World War II Convoys JW-54A and RA-55A

As part of the US Naval Armed Guard, my father served on the Liberty Ship the S. S. Daniel Drake on two convoys as part of the Murmansk Run, delivering war supplies to the Eastern Front.  The Murmansk Run was one of the most dangerous assignments for an American serviceman in World War II.

Convoy JW-54A sailed from Liverpool, England to Kola Inlet, Russia (near Murmansk) and on the return trip, Convoy RA-55A sailed from Kola Inlet, Russia to Loch Ewe, Scotland.  The ship’s manifest for the S. S. Daniel Drake that I posted previously was the list of the crew just prior to the departure of Convoy JW-54A, but not necessarily of the same crew as that in Convoy JW-54-A.

Frank Danko - Navy

Frank Danko in the U.S. Naval Armed Guard

Convoy JW-54A

Convoy JW-54A departed Liverpool on November 15, 1943 and arrived at Kola Inlet on November 24, 1943.  Nineteen vessels made up this convoy:

  • COPELAND (Br)
  • DANIEL DRAKE (Am)
  • EDMUND FANNING (Am)
  • EMPIRE CARPENTER (Br)
  • EMPIRE CELIA (Br)
  • EMPIRE NIGEL (Br)
  • FORT YUKON (Br)
  • GILBERT STUART (Am)
  • HENRY VILLARD (Am)
  • JAMES GORDON BENNETT (Am)
  • JAMES SMITH (Am)
  • JUNECREST (Br)
  • MIJDRECHT (Du)
  • NORLYS (Pan)
  • OCEAN VANITY (Br)
  • OCEAN VERITY (Br)
  • PARK HOLLAND (Am)
  • THOMAS SIM LEE (Am)
  • WILLIAM WINDOM (Am)

The convoy was escorted by the following ships:

  • Nov. 15-Nov. 18: Destroyers Brissenden, Termagant and Polish Burza
  • Nov. 15-Nov. 24: Destroyers Inconstant, Whitehall, corvette Heather and minesweeper Hussar
  • Nov. 18-Nov. 25: Destroyers Impulsive, Onslaught, Onslow, Orwell, and Canadian Haida, Huron and Iroquois
  • Nov. 18-Nov. 19: Obedient (returned early with defects)
  • Nov. 24-Nov. 26: Minesweeper Seagull.
  • Nov. 19-Nov. 24: Cruiser cover by Bermuda, Jamaica and Kent, distant cover by battleship Anson, cruiser USS Tuscaloosa, American destroyers Corry, Fitch, Forrest and Hobson.

Murmansk Run

The Murmansk Run

Convoy RA-55A

Convoy RA-55A departed Kola Inlet on December 22, 1943 and arrived at Loch Ewe on January 1, 1944.  Twenty-three vessels made up this convoy:

  • ARTHUR L. PERRY (Am)
  • DANIEL DRAKE (Am)
  • EDMUND FANNING (Am)
  • EMPIRE CARPENTER (Br)
  • EMPIRE CELIA (Br)
  • EMPIRE NIGEL (Br)
  • FORT MCMURRAY (Br)
  • FORT YUKON (Br)
  • GILBERT STUART (Am)
  • HENRY VILLARD (Am)
  • JAMES SMITH (Am)
  • JUNECREST (Br)
  • MIJDRECHT (Du)
  • OCEAN STRENGTH (Br)
  • OCEAN VANITY (Br)
  • OCEAN VERITY (Br)
  • PARK HOLLAND (Am)
  • RATHLIN (Br)
  • SAN ADOLFO (Br)
  • THOMAS KEARNS (Am)
  • THOMAS SIM LEE (Am)
  • WILLIAM L. MARCY (Am)
  • WILLIAM WINDOM (Am)

The convoy was escorted, at least in part, by the Acanthus, Ashanti, Athabaskan, Beagle, Belfast, Borage, Dianella, Hound, Hydra, Matchless, Meteor, Milne, Musketeer, Norfolk, Opportune, Poppy, Saumarez, Savage, Scorpion, Seagull, Sheffield, Stord, Virago, Wallflower, and Westcott.

This entry was posted in Daily Journal. Bookmark the permalink.