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Convoy and Operation Details 1943-44.

Destroyer HMS Mahratta G23. Crew List of HMS Mahratta Photo's of the Crew: No 1-29. Photo's of the Crew: No 30-69 Photo's of the Crew: 70 and up HMS Mahratta Group Photo's No1-40. HMS Mahratta Group Photo's No 41+ Photo's of HMS Mahratta Old Newspaper Clippings Short story's about HMS Mahratta HMS Mahratta;- Service Summary 1943-44. HMS Mahratta Report and the Report on the Mahratta Swords. HMS Marksman and HMS Maratta Crest's Convoy and Operation Details 1943-44. The Russian Convoy Club; The Arctic Lookout. Jack Humble and Me at the Cove, Loch Ewe War Memorial Panels Looking for Contact with the following Family's About me and In Memory of my wife

Operation FJ departed Scapa Flow on 2nd June 1943, arrived back on same day.

Left with HMS Onslaught and HMS Musketeer.

Operation FH departed for Kola Inlet on the 8th June 1943.

Operation Camera departed Scapa flow on 7th July 1943.

Was a war game off the coast of Iceland, to test the defences against an attempt by Tirpitz and the German Fleet to force a passage through the Demark Straits, as did the Bismarck and Prinz Eugen had in 1941.

The Battle fleet were; Duke of York, South Dakota, Furious, Glasgow, Ellyson, Rodman, Emmons, Macomb, Fitch, HMS Milne G14, HMS Musketter G86,
HMS Mahratta G23 and HMS Meteor G73.

Operation Governor departed Hvalfjord on 26th July 1943.

Was to lure Tirpitz and other German heavies out to battle, by simulating a weak raid on the Southern Norway Coast, with the Battle Fleet just over the horizon.

Force A; HMS Anson 79, Alabama, Illustrious, Rodman, Macomb, Emmons, Fitch, HMS Milne G14, HMS Musketter G86, HMS Meteor G73 and
HMS Mahratta G23.

Operation SF departed Scapa Flow on the 30th July, with Group B.

HMS Milne, HMS Musketeer, HMS Mahratta sailed to join HMS Oribi and HMS Orwell, escorting Oiler Blue Ranger.

Operation Lorry or Lozry departed Skaalefjord on 26th August 1943.

Took part in August 1943, the destroyer sailed with the 10th Cruiser Squadron, covering the passage of destroyers with personnel and stores to Kola.

Operation FR

Between 20th and 28th October 1943, Operation FR took place, this was the passage of escorts to North Russia, to bring back the merchant ships, that remained there after the suspension of convoys in the spring. The Destroyers
MAHRATTA, MATCHLESS, MILNE, MUSKETEER, SAUMAREZ, SAVAGE, SCOURGE, SCORPION and WESTCOTT, corvette EGLANTINE and the minesweeper HARRIER and SEAGULL were despatched, covered by the cruiser LONDON and USS AUGUSTA, with the destroyer MIDDLETON. Five small minesweepers and six motor launches received by Russia under Lease/Lend and manned by Russians, accompanied the escorts on their delivery passage to the Northern Fleet.

CONVOY RA-54A.

This would be the 1st convoy of the 1943 winter season, sailing from Kola Inlet on the 1st November, with the ships that have summered in Archangel or been employed in trade or supporting the Russian activities in the Northern Seas. The eastern local escorts on the 1st to the 3rd November were the minesweepers HARRIER and SEAGULL from Operation FR, and the Russian destroyer GROMKI and KUIBYSHEV. The ocean escorts were the minesweeper JASON,
MAHRATTA, MATCHLESS, MILNE, MUSKETEER, SAVAGE, SAUMAREZ, SCORPION, SCOURGE, and WESTCOTT. HMS Westcott was present from the 1st to the 13th November, the other ships joined 3rd until the 10th November, except HMS Musketeer and HMS Matchless, who left on the 8th November, HMS Savage left on the 9th November.

The minesweeper HALCYON and destroyers BRISSENDEN and MIDDLETON joined the convoy as local escort on the 10th until 13th November, cruiser cover was provided by BELFAST, KENT and NORFOLK, between the 2nd and 8th November. Distant cover for the same time was provided by the home fleet, Battleship ANSON, aircraft carrier FORMIDABLE, cruiser JAMAICA, destroyers ONSLOW, VENUS and American CAPPS and HOBSON, Canadian HAIDA and Norwegian STROD.

Thick fog delayed the convoy, but also hid it from the enemy, it arrived in Loch Ewe on the 14th November without being attacked.

CONVOY JW-54A.

Local escort from 22nd to the 25th November, were destroyers MIDDLETON, SALADIN and SKATE, plus the minesweeper SPEEDWELL. The ocean escort, which also sailed on the 22nd November, were the destroyer BEAGLE, corvettes DIANELLA (joined on the 23rd), POPPY and RHODODENDRON, and the minesweeper HALCYON. These ships were also joined on the 23rd by the destroyers HARDY, SAUMAREZ, SAVAGE, SCORPION, SCOURGE, VENUS and VIGILANT and the Norwegian STROD.

HALCYON left the convoy on the 2nd December and proceeded to Archangel, BEAGLE and the corvette’s remained until the convoy arrived at Archangel on the 3rd December. The remaining destroyers, having seen the convoy pass through the approaches to Archangel, then returned to Scapa Flow as an independent passage.

From 27th November to Archangel, BERMUDA, JAMAICA and KENT provided cruiser cover, and from the 28th November to 2nd December the Battleship ANSON, cruiser BELFAST, screened by the destroyers ASHANTI, MATCHLESS, MUSKETEER and OBDURATE provided distant cover. (MATCHLESS provided cover for 28th and 29th November).

The convoy was never detected or attacked on this paggage.

Not sure what part MAHRATTA took in this convoy, but she has this convoy number on her service summary of 1943-44.

CONVOY RA-54B

Minesweeper HUSSAR and SEAGULL formed the local escorts on the 26th to 28th November, other escorts for this passage were the destroyers INCONSTANT and WHITHALL, the minesweeper HARRIER and corvette HEATHER, all joined from the 27th November to the 9th December. On the 28th November the destroyers IMPULSIVE, ONSLAUGHT, ONSLOW, ORWELL and the Canadian HAIDA, HURON and IROQUOIS joined until the 5th December. (IROQUOIS left earlier on the 4th December). Local escorts in the west consisted of the destroyers BRISSENDEN, MIDDLETON,SALADIN, and SKATE from the 5th to the 9th December.

Cruiser cover between 27th November to the 3rd December was done by BERMUDA, JAMAICA and KENT, while the home fleet distant cover was with the Battleship ANSON, and cruiser BELFAST, they were screened by the destroyers ASHANTI, MATCHLESS, MUSKETEER and ORIBI.

MATCHLESS left on the 29th November with weather damage, the other destroyers were absent from the 29th November to the 1st December, also due to the bad weather.

KENT had embarked with 54 tons of gold and silver bullion, for payment for the war supplies to Russia.

The convoy arrived at Loch Ewe on the 9th December undetected by the enemy, after a passage in very bad weather conditions.

Not sure what part MAHRATTA took in this convoy, but she has this convoy number on her service summary of 1943-44.

Convoy JW-56B.

This convoy left Loch Ewe on the 22nd January 1944, the local escorts from the 22nd were te destroyer WERSTLER, corvette HONEYSUCKLE, and minesweeper HYDRA and ONYX until the 26th January, corvette RHODODENDRON until the 25th January, destroyers WHITEHALL and WESTCOTT, sloop CYGNET, corvette OXLIP and the minesweeper SEAGULL until 1st February.

On the 26th of January the destroyers
MAHRATTA, MILNE, MUSKETEER, OPPORTUNE, SCOURGE and the Canadian HURON joined the convoy. METEOR arrived on the 28th January.

The destroyer from convoy JW-56A also sailed from Kola Inlet, HARDY, INCONSTANT, OFFA, SAVAGE, VENUS, VIGILANT, VIRAGO and the Norwegian STROD, and joined up with convoy JW-54B on the 29th January, only to remain there until the 1st February.

Cruiser cover was provided by BERMUDA, BERWICK and KENT.

On a series of attracts on this and the proceeding convoy, there were reports that 7 destroyers and 4 merchant ships had been sunk, and 4 destroyers and 6 merchant ships were damaged. Only 1 destroyers was damaged in the previous convoy and 3 merchant ships sunk, but in the convoy the destroyer HARDY was hit by a torpedo and had to be sunk by VENUS.

The convoy arrived at Kola Inlet on the 1st February.

Convoy RA-56.

This convoy sailed on the 3rd February 1944, with the minesweepers GLEANER and SEAGULL providing local cover from the 3rd to the 5th February, close escort cover from the 3rd to the 11th was provided br the destroyers WESTCOTT and WITEHALL, sloop CYGNET, corvettes DIANELLA, OXLIP, POPPY, and RHODODENDRON, minesweepers were HALCYON, HUSSAR and SPEEDWELL, these three minesweeper stayed until the 10th February.

Destroyers OFFA, OPPORTUNE, SAVAGE, VENUS and VIGILANT stayed until the 7th February, INCONSTANT,
MAHRATTA, METEOR, MILNE MUSKETEER and SCROUGE, the Canadian HURON and Norwegian STROD, stayed until the 9th February, with OBEDIENT SWIFT and VERULAM from the 6th to the 9th February.

The western escorts was the destroyer WRESTLER, corvettes BORAGE, HONEYSUCKLE and WALLFLOWER, minesweeper COCKATRICE, LOYALTY, RATTLESNAKE and the American READY.

From the 5th to the 7th February, BERMUDA, BERWICK and KENT provided cruiser cover.

The convoy arrived at Loch Ewe on the 11th February.

Convoy JW-57.

Local escorts which sailed on the 22nd February, were the minesweeper HYDRA, LOYALTY, ORESTES and RATTLESNAKE, and the corvettes BURDOCK and DIANELLA. Close by the escorts from the 20th to the 28th February were the destroyers BEAGLE, BOADICEA, KEPPEL and WALKER, and the corvettes were BLUEBELL, CAMELLIA, LOTUS and RHODODENDRON. On the 22nd February the Flag ship, cruiser BLACK PRINCE joined with the destroyers
MAHRATTA, MATCHLESS, METEOR, MILNE, OBEDIENT, OFFA, ONSLAUGHT, ORIBI, SAVAGE, SERAPIS, SWIFT, VERULAM and VIGILANT. All these ships stayed until the 28th February, except MAHRATTA, because on the 25th February she was tit with a torpedo from U-990, the destroyer sunk with the loss of 220 crew, only 16 survivors were pick up.

Also on the 22nd February the destroyers WANDERER and WATCHMAN, and frigates BYRON and STRULE, escorted the carrier CHASER to join the convoy, they stayed until the 26th February. Cruiser cover was provided by BERWICK and JAMAICA on the 26th and 27th February.

The convoy arrived at Kola Inlet on the 28th February.