APPENDIX A(5)
 
  SUNDAY 9th May 1943.                                                                                   H.M.S. "PINK".
     
 
REPORT OF PROCEEDINGS FOR ONS.5.
 
 
(STRAGGLER PORTION).
 
     
          At dawn on Saturday, 1st May 1943 convoy ONS.5 was badly scattered by gales; wind S.W., force 7.  At 0630Z TAY and PINK were ordered by B7 to round up stragglers.  DUNSLEY and OMEGA were brought together some ten miles astern of the convoy.  The weather was deteriorating and OMEGA hove to, but DUNSLEY continued to run before, being unable to turn.  Contact was maintained with DUNSLEY and at 2200Z on orders from B7, course was set to rejoin the convoy independently as DUNSLEY was still running before.  At dawn 2nd May the weather had moderated and several ships were rounded up and at nightfall the following ships were in company:  DUNSLEY, OMEGA, DIRECTOR, GUDVOR, and NICCLAS.  At 2300Z WEST MADAKET was rounded up.  At 0800Z/3 all six ships were in company steering 210 - 6.5 knots.  This course was set to rejoin the main body which at this time was bearing 253 (D/F from DUNCAN).  Distance was not known but was considered to be about fifty miles.  The weather was deteriorating again and several ships began to scatter in the afternoon.  At 1800z a moderate gale was blowing and all ships were widely scattered.  At midnight on the third only two ships were in company.  Ships were again rounded up at dawn on the 4th, and at 0958Z/4 we were bearing from the main body 085, with four ships in company (DUNSLEY, WEST MADAKET, DIRECTOR and GUDVOR).  Course was altered to 235, but attempts to rejoin were frustrated by the main body suggested that they were being shadowed, ORIBI having sighted one U-boat.  This was in my path so I altered to 180 for the night as evasive action at 1930Z/4, in position 56-27N 41-20W, informing TAY of my decision, who was now S.O.  At 0015Z/5 course was altered to 240 in accordance with C-in-C. W.A.'s 042244Z.  The weather was now good and very clear, and we were making about eight knots.  At 0700Z/5 NORTHERN SPRAY was sighted in company with one merchantman.  She was closed - it being intended to take this ship in convoy, but investigation showed that this ship had been torpedoed and the crew were in the NORTHERN SPRAY.  
     
  2.  At 0954Z/5 in position 54-56N 43-44W a most firm and excellent A/S contact was obtained on the starboard bow ar 2200 yards, which was counter-attacked and then hunted.  The A/S conditions were splendid, being the sharpest and cleanest I had ever heard.  Several attacks were carried out and after the fifth attack the submarine was heard to be blowing tanks and on the run out huge bubbles were seen to break surface.  This was considered to be the best attack, and it is considered that at this stage the U-boat was in reality finished.  Two more attacks were carried out when the submarine appeared stopped and after the seventh attack when ten charges were dropped, no further contact was obtained.  For details see the narrative of attack.  The hunt was abandoned at 1325Z/5 and course set to rejoin as I considered I had been absent too long from my convoy and which subsequently proved to be the case.  My convoy was about ten miles ahead.  
     
  3.  At 1139 (1339Z/5) a dull and most powerful underwater explosion shook the ship, low in note and like a deep grunt.  Some surprise was felt but it was immediately recognised to be a deep underwater explosion some distance off.  I can only think that this was the submarine, or some part of it, exploding deep down.  I attach great significance to this and left me in no doubt as to the fact that the U-boat was destroyed.  I was very sorely tempted indeed to return to look for evidence of destruction, but this was considered not to be prudent and I carried on rejoining at best speed.  I was then some eight miles astern, which was disturbing.  
     
     

 

 
 
     
  H.M.S. "PINK" (ctd.)  
   
  4.  Before the hunt one merchantman had been seen converging and it was now seen that he had rejoined, and was the YEARLY.  At 1452Z/5 my worst fears materialized when still some three miles astern.  A huge column of smoke was seen from the port wing ship, which was the U.S. WEST MAKADET.  She immediately settled by the stern and had obviously been torpedoed.  At 1515Z operation OBSERVANT was carried out around the wreck without success.  Depth charges were then dropped to keep the U-boat down.  In the meantime the other four merchantmen had increased speed and were performing some remarkable and spectacular zigzags.  They had turned to starboard.  The crew of the torpedoed ship had abandoned ship, the ship herself having settled.  Whilst dropping charges I signalled their boats to get together as they were badly scattered.  Realising that the U-boat was probably in the vicinity and waiting for us to stop to pick up survivors, I was steaming around at various courses and speeds.  I intended to stop to pick them up, and it was obviously to my advantage that the boats should be together.  The boats were not very co-operative and I am of the opinion that masters should be warned that in such cases they should keep together for obvious reasons, bearing in mind the impending danger of a lurking U-boat.  However, they were all picked up by 1600Z, there being two injured.  There were 61 survivors, this being the complete crew.  Their captain informed me that his ship was not salvageable, its back being broken.  At 1603Z i sank her with two starboard throwers set to 50 feet.  The result was devastating.  She split as if cleaved by an axe amidships, sinking in two separate pieces and turning turtle as she sank.  It is thought surprising that this ship left no trace when she sank, there being 520 tons of oil fuel on board when she sank.  
     
  5.  At 1730Z PINK had again collected the merchantmen.  Course 240 - 7.5 knots.  The following ships were now in company:  DUNSLEY, DIRECTOR, YEARBY and Norwegian GUDVOR.  At 1850Z firm A/S contact was obtained at 1000 yards ahead of the convoy, which was counter-attacked at 1853Z, with five charges.  It is pointed out that at this time only 21 charges were remaining on board and therefore in view of my unknown future commitments 5 charge patterns were considered to be the wisest.  This contact was depthcharged some 300 yards ahead of the second ship from the left, the four ships being in line abreast.  Some confusion was seen among them but the general behaviour was excellent.  One ran over the depthcharge disturbance.  In the wakes contact was not immediately regained and this time I was more than anxious to regain station, as I was expecting more attacks that night.  I had asked TAY for help, who was now S.O., but nothing could be spared as the main body was beset by U-boats.  I therefore took station ahead immediately.  With an acute shortage of depth charges and oil fuel, and the probability of a busy night, the best I could do was to drive off further attacks, and not to allow myself to be drawn off.  
     
  6.  At 1945Z a further A/S contact was obtained at 1800 yards on the starboard bow.  This was not considered to be a good contact and was classified as probably non-submarine.  Two depth charges were dropped on it and station resumed.  I considered my most powerful weapon for the night to be evasive tactics and therefore various alterations of course for the night were arranged, with some effect, as the night passed without incident, although I consider we were being shadowed (attention is invited to my 051420Z and 052101Z both to C-in-C W.A.)  HMS SENNEN was instructed to join and support HMS PINK and at 0945Z/6 she reported as attacking a U-boat in position 53-08N 46-39W.  This was within 12 miles of PINK.  She apparently continued hunting as she joined at 2300Z/6 and reported as having attacked two U-boats close astern of my convoy.  
     
     

 

 
 
     
  H.M.S. "PINK" (ctd.)  
   
  The visibility was horribly good until just before SENNEN joined.  PINK remained S.O. and took station on the starboard bow with SENNEN on the port bow.  These positions were selected as it was thought SENNEN's U-boats would still be shadowing; at the same time visibility had been reduced and ice was probable.  Dense fog continued and no further incident occurred except icebergs and dense fog.  Great difficulty was met by trying to keep the ships together.  At 1400Z/9 Sunday, St. Johns being in sight, SENNEN was sent ahead to enter.  PINK remained giving A/S protection off the port and all ships having entered, PINK entered the port.  (Sunday 9th May 1943 at 1730Z). with 18 tons of fuel remaining.  
  P.S.  U.S. WEST MAKADET was sunk in Lat. 54-46N. Long. 44-14W.  
     
     
                                                                                   
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

 

 
 
     
 
STATEMENT OF H. SCHOEDEN, MASTER OF THE "EX" S.S. WEST MADAKET
 
 
CONCERNING TORPEDOING OF VESSEL ON MAY 5, 1943.
 
 
 
-oOo-
 
     
          On May 5th 1943, while in convoy with four other ships escorted by H.M.S. PINK, vessel was torpedoed by enemy submarine at 1453 G.M.T., in position 54-47 North - 44-12 West.  At the time of the torpedoing the ship was on a course of 240 degrees, true, at a speed of 8-1/2 knots; the weather clear.  
          A sudden jar was felt at that time and a heavy geyser of water was seen by the Officer of the Watch, and several members of the crew, on the port Quarter,  The vessel immediately started settling by the stern, and a large crack in the deck plating was observed amidships Port Side, from the fidley bulkhead, outboards, toward the sheer-strake plate.  
          After ascertaining that the dangerous condition of the vessel, due to her back being broken, would prevent her being salvaged, she was abandoned at 1515 G.M.T.  
          With complete crew of 1 Master, 7 Officers, and 31 men, together with 1 Armed Guard Officer and 21 Naval Gunners, were picked up by H.M.S. PINK at 1600 G.M.T.  
          I informed the Commanding Officer of the Pink of the condition of the WEST MADAKET, and same was sunk at 1805 G.M.T. by H.M.S. PINK using depth charges, so that the convoy could continue on its way.  All confidential and secret publications, which were in a metal container, were personally thrown overboard by me before leaving the ship.  
          When pulling away from the ship a crack was also noted in the sheer-strake plate, Starboard Side, midships, and one shell plate by Number 2 hatch had already buckled on the starboard side.  
     
     
     
                                                                                     (Sgd.) H. SCHROEDER, Master  
                                                                                             S.S. WEST MADAKET.  
     
     
     
     
     
     


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