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CONVOY PQ 14 - Page 2

Page 1 - Ships in Convoy

Captain W. H. Lawrence's Narrative of Voyage
(Captain of Briarwood - Vice Commodore Ship)
Received from Roger Griffiths - His source: Public Records Office, Kew.

The convoy left Hvalfjord, Iceland on Apr. 8-1942.

Edinburgh, Foresight, Forester, Bulldog, Beagle, Amazon, Beverley, Newmarket, Campanula, Oxlip, Saxifrage, Snowflake, Wilton, Hebe, Speedy, Northern Wave, Lord Austin, Lord Middleton, Duncton, Chiltern. (As mentioned on Page 1,
"Convoys to Russia 1941-1945" by Bob Ruegg and Arnold Hague says cruiser HMS Edinburgh, destroyers Foresight and Forester were designated for the cover, but did not join).

The Vice Commodore lists the following ships in convoy:
Empire Howard, Briarwood, Trehata, Sukhona, Arcos, Dan-Y-Bryn, Seattle Spirit, Empire Bard, Andre Marti, West Cheswald, Yaka, Ironclad, Atheltemplar, Hopemount, Exterminator, Mormacrio, Francis Scott Key. (See also Page 1).

Apr. 12-1942:
After 30 hours of fog, and 12 hours in heavy Polar ice only the following ships remained in company, the rest having returned to Iceland with ice damage:
Empire Howard, Briarwood, Trehata, Dan-Y-Bryn, West Cheswald, Atheltemplar, Hopemount and Yaka.

Apr. 15:
Enemy aircraft circling around convoy making occasional attacks which were beaten off, 1 plane which crossed the convoy was believed badly damaged by fire from all ships.

Apr. 16:
Submarine and plane attacks beaten off through the day, but at 12:45 S.S. Empire Howard was torpedoed and blew up (U-403), salvo of 5 torpedoes being fired into convoy from starboard side, 2 of which hit the Empire Howard, others being avoided by helm action by Dan-Y-Bryn and Briarwood. Master of Briarwood as Vice Commodore takes over convoy, with remaining 7 ships. Througout remainder of day submarine trying to get past escort to attack convoy. Various emergency turns and wheels.

Apr. 17:
04:30 - Russian escort (2 destroyers) arrive.
04:50 - Attacked by enemy aircraft, machine which passed over my ship was attacked by our 9 guns and was last seen making off in 160° direction with smoke pouring from it.
05:10 - Convoy being dive bombed by JU 88's, no damage done.
07:51 - Bulldog made lightening turn and attack on submarine which fired 2 torpedoes at convoy, enemy craft sunk. Convoy emergency turn away and torpedoes avoided.
10:07 - 2 more torpedoes fired ahead of convoy, avoided, Bulldog makes another attack.

Apr. 18:
02:00 - Reported expected attack by enemy surface craft, all 4" guns manned. (Arnold Hague's "Convoys to Russia 1941-1945" states, mentioning no date: "An attempt by the German destroyers Schoemann, Z 24 and Z 25 to attack the convoy was frustrated by poor weather and, to a degree, by poor tactical handling which drew trenchant criticism from higher authority". He also says that the minesweepers Gossamer, Harrier, Hussar and Niger may have joined on Apr. 18, but adds "the records are unclear on this point").

Apr. 19:
07:55 - Off entrance to Kola Inlet. 1 friendly aircraft flew over convoy.
12:06 - Anchored.
18:00 - Berthed and commence discharge.

Apr. 20:
Dive bombing attacks throughout day and night, no damage and work continued throughout.

Apr. 21:
Heavy dive bombing attacks, work stopped during raids.

Apr. 23:
Heavy dive bombing attacks, 5 large bombs dropped, 2 on deck, killing stevedores and wrecking track and quay, other 3 in water alongside, no damage. Aircraft hit by ship's Oerlikon guns and Bofors, pilot seen to bail out and aircraft crash on other side of the harbour.
16:00 - After further attacks vessel moved from quay to anchorage, leaving balance of cargo behind.

Apr. 25:
Dive bombed at anchorage, moved vessel away from docks to another anchorage.

W. H. Lawrence, Captain of Briarwood.

Related external links:
Empire Howard -'s info on her loss
Russian Convoys - PQ 14 is included.

Olly Lindsay's Memoirs (Botavon) Page 3

Arctic Convoys main page

To Convoy Index


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