Motto:

"Rise and strike"


Pennant Number:


D38 - R305

 


Battle Honours:


None

 


Specifications: 


Builder:

Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding Co.
Tacoma, Washington

 

Completed by:

Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton Washington


Displacement:

15,390 tons


length (Overall):

 494ft 9in


Beam:

 69 ft 6 in


Speed:

 18 knots


Crew Complement:

646


A/C Capacity:

20


Commanding Officers:


Cdr. T.P. Wisden RN May - Aug 43

 

***

Capt. J.E. Broome RN
Aug - Mar 145

 

***

Capt. C.L. Howe RN Mar 45 - Jan 46

 


Squadrons:


832

May 44 -Feb 45 Avenger II/Wildcat V

 

 

 

 

 

 

A History of HMS BEGUM

 

HMS BEGUM underway off Vancouver late 1943

 

Two US maritime Commission hulls were earmarked for transfer to the Royal Navy as escort carriers with the ships' name 'Begum':

 

BEGUM (1)

On 17 January 1943, the keel was laid for a Casablanca class auxiliary aircraft carrier at the Kaiser Shipyard, Vancouver, Washington. She was launched on April 19 1943 and was intended to be transferred to the Royal Navy under Lend-Lease arrangements as HMS CHASTISER but this was changed to BEGUM before she was due for transfer to the RN.

 

Her sponsor was Lady Halifax, wife of the United Kingdom's ambassador to the United States. She was launched 20 July 1943, but before delivery the US Navy decided that she (and other escort carriers building for Britain at that time) would be required for the US war effort and subsequently BEGUM, was delivered to the U. S. Navy on August 7, 1943 and commissioned as the USS NATOMA BAY CVE-62 on 14 October 1943, Captain Harold L. Meadow in command.

 

 

 

BEGUM (2)

The second auxiliary aircraft carrier earmarked to be named HMS BEGUM began her career as the USS BOLINAS CVE-36, a Bogue class escort carrier, her keel being laid down 3 Aug 1942 at Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding Corp., Tacoma, Washington. She was launched 11 Nov 1942 by her sponsor, by Mrs. G.B. Sherwood, wife of Commander Sherwood USN. Her hull was then towed to the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton Washington for completion.


CVE-36 commissioned into the US Navy on July 22nd 1943 as the USS BOLINAS Captain H.L. Meadow USN in command. The USS Bolinas was to remain at the Puget Sound Navy Yard until August 1st when she proceeded to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. She was decommissioned in preparation for her transfer to the UK government under the Lend-Lease agreement. On August 2nd, CVE-36 was officially transferred to the Royal Navy at Burrard Dry Dock Co. Ltd's facility at Lapointe Pier North Vancouver. She was commissioned as HMS BEGUM (D38) on the same day, Captain J.E. Broome RN in command.

 

BEGUM date and place not known. Photo: Author's collection

 

Modification and preparation to enter service: August - December 1943

CVE-36 was the third of nineteen escort carriers to be modified by Burrards for the Royal Navy, and she arrived at Vancouver two weeks ahead of schedule; she was not due to arrive until the 15th. At this time two of her sister CVEs, AMEER and ATHELING were in the hands of the Burrard's yard and at various stages of modification. Work commenced immediately to de-store the ship and to remove her Low Pressure turbine for remedial work to be carried out, the rotor assembly was removed on September 24th and despatched to Messrs. Allis Chalmers, Milwaukee, for partial re-blading.

 

Modification work commenced on August 4th and totalled 150 separate alterations and modifications which included lengthening of the flight deck, fitting redesigned flying controls and fighter direction layout, modifications to hangar, accommodation and store rooms, installing extra safety measures including major changes to the aviation fuel stowage and oiling at sea arrangements,, modifying gunnery and other internal communications, adding extra W/T and R/T sets, and improved darken ship arrangements. Progress was slow however, this was due to several factors; the majority of the work force had never worked on a ship before and had been specially hired to fulfil the contract to modify the ships on behalf of the Canadian government, initially the work proceeded slowly due to lack of Admiralty information and drawings. Also when the ship left the Puget Sound Navy Yard she was fully stored, but in order to get into certain compartments the ships had to be partially de-stored. These factors slowed up the work on the first four ships to enter the Burrards yard, taking an average of 97 working days to complete. This was too long for the Admiralty, the carriers were urgently needed and a revised schedule was drawn up for the fifth and successive carriers which allowed each ship only 45 days for carrying out the work.

 

As work progressed BEGUM moved through the yards various berths; the yard could be working on six different ships at any time with separate aspects of the work carried out at different berths, the ships passing through like a production line, moving from one berth to another until complete. BEGUM moved to No 4 on September 31st, then to No 5 on October 4th. She entered Burrards' floating dry dock on the 17th, spending three days in dock for remedial work, undocking on the 20th she was moved to No 8 berth.

 

The repaired LP rotor was received on November 9th and work began to refit it, she made her final move to the Burrads Terminal mooring on November 18th where her alterations were completed on the 25th. While here she began to store ship and her ship's company began embarking. BEGUM moved to a mooring in the stream off Lapointe Pier on December 2nd and began preparing for her post modification shakedown. Her modifications had taken a total of 114 days to complete.

 

The next fortnight was spent on trials and working up, including a short round trip voyage to the US Naval Yard at Bremerton, Washington to ammunition the ship and then returning to the Straits of Georgia (between Vancouver Island and the mainland), for steaming, gunnery, radar and other trials and exercises. After a short visit to Esquimalt, Victoria, North Vancouver, to embark Confidential Books and more stores BEGUM returned to The Stream off Lapointe Pier for the final time.

 

Maiden voyage, Ferry trip Vancouver to Greenock: December 1943 - February 1944
BEGUM sailed for her maiden voyage to the UK at the end of December 1943, and proceeded down the west coast of the US to San Diego where she embarked more stores and equipment before transiting the Panama Canal on January 4th 1944.

 

BEGUM next docked at the Naval Operating Base Norfolk, Virginia where she embarked a cargo of Lend-lease airframes and the stores and personnel of 1837 & 1838 Naval Air Squadrons. These two Fleet Air Arm squadrons were equipped with Corsair II single seat fighters, 1837 equipped with 14 while 1838 had 10. Both had formed in America and worked up at USNAS Brunswick, Maine before moving to the USNAS at Norfolk for deck landing training. Their aircraft were taxied through the streets of Norfolk, wings folded, to the dock side for loading late one evening.

 

From Norfolk BEGUM sailed to Brooklyn, New York to embark more stores and passengers for the crossing to the UK. Also alongside in Brooklyn was the CVE HMS TRUMPETER, she was making her third trip in the ferry role; both carriers left New York on January 18th to join convoy UT.7 for Liverpool. BEGUM was carrying 60 aircraft (36 Corsair and 24 Avenger) 36 of which were lashed on the flight deck, the squadron aircraft were stowed in the hangar deck as these were to be unloaded last. She had 68 tons of stores and 194 service and 45 civilian passengers including a party of school children and their mothers who had been evacuated to Canada earlier in the war and were now returning home to the UK.

 

The Atlantic crossing was without incident and BEGUM and TRUMPETER Split from the convoy off Oversay Island, Scotland on Friday January 28th and anchored in Liverpool Bay the following day. The passengers, stores and 36 airframes were disembarked during the weekend, leaving only the aircraft of the two operational squadrons on board. BEGUM sailed for the Clyde on Monday January 31st and anchored in Rothesay Bay on February 1st. While on route to Rothesay Bay 1837 & 1838 squadrons disembarked, both flew off the ship to RNAS Burscough, Lancashire.

 

Later on February 1st BEGUM was taken in hand by a Clyde Dockyard for a period of defect rectification and further modifications to complete her conversion to RN standards. This work would have included modifications to the petrol stowage system and possibly limited tropicalisation work since BEGUM had been earmarked for service with the Eastern Fleet for operations in the Indian Ocean. After three weeks in dockyard hands BEGUM began preparation for passage to Ceylon. By the 25th she was alongside at RNARY Belfast for loading of aircraft.

 

 

Passage to the Far East, ferrying four squadrons to India and Ceylon: February - April 1944
Beginning on February 26h BEGUM began embarking the aircraft of four squadrons for passage to the Far East. The squadron personnel and aircraft of 1839 and 1844 squadrons, each equipped with 10 Hellcat fighters were embarked first and the aircraft stowed in the hanger, The following day the aircraft of 815 and 817 squadrons, equipped with 12 Barracuda IIs each, were embarked and secured on the flight deck for passage to squadron personnel were embarked on the troopships SS STRATHNAVER & SS ARONDA for independent passage. Loading was completed on the 27th and BEGUM returned to her mooring on the Clyde to finish loading stores and passengers before sailing on March 3rd.

 

HMS BEGUM sailed from the Clyde bound for Ceylon on March 3rd as part of Convoy KMF.29A bound for Alexandria; the convoy was a large uplift of naval air power for the Eastern Fleet, with nine FAA squadrons being ferried to Ceylon, four each in the two carriers and one, 832 squadron being split between the two aircraft transports. The convoy comprised of four vessels operating in the ferry role, the escort carriers BEGUM and ATHELING and the aircraft transports ATHENE and ENGADINE, and the troop ship SS STRATHNAVER, These were escorted by the light cruisers NIGERIA and PHOEBE, sloops CAUVERY, and ERNE, Frigates CRANSTOUN, DEANE, FINDHORN, LOSSIE, REDMILL (returned to base March 5th), SHIEL, SPEY, and TAFF.The convoy ad at Alexandria on 17 March.

 

BEGUM entered the Suez Canal on the 18th reaching Port Taufiq on the 19th where she was to spend the next four days to wait the arrival of ATEHELING, before continuing her voyage. Sailing on the 23rd the next port of call was Aden on the 27th where the ships were to refuel. From Aden BEGUM, ATHELING, ATHENE, ENGADINE and the troop ship ARONDA formed convoy AJ.2 sailing for Ceylon the following day and arriving in Colombo Harbour on Tuesday April 4th 1944 where she unloaded some of her stores and passengers.

 

After storing and refuelling BEGUM was to proceed to Madras to unload her aircraft, she sailed in company with HMS ATHELING in Convoy JC.43A, arriving at Madras harbour on the 11th. Unloading began on the 14th, with all four squadrons being disembarked to RNARY Madras; 1839 and 1844 squadrons were destined for RAF Ulunderpet. while 815 and 817 squadrons were to be lodged at RAF St. Thomas Mount. On completion of unloading BGUM returned to Colombo (the exact date of departure from Madras is unclear, ATHELING sailed with convoy CJ23B on the 16th but BEGUM is not listed in any convoy around this date).

 

The East Indies Fleet, operations with 21 ACS: June 1944 - January 1945
MS BEGUM arrived back in Colombo on April 26th where she began preparations for embarking 832 composite squadron (12 Avenger I & 4 Wildcat V) from RNAS Katukurunda. The squadron flew aboard on May 26th to work up for anti-submarine sweeps in the Indian Ocean (this is possibly the first time BEGUM received and launched aircraft since all previous aircraft had been lifted aboard by crane). The CVEs of the Eastern Fleet were employed as hunter/killers from the spring of 1944 since close escorting of convoys was ineffective due to U-Boat commanders targeting vessels not in convoy. Many of the sweeps were conducted off the Seychelles.

 

BEGUM in the Indian Ocean with Avengers of 832 squadron ranged on deck

 

BEGUM spent the next two weeks putting her air department and squadron through their paces, this wasn't without mishap however 832 suffered three flying accidents on June 1st; Avenger FN92 ('4A'), flown by Lt FKA Low, struck the rounddown, and broke its back, Avenger JZ231 ('4Q') flown by Sub Lt JE Randall hit the barrier landing on, and Sub Lt GO Smith RNZN flying Wildcat JV585 hit the rounddown and skidded over side into the sea, he was rescued by the plane guard vessel. On Thursday, July 6th a crew member Able Seaman, P/JX 184827 Jacob A, Branton died on board, the circumstances of his death are not known.

 

HMS BEGUM sailed for the first of five operations in the Indian Ocean during 1944 on June 11th. She re-embarked her aircraft on the 14th to begin anti-submarine sweeps in the Bay of Bengal, returning to Colombo on July 2nd, her aircraft flying ashore to RNAS Colombo Racecourse. Squadron losses for this period was one aircraft; Avenger JZI80 ('4B') flown by Sub Lt J Swift suffered a total loss of oil pressure and made a forced landing into the sea on June 22nd, the pilot and crew were safely recovered.

 

Her second sweep was a short one, re-embarking her aircraft on July 23rd, returning on the 30th, this time the squadron disembarked to RNAS Katukurunda. On her arrival back At Trincomalee BEGUM was allocated to join Task Force 66, a trade protection force operating in the northern Indian Ocean. TF66 comprised of CVEs BEGUM and SHAH, Frigates FINDHORN, INVER, LOSSIE and PARRET, Indian Sloops GODAVERI, and SUTLEJ.

 

832 were re-embarked on August 3rd for BEGUM's third sweep; this time operating with elements of TF66 to search for a U-Boat, U-198, that had been attacking shipping of the East African coast; on August 6th the MV EMPIRE CITY, a 7,295-ton cargo vessel was torpedoed and sunk east of Mocimboa, Portuguese East Africa. The following day the MV EMPIRE DAY a 7,242 ton cargo vessel was torpedoed and sunk about 200 miles east of Dar es Salaam. Both vessels were en route from Lourenco Marques, Mozambique, to Aden & Port Said with a cargo of coal sailing with convoy DKA-21 which scattered dispersed after the initial attack. On August 10th Avengers from SHAH spotted German submarine U-198 near the Seychelles. On the 12th Avengers from SHAH's 851 and BEGUM's 832 squadrons attacked the submarine but reported no damage seen. They then directed the frigate HMS FINDHORN and the Indian sloop HMIS GODAVARI to its location, the U-Boat was later sunk by 'hedgehog' attacks. Following this action TF66 proceeded to Kilindini, Kenya on the 18th to fuel and store ship in preparation for escorting a convoy KM.5 between Kilindini and Aden which sailed on the 27th.

 

BEGUM's squadron was down by 4 aircraft by the end of August, three aircraft bounced over the arrestor wires and flew into the  barrier; two Avengers, FN926 (on the 12th) andFN923 (on the 15th) , and Wildcat JV507 (on the 9th), a third Avenger JZ231 ('4Q') was lost when it stalled on take off and dove into the sea on the 28th, all crew were recovered safely.

 

Operations continued in the Bay of Bengal until early October when BEGUM returned to Colombo, her aircraft were disembarked to RNAS Katukurunda on the 12th. After a short stay in harbour to store ship and refuel she was ready to put to sea again by October 20th and her squadron flew out to rejoin the ship on the 21st. During this sweep BEGUM was sent to investigate a submarine sighting made by an RAF aircraft but was forced to return to port on the 28th when her catapult failed before any aircraft could be launched to investigate. Subsequent searches conducted by Force 66 failed to locate the sub. On Wednesday, November 1st 1944 one of 832 squadron's pilots was lost, Sub Lt (A), Ronald E, Pritchard, RNVR flying in Wildcat JV592 hit the sea and his aircraft sank.

 

HMS BEGUM with Avengers of 832 squadron ranged on deck

 

On rejoining TF.66 BEGUM and SHAH took part in the search for the Japanese submarine RO-113 which had torpedoed and sank the 3,827 ton British freighter SS MARION MOLLER at 10-40N, 81-10E on November 5th 1944. The sub was hunted by the destroyers HMS QUALITY, QUADRANT and ROEBUCK which were the first naval forces to arrive on the scene. Despite several days of searching by surface and air there was no sign of the sub which had returned to its base in Penang.

 

HMS BEGUM arrived back at Colombo on November 26th to store and replenish ship before resuming trade protection sweeps, Three days earlier the Eastern Fleet had been disbanded and two new fleets, the East Indies Fleet, and the British Pacific Fleet were brought into being on November 23rd at Trincomalee. HMS BEGUM was issued a new, buy temporary, pennant number 'R305' the change was necessary to allow for integration with US task groups in the Indian Ocean and Pacific theatres; it is unclear if this number was ever applied.

 

BEGUM suffered accelerator failure again on December 6th when attempting to launch Avenger FN938 ('4R') but was repaired by the ships engineers without the need for a return to port. On completion of her final sweep BEGUM disembarked 832 squadron to RNAS Colombo Racecourse on December 22nd. She had been allocated for refit in the UK and conversion to a ferry carrier and was to ferry 832 squadron on her voyage home. After spending Christmas of 1944 in Ceylon BEGUM received orders to sail for the UK on January 16th 1945. She was to carry passengers for passage, including the aircrew and maintenance personnel of 832 squadron.

 

Return to UK and conversion to Ferry Carrier: January - April 1945
The aircraft of 832 squadron flew aboard on Monday, January 15th 1945 and HMS BEGUM sailed from Colombo the following day as part of the escort for Convoy JA.2 which arrived at Aden on Monday, 22 January. After refuelling BEGUM entered the Red Sea and proceeded to Port Taufiq to await her passage through the Suez Canal. BEGUM reached Gibraltar in early February and joined the UK bound convoy MKF.39 bound for Liverpool. The convoy sailed on February 14th and on reaching the safety of Western approaches command BEGUM left the convoy and proceeded directly to the Clyde, arriving on the 20th to unload prior to beginning her conversion work. Her squadron was disbanded on disembarking the following day and was not to reform.

 

On March 26th Captain C.L. Howe RN relived Captain Broome as commanding officer, he took HMS BEGUM to sea for the first time when she undertook her post refit/conversion shake down in the Irish Sea in early April. BEGUM left the Clyde and sailed to Belfast on April 16th to embark her ferry load. She embarked the equipment, stores, aircraft, and personnel of 721 Fleet Requirements Unit (6 Vengeance TT.IV) and 1701 Air Sea Rescue squadron (6 Sea Otter); aircraft were hoisted aboard on April 17th, and BEGUM sailed later the same day to join convoy KMF.43. The convoy had sailed from the Clyde, and reached Gibraltar on the 23rd.

 

Ferry duty with the British Pacific Fleet: April - June 1945
While in refit BEGUM was allocated to the British Pacific Fleet for duties as a ferry carrier. She had been allocated a temporary pennant number R305 in late November for service with the EIF and was to retain this for her duties in the Pacific with the BPF, the change being made to allow for integration with US task groups in these theatres; it is unclear if this number was never applied.

On reaching Gibraltar BEGUM left the convoy and made independent passage to Port Said. On leaving the Suez Canal BEGUM continued on to Colombo were she took on fuel and stored ship before sailing for the Admiralty Islands. She arrived off the Island of Ponam on May 27th and anchored overnight. The next day t721 FRU and 'B' Flight of 1701 ASR squadron were put ashore to RNAS Ponam; this was a slow process because all aircraft had to be off loaded by lighter, the tropical island having an encompassing coral reef which prevented the carriers from tying up to a jetty. On completion of the unloading BEGUM sailed for Sydney, arriving there on June 5th to unload 'A' Flight 1701 ASR squadron. The flight was destined for RNAS Maryborough, in Queensland. Her ferry run completed BEGUM reloaded with a cargo of replacement airframes and stores for delivery to Manus in the Admiralty Islands; the airframes were off loaded to RNAS Ponam on June 15th. Once unloaded her spell as a ferry carrier was completed and she was reallocated to join the EIF as a Deck Landing Training (DLT) Carrier, and sailed for Trincomalee.

 

East Indies Fleet Deck Landing Training Carrier: July - October 1945
In this new role her duties involved providing a deck for the pilots of 757 Naval Operational Training Squadron from RNAS Tambaram. She was on station and operating in this role by July 1st when Hellcat JZ810 piloted by Lt. W.J. Lowell went over the side during a DLT session. Training was carried out flying all of the frontline aircraft types operated by the EIF and BPF, in particular Hellcats, Avengers, Corsairs, and Seafires. There were three other misshaps in her first month of training, a second Hellcat suffered minor damage when drifting off the centre line and hitting a light pole, a Corsair did the same but ran into the Deck Landing Control Officers screen, Also, a visiting Seafire from the Station Flight at RNAS Trincomalee struck the round down and was later off loaded on return to Trincomalee for repair.

 

At the end of July HMS BEGUM was one of seven escort carriers allocated to the attacking forces for this operation. EMPEROR EMPRESS and KHEDIVE were to form part of Force 64, with ATTACKER, HUNTER, and STALKER forming Task force 65; BEGUM was a reserve carrier and would provide a spare deck for the carriers of Task Force 65. However on August 4th Proceeding out of Trincomalee harbour BEGUM struck a submerged object and suffered serious damage to her hull. The collision caused fuel to leak from the hull damage and she returned to port under her own steam. There was a delay in getting repairs started because there was no dry dock available and she was withdrawn from Operation ZIPPER. The repair was only a temporary one however and she had to sail to Bombay for dockyard repairs to be carried out.

 

With the surrender of Japan in mid August 1945 the BEGUM was earmarked for early return to the US., she ordered to prepare for her return to the UK on completion of her repairs to be decommissioned.

 

Stand down: October 1945

By the third week of October HMS BEGUM was preparing to leave Bombay, on the 22nd she embarked passengers, including d 280 Maritime Regiment Royal Artillery - i.e. DEMS gunners. They were from the merchant ships carrying troops, stores and war materiel for Operation ZIPPER; after they had unloaded their cargoes on the Malayan coast these ships disembarked their gunners at Madras. The gunners travelled by train between 8th and11th October to the Kalyan Transit Camp near Bombay and embarked on BEGUM for passage home. BEGUM sailed from Bombay at 1pm the 23rd; she passed Aden on 27th October on route to the Suez Canal and arrived at the Clyde on November 10th. Once secured the majority of her ships company and passengers left the ship, her complement being reduced to a steaming crew and working parties. During November she was de-ammunitioned and de-stored, much of her Admiralty equipment was removed in preparation for returning her to US custody.

HMS BEGUM left the Clyde on December 11th and preceded to Portsmouth to complete de-storing, and then on to Southampton to embark US troops for passage to Norfolk, Virginia, on 13th December, she sailed from the UK for the final time later that day.

 

Disposal: return to US custody February 1946
The Atlantic crossing was marred by heavy weather and rough seas which were strong enough to cause the forward part of the Flight Deck come adrift. Makeshift repairs were made to enable passage to be continued and she arrived at US Naval Base Norfolk on 25th December. she was decommissioned as an RN ship and CVE-36 was returned to US Navy custody on January 4th 1946.

CVE-36 was stricken for disposal June 19th 1946 and was sold into merchant service with the Netherlands Steamship Co. on April 16th 1947 as RAKI. In 1966 sold to Monrovia and renamed I-YUNG. She was scrapped in Taiwan starting in March 1974.

 

The Netherlands Steamship Co. S.S. Raki

 

 

Note on order of events:

 

BEGUM's allocating as a reserve carrier for Operation ZIPPER throws up some confusion over dates. The three carrier of Task group 65 put to sea on August 4th so the assumption would be that BEGUM also sailed on this date, if so her collision with a submerged object must have been while putting to sea on that date. However, there is a record of a Seafire from 757 squadron making a heavy landing on BEGUM on August 24th - had she been to Bombay, been repaired and returned or was the reference to ZIPPER referring to the later, amended operation in early September? Another account has BEGUM sailing for Greenock directly from Bombay on completion of repairs on October 23rd - she did sail from there on that date but was this just after leaving a Bombay dockyard?

 

 


Content revised: May 2013

Sources used in compiling this account:

Brown, D. (1974) 'Carrier Operations in World War 2 - vol 1 the Royal Navy' Shepperton, Ian Allen Ltd.

Hobbs, D. (2003) 'Royal Navy Escort Carriers' Liskeard, Maritime Books

Poolman, K. (1988) 'Allied Escort Carriers of World War Two in Action' London, Blandford Press

Poolman, K. (1972) 'Escort Carriers 1941 - 1945' Shepperton, Ian Allen Ltd.

Smith,P.C., (12001) 'Task Force 57: The British Pacific Fleet, 1944 - 45' Bristol, Crecy Books

Sturtivant, R. & Burrows, M. (1995) 'Fleet Air Arm Aircraft 1939 to 1945' Tonbridge Wells, Air Britain (Historians)

Sturtivant, R & Balance, T., (1994) 'Squadrons of the Fleet Air Arm' Tonbridge Wells, Air Britain (Historians)

Weaver, D. (2004) 'The History of HMS Queen - A World War II Lend Lease Escort Aircraft Carrier' Hong Kong, D.G. Weaver.

Winton, J. (1969) 'The forgotten Fleet', London, Michael Joseph Ltd.

British officers (including Commonwealth officers serving in British units) Part of WWII Unit Histories and Officers web site.

Convoy Web A comprehensive resource listing WW2 convoys and ships .

Naval-History.Net:
World War 2 service histories
Admiralty war diaries of World War 2 - Eastern Fleet - January to October 1945
Casualty Lists of the Royal Navy and Dominion Navies, 1922-present

War Sailors Ships in Atlantic and miscellaneous convoys during WW2.

 

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