Background Events -
September 1939-March 1940
Battle of Atlantic starts,
'Phoney War' on land, Battle of River Plate
Friday, 1 March
Scapa Flow on
NORFOLK was on the WR station off North Cape to intercept German shipping.
The flag of Cruiser Squadron 2 transferred to depot
Destroyers FAULKNOR, FAME, FURY, FORESTER, MOHAWK arrived back in the Clyde after escorting battleship
MALAYA and armed
merchant cruiser ASCANIA.
Destroyer JAGUAR departed the Humber for Rosyth. On the 2nd, she was attacked by German
aircraft off Longstones, but was able to drive the attack
off without damage to herself, and arrived at Rosyth on the 2nd.
After delivering Fleet Tenders A and B (decoy ships
PAKEHA and WAIMANA) to Scapa
Flow on the 1st,
destroyer TARTAR departed Scapa
Flow again that day.
Destroyer KANDAHAR arrived at the Clyde.
Destroyers FORTUNE and PUNJABI, returning to the Clyde
after full calibre firings, investigated a submarine reported seven miles
254° from Ailsa Craig. Steamer CLAN MACNAUGHTON (6088grt) had
reported sighting a periscope.
Destroyer WILD SWAN, escorting convoy OA.100G, lost
Probationary Midshipman R. R. Tett RNR overboard.
Submarine THISTLE departed Rosyth and performed
exercises in the Firth of Forth.
The Northern Patrol from 1 to 14 March sighted
52 eastbound merchant ships and sent into Kirkwall twelve for inspection. Four German merchant ships were encountered
and all four scuttled themselves to avoid capture. Armed merchant cruisers
ASTURIAS and SCOTSTOUN arrived at the
Clyde from Northern Patrol. Armed merchant cruisers WOLFE and DERBYSHIRE
departed the Clyde on Northern Patrol. Air escort from Aldergrove was
supplied for DERBYSHIRE.
Sloop GRIMSBY was in a collision with Italian steamer EDERA
(5254grt) while berthing in the Tyne, but sustained no damage.
Anti-submarine trawler ASTON VILLA (546grt) was
damaged in a collision with RFA PETRONEL at Aberdeen.
Norwegian steamer VESTFOSS (1388grt) was bombed and
sunk by aircraft of German KG26 (X Air Corps) twelve miles east by south of Copinsay,
Orkney Islands. After an unsuccessful attempt to tow VESTFOSS,
LIBERTY (205grt) took off the 19 crew. Tug ST MELLONS had been dispatched, but
was recalled. Part of the crew from VESTFOSS arrived
at Oslo on the 6th. (Note: German X Air Corps flew
He111's of KG26, Ju88's of KG30, and two reconnaissance squadrons flying
He59's or Do17's.)
Norwegian steamer BROTT (1583grt) in convoy FS.109
was machine gunned and bombed by German aircraft off Whitby,
and the crew abandoned ship. The steamer waited in
for tugs. Destroyer JUNO, escort vessel VEGA and sloop STORK were escorting
the convoy, one of the escorts picking up a lifeboat from BROTT.
Convoy MT.21 departed Methil for the Tyne. In convoy MT.20,
Latvian steamers ELIZABETE (2039grt) was damaged by German bombers
five miles east by south of Hartlepool Light Vessel and KATVALDIS (3208grt)
off Scarborough, in 54-20N, 00-20W. KATVALDIS was struck by two bombs, one of which did not
explode. The convoy arrived in the Tyne on the 2nd.
Steamer DOMALA (8450grt) ran aground three
cables east of Goodwin Knoll Buoy. Downs Guard Vessel GOODWIN, minesweeping
trawler CALVI and a tug from Ramsgate stood by until she refloated
herself without assistance at 1600.
Convoy OG.20 was formed from two convoys - (1) OA.100G, which
departed Southend on 28 February, escorted by sloop BIDEFORD from 28 February
to 2 March and destroyer WILD SWAN from 29 February to 3 March, and (2)
OB.100G, which departed Liverpool escorted by by sloop LEITH from 1 to 3
March and destroyer VENETIA from 1 to 2 March, with 31 ships. Both
Liverpool escorts were detached to convoy HG.20. French destroyer TIGRE and escort vessel VIKINGS joined the convoy from 2
to 7 March. Destroyer ACTIVE joined on the 6th, and the convoy arrived
at Gibraltar on the 7th.
U.20 sank Italian steamer MIRELLA (5340grt) in 52‑24N,
02‑02E; one crewman was lost. The survivors were
rescued by destroyer WALLACE and anti-submarine trawler CAPE
ARGONA (494grt). Patrol sloops SHEARWATER and MALLARD were patrolling nearby
and were joined by sloops WIDGEON and SHELDRAKE to search for the submarine.
Convoy HG.21F departed Gibraltar with 36 ships. French destroyer CHACAL and
auxiliary patrol vessel CAPITAINE ARMANDE escorted from 1 to 6 and
7 March, respectively. Destroyers WHIRLWIND from convoy OG.21F and WITCH
escorted the convoy from 7 to 10 March, when it arrived at Liverpool.
Destroyer BULLDOG and Australian destroyer WATERHEN
arrived at Gibraltar.
SUSSEX departed Colombo 1 March to return to Home Waters. She reached
Malta on the 10th, departed on the 12th,
passed Gibraltar on the 14th, and arrived at Liverpool on the 17th. There she began a refit that continued until
18 May when she joined the 1st Cruiser Squadron operating with the Home
Steamer SOUTHGATE (4862grt) reported being under attack by a U-boat
150 miles northeast of San Juan
in 19‑58N, 64‑00W. American destroyers of the 31st Destroyer
Squadron, MACLEISH (DD.220, Flagship Commander Destroyer Squadron 31, Captain
W.W. Bradley) and SATTERLEE (DD.190) and MASON (DD.191) of the 68th Destroyer
Division were dispatched to assist. However, the submarine was not located
and SOUTHGATE was not damaged. U.S. Coast Guard cutter UNALGA
also searched in the area for the reported submarine. The U-boat, in reality,
was one of the four French submarines based on Martinique.
During the night of 29 February/1 March, light
DESPATCH off Aruba in the
intercepted German steamer TROJA (2390grt) shortly after the German ship had put
to sea. Rather than be captured, TROJA scuttled herself.
Gunboats APHIS and LADYBIRD left Singapore escorted by light cruiser
DAUNTLESS for Penang where they arrived on the 2nd. They departed on the 3rd, and arrived at the
Nicobar Islands for refuelling. There, DAUNTLESS was relieved by
Australian light cruiser
HOBART which took them to Colombo. DAUNTLESS arrived back at Penang on the 8th. The gunboats departed
Colombo on the 11th without an escort, and
proceeded to Bombay, joined an RFA tanker and proceeded with
her to Masirah. At Masirah, they refuelled from the tanker and carried on to
Aden, arriving on the 27th, followed by calls at Port Sudan, Suez, Port Said. They arrived at Alexandria on 4 April.
Convoy SLF.22 departed Freetown escorted by armed merchant cruiser MOOLTAN until
12 March. On the 11th convoy SL.22 merged with convoy SLF.22. On the 12th,
sloops BRIDGEWATER, ROCHESTER and destroyers AMAZON and VENETIA relieved the armed merchant cruiser. The convoys arrived on the 15th.
French heavy cruiser SUFFREN arrived at Singapore for docking, and was undocked on the
Saturday, 2 March
Destroyers KELLY and SIKH arrived at Greenock from Scapa Flow.
Destroyer KHARTOUM arrived at Greenock from Scapa Flow.
HOOD (Whitworth), and destroyers KELLY (D.5), SIKH and
Greenock at 1600,
and destroyers FAULKNOR (D.8), FORESTER, FAME departed the Clyde to patrol and cover the progress of the ON/HN convoys at sea. At
1133/3rd off North Minch, FORESTER made a submarine contact in
58-27N, 5-46W and attacked it without result. FORESTER and FAME made further attacks at 1240, 1320, 1423, 1500 in
the same area. FORESTER remained at the contact for 24
hours before rejoining the Whitworth force. At 2138/3rd, northwest of Foula
Island in 61-06N, 03-58W, KELLY made a submarine contact, also
attacking it without result. In a freshening gale, contact was lost and KELLY
rejoined the Whitworth force.
REPULSE (above - Peter Siddall) with destroyers HARDY, HOSTILE and VIMY departed
Portsmouth for the Clyde. The ships arrived during the afternoon of 3 March
and VIMY immediately returned to Plymouth, via
Liner QUEEN ELIZABETH (83,673grt) departed
the Clyde at 0800 escorted by destroyers MOHAWK, PUNJABI,
FORTUNE and FOXHOUND. As she was getting underway, MOHAWK was damaged in
collision with steamer GARTBRATTAN (1811grt) off Greenock. However, this did not prevent her from joining the escort. Destroyer TARTAR was just arriving
from Greenock in the
Clyde for boiler cleaning
when she received orders to join the outbound "convoy" - the lone QUEEN ELIZABETH. TARTAR relieved MOHAWK, which
returned to the Clyde, TARTAR's commanding officer becoming the
senior officer of the escort. The destroyers escorted the liner to 200 miles
northwest of Rathlin Island before being detached. FOXHOUND and FORTUNE proceeded to
Belfast to escort dummy aircraft carrier HERMES (decoy
ship MAMARI) on the 3rd. All three left there on the 4th and arrived in the
Clyde on the 5th. TARTAR and PUNJABI arrived back at the
Clyde on the 4th. MOHAWK entered the Ailsa Shipyard at Troon on
the 5th and was repairing until 19 March. QUEEN ELIZABETH arrived
safely at New
York on the
7th completing her maiden voyage.
Scapa Flow on
Northern Patrol duties.
Armed merchant cruiser CARINTHIA arrived in the Clyde from Northern Patrol.
ENTERPRISE arrived at Portsmouth from Halifax convoy escort duty to refit completing on 11
Destroyers FURY and KINGSTON proceeded to patrol off Pladda
Island in case a U-boat sighted in 55-48N, 6-45W at 1300 was en route to
mine the Clyde. The patrol was terminated at 1000/3rd.
GALATEA departed Portsmouth to join the Home Fleet at Scapa Flow, and arrived on the 4th.
Convoy OA.102 departed Southend, and
escorted by destroyer CAMPBELL, which accompanied the convoy on 3 and 4
March. On the 5th, the convoy dispersed.
Convoy OB.102 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyers WALPOLE and VANOC, until they detached on the 5th to HX.22. The convoy dispersed on
Convoy FN.109 departed Southend, escorted by
destroyers VALOROUS, JERVIS and sloop HASTINGS, and arrived in the Tyne on the 4th.
Convoy FS.110 departed the Tyne escorted by destroyers WHITLEY, BOREAS and sloop EGRET. Minelayer
PRINCESS VICTORIA travelled in the convoy, which arrived at Southend on
WOLFSBURG (6201grt) had departed Pernambuco on 5 February.
Disguised as Norwegian AUST, she scuttled herself north of
Iceland in 67‑20N, 22‑50W when intercepted by
BERWICK on Northern Patrol. BERWICK picked up the
German crew of 11 officers and 43 men and sank the steamer with
Cable ship ROYAL SCOT with destroyers BRAZEN and WOLSEY was involved in
mending cables in Largo Bay.
Submarine TRIAD undocked at Rosyth.
Destroyer BEAGLE went alongside destroyer depot
ship SANDHURST in the Submarine Basin at Dover for boiler cleaning and degaussing, returning to service on the 7th.
Destroyer KEITH arrived at Dover from Sheerness after repairs.
After a report of a German submarine off the Dutch
coast, two French destroyers departed Dunkirk that evening to sweep up the Belgian and Dutch
coast during the night.
U.17 sank Dutch steamer RIJNSTROOM (695grt) in 51‑36N,
U.32 sank Swedish steamer LAGAHOLM (2818grt) in 59‑34N,
05‑10W, 80 miles west of Kirkwall; one crewman was lost. Armed boarding vessels NORTHERN
SKY and NORTHERN PRINCESS were sent to
investigate. The 27
survivors were rescued by Norwegian steamer BELPAMELA (3215grt), fourteen
were landed at Kirkwall on the 4th, and the remainder at North Ronaldsay. U.32 also attacked BELPAMELA, but torpedo
malfunctions allowed her to escape undamaged. LAGAHOLM and BELPAMELA were both en route for contraband inspection at
ALBANO (1176grt) was sunk on a mine 7.6 miles 128.5° from Coquet Light,
midway between Blyth and
nine crew were lost. The survivors were picked up by escort vessel WALLACE and armed patrol trawler
STELLA CARINO (440grt).
Dutch steamer ELZIENA (176grt) was bombed and
by He111's of German KG26 (X Air Corps) five miles east of Coquet
two crew were killed. The survivors were picked
up. (Sources show the rescue ship as Danish ZINE or Dutch SINE, but neither appear in
At 0500, steamer DOMALA (8441grt) was
bombed and set on fire by He111's of German KG26 (X Air Corps) 24 miles
east of St Catherine's Point, I.O.W, between St Catherine's Point and the
Owers. Dutch steamer JONGE WILLEM (1632grt) assisted and was machine
gunned and bombed, also by He111's of German KG26. Four to five bombs were dropped, but no damage was done. At 1245, destroyers VISCOUNT,
which was en route to pick up convoy OA.102, VENOMOUS and tug STALWART were
standing by. Destroyer ANTHONY arrived from Portsmouth shortly after to assist in driving off further
air attacks. Soon destroyer ACHATES, tug REVUE and anti-submarine trawler
KINGSTON AGATE (464grt) arrived. VISCOUNT picked up 120 survivors, but
sustained some damage to her hull while alongside. JONGE WILLEM picked up 51 crew
and three dead from lifeboats and took them to Newhaven.
Convoy BC.27 of steamers BALTRAFFIC, BARON GRAHAM,
BOTHNIA, BRITISH COAST and MARSLEW (Commodore) departed
Loire escorted by destroyer VIVACIOUS, and arrived safely in
the Bristol Channel on the 4th.
Convoy HN.16 six British, eighteen Norwegian, two
Finnish and two Danish ships departed Bergen escorted by destroyers ESCAPADE, ENCOUNTER,
ELECTRA and ESCORT. When the convoy split into sections, destroyers INGLEFIELD
and IMOGEN took over the seven ships of the west coast section. Convoy HN.16
and ELECTRA, ESCAPADE, ENCOUNTER, ESCORT and ECLIPSE arrived safely
at Methil on the 5th. INGLEFIELD and IMOGEN arrived in the Clyde at 0630/6th after dispersing the west bound section of HN.16
at Cape Wrath.
Rescue tug FAIRPLAY II (282grt, Temporary Lt H
Forster RNR) was wrecked on the Yorkshire coast.
Convoy HX.24 departed Halifax at 0800 escorted by Canadian destroyers SAGUENAY, SKEENA and ST LAURENT, the latter returning to Halifax after dark. SAGUENAY and SKEENA turned over the convoy to battleship
the 3rd, and they arrived back at Halifax mid-morning on the 4th. REVENGE detached
on the 11th. Destroyers VERSATILE, WAKEFUL, WALPOLE and WOLVERINE escorted the
convoy from the 14th to 17th, when it arrived at Liverpool.
DUNEDIN intercepted German merchant ship
HEIDELBERG (6530grt) 60 miles WSW of the Windward Passage in the
Caribbean. She had departed
Aruba the day before with German steamer TROJA, which had
also scuttled herself to avoid capture.
Sunday, 3 March
The last German ship of the February Vigo group,
steamer ARUCAS (3359grt), scuttled herself in 63‑20N, 14‑15W
when she was intercepted by heavy cruiser
in 63‑08N, 14‑42W. The crew was
rescued, but three died. YORK arrived at Kirkwall to land the 39 survivors on the 10th.
Minelayer TEVIOTBANK and destroyers ESK, EXPRESS,
ICARUS and IMPULSIVE of the 20th Destroyer Flotilla laid mines in Operation IE-1
in the channels through the German mine fields in the Heligoland Bight. The ships arrived
back in the Humber on the 3rd. Operation IE 2 was
Convoy ON.17 of three British, sixteen Norwegian,
twelve Swedish, five Danish, two Finnish and two Estonian ships departed Methil
at 1700 escorted by destroyers NUBIAN, DELIGHT (SO), DIANA, ILEX and GURKHA,
with anti-aircraft support provided by anti-aircraft cruiser
CALCUTTA. Destroyer COSSACK was assigned to the convoy,
but was held back as unseaworthy for repairs to leaking seams. GURKHA arrived at
Flow from Rosyth on the
2nd as her replacement.
On the 4th
abreast of Scapa Flow, DIANA and submarine NARWHAL escorting
fleet auxiliary GREENAWN (784grt) were detached, with DIANA and GREENAWN arriving at
Flow on the 5th and
NARWHAL on the 6th after
being delayed by gales. Light cruisers
ARETHUSA, which departed
Rosyth on the 3rd, gave this convoy, as well as ON.17 A and HN.17, close
support. ON.17 arrived at Bergen on the 7th without event.
Convoy MT.22 departed Methil, escorted by trawlers
of the 1st Anti-submarine Group and sloops BLACK SWAN and GRIMSBY. Destroyer IMPERIAL travelled in the convoy en
route to the Tyne for repairs. The convoy arrived in the Tyne later that day.
Convoy FN.110 departed Southend, escorted by
destroyer VIVIEN and sloops PELICAN and FLEETWOOD, as far as the Tyne, and
arrived in the Tyne on the 5th. Destroyer JAVELIN carried on to Methil.
Convoy FS.111 departed the Tyne escorted by sloops BLACK SWAN, GRIMSBY and destroyer JERVIS, and arrived at Southend on the 5th.
Destroyers BRAZEN and WOLSEY with cable ship ROYAL
SCOT departed Rosyth for operations east of May Island. ROYAL SCOT then proceeded to Leith and BRAZEN to Rosyth, arriving on the 5th.
Armed merchant cruiser CIRCASSIA departed the Clyde on Northern Patrol.
Armed merchant cruiser MALOJA departed Liverpool for the
RENOWN departed Plymouth for the
Clyde escorted by
destroyers ACASTA, KIMBERLEY
and FIREDRAKE. Air support was provided from the
morning of the 4th. The ships arrived in the Clyde at 1230/4th, and ACASTA, after refuelling, returned to
Destroyers KHARTOUM and KINGSTON departed
repairs to weather damage to their hulls and refitting at Falmouth. During the evening of the 4th at 1903, WSW of Trevose Head in 50-31.21N, 5-24.4W,
they attacked a submarine contact, assessed
later as probably a wreck. After searching for another U-boat reported late
on the 4th, KHARTOUM
and KINGSTON arrived at Falmouth.
Destroyers JERVIS, JUNO
and JUPITER arrived at Rosyth for escort duty with
convoy ON.17 A.
Submarine URSULA arrived at Blyth after patrol.
Submarine TRUANT arrived at Rosyth after patrol.
Lt B E H Stranack, Lt
(A) J D Stern and Naval Airman J W White of 816 Squadron were killed at Campbeltown when their Swordfish landed and
collided with two stationary aircraft, a total of five
aircraft being destroyed.
U.29 laid mines off Newport. Two merchant ships were
lost on this minefield, starting with steamer CATO (710grt) on the 3rd in 51‑24N,
03‑33W; of a fifteen man crew, thirteen were lost. The two survivors
were rescued by auxiliary minesweeper AKITA (FY610).
French light cruiser LA GALISSONIERE, escorted by
destroyers RAILLEUSE and FORBIN, departed Oran. The destroyers were detached on the 6th at Gibraltar and the cruiser proceeded to Brest. RAILLEUSE and FORBIN then joined light
cruiser PRIMAGUET, arriving from Brest, and escorted her to Toulon, which they reached on the 8th.
DAUNTLESS departed Singapore.
DURBAN arrived at Penang.
Monday, 4 March
AURORA arrived at Rosyth after covering convoys ON.15 and HN.15.
SOUTHAMPTON arrived at Scapa Flow after Northern Patrol.
Armed merchant cruiser PATROCLUS departed Liverpool on Northern Patrol.
Armed merchant cruiser MALOJA arrived in the Clyde from Liverpool.
Destroyers INTREPID, GALLANT and IVANHOE arrived at
Aberdeen to patrol. INTREPID left to investigate
a submarine reported at 0530 six miles NE of Aberdeen,
and destroyers JUPITER and JUNO of convoy ON.17A were detached to assist. Trawler
BEN CHOURN (197grt) reported an explosion in this
area. It was first thought that convoy ON.17 was under attack. It was later
ascertained that the submarine was the British NARWHAL, proceeding to Scapa Flow, and that the explosion was a depth charge fired by
Submarine TRIAD carried out special trials off
Destroyer VESPER departed Greenock escorting submarine TETRARCH to
Portsmouth, where they
arrived on the 6th. TETRARCH carried out equipment repairs, and then sailed on
13 April for a war patrol.
Anti-submarine trawler NEIL MACKAY went ashore at
Scapa Flow during a storm, but was later refloated.
At 2030, tanker CHARLES T. MEYER
(10,516grt) of convoy HX.20 A, escorted by sloop FOWEY, struck a floating mine
15 miles south of Dungeness, in 50-21N, 0-18E. FOWEY
continued on with the convoy. To assist the damaged tanker, destroyers BRILLIANT was ordered from
Dover, BOADICEA from her patrol, and KEITH from Dover when ready. Tug LADY BRASSEY and French
torpedo boats and trawlers proceeded to the area. BOADICEA located
the damaged tanker at 0400. At 0500, BRILLIANT joined and soon after
KEITH arrived. At 0600, BOADICEA took the tanker in tow
escorted by BRILLIANT and KEITH. Tugs LADY BRASSEY from Dover and FOREMOST from Newhaven arrived at 0959 and
took over the tow. BRILLIANT returned to her patrol at 0700, but KEITH
remained as an anti-submarine screen. Tug CALSHOT
departed Southampton at 1100 and Admiralty Salvage Vessel RECOVERY OF
LEITH departed Dover. KEITH was released when the tow reached
I.O.W. All units involved arrived safely at Castle Point, Cowes, at 0105/6th.
Convoy ON.17 A of six British, sixteen Norwegian,
eight Swedish, eight Finnish, three Estonian and one Panamanian ship departed Methil escorted by destroyers JERVIS,
JUNO, JUPITER, JANUS and JAGUAR. One steamer was detached
before the convoy crossed the
North Sea. The
convoy was joined by 17 ships from Kirkwall. These are included in the sailing breakdown from Methil. Anti-aircraft cruiser
CALCUTTA departed Sullom Voe on the 5th for anti-aircraft
protection. Destroyer JERVIS made an attack at 0905/7th on a submarine
contact northeast of the Shetlands in 61‑15N, 1‑20E. The convoy
arrived safely at Bergen on the 8th, while CALCUTTA arrived back at Sullom Voe on the 9th.
Convoy FN.111 departed Southend, escorted
by destroyers VEGA, GRENADE and sloop STORK, and arrived in the Tyne on the 6th.
Convoy FS.112 departed the Tyne, escorted by sloop FLAMINGO and destroyer WALLACE, and arrived
at Southend on the 6th. Convoy FS.113 was cancelled.
Convoy MT.23 departed Methil, and arrived in
the Tyne the next day.
Sloop LEITH, escorting
convoy HG.20, attacked a submarine contact west of Scilly Isle in 49‑57N,
08‑15W. Destroyer VENETIA, also of HG.20, joined
her in the hunt.
U.29 sank steamers THURSTON (3072grt) 32 miles west of Trevose Head in 50-23N, 5-49W and
RELIANCE (6717grt) in 50‑23N, 05‑49W. THURSTON had been
involved in a collision with French collier S N A 1 (2679grt) which
and had just rescued the French survivors when she herself was sunk. Thirty four crew were
lost on THURSTON, while one survivor each from
SNA 1 and THURSTON was picked up by steamer
MOYLE (1761grt). All 53 crew of PACIFIC RELIANCE were
rescued by steamer MACVILLE (666grt) and tanker SAN FLORENTINO (12,842grt). U.29 also attacked SAN FLORENTINO but torpedo failures allowed her to escape.
Steamer AUCKLAND STAR (13,212grt) reported she had sighted a
submarine (U.28) in 49‑26N, 07‑27W. Sloop LEITH nearby, escorting convoy HG.20 was detached to investigate. On the
morning of the 5th, destroyers WILD SWAN and
VENETIA were ordered into the area to assist. Later on the 5th, another report
of a submarine, led to destroyers WHIRLWIND, VOLUNTEER and VETERAN being
ordered into the area.
The German Navy began holding submarines in port
for WESERUBUNG, the invasion of Norway, and cancelled all other naval operations.
Convoy HG.21 of 34 ships departed Gibraltar escorted by destroyers VELOX, VIDETTE and ACTIVE,
the latter detaching on the 6th. VELOX, which had joined
from convoy HG.20F, and VIDETTE were detached on the 11th to
Portsmouth and Devonport, respectively. Destroyer VIMY
escorted the convoy from the 4th to 10th, when she detached to convoy
HG.21 (?). Destroyer WINCHELSEA joined from the 11th to 13th in Home
Waters for the Liverpool section. Merchant ships not going to
Liverpool were escorted by destroyer WINDSOR which was with
the convoy from the 11th to 13th. The convoy arrived at Liverpool on the 13th .
CORNWALL departed Freetown on patrol.
CUMBERLAND departed Freetown.
DUNEDIN departed Kingston on patrol.
Tuesday, 5 March
NEWCASTLE arrived at Scapa Flow after Northern Patrol.
Destroyers HARDY, HOSTILE, PUNJABI, FORTUNE and
FOXHOUND departed Greenock to screen armed merchant cruisers SCOTSTOUN,
LETITIA and WORCESTERSHIRE for full calibre firings. SCOTSTOUN ten
proceeded to her patrol area, while LETITIA arrived back at 1500, WORCESTERSHIRE at 1700,
and the destroyers at 2010. WORCESTERSHIRE and LETITIA were returning from Northern Patrol
at the time.
Destroyer IVANHOE arrived at Rosyth from Scapa Flow, via Aberdeen, for boiler cleaning.
Destroyers JAVELIN and WOOLSTON departed the Humber escorting base ship DUNLUCE
CASTLE for Rosyth, arriving there on the 6th.
Destroyer WANDERER arrived at Liverpool at 1030 with urgent defects, which were
corrected and she was able to sail later that day. She attacked a contact in
St Georges Channel in 52‑01N, 6‑27W, which was later
determined to be non-submarine.
Armed merchant cruisers SCOTSTOUN and MALOJA departed
the Clyde on Northern Patrol. Both
were given air escort.
Submarine TRITON arrived at Rosyth after patrol.
Submarine SEALION departed Harwich on patrol.
Submarine NARWHAL arrived at Scapa Flow for direction finding trials.
Submarine THISTLE and the Polish ORZEL
departed Rosyth for patrol in the vicinity of Devil's Hole.
Submarine TRITON was docked at Rosyth for
Convoy OA.104 departed Southend escorted by sloop
FOWEY from the 5th to 7th.
Convoy OB.104 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyers MACKAY and VANQUISHER from
the 5th to 8th.
Convoy SA.32 departed Southampton with two steamers, escorted by sloops FOXGLOVE and
ROSEMARY, and arrived at Brest on the 7th.
Convoy MT.24 departed Methil, and arrived in
the Tyne the next day.
Convoy OG.21F was formed from two convoys - (1) OA.103GF,
which departed Southend with sloop ENCHANTRESS, and was joined by sloop SANDWICH the next day, and (2) OB.103GF of 48 ships, which
departed Liverpool escorted by destroyers WHIRLWIND and VOLUNTEER,
which remained with the combined convoy from the 5th to 6th, when they detached to convoy HG.21F.
SANDWICH and ENCHANTRESS were with OG.21F from the 5th to 11th, when they were temporarily attached to the 13th Destroyer Flotilla as
replacements for destroyers WATCHMAN and VORTIGERN which proceeded to
England for leave. Destroyer DOUGLAS joined
on the 9th and remained with the convoy until its arrival at Gibraltar on the 11th.
Convoy FN.112 departed Southend escorted by sloop
EGRET and destroyer WHITLEY, and arrived in the Tyne on the 7th. Convoys FN.113 and FS.113 were cancelled.
Destroyer TARTAR was boiler cleaning and destroyer
KIMBERLEY was shifting her asdic dome alongside destroyer
depot ship WOOLWICH at the Tail of the Bank.
Owing to reports of floating mines 15 miles
SW and SE of Beachy
Head, sloop ABERDEEN with convoy HX.20 was ordered southward of the
Steamer SCALTSCAR lost her propeller and
was drifting on shore 10 miles off Saltburn Pier. Destroyer VIVIEN stood by
until a tug arrived.
U.17 sank Dutch steamer GRUTTO (920grt) in 51‑41N,
U.52 and U.38 departed Kiel on the 2nd and Wilhelmshaven on the 9th respectively for patrol, but in the
Atlantic were recalled, and with U.30, U.43, U.44, U.46, U.47, U.49, U.51 were
ordered to stations on both sides of the Orkneys and Shetlands to operate
against British naval units. U.30, U.46, U.47, U.51 departed
Wilhelmshaven on the 11th, and U.43 and U.44 on the 13th,
while U.49 departed Kiel on the 16th.
Convoy HX.25 departed Halifax at 0800 escorted by Canadian destroyers
RESTIGOUCHE and ST
were detached on the 6th. Armed merchant cruiser LACONIA was in the escort and detached on the 18th. At
0650/7th, the convoy was joined by battleship
returning to Halifax after escorting HX.22. Destroyers ANTELOPE,
MACKAY, VANESSA and WOLVERINE escorted the convoy from the 18th to 20th when it arrived at
HAWKINS departed Montevideo for
After a short refit, she departed on the 15th for the Plate area.
COLOMBO arrived at Gibraltar from England, and sailed on the 6th for Malta.
Convoy SL.23 departed Freetown escorted by armed merchant cruiser PRETORIA
CASTLE. On the 19th, convoys SL.23 and SLF.23 merged and armed merchant
joined the escort, relieving PRETORIA
was relieved on the 20th by destroyer WHITSHED which was joined on the 22nd
by armed merchant cruiser ESPERANCE
The convoy arrived on the 22nd.
GLOUCESTER arrived at Colombo.
Wednesday, 6 March
URUGUAY (5846grt), which had departed Pernambuco on 11
February, was sighted by trawler ST WISTAN (564grt) northwest of
Iceland. This enabled heavy cruiser
BERWICK on Northern
Patrol to intercept her. Rather than be captured, URUGUAY scuttled herself in 67‑52N, 16‑08W; BERWICK rescued
14 officers and 40 men.
DRAGON departed Portland for duty with the 3rd Cruiser Squadron in the
Mediterranean Fleet. She departed Gibraltar on the 10th, arrived at Malta on the 12th for refitting, and reached Alexandria on 3 April.
Armed merchant cruiser ASTURIAS departed the Clyde for Belfast for overhaul and refit.
Armed merchant cruiser CARINTHIA departed the Clyde for Northern Patrol.
Destroyer VENOMOUS was in a collision with tug
SWARTHY at 0321 in Portsmouth
was under repair at Portsmouth until 29 April, and departed on 2 May.
Destroyer JUNO arrived at Rosyth from convoy duty with defects,
and departed on the 9th for repairs at Hull.
Destroyer HOTSPUR departed Sheerness for the Clyde, arriving on the 8th.
Destroyer GALLANT arrived at Invergordon from
Destroyer FURY departed the Clyde at 1600 for Milford Haven to discharge fuel prior to arriving at
Newport for refitting. At 2334/6th, she
attacked a submarine contact southwest of Chicken Rock, I.O.M., in 53‑47N,
5‑09W, which was later assessed as probably a wreck. On the 7th, she attacked another submarine contact in 53-48N, 5-06W,
also a wreck, and reached Milford Haven on the 9th.
Minesweepers BRAMBLE, BRITOMART, HAZARD, SPEEDY and HEBE departed
Sloops KINGFISHER and FOXGLOVE were searching for a
submarine SSE of Portland Bill. FOXGLOVE attacked a
contact in 50-10N, 2-12W, and destroyer ANTHONY relieved KINGFISHER in the hunt.
Destroyer WOLSEY and cable ship ROYAL SCOT arrived back at Rosyth after cable mending all
Convoy TM.20 escorted by the 19th Anti-submarine
Group and destroyer VIVIEN departed the Tyne for Methil.
Convoy FN.114 departed Southend escorted by sloops
BLACK SWAN, GRIMSBY and destroyer WOOLSTON, and arrived in the
Tyne on the 8th.
Convoy FS.114 departed the Tyne, escorted by sloops LONDONDERRY and FLEETWOOD, and arrived at Southend on
Destroyer GURKHA attacked a submarine contact ENE of Sumburgh Head in 60‑00N, 00‑00W,
later evaluated as non-submarine.
Anti-submarine trawler NORTHERN WAVE (655grt) attacked a submarine contact north of
Kinnaird Head in 57-51N, 2-03W.
Shadowing submarine UNITY reported German supply ship ALTMARK departing Jossing Fjord escorted by two Norwegian destroyers, and was later ordered
to take up a position ten miles north of Hantsholm. Submarine ORZEL was
in a patrol area off Hantsholm, and both submarines were to intercept ALTMARK if she left Norwegian territorial waters. On the 7th, UNITY
sighted three darkened destroyers two miles west of Hantsholm, but could not attack.
Submarine STERLET arrived at Lowestoft from patrol for reballasting.
Aircraft of German X Air Corps (He111's of KG26 or
Ju88's of KG30) attacked tanker SHELBRIT 2 (695grt) off Girdle Ness,
steamer ROYSTON (2722grt) 10 miles north of Hartlepool, steamer JACOBUS
(1262grt) 10 miles south of the Tyne, and convoy TM.20. No casualties were
Dutch submarine O.11 at Den Helder was sunk in an accidental collision with Dutch
dockyard tug BV.3 (AMSTERDAM). She was raised on the 10th, but was
still under repair when Holland
fell in May.
Latvian steamer LATVIS (1318grt) was seized in the
Baltic by German warships, and renamed EDITH FAULBAUMS for German
French battleship PROVENCE,
heavy cruiser DUQUESNE, and British aircraft carrier
with destroyers DECOY and DEFENDER patrolled off the African coast between 10W
and 20W from the 6th to 16th. On the 14th, Portuguese steamer GANDIA (4333grt)
was stopped and a German citizen removed, and on the 15th, Portuguese steamer MOUZINHO (8374grt) was
also stopped and another German citizen removed.
DANAE departed Hong Kong on patrol.
Thursday, 7 March
Completing patrol, battleship
VALIANT and battlecruiser
HOOD with destroyers FAULKNOR, FAME, FORESTER, KELLY, KANDAHAR and SIKH arrived at Scapa
Flow at 1600 after dummy battleships REVENGE (decoy ship PAKEHA) and
RESOLUTION (decoy ship WAIMANA) from Rosyth spent some time at Scapa Flow
testing the base's ability to resist air attacks. After VALIANT
and HOOD arrived in the anchorage, aircraft of German KG26 (X
Air Corps) dropped mines in the main entrance to Scapa Flow.
RODNEY (C-in-C, Forbes) and battlecruisers
REPULSE with destroyers HARDY (D.2), HOSTILE, INGLEFIELD (D.3), IMOGEN,
FOXHOUND, FORTUNE, FIREDRAKE, PUNJABI and KIMBERLEY departed the Clyde at 1615/7th to arrive at 1600/8th. The ships were taken to the west
of the Orkneys for 24 hours while the channel was swept. Winston
Churchill was on RODNEY, and he transferred to
KIMBERLEY, which carried him on to Scapa Flow, where he spent the night on HOOD. Destroyers
FAULKNOR and FORESTER left Scapa Flow on the 8th and joined the Commander in Chief off
Cape Wrath. RODNEY, RENOWN, REPULSE with destroyers HARDY, HOSTILE, INGLEFIELD, IMOGEN, FOXHOUND, FORTUNE,
FIREDRAKE, PUNJABI, FAULKNOR and FORESTER arrived at Scapa Flow at 1000/9th.
NORFOLK departed the Clyde for Scapa Flow.
Armed merchant cruiser SALOPIAN arrived at the
Clyde from patrol.
Destroyers WOLSEY, BRAZEN and cable ship ROYAL
SCOT departed Rosyth to mend cables.
Destroyers INTREPID, GRIFFIN and anti-submarine whalers BUTTERMERE (560grt) and
WASTWATER (560grt) made attacks on a contact sighted by aircraft at 1448, ESE of Noss Head in 58‑17N, 02‑26W.
INTREPID attacked at 1715 and 1744,
and GRIFFIN at 1730. The two destroyers were joined by destroyers
FAME at 1800/7th and SIKH at 1900. These two
were ordered to join the hunt until required to escort base ship DUNLUCE
CASTLE and three other steamers from convoy ON.18 into
Scapa Flow. After GRIFFIN, SIKH and FAME detached, INTREPID
was left to stand by the contact, later leaving for Invergordon where she arrived at 1300/8th. Destroyer GALLANT joined the search
at midday on the 8th, but the search was unsuccessful.
FAME buoyed the location on the 8th, and
INTREPID and GALLANT returned to patrol the area.
BRITISH SUBMARINE MOVEMENTS
TRIDENT arrived at Rosyth from patrol
with a damaged asdic dome, and docked later that
day. She undocked on the 11th.
SEAL was undocked at Rosyth.
SNAPPER arrived at Harwich after patrol.
URSULA was docked at Blyth to make good leaking glands, and undocked on the
TRUANT was undocked at Rosyth.
TRITON was docked at Rosyth for reballasting, and undocked on the 9th.
SEAWOLF departed Portsmouth under escort for Harwich.
SALMON departed Harwich on patrol.
L.23 was undocked at Blyth.
Convoy ON.18 of ten British, thirteen Norwegian,
twelve Swedish, two Danish, four Finnish and two Estonian ships departed Methil
at 1700 escorted by destroyers COSSACK (D.4), ESCORT, ECLIPSE, ELECTRA and
ENCOUNTER. Destroyers KELLY (D.5) departed Scapa Flow on the 8th and KANDAHAR from
Kirkwall on the
8th with a detachment of ten ships for the convoy. These ten ships are
included in the sailing breakdown. They joined off Scapa Flow, relieving COSSACK which joined convoy
HN.17. On the 8th, German aircraft attacked the Kirkwall section. Two bombs were dropped, but no damage was done.
Base ship DUNLUCE CASTLE and three other merchant ships for Scapa Flow proceeded with the convoy. Light cruisers
ARETHUSA and anti-aircraft cruiser
CAIRO provided near cover. CAIRO departed Sullom Voe on the 9th to join the convoy.
Destroyers FAME and SIKH put out from Scapa Flow. The destroyers met four merchant ships from the
convoy at 1300 and escorted them into Scapa Flow, arriving on the 8th. The convoy arrived at Bergen without event on the 10th.
Convoy HN.17 of eight British, nineteen Norwegian, one
Danish and one Finnish ship departed Bergen escorted by destroyers NUBIAN, DELIGHT, DIANA,
ILEX and GURKHA. On the 9th when the convoy split, DELIGHT and DIANA
were assigned the west coast section and were reinforced by destroyers
KIMBERLEY, which came out from Scapa Flow at 1800/9th, and KELLY, detached
from convoy ON.18. GURKHA obtained a submarine contact at 1412/9th
southwest of Fair Isle in 59‑15N, 1‑08W and dropped six depth
charge patterns in 59-07N, 0-44W. ILEX stood by the contact while
the convoy continued. Destroyer FOXHOUND arrived from Scapa Flow at 0300/10th to relieve
ILEX, which rejoined the convoy before it arrived at Rosyth. The submarine contact was later
found to be sunken steamer SANTOS. At 0520/9th, KELLY reached convoy HN.17 in
heavy weather ,collided with GURKHA, and GURKHA's propeller
guard tore a thirty foot gash in her bow, requiring KELLY to
leave the convoy for repairs. After emergency repairs at Lerwick and then
from depot ship WOOLWICH at Scapa
Flow, KELLY departed
Scapa Flow on the 14th and was escorted by destroyer SIKH to Blackwall for
GURKHA was able to continue with HN.17 and was repaired at Methil in less than a week. After suspected
enemy vessels were reported four miles NE of Kinnaird Head, destroyer
COSSACK was informed and light cruisers
ARETHUSA were advised
to investigate. No contact was made and the vessels were later determined to
be destroyers GALLANT and GRIFFIN.
On the 10th, the convoy arrived at Methil with COSSACK (D.4),
NUBIAN, GURKHA and ILEX.
DELIGHT and DIANA, after escorting the five
ships of the west coast portion of the convoy to Cape Wrath, arrived at Scapa
Flow. On arrival, DELIGHT reported a defect in her feed tank.
Minelayer TEVIOTBANK escorted by destroyers ICARUS
and IMPULSIVE departed the Humber for Invergordon, where they arrived on the 9th.
Destroyer MASHONA departed Sheerness for the Clyde, arriving on the 8th.
Convoy TM.21 departed the Tyne escorted by the 3rd Anti-submarine Group, and supported by sloop EGRET
and destroyer WHITLEY.
Convoy MT.25 departed Methil escorted by the 19th
Anti-submarine Group, supported by sloop PELICAN and destroyer VIVIEN, and arrived later that day.
Convoy FS.115 departed the Tyne escorted by sloop PELICAN and destroyer VIVIEN, and arrived at Southend on the 9th.
Destroyer BEAGLE completed boiler cleaning and
degaussing alongside depot ship SANDHURST.
Destroyer BRILLIANT went alongside SANDHURST for
similar work and repairs which were completed on the 12th.
British minefield DML 9 was laid by auxiliary
minelayer HAMPTON, escorted by Polish destroyers BURZA and BLYSKAWICA
from Harwich and destroyers KEITH and BOADICEA from Dover, in the
between 51-53N and 51-59N in a direction 20° east to 20° west. Minesweeper
FRANKLIN had already laid the mark buoys. After the
operation, the destroyers returned to Harwich.
A submarine contact report by anti-submarine yacht
MAID MARION (506grt) eight miles from Eddystone Light caused destroyers WILD
SWAN, ESKIMO and VANESSA to be dispatched from Plymouth to investigate.
ATTACKS BY 12TH ANTI-SUBMARINE STRIKING
The 12th Anti-submarine Striking Force, comprised of
operating in Moray Firth in 57-55N, 02-15W.
WAVE (655grt) made a submarine contact, which NORTHERN PRIDE (655grt) and NORTHERN SPRAY (655grt) attacked.
At 0026/8th in Moray Firth in 58-02.7N, 2-09W, NORTHERN DAWN (655grt) made a contact which was attacked by NORTHERN SPRAY.
At 1310/9th off Buchanness in 57-31N, 1-38W,
NORTHERN PRIDE made a contact which was attacked by NORTHERN
GEM (655grt) and NORTHERN PRIDE.
At 1940/9th, east of Kinnaird Head in 57-42N, 1-35W, NORTHERN DAWN made a
contact which was attacked by NORTHERN SPRAY and NORTHERN DAWN.
ENE of Kinnaird Head, NORTHERN PRIDE made
a contact which was attacked by NORTHERN
GEM and NORTHERN PRIDE.
At 0100/11th, north of Kinnaird Head in 57-52.5N, 1-56W, NORTHERN
WAVE made a contact which was attacked by
NORTHERN WAVE and NORTHERN SPRAY.
Patrol sloop MALLARD damaged her bows in collision
with an unknown ship off Harwich, and was under
repair at London from 9 March to 27 April.
Minesweeping trawler CEDAR (649grt) was damaged in
collision with the dockyard wall at Leith.
Convoy BC.29 of six steamers, including steamer
BARON KINNIARD (Commodore) departed Bristol Channel
escorted by destroyer VIVACIOUS, and arrived in the Loire on the 9th.
From 1940 to 2005, shipping in the Downs was attacked by German aircraft.
Ramsgate guardship LORMONT and steamer
DOVER ABBEY (958grt) were bombed by He111's of KG26 (X Air Corps), but
no damage was done.
AUXILIARY SHIP MINELAYING OFF NORTH FORELAND
German naval auxiliary Schiff 11 (Estonian steamer
HANONIA (2564grt)) which had been captured on 24 September 1939) departed Wilhelmshaven and on the 9th, disguised as a neutral ship, laid
mines off North Foreland. Five ships of 14,152 tons were lost on this
On the 11th, Dutch steamer AMOR (2325grt) was
sunk in 51‑24N,
02‑09E, eight miles NW of Fairy Bank Buoy; the entire crew was
rescued by Irish steamer CITY OF BREMEN (903grt).
Greek steamer NIRITOS
(3854grt) was badly damaged on the 11th
in 51‑25N, 01‑45E; steamer KIRKPLEIN stood by and tug GUARDSMAN later brought the ship
in to Small Downs.
the 15th, steamer MELROSE
(1589grt) was sunk in 51‑21N, 02‑13E; eighteen
crew were lost and five rescued.
On the 17th,
French steamer CAPITAINE AUGUSTIN (3137grt) was lost 2˝ miles 126° from Tongue Light
Vessel; two crew were killed.
On the 17th, Dutch
steamer SINT ANNALAND (2248grt) was sunk in 51‑23N, 02‑01E; the entire crew was rescued by Dutch
steamer SCHIELAND (2249grt).
On the 18th, Italian steamer TINO PRIMO (4853grt) was
lost in 51‑20N, 01‑42E;
from Ramsgate took her in tow, but she struck two more mines
and sank. One crewman was lost.
German minelayers ROLAND and COBRA laid two
anti-submarine mine barriers west of Heligoland during the 7th and 8th.
U.32 laid mines north of Liverpool
on which one merchant ship was lost.
U.28 laid mines southeast of the Isle of Wight off Portsmouth.
U.14 sank Dutch steamer VECHT (1965grt) in 51‑45N,
Belgian fishing vessel YOLANDE MARGUERITE (26grt)
was bombed and sunk by He111's of German KG26 (X Air Corps) off Noord Hinder.
Dutch steamer CONFID (249grt) was bombed and
damaged by He111's of German KG26 (X Air Corps) 6˝ miles 350° from Flamborough Head.
Italian steamer AMELIA LAURO (5335grt) was damaged
by German bombing in 52‑55N, 02‑19E. Italian steamer TITANIA
(5397grt) rescued the 37 crew and took them to the Downs. Sloops PINTAIL and
LONDONDERRY were also involved in the rescue. The
steamer was taken to Immingham, and was still there
on 10 June, when she
was seized and renamed EMPIRE ACTIVITY for British use.
French auxiliary minesweeper MARIE YETTE (286grt)
was sunk in collision with French steamer SPRAMEX (2560grt) in
the River Gironde.
Friday, 8 March
NORFOLK from the
from Northern Patrol arrived at Scapa Flow.
CURACOA arrived in the Humber.
Destroyer KANDAHAR developed structural defects.
Destroyer VIMIERA departed Portland for Rosyth.
Submarine SEAWOLF arrived at Harwich after patrol.
Destroyer VIVACIOUS, escorting convoy BC.29 dropped
depth charges on a submarine contact 15 miles from Ushant
Patrol trawlers CHILTERN (324grt) and CLOUGHTON
WYKE (324grt) fishing in 58-12N, 9-18W, northwest of St Kilda were attacked
by a submarine with gunfire. They drove her off with no
damage to themselves or the submarine.
Convoy OA.106 departed Southend escorted by
destroyer VANESSA from the 8th to 9th.
Convoy OB.106 departed Liverpool escorted by sloop ROCHESTER and destroyer VENETIA. On the 11th, when the convoy dispersed, they joined convoy
Convoy FN.115 departed Southend escorted by sloop
FLAMINGO and destroyer WALLACE, and arrived in the Tyne on the 10th.
Convoy MT.26 departed Methil escorted by the 19th
Anti-submarine Group and supported by destroyer JAVELIN. Convoy TM.22
also departed the Tyne. When the two convoys crossed, JAVELIN
detached to the north-bound TM convoy and escorted it to Rosyth. The
south-bound MT convoy
arrived in the Tyne on the 9th.
Convoy FS.116 departed the Tyne escorted by destroyers VEGA, WOOLSTON and sloop STORK, and arrived at Southend on the 10th.
Convoy AXF 1 arrived at St Malo.
Armed boarding vessel NORTHERN REWARD (655grt)
attacked a submarine contact SE of Munken Rock, Faroes, 110 miles 348°
from Cape Wrath in 60-32N, 4-57W.
Sloop ABERDEEN, escorting convoy HX.20, attacked a submarine
contact SW of Portland Bill in 50-09N, 2-44W.
Steamer COUNSELLOR (5068grt, Commodore HX.22)
was sunk by a mine laid on the 7th by U.32 off Mersey Light Vessel in 53‑38N, 03‑23W. Destroyer WALPOLE unsuccessfully attempted to tow
her to safety; the
entire crew was rescued. (Note: Rohwer's "Axis Submarine Successes" lists her as COUNCILLOR, and
confirms the mines were laid by U.32. UBoat.net reports they were laid by
U.30, and that WALPOLE rescued 78 survivors.)
Finnish steamer JULIETTE (1449grt) was brought into
the Downs for inspection by French torpedo boat
HANNOVER (5537grt), which departed Curacao during the
night of the 5th/6th, was captured early on the 8th by light cruiser
DUNEDIN and Canadian destroyer ASSINIBOINE (Cdr E R Mainguy RCN) off Santa Domingo in the Mona Passage. DUNEDIN took her in tow for Kingston, and while on passage
ASSINIBOINE had to fight a fire onboard after the crew
attempted to scuttle her. HANNOVER arrived at Kingston on the 13th with DUNEDIN and ASSINIBOINE secured on either side. French light cruiser
JEANNE D' ARC had also been involved in the search for this German ship and
arrived at the same time. The captured
ship was renamed EMPIRE AUDACITY for British service and later became HMS
AUDACITY, the Royal Navy's first escort carrier.
French light cruiser PRIMAUGUET after repairs at
Lorient departed Brest on the 3rd and arrived at Toulon on the 8th. She departed on the 11th, escorted by destroyer
LYNX and arrived at Casablanca on the 13th, after passing Gibraltar the same day. LYNX departed Casablanca on the 20th and arrived at Brest on the 25th, while PRIMAUGUET left Casablanca on 1 April and arrived at Fort de France on 10
French submarine REDOUTABLE, escorted by destroyer
LA PALME, which departed Toulon
on the 4th, arrived at Gibraltar. The destroyer continued on to Casablanca, but the submarine remained at Gibraltar for ten days for anti-submarine exercises with the
British Gibraltar Force escorts, and then departed on the 18th, escorted by armed yacht ALPHEE,
flying the flag of Vice Amiral Ollive.
Saturday, 9 March
GALATEA, departed Scapa Flow on Northern Patrol.
Destroyer JERVIS attacked a submarine contact 4.6
miles 102° from Bell Rock. Sisters ship JUPITER and JANUS hunted in the area
until dark. Meanwhile JERVIS and JAGUAR, also sister ships, arrived at Rosyth after escort duty
with convoy ON.17 A, with JUPITER and JANUS reaching there on
Destroyers KHARTOUM and KINGSTON arrived at Falmouth for refittings.
Destroyer KANDAHAR departed
Scapa Flow at 0745
for Hull to repair structural damage to her petrol tank
compartment. On passage she attacked a submarine contact east of Berwick in 55‑04N, 1‑41W
at 2042, and another one off Filey Brig in 54‑17N,
00‑09W at 0735/10th before arriving in the Humber on the 10th.
Destroyer ESKIMO departed Portsmouth on the 8th after refitting at Southampton and arrived at the Clyde on the 9th.
Destroyers HOTSPUR and MASHONA departed the Clyde at 1200 to provide escort for armed merchant cruiser LETITIA on a
full calibre firings in the Forth of Clyde. Afterwards, the destroyers
carried out their own full calibre firing. LETITIA proceeded to
her station on Northern Patrol, and the destroyers arrived at Tail of the Bank.
Submarine SEAWOLF departed Harwich for a special
patrol in the vicinity of Outer Dowsing Light Vessel.
Convoy FN.116 departed Southend with destroyer VIMIERA
joining on the 9th
for the voyage to Rosyth. The convoy arrived in the Tyne on the 11th.
Convoy FS.117 departed the Tyne escorted by sloop EGRET and destroyer WHITLEY, and arrived at Southend on the 11th.
Anti-submarine trawler CORNELIAN (568grt) on patrol
near Bar Light Vessel in Liverpool Bay
in 51-30.5N, 3-29W attacked a submarine contact. Destroyer WHIRLWIND and anti-submarine yacht
VIRGINIA (712grt) searched the area on the 10th in daylight, but were unable to reestablish contact.
Trawler JUST REWARD sighted a light nine miles NE by E of Scarborough, and considering it
to be a dan buoy, approached. However, on arrival at
the light, the trawler found a submarine
which dived immediately.
Convoy BC.28 of steamers BARON CARNEGIE
(Commodore), BATNA, KERMA, LOCHEE, PIZARRO and RAMON DE LARRINAGA departed the Loire
escorted by destroyer VIVACIOUS, and arrived in the Bristol Channel on the 11th.
U.14 sank steamers BORTHWICK (1097grt) and
AKELD (643grt) in 51‑44N, 03‑22E and steamer ABBOTSFORD
(1585grt) in the North Sea. A Dutch coast guard cutter assisted in the rescue
of the entire crew of BORTHWICK, but all thirteen crew on AKELD were lost, and there were no survivors from ABBOTSFORD.
U.28 sank Greek steamer P. MARGARONIS (4979grt)
southwest of Lands End.
U.38 sank trawler LEUKOS (216grt) northwest
of Tory Island.
Steamer ASHLEY (1323grt) ran aground 1.4 miles 225° from East Goodwins Light
Vessel. Destroyer BEAGLE was dispatched to assist, but returned to
patrol when two tugs arrived. The steamer broke up on the tide on the 11th.
Steamer MAINDY HILL (1918grt) was lost in collision with steamer ST ROSARIO (4312grt) three miles
NE of Hartlepool. ST ROSARIO was able to proceed to the Tees.
Belgian fishing vessel SANTA GODELIVIA (33grt) was
lost to unknown cause in the North
attributes her loss to attack by aircraft of KG26.
Convoy HG.22F departed Gibraltar with 30 ships escorted by French destroyer
TIGRE, patrol vessel VIKINGS and British destroyer ACTIVE.
The French ships detached on the 15th and arrived at Brest on the 16th. The convoy was escorted at sea by sloop
LEITH and destroyer VANOC, and arrived at
Liverpool on the 18th.
French battleship PROVENCE,
heavy cruiser DUQUESNE and British aircraft carrier
HERMES with destroyers DECOY and DEFENDER departed Dakar for a sweep, returning on the 16th.
Base ship EDINBURGH
CASTLE arrived at Freetown.
Convoy HX.26 departed Halifax at 0800 escorted by Canadian destroyers SAGUENAY and SKEENA. Canadian destroyer OTTAWA also escorted the convoy at the start. At
1800/11th, the convoy was turned over to battleship
MALAYA, which detached on the 22nd. Destroyers VANSITTART, VENETIA, VIMY and WOLVERINE escorted the convoy from the 24th to 26th, when it arrived at
Convoy SLF.23 departed Freetown escorted by armed merchant cruiser JERVIS
and on the 19th, merged with SL.23, the combined convoy arriving at Liverpool on the 22nd.
Sunday, 10 March
SOUTHAMPTON departed Scapa Flow on Northern Patrol.
YORK arrived at Scapa Flow after Northern Patrol.
Armed merchant cruiser WORCESTERSHIRE departed
Greenock on Northern Patrol.
Armed merchant cruiser CORFU arrived at Greenock after Northern Patrol.
At 1710, armed merchant cruiser WOLFE reported
sighting nine vessels, believed to be warships, which were later
determined to be ice.
Destroyer depot ship WOOLWICH escorted by destroyers
TARTAR, ESKIMO and MASHONA departed the Clyde at 1000, and arrived at Scapa Flow
at 1700/11th .
Monitor MARSHAL SOULT, towed by three tugs,
was escorted by destroyers EXPRESS and ESK, from Sheerness to Portsmouth.
GALATEA departed Scapa Flow for Rosyth, where she arrived on the 11th.
Destroyer DELIGHT reported her feed tank leaking.
Submarine NARWHAL departed Scapa Flow escorted by anti-submarine trawler BUTTERMERE and
two other trawlers of the Group for exercises in the Fair Isle Channel.
Submarine THISTLE arrived at Rosyth after patrol.
Submarine SUNFISH departed Lowestoft for Harwich, where she arrived later that day.
Convoy OA.107 departed Southend escorted by
destroyer VETERAN from the 11th to 12th, although she was damaged in collision on the 11th (q.v.).
The convoy dispersed on the 13th.
Convoy OB.107 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyers VERSATILE and WALPOLE from the 10th to 15th, when the convoy dispersed.
Convoy HN.18 of three British, eleven Norwegian,
twelve Swedish, eight Finnish and two Estonian ships departed Bergen escorted by destroyers ENCOUNTER, ESCORT, ELECTRA
ECLIPSE. Submarine NARWHAL joined the convoy on the 11th. Destroyer KIMBERLEY departed
Scapa Flow at
1800/9th for patrol and then joined the westbound section. When the convoy
split into sections, destroyers FAME, which departed Scapa Flow on the 11th, and KIMBERLEY joined to escort the west coast section of ten
steamers. NARWHAL joined the convoy on the 12th. Three steamers from the
Orkneys joined for passage to east coast ports. The convoy of 25 steamers
arrived at Methil on the 13th without incident, escorted by
ENCOUNTER, ESCORT, ELECTRA and ECLIPSE. On the same day, FAME and KIMBERLEY arrived at Scapa Flow.
Convoy MT.27 of nine steamers departed Methil
escorted by the 1st Anti-submarine Group, supported by destroyer JAVELIN, and arrived in the
Tyne later that day. JAVELIN went on ahead to
the Tyne to escort Norwegian steamer MIRA (1152grt) to
Methil, where they arrived on the 11th.
Convoy FN.117 departed Southend escorted by sloop
PELICAN and destroyer VIVIEN, and arrived at the Tyne on the 12th.
Convoy FS.118 departed the Tyne, escorted by sloops BLACK SWAN and
GRIMSBY, and arrived at Southend on the 12th.
Destroyer FORESTER attacked a contact east of South
Ronaldsay in 58‑47.8N,
02‑45.9W at 1044, which was later found to be the wreck of
sunken collier GIRALDA.
Destroyer FOXHOUND, after standing by the scene of
destroyer GURKHA's submarine attack, was ordered to return to Scapa Flow. En route, she was diverted to Rosyth,
where she arrived on the 11th.
Destroyer HASTY, which departed Devonport on the
9th en route to the Clyde after refitting, attacked a submarine contact at 0315, SW of Chicken Rock, I.O.M. in 53‑47N, 05‑16W.
The attack was unsuccessful, and the contact was later assessed as probably a
collier wreck. HASTY arrived in the Clyde at 1100/10th.
Destroyer KELLY, on passage from Lerwick, attacked a contact at 1230 off Stronsay in 59-00-07N, 2-18-09W, which was later determined to be non-submarine.
arrived at Scapa Flow for temporary repairs.
Sloop FOLKESTONE on convoy duty SW of
Milford Haven in 51-32N, 5-21W attacked a submarine contact, which was determined to be non-submarine, and rejoined the
convoy. Later at 1925/11th, FOLKESTONE, ahead of her convoy of two
ships, attacked a submarine contact in 55-29N, 4-56.5W off Holy Isle in the
Firth of Clyde.
Anti-submarine trawler JUNIPER (530grt) attacked a
submarine contact at 1700 in 57-15N, 7-00W off Ushinish.
DRAGON arrived at Gibraltar from Portland and departed the same day for Malta.
Monday, 11 March
Vice Admiral Battlecruiser Cruiser Squadron raised
his flag on battlecruiser
EDINBURGH arrived at Rosyth.
YORK, after completing their practices, were to proceed
to Rosyth where they arrived on the 13th.
GALATEA became flagship of the 2nd
Cruiser Squadron at 1600.
ORION, which arrived from the West Indies in the
Clyde on 25
February, completed her refitting at Devonport, and departed
for Bermuda on the 14th.
Destroyers HASTY and HOTSPUR departed the Clyde escorting tankers BACCHUS, PRESTOL and BRITISH LADY to
Destroyer VETERAN, en route from Portsmouth to Plymouth in convoy OA.107, was sent to search for
steamer CLAN STUART (5760grt), which had been damaged in a collision.
VETERAN was herself damaged in collision with tanker HORN SHELL (8372grt), also of OA.107, ten miles 176° from Start Point,. Her stern was damaged, maximum speed was
restricted twelve knots,
and she was
taken to Devonport for repairs, completed on 17 April.
Anti-submarine exercises were conducted at Scapa
Flow with all available destroyers participating under HARDY (D.2).
Submarine UNITY arrived at Blyth after patrol.
Submarine L.23 departed Blyth on patrol.
Submarine STERLET departed Lowestoft and arrived at Harwich.
Submarine TRIBUNE conducted her full speed trial,
which was unsatisfactory, and docked at Rosyth later in the
Minelayer TEVIOTBANK, destroyers ICARUS, IMPULSIVE,
and minesweepers SEAGULL and SHARPSHOOTER departed Invergordon on the
11th on minelaying mission PA 3 off Kinnaird Head in Moray Firth. The mines were laid on the 12th.
GGGgggConvoy OG.21 was formed from two convoys - (1) OA.105G, which
departed Southend on the 7th, escorted by sloop ABERDEEN, and (2) OB.105G, which departed Liverpool on the 8th escorted by destroyers VIMY and WINCHELSEA,
with 38 ships. OB.105G was delayed due to fog and diverted to Milford Haven,
arriving on the 9th. WINCHELSEA escorted
the convoy from Milford Haven, and destroyers BROKE and WILD SWAN escorted the OB.G section from
Wight on the 9th.
Destroyer VIMY from convoy HG.21 joined on the 11th. The convoy was escorted
by destroyers WINCHELSEA, VIMY and BROKE until the 11th March. French destroyer PANTHERE and patrol vessel MERCEDITE joined the convoy on the 10th and
destroyer WISHART on the 14th. The convoy arrived at Gibraltar on the 17th, escorted by the two French ships and the
Blockship JUNIATA (1139grt) departed the Tyne under the tow
of tug KROOMAN, and escorted by the 1st Anti-submarine Group and
destroyer JUPITER. The blockship arrived at Methil on the 12th. On the 13th,
JUNIATA departed Methil escorted by anti-submarine
trawlers IMPERIALIST (520grt) and ALOUETTE (520grt) for Scapa Flow. She was later deployed at Scapa Flow.
Convoy ON.19 of eight British, fourteen Norwegian,
seven Swedish, two Danish, five Finnish, four Estonian ships for Norway and one ship for Aberdeen departed Methil at 1500 escorted by destroyers
COSSACK, NUBIAN, GURKHA and ILEX. The convoy was joined by a section of 13 merchant ships from
Kirkwall escorted by destroyers FAULKNOR and FORTUNE which
departed Scapa Flow on the 12th. These merchant ships are included in
the sailing breakdown from Methil. Destroyers FAULKNOR and FORTUNE relieved
ILEX which returned to Scapa
Flow. On the 13th, at
1715 east of Duncansby Head in 58-37N, 1-06W, NUBIAN attacked a
submarine contact. The destroyer then returned to the convoy. Light cruiser
EDINBURGH and anti-aircraft cruiser
CAIRO arrived at Scapa Flow on the 12th to provide close support for the
CAIRO after sailing from Scapa Flow was forced to return with sea damage. Antiaircraft
cruiser CALCUTTA departed Sullom Voe on the 13th to provide
anti-aircraft support. The convoy arrived safely at Bergen on the 14th.
Convoy MT.28 of twenty one ships departed Methil,
escorted by the 19th Anti-submarine Group and covered by destroyers JERVIS
and JAGUAR, and arrived in the Tyne the next day.
Convoy FN.118 of 27 ships departed Southend escorted by destroyer VEGA, sloop STORK, destroyer WOOLSTON,
and arrived in the Tyne on the 13th.
Convoy FS.119 departed the Tyne escorted by sloop LOWESTOFT, HASTINGS and destroyer VALOROUS and covered by destroyers JERVIS and JAGUAR. The
convoy arrived at Southend on the 13th.
U.28 was sighted late on the 10th in the area of
convoy HG.21 being escorted by destroyers VELOX and VIDETTE. Destroyers BROKE,
WILD SWAN and WINCHELSEA had departed OG.21 and were ordered to
investigate the report. U.28 badly damaged Dutch steamer EULOTA (6236grt) in 48‑35N,
08‑22W; the entire crew, 42 survivors, was rescued by WILD SWAN.
WINCHELSEA continued on towards the contact area
while BROKE and WILD SWAN assisted EULOTA.
BROKE sank the wreck with gunfire. The British ships were joined by French
destroyer FRONDEUR and sloop CAPRICIEUSE from Brest.
U.31 was sunk at 1215 by RAF Bomber Command
aircraft at Schillig Roads, in 53-58N, 08-05E. The entire crew of forty five
and thirteen other naval personnel were lost. German
dockyard personnel were able raise the submarine on the 19th, which
was repaired and recommissioned on 30 July 1940.
French battleship BRETAGNE and heavy cruiser ALGERIE, carrying 147 tons of
gold to be deposited in the United States, departed Toulon escorted by large destroyers VAUBAN, AIGLE, MAILLE
BREZE. The ships passed Gibraltar on the 13th. Since the United States was still a declared neutral, the battleship and
heavy cruiser proceeded to Halifax where the gold was unloaded and shipped to the
United States. The destroyers were detached at sea and returned
to Casablanca on the 17th. VAUBAN and AIGLE departed
Casablanca on the 21st and joined armed merchant cruisers EL KANTARA, EL
MANSOUR, VILLE D' ORAN and EL DJEZAIR which departed Brest on the 20th after the
cancellation of Finland operations. Destroyers TARTU and CHEVALIER PAUL departed Brest with the cruisers, but were ordered to return for
other duties. VAUBAN and AIGLE passed Gibraltar with the cruisers on the 23rd and arrived at Oran on the 24th. Destroyer MAILLE BREZE with steamer
MEDIE II departed Casablanca on the 19th and passed Gibraltar on the 20th. They arrived at Marseilles on the 22nd with troops.
In night air accident, a Swordfish of 823
Squadron crashed at Hal Far. Lt T W G French, Naval Airman J O'Riley, and LAC G
A Lawrence of 812 Squadron were killed.
German auxiliary cruisers ATLANTIS and ORION
departed Kiel for gunnery exercises in the North Sea prior to departing on mercantile raiding missions.
As the Kiel Canal was still icebound, ex battleship HESSEN, acting
as an icebreaker, cleared the Canal for their passage
to the sea. After these exercises, both returned to
Kiel for final preparations and provisioning.
CALYPSO arrived at Alexandria after a short exercise.
U.30, U.46, U.47, U.49, U.51 departed Wilhelmshaven to take stations off Norway to combat British STRATFORD operations and later
support their own WESERUBUNG operation.
Tuesday, 12 March
MANCHESTER arrived at Scapa Flow after Northern Patrol.
Destroyers HARDY (D.2), FIREDRAKE, HOSTILE, TARTAR
escorted heavy cruisers
YORK of the
1st Cruiser Squadron on a full caliber shoot west of the Orkneys. After the
shoot, the cruisers proceeded to Rosyth. The destroyers INTREPID and GRIFFIN
proceeded 1931 to search for a submarine reported by aircraft at 1900 east of
South Ronaldsay in 58‑49N, 02‑20W. Destroyers HARDY, FIREDRAKE,
HOSTILE, ILEX, TARTAR were ordered at 2000 to join. At 2130, HARDY
and FIREDRAKE attacked a submarine contact and at 2140, TARTAR
attacked a submarine contact east of Copinsay in 58‑53.5N, 02‑15W.All
the attacks were unsuccessful. The contact was later assessed as probably a
wreck. HARDY, HOSTILE, TARTAR arrived at Scapa Flow after the hunt on the 13th. FIREDRAKE
was detailed to patrol on a line south of Canntlick Head to Sandwick
Destroyers ESKIMO, PUNJABI, MASHONA departed Scapa Flow at 0030 for the Clyde for escort duties, and arrived late on the 12th.
Convoy TM.25 departed the Tyne, escorted by the 19th Anti-submarine Group and supported by destroyer
Convoy FN.119 departed Southend escorted by
destroyer JERVIS and
WHITLEY, sloop EGRET, and arrived in the
Tyne on the 14th.
Destroyer WREN was damaged in a collision with
steamer LACKLAN (8670grt) 16 miles 180° off the Lizard. The stern of
the destroyer was damaged. The steamer proceeded to Falmouth. WREN was repaired at Plymouth completing on 13 April.
Destroyer WOLSEY was slightly damaged when she grounded
alongside an oiler in the Firth of Forth.
Anti-submarine trawlers LE TIGER (516grt) and COVENTRY CITY (546grt) attacked a submarine contact off Aberdeen in 57-13N, 1-56W.
The 1st, 7th and 12th Destroyer Flotillas and the I's of the 20th Flotilla were placed under the control of the Commander in Chief, Home Fleet.
Destroyer BRILLIANT completed boiler cleaning and
degaussing alongside depot ship SANDHURST at Dover. Destroyer BOADICEA went alongside
SANDHURST for similar work.
Destroyers ILEX, GRIFFIN, INTREPID were submarine hunting in Moray Firth after a report by a British aircraft. INTREPID
was joined on the 13th by destroyers FOXHOUND and IVANHOE.
FOXHOUND and IVANHOE had escorted steamers DEVON
CITY (4928grt) and SPANKER (1875grt) from Methil
departing at 1200/12th and arriving at Scapa Flow on the 13th.
Submarines NARWHAL and SWORDFISH departed Scapa Flow for Rosyth and Blyth, respectively. Anti-submarine whaler BUTTERMERE (560grt), escorting
the submarines in Moray
Firth in 58-16.5N,
2-22.2W made attacks on a submarine contact. The contact was probably a buoy
laid by minesweeper NIGER after her submarine attack on 21 February. NARWHAL arrived at Rosyth on the 13th. SWORDFISH
continued on to Blyth where she arrived later on the 13th.
Destroyers WOLSEY, BRAZEN and cable ship ROYAL
SCOT arrived at Rosyth after completing the work of
repairing the cables.
convoy OB.106, attacked a submarine contact west of Ushant in 48‑10N, 09‑14W at 1910. Sloop
ROCHESTER was in company and reported an underwater explosion at
Submarine PORPOISE departed Portsmouth for Rosyth, and on the 13th, left Southend in convoy FN.120 for the passage north.
Submarine URSULA departed Blyth for patrol, and on the 14th, was ordered to the vicinity of Gotenburg to attack German destroyers reported operating in the area.
Submarines TRITON, TRUANT and SEAL departed Rosyth on
Lt P.G. Philcox RNVR and Able Seaman D.
Lewis were killed when their Proctor of 758 Squadron crashed near Worthy
Steamers MACGREGOR LAIRD (4015grt) and LOMBARDY (3379grt) arrived at the Clyde from the
south, leaving there on the 16th
to return to Newport.
French fishing vessel ROSE EFFEUILEE (35grt) was
lost on a mine laid by German minelaying Ship 11 in the North
Sea in 51.25N, 01.45E; the entire crew was
A peace treaty between the USSR and Finland was announced and signed on the 13th. British
and Plan R 3, the proposed landing of troops at Narvik and
Trondheim on the 20th to be followed shortly by landings at
Stavanger and Bergen to relieve Finnish troops, was cancelled. The
ships of the operation were released on the 15th. Heavy cruisers of the 1st
Cruiser Squadron returned to Northern Patrol duties. Light cruisers
AURORA with destroyers of the 6th Destroyer Flotilla departed the
Clyde to return to Scapa
Convoy HG.22 of thirty nine ships departed Gibraltar escorted by destroyers WATCHMAN and VORTIGERN from
12 to 19 March. WATCHMAN and VORTIGERN were detached to Devonport
and Portsmouth, respectively, for leave. Destroyers VANQUISHER,
WITCH, ACASTA escorted the convoy in Home Waters from 19 to 21 March. The
convoy arrived at Liverpool on the 22nd.
Destroyer WRESTLER arrived at Gibraltar after repairs at Malta.
French large destroyers MILAN and ÉPERVIER collided during preparations for the
Finland operations. MILAN was repaired at Cherbourg completing on 4 April and ÉPERVIER at Brest, completing on 12 April.
Wednesday, 13 March
PENELOPE departed Rosyth for Scapa Flow, and arrived on the 14th.
AURORA departed Rosyth
for the Clyde, and arrived on the 14th.
EDINBURGH arrived at Rosyth after
Armed merchant cruiser FORFAR arrived at Greenock after Northern Patrol.
Destroyer KEITH was damaged in a grounding near
South West Goodwin Buoy. Damage was limited to her asdic dome, and she
was taken to Chatham on the 15th for repairs completed on the 20th.
Destroyers HOSTILE and TARTAR departed Scapa Flow for the
Clyde, and arrived at
Destroyer SOMALI departed the Tees after refitting at Middlesborough for
Scapa Flow to conduct a high speed trial en route. She arrived in the
Clyde at 1400/14th being diverted en route.
Destroyer JAGUAR arrived at Dundee.
Due to damage to the anti-submarine nets at Scapa Flow, destroyer FIREDRAKE was detached from a U-boat
search and began anti-submarine patrol at daylight in the approaches to Hoxa
Sound. At 2000, destroyer IMOGEN relieved FIREDRAKE on this patrol station. At 0800/14th, destroyer FOXHOUND relieved IMOGEN. The work on Hoxa Boom was completed at 1900/14th and
FOXHOUND returned to Scapa Flow.
Destroyers ESKIMO (escort SO), PUNJABI, MASHONA
departed the Clyde with convoy NS 1 for Plan R.3. At 0233/15th, the
convoy was ordered back to the Clyde with ESKIMO and PUNJABI,
while MASHONA continued to Scapa Flow escorting tanker WAR BHARATA.
Destroyer HUNTER arrived in the Clyde at 1935 on completion of her refitting at
Submarines NARWHAL, TRIAD, THISTLE and TRIDENT
departed Rosyth on patrol.
Submarine SPEARFISH departed Newcastle and conducted diving trials off Blyth, escorted by a trawler, before arriving at
Submarine TRIBUNE undocked at Rosyth.
Patrol sloop GUILLEMOT was damaged in a collision
with an unknown ship off Southwold, and patrol sloop WIDGEON stood by. She
was repaired at Great Yarmouth from 18 March to 19 April.
Convoy OA.109 departed Southend escorted by
destroyer WHITEHALL. The convoy was joined on the 14th by destroyers
ANTELOPE and ACASTA, with ANTELOPE being relieved on the 15th by destroyer
VANESSA. The convoy was dispersed on the 16th with ACASTA and
VANESSA in the escort at that time.
Convoy OB.109 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyers MACKAY and VOLUNTEER from
13 to 16 March, when they were detached to convoy HX.25.
Convoy MT.29 of six ships departed Methil at 0800
escorted by the trawlers of the 1st Anti-submarine Group, sloop FLEETWOOD and
destroyer VIMIERA. The convoy arrived later in the day.
Convoy FN.120 departed Southend escorted by sloops
BLACK SWAN and GRIMSBY. The convoy included submarine PORPOISE on passage
to Rosyth. PORPOISE was detached at
0200/15th and arrived on the 16th. The convoy arrived in the Tyne on the 15th.
Convoy FS.120 of 29 ships and an
additional five ships from Middlesborough and five from the Humber departed the Tyne escorted by sloops LONDONDERRY,
FLEETWOOD and destroyer VIMIERA. The convoy
arrived at Southend on the 15th.
Convoy SA.33 of two steamers departed Southampton, escorted by sloops FOXGLOVE and ROSEMARY, and arrived at
Brest on the 15th.
Convoy AXF 2 of one steamer arrived at St Malo.
U.44 was lost on a mine in 54-14N, 05-06E in a
minefield laid by destroyers EXPRESS, ESK, ICARUS and IMPULSIVE on the 3rd. Her entire crew of forty seven men
U.30 on patrol encountered a British submarine.
German merchant ship
LA CORUNA (7359grt), which had departed Rio de Janiero on 3
February, was intercepted east of Iceland in 63‑00N, 10‑20W by armed merchant cruiser MALOJA on Northern Patrol. The German steamer, disguised as Japanese steamer
TAKI MARU, set herself afire when she was unable to escape. The British ship
rescued the 18 officers and 50 ratings of the German crew.
Convoy HX.27 departed Halifax at 0700 escorted by Canadian destroyers
RESTIGOUCHE and ST
1500/13th, RESTIGOUCHE was ordered by armed merchant cruiser ASCANIA to assist French submarine SIDI FERRUCH which was having trouble
getting through the ice area. At 1340/14th, the convoy was turned over to the
ocean escort armed merchant cruiser ASCANIA, which was detached on the 25th.
Destroyers AMAZON, VANOC, VERSATILE and WINDSOR escorted the convoy from 25 to
28 March, when it arrived at Liverpool.
Steamer ROSSINGTON COURT (6922grt) and tanker ATHELVIKING (8779grt) of
convoy HX.26 collided six hundred miles east of Halifax. The tanker had to return to Halifax.
German steamer ESCHERSHEIM (3303grt) was lost near Loenstrup and Hirtshals off the coast of
Jutland after hitting a submerged wreck. Flooding became uncontrollable, and
she was run aground
in 57-36N, 09-57E to prevent sinking.
Armed merchant cruiser RANPURA, cable ship MIRROR
and A.S.I.S. PHILOMEL departed Gibraltar,
escorted by destroyers ACTIVE and WRESTLER until dark on the 15th. The armed
merchant cruiser and A.S.I.S. ship headed for Freetown, via Dakar and the cable ship for St Vincent, Cape Verde Island, for cable repair. ACTIVE arrived back
at Gibraltar on the 16th after escorting the cable ship, and WRESTLER arrived back at
Gibraltar on the
17th after escorting the Freetown
Thursday, 14 March
HOOD departed Scapa Flow at 1515 escorted by destroyers HARDY (D.2), HOTSPUR
and IMOGEN for the Clyde.
Armed merchant cruiser CALIFORNIA departed
Armed merchant cruisers CILICIA and TRANSYLVANIA arrived at Greenock from Northern Patrol.
Destroyer KELLY departed Scapa Flow at 0400 for Sheerness to repair her collision
damage of 9 March at Blackwall.
Destroyers KASHMIR and FORESIGHT departed the
Clyde for Scapa Flow.
Destroyer INTREPID arrived at Invergordon from
Destroyer IVANHOE departed Scapa Flow at 0715 for Moray Firth Patrol.
Minelayer TEVIOTBANK and destroyers ICARUS and
IMPULSIVE arrived at the Humber to load mines.
Submarines STERLET and SNAPPER departed Harwich on
Submarine SEAWOLF arrived at Harwich from patrol.
Polish submarine WILK was undocked at Dundee.
Convoy OG.22F was formed from two convoys - (1) OA.108G,
which departed Southend on the 11th escorted by destroyer WITCH, and (2) OB.108G,
which departed Liverpool on the 11th, escorted by sloops BIDEFORD and
FOWEY, of thirty ships. BIDEFORD joined the convoy on the 12th and FOWEY on the 13th. Destroyer WRESTLER joined on the 19th. Both
sloops and the destroyer travelled with the convoy to Gibraltar where it arrived on the 19th. The sloops were
temporarily assigned to the 13th Destroyer Flotilla to replace sloops SCARBOROUGH and WELLINGTON.
Convoy MT.30 of twenty three ships departed Methil
escorted by the 3rd Anti-submarine Group, sloop PELICAN, destroyers VIVIEN
and JAVELIN. The convoy arrived in the Tyne later in the day.
Convoy FS.121 departed the Tyne, escorted by sloop PELICAN and destroyer VIVIEN, and arrived
at Southend on the 16th.
Destroyer JANUS and the 1st Anti-submarine Group
escorted convoy TM.26 from the Tyne.
After a steamer sighted a periscope one mile
southwest of Elie Ness, escort vessel WHITLEY and sloop EGRET were dispatched
to investigate. They were joined by destroyer BRAZEN, escort vessels VEGA, WOOLSTON, sloop STORK,
and the 19th Anti-submarine Group. WHITLEY and
STORK made attacks but further investigation showed this contact to be
Convoy HN.19 of three British, sixteen Norwegian,
seven Swedish, four Finnish and five Estonian ships departed Bergen escorted by destroyers COSSACK, NUBIAN, GURKHA,
FAULKNOR and FORTUNE. The convoy was covered by light cruiser
0824/16th, EDINBURGH made a submarine contact in 59-07N,
00-57W, southeast of Fair
Isle, and she
and COSSACK attacked the contact. At 1330/16th, COSSACK
attacked a contact east of Duncansby Head in 58-36N, 1-35W.This contact had
been earlier attacked by aircraft. At 2330, EDINBURGH made an
attack off Tod Head in 56-54N, 2-13W. When the convoy split into two sections, FAULKNOR and FORTUNE escorted the west coast section of
15 ships to Cape Wrath where the convoy was dispersed. The destroyers
arrived at Scapa Flow on the 17th at 0700. Destroyers FAULKNOR and
FORESTER anchored in Longhope pending the clearance of Gutter Sound. The
convoy of 20 ships arrived at Methil without incident on the 17th. COSSACK,
NUBIAN and GURKHA arrived at Rosyth at 1700/17th.
Convoy BC.30 of seven steamers, including
BATALLINN, BARON GRAHAM (Commodore), EILDON, MARSLEW departed Bristol Channel
escorted by destroyer VIVACIOUS, and arrived in the Loire on the 16th.
U-BOAT OPERATIONS AGAINST ALLIED SUBMARINES
An unsuccessful operation was mounted by German
submarines to hunt down British and French submarines in the North Sea. Submarines deployed were U.7, U.9, U.19, U.20,
U.23, U.24, U.56, U.57, U.59.
U.1, U.2, U.3, U.4 were positioned off southern
Norway. On the 16th, U.1 departed Kiel for operations south of Lindesnes. On the 16th, U.2 departed Kiel for operations off Lister. On the 18th, U.3
departed Wilhelmshaven to operate in the North Sea against British submarines. On the 18th, U.4 departed
Wilhelmshaven to operate in the Skagerrak.
On the 20th, U.22 departed Wilhelmshaven to operate off Pentland Firth. On the 20th, U.21 and U.22 were ordered to patrol
south of Lindesnes. On the 21st, U.21 departed Wilhelmshaven to operate off Pentland Firth.
On the 22nd, U.1 was moved to a position outside
the three mile limit off Egeroy. On the 22nd, U.2 sighted what was identified
as either a heavy cruiser or an aircraft carrier with five destroyers in
57-46N, 07-18E. The submarine was unable to gain a firing position. On the
23rd, U.3 and 4 were ordered to area of Lindesnes and Revingen, respectively, to attack warships and
transports. On the 27th, U.4 was moved to area of Lindesnes. U.1, U.2, U.3, U.4 returned to Wilhelmshaven on the 29th.
Minesweepers PANGBOURNE, ALBURY, and ROSS arrived at Gibraltar from Malta.
EAGLE in the Bay of Bengal near the
was damaged at 0730 when a 250 pound bomb exploded in the bomb room in an
operational mishap. One officer, Gunner R.R. Keech, MVO and twelve ratings were
killed. Five crew were wounded, one dying of wounds at Singapore. EAGLE proceeded to Singapore for repairs and completed these and a refit on
4 May. She left Singapore on 9 May for the Mediterranean.
Convoy SL.24 departed Freetown escorted by armed merchant cruiser CHESHIRE until 29 March. The convoy arrived at Liverpool on the 31st.