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Pacific Convoys 1942-4

January 26 2012 at 11:14 AM
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Jacques  (no login)


Response to SS President Grant-Circa 1942

 
Tell you what's really funny - I checked out the Ship Movement Card (Australian Navy site) for PRESIDENT GRANT, hoping to clear up the "P-10" and convoy designation matter, and as luck would have it, found at the bottom, almost as Bob Burns described it, the hand-written letters "PTO", which could have been read as P-10! Of course I am very bright and know that PTO stands for "please turn over", had a good giggle and was just about to respond in a sarcastic/witty manner with scant regard for personal feelings, when I realised that Bob is referring to some other set of movement cards, not the Aussie ones.

Can these (US Navy?) Ship Movement Cards be viewed on-line like on the Australian Navy website? My suggestion to Bob is to compare a few of these cards to see if he can decipher the P-10 "alphanumeric identifier." It is more likely that, whoever maintained the cards would have used a numbering system and not the owners/operators - American President Lines.

The convoy designation FP-1 is a real head scratcher. This "FP" designation was used for a number of routes in the North Atlantic and Mediterranean but not anywhere in the Pacific. But then again, how official were the designations? Who was in charge of convoys? Did the US use the same system as the British, with ports and routes receiving letter designations? What I do know, is that for San Francisco to the South West Pacific, (Noumea, Wellington, Brisbane, Townsville etc.) the convoy designation was "PW" followed by 4 digits. This designation was in use before and after the voyage in question, so the "FP" does not make sense. Was it perhaps a special convoy with a stopover in French Polynesia (FP?)- that continued on to New Zealand and New Caledonia?

From Arnold Hague's Convoy Database, these are the movements that I have for SS PRESIDENT GRANT from 23 December 1941 to 26 February 1944 (date of her grounding):

PRESIDENT GRANT departed Darwin Dec. 23, 1941. Sailed independently and arrived Thursday Island Christmas Day, departed Dec. 27, arriving Brisbane Dec. 31, 1941 and departing Jan. 2, 1942 to arrive Sydney, Jan. 4, 1942.

Sailed independently from Sydney Jan. 12 to arrive Wellington, Jan. 17, 1942.
Departed San Francisco, Jul. 21 1942 with convoy PW.2111, consisting of BOSCHFONTEIN, DELBRASIL, POELAU LAUT, PRESIDENT GRANT, PRESIDENT POLK, SANTA ANA, TABINTA, USS WHARTON. Left the convoy to sail independently to Sydney, arriving Aug. 2, 1942, rejoined convoy PW.2111 to arrive New Caledonia, Aug. 11 1942.

Then the voyage in question:
Departed San Francisco, Oct. 1 1942, ESCORTED, (no convoy designation) and again departed Noumea Nov. 8, 1942 (No arrival date given and nothing about any stopovers). Sailed independently for San Francisco to arrive Nov. 28, 1942.

Departed Honolulu, Dec. 6 and sailed escorted to San Francisco (no dates of arrival).

Departed San Francisco, Feb. 26, 1943 with convoy PW.2211 consisting of JAMES B FRANCIS, JANE ADDAMS, JOHN B FLOYD, PRESIDENT GRANT, PRESIDENT JOHNSON, REPUBLIC, ROBERT STUART and arrived Brisbane, Mar. 22, 1943.

Departed Port Moresby (no arrival date given), Apr. 3, 1943 with convoy NT.9 (DUNTROON, PRESIDENT GRANT and escorted by HMAS's VENDETTA and WARRAMUNGA) to arrive Townsville, Apr. 5 , 1943. Left the same day with convoy TS.22/1 (CHARON, DUNTROON,PRESIDENT GRANT escorted by HMAS's GEELONG and SHEPPARTON),to arrive Sydney, Apr. 9, 1943.

Sailed independently from San Francisco, May 22, 1943 and arrived Noumea, Jun. 7, 1943. Departed on Jun. 16 and sailed independently for San Francisco.

Departed San Francisco, Aug. 28, 1943 with convoy PW.2293 consisting of KOTA AGOENG, LST-456, PRESIDENT GRANT and arrived Brisbane, Sep. 23, 1943.

Departed Caloundra, Sep. 24, 1943 with convoy QL.14A (CAPE CRIAG, PRESIDENT GRANT) arrive Townsville, Sep. 27, 1943.

Departed Townsville, Oct. 5, 1943, independently for Brisbane.

Departed Brisbane, Oct. 11, 1943 (unknown if independent or escorted) and arrived San Francisco, Nov. 2, 1943.

Departed San Francisco, Dec. 1, 1943 (unknown if independent or escorted)and arrived Brisbane, Dec. 23, 1943.

Departed Brisbane, Dec. 30, 1943 (unknown if independent or escorted) and arrived San Francisco, Jan. 21, 1944.

Departed San Francisco, Feb. 2, 1944, sailed independently but ran aground near Milne Bay, Feb. 26 1944.


Arnold Hagues site have record of the following PW (San Francisco to SW Pacific) convoys:

PW.2095, San Francisco to Melbourne, Depart 23/06/1942 Arrive 17/07/1942
BARNETT, CAPE FLATTERY, JOHN ERICSSON, KLIPFONTEIN, MARSONIA, PELIAS, TORRENS, USS JUPITER
PW.2095A, Suva to Wellington, Depart 10/07/1942, Arrive 14/07/1942
KLIPFONTEIN
PW.2111, San Francisco to Noumea, Depart 21/07/1942, Arrive 11/08/1942
BOSCHFONTEIN, DELBRASIL, POELAU LAUT, PRESIDENT GRANT, PRESIDENT POLK, SANTA ANA, TABINTA, USS WHARTON
PW.2132, San Francisco to Noumea, Depart 03/09/1942, Arrive 21/09/1942
KLIPFONTEIN, NOORDAM, TJISADANE, TORRENS
PW.2136, San Francisco to Noumea, Depart 18/09/1942, Arrive 30/09/1942
MANOERAN, SOMMELSDIJK
PW.2157, San Francisco to Brisbane, Depart 03/11/1942, Arrive ?
CAPE FLATTERY, KLIPFONTEIN, MORMACSEA, PENNANT, TJISADANE, USS ALTAMAHA, USS PRESIDENT MONROE, WELTEVREDEN
PW.2179, San Francisco to Townsville, Depart 31/12/1942, Arrive ?
MAUI, ROCHAMBEAU, SEA WITCH
PW.2179A, Balbao to Brisbane, Depart 06/01/1943, Arrive 31/01/1943
ARCTURUS, HERMITAGE, JOSEPH T DICKMAN, THOMAS JEFFERSON
PW.2211, San Francisco to Brisbane, Depart 26/02/1943, Arrive 22/03/1942
JAMES B FRANCIS, JANE ADDAMS, JOHN B FLOYD, PRESIDENT GRANT, PRESIDENT JOHNSON, REPUBLIC, ROBERT STUART
PW.2218, San Francisco to Wellington, Depart 22/03/1943, Arrive ?
LST 455, LST 457, LST 458, LST 459, WICHITA FALLS
PW.2293, San Francisco to Brisbane, Depart 28/08/1943, Arrive 23/09/1943
KOTA AGOENG, LST 456, PRESIDENT GRANT

Well, thats my 2 cents worth, hope you find the answers, Bob.

Regards,
Jacques

P.S. A correction to my last post: "continues superstructure" should have read "continuous superstructure" (before Nelson reminds me!)

 
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  • Re: Pacific Convoys 1942-44 - Nelson on Jan 26, 2012, 8:25 PM
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