Operation Rigmarole

This was the British naval undertaking to ensure the passage of the JW.60 and RA.60 convoys via the Arctic route to and from ports in the northern USSR (15 September/5 October 1944).

Each of these convoys comprised 31 merchant vessels including two escort oilers and one rescue ship, and the safety of their passages was entrusted to escort forces under the command of Rear Admiral R. R. McGrigor. The close escort of JW.60, which left Loch Ewe on 15 September, comprised the destroyers Bulldog, Keppel and Whitehall, sloop Cygnet and corvettes Allington Castle and Bamborough Castle, supplemented from 17 September by the battleship Rodney, escort carriers Campania and Striker, light anti-aircraft cruiser Diadem, and destroyers Marne, Meteor, Milne, Musketeer, Saumarez, Scorpion, Venus, Verulam, Virago, Volage and Canadian Algonquin and Sioux.

The passage was uneventful, and the convoy reached the Kola inlet on 23 September.

The return component of this double undertaking was the RA.60 convoy which departed the Kola inlet on 28 September under escort of the ships which had brought in the JW.60 convoy. The convoy reached Loch Ewe on 5 October, and lost two merchant vessels, namely the 7,176-ton US Edward H. Crockett and 7,219-ton British Samsuva with the deaths of one and three men respectively, to torpedo attack on 29 September by Oberleutnant Wolfgang Ley’s U-310.