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Left Loch Ewe on Febr. 15-1943 with 26 ships, another 3 following the next day as JW 53B.
Arrived Kola Inlet on Febr. 27?
(Cruising order is not available).

The following ships are believed to have been in this convoy:
(Documents regarding the composition of JW 53 have not survived, and this list has been reconstructed from a variety of sources - in every case it is confirmed that these ships were at Loch Ewe and available for sailing).

The American Beaconhill, Bering, City of Omaha, Francis Scott Key, Israel Putnam, James Bowie, John Laurance, Josef E Johnston, Mobile City, Thomas Hartley.

The British Atlantic, British Governor, Dover Hill, Empire Baffin, Empire Fortune, Empire Galliard, Empire Kinsman, Empire Scott, Explorer, Ocean Freedom, Llandaff.

The Dutch Pieter de Hoogh.
The Panamanian Artigas.
The Polish Tobruk.
The Russian Komiles, Petrovski, Tbilisi.
The Norwegian Marathon.

Of the above Empire Baffin, Explorer, James Bowie, John Laurance, Joseph E Johnston and Komiles had to return because of damages received due to the bad weather.

The convoy was located by aircraft on Febr. 23, unsuccessfully attacking on the 26th. U-boat contact was made on the 24th but no attacks developed. (See also text under Marathon).

Dover Hill was damaged after arrival Murmansk, and during an air attack Ocean Freedom was sunk in the harbour at Murmansk on March 13, no casualties.

Minsweeper Jason, corvettes Bergamot and Poppy and trawler Lord Austin were with the convoy through the entire passage.
Febr. 15-Febr. 17: Minesweeper Hazard (for the first day), corvettes Bryoni, Dianella and Lord Middleton.
Febr. 15-Febr. 21: Destroyers Meynell, Middleton and Pytchley.
Febr. 15-Febr. 22: Minesweeper Halcyon.
Febr. 19-Febr. 27: Destroyer escort Boadicea, Faulknor, Inglefield, Milne, Obdurate, Obedient, Opportune and Orwell.
Febr. 20-Febr. 27: Corvettes Bluebell and Camellia.
Febr. 21-Febr. 27: Reinforcement commanded by SC 10 in cruiser Scylla, with destroyers Eclipse, Fury, Impulsive, Intrepid and Polish Orkan.
Febr. 21-Febr. 26: Cruisers Belfast, Cumberland and Norfolk (cruising to the north of the convoy).
Febr. 24-Febr. 26 (distant cover): Battleships King George V, Howe, cruiser Berwick, screened by destroyers Icarus, Meteor, Musketeer, Offa, Onslaught and Polish Piorun.
Febr. 26-Febr. 27 (local eastern escort): Russian destroyers Gromki, Grozni, Kuibyshev, Uritski and Uragan, and minesweeper Britomart.

Cruiser Sheffield and escort carrier Dasher were to have joined, but had to return with severe weather damage, the former with one third of the roof of A turret gone, the latter with damaged flight deck.

Related external links:
Empire Ships - An alphabetical list of all the Empire ships.
The Fort Ships of WW II - Alphabetical lists with details on each ship. Also covers the "Ocean" and "Park" ships.
Liberty Ships - Alphabetical list.

Russian Convoys

Arctic Convoys main page

To the next JW convoy in my list JW 54A

Source for the information on this page: "Convoys to Russia 1941-1945", Bob Ruegg/Arnold Hague, 1992.


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