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

by Don Kindell

NAVAL EVENTS, JANUARY 1940 (Part 2 of 2)
Tuesday 16th - Wednesday 31st

HMS Glowworm, destroyer (CyberHeritage, click to enlarge)

on to Naval Events, FEBRUARY 1940

 

Note: all vessels and aircraft are British or Dominion unless otherwise identified - click for abbreviations

Corrections with thanks to Donald Bertke

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

 


Background Events - September 1939-March 1940

Battle of Atlantic starts, 'Phoney War' on land, Battle of River Plate


 

 

1940

 

 

Tuesday, 16 January

 

Heavy cruiser NORFOLK departed Rosyth on patrol duties, and arrived in the Clyde on the 23rd.

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Light cruiser NEWCASTLE departed Scapa Flow on patrol and arrived back on the 18th.

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Light cruiser DIOMEDE departed Scapa Flow on patrol.

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Armed merchant cruiser DERBYSHIRE arrived at the Clyde from Northern Patrol.

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Armed merchant cruiser CALIFORNIA departed the Clyde on Northern Patrol.

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Anti-aircraft cruiser CURLEW (above, prewar before conversion - NP/Ingo Bauernfiend) departed Scapa Flow for the Humber, and on passage arrived at Rosyth on the 16th.

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Destroyers IVANHOE and INTREPID were to conduct minelaying operation IE-3 in the North Sea, but it was cancelled due to bad weather.

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Destroyers KIMBERLEY and KELVIN collided at sea SE of Barra in 56-45N, 7-15W between the Clyde and Scapa Flow. KIMBERLEY was not damaged, but KELVIN was taken to the Clyde for repairs, escorted by destroyer BEDOUIN. Repairs to KELVIN were completed on 2 February. KIMBERLEY arrived at Scapa Flow on the 16th.

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Destroyer EXMOUTH and cable ship ROYAL SCOT arrived at Rosyth after an unsuccessful attempt in bad weather to repair the Danish cable.

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Destroyers SIKH and MOHAWK departed the Clyde escorting base ship MASHOBRA to Scapa Flow. They arrived at Scapa Flow on the 18th, and the destroyers went on to Rosyth arriving later that day.

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Submarine SUNFISH departed Harwich on patrol.

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Submarine H.34 departed Rosyth to exercise in the Firth of Forth, and off Inchkeith, rendezvoused with sloop FLAMINGO.

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Salvage ship TEDWORTH, escorted by escort vessel/minesweeper JASON departed the Clyde for Liverpool.

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Tanker INVERDARGLE (9456grt) was sunk on a mine laid by U.33 in 51‑61N, 03‑43W on 5 November, with the loss of all 44 crew.

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Italian steamer PREMUDA (4427grt) collided with a Lightship and was run aground on Goodwin Sands to prevent her sinking.

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Convoy HG.15 departed Gibraltar with 37 ships on the 16th, escorts:

 

 

joined

detached

16th

Destroyer WITHERINGTON, French TARTU, VAUQUELIN, sloop WELLINGTON

 

19th

 

WITHERINGTON detached to convoy OG.15

23rd

 

Convoy split, WELLINGTON escorted HG.15B

25th

 

TARTU, VAUQUELIN

convoy arrived on the 25th

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French light cruiser DUGUAY TROUIN and destroyer RAILLEUSE departed Casablanca with French steamer DE LA SALLE for Lorient, and French steamer BRAZZA departed Casablanca at the same time, escorted by destroyer BASQUE for Bordeaux. The destroyers were relieved on the 17th by large destroyer JAGUAR, which had departed Brest on the 15th, and destroyer BOUCLIER from Lorient.

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Convoy SL.17 departed Freetown escorted by armed merchant cruiser CARNARVON CASTLE and destroyer DAINTY. The armed merchant cruiser was with the convoy until the 31st, but the destroyer was detached in the local approaches. On 2 February, sloop ROCHESTER and destroyers VISCOUNT and WALKER joined the convoy and escorted it until its UK arrival on 4 February.

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At 0700, steamer HIGHLAND PRINCESS (14,133grt) coming out of La Cruz, Canary Islands, was attacked by French submarine PASCAL which mistook her for a German blockade runner. No damage was done.

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New Zealand light cruiser ACHILLES departed the Falkland Islands for patrol in the Rio de Janiero area.

 

 

Wednesday, 17 January

 

Submarine TRIBUNE fired six torpedoes at 0250 at a submarine in 57-50N, 11-00E at the mouth of the Kattegat, and fired two more at 0253, but there was no German submarine in the area.

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Light cruiser DUNEDIN arrived at Scapa Flow after Northern Patrol.

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Armed merchant cruisers ANDANIA arrived in the Clyde from Northern Patrol and CALIFORNIA departed the Clyde for Northern Patrol.

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Destroyer KANDAHAR arrived at Scapa Flow.

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Submarine SNAPPER departed Blyth on patrol.

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Destroyers MAORI, TARTAR, INGLEFIELD and FORESIGHT were sent to patrol off the Norwegian coast to intercept German ore ships.

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Convoy OA.74 departed Southend escorted by destroyers WHITEHALL and WIVERN from the 17th. WIVERN was detached on the 19th and WHITEHALL on the 20th, both to convoy HGF.16.

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Convoy OB.74 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyers WANDERER and MACKAY which later transferred to HXF.16. Steamer CAIRNROSS (not CAIRNCROSS as originally reported, 5494grt) from the convoy was lost on a mine seven miles, 276 from the Bar Light Vessel off Mersey Light laid by U.30 on the 9th. The entire crew was rescued, all 48 of them by MACKAY according to Uboat.net.

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Convoy FN.73 departed Southend, escorted by destroyer WOOLSTON and sloop GRIMSBY. In a gale, the convoy had to turn back just off the harbour entrance, but finally arrived in the Tyne on the 20th.

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Convoy FS.75 departed the Tyne, escorted by destroyer VALOROUS and sloop LONDONDERRY, and arrived at Southend on the 19th.

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Captain K A Beattie DSC (Rtd), appointed to command sloop AUCKLAND on the 8th, died on the 17th. Cdr J G Hewitt was appointed in command from the 20th.

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Italian steamer ERNANI (6619grt) collided with Lightship BRAKE in the Thames Estuary. BRAKE sank and ERNANI was badly damaged.

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U.25 sank Norwegian steamer ENID (1140grt) six to seven miles 10 of Muckle Flugga and badly damaged steamer POLZELLA (4751grt) off Muckle Flugga. POLZELLA sank next day without a trace, and there were no survivors. The entire crew of ENID was rescued by Danish steamer KINA (9823grt) and British fishing vessel GRANADA. Destroyers FORTUNE, FIREDRAKE and anti-submarine trawlers of the 10th Anti-Submarine Force were sent to hunt for the U-boat, and FIREDRAKE scuttled the wreck of ENID.

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German steamer GRATIA (2068grt) was stranded and lost at Aussenems.

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German steamer SANTOS (5943grt) departed Rio de Janiero for Hamburg where she safely arrived on 16 March.

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French large destroyer JAGUAR collided with British destroyer KEPPEL at 0435, 100 miles SW of Vigo. KEPPEL had been escorting convoy HG.15F until 1900/16th when she turned the convoy over to sloop ENCHANTRESS. She was badly damaged and escorted to Gibraltar by French destroyer LA RAILLEUSE and the British VORTIGERN, screened by French light cruiser DUGUAY TROUIN. KEPPEL arrived at Gibraltar on the 20th, departed on 10 February and was repaired in the dockyard at Malta from 14 February until 5 April. She arrived back at Gibraltar on 19 April. JAGUAR was repaired at Brest.

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Repair ship RESOURCE departed Malta for the South Atlantic, escorted by Australian destroyer STUART as far as Gibraltar, reaching there on the 21st. RESOURCE sailed from Gibraltar, while French destroyer LA RAILLEUSE left Casablanca on the 23rd and light cruiser NEPTUNE left Freetown on the 25th, to join her. The British ships arrived at Freetown on the 29th, while RAILLEUSE reached Dakar on the 27th. She left on 1 February and arrived back at Casablanca on the 5th.

 

 

Thursday, 18 January

 

Battleship WARSPITE and battlecruiser HOOD with destroyers FURY, FAME, FORESTER, FOXHOUND, FEARLESS, FORESIGHT, FIREDRAKE, FORTUNE of the 8th Destroyer Flotilla departed Scapa Flow. FORESTER and FIREDRAKE attacked submarine contacts on the 20th, east of the Faroes in 62-27N, 2-01W, and FORESIGHT attacked a contact NE of the Faroes in 62-54N, 3-10W on the 20th. The force returned to Scapa Flow on the 24th.

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Convoy FN.74 departed the southern terminus escorted by destroyer GREYHOUND and sloop AUCKLAND, with GREYHOUND being relieved by sloop STORK, which had been delayed at the start. The convoy arrived in the Tyne on the 19th. There was no FN.75.

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Convoy SA.26 of two steamers departed Southampton, escorted by sloop ROSEMARY, and arrived at Brest on the 19th.

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Destroyers AFRIDI and BEDOUIN departed Rosyth to provide anti-aircraft protection for the merchant ships at Methil.

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Heavy cruisers DEVONSHIRE and BERWICK, after undergoing alterations, departed Rosyth for Northern Patrol.

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Heavy cruiser NORFOLK's Walrus of 712 Squadron crashed on landing at Cadder, near Bishopbriggs, Glasgow. Lt (A) E F Pope and Leading Airman J Baxter were killed.

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Armed merchant cruiser WORCESTERSHIRE arrived in the Clyde from Northern Patrol, while CARINTHIA arrived in the Clyde from Portland for duty with the Patrol.

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Polish submarine ORZEL departed Rosyth on patrol.

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Destroyer IMOGEN arrived at Rosyth from convoy ON.8.

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Destroyers INGLEFIELD and FORESIGHT arrived at Sullom Voe to refuel prior to joining convoy HN.8.

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Destroyer KIPLING arrived at the Clyde from Portland.

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Destroyers MAORI and TARTAR were sent to hunt for a submarine reported in 63-30N, 7-30E.

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Destroyer VERITY, escorting a convoy, attacked a submarine contact south of Scilly Island in 49-02N, 6-14W.

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Sloops FOXGLOVE and ROSEMARY were escorting a convoy bound for Brest when a tanker going in the opposite direction advised them of a submarine contact. FOXGLOVE attacked a contact north of Alderney in 50-06N, 2-14W.

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Destroyers BROKE, WALKER, DIANA were sent to investigate a report of a U-boat on the surface west of Lizard Head in 49-58N, 5-30W. DIANA dropped depth charges on a submarine contact.

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Convoy OB.73GF had departed Liverpool on the 15th, and OA.73GF from Southend on the 16th escorted by destroyer BROKE from the 16th to 18th. On the 18th, the two convoys merged as OG.15F, totalling 26 ships. Escort was provided by sloop ABERDEEN and destroyer DOUGLAS from the 18th to the 23rd, when the convoy arrived at Gibraltar.

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Convoy BC.23S of steamers BALTRADER, BARON KINNAIRD, BRITISH COAST, DUNKWA (Commodore) and FABIAN departed Bristol Channel escorted by destroyer MONTROSE, which attacked a submarine contact west of Hartland Point in 50-55-45N, 5-18-30W. The convoy arrived safely in the Loire on the 20th.

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French torpedo boat BRESTOIS attacked a submarine contact off Boulogne in 50-35N, 2-32W.

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U.9 sank Swedish steamer FLANDRIA (1179grt) in 54‑00N, 03‑40E, 100 miles off Ymuiden. Seventeen crew were lost and four survivors rescued by Norwegian steamer BALZAC (963grt).

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U.25 sank Swedish steamer PAJALA (6873grt) ten miles 72 from North Rona. The crew of 35 was picked up by armed boarding vessel NORTHERN DUKE, at the time escorting her to Kirkwall for inspection. NORTHERN DUKE attacked the submarine, and destroyers ASHANTI and KIMBERLEY were dispatched to assist her.

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U.44 sank Danish steamer CANADIAN REEFER (1831grt) 25 miles NE of Cape Villano, but her crew was picked up by Spanish trawler JOSE IGNACIO DE C. (300grt).

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U.55 sank Swedish steamer FOXEN (1304grt) in 58‑52N, 00‑22W. Eight crew were lost and the sole survivor was picked up by Norwegian steamer LEKA (1599grt) on the 24 January according to Uboat.Net.

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German steamer AUGUST THYSSEN (2342grt) was sunk on a mine off Aland Island in the Baltic, part of a Swedish field, according to Seekrieg.

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Heavy cruisers DORSETSHIRE and SHROPSHIRE arrived at Port Stanley from Rio de Janiero to escort heavy cruiser EXETER to England.

 

 

Friday, 19 January

 

The Northern Patrol sighted 56 eastbound ships from the 19th to 31st, and 30 were sent into Kirkwall for inspection. Warships arriving back from Patrol were armed merchant cruisers CALIFORNIA and CHITRAL in the Clyde and light cruiser SHEFFIELD at Scapa Flow after being relieved by light cruiser MANCHESTER. Light cruiser DUNEDIN departed Scapa Flow on Patrol, but was recalled on the 25th and arrived back on the 26th. Also arriving at Scapa were heavy cruisers BERWICK and DEVONSHIRE from Rosyth and light cruiser DELHI.

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During the night of the 18th/19th, operation ST.3 was carried out off the Dutch coast with destroyers GRENVILLE, GRENADE, GRIFFIN and escort vessel WHITLEY. Two Dutch, one Norwegian and one Swedish ship were sent in for inspection. Returning to Harwich, GRENVILLE (Captain G E Creasy, D.1) was sunk by mine at 1250 off Kentish Knock in 51‑39N, 2‑17E. Seventy six ratings were lost, and the survivors picked up by accompanying GRENADE and GRIFFIN.

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Operation ST.4 was carried out by destroyers GREYHOUND, GLOWWORM, GRAFTON and the Polish BLYSKAWICA during the night of the 19th/20th. One Norwegian and one Swedish ship were sent in for inspection. In the four ST operations, destroyers GRENVILLE (ST.1 and ST.3), GREYHOUND (ST.1 and ST.4), GLOWWORM (ST.1 and ST.4), GRAFTON (ST.2 and ST.4), GRIFFIN (ST.2 and ST.3), GRENADE (ST.3) and BLYSKAWICA (ST.2 and ST.4) had taken part in the sweeps. Anti-submarine trawlers STELLA LEONIS, WILLIAM WESNEY, RIVER CLYDE, ARKWRIGHT, STELLA RIGEL, CAPE MELVILLE, PYROPE, EDWARDIAN and MILFORD PRINCESS were also involved.

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Anti-aircraft cruisers CALCUTTA and CAIRO departed Sheerness on escort duties, and arrived in the Humber on the 20th.

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Destroyer EXMOUTH departed Invergordon escorting tanker HORN SHELL (8272grt) as far as Cape Wrath, and then returned to Aberdeen on the 20th to escort steamer CYPRIAN PRINCE (1988grt) to Scapa Flow.

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Minelayer PRINCESS VICTORIA departed Rosyth escorted by anti-aircraft cruiser CURLEW, destroyer ESCAPADE and escort ship WHITLEY with an MT convoy for the Humber.

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Destroyer BEDOUIN departed Rosyth.

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Destroyer ASHANTI departed Loch Ewe with salvage ships ANCHORITE and DISPERSER for Scapa Flow.

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Destroyer COSSACK arrived at Rosyth from Leith after repairs.

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Submarine THISTLE departed Rosyth on patrol.

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Destroyer VETERAN attacked a submarine contact off Owers Light in 50‑28N, 00‑45W.

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French anti-submarine trawlers LA ORIENTAISE (590grt) and LA NANTAISE (590grt), sweeping to the northeast of Barfleur Light, attacked a submarine contact off Pointe de Barfleur in 49‑45N, 0‑03W. On 20 January, LA ORIENTAISE and sloop YSER were sweeping in the area.

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Convoy HN.8 of two British, 28 Norwegian, three Swedish and five Finnish ships departed Bergen and was joined at sea by destroyers ICARUS, IMOGEN, ISIS, INGLEFIELD, KASHMIR, KHARTOUM and KIMBERLEY. Light cruisers GLASGOW and EDINBURGH departed Rosyth on the 17th in support. On the 18th, EDINBURGH dropped depth charges on a submarine contact ESE of Sumburgh Head in 60-21N, 1-09E. On the 19th, KHARTOUM and KASHMIR were detached to hunt for a submarine in Moray Firth and attacked a contact. On the 20th, the two destroyers again attacked a contact in Moray Firth in 58-03.5N, 02-07.5W. Nine steamers were detached to ports on the west coast, and arrived at Methil early on the 22nd escorted by KASHMIR, ICARUS, ISIS and IMPULSIVE; the last two destroyers reinforcing the convoy on the 19th after the submarine contact.

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Convoy FS.76 departed the Tyne, escorted by sloops BITTERN and FLEETWOOD, and arrived at Southend on the 20th.

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U.9 sank Swedish steamer PATRIA (1188grt) in 54‑16N, 03‑30E. Nineteen crew were lost and the survivors rescued by Swedish steamer FRIGG (1248grt).

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U.59 sank French steamer QUIBERON (1296grt) off Great Yarmouth.

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Steamer MILE END (859grt) was sunk in a collision with trawler FARADAY (322grt) in 51‑45N, 02‑40E in the North Sea. Sloop STORK picked up the survivors.

 

 

Saturday, 20 January

 

Light cruiser DELHI departed Scapa Flow for Portsmouth where she arrived on the 22nd. When she left Scapa, the 7th Cruiser Squadron ceased to exist.

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Light cruiser MANCHESTER stopped Norwegian steamer LISA and sent her to Kirkwall for inspection.

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Destroyer ASHANTI arrived at Rosyth from Loch Ewe, via Scapa Flow.

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Destroyers FAME and FURY arrived at Sullom Voe to refuel.

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Destroyer KIMBERLEY sailed for the Clyde after unsuccessfully searching for the submarine that sank Swedish steamer PAJALA.

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Destroyers SIKH, MOHAWK, IMPERIAL and IMOGEN departed Rosyth for a sweep in the North Sea. On the 21st, IMPERIAL was in a minor collision, but was able to continue, and then on the 22nd attacked a submarine contact off Buchan Ness in 57.31N, 01‑16W. She was ordered to remain at the location until relieved by destroyers ENCOUNTER and ESCAPADE from Rosyth. Repairs to IMPERIAL were completed on the 26th.

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Submarine TRIBUNE arrived at Rosyth from patrol with engine trouble, and was docked from 21 January to 22 March. Submarines TRIDENT, SEAL, TRITON departed Rosyth for patrol on this date, but TRIDENT and SEAL arrived back next day.

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Armed merchant cruiser SALOPIAN, en route from Devonport to the Clyde, was in a collision with Finnish steamer SAIMAA (2001grt) in the Firth of Clyde, and was grounded in the Clyde on the 21st.

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Anti-submarine trawlers KINGSTON CYANITE (433grt), KINGSTON CORAL (433grt) and KINGSTON CRYSTAL (433grt) were en route from Belfast to Portland. Off Lizard Head in 49-57N, 4-50W and 49-58N, 4-58W, they attacked a submarine contact.

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Convoy OA.76 departed Southend escorted by destroyers VERITY and VETERAN until the 23rd when the convoy dispersed.

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Convoy OB.76 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyer WARWICK and sloop DEPTFORD until the 23rd.

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Convoy FN.76 departed Southend, escorted by destroyer VALOROUS and sloop LONDONDERRY, and arrived in the Tyne on the 22nd.

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Convoy FS.77 departed the Tyne, escorted by sloops FLAMINGO, WESTON and minelayer PLOVER, and arrived at Southend on the 21st.

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Liner LLANDAFF CASTLE (10,786grt) departed London and was involved in a collision with an unknown vessel off Beachy Head. She returned to port but was able to continue her voyage to North Africa after a week's repair.

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U.34 laid mines off Falmouth during the night of the 19th/20th, which sank one merchant ship - tanker CARONI RIVER (7087grt) on the 20th in 50‑06N, 05‑01W, but without the loss of any member of crew, all of whom were saved.

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U.44 sank Greek steamer EKATONTARCHOS DRACOULIS (5329grt) in 40‑20N, 10‑07W, with the loss of six crew. The survivors were picked up by Italian steamer NINOPADRE (4171grt).

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Estonian steamer NAUTIC (2050grt) was lost NW of Bergen in 63‑43N, 00‑43E to unknown cause.

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Convoy HXF.17 departed Halifax escorted by Canadian destroyers FRASER and RESTIGOUCHE, which detached on the 21st. Ocean escort was armed merchant cruiser ASCANIA, which stayed until the 29th. The convoy was escorted by destroyer VERITY from convoy OA.79 and VOLUNTEER from OB.79 from 29 January to 1 February, when it arrived at Dover.

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Destroyers HEREWARD and HUNTER departed Bermuda for Halifax.

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French heavy cruiser TOURVILLE and destroyers AIGLE and VAUBAN departed Toulon on the 20th to take a shipment of gold to Beirut, where they arrived on the 25th. The gold was sent on to Ankara to support Turkish military preparations. The French ships arrived back at Toulon on the 30th, sailed again and reached Malta on 3 February. after a patrol.

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Convoy SLF.17 departed Freetown escorted by destroyers HASTY and HERO in the local approaches, and armed merchant cruiser JERVIS BAY until the 31st. On 2 February, destroyer WREN joined and escorted the convoy until its UK arrival on the 4th.

 

 

Sunday, 21 January

 

Destroyer EXMOUTH (Captain Richard S Benson DSO, D.12) departed Aberdeen on the 20th leading steamer CYPRIAN PRINCE (1988grt). At 0441/21st, she was sunk by U.22 in Moray Firth off Tarbett Ness with all hands, Captain Benson, Lt J Lovejoy, Lt C C Hawkins DSC, Lt I W M Gill, Lt C H Crombie, Lt J R Olive, Lt J G F W Roberts, Surgeon Lt G A M Maxwell-Smith, Paymaster Lt L Sutherland, Gunner A H Budden, A/Gunner H.G Barter, Warrant Engineer C J Morton, P/Midshipman P L Watson RNR, P/T/Paymaster Sub Lt D D Bowen RNVR, Sub Lt B Gore-Booth (ret, emgy) and one hundred and seventy three ratings were lost. When CYPRIAN PRINCE arrived at Scapa Flow without her escort, destroyer SIKH and anti-submarine trawlers KING SOL (486grt), LOCH MONTEITH (531grt), ST ELSTAN (564grt) and ST CATHAN (565grt) of the 18th Anti-Submarine Group were sent to search for her survivors.

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Heavy cruiser BERWICK and light cruisers SHEFFIELD and NEWCASTLE departed Scapa Flow on Northern Patrol duties. A British aircraft bombed a submarine contact north of Cape Wrath in 59-38N, 5-00W in the path of BERWICK, which relieved heavy cruiser SUFFOLK.

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Light cruiser GLASGOW attacked a submarine contact east of Copinsay in 58-54.5N, 1-23W. Light cruiser EDINBURGH, in company with GLASGOW, attacked a contact three hours later east of Duncansby Head in 58-33N, 1-51W.

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Armed merchant cruiser CARINTHIA departed the Clyde for Northern Patrol, while AMC FORFAR arrived back.

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Destroyers KIMBERLEY arrived in the Clyde, as did destroyer DIANA from the south.

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Destroyer VETERAN attacked a submarine contact off Portland Bill in 50-16N, 2-40W, and sister-ship VERITY a contact off Start Point in 50-01N, 3-30W.

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Anti-submarine trawler LEICESTER CITY (422grt) attacked a submarine contact east of Douglas Head, Isle of Man, in 54-08N, 4-03W.

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Convoy OA.77 departed Southend escorted by destroyers VANESSA and WREN from the 21st to 22nd, and destroyer ACASTA from the 21st to 24th, when the convoy dispersed.

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Convoy OB.77 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyers VERSATILE and VANQUISHER until the 24th.

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Convoys OA.75G, which departed Southend on the 19th, and OB.75G merged on the 21st to form OG.15 of 49 ships. Destroyers WHIRLWIND and WITHERINGTON of OB.75G and KEITH were with OG.15 from the 21st to 22nd, and French destroyer CHACAL and patrol vessel CAPITAINE ARMAND from the 22nd to 27th. Two Destroyers from Gibraltar escorted the convoy on the 27th, when it arrived at Gibraltar.

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Convoy FN.77 departed Southend, escorted by sloops FLEETWOOD and BITTERN, but was forced to anchor shortly after departure due to fog, and arrived in the Tyne on the 23rd.

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Convoy FS.78 departed the Tyne, escorted by sloops AUCKLAND and STORK, and it too was forced to anchor shortly after departure due to fog, arriving at Southend on the 22nd.

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U.31 extended the minefield at Loch Ewe, but no shipping was sunk or damaged.

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Steamer FERRYHILL (1086grt) was sunk on a mine one and a half miles north of St Marys Light off Blyth laid by U.61 (U.22 according to Seekrieg) on 2 December. Eleven crew were lost.

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Steamer PROTESILAUS (9577grt) was badly damaged by a mine in 51‑31N, 04‑04W laid by U.28 on 13 November. The steamer was run aground off Mumbles Light House in Swansea Bay, a total loss, but later refloated and towed towards Scapa Flow by tugs EMPIRE HENCHMAN and ABEILLE 21. En route, she sprung a leak and was sunk by gunfire 4.9 miles 295 from Skerryvore on 13 September 1940.

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U.57 sank Norwegian steamer MIRANDA (1328grt) in 58‑14N, 02‑05W. Fourteen crew were lost and three survivors picked up.

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U.22 sank Danish steamer TEKLA (1469grt) at 0500 in 58‑18N, 02‑25W. Destroyer EXMOUTH's fate was not then known and orders were dispatched for her to assist. Nine crew were lost on TEKLA and nine survivors rescued by Norwegian steamer IRIS (1177grt) and destroyer SIKH.

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Swedish steamer ANDALUSIA (1357grt) departed Bordeaux on the 16th for Goteborg, and was lost with all hands on the 21st in the North Sea to unknown cause (torpedoed by U.55 according to Seekrieg and to Rohwer's "Axis Submarine Successes").

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After the loss of steamers MIRANDA, TEKLA, ANDALUSIA, destroyers ESCAPADE, ENCOUNTER, ECHO, ECLIPSE and IMPERIAL searched the area.

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Destroyer VERITY attacked a submarine contact off Portland Bill.

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Convoy BC.22 of steamers BARON BARNEGIE, BATNA, COXWOLD and DAVID LIVINGSTONE (Commodore) departed the Loire escorted by destroyer MONTROSE, and safely arrived off Barry on the 21st.

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Convoy HG.16F departed Gibraltar with fifteen ships, escorted by destroyers ACTIVE and WHITEHALL. WHITEHALL was with the convoy from the 21st to 27th, ACTIVE from 21st to 28th, while sloop ABERDEEN joined from 22nd to 27th and destroyer VANOC from 27th to 28th, on which day it arrived.

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Destroyer DOUGLAS was with convoy OG.15F off the west coast of Portugal when she sighted U.44 in the path of the convoy. She reported the submarine to convoy escort sloop ABERDEEN and advised she was attacking. U.44 was driven off with minor damage 150 miles west of Oporto in 41-09N, 11-55W, but was able to continue patrol.

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Sloop BRIDGEWATER on passage from Lobito to Freetown attacked a submarine contact 170 miles south of Cape Palmas in 1-41N, 7-14W.

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A Gladiator of 769 Squadron went into the sea from aircraft carrier ARGUS, but Lt G R Callingham was unhurt.

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Italian liner ORAZIO (11,669grt) caught fire and sank 40 miles SW of Toulon, and her survivors were rescued by Italian liners COLOMBO (11,760grt), CELLINA (6086grt), CONTE BIANCAMANO (23,255grt), French destroyer KERSAINT, auxiliary patrol vessel VILLE D'AJACCIO (2444grt), tug SIX FOURS, refrigerator ship AUSTRAL, troop ships GOUVERNEUR GENERAL CAMBON (3509grt), GOUVERNEUR GENERAL GREVY (4565grt), and steamers DJEBEL DIRA (2835grt) and DJEBEL NADOR (3168grt).

_____

 

Japanese liner ASAMA MARU (16,975grt) departed San Francisco on the 6th with 51 German seamen from the crew of German liner COLUMBUS. Light cruiser LIVERPOOL departed Hong Kong on the 16th to intercept the ship as it arrived off the Japanese coast. On the 21st, LIVERPOOL stopped her 35 miles off Nojima Zaki near Yokosuka and removed 21 German technicians. After strong protests from Japan and Germany, nine were finally released and arrived at Yokohama on 29 February on Australian armed merchant cruiser KANIMBLA. In some sources, the cruiser involved is incorrectly identified as GLOUCESTER which was refitting at Colombo.

_____

 

Destroyer WOLSEY completed conversion to a fast escort vessel at Malta and was commissioned with the crew from repairing destroyer GARLAND. She departed Malta on the 21st, and Gibraltar on the 29th as an escort for convoy HG.17F, arrving at Dover on 5 February. WOLSEY carried on and arrived at Rosyth for duty with Convoy C.

_____

 

Heavy cruiser EXETER, emergency repairs completed, departed Port Stanley escorted by heavy cruisers DORSETSHIRE and SHROPSHIRE. Aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL, battlecruiser RENOWN and destroyers DAINTY and DIAMOND departed Freetown on the 24th to rendezvous with her on the 29th in mid-South Atlantic some 200 miles east of Pernambuco in 17‑00S, 25‑06W and relieved the heavy cruisers. SHROPSHIRE then proceeded to Capetown for refitting, completed on 16 March. DAINTY and DIAMOND returned to Freetown on the 29th for refuelling and left again that day to rejoin the carrier force at sea. On 3 February, ARK ROYAL, RENOWN, EXETER, DAINTY and DIAMOND entered Freetown for refuelling, and departed on the 6th.

 

 

Monday, 22 January

 

Destroyers MAORI and TARTAR arrived at Rosyth.

_____

 

Destroyers ICARUS and IMPULSIVE arrived at Loch Ewe for refuelling.

_____

 

Destroyers JACKAL, JAGUAR and JAVELIN departed the Humber for submarine hunting duties, arrived at Rosyth on the 23rd, but were ordered not to be used for convoy work.

_____

 

Destroyer ECLIPSE escorted cable ship ROYAL SCOT from Leith.

_____

 

Destroyers SIKH and MOHAWK departed Rosyth to hunt for a submarine reported in the North Sea.

_____

 

On patrol in the North Sea, submarine TRITON suffered damage to one of her valves and put into Lister for repairs which were soon accomplished.

_____

 

Destroyer MONTROSE departed Quiberon Bay with convoy BC.22 at 0700/21st, and on the 22nd, was ordered to check a U-boat contact off Caldy Island in 51‑33N, 04‑42W. She was joined by destroyer VANQUISHER, which attacked a submarine contact. MONTROSE then searched Carmarthen Bay and the approaches to Bristol Channel before relieving VANQUISHER at dawn on the 23rd at the location of her attacks. MONTROSE proceeded to 51-12N, 5-45W to search for a submarine reported by anti-submarine trawler BEDFORDSHIRE (443grt), and joined by VANQUISHER, searched the entrance of the Bristol Channel near the Breaksea Light Vessel. MONTROSE returned to Milford Haven to refuel on the 24th, departing that afternoon to rejoin VANQUISHER searching in Barnstaple Bay, where the latter made an attack in 51-04.5N, 4-25.25W. They then patrolled between Bull Point and Helwick Sands the night of the 24th/25th, before MONTROSE proceeded to Milford Haven on the morning of the 25th.

_____

 

Convoy FN.78 departed Southend, escorted by sloops FLAMINGO and WESTON, and arrived in the Tyne on the 23rd.

_____

 

French sloop AMIENS attacked a submarine contact off Calais in 51-03.5N, 2-02W.

_____

 

U.57 laid a minefield in Cromarty Firth during the night of the 21st/22nd, one which one merchant ship was lost.

_____

 

U.25 sank Norwegian steamer SONGA (2589grt) 220 miles west of the Scilly Islands, but the entire crew was rescued.

_____

 

U.51 sank Swedish steamer GOTHIA (1640grt), 45 miles W by N of St Kilda in 57‑46N, 09‑50W, with the loss of twelve crew.

_____

 

U.61 sank Norwegian steamer SYDVOLD (2434grt) in 58‑40N, 00‑30W. Five crew were lost, and 19 survivors rescued by Norwegian steamer RONA (1376grt).

_____

 

Norwegian steamer SEGOVIA (1387grt) departed England for Norway on the 22nd and was not heard from again. Seekrieg and Uboat.Net states she was sunk by U.55, a claim provisionally confirmed by Rohwer's "Axis Submarine Successes". There were no survivors.

_____

 

Steamer KIRKPOOL (4842grt) ran aground and was a total loss on the south coast of England.

_____

 

In the South Atlantic, German supply ship ALTMARK (10,850grt) began her return to Germany and passed through the Faroes-Iceland Channel undetected on 11 February.

_____

 

Convoy HX.17 departed Halifax at 0800 escorted by Canadian destroyers FRASER and RESTIGOUCHE, and was joined by light cruiser EMERALD, also from Halifax, as ocean escort the same day. The destroyers turned over the convoy to her at noon on the 23rd. EMERALD then detached on 3 February and proceeded to England to refit - escort duty in the North Atlantic had damaged the main engines and strained and buckled her decks. She arrived at Portsmouth on 4 February and was refitting at Southampton from 15 February to 30 April. Destroyers VANESSA, VANSITTART, KEITH and WARWICK joined HX.17 on 7 February as escort until its arrival at Liverpool later that day.

_____

 

A minor fire started by a welding torch broke out on Italian battleship LITTORIO, under construction at the Ansaldo Yards at Genoa.

_____

 

Light cruiser GALATEA departed Malta on patrol, and arrived back on the 30th.

_____

 

Light cruiser DAUNTLESS departed Singapore on patrol duties, and arrived at Penang on the 27th.

_____

 

Destroyers HARDY and HOSTILE departed Freetown on the 13th with convoy SLF.16, and then Gibraltar on the 22nd. HARDY reached Plymouth on the 25th for docking and repair, but was able to proceed in a few days and arrived at Greenock on 14 February for duty with the Home Fleet. HOSTILE reached Dover on the 25th, before going on to Sheerness and then Chatham were she docked for repairs and refit lasting until 26 February when she also left to join the Home Fleet.

_____

 

Destroyers HERO and HASTY departed Freetown on the 22nd and arrived at Gibraltar on the 29th.

_____

 

Submarine OLYMPUS arrived at Colombo after patrolling the Seychelles area and in the Mozambique Channel.

 

 

Tuesday, 23 January

 

Light cruiser NEWCASTLE departed Scapa Flow on Northern Patrol, but arrived back on the 29th with defects.

_____

 

Heavy cruiser NORFOLK arrived in the Clyde.

_____

 

Destroyers JUNO and JERVIS departed the Humber with minelayer PRINCESS VICTORIA for operation LB, and returned on the 24th after the minelay.

_____

 

Destroyers ZULU and COSSACK departed Rosyth, with ZULU proceeding to Leith for repairs and refit, and COSSACK to carry out exercises on the 24th. However, she had to return because of an influenza outbreak among the crew.

_____

 

Destroyers JACKAL, JAGUAR, JAVELIN and ASHANTI departed Rosyth to hunt for a submarine reported off Kinnaird Head.

_____

 

Destroyers ECHO and ECLIPSE attacked a submarine contact ENE of May Island in 56-14N, 2-23W. Later in the day, ECHO attacked a contact ENE of Montrose in 56-46N, 2-12W.

_____

 

Anti-submarine trawler BEDFORDSHIRE (443grt), escorting cable ship MARIE LOUISE MACKAY as she was repairing cables west of Lundy Island, dropped depth charges on a submarine contact in 51-11-29N, 5-46-33W. Destroyers ICARUS and IMPULSIVE joined her, but the attack was unsuccessful.

_____

 

Convoy FN.79 departed Southend, escorted by sloops AUCKLAND and STORK, and arrived in the Tyne on the 24th.

_____

 

U.18 sank Norwegian steamer VARILD (1085grt) with all hands NE of Kinnaird Head.

_____

 

U.19 sank British steamer BALTANGLIA (1523grt) and the Norwegian  PLUTO (1598grt) NE of the Tyne in 55‑35N, 01‑27W. All the crew of both steamers were picked up by British fishing vessels.

_____

 

Finnish steamer ONTO (1333grt) was lost on a mine 2.7 miles 251 from Smith Knoll Light Vessel off Cross Sands in 52-51N, 2-11E which had been laid by U.56 on the 8th. The entire crew were rescued by sloop AUCKLAND.

_____

 

German trawler MULHAUSEN (327grt) was lost by mining off Pillau.

_____

 

Battleship VALIANT, light cruiser ENTERPRISE, and destroyers HUNTER and HEREWARD departed Bermuda and arrived at Halifax on the 26th.

_____

 

The CAVALRY convoy departed Marseilles escorted by Australian destroyers VOYAGER and VAMPIRE. Off Malta, they were relieved by Australian sister ship VENDETTA which escorted the convoy to Haifa.

 

 

Wednesday, 24 January

 

Battleship WARSPITE and battlecruiser HOOD with destroyers FURY, FAME, FORESIGHT, FOXHOUND, FEARLESS, FORESTER, FIREDRAKE, FORTUNE arrived in the Clyde from patrol.

_____

 

New submarine TETRARCH arrived in the Clyde for trials.

_____

 

Submarine URSULA arrived at Rosyth after patrol.

_____

 

Submarine H.34, Polish submarine WILK and two destroyers exercised in the Firth of Forth.

_____

 

Escort vessel/destroyer VEGA, her repairs completed, departed the Tay for Methil.

_____

 

Destroyer JAVELIN arrived at Rosyth.

_____

 

Destroyers ESCAPADE and ENCOUNTER departed the scene of their submarine search off Rattray Head at dusk for Rosyth.

_____

 

Destroyers ICARUS and IMPULSIVE arrived at Portsmouth.

_____

 

Minelayer PRINCESS VICTORIA, which left the Humber early on the 24th escorted by destroyers JERVIS and JUNO, laid 240 mines in a defensive minefield, designated LB, about 50 miles NE of Spurn Point.

_____

 

Minesweeper SKIPJACK was in a collision with steamer RUTLAND (1437grt) and sustained minor damage.

_____

 

Convoy ON.9 of three British, five Norwegian, one Swedish and four Finnish ships departed Methil escorted by destroyers INGLEFIELD, ISIS, KASHMIR, TARTAR and submarine SEAL. TARTAR was relieved by destroyer KHARTOUM which was in turn relieved by destroyer IMOGEN. On the 25th, light cruisers EDINBURGH and GLASGOW departed Rosyth to join the convoy as near cover. ON.9 arrived safely on the 27th at Bergen.

_____

 

Convoy FN.79 A departed Southend, escorted by destroyer VIVIEN and sloop PELICAN, and arrived in the Tyne on the 25th.

_____

 

Convoy FS.79 departed the Tyne, escorted by destroyer WHITLEY and sloop LONDONDERRY, and arrived at Southend on the 25th.

_____

 

Convoy FS.80 departed the Tyne, escorted by sloops FLEETWOOD and BITTERN, and arrived at Southend on the 26th.

_____

 

Destroyers JACKAL, JAGUAR and ASHANTI sweeping off Tod Head in 56‑47N, 02‑10.8W attacked a submarine contact. Anti-submarine trawler FIFESHIRE (540grt) relieved them and they continued on patrol. ASHANTI then headed for Cowes for repair and refit, while JACKAL and JAGUAR returned to the location at 0300/25th, continuing their patrol at 1800.

_____

 

French destroyer BOULONNAISE attacked a submarine contact east of Pointe de Barfleur in 49-45N, 00-38W, and was joined by anti-submarine trawlers LA NANTAISE and LA ORIENTAISE, both of which attacked contact in the vicinity in 49-51N, 00-28W.

_____

 

U.23 sank Norwegian steamer BISP (1000grt) in the North Sea with all hands.

_____

 

U.44 sank French steamer ALSACIEN (3819grt) from French convoy 56 KS in 39‑01N, 09‑54W with the loss of four crew.

_____

 

Convoy HG.16 of 42 ships departed Gibraltar on the 24th, escorts:

 

 

joined

detached

24th

Anti-submarine trawler LEYLAND (452grt) as local escort, French large destroyers PANTHRE, TIGRE

LEYLAND

31st

Destroyer WOLVERINE, and sister ship WALPOLE from OG.16

PANTHRE, TIGRE, arrived Brest on 1st

3rd

 

WOLVERINE, WALPOLE

convoy arrived on the 3rd February

_____

 

Finnish steamer AURA (4763grt) went ashore near Start Point on the 31st, but was refloated and taken to Plymouth that day.

_____

 

Sloop FOLKESTONE departed Port Said for Malta, en route to England.

_____

 

Aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL, battlecruiser RENOWN, and destroyers DAINTY and DIAMOND departed Freetown, and rendezvoused on the 29th with the EXETER force in 17‑00S, 26‑06W, where they relieved the heavy cruisers as escorts.

_____

 

French battleship PROVENCE, heavy cruisers COLBERT, DUQUESNE, and destroyers VAUTOUR and ALBATROS departed Toulon and passed Oran on the 25th. The destroyer detached on the 27th, reached Casablanca on the 28th, left there on the 31st and arrived back at Oran on 1 February. The heavy ships arrived at Dakar on the 30th.

_____

 

Convoy SL.18 departed Freetown escorted by armed merchant cruiser BULOLO from 24 January to 9 February, and a day earlier, on the 8th, merged with SLF.18. Destroyer WINDSOR relieved the armed merchant cruiser on the 9th February and took the convoy on to Liverpool, arriving on the 12th.

_____

 

Yugoslav destroyer LJUBJANA, entering Sebenico in a gale, ran aground and was badly damaged. She was salved but was still under repair when Yugoslavia fell to the Germans in April 1941.

_____

 

Finnish steamer NOTUNG (1133grt) was sunk by Soviet bombers between Abo and Aland Island.

 

 

Thursday, 25 January

 

Heavy cruiser SUFFOLK and armed merchant cruisers SCOTSTOUN and FORFAR arrived in the Clyde after Northern Patrol.

_____

 

Light cruiser DIOMEDE departed Scapa Flow for Plymouth where she arrived on the 30th, and later sailed to join the 8th Cruiser Squadron in the North America and West Indies Station.

_____

 

Destroyer JAVELIN departed Rosyth to relieve destroyer JACKAL on anti-submarine duties.

_____

 

Destroyers ESCAPADE and ENCOUNTER arrived at Rosyth from submarine hunting, and after refuelling, left again on the 25th with cable ship ROYAL SCOT.

_____

 

Destroyers ECHO and ECLIPSE departed Aberdeen escorting steamer RUTLAND (1437grt) to Scapa Flow.

_____

 

T/Sub Lt G . Williamson RNVR, ferrying a Swordfish of 819 Squadron from Silloth to Ford, was killed when his aircraft crashed south of Huddersfield.

_____

 

Destroyer ESCORT and sloop FLAMINGO departed the Tyne escorting convoy FS.81.

_____

 

Convoy OA.79 departed Southend escorted by destroyers ANTELOPE from the 25th to 26th and VERITY from 26th to 28th, when the convoy was dispersed. Submarine H.33 was in the convoy on passage to Portsmouth.

_____

 

Convoy OB.79 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyers WINCHELSEA and VOLUNTEER until the 28th, when they detached to convoy HXF.17.

_____

 

Convoy SA.27 of two steamers departed Southampton, escorted by sloops FOXGLOVE and ROSEMARY, and arrived at Brest on the 27th, less steamer DIDO, which ran aground off Ouessant on the 27th. She was brought into Brest on the 30th.

_____

 

Convoy FS.81 departed the Tyne, escorted by destroyer ESCORT and sloop FLAMINGO, and arrived at Southend on the 27th.

_____

 

Drifter RIANT (95grt) was lost in heavy weather off Gighm on the south coast of Jura Sound.

_____

 

German destroyers WILHELM HEIDKAMP, KARL GALSTER, ANTON SCHMITT, PAUL JACOBI, RICHARD BEITZEN and HERMANN SCHOEMANN conducted a shipping sweep in the Skagerrak during the night of 25/26 January. The raid was abandoned because of heavy weather.

_____

 

U.14 sank Norwegian steamer BIARRITZ (1752grt) in 52‑39N, 04‑15E with the loss of 25 crew. The survivors were picked up by Norwegian steamer BORGHOLM (1561grt) 36 miles NW of Ijmuiden.

_____

 

U.19 sank Latvian steamer EVERENE (4434grt) five miles off Longstone Light and Norwegian steamer GUDVIEG (1300grt) four and a half miles E by S of Longstone Light. Sloop PELICAN, escort ships VIVIEN, WOOLSTON, VEGA, and anti-submarine trawlers of the 19th A/S Group were ordered into the area to investigate. WOOLSTON and VEGA made unsuccessful attacks east of Farne Island at 0633/26th in 55-37N, 1-30W . One crewman was lost from EVERENE and ten from the GUDVIEG. EVERENE's survivors and eight crew from GUDVEIG were rescued by fishing vessels DOLE and EVESHAM (239grt). (However according to Uboat.net, four of GUDVEIG's men were rescued by Norwegian steamer VIM.) PELICAN and VIVIEN proceeded to 20F buoy to turn back all northbound shipping from the Tyne. The search for the submarine continued until 2200/26th when WOOLSTON and sloop GRIMSBY set off for the Tyne to escort convoy FS.83. VEGA returned to Rosyth on the 26th to escort submarines WILK and H.34.

_____

 

Destroyer VANQUISHER investigated a submarine contact SW of Nash Point in 51‑18N, 03‑39W, where she was joined by destroyer WAKEFUL at 0330/26th and later by destroyer KEITH. The destroyers swept westward and returned to the attack location at daylight. VANQUISHER then proceeded to Liverpool. At 1330/28th, WAKEFUL and KEITH, still on patrol, attacked a submarine contact in 51-21-30N, 3-40-50W. This was later determined to be the wreck of steamer STANHOLME (2473grt) sunk by a mine on 25 December. At 2215, the destroyers attacked a contact SW of Milford Haven in 51-32.5N, 5-24W, then at 0020/27th, proceeded on patrol.

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French destroyer FOUGUEUX attacked a submarine contact 70 miles west of Oporto in 41-10N, 10-10W.

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French destroyer BASQUE and sloop ANNAMITE made attacks on a submarine contact northwest of Ferrol in 44-10N, 9-10W.

_____

 

U.44 sank French steamer TOURNY (2769grt), a straggler from convoy 56 KS, in 38‑09N, 09‑55W. Eight crew were lost, and survivors were picked up by Spanish steamer CASTILLO MONFORTE (1986grt).

_____

 

Light cruiser NEPTUNE departed Freetown to join repair ship RESOURCE en route from Gibraltar. Both ships arrived at Freetown on the 29th.

 

 

Friday, 26 January

 

Light cruiser DUNEDIN arrived at Scapa Flow after Northern Patrol.

_____

 

Light cruiser CURACOA completed her conversion to anti-aircraft cruiser at Chatham, and departed Portland for working up on the 30th.

_____

 

Light cruiser ARETHUSA departed Portsmouth for Scapa Flow, and arrived on the 29th for duty with 2nd Cruiser Squadron, Home Fleet.

_____

 

Submarine TRUANT departed Rosyth on patrol.

_____

 

Destroyers JACKAL, ECHO and ECLIPSE arrived at Rosyth.

_____

 

Destroyer SIKH arrived at Scapa Flow and after refuelling departed with destroyer TARTAR to relieve the escort of convoy HN.9.

_____

 

Destroyers JERVIS, JUNO, JUPITER and IMPERIAL were on a sweep off the SW of Norway.

_____

 

Destroyers JAVELIN and JAGUAR on a submarine hunt, were ordered into Invergordon for shelter from the gale.

_____

 

Destroyer GREYHOUND and Polish destroyer BLYSKAWICA attacked a submarine contact off Great Yarmouth, 52-34N, 2-16E.

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Destroyer WANDERER attacked a submarine contact off Chicken Rock, Isle of Man in 53-56N, 4-51W.

_____

 

Steamer DURHAM CASTLE (8240grt), under tow by tug WATERMEYER en route to Scapa Flow from Rosyth on the 25th as a block ship, was sunk on a mine laid by U.57 off Cromarty on the 22nd.

_____

 

Convoy OA.78GF, was escorted by destroyers BROKE from the 23rd to 24th and AMAZON from the 23rd to 25th. Meanwhile OB.78GF with 23 ships departed Liverpool on the 24th escorted by destroyers WHITEHALL and VANOC. The two merged as OG.16F on the 26th and on the same day WHITEHALL and VANOC detached to join HG.16F. Sloop SANDWICH joined the OG escort on the 26th and left on the 31st, while destroyers VELOX and WISHART joined on 1 February off Gibraltar, and arrived later that day.

_____

 

Convoy BC.24 six steamers, including BARON GRAHAM and MARSLEW (Commodore) departed Bristol Channel escorted by destroyer MONTROSE, and arrived safely in the Loire.

_____

 

Convoy AXS 10 of one steamer escorted by destroyer VETERAN arrived at Brest from Fowey on the 26th.

_____

 

Convoy FN.80 departed Southend, escorted by destroyer WHITLEY and sloop LONDONDERRY, and arrived in the Tyne on the 27th.

_____

 

Convoy FS.82 departed the Tyne, escorted destroyers WOOLSTON and VEGA and sloop GRIMSBY, and arrived at Southend on the 28th.

_____

 

Estonian steamer KESSU (295grt) was seized in the Baltic by German naval forces and taken to Memel.

_____

 

Heavy cruiser CORNWALL departed Capetown on escort duties and arrived back on the 30th.

_____

 

New Zealand light cruiser ACHILLES arrived at Montevideo.

 

 

Saturday, 27 January

 

Battleship RODNEY, battlecruiser REPULSE, and the 8th Destroyer Flotilla less FORESTER under repair, departed the Clyde to exercise west of the Shetlands. They returned on the 31st.

_____

 

Light cruiser MANCHESTER arrived at Scapa Flow to boiler clean.

_____

 

Light cruiser DUNEDIN departed Scapa Flow and arrived at Portsmouth on the 29th.

_____

 

Armed merchant cruiser SCOTSTOUN arrived in the Clyde.

_____

 

Destroyer MAORI departed Rosyth escorting submarine TRITON to Scapa Flow. After delivering her on the 28th, MAORI proceeded to search for a boat from the Norwegian steamer HOSANGER before proceeding to the Clyde, where she arrived on the 29th.

_____

 

Destroyers JAVELIN and JAGUAR departed Invergordon to rendezvous with tanker ATHELKNIGHT (8940grt) for Rosyth.

_____

 

Convoy HM.9 A of 19 Norwegian, nine Swedish, four Finnish, four Estonian and one Latvian ships departed Bergen escorted by destroyers INGLEFIELD, ISIS, IMOGEN, KASHMIR and submarine SEAL. Light cruisers GLASGOW and EDINBURGH departed Scapa Flow on the 26th to cover the convoy. Twelve ships in the convoy detached for ports on the west coast escorted by destroyers INGLEFIELD and MOHAWK before the remaining ships and escorts arrived at Methil on the 31st. ISIS then sailed for Falmouth for docking.

_____

 

Sloop AUCKLAND departed Rosyth for a refit at Dundee.

_____

 

Convoy FN.81 departed Southend, escorted by sloops FLEETWOOD and BITTERN. Sloop EGRET joined en route and anti-aircraft cruiser CALCUTTA, which had departed the Humber, was on passage near the convoy, which arrived in the Tyne on the 28th. Convoy FN.82 was cancelled.

_____

 

Minesweeper SKIPJACK was in a collision with Finnish steamer KARIN THORDEN (1789grt) and sustained damage to her stern.

_____

 

U.20 sank four steamers - Norwegian FARO (844grt) 15 miles SE of Copinsay, Orkneys, Danish FREDENSBURG (2094grt) in 58-10N, 1-40W, and Danish ENGLAND (2319grt) and Norwegian HOSANGER (1591grt) in 58‑25N, 01‑53W. FARO went ashore at Taracliffe Bay a total loss on the 28th, with seven crew lost and eight saved. FREDENSBURG lost her entire crew of 20 men. ENGLAND lost 20 men with one survivor and HOSAGNER lost 17, with her only survivor being rescued by armed boarding vessel NORTHERN REWARD and later transferred to destroyer MAORI.

_____

 

Mine bumper ILSENSTEIN was to proceed to Troon to be converted into a blockship.

_____

 

Finnish steamer CLIO (996grt) was seized in the Baltic by German warships, and taken to Pillau.

_____

 

Destroyer HEREWARD was damaged by heavy weather, and repaired at Halifax until 28 February, when she left for England.

_____

 

American light cruiser TRENTON (CL.11), at sea with American destroyers DICKERSON (DD.157) and HERBERT (DD.160) en route from Madeira to Lisbon, made plain language reports to French destroyer CHEVALIER PAUL, which was escorting merchant ships south towards North Africa, of apparent preparations for a breakout by German steamers ARUCAS (3369grt), LA PLATA (8056grt), WANGONI (7848grt) from Vigo.

_____

 

French light cruiser JEANNE DE VIENNE departed Malta after a visit by French Admiral Sud.

 

 

Sunday, 28 January

 

Destroyer WHITSHED arrived at Plymouth on the 26th after escorting convoy SL.16 to Dover. She and destroyers ACASTA and ARDENT then left Plymouth on the 27th to escort battleship REVENGE, which was carrying 10,000,000 sterling of gold, art treasures, and some passengers, from there to Halifax. Just after midnight on the 28th, the destroyers met REVENGE off Plymouth and escorted her to 14W where they detached and were ordered to meet light cruiser AJAX arriving from the South Atlantic.

_____

 

Heavy cruiser NORFOLK departed the Clyde on Northern Patrol to relieve heavy cruiser DEVONSHIRE, and arrived back at Greenock on 29 February

_____

 

Anti-aircraft cruiser CALCUTTA departed the Humber, and arrived back at Immingham on the 31st.

_____

 

Light cruiser COLOMBO departed Devonport for Belfast where she arrived on the 29th, and then proceeded to the Mediterranean Fleet.

_____

 

Destroyers ESCAPADE and ENCOUNTER with cable ship ROYAL SCOT returned to Rosyth after once again being frustrated by bad weather.

_____

 

Destroyer JACKAL departed Rosyth to relieve destroyer JAGUAR, which then sailed for Scapa Flow to relieve destroyer JAVELIN. JAGUAR arrived at Scapa on the 29th

 

_____

 

Destroyers KEITH and WAKEFUL, patrolling at the mouth to Bristol Channel, attacked a submarine contact south of Milford Haven in 51-27.5N, 5-09.5W.

_____

 

Convoy OA.81 departed Southend escorted by sloop ROCHESTER and destroyer WREN from the 28th to 30th, when the convoy dispersed.

_____

 

Convoy OB.81 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyers VISCOUNT and WALKER until the 31st, when they detached to SL.17.

_____

 

Convoy FS.83 departed the Tyne, escorted by destroyer VIVIEN and sloop PELICAN, and was attacked by German bombers off Cromer and later in the day off Whitby. There was no damage from either attack on the 29th, but on the 30th steamer VOREDA (7216grt) was hit in 52‑59N, 01‑59E by He111's of German X Air Corps. The whole crew was saved by VIVIEN, VOREDA went ashore on Winkerton Shoal, and the wreck was sunk on 5 February. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 30th.  

Note: German X Air Corps flew He111's of KG26, Ju88's of KG30, and two reconnaissance squadrons flying He59's or Do17's.

_____

 

Steamer ESTON (1487grt) in convoy FN.81 was sunk off Blyth on a mine laid by U.22 on 20 December. There were no survivors.

_____

 

U.34 sank Greek steamer ELENI STATHATOU (5625grt) 200 miles west of the Scillies with the loss of twelve crew.

_____

 

U.44 sank Greek steamer FLORA NOMICOS (1783grt) west of Figuerra la Foz.

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Convoy HXF.18 departed Halifax at 0800 escorted by Canadian destroyers SAGUENAY and SKEENA until the 29th and with ocean escort provided by armed merchant cruiser ALAUNIA, which left on 6 February. The convoy was joined in Home Waters by destroyer ANTELOPE from convoy OA.84 and sloop DEPTFORD from OB.84, and arrived at Liverpool on the 8th.

_____

 

Convoy SLF.18 departed Freetown escorted by armed merchant cruiser DUNVEGAN CASTLE, joined convoy SL.18 at sea on 8 February and arrived at Liverpool on the 12th.

_____

 

Light cruiser LIVERPOOL arrived at Hong Kong for repairs.

 

 

Monday, 29 January

 

Light cruisers AURORA, ARETHUSA and NEWCASTLE arrived at Scapa Flow.

_____

 

Armed merchant cruiser LETITIA and heavy cruiser SUFFOLK departed the Clyde on Northern Patrol, the latter to relieve sister ship BERWICK.

_____

 

Destroyer ILEX, repairs completed, departed Liverpool for Rosyth.

_____

 

Destroyers KANDAHAR and KASHMIR departed Rosyth for the Clyde.

_____

 

Destroyer MAORI took off the crew of steamer BADJESTAN (5573grt) which had gone ashore off Clachaig Point, Arran, and arrived in the Clyde on the 29th.

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Convoy HN.9B of three British, eight Norwegian, ten Swedish, four Finnish and four Estonian ships, delayed a day because of bad weather, departed Bergen escorted by destroyers JERVIS, JUNO and JUPITER. Destroyer IMPERIAL departed Rosyth on the 27th to join the escort. There was no west coast section and the convoy, less ships separated in a storm, arrived safely at Methil on 2 February.

_____

 

Convoy OA.82 departed Southend escorted by destroyers VANESSA and WINDSOR from the 29th to 30th.

_____

 

Convoy OB.82 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyers MACKAY until the 30th and WARWICK to 1 February.

_____

 

Convoy FS.83A departed the Tyne, escorted by sloops BITTERN and FLEETWOOD and was attacked by German bombers on the 30th. One rating on minesweeper NIGER was killed by a near miss and steamer HIGH WAVE (1178grt) sunk one mile NNE of Kentish Knock. Eighteen survivors were picked up by Dutch trawler RIAN (232grt), and the convoy arrived at Southend on the 31st.

_____

 

Dutch steamer NORA (298grt) hit a mine one miles east of the Deal Coast Guard Station, and went ashore at Deal.

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Steamer STANBURN (2981grt) was bombed and sunk by He111's of German X Air Corps, 10 miles SE by E, one half mile south of Flamborough Head. Twenty five crew were lost and three saved.

_____

 

Latvian steamer TAUTMILA (3724grt) was bombed and damaged by He111's of German KG26 five miles NW of Smiths Knoll Light Vessel.

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Steamer IMPERIAL MONARCH (5831grt) was bombed and damaged by He111's of German KG26, 10 miles 62 from Scurdyness.

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Steamer GRIPFAST (1109grt) was bombed and damaged by He111's of German X Air Corps, 10 miles SE by E, one quarter mile south of Flamborough Head.

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U.51 sank Norwegian steamer EIKA (1503grt) in 50N, 10-35W. Fourteen crew were lost and two rescued by U.51.

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Convoy HG.17F departed Gibraltar with 25 ships on the 29th, escorts:

 

 

joined

detached

29th

Destroyer WOLSEY, sloop LOWESTOFT

 

31st

Sloop SANDWICH

 

4th

Destroyers BROKE, WINCHELSEA from convoy OG.17F

 

5th

 

SANDWICH

6th

 

BROKE

7th

 

WOLSEY, LOWESTOFT, WINCHELSEA

convoy arrived at Liverpool on 7 February

_____

 

Light cruiser DURBAN departed Singapore.

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Cruiser HAWKINS relieved New Zealand light cruiser ACHILLES as flagship of the South America Station. ACHILLES departed Montevideo for the Falklands where she arrived on 1 February, leaving there on the 2nd to return to New Zealand. Arriving at Auckland on 23 February, she was refitting and repairing until early June, and carried out trials in Hauraki Bay on 14 June.

_____

 

Destroyers DECOY and DEFENDER departed Gibraltar on escort duties returning on 7 February. Both then sailed on the 8th for Freetown, arriving on the 15th and 18th respectively.

_____

 

Monitor TERROR departed Singapore on the 29th, proceeded via Penang, Colombo, Bombay and Aden, and arrived at Alexandria on 11 March and Malta on 4 April. She was to have gone on to Devonport to arrive in mid-April, but was retained in the Mediterranean.

 

 

Tuesday, 30 January

 

Anti-aircraft cruiser CURACOA departed Chatham to work up at Portland after conversion to an anti-aircraft ship.

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Armed merchant cruiser CILICIA departed the Clyde for Northern Patrol.

_____

 

Submarine SEAWOLF departed Lowestoft on patrol.

_____

 

Convoy MT.1 departed Methil with destroyer ECHO and escort vessel VEGA.

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Convoy MT.2 departed Methil with destroyers ENCOUNTER and ESCAPADE, but the convoy returned to Methil.

_____

 

Destroyer INGLEFIELD arrived in the Clyde after escorting the west coast portion of HN.9A. Destroyer MOHAWK returned to Scapa Flow.

_____

 

Escort vessel/destroyer WESTMINSTER arrived at Rosyth.

_____

 

Destroyers JAVELIN and SIKH arrived at Scapa Flow, but SIKH left the same day to assist anti-submarine trawler SCOTTISH (558grt) which was being bombed.

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Convoy BC.23S of steamers BALTRAFFIC, BARON KINNAIRD, DUNKWA (Commodore) and FABIAN departed the Loire escorted by destroyer MONTROSE, and arrived safely in the Bristol Channel on the 31st.

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In an Admiralty release - as of 30 January 1940, twenty four German merchant ships had been captured for 103,037 tons and twenty three ships intercepted scuttled themselves for 139,236 tons. When compared to German releases (see 8 February) and post war studies, all three basically agree. The largest discrepancy rests on the fact that a scuttled ship was not always scuttled by the German crew but by the capturing warship for any number of reasons (no prize crew, poor state of ship, etc). German wartime sources regarded a scuttled ship as one that was not capable of further use regardless of who scuttled it, while British sources would count a ship captured even if they later scuttled it.

_____

 

Sloop FOWEY was escorting convoy segment OA.80G to join convoy OG.16, and tanker VACLITE and steamer BEAVERBRAE (9956grt) were straggling. U.55, on her first war patrol, torpedoed and sank VACLITE (5026grt) at 0150, 100 miles west of Ushant in 49‑20N, 07‑04W and Italian steamer POLLENZO (6470grt) rescued the 28 man crew; BEAVERBRAE quickly caught up with the convoy. Then at 1105, U.55 sank Greek steamer KERAMIAI (5085grt) in 48‑37N, 07‑46W and her 35 survivors were rescued by FOWEY and tanker BRITISH UNITY (8367grt). Destroyers WHITSHED, ACASTA and ARDENT were escorting light cruiser AJAX to Plymouth, received the Greek steamer's distress signals, and while ACASTA remained with AJAX, WHITSHED and ARDENT detached to assist the convoy. One of the convoy escorts, French large destroyer VALMY, aircraft of RAF 228 Squadron and WHITSHED attacked the submarine, but without damaging her. U.55 was then damaged by depth charges dropped by FOWEY, and she was scuttled SW of the Scillies in 48‑37N, 07‑46W. WHITSHED and FOWEY picked up the survivors - three officers and thirty eight ratings - all the crew, except the commanding officer Kptlt. Werner Heidel, who went down with his command.

_____

 

Destroyer WREN attacked a submarine contact SW of the Scillies in 49-30N, 6-52W.

_____

 

Armed merchant cruiser WOLFE at Portland dragged her anchor and collided with steamer WESTERN COAST (1390grt), which was not damaged.

_____

 

Steamer GIRALDA (2178grt) carrying coal for the Northern Patrol trawlers, was bombed and sunk by He111's of German X Air Corps three miles east of Grimness, S. Ronaldsay, Orkneys with the loss of all twenty three crew.

_____

 

Steamer BANCREST (4450grt) was bombed by He111's of the German X Air Corps in 58‑53N, 01‑52W, and went ashore at Wick with the loss of one crewman. Destroyer JAVELIN rescued the survivors.

_____

 

Steamer ROYAL CROWN (4364grt) was bombed and damaged by HE111's of German KG26, 15 miles south of Smiths Knoll Light Vessel.

_____

 

Steamer JERSEY QUEEN (910grt) was damaged by German bombing in 53‑06N, 01‑30E.

_____

 

U.15, setting out on patrol from Wilhelmshaven on the 30th, was sunk in an accidental collision with German torpedo boat ILTIS in the North Sea in 54-21N, 4-50E. The entire crew of 25 men was lost, and ILTIS was under repair at Wesermunde until May.

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German tanker THALIA (1122grt) was in Cadiz Bay to refuel U.44 in Operation MORO. U.44 did not appear, but U.25 arrived at 2200/30th, taking four hours to refuel.

_____

 

French heavy cruiser TOURVILLE and destroyers VAUBAN and AIGLE departed Beirut for patrol and arrived at Malta on 3 February.

_____

 

Destroyers HUNTER and the Canadian ST LAURENT, FRASER, OTTAWA and RESTIGOUCHE departed Halifax escorting Canadian convoy TC.3 of troopships EMPRESS OF BRITAIN (42,348grt, carrying 1588 troops), MONARCH OF BERMUDA (22,424grt, 1334), EMPRESS OF AUSTRALIA (19,665grt, 1577), AQUITANIA (45,647grt, 2733) and Polish CHROBRY (11,442grt, civilian labourers). Ocean escort was battleship VALIANT, and light cruiser ENTERPRISE which returned to Halifax on 4 February. HUNTER arrived at Plymouth on 8 February and went on to Falmouth for docking and refit until 9 March prior to joining the Home Fleet.

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Australian heavy cruiser CANBERRA departed Fremantle for Eastern Australian waters where she carried out patrols until April.

 

 

Wednesday, 31 January

 

Battleship RODNEY, battlecruiser REPULSE and their escorts arrived back in the Clyde after exercises.

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Light cruisers GLASGOW and EDINBURGH departed Rosyth.

_____

 

Destroyer DARING arrived in the Clyde.

_____

 

Armed merchant cruiser ASCANIA arrived at the Clyde.

_____

 

Destroyer SIKH arrived at Scapa Flow.

_____

 

Destroyers ESCAPADE and ENCOUNTER arrived at Rosyth.

_____

 

Destroyer MOHAWK departed Sullom Voe for Scapa Flow.

_____

 

Submarine STURGEON arrived at Blyth after patrol.

_____

 

Submarine TRIDENT departed Rosyth on patrol.

_____

 

Destroyer WAKEFUL attacked a submarine contact off Bull Point in 51-20N, 4-09W.

_____

 

Anti-aircraft cruiser CAIRO departed Immingham on patrol.

_____

 

Light cruiser DELHI left Portsmouth for the Mediterranean, arrived at Gibraltar on 3 February, departed next day and reached Malta on the 8th.

_____

 

Convoy OA.80G departed Southend on the 27th with destroyer WHITSHED and sloop FOWEY, and OB.80G left Liverpool on the 28th with destroyers WALPOLE and WITHERINGTON. They merged as convoy OG.16 on the 31st with 37 ships, escorts:

 

 

joined

detached

31st

Destroyers WALPOLE, WITHERINGTON (both continued), WHITSHED,  French destroyer VALMY and patrol ship VIKING

WALPOLE to convoy HG.16

4th

Destroyer WISHART

 

5th

 

VALMY, VIKING

convoy arrived at Gibraltar on 5th

_____

 

Convoy FN.83 departed Southend, escorted by sloops FLAMINGO and WESTON, accompanied by minelayer PRINCESS VICTORIA, and arrived in the Tyne on 1 February. The sloops then escorted the minelayer to Rosyth.

_____

 

Norwegian steamer START (1168grt) departed Sunderland for Oslo on the 29th, and was sunk on the 31st, northeast of Kinnaird Head with all hands.

_____

 

U.21 sank Danish steamer VIDAR (1353grt) in 58‑39N, 02‑00E with the loss of 16 crew. Eighteen  were rescued, and the wreck sank on 1 February.

_____

 

Light cruiser AJAX, escorted by destroyers WHITSHED, ARDENT and ACASTA arrived at Plymouth.

_____

 

Convoy HX.18 departed Halifax at 0800 escorted by Canadian destroyers SAGUENAY and SKEENA, which detached on 1 February. Ocean escort was battleship ROYAL SOVEREIGN which left on the 8th. Escort consisted of destroyer WINCHELSEA and sloop ROCHESTER from convoy OB.89 from the 13th to 16th, when the convoy arrived in Liverpool.

_____

 

Light cruiser GLOUCESTER departed Colombo after refitting, called at Mogadishu on 8 February and was at Mombasa from the 9th to 11th.

 

 

January, miscellaneous

 

At the end of January, the following destroyers were under repair - ACHERON at Portsmouth, AFRIDI at Hartlepool, ANTHONY at Portsmouth, ARDENT at Plymouth, ASHANTI at Cowes, BEDOUIN at Wallsend, BOADICEA at Dover, BULLDOG at Malta, DELIGHT at Portsmouth, DUNCAN at Cromarty damaged, ELECTRA at Falmouth, ESCORT at Falmouth, ESKIMO at Southampton, GARLAND at Malta, GRENADE at Tilbury damaged, HARDY at Plymouth with defects, HAVOCK at Chatham, HEREWARD at Halifax, HOSTILE at Plymouth with defects, HOTSPUR at Chatham, HYPERION at Portsmouth, ISIS at Falmouth, JERSEY at Hull, KELLY at Tyne, KELVIN at Clyde, KIMBERLEY at Clyde, KIPLING at Tyne, MALCOLM at Cardiff, MAORI at Clyde with defects, MASHONA at Chatham refitting, PUNJABI at Clyde, SOMALI at Middlesbrough, VALOROUS at Rosyth, WALLACE at Rosyth, WHITEHALL at Plymouth, WITCH at Plymouth damaged, WITHERINGTON at Liverpool, Polish GROM at Chatham.

           

 

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