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Convoy HX 252
Collision Reports (by Commodore)

Page 1 - Ships in HX 252
Page 2 - Notes & Commodore's Narrative

Collision of Theodore Dwight Weld with two ships on night of 19-20 Aug.-1943:

Convoy HX 252 was attacked by U-boat about 00:50 GMT on 19th August (Note: This convoy was not attacked) in position 44 02N 52 47W. Course 054 since 20:23 GMT (18th), speed 9 1/2 knots since 21:30 GMT.

It is known that number 42, J. Pinckney Henderson was sunk, number 32 J. H. Senior was torpedoed but remained afloat, and number 34, Santos was abandoned*. No other information about the fate of these ships is available to me.

* J. Pinckney Henderson is listed in station 41 of the A 1 form. Please note again that none of these ships sank as a result of U-boat attacks, but were all involved in collisions, see Page 1 as well as the Commodore's narrative on Page 2 and the report on Page 4. My page about Santos has more details on the loss of this Norwegian ship.

A thick fog was prevailing at the time from 22:00 GMT 18th August and lasted until P.M. 21st August only lifting slightly for brief intervals.

Number 45, Theodore Dwight Weld (listed in station 55 of convoy form) rejoined the convoy which she had lost after collisions in fog at 10:00 GMT on 23rd August and reported that she had been in collision with two ships one at 00:55 GMT on 19th August and the other at 01:59 GMT on 19th August. She thought first ship was Santos but not certain and did not know name of second ship.

Theodore Dwight Weld knew nothing of the movements of either ship, rammed either before or after collision, but reported that in avoiding burning oil she altered course to port possibly too much and struck Santos. The second ship was struck while heading to rejoin convoy and she struck her in number 4 hatch. Ships were at 90 degrees angle and poor visibility.

Damage to Theodore Dwight Weld: Stem broken. Hole 6 square feet in fore peak tank and lower and upper fore peak store rooms. Port anchor and part of cable lost. First degaussing wires broken disabling whole system.

It appears that further information could probably be obtained from survivors of Santos and J. Pinckney Henderson as no other ship in convoy has reported any damage. (Some survivor statements are available in report on Page 4)

It is presumed that J. Pinckney Henderson was the second ship struck by Theodore Dwight Weld.

(Signed by the Commodore, Aug. 28-1943).

Collision between Gulfcoast and John A. Brown on night of 25-26 Aug.:

A collision occurred between number 72 Gulfcoast and number 74 John A. Brown at 23:20 (GMT) on the night of 25-26 August in position 54 40N 19 06W. Gulfcoast was stationed next astern of Commodore in number 71 Glenbeg. John A. Brown was stationed astern of Gulfcoast, number 73 having parted company on the 25th August about noon.

Distance apart of ships should have been 2 1/2 cables. Course 082 had not been altered since 14:00 GMT and speed of 9 knots had not been altered since 13:45 GMT.

All that was seen or heard from Glenbeg was a ship astern sounding one blast at about 23:20, and then a ship hoisted "not under control" lights and John A. Brown sounded her number followed by Gulfcoast sounding her number.

The ship with "not under control" lights appeared to be dropping astern and I informed S/O Escort that this had happened by R/T. I gave orders to burn blue stern lights and told ships in convoy to do likewise. I was requested later by the S/O Escort to put them out. The night was dark and raining hard at the time of the collision.

After daylight on 26th, in answer to my enquiries, number 72 Gulfcoast, reported that John A. Brown passed her at 23:00 GMT and tried to cross her bows when collision occurred. Number 74, John A. Brown reported that number 72 rammed her in his number 1 and 2 tanks port side.

I consider the collision was due to bad station keeping by either one or both ships, as they were immediately astern of the guide of the convoy who kept a steady course and speed throughout the night.

Damage reported:
Number 72, Gulfcoast: Bent stem and buckled plates on bow. Damage aft to poop deck and number 3 life boat unserviceable.
Number 74, John A. Brown: Numbers 1 and 2 tanks, port side, damaged. Number 2 tank above and below water line leaking slightly. Damage to deck plates.

(Signed by the Commodore Aug. 28-1943).

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