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Convoy UC 21

Arnold Hague says with regard to the CU and the returning UC convoys:
"Following the North African landings and the resultant high expenditure of fuel from UK stocks, it was requested that additional supplies should be shipped to the UK. The demands for fuel escalated towards the end of 1943 and the convoy series was reorganized accordingly. The fast tanker tonnage was now utilised on the New York to UK route, oil supplies being freighted from the Caribbean fields in older, slower vessels. After the Normandie landings, increasing numbers of ships from these convoys were routed to French ports to discharge cargo and personnel, returning to the U.K. to join the westbound UC convoy." The speed of these convoys was generally greater than that of the regular U.K.-U.S. and U.S.-U.K. convoys.

See also ships sailing in all UC convoys
and ships sailing in all CU convoys

Ships in Convoy UC 21
Departed Liverpool on May 2-1944 and arrived New York City on the 12th. (Arnold Hague says 25 ships)

Transcribed from several documents received from Olaf Evertse, Holland (whose father served on Curacao)
His source: National Archives, Washington.

Station numbers, cargoes and destinations are unknown.

The convoy had 27 ships as follows:

The American cargo vessels
Golden Eagle
Great Republic
Santa Teresa
Robin Sherwood
(straggled, returned to port, see Notes)

The American tankers
Cross Keys (Vice Commodore)
Harpers Ferry
Stony Point
Red Canyon
South Mountain
(Commodore Vessel)
Kernstown (for Philadelphia, detached at 00:45 May 12)
Missionary Ridge
(detached for Aruba at 21:00 May 10)
Cerro Gordo
(detached for Wilmington, Del. at 00:45 May 12)
Powder River
White River

The British cargo vessels
Esperance Bay

The Norwegian cargo vessel California Express

The Dutch cargo vessel Curacao and the Dutch tanker Fort Schuyler.

HMS Premier (detached for Hampton Roads)

Commodore, Captain E. H. Tillman, U.S.N. (retired) was in Fairfax, Vice Commodore was Captain H. F. Craven of Cross Keys.

Average speed: 13.2 knots.

Orpheus became a straggler - returned to port at 01:30 on May 3-1944, in 56 00N 11 30W, because of stress of weather.
Missionary Ridge was detached to Aruba at 18:00 on May 10 in 41 04N 63 26W.
HMS Premier was detached for Hampton Roads at 06:20 on May 11 in 39 54N 67 13W.

Following breakdowns occurred:
Orpheus had steering gear trouble at 13:30 on May 2, but was promptly repaired.
Opequon lost steam for 18 minutes at 12:30 May 3.
South Mountain had steering gear problems at 13:00 May 4, maintained position by steering by hand, repaired at 19:00.
Fort Schuyler developed a leak in telemotor system at 18:50 May 4, steered by hand keeping station in rear of her column until repaired the next morning.
Santa Teresa developed engine defect at 08:10 May 5, but was repaired within a few minutes.
Stony Point had temporary breakdown due to engine defect at 08:00 May 6.
California Express had engine defect at 10:10 May 7 necessitating her slowing to 9 knots for 15 minutes.
Opequon developed condenser leaks at 10:40 May 8, and having used up all her saw dush would have been unable to reach her destination but, the weather being favourable, 6 sacks of saw dust were transferred by USS Kirkpatrick from Cerro Gordo, enabling her to continue to her destination.
Robin Sherwood developed steering gear defect at 06:14 May 10 causing her to fall off to port during heavy fog, but was repaired at 06:26.
Stony Point developed engine defect at 15:10 May 10 and dropped astern. Rejoined at 21:30 after having been repaired.

HMS Premier, Rangitata and Esperance Bay kept radar watch at night and during 4 days of fog, which was of great assistance to the Commodore in keeping the convoy in good shape.

The Commodore says
that the voyage was routine, "except greater plane coverage than ever experienced before. On the whole the cooperation of the Masters, the excellent TBY operation and communications, as well as the unusual experience of having three ships in the convoy with radar, made it the best convoy of which I have been Commodore".

USS Joyce, USS Poole, USS Kirkpatrick, USS Peterson, USS Gandy, USS Harveson. Ocean Escort joined at 11:30 on May 2, 6 miles west of Oversay and remained until arrival Ambrose.

Air Escort: 10:00 May 3, 06:00 May 4, 06:00 May 6, 05:00 and 07:00 May 8 and 05:30 May 10.

Back to Convoy Index

To the next UC convoy in my list UC 22
will be added
In the meantime, see ships sailing in all UC convoys


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