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Convoy HX 212
Part of Battle of the Atlantic
Mk VII depth charge.jpg
A depth charge being loaded onto a depth-charge thrower aboard the corvette HMS Dianthus
Date26–29 October 1942
LocationNorth Atlantic
Result German tactical victory
 United Kingdom
 United States
 Nazi Germany
Commanders and leaders
VADM W de M Egerton
CDR T.L.Lewis USCG[1]
Admiral Karl Dönitz
43 freighters
1 destroyer
1 cutter
6 corvettes
17 submarines
Casualties and losses
6 freighters sunk (51,997 GRT)
243 killed/drowned

Convoy HX 212 was the 212th of the numbered series of World War II HX convoys of merchant ships from HalifaX to Liverpool.[2] The ships departed New York City on 18 October 1942[3] and were met on 23 October by Mid-Ocean Escort Force Group A-3 consisting of the USCG Treasury Class Cutter Campbell, the destroyer Badger and the Flower class corvettes Dianthus, Rosthern, Trillium, Dauphin, Alberni, Summerside and Ville de Quebec. The first five escorts had worked together previously, but the last three corvettes were attached to the convoy only for passage to the eastern Atlantic in preparation for assignments on Operation Torch. Summerside was the only escort equipped with modern Type 271 centimeter-wavelength radar.[4]


As western Atlantic coastal convoys brought an end to the second happy time, Admiral Karl Dönitz, the Befehlshaber der U-Boote (BdU) or commander in chief of U-Boats, shifted focus to the mid-Atlantic to avoid aircraft patrols. Although convoy routing was less predictable in the mid-ocean, Dönitz anticipated that the increased numbers of U-boats being produced would be able to effectively search for convoys with the advantage of intelligence gained through B-Dienst decryption of British Naval Cypher Number 3.[5] However, only 20 percent of the 180 trans-Atlantic convoys sailing from the end of July 1942 until the end of April 1943 lost ships to U-boat attack.[6]

26 October

U-436 reported the convoy and shadowed it without being detected by the convoy escort.[7]

27 October

U-436 launched five torpedoes at 2110Z hitting Sourabaya, Gurney Newlin and Frontenac. Alberni and Summerside dropped back to rescue survivors from the torpedoed ships.[4]

28 October

U-606 torpedoed Kosmos II on the starboard side at 0345Z. Barrwhin dropped back to rescue survivors, and both ships were sunk while the convoy proceeded ahead. A patrolling Consolidated B-24 Liberator from No. 120 Squadron RAF in Iceland prevented five U-boats from reaching attack positions during daylight hours but Bic Island and Pan-New York were torpedoed after sunset.[4]

29 October

Northern routing enabled the convoy to pass through the narrowest portion of the air gap, and continuous daylight air patrols forced the U-boats to lose contact with the convoy.[4] The Naval trawlers Bodo and Molde escorted the convoy through the Western Approaches on 1 November; and the convoy reached Liverpool on 2 November.[8]

Ships in convoy

Name [8] Flag [8] Dead [9] Tonnage (GRT)[8] Cargo [9] Notes [8]
Abraham Lincoln (1929)  Norway 5,740 General Cargo Carried convoy vice-commodore CAPT B B Grant RNR; survived this convoy and convoy HX 229
Arc Light (1906)  United Kingdom 2,949
Barrwhin (1929)  United Kingdom 24 4,998 8,200 tons grain & stores Veteran of convoy PQ 11; sunk 29 October by U-436
USS Beaver (AS-5) (1909)  United States 4,670 Explosives
Belgian Gulf (1929)  Panama 8,237 Petrol Survived this convoy and convoy HX 229
Bic Island (1917)  United Kingdom 4,000 General Cargo Straggled and sunk by U-224
British Vigilance (1942)  United Kingdom 8,093 Benzine & 130 passengers Survived this convoy to be sunk 3 months later in convoy TM 1
C.J.Barkdull (1917)  Panama 6,773 Diesel oil
Cairnesk (1926)  United Kingdom 5,007 General Cargo
Cape Breton (1940)  United Kingdom 6,044 Phosphates
City of Lille (1928)  United Kingdom 6,588 Wheat
Coptic (1928)  United Kingdom 10,629 Refrigerated & General Cargo
Cymbula (1938)  United Kingdom 8,082 Petrol
Dorchester (1926)  United States 5,649 From Newfoundland to Greenland; survived this convoy to be sunk 3 months later in convoy SG 19
Empire Bronze (1940)  United Kingdom 8,142 Paraffin & Aviation Gasoline
Empire Dickens (1942)  United Kingdom 9,819 Petrol
Empire Fletcher (1942)  United Kingdom 8,194 Petrol
ESSO Bayway (1937)  United States 7,699 Furnace Fuel Oil
Exchester (1919)  United States 4,999 Stores
Exilona (1919)  United States 4,971 Steel Survived this convoy, convoy ON 166 and convoy HX 300
Fairfax (1926)  United Kingdom 5,649 From Newfoundland to Greenland
Fort a la Corne (1942)  United Kingdom 7,133 General Cargo
Fort Amherst (1936)  United Kingdom 3,489
Francis Parkman (1942)  United States 7,176 Stores Liberty ship
Frontenac (1928)  Norway 7,350 Fuel Oil Damaged 27 October by U-436, but survived to sail with convoy HX 300
Gdynia (1934)  Sweden 1,636 General Cargo
Gulfgem (1920)  United States 6,917 Furnace Fuel Oil for Scapa Flow
Gurney E Newlin (1942)  United States 60 8,225 12,000 tons petrol & paraffin Sunk 27 October by U-436 & U-606
Helgoy (1920)  Norway 5,614 General Cargo
Jamaica Planter (1936)  United Kingdom 4,098 Refrigerated & General Cargo Carried convoy commodore VADM W DE M Egerton
Katy (1931)  Norway 6,825 Petrol
Kosmos II (1931)  Norway 40 16,966 21,000 tons crude oil Damaged 27 October by U-436 and sunk on 28 October by U-606 & U-624
Lancastrian Prince (1940)  United Kingdom 1,914 General Cargo Veteran of convoy ON 67
Laurelwood (1929)  United Kingdom 7,347 furnace fuel oil
Mahia (1917)  United Kingdom 10,014 Refrigerated
Matthew Luckenbach (1918)  United States 5,848 Steel & General Cargo Returned to Canada; sunk 5 months later in convoy HX 229
Ocean Courier (1942)  United Kingdom 7,178 General Cargo Liberty ship
Pacific Shipper (1924)  United Kingdom 6,290 General Cargo
Pan-New York (1938)  United States 42 7,701 12,500 tons petrol Sunk 29 October by U-624
Pan-Rhode Island (1941)  United States 7,742 Aviation Gasoline Survived this convoy and convoy HX 229
Paul H Harwood (1918)  United States 6,610 Diesel Oil
R.G.Stewart (1917)  United States 9,229
Saint Bertrand (1929)  United Kingdom 5,522 General Cargo
Salinas (1920)  United States 5,422
Sarpedon (1923)  United Kingdom 11,321 Refrigerated
Skaraas (1936)  Norway 9,826 Oil
Snar (1920)  Norway 3,176
Sourabaya (1915)  United Kingdom 77 10,107 7,800 tons furnace fuel oil Sunk 27 October by U-436
Southern Princess (1915)  United Kingdom 12,156 Furnace Fuel Oil Survived this convoy to be sunk 5 months later in convoy HX 229
Thomas B Robertson (1942)  United States 7,176 stores Liberty ship; survived this convoy and convoy ON 166
Topdalsfjord (1921)  Norway 4,271 Sugar & Timber
Tudor Prince (1940)  United Kingdom 1,914 General Cargo
Zacapa (1909)  United States 4,488 Valuable cargo
Zoella Lykes (1940)  United States 6,829


  1. Morison p.323
  2. Hague p.127
  3. Hague p.128
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Milner pp.175-177
  5. Tarrant p.108
  6. Hague pp.132,137-138,161-162,164&181
  7. Rohwer & Hummelchen pp.169&170
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 "HX convoys". Andrew Hague Convoy Database. Retrieved 2012-09-05. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 Hague p.132


  • Hague, Arnold (2000). The Allied Convoy System 1939-1945. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-019-3. 
  • Milner, Marc (1985). North Atlantic Run. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-450-0. 
  • Morison, Samuel Eliot (1975). History of United States Naval Operations in World War II, Volume I The Battle of the Atlantic 1939-1943. Little, Brown and Company. 
  • Rohwer, J. and Hummelchen, G. (1992). Chronology of the War at Sea 1939-1945. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-105-X. 
  • Tarrant, V.E. (1989). The U-Boat Offensive 1914-1945. Arms and Armour. ISBN 1-85409-520-X. 

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