S E C R E T.
  From . . . . The Commanding Officer, H.M.S. "PANTHER".
  Date  . . . . 6th May, 1943.                              No. 101/7.  
  To . . . . . . The Captain (D) : 3rd Escort Group : H.M.S. "OFFA".  
               H.M.S. "Panther" was in company with the 3rd Escort Group from April 29th, until May 4th, when I was detached under H.M.S. "Penn" to St. John's for fuel.  
          2.  I have nothing of interest to report during the above period.
          3.  This operation seems to show that a support group of destroyers cannot give good service under bad weather conditions at long range from a base, and it seems to me that we would have been of more use had we been split up and sailed as additional escorts under the direct orders of the Escort Commander.  In this particular case one division might have sailed with S.C.128 and the other with H.X.236; and O.N.180 and O.N.S.5 might have received similar reinforcement from Iceland.  
          4.  Topping up two destroyers who are definitely in company with a convoy is a very different matter to dealing with four very thirsty ones who have perhaps only 48 hours before they must leave for fuel, and have to take a chance on the weather during this short period.  
          5.  For the above reasons it seems to me that Sloops and Frigates (who are not constantly faced with a fuel problem) ought to make up support groups, and that destroyers should always form part of a definite escort group.  
          6.  While the Northern route must be used during the present concentration of U-Boats off Greenland, and if destroyers are to support it, then Ivigtut would seen a valuable base from which to operate.  
          7.  With no moon, the lack of Type 271 was felt even more keenly than previously.  
                                                                                           Lieutenant Commander.  



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