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Convoy ON 126 Cruising Order
Departed Liverpool on Aug. 29-1942 and arrived New York City on Sept. 18 (Arnold Hague says 22 ships, agreeing with Commodore's notes).
Transcribed from several original documents received from Roger Griffiths (his source: Public Records Office, Kew).
Destinations were taken from a document received from Don Kindell, based on Arnold Hague's database - see ON 126 at
ships in all ON convoys.

Br=British, Norw=Norwegian, Du=Dutch, Gr=Greek, Pa=Panamanian, Sw=Swedish, Fi=Finnish, Est=Estonian, Bel=Belgian.

MoWT=Ministry of War Transport

Ships sailing from:
L=Liverpool, M=Milford, G=Clyde, A=Aultbea.

11 (L)
New York
21 (L)
New York
31 (L)
Josefina Thordén
(Fi / MoWT 1941)
41 (G)
Empire Moonbeam


51 (L)
New York
61 (M)
71 (G)
Empire Shackleton
81 (A)
Empire Sunrise
12 (M)
Norse Lady
New York
22 (M)
Stad Haarlem
New York
32 (G)
H. M. Flagler
New York
42 (G)
New York
52 (A)
62 (M)
(Est / MoWT 1940)
72 (G)
82 (L)
Inger Lise


23 (G)
33 (G)
New York
43 (L)
53 (A)
63 (A)
73 (A)
Empire Dunstan
St. John's
83 (A)
St. John's
* When comparing the above with A. Hague's listing for ON 126 at ships in all ON convoys, we find that he has the American Cities Service Koolmotor in station 13, bound for New York. This is probably identical to the ship erroneously listed in the original convoy document as Kullmator, which is said to have taken station 41.

** Dalcroy is crossed out in the convoy document; according to A. Hague, she did join, but returned to port with a leaking tank. She shows up again in ON 128. (The cancelled Empire Moonbeam is listed in ON 127 - sunk).

Some of Hague's station numbers are different from what is given above as follows:
He has Carrier in station 42, Cowrie in 41, Empire Sunrise in 62 and Sulev in 81.

Additionally, he has included the Norwegian Garnes, as well as the American Governor John Lind and Norlago (all from Halifax to New York). These are not listed in the original document. According to the Commodores notes, 7 ships joined from Halifax; see Notes below.

Commodore F. H. Taylor R.N.R. was in Rena, Vice Commodore was Captain W. H. Sharp of Josefina Thordén, Rear Commodore in Empire Shackleton.

Average speed: 6.08 knots, in weather which was "mainly foul with strong headwinds, which reduced speed of some ships in convoy by a large amount".

Daily positions at 07:00 GMT are available on request via the contact address provided at the bottom of this page. Or, go to this page on Mike Holdoway's website (external link) - I sent him the coordinates, and he made a chart of the voyage (click on "Charted convoy routes").

Josefina Thordén returned to the U.K. at 19:00 Sept. 4 in 54 15N 22 30W, with disabled engine.
Inger Lise was not seen after fog at 12:00 Sept. 6 in 53 09N 24 20W.
Carrier was last seen late in the evening of Sept. 7 in fog, 50 00N 32 10W, after convoy had altered course to starboard.

The Commodore says in his notes for Sept. 16: "The Norwegian Hestranger ex ON 127 joined. She left her convoy after 2 days of U-boat attack". There was no Norwegian ship by this name, but it might have been Heranger? According to a document showing her voyages for this period, she arrived New York on Sept. 19.

Also, according to the Commodore's notes, 7 ships joined the convoy from Halifax.

In a report to the Admiralty dated Sept. 22-1942, the Commodore states the following:
"At 08:40 GMT 19th September, 1942 when convoy ON(S) 126 was in a position 39 59N 73 06W approaching New York and on course 300°, a SC convoy was sighted fine on the port bow on a course 098° (this was Convoy SC 102, which had departed New York that day). Course of ON 126 was altered 45° to port by emergency turn, and the convoys cleared by 2 miles. Neither convoy had been informed that the other might be met, nor had either Senior Officer of the Escort any information. Had the weather been thick, the two convoys would have met and collided with presumably loss of ships and lives.

It seems to me that there is gross neglect on someone's part in that neither convoy was aware of the other's presence on the sea, particularly observing that they were within 70 miles of New York. One would have thought that the submarine peril was sufficient on the ocean, without the added one of convoys meeting without knowledge when this could and should have been foreseen. The time of arrival ON 126 had been signalled previous to the convoys meeting".

Escorts (according to the Commodore):
HMS Harvester (S.O.), Orchis, Heather, Narcissus, Pioneer, Renoncule (French corvette), Piorun.
USS Cole joined and Pioneer left at 16:00 Sept. 8 in 51 25N 33 40W.
HMCS Rosthern joined at 14:00 Sept. 11 in 49 22N 43 22W. USS Cole proceeded, rejoined at 10:00 Sept. 12 in 48 20N 46 30W. Pioneer prcoeeded at 20:30 Sept. 12 with 2 ships for St. John's, 47 33N 48 20W.
Ocean Escort proceeded at 11:30 Sept. 13 in 46 19N 49 44W, when Local Escort joined; Caldwell, Mansfield, Rimouski, Port Arthur.
Also mentioned are HMS Walker, HMCS Columbia, Calgary, Chicoutimi, joining from Halifax along with 7 ships on Sept. 16.
Also, Local Escort Bodø - dates not given

A. Hague names the following escorts (dates are European style. Received from Don Kindell, whose own work, covering "Royal & other Navies Day-by-Day in World War 2" can be viewed at this external website). The names have been extracted from a document showing escorts for ON convoys:
Caldwell - From 13/09/42 to 16/09/42
Calgary - From 16/09/42 to 18/09/42
Chicoutimi - From 16/09/42 to 18/09/42
Columbia - From 16/09/42 to 18/09/42
Harvester - From 30/08/42 to 10/09/42
Heather - From 30/08/42 to 13/09/42
Mansfield - From 13/09/42 to 16/09/42
Narcissus - From 30/08/42 to 13/09/42
Orchis - From 30/08/42 to 10/09/42
Piorun - From 30/08/42 to 08/09/42
Port Arthur - From 13/09/42 to 16/09/42
Renoncule - From 30/08/42 to 13/09/42
Rimouski - From 13/09/42 to 16/09/42
Rosthern - From 11/09/42 to 13/09/42
St. Laurent - From 30/08/42 to 13/09/42
USS Cole - From 08/09/42 to 10/09/42
Walker - From 16/09/42 to 18/09/42

Back to Convoy Index

To the next ON convoy in my list ON 127


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