Convoy PQ 14

Convoy PQ 14 was an Arctic convoy sent from Great Britain by the Western Allies to aid the Soviet Union during World War II. It sailed in April 1942, reaching Murmansk after air and U-boat attacks that sank one ship, and ice damage that saw 16 vessels returned to port. Seven ships arrived safely.

Ships

PQ 14 consisted of 24 ships, led by Commodore E Rees in Empire Howard. The Close escort comprised two minesweepers, and four trawlers, joined later by an Ocean escort comprising the cruiser Edinburgh, R. Adm. SS Bonham–Carter commanding, plus four destroyers and four corvettes.

Action

PQ 14 sailed from Iceland on 8 April 1942 with its close escort. On 9 April, SSW of Jan Mayen Island, the convoy was joined by Edinburgh and the Ocean Escort Group. On the night of 10/11 April, south-west of Jan Mayen, the convoy encountered heavy ice. The convoy was thrown into disarray and many ships were damaged. Eventually 16 ships and 2 of the escorts were forced to turn back through damage or being unable to rejoin the convoy. The remaining eight ships, with Edinburgh and the 12 escorts, pressed on to Murmansk.

Over the next few days PQ 14 had no interference from German forces, though its reciprocal, Convoy QP 10, was under persistent attack during this period. On 15 April, east of Bear Island, the convoy was sighted by German aircraft, and a number of air and U-boat attacks were made over the next three days. On 16 April Empire Howard was hit by a torpedo from U-403. She sank with the loss of most of her crew, including Commodore Rees. On the same day U-376 fired on Edinburgh, but scored no hits.

On 17 April the convoy was joined by three Soviet destroyers, and on 18 April by four RN minesweepers stationed at Kola. Also on 18 a strong NW gale developed, putting an end to further air attacks. A force of German destroyers stationed at Kirkenes attempted to sortie to make an attack, but was also forced back by the weather.

On 19 April the seven remaining ships entered Kola Inlet, and arrived at Murmansk.

Aftermath

Despite the safe arrival of the ships of PQ 14, the return of so many ships with ice damage created a shortfall in Lend-lease deliveries to the Soviets, and ensured that the Allies would have to run larger convoys during the hazardous summer months to catch up.

Ships in the convoy

The following information is from the Arnold Hague Convoy Database.[1]

Merchant ships

Name Flag Tonnage (GRT) Notes
RFA Aldersdale (X34) (1937)  United Kingdom 8,402
Andre Marti (1918)  Soviet Union 2,352 Returned Iceland thence UK
Arcos (1918)  Soviet Union 2,343 Returned
Atheltemplar (1930)  United Kingdom 8,992 .
Botavon (1912)  United Kingdom 5,848 Detached & returned with ice damage
Briarwood (1930)  United Kingdom 4,019 At Reykjavik 21 Mar To 8 Apr

Vice-Commodore’s Ship

British Corporal (1922)  United Kingdom 6,972 Returned with ice damage
City Of Joliet (1920)  United States 6,167 Returned
Dan-Y-Bryn (1940)  United Kingdom 5,117 At Reykjavik 31 Mar To 8 Apr
Empire Bard (1942)  United Kingdom 3,114
Empire Howard (1941)  United Kingdom 6,985 At Reykjavik 31 Mar To 8 Apr, Sunk by U-403

Capt E Rees DSC Rd RNR (Commodore)

Exterminator (1924)  Panama 6,115 At Reykjavik 31 Mar, Sailed 8 Apr
Detached 12 Apr
Francis Scott Key (1941)  United States 7,191 At Reykjavik 31 Mar To 8 Apr
Sailed then returned
Hegira (1919)  United States 7,588 At Reykjavik 31 Mar To 8 Apr
Returned Akureyri
Hopemount (1929)  United Kingdom 7,434 At Reykjavik 31 Mar To 8 Apr
Ironclad (1919)  United States 5,685 Arrived Reykjavik 31 Mar, Sailed 8 Apr
Detached to convoy QP10
Minotaur (1918)  United States 4,554 Returned
Mormacrio (1919)  United States 5,940 Returned
Pieter De Hoogh (1941)  Netherlands 7,168 Returned
Seattle Spirit (1919)  United States 5,627 Returned
Sukhona (1918)  Soviet Union 3,124 Returned
Trehata (1928)  United Kingdom 4,817 Passage Loch Ewe to Iceland In UR 17
West Cheswald (1919)  United States 5,711 At Reykjavik 31 Mar To 8 Apr
West Gotomska (1918)  United States 5,728 Ice Damage, Detached to QP10
Yaka (1920)  United States 5,432 Bombed, Beached At Murmansk 15 May 1942

Escort

Name Flag Ship Type Notes
HMS Amazon (D39)  Royal Navy Destroyer 12 Apr - 19 Apr
HMS Beagle (H30)  Royal Navy Destroyer 12 Apr - 19 Apr
HMS Bedouin (F67)  Royal Navy Destroyer 12 Apr - 18 Apr
HMS Belvoir  Royal Navy Escort destroyer 12 Apr - 13 Apr
HMS Beverley  Royal Navy Destroyer 12 Apr - 19 Apr
HMS Bulldog (H91)  Royal Navy Destroyer 12 Apr - 19 Apr
HMS Campanula  Royal Navy Corvette 12 Apr - 19 Apr
HMS Chiltern  Royal Navy ? 8 Apr - 12 Apr
HMS Duke of York (17)  Royal Navy Battleship 12 Apr - 18 Apr
HMS Duncton (T220)  Royal Navy ASW trawler 12 Apr - 13 Apr
HMS Escapade (H17)  Royal Navy Destroyer 12 Apr - 18 Apr
HMS Eskimo (F75)  Royal Navy Destroyer 12 Apr - 18 Apr
HMS Faulknor (H62)  Royal Navy Destroyer 12 Apr - 18 Apr
HMS Foresight (H68)  Royal Navy Destroyer 12 Apr - 19 Apr
HMS Forester (H74)  Royal Navy Destroyer 12 Apr - 19 Apr
HMS Gossamer  Royal Navy Minesweeper 18 Apr - 19 Apr
HMS Harrier  Royal Navy Minesweeper 18 Apr - 19 Apr
HMS Hebe (J24)  Royal Navy Minesweeper 8 Apr - 13 Apr
HMS Hussar (J82)  Royal Navy Minesweeper 18 Apr - 19 Apr
HMS Kent (54)  Royal Navy 12 Apr - 20 Apr
HMS King George V (41)  Royal Navy Battleship 12 Apr - 18 Apr
HMS Ledbury (L90)  Royal Navy Escort destroyer 12 Apr - 18 Apr
HMS Lord Austin (FY220)  Royal Navy ASW trawler 8 Apr - 19 Apr
HMS Lord Middleton (FY219)  Royal Navy ASW trawler 8 Apr - 19 Apr
HMS Matchless (G52)  Royal Navy Destroyer Escort 12 Apr - 18 Apr
HMS Middleton (L74)  Royal Navy Escort destroyer 12 Apr - 18 Apr
HMS Niger (J73)  Royal Navy Minesweeper 18 Apr - 19 Apr
HMS Nigeria (60)  Royal Navy Light cruiser 12 Apr - 18 Apr
HMS Norfolk (78)  Royal Navy Heavy cruiser 10 Apr - 17 Apr
HMS Northern Wave (FY153)  Royal Navy ASW trawler 8 Apr - 12 Apr
T/Lt. William Godfrey Pardoe-Matthews, RNR picks up 28 survivors from Empire Howard torpedoed and sunk by U-403 north-west of North Cape in position 73°48′N 21°50′E
HMS Offa (G29)  Royal Navy Destroyer 12 Apr - 18 Apr
HMS Onslow (G17)  Royal Navy Destroyer 12 Apr - 18 Apr
HMS Oxlip  Royal Navy Corvette 12 Apr - 19 Apr
HMS Saxifrage (K04)  Royal Navy Corvette 12 Apr - 19 Apr
HMS Snowflake  Royal Navy Corvette 8 Apr - 19 Apr
HMS Somali (F33)  Royal Navy Destroyer 12 Apr - 18 Apr
HMS Speedy (J17)  Royal Navy Minesweeper Escort 8 Apr - 13 Apr

Returned Iceland damaged by ice

HMS Victorious (R38)  Royal Navy Aircraft carrier 12 Apr - 18 Apr
HMS Wheatland  Royal Navy Escort destroyer 12 Apr - 13 Apr
HMS Wilton (L128)  Royal Navy Escort destroyer 8 Apr - 12 Apr

See also

Notes

  1. "Convoy PQ.14". Arnold Hague Convoy Database. Retrieved 16 October 2013.

References

  • Clay Blair : Hitler's U-Boat War Vol I (1996) ISBN 0-304-35260-8
  • Paul Kemp : Convoy! Drama in Arctic Waters (1993) ISBN 1-85409-130-1
  • Bernard Schofield : (1964) The Russian Convoys BT Batsford ISBN (none)
  • PQ 14 at Convoyweb
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