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History of Convoy and Routing [1945]

United States Naval Administration in World War II #11

United States Naval Administration in World War II
History of Convoy and Routing

Headquarters of the Commander in Chief, United States Fleet,
Commander, Tenth Fleet

Navy Department
Washington, D.C.
Secret Declassified

History of Convoy and Routing
Headquarters of the Commander in Chief, United States Fleet
and Commander, Tenth Fleet

(up to VE Day, 8 May, 1945)

Background Material

Memorandum - Recommendation to Vice Admiral Wilson on transfer of Routing and Convoy Division, 13 May 1942

Memorandum - Transfer of Convoy and Routing Division to Commander in Chief, United States Fleet

Publications Handled by FX-37

Chronological Outline of FX-37

History of Development of Convoy and Routing Section of Tenth Fleet - FX-37


The Growth and Organization of C&R As a Whole 1
A. Mission 1
B. Definitions 2
C. Volume of Shipping Involved and Casualties Suffered
(including comparison with casualties of World War I)
D. Development of U.S. Shipping Control Prior to Our Entry in the War 5
E. C&R is Transferred to Headquarters, Commander in Chief, U.S. Fleet, May 1942 6
F. C&R Transferred to TENTH Fleet, May 1943 7
G. General Duties of Key Officers of C&R 8
  1. Director 8
  2. Assistant Director 8
  3. Convoy Administration or Control 9
  4. Communications 9
Routing, Reporting and Control of Independents since December, 1941 10
A. The War Begins 10
B. "BUSRA" is Promulgated, March, 1942 10
C. C&R Assumes Full Responsibility for Shipping Control, July, 1942 11
D. "GIRO" is Issued, October, 1942 11
E. Field Personnel 11
F. Duties of Principal Sub-Sections 12
  1. Independent Plot (FX-3711) 12
  2. Merchant Ship Records (FX-3712) 18
  3. Staff Assistants (FX-3731 and FC-3732) 19
G. Routing Policies: Convoys vs. Independents 19
H. Activities in the Pacific 21
Ocean Convoys 23
A. Convoying in General 23
B. Duties of Convoy Sections 24
  1. Convoy Plot 24
  2. Convoy Schedules 26
C. General Account of Convoying in North Atlantic and Coastal Waters 29
  1. Principal Ocean Convoys 30
  2. Chop Lines of the Atlantic 31
  3. North Atlantic Trade Convoys 32
    a. Inauguration and Control 32
    b. Schedules 32
    c. Routes 33
    d. Speed 34
    e. Voyage Times 34
    f. Escorts 35
    g. Shipping 35
    h. Casualties 38
  4. Principal Convoys to North Africa and Mediterranean 39
    a. TORCH Operations 39
    b. UG/GU Convoys 39
      1. UGF/GUF Convoys 39
      2. UGS/GUS Convoys 40
        a. Schedule 40
        b. Routes 41
        c. Speed and Voyage Time 41
        d. Escorts and Commodores 42
        e. Shipping 42
        f. Casualties 43
    c. OT/TO Convoys 43
  5. Principal Troop and Oil Convoys to U.K. 44
  a. UT/TU Convoys 45
  b. CU/UC Convoys (including TCU/UCT) 45
  1. Schedule 45
  2. Routes 46
  3. Speed and Voyage Time 46
  4. Escorts and Commodores 46
  5. Shipping 46
  6. Casualties 47
  c. AT/TA Convoys and Independent Transports 47
D. Pacific Convoys 48
Coastal Convoys: Atlantic Seaboard, Gulf, Caribbean and Brazil 50
A. Sea Frontiers and Joint (Army-Navy) Coastal Frontiers 50
B. Inauguration of the Convoy System 50
C. Control of Convoy Movements 51
D. Schedules 52
E. Routes, Speed and Voyage Time 53
F. Escorts and Commodores 54
G. Shipping 55
H. Casualties 57
I. Changes in Policy: Convoying vs. Independents 60
J. Canadian Convoys (and SG/GS Convoys) 61
Communications 63
Summary 69

Appendices to History of Convoy and Routing

Appendix Title
A. Principal Abbreviations Used.
B. Sources Used.
C. Officers of Convoy and Routing (to 8 May 1945).
D. Estimate of Approximate Personnel, Space and Equipment Required by Convoy and Routing Section Based on Experience of Period 1943-1945.
E. Chart: History of Ocean "CHOP" Lines.
F. Table: Summary of Principal Convoys Arriving in Calendar Year 1942.
G. Tables: Convoys Arriving by Months - January/December, incl., 1943.
G. Table: Summary of Convoys Arriving in Calendar Year 1943.
H. Tables: Convoys Arriving by Months - January/December, incl., 1944.
H. Table: Summary of Convoys Arriving in Calendar Year 1944.
I. Tables: Convoys Arriving by Months - January/May, incl., 1945.
I. Table: Summary of Convoys Arriving in Calendar Year 1945 (and Sailing Prior to VE).
J. Diagram: Time Graph of Convoy Schedules (typical of 1944).
K. Chart: U.S. Coastal Convoy System, 1944.
L. Chart: Average Ships and U-Boats at Sea by Areas for the Period Jan-June 1944.
M. Table: Sailing Intervals of North Atlantic Trade Convoys from North America.
N. Table: Pacific Convoys Arriving in January 1945.
O. Table: Pacific Convoys Arriving in February 1945.
P. Organization Diagram: Headquarters of the Commander in Chief, United States Fleet (1 July 1943).
Q. Organization Diagram: Headquarters, Commander TENTH Fleet, Convoy and Routing Section (20 November 1944).
AA. Photo: Rear Admiral M.K. Metcalf, USN (Ret.), Director of Convoy and Routing, 8 May 1945.
BB. Photo: Ocean and Coastal Convoy Plot Room (FX-3721), April 1945.
CC. Photo: Convoy Wall Chart - North Atlantic Convoys, 16Feb43 (Note: ON-166).
DD. Photo: Convoy Wall Chart - North Atlantic Convoys, 25Feb43 (Note: ON-166).
EE. Photo: Convoy Wall Chart - U.S. Coastal Convoys, 5Dec43 (Day after sinking in KN-280).
FF. Photo: Convoy Schedules Section (FXC-3722), April 1945.
GG. Photo: Convoy Time Graph - Schedule of Trade Convoys 5March-15Apr43.
HH. Photo: Convoy Time Graph - Actual Record of Trade Convoys, 5March-15Apr43.
II. Photo: Convoy Time Graph - Schedule of U.S. Convoys - Med. & U.K., (Including British Convoys - Med. & S. Afr.), 14Mar-7Jun44.
JJ. Photo: Convoy Time Graph - Actual Record of U.S. U.S. Convoys - Med. & U.K., (Including British Convoys - Med. & S. Afr.), 14Mar-7Jun44.
KK. Photo: Convoy Time Graph - Actual Record of Coastal & North Atlantic Trade convoys, 30Mar-10May45.
KK2. Photo: Convoy Time Graph - Actual Record of U.S. Convoys - Med. & U.K., Cont., (Including British Convoys - Med.), 21Feb-17May45.
LL. Photo: Merchant Ship Plot Room, North Atlantic (FX-3711), April 1945.
MM. Photo: Merchant Ship Plot Room, Pacific and Ships in Port (FX-3711), April 1945.
NN. Photo: Merchant Ship Wall Chart, North Atlantic, 25Feb43.
OO. Photo: Merchant Ship Wall Chart, North Atlantic, 1May45.
PP. Photo: Merchant Ship Wall Chart, South Atlantic, 1May45.
QQ. Photo: Merchant Ship Wall Chart, Pacific, 1May45.
RR. Photo: Merchant Ship Wall Chart, Indian Ocean, 1May45.
SS. Photo: Merchant Ship Wall Chart, Neutral Merchantmen, North and South Atlantic, 1May45.
TT. Photo: Communications Room (FX-375), April 1945.

Appendices AAA through MMM

(Note: Appendices AAA to MMM, inclusive, are not attached hereto because of their size, and are filed with Convoy and Routing Section.)

AAA. List of Photos of Time graphs of U.S. Coastal Convoys and North Atlantic Trade Convoys (16" x 22")
Photo Number Period Covered Title
A 22 Sept. - 1 Nov. '42 Record
B 1 Nov. - 11 Dec. '42 Record & Schedule
C 1 Nov. - 11 Dec. '42 Record
D 12 Dec. '42 - 22 Jan. '43 Schedule
E 12 Dec. '42 - 22 Jan. '43 Record
F 22 Jan. - 4 Mar. '43 Schedule
G 5 Mar. - 15 Apr. '43 Schedule
H 22 Jan. - 4 Mar. '43 Record
I 5 Mar. - 15 Apr. '43 Record & Revised Schedule
J 16 Apr. - 27 May '43 Schedule
K 5 Mar. - 15 Apr. '43 Record
L 28 May - 8 July '43 Schedule
M 16 Apr. - 27 May '43 Record
N 9 July - 19 Aug. '43 Schedule
O 28 May - 8 July '43 Record
P 20 Aug. - 30 Sept. '43 Schedule
Q 9 July - 19 Aug. '43 Record
R 1 Oct. - 11 Nov. '43 Schedule
S 20 Aug. - 30 Sept. '43 Record
T 12 Nov. - 23 Dec. '43 Schedule
U 1 Oct. - 11 Nov. '43 Record
V 24 Dec. '43 - 3 Feb. '44 Schedule
W 12 Nov. 23 Dec. '43 Record
X 4 Feb. - 16 Mar. '44 Schedule
Y 24 Dec. '43 - 3 Feb. '44 Record
Z 17 Mar. - 24 Apr. '44 Schedule
AA 4 Feb. - 16 Mar. '44 Record
BB 28 Apr. - 8 June '44 Schedule
CC 17 Mar. - 27 Apr. '44 Record
DD 9 June - 20 July '44 Schedule
EE 28 Apr. - 8 June '44 Record
FF 21 July - 31 Aug. '44 Schedule
GG 9 June - 20 July '44 Record
HH 1 Sept. - 12 Oct. '44 Schedule
II 21 July - 31 Aug. '44 Record
JJ 13 Oct. - 23 Nov. '44 Schedule
KK 1 Sept. - 12 Oct. '44 Record
LL 24 Nov. '44 - 4 Jan. '45 Schedule
MM 13 Oct. - 23 Nov. '44 Record
NN 5 Jan. - 15 Feb. '45 Schedule
OO 24 Nov. '44 - 4 Jan. '45 Record
PP 16 Feb. - 29 Mar. '45 Schedule
QQ 16 Feb. - 29 Mar. '45 Revised Schedule
RR 5 Jan. - 15 Feb. '45 Record
SS 30 Mar. - 10 May '45 Schedule
TT 16 Feb. - 29 Mar. '45 Record
UU 11 May - 21 June '45 Schedule
VV 30 Mar. - 10 May '45 Record
WW 11 May - 21 June '45 Record
BBB. List of Photos of Time graphs of U.S. Convoys to Mediterranean and U.K., and British Convoys to Mediterranean and West Africa 18" x 22")  
Photo Number Period Covered Title
I 1 Jan. - 10 Mar. '43 Record
II 12 Feb. - 13 May '43 Record & Schedule
III 5 Apr. - 29 June '43 Record & Schedule
IV 30 July - 23 Sept. '43 Schedule
V 5 Apr. - 29 June '43 Record
VI 30 July - 23 Sept. '43 Record & Schedule
VII 24 Sept. - 18 Dec. '43 Schedule
VIII 30 July - 23 Sept. '43 Record
IX 24 Sept. - 18 Dec. '43 Record & Schedule
X 19 Dec. '43 - 13 Mar. '44 Schedule
XI 24 Sept. - 18 Dec. '43 Record
XII 14 March - 7 June '44 Schedule
XIII 19 Dec. '43 - 13 Mar. '44 Record
XIV 8 June - 1 Sept. '44 Schedule
XV 8 June - 1 Sept. '44 Revised Schedule
XVI 14 Mar. - 7 June '44 Record
XVII 2 Sept. - 26 Nov. '44 Schedule
XVIII 2 Sept. - 26 Nov. '44 Revised Schedule
XIX 8 June - 1 Sept. '44 Record
XX 27 Nov. '44 - 20 Feb. '45 Schedule
XXI 27 Nov. '44 - 20 Feb. '45 Revised Schedule
XXII 2 Sept. - 26 Nov. '44 Record
XXIII 27 Nov. '44 - 20 Feb. '45 Revised Schedule
XXIV 21 Feb. - 17 May '45 Schedule
XXV 27 Nov. '44 - 20 Feb. '45 Record
XXVI 18 May - 11 Aug. '45 Schedule
XXVII 21 Feb. - 17 May '45 Record
XXVIII 18 May - 11 Aug. '45 Record
CCC. Drawings of Time graphs of U.S. Convoys, East Coast, North Bound and South Bound, for the period May 15, 1942 to December 31, 1942. (Prepared by FX-3723) (8 1/2" x 11")
DDD. Loose-Leaf Booklet - U.S. Convoys, Composition and Voyages, By Individual Convoys (FX-3722) (9 1/2" x 11 1/2", Black)
EEE. Loose-Leaf Booklet - U.S. Convoys, Composition and Voyages, Monthly Summaries (for use in preparing tables for U.S. Fleet Anti-Submarine Bulletin) (FX-3722) (9 1/2" x 11 1/2", Black)
FFF. Time graphs of Pacific Convoys, Record, for the period 31 May 1943 to 28 February 1945 - 8 sheets 21" x 46 (FX-3722)
GGG. Time graphs of AT/TA sailings, Record, for the period 6 September 1943 to 8 May 1945 - 3 sheets 21" x 46 (FX-3722)
HHH. Time graphs of Canadian and SG/GS Convoys, Record, for the period 31 May 1943 to 19 January 1945 - 7 sheets 10 1/2" x 46 (FX-3722)
III. Time graphs of Indian Ocean Convoys, Record, for the period 28 June 1943 to 21 September 1943 - 1 sheet 21" x 46 (FX-3722)
JJJ. Time graphs of Convoys as listed below - Loose-Leaf Booklet, black, 11 1/2" x 18" (FX-3722):
(1) Special U.S. Convoys, 1 May 1943 to 1 October 1944
(2) U.S. Coastal Convoys, 1 January 1943 to 30 April 1943
(3) British African Convoys, 22 March 1943 to 2 June 1943
(4) North Atlantic Trade Convoys, 13 October 1942 to 17 August 1943
(5) UGS/GUS, UGF/GUF, CT/TO and CU/UC Convoys, 6 November 1942 to 15 August 1943
KKK. Card File - Record and Schedule of all convoy commodores. (Black Box, 8 1/2" x 5 1/2" x 3") (FX-3722)
LLL. Monthly Summary of Actual Trans-Atlantic Convoy Routes for the period 1 January 1943 to 31 May 1945. (29 charts, 26" x 39") (FX-3721)
MMM. Time Graph of Coastal Convoy Schedule for period 28 August to 24 December 1942 (1 sheet, 17" x 58") (FX-3722)
13 May 1942


1. It is recommended that the Convoy and Routing Division be transferred to Headquarters of the Commander in Chief.

2. It is recommended that the Naval Transportation Service be not transferred to Headquarters of the Commander in Chief.

3. This recommendation is based on the following:

(a) Article 663, Navy Regulations, particularly sub-paragraphs 5 and 6 which indicate that the field services of the NTS are operated through the Commandants of the Naval Districts.
(b) The fact that the NTS includes the following functions in addition to operating the merchant vessels under the NTS:

(1) Liaison with Bureau of Supplies and Accounts regarding shipments of cargo.
(2) Liaison with Army, War Shipping Administration, Maritime Commission, Coast Guard, Customs Service and Immigration Service regarding sea transportation.
(3) Inspection and acquisition of non-military type vessels for possible use with characteristic records of those vessels.
(4) Compiles "Vessels not on the Navy List" (merchant vessels).
(5) Procures from War Shipping Administration merchant type vessels required for temporary use by the Navy.
(6) Coordinates matters concerning captured or requisitioned vessels.
(7) Coordinates Navy's fuel requirements, acquisition and distribution.
(8) Prepares annual fuel estimates.
(9) Liaison with Office of the Petroleum Coordinator and other fuel agencies.
(10) Membership on Joint Merchant Vessel Board and Fuel Storage Board.




Serial:    1194

May 14, 1942.

From: Commander in Chief, United States Fleet
and Chief of Naval Operations.
To: Vice Chief of Naval Operations.
Chief of Staff, U. S. Fleet.
Subject: Transfer of the Convoy and Routing Division to
Commander in Chief, United States Fleet.
1.   Effective 15 May 1942, the Convoy and Routing Division of the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations will be transferred to the Headquarters of the Commander in Chief,
2.   There is hereby established (as of 15 May 1942) in the Headquarters of the Commander in Chief, U. S. Fleet under the Deputy Chief of Staff (Operations) a Convoy and Routing Section. This section will have cognizance of all matters relating to the routing and other appropriate control of merchant convoys and shipping.
3.   For the present there will be no change in offices, personnel or functions of the activity concerned.
/s/ E. J. KING,
Flag Secretary.


BUSRA British-United States Routing Agreement.
MER-1 Operating plan for the United States Merchant Ship Control Service.
GIRO General Instructions for Routing and Reporting Officers.
MARI Mercantile Atlantic Routing Instructions.
MACRI Mercantile Atlantic Coastal Routing Instructions.
MPRI Mercantile Pacific Routing Instructions.
UKAR United Kingdom Approach Routes.
MEIRI Mercantile East Indian Routing Instructions.
MEDARS Mediterranean Approach Routes.
MSCI Mediterranean Convoy Instructions.
ICOC Instructions for Commodores of Convoys.
MCI Mercantile Convoy Instructions.
WIMS-I, II, III Wartime Instructions for Masters of Merchant Vessels.
H.O.-224 The "Q" System.


August 1940 Organization of a merchant shipping record office under Ship Movements Division of Naval Operations Op-38.
19 June 1941 Naval Shipping Control in Time of War Organization and Functions, issued by Chief of Naval Operations.
17 October 1941 Routing of American Flag Merchant Shipping issued by Chief of Naval Operations.
18 November 1941 Approved Organization placed in effect, Section 380.
15 December 1941 Principal Shipping Control Plan issued.
7 March 1942 British-United States Routing Agreement approved (BUSRA).
14 May 1942 Coastal convoy system established.
15 May 1942 Transfer Op-38-0 to Headquarters, Commander in Chief, United States Fleet.
1 July 1942 Assumed full responsibility for routing and reporting U. S. Area.
Coastal convoy system extended to Trinidad and Panama.
13 November 1942 Organization of middle Atlantic convoys.
1 January 1943 Extension of convoy system to Bahia.
30 April 1943 Transfer of North Atlantic convoys to British and Canadian Naval authorities.
20 May 1943 Organization of TENTH Fleet and transfer of F-37 to it.
29 June 1943 Reorganization of Pacific merchant ship control authorities.
3 July 1943 Extension of convoy system to Rio.




1.    Based on Article 714, U. S. Navy Regulations and with W.P.N.T.S. as a background, the Merchant Ship Control service has been developed so that full advantage can be taken of the location of enemy submarines and raiders by the combat intelligence section, to divert convoys and ships from known routes to safer ones.

2.    The necessity for such a service, similar to the British "Naval Control Service" and recognized in the original staff conversations recorded in A.B.C.-1 and approved in March, 1941. By this agreement the world was to be divided into two spheres of Merchant Ship Control in place of the worldwide system instituted by the British at the beginning of the war. United States control was to extend over the western half of the Atlantic from about 26° West and the whole Pacific to 100° East. The British Naval Control Service was to continue to function in the U. S. area until such time as the U. S. organization was ready to assume full responsibility.

3.    With our entry into the war, "The Principal Shipping Control Plan, Rainbow No. 5", short title "W.P.S.C. 46", was promulgated by the Chief of Naval Operations, Commander in Chief, and the Sea Frontier Commanders in connection with the control of merchant shipping; agreements with Great Britain, New Zealand and Australia; and general instructions for the operation of the Merchant Ship Control Service.

4.    To administer this organization the Convoy and Routing Section, (38-0), under the Ship Movements Division, Op-38, in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, was organized with the immediate objective of assuming responsibility for the diversion of convoys (then operating to U.K.) in the Western Atlantic area East of the CHOP line (line for establishing the time of transfer of responsibility from one diverting authority to another). Regular convoy diversions under this arrangement were commenced shortly after our entry into the war.

5.    At this time it became apparent that a more detailed agreement as regards the methods of routing and reporting and diverting merchant ship and convoy movements was essential and in February representatives from the Trade Division of the Admiralty and from Canada met in Washington and developed a combined world-wide routing agreement known as the "British-United States Routing Agreement", short title "BURSA", which was approved by the Commander in Chief and concurred in by the Admiralty on 1 March 1942. Under this agreement a common method of routing, reporting, and diverting of convoys and merchant ships was established. This was based on the existing system which was operating satisfactorily after two years of wartime use by the British, and the necessary instructions for the U. S. representatives in the field, "General Instructions for Routing and Reporting Officers", short title "GIRC", was promulgated.

6.    During the spring of 1942 the intensive submarine warfare directed against the East Coast of the United States led to more intensive and rapid developments to combat this enemy threat and as a result this section was transferred on 15 May 1942 to the Headquarters of the Commander in Chief, United States Fleet, as the Convoy and Routing Section, F-37. Immediate action was taken to extend the Coastal Convoy System which had been in operation only as a sporadic development and to increase air protection over all coastal routes under the


direction of the Sea Frontier Commanders. Specific coastal routes were inaugurated in an effort to bring the independent ships as close inshore as possible to make it difficult for the submarines to operate.

7.    Under the direction of the Commander in Chief, the coastal convoys were inaugurated on 1 July 1942 and this convoy system was extended as rapidly as possible southward through the threatened areas in the Caribbean to Trinidad. This system was further extended about October 1942 along the northeast coast of South America to Bahia. These convoys were linked into a scheduled system so that ships joining the convoy were passed along to New York, many of them joining the North Atlantic system to U.K.

8.    In the early stages of our participation in the North Atlantic convoy control system the diversion authority was divided between the Admiralty and Navy Department on their respective sides of the CHOP line. With the increase in British and Canadian escorts available in the Spring of 1943 the control of the North Atlantic convoy system was divided in the same manner between British and Canadian naval authorities except when these convoys are within the limits of the Eastern Sea Frontier where they are diverted by the Commander of that frontier.

9.    Following the invasion of North Africa in November 1942, the middle Atlantic convoy system was organized, moving from New York to Gibraltar. The terminal point at this end was later changed to Norfolk. Additional operations organized under the direction of this section were the high-speed oil convoys from the Caribbean area to U.K. and North Africa.

10.    Escorts for the ocean convoys are provided by the Commander in Chief, U. S. Atlantic Fleet, and for coastal convoys by the Sea Frontier Commanders under the direction of the Commander in Chief. The responsibility of coordinating the convoy assignments with the convoy limitations and the notification of Port Directors of the approved nominations for the composition of the middle Atlantic convoys rests with the Convoy subsection of FX-37. This section consults with the Army, Naval Transportation Service and the War Shipping Administration in an effort to accommodate all vessels which are presented. This section also details the Convoy Commodores for assignments to these convoys.

11.    On 20 May 1943, the TENTH Fleet was organized under the Commander in Chief United States Fleet, in his Headquarters to consolidate all anti-submarine activities in the Atlantic. The Convoy and Routing Section was transferred to this Division without, however, altering its worldwide duties and functions for merchant ship control and became the TENTH Fleet C&R, as Section FX-37.

12.    The routing of independent shipping was undertaken immediately on our entry into the war and as rapidly as possible Routing Officers were detailed to ports outside the continental limits of the United States using O.N.I. personnel. Full responsibility for the routing of independent ships in the U.S. area was assumed by this section on 1 July 1942. By agreement with the Trade Division of the Admiralty the routing directives for all independent, merchant shipping


in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans is under their control while the routing of shipping in the standard overseas routing instructions ("Mercantile Atlantic Routing Instructions", short title "MARI"), which affect this area are referred to the Commander, TENTH Fleet C&R for approval or recommended change before promulgation. Coastal routing instructions ("Mercantile Atlantic Coastal Routing Instructions", short title "MACRI") are excluded from the general agreement and are promulgated by this Section after conferring with, or on recommendation from the Sea Frontier Commanders. The British in the same manner control the coastal routing in the Eastern Atlantic.

13.    The field personnel required for the operations of this section are the Port Directors and Routing Officers in continental United States and in the areas controlled by United States Commanders and there is a gradual change at the present time to separate Merchant Ship Control Service Officers from the O.N.I. personnel and place them as regards detail under the personnel office of the Naval Transportation Service in Naval Operations, except in smaller ports where the additional personnel required over that necessary for O.N.I. is not warranted. About twenty United States Consuls are utilized as Reporting Officers in ports where no naval representatives are available. In certain South American and Russian ports where it has been impossible to arrange for United States Naval representation, Consular Shipping Advisors have been assigned as assistants to the Consuls for reporting purposes.

14.    In accordance with the BUSRA agreement the Navy has retained Routing Liaison Officers in the principal ports under British control for the purpose of contacting American masters in connection with routing and security matters. The British have retained in our principal ports British Routing Liaison Officers for similar work. Officers so assigned in U.K. under COMNAVEU are known as United States Navy Port Officers.

15.    Development of more effective ship control in the Pacific has led to the division of that ocean into areas assigned to the various Sea Frontier and Area Commanders and the system of control which has operated satisfactorily in the Atlantic is now also in operation throughout the Pacific.

16.    Every effort has been made to continue and extend merchant ship control operation in collaboration with the Admiralty so as to standardize the control of convoys and independent merchant ships throughout the world by the issuance of combined operational instructions and directives which will apply worldwide.

17.    In the development of this organization and the system of control, every effort has been made to take full advantage of all the experience gained by both the British and ourselves so as to administer the Merchant Ship Control Service in such a way as to maintain the confidence and interest of the merchant masters, in the successful accomplishment of our missions.


Chapter I
The Growth and Organization of C&R As a Whole


1. "The mission of the Merchant Ship Control Service under the Commander in Chief, United States Fleet, is to provide for the safety of movements of merchant vessels in time of war. Where enemy activities either in the air, on the surface or underseas make peace-time routes untenable, new and diversified ones are selected. Where it is impossible to avoid enemy action, surface escorts and air cover are provided by the combatant forces under Commanders in Chief, Area and Sea Frontier Commanders so as to maintain the supply lines to military forces and the world's sea-borne trade. This involves not only the assignment and furnishing of routes and reporting of movements, but also general cognizance of communications and war-time equipment so as to ensure the maximum amount of defense for all United Nations merchant shipping." So does the "Operating Plan for the United States Merchant Ship Control Service" (MER-I, issued 28 February 1944 to practically all of the principal commands of the U. S. Navy) partly define the objectives of work performed by Convoy and Routing.

2. Actually, in addition to thus seeking to reduce the risk of damage from enemy action, C&R and other merchant ship control authorities have further broad objectives, most important of which are to:

(a) Reduce the risk of collision by proper routing and diversions and by other means such as ordering the burning of dimmed navigational lights when warranted.

(b) Further reduce the risk of marine casualties by avoiding hurricanes, storms and areas of dangerous navigation; and

(c) Not only reduce to a studied minimum the inevitable delays the very act of convoying causes to shipping, but relieve ships from convoy so far as is consistent with calculated risk by routing them independently. Most important among the delays caused by the larger convoys are congestion of port facilities while unloading and loading ships in large groups, reduction in speed of the faster ships to that of the slowest ship in convoy, longer distances which ships may have to sail to reach port of destination, and waiting in port for the next convoy to sail. Where convoys are requisite, an important duty of C&R is to arrange schedules of departure and arrival, routes and speeds so as to effect the most efficient flow of shipping possible in view of existing conditions as to the number and type of vessels available for escort and anticipated enemy operations.

3. Thus it can be seen that to establish and maintain a proper balance between adequate safety for and most efficient use of shipping is a constant and ever changing wartime problem for the Headquarters of the Commander in Chief, United States Fleet, under the cognizance of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations and the merchant ship control section, Convoy and Routing.



The more important functions of the Merchant Ship Control Service other than convoying, are defined in MER-I as follows:

1. MERCHANT SHIP CONTROL: The term: "Merchant Ship Control" includes all matters pertaining to the movement and direction of shipping of all nations within the ocean areas of merchant ship responsibility. It does not include "protection" of such shipping by combatant forces. "Merchant Ship Control" embraces the following:

a. Convoy control (See Chap. III, B);
b. Reporting;
c. Routing;
d. Diversions

2. INDEPENDENT SHIPPING: The term "independent shipping" means shipping that is sailed singly, and routed singly to its destination.

3. ROUTING OF SHIPPING: The term "routing of shipping" relates to sea routes to be followed; time of departure from port; assembling ships for convoy and sailing them; timing at meeting points (rendezvous) along the sea routes; and the delivery of instructions for routing. (The nomination of ships for voyages together with instructions for cargo to be loaded; the ship, cargo, and bunkering agents to be employed, and the general commercial management of the vessel are not considered as part of routing).

4. ROUTING INSTRUCTIONS: "Routing Instructions" issued by Routing Officers to Convoy Commodores, commanding officer escort, commanding officers of escort vessels, or masters, include the following;

(1) The route vessels must follow, alternate routes, and instructions pertaining thereto.
(2) Instructions concerning communications, including matters relative to the use of radio at sea and in port, codes and ciphers;
(3) Operating instructions, including the methods of maneuver, safety precautions, control by Naval forces and other matters relative to the preservation of safety of vessels at sea and in port;
(4) General or specific instructions as circumstances may warrant.



1. The scope of C&R's work can best be indicated by setting forth a few vital, concise shipping statistics. When we entered the war in 1941 there were available to the United Nations about 41,000,000 gross tons of ocean-going merchant vessels of 1600 tons and over, of which some 8,500,000 tons were U. S. Already lost by that time, between September 1939 and December 1941, were 3,087 ships of 10,179,000 gross of Allied and neutral (including American) merchantmen.21

2. During our first three full war years (1942, 1943, and 1944) an additional 3,123 ships of 13,467,000 gross tons of Allied and neutral shipping were lost, of which 11,960,000 gross were due to enemy action. To this must be added the losses of 1945 up to VE Day. (see App. I).


3. Here then, is a staggering total of 6,210 ships, making up 23,645,000 gross tons of invaluable merchant ocean transportation, lost in the first 5 years and 4 months of war, of which 20,726,000 gross or 88% was due to enemy action. In short, the enemy had sunk just about one-half of all the merchant tonnage available to the Allies in 1939.122

4. The ebbing tide of net Allied ocean-going shipping available reached its lowest level about September 1943, by which time the new construction at last had equaled losses since 1939, and has been rising rapidly ever since. The net gain during 1944 alone was some 12,000,000 gross tons. The result is that by the end of 1944 the accumulated net gain of construction over losses for the entire war stood at 15,900,000 gross tons.21

5. Thus, the United Nations ended 1944 with about 57,000,000 gross tons of vessels of 1600 tons and over, a gain of 39% over the prewar 41,000,000 gross.21

6. The following table of all losses, year by year, high-lights the crisis of 1942, when the great volume of American tonnage first came under intensive attack at a time when we were ill-prepared to defend it.

  Enemy Action Marine Casualties Total
Period No. Gross Tons No. Gross Tons No. Gross Tons
Sept.-Dec. '39a 216 746,712 107 188,716 323 935,428
1940a 982 3,877,394 363 672,286 1,345 4,549,680
1941a 1,114 4,141,915 305 551,510 1,419 4,693,425
Sept. '39-Dec. '41
2,312 8,766,021 775 1,412,512 3,087 10,178,533
1942a 1,562b 7,713,119b 290 597,936 1,852 8,311,055
1943a 588 3,209,915 257 508,390 845 3,718,305
1944a 193 1,036,904 233 400,689 426 1,437,593
1942 - 1944
2,343 11,959,938 780 1,507,015 3,123 13,466,953
Sept. '39 - Dec. '44
4,655c 20,725,959c 1,555 2,919,527 6,210 23,466,486

a. Source: 122
b. Of which 1.149 ships of 6,257,831 gross or 81% were sunk by submarine alone.
c. Of which 2,697 ships of 14,264,574 gross or 69% were sunk by submarine alone.

7. The next table, however, clearly shows the salutary effect of convoying and anti-submarine warfare measures. Whereas 4,993,000 gross tons of independent


shipping was lost from enemy action in 1942, when only 30% of all shipping losses occurred in convoy, the next year independent losses fell to only 1,018,000 gross when 66% of all losses were in convoy. In other words, losses in convoy were reduced from 2,192,000 gross tons in 1942 to 1,926,000 in 1943 in spite of greatly increased number of convoyed ships.

Convoy vs. Independent status of merchant vessels lost world-wide from enemy action a
  Independents Lost
(including ships dispersed
or detached from convoy)
Convoy Losses
(Including Stragglers)
Percentage of total of these columns which were convoy losses
Period No. Gross Tons No. Gross Tons
Sept. - Dec. 1939 196 644,000 17 100,000 14%
1940 534 2,059,000 293 1,286,000 46%
Sept. 1939 - Dec. 1941
1,183 4,545,000 687 2,937,000 39%
1942 961 4,993,000 411 2,192,000 30%
1943 215 1,018,000 328 1,926,000 66%
1944 79 428,000 89 487,000 53%
Sept. 1942 - Dec. 1944
1,255 6,439,000 828 4,605,000 41%
Sept. 1939 - Dec. 1944
2,438 10,984,000 1,515 7,542,000 40%

a.  Excluding losses suffered in Military Operation at anchor or in port, totaling 708 ships of 2,121,000 gross. Computed from source 21.

8. Here, then is the crux of the story of merchant shipping, at one and the same time a vital activity and the principal bottleneck of this global war. In spite of the net gain in tonnage thus shown, there was still no substantial alleviation of the shipping shortage because of the expanding requirements for the continental armed forces, the delay in European ports caused by damaged harbor facilities, the requirements of the liberated counties, the replacement of old and worn out vessels, and the ever lengthening voyages and growing volume of supplies in the Pacific. Just prior to VE Day there were plotted by C&R about 9,641 ships of over 1,000 gross tons in the service of Allied and neutral countries (see Chapter II, F, 1).

9. Comparison with Casualties of World War I:

Worldwide Merchant Shipping Lost Through Enemy Action, (excluding commissioned auxiliaries) for like periods in both wars follows:

World War I     World War II
Period (gross tons)     Period (gross tons)
1914 (5 mos.) 312,672     1939 (4 mos.) 746,712
1915 1,307,996     1940 3,877,394
1916 2,327,326     1941 4,141,915
1917 6,235,878a     1942 7,713,199a
1918 (10 mos.) 2,666,942     1943 (12 mos.) 3,209,915
Total, 4 yrs. 3 mos. 12,850,814     Total, 4 yrs. 5 mos. 19,689,055


a. The highest rate of sinking worldwide by enemy action during any 3 months period of World War I was reached in the spring of 1917 (April, May, and June) following our entry into the war, when the rate was 721,721 gross tons per month. Interestingly enough, in the current war the highest rate was reached in the spring of 1942 (March, April, and May) also following our belligerency, when the level was 721,707 gross tons per month.23 Furthermore, on the basis of sinkings during any one month only, the highest rate of sinking by enemy action was 881,027 gross tons during April, 1917, only moderately exceeding this year's high of 824,430 gross tons during June, 1942. 122

Convoy Losses. The volume of convoying in World War I was relatively restricted and did not commence until April, 1917. However, the Convoy Section of the British Ministry of Shipping reported for the entire war a total of 1,134 homebound and outbound convoys, consisting of 16,693 ships, of which 102 ships, (a ratio of 1:163), were torpedoed and sunk while actually in convoy. This compares with a ratio of 1:174 for the 46,000 ships convoyed across the Atlantic between the end of 1939 and VE Day, 1945 (see Chapter III, C, 1).

World Tonnage, excluding enemy powers and Russia, at the commencement of World War I was 35,000,000 gross tons, but was reduced to 32,000,000 by April 1918, from which time onwards it increased22 .

U/Boat Strength. Germany started her unrestricted submarine campaign in the autumn of 1916 with 139 U/Boats, and reached a peak of 180 in September, 1918. When the war providentially ended, she had 174 in service and about 225 under construction 22. During the entire World War II it is estimated that about 1200 U/Boats of 230 tons or over were completed, of which about 700 were destroyed by Allied action. Some months prior to VE Day, before the heaviest bombings of German ports, there were probably nearly 500 U/Boats in service, plus an unknown quantity under assembly. The highest rate of construction was planned by the enemy for 1945, perhaps at the rate of 45 per month.


1. Since the beginning of their war in 1939 the British Admiralty, through their Naval Control Service Officers (N.C.S.O.) in the principal ports of the world, have maintained a routing, diverting and reporting service, covering all areas except those under control of the Axis. The details of instruction for N.C.S.O.'s are laid down in "Naval Control Service Instructions". The reporting system so established was called "VESCA" system, and that portion of it devoted to U.S. merchantmen was known as the "CHATFOLD" system, centered in Ottawa. Individual routes for all independently sailed ships under British and Allied registry were furnished from main ports under such standard routing orders as those contained in "Mercantile Atlantic Routing Instructions" (short title MARI)54 64 (see Chapter V).

2. Article 714 of Navy Regulations specifies that in time of war "the Commander in Chief shall afford protection and convoy, so far as it is within his power, to merchant vessels of the United States and to those of Allies." As the Axis threat developed it gradually became apparent to the Chief of Naval Operations in Washington that the U. S. Navy would require an organization similar to the Admiralty's particularly in the event of the war being forced on us. A Ship Movements Division (Op-38) had been set up during World War I, and had continued in existence. Furthermore, in June 1939 a new Naval Transportation Service, War Plan Orange (WPNTS-1) had been issued, based on the tasks assigned by the Basic War Plan, as a consequence of which the Port Directors (San Francisco and New York particularly) had built up their organization. The Joint Merchant Vessel Board, also organized in World War I, but virtually inactive since, was revitalized by


transfer to Op-30-M in September 1939. On 13 November 1939 the C.N.O. (Op-30M-BD, Serial 7904) sent a letter to Commandants of all Naval Districts, less 9th and 16th, concerning duties of Port Directors in war; "Port Director - Guide for Peace Time Preparation for War". About August 1940 the first compilation was made of merchant vessels and small craft suitable for Navy use. Shortly thereafter, on 14 November, Op-30-M was transferred to Op-38 and set up as Op-38-S, Ship Movements Division 31.

3. Material progress appeared in the "Report of the Combined British-United States Staff Conversations" (short title ABC-1) dated 27 March 1941. By Annex V of this report the world was divided into two spheres of merchant ship control in place of the previous world-wide British system. U. S. control was to extend over the western half of the Atlantic from about 26° W and the whole Pacific to 100° E. The British service was to continue to function in the U. S. area until such time as we were ready to assume full responsibility. The Sea Frontier had not yet been established and the idea of a fleet control zone outside the limits of the coastal zones was still a basic feature50.

4. After the conclusion of this ABC-1 agreement there was prepared in the office of the Chief of Naval Operations (Division of Ship Movements, Captain Charles S. Alden, U.S.N.) the "Principal Navy Shipping Control Plan, Rainbow No. 5" (short title WPSC-46). This basic plan - which superseded pamphlet "Navy Shipping Control-General Instructions", prepared by Op-38-S on June 19 1941 - outlined the tasks of the Chief of Naval Operations, Commanders in Chief and what were then known as Coastal Frontier Commanders in connection with the control of merchant shipping; agreements with great Britain, New Zealand and Australia; and general instructions for the operation of the Merchant Ship Control Service. (Note: This plan, which is based upon Navy Basic War Plan - Rainbow No.5, was actually promulgated 15 December 1941 by C.N.O. letter, Op-38-S-P, serial 064038. It was to remain the basic ship control directive until superseded 28 February 1944 by MER-1, issued with Cominch serial 00678, mentioned in the opening paragraphs of this history)5 31 59.

5. On 17 October 1941 the first actual routing directive for merchantmen of American Flag was issued by Op-38-S-A, under the subject of "Routing of American Flag Merchant Shipping", and addressed to Commanders, Coastal Frontiers and Naval Districts and Commanders in Chief, Atlantic, Pacific and Asiatic Fleets. Although the routing of merchant ships continued to be of the utmost importance, considerable opposition was experienced from merchant ship operators, Maritime Commission, etc., and long conferences wasted valuable time4 31.

6. Finally, on 18 November 1941, to administer the directives of WPSC-46, a "Convoy and Routing Section" (Op-38-O) under the Ship Movements Division in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, (then Admiral H. R. Stark) was organized and placed in effect with the immediate objective of assuming responsibility in the Western Atlantic area west of the dividing line of responsibility. Thus it can be said that "Convoy and Routing", gradually developed as "Ship Movements Division" since the summer of 1940, was finally brought into operation only 19 days before the attack on Pearl Harbor 59.


1. With the advent of war, C&R's duties immediately became closely involved with convoying as well as with the control of independent shipping. For convenience of presentation, therefore, this history will divide itself henceforth into


these two main activities, after the preliminary shifts of organization are outlined. The detailed story of the control of independents will be carried on in Chapter II, while that of convoys will be taken up and developed in Chapters III and IV.

2. On 15 December 1941 the basic plan for ship control, W.P.S.C. 46, was promulgated, as had been stated previously.31 59

3. As of 20 December 1941, by Presidential order, Admiral Ernest J. King was appointed Commander in Chief, United States Fleet (CominCh) with headquarters in the Navy Department, with the primary duty of coordinating control over U.S. Naval activities in all oceans as one area and effecting proper distribution of our naval power.1

4. In the meantime, C&R continued as Op-38-0 until January 26, 1942 when its designation was changed to "Convoy and Routing Division - Op-37". Rear Admiral (then Captain) M. K. Metcalf became Op-37, Division Head; Captain A.M.R. Allen, Op-37-1, Assistant Division Head and in charge of Routing and Merchant Plot (also called Merchant Ship Control); and Captain W. C. Wickham, Op-37-2, Convoy Section. At this time a personnel of 96 was divided as to 52 officers (of whom 35 were Reserves), 17 enlisted men and 27 civilian clerks. Rooms occupied in the Navy Department Building were 2601-2615 and 2602-2616, inclusive. 201

5. As of 18 March 1942 (coincident with Admiral King's appointment as such) the duties of the Chief of Naval Operations were combined with the duties of CominCh, to facilitate the logistic support of all forces afloat. 1

6. Effective 15 May 1942, by order of Admiral King (Serial 1194 of May 14) the "Convoy and Routing Division of the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations" was transferred to the Headquarters of the Commander in Chief. A "Convoy and Routing Section" was thereupon established under the Deputy Chief of Staff (Operations) to "have cognizance of all matters relating to the routing and other personnel or functions of the activity were made by this order. However, civilian personnel in C&R were subsequently replaced by naval personnel. The first CominCh directly under the Assistant Chief of Staff (Operations) F-3, who in turn was under the Deputy Chief of Staff F-01, the Chief of Staff F-00 and the Commander in Chief F-0.10

7. On 18 February 1943 C&R moved to room 3517 to 3536 inclusive thereby facilitating liaison with F-3. Here they stayed until after VE Day, with one or two internal readjustments of space.201


1. On 20 May 1943 the TENTH FLEET (Anti-Submarine Warfare) - Admiral King, Commander - was established "to exercise unity of control over U.S. anti-submarine operations in that part of the Atlantic Ocean under U. S. strategic control" (CominCh serial 02561 of 29 July 1943). In addition to general anti-submarine duties and the protection of allied shipping in the Eastern, Gulf and Caribbean Sea Frontiers, the TENTH Fleet was assigned the task of exercising control of convoys and shipping that are U. S. responsibilities. The Convoy and Routing Section was incorporated into the Staff Organization of the TENTH Fleet, without any change in its world-wide activities as to routing, division and reporting of shipping or methods of communication. 11


2. On 29 June, 1943, this incorporation of C&R was completed, whereupon it became "TENTH FLEET (C&R)" short title FX-37, although it remained a part of Headquarters, CominCh. Rear Admiral Francis S. Low, U.S.N., was named Chief of Staff, TENTH Fleet and Assistant Chief of Staff (Anti-Submarine), U. S. Fleet (FX-01). On 2 January 1945 he was relieved by Rear Admiral A. R. McCann, U.S.N. (see Appendix P).


1. Director (FX-37).

As Director of Convoy and Routing, Rear Admiral Martin K. Metcalf, U.S.N. (Retired), has the responsibility of general direction of all its duties. He first joined the Ship Movements Division (Op-38) on 10 January 1941 and became Head of Convoy and Routing Division (Op-37) on 26 January 1942. He was promoted from Captain to Rear Admiral on 21 March 1942, and as of 14 May 1942 was detached from duty in Naval Operations and reported to the Commander in Chief, United States Fleet for duty on his staff, thereby becoming F-37.201

2. Assistant Director (FX-371).

The Assistant Director was first Captain Archer M. R. Allen, U.S.N., assuming duties of Op-37-1 on 26 January 1942. He was relieved to assume duty as Shipping Control Officer Forward Area (Pacific) on 25 March 1944, when Captain Williams C. Wickham, U.S.N., took over. On 10 May 1944, Captain Wickham was detached for hospitalization and was relieved by Captain Robert A. Dyer, U.S.N., who retained the position through VE Day. The duties of Assistant Director were specified in the Organization Chart of 18 September 1943 as follows:

  1. Directs the exercise of merchant ship control over independently routed vessels in the area of U.S. responsibility.
  2. Establishes general routing policy for U.S. area of responsibility.
  3. Administers world-wide reporting system.
  4. Maintains liaison with the British Admiralty Delegation (B.A.D.) for purpose of coordinating the routing, reporting and diverting activities.
  5. Maintains liaison with Op-39 (Naval Transportation Service), Op-16 (Naval Intelligence) and the State Department for purpose of administering personnel engaged in merchant ship control activities.
  6. Maintains liaison with Op-13 (Central Division) and Op-16-FT (Intelligence) regarding control of neutral merchant vessels.
  7. Maintains liaison with Op-16-B-5 (Intelligence) to investigate and recommend disciplinary action in cases involving infraction of Naval orders by Masters, officers and men of merchant marine.

On 25 March 1944 when Captain Wickham relieved Captain Allen the control of convoys were added to (a) above, until Captain Wickham was detached.

On 10 May 1944 when Captain Dyer relieved Captain Wickham the duties of the Assistant Director were changed to the following which were in effect through VE Day:

  1. Director of subsidiary sections.
  2. Merchant Ship Control and general Routing Policy for independently routed merchant ships and convoys in area of U.S. responsibility.
  3. Liaison with British Admiralty Delegation and Naval Member Canadian Staff for coordination of routing, reporting, diverting and convoying operation.
  4. Liaison with other Government agencies and with Bureaus and Offices of the Navy Department in matters concerning convoy, routing and control.102 201 (see Appendix Q).


3. Convoy Administration or Control (FX-372).

Captain W. C. Wickham, U.S.N., had charge of convoy administration, from 26 January 1942 (Op-37-2) until 10 May 1944, when he was relieved by Commander H. J. Verhoye, U.S.N., who retained the duty through VE Day.

The duties of Convoy Administrator were outlined on 18 September 1943 as follows:

  1. Directs the operation of convoys in the area of U.S. responsibility.
  2. Maintains liaison with the British Admiralty Delegation for purpose of coordinating convoy operations.
  3. Maintains liaison with Army, W.S.A. and other governmental agencies regarding inclusion of ships in ocean convoys under U.S. control.

On 20 November 1944 the duties of Convoy Control (changed from Administration) were listed as follows:

  1. General supervision of:
    1. Convoy Routes and Schedules.
    2. Convoy Organization, including assignment of Commodores for transatlantic convoys under U.S. control.
    3. Hospital Ship Routes.
    4. Safe Conduct Routes.
  2. Liaison with Combat Intelligence, Atlantic (F-21) for current information on enemy activity. 201 (see Appendix Q).

4. Communications (FX-375).

Commander G. P. Markoff, U.S.N.R., first reported for duty with Ship Movements Division on 6 April 1941 and has remained Communication Officer of Convoy and Routing activities to date.201 (see Chapter V).


Chapter II
Routing, Reporting and Control of Independents since 7 December 1941


It can be seen from Chapter I, D that the organization of independent ship control was progressing slowly prior to 7 December 1941, but with the country explosively awakened to a precarious situation, and with our substantial ocean-going merchant fleet of some 8,500,000 gross tons further exposed to attack, the central organization in the Navy Department itself and the assignment of overseas representatives began to develop rapidly. The policy of the Navy Department was and is to cooperate fully with the various agencies concerned with shipping operations. In Washington, C&R provides the War Shipping Administration with information regarding ship movements, and advises it in the light of current enemy operation as to the most economical employment of merchant tonnage. In the field, the routing or reporting officers cooperate to the fullest extent possible with representatives of the W.S.A. and, insofar as sound security measures permit, civilian shipping interests. Early information is indispensable to these agencies for proper harbor arrangements, rapid docking and cargo handling which are the prerequisites of efficient ship operation. 102


1. With war declared it became apparent that a more detailed agreement was necessary as regards the methods of routing, reporting and diverting merchant ships and convoy movements, particularly to attain international uniformity and understanding. In February 1942 representatives from the Trade Division of the Admiralty and Naval Services Headquarters, Ottawa, met in Washington and developed a combined worldwide routing agreement known as the "British-United States Routing Agreement" (short title "BUSRA"). It was approved by the Commander in Chief and concurred in by the Admiralty on 1 March 1942. This common plan was based largely on the existing system, which was operating satisfactorily after two years of wartime use by the British Empire.

2. As a result, the British publication, "Mercantile Atlantic Routing Instructions" (short title MARI) was promulgated to all U.S. Routing Officers in the Western Atlantic Area. A publication containing Western Atlantic coastal routing instructions, "Mercantile Atlantic Coastal Routing Instructions" (short title MACRI) was prepared by C&R and was distributed to Routing Officers in the Western Atlantic area North of Commander, FOURTH Fleet's area as well as to diverting authorities. In addition, a single routing directive for the Pacific "Mercantile Pacific Routing Instructions" (short title MPRI), comprising both U.S. and British Routing Officers in the Pacific Ocean Area. This publication superseded a previous manual, "Mercantile Pacific Coastal Routing Instructions" (short title MPCRI), which was used for U.S. West Coastal Routing.51 53 54 81 102



1. On 1 July 1942 full responsibility for the policy of routing, reporting and evasive diversion of independents in U.S. areas was assumed by F-371 under the direction of F-37. This fundamental development in the affairs of C&R is described in detail in Cominch C&R's dispatch of 11 July to all Sea Frontier Commanders, NOB Trinidad and CAFAC, part of which is herewith paraphrased. 202

"Cominch assumed entire control and protection by routing and diverting of merchant shipping in U.S. strategic areas on July first. The Convoy and Routing Section is charged with performance of these duties. Control is maintained through Sea Frontier Commanders and Port Directors to Routing Officers within the Sea Frontiers and through designated ALUSNAS, ALUSNORS, ALUSLOS, CSA's and seacoast AMCOMS in the U.S. strategic areas, all of whom comprise the Merchant Ship Control Service organization." This dispatch then goes into the details of the relations set up between C&R and the Sea Frontier Commanders in the routing and diverting of convoys and independents through the Sea Frontier areas.

2. In the Atlantic, where most shipping was in convoy throughout the war, routing was governed by the terms of a joint publication, MARI. Amendments thereto were proposed by either C&R or Admiralty for approval by the other. In coastal areas, however, routing was determined by the terms of MACRI, changes in which were promulgated by C&R after conferring with or on recommendation from the Sea Frontier Commanders. In the same manner the British entirely controlled coastal routing in the Eastern Atlantic. Similarly, routing in the Pacific was under U.S. and in the Indian Ocean under British control.53 54


Because of the overlapping and duplications of instructions appearing in these various publications, C&R prepared for the U.S. representatives in the field and put into effect "General Instructions to Routing and Reporting Officers" (short title "GIRO") on October 15, 1942. It was later rewritten and promulgated as GIRO-1944 on January 13 1944 in conjunction with "Wartime Instructions for Merchant Ships" (WIMS). Together with MARI, MPRI, etc. and serial or dispatch directives, GIRO constitutes a complete and comprehensive picture of what the Navy Department expects of the U.S. Merchant Ship Control Service. In the area of British responsibility, the Naval Control Service operates with "Naval Control Service Instructions" and area routing publications, in addition to Admiralty and station Commander directives.51 52 54 64 70


1. The field personnel required for the operations of FX-371 were the Port Directors and Routing Officers in areas controlled by U.S. Commanders. Overseas, rapid development of operations was made possible by the far-sightedness of the Directors of Naval Intelligence who had made provisions for the placing of U.S. Navy Representatives throughout the world as early as 1940 in the capacity of Naval Observers, whose duties were not only to collect intelligence but also assist in the control of U.S. merchant ships. These duties were later expanded so that in our areas of responsibility they involved routing and reporting of all United Nations vessels and liaison with American masters in the ports under British strategic control. As time went on, merchant ship control service officers were separated to some extent from O.N.I. personnel and placed under the personnel officer of the Naval Transportation Service.


2. In addition, arrangements were made with the State Department for up to 40 American Consuls in our areas of responsibility to assume additional duties under the Navy Department of reporting movements in smaller ports where the volume of shipping was too limited to warrant the assignment of Naval Officers. In certain South American and Russian ports where it was impossible to arrange for U.S. Naval representation, Consular Shipping Advisors were assigned as assistants to the Consuls for reporting purposes.

3. In accordance with BUSRA the Navy retained Routing Liaison Officers in the principal ports under British Control for the purpose of contacting American masters in connection with routing and security matters. The British have retained in our principal ports British Liaison Officers for similar work. Officers so assigned in the United Kingdom under COMNAVEU were known as U.S. Navy Port Officers.57 102


In Chapter I, G 2 the general duties of the Assistant Director of C&R were set forth. In addition the following principal functions are performed by officers under his supervision.102 108 201

1. Independent Plot (FX-3711)

1. This sub-section immediately under the Assistant Director was originally titled "Merchant Plotting" (Op-37-1-M, later F-3711 and then FX-3715), and has duties defined in most organization charts as:

  1. Maintain world-wide plot of all independent merchant vessel movements.
  2. Primarily responsible for diversion of independent vessels in Western Atlantic Area.
  3. Maintain liaison with F-21 (Combat Intelligence - Atlantic) for the purpose of obtaining current information on enemy activity. (see Appendix Q).

2. Prior to March 1942 the section's chief function was merely to plot and keep a record of the number of ships at sea in the Atlantic and Pacific. In the case of the North Atlantic daily dead reckoning positions were based on a grid system used jointly with British and Canadian authorities. However, no action was taken by U.S. authorities to divert ships from enemy danger, all diversions being made by the British, except that coastwise shipping was controlled by the Sea Frontier commands.

3. After BUSRA was promulgated C&R assumed control of independent shipping west of the "CHOP" line. This general diversion of operational control has continued ever since with certain modifications, and this headquarters in Washington has been responsible for the control of all merchant shipping west of the chop line. In practice, however, the various Sea Frontiers usually act in connection with traffic inside their own areas.

4. Large wall charts, one of the North Atlantic and one of the South Atlantic,


are maintained, showing the situation at sea as of 1200Z of the current day. By means of different tabs and pins, distinctions are made between independent Allied ships, Allied convoys, Allied submarines, enemy submarines and surface raiders, storm centers, collisions, strandings and the like. (see Appendix PP and Appendix QQ).

5. Independent Allied ship positions are determined on the basis of the routing instructions issued to a ship for each independent voyage made by it, a copy of which is received by this headquarters through its own communication center. The pertinent information from the data issued by the routing offices is assembled by the respective plotting officers. This information is then turned over to a quartermaster, who draws the actual route for the ship in question on a piece of tracing paper placed over a copy of a chart adopted for use in this section (Strategic Plotting Chart H.O. No. 5050-28). This is done to enable coordination with the information regarding enemy activity, as will be explained later. The 1200Z dead reckoning position for each day of the voyage is shown on the route, the coordinates of these positions in turn being transferred to a mimeographed form. All information for the current voyage of each ship is thus made available in one place and amendments to the route, based on diversions by the various authorities, position reports radioed in by the ship itself, local weather conditions, plane spottings, contacts at sea, and the like, can be readily made, thus keeping an up-to-date record for the duration of the ship's voyage. These folders are retained for about three months and then destroyed.

6. Allied convoy dead reckoning positions are based primarily on information supplied by the Convoy Plot Section. This is supplemented, however, through details furnished by the Admiralty and COMNAVEU.

7. Allied submarine positions are based on the latest details supplied by the various interested commands. This information is shown on the plot because it is necessary to keep friendly shipping away from our own submarines and at the same time warn the latter of the presence of merchant vessels.

8. Enemy submarine and surface raiders are shown on the plot on the basis of the most accurate information available through Combat Intelligence. (see Appendix OO).

9. Inspection of the two wall charts, after they have been set for the current day, enables the Section Officer to determine whether any independent ships are adjacent to the estimated areas of enemy activity. If so, the route information for the merchant vessel in question is broken out, the tracing paper copy of the route being superimposed on a Strategic Plotting Chart on which the current operational areas of enemy activity have been drawn. Inspection will also indicate whether any diversions are required to keep independent shipping well clear of convoys, thus minimizing the risk of collision. If it is deemed necessary, action will be taken to amend the ship's route so that it will pass well clear of the danger zone. Such a diversion is effected by means of a radio message or BAMS (Broadcast to Allied Merchant Ships) to the ship in question, transmitting the amended route positions or other pertinent information.

10. A secondary function of the plot has been to redirect ships enroute from one destination to another as may be required by the War Shipping Administration, the Trade Division of the Admiralty, or the British Ministry of War Transport. Liaison is maintained with representatives of these organizations, enabling prompt action to be taken either by BAMS from this headquarters or through the various Sea Frontiers, thus minimizing the steaming time of vessels at sea when such changes are required.

11. A third wall chart, comprising both the North and South Atlantic, is maintained to indicate the daily 1200Z position of neutral ships at sea. Neutral


shipping is required, for the most part, to follow certain prescribed routes agreed upon by both the Allied and Axis powers. Furthermore, daily radio position reports are required from neutrals in certain areas and a fairly accurate dead reckoning plot can be kept. At the height of enemy submarine activity in the Atlantic area the plot was of use in determining whether or not "neutral" shipping was aiding the Axis by refueling or supplying submarines and raiders at sea. At present its primary function is to show the flow of traffic and to aid in the preparation of operational summaries indicating the position of neutral ships at sea. (see Appendix TT).

12. In addition to the strategic Atlantic areas, other wall charts are maintained for the Pacific and Indian Ocean areas. Since these are not of an operational nature, but serve to indicate general routes and traffic trends, they are set only twice a week rather than daily. For a period, a worldwide chart of all tanker positions was kept for general information. (see Appendix RR and SS).

13. The wall charts aid in the preparation of various operational reports. Typical is the daily message to Bermuda informing that activity of independent shipping in its air patrol area, as well as the bi-weekly report giving the position of neutral ships west of 26°W, addressed to the interested commands. Photographs are taken of each wall chart after it has been set and the negatives are in turn filed so that a complete historical record is available. In addition prints are furnished to Anti-Submarine Warfare Operational Research Group (ASWORG) for use in connection with statistical studies. (see Appendix OO to Appendix TT inclusive).

14. Insofar as convoys are concerned, a pin for each ship in the convoy is mounted on the wall under a tag labeled with the convoy title, enabling a ready determination of the name, flag and type of each ship and assisting in studies of operational moves and supply trends.

15. Separate from the wall charts, small boards are maintained for each of the principal Allied and neutral ports throughout the world showing, by means of individual ship pins, vessels currently due or actually confirmed in port. Positions of these pins are based on information received from the various reporting centers and indicate not only just what ships are in port, but the general trend of shipping, areas of congestion, and similar details. (see Appendix NN).

16. The duties of the Independent or Merchant Ship Plot were being performed as of April 1945, by 4 officers, of whom 2 are WAVES, and 7 enlisted personnel.

17. Lt. Commander R. N. Norgaard, USN, was in charge of the Merchant Plot Section until April 1943, when he was relieved by Lt. Commander C. S. Boarman, USN (Ret), who in turn was relieved by Commander E. W. Whitehead, USN (Ret), in September 1943.

18. The following table shows in detail the number and location of 9,641 merchant ships and U. S. Naval Auxiliaries just prior to VE Day as reflected by the wall charts and plot boards of FX-3711. The following qualifications should be noted regarding the figures shown therein:

a. In general the ship pins represent only those carried by the Merchant Ship Records Section (FX-3712), namely all U.S. vessels of 1000 gross tons and over, all Allied and neutral vessels (excluding Turkish) 1000 gross tons and over operating in the hemisphere, all Allied and neutral vessels (excluding Turkish) 2000 gross tons and over, regardless of area of operation, and USS Auxiliaries of certain types (AE, AF, AH, AK, AKA, AKD, AKS, AO, AOG, AP, APA, APD, APH, APM, APN, APR, APV, IX).


b. The wall charts do not show every ship known to be at sea as of 1200Z for the current day. For example, local shipping in the Canadian Coastal Zone, independent or escorted, does not normally appear on the chart. This is generally true of other areas insofar as local trips of a few days duration are concerned, the ship pins being placed in the due section of the "in port" board for their respective destination. In addition, reports regarding shipping are sometimes received after the movement has taken place, too late to be shown at sea on the respective wall charts. An illustration of this is the fact that the accompanying table indicates only 22 ships in convoy in the Pacific area. The total in convoy was actually much higher by the time complete reports for that period were received. (see Appendix RR).


c. No plot is maintained of ships at sea in the Mediterranean and Black Sea area, the ships merely being moved from on port board to another on the basis of information supplied by the shipping control authorities throughout the area, the voyages being of short duration.


(see Appendix PP to Appendix TT inclusive)

          Neutral FlagD  
  U.S. FlagB USSC Brit. Flag Foreign Flag USSR Other


Atlantic Area
At Sea (Independent) 203 9 86 62 0 91 451
At Sea (In Convoy) 453 5 241 134 0 0 833
In Port (Due or Confirmed) 1282 72 1188 551 7 265 3365
Local TradeA              
British IslesE 0 0 148 31 0 0 179
East Coast North AmericaF 60 0 0 0 0 0 60
CaribbeanG 6 0 12 34 0 0 52
East Coast South AmericaH 0 0 0 73 0 26 99
Mediterranean ApproachesI 0 0 0 0 0 71 71
Total Atlantic 2004 86 1675 885 7 453 5110
Pacific Area              
At Sea (Independent) 546 49 42 29 29 3 698
At Sea (In Convoy) 16 4 0 2 0 0 22
In Port (Due or Confirmed) 1234 492 194 95 217 3 2235
Local TradeA              
West Coast North AmericaJ 32 0 3 0 0 0 35
Australian AreaK 0 0 73 16 0 0 89
Total Pacific 1828 545 312 142 246 6 3079
Mediterranean and Black Sea Area              
At Sea (Independent) Not Plotted
At Sea (In Convoy) Not Plotted
In Port (Due or Confirmed) 195 2 240 73 2 25 537
Local TradeA L 4 0 55 153 0 0 212
Total Med. and Black Sea 199 2 295 226 2 25 749
Other Areas (Indian Ocean, etc.)              
At Sea (Independent) 35 0 67 18 0 0 120
At Sea (In Convoy) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
In Port (Due or Confirmed) 76 2 432 68 0 5 583
Total Other 111 2 499 86 0 5 703
Grand Total 4,142 635 2,781 1,339 255 489 9,641



  1. Vessels in local trade or shuttle service are not shown on the wall charts as being at sea since their voyages are of short duration, are wholly within one local area or their movements are not normally reported.
  2. Includes also Panamanian and Honduran flag vessels under U.S. Control.
  3. Includes only those types of auxiliaries normally carried by the Merchant Ship Records section of FX-37.
  4. Argentine vessels are included in the category of neutrals, their present status being such that they are not considered eligible to receive secret and confidential publications normally issued to Allied vessels, nor to travel in convoy with other Allied shipping.

    USSR vessels are also included in the category of neutrals, the majority of this shipping being in the Pacific Area and classed as such.

  5. Includes:
    1. Ships trading locally within the British Isles.
    2. Merchant ships in His Majesty's Service (serving as Naval Auxiliaries) the location of many of these not being known definitely, but presumed to be in home waters.

      Note: This is NOT a complete tabulation of all ships so employed, but includes only those carried by the Merchant Ships Records Section of FX-37.

  6. Includes vessels trading locally in the area between Hampton Roads and the Gulf of Maine.
  7. Includes tankers operating locally to and from Aruba, Curacao and Lake Maracaibo as well as adjacent areas.
  8. Includes 73 Brazilian vessels operating locally between ports in that country as well as 26 Argentine vessels employed locally between ports in Argentina and adjacent areas.
  9. Includes vessels operating locally between Spanish, Portuguese and North West African ports as well as the adjacent island possessions.
  10. Includes vessels trading locally in the area between San Diego and Vancouver - Victoria, B.C.
  11. Includes vessels trading locally between Australian ports.
  12. Includes vessels trading locally between ports in the Mediterranean.

19. Of the 9,641 ships plotted on this day, 4,777 or 50% were of U.S. Flag, including Naval Auxiliaries.


20. Of the total, 53% were in the Atlantic, 32% in the Pacific, 8% in the Mediterranean and Black Seas, and 7% in the Indian Ocean.

21. Excluding the ships in local trade, 6,720 or 76% were in port, the balance of 2,124 being at sea. Of those at sea 1,269 were independent and 855 in convoy. Actually, however, it is probable that the proportion in convoy was substantially higher, for reasons stated.


1. The first records of merchant ship movement were based on reports passed from the ship owners through W.S.A. to Op-38-0 a month or so in advance of proposed sailings. After early in 1942 the Merco reporting system provided more detailed and up-to-date information, safeguarded by the wartime security of the naval communication system. Upon Op-37 being set up, all ships were card-indexed and plotted daily by three separate units, American (37-1-MA), British (37-1-MB) and Foreign (37-1-MF). The Foreign Plot Sub-Section originally was staffed primarily with 21 ONI personnel, who in addition to functioning as a unit of C&R performed normal duties in connection with Naval Intelligence.102 201

2. In December 1942 the Merchant Ship Records section was separated from the Independent Plot. Its duties under the Director and Assistant Director are specified as follows:

  1. Maintains card file of the movements of merchant vessels and Naval Auxiliaries and other pertinent information.
  2. Keeps liaison with cognizant Government agencies on ship movements and other pertinent information.
  3. Maintains ship casualty records.

3. In order to shift, interpret and summarize all the information received via dispatch from shore commands, ships at sea and escort commanders, three sub-divisions are in operation, as below.

a. Ship Movements: Here is kept a record of each ship in an alphabetical card file. In this "piano", at it became known, is entered the sailing date, port of departure, convoy designation if in convoy, and arrival date and port of each ship. All casualty information is written in, as well as diversions, detachments and changes of destination. After being entered in the piano, the data is logged, and copies thereof distributed to those concerned in C&R, WSA, Op-20-M (Postal Affairs), and in the case of tankers, Op-05-P (Materiel), and Petroleum Coordinator for War (Department of Interior).

b. Casualties: This section compiles a daily report of the essential details of all ship casualties, whether by marine cause or enemy action. This information, after being recorded in the piano, is distributed daily to other sections of C&R and to the President, Secretary of the Navy, Chief of Staff TENTH Fleet, Bureau of Personnel (Casualties), F-21 (Combat Intelligence), FX-43 (Anti-Submarine Warfare Analysis), Op-20-R (Communications), Op-20-M-4 (Naval Postal Affairs), Army Postal Service, and O.C.T. (Army). Weekly and monthly summaries are distributed to Army, WSA (Casualty Section), Bureau of Personnel (Casualties), Op-16-P1 (Intelligence) and Op-16-B2 (Counter Intelligence).

c. Convoys: A record is made of every convoy except British coastals, listing all ships therein by name, the convoy sailing date and port, destination, estimated time of arrival, speed [of] escort vessels, Commodore's ship and references to pertinent dispatches. A separate sheet is typed for each convoy


and filed by convoy designation. Any changes subsequent to sailing are entered in the piano and on the permanent file copy. This convoy data is distributed to C&R sections and to WSA, Op-20-M, Op-05-P, Op-39-T-2 (Traffic), Allied Tanker Coordination Committee OCT (Army), ONI and British Admiralty Delegation.

4. As of March 1945 the files of FX-3712 contained records of approximately 9,160 merchant vessels and 720 Naval Auxiliaries afloat. On an average, 1,089 entries per day were being made on the cards and an equal number in the log. This work was being performed by 7 officers, of who 5 were Waves, and 8 enlisted Wave personnel.701


1. From the time when the Convoy and Routing Section was first organized the Assistant Director has required the services of certain officer personnel acting as Staff Assistants. During the period of creative work immediately following our entry into the war, these Staff Assistants consisted of one Captain, USN; two Commanders, USN; and five junior reserve officers.

2. Captain John T. Bottom, Jr., USN, supervised the work of the Records and Plot rooms and handled a part of the general liaison work. Commanders Robert O. Strange USN, and Richard G. Visser, USN, created and were in charge of all routing publications, and assisted in general policy matters concerning the routing of independent ships.

3. As time went on and the work became more routine the number of Staff Assistants was gradually reduced. In April 1944 the Records and Plot Rooms were placed under the direct supervision of the Assistant Director. During the next six months, the number of junior Staff Assistants was reduced from five Reserve Lieutenants to two, both of whom had been in the Section since early in the war and were thoroughly familiar with the work. This number proved to be satisfactory during the closing months of the war. 102 201 (see Appendix Q).


1. One of the major functions of C&R has been the controlled routing of independent ships. Throughout the war certain classes of ships have continued to run independently even where convoys were available. In general, these were ships of speeds less than 8.0 knots that were not qualified for most convoys, or ships of over 14.5 knots whose very speed made independent routing a justifiable risk. In many ports of the world, however, ships of all speeds have been routed independently throughout the war only because no escorts have been available.

2. Two basic policies were adopted in independent routing varying with the areas involved. For coastal traffic, standard routes were established shortly after the outbreak of the war. These routes, in general, were close inshore and were designed to force U/Boats to enter the more dangerous coastal waters. Standard routes also have the advantage of channeling traffic into fixed lanes, which reduces the possibility of collision, a major hazard throughout the war because in most areas ships stream without lights. While standard routes have the disadvantage of localizing shipping so that U/Boats, once in the lane, find many targets, it was


found that close inshore routing of coastal traffic was more effective defense against U/Boats than divergent routing which is necessarily limited in confined waters.

3. In transoceanic shipping, however, the emphasis was placed on diversified routing wherever sea-room made it possible. Every effort was made to scatter independent shipping throughout any given ocean area, avoiding peacetime steamer tracks and standard turning points which could have been made the focal point for enemy attacks. After the establishment and extension of the coastal convoy system from Canada to Brazil, almost no independent ships of less than 14.5 knots sailed in the Western Atlantic during the height U/Boat warfare in 1942 and 1943. However, no convoy system was ever established between South America and Capetown, and when the enemy found that practically all shipping north of Natal was being convoyed, he shifted his efforts to the South Atlantic where many slow independent vessels were lost attempting to reach the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea via the Cape of Good Hope with cargoes that were so vital at that early stage of the war. To combat the serious threat to what was then a most important supply route, it was decided that the greatly increased steaming distance and heavy storms off Cape Horn, all independent shipping destined for the Indian Ocean from the North American east coast was routed via the Panama Canal, the west coast of South America via Cape Horn to South African ports for onward routing into the Indian Ocean. This route was used by more than 200 independent ships during the last four months of 1942.

4. When the enemy moved a sizeable concentration of U/Boats to the area off Capetown to attack this shipping, it was again decided to accept the increased distance and heavy headwinds in the South Pacific. The vital flow of war materials was accordingly re-routed to proceed from Panama by an approximate great circle route south of New Zealand to Freemantle in Western Australia for onward routing. This course proved to be entirely safe except for negligible losses from Japanese submarines operating in the Indian Ocean. Over 500 independent ships made this voyage before the route was discontinued following the opening of the Mediterranean to convoys in July 1943. Such a method of handling shipping destined for the critical Red Sea and Persian Gulf areas is a good example of what can be accomplished by the controlled routing of independent ships.

5. Another interesting case of independent routing took place on the Iceland-Murmansk route. German attacks on North Russia convoys by coordinated aircraft and U/Boats caused such heavy losses that the convoy system was abandoned during the summer months of 1943, when continuous daylight made it impossible for the convoys to avoid immediate detection. The political and military situation made it absolutely essential to continue some form of traffic onto the northern Russian ports during that summer. Accordingly, a plan known as the "Trickle Movement" was adopted, and independent ships were routed through a most dangerous area where usual routing was the only protection. These independent ships were routed through the extreme northern waters of the Greenland and Barents Seas. The plan was not entirely successful, but 50% of the independent ships so routed made safe arrivals in north Russian ports, whereas the last convoys to make the run in 1942 had lost one-half to two-thirds of its ships. The Trickle Movement was a temporary expedient taken previously because of the importance of maintaining a token flow of shipping to north Russia. It was abandoned after a short period when it again became possible to reinforce the escorts of the North Russian convoys to the point of reasonable safety.

6. After the summer of 1943 the U/Boat threat in the South and West Atlantic


was greatly lessened. The convoying of all ships became an unnecessary waste of valuable ship days, and a fluid policy of sailing ships of various types and speeds independently in those areas not currently threatened was adopted by C&R. Here again divergent routing was used wherever possible until the threat had so diminished that it became preferable in 1944 to establish standard routes between such points as New York and Windward Passage and on to Panama and Trinidad. As stated before, these standard routes have the advantage of almost eliminating the danger of collision, an ever present hazard that must be considered in all routing.

7. In late 1944 and 1945 C&R adopted the basic policy of independent routing for tankers of all speeds and for dry cargo ships of speeds of 10 knots and over. The dry cargo ships of 8 to 10 knots were retained in convoys not so much for their protection as to form a nucleus for the maintenance of a convoy system which would be available for all shipping should the enemy threat return, which in matter of fact it did during 1945. This policy was designed to reduce the loss of ship days inherent in any convoy system. Experience gained through the acid test of war has established beyond a doubt that a most important problem in merchant ship control is to strike a proper balance between risk and delay, in determining policy of convoys versus independent routing. It has been shown that effective and relatively safe control of large movements of independent shipping can be attained through constant vigilance and a fluid policy which meets the constantly varying conditions of warfare.102 108 201


1. In the spring of 1942 the Commander, Western Sea Frontier, as principal Shipping Control Authority in the Pacific under WPSC-46, submitted recommendations to C&R for two routing publications, Mercantile Pacific Routing Instructions (MPRI) and Mercantile Pacific Coastal Routing Instructions (MPCRI). With minor modifications, these directives were prepared and issued in mimeograph form by C&R (then Op-37). On 20 January 1944 the two were combined into book form by C&R as MPRI-1944, which then became the main Pacific routing directive.

2. In February 1944 Commander in Chief, U. S. Pacific Fleet was designated as the principal Merchant Ship Control Authority in the Pacific and assigned associated duties in connection therewith as specified in MER-1. This development, coupled with an escort shortage and the need closer control of the ever expanding shipping in the central and forward Pacific Areas, brought CinCPac into a position of predominance over routing affairs in that area.

3. During 1944, with the assignment to CinCPac's Headquarters of personnel experienced with shipping control in the Atlantic, still further decentralization from Washington was accomplished. CinCPac was authorized to amend or change MPRI without clearing all matters through C&R. On 16 August 1944 C&R became merely the distributing medium through Registered Publication Memoranda of MPRI amendments as promulgated by CinCPac.94 In September CinCPac published a Pacific Routing Directive as a Pacific Fleet Letter to replace MPRI. Finally, on 1 May


1945 Wartime Pacific Routing Instructions (WPRI), written and distributed by CinCPac, became the principal Pacific routing publication and MPRI was cancelled, removing C&R from all direct connection with policy matters concerning Pacific ship control.

4. Nevertheless, the plotting of independents and convoys as well as the recording of all ship movements in the Pacific were being maintained as usual up to VE Day, as described in section F of this chapter.


Chapter III
Ocean Convoys


1. A "convoy" is two or more naval auxiliary vessels, merchant vessels or both, assembled and organized for an operation or passage together; or a single naval auxiliary vessel or merchant vessel under escort of one or more warships. 55

2. Experience in World War I and now in this war has proven beyond doubt that the first and primary defense against enemy submarines, aircraft, mines and raiders should be a proper balance between convoy of shipping and evasive routing of independents. As to convoying, its salutary effect during periods of intensive attack is clearly demonstrated in the table, "Convoy vs. Independent Status of Merchant Vessels Lost World-Wide from Enemy Action" in Chapter I, C. For instance, in 1942 before our convoying got under full way, world-wide losses from enemy causes amounted to 7,713,000 gross tons, of which about 70% were independent ships. The next year though, with shipping largely in convoy, losses were reduced to 3,210,000 gross tons, of which about 34% were independents. However, in considering these figures weight must be given to the offensive action which was taken against the enemy. 104

3. While in a certain sense C&R is charged with affording protection to shipping by convoy, this protection is not interpreted to mean the control of either anti-submarine craft or armed guard units aboard merchantmen. In other words, C&R has not particularly concerned itself with actual escorting beyond familiarity with escort availability for scheduling purposes and the relations of the Commodores with the escort commanders. C&R's protective functions are limited, in the case of convoys to the organization, movement control and general administration of convoys. These functions are defined more exactly in MER-1, para. 6 as:

"Convoy Control: Convoy control is for the assembly of vessels for convoy and the performance of the necessary functions ashore to provide for the safety of the convoy at sea. These functions include:

"(1) Interviewing masters to determine whether or not the vessels are eligible for convoy as regards speed, smoking, etc.

"(2) Inspection of vessels in order to ascertain whether they are properly equipped for convoy operation.

"(3) The convening of a conference of masters and all other interested persons prior to sailing.

"(4) When a naval officer is not available to serve as Commodore, the selection of a Convoy Commodore and Vice Commodore and suitable ships to act as Commodores' flagships.

"(5) In conference with Convoy Commodore, prescribe the organization and cruising order of the convoy. Prescribe the sailing time, route to be followed, and issue instructions as to destination and dispersals.

"(6) Advise all cognizant authorities of the movements of the convoy (Convoy Sailing telegram).

"(7) Perform all other functions prescribed by current directives."55


4. The difference between the control of convoys by C&R and the control of the escort vessels by Fleet Operations is further illustrated by the exact distinctions drawn between the duties of the Convoy Commodore and the Escort Commander. As to this subject, "United States Fleet Anti-Submarine and Escort of Convoy Instructions" (short title F.T.P. 223A), paragraph 4021 states:

5. "The Convoy Commodore is the officer, Naval or Merchant, designated to command the convoy. He is responsible for the internal arrangements of the convoy including the assignment of stations to ships in the convoy, for the issue of instructions and regulations for the convoy, and is always responsible for the safe navigation of the convoyed ships. Under normal conditions the Convoy Commodore will control the convoy tactically in accordance with standard instructions for convoys and such additional instructions as he may receive from competent authority."73

6. Then paragraph 4022 states: "The Escort Commander is responsible for the proper disposition of the escorts for the defense of the convoy, subject to instructions received from higher authority and the enforcement of such instructions given to the convoy as are related to the defense of the convoy. Evasive alterations of course by the convoy when exigencies of the situation warrant are ordered by the Escort Commander, after consultation with Convoy Commodore if practicable." 73

7. But paragraph 4063 adds: "In a regularly scheduled mercantile convoy the Escort Commander commands both convoy and escort even though there may be present in a ship in the convoy an officer senior to him". In actual practice, escorts for the U. S. ocean convoys are provided by the Commander in Chief, Atlantic Fleet, and for coastal convoys by the Sea Frontier Commanders, both under supervision of the Commander in Chief, U. S. Fleet.73

8. Minimum Declared Speed for Inclusion in Convoy: To qualify for a convoy the master of each vessel is required to state to the Convoy Control Officer that his vessel will probably be able to maintain the nominal convoy speed under ordinary conditions, i.e., in a moderate sea and wind force 4 on the Beaufort scale. The nominal speed of a convoy is the lowest declared speed that will qualify a ship for inclusion. The speed of advance of a convoy is the basis upon which its movements are plotted. (GIRO-1944, Art. 3112, 3113 and Appendix III A).62 64


1. Convoy Plot (FX-3722, later FX-3721):

Under the Convoy Administration or Control Officer, this section performs duties as follows (see Appendix Q):

a) Routes and Diverts Atlantic ocean convoys in U. S. areas of responsibility except within Sea Frontier boundaries, where this control is exercised by the respective Commanders. Originally each convoy was routed over an individual course, but standard routes over certain convoy lanes were gradually developed as the submarine menace lessened. When requested by War Shipping Administration or Naval transportation Service, conditions warranting, instructions are sent by radio to Escort Commanders ordering Convoy Commodores to detach ships from convoy for new destinations. (see Appendix CC and Appendix DD for diversions of ON 166).

b) Maintains plot of all convoys in the Atlantic, and those in the Pacific for which information is available. The main purpose of the plot is to broadcast positions of convoys to other ships and convoys to reduce risk of collision. The actual plotting is done on accurate plotting charts for the area concerned, and these plots are transferred to a set of large Mercator charts provided by the Hydrographic Office, extending from floor to ceiling in one large room and


covering the following areas: 1) North Atlantic Ocean north of 10° S, including the Mediterranean and Gulf of Mexico; 2) North and Central American coastline from St. Johns, N. F., to Trinidad, including Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea; 3) South American coastline from Trinidad to Buenos Aires; 4) the entire Pacific ocean to 100° E; and 5) the entire world (used only for areas not covered by the other charts). (see Appendix BB).

Here pins bearing small cards of varying color and design show the position of and distinguish between coastal convoys, fast and slow North Atlantic trade convoys, convoys to Mediterranean, troop convoys, and miscellaneous convoys, plus independent ships such as the "Monster" troopships (large, high speed troop-carrying ships which normally proceed independently), neutral ships, hospital ships and safe-conduct ships. Estimated positions of enemy submarines (supplied by F-21) are also shown by pins and cards which distinguish between patrolling, outbound and homebound U/boats. Storm centers, icebergs, mine-fields, etc., are also indicated. Finally the chart shows the dividing lines for shipping control (known as CHOP lines) and Sea Frontier boundaries. The plotted positions of convoys are posted for 2000 G.C.T. each day and enemy craft for 1200 G.C.T. and broadcast to all commands concerned daily. Convoys are also plotted on the plotting charts for 2000 the next day, and their positions corrected as information comes in. Thus virtually all the pertinent facts bearing upon routing and diversions are presented at a glance for the benefit of the section head, watch officers and other interested personnel. A continuous watch is maintained day and night by Convoy Plot, so that diversions, whether they be evasive or to avoid collisions, may be broadcast immediately to the convoy or ship concerned. A detailed explanation of the reporting of convoy positions by C&R appears in the United States Fleet Anti-Submarine Bulletin of November, 1944, p. 27-29. (see Appendix BB to Appendix EE, inclusive).

c) Issues "Daily Convoy Situation Report" and "Coastal Convoy Daily Summary".

1. The situation report shows the destination of every ocean and coastal convoy under way, ports of departure and destination, number of ships, number of escorts and the convoy's estimated 2000 G.C.T. position, course and speed. Independent troop ships, hospital ships, and safe-conduct ships are included. Typed copies of the report go to the White House, CominCh Chart Room, F-21 (Combat Intelligence) and FX-3711 (Independent Plot), for reporting on their individual wall charts.

2. The estimated 2000 G.C.T. position, course and speed of all convoys, transports, safe conduct and hospital ships in the Atlantic outside of Sea Frontiers, as plotted by this Section, is broadcast about noon each day to all U. S. Navy commands at sea and ashore concerned with convoy movements. To reduce the amount of decoding at sea, the North Atlantic is divided into three main areas and a separate broadcast is addressed to all commands in each area which includes only convoys within that area, viz; a) North of 40° N and West of 26° W (less Eastern Sea Frontier but including Canadian Coastal Zone); b) between 25° N from 26° W to 67° W (less Eastern Sea Frontier); and c) South of 25° N and West of 26° W (less Caribbean Sea Frontier). Prior to July 1943 this section also broadcast the positions of convoys within each of the Sea Frontiers, but this function was taken over by the respective Commanders of Sea Frontiers, with C&R included as an addressee for purposes of checking its own plot of coastal convoys.

3. The coastal summary, which was conceived by C&R, lists the convoy designation, time of departure or arrival and name of every ship in each convoy. Changes of destination, sinkings, stragglers and joiners are included. The summary is radioed to naval Service Headquarters in Ottawa and to the Admiralty. This procedure greatly reduces communications, as


otherwise these commands would require copies of every convoy reporting dispatch. In exchange, Ottawa and London supply C&R with similar daily summaries of their respective convoys. In this manner all ships in convoy are located for the ship records maintained by FX-3711 and FX-3712.

d) Maintains records of ocean convoys

1. All dispatches concerning each convoy are placed in chronological order of receipt in a separate folder, which is permanently filed in order of convoy title and number. Each folder has a cover summarizing such essential facts as date of sailing, route, convoy call sign, number of ships, names of escort vessels and their task number and senior officer, names of Convoy Commodore and Vice Commodore and their ships, names of ships which are detached or become casualties or stragglers and arrival date. Inside the cover of ocean convoys is a sketch of the original route and diversions taken. A carbon copy of the statement which is prepared by FX-3712, showing the name and destination of each ship, deletions, changes of destination, etc., is also filed. Thus the convoy folder assembles virtually all information about the convoy which is known to C&R, with the exception that the Commodore's report and Escort Commander's report are filed separately in C&R's central file and CominCh mail room, respectively. In addition to this material, other records are kept by the Convoy Schedule officer as will be explained below. A photograph of the North Atlantic Chart is taken daily and filed for reference purposes. In addition a monthly chart of the actual routes taken by all important Atlantic convoys is prepared and photographed.

2. The Watch officers also maintain a set of folders containing dispatches and letters concerning policy matters. Separate "policy" folders are kept under the titles of: North Atlantic, CU, UT, UG, OT, Monster, Hospital-Safe Conduct, Mediterranean - U.K. - African, Indian, Russian Atlantic-Mediterranean, Argentine, Pacific, Russian Pacific, and General.

3. Originally, the Convoy Plot section consisted of about 22 officers, of whom about half were Watch Officers working in three daily shifts. Upon the full deployment of the U. S. East Coast convoy system in the summer of 1942 and until July 1943 the section was divided into two parts: Ocean Convoy Plot (FX-3722) and Coastal Convoy Plot (FX-3723). Late in 1943 personnel was reduced to about 16 officers, including two Watch Officers on continuous duty, and all plotting reverted to a single sub-section, although the coastal and ocean situation reports continued to be listed separately. The Convoy Plot room, which is accessible only to authorized persons, has never been occupied since some months before the war began.301 (see Appendix BB).

4. Commander John Bailey, U.S.N., was in charge of this section until November 1943, when he was relieved by Commander Harry J. Verhoye, U.S.N., who in turn was relieved by Commander Everett A. Rhodes, U.S.N.R., in May 1944.

2. Convoy Schedules (FX-3722):

Also under the Convoy administration (later Control) Officer, this Section functions as described below: (see Appendix Q and Appendix FF).

a) Prepares and Issues U. S. Convoy Schedules

1. With the advent of large scale U/boat attacks in the Western Atlantic in the spring of 1942, the number and size of ocean and coastal


convoys expanded rapidly, as will be related in Chapter III. The shortage of tonnage was to remain one of the principal bottle-necks of the war, and every ship-day saved was of importance. But convoying was an inherent and unavoidable cause of delay and tended to increase congestion, particularly in the heavily worked ports of New York, Norfolk, Boston and Guantanamo, not to mention certain overseas ports. Careful long range planning of all convoy movements became vital, and the scheduling of U. S. convoys rapidly became an important function of C&R. The continuing problem is to: 1) reduce to a minimum the delays to ships sailing in convoy caused by waiting in port to unload, load and sail again in the next convoy; slower speeds; and longer routes; 2) fully utilize but not overwork such escort craft as are available; 3) synchronize convoy sailings and arrivals with other U. S. and British convoys so as to maintain the most efficient possible worldwide flow of shipping; and 4) facilitate the ocean transport of troops.

2. These problems are worked out by C&R in conjunction with the Operations Division of CominCh; Commander in Chief, Atlantic Fleet; the Sea Frontier Commanders; the Admiralty and N.S.H.Q., Ottawa; and those divisions of WSA, Naval Transportation Service and Army Water Transportation charged with cargo and troop movements.

3. To facilitate planning and recording by visualization, a "Convoy Time graph" was developed by this section in 1942, consisting of an interlocking network of colored elastic bands. Each band represents one convoy and is stretched between two pins on a mounted graph ruled to show days along the top and ports of departure and destination along the sides. A small label pinned beside the band bears the convoy short title and number. Once the desired sailing interval and convoy speed over a certain route is determined in relation to the number of escort units available, the bands are moved about so as to seek the most expeditious sailing dates, turnaround time away for both ships and escorts, return sailing dates and upkeep and loading time at home, always bearing in mind the best possible connections for shipping in other convoys. (see Appendix J).

4. When the convoy schedule is finally arranged and approved, dispatches are released to all concerned, setting forth the first dates and intervals of sailing. A photograph of the Convoy Time Graph is then taken and distributed to show for a month or two in advance further details such as minimum declared speeds for inclusion, estimated voyage times and arrival dates, turnaround times, and convoy connections. The Graph is rephotographed whenever important changes are made in the schedule. Prior to its expiration a second board is prepared and photographed. (see Appendix GG to Appendix LL inclusive).

5. For convenience two boards are in use, one showing U. S. Convoys to Mediterranean and United Kingdom (including British Convoys to Mediterranean and West Africa for purposes of synchronization), and the other showing U. S. coastal and North Atlantic Trade Convoys. About 32 photographic prints of the former and 45 of the latter are distributed to those concerned with planning, including the following outside of C&R: Chief of Staff, TENTH Fleet; CominCh Operations Division (F-313); six officers in Naval Transportation Service, Op-39 (Allied Tanker Coordinating Committee, Army and Navy Petroleum Board, Atlantic Service Force and Traffic); five persons in W.S.A. (Vessel Operations, Tanker Operations and Allocations, Port utilization, and Security and Communications); three officers in the Army Water Transportation (Control, Movements and Ocean Traffic); the British Admiralty Delegation and British Merchant Shipping Mission; Naval Service Headquarters in Ottawa and Commander in Chief,


Canadian North-West Atlantic; Commanders of all four Sea Frontiers; and Commander, Fourth Fleet or Commander, South Atlantic Force; Commandants of Naval Operating Bases at Guantanamo and Trinidad; Commander, All Forces Aruba-Curacao; Port Directors of New York, Norfolk, Cristobal and Houston; Convoy Control Officers at Key West, Pilottown and Galveston; Commander, Operational Training Command, Atlantic Fleet; and Commander in Chief, U. S. Atlantic Fleet. These photographs are classified as secret. (see Appendix GG to Appendix LL inclusive, and Appendix AAA and Appendix BBB).

b) Has Cognizance of Coastal Convoy Policy.

1. This duty involves responsibility for advising senior officers concerning convoy affairs and activities in Eastern, Gulf, Caribbean, and Panama Sea Frontiers; Commander Fourth Fleet area (Brazil), and Canadian Coastal Zone. To this end, permanent "policy" files of all dispatches and serial letters bearing on policy matters are maintained, one file for each area named above and one for general matters and affairs concerning more than one area. Such subjects as adherence to and changes in convoy schedules, standard routes for convoys and independents, the releasing of ships of certain types and speeds from convoy, Convoy Commodores' and Escort Commanders' reports and recommendations, questions involving conflict of policy between Frontiers, and the general performance of convoying in the light of enemy activity are studied and proposals for improvement submitted.

2. Prior to July 1943 this section as FX-3723 plotted all coastal convoys and broadcast their daily positions, courses and speeds, and in general performed for coastal convoys the functions later carried out by Convoy Plot. (see Chapter IV).

c) Maintains Convoy Records.

1. In addition to the basic folder records maintained by Convoy Plot of Ocean and (since July 1943) Coastal convoys, this Section keeps a variety of timing and composition records of all regular U. S. convoys and some connecting British and Canadian convoys. For example, by further use of the Convoy Time graph described above, all convoys under way at any one time are revealed at a glance, with their composition, casualties and estimated time of arrival. As convoys arrive the elastic bands are moved to the proper positions, and when the board expires a record photograph is taken and permanently filed. From these, studies are made of voyage and turnaround performance of shipping, escort units and convoy commodores. (see Appendix GG to Appendix LL inclusive).

2. This photo facilitates the preparation by the Section of a monthly statistical summary of each group of convoys arriving, which is published in the "United States Fleet Anti-Submarine Bulletin". A brief narrative of this month's activities accompanies each table. Further analyses are made of a variety of subjects which may assist in the efficient control of convoying, some of which are also published in the Bulletin. (see Appendix F to Appendix I).

3. For historical purposes, time graphs are drawn of certain other convoys, such as Pacific, Canadian, and special or miscellaneous convoys of importance, as well as movements of AT independent "Monsters". (see Appendix N, Appendix O, and Appendix FFF to Appendix JJJ, inclusive).

4. A card index is kept of all Convoy Commodores and Vice Commodores in the Atlantic, with designation of convoys to which assigned and other


data. In the case of the 38 Commodores on duty with C&R for UGS, UGF, and CU convoys, further records are kept, and this Section assists FX-372 in the preparation of Commodores' assignments to convoys. (see Appendix KKK).

5. Finally, a master list of all current and obsolete U. S. and British convoy short titles or designations is maintained for copying and distribution by FX-43. To avoid duplication, recommendations are made for short titles of new convoys in both Atlantic and Pacific.

6. Commander Joseph D. McKinney, U.S.N., was in charge of this section (FX-3723) until August 1943, when he was relieved by Commander Charles E. Ames, U.S.N.R.


1. Our active interest in the escort of British convoys took form well before we entered the war. During the summer of 1940 the German submarine campaign had been prosecuted with telling effect. By way of assistance we first delivered Britain 50 of our older destroyers adapted for anti-submarine duty, in exchange for which we received certain rights in various localities suitable for the establishment of Naval Bases, including Newfoundland and Bermuda. On 11 March 1941 the Lend-Lease Act was signed and obviously we were unwilling to see a large part of our vital products lost in Ocean transit. The only recourse was to assist the British in escorting, which at first we did by patrolling the waters in the vicinity of convoy routes and broadcasting information relative to the presence of raiders. Incident to these decisions, Marines were landed 9 April in Greenland by agreement with Denmark. In May, 10 of our cutters reinforced the British escort force. An unlimited national emergency was proclaimed 27 May, and 1 June the first of the Greenland patrols was organized. With the landing of our Marines in Iceland 7 July, we joined Britain in the use of an important base for convoy escorts and long range aircraft. On 16 September U. S. Naval ships were first assigned as escorts for the regular mercantile cross-Atlantic convoys. There followed several incidents involving enemy action against U. S. destroyers and auxiliaries, climaxed by the torpedoing of the USS Reuben James with the loss of 100 men 31 October. The next day the Coast Guard was made a part of the Navy by Executive Order No. 8929, followed by the establishment of armed guard units for all merchant vessels.1

2. The immediate effect of the attack on Pearl harbor was to increase the Allied (or United Nations) shipping pool by some 8 1/2 million gross tons of ocean-going ships liable to enemy attack. A large proportion of this tonnage in the Western North Atlantic could not be given suitable convoy and air protection - due to our failure to build in preparation for war - and consequently a number of soft spots were exposed to the Axis U/boats which had by this date considerably increased in number and ability to operate at long distances from their bases, sometimes in "wolf packs". The U/boats quickly took advantage of the opportunity so presented, and by leaving the cross-Atlantic convoys severely alone, concentrated their attacks on the largely unescorted shipping along the Atlantic seaboard, and in the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico, with disastrous results. Losses in these areas during June 1942 caused world-wide sinkings to reach a new high peak of 702,000 gross tons. By 1 July 1942 a network of convoys in the Sea Frontier areas had been organized (as described in Chapter IV) and within several months the enemy had found it profitable to withdraw from coastal zones and resume attacks on ocean convoys.1 21

3. The crises of the "Battle of the Atlantic" came in the spring of 1943. With over 100 U/boats at sea, losses in the Atlantic for March alone reached the alarming figure of 627,000 gross tons, nearly 20% of the sinkings for the whole year. But now the commissioning of additional escorts, including a number of small escort carriers, the use of support groups and more very long range aircraft, some operating from the Azores, gradually turned the tide. Several fierce battles with


ONS-SC convoys took place in May, as a result of which the enemy largely withdrew from the Atlantic convoy routes again to look for softer spots elsewhere. During the 6 months ending October over 150 U/boats had been sunk. 21 (see Appendix CC and Appendix DD).

4. In May 1943 the TENTH Fleet Operations Division had been organized to exercise command of anti-submarine support forces composed of surface, air and submarine forces, and deal directly with Atlantic Fleet and Anti-submarine projects. 7

5. Our sea and air initiative in the Atlantic was largely maintained, in spite of the gradual introduction of the "Schnorchel" breathing tube, and losses reached only 24,000 gross tons a month just prior to the invasion of Europe on 6 June 1944. Sinkings remained unexpectedly low in the face of the heavy movement of troops and supplies to the Continent, amounting to only 7,000 gross tons in October, the lowest for the whole war. In our coastal areas only cargo ships of 8 to 10 knots were being sailed in convoy, as explained in Chap. IV.21 (see Appendix II).

6. But with large numbers now equipped with the "Schnorchel" and new tactics developed for high submerged speeds, the early months of 1945 saw the U/boat concentrating about the British Isles in an alarming manner. In addition, a few undersea craft were causing considerable anxiety in Canadian and Eastern Sea Frontier areas although actual losses were limited. At least, the U/boats caused an increase in convoying in the Eastern Sea Frontier. (see Chap. IV).


1. The first transoceanic convoys over which C&R exercised movement control in U. S. areas of responsibility were the North Atlantic Trade Convoys (HX, ON, and SC). These convoys were of great importance by reason of their frequency and size, and because for a long period they provided the only regular escorting of merchant ships. In April 1942 all anti-submarine forces, U. S., British and Canadian were pooled in a single cross-Atlantic convoy scheme. During the first part of 1942 troop convoys were sailed to Iceland and U. K., designated as AT convoys from U. S. and NA convoys from Canada. In addition there were very irregular troop convoys from U. S. East Coast to the Indian Ocean or Pacific ports via the South Atlantic or Panama Canal, such as the AS, BC, BT, LW, and WS convoys. Following the invasion of North Africa late in 1942 the important UGS and UGF convoys were inaugurated on regular schedules, followed in 1943 by large regular UT troop convoys to the U. K., and the OT and CU tanker convoys from the Netherlands West Indies to U. K. Subsequently these CU's were sailed from New York to U. K. regularly, becoming an important combination troop and tanker convoy system.

2. The Army Water Transportation has computed that during our war 2,455,329 troops crossed the Atlantic for the European and Mediterranean Theaters of Operation in 173 UT, TCU, CU, UGF, UGS and AT convoys, excluding independent sailings of "AT" monsters and excluding "Torch Operations", an average of 14,193 embarkations per troop-carrying convoy.

3. A total of 47,997 ships were escorted in 1,134 principal convoys across the Atlantic between North American and British, Mediterranean and European ports since we joined the war. Of these, 275 ships (including escorts) were sunk in convoy, a ratio of 1:174. However, of these 47,997 ships, 30,330 or 63% were in the North Atlantic Trade Convoys alone. Likewise, of the 275 ships sunk in convoy, 242 were in these Trades. This leaves 17,667 ships, of which only 33 were sunk, in the UG, OT, UT, CU, AT and other principal trans-Atlantic convoys. The following table clearly brings out the steady increase in convoying, together with the notable decline in 1944 in losses from enemy action without increase of escort strength per convoy.



            Casualties (Enemy Action)c
Arriving Convoys Ships Ships
Escorts Escorts
in C/V
Sunk as
1942 253 7,882 31 1,547 6.1 127 39 17
1943 299 12,745 43 2,481 8.3 126 49 20
1944 380 18,856 50 3,070 8.1 15 3 11
1945b 202 8,514 42 1,135 5.6 7 0 5
Total 1,134 47,997 33 8,233 7.3 275 91 53

(a) North Atlantic Trade Convoys, UGF, UGS, OT, UT, CU, and AT convoys and returning counterparts, each of which are described in further detail below, plus certain other important convoys, as published in the yearly convoy summaries appearing in U. S. Fleet Anti-Submarine Bulletins.108 120 123 124
(b) Sailing prior to VE [Day].
(c) Including escorts.
Source: 501


1. In order to define exactly the American and British areas of responsibility for the control of transoceanic convoy and ship movements (as distinguished from strategic control of warships), the North and South Atlantic oceans have been divided roughly in half. The dividing line is known as "CHOP" (Change of Operational Control). The estimated date and hour of crossing the line is established by a dead reckoning plot and is stated in the sailing telegram. The diverting authority on the other side of the line assumes control on that day, regardless of estimated position. If the hour was not stated in the sailing telegram control changed at noon G.C.T.

2. The CHOP line in the South Atlantic was originally set and has remained along the 26th meridian south of 00° - 35' N.

3. North of the equator, however, there have been four changes since the first line was adopted on 1 July 1942. Originally proposed in BUSRA a few months previous, it closely corresponded to 65° N, thence by rhumb line to the 26th meridian at 53° N, and thence southward along the 26th meridian, except between 43° N and 20° N where it followed the 40th meridian. (see Appendix E).

4. The first change of 28 July was a slight one, merely moving the above rhumb line westward so as to meet the 26th meridian at 57° N, instead of 53° N.

5. On 12 November 1942 the second change moved the chop line for all movements exclusive of troop convoys and independent troop ships (for which the line of 28 July applied until 1 April 1943) westward to the 35th meridian as far south as 50° N, thence by rhumb line to 43° N, 40° W, southward again along the 40th meridian to 20° N, and thence by rhumb line to 0° 35' N, 26° W.

6. The next change, effective 1 April 1943 was gain to the westward to facilitate still further the British and Canadian control of the extreme Northwest Atlantic, and increased the total area of British control to its maximum limits. Now the line ran from Greenland along the 47th meridian to 29° N, and thence again


by rhumb line to 00° 35' N, 26° W. This change resulted from the Atlantic Convoy Conference held in Washington 1 March.

7. Finally, on 1 May, 1943, for the purpose of extending the area in which C&R and Commander in Chief, Atlantic Fleet, would have control over the U. S. convoys to and from the Mediterranean, the line was moved eastward this time to include the Azores. This line, destined to remain for "the duration", also ran southward on the 47th meridian but only to 40° N, thence eastward to 40° N, 24° W; southward on the 24th meridian to 30° N; thence by rhumb line to 20° N, 30° W; southward on the 30th meridian (to leave the Cape Verde Islands to the British) to 06° 15' N, 30° W; and finally thence by shorter rhumb line to 00° 35' N, 26° W.

8. Furthermore, following the aforementioned Atlantic Convoy Conference, the Canadians became responsible effective 1 April 1943 for diversions not only within their Coastal Zone, but for diversions of ON, ONS, HX, and SC convoys westward of CHOP, except of course, when within Eastern Sea Frontier boundaries. Since including troop transports, west of 47° W when plying between Canadian, Newfoundland and British ports.30

9. The line for strategic control of warships in the Atlantic was originally laid down in ABC-1 (see Chapter I, D 3). As already pointed out, it corresponds with the original BUSRA "CHOP" line for the North Atlantic with one small exception. 36

10. For illustration of these important Atlantic "CHOP" lines see Appendix E.


a) Inauguration and Control.

Upon the outbreak of war with Germany in 1939, the Admiralty promptly organized a system of merchant convoys to maintain the life-line of supply between North America and the United Kingdom. Utilizing the experience in convoying gained in World War I (See Chapter I, C), this system, known as the "North Atlantic Trade Convoys" and operated in accordance with "Merchant Convoy Instructions", became of great importance. Following our entry in the war, and in accordance with terms of BUSRA (see Chapter II, B), C&R assumed joint responsibility for the control of the movements of these convoys west of the "CHOP" line, including scheduling , routing, and evasive diversions. Effective 1 April 1943 and as a result of the North Atlantic Conference (see Chapter III, C 2), the Canadians were given charge of diversions west of "CHOP". But the scheduling, plotting, reporting, and recording duties continued to consume a sizeable share of C&R's attention.62

b) Schedules.

1. Since shortly after our entrance in the war, the sailing intervals and dates of these convoys have been changed a dozen or more times by agreement between Admiralty, N.S.H.Q., CominCh, and C&R, in accordance with the number and type of escorts available, the amount, type, and speed of shipping presenting itself, connecting convoy schedules, the season of the year, routes to be used, and, of course, the enemy situation. On the average, there have been seven or eight convoy sailings a month each way. (see Appendix AAA).

2. Until the end of March 1943 the fast HX/ON convoys and slow SC/ONS convoys were sailed at like intervals, and there was not much difference in their size. But with fast ships ever growing in number and slow ships gradually being withdrawn the time came when it was necessary to sail the fast convoys oftener in order to maintain reasonable balance in size, which was then considered to be about 60 ships per convoy. For the rest of 1943 and throughout most of 1944 two fast convoys to one slow were scheduled. However, with available escorts greatly restricted because of invasion activities a schedule of


only four HX convoys per month resulted in very large fast convoys. (See paragraph 7, Shipping). So, commencing October 1944, six fast convoys per month were sailed which meant that with two slow convoys per month still continuing the ratio became 3 to 1. However, in February 1945, to avoid now excessively large slow convoys, and with more ocean escorts available, the interval for the slow ones was shortened to 10 days, causing the ratio to return to 2 to 1, and again restoring balance. Paragraph g (Shipping) of this section shows actual performance as to the number of ships escorted in each convoy group, year by year. The Table in Appendix M gives the details of changes in sailing interval, as well as the various ports used.

3. Not only was the scheduling of these convoys a complicated matter, but decisions taken had repercussions on related convoy systems and on problems of congestion in convoy ports, particularly New York.

4. An interesting example is the case of the schedule which became effective October 1944 and continued almost unchanged thereafter. Very large HXF, HXM, and HXS convoys of over 100 ships were being sailed at the rate of four a month during the summer of 1944, all from New York and none from Halifax. With a further increase of presenters probable, the Admiralty, in their secret dispatch of 141320 July, considered that a maximum size of 80 ships was required for these convoys to contend with winter weather or any renewed large scale U/boat operations. They proposed to reduce the sailing interval to 4 days with two fast and one slow convoy alternately, all from New York. After careful study of this proposal, C&R (ComTENTHFleet C&R, secret 200110 July) could not concur, and proposed instead that the slow convoys again be sailed from Halifax (every 15 days), while the fast HX be sailed from New York every 5 days, the sailing date to be 2 days after the NG sailing date. This schedule, to which all concurred, avoided congestion in New York and attained synchronization with the coastal convoy system, thus expediting shipping to U. K. as well. In addition, there was no interference with the UGS convoys to the Mediterranean, the New York sections of which were sailing every 10 days, one day after NG. New York was further assisted by BX convoys sailing from Boston every 15 days (later every 10 days), one day after NG. In May 1945 even the CU convoys were adjusted to the 5 day interval, 2 days after HX and 1 day before NG. In this manner the HX date, which was set with NG date in mind, remained unchanged and set the timing of all convoys, coastal and ocean, scheduled from and to U. S. ports.501

c) Routes.

1. Terminals. The HX/ON convoys were routed between Liverpool and Halifax and the SC/ONS between Liverpool and Sydney (or Halifax if Sydney was closed by ice) until October 1942, when the western terminal for both changed to New York, Six months later, however, the SC convoys as such were suspended, and in their place HXS (8 knots) convoys were sailed from New York, but in October the SCs were resumed from Halifax, again to relieve New York and synchronize with other coastals. The Port Director of New York had the responsibility of organizing and actually sailing all HX convoys.

2. Routing.

a) Both HX/ON and SC/ONS convoys always passed north of Ireland until the elimination of enemy submarine and air bases in France caused U/boat concentrations further north, after which the HX/ON were routed through At. Georges Channel commencing October 1944. The slow convoys, however, continued to pass north-about to avoid congested waters and facilitate junction with the British east coast convoys.

b) Late in 1941 and during 1942 routes were laid well to the northward, particularly in summertime, to benefit from Iceland based air protection


and shorten the connecting shuttle convoy routes to and from Iceland (the odd numbered SC's took ships for Reykjavik). The westbound ON convoys were usually dispersed at various points west of 49° W, depending upon the endurance of escorts and the U/boat situation. Until early in 1943 the Convoy Plot Section of C&R originated the routes for all eastbound convoys, while Admiralty originated the westbound ones.

c) The routes varied greatly in order to disperse the target for the enemy over as wide a range as possible. Furthermore, nearly every convoy was diverted from its original route several times, usually very radically, sometimes even as far north as the shores of Iceland, in an effort to avoid the enemy. C&R devoted much attention to these diversions. They undoubtedly contributed to the safety of passage, although wide changes in the course of large convoys presented a considerable problem to the Convoy Commodores involved.

d) Finally, in order to reduce communications and because the original routes were rarely adhered to (having been promulgated a week or so before the convoy even sailed), the Admiralty proposed fixed convoy and straggler routes, which were agreed upon and became effective with convoys sailing after 22 June 1943. A set of several standard routes were determined for each HX, ON, SC, and ONS convoy, and the most suitable one, in the light of U/boat and seasonal conditions, was designated in the pre-sailing telegram. The choice of eastbound routes was thereafter made by Commander-in-Chief, Canadian Northwest Atlantic, rather than C&R. All of the standard routes passed between the points 44° N, 50° W and 46° N, 52° W; thence over wide variations to Oversay, the most northerly course passing through 59° N, 32° W and the most southerly through 42° N, 30° W approximately. Distance from New York to Liverpool varied between about 3100 and 3500 miles. The southerly routes came into use after October 1943, following the establishment of air bases in the Azores.

d) Speed.

The minimum declared speed for inclusion in HX/ON convoys was always 10 knots, and in the SC/ONS always 8 knots. Actual convoy speed of advance generally averaged about 1/2 to 1 knot slower. However, during the five months May to September 1944, a combined HX/SC schedule was run between New York and Liverpool, with the HXF/ONF speed for inclusion set at 10 knots, the HXM/ONM at 9 knots and the HXS/ONS at 8 knots. The suffixes F, M, and S meant fast, medium and slow.

e) Voyage Times.

As may be imagined, the convoys' elapsed time at sea from port to port varied greatly with the terminal ports used, the type of weather encountered, the season, the route prescribed, and the number and degree of evasive diversions for this route. Generally westbound voyages were about 1 1/2 days longer than eastbound, and winter voyages about 1 1/2 days longer than summer. Delays due to diversions and storms sometimes amounted to several days. Yet in order to schedule both an efficient flow of shipping and the proper relief of escorts enroute, it was important to make reasonably accurate estimates of the number of days at sea to be expected under various conditions. The actual average voyage times were as below:


Arriving Between N. Y. and Liverpool Between Halifax and Liverpool
1943 15.2 days 16.6 days 15.0 days 16.9 days
1944 15.2 days 16.6 days 15.6 days 18.1 days
1945 14.7 days 16.7 days 15.5 days 17.8 days

Source: 501

Further details of this subject will be found in the monthly convoy reviews printed in the U. S. Fleet Anti-Submarine Bulletins. 101 to 124 inclusive

f) Escorts.

1. While the British and Canadian Navies have carried practically the entire burden of escorting these convoys, there were periods when we participated in a substantial way over the mid-ocean leg, particularly in 1942 when Task Units 24.1.1 to 24.1.5, inclusive, were assigned to this duty during most of the year. Normally, local Canadian units escorted between New York and "HOMP" (Halifax Ocean Meeting Point, usually at about 61° W), where they were relieved by other Canadian units operating between HOMP and "WESTOMP" (Western Ocean Meeting Point, usually about 49° W). Here the mid-ocean groups, normally British or Canadian, based at St. Johns, N. F., (if American, at Argentia) took over for the long, cold, stormy, submarine-infested ocean crossing. Perhaps they would meet U. S. escorted convoys from Iceland at "ICOMP" (about 23° W), then continue until arrival at "EASTOMP" near Oversay Island. Upon being relieved by local British escorts for Liverpool and other British ports, they retired for upkeep at Londonderry in preparation for the returning ON convoy.501

2. This convoy system was complicated because of the limits of escort fueling and changes in type of craft required. Most careful scheduling was required for proper relief at the several rendezvous points. To maintain the typical schedule of four HX/ON and two SC/ONS convoys per month each way, 8 mid-ocean escort groups were required, plus 6 western local escort groups, to which should be added 2 more groups to maintain the connecting XB/BX convoys. With a sailing interval of only 5 days, however, as was being practiced in the winter of 1944-5, 12 mid-ocean groups were employed, plus 8 western locals and 2 XB/BX convoys. The mid-ocean escorts averages about seven corvettes or sloops per group, as shown in paragraph 7 (shipping) below. 501

3. U. S. Naval ships were first assigned as escorts for regular North Atlantic Trade Convoys on 16 September 1941. The S.S. City of Flint in HX 170, which arrived in the Clyde enroute for North Russia on 27January 1942, was the first U. S. merchant ship to arrive in U. K. in a mercantile convoy.44

4. The Commodores and Vice Commodores of these convoys were always British or Canadian. About 30 were ordinarily required. 501

5. An outstanding tactical victory over the U/boats was performed in the summer of 1944, when during the four months, May to August, 17 consecutive HX convoys were sailed to U. K. without the loss of a single ship, although these convoys averaged 110 ships and less than 7 escorts apiece.501

g) Shipping.

1. Due to the long period of heavy mercantile shipping between North America and U. K., practically all of which had to be escorted, this North Atlantic route witnessed by far the heaviest volume of convoying. Since our entry in the war 30,330 ships sailed in these trade convoys, at an average


of about 15 convoys per month with 50 ships and 6.9 escorts per convoy. These ships constituted 63% of all trans-Atlantic shipping in convoy since the end of 1939. Although the number of convoys, and therefore their size, varied constantly in accordance with the schedule, which has already been discussed under paragraph 2 (Schedules), the average size increased over the years, growing from 36 ships per convoy in 1942, to 50 in 1943, to a peak of 68 in 1944 and finally dropping to 55 in 1945. The average for the entire period was 50 ships.501

2. The following table shows the details of each group:

North Atlantic Trade Convoys
            Casualties (Enemy Action)c
Arriving Convoys Ships Ships
per Convoy
Sunk in
Sunk as
1942 55 1,899 34 316 5.7 9 5 1
1943 53 3,010 57 441 8.3 28 14 3
1944 55 4,169 76 421 7.7 2 0 0
1945b 38 1,776 63 149 5.3 3 0 3
Total 191 10,884 57 1,327 7.0 42 19 7
1942a 104 3,660 35 647 6.4 57 27 14
1943 52 2,779 53 430 8.3 22 4 2
1944 57 4,083 72 407 7.1 1 2 0
1945b 30 2,040 68 173 5.8 1 0 0
Total 243 12,562 52 1,657 6.8 95 30 16
1942 54 2,021 37 330 6.1 46 6 2
1943 36 1,646 47 301 8.4 24 15 3
1944 14 690 49 101 7.2 2 1 0
1945b 12 346 29 66 5.5 2 0 0
Total 116 4,703 40 798 6.9 74 22 5
1942a --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---
1943 34 1,331 39 266 7.8 31 9 0
1944 13 512 39 87 6.7 0 0 1
1945b 12 368 30 65 5.4 0 0 0
Total 59 2,211 37 418 7.1 31 9 1
HX/ON and SC/ONS Combined
1942 213 7,580 36 1,293 6.1 126 39 17
1943 175 8,766 50 1,438 8.2 105 42 8
1944 139 9,454 68 1,016 7.3 5 3 1
1945b 82 4,530 55 453 5.5 6 0 3
Total 609 30,330 50 4,200 6.9 242 84 29

(a) Distinction between ON and ONS convoys not made in 1942, but odd numbered ON convoys were generally fast and even numbered generally slow.

(b) Sailing prior to VE.

(c) Including Escorts.

Source: 501


3. A study of the relative importance of ports of loading and destination during a typical six months period, March to August, inclusive, 1943, reveals the following distribution of shipping:

HX (New York to Liverpool, 62 ships per convoy): On the average, 81% of the ships were loaded in New York and at ports south. Practically all of the remaining 19% joined off Halifax via HHX subsidiary convoys, only a few joining off St. John's N.F., via WHX subsidiaries. Of the total, 86% were loaded in U. S. ports and 14% in Canadian.

SC (Halifax to Liverpool, 51 ships per convoy): Of these, 54% were loaded in New York or at ports south. These ships, plus 8% from Boston and Portland made up 62% arriving at Halifax via BX convoys. 28% loaded at Halifax or at St. John, N.F., while 8% joined from Sydney via SSC subsidiaries, and 2% joined from St. Johns via WSC subsidiaries. Of the total, 62% were loaded in the U. S. and 38% in Canada.

ON (Liverpool to New York, 55 ships per convoy): Here also 81% of the ships were destined for New York or ports south, with an additional 2% breaking off for Boston. Of the remainder, 17% broke off for Halifax, and only a few for St. Johns.

ONS (Liverpool to Halifax, 43 ships per convoy): In this case, 48% of the ships were destined for New York or ports south, with an additional 5% for Boston, making 53% for the XB convoys. 40% went to Halifax (including 6% for St. Johns, N.B., via HF convoys), while 4% dropped off for St. Johns, N.F., and 3% broke off for Sydney.

4. On the other side, during about the same period the port distribution of all U. S. vessels proceeding to the United Kingdom was as follows:

  Dry Cargo Tankers Total
British Channel area 26% 46% 36%
Mersey (Liverpool) area 30% 20% 25%
Clyde area 6% 20% 13%
Thames area 20% 5% 12%
Hull, Southampton, Plymouth, Loch Ewe, etc. area 18% 9% 14%


100% 100% 100%

5. Tankers comprised about 30% of all ships in the HX/ON and 20% of SC/ONS convoys in 1943. The next year, however, the fast CU/UC tanker convoys were in active operation, and the proportion of tankers declined to about 17% and 18%, respectively.

6. The largest mercantile convoy to sail in this or any other war was HXS 300, which sailed New York on 17 July 1944 and arrived U.K. on 3 August with 167 ships and only 7 mid-ocean escorts. With 19 columns, this convoy had a front of some 9 miles. Sailing from New York were 109 ships, Halifax 31, Sydney 24 and St. Johns, N.F., 3. Destined for Loch Ewe were 55, Oban 43, Clyde 17, Belfast 3, Liverpool 37 and Bristol Channel 12. No submarines were contacted near the convoy, and there were no marine casualties, no ships returning to port and only one straggler.501

7. A detailed description of a typical HX convoy and the exact method of rendezvousing of ships and relief of escorts appears in the October, 1944, issue of the "United States Fleet Anti-Submarine Bulletin" under title of "The Voyage of HXF 305". In this case two merchantmen were sunk by torpedo.501

8. Ships of U. S. flag constituted an ever increasing proportion of the merchantmen in the North Atlantic Trades, and by 1944-45 made up well over one-half, sometimes two-thirds, of the total.


h) Casualties.

1. As was to be expected, most of the convoy casualties from enemy action occurred where convoying was most active and during the early years. However, analysis of the figures shows that North Atlantic Trade casualties were not so far out of line with those of other convoy routes during the same periods as might at first be supposed. The table above shows that during three years and five months 242 ships were sunk in convoy out of a total of 30,330 sailing, a ratio of 1:125, or about 8/10 of 1%. However, note that 231 of these were in 1942 and 1943. In addition, 84 were sunk as stragglers from convoy, therefore more in the nature of the sinking of an independent, while 29 were damaged but arrived in port. The sharp reduction in sinkings in convoy from 126 in 1942 to only 5 in 1944, at the same time that ships sailing increased from 7,580 to 9,454, while the number of escorts declined from 1,293 to 1,016, is adequate testimony to the effectiveness of convoy protection and offensive measures against the U/boat. This subject has been commented on in Chapter I, C.501

2. Of special interest is the fact that over the entire period the rate of sinkings in the slow SC convoys was much heavier than in the HX convoys, the ratio being 1:63 as compared to 1:258. Likewise, westbound convoys had somewhat greater losses than eastbound, the ratio for ON/ONS being 1:117, as compared with 1:134 for the HX/SC. Here also the element of speed may enter in, as the westbound convoys averaged a day or two longer voyage on account of weather.501

3. As has been pointed out elsewhere, 1942 was the critical year of losses from U/boats, while the battle of ONS 5 on the 4th and 5th of May 1943, when a pack of 25 subs attacked the convoy, undoubtedly was the turning point of the whole Battle of the Atlantic. The submarines sank 11 merchant vessels but escorts in return sank 5 U/boats and possibly damaged 9 others.

4. During this month of May 1943 the average number of U/boats at sea in the North and South Atlantic reached an all time high of 112; likewise the number sunk, 44 worldwide, of which 35 were in the North Atlantic. By July 1944 U/boats at sea had fallen to only 24, although in April 1945 they had increased again to 54, largely "Schnorchel" equipped. The following table lists convoys in which 5 or more ships were sunk while under escort:

Month in Which Sunk HX SC ON
Feb. '42 - - - - - - ON 67....7
May '42 - - - - - - ON 92....7
June '42 HX 212....6 - - - - - -
Aug. '42 - - - SC 94....11 - - -
Sept. '42 - - - SC 100....5 ON 127...8
Oct. '42 - - - SC 104....8 - - -
Nov. '42 - - - SC 107...15 ON 144...5
Dec. '42 - - - - - - ON 154..13
Feb. '43 - - - SC 118....7 ON 166..11a
Mar. '43 HX 229...12 SC 121....5;
SC 122....8
- - -
May '43 - - - - - - ONS 5...11
Sept. '43 - - - - - - ON 202...8

(a) See Appendix CC and DD.

Source: 501




1. The first cross-Atlantic invasion by U. S. forces took place in November 1942 under the name of "Torch Operation". This was purely a military operation, and as such will be mentioned in this history only by reason of the fact that C&R and Eastern Sea Frontier supervised the movement of all other convoys and independent shipping along the Atlantic seaboard so to avoid conflict with the sorties of the operational convoys, plus the fact that this was the initial movement of a convoy system to North Africa, and later the Mediterranean, of great importance to the conduct of the war.

2. Under command of Task Force 34 (Admiral H. K. Hewitt) the troop convoys sortied from Hampton Roads in two sections, the first at 100Z, 23 October heading southeast, and the second at 1000Z, 24 October heading northeast. Meantime, to avoid congestion and covering group sailed from Casco Bay, while Air group departed Bermuda on the 25th. By the 28th all groups had rendezvoused and on 8 November landings were commenced on the African coast, without a ship having been lost or damaged in the crossing. In the combined convoy were 35 commissioned naval auxiliaries, largely combat loaded transports and cargo vessels carrying 65,130 troops, escorted by 11 combatant warships plus a protective screen, air group and convoy screen. Task Force 34's mission was to establish the Western Task Force on beachheads ashore near Mehdia, Fedala and Safi, and support subsequent coastal military operations in order to capture Casablanca as a base for further military operations. In the meantime a similar operational convoy had sailed from U. K. and landed at the same time at Oran and Algiers.


1. Immediately following the occupation of Moroccan and Algerian ports in November 1942, troop tanker and general supply convoys were organized to take advantage of the opening of the Mediterranean, which led successively to the defeat of the Axis in Libya and Tunisia, the invasion of Sicily and Italy, the surrender of the Italian navy and the occupation of South France. The general plan for bettering the shipping situation was to move Mediterranean and North African area supplies directly from the U. S., instead of shipping them to U. K. via the HX/SC convoys and then transshipping via KMS. "UG" (United States - Gibraltar) convoys sailed at regular intervals, the fast troop convoys being given the suffix F and the slower freight convoys the suffix S. 1 2

2. These convoys were organized, sailed and escorted by the U. S. Navy with movements under control of C&R west of 24° W, after which control passed to ConCMed and Flag Officer, Gibraltar and Mediterranean Approaches. (See Chapter III, C 2).

3. At the same time KM/MK convoys, also with the suffixes F for fast and S for slow, were organized for troop and supply traffic between U. K. and Mediterranean. After May 1943 these convoys proceeded all the way to Alexandria or Port Said. The UG and LM convoy systems remained synchronized with each other to accommodate the maximum amount of shipping with minimum congestion in key ports and dangerous areas in the Mediterranean.


1. Commencing with UGF 2, sailing New York 6 November 1942, fast convoys were sailed at irregular intervals of about 25 days until June 1943, after which they were suspended for nearly a year, except for one convoy in September and one in May. With GUF 12 sailing Norfolk 1 July 1944, the interval was set at 27 days, at


which it remained the rest of the war.35 This schedule called for 2 groups of escorts and 2 Convoy Commodores. (See Appendix KKK).

2. All convoys were sailed between New York or Norfolk and Casablanca, Gibraltar or Mediterranean ports. UGF 12 and onward were routed to Naples (Marseille in 1945) at which point a turnaround period of 6 days was established. The minimum declared speed for inclusion was uniformly 14.5 knots, and voyage time from Cape Henry to Gibraltar, 3,610 miles, was about 13 days, with another 2 days to Naples or Marseille. To prevent being sighted from shore, Commodores altered speed to pass Gibraltar Straits during darkness until September 1944, after which the danger was negligible.24

3. Convoy composition for the period through 1944 averaged about 16 ships (10 troopships and 6 tankers) and 10 escorts per convoy. During 1945, however, as requirements lessened in the Mediterranean, size diminished to an average of only 5 ships and 4 escorts.

4. From December 1942 to March 1945 the Army computes 536,134 embarkations in 24 UGF convoys, an average of 22,340 troops per convoy.

5. No casualties from enemy action were ever suffered by these fast convoys, with the exception of one escort vessel damaged in UGF 10 in the Mediterranean on 14 June 1943.

6. The following table summarizes by periods:

            Casualties (Enemy Action)c
Arriving Convoys Ships Ships
Escorts Escorts
per Convoy
Sunk in
Sunk as
1942a 5 69 4 50 10.0 0 0 0
1943 17 333 20 204 12.0 0 0 1
1944 18 227 13 130 7.3 0 0 0
1945b 9 47 5 38 4.2 0 0 0
Total 49 676 14 422 8.6 0 0 1
(a) Commencing 6 November. (b) Sailing prior to VE. (c) Including escorts.


a) Schedule

1. Immediately following "Torch Operation" UGS convoys were inaugurated, at an average rate of two a month until 27 July 1943 when, commencing with UGS 13, the interval was shortened to 10 days in order to maintain a reasonable size. 12 Sailings were designed to allow proper synchronization at Gibraltar with the KMS/OS and through Mediterranean convoys were also on a 10 day schedule. Several changes in sailing dates were made from time to time to facilitate connections and relieve congestion on both sides of the ocean, particularly to better synchronize with the KMS/MKS and internal Mediterranean systems. In September 1943 a proposal to reduce the size of convoys by shortening the interval to 7 days was seriously considered, even though a 2 or 3 additional escort groups would have been needed. It was abandoned, however, due to the fact that our Army would have been unable to unload ships that fast, and due to complications which would have arisen with a corresponding alteration of the Mediterranean system.25 So the unified 10 days UGS/KMS schedule continued unaltered until early January 1945 when, commencing with UGS 66


and GUS 64 the interval was reduced to about 5 days, on the condition, however, that no material change in the U/boat situation develop, as escorts per convoy would be cut in half. The change was necessitated by the very large size of convoys in December 1944, in some cases over 100 ships, and the need to find bottoms for other theaters.13

2. The W.S.A. estimated that this change would result in a saving of 12 W.S.A. controlled ships per month, or 7%. This was based on a total of 168 W.S.A. ships which sailed to the Mediterranean during October having their round trip reduced from 90 to 84 days. The 6 days per turnaround, it was figured, would be saved as a result of a reduction in waiting time to go on berth as well as awaiting sailing both at this end and abroad. In addition time would be saved on loading berth and making repairs due to better spacing.42

b) Routes

1. At first convoys were sailed from New York, but to relieve congestion there, beginning with UGS 11 and GUS 8, the port of departure for most ships was shifted to Norfolk at the end of June 1943. Such ships as were required to load in New York sailed under escort 3 days prior to the main convoy and proceeded to Lynnhaven Roads where masters attended the sailing conference prior to the convoy departure. Commencing with UGS 57 in October 1944, however, to permit longer loading time the New York section sailed only one day earlier and rendezvoused well out at sea with the main convoy. At about this time the routes were reversed to take better advantage of winter weather, the east-bound UGS using the more northerly GUS route.

2. At the other end, convoys were first routed to Casablanca, with British local escorts receiving shipping for the Mediterranean and delivering to GUS at a rendezvous at sea. Late in May 1943 the first British convoy traversed the entire Mediterranean. Starting with UGS 9 in June 1943, the Mediterranean section of UGS joined with KMS convoys near Gibraltar. After August UGS convoys as such were escorted through the Mediterranean by the British, so that with KMS also sailing every 10 days there was one convoy sailing about every 5 days each way between Gibraltar and Port Said, all under British escort.

3. With air attacks on these convoys increasing along the Algerian coast, and with adequate British escorts unavailable, CominCh reversed an expressed policy of leaving full responsibility for escorting inside the Mediterranean to the British. 14 Commencing with UGS 36 passing Gibraltar 30 March 1944, UGS convoys were escorted by the U. S. ocean escorts as far as Bizerte before being relieved by the British. 15 This arrangement continued until 23 October 1944 when independent sailings of GUS/UGS shipping in the Mediterranean was agreed upon. UGS 60, arriving Gibraltar 26 November, was the first convoy to be dispersed off Europa Point, escorts proceeding to base at Oran. Returning GUS convoys thereafter assembled at Oran. Only ships proceeding to South France subsequently (UGS 65 and onward) were escorted by 2 French escorts.26

c) Speed and Voyage Time

1. The minimum declared speed remained throughout at 9.5 knots, except that inside the Mediterranean only 8.5 knots was required until June 1944. To cover the 3,610 miles over the standard UGS route from Cape Henry to Europa Point about 16.5 days were required, if not diverted, and one day less during summer months. From Europa Point to Bizerte was an additional 753 miles, or about 3.5 days. The return voyage from Bizerte to Cape Henry, averaged just


under 20 days; from Oran, 3,740 miles, under 18 days. In order to arrange a daylight passage through the Tunisian war channel it was necessary to limit arrival at Gibraltar to between 1400Z and 1900Z.27

2. With the opening of the Mediterranean in the summer of 1943, shipping from New York to Basra (Persian Gulf) via UGS and AP (Aden-Persia) convoys normally took about 57 days, whereas the same ships routed via NG/GAT/TJ convoys, independently around Cape of Good Hope and thence via AKD and AP convoys took on the average, 82 days - a savings of over 25 days.

d) Escorts and Commodores

1. On a 10 day interval, 7 groups of escorts were needed: 20 days at sea to Bizerte, 6 days at Bizerte, 20 days at sea to Cape Henry and 24 days at Hampton Roads - a cycle of 70 days. With convoys dispersing off Gibraltar only 6 groups were necessary. When the interval was cut to 5 days, however, 12 groups were required on the basis of 17 days to Oran, 7 days at Oran, 19 days to Cape Henry and 17 days at home base - a cycle of 60 days. The number of escort vessels per group or convoy, however, was cut in half to about 5 when this 5 day schedule began, so no additional vessels were assigned. Under the direction and control of CinCLant Task Group 60 performed most of the UGS/GUS convoying.

2. Because of their large size and for the purpose of training reliefs for Commodores, the UGS/GUS convoys had a Commodore and Vice Commodore, as well as their staffs. A minimum of 14 (7 Commodores and 7 Vice Commodores) were needed for the 10-day schedule to Bizerte. When convoys dispersed off Gibraltar the necessary minimum was reduced to 12, but under the 5-day schedule to Oran commencing January 1945 requirements doubled to 24. These Convoy Commodores were all attached to C&R's Convoy Administration or Control Officer, as explained in Chapter III, B, 2. (See Appendix KKK).

e) Shipping

1. For protection purposes various limits were placed upon the size of UGS convoys, ranging from 60 to 100 ships. This was due to the steadily growing number of presenters and the difficulties of reducing the sailing interval because of complications in the Mediterranean.16 Actually, however, the largest convoys during the period of 10 day interval was UGS 62 (1 Dec. '44) with 105 ships and GUS 60 (3 Dec. '44) with 120. As a result of this expansion the interval was finally reduced to 5 days, as explained. The actual average by periods is shown in the table below:

            Casualties (Enemy Action)c
Arriving Convoys Ships Ships
Escorts Escorts
per Convoy
Sunk in
Sunk as
1942a 2 83 41 11 5.5 0 0 0
1943 55 2,979 54 526 9.6 4 5 2
1944 77 5,491 71 924 12.0 4 0 8
1945b 55 2,566 47 305 5.5 1 0 2
Total 189 11,119 59 1,766 9.3 9 5 12

(a) Commencing November.
(b) Sailing prior to VE.
(c) Under U. S. Escort only (excludes British sections of UGS/GUS in Mediterranean.


Excluding the "Torch Operation" convoy (see Chap. III, C, 4), the Army computes that 254,866 troops were embarked in 83 UGS convoys to the Mediterranean, an average of 3,070 personnel per convoy. Convoys with 10,000 or more each were UGS 20, 38, 39 and 40.

f) Casualties

1. As shown below throughout the war and excluding Torch Operation itself, only 4 ships were sunk in convoy in the Atlantic - a remarkably low number in view of the 11,119 ships crossing in 189 convoys. The ratio was only 1:2,779, as compared with 1:112 in the North Atlantic Trade Convoys (See Chap. III, C, 3). It is difficult to understand why the U/boats did not make more than one vigorous effort to attack these large and highly important convoys of troops, combat equipment, oil and supplies for the armies of the Mediterranean area. Perhaps it was the distance from their pens, perhaps air protection from Bermuda and later from the Azores, or perhaps fear of the strength of our killer groups and anti-submarine forces. Maybe the lesson learned in July and August 1943, when the center of U/boat activity shifted momentarily from the North Atlantic to the UGS route, led to the belief that further attacks would be unprofitable. More likely, however, it seems to be just one of those major errors in strategy and tactics which occur in every war for inexplicable reasons.

2. Inside the Mediterranean, however, convoys ran the gauntlet, near Algiers and along the Algerian and Tunisian coast, of not only U/boats but sudden, well-timed attacks by planes from Southern France. As a result 5 more ships were sunk while under U. S. escort west of Bizerte, of which 2 were escorts. In addition, 9 more ships were damaged in this area, of which 2 were also escorts. Following a futile air attack on UGS 40 east of Algiers on 11 May 1944, these forays ceased upon strengthening of the land-based air defense and the bombings of targets in Southern France from 29 April onwards. The Following table segregates casualties in the Atlantic from those in the Mediterranean, insofar as U. S. escorts were involved.

Analysis of Casualties to UGS/GUS Convoys under U.S. Escort (Enemy Action)d
  Sunk in Convoy Sunk as Stragglers Damaged
  In Atl. In Med. In Atl. In Med. In Atl. In Med.
1942a 0 0 0 0 0 0
1943 4 0 5 0 2 0
1944 0 4c 0 0 0 8
1945b 0 1 0 0 1 1
Total 4 5 5 0 3 9

(a) Commencing November.
(b) Sailing prior to VE.
(c) Of which 2 were escorts.
(d) Excluding casualties in Mediterranean under British escort.


1. "Oil to Torch" convoys were inaugurated in January 1943, shortly after the opening of the western Mediterranean by the Torch Operation, for the purpose of providing regular deliveries of fuel oil and aviation gas from Aruba.

2. The first convoy for this purpose, designated TM 1, 8.5 knots, sailed from Trinidad for Gibraltar 28 December 1942, composed of 9 tankers and 4 British escorts (1 Destroyer and 3 Gun Boats). The highest proportion of losses of any convoy in the war was suffered when 7 of the tankers were sunk by 2 or possibly 3 U/boats about 550 miles west of the Canary Islands on 9 January. The next convoy, TMF 2,


12 knots, consisting of 5 tankers and 3 British escorts, arrived unscathed.301

3. Thereafter, these convoys were entirely a U. S. commitment, synchronized with CU/UC convoys.

4. OT 1 was sailed 5 February 1943 from Aruba under U. S. destroyer escort and up to June 1944, a total of 15 OT convoys, all of 14.5 knots, were sailed to the Mediterranean (with one or two tankers breaking off for Dakar) at intervals of 32 days, without a casualty either way, as indicated below:

            Casualties (Enemy Action)a
Arriving Convoys Ships Ships
Escorts Escorts
per Convoy
Sunk in
Sunk as
1943 22 139 6 75 3.4 0 0 0
1944 8 67 8 31 3.9 0 0 0
Total 30 206 7 106 3.5 0 0 0

(a) Including Escorts.

5. To further replenish the oil pool in New York, the TO tankers upon returning to Aruba from Africa, loaded and made a shuttle trip under the same escort to New York and back to Aruba before proceeding again to Africa. This schedule began in May 1943 with TO 4 and was set up as follows: 12 days at New York, 6 days enroute between New York and Aruba both ways, 2 days loading at Aruba, 13 days both ways enroute between Aruba and Gibraltar, and 10 days or less in North Africa. This made a cycle of 64 days, and with a sailing interval of 32 days required 2 groups of escorts of 3 or 4 destroyers each. This schedule was synchronized with the CU/UC schedule between Curacao, New York and U. K. The shuttle convoys to and from New York are included among U. S. coastal convoys in the convoy tables (see Chapter IV). The shuttle trips were discontinued after OT 11 in November 1943, and the last cross-Atlantic convoy was OT 15, arriving Naples in June 1944. Thereafter these tankers sailed in UGF convoys. The minimum declared speed for inclusion in OT/TO was 14.5 knots, and a limit of 8 tankers per convoy was maintained until January 1944, when it was raised to ten. 17 203


In the spring of 1943 a system of high-speed troop convoys from New York and tanker convoys from Curacao to the United Kingdom was evolved through a gradual merging and consolidation of UT/TU (Troop to U.K.), TCU/UCT (Troop and Curacao - U.K.) and CU/UC (Curacao - U.K., later N.Y. - U.K.) convoys, as described in a, b and c below.


1. In preparation for the invasion of Europe, between 21 August 1943 and 6 April 1944, an aggregate of 11 UT troop convoys were sailed at irregular intervals averaging 22 days from New York to Liverpool. A total of 592,041 troops were embarked in these convoys, an average of 53,822 each. Minimum declared speed for inclusion was 15 knots. On a schedule of 11 days voyage each way, 5 days at U.K. and 17 days at New York, the cycle was 44 days, requiring 2 escort groups. Ship limit was set first at 25, then 30. Due to the very tight unloading schedule for other troop convoys in U.K. ports (including the "Monsters", which had to arrive during the dark of the moon), Task Force Commanders were ordered to adjust convoy speed throughout the voyage so as to meet the scheduled arrival date without any radical reductions of speed.34


2. The change-over from UT to TCU convoys started a year later, 3 May 1944. Thus TCU 23 absorbed vessels originally scheduled for UT 12, TCU 24 sailing 12 May absorbed UT 13, TCU 28 sailing 17 June absorbed UT 14, and so on, as explained under CU convoys below. 43

3. No casualties from enemy action were ever suffered by these high-speed convoys carrying large number of troops, as indicated below:

            Casualties (Enemy Action)b
Arriving Convoys Ships Ships
Escorts Escorts
per Convoy
Sunk in
Sunk as
1943 11a 198 18 123 11.2 0 0 0
1944 12 286 24 152 12.7 0 0 0
Total 23 474 21 275 12.0 0 0 0

(a) UT 1 was escorted by the returning British escorts from GUS 10X, and there was no TU 1.
(b) Including Escorts.


At the same time as the first OT convoys were sailed to the Mediterranean (February 1943), a similar tanker convoy system was inaugurated for the purpose of increasing badly needed oil deliveries, particularly aviation gas, to the U. K. Eastbound they were known as CU (Curacao - U.K.), returning as UC. These convoys also were completely a U. S. undertaking. 39

1. Schedule

The original plan was to sail these convoys from Curacao direct to U.K. every 20 days, but for the purpose of strengthening the oil pool in New York from which tankers in HX and SC loaded, a shuttle trip from Curacao to New York and back to Curacao before sailing for U.K. was worked out on much the same basis as with the OT's. Commencing with CU 2 sailing New York 12 May 1943, the schedule was 6 days enroute both ways between New York and Curacao, 3 days loading at Curacao, 14 days both ways between Curacao and Liverpool, 6 days in U.K. and 12 days in New York. Sailing days were to be adjusted for days saved along route. This made a cycle of 64 days, and with a sailing interval of 32 days, 2 groups of tankers and escorts were required. 203 As more fast tankers and escorts became available, however, this shuttle trip was discontinued effective with CU 7, which sailed from New York 20 November direct to U.K. For several months thereafter the interval was 12 days, with escorts laying over for 6 days in U.K. and returning with the discharged merchant ships. 18 Commencing with CU 15 on 21 February 1944 the interval was reduced to 9 days, thereby increasing deliveries about 6% per month. In April troop ships sailing in UT convoys were included in the CU convoys, CU 23 becoming TCU 23. In June the interval was further shortened to 8 days, beginning with TCU 28, and the OT convoys were cancelled. After July the TCU designation was dropped, and thereafter all CU convoys consisted of both troopships and tankers. No further change was made in the schedule until late in April 1945, when to decrease the size and to speed up turnaround of troopships, the interval was reduced to 5 days commencing with CU 69.19 However, hostilities in Europe were ended before this convoy sailed. It is of interest to note, however, that at this point all transAtlantic and U. S. coastal convoys were, for the first time, synchronized to sailing intervals of 5 days - an efficient arrangement.

In the meantime, to expedite the turnaround of CU shipping, particularly the fast freighters running on Army account, after September 1944 the UC's returned to U. S. in 2 sections; the A section sailing on the scheduled UC date and the B section 4 days after.20 This plan was abandoned when the schedule was changed to 5 day intervals late in April 1945.


2. Routes.

As stated, CU convoys were originally routed directly between Curacao and U.K., with shuttle trips to and from New York between May and November 1943. As stated, CU convoys were originally routed direct between Curacao and U.K., with shuttle trips to and from New York between May and November 1943. From then on convoys were sailed direct from New York to U.K., tankers lifting from the oil pool in New York and troopships previously sailed in UT convoys now being included. After August 1944 CU convoys were routed south of Ireland for the first time, (along with HX) to avoid U/boat concentrations which had shifted to the north following the invasion of France. Also, commencing with CU 38 there were Boston joiners for all CU's. Commencing with CU 37 these convoys were split into 2 sections upon reaching 07° W, one proceeding to Liverpool under British escort and the other to Cherbourg or Portsmouth under U. S. escort. Returning, Irish Sea and English Channel sections rendezvoused at sea as required. In February, effective with CU 57, the coordination of UC convoys was transferred from Liverpool to N.C.S.O., Southampton, the Convoy Commodore sailing from the latter port.28 The splitting and joining of these sections both in the English Channel and south of Ireland was a complicated affair, requiring much communication and effort, but was successfully performed.

3. Speed and Voyage Time

The minimum declared speed for inclusion was 14.5 knots until October 1943, thereafter 14.0 knots. Voyage times both ways were maintained in an extraordinarily uniform manner at about 11 days between New York and Liverpool, with virtually no change when the terminal shifted to Southampton.

4. Escorts and Commodores.

With a sailing interval of 12 days, only 4 groups of escorts were required. As the interval was successively reduced to 9, 8 and 5 days, the groups needed increased to 5, 5 and 9 respectively. Task Force 61 under CinCLant furnished the vessels.

Likewise, the minimum number of Convoy Commodores needed increased from 5 to 6 to 9 respectively, with the changes in schedule. Upon the splitting of UC convoys into A and B sections, a Vice Commodore sailed with the CU and returned as Commodore of the B section of the same number. This arrangement (in effect with the 8 day interval) called for 6 additional officers, excluding staffs, or a total of 12. Convoy Commodores were assigned to C&R for duty, and their schedules were prepared by C&R Convoy Administration or Control Officer, as explained in Chapter III, B, 2.

5. Shipping.

As already explained, CU convoys originally consisted of only 12 fast tankers per convoy. When the New York shuttle trip was started the limit was raised to 16.32 In June, following a plea from Admiralty for further oil deliveries, the limit was raised to 24, in view of reduced U/boat activity in the northern Atlantic, but their proposal for independent sailings of the fastest types was turned down. 29 In January 1944 the limit was increased to 30, and when UT troopships were absorbed into the CU system in April it was finally raised to 45.33 The largest convoy to sail was CU 37 with 49 ships.

The record of transoceanic shipping by main routes and periods follows:



            Casualties (Enemy Action)
Arriving Convoys Ships Ships
Escorts Escorts
per Convoy
Sunk in
Sunk as
1943 10 192 19 66 6.6 2 1 2
1943 7 133 19 42 6.0 0 0 0
1944 97 2,842 29 695 7.2 4 0 2
1945a 50 1,325 26 325 6.5 0 0 0
Total 154 4,300 28 1,062 6.9 4 0 2

(a) Sailing prior to VE.
(b) Including escorts.

Embarkations in 46 TCU and CU convoys sailing from May 1944 to VE Day, from New York to Liverpool, according to Army records totaled 945,261 troops, an average of 20,550 personnel per convoy.

6. Casualties.

No casualties from enemy action occurred to the shuttle convoys between Curacao and New York.

Enroute from Liverpool to Curacao at about 26° W, UC 1 ran into difficulties with the enemy 23 February 1943, 2 tankers being sunk and 2 damaged, and one straggling tanker sunk out of a convoy of 17 tankers, 15 cargo vessels and 9 escorts. The escorts were mixed British and U. S., the Convoy Commodore British.

Over the route from New York to Liverpool several CU convoys were attacked by U/boats between March and August 1944, resulting in the sinking of 3 tankers and 1 escort and the damaging of one tanker and one escort. One of the sinkings was in the Eastern Sea Frontier and one off Oversay. No troop ships were hit.


1. As originally organized, AT convoys were military or troop convoys from U. S. to U. K., returning as TA convoys. Following our entry in the war, 9 AT convoys (AT 10, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 20 and 23) were sailed before being discontinued in September 1942. These consisted of 84 ships and 100 escorts, an average of 9 ships and 11 escorts each. Usually the AT convoys combined with NA troop convoys from Halifax, and the composition here stated includes the NA's. U. S. Army records indicate a total of 127,000 embarkations in 7 AT convoys. No casualties from enemy action were suffered.

2. After AT 23 sailing September 1942 there were no more AT's organized as convoys. The designations AT/TA thereafter applied only to a dozen or more [of the] largest and fastest transports sailing independently between New York, Boston or Halifax and U. K. AT 21 was the Queen Elizabeth proceeding alone, while AT 19, 22 and 24 were the Queen Mary alone. Incidentally, it was as AT 24 that the Queen Mary sank the British cruiser Curacao in a collision in which the warship had proceeded from U. K. to rendezvous off Ireland and escort her in.

3. One of the most satisfying aspects of the Battle of the Atlantic was the multitude of independent crossings performed by these "Monsters" without the loss of a ship, or even a person, as the result of enemy action. This perfect record in the performance of a duty of the highest responsibility - the safe delivery of millions of troops to the European theater of operation - was accomplished by means of fine teamwork between the British and ourselves involving accurate U/boat intelligence,


sound routing and diversions, excellent seamanship and general good management. Certainly the high speed of these liners was a vital factor, and surely good luck played its part, too.

4. In addition to the AT's to U.K. (they cannot always be called convoys) there were other independent troop sailings of highest importance, equally successful, to the Mediterranean theater. When so routed these ships were not given any distinguishing designation by the Navy, although the Army unofficially called them "UNI" and "NUI".

5. Following is a list of most of the large troop transports which sailed independently either as AT's to U. K. or as individual ships to the Mediterranean, showing their normal troop lifting capacity and speed. An idea of the number of troops carried may be gained from the statement that during the year 1944 the Queen Elizabeth and the Queen Mary each made 13 trips from New York to the Clyde, with an average of about 12,000 troops per trip. This was delivering troops to England at the rate of 13,000 per month per "Queen". Of course, the other ships were much smaller, averaging perhaps half the size, and being slower made fewer trips per year.

AT/TA "Monsters" and Other Large Troop Transports
Usually Proceeding Without Escort Between North America and UK/Mediterranean
Name Normal Troop Capacity Speed
Andes 5,000 21.0
Aquitania 7,400 25.0
Empress of Scotland 4,900 19.0
USS General W. H. Gordon 5,195 19.0
USS General M. C. Meigs 5,340 19.0
USS General W. P. Richardson 5,240 19.5
Ile de France 9,760 23.0
Mariposa 4,165 20.5
Mauretania 7,280 22.5
Mt. Vernon 6,140 20.5
Nieuw Amsterdam 6,800 20.0
Pasteur 4,460 19.5
Queen Elizabeth 12,000 28.5
Queen Mary 11,000 28.5
USS Wakefield 6,992 21.0
USS West Point 7,739 22.0

(See Appendix GGG)


1. C&R's duties in connection with convoys in the Pacific were of a minor nature and diminished in importance as time went on. In 1942, however, the Convoy Plot Section furnished the complete routing for trans-Pacific convoys such as BT/TB, LW and BC convoys and large unescorted troopers originating from U. S. East Coast ports and proceeding via the Panama Canal. Convoys sailing from the U. S. West Coast were routed by Commander, Western Sea Frontier, and convoys from Pearl Harbor westward by Commander, Hawaiian Sea Frontier. By means of abbreviated sailing and arrival telegrams C&R was informed of the convoy designation, composition, route, time of sailing, estimated time of arrival and actual arrival of all convoys in the Pacific. From these dispatches C&R plotted and recorded the daily positions of the principal convoys. Commencing 23 November 1944 Commander, Western Sea Frontier substituted for sailing telegrams a "Daily Pacific Convoy Summary"


addressed to C&R, listing by name all merchant ships and Naval auxiliaries and, at a later date, escorts. After 16 December 1944 even the daily plotting of Pacific convoys was given up by C&R as non-essential, except in the case of troop convoys such as OW/WO (Australia-India) and certain fast independent transports. From then on C&R's interest in the Pacific was restricted to keeping up-to-date a file of standard routes and a general policy file of important dispatches for general information. 37

2. Pacific convoys originally had a complicated four number designation based on the Naval District from which it sailed and whether it was an ocean or coastal convoy. For instance, Convoy PW 2359 meant a westbound Pacific Ocean convoy from the 12th Naval District, the first digit 2 meaning 12, and the third digit 5, being odd, meaning ocean. However, commencing in the middle of 1944 the two or three letter system followed by consecutive numbers was substituted to conform with practice elsewhere. 45 This new title system for the Pacific, together with a diagram of convoy routes, is shown in detail in the March 1945 issue of the "U. S. Fleet Anti-Submarine Bulletin", page 35. C&R furnished proposals for convoy short titles and from time to time as described in Chapter III, B, 2.

3. During the summer of 1943 convoys were being sailed irregularly between San Francisco and Pearl Harbor at an average interval of 7 or 8 days. Voyage time was 9 to 10 days and convoy size 4 to 5 ships. Task Group 56 furnished the escorts. About 6 or 7 Convoy Commodores were required. By February 1945, however, convoying in the Pacific had developed to the extent that 226 convoys arrived that month with 1195 ships and 359 escorts, an average of 5.2 ships and 1.6 escorts per convoy. 501 123

4. A time graph of all principal convoys in the Pacific was kept by the Convoy Schedules Section during the period 1 June 1943 to 1 March 1945. There were no regular convoy schedules in the Pacific except for a five month period commencing November 1944 between Eniwetok, Guam, Saipan and Kossol.46 501

5. In August 1944 standard routes for Pacific convoys and independents were set up. 49 51

6. As of July 1944 there were 18 Convoy Commodores on duty in the Pacific, of whom 10 were attached to Hawaiian Sea Frontier and 8 to Western Sea Frontier.

7. The Philippine Sea Frontier was established 13 November 1944 as a separate command under Commander, SEVENTH Fleet. 2

8. Casualties inflicted by enemy submarines on merchant vessels in the Pacific for the entire war since 7 December 1941 were 58 merchant vessels sunk and 18 damaged.118

9. C&R's part in the control of independents in the Pacific is outlined in Chapter II, H, while its communication activities are set forth in Chapter V.


Chapter IV
Coastal Convoys: Atlantic Seaboard, Gulf, Caribbean and Brazil


1. A joint Army-Navy war plan to cover the local situation expected to be faced by the U.S. in this war was issued in July 1941 (WPL-46, Annex I, App. I). Pursuant to this plan the Army set up Defense Commands and the Navy set up Naval Coastal Frontier Commands. The two organizations had continuous boundaries and were assigned mutually supporting tasks. During the months prior to 7 December 1941 Army and Navy Commanders in the Coastal Frontiers were designated and joint was plans for each Frontier were prepared, as well as separate Army and Navy plans. These were placed in operation upon the outbreak of war. With the formation of the war organization the construction of patrol and anti-submarine vessels and aircraft got under way. The taking over and conversion of privately owned craft which were suitable for naval use began in 1940.8 84

2. Upon the outbreak of war joint harbor defense plans for mining and netting important harbors and bases were made effective. A few days later, Panama Coastal Frontier was placed under the Commanding General, Panama Canal Department, and Caribbean Coastal Frontier under Commander, Caribbean Naval Coastal Frontier.

3. On 20 December 1941 Admiral E. J. King, U.S.N., having been appointed CominCh, assumed command of all Naval Coastal Frontier forces, excluding purely local defense forces, in addition to the command of the United States Fleet. 1

4. On 6 February 1942 the Naval Coastal Frontiers were re-constituted as "Sea Frontiers" and some changes in boundaries were effected. The Commanders of Sea Frontiers were then made responsible to CominCh for that portion of their commands comprising ships and aircraft duly allocated as Sea Frontier forces. Local defense forces became responsible to C.N.O. The same month air and surface forces were reassigned among the Sea Frontiers. Fleet aircraft temporarily based ashore were placed under the command of the Sea Frontier Commanders for use in defense against U/Boats and protection of shipping. In addition, on 25 March 1942 a joint agreement was effected between Army and Navy providing for the allocation of a considerable number of Army aircraft to the command of the Sea Frontier Commanders for operation over the sea in the protection of shipping. By November, however, the Navy had obtained enough equipment to take over this task from the Army.1


1. The large scale U/Boat invasion of our coastal areas shortly after the declaration of war created immediate need for convoying - the first and best defense against submarines. The coastal patrol system initially in operation had already proven unfruitful, but escorts for an extensive system of coastal convoys were not yet available. As losses mounted in a critical manner, a series of conferences was held between representatives of C&R, the Sea Frontiers, and Port Director of New York. The first concrete proposal for a convoy system was submitted by the Director of Convoy and Routing in his serial 04637 of 9 March 1942 (Op-37-1-MA) under subject of "Suggested Atlantic Coastal Convoy Plan (if and when suitable escorts are available)". Convoys were projected over routes between Aruba, Key West and New York. CominCh then called a conference in the Navy Department for the purpose of


making further arrangements (CominCh secret 161410 March), and a few days later directed the CinClant and the Sea Frontiers concerned proceed at once with the details (CominCh secret 201305 and 201310 March). 501

2. A so-called "Informal Board" consisting of representatives of C&R, CinClant, Eastern, Gulf and Caribbean Sea Frontiers and Port Director New York met in accordance with CominCh's 161410 mentioned above and submitted important changes to C&R's original proposal. The changes included: extension of convoying to the Boston-Halifax route so as to tie in with the North Atlantic Trade Convoys, extension to Trinidad, the construction of a convoy anchorage north of Key West protected by mines, and the use of Guantanamo as an assembly port. This excellent report (undated) of the Informal Board was forwarded to CominCh and C.N.O. by Op-37 in his serial memorandum 06737 of 27 March 1942, and was approved in principal by CominCh serial 00253 of 3 April 1942. 501

3. With minor changes this convoy network commenced operation between Norfolk and Key West in the middle of May and was in complete operation to Trinidad early in July.

4. As the result of an important meeting in Washington on 1 August of representatives of Admiralty, NSHQ, ComNavEu, CinClant, all Sea Frontiers, Task Force 24 and C&R, the plan was further modified into its final tightly interlocking form to commence late in August 1942. Convoys were thereby extended to Galveston, the TAWs were replaced by TAG/GKs, the AHs abolished, and the NKs and the important NG run from New York to Guantanamo begun.9 38

5. The following chronological list of first convoys over each main route traces the growth into the final system, which by now was to operate with minor changes in sailing dates and intervals until after VE Day. 123 501

Convoy From To Ships Escorts Superseded
14 May KS-500 Norfolk Key West 25 7 NK/KN
15 May Specialb New York Delaware 6 2 NK/KN
15 Maya XB-20 Halifax Boston 10 2 ---
15 May OT-1 Aruba/Curacao Trinidad 3 2 WAT/TAW
17 May TH-1 Trinidad Halifax 3 1 ---
1 July WAT-1 Key West Trinidad 11 5 KG/GAT
5 July HA-1 Halifax Aruba 9 3 ---
6 July SG-1 Sydney Greenland 3 2 ---
11 July PG-1 Panama Guantanamo 12 5 ZG/GZ
16 July TP-1 Trinidad Eastward 12 5 TJ/JT
29 July GM-201 Galveston Pilottown 14 3 HK/KH
27 Aug. NG-300 New York Guantanamo 24 5 ---
28 Aug. NK-500 New York Key West 15 5 ---
29 Aug. TAG-1 Trinidad Guantanamo 30 6 ---
1 Sept. KG-Spec 1 Key West Guantanamo 24 7 ---
3 Sept. KH-400 Key West Galveston 14 5 ---
5 Oct. BRN-1 Rio de Janeiro Trinidad 11 2 JT/TJ

(a) XB-1 sailed 18 March, but XBs did not connect with SC/ONS system until XB-20 and onward.
(b) Daily
(Source: 41, 501)


1. C&R was charged with the over-all supervision and general control of movements of regular coastal convoys, particularly matters pertaining to schedules and the policy of releasing ships from the necessity of sailing in convoy in accordance with changes in the U/Boat situation. Up to 10 July 1943 C&R plotted and broadcasted over Washington Fox to all commands at sea


concerned the daily estimated position, course and speed of all regularly scheduled convoys, as explained in Chapter III, B. Thereafter the broadcasting of all convoys was assumed by the Sea Frontier within whose area the convoys were situated, whereas C&R continued to broadcast all convoys outside the Frontier boundaries. However, first responsibility for diversions within the Sea Frontiers continued throughout to lay with the Frontier Command involved.40 87 118

2. Under the final set-up ComEastSeaFron was charged with the control of the NG/GN and NK/KN Convoys while within that Frontier, ComGulfSeaFron the ZG/GZs. Likewise, each Frontier controlled all other convoys (such as miscellaneous or special convoys) originating in its area, until they passed into the area of another Frontier or into the ocean area, where C&R took over.


1. C&R assumed a leading role in the origination and maintenance of the intricate interlocking system of regular coastal convoys. Full credit is due, however, to the Commanders of the Sea Frontiers and their Port Directors, Convoy Control Officers, Escort Commanders and Convoy Commodores for the efficient execution of the plan. As a result, throughout the war there was virtually no loss of vital ship-days from failure to sail and arrive on schedule.

2. Prior to the time when the system settled down to its final form early in September 1942, the schedule called for sailing intervals as follows: KS/KN every 3 days; TAW/WAT every 3 days at first, then every 4 days; PG/GP about every 6 days; GM/MG every 3 days; and BX/XB approximately every 7 days to synchronize with the changing SC/ONS convoys, with additional irregular sailings if needed.

3. When the final schedule was set in operation at the end of August 1942 the interval was every 4 and 3 days, alternately, over the principal convoy routes, such as NG, GAT, KG and KH, and once a week over NK and ZG routes. NG soon became the key convoy from which the sailings of all other convoys were timed, while the returning GN was timed to make best connections with HX and other ocean convoys.38

4. Thus the entire system can be treated by means of the following narrative of changes in NG. Commencing 19 October 1942 (NG-315) the interval was increased to 4 days, while at the same time (and until January) the speed of odd numbered TAG/GN convoys was declared at 10 knots.47 88. On 23 January 1943 (NG-339) intervals were opened further to 5 days (10 days for KG, ZG and TB), and so remained for the duration of the war with one exception noted below.48 At this time the HX schedule was increased to 10 days, with every other NG sailing one day prior thereto. However, commencing on 1 April 1943 (HX-323) the HX interval was reduced to only 5 days, with every NG sailing one day after. In May 1943 the HX was opened again, but with the prospect of an unsettled situation in the North Atlantic Trade Convoy schedule, no further alterations were made in the coastal system, which was too intricate to permit frequent change, and was already functioning in a satisfactory manner as to interval and size. However, in August 1943 the even numbered NG's were sailed one day later to avoid conflict with the 10-day UGS convoys off Cape Henry, making the interval 4 and 6 days alternately. In December the NG's were returned to 5 days regular and the UGS sailing was delayed one day, again to avoid risk of collision.


5. While conflicts of NG/GN and NK/KN with the UGS were thus avoided, the fact that the coastal system was not synchronized with the North Atlantic Trade system resulted in spasmodic congestion of sailings out of New York, as well as days of conflict with incoming ocean convoys. It was not until early in October 1944, when HX-312 and subsequent HX were themselves scheduled on the 5 day interval, that the Ocean and Coastal schedules were most efficiently interlocked. The HX schedule was then adjusted at the request of C&R so as to sail two days after the sailing date for the NG. Although further changes were made in the ON, SC, and ONS sailing dates, the synchronization resulted in an ideal arrangement for the ports of New York, Norfolk and Boston, while all the coastal convoys to the south fitted in automatically with the NG's, as shown in Appendices J and K.

6. In May 1943 the KG/GK interval was reduced from 10 days to 5 days to speed up shipping between the Caribbean and the Gulf. 30

7. In June 1944 the ZG/GZ interval was also shortened from 10 to 5 days in order to expedite convoyed shipping passing through the Canal via Guantanamo. No additional escorts were assigned for this purpose, the strength of each convoy being cut in half. 91 However, one additional Commodore was required. 91

8. In December 1944 the JT/TJ interval was reduced from 10 to 5 days to minimize shipping delays in convoy along the Brazilian coast. With this move the entire coastal system was a uniform 5 day basis, for the first time. Here also reduction of escorts per convoy was acceptable.92 115 120 However, in March the Brazilian convoys were suspended due to the absence of U/Boat threat and the very small number of cargo ships of 8 to 10 knots presenting.93 123


1. The diagram appearing in Appendix K sets forth the details of the final system which functioned with only minor changes from September 1942 to VE day. A study of this diagram makes it clear that NG convoys become GAT convoys upon arrival at a rendezvous off Guantanamo. This is accomplished by NG escorts proceeding to Guantanamo with any ships destined for that port, while the principal part of the convoy, consisting of shipping for Caribbean ports, proceeds without interruption, being picked up [by] the new GAT escorts from Guantanamo, who also have brought with them any additional ships from that port. In the same manner, NK convoys after picking up joiners from Norfolk become KH off Key West, although after July 1943 NK's usually dispersed near Key West, the GK convoys then becoming the KH convoys instead. After June 1944, on orders of ComGulfSeaFron (the U/Boat situation permitting), KH assembled at Pilottown, although scheduled by C&R to sail from Galveston.

2. Similarly, TAG becomes GN off Guantanamo, while HK becomes KN and KG, although eventually the KN rendezvous was given up. Careful inspection of the Convoy Time Graphs in Appendix GG, HH, and KK will illustrate how these connections were both scheduled and formed.

3. No rendezvous at sea with a joining convoy are required in any other part of the system, shipping from New York for the Canal, for instance, proceeding in NG, entering Guantanamo and then sailing with GZ the next day.

4. Exact hours, not to mention days, for sailing and arrival are scheduled in nearly all cases to insure a more efficient flow of coastwise


shipping, and at the same time effect rendezvous, sailings and arrivals during daylight hours as far as possible.

5. The minimum declared speed for inclusion of all coastal convoys was 8 knots, except for the BX/XB which was 7.5 knots. For a short period, however, alternate northbound TAG/GN convoys were declared at 10 knots. Ships declaring 15 knots or more were permitted to sail independently if not carrying more than a specified number of passengers.

6. Standard routes for convoys and stragglers were maintained, with changes to meet requirements. 53 135


1. The number of escort groups and Convoy Commodores required for the final system is set forth in the following table:

Convoy Escort and Commodore Data
Days Under Way Days in Port % Upkeep Minim.
        Out Back Total Home Away Total
NG/BN 5 6 25 7 7 14 6 5 11 44 9
NK/KN 4 5 20 6 5 11 7 2 9 45
KG/GK 3 5 15 3 3 6 6 3 9 60 4
KH/HK 3 5 15 2.5 2.5 5 4 6 10 67
GAT/TAG 4 5 20 6 5 11 5 4 9 45 4b
ZG/GZ 3 5 15 4 4 8 5 2 7 47 3
JT/TJc 12a 5 60 16 20 36 16 8 24 40 6
Total 34                   26

(a) Escorts usually relieved at Recife, but number of groups computed on through voyage basis.
(b) Combine with NG and NK.
(c) Brazilian escorts combined with U.S.

2. Task Groups and Units assigned to these convoys follow:

Eastern Sea Frontier:  02.9.1 - .10, inclusive
Gulf Sea Frontier:  03.1.1 - .8, inclusive
Caribbean Sea Frontier:  04.1.1 - .5, inclusive
Panama Sea Frontier:  05.2.1 - .3, inclusive
FOURTH Fleet:  42.2 - .6, inclusive

3. The normal strength of each task unit was 5 vessels, and this was generally the practice for the larger convoys. On 27 October 1944 CominCh authorized the Sea Frontiers to employ less than normal strength in unthreatened areas in order that anti-submarine forces might review increased training and upkeep during the current lull in U/Boat activity. 89

4. It should be noted that NG Commodores continued on with GAT, and TAG Commodores with GN convoys. Likewise, GK Commodores continued with KH, although during the first year or so it was the NK Commodores who continued with the KH.



1. Prior to the period when tankers were released from convoy (see Section I below), tankers comprised about 33% of all ships in the coastal convoy system. The largest proportion was in the TAG, GN and NK convoys.113

2. The following tables show the number of convoys, ships and escorts and average composition per convoy, arriving over each of the principal routes from the beginning of coastal convoying to and including the last convoys to sail prior to VE Day, as well as casualties to both merchant ships and their escorts, by years:

            Casualties (Enemy Action)
Arriving Convoys Ships Ships
Escorts Escorts
per Convoy
Sunk in
Sunk as
1942 63 1455 23 309 4.9 0 0 0
1943 150 3524 23 715 4.8 0 0 0
1944 147 3094 21 749 5.1 0 0 0
1945 54 584 11 224 4.1 0 0 0
Total 414 8657 21 1997 4.8 0 0 0
            Casualties (Enemy Action)
Arriving Convoys Ships Ships
Escorts Escorts
per Convoy
Sunk in
Sunk as
1942a 102 2178 21 596 5.8 3 0 1
1943 138 1472 10 589 4.2 2 1 0
1944 144 1142 7 544 3.7 0 0 0
1945 50 217 4 88 1.7 0 0 0
Total 434 5009 12 1817 4.2 5 1 1

(a) Including KS and old KN.

            Casualties (Enemy Action)
Arriving Convoys Ships Ships
Escorts Escorts
per Convoy
Sunk in
Sunk as
1942a 76 1375 18 320 4.2 0 0 0
1943 121 629 5 494 4.0 0 0 0
1944 145 1161 3 548 3.8 0 0 0
1945 51 88 1 86 1.6 0 0 0
Total 393 3253 8 1448 3.7 0 0 0

(a) Including GM/MG and PK/KP.


            Casualties (Enemy Action)
Arriving Convoys Ships Ships
Escorts Escorts
per Convoy
Sunk in
Sunk as
1942 39 382 10 187 4.8 0 0 0
1943 121 1409 11 620 5.1 0 0 0
1944 144 1007 7 624 4.3 0 0 0
1945 52 94 2 142 2.7 0 0 0
Total 356 2892 8 1573 4.4 0 0 0
            Casualties (Enemy Action)
Arriving Convoys Ships Ships
Escorts Escorts
per Convoy
Sunk in
Sunk as
Totala 34 883 26 194 5.7 14 2 2


(a) All arrived in 1942.

            Casualties (Enemy Action)
Arriving Convoys Ships Ships
Escorts Escorts
per Convoy
Sunk in
Sunk as
1942a 89 1602 18 397 4.4 15 1 2
1943 151 3348 22 736 4.8 2 0 0
1944 146 2384 16 657 4.5 0 0 0
1945 54 185 3 161 2.9 0 0 0
Total 440 7519 17 1951 4.4 17 1 2


(a) Including TG and original OT/TO between Trinidad and Aruba/Curacao.

            Casualties (Enemy Action)
Arriving Convoys Ships Ships
Escorts Escorts
per Convoy
Sunk in
Sunk as
1942a 63 730 11 320 5.1 1 0 1
1943 74 843 11 391 5.3 1 0 1
1944 11 1036 9 504 4.5 0 0 0
1945 46 125 3 96 2.1 0 0 0
Total 294 2734 9 1311 4.4 2 0 2


(a) Including PG/GP, ZC/CZ, CT, CW and CP.


            Casualties (Enemy Action)
Arriving Convoys Ships Ships
Escorts Escorts
per Convoy
Sunk in
Sunk as
1942a 40 485 12 180 4.5 2 0 1
1943b 72 1227 17 387 5.4 14 1 8
1944 73 1121 15 410 5.6 0 0 0
1945 34 102 3 66 1.9 0 0 0
Total 219 2935 13 1043 4.7 16 1 9


(a) Including TP, "Spec. W", "E", "Trinidad" and BRN.
(b) Including BT/TB and TR..

(Including XB/BX and SG/GS)
            Casualties (Enemy Action)
Arriving Convoys Ships Ships
Escorts Escorts
per Convoy
Sunk in
Sunk as
1942 654 10,773 16 2,924 4.5 39 4 10
1943 1,010 15,645 15 4,566 4.5 21 3 10
1944 1,057 12,572 12 4,389 4.1 0 0 0
1945 400 2,085 5 1,022 2.6 3 0 0
Total 3,121 41,075 13 12,901 4.1 63 7 20
            Casualties (Enemy Action)
Arriving Convoys Ships Ships
Escorts Escorts
per Convoy
Sunk in
Sunk as
1942b --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---
1943 1,978 4,467 2.2 3,086 1.5 6 0 0
1944 2,024 3,243 1.6 2,634 1.3 1 0 0
1945 423 895 2.1 576 1.4 0 0 0
Total 4,425 8,605 1.9 6,296 1.4 7 0 0
            Casualties (Enemy Action)
Arriving Convoys Ships Ships
Escorts Escorts
per Convoy
Sunk in
Sunk as
1942c 654 10,773 16.0 2,924 4.5 39 4 10
1943 2,988 20,112 6.7 7,652 2.6 24 3 8
1944 3,081 15,815 5.1 7,023 2.3 1 0 0
1945 823 2,980 3.6 1,598 2.0 3 0 0
Total 7,546 49,680 6.6 19,197 2.5 67 7 18


(a) For convoys included see Appendices F, G13, H13, and I 1-5 inclusive.
(b) Not tabulated
(c) Excluding special or miscellaneous and other short route convoys (1942 only).


1. The Tables above show that a total of 7,546 regular and special convoys (excluding special convoys in 1942, which were never tabulated) arrived with 49,680 ship and 19,197 escorts throughout the war, an average of 6.6 ships and 2.5 escorts per convoy. Of the nearly 50,000 ships, only 67 were sunk in convoy, 7 sunk in stragglers from convoy and 18 damaged in convoy from enemy action. This is a ratio of 1 ship sunk in convoy for every


741 ships sailing, a very favorable figure compared with the ratio for the 47,997 ships in trans-Atlantic convoys, 1:174 (Chapter III, C1). Also it should be observed that of the 67 ships sunk in coastal convoy 39 were lost in 1942, 24 in 1943, and only 1 in 1944 and 3 in 1945.

2. The principal convoy casualties from enemy action are shown below, which includes all attacks resulting in 3 or more ship casualties.

Convoy Date of Casualty Sunk in Convoy Damaged Total
TAW 12 13 & 14 Aug. '42 4 1 5
TAW Special (slow) 19 Aug. '42 3 --- 3
TAW 13 17, 18 & 19 Sept. '42 4 --- 4
TAG 5 13 Sept. '42 3 --- 3
TAG 18 3 Nov. '42 6a --- 6
TAG 19 7 Nov. '42 2 2 4
TB 1 9 Jan. '43 4 --- 4
BT 6 9 Mar. '43 3 5 8
BT 14 28 May. '43 1 2 3
BT 18 7 July '43 3 1 4


(a) Between Trinidad and Aruba.

3. The story of independents sunk by U/Boats in the Sea Frontier Areas, however, is a different story, and serves to emphasize the effectiveness of the coastal convoy system and anti-submarine measures. During 1942, of the 1,556 merchant vessels (excluding escorts) lost worldwide by all types of enemy action 512 ships or 33%, were sunk by U/Boats in our four Sea Frontiers, Canadian Coastal Zone and Brazilian Area. As these ships averaged 5,164 gross tons each, there were over 2,600,000 gross tons of coastal shipping sunk in one year - 11% of all the losses from enemy action, worldwide, for the entire war. During 1943, however, while comparable worldwide losses dropped sharply to 562 merchant vessels, only 65, or 12%, were sunk by U/Boat in these same coastal areas, primarily because of convoying and effective attacks on the enemy.

4. Further examination of the near-calamitous events of 1942 shows that the U/Boats commenced concentrated operations in the nearly wide-open and heavily traveled Eastern Sea Frontier early in the year, sinking 85 merchant vessels there before the KS/KN, XB/BX and local convoys commenced on 15 May. With opposition becoming uncomfortable late in May, the U/Boats promptly shifted attention to the largely unprotected Gulf, Caribbean and Panama Sea Frontiers, sinking 73, 98 and 15 vessels, respectively, before July, the month when regular convoying came into operation in these southern areas. Adding in the destruction accomplished in the Canadian Coastal Zone and Brazilian areas, the enemy demolished 205 merchant-men prior to 15 May, and 120 more up to the first of July, a total of 325 to this date.

5. Thereafter, as is clearly shown in the table below, losses dropped off rapidly, particularly after 1 September when the complete convoy system came into operation, together with more effective surface and air attacks on U/Boats. Only in the Caribbean area did losses continue heavy until December 1942, particularly upon dispersal from convoy east of Trinidad of shipping for the Mediterranean and Persian ports via South Africa, while the long Brazilian coast remained relatively dangerous until after July 1943. Altogether, then, 415 merchant vessels were sunk up to 1 September and 162 thereafter up to the end of 1943 - a total of 577 ships of over 3,000,000 gross tons lost in all


coastal areas for the full two year period.

6. The table below states the details.

Independent and Convoyed Merchant Vessels Sunk by U/Boat, By Coastal Areas, Monthly.
(Canadian Coastal Zone; Eastern, Gulf, Caribbean (western portion) and Panama Sea Frontiers; and Brazilian Area; excluding escort vessels.)
Jan 12 14 --- --- --- --- 26 26
Feb 6 17 5 19 1 --- 48 74
Mar 6 28 3 12 --- --- 49 123
Apr --- 23 2 10 --- 3 38 161
May 6 5* 41 31 1 3 87 205c
Jun --- 13 22 26 13 3 77 325
Jul 7 3 16* 17* 1* ---* 44 369
Aug 3 --- 3 33 --- 7 46 415
Sep 10 --- 1 24 --- 2 37 452
Oct 3 --- --- 8 --- 1 12 464
Nov 3 --- --- 18 --- 9 30 494
Dec 1 --- --- 5 --- 12 18 512
Total 57 103 93 203 16 40 512a  
Jan --- --- --- 5 --- 3 8 520
Feb --- --- --- --- --- 2 2 522
Mar --- --- 1 6 --- 5 12 534
Apr --- --- 2 1 --- --- 3 537
May --- 1 --- 2 --- 1 4 541
Jun --- 1 --- --- --- 3 4 545
Jul --- 1 --- 5 --- 11 17 562
Aug --- --- --- --- --- 2 2 564
Sep --- --- --- --- --- 2 2 566
Oct --- --- --- --- --- 2 2 568
Nov --- --- --- --- 4 1 5 573
Dec --- 1 1 1 1 --- 4 577
Total 0 4 4 20 5 32 65b

(a) Average size 5,164 gross tons.
(b) Average size 5,309 gross tons.
(c) To May 15.
* Month in which regular convoys commenced operations in this area.
Source: 109

A general account of sinking appears in Chapter I, C of this history. Charts showing the positions of sinkings and month-to-month narratives may be found in the "U.S. Fleet Anti-Submarine Bulletin". The September 1943 issue details the story of sinkings up to that date in an article titled "Inauguration and History of U.S. Convoy Operations", by FX-3722. The Analysis Section of Tenth Fleet (FX-43) maintains the most authentic, complete and detailed record of every ship sunk during the entire war. This section is compiling a summary of all losses, worldwide, by areas and by causes, up to 16 May 1945.



1. One of the important matters of policy requiring frequent decisions by Commander Tenth Fleet and C&R was the question of just when and where to order tankers and dry cargo vessels of certain speeds to sail independently instead of in coastal convoy, in the light of the current U/Boat situation. It was fully appreciated that convoying had a retarding effect upon the delivery of cargo and that there was a pressing shortage of bottoms. A scientific appraisal of the comparative values of sailing ships independently or in convoy became available through an exhaustive research by the Anti-Submarine Warfare Operations Research Group of the Tenth Fleet (ASWORG). Their 29 page Memorandum 44 of 18 December, 1943 entitled "An analysis of the United States Coastal Trade Convoys", based on the period from 14 May to 18 July 1943 (a period which proved to be typical of most periods during the war when all coastwise ships of 8 to 14.5 knots were in convoy) revealed that the over-all retardation factor of convoying was about 31%. In other words, 31% of all ships "employed" in this system would be "gained" if convoy delays in port and at sea were eliminated by sailing all these ships independently. That is to say, only 276 ships would be needed to deliver the same cargo as the 400 ships actually employed in the system, a saving of 124 ships which could be used elsewhere. The principal saving would have been accrued over the NG/GAT routes by reason of the large volume of traffic and long distances, and over the TJ/JT route because of the long distances involved.

2. However, complete or partial suspension of convoying over these routes during periods of U/Boat quiescence would have involved difficulties with the escort vessels, all of which might not be in readiness to resume convoying with full efficiency on the sudden reappearance of U/Boats. As a result none of the coastal convoys were ever suspended (except the TJs as previously stated), even though in many cases late in 1944 and early 1945 no ships presented themselves for convoy. In such cases the escorts sailed alone, with results which appear in the monthly summaries of convoys arriving, (see Appendices G to I inclusive). The low period of convoy traffic was reached in January 1945 when the average size of all regularly scheduled convoys fell to only 3.9 ships and 2.6 escorts, as compared with an all-time peak in November 1942 of 19.1 ships and 4.6 escorts.

3. However, the seemingly conservative policy of sailing all convoys regardless of the number of presenters, was justified in the Eastern Sea Frontier, at least, when the enemy reappeared in some force for a last fling in April 1945. Ships of all speeds were herded back into convoy in that Frontier, bringing the average for the entire coastal system up to 14.1 ships and 3.3 escorts per convoy in the last month of the war. (See Appendix EEE).

4. As the result of appeals from the Army Navy Petroleum Board and W.S.A. there began a long series of orders commencing 24 August 1943, first releasing tankers of higher speeds, then all tankers, then dry cargo vessels of higher speeds (but never below 10 knots) over certain routes during certain periods, then returning partially of fully to convoy as U/Boats appeared. A more detailed account of these developments will be found in the articles "Convoys - Review of the Month" in the United States Fleet Anti-Submarine Bulletins, issues of September, October, November and December 1943; February, March, April, July, September, October, and December 1944.

5. To sum up the high spots, the first move to release ships from regularly scheduled convoys was a conservative one taken in 24 August 1943 when Commander Tenth Fleet (C&R) authorized (but did not order) independent sailing along the Eastern seaboard and East Coast of South America, and in


the Caribbean and Gulf, of all vessels not carrying aviation gasoline having speeds of 11 knots and over, compared with 14.5 knots previously. Only the slower ships were to continue in convoy.95 104 With the appearance of U/Boats, particularly in the Panama Sea Frontier, this release was cancelled late in November, while all previous directives were summarized in C&R's order of 20 January 1944.96 109 Late in June, however, tankers of all speeds and fast dry cargo vessels were released by C&R, 97 114 only to return to convoy on 22 August.98 116 Following the appearance of a U/Boat in the Eastern Sea Frontier which damaged an independent on 12 September, all independent sailings in that area were again suspended, although in the meantime convoy traffic was very small elsewhere.99 Early in October all tankers and dry cargo vessels of 10 to 14.5 knots were again released, this time throughout the system, including FOURTH Fleet area for the first time.100 117 In December ComEastSeaFron proposed discontinuance of NK/KN because of so few presenters, but FX-01 secret 071835 January 1945 signed by Adm. King stated that the time was not appropriate. Finally, on 23 April 1945 all vessels of all speeds were returned to convoy in Eastern Sea Frontier north of 26°N by C&R's secret 232227 April. Thus VE Day arrived with all ships in convoy in Eastern Sea Frontier, but only dry cargo coastwise vessels of 8 to 10 knots in convoy elsewhere.

6. The substantial effects of these changes on the size of convoys and the number of coastwise independents are too involved to attempt to summarize, but may be determined by a study of Appendices G to I, inclusive and Appendix EEE. By and large, the results proved to be satisfactory, in spite of the recognized retardation of the small amount of shipping remaining in convoy.


1. Prior to our entry into the war the Canadians had developed a local convoy system based largely on connections with trans-Atlantic convoys, a system which was finally extended into an interlocking network to include the port of Boston, St. John (NB), Halifax, Sydney, Quebec, Cornerbrook, Argentia, St. Johns (NF), Wabana, Botwood, Rigolet, and Goose Bay.

2. That portion of the system of most interest to C&R was, of course, the XB/BX route between Boston and/or Cape Cod Canal and Halifax, crossing the international CHOP line. These 7.5 knot convoys, escorted and Commodored by Canadians, were scheduled primarily as connecting links between U.S. ports and the Canadian end of SC/ONS and HX/ON convoys, and were generally sailed at intervals corresponding to the ocean convoys, averaging about once a week each way. 125 130 131 132 133 134  The eastbound BX convoys were sailed by Port Director, Boston. Ships plying between New York and Buzzards Bay were sailed independently via Long Island Sound.

3. The first XB was sailed 18 March 1942 and two months later synchronization was made with the North Atlantic Trade Convoys 128 (see Chapter IV, B). None of these convoys were sailed between October 1942 and March 1943, as during this period the SC/ONS sailed from and to New York 129 (see Appendix M).

4. Throughout the war there were 383 XB/BX convoys comprising 5,649 ships and 1,103 escorts. Of these only 5 were sunk in convoy, 2 damaged and 2 sunk as stragglers, as shown in the table below:


            Casualties (Enemy Action)
Arriving Convoys Ships Ships
Escorts Escorts
per Convoy
Sunk in
Sunk as
1942 101 1,414 14 291 2.9 2 1 1
1943 121 2,010 17 399 3.3 0 1 1
1944 110 1,549 14 266 2.4 0 0 0
1945a 51 676 13 147 2.9 3 0 0
Total 383 5,649 15 1,103 2.9 5 2 2

(a) Sailing prior to VE.

5. To facilitate the control of shipping in accordance with the changing U/Boat situation, the Canadian Coastal Zone was divided into a dozen or more areas in each of which shipping was sailed under "closed, restricted, open, or full open" conditions of escort. 126 This was known as the "CANCON SYSTEM" (Canadian Control). A series of 45 CANCON dispatches were issued prior to VE Day altering the degree of control in various areas.

6. In February 1945 Eastern Sea Frontier set up a parallel system for local control of shipping in the Gulf of Maine adjoining CANCON area B. This was called the "EASTCON" system.127

7. In addition to the strictly Canadian convoys there were the SG/GS convoys between Sydney or St. Johns, N.F., and Greenland, escorted by U.S. Task Force 24 based at Argentia. These relatively small convoys, sailed once or twice a month each way, are summarized below:

            Casualties (Enemy Action)
Arriving Convoys Ships Ships
Escorts Escorts
per Convoy
Sunk in
Sunk as
1942 33 145 4 90 2.7 2 0 2
1943 46 205 4 164 3.6 2 0 0
1944 36 78 2 84 2.3 0 0 0
1945a 8 14 2 13 1.6 0 0 0
Total 123 442 4 351 2.9 4 0 2

(a) Sailing prior to VE.

8. The sinking by U/Boat of the U.S. transport Dorchester in SG 19 on 3 February 1943 in position 59°N, 49°W involved the heaviest loss of personnel suffered in any U.S. convoy during the war. With 747 passengers aboard there were only 227 survivors. Of those lost 404 were Army personnel. The convoy consisted of 3 ships and 3 Coast Guard escort vessels. Both ships and escorts were heavily iced up, necessitating heaving to chop ice.

9. Throughout the war close liaison was maintained between C&R and Canadian ship and convoy control authorities through Captain J. G. Mackinlay, RCNVR, first assigned as Op-37-12 with office adjoining that of the Director of C&R, and after April 1942 on the Staff of the Naval Member Canadian Joint Staff (NMCS).


Chapter V

By Commander G. F. Markoff, U.S.N.R. (FX-375)

1. With the outbreak of the war in Europe the British Admiralty adopted the Lloyds reporting system, modified it to meet the wartime needs of the Admiralty and augmented it by including routing officers and intelligence centers and establishing additional reporting officers to permit a reasonably accurate plot of all shipping world-wide. This system of reporting merchant ship movements was called the "VESCA" (Vessel and Cargo) system.

2. It was recognized that if the United States did become a belligerent some method of obtaining merchant ship movement reports would be required and that such a system, no matter how integrated, would involve a heavy communication load of a specialized nature and because of its nature would require special and expeditious handling. For these reasons, it was considered desirable that a communication section be established as an integral part of NTS for the internal handling of the anticipated volume, and one communications officer of the Naval Reserve was ordered to report for duty to NTS for this purpose on 6 April 1941.

3. The first duty of the communication officer was to go with a party consisting of one Rear Admiral and three Captains to the Canadian Naval Service Headquarters, Ottawa, Canada for the purpose of consultations with Canadian Naval authorities in connection with routing and reporting of merchant shipping, the operation of convoys, and to assimilate as much information as possible regarding the British methods of communicating and handling merchant ship movement reports.

4. Early in the summer of 1941 it was considered that the time had arrived when the Chief of Naval Operations should commence maintenance of records pertaining to the movement and disposition of U. S. Flag shipping, particularly in the Atlantic but not excluding other parts of the world. To achieve this, dispatch directives were promulgated to the various U. S. Naval Attaches and Naval Observers throughout the world requiring them to submit by daily dispatch to C. N. O. information regarding arrivals and departures of U. S. Flag merchant shipping at their respective ports and such other ports as could be covered by them. This was augmented by prevailing upon the State Department to issue a similar directive to various American Consuls requiring them to submit similar information on a daily basis. This arrangement permitted maintenance of records in NTS of movements in all major ports and a considerable number of minor ports. These movement reports, as differentiated from the VESCA Reports received by the British Admiralty and Naval Service Headquarters, Ottawa were essentially daily summaries but did provide NTS with the desired information, and since the United States was not yet at war immediate notification of merchant ship departures and routes was not yet essential. However, during the summer of 1941 plans were being formulated for obtaining such information by the most expeditious means in the event the United States should become involved in the war.

5. As a result of the issuance of the above-mentioned directives, dispatch communications to NTS took a marked upward trend and it became apparent that the communications officer would require some additional help. This was provided for by ordering an Ensign of the Naval Reserve to report for communication duty in NTS.

6. By early Fall of 1941 it became a foregone conclusion that the United States would be brought into the war and, whereas up to this time


the merchant ship arrival and departure reports were considered adequate for Navy Department needs, it now became apparent that information as to the routes of the vessels would also be required. Since all routing of all United States shipping at that time was done only by the British through their respective routing officers throughout the world, it was obvious that if the Navy Department desires vessels' routes it must come from British sources. Through suggestions with the British Admiralty and Naval Service Headquarters, Ottawa it was agreed that a leased teletypewriter circuit be installed between Ottawa and the Navy Department and that the former, which was already receiving all route messages, relay these to the Navy Department. In view of the fact that this traffic would be of substantial proportions and all of it encrypted, the Director of Naval Communications was consulted with a view to establishing a separate coderoom for this purpose. This was agreed to and a separate coderoom manned by Op-19 personnel was established. The required leased teletypewriter circuit was installed with the Washington printer located in the special coderoom. VESCA reports and route messages were then received from Ottawa by this means until after the United States became involved in the war. Dispatches pertaining to shipping in convoy were received directly from British originators by including C.N.O. as an addressee. During this period merchant ship movement reports continued to be received from the various Naval Attaches, Naval Observers and American Consuls.

7. As the result of the voluminous communications being received from Ottawa together with that being received directly from the U.S. Naval Attaches, Naval Observers and American Consuls, it became necessary to augment the communication section. This was done by ordering an additional Naval Reserve Officer for this duty together with four civil service clerks. At this time it became obvious that, in order to function efficiently, at least four copies of each dispatch would be required. The Director of Naval Communications was requested to furnish the required number of copies of each dispatch, but because of the existing policy of the Director of Naval Communications at that time the request was disapproved with the result that the communications section was required to copy each incoming dispatch in order to provide the three necessary additional copies. This is the situation that prevailed at the outbreak of the war in the United States.

8. After 7 December 1941, with U.S. shipping now being routed, the volume of communications again took an upward curve and two additional Ensigns and four yeoman of the Naval Reserve were assigned.

9. Early in 1942 an agreement between the British Admiralty and the Chief of Naval Operations, known as BUSRA, was consummated (see Chapter II, B). This agreement provided that in the area under U.S. control the U.S. Navy would provide required routing and reporting officers to relieve their British counterparts and to assume the responsibility for originating merchant ship movement reports and route messages. U.S. Routing officers were established in all major ports within the continental United States and, as they became available for assignment, U.S. routing and reporting officers gradually took over the responsibility of routing and reporting merchant ship movements in the U. S. Strategic Area.

10. In the initial stages the U. S. routing and reporting officers followed the same general pattern of reporting ship movements as provided for by the VESCA system. Basically this required that a separate dispatch concerning each movement be addressed directly to each of the following: CNO; Admiralty; NSHQ Ottawa; Sea Frontier Commanders through whose areas the ship would pass; and the British Staff Officer (Intelligence) in the


area concerned. This involved a load greater than the Naval Communication Service could handle, and because many ports were involved in which naval communications were not provided, it was necessary to resort to the use of commercial communication cable facilities. It was costly due to the fact that the originators are permitted to include only one addressee in each commercial cable dispatch which meant that routing and reporting officers had to send the same text to each of the required addressees and were billed for transmission to each addressee as a separate cable dispatch. This was "field day" for the cable companies.

11. During the summer of 1942 negotiations were opened with the major cable companies to establish a "drop off" system whereby the cable companies would permit more than one addressee in the same dispatch, effect delivery for a nominal fee to such addressees as were situated in places through which the cable dispatch would normally be routed, and base the cost of sending the dispatch at prevailing rates to the furthest addressee. The cable companies objected on the grounds that their rate structures would not permit this. The adoption of the "drop copy" may have been enforced upon the cable companies by the Federal Communications Commission, but the Navy contemplated no further action and the matter was dropped.

12. By late summer of 1942 and in view of the unsuccessful negotiations with the cable companies for a "drop off" copy system, it became apparent that either the costly method of transmitting ship movement reports and route messages must continue to be borne or some other method of handling these communications must be devised.

13. If a new system was to be developed it would have to be one that would provide all activities concerned with the required information as regards merchant ship movements and routes by the most expeditious means and at a minimum of expense. It would require that such a system be flexible enough to provide for the variation of addressees as required due to vessels passing through various Sea Frontier Areas depending upon the voyages of the vessels concerned. It also would require that the system be unencumbered by a complicated method of handling such communications, that it be as simple yet effective and efficient as possible, due primarily to the fact that most routing and reporting offices were not provided with communications officers. Accordingly the communications officer undertook to devise such a system.

14. By early fall of 1942 a system which it was believed embodied all of the above requirements was consummated and it was named "MERCO" (Merchant Control) system. The details of this system were first promulgated 15 October 1942 in GIRO.

15. The underlying principals upon which the MERCO system was predicated follows. Reporting Centers were established at communication hubs throughout Central America, South America and the Caribbean area. Such Reporting Centers were established at Seattle, Recife, Rio de Janeiro, Montevideo, Lima, Cristobal, Guatemala City, Vera Cruz, Havana, Guantanamo, San Juan, Trinidad and Aruba. The establishment of Reporting Centers in the same geographical locations as Sea Frontier Commanders and other operational commands was an important consideration in reducing communications. For ship movement reporting purposes each Routing and Reporting officer was directed to route all MERCO Reports and Route Messages to a specific Reporting Center. The designation of the Reporting Center to which each Routing and Reporting officer was to route his MERCO traffic was predicated on both availability of communications facilities and operational areas in which such officers were located. This resulted in the Reporting Center Areas following a marked geographical pattern.


16. In addition to the establishment of Reporting Centers, relay centers known as MERCO offices were established at New York and San Francisco.801 802

17. A separate codeword was established for each MERCO/Route message addressee, including Admiralty and Ottawa. Additional codewords embracing multiple addressees were also established. These codewords, as appropriate, were to be inserted as the first words of the text of each MERCO Report or Route message by the originator.

18. A special flat strip cipher series known as U. S. Shipping Control Cipher was published for the purpose of encrypting MERCO Reports and Route messages.803 Because of the very large volume of such dispatch reports it was not considered cryptographically secure to use any single cipher common throughout the Atlantic area of U. S. Merchant Ship Control. Accordingly Routing and Reporting Officers in each respective Reporting Center area were provided with a single area system of the series. All of the area systems comprising the series were held by all MERCO/Route message addressees.

19. In operation the MERCO System functioned basically as follows. The Routing and Reporting Officer originating a MERCO Report or Route message included the required addressees by inserting the appropriate codewords as the first words of the text and forwarded the dispatch to his respective Reporting Center, which in most cases was the Sea Frontier Commander or sub area commander having cognizance in the area in which the port of arrival or departure was situated. The Reporting Center, without delaying for decryption, immediately passed the dispatch to the appropriate MERCO office, which made further delivery in accordance with the codewords contained in the first words of text. In this manner the originator filed only one dispatch, instead of several containing the same text as required under the VESCA method of handling ship movement reports. This system provided the necessary information to the area commander first required to have it, and minimized the cable tolls to the extent that the cost of only one dispatch was involved as against the cost of several containing the same text as under the former system.

20. No Reporting Centers were established for the Routing Officers within the Continental United States. Such Routing Officers forwarded their MERCO Reports and Route Messages directly to the MERCO Offices in New York or San Francisco as appropriate, which in turn delivered to the required addressees in accordance with the codewords.

21. Surprisingly little difficulty was experienced in getting the MERCO System into smooth operation, which fact can probably be attributed to the clearly defined and systematic method laid down for handling of the traffic involved.

22. Upon inauguration of the MERCO system, Ottawa discontinued relaying VESCA and Route messages to Washington, and was informed of movements in the U. S. Area of Merchant Ship Control by Washington's relaying the necessary MERCO Reports and Route messages. This resulted in the reversal of the traffic flow on the Ottawa-Washington leased printer circuit.

23. Shortly after the establishment of the MERCO system it was considered that the Reporting Centers could be put to additional advantageous use in connection with reducing communications. Up to this time the many dispatch directives emanating from the Navy Department and addressed to all U. S. Routing and/or Reporting Officers had to be delivered and paid for as separate cable dispatches to each Routing or Reporting Officer located beyond the Continental limits of the United States. This excessive


cost was circumvented by publishing a special strip cipher held by all U. S. Routing and Reporting Officers and addressing such dispatch directives only to the relatively few Reporting Centers with instructions in the text directing them to pass to all Routing and/or Reporting Officers in their respective areas.

24. During the Autumn of 1943 electric ciphering machines came into greater production and Routing Officers at major ports were provided with this device to augment the U. S. Shipping Control Cipher. A separate key list for MERCO traffic was published for use with this device and  all MERCO addressees were equipped with the machine and required key lists.

25. It was not long after the MERCO system was placed in operation that the British Admiralty became cognizant of the advantages provided by this system and requested that they be permitted to route VESCA Signals and Route Messages originated by British sources through MERCO channels to the required U. S. addressees. This meant that British originators instead of sending a separate dispatch to each of the U. S. addressees concerned, had only to send one dispatch to either the MERCO Office in New York or San Francisco which would deliver to the required addressees. This interconnection of the MERCO and VESCA systems was effected and proved to be mutually highly satisfactory.804

26. A continuous study was made of MERCO traffic from which a curve was drafted. The curve started at an approximate level of 600 dispatches daily when the MERCO system was first established, and progressed upward to approximately 900 dispatches daily by the summer of 1943, after which it followed almost a flat trend until cessation of hostilities with Germany and the discontinuance of convoys which resulted in a sharp upward trend. This study did not include dispatches pertaining to convoy operations and other miscellaneous traffic which averaged approximately 200 dispatches per day throughout the entire period of the war with Germany.

27. Originally the MERCO System was placed in effect in North America, Central America, South America, Hawaiian Islands, Alaska, and the Caribbean area.805 As the war in the Pacific progressed westward, shipping in that area west and south of the Hawaiian Islands came into greater prominence and under date of 26 July 1943 a proposal was submitted to CinCPac. Australian and New Zealand authorities suggesting that the entire Pacific area be brought into the MERCO system.806 This was concurred by all commands concerned. Accordingly GIRO was modified to embrace the whole Pacific theater. A MERCO office similar in purpose to those already in operation at San Francisco and New York was established at Suva to serve the South Pacific, Southwest Pacific and New Zealand Sea Frontiers.807 The U. S. Shipping Control Cipher series was augmented by publishing additional area systems for each of the Merchant Ship Control Areas involved. Reporting Centers were established at Pearl Harbor, Noumea, Melbourne and Wellington. The Reporting Center at Seattle was transferred to Adak due to the establishment of Commander, Alaskan Sea Frontier Headquarters at that place. Considerable time was consumed in setting up the basic structure and getting the necessary publications distributed to all routing and reporting officers. It was not until 7 February 1944 that the MERCO System was brought into full effect throughout the Pacific.808

28. Because of limited load capacities of existing Naval radio circuits in the Pacific at the time the MERCO system was placed in operation in that area, cable facilities were used wherever possible. This was the determining factor in locating the MERCO Office at Suva, which is a cable hub in the Pacific. However, after additional and better Naval radio facilities became available, and in order to eliminate cable tolls, the MERCO Office was moved from Suva to Noumea.809


29. As the war in the Pacific moved westward and island bases became consolidated by U. S. Forces, the reporting of shipping movements to and from these places was done through the MERCO system. An additional MERCO Office was established at Pearl Harbor and after the Marianas were consolidated a Reporting Center was established at Guam to serve the Forward Area. 810 811

30. As originally established in the Pacific, the MERCO system was only for the purpose of reporting the movements and routes of independent shipping. This was later expanded to include convoy movements. During the winter of 1944-1945 the purview of the MERCO system in the Pacific was again expanded to include the movements of Naval vessels, both combatant and auxiliaries. Some modifications to the MERCO system were required from time to time in both the Atlantic and Pacific to meet new demands and changing conditions.

31. In July 1944 in order to reduce communications, ComTenthFleet C&R, Admiralty and NSHQ Ottawa were discontinued as addressees for MERCO Reports and Route messages concerning movements in the Pacific, and the Commander, Western Sea Frontier compiled daily summaries of all Pacific movements for these activities.813 814 815 816

32. Shortly after the Commander, Philippine Sea Frontier became shore based and consolidated on Leyte, an additional Reporting Center was established there to serve ports in that Sea Frontier.817

33. By early spring of 1945 shipping in the South Pacific had lessened and the corresponding MERCO traffic was reduced to the extent that the retention of the MERCO Office at Noumea was no longer justified. It was accordingly disestablished 10 May 1945. 818

34. In May 1945, in order to again reduce communications, particularly between Pearl Harbor and San Francisco, a new arrangement for summarizing Pacific movements for C&R, Admiralty and NSHQ Ottawa was brought into effect. 819 On this new basis the Commander Western Sea Frontier summarized only those movements in the Alaskan, Western and Panama Sea Frontiers. Summaries concerning all other movements in other parts of the Pacific were compiled by the MERCO Office at Pearl Harbor.

35. In April 1945 the situation in the Atlantic had so changed that it was considered possible to further reduce communications by requiring U. S. originators of MERCO Reports and Route messages to include Admiralty as an addressee only when the vessel concerned was routed east of the Atlantic chop line.820 In a similar manner British originators included C&R as an addressee in their VESCA Reports only if the voyage of the vessel being reported upon crossed to the west of the chop line.821 Admiralty was informed of movements wholly west of the chop line through daily summaries originated by Ottawa while C&R was informed of movements east of chop by daily summaries compiled by the Admiralty.822

36. All dispatches originating in C&R are typed in final form in the Communications Section and delivered via pneumatic tube to Op-19 for encryption. Incoming dispatches likewise are decrypted by Op-19 for C&R. This section is the arranging authority for BAMS transmissions to the western portion of the North and South Atlantic and the southeast Pacific areas (BAMS Areas 2A, 2B, 4 and 8). The section was operating in 1945 with six officers, of whom four are Waves, and fourteen enlisted personnel.


Chapter VI

1. As an outgrowth of the Ship Movements Division of the Chief of Naval Operations in World War I, the Convoy and Routing Section gradually emerged into active operation pursuant to the basic war plan WPSC-46 nineteen days before the attack on Pearl Harbor. After six months under the Chief of Naval Operations this section was transferred to the Operations Division of Headquarters of the Commander in Chief, United States Fleet. Just over a year later, on 20 May 1943, it was attached to Headquarters of the newly created TENTH Fleet (Anti-Submarine Warfare), of which Admiral Ernest J. King, USN, was also Commander, and there remained until after VE Day when it reverted to CominCh Operations. Rear Admiral Martin K. Metcalf, USN (Retired), served as Director of Convoy and Routing from 26 January 1942 until after the end of the war in Europe.

2. The principal function of C&R - to provide for the safety of movements of merchant vessels and troop transports in time of war - was internally divided into two parts, Independents and Convoys. By far the greater portion of its activity was directed to Atlantic waters against German submarines, but it also had a limited interest in the Pacific.

3. C&R's control of ship and convoy movements consisted primarily of:

  1. the plotting, reporting, evasive diversion and in many cases routing in the U.S. areas of responsibility outside of the Sea Frontiers;
  2. the recording of movements of all merchantmen of the United Nations, consisting of close to 10,000 ocean-going vessels by VE Day;
  3. the complex scheduling and detailed recording of some 8,680 U.S. convoys in the Atlantic, including the coastal system from Halifax to Rio de Janeiro;
  4. the original preparation and maintenance of certain registered publications specifying exact methods of control, procedure, routing, etc., such as MER-1, GIRO, MACRI and MPRI;
  5. the intermittent release from convoy of certain types of shipping in certain areas to maintain the most efficient worldwide flow of merchant vessels and troop transports consistent with escorts available and enemy tactics.

To perform this multitude of intricate duties C&R was assigned a complement averaging about 55 officers and 45 enlisted personnel, including Waves.

4. In the early months of 1942 the U/Boats made a vicious, widespread attack upon our coastal areas, sinking 205 merchantmen before any convoy defense could be set up in the middle of May. Before convoys could be extended into southern coastal areas early in July the casualty list had grown to 325 ships sunk. But by September 1942 a complete convoy network was in operation throughout the danger area, and with effective anti-submarine measures casualties dropped off sharply, never again to reach critical proportions.

5. C&R first assumed full responsibility for the policy of routing, reporting and evasive diversion in U.S. areas on 1 July 1942. The planning and subsequent scheduling of the coastal convoy system was largely carried out by C&R in conjunction with CominCh, CinClant and the Commanders of the Sea Frontiers, including Commander, Fourth Fleet. Sailings were timed to make best connections with the transoceanic convoys to and from U.K. and the Mediterranean, and abroad with British convoys between U.K., the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean.


6. While U.S. warships participated in the escorting of the important North Atlantic Trade Convoys and troop convoys in 1942, when the shortage of escorts in the United Nations' naval pool was at its lowest ebb, complete handling of strictly U.S. convoys across the Atlantic was not begun on a large scale until after the successful invasion in North Africa in November 1942. The UG/GU system finally extended into the Mediterranean as far as Bizerte, and was followed in 1943 by other dry cargo, tanker and troop convoys, principally the UT/TU and CU/UC systems to U.K. and Continental ports. From the time of our entrance into the war until VE Day, the aggregate number of convoys, ships, escorts and casualties suffered (including escorts), for both ocean and coastal convoys, both ways, were as follows:

Summary of Atlantic Convoys in U.S. Areas of Responsibility, as Tabulated in History of C&R
            Casualties (Enemy Action)
  Convoys Ships Ships
Escorts Escorts
per Convoy
Sunk in
Sunk as
North Atlantic Trade Convoysa 609 30,330 50 4,200 6.9 242 84 29
U.S. Escorted Convoys:                
   1. To U.K.b 257 5,666 22 1,739 6.8 24 2 11
   2. To Mediterraneanc 268 12,001 45 2,294 8.5 9 5 13
Total Trans-Atlantic 1,134 47,997 33 8,233 7.3 275e 91 53
Total Coastal Convoysd 7,546 49,680 7 19,197 2.5 67 7 18
Grand Total 8,680 97,677 11 27,430 3.2 342f 98 71

(a) HX, ON, SC, ONS
(b) Principally CU/UC, UT/TU and AT/TA (but excluding independent AT sailings of "Monsters")
(c) Principally UGS/GUS, UGF/GUF and OT/TO (but excluding "Torch Operation")
(d) All regularly scheduled convoys between Halifax and ports on Atlantic Seaboard in Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea and Brazilian ports to Rio de Janeiro, plus SG/GS; plus special or irregular convoys originating in Sea Frontiers (with exception of 1942, for which records not tabulated)
(e) A ratio of 1 ship sunk for every 174 ships in convoy.
(f) A ratio of 1 ship sunk for every 285 ships in convoy.

7. According to Army reports, of 4,453,061 U.S. troops embarked from U.S. for action in Europe between 7 December 1941 and VE Day, only 1,094, or 0.024% were lost at sea on outbound moves from all causes. Army troop losses from enemy action in U.S. convoys aggregated 406, of which 404 were lost in SG 19 (see Chapter IV, J), and 2 in Key West 123. In addition, 88 were lost in 3 sinkings in North Atlantic trade Convoys (SC 118, SC 121 and HX 224), and 20 in one sinking in XB 25. Troopers in UT, TCU, CU, UGS, UGF and AT convoys (excluding unescorted AT's) carried 2,455,329 troops to Europe (excluding the North African operation of November 1942) without the loss of a ship or even a man from enemy action. In addition, the independent "monsters" (such as the "Queens", "West Point", etc.) continued to shuttle back and forth at highest pitch of efficiency, carrying hundreds of thousands more, without a casualty by the enemy. This is not to mention the vast quantity of troops returned safely to U.S. shores.


8. When the United States entered the war in 1941 it is estimated that there were about 41,000,000 gross tons of ocean-going bottoms available to the United Nations. Of this nearly 12,000,000 gross tons (2,343 ships) were lost through enemy action during 1942, 1943 and 1944, plus the losses of 1945. About 70% of these losses were caused by submarines, and 59% as independents. The ebbing tide of net available shipping reached its lowest level about September 1943, but due to rapid new construction and efficient surface and air action against the enemy, the United Nations ended 1944 with a net of about 57,000,000 gross tons, a gain of 39% over 1941. Still, however, there was no substantial alleviation of the shipping shortage because of constantly expanding requirements for the invaded nations and the armed forces in both the Atlantic and Pacific.

MARTIN K. METCALF, Rear Admiral, U.S.N. (Retired)
Director of Convoy and Routing,
Headquarters of the Commander in Chief,
United States Fleet, and Commander
TENTH Fleet,
Navy Department, Washington, D.C.

May, 1945




ALUSNA  -   U.S. Naval Attache
ALUSLO  -   U.S. Naval Liaison Officer
ALUSNOB  -   U.S. Naval Observer
AMCON  -   American Consul
AS  -   U.S. to West African Ports
AT  -   U.S. to U.K. (Military)
BAD  -   British Admiralty Delegation
BAMS  -   Broadcast to Allied Merchant Ships
BC  -   U.S. East Coast to Society Islands
BT  -   Bahia to Trinidad
BUSRA  -   British-United States Routing Agreement
BX  -   Boston to Halifax
C  -   Confidential dispatch
C&R  -   Convoy and Routing Section, Headquarters of the Commander in Chief, United States Fleet and Commander, Tenth Fleet
CINCMED  -   Commander in Chief, Mediterranean
CINCLANT  -   Commander in Chief, United States Atlantic Fleet
CINCPAC  -   Commander in Chief, United States Pacific Fleet
CNO  -   Chief of Naval Operations
ComEastSeaFron  -   Commander, Eastern Sea Frontier
ComFourthFleet  -   Commander, Fourth Fleet
CominCh  -   Commander in Chief, United States Fleet (Headquarters)
ComNavEu  -   Commander, U.S. Naval Forces in Europe
ComNavNaw  -   Commander, U.S. Naval Forces, Northwest African Waters
ComPaSeaFron  -   Commander, Panama Sea Frontier
ComSoLant  -   Commander, South Atlantic Force
ComTenthFlt (C&R)  -   Commander, Tenth Fleet, Convoy and Routing Section
ComWesSeaFron  -   Commander, Western Sea Frontier
CSA  -   Consular Shipping Adviser
CU  -   New York to Netherlands West Indies
CU  -   New York to U.K.
EASTOMP  -   Eastern Ocean Meeting Point
GAT  -   Guantanamo to Aruba and Trinidad
GK  -   Guantanamo to Key West
GM  -   Galveston to Mississippi River
GN  -   Guantanamo to New York
GP  -   Galveston to Pilottown
GS  -   Greenland to St. Johns, N.F., (or Sydney)
GZ  -   Guantanamo to Panama Canal Zone
HHX  -   Halifax Joiner to HX Convoy
HK  -   Galveston to Key West
HOMP  -   Halifax Ocean Meeting Point
HX  -   New York to U.K.
HXF  -   New York to Liverpool, Fast
HXM  -   New York to Liverpool, Medium
HXS  -   New York to Liverpool, Slow
ICOMP  -   Iceland Ocean Meeting Point
JT  -   Rio de Janiero to Trinidad
KG  -   Key West to Guantanamo
KH  -   Key West to Galveston
KM  -   U.K. to Mediterranean
KN  -   Key West to New York (also Key West to Norfolk)
KS  -   Norfolk to Key West
LW  -   U.S. East Coast to South West Pacific (Lone Wolf)
MERCO  -   Merchant Control System


MG  -   Mississippi River to Galveston
MK  -   Mediterranean to U.K.
NA  -   Canada to U.K.
NG  -   New York to Guantanamo
NK  -   New York to Key West
NMCS  -   Naval Member Canadian Joint Staff
NSHQ  -   Naval Service Headquarters (Canadian)
NTS  -   Naval Transportation Service
OCT  -   Office of Chief of Transportation (U.S. Army)
ON  -   Liverpool to New York, Fast
ONF  -   Liverpool to New York, Fast
ONI  -   Office of Naval Intelligence
ONM  -   Liverpool to New York, Medium
ONS  -   Liverpool to New York, Slow
OP  -   Naval Operations
OT  -   Aruba or Curacao to Northwest Africa
OT  -   Curacao to Trinidad
OT  -   New York to Netherlands West Indies
PD  -   Port Director
PG  -   Pilottown to Galveston
S  -   Secret Dispatch
SC  -   Halifax Slow to U.K.
SG  -   Sydney or St. Johns, N.F. to Greenland
SOMP  -   Sydney Ocean Meeting Point
TA  -   U.K. to U.S. (Military)
TAG  -   Trinidad to Aruba to Guantanamo
TAW  -   Trinidad to Aruba to Key West
TB  -   Trinidad to Bahia
TCU  -   New York to U.K. (Troop)
TJ  -   Trinidad to Rio de Janiero
TM  -   Trinidad to Gibraltar
TMF  -   Trinidad to Gibraltar, Fast
TO  -   Netherlands West Indies to New York
TO  -   Northwest Africa to Aruba or Curacao
TO  -   Trinidad to Curacao
TU  -   U.K. to U.S.A. (Troop)
UC  -   U.K. to New York
UCT  -   U.K. to New York (Troop)
UG  -   U.S. to Mediterranean
UGF  -   U.S. to Mediterranean, Fast
UGS  -   U.S. to Mediterranean, Slow
USNR  -   United States Naval Reserve
UT  -   U.S.A. to U.K. (Troop)
VE  -   Victory in Europe (8 May 1945)
VESCA  -   Vessels and Cargo (Communication System)
WAT  -   Key West to Aruba to Trinidad
WESTCOMP  -   Western Ocean Meeting Point
WHX  -   St. Johns, N.F., joiner to HX
WS  -   U.K. to Middle East to India
WSA  -   War Shipping Administration
WSC  -   Wabana joiner to SC
XB  -   Halifax to Boston
ZG  -   Canal Zone to Guantanamo




The following is a list of the sources on which the statements made in the preceding narrative are based. Other sources were used but do not appear below, being specified in the text of the narrative.

  1. "Our Navy At War" - A report to the Secretary of the Navy, Admiral Ernest J. King, 27 March '44.
  2. "United States Navy At War" - second official report to the Secretary of the Navy by Fleet Admiral Ernest J. King, 12 March '45.
  3. Annual Report - Fiscal Year 1944 - The Secretary of the Navy to the President of the United States, 10 February '45.
  4. C.N.O. serial 061638, 17 October '41 (Op-38-S-A)
  5. C.N.O. serial 064038, 15 December '41 (Op-38-S-P)
  6. "Naval Shipping Control in Time of War - Organization and Functions", C.N.O. 17 June '41.
  7. CominCh serial 02561 of 29 July '43.
  8. C.N.O. serial 071912 of 1 July '41.
  9. CominCh S. 128145, July '42.
  10. CominCh serial 1194, 14 May '42.
  11. CominCh and C.N.O., serial 02561, 29 July '43.
  12. CominCh S. 051523, June '43.
  13. CominCh and C.N.O. S. 271945 (and 091308), December '44.
  14. CominCh and C.N.O. S. 101237, November '43.
  15. CominCh and C.N.O. S. 161252, March '44
  16. CominCh S. 022101, July '43.
  17. CominCh S. 122126, 251455 and 251637, January '43.
  18. CominCh and C.N.O. S. 171522, October '43.
  19. CominCh S. 192120, April '45.
  20. CominCh S. 031646, September '44.
  21. "Statistical Summary of Five years of War on British, Allied, and Neutral Shipping" - Admiralty, Trade Division, S.R. 77, 25 January '45.
  22. CB 04050, May 1940 (Admiralty: Monthly Anti-Submarine Report).
  23. S.R. 9A, 11 April 1945 (Admiralty Trade Division)
  24. CinCMed S. 281702, September '44.
  25. Admiralty S. 162304, September '43.
  26. CinCMed S. 251941, October '44.
  27. CinCMed S. 281054, May '44.
  28. Admiralty S. 052043, February '45.
  29. Admiralty S. 241949, June '43 and CominCh S. 252221, June '43.
  30. N.S.H.Q. C. 091617, October '43.
  31. "Brief history of Naval Transportation Service Since June 1937", Op-39-T-O-ml, 2 January '43.
  32. CominCh S. 072103, May '43.
  33. CominCh and C.N.O. S. 112125, April '44.
  34. CominCh serial 001515 of 29 July '43 and 001941 of 11 September '43.
  35. CominCh S. 122115, June '44.
  36. Admiralty C. 210039, December '44.
  37. ComTENTHFleet C. 161937, December '44.
  38. CominCh serial 00752 of August '42.
  39. Prime Minister England to President U. S., No. 234, 17 December '42.
  40. CominCh C&R S. 262021, July '43.
  41. "Brief History of the Office of the Port Director, Third Naval District" - Calendar years 1939 to 1942, inclusive, dated 1 January '43.
  42. W.S.A. letter of 21 November '44.


  1. A.S.F. - Trans secret War 23836 of 16 April '44.
  2. C.B. 04050, December, 1942 (Admiralty: Monthly Anti-Submarine Report) Review of Year 1942.
  3. CinCPOA serial 001577 of 4 June '44.
  4. ComFwdAreaCenPac serials 001677 of 3 November and 001905 of 5 December '44.
  5. CominCh S.062152, October '42.
  6. CominCh S.122126 and CominCh C&R S. 181501, January '43.
  7. CominCh serial 02650 of 4 August '44.
  8. ABC-1: Report of the Combined British-United States Staff Conversations, serial 011512-12 (R), 27 March 1941.
  9. MPRI-1944: Mercantile Pacific Routing Instructions.
  10. GIRO-1944: General Instructions for Routing and Reporting Officers.
  11. MACRI-1944: Mercantile Atlantic Coastal Routing Instructions.
  12. MARI: Mercantile Atlantic Routing Instructions.
  13. MER-1: Operating Plan for the United States Merchant Ship Control Organization.
  14. UKAR: United Kingdom Approach Routes.
  15. BUSRA: British-United States Routing Agreement.
  16. Secret Log for U.S. Merchant Vessel.
  17. WPSC-46: Principal Navy Shipping Control Plan, RAINBOW No. 5.
  18. ICOC: Instructions for Commodores of Convoys.
  19. [No entry was provided for note 61]
  20. MCI: Mercantile Convoy Instructions.
  21. HO-224: The "Q" System.
  22. NCSI: Naval Control Service Instructions. (C.B. 03050). (See also "Outline of the Work of Trade Division", 1943, Admiralty, London).
  23. MSCI: Mediterranean Convoy Instructions.
  24. RPS-9A: Allowance Table of Communication Publications for Merchant Ships.
  25. AMSI: Admiralty Merchant Ship Instructions.
  26. CAMSI: Confidential Admiralty Merchant Ship Instructions.
  27. MERSIGS: Merchant Ships Visual Signalling Code.
  28. WIMS: Wartime Instructions for Merchant Ships.
  29. FTP-219: Escort of Convoy Instructions.
  30. FTP-223: U. S. Fleet Anti-Submarine and Escort of Convoy Instructions.
  31. FTP-223A: U.S. Fleet Anti-Submarine and Escort of Convoy Instructions.
  32. ACI: Atlantic Convoy instructions.
  33. MEDARS: Mediterranean Routing Instructions.
  34. MEDCRI: Temporary Mediterranean Routing Instructions.
  35. MEDICOS: Mediterranean Instructions to Commodores.
  36. WIMS-42: Wartime Instructions U.S. Merchant Vessels.
  37. MEIRI: Mercantile East Indian Routing Instructions.
  38. ORS: Ottawa Routing Summary.
  39. MPCRI: Mercantile Pacific Coastal Routing Instructions.
  40. INRARSOPAC: Instructions for Routing and Reporting Officers, Southwest Pacific.
  41. SWPSFI: Southwest Pacific Sea Frontier Convoy and Routing Instructions.
  42. WPL-46: Basic War Plan.
  43. C. B. 3060-G: Merchant Ships of all Flags Over 1,000 Gross Tons.
  44. Memorandum 44: "An Analysis of the U. S. Coastal Trade Convoys", ASW Operations Research Group, TENTH Fleet, 18 December 1943.
  45. CominCh C&R S.171941 June '43.
  46. CominCh S.181235 September '42.
  47. CominCh and C.N.O. S.271655 October '44.
  48. ComGulfSeaFron S. 131602 May '43 and serial 00120 of 31 May '43.
  49. CominCh C&R S.221900 January '44; ComPaSeaFron S.231547 January '44; CominCh S.211932 May '44; and CominCh C&R S. 231421 May '44.
  50. ComTENTHFleet C&R C.091800 November '44; ComFourthFleet C.111310 November '44; and CominCh and C.N.O. S.091355 December '44.
  51. ComFourthFlt S.092004 and 121415 March '45 and ConCLant S.100427 March '44.
  52. CinCPac C.231209 August '44.
  53. ComTENTHFlt (C&R) C.241320 August '43.
  54. ComTENTHFlt (C&R) C.201935 January '44.


  1. ComTENTHFlt (C&R) C.221529 and 261941 June '44.
  2. ComTENTHFlt (C&R) BAMS C.221357 August '44.
  3. ComTENTHFlt (C&R) C.122056 September '44.
  4. ComTENTHFlt (C&R) C.282004 Sept., 011528 Oct., and FX-01 S.271655 Oct. '44.
  5. June 1943 issue of United States Fleet Anti-Submarine Bulletin.
  6. July 1943 issue of United States Fleet Anti-Submarine Bulletin.
  7. August 1943 issue of United States Fleet Anti-Submarine Bulletin.
  8. September 1943 issue of United States Fleet Anti-Submarine Bulletin.
  9. October 1943 issue of United States Fleet Anti-Submarine Bulletin.
  10. November 1943 issue of United States Fleet Anti-Submarine Bulletin.
  11. December 1943 issue of United States Fleet Anti-Submarine Bulletin.
  12. January 1944 issue of United States Fleet Anti-Submarine Bulletin.
  13. February 1944 issue of United States Fleet Anti-Submarine Bulletin.
  14. March 1944 issue of United States Fleet Anti-Submarine Bulletin.
  15. April 1944 issue of United States Fleet Anti-Submarine Bulletin.
  16. May 1944 issue of United States Fleet Anti-Submarine Bulletin.
  17. June 1944 issue of United States Fleet Anti-Submarine Bulletin.
  18. July 1944 issue of United States Fleet Anti-Submarine Bulletin.
  19. August 1944 issue of United States Fleet Anti-Submarine Bulletin.
  20. September 1944 issue of United States Fleet Anti-Submarine Bulletin.
  21. October 1944 issue of United States Fleet Anti-Submarine Bulletin.
  22. November 1944 issue of United States Fleet Anti-Submarine Bulletin.
  23. December 1944 issue of United States Fleet Anti-Submarine Bulletin.
  24. January 1945 issue of United States Fleet Anti-Submarine Bulletin.
  25. February 1945 issue of United States Fleet Anti-Submarine Bulletin.
  26. March 1945 issue of United States Fleet Anti-Submarine Bulletin.
  27. April 1945 issue of United States Fleet Anti-Submarine Bulletin.
  28. May 1945 issue of United States Fleet Anti-Submarine Bulletin.
  29. C&R S.171655 April '44.
  30. Canadian N.N.S. 1048-48-129 of 19 April '44, revised by N.N.S. 11650-5 of 6 March '45.
  31. ComEastSeaFron Serial 001281 of 7 February '45.
  32. N.S.H.Q., Ottawa S.281655 May '42.
  33. ComEastSeaFron serial 00376 of 18 January '43.
  34. CominCh S.122219 March '43.
  35. CinCCNA S.152035 May '43.
  36. C&R S.121856 April '44.
  37. N.S.H.Q. Ottawa S.132311 April '44.
  38. C&R S.171655 April '44.
  39. ComTENTHFlt serial 04260 of 16 December '43.
  1. Files of Convoy and Routing Section, FX-37.
  2. CominCh (C&R) C.112145 July '42.
  3. CominCh (C&R) S.071644, May '43.
  1. Ocean Policy Files, Ocean Convoy Plot Section (FX-3721).
  1. Coastal Policy Files, Coastal Convoy Plot Section (FX-3721).
  1. Files of Convoy Schedules Section (FX-3722).
  1. Files of Merchant Ship Plot Section (FX-3711).
  1. Files of Merchant Ship Records Section (FX-3712).
  1. Files of Communications Section (FX-375).
  2. VCNO serial 0285020, 23 Oct. '42.
  3. VCNO serial 0285120, 12 Oct. '42.
  4. CSPM 307 C 1 Mar. '43.
  5. ADMTY C.281526 April '43.


  1. C&R C.081426 Jan. '43.
  2. C&R serial 02516, 26 July '43.
  3. ComNAVBase Fiji C.192045 Jan '44.
  4. C&R C.312014 Jan. '44.
  5. C&R C.061931 June '44.
  6. C&R C.301906 Aug. '44.
  7. C&R C.141405 Nov. '44.
  8. C&R C.061525 Nov. '44.
  9. C&R C.291802 July '44.
  10. C&R C.161937 Dec. '44.
  11. C&R C.101901 July '44.
  12. C&R C.231401 Nov. '44.
  13. ComSeventhFlt C.200750 Feb. '45.
  14. C&R C.261842 April '45.
  15. CinCPac serial 05547, 6 April '45.
  16. C&R C.181522 May '45.
  17. ADMTY R. 201810 May '45.
  18. C&R C.231453 April '45.


Appendix C
Officers of Convoy and Routing (to 8 May 1945)


Metcalf, M. K. R. Adm., USN (Ret.) FX-37 1/10/41  
Morgan, H. H. Lt(jg) W-V(S) FX-3705 12/17/42 7/21/44
Smith, G. F. Ens., USNR F-3705 3/31/42 1/18/43
Allen, A. M. R. Captain, USN FX-371 9/1/41 3/25/44
Dyer, R. A. Captain, USN FX-371 4/25/44  
Wickham, W. C. Captain, USN FX-371 3/25/44 5/10/44
Bottom, J. T. Captain, USN FX-3711 12/10/41 1/29/43
Curtis, J. P. Commander, USN FX-3711 12/20/42 4/29/44
Strange, R. O. Commander, USN FX-3712 12/8/41 8/28/43
Visser, R. G. Lt. Comdr., USN FX-3713 12/8/41 1/18/43
Aler, J. S. Lieut., USNR FX-3713 2/6/43
Dilworth, J. R. Lieut., USNR FX-3713 5/31/42 6/19/44
Feiock, H. K. Lieut., USN (Ret.) FX-3712 7/17/43 10/25/43
Frawley, J. D. Lieut., USNR FX-3732 4/27/42  
Martin, O. H. Lieut., USNR FX-3731 11/10/41 5/2/45
Murphy, H. G. Lieut., USNR FX-3712 11/10/41 4/20/44
VonHerbulis, J. W. Lieut., USNR FX-3732, FX-376, FX-3705 6/30/42 10/20/44
Cleave, M. W. Ens., W-V(S)   12/17/42 4/29/44
DeShields, H. B. Ens., USNR   8/5/42 1/18/43
Ertz, R. D. Ens., W-V(S)   6/1/44 7/21/44
O'Shaughnessy, M. E. Ens., USNR   2/6/43 3/15/43
Thompson, M. Ens., USNR   7/13/42 3/7/43
Barnett, E. Lt. Comdr., USNR FX-3714 10/27/42 6/28/44
Mullanney, B. J. Lt. Comdr., USN F-3714 12/8/41 1/1/43
Bohac, E. J. Lieut., USNR   4/10/42 7/21/44
Cherry, E. A. Lieut., USNR   9/21/41 4/18/44
Coffill, W. C. Lieut., USNR   9/22/41 7/10/44
Shoemaker, R. S. Lieut., USNR   4/22/42 7/21/44
Conner, A. B. Lieut., USNR   12/23/42  
Doty, C. L. Lt.(jg), USNR   2/14/43 9/24/43
Dwyer, L. E. Lt.(jg), W-V(S)   3/15/43  
Fitzpatrick, J. P. Lt.(jg), USNR   3/28/42 5/4/42
Fleishman, H. I. Lt.(jg), USNR   8/22/42 6/13/44
King, W. J. Lt.(jg), USNR   8/22/42 1/7/43
Storto, J. C. Lt.(jg), USNR   2/6/43 4/27/43
Tracey, E. B. Lt.(jg), W-V(S)   6/28/44  
Olsen, E. G. Lieut., USNR   4/3/42  


Baldwin, F. Ens., USNR   4/11/42 7/31/42
Britton, H. B. Ens., USNR   6/6/42 12/22/42
Eng, C. B. Ens., W-V(S)   9/2/44  
Godbout, R. F. Ens., USNR   8/5/42 12/22/42
Kobacher, L. W. Ens., W-V(S)   7/31/44 12/12/44
Manuel, N. R. Ens., W-V(S)   4/10/44  
Phelan, R. T. Ens., USNR   4/4/42 12/22/42
Pierce, P. Ens., W-V(S)   11/22/44  
Whitehead, E. W. Commander, USN (Ret.) FX-3711 7/11/43  
Boarman, C. S. Lt. Comdr., USN (Ret.) FX-3715 4/9/43 9/11/43
Norgard, R. N. Lt. Comdr., USN FX-3715 12/8/41 4/27/43
Inzeo, N. M. Lieut., USNR   2/8/42 5/15/44
Kujachich, P. N. Lieut., USNR   11/8/41 6/15/44
McCollum, M. S. Lieut., USNR   4/4/42 5/16/44
Pomeroy, L. A. Lieut., USNR   4/25/42  
Boutwell, L. S. Lt. (jg), W-V(S)   5/4/44 6/14/44
LeRoux, C. F. Lt. (jg), USN (Ret.)   12/20/41 7/2/43
MacGregor, D. C. Lt. (jg), USNR   4/7/41 7/1/44
Madden, J. H. Lt. (jg), USNR   2/8/43 3/13/43
Morse, B. J. Lt. (jg), W-V(S)   11/1/43  
Pflueger, C. E. Lt. (jg), W-V(S)   9/18/43  
Wilson, R. Lt. (jg), W-V(S)   4/7/43 2/6/45
Blount, L. Q. Ens., W-V(S)   2/13/43 4/1/43
Brown, R. S. Ens., USNR   3/30/42 12/22/42
Fogarty, J. W. Ens., USNR   6/2/42 12/31/42
Fordon, J. C. Ens., USNR   12/22/42 3/30/43
Kenneally, C. M. Ens., W-V(S)   12/29/42 2/17/43
Maynard, E. L. Ens., USNR   12/7/42 1/7/43
Plimpton, F. F. Ens., USNR   9/8/42 1/7/43
Rowe, F. E., Jr. Ens., USNR   1/6/42 12/22/42
Smallridge, J. D. Ens., USNR   5/4/42 4/15/43
Stetler, N. Ens., USNR   4/14/42 12/12/42
Youst, T. A. Ens., USNR   5/16/42 4/8/43
Brosey, W. C. Bos'n, USN   11/18/41 1/3/44
Paunack, R. R. Captain, USN (Ret.)   2/10/41 10/29/42
Wickham, W. C. Captain, USN FX-372 12/20/41 5/10/44
Verhoye, H. J. Commander, USN FX-372, FX-371 9/20/43  
Bailey, J. Commander, USN FX-3722 9/18/41 11/15/43
Mitten, R. L. Commander, USN (Ret.)   12/29/42 2/17/43
Rhodes, E. A. Commander, USNR FX-3721 11/10/41  
White, C. B. Commander, USN (Ret.)   3/15/43  
Bowling, J. F. Lt. Comdr., USN   9/7/41 7/13/43
Cash, J. B. Lt. Comdr., USN (Ret.)   5/24/43 5/27/44
Hilding, G. D. Lt. Comdr., USN (Ret.)   7/7/43 4/27/45
Houston, R. C. Lt. Comdr., USN   12/8/41 10/9/43
McKinney, J. D. Lt. Comdr., USN FX-3723 9/7/41 8/4/43
Myers, R. E. Lt. Comdr., USN   9/2/41 4/15/43
Rittenhouse, E. B. Lt. Comdr., USN   12/8/41 9/13/43


CONVOY PLOT (continued)
Biespiel, L. S. Lieut., USNR   2/7/43 6/5/43
Fitzmaurice, D. T. Lieut., USNR   3/30/42  
Kenary, R. N. Lieut., USNR   3/19/42  
Leader, L. E. Lieut., USNR   7/30/43 3/6/44
Lohr, B. N. Lieut., USNR   3/2/44  
Olsen, R. F. Lieut., USNR   12/1/44  
Sydel, M. M. Lieut., USNR   8/22/42 5/3/45
Smart, F. F. Lieut., USNR   9/19/41 1/19/43
Thompson, J. D. Lieut., USNR   4/23/45  
Townsend, G. Lieut., USNR   12/29/42  
Trainer, W. E., Jr. Lieut., USNR   5/16/43  
Tromain, M. E. Lieut., USNR   7/26/43  
Weld, H. K. Lieut., USNR   2/7/43  
Weston, H. A. Lieut., USNR   6/7/42 9/13/43
Park, R. B. Lieut., USNR   8/23/43  
Becker, A. K. Lt. (jg), W-V(S)   6/18/44  
Cauthen, J. B. Lt. (jg), USNR   4/29/42 8/19/43
Cornell, C. Lt. (jg), USNR   2/6/43 6/3/44
David, P. B. Lt. (jg), USNR   3/14/42 6/14/43
Fazzi, G. B. Lt. (jg), USNR   5/23/42 10/14/43
Felix, J. A. Lt. (jg), USNR   2/8/43 3/13/43
Leyden, J. G. Lt. (jg), USN (Ret.)   4/24/42  
Morgan, H. R. Lt. (jg), USNR   3/17/43 4/17/44
Turner, E. H. Lt. (jg), USNR   3/14/42 3/16/43
Austin, J. H. Ens., USNR   10/1/42 10/14/43
Blakistone, J. R. Ens., USNR   8/22/42 3/13/43
Bloom, G. F. Ens., USNR   4/3/42 10/9/42
Brain, D. C. Ens., USNR   2/6/43 3/13/43
Colmen, J. G. Ens., USNR   4/4/42 3/30/43
Gould, P. A. Ens., W-V(S)   6/5/44  
Peabody, J. R. Ens., USNR   8/22/42 2/22/43
Rappelt, G. W. Ens., USN   5/15/44 2/8/45
Ricker, W. S. Ens., USNR   4/29/42 1/9/43
Starkey, J. H. Ens., USNR   8/22/42 2/22/43
Wiley, R. M. Ens., USNR   4/28/42 3/16/43
Ames, C. E. Commander, USNR FX-3722 5/21/42  
Turner, W. C. Lt. (jg), W-V(S)   2/13/43  
Battles, R. L. Lt. (jg), USN FX-37051 2/3/42 5/3/44
Hoseley, F. W. Ens., USN FX-3734 2/15/42  
Hahn, S. H. CSC, USN   6/8/42 3/10/43
Markoff, G. P. Commander, USNR FX-375 4/6/41  
Macksey, T. M. Lieut., USNR   4/10/42 7/1/44
Thompson, R. M. Lieut., USN   10/4/42  
Guthrie, M. M. Lt. (jg), W-V(S)   3/14/43  
Herman, M. C. Lt. (jg), W-V(S)   1/9/45  
Porch, W. T. Lt. (jg), USNR   4/6/42 6/26/44
Sarratt, M. J. Lt. (jg), W-V(S)   3/14/43 9/11/44


Stewart, M. Lt. (jg), W-V(S)   3/14/43  
Walker, S. A. Lt. (jg), W-V(S)   3/14/43 1/20/45
Batchelor, H. E. Ens., W-V(S)   7/31/44  
Burrows, D. L. Ens., USNR   3/21/42 10/?/42
Duncan, C. T. Ens., USNR   10/1/42 4/8/43
Gerson, M. Ens., USNR   4/8/42 3/29/43
Young, H. S. Ens., USNR   4/4/42 4/2/43

Officers Attached to Convoy and Routing for a Short Period of Time When Division Was in Naval Operations.
Exact Dates can be obtained from BUPERS.

Kessing, O. O. Commander, USN (Ret.)
Legwon, G. W. Lt. Comdr., USN
Rague, W. J. Lt. Comdr., USNR
MacDonald, W. W. R. Lieut., USNR
Boisvert, H. V. Ens., USNR
Carlin, J. V. Ens., USNR
Doherty, J. A. Ens., USNR
Doyle, G. A. Ens., USNR
Fortiner, J. S. Ens., USNR
Fuller, T. Ens., USNR
Howard, R. P. Ens., USNR
Levin, E. Ens., USNR
Lowe, G. H. Ens., USNR
Mallery, C. D. Ens., USNR
Morris, J. O. Ens., USNR
Morton, T. E. Ens., USNR
Moss, T. D. Ens., USNR
O'Neil, P. F. Ens., USNR
Paddock, R. B. Ens., USNR
Pellington, W. L. Ens., USNR
Richmond, E. L. Ens., USNR
Russel, R. R. Ens., USNR
Sapp, C. N. Ens., USNR



Estimate of Approximate Personnel, Space and Equipment Required by Convoy and Routing Section Based on Experience of Period 1943-1945

  Officersb Enlisted
Desks Tables Filing
Director 1 1 484 1 1 1
Assistant Director 1 0 484 2 1 1
Merchant Ship Plot 8 6 1452 10 6c 4
Merchant Ship Record 8 8 726 8 1 13f
Convoy Control (or Administration) 1 1 484 2 1 1
Convoy Plot 17 1 1210 9 2d 13e
Convoy Schedule 2 0 484 2 1 0
Staff Assistants 2g 1 484 5 2 2
Administrative Assist. (Secretary) 1 4 484 4 0 6
Communications 6 13 1452 9 4 13
Total 47g 35 7744 52 19 54

(a) 484 square feet to "a room" in Navy Department.
(b) Regulars, Reserves and WAVES combined.
(c) Includes 4 plotting tables.
(d) Plotting Tables.
(e) Includes 2 chart cabinets and 11 file cabinets (5 sections).
(f) Includes 6 filing cabinets and 7 "piano" files.
(g) 3 more needed for initial operations.



Chart: History of Ocean "CHOP" Lines

Chart: History of Ocean Chop Lines.
Chart: History of Ocean Chop Lines.





Excluding Special or Miscellaneous Convoys

Designation Period Coveredc Convoys Shipsb Ships
Escorts Escorts
Casualties (Enemy Action)a
Sunk in
Sunk as

A. North Atlantic

HX 165/219d 15 Dec.-27 Dec. '41 55 1,899g 34g 316h 5.7h 9 5 1
SC 60/113e 16 Dec.-31 Dec. '41 54 2,021g 37g 330h 6.1h 46 6 2
ON 48/153f 19 Dec.-31 Dec. '41 104 3,660g 35g 647h 6.4h 71i 28 14
Total North Atlantic Trade Convoys   213 7,580g 36g 1,293h 6.1h 126i j 39k 17l
AT 10, 12, 14/18, 20, 23m 15 Jan.-6 Oct. 9 84 9.3 100 11.1 0 0 0
TA 10, 12, 17, 18, 20 1 Feb.-15 Sept. 5 26 5.2 47 9.4 0 0 0
CT 9/12, 14/19 8 Jan.-11 July 10 21 2.1 27 2.7 0 0 0
NA 1/6, 9, 11, 13m 10 Jan.-29 July 9 19 2.1 19 2.1 1 0 0
Total North Atlantic   246 7,730 31 1,486 6.0 127 39 17

B. Middle Atlantic

UGS 2, 3n 13 Nov.-30 Dec. 2 83 41 11 5.5 0 0 0
UGF 2/3n 2 Nov.-24 Dec. 2 39 19 25 12.5 0 0 0
GUF 1, 2, 2A 15 Nov.-25 Dec. 3 30 10 25 8.3 0 0 0
Total Middle Atlantic   7 152 22 61 8.7 0 0 0

C. East Coasto

KS 500/533 14 May-28 Aug. 34 719 21 219 6.4 3 0 1
KN (old) 100/136 15 May-8 Sept. 37 773 21 216 5.8 0 0 0
NK 500/515 28 Aug.-31 Dec. 16 318 20p 81 5.1 0 0 0
KN (new) 200/214 8 Sept.-30 Dec. 15 368 25 80 5.3 0 0 0
NG 300/331, Spec. 1 27 Aug.-29 Dec. 33 722 22 160 4.8 0 0 0
GN Spec. 1/29 1 Sept.-26 Dec. 30 733 24 149 5.0 0 0 0
Total Eastern Sea Frontier   165 3,633 22 905 5.5 3 0 1
KG Spec. 1/2, 600/617 1 Sept.-25 Dec. 20 224 11 102 5.1 0 0 0
GK 700/718 1 Sept.-25 Dec. 19 158 8 85 4.5 0 0 0
KH 400/422 (even numbers) 3 Sept.-3 Dec. 12 339 28 56 4.7 0 0 0
HK 100/128 (even numbers) 4 Sept.-25 Dec. 15 481 32 74 4.9 0 0 0
KP 401/429 (odd numbers) 9 Sept.-28 Dec. 15 127 8 67 4.5 0 0 0
PK 101/129 (odd numbers) 8 Sept.-29 Dec. 15 222 15 68 4.5 0 0 0
GM 201, 2/10 29 July-29 Aug. 10 97 10 29 2.9 0 0 0
MG 2, 4/11 30 July-28 Aug. 9 109 12 26 2.9 0 0 0
Total Gulf Sea Frontier   115 1,757 15 507 4.4 0 0 0
WAT 1/17 1 July-5 Sept. 17 445 26 106 6.2 1 2 0
TAW 1/16, Spec. Slow 2 July-30 Aug. 17 438 26 88 5.2 13 0 2
GAT 1/31 31 Aug.-27 Dec. 31 706 23 173 5.6 0 1 0
TAG 1/31 29 Aug.-28 Dec. 31 734 24 164 5.3 12 0 2
TG 1/2 26 Oct.-7 Dec. 2 17 9 7 3.5 0 0 0
OT 1/13, Spec. 2, 5 15 May-5 Aug. 15 87 6 33 2.2 1 0 0
TO 1/10 23 May-28 June 10 58 6 20 2.0 2 0 0
TP 1, Spec. W, E 3/9
Trinidad 2/27
16 July-8 Dec. 35 403 12 159 4.5 2 0 1
BRN 1/4, RT 1 5 Oct.-23 Dec. 5 82 16 21 4.2 0 0 0
Total Caribbean Sea Frontier   163 2,970 18 771 4.7 31 3 5




Excluding Special or Miscellaneous Convoys

Designation Period Coveredc Convoys Shipsb Ships
Escorts Escorts
Casualties (Enemy Action)a
Sunk in
Sunk as

C. East Coast (Continued)o

PG 1/8 11 July-29 Aug. 8 131 16 41 5.1 1 0 1
GP 1/7 15 July-29 Aug. 7 48 7 38 5.4 0 0 0
ZG 1/16 31 Aug.-24 Dec. 16 195 12 88 5.5 0 0 0
GZ 1/17 31 Aug.-29 Dec. 17 250 15 104 6.1 0 0 0
CT 1 2 July-10 July 1 4 4 2 2.0 0 0 0
CW 2, 3 3 July-16 July 2 20 10 8 4.0 0 0 0
ZC 1/5 5 Oct.-4 Dec. 5 39 8 18 3.6 0 0 0
CZ 2/7, CP 1 26 Sept.-28 Dec. 7 43 6 21 3.0 0 0 0
Total Panama Sea Frontier   63 730 12 320 5.1 1 0 1
XB 1/37 18 Mar.-8 Sept. 37 373 10 99 2.7 2 0 0
BX 1/37 20 Mar.-11 Sept. 64 1,041 16 192 3.0 0 1 1
SG 1/16 6 July-29 Dec. 16 70 4 48 3.0 2 0 1
GS 1/16, 9A 7 July-27 Dec. 17 75 4 42 2.5 0 0 1
TH 1/4 17 May-4 July 4 19 5 7 1.7 0 0 0
HT 1/3 22 May-30 June 3 12 4 6 2.0 0 0 0
AH 1/3 27 July-11 Sept. 3 35 12 12 4.0 0 0 0
HA 1/4 5 July-29 Aug. 4 58 15 15 3.7 0 0 0
Total Canadian/U.S. Convoys   148 1,683 11 421 2.8 4 1 3
Total Principal Coastals   654 10,773 16 2,924 4.5 39 4 10

(a) Including escort vessels.
(b) All ships (including casualties) except escorts and except those returning to port.
(c) From date of sailing of first convoy to date of arrival of last convoy of same letter designation.
(d) From Halifax to Liverpool until September, from New York commencing with HX 208 sailing 17 September.
(e) From Sydney (or Halifax) to Liverpool until 19 September, from New York commencing with SC 102 sailing 19 September. Odd numbered convoys usually had ships for Iceland, escorted from ICOMP to Iceland by TG 24.6.
(f) From Liverpool to Halifax, Boston or Cape Cod Canal until September, to New York commencing with ON 125 arriving 12 September. Odd numbered convoys generally fast, even numbers generally slow. (ON 152 arrived in 1943, therefore not included).
(g) Number crossing Atlantic, including those for or from Iceland (excludes ships only in local sections).
(h) Mid-ocean escorts only (Task Group 24.1) - excludes Western Local and Iceland "shuttle" escorts.
(i) Of which five are escort vessels, non U. S. (the only casualties to escorts in HX, SC and ON convoys).
(j) Of which 96 cargo vessels and 25 tankers.
(k) Of which 3 cargo vessels and 6 tankers.
(l) Of which three cargo vessels and 14 tankers.
(m) NA 7, 8, 10, 14/16 from Halifax to U. K. sailed with AT convoys.
(n) "Torch Operation" convoy sailings from Hampton Roads 23 and 24 October for capture of Casablanca not included in this table.
(o) Excluding short route convoys, such as New York/Delaware, Key West/Havana and subsidiary joiners to NK, NG, TAG/GAT convoys.

(p) Of which six joined from Norfolk.


Convoy Designations Used in This Table

AH Curacao to Halifax
AT U. S. to Iceland/UK (Military)
BRN Rio de Janeiro to Trinidad
BX Boston to Halifax
CT Clyde to Halifax
(CT 1: Panama to Trinidad)
CP Curacao to Panama
CW Panama to Key West
CZ Curacao/Aruba to Panama
E Trinidad to dispersal Southeast
GAT Guantanamo to Aruba to Trinidad
GK Guantanamo to Key West
GM Galveston to Mississippi
GN Guantanamo to New York
GP Guantanamo to Panama
GS Greenland to Sydney
GUF Greenland to U. S. (Fast)
GZ Guantanamo to Panama
HA Halifax to Curacao
HK Galveston to Key West
HT Halifax to Trinidad
HX Halifax or N.Y. to Liverpool (Fast)
KG Key West to Guantanamo
KH Key West to Galveston
KN (old) Key West to Norfolk
KN (new) Key West to New York
KP Key West to Pilottown
KS Norfolk to Key West
MG Mississippi to Galveston
NA Halifax to Clyde
NG New York to Guantanamo
NK New York to Key West
ON Liverpool to Boston or N.Y.
(Fast or Slow)
OT Aruba/Curacao to Trinidad
PG Panama to Guantanamo
PK Pilottown to Key West
RT Recife to Trinidad
SC Sydney, Halifax or N.Y. to Liverpool (Slow)
SG Sydney to Greenland
TA U.K./Iceland to U. S. (Military)
TAG Trinidad to Aruba to Guantanamo
TAW Trinidad to Aruba to Key West
TG Trinidad to Guantanamo
TH Trinidad to Halifax
TJ Trinidad to Rio de Janeiro
TO Trinidad to Aruba/Curacao
TP Trinidad to dispersal Southeast
Trinidad Trinidad to dispersal Southeast
UGF U. S. to Gibraltar (Fast)
UGS U. S. to Gibraltar (Slow)
WAT Key West to Aruba to Trinidad
XB Halifax to Boston
ZC Panama to Curacao/Aruba
ZG Panama to Guantanamo





Designation Convoys Average Voyage (Days) Ships# Ships
Escorts Escorts
Casualties (Enemy Action)
Sunk in
Sunk as

A. North Atlantic

HX 220/222 3 16.8c 103a 38 23a 7.7 1 0 0
SC 114/116 3 21.4c 99a 33 20a 6.7 0 1 0
ON 155, 157, 159, 161 4 18.4c 129a 32 28a 7.0 0 0 0
ONS 152, 154, 156, 158 4 23.7c 130a 32 25a 6.3 14d 2d 1
Total 14 -- 461 33 96 6.9 15 3 1

B. Middle Atlantic

UGS -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
GUS 2e 1 18.0 42 42 6 6.0 0 0 0
UGF 4f 1 11.3 18 18 11 11.0 0 0 0
GUF 3f 1 14.1 22 22 12 12.0 0 0 0
TM 1, 2g h 2 15.2 14 7 7 3.5 7g 0 0
Total 5 -- 96 19 36 7.2 7 0 0

C. East Coast

NG 332/339 8 7.0 184* 23 41 5.1 0 0 0
GN 30/37, Special 9 6.8i 242* 27 46 5.1 0 0 0
NK 516/518 3 6.2 20* 7 15 5.0 0 0 0
KN 215/218 4 5.3 54* 14 19 4.7 0 0 0
KG 618/621 4 3.1 44* 11 16 4.0 0 0 0
GK 719/722 4 2.9 22* 6 15 3.8 0 0 0
KH -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
HK 130/138 5 4.4 43* 9 20 4.0 0 0 0
KP 431/437j 4 2.9 21* 5 13 3.2 0 0 0
PK 131/135j 3 3.2 31* 10 8 2.7 0 0 0
GAT 32/39 8 6.3 146* 18 35 4.4 0 0 0
TAG 32/38, Special 8 4.9k 181* 23 34 4.2 0 0 0
ZG 17/20 4 3.8 66* 17 19 4.7 0 0 0
GZ 18/20 3 3.7 42* 14 15 5.0 0 0 0
JT 1 1 18.4 19* 19 4 4.0 0 0 0
TJ 1, TR 1, TB 1 3 -- 35* 12 15 5.0 4 0 0
XB -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
BX -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
SG 17, 18 2 5.4 7 4 5 2.5 0 0 0
GS 17, 18 2 5.1 9 5 5 2.5 0 0 0
Total Regular Coastal 75 -- 1,166 16 325 4.3 4 0 0
Special Convoysb 113 -- 246 2.2 181l 1.6l 0 0 0
Total East Coast 188 -- 1,412 7.5 506 2.7 4 0 0

# All ships (including casualties) except escorts.
* Total of maximum ships at any one time in each convoy.
a Ships and escorts between WESTOMP and Oversay only.
b Not regularly scheduled.
c Between New York and Liverpool.
d Casualties occurred in December '42, but convoys involved arrived January.
e Between Norfolk and Casablanca.
f Between New York and Casablanca.
g TM 1 from Trinidad to Gibraltar 8.5 knots, 16.7 days; 9 tankers of which 7 sunk; 4 escorts (Br.).
h TM 2 12 knots from Curacao; 13.8 days.
i Of which 4 fast, average 6.1 days.
j No more KP/PK after January.
k Including 3 fast, average 4.5 days.
l Estimated.




Designation Convoys Average Voyage (Days) Ships# Ships
Escorts Escorts
Casualties (Enemy Action)
Sunk in
Sunk as

A. North Atlantic

HX 223/226 4 16.3c 188a 47 34a 8.5 2 2 0
SC 117/117 3 19.8c 127a 42 29a 9.7 7 6 0
ON 162, 164 2 18.6c 95a 47 13a 6.5 0 0 0
ONS 160, 163, 165 3 24.9c 119 38a 24a 8.0 0 3 0
Total 12 -- 529 44 100 8.3 9 11 0

B. Middle Atlantic

UGS 4, 5d 2 18.9 89 44 14 7.0 0 3 0
GUS 3d 1 18.5 41 41 6 6.0 0 0 0
UGF 5e 1 11 22 22 10 10.0 0 0 0
GUF 4e 1 12.5 30 30 12 12.0 0 0 0
OT 1g 1 13 4 4 3 3.0 0 0 0
TO -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
Total 6 -- 186 31 45 7.5 0 3 0

C. East Coast

NG 340/344 5 7.1 99* 10 20 4.0 0 0 0
GN 38/42 5 7.8 150* 30 21 4.2 0 0 0
NK 519/524 6 6.1 28* 5 25 4.2 0 0 0
KN 219/223 5 4.9 31* 6 20 4.0 0 0 0
KG 622/624 3 2.9 20* 7 15 5.0 0 0 0
GK 723/725 3 3.4f 32* 11 14 4.7 0 0 0
KH 446 1 3.0 1* 1 5 5.0 0 0 0
HK 140/148 5 4.0 16* 3 21 4.2 0 0 0
GAT 40/45 6 6.0 151* 25 28 4.7 0 0 0
TAG 39/44 6 5.0 180* 30 24 4.0 0 0 0
ZG 21/23 3 3.2 27* 9 15 5.0 0 0 0
GZ 21/22 2 3.1 10* 5 10 5.0 0 0 0
BT 1/4 4 12.5 102* 26 15 3.7 0 0 0
TB 2/4 3 16.1 48* 16 16 5.3 0 0 0
XB -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
BX -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
SG 19, 20 2 5.9 4 2 6 3.0 1 0 0
GS 19, 20 2 5.8 16 8 7 3.5 0 0 0
Total Regular Coastal 61 -- 915 15 262 4.3 1 0 0
Special Convoysb 78 -- 146 1.9 125h 1.6h 0 0 0
Total East Coast 139 -- 1,061 7.6 387 2.8 1 0 0

# All ships (including casualties) except escorts.
* Total of maximum ships at any one time in each convoy.
a Ships and escorts between WESTOMP and Oversay only.
b Not regularly scheduled.
c Between New York and Liverpool.
d Between Norfolk and Casablanca.
e Between New York and Casablanca.
f Including GK 723 routed south of Cuba, 4.2 days.
g Dutch West Indies to Dakar.
h Estimated.




Designation Convoys Average Voyage (Days) Ships# Ships
Escorts Escorts
Casualties (Enemy Action)
Sunk in
Sunk as

A. North Atlantic

HX 227/229, 229A 4 15.9c 206a 51 31a 7.8 16 3 0
SC 120/122 3 19.1c 171a 57 22a 7.3 13 8 1
ON 166, 168, 170, 172, 173 5 18.5c 205a 41 39a 7.8 11 4 2
ONS 167, 169, 171 3 25.0d 105a 35 25a 8.3 2 1 0
Total 15 -- 687 46 117 7.8 42 16 3

B. Middle Atlantic

UGS 5A, 6e 2 16.3 70 35 13 3.5 3 1 0
GUS 4e 1 18.6 43 42 6 6.0 0 0 0
UGF 6f 1 12.7 22 22 11 11.0 0 0 0
GUF 5f 1 12.5 21 21 11 11.0 0 0 0
OT 2g 1 13.0 5 5 3 3.0 0 0 0
TO 1,2h 2 11.0 9 5 6 3.0 0 0 0
CU -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
UC 1i 1 19.0 32 32 9 9.0 2 1 2
Total 9 -- 202 22 59 6.6 5 2 2

C. East Coast

NG 345/351 7 6.9 159* 23 29 4.1 0 0 0
GN 43/49 7 7.2 212* 30 29 4.1 0 0 0
NK 526/530 5 6.4 35* 7 19 3.8 0 0 0
KN 224/230 7 5.2 72* 10 30 4.3 0 0 0
KG 625/628 4 3.2 63* 16 29 7.2 0 0 0
GK 726/728 3 3.3 45* 15 12 4.0 0 0 0
KH 448/460 6 3.7 52* 9 26 4.3 0 0 0
HK 150/162 6 4.6 98* 16 28 4.7 0 0 0
GAT 46/51 6 6.3 113* 19 27 4.5 2 0 0
TAG 45/50 6 5.0 173* 29 28 4.7 0 0 0
ZG 24/26 3 4.0 57* 19 19 6.3 0 0 0
GZ 23/26 4 3.8 59* 15 20 5.0 0 0 0
BT 5/7 3 12.1 87* 29 17 5.7 3 0 3
TB 5/8 4 16.4 71* 17 24 6.0 0 0 0
XB 38/40 3 2.1 61 20 10 3.3 0 0 0
BX 38, 39 2 2.1 33 16 7 3.5 0 0 0
SG 21 1 7.8 4 4 8 8.0 0 0 0
GS 21, 21A 2 5.5 3 2 6 3.0 0 0 0
Total Regular Coastal 79 -- 1,397 18 368 4.7 5 0 3
Special Convoysb 81 -- 168 2.1 130j 1.6j 2 0 0
Total East Coast 160 -- 1,565 9.8 498 3.1 7 0 3

# All ships (including casualties) except escorts.
* Total of maximum ships at any one time in each convoy.
a) Ships and escorts between WESTOMP and Oversay only.
b) Not regularly scheduled.
c) Between New York and Liverpool.
d) Liverpool to New York, excluding ONS 171 to Halifax, 18.9 days.
e) Between Norfolk and Casablanca.
f) Between New York and Casablanca.
h) TI 1 Dakar to Dutch West Indies; TO2 Gibraltar to Dutch West Indies.
i) UK to Dutch West Indies.
j) Estimated.




Designation Convoys Average Voyage (Days) Ships# Ships
Escorts Escorts
Casualties (Enemy Action)
Sunk in
Sunk as

A. North Atlantic

HX 230/234 5 15.8c 243a 49 37a 7.4 5 6 1
SC 123/126 4 17.6d 156a 39 27a 6.8 0 0 0
ON 174/177 4 18.0c 154a 38 33a 8.3 2 0 0
ONS 1/3 3 21.4e 105a 35 26a 8.7 2 1 0
Total 16 -- 658 41 123 7.7 9 7 1

B. Middle Atlantic

UGS 6A, 7f 2 20.4 127 64 30 15.0 0 1 1
GUS 5, 5A, 5B, 6f 4 18.4 125 31 25 6.2 0 0 0
UGF 7g 1 9.9 17 17 9 9.0 0 0 0
GUF 6, 7g 2 10.4 30 15 21 10.5 0 0 0
OT 3i 1 13.1 6 6 3 3.0 0 0 0
TO 3i 1 12.2 5 5 3 3.0 0 0 0
CU 1j 1 13.2 11 11 9 9.0 0 0 0
UC 2j 1 15.5 11 11 6 6.0 0 0 0
Total 13 -- 332 26 106 8.3 0 1 1

C. East Coast

NG 352/357 6 6.0 130* 22 24 4.0 0 0 0
GN 50/54 5 7.4 157* 31 22 4.4 0 0 0
NK 531/536 5 6.5 30* 8 23 3.8 0 0 0
KN 231/236 6 5.2 91* 15 31 5.2 0 0 0
KG 629/631 3 3.2 73* 24 17 5.6 0 0 0
GK 729/731 3 3.0 43* 14 16 5.3 0 0 0
KH 462/472 5 3.4h 52* 10 17 3.4 0 0 0
HK 164/174 6 4.3 47* 8 21 3.5 0 0 0
GAT 52/58 7 6.1 134* 19 27 3.9 0 0 0
TAG 51/56 6 5.0 110* 18 30 5.0 0 0 0
ZG 27/29 3 4.1 73* 24 15 5.0 0 0 0
GZ 27/29 3 3.7 50* 17 16 5.3 0 0 0
BT 8/10 3 11.3 65* 22 16 5.3 0 0 0
TB 9/11 3 16.6 32* 11 17 5.6 0 0 0
XB 41/48, 44A, 47A 10 2.0 99 10 32 3.2 0 0 0
BX 40/47 8 2.2 135 17 32 4.0 0 0 0
SG 22, 23 2 6.4 3 2 7 3.5 0 0 0
GS 22 1 4.7 4 4 4 4.0 0 0 0
Total Regular Coastal 85 -- 1,328 16 367 4.3 0 0 0
Special Convoysb 220 -- 525 2.4 352k 1.6k 1 0 0
Total East Coast 305 -- 1,853 6.1 719 2.3 1 0 0

# All ships (including casualties) except escorts.
* Total of maximum ships at any one time in each convoy.
a) Ships and escorts between WESTOMP and Oversay only.
b) Not regularly scheduled.
c) Between New York and Liverpool.
d) SC 123, 124 New York to Liverpool, average 20.2 days; SC 125, 126 Halifax to Liverpool, average 14.9 days
e) Liverpool to Halifax. f) Between Norfolk and Casablanca.
g) Between New York and Casablanca.
h) Including KH 472, 12 knots, 1.7 days.
i) Between Dutch West Indies and Gibraltar.
j) Between Dutch West Indies and Liverpool.
k) Estimated.




Designation Convoys Average Voyage (Days)* Ships Ships
Escorts Escorts
Casualties (Enemy Action)
Sunk in
Sunk as

A. North Atlantica

HX 235/239 5 -- 221 44 33 6.6 0 3 0
SC 127/131 5 -- 185 37 44 8.8 2 0 0
ON 178/184 7 -- 348 50 56 8.0 1 0 0
ONS 4/7 4 -- 168 42 29 7.2 13b 0 0
Total 21 -- 922 44 162 7.7 16 3 0

B. Middle Atlantic

UGF 8, 8A 2 -- 38 19 23 11.5 0 0 0
UGS 7A, 8 2 -- 137 68 42 21.0 0 0 0
GUF 8 1 -- 15 15 10 10.0 0 0 0
GUS 6A, 7 2 -- 68 34 15 7.5 0 0 0
OT 4/5 2 -- 15 7 6 3.0 0 0 0
TO 4 1 -- 6 6 6 6.0 0 0 0
CU -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
UC -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
Total 10 -- 279 28 102 10.2 0 0 0

C. East Coast

NG 358/363 6 -- 119 20 27 4.5 0 0 0
GN 55/61 7 -- 179 26 31 4.4 0 0 0
NK 537/542 6 -- 85 14 25 4.2 0 0 0
KN 237/242 6 -- 76 13 26 4.3 0 0 0
KG 632/635 4 -- 76 19 21 5.2 0 0 0
GK 732/735 4 -- 37 9 18 4.5 0 0 0
KH 476/484 2 -- 5 2 8 4.0 0 0 0
HK 176/186 6 -- 123 20 24 4.0 0 0 0
GAT 59/64 6 -- 132 22 24 4.0 0 0 0
TAG 57/62 6 -- 133 22 26 4.3 0 0 0
ZG 30/32 3 -- 38 13 16 5.3 0 0 0
GZ 30/32 3 -- 29 10 15 5.0 0 0 0
BT 11/13 3 -- 53 18 15 5.0 0 0 0
TB 12/14 3 -- 32 11 14 4.6 0 0 0
XB 49/55A 10 -- 113 11 26 2.6 0 0 0
BX 48/54 7 -- 137 19 26 3.7 0 0 0
SG 24 1 -- 2 2 3 3.0 0 0 0
GS 23 1 -- 5 5 2 2.0 0 0 0
OTc -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
TO 4c 1 -- 6 6 3 3.0 0 0 0
UC 2 (CAN 2)c 1 -- 8 8 6 6.0 0 0 0
CU 2 1 -- 12 12 6 6.0 0 0 0
Total Regular Coastal 87 -- 1,400 16 362 4.2 0 1 3
Special Convoysd 229 -- 609 2.6 393 1.7 2 0 0
Total East Coast 316 -- 2,009 6.3 755 2.4 2 1 3

a) Ships and escorts between WESTOMP and Oversay only.
b) Of which 12 in ONS 5.
c) Between D. W. I. and New York only.
d) Not regularly scheduled.




Designation Convoys Average Voyage (Days) Ships Ships
Escorts Escorts
Casualties (Enemy Action)
Sunk in
Sunk as

A. North Atlantica

HX 240/244 5 15.3d 311 62 46 9.2 0 0 0
SC 132/133 2 15.2e 97 48 15 7.5 0 0 0
ON 186/188h 3 15.2d 182 61 32 10.7 0 0 0
ONS 8/10 3 16.2e 137 46 24 8.0 0 0 0
Total 13 -- 727 56 117 9.0 0 0 0

B. Middle Atlantic

UGF 9, 9A 2 12.2f 36 18 35 17.5 0 0 0
GUS 8A, 9 2 17.9f 155 77 18 9.0 0 0 0
GUF -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
GUS 7A, 8 2 17.3f 106 53 18 9.0 0 0 0
OT 6 1 11.4i 8 8 3 3 0 0 0
TO 5 1 11.3i 7 7 3 3 0 0 0
CU 2 1 14.2j 15 15 6 6 0 0 0
UC 3 1 14.8j 15 15 6 6 0 0 0
Total 10 -- 342 34 89 8.9 0 0 0

C. East Coast

NG 364/369 6 6.8g 117 19 30 5 0 0 0
GN 62/66 5 7.1g 134 27 23 4.6 0 0 0
NK 543/548 6 6.1 67 11 24 4 0 0 0
KN 243/248 6 5.1 79 13 22 3.7 0 0 0
KG 636/641 6 3.1 62 10 33 5.5 0 0 0
GK 736/741 6 2.9 64 11 29 4.8 0 0 0
KH 486/494 4 4.0 43 11 15 3.7 0 0 0
HK 188/198 6 4.1 85 14 24 4 0 0 0
GAT 65/70 6 6.2 130 22 28 4.7 0 0 0
TAG 63/68 6 5.1 151 25 27 4.5 0 0 0
ZG 33/35 3 3.9 40 13 18 6 0 0 0
GZ 33/35 3 3.9 41 14 18 6 0 0 0
BT 14/16 3 12.0 49 16 14 4.7 0 0 0
TB 15/17 3 15.8 44 15 15 5 0 0 0
XB 56/60 7 2.2 101 17 17 2.8 0 0 0
BX 55/59 5 2.1 152 30 19 3.8 0 1 0
SG 25/27 3 6.0 8 3 14 4.7 0 0 0
GS 24 1 5.6 3 3 5 5 0 0 0
OT 6b 1 4.6 4 4 3 3 0 0 0
TO 5b 1 6.0 8 8 4 4 0 0 0
UCb -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
CUb -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
Total Regular Coastal 87 -- 1,382 16 382 4.4 0 1 0
Special Convoysc 295 -- 794 2.7 471 1.6 0 0 0
Total East Coast 382 -- 2,176 5.7 853 2.2 0 1 0

a) Ships and escorts included between WESTOMP and Oversay only.
b) Between Dutch West Indies and New York only.
c) Not regularly scheduled.
d) Between New York and Liverpool.
e) Between Halifax and Liverpool.
f) Between Norfolk and Gibraltar.
g) Inshore route.
h) ON 185 and 186 sailed together under designation ON 186.
i) Between Dutch West Indies and Gibraltar.
j) Between Dutch West Indies and Liverpool.




Designation Convoys Average Voyage (Days) Ships Ships
Escorts Escorts
Casualties (Enemy Action)
Sunk in
Sunk as

A. North Atlantic

HX 245/248 4 13.7c 314a 78 32a 8.0 0 0 0
SC 134/136 3 14.6d 196a 65 27a 9.0 0 0 0
ON 189/193 5 14.4c 378a 76 47a 9.4 0 0 0
ONS 11/13 3 15.3d 166a 55 24a 8.0 0 0 0
Total North Atlantic, July 15 -- 1,054 70 130 8.7 0 0 0
Total North Atlantic, June 13 -- 727 56 117 9.0 0 0 0

B. Middle Atlantic

UGF -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
UGS 10/12 3 19.1e 207 69 31 10.3 1 0 0
GUF -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
GUS 8A/9 2 18.5e 83 41 18 9.0 0 0 0
OT 7 1 14.3f 7 7 3 3.0 0 0 0
TO 6 1 11.4f 7 7 3 3.0 0 0 0
CU 3 1 12.7g 23 23 6 6.0 0 0 0
UC -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
Total Middle Atlantic, July 8 -- 327 41 61 7.6 1 0 0
Total Middle Atlantic, June 10 -- 342 34 89 8.9 0 0 0

C. East Coast

NG 370/375 6 6.8 105 17 30 5.0 0 0 0
GN 67/73 7 7.3 182 26 35 5.0 0 0 0
NK 549/554 6 6.2 38 6 24 4.0 0 0 0
KN 249/254 6 5.1 88 14 28 4.7 0 0 0
KG 642/647 6 3.1 60 10 37 6.1 0 0 0
GK 742/747 6 3.2 63 11 28 4.6 0 0 0
KH 496/409 6 3.9 46 8 27 4.5 0 0 0
HK 101/111 6 4.1 116 19 28 4.6 0 0 0
GAT 71/76 6 6.3 116 19 31 5.1 0 0 0
TAG 69/74 6 5.1 132 22 27 4.5 0 0 0
ZG 36/38 3 3.7 23 8 20 6.7 1 0 0
GZ 36/38 3 3.1 11 4 16 5.3 0 0 0
BT 17/18, JT 1 3 15.6i j 65 22 15 5.0 3 0 1
TB 18, TJ 1 2 20.4i 32 16 12 6.0 2 0 0
XB 61/66 6 2.1 126 21 22 3.7 0 0 0
BX 60/65 6 2.2 153 25 23 3.8 0 0 1
SG 28 1 4.7 16 16 7 7.0 0 0 0
GS 25/26 2 5.3 6 3 11 5.5 0 0 0
OT 7h 1 5.8 8 8 3 3.0 0 0 0
TO 6h 1 5.9 7 7 3 3.0 0 0 0
UCh -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
CUh -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
Total Regular Coastal, July 89 -- 1,393 16 427 4.8 6 0 2
Total Regular Coastal, June 87 -- 1,382 16 382 4.4 0 1 0
Special Convoysb, July 208 -- 515 2.4 338 1.6 2 0 0
Special Convoysb, June 295 -- 794 2.7 471 1.6 0 0 0
Total East Coast, July 297 -- 1,908 6.4 765 2.6 8 1 2
Total East Coast, June 382 -- 2,176 5.7 853 2.2 0 1 0

a) Ships and escorts between WESTOMP and Oversay only.
b) Not regularly scheduled.
c) Between New York and Liverpool.
d) Between Halifax and Liverpool.
e) Between Norfolk and Gibraltar.
g) Between Dutch West Indies and Liverpool.
h) Between Dutch West Indies and New York.
i) Between Trinidad and Rio de Janeiro
j) BT 17 and 18 sailed from Bahia, averaging 11.8 days to Trinidad. Additional time from Rio to Bahia estimated at 4.0 days, and included in average.




Designation Convoys Average Voyage (Days) Ships Ships
Escorts Escorts
Casualties (Enemy Action)
Sunk in
Sunk as

A. North Atlantic

HX 249/252 4 14.1c 289a 71 41a 10.2 0 0 0
SC 137/139 3 14.7d 149a 50 27a 9.0 0 0 0
ON 194/197 4 13.8c 266a 67 40a 10.0 0 0 0
ONS 14/15 2 14.0d 97a 48 17a 8.5 0 0 0
Total North Atlantic, August 13 -- 801 61 125 9.6 0 0 0
Total North Atlantic, July 13 -- 1,054 70 130 8.7 0 0 0

B. Middle Atlantic

UGF -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
UGS 13/14 2 16.3e 140 74 20 10 0 0 0
GUF 9 1 11.5e 18 18 11 11 0 0 0
GUS 10, 10X, 11 3 17.7e 127 42 24 8 0 0 0
OT -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
TO 7 1 11.0f 3 3 3 3 0 0 0
CU -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
UC 3A 1 11.8g 22 22 6 6 0 0 0
Total Middle Atlantic, August 8 -- 319 40 64 8 0 0 0
Total Middle Atlantic, July 8 -- 327 41 61 7.6 1 0 0

C. East Coast

NG 376/381 6 7.1 117 19 30 5.0 0 0 0
GN 74/79 6 6.8 127 21 33 5.5 0 0 0
NK 555/561 7 6.2 52 7 30 4.3 0 0 0
KN 255/260 6 5.1 88 15 21 3.5 0 0 0
KG 648/654 7 3.0 93 13 39 5.6 0 0 0
GK 748/754 7 3.1 68 9 33 4.7 0 0 0
KH 411/417, 421 5 3.9 40 8 19 3.8 0 0 0
HK 113/123 6 4.1 114 19 24 4.0 0 0 0
GAT 77/82 6 5.9 135 23 33 5.5 0 0 0
TAG 75/80 6 5.2 134 22 31 5.1 0 0 0
ZG 39/41 3 3.9 23 8 18 6.0 0 0 0
GZ 39/41 3 3.8 34 11 20 6.6 0 0 0
JT 2/4 3 15.8 54 18 16 5.3 0 0 0
TJ 2/4 3 20.4 37 12 17 5.7 0 1i 0
XB 67A, 67/71 6 2.2 82 14 18 3.0 0 0 0
BX 67A, 66/70 6 2.0 126 21 23 3.8 0 0 0
SG 29 1 8.8 13 13 9 9.0 0 0 0
GS 27 1 4.9 9 9 4 4.0 0 0 0
OT 8h 1 5.9 6 6 3 3.0 0 0 0
TO 7h 1 5.3 3 3 3 3.0 0 0 0
UCh -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
CUh -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
Total Regular Coastal, August 90 -- 1,350 15 424 4.7 0 1 0
Total Regular Coastal, July 89 -- 1,398 16 427 4.8 6 0 2
Special Convoysb, August 177 -- 326 1.8 231 1.3 0 0 0
Special Convoysb, July 208 -- 515 2.4 338 1.6 2 0 0
Total East Coast, August 267 -- 1,676 6.3 658 2.5 0 1 0
Total East Coast, July 297 -- 1,908 6.4 765 2.6 8 1 2

a) Ships and escorts between WESTOMP and Oversay only.
b) Not regularly scheduled.
c) Between New York and Liverpool.
d) Between Halifax and Liverpool.
e) Between Norfolk and Gibraltar.
f) Between Dutch West Indies and Gibraltar.
g) Between Dutch West Indies and Liverpool.
h) Between Dutch West Indies and New York.
i) Brazilian cargo ship "Bage" ordered detached from TJ 2 by Brazilian escort for excessive smoking, 1 August.




Designation Convoys Average Voyage (Days) Ships Ships
Escorts Escorts
Casualties (Enemy Action)
Sunk in
Sunk as

A. North Atlantic

HX 253/257 5 14.3c 330a 66 44a 8.8 0 0 0
SC 140/142 3 14.2d 197a 66 25a 8.3 0 0 0
ON 198/202l 5 14.9c 281