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CONVOY ON 10 – U.K.-Norway

Left Methil Roads on Febr. 5-1940 and arrived Norway on Febr. 8
Summary of a report received from Tony Cooper, England (from Public Records Office, Kew).
Names of ships were received from Don Kindell (his source: The late Arnold Hague's research).

According to A. Hague, the following ships were in this convoy (in alphabetical order):

Swedish Abisko
Norwegian Activ*
British Asiatic
Norwegian Bokn
Norwegian Bruse
Finnish Castor
Norwegian Ek
British Folda
Swedish Forsvik**
British Haarlem
Swedish Halmstad
British Helmwood
Norwegian Jetta*
Norwegian Lysland
Finnish Margareta
Norwegian Pan
Swedish Porjus
Finnish Regulus
Swedish Saga
Finnish Saimaa
British Salerno
British Severn Leigh - put back following collision
Swedish Sirius
British Svanholm***
Swedish Taberg
British Teano
Norwegian Themis
British Tiberton
Estonian Tonu
Norwegian Torbrand
Norwegian Vim

* Please note that this is not the Activ included in the Homefleet section of this website.

** A Hague lists Forsvik as Norwegian (1248 gt), but this ship was Swedish.

** I'm not sure, but I believe Svanholm was still Danish at that time (Denmark had not been invaded yet).

* Jetta is also listed in the next convoy, ON 11.

A document from the Public Recors Office Kew, listing all the ON convoys, states that Convoy ON 10 consisted of 7 British, 10 Norwegian, 7 Swedish, 4 Finnish, and 1 Estonian ship, for a total of 29. HMS Imogen's report, summarized below, says there were 33 ships according to the A 1 form.

Traffic had increased considerably during Jan.-1940, and this, coupled with the expectations that Denmark would ask for inclusion of her ships in these convoys, raised the question of reducing the time-cycle of the convoys. The C.-in C., Home Fleet felt that a 4 days cycle could not be maintained with the existing destroyer commitments and that more cruisers would be needed for the covering force. It was then decided that the Humber Force destroyers should be used for the time being, and that the 18th Cruiser Squadron should share provision of the covering force with the 2nd Cruiser Squadron. The 4 day-cycle was instituted with Convoy ON 10.

As can be seen, this convoy had several neutral ships, and the ON convoys subsequently continued to include a large amount of neutrals. Also, with this convoy, the practice was initiated of including ships bound westward of the U.K. as well as ships for Narvik, which detached en route to proceed independently.

ON 10 sailed from Methil at 16:30 on Febr. 5-1940. Great difficulty was experienced in forming up before darkness set in, due to the delay in being ready to start as well as low visibility at the time. At the beginning, convoy speed was limited to 5 knots to enable the ships to get into station, but in spite of this, the convoy straggled over a distance of several miles and it was not possible to properly form up until daylight the following morning. At that time, escort Narwhal was found to be missing.

The convoy was dispersed at daylight on Febr. 8. Average speed on passage was 7 knots, no incidents.

HMS Imogen (on starboard bow by day, ahead of centre by night), Tartar (port bow by day and night), Ilex (starboard quarter by day, astern by night), Imperial (port quarter by day, starboard bow by night), and submarine Narwhal (2 cables on starboard beam of starboard column by day, approx. 2 cables astern of Imperial by night). Tartar was detached at 12:00 on Febr. 7. The Commanding Officer of Imogen considers this number of escorts quite insufficient for such a large convoy. This document, listing escorts for all HN and ON convoys, also mentions HMS Edinburgh and Arethusa (covering force), as well as Delight and Kimberley.

See also this external site (scroll down to Febr. 5), which adds that when the convoy left Methil it was escorted by destroyers Imogen, Imperial, Ilex, Delight, Tartar and submarine Narwhal, and that Delight was ordered to Scapa Flow with dispatch on the 6th. Tartar was relieved by Kimberley at sea. On Febr. 7, Delight made an attack on a submarine contact east of South Ronaldsay in 58 55N 2 09E. Delight was joined by destroyers Gallant and Griffin.

Back to Convoy Index

To the next ON (U.K.-Norway) convoy in my list ON 11
To List of all U.K.-Norway Convoys


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