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CONVOY SC 27 - Page 2

Page 1 - Ships in the convoy

Report of Proceedings - Convoy SC 27
from the Commander of HMS Salopian
Dated Apr. 18-1941
Received from Roger Griffiths - His source: Public Records Office, Kew.

All times are Z + 4(?)

Page 1 of this report is rather blurry and difficult to decipher, especially the numbers - hence my question marks, as some guessing has taken place.

March 30-1941:
14:00 - Left Halifax and proceeded in company with convoy SC 27.
15:40(?) - Spoke HMS Ranpura(?) steering for Halifax.
18:00(?) - Convoy took up formation in accordance with Convoy Form A 1 and proceeded on convoy route at 7 knots. Salopian took station between the 4th and 5th Column and HMS Buxton(?) took up station as A/S escort. It was found necessary to steam on only one engine in order to keep in station.

March 31:
(Times are hard to decipher, and instead of attempting to guess, will just quote the text only).
In position (looks like) 43 30N 61 49W, sighted searchlight beam bearing (looks like) 050°.
In position (looks like) 43 10N 61 12W, sighted and identified 2 escorting aircraft.
In position (looks like) 43 03N 60 52W, HMS Buxton parted company.

Apr. 1 - Apr. 3:
As requisite for convoy route.

Apr. 4:
07:00(?) - In position (looks like) 43 ?N 45 29W, spoke British SS Auretia(?) steering (looks like) 260°, bound for Halifax from Clyde.
16:00(?) - In position (looks like) 43 05N 45 13W, carried out search for Convoy HX 118 up to visibility distance (10 miles) to northwestward of convoy.
17:40(?) - Rejoined convoy.
21:25 - In position (looks like) 43 31N 44 43W, spoke Norwegian tanker SS Solstad(?), steering 315°, bound for New York from Loch Ewe.

Apr. 5:
04:30 - In position 43 54N 44 01W, carried out search for convoy HX 118 up to visibility distance (11 miles) to northwestward of convoy.
06:30 - rejoined convoy.
15:00 - In position 44 37N 43 29W, carried out search for Convoy HX 118 up to visibility distance (12 miles) to northwestward of convoy.
17:00 - Rejoined convoy.

Although HX 118 was not sighted it was not considered advisable to get farther away from convoy SC 27 to carry out a wider search, and as it was assumed that the two convoys would in any case be near enough together for HMS Ramillies to provide cover to both, it was not considered that the breaking of W/T silence to carry out the D/F procedure shown in paragraphs 22 and 33 of memorandum No. E.0920/124 of March 29-1941 (copy not available to me) would be justified.

Apr. 6:
As requisite for convoy route.
P.M. - Moderate west/southwesterly gale.

Apr. 7:
08:00 - Weather having moderated proceeded as requisite to round up stragglers.
10:00 - Rejoined convoy.
12:00 - In position 48 27N 41 04W, Norwegian Favorit reported steering gear broken down, and parted company with convoy (later bombed and sunk - follow link to Favorit for more details).
16:30 - In position 48 59N 40 48W, spoke British tanker British Splendour bound for Curacao from Barry Roads.

Apr. 8:
15:00 - Proceeded as requitsite to round up stragglers who had dropped astern during period of low visibility.
17:30 - Rejoined convoy.

Apr. 9:
03:30 - In position 53 03N 37 38W, sighted submarine on the surface bearing 268°, 6 miles steering 030° (parallel course to convoy). Closed submarine at full speed. After making the challenge by Aldis lamp six times without reply, and having closed to 8000 yards, submarine was definitely recognised as French Surcouf*.
03:40 - Sighted floating wreckage which appeared to be a ship's wheelhouse and upper bridge.
03:45 - Spoke HMS Ramillies bearing 193°, 8 miles.
06:00 - HMS Ramillies joined the convoy.
07:45 - In position 53 30N 37 19W, spoke British S.S. Nerissa steering 220°.
09:15 - Sighted HMS Wolfe in company with Convoy HX 118 bearing 193°, 8 miles.
14:00 - HMS Wolfe and convoy HX 118 overtook convoy SC 27 on starboard side and passed ahead.
14:42 - HMS Ramillies parted company and joined HX 118.

* It is not considered that her distinctive appearance is sufficient to justify Surcouf in approaching a convoy without identifying herself, especially in the half light of dawn. Surcouf was believed to be still in company with HX 118 at this time.

Apr. 10:
08:30 - Spoke HMS Ramillies steering to the southward.
20:35 - In position 56 44N 33 16W, altered course in accordance with revised route ordered in Admiralty's 1937/10/4.

Apr. 12:
08:00 - In position 60 19N 31 56W, parted company with convoy and proceeded to southwestward at 14 1/2 knots in order to get clear of convoy before making signal reporting convoy as 8 hours early at rendezvous.
11:30 - Passed 1530/12/4 to C.-in-C. W.A. and altered course as requisite to take up a covering position northwestward of convoy.
20:00 - In position 61 06N 30 47W, altered course as requisite for Halifax, 14 1/2 knots.

Signature is illegible.

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