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Commodore Robinson's Voyage Report & Collision Report
Convoy HX 139

Page 1 - Ships in HX 139

Wednesday 16th July-1941
Left Halifax at the appointed time and dropped the Pilot at 11:57. Light breeze smooth sea, hazy weather.
13:16 - Speed 6 knots, thick fog.
15:32 Speed 3 knots. Weather clearing slightly. Managed to collect 20 ships including 5 columns leaders. Visibility about 1 mile.
20:00 - Increased speed to 8 knots for the night. Thick fog. Sounding column numbers at intervals to try and collect more ships.

17th July
Thick fog throughout the night.
09:30 - Visibility about 2 miles. HMS Ranpura joined company, counted 36 ships, reduced speed to 7 knots.
10:15 - Thick fog.

18th July
Thick fog throughout the night.
13:00 - Altered course to 075 by sound
19:53 - Increased speed to 9 knots by sound. Thick fog prevailed during the day.

19th July
10:15 - Weather cleared, 46 ships in sight.
10:31 - Speed 8 knots. This was the first opportunity since leaving Halifax of forming convoy, ships had joined up during the fog, and nearly all column leaders were in station, and during one or two very brief and limited clearances most of the ships had picked up their correct stations.
12:00 - Altered course 050.
16:10 - 40 03N 49 54W. HMS Southern Prince and one patrol vessel, with Sydney section (8) ships and 1 Halifax straggler joined convoy.

20th July
All ships in cmpany (57).
13:00 - Thick fog.

21st July
01:30 - Weather clearing.
02:12 - Altered course 20 to starboard, using 2 horizontal red lights supplemented with four long blasts, and the executive signal of one short blast.
02:25 - Thick fog.
02:36 - Heard collision in No. 7 or 8 columns (see collision report).
10:30 - Weather clearing slightly, sighted 42 ships.
10:40 - altered course 054.
11:30 - Thick fog.

22nd July
Dense fog throughout the night.
10:00 - Fog lifted, 45 ships in company.
17:30 - 53 56N 41 44W. HMS Fleetwood with Wabana section (3 ships) joined company.

The weather remained fair for the remainder of the voyage.

Anti-aricraft gun practice was carried out by all ships at 11:00 July 25.

Kites were flown by 16 ships for 5 hours on the 27th July, the only time that the weather was favourable for this purpose.

29th July
13:00 - 58 18N 05 55W. Loch Ewe ships (16) parted company.

30th July
12:00 - 55 34N 07 01W. 1 ship Vanja for Londonderry parted company.
16:30 - 55 09N 05 50W. Clyde ships (9) parted company.
19:15 - 54 44N 05 27W. Liverpool ships (16) parted company.
21:15 - Arrived Carrick Roads, Belfast, 13 ships.

S/S Silversandal
Apart from the fact that the Silversandal has no echo sounding machine, I found the ship most suitable for a Commodore and staff, and the Master T. S. Morgan gave me his very able assistance at all times.

Suggest that air reconnaissance be made at brief intervals (daily if possible) to locate ice and report to N.C.S.O. at assembly ports to assist in ? and for the information of Commodores.

Collision Report
At (Z-3) 00:01 21st July, in 50 02N 48 46W. Light westerly wind, slight sea, dense fog. Convoy course 000 - speed 8 knots. Dense fog had prevailed since the previous noon. At 01:30 the weather began to clear, and at 02:00 visibility was good.

At 02:10 the two red horizontal lights were shown for an alteration of course of 20, this signal was supplemented with four long blasts on the siren, the light and sound signals were repeated by HMS Ranpura and the sound signal was heard repeated by several of the leading ships, one of which was the Acavus (Br) No. 71. At 02:12 the red lights were switched off and one short blast sounded and repeated by several ships, certainly by No. 71, and ships began to turn 20 to starboard when San Cipriano (Br) No. 81 was observed swinging to port across the front of No. 71 who dropped astern to avoid collision, fog was shutting in again and by 02:25 visibility was almost nil. Heard three short blasts repeated two or three times from the direction of No. 71 and San Demetrio (Br) No. 72. At 02:36 heard a collision take place in No. 7 or 8 column.

It was afterwards found that San Demetrio (Br) No. 72 and San Ambrosio (Br) No. 82 had been in collision. Egton (Br) No. 73 later reported that an unknown ship had collided with her at 02:40 the same morning. At 10:30/21 during a slight clearance, the four ships mentioned above were in station.

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