Convoy HX 300

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Convoy HX.300
Part of World War II
Date 17 July 1944-3 August 1944
Location North Sea
Belligerents
War Ensign of Germany 1938-1945.svg Germany Naval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom
Commanders and leaders
Admiral Karl Dönitz Rear-Admiral Sir A T Tillard KBE DSO
Strength
159 merchant ships
32 Escorts
Casualties and losses
0 ships sunk
0 Damaged

Convoy HX-300 was the 300th of the numbered series of World War II HX convoys of merchant ships from Halifax to Liverpool. It started its journey on July 17th, 1944 and was the largest convoy of WWII, comprising 166 ships.

Background[edit]

These HX convoys had been established shortly after declaration of war; and the first sailed on 16 September 1939.[1] Ships in convoy were less vulnerable to submarine attack than ships sailing independently, but the Allies had difficulty providing an adequate number of escorting warships to establish a protective perimeter for detecting and defeating approaching submarines. British Admiralty operations research scientists evaluating convoy battles of 1941 and 1942 determined losses of ships in convoy were independent of convoy size, but varied with the number of attacking submarines and, when patrol aircraft were unavailable, with the number of escorting warships. They suggested convoy losses could be reduced by 64 percent by decreasing the frequency of convoys to increase the average number of merchant ships in each convoy from 32 to 54 and the number of escorting warships from 6 to 9.[2] Additional reduction of losses was theoretically possible with even larger convoys, but difficulties maneuvering large formations of ships and providing port services for simultaneous arrival of so many ships discouraged very large convoys until trade convoy escort warships were required to support the Invasion of Normandy. More than one hundred ships sailed in each of 7 ON convoys and 9 HX convoys during the summer of 1944. HX 300 was the largest of these with 166 merchant ships arranged in 19 parallel columns to produce a formation approximately 9 miles (14 km) wide and 4 miles (6.4 km) long.[3] Ships sailing from New York City on 17 July 1944 were joined by 30 merchant ships sailing from Halifax Harbour on 19 July, 24 sailing from Sydney, Nova Scotia on 20 July, and 3 from St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador to form the largest trade convoy of the war.[4]

Canadian corvette Pictou had survived three North Atlantic winters of U-boat wolf packs before being entrusted with the safety of the largest trade convoy of the second world war.

Escorting Warships[edit]

Ships sailing from New York were escorted by United States Navy submarine chasers SC 1338 and SC 1340, and by Western Local Escort Force (WLEF) Algerine class minesweeper Portage and Flower class corvettes Chicoutimi, Kamsack and The Pas. Ships sailing from Halifax were escorted by WLEF minesweeper Winnipeg and corvettes Arvida, Pictou, Lethbridge and Rosthern. Rosthern and the escorts from New York were detached when the remaining ships from Halifax assumed responsibility for the convoy on 20 July. Ships sailing from Sydney were escorted by WLEF Isles class trawlers Baffin and Miscou, and Norwegian King Haakon VII. The escorting warships from Sydney detached from the convoy after the escorting warships from Halifax assumed responsibility for the ships from Sydney on 22 July. The four warships from Halifax were detached when Mid-Ocean Escort Force group C5 River class frigate Dunver and corvettes Dauphin, Wetaskiwin, New Westminster, Hespeler, Algoma, and Long Branch assumed responsibility for the convoy on 24 July. The latter two corvettes had escorted the merchant ships sailing from St. Johns. Naval trawlers HMS Cape Mariato and HMS Southern Spray assumed responsibility for the convoy in the Western Approaches on 2 August. The convoy was not attacked by submarines and arrived in United Kingdom ports by 3 August 1944.[5]

Results[edit]

After the seven Canadian warships of escort group C5 brought the largest convoy of the battle of the Atlantic safely across the mid-ocean, many of the convoy's ships began offloading food, fuel, and materials to support the civilian population of the British Isles. One ship from the convoy waited in Loch Ewe to carry supplies to the United States garrison in Iceland; nine ships waited in the Firth of Clyde until convoy JW 59 formed to carry war materials to the Soviet Union; and 46 waited at Oban until channel ports were ready for them to offload food, fuel, and ammunition for Allied armies moving east from France, and trucks, jeeps, half-tracks, and locomotives to move those supplies to the front. HX 300 was one of six hundred World War II trade convoys from North America to the British Isles. The following list describes the British, American, Norwegian, Greek, Dutch, Panamanian, Polish, Yugoslavian, French, and Swedish ships of this convoy and the cargoes they were transporting.[4]

Merchant Ships[edit]

Name[5] Flag[5] Destination[4] Tonnage (GRT)[5] Cargo[5] Notes[5]
Agia Marina (1912)  Greece Avonmouth 4,151 Grain & armoured fighting vehicles Joined from Sydney
Albert S Burleson (1943)  United States Europe 7,244 General cargo Liberty ship fitted with Anti-torpedo Net Device
Aleksandar I (1927)  Yugoslavia Liverpool 5,948 Sugar
Alexander Ramsey (1942)  United States Immingham 7,181 General cargo including explosives Liberty ship joined from Halifax
Amelia Earhart (1942)  United States Europe 7,176 General cargo including motor vehicles Liberty ship
American Press (1920)  United States Port of Hull 5,131 General cargo including explosives Joined from Halifax
Ancylus (1935)  United Kingdom Clyde 8,017 USN fuels Merchant aircraft carrier tanker ferrying a deck-load of non-operational aircraft joined from St.John's, Newfoundland
Andrew Turnbull (1944)  United States Europe 7,240 General cargo including motor vehicles Liberty ship
Anna N Goulandris (1921)  Greece Thames 4,358 Grain Joined from Sydney
Anson P K Safford (1943)  United States Europe 7,176 Explosives Liberty ship
Anthony Wayne (1942)  United States Liverpool 7,181 Landing craft and locomotives Liberty ship
Athelduke (1929)  United Kingdom Bromborough 8,966 Molasses
Athelprince (1926)  United Kingdom Salt End 8,782 Molasses Joined from Sydney
Athelregent (1930)  United Kingdom Greenock 8,881 Molasses Carried 59 spare depth charges for escorting warships
Augustus P Loring (1944)  United States Thames 7,176 General cargo Liberty ship
B F Shaw (1943)  United States Europe 7,176 General cargo Liberty ship
Baxtergate (1925)  United Kingdom Thames 5,531 Wheat Joined from Sydney
Ben A Ruffin (1944)  United States Europe 7,182 General cargo including motor vehicles Liberty ship
Bente Maersk (1928)  United Kingdom Firth of Clyde 5,722 Gas oil Serving as escort oiler
Bernhard (1924)  Norway Liverpool 3,563 Sugar
Billy Mitchell (1943)  United States Europe 7,176 General cargo Liberty ship
Bonita (1918)  Panama Thames 4,929 Lumber Joined from Sydney
British Colonel (1921)  United Kingdom Leith 6,999 Gas oil Serving as escort oiler carrying 70 spare depth charges for escorting warships
British Promise (1942)  United Kingdom Soviet Union 8,443 Alcohol Cargo loaded at Philadelphia
Cairnvalona (1918)  United Kingdom Tyne 4,929 Refrigerated general cargo Joined from Sydney fitted with HF/DF
Calobre (1919)  Panama Belfast 6,891 Motor vehicles
Cataraqui Park (1944)  United States Bristol 2,877 Lumber Joined from Sydney
Charles Brantley Aycock (1942)  United States Newport 7,176 Explosives and poison gas Liberty ship
Charles D McIver (1943)  United States Europe 7,176 General cargo including motor vehicles Liberty ship fitted with Anti-torpedo Net Device
Charles Dauray (1944)  United States Soviet Union 7,176 General cargo including locomotives Liberty ship
Charles J Folger (1943)  United States Immingham 7,194 General cargo including explosives Liberty ship joined from Halifax
Chesapeake (1928)  United Kingdom Firth of Clyde 8,955 Diesel oil and aircraft Serving as escort oiler carrying 58 spare depth charges for escorting warships
Christine Marie (1919)  United Kingdom Rochester 3,895 Woodpulp Joined from St.John's, Newfoundland
Christopher Gadsden (1942)  United States Europe 7,177 General cargo Liberty ship joined from Halifax
City of Lancaster (1924)  United Kingdom Thames 3,041 Asphalt, sugar & rum
City of Leicester (1926)  United Kingdom Manchester 3,351 Flour & general cargo Joined from Sydney
Clan MacInnes (1920)  United Kingdom Avonmouth 4,672 Flour & general cargo Joined from Halifax
Clark Howell (1944)  United States Soviet Union 7,198 General cargo including locomotives Liberty ship
Clyde L Seavey (1943)  United States Europe 7,176 General cargo Liberty ship
Clydefield (1928)  United Kingdom Scapa Flow 7,365 Fuel oil
Cyrus T Brady (1943)  United States Europe 7,176 General cargo including motor vehicles Liberty ship
Dalhanna (1930)  United Kingdom Liverpool 5,571 Lard & general cargo
Daniel Drake (1943)  United States Europe 7,176 General cargo including motor vehicles Liberty ship
David Bushnell (1942)  United States Liverpool 7,181 Explosives Liberty ship
Daylight (1931)  United States Heysham 9,180 Petrol, oil & barges
Dimitrios Chandris (1910)  Greece Thames 4,643 General cargo Joined form Sydney
Dolly Madison (1943)  United States Europe 7,176 General cargo including explosives Liberty ship
Dramatist (1920)  United Kingdom Liverpool 5,443 General cargo
Eastern Guide (1918)  United States Loch Ewe 3,704 General cargo including lumber and 300 depth charges bound for Iceland
Edward J Filene (1944)  United States Europe 7,240 General cargo including motor vehicles Liberty ship
Edward Bellamy (1943)  United States Europe 7,176 General cargo Liberty ship
Edward L Grant (1943)  United States Soviet Union 7,176 General cargo including locomotives Liberty ship
Elg (1930)  Norway Greenock 4,014 Sugar & rum
Elijah Kellogg (1944)  United States Soviet Union 7,176 Locomotives & machinery Liberty ship
Elijah White (1942)  United States Europe 7,176 General cargo including motor vehicles Liberty ship
Eliphalet Nott (1943)  United States Europe 7,176 General cargo Liberty ship joined from Halifax
Elisabeth Dal (1910)  United Kingdom Manchester 4,258 Wheat Joined from Sydney; constructive total loss following collision
Elizabeth Blackwell (1943)  United States Europe 7,176 General cargo including pontoons Liberty ship
Empire MacCallum (1943)  United Kingdom Liverpool 8,252 Grain Merchant aircraft carrier joined from Halifax
Empire Mallory (1941)  United Kingdom Avonmouth 6,327 Ore concentrates
Empire Mouflon (1921)  United Kingdom Hartlepool 3,234 General cargo including explosives Joined from Sydney
Empire Pibroch (1942)  United Kingdom Liverpool 7,046 Refrigerated general cargo Carried convoy commodore RADM Sir A T Tillard KBE DSO
Empire Treasure (1943)  United Kingdom Liverpool 7,022 Meat, flour & general cargo Joined from Halifax fitted with Anti-torpedo Net Device
Evanger (1920)  Norway Tyne 3,869 General cargo including barges
Exilona (1919)  United States Europe 4,971 General cargo including motor vehicles
Ferncourt (1938)  Norway Manchester 9,918 Diesel oil & armoured fighting vehicles Serving as escort oiler
Fluor Spar (1919)  United States Cardiff 5,055 General cargo including explosives Joined from Halifax
Fort Nipagon (1942)  United Kingdom Thames 7,132 General cargo
Francis D Culkin (1944)  United States Europe 7,210 General cargo including motor vehicles Liberty ship
Francis N Smith (1943)  United States Europe 7,176 Explosives Liberty ship fitted with Anti-torpedo Net Device
Frank Wiggins (1943)  United States Immingham 7,176 General cargo including explosives Liberty ship
Franka (1918)  Yugoslavia Liverpool 5,273 Sugar
Frontenac (1928)  Norway Portsmouth 7,350 USN fuel Serving as escort oiler carrying 10 spare depth charges for escorting warships
Gabriel Duval (1942)  United States Europe 7,176 General cargo including motor vehicles Liberty ship
Gatineau Park (1942)  United Kingdom Hull 7,128 General cargo including ammunition Joined from Sydney fitted with Anti-torpedo Net Device
George P Garrison (1943)  United States Europe 7,244 General cargo Liberty ship joined from Halifax fitted with Anti-torpedo Net Device
Georgian (1920)  United States Europe 5,825 General cargo including motor vehicles
Gerard Dou (1941)  Netherlands Thames 7,242 Sugar & general cargo Carried convoy vice-commodore Vice-Admiral Sir R H O Lane-Poole KBE CB
Gerassimos Vergottis (1920)  Greece Liverpool 6,343 Woodpulp Joined from Halifax
Glarona (1928)  Norway Manchester 9,912 Crude oil & aircraft
Gylfe (1930)  Norway Grangemouth 6,129 Diesel fuel
Hall J Kelly (1943)  United States Europe 7,180 Military stores including motor vehicles Liberty ship
Hartlepool (1932)  United Kingdom Tyne 5,500 Lumber Joined from Sydney
Helder (1920)  Netherlands Liverpool 3,629 Sugar & rum Joined from Halifax
Henrik Ibsen (1906)  Norway Ipswich 4,671 Grain Joined from Sydney
Hoegh Hood (1936)  Norway Liverpool 9,351 USN fuel & aircraft
Horace H Harvey (1943)  United States Scapa Flow 7,218 USN fuel Liberty ship
Horace Williams (1943)  United States Europe 7,176 General cargo including explosives & motor vehicles Liberty ship
Howard T Ricketts (1943)  United States Port of Hull 7,176 General cargo including explosives Liberty ship joined from Halifax
James B Duke (1944)  United States Immingham 7,200 Explosives & machinery Liberty ship
James Bowdoin (1943)  United States Europe 7,176 General cargo Liberty ship joined from Halifax fitted with Anti-torpedo Net Device
James Ives (1943)  United States Europe 7,176 General cargo including motor vehicles Liberty ship
Jan Van Goyen (1919)  Netherlands Thames 5,704 Sugar & powdered milk
Jean Baptiste Le Moyne (1943)  United States Firth of Clyde 7,218 USN fuel Liberty ship
John B Hamilton (1944)  United States Glasgow 7,247 General cargo including tractors & sulfur Liberty ship
John Catron (1943)  United States Europe 7,176 General cargo including trailers Liberty ship fitted with Anti-torpedo Net Device
SS John La Farge (2) (1943)  United States Firth of Clyde 7,176 Locomotives & building materials Liberty ship
John McLoughlin (1942)  United States Europe 7,176 General cargo Liberty ship
John Mitchell (1942)  United States Europe 7,191 General cargo including motor vehicles Liberty ship
John W Garrett (1943)  United States Europe 7,176 General cargo Liberty ship
Junior Van Noy (1919)  United States Europe 2,372 Military stores & explosives Army repair ship
Kohistan (1933)  United Kingdom Glasgow 5,884 General cargo
Kronprinsessen Margareta (1914)  Sweden Swansea 3,746 General cargo
Lansdowne Park (1943)  United Kingdom Manchester 2,861 Woodpulp Joined from Halifax
Leo J Duster (1943)  United States Soviet Union 7,176 General cargo including explosives and locomotives Liberty ship
Lista (1920)  Norway Manchester 3,671 General cargo including motor vehicles
Lucerna (1930)  United Kingdom Thames 6,556 Gas oil Serving as escort oiler carrying 50 spare depth charges for escorting warships
Macoma (1936)  Netherlands Firth of Clyde 8,069 USN fuel Merchant aircraft carrier joined from Halifax
Maliakos (1912)  Greece Thames 3,903 Woodpulp Joined from Sydney
Margarita Chandris (1920)  Greece Thames 5,401 Grain Joined from Sydney
Maud (1930)  Norway Liverpool 3,189 Sugar
Merchant Royal (1928)  United Kingdom Manchester 5,008 Newsprint Joined from Sydney
Michael J Stone (1942)  United States Europe 7,176 General cargo including motor vehicles Liberty ship
Mimosa (1905)  Greece Thames 3,071 Lumber Joined from Sydney
Minerva (1930)  Norway Liverpool 5,883 General cargo including landing craft
Mobile City (1920)  United States Europe 6,157 General cargo Joined from Halifax
Morska Wola (1924)  Poland Garston, Merseyside 3,208 General cargo including explosives
Mount Othrys (1919)  Greece Leith 6,527 Grain Joined from Sydney
Nacella (1943)  United Kingdom Soviet Union 8,196 Aviation gasoline Fitted with Anti-torpedo Net Device
Nanceen (1929)  France Thames 2,895 Woodpulp & motor vehicles Joined from Halifax
Nathan Clifford (1943)  United States Europe 7,200 General cargo including motor vehicles Liberty ship
Nathaniel Matthews (1944)  United Kingdom Hartlepool 2,437 General cargo
Noah Brown (1944)  United States Avonmouth 7,240 General cargo Liberty ship
Norma (1930)  Norway Liverpool 4,487 Sugar & general cargo
Norsk Tank (1928)  Norway Manchester 9,720 Fuel oil
Ocean Fame (1942)  United Kingdom Thames 7,173 Sugar Fitted with Anti-torpedo Net Device
Odysseus (1913)  Greece Thames 4,577 Ammunition & general cargo
Oscar Chappell (1943)  United States Europe 7,244 General cargo Liberty ship joined from Halifax
Ovula (1938)  Netherlands Southampton 6,256 Diesel fuel and aircraft Serving as escort oiler
Peik (1930)  Norway Derry 6,099 Furnace fuel oil Joined from Halifax
Pencarrow (1921)  United Kingdom Cardiff 4,841 Grain Joined from Sydney
Peter V Daniel (1942)  United States Europe 7,176 Explosives Liberty ship
Pierre Gibault (1943)  United States Europe 7,176 General cargo including motor vehicles and explosives Liberty ship
Pomona (1920)  United States Europe 7,583 General cargo Joined from Halifax
Prometheus (1925)  United Kingdom Liverpool 6,095 General cargo including motor vehicles Joined from Halifax
Rapana (1935)  United Kingdom Firth of Clyde 8,017 USN fuel Merchant aircraft carrier joined from Halifax
Riley (1936)  United Kingdom Manchester 4,993 Grain Joined from Sydney
Robert M La Follette (1943)  United States Europe 7,191 General cargo including motor vehicles Liberty ship
Rudby (1924)  United Kingdom River Tyne 4,846 Grain Joined from Halifax
Saintonge (1936)  United Kingdom Thames 9,386 USN fuel Serving as escort oiler carrying 60 spare depth charges for escorting warships
Salando (1920)  Netherlands Thames 5,272 General cargo including motor vehicles
Samfield (1943)  United Kingdom Manchester 7,219 Steel & lumber Fitted with Anti-torpedo Net Device
Samsperrin (1944)  United Kingdom Liverpool 7,219 Grain
Samuel Ashe (1942)  United States Europe 7,177 General cargo including motor vehicles Liberty ship
Samuel Johnson (1942)  United States Europe 7,191 General cargo Liberty ship
Samuel Nelson (1942)  United States Europe 7,176 Motor vehicles Liberty ship
Samuel Parker (1942)  United States Europe 7,176 General cargo Liberty ship joined from Halifax
San Valerio (1913)  United Kingdom Isle of Grain 6,493 Furnace fuel oil Serving as escort oiler
Senga (1913)  Yugoslavia Glasgow 5,140 Steel & woodpulp Joined from Sydney
Silas Weir Mitchell (1943)  United States Firth of Clyde 7,176 Locomotives and explosives Liberty ship fitted with Anti-torpedo Net Device
Skeldergate (1930)  United Kingdom Manchester 4,251 Woodpulp Joined from Sydney
Solstad (1927)  Norway Birkenhead 5,952 Lubricating oil
Stalowa Wola (1924)  Poland Sunderland 3,133 General cargo including explosives
Suerte (1910)  Panama 3,649
Thomas Donaldson (1944)  United States Soviet Union 7,210 General cargo including explosives Liberty ship
Thorshov (1935)  Norway London 9,955 Diesel fuel and aircraft Serving as escort oiler carrying 60 spare depth charges for escorting warships
Tilapa (1928)  United Kingdom Thames 5,392 Meat and general cargo Joined from Halifax
Torr Head (1937)  United Kingdom Glasgow 5,021 Metal & general cargo Veteran of convoy ON 67; joined from Halifax
Trocas (1927)  United Kingdom Thames 7,406 Furnace fuel oil
Tynebank (1922)  United Kingdom Liverpool 4,651 Sugar
Voco (1925)  United Kingdom Birkenhead 5,090 Lubricating oil Carried 60 spare depth charges for escorting warships
Warren Delano (1944)  United States Soviet Union 7,210 General cargo including locomotives Liberty ship
William R Davie (1942)  United States Liverpool 7,177 General cargo including explosives Liberty ship
Wind Rush (1918)  United States Cardiff 5,586 Motor vehicles and explosives Veteran of convoy JW 51A and convoy ON 166
Winona (1919)  United States Liverpool 6,197 General cargo including ammunition and motor vehicles Veteran of convoy SC 7
Wisla (1928)  Poland Bristol 3,106 General cargo Veteran of convoy ON 154; joined from Halifax
Zamalek (1921)  United Kingdom 1,567 convoy rescue ship; veteran of convoy PQ 17 and convoy SC 130
Zane Grey (1943)  United States Europe 7,176 General cargo including motor vehicles Liberty ship

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Hague 2000 pp.126–129
  2. ^ Potter & Nimitz (1960) pp.557–558
  3. ^ Potter & Nimitz (1960) pp.543–545
  4. ^ a b c "Convoy HX 300". Warsailors.Com. Retrieved 2011-06-25. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f "HX Convoy Series". Arnold Hague Convoy Database. Retrieved 2011-06-25. 

References[edit]

  • Hague, Arnold (2000). The Allied Convoy System 1939–1945. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-019-3. 
  • Morison, Samuel Eliot (1975). History of United States Naval Operations in World War II, Volume I The Battle of the Atlantic 1939–1943. Little, Brown and Company. 
  • Potter, E.B. & Nimitz, Chester W. (1960). Sea Power. Prentice-Hall. 
  • Rohwer, J. and Hummelchen, G. (1992). Chronology of the War at Sea 1939–1945. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-105-X. 
  • Silverstone, Paul H. (1968). U.S. Warships of World War II. Doubleday and Company.