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December 31 2010 at 8:19 AM
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Nelson  (no login)

Response to Re: Pre-war convoy escorts in the Pacific



When I penned, "....or go via Torres Strait then variously to Manila Bay, a long way around that was seldom used," I was writing strictly about convoys, specifically those escorted by USS Portland and USS Pensacola. There were quite a few chartered merchantmen, however, carrying military equipment to the P.I., and sailing independently, that were directed to take the southern route. Among them was freighter Don Jose of Philippine registry, transporting the Bren gun carriers, trucks, and other equipment of the two Canadian infantry battalions being sent to Hong Kong to bolster the defenses there. Because of her round-about route, Don Jose so lagged behind the troopship carrying the rifle battalions that she was caught in Manila Bay upon the onset of war. Because of the IJN's command of the air and sea, she remained at Manila, the Canadian vehicles in her holds were sold to the United States and used in the defense of Bataan, and she was eventually sunk in the bay. I believe she was raised by the Japanese and eventually salvaged.


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