Source: ADM 199/721
ESCORT ORDERS FOR QP15
From: The Captain (D), Eighth Destroyer Flotilla, HMS
Date: 17th November 1942
To: The Commanding Officers, HM Ships Halcyon,
Echo, Impulsive, Intrepid, Icarus, Salamander, Sharpshooter,
Britomart, Hazard, Bryony, Bergamot, Bluebell, Camelia and Ulster
In general escorts are to act as laid down in W.A.C.I.’s. All
escorts are to zig-zag at twelve knots wherever possible.
2. Destroyers only will hunt U-boats. Should a minesweeper or
corvette obtain a contact the nearest destroyer is to take over the
contact and hunt for a maximum of two hours before rejoining the
3. Day Torpedo Attack The destroyers on the side on which the
attack is delivered (if known) are to carry out ‘Artichoke’ (WACI
part 323, Para 2 and 3) without further orders, all remaining
escort vessels are to drop one depth charge set to 50 feet on order
4. Night Torpedo Attack. Destroyer only will carry out
‘Raspberry’ (WACI part 324, Paras 11 and 12) by order. Remaining
escorts are to remain with convoy but all escorts are to drop one
depth charge on order ‘Bang’.
5. Surface Attack. Destroyers will concentrate on side of
attack and make a smoke screen between enemy and convoy. Convoy will
retire by signal on reciprocal bearing. Minesweepers are to make
smoke in rear of convoy.
6. Day Screen (SD No. 30). Ships on advanced screen are to
zig-zag together, ship in position ‘B’ being guide of the screen.
Alter course every five minutes, the Starboard leg always being made
at the even five minutes e.g. Starboard leg at 00 – 05, Port 05 –
10, Starboard 10 – 15 etc.
7. Night Screen (SD No. 31). It is important that ships
should not close nearer the convoy than the distances laid down
(5,000 yards outer screen), the other screen is to use Type 271
constantly, reporting contacts by W/T.
8. H/F, D/F. If a reasonable H/F D/F bearing and out is
obtained, a destroyer will be sent to hunt. But no hunt is to take
more than two hours and ships should not rejoin at speeds greater
than 23 knots.
9. Rescue. The minesweeper in rear is to take charge of
operations in rear in the event of ships being sunk., the corvettes
in the rear are to screen Copeland and any other ships engaged in
picking up survivors.