William Ronald Christopher Leggatt DSO, RN

Born  27 Sep 1900


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Ranks

1 May 1917 Mid.
15 Sep 1919 A/S.Lt.
15 May 1920 S.Lt.
15 Oct 1921 Lt.
15 Oct 1929 Lt.Cdr.
31 Dec 1935 Cdr.
30 Jun 1941 Capt.

Retired: 7 Jul 1950


Decorations

5 Mar 1942 Mentioned in Despatches (MID)
29 Aug 1944 DSO

Warship Commands listed for William Ronald Christopher Leggatt, RN


ShipRankTypeFromTo
HMS Despatch (D 30)Capt.Light cruiser23 Jun 194225 Sep 1943

Career information

We currently have no career / biographical information on this officer.

Events related to this officer

Light cruiser HMS Despatch (D 30)


23 Jul 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
With her refit completed, HMS Despatch (Capt. W.R.C. Leggatt, RN) departed Sheerness for Rosyth. (1)

24 Jul 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Despatch (Capt. W.R.C. Leggatt, RN) arrived at Rosyth from Sheerness. (1)

25 Jul 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Despatch (Capt. W.R.C. Leggatt, RN) departed Rosyth for Scapa Flow. She returned however later the same day with engine trouble. (1)

29 Jul 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Despatch (Capt. W.R.C. Leggatt, RN) proceeded from Rosyth to the Tyne to have the engine defects taken care off. (1)

1 Aug 1942
HMS Despatch (Capt. W.R.C. Leggatt, RN) is docked in No.4 Dock at the Middle Docks & Engineering Company Ltd. at South Shields. (2)

21 Aug 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Despatch (Capt. W.R.C. Leggatt, RN) is undocked at South Shields and is then towed to North Shields. (2)

26 Aug 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Despatch (Capt. W.R.C. Leggatt, RN) proceeded from North Shields to Rosyth. (2)

27 Aug 1942
HMS Despatch (Capt. W.R.C. Leggatt, RN) proceeded from Rosyth to Scapa Flow to begin a post-refit work-up period.

[As no logs are available for September and October 1942 some details for these months will be missing.] (2)

29 Oct 1942

Convoy WS 24

This convoy was formed off Oversay on 29 October 1942.

It was made up of the following (troop) transports; Arawa (British, 14462 GRT, built 1922), Athlone Castle (British, 25564 GRT, built 1936), Empress of Scotland (British, 26032 GRT, built 1930), Indochinois (British, 6966 GRT, built 1939), Largs Bay (British, 14182 GRT, built 1921), Striling Castle (British, 25550 GRT, built 1936) and Tamaroa (British, 12405 GRT, built 1922).

The American seaplane tender Barnegat (Cdr. J.A. Briggs, USN) was also with the convoy.

On forming up the convoy was escorted by the destroyers HMS Rotherham (Capt. F.S.W. de Winton, RN), HMS Onslow (Capt H.T. Armstrong, DSC, RN), HMS Offa (Lt.Cdr. R.A. Ewing, RN), HMS Oribi (Cdr. J.E.H. McBeath, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Sardonyx (Lt.Cdr. A.F.C. Gray, RNR), HMS Skate (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) A.W. Preston, RN) and the escort destroyer HMS Holcombe (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Pinchin, DSC, RN).

The convoy was to take an unusual route for a WS convoy. Due to the Allied landings in North Africa (Operation Torch) it was not thought wise to have another troop convoy passing through the same area as the convoys for this operations would be passing through. Therefore it was decided to sent the convoy southwards with a stopover at Bahia, Brasil instead of the usual stopover at Freetown.

The Liverpool section of the convoy made up of the Athlone Castle and Stirling Castle was late at the assembly point due to being delayed by fog. They and their escorts, HMS Sardonyx and HMS Skate only joined the main part of the convoy on 31 October. HMS Sardonyx and HMS Skate then parted company to proceed to Londonderry.

At 1430Z/31, in position 49°46'N, 21°17'W, HMS Onslow, on the port wing of the A/S screen, reported an A/S contact and shorly afterwards sighted a periscope. The convoy then carried out an emergency turn to starboard and HMS Rotherham joined HMS Onslow to hunt the U-boat. Contact was again obtained at 1443Z/31. The first depth charge attacks of both destroyers were probably reasonably accurate as the U-boat went very deep and remained there. A total of seven attacks were made in all by the two destroyers and about 1730Z/31 contact was lost. Both destroyers then carried out a search to regain contact but without success. HMS Rotherham then proceeded to rejoin the convoy leaving HMS Onslow in the area until after dark in case the U-boat should surface. The U-boat attacked was U-563 which sustained damage in the depth charge attacks.

At 0400Z/2, HMS Rotherham parted company with the convoy to proceed to fuel at Ponta Delgada, Azores, where she arrived around 1715Z/2. She departed again to rejoined the convoy at first light on 3rd November. On leaving Ponta Delgada HMS Holcombe was encountered to enter that port to fuel. She was not to rejoin the convoy but to proceed to Bathurst on completion of fuelling.

At 1355Z/2, in position 40°43'N, 25°10'W, USS Barnegat parted company to proceed to French Marocco to join the forces for Operation Torch.

At 1500Z/3, HMS Rotherham rejoined the convoy.

At 1530Z/3, in position 36°40'N, 28°40'W, the armed merchant cruiser Queen of Bermuda (A/Capt.(Retd.) A.D. Cochrane, DSO, RN) joined the convoy.

At 1700Z/3, HMS Onslow, HMS Offa and HMS Oribi parted company to proceed to Ponta Delgada to fuel. They too were not to rejoin the convoy.

Around 2100Z/7, in position 15°41'N, 30°56'W, the transport Indochinois started to drop back due to engine trouble.

At 0348Z/8, HMS Queen of Bermuda was detached to proceed ahead to search for the destroyer HMS Ilex (Lt.Cdr. V.A. Wight-Boycott, OBE, RN) and A/S whaler HMS Southern Pride (T/Lt. F.A. Darrah, RNVR). This was done due to the convoy arriving late at the arranged rendezvous.

At 1230Z/8, in position 13°16'N, 29°26'W, the troop transport Tamaroa parted company with the convoy to proceed to Freetown taking HMS Southern Pride with her as escort. HMS Southern Pride had been sighted only half an hour before.

HMS Queen of Bermuda rejoined the convoy at 1930Z/8. HMS Ilex had not been sighted.

At 1120Z/9, HMS Queen of Bermuda was again detached but not to search for the Indochinois using her aircraft to do so. When 50 miles clear of the convoy HMS Queen of Bermuda reported the position, speed and course of the convoy also for the benefit of HMS Ilex which had still not joined the convoy.

At 1500Z/9, in position 08°24'N, 29°22'W, the destroyer Ilex finally managed to join the convoy.

At 0715Z/11, HMS Queen of Bermuda rejoined the convoy. Her Seafox plane had made contact with the Indochinois and had passed instructions to her to rejoin the convoy. Since then she was however not seen and did not rejoin the convoy.

At 1000Z/11, in position 00°14'S, 30°42'W, the light cruiser HMS Despatch (Capt. W.R.C. Leggatt, RN) joined the convoy.

On the 12th, HMS Ilex took in 60 tons of fuel from HMS Queen of Bermuda.

The convoy arrived at Bahia, Brazil on 15 November 1942.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The convoy departed Bahia for South Africa at 1830Z/19.

It was still made up of the same transports, minus the Indochinois.

Escort on departure from Bahia was provided by the light cruiser HMS Despatch and the destroyers HMS Rotherham and HMS Ilex.

Armed merchant cruiser Queen of Bermuda departed Bahia at 2359Z/19 to overtake the convoy which she did during the forenoon of the 20th.

At 0900Z/23, HMS Ilex was detached to return to Bahia.

At 2000Z/23, HMS Despatch parted company with the convoy to proceed to Pernambuco (Recife).

At 0800Z/28, the armed merchant cruiser HMS Alcantara (A/Capt.(retd.) J.D. Harvey, RN) joined.

At 0930Z/29, the destroyer HMAS Norman (Cdr. H.M. Burrell, RAN) joined.

At 1350Z/30, in position 34°36'S, 17°40'E, a quantity of wreckage was passed and shortly afterwards survivors were seen clinging to broken boats and rafts. HMS Rotherham picked up seven of these while HMAS Norman picked up another eleven. They were the Master, Chief Officer, Chief Engineer and 15 men of the Greek merchant vessel Argo that had been torpedoed and sunk by the Italian submarine Ammiraglio Cagni in position 34°45'S, 17°42'E at 2025Z/29. HMAS Norman transferred the survivors she had picked up to HMS Rotherham.

At 1440Z/30, the corvettes HMS Rockrose (Lt. E.J. Binfield, DSC, RNR) and HMS Thyme (Lt. H. Roach, RNR) joined.

At 1520Z/30, the transport Indochinois rejoined the convoy as did her escort, the destroyer HMAS Nepal (Cdr. F.B. Morris, RAN).

At 1610Z/30, HMS Rotherham parted company with the convoy to proceed to fuel at Simonstown where she also landed the survivors of the Argo. She arrived at Simonstown at 1830Z/30.

HMS Thyme parted company with the convoy late in the morning of 1st, December to proceed to Simonstown.

HMS Rotherham rejoined the convoy at 1600Z/1 having departed Simonstown at 0415Z/1. HMS Rockrose then parted company to proceed to Simonstown.

The convoy arrived at Durban at 0500Z/4. HMS Alcantara had parted company at 0400Z/4 to proceed to Simonstown. (3)

1 Nov 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Despatch (Capt. W.R.C. Leggatt, RN) departed Walvis Bay for Freetown. (4)

7 Nov 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Despatch (Capt. W.R.C. Leggatt, RN) arrived at Freetown from Walvis Bay. (4)

27 Nov 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Despatch (Capt. W.R.C. Leggatt, RN) arrived at Recife after convoy escort duty. (4)

2 Dec 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Despatch (Capt. W.R.C. Leggatt, RN) departed Recife for Freetown. (5)

8 Dec 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Despatch (Capt. W.R.C. Leggatt, RN) arrived at Freetown from Recife. (5)

11 Dec 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Despatch (Capt. W.R.C. Leggatt, RN) conducted D/G trials off Freetown. On completion of of which she departed for patrol in the South Atlantic. (5)

16 Dec 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Despatch (Capt. W.R.C. Leggatt, RN) returned to Freetown from patrol. (5)

17 Dec 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Despatch (Capt. W.R.C. Leggatt, RN) departed Freetown for Lagos. (5)

19 Dec 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Despatch (Capt. W.R.C. Leggatt, RN) arrived at Lagos from Freetown. (5)

24 Dec 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Despatch (Capt. W.R.C. Leggatt, RN) departed Lagos for Freetown. (5)

27 Dec 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Despatch (Capt. W.R.C. Leggatt, RN) arrived at Freetown from Lagos. (5)

30 Dec 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Despatch (Capt. W.R.C. Leggatt, RN) departed Freetown for Pointe Noire. (5)

3 Jan 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Despatch (Capt. W.R.C. Leggatt, RN) arrived at Pointe Noire from Freetown. (6)

4 Jan 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Despatch (Capt. W.R.C. Leggatt, RN) departed Pointe Noire to return to Freetown. (6)

8 Jan 1943
HMS Despatch (Capt. W.R.C. Leggatt, RN) arrived at Freetown from Pointe Noire having provided distant cover for Convoy WS 25. (7)

13 Jan 1943
HMS Despatch (Capt. W.R.C. Leggatt, RN) departed Freetown for an anti-raidar / anti-blockade breaker patrol to the west of Freetown / south of the Cape Verde Islands. (8)

16 Jan 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Despatch (Capt. W.R.C. Leggatt, RN) arrived at Freetown from patrol. (6)

21 Jan 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Despatch (Capt. W.R.C. Leggatt, RN) departed Freetown for Dakar. (7)

22 Jan 1943
HMS Despatch (Capt. W.R.C. Leggatt, RN) arrived at Dakar from Freetown. (6)

29 Jan 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Despatch (Capt. W.R.C. Leggatt, RN) departed Dakar to return to Freetown. (7)

30 Jan 1943
HMS Despatch (Capt. W.R.C. Leggatt, RN) arrived at Freetown from Dakar.

[As no log is available for February 1943, some details for this month might be missing.] (7)

7 Feb 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Despatch (Capt. W.R.C. Leggatt, RN) departed Freetown for an anti-blockade runner patrol in the mid-Atlantic. (9)

11 Feb 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Despatch (Capt. W.R.C. Leggatt, RN) arrived at Freetown from patrol. (1)

14 Feb 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
The light cruiser HMS Despatch (Capt. W.R.C. Leggatt, RN) and the destroyers HMS Quadrant (Lt.Cdr. W.H. Farrington, RN) and HMS Redoubt (Lt.Cdr. N.E.G. Ropner, DSO, RN) departed Freetown for Bathurst. (9)

15 Feb 1943
The light cruiser HMS Despatch (Capt. W.R.C. Leggatt, RN) and the destroyers HMS Quadrant (Lt.Cdr. W.H. Farrington, RN) and HMS Redoubt (Lt.Cdr. N.E.G. Ropner, DSO, RN) arrived at Bathurst from Freetown.

At Bathurst the Commanding Officer of HMS Despatch passed intelligence information for an Anti blockade breaker patrol to the Commanding Officer of the French light cruiser Georges Leygues (Capt. L.M.J.A. Desprez). (9)

16 Feb 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
The light cruiser HMS Despatch (Capt. W.R.C. Leggatt, RN) departed Bathurst to patrol east of the Cape Verde Islands together with the escort destroyer RHS Adrias (Cdr. I. Toumbas) which was coming from Freetown.

They were to intercept the Spanish merchant vessel Monte Naranco (5754 GRT, built 1920) and place an armed guard on board which was to take the ship to Gibraltar for inspection. It was suspected that two German naval ratings (ex Admiral Graf Spee) were on board carrying 6 kilos of platinum.

The Spanish ship was sighted in the afternoon of the 17th in position 13°46'N, 24°08'W. Course 035° and speed 12 knots.

HMS Despatch and RHS Adrias were informed and ordered to intercept which they did in the early afternoon of the 18th in position 14°42'N, 23°01'W. An armed guard was placed on board which was to take the ship to Gibraltar. RHS Adrias escorted her towards Gibraltar for a day.

RHS Adrias arrived at Bathurst on 20 February.

Meanwhile HMS Despatch had fuelled at Ilha de São Vicente, Cape Verde Islands on the 19th. On completion of fuelling she proceeded on anti-blockade breaker patrol. (10)

24 Feb 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Despatch (Capt. W.R.C. Leggatt, RN) arrived at Bathurst from patrol. (10)

26 Feb 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Despatch (Capt. W.R.C. Leggatt, RN) departed Bathurst for an anti-blockade breaker patrol but she was soon ordered to proceed to Freetown instead. (10)

27 Feb 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Despatch (Capt. W.R.C. Leggatt, RN) arrived at Freetown. (10)

2 Mar 1943
HMS Despatch (Capt. W.R.C. Leggatt, RN) departed Freetown for an anti-blockade breaker patrol in the mid-Atlantic. (11)

6 Mar 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Despatch (Capt. W.R.C. Leggatt, RN) arrived at Freetown from patrol. (11)

8 Mar 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Despatch (Capt. W.R.C. Leggatt, RN) departed Freetown for an anti-blockade breaker patrol in the mid-Atlantic. (11)

12 Mar 1943
HMS Despatch (Capt. W.R.C. Leggatt, RN) arrived at Freetown from patrol.

After fuelling she departed again later the same day to search for a suspicious ship reported by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Cicilia (Capt.(Retd.) J.M. Scott, RN) the previous morning steering 340° in position 05°35'S, 11°48'W. This was however later though to have been an Allied merchant vessel. (11)

16 Mar 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Despatch (Capt. W.R.C. Leggatt, RN) arrived at Bathurst from patrol. (11)

17 Mar 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Despatch (Capt. W.R.C. Leggatt, RN) departed Bathurst for an anti-blockade breaker patrol in the mid-Atlantic. (11)

21 Mar 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Despatch (Capt. W.R.C. Leggatt, RN) arrived at Freetown from patrol. (11)

1 Apr 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Despatch (Capt. W.R.C. Leggatt, RN) departed Freetown for Recife, Brasil. (12)

5 Apr 1943
HMS Despatch (Capt. W.R.C. Leggatt, RN) arrived at Recife from Freetown. (13)

6 Apr 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Despatch (Capt. W.R.C. Leggatt, RN) departed Recife for Rio de Janeiro. (13)

8 Apr 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Despatch (Capt. W.R.C. Leggatt, RN) arrived at Rio de Janeiro from Recife. (13)

15 Apr 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Despatch (Capt. W.R.C. Leggatt, RN) is docked at Rio de Janeiro. (13)

19 Apr 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Despatch (Capt. W.R.C. Leggatt, RN) is undocked. (13)

8 May 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Despatch (Capt. W.R.C. Leggatt, RN) departed Rio de Janeiro for Recife. (14)

11 May 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Despatch (Capt. W.R.C. Leggatt, RN) arrived at Recife from Rio de Janeiro. (14)

15 May 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Despatch (Capt. W.R.C. Leggatt, RN) departed Recife for Freetown. (14)

19 May 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Despatch (Capt. W.R.C. Leggatt, RN) arrived at Freetown from Recife. (14)

5 Jun 1943
HMS Despatch (Capt. W.R.C. Leggatt, RN) conducted gunnery exercises off Freetown. (15)

16 Jun 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Despatch (Capt. W.R.C. Leggatt, RN) conducted gunnery exercises off Freetown. (15)

21 Jun 1943

Combined convoy WS 31 / KMS 17.

This combined convoy was formed off Oversay on 21 June 1943. The convoy was divided into convoys WS 30 and KMS 15 at sea on 26 June 1943.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Convoy WS 31 arrived at Freetown on 4 July 1943.

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Convoy WS 31 departed Freetown on 6 July 1943.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

22 Jun 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Despatch (Capt. W.R.C. Leggatt, RN) conducted D/G trials and gunnery exercises off Freetown. (15)

29 Jun 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Despatch (Capt. W.R.C. Leggatt, RN) conducted gunnery exercises off Freetown. (15)

6 Jul 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Despatch (Capt. W.R.C. Leggatt, RN) departed Freetown as escort for convoy WS 31.

[For more info on this convoy see the event ' Combined convoy WS 31 / KMS 17 ' for 21 June 1943.] (15)

21 Jul 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Despatch (Capt. W.R.C. Leggatt, RN), HMS Quadrant (Lt.Cdr. W.H. Farrington, RN), HMS Rapid (Lt.Cdr. M.W. Tomkinson, DSC and Bar, RN) and HMS Redoubt (Lt.Cdr. N.E.G. Ropner, DSO, RN) arrived at Simonstown from convoy escort duty. (15)

21 Jul 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Despatch (Capt. W.R.C. Leggatt, RN), HMS Quadrant (Lt.Cdr. W.H. Farrington, RN), HMS Rapid (Lt.Cdr. M.W. Tomkinson, DSC and Bar, RN) and HMS Redoubt (Lt.Cdr. N.E.G. Ropner, DSO, RN) arrived at Simonstown from convoy escort duty. (15)

26 Jul 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Despatch (Capt. W.R.C. Leggatt, RN), HMS Quadrant (Lt.Cdr. W.H. Farrington, RN) and HMS Redoubt (Lt.Cdr. N.E.G. Ropner, DSO, RN) departed Simonstown to proceed to Capetown and there pick up six transports making up convoy WS 31. They then set course with the transports to a rendezvous position near Mauritius.

[For more info on this convoy see the event ' Combined convoy WS 31 / KMS 17 ' for 21 June 1943.] (15)

5 Aug 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Despatch (Capt. W.R.C. Leggatt, RN) arrived at Mauritius from convoy escort duty. After fuelling she departed for Durban later the same day. (16)

9 Aug 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Despatch (Capt. W.R.C. Leggatt, RN) arrived at Durban from Mauritius. (16)

10 Aug 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Despatch (Capt. W.R.C. Leggatt, RN) departed Durban for Simonstown. (16)

12 Aug 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Despatch (Capt. W.R.C. Leggatt, RN) arrived at Simonstown from Durban. At Simonstown she was taken in hand to repairs some defects. (16)

27 Aug 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Despatch (Capt. W.R.C. Leggatt, RN) departed Simonstown for Pointe Noire. (16)

1 Sep 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Despatch (Capt. W.R.C. Leggatt, RN) arrived at Pointe Noire from Simonstown. After fuelling she departed for Takoradi later the same day. (1)

3 Sep 1943
HMS Despatch (Capt. W.R.C. Leggatt, RN) arrived at Takoradi from Pointe Noire. (1)

4 Sep 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Despatch (Capt. W.R.C. Leggatt, RN) departed Takoradi for Freetown. (1)

6 Sep 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Despatch (Capt. W.R.C. Leggatt, RN) arrived at Freetown from Takoradi. (1)

9 Sep 1943
HMS Despatch (Capt. W.R.C. Leggatt, RN) departed Freetown for Dakar. (1)

10 Sep 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Despatch (Capt. W.R.C. Leggatt, RN) arrived at Dakar from Freetown. After fuelling she departed for Gibraltar later the same day. (1)

14 Sep 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Despatch (Capt. W.R.C. Leggatt, RN) arrived at Gibraltar from Dakar. (1)

18 Sep 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Despatch (Capt. W.R.C. Leggatt, RN) arrived at Plymouth from Gibraltar. (17)

19 Sep 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Despatch (Capt. W.R.C. Leggatt, RN) departed Plymouth for Portsmouth. (18)

20 Sep 1943
HMS Despatch (Capt. W.R.C. Leggatt, RN) arrived at Portsmouth from Plymouth.

At Portsmouth she was reduced to Care and Maintenance on the 25th. (18)

Sources

  1. ADM 199/2552
  2. ADM 53/115766
  3. ADM 199/1211
  4. ADM 53/115767
  5. ADM 53/115768
  6. ADM 53/117347
  7. ADM 53/117347 + ADM 199/635
  8. ADM 53/117347 + ADM 199/2254
  9. ADM 199/635 + ADM 199/2552
  10. ADM 199/635
  11. ADM 53/117348 + ADM 199/635
  12. ADM 53/117349 + ADM 199/635
  13. ADM 53/117349
  14. ADM 53/117350
  15. ADM 53/117351
  16. ADM 53/117352
  17. ADM 199/2277
  18. ADM 199/2277 + ADM 199/2552

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


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