Operation Timeless

'Timeless' was the British naval undertaking to facilitate the passage of the JW.67 convoy to ports in the northern USSR, and the RA.67 convoy returning empty to the UK (12/30 May 1945).

The JW.67 convoy comprised 25 laden vessels, including one escort oiler and one rescue ship (Rathlin on her 23rd and last such outward voyage), and the escort comprised the escort carrier Queen, the destroyers Obdurate and Onslow, the frigates Bazeley, Bentinck, Byard, Drury and Pasley of the 4th Escort Group, and the Canadian frigates Loch Alvie, Matane, Monnow, Nene and St Pierre of the 9th Escort Group. The convoy departed the Clyde river on 12 May, four days after VE-Day, as the last outward-bound Arctic convoy, and reached the Kola inlet on 20 May after an uneventful passage.

RA.67 was the last homebound convoy of the war, and comprised 25 unladen ships, including two escort oilers and the rescue ship Rathlin. Escorted by the warships which had arrived with the JW.67 convoy, the RA.67 convoy departed the Kola inlet on 23 May and reached the Clyde river without incident on 30 May.

In the Arctic convoy effort between 1941 and 1945, the Allies had lost some 102 merchant vessels (36 British, eight Panamanian, 11 Soviet and 47 US) and 23 warships. The latter were the light cruisers Edinburgh and Trinidad, destroyers Achates, Hardy, Mahratta, Matabele, Punjabi, Soviet Sokrushitelnyi and Somali, sloops Kite, Lark and Lapwing, frigate Goodall, corvettes Bluebell, Denbigh Castle and Tunsberg Castle, minesweepers Bramble, Gossamer, Leda and Niger, Free Polish submarine P551 (Jastrzab) and armed whaler Shera.

Over the same period the German losses had been the battle-cruiser Scharnhorst, destroyers Friedrich Eckholdt and Z 26, auxiliary vessels/escorts Bremse and Ulm, and U-boats U-88, U-286, U-277, U-288, U-307, U-314, U-344, U-347, U-354, U-355, U-360, U-361, U-365, U-366, U-387, U-394, U-425, U-457, U-472, U-585, U-589, U-601, U-644, U-655, U-674, U-713, U-742, U-921, U-959, U-961 and U-973. The Germans had also lost large numbers of warplanes.