Convoy ON 144
|Convoy ON 144|
|Part of Battle of the Atlantic|
Bow of the corvette HMS Vervain
| United Kingdom
|Commanders and leaders|
|CAPT J K Brook RNR
LCDR Monssen RNorN
|Admiral Karl Dönitz|
|Casualties and losses|
|5 freighters sunk (25,396 GRT)
1 corvette sunk
|1 submarine sunk
Convoy ON 144 was a trade convoy of merchant ships during the second World War. It was the 144th of the numbered series of ON convoys Outbound from the British Isles to North America. The ships departed Liverpool on 7 November 1942 and were joined on 8 November  by Mid-Ocean Escort Force Group B-6 consisting of the Flower class corvettes Vervain, Potentilla, Eglantine, Montbretia and Rose and the convoy rescue ship Perth. Group B-6 had sailed without the destroyers Fame and Viscount which had been damaged in the battle for eastbound convoy SC 104. The United States Coast Guard cutters Bibb, Duane, and Ingham accompanied the convoy from the Western Approaches with ships that detached for Iceland on 15 November.
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, of the 180 trans-Atlantic convoys sailing from the end of July 1942 until the end of April 1943, only 20 percent lost ships to U-boat attack.
The Norwegian-manned corvettes of escort group B-6 fought three of these convoy battles in sequential voyages with convoys SC 104, ON 144, and HX 217.
When initial attempts to summon additional U-boats to the convoy were unsuccessful, U-521 was granted permission to attack, and missed with a salvo of six torpedoes. Rose unsuccessfully counterattacked with depth charges.
U-184, U-262 and U-264 found the convoy and launched a simultaneous attack after sunset. U-262 missed with three torpedoes. U-264 sank the 6,696-ton Greek freighter Mount Taurus, and U-184 sank the 3,192-ton British freighter Widestone.
U-624, U-522, U-521, U-224, U-383, U-454 and U-753 launched torpedoes in the pre-dawn hours. U-624 sank the 5,344-ton British tanker President Sergent and the 4,732-ton American freighter Parismina and damaged the 5,432-ton American freighter Yaka which was later sunk by U-522. The Type 271 centimeter-wavelength radar-equipped corvettes counterattacked, and U-184 was sunk by one of those attacks. Montbretia was torpedoed by U-262 and sank while still moving forward.
The U-boats had broken off the engagement by the time the four surviving corvettes were reinforced by the destroyers HMS Firedrake and HMS Badger, and the Western Local Escort Force assumed responsibility for the convoy on 20 November.
Ships in convoy
|Agia Marina (1912)||Greece||4,151||Destination Halifax|
|Baxtergate (1925)||United Kingdom||5,531||Destination New York City|
|Bestik (1920)||Norway||2,684||Destination New York City|
|Borgfred (1925)||Norway||2,183||Coal||Destination Halifax|
|Cetus (1920)||Norway||2,614||Destination New York City|
|Dimitros Inglessis (1918)||Greece||5,275||Destination St John, New Brunswick|
|Empire Stour (1930)||United Kingdom||4,696||Ferro manganese||Destination Sydney, Nova Scotia|
|Fjallfoss (1919)||Iceland||1,451||Joined from Iceland on 15 November|
|Godafoss (1921)||Iceland||1,542||Joined from Iceland on 15 November|
|Governor John Lind (1918)||United States||3,431||Joined from Iceland on 15 November; Destination Halifax|
|Guido (1920)||United Kingdom||3,921||General cargo||Destination New York City|
|Ingertre (1921)||Norway||2,462||Destination Halifax|
|Leonidas N. Condylis (1912)||Greece||3,923||Destination Halifax|
|Maycrest (1913)||United Kingdom||5,923||Destination New York City; ship's master was convoy vice-commodore|
|Minister Wedel (1930)||Norway||6,833||Destination New York City|
|Monkleigh (1927)||United Kingdom||5,203||Destination New York City|
|Moscha D. Kydoniefs (1915)||Greece||3,874||Destination Halifax|
|Mount Taurus (1920)||Greece||2||6,696||In Ballast||Sunk by U-624|
|Nordeflinge (1942)||United Kingdom||2,873||Destination New York City|
|Norlom (1919)||Norway||6,412||Destination Halifax|
|Orwell (1905)||Norway||7,920||Destination New York City|
|Parismina (1908)||United States||22||4,732||In Ballast||Joined from Iceland on 15 November; sunk by U-624 on 18 November|
|Perth (1915)||United Kingdom||2,259||Convoy rescue ship|
|President Sergent (1923)||United Kingdom||20||5,344||In Ballast||Carried convoy commodore Capt J K Brook RNR. Sunk by U-624 on 18 November|
|Reigh Count (1907)||Panama||4,657||Destination New York City|
|Robert E. Hopkins (1921)||United States||6,625||Destination New York City|
|Selfoss (1914)||Iceland||775||Joined from Iceland on 15 November|
|Suderøy (1913)||Norway||7,562||Destination New York City|
|Tahchee (1914)||United Kingdom||6,508||Destination New York City|
|Titanian (1924)||Norway||4,880||Coal||Destination Saint John, New Brunswick|
|Van de Velde (1919)||Netherlands||6,389||Coal||Destination Boston|
|Widestone (1920)||United Kingdom||42||3,192||3,400 tons coal||Sunk by U-184|
|Yaka (1920)||United States||0||5,432||In Ballast||Joined from Iceland on 15 November; sunk by U-522|
|Yemassee (1922)||Panama||2,001||Joined from Iceland on 15 November; Destination New York City|
- Rohwer & Hummelchen pp.177&178
- Hague pp.158&161
- Milner pp.180-181
- "ON convoys". Andrew Hague Convoy Database. Retrieved 2012-09-09.
- Tarrant p.108
- Hague pp.132, 137-138, 161-162, 164, 181
- Blair pp.118-120
- Blair, Clay (1998). Hitler's U-Boat War: The Hunted 1942-1945. Random House. ISBN 0-679-45742-9.
- 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.