APPENDIX A(4)  
  To  Senior Officer B.7 Escort Group.
  From  Commanding Officer H.M.S. LOOSESTRIFE.  
     
  Report of Proceedings whilst escorting O.N.S.5  
     
  Night of May 4th and 5th  
  Position on screen "F".  
     
 
2144 Ordered to sweep on a bearing 290 to a depth of 5 miles.
2209 Resuming station, Nothing sighted.
2235 In station position "F"
2237 Received instructions to assist NORTHERN SPRAY with torpedoed straggler astern.
2240 Steering astern of convoy.
2243 Instructed to hunt with NORTHERN SPRAY at 8 o'clock 5 miles.
2252 Half Raspberry ordered.  Approximate position "S".  Zig-Zagged sweeping astern of convoy firing starshell.
2311 Ordered to rejoin proceeding to position "F".
2323 Investigating whistle effect on starboard side.
2326 No contact returning to position "F".
2352 Altered course, taking up position "S" as ordered.
0003 In position "S".
0235 Ordered to take up position "R" on port quarter.
0243 In station in position "R".
0312 R.D.F. contact bearing Red 05 3400 yds. Investigating.
0315 Ignored Half Raspberry, fired starshell ahead.  Submarine sighted surface 1200 yds. (approximate) moving from right to left threw off to Port, submarine diving.
0316 Asdic contact 400 yds. moving left.  Bearing moving rapidly left, threw off more to port.
0317 Fired 10 charge pattern, depth setting "C" for Charlie.
  Submarine passed down Starboard side, distance about 100 yds.
  A/S recorder broke down owing to impact of charges.
0324 R.D.F. contact Green 40 2400 yds.  Turned towards firing starshell.  Sighted submarine on surface moving from left to right towards convoy.  Opened fire with H.E. and Oerlikons.  Both port and starboard Oerlikons were observed to register hits.  Bearing Red 05 turned to starboard to intercept.
0327-1/2 Gained Asdic contact at 700 yds.  Fired charges by chronoscope.  Observed to pass about 100 yds. ahead of submarine's swirl as charges were going off.  A 9 charge pattern was fired depth setting "C" for Charlie.  THe last heavy charge became jammed in the rails.
  A promising attack.  Did not regain contact with stern sweep.  Swept area did not regain contact.
0340 Set course to resume station.  Sighted torpedoed ship and survivors on starboard bow.  Received permission to pick up survivors.
0350 Stopped engines, picking up survivors, 29 from S.S. BRISTOL CITY, 42 from S.S. WENTWORTH, S.S. WENTWORTH was still afloat with her back broken, but it was possible that she would remain afloat for a few hours, and SS Captain reported Confidential Books and Convoy papers had both been destroyed, hurried sinking with one depth charge.
0453 Set course to rejoin.
0850 In station on starboard beam.
   
Night of May 5th and 6th.
2050 In position "F".
2104 Convoy made emergency turn to starboard to course 254 and back to mean course 209 degrees at some twenty minutes later.
2126 R.D.F. contact bearing green 80, 4700 yards.  Turn towards R.D.F. giving bearings and ranges every fifty yards.
2134 Submarine sighted on surface ahead, moving from right to left, inclination approximately 30 left.  Opened fire with Oerlikons and managed to fire one round H.F.D.A. from 4"
 
     
                                                                                                    at junction . . . . . . . .  
     
     

 

 
 
     
 
2134 (Cont'd)
  at junction of hose piping of Oerlikon tracers, which were rebounding from the superstructure of the submarine.
2135 Submarine dived at range of 800 yards.  Threw off to port gained A.S. contact at 300 yards.
2136 Counter attacked on recorder trace with ten charge pattern set "C" for Charlie, Asdic operator reporting double echoes on bearing which was considered to be caused by submarine's wake as she turned away.
  Carried out stern sweep and investigated sweep suggested by plot but failed to regain contact.
2145 Resuming station.
2155 R.D.F. contact 4250 yards.  Investigating.
2156 R.D.F. reported echo thought to be escort, plot agreed, cancelled R.D.F. contact.  REsumed station.  Contact was VIDETTE.
2209 New Screen ordered, taking up position "H".
2230 R.D.F. Contact Red 95, 6200 yards.  Turned to investigate.  R.D.F. giving ranges and bearings every fifty yards.
2236 Submarine was sighted on surface, range 500 yards, inclination 120 left.  Submarine apparently sighted LOOSESTRIFE at the same time because she turned away, fired after torpedo tubes and commenced violent zig-zag ahead, LOOSESTRIFE following, and overtaking.  4" gun was loaded with H.E. but did not open fire as intention was to ram.
2240 Submarine commenced crash-dive very close ahead on similar course, with LOOSESTRIFE following and running up wake over him.  Fired 10 charge pattern set "C for Charlie", submarine was observed to break surface, followed immediately by a violent explosion causing a vivid greenish-blue flash.  Depth Charge Crews, 2 Pounder and 2 look-out numbers, who specifically posted down aft, confirmed its destruction.  Sub-Lieut. Williamson R.N.V.R. the officer in charge aft saw debris from submarine going up.  The Stoker P.O. on watch, reported deck plates in engine-room and boiler-room were lifted by a violent explosion which occurred momentarily after detonation of depth charges.  They first thought the stern had been blown off the ship. 
  Turned to port to investigate and observed immense patch of oil spreading from port hand  to starboard bow, passed through debris and being certain that submarine was destroyed, turned to starboard to course 200 to resume station on convoy, which was considered to be still in danger from other submarines.
2305 In station.
   
Night of May 6th - 7th.
0056 In station, position "H".  R.D.F. contact Red 80, 4400 yards.  Turned towards, investigating.
0102 Echo dipped at range of 2500 yards, right ahead, and moving from left to right towards convoy.  Asdics in contact at 2200 yards.  Did deliberate attack, firing by recorder, depth setting "D for Duff" as considered submarine knew we were following and would dive rather deep, mean depth calculated about 150 feet.
0103 Fired two charge pattern which was considered a very promising attack.  Regained contact through stern sweep by which time the R.D.F. reported an echo at Green 160, 4600 yards.  Decided to leave attacked submarine and counter attack as R.D.F. echo was believed to be another submarine.  R.D.F. were able to classify small echo as a side echo.
  Decided to rejoin convoy.  Good recorder trace bears out promising attack.
0139 In station.
0327 R.D.F. contact Red 50, 4000 yards, turned towards investigating.  Contact failed almost immediately, but decided to run range and drop two charges with a view to keeping submarine down.
0342 During investigation, R.D.F. contact Red 10, 5000 yards.  Closed range to 2000 yards in 36 minutes.  Submarine apparently running away on surface, moving across rear of convoy from starboard towards port quarter.  Informed Snowflake that submarine was moving towards her.  Did not sight submarine but fired H.E. on R.D.F. bearing and range.  Starshell useless due to low visibility.
 
     
     

 

 
 
     
 
- 3 -
 
     
 
0422 R.D.F. lost echo.  Firing appeared to have desired effect.
0432 Gained Asdic contact and carried out deliberate attack, depth setting "D for Duff", charges being fired on recorder trace.  Unable to regain contact after R.D.F. and A.S. sweep of area.  Decided to rejoin convoy.  Submarine was obviously in a position about to attack.  It is considered that 4" H.K. shells were close enough to make him dive and charges completed this promising attack.
 
   
     
     
     
     
     
     
                                                                                       
                                                                                        Lieutenant R.N.R.  
                                                                                        COMMANDING OFFICER,  
                                                                                        H.M.S. LOOSESTRIFE.  
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     


Click the icons to view the associated records

Return to the Convoy ONS 5 page