Allied Warships

HMS Egret (L 75 / U 75)

Sloop of the Egret class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeSloop
ClassEgret 
PennantL 75 / U 75 
Built byJ.S. White & Co. (Cowes, U.K.) 
Ordered5 Mar 1937 
Laid down21 Jul 1937 
Launched31 May 1938 
Commissioned10 Nov 1938 
Lost27 Aug 1943 
Loss position42° 10'N, 9° 22'W
History

HMS Egret (A/Cdr. John Valentine Waterhouse, DSO, RN) was the first Allied warship to be sunk by a guided missle. 30 nautical miles west of Vigo, Spain she was attacked by a squadron of Dornier aircraft, one of which carried and launched the Henschel Hs-293A guided bomb which hit sank Egret in position 42º10'N, 09º22'W, killing 194 of its crew.

 

Commands listed for HMS Egret (L 75 / U 75)

Please note that we're still working on this section
and that we only list Commanding Officers for the duration of the Second World War.

CommanderFromTo
1Capt. John Campbell Annesley, DSO, RN2 Jun 193919 Jan 1940
2Cdr. Dering Parker Evans, RN19 Jan 194020 Apr 1940
3Cdr. Emile Frank Verlaine Dechaineux, RAN20 Apr 194019 May 1940
4Cdr. Dering Parker Evans, RN19 May 194014 Jan 1941
5A/Capt. Edmund Mount Haes, RN14 Jan 19418 Feb 1942
6Cdr. Charles Robert Stanier Farquhar, RN8 Feb 1942Jun 1943
7Lt. George Henry Cook, RNJun 1943Aug 1943
8Lt.Cdr. John Valentine Waterhouse, DSO, RNAug 194327 Aug 1943

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Notable events involving Egret include:


20 Sep 1939
Around 1445 hours (zone -3), HMS Liverpool (Capt. A.D. Read, RN), made rendez-vous with a troop convoy made up of the liners Brittanic (26943 GRT, built 1930), Duchess of Bedford (20123 GRT, built 1928), Reina del Pacifico (17702 GRT, built 1931) and Strathaird (22281 GRT, built 1932) that at that moment were escorted by HMS Egret (Capt. J.C. Annesley, DSO, RN). (1)

22 Sep 1939
HMS Liverpool (Capt. A.D. Read, RN), HMS Egret (Capt. J.C. Annesley, DSO, RN) and the troop ships they are escorting, Brittanic (26943 GRT, built 1930), Duchess of Bedford (20123 GRT, built 1928), Reina del Pacifico (17702 GRT, built 1931) and Strathaird (22281 GRT, built 1932) arrive at Aden.

Later this day, Brittanic, Duchess of Bedford and Reina del Pacifico departed Aden eastwards. They were escorted by HMS Liverpool. (2)

6 Dec 1939
During 6 and 7 December 1939, HMS Otway (Cdr. H.R. Conway, RN) and HMS Oswald (Lt.Cdr. G.M. Sladen, RN), conducted A/S exercises off Malta together with HMS Defender (Lt.Cdr. St.J.R.J. Tyrwhitt, RN) and HMS Egret (Capt. J.C. Annesley, DSO, RN). These included night exercises. On completion of these exercises HMS Defender proceeded on patrol in the Aegean to the south of Tenedos Island near the Dandarnelles. (3)

20 Feb 1940
Convoy MT 15 (26 ships) departed Methil for the Tyne where it arrived later today. It was escorted by AA destroyer HMS Whitley (Lt.Cdr. G.N. Rolfe, RN) and the sloop HMS Egret (Cdr. D.P. Evans, RN). Additionally the destroyer HMS Jaguar (Lt.Cdr. J.F.W. Hine, RN) was also part of the escort.

The same escort departed the Tyne later the same day with convoy FS 101 (22 ships) from the Tyne to Southend where it arrived on 22

1 May 1940
HMS Valentine (Cdr. H.J. Buchanan, RAN) is relieved from AA guard duty near the sinking position of the submarine HMS Unity by HMS Egret (Cdr. E.F.V. Dechaineux, RAN).

Valentine then proceeded to escort duty with southbound convoy FS 160. (4)

6 Feb 1941
HMS H 43 (Lt. I.L.M. McGeogh, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Egret (A/Capt. E.M. Haes, RN) and HMS Weston (Cdr.(Retd.) J.G. Sutton, RN). (5)

24 Apr 1941
HrMs O 10 (Lt. J.H. Geijs, RNN) participated in A/S exercises off Lough Foyle together with HMS Egret (A/Capt. E.M. Haes, RN) and HMS Verbena (Lt.Cdr. D.A. Rayner, DSC, RNVR). (6)

27 Apr 1941

Convoy SL 73.

This convoy departed Freetown on 27 April 1941 for the U.K.

On departure from Freetown the convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels; Agios Georgios (Greek, 4248 GRT, built 1911), Alcyone (British, 4534 GRT, built 1921), Atland (Swedish, 5203 GRT, built 1910), British Chemist (British (tanker), 6997 GRT, built 1925), Brynymor (British, 4771 GRT, built 1936), Celtic Star (British, 5575 GRT, built 1918), City of Florence (British, 6862 GRT, built 1918), Clan Skene (British, 5214 GRT, built 1919), Daronia (British (tanker), 8139 GRT, built 1939), Defoe (British, 6245 GRT, built 1940), Elg (British, 4014 GRT, built 1930), Empire Gunner (British, 4492 GRT, built 1906), Fana (Norwegian, 1375 GRT, built 1939), Guelma (British, 4402 GRT, built 1928), Hardanger (Norwegian, 4000 GRT, built 1924), Harpalion (British, 5486 GRT, built 1932), Hartington (British, 5496 GRT, built 1932), Hartismere (British, 5498 GRT, built 1933), Hopecrown (British, 5180 GRT, built 1937), Katanga (Belgian, 5183 GRT, built 1917), Laplace (British, 7327 GRT, built 1919), Llancarvan (British, 4910 GRT, built 1937), Lysaker V (British, 1571 GRT, built 1936), Novasli (British, 3204 GRT, built 1920), Penolver (British, 3721 GRT, built 1912), Robert L. Holt (British, 2918 GRT, built 1926), Rod-el-Farag (Egyptian, 6369 GRT, built 1910), Rupert de Larrinaga (British, 5358 GRT, built 1930), Sabor (British, 5212 GRT, built 1920), Sagaing (British, 7958 GRT, built 1925), Solon II (British, 4561 GRT, built 1925), Starcross (British, 4662 GRT, built 1936), Suva (British, 4873 GRT, built 1938), Svend Foyn (British, 14795 GRT, built 1931), Tanafjord (Norwegian, 5922 GRT, built 1921), Thomas Holt (British, 3585 GRT, built 1929) and Titus (Dutch, 1712 GRT, built 1930). (British, GRT, built ).

On departure from Freetown the convoy was escorted by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Esperance Bay ((Capt.(ret) G.S. Holden, RN) and the corvettes HMS Clematis (Cdr. Y.M. Cleeves, DSC, RD, RNR), HMS Crocus (Lt.Cdr. E. Wheeler, RNR), HMS Cyclamen (Lt. H.N. Lawson, RNR) and HMS Marguerite (Lt.Cdr. A.N. Blundell, RNR).

On 29 April 1941 the destroyer HMS Duncan (Lt.Cdr. A.N. Rowell, RN) joined coming from Bathurst. She parted company with the convoy on 1 May 1941 to proceed to Gibraltar.

Around 1540N/3, the light cruiser HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) joined the convoy coming from Freetown. She remained with the convoy until 1820N/4 when she parted company to return to Freetown.

On 19 May 1941, the destroyers HMS Boadicea (A/Cdr. E.C.L. Turner, RN), HMCS Columbia (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) S.W. Davis, RN), HMCS St.Francis (Lt.Cdr. H.F. Pullen, RCN) and the armed boarding vessels HMS Hilary (Cdr. T.L. Owen, RD, RNR) and HMS Registan (A/Cdr. E.A. Divers, RNR) joined the convoy. Around this time HMS Esperance Bay most likely parted company with the convoy.

On 20 May 1941, the destroyer HMCS St. Clair (Lt.Cdr. D.C. Wallace, RCNR), sloop HMS Egret (A/Capt. E.M. Haes, RN) and the corvettes HMCS Arrowhead (Lt.Cdr. E.G. Skinner, RCNR), HMCS Hepatica (T/Lt. C. Copelin, RCNR), HMCS Snowberry (T/Lt. R.S. Kelley, RCNR) and HMCS Spikenard (Lt.Cdr. H.G. Shadforth, RCNR) joined the convoy.

The rescue ship Zamalek (British, 1567 GRT, built 1930) also joined the convoy around the 19/20th.

On 21 May 1941, the destroyers St. Francis and St. Clair parted company with the convoy.

The convoy arrived in U.K. waters on 25 May 1941.

13 Oct 1941

Convoy OS 9

This convoy departed Liverpool on 13 October 1941 for Freetown where it arrived on 5 November 1941. Several merchant ships were detached en-route for other destinations.

The convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels; Adjutant (1931 GRT, built 1922), Alderamin (Dutch, 7886 GRT, built 1920), Arlesford (2472 GRT, built 1922), Annavore (Norwegian, 3324 GRT, built 1921), Baluchistan (6992 GRT, built 1940), Baron Cawdor (3638 GRT, built 1935), Baron Ramsay (3650 GRT, built 1929), Brittany (4772 GRT, built 1928), City of Barcelona (5787 GRT, built 1930), City of Dublin (1095 GRT, built 1882), City of Hereford (5101 GRT, built 1927), Cornish City (4952 GRT, built 1936), Cressado (1228 GRT, built 1913), Egba (4989 GRT, built 1914), Empire Glade (7006 GRT, built 1941), Empire Glen (6327 GRT, built 1941), Fagersten (Norwegian, 2342 GRT, built 1921), Filleigh (4856 GRT, built 1928), Fjord (Norwegian, 4032 GRT, built 1914), Graiglas (4312 GRT, built 1940), Guinean (5205 GRT, built 1936), Hadleigh (5222 GRT, built 1930), Harmonides (5237 GRT, built 1920), Harpasa (5082 GRT, built 1934), Ittersum (Dutch, 5199 GRT, built 1938), Leeds City (4758 GRT, built 1927), Leerdam (8815 GRT, built 1921), Leeds City (4758 GRT, built 1927), Leerdam (Dutch, 8815 GRT, built 1921), Loch Ranza (4958 GRT, built 1934), Madras City (5082 GRT, built 1940), Marwarri (8067 GRT, built 1935), Nigerian (5423 GRT, built 1936), Ottinge (2870 GRT, built 1940), Queen Victoria (4937 GRT, built 1936), Rembrandt (5559 GRT, built 1941), Ribera (5559 GRT, built 1940), Rio Blanco (4086 GRT, built 1922), Salabangka (Dutch, 6586 GRT, built 1920), Sheaf Crown (4868 GRT, built 1929), Spero (1589 GRT, built 1922), Stad Amsterdam (Dutch, 3780 GRT, built 1920), Stanmore (4970 GRT, built 1940), Superman (tug, 359 GRT, built 1933), Talthybius (10254 GRT, built 1912), Tintern Abbey (2471 GRT, built 1939), Treworlas (4692 GRT, built 1922) and Willemsplein (Dutch, 5489 GRT, built 1910).

Escort was initially provided by the following warships; Free French sloop / minesweeper Commandant Domine (13 – 24 October), sloops Egret (A/Capt. E.M. Haes, RN) (14 October – 2 November), Fowey (Lt.Cdr. R.M. Aubrey, RN) (14 October – 1 November), Leith (Lt.Cdr. E.C. Hulton, RN) (14 October – 1 November), Banff (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Evans, RN), Fishguard (Lt.Cdr. H.L. Pryse, RN) and the corvettes HMS Hollyhock (Lt. T.E. Davies, RNR) (14 October – 5 November), HMS Stonecrop (A/Lt.Cdr. J.V. Brock, RCNVR) (14 October – 1 November).

When approaching Freetown the following corvettes joined on 31 October; HMS Burdock (T/Lt. H.J. Fellows, SANF(V)), Clover (Lt.Cdr. F.A. Shaw, RNR) and Nigella (T/Lt. L.J. Simpson, RNR). They remained with the convoy until it arrived at Freetown on 5 November.

On 24 October 1941 the Gibraltar (and Lisbon) section of the convoy split off. This were nine merchant vessels escorted by HMS Fowey, HMS Leith and HMS Stonecrop. The destroyer HMS Wild Swan (Lt.Cdr. C.E.L. Sclater, RN) departed Gibraltar on 25 October to join the convoy on the 27th. Two more destroyers, HMS Gurkha (Cdr. C.N. Lentaigne, RN) and HrMs Isaac Sweers (Cdr. J. Houtsmuller, RNN) departed Gibraltar in the morning of 28 October and they joined the convoy in the afternoon of the next day. The convoy arrived at Gibraltar on 1 November. The previous day the ships destined for Lisbon had split off.

6 Nov 1941

Convoy SL 92.

This convoy departed Freetown for the U.K. on 6 November 1941.

The convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels; Andreas (Greek, 6566 GRT, built 1919), Baron Herries (British, 4574 GRT, built 1940), Brika (British, 4412 GRT, built 1929), Calumet (British, 7268 GRT, built 1923), City of Worcester (British, 5469 GRT, built 1927), Clan MacWhirter (British, 5941 GRT, built 1918), Clan Ross (British, 5897 GRT, built 1914), Corabella (British, 5682 GRT, built 1937), Desirade (British, 9645 GRT, built 1921), Elmdale (British, 4872 GRT, built 1941), Empire Byron (British, 5894 GRT, built 1926), Euryades (British, 5801 GRT, built 1913), Gazcon (British, 4224 GRT, built 1932), Holmbury (British, 4566 GRT, built 1925), Imber (British, 1899 GRT, built 1920), Jeypore (British, 5318 GRT, built 1920), Lynhaug (Norwegian, 2829 GRT, built 1919), Maro (Greek, 3836 GRT, built 1924), Mary Slessor (British, 5027 GRT, built 1930), Meliskerk (Dutch, 6045 GRT, built 1919), Mokambo (British, 4996 GRT, built 1938), Nagpore (British, 5283 GRT, built 1920), New Brunswick (British, 6529 GRT, built 1919), Observer (British, 5881 GRT, built 1928), Penrose (British, 4393 GRT, built 1928), Pentridge Hill (British, 7579 GRT, built 1941), Richmond Hill (British, 7579 GRT, built 1940), Ripley (British, 4997 GRT, built 1936), San Francisco (Swedish, 4933 GRT, built 1915), Sandown Castle (British, 7607 GRT, built 1921), Savoia (British, 5490 GRT, built 1922), Skeldergate (British, 4251 GRT, built 1930), Sobo (British, 5353 GRT, built 19337), Tore Jarl (Norwegian, 1514 GRT, built 1920) and Zouave (British, 4256 GRT, built 1930).

The RFA tanker Rapidol (2648 GRT, built 1917) was also with the convoy to test the concept of an oiler for the escorts. She remained with the convoy until 12 November 1941.

On departure from Freetown the convoy was escorted by the destroyers HMS Vansittart (Lt.Cdr. R.L.S. Gaisford, RN), HMS Velox (Lt.Cdr. E.G. Roper, DSC, RN) and the corvettes HMS Burdock (T/Lt. H.J. Fellows, SANF(V)), HMS Marguerite (Lt.Cdr. A.N. Blundell, RNR) and HMS Starwort (Lt.Cdr. N.W. Duck, RD, RNR).

HMS Velox returned to Freetown on 12 November 1941, presumably she had parted company with the convoy on 10 November.

The heavy cruiser HMS Dorsetshire (Capt. A.W.S. Agar, VC, DSO, RN) and light cruiser HMS Dunedin (Capt. R.S. Lovatt, RN) provided close cover for the convoy during 12 and 13 November 1941.

On 11 November 1941 the sloop HMS Egret (A/Capt. E.M. Haes, RN) and cutters Banff (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Evans, RN) and Fishguard (Lt.Cdr. H.L. Pryse, RN) joined the convoy. They were then to fuel from the Rapidol but apparently only HMS Egret did so.

On 12 November 1941, HMS Vansittart,HMS Burdock, HMS Marguerite and HMS Starwort parted company to join convoy OS 10 coming from the U.K. taking the Rapidol.

On 24 November 1941, the destroyers HMS Foresight (Cdr. J.S.C. Salter, RN), HMS Fury (Lt.Cdr. T.C. Robinson, RN), escort destroyers HMS Badsworth (Lt.Cdr. M.S. Townsend, DSC and Bar, OBE, RN) and HMS Croome (Lt.Cdr. J.D. Hayes, DSO, RN) joined.

On 25 November 1941, the destroyer HMS Forester (Lt.Cdr. E.B. Tancock, DSC and Bar, RN) joined.

Later on 25 November 1941, HMS Foresight, HMS Forester, HMS Fury, escort destroyers HMS Badsworth and HMS Croome parted company with the convoy.

HMS Egret parted company with the convoy on 29 November 1941.

On 30 November 1941, the corvette HNoMS Montbretia and A/S trawler HMS Man o' War (T/Lt. W.W. Creber, RNR) joined the convoy but parted company again later the same day.

A/S trawler HMS Arab (T/Lt. C.A. Shillan, RNVR) was with the convoy on 1 December.

The convoy arrived in U.K. waters on 1 December 1941.

12 Dec 1941
HMS H 34 (Lt. W.A. Phillimore, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle together with HMS Walker (Cdr. D.G.F.W. MacIntyre, DSO, RN) and HMS Egret (A/Capt. E.M. Haes, RN). (7)

2 Apr 1942
HrMs O 10 (Lt. J.H. Geijs, RNN) participated in A/S exercises off Lough Foyle together with HMS Monkshood (Lt.Cdr. J.E.R. Wilford, RNR), HMS Dahlia (T/Lt. M.S. Work, RNR), HMS Egret (Cdr. C.R.S. Farquhar, RN), HMS Fishguard (Lt.Cdr. H.L. Pryse, RNR) and HMS Arctic Explorer (T/Lt. C. Pawley, RNVR). (8)

29 Sep 1942
HMS H 43 (Lt. B.J.B. Andrew, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Philante (Capt. A.J. Baker-Cresswell, DSO, RN), HMS Banff (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Evans, RN), HMS Pentstemon (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) J. Byron, DSC, RNR), HMS Egret (Cdr. C.R.S. Farquhar, RN) and aircraft. (9)

14 Oct 1942
Reconnaissance aircraft reported a 5000 tons enemy merchant vessel, thought to be Irene (4793 GRT, built 1938, former Norwegian Silvaplana) in position 46°50'N, 15°40'W, course 260°, speed 10 knots at 1300A/14. The cruiser HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) was ordered by the Admiralty to proceed to intercept. Sloops HMS Egret (Cdr. C.R.S. Farquhar, RN) and HMS Banff (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Evans, RN) were also endeavouring to intercept. HMS Charybdis stated that search could be carried out only until dusk/14th when she would have to proceed to Ponta Delgada to fuel. (10)

3 Nov 1942
HMS H 28 (Lt. T.S. Weston, RN) participated in A/S exercises off Lough Foyle. Following these exercises she made a practice attack on HMS Egret (Cdr. C.R.S. Farquhar, RN). (11)

24 Jan 1943

Combined convoy WS 26 / KMF 8.

This combined convoy was formed off Oversay on 24 January 1943. The convoy was divided into convoys WS 26 and KMF 8 at sea on 29 January 1943.

The combined convoy was made up of the following (troop) transports; Antenor (British, 11174 GRT, built 1925), Arundel Castle (British, 19118 GRT, built 1921), California (British, 16792 GRT, built 1923), Chyebassa (British, 7043 GRT, built 1942), Circassia (British, 11136 GRT, built 1937), Dempo (British, 17024 GRT, built 1931), Dominion Monarch (British, 27155 GRT, built 1939), Duchess of Richmond (British, 20022 GRT, built 1928), Duchess of York (British, 20021 GRT, built 1929), Dunnottar Castle (British, 15007 GRT, built 1936), Durban Castle (British, 17388 GRT, built 1938), Empire Pride (British, 9248 GRT, built 1941), Empress of Canada (British, 21517 GRT, built 1922), Highland Chieftain (British, 14135 GRT, built 1929), Letitia (British, 13595 GRT, built 1925), Maloja (British, 20914 GRT, built 1923), Mooltan (British, 20952 GRT, built 1923), Orduna (British, 15507 GRT, built 1914), Rembrandt (Dutch, 8126 GRT, built 1941), Ruys (British, 14155 GRT, built 1937), Samaria (British, 19597 GRT, built 1921), Sibajak (British, 12226 GRT, built 1927), Stratheden (British, 23722 GRT, built 1937), Strathnaver (British, 22283 GRT, built 1931), Tiwali (British, 8178 GRT, built 1931) and Volendam (British, 15434 GRT, built 1922).

The aircraft carrier HMS Argus (Capt. H.L.St.J. Fancourt, RN) was also part of the convoy.

On assembly off Oversay the convoy was escorted by the armed merchant cruisers HMS Canton ( A/Cdr.(Retd.) R.J.E. Daintree, RN), HMS Cicilia (Capt.(Retd.) J.M. Scott, RN), destroyers HMS Relentless (Lt.Cdr. R.A. Fell, RN), HMS Quadrant (Lt.Cdr. W.H. Farrington, RN), HMS Clare (Lt.Cdr. J.P. Stewart, DSC, RNR), escort destroyers RHS Adrias, RHS Miaoulis, sloops HMS Egret (Cdr. C.R.S. Farquhar, RN), Savorgnan de Brazza, cutters HMS Banff (Lt. P. Brett, RNR), HMS Fishguard (Lt.Cdr. H.L. Pryse, RNR) and the frigate HMS Test (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) F.B. Collinson, RD, RN).

On 25 January 1943 the destroyer HMS Clare parted company to return to Londonderry. The escort destroyer RHS Miaoulis had lost touch with the convoy during the night of 24/25 January 1943. She was unable to regain touch and was also ordered to return to Londonderry. Her sister ship RHS Adrias had also lost touch but apparently was able to regain contact.

Around 1730A/26, the Antenor parted company with defects to return to the Clyde. It appears that she was escorted back to the Clyde by the sloop Savorgnan de Brazza.

Around 1630A/29, the convoy split into two parts.

Convoy KMF 8 continued on towards the Mediterranean and was made up of the transports Circassia, Duchess of York, Dunnottar Castle, Empire Pride, Letitia, Samaria, Strathnaver, Tawali and the aircraft carrier HMS Argus. They were escorted by HMS Egret, HMS Banff, HMS Fishguard and HMS Test.

Around 1630A/30, HMS Argus and the transport Letitia parted company with convoy KMF 8 to proceed to Gibraltar. They entered Gibraltar Bay around 0330A/31. Presumably they were escorted by the frigate HMS Test which also arrived at Gibraltar on this day.

On 31 January the destroyer HMS Verity, (Lt.Cdr. R. Horncastle, RN) and sloop HMS Enchantress (Lt.Cdr. A.E.T. Christie, OBE, RN) joined convoy KMF 8 having departed Gibraltar on 30 January.

Later on 31 January the destroyers HMS Laforey (Capt. R.M.J. Hutton, DSO, RN), HMS Lookout (Lt.Cdr. A.G. Forman, DSC, RN) and the corvettes HMCS Alberni (Lt. I.H. Bell, RCNVR), HMCS Baddeck (T/Lt. J. Brock, RCNVR), HMCS Lunenburg (T/Lt. W.E. Harrison, RCNVR), HMCS Port Arthur (T/A/Lt.Cdr. E.T. Simmons, DSC, RCNVR) and HMCS Summerside (T/A/Lt.Cdr. F.O. Gerity, RCNR) joined the escort of convoy KMF 8. They had departed Mers-el-Kebir earlier on 31 January. On the joining of HMS Laforey and HMS Lookout, HMS Verity was detached to join convoy GUF 4 as was the corvette HMCS Port Arthur.

The transport Strathnaver was detached to proceed to Oran escorted by HMCS Alberni, HMCS Baddeck, HMCS Luneburg and HMCS Summerside.

The remainder of convoy KMF 8 arrived at Algiers on 1 February escorted by HMS Laforey, HMS Lookout, HMS Egret, HMS Enchantress, HMS Banff and HMS Fishguard.

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When the convoys split up, WS 26 continued on to Freetown. It was made up of the transports . They were escorted by the armed merchant cruisers HMS Canton, HMS Cilicia, destroyers HMS Quadrant, HMS Relentless and the escort destroyer RHS Adrias.

On 31 January, the repair ship HMS Wayland (A/Capt.(Retd.) W.S. Carson, RN) and the transport Leopoldville (Belgian, 11509 GRT, built 1929) escorted by the destroyers HMS Racehorse (Cdr. A.F. Burnell-Nugent, DSC, RN), HMS Redoubt (Lt.Cdr. N.E.G. Ropner, DSO, RN) and HMAS Quickmatch (Lt.Cdr. R. Rhoades, DSC, RAN) joined. They had departed Gibraltar on 29 January. Also on 31 January the destroyers HMS Quality (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Farnfield, DSO, RN) and HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) joined. They had departed Gibraltar on 30 January.

The destroyers HMS Quadrant, HMS Relentless and escort destroyer RHS Adrias parted company on 31 January to fuel at Casablanca from where they departed again on 1 February to rejoin the convoy. HMS Quadrant and HMS Relentless rejoined on 3 February. RHS Adrias only rejoined on 5 February.

On 4 February the transport Leopoldville parted company with the convoy escorted by the destroyer HMS Redoubt. They arrived at Bathurst on 5 February.

Convoy WS 26 arrived at Freetown on 6 February 1943 escorted by the armed merchant cruisers HMS Canton, HMS Cilicia, destroyers HMS Quality, HMS Quadrant, HMAS Quiberon, HMAS Quickmatch, HMS Racehorse, HMS Relentless and the escort destroyer RHS Adrias.

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Convoy WS 26 departed Freetown on 9 February for South Africa. It was made up of the transports Arundel Castle, California, Chyebassa, Dempo, Dilwara (British, 11080 GRT, built 1936), Dominion Monarch, Duchess of Richmond, Empress of Canada, Highland Chieftain, Maloja, Mooltan, Orduna, Rembrandt, Ruys, Sibajak, Stratheden, Volendam and the repair ship HMS Wayland.

On departure from Freetown the convoy was escorted by the armed merchant cruisers HMS Canton, HMS Cilicia, armed boarding vessel HMS Corinthian (Cdr. E.J.R. Pollitt, RNR), destroyers HMS Quality, HMAS Quiberon, HMAS Quickmatch, HMS Racehorse and the escort destroyer RHS Adrias.

On 12 February HMS Corinthian and RHS Adrias parted company with the convoy.

At 1145AB(-1.5)/13, the destroyer HMS Relentless joined the convoy coming from Lagos having departed there on 12 February immediately after being undocked.

Also on the 13th the corvette FFS Commandant d'Estienne d'Orves joined the convoy escort.

In the morning and early afternoon of the 14th, HMS Racehorse and HMAS Quickmatch fuelled from HMS Canton.

Around 0900AB/15 the destroyers HMS Quality and HMAS Quiberon arrived at Porte Noire to fuel after having parted company with the convoy around 2300AB/14. After doing so they departed again around 1230AB/15 to rejoin the convoy which they did around 1700AB/15. Also on the 15th the Commandant d'Estienne d'Orves fuelled from HMS Canton.

Around 2215B/20, the escort destroyer HMS Blackmore (Lt. H.T. Harrel, RN) joined the convoy coming from Saldanha Bay.

Around 0630B/21, HMAS Quiberon and HMAS Quickmatch parted company with the convoy to proceed to Capetown where they arrived around 2100C/21. They departed again around 0730C/22 to rejoin the convoy which they did around 1000C/22.

Around 1000C22, the Capetown section of the convoy, made up of Arundel Castle, California, Cheyebassa, Duchess of Richmond, Highland Chieftain, Orduna, Ruys, Sibajak and HMS Wayland parted company with the convoy to proceed to Capetown. Part of the escort, HMS Racehorce, HMS Relentless, HMAS Quiberon and FFS Commandant d'Estienne d'Orves went with them, some of which then went on to Simonstown.

The light cruiser HMS Ceres (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN) joined the Durban section as did the corvette HMS Genista (Lt.Cdr. R.M. Pattinson, DSC, RNR). This corvette was later detached around 1000C/24 and arrived at Port Elizabeth on later 24 February. Around 1200C/22, HMS Racehorce later rejoined after having fuelled at Capetown. HMS Blackmoor then parted company.

The remaining ships proceeded to Durban arriving there on 25 February escorted by HMS Ceres, HMS Cicilia, HMAS Quiberon, HMAS Quickmatch and HMS Racehorse.

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On 26 February 1943 the Capetown section departed there to proceed towards Durban. It was now made up of the transports Arundel Castle, California, Cheybassa, Highland Chieftain, Orduna and HMS Wayland. The convoy was escorted by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Canton, destroyer HMS Relentless and the escort destroyers HMS Catterick (Lt. A. Tyson, RN) and HMS Blackmore.

At 0115C/1, HMS Relentless was detached to proceed ahead to Durban to fuel.

On completion of fuelling she returned from Durban together with the corvette HMS Freesia (T/A/Lt.Cdr. R.A. Cherry, RNR), and the minesweepers HMIS Carnatic (Lt. H.J.D. Hamilton, RIN) and Commandant Duboc.

Meanwhile the corvette HMS Jasmine (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) C.D.B. Coventry, RNR) had also joined the convoy escort.

HMS Blackmore and HMS Catterick also went to Durban to fuel. They returned later together with the light cruisers HMS Birmingham (Capt. H.B. Crane, RN) and HMS Ceres.

HMS Canton parted company with the convoy and entered Durban.

Transports that joined coming from Durban were the City of Paris (British, 10902 GRT, built 1922), Dempo, Dilwara, Dominion Monarch, Lancashire (British, 9445 GRT, built 1917), Maloja, Mooltan, Rembrandt, Selandia (South African, 8482 GRT, built 1938) and Stratheden. The repair ship HMS Resource (Capt.(Retd.) D.B. O’Connell, RN) also joined the convoy. The Dilwara however returned to Durban with defects shortly after sailing.

Around 1830C/3, HMS Jasmine and HMS Freesia parted company.

Around 0530C/4, HMS Relentless, HMS Blackmore and HMS Catterick parted company.

Around 1500D/6, the Lancashire was detached to Tamatave escorted by the Commandant Duboc.

Around 0300C/8, HMS Ceres parted company with the convoy to proceed to Diego Suarez.

Around 0800CD(-3.5)/9, HMS Resource was detached from the convoy to proceed to Kilindini escorted by HMS Birmingham. The heavy cruiser HMS Hawkins (Capt. G.A. French, RN) had joined just before.

Around 1200D/10, the heavy cruiser HMS Frobisher (Capt. J.F.W. Mudford, RN) joined the convoy.

Around 0700D/11, the convoy split up into the Aden section and the Bombay section.

The Aden section was made up of the Arundel Castle, City of Paris, Highland Chieftain, Maloja, Orduna, Rembrandt and Selandia. They were escorted by HMS Frobisher. They arrived off Aden on 15 March 1943 where the convoy was dispersed.

The Bombay section was made up of the California, Chyebassa, Dempo, Dominion Monarch, Mooltan and Stratheden. They were escorted by HMS Hawkins. They arrived at Bombay on 17 March 1943.

25 Feb 1943

Convoy WS 27 / KMF 10A

This combined convoy was formed off Orsay Island on 25 February 1943.

It was made up of the following troopships / transports; Almanzora (British, 15551 GRT, built 1914). Antenor (British, 11174 GRT, built 1925), Batory (Polish, 14287 GRT, built 1936), Boissevain (Dutch, 14134 GRT, built 1937), Capetown Castle (British, 27002 GRT, built 1938), Christiaan Huygens (Dutch, 16287 GRT, built 1927), Circassia (British, 11136 GRT, built 1937), Franconia (British, 20175 GRT, built 1923), Letitia (British, 13475 GRT, built 1925), Nieuw Holland (Dutch, 11066 GRT, built 1927), Strathaird (British, 22281 GRT, built 1932) and Strathmore (British, 23428 GRT, built 1935).

The convoy was escorted by the battleship HMS Malaya (Capt. J.W.A. Waller, RN), destroyers HMS Quail (Lt.Cdr. R.F. Jenks, RN), HMS Queenborough (Cdr. E.P. Hinton, DSO and Bar, MVO, RN), HMS Raider (Lt.Cdr. K.W. Michell, RN), HMS Wolverine (Lt. I.M. Clegg, RN), HMS Clare (Lt.Cdr. J.P. Stewart, DSC, RNR), sloops HMS Egret (Cdr. C.R.S. Farquhar, RN), HMS Erne (Lt.Cdr. E.D.J. Abbot, DSC, RN), HMS Fishguard (Lt.Cdr. H.L. Pryse, RNR) and the frigate HMS Test (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) F.B. Collinson, RD, RN).

At 1300/1, HMS Queensborough and HMS Wolverine were detached from the combined convoy to fuel at Casablanca.

At 1900/1, the destroyer HMS Quadrant (Lt.Cdr. W.H. Farrington, RN) joined the combined convoy.

At 1100/2, the convoy split up; Convoy WS 27 continued to Freetown and Convoy KMF 10A set course to enter the Mediterranean and proceed to Oran / Algiers.

Convoy KMF 10A.

Convoy KMF 10A was made up of the troopships / transports; Batory, Boissevain, Circassia, Franconia, Nieuw Holland and Letitia, escorted by HMS Egret, HMS Erne, HMS Fishguard, HMS Test and HMS Clare.

On 3 March, while transiting the Gibraltar Strait, HMS Clare was detached to Gibraltar and the convoy was joined by the escort destroyers HMS Farndale (Cdr. D.P. Trentham, RN), HMS Haydon (Lt. R.C. Watkin, RN), HMS Oakley (Lt.Cdr. T.A. Pack-Beresford, RN), HMS Puckeridge (Lt. J.C. Cartwright, DSC, RN) and HMS Zetland (Lt. J.V. Wilkinson, RN) coming from Gibraltar.

The troopships Franconia and Letitia were detached and arrived at Oran on 4 March escorted by HMS Farndale, HMS Haydon, HMS Oakley and HMS Puckeridge. The escort destroyers departed Oran again later the same day to form an separate A/S force that was to operate near the remainder of the convoy during it's passage to Algiers.

The remainder of the convoy arrived at Algiers on March, 5th escorted by HMS Egret, HMS Erne, HMS Fishguard, HMS Test and HMS Zetland.

Convoy WS 27.

Convoy WS 27 was made up of the troopships / transports; Almanzora, Antenor, Capetown Castle, Christiaan Huygens, Strathaird and Strathmore, escorted by HMS Malaya, HMS Quadrant, HMS Quail and HMS Raider.

At 0030/3, HMS Queensborough and HMS Wolverine rejoined the convoy.

Between 1033 and 1125/3, HMS Raidar was fuelled by HMS Malaya followed by HMS Wolverine between 1156 and 1215/3.

At 1115/4, HMS Quadrant parted company with the convoy to fuel at Bathurst.

At 1800/5, the troopship Almanzore parted company with the convoy to proceed to Dakar escorted by HMS Quail.

At 1110/7, HMS Quail rejoined the convoy.

The convoy arrived safely at Freetown in the morning of March, 8th.

14 Jul 1943
HMS H 32 (Lt. J.A.R. Troup, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Saxifage (T/Lt. J. Renwick, DSO, RNR), HMS Dianthus (T/A/Lt.Cdr. N.F. Israel, RNR) and HMS Egret. (12)

15 Jul 1943
HMS H 32 (Lt. J.A.R. Troup, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMCS Kootenay (A/Lt.Cdr. K.L. Dyer, DSC, RCN), HMCS Ottawa (Cdr. H.F. Pullen, OBE, RCN) and HMS Egret. (12)

16 Jul 1943
HMS H 32 (Lt. J.A.R. Troup, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Egret and HMS Derg (A/Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) J.W. Cooper, RNR). (12)

18 Jul 1943
HMS P 511 (Lt. C.W. Taylor, RNR) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle together with HMS Forester (Lt.Cdr. J.A. Burnett, DSC, RN), HMS Rother (Lt.Cdr. R.V.E. Case, DSC, RD, RNR), HMS Egret (Lt. G.H. Cook, RN) and HMS Wear (Cdr. E. Wheeler, RD, RNR). (13)

19 Jul 1943

Combined convoy WS 32 / KMF 20.

This convoy was assembled off Oversay on 19 July 1943.

On assembly the convoy was made up of the following transports; Chyebassa (British, 7043 GRT, built 1942), City of Bristol (British, 8424 GRT, built 1943), Copacabana (Belgian, 7340 GRT, built 1938), Dempo (Dutch, 17024 GRT, built 1931), Esperance Bay (British, 14204 GRT, built 1922), Highland Chieftain (British, 14135 GRT, built 1929), Highland Princess (British, 14133 GRT, built 1930), Maloja (British, 20914 GRT, built 1923), Mooltan (British, 20952 GRT, built 1923), Moreton Bay (British, 14193 GRT, built 1921), Orion (British, 23371 GRT, built 1935), Rangitata (British,16737 GRT, built 1929), Rembrandt (British, 5559 GRT, built 1941), Rochester Castle (British, 7795 GRT, built 1937), Rowallan Castle (British, 7798 GRT, built 1939) and Volendam (Dutch, 15434 GRT, built 1922).

The convoy was escorted by the destroyer HMS Beagle (Lt.Cdr. N.R. Murch, RN), sloops HMS Egret (Lt. G.H. Cook, RN), HMS Pelican (Capt. G.N. Brewer, RN) and the frigates HMS Derg (A/Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) J.W. Cooper, RNR), HMS Jed (Lt.Cdr. R.C. Freaker, DSO, RD, RNR), Kale (HMS Kale (Lt.Cdr. G.W. Houchen, OBE, RD, RNR), HMS Rother (Lt.Cdr. R.V.E. Case, DSO, DSC and Bar, RD, RNR), HMS Tay (Lt.Cdr. R.E. Sherwood, RNR) and HMS Wear (Cdr. E. Wheeler, RD, RNR).

On 21 July 1943 the AA cruiser HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) departed Plymouth to join the convoy which she did early in the evening off 22 July.

The convoy split up at 2000B/25.

Convoy KMF 20, continued on to the Mediterranean. It was made up of the following transports; Cheyebassa, City of Bristol, Dempo, Highland Princess, Mooltan, Orion, Rembrandt and Volendam.

They were escorted by HMS Egret, HMS Pelican, HMS Jed, HMS Rother and HMS Wear.

At 1000B/26, HMS Charybdis parted company and proceeded ahead to Gibraltar arriving there around 2000B/26.

The convoy passed the straits of Gibraltar during the night of 27/28 July. HMS Pelican was detached and arrived at Gibraltar on 27 July.

The transports Dempo, Highland Princess, Mooltan, Orion and Volendam arrived at Algiers on 28 July 1943 escorted by HMS Egret, HMS Jed, HMS Rother and HMS Wear.

Cheyebassa, City of Bristol and Rembrandt continued on the the eastwards towards Malta as convoy KMF 20A. They were escorted by HMS Egret, HMS Jed and HMS Rother which, most likely, had fuelled at Algiers.

On 30 July 1943, HMS Egret, HMS Jed and HMS Rother arrived at Malta. Their escort duties taking over by the destroyers HMS Ilex (Lt.Cdr. V.A. Wight-Boycott, OBE, RN) and HMS Intrepid (Cdr. C.A.de W. Kitcat, RN) which had departed Malta earlier on 30 July.

The three ships of the convoy joined convoy GTX 4 on 31 July following which HMS Ilex and HMS Intrepid returned to Malta arriving on 1 August.

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Convoy WS 32 continued on towards Freetown. It was made up of the following transports; Copacabana, Esperance Bay, Highland Chieftain, Maloja, Moreton Bay, Rangitata, Rochester Castle and Rowallan Castle.

They were escorted by the destroyer Beagle and the frigates HMS Derg, HMS Kale and HMS Tay. These were joined by the destroyer HMS Douglas (Lt.Cdr. K.H.J.L. Phibbs, RN) and the frigate HMS Ness (A/Cdr. T.G.P. Crick, DSC, RN).

The convoy arrived at Freetown on 28 July 1943.

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Convoy WS 32 departed Freetown for South Africa on 5 August 1943.

It was now made up of the transports; Britannic (British, 26943 GRT, built 1930), Esperance Bay, Highland Chieftain, Maloja, Moreton Bay, Rangitata and Rochester Castle.

On 8 August 1943 the transport Nea Hellas (British, 16991 GRT, built 1922) joined the convoy coming from Takoradi. She was escorted by the destroyer HMS Wolverine (Cdr. J.M. Money, RN) which also joined the convoy.

On 9 August 1943, the transports Largs Bay (British, 14182 GRT, built 1921) and Tamaroa (British, 12405 GRT, built 1922) joined the convoy coming from Lagos.

The convoy was escorted by the destroyers HMS Beagle, HMS Bulldog (Lt.Cdr. E.J. Lee, RN), HMS Douglas and the frigates HMS Derg, HMS Kale and HMS Tay.

On 12 August 1943, HMS Beagle, HMS Bulldog, HMS Douglas and HMS Wolverine parted company after having been relieved by the destroyers HMAS Norman (Cdr. H.J. Buchanan DSO, RAN), HMAS Quiberon (Lt. G.J.A. Ashley-Brown, RAN), HMS Rapid (Lt.Cdr. M.W. Tomkinson, DSC and Bar, RN) and HMS Relentless (Lt.Cdr. R.A. Fell, RN).

The convoy arrived at Capetown in 18 August 1943.

It sailed again the following day, minus the Rochester Castle for Durban where it arrived on 22 August 1943. They had been escorted by HMAS Norman, HMAS Quiberon, HMS Rapid and HMS Relentless.

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On 28 August 1943 convoy WS 32 departed Durban for Bombay. It was now made up of the transports Britannic, Largs Bay, Maloja, Strathmore (British, 23428 GRT, built 1935) and Tamaroa.

They were escorted by the heavy cruiser HMS Hawkins (Capt. J.W. Josselyn, DSC, RN) and the destroyers HMAS Norman, HMAS Quiberon and HMS Rapid.

On 3 September 1943, the light cruiser HMS Emerald (Capt. F.J. Wylie, RN) took over from HMS Hawkins and the three destroyers which then proceeded to Kilindini where they arrived the following day after having participated in night exercises.

The convoy arrived at Bombay on 10 September minus the Strathmore which had been detached to Aden on 6 September.

1 Aug 1943

Convoy MKF 20.

This convoy departed Algiers on 1 August 1943.

It was made up of the troop transports; Dempo (Dutch, 17024 GRT, built 1931), Highland Princess (British, 14133 GRT, built 1930), Mooltan (British, 20952 GRT, built 1923), Orion (British, 23371 GRT, built 1935) and Volendam (Dutch, 15434 GRT, built 1922).

Escort was made up of the sloops HMS Pelican (Capt. G.N. Brewer, RN), HMS Egret (Lt. G.H. Cook, RN), frigates HMS Rother (Lt.Cdr. R.V.E. Case, DSO, DSC and Bar, RD, RNR), HMS Wear (Cdr. E. Wheeler, RD, RNR) and the escort destroyer HMS Limbourne (Cdr. C.B. Alers-Hankey, DSC, RN).

The convoy arrived at Oran on 2 August 1943.

The convoy departed Oran on 3 August 1943. The frigate HMS Jed (Lt.Cdr. R.C. Freaker, DSO, RD, RNR) had reinforced the convoy escort now.

The convoy arrived at Gibraltar on 4 August 1943. It departed for the U.K. later the same day minus the transport Dempo. The convoy escort was reinforced by the destroyers HMS Amazon (Lt.Cdr. D.H.P. Gardiner, DSC, RN) and HMS Wanderer (Lt.Cdr. R.F. Whinney, RN).

On 5 August 1943, the AA cruiser HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN) departed Gibraltar to overtake the convoy and then join the convoy escort. She joined the convoy on the morning of the 6th.

At 1000B/8, HMS Charybdis parted company with the convoy to return to Gibraltar.

HMS Limbourne was detached to Plymouth where she arrived on 10 August 1943.

HMS Amazon and HMS Wanderer were detached to Londonderry where they arrived on 10 August 1943.

The convoy arrived in the Clyde on 11 August 1943. The remaining escort vessels then proceeded to Londonderry arriving there later the same day.

18 Aug 1943
HMS H 32 (Lt. J.A.R. Troup, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Jed (Lt.Cdr. R.C. Freaker, DSO, RD, RNR), HMS Egret, HMS Rother (Lt.Cdr. R.V.E. Case, DSO, DSC and Bar, RD, RNR), HMS Northern Pride (T/Lt. A.L.F. Bell, RNR). (14)

23 Aug 1943
On the 23th August 1943 the 40th Escort Group (Cdr. Dallison), consisting of the sloops HMS Landguard, HMS Bideford, HMS Hastings and the frigates HMS Exe, HMS Moyola and HMS Waveney were deployed on a U-boat hunt off Cape Ortegal. The whole operation was covered by the British light cruiser HMS Bermuda.

On the 25th August the Canadian 5th Support Group (Cdr. Tweed), consisting of the British frigates HMS Nene, HMS Tweed and the Canadian corvettes HMCS Calgary, HMCS Edmundston and HMCS Snowberry were deployed to relieve the 40th Escort Group. While this was in progress the ships were attacked at 1415 hrs by 14 Dornier Do-217's and 7 Ju-88's. with the new German weapon, the Henschel Glider Bombs, (the "Hs293 A-1"). Designed by the German Professor Herbert Wagner. HMS Landguard and HMS Bideford were the first of the Allied and R.N. ships to be attacked and damaged by them. This being the first time of their being brought into action against Allied ships. Several sailors were injured on HMS Bideford and one sailor was killed.

Another two days later on the 27th August 1943 the Canadian 5th Support group was relieved by the 1st Support group (Cdr. Brewer) consisting of the sloops HMS Pelican, HMS Egret and the frigates HMS Jed, HMS Rother, HMS Spey and HMS Evenlode. Also the covering cruiser HMS Bermuda was relieved by the Canadian destroyer HMCS Athabaskan and the British destroyer HMS Grenville. These ships were also attacked by the Germans. This time with 18 Dornier Do-217?s also carrying Henschel Glider Bombs. HMCS Athabaskan was heavily damaged and HMS Egret was sunk with the loss of 194 of her crew. After this loss the U-boat hunt was blown off.

16 Aug 2009
My father, Lewis Thompson, was one of the few survivors of the sinking of the HMS Egret. He passed away last year at the age of 88. In 2007 he met with the grandson of one of his shipmates that did not make it, Ordenanceman John W. Chapman. His stories of the Egret were always exciting and I know the sinking had a profound effect on him. I miss him. (15)

Sources

  1. ADM 53/109582 + ADM 199/382
  2. ADM 53/109582
  3. ADM 173/15864
  4. ADM 199/363
  5. ADM 173/16769
  6. File 2.12.03.6376 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)
  7. ADM 173/16767
  8. File 2.12.03.6379 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)
  9. ADM 173/17253
  10. ADM 53/115579 + ADM 199/662
  11. ADM 173/17207
  12. ADM 173/17772
  13. ADM 173/17926
  14. ADM 173/17773
  15. Personal communication

ADM numbers indicate documents at the British National Archives at Kew, London.


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