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Convoy PQ 13 Cruising Order
Left Loch Ewe at 15:15 on March 10-1942 and arrived Murmansk on March 31
Transcribed from several documents received from Roger Griffiths - His source: Public Records Office, Kew.
Supplemented w/info found in "Convoys to Russia 1941-1945" by Bob Ruegg and Arnold Hague.

Br=British, Pol=Polish Am=American, Pan=Panamanian, Hon=Honduran

Empire Cowper
River Afton
Empire Starlight
(lost after arrival
salvaged post war)
Empire Ranger
New Westminster City
(lost after arrival)
Gallant Fox
From HX 177
Lars Kruse
for Reykjavik
El Estero
for Reykjavik
(Br/ex Da)
In addition to the above, the Panamanian Bateau (sunk) and the British Scottish American also took part, both joining off Iceland (stations not known).
(For info, Bateau had originally been scheduled for the previous convoy, PQ 12, but had to return to Iceland, presumably due to bad weather).

Additonally, the Panamanian Ballot joined up on March 26 - see Induna's report

Raceland, Effingham and Dunboyne had previously arrived the U.K. from Halifax with Convoy SC 69, while Mana and Eldena are listed in Convoy SC 70, and El Estero in HX 176.

2 of the ships in PQ 13, Harpalion and Empire Cowper, were sunk by aircraft on Apr. 11 when returning with Convoy QP 10.

The above cruising order shows the stations on departure Loch Ewe - may have changed as the voyage progressed. The destination for all of the above was Murmansk, except Lars Kruse and Manø, whose destination was Reykjavik.

The Commodore was in Empire Cowper, the Vice Commodore in River Afton.
Convoy speed: 6.2 knots.

Misc. notes (not sure who the author was, possibly Commodore or Vice Commodore, or Senior Officer of escort?):
19:30 March 11: U-boat sighted, put down by escort.
01:30 March 13: East/northeasterly gale - convoy hove to at daylight.
07:30 March 14: Convoy reformed.
March 16: Arrived Reykjavik.
06:45 March 18: Sailed from Reykjavik - Commodore in River Afton, Vice Commodore in Induna. (According to a report re. Raceland, the convoy later returned towards Iceland, having heard the news that Tirpitz had left Norway, but the convoy later turned around towards Murmansk again - follow link for details. According to Induna's report, they left Reykjavik on March 20 - see the link below).
Night of March 25: Convoy broken up by northeasterly gale - 70 28N 04 45E
Commodore in River Afton driven towards Lofoten until 12:00 March 27, when weather moderated and River Afton proceeded independently, reaching Murmansk on March 31.
12:20 March 28: Raceland bombed and sunk by aircraft (Ju 88) in 72 40N 20 20E
18:14 March 28: Empire Ranger bombed and sunk in 72 10N 30 00E
17:00 March 29: Induna torpedoed and sunk in 70 55N 37 18E by U-376 (note that this time and date are taken from the notes for this convoy - a report by Induna's 2nd Mate Rowlands gives the date as March 30 at 07:20 A.T.S., hit on starboard side aft, and again on starboard side amidships at 07:50. Time of her actual sinking is given as 08:00 on the 30th. Survivors picked up by a Russian minesweeper. There's more about this in Induna's report).
08:30 March 30: Effingham torpedoed and sunk by U-435

Mana and Ballot were also attacked by aircraft on March 28 - again, see Induna's report.

Some info on passage:
As a result of heavy weather, the convoy was scattered over a wide area south of Bear Island by March 27. As mentioned, the straggling Empire Ranger and Raceland were sighted by German aircraft and sunk on March 28. The German destroyers Z 24, Z 25 and Z 26, which had sailed following a sighting report, rescued 61 survivors from Empire Ranger late that same day. It was suspected that some information about the convoy had been obtained from these survivors, and in the early morning hours of March 29, Bateau was spotted and sunk by Z 26, only 7 men rescued while 39 died. The German destroyers also encountered HMS Trinidad (one of the escorts), resulting in a close range action leaving Z 26 badly damaged. Abandoned after further damage had been inflicted by escort Eclipse. When Trinidad attempted to finish off Z 26 with a torpedo, she was herself damaged due to a malfunction in the torpedo, and she proceed to Murmansk.

In the meantime, the convoy had split into small groups. Induna was sunk by U-376 on March 30 (see her report below), and Effingham was later sunk by U-435. The rest of the ships had arrived Murmansk by March 31, but New Westminster City and Empire Starlight were lost in subsequent air raids on Apr. 3 (the latter was salvaged after the war).

U-585 struck a mine during the operations against the convoy on March 30 (originally believed to have been sunk by Fury on March 29) - see also external link below.

For a lot more details on the passage of the convoy, please continue to Induna's report.

To find some Guestbook messages from relatives of a crew member of Bateau, as well as various Ship Forum messages about Bateau, Raceland and PQ 13 in general, please go to my Search Page then type the relevant keyword in the search field. Also, see a thread on my Ship Forum re. Silja, Sumba, Shera and Sulla starting with this query.

Daily positions at 07:00 GMT:
March 11 - 58 25N 07 47W
March 12 - 58 33N 14 16W
March 13 - 60 30N 18 34W
March 14 - 61 10N 19 09W
March 15 - 63 00N 21 18W
March 16 - Anchored at Reykjavik.
March 17 - At Reykjavik
March 18 - OA Reykjavik
March 19 - OA N. Cape
March 20 - OA Reykjavik (there's a separate note saying the following, not sure which ship this is referring to: Returned to Reykjavik from N. Cape at 07:15/20 and ordered to proceed to Murmansk)
March 21 - 66 20N 23 30W
March 22 - 67 05N 16 42W
March 23 - 68 02N 10 22W
March 24 - 69 15N 01 10W
Positions of River Afton - not in convoy (ref. "Misc. notes" above):
March 25 - 70 28N 04 45E
March 26 - 70 52N 08 30E
March 27 - 70 30N 09 32E
March 28 - 71 59N 16 06E
March 29 - 73 31N 27 40E
March 30 - 71 30N 35 53E
March 31 - Murmansk

Note that Mike Holdoway has plotted the convoy's course, based on the above coordinates. His chart can be reached through this page of his website (external link).


From Loch Ewe:
Destroyers Sabre and Lamerton (from March 10 to March 16), and Polish Blyskawica* and Saladin.

* Notes re Blyskawica - "Convoys to Russia" says from March 10 to March 17, the convoy notes indicate she joined at 15:15 on March 10 and left at 18:30 on the 13th. (Sardonyx is also mentioned in these notes, but no further details).
Notes re Saladin - "Convoys to Russia" states from March 11 to March 17, convoy notes say she joined at 17:30 on March 11 and left on the 16th in 58 00N 10 00W. The notes also indicate that Paynter joined on March 10 and left on the 16th, along with Lamerton, while "Convoys to Russia" has Paynter joining on March 23.

From Reykjavik at 06:45 on March 18:
Celia, Bute and Whatern - parted company at 14:00 on March 23 in 67 32N 09 02W. ("Convoys to Russia" lists whaler Sulla only, not mentioned in the list of escorts in convoy notes).

Trawlers Blackfly and Paynter, whalers Silja and Sumba and destroyers Eclipse and Fury joined on March 23. According to the notes for this convoy the latter 2 joined at 13:30 that day in 68 30N 09 20W and left at 03:00 on the 25th, position given as 70 00N 04 00E.
Also, cruiser Trinidad and destroyer Lamerton were present from March 23 to March 25, Trinidad having joined at 19:30 in 68 50N 07 20W on the 23rd and left at the same time as Eclipse and Fury on the 25th.

Eastern escorts (March 29/30): Destroyer Oribi, Russian Gremyaschi and Sokrushitelny, and minesweepers Gossamer, Hussar and Speedwell.

The notes for this convoy also mention Niger and Harrier - the former has the date Apr. 1 next to it, the latter March 28-Apr. 1.

Distant cover: Battleships King George V and Duke of York, battlecruiser Renown, aircraft carrier Victorious, cruisers Edinburgh and Kent, destroyers Ashanti, Bedouin, Echo, Escapade, Eskimo, Faulknor, Foresight, Icarus, Inglefield, Ledbury, Marne, Middleton, Onslow, Punjabi, Tartar and Wheatland.

German broadcasts:
Deutschlandsender (German Home Stations) - in German for Germany, Apr. 18-1942
Arctic convoy attacked - Eye witness story

For four months the Arctic has been an important battlefield. German naval forces patrolling these areas are on the lookout for British and U.S. convoys. Speaking from a destroyer on patrol, a commentator said: "For days past we have revelled in the beauties of Northern mountains and sunsets, while suffering from the icy gales. Suddenly we sight a convoy, but fog comes down and it disappears. Have they scattered as usual? The fog lifts and we find ourselves among them. The ship's bell calls us to battle stations. Our first torpedo is fired, and an immense cloud of flame shows that we have scored a hit." Continuing, the broadcast admitted the loss of one out of six German destroyers, but claimed that three large, fully laden freighters were sunk and others damaged despite strong cruiser escort. Homward bound, the destroyer learned by radio that a corvette had been sunk, and that men from the lost German destroyer were being rescued.

A second reporter described minesweeper captains in their mess listening to one who had sunk a Soviet submarine. Having observed the enemy, the officer of the watch called the crew to action stations. Another German minesweeper had also seen the submarine, and now both tried to ram it. Nevertheless, it got away at the last moment. So the second minesweeper opened fire. However, despite several hits, the submarine continued on its course, though fire was concentrated on the rudder to reduce its surface speed. Hotly pursuing their prey, the two minesweepers now made a second attempt at ramming. This time the first succeeded, though it was so badly shaken by the impact that the lights failed below deck. Further shelling tore more holes into the submarine's superstructure, and soon it disappeared; but two depth charges finished it off.

Breslau?engihs Group - in English for England and North America, Apr. 18-1942
Allied losses in Arctic waters: Comment

The German war communiques have announced these losses. In January, 1942, an enemy submarine, a destroyer and a merchant vessel were sunk, an icebreaker and another merchant vessel damaged in the Arctic Ocean. In March, three merchant vessels were sunk, and a destroyer and seven merchant ships damaged. Further effectve attacks have been directed against Anglo American convoys in Arctic waters in the current month, whereby an enemy submarine and three? merchant ships were sunk and seven merchant ships damaged or set on fire. The fact that these successes of the German Navy and Luftwaffe were scored in heavy seas, bitter cold and bad visibility, against strongly protected convoys testifies once again to the superiority, vigilance and striking power of the German formations. Not only have strong British naval and air forces been bound, and thus diverted from the North Atlantic, but also the supply position of the Reds is being constantly dealt further heavy blows.

Related external links:
The sinking of Raceland - A detailed account, researched and written by Leif Myrhoej, Denmark.

More on Raceland

Norwegian Casualties / Raceland

Merchant Marine POW's of WW II - Scroll down to Raceland for survivors (many Norwegian) and some info on their fate. This page also shows that there was a Norwegian aboard the Panamanian Bateau, Chief Engineer John Morvik.(I can't find him at the Stavern Memorial, but there are 2 other casualties listed for this ship, including the captain).


The sinking of Induna

The sinking of Effingham

Russian Convoys

To the next PQ convoy in my list PQ 14

Arctic Convoys main page


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