Background Events - September 1939-March 1940
Battle of Atlantic starts, 'Phoney War' on land, Battle of River Plate
departed Scapa Flow on Northern Patrol.
cruiser CARINTHIA arrived in the Clyde from Northern Patrol.
TETRARCH and tender CUTTY SARK arrived in the Clyde.
SWORDFISH and destroyer IMPERIAL departed Rosyth for Scapa Flow. From there
IMPERIAL was to join the west coast section of convoy HN.12, but on the 16th,
the order was cancelled and she was ordered to the Norwegian coast.
TRIBUNE was exercising in the Firth of Forth.
SEAWOLF departed Sheerness with convoy OA.92 for Portsmouth.
cruiser CAIRO departed Scapa Flow for
departed Scapa Flow to relieve armed merchant cruiser FORFAR in 64-22N,
arrived in the Clyde escorting tanker MONTENOL (2646grt).
ESCAPADE, ECHO and ECLIPSE arrived at Rosyth, and
ELECTRA separately from Dover.
arrived at Rosyth from the Humber.
boats MTB.22, MTB.24 and MTB.25 carried out
a night patrol off Farne Island.
departed Southend, escorted by destroyers BROKE
from the 15th to 16th, and VANESSA from 16th to 18th
when the convoy dispersed. Submarine SEAWOLF joined the convoy for passage to
departed Liverpool escorted by destroyers VANOC and WINCHELSEA from the 15th
to 18th, when VANOC joined HX.19.
sailed from Southend on the 12th escorted by
destroyers VISCOUNT and VANQUISHER, and OB.90G from Liverpool with 45 ships,
also on the 12th, escorted by sloops DEPTFORD and SCARBOROUGH. They merged on the 15th as OG.18, escorted
by French destroyer PANTHÈRE and auxiliary
patrol ship MERCEDITA from then until the 21st, and arrived at Gibraltar on
the 22nd, escorted by destroyer VELOX of the local escort. Destroyer ACTIVE,
also of the local escort, arrived the next day with steamer MACLAREN
(2330grt), which had broken down on the 22nd.
departed Southend escorted by sloops FLEETWOOD,
BITTERN and HASTINGS, and joined by
destroyer JANUS on the 16th. The convoy arrived in the Tyne on the 17th.
departed the Tyne, escorted by destroyer VIVIEN and sloop PELICAN, and with
submarine STERLET joining from Blyth for the
passage south. The convoy arrived at Southend on
departed Methil, escorted by destroyer VIVIEN,
sloop PELICAN, and anti-submarine trawlers of the 19th Anti-Submarine Group,
and arrived in the Tyne later that day.
departed Methil, escorted by sloops FLAMINGO,
WESTON and anti-submarine trawlers of the 3rd Anti-Submarine Group, and
arrived in the Tyne the next day. Convoy MT.13 was cancelled.
VENETIA, escorting the Liverpool section of a homebound convoy, attacked a
submarine contact east of Fastnet in 50‑59N,
attacked a contact NNE of Kinnaird Head in 58‑10N,
1‑45W. Destroyers KIPLING and IMPERIAL were also hunting in the
area, and the search continued on the 16th.
trawlers NORTHERN SPRAY (SO), NORTHERN DAWN, NORTHERN GEM, NORTHERN WAVE and NORTHERN
PRIDE of the 12th Anti-Submarine Striking Force were on patrol north of the
Shetland Islands in 61-27N, 1-09W, when NORTHERN DAWN attacked a submarine
ship BORDE was damaged by a mine off the Kent coast near the Downs, and
repaired at Chatham from 25 February to April.
U.14 sank Danish
steamers RHONE (1064grt) with the
loss of nine crew and SLEIPNER
(1066grt) in 58‑18N, 01‑48W. Destroyer KIPLING rescued twelve men
and Swedish fishing boat STANDARD thirty nine from the two ships - the
survivors from RHONE and all the crew of SLEIPNER. On the 19th, ECLIPSE found
a raft from RHONE in 58-40N, 1-05W with two dead.
Norwegian steamer STEINSTAD
(2476grt) west of Ireland, 50 miles off
Clare coast, with the loss of thirteen crew.
U.37 sank Danish
steamer AASE (1206grt) in 49‑17N,
08‑15W. Fifteen crew were lost and the only
survivor was rescued by destroyer VERITY on the 17th.
U.48 sank Dutch
tanker DEN HAAG (8971grt) in 48‑02N,
08‑26W. The 13 survivors were rescued by steamer GLEN
U.50 sank Danish
steamer MARYLAND (4895grt), which
left Madeira on the 7th for Copenhagen, in 57‑09N, 12‑00W. There
were no survivors.
The Northern Patrol
sighted 61 eastbound ships between the 15th and 29th and sent 24 into
Kirkwall for inspection.
ship ALTMARK (10,847grt), received a perfunctory contraband check at Bergen,
and put to sea for her return to Germany escorted by Norwegian torpedo boats
SKARV and KJELL.
EXETER (above - Navy Photos/Paul Simpson & Ian Mort) finally arrived at Plymouth, screened by aircraft carrier
and light cruiser
without destroyer HERO. In the South Western Approaches, she had been joined
by her close destroyer escort, starting with HASTY on the 13th, ACASTA and
WHITSHED earlier on the 14th, and ARDENT, HEARTY, WOLVERINE and WREN later in
the day. ARK ROYAL also reached Plymouth on the 15th
escorted by destroyers KEITH, WAKEFUL, VETERAN and ANTELOPE, and EXETER repaired at
Devonport until 10 March 1941.
FERMOY arrived at Gibraltar from Malta to replace minesweeper GOSSAMER, which
had returned to England with convoy HG.18F.
merchant cruiser KOUTOBIA, large destroyer CASSARD and torpedo boat BAYONNAISE passed Gibraltar
eastbound – KOUTOBIA sailing from Casablanca for Marseille for repairs, where
she arrived on the 17th, CASSARD from Dakar for Toulon after duty in the
South Atlantic, also arriving on the 17th, and BAYONNAISE from Casablanca,
arriving at Oran on the 16th.
RESCUE OF BRITISH SEAMEN FROM GERMAN TANKER
midnight, Admiral Forbes ordered the ships of Operation DT, which began late
on the 14th, to intercept German supply ship ALTMARK. The British force split
up to search the Leads and offshore islands south of Bergen. Light cruiser
ARETHUSA sighted ALTMARK a short time later off
Light and destroyers IVANHOE and INTREPID were dispatched to stop her.
However, the Norwegian escorts intervened and ALTMARK was able to enter
Jossing Fjord. At that time, Norwegian naval units in the
Fjord and nearby were torpedo boats KJELL, SKARV, TEIST and armed auxiliaries
FIRERN and HVAL IV. Destroyer COSSACK followed ALTMARK in and after
unsuccessful talks with the Norwegian escort commander, a boarding party of
three officers and thirty ratings (under the command of Lt Cdr B. T Turner)
boarded ALTMARK from COSSACK. ALTMARK ran aground, four German sailors were
killed and five wounded, but 299 British prisoners from ADMIRAL GRAF
SPEE's sinkings were released.
Gunner J J F Smith in the boarding party from light
cruiser AURORA was wounded. While alongside ALTMARK, COSSACK's
bow and side plates were damaged and port propeller cracked. When IVANHOE
approached German merchant ship BALDUR (5805grt) off Jossing
Fjord near Lister Light, she was scuttled.
Still on the
16th, submarines SEAL, TRIAD, ORZEL were ordered into the area and joined
SALMON and SEALION which were already there. SEAL sighted the sinking BALDUR
and the DT operation ships, but the other submarines sighted nothing at all.
HOOD, and destroyers FAULKNOR, FOXHOUND, FURY,
FORTUNE and FIREDRAKE of the Home Fleet were at sea near Pentland
Firth covering the operation. And after leaving Scapa Flow on the 16th, heavy
NORFOLK met light cruisers
EDINBURGH and destroyers
DARING and IMPERIAL to provide support. There was no German Fleet reaction.
rescue, the SOUTHAMPTON group joined convoy HN.12 on the 17th, together with
ARETHUSA in support, COSSACK and her force returned to Rosyth arriving on the
17th after which she reached Leith on the 19th for repairs, and the HOOD
force arrived back in the Clyde on the 18th.
WIEGAND (5869grt) arrived in Jossing Fjord on the
21st, supposedly to tow ALTMARK, but left alone the next day. Instead,
ALTMARK remained aground under the guard of Norwegian minelayer OLAV
TRYGVASSON until 6 March when she was refloated, and
headed for Sandefjord escorted by two Norwegian
destroyers while submarine UNITY shadowed and the Polish ORZEL patrolled
nearby. After reaching Sandefjord,
ALTMARK’s repairs were completed on 22 March.
cruiser WORCESTERSHIRE arrived in the Clyde from Northern Patrol.
TRUANT and TRITON exercised in the Firth of Forth.
RENOWN and destroyer HERO
arrived at Portsmouth and Force K was dissolved. After short refits, the
three oined the Home Fleet.
whaler THIRLMERE (560grt) at 0905 attacked a submarine contact west of
Sumburgh Head in 59-58N, 3-08W. Anti-submarine whaler
ELLESMERE was sent to assist, but no further contact was made and the search
was abandoned at 1700/17th.
departed Southend, escorted by destroyers WOOLSTON, JANUS and sloop
GRIMSBY, and arrived in
the Tyne on the 18th.
departed the Tyne, escorted by destroyer JERVIS and sloops FLAMINGO and WESTON,
was forced to anchor in the Humber overnight, but arrived at
Southend on the 18th.
Swedish steamers OSMED (1526grt)
20 miles and LIANA (1664grt) 24
miles north of Kinnaird Head, with the loss of thirteen
and ten crew respectively. Survivors were picked up by Swedish steamer SANTOS
(3840grt) and British trawler LOCH HOPE (274grt), but of the eight onboard
SANTOS, six were lost when she was sunk on the 24th
Convoy HN.12 of
three British, fifteen Norwegian, eight Swedish, one Danish,
two Finnish and one Estonian ship departed Bergen escorted by
destroyers INGLEFIELD, ILEX, IMOGEN, DELIGHT and submarine THISTLE.
Anti-aircraft protection was provided by anti-aircraft cruiser
close support by light cruisers
ARETHUSA. Destroyer DARING
departed Rosyth on the 15th to join the convoy at sea. On the 17th,
INGLEFIELD and IMOGEN, and EDINBURGH and ARETHUSA detached to Scapa Flow to
refuel and arrived on the 18th. Three merchant ships joined from the Orkneys
for passage to the east coast, and destroyer IMPERIAL escorted the
Methil section. The convoy arrived on the 19th
departed Halifax at 0800 escorted by Canadian destroyers FRASER, ST LAURENT
and the British HEREWARD. Canadian destroyer SKEENA accompanied the convoy
until it was clear of the harbour. Light cruiser ORION and liner DUCHESS OF
BEDFORD departed Halifax with HX.20 and then proceeded independently to
Liverpool. HEREWARD returned to Halifax on the 20th,
but before then, the other destroyers turned the convoy over to the ocean escort, light cruiser
ENTERPRISE, at 1400/17th.
Destroyers VOLUNTEER, WITCH and sloops FOWEY and ROCHESTER escorted from 29
February to 4 March, when the convoy arrived at Liverpool.
NORFOLK arrived at Scapa Flow and departed to relieve heavy cruiser
DEVONSHIRE on Northern Patrol. DEVONSHIRE reached Greenock on the 20th.
NEWCASTLE arrived at Scapa Flow after Northern Patrol, and destroyer KINGSTON
departed Scapa Flow for Northern Patrol.
DIANA, ENCOUNTER and BRAZEN escorted two tankers from Rosyth to Aberdeen,
after which they left with steamers HIRONDELLE (1243grt) and RUTLAND
(1437grt). Destroyer KIPLING joined en route, with HIRONDELLE being taken
into Lerwick and RUTLAND into Scapa Flow.
TRIBUNE and TRUANT exercised in the Firth of Forth with destroyer ELECTRA
serving as the target ship.
departed Blyth on patrol, but had to return with
Convoy BC.25 of
five steamers, including BARON CARNEGIE and BATNA, which had sailed from
Nantes on the 13th and 14th respectively, departed Quiberon
Bay on the 16th. It arrived in Barry Roads on the 17th escorted by destroyer
WOLVERINE on convoy escort, attacked a submarine contact southwest of the
Scilly Isle on the 17th in 49‑38N, 06‑40W and the 18th in 49-37N,
on convoy escort with OG.19F, attacked a contact southwest of Portland Bill
in 50-10N, 2-52W.
trawler PEARL (649grt) attacked a contact in Lune
Deep in Morecombe Bay in 53-53N, 3-33W.
developed defects while on escort duty.
with ten British, seven Norwegian, one Swedish, five Finnish and one Estonian
ship departed Methil escorted by destroyers
ESCAPADE, ESCORT, ECLIPSE, ELECTRA and submarine NARWHAL. (There was no ON/HN.13.)
ECLIPSE attacked a submarine contact in the Firth of Forth in 56-09N, 2-49W,
and one merchant ship detached before the North Sea crossing. Light cruisers
ARETHUSA left Scapa Flow on the 19th to rendezvous with the
convoy at 0700/20th, and when German surface ships appeared in the North Sea,
ON.14 put into Kirkwall, still on the 19th, but
left next day once the German ships had returned to Wilhelmshaven,
reaching Bergen on the 22nd.
Norwegian steamer KVERNAAS
(1819grt) four miles NW of Schouwen Bank in 51‑50N,
03‑19E,. The crew of 20 was rescued by Dutch
steamer ORANJEPOLDER (856grt).
Finnish steamer WILJA (3396grt)
southwest of the Scilly Isles in 49‑00N, 06‑33W and the 27
survivors were rescued by destroyer VANESSA and Dutch steamer MAASDAM
(8810grt). VANESSA was escorting convoy OA.92 at the time, saw the sinking
and attacked U.48 in 49‑25N, 07‑10. 6W. She was joined by
destroyer WREN and sloop DEPTFORD at 1230 and 1520/18th, respectively.
DEPTFORD left for Gibraltar at 1700/18th, and sloop ENCHANTRESS joined.
Convoy HG.19 of
35 ships departed Gibraltar with sloops LEITH and BIDEFORD as ocean escort
from the 17th to 27th. Before then, on
the 24th, the convoy split into two. HG.19 A was escorted in Home Waters by
BIDEFORD and destroyer WHITSHED, and HG.19B by destroyers WALPOLE, WHITSHED
and MACKAY from the 24th to 27th when the convoy arrived at Liverpool.
U.37 was en route
to join U.53 for attacks off Portugal on French convoys 10 RS, en route from
Gibraltar to Brest, and 65 KS, en route from Oran/Casablanca to Brest/St
Nazaire. Off Cape Finisterre,
U.37 attacked British convoy OG.18, escorted by French destroyer PANTHÈRE and French auxiliary patrol vessel MERCEDITA, and torpedoed
British steamer PYRRHUS (7418grt)
in 44‑02N, 10‑18W. She broke in two, the aft section sank
immediately, but the fore part stayed afloat for two days. Eight
Chinese crew were lost and the survivors, including Convoy Vice
Commodore Vice Admiral A. E. Evans CB, CBE and his staff
were rescued by British steamers USKSIDE (2706grt) and SINNINGTON
COURT (6910grt). Also in OG.18 were British
steamers AGAPENOR (7392grt), PROMETHEUS (6095grt) and GLENIFFER (9559grt).
The joint U-boat
operation also netted three other ships. On the 18th, U.37 sank independently
sailing Greek steamer ELLIN
(4917grt) 25 miles NW of Cape Finisterre, the crew
being picked up by Spanish fishing vessel MANIN (251grt, and French steamer
PLM 15 (3754grt) from convoy 10 RS in 43‑37N,
09‑15W with the loss of her entire crew. French anti-submarine trawlers
LA TOULONNAISE (738grt) and LA SETOISE (738grt) carried out attacks on U.37.
Spanish steamer BANDERAS (2140grt)
eight miles NW of Cape Velano, also on the 18th.
Twenty two crew were lost and six survivors rescued by Spanish fishing vessel
TRITONIA (268grt). The U-boat also attacked French tanker GARONNE (3533grt)
in convoy 10 RS, but malfunctioning torpedoes prevented any damage being
U.26 and U.50
had been ordered to operate with U.37 and U.53, but were too far away to join
DARING (Cdr S A Cooper), escorting
convoy HN.12, was sunk by U.23 off Duncansby Head
in 58‑40N, 01‑40E. Cdr Cooper, executive officer Lt P L Roberts,
Lt P C Gordon RNVR, engineering officer Lt W J K Shaxby,
S/Lt L G M Potts, Gunner W H Easton, Midshipman A V Dumfrey
RNR, Surgeon Lt G J Kearney MB, ChB,
Probationary Temporary Midshipman J L Coleman RNVR and 145 ratings were lost.
Destroyers BRAZEN and ENCOUNTER, which had been hunting in the area, were
ordered to search for the submarine responsible. They were joined by the
convoy escort and by destroyers DIANA, which had departed Rosyth on the 17th,
KIPLING, which had left Scapa Flow on the 14th, INGLEFIELD, ILEX, DELIGHT
which earlier were released from HN.12’s escort, and anti-submarine trawlers
of the 11th Anti-Submarine Striking Force. Submarine THISTLE rescued Lt L A
Rogers and four ratings from DARING. The 11th A/S Striking Force did make an
attack on U.23 east of Duncansby Head in 58-37N,
1-18W, but did no damage.
GALLANT, JAGUAR, NUBIAN and SIKH departed Rosyth as convoy escorts and joined
HN.12 bringing it into Methil on the 19th without
further interference. After a loop crossing had been detected, destroyers
GRIFFIN, IVANHOE, INTREPID hunted for another submarine in the Forth of Forth
and were joined by escort vessel VALOROUS.
Scapa Flow on the 18th and because of prior defects, went on to the Tyne for
repairs arriving on the 20th.
ABORTIVE GERMAN BATTLECRUISER SORTIE
Marschall departed Wilhelmshaven
for Operation NORDMARK with battleships SCHARNHORST and GNEISENAU, heavy
cruiser ADMIRAL HIPPER, and destroyers KARL GALSTER, WILHELM HEIDKAMP,
WOLFGANG ZENKER with the object of attacking allied shipping between the
Shetlands and Bergen. However, ZENKER was damaged by ice and forced to return
at the start. The remaining force was escorted through the
Skagerrak by destroyers PAUL JACOBI, THEODOR RIEDEL,
HERMANN SCHOEMANN, LEBERECHT MAAS and torpedo boats LUCHS and SEEADLER which
raided in the Skagerrak after being detached.
U-boats were disposed to support this operation. Three operated between the
Shetlands and Norway, two in the Fair Isle Channel, three off the
Pentland Firth and three held in reserve near the north
coast of Scotland. Submarines deployed were U.60, U.61, U.57, U.23, U.22,
U.62, U.19, U.13, U.63, U.18, U.14, U.18 and U.14, including some off
in the Heligoland Bight was ordered to attack the
German surface ships, and convoy ON.14 was ordered into Kirkwall
to avoid any contact with the enemy force, arriving on the 19th. Admiral
Forbes was in the Clyde having only arrived on the 17th from supporting the
ALTMARK hunt. After refuelling, he departed, still on the 19th with
destroyers FAULKNOR, FEARLESS, FOXHOUND, FURY, FORESIGHT, FORTUNE,
FIREDRAKE. Destroyers HARDY left Greenock on the 19th,
KHARTOUM Scapa Flow the same day, and KANDAHAR and TARTAR from Scapa on the
20th and joined Forbes at sea. With the British out and extreme cold
immobilizing his seaplanes, Admiral Marschall was
forced to return to Wilhelmshaven empty handed. Ice
breakers were required to clear the Rivers Jade and Weser
before they could reenter on the 20th. On the
21st/22nd, ENE of Muckle Flugga in 61‑19N, 01‑30E, HARDY attacked a
submarine contact, was joined by FORTUNE, but the search was unsuccessful.
TEVIOTBANK and minelaying destroyers EXPRESS and ESK laid Deep Line S in
operation DML.8 east of Outer Gabbard escorted by
destroyers KEITH and BOADICEA. Minesweeper FRANKLIN had already laid the
marker buoys on the 16th. After the lay, the minelaying ships proceeded to
Immingham on the 19th.
cruiser CALCUTTA and destroyer KELVIN arrived at
Sullom Voe, refuelled and departed again later that day.
boats MTB.22, MTB.24 and MTB.25 departed
Rosyth on patrol.
SEALION arrived at Harwich after patrol.
TETRARCH and tender CUTTY SARK were to depart the
Clyde for Portsmouth, but TETRARCH
engine defects prevented them leaving.
cruiser ASTURIAS on Northern Patrol picked up the survivors of fishing vessel
departed Southend escorted by destroyer WITCH.
Destroyer ACASTA joined on the 19th, detached the next day and on the 21st,
the convoy dispersed.
Convoy OB.94 departed
Liverpool escorted by destroyers WALKER and VENETIA. They detached on the
20th and 21st respectively, with VENETIA joining HXF.20.
Convoy SA.30 of
two steamers departed Southampton, escorted by sloops FOXGLOVE and ROSEMARY,
and arrived at Brest on the 20th.
departed Methil escorted by the 3rd Anti-Submarine
Group, supported by destroyers VEGA, JAGUAR and sloop STORK, and arrived in
the Tyne later that day.
departed Southend, escorted by destroyer WESTMINSTER
and sloop LONDONDERRY, and arrived at Methil on the
departed the Tyne, escorted by destroyers VEGA, JAGUAR and sloop STORK, which
had just arrived from Methil with MT.14. The convoy
arrived at Southend on the 20th.
U.10 sank Dutch
steamer AMELAND (4537grt) in 51‑54N,
03‑01E and the entire crew, 48 survivors, was rescued by Dutch steamer
MONTFERLAND. Patrol sloops PINTAIL, GUILLEMOT and two motor torpedo boats
were searching in the area.
Pananamian steamer EL
SONADOR (1406grt) east of the Shetlands and Norwegian steamer
SANGSTAD (4297grt) east of
Kirkwall in 59‑00N, 00‑25E. The Master of the
Norwegian ship was lost and destroyer BRAZEN picked up 22 of the crew and
took them into Kirkwall.
on escort duty with convoy OB.93GF, attacked a submarine contact south of
Wolf Rock in 49-42N, 5-45W.
trawler CAPE PORTLAND (497grt) attacked a submarine contact off Aberdeen in
Convoy HX.21 departed
Halifax at 0800 escorted by Canadian destroyers OTTAWA and SAGUENAY, which
detached on the 19th. Ocean escort was armed merchant cruiser ALAUNIA, which
left on 1 March. Destroyers WINDSOR and WOLVERINE escorted the convoy 2 to 4
March, when it arrived at Liverpool.
departed Freetown escorted by armed merchant cruiser DUNNOTTAR CASTLE until
4 March. Destroyers WANDERER joined on the 4th, VERSATILE on the 5th and the
convoy arrived on the 7th.
GLASGOW arrived at Scapa Flow with rudder defects and then left for refitting
at Belfast, where she arrived on the 24th. She later went on to Rosyth for
refitting which was completed in early April.
cruiser ASTURIAS boarded and sent in for inspection Norwegian steamer
KIMBERLEY departed Scapa Flow on Northern Patrol.
cruiser WORCESTERSHIRE departed the Clyde on Northern Patrol.
cruiser ANDANIA arrived at the Clyde after Northern Patrol.
GRIFFIN, INTREPID, IVANHOE, VALOROUS arrived at Rosyth after a submarine
JAGUAR and ILEX arrived at Rosyth.
sailed from Southend on the 16th escorted by
destroyer WREN and sloop ENCHANTRESS, and OB.93GF from Liverpool on the 17th
escorted by sloops ABERDEEN and DEPTFORD with twenty eight ships. The two
convoys joined on the 19th as OG.19F escorted by ABERDEEN and DEPTFORD, were
joined by destroyer WISHART, and arrived at Gibraltar on the 24th.
A TM Convoy
departed the Tyne escorted by the 19th Anti-Submarine Group and supported by
departed Southend escorted by sloop PELICAN and
destroyers VIVIEN and JERVIS, and arrived in the Tyne on the 21st. Convoy
FN.99 did not sail.
departed the Tyne escorted by sloops FLEETWOOD, HASTINGS and destroyers
VALOROUS and JANUS, and arrived at Southend on the
joined convoy HX.19 at 0815 with destroyers VANOC and VANESSA joining shortly
after. WOLVERINE attacked a submarine contact WSW of Cape Clear in 50‑50N,
11‑23W, while the other two destroyers continued with the convoy.
Destroyer WINCHELSEA joined WOLVERINE to continue the hunt.
Anti-Submarine Striking Force attacked U.13 ESE of
Duncansby Head in 58-30N, 1-30W, but did no damage.
Two German 250
ton U-boats were reported five miles off Vlieland
in 53-16N, 05-00E at 1000 steering northwest and one 500 ton boat was
reported six miles off Ijmuiden in 52-28N, 4-34E at
1300 steering southwest. French sloop AMIENS was ordered to join
anti-submarine trawler LADY PHILOMENA to hunt for them, but did not join.
AMIENS returned to Dunkirk early on the 20th.
SUNFISH at 0951 fired four torpedoes at U.14 in 54-28N, 07-11E.
TEVIOTBANK was slightly damaged in collision with tug GOOLE No. 10 in
U.19 attacked tanker
DAGHESTAN (5742grt) in 59‑21N, 01‑48W, but the attack failed due
to torpedo defects.
TIBERTON (5225grt) was believed lost
to unknown cause in the Moray Firth with all her crew. Uboat.Net and
Rohwer's "Axis Submarine Successes" confirm she
was sunk by U.23 in 58.07N, 02.39W.
START (1765grt) was seized in the
Baltic by German warships, and taken to Bremerhaven.
HERMES arrived at Dakar after VO operations, escorted by destroyers DAINTY,
DIAMOND, DEFENDER and DECOY.
He111 bombers of
German KG26 (X Air Corps) attacked anti-submarine trawlers of the 11th
Anti-Submarine Striking Force operating 52 miles 090° from
(540grt) (S/Lt J V Searles-Wood) was sunk in 58‑53N,
1‑12W with Searles-Wood, Acting S/Lt J C
Cooper RNR and nineteen ratings lost. Temporary
S/Lt N F Villiers-Stewart RNVR,
was the only survivor. AYRSHIRE (540grt) was attacked and badly damaged, and
CAPE SIRETOKO (590grt) also attacked. Destroyer INGLEFIELD departed Scapa
Flow to support them.
(Note: German X
Air Corps flew He111's of KG26, Ju88's of KG30, and two reconnaissance
squadrons flying He59's or Do17's.)
Submarine L.23 was
depth charged by a German destroyer off the Danish coast, and sustained
damage to her OF tanks. She reached Rosyth on the 22nd, left on the 23rd for
Blyth and was repaired there from the 27th until March.
was damaged at Rosyth while berthing alongside destroyer SIKH, and was
repaired at Rosyth completing on 11 March.
GALLANT, GRIFFIN, INTREPID, IVANHOE departed Rosyth for Scapa Flow to operate
under the Orkneys and Shetlands Command.
KIPLING arrived in the Tyne.
Destroyer ECHO arrived at
Leith for refitting.
DELIGHT and INGLEFIELD arrived at Scapa Flow.
departed Rosyth on patrol.
at Kirkwall on the 19th to avoid contact with the
German Battlecruiser force, convoy ON.14 left there escorted by destroyers
ESCAPADE, ECLIPSE, ESCORT, ELECTRA and submarine NARWHAL. It was met by light
ARETHUSA which departed Scapa Flow on the 20th.
Anti-aircraft cruiser CAIRO departed Sullom
Voe on the 21st and joined en route. EDINBURGH attacked a
submarine contact east of Copinsay in 58-55N, 1-43W
on the 20th, and also east of the Shetland Islands in 60-35N, 1-44W on the
21st. ON.14 arrived safely at Bergen on the 22nd.
BURZA attacked a submarine contact east of Orfordness
in 52-04N, 1-59E.
alongside depot ship SANDHURST in Dover Harbour, was rammed by armed yacht GULZAR.
She left on the 22nd for repairs at Chatham, after which she returned to
Sheerness on the 28th.
arrived at Humber. Destroyers ESK and EXPRESS joined the convoy for passage
departed Rosyth escorted by destroyers WHITLEY, JAGUAR and sloop EGRET. The
three escorts joined convoy FS.101 when it sailed from the Tyne at 2230, and
EGRET attacked a submarine contact seven miles 290° from Flamborough
Head in 54-04. 6N, 00-06.6W. WHITLEY remained in the area for a time before
rejoining FS.101, which arrived at Southend on the
22nd. Convoy FS.102 was cancelled.
ELEANOR (324grt) attacked a submarine contact eight miles SE of
FOUDROYANT and aircraft operated south of Colbart
Ridge at dawn on anti-submarine patrol.
MONARCH departed Dover for Calais to complete
laying loops 16 and 17. The operation continued on the
VORTIGERN departed Gibraltar to escort cable ship MIRROR. When it was found
further cable repairs were needed, the destroyer escorted her to Lisbon and
returned to Gibraltar.
destroyers VAUTOUR and GERFAUT departed Oran on the
19th, escorting three French transports to Brest as convoy 1F.
They passed Gibraltar on the 20th, and were joined by large destroyer BISON,
en route. This movement was in preparation for allied operations in Finland.
Troopship CHAMPOLLION, arrived at Brest on the 23rd, escorted by the three
destroyers. Torpedo boats BOUCLIER, MELPOMONE, LA FLORE of the 14th Destroyer
Division departed Lorient on the 22nd and joined
troopships VILLE D'ALGER and MARECHAL LYAUTEY, and they arrived at Cherbourg
on the 24th. Due to turbine vibration, GERFAUT was replaced by destroyer
VERDUN for the operation.
had been escorting armed merchant cruiser CIRCASSIA since the 19th and on the
21st reported that side plating had split while at sea NW of the Shetlands. She
arrived at Scapa Flow on the 22nd.
KASHMIR's asdic dome and oscillator were defective and
docking was required to repair them.
GRIFFIN and GALLANT were detached from patrol to escort steamer CYPRIAN
PRINCE (1988grt) from Aberdeen to Kirkwall. At
Kirkwall, they joined destroyer IVANHOE on patrol.
cruiser LETITIA departed the Clyde on Northern Patrol.
cruiser DERBYSHIRE arrived in the Clyde from Northern Patrol.
Liverpool to relieve heavy cruiser
BERWICK on Northern Patrol. BERWICK
reached Greenock on the 21st.
MANCHESTER and destroyer KIMBERLEY on Northern Patrol south of Iceland
captured German steamer WAHEHE
(4709grt) in 62‑50N, 14‑20W following her escape earlier in the
month from Vigo. She was towed towards
Kirkwall by KIMBERLEY, joined by destroyer KHARTOUM
during the afternoon of the 22nd and arrived in the Clyde on 8 March. WAHEHE
was renamed EMPIRE CITIZEN for British service.
TRIBUNE and TRIDENT exercised in the Firth of Forth.
BRAZEN and ENCOUNTER arrived at Rosyth.
trawler SOLON (348grt, Lt Cdr W Gillett Rtd) was near
missed and damaged by He111 bombers of German KG26 (X Air Corps) off
Yarmouth, but was able to enter the port. Gillet
and one rating were wounded by machine gun fire.
departed Southend escorted by destroyers VERITY and
BEAGLE. Destroyer VETERAN relieved BEAGLE on the 22nd, VERITY detached on the 23rd, and VETERAN
left on the 24th when the convoy dispersed
departed Liverpool escorted by destroyers VANQUISHER and VERSATILE from the
21st to 24th, when they detached to SL.20.
departed Southend escorted by destroyers JERVIS,
WESTMINSTER and sloop LONDONDERRY, the escorts of
convoy FN.99 which had been cancelled. The convoy was delayed off Cromer
Knoll waiting for minesweepers, but arrived in two parts on the 23rd. Convoy
FN.101 was cancelled.
trawler STRATHCLOVA (210grt) north of Fair Island, but torpedo defects
allowed her to escape unharmed.
U.50 sank Dutch
tanker TARA (4760grt) 60 miles SW
of Vigo in 42‑45N, 10‑25W. French
destroyer FANTASQUE made unsuccessful attacks on U.50 and rescued the entire
crew from the tanker.
torpedoed and badly damaged steamer
LOCH MADDY (4,996grt), 20 miles
from Copinsay as she was
straggling behind convoy HX 19. Destroyer DIANA, which had been detached by
D.3 due to a defective steam pipe, attacked a submarine SE of
Copinsay at 58‑50N, 02‑28W, but without
success. Tug ST MELLONS was dispatched to tow the damaged and sinking ship
which had lost four crew, and the survivors
abandoned her, 33 of them being rescued by DIANA. Early on the 22nd, U.23
finished her off, although the after part was beached at Inganess
Bay and some salvage carried out.
IMOGEN and INGLEFIELD were hunting five miles 346° from Noup
Head in 59‑43N, 01‑50W for a contact reported at 0530 by armed
boarding vessel NORTHERN ISLES (655grt) in 59-25N, 3-06. 5W. She claimed to
have grazed a submerged object which she attacked, and had in fact lightly
and INTREPID were searching for a submarine contact reported by aircraft in
aircraft en route to France reported sighting a German submarine ten miles
south of Beachy Head. Destroyer VERITY was
escorting convoy OA.96 as far as 00-30W and destroyer BEAGLE was sent to
reinforce her. Destroyers ACHATES and ANTHONY departed Portsmouth to search
for the sighting which was later determined to have been a mine. BEAGLE was
recalled and arrived at Dover at 2230.
trawlers YORK CITY (398grt) and
HUDDERSFIELD TOWN (399grt), escorting the Milford Haven section of an
outbound convoy, attacked a submarine contact off Milford Haven in 51‑28N,
5‑20W. Destroyer WAKEFUL relieved them and made an anti-submarine attack.
HARRIER, SKIPJACK, NIGER and SPEEDWELL were sweeping off Wick in 58-21N,
2-35W when an aircraft reported an oil patch on the water. NIGER and
SPEEDWELL attacked a contact 30 miles SE of Duncansby
Head and in all dropped 32 depth charges.
trawler STOKE CITY (422grt)
attacked a submarine contact off Morecombe Light Vessel in 53-54N, 3-33. 5W.
trawler SCALBY WYKE (443grt) attacked a contact in Shapinsay
Sound in 58-59. 50N, 2-50. 30W.
Convoy BC.27 of
steamers BALTRAFFIC, BARON GRAHAM, BOTHNIA, BRITISH COAST and MARSLEW
(Commodore) departed Bristol Channel escorted by
destroyer MONTROSE, and arrived in the Loire on the 23rd.
trawler YM 49 (250grt) was mined
and sunk in the North Sea.
ANTONIO DELFINO (13,589grt) sailed from
Bahia. She reached
Haugesand on 23 March, Sandefjord
on the 27th escorted by Norwegian destroyer ODIN and two torpedo boats, left
there on 1 April, arrived at Gotenhafen and finally
reached Kiel safely on the
DEVONSHIRE departed the
Clyde for Rosyth
where she arrived on the 23rd.
cruiser CICILIA departed the Clyde on Northern
cruiser ASTURIAS boarded Danish steamer JONNA (1517grt) and sent her to
Kirkwall for inspection.
arrived at Rosyth from Scapa Flow for repairs.
IMPERIAL and DELIGHT arrived at Rosyth after submarine hunting.
BOREAS and BRAZEN departed Rosyth for the Humber.
boats MTB.22, MTB.24 and MTB.25 were
searching for a submarine off Whitby.
ICARUS and IMPULSIVE were transferred from the 3rd to the 20th Destroyer Flotilla.
TEVIOTBANK departed Rosyth escorted by destroyers BOREAS and BRAZEN on
minelaying operation PA 1 in the North Sea.
GREYHOUND at anchor off Outer Dowsing was damaged when Swedish steamer REX
(1013grt) hit her. Her stem was bent, and she repaired at Hull, completing on
Anti-Submarine Group departed Methil with an MT
convoy covered by sloop LONDONDERRY and destroyers
WESTMINSTER and JERVIS. The
cover force transferred to convoy FS.103 on the 23rd.
(1017grt) departed the Tyne for Rosyth
escorted by destroyer JAVELIN. She reached Scapa Flow and was sunk
there on 3 March.
FOXHOUND attacked a submarine contact ENE of
Muckle Flugga in 61-11.5N,
FORESTER, escorting tug BUCCANEER in the Firth of Clyde in 55‑20. 75N,
04‑57.25W, attacked a contact, which further investigation showed to be
the wreck of U.33 sunk earlier.
ACASTA, escorting a homebound convoy, attacked a submarine contact west of
Scilly Isle in 50‑00N, 10‑00W.
WALPOLE and MACKAY, escorting a homebound convoy, attacked a contact SSW of
the Scilly Isles in 49‑28N, 06‑48W. This was later determined to
be the wreck of steamer VACLITE lost on 30 January.
trawler LORD ESSENDEN (464grt) attacked a contact at 0840 in the Firth of
Clyde, two miles 075° from Little Cumbrae in
departed Bergen escorted by
destroyers ESCAPADE, ECLIPSE, ESCORT, ELECTRA and submarine NARWHAL, but 22
of the original 37 ships returned to Bergen. (See also the 24th following).
U.50 sank tanker
BRITISH ENDEAVOUR (4520grt) from
convoy OG.19F NW of Cape Finisterre in 42‑11N,
11‑35W. The tanker broke in two and five crew
were lost. Steamer BODNANT (5342grt) rescued the 33 survivors. Destroyers
HEARTY and ARDENT were sweeping in the area but neither ship made a radio
report and the destroyers were unaware of the submarine's presence.
destroyers LEBERECHT MAAS, MAX SCHULTZ, ERICH
KOELLNER, RICHARD BEITZEN, THEODOR RIEDEL and FRIEDRICH ECKHOLDT departed
Wilhelmshaven early on the
22nd on Exercise WILKINGER, an anti-shipping sweep in the area of
Dogger Bank. That evening
at 1900, northwest of
Borkum Island, the destroyers
were attacked by the Luftwaffe - He111's of IV/KG26 of the X Air Corps, which
were not informed of the destroyers' movements. Some sources cite II/KG26.
LEBERECHT MAAS was struck by three
bombs, ran onto a British mine and sank, while
MAX SCHULTZ evaded the
bombing but also ran onto a British mine and sank. Five
hundred and seventy eight crew from both ships were lost including the
entire crew of SCHULTZ. There were 60 survivors from MAAS with KOELLNER
picking up 24, ECKHOLDT 19 and BEITZEN 17. Heavy fog during the 23rd made
further rescue efforts unsuccessful. German auxiliary patrol boat Vp.809
(trawler KONSUL DUBBERS, 408grt) searched through the afternoon. The minefield,
hitherto undiscovered, had been laid by units of the British 20th Destroyer
Flotilla on the 9th/10th January.
departed Halifax at 1000
escorted by Canadian destroyers RESTIGOUCHE and SKEENA, which detached
on the 23rd. Ocean escort was
battleship ROYAL SOVEREIGN, left on 2 March. Destroyers VANOC, VETERAN,
WALPOLE and WREN escorted the convoy from 6 to 9 March, when it arrived at
departed Gibraltar with 30 ships on the 22nd, escorts:
destroyer PANTHÈRE, auxiliary
patrol vessel MERCEDITA
WHIRLWIND, VANOC from convoy OG.20F
VANOC later in the day
to convoy HG.21
arrived with SANDWICH
at Liverpool on 3 March
CERES, which had sailed from
Plymouth, arrived at
Gibraltar on the 19th and
left the same day, now reached Malta.
departed Freetown escorted by
armed merchant cruiser BULOLO until 4 March. Destroyer VANSITTART joined the
same day and escorted the convoy until its arrival on the 7th.
SIMOUN, escorting AUSTRAL and transport GOLO passed Gibraltar. GOLO had
departed Toulon on the 17th and
Algiers on the 20th. AUSTRAL had also left
Toulon on the 17th and joined at Algiers. On the 22nd,
the three ships departed as convoy 2F and were joined en route by destroyer
FORBIN. They arrived at Brest on the 27th in
preparation for allied operations in Finland.
69.KF departed Casablanca with seven
steamers, escorted by large destroyers MILAN, EPERVIER and
VERDUN, and arrived at
Brest on the 26th. The destroyers also
joined the allied preparations for Finland operations.
cruiser HOBART arrived at Colombo, where she
drydocked from the 25th to 29th.
BERWICK departed the
Clyde for Scapa Flow.
NEWCASTLE departed Scapa Flow for Northern
SOUTHAMPTON departed Scapa Flow.
exercised in the Firth of Forth and then left as cover for a TM convoy.
Sloop GRIMSBY and destroyers WOOLSTON
and ENCOUNTER exercised in the Firth of Forth.
arrived at Rosyth after patrol.
stopped Belgian trawler HELENE (145grt) ten miles east of Smith's Knoll, and
put a prize crew on board. Both vessels reached Harwich on the 23rd.
BENVOLIO (352grt, Chief Skipper S M
Aldred RNR) was sunk on a
mine in the Humber, with the loss of the Skipper and nine
Convoy ON.15 of
two British, twenty Norwegian, six Swedish, three Danish, six Finnish and
three Estonian ships departed Methil, escorted by
destroyers COSSACK, DELIGHT, DIANA, SIKH, NUBIAN and IMPERIAL. One steamer
detached before the convoy crossed the North Sea. Close cover
was provided by light cruisers
PENELOPE which departed Rosyth on
the 24th and anti-aircraft cruiser
CALCUTTA, which departed
Sullom Voe on the 25th,
while on the 24th, NUBIAN attacked a submarine attack north of
Kinnaird Head in 58‑00N, 1‑19W. The convoy
arrived safely at Bergen on the 27th.
departed Southend, escorted by destroyer VANESSA,
and was joined on the 24th by sloop FOWEY. Both escorts detached on the 25th
and the convoy dispersed on the 26th.
departed Liverpool escorted by sloop ROCHESTER and destroyer
VOLUNTEER. Both escorts detached on the 26th and the convoy dispersed on the
Convoy BC.26 of
six steamers, including BARON KINNAIRD and DUNKWA (Commodore) departed the
Loire escorted by
destroyer MONTROSE, and arrived in the Bristol Channel on the 24th.
departed Southend, escorted by destroyer VALOROUS
and sloop HASTINGS, and reached
Rosyth on the 25th.
departed the Tyne, escorted by destroyers WESTMINSTER, JERVIS and
sloop LONDONDERRY, all three of which had been supporting
convoy MT.16. The convoy arrived at Southend on the
25th. Convoy FS.104 was cancelled.
departed Methil, escorted by anti-submarine
trawlers of the 23rd Anti-Submarine Group. This convoy had been supported by
destroyers WESTMINSTER, JERVIS and sloop LONDONDERRY before they
joined FS.10 (see above). The convoy arrived in the Tyne the next day.
GURKHA, then 54 miles SSE of the Faroes
in 60‑32N, 06‑14W attacked and sank
U.53 in 60‑32N, 06‑10W with the loss of all 42 crew.
Destroyers KHARTOUM and KINGSTON joined GURKHA at 0630/24th in patrolling the
area and early on the 25th, KINGSTON in company with GURKHA, made a submarine
contact west of Sumburgh Head in 59‑55N, 04‑27W.
GALLANT and GRIFFIN attacked U.61
east of Copinsay in 58‑54N, 1‑05W and
inflicted some damage.
on escort duty, attacked a submarine contact WSW of Ushant
in 46-51N, 10-31W.
PROTÉE attempted to stop French steamer
ARAGAZ (5009grt) in 32-10N, 11-00W, assuming her to be German. ARAGAZ opened
fire and the submarine was forced to submerge.
SIMOUN, escorting convoy 2F from Gibraltar to Brest, reported
attacking and ramming a German submarine SW of Cape St Vincent in 36‑15N,
09‑55W. Although no submarine was reported sunk, a drydock
inspection at Casablanca revealed the
blades of SIMOUN's port propeller turned up and two
yards of the outer keel torn away. The "submarine" may have been a
Sub Lieutenant G
A Skinner was killed when his RAF Hart of RAF No. 1 Flying Training School
crashed near Lower Clatford, Wilts.
New Zealand light cruiser
ACHILLES arrived at
Auckland for repairs and
refitting after being relieved on the South America Station.
arrived at Freetown.
destroyer ALBATROS sailed from Toulon on the 21st and
troopship VILLE D'ORAN from Oran on the 22nd,
and both passed Gibraltar on the 23rd on passage for Brest. The ships
arrived on the 26th as convoy 3.F in preparation for allied operations in
HOOD with destroyers FAULKNOR, HARDY, FORTUNE, FORESIGHT,
FEARLESS arrived at Greenock.
KHARTOUM and KINGSTON rendezvoused at sea with armed merchant cruiser
ORZEL arrived at Rosyth from patrol.
TETRARCH conducted diving trials with destroyer FAME.
IVANHOE, GALLANT and GRIFFIN were submarine
INTREPID arrived at Invergordon.
and FOXHOUND arrived at Greenock.
and destroyer BOREAS and BRAZEN departed the Humber for Rosyth.
JACKAL and WALLACE and sloop WESTON were submarine hunting in the Firth of
submarine attacked Norwegian steamer BRITTA (6214grt) 100 miles south of
Queenstown. Destroyer ACASTA was dispatched to assist, and after being joined
by destroyers WAKEFUL and VESPER carried out a search off Cape Clear in 51‑07N,
09‑39W. Attacks were made on a submarine contact and they were joined
by destroyer VOLUNTEER on the 25th, but the search was unsuccessful.
Convoy HN.14 had
departed Bergen escorted by
destroyers ESCAPADE, ECLIPSE, ESCORT, ELECTRA and submarine NARWHAL, and was
reinforced by destroyers INGLEFIELD and IMOGEN at 0700/24th. Still on the 24th,
U.63 (O/L Guenther Lorentz), which left
Wilhelmshaven on the 17th on
her first patrol, attacked the convoy and sank Swedish steamer
SANTOS (3840grt) in 59‑17N,
00‑42W. Thirty one crew were lost, and the
fourteen survivors (12 from SANTOS and two from steamer
LIANA) were later picked up by destroyer GALLANT and landed at Invergordon on
At 0752/25th, NARWHAL sighted
on the surface near the convoy in 58-35N, 1-05NW and signalled ESCAPADE,
after which ESCORT, INGLEFIELD and IMOGEN sank her SE of the Orkneys in 58‑40N,
00‑42W. One crewman was missing, but three officers and twenty one
ratings were picked up by INGLEFIELD and IMOGEN which arrived at Leith with them on
the 27th. The east coast section of the convoy arrived on the 26th, escorted solely
by NARWHAL, while ELECTRA and ECLIPSE escorted the five ships of the west
coast section, the two destroyers reaching Scapa on the 25th. The destroyers
of HN.14 had all detached for refuelling prior to its arrival.
departed Southend, escorted by destroyer WHITLEY
and sloop EGRET. The convoy was delayed by fog and anchored shortly after
departure in Knock Deep, but reached the Tyne on the 28th.
departed Methil and arrived later that day.
attacked a submarine contact ESE of
Muckle Flugga in 60-34N, 1-04W.
trawler LOCH TULLA (423grt) attacked a submarine contact south of
Hoxa Gate in 58-49N, 3-05W.
trawler COVENTRY CITY (546grt)
attacked a submarine contact in Pentland Firth in
trawler ARSENAL (389grt) attacked a submarine contact off the Smalls in
BOADICEA was withdrawn from patrol for repairs to her port propeller shaft.
ROYAL ARCHER (2266grt) was sunk 6.7
miles 48° from Inchkeith Island, in 56‑06N,
02‑55W, on a mine laid by U.21 on 3
November 1939. Twenty seven crew and one gunner
BOHUS (1761grt) was taken in prize by
German warships in the North Sea, and renamed
GERRIT FRITZEN for German service.
RIGEL (3779grt) was brought into the Downs by a French
destroyer for examination.
DECOY, DEFENDER arrived at Freetown.
submarines MARSOUIN, NARVAL and REQUIN of the 11th Submarine Division
departed Oran on the 23rd for
Casablanca, and passed
Gibraltar on the 24th,
escorted by torpedo boat POURSIVANTE.
BERWICK departed Scapa Flow for Greenock.
Vice Admiral CS
1 hoisted his flag on heavy cruiser
DEVONSHIRE at sunset.
ARETHUSA arrived at Rosyth.
KASHMIR with a defective asdic installation and KANDAHAR arrived at Scapa
KHARTOUM sustained weather damage to her hull and was capable of only twelve
reported her anti-submarine dome leaking, and returned to Plymouth for repairs.
FORESTER departed the Clyde on the 23rd and
rendezvoused the same day with destroyer MOHAWK which was escorting tanker
IMPERIAL TRANSPORT (8022grt. They met light cruiser ORION (carrying the
ashes of the Governor General of Canada) and liner
DUCHESS OF BEDFORD (20,123grt, carrying the first Squadron of RCAF to England) in the Western
Approaches and arrived at Liverpool on the 25th.
departed Rosyth for Tees to refit, and
arrived on the 26th.
Midshipman T W R
Wagner RNVR was killed when his Roc of 759 Squadron crashed near
Botley, Hants on a training exercise.
departed Southend on the 20th and OB.95G Liverpool on the 21st,
with thirty four ships, and merged as OG.19 on the 25th. No escorts are
listed for either convoy at this stage, but when it arrived at Gibraltar on the 29th, it
was accompanied by destroyer DOUGLAS, French destroyer CHACAL and French
patrol vessel CAPITAINE ARMANDE, which joined on the 23rd, and armed boarding
departed the Tyne, escorted by destroyer WOOLSTON and
sloop GRIMSBY, and arrived at
Southend on the 27th.
departed the Tyne escorted by anti-submarine trawlers and destroyer JANUS.
escorting a outward bound convoy, attacked a
submarine contact off Wolf Rock in 49-43N, 5-38W.
RHODORA (709grt), on patrol off Helwick Light Vessel,
was ordered to search for a U-boat sighted off Caldy
Island, and attacked a contact south of Caldy
Island in 51-29N, 4-39W.
CASTLEMOOR (6574grt) in convoy HX.20
foundered in the Atlantic with the loss of forty
Convoy HG.20 departed
Gibraltar with 39 ships on
the 25th, escorts:
VENETIA from convoy
LEITH from convoy
Liverpool on 6 March with VENETIA and LEITH
IMPERIAL with convoy ON.15 was in a collision at 0250 with Swedish steamer
NORDIA (1316grt) 70 miles WSW of
Feistenen in 61-12N, 03-08E. The steamer sank with the
loss of two crew, and IMPERIAL, covered by anti-aircraft
cruiser CALCUTTA, proceeded to
Lerwick for emergency repairs, arriving on the 27th. She left on the 29th to
join convoy HN.15 for passage to Rosyth. From Methil,
she proceeded on 3 March in convoy MT.22 to the Tyne, where she
arrived on the 5th. She did not return to service until 12 April.
INGLEFIELD, GRIFFIN, GURKHA, TARTAR,
INTREPID and IVANHOE were sweeping in Moray Firth when GRIFFIN made a contact
in 58‑10N, 02‑22W. INGLEFIELD, GRIFFIN, GURKHA attacked
what later turned out to be a wreck. GURKHA and TARTAR then proceeded to
Rosyth arriving on the 27th.
Destroyers KANDAHAR, KELVIN and
KIMBERLEY departed Scapa Flow for the Clyde, arriving on
attacked a submarine contact in 58-08N, 2-30W. Again, this was later found to
be a wreck.
ELECTRA, KHARTOUM and KINGSTON arrived at
BASILISK departed Dover at 0700 for refitting at Chatham.
STERLET was exercising off Harwich with sloop MALLARD.
Submarine TRIAD arrived
at Rosyth from patrol.
SNAPPER departed Harwich on patrol.
arrived at Harwich from Portsmouth.
Convoy SA.31 of
two steamers departed Southampton escorted by
sloop FOXGLOVE, and arrived at Brest on the 28th.
departed Methil, escorted by sloop FLAMINGO and
destroyers WALLACE and JACKAL, and arrived later in the afternoon. JACKAL
then joined convoy TM.15, escorted by the 3rd Anti-Submarine Group.
departed Liverpool escorted by destroyers WALKER and
WINCHELSEA until the 29th, and then dispersed next day on 1 March.
departed the Tyne at 2130 escorted by sloop FLAMINGO and
destroyer WALLACE with destroyer JUNO covering. They
were to have escorted an MT convoy which was cancelled, and before leaving
with FS.106 spent the day covering convoys TM.14 and MT.18. Convoy FS.106 arrived
at Southend on the 28th.
Sloop SCARBOROUGH, on escort duty,
attacked a submarine contact SW of the Scilly Isles in 49-36N, 6-47W.
Gladiator of 770 Squadron from aircraft carrier
ARGUS crashed into the sea at
Hyeres. Midshipman (A)
R W Kearsley was rescued.
Convoy HX.23 departed
Halifax at 0800 escorted by Canadian
destroyers FRASER and ST LAURENT until 1710/27th,
when they turned the convoy over to ocean escort,
armed merchant cruiser AUSONIA. She detached
on 9 March. Before then, on the 28th, destroyer HEREWARD departed Halifax, overtook the
convoy and arrived at Plymouth before going on
to Portsmouth on 11 March for
refitting which completed on 12 April. HX.23 arrived at Liverpool on 12 March.
ORIZABA (4354grt) of
the Vigo group ran
aground off Skjervoy near
Hammerfest on the north
coast of Norway in 70‑04N,
20‑59E and was lost. Survivors were rescued by Finnish steamer
MALAYA, and armed
merchant cruiser ASCANIA departed Greenock with gold for
Halifax, and left the
Clyde escorted by
destroyers FAULKNOR, FAME, FORESTER, FURY
sank Swedish steamer STORFOS
(545grt) in an accidental collision 12.8 miles 126° from Longstone
Light. JACKAL picked up the crew and escorted by destroyer JANUS,
proceeded to the Tyne for repairs
requiring three weeks. The steamer was determined to be at fault for the
Sloop BLACK SWAN
departed Portland for Rosyth.
cruiser CORFU departed the Clyde on Northern Patrol.
cruiser ASCANIA departed the Clyde.
ORION (23,456grt) was docking at London, she was in
collision with destroyer GRENADE, which had just completed refit.
GRENADE's sailing was postponed while the damage was assessed
and she repaired at Harwich, completing on 3 April.
KINGSTON reported her petrol compartment was leaking and she was only capable
of sixteen knots.
departed Southend escorted by destroyers WINDSOR
and WOLVERINE, and dispersed on 1 March.
A TM convoy
departed the Tyne for Methil escorted by the 3rd
Anti-Submarine Group and destroyer JACKAL.
departed Southend, escorted by destroyers WESTMINSTER, WOLSEY and
sloops BLACK SWAN and LONDONDERRY, and arrived in
the Tyne on the 29th. Convoy FN.105 was
departed the Tyne, escorted by destroyer VALOROUS, sloop
HASTINGS, and also
destroyer JERVIS, joined FS.108 on the 29th and both arrived at
Southend on 1 March.
departed Methil, escorted by destroyer VALOROUS and
sloop HASTINGS, and arrived in
the Tyne later that day.
BEN ATTOW (156grt) was reportedly sunk by a
mine seven miles east, one half mile south of May Island.
Seekrieg lists her as bombed and sunk by He111's of German
KG26 (X Air Corps). As He111's were carrying torpedoes during anti-shipping
missions, a torpedo hit might have been mistaken for a mine explosion.
GOVERNOR (6840grt) was bombed and damaged by He111's of German KG26 (X Air
Corps) off the east coast, and then escorted into port by destroyer JANUS.
trawler LE TIGER (516grt) attacked a submarine contact off Fife Ness near North
Carr Light Vessel in 56-19N, 2-32W, and was later relieved by sloop PELICAN.
trawler RUBY (420grt) attacked a submarine contact in Liverpool Bay in 53-30N,
MIRA (3165grt) was bombed and damaged by He111's of German KG26 (X Air Corps) two miles northeast of St Abb's
steamer ANNFIN (729grt) reported ramming a submarine of unknown nationality
outside Norwegian waters in the North Sea.
departed Southend escorted by destroyer WREN on the
24th, which was then relieved by sloop SANDWICH on the 26th,
and OB.98GF departed Liverpool, also on the
24th escorted by destroyers VANOC and WHIRLWIND. The two merged on the 27th
as OG.20F, escorts:
WHIRLWIND detached to HG.20
Gibraltar on 4 March with
SCARBOROUGH and WELLINGTON
The two sloops
temporarily joined the 13th Destroyer Flotilla to allow destroyers VELOX and
VIDETTE to sail for the UK.
intercepted German steamer WANGONI (7848grt) at 2009 off
Kristiansand, north of
Hantsholm, but she escaped in the dark and reached Hamburg on 1 March.
with eight British, twenty nine Norwegian, one Swedish, two Finnish,
two Danish ships departed Bergen escorted by
destroyers COSSACK, DELIGHT, DIANA, SIKH, NUBIAN. Anti-air craft cruiser
CALCUTTA provided anti-aircraft protection. On 29 February, the convoy split
into east and west coast sections; the eight ships of the west coast ships
were escorted by destroyers KHARTOUM and SIKH and the east coast section by
the convoy destroyers, joined by damaged destroyer IMPERIAL. CALCUTTA arrived at
Sullom Voe on 1 March. After escorting the west coast section,
destroyers KHARTOUM and SIKH proceeded to the Clyde, arriving on 1 March, for
boiler cleaning and gun mounting repairs, respectively. The convoy arrived
without event at Methil on 1 March.
departed Methil with six British, nineteen
Norwegian, eleven Swedish, two Danish, three Finnish, two Estonian ships escorted
by destroyers ESCAPADE, ESCORT, ENCOUNTER.
Anti-submarine trawlers COVENTRY CITY (546grt) and LE
TIGRE (516grt) escorting blockship CARRON (1017grt)
when abreast of Pentland Skerries
was detached from the convoy to Scapa Flow and arrived on 1 March. One other
steamer was detached before the convoy crossed the North Sea. The convoy was
joined by destroyers ELECTRA and ECLIPSE with six steamers from
Kirkwall. (These six included in sailing numbers).
Destroyer ELECTRA attacked a submarine contact south, southeast of
Duncansby Head in 58-26N, 1-35W on the 29th. Destroyers
GALLANT and GRIFFIN were sent to assist. Anti-aircraft cruiser
Sullom Voe on 1 March to
provide anti-aircraft support. The convoy arrived at Bergen without further
event on 2 March.
KASHMIR and KINGSTON arrived at Greenock.
cruisers TRANSYLVANIA and WOLFE departed the Clyde on Northern Patrol.
STERLET departed Harwich on patrol.
departed Southend escorted by sloop GRIMSBY and
destroyers WOOLSTON and JUNO. The convoy
arrived at the Tyne on 1 March.
departed the Tyne, escorted by destroyer VIVIEN and sloop PELICAN. The convoy
joined convoy FS.107 on the 29th and both arrived at Southend
on 1 March.
departed Methil, escorted by destroyer VIVIEN,
sloop PELICAN, anti-submarine trawlers of the 3RD Anti-Submarine Group. The
convoy arrived in the Tyne later that day.
departed Dover at 1710 with the CIGS and arrived at Boulogne
and WAKEFUL searched unsuccessfully for a German submarine off St Govan Light
Anti-Submarine Group, composed of anti-submarine trawlers LADY PHILOMENA, WOLVES,
GRIMSBY TOWN, THURINGIA, BLACKBURN ROVERS were withdrawn from Dover patrol to
be fitted with anti-aircraft protection at Hartlepool.
minelayers ROLAND and COBRA, escorted by minesweepers M.5 and M.7, laid 238
mines in an anti-submarine mine barrier off the Ems
departed Freetown escorted by armed merchant cruiser DUNVEGAN CASTLE until 11
March. The convoy merged with convoy SLF.22 on 11 March and both convoys
arrived at Liverpool on 15 March.
FURIOUS departed the
Clyde on the 28th
escorted by destroyers HARDY, FEARLESS, FIREDRAKE,
KIMBERLEY. The aircraft
carrier arrived at Plymouth at 0725/29th for refitting. In the Plymouth
approaches on the 29th, FEARLESS was involved in a collision with a trawler.
The damage was repaired at Plymouth completing on 10 March. On 2 March,
REPULSE escorted by destroyers HARDY,
HOSTILE, VIMY departed Plymouth for the Clyde where they arrived during the
afternoon of 3 March. Destroyer VIMY immediately returned to Plymouth, via
Liverpool. On 3 March, battlecruiser
destroyers ACASTA, KIMBERLEY, FIREDRAKE departed Plymouth for the Clyde where
they arrived at 1230 on 4 March. ACASTA immediately departed after
refuelling for Plymouth, arriving on 5 March.
ships PAKEHA and WAIMANA departed Rosyth escorted by destroyers IMOGEN,
INGLEFIELD, TARTAR, GURKHA for Scapa Flow, arriving on 1
NORFOLK arrived in the Clyde from Northern Patrol.
YORK arrived at
was ordered to proceed to Birkenhead for refitting.
WOOLSTON, escorting convoy FN.106, was damaged in the Humber while docking
with a merchant ship. Escort vessel WOOLSTON was repaired in the Humber,
completing on 5 March.
TEVIOTBANK with destroyers BRAZEN and BOREAS departed Immingham on the 24th
for Invergordon where they arrived at 1500/26th. Minelayer TEVIOTBANK escorted
by destroyers BOREAS and BRAZEN and minesweepers LEDA and NIGER departed
Invergordon on minelaying operation PA 2 in Moray Firth. After the minelay,
the ships proceeded to the Tyne. The ships arrived in the Tyne on 2
March and left later that dayin convoy FS.10 for
passage to the Humber.
SWAN, escorted by destroyer WOLSEY, arrived at Rosyth.
trawler CAPE PORTLAND (497grt) attacked a submarine contact off
Dunnett Head in 58-42-45N, 3-18-28W.
trawler AMETHYST (627grt) was damaged in a collision with steamer
BRAMWELL (1927grt). The Hailing Station and Tyne Boom Defense
were also damaged in this collision. The trawler was repaired in fourteen
departed Southend escorted by sloop BIDEFORD and
destroyer VETERAN, which were relieved on 1 March by destroyer VANESSA.
Destroyer VANESSA was detached on 2 March and the convoy was dispersed the
departed Liverpool escorted by destroyers VANQUISHER and VERSATILE. Both
destroyers were detached on 3 March, when the convoy dispersed.
departed Southend escorted by sloop FLAMINGO and
destroyers WALLACE and JUPITER. The convoy arrived in the Tyne on 2 March.
Convoy FN.108 was cancelled.
departed the Tyne escorted by destroyer VEGA, sloop STORK, destroyer JUNO. The convoy
arrived at Southend on 2 March.
Convoy BC.28 of steamers
BARON CARNEGIE (Commodore), BATNA, KERMA, KUFRA, LOCHEE, PIZARRO departed
Bristol Channel escorted by destroyer VIVACIOUS. The convoy arrived at Loire
on 3 March.
Italian steamer MARIA ROSA (4211grt) in 52‑24N, 01‑59E.
Twelve crew were lost.
PERTH and light cruiser
DIOMEDE departed Kingston, Jamaica, in
company, for duty in the Pacific Ocean after being relieved in the Caribbean
by light cruisers
DESPATCH. Cruiser PERTH
departed the Caribbean on 2 March and passed through the Panama Canal on 3
March. She arrived at Sydney on 31 March.
forces at Gibraltar maintained a patrol for Cadiz and
Huelva to watch German
merchant ships there:
1 February destroyer
VIDETTE until 1200
2 February destroyers
DECOY and DEFENDER in the AM
11 February destroyer ACTIVE in AM; destroyer
VIDETTE in PM
12 February destroyer VIDETTE in AM; destroyer
VORTIGERN in PM
13 February destroyer VORTIGERN in PM
15 February destroyer VIDETTE
16 February destroyer VIDETTE in AM; destroyer
DOUGLAS in PM
17 February destroyer DOUGLAS
18 February destroyer DOUGLAS in AM; destroyer
WISHART in PM
19 February destroyer WISHART
20 February destroyer WISHART
22 February destroyer WISHART in PM
24 February destroyer WISHART in AM
25 February destroyer VELOX in AM
27 February destroyer VELOX in PM
28 February destroyer VELOX in AM; destroyer
WISHART in PM
PROTEUS departed Hong Kong at the end of February to patrol off the
Soviet Far Eastern port of Vladivostok in the Pacific.
The patrol ended in March after which no more were carried out.
battleships LÜTZOW (former DEUTSCHLAND) and ADMIRAL SCHEER were re-classified
as heavy cruisers and the former warship type abandoned.
At the end of
February, the following destroyers were all under repair – ACHERON at
Portsmouth, AFRIDI at Hartlepool, ANTELOPE at Cowes, ARROW at Portsmouth,
ARDENT at Plymouth, ASHANTI at Cowes, BEDOUIN at Wallsend,
BROKE at Plymouth, CAMPBELL at Plymouth, CODRINGTON at Southampton, DUNCAN at
Grangemouth, ECHO at Leith,
ESKIMO at Southampton, FEARLESS at Plymouth, GARLAND at Malta, GLOWWORM at
Hull, GREYHOUND at Hull, HASTY at Plymouth, HAVANT at Plymouth, HAVOCK at
Chatham, HERO at Portsmouth, HUNTER at Falmouth, HYPERION at Portsmouth, ILEX
at Rosyth, ISIS at Falmouth, JACKAL at Blyth,
JERSEY at Hull, KEPPEL at Malta, KIPLING at Tyne, MALCOLM at Cardiff, MAORI
at Clyde, MASHONA at Chatham, MATABELE at Plymouth, PUNJABI at Clyde, SABRE
at Grangemouth, SALADIN at Plymouth, SOMALI at
Middlesbrough, THRACIAN at Hong Kong, WARWICK at Liverpool, WESSEX at Milford
Haven, WHITEHALL at Plymouth, WITHERINGTON at Liverpool, WOOLSTON at Rosyth,
WREN at Plymouth, WRESTLER at Malta, ZULU at Leith and Polish GROM at