Discussion in 'General' started by mickdpaul, Apr 11, 2021.

  1. mickdpaul

    mickdpaul New Member

    New to ww2talk so hope I’ve posted in the right place.
    The diaries of RAF 135 Squadron refer to troopship HMT A6. Anyone know how I find out which ship this refers to? Thanks.
  2. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Can you scan and upload the piece that refers, or provide the ports of departure or arrival and its corresponding date - thanks

  3. mickdpaul

    mickdpaul New Member

    The diary doesn’t state the port of departure, only that they entrained at Berkswell on 10.11.41 but I believe it was convoy WS 12Z sailing from Liverpool. They arrived in Durban on 19.12.41 then left on 24.12.41 to become convoy WS 12ZB arriving in Bombay on 6.1.42. Thanks
  4. Temujin

    Temujin Member

    War diary entry

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  5. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Convoy 12ZB - arrived Bombay 6 Jan 1942

    Capetown Castle
    Duchess of Bedford
    Empire Star
    Empress of Japan
    Indrapoera (Dutch)

    So I guess its one of those


    WS Convoys
  6. Temujin

    Temujin Member

    Ship arrivals in Bombay on 6 Jan 42

  7. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    So it seems all you need to do now is find out which ship Cpl Baldwin was 'lost at sea' on


    Casualty Details | CWGC

    Peter C Baldwin
    BIRTH OCT 1922 • Ecclesall Bierlow, Yorkshire West Riding
    DEATH 26/12/1941

    Global, Find a Grave Index for Burials at Sea and other Select Burial Locations, 1300s-Current
    Name: Cpl Peter Charles Baldwin
    Death Date: 26 Dec 1941
    Cemetery: Singapore Memorial
    Burial or Cremation Place: Kranji, North West, Singapore
    Has Bio?: N
    Cpl Peter Charles Baldwin (Unknown-1941) - Find A...
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2021
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  8. Ewen Scott

    Ewen Scott Well-Known Member

    From "The Winston Specials" in chapter about WS12Z.

    Duchess of Bedford reported the loss of an RAF fitter overboard in the early hours of Boxing Day 1941 when the convoy was abreast of Inhambane in Southern Mozambique. A search conducted by 3 other vessels in the convoy proved unsuccessful. {PRO ADM 199/1138 Report of Royal Sovereign, WS 12Z}

    After Durban the convoy had several elements, WS12ZB was the Bombay bound element. Other ships were bound for Suez and Singapore.

    Edit:- Duchess of Bedford did load at Liverpool. Some other ships in the convoy loaded in Glasgow. It was common that these convoys were made up of vessels that loaded in different west coast ports, with the various elements coming together off Northern Ireland.
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2021
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  9. jonheyworth

    jonheyworth Senior Member

    Thanks for extra info on 574459 Corporal Peter Charles Baldwin
  10. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member Patron

    I had already scanned the pages for WS 12Z for another forum posting. Here they are in case they throw up something extra of you to add to Ewen Scott's post:
  11. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member Patron

    Messed up the above post, please ignore. Here are the pages from the book:

    1.jpg 2.jpg 3.jpg 4.jpg 5.jpg 6.jpg 7.jpg 8.jpg 9.jpg Chapter Notes WS12Z.jpg
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  12. mickdpaul

    mickdpaul New Member

    Would a whole squadron, Sqn 135, have been aboard the same ship or could they have been aboard different ships in the convoy?
  13. Ewen Scott

    Ewen Scott Well-Known Member

    I would have expected the whole squadron to be on the one ship. But there is that comment in the ORB about the 20 pilots “who are to fly out”. But what does that mean? It can’t mean flying overseas as the intention was for the issue of new aircraft to them on arrival (see below). There is however that gap in the ORB from 10 Nov to 19 Dec. The squadron would need to dispose of its existing aircraft probably to a Maintenance Unit. So probably the aircrew flew them out of their base to an MU and rejoined the squadron (and their kit) on board ship.

    But their original destination was Iraq not Bombay.

    Following the German invasion of the USSR on 22nd June 1941, Britain sent a Hurricane wing (151 Wing) of two squadrons to Murmansk to protect the port. That much is well known.

    Last year however I turned up a plan for Operation Clawhammer, a 1941 plan to deploy British Empire troops and 20 RAF squadrons into the Caucasus region of Russia to protect the Soviet oilfields if the German invasion threatened them. Events in the Far East meant that plan came to nothing.

    In late 1941 plans progressed to send 267 Wing comprising 4 Hurricane squadrons from the U.K. to Iraq to be part of that Operation. The squadrons were 17, 135, 136 and 232. All were embarked in WS convoys around this time. The only people that were supposed to know the eventual destination were the squadron COs and Intelligence officers. Brand new Hurricanes were being shipped out to equip them. The Far East war broke out while the Wing was at sea.

    The 232 squadron (aircrew only) disembarked at Freetown and were transported to Takoradi on the Gold Coast where they joined aircrew from 258 squadron, picked up new Hurricanes to fly across Africa, then swapped them for other Hurricanes in Port Sudan and went aboard HMS Indomitable to be ferried to Java in Jan 1941.

    Meanwhile everyone else continued the journey round the Cape but with new destinations in India and the Dutch East Indies.
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  14. mickdpaul

    mickdpaul New Member

    Thanks to everyone for the information. Trying to trace my Dad’s journey with 135 then 34 squadrons so appreciate all the help.

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