Vice Admiral Alexander L. Duff, Assistant Chief of Naval Staff, to Vice Admiral Sir William Lowther Grant, Commander-in-Chief, North America and West Indies Station
C O P Y
<NA & WI> MERCANTILE CONVOY
To C-in-C North America No 81
H. Sent 1653
619. My 808- Following are proposed arrangements for Ocean Escorts:-
(a.) For H.X. Convoys H.M.S. LEVIATHAN H.M.S. DUKE OF EDINBURGH and 3 U. S. Cruisers. As it is necessary for an Ocean Escort to accompany these convoys to final port of destination, a British Armed Merchant Cruiser must sail with a U.S. Cruiser, but the Armed Merchant Cruisers should themselves be used to carry Troops not exceeding a maximum of 700 in each case. Four Armed Merchant Cruisers will be required to complete this service and should be selected from ALSATIAN TEUTONIC MOLDAVIA KILDONAN CASTLE VIRGINIAN VICTORIAN GLOUCESTERSHIRE and COLUMBELLA, due regard being paid to the speed which the ships are actually able to maintain at the times.
(b.) For H.N. Convoys a Cruiser will be required to escort those proceeding to West Coast [of England] and a minimum of 3 will be necessary for this service and 4 should be allocated. An Armed Merchant Cruiser carrying Troops as in (a) will be required to escort the East Coast convoys and four of those mentioned in (a) will be available for this service.
(c.) For H. B. Convoys, will all be for the East Coast, should be escorted by U. S. Cruisers, with a British Commodore, as at present.
(d.) For H. H. Convoys, whose programme will be as at present commissioned escort ships will act as ocean escorts for these proceeding to the East Coast. U. S. are at present providing 3 U. S. Cruisers to supplement the ocean escorts of H. N. Convoys for the West Coast. U. S. Authorities should be asked whether they will divert these 3 U. S. Cruisers to act as Ocean Escorts for the H. H. Convoys for the West Coast, They will require to be supplemented by one or two British escorts as in next paragraph.
(e.) For H.S Convoys commissioned escort ships will act as Ocean Escorts for East Coast Convoys. For West Coast H. S. Convoys and to supplement U. S. Cruisers for the West Coast H.H, Convoys a total of 5 vessels is required and the ISIS PATRIA and 3 Cruisers not utilized for H. N. Convoys should be allocated.
(f.) The above appropriation allows for vessels undergoing refit but some interchange of duties may be necessary from Time to time to meet actual requirements. As far as possible however, the Ocean Escorts should be kept definitely allotted to their particular service.
(g.) After consulting U. S. Authorities, request you will report your proposed allocation of Ocean Escorts for Convoy sailing during May.