A HARD FOUGHT SHIP
The story of HMS Venomous

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The Battle of the Atlantic
Atlantic convoys escorted by HMS Venomous from December 1940 to May 1942


This list is based on the research of Arnold Hague and colleagues. Arnold Hague (1930 - 2006) served in the RN and RNR from 1949 until he retired in 1979 with the rank of Lieutenant Commander but is best known as one of the foremost Naval Historians of the WW2 period. Copyright in his research belongs to his widow, Mrs Gill Hague, but she transferred the records to his collaborator and friend, Don Kindell in the USA.

It has been made accessible and searchable by convoy code and ship name on Convoyweb by Mike Holdoway in the UK. Mike has kindly provided a list of the convoys escorted by HMS Venomous in 1940-1 with links direct to details of each convoy on the Convoyweb site.

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Convy OB.330 painted by the Commodore

Convoy OB.330 painted by the Commodore, Rear Admiral Hugh Hext Rogers (1883-1955)
For details of the ships in this convoy click on the link in the table below
Courtesy of National Museums Liverpool, Merseyside Maritime Museum
Copyright reserved

The table gives the port of departure (e.g. Liv for Liverpool) and date of departure for westbound convoys, the "empties", and the dates Venomous (V) joined and detached from the convoy. This is followed by the code of the incoming (eastbound) convoy which Venomous met with its port (and date) of departure and the date on which Venomous was detached from the convoy to return to her base at Londonderry in Northern Ireland. By clicking on the convoy code you link to a list of the names of the merchant ships (with their nationality and cargo) and their escorts in the convoy with details of ships lost and other incidents of note.


CONVOY CODE
From (departed)
V Joins
V Detached
V Joins
CONVOY CODE
From (departed)
V Detached
Arrives
HX.96 Halifax (14 Dec 40)
27 Dec 40


Mined in Liverpool bay, 29 December. Out of Action (OOA) for repairs.
OG.54
Liv (25 Feb 41)
25 Feb 41
3 March





OB.297
Liv (12 March 41)
12 March 41
17 March
17 March
HX.113
Halifax (5 March)
20 March
Liv 21 March
OB.302
Liv (24 March 41)
24 March 41
by 29 March
29 March
HX.115
Halifax (17 March)
3 April
Liv 3 April
OB.307
Liv (7 April 41)
8 April 41
8 April
13 April?
SC.27
Halifax (30 March)
18 April
Liv 18 April
Collision with submarine H31 in Loch Moyle, Derry. Venomous OOA for repairs for two weeks.
OB.323
Liv (17 May 41)
19 May 41
22 May
26 May
HX.126
Halifax (10 May)
28 May
Liv 28 May
OB.330
Liv (2 June 41)
3 June 41
7 June
8 June
HX.129
Halifax (21 May)
12 June
Liv 12 June
OB.336
Liv (15 June 41)
17 June 41
22 June
24 June
SC.34
Halifax (10 June)
28 June
Clyde 29 June
OB.343
Liv (6 July 41)
6 July 41
12 July

Towed to Havelfjord by Sabre. Machinery repairs at Londonderry.
OB.349
Liv (21 July 41)
22 July 41
26 July
26 July
HX.139
Halifax (16 July)
31 July
Liv 31 July
ON.10
Liv (27 Aug 41)
29 Aug 41
1 or 10 Sept?
2 Sept
HX.146
Halifax (21 Aug)
6 Sept
Liv 6 Sept
ON.15
Liv (11 Sept 41)
11 Sept 41
13 Sept
16 Sept
SC.43
Sydney, Nova Scotia (5 Sept)
20 Sept
Liv 20 Sept
ON.21
Liv (28 Sept 41)
30 Sept 41
5 Oct
9 Oct
HX.152
Halifax (28 Sept)
14 Oct
Liv 14 Oct
ON.28
Liv (20 Oct 41)
23 Oct 41
25 Oct
31 Oct
SC.50
Halifax (20 Oct)
4 Nov
Liv 4 Nov
ON.35
Liv (10 Nov 41)
10 Nov 41
Collides with Keppel and detached 12 November. OOA for repairs and conversion until March 1942.
UR.20
(17 April 42)
17 April 42
22 April
28 April
PQ.15
Oban (10 April 42)
5 May
Murmansk 5 May
QP.12
Kola (21 May 42)
21 May 42
27 May




Reykjavik 29 May

Convoy OB.302 1941
Eastbound Convoy HX.115 from Halifax to Liverpool was escorted by HMS Venomous
Note aircraft carried as cargo on deck

Photographed by Lt Richard Kershaw RNVR

Please note that the greatly expanded 2015 version of Convoyweb is not available on the Internet but may be viewed at Guildhall Library, Aldermanbury, London EC2V 7HH. For details see:
https://guildhalllibrarynewsletter.wordpress.com/2015/06/12/convoy-web-an-invaluable-resource-at-guildhall-library/

You can read about the part played by HMS Venomous in escorting these convoys in chapters eight to ten of the new edition of A Hard Fought Ship: the story of HMS
Venomous which was published on 9 May 2017.

Liverpool and the Battle of the Atlantic

The Commander in Chief of Western Approaches "was responsible for the escort groups at Liverpool, Greenock and Londonderry. His headquarters were in the 'Dungeon', the basement of Derby House in Liverpool, where the position of the convoys and their escorts were displayed on the Plot, a floor to ceiling map of the Atlantic battlefield"; see A Hard Fought Ship, page 175. The Map Room has remained exactly how as it was left when the doors were closed on 15 August 1945 and is open to the public as the Western Approaches Museum.

Joe Whittaker who father was an ERA in HMS Vidette has taken the lead in planning an imaginative memorial to the Battle of the Atlantic called "The Waves". The intention is to create wave shaped structures from recycled rubble and topsoil to the dimensions of waves experienced by those who sailed the North Atlantic. These would then be seeded with a variety of grasses such that when the wind blows the appearance of ocean waves would be created. It would be intentional that men of all nations and all services who braved the waters of the Atlantic and Arctic be honoured by this memorial. Joe is hoping to secure a suitable site in Liverpool and obtain funding from a mix of corporate and individual donations plus local, regional and central government sources. Further information can be obtained by emailing BOTAM193945@hotmail.com

Joe's father, Edward "Lofty" Whittaker, took part in the Battle of the Atlantic in those critical months of Spring 1943 when HMS Vidette was part of Peter Gretton's B7 Escort Group working out of Liverpool and Derry / Londonderry and also out of Iceland across to Halifax, St Johns and the US base at Argentia. Vidette was involved in the defence of west bound Convoy ONS 5  - now recognised widely as the convoy battle which turned the U-Boat War in the Allies favour - see Black May by Michael Gannon. Its 5th May core date is now seen as Battle of the Atlantic Day as a result.

A Hard Fought Ship: the story of HMS Venomous
was published on 9 May 2017
Copies can be bought online at a discount



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