Convoy HX 156
|Part of World War II|
|Germany||United States Navy|
|Commanders and leaders|
|Admiral Karl Dönitz||Rear-Admiral E W Leir DSO|
|52 merchant ships
|Casualties and losses|
|1 ship sunk|
Convoy HX-156 was the 156th of the numbered series of World War II HX convoys of merchant ships from Halifax to Liverpool. Forty-three ships departed Halifax on 22 October 1941, and were met two days later by United States Navy Task Unit 4.1.3 consisting of Gleaves class destroyer Niblack, Clemson class destroyer Reuben James, Wickes class destroyer Tarbell, and Benson class destroyers Benson and Hilary P. Jones.
31 October 1941
U-552 sighted the convoy at dawn on 31 October 1941, and torpedoed Reuben James as the destroyer approached to investigate the Huff-Duff bearing of the sighting report. A torpedo struck the port side and detonated the forward magazine. The hull aft of the third stack remained afloat for 5 minutes; and 44 men were rescued from the crew of 159.
1 November 1941
Task Unit 4.1.3 handed the convoy off to the British 6th Escort Group on 1 November 1941.
U-552 and U-567 made two unsuccessful torpedo attacks on 1 November and maintained contact with the convoy through 3 November. Empire Foam launched her Hawker Sea Hurricane to intercept a Focke-Wulf Fw 200 Condor aircraft, which it chased off. The Hurricane pilot was rescued by HMS Broke after ditching his aircraft. The convoy reached Liverpool on 5 November.
Ships in the Convoy
These ships were members of Convoy HX 156.
|Ancylus (1935)||United Kingdom||8,017||Oil tanker. Onward To N Russia|
|Anna Knudsen (1931)||Norway||9,057|
|HMCS Annapolis (I04)||Royal Canadian Navy||Escort 22 Oct - 24 Oct
|Arabian Prince (1936)||United Kingdom||1,960||4 Passengers|
|Athelvictor (1941)||United Kingdom||8,410|
|HMS Begonia (K66)||Royal Navy||Escort 01 Nov - 04 Nov
|Benmacdhui (1911)||United Kingdom||6,869|
|Brabant (1938)||Belgium||2,483||2 Passengers|
|British Governor (1926)||United Kingdom||6,840||Scapa Flow|
|HMS Broke (D83)||Royal Navy||Escort 01 Nov - 04 Nov
|HMS Buxton (H96)||Royal Navy||Escort 01 Nov - 04 Nov
|HMS Camellia (K31)||Royal Navy||Escort 31 Oct - 04 Nov
|Cape Breton (1940)||United Kingdom||6,044|
|Charlbury (1940)||United Kingdom||4,836|
|Chepo (1919)||Panama||5,707||Returned, See Convoy HX 158|
|Clan Macquarrie (1913)||United Kingdom||6,471|
|Comanchee (1936)||United Kingdom||6,837|
|Delilian (1923)||United Kingdom||6,423|
|Edam (1921)||Netherlands||8,871||27 Passengers|
|HNoMS Eglantine||Royal Norwegian Navy||Escort 01 Nov - 05 Nov|
|El Capitan (1917)||Panama||5,255||Onward To N Russia|
|El Estero (1920)||Panama||4,219|
|Empire Confidence (1935)||United Kingdom||5,023||12 Passengers|
|Empire Day (1941)||United Kingdom||7,242||CAM ship|
|Empire Foam (1941)||United Kingdom||7,047||CAM ship|
|Empire Rainbow (1941)||United Kingdom||6,942||CAM ship|
|Empire Tern (1919)||United Kingdom||2,479|
|Gudrun Maersk (1937)||United Kingdom||2,294||Iceland to Belfast|
|K G Meldahl (1938)||Norway||3,799|
|HMS King Sol (FY235)||Royal Navy||Escort 01 Nov|
|HMS Larkspur (K82)||Royal Navy||Escort 31 Oct - 05 Nov|
|Leiv Eiriksson I (1936)||Norway||9,952||Ex-Iceland|
|Lewant (1930)||Poland||1,942||2 Passengers|
|Maihar (1917)||United Kingdom||7,563||1 Passenger|
|Markhor (1929)||United Kingdom||7,917|
|Mergus (1906)||Sweden||1,368||Iceland to Clyde|
|HNoMS Montbretia||Royal Norwegian Navy||Escort 31 Oct - 05 Nov|
|Munin (1899)||Norway||1,285||Iceland To Clyde|
|Nestor (1913)||United Kingdom||14,629||197 Passengers|
|O A Knudsen (1938)||Norway||11,007|
|Polar Chief (1897)||United Kingdom||8,040|
|Prince De Liege (1938)||Belgium||2,588|
|Prins Willem Van Oranje (1938)||Netherlands||1,303|
|San Alvaro (1935)||United Kingdom||7,385||4 Passengers|
|San Arcadio (1935)||United Kingdom||7,419||1 Passenger|
|San Emiliano (1939)||United Kingdom||8,071||4 Passengers|
|Sourabaya (1915)||United Kingdom||10,107||28 Passengers|
|Stanlake (1923)||United Kingdom||1,742||Possibly joined this convoy|
|Svanholm (1922)||United Kingdom||1,321|
|Troubadour (1920)||Norway||5,808||6 Passengers|
|USS Alchiba (AKA-6) (1939)||United States||6,198||Reykjavik
Armed 'Attack cargo ship'
|USS Benson (DD-421)||United States Navy||Escort 24 Oct - 01 Nov
|USS Hilary P. Jones (DD-427)||United States Navy||Escort 24 Oct - 01 Nov
|USS Niblack (DD-424)||United States Navy||Escort 24 Oct - 01 Nov
|USS Reuben James (DD-245)||United States Navy||Escort 24 Oct - 03 Nov
Sunk by U-552 on 31 Oct 41 (prior to US declaration of war)
|USS Tarbell (DD-142)||United States Navy||Escort 24 Oct - 01 Nov
|HMS Verity (D63)||Royal Navy||Escort 31 Oct - 04 Nov
|HMS Wolverine (D78)||Royal Navy||Escort 31 Oct - 04 Nov
World War I-era Destroyer
- Hague 2000 p.127
- Rohwer & Hummelchen 1992 p.94
- Morison 1975 p.94
- Silverstone 1968 p.9
- Wise, James E. Jr. (1974). "Catapult Off - Parachute Back". United States Naval Institute Proceedings. pp. 70–77.
- Hague, Arnold (2000). The Allied Convoy System 1939-1945. Naval Institute Press. p. 79. ISBN 1-55750-019-3.
- "Convoy HX.156". Arnold Hague Convoy Database. Retrieved 20 October 2013.
- 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.
- Rohwer, J.; 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.