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ROSYTH WAR DIARY
5 November - 30 November 1939
(n.b. The Rosyth War Diary's first issue is 5 November 1939. Prior to that it was covered loosely by the Home Fleet Narrative. Home Fleet War Diary and Home Fleet Destroyers War Diary did not commence until March 1940)
To 2359 November 5, 1939
The weather over ACHQ and immediate vicinity was foggy with sun breaking through intermittently. Further out seawards in an easterly and southeasterly direction, the visibility improved but fog patches persisted.
ON 1. Convoy ON 1 which left Methil at 1700 for Point G (Gaasvaer, Aspofjord) by way of Buchness Ness and Points, B, M, Y made good time. As escort consisting of destroyers FAME, TARTAR, SOMALI, and ASHANTI from the 6th D.F. took the convoy from Methil. FAME is due to be relieved at dusk in position 58-40 North 01-26 West by PUNJABI who is refuelling at Scapa for this purpose. FAME then proceeds to Scapa under orders of A.C.O.S. The cruiser EDINBURGH, who is acting as covering force for ON 1 left Rosyth 1645 to provide close cover for ON 1 and then HN 1 from daylight Monday to dark Wednesday 6th and 8th of November, respectively. The A/A cruiser CURLEW is to act as A/A ship. In addition, the Battlefleet of NELSON, RODNEY, and destroyer screen will be providing further cover for HN 1.
FN 32. Thirty five ships left Sunk Head for Methil at 1200, the close escort being STORK, WHITLEY, and WALLACE. These three escort vessels are to be relieved by WOOLSTON, VALOROUS, and HASTINGS, who left Harwich at 2130 for this purpose. On relief, the first group to proceed to Rosyth. S/M SNAPPER is included in the convoy, but NARWHAL, who had orders to accompany SNAPPER, was detailed to return to Portsmouth. JUNO and JUPITER are to act as fighting force as from daylight tomorrow.
FS 32. Six ships left Methil for Sunk Head at 1200 in spite of fog. JAGUAR who was detailed as fighting force remained at anchor in Methil Roads until told at 1540 to proceed and overhaul the convoy. The close escort for FS 32 is BITTERN, FLEETWOOD, and VIVIEN. Neither convoy was attacked during the day.
N.P. and A.M.C.-s
Movements for and during today are: SCOTSTOUN moved from billet NP 35 to NP 44. TRANSYLVANIA sailed from the Clyde for NP 43. The trawlers NORTHERN CHIEF and KINGSTON BERYL were relieved of their patrol duties by the trawlers NORTHERN ISLES, NORTHERN PRINCESS, and NORTHERN FOAM in the vicinity of Muckle Flugga. AURANIA left patrol for Clyde so that her guns could be overhauled.
The submarine patrol of 9 craft off the Dogger Bank was ordered to be dissolved and the submarines are to leave their stations as under:
STARFISH for Blyth at 1600; SEALION, SHARK, and SALMON for Rosyth at 2100. The second groups are expected at Rosyth tomorrow. Submarine UNITY sailed from Rosyth for patrol in zone C 2 at 1400. S/Ms TRIUMPH and TRIDENT which are patrolling the Western Ocean in zones P and R respectively were ordered to hunt an enemy submarine which attacked a ship in position 57-02 North, 11-10 West at 1510/4. The hung proved unsuccessful and the submarines were ordered back to their respective zones at 1726. L 26 who was on Dogger Bank Patrol sighted a suspicious merchant vessel in position 54-32 North, 3-26 East, course 000, speed 6 knots at 2030 and after she had reported this by signal was instructed by R.A. (S) to follow.
H.M. SHIP MOVEMENTS
ANTONY (n.b. ANTHONY) destroyer has been escorting M.V. MANCHESTER CITY from Clyde to Rosyth: they are due to arrive at midnight. D 5 expects to arrive Scapa with his force from trailing CITY OF FLINT at 0800. VANSITTART was sent to Tongue Light Vessel to investigate a report of fast motor boat but later was ordered to resume her normal patrol. GLASGOW arrived Rosyth from her patrol to look for German Merchant Ship NEW YORK, in a bad condition. She is fit for sea, but has had for focsle badly pounded so that it has dropped two inches and required the attention of A. S Rosyth. CAIRO and CALCUTTA left the Humber for Rosyth to act as A/A ships whilst Home Fleet is here. The cruises should arrived about 0800 tomorrow. JACKAL and JERSEY arrived at Spurn Point at 2030 and FEARLESS, FOXHOUND, and KINGSTON left Scapa northbound at 1840.
SUMMARYA quiet day
POSITIONS at 2359/5
FN 32 KZSV 4357
FS 32 YXSE 1744
ON 1 LMGB 4500
Zone C 2 SEAWOLF
Zone P TRIUMPH
Zone R TRIDENT
UNITY ZGND 3235 proceeding C 2
UNDINE ZGSV 1600 proceeding Rosyth
TRITON left Rosyth P.M. for Zone C 1
SNAPPER with FN 32
STARFISH arrives Blyth P.M. tomorrow
SHIPS IN HARBOUR AT ROSYTH
SHIPS IN HARBOUR AT SCAPA
1st M/S Flotilla
To 2359 6th November 1939
The breeze which started in the evening of yesterday developed into a gale which prevailed throughout the period from early morning till afternoon. It moderated after that, until, in the evening a wind of about Force 3 was blowing.
ON 1 was in position LMGB 4500 at 0001 and proceeded onwards throughout the day towards point G via Points B, M, and J until position ZRAA was reached at midnight. ASHANTI, one of the destroyer escort, was detached to Sullom Voe for repair and has instructions to rejoin escort with HN 1 on completion.
HN 1 is gathering at Point G in readiness to leave on the 7th for Methil.
FN 32 made the distance from ZKSV 4357 to VLSE 5548 during the day. It had JUPITER and JUNO as fighting force throughout the daylight, but these ships left at dark to proceed to Rosyth so as to be there to rendezvous with ADVENTURE to escort her to Humber. The rendezvous was for 0300/7.
FS 32 made the distanced from YXSE 1744 to HTSV 0025 during the day and due to adverse weather conditions was three hours at Humber.
N.P. and A.M.C.-s
DUNEDIN, DELHI, and CALYPSO were due to Sullom Voe before dark from Northern Patrol, and CARDIFF, COLOMBO, and DRAGON left to take up their positions as NP 2, NP 32, and NP 4, respectively. The trawler NORTHERN DUKE received instructions to take over from CERES one merchant vessel which the latter was unable to board for escort into Kirkwall. DUNNOTTAR CASTLE, late of the Union Castle Line, having been converted into an armed merchant cruiser, left Newcastle for Portsmouth there to work up prior to leaving for in the Western Ocean. CHITRAL takes up NP 42 and RAWALPINDI NP 44 as from 0800 today. The trawler KINGSTON ONYX left the Northern Patrol for Aberdeen at 1600.
S/MsThe Polish submarine ORZEL, accompanied by WHITEHALL left Rosyth at 0700 for Dundee where she is to be taken into dock at the Caledon Shipyard. WHITEHALL arrived back at Rosyth at 1405. URSULA and SUNFISH left the Dogger Bank Patrol for Rosyth at 0900. SEAL, L 26, and CACHALOT left during the afternoon as requisite for onward passage to Portsmouth after meeting her escorting destroyers off London River. TRIAD arrived from patrol at Rosyth. Instructions were given that three minelaying submarines are to sail for Halifax, N.S. for convoy duties, but no names are yet known. TRITON left Rosyth for Zone C 1 this evening at 1430. The Polish submarine WILK had had her trim tests off Dundee postponed until the 10th. SEALION sighted a German submarine in position YXAA 1011, steering 140 degrees and attacked, unfortunately without result.
H.M. Ship Movements
The A/A cruisers CAIRO and CALCUTTA arrived at Rosyth from the Humber to act as an additional protection for the units of the Home Fleet while they are here. Their places in the East Coast Convoys are to be taken by the 7th Destroyer Flotilla. GRIMSBY and WESTON did a full calibre shoot off the Forth at 1130. TEDWORTH sailed for Inchkeith to do some more diving for traces of the U Boat alleged to have been sunk there by depth charges at 0840. (n.b. Coastal Command attack-). IMPERIAL, KANDAHAR, and FEARLESS, and FOXHOUND left Scapa to rendezvous with C in C Home Fleet in position 000 degrees, Muckle Flugga 50 miles. A new allocation of destroyer flotillas has been promulgated in this signal. ANTHONY and MANCHESTER CITY whom she was escorting from the Clyde, arrived at Rosyth; ANTHONY sailed later in the day for Plymouth. D 5 in proceeding to Scapa found a large patch of oil off Rattray Head, presumed to be the U boat attacked by 31 October by D 6 which is still leaking. The 1st M.S.F. sailed from Scapa for Rosyth. GRIMSBY, STORK and party who had left F.N. 32 at dark on the 5th arrived at Rosyth for boiler cleaning. FAME sailed from Scapa to rendezvous with C in C Home Fleet. ESKIMO left Scapa for the Tyne there to be taken in hand for boiler cleaning and repairs. AFRIDI whose defects are now remedied, sailed from the Tyne for Rosyth so as to arrive tomorrow.
An aircraft was reported down in the sea off Fraserburgh twenty one miles NE. A lifeboat was sent out to investigate and FLAMINGO, on passed to Rosyth from the Clyde, was also detailed for the search; as nothing was seen by 2330, FLAMINGO was ordered off. Northing further has been heard of the incident. Parts of an aircraft, viz. one pilot-s seat and one parachute, were found off the Bullers of Buchan by the Coast Guard - not yet identified.
Two and five destroyers were reported off the Island of Borkum at 1400.
Exercises of H.A. and L.A. shoots and Coast Defence exercises due to have been held today, were cancelled owing to the adverse weather. A request for a modern fast aircraft to fly over the Fleet from 1000 to 1030 daily when it is in harbour was made by the C in C. This flight is aimed at giving the personnel a chance to familiarize themselves with our aircraft.
SummaryNot much doing due to bad weather conditions
POSITIONS AT 2359
FN 32 VLSE 5548
FS 32 HTSV 0025
ON 1 ZRAA 4050
Zone C2 SEAWOLF, leaving p.m.
Zone P TRIUMPH
Zone R TRIDENT
STERLET Approx. VLJN
UNITY QSLZ, proceeding Zone C2
TRITON QSAA, proceeding Zone C 1
SNAPPER with FN 32
UNDINE, URSULA, SUNFISH, SHARK, SEALION, SALMON, THISTLE
Arrive Rosyth tomorrow a.m.
Ships in Harbour at Rosyth
Ships in Harbour at Scapa
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