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Thread: Canada-bound passengers by sea

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    Default Canada-bound passengers by sea

    I appreciate this is a very long shot, but is there any way of identifying passengers on west-bound convoys? I have two meteorologists, LAC P Short and LAC F Thom, who arrived in St John's on about 31 May and 4 June 1941 respectively and I'm trying to identify which ships/convoys they sailed in. The most likely convoys are in the series OB 321 to 324; unfortunately the website http://www.convoyweb.org.uk/ob2/inde...oy=320!~obmain does not list all the destinations. St John's is rarely mentioned, but it is always possible that a Halifax-bound ship could have off-loaded some stores/passengers there.

    The service records for both men simply give their unit at 'A.M. Unit, London' which I suspect is the nominal date on which they were transferred to the Met Office prior to duties on board ships based at St John's. A lettercard Short sent to his wife is dated 1 June, and simply notes a 'letter will follow shortly' - implying he has only just arrived. Thom is recorded as reporting for duty on 4 June, so it appears they travelled separately.

    Brian

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    Ancestry.com have UK out going passenger lists but not for military convoys in that sense, I searched there an found nought. I think the odd individual ship within a convoy might be in these lists if it were a passenger vessel as such, but the vast majority of merchant cargo ships are not in the UK National Archives lists.
    Dennis Burke
    - Dublin

    Foreign Aircrew and Aircraft Ireland 1939-1945
    www.ww2irishaviation.com

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    Hello,

    Possibility for LAC P Short:

    VANJA (Nor.) 6,198 tons, built 1929.

    CONVOY OB.314 (Liverpool-Dispersed)

    Departed Liverpool - 23/4/1941

    Dispersed: 61.05N 35.25W - 30/4/1941

    Independent (proceeded as):

    Arrived Curacao - 16/5/1941
    Departed Curacao - 17/5/1941
    Arrived Halifax - 27/5/1941
    Departed Halifax - 28/5/1941
    Arrived St Johns NF - 31/5/1941
    Departed St Johns NF - 23/6/1941
    Arrived New York - 27/6/1941
    Departed New York - 2/7/1941
    Arrived Halifax - 5/7/1941

    http://www.convoyweb.org.uk/ports/se...p?vessel=VANJA

    Recommended reading:

    The Allied Convoy System 1939-1945:Its Organization,Defence and Operation.
    Hague,Arnold.
    St. Catherines(Ontario):Vanwell Publishing,2000.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 8th January 2014 at 20:47.

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    Thank you Dennis. I realised it was a long shot but thought the question worth asking, more in hope than expectation. Thom's surviving family have been unable to help, and although he married shortly before sailing - and there may have been a child - I've not been able to find any record of his wife, other than on the marriage certificate, so that avenue is closed as well.

    Brian

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    Thanks Col. I think it unlikely Short was on the Vanja outbound since she left Liverpool before the 'AM Unit' entry on his service record, but ....... . There were Halifax-bound ships in OB321 (Contractor and Geddington Court) and OB322 (Lista and Pacific Grove) which left Liverpool on 11 and 12 May respectively; assuming a 12 day crossing I estimate they would have arrived at Halifax around 23-24 May, just in time for Short to transfer to the Vanja before she sailed for St John's. The Pacific Grove was certainly equipped to carry passengers (http://www.uboat.net/allies/merchants/ships/2864.html) .

    Perhaps I'm trying too hard, but the sequence seems to fit.

    Brian

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