Site Map | Search |Merchant Fleet Main Page | Home 

Available Discussion Forums

Convoy SC 30
Commodore's Narrative & Salopian's Report

Salopian's Report

Page 1 - Cruising order

Commodore's Narrative

SC 30 of 28 ships sailed at 11:00 on 29 April in fine weather. Junction was made with HX 124 on 6 May and SC 30 took station 20 miles astern. 2 ships were detached from HX 124 to join SC 30 making 30 in all.

On 10 May, submarine Thunderbolt, when in station 2 miles ahead of convoy in clear weather, was fired on by an unknown British ship sailing independently. This ship reported this by W/T. In view of the convoy being much closer to the submarine, I think this ship should have realized it was a British submarine.

It was unfortunate that at 05:00 on 11 May SC 30, on course 050° was just running into a thick fog when the Admiralty message to alter course forthwith to 270° was received. This large turn could not be completed in view of the density of the fog, but course 310° was steered.

The fog lasted 17 hours and when it cleared 12 ships had lost touch (named on Page 1). 4 of these rejoined the next day, but 8 did not regain touch. One ship Søborg which had lost touch when turning, was sighted and chased by a submarine. Course of convoy was altered. The Søborg rejoined next day having eluded the submarine.

Junction of SC 30 with the Iceland Escort was made at 17:00 on 12th May, and at this time HX 124 was 38 miles astern. Convoys SC 30 and HX 124 joined at noon on 13th May, 59 40N 35 20W and proceeded in company.

Aircraft were in touch with convoys from 14th May.

Owing to large alteration of course at 05:00 on 11 May, which added 48 hours to the voyage, SS Trolla had to be diverted to Iceland for fuel (at 11:45, May 15), and several other ships were anxious about their coal supply. They were supposed to have fuel for 22 days, but this passage has taken 23 days in flat calm weather.

It would appear that an alteration of course from 050° to 270° in thick fog is rather more than these classes 8 ships can cope with in spite of the very gradual alterations made. However, there were no collisions.

At 05:00 on 17th in 61 10N 21 10W a Focke Wolfe Condor was sighted but was driven off by Escort fire.

Weather continued fine and clear and ships parted company for their destinations as arranged.

HX 124 and SC 30 arrived at the Bar Light Vessel at 10:00/22.

Report of Proceedings 29th April-12th May 1941
from The Commanding Officer, HMS Salopian
to The Secretary of the Admiralty

Dated May 20-1941

All times are Z + 4.

Unfortuantely, the document is rather faded and difficult to decipher in places - note that some guessing has taken place.

Apr. 29-1941:
P.M. - Left Halifax and proceeded as requisite for carrying out sub-calibre firing practice at towed target. On completion joined Convoy SC 30 (28 ships) and took station between 4th and 5th columns, course as required for convoy route, speed 6.5 knots. HMS Thunderbolt took station on starboard beam of leading ship of starboard column. Two H.M. Corvettes took station as a A/S screen - parted company at dusk.

May 10:
P.M. - sighted Convoy HX 124 ahead. Proceeded as requisite to investigate merchant ship ahead. Intercepted W/T message from merchant ship reporting submarine. Presumed this to be HMS Thunderbolt stationed ahead of convoy and then close to Salopian. Ship turned away and did not answer signals flashed by searchlight.
Proceeded as requisite to rejoin convoy.
Sighted merchant ship ahead of convoy and proceeded as requisite to investigate. Merchant ship turned away and opened fire on HMS Thunderbolt about 2 miles from Salopian, firing about 6 rounds. Ordered Thunderbolt to take station 3 cables on starboard beam of leading ship of starboard wing column of convoy and informed merchant ship by searchlight that submarine was friendly. HMS Thunderbolt parted company after dark.
Midnight (approximately) - Received Admiralty's message amending route of convoys SC 30 and HX 124. This involved an alteration of course of about 100° to port.

May 11:
Time illegible, looks like approx. 01:30 - When the above turn was about half completed thick fog shut down on the convoy and the turn was not completed. When visibility improved later it was found that 12 ships had became detached during the turn in the fog and were missing.

May 12:
Time looks like approx. 13:00 - Sighted HMS Malcolm and A/S escort who took station as A/S screen.
14:00 (approx.) - Parted company with convoy SC 30 and proceeded as requisite to locate convoy HX 124 astern of SC 30.
16:00 - Sighted HMS ? (looks like Cinnamon or similar) and Convoy HX 124.
17:00 - Parted company with Convoy HX 124 and proceeded as requisite for Halifax in accordance with instructions from the Rear-Admiral Commanding 3rd Battle Squadron - 14 1/2? knots.
22:00(?) - Transmitted cypher message to Admiralty, C.-in-C., W.A., and F.C.I.S.(?) Iceland, reporting situation regarding convoys HX 124, SC 30 and stragglers.

Captain J. N. Allegre

Salopian was sunk the next day by U-98 - see external link below.

Related external link:
The loss of HMS Salopian

Back to Convoy Index

To the next SC convoy in my list SC 31


 Site Map | Search |Merchant Fleet Main Page | Home