Halcyon Class Minesweepers Halcyon Class Minesweepers
Escort Orders for QP15


Source: ADM 199/721



From:               The Captain (D), Eighth Destroyer Flotilla, HMS Faulkner

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 Queen.


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 screen.

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 ‘Bang’.

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.


A K Scott-Moncreiff

Captain (D)



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