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

NAVAL EVENTS, MARCH 1940 (Part 2 of 2)
Friday 15th Sunday 31st

Partly edited by Gordon Smith, Naval-History.Net

HMS Carlisle, light cruiser (Navy Photos, click to enlarge)

on to Naval Events, APRIL 1940

 

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

Corrections with thanks to Donald Bertke

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

 


Background Events - September 1939-March 1940
Battle of Atlantic starts, 'Phoney War' on land, Battle of River Plate


 

 

1940

 

 

Friday, 15 March

 

Battlecruiser HOOD with destroyers HARDY (D.2), HOTSPUR and IMOGEN arrived in the Clyde from Scapa Flow.

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Heavy cruisers DEVONSHIRE and NORFOLK ran several runs over the D.G. range in the Firth of Forth. The cruisers then departed Rosyth for Scapa Flow. The cruisers were designated for Northern Patrol duties. DEVONSHIRE proceeded directly to patrol in the Denmark Strait.

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Anti-aircraft cruiser CALCUTTA arrived at Sullom Voe.

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Destroyers HAVELOCK and HAVANT departed Portsmouth for the Clyde, and arrived on the 16th. They left again on the 16th escorting submarine TARPON to Portsmouth.

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Destroyer MATABELE arrived in the Clyde after refitting at Devonport.

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Light cruisers GALATEA and AURORA escorted by destroyers SOMALI, TARTAR and MATABELE departed the Clyde for Scapa Flow where they arrived at 0700/16th.

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Destroyer MASHONA escorting tanker WAR BHARATA arrived at Scapa Flow.

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Destroyers JERVIS and JANUS arrived at Rosyth.

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Destroyer WOOLSTON departed Rosyth to act in conjunction with a Bomber Command exercise in the North Sea.

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Submarine CLYDE departed Portsmouth for Blyth, joined convoy FN.122 on the 16th, and detached when the convoy was abreast Blyth, arriving on the 18th.

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French torpedo boats BOUCLIER, FLORE and MELPOMENE under the command of C.C. J.J.M.J. Fourniere arrived at Dover from Dunkirk for a courtesy visit. The torpedo boats were retained to assist in covering the 10th Minesweeping Flotilla operations between North Goodwin Light Vessel and Fairy Bank Buoy on 17 and 18 March. The torpedo boats then returned to Dunkirk.

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Heavy weather again carried away a 500 to 600 foot section of the anti-submarine nets at Scapa Flow. Anti-submarine trawler COVENTRY CITY went ashore at Longhope. Destroyer KIMBERLEY commenced an anti-submarine patrol off Hoxa Boom south a line from Cantick Head to Sandwick Bay, South Ronaldsay. At 1900, KIMBERLEY was relieved by destroyer FORESIGHT. At 0800/16th, FORESIGHT was relieved by destroyer FEARLESS. The nets were repaired at 1100/16th and FEARLESS returned to Scapa Flow.

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Anti-submarine trawler PERIDOT (550grt, Probationary Skipper W. H. Burgess RNR) was badly damaged on a mine off Dover in 51N, 1-35E, while on station LD 6. Anti-submarine trawler SAON (386grt) on station LD 7 took off the crew of the trawler. There were no casualties. Destroyer BRILLIANT took the trawler in the tow and transferred the tow at daylight at 0825 to tug LADY DUNCANNON (181grt). However, PERIDOT sank before arriving in harbour.

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Destroyer BEAGLE was instructed to order Train Ferry No. 1 (2683grt), en route from Calais, to pass three miles southwest of the position where trawler PERIDOT was mined.

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Convoy ON.20 of nine British, eighteen Norwegian, seven Swedish, two Danish, two Finnish, two Panamanian ships departed Methil escorted by destroyers ENCOUNTER, ESCORT, ELECTRA, ESCAPADE. The convoy was joined at sea by destroyers KASHMIR and KIMBERLEY which departed Kirkwall at 0715/16th with a detachment of twelve ships for the convoy. These ships are included in the Methil sailing breakdown. Anti-aircraft cruiser CAIRO, assigned to this convoy, sustained sea damage and arrived at Scapa Flow. On the 17th, CAIRO arrived at Sullom Voe to repair the damage. Light cruiser SHEFFIELD departed the Tyne on the 17th and provided close cover for the convoy. The convoy arrived safely at Bergen on the 18th.

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Convoy MT.31 of five ships departed Methil escorted by the 19th Anti-submarine Group, destroyer VEGA and sloop STORK. VEGA and STORK detached  at dark to escort convoy FS.122 which departed the Tyne at 2100. Convoy MT.31 arrived in the Tyne that night.

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Convoy TM.27 departed the Tyne at 1700 escorted by the 3rd Anti-submarine Group and destroyer BRAZEN. Submarine SPEARFISH departed Blyth and joined the convoy on passage to Scapa Flow. Once the convoy was abeam Rosyth, BRAZEN took SPEARFISH on to Scapa Flow.

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Convoy FN.121 departed Southend escorted by sloops LOWESTOFT, HASTINGS and destroyer VALOROUS. The convoy arrived at the Tyne on the 17th.

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Seventeen miles south of Needles, a civilian aircraft reported a submarine. Destroyer ISIS and anti-submarine yacht ST MODWEN (237grt) were ordered into the area, later joined by destroyers HERO and WILD SWAN. Destroyer HERO, en route from Portsmouth to the Clyde, made an attack on a submarine contact off the Needles Channel in 50-36.2N, 1-40.4W. Destroyers ARROW, WILD SWAN and ANTHONY joined HERO in the search of Christchurch Bay and Poole Bay.

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Anti-submarine trawler STELLA DORADO (416grt) stopped Belgian trawler IBIS (160grt) and brought her to the Downs for examination.

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The Northern Patrol from 15 March to 31 March sighted sixty nine eastbound merchant ships of which thirteen were sent into Kirkwall for inspection. One German ship was intercepted in this period.

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Australian armed merchant cruiser KANIMBLA seized Soviet steamer VLADIMIR MAIAKOVSKY (3972grt) in the Sea of Japan and took her into control because she was carrying a cargo of copper from the United States to Germany. On the 26th, near Hong Kong she was handed over to French light cruiser LAMOTTE PICQUET, and taken to Saigon, arriving on 1 April. KANIMBLA also captured Russian steamer SELENGA.

 

 

Saturday, 16 March

 

Heavy cruiser NORFOLK arrived at Scapa Flow from the Rosyth at 1020 in preparation for sailing on Northern Patrol duties.

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Battleship WARSPITE departed the Clyde at 1400 escorted by destroyers HARDY, HOTSPUR, HOSTILE and HUNTER, and arrived safely at Scapa Flow at 1600/17th.

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Destroyers ESKIMO and PUNJABI arrived at Greenock at 2200 after being relieved of convoy NS 1 by destroyer WANDERER in North Channel.

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AIR ATTACK ON SCAPA FLOW

 

Destroyer KASHMIR, escorting convoy ON.20, reported the approach of a German air raid on Scapa Flow. In this air raid, by Ju.88's of KG30, heavy cruiser NORFOLK at anchor in Scapa Flow was damaged at 1959. The bomb striking NORFOLK struck the quarter deck near Y turret. The bomb passed through the upper, main, lower decks and exploded near Y shell room. This blew a hole in the starboard side below the water line. A fire was started and X and Y magazines were flooded. Midshipmen J. W. Busk and R.C. Evans-Lombe, Paymaster Midshipman D.B.P. Pick, Warrant Engineer J.F. Baxter RNR, were killed. Midshipman R.H. Cooper, Gunners H.R. Richards and D.A. Holdsworth, Acting Warrant Electrician M.A. Smith, three ratings were wounded.

 

In the same air attack, old battleship IRON DUKE was near missed by three bombs. Two bombs exploded astern of battleship RODNEY causing no damage. Heavy cruiser NORFOLK was the only ship hit, but the Germans claimed hitting three battleships and one cruiser. Most of the Home Fleet was at Scapa Flow at this time and this prompted the Admiralty to order Forbes to take his fleet to sea during the next moonlight period between 19 and 26 March. Gutter Sound was closed due to the danger of magnetic mining from this air raid. Gutter Sound was reopened at 1116/17th.

 

Heavy cruiser NORFOLK departed Scapa Flow at 1630/19th, attended by tug BUCCANEER and escorted by destroyers GURKHA, COSSACK, IVANHOE, GALLANT. The tug was detached en route and returned to Scapa Flow. Destroyers ESKIMO and PUNJABI escorting Tender C (dummy aircraft carrier HERMES - special service vessel MAMARI) traded charges with Destroyers IVANHOE and GALLANT near Cape Wrath. Cruiser NORFOLK arrived in the Clyde at 2230/20th, escorted by destroyers COSSACK, GURKHA, ESKIMO, PUNJABI. The heavy cruiser entered the dockyard in the Clyde on the 27th, NORFOLK was repairing until 14 June 1940. After safely delivering the cruiser, destroyer GURKHA and COSSACK returned to Scapa Flow.

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Armed merchant cruiser WOLFE arrived in the Clyde from Northern Patrol.

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Armed merchant cruiser FORFAR departed the Clyde on Northern Patrol.

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Light cruiser BIRMINGHAM (above - Navy Photos) and destroyer HERO departed Portsmouth for Scapa Flow and the Clyde, respectively. HERO arrived in the Clyde at 1430 after refitting at Portsmouth.

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Destroyer HYPERION arrived in the Clyde.

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Destroyers IVANHOE, INTREPID, GALLANT departed Invergordon to patrol in Moray Firth. On the 17th, they were involved in operation HSM with air cooperation.

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Submarines SALMON and STERLET arrived at Harwich on patrol.

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Submarines SEAL and THISTLE on patrol in the Skagerrak were ordered to exercise contraband control.

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Convoy OA.111 departed Southend, escorted by destroyer AMAZON from 16 to 18 March. The convoy dispersed on the 19th.

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Convoy OB.111 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyer WHIRLWIND and sloop ROCHESTER from 16 to 19 March.

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Convoy FN.122 departed Southend escorted by sloops LONDONDERRY and FLEETWOOD and destroyer VIMIERA. The convoy arrived at the Tyne on the 18th.

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Convoy FS.122 departed the Tyne, escorted by destroyers VEGA and WOOLSTON and sloop STORK, from convoy MT.31. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 17th.

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Convoy MT.32 departed Methil and arrived at the Tyne later that day.

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Convoy TM.28 departed the Tyne escorted by the 19th Anti-submarine Group and destroyer VALOROUS.

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Convoy BC.29 of four steamers, including BARON KINNAIRD (Commodore) departed Loire escorted by destroyer VIVACIOUS. The convoy arrived in Bristol Channel on the 18th.

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Minesweeping drifter MAIDA (107grt, Temporary Skipper R. M. Utting RNR) was sunk on a mine off Margate, ten miles east of North Foreland. Utting and five ratings were lost. Six crew were picked up by minesweeping drifter MARE (92grt) and taken to Dover.

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Yugoslav steamer SLAVA (4512grt) was sunk on a mine five miles south of Start Point, in 51-19-45N, 3-38-45W. One crewman was lost.

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Light cruiser DELHI arrived at Alexandria with CINCMED aboard.

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Australian destroyer WATERHEN departed Gibraltar for Malta.

 

 

Sunday, 17 March

 

Destroyers HERO and HYPERION departed the Clyde at 2015 with RFA tanker PETROBUS (475grt) for Scapa Flow. En route, the tanker was sent into Stornoway and HERO and HYPERION were ordered to Scapa Flow with dispatch, arriving at 0724/19th.

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Destroyer INTREPID in an accidental collision in the Pentland Firth 50 miles northeast of Kinnaird Head sank trawler OCEAN DRIFT (227grt). Eight survivors were picked up and INTREPID proceeded to Invergordon with a damaged stem for emergency repairs, escorted by destroyers IVANHOE and GALLANT. She departed on the 18th for Southbank near Middlesbrough where repairs were completed on 28 April.

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At 1750, steamer BELLWYN (1670grt) collided with heavy cruiser SUFFOLK in Princess Dock at Govan. The cruiser required docking, but there was no delay in the ultimate completion date for the cruiser's repair.

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Light cruiser EDINBURGH arrived in the Tyne for repairs.

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Destroyer BRAZEN arrived at Scapa Flow at 0700 with Submarine SPEARFISH.

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Destroyer IMOGEN departed the Clyde at 0800 for Portsmouth for escort duties.

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Destroyers INGLEFIELD (D.3) and ILEX departed Scapa Flow at 0017 to join destroyers IVANHOE and GALLANT on Moray Firth anti-submarine striking force duties. After this, INGLEFIELD and ILEX arrived at Scapa Flow at 2000/18th.

 

At this time, the Moray Firth Anti-submarine Striking Force was no longer operating. IVANHOE and GALLANT joined the Home Fleet from the Orkneys and Shetlands Command at 0730 and 0830/19th, respectively.

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Minelayers PRINCESS VICTORIA and TEVIOTBANK, escorted by minelaying destroyers ESK, EXPRESS, ICARUS, IMPULSIVE, departed the Humber for Invergordon for minelaying mission PA 4. The ships arrived at Invergordon on the 19th.

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The 7th Destroyer Flotilla was assigned to the Commander in Chief, Home Fleet at midnight.

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Submarine TRIDENT and Polish submarine ORZEL arrived at Rosyth after patrol.

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Submarine SUNFISH on patrol in the North Sea sighted two large unescorted trawlers, but was unable to attack.

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Convoy FS.123, delayed twenty four hours by fog, departed the Tyne escorted by destroyer WALLACE and sloop FLAMINGO. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 19th.

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Netlayer GUARDIAN departed Scapa Flow on the 16th for Rosyth. On the 17th off Bell Rock, she was attacked by German bombers of KG2, but was not damaged, and arrived at Rosyth later on the 17th.

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Anti-submarine trawler STOKE CITY (422grt) was attacked by German bombers of KG26 off Girdleness, but was not damaged.

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Italian steamer VERBANIA (6640grt) broke down in 60-54N, 08-52W. Armed boarding vessel NORTHERN DUKE (655grt) stood by and tug WATERMEYER was dispatched to take her in tow. Steamer CARIBOU (2222grt) sighted the ship on the 21st and NORTHERN DUKE located her on the 22nd. Tug ST MELLONS was ordered to replace WATERMEYER on the 23rd, while tug BRIGAND was also ordered to proceed. On the 27th, the Italian steamer in tow of BRIGAND and escorted by armed boarding vessels NORTHERN WAVE (655grt) and NORTHERN GEM (655grt) arrived at Stornoway.

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Norwegian steamer VESPASIAN (1570grt) grounded on west side of Copt Point near Folkestone, but was refloated by tugs LADY BRASSEY and GANDIA with no apparent damage.

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German submarines were ordered to positions to attack damaged British ships leaving Scapa Flow after the 16 March air raid. U.57 and U.19 in the North Sea were ordered to the west side of Pentland Firth. U.21 and U.22 were ordered to the east side of Pentland Firth.U.22 departed Wilhelmshaven on the 20th and U.21 departed Wilhelmshaven on the 21st. On the 22nd, U.22 was ordered to assist a German ship grounded on the southern coast of Norway. On the 26th, U.22 was ordered to Moray Firth. On the 27th, U.22 was ordered to assist U.21 which had run aground. U.22 acknowledged none of the changes of orders, and was apparently lost soon after her departure from Wilhelmshaven around 23 March. The submarine was lost with all twenty seven crew on the 27th.

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U.38 sank Danish steamer ARGENTINA (5375grt), which had departed Copenhagen on the 13th for Las Palmas, in the North Sea. There were no survivors from the steamer.

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Convoy HG.23F departed Gibraltar with thirty ships, escorted by destroyer BULLDOG, as local escort. French destroyer PANTHERE and auxiliary patrol vessel MINERVE escorted the convoy from 17 to 23 March. Destroyers WINCHELSEA and WAKEFUL came from convoy OG.23F and escorted the convoy from 23 to 26 March. Destroyer WHITEHALL joined the convoy on the 23rd and escorted the convoy until 26 March when the convoy arrived at Liverpool.

 

 

Monday, 18 March

 

Light cruiser MANCHESTER departed Scapa Flow on Northern Patrol.

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Destroyer HIGHLANDER (Cdr W. A. Dallmeyer) was completed. Following working up, destroyer HIGHLANDER was assigned to the 9th Destroyer Flotilla operating with the Home Fleet.

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Destroyers IVANHOE and GRIFFIN departed Invergordon. Destroyer IVANHOE arrived at Scapa Flow later the same day. Destroyer GRIFFIN arrived at Aberdeen later the same day.

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Destroyers JERVIS, JAVELIN, JANUS departed the Humber for Scapa Flow. En route, the destroyers were diverted to pick up convoy ON.21 off Rosyth and escort the convoy to Norway.

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Destroyers COSSACK and GURKHA departed Rosyth at 1800 for Scapa Flow where they arrived at 0930/19th.

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Destroyers ESKIMO and PUNJABI departed the Clyde at 1000 for Scapa Flow escorting Tender C (dummy aircraft carrier HERMES - special service vessel MAMARI). On the 19th, destroyers ESKIMO and PUNJABI joined the escort of damaged heavy cruiser NORFOLK. Destroyers IVANHOE and GALLANT were detached from cruiser NORFOLK and took Tender C to Scapa Flow, arriving on the 20th.

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Destroyer BEDOUIN arrived at Scapa Flow during the morning after refitting at Newcastle.

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Destroyer IMOGEN reported a defective anti-submarine transmitter.

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Submarines TRITON and NARWHAL arrived at Rosyth after patrol. On the 19th, submarine NARWHAL was docked at Rosyth for repairs to the muffler valves.

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Patrol sloops PINTAIL and SHEARWATER departed Harwich to establish an anti-submarine patrol between Kentish Knock and a position 15 miles 130 from Kentish Knock.

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Convoy HN.20 departed Bergen with eight British, twenty one Norwegian, nine Swedish, two Danish, three Finnish ships escorted by destroyers ENCOUNTER, ESCORT, ELECTRA, ESCAPADE, KASHMIR, KIMBERLEY. Despite the protection of anti-aircraft cruiser CAIRO, on the 20th, German bombers attacked convoys HN.20 and ON.21. When the convoy split into sections, destroyers ELECTRA and ENCOUNTER left the convoy with the seven ships of the west coast section. The west coast section dispersed off Cape Wrath. On the 20th, anti-submarine trawlers SCOTTISH (558grt) and IMPERIALIST (520grt) departed Kirkwall with three steamers for the convoy. They were ordered that if the convoy was not encountered to proceed independently to Methil. Destroyers ELECTRA and ENCOUNTER arrived at Scapa Flow at 1500/21st. Convoy HN.20 arrived at Methil the morning of 22 March escorted by destroyers KASHMIR (SO), KIMBERLEY, ESCORT, ESCAPADE.

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Convoy OA.112 departed Southend escorted by destroyer WOLVERINE from 18 to 20 March and destroyer VANSITTART from 19 to 20 March. The convoy dispersed on the 21st.

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Convoy OB.112 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyers VIMY and VENETIA from 18 to 20 March. The convoy dispersed on the 23rd.

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Convoy FN.123 departed Southend, escorted by destroyers WOOLSTON and VIVIEN and sloops VEGA and PELICAN.This convoy contained 14 ships of cancelled convoy FN.124. The convoy arrived at the Tyne on the 20th.

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Escort vessel VIMIERA was damaged in a collision with steamer CLERMISTON (1448grt) off Rosyth. There was only minor damage to both vessels. Escort vessel VIMIERA was repaired at Rosyth from 25 to 30 March.

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Convoy OG.22 was formed with forty nine ships from convoy OA.110G, which departed Southend on the 15th, escorted by destroyer WINDSOR on 15 and 16 March, destroyer WILD SWAN joining on the 26th, destroyer BROKE joining on the 17th, OB.110G, which departed Liverpool on the 15th, escorted by destroyer VANQUISHER and sloop FOLKESTONE. The convoy was escorted by destroyers BROKE and WILD SWAN from 18 to 20 March.French destroyer CHACAL and patrol vessel CAPITAINE ARMANDE escorted the convoy from 18 to 24 March. Destroyer WISHART joined on the 21st and destroyer WRESTLER on the 23rd and both continued to Gibraltar. The convoy arrived at Gibraltar on the 24th.

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Convoy MT.33 of twenty five ships departed Methil escorted by the 3rd Anti-submarine Group and supported by sloops LOWESTOFT and HASTINGS and destroyer VALOROUS. On arrival off the Tyne, the sloops and the destroyer escorted convoy FS.124 from the Tyne.

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Convoy TM.29 departed the Tyne escorted by the 1st Anti-submarine Group and destroyer JUPITER. Destroyer BRAZEN, which had departed Scapa Flow on the 17th for Rosyth, was ordered to relieve destroyer JUPITER which was required at Scapa Flow. After being relieved, en route to Scapa Flow, destroyer JUPITER was diverted to Rosyth to escort convoy ON.21.

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Sloop BIDEFORD, escorting convoy OG.22F, attacked a submarine contact south of Cape St Vincent in 35-58N, 8-55W. Sloop FOWEY was in company escorting this convoy.

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Dutch trawler PROTINUS (202grt) was sunk by German bombers of KG26 off Ijmuiden near Middle Rough Bank. Four crew were lost and submarine UNITY (Lt J F B Brown) rescued seven crew members on the 25th.

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Convoy HX.28 departed Halifax at 0800 escorted by Canadian destroyers SAGUENAY, SKEENA, OTTAWA. Destroyer OTTAWA returned to Halifax after dark. The destroyers turned over the convoy to ocean escort Battleship ROYAL SOVEREIGN at 1800/19th. The battleship was detached on the 27th. Destroyers ANTELOPE and WARWICK joined the convoy on the 27th, destroyers HAVOCK and VANESSA on the 28th, destroyer VIMY on the 29th. Destroyers HAVOCK and WARWICK were detached on the 28th, destroyer VIMY and VANESSA on the 28th, destroyer ANTELOPE on 2 April, when the convoy arrived at Liverpool.

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Light cruiser DAUNTLESS reported main condenser problems.

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Light cruisers CERES and COLOMBO arrived at Port Said.

 

 

Tuesday, 19 March

 

Battleships RODNEY, VALIANT and WARSPITE and destroyers HARDY (D.2), HERO, HUNTER, HASTY, HOTSPUR, HYPERION, HOSTILE of the 2nd Destroyer Flotilla, FORESTER and FEARLESS of the 8th Destroyer Flotilla departed Scapa Flow at 1500. Battlecruisers REPULSE and RENOWN and destroyers INGLEFIELD (D.3), ILEX, DIANA, DELIGHT of the 3rd Destroyer Flotilla, BEDOUIN of the 6th Destroyer Flotilla, destroyer FORTUNE of the 8th Destroyer Flotilla departed Scapa Flow at 1500. While at sea, the Home Fleet would cover the movement of convoys HN.20 and ON.21 and the Operation DU activities.

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A German submarine was sighted near Holm Sound between 1730 and 1800 about 250 yards seaward of the blockships. Destroyers departed Scapa Flow between 2030 and 2100 to search. Destroyers FOXHOUND and FIREDRAKE searched the area to seaward. Destroyer FOXHOUND attacked a submarine contact at 2135 off Grimness in 58‑49N, 2‑46W. Destroyers SOMALI (D.6), MASHONA, MATABELE, SIKH, FORESIGHT searched Scapa Flow with anti-submarine trawlers. Destroyer FAME patrolled the north end of Gutter Sound. The search was abandoned at 0030/20th. Destroyer SIKH proceeded to the anchorage to cover ships anchored in Scapa Flow. Destroyer FAME assigned a station to cover the entrance to Gutter Sound.

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Light cruiser NEWCASTLE arrived at Scapa Flow from Northern Patrol.

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Light cruiser BIRMINGHAM arrived at Scapa Flow from refitting.

The light cruiser soon departed on Northern Patrol.

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At 0300, destroyer JERVIS was involved in a collision with Swedish steamer TOR (1052grt) northeast of Blyth, in 55‑35N, 01‑26E. Destroyer JERVIS suffered extensive damage to her hull, both above and below the water line. Two crew were killed in the collision and fifteen crew were missing. Destroyers JAVELIN and JANUS stood by until destroyer JERVIS reached Newcastle. Destroyer JERVIS was able to steam stern first under her own power to the Tyne. Tugs MALTA and WASHINGTON took her in tow when she arrived off South Shields. Steamer TOR was slightly damaged. Destroyer JERVIS was repairing into the third week of June.

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Destroyer MACKAY reported minor upper deck damage due to heavy weather.

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Submarine SALMON departed Harwich and arrived that day at Sheerness. The submarine was refitting at Chatham from 21 March to 7 May.

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Convoy ON.21 of six British, twenty one Norwegian, seven Swedish, two Danish, three Finnish, two Estonian ship departed Methil at 1700 escorted by destroyers JAVELIN (SO), JUPITER, JUNO, ECLIPSE and were joined by destroyer JANUS which left Scapa Flow. Submarine PORPOISE departed Rosyth to sail with the convoy. Three more merchant ships were detached prior to crossing the North Sea;one was detached at Dundee and two at Aberdeen. British tanker BRITISH TOMMY (1411grt) was to have proceeded in this convoy to salve oil from the grounded tanker GRETAFIELD at Dunbeath. Anti-submarine trawler ALOUETTE (520grt) was to meet the tanker at sea for escort. However, on the 19th, the tanker broke up and the attempt was cancelled. Destroyer IVANHOE escorted base ship MANCHESTER CITY from Scapa Flow to Kirkwall. Destroyer IVANHOE then left Kirkwall with fifteen ships for convoy ON.21. The group joined the convoy at 1900. These ships are included in the sailing breakdown from Methil. It was this portion of convoy ON.21 that was attacked by German bombers on the 20th. Despite the protection of anti-aircraft cruiser CAIRO, on the 20th, German bombers of KG26 attacked convoys HN.20 and ON.21. The convoy arrived at Bergen on the 23rd.

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Aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL escorted by destroyers ARROW, ISIS, SHIKARI departed Portsmouth for Portland.

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Destroyer BRILLIANT covered the minesweepers of the 10th Mine Sweeping Flotilla in operations between North Goodwin Light Vessel and Fairy Bank Buoy.

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Destroyer AFRIDI completed her refit began on 17 January at Hartlepool.

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Submarine STERLET departed Harwich for patrol.

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Convoy FS.124 departed the Tyne escorted by sloop LOWESTOFT, destroyer VALOROUS, sloop HASTINGS. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 21st.

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Convoy TM.30 of nine ships departed the Tyne escorted by the 3rd Anti-submarine Group and destroyer VIVIEN.

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At 59-05.24N, 5-56.30W off North Rona at 0930, anti-submarine trawlers ASTON VILLA (546grt) and GAUL (550grt) attacked a submarine contact. Anti-submarine trawler CAPE PASSARO (510grt) later attacked a contact at this location. At 1700, anti-submarine trawler ANGLE (531grt) attacked a submarine contact off North Rona in 59-05N, 05-55.6W.

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Convoy OB.113GF departed Liverpool, escorted by destroyers WAKEFUL and WINCHELSEA, merged with convoy OA.113GF, escorted by sloop LEITH, to form OG.23F of forty ships on the 22nd.

 

Destroyer WAKEFUL and WINCHELSEA were detached to convoy HG.23 F. Sloop LEITH escorted the convoy to 23 March. The convoy was joined by armed boarding vessel SAGITTA from 22 to 25 March and destroyers VELOX and VIDETTE Portsmouth and Devonport, respectively, from 22 to 28 March when the convoy arrived at Gibraltar.

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U.19 sank Danish steamers MINSK (1229grt) in 58‑07N, 02‑39W, CHARKOW (1206grt) in 58‑07N, 02‑39W, VIKING (1153grt) in 58‑08N, 02‑38W, and BOTHAL (2109grt) in 58‑08N, 02‑38W. Eleven crew were lost on steamer MINSK. Destroyer ESK rescued nine survivors of steamer MINSK. Steamer VIKING was fifteen crew lost. There were two survivors. Steamer BOTHAL had fifteen crew lost.

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Minesweepers PANGBOURNE and ROSS departed Gibraltar for England for duty in Home Waters.

 

 

Wednesday, 20 March

 

Light cruiser EDINBURGH entered the dockyard at South Shields, Tyne, started an extensive refit for structural defects which was not completed until 20 October 1940.

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Light cruiser GLASGOW completed repairs at Glasgow begun on 24 February. Light cruiser GLASGOW departed Glasgow on the 22nd for the Clyde.

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At 0130, armed merchant cruisers CILICIA, departing the Clyde, and CARINTHIA, arriving in the Clyde, collided in 56‑11N, 08‑20W. CILICIA had serious damage to her stem and had trouble steering. Tugs ENGLISHMAN, diverted en route to assist Norwegian steamer ASTRA (2164grt) whose engines had broken down, MARAUDER, ST MELLONS, and destroyer GALLANT, which was detached from Tender C escort, were sent to assist her. 20th Anti-submarine Group and and two ships of 29th Anti-submarine Group also proceeded to the area. CILICIA was taken to Belfast for repairs, arriving on the 21st. CARINTHIA arrived in the Clyde on the 21st and was taken to Birkenhead on the 24th for repairs, escorted by destroyer WARWICK.

______

 

Despite the protection of anti-aircraft cruiser CAIRO, on the 20th, German bombers attacked convoy HN.20 and the Kirkwall section of convoy ON.21 between 1840 and 1952. They damaged steamer NORTHERN COAST (1211grt) 18 miles east of Copinsay in 58‑53N, 02‑00W, steamer THISTLEBRAE (4747grt), tanker DAGHESTAN (5742grt), Norwegian steamers ERLING LINDOE (1281grt) and TORA ELISE (721grt) 53 miles off Noss Head, Norwegian steamer SVINTA (1267grt) in 59N, 2W, and Swedish steamer UTKLIPPAN (1599grt) 59 miles east of Scapa Flow in the North Sea. UTKLIPPAN was hit by an incendiary bomb and the crew abandoned ship, but she was later reboarded and continued with the convoy. She was the only unit of the Methil section damaged.

 

THISTLEBRAE and DAGHESTAN were in convoy HN.20. The remainder of the damaged ships were in the Kirkwall section of convoy ON.21. TORA ELISE returned to Kirkwall. Norwegian steamer CYGNUS (1333grt) stood by SVINTA until tug ST MELLONS arrived and took her in tow. The damaged ships of the Kirkwall section of convoy ON.21 returned to Kirkwall.

______

 

Light cruiser SOUTHAMPTON arrived at Scapa Flow from Northern Patrol.

______

 

German Sperrbrecher 12 (steamer ALTENFELS: 8132grt) was sunk by British bombing off Ameland.

______

 

German Naval Attache personnel in Oslo reported sixty British warships had been sighted off Egersund. All German submarines proceeding to sea were ordered to positions off the Norwegian coast. U.21 and U.22, en route to Pentland Firth, were ordered to patrol areas off Lindesnes.

______

 

Destroyer FORTUNE of battlecruiser REPULSE's screen dropped three depth charges on a submarine contact northeast of Muckle Flugga in 63‑27N, 00‑36E at 1822. U.44 generally credited to the destroyer's attack had already been lost.

______

 

Light cruisers ARETHUSA, AURORA, PENELOPE, GALATEA of the 2nd Cruiser Squadron with destroyers SOMALI (D.6), MASHONA, MATABELE, SIKH, FAME, FIREDRAKE, FOXHOUND, FORESIGHT departed Scapa Flow at 2330 on Operation DU. Destroyer FIREDRAKE attacked a submarine contact east of Duncansby Head in 58-48N, 1-07W. The contact was later evaluated to be non submarine. The force was divided into two groups. Force B of light cruisers AURORA and GALATEA and destroyers SOMALI, SIKH, FIREDRAKE, FOXHOUND patrolled between Lister and Osko Light during the night of 21/22 March. Force C of light cruisers ARETHUSA and PENELOPE with destroyers MASHONA, MATABELE, FAME, FORESIGHT patrolled the Danish coast between Tyboron and Hantsholm Lights during the night of 21/22 March. On the 22nd, both Force B and C swept together off the Norwegian coast northward. The only contact of the operation was at 0922/22nd when destroyer SOMALI encountered small German steamer BUTT (736grt) near Obrestad. However, BUTT was able to escape into Norwegian waters.

______

 

Destroyer ZULU departed Leith after repairs for Rosyth, where she arrived that day.

______

 

Naval whaler WINDERMERE (560grt) of the 10th Anti-submarine Striking Force was damaged at 1944 by German bombers of KG26 in Moray Firth, north of Kinnaird Head. She was towed by whaler THIRLMERE (560grt) to Aberdeen escorted by destroyer IVANHOE.

______

 

Minelayers PRINCESS VICTORIA and TEVIOTBANK, escorted by minelaying destroyers ESK, EXPRESS, ICARUS, IMPULSIVE, departed Invergordon on minelaying mission PA 4 in Moray Firth. This operation was completed during the night of 20/21 March. After the operation, the minelayers, escorted by destroyers ICARUS and IMPULSIVE returned to Rosyth. Destroyers ESK and EXPRESS were sent to hunt submarines in Moray Firth.

______

 

Anti-submarine trawler LADY PHILOMENA (417grt) collided with trawler LOWDOCK (276grt) five miles east of Todd Head. LOWDOCK sank immediately and the anti-submarine trawler was able to rescue only one survivor.

______

 

Convoy MT.34 departed Methil escorted by the 19th Anti-submarine Group, sloop LONDONDERRY, destroyer VIMIERA. On arrival off the Tyne, sloop LONDONDERRY and destroyer VIMIERA escorted convoy FS.125.

______

 

Convoy FN.125 departed Southend, escorted by destroyer WALLACE and sloop FLAMINGO. The convoy arrived in the Tyne on the 22nd.

______

 

Convoy FS.125 departed the Tyne, escorted by destroyer VIMIERA and sloop LONDONDERRY from convoy MT.34. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 22nd.

______

 

Destroyer BEAGLE was covering the operations of the 10th Mine Sweeping Flotilla between the North Goodwin Light Vessel and Fairy Ban Buoy. Destroyer BEAGLE also covered the operations on the 21st.

______

 

Destroyer KEITH arrived at Dover at 1252 after repairs at Chatham.

______

 

Submarine SUNFISH in the North Sea sighted a darkened ship, identified possibly as German training ship BREMSE. Attack was not possible.

______

 

The 5th Mine Sweeping Flotilla composed of minesweepers GOSSAMER, LEDA, HARRIER, SPEEDWELL, SALAMANDER, NIGER arrived at Dover from the Humber. Minesweeper SKIPJACK followed later and joined the Flotilla.

______

 

Dutch tanker PHOBOS (7412grt) was damaged on a mine five miles east of north of North Goodwins Light Vessel. Destroyer BRILLIANT assisted PHOBOS. The survivors of the tanker were rescued by steamer SERULA (1600grt) and the Greek TASSIA (3034grt). Tugs LADY BRASSEY from Dover and FABIA and VINCIA from Ramsgate towed the tanker to Little Downs arriving at 2020. On the 21st, she was taken to Shellhaven.

______

 

Steamer BARN HILL (5439grt), formerly of convoy HX.25A, was badly damaged by German bombers of KG26, three miles SSW of Beachy Head, in 50-34N, 0-02W. Destroyer BRILLIANT was on patrol nearby. Five crew were lost, and the steamer was towed towards shore and beached three hundred yards southeast of Langney Point on the 21st. Tug LADY BRASSEY departed Dover at 0126/24th to attempt to salvage the steamer, but returned to Dover shortly before midnight. Salvage vessel DAPPER proceeded to the scene at daylight on the 25th and remained there until the fire was extinguished. The steamer's back broke on the 26th and she was declared a total loss.

______

 

Minesweepers ALBURY and SALTASH departed Gibraltar for England for duty in Home Waters. SALTASH had arrived at Gibraltar on the 19th.

______

 

French destroyer FOUGUEUX, sloop CHEVREUIL, anti-submarine trawlers AJACIENE and TOULONNAISE attacked a submarine contact north, northwest of Cape Ortegal, 44-10N, 8-34W. The French ships were joined by British warships, but nothing came of the search.

 

 

Thursday, 21 March

 

Base ship DUNLUCE CASTLE caught fire at Scapa Flow, and was beached in Ore Bay until the fire was brought under control.

______

 

Anti-aircraft cruiser CAIRO and destroyers HOSTILE, DIANA, FORESTER arrived at Sullom Voe at 0700 to refuel. The destroyers departed at 1835 to rejoin the Fleet.

______

 

Anti-aircraft cruiser CALCUTTA departed Sullom Voe for duty as the anti-aircraft ship for the Norwegian convoys.

______

 

Anti-aircraft cruiser CURLEW arrived at Scapa Flow.

______

 

At 1100, destroyer JUPITER, detached from convoy ON.21, arrived at Scapa Flow at 1200 with condenser trouble. Repairs were carried out by destroyer depot ship WOOLWICH.

______

 

Destroyer JUNO arrived at Scapa Flow after repairs. She was dispatched to replace destroyer JUPITER in convoy ON.21.

______

 

Destroyer DIANA reported her asdic gear was damaged.

______

 

Destroyers ELECTRA and ENCOUNTER departed Scapa Flow at 2316/20th to Skerry Sound to guard the harbour entrance to Scapa Flow after the Tower of Cliff battery fired on a U-boat in Holm Sound. The destroyers took up patrol in Skerry Sound to guard the eastern entrance to Scapa Flow. ENCOUNTER attacked a submarine contact in Stronsay Firth in 58‑57N, 2‑37W. The contact proved to be a wreck.

 

U.57 (U.22 - Uboat.net; possibly U.22 - Axis Submarine Losses) sank Norwegian steamer SVINTA (1267grt), which was in the tow of tug ST MELLONS after having been damaged in the bomber attack on convoy ON.21 on the 20th. SVINTA sank 4 miles 40 east of Copinsay. ELECTRA and ENCOUNTER were diverted to SVINTA's position to search for the submarine.

______

 

Destroyers WOLVERINE, VANSITTART, VIMY, VENETIA departed Plymouth to sweep prior to meeting convoy HX.26 at 0745/24th.

______

 

Convoy OA.114 departed Southend escotted by destroyer ANTELOPE from 21 to 23 March, destroyer AMAZON from 22 to 23 March, destroyer WINDSOR on the 23rd. The convoy dispersed on the 24th.

______

 

Convoy OB.114 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyers VANOC and VERSATILE from 21 to 24 March. The convoy dispersed on the 25th.

______

 

Convoy SA.33 of one steamer departed Southampton, escorted by sloops FOXGLOVE and ROSEMARY. The convoy arrived at Brest on the 23rd.

______

 

Convoy MT.35 of eight ships departed Methil escorted by the 1st Anti-submarine Groups and sloops FLEETWOOD and STORK. The convoy arrived in the Tyne later that day.

______

 

Convoy FS.126 of twenty one ships from the Tyne, four additional from Middlesbrough, seven from the Humber departed the Tyne escorted by sloops FLEETWOOD and STORK from convoy MT.35 and anti-submarine trawler LADY PHILOMENA (417grt). The convoy arrived at Southend on the 23rd.

______

 

Due to increased U-boat activity in Moray Firth, destroyer IVANHOE and three trawlers on patrol in the Firth were placed under the control of Vice Admiral, Orkneys and Shetlands. Destroyers ESK, EXPRESS, IMPULSIVE, ICARUS of the 20th Destroyer Flotilla were placed under the orders of Vice Admiral Orkneys and Shetlands to patrol within twenty miles of 58-08N, 2-28W between sunrise and sunset. The next day, these destroyers patrolled within forty miles of 58-45N, 00-00E between sunrise and sunset.

______

 

Off Fro Havet near Trondheim in 63N, 7E, destroyers FEARLESS and HASTY entered Norwegian territorial waters to challenge German steamer NORDLAND (1902grt), (or German liner ANTONIO DELFINO (13,589grt)) which was travelling under the protection of Norwegian torpedo boat TRYGG. FEARLESS was ordered away, but attempted again at Hustad, again unsuccessfully, to intercept the German ship. This search continued from 0645 to 1415. Wartime press reports and some postwar accounts identify this German ship as liner EUROPA (49,746grt) which remained anchored at Bremerhaven from pre war days throughout the war. German steamer NEUENFELS (8096grt) was challenged by two Destroyers of Operation DU near Lindesnes on the 22nd and escaped into Rosfjord.

______

 

Submarine CLYDE departed Blyth for Scapa Flow. Submarine CLYDE was joined off Scapa Flow by anti-submarine whaler BUTTERMERE (560grt) on the 23rd.Both ships arrived later that day.

______

 

Submarines SNAPPER and SUNFISH were ordered to intercept German steamer CHARLOTTE CORDS (1779grt), which was reported preparing to depart Rotterdam for Germany. Submarine SEAL was ordered to intercept German steamer JOHANN BLUMENTHAL (1626grt) off Arendal on the 23rd. Neither German ship was intercepted.

______

 

Submarine URSULA in the eastern Skagerrak stopped Norwegian steamer OTTAR JARL (1459grt) for inspection, but she was allowed to continue. Shortly after at 2146, eight miles ENE of Skagen, URSULA encountered German steamer HEDDERNHEIM (4947grt) which had departed Haugesand on the 18th. She fired three torpedoes, one of them hitting the German steamer, which sank in 57-48-40N, 10-53-30E. This was the first sinking of a German merchant ship by a British submarine in the war. Submarine URSULA was damaged by ice on this date.

______

 

Destroyer BOADICEA took the Chief of the General Staff (CIGS) to Boulogne. The CIGS returned to Dover on the 25th on destroyer KEITH.

______

 

U.38 sank Danish steamer ALGIER (1654grt) and CHRISTIANBORG (3270grt) in 60‑17N, 02‑49W. Five crew were lost from ALGIER and one from CHRISTIANBORG. The eighteen survivors from ALGIER were rescued by British trawler MANX KING and landed at Scalloway on the 21st. The after part of CHRISTIANBORG was sunk by gunfire from armed boarding vessel DISCOVERY II later the same day. The armed boarding vessel landed the survivors at Kirkwall.

______

 

Convoy HX.29 departed Halifax at 0900 escorted by Canadian destroyers OTTAWA and ST LAURENT. The destroyers turned over the convoy to Armed merchant cruiser AUSONIA and French submarine SIDI FERRUCH at 1745/22nd. The armed merchant cruiser was detached on 2 April. Destroyers VERSATILE and WINCHELSEA escorted the convoy from 2 to 4 April, when the convoy arrived at Liverpool.

______

 

Convoy HG.23 with thirty six ships departed Gibraltar and was given ocean escort by sloops SCARBOROUGH and WELLINGTON from 21 to 30 March. In Home Waters, the convoy split and convoy HG.23A was escorted by the sloops. In Home Waters, convoy HG.23 was joined by destroyers CAMPBELL and WALKER from convoy OG.23 and destroyer VOLUNTEER from 27 to 30 March. The convoy arrived at Liverpool on the 30th.

______

 

French destroyer SIMOUN arrived at Gibraltar from Casablanca and sailed for Toulon.

______

 

Light cruiser DANAE departed Singapore on patrol duties.

 

 

Friday, 22 March

 

Battleship BARHAM was undocked at Liverpool.

______

 

Aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL, after deplaning at Portland, sailed from Plymouth for the Mediterranean the afternoon of 22 March escorted by destroyers IMOGEN and ISIS which returned to Portsmouth the next day. On the 25th, ARK ROYAL was joined by destroyers ACTIVE and BULLDOG, which departed Gibraltar on the 24th. Australian destroyer VOYAGER departed on the 25th and relieved destroyer ACTIVE in 36N, 7-30W. ARK ROYAL, BULLDOG and VOYAGER passed Gibraltar on the 25th and arrived at Malta on the 28th. She soon joined Aircraft carrier GLORIOUS for flying off exercises for their air crews.

______

 

Armed merchant cruisers MALOJA and DERBYSHIRE arrived in the Clyde after Northern Patrol.

______

 

Armed merchant cruiser TRANSYLVANIA departed the Clyde on Northern Patrol.

______

 

Light cruiser GLASGOW departed Belfast for the Clyde where she arrived later that day.

______

 

Destroyers HAVELOCK and HAVANT arrived at Plymouth.

______

 

Destroyer ZULU after conducting a full calibre shoot in the Firth arrived at Rosyth.

______

 

Destroyer WHITSHED, escorting convoy SL.23, dropped depth charges on a submarine contact ten miles south of Portland Bill. Destroyer HIGHLANDER, which had arrived at Portland that day to work up, departed Portland to assist. However, with defective anti-submarine gear, destroyer HIGHLANDER was recalled. Motor Anti-submarine Boats 2 and 6 also departed Portland to assist WHITSHED.

______

 

Convoy HN.21 with seven British, eighteen Norwegian, five Swedish, four Danish, four Finnish, one Estonian ship departed Bergen escorted by destroyers JAVELIN, JANUS, ECLIPSE and submarine PORPOISE. Destroyer JUNO rendezvoused with the convoy later that same day. Cover for the convoy was supplied by light cruiser SHEFFIELD. Antiaircraft support was supplied by anti-aircraft cruiser CALCUTTA. At 2158/22nd, SHEFFIELD attacked a submarine contact west of Utvaer in 61-05N, 3-35E, and at 0215/23rd, a contact east of Muckle Flugga in 60-55N, 1-40E. The nine ships of the west coast ships were joined by destroyers COSSACK (D.4) and GURKHA, which departed the Clyde at 1200/21st, at daylight on the 22nd. COSSACK and GURKHA arrived at Scapa Flow at 1730/24th after the west coast section of the convoy had been dispersed off Cape Wrath. ECLIPSE, which had been separated in heavy weather, patrolled off Buchanness until she could rejoin the convoy.

 

Convoy HN.21 arrived at Methil at 1100/25th with JAVELIN, JANUS, JUNO, ECLIPSE and PORPOISE.

______

 

Destroyers ELECTRA and ESCAPADE at 1050 were ordered to hunt a U-boat reported by air near Sule Skerry in 59-12N, 4-36W. At 1830, another aircraft sighted a U-boat in 59-26N, 3-54W. ELECTRA and ESCAPADE were ordered to this position and arrived on station at 2000.

______

 

Destroyers ESKIMO and PUNJABI departed the Clyde at 2200 escorting tankers WAR PINDARI (5559grt) and BELGOL (2648grt) to Scapa Flow. Tanker PETROBUS joined the convoy from Stornoway. She had been at Stornoway since 17 March when her escort was ordered post haste to Scapa Flow.

______

 

Destroyers DELIGHT, HUNTER, ILEX, FEARLESS arrived at Sullom Voe at 1630 for refuelling. They put to sea at 0740/23rd.

______

 

Submarine SWORDFISH departed Blyth on patrol.

______

 

Submarine SEAWOLF departed Harwich on patrol.

______

 

Submarine TRIBUNE departed Rosyth for trials and exercises, and returned later in the day. Her engine trials were not satisfactory and she was ordered to the Clyde for repairs.

______

 

After departing Brest on the 17th and calling at Cherbourg, French submarine depot ship JULES VERNE arrived at Harwich with 600 ton submarines SYBILLE, ANTIOPE, AMAZONE of the 16th Submarine Division, escorted by French destroyer FOUDROYANT and sloop AMIRAL MOUCHEZ. In the Downs, the French escort was relieved by British destroyer CODRINGTON and Polish destroyers BLYSKAWICA, GROM, BURZA of the 1st Destroyer Flotilla. These ships were formed as the 10th Submarine Flotilla to aid the British in the patrol of the North Sea.

______

 

Destroyer BOADICEA was covering the operations of the 10th Minesweeping Flotilla between North Goodwin Bank and Fairy Bank Buoy.

______

 

Minesweeper LEDA of the 5th Mine Sweeping Flotilla with Trinity House Vessel ARGUS laid three light buoys along the North Goodwins-Wandelaar searched channel.

______

 

Anti-submarine trawler LE TIGER (516grt) was damaged when she struck wreckage in 58-12N, 02-28W. Another trawler of the 10th Anti-submarine Group was sent to assist and she safely arrived at Aberdeen later that day.

______

 

Convoy TM.31 departed the Tyne escorted by the 19th Anti-submarine Group and sloop HASTINGS.

______

 

Convoy FN.126 departed Southend escorted by sloop LOWESTOFT and destroyer VALOROUS. The convoy arrived on the 23rd.

______

 

Convoy BC.31 of steamers BARON CARNEGIE, KERMA, LOCHEE, PEMBROKE COAST, SCHOLAR (Commodore) departed Bristol Channel escorted by destroyer VIVACIOUS. The convoy arrived at Loire on the 24th.

______

 

Convoy SL.25 departed Freetown escorted by armed merchant cruiser ESPERANCE BAY until 5 April. On 5 April destroyers HAVANT, VANQUISHER, WALKER, WINDSOR joined the convoy and escorted it to its arrival on 8 April.

______

 

Heavy cruiser KENT completed her refit at Colombo.

 

 

Saturday, 23 March

 

Armed merchant cruisers CIRCASSIA and LETITIA arrived in the Clyde from Northern Patrol.

______

 

Destroyer EXPRESS was damaged in a collision with trawler MANX ADMIRAL (219grt) ten miles due north of Kinnaird Head. EXPRESS was taken to Hartlepool for repairs arriving on the 28th.

______

 

At 1430, lookout trawler LOCH ASSATER (210grt, Temporary Skipper G.D. Greening RNR) was sunk on a British defensive minefield 61 miles north east of Kinnaird Head. The entire crew was picked up by trawler STRATHTUMMEL (210grt). LOCH ASSATER had only been hired on 24 February 1940.

______

 

Destroyer BRILLIANT on patrol searched unsuccessfully for the pilot of a downed Hurricane southeast of Folkestone.

______

 

German merchant ship EDMUND HUGO STINNES IV (2189grt), en route to Copenhagen, was intercepted by submarine TRUANT (TRIDENT - Seekrieg) at 2330 in the Skagerrak six miles 306 from Bovbjerg. The submarine fired five warning shots, but the German steamer entered territorial waters, scuttled herself and was finished off by TRUANT with two torpedoes two miles 294 from Thors Minde Light House. The Master was taken prisoner.

______

 

Light cruisers GALATEA, ARETHUSA, PENELOPE arrived at Rosyth after DU. Light cruiser AURORA and destroyers SOMALI, MASHONA, MATABELE, SIKH arrived off Scapa Flow, but were unable to enter due to low visibility until early on the 24th. SOMALI, MATABELE, MASHONA, SIKH carried out an independent anti-submarine sweep and entered Scapa Flow at 0900/24th. AURORA and destroyers FAME, FORESIGHT, FOXHOUND, FIREDRAKE of operation DU arrived at Scapa Flow at 1100.

______

 

Destroyer NUBIAN departed Rosyth for Scapa Flow.

______

 

Destroyer ESK arrived at Invergordon.

______

 

Sloop AUCKLAND arrived at Rosyth.

______

 

Submarine SPEARFISH and destroyer FAULKNOR were engaged in anti-submarine exercises from Scapa Flow.

______

 

Submarines SUNFISH and SNAPPER arrived at Harwich after patrol.

______

 

Hunt-class destroyer ATHERSTONE was completed, the first of a large class of escort destroyers. Following working up at Portland, she was attached to the Home Fleet.

______

 

Convoy MT.36 of thirty three ships departed Methil escorted by destroyers WHITLEY and WESTMINSTER. Destroyer WESTMINSTER attacked a submarine contact 6 miles 135 from May Island. The contact was later found to be a wreck. After MT.36 arrived off the Tyne, destroyers WHITLEY and WESTMINSTER escorted convoy FS.127.

______

 

Convoy FN.127 departed Southend, escorted by destroyer VIMIERIA and sloop LONDONDERRY. The convoy arrived at the Tyne on the 24th.

______

 

Convoy FS.127 departed the Tyne, escorted by destroyers WHITLEY and WESTMINSTER. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 25th.

______

 

At 1144, armed boarding vessel NORTHERN REWARD sighted a submarine near wreckage and empty rafts and attacked the submarine west of Foula Island in 60‑12N, 3‑50W. No damage was done to U.38. Contact was later lost in rain squalls. Destroyers ELECTRA, ENCOUNTER and armed boarding vessel DISCOVERY II joined to assist in the hunt. Destroyer FAULKNOR (D.8) departed Scapa Flow at 1500 to join the search. At 1705, a British flying boat dropped bombs on a submarine contact in this area in 60-16N, 3-22W. At 0600/24th, FAULKNOR departed the search area for Kirkwall.

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Anti-submarine trawler ST KENAN (565grt) made an attack on a submarine contact in 59-04.20N, 06-00.04W of Salisker. Anti-submarine trawler ASTON VILLA (546grt) was also in the area. Off the Butt of Lewis in 58-41.5N, 6-14W, anti-submarine trawler ANGLE (531grt) made an attack on a submarine contact.

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Armed yacht ALICE (527grt) made an attack on a submarine contact in Liverpool Bay in 53-29.5N, 0-39W.

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GERMAN MERCHANT SHIPS IN DUTCH EAST INDIES

 

The British Malaya Force was formed to watch German merchant ships in Dutch East Indies harbours. Destroyers STRONGHOLD and TENEDOS departed Singapore on the 26th and were stationed off Sabang to watch LINDENFELS (8457grt), MONI RICKMERS (5272grt), SOPHIE RICKMERS (7033grt), WASGENWALD (4990grt) and WERDENFELS (6318grt). Light cruiser DAUNTLESS patrolled off Batavia to watch NORDMARK (7750grt), RENDSBURG (6200grt) and VOGTLAND (6608grt). Light cruiser DURBAN departed Singapore on the 25th, and patrolled off Padang to watch BITTERFELD (7659grt), FRANKEN (7789grt), RHEINLAND (6622grt), SONECK (2191grt), and WUPPERTAL (6737grt). Light cruiser DANAE departed Singapore on the 21st, and patrolled off Surabaya to watch CASSEL (6047grt), ESSEN (5158grt) and NAUMBURG (5878grt). Sloop FALMOUTH watched STASSFURT (7395grt) at Tjilitjap.

 

Submarines PERSEUS departed Singapore on the 27th and RAINBOW departed Singapore on the 25th, and were stationed in the Sunda Strait to guard the German ships' escape route. These patrols were maintained until mid April. Some six weeks later when Germany invaded Holland, all the merchant ships, except SOPHIE RICKMERS which scuttled herself in harbour, were seized by Holland for service under the Dutch flag. Steamers BITTERFELD, WUPPTERTAL, RHEINLAND were captured by boarding parties from Dutch cruiser JAVA in Padang.

 

German name

 

Dutch name

German name

Dutch name

LINDENFELS

 

MANGKALIHAT

MONI RICKMERS

SALANDO

WASGENWALD

 

SEMBILANGAN

WERDENFELS

BALINGKAR

NORDMARK

 

MANDALIKA

RENDSBURG

TOENDJOEK

VOGTLAND

 

BERAKIT

BITTERFELD

MARISO

FRANKEN

 

WANGI-WANGI

RHEINLAND

BERHALA

SONECK

 

KARSIK

WUPPERTAL

NOESANIWI

CASSEL

 

MENDENAU

ESSEN

TERKOELEI

NAUMBURG

 

KENTAR

STASSFURT

LANGKOEAS

 

In addition, German steamer SCHEER (8298grt) at Makassar and German steamer FRIDERUN (2464grt) at Menado were taken over as MANGKAI and MEROENDOENG, respectively.

 

 

Sunday, 24 March

 

Steamer BECHEVILLE (4228grt) reported she was attacked by a German submarine in 59-21.2N, 2-27W, northwest of the Orkneys. Destroyer FIREDRAKE made an attack on a submarine contact in the Pentland Skerries in 58-42N, 2-45W. This contact was later assessed as non submarine. Destroyers SOMALI (D.6), MATABELE, SIKH departed Scapa Flow at 1330. At 1550, MATABELE attacked a submarine contact. Destroyers FOXHOUND, FAME, FORESIGHT later departed Scapa Flow to hunt for the U-boat. FAME attacked a submarine contact at 1900 east, southeast of Copinsay in 58-20N, 2-15W. Destroyers ELECTRA and ENCOUNTER were searching for a submarine west of the Orkneys. They were ordered to search for the submarine reported. Destroyers IVANHOE, ESK, ICARUS from Moray Firth Patrol were also ordered into the area. MATABELE, SIKH, SOMALI, FAME, FOXHOUND attacked contacts off Auskerry in 58-58.5N, 2-17W. MATABELE remained on the location of this attack. ICARUS and IVANHOE patrolled the approaches to Stromsay Firth. FORESIGHT attacked a contact at 1930 in 58-50N, 1-51W, east, southeast of Copinsay, but this was later found to be a wreck. SOMALI, SIKH, FAME, FORESIGHT, FOXHOUND searched the area 17 of 58-57N, 2-12W during the night.

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At 0600, destroyer FAULKNOR departed her anti-submarine patrol northwest of the Orkneys to proceed to Kirkwall to escort the Kirkwall section of convoy ON.22.

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Destroyer PUNJABI arrived at Scapa Flow escorting tanker PETROBUS from Stornoway.

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Destroyer NUBIAN rendezvoused off Rosyth at 1900 to escort submarine TRIBUNE as far as Scapa Flow.

______

 

Destroyers HERO and HOTSPUR arrived at Sullom Voe to refuel at 0900, and departed at 1900 for anti-submarine patrol west of Fair Island Channel.

______

 

Destroyer IMPULSIVE arrived at Invergordon.

______

 

Submarine UNITY departed Blyth on patrol.

______

 

Convoy ON.22 of five British, nineteen Norwegian, three Swedish, four Finnish ships (leader Norwegian steamer BREDA (1260grt)) departed Methil at 1500 escorted by destroyers KIMBERLEY, KASHMIR, ESCAPADE, ZULU. Three ships were detached prior to the convoy crossing the North Sea; British steamers STRAIT FISHER (573grt) were detached for Scapa Flow and HARLAW (1141grt) for Invergordon. The convoy was joined the next day by destroyers FAULKNOR and TARTAR with a contingent of eight ships from Kirkwall. Light cruisers AURORA and SHEFFIELD and anti-aircraft cruiser CAIRO provided close support for the convoy. At 1655/23rd, SHEFFIELD attacked a submarine contact west of Foula Island in 60-16N, 3-22W. Convoy ON.22 arrived without event on the 27th at Bergen. On the 29th SHEFFIELD arrived at Scapa Flow, AURORA at Rosyth, and CAIRO at Sullom Voe.

______

 

German steamer OSTPREUSSEN (3030grt) ran aground five miles 224 from Hirsthals Light. Submarine TRIAD was sent to investigate, but was not able to attack. The German steamer was refloated on the 30th.

______

 

Armed merchant cruiser AURANIA departed the Clyde for Northern Patrol.

______

 

Armed merchant cruiser SCOTSTOUN arrived in the Clyde after Northern Patrol.

______

 

Netlayer PROTECTOR arrived at Rosyth from Plymouth.

______

 

Convoy OA.116 departed Southend escorted by destroyers WHITSHED from 24 to 26 March and MONTROSE from 25 to 26 March. The convoy dispersed on the 28th.

______

 

Convoy OB.126 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyers WITHERINGTON from 24 to 27 March, VANQUISHER from 24 to 26 March, WHIRLWIND on the 25th. The convoy dispersed on the 27th.

______

 

Convoy FN.128 of eighteen ships departed Southend escorted by sloops FLEETWOOD and STORK and destroyer JUNO. The convoy arrived at the Tyne on the 26th.

______

 

Convoy MT.37 of eleven ships departed Methil escorted by sloops AUCKLAND and HASTINGS and trawlers of the 19th Anti-submarine Group. At 1237, AUCKLAND off Berwick in 55-49N, 1-55W attacked a submarine contact. HASTINGS was detached to stand by the contact and AUCKLAND rejoined the convoy. Two trawlers were detached to assist HASTINGS in her search which lasted until 1630 before rejoining the convoy. The contact was later assessed as non submarine. After convoy MT.37's arrival in the Tyne, AUCKLAND and HASTINGS escorted convoy FS.128 from the Tyne.

______

 

Convoy FS.128 departed the Tyne, escorted by sloop AUCKLAND and HASTINGS. The convoy became separated in fog. AUCKLAND with 15 ships was able to proceed, but HASTINGS with 25 ships anchored off Cromer Knoll. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 26th.

______

 

Convoy TM.32 departed the Tyne escorted by 23rd Anti-submarine Group, sloop LOWESTOFT, destroyer VALOROUS.

______

 

Convoy BC.30 of seven steamers, including BARON GRAHAM (Commodore) and MARSLEW departed Loire escorted by destroyer VIVACIOUS. The convoy arrived In Bristol Channel on the 25th.

______

 

In an air crash, Surgeon Lt Cdr G.A. Lawson, MB, ChB and Surgeon Lt P.G. Stainton, MRCS, LRCP, from heavy cruiser SHROPSHIRE, were killed. She had just completed refitting at Simonstown begun in February.

______

 

Australian destroyer VOYAGER arrived at Gibraltar for escort duties with aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL.

______

 

Mid afternoon on the 24th, French destroyer LA RAILLEUSE of the 5th Destroyer Division departed Casablanca on patrol. In the channel, LA RAILLEUSE was blown in two in an accidental explosion of one of her torpedoes. Twenty eight crew were killed and twenty four were wounded.

______

 

After the cancelled Finland operations, armed merchant cruiser VILLE D'ALGER and troopship DJENNE departed Cherbourg, escorted by destroyer CYCLONE, arriving at Brest on the 22nd. The cruiser and troopship departed on the 24th with troopships PRESIDENT DOUMER and CHAMPOLLION, escorted by light cruiser EMILE BERTIN and large destroyers VAUTOUR, ALBATROS, BISON, CHEVALIER PAUL. Troopship DJENNE and destroyer CHEVALIER PAUL arrived at Casablanca on the 27th. The other three liners and the remaining escort ships passed Gibraltar on the 27th and arrived at Oran on the 28th. The troopship and destroyer departed Casablanca on the 30th to return to Brest for Norwegian operations. They arrived on 1 April.

______

 

French armed merchant cruiser COLOMBIE departed Brest, escorted by large destroyer TARTU. The destroyer was detached off Gibraltar and the cruiser proceeded to Oran. TARTU arrived at Casablanca on the 27th. The cruiser arrived at Oran on the 28th. The destroyer departed Casablanca on the 31st to return to Brest for Norwegian operations. TARTU arrived at Brest on 2 April.

 

 

Monday, 25 March

 

Light cruiser GLASGOW departed the Clyde on Northern Patrol.

______

 

Heavy cruiser YORK departed Rosyth for Scapa Flow, where she arrived on the 26th in preparation of setting out on Northern Patrol.

______

 

Aircraft carrier FURIOUS departed Plymouth at 1600/25th escorted by destroyers ISIS, HAVOCK, IMOGEN arrived in the Clyde at 1800/26th. The destroyers, joined by destroyer MOHAWK, went on to Scapa Flow.

______

 

Destroyer ESK arrived at Scapa Flow at 0015 for repair to her bow protection gear.

______

 

Destroyer ESKIMO arrived at 1700 at Scapa Flow with tankers BELGOL and WAR PINDARI.

______

 

Destroyer IMPULSIVE departed Invergordon to relieve destroyer IVANHOE on Moray Firth Patrol.

______

 

Destroyer BRAZEN departed Rosyth for exercises, and returned later in the day.

______

 

Submarines THISTLE and SEAL arrived at Rosyth from patrol.

______

 

Submarine TRIDENT departed Rosyth on patrol.

______

 

Submarines URSULA and L.23 arrived at Blyth after patrol.

______

 

Convoy OG.23 was formed with fifty one ships from convoys OA.115G, which departed Southend on the 23rd, and OB.115G, which departed Liverpool on the 23rd escorted by destroyers WALKER, WANDERER, VOLUNTEER. Destroyers WAKEFUL and VOLUNTEER escorted the convoy from 25 to 26 March and were then detached to convoy HG.23. WANDERER also escorted the convoy from 25 to 26 March. Sloop ABERDEEN escorted the convoy from 25 to 27 March. Destroyer CAMPBELL escorted the convoy from 25 to 27 March. French destroyer TIGRE and patrol vessel VIKINGS escorted the convoy from 26 to 31 March. Destroyer DOUGLAS joined the convoy on the 31st. The convoy arrived at Gibraltar later on the 31st.

______

U.47 at 0600 sank Danish steamer BRITTA (1146grt) in 60‑00N, 04‑19W, off Sule Skerry. Five survivors were picked up by Danish steamer NANCY (1153grt) which was in company, but thirteen crew went missing.

 

Destroyers ELECTRA and ENCOUNTER, returning to Scapa Flow, proceeded to the location and ELECTRA stood by the rescue area. At 1241, ELECTRA and ENCOUNTER were ordered to return to Scapa Flow where they arrived at 1830. Destroyers HOTSPUR and HERO from Sullom Voe and SOMALI, MATABELE, FAME, FORESIGHT, SIKH, FOXHOUND from anti-submarine operations east of the Orkneys were sent to the area. Destroyers COSSACK (D.4), ESKIMO, PUNJABI departed Scapa Flow at 0700. The wreckage of BRITTA was later found eighteen miles from the reported position.

 

In anti-submarine operations on 25 and 26 March, COSSACK, SIKH, FOXHOUND, HOTSPUR, HERO were searching in the area 61N to 60N, 2W to 4W. They were joined by destroyer NUBIAN after escorting submarine TRIBUNE and destroyer FIREDRAKE after repairs from destroyer depot ship WOOLWICH. Destroyer FIREDRAKE was then ordered to join destroyers ICARUS and IVANHOE and the anti-submarine trawlers on the Moray Firth patrol. In anti-submarine operations on 25 and 26 March, destroyers SOMALI (D.6), ESKIMO, PUNJABI searched the eastern half of a patrol area from 60N to 59N, 3W to 5W. MATABELE, FAME, FORESIGHT searched the western half of this area.

______

 

Destroyer NUBIAN, which had completed refitting and degaussing at Rosyth on the 24th, rendezvoused off Rosyth at 1900/24th escorting submarine TRIBUNE. Both ships arrived safely at Scapa Flow at 1400/25th. NUBIAN departed Scapa Flow and joined the destroyers searching for the U.47 which had sunk Danish steamer BRITTA. The hunt was unsuccessful and NUBIAN damaged her asdic dome. TRIBUNE departed Scapa Flow on the 28th and was joined off Switha Gate at 1400 by destroyer FIREDRAKE which departed Invergordon at 0900/27th. FIREDRAKE escorted TRIBUNE to Greenock for the repair of further defects, arriving on the 30th, and completing on 10 May. FIREDRAKE then went on to Cardiff for repairs and refit. Returning to Scapa Flow, NUBIAN brushed destroyer MASHONA while changing berths requiring that NUBIAN go back into the dockyard for repairs. NUBIAN departed Scapa Flow on the 30th for the Tyne, and left the dockyard there on 11 April for duty with the Home Fleet.

______

 

Minelayers PRINCESS VICTORIA and TEVIOTBANK departed Rosyth for the Tyne, escorted by sloop FLAMINGO and destroyer WALLACE. The ships arrived in the Tyne on the 26th and joined convoy FS.130 for passage to Immingham. PRINCESS VICTORIA had some damage to her mine chutes to be repaired at Immingham.

______

 

Convoy FS.129 departed the Tyne at 2100 escorted by sloop FLAMINGO and destroyers WALLACE and JUNO. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 27th.

______

 

U.57 sank tanker DAGHESTAN (5742grt), en route from Scapa Flow to Sullom Voe escorted by armed boarding vessel NORTHERN DAWN and anti-submarine trawler BRONTES (428grt), nine miles 212 from Copinsay. She had been lightly damaged on the 20th in the German air attacks on convoy HN.20.

Destroyers ICARUS, IMPULSIVE, FIREDRAKE and the 19th and 21st Anti-submarine Striking Forces were sent to search for the submarine. Tugs BUCCANEER and KROOMAN were sent to assist the tanker, which lost three crew and one gunner. Nineteen survivors rescued by anti-submarine trawler NORTHERN DAWN and six by anti-submarine trawler BRONTES.

______

 

Destroyer ACASTA left her convoy at 0800/25th to search for a submarine off Bude, and met VIVACIOUS at noon on the 26th. ACASTA attacked a submarine contact off Bull Point in 51‑20N, 4‑55W.

 

Anti-submarine trawler KIRKELLA (436grt) attacked a submarine contact at 1420/25th off Bull Point in 51-19-48N, 04-20-20W. Anti-submarine trawler BANDOLERO (440grt) was in company, and ACASTA and VIVACIOUS joined the trawlers at this location. On 1 April, destroyer HAVANT searched a wreck at this location.

______

 

Destroyer KEITH brought the British Chief of the General Staff (CIGS) back from Boulogne.

______

 

Dutch steamer DRECHTDIJK (9338grt) went ashore on the Varne, and anti-submarine trawler KINGSTON CRYSTAL (433grt) was sent to investigate. The steamer was refloated under her own power before midnight, and tug LADY BRASSEY escorted her to one mile northeast of Folkestone Gate to anchor.

______

 

Convoy HG.24F departed Gibraltar with twenty seven ships. French destroyer CHACAL and auxiliary patrol vessel CAPITAINE ARMAND escorted the convoy from 25 to 31 March. Destroyers BROKE and VANSITTART escorted the convoy from 31 March to 3 April when it arrived at Liverpool.

______

 

Convoy HX.30 departed Halifax at 0900 escorted by Canadian destroyers SAGUENAY, RESTIGOUCHE, SKEENA, which were detached on the 26th. Ocean escort for the convoy was battleship REVENGE. At 0950/26th, SKEENA was detached to join battleship MALAYA at 0750/27th. The battleship was returning to Halifax after escorting convoy HX.26. REVENGE was detached on 3 April while destroyers ACASTA, VISCOUNT, WHITEHALL, WITCH escorted the convoy from 6 to 9 April, when it arrived at Liverpool.

______

 

French destroyer FORBIN stopped Portuguese steamer LIMA (3881grt) off Lisbon. A German citizen, accused of espionage, was taken off the steamer and taken into custody.

 

 

Tuesday, 26 March

 

Light cruiser NEWCASTLE departed Scapa Flow for refitting in the Tyne.

______

 

Light cruiser SOUTHAMPTON departed Scapa Flow on Northern Patrol.

______

 

Armed merchant cruisers DERBYSHIRE, WOLFE, LETITIA departed the Clyde on Northern Patrol, and were given air escort from the Clyde.

______

 

Destroyer IVANHOE departed Invergordon to relieve destroyer ICARUS on Moray Firth patrol.

______

 

Submarine TRUANT arrived at Rosyth after patrol.

______

 

Submarine URSULA was docked at Blyth for repairs of ice damage sustained on her patrol.

______

 

Destroyer BEDOUIN, escorting the Home Fleet, attacked a submarine contact at 0959 ENE of the Faroes in 63-33N, 4-56W. This contact was later assessed as probably a wreck.

______

 

At 1400, destroyers HERO and HOTSPUR, after a search for a German submarine, joined the Home Fleet in 63-00N, 4-00W.

______

 

Destroyer FIREDRAKE attacked a submarine contact ESE of Copinsay in 58-49N, 2-16W. The contact was found to be non submarine.

______

 

Destroyer ELECTRA departed Scapa Flow at 1500 for a full calibre shoot southwest of the Orkneys, and then proceeded to Rosyth.

______

 

Destroyer ESK, after repairs, departed Scapa Flow at 1945 for a patrol station between Copinsay and Brough Head, before joining the Moray Firth Patrol at 0800/27th.

______

 

Convoy OA.117 departed Southend escorted by destroyer WHITEHALL on 26 and 27 March and destroyer VANESSA on the 27th. The convoy dispersed on the 29th.

______

 

Convoy OB.117 did not sail. OB 118GF departed Liverpool on the 26th and merged as OG.24F (q.v.)

 

Convoy OB.119 departed Liverpool on the 26th escorted by destroyers VERSATILE and WINCHELSEA.

______

 

Convoy FN.129 of 21 ships departed Southend escorted by destroyers WHITLEY and WESTMINSTER. The convoy arrived in the Tyne on the 28th.

______

 

Convoy MT.38 departed Methil escorted by the 1st Anti-submarine Group, sloop LOWESTOFT, and destroyer VALOROUS. On convoy MT.38's arrival off the Tyne, convoy FS.130, which included minelayers TEVIOTBANK and PRINCESS VICTORIA, departed the Tyne escorted by LOWESTOFT and VALOROUS. The minelayers arrived at the Humber on the 27th. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 28th.

______

 

Anti-submarine trawler LADY ELSA (518grt) at 1550 attacked a submarine contact off Grimness, South Ronaldsay in 58-47-24N, 2-46-12W. The contact was non submarine.

______

 

Anti-submarine trawler DANEMAN (516grt) attacked a submarine contact at 2359/25th east of Halero Head, South Ronaldsay in 58-45-30N, 2-48-42W. Anti-submarine trawler MAN O' WAR (517grt) also attacked the contact. At 1440, anti-submarine trawler MAN O' WAR attacked a submarine contact off Burray Ness in 58-51N, 2-52W.

______

 

U.21 ran aground off Oddknuppen Island in 58‑28N, 07‑20E, near Ryvinga, southeast of Mandel. U.1 was ordered to assist, but was unable to locate her. U.22 was also ordered to assist, but had already been lost. U.21 was refloated by a German trawler and taken to Evjemoen in Mandalsfjord where she arrived on the 27th. She was interned on the 31st, but was only in Norwegian hands for a short time as she returned to German control on 9 April when Kristiansand fell.

______

 

U.38 at 0100 sank Norwegian steamer COMETA (3749grt) 67 miles 315 from Noup Head in 60‑06N, 04‑36W. COMETA had been stopped earlier by armed boarding vessel KINGSTON PERIDOT and a prize crew of one officer and four ratings put on board for the passage to Kirkwall. The survivors were picked up by armed boarding vessel NORTHERN SKY.

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Light cruiser DUNEDIN arrived at Kingston.

______

 

Destroyer ACTIVE arrived at Gibraltar escorting steamer SEVILLA, carrying whale oil from Freetown.

______

 

Destroyer DIAMOND covered cable ship MIRROR repairing the St Vincent to Bathurst cable five to nine miles south of St Vincent Verde Island.

 

 

Wednesday, 27 March

 

Battleships RODNEY, VALIANT, WARSPITE and destroyers FEARLESS, FORESTER, HUNTER, HASTY, HERO, HOTSPUR, HARDY (D.2), HOSTILE, HYPERION arrived at Scapa Flow at 1100. Battlecruisers RENOWN and REPULSE and destroyers INGLEFIELD, DELIGHT, DIANA, ILEX, FORTUNE, BEDOUIN arrived at Scapa Flow at 1100.

______

 

From dawn on the 27th to 0900, destroyers SOMALI (D.6), ESKIMO, PUNJABI, FAME, FORESIGHT, MATABELE swept southbound along the west coast of the Orkneys from Brough Head, then westward along the coast of Scotland to 4-10W before arriving arrived at Scapa Flow at 1600/27th. Destroyers COSSACK, SIKH, NUBIAN, FOXHOUND remained in the northern area until ordered at 1322 to return to Scapa Flow for shelter from heavy weather. They arrived at 1700.

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Armed merchant cruisers SALOPIAN and WORCESTERSHIRE arrived at Greenock from Northern Patrol.

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Armed merchant cruiser MALOJA departed Greenock on Northern Patrol.

______

 

Heavy cruiser YORK departed Scapa Flow on Northern Patrol.

______

 

Armed merchant cruiser PATROCLUS departed Liverpool on Northern Patrol.

______

 

Destroyer AFRIDI departed Hartlepool after repairs for Scapa Flow, and arrived at 0845/28th. Flotilla Commander Captain D.4 transferred from destroyer COSSACK back to AFRIDI.

______

 

Destroyer ELECTRA arrived at Rosyth from Scapa Flow.

______

 

Destroyer GRIFFIN departed Dundee after repair for the Moray Firth Patrol.

______

 

Sloop BITTERN departed Leith and arrived at Rosyth after refitting.

______

 

Destroyers IVANHOE, IMPULSIVE, FIREDRAKE, ESK on Moray Firth Patrol proceeded to Invergordon for shelter from heavy weather, arriving at 1930.

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Destroyers IMOGEN, ISIS, HAVOCK arrived at Scapa Flow at 1545 from Plymouth.

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Destroyer MOHAWK arrived at Scapa Flow at 1900 after repairs from her collision in the Clyde on the 2nd.

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Submarines STERLET and SEAWOLF were reassigned billets in the North Sea after a report of two German K cruisers being at sea.

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Convoy HN.22 with four British, nineteen Norwegian, ten Swedish, three Danish, four Finnish ships departed Bergen escorted by destroyers KIMBERLEY, KASHMIR, ESCAPADE, ZULU, FAULKNOR, TARTAR. The six ships of the west coast section of the convoy was escorted by KIMBERLEY and KASHMIR. After the convoy was dispersed off Cape Wrath, KIMBERLEY and KASHMIR arrived at Scapa Flow at 1800/29th. On the morning of 30 March, convoy HN.22 arrived at Methil, escorted by FAULKNOR, ZULU, TARTAR and ESCAPADE.

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Convoy ON.23 with six British, eleven Norwegian, four Swedish, two Danish, two Finnish ships for Norway and one for Aberdeen departed Methil at 1400 escorted by destroyers JAVELIN (SO), JANUS, JUNO, ECLIPSE and submarine PORPOISE. Anti-aircraft cruiser CALCUTTA departed Sullom Voe on the 29th and provided anti-aircraft support for the convoy. At 0130/29th, destroyers ESKIMO, PUNJABI, BEDOUIN (took over as SO) departed Kirkwall and joined the convoy with the two ships of the Kirkwall section. These two steamers in the sailing breakdown from Methil. Destroyer JANUS was detached for boiler cleaning and repairs. Light cruisers GALATEA and ARETHUSA departed Rosyth on the 28th and provided close cover for the convoy. On the 28th, anti-aircraft cruiser CAIRO departed Sullom Voe to assist when German aircraft began to shadow the convoy. On the 31st, convoy ON.23 arrived at Bergen.

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Sloop ROCHESTER was damaged in collision with steamer LONGFORD (1913grt), and was repaired at Liverpool, completing on 27 June.

______

 

Convoy FN.130 departed Southend, escorted by sloops AUCKLAND and HASTINGS. The convoy arrived in the Tyne on the 29th.

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Convoy FS.131 of thirty one ships departed the Tyne escorted by sloop PELICAN and destroyer VIVIEN. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 29th.

______

 

French destroyers FOUDROYANT and BOULONNAIS arrived at Dover with General Gamelin and Amiral Darlan, the heads of the French Military and Naval Missions respectively. After conferences, FOUDROYANT left on the morning of 29 March with Amiral Darlan and his party, and BOULONNAIS that afternoon with General Gamelin and his party.

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Light cruisers CERES and COLOMBO departed Colombo for Australia, reached Fremantle on 12 April, and then Singapore on the 31st where both were held for convoy duty from that port.

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Tanker TROCAS (7406grt) was disabled off the Italian coast with a broken propeller shaft, and taken in tow by Australian destroyer STUART which was relieved later in the day by tug RESPOND. The tanker was safely taken to Malta.

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French armed trawler VICTORIA and submarines ESPADON and FRESNEL departed Casablanca on the 26th and arrived at Gibraltar. The trawler departed Gibraltar on the 29th to return to Casablanca. FRESNEL carried on escorted by destroyer SIMOUN, arrived at Gibraltar that day and reached Toulon on the 30th. Meanwhile, ESPADON remained at Gibraltar until 4 April for anti-submarine exercises.

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Minesweeper HUNTLEY arrived at Suez for duty with the Mediterranean Fleet, and remained until May when she was transferred to the East Indies Command.

 

 

Thursday, 28 March

 

Battlecruiser HOOD departed Scapa Flow at 1200, escorted by destroyers FORESTER, FOXHOUND, FORTUNE for the Clyde. Destroyer FORESIGHT departed Scapa Flow with the HOOD, but was storm damaged on the 28th with damage to her gun shield and forecastle, and had to return to Scapa Flow. On the 30th, she departed Scapa Flow for Grimsby where she was under repair until 1 May. En route on the 28th, FORTUNE made a submarine contact off North Minch in 58‑11N, 05‑43W, but the search was unsuccessful. The battlecruiser and her escorts arrived in the Clyde at 0700/29th. Destroyer KELVIN arrived in the Clyde at 1800/29th after completing repairs at Liverpool, and was ordered to escort HOOD to Devonport. The ships departed at 0340/30th for Devonport arriving at 1100/31st. However, defects delayed KELVIN and she did not leave until 1430 and then for Scapa Flow. After retubing, HOOD was to be deployed in the Mediterranean, but she was refitting until 27 May when she sailed for Liverpool for final repairs ending on 12 June 1940.

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Heavy cruiser DEVONSHIRE arrived in the Clyde.

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Light cruisers MANCHESTER and BIRMINGHAM arrived at Scapa Flow from Northern Patrol.

______

 

Destroyer FIREDRAKE going alongside destroyer ICARUS at Invergordon was damaged, with ICARUS receiving superficial damage. FIREDRAKE was seaworthy except in heavy seas. Submarine TRIBUNE departed Scapa Flow on the 28th and was joined off Switha Gate at 1400 by FIREDRAKE which departed Invergordon at 0900/27th, and escorted her to Greenock for repairs of further defects. Arriving on the 30th, the submarine's repairs were completed on 10 May. FIREDRAKE went on to Cardiff for repairs and refit.

______

 

Destroyer HASTY departed Scapa Flow at 2015 to pick up the crew of a Skua aircraft 14 miles 132 from Copinsay. They were picked up at 2200 and HASTY returned to Scapa Flow.

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Destroyer GRIFFIN arrived at Invergordon from Moray Firth Patrol.

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Destroyers IMPULSIVE, ICARUS, ESK departed Invergordon for the Humber, where they arrived on the 29th.

______

 

Destroyers NUBIAN, DIANA, FAME reported damage from heavy weather.

______

 

Destroyer IVANHOE departed Invergordon for conversion to minelayer at Chatham.

______

 

Submarine TRIAD arrived at Rosyth after patrol.

______

 

Submarine NARWHAL was undocked at Rosyth.

______

 

Convoy OG.24F was formed with 28 ships from convoys OA.118GF, which departed Southend on the 27th escorted by destroyers WAKEFUL and BROKE, and OB.118GF, which departed Liverpool 26 March with destroyer MACKAY and sloop FOLKESTONE. The convoy was escorted by destroyers VORTIGERN and WATCHMAN, from Portsmouth and Devonport, respectively, from 29 March to 4 April. On 2 April, destroyer WISHART joined the escort. The convoy arrived on 4 April at Gibraltar.

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Convoy FN.131 of 25 ships departed Southend escorted by sloop FLAMINGO and destroyer WALLACE. German aircraft attacked convoy FN.31 at 1950/29th in 54-25N, 00-23W. FLAMINGO was struck by machine gun fire but sustained no casualties or damage.

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Convoy MT.39 of 17 ships departed Methil escorted by the 23rd Anti-submarine Group and destroyers VEGA and WOOLSTON. On the convoy's arrival off the Tyne, the destroyers escorted convoy FS.132, departing later that day. WOOLSTON attacked a submarine contact on the 29th off Spurn Point in 53-48N, 1-30E, which was later assessed as non submarine.

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Destroyer BRAZEN conducted I.F.F. trials in the Firth of Forth.

______

 

Destroyer VALENTINE was completed as a fast escort vessel. Following working up at Portland, she joined Convoy C at Rosyth.

______

 

Destroyers HAVANT and WILD SWAN investigated a submarine contact in 50‑45N, 07W.

______

 

French torpedo boats LA CORDELIERE, BRANLEBAS, L'INCOMPRISE of the 11th Destroyer Division were bombed by German aircraft north of Ostend, but were not damaged.

______

 

Norwegian steamer BURGOS (3219grt), formerly from convoy HN.21, in convoy FS.31 was sunk by a German destroyer-laid mine in 53‑18N, 01‑09E. Sloop PELICAN rescued the entire crew.

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Trawler PRINCESS ROYAL (213grt) was damaged by German bombing 40 miles SSW of Bressay Light, Shetlands.

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Convoy HG.24 departed Gibraltar with 40 ships, with ocean escort provided by sloops SANDWICH and ENCHANTRESS from 28 March to 7 April. Destroyer WAKEFUL escorted the convoy from 4 to 7 April and destroyer VENETIA on 7 April. The convoy arrived at Liverpool on 7 April.

______

 

French submarines DORIS, THETIS, CALYPSO,and CIRCE departed Oran with convoy 17.R, escorted by auxiliary patrol vessel CYRNOS. The submarines passed Gibraltar on the 29th and proceeded to Brest for operations from England.

 

 

Friday, 29 March

 

Armed merchant cruiser FORFAR arrived in the Clyde after Northern Patrol.

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Armed merchant cruiser SCOTSTOUN departed the Clyde on Northern Patrol.

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Armed merchant cruiser TRANSYLVANIA on Northern Patrol in the Denmark Strait intercepted German merchant ship MIMI HORN (4007grt) which had departed Curacoa on 5/6 March with German steamers HANNOVER and SEATTLE. Steamer MIMI HORN scuttled herself in 65‑50N, 28‑30W,and 41 crew were picked up by the British ship.

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Destroyers AFRIDI (D.4), MOHAWK, SIKH departed Scapa Flow for Bergen at 1930 to pick up convoy HN.23 A. Destroyers GURKHA and ENCOUNTER were delayed, but were able to follow at 0200/30th.

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Destroyers INGLEFIELD (D.3), ILEX, DELIGHT, ISIS, IMOGEN, ENCOUNTER and submarine SPEARFISH were engaged in anti-submarine exercises from Scapa Flow.

______

 

Destroyer HAVOCK departed Scapa Flow at 1230 to reinforce destroyer GRIFFIN on Moray Firth patrol after an aircraft sighted a periscope in 58-00N, 2-30W at 0725. The search was unsuccessful and HAVOCK returned to Scapa Flow at 2000. GRIFFIN returned to Invergordon arriving at 1740 with a leak at her rudder head.

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Destroyers JANUS arrived at Scapa Flow.

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Destroyer KELVIN arrived at the Clyde from Liverpool.

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Submarine UNITY arrived at Rosyth, landed the survivors of the Dutch trawler PROTINUS and departed later in the day with submarine TRITON. Submarine TRITON proceeded on patrol and UNITY headed for Blyth, where she arrived on the 30th.

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Submarine L.23 departed Blyth for Southend, and on the 31st, left for Portsmouth.

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Polish submarine ORZEL was docked at Rosyth.

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Destroyer MALCOLM completed her refitting at Cardiff.

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Convoy TM.35 departed the Tyne escorted by sloops AUCKLAND and HASTINGS, destroyer BRAZEN, and anti-submarine trawlers of the 23rd Anti-submarine Group.

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Convoy FN.132 departed Southend escorted by sloop LOWESTOFT and destroyer VALOROUS. The convoy arrived in the Tyne on the 31st.

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Convoy SA.35 of two steamers departed Southampton, escorted by sloops FOXGLOVE and ROSEMARY. The convoy arrived at Brest on the 31st.

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Armed boarding vessel KINGSTON BERYL (356grt) attacked a submarine contact off Brough of Birsay in 59-15.5N, 3-18W.

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Steamer NORTHERN COAST (1211grt) was damaged by German bombing ten miles north, northeast of Kinnaird Head.

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U.30 rescued the crew of a downed German aircraft.

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Anti-aircraft cruiser CARLISLE arrived at Gibraltar after working up in the Mediterranean, and left on the 29th for duty in Home Waters.

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French battleship BRETAGNE and heavy cruiser ALGERIE departed Halifax escorting French merchant ships LOUIS L.D. (5795grt) and WISCONSIN (8062grt). The merchant ships were carrying aircraft to France. French destroyers VAUTOUR, ALBATROS, AIGLE departed Oran on 1 April to escort the French ships, and destroyers VERDUN and VALMY came from Brest. The five destroyers departed Casablanca on 4 April and joined on 6 April. Destroyers LA PALME, LE MARS, FORBIN departed Casablanca on 5 April and joined on 7 April. The steamers and VAUTOUR, VERDUN, VALMY, ALBATROS proceeded to Casablanca. The steamers subsequently proceeded to Brest departing in convoys 90 KF on 20 April and 89 KF on 17 April, respectively. The battleship, heavy cruiser and destroyer AIGLE departed Oran on 9 April and arrived at Toulon on 10 April.

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French destroyer ORAGE was damaged in a collision with tug TABARCA at Sidi Abdallah, but repaired and returned to service on 8 April.

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Convoy HX.31 departed Halifax at 0800 escorted by Canadian destroyers OTTAWA and ST LAURENT, which were detached on the 30th. The two destroyers arrived back at Halifax at 1135/30th. The ocean escort for the convoy was armed merchant cruiser ALAUNIA, which detached on 9 April. Destroyer WARWICK and sloop FOKESTONE joined the convoy on 9 April and destroyers CAMPBELL and VESPER on 10 April. VESPER and WARWICK were detached on 11 April, FOLKESTONE on 12 April, and CAMPBELL on 13 April, when the convoy arrived at Liverpool.

 

Saturday, 30 March

 

Light cruiser NEWCASTLE, which arrived on the 26th, began a refit and repairs in the Tyne lasting until 29 May 1940. She left on 3 June to rejoin the Home Fleet.

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Destroyers NUBIAN, FAME, FORESIGHT departed Scapa Flow at 1745 for repairs - NUBIAN to repair her asdic gear in the Tyne, arriving on the 31st, FAME to repair her asdic gear at Grimsby, and FORESIGHT for refitting at Grimsby, her repairs continuing until 1 May.

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Destroyers HOTSPUR, HERO, HYPERION, HUNTER, HOSTILE, HASTY, JUPITER and submarine CLYDE were engaged in anti-submarine exercises from Scapa Flow.

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Destroyer GRIFFIN departed Invergordon for Moray Firth Patrol.

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Destroyer KELVIN departed the Clyde for Scapa Flow.

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Destroyer BRAZEN arrived at Rosyth.

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Submarine NARWHAL departed Rosyth for a dummy minelay and then proceeded to Blyth.

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Submarine SPEARFISH departed Blyth, unescorted, for Scapa Flow.

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Convoy HN.23 A of one British, twelve Norwegian, seven Swedish, six Danish, eight Finnish, one Latvian, four Estonian ships departed Bergen escorted by destroyers GURKHA, AFRIDI, SIKH. Antiaircraft cruiser CALCUTTA accompanied the convoy for anti-aircraft protection. Destroyer COSSACK departed Scapa Flow on the 31st at 0540 to join the convoy escort. En route, she stood by the disabled trawler SOPHOS (217grt) from 1130 to 1415 until another trawler arrived to take her in tow. At 0021/2 April, U.38 attacked the convoy, but was driven off by COSSACK. Destroyers ENCOUNTER and MOHAWK escorted 14 ships of the west coast section of the convoy. ENCOUNTER arrived at Scapa Flow at 0420 on 3 April and MOHAWK was detached in the evening of 2 April for an anti-submarine hunt. The 26 ships of convoy arrived at Methil at 0900 on 3 April, escorted by AFRIDI, SIKH, GURKHA, COSSACK, after being divided in heavy weather.

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Convoy MT.40 departed Methil escorted by the 19th Anti-submarine Group and destroyer WOLSEY. The convoy arrived in the Tyne later that day.

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Convoy FN.133 of twenty nine ships departed Southend escorted by sloop PELICAN and destroyer VIVIEN. The convoy arrived in the Tyne on 1 April.

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Convoy FS.133 departed the Tyne escorted by destroyers WHITLEY and WESTMINSTER. The convoy arrived at Southend on 1 April.

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Sloop ROSEMARY on convoy escort attacked a submarine contact in 49-28.5N, 3-58W. The contact was later determined to be non submarine and she rejoined the convoy.

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Minesweeper SUTTON of the 4th Minesweeping Flotilla from Grimsby was mined and badly damaged off Cromer Knoll. She was able to return to Immingham, and was repaired at Grimsby, completing on 21 May.

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Convoy BC.32S of steamers BARON KINNAIRD, DAVID LIVINGSTONE, JOHN HOLT (Commodore), PIZARRO departed Bristol Channel escorted by destroyer VIVACIOUS. The convoy arrived at Loire on 1 April.

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French destroyers LA PALME and FORBIN, having arrived that day on respective escort duties, departed Gibraltar westwards.

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Convoy SL.26 departed Freetown escorted by armed merchant cruisers DUNVEGAN CASTLE and RANPURA until 12 April. On 12 April, sloop LEITH joined the convoy and destroyer VANSITTART joined on 13 April. The convoy arrived on 15 April.

 

 

Sunday, 31 March

 

Destroyer HASTY departed Scapa Flow at 0100 with tanker WAR BHARATA (5604grt). Destroyer HOSTILE was detailed to escort the tanker also, but fouled the buoys of the new torpedo baffle inside Switha Gate. Destroyer FEARLESS replaced HOSTILE and departed Scapa Flow at 0400 to join. HASTY, FEARLESS and WAR BHARATA arrived at Sullom Voe at 2205. HASTY was damaged in berthing with WAR BHARATA in a gale. On 2 April, after emergency repairs, HASTY departed Sullom Voe at 1600 with WAR BHARATA, arriving at Scapa Flow on 3 April at 1330. On 3 April at 2015, HASTY departed Scapa Flow for Dundee arriving on 4 April at 0800 for repairs lasting until the third week of April.

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Light cruiser BIRMINGHAM and destroyer FEARLESS departed Scapa Flow on Operation DV to capture German fishing vessels off the Norwegian coast and to cover British forces laying mines in early April. Destroyer HOSTILE departed Scapa Flow later in the day at 1350 as a replacement for destroyer HASTY. HOSTILE refuelled at Sullom Voe and joined BIRMINGHAM and FEARLESS 12 miles 310 from Muckle Flugga at noon on 1 April.

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Destroyer JUPITER departed Scapa Flow at 0700 to reinforce destroyer GRIFFIN on Moray Firth Patrol. The two destroyers were to rendezvous at 1400 in 58-45N, 0-00E.

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Armed merchant cruiser CALIFORNIA arrived in the Clyde after Northern Patrol.

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Armed merchant cruiser WORCESTERSHIRE departed the Clyde on Northern Patrol.

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Convoy ON.24 with one British, thirteen Norwegian, one Swedish, five Danish, one Finnish ships departed Methil at 1200 escorted by destroyers FAULKNOR (D.8), TARTAR, ZULU, ESCAPADE. British steamer CREE (4791grt) with engine trouble had to put back. The convoy was held up in heavy weather and was joined off Kirkwall on 2 April by destroyers SOMALI (D.6), MATABELE and MASHONA. Three merchant ships from Kirkwall joined the convoy. When the two groups met at 0900 on 2 April, FAULKNOR, ZULU, ESCAPADE proceeded to Scapa Flow. Anti-aircraft cruiser CAIRO from Sullom Voe provided anti-aircraft protection. The convoy was unsuccessfully attacked by German bombers which dropped four bombs during the afternoon on 2 April. At 1140 on 3 April, the convoy was attacked by six German bombers, again with no damage. Convoy ON.24 arrived safely at Bergen on 4 April.

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Convoy HN.23 B departed Bergen escorted by destroyers JAVELIN, JUNO, ECLIPSE. Twenty two of the original 37 ships returned to Bergen. Only 12 ultimately sailed. These escort was joined by destroyers ESKIMO, PUNJABI, BEDOUIN after they escorted convoy ON.23 to Bergen. On 1 April, light cruisers GALATEA and ARETHUSA were relieved as close support by light cruisers SHEFFIELD and PENELOPE, which departed Rosyth on 1 April. Anti-aircraft cruiser CALCUTTA maintained herself in a position to cover both convoys HN.23A and B. HN.23 B with 34 ships, escorted by BEDOUIN, ESKIMO, PUNJABI, arrived at Methil on 4 April at 1300. SHEFFIELD and PENELOPE reached Scapa Flow on 5 April.

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Destroyers FORTUNE, FORESTER, FOXHOUND departed Plymouth at 1400 after escorting battlecruiser HOOD. They were soon recalled and arrived back at Plymouth at 1955.

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Destroyers KASHMIR and DIANA departed Scapa Flow at 2345 escorting steamer DEVON CITY (4928grt) to Rosyth.

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Submarines STERLET and SEAWOLF arrived at Harwich after patrol.

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Submarine NARWHAL arrested trawler POLAR PRINCE (194grt) fishing in the East Coast mine barrage and escorted her to Methil.

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French submarine SYBILLE of the 10th Submarine Flotilla departed Harwich on patrol. After a brief patrol off Terschelling in the North Sea, she arrived back at Harwich on 5 April to refuel prior to the start of the Norwegian campaign.

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Destroyer BOADICEA carried the British Chief of the Imperial General Staff (CIGS) to Boulogne. The CIGS returned on 3 April on destroyer BEAGLE.

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Convoy OA.120G departed Southend escorted by destroyers CAMPBELL and WOLVERINE. Submarine L.23 departed Southend for Portsmouth in this convoy, and arrived on 2 April. Convoy OB.120G departed Liverpool, escorted by destroyers MONTROSE and WAKEFUL and from Milford Haven on 1 April, by French destroyer VERDUN and anti-submarine trawler LEEDS UNITED to 3 April. WAKEFUL was detached on 3 April to escort convoy HG.24.,and MONTROSE on 4 April. The convoys merged to form convoy OG.24 on 3 April.

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Convoy FN.134 of 25 ships departed Southend escorted by destroyers VEGA and WOOLSTON. The convoy arrived in the Tyne on 2 April.

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Convoy MT.41 of 27 ships departed Methil escorted by sloop LONDONDERRY, destroyer VIMIERA, anti-submarine trawlers of the 1st Anti-submarine Group. On the convoy's arrival off the Tyne, the destroyer and sloop took over convoy FS.134, which departed later that day. The convoy arrived at Southend on 2 April.

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Armed yacht RHODORA (709grt) made an attack on a submarine contact off Bull Point in 51-20N, 4-05W.

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French destroyers FOUDROYANT, BRESTOIS, BOULONNAIS arrived at Cherbourg from the Dunkirk-Boulogne area for operations off Norway.

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Aircraft carriers ARK ROYAL and GLORIOUS with destroyers BULLDOG, WESTCOTT, VOYAGER departed Malta for Alexandria where they arrived on 4 April.

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Australian light cruiser PERTH was refitting at Sydney from 31 March to 15 April.

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After a submarine report from a French steamer, destroyer ACTIVE and a flying boat were sent to investigate. ACTIVE, joined by destroyers DOUGLAS and WRESTLER, sweeping 50 WSW of Cape Trafalgar in 36‑01N, 07‑02W made a contact at 1828, but the attacks were unsuccessful. French destroyer MISTRAL, three French trawlers, and aircraft also searched for the contact, which was later determined to be non submarine and the search was abandoned at 1908.

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German armed merchant cruiser ATLANTIS departed Kiel to raid in the South Atlantic. She was escorted by torpedo boats LEOPARD and WOLF in the Skagerrak and by U.37 as far as the Denmark Strait.

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U.43 on patrol lost a crewman overboard in heavy weather.

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German submarines for the WESERUBUNG operation began to depart German ports. By 6 April, the entire HARTMUTH force (the submarine deployment of the WESERUBUNG operation) was at sea.

 

 

March, miscellaneous

 

British destroyers continued their patrol off Cadiz and Huelva to watch German merchant ships anchored there:

3 and 4 March WISHART

12 March ACTIVE

14 and 15 March DOUGLAS

19 March WISHART

20 March BULLDOG

 28 March WRESTLER

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French submarines AJAX and ARCHIMEDE of the 6th Submarine Division and SIDI FERRUCH and BEVEZIERS of the 8th Submarine Division arrived at Halifax in mid-March for duty protecting allied convoys in the same capacity as the French and British submarines had performed in December 1939.

 

Submarines SIDI FERRUCH and BEVEZIERS departed the Antilles on 28 February. Submarines AJAX and ARCHIMEDE left from Brest.

 

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