Convoy QP 13
Convoy QP 13 was the thirteenth of the numbered series of World War II convoys of merchant ships westbound from the Arctic ports of Arkhangelsk and Murmansk to the United Kingdom, Iceland, and North America. Most of the ships were returning empty after delivering war material to the Soviet Union, but some Soviet ships carried cargoes of export timber. The convoy sailed simultaneously with eastbound convoy PQ 17 so both convoys might benefit from the heavy covering force of the British aircraft carrier Victorious, battleship Duke of York, cruisers Cumberland and Nigeria, and destroyers Ashanti, Douglas, Faulknor, Marne, Martin, Onslaught and Onslow with the American battleship USS Washington and destroyers Mayrant and Rhind. The covering force was commanded by Admiral John Tovey aboard the flagship Duke of York. Convoy QP 13 consisted of 35 merchant ships escorted by the anti-aircraft ship Alynbank with destroyers Achates, Garland, Inglefield, Intrepid and Volunteer, minesweepers Hussar and Niger, and corvettes Honeysuckle, Hyderabad, Roselys and Starwort.
Convoy QP 13 left Arkhangelsk on 26 June 1942 reinforced by a local escort of Soviet destroyers Gremyaschi, Grozni and Kuibyshev with British destroyer Tartar and minesweepers Bramble, Hazard, Leda and Seagull. The local escort was replaced on 29 June by an anti-aircraft escort of Hunt class destroyers Blankney, Middleton and Wheatland. On 30 June German air reconnaissance found convoy QP 13 180 miles (290 km) north of North Cape, Norway. U-88 was shadowing the convoy by 2 July; but Admiral Nordmeer Hubert Schmundt ordered German forces to ignore the empty westbound ships and focus on the loaded ships of eastbound convoy PQ 17. The Hunt-class destroyers detached on 4 July when convoy QP 13 was out of range of German bombers.
Convoy QP 13 encountered fog on 5 July 1942. In poor visibility Niger mistook an iceberg for Iceland’s North Western Cape and six merchant ships followed her into Northern Barrage minefield SN72 laid one month earlier at the entrance to the Denmark Strait. All seven ships detonated naval mines, and there were only eight survivors of the 127 men aboard Niger. Only Exterminator could be salvaged. No crewmen were lost from Exterminator, Hybert and Rodina; but one crewman died abandoning Hefron, five drowned when John Randolph broke in two, and Massmar sank with 17 merchant seamen, 5 Naval Armed Guards, and 26 survivors she was carrying from the sinking of Alamar in convoy PQ 16.
|Alma Ata||3,611||Soviet Union||timber cargo|
|American Press||5,131||United States|
|American Robin||5,172||United States|
|Archangle||2,480||Soviet Union||timber cargo|
|SS Atlantic||5,414||United Kingdom|
|Budenni||2,482||Soviet Union||timber cargo|
|City of Omaha||6,124||United States|
|SS Empire Baffin||6,978||United Kingdom|
|Empire Mavis||5,704||United Kingdom|
|Empire Meteor||7,457||United Kingdom|
|Empire Selwyn||7,167||United Kingdom||Convoy Commodore's ship|
|Empire Stevenson||6,209||United Kingdom||general cargo with lumber|
|Exterminator||6,115||Panama||Damaged by British Northern Barrage minefield SN72|
|Heffron||7,611||United States||Sunk by British Northern Barrage minefield SN72|
|Hybert||6,120||United States||Sunk by British Northern Barrage minefield SN72|
|John Randolph||7,191||United States||Liberty ship sunk by British Northern Barrage minefield SN72|
|Komiles||3,962||Soviet Union||timber cargo|
|Massmar||5,828||United States||Sunk by British Northern Barrage minefield SN72|
|Mauna Kea||6,064||United States|
|Petrovski||3,771||Soviet Union||timber cargo|
|Pieter de Hoogh||7,168||Netherlands|
|Richard Henry Lee||7,191||United States||Liberty ship|
|Rodina||4,441||Soviet Union||Sunk by British Northern Barrage minefield SN72|
|St. Clears||4,312||United Kingdom|
|Stary Bolshevik||3,974||Soviet Union|
- "Convoy QP.13". Convoy Web. Retrieved 23 January 2014.
- Irving, David (1968). The Destruction of Convoy PQ.17. New York: Simon & Schuster. pp. 31 & 61.
- "Mines and Mine Laying in Iceland WWII". Icelandic Coast Guard. Retrieved 22 January 2014.
- Hague, Arnold (2000). The Allied Convoy System 1939–1945. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. p. 190. ISBN 1-55750-019-3.
- Cressman, Robert J. (2000). The Official Chronology of the U.S. Navy in World War II. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. p. 108. ISBN 1-55750-149-1.