- NAVAL SERVICE -                         S E C R E T  
     
  FROM:  COMMANDER IN CHIEF, CANADIAN NORTH WEST ATLANTIC,  
                                                                H.M.C. Dockyard, Halifax, N.S.  
  DATE:   9th July, 1943.                                                 FILE:  C.N.A. 7-12.  
  TO:       SECRETARY, NAVAL BOARD, Department of National  
                                                             Defence, Ottawa, Ontario.  
  Copy To:  Commander in Chief, Western Approaches.  
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CONVOY ONS 5
 
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          The enclosed reports from the Senior Officer B-7 Group, H.M.S. TAY, and the Senior Officers of the 3rd and 1st Support Groups, all of whom contributed to the escort of Convoy ONS 5, are submitted.  The periods during which these various groups were present are as shown below.  
  Mid-Ocean Escort Group B-7  
 
H.M.S. DUNCAN (SO) H.M.S. SNOWFLAKE
    "       TAY     "       PINK
    "       SUNFLOWER     "       VIDETTE (joined at ICOMP)
    "       LOOSESTRIFE     "       NORTHERN SPRAT (Trawler)
      "       NORTHERN GEM
 
  W.L.E.F. W-4  
 
H.M.C.S. BARRIE (SO) H.M.S. MONTGOMERY (joined P.M. 8th
      "         GALT                                            took over S.O.)
      "         BUCTOUCHE H.M.C.S. ALGOMA (joined 7th - left 9th)
      "         COWICHAN  
(Relieved M.O.E. 1500/6)  
 
  3rd E.G.  
 
H.M.S. OFFA (SO) ) . . joined 2000/2 H.M.S. PELICAN (SO) ) . . joined
    "       PENN         )      left at     "       WEAR               )     A.M. 6th
    "       PANTHER  )     0600/5 . .     "       SPEY                 )     left
    "       ORIBI         ) . . joined 2000/29     "       JED                    )     1100/4
                                      left 0600/5     "       SENNEN           ) . . joined H.M.S.
                                               PINK 2300/6
 
  2.  There is little doubt that although a total of twelve ships were lost during the passage of this convoy, the operation, as a whole, was outstandingly successful.  The preliminary investigation of results achieved against U-Boats carried out by Captain (D) Newfoundland, which arrives at four certainties, three very probables and four probables (besides seven possibles) appears to be well authenticated.  The fact that no less than twenty-four attacks were beaten off on the night of the 6th May without loss to the convoy speaks highly of the efficiency of the escort work, and all escorts concerned are to be congratulated on their outstanding performance.  The absence of the Senior Officer of B-7 on the big night, while unfortunate and inevitable, nonetheless speaks volumes for the training he is responsible for in this outstanding Group.  It was particularly unfortunate that during the critical period, when surrounded by a very large concentration of U-Boats, this Convoy was without the benefit of air cover which was rendered impossible by conditions at the bases.  
                                                                                                    . . . . OVER  
     
     

 

     
     
 
- 2 -
 
     
  3.  ONS 5 was routed very far to the northward.  While it is appreciated that these routes were, at the time, being selected for evasive purposes, it is nevertheless true that if detected a Convoy so routed is likely to get into severe trouble and, with the number of submarines which were operating at this time, it is very much doubted if the game is worth the candle.  Increased time at sea coupled with the increased strain on the escorts, bitter weather and gales, causing inability to oil and loss in efficiency of Radar and Asdics, are a price worth paying only if it will yield dividends in immunity from attack.  In this case the routing increased the difficulties of the escorts enormously, even allowing for the particularly unfortunate weather conditions.  The case for air cover by shore based aircraft on the Northern route will soon, it is hoped, be effectively countered by the escort carrier.  
     
  4.  My covering remarks are divided to conform to the Letters of Proceedings of the various Escort Commanders.  
     
  (a)  H.M.S. DUNCAN (S.O. B-7) and H.M.S. TAY  
          The remarks of Captain (D) Newfoundland and the S.O. B-7 Group are concurred in generally.  In particular, it is felt that the remarks in para. 14 are worthy of study.  There appears to be little doubt that with the great increase of accuracy in night attacks, the enemy will tend to concentrate more on day attacks which, when attempted in the past, have frequently paid him well.  
          The value of a rescue trawler attached to a convoy is now fully recognized by most escort commanders, and it is considered that whenever possible, one should be attached whether a rescue tug is included or not, to act as the escort commanders maid of all work.  If a doctor could be included in her complement it would be an obvious advantage.  
     
  (b)  H.M.S. OFFA (S.O. 3rd Support Group)  
          The question of routeing has already been dealt with and the remarks of the S.O. 3rd Support Group are in general concurred in.  That the question if one of controversy is, however, shown by the remarks of both F.O.N.F. and Captain (D) Newfoundland.  
          The remarks of S.O. 3rd Support Group contained in his para. 4 with reference to PANTHER's suggestion that Sloops and Frigates should be used in preference to destroyers as support groups, are considered sound and are fully concurred in.  
          The good work carried out by "BRITISH LADY" (Escort Oiler) is noted with pleasure, and para. 6 of OFFA's 1619/23 has been extracted and forwarded to the ship through N.C.S.O., Halifax.  The work of the Master, Captain Henney, is consistently outstanding, and it will be remembered that Captain Henney took over Commodore of SC 111 under the most difficult conditions when in command of "BRITISH PROGRESS".  
     
                                                                                                                . . . . . . . . 3  
     
     

 

     
     
 
- 3 -
 
     
  5.  With reference to Appendix No. II, the following analysis shows the Time of Receipt in Halifax and transmission on Broadcast "L" of messages referred to in paras. 3 and 4 of the Senior Officer 3rd Escort Group's report.  
 
Time of Origin
Time of Receipt on Whitehall-Halifax Fixed Service
Time on Broadcast "L"
012000Z
021345Z
021417Z
010601Z
021406Z
021442Z
032000Z (685 L)
041206Z
041245Z
032215Z (677 L)
040910Z
040927Z
 
     
          With reference to para. 8 (i), and SGA number has already been asked for.  Insofar as (ii) and (iii) are concerned, A.I.G.'s and call signs have since been allocated by Admiralty.  
          Observing that the delays did not occur in Halifax, it is thought that they occurred between Iceland W/T and Whitehall W/T.  The whole matter of Service 10 is presently being investigated by Admiralty.  
     
  6.  No attempt has been made here to analyse individual attacks carried out, but attacks have been extracted and are attached as -  
 
APPENDIX A - Summary of Attacks on ONS 5.
APPENDIX B - Summary of Attacks carried out by the escorts of ONS 5.
 
     
  7.  It is considered that the records submitted for the operation are excellent and reflect credit on the escorts who compiled them after a particularly arduous passage.  
     
     
                                                                                            (L. W. Murray)  
                                                                                   REAR ADMIRAL, R.C.N.  
     
     
     
     
     
     

 

     
     
 
SUMMARY OF ATTACKS AND ATTEMPTED ATTACKS ON ONS 5
 
 
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Attack No.
Time plus 2
Attack From
Casualties
Remarks
1
1838/28 Port Beam
DUNCAN forced U-Boat to dive
2
2158 Red-7000
        "             "          "        "    "
3
2245 Red 140-3500
        "             "          "        "    "
4
2314 Green 56-4800
        "             "          "        "    "
5
2330 Port Beam-4800
        "             "          "        "    "
6
2356 Red 30-4000
        "             "          "        "    " and oil observed.
7
0139/29 Astern-1100
SNOWFLAKE forced U-Boat to dive.  Torpedoes narrowly missed SNOWFLAKE
8
0154 Astern
TAY attacked possible U-Boat.
9
0529-1/2 Stbd. side
McKEESPORT (42)
Another torpedo observed to explode at end of its run on port quarter of convoy.
10
0600 Astern
SNOWFLAKE attacked U-Boat, preventing an attack on straggler.
11
2307 Port Bow
DUNCAN dropped charges, no attack developed.
12
2310 Port Beam
SNOWFLAKE dropped charges, no attack developed.
13
2305/30 Port Beam
SNOWFLAKE drove off U-Boat.
14
2314 Ahead
Charges dropped ahead, on stbd. beam and port quarter of convoy - no attack developed.
15
2220/4 Stbd. Bow
VIDETTE forced U-Boat to dive.
16
2228 Astern
NORTH BRITAIN
Straggler 6 miles astern.
17
2235 Stbd. Bow
VIDETTE forced U-Boat to dive.
18
2254 Both sides.
HARPERLEY (13)
Half Raspberry carried out.
   
HARBURY (81)
VIDETTE and SNOWFLAKE attacked contacts on starboard beam and port quarter
   
WEST MAXIMUS (22)
19
0016/5 Port Bow
SNOWFLAKE attacked suspicious contact.
20
0142 Port Beam
U-Boat chased and attacked by SNOWFLAKE and ORIBI.
21
0315 Both sides
BRISTON CITY (11)
Half Raspberry.  LOOSESTRIFE sighted and attacked two U-Boats.  TAY attacked U-Boat.
   
WENTWORTH (23)
     
     

 

     
     
 
SUMMARY OF ATTACKS AND ATTEMPTED ATTACKS ON ONS 5
 
 
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Attack No.
Time plus 2
Attack From
Casualties
Remarks
22 1041/5 Centre of Convoy DOLIUS (21) Artichoke ordered; SUNFLOWER and OFFA attacked contact.
23 1235 Port side WEST MADAKET One of the five ships with PINK; astern of main convoy.
24 1342 Stbd. Beam   VIDETTE forced U-Boat to dive
25 1742             ? SELVISTAN (101) BONDE attacked.  Periscope on her stbd. side  Possible that same U-Boat fired at all ships using bow and stern tubes.
      GHARINDA (111)
      BONDE (83)
26 2100 Stbd. Beam   SUNFLOWER sighted torpedoes.
27 2109 Ahead   VIDETTE forced U-Boat to dive and attacked.
28 2123 Astern   SNOWFLAKE forced U-Boat to dive.
29 2126 Stbd. Beam   LOOSESTRIFE forced U-Boat to dive.
30 2230 Stbd. Quarter   LOOSESTRIFE depth charges and destroyed U-Boat.
31 0022/6 Port Quarter   SNOWFLAKE forced U-Boat to dive.
32 0026 Ahead   VIDETTE forced U-Boat to dive.
33 0056 Astern   LOOSESTRIFE attacked U-Boat.
34 0130 Port Quarter   SNOWFLAKE depth charges contact, obtained two others, and sighted a U-Boat sinking.
35 0207 Stbd. Beam   VIDETTE depth charges U-Boat and probably sank it.
36 0243 Astern   SUNFLOWER rammed and sank U-Boat.
37 0327 Astern   LOOSESTRIFE forced U-Boat to dive.
38 0352 Astern   PELICAN forced U-Boat to dive and attacked.
39 0805 Astern   PELICAN forced U-Boat to dive and attacked.
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

 

     
     
 
SUMMARY OF ATTACKS CARRIED OUT BY THE ESCORTS OF ONS 5
 
 
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Attack No.
Time plus 2
Ship
Weapons Used No. of Rounds
Results
Remarks
1 1927/28 DUNCAN 10 Minol D/C
Nil
U-boat present.
2 2208/28 SUNFLOWER 4 D/C's
Nil
Doubtful contact.
3 2252 DUNCAN 1 Minol D/C
Nil
U-Boat present
4 2324 DUNCAN 10 Minol D/C
Nil
U-Boat present. Considered good attack
5 2333 DUNCAN 1 Minol D/C
Nil
Fired by Plot (ARL)
6 010/29 DUNCAN 10 Minol D/C
Oil on surface
U-Boat possibly damaged.
7 0039 DUNCAN 2 Minol D/C
Nil
Fired by Plot (ARL)
8 0142 SNOWFLAKE 10 Mk VII D/C
Nil
Not an accurate attack.
9 0151 SHOWFLAKE 10 Mk VII D/C
Nil
 
10 0352 TAY 10 D/C's
Nil
Non-Sub.
11 0612 SHOWFLAKE 11 Mk VII D/C
Nil
Probably non-sub.
12 0621 SHOWFLAKE 2 Mk VII D/C
Nil
Possible U-boat present.
13 0622 SHOWFLAKE 5 Mk VII D/C
Nil
Probably non-sub.
14 2008 TAY 10 D/C's
Nil  )
 
15 2018 TAY H.H. 24
Nil  )
U-boat possibly damaged
16 2027 TAY 10 D/C's
Nil  )
17 2050 TAY H.H. 24
Nil  )
 
18 2149/4 TAY 10 D/C's
Nil
Non-sub.
19 2230-1/2 VIDETTE 14 D/C's
Nil
Attack considered inaccurate by C.O.
20 2259-1/2 VIDETTE 14 D/C's
Nil
Pattern dropped by eye in swirl left by U-Boat.
21 2316 SNOWFLAKE 10 D/C's
Nil
U-Boat present.
22 2327 SNOWFLAKE 5 D/C's
Nil
U-Boat present.
23 2327 VIDETTE 14 D/C and HH (by error)
Nil
Target stationary.
24 0020/5 SUNFLOWER 4 D/C's
Nil
C.O. considered target was S.B.T.
25 0200/5 SNOWFLAKE 5 D/C's
Nil
U-Boat present.
26 0214 SNOWFLAKE 4 D/C's
Nil
U-Boat present.
27 0245 ORIBI 2 D/C's
Nil
R.D.F. contact only - considered non-sub.
28 0317 LOOSESTRIFE 10 AMATOL D/C
N.K.
U-Boat present.
     
     

 

     
     
 
SUMMARY OF ATTACKS CARRIED OUT BY THE ESCORTS OF ONS 5
 
 
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Attack No.
Time plus 2
Ship
Weapons Used No. of Rounds
Results
Remarks
29 0327/5 LOOSESTRIFE 9 Amatol S/C
Nil
Appears to be good attack.
30 0405 ORIBI 10 D/C's
Nil
U-Boat present.
31 0540 ORIBI 10 D/C's
Nil
U-Boat present.
32 0959 PINK 5 D/C's    ) Many bubbles and heavy underwater explosions heard U-Boat probably sunk.
33 1007 PINK 10 D/C's  )  
34 1033 PINK 10 D/C's  )  
35 1044 PINK 10 D/C's  )  
37 1109 PINK 10 D/C's  )  
36 1052 SUNFLOWER 10 D/C's
Nil
U-Boat present.
38 1147 ORIBI 10 D/C's   )
Underwater explosions - not depth charges
 
39 1243 ORIBI 4 D/C's     ) 3 U-Boats sighted.
40 1254 ORIBI 5 D/C's     )  
41 1344 VIDETTE 5 D/C's
Nil
Possibly prevented attack on convoy.
42 1653/5 PINK 5 D/C's
Nil
 
43 2042 OFFA 9 Minol D/C
Air bubbles
 
45 2105 OFFA 10 Minol D/C
Nil
Consider U-Boat was present.
49 2140 OFFA 10 Minol D/C
Nil
51 2153 OFFA 10 Minol D/C
Nil
52 2204 OFFA 10 Minol D/C
Nil
44 2052 SUNFLOWER 10 D/C's
N.K.
Promising attack.
46 2126-1/2 VIDETTE 10 D/C's
Loud explosion after D/C
U-boat possibly damaged.
47 2133 VIDETTE 5 D/C's
Nil
U-Boat possibly damaged.
48 2136 LOOSESTRIFE 10 D/C's
Nil
U-Boat present.
50 2151 SNOWFLAKE 2 D/C's
Oil seen Nil
U-Boat present.
53 2220 SUNFLOWER H.H.24
Nil
Possible U-Boat present
54 2240 LOOSESTRIFE 10 Amatol D/C
U-Boat sunk
 
55 2257 SUNFLOWER 5 D/C's
Nil
Non-sub.
56 0031/6 SNOWFLAKE 2 heavy D/C
Nil
U-Boat present
57 0038 SNOWFLAKE 1 heavy D/C
Nil
U-Boat present.
58 0044-1/2 VIDETTE 1 S/C
Nil
 
59 0105 LOOSESTRIFE 10 D/C
Nil
U-Boat present.
60 0141-1/2 SNOWFLAKE 1 heavy D/C
U-Boat sunk
Very accurate and excellent attack.
61 0206 VIDETTE H.H.24
2 explosions
U-Boat probably sunk.
     
     

 

     
     
 
SUMMARY OF ATTACKS CARRIED OUT BY THE ESCORTS OF ONS 5
 
 
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Attack No.
Time plus 2
Ship
Weapons Used No. of Rounds
Results
Remarks
62 0250 SUNFLOWER 2 D/C's and ram U-Boat sunk Excellent work.
63 0316 OFFA 2 Minol D/C's Oerlikon Hits with Oerlikon U-Boat damaged.
64 0318/ ORIBI 2 D/C's Nil  
65 0408-1/2 PELICAN 10 D/C's Nil  ) U-Boat probably damaged.
66 0415 PELICAN 9 D/C's Nil  )
67 0432 LOOSESTRIFE 10 D/C's N.K. Promising attack.
68 0553-1/2 SENNEN 10 D/C's    
69 0747 SPEY 10 D/C's  5 rounds of 4"  Pom Pom and Oerlikon 2 hits with 4" and hits with pom pom and Oerlikon U-Boat damaged and D/C attack looks promising.
70 0802 SPEY 10 D/C's   )
 
71 0815 SPEY 10 D/C's   )
Nil
U-Boat present
72 0916 SPEY 10 D/C's   )
 
73 1055 SENNEN H.H.24  )
Nil
U-Boat present.
74 1142 SENNEN 10 D/C's)
75 1205 SENNEN 10 D/C's
Nil
U-Boat present.
76 1236 SENNEN 5 D/C's
Nil
U-Boat present.
77 1322 SENNEN    
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

 


 

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