Allied Warships

HMS P 614 (P 614)

Submarine of the P 611 class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeSubmarine
ClassP 611 
PennantP 614 
Built byVickers Armstrong (Barrow-in-Furness, U.K.) 
Ordered 
Laid down24 May 1939 
Launched19 Oct 1940 
Commissioned10 Mar 1942 
End service9 May 1945 
History

Taken over by the Royal Navy during construction.

Transferred to the control of the Turkish Government on 9 May 1945

 
Former nameBurac Reis

Commands listed for HMS P 614 (P 614)

Please note that we're still working on this section.

CommanderFromTo
1Lt. Denis John Beckley, RNJan 1942Sep 1942
2Lt. Hartley Withers Wilkinson, RNSep 1942late 1943

3Lt. Edmund Roger Stone, RN27 Jun 194419 Jul 1944
4T/Lt. Percy Clive Stanbury Pritchard, RNR19 Jul 194417 Feb 1945
5Lt. John Francis Michell, RN17 Feb 19459 May 1945

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Notable events involving P 614 include:


The page for this submarine is currently (October 2017 and onwards) being updated.

8 Mar 1942
P 614 (Lt. D.J. Beckley, RN) departed her builders yard at Barrow for the Clyde area to begin a period of trials and training. She is escorted by HMS Cutty Sark (Cdr.(retired) R.H. Mack, RN). (1)

9 Mar 1942
P 614 (Lt. D.J. Beckley, RN) arrived at Holy Loch. (1)

10 Mar 1942
P 614 (Lt. D.J. Beckley, RN) conducted full power trials in the Clyde area following which she was commissioned at Holy Loch. (1)

12 Mar 1942
HMS P 614 (Lt. D.J. Beckley, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area. (1)

13 Mar 1942
HMS P 614 (Lt. D.J. Beckley, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area. (1)

14 Mar 1942
HMS P 614 (Lt. D.J. Beckley, RN) shifted from Holy Loch to Arrochar where she is to conduct her torpedo firing trials. (1)

21 Mar 1942
Having completed her torpedo trials, HMS P 614 (Lt. D.J. Beckley, RN), returned to Holy Loch. (1)

22 Mar 1942
HMS P 614 (Lt. D.J. Beckley, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area. (1)

23 Mar 1942
HMS P 614 (Lt. D.J. Beckley, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area. (1)

24 Mar 1942
HMS P 614 (Lt. D.J. Beckley, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area. (1)

25 Mar 1942
HMS P 614 (Lt. D.J. Beckley, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area. (1)

26 Mar 1942
HMS P 614 (Lt. D.J. Beckley, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area. (1)

27 Mar 1942
HMS P 614 (Lt. D.J. Beckley, RN) departed Holy Loch for Londonderry from where she was to conduct special A/S trials. She was escorted during the passage to Londonderry by HMS Kingfisher (Cdr. (retired) W.V.H. Harris, DSC, RN).

For the daily positions of HMS P 614 during the period of 27 March 1942 / 3 April 1942 see the map below.

(2)

29 Mar 1942
HMS P 614 (Lt. D.J. Beckley, RN) arrived at Moville near Londonderry. (1)

30 Mar 1942
HMS P 614 (Lt. D.J. Beckley, RN) departed Moville for St. Kilda. She was escorted by HMS Kingfisher (Cdr. (retired) W.V.H. Harris, DSC, RN). (1)

31 Mar 1942
HMS P 614 (Lt. D.J. Beckley, RN) arrived at St. Kilda. (1)

2 Apr 1942
HMS P 614 (Lt. D.J. Beckley, RN) conducted special A/S exercises off St. Kilda. Upon completion of these exercises she set course to return to the Clyde area escorted by HMS Kingfisher (Cdr. (retired) W.V.H. Harris, DSC, RN). (3)

3 Apr 1942
HMS P 614 (Lt. D.J. Beckley, RN) arrived at Holy Loch. (3)

4 Apr 1942
HMS P 614 (Lt. D.J. Beckley, RN) shifted from Holy Loch to Arrochar. (3)

10 Apr 1942
After several days of torpedo firing tirals, HMS P 614 (Lt. D.J. Beckley, RN), returned to Holy Loch from Arrochar. (3)

12 Apr 1942
HMS P 614 (Lt. D.J. Beckley, RN) departed Holy Loch for Londonderry (Moville). She was escorted by HMS Viscount (Lt.Cdr. J.V. Waterhouse, RN). (3)

13 Apr 1942
En-route HMS P 614 (Lt. D.J. Beckley, RN) carried out A/S exercises with HMS Viscount (Lt.Cdr. J.V. Waterhouse, RN). (3)

14 Apr 1942
HMS P 614 (Lt. D.J. Beckley, RN) arrived at Moville. She departed for Holy Loch later the same day escorted by HMS White Bear (Cdr. (retired) C.C. Flemming, RN). (3)

15 Apr 1942
HMS P 614 (Lt. D.J. Beckley, RN) arrived at Holy Loch. (3)

28 Apr 1942
HMS P 614 (Lt. D.J. Beckley, RN) conducted trials in the Clyde area. (3)

29 Apr 1942
HMS P 614 (Lt. D.J. Beckley, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area together with HMS Otway (Lt.Cdr. (retired) J.R.G. Harvey, RN). (3)

30 Apr 1942
HMS P 614 (Lt. D.J. Beckley, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area. (3)

1 May 1942
HMS P 614 (Lt. D.J. Beckley, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area. (4)

2 May 1942
HMS P 614 (Lt. D.J. Beckley, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area. (4)

3 May 1942
HMS P 614 (Lt. D.J. Beckley, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area. (4)

5 May 1942
HMS P 614 (Lt. D.J. Beckley, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area. (4)

6 May 1942
HMS H 28 (Lt. R.E. Boddington, RN), HMS H 32 (Lt. J. Whitton, RN), HMS P 614 (Lt. D.J. Beckley, RN) conducted practice attacks on a convoy made up of the submarine tenders HMS Cyclops (Capt. R.L.M. Edwards, RN), HMS Titania (Cdr. H.R. Conway, RN) and their escort HMS Breda (Capt.(Retd.) A. E. Johnston, RN), HMS La Capricieuse (Lt.Cdr. G.W. Dobson, RNR) and HMS Boarhound (Skr. S.G. Jinks, RNR). (5)

7 May 1942
HMS P 614 (Lt. D.J. Beckley, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area. (4)

13 May 1942
HMS P 614 (Lt. D.J. Beckley, RN) departed Holy Loch for Lerwick. She made the passage together with HMS P 46 (Lt. J.S. Stevens, DSC, RN) and HrMs O 10 (Lt. Baron D.T. Mackay, RNN). They were escorted by HrMs Jan van Gelder (Lt. P.L.M. van Geen, RNN). (6)

16 May 1942
HMS P 614 (Lt. D.J. Beckley, RN) arrived at Lerwick. (6)

18 May 1942
HMS P 614 (Lt. D.J. Beckley, RN) departed Lerwick for her 1st war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the Norwegian Sea to provide cover during convoy operations to and from Northern Russia (convoys PQ 16 / QP 12).

For the daily positions of HMS P 614 during her 1st war patrol (including the passage from Holy Loch to Lerwick and the passage back from Lerwick to Holy Loch) see the map below.

(6)

31 May 1942
HMS P 614 (Lt. D.J. Beckley, RN) ended her 1st war patrol at Lerwick. (6)

1 Jun 1942
HMS P 614 (Lt. D.J. Beckley, RN) departed Lerwick for Holy Loch. She made the passage together with HrMs O 10 (Lt. Baron D.T. Mackay, RNN). They were escorted by HMS La Capricieuse (Lt.Cdr. G.W. Dobson, RNR). (6)

4 Jun 1942
HMS P 614 (Lt. D.J. Beckley, RN) arrived at Holy Loch. (6)

14 Jun 1942
HMS P 614 (Lt. D.J. Beckley, RN) is docked at Rothesay. (7)

15 Jun 1942
HMS P 614 (Lt. D.J. Beckley, RN) is undocked at Rothesay and then returned to Holy Loch. (7)

16 Jun 1942
HMS P 614 (Lt. D.J. Beckley, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area. (7)

17 Jun 1942
HMS P 614 (Lt. D.J. Beckley, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area. (7)

22 Jun 1942
HMS P 614 (Lt. D.J. Beckley, RN) departed Holy Loch for Lerwick. She made the passage together with HMS Ursula (Lt. R.B. Lakin, DSC, RN). The submarines were escorted by the armed yacht HMS White Bear (Cdr. (retired) C.C. Flemming, RN). (6)

24 Jun 1942
HMS P 614 (Lt. D.J. Beckley, RN) arrived at Lerwick. After fuelling she departed for Seidisfjord, Iceland later the same day. (6)

27 Jun 1942
HMS P 614 (Lt. D.J. Beckley, RN) arrived Seidisfjord. (6)

27 Jun 1942
Convoy operations PQ 17 / QP 13

Convoy’s to and from Northern Russia

On 27 June 1942 Convoy PQ 17 departed Reykjavik Iceland bound for northern Russia. This convoy was made up of the following merchant ships;

American
Alcoa Ranger (5116 GRT, built 1919), Bellingham (5345 GRT, built 1920), Benjamin Harrison (7191 GRT, built 1942), Carlton (5127 GRT, built 1920), Christopher Newport (7191 GRT, built 1942), Daniel Morgan (7177 GRT, built 1942), Exford (4969 GRT, built 1919), Fairfield City (5686 GRT, built 1920), Honomu (6977 GRT, built 1919), Hoosier (5060 GRT, built 1920), Ironclad (5685 GRT, built 1919), John Witherspoon (7191 GRT, built 1942), Olopana (6069 GRT, built 1920), Pan Atlantic (5411 GRT, built 1919), Pan Kraft (5644 GRT, built 1919), Peter Kerr (6476 GRT, built 1920), Richard Bland (7191 GRT, built 1942), Washington (5564 GRT, built 1919), West Gotomska (5728 GRT, built 1919), William Hooper (7177 GRT, built 1942), Winston-Salem (6223 GRT, built 1920),

British
Bolton Castle (5203 GRT, built 1939), Earlston (7195 GRT, built 1941), Empire Byron (6645 GRT, built 1941), Empire Tide (6978 GRT, built 1941), Hartlebury (5082 GRT, built 1934), Navarino (4841 GRT, built 1937), Ocean Freedom (7173 GRT, built 1942), River Afton (5479 GRT, built 1935), Samuel Chase (7191 GRT, built 1942), Silver Sword (4937 GRT, built 1920),

Dutch
Paulus Potter (7168 GRT, built 1942),

Panamanian
El Capitan (5255 GRT, built 1917), Troubadour (6428 GRT, built 1920),

The Russian tankers Azerbaidjan (6114 GRT, built 1932), Donbass (7925 GRT, built 1935),

The British (Royal Fleet Auxiliary) tanker Grey Ranger (3313 GRT, built 1941).

Also with the convoy was a British rescue ship
Zaafaran (1559 GRT, built 1921).

The US merchants Exford and West Gotomska had to return both arrived back damaged at Reykjavik on 30 June. The first one due to ice damage and the second one due to damaged engines.

Escort was provided by the minesweepers HMS Britomart (Lt.Cdr. S.S. Stammwitz, RN), HMS Halcyon (Lt.Cdr. C.H. Corbet-Singleton, DSC, RN), HMS Salamander (Lt. W.R. Muttram, RN), A/S trawlers HMS Ayrshire (T/Lt. L.J.A. Gradwell, RNVR), HMS Lord Austin (T/Lt. O.B. Egjar, RNR), HMS Lord Middleton (T/Lt. R.H. Jameson, RNR) and HMS Northern Gem (Skr.Lt. W.J.V. Mullender, DSC, RD, RNR) and the submarine HMS P 615 (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN).

The convoy was joined at sea by a close escort force made up of the following warships; destroyers HMS Keppel (Cdr. J.E. Broome, RN / in command of the close escort of the convoy) , HMS Offa (Lt.Cdr. R.A. Ewing, RN), HMS Fury (Lt.Cdr. C.H. Campbell, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Leamington (Lt. B.M.D. L’Anson, RN), escort destroyers HMS Ledbury (Lt.Cdr. R.P. Hill, RN), HMS Wilton (Lt. A.P. Northey, DSC, RN), corvettes HMS Lotus (Lt. H.J. Hall, RNR), HMS Poppy (Lt. N.K. Boyd, RNR), HMS Dianella (T/Lt. J.G. Rankin, RNR), HMS La Malouine (T/Lt. V.D.H. Bidwell, RNR), Auxiliary AA ships HMS Palomares (A/Capt.(rtd.) J.H. Jauncey, RN) and HMS Pozarica (A/Capt.(rtd.) E.D.W. Lawford, RN) and submarine HMS P 614 (Lt. D.J. Beckley, RN). Also two more British rescue ships sailed with this force to join the convoy at sea; Rathlin (1600 GRT, built 1936) and Zamalek (1567 GRT, built 1921).

The RFA tanker Grey Ranger, which was to fuel the escorts, was now sailing independent from the convoy, she was escorted by the destroyer HMS Douglas (Lt.Cdr. R.B.S. Tennant, RN). Another RFA tanker, the Aldersdale, had now joined the convoy. It had originally been intended that Aldersdale would take the role the Grey Ranger was now performing but Grey Ranger had been damaged by ice to the north of Iceland so both tankers swappd roles.

Meanwhile on June 26th the Archangel section of the return convoy QP 13 had departed that port. This section was made up of 22 merchant ships;

American
American Press (5131 GRT, built 1920), American Robin (5172 GRT, built 1919), Hegira (7588 GRT, built 1919), Lancaster (7516 GRT, built 1918), Massmar (5828 GRT, built 1920), Mormacrey (5946 GRT, built 1919), Yaka (5432 GRT, built 1920),

British
Chulmleigh (5445 GRT, built 1938), Empire Mavis (5704 GRT, built 1919), Empire Meteor (7457 GRT, built 1940), Empire Stevenson (6209 GRT, built 1941), St. Clears (4312 GRT, built 1936),

Dutch
Pieter de Hoogh (7168 GRT, built 1941),

Panamanian
Capira (5625 GRT, built 1920), Mount Evans (5598 GRT, built 1919),

Russian
Alma Ata (3611 GRT, built 1920), Archangel (2480 GRT, built 1929), Budenni (2482 GRT, built 1923), Komiles (3962 GRT, built 1932), Kuzbass (3109 GRT, built 1914), Petrovski (3771 GRT, built 1921), Rodina (4441 GRT, built 1922), Stary Bolshevik (3794 GRT, built 1933)

They were escorted by the destroyers HMS Intrepid (Cdr. C.A. de W. Kitcat, RN), ORP Garland (Lt.Cdr. H. Eibel), the corvettes HMS Starwort (Lt.Cdr. N.W. Duck, RD, RNR), HMS Honeysuckle (Lt. H.H.D. MacKillican, DSC, RNR), the auxiliary AA ship HMS Alynbank (A/Capt.(rtd.) H.F. Nash, RN) and a local escort of four minesweepers ; HMS Bramble (Capt. J.H.F. Crombie, DSO, RN), HMS Seagull (Lt.Cdr. C.H. Pollock, RN), HMS Leda (A/Cdr.(rtd.) A.H. Wynne-Edwards, RN) and HMS Hazard (Lt.Cdr. J.R.A. Seymour, RN).

the next day (27th) the Murmask section of convoy QP 13 also went to sea. This was made up of 12 merchant ships;

American
City of Omaha (6124 GRT, built 1920), Heffron (7611 GRT, built 1919), Hybert (6120 GRT, built 1920), John Randolph (7191 GRT, built 1941), Mauna Kea (6064 GRT, built 1919), Nemaha (6501 GRT, built 1920), Richard Henry Lee (7191 GRT, built 1941),

British
Atlantic (5414 GRT, built 1939), Empire Baffin (6978 GRT, built 1941), Empire Selwyn (7167 GRT, built 1941),

Panamanian
Exterminator (6115 GRT, built 1924), Michigan (6419 GRT, built 1920),

They were escorted by the destroyers HMS Inglefield (Cdr. A.G. West, RN), HMS Achates (Lt.Cdr. A.A. Tait, DSO, RN), HMS Volunteer (Lt. A.S. Pomeroy, RN), the minesweepers HMS Niger (Cdr.ret.) A.J. Cubison, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Hussar (Lt. R.C. Biggs, DSC, RN), the corvettes HMS Hyderabad (Lt. S.C.B. Hickman, RN), FFL Roselys and the A/S trawlers Lady Madeleine (T/Lt. W.G.Ogden, RNVR) and St. Elstan (Lt. R.M. Roberts, RNR). Also three Russian destroyers (Grozniy, Gremyashchiy and Valerian Kyubishev) joined the escort of convoy QP 13 as far as 30 degrees East.

To cover these convoy operations a close cover force departed Hvalfjordur, Iceland on 30 June to take up a position to the north of convoy PQ 17. This force was made up of the British heavy cruisers HMS London (Capt. R.M. Servaes, CBE, RN), HMS Norfolk (Capt. E.G.H. Bellars, RN), as well as the American heavy cruisers USS Tuscaloosa (Capt. L.P. Johnson, USN) and USS Wichita (Capt. H.W. Hill, USN). They were escorted by the British destroyer HMS Somali (Capt. J.W.M. Eaton, DSO, DSC, RN) and the American destroyers USS Rowan (Lt.Cdr. B.R. Harrison, Jr., USN) and USS Wainwright (Lt.Cdr. R.H. Gibbs, USN).

A distant cover force had meanwhile sailed from Scapa Flow late on the 29th to take up a cover position north-east of Jan Mayen Island. This force was made up of battleships HMS Duke of York (Capt. C.H.J. Harcourt, CBE, RN, with the Commander-in-Chief Home Fleet, Admiral Sir J. Tovey, KCB, KBE, DSO, RN on board), USS Washington (Capt. H.H.J. Benson, USN, with Rear-Admiral R.C. Griffen, USN on board), aircraft carrier HMS Victorious (Capt. H.C. Bovell, CBE, RN, with Vice-Admiral Sir B. Fraser, CB, KBE, RN, second in command Home Fleet on board), heavy cruiser HMS Cumberland (Capt. A.H. Maxwell-Hyslop, AM, RN), light cruiser HMS Nigeria (Capt. S.H. Paton, RN, with Rear-Admiral Sir H.M. Burrough, CB, DSO, RN, commanding Cruiser Squadron 10 on board). They were escorted by the destroyers HMS Faulknor (Capt. A.K. Scott-Moncrieff, RN, Capt. 8th Destroyer Flotilla), HMS Escapade (Lt.Cdr. E.N.V. Currey, DSC, RN), HMS Martin (Cdr. C.R.P. Thomson, RN), HMS Marne (Lt.Cdr. H.N.A. Richardson, DSC, RN), HMS Onslaught (Cdr. W.H. Selby, RN), HMS Middleton (Lt.Cdr. D.C. Kinloch, RN), HMS Blankney (Lt.Cdr. P.F. Powlett, RN) and HMS Wheatland (Lt.Cdr. R.de.L Brooke, RN). The destroyers HMS Onslow (Capt. H.T. Armstong, DSC and Bar, RN, Capt. 17th Destroyer Flotilla), HMS Ashanti (Cdr. R.G. Onslow, RN), USS Mayrant (Cdr. C.C. Hartman, USN) and USS Rhind (Lt.Cdr. H.T. Read, USN) meanwhile arrived at Seidisfiord, Iceland from Scapa Flow to fuel before joining the Battlefleet at sea later.

Earlier on the 29th Force X, which was to act as a decoy convoy to fool the Germans, had departed Scapa Flow. This force was made up of; the auxiliary minelayers Southern Prince (A/Capt. J. Cresswell, RN), Agamemnon (Capt.(rtd.) F. Ratsey, RN) , Port Quebec (A/Capt.(rtd.) V. Hammersley-Heenan, RN) , Menestheus (Capt.(rtd.) R.H.F. de Salis, DSC and Bar, OBE, RN) and four merchant vessels (colliers ?). They were escorted by the light cruisers Sirius (Capt. P.W.B. Brooking, RN), Curacoa (Capt. J.W. Boutwood, RN), minelayer Adventure (Capt. N.V. Grace, RN), destroyers Brighton (Cdr.(rtd). C.W.V.T.S. Lepper, RN), St. Marys (Lt.Cdr. K.H.J.L. Phibbs, RN), HMAS Nepal (Cdr. F.B. Morris, RAN), HrMs Tjerk Hiddes (Lt.Cdr. W.J. Kruys. RNethN), the escort destroyers Oakley (Lt.Cdr. T.A. Pack-Beresford, RN), Catterick (Lt. A. Tyson, RN), and 4 A/S trawlers. This force sailed eastward twice, on 30 June and 2 July, to about position 61°30’N, 01°30’E but was not spotted by the Germans.

First contact with the enemy occurred on 1 July 1942 when escorts from convoy PQ 17 twice attacked German submarines that were spotted on the surface several miles from the convoy. These were U-456 that was depth charged by HMS Ledbury and sustained light damage and U-657 that was depth charged by HMS Ledbury and HMS Leamington, she sustained no damage. That evening convoy PQ 17 also suffered its first attack from the air. Nine torpedo aircraft approached the convoy at about 1800 hours in position 73°30’N, 04°00’E. Some dropped torpedoes but they exploded wide of the convoy. One aircraft was shot down, most likely by the destroyer USS Rowan which was en-route from the cruiser force to the convoy to fuel from the Aldersdale.

The next night the convoy ran into for which persisted until the forenoon of the 3rd. In the afternoon of 2 July, U-255 made a torpedo attack on one of the escorts, HMS Fury, two torpedoes were fire but both missed. Fury then counter attacked with depth charges but U-255 sustained no damage. At more or less the same time U-376 was also depth charged by two or three escorts, she was not damaged. Shortly afterwards U-334 was also depth charged but she also escaped without damage.

On the 3rd several U-Boats were in contact for short periods but three were driven off by the escorts in the afternoon. When the mist cleared shadowing aircraft soon regained contact on the convoy.

By the early morning of the 4th convoy PQ 17 was about 60 nautical miles north of Bear Island where it sustained its first loss. Just before 0500 hours the new American merchant vessel Christopher Newport was torpedoed by a single aircraft. Damage was serious and the ship was finished off by the British submarine HMS P 614 which was part of the convoys escort while the rescue ship Zamalek took off the crew. The ship however remained afloat and was finally finished off by U-457.

In the evening of the 4th German aircraft made a successful attack on the convoy hitting the British merchant vessel Navarino, the American merchant William Hooper and the Russian tanker Azerbaidjan. The Azerbaidjan was able to proceed at 9 knots and in the end reached port. The other two ships had to be sunk, most of their crews were picked up by the rescue vessels. William Hooper in fact remained afloat and was finally finished off by U-334.

The situation was now as follows. Convoy PQ 17 was now about 130 nautical miles north-east of Bear Island and had just come through the heavy air attack remarkably well. The convoy discipline and shooting had been admirable and a substantial toll had been taken on the enemy. Rear-Admiral Hamilton was still covering the convoy with his cruiser force some ten miles to the north-eastward, with orders by the Admiralty to do so until ordered otherwise. Some 350 miles to the westward the main cover force was cruising in the area south-west of Spitzbergen.

Now turning to the Germans. The approval of the Führer to sail the heavy ships to attack the convoy had still not been obtained. The Tirpitz and Admiral Hipper meanwhile had joined the Admiral Scheer at the Alternfjord but noting further could be done without the Führer’s approval.

Meanwhile at the Admiralty it was known that German heavy surface units had gone to sea from Trondheim (battleships Tirpitz and heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper) and Narvik (pocket battleships Lützow and Admiral Scheer) but they had not been detected at sea. Fearing an attack on the convoy by these ships was imminent the convoy was ordered to scatter at 2123/4. Shortly before that the close cover force had been ordered to withdraw to the west as it was obviously no match for the German heavy ships.

The Admiralty decision was conveyed to Rear-Admiral Hamilton in the following three signals;
Most immediate. Cruiser force withdraw to the west at high speed. (2111B/4)
Most immediate. Owning to threat of surface ships, convoy is to disperse and to proceed to Russian ports. (2123B/4)
Most immediate. My 2323B/4. Convoy is to scatter. (2136B/4)
To Rear-Admiral Hamilton these signals could only mean that further information the admiralty had been hoping for had indeed come in and was of such a nature as to render imperative the drastic measures now ordered. Actually the reason for use of high speed by the cruisers was due to the massing of enemy submarines between 11°E and 20°E and the order to scatter was intended merely as a technical amendment of the term disperse that was used in the previous signal. This could not be known by the recipients, and the cumulative effect of these three signals – especially as the last one had a more important marking as the middle one – was to imply that pressing danger was actually upon them. As Commander Broome put it he expected to see the cruisers open fire and the enemy’s mast appear on the horizon at any moment. In this belief he decided to take the destroyers of his escort group to reinforce the cruiser force, and ordered the two submarines to stay near the convoy when it scattered and to try to attack the enemy, while the rest of the escorting ships were to proceed independently to Archangel.

At 2215/4 Commander Broome passed the signal to scatter to Commodore Dowding. The convoy was then in position 75°55’N, 27°52’E. Commander Broome then departed with the destroyers of the close screen to join the cruiser force of Rear-Admiral Hamilton.

Rear-Admiral Hamilton received the Admiralty orders at 2200/4. HMS Norfolk had just flown off her aircraft on an ice patrol. He therefore stood to the eastward for half an hour while attemps were made to recall it but these were without success and at 2230 hours the force turned to a westerly course at 25 knots steering to pass to the southward of the convoy so as to be between it and the probable direction of the enemy. An hour later they passed the merchant vessels which were now on widely divergent courses.

Rear-Admiral Hamilton was much concerned at the effect of the apparent desertion of the merchant ships had on morale. Had he been aware that the Admiralty had no further information of the enemy heavy units then he himself possessed he would have remained in a covering position until the convoy was widely dispersed.

As time went on without further developments Rear-Admiral Hamilton became more and more puzzled as to what have led to the sudden scattering of the convoy. But whatever the reason, the orders for his own force were clear, so he remained his westerly course at 25 knots. Thick fog was encountered soon after midnight, which persisted with brief intervals till 0630/5. Commander Broome, equally mystified by the course of events, soon began to feel that his place was with the merchant ships but he thought Rear-Admiral Hamilton was acting on fuller information then himself. As soon as the fog lifted sufficiently for visual signalling he informed the Rear-Admiral of his last hurried instructions to PQ 17 and requested that they should be amplified or amended as nessesary.

Actually Rear-Admiral Hamilton, who was still under the impression that enemy surface forces were in close proximity, argued that once the convoy had been scattered the enemy would leave it to their air forces and submarines to deal with it (and this was exactly what the Germans did). He feared the enemy surface forces would be ordered to deal with his force and reinforced by Commander Broome’s destroyers he felt that he could fight a delaying action, and had a good chance of leading the enemy within reach of the aircraft of HMS Victorious and possibly the heavy ships of the force of the Commander-in-Chief.

At 0700/5, while in position 75°40’N, 16°00’E, Rear-Admiral Hamilton reduced to 20 knots and at 0930 hours set course for Jan Mayen Island. It was not until that forenoon that the situation as regards the enemy heavy ships was made clear to him. Meanwhile he had to decide what to do with Commander Broome’s destroyers. Accordingly he ordered them to fuel from HMS London and HMS Norfolk. By 1630 hours the fueling of HMS Ledbury, HMS Wilton, USS Rowan and HMS Keppel had been completed. At 1740 hours a German Focke Wulf aircraft made contact and correctly reported the force in position 74°30’N, 07°40’E. Having been located, Rear-Admiral Hamilton broke wireless silence and at 1830/5 informed the Commander-in-Chief of his position, course, speed and the composition of his force. This was the first time the Commander-in-Chief was informed of the fact the Commander Broome’s destroyers with with the force of Rear-Admiral Hamilton, a fact which he regretted.

The Commander-in-Chief, having spent 4 July cruising about 150 nautical miles north-west of Bear Island, had turned to the south-westward in the early morning of the 5th, and was then on his way back to Scapa Flow some 120 nautical miles south-west of the force of Rear-Admiral Hamilton. Shortly afterwards there came news at last of the German heavy ships. The Russian submarine K-21 reported at 1700/5 the Tirpitz, Admiral Scheer and eight destroyers in position 71°25’N, 23°40’E, steering course 045°. She claimed to have hit the Tirpitz with two torpedoes. An hour or so later, at 1816 hours, a reconnoitring aircraft reported eleven strange ships in position 71°31’N, 27°10’E steering 065°, speed 10 knots. And finally HMS P 54 (Lt. C.E. Oxborrow, DSC, RN), at 2029/5 reported the Tirpitz and Admiral Hipper escorted by at least six destroyers and eight aircraft in position 71°30’N, 28°40’E steering a course of 060° at a speed of 22 knots.

Actually the cruise of the German ships was of short duration. Hitler’s permission to lauch the operation had only been obtained in the forenoon of the 5th and the executive order was given at 1137 hours. Rear-Admiral Hamilton’s cruisers were then known to be moving to the westward and Admiral Tovey’s covering force was some 450 miles away from the convoy. It seemed there would be no immediate danger for the German heavy ships provided they could approach the merchant ships unseen and engage them for a time as short as possible. But the Allied sighting reports were intercepted and the Naval Staff calculated that Admiral Tovey would be able to close sufficiently to launch an air attack before they would be able to return to port I they continued operations against the merchant ships after 0100/6. Air and U-boat attacks were meanwhile taking a heavy toll on the convoy and it did not seem that it was worth the risk. At 2132/5 orders were given to abandon the operation. At 2152 hours, while in position 71°38’N, 31°05’E the German ships reversed course and returned to Altafjord.

During the night of 5/6 July the Admiralty made three signals to the Commander-in-Chief, Home Fleet suggesting that the Tirpitz might be ‘reluctant to go as far as the convoy’ if the battlefleet was sighted steering to the eastward, and that aircraft from HMS Victorious might be able to attack her if she had ben damaged by the Russian submarines. The latter appeared to Admiral Tovey unlikely, for as it seemed certain that the Tirpitz, especially if damaged, would not be sailed down the Norwegian coast until adequate fighter cover and seaward reconnaissance were available. However, arrangements were made for the fleet to reverse its course if the approach of enemy aircraft was detected and at 0645/6 course was altered back to the north-eastward. An hour later an enemy aircraft passed over the fleet above the clouds but endeavours to attrack its attention by gunfire and fighters were unsuccessful. That forenoon Rear-Admiral Hamilton’s force joined the fleet at 1040/6. Weather was unsuitable for air reconnaissance and Admiral Tovey felt that nothing was to be gained by continuing to the north-eastward. Rear-Admiral Hamilton’s cruisers and eight destroyers were detached to Seidisfjord at 1230 hours and the battlefleet turned to the southward again shortly afterwards. All ships reached harbour on the 8th.

The last news of the enemy ships came on 7 July, when a British aircraft working from Vaenga, near Murmansk, reported the Tirpitz, Admiral Scheer and Admiral Hipper and some destroyers followed by an oiler from a neighbouring fjord turning out of Lang Fjord in Arnoy (70°N, 20°30’E). By this time the Allied ships were well on their way home but an attempt to attack the enemy was once again made by submarines. Anticipating their return to Narvik, HMS Sturgeon and FFL Minerve had been ordered on 6 July to leave the main patrol line and to patrol to the mouth of the Vest Fjord on the 7th and the 8th, one at a time, in case the Tirpitz should pass on the outside of the Lofoten Islands, owning to her heavy draught due to possible damage. Nothing came of this, however, nor of a further patrol carried out by HMS Sturgeon on the night of 9/10 July close inshore some 70 nautical miles north of Trondheim in case of any German ships going to that port.

Now back to the ships of convoy PQ 17. The sudden order to scatter came to Commodore Dowding as an unpleasant surprise. Like Rear-Admiral Hamilton and Commander Broome he did not doubt that it heralded the immediate appearance of enemy heavy ships, and as the escorting destroyers parted company to join the cruisers, he signalled to HMS Keppel ‘Many thanks, goodbye and good hunting’ to which Commander Broome replied ‘It’s a grim business leaving you here’. It was indeed a grim business and the gravity of the situation was clear to all. Weather attack by surface craft developed in a few minutes or by aircraft and submarines during the next few days, the plight of the individual merchant ships – deprived of mutual support of their escort - was parlous in the extreme.

The convoy scattered as laid down in the instructions, in perfect order, though it must have been apparent to the ships that had to turn to the south-west that they were heading towards where the most trouble might be expected. The merchant ships proceeded mostly alone, or in groups of two or three. The anti-aircraft ships HMS Palomares and HMS Pozarica each took charge of a group, each collecting also two or three minesweepers or corvettes to act as a screen. They joined company the next day and proceeded towards Novaya Zemlya. HMS Salamander accompanied two merchantmen and a rescue ship. HMS Daniella was escorting the submarines, HMS P 614 and HMS P 615. She stood them clear of the convoy, when they separated to patrol in its wake, while the corvette went on by itself. At first the different groups spread on courses ranging from north to east, a few steering afterwards for Archangel, most seeking shelter in Novaya Zemlya. But less than half the merchant ships reached even ‘horrid Zembla’s frozen realms’, for 17 in addition to the oiler RFA Aldersdale and the rescue ship Zaafaran were sunk during the next three days by bombing aircraft and U-boats. The bulk of the losses took place on the 5th while the ships were still far to the north, six being sunk by bombs and six were torpedoed by submarines. One ship was bombed on the 6th. Four were torpedoed by U-boats off the south-west coast of Novaya Zemlya between the evening of the 6th and the early morning of the 8th.

By the 7th of July, most of the escort, the rescue ship Zamalek and five merchant ships, the Ocean Freedom, Hoosier, Benjamin Harrison, El Capitan and Samual Chase, had reached Matochkin Strait. Commodore Dowding, whose ship the River Afton had been sunk by a U-boat on the 5th, arrived in HMS Lotus, which had rescued him and 36 survivors, including the Master after 3.5 hours on rafts and floats. After a conference on board HMS Palomares, these merchantmen were formed into a convoy into a convoy and sailed that evening, escorted by the two AA ships, HMS Halcyon, HMS Salamander, HMS Britomart, HMS Poppy, HMS Lotus and HMS La Malouine and three A/S trawlers. The Benjamin Harrison soon got separated in fog and returned to the Matochkin Strait but the remainder were still in company when the fog temporarily cleared during the forenoon of the 8th, and course was shaped to pass east and south of Kolguyev Island. It was an anxious passage, much fog and ice was encountered and U-boats were known to be about. From time to time boatloads of survivors from other ships already sunk were encountered and picked up. A remainder of the fate that might be in store for any of them. During the noght of 9-10 July some 40 bombers carried out high level attacks on this small convoy. The attacks lasted for four hours, the Hoosier and El Capitan were sunk by near misses some 60 nautical miles north of Cape Kanin. Four aircraft are believed to have been shot down. The attacks ended at 0230/10 and half an hour later two Russian flying boats appeared. The surviving ships arrived at Archangel the next day, 11 July. Three ships out of thirty-seven were now in port, not a very successful convoy so far. Things were however not that bad as Commodore Dowding thought at that moment. The rescue ship Rathlin with two merchant ships, the Donbass and the Bellingham had arrived on the 9th, having shot down an aircraft the day before, and before long the news of other ships sheltering in Novaya Zemlya came in.

At his special request, Commodore Dowding, despite all he had been through, left Archangel in HMS Poppy on 16 July, in company with HMS Lotus and HMS La Malouine, to form these merchant ships into a convoy and bring them to Archangel. After a stormy passage they arrived at Byelushya Bay on the 19th. There 12 survivors from the merchant Olopana were found. During the day the coast was searched and in the evening the Winston Salem was found agound and later the Empire Tide was found at anchor. The next morning Motochkin Strait was entered and five merchant ships were found at anchor, the Benjamin Harrison, Silver Sword, Troubadour, Ironclad and the Azerbaidjan. A Russian icebreaker (the Murman) was also there as was a Russian trawler (the Kerov). Also, one of the escorts of convoy PQ 17 was found there, the British A/S trawler Ayrshire.

Commodore Dowding wasted no time. A conference was held that forenoon and in the evening all ships sailed, the Commodore leading in the Russian icebreaker Murman. The Empire Tide, which had a lot of survivors from sunken ships aboard joined the convoy early the next day. The Winston Salem was however still aground with two Russian tugs standing by. Much fog was encountered during the passage which was uneventful except for two U-boat alarms. The escort was reinforced by HMS Pozarica, HMS Bramble, HMS Hazard, HMS Leda, HMS Dianella and two Russian destroyers on the 22th. The convoy arrived safe at Archangel on the 24th.

Four days later (on the 28th) the Winston Salem was finally refloated. She managed reached harbour as the last ship of the ill-fated PQ 17 convoy making a total of 11 survivors out of a total of 35 ships. It was realised afterwards by the Admiralty that the decision to scatter the convoy had been premature.

The disastrous passage of convoy PQ 17 tended to throw into the background the fortunes of the westbound convoy, QP 13. This convoy of 35 ships sailed in two parts from Archangel and Murmansk and joined at sea on 28 June under Commodore N.H. Gale. Thick weather prevailed during most of the passage, but the convoy was reported by enemy aircraft on 30 June while still east of Bear Island and again on 2 July. No attacks developed, the enemy focus was on the eastbound convoy. That afternoon the ill-fated convoy PQ 17 was passed.

After an uneventful passage, convoy QP 13 divided off the north-east coast of Iceland on 4 July. Commodore Gale with 16 merchant ships turned south for Loch Ewe while the remaining 9 merchant ships continued round the north coast of Iceland for Reykjavik. At 1900/5 these ships formed into a five column convoy. They were escorted by HMS Niger (SO), HMS Hussar, FFL Roselys, HMS Lady Madeleine and HMS St. Elstan. They were now approaching the north-west corner of Iceland. The weather was overcast, visibility about one mile, wind north-east, force 8, sea rough. No sights had been obtained since 1800/2 and the convoys position was considerably in doubt. At 1910/5 Commander Cubison (C.O. HMS Niger) suggested that the front of the convoy should be reduced to two columns in order to pass between Straumnes and the minefield off the north-west coast of Iceland. This was the first the convoy Commodore had heard of the existence of this minefield. Soon afterwards, Commander Cubison gave his estimated position at 2000/5 as 66°45’N, 22°22’W and suggested altering course 222° for Straumnes Point at that time. This was done. About two hours later, at 2200 hours, HMS Niger which had gone ahead to try to make landfall leaving HMS Hussar as a visual link with the convoy, sighted what she took to be North Cape bearing 150° at a range of one mile and ordered the course of the convoy to be altered to 270°. Actually what HMS Niger sighted was a large iceberg but this was not realised for some time. At 2240/5 HMS Niger blew up and sank with heavy loss of life, including Commander Cubison. Five minutes later a last signal from her, explaining her mistaken landfall and recommending a return to course 222° was handed to the convoy Commodore. But it was too late, already explosions were occurring amongst the merchant ships. The westerly course had led the convoy straight into the minefield. Considerable confusion prevailed, some thinking that a U-boat attack was in progress, other imagining a surface raider. Four ships were sunk, the Heffron, Hybert, Massmar and the Rodina and two were seriously damaged, the John Randolph and the Exterminator. Good rescue work was carried out by the escorts, especially the FFL Roselys which picked up 179 survivors from various ships. Meanwhile HMS Hussar had obtained a shore fix, led out the remaining merchant ships, which reformed on a southerly course for Reykjavik where they arrived without further misadventure.

29 Jun 1942
HMS P 614 (Lt. D.J. Beckley, RN) departed Seidisfjord for her 2nd war patrol. She was to provide close cover for convoy PQ 17 from Iceland to northern Russia. During the passage to the rendez-vous point with convoy PQ 17 she was escorted by the corvette HMS Dianella (T/Lt. J.G. Rankin, RNR).

For the daily positions of HMS P 614 during her 2nd war patrol (including the passage from Holy Loch to Lerwick and the passage from Lerwick to Seidisfjord) see the map below.

(6)

30 Jun 1942
HMS P 614 (Lt. D.J. Beckley, RN) joined convoy PQ 17 at sea. (6)

4 Jul 1942
HMS P 614 (Lt. D.J. Beckley, RN) is ordered to finish off the American merchant Christopher Newport (7191 GRT, built 1942) that was hit in the engine room by a bomb from German aircraft in position 75°30'N, 25°00'E. The ship had been abandoned by her crew.

P 614 fired one torpedo from 700 yards which hit the Christopher Newport amidships. HMS Dianella (T/Lt. J.G. Rankin, RNR) dropped one depth charge alongside the Christopher Newport. When the ship was down to the gunwhales both the submarine and the corvette set course to rejoin the convoy.

The Christopher Newport however did not sink just yet, she was finally finished off by later that day by the German submarine U-457. (6)

7 Jul 1942
HMS P 614 (Lt. D.J. Beckley, RN) is ordered to proceed to Polyarnoe, northern Russia. (6)

8 Jul 1942
HMS P 614 (Lt. D.J. Beckley, RN) ended her 2nd war patrol at Polyarnoe, northern Russia. (6)

21 Jul 1942
HMS P 614 (Lt. D.J. Beckley, RN) departed Polyarnoe, northern Russia for her 3rd war patrol. She was ordered to proceed to Lerwick.

For the daily positions of HMS P 614 during her 3rd war patrol (including the passage from Lerwick to Holy Loch) see the map below.

(6)

28 Jul 1942
HMS P 614 (Lt. D.J. Beckley, RN) ended her 3rd war patrol at Lerwick. (6)

29 Jul 1942
HMS P 614 (Lt. D.J. Beckley, RN) departed Lerwick for Holy Loch. She made the passage together with HMS P 219 (Lt. N.L.A. Jewell, RN), HMS P 615 (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) and HMS P 48 (Lt. M.E. Faber, RN). They were escorted by HMS Cutty Sark (Cdr.(retired) R.H. Mack, RN). (6)

31 Jul 1942
HMS P 614 (Lt. D.J. Beckley, RN) arrived at Holy Loch. (6)

14 Aug 1942
HMS P 614 (Lt. D.J. Beckley, RN) is docked at Rothesay. She was undocked later the same they and then immediately returned to Holy Loch. (8)

21 Aug 1942
HMS P 614 (Lt. D.J. Beckley, RN) departed Holy Loch for Scapa Flow. She made (part of) the passage together with HMS L 23 (Lt. J.S. Bridger, RN) (proceeding to Stornoway) and FFS Rubis (Lt.Cdr. H.L.G. Rousselot) (proceeding to Dundee). They were escorted by HMS Cutty Sark (Cdr. (retired) R.H. Mack, RN). (6)

23 Aug 1942
HMS P 614 (Lt. D.J. Beckley, RN) arrived at Scapa Flow where she is to assist in A/S training. (6)

24 Aug 1942
HMS P 614 (Lt. D.J. Beckley, RN) participated in A/S exercises at Scapa Flow. (6)

25 Aug 1942
HMS P 614 (Lt. D.J. Beckley, RN) participated in A/S exercises at Scapa Flow. (6)

27 Aug 1942
HMS P 614 (Lt. D.J. Beckley, RN) participated in A/S exercises at Scapa Flow. (6)

28 Aug 1942
HMS P 614 (Lt. D.J. Beckley, RN) shifted from Scapa Flow to Lerwick. She was escorted by HMS Scalby Wyke (Skr. C.A. Grimmer, RNR). (6)

2 Sep 1942
HMS P 614 (Lt. D.J. Beckley, RN) departed Lerwick for Seidisfjord, Iceland. (6)

4 Sep 1942
HMS P 614 (Lt. D.J. Beckley, RN) arrived at Seidisfjord, Iceland. (6)

8 Sep 1942
HMS P 614 (Lt. D.J. Beckley, RN) departed Seidisfjord, Iceland together with HMS P 614 (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN) to rendez-vous with convoy PQ 18 at sea. The submarines were escorted by HMS Sharpshooter (Lt.Cdr. W.L. O'Mara, RN). This is HMS P 614's 4th war patrol.

For the daily positions of HMS P 614 during this patrol (including the passage from Lerwick to Seidisfjord and the passage from Lerwick to Holy Loch) see the map below.

(6)

20 Sep 1942
Around 0530 hours (zone -1), HMS P 614 (Lt. D.J. Beckley, RN), reported that she was missed by two torpedoes. This supposed attack appears to be bogus.

Later the same day (1520 hours) HMS P 614 attacks the German U-boat U-408 with four torpedoes in the Arctic Ocean. All torpedoes fired missed their target. The British thought they had sunk the target and on 17 November 1942 Lt. Beckley even received a DSO for sinking an enemy submarine. (6)

24 Sep 1942
HMS P 614 (Lt. D.J. Beckley, RN) ended her 4th war patrol at Lerwick. (6)

27 Sep 1942
HMS P 614 (Lt. D.J. Beckley, RN) departed Lerwick for Holy Loch. She made the passage together with HMS P 615 (Lt. P.E. Newstead, RN). They were initially escorted by HMS Preston North End (Lt. K.A. Vasey, MBE, RNR) until HrMs Jan van Gelder (Lt. P.L.M. van Geen, RNN) took over on the 28th. (6)

28 Sep 1942
HMS P 614 (Lt. D.J. Beckley, RN) arrived at Holy Loch. (6)

23 Oct 1942
HMS P 614 (Lt. H.W. Wilkinson, RN) departed Holy Loch for Freetown.

Passage south through the Irish Sea was made together with HMS Unbeaten (Lt. D.E.O. Watson, DSC, RN). The submarines were escorted by HMS Cutty Sark (Cdr.(retired) R.H. Mack, RN).

For the daily positions of HMS P 614 during the passage from Holy Loch to Freetown see the map below.

(9)

11 Nov 1942
HMS P 614 (Lt. H.W. Wilkinson, RN) arrived at Freetown. (10)

17 Nov 1942
HMS P 614 (Lt. H.W. Wilkinson, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Freetown together with HMS St. Zeno (T/Lt. J.K. Craig, RNVR), HMS Coventry City (T/Lt. J.C. Grose, RNR), another HMS trawler (unable to read the name in the log of HMS P 614) and HMS ML 271. (10)

20 Nov 1942
HMS P 614 (Lt. H.W. Wilkinson, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Freetown together with HMS Burdock (Lt.Cdr. E.H. Lynes, RD, RNR) and HMS ML 290 (T/Lt. W. Barrie, RNVR). Later the same day A/S exercises were carried out with Wellington aircraft. (10)

22 Nov 1942
HMS P 614 (Lt. H.W. Wilkinson, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Freetown together with HMS Burdock (Lt.Cdr. E.H. Lynes, RD, RNR), FFS Commandant Drogou, FFS Commandant Detroyat, HMS Morris Dance (T/Lt. S.A. MacKechnie, RNVR) and HMS Rumba (T/Lt. E.C.F.D. Jacquier, RNVR). (10)

23 Nov 1942
HMS P 614 (Lt. H.W. Wilkinson, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Freetown together with HMS Southern Pride (T/Lt. F.A. Darrah, RNVR) and HMS ML 302 (T.Lt. I.L. Fawcett, RNVR). (10)

28 Nov 1942
HMS P 614 (Lt. H.W. Wilkinson, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Freetown together with HMS Milford (Cdr. (retired) the Hon. V.M. Wyndham-Quin, RN) and HMIS Khyber. (10)

29 Nov 1942
HMS P 614 (Lt. H.W. Wilkinson, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Freetown together with HMS Tamarisk (Lt. S. Ayles, RNR), HMS ML 277 and HMS ML 281. (10)

5 Dec 1942
HMS P 614 (Lt. H.W. Wilkinson, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Freetown together with HMS Arran (T/Lt. D.S. Hutton, RNR), HMS ML 277 (11)

6 Dec 1942
HMS P 614 (Lt. H.W. Wilkinson, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Freetown together with HMS Milford (Cdr. (retired) the Hon. V.M. Wyndham-Quin, RN) and HMS Tamarisk (Lt. S. Ayles, RNR). (11)

9 Dec 1942
HMS P 614 (Lt. H.W. Wilkinson, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Freetown together with HMS Orfasy (T/A/Skr.Lt. G.A. Whichello, DSC, RNR), HMS Le Tiger (T/Lt. C.A. Hoodless, RNR) and HMS Viviana (Skr. R. Trueman, RNR). (11)

12 Dec 1942
HMS P 614 (Lt. H.W. Wilkinson, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Freetown together with HMS Hydrangea (A/Lt.Cdr. J.E. Woolfenden, RD, RNR), FFS Commandant Drogou, HMS Viviana (Skr. R. Trueman, RNR) and HMS Northern Isles (T/Lt. J.M. Baldry, RNVR). (11)

14 Dec 1942
HMS P 614 (Lt. H.W. Wilkinson, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Freetown together with HMS Bridgewater (Cdr. (retired) N.W.H. Weekes, OBE, RN), HMS Armeria (Lt. M. Todd, RNR) and HMS Holcombe (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Pinchin, DSC, RN). (11)

20 Dec 1942
HMS P 614 (Lt. H.W. Wilkinson, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Freetown together with HMS Hydrangea (A/Lt.Cdr. J.E. Woolfenden, RD, RNR). (11)

21 Dec 1942
HMS P 614 (Lt. H.W. Wilkinson, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Freetown together with HMS Hydrangea (A/Lt.Cdr. J.E. Woolfenden, RD, RNR) and FFS Commandant d'Estienne d'Orves. (11)

24 Dec 1942
HMS P 614 (Lt. H.W. Wilkinson, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Freetown together with HMS Holcombe (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Pinchin, DSC, RN), HMS Hydrangea (A/Lt.Cdr. J.E. Woolfenden, RD, RNR) and HMS ML 289 (T/Lt. S.E. Slater, RNVR). (11)

28 Dec 1942
HMS P 614 (Lt. H.W. Wilkinson, RN) departed Freetown for her 5th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol to the west-north-west of Freetown for a anti-uboat patrol.

For the daily positions of HMS P 614 during this patrol see the map below.

(11)

4 Jan 1943
At 0643 hours (G.M.T.), HMS P 614 (Lt. H.W. Wilkinson, RN), sighted a German U-boat on the surface near position 09°00'N, 17°29'E. P 614 dived to avoid being sighted and to attack if possible. At 0709 hours P 614 surfaced. The U-boat dived a 0725 hours and contact was lost before an attack could be undertaken.

The U-boat sighted was most likely U-175. (12)

5 Jan 1943
HMS P 614 (Lt. H.W. Wilkinson, RN) ended her 5th war patrol at Freetown. (12)

14 Jan 1943
HMS P 614 (Lt. H.W. Wilkinson, RN) departed Freetown for Simonstown via Takoradi and Porte Noire.

For the daily positions of HMS P 614 during the passage from Freetown to Simonstown see the map below.

(12)

19 Jan 1943
HMS P 614 (Lt. H.W. Wilkinson, RN) arrived at Takoradi. (12)

22 Jan 1943
HMS P 614 (Lt. H.W. Wilkinson, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Takoradi together with HMS Orfasy (T/A/Skr.Lt. G.A. Whichello, DSC, RNR) and several motor launches. (12)

23 Jan 1943
HMS P 614 (Lt. H.W. Wilkinson, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Takoradi together with HMS Orfasy (T/A/Skr.Lt. G.A. Whichello, DSC, RNR). (12)

25 Jan 1943
HMS P 614 (Lt. H.W. Wilkinson, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Takoradi together with HMS Orfasy (T/A/Skr.Lt. G.A. Whichello, DSC, RNR). Upon completion of these exercises she departed for Pointe Noire. (12)

31 Jan 1943
HMS P 614 (Lt. H.W. Wilkinson, RN) arrived at Pointe Noire. After fuelling she departed for Simonstown later the same day. (12)

10 Feb 1943
Around 1430 hours (zone -1), HMS P 614 (Lt. H.W. Wilkinson, RN), made rendez-vous with her escort towards Simonstown, the British corvette HMS Genista (Lt.Cdr. R.M. Pattinson, DSC, RNR).

12 Feb 1943
HMS P 614 (Lt. H.W. Wilkinson, RN) arrived at Simonstown, South Africa where she commenced a period of repairs. (13)

15 Mar 1943
HMS P 614 (Lt. H.W. Wilkinson, RN) conducted exercises off Simonstown. (14)

29 Mar 1943
HMS P 614 (Lt. H.W. Wilkinson, RN) shifted from Simonstown to Capetown. (14)

30 Mar 1943
HMS P 614 (Lt. H.W. Wilkinson, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Capetown together with HMS St. Zeno (T/Lt. J.K. Craig, RNVR). (14)

1 Apr 1943
HMS P 614 (Lt. H.W. Wilkinson, RN) shifted from Capetown to Simonstown. (15)

5 Apr 1943
HMS P 614 (Lt. H.W. Wilkinson, RN) participated in A/S exercises off Simonstown. (15)

21 Apr 1943
HMS P 614 (Lt. H.W. Wilkinson, RN) conducted engine trials off Simonstown. (15)

22 Apr 1943
HMS P 614 (Lt. H.W. Wilkinson, RN) departed Simonstown for Boma. She was escorted by the Free French corvette FFS Commandant d'Estienne d'Orves.

In the afternoon two ratings were washed overboard of which only was recovered. The other was was reported missing after a search of over an hour.

For the daily position of the (aborted) passage to Boma and the return from Walvis Bay to Simonstown see the map below.

(15)

26 Apr 1943
HMS P 614 (Lt. H.W. Wilkinson, RN) is ordered to proceed to Walvis Bay where she and her escort arrived later the same day. (15)

7 May 1943
HMS P 614 (Lt. H.W. Wilkinson, RN) departed Walvis Bay for Simonstown. She was escorted by HMS St. Zeno (T/Lt. J.K. Craig, RNVR). (16)

11 May 1943
HMS P 614 (Lt. H.W. Wilkinson, RN) arrived at Simonstown. (16)

17 May 1943
HMS P 614 (Lt. H.W. Wilkinson, RN) participated in A/S exercises off Simonstown. (16)

18 May 1943
HMS P 614 (Lt. H.W. Wilkinson, RN) participated in A/S exercises off Simonstown. (16)

25 May 1943
HMS P 614 (Lt. H.W. Wilkinson, RN) participated in A/S exercises off Simonstown. (16)

2 Jun 1943
HMS P 614 (Lt. H.W. Wilkinson, RN) is docked at Simonstown. (17)

28 Jun 1943
HMS P 614 (Lt. H.W. Wilkinson, RN) is undocked. (17)

5 Jul 1943
HMS P 614 (Lt. H.W. Wilkinson, RN) participated in A/S exercises off Simonstown. (18)

6 Jul 1943
HMS P 614 (Lt. H.W. Wilkinson, RN) participated in A/S exercises off Simonstown. (18)

7 Jul 1943
HMS P 614 (Lt. H.W. Wilkinson, RN) participated in A/S exercises off Simonstown. (18)

8 Jul 1943
HMS P 614 (Lt. H.W. Wilkinson, RN) participated in A/S exercises off Simonstown. (18)

1 Aug 1943
HMS P 614 (Lt. H.W. Wilkinson, RN) participated in A/S exercises off Simonstown. (19)

2 Aug 1943
HMS P 614 (Lt. H.W. Wilkinson, RN) shifted from Simonstown to Cape Town. She was escorted by HMS Norwich City (T/Lt. L.H. Stammers, RNVR). (19)

4 Aug 1943
HMS P 614 (Lt. H.W. Wilkinson, RN) shifted from Cape Town to Simonstown. She was escorted by HMS Northern Isles (T/Lt. J.M. Baldry, RNVR). (19)

10 Aug 1943
HMS P 614 (Lt. H.W. Wilkinson, RN) departed Simonstown for Freetown. She was escorted until 1200/12 by HMS Lewes (Lt.Cdr. M.V. Thorburn, DSC, VRD, RNVR).

For the daily positions of HMS P 614 during this passage see the map below.

(19)

26 Aug 1943
HMS P 614 (Lt. H.W. Wilkinson, RN) arrived at Freetown. (19)

1 Sep 1943
HMS P 614 (Lt. H.W. Wilkinson, RN) departed Freetown for Dakar where she was to top off with fuel before proceeding towards the United Kingdom.

For the daily positions of HMS P 614 during the passage from Freetown to Dundee see the map below.

(20)

4 Sep 1943
HMS P 614 (Lt. H.W. Wilkinson, RN) arrived at Dakar. After fuelling she departed for Portsmouth. (20)

23 Sep 1943
HMS P 614 (Lt. H.W. Wilkinson, RN) arrived at Falmouth. (20)

25 Sep 1943
HMS P 614 (Lt. H.W. Wilkinson, RN) departed Falmouth for Holy Loch. During the passage north through the Irish Sea she was escorted by HMS Cutty Sark (Cdr.(retired) R.H. Mack, RN). (20)

28 Sep 1943
HMS P 614 (Lt. H.W. Wilkinson, RN) arrived at Holy Loch. She departed for Dundee later the same day. She was escorted by HMS La Capricieuse (Lt.Cdr. G.W. Dobson, RNR) until 1053/30 when HMS Loch Monteith (T/Lt. K.W. Richardson, RNR) took over the escort. (20)

1 Oct 1943
HMS P 614 (Lt. H.W. Wilkinson, RN) arrived at Dundee where she was to refit. (21)

12 Oct 1943
HMS P 614 (Lt. H.W. Wilkinson, RN) is taken in hand for refit by the Caledon shipyard at Dundee. (21)

12 Aug 1944
Having completed her refit, HMS P 614 (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR), conducted trials off Dundee. (22)

14 Aug 1944
HMS P 614 (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR) departed Dundee for Rothesay. She made the passage together with HMS Seadog (Lt. E.A. Hobson, DSC, RN). They were escorted by HMS Loch Monteith (T/Lt. K.W. Richardson, RNR) until 0955/15 when HMS Cutty Sark (Lt. H.J. Bartlett, DSC, RN) took over. (22)

16 Aug 1944
HMS P 614 (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR) arrived at Rothesay. (22)

31 Aug 1944
HMS P 614 (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR) conducted exercises in the Clyde area. (22)

1 Sep 1944
HMS P 614 (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR) conducted exercises in the Clyde area. (23)

4 Sep 1944
HMS P 614 (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR) conducted exercises in the Clyde area. (23)

6 Sep 1944
HMS P 614 (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR) conducted exercises in the Clyde area. (23)

8 Sep 1944
HMS P 614 (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR) conducted exercises in the Clyde area. (23)

11 Sep 1944
HMS P 614 (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR) shifted from Rothesay to Campbeltown. (23)

12 Sep 1944
HMS P 614 (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR) shifted from Campbeltown to Ardishaig. (23)

14 Sep 1944
HMS P 614 (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR) participated in A/S exercises with motor launches off Ardishaig. (23)

21 Sep 1944
HMS P 614 (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR) participated in A/S exercises with motor launches off Ardishaig. (23)

24 Sep 1944
HMS P 614 (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR) shifted from Ardishaig to Rothesay. After a short stay at Rothesay she shifted to Kames Bay later the same day. (23)

26 Sep 1944
HMS P 614 (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR) is docked at Kames Bay. (23)

5 Oct 1944
HMS P 614 (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR) is undocked. (24)

7 Oct 1944
HMS P 614 (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR) conducted exercises in Loch Striven with X-craft. (24)

8 Oct 1944
HMS P 614 (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR) departed Port Bannatyne for Port HHX (most likely this was Loch a' Choire). She made the passage together with three X-craft (X 20, X 21 and X 24). They were escorted by HMS Alecto (Cdr. (retired) E.S. Felton, RN). (24)

10 Oct 1944
HMS P 614 (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR) arrived at Port HHX. (24)

15 Oct 1944
HMS P 614 (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR) conducted a torpedo firing exercise on HMS Alecto (Cdr. (retired) E.S. Felton, RN). (24)

17 Oct 1944
HMS P 614 (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR) conducted exercises off Port HHX. (24)

18 Oct 1944
HMS P 614 (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR) conducted exercises off Port HHX. (24)

19 Oct 1944
HMS P 614 (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR) conducted exercises off Port HHX. (24)

20 Oct 1944
HMS P 614 (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR) conducted exercises off Port HHX. (24)

23 Oct 1944
HMS P 614 (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR) conducted exercises off Port HHX. (24)

24 Oct 1944
HMS P 614 (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR) conducted exercises off Port HHX. (24)

25 Oct 1944
HMS P 614 (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR) conducted exercises off Port HHX. (24)

26 Oct 1944
HMS P 614 (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR) conducted exercises off Port HHX. (24)

28 Oct 1944
HMS P 614 (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR) conducted exercises off Port HHX. (24)

29 Oct 1944
HMS P 614 (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR) conducted exercises off Port HHX. (24)

30 Oct 1944
HMS P 614 (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR) conducted exercises off Port HHX. (24)

31 Oct 1944
HMS P 614 (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR) conducted exercises off Port HHX. (24)

1 Nov 1944
HMS P 614 (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR) conducted exercises off Port HHX. (25)

2 Nov 1944
HMS P 614 (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR) conducted exercises off Port HHX. (25)

3 Nov 1944
HMS P 614 (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR) departed Port HHX for Kames Bay. She had X-craft X 23 in tow and was escorted by HMS Alecto (Cdr. (retired) E.S. Felton, RN). (25)

5 Nov 1944
HMS P 614 (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR) arrived at Kames Bay. (25)

9 Nov 1944
HMS P 614 (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR) conducted exercises off Kames Bay towing X-craft X 21. (25)

10 Nov 1944
HMS P 614 (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR) conducted exercises off Kames Bay towing X-craft X 21. (25)

13 Nov 1944
During 13/14 November 1944, HMS P 614 (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR), conducted exercises in the Clyde area towing X-craft X 21. She was escorted by HMS ML 235 (T/S.Lt. R.R. Kern, RNVR). (25)

16 Nov 1944
During 16/17 November 1944, HMS P 614 (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR), conducted exercises in the Clyde area towing X-craft X 20. She was escorted by HMS ML 235 (T/S.Lt. R.R. Kern, RNVR). (25)

21 Nov 1944
HMS P 614 (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR) departed Kames Bay for Port HHX. She made the passage towing X-craft X 25. They were escorted by HMS Alecto (Cdr.(Retd.) E.S. Felton, RN). (25)

23 Nov 1944
HMS P 614 (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR) arrived at Port HHX. (25)

24 Nov 1944
HMS P 614 (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR) departed Port HHX to return to Kames Bay. She made the passage towing X-craft X 25. They were escorted by HMS Alecto (Cdr. (Retd.) E.S. Felton, RN). (25)

25 Nov 1944
HMS P 614 (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR) arrived at Kames Bay. (25)

29 Nov 1944
HMS P 614 (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR) departed Kames Bay for Port HHX. She made the passage towing X-craft X 20. They were escorted by HMS Alecto (Cdr. (Retd.) E.S. Felton, RN). (25)

1 Dec 1944
HMS P 614 (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR) arrived at Port HHX. (26)

2 Dec 1944
HMS P 614 (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR) departed Port HHX to return to Kames Bay. She made the passage towing X-craft X 20. They were escorted by HMS Alecto (Cdr. (retired) E.S. Felton, RN). (26)

3 Dec 1944
HMS P 614 (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR) arrived at Kames Bay. (26)

7 Dec 1944
HMS P 614 (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR) conducted exercises with an X-craft in Loch Striven. (26)

13 Dec 1944
HMS P 614 (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR) departed Kames Bay for Port HHX. She made the passage towing X-craft X 24. They were escorted by HMS Alecto (Cdr. (retired) E.S. Felton, RN). (26)

15 Dec 1944
HMS P 614 (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR) arrived at Port HHX. (26)

16 Dec 1944
HMS P 614 (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR) departed Port HHX to return to Kames Bay. She made the passage towing X-craft X 24. They were escorted by HMS Alecto (Cdr. (retired) E.S. Felton, RN). (26)

17 Dec 1944
HMS P 614 (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR) arrived at Kames Bay. (26)

29 Dec 1944
HMS P 614 (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR) departed Kames Bay for exercises in Loch Linnhe. She made the passage towing X-craft X 23. They were escorted by HMS Alecto (Cdr. (retired) E.S. Felton, RN). (26)

1 Jan 1945
HMS P 614 (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR) returned to Kames Bay. (27)

6 Jan 1945
HMS P 614 (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR) departed Kames Bay for exercises in the Sound of Jura. She made the passage towing X-craft X 23. They were escorted by HMS Alecto (Cdr. (retired) E.S. Felton, RN). (27)

9 Jan 1945
HMS P 614 (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR) returned to Kames Bay. (27)

8 Feb 1945
HMS P 614 (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR) conducted exercises in Loch Striven. (28)

10 Feb 1945
HMS P 614 (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR) conducted exercises in Loch Striven. (28)

11 Feb 1945
HMS P 614 (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR) conducted exercises in Loch Striven. (28)

13 Feb 1945
HMS P 614 (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR) departed Kames Bay for exercises in the Firth of Lorne. She made the passage towing X-craft X 23. They were escorted by HMS Alecto (Cdr. (retired) E.S. Felton, RN). (28)

15 Feb 1945
HMS P 614 (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR) arrived at Port HHX. (28)

16 Feb 1945
HMS P 614 (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR) shifted from Port HHX to Kames Bay. She made the passage towing X-craft X 23. They were escorted by HMS Alecto (Cdr. (retired) E.S. Felton, RN). (28)

20 Feb 1945
HMS P 614 (Lt. J.F. Michell, RN) departed Kames Bay for exercises in the Firth of Lorne. She made the passage towing X-craft X 21. They were escorted by HMS Alecto (Cdr. (Retd.) E.S. Felton, RN). (28)

22 Feb 1945
HMS P 614 (Lt. J.F. Michell, RN) arrived at Port HHX. (28)

23 Feb 1945
HMS P 614 (Lt. J.F. Michell, RN) shifted from Port HHX to Kames Bay. She made the passage towing X-craft X 21. They were escorted by HMS Alecto (Cdr. (Retd.) E.S. Felton, RN). (28)

28 Feb 1945
HMS P 614 (Lt. J.F. Michell, RN) departed Kames Bay for exercises in the Firth of Lorne. She made the passage towing X-craft X 25. They were escorted by HMS Alecto (Cdr. (Retd.) E.S. Felton, RN). (28)

2 Mar 1945
HMS P 614 (Lt. J.F. Michell, RN) arrived at Port HHX. (29)

3 Mar 1945
HMS P 614 (Lt. J.F. Michell, RN) shifted from Port HHX to Kames Bay. She made the passage towing X-craft X 25. They were escorted by HMS Alecto (Cdr. (Retd.) E.S. Felton, RN). (29)

14 Mar 1945
HMS P 614 (Lt. J.F. Michell, RN) departed Kames Bay for exercises in the Firth of Lorne. She made the passage towing X-craft X 20. They were escorted by HMS Alecto (Cdr. (Retd.) E.S. Felton, RN). (29)

16 Mar 1945
HMS P 614 (Lt. J.F. Michell, RN) arrived at Port HHX. (29)

17 Mar 1945
HMS P 614 (Lt. J.F. Michell, RN) shifted from Port HHX to Kames Bay. She made the passage towing X-craft X 20. They were escorted by HMS Alecto (Cdr. (Retd.) E.S. Felton, RN). (29)

21 Mar 1945
HMS P 614 (Lt. J.F. Michell, RN) departed Kames Bay for exercises in the Firth of Lorne. She made the passage towing X-craft X 24. They were escorted by HMS Alecto (Cdr. (Retd.) E.S. Felton, RN). (29)

23 Mar 1945
HMS P 614 (Lt. J.F. Michell, RN) arrived at Port HHX. (29)

24 Mar 1945
HMS P 614 (Lt. J.F. Michell, RN) shifted from Port HHX to Kames Bay. She made the passage towing X-craft X 24. They were escorted by HMS Alecto (Cdr. (Retd.) E.S. Felton, RN). (29)

30 Mar 1945
HMS P 614 (Lt. J.F. Michell, RN) departed Kames Bay for Barrow. She was escorted by HMS Alecto (Cdr. (Retd.) E.S. Felton, RN). (29)

31 Mar 1945
HMS P 614 (Lt. J.F. Michell, RN) arrived at Barrow where she is to be prepaired for her transfer to Turkey. (29)

9 May 1945
HMS P 614 (Lt. J.F. Michell, RN) was decommissioned at Barrow and handed over to the Turkish Government. (30)

Sources

  1. ADM 173/17520
  2. ADM 199/424
  3. ADM 173/17521
  4. ADM 173/17522
  5. ADM 173/17201 + ADM 53/116690
  6. ADM 199/1834
  7. ADM 173/17523
  8. ADM 173/17525
  9. ADM 173/17527
  10. ADM 173/17528
  11. ADM 173/17529
  12. ADM 173/17957
  13. ADM 173/17958
  14. ADM 173/17959
  15. ADM 173/17960
  16. ADM 173/17961
  17. ADM 173/17962
  18. ADM 173/17963
  19. ADM 173/17964
  20. ADM 173/17965
  21. ADM 173/17966
  22. ADM 173/18579
  23. ADM 173/18580
  24. ADM 173/18581
  25. ADM 173/18582
  26. ADM 173/18583
  27. ADM 173/19514
  28. ADM 173/19515
  29. ADM 173/19516
  30. ADM 199/2565

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


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