at Quebec City 18 May 1944,
HMCS Baddeck required numerous
repairs to resolve her engine
problems. Baddeck was assigned
to the Western Local Escort
Force in July 1942 and later
joined the North Africa invasion
force. She also served on escort
groups on the UK-Mediterranean
route, St. John's-Londonderry,
and on the English Channel.
by Richard G. Arless. Department
of National Defence / National
Archives of Canada, PA-108159.
Convoy SC-48 was attacked by a pack of
U-boats south of Greenland, on the nights
of October 15th and 16th, 1941. HMCS Baddeck
was part of the initial escort which included
destroyer HMCS Columbia and six corvettes
(four Canadian, one British, one France
Libre). Additional escort ships, including
US Navy destroyers, were dispatched to the
rescue of the convoy during the night of
October 16th. The combined operations to
protect Convoy SC-48 were fraught with problems:
poor communications, inexperience, and mechanical
breakdowns. SC-48 lost 9 merchant ships.
Lt. A.S. Easton, RCNR, was commanding
officer of HMCS Baddeck. The following
report is reproduced from the Archives of
the Canadian War Museum, 1900068-008. Time
is indicated in HHMM/DD (hour minute / day).
Report of Movements of
H.M.C.S. Baddeck on First Attack
|| A/S [Anti/Submarine,
i.e., ASDIC] broke down. Too late to
notify Wetaskiwin by V/S [Visual Signal].
Carrying out R.D.F. [Radio Direction
Finding] screen at 3000 yards on starboard
beam of convoy.
|| Heard aircraft overhead
above low clouds, flying approximately
east to west.
|| Convoy attacked, apparently
ship in rear of third or fourth column
torpedoed. Increased to 140 revolutions
(best speed) and closed to within 500
yards of convoy then opened searching
with R.D.F. and visually.
|| R.T. [Radio Transmission]
message from Wetaskiwin ordering Baddeck
to sweep starboard side and starboard
quarter believing attack was on starboard
side. This being carried out.
|| R.T. message decoded
from Wetaskiwin ordered Baddeck to keep
convoy together. In coming into starboard
quarter found Mimosa (as dawn coming
in) well astern apparently hunting,
so decided to cover rear up to sixth
column as well as starboard quarter.
While astern of convoy received signal
about 0615 from a rear ship, probably
Rossum in column seven, that she had
passed one boatload of survivors and
many in water on drifting wood and a
capsized boat. Passed this message simultaneously
to Wetaskiwin and Mimosa by V/S.
|| Mimosa then detailed
by Wetaskiwin to pick up survivors.
Baddeck continued to cover starboard
quarter and rear.
|| Told Wetaskiwin A/S had
been out of order all night and still
trying to effect repairs.
|| Ordered by Wetaskiwin
to relieve Mimosa. Altered course to
244 when astern of the seventh column
and proceeded at 140 revolutions. At
this time Mimosa was out of sight.
|| Arrived at scene of wreckage,
Mimosa reporting she thought she had
picked up all survivors. Zig-zaged though
wreckage for ninety minutes picking
up one man from lifebuoy at 1000.
|| Proceeded at 140 revolutions
to rejoin convoy.
|| Man who was picked up
could not be revived.
|| Buried with appropriate
|| Rejoined convoy taking
up position astern until ordered to
night station by Columbia.
Report of Movements of
H.M.C.S. Baddeck on Second Attack
|| Took up night station
4000 yards ahead of convoy being approximately
2500 yards ahead of Columbia steering
020 sweeping with R.D.F. A/S out of
order. Dark night.
|| Observed ship apparently
on starboard side of convoy attacked.
R.T. message then indicated four h ship
in starboard column altered course towards
starboard bow and increased speed to
120 revolutions with view of cutting
off U-boats possible escape in that
direction. When well out on starboard
bow turned hack and headed for port
bow of convoy against a heavy sea at
varying speeds from 80 revolutions to
130 revolutions using R.D.F. Carried
out another search across convoy and
on return to port bow picked up a small
object with R.D.F. at 1500 yards on
starboard bow. Altered course to bring
it ahead. Object lost in ground splash
of R.D.F. at 800 yards. Altered course
5 degrees to starboard and continued
for an estimated 800 yards at 130 revolutions
and dropped one depth charge set at
200 feet. No objects seen at this time
or later. Continued to sweep what appeared
afterwards to have been port beam of
convoy, and quarter of convoy. It seemed
that convoy must have made an emergency
turn to starboard.
|| Found by R.D.F. ship
was astern of convoy at about 3000 yards.
Adjusted course 50 degrees to starboard
and proceeded towards convoy notifying
Gladiolus, who had lost convoy, how
to steer. Skirted port side of convoy
and assumed position 4000 yards ahead
at about 0100/16.
Report of Movements
of H.M.C.S. Baddeck on Night of October
16th and 17th.
|| Proceeded from day station
towards night station 4000 yards ahead
of convoy screening with R.D.F. A/S
out of order.
|| Reached night station
carrying out small zig-zag on convoy
course of 025 degrees at 80 revolutions.
|| Altered course to 065
degrees, 120 revolutions.
|| Alter course 110 degrees
to get ahead of convoy.
|| Found Baddeck to be on
port boy of convoy. Shaped course to
|| Convoy attacked. Still
steaming at 120 revolutions searched
with R.D.F. ahead of convoy at about
2000 yards between about eighth column
and port bow. Fired starshells N.N.E.
|| Resumed course of convoy
modified by zig-zag at about 2500 yards
ahead at 80 revolutions. At this time
a two funnelled destroyer was patrolling
in about the same position backwards
and forwards on the convoy course. Presumably
|| Convoy attacked again,
apparently on starboard side. Proceeded
towards starboard bow and then to port
bow of convoy closing in and firing
starshells north and south.
|| Ordered to go to rear
of convoy to pick up survivors. On approaching
close to port bow sighted what appeared
to be a destroyer carrying two lights,
white over green vertically at the yardarm.
She was about 500 yards ahead of number
|| Sighted suspicious object
on port side of convoy going with it.
Turned around to investigate. It appeared
to be a destroyer, probably U.S.S. Kearny.
|| Left port quarter and
approached centre astern of convoy and
proceeded at 60 revolutions steering
general direction of 270 degrees in
search of survivors. Saw explosions
in neighbourhood of convoy. Saw several
lights to west and southwest apparently
|| Came on raft and took
off two survivors. Chief Officer end
Chief Engineer of Barfonn. Around this
time two ships to westward were signalling
to one another and one destroyer appeared
to be a little to the eastward. Also
a very brilliant and instantaneous flash,
as from a photoflash powder was seen
to the eastward three times by the officer,
appearing to come from out on starboard
quarter of convoy. Interval between
these flashes was about five minutes.
From 0300 when survivors were taken
from raft until daylight search was
carried on for survivors. at daylight
reciprocal course of convoy was set
and a search carried out for thirty
|| Passed Decuator.
|| Passed Abelia.
|| Passed Veronica who reported
all survivors taken off Rym.
|| Passed Rym lying with
a heavy list to starboard. Continued
for ten miles and then returned. Finding
no more survivors proceeded at 1300
from position latitude 57Á02" north
longitude 23Á16" west towards Iceland
in accordance with previous orders,
fuel being low.