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CONVOY ON 24 – U.K.-Norway

Left Methil Roads on March 31-1940 and arrived Norway on Apr. 4
Names of ships were received from Don Kindell, based on the late Arnold Hague's database.
The reports were received from Tony Cooper, England (his source: Public Records Office, Kew).

A document listing all ON convoys says that ON 24 had 1 British, 13 Norwegian, 1 Swedish, 5 Danish, and 1 Finnish ship (3 of these joined from Kirkwall).

According to Arnold Hague, the following ships sailed in this convoy (in alphabetical order):

Norwegian Basel
Norwegian Bessheim
Norwegian Edna
Norwegian Hafnia
Norwegian Havborg
British Helmond
Swedish Ingeborg
Danish Karen
Danish Knud Villemoes
Finnish Kotka
Danish Martin Carl
Norwegian Mira
Norwegian Nerva
Norwegian Ørland
Danish Phonix
Danish Polly
Norwegian Rona
Norwegian Snyg
Norwegian Toran
Norwegian Toratre (said to have been sold in Jan.-1940 and renamed Valør).
Norwegian Ulv

The external website that I've linked to at the end of this page also mentions the British Cree, which had to return because of engine problems (this ship is listed in ON 25).

All the Norwegian ships mentioned here are discussed on this website, some are listed in the Homefleet section. The easiest way to find them all is via the Master Ship Index.

Some of above had previously arrived from Norway in Convoy HN 20; see also other HN convoys from the same time period.

There's no signature visible on the report which I've summarized here, so I don't know by whom it was supplied, possibly by the Senior Officer of Escort.

The main body of 18 ships left Methil at noon on March 31, escorted by 8th Destroyer Flotilla, Faulknor, Escapade, Tartar and Zulu. Somali, Mashona and Matabele (of 6th Destroyer Flotilla) left Scapa at 10:30 on Apr. 1, escorting the Kirkwall portion of 3 ships to meet up with the main body. However, contact could not be made that night due to a strong easterly gale with bad visibility, forcing the ships to heave to for the night. Rona lost contact while hove to and proceeded independently.

Rendezvous was made at 09:00 the following morning, Apr. 2, in 58 58N 01 23 W, at which time Zulu and Escapade returned to Scapa, leaving Somali, Matabele, Mashona and Tartar as escorts. Covering force Sheffield joined that morning, while cruiser Cairo joined at 18:45. The gale abated during the day. The convoy was re-routed east of Shetlands by the Commander-in-Chief, Rosyth. 5 knots was maintained at first, increasing to 6 1/2 knots the next day, Apr. 3. Penelope also joined that morning.

The convoy had been attacked by 2 Heinkel bombers at 15:00 on Apr. 2, in 59 15N 00 41W, and 4 bombs were dropped near the convoy, but no ships were hit. Reports on attacks on Convoy HN 23A and HN 23B were intercepted at the same time, and one of the aircraft, which was believed to be returning from the attack on HN 23B was engaged briefly by the local escort before it turned out of range. 2 bombs were also dropped near Sheffield, but it is not known by which plane.

From 09:40 the following morning, Apr. 3, the convoy was shadowed by a Heinkel 115 reconnaissance plane and a Heinkel 111 bomber. The last sighting of aircraft was made at 11:50 that morning, at which time a smoke plume was seen. Successful jamming was carried out on 6000 kc/s during the forenoon and on about 5075 kc/s during the afternoon. At 11:55, in 61 33N 02 37E, 4 Heinkel bombers were seen flying low above the horizon, followed shortly afterwards by 2 more on a bearing 180° different. The 6 aircraft split up and carried out single high level attacks from 10 000 to 15 000 feet between 16:10 and 17:30. The planes were heavily engaged with gunfire, and no ships were hit. See also this page, giving some info on the air attacks.

ON 24 was dispersed off Hovden, Norway at 08:30 on Apr. 4. The conduct of the convoy had been "admirable. It is desired specially to mention the Norwegian Toran, whose signalling and manoeuvring were exceptionally good".

Faulknor, Zulu, Escapade
Local: Somali (Captain, 6th Destroyer Flotilla), Matabele, Mashona, Tartar.
Covering Force: Sheffield, Penelope.
Also, cruiser Cairo. See also this document, listing escorts for all HN and ON convoys.

Additionally, the text under March 31 on this external page mentions this convoy and its escorts (scroll down in the text).

Back to Convoy Index

To the next U.K.-Norway convoy in my list ON 25
To List of all U.K.-Norway Convoys


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