Convoy HX 84

Convoy HX 84 was the 84th of the numbered series of Allied North Atlantic HX convoys of merchant ships from Halifax, Nova Scotia, to Liverpool, England, during the Battle of the Atlantic. Thirty-eight ships escorted by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Jervis Bay departed from Halifax on 28 October 1940, eastbound to Liverpool.[1]

Convoy HX 84
Part of World War II
Date5 November 1940
Result German tactical victory
 Nazi Germany  United Kingdom
Commanders and leaders
Nazi GermanyTheodor Krancke United KingdomE.S.F. Fegen 
1 heavy cruiser 38 merchant ships
3 escorts (1 during attack)
Casualties and losses
None 5 merchants sunk
1 merchant damaged
1 escort sunk
(1 merchant sunk post-dispersal)

On 5 November 1940, the German pocket battleship Admiral Scheer found the convoy at 50°30′N 32°00′W / 50.500°N 32.000°W / 50.500; -32.000 and attacked immediately. Captain E.S.F. Fegen of Jervis Bay attacked the raider so as to delay Admiral Scheer and to allow the convoy to scatter. Jervis Bay was sunk after 20 minutes of fighting with the loss of 190 of her crew. Nevertheless, their sacrifice allowed the convoy to begin to escape. The merchant ship SS Beaverford, armed with only two guns, engaged Admiral Scheer in a cat and mouse gunnery duel that lasted for over four hours before Beaverford was sunk with all hands. This allowed most of the convoy to complete their escape.[2] Admiral Scheer was only able to sink six of the 38 ships in the convoy.

Maiden, Trewellard, Kenbame Head, Beaverford and Fresno were sunk and the tanker San Demetrio damaged, but failing light now allowed the rest of the convoy to escape. San Demetrio was abandoned by her crew, but two days later some of the crew, now in lifeboats, sighted San Demetrio, still afloat and still ablaze. They reboarded her, got the engines running, and brought her in to port. This incident later formed the basis for the script of the film San Demetrio London.

Ships in the convoyEdit

Allied merchant shipsEdit

A total of 38 merchant vessels joined the convoy, either in Halifax or later in the voyage (convoys formed at Bermuda, coded BHX merged on the ocean with the convoys from Halifax as it was easier to protect one large convoy than two smaller ones).[3] Five merchant ships were sunk when the unified convoy was attacked, with one more sunk after the convoy dispersed.

Name Flag Tonnage (GRT) Notes
Andalusian (1918)   United Kingdom 3,082
Anna Bulgaris (1912)   Greece 4,603
Athelempress (1930)   United Kingdom 8,941 Joined ex-BHX 84
Atheltemplar (1930)   United Kingdom 8,992 Joined ex-BHX 84
Beaverford (1928)   United Kingdom 10,042 Sunk by Admiral Scheer
Briarwood (1930)   United Kingdom 4,019
Castilian (1919)   United Kingdom 3,067
Cetus (1920)   Norway 2,614
Cordelia (1932)   United Kingdom 8,190 Joined ex-BHX 84. Returned post-dispersal
Cornish City (1936)   United Kingdom 4,952
Dan-Y-Bryn (1940)   United Kingdom 5,117
Danae Ii (1936)   United Kingdom 2,660
Delhi (1925)   Sweden 4,571 Joined ex-BHX 84
Delphinula (1939)   United Kingdom 8,120
Emile Francqui (1929)   Belgium 5,859
Empire Penguin (1919)   United Kingdom 6,389
Erodona (1937)   United Kingdom 6,207
Fresno City (1929)   United Kingdom 4,955 Sunk by Admiral Scheer
Hjalmar Wessel (1935)   Norway 1,742
James J Maguire (1939)   United Kingdom 10,525
Kenbane Head (1919)   United Kingdom 5,225 Sunk by Admiral Scheer
Lancaster Castle (1937)   United Kingdom 5,172
Maidan (1925)   United Kingdom 7,908 Sunk by Admiral Scheer
Morska Wola (1924)   Poland 3,208
Oilreliance (1929)   United Kingdom 5,666 Joined ex-BHX 84
Pacific Enterprise (1927)   United Kingdom 6,736 Jx BHX 84
Persier (1918)   Belgium 5,382
Puck (1935)   Poland 1,065
Rangitiki (1929)   United Kingdom 16,698
Saint Gobain (1936)   Sweden 9,959 Joined ex-BHX 84
San Demetrio (1938)   United Kingdom 8,073 afloat but ablaze, later recovered
Solfonn (1939)   Norway 9,925 Joined ex-BHX 84
Sovac (1938)   United Kingdom 6,724
Stureholm (1919)   Sweden 4,575 Returned to Halifax post-dispersal
Trefusis (1918)   United Kingdom 5,299
Trewellard (1936)   United Kingdom 5,201 Sunk by Admiral Scheer
Varoy (1892)   Norway 1,531
Vingaland (1935)   Sweden 2,734 Sunk by Luftwaffe aircraft post-dispersal west of County Donegal

Convoy escortsEdit

A series of armed military ships escorted the convoy at various times during its journey, with only one present when the Germans attacked.[3]

Name Flag Type Joined Left
HMCS Columbia   Royal Canadian Navy Town-class destroyer 28 Oct 1940 29 Oct 1940
HMS Jervis Bay   Royal Navy Armed merchant cruiser 28 Oct 1940 05 Nov 1940
Sunk by Admiral Scheer
HMCS St. Francis   Royal Canadian Navy Town-class destroyer 28 Oct 1940 29 Oct 1940


  1. ^ Hague, Arnold (2000). The Allied Convoy System 1939–1945. Naval Institute Press. p. 127. ISBN 1-55750-019-3.
  2. ^ Duncan Haws, Merchant Fleets in Profile Vol. 3, Cambridge: Patrick Stevens Co(1979), p. 167
  3. ^ a b "Convoy HX.84". Arnold Hague Convoy Database. Retrieved 19 October 2013.
  • Dan van der Vat : The Atlantic Campaign (1988).ISBN 0-340-37751-8
  • Arnold Hague : The Allied Convoy System 1939–1945 (2000). ISBN (Canada) 1 55125 033 0 . ISBN (UK) 1 86176 147 3
  • Theodor Krancke, Hans Brennecke : The Battleship 'Scheer' (1956). ISBN
  • Calum MacNeil : San Demetrio (1957). ISBN

External linksEdit