harpalion (British, 5486 GRT, built 1932), Hartington (British, 5496 GRT, built 1932), Hartismere (British, 5498 GRT, built 1933), Hopecrown (British, 5180 GRT, built 1937), Katanga (Belgian, 5183 GRT, built 1917), Laplace (British, 7327 GRT, built 1919), Llancarvan (British, 4910 GRT, built 1937), Lysaker V (Norwegian, 1571 GRT, built 1936), Novasli (Norwegian, 3204 GRT, built 1920), Penolver (British, 3721 GRT, built 1912), Robert L. Holt (British, 2918 GRT, built 1926), Rod-el-Farag (Egyptian, 6369 GRT, built 1910), Rupert de Larrinaga (British, 5358 GRT, built 1930), Sabor (British, 5212 GRT, built 1920), Sagaing (British, 7958 GRT, built 1925), Solon II (British, 4561 GRT, built 1925), Starcross (British, 4662 GRT, built 1936), Suva (British, 4873 GRT, built 1938), Svend Foyn (British, 14795 GRT, built 1931), Tanafjord (Norwegian, 5922 GRT, built 1921), Thomas Holt (British, 3585 GRT, built 1929) and Titus (Dutch, 1712 GRT, built 1930). (British, GRT, built ).

On departure from Freetown the convoy was escorted by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Esperance Bay (Capt.(ret) G.S. Holden, RN) and the corvettes HMS Clematis (Cdr. Y.M. Cleeves, DSC, RD, RNR), HMS Crocus (Lt.Cdr. E. Wheeler, RNR), HMS Cyclamen (Lt. H.N. Lawson, RNR) and HMS Marguerite (Lt.Cdr. A.N. Blundell, RNR).

On 29 April 1941 the destroyer HMS Duncan (Lt.Cdr. A.N. Rowell, RN) joined coming from Bathurst. She parted company with the convoy on 1 May 1941 to proceed to Gibraltar.

Around 1540N/3, the light cruiser HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) joined the convoy coming from Freetown. She remained with the convoy until 1820N/4 when she parted company to return to Freetown.

On 19 May 1941, the destroyers HMS Boadicea (A/Cdr. E.C.L. Turner, RN), HMCS Columbia (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) S.W. Davis, RN), HMCS St.Francis (Lt.Cdr. H.F. Pullen, RCN) and the armed boarding vessels HMS Hilary (Cdr. T.L. Owen, RD, RNR) and HMS Registan (A/Cdr. E.A. Divers, RNR) joined the convoy. Around this time HMS Esperance Bay most likely parted company with the convoy.

On 20 May 1941, the destroyer HMCS St. Clair (Lt.Cdr. D.C. Wallace, RCNR), sloop HMS Egret (A/Capt. E.M. Haes, RN) and the corvettes HMCS Arrowhead (Lt.Cdr. E.G. Skinner, RCNR), HMCS Hepatica (T/Lt. C. Copelin, RCNR), HMCS Snowberry (T/Lt. R.S. Kelley, RCNR) and HMCS Spikenard (Lt.Cdr. H.G. Shadforth, RCNR) joined the convoy.

The rescue ship Zamalek (British, 1567 GRT, built 1930) also joined the convoy around the 19/20th.

On 21 May 1941, the destroyers St. Francis and St. Clair parted company with the convoy.

The convoy arrived in U.K. waters on 25 May 1941.

17 May 1941

Convoy SL 75.

This convoy departed Freetown on 17 May 1941 for the U.K.

The convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels; Arabistan (British, 5874 GRT, built 1929), Baarn (Dutch, 5621 GRT, built 1927), Badjestan (British, 5573 GRT, built 1928), Benwood (Norwegian, 3931 GRT, built 1910), Blitar (Dutch, 7065 GRT, built 1923), Charlbury (British, 4836 GRT, built 1940, the convoy Vice-Commodore was on board this ship), City of Dundee (British, 5273 GRT, built 1921), Clan MacNaughton (British, 6087 GRT, built 1921), Devon (British, 9036 GRT, built 1915), Empire Voice (British, 6828 GRT, built 1940), Gemstone (British, 4986 GRT, built 1938), Idomeneus (British, 7792 GRT, built 1926), Larchbank (British, 5150 GRT, built 1925), Madura (British, 8975 GRT, built 1921), Matadian (British, 4275 GRT, built 1936), Mentor (British, 7383 GRT, built 1914), Nikoklis (Greek, 3576 GRT, built 1921), Prince de Liege (Belgian, 2588 GRT, built 1938), Raranga (British, 10043 GRT, built 1916), Reggestroom (Dutch, 2836 GRT, built 1923), Ruahine (British, 10832 GRT, built 1909, the convoy Commodore was on board this ship) and Tordene (British, 4271 GRT, built 1936).

On departure from Freetown the convoy was escorted by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Cathay (A/Capt.(Retd.) C.M. Merewether, RN) and the corvettes HMS Crocus (Lt.Cdr. E. Wheeler, RNR), HMS Cyclamen (Lt. H.N. Lawson, RNR), HMS Gardenia (Lt.Cdr. H. Hill, RD, RNR) and HMS Marguerite (Lt.Cdr. A.N. Blundell, RNR).

At dawn on the 22nd, the Benwood and HMS Marguerite were not in sight. At 0745Z/22, the convoy was ordered to proceed to the east of the Cape Verde Islands and course was set accordingly. HMS Gardenia was briefly detached to search for the missing ships and inform them of the course change. She quickly rejoined the convoy as did HMS Marguerite which rejoined around 1000Z/22. The Benwood rejoined around 1600Z/22.

At 2000N/24 and 0130N/25, HMS Crocus and HMS Cyclamen parted company with the convoy [not known to us for the moment which corvette parted company first]. They were to make rendezvous with the dummy battleship HMS Centurion (resembling HMS Anson, King George V-class, Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) R.W.J. Martin, RN)

At dawn on the 25th, HMS Marguerite was not in sight and she did not rejoin the convoy.

Around 0610N/26, HMS Gardenia parted company with the convoy to proceed to Bathurst.

Around 0645N/28, the heavy cruiser HMS London (Capt. R.M. Servaes, CBE, RN) was close to the convoy to provide cover. She left again during the night of 28/29 May.

The battleship HMS Nelson (Capt. G.J.A. Miles, RN) was with the convoy from 0900A/2 to 1600A/4 when she was detached to hunt the German supply vessel Gonzenheim. After having successfully intercepted the German ship, which scuttled herself, HMS Nelson did not rejoin the convoy.

Around 1630Z/8, the corvette HMS Arabis (Lt.Cdr. J.P. Stewart, RNR) joined the convoy.

Around 0540Z/9, the destroyers HMS Roxborough (Lt. V.A. Wight-Boycott, OBE, RN), HMS Salisbury (Lt.Cdr. H.M.R. Crichton, RN), HMS Skate (Lt. F.P. Baker, DSC, RN) and the corvettes HMS Anemone (Lt.Cdr. H.G. Boys-Smith, DSO, RNR), HMS Clarkia (Lt.Cdr. F.J.G. Jones, RNR), HMS Veronica (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) D.F. White, RNR), A/S trawler HMS Vizalma (T/Lt. M.M. Firth, RNVR) joined the convoy. Also with them was the rescue ship Toward (British, 1571 GRT, built 1923).

The convoy arrived in U.K. waters on 12 June 1941 and was then split into several sections which then proceeded to their respective destinations. (1)

6 Jun 1941
The light cruiser HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN), seaplane tender HMS Albatross (A/Capt. W.A. Dallmeyer, DSO, RN), corvettes HMS Amaranthus (Lt. N.B.J. Stapleton, RNR), HMS Crocus (Lt.Cdr. E. Wheeler, RNR), target ship Centurion (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) R.W.J. Martin, RN) (portraying the dummy battleship Anson) and the troop transport Abosso (British, 11330 GRT, built 1935) departed Freetown.

Around 1500N/8, HMS Albatross and HMS Centurion parted company to proceed to St. Helena where they arrived in the afternoon of the 14th.

The other ships proceeded to Takoradi arriving there in the afternoon of the 10th. (2)

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.

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.

15 Nov 1941
HMS Severn (Lt.Cdr. A.N.G. Campbell, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Freetown together with HMS Brilliant (Lt.Cdr. A.G. Poe, RN), HMS Vimy (Lt.Cdr. H.G.D. de Chair, RN), HMS Lavender (Lt.Cdr. J. Whayman, RNR), HMS Nigella (T/Lt. L.J. Simpson, RNR) and HMS Crocus (Lt.Cdr. E. Wheeler, RD, RNR). (3)

16 Nov 1941
HMS Severn (Lt.Cdr. A.N.G. Campbell, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Freetown together with HMS Brilliant (Lt.Cdr. A.G. Poe, RN), HMS Vimy (Lt.Cdr. H.G.D. de Chair, RN), HMS Nigella (T/Lt. L.J. Simpson, RNR) and HMS Crocus (Lt.Cdr. E. Wheeler, RD, RNR). (3)

18 Nov 1941
HMS Severn (Lt.Cdr. A.N.G. Campbell, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Freetown together with HMS Lavender (Lt.Cdr. J. Whayman, RNR), HMS Aster (Lt.Cdr. E. Hewitt, RD, RNR), HMS Nigella (T/Lt. L.J. Simpson, RNR) and HMS Crocus (Lt.Cdr. E. Wheeler, RD, RNR). (3)

12 Jul 1942
HMS Asturias (Capt.(Retd.) H. Ardill, RN) conducted underway refuelling exercises off Freetown with HMS Crocus (T/Lt. J.F. Holm, RNZNR) and HMS Tamarisk (Lt. S. Ayles, RNR). (4)

2 Aug 1942
Around 1600Q/7, the armed merchant cruiser HMS Asturias (Capt.(Retd.) H. Ardill, RN) and armed boarding vessel HMS Largs (Cdr. E.A. Divers, RNR) departed St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. They then joined the floating dock AFD 25 in tow of the tugs HMS Aimwell and HMS Favourite and escorted by the corvettes HMS Cowslip (Lt. F. Granger, RNR) and HMS Crocus (T/Lt. J.F. Holm, RNZNR).

The floating dock was on passage to Freetown. (5)

11 Aug 1942
HMS Crocus (T/Lt. J.F. Holm, RNZNR) and HMS Cowslip (Lt. F. Granger, RNR) were both fuelled while underway by HMS Asturias (Capt.(Retd.) H. Ardill, RN). (6)

15 Aug 1942
In the early morning hours floating dock AFD 25 broke its back in the swell. Salvage attempts were undertaken but late in the afternoon there was no other choice then to scuttle the dock which eventually sank in position 12°01'N, 40°50'W early in the evening.

The escort and tugs; the armed merchant cruiser HMS Asturias (Capt.(Retd.) H. Ardill, RN), armed boarding vessel HMS Largs (Cdr. E.A. Divers, RNR), corvettes HMS Cowslip (Lt. F. Granger, RNR), HMS Crocus (T/Lt. J.F. Holm, RNZNR) and tugs HMS Aimwell and HMS Favourite continued the passage to Freetown. (5)

16 Aug 1942
HMS Crocus (T/Lt. J.F. Holm, RNZNR) was topped off with fuel fuel while underway by HMS Asturias (Capt.(Retd.) H. Ardill, RN).

At 2055O/16, the corvette was detached from the group made up of HMS Asturias, HMS Largs (Cdr. E.A. Divers, RNR), HMS Cowslip (Lt. F. Granger, RNR), HMS Aimwell and HMS Favourite. (6)

17 Aug 1942
HMS Crocus (T/Lt. J.F. Holm, RNZNR) was topped off with fuel fuel while underway by HMS Asturias (Capt.(Retd.) H. Ardill, RN). At dawn on the 17th, it became apparent that HMS Aimwell had lost contact during the night with HMS Asturias (Capt.(Retd.) H. Ardill, RN), HMS Largs (Cdr. E.A. Divers, RNR), HMS Cowslip (Lt. F. Granger, RNR) and HMS Favourite.

A seach by the aircraft from HMS Asturias failed to find the missing tug. It was hoped she would proceed to Freetown independently.

During the day, HMS Cowslip was fuelled while underway by HMS Asturias. (6)

22 Aug 1942
HMS Crocus (T/Lt. J.F. Holm, RNR) picks up 21 survivors from the British merchant Vimeira that was torpedoed and sunk by German U-boat U-109 on 11 August about 450 nautical miles south-west of the Cape Verde Islands in position 10°03'N, 28°55'W.

6 Oct 1942
The British corvette HMS Crocus on 6 Oct, 1942 fought an epic battle with German U-boat U-333. The U-boat lost 3 men dead (including the IWO) and several men wounded, including the commander, Peter Erich Cremer. The boat was heavily damaged and limped back to base.

28 Oct 1942
The British merchant Nagpore is torpedoed and sunk north-west of the Canary Islands in position 31°30'N, 19°35'W by German U-boat U-509. HMS Crocus (T/Lt. J.F. Holm, RNR) later picks up 34 survivors.

18 Dec 1942

Convoy WS 25.

The convoy was assembled off Oversay on 18 December 1942.

It was made up of the following (troop) transports; Britannic (British, 26943 GRT, built 1930, 4955 troops), City of Lincoln (British, 8039 GRT, built 1938), Esperance Bay (British, 14204 GRT, built 1922, 1805 troops), Highland Brigade (British, 14134 GRT, built 1929, 1882 troops), Highland Princess (British, 14133 GRT, built 1930, 1930 troops), Mataroa (British, 12390 GRT, built 1922, 1897 troops), Orion (British, 23371 GRT, built 1935, 5335 troops), Rangitiki (British, 16698 GRT, built 1928, 2598 troops) and Tarifa (Norwegian, 7229 GRT, built 1936).

On assembly the convoy was escorted by the armed merchant cruisers HMS Carnarvon Castle (Capt.(Retd.) E.W. Kitson, RN), HMS Cheshire (A/Capt.(Retd.) R.D. King-Harman, DSO, DSC and Bar, RN), destroyers HMS Quilliam (Capt. S.H. Carlill, DSO, RN), HMS Wolverine (Lt. I.M. Clegg, RN), escort destroyer HMS Badsworth (Lt. G.T.S. Gray, DSC, RN), HMS Haydon (Lt. R.C. Watkin, RN) and HMS Rockwood (Lt. S.R. Le H. Lombard-Hobson, RN).

Around 1700Z/24, HMS Wolverine, HMS Badsworth and HMS Haydon parted company with the convoy to fuel at Ponta Delgada, Azores. They were not to rejoin the convoy. HMS Quilliam and HMS Rockwood had returned from fuelling at Ponta Delgada in the afternoon of the 24th, These two ships were to continue with the convoy to Freetown.

At 1225Z/26, the destroyer HMS Ilex (Lt.Cdr. V.A. Wight-Boycott, OBE, RN) joined the convoy.

Around 2005Z/28, HMS Rockwood parted company to fuel at Bathurst. She rejoined the convoy around 1100Z/30.

At 0900Z/29, HMS Ilex parted company with the convoy to proceed to Freetown. She rejoined around around 0900Z/31.

At 0545Z/30, the corvettes HMS Crocus (T/Lt. J.F. Holm, RNZNR) and HMS Woodruff (A/Lt.Cdr. F.H. Gray, RNR) joined the convoy.

The convoy arrived at Freetown in the afternoon of 31 December 1942.

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The convoy departed Freetown in the same composition on 3 January 1943.

The convoy was now escorted by the armed merchant cruisers HMS Alcantara (A/Capt.(retd.) J.D. Harvey, RN), HMS Cheshire destroyer HMS Quilliam, escort destroyer HMS Rockwood, corvette HMS Crocus and the minesweeper HMIS Baluchistan (Lt. D.A. McDonald, RIN).

Around 0715A/6, the corvette Commandant d'Estienne d'Orves joined the convoy coming from Takoradi.

Around 1900A/6, the Highland Brigade was detached to Takoradi escorted by the Commandant d'Estienne d'Orves and HMIS Baluchistan. they arrived at Takoradi on the 7th.

Between 0850A/9 and 1300A/9, HMS Quilliam was fuelled by HMS Alcantara.

At 1000A/9, HMS Crocus was detached to Pointe Noire.

Between 1330A/9 and 1915A/9, HMS Rockwood was fuelled by HMS Alcantara.

Around 1920A/9, HMS Alcantara parted company with the convoy to return to Freetown.

Around 1830C/14, the destroyer HMS Express (Lt.Cdr. F.J. Cartwright, RN) joined the convoy. HMS Quilliam then parted company to proceed to Simonstown.

Around 1600C/14, HMS Quilliam rejoined the convoy after having fuelled at Simonstown. By now HMS Rockwood had also parted company with the convoy to proceed to Simonstown after having been relieved by the corvette HMS Genista (Lt.Cdr. R.M. Pattinson, DSC, RNR). On HMS Quilliam rejoining the convoy HMS Genista was detached.

The convoy arrived at Durban on 18 January 1943. (7)

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.

10 Jul 1943
Le Centaure conducted A/S exercises off Freetown with HMS Crocus (T/Lt.Cdr. J.F. Holm, RNZNR), HMS Petunia (A/Lt.Cdr. G.E. Newey, RNR), HMS Butser (T/Lt. A.F. Cameron, RNVR) and HMS Duncton (Lt. J.N. Burgess, RANVR). (8)

31 Jul 1943
Le Centaure conducted A/S exercises off Freetown with HMS Crocus (T/Lt.Cdr. J.F. Holm, RNZNR). (8)

4 Jan 1944

Combined convoy OS 64 / KMS 38.

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

It was made up of the following merchant vessels; Anna N. Goulandris (Greek, 4358 GRT, built 1921), Antilochus (British, 9082 GRT, built 1906), Atlantic City (British, 5133 GRT, built 1941), Baron Douglas (British, 3899 GRT, built 1932), Biafra (British, 5405 GRT, built 1933), Bosphorus (Norwegian, 2111 GRT, built 1934), City of Leicester (British, 3351 GRT, built 1926), Coulbeg (British, 5237 GRT, built 1940), Danae II (British, 2660 GRT, built 1936), Edam (Dutch, 8871 GRT, built 1921), Empire Caxton (British, 2873 GRT, built 1942), Empire Cormorant (British, 5760 GRT, built 1918), Empire Geraint (British, 6991 GRT, built 1942), Empire Grange (British, 6981 GRT, built 1943), Empire Melody (British, 2283 GRT, built 1942), Empire Opossum (British, 5644 GRT, built 1918), Empire Peacock (British, 6098 GRT, built 1919), Empire Stronghold (British, 7064 GRT, built 1943), Empire Thackeray (British, 2865 GRT, built 1942), Empire Wolfe (British, 2888 GRT, built 1941), Eskdalegate (British, 4250 GRT, built 1930), Fort Norman (British, 7133 GRT, built 1942), Governor (British, 5571 GRT, built 1918), Hartbridge (British, 5080 GRT, built 1927), Kyklades (Greek, 7157 GRT, built 1941), Laguna (British, 6466 GRT, built 1923), Lornaston (British, 4934 GRT, built 1925), Manchester Exporter (British, 5277 GRT, built 1918), Marsdale (British, 4890 GRT, built 1940), Merchant Royal (British, 5008 GRT, built 1928), North Devon (British, 3658 GRT, built 1924), Ocean Gallant (British, 7178 GRT, built 1942), Ocean Vulcan (British, 7174 GRT, built 1942), Palacio (British, 1346 GRT, built 1927), Port Melbourne (British, 9142 GRT, built 1914), Scottish American (British (tanker / escort oiler), 6999 GRT, built 1920), Sreca (Yugoslavian, 5248 GRT, built 1918), Telesfora de Larrinaga (British, 5780 GRT, built 1920), Theomitor (Greek, 4427 GRT, built 1910) and Van Honthorst (Dutch, 6140 GRT, built 1943).

The rescue ship Copeland (British, 1526 GRT, built 1923) was also with the convoy as was the Greek LST RHS Chios.

Of the transports the following had to return after departure; Empire Cormorant, Empire Thackeray- and Merchant Royal.

On assembly off Oversay the convoy was escorted by the destroyers HMS Winchelsea (Lt. C.T. Shuttleworth, RNVR), frigates HMS Bayntun (Lt.Cdr. L.P. Bourke, RNZNR), HMS Helmsdale (Cdr. C.W. McMullen, RN), corvettes HMS Abelia (A/Lt.Cdr. O.G. Stuart, RCNVR), HMS Asphodel (Lt.Cdr. H.P. Carse, DSC, RNVR), HMS Burdock (T/Lt. F.R.M. Greasley, RNR), HMS Clover (Lt. T.E. Fanshawe, DSC, RNR), HMS Crocus (T/A/Lt.Cdr. A.R. Mackay, RNZNVR) and A/S trawler HMS Vizalma (T/Lt. B. James, RNVR). The rescue tug HMRT Stormking was also with the convoy.

On 6 January 1944, the frigate HMS Foley (A/Lt.Cdr. C.A.H. Bird, RNVR) departed Londonderry to overtake and join the convoy. She had been unable to departed earlier as her new Commanding Officer had not yet arrived to take over command.

On 6/7 January 1944, the frigate HMCS Waskesiu (T/A/Cdr. J.H.S. MacDonald, RCNR) and the corvettes HMCS Camrose (T/A/Lt.Cdr. L.R. Pavillard, RCNR), HMCS Edmundston (T/A/Lt.Cdr. R.D. Barrett, RCNR), HMCS Lunenburg (T/Lt. D.L. Miller, RCNVR) and HMCS Snowberry (T/Lt. J.A. Dunn, RCNVR) joined from convoy SL 143. They parted company on 12 January 1944 to join northbound convoy SL 144.

On 7 January 1944, the frigate HMS Avon (Lt.Cdr. P.G.A. King, DSC, RD, RNR) departed Londonderry to overtake and join the convoy. She had been unable to departed earlier due to defects.

In the evening of 8 January 1944, HMS Bayntun and HMCS Camrose sank the German submarine U-757 in position 50°33'N, 18°03'W.

On 9 January 1944, the corvette HMS Abelia sustained damage to her rudder. The damage was possibly due to a T-5 acoustic torpedo fired by a German submarine but might also have been inflicted due to one of her own depth charges exploding prematurely. She was able to steam under her own power but could not steer. HMRT Stormking then took her in tow towards Cardiff where they arrived on 13 January 1944. They had been escorted by HMS Vizalma which subsequently proceeded to Liverpool arriving on the 14th.

On 11 January 1944, the destroyers HMS Wanderer (Lt.Cdr. R.F. Whinney, RN), HMS Watchman (Lt.Cdr. G.H.D. Williams, RN), sloop HMS Woodpecker (Cdr. H.L. Pryse, RNR) and frigates HMS Glenarm (Lt.Cdr. W.R.B. Noall, DSO, RNR) joined from convoy SL 144. They parted company again the following day to rejoin convoy SL 144 taking HMS Burdock also with them.

In the late afternoon of 11 January 1944, the German submarine U-953 attacked the corvette HMCS Lunenburg with a T-5 homing torpedo but it missed. The submarine was then hunted for hours by the Lunenburg herself as well as HMS Foley, HMCS Waskesiu and HMCS Edmundston. The U-boat was damaged but was able to remain on patrol.

On 17 January 1944, the convoy split into convoy OS 64 and KMS 38.

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Convoy OS 64, towards Freetown, was made up of the following merchant vessels; Biafra, Bosphorus, Danae II, Empire Geraint and Port Melboune.

On 15 January 1944, the frigate HMS Ballinderry (Lt.Cdr. E.F. Aikman, RNR) and the corvettes HMS Aubretia (Lt. G.D. Fowler, RNR) and HMS Cyclamen (T/Lt. W.S. Joliffe, RNR) had departed Gibraltar escorting convoy OS 64G (the Gibraltar section of convoy OS 64) which was made up of the following transports; Afghanistan (British, 6992 GRT, built 1940), Dalhanna (British, 5571 GRT, built 1930), Empire Meteor (British, 7457 GRT, built 1940), Empire Newton (British, 7037 GRT, built 1942), Empire Sunbeam (British, 6711 GRT, built 1941), Fort Lac la Ronge (British, 7131 GRT, built 1942), Fort McLoughlin (British, 7129 GRT, built 1942), Houston City (British, 7262 GRT, built 1942), Nairung (British, 5414 GRT, built 1942), Nyanza (British, 4974 GRT, built 1928), Tiba (Dutch, 5239 GRT, built 1938), Vera Radcliffe (British, 5587 GRT, built 1925) and Vinriver (British, 3881 GRT, built 1917).

On these ships arriving at the rendezvous on the 17th the convoy split. The original escort of the combined convoy then proceeded with convoy KMS 38 towards the Mediterranean.

On 16 January 1944, the transport/ tanker Hoggar (French, 5146 GRT, built 1923) and Ninella (British (tanker), 8134 GRT, built 1943) had departed Casablanca to join the convoy. They were escorted to the rendezvous by the corvette Commandant Detroyant and the patrol vessel / sloop Amiral Mouchez. These escorts did not join the convoy but returned to Casablanca on the 17th.

On 23 January 1944, the and arrived at Dakar after having been detached from the convoy while the transport Arcturus (French, 2514 GRT, built 1914) joined the convoy coming from Dakar.

Convoy OS 64 arrived at Freetown 26 January 1944. Some ships from the convoy did not enter Freetown but continued on to their destinations independently.

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Convoy KMS 38, made up of the remaining ships, proceeded towards the Mediterranean with the original escort of the combined convoy.

On 17 January 1944, the following transports / tanker arrived at Gibraltar; City of Leicester, Copeland, Empire Caxton, Empire Melody, Empire Wolfe, Laguna, North Devon and Scottish American. The Greek LST RHS Chios also arrived at Gibraltar.

The original escort, made up of HMS Helmsdale, HMS Bayntun, HMS Avon, HMS Foley, HMS Winchelsea, HMS Asphodel, HMS Clover and HMS Crocus also arrived at Gibraltar.

On the convoy passing Gibraltar on the 17th, the transports Cragpool (British 5133 GRT, built 1928) and Empire Daring (British 7059 GRT, built 1943) joined.

Also a new escort joined, this was made up of the AA cruiser HMS Colombo (Capt. H.W. Williams, RN), frigate HMS Inver (Lt.Cdr. F.H. Gray, RNR), corvettes HMS Delphinium (Cdr. V.F. Smith, DSO, RD, RNR), RHS Sakhtouris, RHS Apostolis, A/S whaler HMSAS Southern Sea and the M/S trawler HMS Filla (T/Lt. G.H. Syrett, RNVR).

The submarines HMS Tantivy (Cdr. M.G. Rimington, DSO, RN) and HrMs K XIV (Lt.Cdr. J.F. Drijfhout Van Hooff, RNN) also joined the convoy for passage to Port Said.

On 18 January 1944, the transport Lornaston was detached to Oran while the following transports joined the convoy coming from Oran; Cartago (American, 4732 GRT, built 1908), Empire Harbour (British (tanker), 797 GRT, built 1943), George G. Meade (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Irvin MacDowell (American, 7181 GRT, built 1942), James R. Randall (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), John P. Mitchell (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), John S. Pillsbury (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Joseph E. Brown (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Mount Othrys (Greek, 6527 GRT, built 1919), P.L.M. 13 (British, 3754 GRT, built 1921), Tabitha Brown (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Ville de Djidjelli (French, 1132 GRT, built 1907) and William Mulholland (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942).

On 19 January 1944, the transports / tanker Atlantic City, Baron Douglas, Hartbridge, Mount Othrys, Ocean Gallant and Telesfora de Larrinaga were detached to Algiers as was the M/S trawler HMS Filla while the following transports joined the convoy coming from Algiers; Amberton (British, 5377 GRT, built 1928), Djebel Aures (French, 2835 GRT, built 1929), Edward P. Costigan (American, 7194, built 1943), Fort Fairford (British, 7134 GRT, built 1943), Fort Reliance (British, 7134 GRT, built 1942), Gouverneur General Lepine (French, 3509 GRT, built 1923), Guinean (British, 5205 GRT, built 1936), Joseph N. Teal (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Pan-Maryland (American (tanker), 7701 GRT, built 1938), Silvester Gardiner (American, 7176, built 1943), Srbin (Yugoslavian, 928 GRT, built 1913), Temple Inn (British, 5218 GRT, built 1940) and Thomas Pickney (American, 7177, built 1942).

On 20 January 1944, the transport Benjamin Tay (British, 1814 GRT, built 1943) joined the convoy coming from Bougie.

On 20 January 1944, the transport Ville de Djidjelli arrived at Philippeville after having been detached from the convoy.

On 20 January 1944, the transports / tanker , Anna N. Goulandris, Empire Harbour, George G. Meade, Gouverneur General Lepine and Srbin arrived at Bone after having been detached from the convoy while the following transports joined the convoy coming from Bone; Brighton (British, 7345 GRT, built 1943), Cyrus H.K. Curtis (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Destro (British, 3553 GRT, built 1920), Dornoch (British, 5186 GRT, built 1939), Dux (Norwegian, 1590 GRT, built 1934), Empire Brook (British, 2852 GRT, built 1941) and Senga (Yugoslavian, 5140 GRT, built 1913). The RFA tanker Prestol (2629 GRT, built 1917) also joined the convoy.

On 21 January 1944, the transports Cartago, James R. Randall, Senga, Sreca, Theomitor and the RFA tanker Prestol arrived at Bizerta after having parted company with the convoy while the following transports joined the convoy coming from Bizerta; George Matthews (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), George W. McCrary (American, 7181 GRT, built 1942) and John A. Campbell (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943). HMS Colombo also arrived at Bizerta after having been detached from the convoy.

On 21 January 1944, the transports Eskdalegate and Joseph N. Teal arrived at Tunis after having been detached from the convoy.

On 22 January 1944, the following transports / tankers departed Augusta to join the convoy; Anglo-African (British, 5601 GRT, built 1929), Blairclova (British, 5083 GRT, built 1938), Comliebank (British, 5149 GRT, built 1924), Empire Ballad (British, 6700 GRT, built 1942), Empire Cedar (British (tug), 129 GRT, built 1941), Empire Daring (British, 7059 GRT, built 1943), Empire Raja (British, 6224 GRT, built 1922), Empire Rock (British, 7061 GRT, built 1943), Fort Capot River (British, 7128 GRT, built 1943), Fort Clatsop (British, 7157 GRT, built 1943), Fort Nashwaak (British, 7134 GRT, built 1943), Fort St. Francois (British, 7125 GRT, built 1942), Lublin (Polish, 1409 GRT, built 1932), Nolisement (British, 5084 GRT, built 1928), Ocean Trader (British, 7178 GRT, built 1942), Samaritan (British, 7219 GRT, built 1943), Samnebra (British, 7219 GRT, built 1943), Samsylvan (British, 7219 GRT, built 1943), Tide Water (American (tanker), 8886 GRT, built 1930) and Trevelyan (British, 7292 GRT, built 1943).

On 23 January 1944, the transports Amberton, Benjamin Tay, Brighton, Coulbeg, Craigpool, Cyrus H.K. Curtis, Destro, Djebel Aures, Dornoch, Dux, Edward P. Costigan, Empire Brook, Empire Grange, Empire Opossum, Empire Peacock, Empire Stronghold, Fort Fairford, Fort Norman, Fort Reliance, George Matthews, George W. McCrary, Guinean, Irvin MacDowell, John A. Campbell, John P. Mitchell, John S. Pillsbury, Joseph E. Brown , Kyklades, Manchester Exporter, Ocean Vulcan, P.L.M. 13, Pan-Maryland , Silvester Gardiner, Tabitha Brown, Temple Inn, Thomas Pinckney, Van Honthorst and William Mulholland arrived at Tunis after having been detached from the convoy.

On 26 January 1944, the following transports arrived at Alexandria after having parted company with the convoy. Blairclova, Edam, Fort Capot River, Fort Nashwaak, Fort St. Francois, Lublin, Marsdale, Ocean Trader, Samaritan, Samnebra, Samsylvan and Trevelyan. Also the following escort vessels arrived at Alexandria; HMS Inver, HMS Delphinium and RHS Apostolis.

On 27 January 1944, the following transports / tankers arrived at Port Said; Anglo-African, Antilochus, Comliebank, Empire Ballad, Empire Cedar, Empire Daring, Empire Raja, Empire Rock, Fort Clatsop, Governor, Nolisement and Tide Water. Also the following escort vessels arrived at Port Said; RHS Sakhtouris, HMSAS Southern Sea

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.

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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.

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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.

26 Apr 1945
HMS Vampire (Lt. C.W. Taylor, RNR) conducted A/S exercises off Gibraltar with HMS Bellwort (T/A/Lt.Cdr. L.V. Banks, RNVR) and HMS Crocus (T/Lt. D.G. White, RNVR). (9)

Sources

  1. ADM 199/1143
  2. ADM 53/113554 + ADM 53/114146 + ADM 199/394
  3. ADM 173/16988
  4. ADM 53/115380
  5. ADM 53/115381 + ADM 199/647 + ADM 199/2248
  6. ADM 53/115381
  7. ADM 199/1211
  8. ADM 199/635
  9. ADM 173/20232

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


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