OB-309 To Montreal - Not So Good

The Sixth Voyage

We have said a lot about the Dorelean and speculated about what it may have been like for Alister but not heard from him directly. He is still 16 and has crossed the Atlantic and returned five times while under frequent threat of attack. This, Alister’s sixth voyage was really unpleasant for him for a number of reasons and we will hear from him for a change. He left Glasgow on 12th April 1941 joining convoy OB-309 which dispersed on 19th April about 500 nautical miles out from Ireland. This is further south than usual presumably for the benefit of a number of ships in the convoy that were heading South for places such as Durban.

Assuming 9 knots I estimate that Alister spend his 17th birthday in the Atlantic 1,500 nautical miles out from Scotland with 600 miles still to reach the safety of the Gulf of St Laurence. Away from the U-boat threat so it could have been a good birthday if he had been well, unfortunately he was not. The Dorelian's log has an entry about him on his birthday "~, apprentice: complaining of pain in lower part of abdomen. Placed off duty and treated as per medical guide."

The Dorelian reached Montreal on 28th April. It had last been there in October so I assume that in 1941 Montreal was closed because of ice in the winter.

Though the Dorelian reach Montreal safely as did all the West bound ships two of the Southbound ships starting with it in OB-309 were sunk by U-boats; both South of Cape Verde Islands, the Lassel on 30th April with the loss of one life and the Queen Maud on 5th May loosing two lives.

View Convoy OB-309 in a larger map

No comments: