Allied Warships

HMCS St. Croix (I 81)

Destroyer of the Town class


HMCS St.Croix as seen during the war.

NavyThe Royal Canadian Navy
TypeDestroyer
ClassTown 
PennantI 81 
Built byBethlehem Shipbuilding Corp. (Quincy, Massachusetts, U.S.A.) 
Ordered 
Laid down11 Sep 1918 
Launched31 Jan 1919 
Commissioned24 Sep 1940 
Lost20 Sep 1943 
Loss position57° 30'N, 31° 10'W
History

HMCS St. Croix (A/Lt.Cdr. Andrew Hedley Dobson, DSC, RCNR) was torpedoed and sunk south-west of Iceland in position 57º30'N, 31º10'W by U-305 while escorting convoy ON-202. The ship was one of the first victims of the newly developed acoustic torpedo Gnat. 68 crew members were lost. Of the 5 officers and 76 ratings picked up by the British frigate HMS Itchen (sunk by German U-boat U-666), only one, Leading Stoker William Allen Fisher, survived the sinking of the Itchen a few days later.

 

Hit by U-boat
Sunk on 20 Sep 1943 by U-305 (Bahr).

U-boat AttackSee our U-boat attack entry for the HMCS St. Croix
Former nameUSS McCook (DD 252)

Commands listed for HMCS St. Croix (I 81)

Please note that we're still working on this section.

CommanderFromTo
1Lt Morson Alexander Medland, RCN24 Sep 194010 Oct 1940
2Lt.Cdr. Harry Kingsley, RCN11 Oct 194010 Dec 1941
3T/Lt. Ian Hunter Bell, RCNVR11 Dec 19415 Jan 1942
4A/Lt.Cdr. Andrew Hedley Dobson, RCNR6 Jan 194220 Sep 1943 (+)

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Notable events involving St. Croix include:


Photograph taken by Charles James Sadler, RCNVR. First Class Stoker, Official number V-4963, serving in the Canadian destroyer HMCS Columbia.

1 Apr 1941
HMS Revenge (Capt. E.R. Archer, RN) and the troopship Georgic (British, 27759 GRT, built 1932) arrived at Halifax. They were escorted in by the destroyer HMCS St Croix (Cdr. H. Kingsley, RCN). (1)

10 Apr 1941

Convoy TC 10.

This convoy of troopships departed Halifax on 10 April 1941 for the Clyde where it arrived on 19 April 1941.

The convoy was made up of the following troopships; Batory (Polish, 14287 GRT, built 1936) and Georgic (British, 27759 GRT, built 1932).

On departure from Halifax the convoy was escorted by the battleship HMS Rodney (Capt. F.H.G. Dalrymple-Hamilton, RN) and the destroyer HMCS St Croix (Cdr. H. Kingsley, RCN).

On 11 April 1941, HMCS St. Croix was detached to return to Halifax.

On 15 April 1941, the destroyers HMS Hesperus (Lt.Cdr. A.A. Tait, RN), HMS Legion (Cdr. R.F. Jessel, RN) and Léopard (Lt.Cdr. J. Evenou) joined the convoy coming from Iceland.

On the 16th, Léopard was detached. Four more destroyers joined coming from Iceland, these were HMS Active (Lt.Cdr. M.W. Tomkinson, RN), HMS Echo (Lt.Cdr. C.H.deB. Newby, RN) and ORP Garland (Lt.Cdr. K.F. Namiesniowski, ORP) and Piorun (Cdr. E.J.S. Plawski).

On the 18th, HMS Active and HMS Echo were detached to Scapa Flow.

The convoy arrived in the Clyde on the 19th.

3 May 1941
HMS Tribune (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Norfolk, RN) conducts A/S exercises with ships of the Royal Canadian Navy, HMCS Renard, HMCS St Croix (Cdr. H. Kingsley, RCN) and HMCS Wetaskiwin (Lt.Cdr. G.S. Windeyer, RCN) (2)

27 May 1941

Convoy HX 129.

This convoy departed Halifax on 27 May 1941 and arrived at Liverpool on 12 June 1941.

On departure from Halifax this convoy was made up of the following ships; Agra (Swedish, 4569 GRT, built 1925), Baxtergate (British, 5531 GRT, built 1925), Boston City (British, 2870 GRT, built 1920), Braganza (Norwegian, 6327 GRT, built 1924), British Captain (British (tanker), 6968 GRT, built 1923), Chesapeake (British (tanker), 8955 GRT, built 1928), Delfshaven (Dutch, 5281 GRT, built 1930), Empire Albatross (British, 4714 GRT, built 1918), Empire Dawn (British, 7241 GRT, built 1941), Empire Ibex (British, 6990 GRT, built 1918), Empire Impala (British, 6116 GRT, built 1920), Empire Lapwing (British, 5403 GRT, built 1921), Empire Lightning (British, 6942 GRT, built 1940), Empire Panter (British, 5600 GRT, built 1919), Empire Ptarmigan (British, 6013 GRT, built 1920), Empire Zephyr (British, 6327 GRT, built 1941), Erna III (British, 1590 GRT, built 1930), Evanger (Norwegian, 3869 GRT, built 1920), Generton (British, 4797 GRT, built 1936), Glenlea (British, 4252 GRT, built 1930), Harpasa (British, 5082 GRT, built 1934), Koenjit (Dutch, 4551 GRT, built 1929), Leonidas M. (British, 4573 GRT, built 1929), Lyras (Greek, 5685 GRT, built 1918), Manchester Commerce (British, 5343 GRT, built 1925), Mariso (Dutch, 7659 GRT, built 1930), Mount Kassion (Greek, 7914 GRT, built 1918), Norwegian (British, 6366 GRT, built 1921), Pacific Pioneer (British, 6734 GRT, built 1928), Peterston (British, 4680 GRT, built 1925), Prins Maurits (Dutch, 1287 GRT, built 1936), Ringstad (Norwegian, 4765 GRT, built 1923), Salando (Dutch, 5272 GRT, built 1920), Saltersgate (British, 3940 GRT, built 1924), Saluta (British, 5272 GRT, built 1920), Suderoy (Norwegian (whale factory ship), 7562 GRT, built 1913), Sylvia de Larrinaga (British, 5218 GRT, built 1925), Uffington Court (British, 4976 GRT, built 1929), Wanstead (British, 5486 GRT, built 1928) and Zaglobia (Polish, 2864 GRT, built 1938).

The rescue ship Zaafaran (British, 1559 GRT, built 1929) was also part of the convoy.

On departure from Halifax convoy HX 129 was escorted by the armed merchant cruiser Chitral (Capt.(Retd.) G. Hamilton, RN) and the destroyers HMS Buxton (Lt.Cdr.(Emgy.) Earl Beattie, RN) and HMCS St Croix (Cdr. H. Kingsley, RCN).

On 28 May 1941, HMS Buxton and HMCS St. Croix were detached.

This convoy merged at sea on 31 May 1941 with convoy BHX 129 which had departed Bermuda on 25 May 1941 and was made up of the following ships; Basil (British, 4913 GRT, built 1928), Benedick (British (tanker), 6978 GRT, built 1928), British Princess (British (tanker), 7019 GRT, built 1917), Cowrie (British (tanker), 8197 GRT, built 1931), Daphnella (British (tanker), 8078 GRT, built 1938), Delhi (Swedish, 4571 GRT, built 1925), El Grillo (British (tanker), 7264 GRT, built 1922), Explorer (British, 6235 GRT, built 1935), Ferncastle (Norwegian (tanker), 9940 GRT, built 1936), Geisha (British, 5113 GRT, built 1921), Maja (British (tanker), 8181 GRT, built 1931), Malmanger (Norwegian (tanker), 7078 GRT, built 1920), Murena (Dutch (tanker), 8252 GRT, built 1931), Rapana (British (tanker), 8017 GRT, built 1935), San Alvaro (British (tanker), 7385 GRT, built 1935), San Ambrosio (British (tanker), 7410 GRT, built 1935), San Demetrio (British (tanker), 8073 GRT, built 1938), Sandanger (Norwegian (tanker), 9432 GRT, built 1938), Solsten (Norwegian (tanker), 5379 GRT, built 1929), South Africa (Norwegian (tanker), 9234 GRT, built 1930) and Trader (British, 6087 GRT, built 1940).

On departure from Bermuda convoy BHX 129 was escorted by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Ranpura (A/Capt.(Retd.) H.T.W. Pawsey, OBE, RN) which was then detached.

Also on 31 May 1941 the battlecruiser HMS Repulse (Capt. W.G. Tennant, CB, MVO, RN) joined the convoy to provide cover against attack by enemy surface ships (the German light cruiser Prinz Eugen was still at sea).

On 3 June 1941 the corvettes HMCS Chambly (A/Cdr. J.D. Prentice, RCN), HMCS Collingwood (T/Lt. W. Woods, RCNR) and HMCS Orillia (T/Lt.Cdr. W.E.S. Briggs, RCNR) joined the convoy.

On 4 June 1941, HMS Repulse parted company with the convoy having been relieved by the heavy cruiser HMS Suffolk (Capt. R.M. Ellis, RN).

On 6 June 1941, HMS Suffolk was detached after the destroyers HMS Verity (Cdr. R.H. Mills, RN), HMS Veteran (Cdr. W.T. Couchman, OBE, RN), HMS Wolverine (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Rowland, RN) and the corvettes HMS Begonia (T/Lt. T.A.R. Muir, RNR) and HMS Convolvulus (T/Lt. R.S. Connell, RNR) had joined the convoy.

On 7 June the corvettes HMCS Chambly, HMCS Collingwood and HMCS Orillia were detached.

On 8 June the destroyers HMS Chelsea (Lt.Cdr. R.D.H.S. Pankhurst, RN), HMS Lincoln (Lt. R.J. Hanson, RN), HNoMS Mansfield (Cdr. F. Ulstrup, RNorN), HMS Sabre (Lt. P.W. Gretton, DSC, RN), HMS Venomous (Cdr. H.P. Henderson, RN), corvettes HMS Alisma (A/Lt.Cdr. M.G. Rose, RANVR), HMS Kingcup (Lt. R.A.D. Cambridge, RNR), HMS Sunflower (Lt.Cdr. J.T. Jones, RNR), auxiliary A/S trawler HMS Wellard (Lt.(Retd.) R.F. Turnbull, RD, RNR) and the MAC-ship Springbank joined.

On 10 June HMS Alisma was detached.

On 11 June HMS Chelsea, HMS Lincoln, HMS Mansfield, HMS Veteran, HMS Wolverine and HMS Sunflower were detached.

The convoy arrived at Liverpool on 12 June 1941 escorted by HMS Chitral, HMS Sabre, HMS Venomous, HMS Begonia, HMS Convolvulus, HMS Kincup and HMS Wellard.

2 Oct 1941
HMCS St. Croix (Cdr. H. Kingsley, RCN) picks up 34 survivors from the Dutch merchant Tuva that was torpedoed and sunk the previous day by German U-boat U-575 in the North Atlantic southwest of Iceland in position 54°16'N, 26°36'W.

24 Jul 1942
German U-boat U-90 was sunk in the Northern Atlantic, in position 48°12'N, 40°56'W by depth charges from the Canadian destroyer HMCS St Croix (A/Lt.Cdr. A.H. Dobson, RCNR).

3 Sep 1942
HMS H 32 (Lt. J.R. Drummond, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMCS Amherst (T/Lt. H.G. Denyer, RCNR), HMCS St. Croix (A/Lt.Cdr. A.H. Dobson, DSC, RCNR), USS Nicholson and USS Ludlow. (3)

4 Sep 1942
HMS H 32 (Lt. J.R. Drummond, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMCS Amherst (T/Lt. H.G. Denyer, RCNR), HMCS St. Croix (A/Lt.Cdr. A.H. Dobson, DSC, RCNR), HMCS Ottawa (A/Lt.Cdr. C.A. Rutherford, RCN), HMCS Sherbrooke (T/Lt. J.A.M. Levesque, RCNR), HMCS Arvida (T/Lt. A.I. MacKay, RCNR) and HMCS Brandon (T/Lt. R.J.G. Johnson, RCNVR). (3)

10 Sep 1942
At 21.10 hours on 10 September 1942 German U-boat U-659 attacked the convoy ON-127 southwest of Iceland and reported hits on two ships. In fact, two torpedoes hit the British tanker Empire Oil at the bow and stern and stopped the tanker. At 01.47 hours the next day, German U-boat U-584 sank the drifting Empire Oil with two coups de gr?ce. The master, 12 crew members and six gunners were picked up by the Canadian destroyer HMCS St Croix (A/Lt.Cdr. A.N. Dobson, RCNR) and landed at St. John's on 15 September. 29 crew members and five gunners were picked up by the Canadian destroyer HMCS Ottawa (A/Lt.Cdr. C.A. Rutherford, RCN) On 14 September, 13 crew members and five gunners were lost when this destroyer was torpedoed and sunk by German U-boat U-91.

4 Mar 1943
German U-boat U-87 was sunk west of Leixoes, in position 41°36'N, 13°31'W, by depth charges from the Canadian corvette HMCS Shediac (Lt. J.E. Clayton, RCNR) and the Canadian destroyer HMCS St. Croix (A/Lt.Cdr. A.H. Dobson, DSC, RCNR).

29 Mar 1943
HMS H 44 (Lt. P.S. Beale, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMCS St. Croix (A/Lt.Cdr. A.H. Dobson, DSC, RCNR), HMCS Battleford (T/Lt. F.A. Beck, RCNVR), HMS Itchen (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) C.E. Bridgman, DSO, RNR) and HMS Keppel (Lt.Cdr. R.B.S. Tennant, RN). (4)

12 Apr 1943
The Canadian destroyer HMCS St. Croix (A/Lt.Cdr. A.H. Dobson, DSC, RCNR) and the Canadian corvette HMCS Camrose (Lt L.R. Pavillard, RCNVR) together pick up 28 survivors from the Norwegian merchant Ingerfire that was torpedoed and sunk about 400 miles east of Newfoundland, Canada in position 51°29'N, 42°59'W.

12 Apr 1943
The Canadian destroyer HMCS St. Croix (A/Lt.Cdr. A.H. Dobson, DSC, RCNR) and the Canadian corvette HMCS Camrose (Lt L.R. Pavillard, RCNVR) together pick up 28 survivors from the Norwegian merchant Ingerfire that was torpedoed and sunk the previous day about 400 miles east of Newfoundland, Canada in position 51°29'N, 42°59'W.

28 Aug 1943
HMS H 33 (T/Lt. C.P. Thode, RNZNVR) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Geranium (T/Lt. A.R.J. Tilston, DSC, RNR), HMS Azalea (Lt. G.C. Geddes, RD, RNR), HMS Balsam (Lt. J.E.L. Peters, RNVR) and HMCS St. Croix (A/Lt.Cdr. A.H. Dobson, DSC, RCNR). (5)

3 Sep 1943
HMS H 28 (Lt. E.C. Croswell, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMCS St. Croix (A/Lt.Cdr. A.H. Dobson, DSC, RCNR) and HMS Amaranthus (T/A/Lt.Cdr. W.G. Pardoe-Matthews, RNR). (6)

7 Sep 1943
HMS H 33 (Lt. D.G. Kent, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMCS Sackville (Lt. A.H. Rankin, RCNVR), HMCS Chambly (T/A/Lt.Cdr. A.F. Pickard, RCNR), HMS Itchen (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) C.E. Bridgman, DSO, RNR) and HMCS St. Croix (A/Lt.Cdr. A.H. Dobson, DSC, RCNR). (7)

Media links


U-Boat Attack Logs

Daniel Morgan and Bruce Taylor


amazon.co.uk
(£ 38.25)


Destroyers of World War Two

Whitley, M. J.


Deadly Seas

Bercuson, David Jay and Herwig, Holger H.

Sources

  1. ADM 53/115011
  2. ADM 173/17065
  3. ADM 173/17217
  4. ADM 173/17814
  5. ADM 173/17785
  6. ADM 173/17762
  7. ADM 173/17786

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


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