Lieutenant- Commnader R.E. Sherwood, R.N.R. in his smart frigate Tay

August 11, 2009

Capt. R.E. Sherwood.

I read with great interest your piece on Convoy ONS5 and Capt. Sherwood's particular part in it. (The Battle For Convoy ONS 5. 26th.April - 6th. May 1943)

Whilst I did not know Capt. Sherwood personally, I knew who he was as I lived in the same town as he did when he returned to serve on the Holyhead cargo and passenger ships after the war.

Mrs. Sherwood taught me in Sunday school and his daughter, Ann, was a year ahead of me in the local Grammar school. Unfortunately, I do not have any trace of Ann after she left school.

Capt. Sherwood came ashore as the Senior Marine Superintendent, based in London, for the British Rail fleet, probably in the early 1950's.

On 14th. November, 2003, the "Times" ran an article when celebrating 100 years of the Royal naval Reserve, which Capt. Sherwood belonged to.-

"One of the tipping points of the Battle of the Atlantic was the passage of convoy ONS5 in May 1943, a struggle in which nine U- boats were sunk for the price of 12 merchant shgips, a ratio that Admiral Doenitz rated a serious defeat, a total of 41 U-boats having been involved - more U-boats than ships.

The military historian John Terraine wrote: " If one man is to be singled out as responsible, it must be Lieutenant- Commnader R.E. Sherwood, R.N.R. in his smart frigate Tay.

Sherwood comes across to us more than 50 years later as an embodiment of the virtues of the Royal Naval Reserve.

mature, as Reserve officers are expected to be, wise in the ways of the sea and experienced in convoy battle, unflappable, this two-and-a-half ringed officer won a battle that an admiral or general could well be pleased with."

I also know that Capt. Sherwood was held in very high esteem by those that sailed under his command in Holyhead.

Yours sincerely,
Maelor Jones.


Thank you for your comments on both Convoy ONS 5 and Captain Sherwood.

That battle with the U-Boats was certainly a defining one for the Battle of the Atlantic, and the Royal Navy's Anti submarine forces finally got on top of Doenitz' U-boats.

Captain Sherwwod deserves the greatest praise for his conduct in that fight.

I went back to UK in 1993, 50 years on from May of 1943, and enjoyed my time around Liverpool and Anglesey, as we remembered those dark days.

I was only 18 when in 1940 I arrived to join in that struggle against the U-Boats in HMAS Australia. I  value my Atlantic Star medal above all others from WW2, it was the hardest to win. 

My thanks for sharing your thoughts.


back to letters index


This site was created as a resource for educational use and the promotion of historical awareness. All rights of publicity of the individuals named herein are expressly reserved, and, should be respected consistent with the reverence in which this memorial site was established.

Copyright© 1984/2014 Mackenzie J. Gregory All rights reserved