Diary of Commander Joseph K. Taussig, Commander, Destroyer Division Eight
Proceeding with convoy as yesterday. Last night received a wireless from the C-in-C, Queenstown directing that the Conyningham’s Convoy and Wadsworth’s convoy not get too close, and for Conyningham to keep to northward if necessary. My bunch being late, it is evident that the Conyningham’s gang have caught up to us. This forenoon we sighted their smoke on the horizon and we have been steering slightly converging courses since Alfy Johnson will have to do the necessary maneuvering to keep us from coming together –
Two tugs, the Paladin II and Flying Foam joined this forenoon. They are here for rescue work should it be necessary.
This morning we intercepted a message from a special service ship stating he was engaging a submarine – A little later he sent a wireless to a British man of war, but we could not translate it. Since then the special service ship reported that he was torpedoed. This was followed by a message to the British man of war to keep away for the present. We are now awaiting further messages as to the final outcome of the fight.
Later – The special service ship is the Dunraven commanded by Captain Campbell. Another wireless has just been intercepted. It stated that his ship had been torpedoed, the aftermagazine and depth charges exploded, that he had fourteen wounded two of which were transferred to the American Gail Norma for operation. She did not sink the submarine. We have also been intercepting wireless messages between the C-in-C at Queenstown and some mine sweepeers in regard to a stranded submarine which they are trying to salve. We do not know whether it is a British or German one. We hope it is German.
Not long ago two merchant ships escorted by the Patterson and Warrington joined my convoy. They were sent by Johnson, the smoke of whose ship has been in view to the northward for several hours. I imagine these ships are lame ducks and too slow for Johnson’s bunch which is moving along about a knot and a half faster than mine
Five British destroyers are due to join at 11 p.m. to take the ships bound for the English Channel off our hands. I sent a wireless to the C-in-C Devonport requesting the destroyers join before dark if practicable but have had no reply.
Source Note: D, RNW, Joseph K. Taussig Papers, Mss. Coll. 97. Naval Historical Collection. The diary is written on ruled paper with a vertical line one inch in along the left margin. The place and date is written in that space. It is sometimes repeated when the diary entry continues on a second page, as it was in this entry.