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ADMIRALTY WAR DIARIES of WORLD WAR 2

 

EASTERN FLEET - January to June 1943

 

Transcribed by Don Kindell

HMAS Adelaide, old light cruiser (NavyPhotos/Mark Teadham click to enlarge)

on to Eastern Fleet, July-December 1943
or
back to Admiralty War Diaries

 
 

(for more ship information, go to Naval History Homepage and type name in Site Search)

China, East Indies, Australia & New Zealand Stations September 1939 to March 1942

 

       
  Areas of Operations (click to enlarge). Only some locations in text are shown  

 

Click for Convoy Route Codes, Operation Code Names and Royal Navy  Minelaying


Please Note:

(1) All available contents have been transcribed.

(2) The original typist did not have a good grasp of grammar or punctuation with some sentences running on, but the contents have been transcribed as they are.

(3) Some of the abbreviations are not known and cannot be deciphered without further research.

Don Kindell

 
 

 

SECRET

 

EASTERN FLEET WAR DIARY

 

JANUARY 1943

 

Friday, January 1st

 

 

FOXHOUND

Left Durban for Kilindini

LURCHER

Left Tamatave for Diego Suarez

CAPETOWN

Left Kilindini for Bombay and Persian Gulf, calling Seychelles en route

NORMAN

Left Diego Suarez for Kilindini

 

 

Saturday, January 2nd

 

 

CERES

Left Aden for Kilindini

CATTERICK

Arrived Kilindini from Durban escorting RELIANT

RANPURA

Arrived Durban from Kilindini

DEVONSHIRE

Arrived Aden having escorting H.T. AQUITANIA from Fremantle

GAWLER

Left Addu Atoll escorting CLAN FORBES to Colombo

 

 

Sunday, January 3rd

 

 

CAPETOWN

Arrived Seychelles and left the same day for Bombay

CAIRNS

Arrived Seychelles from Diego Suarez having called at Alagela Island en route

LURCHER

Arrived Diego Suarez from Tamatave and left for Kilindini

NORMAN

Arrived Kilindini from Diego Suarez

BRITTANY

Arrived Kilindini from Diego Suarez

'SSSS'

Two enemy submarines sighted by patrolling dhow 5 miles south of Forbandar (200 miles N. of Bombay

 

 

Monday, January 4th

 

 

TRUSTY

Left Colombo on patrol

ADELAIDE

Left Fremantle escorting H.T. ILE DE FRANCE to vicinity of Colombo

NIZAM

Arrived Kilindini from Tamatave

FFS LEOPARD

Left Kilindini for Tamatave

FALMOUTH and BATHURST

Left Bandar Abbas escorting P.B. 20 to Bombay

RATNAGIRI

Left Bandar Abbas escorting P.A. 18 to Aden

 

 

Tuesday, January 5th

 

 

FOXHOUND

Arrived Kilindini from Durban

ROSALIND

Arrived Kilindini from Seychelles

GAWLER

Escorting CLAN FORBES arrived Colombo from Addu Athol

RANPURA

Left Durban for Kilindini

'SSSS'

Submarine reported by U.S. Ferry A/C in position 19 deg. 15N, 58 deg. 29 E at 0740. Reported graded E by S.N.O.P.G.

 

 

Wednesday, January 6th

 

 

LURCHER

Escorting one transport arrived Kilindini from Diego Suarez

CHITRAL

Escorting convoy A.B. 5 arrived Bombay from Aden

 

 

Thursday, January 7th

 

 

CERES

Arrived Kilindini from Aden

CAPETOWN

Arrived Bombay from Kilindini en route to relieve CARADOC in Persian Gulf

VALIANT, HOTSPUR and BLACKMORE

Left Kilindini for Durban

FFS LEOPARD

Arrived Tamatave from Kilindini and sailed again for Diego Suarez

BURNIE

Left Diego Suarez for Kilindini

ISIS

Left Bombay for Mediterranean calling Aden

W.S. 25W (H.T. QUEEN MARY)

Left Capetown for Suez

PUNJAB and GERALDTON

Escorting convoy B.P. 65 left Bombay

M.T. QUEEN MARY

Left Capetown for Aden and Suez

 

 

Friday, January 8th

 

 

FFS LEOPARD

Arrived Diego Suarez from Tamatave

RANCHI

Escorting convoy B.A. 36 arrived Aden

ADELAIDE

Escorting ILE DE FRANCE ordered to part company at 1230Z and return to Fremantle

NIRAVATI

Escorting A.P. 12 left Aden

 

 

Saturday, January 9th

 

 

CHITRAL

Left Bombay for Durban

FROBISHER

Left Durban escorting convoy C.M. 37 B towards Bombay. To be relieved by HAWKINS off Diego Suarez

GAMBIA

Left Durban escorting convoy C.M. 37 A towards Aden. To be relieved south of Kilindini by RANPURA

CAPETOWN

Left Bombay for Bahrein to relieve CARADOC

LEOPARD

Left Diego Suarez for Reunion

 

 

Sunday, January 10th

 

 

DEVONSHIRE and CARTHAGE

Left Aden escorting convoy M.C. 3 to Durban

BURNIE

Arrived Kilindini from Diego Suarez

ISIS

Arrived Aden from Bombay on passage to Mediterranean

FALMOUTH and BATHURST

Escorting convoy P.B. 20 arrived Bombay

 

 

Monday, January 11th

 

 

CHITRAL

on passage from Bombay to Durban diverted to Kilindini

ROSALIND

Left Kilindini for Seychelles

LEOPARD

Arrived Reunion from Diego Suarez and left for Mauritius

LEOPARD

Arrived Mauritius

LURCHER

Left Kilindini for Diego Suarez escorting SS EKMA

RANPURA

Arrived Kilindini from Durban

RATNAGIRI

Escorting convoy P.A. 19 arrived Aden

SUTLEJ

Escorting convoy P.A. 19 left Hormuz

WILLEM VAN DE ZAAN and MADRAS

Escorting convoy P.B. 21 left Hormuz

 

 

Tuesday, January 12th

 

 

CARADOC

Left Bahrein for Bombay

CAIRNS

Left Seychelles for Kilindini

VALIANT, HOTSPUR and BLACKMORE

Arrived Durban from Kilindini

QUEEN OF BERMUDA

Left Simonstown for Suez

'RRRR'

SS AGWIMONTE reported having been shelled in position 35 deg. 42S, 21 deg. 27E (180 miles E.S.E. of the Cape)

 

 

Wednesday, January 13th

 

 

HMS ILLUSTRIOUS, NORMAN and NEPAL

Left Kilindini

HAWKINS and BIRMINGHAM

Left Kilindini for exercises thence Diego Suarez

CERES

Left Kilindini for exercises then Durban

ADELAIDE

Arrived Fremantle

H.T. NIEUW AMSTERDAM

arrived Durban from Suez

'SSSS'

Native on Reunion Island reported having sighted a submarine 25' distance at 0800Z. Report considered unreliable by C.O. FSS LEOPARD

'SSSS'

SS FRESNO CITY reported sighting a periscope in 1 deg 20 S, 74 deg 32E at 0500Z hrs.

 

 

Thursday, January 14th

 

 

PLADDA

Left Tamatave for Diego Suarez

RANCHI

Left Aden escorting convoy A.K. 6, two ships, to Kilindini

POOLE

Left Aden escorting A.P. 13 to Persian Gulf

ILE DE FRANCE

Arrived Bombay from Fremantle

 

 

Friday, January 15th

 

 

ISIS

Arrived Aden from Bombay on passage to Mediterranean

H.T. QUEEN MARY

Arrived Aden from Capetown

 

 

Saturday, January 16th

 

 

IPSWICH

Left Kilindini to join escort to convoy C.M. 37 A to Aden

CAIRNS

Arrived Kilindini from Seychelles

RANPURA

Left Kilindini to relieve GAMBIA and take over escort of convoy C.M. 37 A to Aden

CHITRAL

Arrived Kilindini from Bombay

PLADDA

Arrived Diego Suarez from Tamatave

CARADOC

Arrived Bombay from Persian Gulf

 

 

Sunday, January 17th

 

 

GAMBIA

Arrived Kilindini having been relieved by RANPURA as escort to convoy C.M. 37 A to Aden

LURCHER

Arrived Tamatave and left later for Diego Suarez

PUNJAB and GERALDTON

Left Hormuz (Bandar Abbas) escorting convoy P.B. 22 to Bombay

HIRAVATI

Left Bandar Abbas escorting convoy P.A. 20 to Aden

MADRAS and WILLEM VAN DER ZAAN

Arrived Bombay with convoy P.B. 21

ROSALIND

Arrived Seychelles from Kilindini

NORMAN and NEPAL

Arrived Durban from Kilindini

WORCESTERSHIRE

Left Bombay for Aden

 

 

Monday, January 18th

 

 

DEVONSHIRE

Arrived Kilindini having been relieved by BIRMINGHAM as escort to convoy M.C. 3 to Durban

FROBISHER

Arrived Kilindini having been relieved by HAWKINS as escort to convoy C.M. 37 B to Bombay.1 Swordfish aircraft crashed 140 deg. Ras Sereni 8' at 1440 hrs. Crew picked up by FROBISHER. Aircraft sank

BRITTANY

Left Kilindini for Seychelles and Addu

CERES

Arrived Durban from Kilindini

SUTLEJ

Escorting convoy P.A. 19 arrived Aden

CAPETOWN

Arrived Bahrein from Kilindini

H.T. QUEEN MARY

Arrived Suez from Aden

BENGAL and SONAVATI

Escorting B.P. 66 left Bombay

 

 

Tuesday, January 19th

 

 

PLADDA

Arrived Tamatave from Diego Suarez

NIEUW AMSTERDAM

Left Durban for Suez

 

 

Wednesday, January 20th

 

 

RANCHI

Arrived Kilindini from Aden escorting two ships

 

 

Thursday, January 21st

 

 

CHITRAL

Left Kilindini for Simonstown

WOLLONGONG

Left Kilindini escorting two ships to Diego Suarez

 

 

Friday, January 22nd

 

 

RANCHI

Left Kilindini escorting SS ARAWA to Durban

KHYBER

Left Durban for Diego Suarez en route to Colombo

ROMNEY and RATNAGIRI

Left Aden escorting convoy A.P. 14

TAMWORTH

Escorting one tanker ATHELDUKE left Fremantle for Diego Garcia. TAMWORTH then to Colombo

 

 

Saturday, January 23rd

 

 

BRITTANY

Left Seychelles for Addu Atoll

WORCESTERSHIRE

Arrived Aden from Bombay

BIRMINGHAM and CARTHAGE

Escorting convoy M.C. 3 arrived Durban

NORMAN

Escorting N.S.I.S. HONG SIANG left Durban for Kilindini

PUNJAB and GERALDTON

Escorting convoy P.B. 22 arrived Bombay

CAPETOWN

Left Bahrein for Masirah to investigate reported Bedouin attack on R.A.F. aerodrome

 

 

Sunday, January 24th

 

 

CATTERICK

Left Kilindini for Durban

QUEEN OF BERMUDA

Arrived Aden from Durban

H.T. MARIPOSA

Arrived Aden from Rio de Janeiro, via Cape of Good Hope

RANPURA and IPSWICH

Escorting convoy C.M. 37 A arrived Aden

MARAVATI

Escorting convoy P.A. 20 arrived Aden

WORCESTERSHIRE and SUTLEJ

Left Aden escorting convoy A.P. 15 to vicinity of Ras al Hadd thence to Colombo. SUTLEJ to continue with convoy to Hormuz

BOMBAY and BENGAL

Escorting convoy P.B. 23 left Hormuz to Bombay

POOLE

Escorting convoy P.A. 21 left Hormuz for Aden

Dutch Sub O 24

Arrived Colombo from patrol

KHYBER

Returned Durban to land medical case and sailed again for Diego Suarez

Dutch Sub 0 21

Left East London for Diego Suarez, Seychelles, and Colombo

 

 

Monday, January 25th

 

 

HAWKINS

Escorting convoy C.M. 37 B arrived Bombay

CAPETOWN

Arrived Masirah and left a.m. for Bahrein

CESSNOCK

Escorting one ship left Kilindini for Dante and Aden

 

 

Tuesday, January 26th

 

 

TAMWORTH

Escorting one tanker left Fremantle for Diego Garcia and Kilindini

RANPURA

Left Aden for Kilindini

'SSSS'

Enemy submarine sighted by Catalina in position 20 deg 30S, 109 deg 10 E at 0315 hrs.

 

 

Wednesday, January 27th

 

 

BRITTANY

Arrived Addu Atoll for Seychelles

PUNJAB and GERALDTON

Left Bombay escorting convoy B.P. 67 to Khor Kuwai

NEPAL

Left Durban for Kilindini

MAGNOLIA

Left Durban for Diego Suarez thence to Colombo sailing Seychelles and Addu Atoll

 

 

Thursday, January 28th

 

 

DEVONSHIRE

Left Kilindini for Aden for Operation PAMPHLET

RANCHI

Arrived Durban from Kilindini

HILDASAY

Left Diego Suarez escorting V.S.I.S. DEMODOCUS to Tulear and Durban

WOLLONGONG

Escorting one ship left Diego Suarez for Kilindini

 

 

Friday, January 29th

 

 

SONAVATI and ORISSA

Let Khor Juwai escorting convoy P.B. 24 for Bombay

BATHURST

Left Khor Juwai escorting P.A. 22 for Aden

CHITRAL

Arrived Simonstown from Kilindini

 

 

Saturday, January 30th

 

 

QUILLIAM

Left Durban for Kilindini

BOMBAY and BENGAL

Escorting convoy P.B. 23 arrived Bombay from Hormuz

TOOWOOMBA

Left Kilindini for Dante

'SSSS'

U.S. Submarine reported being unsuccessfully attacked by enemy submarine in position 28 deg 00S, 112 deg 40E at 1230Z on 29/1

 

 

Sunday, January 31st

 

 

NORMAN

Escorting V.S.I.S. HONG SIANG arrived Kilindini from Durban

NEPAL

Arrived Kilindini from Durban

RANPURA

Arrived Kilindini from Aden

POOLE

Escorting convoy P.A. 21 arrived Aden from Hormuz

VASNA (Hospital ship)

Arrived Seychelles from Colombo

KHYBER

Arrived Diego Suarez from Durban

'QQQQ'

i) from SS THEODORE SEDGWICK (U.S.A.) in position 37 deg 18S, 25 deg 56E 'pursued by suspicious vessel' at 1630Z
ii) Above message cancelled at 1731

'SSSS'

From SS AMERICAN BUILDER (U.S.A.) S.O.S. S.O.S. in position 30 deg 28S, 108 deg 38E.

 

 

Part II

 

NARRATIVE

 

(A). GENERAL

 

1. Loan of A/S ships to other stations

 

Consequent on indications of a renewal of the U boat campaign off the South African coast, the orders to the corvettes NIGELLA, FREESIA, JASMINE, and FRITILLARY to return to Kilindini were cancelled. They were placed under the operational command of Commander in Chief, South Atlantic on the 17th January. BLACKMORE and CATTERICK were also loaned to Commander in Chief, South Atlantic, the former reached Durban on the 12th and the latter on the 29th January.

 

2. In response to a request from Commander in Chief, Mediterranean for reliefs for his minesweepers and destroyers working from Aden, the BATHURST minesweepers IPSWICH and CESSNOCK were sailed from Kilindini and arrived at Aden on the 24th January and 1st February, respectively. Owing to the shortage of destroyers on the station, it was not possible to help him as regards these vessels.

 

3. Changes in the Eastern Fleet

 

H.M. Ships VALIANT, ILLUSTRIOUS, RANCHI, HOTSPUR, EXPRESS, FORTUNE, and INCONSTANT left the station for the United Kingdom.

 

H.M.S. TAMWORTH, the last of the Australian minesweepers allocated to the Eastern Fleet, sailed from Fremantle on 26th January for service with the Ceylon Escort Group.

 

4. Arrival of the Fighting French High Commissioner in Madagascar

 

General Le Gentilhomme, the High Commissioner for Madagascar, reached Kilindini by air on the 4th January and sailed in the F.F.S. LEOPARD for Tamatave, where he arrived on the 7th. Before embarkation he was received on the jetty at Kilindini by the Commander in Chief, Eastern Fleet and a guard of honour was paraded.

 

(B). CONVOYS

 

5. No items of outstanding interest. All ships of W.S. 25 turned round at the Cape and no convoy was run in the Indian Ocean.

 

The end of the month saw assembly of monsters for PAMPHLET.

 

(c). BASES

 

6. ADDU ATOLL

 

BRITANNY has been working on the indicator nets in the northern entrance, salving the old nets and laying new as necessary. This work should be completed on 5th February, when the two northern entrances will be closed by indicator nets.

 

Work on Gan Aerodrome and other local developments is proceeding.

 

7. TRINCOMALEE

 

Flag Officer Ceylon reports that satisfactory arrangements have now been made for water supply, and the distilling plant (originally intended for Addu Atoll and reallocated to Trincomalee) is not now required.

 

Work on laying of the new A/S A/B Boom has not started owing to non arrival of gear. This however should arrive shortly.

 

Positions of H.D.A.s and indicator loops have been decided.

 

8. DIEGO SUAREZ

 

KIRRIEMOOR, DEVON CITY, BARFOAM, and BARFOUNT have been laying the A/S A/B Boom, which is progressing satisfactorily.

 

Work of repairs and reconstruction in the dockyard continues, but is much held up by lack of materials.

 

The salving of BRITISH LOYALTY has been completed, and she is now in the dry dock for patching.

 

Staff Officer (Bases) and Staff Officer (Bases) to Flag Officer East Africa visited Diego Suarez during the month.

 

9. MAURITIUS

 

Local developments are progressing, with priority given to the R.A.F. requirements for a Flying Boat Base at Tombeau Bay.

 

Staff Officer (Bases) and Staff Officer (Bases) to Flag Officer, East Africa visited Mauritius during the month.

 

10. SEYCHELLES

 

ETHIOPEAN and BARRYMORE have been laying the A/S A/T Boom in Cerf passage during the month, and work has also commenced on laying the moorings for a stern buoy in the fuelling berth S.E. of St. Anne's Island.

 

Work on the H/F D/F Station at Belle Air, and other local developments is progressing.

 

Staff Officer (Bases) and Staff Officer (Bases) visited Seychelles during the month.

 

(D). AIR

 

11. PERSIAN GULF

 

During the month, a detachment of three Catalinas has been maintained in the Persian Gulf area.

 

12. KARACHI

 

212 Catalina Squadron was established at Karachi during the month and became operational on 31st January.

 

13. CEYLON

 

On 15th January, one Catalina flew from Ceylon to Enmouth Gulf, Australia with spares for H.M.S. TRUSTY.

 

In anticipation of a possible recrudescence of submarine activity in the Cape and Durban areas, seven Catalina Flying Boats and six Catalina amphibians were ordered to reinforce the South Atlantic Station. These aircraft left Ceylon between 25th and 27th January and are expected to arrive in South Africa by 3rd February.

 

14. EAST AFRICA

 

A detachment of four Catalinas from Mombasa was maintained at Durban until 9th January when two aircraft were withdrawn to Kilindini.

 

During the month, one Catalina has been kept at 1 hour's notice as strike aircraft at Kilindini.

 

During the period 15th to 27th January, six Sunderland Flying Boats of 230 Squadron arrived Dar el Salaam from Middle East.

 

(E). MINESWEEPING

 

15. There has been no evidence of enemy minelaying.

 

16. BATHURSTs

 

During January, R.N.A.S. GAWLER arrived in Colombo and R.N.A.S. TAMWORTH sailed from Fremantle for Colombo. This completed the delivery of BATHURSTs building Australia for the Eastern Fleet.

 

17. LL/SA TRAWLERS

 

H.M.T. MAGNOLIA left Durban on 27th January for Colombo. Her arrival at Colombo will complete M/S Group 170.

 

(F). INTELLIGENCE

 

18. 21st January - Admiralty decided not to establish an independent C.S.D.I.C. in Eastern Fleet Area (Admiralty Message 1723/21)

 

 22nd January - Captain H.R. Sandwich, R.N. left Kilindini in RANCHI for United Kingdom.

 

 29th January - Commander H.R.M. Laird, R.N. (Retd). S.O. (I) Afloat, left Kilindini for Australia on an Intelligence Liaison visit.

 

Intelligence sub areas in Eastern Fleet Command were promulgated in Commander in Chief Eastern Fleet's 1244/28.

 

19. (G). GUNNERY DIARY

 

For January – nil

 

20. (H) PLANNING SECTION

 

Nil

 

21 (I). COMMUNICATIONS

 

Station Communications Officer has nothing to report.

 

 

 


 

 

EASTERN FLEET WAR DIARY

 


Area of operations, click to enlarge

 

 

FEBRUARY 1943

 

Monday, 1st February

 

 

Dutch O 21

Arrived Diego Suarez from East London

BIRMINGHAM

Escorting convoy CM 38 left Durban

CATTERICK

Escorting convoy CM 38 to 38 degrees East E.T.A. Durban 4th

CERES

Taken in hand Simonstown completes 16th February

QUEEN OF BERMUDA

Left Suez for Aden

CESSNOCK

Arrived Aden from Kilindini

BLACKMOOR

Arrived Simonstown from Durban

RANCHI

Arrived Capetown from Durban

NIEUW AMSTERDAM

Left Suez for PAMPHLET

ILE DE FRANCE

Arrived Massawa from Suez

RECORDER

Left Tamatave for Durban

'SSSSS'

British aircraft reported having sighted S/M in position 10 miles south of Char Bah, Gulf of Oman

 

 

Tuesday, 2nd February

 

 

WOLLONGONG

Arrived Kilindini from Diego Suarez

DEVONSHIRE

Arrived Aden from Kilindini

GAMBIA

With Rear Admiral Commanding, 4th Cruiser Squadron left Kilindini for Addu Atoll for join Operation PAMPHLET

JUMNA

Arrived Colombo from local escort duty

'SSSSS'

Vessels of Patrol Force N.A. and Ferry aircraft reported S/M 10 m. south of Char Bah. Aircraft attacked S/M, also at 90'South of Ras al Hadd

'SSSSS'

U.S. SS GABRIEL DUVAL reported suspected S/M trailing 20 miles south of Calcutta

 

 

Wednesday, 3rd February

 

 

QUILLIAM (D 4)

Arrived Kilindini from Durban

Force A

Consisting of WARSPITE, REVENGE, RESOLUTION, MAURITIUS, ROTHERHAM, QUILLIAM, NEPAL, NIZAM, FOXHOUND LEFT Kilindini for operations in the Indian Ocean

BENGAL and MADRAS

Escorting convoy B P 67 ½ left Bombay for Khor Kuwai

BOMBAY

Escorting convoy B P 67 ¾ left Bombay for Khor Kuwai

PAKENHAM (D 12). PETARD and QUEEN OLGA

Arrived Aden from Suez

IPSWICH

Left Aden escorting A P 17

ROCKWOOD

Left Simonstown for Durban

WORCESTERSHIRE

Arrived Colombo from Aden

JUMNA, FALMOUTH, ASTER and GAWLER

Left Colombo escorting SINGGU, ALETTA, WARINA, BROOMDALE, BUCCINUM, and ATHELMONARCH to Addu Atoll

ORISSA and SONAVATI

Arrived Bombay with P B 24

FRITILLARY and THYME

Escorting C A 9 left Capetown to 37deg. 10S, 25 deg E.

 

 

Thursday, 4th February

 

 

WOLLONGONG

Departed Kilindini for Diego Suarez

ETHIOPIAN

Departed Seychelles for Durban

KHYBER

Left Diego Suarez due Addu Atoll 12th

HAWKINS

Left Bombay for Aden

ROMNEY

Arrived Aden from Hormuz

DEVONSHIRE

Left Aden to R/V MONSTERS in PAMPHLET

SUTLEJ and PANGKOR

Escorting P B 25 left Hormuz for Bombay. ETA 10th

GERALDTON

Escorting P A 25 left Hormuz ETA Aden 11th.

ATHENE

Arrived Fremantle from Durban

 

 

Friday, 5th February

 

 

BATHURST & P a 22

Arrived Aden from Hormuz

HMIS POONA

Towing MMS 154 arrived Cochin

HMIS PAJPUTANA

Arrived Madras from Calcutta

LISMORE

Escorting EL MEDIERA left Addu for Colombo

MAGNOLIA

Arrived Diego Suarez from Durban

SOBKRA

Left Hormuz, ETA Karachi 16/2

MARIPOSA

Sailed Suez 0605 for Djibouti 8/2

 

 

Saturday, 6th February

 

 

FROBISHER

Left Kilindini for Diego Suarez and C M 38

ETHIOPIAN

Boiler trouble – returning to Seychelles

ROCKWOOD

Left Durban for Kilindini

TULIP

Arrived Colombo (0930Z) from escort duties

B.P 67 ¾

Karachi portion sailed 0115/6

MAGNOLIA

Arrived Diego Suarez (heavy weather damage)

 

 

Sunday, 7th February

 

 

0 24

Left Colombo for patrol

GAMBIA

Arrived Addu (0356Z) from Kilindini

PLADDA

Escorting KUTSANG left Tamatave for Diego Suarez (0400/9)

THOMAS COAD (dredger)

Left Karachi for Dante escorted by TRAVANCORE

TOOWOOMBA

Arrived Aden from Kilindini – steering gear defects

EMILE BAUDOT

Left Durban for Diego Suarez (escorted to 28 deg. S, 36 deg. E by NIGELLA)

MARGUERITE

Left Addu for Colombo

BARTOMOLEO DIAZ (Portuguese sloop)

Arrived Beira

 

 

Monday, 8th February

 

 

CLIVE

Left Karachi for Bombay

HILDASAY

Arrived Durban from Tulear escorting DEMODOCUS

ETHIOPIAN

Arrived Seychelles

HAWKINS

Arrived Aden from Bombay

CESSNOCK, ROMNEY and POOLE

Left Aden (A P 18) in company

HMS SARKA

Commissioned as tender to TANA

RECORDER

Arrived Durban from Tamatave

MARIPOSA

Arrived Djibouti from Suez

'QQQQ'

S/S KINDAT, 300' N W Addu Atoll, reported ship closing her fast. Cancelled.

 

 

Tuesday, 9th February

 

 

BOLD

Left Durban for Kilindini with 3 M F V

WOLLONGONG

Escorting DUMRA arrived Diego Suarez from Kilindini

O 21

Left Diego Suarez for Addu, E T A 16/2

DEVONSHIRE

Escorting PAMPHLET arrived Addu Atoll

DAUNTLESS

Left Simonstown for Durban

MAURETANIA

Left Fremantle for Bombay, escorted by ADELAIDE to 25 deg. 22S, 100 deg. 01E, escorted by TROMP and VAN GALEN till 1200Z/10

LEOPARD

Left Mauritius for Reunion and Tamatave

MARYBOROUGH

Left Colombo for Bombay escorting EL MADEIRA

ANGBY

Arrived Trincomalee from Colombo

 

 

Wednesday, 10th February

 

 

ROCKWOOD

Arrived Kilindini from Durban en route to Med

LEOPARD

Returned Mauritius with boiler defects

SUTLEJ and PUNJAB

Escorting P B 25 arrived Bombay

KONKAN

Escorting 1 ship left Madras

BRITTANY

Arrived Seychelles from Addu

LAHORE

Left Madras for Vizagapatam

MARIPOSA

Arrived and left Aden for Suez

'SSSS'

QUEEN ANNE sunk by S/M whilst in convoy 8 m. 252 deg. Cape Agulhas. Escort attacked but result unknown

 

 

Thursday, 11th February

 

 

B P 68

Left Bombay escorted by ORISSA. Also SONAVATI (who returned defective) and SHOREHAM through the focal area

P A 24

Left Hormuz with LAUNCESTON and IPSWICH

P P 26

Left Hormuz with MADRAS and BENGAL

WARSPITE, RESOLUTION, REVENGE, MAURITIUS, NEPAL, NORMAN, ROTHERHAM, NIZAM, QUILLIAM, and FOXHOUND - Arrived Addu 0241Z

QUILLIAM and FOXHOUND

Arrived Addu 0252Z from escorting PAMPHLET through focal area

GREEN RANGER

Arrived Addu Atoll from Kilindini

BIRMINGHAM

Arrived Kilindini having escorted C M 38 from Durban

KHYBER

Arrived Addu from Diego Suarez

LEOPARD

Sailed from Mauritius for Tamatave

HAWKINS

Left Aden with M C 4 and TOOWOOMBA to Dante

DAUNTLESS

Arrived Durban from Simonstown

CARTHAGE

Arrived Capetown from patrol

TAMWORTH

Arrived Addu from Diego Garcia

BRITTANY

Left Seychelles for Kilindini

FROBISHER

Escorting C M 38 arrived Diego Suarez from Kilindini

GERALDTON

Arrived Aden with P A 23

ASTER

Escorting SINGU left Addu for Colombo

HERO

Left Aden for Kilindini

MAURITIUS

Left Addu for Colombo

FROBISHER

(escorting C M 38) left Diego Suarez for Bombay

'SSSS'

HELMSPEY sunk by S/M 11 m. south of Cape St Francis

 

 

Friday, 12th February

 

 

LEOPARD

Arrived Tamatave from Mauritius

VERBENA

Arrived Trincomalee from Bombay escorting B M 41

MARYBOROUGH

Arrived Bombay from Colombo

STAGPOOL

Arrived Addu Atoll from Kilindini

LAHORE

Arrived Vizagapatam from Madras

SANDIP

Left Vizagapatam for Calcutta

WOLLONGONG

Left Diego Suarez escorting PULASKI to Kilindini

 

 

Saturday, 13th February

 

 

FORCE A

(less MAURITIUS) left Addu for Seychelles

CHALLENGER

Left Kilindini for Cape

FAVORITE

Left Kilindini for Aden via Mogadishu

LURCHER

(escorting DUMRA) left Diego Suarez for Tamatave

JUMNA, KHYBER and BROOMDALE

Left Addu for Hormuz

ALETTA, MAURITIUS, ASTER and SINGU

Arrived Colombo from Addu

TULIP

Left Colombo to R/V with RAJPUTANA

ROCKWOOD

Left Kilindini for Aden

GAWLER

Left Addu Atoll for Colombo

RAJPUTANA

Left Madras escorting 1 ship to R/V TULIP

MARIPOSA

Arrived Suez from Aden

BOLD

Towing 3 MFVs diverted to Beria owing to cyclone. Decided to continue and later lost 2 MFVs. Later (15th) she found 1 MFV

 

 

Sunday, 14th February

 

 

MARGUERITE

Arrived Bombay from Colombo

HASHEMI

Arrived Madras from Vizagapatam

SONAVATI

Left B P 68 and returning Bombay (engine trouble)

NETRAVATI

Left Madras for Calcutta

FALMOUTH, TAMWORTH, CEDARDALE, ATHELMONARCH, RANGER and BUCCINUM. Left Addu in convoy A 3 for Colombo. Diverted Trincomalee 15/2

SIMBRA and SIGFRA

Left Kilindini for Aden

SHOREHAM

Arrived Bombay from local escort duty

TOOWOOMBA

Arrived Dante from Aden

C M 39

Escorted by DAUNTLESS (JASMINE and CATTERICK locally) left Durban for Bombay

SONDRA

Escorting RECORDER left Durban for Cable Repairs at 29-26S, 30-50E

RATNAGIRI

Left Hormuz to R/V B P 68 (in place SONAVATI)

Collier RADFIELD

Left Durban for Tamatave and Diego Suarez

 

 

Monday, 15th February

 

 

HERO

Arrived Kilindini from Aden

SONAVATI

Arrived Karachi with engine defects and left again rejoin convoy B P 68

MARIPOSA

Left Suez for Port Sudan

R.F.A. BONIFACE

Left Kilindini for Durban via Zanzibar

LURCHER

Arrived Tamatave from Diego Suarez

VERBENA

Left Trincomalee for Colombo

ARETHUSA

Arrived Aden from Suez

TRAVANCORE

Arrived Dane from Karachi escorting dredger THOS. COAD.

HEEMSKERCK

Left Fremantle to rendezvous with PAMPHLET a.m. 16th

TROMP and VAN GALEN

Met PAMPHLET p.m. 15th

 

 

Tuesday, 16th February

 

 

LISMORE and SINGU

Left Colombo for Addu

STAGPOOL

Left Addu Atoll for Seychelles and Kilindini

A.S.I.S. FORELAND

Arrived Aden from Suez

EMILE BAUDOT

Arrived Diego Suarez from Durban

ARETHUSA

Left Aden for Kilindini escorting CAP TOURANE

FAVORITE

Left Mogadishu for Aden

BIRMINGHAM

Left Kilindini for Durban (R/V and relieve M C 4 HAWKINS)

WOOLLONGONG

Arrived Kilindini from Diego Suarez

BRITTANY

Arrived Kilindini from Seychelles and Addu.

HERO

Left Kilindini and returned with boiler problems

BONIFACE

Arrived Zanzibar for coal

KONKAN

Left Madras , R/V J C 7, escort to Calcutta

O 21

Arrived Addu Atoll from Diego Suarez

TRUSTY

Left Exmouth Gulf for Colombo

Portuguese sloop

BARTOMOLEO DIAZ left Beira for L. Marques

 

 

Wednesday, 17th February

 

 

BENGAL and MADRAS

Arrived Bombay with P B 26

SONAVATI

Arrived Bombay with defects

Force A

Arrived and left Seychelles

BRITTANY

Left Kilindini for Tamatave with emergency stores

ROCKWOOD

Arrived Aden from Kilindini en route to Med.

KANIMBLA

Escorting O W 4 (4 ships) left Fremantle (SHOREHAM and FALMOUTH relieving at 05 deg. S, 74 deg. 30E)

MARIPOSA

Arrived Port Sudan and left

B P 68 ½

MARYBOROUGH and MARGUERITE left Bombay

SCOUT

Escorting SHENGKING left Colombo for Bombay

VERBENA

Escorting 3 ships M B 25 (and ALCIDES) left Colombo

TULIP

Arrived Madras from J C 7

BALUCHISTAN

Escorting C A 1 3 A left Simonstown

ST ZENO and LE TIGRE

Escorting C A 13 and 12 (including PACHECO) left Cape

TRAVANCORE

Left Dante for Aden

TOOWOOMBA

Escorting THOMAS COAD left Dane for Mogadishu and Kilindini

NIGELLA, INDIAN STAR and ARCTIC EXPLORER

Escorting D N 18 left Durban for 33 deg. S, 36 deg. E

'SSSS'

U.S. S/S DEER LODGE originated SSSS 80 m. south of Port Elizabeth

 

 

Thursday, 18th February

 

 

PANGKOR and BOMBAY

P B 27 sailed from Hormuz

CESSNOCK

P A 25 sailed from Hormuz

O 21

Left Addu for Colombo

MOONSHINE

Arrived Zanzibar from Tanga

LISMORE

Arrived and left Addu Atoll

LEOPARD

Left Tamatave for Reunion and Mauritius

SINGU

Arrived Addu Atoll from Colombo

MARIPOSA

Arrived Massawa from Suez

EARL KITCHENER and LORD GREY

Left Colombo for Madras

LURCHER

Left Tamatave R/V M C 4 off Diego Suarez (A/S defects developed. Put into Diego Suarez)

PAMPHLET

Escorted by GAMBIA, DEVONSHIRE, TROMP, HEEMSKERK, VAN GALEN, TJERK HIDDES arrived Fremantle

 

 

Friday, 19th February

 

 

HAWKINS

Arrived Kilindini from escorting M C 4

RANPURA

Left Kilindini to escort C M 39

MAURETANIA

Arrived Bombay from Fremantle

WORCESTERSHIRE

Left Colombo for patrol. Thence MOMP with O W 2

HERO

Left Kilindini for Durban

FALMOUTH

Arrived Trincomalee from Addu Atoll

MARIPOSA

Left Massawa for Bombay

CATTERICK

Left Durban for Capetown escorting D C 9

MASTIFF

Left Diego Suarez R/V M C 4 escorting CAIRO CITY

SHOREHAM

Left Bombay with B M 42, relieved on 22nd by GAWLER

 

 

Saturday, 20th February

 

 

SCOUT

Arrived Bombay from Colombo

ROTHERHAM, FOXHOUND, NIZAM, QUILLIAM, NORMAN, NEPAL, REVENGE, RESOLUTION, and WARSPITE. Force A arrived Kilindini

DRAGON

Transferred to Polish Govt. 15 January 1943

KHYBER and ALETTA

Arrived Bombay from Addu

CARNATIC (RIN)

Left Simonstown escorted C D 5 to Durban

DEVONSHIRE

Escorting MONTECELLO (Local escort TROMP) left Fremantle for Colombo

LURCHER

Escorting DUMRA left Diego Suarez for Kilindini

BRITTANY

Called Diego Suarez for fuel

KONKAN

Arrived Calcutta from Vizagapatam

TRAVANCORE

Arrived Aden from Dante

KHYBER

Escorting ALETTA arrived Bombay from Colombo

FROBISHER

Arrived Bombay from Diego Suarez

 

 

Sunday, 21st February

 

 

FAVOURITE

Arrived Aden from Kilindini

GAWLER

Left Colombo to relieve SHOREHAM escorting B M 42

TOOWOOMBA and THOMAS COAD

Arrived Mogadishu from Karachi

VITA

Left Durban for Mauritius

O 21

Arrived Colombo from Addu

TEAL

Left Kilindini for Tanga and Manza

Tug BOLD

Left Kilindini from Durban towing 1 MFV. (2 lost in cyclone)

LEOPARD

Arrived Mauritius from Tamatave

FALMOUTH

Left Trincomalee for Addu Atoll

BALUCHISTON and C A 13 A

Arrived Durban from Simonstown

HILDASAY

Left Durban for Diego Suarez

SIMBRA and SIGFRA

Arrived Aden from Kilindini

SCOUT

Left Bombay for Colombo

PATNA

Left Vizagapatam for Madras

RAJPUTANA

Left Madras escorting J C 7 ½ for Calcutta

LISMORE

Arrived Colombo from Addu Atoll

MASTIFF

Arrived Tamatave from Diego Suarez

ETHIOPIAN

Left Seychelles for Diego Suarez

BARBOUR

Arrived Trincomalee from Colombo

SEPIA

Left Abadan for Kilindini

 

 

Monday, 22nd February

 

 

EARL KITCHENER and LORD GREY

Arrived Madras from Trincomalee

DAUNTLESS

Arrived Kilindini from Durban (C M 39)

LEOPARD

Left Mauritius for Diego Suarez

MAURITIUS

Left Colombo for Bombay

BRITTANY

Arrived Tamatave from Kilindini

LAUNCESTON

Left Aden escorting A P 20 for Hormuz

FAVOURITE

Left Aden for the Mediterranean

ATHELMEER

Left Abadan for Trincomalee

VERBENA and ALCIDES

Arrived Bombay from Colombo (M B 25)

STAGPOOL

Arrived Seychelles from Addu

KONKAN

Left Calcutta for Madras

W S 26

QUICKMATCH, QUIBERON, and RACEHORSE arrive and leave Capetown. GENISTA left Capetown as additional escort to E. London. WAYLAND, RELENTLESS & C.D'ESTIENNE D'ORVES arrived Capetown

CANTON & QUALITY

Arrived Simonstown

CERES

Left Simonstown as additional escort

 

 

Tuesday, 23rd February

 

 

B P 69 SUTLEJ and PUNJAB

Left Bombay for Hormuz

DUSK

Arrived Tanga from Dar es Salaam

TULIP

Arrived Trincomalee from Madras

B M 42 & GAWLER

Arrived off Colombo. Proceed Trinco.

BURNIE

Left Kilindini escorting 1 ship to Diego Suarez

NORMAN

Left Kilindini for Durban

CATTERICK

Arrived Capetown from Durban

HILDASAY

Returned Durban defective

ST ANTHONY

Left Cochin for Mimboy, Amein, and Mangalore

COM. DUBOC

Left Simonstown for Durban with C D 6

SOBKRA

Left Karachi for Hormuz

 

 

Wednesday, 24th February

 

 

ARETHUSA

Arrived Kilindini from Aden

MARIPOSA

Arrived Bombay from Massawa

B A 38, CARADOC

Left Bombay for Aden

LURCHER

Escorting DUMRA arrived Kilindini

ROTHERHAM

Left Kilindini with M C 5 to Durban via Zanzibar

ARETHUSA

Left Kilindini for Durban

JASMINE and NIGELLA

Left Durban R/V M C 4

MAURITIUS

Arrived Bombay from Colombo

TRAVANCORE

Left Aden for Bombay

BRITTANY

Left Tamatave for Diego Suarez

SHOREHAM and FALMOUTH

Arrived Addu from Bombay

TULIP

Left Trinco for Colombo

BOMBAY, PANGKOR and P B 27

Arrived Bombay from Hormuz

RAJPUTANA

Arrived Calcutta from Madras

SUTLEJ

Returned Bombay defective

CHALLENGER

Arrived Capetown from Kilindini

CARNATIC

Arrived Durban from Simonstown

PANGKOR and BOMBAY

Arrived Bombay from Hormuz (P B 27)

CESSNOCK

Arrived Aden from Hormuz (P A 25)

 

 

Thursday, 25th February

 

 

LEOPARD

Arrived Mauritius from Reunion

ROTHERHAM and M C 5

Left Zanzibar

MASTIFF

Escorting CAIRO CITY arrived Diego Suarez

DIPAVATI

Arrived Karachi from Bombay

CILICIA

Left Durban for Simonstown

GAWLER

Arrived Trincomalee from Colombo

SHOREHAM and FALMOUTH

Left Addu to relieve KANIMBLA and escort O W 4

ORISSA

Escorting P A 26 left Hormuz for Aden

MARYBOROUGH and MARGUERITE

Escorting P B 28 left Hormuz for Bombay

CERES, CILICIA, QUIBERON, QUICKMATCH, and RACEHORSE

Escorting W S 26 arrived Durban from the south

ATHELMONARCH and CEDARDALE

Left Colombo for Bombay M B 26

BATHURST & A P 21

Left Aden for Hormuz

'SSSS'

At 1900z, STORAAS sighted S/M in 23 deg. 43N, 59 deg. 00E

 

 

Friday, 26th February

 

 

KONKAN

Arrived Madras from Calcutta

BRITTANY

Arrived Diego Suarez from Tamatave

ANGBY

Left Trinco for Colombo

LURCHER

Left Kilindini escorting KUTSANG to 12 deg. S, then Diego Suarez

TOOWOOMBA

Arrived Kilindini from Mogadishu and Dante

DAUNTLESS

Left Kilindini for Aden

DIPAVATI

Left Karachi escorting SANTHIA for Bombay

W S 26

(Capetown section) left Capetown escorted by CANTON, RELENTLESS, CATTERICK, BLACKMORE

MARIPOSA

Left Bombay for Capetown

RANCHI

Arrived Clyde

O 24

Arrived Colombo from patrol

 

 

Saturday, 27th February

 

 

VITA

Arrived Mauritius from Durban

LEOPARD

Left Mauritius for Reunion

BRITTANY

Left Diego Suarez for Tamatave

TRUSTY

Arrived Colombo from Australia

TAMWORTH

Left Colombo for local escort duty

LEOPARD

Arrived Reunion from Mauritius

BURNIE

Escorting 1 ship arrived Diego Suarez from Kilindini

MAGNOLIA

Left Diego Suarez for Tamatave for coal

SLUNA

Left Tamatave for Diego Suarez

BURNIE

Left Diego Suarez for Kilindini escorting 1 ship

NORMAN and HERO

Left Durban for East London

 

 

Sunday, 28th February

 

 

ARETHUSA

Arrived Durban from Kilindini

EMILE BAUDOT

Left Diego Suarez for Tamatave to coal

DIPAVATI

Arrived Bombay from Karachi

KARACHI

Left Bombay for Karachi

POONA

Left Cochin escorting 1 ship to Colombo

BADORA

Left Vizagapatam for Calcutta

RAJPUTANA

Left Calcutta escorting 1 ship to Madras

GAWLER

Escorting 2 tankers left Trinco for Colombo

ST ANTHONY

Arrived back at Cochin from Lakadive Islands

EARL KITCHENER and LORD GREY

Arrived Calcutta from Madras

 

  

Part II

 

NARRATIVE

 

 

(A). GUNNERY

 

Battle Practice Target No. 7 which was completed at Simonstown during the month left Simonstown on 17th February in tow of EMPIRE VESPER.

 

2. On 19th February, the target broke adrift from EMPIRE VESPER and went ashore near Port Elizabeth. Salvage operations failed and the target is a total loss.

 

(B). COMMUNICATIONS

 

3. Despite the reduction in the number of units operating with the Eastern Fleet, the total volume of signal traffic continues at its usual high level and for no particular reason the record peak was reached 24 hours ending 2nd March.

 

4, The development of Plan 'R' is progressing satisfactorily.

 

(C). FLYING BOAT OPERATIONS

 

Ceylon and South Africa

 

5. At the end of January flying boat reinforcements were ordered from Ceylon to South Africa to operate under Commander in Chief, South Atlantic in anticipation of U Boat activity in the Cape and Durban areas.

 

6. 6 Catalina Amphibians left Ceylon route via SALALAH, KHORMAKSAR (Aden), NAIROBI, N'DOLA, and GERMISTON and arrived Darling, Cape Province between 30th January and 1st February. Three of these aircraft were later detached to St. Albans, and all have been employed on convoy A/S escort duties.

 

7. 7 Catalina flying boats were also detached from Ceylon to South Africa. These aircraft were route via ADDU ATOLL, SEYCHELLES, KILINDINI, PAMANZI, DURBAN, and LAANGABAN (SALDANHA BAY). 3 of these aircraft operated from SALDANHA BAY and 4 from DURBAN and LAKE ST LUCIA during the month on convoy A/S escort duties.

 

8. From the 8th to 11th February, Catalina flying boats and amphibians and Liberators, operating from CEYLON, ADDU ATOLL, and DIEGO GARCIA provided close escort for a convoy of Monsters carrying troops from the Middle East to Australia, during their approach to ADDU ATOLL for refuelling and after their departure. Close A/S escort was provided also for the covering surface force, Force 'A'. Covering patrols to the eastward were provided during the time the convoy and Force 'A' were in the vicinity of ADDU ATOLL.

 

Persian Gulf

 

9. During the month, a detachment of 3 Catalina flying boats was maintained in the Persian Gulf. This detachment was provided by 240 Squadron at Madras at first, then by 212 Squadron Karachi when that unit formed and became operational.

 

East Africa

 

10. 1 Catalina at Kilindini and one Sunderland at Dar es Salaam have been available at short notice throughout as strike aircraft.

 

On 22nd February two Sunderland flying boats were detached from 230 Squadron Dar es Salaam to TULEAR to operate under the instructions of Commodore, Durban.

 

(D). MINESWEEPING

 

11. There has been no evidence of enemy minelaying during the month.

 

12. EARL KITCHENER and LORD GREY, part of the 170th M/S Group, fitted with Mark II Star LL and SA Mk II have been sent from Colombo to Calcutta in view of the possibility of approaches to Calcutta being mined by Japanese aircraft.

 

(E). Bases

 

13. General

 

Commander in Chief visited Seychelles, Addu Atoll, and Ceylon during the month.

 

Addu Atoll

 

14. BRITTANY completed repairs and relaying of Indicator nets in the Northern Entrances.

 

15. Gan Aerodrome. The N.W. and S.E. runway, Western and Southern taxi strips completed, and successfully tested by GAMBIA's Walrus. Work has started on N.E. and S.W. runway.

 

Trincomalee

 

16. The boom defences are being expedited, and Commander Lowe, B.D.O. East Africa, has been lent to Ceylon to supervise.

 

17. Satisfactory arrangements have now been made for water supply, and the distilling plant allocated to Trincomalee is not now required there.

 

Seychelles

 

18. The stern buoy for the oiling berth S.E. of St. Anne's Island has now been laid by BARRYMORE.

 

19. As a result of the visit of General Officer Commander in Chief, East Africa and General Officer Commanding, Islands Area, the Defence plan has been redrawn, and the defended area does not include the site of the new W/T station. Owing to technical requirements, however, the site cannot be readjusted.

 

Diego Suarez

 

20. Work on the boom continues. When this and the A/T baffles are complete, it is considered that the underwater defences of Diego Suarez will be adequate, and it has been proposed to the Admiralty that the H.D.A.s will be redundant.

 

Tamatave

 

21. Tamatave suffered considerable damage from a cyclone. BRITTANY was sent on 17th February from Kilindini with building materials for repairs.

 

Kilindini

 

22. An indicator loop has been laid of the northern end of Andromache Reef. This forms the 5th loop of the indicator loops.

 

Mauritius

 

23. Admiralty have approved the lengthening of the oil pipeline at Port Louis to 750 feet. This will improve the fuelling berths.

 

24. Admiralty have also approved the expenditure of 116,000 Pounds by Superintending Civil Engineer on anti malarial work.

 

25. Tombean Bay Flying Boat Base is being progressed at first priority by Superintending Civil Engineer.

 

26. As a result of the visit to the Island of the General Officer Commanding in Chief, East Africa, and General Officer Commanding Island Area, the Defence Plan has been redrawn, and two defended areas (Port Louis – Tombean Bay and Plaisance – Grand Port) have been established.

 

The sites of the Armament Depot and the Plan 'R' W/T Station are not in these areas, but it not intended to resite them.

 

 

 

APPENDIX I

  

CYCLONE AT TAMATAVE

 

A cyclone struck Tamatave on the night of the 11th/12th February and then passed across to the West Coast of Madagascar where it remained overland for about three days and finally recurved to the Indian Ocean.

 

2. At Tamatave H.M. Trawler PLADDA broke from the mole and was driven ashore on the beach at the edge of high water mark. The ship herself was comparatively undamaged but salvage operations present considerable difficulty owing the large amount of shifting sand which has to be dug away in order to refloat her. The work is in progress.

 

3. A great number of buildings in the town were damaged; the European houses were unroofed and the Native Houses demolished. Naval Headquarters were damaged. Communications including the TAMATAVE – REUNION – MAURITIUS cable were disrupted but the cable was repaired by the 16th February. The mole was badly eroded, the cranes and power supply were put out of action and two lighthouses were destroyed.

 

4. At the request of the High Commissioner of Madagascar, H.M.S. BRITTANY was despatched from Kilindini as a relief ship with about 100 tons of cement, sheet iron, and nails. En route to Tamatave, she called at Diego Suarez where she picked up more repair materials and some carpenters from the Dockyard. A detailed report from H.M.S. BRITTANY is attached. The recommendations contained there have been dealt with separately.

 

5. Opportunity was taken of BRITTANY's visit for her to load 300 tons of tapioca for Kilindini in order to relieve the acute shortage of food in Kenya. This was loaded under considerable difficulty owing to the failure of the port facilities and the indifferent qualities of local labour. The speedy embarkation reflected credit on the BRITTANY's officers and Ship's company.

 

6. The cyclone caused bad weather in the Mozambique Channel but not to the extent of causing damage to shipping with the exception of three motor fishing vessels in tow of H.M. Tug BOLD to Kilindini. She was midway between Beira and Lourenco Marques when the first warnings were received and was ordered to shelter at the former. Before she could do so she was struck by the gale and two M.F.V., the EXCELSIOR and the VALHALLA, broke adrift at night and although search was carried out under difficult conditions the next day, northing was seen of them. They have now been reported aground at the mouth of the Zambesi River and arrangements are being made for them to be towed to Kilindini. The remaining M.F.V. was retained with difficulty but the weather moderated and it arrived safely.

 

 


 

 

EASTERN FLEET WAR DIARY

 


Area of operations, click to enlarge

 

 

MARCH 1943

 

Monday, March 1st

 

 

LURCHER

Arrived Diego Suarez from Kilindini

DEVONSHIRE

Arrived Colombo from Fremantle

B P 70 ½

escorted by SUTLEJ left Bombay for Hormuz

KIRRIEMOOR

Left Diego Suarez for Kilindini

MAURETANIA

Left Bombay for Durban

W S 26

Left Durban to R/V with Capetown section escorted by BIRMINGHAM, CERES, CARNATIC (to Diego Suarez), COMM. DUBOC (to Tamatave). Local A/S escort provided by RELENTLESS, CATTERICK, BLACKMORE, and 3 corvettes. RESOURCE also in company

SLUNA

Arrived Diego Suarez from Tamatave

IPSWICH

Left Aden for Hormuz escorting A P 22

BRITTANY

Arrived Tamatave from Diego Suarez

USS TRINITY

Left Fremantle for Bahrein

 

 

Tuesday, March 2nd

 

 

STAGPOOL

Arrived Kilindini from Seychelles and Addu

BURNIE

Arrived Kilindini from Diego Suarez

GAWLER

Arrived Colombo from Trincomalee

ASTER (to Bombay) and OVERDALE WYKE (to Cochin) left Colombo escorting M B 27

MAGNOLIA

Arrived Tamatave from Durban

ARETHUSA

Left Durban for Cape

CARTHAGE (for Kilindini) and QUALITY (for Durban) left Capetown in company

O W 2

Escorted by QUEEN OF BERMUDA left Fremantle for MOMP with WORCESTERSHIRE

 

 

Wednesday, March 3rd

 

 

RATNAGIRI and PUNJAB

Escorting P B 29 and GERALDTON P A 27 left Hormuz

FROBISHER

Arrived Kilindini from Bombay

BOLD

Left Kilindini for Mogadishu and Dante

SCOUT

Escorting MONTICELLO arrived Bombay

BALUCHISTAN

Arrived Diego Suarez from Durban

MAURETANIA

diverted to Diego Suarez for fuel

GAMBIA

Left Fremantle for Durban

RANPURA and C M 39

Arrived Bombay

MARGUERITE, MARYBOROUGH and P B 28

Arrived Bombay from Hormuz

CARADOC

Arrived Aden from Bombay

BRITTANY

Left Tamatave for Diego Suarez

 

 

Thursday, March 4th

 

 

ARETHUSA

Arrived Capetown from Durban

HAWKINS

Left Kilindini for Agelega Isl. And Diego Suarez

CARADOC

Left Aden for Kilindini

BRITTANY

Left Diego Suarez for Kilindini

DAUNTLESS

Arrived Aden from Kilindini escorting SS TAKLIWA

ORISSA

Arrived Aden with P A 26

 

 

Friday, March 5th

 

 

KIRRIEMOUTH

Arrived Kilindini from Diego Suarez

BALUCHISTON

Left Diego Suarez for Addu Atoll

DAUNTLESS

Left Aden for Bombay

ETHIOPIAN

Arrived Durban from Seychelles

TULIP and ZUIDERKRUIS

Left Colombo for Diego Garcia and Addu Atoll

 

 

Saturday, March 6th

 

 

O 21

Left Colombo for patrol

ROTHERHAM and M C 5

Arrived Durban from Kilindini

MAURITIUS

Left Bombay for Kilindini flying the flag of Commander in Chief, Eastern Fleet

WEST POINT

Left Melbourne for Bombay

 

 

Sunday, March 7th

 

 

MAURETANIA

Arrived Diego Suarez to fuel

BRITTANY

Arrived Kilindini from Diego Suarez

ALBATROSS, CARTHAGE, QUIBERON and QUICKMATCH

Left Durban in company. On arrived lat. 25 deg. S, CARTHAGE and QUIBERON to proceed direct to Kilindini. ALBATROSS and QUICKMATCH to Tulear, Majunga, and Kilindini

BALUCHISTAN

Arrived Seychelles from Diego Suarez

BOLD

Arrived and left Mogadishu for Dante

MARYBOROUGH and HINDUSTAN

Escorting B P 71 left Bombay

COMMANDANT DUBOC

Arrived Tamatave escorting H.T. LANCASHIRE, ex W S 26, and left again for Diego Suarez

 

 

Monday, March 8th

 

 

USS MONTICELLO

Left Bombay for Melbourne escorted by HMS SCOUT to vicinity of equator

CESSNOCK

Escorting convoy A p 23 left Aden for Hormuz

EMILE BAUDOT

Escorted by MAGNOLIA left Tamatave for Addu Atoll

CERES

Arrived Diego Suarez having been detached from escorting W S 26

HAWKINS

Arrived Diego Suarez to join W S 26 and to escort Bombay portion to Bombay

BALUCHISTAN

Left Seychelles for Bombay

CARNATIC

Arrived Diego Suarez from Durban

KANIMBLA

Escorted SS CAPE CHARLES and FAIRISLE left Fremantle for Colombo

MAURETANIA

Left Diego Suarez for Capetown

'SSSS'

From SS JOSEPH WHEELER (USA) U/B sighted 5 deg. 36N, 76 deg.15E at 0815Z hours

 

 

Tuesday, March 9th

 

 

DEVONSHIRE

Left Colombo for Seychelles and Kilindini

FROBISHER

Left Kilindini to relieve BIRMINGHAM and to escort Aden portion of W S 26 to Aden

CARNATIC

Left Diego Suarez for Seychelles and Bombay

FFS COMMANDANT DUBOC

Arrived Diego Suarez from Tamatave escorting H.T. LANCASHIRE

CERES

Left Diego Suarez escorting H.T. LANCASHIRE to Kilindini

RATNAGIRI and PUNJAB

Escorting convoy P B 29 arrived Bombay from Hormuz

FALMOUTH

Escorting P A 28 left Hormuz for Aden

BATHURST, JUMNA and SEA BELLE

Escorting P B 30 left Hormuz for Bombay

DAUNTLESS

Arrived Bombay from Aden

 

 

Wednesday, March 10th

 

 

CARADOC

Left Kilindini for Diego Suarez

KIRRIEMOOR

Left Kilindini for Diego Suarez

MAURITIUS

Flying flag of Commander in Chief, Eastern Fleet, arrived Kilindini from Bombay

BOLD

Arrived Dante from Kilindini

TULIP and ZUIDERKRUIS

Arrived Diego Garcia from Colombo

ALBATROSS and QUICKMATCH

Arrived Tulear and left again for Majunga

 'SSSS'

SS KING WILLIAM reports sighting submarine 120' S of Durban at 0614Z.

 'SSSS'

SS RICHARD D. SPAIGHT (USA) sunk by U/B in position 28 deg S, 37 deg. E (300' E. of Durban)

 

 

Thursday, March 11th

 

 

WARSPITE, FOXHOUND, QUILLIAM and NEPAL

Left Kilindini for Durban

BIRMINGHAM and RESOURCE

Arrived Kilindini having been detached from convoy W S 26 from Diego Suarez

CERES

Arrived Kilindini escorting H.T. LANCASHIRE both esc. Convoy W S 26.

GERALDTON

Escorting P A 27 arrived Aden from Hormuz

CARNATIC

Arrived Seychelles and left again for Bombay

MARGUERITE and PANGKOR

Left Bombay for Hormuz escorting convoy B P 72

DAUNTLESS

Left Bombay for Persian Gulf to relieve CAPETOWN

 

 

Friday, March 12th

 

 

CARADOC

Arrived Diego Suarez from Kilindini and left again for Tamatave

TULIP and ZUIDERKRUIS

Left Diego Garcia for Addu Atoll

CAIRNS

Left Kilindini for Tulear

ALBATROSS and QUICKMATCH

Arrived Majunga and left the same day for Kilindini

 

 

Saturday, March 13th

 

 

SHAPINSAY

Left Diego Suarez for Kilindini

SONAVATI

Left Trincomalee for Cocos Is with stores and relief for Garrison

CARADOC

Arrived Tamatave from Diego Suarez

DEVONSHIRE

Arrived Seychelles from Colombo and left again for Kilindini

GAMBIA

Arrived Mauritius from Fremantle having been detached from escorting QUEEN OF BERMUDA

CARTHAGE and QUIBERON

Arrived Kilindini from Durban

WORCESTERSHIRE

Arrived Colombo with Colombo portion of convoy O W 2

ORISSA

Left Aden for Hormuz escorting convoy A P 24

 

 

Sunday, March 14th

 

 

BALUCHISTAN

Arrived Bombay from Seychelles

FS COMMANDANT DUBOC

Left Diego Suarez fro Nosi Be with High Commissioner for Madagascar

BRITTANY

Left Kilindini for Seychelles, Addu Atoll, Cochin, and Bombay

TULIP and ZUIDERKRUIS

Arrived Addu Atoll from Diego Garcia

CARADOC

Left Tamatave for Diego Suarez

GAMBIA

Left Mauritius for Kilindini

GAWLER

Left Colombo escorting R.F.A. APPLELEAF and TAIPING for Addu Atoll and Diego Garcia

 

 

Monday, March 15th

 

 

ALBATROSS and QUICKMATCH

Arrived Kilindini from Majunga

CERES

Left Kilindini escorting H.T. LANCASHIRE to Aden

DEVONSHIRE

Arrived Kilindini from Seychelles and Colombo

CARADOC

Arrived Diego Suarez from Tamatave and left again for Kilindini escorting SS KUTSANG

KIRRIEMOUTH

Arrived Diego Suarez from Kilindini

SCOUT

Left Colombo for Calcutta escorting U.S. MORMACDOVE

JUMNA, BATHURST and SEA BELLE

Arrived Bombay from Hormuz escorting convoy P B 30

FS COMMANDANT DUBOC

Arrived Nosi Be from Diego Suarez

CESSNOCK

Arrived Hormuz from Aden escorting convoy A P 23

FROBISHER

Arrived Aden escorting Aden portion of W S 26

 

 

Tuesday, March 16th

 

 

WARSPITE, QUILLIAM, FOXHOUND and NEPAL

Arrived Durban from Kilindini

FALMOUTH

Arrived Aden from Hormuz escorting convoy P A 28

TULIP

Escorting SS ZUIDERKRUIS, SANTHIA, and SINGU left Addu Atoll for Colombo

MARBOROUGH and BENGAL

Left Hormuz for Bombay escorting convoy P B 31

MADRAS

Left Hormuz for Aden escorting convoy P A 29

KIRRIEMOOR

Arrived Diego Suarez from Kilindini

FROBISHER

Left Aden for Kilindini

Dutch Sub O 24

Left Colombo for patrol

 

 

Wednesday, March 17th

 

 

GAWLER

Arrived Addu Atoll from Colombo escorting oiler APPLELEAF and TAIPING

HAWKINS

Arrived Bombay escorting W S 26 B

GAMBIA

Arrived Kilindini from Mauritius and Fremantle

QUIBERON

Arrived Kilindini from Diego Garcia and Fremantle

SHAPINSAY

Arrived Kilindini from Diego Suarez

EMILE BAUDOT

escorted by MAGNOLIA arrived Addu Atoll from Tamatave

CAPETOWN

Left Bahrein for Bombay

FS COMMANDANT DUBOC

Arrived Majunga from Nosi Be

FLAMINGO

Towed by SS STAR OF CAIRO left Aden for Bombay

 

 

Thursday, March 18th

 

 

USS WEST POINT

Arrived Bombay from Melbourne

CARADOC

Escorting SS KUTSANG arrived Kilindini from Diego Suarez

BIRMINGHAM

Left Kilindini for Durban, Simonstown, and U.K.

MAURITIUS

Flying the flag of Commander in Chief, Eastern Fleet, left Kilindini for Durban

ALBATROSS

Left Kilindini for Mogadishu, Dante, and Bombay

WORCESTERSHIRE

Left Colombo to MOMP with convoy O W 3

PUNJAB and ADRIA

Escorting convoy B P 72 left Bombay for Hormuz

GAWLER

Left Addu Atoll for Diego Garcia

BRITTANY

Arrived Seychelles from Kilindini

 

 

Friday, March 19th

 

 

FSS COMMANDANT DUBOC

Arrived Diego Suarez from Majunga

CAIRNS

Arrived Tulear from Kilindini

TULIP

Escorting ZUIDERKRUIS, SANTHIA, and SINGU arrive Colombo from Addu Atoll

SONAVATI

Arrived Cocos Is. From Colombo

GERALDTON

Left Aden escorting A P 25 to Hormuz

KANIMBLA

Left Colombo for Sydney

EMILE BAUDOT

Left Addu Atoll for Bombay

MAGNOLIA

Left Addu Atoll for Colombo

NEPAL

Left Durban for Mauritius, Diego Garcia, and Fremantle

BRITTANY

Left Seychelles for Addu Atoll

USS TRINITY

Arrived Bombay from Fremantle

 

 

Saturday, March 20th

 

 

SCOUT

Escorting SS MORMACDOVE arrived Calcutta from Colombo

HAWKINS

Left Bombay for Kilindini

CAPETOWN

Arrived Bombay from Bahrein

FROBISHER

Arrived Kilindini from Aden

ADELAIDE

Left Fremantle escorting convoy O W 3

 

 

Sunday, March 21st

 

 

GAWLER

Arrived Diego Garcia from Addu Atoll

QUIBERON

Arrived Diego Garcia and having fuelled left for Fremantle

MAURITIUS and BIRMINGHAM

Arrived Durban from Kilindini

CERES

Arrived Aden from Kilindini escorting H.T. LANCASHIRE

ASTER

Left Bombay escorting B P 72 ¾ to Hormuz

MARYBOROUGH and BENGAL

Arrived Bombay from Hormuz escorting convoy P B 31

 

 

Monday, March 22nd

 

 

ADAMANT

With QUICKMATCH and NIZAM and local A/S escort left Kilindini for Colombo

ORISSA and HINDUSTAN

Escorting convoy P B 32 left Hormuz for Bombay

MARGUERITE

Escorting convoy P A 30 left Hormuz for Aden

CHITRAL and CANTON

Left Durban escorting convoy C M 40. Local a/s escort provided by NAPIER, QUALITY, and CATTERICK

ILE DE FRANCE

Left Fremantle for Durban

SONAVATI

Left Cocos Island for Colombo

KIRRIEMOOR

Left Diego Suarez for E. London

 

 

Tuesday, March 23rd

 

 

FROBISHER

Left Kilindini for Durban

CANTON, WAYLAND and CHITRAL

Left Durban escorting C M 40. A/S escort provided by destroyers NAPIER, CATTERICK, and QUALITY. On reaching Lat. 22S CHITRAL and destroyers returned to Durban

USS WEST POINT

Left Bombay for Suez

MAGNOLIA

Arrived Colombo from Addu Atoll having escorted EMIL BAUDOT from Tamatave

NEPAL

Arrived Mauritius from Durban en route to Australia via Diego Garcia

MADRAS

Escorting P A 29 arrived Aden from Hormuz

BATHURST, RATNAGIRI and RAJPUTANA

Left Bombay escorting convoy B P 73 to Hormuz

BRITTANY

Arrived and left Addu Atoll for Cochin

SCOUT

Left Calcutta for Colombo

 

 

Wednesday, March 24th

 

 

Dutch Sub O 21

Arrived Colombo from patrol

ADRIA

Arrived Bandar Abbas from Bombay to relieve ALAUNIA as base ship

 

 

Thursday, March 25th

 

 

HAWKINS

Arrived Kilindini from Bombay

JAN DE WAELE

Left Addu Atoll for Seychelles, Aden, and Med.

IPSWICH

Left Bandar Abbas escorting SS EKMA to Ras al Hadd, Masirah, and Bombay

 

 

Friday, March 26th

 

 

FALMOUTH

Left Aden escorting convoy A P 26 to Hormuz

BRITTANY

Arrived Cochin from Addu Atoll

CARTHAGE

Left Kilindini to R/V with convoy W S 27 S.E. of Madagascar on the ¼

CAIRNS

Left Tulear escorting ML 380, ML 382, ML 383, and ML 829 to Majunga

CAPETOWN

Left Bombay escorting convoy B A 40 to Aden

SUSSEX, FOXHOUND, and RACEHORSE

Arrived Durban escorting convoy W S 27 (Durban Section) from Capetown

NEPAL

Arrived Diego Garcia and left again for Fremantle

EMILE BAUDOT

Arrived Bombay from Addu Atoll

FLAMINGO

Arrived Bombay from Aden towed by SS STAR OF CAIRO

COMMANDANTE DUBOC

Left Diego Suarez for Tamatave

 

 

Saturday, March 27th

 

 

GAWLER

Left Addu Atoll escorting TAIPING for Colombo

FROBISHER

Arrived Durban from Kilindini

ALBATROSS

Arrived Bombay from Dante, Mogadishu, and Kilindini

SARKA

Left Durban for Kilindini

BALUCHISTAN

Left Bombay escorting convoy B P 73 ½ to Hormuz

SCOUT

Arrived Colombo from Calcutta

BRITTANY

Left Cochin for Bombay

DURBAN

Left Bombay for Kilindini

 

 

Sunday, March 28th

 

 

USS TRINITY

Left Bombay for Bahrein

HINDUSTAN and ORISSA

Arrived Bombay escorting convoy P B 32 from Hormuz

FS COMMANDANT DUBOC

Arrived Diego Suarez and left for Reunion

QUIBERON

Arrived Fremantle from Diego Garcia

ADELAIDE

Arrived Fremantle having escorted convoy O W 3 to MOMP with WORCESTERSHIRE

QUEEN MARY (transport)

Left Fremantle for Capetown

SONAVATI

Arrived Colombo from Cocos Island

 

 

Monday, March 29th

 

 

COMMANDANT DUBOC

Arrived Reunion from Tamatave

Dutch Sub O 21

Arrived Colombo from patrol

FROBISHER

Escorting convoy W S 27 left Durban. Local A/S escort provided by FOXHOUND, CATTERICK, NAPIER, ROTHERHAM

BRITTANY

Arrived Bombay from Cochin

CAIRNS

Escorting MLs arrived Majunga from Tulear

BARRYMOOR

Left Seychelles for Colombo

PUNJAB and RAJPUTANA

Left Hormuz escorting P B 33 to Bombay

LAUNCESTON and BATHURST

Left Hormuz escorting P A 31 to Aden

USS WEST POINT

Arrived Suez from Bombay

 

 

Tuesday, March 30th

 

 

ORISSA and BARODA

Left Bombay escorting convoy B P 74 to Hormuz

CERES

Left Aden escorting convoy M C 6 to Kilindini

MARGUERITA

Arrived Aden escorting convoy P A 30 from Hormuz

AQUITANIA

Left Fremantle for Capetown

TOOWOOMBA

Left Kilindini escorting one transport to Diego Suarez

 

 

Wednesday, March 31st

 

 

CARTHAGE

Arrived Diego Suarez having been diverted from MOMP with W S 27 S.E. of Madagascar

VASNA

Left Kilindini for Diego Suarez

WAYLAND

Arrived Kilindini from Durban

CAIRNS

Left Majunga escorting 4 MLs to Lindi

RAINSTORM

Arrived Aden from Suez en route to Colombo

 

 

Part II

 

NARRATIVE 

 

(A) GENERAL

 

1. Docking and repairs on Heavy Units

 

WARSPITE taken in hand for short refit at Durban commencing 18th March and due to complete 13 April inclusive of docking

 

2. Docking and repairs on Cruisers

 

DURBAN taken in hand at Bombay for docking and repairs on 6 January and completed 10th March

 

DEVONSHIRE docked at Bombay 4th March for examination of excessive wear in A bracket bushes. Inner bushes rewooded. Completed 10th March.

 

MAURITIUS docked for 3 days at Durban completed 25th March.

 

Anti-Submarine Reinforcements for Commander in Chief, South Atlantic

 

3. The first ship to be sunk in the present enemy submarine offensive in the Cape Area was the SS QUEEN ANNE on 10th March. On this date, the disposition of the Eastern Fleet destroyers was as follows.

 

(a). At Kilindini NEPAL, NIZAM, FOXHOUND, and QUILLIAM.

 

(b). On South Atlantic Station QUICKMATCH, QUIBERON, QUALITY, RACEHORST, RELENTLESS, CATTERICK, and BLACKMORE.

 

(c). Refitting: NAPIER at Durban, NORMAN at Simonstown, and ROTHERHAM undergoing repairs to boiler at Durban

 

4. Commander in Chief, South Atlantic A/S force were augmented by the following Eastern Fleet destroyers

 

(a). FOXHOUND, QUILLIAM, and NEPAL who arrived at Durban with WARSPITE on 16th March.

 

(b). ROTHERHAM and NAPIER who completed on the 19th and 23rd March, respectively.

 

(c). QUEENBOROUGH, QUAIL, and RAIDER who arrived Durban with convoy W S 27 on 29th March

 

5. The following Eastern Fleet Destroyers were withdrawn from the Cape Area during the month.

(a). QUICKMATCH and QUIBERON were sailed from Durban to Kilindini on 7th March; the former to remain at Kilindini, the latter to proceed to Australia

 

(b). NEPAL was sailed from Durban on 19th March to Australia to give leave and adjust complement

6. In addition to the destroyers shown in the above, four Eastern Fleet corvettes were already operating in the Cape Area.

 

(B). CONVOYS

 

7.

HMS BIRMINGHAM

BIRMINGHAM with CERES in company, sailed from Durban on the 1st March as ocean escort to WS 26, arriving at Kilindini on the 11th March. After relief by……. (bottom of page chopped)

 

HMS HAWKINS

HAWKINS sailed from Kilindini on the 4th March to R/V with Convoy W S 26 on the 9th March to relieve BIRMINGHAM as ocean escort for the combined convoy until the 10th March, and then to provide escort for the Indian Ocean portion to Bombay. HAWKINS arrived at Bombay on the 17th

 

HMS FROBISHER

FROBISHER sailed from Kilindini on the 9th March and R/Vd with HAWKINS and convoy WS 26 A north of Madagascar on the 10th March, proceeding with the Middle East portion of this convoy, arriving at Aden on 15th March

 

HMS GAMBIA

GAMBIA sailed from Fremantle on the 3rd March as escort for convoy O W 2 for Colombo, being relieved in Latitude 20 deg. 25S by HMS WORCESTERSHIRE and proceeded thence to Mauritius for fuelling and Kilindini

 

HMS SUSSEX

SUSSEX provided ocean escort for W S 27 from UK arriving in Durban on the 27th March. Ship remained at Durban to await docking for repairs to stern compartment

 

HMS CAPETOWN

On relief by DAUNTLESS in the Persian Gulf on the 16th March, CAPETOWN proceeded to Bombay where she docked before providing ocean escort for convoy B A 40 which sailed from Bombay on the 26th March and was due at Aden on the 1st April

 

HMS DAUNTLESS

DAUNTLESS sailed from Kilindini on the 26the February as ocean escort for hired transport TAKLIWA, arriving at Aden on the 3rd March. DAUNTLESS then proceeded to Bombay and Persian Gulf to relieve CAPETOWN

 

HMS CARADOC

CARADOC sailed from Bombay on the 24th February as ocean escort for convoy B A 38 arriving at Aden on the 3rd March. From Aden, CARADOC proceeded to Kilindini and then to Diego Suarez to provide escort for KUTSANG which left Diego Suarez on the 14th March, arriving at Kilindini 3 days later

 

HMS CERES

CERES sailed from Durban in company with BIRMINGHAM providing ocean escort for convoy W S 26. CERES was detached from the convoy on the 7th March to proceed to Diego Suarez. On the 9th March, CERES sailed from Diego Suarez, hired transport LANCASHIRE in company, for Kilindini arriving on the 12th and sailing from Kilindini on the 15th again with LANCASHIRE in company for Aden, where she arrived on the 21st. CERES sailed from Aden on the 29th March as ocean escort for convoy M C 6, consisting of 5 ships X C M 40 returning to Durban Convoy will call at Kilindini where CERTES will be relieved as ocean escort by HMS DEVONSHIRE

 

HMS CHITRAL

On completion of refit at Simonstown, CHITRAL sailed on the 15th March, escorting ships of C M 40 to Durban. On the 26th March, CANTON and CHITRAL in company sailed from Durban with C M 40 the former to provide escort for the Bombay portion and CHITRAL to proceed with the Aden portion of the convoy to Kilindini

 

In view of the urgent requirement to transport 500 tons of dockyard machinery from Durban to Diego Suarez, CHITRAL was recalled to Durban to load this gear, and should proceed to Diego Suarez on the 2nd April.

 

HMS RANPURA

At the beginning of the month, RANPURA was at sea as escort for the Indian portion of Convoy C M 39. She arrived at Bombay on the 3rd March 

 

WORCESTERSHIRE sailed from Colombo on the 19th February after an anti raider patrol to the Southwest of Cocos Island, proceeded to R/V with Convoy O.W. 2 in position 20-25S, 91-00E on the 7th March, arriving at Colombo with this convoy on the 14th to R/V with Convoy O.W.3 in position 20-24S, 93-42E and return with this convoy to Colombo, arriving on the 2nd April.

 

CANTON sailed from Durban on the 22nd March in company with CHITRAL as ocean escort for C.M. 40. CANTON provides though escort for the Indian portion and should arrived Bombay on the 9th April.

 

 (C). BASES

 

General

 

8. A.M. 1856/3/3 indicated that the whole subject of Indian Ocean Bases is again under review and the results will be promulgated shortly.

 

Ships

 

9. Following movements from the Eastern Fleet have taken place or are about to take place:

 

(a). ETHIOPEAN (boom carrier) to United Kingdom on completion of refit.

 

(b). LAOMEDON (boom carrier) to United Kingdom on completion of refit.

 

(c). JAN DER WAELE (Boom trawler) to Levant

 

(d). BARHILL (B.D.V.) diverted to Mediterranean

 

(e). BRITTANY to Levant on completion of refit.

 

Kilindini

 

10. Two motor fishing vessels on passage from Durban in tow of BOLD broke adrift and went ashore at Chinde. Consul General Lourenco Marques is arranging for their repair and to send them to Beira.

 

11. One mile of A/T baffle sent in FORELAND to B.D.O. Alexandria 31st March 1943.

 

12. By A.M. 2248/19/3 the Staff Requirements for Kilindini now are:

 

For use as a temporary Fleet base for 4 capital ships, 3 aircraft carriers, 6 cruises, and 2 ½ Destroyer Flotillas, 2 depot ships, and local forces.

 

13. A.M. 1720/26/3 suggested that the double gate in the A/T boom is an over insurance and should be reduced to a single line thereby releasing a Bar Vessel which is required in the Mediterranean. This had now been carried out.

 

Mauritius

 

14. The Army's request to resite the Armament Depot within the defended area at Plaisance was considered, but it was decided that the site at Midlands holds so many other advantages that the lack of defence could be accepted. Security Guards from Mauritius Police are being arranged.

 

15. A.M. 1503/18/3 directs that, owing to the reduction in importance of Grand Port, the Boom there is not now to be laid, but is to be stored.

 

Diego Suarez

 

16. Discussions concerning the laying of A/T baffles at Port Nievre and Scotch Bay have culminated in Admiralty directing that no A/T baffles are to be laid at Diego Suarez until the needs of Trincomalee have been fulfilled. A/T gear at present in DEVON CITY is to be sent to Trincomalee.

 

17. Andrakaka Aerodrome. The question of transferring responsibility for the development of this aerodrome from Commodore in Charge, Durban (Commander in Chief, South Atlantic) to Flag Officer, East Africa (Commander in Chief, Eastern Fleet) is at present under discussion.

 

Majunga

 

18. The indicator nets at Majunga are in a bad way. It was intended to send BARRYMORE from Seychelles to with them before she went to help at Diego Suarez, but she has now been sent to Trincomalee where Bar Vessels are urgently required. The weighing of the nets at Majunga must therefore wait for a more favourable time.

 

Seychelles

 

19. Moorings for oiling berths N.W. and S.E. of St Anne Island have now been laid.

 

20. Flag Officer, East Africa has directed Superintending Civil Engineer East Africa to proceed with the scheme for increasing the water supply at Victoria.

 

21. The submarine telephone cable between St Anne Island and North East Point has been laid.

 

Addu Atoll

 

22. The construction of the pier for a deep water quay has been under consideration, and work has ceased pending Admiralty's review of Indian Ocean bases.

 

23. Armindia has been asked if he can provide any suitable landing craft in lieu. The Admiralty cannot, and the state of the present landing craft at Addu Atoll is very shaky.

 

Trincomalee

 

24. It has been decided to sent two additional Bar Vessels (BARRYMORE from Seychelles and BARSTOKE from Kilindini) to Trincomalee to help in the laying of moorings, booms, and baffles.

 

25. By A.M. 2248/19/3 the Staff requirements for Trincomalee are now:

 

7 Capital ships or carriers, 6 cruisers, 20 destroyers, 3 depot ships, 10 submarines, 16 Fleet minesweepers. This is a reduction on previous requirements.

 

26. Two Type B5 A/S sets are now fitted in the Boom Gate (F.O. Ceylon's 0432/28/3).

 

Salaya

 

27. A.M. 2248/19/3 cancels all development beyond that required for using the anchorage as a convoy port.

 

Bandar Abbas

 

28. ADRIA arrived 24/3 to take over base ship from ALAUNIA.

 

(D). COMMUNICATIONS

 

29. The development of a satisfactory multi frequency broadcast to take the place, as far as the Indian Ocean is concerned, of Rugby W/T, has been completed and after nearly a month's trial the Indian Ocean broadcast was ordered to be made by ships instead of Rugby from 1st April. All reports agree that this broadcast is incomparably more reliable in the Indian Ocean than was Rugby.

 

30. Attempts to utilize Tananarive Radio for this, or for any other purpose, have new been abandoned.

 

31. Work is progressing satisfactorily on the building of W/T stations required by W/T Plan R. On the other hand there are noticeable signs that the Technical equipment is not coming forward as rapidly as could be desired. In addition, a high proportion of the apparatus which has shipping from the United Kingdom had been lost en route on a count of enemy action. (This matter has been represented to Admiralty in my submission No. 741/E.F. 627R/31)

 

32. The detailed reports covering the new Ceylon, Seychelles, Kilindini, and Diego Suarez W/T Stations have now been completed and despatched, and the preliminary tour undertaken by representative of the Command In Chief, East Fleet, Lieutenant Commander McClelland, will soon be completed.

 

33. Occasion has been taken during the month to represent the absolute necessity of completing the greater portion of the Ceylon W/T Stations before large scale operations can be carried out unhandicapped in the Indian Ocean.

 

(E). INTELLIGENCE

 

34. March 12, 1943. Captain D.N.C. Tufnell, D.S.C., R.N. took over the duties of Chief of Intelligence Staff from Acting Captain S. Barry, R.N.

 

(F). MINESWEEPING

 

35. There has been no sign of enemy minelaying.

 

36. In view of the reduced threat of minelaying in the Shatt el Arab, Commander in Chief, Eastern Fleet, has decided not to reinforce M/S forces in the Persian Gulf.

 

37. It is intended that M/S Vessels that were fitting out for the Persian Gulf will not proceed to Colombo or Trincomalee for working up and training.

 

38. Vessels to which will apply are:

 

 2 wooden vessels fitting out in Colombo.

 

 10 whalers converting in Indian Ports.

 

 3 whalers converting in South Africa.

 

 1 whaler converting in the Mediterranean.

 

 Also new construction on arrival.

 

39. The LL Whalers SANTA and SAHRA which were fitting out in the Mediterranean for the Eastern Fleet have been diverted by Admiralty to Malta.

 

 

 


 

 

EASTERN FLEET WAR DIARY

 


Area of operations, click to enlarge

 

 

APRIL 1943

 

Thursday, 1st April

 

 

JAN DE WAELE

Arrived Seychelles from Addu Atoll

SONAVATI

Left Colombo for Diego Garcia

ALAUNIA

Left Khasab Bay for Bombay

FS COMMANDANT DUBOC

Arrived Mauritius from Tamatave

CARADOC

Left Kilindini escorting convoy CM 40 A to Aden

HILDASAY

Left Durban for Diego Suarez

CAPETOWN

Arrived Aden escorting convoy B A 40 from Bombay

U.S. WEST POINT

Left Suez for Massawa

 

 

Friday, 2nd April

 

 

WORCESTERSHIRE

Arrived Colombo escorting convoy O W 3 from Fremantle

ILE DE FRANCE

Arrived Durban from Fremantle

MADRAS

Left Aden escorting convoy A P 27 to Hormuz

CARTHAGE

Left Diego Suarez to R/V with W S 27 and escort to Aden

NEPAL

Arrived Fremantle from Diego Garcia

CHITRAL

Left Durban for Diego Suarez and Kilindini

ADAMANT

Arrived Colombo from Kilindini

TOOWOOMBA

Arrived Diego Suarez escorting on transport from Kilindini

 

 

Saturday, 3rd April

 

 

SUTLEJ

Left Bombay escorting convoy B P 75 to Hormuz

TOOWOOMBA

Left Diego Suarez escorting one transport to Kilindini

U.S. WEST POINT

Arrived Massawa from Suez

RAINSTORM

Left Aden for Mogadishu and Kilindini

DURBAN

Arrived Kilindini from Bombay

VASNA

Arrived Diego Suarez from Kilindini

KIRRIEMOOR

Arrived E. London from Diego Suarez

CAIRNS

Escorting four M.L. arriving Lindi from Majunga

LURCHER

Left Diego Suarez for Tamatave

 

 

Sunday, 4th April

 

 

VASNA

Left Diego Suarez for Durban

PUNJAB and RAJPUTANA

Arrived Bombay escorting convoy P B 33 from Hormuz

MAURITIUS

Flying the flag of Commander in Chief, Eastern Fleet, left Durban for Kilindini

SARKA

Arrived Kilindini from Durban en route to Colombo

DURBAN

Left Kilindini to R/V with convoy W S 27 on the 5th April and escort to Aden

LURCHER

Arrived Tamatave from Diego Suarez

SONAVATI

Arrived Diego Garcia from Colombo

RAINSTORM

En route from Aden to Kilindini ordered to return to Aden

FALMOUTH and CESSNOCK

Left Hormuz escorting convoy P B 34 to Bombay

CAPETOWN and MARGUERITE

Left Aden escorting convoy A B 6 to Bombay

 

 

Monday, 5th April

 

 

CARADOC

Arrived Aden having escorted C M 40 from Kilindini

CERES

Arrived Kilindini escorting convoy M C 6 from Aden

ALAUNIA

Arrived Bombay from Bandar Abbas

TRUSTY

Left Colombo for Diego Suarez en route to the United Kingdom for refit

PLADDA

Left Tamatave for Diego Suarez in tow of tug AMIRAL BOUVET and escorted by LURCHER

BOMBAY

Left Bombay escorting convoy B P 74 ½ to Hormuz

GERALDTON

Left Hormuz escorting convoy P B 35 to Bombay

JAN DE WAELE

Left Seychelles for Aden

 

 

Tuesday, 6th April

 

 

FROBISHER

Arrived Kilindini having escorted convoy W S 27 from Durban and relieved by DURBAN

DEVONSHIRE

Left Kilindini escorting convoy M C 6 to Durban

TOOWOOMBA

Arrived Kilindini escorting one transport from Diego Suarez. Left Kilindini to R/V with one transport off Dar es Salaam and escort her to Diego Garcia

SONAVATI

Arrived Addu Atoll from Diego Garcia

LUCIA

Left Colombo for Addu Atoll en route to Seychelles and Kilindini

RANPURA

Left Bombay escorting convoy B A 41 to Aden

BATHURST and LAUNCESTON

Arrived Aden escorting convoy P A 31 from Hormuz

 

 

Wednesday, 7th April

 

 

CHITRAL

Arrived Diego Suarez from Durban

WORCESTERSHIRE

Left Colombo for East London

DEVON CITY

Left Diego Suarez for Kilindini

U.S. WEST POINT

Left Aden for Cape

ASTER and BALUCHISTAN

Left Hormuz for Aden escorting P A 32

MAURITIUS

Arrived Kilindini from Durban

SUTLEJ

Arrived Hormuz having escorted convoy B P 75 from Bombay

 

 

Thursday, 8th April

 

 

CANTON

Arrived Bombay heaving escorted C M 40 B from Durban

CAIRNS

Arrived Kilindini escorting two MLs from Tulear

MADRAS

Arrived Hormuz having escorting convoy A P 27 from Aden

CARADOC

Arrived Aden escorting convoy C M 40 from the South

 

 

Friday, 9th April

 

 

EREBUS

Left Durban for Kilindini. Local A/S escort of NAPIER and NIGELLA as far as 23 deg. S, and CATTERICK and QUALITY to part company in time to meet convoy M C 6 at 1430Z/11th

COMMANDANT DUBOC

Arrived Tamatave from Mauritius

LUCIA

Arrived Addu Atoll from Colombo en route to Kilindini

BARCLOSE

Left Kilindini for Aden

SONAVATI

Left Addu Atoll for Colombo

GAWLER

Left Calcutta for Colombo

DURBAN and CARTHAGE

Arrived Aden escorting convoy W S 27 from the South

CARADOC

Left Aden for Kilindini

 

 

Saturday, 10th April

 

 

SUTLEJ and GERALDTON

Left Hormuz escorting convoy P B 35 for Bombay

CANTON

Left Bombay escorting convoy B A 42 towards Aden. To be detached at 55 deg. E to Kilindini

CESSNOCK and FALMOUTH

Arrived Bombay escorting convoy P B 34 from Hormuz

VASNA (Hos. Ship)

Arrived Durban from Diego Suarez

SHAPINSAY

Left Kilindini for Seychelles

CERES

Left Kilindini escorting one transport to Aden

 

 

Sunday, 11th April

 

 

LAUNCESTON

Left Aden escorting convoy A P 28 for Hormuz

CAPETOWN and MARGUERITE

Arrived Bombay escorting convoy A B 6 from Aden

DEVON CITY

Arrived Kilindini from Diego Suarez

MASTIFF

Left Diego Suarez for Tamatave escorting H.T. ORDUNA

HILDASAY

Arrived Diego Suarez from Durban

CHITRAL

Left Diego Suarez for Kilindini

TOOWOOMBA

Arrived Diego Suarez from Kilindini having escorting H.T. ORDUNA from vicinity of Dar es Salaam

Dutch Sub O 21

Left Colombo on patrol

COCKCHAFER and SCARAB

Left Khor Kuwai in tow of tugs, ZURMAID and JAMES E. HUGHES for Aden

 

 

Monday, 12th April

 

 

COMMANDANT DUBOC

Arrived Diego Suarez from Tamatave

CARTHAGE

Left Aden for Bombay

BENGAL

Left Colombo for Calcutta escorting convoy J C 10

 

 

Tuesday, 13th April

 

 

CHITRAL

Arrived Kilindini from Diego Suarez

MASTIFF

Arrived Tamatave from Diego Suarez

ORISSA

Left Hormuz escorting convoy P A 33 to Aden

KONKAN and CARNATIC

Left Bombay escorting convoy B P 75 ½ to Hormuz

DEVONSHIRE

Arrived Durban from Kilindini with convoy M C 6

CARADOC

Arrived Kilindini from Aden

HILDASAY

Left Diego Suarez for Seychelles

JAN DE WAELE

Arrived Aden from Seychelles

 

 

Wednesday, 14th April

 

 

RANPURA

Arrived Aden from Bombay escorting convoy B A 41

ASTER and BALUCHISTAN

Arrived Aden from Hormuz escorting convoy P A 32

TRUSTY

Arrived Diego Suarez from Colombo

LUCIA

Left Addu Atoll for Seychelles and Kilindini

 

 

Thursday, 15th April

 

 

COMMANDANT DUBOC

Left Diego Suarez for Tamatave

TRUSTY

Left Diego Suarez for Durban

Tug EMPIRE SAM

Arrived Kilindini from Durban heaving towed MFVs VALHALLA and EXCELSIOR from Beira

RESOURCE

Left Kilindini for Aden en route to the Mediterranean

SHAPINSAY

Arrived Seychelles from Kilindini

MASTIFF

Left Tamatave for Diego Suarez

 

 

Friday, 16th April

 

 

HILDASAY

Arrived Seychelles from Diego Suarez

BOMBAY

Left Hormuz for Bombay escorting convoy P B 36

COMMANDANT DUBOC

Arrived Tamatave from Diego Suarez and left again for Durban escorting H.T. ORDUNA

CERES

Arrived Aden from Kilindini escorting H.T. TAKLIWA

 

 

Saturday, 17th April

 

 

HAWKINS

Left Kilindini for Aden

RANPURA

Left Aden for Kilindini

BATHURST

Left Aden for Hormuz escorting convoy A P 29

MARGUERITE

Left Bombay for Hormuz escorting convoy B P 76

CARTHAGE

Arrived Bombay from Aden

SUTLEJ and GERALDTON

Arrived Bombay from Hormuz escorting convoy P B 35

FARA and ROSALIND

Left Seychelles for Kilindini

MASTIFF

Arrived Diego Suarez from Tamatave

BARSTOKE

Left Kilindini for Seychelles

RAJPUTANA

Left Bombay for Hormuz escorting convoy B P 76 ½

 

 

Sunday, 18th April

 

 

BENGAL

Arrived Calcutta from Colombo

KENYA, BULOLO, KEREN and LARGS

Vicinity of Durban escorting convoy W S 28 to Middle East

KONKAN and CARNATIC

Arrived Hormuz from Bombay escorting convoy B P 75 ½

LAUNCESTON

Arrived Hormuz from Aden escorting convoy A P 28

 

 

Monday, 19th April

 

 

DURBAN

Left Aden for Bombay

EREBUS

Arrived Kilindini from Durban

CANTON

Arrived Kilindini from Bombay having escorted convoy B A 42 to 55 deg.E.

SARKA

Left Kilindini for Aden

BARCLOSE

Arrived Aden from Kilindini

SHOREHAM, COCKCHAFER and SCARAB

Arrived Aden from Persian Gulf

ILE DE FRANCE

Left Durban for Suez

 

 

Tuesday, 20th April

 

 

CAIRNS

Left Kilindini for Aden escorting R.A.F. ship MANELA to Aden

 

 

Wednesday, 21st April

 

 

RESOURCE

Arrived Aden from Kilindini en route to Mediterranean

HAWKINS

Arrived Aden from Kilindini

FROBISHER

Left Kilindini for Diego Suarez

HAWKINS

Left Aden for Bombay escorting convoy A B 7

BALUCHISTAN

Left Aden for Bombay escorting one transport

ORISSA

Arrived Aden from Hormuz P A 33

 

 

Thursday, 22nd April

 

 

RANPURA

Arrived Kilindini from Aden

RELIANT

Left Kilindini for Aden en route to Mediterranean

TRUSTY

Arrived Durban from Diego Suarez

COMMANDANT DUBOC

Arrived Durban from Tamatave escorting one transport

WORCESTERSHIRE

Arrived East London from Colombo

IPSWICH and PUNJAB

Left Bombay for Hormuz escorting convoy B P 77

KONKAN and HIRAVATI

Left Hormuz for Bombay escorting convoy P B 37

LAUNCESTON

Left Hormuz for Aden escorting convoy P A 34

BOMBAY

Arrived Bombay from Hormuz escorting convoy P B 36

 

 

Friday, 23rd April

 

 

CHITRAL and CANTON

Left Kilindini to join convoy W S 28 and escort to Aden. CHITRAL to part company in vicinity Socotra and proceed to Bombay

CAPETOWN

Arrived Colombo from Bombay

 

 

Saturday, 24th April

 

 

VERBENA

Left Addu Atoll for Colombo escorting convoy X C 1

LEOPARD

Left Diego Suarez for Djibouti and Suez

DURBAN

Left Bombay for Persian Gulf

 

 

FARA and ROSALIND

Arrived Kilindini from Seychelles

MARYBOROUGH, GAWLER and LISMORE

Left Colombo for Aden via Cochin

 

 

Sunday, 25th April

 

 

KENYA

Arrived Kilindini from Capetown having been relieved as escort to convoy W S 27 by CANTON and CHITRAL

CAPETOWN

Left Colombo for Seychelles and Diego Suarez

O 24

Arrived Colombo from patrol

LUCIA

Left Seychelles for Kilindini

CERES

Left Aden for Kilindini escorting convoy A K 7

SUSSEX

With A/S escort of NAPIER and RAIDER left Durban escorting convoy C M 41

FROBISHER

Left Diego Suarez for Simonstown

MARGUERITE

Left Hormuz for Kilindini en route to Cape

 

 

Monday, 26th April

 

 

HAWKINS

Arrived Bombay from Aden escorting convoy A B 7

FRITILLARY and TRUSTY

Left Durban in company for Capetown and Simonstown, respectively

COMMANDANT DUBOC

Left Durban escorting A.S.I.S. KHETI and PACHECO towards Kilindini. To proceed to Diego Suarez on relief in Lat. 10 deg. S

IPSWICH and PUNJAB

Arrived Hormuz from Bombay escorting convoy P B 77

 

 

Tuesday, 27th April

 

 

VERBENA

Arrived Colombo from Addu Atoll escorting convoy X C 1

ASTER

Left Aden for Kilindini en route to Cape Station

BARSTOKE

Left Seychelles for Trincomalee

 

 

Wednesday, 28th April

 

 

KONKAN and HIRAVATI

Arrived Bombay from Hormuz escorting convoy P B 37

DURBAN

Arrived Bahrein from Bombay to relieve DAUNTLESS as Persian Gulf cruiser

STORMWRACK and SATSA

Left Durban for Kilindini calling Beira

RATNAGIRI

Left Hormuz for Bombay escorting P B 38

IPSWICH

Left Hormuz for Aden escorting convoy P A 35

ASTER

Returned to Aden with defects

 

 

Thursday, 29th April

 

 

MANCHESTER CITY

Arrived Durban from Cape

BOMBAY

Left Bombay for Hormuz escorting convoy B P 78

CESSNOCK

Left Bombay for Aden

RELIANT

Arrived Aden from Kilindini en route to join Levant Station

CAPETOWN

Arrived Seychelles from Colombo and left p.m. for Kilindini

Dutch sub O 21

Arrived Colombo from patrol

ASTER

Left Aden for Kilindini

 

 

Friday, 30th April

 

 

LUCIA

Arrived Kilindini from Seychelles, Addu Atoll, and Colombo

FS LEOPARD

Arrived Djibouti from Diego Suarez en route to join Levant Station

CANTON, BULOLO, KEREN and LARGS

Arrived Aden from Kilindini escorting convoy W S 27

BURNIE

Left Kilindini to relieve FS COMMANDANT DUBOC and to escort A.S.I.S. KHETI and PACHECO to Kilindini

RANPURA

Left Kilindini to relieve SUSSEX with convoy C M 41 and to continue as part of the convoy to Bombay

SOEMBA

Left Bombay for Aden en route to Levant Station

LAUNCESTON

Arrived Aden from Hormuz escorting convoy P A 34

 

 

 

Part II

 

NARRATIVE

 

(A) GENERAL

 

1. Docking and repairs on Heavy Units

 

WARSPITE at Durban. Completed one months refit and docking on 16th April

 

2. Docking and repairs on Cruisers

 

SUSSEX docked at Durban for four days ending 22nd April to replace leaky rivets in stern compartments.

 

3. Destroyers

 

The disposition of the Eastern Fleet destroyers on the 1st April was as follows:

 

At Kilindini - NIZAM, QUICKMATCH

 

On passage to Australia - NEPAL

 

In Australia - QUIBERON

 

On South Atlantic Station operations - NAPIER, QUALITY, QUAIL, RAIDER, RACEHORSE, CATTERICK, QUILLIAM, QUEENBOROUGH, ROTHERHAM, RELENTLESS, FOXHOUND

 

On South Atlantic Station refitting - NORMAN, BLACKMORE

 

The Eastern Fleet destroyers operating on the South Atlantic Station were joined by QUADRANT and REDOUBT which arrived at Capetown with W S 28 on 12th April. The total was however subsequently reduced by the withdrawal of QUILLIAM, QUEENBOROUGH, QUAIL, and QUALITY and by the loan of FOXHOUND and CATTERICK to Rear Admiral, Western Australia

 

4. Cruisers

 

The Eastern Fleet cruiser strength was augmented by the arrival of SUSSEX and KENYA on the station. The former who had provided escort for W S 27 has been delayed at Durban for repairs.

 

This increase was however off set by the departure of both BIRMINGHAM and DEVONSHIRE for the United Kingdom. The former having sailed from Simonstown on 31st March and the latter from Durban on 17th April.

 

 

(B). CONVOYS

 

5.

DEVONSHIRE

Sailed from Kilindini on the 6th April as Ocean Escort to M C 6, arriving at Durban on the 13th. She sailed from Durban on the 17th for the United Kingdom

 

SUSSEX

Having arrived from United Kingdom, left Durban on the 25th April as Ocean Escort to C M 41 arriving at Kilindini on the 2nd May after being relieved by RANPURA

 

MAURITIUS

Sailed from Durban on 4th April with the Flag of Commander in Chief, Eastern Fleet arriving Kilindini on the 7th, thereafter carrying out working up practices at Kilindini

 

KENYA

Arriving at Simonstown on the 11th April, having action as Ocean Escort to W S 28. Sailed from Simonstown on the 13th as Ocean Escort to W S 28 and arrived Kilindini on the 25th having been relieved by HMS CHITRAL

 

HAWKINS

Sailed from Kilindini on the 17th April. Arrived at Aden on the 21st. Left Aden on the 22nd as Ocean Escort to A B 7 arriving at Bombay on the 26th

 

FROBISHER

Sailed from Durban on the 29th March as Ocean Escort to W S 27 arriving at Kilindini on the 6th April, after being relieved by HMS DAUNTLESS. Sailed from Kilindini on the 21st, arriving at Diego Suarez on the 23rd. Left Diego Suarez on the 25th, proceeding to Simonstown for docking and repairs, where she arrived on the 1st May.

 

CAPETOWN

Arrived at Aden on the 1st April escorting B A 40. Left Aden on the 4th escorting A B 6, arriving at Bombay on the 11th. Docked at Bombay for repair to ‘A’ brackets. Sailed from Bombay on the 21st, arriving Colombo on the 23rd. Sailed from Colombo on the 25th for Kilindini where she arrived on the 2nd May having called at the Seychelles en route

 

DAUNTLESS

Carrying out duties in the Persian Gulf, sailed from Khorramshahr on the 21st, arrived Khor Kuwai on the 23rd. Left on the 25th arriving Bandar Abbas on the 26th. She sailed on the 27th arriving Bahrein on the 28th where she was relieved by HMS DURBAN

 

DURBAN

Arrived Kilindini from Bombay on the 3rd April. Sailed from Kilindini on the 4th, relieving FROBISHER was Ocean Escort to W S 27 on the 5th, arriving at Aden on the 9th. Sailed from Aden on the 19th, arriving Bombay on the 23rd. Sailed from Bombay on the 24th arriving Bahrein on the 28th where she relieved HMS DAUNTLESS in the Persian Gulf

 

CARADOC

Sailed from Kilindini on the 1st April as Ocean Escort to C M 40, arriving Aden on the 8th. Sailed from Aden on the 9th to Kilindini where she arrived on the 13th, thereafter carrying out exercises from Kilindini

 

CERES

Sailed from Aden on the 30th March as Ocean Escort to M C 6 arriving at Kilindini on the 5th April. Sailed from Kilindini on the 10th as Ocean Escort to TAKLIWA arriving Aden on the 16th. Sailed from Aden on the 25th as Ocean Escort for A K 7 arriving at Kilindini on the 3rd May.

 

ALAUNIA

Sailed from Bandar Abbas on the 1st April, arriving Bombay on the 5th for docking and repairs.

 

CHITRAL

Sailed from Durban on the 2nd April with stores for Diego Suarez where she arrived on the 7th. Sailed from Diego Suarez on the 11th, arriving at Kilindini on the 13th. Sailed from Kilindini on the 23rd with HMS CANTON, relieving HMS KENYA as Ocean Escort to W S 28 on the 24th. Left W S 28 on the 27th proceeding to Bombay where she arrived on the 1st May

 

RANPURA

After completing docking and repairs, sailed from Bombay on the 6th April as Ocean Escort to B A 41 arriving Aden on the 14th. Sailed from Aden on the 17th, arriving Kilindini on the 22nd. Carried out exercises from Kilindini sailing on the 30th to take over Ocean Escort C M 41 from HMS SUSSEX on the 1st

 

WORCESTERSHIRE

Arriving at Colombo on the 2nd April with O W 3 sailed from Colombo on the 7th passing east and south of Changos Archipelago and Mauritius arriving at East London the 22nd, thereafter sailing for United Kingdom

 

CARTHAGE

Sailed from Kilindini on the 26th March, arriving Diego Suarez on the 2nd April, sailing the same day to augment Ocean Escort W S 27, arriving Aden on the 9th. Sailed from Aden on the 12th arriving Bombay on the 17th for boiler cleaning and docking

 

CANTON

Arrived at Bombay escorting C M 40 B on the 8th April; sailed from Bombay as Ocean Escort for B A 42 on the 10th April, leaving the convoy on the 15th in 55 deg. East, proceeding to Kilindini where she arrived on the 19th. Sailed from Kilindini on the 23rd joining W S 28 as Ocean Escort on the 24th , arriving Aden on the 30th

 

(C) BASES

 

6. The following movements of Boom Vessels and other craft have taken place or are projected:

 

DEVON CITY has left Diego Suarez. After adjusting load at Kilindini she has been sent to Trincomalee to assist in the boom work

 

BARSTOKE and BARRYMORE have been transferred to Trincomalee, the former from Kilindini and the latter from Seychelles

 

BARCLOSE had been transferred to the Mediterranean from Kilindini

 

BARMOND, originally destined for Trincomalee, has been diverted to Levant and BARWIND is allocated to Trincomalee in her stead

 

The harbour service craft are being transferred from the East Fleet to the Levant

 

7. Kilindini

The loading facilities for the Armament Depot At Mtongwe are unsatisfactory, and the Admiralty have approved the diversion of the contractor’s resources from the deep water berths alongside to the building of the Armament Depot Pier

 

8. Admiralty have stated the situation as regards to the provision of small floating dock at Kilindini will be reviewed again in the summer in light of the position then existing in the Eastern Mediterranean

There is a possibility, however, of a cruiser graving dock being constructed at Kilindini by the U.S. Construction Battalion (A.M. 091515 April)

 

9. The two MFVs (EXCELSIOR and VALHALLA) that went ashore at Chinde on passage from Durban have now been salved, and have arrived at Kilindini

Mauritius

 

10. A.M. 082138 suggested that work in Mauritius should proceed only in the wake of the anti-malarial measures. It will not be necessary, however, to interrupt or alter the present programme of works as these and anti malarial work have already been coordinated.

 

11. Admiralty have directed that the Boom Depot at Grand Port is not to be built, but more open and covered storage is to be provided at Port Louis to store the Grand Port Boom. 

 

Diego Suarez

 

12. Developments are being handicapped by shortage of labour, and G.O.C. Islands Area has been asked to augment the labour available for Naval Works.

 

13. It has been suggested by the Free French authorities in London that the French Naval Buildings should e restored to them for housing their Commandant and Naval personnel.

 

Commander in Chief, Eastern Fleet has represented to the Admiralty that the principle of joint administration of Diego Suarez is undesirable and that the accommodation should remain in British hands.

 

14. The sunken French ship D'ENTRECASTEAUX has been successfully raised.

 

15. Divers have been sent from Kilindini to Diego Suarez to survey the damage to two sunken Italian vessels.

 

16. Monsoon weather is making it necessary to employed both Bar Vessels now at Diego Suarez (BARFOAM and BARFOUNT) on maintenance work on the boom, and the gate is therefore at present inoperative.

 

Tulear

 

17. E.A. Command intend to install two 120mm guns and two 75mm guns for the defence of the Flying Boat Anchorage.

 

Addu Atoll

 

18. The question of providing new landing craft for Addu Atoll is still under consideration.

 

The present landing craft are in a very poor state of repair, and need complete overhaul and reconditioning, which can only be done by sending them to Bombay or Colombo.

 

It has been suggested to Armindia that, despite over disadvantages, the three landing craft now at Colombo should be released for Addu. Flag Officer, Ceylon, also intends to transfer two 'Z' craft (now building in India) to Addu Atoll.

 

19. The Controlled Minefields in Willingiti and Gan Channels have been reported as inefficient. Admiralty propose to withdraw ATREUS and ALSEY from Australia to relay them.

 

Trincomalee

 

20. Work on the development of the base, and on booms, baffles, and mooring is proceeding.

 

21. The dredger EDWARD JACKSON is to remain at Trincomalee to complete the dredging of the destroyer berths.

 

22. Admiralty have approved the scheme to convert SAGAING into a deep water quay, subject to further examination of the details.

 

23. N.O.I.C. Trincomalee proposes to moor A.F.D. 28 in Orlando Cove.

 

24. Two auxiliary fishing vessels have been transferred to Trincomalee from the disbanded 'Force N.A.'

 

Colombo

 

25. Six heavy A.A. Batteries are being move from Ceylon to Middle East. This reduces Ceylon A.A. defences from 11 guns to 96.

 

26. Colombo controlled minefield is now completed, tested, and in operation.

 

Shatt el Arab

 

27. As a result of the transfer of four M.F.V.s from the Persian Gulf to Levant, minewatching in the Khor Musa has been stopped, and is now only continued in the Shatt el Arab from above Kkorramshahr to the mouth of the Rokka Channel.

 

When more harbour craft are available, the minewatching in the Khor Musa will be restored.

 

Khor Kuwai

 

28. Force N.A. having been disbanded, four auxiliary dhows have been transferred to Hormus, which should considerably help with the work of convoy assembly.

 

(D). AIR

 

Eastern Area

 

29. 3 Flying Boats on detachment to South Africa returned to Ceylon on completion of the detachment. Aircraft strength , 30 Catalina flying boats and 8 Amphibian Catalinas.

 

Northern Area

 

30. A detachment of 3 Catalina flying boats (from 212 Squadron Karachi) has been maintained at Masira during the month. Aircraft strength 30th April – 9 Catalina flying boats.

 

Western Area

 

31. During the month, 3 Ceylon Catalinas in South Africa were relieved by aircraft from Kilindini. In addition two reinforcement Catalinas were ordered to South Africa, the first aircraft leaving on April 28th. This reinforcement was ordered to bring the air strength in South Africa up to 16 Flying Boats and 8 Amphibians. Until April 30th, a detachment of two Sunderland flying boats has been maintained at Tulear, operating under the direction of COMIC, Durban. From April 30th, the strength of the detachment has been increased to four aircraft. From April 12, detachments of 2 Catalinas have been maintained at both Seychelles and Mauritius. The first Catalina flying boat of 265 Squadron which is to be based at Diego Suarez arrived at Mombasa on April 21st.

 

32. Close A/S escort involving 164 hours flying was provided for the following ships and convoys:

 

Convoys M.C. 6, W.S. 28, and C.M. 4

 

H.M. Ships RESOURCE, KENYA, LUCIA, R.F.A. RELIANT, and R.A.F. Dept ship MANELA

 

An unsuccessful A/S search was carried out by aircraft detached to Mauritius for a U Boat located by D/F fix. A U boat report was made by S.S. EMPIRE AUSTIN when about 230 miles southeast of Kilindini was investigated without result.

 

41 Fighter Squadron, Mombasa, 34 G.R.Flight, Dar es Salaam, and 35 G.R. Flight Kilifi become no operational on April 3rd, pending their transfer to the Middle East. The two Operation Training Units at Nanyuki and Nakuru are also under orders to move to the Middle East. When all of these moves are completed, no R.A.F. operational land based aircraft will be left in East Africa.

 

33. Aircraft strength April 30th. 14 Catalinas and 10 Sunderland flying boats.

 

Southern Area

 

34. 3 Catalina flying boats for 262 Squadron Durban arrived during the month which brought the strength of that unit up to 8 aircraft.

 

14 Catalina flying boats and 8 Catalina amphibians have been maintained in South Africa during April.

 

Two reinforcing Catalina flying boats from Kilindini were ordered to South Africa on April 28th, but have not yet arrived.

 

35. Aircraft Strength April 30th – 16 Catalina flying boats (including two under orders to return to Ceylon) and 8 Catalina Amphibians.

 

(E). INTELLIGENCE

 

36. 23rd April Captain Tufnell sailed in H.M.S. CHITRAL for Bombay. His itinerary included Colombo and Delhi where he intended to have consultations on future plans for the organisation of Intelligence in the Eastern Fleet Area.

 

 

  

Appendix I

 

M.N.B.D.O. No. 1

 

 

1. At the beginning of April, the location of various groups of M.N.B.D.O. No. 1 in the Middle East/Indian Ocean were as follows:

 

(i) IN CEYLON

 

Personnel. Air Defence Brigade Headquarters, 1st A/A Regiment, Coast Artillery Brigade, and 3 Signal Sections.

 

Equipment. 16 3.7 inch H.A. guns and 20 40mm A/A guns (No coast artillery)

 

(ii). AT ADDU ATOLL

 

Personnel. 'L' and 'M' Company; Naval Boat Company

 

Equipment. Maintenance workshops and landing craft.

 

(iii). IN MIDDLE EAST

 

AT CAIRO Personnel. Headquarters and a Signal Section

 

AT ALEXANDRIA Personnel. 2nd A/A Regiment and Signal Section

 

 Equipment. 16 3.7 inch guns and 12 mm guns.

 

AT BEIRUT. Personnel. A Survey and a Signal Section

 

AT JENIFA. Personnel. Workshop company, transport company, and Reinforcement Depot

 

 Equipment. Workshops, motor transport, 48 searchlights, six 6 inch guns, six 4 inch guns and four 2 Pdr pom poms.

 

2. R,M. PERSONNEL SITUATION

 

(i). In Middle East 154 officers and 2953 other ranks.

 

(ii). In Indian Ocean area 113 officers and 2630 other ranks.

 

(iii). Amount short of full complement 60 officers and 1500 other ranks

 

(iv). Reinforcements expected

 

 In monthly convoys WS. 28 to 31 from U.K. – 1300 other ranks.

 

3. Concentration Plan

 

By a Chiefs of Staffs' earlier decision, it had been decided that M.N.B.D.O. No. 1 should concentrate in India in mid 1943. In consultation with Commander in Chief, India it had been planned to accommodate the M.N.B.D.B. at a camp to be specially built near Salaya on the Gulf of Kutch. This camp was to be constructed as arranged by Commander in Chief, India, and to be ready by the 1st May. It had also been decided that at the same time the A/A Regiment of the M.N.B.D.O. from Ceylon should then provide and man the A/A defences of Bombay.

 

4. In March, it became apparent that the camp at Salaya could not be ready before 1st August at the earliest. This altered the whole intended M.N.B.D.O. training programme, which had been envisaged at a meeting held in Delhi in December 1942, and it followed that if the concentration of the M.N.B.D.O. in India could be effected until August, the force would not be fully trained until February 1944.

 

5. After consultation with Major General Weston, Commander in Chief, Eastern Fleet proposed that the main concentration should now take place in the Middle East (leaving certain groups in Ceylon) in order that the training of the M.N.B.D.O. could be completed there by November 1943, as originally planned. This proposal was not agreed to by the Commander in Chief, India, nor by Their Lordships, who issued directions that the completion of the camp at Salaya should be accelerated in order that the Force could concentrate their as previously arranged.

 

6. On the 15th April, Major General Lukis succeeded Major General Weston in command of M.N.B.D.O. 1 and Commander in Chief, Eastern Fleet met him in Cairo shortly afterwards. After consulting with him, it was agreed that it would be preferable to concentrate the M.N.B.D.O. in Ceylon instead of in India. The advantages of this course can be summarised as follows:

 

(a). Accommodation is readily available in Ceylon whereas the completion of the camp at Salaya even by August was still in doubt.

 

(b). It avoided the necessity to continue the development of Salaya which due to the shortage of materials in India, could only be progressed at the expense of other important projects.

 

(c). The training facilities at Ceylon were immediately available and better than those in the Salaya area.

 

7. The Commander in Chief, India, and the Commander in Chief, Ceylon had previously agreed with this proposal, and the Chiefs of Staffs' approval was received on the 5th May (A.M. 051250 May).

 

8. If shipping can be made available it is hope to move the M.N.B.D.O. Groups now in the Middle East to Ceylon during June.

 

9. Unfortunately this change of plan to concentrate in Ceylon instead of in India took place just too late to stop the previously arrange move the Air Defence Headquarters and the A.A. Regiment from Ceylon to Bombay (see Paragraph 3).

 

10. Thus when the new concentration has been effected, to be completed it is hoped before the end of June, the Dispositions of the Main Groups of the M.N.B.D.O. No 1 will then be:

 

(a). Headquarters Air Defence Brigade and 1st A.A. Regiment at Bombay.

 

(b). All remaining Groups in Ceylon with necessary detachments at Addu Atoll until these latter are relieved in the near future by Indian Army Units, as previously arranged.

 

11. In accordance with the Chiefs of Staffs' recommendation (contained in A.M. 051250) separate arrangements will be discussed with the Commander in Chief, India, for the early transfer of the Headquarters Air Defence Brigade and 1st A.A. regiment back to Ceylon, so that the Air Defence Brigade of the M.N.B.D.O. will also be concentrated in Ceylon and does not remain split apart between Ceylon and Bombay any longer than is necessary.

 

12. TRANSFER OF COAST ARTILLERY FROM M.N.B.D.O. No. 1 TO M.N.B.D.O. No. 2

 

At the request of the Commander in Chief Levant and with Their Lordships' approval, the Coast Artillery (6 – 6 inch guns and associated Fire Control Equipment) of M.N.B.D.O. No. 1, then at Jenifa, was transferred in April to M.N.B.D.O. No 2 then in training in the Middle East for future operations.

 

Consequent upon the plan to concentrate M.N.B.D.O. No. 1 in Ceylon, it will be necessary for the Coast Artillery replacement equipment and any other replacement stores, to be shipped from the United Kingdom direct to Ceylon

 

 

 


 

 

EASTERN FLEET WAR DIARY

 


Area of operations, click to enlarge

 

 

MAY 1943

 

Saturday, 1st May

 

 

CARNATIC

Left Hormuz for Aden escorting convoy P A 36

TULIP

Left Colombo for Kilindini calling Seychelles

CAIRNS

Left Aden for Dante to join WOLLONGONG as escort to MLs to Masirah

CHITRAL

Arrived Bombay from Kilindini having escorted convoy W S 28 to vicinity Socotra. Left Bombay for Colombo

STORMWRACK

Arrived Beira from Durban en route to Kilindini

 

 

Sunday, 2nd May

 

 

ILE DE FRANCE

Left Suez for Aden and Durban

SONAVATI

Left Colombo for Cocos Islands

SUSSEX

Arrived Kilindini from Durban having been relieved as escort to convoy C M 41 by RANPURA

 

 

Monday, 3rd May

 

 

MARYBOROUGH, GAWLER and LISMORE

Arrived Aden from Colombo having called at Cochin

MARGUERITE

Arrived Kilindini from Hormuz en route to the South Atlantic Station

ULSTER MONARCH

Arrived Kilindini from Durban and left again for Aden en route to the Levant Station

RESOLUTION, NIZAM and QUICKMATCH

Left Kilindini for Durban

CERES

Arrived Kilindini from Aden escorting convoy A K 7

NAPIER, RAIDER

Arrived Kilindini from Durban having escorting convoy C M 41

 

 

Tuesday, 4th May

 

 

BURNIE

Arrived Kilindini with A.S.I.S. KHETI and PACHECO having relieved COMMANDANT DUBOC as escort from Durban

COMMANDANT DUBOC

Arrived Diego Suarez from Durban

BATHURST

Left Hormuz for Aden escorting P A 37

MADRAS

Left Hormuz for Bombay escorting P B 39

TAMWORTH

Arrived Bombay from Colombo

RATNAGIRI

Arrived Bombay from Hormuz escorting convoy P B 38

CERES

Left Kilindini for Seychelles and Colombo and Bombay

MARGUERITE

Left Kilindini for Durban escorting one transport and calling at Dar es Salaam en route

WOLLONGONG

Arrived Dante from Mogadishu and Kilindini escorting 49th M.L. Flotilla

DAUNTLESS

Arrived Aden from Persian Gulf

CANTON

Left Aden for Bombay escorting convoy A B 8

CHITRAL

Arrived Colombo from Bombay

 

 

Wednesday, 5th May

 

 

ASTER

Arrived Kilindini from Aden en route to Cape

ALBATROSS

Left Okha for Bombay

CHITRAL

Left Colombo for Aden escorting one transport

VERBENA

Left Colombo for Seychelles, Kilindini, and Cape

ILE DE FRANCE

Arrived Aden from Suez

VASNA

Left Durban for Mauritius

BALUCHISTAN

Left Bombay for Colombo escorting convoy B M 52

DAUNTLESS

Left Aden for Kilindini

 

 

Thursday, 6th May

 

 

EREBUS

Left Kilindini for Aden

CARADOC

Left Kilindini for Diego Suarez escorting one transport

ALBATROSS

Arrived Bombay from Okha

ASTER

Left Kilindini for Tanga and Durban

IPSWICH

Arrived Aden from Hormuz escorting P A 35

TOOWOOMBA

Left Diego Suarez for Tulear

LAUNCESTON

Left Aden for Masirah

ILE DE FRANCE

Left Aden for Durban

 

 

Friday, 7th May

 

 

TULIP

Arrived Seychelles from Colombo and left for Kilindini

CERES

Arrived Seychelles from Kilindini and left for Colombo

HAWKINS

Left Bombay escorting convoy J M 1 towards Durban

SORSRA

Left Hormuz for Kilindini escorting one tanker

FALMOUTH

Left Colombo for Kilindini

SS BERAKIT

Torpedoed in position 03 deg. 40'N, 75 deg. 20'E at 0601Z. VERBENA and FALMOUTH were ordered by Flag Officer Ceylon to proceed to the area and search for survivors

STORMWRACK and SATSA

Arrived Kilindini from Beira en route to the Levant Station

 

 

Saturday, 8th May

 

 

GAMBIA

Left Kilindini for Durban

CARTHAGE, JUMNA and GERALDTON

Left Bombay for Aden escorting convoy B A 43

 

 

Sunday, 9th May

 

 

PUNJAB

Left Hormuz for Aden escorting convoy P A 38

LAUNCESTON

Arrived Masirah from Aden

RESOLUTION, NIZAM and QUICKMATCH

Arrived Durban from Kilindini

BALUCHISTAN

Arrived Colombo from Bombay

SONAVATI

Arrived Cocos Islands from Colombo

 

 

Monday, 10th May

 

 

DAUNTLESS

Arrived Kilindini from Aden and Persian Gulf

WOLLONGONG and CAIRNS

Arrived Masirah from Kilindini via N.E. African ports escorting 49th ML Flotilla

CANTON

Arrived Bombay from Aden escorting convoy A B 8

CARADOC

Arrived Diego Suarez from Kilindini and left again for Tulear escorting one transport

VERBENA

Arrived Addu Atoll to fuel having been diverted to search for survivors of SS BERAKIT

CANTON

Left Bombay for Colombo

H.S. VASNA

Arrived Mauritius from Durban

 

 

Tuesday, 11th May

 

 

VERBENA

Left Addu Atoll for Seychelles and Kilindini

CAPETOWN

Left Kilindini for Aden escorting convoy K A 6

BATHURST

Arrived Aden from Hormuz with convoy P A 37

MADRAS

Arrived Bombay from Hormuz with convoy P B 39

RANPURA

Arrived Bombay having escorting convoy C M 41 from vicinity of Kilindini

TULIP

Arrived Kilindini from Colombo via the Seychelles

CAIRNS and WOLLONGONG

Left Masirah to join convoy P A 38 to Aden

O 24, Dutch Sub.

Left Colombo on patrol

 

 

Wednesday, 12th May

 

 

TULIP

Left Kilindini for Durban escorting one transport

ORISSA

Left Hormuz for Bombay escorting convoy P B 40

GAMBIA

Arrived Durban from Kilindini

CHITRAL

Arrived Aden from Colombo escorting one transport

BUSHWOOD

Arrived Bombay from Persian Gulf en route to Colombo

KENYA

Left Kilindini to R/V with HAWKINS and take over escort of convoy J M 1 to Durban

 

 

Thursday, 13th May

 

 

MARGUERITE

Arrived Durban and Kilindini escorting one transport

ASTER

Arrived Durban from Kilindini

DAUNTLESS

Left Kilindini for Durban en route to U.K.

CANTON

Arrived Colombo from Bombay

EREBUS

Arrived Aden from Kilindini and left again for Suez

BATHURST

Left Aden escorting convoy A P 30 to Hormuz

STORMWRACK and SATSA

Left Kilindini escorting A.S.I.S. PACHECO and KHETI to Aden

RAJPUTANA

Left Hormuz for Bombay escorting PANGKOR

 

 

Friday, 14th May

 

 

CHITRAL

Left Aden for Kilindini

RANPURA

Left Bombay for Colombo

HAWKINS

Arrived Kilindini from Bombay having been relieved as escort to convoy J M 1 by KENYA

WAYLAND and BURNIE

Left Kilindini for Aden

FALMOUTH

Arrived Seychelles from Colombo and left again for Kilindini

CARADOC

Arrived Tulear from Diego Suarez escorting one transport

H.S. VASNA

Left Mauritius for Diego Garcia

 

 

Saturday, 15th May

 

 

RATNAGIRI

Left Bombay for Hormuz escorting convoy B P 79

LAUNCESTON

Arrived Khor Kuwai from Masirah escorting 4 Fairmiles (49th M.L. Flotilla)

VERBENA

Arrived Seychelles from Addu Atoll and left again for Kilindini

 

 

Sunday, 16th May

 

 

PUNJAB

Arrived Aden from Hormuz escorting convoy P A 38

ILE DE FRANCE

Arrived Durban from Aden and Suez

CARTHAGE, JUMNA and GERALDTON

Arrived Aden from Bombay escorting convoy B A 43

CAIRNS and WOLLONGONG

Arrived Aden from Masirah

 

 

Monday, 17th May

 

 

EMILE BAUDOT

Left Bombay for Trincomalee

CARADOC

Arrived Diego Suarez from Tulear and left again for Kilindini

TOOWOOMBA

Left Tulear escorting one transport till dusk thence to Diego Suarez

BALUCHISTAN

Arrived Bombay from Colombo escorting one tanker

ALAUNIA

Left Bombay for Aden escorting convoy B A 44

CAPETOWN

Arrived Aden from Kilindini having escorted convoy K A 6

SONAVATI

Arrived Colombo from Cocos Isl.

CARTHAGE

Left Aden for Kilindini

RANPURA

Arrived Colombo from Bombay

 

 

Tuesday, 18th May

 

 

FALMOUTH

Arrived Kilindini from Colombo having called Seychelles

VERBENA

Arrived Kilindini from Colombo having called Addu Atoll and Seychelles

SUSSEX

Left vicinity of Kilindini after completing exercises.

RAJPUTANA

Arrived Bombay from Hormuz escorting PANGKOR

ORISSA

Arrived Bombay from Hormuz escorting convoy P B 40

NEWCASTLE

Left Capetown for Durban

KENYA

Arrived Durban from Kilindini having escorting convoy J M 1

GAMBIA

Left Durban for Capetown and U.K.

CERES

Arrived Bombay from Colombo

CARNATIC

Left Aden for Hormuz escorting convoy A P 31

H.S. VASNA

Arrived Diego Garcia from Mauritius

 

 

Wednesday, 19th May

 

 

CHITRAL

Arrived Kilindini from Aden

CARADOC

Arrived Kilindini from Diego Suarez

SUTLEJ

Left Bombay for Aden escorting one transport

WAYLAND and BURNIE

Arrived Aden from Kilindini

BOMBAY

Left Hormuz escorting convoy P B 41 for Bombay

TULIP

Arrived Durban from Kilindini escorting one transport

MADRAS and BARODA

Left Bombay for Hormuz escorting convoy B P 80

STORMWRACK and SATSA

Arrived Aden from Kilindini escorting convoy K A 7, A.S.I.S. KHETI and PACHECO

 

 

Thursday, 20th May

 

 

CAPETOWN

Left Aden for Kilindini

NEWCASTLE

Arrived Durban from Capetown

SORSRA

Arrived Kilindini from Hormuz escorting one tanker

BURNIE

Left Aden for Kilindini

 

 

Friday, 21st May

 

 

TOOWOOMBA

Arrived Diego Suarez from Tulear

BURNIE

On passage Aden to Kilindini, diverted to Hormuz to reinforce Hormuz patrol

EMILE BAUDOT

Arrived Colombo from Bombay

H.S. VASNA

Left Diego Garcia for Addu Atoll

 

 

Saturday, 22nd May

 

 

CARTHAGE

Arrived Kilindini from Aden

Dutch Sub O 23

Left Colombo for patrol

BUSHWOOD

Arrived Colombo from Bombay

NEWCASTLE

Left Durban for Kilindini

 

 

Sunday, 23rd May

 

 

CARTHAGE

Left Kilindini fro Durban

FALMOUTH and VERBENA

Left Kilindini for Durban escorting convoy M C 7

TAMWORTH

Left Bombay for Hormuz escorting convoy B P 80 ½ three tankers

PUNJAB

Left Aden for Bandar Rizut Bay thence Hormuz

EMILE BAUDOT

Left Colombo for Trincomalee

H.S. VASNA

Arrived Addu Atoll from Diego Garcia

 

 

Monday, 24th May

 

 

BOMBAY

Arrived Bombay from Hormuz escorting convoy P B 41

SUSSEX

Left Mauritius for MOMP with DOMINION MONARCH and NIEUW AMSTERDAM from Fremantle

H.S. VASNA

Left Addu Atoll for Colombo

 

 

Tuesday, 25th May

 

 

CAPETOWN

Arrived Kilindini from Aden

SOLVRA

Left Kilindini escorting dredger THOMAS COAD towards Dante

NORMAN, QUADRANT, REDOUBT and RACEHORSE

Left Durban as local A/S escort of convoy W S 29

BARODA

Left Hormuz for Bombay calling Karachi

ALAUNIA

Arrived Aden from Bombay escorting convoy B A 44

TOOWOOMBA

Left Diego Suarez for Seychelles

EMILE BAUDOT

Arrived Trincomalee from Colombo

MADRAS and SIMBRA

Left Hormuz for Aden escorting convoy P A 39

BALUCHISTAN

Left Bombay for Hormuz escorting convoy B P 81

BURNIE

Arrived Hormuz from Aden

CARNATIC

Arrived Hormuz from Aden having escorting convoy A P 31

HINDUSTAN

Left Bombay for Colombo escorting convoy B M 53

 

 

Wednesday, 26th May

 

 

KENYA

Left Durban to overtake and join convoy W S 29 as escort to latitude 7 deg. S

TROMP

Left Fremantle escorting DOMINION MONARCH and NIEUW AMSTERDAM towards Ceylon

 

 

Thursday, 27th May

 

 

VASNA

Arrived Colombo from Addu Atoll

LAUNCESTON and KONKAN

Left Hormuz for Bombay escorting P B 42

TEWERA

Arrived Colombo from Trincomalee

BOLD

Left Seychelles to R/V EDWARD F. JOHNSON and tow her to Seychelles

NEWCASTLE

Arrived Kilindini from Durban

FS COMMANDANT DUBOC

Left Diego Suarez for Reunion

 

 

Friday, 28th May

 

 

ALAUNIA

Left Aden for Kilindini

BARODA

Arrived Karachi from Bandar Abbas

CARTHAGE

Arrived Durban from Kilindini

Dutch Sub O 21

Left Colombo for patrol

TOOWOOMBA

Arrived Seychelles from Diego Suarez and left again for Dante

 

 

Saturday, 29th May

 

 

NETRAVATI

Arrived Madras from Colombo

MAURITIUS

Left Kilindini for Aden and Suez

HINDUSTAN

Escorting B M 53 arrived Colombo from Bombay

H.S. OPHIR

Left Colombo for Kilindini

FS COMMANDANT DUBOC

Left Reunion for Tamatave

 

 

Sunday, 30th May

 

 

CARTHAGE

Left Durban escorting C M 42 to Kilindini

NIZAM and FRITILLARY

Left Durban as local A/S escort to C M 42

Dutch Ship W. ZAN DER ZAAN

Arrived Colombo from Addu Atoll

MASTIFF

Left Diego Suarez for Kilindini

ALAUNIA

Diverted to R/V W S 29 at lat 5 deg. S to escort W S 29 A to Aden instead of proceeding to Kilindini

H.S. VITA

Left Bombay for Aden

POONA

Left Cochin for Bombay

 

 

Monday, 31st May

 

 

HAWKINS

Left Kilindini for Durban and Simonstown

WILLEM VAN DER ZAAN

left Colombo for Addu Atoll

CORNWALLIS

Arrived Calcutta from Madras

Dutch Sub O 24

Arrived Colombo from patrol

CANTON

Left Colombo to MOMP with SUSSEX and convoy U S 19 and escort DOMINION MONARCH to Aden

DURBAN, BATHURST and CARNATIC

Left Hormuz escorting convoy B P 43 to Bombay

H.S. VASNA

Arrived Bombay from Colombo

RAMDAS

Arrived Vizagapatam from Madras

BALTA

Arrived Cochin from Colombo

CHITRAL

Left Kilindini to R/V KENYA and W S 29 on June 2nd and escort W S 29 B to Bombay

BARODA

Arrived Bombay from Karachi

 

 

 

Part II

 

NARRATIVE

 

(A) GENERAL

 

1. Docking and repairs on Heavy Units

 

RESOLUTION taken in hand at Durban for short refit and docking on 12th May and expected to complete 12th June

 

2. Docking and repairs of Cruisers

 

FROBISHER taken in hand for refit and docking at Simonstown on 3rd May and is expected to complete on 10th June

 

CERES taken in hand for repairs at Bombay on 18th May and expected to complete 5th June

 

3. Cruisers

 

HMS NEWCASTLE joined the Eastern Fleet having provided escort for convoy W S 29

 

GAMBIA and DAUNTLESS left the Station for the United Kingdom, the former sailing from Durban on 18th May and latter on 21st May.

 

4. Destroyers

 

The disposition of the Eastern Fleet destroyers on the 1st May was as follows”

 

At Kilindini - NIZAM, QUICKMATCH

 

In Australia - NEPAL, QUIBERON

 

On South Atlantic Station operating - NORMAN, NAPIER, ROTHERHAM, REDOUBT, RAIDER, RACEHORSE, RELENTLESS, QUADRANT

 

On South Atlantic Station refitting - BLACKMORE

 

Lent to the Freetown Escort Force - FOXHOUND, CATTERICK

 

Detached - QUILLIAM, QUALITY, QUEENBOROUGH, QUAIL

 

The only alterations to the above state that occurred during May was the exchange of NAPIER and RAIDER with RAIDER and QUICKMATCH, the latter pair having provided escort for RESOLUTION to Durban remained as units of the South Atlantic Escort Force

 

EREBUS - On the instruction of the Admiralty, HMS EREBUS sailed from Kilindini on 6th May for Aden and onward passage to the Mediterranean

 

WAYLAND - The Dockyard Repair Ship WAYLAND was sailed for Aden and the Mediterranean on 14th May

 

5. Passage of M.L.s from South Africa to Persian Gulf

 

The four Fairmile Motor Launches Nos. 380, 382, 383, and 829 arrived at Khor Kuwai on the 15th having completed a voyage of about 5500 miles, the greater part under tropical conditions. They sailed from Simonstown on the 7th March and made their way, by roughly 400 mile stages to Kilindini where they arrived on the 8th April. They remained at Kilindini for a fortnight for slipping and overhaul and sailed on the 26th April. The voyage was without major incident.

 

6. Landing exercise at Mauritius

 

HMS SUSSEX during her stay at Mauritius from 21st to 24th May carried out a landing exercise with her marines to test the local defences. The Governor of the Island reports that the exercise proved very profitable.

 

7. Loan of ships to South Atlantic Station

 

HM Ships FALMOUTH, ASTER, MARGUERITE, TULIP, and VERBENA have been allocated to the South Atlantic Station

 

8. Arrangements for Move of Commander in Chief, Eastern Fleet’s Shore Headquarters from Kilindini to Colombo

 

Arrangements have been well progressed for the move of the Commander in Chief, Eastern Fleet’s shore headquarters from Kilindini back to when the time comes.

 

(B). CONVOYS

 

SUSSEX escorting C M 41 was relieved by RANPURA June 1st and proceeded to Kilindini arriving on the 2nd. Left Kilindini on the 17th arriving at Port Louis, Mauritius, on the 21st. Between the 21st and 24th carried out landing exercises during her Royal Marines. Left Grand Port, Mauritius on the 24the MOMP with DOMINION MONARCH and NIEUW AMSTERDAM on the 29th taking over escort from Netherlands cruiser TROMP.

 

NEWCASTLE escorting W S 29 arrived at the Cape on the 17th. Proceeded to Durban where she arrived on the 20th. Left Durban 22nd and arriving Kilindini 27th.

 

MAURITIUS sailed from Kilindini for Aden 29th

 

GAMBIA sailed from Kilindini on the 8th May arriving Durban on the 12th. Sailed from Durban on the 18th for Capetown where she arrived on the 21st. Sailed thence to U.K. on the 23rd

 

KENYA sailed from Kilindini on the 11th May to relieve HAWKINS as escort to J M 1 on the 13th. Arrived Durban escorting J M 1 on the 18th. Sailed from Durban escorting W S 29 on the 25th

 

HAWKINS sailed from Bombay escorting J M 1 on the 7th arriving Kilindini on the 14th after being relieved by KENYA. Sailed from Kilindini flying the flag of Rear Admiral Commanding 4th Cruiser Squadron on the 31st, for Durban

 

FROBISHER arrived Simonstown 1st May for docking and repairs

 

CAPETOWN arrived Kilindini from Seychelles on the 2nd May. Left Kilindini 11th escorting K A 6. Arrived Aden on the 16th. Left Aden on the 20th for Kilindini arriving on the 25th.

 

DAUNTLESS left Bahrein 1st May, arrived Aden 4th. Left on the 5th and arrived Kilindini on the 19th. Sailed from Durban on the 21st for U.K. calling at Simonstown from 22nd to 25th en route.

 

DURBAN carrying out duty as Senior Naval Officer, Persian Gulf’s ship. Sailed on the 31st May as escort to P B 43 to Bombay

 

CARADOC Sailed from Kilindini on the 6th June escorting PULASKI. Arrived and left Diego Suarez on the 10th. Arrived Tulear with PULASKI on the 14th. Sailed from Tulear for Kilindini on the 14th, calling at Diego Suarez on the 17th, arriving Kilindini on the 19th for boiler cleaning

 

CERES arrived Kilindini escorting A K 7 on the 3rd. Sailed from Kilindini on the 4th calling at Seychelles on the 7th arriving Colombo 12th. Sailed from Colombo on 16th arriving at Bombay on 18th for docking

 

ALAUNIA left Bombay after docking on the 17th escorting B A 44 to Aden arriving 25th. Sailed from Aden on the 28th to R.V. with and act as escort to Aden portion of W S 29

 

CHITRAL Arrived Bombay on the 1st. Sailed same ay for Colombo, arriving on the 4th. Left Colombo escorting RAJULA on the 5th arriving Aden on the 12th. Left Aden on the 14th, arriving Kilindini on the 19th. Sailed from Kilindini on the 31st to take over escort of W S 29 from KENYA

 

RANPURA relieved SUSSEX as escort to C M 41 on the 1st. Arrived Bombay escorting C M 41 on the 11th. Sailed from Bombay on the 14th arriving Colombo on the 17th for boiler cleaning.

 

CARTHAGE after docking and boiler cleaning sailed from Bombay on the 8th as escort to B A 43. Arrived Aden on the 16th. Sailed from Aden on the 17th for Kilindini, arriving on the 22nd. Sailed again on the 23rd for Durban, arriving on the 28th. Stored at Durban leaving on the 30th as escort to C M 47

 

CANTON left Aden on the 4th escorting A B 8 arriving Bombay on the 10th. Sailed same day for Colombo, arriving on the 13th for docking, boiler cleaning and leave. Sailed on the 31st to take over escort of DOMINION MONARCH from SUSSEX

 

FALMOUTH and VERBENA left Kilindini on the 23rd escorting M C 7 to Durban

 

(C) BASES

 

General

 

Information has been received that the remaining nine ex Japanese MFVs allocated to Eastern Fleet were shipped from Canada on the 15th May. Five for Colombo and four for Bombay. All these MFVs are allocated to Flag Officer, Ceylon

 

2. REDSHANK (controlled minelayer) sailed from Gibraltar on 13th May

 

3. EMILE BAUDOT sailed from Bombay 16th May for Trincomalee. It is intended that she shall lay loops at Trincomalee and Colombo, and then H.D.A.s and loops at Diego Suarez

 

Addu Atoll

 

4. It has been decided to postpone the relaying of the controlled minefield in the Wilingili Channel by ATREUS and ALSEY until after the monsoon.

 

5. Landing Craft Armindia has undertaken to send two LCMs to Addu Atoll on the arrival of the new LCMs from England. The worn out landing craft at Addu will then be shipped to India for repair and return to Addu at the rate of two per month.

 

Diego Suarez

 

6. A survey by divers of two sunken Italian ships was carried out during the month. One was found to be salvable but the other is doubtful.

  

Kilindini

 

7. The controlled minefield at the entrance to the harbour is being laid.

 

Trincomalee

 

8. Work on the Boom, Baffles, and moorings is proceeding and appears to be making satisfactory progress.

 

9. BARRYMORE and BARSTOKE arrived during the month.

 

10. It has been decided not to build a C.M. Base at Trincomalee as there is already one building built at Colombo, and only storage is therefore required at Trincomalee.

 

Bombay

 

11. EMILE BAUDOT completed laying Bombay Indicator Loops on 5th May.

 

Persian Gulf

 

12. Senior Naval Officer, Persian Gulf has been informed by General Headquarters, Paiforce, that Um Qsar Port will not be opened for the present, but will be put on a care and maintenance basis (on completion of berths 1 and 2). It is anticipated that at least 3 months notice will be given if it is decided to open the port at later date.

 

13. A summary of the position as to Indian Ocean Bases at 31st May follows.

 

n.b. page 5 missing

 

Operational Bases and Occasional Fuelling Ports (contd).

 

Diego Suarez

Coast Defence

 

Orangea

4 – 164.7 mm

 

2 – 6 inch MK II 15 degrees

 

12 – S/Ls

 

2 – 6 pdr Twins

 

2 – 75 mm

 

R.D.F. sets.

West Coast

4 -138 mm

 

4 S/Ls

 

R.D.F. set

 

A.A. Gun Defences

 

Planned.

16 Light A.A. for defence of Andrakaka Aerodrome

 

R.D.F. Cover

 

 None installed.

1 TRU and 2 COL planned

 

Aerodromes

 

One at Arrachart and one being built at Andrakaka. Arrachart is outside the defence area and it is intended that fighters should be able to operate from either.

 

Andrakaka is being built to accommodate one F.A.A. Squadron and one R.A.F. Squadron, with amenities for a further 3 R.A.F. Squadrons.

 

Flying boat base is being developed. 9 moorings laid.

 

Underwater defences

 

A/S A/B Boom in Orangea pass. One line of nets laid. Gate not operative until another Bar Vessel is available.

 

Bottom net laid.

 

Controlled minefield laid and in operation. Three mineloops are out of action and will be relayed shortly.

 

Future Underwater commitments

 

H.D.A.s, sensitive loops (and possibly A/T baffle at Port Nievre).

Diego Garcia

Coast Defences - 6 inch battery at Eclipse Point in action.

 

General Reconnaisance - Facilities for 6 flying boats in existence at Cust Point.

 

Underwater Defences - nil

 

(D). AIR

 

Eastern Area

 

During the month 1 Catalina flying boat returned to Ceylon from South Africa and on 21st May a detachment of 4 Catalina flying boats was ordered to Aden

 

Northern Area

 

191 Catalina Squadron commenced to form at Karachi, but it is not yet operational.

 

The detachment to Masirah of 3 Catalina flying boats from 212 Squadron Karachi had to be withdrawn as the South West monsoon made weather conditions at Masirah unsuitable for operating from there and no alternative base was available.

 

Western Area

 

Three Catalina Flying Boats were sent to South Africa to replace Ceylon aircraft which were due to return to Ceylon for major overhaul.

 

Four additional Catalina Flying Boats have also been ordered to South Africa as reinforcements, two of which had arrived by the end of the month.

 

The detachment of 4 Sunderland Flying Boats at Tulear is being replaced by Catalina Flying Boats as the former become due for major overhaul.

 

In consequence of the above movement of Aircraft out of the Western area, it became necessary to withdraw the detachments of 2 Catalina Flying Boats each at Seychelles and Mauritius.

 

Headquarters R.A.F. Middle East asked for a detachment of Sunderland Flying Boats to operate for one month in the Mediterranean. This detachment was approved and the aircraft are being assembled at Dar es Salaam in readiness to proceed.

 

On instruction from Headquarters R.A.F. Middle East, the R.A.F. personnel manning the Air Warning System, filter room, and fighter operations room at Kilindini were moved to Middle East, and responsibility for the issue of air warnings ashore was taken over by Gun Operations Room and afloat by the air warning guardship.

 

Southern Area

 

Detachments totaling 16 Flying Boats and 8 Amphibians have been maintained in South Africa during the month, flying boats detached there, from the Ceylon, being relieved by aircraft from the Western Area as necessary.

 

Four additional reinforcement aircraft have been ordered to South Africa, two of which have arrived at Durban.

 

The disposition of flying boats in the Indian Ocean at the end of the May was as follows:

 

Eastern Area

 

 

 

Ceylon

20 Catalina Flying Boats 3 Amphibians

 

 

Madras

4 Catalina Flying Boats

 

 

Total

24 Catalina Flying boats 3 Amphibians

 

 

Northern Area

 

 

 

Karachi

10 Catalina Flying Boats

 

 

Basrah

1 Catalina Flying Boat

 

 

Aden

4 Catalina Flying Boats from Ceylon

 

 

Bahrein

1 Catalina Flying Boat from Madras

 

 

Total

16 Catalina Flying Boats

 

 

Western Area

 

 

 

Kilindini

14 Catalina Flying Boats

 

 

Dar es Salaam

9 Sunderlands

 

 

Tulear

3 Sunderlands 1 Catalina Flying Boat

 

 

Total

15 Catalina Flying Boats and 12 Sunderland Flying Boats

 

 

Southern Area

 

 

 

Durban

15 Catalina Flying Boats

 

 

St Albans

4 Amphibians

 

 

Darling

4 Amphibians

 

 

Longabean

4 Catalina Flying Boats

 

 

Total

19 Catalina Flying Boats and 8 Catalina Amphibians

 

 

(E). INTELLIGENCE

 

28th May 1943

 

The Chief of Intelligence Staff returned to Kilindini from Ceylon and India where he had been visiting the Intelligence Organisations.

 

(F). MINESWEEPING

 

1. There has been no evidence of enemy minelaying.

 

2. The minelaying organisation in the Shatt el Arab has been disbanded, but arrangements have been made to hold the gear and a nucleus of personnel to enable the organisation to be reoganised should the necessity arise.

 

3. The following LL/SA Vessels have been transferred to the Mediterranean and are on passage to their new station:

 

NEBULA, NIMBUS, PACKICE, SQUALL, SARKA, SATSA, STORMRACH, RAINSTORM.

 

4. Two more LL/SA vessels will leave for the Mediterranean as soon as fitting out is completed:

 

SANDSTORM, SHOOTING STAR

 

 

Appendix I

 

Madagascar

Events in January to March 1943

 

1. During January, February, and March, Naval Officer in Charge, Diego Suarez received several visits from the Commandant de la Marine, Madagascar (Captaine de Fregate Galleret, attached to the staff of the High Commissioner), and certain correspondence took place between these two officers on various subjects concerning the naval establishments at Tamatave and Diego Suarez. Naval Officer in Charge, Diego Suarez kept me fully informed the arrangements and proposals made can be summarized as follows:

 

Tamatave

 

2. Consequent upon the negotiations between the General Officer Commanding in Chief, East Africa and the High Commissioned for the Fighting French forces to relieve the British Forces in all parts of Madagascar outside the Diego Suarez area, except Tulear, it was agreed that the Fighting French Navy should once more take over the port of Tamatave where they wished to established an instructional unit (ultimate strength about 250 men under the command of Lieutenant Commander). It was agreed to withdraw the British Naval Officer in Charge, and that R.N. requirements there would be fully met by retaining only a Naval Liaison Officer.

 

Diego Suarez

 

3. It has been arranged that about 50 Free French Naval Officers and men should be accommodated at Diego Suarez in connection with work involved in raising the Free French sloop D’ENTECASTEAUX (and possibly later the Free French submarine BEVEZIERS) and the reconditioning of Free French merchant ship ILE DE BOURBON.

 

GENERAL

 

4. The Free French Naval authorities were anxious to obtain considerable supplies of naval clothing from the R.N. sources as their stocks were very low. The Commandant de la Marine was that apart from a few items, it was not possible to meet this request from R.N. stocks at Diego Suarez, and that the only possibility lay in obtaining this gear later at Durban

 

Events during April – May

 

5. On 15th April, I received Admiralty Message 142229 April which indicated that the Free French Authorities in London were the giving Their Lordships the impression that the Free French were in the process of taking over certain services at Diego Suarez, and consequently wished to recover the use of the former naval buildings there. In connection with the latter they made the following suggestions that:

 

(a). the Commandant de la Marine, Madagascar should be installed at Diego Suarez in the Hotel du Commandant (Naval Officer in Charge’s “private” house).

 

(b). the number of Free French ratings at Diego Suarez should be raised from 50 to 300 and to be accommodated in the Caserne de la Marine (previous French Naval barracks).

 

(c). the French Administrative Naval Headquarters take over certain of the offices in the existing Naval Headquarter office building.

 

6. Neither I, nor the Naval Officer in Charge, Diego Suarez, had any previous knowledge of these proposals which, as pointed out by Their Lordships, ran contrary to the reservations concerning Diego Suarez in Annex B of the Agreement between the Government of the United Kingdom, and the French National Committee, signed on the 14th December 1942. The apparent intention lying behind the above proposals made by the Free French Authorities stressed the necessity for an early decision as to the Police to be adopted concerning the future of Diego Suarez.

 

7. After consultation with the Naval Officer in Charge, Diego Suarez, I indicated in my reply to Their Lordships (Deputy Commander in Chief, Eastern Fleet’s 200955 April) that in my opinion a joint administration of Diego Suarez would not work and that we should retain full control of the harbour, dockyard, and facilities for the duration of the war, whilst affording the use of the port to such Free French Naval Forces as may desire it, in accordance with normal practice towards our allies. I also suggested that it should now be made clear to the Free French that Diego Suarez is separated from the rest of Madagascar by the terms of the Agreement, and consequently that the Commandant de la Marine, Madagascar should be installed in some place other than Diego Suarez. (Note: Tamatave would appear to be the most suitable port and reasonably near to the capital, Tananarive).

 

8. Once the general principle has been decided and the numbers and accommodation of Free French Naval Officers and ratings in Diego Suarez can be arranged on the spot under the terms of Article XI of the Agreement. In this connection I pointed out in my signal D/C in C.E.F.’s 200955 April) that as the very limited service existing accommodation was already fully occupied by R.N. and R.A.F. personnel, it was impracticable to meet the detailed proposals for accommodating Free French Naval Forces at Diego Suarez as suggested by the Free French Authorities in London (vide paragraph 5). Naval Officer in Charge, Diego Suarez signal 172356 April forwarded to Their Lordships also furnished details of the accommodation problem.

 

9. I was aware of the cordial relations between the Free French and the British Naval authorities in Madagascar might be strained by the decision recommended (para 7. above), but I considered that the ultimate ill effect would be less than would be produced by constant bickering and friction resulting from any attempt to work any kind of compromise involving dual control of Diego Suarez.

 

10. The General Officer Commanding in Chief, East Africa later informed me that he was in full agreement with my view. He also informed me that in recognition of the French sovereignty in Madagascar he had agreed with the High Commissioner that in addition to withdrawing British forces and the Islands Area Command into the Diego Suarez area (with a detachment at Tulear) he had agreed with the High Commissioner that there should be one battalion of Free French Infantry in Diego Suarez, and that Free French personnel should man the coast artillery battery at Windsor Castle. He was convinced that the High Commissioner (General Le Gentilhomme) readily accepted the situation that the Diego Suarez area was a British “reserve” and thereby separated from the rest of Madagascar, and that he, the High Commissioner, was in no way connected with the policy of Free French “infiltration” into Diego Suarez, as intimated by the proposals of the Free French authorities in London, and the attitude of the Commandant de la Marine, Madagascar.

 

11. About the same time I received from the Naval Officer in Charge, Diego Suarez, copies of recent correspondence between the Commandant de la Marine, Madagascar, and himself in which the former had put forward further infiltration proposals concerning the mobilization into the Free French Navy of certain civilian dockyard officials, the appointment of a Free French Naval constructor manager, and an extensive docking and repair for the salved French ships at Diego Suarez.

 

12. I fully concurred with the action already taken by the Naval Officer in Charge, Diego Suarez in pointing out to the French Authorities that although the proposed changed status of dockyard personnel would be reviewed by higher authority under Article 9 of Annex “A” of the Agreement, no change could be made at present. Also that the docking programme at Diego Suarez would no permit more work being done on the French ships than was necessary to make them seaworthy to proceed to South Africa for extensive repairs there. Copies of this correspondence were forwarded to Their Lordships under my letter No. 878/E.F. 710/7 of the 1st May 1943, and a summary was also signaled under the Commander in Chief, Eastern Fleet’s 291521 April.

 

13. The Commandant de la Marine also had requested that the French Merchant vessel, ILE DE BOURBON, should be handed back to the French Authorities for inter-island trade. D. of S.T. London had already been requested by the Naval Officer in Charge, Diego Suarez to de requisition this ship. On the 5th May, I also added a further request to Their Lordships to hasten this matter. (Commander in Chief, Eastern Fleet’s 051222 May) . De requisitioning instructions were subsequently received from the Ministry of War Transport and the ship was handed over on 25th May.

 

14. In early May, the High Commissioner, General Le Gentilhomme, on his way through Nairobi by air, visited the General Officer Commanding in Chief, East Africa, General Sir William Platt. Unfortunately, I was prevented from attending this meeting, but I understand from General Platt that the High Commissioner’s own attitude remained as outlined in paragraph 10.

 

15. The Commandant de la Marine, Capitaine de Fregate Galleret, had accompanied the General to Nairobi and shortly afterwards paid an unofficial visit to Kilindini where this opportunity was taken to discuss with him some of matters concerning Diego Suarez.

 

16. By agreement with the French Authorities in Madagascar, a Fighting French Naval Officer has recently been appointed as liaison officer with Divisional Sea Transport Officer, Kilindini. This French Officer should be of considerable assistance to D.S.T.O. in matters concerning French personnel passing through this port.

 

17. Admiral Auboynau had a short conference with me on 31st May when passing through Mombasa on his way to Mombasa (sic).

 

18. Admiral Auboynau touched generally on his desire that the Free French Naval Forces should take over services at Diego Suarez and alleged that the terms of the Agreement between the Government of the United Kingdom and the French National Committee on Madagascar were specially drafted so as to permit this process. I imagine he referred particularly to Article 9 of Annexure “A”. He did not agree with my contention that the administration district of Diego Suarez was exempt from the terms of Annexure “A” by Annexure “B”

 

19. Admiral Auboynau undertook to furnish me in writing with a copy of his view after he has visited Madagascar and discussed the question with the Authorities on the spot.

 

20. I gave him no encouragement to suppose that the attitude so far adopted by the British Authorities would be relaxed in any way and instructed the Naval Officer in Charge, Diego Suarez to preserve a similar attitude.

 

 


 

 

EASTERN FLEET WAR DIARY

 


Area of operations, click to enlarge

 

 

JUNE 1943

 

Tuesday, June 1st

 

 

NEPAL and QUIBERON

Left Geraldton for Diego Garcia

MAURITIUS

Arrived Aden from Kilindini and left same day for Suez.