Ships Torpedoed in Convoy ONS 154, Part 2

      Fifteen ships were torpedoed in the three-day running Battle for Convoy ONS 154, and fourteen of them were sunk. This list gives the names of the ships torpedoed on December 28, 1942 (at the beginning of the main attack), along with the convoy position, gross registered tons, number of crew and DEMS gunners, the ship(s) that picked up survivors, and the attacking U-boat(s) with the name(s) of the commanding officer(s). If more than one U-boat is mentioned, the one named last was credited with the sinking. (Reference: Revely, The Convoy That Nearly Died and Commonwealth War Graves Commission).

The 15 torpedoed ships carried at least 1,077 men. There were 512 killed and 565 survived.
Of the survivors, 564 were rescued by allied ships and one (1) was picked up by a German U-boat.
The captain of the President Franqui became a prisoner of war.

Restoration of the Memorial is underway. The J. Gordon Mumford Foundation would like to thank the Orion code for their financial support on restoring the original state of the second ONS 154 Memorial.

Merchant Ships Torpedoed in the Main Attack
on December 28, 1942

SS Melmore Head
SS Empire Wagtail
SS Baron Cochrane
SS Lynton Grange
Ville de Rouen
SS Empire Shackleton

SS Melmore Head (Belfast)
GRT: 5,273* – Convoy Position: #113
1919: Ulster Steamship Line
*GRT given incorrectly in Revely as 3,273
Crew of 44 with 5 DEMS.
Voyage: Newport to Saint John, NB, in ballast.

Torpedoed and sunk by U-225 (Lt. Leimkühler) at 2002 hours on December 28, 1942.
Position: 43.27N 27.15W, in Atlantic.
Survivors: 35 rescued by HMCS Shediac. – Casualties: 14 (13 crew plus one DEMS gunner).
Officers and Crew
Tower Hill Memorial, London, UK, Panel 69
Augustus Charles BOND, Able Seaman (age 32)
Husband of Muriel Susannah Bond, of Newport, Monmouthshire
Carpenter (age 36)
Reginald Thomas Augustus COLLYER, Asst. Steward (age 17)
Son of Reginald T. and Annie E. M. Collyer, of London.
Robert CRONE
Cook (age 28)
Steward (age 26)
Patrick FENNELL, Able Seaman (age 60)
Son of Robert and Mary Fennell;
husband of Mary Fennell, of Crosshaven, Co. Cork, Irish Republic
.Kenneth Henry HICKS, Fireman (age 19)
Son of Joseph T. and Gertrude H. Hicks, of Newport, Monmouthshire.
James MAHONEY, Able Seaman (age 31)
Son of Patrick and Kate Mahoney, Glandore, Co. Cork, Irish Republic.
Marriott McCALMONT, Storekeeper (age 44)
Husband of Susan McCalmont, Carrickfergus, Co. Antrim, N. Ireland.
Herbert Alexander McNINCH, Chief Engineer (age 41)
Son of Mr. and Mrs. R A McNinch
Melvin OWEN, Fireman (age 18)
Son of William J. and Beatrice M. Owen, of Newport, Monmouthshire.
Ivor James PROWSE, Assistant Steward (age 19)
Son of Frederick W. and A. D. Prowse, of Newport, Monmouthshire.
Patrick Joseph TONER
Greaser (age 41)
DEMS Gunners
Portsmouth Naval Memorial, Southsea, Hampshire, UK
 Daniel MOORE, Able Seaman  (age 31) who died on Monday 28 December 1942
P/JX 263662 HMS President III (lost in SS Melmore Head) Royal Navy
Son of William and May Moore, of Greenock, Renfrewshire


SS Empire Wagtail (London)
GRT: 4892 – Convoy Position: #111
See also Tower Hill and Empire Wagtail Galleries

Design 1014 “Cascade” type – 7,500 tdw, 380 ft x 53 ft. Engines: T3cyl.
1919: Ossining – Built in Tacoma, Wash. (Todd Drydock & Construction Corp.).
1932: Point Lobos (Gulf Pacific Mail Line Inc. (Swayne & Hoyt Inc., San Francisco)).
1942: Empire Wagtail. British M.O.W.T.

Crew of 36 with 8 DEMS.
Voyage: Cardiff / Halifax, with a cargo of coal.
Torpedoed and sunk by U-260 (Lt. Cdr. Purkhold) at 2045 on December 28, 1942.
Position: 43.17N 27.22W, in mid-Atlantic.
No survivors.

Officers and Crew
Tower Hill Memorial, London, UK, Panel 47
Gabriel ALMOND, Master (age 52)
Husband of Florence C. Almond, of South Shields, Co. Durham
Harold Edward ASSIE,
Boatswain (age 33)
Charles BATES
Mess Room Boy (age 18),
Son of William George and Sarah Bates
John Sutton BATHGATE, Second Engineer (age 40)
Son of Archibald and Isabella Bathgate;
husband of Catherine M.S. Bathgate, of Huyton, Lancashire
Albert Edward BIDDER, Storekeeper (age 32)
Son of David John and Hannah Jane Bidder, of Swansea
John Henry BRADFORD, Donkeyman (age 33)
Son of John William and Elizabeth Ann Fant Bradford.
Russel Ebb BRIDGES, Chief Engineer (age 34)
Husband of L.A. Bridges, of Greenford, Middlesex
Archibald Berry BROWN, Second Officer (age 51)
Son of James and Helen Brown;
husband of Emily Brown, of Severn Beach, Goucestershire
Kenneth Charles BULL, Fifth Engineer (age 22)
Son of Mr. and Mrs. Henry William Bull
Douglas Sydney DAVIES, Fireman  (age 20)
Son of William and Phyllis Annie Davies, of Tottenham, Middlesex
Evan Basil DAVIES, Able Seaman (age 25)
King’s Commendation for Brave Conduct
Son of Evan Beynon Davies and Eileen Davies
Percival Richard Llewellyn DAVIES,
Fireman (age 23)
Reginald John DOW, Second Radio Officer (age 29)
Son of Alexander and Alice Dow;
husband of Sylvia M. Dow, of Splott, Cardiff
Kenneth Francis George EVANS, Sailor (age 19)
Son of William and Mabel Evans of Swansea
George GLADWIN, Chief Officer (age 42)
Husband of Alice Gladwin, of Garden Village, Hull.
Arthur John GRIFFITHS,
Able Seaman (age 23)
Third Engineer (age 31)
Arthur Andrew HEARD, Third Radio Officer (age 15)
Son of Andrew and Ada Heard, of Hockley, Birmingham
Benjamin HOSFORD, Third Officer (age 22),
Son of Benjamin and Mary Hosford,of Hastings, Hawke’s Bay, NZ
David Graham ISAAC, Able Seaman (age 33)
Son of David John and Gwenllian Isaac;
husband of Elisabeth Anne Isaac, of Forestfach, Swansea
William John JAMES, Donkeyman (age 50)
Son of William John and Sarah James;
husband of Amy Ivy James, of Ammanford, Carmarthenshire
Thomas Albert JENKINS
Fireman (age 53)
Son of John and Caroline Jenkins
Bernard Francis JONES, Cabin Boy (age 16)
Son of Frederick Francis and Catherine Jones, of Cardiff.
James Henry JONES, Galley Boy (age 18)
Son of John James and Emily Jones, of Gosport, Hampshire
James Henry LACK
Donkeyman (age 40)
Charles MacDONALD, Fourth Engineer (age 23)
Son of Archibald and Emily Macdonald, of Liverpool
John Brotherhood Patrick MELVILLE
First Radio Officer (age 21)
Thomas William MORROW
Ordinary Seaman Senr. (age 38)
Benjamin Thomas OWENS, Steward (age 26)
Son of Thomas and Elizabeth Owens;
husband of Gladys Ellen Eileen Owens, of Camel’s Head, Plymouth
Jack ROBERTS, Ordinary Seaman Senr. (age 38)
Son of William and Blanche Roberts;
husband of Audrey Jane Roberts, of East Grinstead, Sussex
Cook (age 39)

Son of Samuel and Aurelia
Raymond George STONE
Able Seaman (age 24)
Ieuan THOMAS, Fireman (age 22)
Son of Mr. and Mrs. William Thomas, Ammanford, Carmarthenshire
Sydney Charles WARD, Ordinary Seaman  Senr. (age 21)
Son of Charles Edwin and Florence Kate Ward
Ivor William WATCHMAN, Able Seaman (age 23),
Son of John and Esther Watchman.
Rees John WILLIAMS, Carpenter (age 29)
Son of Rees and Mary H. Williams;
husband of Winifred Williams, of Morriston, Glamorgan
DEMS Gunners

Chatham Naval Memorial, Kent, UK

Albert DAVIES, Gunner (age 34)
3605763, 6/3 Maritime Regiment, Royal Artillery
Son of James and Lily Davies; husband of Pansy Jane Mary Davies,
of Chorlton-on-Medlock, Manchester
John HAMPSON, Gunner
1781252, 6/3 Maritime Regiment, Royal Artillery

Plymouth Naval Memorial, Devon, UK

Portsmouth Naval Memorial, Southsea, Hampshire, UK

 George Harold HAINES, Leading Seaman (age 34)
D/JX 216002 HMS President III, Royal Navy
Son of George C. B. N. and Emily Haines;
husband of Marjorie I. C. Haines, of Bedminster, Somerset

Maurice Richard ALLINGTON, Able Seaman (age 19)
P/JX 339024 HMS President III, Royal Navy
Son of George Henry and Ellen Mary Allington, of Oake, Somerset.

 Ernest HUTCHINSON, Able Seaman (age 34)
D/JX 267236 HMS President III,
Royal Navy
Son of Edwin and Rebecca Hutchinson

William Edward MASON, Able Seaman (age 34)
RN P/JX 220276 HMS President III, Royal Navy

Son of William and Lucy Mason
husband of Doris Annie Mason of Leamore, Walsall, Staffordshire

 Arthur JENKINS, Able Seaman (age 27)
D/JX 248755(HMS President III, Royal Navy
Son of David and Elizabeth Jenkins
husband of Annie Maud Jenkins, of Mardy, Glamorgan

Kenneth William SWEET, Able Seaman (age 21)}
P/JX 234587 HMS President III, Royal Navy
Son of William Alfred and Florence Ida Sweet, of Wolverhampton

Thanks to Glyn Mason, grandson of William Edward Mason
for his assistance in completing this list
of crew members on the Wagtail.


SS Baron Cochrane ** (Ardrossan)
GRT: 3385 – Convoy Position: #12

Crew of 38, with 6 DEMS.
Voyage: From Cardiff to Pernambuco, with 4,000 tons of coal.
Torpedoed by U-406 (Lt. Cdr. Dieterichs) at 2124 hours, December 28, 1942.
Sunk by U-123 (Lt. von Schroeter) at 2150 on December 28, 1942.
43.23N 27.14W, in mid-Atlantic.
Survivors: 42 rescued by HMS Milne. – Casualties: 1 crew plus 1 DEMS killed.

Officers and Crew
Tower Hill Memorial, London, U.K., Panel 14

John E. LEDINGHAM, Chief Engineer (age 62)
Son of John and Anna Ledingham, of St. John’s Newfoundland;
husband of Emma Davidson Ledingham, of Thornliebank, Renfrewshire

DEMS Gunners

Chatham Naval  Memorial

newmini14.gif (275 bytes)William Harryman USHER, Lance Bombardier (age35)
#3605784, 6/3 Maritime Regiment, Royal Artillery
Husband of Evelyn Usher, and Father of Frederick Usher
(information supplied by his granddaughter)


SS Lynton Grange *
GRT: 5029 – Convoy Position: #22
Crew of 42 with 10 DEMS.
Voyage: Swansea to Capetown & Middle East, with military equipment, incl. 3,000 tons high explosives.
Torpedoed by U-406 (Lt. Cdr. Dieterichs) at 2120; sunk by U-628 (Lt. Hasenschar) at 2155 on December 28.
43.23N 27.14W, in mid-Atlantic.

Survivors: 52 rescued by HMS Milne. – No casualties.


Ville de Rouen (French)
GRT: 5597 – Convoy Position: #102
Ex-Vichy French ship captured off Natal in July, 1941.
Crew of 62 with 9 DEMS.
Clyde to Ascension Isles, St. Helena, and South African ports, with 3100 tons general cargo
Torpedoed by U-225 (Lt. Leimkühler) at 2005 on December 28, 1942.
Sunk by U-662 (Cdr. Hermann) at 2210 on December 28, 1942.
43.25 N 27.15W, in Atlantic.
Survivors: 71 rescued by HMCS Shediac. – No casualties.


SS Empire Shackleton * (Greenock)
* Commodore’s Ship *
GRT: 7068 – Convoy Position: #61

1941: Built by Lithgows Ltd., Port Glasgow. Modified as CAM ship.
Launched July 23, 1941, and completed that October.

Commodore, 6 staff, and 1 wireless mechanic. Crew of 49, with 11 DEMS.
Voyage: 2,000 tons of general cargo (incl. aircraft and ammunition) for Halifax, NS.
Torpedoed on December 28, 1942, by U-225 (Lt. Leimkühler) at 2215.
Torpedoed by U-123 (Lt. von Schroeter) and sunk by U-435 (Lt. Cdr. Strelow) both at 2255.
Position: 43.23N 27.14W, in mid-Atlantic.

Survivors: 7 rescued by HMCS Shediac and 17 by SS Calgary.
Two boatloads of survivors (which included the Commodore) picked up by HMS Fidelity.
Casualties: 44 (comprised of 32 crew +  Commodore & 4 staff members and 7 DEMS.

Commodore & Staff
Liverpool Naval Memorial, Lancashire, U.K.
Wion de Malpos EGERTON, Vice-Admiral & Commodore 2nd Class, (age 63) who died on on Monday 1st January 1943
HMS Eaglet, Royal Naval Reserve (lost in the SS Empire Shackleton)
Son of Field-Marshal Sir Charles Egerton, G.C.B., D.S.O., A.D.C., and Lady Egerton;
husband of Anita Adolphine Egerton, of Chilfrome, Dorsetshire.
NEWChatham Naval Memorial
NEWHenry Godsell CHAMBERLAYNE, Convoy Leading Signalman, Age 22
C/JX 172939, Royal Navy –
(lost in the SS Empire Shackleton)
Son of Alfred Henry and Florence Lizzie Chamberlayne, of Stonehouse, Gloucestershire.
NEWJohn Robert MOORE, Ordinary Signalman, Age 20
C/JX 343197, Royal Navy –
(lost in the SS Empire Shackleton)
Son of John William and Florence Beatrice Moore, of Howdon-on-Tyne, Northumberland
NEWWilliam ROBINSON, Convoy Signalman,
C/JX 185529, Royal Navy – (lost in the SS Empire Shackleton) .
Son of Chester and Jane Robinson, of Lidget Green, Yorkshire.
Memorial Site Unknown
One member of the Commodore’s staff
Officers and Crew
Tower Hill Memorial, London, UK, Panel 45 (see Gallery)
Donkeyman (age 56)
George Clifford BARRETT, Chief Officer (age 27)
Son of Albert George and Edith Maria Barrett, of Birkenhead.
Harold BOND, Assistant Steward (age 17)
Son of William Frederick and Marie Bond, of Ellesmere Port, Cheshire
Stephen Patrick CHRISTIE. Ordinary Seaman (age 18)
Adopted son of Lodwick and Margaret Thomas, of Denbighshire
Clifford Tiley COCKLE, Second Engineer (age 57)
Husband of Elizabeth Ellen Cockle, of Newquay, Cornwall.
Roland Cecil COOMBES, Third Officer (age 21)
Son of Cecil Francis and Elsie May Coombes, of Cranleigh, Surrey
John Frederick COUSINS, Fireman (age 39)
Son of Robert Joseph and Isabella Mary Cousins, of Liverpool.
Second Officer (age 36)
William Thetford DUNN, Chief Steward (age 53)
Husband of Lilian Lydia Dunn, of Leytonstone, Essex
Henry M.C. ELLINGTON-JONES, Master (age 52) – Military Cross
Son of Dr. and Mrs. Ellington-Jones, of Bristol;
husband of W. Ellington-Jones, of London.
Third Radio Officer (age 20)
James Andrew GAULT
Third Engineer (age 32)
Edward Frank GODFREY, Apprentice (age 18)
Son of Augustus Edward and Ethel Lucy Williamina Godfrey
James Alexander P. IRONSIDE, Second Radio Officer (age 20)
Son of James and Elizabeth Jane Ironside, of Aberdeenshire
Claude JACKSON, First Radio Officer (age 38)
Son of Alfred and Minnie L. Jackson;
husband of Edith Jackson. of Yorkshire.
Thomas John KEELAN, Fireman (age 33)
Son of James and Dora Keelan;
husband of Mary Keelan, of Bootle, Lancashire
Thomas LANGAN, Boatswain (age 66)
Son of Thomas Langan and Catherine Langan (nee Dunn).
S.L.M. A. LONG, Fireman (age 19)
Son of Jane Lee Ah Long, of Llandudno, Caernarvonshire
Richard James LYONS
Storekeeper (age 33)
Francis MARNEY, Galley Boy (age 16)
Son of John and Mary Ann Marnev, of Liverpool
William R. McALLEN, Steward (age 26)
Son of William J. and Margaret McAllen, of Auckland, New Zealand
Andrew Gordon McLAY
Chief Cook (age 49)
Able Seaman (age 38)

John Sydney READING, Chief Engineer (age 42)
Son of John Barwick and Eliza Reading

Richard ROBINSON, Fireman (age 30)
Son of William and Florence Robinson, of  Southport, Lancashire.

Fourth Engineer (age 22).
Patrick SHEA, Fireman (age 32)
Son of Patrick and Mary Shea;
husband of Rebecca Shea, of Liverpool.
Fireman and Trimmer
Patrick Michael WALSH
Assistant Steward (age 20)
Thomas Henry WILLIAMS, Fireman (age 29)
Husband of E. Williams, of Bootle, Lancashire
George Michael WILSON, Fireman (age 26)
Son of George and Ellen Wilson;
husband of Mary Elizabeth Wilson, all of Liverpool
DEMS Gunners
Chatham Naval Memorial, UK
 Henry Godsell CHAMBERLAYNE, Convoy Leading Signalman (age 22)
C/JX 172939, SS Empire Shackleton,  Royal Navy
Son of Alfred Henry and Florence Lizzie Chamberlayne,
of Stonehouse, Goucestershire
 John Robert MOORE, Ordinary Signalman (age 20)
C/JX 343197, SS Empire Shackleton,  Royal Navy
Son of John William and Florence Beatrice Moore,
of Howdon-on-Tyne, Northumberland
 William ROBINSON, Convoy Signalman
C/JX 185539, SS Empire Shackleton,  Royal Navy
Son of Chester and Jane Robinson, of Lidget Green, Yorkshire
Plymouth Naval Memorial, Devon, UK
 John BRADY, Able Seaman (age 19)
D/JX 339791 HMS President III. Royal Navy
Son of Bernard and Mary Ann Brady, of Ormskirk, Lancashire
 Arthur DEWING, Chief Yeoman of Signals (age 43)
Medal of the Greek Royal Order of George I.
Mentioned in Despatches

D/J 39897 HMS President III , Royal Navy
Son of John Thomas Dewing and Clara Dewing;
husband of Doris Mary Dewing, of Danby, Yorkshire
 James DUFFY, Leading Radio Mechanic (age 22)
P/MX 93355 HMS President III, Royal Navy
Son of Patrick James Duffy and Hannah Duffy, of Workington, Cumberland
 Douglas Frank KINGSTON, Petty Officer Telegraphist
D/J 108514, HMS President III, Royal Navy

Thanks to Don Kindell for supplying the names of the DEMS gunners.
& to others who were able to connect family members to the ships.
Thanks also to Billy McGee for names/memorial to 3 members of Commodore’s staff on Empire Shackleton