Books about Convoy RB1

Hi there,

Thank you for your quick reply, I would like to get the email for John Lawton if possible. It was nice to tell my mother that grandad is mentioned on one of the war graves. Do you know  if either of the two books you mention are available in any libaries, or maybe National Maritime Museum or AWU. I was going to try them but you seem to be so in the know that I thought you might already know. Out of curiosity, has information about this convoy only been released in the last few years. My mother in law and I have done quite a few searches and never come up with anything until now, yet we used the same search info. Also how did the crews get to America, since finding your site I have found another site, (indicates they left from New York then St John's New foundland not Nova Scotia as is indicated on another site). No one state how the got to USA, my mum thinks they went on the Queen Mary but again, we can't find confirmation. Sorry about all the questions,it's nice to have someone who might be able to  answer them.  I know it helps mum a little, as at the time of his death, there were stories of the Germans taking prisoners and my nan spent a lot of energy trying to find out, so at least this confirms he died at sea.

Thank you, 
Janette Ireland


The book Convoy Maniac RB1 by James Reed was first published in 2000, it only runs to about 104 pages, but it seems without it being written we may well have not been aware of the details of Convoy RB1. It threw the first public spotlight on this convoy, and its battle with the German U-boats, it would seem that these shallow draft ships were possibly intended for use in any landings on the French coast, but the D Day landings were almost two years ahead in 1944, and this convoy made its crossing of the Atlantic in September of 1942.

There is of course the other theory that this convoy was meant to divert the attention of the U-Boat packs away from a large troop convoy moving from the US to Britain.

It is not easy to find a copy on sale as a second hand item, and I am unaware of its availability in public libraries. Now John Lawton's one about HMS Veteran, The Pride of Her Line, was, I believe self published and only recently, although he has been gathering his information for many years, it could be as many as 20.
I suggest you tell him that I told you to make contact because of your association with RB1.
Have you looked at
Tony Levin's comments about RB1 on my AHOY site? He and a number of others to join RB1 sailed from Gourock in Queen Mary.

After Tony sailed in Southland from New York he went to Halifax, then to St Johns in Newfoundland, and RB1 sailed from there, as I understand it.

Hope this all helps a little.

best wishes,

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