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  British and Other Navies in World War 2 Day-by-Day
by Don Kindell

ROYAL NAVY SHIPS, SEPTEMBER 1939

Edited by Gordon Smith, Naval-History.Net

HM S/M H.49 (Navy Photos/Mark Teadham, click to enlarge)

on to French, Polish, German Navies, USN in Europe, September 1939

 

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

 

Contents

 

1. HOME WATERS - 2. FOREIGN STATIONS - 3. DOMINION and INDIAN NAVIES

 


 

1. HOME WATERS

 Naval Commands, and Sub Commands/ship locations within them, are listed approximately north to south/east to west

 

HOME FLEET

 Adm Sir Charles M Forbes on NELSON

 

Scapa Flow

 

2nd Battle Squadron (Rear Adm Henry E C Blagrove on ROYAL OAK) - battleships NELSON (Capt G J A Miles), RAMILLIES (Capt H T Baillie-Grohman DSC, OBE), RODNEY (Capt E N Syfret), ROYAL OAK (Capt W G Benn), ROYAL SOVEREIGN (Capt L V Morgan CBE MVO DSC)

 

Battlecruiser Squadron (Rear Adm William J Whitworth on HOOD) - HOOD (Capt I G Glennie), REPULSE (Capt E J Spooner DSO)

 

Aircraft carrier (Vice Adm Lionel V Wells on ARK ROYAL) - ARK ROYAL (Capt A J Powers CVO)

 

7th Cruiser Squadron (Capt Edward B C Dicken OBE DSC, Cdre 2nd Class on DIOMEDE) - light cruisers CALYPSO (Capt N J W William-Powlett DSC), CALEDON (Capt C P Clark), DIOMEDE (Capt Dicken), DRAGON (Capt R G Bowes-Lyon MVO)

 

12th Cruiser Squadron (Vice Adm Sir Max K Horton KCB, DSO, Vice Adm Commanding Northern Patrol on EFFINGHAM), CARDIFF (Capt P K Enright), DUNEDIN (Capt C E Lambe CVO), EFFINGHAM (Capt J M Howson), EMERALD (Capt A W S Agar VC, DSO)

 

18th Cruiser Squadron (Rear Adm Ronald H C Hallifax, also Rear Adm, Destroyers on AURORA from 30 Aug), AURORA (Capt G B Middleton), BELFAST (Capt G A Scott DSC), EDINBURGH (right, at the time of her loss in 1942 - Navy Photos) (Capt F C Bradley), SHEFFIELD (Capt E de F Renouf CVO)

 

Anti-aircraft ship - anti-aircraft cruiser CALCUTTA (Capt H A Packer)

 

6th Destroyer Flotilla (Capt R S G. Nicholson DSC)

Division 11 - ASHANTI (Cdr W G Davis), MASHONA (Cdr P W McLaughlin), MATABELE (Cdr G K Whitmy Smith), SOMALI (Nicholson)

Division 12 - BEDOUIN (Cdr J A McCoy), ESKIMO (Cdr St J A Micklethwait), PUNJABI (Cdr J T Lean), TARTAR (Capt G H Warner, Lt Cdr D E Holland-Smith from 13 Oct)

 

8th Destroyer Flotilla (Capt C S Daniel)

Destroyer FAULKNOR (Daniel)

Division 15 - FEARLESS (Cdr K L Harkness), FORESTER (Lt Cdr E B Tancock), FOXHOUND (Lt Cdr P H Hadow), FURY (Cdr G F Burghard)

Division 16 - FAME (Cdr P N Walter), FIREDRAKE (Lt Cdr S H Norris), FORESIGHT (Lt Cdr G T Lambert), FORTUNE (Cdr E A Gibbs)

 

Destroyer Depot ship - GREENWICH (Cdr J H Pipe) no repair stores on board, boiler cleaning parties only arr on 31 Aug

 

1st Minesweeping Flotilla (Capt R O FitzRoy) - minesweeper BRAMBLE (FitzRoy, SO), BRITOMART (Lt Cdr E P Hinton), HAZARD (Lt Cdr W T W Curtis), HEBE (Lt Cdr J B G. Temple), SEAGULL (Cdr D H Harries RAN), SHARPSHOOTER (Cdr J Peterson DSC), SPEEDY (Lt Cdr J C Richards)

 

Fleet Target Service - target ship CENTURION (Capt R V Symonds-Taylor DSC), destroyer SHIKARI (Cdr J Hext Lewis), both ships at Devonport

 

TB Target and PV ranging vessel - destroyer SABRE (Lt Cdr B Dean) at Scapa Flow

 

Netlayer - GUARDIAN (Capt E G N Rushbrooke DSC) at Sullom Voe

 

Admiralty Drifters - see 1 Aug 39

 

 

ROSYTH COMMAND

Vice Adm C G Ramsey

 

Rosyth Escort Force

escorted FN and FS convoys

 

Depot ship, Rosyth - COCHRANE (Capt R B Wilmot-Sitwell Rtd)

 

Rosyth Escort Force (Capt R Kerr)

 

15th Destroyer Flotilla (administered by Commander Rosyth Escort Force)

Division 29 - BROKE (Lt Cdr R I A Sarell, Cdr B G Scurfield from 27 Sep), WANDERER (Cdr R F Morice), WHITEHALL (Lt Cdr A B Russell), all dep Rosyth on patrol 1 Sep, WITCH (Lt Cdr J R Barnes) dep Rosyth for Harwich 31 Aug

Division 30 - VERITY (Lt Cdr A R M Black), VOLUNTEER (Lt Cdr H Gartside-Tippinge), WOLVERINE (Cdr R C Gordon, Cdr R H Craske from 27 Nov), WITHERINGTON (Lt Cdr G C Fryer), all Division 30 at Milford Haven for escort duty.

 

Convoy C (administered by Cdr Rosyth Escort Force) - escort ships, ex-destroyers VALOROUS (Lt Cdr E Mack) dep Rosyth on 2 Sep for Pentland Firth patrol, WALLACE (Lt Cdr W M L Astwood) arr at Leith 1 Sep, under repair for collision on 13 Sep, WHITLEY (Lt Cdr E H Dyke) dep Harwich on patrol 3 Sep, sloops BITTERN (Cdr G F Stevens-Guille OBE) at Rosyth, ENCHANTRESS (Cdr A K Scott-Moncrief) dep Rosyth on 2 Sep for Pentland Firth patrol, HASTINGS (Lt Cdr A B Alison) at Plymouth refitting to comp 16 Sep, PELICAN (Cdr L A K Boswell) dep Harwich on patrol 3 Sep, STORK (Cdr A C Behague) at Devonport since 14 Apr refitting to comp 9 Sep

 

At the end of September, Rosyth Escort Force was organised into four escort groups. With Destroyer Division 30 of the 15th Flotilla transferred to Western Approaches Command and at Plymouth, the rest of the Force was grouped as follows:

 

 Group 1 - destroyer WANDERER (SO), escort ship VALOROUS, sloop HASTINGS

 Group 2 - sloops BITTERN (SO), ENCHANTRESS, destroyer BROKE

 Group 3 - sloop STORK (SO), destroyer WITCH, escort ship WHITLEY

 Group 4 - sloops PELICAN (SO), WESTON, destroyer WHITEHALL

 

 In mid October, Destroyer Division 29 was transferred to Western Approaches Command, but remained on East Coast duty through to the end of October

 

3rd Anti-Submarine Group - anti-submarine trawlers AGATE, AMETHYST (SO), JASPER

 

Minesweeping trawlers

Outfitting at Blyth - DEE (Lt E J Robinson Rtd, SO), JAMES LUDFORD, OHM, THOMAS ALTOFT

Outfitting at Tyne - FLANDERS, GUNNER

 

 

Dundee

 

2nd Submarine Flotilla (Capt W D Stephens on FORTH) - depot ship FORTH (Stephens) arr at Rosyth on 14 Oct, submarines OXLEY (Lt Cdr H G Bowerman), SEAHORSE (Lt D S Massey-Dawson), SEAWOLF (Lt Cdr J W Studholme), SPEARFISH (Lt J H Eaden), STARFISH (Lt T A Turner), STERLET (Lt G H S Haward), STURGEON (Lt G D A Gregory), SWORDFISH (Lt C B Crouch), SUNFISH (Lt Cdr J E Slaughter) refitting at Sheerness until 18 Oct, THISTLE (Cdr R W Stirling-Hamilton) at Portsmouth repairing to comp 9 Sep, TRIAD (Lt Cdr R McC P Jonas) commissioned, to join 16 Sep 39 after working up, TRIBUNE (Lt Cdr G P S Davies) completing, to join 17 Oct 39 after working up, TRIDENT ( Cdr J G Gould) commissioned, to join 1 Oct 39 after working up, TRITON (Lt Cdr H P de C Steel), TRIUMPH (Lt Cdr J W McCoy), TRUANT (Lt Cdr R W Peers) completing, to join 30 Oct 39 after working up

 

Minesweeping trawlers - HAWTHORN, WILLOW, WINDWARD, all at Dundee

 

Rosyth

 

Aircraft carrier - FURIOUS (Capt M L Clark DSC) training aircraft carrier at Rosyth

 

Seaplane tender - PEGASUS (Capt W G Agnew, Capt R G. Wodehouse Rtd, from 18 Sep) arr in the Tyne on 3 Sep en route to Scapa Flow, via Rosyth

 

Rear Admiral, Submarines - Rear Adm B C Watson CB, DSO at Aberdour. Operational headquarters only arrived on 30 Aug from Gosport where the administrative staff remained

 

Blyth

 

6th Submarine Flotilla (Cdr J S Bethell) - depot ship TITANIA (Bethell), submarines H.32 (Lt R F Jenks), L.26 (Lt Cdr F W Liscombe OBE), L.27 (Lt P J Cowell), UNDINE (Lt Cdr A S Jackson), UNITY (Lt Cdr J F B Brown), URSULA (Lt Cdr G C Phillips), all submarines dep Blyth on 31 Aug for patrol

 

 

 

HUMBER FORCE

Vice Adm Sir George F B Edwards-Collins

 

2nd Cruiser Squadron - light cruisers GLASGOW (Capt F H Pegram), SOUTHAMPTON (Flag, Capt F W H Jeans CVO), both ships dep the Humber 1 Sep

 

7th Destroyer Flotilla (Capt P J Mack)

Division 13 - JAVELIN (Cdr A F Pugsley), JERSEY (Lt Cdr A M McKillop), JERVIS (Mack), all dep Humber 1 Sep, JUPITER (Lt Cdr D B Wyburd) at Grimsby.

Division 14 - ECHO (Cdr S H K Spurgeon RAN) arr in the Humber 1 Sep, JACKAL (Cdr T M Napier) dep Humber 1 Sep, JAGUAR (Lt Cdr J F W Hine) to comp 12 Sep and on her arrival at Rosyth 28 Sep relieved ECHO, JANUS (Lt Cdr J A W Tothill), JUNO (Cdr W E Wilson), both arr in the Humber on 3 Sep

 

Minesweeping trawlers – GARRY, LIFFEY, both at Humber

 Outfitting at Humber - BUCKINGHAM, FANE, GLEN KIDSON, LUNE, MALAYAN, SANDRINGHAM

 

 

NORE COMMAND

Adm Sir H Brownrigg

 

19th Destroyer Flotilla (Capt D J R Simson) - CODRINGTON (Simson)

Division 37 - BASILISK (Cdr M Richmond), BEAGLE (Lt Cdr R H Wright), BOREAS (Lt Cdr M W Tomkinson), KEITH (Cdr H T W Pawsey OBE) to join 19th Flotilla as a private ship when relieved by destroyer MONTROSE from the 17th Flotilla, but retained in the 17th Flotilla until Jan 40

Division 38 - BLANCHE (Lt Cdr R M Aubrey), BOADICEA (Lt Cdr G B Kingdon), BRAZEN (Lt Cdr R H Mills, Lt Cdr R C. Beckett from 1 Nov), BRILLIANT (Lt Cdr F C Brodrick)

 

CODRINGTON and the B-class destroyers dep Dover on patrol on 31 Aug, KEITH dep Plymouth on patrol on 3 Sep, BRILLIANT arr back at Dover on 2 Sep

 

5th Minesweeping Flotilla - minesweepers HALCYON (Cdr L V Lloyd Rtd, Cdr St. J Cronyn from 12 Oct), HARRIER (Lt Cdr B L Clark), HUSSAR (Lt Cdr T G P Crick), NIGER (Lt Cdr M A O Biddulph), SALAMANDER (Lt Cdr L J S Ede) at Sheerness, SELKIRK (Lt Cdr D H M Leggatt ret), SKIPJACK (Lt Cdr F B Proudfoot) at Dover, SPEEDWELL (Lt Cdr F R G Maunsell) at Harwich, SPHINX (Cdr J R N Taylor, SO)

 

6th Minesweeping Flotilla - minesweeping trawlers CEDAR, CYPRESS, HOLLY at Sheerness, SYRINGA (Lt Cdr A F L Evans, SO)

 

Minesweeping Trawlers

Outfitting at Dover - ARAGONITE, CAPE BARRACOUTA, CHALCEDONY, EASTCOATES, RUNSWICK BAY, OSAMA, OYAMA, SATA, ST MELANTE and one trawler as base ship

Outfitting at Sheerness - DARNETT NESS, DROMIO, GRAMPIAN, LADY ENID, LARCH, MASTIFF (Lt Cdr A A C Ouvry, SO), MYRTLE, NORTHCOATES, OAK, RIFSNES, TAMARISK

 

 

PORTSMOUTH COMMAND

Adm Sir William James

 

16th Destroyer Flotilla (Capt Thomas E Halsey)

Division 31 - MALCOLM (Halsey) arr Le Havre 3 Sep, VETERAN (Cdr J E Broome from 11 Oct) at Chatham repairing until 6 Nov 39, WREN (Cdr W H Selby) at Portsmouth

Division 32 - VANSITTART (Lt Cdr R G K Knowling) arr Le Havre 3 Sep, VENOMOUS (Lt Cdr D G F W MacIntyre) at Portsmouth, WIVERN (Lt Cdr W Evershed) arr Le Havre 3 Sep

 

18th Destroyer Flotilla

Division 35 - with Channel Force

Division 36 (at Portland on 3 Sep) - ACHATES (Lt Cdr R J Gardner), AMAZON (Lt Cdr N E G Roper), ANTHONY (Lt Cdr N J V Thew), ARROW (Cdr H W Williams)

 

Attached destroyers - SALADIN (Lt Cdr L J Dover) at Portsmouth, requiring boiler retubing, SARDONYX (Lt Cdr W A F Hawkins) dep Portsmouth on 2 Sep for Dundee, SCIMITAR (Lt Cdr M Thornton) at Portsmouth, RAF reconnaisance duties, SKATE (Lt Cdr A O Johnson) at Portsmouth, tender to VERNON

 

5th Submarine Flotilla (Training Flotilla at Gosport, Capt C G B Coltart CVO) - tender ship DWARF (Cdr L M Shadwell)

submarines H.28 (Lt D E Mansfield), H.31 (Lt P R Ward), H.33 (Lt Cdr H J Caldwell), H.34 (Lt Cdr B T Simons), H.43 refitting at Sheerness until 7 Oct (Lt Cdr W A K N Cavaye from 7 Oct), H.44 (Lt H A V Haggard), H.49 (Lt E F Balston), H.50 refitting at Sheerness until 14 Oct (Lt Cdr J R G Harvey from 7 Oct), L.23 (Lt F J Brooks) refitting at Portsmouth comp in Sep, OBERON (Lt Cdr H C Cumberbatch), THAMES refitting at Plymouth to comp 15 Jun 40 (Cdr D V Sprague from 27 Dec)

 

1st Motor Anti-submarine Flotilla (Lt Cdr H W Falcon-Steward) - MA/SB.1 (Lt M E Impey), MA/SB.2 (Lt J C Lapage), MA/SB.3 (Lt J D. Ritchie), MA/SB.4 (Lt B J Anderson), MA/SB.5 (Lt E M Thorpe)

 

1st Anti-Submarine Group - anti-submarine trawlers BASSET (Cdr G H Brown Rtd, SO), SAPPHIRE, TOPAZE, TOURMALINE, and TURQUOISE

 

Minesweeping trawlers

Outfitting at Portsmouth - minesweeping trawlers ALDER, BEECH, BERBERIS, BOYNE, COLNE, DOON, HORNBEAM, LILAC (Lt Cdr E P H Pinckney, SO), trawlers HATSUSE, SASEBO, YASHIMA, drifter NONIWA,

Outfitting at Yarmouth - minesweeping trawlers ARCTIC HUNTER, CLYTHNESS, EARL KITCHENER, EBOR WYKE, KING'S GREY, LORD GREY, LORD IRWIN, LORD INCHCAPE

 

 

CHANNEL FORCE

Rear Adm Lancelot E Holland, Rear Admiral, Channel Force, and 3rd Battle Squadron on RESOLUTION

The Command was terminated on 7 Oct when the last of the ships in the force departed for other duties

 

3rd Battle Squadron - battleships RESOLUTION (Capt C H Knox-Little), REVENGE (Capt E R Archer), Squadron at Portland

 

Aircraft carriers - COURAGEOUS (Capt W T Makeig-Jones) at Plymouth, HERMES (Capt F E P Hutton) at Portland.

 

Light cruisers - CARADOC (Capt E W L Longley-Cook), CERES (Capt E G Abbott), both at Portland, transferred to Western Approaches Command 0n 7 Sep

 

Anti-aircraft ship - CAIRO (Capt H P K Oram) at Portland, operating with Dover Command since 10 Sep, formally transferred on 19 Sep

 

18th Destroyer Flotilla - KEMPENFELT (Capt C Caslon*, Lt Cdr C E Glasfurd from 20 Sep, *see Western Approaches Command note below) at Portland

Division 35 - ACASTA (Cdr P J Oliver) at Portsmouth repairing to comp 3 Sep, ACHERON (Lt Cdr R W F Northcott) at Portsmouth repairing to comp 2 Sep arr Portland 3 Sep, ANTELOPE (Lt Cdr R T White DSO) at Portsmouth, ARDENT (Lt Cdr J F Barker) at Portland

 

18th Flotilla transferred to Western Approaches Command on 7 Sep

 

 

WESTERN APPROACHES COMMAND

Adm Sir Martin Dunbar-Nasmith

 

 (* see below) After the outbreak of the war, the problems of administering Western Approaches destroyers from a flotilla leader at sea were recognised. Having to observe radio silence, the Flotilla Commander was unable to control the activities of his ships. Flotilla Commanders and their staffs were ordered ashore.

 

Vian (D.11) transferred to EAGLET on 26 Sep, Phillips (D.17) to SKIRMISHER on 28 Sep, and Caslon (D.18) to DRAKE on 21 Sep. Vian was replaced by Caslon (who remained in DRAKE) in Nov and Rear Adm C H Knox-Little Rtd, on 5 Jan 40. Phillips was replaced by Capt F C Bradley on 29 Jan 40. Caslon remained in DRAKE until 29 May 40.

 

Portland

 

12th Destroyer Flotilla (Capt R S Benson)

Division 23 - ECLIPSE (Lt Cdr E L Woodhall, Lt Cdr I T Clark from 9 Nov) at Plymouth, ELECTRA (Lt Cdr S A Buss) dep Portland 2 Sep, EXMOUTH (Benson) dep Portland 3 Sep

Division 24 - ENCOUNTER (Lt Cdr A St Clair Ford, Lt Cdr E V St J Morgan on 9 Nov) dep Portland 2 Sep for Plymouth, ESCAPADE (Cdr H R Graham) dep Portland 3 Sep, ESCORT (Lt Cdr J Bostock) dep Portland 2 Sep

 

1st Motor Anti-Submarine Boat Flotilla (Lt Cdr H W Falcon-Steward) - MA/SB.1 (Lt M E Impey), MA/SB.2 (Lt J C Lapage), MA/SB.3 (Lt J D. Ritchie), MA/SB.4 (Lt B J Anderson), No.5 (Lt E M Thorpe) at Portland

 

Minesweeping trawlers

Outfitting at Portland – AVONA, BRITISH, COURTIER, ERIMO

 

Plymouth

 

11th Destroyer Flotilla (Capt P L Vian*) - MACKAY (Vian, Cdr G H Stokes from 25 Sep)

Division 21 - VANOC (Lt Cdr J G W Deneys) refitting at Portsmouth until 14 Oct, VANQUISHER (Lt Cdr K H Fraser, Lt Cdr C B Alers Hankey from 11 Oct) dep Plymouth on 2 Sep for the Clyde, WALKER (Cdr W J C Robertson), WALPOLE (Lt Cdr A F Burnell-Nugent), WINCHELSEA (Cdr C T Jellicoe)

Division 22 - VERSATILE (Cdr T E Hussey Rtd), VIMY (Lt Cdr I T Clark, Lt Cdr C G W Donald from 8 Nov), WARWICK (Lt Cdr M A G Child), WHIRLWIND (Lt Cdr M B Ewart-Wentworth Rtd, Lt Cdr J M Rodgers from 10 Oct)

 

11th Flotilla less VANQUISHER and VANOC at Plymouth on 3 Sep

 

17th Destroyer Division (Capt A J L Phillips*)

KEITH (Phillips) relieved by destroyer MONTROSE (Phillips, Cdr C R L Parry from 27 Sep) on 15 Sep. KEITH was then attached to the 34th Destroyer Division as a private ship - Capt F C. Bradley, D.17 from Jan 1940, Capt D J R Simson, D.19 from 29 Jan 40

MONTROSE, under repair at Plymouth until 6 Sep, traded crews with KEITH which was then commanded by Cdr H T W Pawsey OBE from 6 Sep

Division 33 - VANESSA (Lt Cdr J H Plumer), VENETIA (Cdr J W M Eaton, Cdr G R Pilcher from 13 Oct), VISCOUNT (Lt Cdr M S Townsend) refitting at Plymouth until 15 Sep, WESSEX (Lt Cdr W A R Cartwright)

Division 34 - VESPER (Lt Cdr W F E Hussey), VIVACIOUS (Cdr C R L Parry, Lt Cdr F R W Parish from 27 Sep), WAKEFUL (Cdr R St V Sherbrooke), WINDSOR (Lt Cdr P D.H.R. Pelly from 1 Nov) refitting at Portsmouth until 4 Nov

 

17th Flotilla less WINDSOR at Plymouth on 3 Sep

 

Destroyer - STURDY (Lt Cdr G T Cooper) at Devonport

 

6th Minesweeping Flotilla - minesweeping trawlers LAUREL, MAGNOLIA, SYCAMORE (Lt Cdr A E Sercombe, SO)

 

2nd Anti-Submarine Group - anti-submarine trawlers CORNELIAN, PEARL, RUBY

 

Minesweeping trawlers

Outfitting at Plymouth - ARCANES, BRECON CASTLE, CAERPHILLY CASTLE, CARDIFF CASTLE, CLYNE CASTLE, CONWAY CASTLE, RADNOR CASTLE

 Outfitting at Swansea – BLACKWATER, KENNET

 

Milford Haven

 

Convoy B

Patrol sloops - KITTIWAKE (Cdr E R Conder), MALLARD (Lt Cdr D V Clift), PUFFIN (Lt Cdr W F Hollins, Lt Cdr The Hon J M G Waldegrave DSO from 3 Oct), all dep Holyhead for Liverpool on 3 Sep, then on to Dover arr 7 Sep

Patrol sloops - KINGFISHER (Lt Cdr G A M V Harrison), SHELDRAKE (Lt Cdr A E T Christy), WIDGEON (Lt Cdr R Frederick), all at the Clyde.

 

 On 18 September formed as 1st Anti-Submarine Striking Force at Belfast with new patrol sloop SHEARWATER (Lt Cdr P F Powlett) and escort ships patrol sloop PC.74 (Lt Cdr C E H White DSO Rtd) and minesweeper GLEANER (Lt Cdr H P Price)

Escort ship/minesweeper JASON (Lt Cdr D H Fryer) upon comp of repairs also joined this unit

 

 

 

REFITTING IN HOME WATERS

 

Battleships - QUEEN ELIZABETH refitting since 10 Apr 37 at Portsmouth until 31 Jan 41, arr Scapa Flow for trials 21 Feb 41 (Capt C B Barry DSO from 31 Oct 40), VALIANT refitting since 1 Mar 37 at Devonport until 11 Dec 39 (Capt H B Rawlings OBE), made ready for trials in the West Indies where she worked up, arr back in England on 7 Feb 40 after escorting convoy TC.3

 

Battlecruiser - RENOWN (Capt C E B Simeon) comp refit at Portsmouth on 28 Aug, dep 2 Sep, arr Scapa Flow for duty 4 Sep

 

Cruisers

Heavy cruisers LONDON rebuilding since 15 Mar 39 at Chatham until 10 Feb 41 (Capt R M Servaes CBE), NORFOLK (Capt A G B Wilson DSO MVO) completing refit at Devonport at beginning of Sep, dep 3 Sep, arr Scapa Flow for duty 6 Sep 39, SUFFOLK (Capt J W Durnford) refitting at Portsmouth to comp 23 Sep, dep 29 Sep, arr Scapa Flow for duty 1 Oct 39

Light cruisers CARLISLE rearming as anti-aircraft ship at Plymouth until 12 Jan 40 (Capt G M B Langley OBE from 21 Nov), CURACOA rearming as anti-aircraft ship at Chatham until 26 Jan 40 (Capt E A Aylmer DSC from 5 Dec), DELHI (Capt L H K Hamilton DSO) comp refit at Nore and working up at Portland, arr Scapa Flow 13 Sep to join 11th Cruiser Squadron, ENTERPRISE (Capt H J Egerton) refitting at Portsmouth, dep 9 Sep, arr Scapa Flow 11 Sep to join 11th Cruiser Squadron, NEWCASTLE (Capt J Figgins) refitting at Plymouth until 7 Sep 39, dep 12 Sep for Scapa Flow, arr 13 Sep, joined the 18th Cruiser Squadron on 15 Sep

 

Anti-aircraft cruiser - CURLEW (Capt B C B Brooke) refitting at Chatham completing 23 Sep, dep 25 Sep to work up at Portland, arr 29 Sep. Departed Portland on 1 Oct, arr Scapa Flow for duty 2 Oct

 

Destroyers

At the Nore - CAMPBELL refitting until 12 Feb 40 (Capt F C Bradley from early Feb), VIVIEN rearming as escort ship until 7 Oct 39 (Lt Cdr W D G Weir from 19 Sep), WORCESTER awaiting boiler spares, refitting until 4 May 40 (Cdr J H Allison from 12 Mar), WOOLSTON rearming as escort ship until 9 Oct 39 (Lt Cdr W J Phipps from Sep), WOLFHOUND rearming as escort ship until 2 May 40 (Lt Cdr J W McCoy from 19 Mar)

At Chatham - VETERAN refitting until 6 Nov 39 (Cdr J E Broome from 11 Oct)

At Portsmouth - ACASTA (Cdr P J Oliver) repairing to comp 3 Sep, AMBUSCADE refitting until 27 May 40 (Lt Cdr A O Johnson from 21 Mar), placed on a low priority on 4 Dec 39 due to workmen being required for higher priority work, then on 7 Mar 40, a dock allocated to AMBUSCADE was required for damaged destroyer VENOMOUS, ESK (Lt Cdr R J H Couch) refitting as destroyer minelayer from 23 Aug to 7 Sep, EXPRESS (Cdr J G Bickford) refitting as destroyer minelayer from 23 Aug to 7 Sep, VANOC (Lt Cdr J G W Deneys) refitting until 14 Sep, VIMIERA rearming as escort ship until 12 Feb 40 (Lt Cdr R B N Hicks from 15 Jan), WINDSOR refitting until 4 Nov (Lt Cdr P D H R Pelly from 1 Nov), WINCHESTER rearming as escort ship until 9 Apr 40 (Lt Cdr S E Crewe-Read from 9 Mar)

At Plymouth - MONTROSE (Cdr H T W Pawsey OBE, Capt A J L Phillips from 6 Sep, Cdr C R L Parry from 27 Sep) refitting until 6 Sep, VEGA rearming as escort ship until 27 Nov 39 (Cdr C I Horton from 19 Sep), VISCOUNT (Lt Cdr M S Townsend) refitting until 15 Sep 39, WESTMINSTER rearming as escort ship until 8 Jan 40 (Lt Cdr A A C Ouvry from 20 Dec), VALENTINE rearming as escort ship until 28 Mar 40 (Cdr H J Buchanan RAN from 1 Feb)

 

Escort ships - escort ships/minesweepers GLEANER (Lt Cdr H P Price) at Devonport refitting from survey ship role to comp 9 Sep 39, JASON (Cdr A Jones, Lt Cdr D H Fryer from 28 Sep) at Portsmouth refitting from survey ship role to comp 27 Sep 39), sloops HASTINGS (Lt Cdr A B Alison) refitting at Plymouth to comp 16 Sep, STORK (Cdr A C Behague) refitting at Devonport since 14 Apr to comp 9 Sep, WESTON at Portsmouth under refit to escort vessel to comp 8 Sep (Cdr A G Davidson Rtd, from 8 Sep)

 

Submarines - H.43 refitting at Sheerness to comp 7 Oct (Lt Cdr W A K N Cavaye from 7 Oct), H.50 refitting at Sheerness to comp 14 Oct (Lt Cdr J R G. Harvey from 7 Oct), L.23 (Lt F J Brooks) refitting at Portsmouth comp in Sep, THAMES (Lt Cdr B E O'Brien, Engineering Officer) refitting at Plymouth to comp 16 Jun 40 (Cdr D V Sprague from 27 Dec), THETIS lost on trials 1 Jun 39, salved and returned to Birkenhead for rebuilding, renamed THUNDERBOLT, comp 1 Nov 40 (Lt C B Crouch from 16 Sep 40), THISTLE (Cdr R W Stirling-Hamilton) refitting at Portsmouth to comp 9 Sep, SUNFISH (Lt Cdr J E Slaughter) refitting at Sheerness to comp 18 Oct

 

 

 

IN RESERVE IN HOME WATERS

 

Cruisers - FROBISHER (Cdr M H Evelegh) at Portsmouth, work suspended until 5 Jan 40 when began refit, to Devonport for refit and rearming in Feb 40, in service 13 Feb 42 following trials (Capt J F W Mudford from 13 Jan 42) arr at Scapa Flow on 4 Mar 42 to work up, HAWKINS (Cdr W A Whitaker) at Portsmouth, to refit and rearm until 9 Dec (Capt E Rotherham from 15 Nov) ready for sea on 23 Dec, in service 9 Jan 40, left Portland for duty in the South Atlantic arr station 29 Jan 40. Both ships had been disarmed for refit as EFFINGHAM, but reshipped their original 7.5in guns.

 

Minelaying cruiser - ADVENTURE (Capt A R Halfhide) at Portsmouth, dep 7 Sep, arr in the Downs next day, arr at Dover on 9 Sep for operations

 

Aircraft carrier - ARGUS at Portsmouth, recommissioned 7 Oct (Capt H C Bovell from 7 Oct), dep Devonport 11 Nov with destroyer STURDY for Toulon. In Nov 39, began operations in the Gulf of Lyons as a training carrier with STURDY as attendant destroyer

 

Destroyers - VANITY (Lt Cdr A A Tait) at Rosyth in Maintenance Reserve until mid Dec, then to Plymouth for conversion to escort vessel comp on 12 Aug 40, VERDUN (Lt Cdr E O T Keeling) at Sheerness, taken in hand for conversion to escort ship and comp on 11 Jul 40, VICEROY at Portsmouth, taken in hand for conversion to escort ship, towed to Chatham Apr 40 and conversion begun in May, heavy demands on the dockyard prevented comp until 10 Jan 41 (Lt Cdr D P Trentham), WHITSHED at Portsmouth with defects, joined 18th Destroyer Flotilla on 18 Nov 39 (Cdr E R Conder from 15 Nov), WILD SWAN (Lt Cdr J L Younghusband) at Portsmouth with defects, joined 18th Destroyer Flotilla on 25 Feb 40

 

Escort ships - sloops FOXGLOVE (Lt Cdr T I S Bell), LUPIN moored, ROSEMARY (Lt Cdr R C.D Grimes), all at Portsmouth, patrol sloop PC.74 (Lt Cdr C E H White DSO Rtd) at the Nore

 

 

 

2. FOREIGN STATIONS

 

NORTH ATLANTIC COMMAND

(Rear Admiral N. A. Wodehouse on base ship CORMORANT)

Patrolling 11N to 39N (south of Dakar to Lisbon)

 

Gibraltar

 

11th Cruiser Squadron (Captain R. J. R. Scott, Commodore 2/c) - light cruisers COLOMBO (Captain Scott) and CAPETOWN (Captain T. H. Back) departed Gibraltar on patrol 3 September and arrived back 12 September.

 

13th Destroyer Flotilla (Captain F.S.W. de Winton) - destroyer KEPPEL (de Winton): Destroyer Division 25 - VIDETTE (Lt Cdr D. R. Brocklebank), WATCHMAN (Cdr V. Hamersley-Heenan), VORTIGERN (Lt Cdr W. J. B. Handley), VELOX (Cdr J. C. Colvill); Destroyer Division 26 - DOUGLAS (Cdr R.F.B.  Swinley), ACTIVE (Lt Cdr E.C.L. Turner), WRESTLER (Cdr J. H. McNair), WISHART (Cdr E. T. Cooper)

 

DOUGLAS, WATCHMAN, WISHART, and WRESTLER departed Gibraltar escorting British convoy AB 1 on 2 September until 0805 on 3 September when the destroyers left the convoy to return to Gibraltar. The entire Flotilla was at Gibraltar on 3 September.

 

Destroyer – WRYNECK at Gibraltar refitting as escort ship, later taken to Malta, completed on 29 August 1940 (Lt Cdr R.H.D. Lane from 26 July 1940).

 

Minesweepers - GOSSAMER (Cdr R. C. Haskett-Smith)(S.O.), LEDA (Lt Cdr N. R. Courthope-Munroe) at Gibraltar

 

 

MEDITERRANEAN FLEET

(Admiral Sir Andrew Cunningham on WARSPITE)

 

1st Battle Squadron (Vice Admiral Geoffrey Layton on BARHAM) - battleships WARSPITE (Captain V. A. C. Crutchley, VC, DSC), BARHAM (Captain H. T. C. Walker), MALAYA (Captain I. B. B. Tower, DSC). All three battleships were at Alexandria.

 

Aircraft carrier - GLORIOUS (Captain G. D'Oyly-Hughes, DSO, DSC); at Alexandria.

 

1st Cruiser Squadron (Vice Admiral J.H.D. Cunningham, CB, MVO on DEVONSHIRE) - heavy cruisers DEVONSHIRE (Captain J. M. Mansfield, DSC) arrived Alexandria on 30 August, SHROPSHIRE (Captain J. P. Gornall) at Alexandria, SUSSEX (Captain A. R. Hammick) departed Alexandria on 4 September.

 

3rd Cruiser Squadron (Rear Admiral Henry E. Moore on ARETHUSA) - light cruisers ARETHUSA (Captain Q. D. Graham) departed Alexandria on 2 September on anti-shipping patrol and arrived back on 6 September, PENELOPE (Captain G. D. Yates) arrived Malta on 2 September from refitting in England, departed on 3 September and arrived back at Alexandria on 5 September.

 

Antiaircraft vessel - COVENTRY (Captain R. F. J. Onslow) at Alexandria

 

Rear Admiral Destroyers (Rear Admiral John C. Tovey on GALATEA), light cruiser GALATEA (Captain E. G. H. Bellars) at Alexandria, destroyer depot ship (Captain E. C. Thornton, DSC) at Alexandria

 

1st Destroyer Flotilla (Captain G. E. Creasy) - destroyers GRENVILLE (Creasy) at Alexandria: Destroyer Division 1 - GALLANT (Lt Cdr C. P. F. Brown), GLOWWORM (Lt Cdr G. B. Roope), GRAFTON (Cdr M. S. Thomas), GREYHOUND (Cdr W. R. Marshall-A'Dean), all arrived Alexandria from escort duties 30 August; Destroyer Division 2 - GARLAND (Cdr C. A. N. Chatwin), GIPSY (Lt Cdr N. J. Crossley), GRENADE (Cdr R. C. Boyle), GRIFFIN (Lt Cdr J. Lee-Barber) was at Aden from 31 August to 2 September, all ships arrived back at Port Said on 5 September and returned to Flotilla in Mediterranean.

 

2nd Destroyer Flotilla (Captain B. A. W. Warburton-Lee) - destroyers HARDY (Warburton-Lee): Destroyer Division 3 - HASTY (Lt Cdr L. R. K. Tyrwhitt), HOSTILE (Cdr J. P. Wright), HEREWARD (Lt Cdr C. W. Greening), HERO (Cdr C. F. Tower),  HARDY and Destroyer Division 3 departed Malta on 2 September for Alexandria; Destroyer Division 4 - HAVOCK (Cdr R.E. Courage), HOTSPUR (Cdr H. F. H. Layman), HYPERION (Cdr H. St L. Nicolson), HUNTER (Lt Cdr L. de Villiers) was detached to the South Atlantic Command and was at Freetown.

 

3rd Destroyer Flotilla (Captain A. G. Talbot; Captain P. Todd from 7 November 1939) - destroyers INGLEFIELD (Talbot): Destroyer Division 5 - ILEX (Lt Cdr P. L. Saumarez), ISIS (Cdr J. C. Clouston), IMPERIAL (Lt Cdr C. A. de W. Kitcat), IMOGEN (Cdr E. B. K. Stevens); Destroyer Division 6 - IVANHOE (Cdr B. Jones), IMPULSIVE (Lt Cdr W. S. Thomas), INTREPID (Cdr J. W. Josselyn), ICARUS (Lt Cdr C. D. Maud). ICARUS was damaged in a collision on 1 September and was at Alexandria, taken to Malta for repairs.

 

The 3rd Destroyer Flotilla, less ICARUS and IMOGEN, departed Alexandria on 2 September for patrol off Crete. GRAFTON and GALLANT departed Alexandria on 3 September and relieved the Flotilla for passage to Malta. IMOGEN, who had departed earlier with dispatches for Marseilles, arrived at Malta on 3 September and the others on 4 September. The Flotilla departed on 5 September for the North Atlantic Command based at Gibraltar.  On 7 September 1939, the Flotilla was sent on to the Western Approaches.

 

4th Destroyer Flotilla (Captain G. H. Creswell): Destroyer Division 7 – destroyers AFRIDI (Creswell), GURKHA (Cdr F. R. Parham), MOHAWK (Cdr R. F. Jolly), SIKH (Cdr J. A. Giffard) was in the Red Sea, ships departed Suez on 31 August and on 6 September rejoined the Flotilla at Alexandria; Destroyer Division 8 - COSSACK (Captain D. DePass), MAORI (Cdr G. N. Brewer), NUBIAN (Cdr R. W. Ravenhill), ZULU (Cdr J. S. Crawford), was at Alexandria, departed on patrol 4 September.

 

19th Destroyer Flotilla - destroyer BULLDOG (Lt Cdr J. S. M. Richardson) at Alexandria attached as attendant destroyer to aircraft carrier GLORIOUS.  The rest of the Flotilla was based at Dover.

 

Destroyers - STRONGHOLD (Lt Cdr R. Alexander) departed Malta on 2 September for Suez, en route to Singapore, WOLSEY refitting at Malta as escort ship to complete 21 January 1940 (Cdr C.A.N. Chatwin)

 

Repair ship - RESOURCE (Captain W. Y. La R. Beverly) at Alexandria

 

1st Submarine Flotilla (Captain Philip Ruck-Keene) - depot ship MAIDSTONE (Captain E. H. Longsdon), submarines SHARK (Lt P. M. Buckley) departed Alexandria on 26 August for Malta, SEALION (Lt Cdr B. Bryant), OSIRIS (Lt Cdr R. Sheridan-Patterson) departed Gibraltar on 31 August and arrived at Malta on 3 September from Portsmouth, OSWALD (Lt Cdr G. M. Sladen) arrived at Malta on 1 September from Portsmouth, OTWAY (Cdr H. R. Conway) arrived at Malta on 2 September from Portsmouth. MAIDSTONE, SHARK, SEALION, OSIRIS, OSWALD, and OTWAY were at Malta.

 

Submarines CACHALOT (Lt Cdr S. W. F. Bennetts) and PORPOISE (Cdr G. W. G. Simpson) departed Gosport 28 August and arrived at Malta 1 September, SALMON (Lt Cdr E. O. B. Bickford) and SNAPPER ( Lt W. D. A. King) were at Alexandria, NARWHAL (Lt Cdr E. R. J. Oddie) arrived at Portsmouth from Plymouth on 5 September en route to the Mediterranean, but was retained in Home Waters.

 

Sloop - ABERDEEN (Cdr H. P. Currey) arrived Haifa on 29 August, departed 6 September.

 

1st Motor Torpedo Boat Flotilla (at Malta) - trawler VULCAN (Lt A. R. Guthrie), motor torpedo boats MTB.1 (Lt Cdr C.M. Donner, S.O.) was under repair, MTB.2 (Lt J. A. Eardley-Wilmot), MTB.3 (Lt A.A.T. Seymour-Haydon), MTB.4 (Lt A.R.J. Foster), MTB.5 (Lt W.B. Whitworth), MTB.6 (Sub Lt H. L. Lloyd), MTB.14 (Lt D.H. Mason), MTB.15 (Lt L.J.H. Gamble), MTB.16 (Lt P.F.S. Gould), MTB.17 (Lt R.I.T. Falker), MTB.18 (Sub Lt J.T. Mannooch), MTB.19 (Sub Lt D. Jermain)

 

Minelayer - MEDUSA at Malta

 

3rd Minesweeping Flotilla - minesweepers PANGBOURNE (Cdr F. Douglas-Watson,

 S.O. 3rd Mine Flotilla), SUTTON (Lt Cdr G. M. Temple), ROSS (Lt Cdr J. P. Apps)(ret) in the Red Sea, but to return to Alexandria; FERMOY (Lt Cdr J. G. D. Wetherfield, S.O. Minesweepers, Egypt) and SALTASH (Lt Cdr T. R. Fowke) were at Port Said, ELGIN (Lt Cdr J. M. Bayley) at Suez, LYDD (Lt Cdr R. C. D. Haig) at Alexandria, DUNOON (Lt Cdr H.A. Barclay), DUNDALK (Lt Cdr F. A. I. Kirkpatrick) and ALBURY (Lt Cdr C. H. Corbett-Singleton) all at Malta.

 

FERMOY was in reserve until December, then was refitting through January.

 

Four minesweepers were sent to England at the end of 1939. DUNDALK and DUNOON departed Gibraltar on 29 November for Plymouth.  ELGIN and SUTTON departed Gibraltar on 8 December for Portsmouth. The Plymouth pair proceeded to the Tyne and on 1 January were preparing for duty in the Humber.  The Portsmouth pair arrived in the Humber on 2 January.  On 1 January these four HUNTS and HALCYON (S.O.), HUSSAR, and SELKIRK were formed as the 4th Minesweeping Flotilla. 

 

SALTASH, LYDD, PANGBOURNE, ROSS, and ALBURY were ordered home on 3 March 1940 and joined the 5th Mine Sweeping Flotilla.

 

The 3rd Minesweeping Flotilla in the Mediterranean was then composed of minesweepers FAREHAM (S.O.), ABINGDON, BAGSHOT, FERMOY, and STOKE.

 

4th Antisubmarine Group – anti-submarine trawlers AMBER, BERYL, CORAL, JADE, MOONSTONE at Alexandria

 

Motor Minesweepers - motor minesweepers MMS 1 and MMS 2 (Lt G. MacClelland) at Haifa. Both sold to Turkey early 1940, departed Alexandria on 13 January in tow of Turkish naval collier ULKU for Ismir.

 

Drifters – LANDFALL, CRESCENT MOON, EDDY, SUNSET at Port Said,

 

 

SOUTH ATLANTIC COMMAND

(Vice Admiral George H. D'Oyly Lyon)

Freetown

 

6th Cruiser Squadron (Vice Admiral D'Oyly Lyon on NEPTUNE) - light cruiser NEPTUNE (Captain J. A. V. Morse, DSO)  departed Freetown 2 September on patrol and arrived back 8 September.

 

9th Cruiser Squadron (Captain A. Poland, Commodore 2/c) - light cruisers DESPATCH (Captain Poland) and DAUNTLESS (Captain G. D. Moore, RAN) both departed Gibraltar with convoy AB 1 for the Cape on 2 September, DANAE (Captain A. C. Collinson) departed Freetown for Simonstown on 3 September, DURBAN (Captain A. H. Maxwell-Hyslop, AM) departed Gibraltar for Freetown 2 September.

 

Seaplane tender - ALBATROSS (Captain W. G. Andrewes) en route to Freetown from Lee-on-Solent arriving on 8 September.

 

2nd Destroyer Flotilla, 4th Division - destroyers HYPERION (Cdr H. St. L. Nicolson) and HUNTER (Lt Cdr L. de Villiers) at Freetown

 

Sloops - MILFORD (Captain R. L. B. Cunliffe) and BRIDGEWATER (Cdr R. C. Hardy) were at Freetown, with MILFORD having departed Simonstown on 26 August and BRIDGEWATER on 24 August for Freetown, AUCKLAND (Captain J. T. Borrett, OBE) departed Simonstown 1 September on patrol, arrived back on 5 September and departed again that day, LONDONDERRY (Cdr Sir Thomas L. Beevor) departed Simonstown 1 September on patrol.  She arrived back on 5 September.

 

7th Submarine Flotilla - submarines SEVERN (Lt Cdr B. W. Taylor) and CLYDE (Cdr W. E. Banks) both departed Gibraltar on 31 August and arrived at Freetown 6 September.

 

Minesweeping trawlers – MAPLE, REDWOOD

 

 

WEST INDIES COMMAND

(Vice Admiral Sir Sidney Meyrick)

Bermuda and Kingston, Jamaica

 

8th Cruiser Squadron (Vice Admiral Sir Sidney Meyrick on BERWICK) - heavy cruisers BERWICK (Captain I. M. Palmer, DSC) departed Halifax 4 September, YORK (Captain R. H. Portal) at Halifax, light cruisers ORION (Captain H. R. G. Kinahan) at Kingston, the Australian PERTH (Captain H. H. Farncomb, RAN, MVO) at Port of Spain.

 

Escort sloops - DUNDEE (Captain C. C. A. Allen) at Bermuda, PENZANCE (Cdr A. J. Wavish) departed Bermuda on 1 September for Curacoa

 

 

SOUTH AMERICA DIVISION

(Captain Henry Harwood, Commodore 2/c on EXETER)

 

South America Division was transferred from the America and West Indies Command just prior to outbreak of the war to the South Atlantic Command. Main base Port Stanley in the Falklands

 

Heavy cruisers - EXETER (Captain F. S. Bell) departed Devonport 25 August for South America, via Freetown, CUMBERLAND (Captain W. H. G. Fallowfield) departed Devonport 31 August for South America, via Freetown

 

Light cruiser - AJAX (Captain C. H. L. Woodhouse) departed Rio de Janiero 30 August on patrol

 

2nd Destroyer Flotilla, 4th Division - destroyers HOTSPUR (Cdr H. F. H. Layman) and HAVOCK (Cdr R.E. Courage) at Freetown, and departed 5 September for Buenos Aires.


 

EAST INDIES COMMAND

(Rear Admiral R. Leatham)

Colombo and Trincomalee

 

4th Cruiser Squadron (Rear Admiral Leatham on GLOUCESTER) - light cruisers GLOUCESTER (Captain F. R. Garside, CBE) departed Aden 1 September for patrol in Red Sea, LIVERPOOL (Captain A. D. Read) at Masira, departing there 6 September to meet depot ship LUCIA, MANCHESTER (Captain H.H. Bousfield) departed Aden 3 September for Colombo.

 

Depot ship - LUCIA (Cdr M. J. Yeatman) en route from Colombo to Aden

 

Red Sea Division Sloops - EGRET (Captain J. C. Annesley, DSO, S.O.) departed Aden for Mombasa 6 September, FLEETWOOD (Cdr A. N. Grey) departed Aden for Port Said 6 September, and was in the Mediterranean in September for escort duties.

 

Persian Gulf Division Sloops - SHOREHAM (Captain C. M. Graham, S.O.) at Khor Kuwai, DEPTFORD (Cdr C. A. E. Stanfield) at Colombo, departing there 6 September for Port Said, FOWEY (Cdr H. B. Ellison) refitting at Bombay to complete 9 September, GRIMSBY (Captain A. S. Russell) at Khor Kuwai, and when relieved by HINDUSTAN, to Aden. DEPTFORD, FOWEY, and GRIMSBY were in the Mediterranean in September for escort duties

 

Sloop - ROCHESTER (Cdr G.F. Renwick) at Masira.

Royal Indian Navy Sloops - Flag Officer Commanding R.I.N., Vice Admiral H. Fitzherbert, CB, CMG (came under Leatham's Command at the outbreak of the war):

 

LAWRENCE (Lt Cdr F. W. King, RIN) and CLIVE (Cdr H. P. Hughes-Hallet, DSC, MBE, RIN) departed Bombay on 3 September for Island of Masira, and in October, transferred to Persian Gulf Division.

 

HINDUSTAN (Cdr P.A. Mare, RIN) and INDUS (Cdr E. G. G. Hunt, RIN) departed Bombay on 3 September for duty with Persian Gulf Division

 

CORNWALLIS (Cdr H. C. Beauchamp, RIN) departed Bombay on 24 September for duty in Gulf of Aden, arriving Aden 1 October.

 

Submarine - SEAL (Lt Cdr R. P. Lonsdale) had departed Gosport on 4 August en route to the Far East.  Calling at Gibraltar and Malta, she was at Aden at the outbreak of the war.  SEAL performed two patrols from Aden, 5 September to 14 September and 19 September to 27 September. She was then ordered back to England and arrived at Alexandria on 4 October, Malta on 10 October, and Portsmouth on 20 October.

 

 

CHINA STATION

(Admiral Sir Percy Noble on KENT)

 

5th Cruiser Squadron (Rear Admiral A. J. L. Murray on CORNWALL) - heavy cruisers KENT (Captain L.H. Ashmore; Captain D. Young-Jamieson from 12 September) departed Hong Kong 2 September, arrived Hong Kong after patrol 11 September, CORNWALL (Captain C. F. Hammill) departed Singapore 3 September to patrol in Andaman Island area, DORSETSHIRE (Captain B. C. S. Martin) at Shanghai, and light cruiser BIRMINGHAM (Captain E. J. P. Brind) departed Singapore 3 September to patrol in Mentawi Island area then to Tricomalee.

 

Aircraft carrier - EAGLE (Captain A. R. M. Bridge) departed Singapore 3 September to patrol in Padang area, then to Trincomalee.

 

21st Destroyer Flotilla (Captain G. R. B. Back) - destroyers DUNCAN (Captain Back) at Shanghai:

Destroyer Division 41 - DECOY (Cdr E. G. McGregor), DEFENDER (Lt Cdr St J. R. J. Tyrwhitt), DELIGHT (Cdr M. Fogg-Elliot), DUCHESS (Lt Cdr R. C. M. White) departed Hong Kong on 28 August, arrived at Singapore on 1 September, departed on 2 September en route for Aden; Destroyer Division 42 - DAINTY (Cdr F. M. Walton) at Amoy, DARING (Cdr S. A. Cooper) departed Singapore 3 September for patrol in Padang area, but returned that evening with engine room defects, DIANA (Lt Cdr E. G. LeGeyt) completed boiler repairs at Hong Kong on 19 September, DIAMOND (Lt Cdr P. A. Cartwright) completed

boiler repairs at Singapore on 4 December.

 

Sloops - BIDEFORD (Captain D. Young-Jamieson; Cdr R.F. Elkins from 12 September) at Wei Hai Wei, FALMOUTH (Cdr C. C. Hardy) at Hong Kong, SANDWICH (Cdr H. T. T. Bayliss) at Tienstin, LOWESTOFT (Cdr A. M. Knapp) refitting at Hong Kong until 2 December, FOLKESTONE refitting at Hong Kong until 13 December  (Lt Cdr C.F.H. Churchill from October)

 

4th Submarine Flotilla - (Captain G. M. K. Keble-White on MEDWAY), depot ship MEDWAY (Captain G.M.K. Keble-White), destroyer WESTCOTT (Lt Cdr W.F.R. Segrave), submarines RORQUAL (Lt Cdr R. H. Dewhurst), GRAMPUS (Lt Cdr C. A. Rowe), all at Singapore.

 

REGENT (Lt Cdr H. C. Browne), ROVER (Lt Cdr H. A. L. Marsham), PARTHIAN (Lt Cdr M. G. Rimington), OLYMPUS (Cdr H. V. King). OLYMPUS, REGENT, ROVER, and PARTHIAN left Singapore on patrol 30 August,  OLYMPUS arrived at Singapore on 6 September.

 

PROTEUS (Lt Cdr R. T. Gordon-Duff) refitting at Singapore to complete 17 October.

 

REGULUS (Cdr J. M. Money), RAINBOW (Lt Cdr J. D. Luce), PHOENIX (Lt Cdr D. C. Ingram), PERSEUS (Lt Cdr P. H. H. Bartlett) all at Hong Kong

 

PANDORA (Lt M. A. Langley) and ORPHEUS (Cdr C. J. Blake) refitting at Hong Kong until 11 November and the end of November, respectively

 

ODIN (Lt Cdr R. W. Moir) and OTUS (Lt Cdr E. C. F. Nicolay) were at Singapore and proceeded to Penang; departed Penang 9 September to return to Singapore

 

Local defense destroyers - destroyers SCOUT (Lt Cdr H. C. Simms) at Singapore, TENEDOS (Lt Cdr J. O'B. Milner Barry) at Singapore, THRACIAN (Lt Cdr H. G. D. de Chair) at Hong Kong, THANET (Lt Cdr J. Mowlam) at Hong Kong, STRONGHOLD (Lt Cdr R. Alexander) departed Malta on 2 September for Suez

 

STURDY, SALADIN, and SARDONYX upon completion of repairs in Home Waters were designated to join this flotilla to relieve the 21st Destroyer Flotilla for duty in the Mediterranean. STURDY did depart Devonport for China in November, but was retained in the Mediterranean. The other two remained in Home Waters.

 

2nd Motor Torpedo Boat Flotilla - motor torpedo boats MTB.7 (Lt R.A.M. Hennessy), MTB.8 (Sub Lt E.G.N. Bremner), MTB.9 (Lt J.A. Holdsworth), MTB.10 (Lt Cdr D. G. Clark, S. O.), MTB.11 (Lt A.J.T. Harris), MTB.12 (Lt R.G.H.G. Eyre), MTB.26 (Lt M.J. de C. Carey), MTB.27 (Lt C. J. Bateman). MTB 26 and MTB 27 were acquired from China on 4 September, all boats at Hong Kong

 

Minelayer - REDSTART (Lt Cdr A. F. Jackson) at Hong Kong

 

Monitor - TERROR (Cdr H. J. Haines) at Singapore

 

Yangtse Gunboats (Rear Admiral R. V. Holt on SCORPION) – gunboats SCORPION (Captain L. S. Saunders), APHIS (Lt Cdr R. B. Chandler), COCKCHAFER (Lt Cdr J. A. Agnew), CRICKET (Lt A.H. Diack), GNAT (Lt Cdr S. R. H. Davonport), LADYBIRD (Lt Cdr R. S. Stafford), MANTIS (Lt Cdr C. J. O. Malcolm - MANTIS for disposal, sold 20 January 1940), SCARAB (Lt Cdr H. F. Robertson-Aikman), TERN (Lt Cdr M. H. R. Crichton), GANNET (Cdr A. F. St. G. Orphen), PETEREL (Lt Cdr E. B. Carnduff), FALCON (Lt Cdr R. S. Abram), SANDPIPER (Lt Cdr H. E. H. Nicholls), DRAGONFLY (Cdr J. H. Ruck-Keene), GRASSHOPPER (Lt Cdr E. Neville)

 

West River Gunboats - gunboat sTARANTULA (Captain F. C. Flynn, S.N.O.), CICALA (Cdr G. Herbert (ret)), MOTH (Lt Cdr H. R. White), ROBIN (Lt Cdr R. A. Forbes), SEAMEW (Lt Cdr D. L. C. Craig)

 

2nd Minesweeping Flotilla - minesweepers ABERDARE (Cdr A.W. Sprott (ret) on 24 September), STOKE (Lt Cdr G. F. Agutter), ABINGDON (Captain A.R. Farquahar (ret), SO), FAREHAM (Lt Cdr W. H. Batten (ret) on 24 September), BAGSHOT (Lt Cdr J.G.B. Cage, RNVR), HARROW (Lt Cdr G. Nelson (ret) in December), WIDNES (Lt Cdr W.M. Passmore (ret) in October), DERBY (Lt Cdr W.N. Petch in October), HUNTLEY (Lt Cdr H.R.A. King, RNR, on 24 September), all at Singapore in reserve

 

HUNTLEY and WIDNES departed Bombay for Aden 1 January 1940.  In April 1940, the 2nd Minesweeping Flotilla was transferred away with only ABERDARE and HARROW remaining on the China Station. The rest of the flotilla, less DERBY who joined the two other minesweepers operating in the East Indies, were transferred to the Mediterranean. STOKE departed Bombay on 1 April for the Mediterranean and arrived at Malta on 27 April. DERBY at Aden on 3 April, en route to Malta, was docked at Aden and then returned to the East Indies Station.

 

Survey ship - sloop SCARBOROUGH (Captain E.F.B. Law; Lt Cdr M.B. Thomas from September) at Singapore

 


 

 

3. DOMINION NAVIES

 

 

ROYAL AUSTRALIAN NAVY

(Captain W. R. Patterson, Commodore 2/c, RN,  who relieved Rear Admiral W. N. Custance, CB, RN on 2 September;  Admiral Custance expired from lingering illness on 13 December 1939 on board steamer ORONTES while returning to the UK)

(Rear Admiral J. G. Crace assumed Flag Australian Navy on 1 November 1939; Patterson retained command of CANBERRA)

 

Heavy cruisers - CANBERRA (Flagship Patterson who also commanded CANBERRA)  departed Sydney on patrol 3 September, AUSTRALIA (Captain R. R. Stewart, RN) was refitting at Cockatoo Island, trials completed 29 September 1939.

 

Light cruisers - SYDNEY (Captain J. W. A. Waller, RN who was relieved on 16 November by Captain J. A. Collins, RAN) at Fremantle, HOBART (Captain H. L. Howden, RAN) departed Sydney on patrol 3 September, PERTH (Captain H. B. Farncomb, RAN) departed Portsmouth on 26 July, called at the New York World's Fair on 4 August, and arrived Kingston on 21 August en route to Australia, but Admiral Meyrick was able to retain her in the America and West Indies Command. PERTH was at Port of Spain on 3 September.

 

Recommissioned on 1 September 1939 - light cruiser ADELAIDE (Captain H. A. Showers, RAN) had been paid off, now refitting at Garden Buoy, Sydney

 

Destroyers - VAMPIRE (Cdr J. A. Walsh, RAN) departed Port Philip 3 September for patrol off Cape Otway,  VENDETTA (Lt Cdr G. L. Cant, RAN) departed Sydney on patrol 3 September, VOYAGER (Lt Cdr J. E. Morrow, RAN) departed Townsville on patrol 3 September.

 

Recommissioned 1 September 1939 - destroyers STUART (Cdr H. M. L. Waller, RAN, S.O. Destroyers),  WATERHEN (Lt Cdr J. H. Swain) both at Garden Buoy, Sydney, ammunitioning, storing, and cleaning ship

 

Sloops - SWAN (Lt Cdr E. J. Prevost, RAN) and YARRA (Lt Cdr W. H. Harrington, RAN) at Sydney

 

 

ROYAL CANADIAN NAVY

(Rear Admiral P. W. Nelles, RCN)

 

Esquimalt

 

Destroyers - OTTAWA (Captain G. C. Jones, RCN)(Captain, Destroyers), RESTIGOUCHE (Cdr W. B. L. Holms, RCN), FRASER (Cdr W. G. Creery, RCN), ST LAURENT (Lt Cdr A. M. Hope, RCN; relieved on 6 October by Lt Cdr H. G. DeWolf, RCN). FRASER and ST LAURENT departed Vancouver on 31 August for Halifax, via the Panama Canal.

 

Minesweeping trawlers - NOOTKA (Lt Cdr M. A. Wood, RCN), COMOX (Lt Cdr H. W. S. Soulsby, RCNR)

 

Prince Rupert Island

 

Minesweeping trawler - ARMENTIERS (Lt T. Macduff, RCNR)

 

Halifax

 

Destroyers - SAGUENAY (Lt Cdr G. R. Miles, RCN), SKEENA (Lt Cdr H. T. W. Grant, RCN)

 

Minesweeping trawlers - GASPE (A/Lt Cdr H. D. Mackay, RCNR), FUNDY (Lt Cdr A. R. Pressey, RCN)

 

 

NEW ZEALAND DIVISION OF THE ROYAL NAVY

(Captain J. W. Rivett-Carnac, DSC, Commodore 2/c, RN; 1 January 1940, Captain H. E. Horan, assumed the command of Commodore, New Zealand Division, and command of the LEANDER.

On 1 May 1940, Horan relinquished the post of Commodore while continuing command of LEANDER and Captain W. E. Parry of the ACHILLES became Commodore of the New Zealand Division)

 

Light cruisers – LEANDER (Captain J. W. Rivett-Carnac, Commodore 2/c) departed Auckland on 30 August, ACHILLES (Captain W. E. Parry) departed Auckland 29 August for Balboa.

 

Sloops - LEITH (Cdr G. R. Waymouth) and WELLINGTON (Cdr R. E. Hyde-Smith) were ordered to Singapore for escort duties on 25 August. LEITH departed Auckland on 28 August and Townsville 4 September, and WELLINGTON departed Auckland on 3 September and also sailed via Townsville.

 

on to French, Polish, German Navies, USN in Europe, September 1939
or back to RN Day-by-Day Homepage

revised 9/4/12


 

Volume 1 of an expanded version of "British and Other Navies in World War 2 Day-by-Day"

is available as a printed book or PDF download

 
 
  WORLD WAR II SEA WAR:
Volume 1, The Nazis Strike First

by Donald A Bertke, Don Kindell, Gordon Smith.

Detailed record of world-wide naval actions and activities from August 1939 through March 1940. Based on the original researches of Don Kindell.

Click for Book or lower cost PDF download

 
 

 

 

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