Allied Warships

FR Commandant Delage

Minesweeper of the Elan class

NavyThe French Navy
TypeMinesweeper
ClassElan 
Pennant 
Built byAt. & Ch de France (Dunkirk, France) 
Ordered 
Laid downNov 1936 
Launched25 Feb 1939 
CommissionedDec 1939 
End service18 Oct 1960 
History

Rejoined the Allies after the Allied landings in North Africa.
Stricken on 18 October 1960.

 

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Notable events involving Commandant Delage include:


18 Apr 1940
Commandant Delage departed Brest in escort of Convoy FS 2, en route Greenock, Scotland. Arrived at Greenock on 21 April. (1)

27 Apr 1940
Commandant Delage departed Brest in escort of Convoy FS 4, en route Greenock, Scotland. Arrived at Greenock on 29 April. (1)

22 Nov 1943

Convoy SL 141.

This convoy departed Freetown on 22 November 1943.

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

On departure from Freetown the convoy was escorted by the sloops HMS Leith (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) A.W. Preston, RN), HMS Sandwich (T/A/Lt.Cdr. A.J. Clemence, RNR) and the corvette HMS Anchusa (T/Lt. R.A. Baker, RNVR).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3 Jun 1944

Convoy GUS 42.

This convoy departed Port Said on 3 June 1944.

On departure from Port Said the convoy was made up of the following transports / tankers; Bantria (British, 2407 GRT, built 1928), Dallington Court (British, 6889 GRT, built 1929), Empire Brook (British, 2852 GRT, built 1941), Esso Charleston (American (tanker), 7949 GRT, built 1938), Fort Rouille (British, 7131 GRT, built 1943), Fort St. Joseph (British, 7151 GRT, built 1943), Francis M. Smith (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Glacier Park (Canadian, 7137 GRT, built 1943), Jose Marti (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), K.I. Luckenbach (American, 7822 GRT, built 1918), L.H. McNelly (American, 7244 GRT, built 1943), Louis A. Sengteller (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Nathan Clifford (American, 7200 GRT, built 1943), R.M. Williamson (American, 7244 GRT, built 1943), Susan V. Luckenbach (American, 7435 GRT, built 1918), Thorshavn (Norwegian (tanker), 6869 GRT, built 1930), Vasco (British, 2878 GRT, built 1939) and Waigstill Avery (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943).

On departure from Port Said the convoy was escorted by frigate HMS Barle (Lt.Cdr. A.H. Davies, RNVR) and the corvette HMS Myosotis (T/Lt. R. Lugg, RNR).

On 4 June 1944, the transports Empire Kinsman (British, 6744 GRT, built 1942), Pronto (Norwegian, 2201 GRT, built 1920), Samfairy (British, 7255 GRT, built 1944), Samsylvan (British, 7219 grt, built 1943) and William H. Moody (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943) joined the convoy coming from Alexandria. With these ships were also the corvettes HMS Bryony (T/Lt. T. Hand, RNR) and HMS Jonquil (T/A/Lt.Cdr. R.W. Tretheway, RNR).

On 8 June 1944, the following transports / tankers departed Augusta to join the convoy; Athelvictor (British (tanker), 8320 GRT, built 1941), Ben H. Miller (British, 7219 GRT, built 1943), Carelia (British (tanker), 8062 GRT, built 1938), Daniel H. Lownsdale (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Daniel Huger (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Elbridge Gerry (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Empire Usk (British, 3229 GRT, built 1918), F. Marion Crawford (American, 7181 GRT, built 1942), George W. Campbell (American, 7180 GRT, built 1943), Hannis Taylor (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Harlesden (British, 7273 GRT, built 1943), Hart Crane (American, 7207 GRT, built 1944), Henry George (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), James McCosh (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), James Turner (American, 7177 GRT, built 1942), John Lawson (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Johns Hopkins (American, 7200 GRT, built 1943), Joseph Hooker (American, 7200 GRT, built 1943), King James (British, 5122 GRT, built 1925), Levi Woodbury (American, 7191 GRT, built 1943), Mary Lyon (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Ocean Pride (Britsh, 7173 GRT, built 1942), Roger Sherman (American, 7181 GRT, built 1942), Samsteel (British, 7219 GRT, built 1943), Samuel Johnston (American, 7191 GRT, built 1943), Sun Yat-Sen (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Thomas Cresap (American, 7200 GRT, built 1943), Thomas Nelson Page (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943) and Wellington Court (British, 4979 GRT, built 1930).

On 9 June 1944, the following transports / tankers arrived at Augusta after having parted company with the convoy; Bantria, Dallington Court, Empire Brook, Esso Charleston, Pronto, Samsylvan and Vasco.

On 9 June 1944, the transports Andrew Pickens (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943) and Hermes (Dutch, 2739 GRT, built 1920) joined the convoy coming from Malta. Also joining for passage to Gibraltar was the submarine HMS Taurus (Lt.Cdr. M.R.G. Wingfield, DSO, DSC and Bar, RN).

On 10 June 1944, the transports / tankers joined the convoy coming from Bizerta; Alexander J. Dallas (American, 7180 GRT, built 1943), British Respect (British (tanker), 8479 GRT, built 1943), Empire Damsel (British (tanker), 784 GRT, built 1942), G.C. Brovig (Norwegian (tanker), 9718 GRT, built 1930), J.C. Osgood (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), James W. Johnson (American, 7207 GRT, built 1943), Motia (Italian, 2336 GRT, built 1918), Nueva Granada (Norwegian (tanker), 9968 GRT, built 1937), Pierre Gibault (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Robert H. Harrison (American, 7181 GRT, built 1942). Also the current escort, which arrived at Bizerta on 10 June 1944, was relieved by a new escort which was made up of the AA cruiser HMS Caledon (Capt. R.F. Nichols, RN), destroyer USS MacLeish (Lt.Cdr. R.P. Winkel, USNR, with COMTASKFOR 63, T/Capt. H.T. Read, USN on board), destroyer escorts USS Eisner (Lt.Cdr. D. McVickar, USNR, with COMCORTDIV 52, T/Cdr. R.P. Walker, USN on board), USS Wingfield (Lt.Cdr. H.E. Purdy, USNR), USS Thornhill (Lt. J.B. Shumway, USNR), USS Rinehart Lt. P.W. Crouch, Jr., USN), USS Roche (Lt.Cdr. R.E. Parker, USNR), USS Jordan (Lt.Cdr. D. Bontecou, USNR, with COMCORTDIV 55, T/Cdr. C.R. Simmers, USN on board), USS Liddle (T/Cdr. R.M. Hinckley, Jr., USN), USS Cofer (Lt.Cdr. A.P. Chester, USNR), USS Kephart (Cdr. I.H. Cammarn, USNR), USS Newman (Lt.Cdr. W.C. Meyer, USNR), USS Lloyd (Lt.Cdr. P.N. Gammelgard, USNR) and the minesweeper USS Pioneer (Lt.Cdr. L.E. Rogers, Jr., USNR).

On 11 June 1944, the Empire Usk and Hermes arrived at Bizerta after having been detached from the convoy.

On 11 June 1944, the Harlesden, Motia, Samsteel and Wellington Court arrived at Bone after having parted company with the convoy.

On 11 June 1944, the transports Bialystok (Polish, 7173 GRT, built 1942), Empire Harbour (British (tanker), 797 GRT, built 1943) and Sinnington Court (British, 6910 GRT, built 1928) joined the convoy coming from Bone.

On 12 June 1944, the Empire Harbour, Ocean Pride, Thorshaven and HMS Caledon arrived at Algiers after having parted company with the convoy.

On 12 June 1944, the following transports / tankers joined the convoy coming from Algiers; Cornelius Harnett (American, 7177 GRT, built 1942), David Bushnell (American, 7181 GRT, built 1942), Edward H. Crockett (American, 7176 GRT, built 1944), Elijah White (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Empire Emerald (British (tanker), 8032 GRT, built 1941), Empire Foam (British, 7047 GRT, built 1941), Empire Nerissa (British, 7096 GRT, built 1942), Howell E. Jackson (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Joseph N. Teal (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Loch Dee (British, 5252 GRT, built 1937) Malplaquet (British, 499 GRT, built 1940), Noah Webster (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Prometheus (British, 6095 GRT, built 1925), Samuel Adams (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Vacport (British (tanker), 6774 GRT, built 1930), Walter Reed (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943) and William Blount (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942).

On 13 June 1944, the following transports parted company with the convoy and proceeded to Oran Bay; Alexander J. Dallas, Empire Damsel, Hart Crane, Howell E. Jackson, John Lawson, Malplaquet, Sinnington Court and William Blount. USS Pioneer proceed to Mers-el-Kebir.

On 13 June 1944, the following transports / tankers joined the convoy coming from Oran / Mers-el-Kebir; David Lubin (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Empire Stalwart (British, 7045 GRT, built 1943), G.S. Walden (British (tanker), 10627 GRT, built 1937), John Fairfield (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), John P. Holland (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Lambert Cadwalader (American, 7196 GRT, built 1942), Samfield (British, 7219 GRT, built 1943), Samgallion (British, 7210 GRT, built 1944), Samkansa (British, 7219 GRT, built 1943), Walt Whitman (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942) and Walter Forward (American, 7180 GRT, built 1943).

The naval tanker (escort oiler), USS Cowanesque (Cdr. L.S. McKenzie, USNR) also joined the convoy coming from Oran / Mers-el-Kebir.

On 14 June 1944, the following transports / tankers arrived at Gibraltar; Bialystok Empire Foam, Fort Rouille, Fort St. Joseph and King James. HMS Taurus also parted company with the convoy and entered Gibraltar.

On 14 June 1944, the tankers British Commodore (British (tanker), 6865 GRT, built 1923) and British Energy (British (tanker), 7209 GRT, built 1931) joined the convoy coming from Gibraltar. The following day the British Commodore developed engine trouble and was ordered to proceed to Casablanca but she returned to Gibraltar instead where she arrived on 16 June 1944.

On 15 June the transports; Cape Hawke (British, 5081 GRT, built 1941), Charles Carroll (American, 7191 GRT, built 1942), Empire Alliance (British (tanker), 9909 GRT, built 1943), Fort Souris (British, 7134 GRT, built 1942), Hopepeak (British, 5179 GRT, built 1938), John Barton Payne (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943) and Samderry (British, 7219 GRT, built 1944) joined the convoy coming from Casablanca which they had departed on the 14th. They were escorted to the rendezvous by the minesweeping sloops La Gracieuse, Commandant Delage and the patrol vessel L'Indiscret.

On the above ships joining the convoy the transport Loch Dee parted company to proceed to Casablanca with the French escort vessels. They arrived at Casablanca later on the 15th.

Around 1730Z/16, the Pierre Gibault developed engine trouble and parted company with the convoy. USS Eisner was detached to escort her. They rejoined the convoy around 1200Z/17.

On 18 June 1944, USS Macleish, USS Liddle, USS Jordan, USS Kephart, USS Newman, USS Lloyd and USS Cofer fuelled from USS Cowanesque.

On 19 June 1944, the transport Joseph Hewes (American, 7177 GRT, built 1942) joined coming from Horta, Azores. She was escorted to the rendezvous by the A/S trawler HMS Cape Comorin (/Lt. F.K. Turner, RNVR) which did not join the convoy.

On 23 June, USS Cowanesque refuelled USS Macleish, USS Jordan, USS Kephart, USS Lloyd, USS Cofer and USS Newman.

Around 0630Q/26, USS Cowanesque was detached to Bermuda. To escort her to Bermuda the escort destroyers USS Hodges (Lt.Cdr. V.B. Staadecker, USNR, with COMCORTDIV 74, T/Cdr. C.F. Hooper, USN on board) and USS William Seiverling (Cdr. C.F. Adams, Jr., USNR) had just made rendezvous with the convoy. They arrived at Bermuda the following morning.

Around 1710Q/27, the Glacier Park was straggling and unable to regain her station was ordered to proceed to St. John, New Brunswick.

Around 1940Q/27, the ' New York ' section of the convoy of 41 ships was detached, they were escorted by USS Macleish, USS Eisner, USS Wingfield, USS Thornhill, USS Rinehart and USS Roche.

The ' Chesapeake Bay ' section of the convoy was made up of the following ships; Ben H. Miller, Cornelius Harnett, Daniel H. Lownsdale, Daniel Huger, David Bushnell, David Lubin, Elbridge Gerry, Empire Alliance, Empire Nerissa, Empire Stalwart, Fort Souris, Francis M. Smith, G.S. Walden, Hannis Taylor, Henry George, James McCosh, James Turner, James W. Johnson, John P. Holland, Joseph Hewes, Joseph Hooker, Joseph N. Teal, Levi Woodbury, Robert H. Harrison, Samuel Adams, Samuel Johnston, Thomas Cresap, Thomas Nelson Page, Walt Whitman, Walter Reed and William H. Moody. They were escorted by USS Jordan, USS Newman, USS Liddle, USS Kephart, USS Cofer and USS Lloyd.

The ' Chesapeake Bay ' section arrived at its destination on 28 June 1944. The ' New York ' section arrived at its destination on 29 June 1944.

24 Jun 1944

Convoy UGS 46.

This convoy departed Hampton Roads on 24 June 1944.

It was made up of the following transports / tankers; Albert G. Brown (American (tanker), 7218 GRT, built 1943), Alexander Lillington (American, 7177 GRT, built 1942), Ammla (British, 7219 GRT, built 1943), Anson Jones (American, 7244 GRT, built 1943), Arthur St. Clair (American, 7247 GRT, built 1944), Benjamin D. Wilson (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Benjamin H. Latrobe (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Benjamin Lundy (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Benjamin Williams (American, 7177 GRT, built 1942), Charles Goodnight (American, 7244 GRT, built 1944), Charles Goodyear (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), David J. Brewer (American, 7181 GRT, built 1942), Empire Coleridge (British (tanker), 9798 GRT, built 1942), Esso Nashville (American (tanker), 7943 GRT, built 1940), Fitzhugh Lee (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Frederick L. Dau (American, 7244 GRT, built 1943), George Matthews (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), George Shiraz (American, 7200 GRT, built 1943), Gideon Welles (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Henry L. Ellsworth (American (tanker), 7218 GRT, built 1943), Howard A. Kelly (American, 7191 GRT, built 1943), Irvin McDowell (American, 7181 GRT, built 1942), James E. Howard (American, 7191 GRT, built 1943), James Harlan (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), James Hoban (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), James J. Hill (American, 7181 GRT, built 1942), James Madison (American, 7196 GRT, built 1942), John C. Spencer (American, 7242 GRT, built 1943), John H. Reagan (American, 7244 GRT, built 1943), John T. Holt (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Joseph Habersham (American, 7199 GRT, built 1943), Joseph Holt (American, 7181 GRT, built 1942), Joyce Kilmer (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Katy (Norwegian (tanker), 6826 GRT, 1931), Kildonan Park (Canadian, 7132 GRT, built 1943), Marshall Elliott (American, 7177 GRT, built 1942), Memphis City (American, 5686 GRT, built 1921), Norsol (Norwegian (tanker), 8236 GRT, built 1941), O' Henry (American, 7181 GRT, built 1942), R.F. Peckham (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Salamis (Norwegian (tanker), 8286 GRT, built 1939), Samavon (British, 7219 GRT, built 1943), Samcolne (British, 7210 GRT, built 1944), Samleven (British, 7210 GRT, built 1944), Samlistar (British, 7210 GRT, built 1944), Sammex (British, 7219 GRT, built 1943), Samport (British, 7219 GRT, built 1943), Samsoaring (British, 7210 GRT, built 1944), Samspeed (British, 7210 GRT, built 1944), Samstrule (British, 7210 GRT, built 1944), Samtorch (British, 7210 GRT, built 1944), Samtucky (British, 7219 GRT, built 1943), Samtyne (British, 7219 GRT, built 1944), Samuel Gorton (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Samuel Livermore (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Samwye (British, 7219 GRT, built 1944), San Cipriano (British (tanker), 7966 GRT, built 1937), Steel Engineer (American, 5687 GRT, built 1920), Taria (Dutch (tanker), 10354 GRT, built 1939), Thaddeus Kosciuszko (American, 7200 GRT, built 1942), Theodore Sedgwick (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Thomas Hill (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Tibia (Dutch (tanker), 10356 GRT, built 1939), Toltec (Honduran, 5527 GRT, built 1929), Tulsa (American, 5083 GRT, built 1919), Vernon L. Kellogg (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Ward Hunt (American, 7191 GRT, built 1943), William D. Moseley (American, 7177 GRT, built 1943), William L. Yancey (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943) and William Moultrie (American, 7177 GRT, built 1942).

Also part of the convoy were the LST's; USS LST-548 (Lt. J.B. Brady, USN), USS LST-550 (Lt. V.A. Meehan, USNR), USS LST-561 (Lt. V.W. Foster, USNR), 11715 655 (T/Lt. D.D. Sumrall, USN), USS LST-656 (Lt. F.T. McCahill, USNR), USS LST-664 (Lt. J.R. Burke, USNR), USS LST-665 (Lt. H.L. Jones, USNR), USS LST-690 (Lt.Cdr. E.C. Reif, USNR), USS LST-691 (Lt. J.H. Monroe, USNR), USS LST-692 (Lt. R.B. Carothers, USNR), USS LST-913 (Lt. L.C. Gwin, USNR), USS LST-914 (Lt. A.W. Meyer, USNR), USS LST-994 (Lt. R.P. Gonder, USNR), USS 995 (Lt. G.W. Chamberlain, USNR), USS LST-996 (Lt. C.A. Leach, Jr, USNR), USS LST-997 (Lt. L.R. Dhuyvetter, USNR), USS LST-1019 (Lt. N.C. Ross, USNR), USS LST-1020 (Lt. P.D. Tracy, USNR), USS LST-1021 (Lt. R.W. Erickson, USNR),

The escort carrier HMS Trouncer (Cdr. B.J. Fisher, DSO, RN) (transporting aircraft) was also part of the convoy as was the naval tanker (escort oiler) USS Mattaponi (Lt.Cdr. V.J. Banks, USNR).

On departure from Hampton Roads the convoy was escorted by Task Force 60 which was made up of the cutter USCGC Bibb (Cdr. H.T. Diehl, USCG, with COMTASKFOR 60, T/Capt. R.B. Nickerson, USN, on board) and the destroyer escorts USS Vance (Lt.Cdr. F.V. Helmer, USCG, with COMCORTDIV 45, Cdr. E.J. Roland, USCG, on board), USS Lansing (Cdr. R.F. Rea, USCG), USS Durant (Cdr. C.C. Knapp, USCG), USS Calcaterra (Lt.Cdr. E.D. Howard, USCGR), USS Chambers (Cdr. H.A. Loughlin, USCG), USS Merrill (Cdr. I.J.Stephens, USCG), USS Riley (Lt.Cdr. D.H. Johnson, USNR, with COMCORTDIV 67, T/Cdr. F.G. Gould, USN, on board), USS Leslie L.B. Knox (Lt. J.A. Moffett, USNR), USS McNulty (Lt.Cdr. W.C. Jennings, USNR), USS Metivier (Lt.Cdr. E.H. Maher, USNR), USS George A. Johnson (Lt.Cdr. A. Robinson, USNR), USS Eugene E. Elmore (T/Lt.Cdr. G.L. Conkey, USN), Somali and the sloop Dumont d'Urville.

On 26 June 1944, the transport Tulsa developed engine trouble and was detached to return to Hampton Roads unescorted.

On 28 June 1944, USS Mattaponi refuelled USS Leslie L.B. Knox, USS Riley, USS Metivier, USS Eugene E. Elmore and USS George A. Johnson.

On 3 July 1944, USS Mattaponi refuelled USCGC Bibb.

On 4 July 1944, USS Mattaponi refuelled USS Leslie L.B. Knox, USS Riley, USS Metivier, USS McNulty, USS Eugene E. Elmore and USS George A. Johnson.

At 1108O/4, the tanker Norsol was detached to Horta, Azores escorted by USS Leslie L.B. Knox. At 0419N/5, the escort of the tanker was taken over by the A/S trawler HMS Mazurka (A/Skr.Lt. J. Baxter, RNR) and USS Leslie L.B. Knox then set course to rejoin the convoy which she did around 2026N/5.

On 5 July 1944, USS Mattaponi refuelled USS Durant, USS Lansing, USS Chambers, USS Calcaterra, USS Vance and USS Merrill.

On 7 July 1944, USS Mattaponi refuelled the ships of Hunter Killer Task Group 22.5, the escort carrier USS Wake Island (T/Capt. J.R. Tague, USN) and the destroyer escorts USS Farquhar (Delton E Walter, USNR), USS Fiske (Lt. J.A. Comly, USNR), USS Hill (Lt.Cdr. P.A. Bane, USNR), USS J.R.Y. Blakely (Lt. A.S. Archie, USNR) and USS Douglas L. Howard (Lt.Cdr. W.F. Stokey, USNR). Task Group 22.5 was operating in the area also covering the passage of the convoy.

Around 1900Z/9, in position 34°23'N, 08°47'W, the transport Fort Grahame (British, 7133 GRT, built 1943) joined coming from Casablanca. She had been escorted out by the minesweeping sloops La Gracieuse, La Boudeuse and Commandant Delage.

These three French escort vessels now proceeded to Casablanca escorting HMS Trouncer and the transports / tankers Alexander Lillington, Esso Nashville, George Shiraz, Henry L. Ellsworth, John T. Holt, Joseph Habersham and Samtucky. They arrived at Casablanca on the 10th. With them was also the Dumont d'Urville.

Around 1730Z/10, the transports Socotra (British, 7840 GRT, built 1943) and Teucer (British, 9079 GRT, built 1906) joined coming from Gibraltar. With these ships the AA cruiser HMS Caledon (Capt. R.F. Nichols, RN), submarine HMS Virtue (Lt. R.D. Cairns, DSC, RN) and rescue tug HMRT Vagrant also joined the convoy.

Around 1650B/12, the destroyer USS Hilary P. Jones (T/Cdr. F.M. Stiesberg, USN) and destroyer escort USS Herbert C. Jones (Lt.Cdr. R.A. Soule, 3rd, USNR) joined the convoy.

Around 1700B/11, the following ships joined the convoy coming from Oran Bay Edward N. Hurley (American, 7191 GRT, built 1943), Edward Richardson (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Felix Grundy (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), James Rumsey (American, 7181 GRT, built 1942), John B. Hood (American, 7196 GRT, built 1943), John Howland (American, 7191 GRT, built 1943), Louis McLane (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Luctretia Mott (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Ponce de Leon (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Thomas Hart Benton (American, 7187 GRT, built 1943) and Thomas Sumter (American, 7177 GRT, built 1942) while the following ships parted company with the convoy and entered Oran Bay; David J. Brewer, Howard A. Kelly, James E. Howard, Katy, USS LST-561, USS LST-664, USS LST-665, USS LST-691, USS LST-994, USS LST-995 and USS LST-1020. The LST's however later rejoined the convoy.

On 12 July 1944, USS Mattaponi refuelled USS Leslie L.B. Knox, USS Riley, USS Metivier, USS McNulty, USS Eugene E. Elmore and USS George A. Johnson.

Also on 12 July 1944, the following ships joined the convoy off Algiers; Chertsey (British, 6001 GRT, built 1943), Coulgorm (British, 6997 GRT, built 1942), Empire Gain (British (tanker), 3738 GRT, built 1943), Essex Trader (British, 7237 GRT, built 1943), Hai Lee (Norwegian, 3616 GRT, built 1934), Iceland (British, 1236 GRT, built 1914), Lorraine (French (tanker), 9512 GRT, built 1937), Middlesex Trader (British, 7421GRT, built 1942), Ocean Pride (British, 7173 GRT, built 1942), Pan-Maryland (American (tanker), 7701 GRT, built 1938), Prosper Schiaffino (French, 1634 GRT, built 1931), Samstrae (British, 7219 GRT, built 1944), Thomas Stone (American, 7191 GRT, built 1942) and Zaanstroom (Dutch, 1646 GRT, built 1920) with the following transports Fort Grahame and Thomas Hart Benton parted company and entered Algiers harbour.

On 13 July 1944, USS Mattaponi refuelled USCGC Bibb, USS Durant, USS Lansing, USS Vance, USS Calcaterra, USS Chambers and USS Merrill.

On 13 July 1944, the transports Chertsey and Essex Trader arrived at Bougie after having straggled from the convoy.

On 13 July 1944, the transport Middlesex Trader arrived at Bone after having been detached from the convoy.

On 14 July 1944, the tankers Empire Harbour (British (tanker), 797 GRT, built 1943), Suderholm (Norwegian (tanker), 4908 GRT, built 1917) and Vittorino Zanibon (Italian (tanler), 1622 GRT, built 1943) joined the convoy coming from Bizerta. Also the new (British) escort joined the convoy, this was made up of the sloop Pheasant and the corvettes Alisma, Saxifrage and Spiraea.

When the above ships joined the convoy the following transports / tankers parted company with the convoy to proceed to Bizerta Hai Lee, Mattaponi, San Cipriano and Tibia. Also all the USN escort vessels and the naval tanker proceeded to Bizerta as did HMS Caledon and the French Somali. Also the LST's had entered Bizerta.

On 14 July 1944, the transport Thomas Stone arrived at Tunis after having been detached from the convoy. Around the same time the transport Prosper Schiaffino must also have left the convoy. She arrived at Sfax on 15 July 1944.

On 15 July 1944, the tanker Thomas F. Cunningham (American, 7218 GRT, built 1943) joined the convoy coming from Malta. HMS Virtue arrived at Malta after having been detached from the convoy.

On 15 July 1944, the transports / tankers Algorab (Dutch, 4938 GRT, built 1921), Fort la Prairie (British, 7138 GRT, built 1943), Fort Venango (British, 7166 GRT, built 1943), Joseph Goldberger (American (tanker), 7218 GRT, built 1943), Kobad (French (tanker), 7329 GRT, built 1930), Marit Maersk (Greek (former Danish), 1894 GRT, built 1938) and Samesk (British, 7219 GRT, built 1944) departed Augusta to joined the convoy.

On 16 July 1944, the following transports / tankers arrived at Augusta after having parted company with the convoy; Albert G. Brown, Benjamin H. Latrobe, Charles Goodyear, Coulgorm, Edward N. Hurley, Edward Richardson, Empire Gain, Felix Grundy, Fitzhugh Lee, George Matthews, Gideon Welles, Iceland, Irvin McDowell, James Hoban, James Rumsey, John B. Hood, John Howland, Joseph Holt, Joyce Kilmer, Joseph Goldberg, Marshall Elliott, Memphis City, Ocean Pride, Pan-Maryland, Salamis, Samavon, Samsoaring, Samstrule, Samuel Gorton, Samuel Livermore, Taria, Thaddeus Kosciuszko, Theodore Sedgwick, Thomas Hill, Thomas Sumter, Toltec, Vittorino Zanibon, Ward Hunt, William D. Moseley, William L. Yancey, William Moultrie and Zaanstroom.

The Empire Harbour arrived at Catania on the same day.

On 19 July 1944, the following transports Marit Maersk, Samcolne, Samleven, Sammex arrived at Alexandria after having parted company with the convoy. Also HMS Alisma and HMS Saxifrage arrived at Alexandria.

On 20 July 1944, the following transport / tankers arrived at Port Said; Algorab, Ammla, Anson Jones, Arthur St. Clair, Benjamin D. Wilson, Benjamin Lundy, Benjamin Williams, Charles Goodnight, Empire Coleridge, Fort la Prairie, Fort Venango, Frederick L. Dau, James Harlan, James Madison, John C. Spencer, John H. Reagan, Joseph Goldberger, Kildonan Park, Kobad, Lorraine, Louis McLane, Lucretia Mott, O'Henry, Ponce de Leon, R.F. Peckham, Samesk, Samlista, Samport, Samspeed, Samstrae, Samtorch, Samtyne, Samwye, Socotra, Steel Engineer, Suderholm, Teucer, Thomas F. Cunningham and Vernon L. Kellogg. Also HMS Pheasant and HMS Spiraea arrived at Port Said.

20 Jul 1944

Convoy SL 165.

This convoy departed Freetown on 20 July 1944.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The remainder of the convoy arrived in U.K. waters on 9 August 1944. (2)

Sources

  1. Personal communication
  2. ADM 199/319

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


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