CONVOY:  O.N.S. 5  
  Sailed from Liverpool at 1000 on April 21st, 1943.  
  COMMODORE:  J. Kenneth Brooke, Commodore, R.N.R. in M.V. "RENA" (NOR)
  VICE-COMM:  Master S.S. "OTTINGE"  
  Average speed of Convoy:  7-1/2 knots  
  ESCORTS:  (OCEAN)  "DUNCAN" (S.O.E.)  "TAY"  "LOOSESTRIFE"  "SNOWFLAKE"  
                                        "PINK"  "SUNFLOWER"  with Trawlers "NORTHERN GEM"  
                                and  "NORTHERN SPRAY"  
  ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  
  1.  Names of ships that parted company:  
 
2200/22nd "MODLIN" left Convoy and returned to Clyde - Engine Trouble.
1300/26th "BORNHOLM" left for Reykjavik after collision with "BERKEL" also "PENHALE" (Straggler) was ordered to Reykjavik.
1/5/43 Following stragglers parted company:
 
"WEST MADAKET" "GUDVOR" "MICHOLAS"
"LORIENT" "BARON SEMPLE" "MANO"
"DIRECTOR "YESRBY"  
"CAMPUS" "COMMANDANT DORISE"  
  and on May 6th "ISABEL"
1430/7th "BERKEL", "EMPIRE GAZELLE" and "BRITISH LADY" left for St. John's.
 
     
  2.  General report on Station-Keeping.
  In fine weather station-keeping was above average, but slow speed of ships made it impossible to keep good station in bad weather or head seas.  Ships in line were 4 cables apart except in fog, etc., when they were closed to 2.  
     
  3.  General report on signalling.  
  Six out of 11 torpedoed ships failed to get W/T distress message away.  Visual and W/R signalling good.  
     
  4.  Vessels which joined.  
  1300/26th    "SAPELO", "GUDVOR" and "BOSWORTH" (Iceland Convoy) joined with Escort "VIDETTE".  
  1100/10th    "PANDORIAN", straggler in Convoy ON 180 joined Convoy.  
     
  5. --  
  6.  --  
  7.  --  
     
8.  Escort.
 
1400/22nd Off Oversay, Ocean Escort as above joined Convoy
1330/26th "VIDETTE" joined with Iceland Group.
1400/3rd "DUNCAN" (SOE) left Convoy short of fuel.
1400/7th Ocean Escort relieved by "BARRIE", "ALGOMA" "COWICHAN" & "BOUCTOUCHE"
2000/8th "MONTGOMERY" (CO) joined.
 
     
  9.  Remarks on the suitability of Commodore Ship.  
  Accommodation etc., satisfactory but in other respects most unsuitable, chiefly on the grounds of nationality (Norwegian).  Not up to standard in Convoy efficiency and discipline.  
     
  Brief Narrative  
 
April 21, 1200 Commodore's ship left Eastway Dock, very late starting Convoy proceeded ahead by arrangement.
  1505 Passed Bar Light Vessel.
  2100 Overhauled Milford and Liverpool Ships - formed 3 columns.
 
     
     

 

 
 
     
  Brief Narrative of Voyage (ONS 5)  
     
 
April 22nd
0950 Clyde ships joined.
1330 At R.V. Oversay, Oban ships joined, course set and convoy formed broad front.  Ocean Escort joined.  42 ships in Convoy.
2200 "MODLIN" returned to Clyde.
April 23rd
1000 Convoy exercised emergency turns.  42 ships in convoy.
April 25th
2000 Moderate gale from WNW.  Convoy making 2-3 knots, steering badly.
April 26th
0430 Moderate gale continuous, speed 3 knots.  All ships sighted but scattered.
1300 Iceland convoy, 3 ships escorted by "VIDETTE" joined.  "BORNHOLM" left Convoy for Reykjavik after collision with "BERKEL" at 2255/25.  Also 81 PENHALE, straggled and was ordered to Reykjavik, escorted by "NORTHERN SPRAY".
April 27   Escorts oiling from "BRITISH LADY" today.  "NORTHERN SPRAY" rejoined
    "   28   1000 Convoy exercised Sound Signals.
    "   29  Several DC attacks made by Escorts during night on Subs, Three actually sighted.
0630 No. 42 "McKEESPORT" Torpedoed.  (See special report.)
1800 Moderate head gale.  Convoy making 2 knots and steering badly.
2345 DC's dropped.  Escort "ORIBI" joined Convoy during night.
April 30th
1100 Convoy half-masted colours for funeral of Survivor 42.
1700 SW gale.  Convoy hove-to.
2300 DC attacks intermittently at night.
May 1st
0400 Gale continuous increasing to whole gale.  Half convoy not under command, hove to and very scattered.  40 ships sighted.
May 2nd
0330 Weather moderating and convoy set course.  21 ships in sight.  Pack ice and numerous ice bergs sighted, convoy dodging same.
1800 Ran out of pack ice and met snow and hail; speed reduced awaiting stragglers.
May 3rd   27 ships present.  SW gale.  Convoy hove to awaiting stragglers.
May 4th   30 ships present.  Convoy proceeding reduced speed awaiting stragglers.
  "DUNCAN" (SO) left convoy 1400/3rd, "TAY" Taking over.
0600 "NORTHERN GEM" left with survivors of 42 for St. John's.
(PM) "HARBURY", "HARPERLEY", "WEST MAXIMUS", "BRISTOL CITY" and "WENTWORTH" all torpedoed.  (See special report)
May 5th 
  "DOLIUS", "SELVISTAN", "GHARINDA", "BONDE" torpedoed and 5 U/boats sunk. (See special report)
May 6th
0500 "OFFA" & "ORIBI" left Convoy, also "NORTHERN SPRAY" with survivors.  Also "PELICAN", "SPEY" "WEAR" and "JED" joined.
0700 Commodore went on rear of Convoy to repair and adjust compasses, returning
1800 to his position
May 7th  "ISABEL" straggled, not in convoy.  Thick fog all day and night.
1400 Ocean escort relieved by "BARRIE" and 3 corvettes.
1430 "BERKEL", "EMPIRE GAZELLE" & "BRITISH LADY" left with Escort for St. John's.  Fog all day.
May 8th  Fog greater part of day.  17 ships now present formed in 6 columns.
2000 "MONTGOMERY" joined and became SOE.
May 9th
0700 "ALGOMA" left Convoy.  Intermittent fog, clearing at 1800.
May 10th
1100 "PANDORIAN" (Straggler in ON 180) joined Convoy for Halifax.
May 12th
0520 Detached NY and Boston groups with 3 Corvettes escorting
1100 Formed single line ahead.
1200 Proceeding up Swept Channel Halifax.
1300 Approaching Pilot Station.  Convoy completed.
     
                                                                                  
  CONVOY ONS 5                                       J.KENNETH BROOK, Commodore RNR.  
     
     

 


 

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