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(Will be updated - please compare with A. Hague's listing for this convoy at ships in all HX convoys. See also HX escorts).

Departed Halifax on Sept. 5-1940, arrived Liverpool on the 20th
(Arnold Hague's "The Allied Convoy System" gives 34 ships in this convoy).

Reports received from Roger Griffiths - His source: Public Records Office, Kew.
Main convoy from Halifax will be added - some ships are named within HMS Ranpura's narrative further down on this page.
Advance Sailing Telegram for the Bermuda portion was received from Tony Cooper, England.

Bermuda Section - Sailed Sept 4 -1940
Ad. Tanker B
El Aleto
Tanker B
Listed in HX 72
Tanker W
To Halifax to await orders
Tanker B
To HX 73, but not listed
Pacific Exporter
general - aircraft parts
San Arcadio
Tanker B
See Sept. 9 & 10 in report below
San Emiliano
Tanker W
general - special
Saint Bertrand
(ex. French)
sulphur - pulp
Not at rendezvous
See Sept. 9 in report below
Temple Arch
timber - general
Tudor Prince
Listed in HX 72
Tanker W
Tanker W
Joined SC 4
Returned to port
Listed in SC 5

There's a statement in connection with Convoy SC 4, saying that Tenax, sailing in that convoy, also came from HX 71.

HX 71 - Orders for Ocean and Local Escort
From Rear Admiral, 3rd Battle Squadron - dated Sept. 3-1940.
Short Title - 'E.O. 71'. All times - Zone plus three.
(To be destroyed by fire when complied with and not to be allowed to fall into the hands of the enemy).

Leaving Harbour:
The Halifax section of Convoy HX 71 will sail on Thursday, 5th September 1940. The leading ship of the convoy will pass Turple Head at zero hour (14:00, 5th September unless otherwise ordered). The local escort (HMCS Ships Assiniboine and Saguenay) will proceed at zero minus 1 1/2 hours so as to patrol to a depth of 16 miles on an arc 090° - 150° from the inner automatic buoy while the convoy is leaving harbour. The Ocean Escort (HMS Ranpura) is to leave harbour about half an hour after the rear ship of the convoy. Arrangements have been made for aircraft of the RCAF to patrol the area while the convoy is forming up.

Disposition of Escorts after Convoy has formed

Local Escort:
Local Escort will take station in accordance with C.B. 04024, page 54, figure No. 2, HMCS Assiniboine to port and HMCS Saguenay to starboard. After dark or in low visibility destroyers will maintain relative bearings from the convoy and will remain within visibility distance of it. In thick fog they will open out to a safe distance and proceed on the mean course at the speed of the convoy until the fog clears. In clear weather by day, and in bright moonlight, destroyers will zig-zag and proceed at not less that 16 knots.

The object of the local escort being the A/S protection of the convoy they should not normally be detached to round up stragglers. They will, however, be of assistance in this direction after leaving the convoy.

Ocean Escort:
The normal disposition of the Ocean Escort will be between the two centre columns of the convoy and about one cable astern of the line of leading ships, zig-zagging with and at the speed of the convoy. By night the Ocean Escort is free to drop to the rear of the convoy and to close one flank if conditions of light or the position of the moon enhance the possibility of attack from a particular direction. On dark nights or in low visibility, the Ocean Escort should be in line with the leading ships to assist stationkeeping in the convoy.

Air Escort:
Arrangements have been made for aircraft of the RCAF to maintain an outer A/S patrol on 5th September from the time the convoy forms up until dark. A/S air patrol will be carried out on 6th September for as long as is practicable. Aircraft sighting a submarine near the convoy will indicate the fact as laid down in the Merchant Navy Code. If sighting takes place out of sight of the convoy, aircraft will report the position to the base by the method laid down in S.P. 02274(4).

Junction with the Sydney Section:
The Sydney Section (SHX 71) of Convoy HX 71 will sail from Sydney on Friday, 6th September and proceed so as to rendezvous with the Halifax Section in position 44 40N 56 50W at 12:00 GMT on Saturday, 7th September 1940. The Halifax Section will steer for a point 20 miles South of the rendezvous and will haul in as necessary to make contact. If junction is not effected with the Halifax Section on this day, the Sydney Section will proceed from this rendezvous to a point 40 miles Northward of the rendezvous position for the junction of the Halifax and Bermuda Sections (position given below). As there will be no Ocean Escort with the SHX Section, normal D/F procedure will not be available, but the Commodore of SHX Section may be instructed by HMS Ranpura to make his call sign on 500 kc/s. In this event, the convoy call sign is to be transmitted for 30 seconds only.

After junction, the Sydney Section will cease to be termed SHX 71.

Junction with the Bermuda Section:
The Bermuda Section (BHX 71) of Convoy HX 71, escorted by HMS Rajputana, will sail from Bermuda on Wednesday, 4th September 1940 and proceed so as to rendezvous with the Halifax Section in position 42 10N 48 40W at 12:00 GMT on Monday 9th September 1940. The Bermuda Section will pass through this rendezvous, thence following the Ocean Route. The Halifax Section, provided junction with the Sydney Section has been effected, will steer for a position 20 miles North of the rendezvous and will subsequently haul in as necessary to make contact. If, however, contact with the Sydney Section has not been made, the Halifax Section will steer for a position 20 miles North of Bermuda rendezvous and the Sydney Section for a position 40 miles North of this rendezvous..... looks like there's a continuation, but unfortunately, the next page is missing.

From The Commanding Officer of HMS Ranpura
To the Secretary of the Admiralty - Dated Sept. 22-1940

Sept. 5
17:00 - HMS Ranpura, Ocean Escort for HX 71, left Harbour and joined the convoy of eleven ships. Local Escort, HMCS Saguenay and Assiniboine. The latter left after dark.

Sept. 6
Zig-zag No. 10. Convoy exercised emergency turns. Saguenay left convoy after dark.

Sept. 7
During the night of 6/7th, a very heavy thunderstorm was experienced in the middle watch. This gave place to fog which became very thick during the day and prevented the junction of the Sydney Section of the Convoy.

Sept. 8
Weather fine.
09:04 - SHX (this was the Sydney portion) was sighted bearing 350°, and by noon this section of the main convoy, consisting of eleven ships, was in position, with the exception of Crown Arun* which was well astern.
16:15 - Convoy exercised emergency turns.

* Crown Arun (Br) was sunk by U-99 on Sept. 17-1940, no casualties.

Sept. 9
A very thick fog developed during the night of the 8/9th but this cleared off in the morning.
12:40 - Sighted Rajputana (escort for Bermuda section).
12:48 - Sighted BHX (Bermuda section).
15:15 - BHX, consisting of ten ships was formed up in the main convoy. Rajputana reported that Saint Bertrand had fallen out on the 6th in 35 14N 60 13W. The tanker San Arcadio fell astern at about 19:00.

Sept. 10
Convoy exercised zig-zag No. 10 and Emergency Turns during the forenoon. San Arcadio rejoined in the afternoon. Convoy exercised zig-zag No. 15.

Sept. 11
09:15 - Athelempress stopped for slight defect.
14:00 - Rejoined.

Sept. 12
During the day Ranpura, having obtained D/F Bearings, informed Laurits Swenson (Norw) and Bayano that they were oscillating and asked them to reduce 'reaction'.
P.M. - Fog.

Sept. 13

Sept. 14

Sept. 15
Fog cleared P.M. Tregenna* was informed that D/F Bearings indicated that she might be oscillating. The barometer had been falling slowly from noon on Thursday 12th, and at 20:00 the wind started to freshen and at midnight 15/16th it was blowing hard from the west with a sea on the quarter.
03:14 - The stearing gear failed. By good fortune the port inner column was not 'written off'. When clear of the convoy the fault was rectified.
04:00 - Ranpura rejoined convoy.

* Tregenna (Br) was sunk by U 65 on Sept. 17-1940 with the loss of 33 lives.

Sept. 16
In accordance with instructions, Ranpura left convoy after dark.

Night of Sept. 17
North westerly gale.
P.M. - Wind eased.

Night of Sept. 18
North westerly gale
P.M. - Wind cleared.

Sept. 20
13:45 - Sighted the coast of Newfoundland, (high land of St. John's).
16:20 - Spoke sloop Enchantress.
18:00 - Cape Race abeam 12 miles.

Sept. 22
02:00 - Exchanged challenge and signals with destroyer, name unknown.
07:30 - Fog.
08:00 - Thick fog.
08:50 - Anchored off Inner Automatic Buoy.
15:20 - Weighed anchor and proceeded into harbour.
16:40 Secured alongside No. 22 Berth, Ocean Terminals, Halifax.

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To the next HX convoy in my list HX 72


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