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ADMIRALTY WAR DIARIES of WORLD WAR 2

 

HOME FLEET - October to December 1942

 

Transcribed by Don Kindell

HMS Malaya, battleship (Maritime Quest, click to enlarge

on to Home Fleet, January-February 1943
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(for more ship information, go to Naval History Homepage and type name in Site Search)

 

Home Fleet Operations September 1939 to April 1942

 

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

 

Click for Convoy Route Codes, Operation Code Names and Home Fleet Minelaying

 


 

Source: ADM 199/429

 

 

OCTOBER 1942

 

Part I of the Commander in Chief, Home Fleet’s War Diary

For the period 1st to 15th October 1942, inclusive

 

Thursday 1st October

 

NORFOLK, SUFFOLK, and ORIBI left Hvalfiord to search for an enemy ship reported to be in the Denmark Straits.

O 15 arrived Dundee from Scapa

TRIBUNE and TIGRIS arrived Lerwick from patrol, sailing p.m. for Scapa

MALCOLM and ACHATES (Senior British Naval Officer, North Russia) left Archangel for Kola

LAMERTON left Liverpool for Scapa on completion of repairs

SEAGULL arrived Grimsby from Scapa for refit

TANATSIDE (damaged in collision), escorted by WHEATLAND left Scapa for the Tyne for repairs.

ESKIMO completed boiler cleaning and repairs at Scapa

Captain J.W.M. Eaton, DSO, DSC, Royal Navy reassumed command of Sixth Destroyer Flotilla vice Acting Captain R.G. Onslow, DSO, Royal Navy

CHIDDINGFOLD arrived Scapa from escort of troopship from Faroes

MILNE left Rosyth for Scapa on completion of boiler cleaning

BITER, escorted by QUALITY and FARNDALE, arrived Scapa from the Clyde

Troopship from the Faroes (escorted by CHIDDINGFOLD to the Minches) arrived Clyde

 

Friday 2nd October

 

Senior British Naval Officer, North Russia, in ACHATES with MALCOLM arrived Kola from Archangel; MALCOLM and ACHATES sailed p.m. for Seidisfiord

MILNE arrived Scapa from Rosyth on completion of boiler cleaning

OFFA left Scapa for Rosyth for boiler cleaning, arriving p.m.

TRIBUNE and TIGRIS arrived Scapa from Lerwick, sailing p.m. for Holy Loch and Methil, respectively

TANATSIDE, escorted by WHEATLAND, arrived Tyne from Scapa for repairs

LAMERTON arrived Scapa from Liverpool on completion of repairs

 

Saturday 3rd October

 

TIGRIS arrived Methil from Scapa

INTREPID left Scapa for Rosyth for boiler cleaning, arriving p.m.

Flag of Rear Admiral Commanding, First Cruiser Squadron transferred from DUNLUCE CASTLE to LONDON

ONSLOW left Scapa for the Clyde for minor alterations and official visit

Enemy aircraft carried out a reconnaissance of Iceland

BRAMBLE left Scapa for the Humber for refit

TRIBUNE arrived Holy Loch from Scapa

LONDON and CUMBERLAND left Clyde for Scapa

FAULKNOR left Scapa for the Tyne for minor alterations and to pay an official visit.

 

Sunday, 4th October

 

ONSLOW arrived Clyde from Scapa

Enemy aircraft carried out a reconnaissance of Scapa area.

NORFOLK, SUFFOLK, and ORIBI returned to Hvalfiord after hunting for an enemy ship reported in the Denmark Straits.

Flag of Rear Admiral C.H.J. Harcourt, CBE, as Rear Admiral Commanding, Tenth Cruiser Squadron hoisted in DUNLUCE CASTLE

LONDON and CUMBERLAND arrived Scapa from the Clyde

WHEATLAND left the Tyne for Scapa, arriving p.m.

MONTROSE and CAMPBELL left Scapa for Harwich and Sheerness, respectively, on completion of duty with the Home Fleet

METEOR left the Clyde for Scapa on completion of boiler cleaning.

FAULKNOR arrived Tyne from Scapa

ONSLAUGHT left Clyde for Scapa on completion of boiler cleaning

BRAMBLE arrived Humber from Scapa for refit

Flag of Vice Admiral Commanding, Eighteenth Cruiser Squadron, struck in SHEFFIELD, ships of the Eighteenth

Cruiser Squadron transferred to the Tenth Cruiser Squadron.

 

Monday 5th October

 

ONSLAUGHT arrived Scapa from the Clyde on completion of boiler cleaning

Rear Admiral (Minelaying) in SOUTHERN PRINCE with MENESTHEUS, AGAMEMNON, PORT QUEBEC, ADVENTURE, BRIGHTON, CHARLESTOWN, LANCASTER, and WELLS left Port Z A for Operation S N 3 E, returning p.m. to Port Z A owing to weather

Flag of Rear Admiral Commanding, Tenth Cruiser Squadron, transferred from DUNLUCE CASTLE to SHEFFIELD.

ONSLAUGHT and IMPULSIVE left Scapa for Hvalfiord for screen of ANSON

Enemy aircraft carried out several reconnaissance’s of Iceland

MONTROSE arrived Harwich from Scapa

METEOR arrived Scapa from the Clyde on completion of boiler cleaning

CAMPBELL arrived Sheerness from Scapa

MALAYA, escorted by PENN, PATHFINDER, and LOOKOUT arrived at Clyde from Gibraltar (n.b. identified on arrival at Rosyth as PANTHER)

FORESTER left the Tyne for Scapa on completion of refit

PATHFINDER and QUENTIN arrived Clyde from Freetown

BLEAN left Scapa for London for boiler cleaning and repairs

ASHANTI left Rosyth for Scapa on completion of boiler cleaning

 

Tuesday 6th October

 

TARTAR left Scapa for Rosyth for boiler cleaning arriving p.m.

ASHANTI arrived Scapa from Rosyth on completion of boiler cleaning

FORESTER arrived Scapa from the Tyne on completion of refit

Flag of Vice Admiral, Second in Command, Home Fleet, transferred from ANSON to ORIBI

ORIBI (V A 2) left Hvalfiord for Scapa

MALCOLM and ACHATES arrived Seidisfiord from Kola, sailing p.m. for Liverpool and the Clyde, respectively.

MALAYA escorted by PENN, PATHFINDER, and LOOKOUT left the Clyde for Rosyth for refit

Wednesday 7th October

 

BLUEBELL and CAMELLIA left Archangel for Kola

HAYDON left the Tyne for Methil en route to Scapa arriving p.m., but returning later to the Tyne with defects

MIDDLETON left Rosyth for Scapa on completion of boiler cleaning, arriving p.m.

ROTHERHAM left Scapa for Scrabster, arriving p.m., embarking King Peter of Yugoslavia and the Royal Party and returning p.m. to Scapa

BLEAN arrived London from Scapa for repairs

ONSLAUGHT and IMPULSIVE arrived Hvalfiord from Scapa for screen of ANSON

ONSLOW left the Clyde for Scapa

Enemy aircraft carried out a reconnaissance of Iceland

FAULKNOR left Tyne for Scapa

OAKLEY left Aberdeen for Scapa on completion of boiler cleaning, arriving p.m.

 

Thursday 8th October

 

BLUEBELL and CAMELLIA arrived Kola from Archangel

FAULKNOR arrived Scapa from the Tyne

HAYDON (with defects) arrived Tyne from Methil

OFFA left Rosyth for Scapa on completion of boiler cleaning arriving p.m.

ACHATES arrived Clyde from Seidisfiord

MALAYA escorted by PENN, PANTHER, and LOOKOUT arrived Rosyth from the Clyde for refit

MALCOLM arrived Liverpool from Seidisfiord

BERWICK left Scapa for Hvalfiord

PANTHER taken in hand for repairs at Leith

ONSLOW arrived Scapa from the Clyde

P 615 left Holy Loch for Scapa to relieve H 34 as A/S training submarine

ORIBI (V A 2) arrived Scapa from Hvalfiord

Flag of Vice Admiral, Second in Command, Home Fleet, transferred from ORIBI to DUNLUCE CASTLE

OPPORTUNE left Clyde for Scapa on completion of boiler cleaning and repairs

 

Friday 9th October

 

INTREPID left Rosyth for Scapa on completion of boiler cleaning, arriving p.m.

King Peter of Yugoslavia and the Royal Party left Scapa in FAULKNOR for Scrabster, on completion of visit to the Home Fleet, arriving a.m.

Enemy aircraft carried out a reconnaissance of Iceland

OPPORTUNE arrived Scapa from the Clyde on completion of boiler cleaning and repairs

Flag of Vice Admiral, Second in Command, Home Fleet, transferred from DUNLUCE CASTLE to RODNEY.

The Prime Minister with Sir Stafford Cripps and party embarked in FAULKNOR at Scrabster and proceeded to Scapa arriving p.m. for visit to the Home Fleet.

 

Saturday 10th October

 

MELBREAK left the Tyne for Methil, arriving p.m., en route to Scapa to work up

BERWICK arrived Hvalfiord from Scapa

NORFOLK left Hvalfiord for Scapa

WILTON and MARTIN left Scapa for the Clyde for boiler cleaning

P 615 arrived Scapa from Holy Loch to relieve H 34 as A/S training submarine at Scapa

QUICKMATCH left Clyde for Scapa to work up

H 34 left Scapa for Rothesay

 

Sunday, 11th October

 

BLUEBELL and CAMELLIA left Kola for Archangel

LEDBURY left Humber for Scapa on completion of repairs

Enemy aircraft carried out a reconnaissance of Iceland

MELBREAK left Methil for Scapa, arriving p.m. to work up

OPPORTUNE left Scapa for the Humber for minelaying trials

REDOUBT left the Clyde for Scapa to work up

UREDD and JUNON left Dundee for Scapa

WILTON and MARTIN arrived Clyde from Scapa for boiler cleaning

QUICKMATCH arrived Scapa from the Clyde to work up

The Prime Minister with Sir Stafford Cripps and party embarked in MILNE at Scapa, sailing for Scrabster and arriving p.m. on completion of their visit to the Home Fleet.

 

Monday 12 October

 

BLUEBELL and CAMELLIA arrived Archangel from Kola

OPPORTUNE arrived Humber from Scapa for minelaying trials

REDOUBT arrived Scapa from Clyde to work up

NORFOLK arrived Scapa from Hvalfiord

LEDBURY arrived Scapa from the Humber on completion of repairs

JUNON and UREDD arrived Scapa from Dundee, sailing for Lerwick and arriving p.m.

Enemy aircraft carried out a reconnaissance of Iceland

QUALITY left Scapa for the Clyde for docking and repairs

Fifteenth Minesweeping Flotilla (on Operation E Y) shadowed by enemy aircraft

H 34 arrived Holy Loch from Scapa

ARGONAUT left Scapa for Rosyth to embark stores for Operation E Z

 

Tuesday 13th October

 

ARGONAUT arrived Rosyth from Scapa to embark stores for Spitzbergen and Kola, sailing p.m. for Operation E Z

UREDD and JUNON left Lerwick for patrols off the Norwegian coast in Zones K 5 and K 9

TARTAR left Rosyth for Scapa on completion of boiler cleaning, arriving p.m.

Flag of Rear Admiral Commanding, First Cruiser Squadron, transferred from LONDON to DUNLUCE CASTLE

QUALITY arrived Clyde from Scapa for docking and repairs

ROTHERHAM left Scapa for Clyde for boiler cleaning and repairs

 

Wednesday 14th October

 

INTREPID and OBDURATE left Scapa, joined ARGONAUT from Rosyth for Seidisfiord and Operation E Z

ROTHERHAM arrived Clyde from Scapa for boiler cleaning and repairs

Enemy aircraft carried out reconnaissance of Iceland

NORFOLK left Scapa for the Clyde for repairs

BERMUDA left Scapa for the Clyde for repairs

LIVERPOOL reduced to care and maintenance at Rosyth

WELSHMAN left the Tyne for Scapa to work up on completion of refit.

 

Thursday 15th October

 

Flag of Rear Admiral Commanding, First Cruiser Squadron, transferred from DUNLUCE CASTLE to LONDON

Flag of Commander in Chief, Home Fleet, transferred from KING GEORGE V to DUNLUCE CASTLE

Flag of Vice Admiral, Second in Command, Home Fleet, transferred from RODNEY to KING GEORGE V

Flag of Flag Officer Commanding, Force H, transferred from NELSON to MALAYA

NORFOLK arrived Clyde from Scapa fro repairs

Enemy aircraft carried out a reconnaissance of Iceland

WELSHMAN arrived Scapa from the Tyne to work up on completion of refit

ARGONAUT, OBDURATE, and INTREPID, on Operation E Z, arrived Seidisfiord from Scapa

RENOWN and DUKE OF YORK, escorted by FAULKNOR, MIDDLETON, ESCAPADE, and MARNE left Scapa for Rosyth for docking

 

 

Part II of the Commander in Chief, Home Fleet’s War Diary

For the period 1st-15th October 1942, inclusive

 

Second Battle Squadron

 

 

 

1. HMS KING GEORGE V (Flag of Commander in Chief Home Fleet.

 

1st-15th

Scapa

 

 

 

2. HMS DUKE OF YORK

 

1st-15th

Scapa

 

15th

Sailed with RENOWN and four destroyers for Rosyth for docking

 

 

 

3. HMS ANSON (Flag of Vice Admiral, Second in Command, Home Fleet)

 

1st-15th

Hvalfiord

 

 

 

4. HMS HOWE

 

1st-15th

Scapa, working up

 

 

 

Attached Battleships

 

 

 

5. HMS NELSON (Flag of Flag Officer Commanding, Force H)

 

1st-15th

Rosyth for docking and repairs

 

 

 

6. HMS RODNEY

 

1st-15th

Scapa

 

 

 

7. HMS MALAYA

 

1st-5th

On passage from Gibraltar to Clyde escorted by three destroyers

 

5th

Arrived Clyde

 

6th

Left Clyde with three destroyers for Rosyth

 

8th

Arrived Rosyth. Taken in hand for refit

 

 

 

Battlecruiser

 

 

 

8. HMS RENOWN

 

1st-15th

Scapa

 

15th

Sailed with DUKE OF YORK and four destroyers for Rosyth for docking

 

 

 

Aircraft Carriers

 

 

 

9. HMS VICTORIOUS (Flag of Rear Admiral, Aircraft Carriers )

 

1st-15th

Scapa

 

 

 

10. HMS FURIOUS

 

1st-15th

Clyde

 

 

 

11. HMS AVENGER

 

1st-15th

Scapa

 

 

 

12. HMS BITER

 

1st

Arrived Scapa from the Clyde escorted by two destroyers

 

1st-15th

Scapa, working up

 

Attached Aircraft Carriers

 

 

 

13. HMS INDOMITABLE

 

1st-15th

Liverpool. Repairing action damage

 

 

 

14. HMS FORMIDABLE

 

1st-15th

Rosyth for docking and repairs

 

 

 

15. HMS ARGUS

 

1st-15th

Clyde working up

 

 

 

16. HMS DASHER

 

1st-15th

Clyde, working up

 

 

 

First Cruiser Squadron

 

 

 

17. HMS LONDON (Flag of Rear Admiral Commanding First Cruiser Squadron)

 

1st-3rd

Clyde

 

3rd

Left Clyde with CUMBERLAND for Scapa

 

4th

Arrived Scapa

 

4th-15th

Scapa

 

 

 

18. HMS NORFOLK

 

1st

Left Hvalfiord with SUFFOLK and ORIBI to hunt for a German ship in the Denmark Straits.

 

4th

Returned to Hvalfiord

 

10th

Left Hvalfiord for Scapa

 

12th

Arrived Scapa

 

14th

Left Scapa for Clyde for repairs

 

15th

Arrived Clyde

 

19. HMS SUFFOLK

 

1st

Left Hvalfiord with SUFFOLK and ORIBI to hunt for a German ship in the Denmark Straits.

 

4th

Returned to Hvalfiord

 

4th-15th

Hvalfiord

 

 

 

 20. HMS BERWICK

 

1st-6th

Scapa

 

6th

Left Scapa for Hvalfiord

 

10th

Arrived Hvalfiord

 

10th-15th

Hvalfiord

 

 

 

 21. HMS CUMBERLAND

 

1st-3rd

Clyde

 

3rd

Left Clyde with LONDON for Scapa

 

4th

Arrived Scapa

 

4th-15th

Scapa

 

 

 

22. HMS KENT

 

1st-15th

Liverpool, refitting

 

 

 

23. HMS SUSSEX

 

1st-15th

Scapa, working up

 

 

 

Tenth Cruiser Squadron 

 

 

 

24. HMS SHEFFIELD (Flag of Rear Admiral Commanding Tenth Cruiser Squadron

 

1st-15th

Scapa

 

 

 

25. HMS NIGERIA

 

1st-15th

Gibraltar undergoing temporary action damage repairs

 

 

 

26. HMS KENYA

 

1st-15th

Tyne, refitting and for action damage repairs

 

 

 

27. HMS LIVERPOOL

 

1st-15th

Rosyth for action damage repairs

 

14th

Reduced to care and maintenance

 

 

 

28. HMS JAMAICA

 

1st-15th

Scapa

 

 

 

29. HMS BERMUDA

 

1st-15th

Scapa, working up

 

15th

Left Scapa for Clyde for repairs

 

 

 

30. HMS SCYLLA

 

1st-15th

Scapa

 

 

 

31. HMS ARGONAUT

 

1st-12th

Scapa, working up

 

12th

Left Scapa for Operation E Z

 

12th-15th

Operation E Z (see paragraph 41)

 

 

32. Destroyers

 

Sixth Destroyer Flotilla

LEDBURY completed repairs in the Humber on 11th

LAMERTON completed repairs at Liverpool on 1st

 

Eighth Destroyer Flotilla

FORESTER completed refit in the Tyne on 5th

 

 

Ships attached for working up

 

33.

Fleet Destroyers

REDOUBT, PORCUPINE, QUALITY, QUICKMATCH, ISAAC SWEERS, ROTHERHAM

HUNT class destroyers

PENYLAN, HOLCOMBE, FARNDALE, MELBREAK, BLEAN, TANATSIDE

 

Ships attached for special duties

 

34.

(a). for P Q and Q P convoys

Destroyers

MALCOLM, ACHATES

A/A Ship

ULSTER QUEEN

Corvettes

BRYONY, BERGAMOT, BLUEBELL, CAMELLIA

A/S trawlers

CAPE ARGONA, CAPE MARIATO, ST KENAN, DANEMAN

 

 

(b). For capital ships working up

Destroyers

MONTROSE, CAMPBELL

 

 

(c). Temporarily attached while in Home Waters

Destroyers

PENN, PANTHER, LOOKOUT

 

Changes of Flag

 

35.

(a). The Flag of the Commander in Chief, Home Fleet, was transferred from KING GEORGE V to DUNLUCE CASTLE on 15th

 

(b). The Flag of Vice Admiral, Second in Command, Home Fleet, was transferred to the ANSON to the ORIBI on 6th, to the DUNLUCE CASTLE on 8th, to the RODNEY on 9th, and to KING GEORGE V on 15th

 

(c). The Flag of Flag Officer, Commanding Force H, was transferred from the NELSON to the MALAYA on 15th

 

(d). The Flag of Rear Admiral Commanding, First Cruiser Squadron was transferred from DUNLUCE CASTLE to the LONDON on 3rd, to DUNLUCE CASTLE on 13th, and to the LONDON on 15th

 

(e). The Flag of Rear Admiral C.H.J. Harcourt, CBE, as Rear Admiral Commanding, Tenth Cruiser Squadron was hoisted in DUNLUCE CASTLE on 4th and transferred to the SHEFFIELD on 5th

 

(f). The Flag of Vice Admiral Commanding, Eighteenth Cruiser Squadron was struck in the SHEFFIELD on 4th.

 

Patrols BLACK and WHITE

 

36. There were no Home Fleet ships, other than those on passage, on patrol or in the Denmark Straits (Patrol WHITE) or between Iceland and the Faroes (Patrol BLACK) during the period

 

 

Official Visits to the Tyne and Clyde

 

37. Between 4th and 7th September, FAULKNOR (D 8) and ONSLOW (D 17), both of whom had taken part in Operation E V (P Q 18 and Q P 14) paid official visits to the Tyne and Clyde, respectively. Both these visits were considered to have been a success although that of FAULKNOR to the Tyne was slightly marred by the strike of some of the workers. During their stay the ships’ companies were well entertained and officers from the two ships gave lunch hour talks on their recent experiences to shipyard workers.

 

 

Visit of King Peter of Yugoslavia

 

38. His Majesty Peter of Yugoslavia, paid a visit to the Home Fleet from 7th to 9th October. The Royal Party arrived from Scrabster in the ROTHERHAM on 7th and were accommodated onboard the Fleet Flagship. During his stay, King Peter visited several units of the Home Fleet, leaving Scapa on the 9th in the FAULKNOR for Scrabster.

 

 

Visit of Prime Minister

 

39. The Prime Minister accompanied by Sir Stafford Cripps visited the Home Fleet from the 9th to 11 October. During his stay the Prime Minister was accommodated on board the Fleet Flagship, but visited several other units of the Fleet, notably those who had taken part in the last North Russian convoys, and address the ships’ companies. The Prime Minister left Scapa on Sunday 11th in MILNE for Thurso and Edinburgh

 

 

Operation E Y

 

40. In order to search for suspected moored mines in the Seidisfiord area, the Fifteenth Minesweeping Flotilla (FRASERBURGH, LYME REGIS, BEAUMARIS, ARDROSSAN, WORTHING, LLANDUDNO, and DUNBAR) were sailed from Loch Alsh and Scapa and arrived Seidisfiord to commence sweeping operations on 10th. On 13th, after several mines had already been swept, LYME REGIS, DUNBAR, and WORTHING sailed for the United Kingdom, but later returned to Seidisfiord to continue sweeping.

 

On 15th and 16th ARGONAUT, INTREPID, and OBDURATE on Operation EZ were swept in and out of Seidisfiord

 

From then forwards the sweeping operations were shadowed daily by enemy aircraft who appeared to have obtained accurate information of the operation and the position of the channel being swept. On 18th M S 15 reported that he suspected his dan buoys were being sabotaged and instituted night patrols to guard them. Fighter protection for the operation was not possible owing to the distance from Reykjavik.

 

On 22nd the Flotilla was reinforced by BOOTLE who arrived from Scapa with stores and minesweeping equipment. DUNBAR had left the Flotilla previously for Cardiff to boiler clean and BEAUMARIS was forced to spend two days at Akureyri, escorted by LLANDUDNO, while her propeller was cleared by divers’ she rejoined the Flotilla on 22nd. The operation was expected to continue until the end of October

 

 

Operation EZ

 

41. The object of Operation E Z was to transport stores and personnel to Spitzbergen, and a limited number to Kola Inlet and to bring back personnel (including R.A.F. personnel of 24 Hampden torpedo bombers turned over to the Russians) and survivors from North Russia.

 

These stores were embarked in ARGONAUT at Rosyth on 13th and she sailed the same day, being joined by INTREPID and OBDURATE from Scapa early the following morning. The force then proceeded to Seidisfiord to fuel, being swept into the port by the Fifteenth Minesweeping Flotilla on 15th. The Force sailed for Spitzbergen early the following day. An account of the remainder of this operation will be included in the War Diary of the Commander in Chief, Home Fleet, for the period 16th-31st October

 

 

 

Part I of the Commander in Chief, Home Fleet’s War Diary

For the period 16th-31st October 1942, inclusive

 

Friday 16 October

 

DUKE OF YORK and RENOWN escorted by FAULKNOR, MARNE, ESCAPADE, and MIDDLETON arrived Rosyth from Scapa

BERMUDA arrived Clyde from Scapa for repairs

NELSON and FORMIDABLE escorted by PANTHER, FAULKNOR, MARNE, ESCAPADE, and MIDDLETON left Rosyth for Scapa, arriving p.m.

ARGONAUT, INTREPID, and OBDURATE left Seidisfiord for Spitzbergen (Operation E Z)

Enemy aircraft carried out a reconnaissance over Iceland

HALCYON, HAZARD, and SHARPSHOOTER left Archangel for sweeping operations in Yugorski Straits.

VICTORIOUS, BITER, and AVENGER escorted by MILNE, METEOR, ORIBI, OFFA, FORESTER, and LEDBURY left Scapa for the Clyde

OPPORTUNE left the Humber for Scapa on completion of minelaying trials

Fifteenth Minesweeping Flotilla shadowed by enemy aircraft off east coast of Iceland (Operation E Y).

LAMERTON and WHEATLAND left Scapa for the Clyde

 

Saturday 17 October

 

Flag of Flag Officer Commanding, Force H, transferred from MALAYA to DUKE OF YORK.

GLASGOW and ORWELL left Portsmouth for Scapa via Plymouth to work up

Enemy aircraft carried out a reconnaissance of Iceland

FARNDALE left Scapa for the Clyde

OPPORTUNE arrived Scapa from the Humber.

MARTIN left the Clyde for Scapa on completion of boiler cleaning

LAMERTON and WHEATLAND arrived Clyde from Scapa

FAULKNOR and MIDDLETON left Scapa for Hvalfiord

NIGERIA left Gibraltar for Charleston, U.S.A. for refit and action damage repairs

Fifteenth Minesweeping Flotilla again shadowed by enemy aircraft off the east coast of Iceland (Operation E Y)

VICTORIOUS, BITER, and AVENGER escorted by MILNE, METEOR, ORIBI, OFFA, FORESTER, and LEDBURY arrived Clyde from Scapa

METEOR, OFFA, ORIBI, FORESTER, and LEDBURY returning to Scapa

 

Sunday, 18th October

 

Rear Admiral (Minelaying) in SOUTHERN PRINCE with ADVENTURE, AGAMEMNON, PORT QUEBEC, MENESTHEUS, CHARLESTOWN, CASTLETON, and WELLS left Port Z A for Operation S N 3 E

METEOR, ORIBI, OFFA, FORESTER, and LEDBURY arrived Scapa from escort of three aircraft carriers to the Clyde.

LEDBURY left Scapa and joined R.A. (M) and First Minelaying Squadron for additional escort during operation S N 3 E.

ESKIMO left Scapa for Rosyth to fit type 86, arriving p.m.

FARNDALE arrived Clyde from Scapa

MARTIN arrived Scapa from the Clyde on completion of boiler cleaning

PORCUPINE left Scapa for the Clyde for boiler cleaning

Enemy aircraft carried out a reconnaissance of Iceland

MILNE left the Clyde for Scapa

Oiler SAN AMBROSIO escorted by CHIDDINGFOLD left Scapa for Seidisfiord

Operation S N 3 E completed by R.A. (M) and the First Minelaying Squadron, LEDBURY detached to Scapa

ARGONAUT, INTREPID, and OBDURATE arrived Spitzbergen from Seidisfiord and disembarked stores for GEARBOX (Operation E Z)

WELSHMAN left Rosyth for Scapa, arriving p.m. to work up on completion of refit in the Tyne

ECHO and IMPULSIVE left Hvalfiord for Scapa

BLUEBELL and CAMELLIA left Archangel for the Yugorski Straits, for escort of Soviet ships to Archangel.

ACTIVITY escorted by PENN and LOOKOUT left Rosyth for the Clyde.

 

Monday 19th October

 

PENYLAN left Scapa for London for boiler cleaning and repairs

ONSLOW, TARTAR, and FORESTER left Scapa for Rosyth, arriving p.m. for escort of RENOWN to Scapa

ASHANTI and MARNE left Scapa and joined ACTIVITY from Rosyth in the Pentland Firth for escort to the Clyde, relieving PENN and LOOKOUT who proceeded to Scapa, arriving a.m.

FAULKNOR and MIDDLETON arrived Hvalfiord from Scapa

MILNE arrived Scapa from the Clyde

PORCUPINE arrived Clyde from Scapa

LONDON left Scapa for Hvalfiord

LEDBURY arrived Scapa on completion of S N 3 E

ARGONAUT, INTREPID, and OBDURATE left Spitzbergen for Kola Inlet (Operation E Z)

HARRIER, GLEANER, BERGAMOT, and BRYONY left Archangel for Kola Inlet

GLASGOW arrived Scapa from Portsmouth to work up on completion of refit with ORWELL, to work up and join Seventeenth Destroyer Flotilla

ICARUS left Humber for Scapa on completion of refit

HALCOMBE left Scapa for the Clyde for boiler cleaning and repairs.

RENOWN, escorted by ONSLOW, TARTAR, and FORESTER left Rosyth for Scapa

MARNE detached from escort of ACTIVITY to Londonderry for Operation TRAIN

ESCAPADE and ISAAC SWEERS left Scapa for Londonderry for Operation TRAIN

 

Tuesday 20th October

 

RENOWN escorted by ONSLOW, TARTAR, and FORESTER arrived Scapa from Rosyth

ICARUS arrived Scapa from the Humber on completion of refit

ACTIVITY escorted by ASHANTI arrived Clyde from Rosyth, ASHANTI returning to Scapa

OBEDIENT commissioned for trials and service in the Tyne

Enemy aircraft carried out reconnaissance of Iceland

PENYLAN arrived London from Scapa for boiler cleaning and repairs

SHEFFIELD and JAMAICA left Scapa for the Clyde for combined operations exercises

ESCAPADE and ISAAC SWEERS arrived Londonderry from Scapa for Operation TRAIN

MARNE arrived Londonderry from escort of ACTIVITY for Operation TRAIN

HOLCOMBE arrived Clyde from Scapa for boiler cleaning

ECHO and IMPULSIVE arrived Scapa from Hvalfiord, sailing p.m. for Rosyth for boiler cleaning

FURIOUS (with Spitfires for Malta) left Clyde for Operation TRAIN, being joined p.m. by escort of MARNE, ESCAPADE, and ISAAC SWEERS from Londonderry.

CAMELLIA and BLUEBELL left Archangel to escort Soviet ships from the vicinity of the Yugorski Straits to Archangel.

 

Wednesday, 21st October

 

ECHO and IMPULSIVE arrived Rosyth from Scapa for boiler cleaning

HARRIER, GLEANER, BERGAMOT and BRYONY arrived Kola Inlet from Archangel

Enemy aircraft carried out a reconnaissance of Iceland

SHEFFIELD and JAMAICA arrived Clyde from Scapa for combined operations exercises.

LOYAL commissioned for trials and service in the Clyde

ASHANTI arrived Scapa from the Clyde from escort of ACTIVITY

SCYLLA left Scapa for Rosyth

 

Thursday 22 October

 

QUILLIAM left Tyne for Methil, arriving p.m. en route to Scapa to work up

SCYLLA arrived Rosyth from Scapa

LONDON arrived Hvalfiord from Scapa

Enemy aircraft carried out a reconnaissance over Iceland

ARGONAUT, INTREPID, and OBDURATE arrived Kola Inlet from Spitzbergen (Operation E Z)

NIGERIA arrived Charleston, U.S.A. from Gibraltar for refit and action damage repairs

ESKIMO left Rosyth for Scapa on completion of fitting type 86

AVENGER left the Clyde with convoy K M S 1 for Operation TORCH

 

Friday 23rd October

 

TARTAR docked at Scapa for minor repairs

ESKIMO arrived Scapa from Rosyth

ARGONAUT, INTREPID, and OBDURATE left Kola Inlet for Seidisfiord (Operation E Z)

Three A/S trawlers left the Clyde for Reykjavik for Operation F B

TUNA and H 32 left the Clyde for Scapa

NORFOLK left the Clyde for Scapa on completion of repairs

O 15 left Dundee for Lerwick

Enemy aircraft carried out a reconnaissance over Iceland

HARRIER and GLEANER left Kola Inlet for Archangel

RODNEY, escorted by PENN, PANTHER, and LOOKOUT left Scapa for Gibraltar for Operation TORCH

SUFFOLK left Hvalfiord for Scapa

 

Saturday 24th October

 

NORFOLK arrived Scapa from the Clyde on completion of repairs

Enemy aircraft carried out a reconnaissance of Iceland

O 15 arrived Lerwick from Dundee, sailing p.m. for patrol off the Norwegian coast

ARGONAUT, INTREPID, and OBDURATE shadowed by enemy aircraft

BERMUDA left the Clyde for Plymouth

SHEFFIELD left the Clyde for Belfast, arriving p.m. to embark stores and personnel for Operation TORCH.

ANSON escorted by FAULKNOR, ONSLAUGHT, and MIDDLETON left Hvalfiord for Scapa

HARRIER and GLEANER arrived Archangel from Kola Inlet

HAYDON left the Tyne for Scapa to work up

MUSKETEER left Scapa for Hvalfiord

SCYLLA left Rosyth for Scapa

FORMIDABLE, escorted by ICARUS and FORESTER left Scapa for the Clyde

SUSSEX left Scapa for the Tyne for repairs to boilers and 8 inch armament

Oiler SAN AMBROSIO, escorted by CHIDDINGFOLD arrived Seidisfiord from Scapa

 

Sunday 25th October

 

SCYLLA arrived Scapa from Rosyth, sailing p.m. for Plymouth

HAYDON arrived Scapa from the Tyne to work up

VESPER left patrol in the Nore Command for Scapa to work up

SUFFOLK arrived Scapa from Hvalfiord

FORMIDABLE escorted by ICARUS and FORESTER arrived Clyde

BERMUDA arrived Plymouth from the Clyde

TUNA arrived Scapa from the Clyde, proceeding to Lerwick, arriving p.m. and sailing immediately for patrol off the Norwegian coast

FURIOUS, escorted by ISAAC SWEERS, MARNE, ESCAPADE arrived Gibraltar from the Clyde (Operation TRAIN) sailing p.m. to fly Spitfires off to Malta

TARTAR undocked at Scapa on completion of minor repairs

WHADDON left Rosyth and joined SUSSEX for escort to the Tyne

LIMBOURNE left Methil fro Scapa to work up

BRYONY and BERGAMOT left Kola Inlet for Archangel

CHIDDINGFOLD, escorting the oiler MURENA, left Seidisfiord for Kirkwall

Enemy aircraft carried out a reconnaissance over Iceland

QUIBERON let the Clyde for Scapa

QUILLIAM left Rosyth for Scapa to work up

SUSSEX, escorted by WHADDON arrived Tyne from Scapa for repairs to boilers and 8 inch armament, WHADDON returned to Rosyth.

JUNON arrived Lerwick from patrol off the Norwegian coast, sailing p.m. for Dundee

LAMERTON, WHEATLAND, and WILTON left the Clyde for Milford Haven

 

Monday, 26th October

 

QUILLIAM arrived Scapa from Rosyth to work up

P 615 left Scapa for the Clyde

LIMBOURNE arrived Scapa from Methil to work up

ICARUS and FORESTER arrived Scapa from the Clyde from escort of FORMIDABLE

VESPER arrived Scapa from patrol in the Nore Command to work up

WHADDON arrived Rosyth from the Tyne from escort of SUSSEX

MUSKETEER arrived Hvalfiord from Scapa

ARGONAUT, INTREPID, and OBDURATE arrived Seidisfiord from Kola Inlet (Operation E Z) sailing p.m. for Scapa

ANSON, escorted by ONSLAUGHT, FAULKNOR, and MIDDLETON arrived Scapa from Hvalfiord

One A/S trawler left Scapa for Reykjavik for Operation F B

QUIBERON arrived Scapa from the Clyde

FAULKNOR taken in hand at Scapa for boiler cleaning and repairs

H 32 arrived Scapa from the Clyde, relieving P 615 as A/S training submarine

LAMERTON, WHEATLAND, and WILTON arrived Milford Haven from the Clyde

Enemy aircraft carried out a reconnaissance over Iceland

BERMUDA left Plymouth for Gibraltar for Operation TORCH

BITER left the Clyde with convoy K M F 1 for Operation TORCH

BERGAMOT and BRYONY arrived Archangel from Kola Inlet

JUNON arrived Dundee from Lerwick

 

Tuesday 27th October

 

Rear Admiral (Minelaying) in SOUTHERN PRINCE with ADVENTURE, AGAMEMNON, PORT QUEBEC, MENESTHEUS, CASTLETON, WELLS, SALADIN, and SCIMITAR left Port Z A for Operation S N 3 F, returning p.m. owing to weather.

LEDBURY left Scapa for Rosyth for escort of DUKE OF YORK to Scapa, arriving p.m.

SHEFFIELD left Belfast to join convoy K M F 1 for Operation TORCH

SCYLLA arrived Plymouth from Scapa

Enemy aircraft carried out a reconnaissance of Iceland

BLUEBELL and CAMELLIA arrived Archangel after escorting Soviet merchant ships from the Yugorski Straits.

P 615 arrived Clyde from Scapa

WELSHMAN left Scapa for Port Z A and Plymouth

OPPORTUNE left Scapa for Plymouth

UREDD left patrol off the Norwegian coast for Lerwick

ONSLOW, OFFA, and ORIBI left Scapa for Londonderry for escort of W S 24

ARGONAUT arrived Scapa from Seidisfiord on completion of Operation E Z

DUKE OF YORK, escorted by ECHO, IMPULSIVE, and LEDBURY left Rosyth for Scapa

LAMERTON, WHEATLAND, and WILTON left Milford Haven to rendezvous with three A/A ships from the Clyde for escort to Gibraltar for Operation TORCH

 

Wednesday 28th October

 

INTREPID and OBDURATE arrived Scapa from Seidisfiord on completion of Operation E Z

Operation F B – first westbound merchant ship left Byelushaya for Iceland

CHIDDINGFOLD escorting oiler MURENA arrived Scapa from Seidisfiord

MELBREAK left Scapa for Invergordon, arriving at noon and sailing with troopship LADY OF MANN for Scapa, arriving p.m. with military personnel for NELSON for Operation TORCH

DUKE OF YORK escorted by IMPULSIVE, ECHO, and LEDBURY arrived Scapa from Rosyth

WELSHMAN arrived Port Z A from Scapa, sailing p.m. for Plymouth

ONSLOW, OFFA, and ORIBI arrived Londonderry from Scapa

Three A/S trawlers from Clyde arrived Reykjavik for Operation F B

MIDDLETON and LEDBURY with one oiler left Scapa for Sullom Voe for Operation S E

TANATSIDE left Tyne for Scapa on completion of repairs to continue working up

SHARPSHOOTER, HALCYON, and HAZARD left patrol in Yugorski Straits to escort Soviet merchant ships for Archangel.

Operation F B – the USSR. merchant ships left Reykjavik for North Russia

 

Thursday 29th October

 

ONSLOW, OFFA, and ORIBI left Londonderry to rendezvous with W S 24 and for Force Q in Operation TORCH

BERMUDA arrived Gibraltar from Plymouth for Operation TORCH

CHIDDINGFOLD left Scapa for Sullom Voe for Operation S E, arriving p.m.

TANATSIDE arrived Scapa from the Tyne to continue working up

UREDD arrived Lerwick from patrol off the Norwegian coast

OPPORTUNE arrived Plymouth from Scapa

RODNEY, PENN, PANTHER, and LOOKOUT arrived Gibraltar from Scapa for Operation TORCH

Operation F B – first eastbound merchant ship left Reykjavik for North Russia

Operation F B – first eastbound rescue trawler left Reykjavik

Operation F B – second westbound merchant ship left Byelushaya for Reykjavik

SCYLLA and OPPORTUNE left Plymouth for Gibraltar for Operation TORCH

Operation F B – second eastbound merchant ship left Reykjavik for North Russia

Operation F B – eastbound USSR. merchant ship returned to Reykjavik

MIDDLETON and LEDBURY and one oiler arrived Sullom Voe from Scapa for Operation S E

 

Friday 30th October

 

WELSHMAN arrived Plymouth from Port Z A for Operation TORCH

FURIOUS, ISAAC SWEERS, MARNE, ESCAPADE arrived Gibraltar on completion of Operation TRAIN

One A/S trawler arrived Reykjavik from Scapa for Operation F B

UREDD left Lerwick for Dundee

Operation F B – third eastbound merchant ship left Reykjavik for North Russia

Operation F B – second eastbound rescue trawler left Reykjavik

Operation F B – first and second westbound rescue trawlers left Archangel

Operation F B – eastbound USSR. merchant ship again left Reykjavik for North Russia

Operation F B – fourth eastbound merchant ship left Reykjavik for North Russia

OBEDIENT left Clyde for Scapa to work up and join the Seventeenth Destroyer Flotilla

DUKE OF YORK (Flag Officer Commanding, Force H), NELSON, RENOWN, ARGONAUT, MILNE, MARTIN, METEOR, ASHANTI, TARTAR, ESKIMO, and QUIBERON left Scapa to rendezvous with carrier force from the Clyde and for Gibraltar as Force H in Operation TORCH.

VICTORIOUS (Rear Admiral Aircraft Carriers, Home Fleet), FORMIDABLE, PATHFINDER, PARTRIDGE, PORCUPINE, QUENTIN, and QUALITY left the Clyde to rendezvous with Force H from Scapa and for Gibraltar for Operation TORCH

 

Saturday 31st October

 

MIDDLETON, LEDBURY, and CHIDDINGFOLD left Sullom Voe for Operation S E - first sortie

RACEHORSE left Clyde for Tobermory arriving p.m. to work up

Operation F B – fifth eastbound merchant ship left Reykjavik for North Russia

Enemy aircraft carried out a reconnaissance over Iceland

FAULKNOR completed boiler cleaning and repairs at Scapa

Operation F B – third eastbound rescue trawler left Reykjavik

Operation F B – first eastbound rescue trawler turned back to Reykjavik, after sustaining damage in attack on a U boat

OBEDIENT arrived Scapa from the Clyde to work up and join Seventeenth Destroyer Flotilla

Flag of Vice Admiral, Second in Command, Home Fleet, transferred from KING GEORGE V to ANSON

Flag of Commander in Chief, Home Fleet transferred from DUNLUCE CASTLE to KING GEORGE V

R.A. (M) in SOUTHERN PRINCE, with PORT QUEBEC, AGAMEMNON, MENESTHEUS, ADVENTURE,

CASTLETON, LANCASTER, BRIGHTON, and WELLS left Port Z A for Operation S N 3 F

NORFOLK and CUMBERLAND left Scapa for Force Q in Operation TORCH

Operation F B – sixth eastbound merchant ship left Reykjavik for North Russia

 

 

 

Part II of the Commander in Chief, Home Fleet’s War Diary

For the period 16th-31st October 1942, inclusive

 

Second Battle Squadron

 

 

 

1. HMS KING GEORGE V (Flag of Commander in Chief Home Fleet.

 

16th-31st

Scapa

 

 

 

2. HMS DUKE OF YORK (Flag of Flag Officer Commanding, Force H)

 

16th

Arrived Rosyth with RENOWN and four destroyers for quick docking

 

27th

Undocked at Rosyth and sailed, escorted by three destroyers for Scapa

 

28th

Arrived Scapa

 

30th

Left Scapa with Force H for Operation TORCH

 

 

 

3. HMS ANSON (Flag of Vice Admiral, Second in Command, Home Fleet)

 

16th-24th

Hvalfiord

 

24th

Left Hvalfiord with three destroyers for Scapa

 

26th

Arrived Scapa

 

 

 

4. HMS HOWE

 

16th-31st

Scapa

 

 

 

Attached Battleships

 

 

 

5. HMS NELSON

 

16th

Sailed from Rosyth for Scapa with FORMIDABLE and five destroyers from Rosyth on completion of refit, arriving p.m.

 

16th-30th

Scapa, working up for Operation TORCH

 

30th

Left Scapa with Force H for Operation TORCH

 

 

 

6. HMS RODNEY

 

16th-23rd

Scapa, working up for Operation TORCH

 

23rd

Left Scapa with three destroyers for Gibraltar for Operation TORCH

 

29th

Arrived Gibraltar

 

 

 

7. HMS MALAYA

 

16th-31st

Rosyth, refitting

 

 

 

Battlecruiser

 

 

 

8. HMS RENOWN

 

16th

Arrived Rosyth with DUKE OF YORK and four destroyers for quick docking

 

19th

Undocked at Rosyth and sailed p.m. with three destroyers for Scapa

 

20th

Arrived Scapa

 

30th

Left Scapa with Force H for Operation TORCH

 

 

 

Aircraft Carriers

 

 

 

9. HMS VICTORIOUS (Flag of Rear Admiral, Aircraft Carriers )

 

16th

Left Scapa with BITER, AVENGER, and six destroyers for the Clyde

 

17th

Arrived Clyde

 

17th-30th

Clyde for combined operations exercises and working up squadrons

 

30th

Left Clyde with FORMIDABLE and five destroyers to join Force H for Operation TORCH

 

 

 

10. HMS FURIOUS

 

16th-20th

Clyde, working up squadrons

 

20th

Left Clyde escorted by three destroyers for Gibraltar for Operation TRAIN and Operation TORCH on completion

 

20th-31st

Detached on Operation TRAIN (see paragraph 42)

 

 

 

11. HMS AVENGER

 

16th

Left Scapa with VICTORIOUS, BITER, and six destroyers for the Clyde

 

17th

Arrived Clyde

 

17th-24th

Clyde for combined operations exercises and working up squadrons

 

22nd

Left Clyde with convoy K M S 1 for Gibraltar for Operation TORCH

 

 

 

12. HMS BITER

 

16th

Left Scapa with VICTORIOUS and AVENGER and six destroyers for the Clyde

 

17th

Arrived Clyde

 

17th-26th

Clyde for combined operations exercises and working up squadrons

 

26th

Left Clyde with convoy K M F 1 for Gibraltar and for Operation TORCH

 

 

 

13. HMS DASHER

 

16th-27th

Clyde for combined operations exercises and working up squadrons

 

27th

Left Clyde with ARGUS, JAMAICA, DELHI, and four destroyers for Gibraltar and for Operation TORCH

 

 

 

Attached Aircraft Carriers

 

 

 

14. HMS FORMIDABLE

 

16th

Left Rosyth with NELSON and five destroyers on completion of docking and repairs. Arrived Scapa p.m.

 

16th-24th

Scapa, working up squadrons

 

24th

Left Scapa with two destroyers for the Clyde

 

25th

Arrived Clyde to continue working up squadrons

 

30th

Left Clyde with VICTORIOUS and five destroyers to Join Force H for Operation TORCH

 

 

 

15. HMS INDOMITABLE

 

16th-31st

Liverpool for action damage repairs

 

 

 

16. HMS ARGUS

 

16th-27th

Clyde, working up squadrons

 

27th

Sailed with DASHER, JAMAICA, DELHI, and four destroyers for Gibraltar for Operation TORCH

 

 

 

First Cruiser Squadron

 

 

 

17. HMS LONDON (Flag of Rear Admiral Commanding First Cruiser Squadron)

 

16th-19th

Scapa

 

19th

Left Scapa for Hvalfiord

 

22nd

Arrived Hvalfiord

 

22nd-31st

Hvalfiord

 

 

 

18. HMS NORFOLK

 

16th-23rd

Clyde for repairs

 

23rd

Left Clyde for Scapa

 

24th

Arrived Scapa

 

31st

Left Scapa with CUMBERLAND (Force Q) for Operation TORCH

 

 

 

19. HMS SUFFOLK

 

16th-23rd

Hvalfiord

 

23rd

Left Hvalfiord for Scapa

 

25th

Arrived Scapa

 

25th-31st

Scapa

 

 

 

 20. HMS BERWICK

 

16th-31st

Hvalfiord

 

 

 

 21. HMS CUMBERLAND

 

16th-31st

Scapa

 

31st

Left Scapa with NORFOLK (Force Q) for Operation TORCH

 

 

 

22. HMS KENT

 

16th-31st

Liverpool, refitting

 

 

 

23. HMS SUSSEX

 

16th-24th

Scapa, working up

 

24th

Left Scapa for the Tyne for repairs to boilers and 8 armament

 

25th

Arrived Tyne

 

25th-31st

Tyne

 

 

 

Tenth Cruiser Squadron

 

 

 

24. HMS SHEFFIELD (Flag of Rear Admiral Commanding Tenth Cruiser Squadron

 

16th-20th

Scapa

 

20th

Left Scapa with JAMAICA for the Clyde for combined operations exercises

 

21st

Arrived Clyde

 

24th

Left Clyde for Belfast to embark military personnel for Operation TORCH, arriving p.m.

 

27th

Left Belfast to join convoy K M F 1 for Operation TORCH

 

 

 

25. HMS KENYA

 

16th-31st

Tyne, refitting

 

 

 

26. HMS NIGERIA

 

16th

Gibraltar completing temporary action damage repairs

 

17th

Left Gibraltar for Charlestown, U.S.A. for permanent repairs

 

22nd

Arrived Charlestown, U.S.A. – taken in hand for refit and permanent repairs

 

 

 

27. HMS JAMAICA

 

16th-20th

Scapa

 

20th

Left Scapa with SHEFFIELD for the Clyde for combined operations exercises

 

21st

Arrived Clyde

 

27th

Left Clyde with ARGUS, DASHER, DELHI, and four destroyers for Gibraltar for Operation TORCH

 

 

 

28. HMS BERMUDA

 

16th

Arrived Clyde from Scapa for repairs

 

24th

Left Clyde for Plymouth

 

25th

Arrived Plymouth

 

26th

Left Plymouth for Gibraltar for Operation TORCH

 

 

 

29. HMS SCYLLA

 

16th-21st

Scapa

 

21st

Left Scapa for Rosyth

 

22nd

Arrived Rosyth

 

24th

Left Rosyth for Scapa

 

25th

Scapa, sailing p.m. for Plymouth

 

27th

Arrived Plymouth

 

29th

Left Plymouth with OPPORTUNE for Gibraltar and Operation TORCH

 

 

 

30. HMS ARGONAUT

 

16th

Left Seidisfiord with INTREPID and OBDURATE for Spitzbergen and Kola Inlet (Operation E Z)

 

16th-27th

Operation E Z (see para. 39)

 

27th

Arrived Scapa

 

30th

Left Scapa with Force H for Operation TORCH

 

 

 

Attached Cruiser

 

 

 

31. HMS GLASGOW

 

17th

Left Portsmouth for Scapa to work up on completion of refit

 

19th

Arrived Scapa

 

19th-31st

Scapa, working up

 

 

 

Attached Fast Minelayer

 

 

 

32. HMS WELSHMAN

 

18th

Left Rosyth for Scapa to work up on completion of refit, arriving p.m

 

18th-27th

Scapa, working up

 

27th

Left Scapa for Port Z A

 

28th

Arrived Port Z A, sailing p.m. for Plymouth

 

30th

Arrived Plymouth for Gibraltar for Operation TORCH

  

 

33. Destroyers

 

Eighth Destroyer Flotilla

ICARUS completed her refit in the Humber on 19th

 

Seventeenth Destroyer Flotilla

ORWELL arrived Scapa on 19th to work up and join the 17th D.F.

OBEDIENT arrived Scapa on 31st to work up and join the 17th D.F.

 

 

34. Ships attached for working up

Cruiser

GLASGOW

Fleet Destroyers

 

REDOUBT, QUICKMATCH, QUILLIAM, VESPER, ISAAC SWEERS, PORCUPINE

HUNT class destroyers

MELBREAK, HAYDON, LIMBOURNE, TANATSIDE, PENYLAN, HOLCOMBE, FARNDALE

Fast Minelayer

WELSHMAN

 

35. Ships attached for special duties      

(a). for duty with P Q and Q P convoys

A/A Ship

ULSTER QUEEN

Corvettes

BERGAMOT, BLUEBELL, BRYONY, CAMELLIA

A/S trawlers

CAPE ARGONA, CAPE MARIATO, DANEMAN, ST KENAN

 

 

(b). For Operation TORCH

Aircraft carriers

FORMIDABLE, ARGUS

Destroyers

PENN, PANTHER, LOOKOUT

 

 

(c). For refits and repairs

Battleship

MALAYA

Aircraft Carrier

INDOMITABLE

 

36. Changes of Flag

 

The Flag of the Commander in Chief was transferred from the DUNLUCE CASTLE to the KING GEORGE V on 31st

 

The Flag of Vice Admiral, Second in Command, Home Fleet, was transferred from the KING GEORGE V to the ANSON on 31st

 

The Flag of Flag Officer Commanding Force H was transferred from the MALAY to the DUKE OF YORK on 17th

 

 

37. Patrols BLACK and WHITE  

 

There were no Home Fleet ships, other than those on passage, on patrol on patrol between Iceland and the Faroes (Patrol BLACK) or in the Denmark Straits (Patrol WHITE) during this period

 

 

38. Operation E Y

 

The search for moored mines in the Seidisfiord area continued throughout the period, night patrols being instituted to guard against the earlier suspected sabotage of the dan buoys. BOOTLE joined the 15th Flotilla on 22nd with stores and minesweeping equipment and BEAUMARIS escorted by LLANDUDNO rejoined the same day after the former’s propeller had been cleared by divers at Akureyri. Enemy aircraft continued to shadow the minesweepers during this operation.

 

The operation was completed by the end of the month when the channel had been widened to 2 miles and on 1st November the 15th M/S Flotilla sailed for Hvalfiord to assist the local minesweeping force to sweep for suspected mines in the Rekjanes passage.

 

 

39. Operation E Z

 

This operation, the object of which was to take special stores to Spitzbergen and Kola Inlet and bring back survivors and R.A.F. personnel from North Russia, was completed successfully and without incident by the ARGONAUT and the destroyers INTREPID and OBDURATE. There was a total delay of 24 hours over the whole operation due to bad weather encountered in the early stages.

 

Having embarked the stores and personnel in ARGONAUT at Rosyth, the force sailed from Seidisfiord on 16th being swept out of the port by the 15th M/S Flotilla. Heavy weather on passage to Spitzbergen delayed their arrived until late on 18th. Disembarkation of stores from ARGONAUT was completed before dark on 19th while the destroyers maintained an A/S patrol at the mouth of the fiord. The force then sailed for kola Inlet and arrived on 22nd.

 

The disembarkation of stores and embarkation of survivors and R.A.F. personnel at Kola Inlet proceeded very smoothly and the force was able to sail early on 23rd after being there only ten hours. On the return passage, the force was shadowed on two occasions by enemy aircraft before arriving at Seidisfiord on 26th. Sailing independently from Seidisfiord the same day, ARGONAUT arrived Scapa on 27th and the two destroyers early on 28th.

 

 

40. Operation S E

 

MIDDLETON, LEDBURY, and CHIDDINGFOLD together with an oiler arrived Sullom Voe on 29th to carry out an A/S offensive operation in the area, to the eastward of the Rona – Iceland mine barrier, working in close cooperation with Coastal Command aircraft including those on Flora patrols. To ensure proper cooperation between the destroyers and aircraft, the Operation was controlled by the Commander in Chief, Rosyth

 

Extra FLORA patrols were established for this operation and the three destroyers left Lerwick for the first patrol on 31st.

 

 

41. Operation FB

 

In view of the large number of Home Fleet ships withdrawn for Operation TORCH, it proved impossible to run P Q 19 as a normal heavily escorted convoy. Instead it was decided to sail ten ships independently from Reykjavik to North Russia and ten ships independently from Beyslushaya to Iceland at approximately 100 mile intervals; following up these sailings with Q P 15 about 11th November. An account of these operations will be included in the Commander in Chief, Home Fleet’s War Diary for the Period 1st-15th November.

 

 

42. Operation TRAIN

 

As a result of increased Axis air attacks on Malta during the middle of the month an urgent requirement arose for Spitfires in Malta before the commencement of Operation TORCH. It was there decided that FURIOUS, who was in any case taking part in the later operation, should carry out the Operation of ferrying the Spitfires to Malta.

 

After embarking the aircraft in the Clyde she was sailed on 20th escorted by MARNE, ESCAPADE, and ISAAC SWEERS for Gibraltar, arriving there after an uneventful passage on 25th. The Force sailed from Gibraltar the following day and successfully flew off all Spitfires to Malta on 28th. FURIOUS and the three destroyers arrived back to Gibraltar on 30th where they remained – FURIOUS and ISAAC SWEERS for Operation TORCH, ESCAPADE and MARNE for escort duty before returning to the United Kingdom

 

 

43. Operation TORCH

 

A large number of Home Fleet ships were lent to this operation – the Allied attack on French North Africa. Most of the month was spent by these ships working up for the operation, carrying out combined operations exercises, bombardment practices, and flying training for the aircraft carriers. By the end of the month, all units from the Home Fleet had left the U.K. for the Operation

 

The following tables show the progress of the Operation:

Ship

Sailed

Date

Sailed in company with/for

DUKE OF YORK

Scapa

30th

with Force H to Gibraltar

NELSON

Scapa

30th

with Force H to Gibraltar

RODNEY

Scapa

23rd

with three destroyers independently to Gibraltar

RENOWN

Scapa

30th

with Force H to Gibraltar

VICTORIOUS

Clyde

30th

with Force H to Gibraltar

FURIOUS

Clyde

20th

with 3 destroyers for Operation TRAIN

FORMIDABLE

Clyde

30th

with Force H to Gibraltar

ARGUS

Clyde

27th

with DASHER, DELHI, JAMAICA, and four destroyers for Gibraltar*

AVENGER

Clyde

22nd

with convoy K M S 1

BITER

Clyde

26th

with convoy K M F 1

DASHER

Clyde

27th

with ARGUS, DELHI, JAMAICA, and four destroyers for Gibraltar

WELSHMAN

Plymouth

1 Nov

independently for Gibraltar

NORFOLK

Scapa

31st

for Force Q

CUMBERLAND

Scapa

31st

for Force Q

SHEFFIELD

Belfast

27th

with K M F 1

BERMUDA

Plymouth

26th

independently for Gibraltar

JAMAICA

Clyde

27th

with ARGUS, DASHER, DELHI, and four destroyers for Gibraltar

SCYLLA

Plymouth

29th

with OPPORTUNE for Gibraltar

ARGONAUT

Scapa

30th

with Force H for Gibraltar

MILNE

Scapa

30th

with Force H for Gibraltar

MARTIN

Scapa 

30th

with Force H for Gibraltar

METEOR

Scapa

30th

with Force H for Gibraltar

ESKIMO

Scapa

30th

with Force H for Gibraltar

TARTAR

Scapa 

30th

with Force H for Gibraltar

ASHANTI

Scapa

30th

with Force H for Gibraltar

ONSLOW

Londonderry

29th

with W S 24 and for Force Q

OFFA

Londonderry

29th

with W S 24 and for Force Q

ORIBI

Londonderry

29th

with W S 24 and for Force Q

OPPORTUNE

Plymouth

29th

with SCYLLA for Gibraltar

WHEATLAND

Milford Haven

27th

escorting A/A ships for Gibraltar**

LAMERTON

Milford Haven

27th

escorting A/A ships for Gibraltar

WILTON

Milford Haven

27th

escorting A/A ships for Gibraltar

PENN

Scapa

23rd

with RODNEY for Gibraltar

PANTHER

Scapa

23rd

with RODNEY for Gibraltar

LOOKOUT

Scapa

23rd

with RODNEY for Gibraltar

 

(n.b. * arrived at Gibraltar: BICESTER, ZETLAND, and FARNDALE

(n.b. ** the three anti aircraft ships were PALOMARES, POZARICA, and TYNWALD)

(n.b. BLYSKAWICA, BRAMHAM, and COWDRAY left Londonderry 20 October for Gibraltar)

 


 

 

NOVEMBER 1942

 

Part I of the Commander in Chief, Home Fleet’s War Diary

For the period 1st to 16th November 1942, inclusive

 

Sunday 1st November

 

UREDD arrived Dundee from Lerwick

WELSHMAN left Plymouth for Gibraltar for Operation TORCH

SCYLLA and OPPORTUNE arrived Gibraltar from Plymouth for Operation TORCH

15th M/S Flotilla (FRASERBURGH, LYME REGIS, BEAUMARIS, WORTHING, LLANDUDNO, BOOTLE, and ARDROSSAN) left Seidisfiord for Hvalfiord on completion of Operation E Y, for sweep of the Rekjanes Passage.

Operation F.B. - First westbound rescue trawler left North Russia for patrol.

7th eastbound merchant ship left Reykjavik for North Russia

4th eastbound rescue trawler left Reykjavik for patrol

8th eastbound merchant ship left Reykjavik for North Russia

Enemy aircraft carried out a reconnaissance over Iceland

Operation S N 3 F completed – 1st M.L. Flotilla returned to Port Z A

 

Monday 2nd November

 

Rear Admiral (m) in SOUTHERN PRINCE, with PORT QUEBEC, MENESTHEUS, AGAMEMNON, ADVENTURE, CASTLETON, LANCASTER, BRIGHTON, and WELLS arrived Port Z A from Operation S N 3 F.

Operation S E – CHIDDINGFOLD, MIDDLETON, and LEDBURY arrived Sullom Voe from 1st patrol

Operation F B – 2nd Westbound rescue trawler left Archangel for patrol.

9th eastbound merchant ship left Reykjavik for North Russia

1st eastbound rescue trawler returned to Reykjavik after sustaining damage while attacking a U boat

3rd westbound merchant ship left Bycluskya Bay for Reykjavik

10th eastbound merchant ship left Reykjavik for North Russia

JAMAICA arrived Gibraltar from the Clyde for Operation TORCH

15th M/S Flotilla arrived Hvalfiord from Seidisfiord for sweep of Reykjanes passages.

FORESTER left Scapa for Hvalfiord

 

Tuesday 3rd November

 

BELFAST recommissioned for trials and service at Devonport under the command of Captain F.R. Parham, R.N.      

Operation F.B. 11th eastbound ship left Reykjavik for North Russia

HOWE left Scapa for Port H H Z escorted by 3 destroyers, arriving p.m. for Operation E W. Destroyers returned to Scapa

 

Wednesday 4th November

 

AGAMEMNON and MENESTHEUS escorted by BRIGHTON and CASTLETON left Port Z A for Scapa, arriving p.m. BRIGHTON and CASTLETON returned to Port Z A

Operation F B – 12th eastbound merchant ship left Reykjavik for North Russia

3rd westbound rescue trawler left Archangel for patrol

4th westbound merchant ship left Bycluskya Bay for Reykjavik

HARRIER and GLEANER left Archangel for Iokanka for rescue work

FORESTER arrived Hvalfiord from Scapa

MUSKETEER left Hvalfiord for Scapa

 

Thursday 5th November

 

Operation S E – CHIDDINGFOLD, LEDBURY, and MIDDLETON left Sullom Voe for 2nd patrol.

ONSLAUGHT docked for minor repairs at Scapa

BRIGHTON and CASTLETON arrived Port ZA from Scapa from escort of MENESTHEUS and AGAMEMNON.

Operation F B – HARRIER and GLEANER arrived Iokanka from Archangel for routine patrol.

TROOPER, P 312, and P 216 left the Clyde for Port H A Z

FAULKNOR, ECHO, IMPULSIVE left Scapa for Seidisfiord for North Russia and escort of Q P 15

ROCKWOOD left Clyde for Scapa to work up

 

Friday 6th November

 

Operation F B – 6th eastbound merchant ship ashore at South Cape, Spitzbergen

11th and 12th eastbound merchant ships returned to Reykjavik

Operation S E – CHIDDINGFOLD, LEDBURY, and MIDDLETON arrived Sullom Voe from 2nd Patrol

MUSKETEER arrived Scapa from Hvalfiord

ROCKWOOD arrived Scapa from the Clyde to work up

TROOPER, P 312, and P 216 arrived Port H A Z from the Clyde. P 312 and P 216 proceeding to patrol off the Norwegian coast in zone K 6

Enemy aircraft carried out a reconnaissance over the Shetlands

Operation S E – CHIDDINGFOLD, LEDBURY, and MIDDLETON left Sullom Voe for 3rd Patrol

LONDON left Hvalfiord for Scapa

 

Saturday 7th November

 

Operation F B – 1st and 2nd eastbound merchant ships arrived Archangel for Reykjavik

1st westbound merchant ship arrived Akureyri from Bycluskya Bay

Operation S E – OAKLEY left Scapa for Sullom Voe, arriving p.m. to relieve CHIDDINGFOLD

CHIDDINGFOLD, MIDDLETON, and LEDBURY arrived Sullom Voe from 3rd patrol

KENT left Liverpool for Scapa to work up on completion of refit

FAULKNOR, ECHO, and IMPULSIVE arrived Seidisfiord from Scapa for North Russia and escort of Q P 15

SUFFOLK left Scapa for Hvalfiord

RACEHORSE left Tobermory for Scapa to continue to work up

 

Sunday 8th November

 

MUSKETEER taken in hand for boiler cleaning and repairs at Scapa

RACEHORSE arrived Scapa from Tobermory to continue working up

AJAX escorted by MONTROSE and HOLDERNESS left Sheerness for Scapa to work up on completion of refit

Operation F B – 3rd eastbound merchant ship arrived Archangel from Reykjavik

KENT arrived Scapa from Liverpool to work up on completion of refit

LONDON arrived Scapa from Hvalfiord

Operation S E – CHIDDINGFOLD, on relief by OAKLEY, left Sullom Voe for Aberdeen for boiler cleaning

MENESTHEUS and AGAMEMNON escorted by VESPER left Scapa for Sheerness.

 

Monday 9th November

 

SUFFOLK arrived Hvalfiord from Scapa

HOLDERNESS transferred from escort of AJAX to escort of AGAMEMNON and MENESTHEUS to return to Sheerness

CHIDDINGFOLD arrived Aberdeen from Sullom Voe for boiler cleaning on relief by OAKLEY in Operation S E

Enemy aircraft carried out a reconnaissance of Seidisfiord

ONSLAUGHT undocked at Scapa on completion of minor repairs

AJAX escorted by MONTROSE arrived Scapa from Sheerness to work up, MONTROSE returning p.m. to Harwich.

JUNON and UREDD left Dundee for Lerwick for patrol off the Norwegian coast

Operation F D – 2nd westbound merchant ship arrived Reykjavik from Bycluskya Bay.

 

Tuesday 10th November

 

MARTIN blew up and sunk in 37-53N, 3-57E during Operation TORCH

INTREPID docked for minor repairs at Scapa, completing p.m.

INGLEFIELD left the Humber for Scapa on completion of refit

AGAMEMNON and MENESTHEUS escorted by VESPER and HOLDERNESS arrived Sheerness from Scapa

Operation F B – TUNA left patrol for Lerwick

UREDD and JUNON arrived Lerwick from Dundee

MONTROSE arrived Harwich from Scapa from escort of AJAX

LOYAL left Clyde for Scapa to work up

Operation F B – 2nd eastbound rescue trawler returned to Reykjavik from patrol.

INTREPID and ICARUS left Scapa for Seidisfiord for North Russia and for escort of Q P 15

 

Wednesday 11th November

 

Operation F B – 3rd westbound merchant ship arrived Akureyri from Bycluskya Bay

7th eastbound merchant ship arrived Archangel from Reykjavik

ADVENTURE left Port Z A for Operation S N 17 A

LOYAL arrived Scapa from the Clyde to work up

INGLEFIELD arrived Scapa from Hvalfiord on completion of refit

UREDD left Lerwick for patrol off the Norwegian coast during Q P 15

Operation S E – OAKLEY, MIDDLETON, and LEDBURY escorting one oiler left Sullom Voe for Scapa on completion of the operation.

 

Thursday 12th November

 

MARNE torpedoed and damaged in 35-50N, 9-57W during Operation TORCH

Operation S N 17 A completed by ADVENTURE who returned to Port Z A

INTREPID and ICARUS arrived Seidisfiord from Scapa

MUSKETEER completed boiler cleaning and repairs at Scapa

Operation F B – O 15 left patrol for Lerwick

MIDDLETON and LEDBURY arrived Scapa from Sullom Voe

Operation F B – 3rd eastbound rescue trawler arrived Akureyri from patrol with survivors of 9th eastbound merchant ship.

MATCHLESS left Tyne for Scapa to work up on completion of refit and action damage repairs

OAKLEY escorting one oiler arrived Scapa from Sullom Voe

EASTON commissioned for trials and service at Southampton

GOATHLAND left Clyde for Tobermory to work up

INTREPID, ICARUS, FAULKNOR, ECHO, and IMPULSIVE left Seidisfiord for Kola for escort of Q P 15

 

Friday 13th November

 

LIMBOURNE, HAYDON, and MELBREAK left Scapa for Port H A Z arriving a.m. Left p.m. as escort for HOWE, arriving Scapa with HOWE later the same day.

JUNON left Lerwick for patrol off the Norwegian coast during Q P 15 and Operation UPSILON

GOATHLAND arrived Tobermory from the Clyde to work up

MATCHLESS arrived Scapa from the Tyne to work up

ADVENTURE arrived Port Z A from Operation S N 17 A

Four ships of the 15th M/S Flotilla (LYME REGIS, ARDROSSAN, WORTHING, and LLANDUDNO) left Hvalfiord for the Clyde for boiler cleaning and alterations.

REDOUBT left Scapa for the Clyde for boiler cleaning and alterations.

 

Saturday 14th November

 

REDOUBT arrived Clyde from Scapa

SHEFFIELD and JAMAICA left Gibraltar from Operation TORCH for the United Kingdom, sweeping for blockade runners to and from French ports while on passage.

QUICKMATCH left Scapa for the Clyde for boiler cleaning

Operation F B – 4th eastbound rescue trawler arrived Reykjavik from patrol with survivors from 9th eastbound merchant ship

Operation F B – 4th westbound ship left Bycluskya Bay for Reykjavik

ONSLAUGHT and OBDURATE left Scapa for Seidisfiord for cruiser covering force for Q P 15

BODO left Aberdeen for Operation CARHAMPTON (see para. 39)

AVENGER torpedoed and sunk in homeward bound convoy from Operation TORCH.

 

Sunday 15th November

 

Flag of Rear Admiral Commanding, Tenth Cruiser Squadron transferred from SHEFFIELD to BERMUDA

QUICKMATCH arrived Clyde from Scapa for boiler cleaning

WENSLEYDALE left Tobermory for Scapa to continue working up

Flag of Flag Officer Commanding, Force H transferred from DUKE OF YORK to NELSON

 

 

 

Part II of the Commander in Chief, Home Fleet’s War Diary

For the period 1st - 16th November 1942, inclusive

 

Second Battle Squadron

 

 

 

1. HMS KING GEORGE V (Flag of Commander in Chief Home Fleet.

 

1st-15th

Scapa

 

 

 

2. HMS ANSON (Flag of Vice Admiral, Second in Command, Home Fleet)

 

1st-15th

Scapa

 

 

 

3. HMS DUKE OF YORK

 

1st-15th

Detached with Force H for Operation TORCH

 

 

 

4. HMS HOWE

 

1st-3rd

Scapa

 

3rd

Left Scapa for Port H H Z for Operation E W (see para. 37) arriving p.m.

 

13th

Left Port H H Z for Scapa on completion of Operation E W, arriving p.m.

 

 

 

Attached Battleships

 

 

 

5. HMS NELSON (FLAG OF FLAG OFFICER COMMANDING FORCE H)

 

1st-15th

With Force H for Operation TORCH.

 

 

 

6. HMS RODNEY

 

1st-15th

With Force H for Operation TORCH.

 

 

 

7. HMS MALAYA

 

1st-15th

Rosyth, refitting

Battlecruiser

 

 

 

8. HMS RENOWN

 

1st-15th

With Force H for Operation TORCH.

 

 

 

Aircraft Carriers

 

 

 

9. HMS VICTORIOUS (Flag of Rear Admiral, Aircraft Carriers)

 

1st-15th

Detached for Operation TORCH.

 

 

 

10. HMS FURIOUS

 

1st-15th

Detached for Operation TORCH.

 

 

 

11. HMS BITER

 

1st-15th

Detached for Operation TORCH.

 

 

 

12. HMS AVENGER

 

1st-14th

Detached for Operation TORCH

 

14th

Torpedoed and sunk in homeward bound convoy from Operation TORCH

 

 

 

Aircraft Carriers temporarily attached to the Home Fleet

 

 

 

13. HMS FORMIDABLE

 

1st-15th

With Force H for Operation TORCH

 

 

 

14. HMS INDOMITABLE

 

1st-15th

Liverpool refitting and repairing action damage

 

 

 

15. HMS ARGUS

 

1st-15th

Detached for Operation TORCH

 

 

 

First Cruiser Squadron

 

 

 

16. HMS LONDON (Flag of Rear Admiral Commanding First Cruiser Squadron)

 

1st-6th

Hvalfiord

 

6th

Left Hvalfiord for Scapa

 

8th

Arrived Scapa

 

8th-15th

Scapa

 

 

 

17. HMS NORFOLK

 

1st-15th

Detached with Force Q on Operation TORCH

 

 

 

18. HMS SUFFOLK

 

1st-7th

Scapa

 

7th

Left Scapa for Hvalfiord

 

9th

Arrived Hvalfiord

 

9th-15th

Hvalfiord

 

 

 

19. HMS BERWICK

 

1st-15th

Hvalfiord

 

 

 

20. HMS CUMBERLAND

 

1st-15th

Detached with Force Q on Operation TORCH

 

 

 

21. HMS KENT

 

1st-7th

Liverpool, refitting

 

7th

Left Liverpool for Scapa on completion of refit

 

8th

Arrived Scapa

 

8th-15th

Scapa, working up

 

 

 

22. HMS SUSSEX

 

1st-15th

Tyne for repairs to boilers and 8 armament

 

 

 

Tenth Cruiser Squadron

 

 

 

23. HMS SHEFFIELD (Flag of Rear Admiral Commanding Tenth Cruiser Squadron

 

1st-15th

Detached on Operation TORCH

 

 

 

24. HMS NIGERIA

 

1st-15th

Charleston, U.S.A., refitting and repairing action damage

 

 

 

25. HMS KENYA

 

1st-15th

Tyne, refitting and action damage repairs

 

 

 

26. HMS JAMAICA

 

1st-15th

Detached on Operation TORCH

 

 

 

27. HMS BERMUDA

 

1st-15th

Detached on Operation TORCH

 

 

 

28. HMS SCYLLA

 

1st-15th

Detached on Operation TORCH

 

 

 

29. HMS ARGONAUT

 

1st-15th

Detached on Operation TORCH

 

 

 

Cruisers Temporarily attached to the Home Fleet

 

 

 

30. HMS ARGONAUT

 

1st-15th

Scapa, working up

 

 

 

31. HMS AJAX

 

8th

Left Sheerness for Scapa on completion of refit

 

9th

Arrived Scapa

 

9th-15th

Scapa, working up

 

32. Destroyers

 

Third Destroyer Flotilla

MATCHLESS returned to Scapa on 13th after refit and repairs to action damage in the Tyne

MARTIN blew up and sank (presumably torpedoed by U boat) in 37-53N, 3-57E during Operation TORCH on 10th.

MARNE torpedoed in 35-50N, 9-57W during Operation TORCH. Ship was badly damaged and out of action

Sixth Destroyer Flotilla

INGLEFIELD returned to Scapa on 11th on completion of refit in the Humber

 

33. Ships temporarily attached to and lent from the Home Fleet

(a). Attached for working up

Cruisers

GLASGOW, AJAX

Fleet Destroyers

REDOUBT, RACEHORSE, QUICKMATCH, QUILLIAM, LOYAL, VESPER, ISAAC SWEERS

HUNT class destroyers

MELBREAK, HAYDON, LIMBOURNE, TANATSIDE, ROCKWOOD

 

(b). Attached while refitting

Battleship

MALAYA

Aircraft Carrier

INDOMITABLE

 

 

(c). Attached for Operation TORCH

Battleships

NELSON, RODNEY

Aircraft carriers

FORMIDABLE, ARGUS

Cruisers

SCYLLA, ARGONAUT

 

 

(d). Detached for Operation TORCH

Battleship

DUKE OF YORK

Aircraft carriers

VICTORIOUS, FURIOUS, AVENGER, BITER

Cruisers

NORFOLK, CUMBERLAND, SHEFFIELD, JAMAICA, BERMUDA

Fleet destroyers

MILNE, MARTIN, METEOR, ASHANTI, TARTAR, ESKIMO, ESCAPADE, MARNE, ISAAC SWEERS, ONSLOW, OFFA, ORIBI, OPPORTUNE, WHEATLAND, LAMERTON, WILTON

 

34. Changes of Flag

 

The flag of the Rear Admiral Commanding, 10th Cruiser Squadron from SHEFFIELD to BERMUDA on 15th.

 

The Flag of the Flag Officer Commanding Force H was transferred from DUKE OF YORK to NELSON on 15th

 

 

35. Patrols BLACK and WHITE  

 

There were no Home Fleet ships, other than those on passage, on patrol in the Demark Strait (Patrol WHITE) or between Iceland and the Faroes (Patrol BLACK) during the period

 

 

36. Operation S E

 

This operation, controlled by Commander in Chief, Rosyth, consisted of anti U boat patrols by destroyers based on Sullom Voe, and Coastal Command aircraft. An oiler was based at Sullom Voe during the operations and the destroyers carried out three patrols without result in the first week of November. The force was composed of CHIDDINGFOLD (Senior Officer), MIDDLETON, and LEDBURY. CHIDDINGFOLD being relieved (as Senior Officer) by OAKLEY on 7th.

 

On 11th it became necessary to recall the three destroyers and the operation was abandoned. They arrived back at Scapa with the oiler WAR SUDRA on the following day.

 

 

37. Operation E W

 

The HOWE was detached to Port H H Z between 3rd and 13th for special trials. She returned to Scapa on completion.

 

 

38. Operation TORCH

 

All the Home Fleet ships shown in paragraph 33 (d) remained detached on Operation TORCH throughout the period. The AVENGER was sunk in a homeward bound convoy on 14th after a U boat attack. The MARTIN blew up and sank while escorting Force H in the Mediterranean on 10th. The MARNE was torpedoed while escorting the HECLA west of the Straits of Gibraltar on 12th, but arrived at Gibraltar in tow.

 

 

39. Operation V P

 

The operations by MTBs, under the command of Admiral Commanding, Orkneys and Shetlands, against enemy shipping on the Norwegian Coast had been planned to commence during the first half of November. The first sortie, however, was held up by bad weather and details of this and later sorties will now be included in the War Diary for the last half of November.

 

 

40. Convoy Q P 15

 

It was decided to run Q P 15 during the second half of November. Planning proceeded accordingly for a convoy of 30 merchant ships escorted by war ships already in North Russia (one A/A ship and four corvettes), reinforced by five of the minesweepers operating from Archangel and Kola Inlet.

 

The destroyer escort consisted of FAULKNOR, ECHO, and IMPULSIVE who arrived Seidisfiord on 7th from Scapa where they were joined on 12th by INTREPID and ICARUS. All five destroyers then sailed for Kola Inlet, arriving there on 16th to await the sailing of Q P 15.

 

A second force of five destroyers (MUSKETEER, OAKLEY, ORWELL, MIDDLETON, and LEDBURY) left Scapa on 17th for Seidisfiord to relieve the first force during the passage of the convoy.

A cruiser covering force, composed of SUFFOLK and FORESTER from Hvalfiord and LONDON, ONSLAUGHT, and OBDURATE from Scapa, assembled at Seidisfiord on 17th and 18th November

The convoy was expected to leave Archangel on 17th.

 

 

41. Operation F B

 

The sailing of eastbound and westbound independently routed merchant ships between Iceland and North Russia commenced during the first half of November. A/S trawlers were sailed from Reykjavik and Archangel to act as rescue ships during the operation and they were augmented by two submarines from patrol off the Norwegian coast.

 

The following tables show the progress of the Operation:

Eastbound from Iceland

Sailed

Arrived, sunk, or returned

1. RICHARD H. ALVERY

29 Oct

arrived 7 Nov

2. EMPIRE GALLIARD

29 Oct

arrived 7 Nov

3. JOHN WALKER

30 Oct

arrived 8 Nov

4. EMPIRE GILBERT

30 Oct

missing, believed sunk

5. JOHN H. LATRONE

31 Oct

returned to Reykjavik 2 Nov

6. CHUMLEIGH

31 Oct

wrecked near South Cape, Spitzbergen 6 Nov

7. HUGH WILLIAMSON

1 Nov

arrived 11 November

8. EMPIRE SKY

1 Nov

missing, believed sunk

9. EMPIRE SCOTT

2 Nov

arrived 18 November

10. WILLIAM CLARK

2 Nov

missing, believed sunk

11. DALDORCH

3 Nov

returned to Reykjavik on 6 Nov

12. BRIARWOOD

4 Nov

returned to Reykjavik on 6 Nov

 

 

 

Additional sailing of Soviet Union Ship

3A. DEKABRIST

30 Oct

believed sunk

 

 

 

Westbound from Bycluskya Bay

Sailed

Arrived or sunk

1. MUSSOVICT

29 Oct

arrived 7 Nov

2. AZERBAIJAN

31 Oct

arrived 9 Nov

3. CHERNYSHEVSKY

2 Nov

arrived 11 Nov

4. DOMBASS

4 Nov

believed sunk

5. KONSOMOLETZ

14 Nov

arrived 24 Nov

6. DVINA

24 Nov

arrived 5 December

7. MIRONICH

25 Nov

arrived 5 December

8. YELNYA

25 Nov

arrived 5 December

 

 

 

Rescue ships

(a). Two submarines were on patrol between 30 October and 17 November

(b). Four trawlers from Reykjavik were on patrol between 29 October and 14 November

(c). Three trawlers from Archangel were on patrol between 1 November and 6 November.

 

 

Part I of the Commander in Chief, Home Fleet’s War Diary

For the period 16th November to 30th November 1942, inclusive

 

Monday 16th November

 

SUFFOLK and FORESTER left Hvalfiord for Seidisfiord for cruiser covering force with Q P 15

FAULKNOR, IMPULSIVE, ECHO, INTREPID, and ICARUS arrived Kola Inlet from Seidisfiord for Q P 15

LONDON left Scapa for Seidisfiord for cruiser covering force with Q P 15

FURY left Humber for Scapa on completion of refit

WENSLEYDALE arrived Scapa from Tobermory to continue working up

TUNA arrived Lerwick from patrol off Norwegian coast.

 

Tuesday 17th November

 

SUFFOLK and FORESTER arrived Seidisfiord from Hvalfiord for cruiser covering force with Q P 15

Q P 15 (28 ships) sailed from Archangel for Reykjavik (MEANTLART grounded and sailed after refloating; IRONCLAD failed to sail). See para 38.

NORFOLK and CUMBERLAND arrived Scapa from Gibraltar from Operation TORCH

ONSLOW, OFFA, and ORIBI arrived Clyde from Operation TORCH; ONSLOW and OFFA sailed to Scapa. ORIBI taken in hand for boiler cleaning

ONSLAUGHT and OBDURATE arrived Seidisfiord for cruiser covering force with Q P 15

MUSKETEER, OAKLEY, ORWELL, LEDBURY, and MIDDLETON left Scapa for Seidisfiord for escort of Q P 15

FURY arrived Scapa from Humber on completion of refit

MELBREAK left Scapa on completion of working up to join Plymouth Command

ABDIEL left Tyne for Scapa to work up on completion of repairs

4 ships of 15th M/S Flotilla (LYME REGIS, WORTHING, ARDROSSAN, and LLANDUDNO) arrived Liverpool from Hvalfiord

TUNA left Lerwick for Holy Loch.

O 15 arrived Lerwick from patrol during Operation F B and sailed p.m. for Dundee

 

Wednesday 18th November

 

LONDON arrived Seidisfiord from Scapa for cruiser covering force with Q P 15

Operation F B – 10th eastbound merchant ship arrived Kola Inlet.

VICTORIOUS (R.A.A.) , DUKE OF YORK, WESTCOTT, MALCOLM, GLAISDALE, BULLDOG, BEAGLE, OPPORTUNE sailed from Gibraltar for United Kingdom from Operation TORCH (Force A)

ONSLOW and OFFA arrived Scapa from the Clyde

LIGHTNING left Sheerness for Scapa to work up

ABDIEL arrived Scapa from Tyne to work up

O 15 arrived Dundee from Lerwick.

 

Thursday 19th November

 

MUSKETEER, OAKLEY, ORWELL, LEDBURY, and MIDDLETON arrived Seidisfiord from Scapa for escort of Q P 15

FAULKNOR, IMPULSIVE, ECHO, INTREPID, and ICARUS sailed from Kola Inlet to join Q P 15

Cruiser Covering Force for Q P 15 (LONDON, SUFFOLK, ONSLAUGHT, OBDURATE, and FORESTER) sailed from Seidisfiord.

BLANKNEY sailed for Scapa from Humber on completion of refit

OFFA sailed from Scapa for Hull to refit

MELBREAK arrived Plymouth from Scapa to join Plymouth Command

RAIDER left Liverpool for Tobermory to work up

TUNA arrived Greenock from Lerwick

ARGUS and BITER arrived Clyde from escort of M K F 1 and Operation TORCH

DASHER arrived Liverpool from Operation TORCH and escort of M K F 1

 

Friday 20th November

 

SHEFFIELD and JAMAICA arrived Scapa from Gibraltar from Operation TORCH

MATCHLESS and LIMBOURNE sailed from Scapa to R/V with Force A

ECLIPSE sailed from Humber for Scapa on completion of refit

OFFA arrived Humber from Scapa for refit

BLANKNEY arrived Scapa from Humber

RAIDER arrived Tobermory from Liverpool to work up

NAMSOS sailed from Iceland for Spitzbergen with stores for GEARBOX

MUSKETEER, OAKLEY, ORWELL, LEDBURY, and MIDDLETON sailed from Seidisfiord to join Q P 15

GOATHLAND left Tobermory for Scapa to continue working up

FAULKNOR, IMPULSIVE, ECHO, INTREPID, and ICARUS from Kola Inlet joined Q P 15

One merchant ship left Bycluskya Bay to join Q P 15

 

Saturday 21st November

 

ECLIPSE arrived Scapa from Humber

LAFOREY sailed from Portsmouth for Scapa to work up

GOATHLAND arrived Scapa from Tobermory to continue working up

Russian local destroyer escort left Q P 15 and returned to Archangel

VICTORIOUS A/C depth charged and sank a U boat in 46-10N, 17-08W

 

Sunday 22nd November

 

Q P 15 scattered by continuous gale

 

Monday 23rd November

 

Rear Admiral Commanding, First Cruiser Squadron (Q P 15 cruiser covering force) detached FORESTER, ONSLAUGHT, and OBDURATE to Seidisfiord to fuel.

Force A (Rear Admiral (A) in VICTORIOUS, DUKE OF YORK, OPPORTUNE, MATCHLESS, and LIMBOURNE arrived Clyde from Operation TORCH. Remaining destroyer detached to Londonderry to refuel.

JAMAICA sailed from Scapa for Barrow for repairs and Arctic fittings.

ORIBI sailed from Clyde for Scapa from boiler cleaning

LAFOREY arrived Scapa from Portsmouth to work up

One merchant ship of Q P 15 torpedoed and sunk in 75-30N, 8-00E.

MUSKETEER, OAKLEY, ORWELL, LEDBURY, and MIDDLETON from Seidisfiord joined Q P 15

 

Tuesday 24th November

 

JAMAICA arrived Barrow from Scapa

ORIBI arrived Scapa from Clyde

TANATSIDE sailed from Scapa on completion of working up to join Plymouth Command

Operation F B – 5th westbound merchant ship arrived Akureyri from North Russia.

6th westbound merchant ship left Bycluskya for Iceland

 

Wednesday, 25th November

 

DUKE OF YORK, LIMBOURNE, OPPORTUNE, and MATCHLESS sailed from Clyde for Scapa.

NAMSOS arrived Spitzbergen with stores for GEARBOX

Operation F B – 7th and 8th westbound merchant ships sailed from Bycluskya Bay for Iceland

ULSTER QUEEN, ICARUS, BLUEBELL, and CAMELIA arrived at Seidisfiord from escort of Q P 15

FORESTER, OBDURATE, ONSLAUGHT detached by Rear Admiral Commanding, First Cruiser Squadron from cruiser covering force arrived at Seidisfiord. ONSLAUGHT sailed for Scapa p.m.

Flag of Rear Admiral C.H.J. Harcourt, CBE as Rear Admiral Commanding, Tenth Cruiser Squadron struck in BERMUDA

LONDON and SUFFOLK left patrol for Scapa and Hvalfiord, respectively

 

Thursday, 26th November

 

ANSON, screened by INGLEFIELD, FURY, and BLANKNEY sailed from Scapa for Rosyth to give leave. On arrival the three destroyers returned to Scapa arriving p.m.

DUKE OF YORK, LIMBOURNE, OPPORTUNE, MATCHLESS arrived at Scapa from the Clyde

Rear Admiral Commanding, First Cruiser Squadron in LONDON arrived at Scapa from cruiser covering force in Q P 15.

7 stragglers from Q P 15 arrived at Akureyri

TANATSIDE arrived Greenock from Scapa

QUADRANT sailed from the Tyne and arrived at Rosyth en route for Scapa to work up

G.S. MIAOULES left Tyne for Scapa to work up

RAIDER left Tobermory for Scapa to continue working up

FAULKNOR, ECHO, INTREPID, IMPULSIVE, LEDBURY, MUSKETEER, ORWELL, and MIDDLETON arrived Seidisfiord from Q P 15

Commodore’s section of convoy (9 ships proceeded to Loch Ewe).

FORESTER and IMPULSIVE left Seidisfiord to assist SALAMANDER with engine defects in 68-05N, 11-40W.

HALCYON arrived Seidisfiord

 

Friday 27th November

 

SUFFOLK arrived Hvalfiord from cruiser covering force of Q P 15

7 more ships of Q P 15 arrived at Akureyri

SHARPSHOOTER, damaged in collision with EMPIRE SNOW, at Seidisfiord, proceeded to Hvalfiord for repairs.

FURY left Scapa for Hvalfiord

ONSLAUGHT arrived Scapa from Q P 15 cruiser covering force

QUADRANT left Rosyth for Scapa arriving p.m. to work up

Operation V P ( MTBs 320 and 623 returned from patrol and claimed torpedo hits on two enemy merchant ships

OAKLEY and one merchant ship arrived Seidisfiord from Q P 15

INTERPID, ICARUS, LEDBURY, MIDDLETON, BLUEBELL, CAMELIA and one merchant ship left Seidisfiord to join Commodore’s section of Q P 15 and escort it to Loch Ewe.

BRITOMART, HAZARD, BERGAMOT, and BRYONY left the Commodore’s section of Q P 15 and arrived Seidisfiord to fuel.

ULSTER QUEEN left Seidisfiord and joined the Commodore’s Section of Q P 15

SHARPSHOOTER arrived Seidisfiord with one merchant ship from Q P 15

FORESTER and SALAMANDER arrived Seidisfiord

IMPULSIVE and OBDURATE established a patrol off Seidisfiord

 

Saturday 28th November

 

Q P 15 – 2 more ships arrived at Akureyri

MUSKETEER, ECHO, FORESTER, ORWELL, OAKLEY, BRITOMART, and HAZARD left Seidisfiord for escort of the Akureyri portion of Q P 15 (Q P 15M) to United Kingdom

RAIDER arrived Scapa from Tobermory to continue working up

G.S. MIAOULES arrived Scapa from Tyne to work up

SHARPSHOOTER ( Q P 15) arrived Hvalfiord for repairs from Seidisfiord

One merchant ship ex Q P 15 left Akureyri for Reykjavik

OBDURATE left patrol for Hvalfiord

IMPULSIVE left patrol for Seidisfiord, arriving a.m.

FAULKNOR left Seidisfiord for Scapa

 

Sunday 29th November

 

Q P 15 M (14 merchant ships) sailed from Akureyri for United Kingdom escorted by MUSKETEER, EHCO, FORESTER, OAKLEY, ORWELL, BRITOMART, and HAZARD. IMPULSIVE, BERGAMOT, BRYONY and two merchant ships joined off Seidisfiord

FAULKNOR (Captain (D) 8th Destroyer Flotilla) arrived at Scapa from Q P 15

FURY arrived Hvalfiord from Scapa

OBDURATE arrived Hvalfiord from patrol off Seidisfiord and Q P 15 cruiser covering force.

HALCYON and SALAMANDER left Iceland for Scapa

G.S. ADRIAS sailed from the Tyne for Scapa to work up

One merchant ship arrived Akureyri from Bycluskya Bay having sailed on 18th to meet Q P 15.

 

Monday, 30th November

 

The Commodore’s Part of Q P 15 (10 ships) arrived Loch Ewe

ICARUS, MIDDLETON, INTREPID arrived Scapa, LEDBURY and ULSTER QUEEN arrived Clyde from escort of Q P 15

ONSLAUGHT sailed from Scapa for Leith for refit, arriving p.m.

PENELOPE sailed from Portsmouth for Scapa to work up

G.S. ADRIAS arrived at Scapa from the Tyne to work up

SEAGULL sailed from Humber for Scapa on completion of refit

BERMUDA, escorting STRATHAIRD, left Gibraltar for United Kingdom

LEDBURY taken in hand in the Clyde for boiler cleaning

ORWELL and OAKLEY detached from escort of Q P 15 M to Scapa

Two merchant ships ex Q P 15 left Akureyri for Reykjavik

BLUEBELL and CAMELIA detached from Q P 15 to the Tyne and Cardiff, respectively.

 

 

 

Part II of the Commander in Chief, Home Fleet’s War Diary

For the period 16th November to 30th November 1942, inclusive

 

Second Battle Squadron

 

 

 

1. HMS KING GEORGE V (Flag of Commander in Chief Home Fleet.

 

16th-30th

Scapa

 

 

 

2. HMS ANSON (Flag of Vice Admiral, Second in Command, Home Fleet)

 

16th-26th

Scapa

 

26th

Left Scapa with 3 destroyers for Rosyth, arriving p.m.

 

26th-30th

Rosyth giving leave

 

 

 

3. HMS DUKE OF YORK

 

16th-18th

Detached with Force H

 

18th

Left Gibraltar with VICTORIOUS and six destroyers for Clyde

 

23rd

Arrived Clyde

 

25th

Left Clyde with 3 destroyers for Scapa

 

26th

Arrived Scapa

 

26th-30th

Scapa

 

 

 

4. HMS HOWE

 

16th-30th

Scapa

 

 

 

Attached Battleships

 

 

 

5. HMS NELSON (FLAG OF FLAG OFFICER COMMANDING FORCE H

 

16th-30th

Detached with Force H.

 

 

 

6. HMS RODNEY

 

16th-30th

Detached with Force H

 

 

 

7. HMS MALAYA

 

16th-30th

Rosyth, refitting

 

 

 

Battlecruiser

 

 

 

8. HMS RENOWN

 

16th-30th

Detached with Force H

 

 

 

Aircraft Carriers

 

 

 

9. HMS VICTORIOUS (Flag of Rear Admiral, Aircraft Carriers

 

16th-18th

Detached with Force H

 

18th

Left Gibraltar with DUKE OF YORK and six destroyers for the Clyde

 

23rd

Arrived Clyde

 

23rd-30th

Clyde for boiler cleaning and repairs

 

 

 

10. HMS FURIOUS

 

16th-30th

Detached with Force H

 

 

 

11. HMS BITER

 

16th-19th

At sea on passage to the United Kingdom from Gibraltar

 

19th

Arrived Clyde

 

19th-30th

Clyde for repairs and alterations

12. HMS DASHER

 

16th-19th

At sea on passage to the United Kingdom from Gibraltar

 

19th

Arrived Liverpool

 

19th-30th

Liverpool for repairs and alterations

 

 

 

Attached Aircraft Carriers

 

 

 

13. HMS INDOMITABLE

 

16th-30th

Liverpool refitting and repairing action damage

 

 

 

14. HMS ARGUS

 

16th-19th

On passage to United Kingdom

 

19th

Arrived Clyde

 

19th-30th

Clyde for refit and repairs

 

 

 

First Cruiser Squadron

 

 

 

15. HMS LONDON (Flag of Rear Admiral Commanding First Cruiser Squadron)

 

16th

Left Scapa for Seidisfiord

 

18th

Arrived Seidisfiord, sailing p.m. with cruiser covering force for Q P 15

 

26th

Arrived Scapa from escort of Q P 15

 

26th-30th

Scapa

 

 

 

16. HMS NORFOLK

 

16th-17th

At sea on passage to United Kingdom from Gibraltar