USN Atlantic Fleet deployments in Q1-Q2, 1942

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daveshoup2MD
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USN Atlantic Fleet deployments in Q1-Q2, 1942

Post by daveshoup2MD » 05 Feb 2022 21:30

Checking in Rohwer and Blair, it's pretty interesting how active some of the USN's modern ships were in the Atlantic and Med in what can only be described as "fleet" missions in the first several months of 1942; the list below is entirely separate from the naval troop/special supply, and merchantile/trade convoys going on at the same time.

Eastern Atlantic/Western Med:

23 Mar-22 April: USN (Washington, Wasp, 2 CA, 8 DDs) reinforce Home Fleet to allow RN forces (Force H+Illustrious and escorts) to cover the troop convoys for IRONCLAD to South Africa and then Indian Ocean, elements of Force H return to Gibraltar);

24 Mar-9 Apr.: PQ13/QP9 operations: Home Fleet covering force includes Victorious, Duke of York, Renown, CL, destroyers;

8-25 April: PQ14/QP10 operations: Home Fleet covering force includes Victorious, King George V, Duke of York, two cruisers, eight DDs);

14-26 Apr: Operation CALENDAR: Wasp, Renown, 2 CLs, 6 DDs reinforce Malta with 46 Spitfires;

22 Apr-28 May: US Atlantic Fleet deployment to North Atlantic/Eastern Atlantic for covering force and aircraft ferry mission(s): Ranger, North Carolina, three cruisers, five DDs; on May 10, Ranger, escorted by CA and five DDs, delivered (fly off) 68 P-40s to Africa;

26 Apr-12 May: PQ15/QP.11 operations; Home Fleet covering force includes King George V, Duke of York, Washington, Victorious, three cruisers, eight destroyers;

3-15 May: Operation BOWERY: Renown, Wasp, Eagle, 1 CL, 13 destroyers reinforce Malta with 61 Spitfires;

and lesser USN deployments to operate with the Home Fleet continued through to until TORCH, but the numbers above sort of represent the high point ... which is pretty impressive, actually; two fast carriers, two fast battleships, roughly 20 cruisers and destroyers...

Absent WATCHTOWER, presumably a similarly-sized deployment could have been sustained well into 1943, which - once the Arctic convoys begin again in the winter of 1942-43 - could have led to some interesting developments; USN forces alongside the British in the Barents Sea in the winter of 1942-43, and/or at North Cape in the winter of 1943-44.

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Re: USN Atlantic Fleet deployments in Q1-Q2, 1942

Post by OpanaPointer » 05 Feb 2022 23:09

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daveshoup2MD
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Re: USN Atlantic Fleet deployments in Q1-Q2, 1942

Post by daveshoup2MD » 06 Feb 2022 01:12

OpanaPointer wrote:
05 Feb 2022 23:09
This can be helpful. https://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USN/USN-Chron.html
Thanks; very helpful. Makes clear the USN's Atlantic Fleet deployments in this period were, in many ways, as significant as the Pacific Fleet efforts, at least up to the Coral Sea; also puts the reality of the flexibility of Allied sea power (RN and USN) into perspective; and, of course, the Gannon-esque bilge about PAUCKENSCHLAG and NEULAND.

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Re: USN Atlantic Fleet deployments in Q1-Q2, 1942

Post by OpanaPointer » 06 Feb 2022 01:49

Mr. Cressman will be pleased that you found it helpful.
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Re: USN Atlantic Fleet deployments in Q1-Q2, 1942

Post by daveshoup2MD » 06 Feb 2022 03:21

OpanaPointer wrote:
06 Feb 2022 01:49
Mr. Cressman will be pleased that you found it helpful.
"We’re not worthy… we’re not worthy." ;)

A couple of entries in the 1942 pages for the Pacific theater were interesting; USN cruisers being sent to the North Pacific for a) commerce raiding, and b) demonstration missions.

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Re: USN Atlantic Fleet deployments in Q1-Q2, 1942

Post by OpanaPointer » 06 Feb 2022 14:04

The Grey Books may address that?
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EwenS
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Re: USN Atlantic Fleet deployments in Q1-Q2, 1942

Post by EwenS » 06 Feb 2022 16:32

daveshoup2MD wrote:
05 Feb 2022 21:30
Checking in Rohwer and Blair, it's pretty interesting how active some of the USN's modern ships were in the Atlantic and Med in what can only be described as "fleet" missions in the first several months of 1942; the list below is entirely separate from the naval troop/special supply, and merchantile/trade convoys going on at the same time.

Eastern Atlantic/Western Med:

23 Mar-22 April: USN (Washington, Wasp, 2 CA, 8 DDs) reinforce Home Fleet to allow RN forces (Force H+Illustrious and escorts) to cover the troop convoys for IRONCLAD to South Africa and then Indian Ocean, elements of Force H return to Gibraltar);

24 Mar-9 Apr.: PQ13/QP9 operations: Home Fleet covering force includes Victorious, Duke of York, Renown, CL, destroyers;

8-25 April: PQ14/QP10 operations: Home Fleet covering force includes Victorious, King George V, Duke of York, two cruisers, eight DDs);

14-26 Apr: Operation CALENDAR: Wasp, Renown, 2 CLs, 6 DDs reinforce Malta with 46 Spitfires;

22 Apr-28 May: US Atlantic Fleet deployment to North Atlantic/Eastern Atlantic for covering force and aircraft ferry mission(s): Ranger, North Carolina, three cruisers, five DDs; on May 10, Ranger, escorted by CA and five DDs, delivered (fly off) 68 P-40s to Africa;

26 Apr-12 May: PQ15/QP.11 operations; Home Fleet covering force includes King George V, Duke of York, Washington, Victorious, three cruisers, eight destroyers;

3-15 May: Operation BOWERY: Renown, Wasp, Eagle, 1 CL, 13 destroyers reinforce Malta with 61 Spitfires;

and lesser USN deployments to operate with the Home Fleet continued through to until TORCH, but the numbers above sort of represent the high point ... which is pretty impressive, actually; two fast carriers, two fast battleships, roughly 20 cruisers and destroyers...

Absent WATCHTOWER, presumably a similarly-sized deployment could have been sustained well into 1943, which - once the Arctic convoys begin again in the winter of 1942-43 - could have led to some interesting developments; USN forces alongside the British in the Barents Sea in the winter of 1942-43, and/or at North Cape in the winter of 1943-44.
Are you sure about the deployment "22 Apr-28 May: US Atlantic Fleet deployment to North Atlantic/Eastern Atlantic"? My understanding is that a force deployed to Argentia but no further, all under USN control.

Having been engaged on Neutrality Patrols from 1939 until 8 Dec 1941, Ranger departed Norfolk again on the 21st Dec for patrols in the South Atlantic until returning to Norfolk for repairs at the end of March 1942. She then carried out 2 ferry trips to West Africa with USAAF fighters between late April and late July, interspersed with a patrol up to Argentia in June. On the first she carried 68 P-40 destined for the AVG/23rd FG in the CBI and on the second the 72 P-40 of the 57th FG for delivery across Africa for service with the Desert Air Force & US 9th AF in Egypt. Then it was back to the east coast and Caribbean for training until she left to take part in Operation Torch.

The use of the Wasp for a ferry run to Malta was a request by Churchill to FDR on 1 April 1942 while she was en route with the rest of TF39 to join the Home Fleet, as HMS Eagle had to be hurriedly docked at Gibraltar for repairs after carrying out 3 Malta ferry trips in March. Having arrived at Scapa on 5 April she left for the Clyde on the 9th. Operation Calendar occupied Wasp from 9-27 April. A second request to FDR on 24/4/42, agreed the next day, saw the Wasp undertake Operation Bowery from 29/4 to mid-May when she returned to Norfolk after picking up her disembarked aircraft in Britain. She then had a brief after which she departed for the Pacific on 6 June.

AIUI the only US ships to operate as part the Home Fleet in summer 1942 belonged to TF39/99 i.e. Washington, Wasp, Wichita, Tuscaloosa and 6 destroyers.

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Re: USN Atlantic Fleet deployments in Q1-Q2, 1942

Post by daveshoup2MD » 06 Feb 2022 18:34

EwenS wrote:
06 Feb 2022 16:32
daveshoup2MD wrote:
05 Feb 2022 21:30
Checking in Rohwer and Blair, it's pretty interesting how active some of the USN's modern ships were in the Atlantic and Med in what can only be described as "fleet" missions in the first several months of 1942; the list below is entirely separate from the naval troop/special supply, and merchantile/trade convoys going on at the same time.

Eastern Atlantic/Western Med:

23 Mar-22 April: USN (Washington, Wasp, 2 CA, 8 DDs) reinforce Home Fleet to allow RN forces (Force H+Illustrious and escorts) to cover the troop convoys for IRONCLAD to South Africa and then Indian Ocean, elements of Force H return to Gibraltar);

24 Mar-9 Apr.: PQ13/QP9 operations: Home Fleet covering force includes Victorious, Duke of York, Renown, CL, destroyers;

8-25 April: PQ14/QP10 operations: Home Fleet covering force includes Victorious, King George V, Duke of York, two cruisers, eight DDs);

14-26 Apr: Operation CALENDAR: Wasp, Renown, 2 CLs, 6 DDs reinforce Malta with 46 Spitfires;

22 Apr-28 May: US Atlantic Fleet deployment to North Atlantic/Eastern Atlantic for covering force and aircraft ferry mission(s): Ranger, North Carolina, three cruisers, five DDs; on May 10, Ranger, escorted by CA and five DDs, delivered (fly off) 68 P-40s to Africa;

26 Apr-12 May: PQ15/QP.11 operations; Home Fleet covering force includes King George V, Duke of York, Washington, Victorious, three cruisers, eight destroyers;

3-15 May: Operation BOWERY: Renown, Wasp, Eagle, 1 CL, 13 destroyers reinforce Malta with 61 Spitfires;

and lesser USN deployments to operate with the Home Fleet continued through to until TORCH, but the numbers above sort of represent the high point ... which is pretty impressive, actually; two fast carriers, two fast battleships, roughly 20 cruisers and destroyers...

Absent WATCHTOWER, presumably a similarly-sized deployment could have been sustained well into 1943, which - once the Arctic convoys begin again in the winter of 1942-43 - could have led to some interesting developments; USN forces alongside the British in the Barents Sea in the winter of 1942-43, and/or at North Cape in the winter of 1943-44.
Are you sure about the deployment "22 Apr-28 May: US Atlantic Fleet deployment to North Atlantic/Eastern Atlantic"? My understanding is that a force deployed to Argentia but no further, all under USN control.

Having been engaged on Neutrality Patrols from 1939 until 8 Dec 1941, Ranger departed Norfolk again on the 21st Dec for patrols in the South Atlantic until returning to Norfolk for repairs at the end of March 1942. She then carried out 2 ferry trips to West Africa with USAAF fighters between late April and late July, interspersed with a patrol up to Argentia in June. On the first she carried 68 P-40 destined for the AVG/23rd FG in the CBI and on the second the 72 P-40 of the 57th FG for delivery across Africa for service with the Desert Air Force & US 9th AF in Egypt. Then it was back to the east coast and Caribbean for training until she left to take part in Operation Torch.

The use of the Wasp for a ferry run to Malta was a request by Churchill to FDR on 1 April 1942 while she was en route with the rest of TF39 to join the Home Fleet, as HMS Eagle had to be hurriedly docked at Gibraltar for repairs after carrying out 3 Malta ferry trips in March. Having arrived at Scapa on 5 April she left for the Clyde on the 9th. Operation Calendar occupied Wasp from 9-27 April. A second request to FDR on 24/4/42, agreed the next day, saw the Wasp undertake Operation Bowery from 29/4 to mid-May when she returned to Norfolk after picking up her disembarked aircraft in Britain. She then had a brief after which she departed for the Pacific on 6 June.

AIUI the only US ships to operate as part the Home Fleet in summer 1942 belonged to TF39/99 i.e. Washington, Wasp, Wichita, Tuscaloosa and 6 destroyers.
Agree with your detailed post; the point being made regarding Ranger, North Carolina, and their escorts is simply the ships were a) active in the Atlantic on fleet operations that were "Allied" taskings (North Atlantic covering force against a potential KM breakout and/or aircraft ferry to the eastern Atlantic) as opposed to troop convoy escorts or training; they were not (after all) in the Pacific.

By inference, if there had been a further need in eastern Atlantic or Western Med, the entire force "could" have been drawn upon...

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