George Arthur Wallis Voelcker, RN

Born  26 Oct 1898Marylebone, London, England, U.K.
Died  23 Oct 1943(44)HMS Charybdis (88)


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Ranks

2 Aug 1914 Mid.
15 Mar 1917 A/S.Lt.
15 Nov 1917 S.Lt.
15 Feb 1919 Lt.
15 Feb 1927 Lt.Cdr.
30 Jun 1932 Cdr.
30 Jun 1939 Capt.

Decorations

Warship Commands listed for George Arthur Wallis Voelcker, RN


ShipRankTypeFromTo
HMS Maidstone (F 44)Capt.Submarine Depot Ship10 Mar 194126 Jun 1942
HMS Charybdis (88)Capt.Light cruiser27 Jun 194223 Oct 1943 (+)

Career information

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

Events related to this officer

Light cruiser HMS Charybdis (88)


4 Jul 1942
During 4/5 July 1942, HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) conducted exercises off Gibraltar. These included night exercises. She also ran over the D/G range several times. (1)

11 Jul 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
During 10/11 July 1942, HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) conducted exercises off Gibraltar. (1)

14 Jul 1942

Operation Pinpoint.

Aircraft to be flown to Malta.

Around 0500B/14, the aircraft carrier HMS Eagle (Capt. L.D. Mackintosh, DSC, RN), AA cruisers HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN), HMS Cairo (A/Capt. C.C. Hardy, DSO, RN) and the destroyers HMS Westcott (Cdr. I.H. Bockett-Pugh, DSO, RN), HMS Wrestler (Lt. R.W.B. Lacon, DSC, RN), HMS Vansittart (Lt.Cdr. T. Johnston, RN), HMS Antelope (Lt.Cdr. E.N. Sinclair) and HMS Ithuriel (Lt.Cdr. D.H. Maitland-Makgill-Crichton, DSC, RN) departed Gibraltar and proceeded eastwards.

Between 0613B/15 and 0753B/15, 32 Spitfires were flown off in four flights from approximate position 37°59'N, 03°05'E. One aircraft crashed on flying off, the pilot being saved. The remaining 31 Spitfires landed safely at Malta.

The force was reported by enemy aircraft at 0830B/19 and again at 0845B/19 but no enemy air attacks followed.

The Force returned to Gibraltar in the morning of 16 July 1942. (2)

20 Jul 1942

Operation Insect.

Aircraft to be flown to Malta.

Around 0530B/14, the aircraft carrier HMS Eagle (Capt. L.D. Mackintosh, DSC, RN), AA cruisers HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN), HMS Cairo (A/Capt. C.C. Hardy, DSO, RN) and the destroyers HMS Westcott (Cdr. I.H. Bockett-Pugh, DSO, RN), HMS Wrestler (Lt. R.W.B. Lacon, DSC, RN), HMS Vansittart (Lt.Cdr. T. Johnston, RN), HMS Antelope (Lt.Cdr. E.N. Sinclair) and HMS Ithuriel (Lt.Cdr. D.H. Maitland-Makgill-Crichton, DSC, RN) departed Gibraltar and proceeded eastwards.

At 0332B/21, in position 37°48'N, 02°05'E four heavy underwater explosions were heard, one very close to HMS Eagle, and a green flash was seen. It was presumed that these were caused by torpedoes from a submarine attack. This was indeed correct as the Italian submarine Dandolo had fired four torpedoes during a surface attack from 2000 yards. On firing the submarine had dived and two explosions were heard within three seconds from each other which were though to be hits but in fact all torpedoes had missed.

29 Spitfires were flown off from position 38°01'N, 03°05'E, between 0726B/21 and 0850B/21. One was unserviceable and did not take off, and the long range petrol tank of another developed a defect after the plane had taken off. The pilot was ordered to bail out, but his parachute failed to open and he was killed. The remaining 28 Spitfires, proceeded in four flights. All landed safely at Malta.

The Force was sighted by enemy aircraft at 0830B/21 and 0900B/21. The former was engaged by gunfire and the latter was damaged by Sea Hurricane flown off from HMS Eagle. The Force arrived back at Gibraltar on 22 July 1942. (2)

24 Jul 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) is docked at Gibraltar. (1)

28 Jul 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) is undocked. (1)

31 Jul 1942
The aircraft carrier HMS Eagle (Capt. L.D. Mackintosh, DSC, RN) and AA cruisers HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) conducted exercises off Gibraltar. They were escorted by destroyer but their names are currently not known to us except for one being HMS Mansfield (Lt.Cdr. L.C. Hill, OBE, RNR).

The exercises were later cancelled and all ships returned to Gibraltar. (3)

16 Aug 1942

Operation Baritone.

Aircraft to be flown to Malta.

Around 0400B/16, the aircraft carrier HMS Furious (Capt. T.O. Bulteel, RN), AA cruiser HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN), destroyers HMS Laforey (Capt. R.M.J. Hutton, RN), HMS Lightning (Cdr. H.G. Walters, DSC, RN), HMS Eskimo (Cdr. E.G. Le Geyt, RN), HMS Somali (Cdr. E.N.V. Currey, DSC, RN), HMS Antelope (Lt.Cdr. E.N. Sinclair), HMS Keppel (Cdr. J.E. Broome, RN), HMS Malcolm (A/Cdr. A.B. Russell, RN), HMS Venomous (Cdr. H.W. Falcon-Stewart, RN), HMS Wishart (Cdr. H.G. Scott, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Bicester (Lt.Cdr. S.W.F. Bennetts, RN) and HMS Derwent (Cdr. R.H. Wright, DSC, RN) departed Gibraltar and proceeded eastwards. They were followed at 0545B/16 by the destroyer HMS Lookout (Lt.Cdr. A.G. Forman, DSC, RN) which had not been ready to sail earlier. She was then was to overtake the Force.

Between 0730B/17 and 0930B/17, flying off of the 32 Spitfires took place in approximate position 37°31'N, 02°51'E. One plane crashed on taking off and the pilot was killed. Two other pilots baled out owing to defects and both were saved. 29 aircraft landed safely at Malta.

The Force was unobserved throughout the operation, and arrived back at Gibraltar around 1000B/18. (4)

1 Sep 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) conducted exercises off Gibraltar. (5)

10 Sep 1942
Around 2150A/10, HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) departed Gibraltar for a patrol to the west of Portugal as a suspected blockade breaker had been reported by a Catalina aircraft in approximate position 42°00'N, 15°00'W, steering 235° at 10 knots at 1825A/10.

The destroyer HMS Verity (Lt.Cdr. R. Horncastle, RN), on passage from Halifax (departed 1930Z/3) to Gibraltar (arrived 1800Z/14) via the Azores where she had fuelled on the 9th, was ordered to search to prudent limit of endurance. (6)

14 Sep 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 0730A/14, HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) returned to Gibraltar from patrol. (5)

29 Sep 1942
Around 2100A/29, HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) departed Gibraltar for a patrol to the west of Portugal as a suspected blockade breaker / supply vessel that had reported by a reconnaissance aircraft in approximate position 43°10'N, 12°16'W, steering 270° at 7 to 10 knots at 1333A/29.

Originally it had been indented that she was to provide cover for a tanker convoy en-route from Trinidad to Gibraltar. (6)

1 Oct 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) reported she had encountered very bad weeather conditions and that she hove to in position 38°06'N, 15°50'W after heaving sustained weather damage and two casualties, one rating killed and one wounded. She later reported that the weather had moderated and that she was steering 270° at 20 knots. (7)

2 Oct 1942
At 1600A/2, reconnaissance aircraft reported a medium sized ship, about 4000 tons, thought to be the Italian blockade breaker Pietro Orseolo (6338 GRT, built 1939) in position 44°08'N, 06°39'W, course 250°, speed 10 knots.

The submarine P 552 (Lt. K.H. Joy, RNR) was ordered by to patrol in the vicinity of position 43°11'N, 12°20'W and the cruiser HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) was instructed to endeavour to intercept, but stated that she was able to do so until dark on 3 July due to lack of fuel.

The following day the were informed that an enemy ship had been sighted in position 43°10'N, 09°50'W, course 090°, speed 15 knots. (8)

5 Oct 1942
Around 1115A/5 HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) returned to Gibraltar from patrol with weather damage. She had not been able to intercept any of the ships that had been reported.

Before entering harbour she made several runs over the D/G range. (7)

8 Oct 1942
HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) entered No.1 Dock at the Gibraltar Dockyard but she does not appears to have docked down. (9)

12 Oct 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) departed Gibraltar to patrol off the west coast of Spain / Portugal to search for enemy blockade breakers. (7)

13 Oct 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) reported that she was proceeding to the Cape Finisterre area to try to intercept an enemy tanker reported and attacked by aircraft at 1745A/12. (7)

14 Oct 1942
Reconnaissance aircraft reported a 5000 tons enemy merchant vessel, thought to be Irene (4793 GRT, built 1938, former Norwegian Silvaplana) in position 46°50'N, 15°40'W, course 260°, speed 10 knots at 1300A/14. The cruiser HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) was ordered by the Admiralty to proceed to intercept. Sloops HMS Egret (Cdr. C.R.S. Farquhar, RN) and HMS Banff (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Evans, RN) were also endeavouring to intercept. HMS Charybdis stated that search could be carried out only until dusk/14th when she would have to proceed to Ponta Delgada to fuel. (7)

15 Oct 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 1900A/15, HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) arrived at Ponta Delgada, Azores to fuel. She was ordered to return with despatch to Gibraltar on completion of fuelling. (7)

16 Oct 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 0915A/16, HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) departed Ponta Delgada to return to Gibraltar. (7)

18 Oct 1942
Around 0730A/18, HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) arrived at Gibraltar from Ponta Delgada. She was immediately docked in No.2 Dock at the Gibraltar Dockyard. (7)

22 Oct 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) is undocked. (9)

28 Oct 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)

Operation Train.

Aircraft to be flown to Malta.

Around 0830A/28, the aircraft carrier HMS Furious (Capt. T.O. Bulteel, RN), light cruiser HMS Aurora (Capt. W.G. Agnew, CB, RN), AA cruiser HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN), destroyers HMS Westcott (Cdr. I.H. Bockett-Pugh, DSO, RN), HMS Wishart (Cdr. H.G. Scott, RN), HMS Verity, (Lt.Cdr. R. Horncastle, RN), HMS Vanoc (A/Cdr. C.F.H. Churchill, RN), HMS Achates (Lt.Cdr. A.H.T. Johns, RN), ORP Blyskawica (Lt.Cdr. L. Lichodziejewski, ORP) and the escort destroyers HMS Bramham (Lt. E.F. Baines, RN), HMS Cowdray (Lt.Cdr. C.W. North, RN) departed Gibraltar and proceeded eastwards.

Between roughly 0730A/28 and 0930A/28, 29 Spitfires were flown off by HMS Furious.

The Force arrived back at Gibraltar around 1500A/30. (10)

5 Nov 1942
' Force O ', made up of the light cruiser HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral H.M. Burrough, CB, KBE, DSO, RN), aircraft carrier HMS Argus (Capt. G.T. Philip, RN), AA cruisers HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN), HMS Scylla (Capt. I.A.P. Macintyre, CBE, RN), AA ship HMS Tynwald (Capt.(Retd.) P.G. Wodehouse, DSO, RN), destroyer ORP Blyskawica (Lt.Cdr. L. Lichodziejewski, ORP) and the escort destroyers HMS Lamerton (Lt.Cdr. C.R. Purse, DSC, RN), HMS Wheatland (Lt.Cdr. R. de L. Brooke, DSC, RN) and HMS Wilton (Lt. A.P. Northey, DSC, RN) departed Gibraltar to provide cover for ships of the Eastern Task Force, en-route to and during the landings near Algiers. The escorts varied from time to time until their return to Gibraltar.

On 9 November, HMS Sheffield parted company to join the Force destinated for a landing at Bougie but as this landing was postponed due to unsuitable weather conditions she rejoined ' Force O ' temporarily. In the afternoon of the 10th she parted company again for this operation.

On the 10th ' Force O ' was about 20 miles north of Algiers, with the escorts fuelling in turn from ' Force R ', the tanker Force, but from dawn until about noon on the 11th, ' Force O ' was off Bougie after which it returned to the area of Algiers.

In the late afternoon of the 11th, ' Force O ', including HMS Sheffield which had rejoined in the early afternoon, was heavily attacked from the air by (13) Ju 88's and HMS Argus sustained some minor damage as a bomb hit the extreme edge of the flight deck. Shortly afterwards, the sloop HMS Ibis (Cdr. H.M. Darell-Brown, RN), which was screening HMS Argus and HMS Scylla at that moment was hit by a torpedo and sank very quickly. HMS Scylla rescued 5 officers and 102 ratings, the destroyer HMS Clare (Lt.Cdr. L.H. Landman, RN) later picked up another 3 ratings.

On 12 November ' Force O ' was ordered to proceed to a position north of 37°10'N, and west of 01°00'E.

At 1855Z/12, the destroyer HMS Clare, attacked a submarine in position 37°41'N, 00°10'W and she considered to have destroyed it. It was later classified as probably destroyed. The submarine on the receiving end was the German U-596 who managed to escape without damage.

' Force O ', now made up of light cruiser HMS Sheffield, aircraft carrier HMS Argus, escort carrier HMS Avenger (Cdr. A.P. Colthurst, RN), AA cruiser HMS Charybdis, HMS Scylla and the destroyers HMS Wishart (Cdr. H.G. Scott, RN), HMS Wrestler (Lt. R.W.B. Lacon, DSC, RN), HMS Vanoc ( A/Cdr. C.F.H. Churchill, RN), HMS Velox (Lt. G.B. Barstow, RN) and HMS Clare, returned to Gibraltar on 14 November 1942. (11)

14 Nov 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
At 2030Z/14, HMS Scylla (Capt. I.A.P. Macintyre, CBE, RN) and HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) departed Gibraltar to join ' Force H ' which they did around 0630Z/15.

They returned to Gibraltar with ' Force H ' around 1800Z/15. (12)

23 Nov 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Scylla (Capt. I.A.P. Macintyre, CBE, RN) and HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) conducted exercises off Gibraltar. (13)

25 Nov 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
The AA cruisers HMS Scylla (Capt. I.A.P. Macintyre, CBE, RN), HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN), destroyer HMS Boreas (Lt.Cdr. E.L. Jones, DSC, RN) and escort destroyer HMS Avon Vale (Lt.Cdr. P.A.R. Withers, DSO, RN) departed Gibraltar for Algiers. (14)

26 Nov 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Scylla (Capt. I.A.P. Macintyre, CBE, RN), HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN), HMS Boreas (Lt.Cdr. E.L. Jones, DSC, RN) and HMS Avon Vale (Lt.Cdr. P.A.R. Withers, DSO, RN) arrived at Algiers from Gibraltar. (14)

12 Dec 1942
HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN), with Vice-Admiral H.M. Burrough, CB, DSO, RN and his staff on board, departed Gibraltar for Barrow-in-Furness. (15)

16 Dec 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) arrived at Barrow-in-Furness where Vice-Admiral H.M. Burrough, CB, DSO, RN and his staff disembarked.

HMS Charybdis then proceeded to Liverpool where she arrived later the same day. (16)

18 Dec 1942
HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) proceeded from Liverpool to Barrow-in-Furness where she then was taken in hand for refit. (16)

22 Feb 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) proceeded from Barrow-in-Furness to Liverpool. (17)

25 Feb 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) is docked in the Gladstone Dry Dock at Liverpool. (17)

6 Mar 1943
HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) is undocked. She departed Liverpool for Scapa Flow later the same day for a post-refit work-up period. (17)

7 Mar 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) arrived at Scapa Flow from Liverpool. (17)

12 Mar 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) conducted exercises off Scapa Flow. (18)

16 Mar 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) conducted exercises off Scapa Flow. (18)

17 Mar 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) conducted torpedo firing exercises at Scapa Flow. (18)

19 Mar 1943

Minelaying operation SN 90A.

Minelaying operation by the 1st Minelaying Squadron.

On 19 March 1943, the auxiliary minelayers HMS Menestheus (Capt.(Retd.) R.H.F. de Salis, DSC, OBE, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral A.M. Peters, DSC, RN), HMS Port Quebec (A/Capt.(Retd.) V. Hammersley-Heenan, RN) and HMS Agamemnon (Capt.(Retd.) F. Ratsey, RN) departed Port ZA. (Loch Alsh) to lay minefield SN 90A. They were escorted by the destroyers HMS Newark (Lt.Cdr. D.F. Townsend, RN), HMS Wells (Lt. F.W.M. Carter, DSC, RN), HMS St. Marys (Lt. D.B.G. Dumas, RN) and HMS Charlestown (Lt. W.F.B. Webb, DSC, RN).

They were joined early the next day by the AA cruiser HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) which had departed Scapa Flow late on the 19th.

On 21 March a total of 1489 mines were laid at a depth of 25 feet along a line joining positions
64°57'5"N, 12°24'0"W and
64°28'0"N, 12°10'0"W.

The minelayers laid as follows; Agamemnon 530 mines, HMS Menestheus 410 mines and HMS Port Quebec 549 mines.

All ships returned to Port ZA / Scapa Flow (HMS Charybdis and HMS Charlestown) on 23 March 1943. (19)

27 Mar 1943
HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) conducted gunnery exercises at Scapa Flow. (18)

28 Mar 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) departed Scapa Flow to patrol near the Faeroer Islands and then onwards to Milford Haven. (20)

30 Mar 1943
Around 1630A/30, HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) arrived at Milford Haven from patrol.

Around 2230A/30, she departed Milford Haven to patrol off the Bay of Biscay together with HMS Milne (Capt. I.M.R. Campbell, DSO, RN) for a anti blockade breaker patrol. (20)

4 Apr 1943
HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) arrived at Plymouth from patrol.

HMS Milne (Capt. I.M.R. Campbell, DSO, RN) went on to Milford Haven where she also arrived on the same day. (20)

6 Apr 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 1630A/30, HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) and HMS Meteor (Lt.Cdr. D.J.B. Jewitt, RN) departed Plymouth to patrol off the Bay of Biscay for a anti blockade breaker patrol.

HMS Meteor returned from patrol on 11 April followed on the 12th by HMS Charybdis. (21)

17 Apr 1943
HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) departed Plymouth to patrol off the Bay of Biscay for escort duty with the combined convoy WS 29 / KMS 13 and then onwards to Gibraltar.

[For more info on this convoy see the event ' Combined convoy WS 29 / KMS 13 ' for 16 April 1943.] (21)

19 Apr 1943

Convoy XK 4.

This convoy departed Gibraltar on 19 April 1943 and arrived at Liverpool on 30 April 1943.

The following merchant vessels were part of this convoy; Blairdevon (British, 3282 GRT, built 1925), Fecto (Norwegian, 1522 GRT, built 1921), Gullpool (British, 4868 GRT, built 1928), Kerma (British, 4333 GRT, built 1928), Leutenant de la Tour (French, 5700 GRT, built 1917), Marga (Norwegian, 1583 GRT, built 1923), Mont Viso (French, 4531 GRT, built 1921) and Zaan (Dutch, 1299 GRT, built 1921).

On departure from Gibraltar the convoy was escorted by the minesweeper HMS Halcyon (T/A/Lt.Cdr. H.L.D. Hoare, RNR) and the corvette HMS Rhododendron (Lt. L.A. Sayers, RNR).

On 22 April 1943, the AA cruiser HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) departed Gibraltar to patrol of the Bay of Biscay while en-route from Gibraltar to Portsmouth. She also was to provide cover for convoy XK 4 during part of it's voyage. HMS Charybdis arrived at Plymouth on 27 April 1943.

On 29 April 1943, HMS Halcyon was detached and arrived at Milford Haven later the same day.

The convoy arrived at Liverpool on 30 April 1943.

HMS Rhododendron arrived at Greenock on 30 April 1943.

21 Apr 1943
HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) arrived at Gibraltar from convoy escort duty. (21)

22 Apr 1943
HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) departed Gibraltar to patrol off the Bay of Biscay for a anti blockade breaker patrol and to provide cover for convoy XK 4 in the meantime. She was to proceed to Plymouth afterwards.

For more in on the convoy see the event ' Convoy XK 4 ' for 19 April 1943.] (21)

27 Apr 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) arrived at Plymouth from patrol. (21)

5 May 1943

Convoy TA 41B.

This convoy was only made up of one ship, the troopship Queen Mary (British, 81235 GRT, built 1936). She departed the Clyde on 5 May 1943 for New York and had on board about 5000 German POW's and also Prime Minister Churchill and his staff.

The AA cruiser HMS Scylla (Capt. I.A.P. Macintyre, CBE, DSO, RN) departed Scapa Flow on 4 May 1943 and provided close escort for the troopship.

On 5 May 1943, the light cruiser HMS Glasgow (Capt. E.M. Evans-Lombe, RN) departed Scapa Flow to provide cover. HMS Glasgow returned to Scapa Flow on 10 May apparently having turned back on 8 May.

Also on 5 May 1943, the aircraft carrier HMS Indomitable (Capt. G. Grantham, CB, DSO, RN) departed Greenock to provide air cover for the Queen Mary during the first part of her voyage. The carrier was escorted by the destroyers HMS Matchless (Lt.Cdr. J. Mowlam, DSO, RN), HMS Mahratta (Lt.Cdr. E.A.F. Drought, DSC, RN) and HMS Eclipse (Lt.Cdr. E. Mack, DSO, DSC, RN). They turned back very late on 6 May and HMS Indomitable and HMS Eclipse returned to the Clyde on the 8th. HMS Matchless and HMS Mahratta were detached on the 8th to proceed to Scapa Flow where they arrived later on the same day.

Also on 5 May 1943, the light cruiser HMS Uganda (Capt. W.G. Andrewes, RN) and AA cruiser HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) departed Plymouth to make rendezvous with the Queen Mary. Rendezvous was effected on 7 May. Most likely HMS Scylla then parted company as she arrived at Plymouth on 8 May. HMS Charybdis parted company around 2100A/8 to return to Plymouth where she arrived on 10 May.

The Queen Mary then continued on escorted by HMS Uganda.

At 1345N/9, the heavy cruisers USS Tuscaloosa (Capt. J.B.W. Waller, USN), USS Augusta (Capt. G. Hutchins, USN) and the destroyers USS Fitch (T/Cdr. K.C. Walpole, USN), USS Corry (T/Cdr. L.B. Ensey, USN), USS Hobson (T/Lt.Cdr. K. Loveland, USN) and Murphy (T/Cdr. L.W. Bailey, USN) joined. They had departed Argentia, Newfoundland on 6 May. HMS Uganda parted company shortly afterwards and proceeded to Argentia, arriving there on 11 May.

In the morning of the 10th the four US destroyers were relieved by four other destroyers, these were USS Mervine (T/Cdr. S.D. Willingham, USN), USS Quick (T/Cdr. P.W. Cann, USN), USS Beatty (T/Cdr. F.C. Stelter, Jr., USN) and USS Tillman (T/Cdr. F.D. McCorkle, USN).

The Queen Mary and her USN escort arrived at New York on 11 May.

19 May 1943

Convoy KX 10/OG 90.

This convoy departed Liverpool on 19 May 1943.

It was made up of the following merchant vessels; Algerian (British, 2315 GRT, built 1924), Badjestan (British, 5573 GRT, built 1928), Blairdevon (British, 3282 GRT, built 1925), Brinkburn (British, 1598 GRT, built 1924), City of Lancaster (British, 3041 GRT, built 1924), Dunelmia (British, 5207 GRT, built 1929), Eliphalet Nott (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Empire Darwin (British, 6765 GRT, built 1941), Empire Flamingo (British, 4994 GRT, built 1920), Empire Kangaroo (British, 6219 GRT, built 1919), Empire Rosalind (British, 7290 GRT, built 1943), Empire Spey (British, 4292 GRT, built 1929), Empire Sunbeam (British, 6711 GRT, built 1941), Finland (British, 1375 GRT, built 1939), Fort Confidence (British, 7133 GRT, built 1942), Fort Fairford (British, 7134 GRT, built 1943), Fort Halkett (British, 7133 GRT, built 1942), Fort McCloughlin (British, 7129 GRT, built 1942), Fort Poplar (British, 7134 GRT, built 1942), Framlington Court (British, 4888 GRT, built 1924), Fylingdale (British, 3918 GRT, built 1924), Galway Coast (British, 1431 GRT, built 1915), Greathope (British, 2297 GRT, built 1926), Grodno (British, 2458 GRT, built 1919), Gullpool (British, 4868 GRT, built 1928), Hallfried (Norwegian, 2968 GRT, built 1918), Hartbridge (British, 5080 GRT, built 1927), Hilde (Danish, 1595 GRT, built 1930), Jan (Norwegain, 1946 GRT, built 1920), Junecrest (British, 6945 GRT, built 1942), Kingsborough (British, 3368 GRT, built 1928), Lewant (Polish, 1942 GRT, built 1930), Lublin (British, 1409 GRT, built 1932), Lyminge (British, 2499 GRT, built 1919), Marita (Norwegian, 1931 GRT, built 1919), Mers el Kebir (French, 1953 GRT, built 1917), Ocean Coast (British, 1173 GRT, built 1935), Ocean Gallant (British, 7178 GRT, built 1942), Ousel (British, 1533 GRT, built 1922), Pass of Ballater (British, 7960 GRT, built 1928), Richard Olney (American, 7191 GRT, built 1943), Ronan (British, 1489 GRT, built 1938), Shetland (British, 1846 GRT, built 1921), Somerset Coast (British, 1097 GRT, built 1920), Svanholm (British, 1321 GRT, built 1922), Tautra (Norwegian, 1749 GRT, built 1920), Temple Inn (British, 5218 GRT, built 1940), Ulla (British, 1575 GRT, built 1930) and Volturno (British, 3420 GRT, built 1914).

On departure from Liverpool the convoy was escorted by the corvette HMS Oxlip (Lt. C.W. Leadbetter, RNR).

On 20 May, the destroyer HMS Clare (Lt.Cdr. J.P. Stewart, DSC, RD, RNR), frigates HMS Test (Lt.Cdr.(retired) F.B. Collinson, RD, RNR), HMS Teviot (Cdr. T. Taylor, DSC, RN), HMS Trent (T/A/Lt.Cdr. J.G. Rankin, DSC, RNR) and corvette HMS Hyderabad (T/Lt. T. Cooper, RNR) joined coming from Londonderry.

The merchant vessel Jan apparently developed defects and returned.

Cover for the convoy during part of its passage was provided by the AA cruiser HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) and the destroyer ORP Orkan (Cdr. S. Hryniewiecki) which were on patrol off the Bay of Biscay having departed Plymouth on 23 May.

The convoy arrived at Gibraltar on 31 May 1943 minus the merchant vessels City of Lancaster, Greathope, Gullpool, Hallfried, Shetland and Volturno which had been detached to Lisbon on 29 May 1943.

21 May 1943

Combined convoy OS 48/KMS 15G.

This combined convoy assembled off Oversay on 21 May 1943.

It was made up of the following merchant vessels; Baron Herries (British, 4574 GRT, built 1940), Boronesa (British, 8663 GRT, built 1918), Benjamin Williams (American, 7177 GRT, built 1942), Bradford City (British, 7266 GRT, built 1943), City of Adelaide (British, 6589 GRT, built 1920), City of Canberra (British, 7484 GRT, built 1927), City of Khios (British, 5574 GRT, built 1925), Clan MacIver (British, 4500 GRT, built 1925), Dalhanna (British, 5571 GRT, built 1930), Delane (British, 6054 GRT, built 1938), Duke of Sparta (British, 5397 GRT, built 1940), Eastgate (British, 5032 GRT, built 1940), Empire Livingstone (British, 6997 GRT, built 1941), Empire Miranda (British, 7054 GRT, built 1943), Empire Prospero (British, 6766 GRT, built 1943), Empire Rosalind (British, 7290 GRT, built 1943), Empire Splendour (British, 7335 GRT, built 1942), Empire Stanley (British, 6921 GRT, built 1941), Empire Sunbeam (British, 6711 GRT, built 1941), Empire Tide (British, 6978 GRT, built 1941), Empire Trent (British, 5006 GRT, built 1927), Empire Trumpet (British, 7059 GRT, built 1943), Fort Churchill (British, 7129 GRT, built 1942), Fort Finlay (British, 7134 GRT, built 1942), Fort Jemseg (British, 7134 GRT, built 1943), Fort Lac La Ronge (British, 7131 GRT, built 1942), Fort Steele (British, 7133 GRT, built 1942), George Chamberlain (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Hardingham (British, 7269 GRT, built 1942), Hermiston (British, 4813 GRT, built 1939), Historian (British, 5074 GRT, built 1924), Incomati (British, 7369 GRT, built 1934), Industria (British, 4850 GRT, built 1940), Inventor (British, 6210 GRT, built 1935), Johilla (British, 4042 GRT, built 1937), John Vining (American, 7191 GRT, built 1942), Kaituna (British, 4914 GRT, built 1938), Kindat (British, 4358 GRT, built 1938), Lodestone (British, 4877 GRT, built 1938), Madras City (British, 5080 GRT, built 1940), Margalau (British, 4541 GRT, built 1926), Nairung (British, 5414 GRT, built 1942), Narbada (British, 8988 GRT, built 1915), Nela (British, 7220 GRT, built 1916), Ocean Valour (British, 7174 GRT, built 1942), Ocean Vista (British, 7174 GRT, built 1942), Ocean Wanderer (British, 7178 GRT, built 1942), Panaghis (Greek, 5187 GRT, built 1920), Port Melbourne (British, 9142 GRT, built 1914), Pundit (British, 5305 GRT, built 1919), Regin (Norwegian, 1386 GRT, built 1917), Rookley (British, 4998 GRT, built 1940), Stuyvesant (Dutch, 4249 GRT, built 1918), Thysville (Belgian, 8351 GRT, built 1922), Tudor Star (British, 7199 GRT, built 1919), Urlana (British, 6852 GRT, built 1941), Vancouver City (British, 7261 GRT, built 1942), Wearpool (British, 4982 GRT, built 1936) and Zypenberg (Dutch, 4973 GRT, built 1920).

The RFA tanker Celerol (British (tanker), 2649 GRT, built 1917) was also with the convoy.

The convoy was escorted by the AA ship HMS Alynbank (A/Capt.(Retd.) the Hon. V.M. Wyndham-Quin, RN), sloop HMS Fowey (Cdr.(Retd.) L.B.A. Majendie, RN) and the corvettes HMS Bergamot (Lt. R.T. Horan, RNR), HMS Bryony (T/Lt. T. Hand, RNR), HMS Campion (Lt.Cdr. A. Brown, RNR), HMS La Malouine (Lt. W.A. Ives, RNR), HMS Mallow (T/A/Lt.Cdr. H.T.S. Clouston, RNVR), HMS Myosotis (T/Lt. R. Lugg, RNR), HMS Stonecrop (Lt.Cdr. J.P. Smythe, RNR). The minesweeper HMS Sharpshooter (Lt.Cdr. W.L. O'Mara, RN), which was en-route to the Mediterranean Station was also part of the escort.

Distant cover during part of the convoy's passage was provided by the AA cruiser HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) and the destroyer ORP Orkan (Cdr. S. Hryniewiecki) which had departed Plymouth on 23 May.

On 29 May the merchant vessels; Empire Envoy (British, 7046 GRT, built 1942), Empire Forest (British, 7025 GRT, built 1942), Fort Reliance (British, 7134 GRT, built 1942), Ocean Fame (British, 7173 GRT, built 1942) and another merchant vessel (?) joined coming from Gibraltar. They were escorted by the escort destroyer HMS Lauderdale (Lt. G.D. Pound, DSC, RN), corvette HMS Convolvulus (A/Lt.Cdr. R.F.R. Yarde-Buller, RNVR) and the A/S trawler HMS Foxtrot (T/Lt. J.B. Bald, RNVR).

The convoy then split up shortly afterwards.

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Convoy KMS 15G proceeded to Gibraltar. This convoy was made up of the following merchant ships; Baron Herries, Benjamin Williams, Bradford City, City of Adelaide, City of Canberra, City of Khios, Clan MacIver, Dalhanna, Duke of Sparta, Empire Miranda, Empire Prospero, Empire Rosalind, Empire Splendour, Empire Stanley, Empire Sunbeam, Empire Tide, Empire Trumpet, Fort Churchill, Fort Finlay, Fort Lac La Ronge, George Chamberlain, Hardingham, Industria, Investor, John Vining, Kaituna, Kindat, Madras City, Nairung, Ocean Valour, Ocean Vista, Ocean Wanderer, Pundit, Regin, Vancouver City and Wearpool.

RFA tanker Celerol was also with them.

They were escorted by HMS Alynbank, HMS Lauderdale, HMS Sharpshooter, HMS Bergamot, HMS Bryony, HMS Convolvulus and HMS Foxtrot.

The convoy arrived at Gibraltar on 30 May 1943.

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Convoy OS 48 proceeded to Freetown. This convoy was made up of the following merchant ships; Baronesa, Delane, Empire Livingstone, Empire Trent, Fort Jemseg, Fort Steele, Hermiston, Historian, Incomati, Johilla, Lodestone, Margalau, Narbada, Nela, Panaghis, Port Melbourne, Rookley, Stuyvesant, Thysville, Tudor Star, Urlana and Zypenberg.

Shortly after the convoy's had split five more merchant vessels joined the convoy; Empire Barrie (British, 7168 GRT, built 1942), Fort Douglas (British, 7129 GRT, built 1942), Fort Drew (British, 7134 GRT, built 1943) and Fort Thompson (British, 7134 GRT, built 1942) coming from Casablanca. They were escorted by ?. [ADM 199/639 gives the escort as the sloop HMS Folkestone but this ship was refitting in the UK so this can't be correct.]

And there was also the Charles Schiaffino (French, 3664 GRT, built 1930) which joined coming from Safi.

After the convoy's split, convoy OS 48 was escorted by HMS Fowey, HMS Campion, HMS La Malouine, HMS Mallow, HMS Myosotis, HMS Stonecrop.

During the passage the merchant ships Empire Barrie and Fort Steele were detached to Dakar.

The merchant vessel Empire Addison (British, 7010 GRT, built 1942) joined coming from Dakar.

The convoy arrived at Freetown on 7 June 1943.

23 May 1943
HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) and ORP Orkan (Cdr. S. Hryniewiecki) departed Plymouth to patrol off the Bay of Biscay and to provide cover for convoys OS 48/KMS 15 and KX 10/OG 90 in the meantime.

[For more info on these convoys see the events ' Convoy KX 10/OG 90 ' for 19 May 1943 and ' Combined convoy OS 48/KMS 15G ' for 21 May 1943.]

ORP Orkan returned to Plymouth 27 May 1942 and HMS Charybdis returned to Charybdis on 29 May 1942. (22)

28 May 1943

Towage of AFD 18 from Oban to Oran.

In the late evening of 28 May 1943 the Floating Dock AFD 18 departed Oban for Oran. The dock was being towed by the tug HMS Bustler.

Escort was provided by the sloop HMS Chanticleer (Lt.Cdr. R.H. Bristowe, DSO, RN) and the corvettes HMS Dianella (T/Lt. J.F. Tognola, RNR), HMS Lotus (Lt.Cdr. H.J. Hall, DSC, RD, RNR), HMS Poppy (T/Lt. D.R.C. Onslow, RNR) and HMS Starwort (Lt. A.H. Kent, DSC, RNR).

Cover during part of the passage was to be provided by the AA cruiser HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) which departed Plymouth on 31 May.

The tow experienced difficulties and much delay.

This resulted in that some of the escorts had not enough fuel to reach Gibraltar and on 7 June they were all relieved by the destroyer HMS Boreas (Lt.Cdr. E.L. Jones, DSC, RN) and escort destroyer HMS Melbreak (Lt. G.E.C.G. Baines, RN) which had departed Gibraltar on 5 June. Later the corvette HMS Cyclamen (?) and the A/S trawlers HMS Huddersfield Town (A/Skr.Lt. J.H. Consadine, DSC, RNR) and HNoMS Molde also joined. These too had departed Gibraltar on 5 June.

AFD 18 towed by HMS Bustler and escorted by HMS Bulldog, HMS Cyclamen, HMS Huddersfield Town and HNoMS Molde finally arrived at Oran on 12 June 1943. HMS Melbreak meanwhile had parted company arriving at Gibraltar on 13 June.

28 May 1943

Convoy MKF 15.

[Note: Further research on this convoy is required.]

This convoy departed Algiers on 28 May 1943 for the U.K. where it arrived on 5 June 1943.

On departure the convoy was made up of the following transports; Antenor (British, 11174 GRT, built 1925), Arawa (British, 14462 GRT, built 1922), Boissevain (British, 14134 GRT, built 1937), California (British, 16792 GRT, built 1923), Dartmouth (American, 9879 GRT, built 1943), Duchess of York (British, 20021 GRT, built 1929), Franconia (British, 20175 GRT, built 1923), Indrapoera (Dutch, 10825 GRT, built 1925), Johan van Oldenbarnevelt (Dutch, 19429 GRT, built 1930), Letitia (British, 13595 GRT, built 1925), Mooltan (British, 20952 GRT, built 1923), Ormonde (British, 14982 GRT, built 1917), Samaria (British, 19597 GRT, built 1921) and Santa Rosa (American, 9135 GRT, built 1932).

On departure from Algiers the convoy was escorted by the sloops HMS Weston (Cdr. L.F. Durnford-Slater, RN), HMS Wellington (Lt.Cdr. J.T. Jones, RD, RNR), HMS Lowestoft (A/Cdr.(Retd.) L.H. Phillips, RN), HMS Gorleston (Cdr.(Retd.) R.W. Keymer, RN), HMS Totland (Lt.Cdr. L.E. Woodhouse, RN) and the frigates HMS Exe (A/Cdr. M.A.O. Biddulph, DSC, RN) and HMS Ness (A/Cdr. T.G.P. Crick, DSC, RN).

On 29 May the transports Cristobal (American, 10021 GRT, built 1939), General George W. Goethals (American, 12093 GRT, built 1942), J.W. McAndrew (American, 7997 GRT, built 1940), John Ericsson (American, 16552 GRT, built 1928), Nea Hellas (British, 16991 GRT, built 1922), Seatrain Lakehurst (American, 8108 GRT, built 1940), Staffordshire (British, 10683 GRT, built 1929) and Stirling Castle (British, 25550 GRT, built 1936).

On 30 May the transports Felix Roussel (British, 17083 GRT, built 1930), Maloja (British, 20914 GRT, built 1923) and Scythia (British, 19761 GRT, built 1920) joined coming from Gibraltar. Also joining from Gibraltar were the aircraft carrier HMS Unicorn (Capt. Q.D. Graham, CBE, DSO, RN), escort carrier HMS Tracker (A/Capt. G.C. Dickins, RN) and the destroyers HMS Javelin (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Alliston, DSC, RN) and HMS Kelvin (Lt.Cdr. J.T.B. Birch, DSO, DSC, RN).

Later on 30 May the transports Antenor, Staffordshire and Stirling Castle were detached to proceed to Freetown via Bathurst / Dakar.

Also on 30 May the Scythia was detached to proceed to New York.

The sloop HMS Totland had to be detached due to defects and arrived at Gibraltar on 30 May 1943.

[No info available on the US ships, it seems likely that the Scythia proceeded with them to the USA but further research is required.]

The convoy arrived in the U.K. on 4 June 1943 with the bulk of the convoy arriving at Liverpool on 5 June 1943.

31 May 1943
HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) departed Plymouth around 0600B/31 to provide cover for convoy MKF 15 and the dock AFD 18 which was on passage from Scotland to Oran.

HMS Charybdis was to proceed through position 180°, Bishop Rock, 10 miles and then through 49°12'N, 12°12'W. She was then to patrol between 47°00'N, and 45°00'N on about 16°00'W.

She is to return to Plymouth after AFD 18 passed 42°00'N.

For more info on the passage of AFD 18 see the event ' Towage of AFD 18 from Oban to Oran ' for 28 May 1943 and ' Convoy MKF 15 ' also for 28 May 1943. (22)

3 Jun 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) returned to Plymouth for convoy cover duty / patrol. (23)

4 Jun 1943
Around 0845B/4, the AA cruiser HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Limbourne (Cdr. C.B. Alers-Hankey, DSC, RN) and HMS Meynell (Lt. B.M.D. I'Anson, RN) departed Plymouth to proceed to position 44°02'N, 10°58'W.

After arriving in the above position they were to patrol between latitudes 43°01'N and 45°02'N and longtitudes 10°01'W and 11°59'W on an anti-blockade breaker patrol.

They were recalled the following day and arrived back at Plymouth around 1230B/6. (24)

10 Jun 1943
The AA cruiser HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) departed Plymouth around 1100B/11 to patrol off the Bay of Biscay from an anti-blockade breaker patrol. Also proceeding on patrol were the destroyers HMCS Iroquois (Cdr. W.B.L. Holms, RCN) and ORP Orkan (Cdr. S. Hryniewiecki).

HMS Charybdis was to proceed to position 43°01'N, 12°59'W and to patrol within 50 miles from this position.

HMCS Iroqouis and ORP Orkan were ordered to return to Plymouth on the 12th. ORP Orkan arrived later on the 12th but HMCS Iroquois remained at sea to provide cover for a convoy of landing craft that was only being escorted by the A/S whaler HMS Southern Gem (T/Lt. P.H. Riseley, RNVR).

On the 14th, while HMS Charybdis was on the way back to Plymouth she was also ordered to provide cover for the convoy of landing craft as German forces had been reported. She therefore joined HMCS Iroquois around 1145B/14.

Around 2330B/14, HMCS Iroquois parted company to search for a reported downed Whitley aircraft in position 49°10'N, 06°20'W but no survivors were however found.

Both HMS Charybdis and HMCS Iroquois arrived at Plymouth on the 15th. (25)

16 Jun 1943
HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) is docked in No.9 Dock at the Devonport Dockyard for repairs to her defective A/S dome. (23)

18 Jun 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) is undocked. (23)

19 Jun 1943

Combined convoy OS 50/KMS 17G.

This combined convoy assembled off Oversay on 19 June 1943.

It was made up of the following merchant vessels; Anglo Indian (British, 5609 GRT, built 1938), Balteako (British, 1328 GRT, built 1920), Baron Douglas (British, 3899 GRT, built 1932), Baron Ramsay (British, 3650 GRT, built 1929), Baron Ruthven (British, 3178 GRT, built 1925), Basil (British, 4913 GRT, built 1928), Blairesk (British, 3300 GRT, built 1925), Calgary (British, 7206 GRT, built 1921), City of Dundee (British, 5273 GRT, built 1921), City of Eastbourne (British, 5563 GRT, built 1923), Coity Castle (British, 2767 GRT, built 1919), Colytto (Dutch, 4408 GRT, built 1926), Como (British, 1295 GRT, built 1910), Corcrest (British, 2373 GRT, built 1918), Cromarty (British, 4974 GRT, built 1936), Dalcross (British, 4557 GRT, built 1930), Dordrecht (Dutch, 4402 GRT, built 1928), Dornoch (British, 5186 GRT, built 1939), Dumfries (British, 5149 GRT, built 1935), Empire Candida (British, 2908 GRT, built 1943), Empire Fal (British, 4880 GRT, built 1914), Empire Franklin (British, 7292 GRT, built 1941), Empire Harp (British (tanker), 861 GRT, built 1942), Empire Nightingale (British, 5698 GRT, built 1918), Evviva (Norwegian, 1597 GRT, built 1921), Fort Abitibi (British, 7122 GRT, built 1942), Fort Liard (British, 7133 GRT, built 1942), Fort Nipigon (British, 7132 GRT, built 1942), Fort Senneville (British, 7131 GRT, built 1942), Glenwood (British, 4897 GRT, built 1940), Godfrey Holt (British, 3585 GRT, built 1929), Helencrest (British, 5233 GRT, built 1941), Henzada (British, 4161 GRT, built 1934), Kristianiafjord (Norwegian, 6759 GRT, built 1921), Lafian (British, 4876 GRT, built 1937), Llanberis (British, 5055 GRT, built 1928), Lysaker V (Norwegian, 1571 GRT, built 1936), Marga (Norwegian, 1583 GRT, built 1923), Merkland (British, 1363 GRT, built 1934), Nijkerk (Dutch, 5843 GRT, built 1915), Norfalk (British, 5675 GRT, built 1919), Ocean Viceroy (British, 7174 GRT, built 1942), Pendeen (British, 4174 GRT, built 1923), Pentridge Hill (British, 7579 GRT, built 1941), Phemius (British, 7406 GRT, built 1921), Richmond Hill (British, 7579 GRT, built 1940), Saltwick (British, 3775 GRT, built 1929), Sansu (British, 5446 GRT, built 1939), Silverash (British, 7750 GRT, built 1926), Souliotis (Greek, 4299 GRT, built 1917), Stad Maasluis (British, 6541 GRT, built 1918), Stanhope (British, 2337 GRT, built 1919), Tiba (Dutch, 5239 GRT, built 1938), Tombouctou (British, 5636 GRT, built 1919), Trevaylor (British, 5257 GRT, built 1940), Uranienborg (British, 5257 GRT, built 1940) and Vigsnes (Norwegian, 1599 GRT, built 1930).

On assembly of Oversay the convoy was escorted by the sloops HMS Enchantress (Cdr. A.E.T. Christie, OBE, DSC, RN), HMS Leith (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) A.W. Preston, RN), HMS Aberdeen (Lt.Cdr. H. Day, RN), HMS Folkestone (Cdr.(Retd.) J.G.C. Gibson, OBE, RN) and the corvettes HMS Anchusa (T/Lt. H.V. Gordon, DSC, RNVR), HMS Coreopsis (T/Lt. B.C. Hamilton, RNR) and HMS Violet (Lt. C.N. Stewart, RNR) which joined coming from Londonderry.

The monitors HMS Abercrombie (A/Capt.(Retd.) R.E.C. Dunbar, RN) (A/Capt. G.V.B. Faulkner, RN) and HMS Roberts (A/Capt.(Retd.) R.E.C. Dunbar, RN) were also taking passage in this convoy as was the RFA tanker Orangeleaf (5983 GRT, built 1917).

On 21 June HMS Folkestone was detached to return to Londonderry for repairs to defective hull plating.

On 24 June the merchant vessel Dornoch straggled from the convoy. The next day HMS Folkestone was ordered to search for her. She had departed Londonderry to overtake the convoy on 24 June having effected repairs there.

Cover for the convoy during part of the passage was provided by the AA cruiser HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN).

En-route the merchant vessels Baron Ramsay, Merkland and Stanhope were detached to Lisbon as was the Coity Castle which was detached to Huelva.

On 27 June 1943 the convoy was split up.

The destroyer HMS Arrow (Lt.Cdr. W.W. Fitzroy, RN), A/S trawlers HMS Reighton Wyke (Skr. G.M. Sutherland, RNR), HMS Visenda (T/Lt. S.F. Archer, RNR) and A/S whaler HMS Southern Gem (T/Lt. P.H. Riseley, RNVR) took over the escort of convoy KMS 17G. These escorts, plus the corvette HMS Columbine (T/A/Lt.Cdr. W.J. Griffiths, RNR) had brought out convoy OS 50G from Gibraltar which they had departed earlier on 27 June. [For the ships of convoy OS 50G see below.]

HMS Aberdeen and HMS Folkestone from the original escort also proceeded to Gibraltar escorting convoy KMS 17G.

On 28 June the convoy escort was reinforced by the escort destroyer Holcombe and Viceroy.

Convoy KMS 17G arrived at Gibraltar on 29 June.

Convoy KMS 17G was made up of the following merchant vessels; Anglo Indian, Balteako, Baron Douglas, Baron Ruthven, Blairesk, Como, Corcrest, Cromarty, Dalcross, Dumfries, Empire Candida, Empire Fal, Empire Harp, Empire Nightingale, Evviva, Fort Abitibi, Fort Nipigon, Helencrest, Kristianiafjord, Lysaker V, Marga, Norfalk, Pendeen, Pentridge Hill, Richmond Hill, Saltwick, , Trevaylor and Vigsnes.

The Orangeleaf also was part of KMS 17G as were HMS Abercrombie and HMS Robert.

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Convoy OS 50 then continued on with the escort. It was made up of the following merchant vessels; Basil, Calgary, City of Dundee, City of Eastbourne, Colytto, Dordrecht, Empire Franklin, Fort Liard, Fort Sonneville, Glenwood, Godfrey B. Holt, Lafian, Llanberis, Nijkerk, Ocean Viceroy, Sansu, Silverash, Souliotis, Tiba, Tombouctou and Unanienborg.

These were joined by the merchant vessels which had made up convoy OS 50G which had been brought out of Gibraltar by the escortx which took over convoy KMS 17G, except for HMS Columbine which joined convoy OS 50.

The merchant vessels in question were the following; Baron Herries (British, 4574 GRT, built 1940), Biafra (British, 5405 GRT, built 1933), Empire Kangaroo (British, 6219 GRT, built 1919), Empire Miranda (British, 7054 GRT, built 1943), Empire Sunbeam (British, 6711 GRT, built 1941), Fort Fairford (British, 7134 GRT, built 1943), Fort Lac La Ronge (British, 7131 GRT, built 1942), Fort McLoughlin (British, 7129 GRT, built 1942), Fort Vermillion (British, 7133 GRT, built 1942), Industria (British, 4850 GRT, built 1940), Junecrest (British, 6945 GRT, built 1942), Madras City (British, 5080 GRT, built 1940), Ocean Verity (British, 7174 GRT, built 1942), Ocean Volunteer (British, 7174 GRT, built 1942), Temple Inn (British, 5218 GRT, built 1940), Trader (British, 6087 GRT, built 1940) and Wearpool (British, 4982 GRT, built 1936).

Later more merchant vessels joined coming from Casablanca, these were the; Dan-Y-Brin (British, 5117 GRT, built 1940), Dunkerque (French, 2477 GRT, built 1925), Elorn (French, 5482 GRT, built 1930), Finisterre (French, 1158 GRT, built 1909), Hoggar (French, 5146 GRT, built 1923), Ingleton (British, 7203 GRT, built 1942) and Schiaffino (British, 3236 GRT, built 1920).

The following merchant vessels were then detached to Casablanca; Fort Laird and Fort Senneville.

Off Dakar the following merchant vessels joined the convoy; Fort de Vaux (British, 5186 GRT, built 1918), Fort Jemseg (British, 7134 GRT, built 1943), Horace Williams (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Palacio (British, 1346 GRT, built 1927) and Salta (Norwegian, 3907 GRT, built 1920).

The following merchant vessels were then detached to Dakar; Calgary, Dan-Y-Bryn, Dunkerque, Elorn, Finisterre, Fort Lac La Ronge, Hoggar, Ingleton and Madras City.

The merchant vessel Godfrey B. Holt was detached to Bathurst.

The convoy arrived at Freetown on 8 June 1943.

20 Jun 1943

Convoy KMS 18A.

This convoy departed the Cylde on 20 June 1943.

It was made up of the following tank landing ships; LST 301 (A/Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) R.F. Hoyle, RNR), LST 305 (A/Lt.Cdr. R.M. Naylor, RNR), LST 319 (Cdr.(Retd.) J.G. Sutton, RN), LST 321 (T/A/Lt.Cdr. C.H. Metcalfe, RNR), LST 365 (T/A/Lt.Cdr. C.F. Halliday, RNR), LST 366 (A/Lt.Cdr. N. Hall, RNR), LST 406 (A/Lt.Cdr. H.J. Chaloner, RNR) and LST 424 (Lt.Cdr. G.R. Grandage, RNR).

The convoy was escorted by the sloops HMS Wellington (Cdr. G.A. Thring, DSO, RN), HMS Lowestoft (A/Cdr.(Retd.) L.H. Phillips, RN), HMS Gorleston (Cdr.(Retd.) R.W. Keymer, RN), frigates HMS Exe (A/Cdr. M.A.O. Biddulph, DSC, RN), HMS Ness (A/Cdr. T.G.P. Crick, DSC, RN) and the escort destroyer HMS Pytchley (Lt. R.H. Hodgkinson, RN).

LST 406 developed engine trouble and was detached to Londonderry.

Cover for part of the voyage was provided by the AA cruiser HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN).

The convoy arrived at Gibraltar on 29 June 1943.

21 Jun 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) conducted D/G trials off Plymouth. (23)

22 Jun 1943

Convoy XK 9.

This convoy departed Gibraltar on 22 June 1943 for the U.K.

It was made up of the following transports; Glenartney (British, 9795 GRT, built 1940), Highland Princess (British, 14133 GRT, built 1930), Malakand (British, 7649 GRT, built 1919), Martand (British, 7967 GRT, built 1925) and Orduna (British, 15507 GRT, built 1914).

The convoy was escorted by the escort carrier HMS Battler (A/Capt. F.M.R. Stephenson, RN), destroyer HMS Malcolm (Cdr. J.M. Money, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Bicester (Lt.Cdr. S.W.F. Bennetts, DSC, RN) and HMS Melbreak (Lt. G.E.C.G. Baines, RN). The destroyer HMS Boreas (Lt.Cdr. E.L. Jones, DSC, RN) was local escort, she was detached at 2000B/25 and returned to Gibraltar on 28 June.

The AA cruiser HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) and destroyers HMCS Iroquois (Cdr. W.B.L. Holms, RCN) and ORP Orkan (Cdr. S. Hryniewiecki) provided cover for part of the voyage.

The convoy arrived in the U.K. on 28 June 1943.

23 Jun 1943
Around 1600B/23, HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) departed Plymouth to provide cover for convoys off the Bay of Biscay.

[For more info on these convoys see the events ' Combined convoy OS 50/KMS 17G ' for 19 June 1943, ' Convoy KMS 18A ' for 20 June 1943 and ' Convoy XK 9 ' for 22 June 1943.] (23)

30 Jun 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) returned to Plymouth from patrol / convoy cover duty. (23)

4 Jul 1943
HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) departed Plymouth to patrol off the Bay of Biscay possible also to provide cover for convoys.

[This apparently included the combined convoy SL 131 / MKS 15 but we currently have no further details available at this moment, further research is required.] (26)

10 Jul 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) returned to Plymouth. (26)

19 Jul 1943

Combined convoy WS 32 / KMF 20.

This convoy was assembled off Oversay on 19 July 1943.

On assembly the convoy was made up of the following transports; Chyebassa (British, 7043 GRT, built 1942), City of Bristol (British, 8424 GRT, built 1943), Copacabana (Belgian, 7340 GRT, built 1938), Dempo (Dutch, 17024 GRT, built 1931), Esperance Bay (British, 14204 GRT, built 1922), Highland Chieftain (British, 14135 GRT, built 1929), Highland Princess (British, 14133 GRT, built 1930), Maloja (British, 20914 GRT, built 1923), Mooltan (British, 20952 GRT, built 1923), Moreton Bay (British, 14193 GRT, built 1921), Orion (British, 23371 GRT, built 1935), Rangitata (British,16737 GRT, built 1929), Rembrandt (British, 5559 GRT, built 1941), Rochester Castle (British, 7795 GRT, built 1937), Rowallan Castle (British, 7798 GRT, built 1939) and Volendam (Dutch, 15434 GRT, built 1922).

The convoy was escorted by the destroyer HMS Beagle (Lt.Cdr. N.R. Murch, RN), sloops HMS Egret (Lt. G.H. Cook, RN), HMS Pelican (Capt. G.N. Brewer, RN) and the frigates HMS Derg (A/Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) J.W. Cooper, RNR), HMS Jed (Lt.Cdr. R.C. Freaker, DSO, RD, RNR), Kale (HMS Kale (Lt.Cdr. G.W. Houchen, OBE, RD, RNR), HMS Rother (Lt.Cdr. R.V.E. Case, DSO, DSC and Bar, RD, RNR), HMS Tay (Lt.Cdr. R.E. Sherwood, RNR) and HMS Wear (Cdr. E. Wheeler, RD, RNR).

On 21 July 1943 the AA cruiser HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) departed Plymouth to join the convoy which she did early in the evening off 22 July.

The convoy split up at 2000B/25.

Convoy KMF 20, continued on to the Mediterranean. It was made up of the following transports; Cheyebassa, City of Bristol, Dempo, Highland Princess, Mooltan, Orion, Rembrandt and Volendam.

They were escorted by HMS Egret, HMS Pelican, HMS Jed, HMS Rother and HMS Wear.

At 1000B/26, HMS Charybdis parted company and proceeded ahead to Gibraltar arriving there around 2000B/26.

The convoy passed the straits of Gibraltar during the night of 27/28 July. HMS Pelican was detached and arrived at Gibraltar on 27 July.

The transports Dempo, Highland Princess, Mooltan, Orion and Volendam arrived at Algiers on 28 July 1943 escorted by HMS Egret, HMS Jed, HMS Rother and HMS Wear.

Cheyebassa, City of Bristol and Rembrandt continued on the the eastwards towards Malta as convoy KMF 20A. They were escorted by HMS Egret, HMS Jed and HMS Rother which, most likely, had fuelled at Algiers.

On 30 July 1943, HMS Egret, HMS Jed and HMS Rother arrived at Malta. Their escort duties taking over by the destroyers HMS Ilex (Lt.Cdr. V.A. Wight-Boycott, OBE, RN) and HMS Intrepid (Cdr. C.A.de W. Kitcat, RN) which had departed Malta earlier on 30 July.

The three ships of the convoy joined convoy GTX 4 on 31 July following which HMS Ilex and HMS Intrepid returned to Malta arriving on 1 August.

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Convoy WS 32 continued on towards Freetown. It was made up of the following transports; Copacabana, Esperance Bay, Highland Chieftain, Maloja, Moreton Bay, Rangitata, Rochester Castle and Rowallan Castle.

They were escorted by the destroyer Beagle and the frigates HMS Derg, HMS Kale and HMS Tay. These were joined by the destroyer HMS Douglas (Lt.Cdr. K.H.J.L. Phibbs, RN) and the frigate HMS Ness (A/Cdr. T.G.P. Crick, DSC, RN).

The convoy arrived at Freetown on 28 July 1943.

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Convoy WS 32 departed Freetown for South Africa on 5 August 1943.

It was now made up of the transports; Britannic (British, 26943 GRT, built 1930), Esperance Bay, Highland Chieftain, Maloja, Moreton Bay, Rangitata and Rochester Castle.

On 8 August 1943 the transport Nea Hellas (British, 16991 GRT, built 1922) joined the convoy coming from Takoradi. She was escorted by the destroyer HMS Wolverine (Cdr. J.M. Money, RN) which also joined the convoy.

On 9 August 1943, the transports Largs Bay (British, 14182 GRT, built 1921) and Tamaroa (British, 12405 GRT, built 1922) joined the convoy coming from Lagos.

The convoy was escorted by the destroyers HMS Beagle, HMS Bulldog (Lt.Cdr. E.J. Lee, RN), HMS Douglas and the frigates HMS Derg, HMS Kale and HMS Tay.

On 12 August 1943, HMS Beagle, HMS Bulldog, HMS Douglas and HMS Wolverine parted company after having been relieved by the destroyers HMAS Norman (Cdr. H.J. Buchanan DSO, RAN), HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN), HMS Rapid (Lt.Cdr. M.W. Tomkinson, DSC and Bar, RN) and HMS Relentless (Lt.Cdr. R.A. Fell, RN).

The convoy arrived at Capetown in 18 August 1943.

It sailed again the following day, minus the Rochester Castle for Durban where it arrived on 22 August 1943. They had been escorted by HMAS Norman, HMAS Quiberon, HMS Rapid and HMS Relentless.

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On 28 August 1943 convoy WS 32 departed Durban for Bombay. It was now made up of the transports Britannic, Largs Bay, Maloja, Strothmore (British, 23428 GRT, built 1935) and Tamaroa.

They were escorted by the heavy cruiser HMS Hawkins (Capt. J.W. Josselyn, DSC, RN) and the destroyers HMAS Norman, HMAS Quiberon and HMS Rapid.

On 3 September 1943, the light cruiser HMS Emerald (Capt. F.J. Wylie, RN) took over from HMS Hawkins and the three destroyers which then proceeded to Kilindini where they arrived the following fdat after having participated in night exercises.

The convoy arrived at Bombay on 10 September minus the Strathmore which had been detached to Aden on 6 September.

19 Jul 1943

Combined convoy OS 52 / KMS 21G.

This convoy was assembled off Oversay on 19 July 1943.

On assembly it was made up of the transports; Amberton (British, 5377 GRT, built 1928), Antilochus (British, 9082 GRT, built 1906), Avristan (British, 7266 GRT, built 1942), Baron Haig (British, 3391 GRT, built 1926), Barrgrove (British, 5222 GRT, built 1918), Borgholm (Norwegian, 1557 GRT, built 1922), Bothnia (British, 2407 GRT, built 1928), City of Lyons (British, 7063 GRT, built 1926), Clan MacBrayne (British, 4818 GRT, built 1916), Contractor (British, 6004 GRT, built 1930), Cordillera (British, 6865 GRT, built 1920), Deido (British, 3894 GRT, built 1928), El Argentino (British, 9501 GRT, built 1928), Empire Brutus (British, 7233 GRT, built 1943), Empire Carpenter (British, 7025 GRT, built 1943), Empire Celia (British, 7025 GRT, built 1943), Empire Glen (British, 6327 GRT, built 1941), Empire Heath (British, 6643 GRT, built 1941), Empire Highway (British, 7166 GRT, built 1942), Empire Kingsley (British, 6996 GRT, built 1941), Empire Mountain (British, 2906 GRT, built 1943), Empire Samson (British (tug), 261 GRT, built 1943), Empire Voice (British, 6828 GRT, built 1940), Fernhill (British, 4116 GRT, built 1926), Finland (British, 1375 GRT, built 1939), Flimston (British, 4674 GRT, built 1925), Forresbank (British, 5155 GRT, built 1925), Fort Brule (British, 7133 GRT, built 1942), Fort Buffalo (British, 7100 GRT, built 1943), Fort Chesterfield (British, 7100 GRT, built 1943), Fort Enterprise (British, 7126 GRT, built 1943), Fort Longueuil (British, 7128 GRT, built 1942), Fort Nakasley (British, 7132 GRT, built 1943), Fort Wringley (British, 7128 GRT, built 1943), Glaisdale (British, 3777 GRT, built 1929), Governor (British, 5571 GRT, built 1918), Grodno (British, 2458 GRT, built 1919), Halizones (British, 3298 GRT, built 1920), Hallfried (Norwegian, 2968 GRT, built 1918), Henri Jaspar (Belgian, 5760 GRT, built 1929), Highwear (British, 1173 GRT, built 1936), Hopecrest (British, 5099 GRT, built 1935), Hughli (British, 6589 GRT, built 1943), Jenny (Norwegian, 4706 GRT, built 1928), Kana (British, 2783 GRT, built 1929), Kofresi (British, 4934 GRT, built 1920), Kyklades (Greek, 7157 GRT, built 1941), Levernbank (British, 5150 GRT, built 1925), Lwow (Polish, 1409 GRT, built 1932), Magician (British, 5105 GRT, built 1925), Madalay (British, 5529 GRT, built 1911), Mary Kingsley (British, 5021 GRT, built 1930), Masirah (British, 6578 GRT, built 1919, Nurani (British, 5414 GRT, built 1941), Nurjehan (British, 5424 GRT, built 1923), Ocean Vigour (British, 7174 GRT, built 1942), Ottinge (British, 2870 GRT, built 1940), Parklaan (Dutch, 3807 GRT, built 1911), Pegu (British, 7838 GRT, built 1943), Recorder (British, 2276 GRT, built 1902), Silvermaple (British, 5313 GRT, built 1937), Sobo (British, 5353 GRT, built 1937), Spero (British, 1589 GRT, built 1922), Spurt (Norwegian, 2061 GRT, built 1918), Temple Arch (British, 5138 GRT, built 1940), Themistocles (British, 11231 GRT, built 1911), Thomas Holt (British, 3585 GRT, built 1929) and Wellington Court (British, 4979 GRT, built 1930).

The convoy was escorted by the sloop HMS Fowey (Cdr.(Retd.) L.B.A. Majendie, RN), frigate HMS Berry (Lt.Cdr. G.V. Legassick, RD, RNR) and the corvettes HMS Campion (Lt.Cdr. A. Brown, RNR), HMS Jonquil (T/Lt. R.W. Tretheway, RNR), HMS Mallow (T/A/Lt.Cdr. H.T.S. Clouston, RNVR), HMS Myosotis (T/Lt. R. Lugg, RNR) and HrMs Friso (Lt.Cdr. P.L.M. van Geen, RNN).

Later the escort was reinforced with the corvette HMS Stonecrop (Lt.Cdr. J.P. Smythe, RNR) which departed Liverpool on 24 July 1942 to overtake the convoy. She proceeded via the south of Ireland.

The merchant vessels Antilochus and Highwear were forced to return due to defects.

On 26 July 1943, the convoy was attack by German Focke-Wulf reconnaissance aircraft which managed to sink the El Argentino in position 39°50'N, 13°36'W. The Empire Brutus was damaged shortly afterwards and was taken in tow by the tug Empire Samson towards Lisbon. They were escorted by HMS Jonquil. They arrived at Lisbon on 30 July.

On 27 July 1943, the convoy was again attacked by German aircraft and the Halizone was damaged in position 38°04'N, 12°59'W. She finally sank on 30 July in position 37°22'N, 13°03'W. HMS Berry had been standing by her for a short period but as she could not be spared from the A/S screen she was soon ordered to rejoin the convoy. From Gibraltar the destroyer HMS Wanderer (Lt.Cdr. R.F. Whinney, RN) and tug Prosperous was sent out. She found the ship on 30 July but she sank soon afterwards.

On 26 July 1943, the Gibraltar section of convoy OS 52 [see below for the ships in this section] had departed Gibraltar to make rendezvous with the combined convoy. They were escorted by the destroyer HMS Isis (Cdr. B. Jones, DSC, RN), corvettes HMS Bergamot (Lt. R.T. Horan, RNR), HMS Bryony (T/Lt. T. Hand, RNR), minesweepers Shippigan (Cdr. M.H. Brown, DSC, RN), Tadoussac (T/Lt. J.P. Davies, RNR), A/S trawlers HMS Haarlem (T/Lt. J.R.T. Broom, RNVR), HMS Lady Hogarth (T/Lt. S.G. Barnes, RNR), HMS St. Nectan (T/A/Lt.Cdr. T.F. Broadhead, RNR) and the A/S whaler HMS Southern Pride (T/Lt. G.B. Angus, DSC, RNVR).

They made rendezvous with the combined convoy on 27 July which then split up. The ships coming from Gibraltar then joined the ships continuing on towards West Africa. They were escorted by the ships of the original escort. HMS Southern Pride joined them as she was to join the West Africa Command.

The ships making up convoy KMS 21G set course for Gibraltar.

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Convoy KMS 21G was now made up of the following transports; Avristan, City of Lyons, Clan MacBrayne, Contractor, Empire Carpenter, Empire Celia, Empire Glen, Empire Heath, Empire Kingsley, Empire Mountain, Empire Voice, Finland, Forresbank, Fort Brule, Fort Buffalo, Fort Enterprise, Fort Longueuil, Fort Wringley, Glaisdale, Grondo, Hallfried, Highwear, Hughli, Kana, Kofresi, Levernbank, Lwow, Magician, Mandalay, Masirah, Nurani, Nurjehan, Ocean Valour, Ottinge, Parklaan, Pegu, Recorder, Spero and Temple Arch.

They were escorted by HMS Isis, HMS Bergamot, HMS Bryony, HMS Shippigan, HMS Tadoussac, HMS Haarlem, HMS Lady Hogarth and HMS St.Nectan.

The AA cruiser HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) joined them late in the evening of the 27th.

The convoy arrived at Gibraltar on 29 July 1943.

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Convoy OS 52 continued on towards the south. It was made up of the following transports; Amberton, Barrgrove, Bothnia, Cordillera, Deido, Empire Highway, Flimston, Fort Chesterfield, Fort Nakasley, Governor, Henri Jaspar, Hopecrest, Jenny, Kyklades, Mary Kingsley, Silvermaple, Sobo, Themistocles, Thomas Holt and Wellington Court.

They were escorted by the sloop HMS Fowey, frigate HMS Berry, corvettes HMS Campion, HMS Mallow, HMS Myosotis, HMS Stonecrop, HMS Friso and the A/S whaler HMS Southern Pride.

As the convoy split they were joined by the Gibraltar section made up of the following transports; Anglo Indian (British, 5609 GRT, built 1938), Beaconsfield (British, 4635 GRT, built 1938), Belgian Airmen (Belgian, 6959 GRT, built 1942), Charlton Hall (British, 5200 GRT, built 1940), Cromarty (British, 4974 GRT, built 1936), Empire Stalwart (British, 7045 GRT, built 1943), Fort Abitibi (British, 7122 GRT, built 1942), Iddesleigh (British, 5205 GRT, built 1927), Kristianiafjord (British, 6759 GRT, built 1921), Nyanza (British, 4974 GRT, built 1928) and Ocean Gallant (British, 7178 GRT, built 1942).

Later the following transport joined coming from Casablanca; Alsace (French, 2000 GRT, built 1939), Canada (French, 9684 GRT, built 1912), Fort Vercheres (British, 7128 GRT, built 1942), La Pampa (British, 4149 GRT, built 1938), Nivose (British, 9200 GRT, built 1932) and Silverteak (British, 6770 GRT, built 1930).

These ships were escorted out by the patrol vessels USS PC-471 (Lt. G. Washburn, USNR), USS PC-474 (Lt. A.D. Weekes, Jr., USNR) and USS PC-480 (Lt.(jg) Frank W. Meyers, Jr., USNR).

The following ships were detached to Casablanca; Fort Chesterfield and Fort Nakasley. They were escorted by the three USN patrol vessels listed above.

HMS Berry, HMS Mallow and HMS Stonecrop from the escort fuelled at Casablanca before rejoining the convoy. HMS Berry departed Casablanca at 1500A/29, HMS Mallow at 1700A/29 and HMS Stonecrop at 0500A/30.

Later the following transport joined coming from Dakar; Agen (French, 4186 GRT, built 1921), Fort Lac La Ronge (British, 7131 GRT, built 1942) and Schiaffino Freres (French, 3314 GRT, built 1910).

The following ships were detached to Dakar; Alsace, Canada, Fort Vercheres, Henri Jaspar, Nivose and Thomas Holt.

Detached to Bathurst was the Bothnia.

The convoy arrived at Freetown on 7 August 1943.

26 Jul 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) arrived at Gibraltar after convoy escort duty. (26)

27 Jul 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) departed Gibraltar for escort duty with convoy KMS 21G.

[For more info on this convoy see the event ' Combined convoy OS 52 / KMS 21G ' for 19 July 1943.] (26)

29 Jul 1943
HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) arrived at Gibraltar from convoy escort duty. (26)

1 Aug 1943
HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) departed Gibraltar to patrol off the Bay of Biscay. (27)

1 Aug 1943

Convoy MKF 20.

This convoy departed Algiers on 1 August 1943.

It was made up of the troop transports; Dempo (Dutch, 17024 GRT, built 1931), Highland Princess (British, 14133 GRT, built 1930), Mooltan (British, 20952 GRT, built 1923), Orion (British, 23371 GRT, built 1935) and Volendam (Dutch, 15434 GRT, built 1922).

Escort was made up of the sloops HMS Pelican (Capt. G.N. Brewer, RN), HMS Egret (Lt. G.H. Cook, RN), frigates HMS Rother (Lt.Cdr. R.V.E. Case, DSO, DSC and Bar, RD, RNR), HMS Wear (Cdr. E. Wheeler, RD, RNR) and the escort destroyer HMS Limbourne (Cdr. C.B. Alers-Hankey, DSC, RN).

The convoy arrived at Oran on 2 August 1943.

The convoy departed Oran on 3 August 1943. The frigate HMS Jed (Lt.Cdr. R.C. Freaker, DSO, RD, RNR) had reinforced the convoy escort now.

The convoy arrived at Gibraltar on 4 August 1943. It departed for the U.K. later the same day minus the transport Dempo. The convoy escort was reinforced by the destroyers HMS Amazon (Lt.Cdr. D.H.P. Gardiner, DSC, RN) and HMS Wanderer (Lt.Cdr. R.F. Whinney, RN).

On 5 August 1943, the AA cruiser HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) departed Gibraltar to overtake the convoy and then join the convoy escort. She joined the convoy on the morning of the 6th.

At 1000B/8, HMS Charybdis parted company with the convoy to return to Gibraltar.

HMS Limbourne was detached to Plymouth where she arrived on 10 August 1943.

HMS Amazon and HMS Wanderer were detached to Londonderry where they arrived on 10 August 1943.

The convoy arrived in the Clyde on 11 August 1943. The remaining escort vessels then proceeded to Londonderry arriving there later the same day.

3 Aug 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
For most of the day, HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN), HMCS Athabascan (Cdr. G.R. Miles, DSO, OBE, RCN) and HMS Grenville (Lt.Cdr. R.P. Hill, DSO, RN) patrolled in company with each other. (27)

5 Aug 1943
HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) returned to Gibraltar from patrol.

She quickly fuelled and then departed for patrol again and also to provide cover for convoy MKF 20.

[For more info on this convoy see the event ' Convoy MKF 20 ' for 1 August 1943.] (27)

10 Aug 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) arrived at Gibraltar from convoy escort duty. (27)

14 Aug 1943

Convoy MKS 21G.

This convoy departed Gibraltar on 14 August 1943.

The convoy was made up of the following transports; Bardistan (British, 7264 GRT, built 1942), Baron Ramsay (British, 3650 GRT, built 1929), Baxtergate (British, 5531 GRT, built 1925), Becheville (British, 4228 GRT, built 1924), Blairnevis (British, 4155 GRT, built 1930), City of Dieppe (British, 7958 GRT, built 1929), City of Durban (British, 5945 GRT, built 1921), Clan MacIver (British, 4500 GRT, built 1921), Clan MacNeil (British, 6111 GRT, built 1922), Coity Castle (British, 2767 GRT, built 1919), Dornoch (British, 5186 GRT, built 1939), Empire Baxter (British, 7024 GRT, built 1941), Empire Conrad (British, 7009 GRT, built 1942), Empire Friendship (British, 7058 GRT, built 1943), Esneh (British, 1931 GRT, built 1919), Fort Wedderburne (British, 7134 GRT, built 1942), Glaisdale (British, 3777 GRT, built 1929), Goodwin (British, 1570 GRT, built 1917), Marsa (British, 4405 GRT, built 1928), Marwarri (British, 8067 GRT, built 1935), Narva (British, 1575 GRT, built 1937), Norfalk (Norwegian, 5675 GRT, built 1919), Ogmore Castle (British, 2481 GRT, built 1919), Ottinge (British, 2870 GRT, built 1940), Pandorian (British, 4159 GRT, built 1941), Peleus (Greek, 4695 GRT, built 1928), Pendeen (British, 4174 GRT, built 1923), Saint Bernard (British, 5183 GRT, built 1939), Seapool (British, 4820 GRT, built 1940), Shuna (British, 1575 GRT, built 1937), Sneland I (Norwegian, 1791 GRT, built 1922) and Stanlodge (British, 5977 GRT, built 1943).

The boom carrier HMS Laomedon (6693 GRT, built 1912) (A/Cdr. W.N.M. Faichney, DSO, RNR) was also part of the convoy.

The convoy was escorted by the destroyers HMS Highlander (Cdr. E.C.L. Day, RN), HMS Walker (Lt.Cdr. A.N. Rowell, RN), HMS Winchelsea (Lt.Cdr. G.W. Gregorie, RD, RNR) and the corvettes HMS Abelia (Lt. R.I. Floris, RNZNR), HMS Asphodel (Lt.Cdr. H.P. Carse, DSC, RNVR), HMS Clover (Lt. P.H. Grieves, RNR), HMS Pennywort (Lt. O.G. Stuart, RCNVR) and the minesweeper HMS Speedy (A/Cdr. H.J.A.S. Jerome, DSO, RN).

On 15 August 1943, the AA cruiser HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) departed Gibraltar to overtake the convoy and join the convoy escort for extra AA defence. She joined the convoy later the same day.

During the passage to the U.K. the transport Empire Friendship developed engine trouble. The transport Becheville stood by her to assist as did the corvette HMS Clover. The sloop HMS Hastings (Lt.Cdr. L.B. Philpott, DSC, RD, RNR) and tug Dexterous were sent out from Falmouth.

At 0515B/20, HMS Charybdis, parted company with the convoy to join the combined convoy WS 33 / KMF 22.

The convoy arrived in U.K. waters on 25 August 1943 minus the Empire Friendship and the Becheville which arrived on the 27th.

15 Aug 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) departed Gibraltar for convoy escort duty with convoy MKS 21G and then with the combined convoy WS 33 / KMF 22. (27)

17 Aug 1943

Combined convoy WS 33 / KMF 22.

This convoy was assembled off Oversay on 18 August 1943.

On assembly the combined convoy was made up of the following (troop) transports; Antenor (British, 11174 GRT, built 1925), Arundel Castle (British, 19118 GRT, built 1921), Boissevain (Dutch, 14134 GRT, built 1937), Cameronia (British, 19297 GRT, built 1920), Duchess of Bedford (British, 20123 GRT, built 1928), Duchess of Richmond (British, 20022 GRT, built 1928), Durban Castle (British, 17388 GRT, built 1938), Empress of Australia (British, 21833 GRT, built 1914), Glenartney (British, 9795 GRT, built 1940), Indrapoera (Dutch, 10825 GRT, built 1925), Johan de Witt (Dutch, 10474 GRT, built 1920), Marnix van St. Aldegonde (Dutch, 19355 GRT, built 1930), Monarch of Bermuda (British, 22424 GRT, built 1931), Orduna (British, 15507 GRT, built 1914), Ormonde (British, 14982 GRT, built 1917), Otranto (British, 20026 GRT, built 1925) and Tegelberg (British, 14150 GRT, built 1937).

The convoy was escorted by the escort carrier HMS Hunter (Capt. H.H. McWilliam, RN), heavy cruiser HMAS Shropshire (Capt. J.A. Collins, CB, RAN), destroyer HMS Wrestler (Lt. R.W.B. Lacon, DSC, RN), sloops HMS Weston (Lt.Cdr. E. Gleave, RNR), HMS Chanticleer (Lt.Cdr. R.H. Bristowe, DSO, RN), HMIS Narbada (A/Cdr. A.W. Beeton, RIN), cutter HMS Totland (T/A/Lt.Cdr. H.E. Tourtel, RNR) and the frigates HMS Barle (Lt.Cdr. A.H. Davies, RNVR), HMS Ettrick (Lt.Cdr. J.E. Woolfenden, RD, RNR) and HMS Usk (Lt.Cdr. R.M. Pattinson, DSC, RNR).

The AA cruiser HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) joined the convoy around 0955B/20.

HMS Charybdis parted company with the convoy around 2210B/21 and proceeded to Gibraltar arriving there on 22 August.

The entire combined convoy arrived at Gibraltar on 24 August 1943.

From Gibraltar the convoys continued on as KMF 22 and WS 33.

22 Aug 1943
HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) arrived at Gibraltar from convoy escort duty.

[No logs are available for September and October 1943, so some details might be missing in the history of HMS Charybdis for these months.] (27)

16 Sep 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) departed Bizerta with General Eisenhower on board to visit the Salerno area.

She returned to Bizerta on the 17th. (28)

17 Sep 1943

Convoy MKF 24.

This convoy departed Port Said on 17 September 1943.

It was made up of the (troop) transports; Clan Campbell (British, 9545 GRT, built 1943), Eastern Prince (British, 10926 GRT, built 1929), Staffordshire (British, 10683 GRT, built 1929) and Strathmore (British, 23428 GRT, built 1935).

The armed merchant cruiser HMS Carthage (A/Capt. U.H.R. James, RN) was also part of the convoy. She was en-route from the East Indies station to the U.K. to be decommissioned and be outfitted for her new role as troop transport.

The convoy was escorted by the escort destroyers HMS Aldenham (Lt.Cdr. H.A. Stuart-Menteth, RN), HMS Rockwood (Lt. S.R. Le H. Lombard-Hobson, RN), RHS Kanaris and RHS Miaoulis.

At 0620C/18, the Eastern Prince was detached to Alexandria.

The convoy arrived at Algiers on 22 September 1943.

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On 28 September 1943 the convoy departed Algiers for the U.K.

It was now made up of the following (troop) transports; Almanzora (British, 15551 GRT, built 1914), Arundel Castle (British, 19118 GRT, built 1921), Athlone Castle (British, 25564 GRT, built 1936), Bergensfjord (Norwegian, 11015 GRT, built 1913), Cameronia (British, 16297 GRT, built 1920), Clan Campbell, Durban Castle (British, 17388 GRT, built 1938), Empress of Australia (British, 21833 GRT, built 1914), Marnix van St. Aldegonde (Dutch, 19355 GRT, built 1930), Monarch of Bermuda (British, 22424 GRT, built 1931), Otranto (British, 20026 GRT, built 1925), Ruys (Dutch, 14155 GRT, built 1937), Staffordshire, Strathmore, Tegelberg (Dutch, 14150 GRT, built 1937) and Volendam (British, 15434 GRT, built 1922).

The armed merchant cruiser HMS Carthage was still part of the convoy.

The convoy was escorted by the sloop HMS Pelican (Cdr. J.S. Dalison, DSO, RN) and the frigates HMS Evenlode (T/A/Lt.Cdr. A.L. Turner, RNR), HMS Jed (Lt.Cdr. R.C. Freaker, DSO and Bar, RD, RNR), HMS Rother (Lt.Cdr. W.R. Hickey, RNR), HMS Spey (Lt.Cdr. B.A. Rogers, RD, RNR) and HMS Wear (Cdr. E. Wheeler, RD, RNR).

At 0700A/30, the Ruys and Volendam were detached.

At 0900A/30, the Empress of Australia and Monarch of Bermuda were detached.

At 0930A/30, the (troop) transports Empire Might (British, 9209 GRT, built 1942), Highland Princess (British, 14133 GRT, built 1930) and Rochester Castle (British, 7795 GRT, built 1937) joined coming from Gibraltar.

Also the following warships joined at the same time; escort carriers HMS Attacker (Capt. W.W.P. Shirley-Rollison, RN), HMS Hunter (Capt. H.H. McWilliam, RN), HMS Stalker (Capt. H.S. Murray-Smith, RN), seaplane carrier HMS Albatross (A/Capt.(Retd.) S. Barry, RN) and the destroyers HMS Wishart (Lt. J.A. Holdsworth, RN) and HMS Witherington (Lt.Cdr. R.B.S. Tennant, RN).

At 1400A/30, the Volendam rejoined.

At 1500A/30, the AA cruiser HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) joined coming from Gibraltar.

At 1600A/30, the Ruys rejoined.

At 0420A/1, the Bergensfjord, Highland Princess and Volendam parted company to proceed to Freetown. They took HMS Wishart and HMS Witherington with them as escorts. Also the destroyer HMS Malcolm (Lt. I.M. Clegg, RN) joined them which had came from Casablanca.

At 1300A/1, the Athone Castle was detached to proceed independently to New York.

At 0640Z/4, the light cruiser HMS Spartan (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) joined the convoy escort.

At 0635Z/5, HMS Spartan parted company with the convoy.

At 0930Z/5, HMS Charybdis and HMS Albatross parted company to proceed to Plymouth where they arrived on 6 October.

On 7 October the convoy arrived in U.K waters. The bulk of the convoy proceeded either to Greenock or to Liverpool.

20 Sep 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
The light carrier HMS Unicorn (Capt. Q.D. Graham, CBE, DSO, RN), escort carriers HMS Attacker (Capt. W.W.P. Shirley-Rollison, RN), HMS Hunter (Capt. H.H. McWilliam, RN), HMS Stalker (Capt. H.S. Murray-Smith, RN), AA cruisers HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN), HMS Scylla (Capt. I.A.P. Macintyre, CBE, DSO, RN), destroyer HMS Wishart (Lt. J.A. Holdsworth, RN) and the escort destroyers ORP Slazak (Cdr. R. Nalecz-Tyminski, ORP), HMS Cleveland (Lt. J.K. Hamilton, RN), HMS Calpe (Lt.Cdr. H. Kirkwood, DSC, RN), HMS Catterick (Lt.Cdr. A. Tyson, RN) and HMS Haydon (Lt.Cdr. R.C. Watkin, RN) departed Bizerta for Gibraltar via Algiers.

They made a short stop at Algiers in the evening of 21 September before continuing their passage to Gibraltar. At Algiers they were joined by the escort destroyer HMS Atherstone (Lt.Cdr. E.N. Wood, DSC, RNVR).

They arrived at Gibraltar in the early hours of 23 September. (29)

30 Sep 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) departed Gibraltar to overtake and join the escort of convoy MKF 24.

[For more info on this convoy see the event ' Convoy MKF 24 ' for 17 September 1943.] (30)

6 Oct 1943
HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) and HMS Albatross (A/Capt.(Retd.) S. Barry, RN) arrived at Plymouth. (31)

11 Oct 1943
The AA cruiser HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) and the destroyer HMS Grenville (Lt.Cdr. R.P. Hill, DSO, RN) departed Plymouth to patrol near position 49°21'N, 08°30'W.

They returned to Plymouth around 1410A/11. (32)

12 Oct 1943
Around 1800A/12, HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) departed Plymouth to patrol off the Bay of Biscay between latitude 42°N and 45°N and longitude 20°W and 22°W. (32)

18 Oct 1943
HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) returned to Plymouth from patrol. (33)

22 Oct 1943
Around 1900A/22, ' Force 28 ', made up of the AA cruiser HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN), destroyers HMS Grenville (Lt.Cdr. R.P. Hill, DSO, RN), HMS Rocket (Lt.Cdr. H.B. Acworth, OBE, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Limbourne (A/Cdr. W.J. Phipps, MVO, RN), HMS Melbreak (Lt. G.J. Kirkby, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Talybont (Lt. E.F. Baines, DSO, RN) and HMS Wensleydale (Lt. J.A. McClure, DSC, RN) departed Plymouth for a sweep along the north coast of Brittany. (32)

23 Oct 1943

Sinking of HMS Charybdis and HMS Limbourne.

Around 0135A/23, ' Force 28, made up of HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN), HMS Grenville (Lt.Cdr. R.P. Hill, DSO, RN), HMS Rocket (Lt.Cdr. H.B. Acworth, OBE, RN), HMS Limbourne (A/Cdr. W.J. Phipps, MVO, RN), HMS Melbreak (Lt. G.J. Kirkby, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Talybont (Lt. E.F. Baines, DSO, RN) and HMS Wensleydale (Lt. J.A. McClure, DSC, RN) encountered the German 4. Torpedo Boat Flotilla made up of T 22, T 23, T 25, T 26 and T 27.

In the resulting action HMS Charybdis and HMS Limbourne were hit by torpedoes and both sank as a result. HMS Charybdis was hit by the T 23 and T 27 while HMS Limbourne was hit by T 22.

' Force 28 ' was proceeding to the west at 14 knots when HMS Charybdis obtained a contact about 7 miles north of Triagoz Island. Two units were contacted about 9000 yards almost right ahead. HMS Charybdis opened fire with star shell but before these burst she was torpedoed amidships on the port side.

A number of torpedoes were observed by the other ships. HMS Charybdis was then hit by a second torpedo. HMS Limbourne was shortly afterwards also hit by one torpedo on the port side forward and the bow was blown off.

The enemy was not seen by the remaining ships and they soon became scattered in a heavy rain squall. HMS Grenville, which was now the ' Senior ' ship, reformed the surviving the ships and they returned to the scene of the action. The three remaining Hunt-class destroyers where then ordered to search for survivors while HMS Grenville and HMS Rocket searched for the enemy to the westward. They rejoined with the Hunt-class destroyers around 0500A/23. After picking up the survivors the force departed the scene of the action around 0630A/23. 4 Officers and 103 ratings were picked up from HMS Charybdis while from HMS Limbourne 11 Officers, including the Commanding Officer, and 92 ratings were picked up. (34)

Sources

  1. ADM 53/115576
  2. ADM 53/115576 + ADM 199/662
  3. ADM 53/115576 + ADM 53/116163
  4. ADM 53/115577 + ADM 53/ + ADM 199/662
  5. ADM 53/115578
  6. ADM 53/115578 + ADM 199/662
  7. ADM 53/115579 + ADM 199/662
  8. ADM 53/115579 + ADM 173/17506 + ADM 199/662
  9. ADM 53/115579
  10. ADM 53/115408 + ADM 53/115579 + ADM 53/115967 + ADM 199/662
  11. ADM 53/115368 + ADM 53/115580 + ADM 53/116620 + ADM 53/116632 + ADM 199/662 + ADM 199/904 + ADM 234/359
  12. ADM 53/115580 + ADM 53/116620 + ADM 199/904
  13. ADM 53/115580 + ADM 53/116620
  14. ADM 53/115580 + ADM 53/116620 + ADM 199/662
  15. ADM 53/115581 + ADM 199/662
  16. ADM 53/115581
  17. ADM 53/117196
  18. ADM 53/117197
  19. ADM 53/117197 + ADM 199/632 + ADM 199/766 + ADM 234/560 + ADM 234/561
  20. ADM 53/117197 + ADM 199/632
  21. ADM 53/117198 + ADM 199/632
  22. ADM 53/117199 + ADM 199/2265
  23. ADM 53/117200
  24. ADM 53/117200 + ADM 199/2266
  25. ADM 53/117200 + ADM 199/2266 + ADM 199/2267
  26. ADM 53/117201
  27. ADM 53/117202
  28. ADM 199/641
  29. ADM 53/118574 + ADM 53/118664 + ADM 199/641 + ADM 199/767
  30. ADM 199/767 + 199/2250
  31. ADM 53/116877 + ADM 199/2550
  32. ADM 199/2280
  33. ADM 199/2280 + ADM 199/2550
  34. ADM 199/2281

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


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