8th May, 1943.
               I have the honour to submit the following repor of proceedings of His Majesty's Ship under my command during the period from 19th April, 1943, to 8th May, 1943.  All times are G.M.T.
          2.  29th April, 1943.  
0145 Parted company from SC.127 in position 61°N. 25°55'W. to join convoy ONS.5 in accordance with Commander-in-Chief, Western Approaches' signal timed 29.0026Z.
1500 As the weather deteriorated speed had to be reduced, until, by 1800, the Southwesterly wind and sea had made 11 knots the maximum possible speed.
1630 Suspension of Gyro compass broke, and gyro was not available for remainder of passage.
1700 Exchanged H/F. D/F. bearings with H.M.S. "Duncan".
          3.  30th April, 1943.  
0001 Took station (Position R in NE.6) on convoy ONS.5 in evening twilight.  Convoy position 60°54'N. 37°00'W.
0141 H.M.S. "Duncan" drove off U-boat attacking convoy.  "Oribi" obtained no sighting of contact.  H.M.S. "Snowflake" dropped depth charges as directed by "Duncan".
0500 Proceeded to take up day screening position.
0615 In position 2 miles ahead of port wing ship, sweeping across bows of convoy.
1045 Proceeded to oil from s.s. "British Lady".
1606 Completed oiling.  Proceeded to regain screening position.
1705 Proceeded at 20 knots to investigate H/F.D/F. contact of U-boat bearing 335°, 15 miles from convoy.  (Position 59°48'N. 39°10'W).
1800 Search completed negatively.
  Proceeded to sweep up starboard bow of convoy, and take up screenong position AA at maximum visibility distance (about eight miles).
2100 Proceeded to investigate H/F. D/F. bearing 136ZZ8 miles (position 59°20'N. 39°52'W.).
2211 Investigation completed negatively.  Proceeded to take up night station - Poaition S in NE.6.
2320 In position.  Convoy virtually hove to.
          4.  1st May, 1943.
0115 U-boat endeavoured to attack convoy, but was driven off by "Snowflake".  "Oribi" obtained no sightinh or contact.
0400 Proceeded to take up day screening position AA.
0720 In position AA.
2100 Dropped back to visibility distance of convoy, and maintained this position during the night, the approximate distance ahead being 3-1/2 miles.
          5.  2nd May, 1943.  
0600 Convoy was scattered overnight by gale, and at dawn it was found that "Oribi" had been keeping station on "Loosestrife" and one merchant ship.  Set course to round up stragglers and rejoin convoy.
1000 In station on ONS.5, position AA at visibility distance.
2023 Sighted 3rd Escort Group, consisting of "Offa", "Penn", "Panther" and "Impulsive".
2040 Joined E.G.3.
2055 Took station sweeping line abreast, distance apart 2 miles, ahead of convoy.
          6.  3rd May, 1943.  
0740 Proceeded, in company with "Impulsive" to screen starboard bow of convoy, at a distance of from 5 to 8 miles.
1945 Proceeded to rejoin "Offa".
2030 3rd Support Group formed in line abreast, 2 miles apart, to sweep ahead of the convoy for the night.
                                                                                                 7.  4th May, 1943.    . . . .  


  H.M.S. "ORIBI".                       REPORT OF PROCEEDINGS.                         8th May, 1943.  
          7.  4th May, 1943.
0940 Proceeded independently at 15 knots to take station 160° from port wing ship at visibility distance.
1043 In station.
1710 Proceeded at 15 knots to investigate H/F. D/F. bearing 125 from convoy.  (Position 57°25'N. 42°00W.).
1800 Search completed negatively.  Took station just outside visibility dustance 125°, 14 miles from convoy.
1915 Increased speed to 18 knots, altered course to investigate H/F.D/F. bearing 195°, received in "Oribi" at 1900/  (Position 56°02'N. 42°40'W.).
1951 Sighted U-boat on surface bearing 206° 7 miles from "Oribi" in position 140ZZ16.  Increased speed to 31 knots.
1956 U-boat dived bearing 210 4 miles, diving course 300°.  Carried out "Alpha" search scheme, commencing operation "observant" at 2013.  On completion of this, "offa" joined in hunt, and "Observant" was carried out again, searching one mile further on from submarine's last position.
2230 Search was abandoned.  Proceeded to take up night station on 5 port bow of convoy.
2310 In station.
          8.  5th May. 1943.
0051 Underwater explosions heard, followed, two minutes later, by two white rockets from the convoy.  "Oribi" turned to starboard and swept back two miles towards the convoy, but nothing being sighted regained station.
0106 Signal received that No. 13 had been torpedoed.
0109 Tracer fire observed bearing 325° (Oribi 164ZZ4).  This was followed by starshell fired from the close escort.
0110 Echo detected by R.D.F. Type 285, bearing 135°, range 040x.  Bearing was searched by four starshell, with no result, by which time the range had closed to 023x, and, by plot, the rate of approach showed it to ba a false echo.
0120 In the next two hours numerous sweeps were taken in the vicinity of "Oribi's" station, but no contact or sightings were obtained.
0245 A small R.D.F. contact was obtained bearing 240° 040x.  Speed was increased to 18 knots, and A/S. sweep carried out along this bearing.  As no contact was obtained, two charges were dropped at 1 and 2 miles respectively, set to 50 feet.
0305 Area having been searched until this time with no result, "Oribi" regained her station.
0340 Signal received from "Offa" ordering me to assist "Snowflake" in chasing U-boat on the port quarter of convoy.  Speed was increased to 25 knots and ship swept back to rejoin :Snowflake:, V/S touch being effected at 0350.
0405 "Snowflake" signalled U-boat dived bearing 350° 1500x.
0416 Reduced to 12 knots and commenced A/S search, "Snowflake" having lost contact.
0441 Contact obtained ahead at 1600x, classified "Submarine".  A deliberate attack was carried out and a ten charge pattern fired at setting F.  ("Oribi's" position 096ZZ15).
  This and subsequent attacks were made difficult by having no gyro compass repeators or A.R.L. Plot working.
  Ship ran out to 1200x and turned, but contact was unfortunately fouled by "Snowflake", and could not be regained until 0504 at 1500x.
0504 This was afain a firm echo, and at 0506 a further ten charge pattern, set to E, was dropped.  Contact on both occasions was lost at 300 yards before firing.
0508 Contact was finally lost at this time and, although search "Observant" was carried out, it was never regained.
0554 Abandoned hunt and set course to regain position on convoy.
0635 Sighted convoy bearing 245°.
0830 In station bearing 160°, 5 miles from port wing ship of convoy.  During forenoon enemy W/T activity was frequent, and numerous H/F. D/F. bearings obtained.
                                                                                         1010  A first class    . . . . . . . .  


  H.M.S. "ORIBI".                       REPORT OF PROCEEDINGS.                         8th May, 1943.  
               5th May, 1943. (continued).
1010 A first class bearing 155° was obtained, and at 1016 "Oribi" was ordered to investigate this to a depth of 12 miles.  (Position 54°33'N. 43°40'W.).
1020 Increased speed to 18 knots.
1057 Submarine sighted on the surface bearing 170°, 7 miles ("Oribi's" position 150ZZ11).  The smoke haze from her diesels was visible even before her hull had been actually sighted.
1100 Increased to 30 knots.
1107 Sighted second U-boat bearing 190°, 6 miles.
1109 First submarine dived.
1110 Third submarine sighted bearing 145°, distant 6 to 7 miles.
1116 Second and third submarines dived.
  On first sighting, these U-Boats were proceeding away from "Oribi" roughly in line abreast, and the plot showed that they proceeded at high speed until it became apparent to them they were being overhauled at an unaccustomed speed.
1120 Rediced to 15 knots to carry out "alpha" search for the first submarine, this having been instituted when it dived.
1147 Gained contact 1000x, bearing R.40, which was classified as "Submarine" at 800x.  This was immediately brought ahead, but, having no gyro repeater in the control training unit and with the bearing of the magnetic compass card for steering, it was extremely difficult to ascertain whether the bearing of contact was drawing left or right.  It was inferred at 300 yards that the contact was drawing left, and ship turned in that direction.  A ten charge pattern, setting D, was dropped at 1140-1/2, but this was stopped after four charges had been fired, as the submarine was passing down the port side and it was apparent that the remainder would only fall progressively astern of it.
1150 Operating conditions were only fair, and contact was lost.  The ship ran out to 1000 yards, and turned to regain contact.  This was not effected, and a search was carried out round the place where submarine was last detected.
1243 Contact was gained Green 25 1800x.  Ship was turned towards, and at 1100x, the contact having been classified as "Submarine", a deliberate attack was commenced.
1247 A good trace was obtained and a ten charge pattern, setting F, was fired, contact being lost at 300x.
1249 Following on the explosion of the charges, and slightly less than two minutes after the first charge was fired, two unexplained explosions were heard, one heavy and one of less intensity, resulting in a large visible eruption of air.  It was reported from the quarterdeck that a periscope was then sighted, for a moment, in the middle of the disturbance caused by the depth charge pattern, mmoving slowly to port.  Amongst those who are certain that they saw this was Mr. Stacey, Gunner (T), but it was not observed from the bridge.
1254 Contact was regained on the port quarter, and ship ran out to 900x, turned hard a port, and, at 1254, five charges set to 50 feet were fired by recorder and stop watch.  A full patter was not fired as it was thought essential to conserve supplies of depth charges for attacks in the vicinity of the convoy.  Contact was firm and held down to "Instant Echoes".  No visible results were obtained.  Contact was held amonst the disturbances caused by the charges, but faded before another attack was carried out.
1340 Ship left the area to comply with E.G.3's signal timed 05.1335 ordering me to rejoin the convoy.
1445 Rejoined the convoy.  Proceeded to oil from "British Lady".
1719 Refuelling completed.
1740 In station in position L.  Convoy's course 201°.
1942 Submarine attacked from starboard side of convoy, three ships being torpedoed.
1945 Convoy made emergency 90° turn to port.
  Altered course towards convoy.
                                                                                           1950  A further merchant . . . . . . . .  


  H.M.S. "ORIBI".                       REPORT OF PROCEEDINGS.                         8th May, 1943.  
              5th May, 1943. (continued),
1950 A further merchant ship torpedoed.
  Took station astern of "Offa" to carry out "Observant" round sinking vessels.
2040 "Offa" obtained contact.  Closed.  Took staion as directing ship but was unable to obtain contact.
2115 Took up patrol in vicinity as ordered by "Offa".
2210 "Offa" abandoned hunt.  Took stations one mile on her port and rejoined convoy.
2345 As "Oribi" was approaching her station on the port bow of the convoy instructions were received from "Offa" to proceed to assistance of "Snowflake".  This was countermanded ten minutes later and "Oribi" ordered to take station five miles on the port bow of the convoy, the couse of which was 245°.
          9.  6th May, 1943.
0001 In the next hour "Oribi" carried out wide sweeps about her position, but the only contact obtaoined proved false, as did an R.D.F. echo, the pursuit of which led me to a position five miles more nearly ahead than on the bow.
0100 "Oribi" was in this position at 0100, and, when the convoy altered course to 186°, it became necessary to steam across the whole front of the convoy to regain station.
0109 Signal was received ordering "Oribi" to assist "Sunflower" and ship proceeded at 18 knots to join her, but, as it was essential to give a wide berth to "Tay", the distance covered was great and, coupled with the
0200 further alteration of course of the convoy at 0200 to 156°, it was not until 0245 that the ship was in the estimated position of "Subflower".
0246 Speed was increased to 22 knots and course altered from 010 to 065, as unknown escort about a mile away on the port hand was firing starshell over "Oribi", though it may well have been that she was endeavouring to drive off two U-boats which, as yet unknown to "Oribi", were in the vicinity.
0252-1/2 The A/S operator reported "Eschobearing green 30 - close".  An instantaneous decision had to be taken whether this might be the "Sunflower", of whose position I was doubtful, or a submarine.  However, as I had no R.D.F. contacts in that sector, I swung the ship to starboard and it was with great relief that I saw a submarine slide out of the fog about one cable on the starboard bow steering from right to left.  The conning tower was obscured by the forecastle, and the stem must have hit just abaft of this.  The inclination of the submarine was approximately 090 left on impact, the force of the collision slewed her round to port and she passed down the port side, heeled over with her bows and conning tower out of the water.
  A shallow pattern had been ordered, but the very short time between the A/S operator's report and the collision (which extinguished the light illuminating the clock and plot) did not permit this to be set and dropped.
  Taking into account own ship's speed and the damage sustained by herself, together with the force and angle of impact I have no doubt whatsoever that this submarine was sunk.
0256 Immediately after the collision I ordered slow both engines, and ascertained tha condition of the engines, finding them and the steering unharmed.
0300 Having received reports to the above effect I waited for report on damage to the bows, and at 0307 was informed that the forepeak and lower central store were flooded, but the bulkhead abaft this was watertight.
0310 Port wheel was ordered to search for any wreckage from the submarine, but at 0314, when the ship had swung about 70° to port, the A/S operator reported "Contact green 50°, range 1100x. - Submarine with Hydrophone effect".  Wheel was accordingly reversed, but, as the forward bulkheads had not yet been shored, it was considered unwise to increase speed to more than 12 knots.  As teh bearing drew forward contact was lost at a range of 700x.  However, ship was turned to the last bearing and at 0318
0318 a single charge, set deep, was
                                                                                                         dropped by stop  . . . . . . . .  


  H.M.S. "ORIBI".                       REPORT OF PROCEEDINGS.                         8th May, 1943.  
          7.  6th May, 1943.  (continued).
  dropped by stop watch in the estimated position of the submarine, as a form of counter attack.
  It was found by trial that, as a result of the ramming, water eddies round the dome cut out all transmissions from green 20 through the bow to the port quarter.  All asdic gear was intact, however, and the dome would lower normally.
0318 Estimated position 100ZZ3.
  "Oribi" then proceeded to try to find any wreckage from the rammed submarine, but in the fog, with a visibility of about 2 cables, this was not successful, though there was a very strong smell of oil over a very wide area.
0332 Search was abandoned and ship commenced zig-zagging on the port side of the convoy until daylight, when the port wing column was found to be much separated from the remainder.  "Oribi" had no further contact with the enemy during the night.
0820 Proceeded to join "Offa" ahead of the convoy.
1400 Joined "Offa" and set course in company for St. John's, Newfoundland, at 12 knots, the shored bulkheads holding satisfactorily during the passage, which was calm and foggy.
          10.  A report of H/F. D/F. bearings received is attached, and that of the underwater damage sustained will be forwarded as soon as a complete examination can be made.  
                                                                           LIEUTENANT-COMMANDER, R.N.  


  H.M.S. "ORIBI".                       REPORT OF PROCEEDINGS.                         8th May, 1943.  
A. 4.5.43.        1715Z A. 4.5.43.        1900Z
B. 10510. B. 10510.
C. 000°. C. 095°.
D. Sensed. D. Sensed.
E. 2nd Class - near. E. 2nd class - near.
F. 56°10'N.  42°40'W. F. 55°58'N.  42°19'W.
G. 1857/4        50  LVOG LVOT G. BB
A. 4.5.43.        1916Z. A. 4.5.43.        1931Z.
B. 10510. B. 10510.
C. 300°. C. 260°.
D. Sensed. D. Sensed.
E. 2nd class - near. E. 3rd class - distant.
F. 55°56'N  42°20'W. F. 55°56'N.  42°18'W.
G. BB G. 2124/4/        27.
A. 4.5.43.        2057Z. A. 4.5.43.        2126Z.
B. 10510. B. 10510.
C. 310°. C. 260°.
D. Sensed. D. Sensed.
E. 2nd class - near. E. 2nd class - near.
F. 55°41'N.  42°34'W. F. 55°52'N.  42°50'W.
A. 4.5.43.        2300Z. A. 4.5.43.        2332Z.
B. 7645. B. 7645.
C. 277°. C. 235°.
D. Sensed. D. Sensed.
E. 2nd class. E. 3rd class - distant.
F. 55°40'N.  42°59'W. F. 55°37'N.  43°01'W.
G. BB        JCN G. 2357/4.        37.
A. 4.5.43.        2351Z. A. 5.5.43.        0120Z.
B. 7645. B. 7645.
C. 280°. C. 215°.
D. Sensed. D. Sensed.
E. 55°36'N.  43°01'W. E. 55°28'N.  43°09'W.
F. 3rd class - distant. F. 2nd class - close.
A. 5.5.43.        0240Z. A. 5.5.43.        0718Z.
B. 7645. B. 10510.
C. 281°. C. 115°.
D. Sensed. D. Sensed.
E. 2nd class - near. E. 2nd class - distant.
F. 55°20'N.  43°11'W. F. 54°52'N  43°30'W.
G. 0410/5.  23.  IKXP NVGY G. 0805/5.  53.  KIVQ AVEC.
A. 5.5.43.        0844Z. A. 5.5.43.        0857Z.
B. 10510. B. 10510.
C. 139°. C. 065°.
D. Sensed. D. Sensed.
E. 1st class - near. E. 1st class - close.
F. 54°44'N.  43°35'W. F. 544°2'N  43°37'W.
A. 5.5.43.        0905Z. A. 5.5.43.        0950Z.
B. 10510. B. 10510.
C. 065°. C. 150°.
D. Sensed. D. Sensed.
E. 2nd class - distant. E. 1st class - close.
F. 54°41'N.  43°39'W. F. 54°36'N.  43°41'W.
G. 0843/5.  86.  DMYK KZNR G. N/E.


  H.M.S. "ORIBI".                       REPORT OF PROCEEDINGS.                         8th May, 1943.  
A. 5.5.43.        0952Z. A. 5.5.43.        1009Z.
B. 10510. B. 10510.
C. 230°. C. 305°.
D. Sensed. D. Sensed.
E. 1st class - close. E. 2nd class - close.
F. 54°36'N.  43°41'W. F. 54°38'N.  43°41'W.
A. 5.5.43.        1039Z. A. 5.5.43.        1141Z.
B. 10510. B. 10510.
C. 073°. C. 010°.
D. Sensed. D. Sensed.
E. 2nd class - distant. E. 2nd class - distant.
F. 54°35'N.  43°42'W. F. 54°29'N.  43°47'W.
G. 1159/5.        53.  SIFD NAQD. G. BB
A. 5.5.43.        1148Z. A. 5.5.43.        1507Z.
B. 10510. B. 10510.
C. 025°. C. 307°.
D. Sensed. D. Sensed.
E. 2nd class - distant. E. 2nd class - close.
F. 54°28'N.  43°48'W. F. 54°10'N.  44°00'W.
G. 0843/5.        86. G. 1700/5.        25.  VRNJ KEEL
A. 5.5.43.        1520Z. A. 5.5.43.        1625Z.
B. 10510. B. 10510.
C. 175°. C. 212°.
D. Sensed. D. Sensed.
E. 3rd class - close. E. 2nd class - close.
F. 54°08'N.  43°59'W. F. 54°00'N.  44°08'W.
G. BB        AXZ ASYY G. BB
A. 5.5.43.        1636Z. A. 5.5.43.        1646Z.
B. 10510. B. 10510.
C. 045°. C. 193°.
D. Sensed. D. Sensed.
E. 2nd class - close. E. 2nd class - close.
F. 53°59'N.  44°09'W. F. 53°59'N.  44°09-1/2'W.
G. 1530/5.        83.  BPFQ DOOI G. BB
A. 5.5.43.        1653Z. A. 5.5.43.        1742Z.
B. 10510 B. 10510.
C. 207°. C. 069°.
D. Sensed. D. Sensed.
E. 53°58'N.  44°10'W. E. 2nd class - close.
F. 2nd class - close. F. 53°54'N.  44°11'W.
G. BB G. 1821/5.        43.  XJBU PPLE.
A. 5.5.43.        1736Z. A. 5.5.43.        1744Z.
B. 10510. B. 10510.
C. 091°. C. 026°.
D. Sensed. D. Sensed.
E. 2nd class - close. E. 3rd class - distant.
F. 53°52'N.  44°12'W. F. 53°51'N.  44°13'W.
G. Corrections to 1821/5. G. 1902/5.        81.  RSYG AFFF
A. 5.5.43.        1819Z. A. 5.5.43.        1846Z.
B. 10510. B. 10510.
C. 228°. C. 108°.
D. Sensed. D. Sensed.
E. 2nd class - close. E. 3rd class - distant.
F. 53°20'N.  44°52'W. F. 53°19N.  44°53'W.
G. BB    MMZ G. 2004/5.        58.


  H.M.S. "ORIBI".                       REPORT OF PROCEEDINGS.                         8th May, 1943.  
A. 5.5.43.        1942Z. A. 5.5.43.        1949Z.
B. 10510. B. 10510.
C. 195°. C. 020°.
D. Sensed. D. Sensed.
E. 2nd class - close. E. 2nd class - close.
F. 53°11'N.  44°58'W. F. 55°11'N.  44°59'W.
G. 2115/5.        56.  LUWS VCWW G. 2130/5.        26.  JJIY  FXQT
A. 5.5.43.        2226Z. A. 5.5.43.        2252Z.
B. 7645. B. 7645.
C. 185°. C. 190°.
D. Sensed. D. Sensed.
E. 2nd class - close. E. 2nd class - close.
F. 52°58'N.  45°12'W. F. 52°56'N.  45°14'W.
G. 2200/5.        41.  ZIIN  JKTY G. 0032/6.        16.  FOGJ  KSCG
A. 5.5.43.        2315Z. A. 5.5.43.        2300Z.
B. 7645. B. 7645.
C. 125°. C. 009°.
D. Sensed. D. Sensed.
E. 2nd class - close. E. 2nd class - close.
F. 52°55'N.  45°19'W. F. 52°55'N.  45°20'W.
G. WW  IJKN  AIZM G. 2200/5.        41.  ZIIN JKTY
A. 5.5.43.        2328Z. A. 5.5.43.        2357Z.
B. 7645. B. 7645.
C. 134°. C. 250°.
D. Sensed. D. Sensed.
E. 2nd class - close. E. 2nd class - close.
F. 52°54'N.  45°21'W. F. 52°54'N.  45°22'W.
G. WW  IJKN  AIZU G. 0103/6.        45.  JUZY BDXU
A. 6.5.43.        0045Z. A. 6.5.43.        0050Z.
B. 7645. B. 7645.
C. 073°. C. 041°.
D. Sensed. D. Sensed.
E. 2nd class - close. E. 2nd class - close.
F. 52°52'N.  45°35'W. F. 52°52'N.  45°36'W.
G. BB    GRZ ECTA G. 0205/6.        39.  CXNM  VJJE
A. 6.5.43.        0058Z. A. 6.5.43.        0200Z.
B. 7645. B. 7645.
C. 100°. C. 343°.
D. Sensed. D. Sensed.
E. 3rd class - distant. E. 2nd class - close.
F. 52°52'N.  45°37'W. F. 52°47'N.  45°40'W.
G. BB   VEB XUCF G. 2349/5.        57.  YVGK  XFSP
A. 6.5.43.        0331Z. A. 6.5.43.        0338Z.
B. 7645. B. 7645.
C. 006°. C. 347°.
D. Sensed. D. Sensed.
E. 1st class - close. E. 1st class - close.
F. 52°39'N.  45°34'W. F. 52°38'N.  45°33'W.
G. 0501/6.        29.  CECI FNQL G. Corrections, etc.
A. 6.5.43.        0424Z. A. 6.5.43.        0446Z.
B. 7645. B. 7645.
C. 066°. C. 025°.
D. Sensed. D. Sensed.
E. 2nd class - close. E. 2nd class - close.
F. 52°31'N.  45°29'W. F. 52°30'N.  45°28'W.
G. 0610/6.        34.  CDZP IJMZ G. 0630/6.        22.  SSRD  OSPR.



Click the icons to view the associated records

Return to the Convoy ONS 5 page