Operation MWS

This was the designation of Allied slow convoys (together with a numerical suffix) plying the route from Alexandria, Egypt, to various ports of Sicily as part of ‘Husky’ (i) (July/August 1943).

The first of these four convoys, on 3/5 July, was MWS.36 with 33 ships. The British vessels were the 7,519-ton Empire Charmian, 813-ton water carrier Empire Lass, 8,280-ton Ennerdale, 7,134-ton Fort Lawrence with 215 tons of motor transport and 429 tons of petrol, 7,596-ton Glaucus, 7,271-ton Harpagus II with 37 tons of motor transport and 128 tons of petrol, 7,043-ton Highland Prince with 234 tons of motor transport and 519 tons of petrol, 2,734-ton Kheti, 687-ton Murray Coast with cased petrol, 965-ton Nasprite with cased petrol, 7,178-ton Ocean Glory with 22 tons of motor transport and 150 tons of petrol, 7,178-ton Ocean Hunter with 114 tons of motor transport and 110 tons of petrol, 7,173-ton Ocean Peace with 253 tons of motor transport 432 tons of petrol (bombed on 12 July and later sunk by a British warship), 7,173-ton Ocean Pride with 45 tons of motor transport and 106 tons of petrol, 7,173-ton Ocean Strength with 44 tons of motor transport and 198 tons of petrol, 7,174-ton Ocean Valley with 183 tons of motor transport and 441 tons of petrol, 7,174-ton Ocean Vision with 129 tons of motor transport and 123 tons of petrol, 7,174-ton Ocean Vulcan with 45 tons of motor transport and 110 tons of petrol, 6,985-ton Ozarda with 40 tons of motor transport and 120 tons of petrol, 5,454-ton Shahjehan with 23 tons of motor transport, 121 tons of petrol and 230 personnel (sunk by Korvettenkapitän Gert Hetschko’s U-453 on 6 July), 7,268-ton Tarantia with 38 tons of motor transport, 128 tons of petrol and 155 troops, and 7,237-ton Thistlemuir with 148 tons of motor transport and 421 tons of petrol.

The Dutch vessel was the 5,621-ton Baarn with 137 tons of motor transport and 428 tons of petrol (sunk off the ‘Husky’ beach-head by air attack).

The US ships were the 7,176-ton Benjamin Goodhue with 205 tons of motor transport and 464 tons of petrol, 7,196-ton Big Foot Wallace with 43 tons of motor transport and 85 tons of petrol, 7,176-ton Colin P. Kelly Jr with 174 tons of motor transport, 399 tons of petrol and 144 troops, 7,176-ton Frank B. Kellogg with 42 tons of motor transport, 123 tons of petrol and 140 troops, 7,181-ton George H. Dern with 175 tons of motor transport and 475 tons of petrol, 7,181-ton George Rogers Clark with 41 tons of motor transport and 93 tons of petrol, 7,176-ton Jonathan Grout 262 tons of motor transport and 43 tons of petrol, 7,177-ton Joseph Alston with 269 tons of motor transport and 562 tons of petrol, 7,181-ton Joseph G. Cannon with 46 tons of motor transport and 91 tons of petrol (bombed off the ‘Husky’ beach-head on 11 July), 7,181-ton Leslie M. Shaw with 43 tons of motor transport and 153 tons of petrol, 7,191-ton Mayo Brothers with 174 tons of motor transport and 381 tons of petrol, 7,181-ton O’Henry with 173 tons of motor transport and 417 tons of petrol, 7,176-ton Pio Pico with 232 tons of motor transport, 542 tons of petrol and 129 troops, and 7,177-ton Pocahontas with 243 tons of motor transport, 543 tons of petrol and 129 troops.

The last of the convoys was MWS.39 of 8 August 1943. No data appear to have survived about this convoy, which departed with the MKS.21 convoy and whose destination was Syracuse.