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Convoy Codes

January 28 2012 at 9:57 AM
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Jacques  (no login)
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Response to Re: Pacific Convoys 1942-44

Hi Nelson,

In response to:

"Now the question does quite legitimately remain, having had a Convoy FP-1 between Scotland and Norway back in 1940, would that coding have been repeated a year or two later, this time in the SW Pacific? To be sure, the earlier one may have been overlooked or forgotten, OR it could have been supposed there was no chance of any spatial or temporal ambiguity in the two convoys..."

Quite possibly, yes. Codes were quite often repeated, reused elsewhere, changed and changed again - FP just being one example. FP was indeed the route designator for troop convoys from the British Isles (Probably departing from Scapa Flow) to Norway, April/May 1940. However, there was also an NP and TM used for the same route during the same period. FP-1B, FP-2 and FP-3 were convoys from Clyde to Scapa Flow during the same period and Arnold Hague lists FP-1 as a single convoy of 5 ships from Famagusta to Port Said, 10 - 12 August 1940. No other listings or reference to FP as a convoy designation could be found but this does not entirely rule out the possibility that the designation was used in the Pacific or elsewhere. The system of codes/designations for convoys/ routes appear to be applied rather haphazardly - probably not always official and should not be relied on for information on ship movements without some cross-referencing.

HyperWar has a huge amount of information available on line - see "History of Convoy and Routing" at:

Not surprisingly, activities in the Pacific make up for only a tiny fraction of WW2 convoys and routing and I could find very little of relevance. Perhaps someone has access to the routing publication, "Mercantile Pacific Routing Instructions (MPRI)" which might reveal more.

Bob, I'll take you up on your offer and will drop you a mail.


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