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1942 Awaiting convoy

1942 Awaiting convoy

Bedford Basin Halifax Nova Scotia

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According to Canadian archive information the photograph was taken on April 1st, 1942, showing the assembling of ships before crossing the Atlantic.
If the date is correct it must be convoy HX.183, which left Halifax on April 2nd, and arrived at Liverpool on April 15th. There are 23 merchant ships listed in this convoy plus 12 escorts, the largest being the British cargo/passenger ship Akaroa (15,130 grt/1914), also the first that left Halifax at 10.45 a.m. The convoy arrived at Liverpool without loss. (of course, the photo shows more ships, +/- 58 vessels, maybe additional ships of the later convoys LC.2, LC.3, LC.4 and XB.7).

Sebastian
 

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I have this view from the top of my street and walk the park which is situated on the north side of the Bedford Basin most evenings. I am told the convoys would sail at night leaving the basin empty the following morning.
 

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Hi Sebastian,
Thankyou for dating this photo to April 1st 1942..
I was at Halifax a few times during the war and I have seen this photo before and
I wondered if my ship was included in it..
I was in the tanker San Emiliano and we arrived at Halifax in convoy ON 79 on April 5th 1942
loaded 12,000 tons of aviation spirit there and sailed in convoy HX 184 on April 8th and we arrived
at Swansea for discharge of cargo on April 23rd 1942.
Regards,
Stan
 

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Hi Nova Scotian,
There were very few ship movements during the dark hours as ships could
not show navigation lights there fore it would be hazardous.
Convoys usually left Bedford basin at dawn and sailed in single file and assembled
in a convoy after they had cleared the port.
Also the basin always had a few ships at anchor as convoys assembled there for
different destinations.
I have sailed from there on occasion during fog and that was also a hazardous
operation with the non stop sound of ships sirens.
I recall the time when Nova Scotia was 'dry' and we seamen were issued with
licquor permits..
Regards,
Stan
 

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Hello All, Yes indeed about what you all say. But the explosion in 1917 happened in the narrows you see in the pic when around 2000 people were killed when two ships collided there.

In Juy 1945 the ammo dump just to the left of the pic blew up after a fire aboard a lighter came ashore. The explosions from the ammo being returned from escorts' convoy duties continued for about two days. We were in dock discharging cargo at the time and it was scary as the people thought it was going to be similar to the WW1 disaster. Only one man was killed of the two who ran from the fire to sound an alarm.

The irony was, on VE Day in May there were riots in town from RCN sailors destroying shops on the main drag, Barrington St. burning, looting, and mayhem. Most windows were smashed, etc. They had just been newly installed when the explosions ruined many of them yet again.

Was many times in Halifax during '44-'45. On the Emp.MacKendrick and Asbjorn, but Stan, we could always get drunk at the Seamans mission on Water St. My shipmate lived on Queen St. Halifax near the hospital where we were always welcomed by nurses and staff
 

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Thankyou for that Eric,
I was in Cape Howe maiden voyage and we had nearly a month in dry dock at
Dartmouth accross from Halifax -March/April 1943 - with much ice damage.
Bad news about the RCN matlows lunacy on VE Day...I was in Halifax when some
of the crew of George Washington caused mayhem and destruction in the Seamens
Mission in Water street..
George Washington had just been loaned to us and was being converted to a troopship.
Regards,
Stan
 

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Pat: Thanks for the link on the ammo ship explosions; terrible events. We had an explosion at Port Chicago in 1944 where over 300 men were killed. I've heard terrible stories from seamen who were enlisted to run small boats and pick up the bodies after the explosion.

During the Vietnam War, there was very nearly an explosion just below Telegraph Hill in down town San Francisco. A US Lines C2 was downbound from Port Chicago with a full load of ammo and proceeding south to take bunkers in Anchorage #9 below the Bay Bridge. A States Lines freighter was backing out of Pier 15-17, and the two ships nearly collided. To avoid the collision, the ammo ship went hard right and t-boned Pier 27, a cement pier below Telegraph Hill. The impact opened the C2 up like a shark all the way through the collision bulkhead and back into the cargo in #1 hatch. Fortunately, nothing exploded and the ship was able to back free with the assistance of numerous tugs. The advent of the traffic lanes and VTS (Vessel Traffic System) by the Coast Guard had done a great deal to reduce the number of incidents in the bay.
 

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