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Nicoya's Captain J. A. Moore's Report - Convoy HX 126
(No date)

Received from Roger Griffiths (his source: Public Records Office, Kew)

HX 126 departed Halifax on May 10-1941and arrived Liverpool on the 28th

Page 1 - Ships in HX 126
Orders for ocean and local escorts (SC 31 & HX 126)
Commodore's Narrative of Events (& Tongariro's Report)
General Report / Misc. Escort Signals
HMS Aurania's Report
HMS Burnham's, HMS Burwell's & HMS Malcolm's Reports
Norman Monarch & Harpagus Reports

I beg to report that at 11:15 p.m on 19th May the ship ahead of me was torpedoed (this would be Norman Monarch, sailing in station 91; Nicoya was in station 92, while Harpagus was in in 93 - see the formation on Page 1). I immediately altered course to Starboard and a torpedo was heard to pass close along the Starboard side. After clearing the torpedoed ship I rejoined the convoy.

On 20th May at 9.53 a.m. the convoy was again attacked. Orders were received from the Commodore to scatter and proceed at maximum speed. I altered course to Starboard and lost the convoy in about one hour. I then set my course 060 True to pass through the rendezvous position in order to rejoin the convoy. At 1 p.m. in position 57 43N 40 37W I sighted the tanker San Felix. He signalled that he had been torpedoed but was steaming quite alright. (Note that this ship was not part of Convoy HX 126, but had been sailing in the dispersed Convoy OB 322 when she was torpedoed by U-111 on May 20). At 2 p.m. I sighted S.S. Harpagus in position 57 52N 40 20W steaming to the northward. At 3 p.m. a Submarine was sighted on the horizon from the Crows nest bearing 025 True apparently trying to head me off, so I increased to maximum speed, sent out an SSSS message and altered course to bring the Submarine astern. I carried out large alterations of course to the South and West until 9.30 p.m. when I resumed my course to Standard route reducing to normal full speed and continuing No. 33 zig-zag throughout.

At 5.40 p.m. on 21st May a Submarine was again sighted from the Crows nest, it was directly ahead of me on the mean course, steaming in the same direction and keeping the same distance off. I continued my course and zig-zag for some time, keeping careful watch on the Submarine and assuming that he was planning to attack me after dark. As dusk approached I commenced edging up to the Northward a few degrees at a time and saw the Submarine's bearing opening out. He must then have realised that I had seen him as he altered course to head me off. I increased to maximum speed, sent out an SSSS message and altered course to bring him astern. He then headed straight for me so I ran to the Southward away from the light northern Horizon and taking advantage of rain squalls managed to lose him. I altered course to 090 True at 4.30 a.m. as I realised that the Submarine had the course to my next position and may try to intercept me on it.

Again at 8.30 p.m. in 58 04N 27 30W on 22nd May a Submarine was sighted from the Crows nest apparently trying the same manoeuvre as on the previous evening. I watched him carefully until 9.15 p.m. when taking advantage of a rain squall I altered course to the Northward, increased to full speed and lost him in the dark. At 10.45 p.m. I set my course for standard route, continuing No. 31 zig-zag throughout.

I sighted a Westbound convoy at Noon on the 23rd, reported the position of the Submarine to the Senior Officer of Escort who then instructed me to meet a Corvette who would escort me to my convoy. I met the corvette at 4 p.m. and rejoined my convoy at 8.40 p.m.

All passengers, Officers, members of the crew behaved splendidly during the trying times experienced and the effort of the Engineers department in maintaining 85 revolutions during the times we were chased undoubtedly saved the ship.

Yours faithfully
J. A. Moore, Master

See Page 1 for a list of ships sunk, and the U-boats that sank them, as well as Commodore's notes and names of escorts etc.

Back to Convoy Index

To the next HX convoy in my list HX 127


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