Convoy HX 212
|Convoy HX 212|
|Part of Battle of the Atlantic|
A depth charge being loaded onto a depth-charge thrower aboard the corvette HMS Dianthus
|Commanders and leaders|
VADM W de M Egerton|
CDR T. L. Lewis USCG
|Admiral Karl Dönitz|
|Casualties and losses|
6 freighters sunk (51,997 GRT)|
Convoy HX 212 was the 212th of the numbered series of World War II HX convoys of merchant ships from HalifaX to Liverpool. The ships departed New York City on 18 October 1942 and were met on 23 October by Mid-Ocean Escort Force Group A-3 consisting of the United States Coast Guard Treasury-class cutter USCGC Campbell, the destroyer Badger and the Flower-class corvettes Dianthus, Rosthern, Trillium, Dauphin, Alberni, Summerside and Ville de Quebec. The first five escorts had worked together previously, but the last three corvettes were attached to the convoy only for passage to the eastern Atlantic in preparation for assignments on Operation Torch. Summerside was the only escort equipped with modern Type 271 centimeter-wavelength radar.
As western Atlantic coastal convoys brought an end to the second happy time, Admiral Karl Dönitz, the Befehlshaber der U-Boote (BdU) or commander in chief of U-Boats, shifted focus to the mid-Atlantic to avoid aircraft patrols. Although convoy routing was less predictable in the mid-ocean, Dönitz anticipated that the increased numbers of U-boats being produced would be able to effectively search for convoys with the advantage of intelligence gained through B-Dienst decryption of British Naval Cypher Number 3. However, only 20 percent of the 180 trans-Atlantic convoys sailing from the end of July 1942 until the end of April 1943 lost ships to U-boat attack.
U-436 launched five torpedoes at 2110Z hitting Sourabaya, Gurney Newlin and Frontenac. Alberni and Summerside dropped back to rescue survivors from the torpedoed ships.
U-606 torpedoed Kosmos II on the starboard side at 0345Z. Barrwhin dropped back to rescue survivors, and both ships were sunk while the convoy proceeded ahead. A patrolling Consolidated B-24 Liberator from No. 120 Squadron RAF in Iceland prevented five U-boats from reaching attack positions during daylight hours but Bic Island and Pan-New York were torpedoed after sunset.
Northern routing enabled the convoy to pass through the narrowest portion of the air gap, and continuous daylight air patrols forced the U-boats to lose contact with the convoy. The Naval trawlers Bodo and Molde escorted the convoy through the Western Approaches on 1 November; and the convoy reached Liverpool on 2 November.
Ships in convoy
|Name ||Flag ||Dead ||Tonnage (GRT)||Cargo ||Notes |
|Abraham Lincoln (1929)||Norway||5,740||General Cargo||Carried convoy vice-commodore CAPT B B Grant RNR; survived this convoy and convoy HX 229|
|Arc Light (1906)||United Kingdom||2,949|
|Barrwhin (1929)||United Kingdom||24||4,998||8,200 tons grain & stores||Veteran of convoy PQ 11; sunk 29 October by U-436|
|USS Beaver (AS-5) (1909)||United States||4,670||Explosives|
|Belgian Gulf (1929)||Panama||8,237||Petrol||Survived this convoy and convoy HX 229|
|Bic Island (1917)||United Kingdom||4,000||General Cargo||Straggled and sunk by U-224|
|British Vigilance (1942)||United Kingdom||8,093||Benzine & 130 passengers||Survived this convoy to be sunk 3 months later in convoy TM 1|
|C.J.Barkdull (1917)||Panama||6,773||Diesel oil||Survived this convoy to be sunk 1/10/1943  by U 632|
|Cairnesk (1926)||United Kingdom||5,007||General Cargo|
|Cape Breton (1940)||United Kingdom||6,044||Phosphates|
|City of Lille (1928)||United Kingdom||6,588||Wheat|
|Coptic (1928)||United Kingdom||10,629||Refrigerated & General Cargo|
|Cymbula (1938)||United Kingdom||8,082||Petrol|
|Dorchester (1926)||United States||5,649||From Newfoundland to Greenland; survived this convoy to be sunk 3 months later in convoy SG 19|
|Empire Bronze (1940)||United Kingdom||8,142||Paraffin & Aviation Gasoline|
|Empire Dickens (1942)||United Kingdom||9,819||Petrol|
|Empire Fletcher (1942)||United Kingdom||8,194||Petrol|
|Esso Bayway (1937)||United States||7,699||Furnace Fuel Oil|
|Exchester (1919)||United States||4,999||Stores|
|Exilona (1919)||United States||4,971||Steel||Survived this convoy, convoy ON 166 and convoy HX 300|
|Fairfax (1926)||United Kingdom||5,649||From Newfoundland to Greenland|
|Fort a la Corne (1942)||United Kingdom||7,133||General Cargo|
|Fort Amherst (1936)||United Kingdom||3,489|
|Francis Parkman (1942)||United States||7,176||Stores||Liberty ship|
|Frontenac (1928)||Norway||7,350||Fuel Oil||Damaged 27 October by U-436, but survived to sail with convoy HX 300|
|Gdynia (1934)||Sweden||1,636||General Cargo|
|Gulfgem (1920)||United States||6,917||Furnace Fuel Oil for Scapa Flow|
|Gurney E Newlin (1942)||United States||60||8,225||12,000 tons petrol & paraffin||Sunk 27 October by U-436 & U-606|
|Helgoy (1920)||Norway||5,614||General Cargo|
|Jamaica Planter (1936)||United Kingdom||4,098||Refrigerated & General Cargo||Carried convoy commodore VADM W DE M Egerton|
|Kosmos II (1931)||Norway||40||16,966||21,000 tons crude oil||Damaged 27 October by U-436 and sunk on 28 October by U-606 & U-624|
|Lancastrian Prince (1940)||United Kingdom||1,914||General Cargo||Veteran of convoy ON 67|
|Laurelwood (1929)||United Kingdom||7,347||furnace fuel oil|
|Mahia (1917)||United Kingdom||10,014||Refrigerated|
|Matthew Luckenbach (1918)||United States||5,848||Steel & General Cargo||Returned to Canada; sunk 5 months later in convoy HX 229|
|Ocean Courier (1942)||United Kingdom||7,178||General Cargo||Liberty ship|
|Pacific Shipper (1924)||United Kingdom||6,290||General Cargo|
|Pan-New York (1938)||United States||42||7,701||12,500 tons petrol||Sunk 29 October by U-624|
|Pan-Rhode Island (1941)||United States||7,742||Aviation Gasoline||Survived this convoy and convoy HX 229|
|Paul H Harwood (1918)||United States||6,610||Diesel Oil|
|R.G.Stewart (1917)||United States||9,229|
|Saint Bertrand (1929)||United Kingdom||5,522||General Cargo|
|Salinas (1920)||United States||5,422|
|Sarpedon (1923)||United Kingdom||11,321||Refrigerated|
|Sourabaya (1915)||United Kingdom||77||10,107||7,800 tons furnace fuel oil||Sunk 27 October by U-436|
|Southern Princess (1915)||United Kingdom||12,156||Furnace Fuel Oil||Survived this convoy to be sunk 5 months later in convoy HX 229|
|Thomas B Robertson (1942)||United States||7,176||stores||Liberty ship; survived this convoy and convoy ON 166|
|Topdalsfjord (1921)||Norway||4,271||Sugar & Timber|
|Tudor Prince (1940)||United Kingdom||1,914||General Cargo|
|Zacapa (1909)||United States||4,488||Valuable cargo|
|Zoella Lykes (1940)||United States||6,829|
- Morison p.323
- Hague p.127
- Hague p.128
- Milner pp.175-177
- Tarrant p.108
- Hague pp.132,137-138,161-162,164&181
- Rohwer & Hummelchen pp.169&170
- "HX convoys". Andrew Hague Convoy Database. Retrieved 5 September 2012.
- Hague p.132
- American Merchant Marine at War, www.usmm.org, as the source
- Hague, Arnold (2000). The Allied Convoy System 1939–1945. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-019-3.
- Milner, Marc (1985). North Atlantic Run. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-450-0.
- 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.
- Tarrant, V.E. (1989). The U-Boat Offensive 1914–1945. Arms and Armour. ISBN 1-85409-520-X.