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

NAVAL EVENTS, APRIL 1940 (Part 4 of 4)
Monday 22nd Tuesday 30th

Partly edited by Gordon Smith, Naval-History.Net

HMAS Australia, heavy cruiser, c1932 (Navy Photos/Bruce Constable, click to enlarge)

on to Naval Events, MAY 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 - April-May 1940

Invasion of Norway, Battles of Narvik, Blitzkrieg on Western Europe, Dunkirk evacuation starts


  

 

1940

 

 

Monday, 22 April

 

Light cruisers GALATEA, SHEFFIELD, GLASGOW with destroyers ICARUS, IVANHOE, IMPULSIVE, VANSITTART, WITCH and CAMPBELL embarked 2200 troops of the 15th Brigade, stores and three trucks at Rosyth on the 21st. They departed  on the 22nd and arrived at Aandalsnes and Molde on the 23rd. SHEFFIELD, VANSITTART and CAMPBELL went to Molde and the rest  to Aandalsnes. The troops and equipment were disembarked from all ships beginning at 2100 and the British force got away before dawn on the 24th. GALATEA had embarked some 200 cases of gold at Aandalsnes for transshipment to England. She proceeded to Rosyth, and destroyers IVANHOE, ICARUS and IMPULSIVE to Immingham, with the rest of the force proceeding to Scapa Flow.

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Steamer ST MAGNUS (1312grt) of convoy AP.1, escorted by destroyers JACKAL and JAVELIN, arriving in Moldefjord was attacked by German bombers. JACKAL's main radio antenna was damaged by bomb splinters, and she was detached to escort damaged sloop PELICAN. Norwegian steamer SIGURD JARL (924grt) was set afire in the bombing.

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Destroyer SOMALI  sighted an object on the surface at 0240 which changed position before it could be attacked in 64‑22N, 8‑32E, but SOMALI and sister ship TARTAR attacked the contact. TARTAR attacked another submarine contact at 1210 in 63‑43N, 07‑49E. U.29 escaped with only light damage.

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Sloop PELICAN, en route with a Naval Base Party (under the Command of Captain C H Champness) for Molde, was attacked by two German Ju.87 bombers at 1350 in Romdalsfjord in 62‑49N, 4‑20E . She was badly damaged after a bomb hit caused the detonation of her depth charges. Lt Cdr H R Thompson of the sloop, Cdr A A F MacLeish (ret), Lt Cdr H N C  Webber, Paymaster Lt E F Burkitt and Boatswain H Howell of the Base Party, and forty seven ratings from both units were killed, and Lt A A F Talbot of the Base Party wounded. The uninjured members of the Base Party were put aboard steamer ST SUNNIVA, which escorted by destroyer SOMALI proceeded to Molde for fuel. The wounded were put aboard destroyer JACKAL and sloop FLEETWOOD. Steamer ST MAGNUS was coaling at Aalesund, while destroyer JAVELIN was standing by. JAVELIN was then attacked by four German Ju bombers in Heisse Fjord but was undamaged.

 

JACKAL and ST SUNNIVA departed the fjord at 0500/23rd for Kirkwall, while PELICAN was towed by FLEETWOOD and escorted to Lerwick by JACKAL,  SOMALI and sister ship TARTAR joining them at 1930/22nd. Tug ST MELLONS came out from Lerwick and tug BRIGAND was detached from destroyer HOTSPUR's convoy. While screening PELICAN, JACKAL attacked a submarine contact at 2307/22nd in 62‑44N, 03‑48E. She also attacked a contact at 1524/23rd. SOMALI (D.6) arrived at Scapa Flow at 0600/24th, and PELICAN, in tow of ST MELLONS at Lerwick at 1000/24th.

JACKAL and TARTAR proceeded from Lerwick and arrived at Scapa Flow at 1500. On 2 May at 1020, PELICAN left Lerwick in tow of BRIGAND and escorted by destroyer WANDERER to Rosyth. They were diverted en route to Sheerness and  arrived in the Nore at 2200 on 5 May. PELICAN was taken to Chatham for repairs lasting until 3 December 1940.

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A Swordfish from 818 Squadron from aircraft carrier FURIOUS was shot down north of Narvik by German flak, Lt C R D Messenger died of wounds and Leading Airman T G Cutler was killed. The pilot S/Lt (A) R C Roberts was wounded, but  rescued by light cruiser AURORA.

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Anti-submarine whaler BUTTERMERE (560grt) ran aground at Narvik, and requested relief to permit repairs to be done.

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Aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL (Vice Admiral Aircraft Carriers) departed Greenock at 0700 escorted by destroyers SIKH, MASHONA and JUNO. They arrived at Scapa Flow at 0800/23rd.

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Battleship RESOLUTION with destroyers BASILISK, WREN and HESPERUS departed Greenock at 1200 for the Narvik area. On the 25th in 66‑34N, 07‑34E, they met southbound battleship WARSPITE with destroyers HAVOCK, HOSTILE, HERO and FOXHOUND returning to Scapa Flow.   RESOLUTION and her destroyers arrived at Bygden at 1615/26th.

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Battlecruiser REPULSE and destroyers HAVELOCK, HAVANT and FAME arrived at Scapa Flow.

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Destroyers KIMBERLEY and GRIFFIN departed Scapa Flow at 0740 for Rosyth to escort  steamer RUTLAND (1437grt) to Namsos.

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Destroyer MAORI with cargo ship BLACKHEATH (4637grt) was diverted from Namsos to Skelfjord  on the 22nd, but was redirected back to Namsos. They arrived there, but at 2028 were ordered to stand off  and arrive at dusk on the 23rd. They went back out to sea and returned the next night. Destroyer FORTUNE departed Scapa Flow at 2359/22nd to join MAORI for escort duties. During the night of the 23rd/24th, from 2330 to 0230, BLACKHEATH's cargo of trucks and a small quantity of ammunition and fuel were unloaded. French destroyer BISON  ran aground at Namsos and was towed off by  MAORI. Destroyer FORTUNE was detached at 1800/24th for Narvik, and BLACKHEATH returned to Namsos at 2130/24th to complete unloading during the night of the 24th/25th. A limited amount of motor transport and all the petrol, ammunition and  rations were unloaded. At daylight on the 25th,  BLACKHEATH proceeded to Scapa Flow, arriving there at 1500/27th with MAORI.

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Destroyer VANSITTART, screening the 2nd Cruiser Squadron, attacked at 2120 a submarine contact closing to attack the cruisers in 59‑52N, 00‑10W.

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Sloop BLACK SWAN attacked a submarine contact at 2150 in 60‑12N, 00‑31W.

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Convoy DS.1 departed Bristol Channel for the Clyde as part of the HAMMER operation. The steamers in this convoy were JOHN HOLT (3815grt), THISTLEFORD (4764grt), PIZZARO (1367grt) and CISNEROS (1886grt).

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French submarine SFAX fired two torpedoes at German steamers PALIME (2863grt) or PELIKAN (3264grt) on their way to Stavanger in 58-15N, 06-00E, which missed.

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German aircraft laid mines in the Downs and off Harwich, which sank two ships for 2607 tons. On the 22nd, Norwegian steamer BRAVORE (1458grt)  one mile south of Gull Buoy; fourteen crew members and four French Naval ratings were lost, and there were six survivors. On the 24th, British steamer STOKESLEY (1149grt)  in 51‑32N, 01‑16E with the lose of fifteen crew.

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Midshipman (A) J.O. Burr was killed when his Skua of 759 Squadron crashed on take off at Eastleigh.

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Convoy OA.134 departed Southend escorted by destroyer WHITEHALL.

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Convoy OB.134 departed Liverpool escorted by sloop ROCHESTER from the 21st to 25th, and dispersed on the 26th.

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Convoy OG.27F was formed from convoy OB.133GF from Liverpool and Bristol, escorted by sloops LEITH and FOWEY on the 20th, convoy OA.133GF, which departed Southend on the 20th escorted by sloops SCARBOROUGH and BIDEFORD, with sixty ships. The convoy was escorted by sloops SCARBOROUGH and LEITH from 22 to 24 April. The sloops were then detached to convoy HG.27 F.Sloop BIDEFORD escorted the convoy from 22 to 28 April. The convoy arrived at Gibraltar on the 28th.

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Convoy FN.152 departed Southend, escorted by destroyer WOOLSTON, sloop HASTINGS, armed patrol yacht BREDA. The convoy arrived at Rosyth on the 24th.

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Convoy MT.57 (convoys leaving Methil on both 21 and 22 April bore designation MT.57) departed Methil, escorted by destroyer WHITLEY and sloop LONDONDERRY. The convoy arrived in the Tyne later that day.

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Convoy FS.153 departed the Tyne, escorted by destroyer WHITLEY and sloop LONDONDERRY. The convoy had to anchor in the Tees, owing that no ship was allow south of that point a channel could be swept in the German minefield laid by aircraft the night before. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 24th.

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Patrol sloop PINTAIL intercepted Dutch skoot WOCANA inside the mine barrier east of Yarmouth. A collision occurred between the two ships. The sloop was slightly damaged and the skoot sank.

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Operation "SHELLFISH" was implemented by the Nore Command. The operation was to intercept U-boats or surface craft using the telegraphic cable as an aid to navigation. The operation began on the 22nd and was conducted on subsequent nights. One patrol sloop was stationed between 52-37.5N, 2-5.25E and 52-39.25N, 2-32.5E. A second patrol sloop was station between Haisborough Light Vessel and 10 miles 285 from the Light Vessel. Anti submarine yacht MOLLUSC with one MTB.in tow and a second MTB.operated in the vicinity of Haisborough Light.

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Minesweeper HALCYON completed boiler cleaning at Dover.

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French anti-submarine trawlers L'ORIENTAISE, LA NANTAISE, LA CANCALAISE arrived at Dover for training prior to taking over part of the Dover Strait patrol.

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From 22 to 27 April, light cruiser CERES was refitting at Singapore.

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Light cruiser ORION arrived at Gibraltar for duty with the Mediterranean Fleet after having departed Trinidad on the 14th.

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French submarine LE CONQUERANT departed Casablanca on the 21st, escorted by destroyer TORNADE.Both ships arrived Oran 23 April.

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Light cruiser DUNEDIN departed Kingston on patrol.

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Convoy HX.37 departed Halifax at 0700 escorted by Canadian destroyers RESTIGOUCHE and ST LAURENT, which were detached on the 23rd.. At 1800/23rd, the destroyers turned the convoy over to the ocean escort Armed merchant cruiser ALAUNIA, which was detached on 6 May. Destroyer VIVACIOUS and sloop LEITH joined the convoy on 4 May and escorted it until its arrival at Liverpool on 7 May.

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Dutch fishing vessel BEP (151grt) was sunk by a German S-boat off Terschelling. The crew of the fishing vessel was rescued.

 

 

Tuesday, 23 April

 

French light cruiser MONTCALM and destroyers VAUTOUR and ALBATROS, which departed Brest on the 22nd, arrived at the Clyde to relieve damaged light cruiser EMILE BERTIN.

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Destroyers KIMBERLEY and GRIFFIN departed Scapa Flow for Rosyth at 0740/22nd to escort Bsteamer RUTLAND (1437grt) to Namsos. Danish steamer GUNVOR MAERSKE (1977grt), carrying the British 166th Anti-Aircraft Battery, escorted by destroyers KIMBERLEY, BRAZEN, WOLVERINE departed Leith at 1945 for Namsos where they arrived on the 27th.

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12th Anti-Submarine Group of trawlers STELLA CAPELLA, CAPE ARGONA, CAPE CHELUYSKIN, BLACKFLY arrived at Namsos escorting  petrol carrier RONAN (1489grt). The Anti-Submarine Group then proceeded to Skelfjord. On 26 April, the Group departed for Molde.Trawler BLACKFLY was damaged in a collision on the 26th in Skelfjord and remained behind. The group arrived on 27 May at Molde. The group remained at Molde until the 30 April/1 May evacuation.

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At the insistence of Vice Admiral Sir Max Horton, destroyers JAVELIN (SO), TARTAR, BLYSKAWICA, GROM, supported by air cover at dawn,were to sweep for German anti-submarine trawlers during the night of 17/18 April in the Western Skagerrak. This operation was postponed for twenty four hours at 0023/17th, then on 0034/18th cancelled due to the heavy threat of air attack. Finally, on the 23rd French large destroyers conducted this operation. French large destroyers INDOMPTABLE (Capitaine de Vaisseau E.G.M. Barthes), MALIN (Capitaine de Fregate E.J.H.L. De Prez) and TRIOMPHANT (Capitaine de Fregate M.M.P.L. Pothuau) of the 8th Large Destroyer Division, which had departed Cherbourg on the 19th for Rosyth, departed Rosyth on Operation RAKE. Cdr C.A.N. Chatwin was aboard INDOMPTABLE as a liaison officer. They operated in the Skagerrak to the longitude of Hamburg, 10 East.Returning on the 24th, the French destroyers engaged German auxiliary patrol boats Vp.702 (trawler MEMEL: 444grt) and Vp.709 (trawler GUIDO MOHRING: 289grt) of the 7th Patrol Boat Flotilla and motor torpedo boats S.10 and S.12.After an indecisive action, the engagement was broken off. This early morning engagement was the only surface contact of the operation. The French destroyers attacked U.26, which was able to escape and arrived in Germany on the 25th. U.56, returning to Germany, sighted the French ships south of Skudesnes at 1600/24th. The French ships were then bombed in the North Sea. TRIOMPHANT was near missed and sustained damage to her port propeller shaft bracket. All three French ships arrived back at Rosyth late on the 24th.

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Destroyer VANOC departed Scapa Flow at 0025 with tanker WAR NIZAM for Sullom Voe. The destroyer was to wait and escort the tanker back to Scapa Flow after the oil was discharged.

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After U-boat reports at 0635 and 0745 in 60‑20N to 60-50N, 4W to 6W, destroyers HAVELOCK and HAVANT departed Scapa Flow at 1100 for anti-submarine patrol.

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At 1830, submarine TETRARCH fired two torpedoes at German steamer WOLFRAM (3648grt) escorted by three small escort ships in the Skagerrak in 58-21N, 11-02E. The submarine did not hit the merchant ship and was badly damaged in the counterattack by old torpedo boat T.155. At 2222, submarine TETRARCH fired two torpedoes at the 5th UJ Group. Auxiliary submarine chaser U-Jager-B (trawler TREFF V: 330grt) was sunk with only three survivors in 58-21N, 10-24E. U-Jager-A (trawler TREFF IV: 330grt) was also in the group. Submarine TETRARCH returned to Rosyth for repairs which were promptly carried out.

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Submarine TRIAD arrived at Rosyth after patrol.

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Aircraft carriers ARK ROYAL (Vice Admiral L. V. Wells) and GLORIOUS departed Scapa Flow at 1230 on Operation DX with heavy cruiser BERWICK, anti-aircraft cruiser CURLEW, destroyers FEARLESS, FURY, HASTY, HEREWARD, HYPERION, JUNO. Aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL carried nine Skuas and two Rocs of the 800 Squadron, nine Skuas and two Rocs of the 801 Squadron, twelve Swordfish of the 810 Squadron, nine Swordfish of the 820 Squadron. Aircraft carier GLORIOUS carried nine Gladiators of the 802 Squadron, eleven Skuas of the 803 Squadron, nine Gladiators of the 804 Squadron.GLORIOUS also carried the RAF 263 Squadron. That evening, aircraft carrier GLORIOUS flew eighteen Gladiator aircraft of the 263 Squadron to an airfield at Lake Lesjaskog. These planes were intended for the air defense of Aandalsnes and Molde, but were destroyed by German bombing on the 25th. On 24 April, six Skuas of 800 and 801 Squadrons from ARK ROYAL and six Skuas of 803 Squadron from GLORIOUS flew missions over Aandalsnes. All aircraft returned safely to the aircraft carrier, but two Skuas crashed landed near the carrier, Lt C.P. Campbell-Horsdall and Petty Officer A.E. Suggitt and Midshipman C. Treen and Naval Airman A.E.T. Goble were rescued by destroyers. The British force positioned itself midway between Namsos and Trondheim. At 0300/25th, aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL launched six Swordfish of the 820 Squadron, eight Swordfish of the 810 Squadron, seven Skuas of the 801 Squadron, two Skuas of the 800 Squadron. Aircraft carrier GLORIOUS launched eleven Skuas of the 803 Squadron. These aircraft were to attack the Vaernes airfield and other military targets at Trondheim. Aircraft carrier GLORIOUS lost four Skuas of 803 Squadron in the raid, but all the aircrews (Lt G.R. Callingham and Naval Airman D.A. Prime; Lt A.B.F. Fraser-Harris and Leading Airman G.S. Russell; Lt H.E.R. Torin DSC, Midshipman T.A. McKee; and L/Lt I.H. Easton and Naval Airman A.J. Hayman) were rescued. The crews returned to England in a Sunderland aircraft. Aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL lost one Swordfish from the 820 Squadron and three Swordfish from the 810 Squadron, Lt A.A. Pardoe and Petty Officer L.M. Lloyd of the 810 Squadron were lost; Captain W.H.N. Martin RM, Lt J.A. Crawford, Leading Airman H.G. Edwards were picked up by destroyer MAORI; Lt N.R. Corbet-Milward and Petty Officer J. Black were picked up by a destroyer; Captain A.C. Newsom RM, Lt Cdr G.B. Hodgkinson, Leading Airman R.H. McColl were picked up by a destroyer. At 0725/26th, the destroyer screen was sent to Sullom Voe for refuelling. These destroyers were relieved at 0700/26th by destroyers GRENADE, BEAGLE, FORTUNE, VOLUNTEER, ENCOUNTER, ESCORT, which sailed from the Narvik area at 1630. The original screen arrived at Sullom Voe at 2130 at 26 April. They departed to rejoin at 0400/27th. On 26 April, a Skua of 803 Squadron was shot down, Lt C.H. Filmer was rescued, but Petty Officer K.G. Baldwin was killed. Lt Cdr H.P. Bramwell with Lt J.W. Collett in a Skua of 801 Squadron was shot down on the 26th. The plane force landed near a snow drift and both crew were unhurt. On 27 April, two Skuas from ARK ROYAL were shot down by German aircraft, Lt (A) W.C.A. Church and Acting S/Lt (A) D.G. Willis of the 803 Squadron were lost. The other aircrew was rescued. At 2100/27th, aircraft carrier GLORIOUS was sent to Scapa Flow escorted by destroyers GRENADE, HASTY, FURY, ESCORT, ENCOUNTER, FORTUNE. They arrived at 1800/28th. The raid was repeated on the 28th when ARK ROYAL, escorted by heavy cruiser BERWICK, light cruiser SHEFFIELD, destroyers HYPERION, HEREWARD, FEARLESS, JUNO, launched twelve Swordfish and seven Skuas to attack Trondheim area targets. One Skua of 800 Squadron was shot down.Midshipman (A) L.H. Gallagher and Naval Airman G.W. Halifax were rescued and returned to Hatston by air.

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A British force under Captain L. H. K. Hamilton, commanding officer of AURORA, was formed at Harstad with light cruisers AURORA and ENTERPRISE and destroyers FAULKNOR, CODRINGTON, ARDENT, ELECTRA, ESCAPADE, ACASTA, ZULU, BEDOUIN, one Polish destroyer assigned the duty of maintaining close British control of the waters around Narvik.

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Destroyers FORTUNE and WALKER departed Scapa Flow at 1215 for Sullom Voe to escort flying boat depot ship MANELA to the Clyde.

 

After delivering the depot ship, destroyer WALKER continued on to Liverpool.

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Destroyer JAVELIN escorting steamer ST MAGNUS (1312grt), which was carrying the survivors from sunken steamer CEDARBANK, arrived at Kirkwall from Aalesund at 2230/23rd. Destroyer JAVELIN went on to Scapa Flow arriving at 0315/24th.

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Steamer ROMANSBY (4887grt), alongside the jetty at Narvik, was destroyed when the jetty was blown up. The steamer's crew of thirty eight were interned in Sweden.

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Destroyer BRILLIANT completed boiler cleaning at Dover and proceeded to patrol stations OC 1 and OC 2 to relieve destroyer BOADICEA which had developed a defect. Destroyer BOADICEA's defect was corrected in twenty four hours and returned to service.

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Destroyer VANESSA and minesweeper HUSSAR entered the submarine basin to boiler clean. Destroyer VANESSA completed boiler cleaning on the 26th.

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Convoy BC.35 seven steamers, including steamers BARON KINNAIRD and DAVID LIVINGSTONE (Commodore) departed Bristol Channel escorted by destroyer MONTROSE. The convoy arrived at Loire on the 24th.

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Convoy SA.38 of one steamer arrived at St Malo from Southampton.

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Convoy FN.153 departed Southend, escorted destroyer VALOROUS and sloop WESTON. Destroyers WHITLEY and WINCHESTER supported the convoy then joined FN.155. The convoy arrived at the Tyne on the 25th.

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Norwegian steamer SIGURD JARL (924grt) sank at Moldefjord after having been hit and set afire by German bombing on the 22nd.

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German steamer SAYN (2321grt) was sunk on a mine in Hubert Bay near Borkum.

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Light cruiser NEPTUNE and destroyers DECOY and DEFENDER arrived at Gibraltar for duty with the Mediterranean Fleet after having departed Freetown on the 18th.

Destroyer DECOY sailed for Malta, but was recalled to escort repair ship RESOURCE.

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Battleship ROYAL SOVEREIGN, which was met at sea by destroyers KEPPEL and WATCHMAN,arrived at Gibraltar for duty in the Mediterranean Fleet.

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Light cruiser DRAGON departed Malta.

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French armed merchant cruiser KOUTOBIA departed Algiers escorting four liners to Brest.

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Convoy SL.29 departed Freetown escorted by armed merchant cruiser PRETORIA CASTLE until 7 May.

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Light cruiser DANAE arrived at Penang.  

 

 

Wednesday, 24 April

 

Submarine TRUANT departed Rosyth for Operation KNIFE in the Sognefjord area. Operation KNIFE was to supply arms and ammunition to the Norwegian forces in Sognefjord. On 25 April, off the Norwegian coast, a mine exploded close ahead and TRUANT was forced to return badly damaged to Rosyth for repairs. Submarine CLYDE, which had departed Blyth on patrol on the 24th, was recalled to replace submarine TRUANT. Submarine CLYDE arrived at Rosyth on the 26th and departed Rosyth on the Operation on the 27th.

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Submarine CLYDE departed Blyth on patrol.

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Submarine SEVERN departed Rosyth for Dundee where she arrived later that day.

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Submarine NARWHAL departed Blyth for Immingham to embark mines.

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French submarines PASTEUR, THETIS, CALYPSO departed Harwich. The first with defects and returning to Cherbourg and the second two on patrol.

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French submarine ORPHEE arrived at Harwich after patrol. Submarine ORPHEE had defects which required repair before patrol could be resumed. The defects were found to be serious and the submarine was sent with submarine PASTEUR back to Cherbourg for repairs.

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S/Lt S. Lyver was killed when his Swordfish of the Gosport Torpedo Training Unit hit the sea on a practice torpedo run on auxiliary minesweeper ROYAL DAFFODIL northwest of Troon.

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Lt V.C. Marryat RM, was killed when his Gladiator of 759 Squadron crashed southwest of Wilton.

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Trawler LEONARD (217grt) was sunk by German bombing in the North Sea.

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Battleship WARSPITE, light cruisers EFFINGHAM, ENTERPRISE, AURORA, destroyer ZULU, screened by destroyers ENCOUNTER, ESCORT, FAULKNOR, FOXHOUND, HAVOCK, HERO, HOSTILE and Polish destroyers BLYSKAWICA and GROM bombarded Narvik. Light cruiser EFFINGHAM sank captured British steamer RIVERTON (5378grt) moored along an outlying pier. The  steamer's crew of thirty three were interned in Sweden. British troops were embarked on repair ship VINDICTIVE at Bogen to be landed at Narvik should the Germans be induced to surrender. However, the Germans made no such overtures and these troops were disembarked after the operation and returned to Harstad. Low visibility prevented an assessment of the bombardment. Destroyers FAULKNOR and ENCOUNTER were left off Narvik to patrol the area. The destroyers were joined later that day by anti-submarine trawler NORTHERN SPRAY (655grt) and the next day by light cruiser ENTERPRISE and Polish destroyer BLYSKAWICA. After this bombardment, battleship WARSPITE with destroyers HAVOCK, HOSTILE, HERO, FOXHOUND left the Narvik area for Scapa Flow in preparation for WARSPITE's return to the Mediterranean. Battleship WARSPITE arrived at Scapa Flow at 1615/26th, WARSPITE departed for the Clyde on the 27th at 1100. Battleship WARSPITE arrived in the Clyde escorted by destroyers INGLEFIELD, HERO, FOXHOUND at 1100/28th.

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Heavy cruiser YORK, light cruisers MANCHESTER and BIRMINGHAM, destroyers ACHERON, ARROW, GRIFFIN departed Rosyth at 0700 with 1600 troops, the rest of the 15th Brigade. At dusk on the 24th, light cruiser MANCHESTER disembarked troops at Molde and heavy cruiser YORK and light cruiser BIRMINGHAM disembarked troops at Aandalsnes. General Paget, which had taken passage in MANCHESTER, boarded Norwegian destroyer SLEIPNER, which carried him to Aandalsnes. U.23 made two unsuccessful attacks on heavy cruiser YORK as she was leaving the area on the 25th.

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In heavy air attacks on Aandalsnes, anti-aircraft cruiser CURACOA (Captain E. A. Aylmer DSC) was badly damaged when she was struck by a bomb below the bridge at 2000 and it exploded between decks killing forty five ratings and wounding thirty six, including Aylmer and navigator Lt Cdr R.M.P. Williamson. Antiaircraft cruiser CURACOA was escorted seaward by sloop FLAMINGO which relieved her as the Aandalsnes guard ship. Light cruisers SHEFFIELD and GLASGOW and destroyers WITCH, CAMPBELL, VANSITTART closed to provide cover. The destroyers were low on fuel and proceeded directly to Scapa Flow. Cruiser CURACOA arrived at Scapa Flow on the 26th escorted by light cruisers SHEFFIELD and GLASGOW. Cruiser CURACOA departed Scapa Flow with damaged destroyer HOTSPUR at 2030/26th and arrived at Chatham on 1 May was repairing until late August 1940.

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The heavy air attacks continued on the 25th at Aandalsnes and Norwegian torpedo boat TRYGG and anti-submarine trawlers BRADMAN (452grt) Lt A.N. Blundell RNR), HAMMOND (452grt, Skipper A. McKay RNR), LARWOOD (452grt, Skipper P. Quinlan RNR) were badly damaged and run aground. Skipper A. McKay RNR, of trawler HAMMOND was wounded. The entire crew of the trawler BRADMAN was rescued. The  trawlers were all units of the 22nd AntiSubmarine Group. The four ships were later salved by German forces for their own use and renamed ZICK, Vp.6112 (trawler FRIESE), Vp.6115 (trawler SALIER), V P 6111 (trawler FRANKE), respectively.

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Sloop BITTERN relieved sloop AUCKLAND as anti-aircraft guard ship and for wireless duties at Namsos at 1935/24th.

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Destroyers ASHANTI, MOHAWK, NUBIAN, SIKH departed Scapa Flow at 1800 to operate in the fjords around Trondheim against German coastal shipping. The destroyers cruised the fjords from 0900 on 26 to daylight on the 28th supported by light cruisers MANCHESTER and BIRMINGHAM without success. Destroyers NUBIAN and ASHANTI operated in Kraakvaagsfjord and off Fro Havet. Destroyers MOHAWK and SIKH operated in the Trondheim Leads. On 27 April in Kraakvaagsfjord, destroyers ASHANTI and NUBIAN explored the fjord while MOHAWK and SIKH patrolled at the mouth of Trondheimsfjord. Destroyer ASHANTI was taken under attack by German bombers which were able to damage her with near misses. Destroyers ASHANTI and NUBIAN arrived at Scapa Flow at 0900/29th. Destroyer ASHANTI departed Scapa Flow at 1000/30th for repairs at Dundee until 23 May when she arrived back at Scapa Flow for duty.

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Destroyer JUPITER departed Scapa Flow at 0800 to search for a Walrus seaplane of light cruiser SOUTHAMPTON, flying from Hatston, last reported twenty miles from 59‑30N, 2‑00W. The search was unsuccessful and the destroyer returned to Scapa Flow at dusk. Petty Officer Airman C.L. Smeathers of light cruiser EDINBURGH, Midshipman (A) P.L. Furber and Naval Airman 1/c C.E. Adams of SOUTHAMPTON were lost on the Walrus of 700 Squadron.

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Damaged French cruiser EMILE BERTIN departed the Clyde for Brest escorted by French destroyers ALBATROS and VAUTOUR.

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French convoy FP.3 of troopships COLOMBIE (13,391grt), MEXIQUE (12,220grt), CHENONCEAUX (14,825grt), PROVIDENCE (11,996grt), escorted by French destroyers VALMY, VERDUN, LEOPARD, arrived in the Clyde. French troopship GENERAL METZINGER (9312grt) was damaged in a collision on the 25th in St George's Channel en route and arrived at Liverpool. French troopship VILLE D'ALGER (10,172grt) departed Scapa Flow on the 26th escorted by French destroyer FOUDROYANT and destroyer ANTELOPE to embark the troops from the damaged troopship. On 27 April, the French troopship and destroyer FOUDROYANT arrived at Liverpool.

_____

 

After dark there was a German air raid on Scapa Flow. The area west of Cava was closed until it was declared free of mines at 1530/25th.

_____

 

Tanker ALDERSDALE (8402grt) arrived at Skelfjord at 0300 escorted by destroyers BEAGLE and VOLUNTEER.

_____

 

Polish troopship CHROBRY (11,442grt) escorted by destroyers VETERAN and VISCOUNT departed the Clyde at 0545 for Namsos. They arrived at Namsos at 1010/28th, but due to port congestion, it was not possible to unload her.She was sent back out to sea at 1315. At 2230, they returned and the destroyers ferried the troops and stores to the jetty. The ships unloaded until 0700/29th when they all sailed. All ships safely at Scapa Flow at 0700/30th.

_____

 

Destroyer VANOC departed Sullom Voe at 1800 for Devonport for refitting. The destroyer arrived at 1400/27th.

_____

 

German U-boats were disposed on the 23rd with U.14, U.17, U.24 off Bergen, U.23, U.57, 58, U.59 east of Orkneys, U.13 and U.61 and five large boats between the Shetlands the Minch.

_____

 

Destroyer VESPER escorted steamers BELLEROPHON (9019grt) and LYACAON (7350grt) from Plymouth to the Clyde.

_____

 

A German submarine was reported off Start Point. Destroyer WAKEFUL departed Plymouth at 1810. Destroyer BULLDOG departed Plymouth at 1714. Destroyer VESPER and corvette ARABIS were also ordered to search. Destroyer VESPER departed Plymouth at 2053 and corvette ARABIS departed Plymouth at 2230 to search.

_____

 

Convoy FN.154 departed Southend, escorted by destroyers WALLACE and VALOROUS. The convoy arrived at the Tyne on the 26th.

_____

 

Convoy MT.58 departed Methil, escorted by destroyers WESTMINSTER and WOLSEY. The convoy arrived in the Tyne later that day.

_____

 

Convoy FS.154 departed the Tyne, escorted by destroyers WESTMINSTER and WOLSEY. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 26th.

_____

 

Steamer GIRASOL (648grt) was sunk in a collision northeast of Spit Buoy.

_____

 

German steamer CRONSHAGEN (1787grt) was sunk and Latvian steamer GUNDEGA (3583grt) was badly damaged on mines off Drogden, near Copenhagen.

_____

 

Light cruisers NEPTUNE and ORION departed Gibraltar for Malta. Destroyers DECOY and DEFENDER, escorting repair ship RESOURCE, departed Gibraltar for Malta.

_____

 

German armed merchant cruiser ORION sank steamer HAXBY (5207grt) in the South Atlantic in 31‑30N, 51‑30W. Seventeen crew were lost.

 

 

Thursday, 25 April

 

Destroyers SOMALI, MASHONA, TARTAR departed Scapa Flow at 2015 for Rosyth to escort troopships ULSTER MONARCH (3791grt) and ULSTER PRINCE (3791grt) from Leith to Aandalsnes. The destroyers arrived at Scapa Flow at 1700/27th with these troopships, after being diverted en route.

_____

 

Sloop BLACK SWAN departed Scapa Flow at 1000 for Aandalsnes to arrive at dusk on the 26th.

_____

 

Sloop FLEETWOOD arrived at Scapa Flow at 0500 with wounded from damaged sloop PELICAN. Sloop FLEETWOOD also escorted steamer HIGHLANDER (1216grt) from Lerwick to abreast Scapa Flow.

_____

 

Destroyer WHITLEY attacked a submarine contact in 51-00N, 01-00E. The contact was assessed as doubtful.

_____

 

Mine destructor ship CORFIELD was lent to Vice Admiral, Dover.

_____

 

Motor tanker SEMINOLE (10,389grt) was damaged on a mine in 51‑29N, 04‑07W.

_____

 

At 0545, submarine TRIDENT fired two torpedoes at German steamer PALIME (2863grt) or PELIKAN (3264grt) returning from Stavanger in 57-30N, 6-10E.

_____

 

U.22 had been earlier declared lost after failing to return to Germany from her patrol area off Lindesnes. She was probably lost around 23 March on a mine twenty miles south of Kristiansand in 57N, 09E. Some sources credit U.22's loss to an attack by French submarine ORPHEE on the 21st, but this is in error.

_____

 

French submarine DORIS arrived at Harwich after patrol. Submarine DORIS had defects that required repair before she could resume patrol.

_____

 

French large destroyers MAILLE BREZE and EPERVIER departed the Clyde at 0430 with French convoy FS.2 for Scapa Flow to arrive at 1000/27th. The convoy was diverted to Scapa Flow at 2129/27th. This convoy, escorted by French sloops CHAMOIS and COMMANDANT DELAGE, departed Brest on the 18th with freighters BRESTOIS (3094grt), CHATEAU PAVIE (2047grt), SAINT FIRMIN (4528grt). On 26 April at 1900, destroyers WITCH and CAMPBELL departed Scapa Flow to relieve French destroyer MAILLE BREZE which arrived in the Clyde on the 27th. The convoy arrived safely at Harstad at 2320 on 1 May, escorted by destroyers WITCH and CAMPBELL. CHATEAU PAVIE disembarked at Stoveien, SAINT FIRMIN at Skaanland and Bogen, BRESTOIS at Skaanland.

_____

 

Light cruiser EMERALD and liner DUCHESS OF RICHMOND arrived at Liverpool from Halifax. The light cruiser went on to the Clyde.

_____

 

Danish steamer LILY (1281grt) departed Kirkwall for Preston with a British prize crew aboard. The steamer never arrived. Temporary Lt A.M. Speirs RNR, the five ratings of the prize crew were lost.

_____

 

Convoy OA.136 departed Southend escorted by destroyer VENETIA.

_____

 

Convoy OB.137 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyer WALPOLE from 25 to 28 April, when she was detached to conovy SL.28.

_____

 

Convoy BC.34 of steamers BARON CARNEGIE, DUNKWA (Commodore), GLOUCESTER CITY, KUFRA, LOTTIE R departed Loire escorted by destroyer MONTROSE. The convoy arrived in Bristol Channel on the 26th.

_____

 

Convoy FN.155 departed Southend, escorted by destroyer WHITLEY and sloop LONDONDERRY. Destroyers WHITLEY and WINCHESTER joined from convoy FN.153. The convoy arrived at the Tyne on the 27th.

_____

 

Convoy MT.59 departed Methil, escorted by destroyers VIVIEN and VIMIERA. The convoy arrived in the Tyne later that day.

_____

 

Convoy FS.155 departed the Tyne, escorted by destroyers VIVIEN and VIMIERA. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 27th.

_____

 

Dutch steamer MIDSLAND (1089grt) and Panamanian steamer BOBBY collided three miles south of Dungeness. Steamer BOBBY sank and the entire crew was picked up by the Dutch steamer. Steamer MIDSLAND had damage to her bows.

_____

 

Dutch fishing vessel WILLY (147grt) was sunk in mining off Terschelling. The entire crew of the fishing vessel was lost.

 

 

Friday, 26 April

 

Submarine NARWHAL departed Blyth on minelaying mission FD.6 in Aalbeck Bight.

_____

 

Submarines SEAWOLF and SHARK arrived at Harwich after patrols.

_____

 

Submarine CLYDE arrived at Rosyth to replace damaged submarine TRUANT in Operation KNIFE.

_____

 

Destroyer GRAFTON and Polish destroyer BURZA departed Scapa Flow at 0200 with  oiler BOARDALE (8334grt), steamers HERON (2374grt) and BALTEAKO (1328grt) for the Narvik area. Steamer HERON was carrying 400 depth charges for the destroyers at Narvik. The convoy arrived safely, but on the 30th, oiler BOARDALE was lost after running aground in Assundfjord in 68-43N, 14-24.5E near Harstad. Destroyer CODRINGTON at 1241/30th was ordered to assist oiler BOARDALE. Steamers HERON and BALTEAKO with destroyers GRAFTON and BURZA arrived in Vestfjord on 1 May. Tanker INVERARDER, escorted by destroyers CODRINGTON and ESCAPADE, was to have pumped the oil out of BOARDALE, but BOARDALE caught fire and was lost before INVERARDER arrived.

_____

 

Destroyer JUPITER departed Scapa Flow at 0600 for Lerwick with dynamo spares for damaged destroyer ECLIPSE. Destroyer JUPITER then escorted base ship MANCHESTER CITY departing Kirkwall at 1800/26th for the Tyne.

_____

 

The British force consisting of heavy cruiser YORK, light cruisers MANCHESTER and BIRMINGHAM, destroyers ACHERON, ARROW, GRIFFIN encountered German U-boat supply ships Schiff 26 (trawler JULIUS PICKENPACK: 394grt) and Schiff 37 (trawler SCHLESWIG: 433grt) off Moldefjord. Both German ships were on a supply mission and were flying the Dutch flag in disguise. Destroyer ARROW was proceeding independently from Romdalsfjord to Scapa.As destroyer ARROW tried to capture trawler SCHLESWIG, the trawler rammed and lightly damaged destroyer ARROW. The trawler then was taken under fire by light cruiser BIRMINGHAM and sunk in 63‑00N, 04‑19E.No survivors were located. After SCHLESWIG was sunk, the other destroyers searched for other trawlers. Trawler JULIUS PICKENPACK was captured by destroyer GRIFFIN in 62‑37N, 04‑00E at 0955. Destroyer GRIFFIN put a boarding party under the command of Lt J.A.J. Dennis aboard the trawler and the trawler was taken to Scapa Flow, arriving on the 28th. Trawler JULIUS PICKENPACKhad the name POLARIS painted on her counter. This deception caused confusion upon the identity of this trawler for many years. Destroyer ARROW proceeded to Scapa Flow with destroyer ACHERON and arrived at 0600/27th. Destroyer ARROW departed 1630/27th for Middlesborough for repairs escorted by destroyers HAVOCK and HOSTILE. Destroyer ARROW, repairs completed, departed Middlesbrough on 13 May to return to Scapa Flow.She arrived at Scapa Flow at 0730 on 14 May.

 

Destroyer ACHERON departed Scapa Flow at 1200/27th and arrived in the Clyde at 1300/28th.

_____

 

With only six serviceable aircraft, aircraft carrier FURIOUS,which had been off Norway since 11 April, left her station and set course for the Clyde. Destroyers DELIGHT, DIANA, IMPERIAL of her escort were detached for Scapa Flow at 1800/27th and arrived at 1900/28th.

 

Aircraft carrier FURIOUS arrived at 0700/29th in the Clyde escorted by destroyers IMOGEN, ISIS, ILEX.

_____

 

Destroyer BROKE departed Scapa Flow at 0800 for repairs at Devonport.

_____

 

Troopship FRANCONIA (20,175grt), proceeding unescorted from Narvik to the Clyde, was attacked by a German submarine at 0105 in 59‑48N, 5‑59W. Destroyers JANUS and ANTELOPE were sent to assist. However, when it was found FRANCONIA escaped damaged, the destroyers were recalled to Scapa Flow at 0545.

_____

 

Destroyer ANTELOPE, French destroyer FOUDROYANT, armed merchant cruiser VILLE D'ORAN departed Scapa Flow 1700 for Liverpool, arriving 2015/27th.

_____

 

Sloop FLAMINGO, out of ammunition, was relieved at 1900 by sloop BLACK SWAN on her arrival at 1900 as anti-aircraft guard ship at Aandalsnes.

 

Sloop FLAMINGO departed Aandalsnes at 2100 for Scapa Flow.

_____

 

French convoy FS.1 departed Brest escorted by French destroyers CYCLONE and MISTRAL on the 16th, Greenock on the 20th, escorted by destroyers BRESTOIS and BOULONNAIS, arrived at Scapa Flow at 0700/22nd. The convoy departed Scapa Flow on the 23rd at 0700, French convoy FS.1, composed of French freighters SAUMUR (2955grt), AMIENOIS (3713grt), CAP BLANC (3317grt) and escorted by French destroyers BOULONNAIS and BRESTOIS and destroyer MATABELE, arrived at Namsos at 2030/27th. The convoy disembarked its cargo of stores and ammunition for the troops ashore. Destroyers BRESTOIS and BOULONNAIS escorted steamers AMIENOIS and SAUMUR departing Namsos on the 29th with 840 French troops. They arrived Scapa Flow at 1200 on 2 May. Destroyer MATABELE and steamer CAP BLANC arrived at Scapa Flow at 0700 on 2 May.

_____

 

Destroyers SOMALI, MASHONA, TARTAR departed Leith at 2200 with troopships ULSTER MONARCH and ULSTER PRINCE for Aandalsnes. At 0043/27th, they were ordered to Scapa Flow to await orders. They arrived at 1700/27th.

_____

 

Destroyers IVANHOE, ICARUS, IMPULSIVE departed Immingham at 2100/26th and arrived at Scapa Flow at 1900/27th.

_____

 

Destroyer JACKAL, JAVELIN, WITCH, CAMPBELL were held in readiness at Scapa Flow to proceed at 2100 to intercept an unknown warship. This warship was found to be Norwegian destroyer SLEIPNER when she arrived at Lerwick. Destroyer SLEIPNER departed Lerwick at 0900/27th and arrived Scapa Flow at 1700/27th.

_____

 

Anti-submarine trawler BLACKFLY of the 12th Anti-Submarine Group was damaged in a collision as she was departing Skelfjord with the rest of the Group for Molde. The trawler returned to Skelfjord.Trawler BLACKFLY was further damaged on 4 May when she ran aground at Skelfjord.

_____

 

Convoy MT.60 departed Methil, escorted by destroyer WOOLSTON and armed patrol trawler BREDA. The convoy arrived in the Tyne later that day.

_____

 

Convoy FS.156 departed the Tyne, escorted by destroyer WOOLSTON and armed patrol trawler BREDA. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 28th. Convoy FS.157 was cancelled.

_____

 

Steamer CREE (4791grt), astern of convoy FS.54,was damaged on a mine laid on 2 April by German minesweeper Schiff 11 in 52-53N, 02-19E. The steamer was towed to Yarmouth.

_____

 

Mine destructor ships BORDE and CORFIELD were engaged in Operation MNS 2 on 26, 27, 28, 29, 30 April.

_____

 

U.13 attacked a steamer west of Pentland Firth, but torpedo defects prevented any damage being done.

_____

 

U.17 rescued a downed German aircrew seventy miles southeast of the Shetlands. The seaplane was then destroyed by the submarine.

_____

 

Norwegian torpedo boat GARM was sunk by German bombing at Bjordal in Sognefjord, north of Bergen.None of the crew were killed in the bombing as they were able to abandon ship when they spotted the German planes coming to attack.

_____

 

After a loop crossing in St Margaret's Bay, destroyer BOADICEA was dispatched to join destroyer KEITH on patrol. Two French anti-submarine trawlers were at sea in the area.Trawler L'ORIENTAISE dropped depth charges which exploded depth charges on sunken trawler PERIDOT. Tugs were dispatched to assist the French trawler. The loop crossings were later found to be British dan laying yachts.

_____

 

Convoy OG.27 was formed from convoys OA.135G, which departed Southend on the 24th, escorted by destroyer VIVACIOUS and sloop FOLKESTONE, OB.135G, which departed Liverpool on the 24th, escorted by sloops FOWEY and DEPTFORD, of fifty one ships. Sloop FOLKESTONE escorted the convoy on the 26th. Sloop FOWEY and destroyer VIVACIOUS escorted the convoy from 26 April. Sloop FOWEY was damaged in a minor collision on the 24th, as her convoy section was setting out. Destroyer VENETIA stood by to assist, but sloop FOWEY was able to proceed with the convoy. On 26 April, destroyer VIVACIOUS departed the convoy to join convoy HG.27 and on the 27th, sloop FOWEY joined the HG.27 convoy. Sloop DEPTFORD escorted the convoy on 26 and 27 April. French sloop CHEVREUIL and auxiliary patrol vessel MERCEDITA escorted the convoy from 27 April to 3 May. The convoy arrived at Gibraltar on 3 May.

_____

 

Convoy OB.137 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyer VIMY fro 26 to 29 April, when she was detached to convoy HX.36.

_____

 

Steamer HIGHLAND PATRIOT (14,172grt) ran aground off East Knock John Buoy. The steamer was refloated later on the 26th.

_____

 

Following Halifax escort duties, battleship MALAYA arrived at Gibraltar escorted by destroyers VELOX and VORTIGERN.

_____

 

Convoy HG.28F departed Gibraltar with forty ships. The convoy was escorted by French sloop ANNAMITE and auxiliary patrol vessel VIKING from 26 April to 2 May. Sloop SCARBOROUGH and destroyer VERSATILE escorted the convoy from 2 to 5 May. The convoy arrived at Liverpool on 5 May.

_____

 

French submarine LE TONNANT, escorted by patrol vessel RAVIGNAN arrived from Casablanca at Gibraltar. The submarine had departed Dakar called at Casablanca departing 25 April. The submarine departed Gibraltar 28 April and arrived at Bizerte on 1 May, escorted by sloop YSER. The patrol vessel returned toCasablanca. Submarines NAUTILUS and SAPHIR, escorted by sloop YSER, arrived at Gibraltar from Brest. The submarines departed Gibraltar on the 28th and arrived at Bizerte on 1 May, escorted by sloop YSER.

_____

 

Convoy HX.38 departed Halifax at 1000 escorted by Canadian destroyers SAGUENAY and SKEENA, which were detached on the 27th. The ocean escort was Armed merchant cruiser ASCANIA, which was detached on 8 May. French submarine AJAX was to have sailed on the 24th to escort the convoy, but defects with an air compressor cancelled the sailing. Destroyers WALPOLE and WESSEX escorted the convoy from 10 to 12 May, when the convoy arrived at Liverpool.  

 

 

Saturday, 27 April

 

Aircraft carrier GLORIOUS left her station off the Norwegian coast at 2100/27th for replenishment at Scapa Flow. Aircraft carrier GLORIOUS arrived at Scapa Flow at 1800/28th escorted by destroyers FURY, FORTUNE, ESCORT, GRENADE, HASTY, ENCOUNTER.

_____

 

Norwegian steamer NYHAUG (4044grt) was sunk by German bombing at Lepsoy.

_____

 

U.13 at 2326/27th damaged tanker SCOTTISH AMERICAN (6999grt) west of Pentland Firth in 58‑41N, 04‑40W. The steamer was towed to Loch Eribol by decoy ship LOOE (steamer BEAULY: 1061grt) and armed boarding vessel NORTHERN REWARD (655grt). Destroyers DELIGHT, DIANA, IMPERIAL en route to Scapa Flow were diverted to assist on the 28th. Minesweeping trawler JUNIPER stood by while 8200 tons, the entire cargo less 1000 tons of oil, which had been lost, was pumped into tanker OIL PIONEER for return to Scapa Flow. Transfer was completed on 2 May. The tanker was able to leave Loch Eribol on 5 May with tug ST MELLONS and trawler JUNIPER for North Shields.

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French convoy FP.2 departed Brest on the 18th composed of passenger ships DJENNE (8790grt), FLANDRE (8503grt), PRESIDENT DOUMER (11,898grt). The convoy departed Greenock at 0100/21st escorted by destroyers FEARLESS, FURY, VANOC. They proceeded via the Minches for Namsos.En route, they were diverted to Scapa Flow to await developments. The convoy arrived at Scapa Flow at 0625/22nd. French large destroyers CHEVALIER PAUL, MILAN, TARTU and destroyers CODRINGTON and FAME, departed Scapa Flow on the 24th at 1600 with convoy FP.2. This convoy safely arrived at Harstad on the 27th carrying the first contingent of the 27th Demi Brigade of the Chasseur Alpins. French destroyers TARTU, MILAN, CHEVALIER PAUL departed Narvik with French steamers DJENNE and PRESIDENT DOUMER on the 29th.

 

The ships arrived at Scapa Flow on 2 May. French steamer FLANDRE departed Narvik escorted by destroyer ARDENT at 0800 on 2 May for the Clyde, via the Minches. They arrived safely at 1300 on 6 May.

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Steamers DELIUS and DALLINGTON COURT and destroyers AMAZON and WITHERINGTON had departed the Clyde at 1900/21st for Scapa Flow, arriving at 1100/23rd. Convoy TM.1, consisting of  steamers DELIUS (6065grt), DALLINGTON COURT (6889grt), SPANKER (1875grt), LOCHNAGAR (1619grt) departed Scapa Flow escorted by destroyers AFRIDI, AMAZON, WITHERINGTON at 0315/24th to arrive at dusk on the 26th. The convoy arrived at Aandalsnes at dusk on the 27th. The arriving convoy found the town in flames and the area under heavy air attack. The convoy was bombed with 125 bombs from 1345 to 1700. Steamer DELIUS was damaged by German bombing. Some disembarkation was done and sloop BLACK SWAN's ammunition was replenished, but when the convoy left at 0200/28th, still under heavy air attack, the greater part of the stores, including the first heavy anti-aircraft battery to reach Norway was still aboard the cargo ships. The convoy was to stand off the coast to await further orders. Convoy TM.1 departed Romdalsfjord escorted by destroyers AFRIDI, AMAZON, WITHERINGTON. The convoy was under heavy air attack from 1000 to 1400/28th with 65 bombs being dropped but no damage was done. The convoy was given anti-aircraft support by destroyers MOHAWK and SIKH, which were withdrawn at dawn on the 28th from the Trondheim blockade to assist convoy TM.1, which now also included petrol carrier RONAN. _____

 

Light cruiser AURORA joined Destroyer FAULKNOR at Bjervik and then both proceeded to Harstad.

_____

 

Destroyer BEAGLE, escorting the Aircraft carriers, made an attack at 0920 on a submarine contact in 64‑31N, 4‑07E.

_____

 

Destroyer IMOGEN, escorting aircraft carrier FURIOUS, made an asdic contact in 62-54N, 01-56W at 1012. After two depth charge attacks a periscope was sighted at a 45 angle suggesting a badly damaged U-boat. Destroyer ILEX joined to assist.

_____

 

Destroyer VANSITTART departed Scapa Flow at 2000/27th for Sullom Voe to escort tanker WAR NIZAM to Invergordon to reload. Destroyer VANSITTART stood by to escort the loaded tanker back to Sullom Voe.

_____

 

Destroyer JACKAL after gunnery exercises departed Scapa Flow at 1300 to join light cruiser ARETHUSA at 1830 in 59N, 0E. Both ships were diverted to Scapa Flow.

_____

 

Destroyers HOSTILE and HAVOCK departed Scapa Flow at 1800 for Rosyth to boiler clean and make good minor defects.

_____

 

Destroyers ARROW and ACHERON arrived Scapa Flow at 0600. Destroyer ARROW departed at 1630 for repairs at Middlesbrough. Destroyer ACHERON departed at 1200 for the Clyde for repairs arriving at 1300/28th.

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Destroyer EXPRESS was damaged while entering a lock at Immingham. The destroyer was quickly repaired at Hartlepool and returned to service.

_____

 

Sloop FLEETWOOD departed Scapa Flow at 2100 for Aandalsnes.

_____

 

Sloop BLACK SWAN in Romsdalfjord fired 1200 rounds of ammunition and had only 210 rounds remaining. No damage was sustained by sloop BLACK SWAN on the 27th.

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Steamer EMPIRE ABILITY (7603grt) departed Greenock at 1630/23rd escorted by destroyer JANUS. Destroyers HAVANT and HAVELOCK from anti-submarine patrol relieved JANUS en route on the 24th. Destroyer JANUS arrived at Scapa Flow at 1900/25th.

 

Steamer EMPIRE ABILITY (7603grt), which was carrying motorized landing craft, arrived at Harstad escorted by destroyers HAVANT and HAVELOCK.

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Convoys TSM.2 and FS.3 were diverted to Scapa Flow at 2129. Both convoys arrived on the 28th escorted by Escort vessels JASON and GLEANER and anti-submarine trawlers. The escort then returned to the Clyde.

_____

 

Submarine CLYDE for Operation KNIFE and Polish submarine ORZEL for patrol departed Rosyth. However, CLYDE developed engine defects and returned the same day.

_____

 

Submarine CACHALOT departed Blyth for repairs at Devonport.

_____

 

French submarine SYBILLE departed Harwich on patrol.

_____

 

French submarine RUBIS departed Brest for Harwich.

_____

 

Convoy OA.137 departed Southend escorted by destroyer WINDSOR.

_____

 

Aircraft carrier ARGUS arrived at Malta from Toulon, escorted by destroyers STURDY and WATERHEN.

The aircraft carrier was under repair from 29 April to 29 May. Aircraft carrier ARGUS departed Malta on 29 May, escorted by two French destroyers. The three ships arrived at Toulon on 31 May.

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Heavy cruiser KENT departed Trincomalee on escort duties.

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The French Force de Raide, battleships DUNKERQUE and STRASBOURG, light cruisers GLOIRE and GEORGES LEYGUES, destroyers MOGADOR, TERRIBLE,AUDACIEUX, TIGRE, LYNX, MARS departed Brest on the 23rd. On 24 April, destroyer TIGRE, LYNX, MARS attacked a submarine contact. The force passed Gibraltar on the 27th and arrived at Mer el Kebir later that day. French destroyers TIGRE, LYNX, MARS arrived at Gibraltar. Destroyers TIGRE and LYNX departed later that day for Algiers, arriving 28 April. French Amiral Estava (Admiral South) transferred his headquarters from Toulon to Bizerte on the 30th.

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The four Swedish destroyers passed Gibraltar en route from Cartagena to Lisbon.

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German steamer KONIGSBERG (6466grt) departed Rio de Janiero to attempt to return to Europe.En route, she was ordered to replenish armed merchant cruiser WIDDER.

 

 

Sunday, 28 April

 

Aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL launched air strikes on Trondheim without achieving any significant results. She withdrew for refuelling that evening at Scapa Flow where she arrived on 1 May. Following refuelling, ARK ROYAL departed on 4 May for operations off northern Norway.

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Destroyers CODRINGTON (D.1) and ARDENT departed Bogen for Skelfjord. Destroyer CODRINGTON carried out a reconnaissance of the Narvik area with General Bethouart and Brigadier Fraser on board. She bombarded an anti-aircraft battery, a railway viaduct, machine gun posts. On 29 April at 1400, destroyers CODRINGTON and ESCAPADE departed Skelfjord to escort  tanker INVERARDER to Scapa Flow.

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Destroyers IVANHOE, ICARUS, IMPULSIVE departed Scapa Flow at 1600 to carry out minelaying operation ZMA in the Trondheim Leads. This was completed at 2330/29th. The destroyers retired towards the Humber, but were diverted en route at 1237 to Scapa Flow for escort duties. They arrived at 0740 on 1 May. Destroyers ESK, EXPRESS, INTREPID were substituted on 1 May for them at Immingham. These destroyers departed Scapa Flow at 0540 on 1 May arriving in the Humber at 2030.

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Destroyer JANUS departed Scapa Flow at 1400 with dispatches for Namsos and Skelfjord.

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Destroyers DELIGHT, DIANA, IMPERIAL arrived at Scapa Flow at 1900.

_____

 

Destroyer INGLEFIELD departed the Clyde at 2030 for Scapa Flow to arrive at 1100/29th.

_____

 

Destroyer FIREDRAKE arrived in the Clyde at 1700 to join the Home Fleet after refitting at Cardiff.

_____

 

Destroyers WANDERER, ANTELOPE, ACHERON, WALKER, WESTCOTT departed the Clyde for Scapa Flow to arrive at 1300/29th.

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Destroyers WALLACE and VALOROUS departed Rosyth at 0715. Destroyer VALOROUS was detached to search for a submarine reported by air in 58‑31N, 2‑38W. Destroyer WALLACE and troopship ORION (23,371grt) arrived at Scapa Flow at 1530 and sailed for Rosyth at 1700. Later, both destroyers were recalled to Scapa Flow.

_____

 

French destroyers INDOMPTABLE, MALIN, TRIOMPHANT of the 8th Large Destroyer Division departed Rosyth. The first two ultimately for the Mediterranean and TRIOMPHANT for repairs at Lorient.

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The  11th Anti-Submarine Striking Force of trawlers CAPE SIRETOKO (Lt A.A.F. Talbot, SO), ARGYLLSHIRE, NORTHERN PRIDE, WISTARIA departed Aberdeen on the 24th and arrived at Molde late on the 27th. Anti-submarine trawler CAPE SIRETOKO (590grt, Lt Cdr A.N. Harding (ret)) was badly damaged by German bombing at Aandalsnes and ran aground to prevent sinking.She was later salved by German forces and renamed Vp.6113 (trawler GOTE) for their use. In the same attack, anti-submarine trawler WISTARIA of the 19th Anti-Submarine Striking Force was damaged by bombing. The trawler was run aground to prevent sinking, but was salved. The trawlers were able to departed Molde after the evacuation on the 30th/1 May.

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At 0200, the 16th Anti-Submarine Striking Force (trawlers ASTON VILLA (SO, 546grt), GAUL (550grt), ANGLE (531grt), ARAB (531grt)) arrived at Namsos to join 15th Anti-Submarine Striking Force (trawlers CAPE PASSARO (SO, 510grt), ST GORAN (565grt), ST KENAN (565grt), ST LOMAN (565grt). These trawlers remained at Namsos until after the evacuation on 2/3 May. Trawler ARAB was ordered alongside Anti-aircraft cruiser CARLISLE (Flagship Rear Admiral J. G. P. Vivian, 20th Cruiser Squadron) which had supplies for the French troops aboard the trawler.

 

On 28 April, Temporary S/Lt P. Collingwood RNVR, was killed in an air attack on cruiser CARLISLE.

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Sloop BLACK SWAN was badly damaged by German bombing in Romdalsfjord at 1550. The bomb passed through the stern before exploding. Little damage was done and the ship remained in action until the last attacked ended. Sloop BLACK SWAN was relieved by sloop FLEETWOOD that night, which departed Scapa Flow at 2100/27th. Sloop BLACK SWAN arrived at Scapa Flow at 1345/30th with only twenty nine rounds of anti-aircraft ammunition left.She was given temporary repairs by depot ship WOOLWICH. Sloop BLACK SWAN departed Scapa Flow at 1930 on 2 May and arrived Falmouth at 1500 on 4 May for repairs completed in late May.

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Captain J.A.W. Voelcker relieved Captain J.S. Bethell as S.6.

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French submarine AMAZONE arrived at Harwich after patrol.

_____

 

French submarine ACHILLE arrived at Dundee after patrol.

_____

 

Submarine SWORDFISH arrived at Blyth after patrol.

_____

 

Submarine TETRARCH arrived at Rosyth.

_____

 

French submarine ANTIOPE departed Harwich on patrol.

_____

 

Submarines SEALION and SUNFISH departed Harwich to patrol in Bohus Bay.

_____

 

Battleship WARSPITE arrived at the Clyde from Scapa Flow with destroyers INGLEFIELD, ECHO, FOXHOUND.

_____

 

Convoy TS 2 of two ships departed Cardiff for the Clyde at 1130 escorted by anti-submarine trawler ST CATHAN (565grt).

_____

 

Destroyer KEITH proceeded to Dover and went alongside depot ship SANDHURST for repairs to dynamos and steering gear. Repairs were completed on the 29th.

_____

 

At 1017, destroyer BROKE, on passage to Devonport, ran aground 1.3 miles 189 from Goodwin Knoll Buoy. Tugs LADY BRASSEY and DORIA and destroyer VERITY (Captain D 19 (KEITH out of action)) proceeded to assist destroyer BROKE. The destroyer was refloated on the tide at 1230 and continued to Devonport. Destroyer BROKE sustained no damage in the grounding.

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During the night of 28/29 April, submarine H.32 escorted by sloop FOXGLOVE and French submarine RUBIS escorted by sloop ROSEMARY anchored off Dungeness due to fog. During 29 April, the ships proceeded to the Downs, but had to remain during the night of 29/30 April. Patrol sloop SHELDRAKE from Harwich was in the Downs to relieve sloop ROSEMARY of the RUBIS escort.

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Convoy FN.156, after being delayed more than a day by fog, departed Southend, escorted by destroyers WESTMINSTER and WOLSEY. Further hampered by fog, the convoy arrived in two sections. The first arrived at Rosyth, escorted by destroyer WESTMINSTER on the 30th. The second half arrived on 1 May, escorted by destroyer WOLSEY. Convoy FN.157 was cancelled.

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Battleships MALAYA and ROYAL SOVEREIGN, from the Halifax Escort Force, departed Gibraltar at 1600 escorted by destroyers VELOX, WATCHMAN, VENDETTA, WATERHEN to reinforce the  Mediterranean Fleet. Destroyer VENDETTA had arrived from Malta on the 25th. Destroyer WATERHEN had arrived earlier on the 28th with transport DILWARA. Shortly before the sailing, destroyer VENDETTA attacked a submarine contact 6 miles 142 from Cape Trafalgar. Destroyer VELOX joined in the search, but no further results were made. The British ships were joined on the 29th by French battleships LORRAINE, BRETAGNE, PROVENCE from Algiers, heavy cruisers TOURVILLE and DUQUESNE, light cruiser DUGUAY TROUIN, destroyers LION, LYNX, FORBIN from Mer el Kebir. On 30 April, Australian destroyers STUART and VAMPIRE joined the escort force, as later did light cruiser ORION and destroyers DEFENDER and DECOY from Malta. This force passed Malta on 1 May and arrived at Alexandria at 1820 on 3 May.

 

Destroyers VELOX and WATCHMAN arrived back at Gibraltar on 4 May.  

 

 

Monday, 29 April

 

Aircraft carrier FURIOUS and destroyers IMOGEN, ISIS, ILEX arrived in the Clyde at 0700 after being delayed by fog.

_____

 

Battleship VALIANT with destroyers FURY, FORTUNE, ESCORT, ENCOUNTER departed Scapa Flow at 2100 to give anti-aircraft protection to aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL and Operation ZEAL, the bombardment of the approaches to Trondheim. However, this operation was cancelled before it began.

_____

 

Anti-submarine trawler CAPE CHELYUSKIN (494grt, Skipper H.E. Moran RNR) of the 12th Anti-Submarine Group was sunk by German bombing at Aandalsnes.

 

Lt H. Roach RNR, was wounded. The crew returned to Scapa Flow in destroyer MASHONA on 3 May.

_____

 

Light cruiser GLASGOW with destroyers JACKAL and JAVELIN departed Scapa Flow on the 28th at 2030. The ships arrived at Molde at 2130/29th to take aboard the King of Norway, his government, some 795 cases of gold (23grt) for transport to Tromso. In addition, 117 survivors from sunken anti-submarine trawlers BRADMAN, HAMMOND, LARWOOD, CAPE SIRETOKO, CAPE CHELYUSKIN were embarked for transport back to England. However, not all of the gold could be embarked on GLASGOW in time. The remaining gold was embarked on Norwegian fishing vessels STOLVAG and ALFHILD. The light cruiser arrived at Tromso on the evening of 1 May and was escorted into port by Norwegian fishery protection vessel HEIMDAL. The King of Norway and his government were landed at Tromso. The fishing vessels safely arrived at Tromso on 9 May.

_____

 

Destroyers BEAGLE and VOLUNTEER arrived at Scapa Flow at 0545 from Narvik.

_____

 

Danish steamer GUNVOR MAERSK disembarked the 166th Antiaircraft Battery and KIMBERLEY and BRAZEN disembarked troops at Namsos. The steamer escorted by destroyers WOLVERINE, BRAZEN, KIMBERLEY and naval trawlers HAZEL (530grt) and WHITETHORN (530grt) departed Namsos during the early morning. The British ships were bombed from 1621 to 2008/28th, but no damage was done.

_____

 

Destroyers NUBIAN and ASHANTI arrived at Scapa Flow at 0900.

_____

 

Destroyer WALLACE departed Scapa Flow for Rosyth at 0400. Destroyer VALOROUS departed Scapa Flow for Rosyth at 0700.

_____

 

French destroyers BRESTOIS and BOULONNAIS departed Namsos for Scapa Flow with French steamers AMIENOIS (3713grt) and SAUMUR (2955grt) which were carrying 840 French troops.

_____

 

Destroyer FAULKNOR departed Bogen for Ballengen where she embarked troops to be landed at west of Haavik, near Ankenes.En route she towed Norwegian trawler SOLBIN. The troops were landed without incident.

_____

 

Destroyers KELLY, MAORI, IMPERIAL and French destroyer BISON (Capitaine de Vaisseau J.A.R. Bouan) departed Scapa Flow at 2000 with French armed merchant cruisers EL D'JEZAIR (5818grt), EL MANSOUR (5818grt), EL KANTARA (5079grt) for the evacuation of Namsos. Heavy cruisers DEVONSHIRE (Flagship Vice Admiral John Cunningham) and YORK, French light cruiser MONTCALM (Flagship Contre Amiral Derrien, Capitaine de Vaisseau J. L. de Corbiere), destroyers GRENADE, GRIFFIN, HASTY departed Scapa Flow at 2100 to support. Destroyers NUBIAN, AFRIDI, FOUDROYANT departed Scapa Flow later and joined the forces at sea.

_____

 

Destroyers AMAZON and WITHERINGTON were escorting convoy TM.1 as it returned to Scapa Flow from Aandalsnes. West of the Shetlands, destroyer MOHAWK was detached to Sullom Voe for refuelling. Destroyer MOHAWK arrived Sullom Voe at 0900/30th and went on to Scapa Flow arriving at 0600 on 1 May. From 61‑35N, 00‑36E to 62‑54N, 01‑56W, destroyers AMAZON and WITHERINGTON, escorting convoy TM.1, attacked at 1445 and claimed sinking U.14, which was returning to Germany. The submarine sustained only light damage. Wooden battens and a small stool came to the surface, but could not be recovered due to German aircraft in the area. Destroyer WITHERINGTON was damaged on the 29th by German bombing. The damage only required three days to repair.

 

Convoy TM.1 arrived safely at Scapa Flow at 0505 on 1 May.

_____

 

At 1900/29th, sloop AUCKLAND departed Scapa Flow to relieve sloop FLEETWOOD, out of ammunition, at Romdalsfjord. The Admiralty then ordered anti-aircraft cruiser CALCUTTA to join AUCKLAND and share the anti-aircraft guard in view of the ever worsening German air attacks. Early on the 30th, sloop FLEETWOOD left Romdalsfjord with 340 troops returning to England.

_____

 

Sloop STORK departed Rosyth at 1400 for Namsos.

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Sloop FLAMINGO departed Scapa Flow at 1530 for Dundee for docking to make good defects to underwater fittings.

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Submarine UNITY (Lt F. J. Brooks), departing Blyth on patrol,was sunk in an accidental collision with Norwegian steamer ATLE JARL (1173grt) in convoy MT.61 near Blyth in 55‑13N, 1‑19W, Lt J.N.A. Low, the first lieutenant, three ratings were lost on UNITY. Twenty three crew  were rescued.

 

Sloop GRIMSBY assisted and stood by the site. Destroyer WALLACE brought deep sea diving gear from Rosyth. Minesweepers GOSSAMER and LEDA anchored to northward of the rescue sight on 1 May. They departed at 2210 on 2 May to coal in the Tyne. On 1 May, destroyer VALENTINE standing by at the site was relieved by sloop EGRET which was soon relieved by destroyer WHITLEY. On 2 May, the search for survivors still on board the submarine was abandoned.

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Submarines SNAPPER departed Harwich for submarine TRIDENT's station in Bohus Bay.

_____

 

French submarines CIRCE and CALYPSO departed Harwich on patrol.

_____

 

Submarine SEVERN departed Dundee on patrol.

_____

 

Convoy FN.158 departed Southend, escorted by sloops HASTINGS and LONDONDERRY. The convoy was forced to anchor in heavy fog. Destroyers VIMIERA and VIVIEN relieved the sloops and arrived with the convoy in the Tyne. The convoy arrived in the Tyne on 1 May.

_____

 

Convoy MT.61 departed Methil, escorted by sloops LONDONDERRY and HASTINGS. The convoy was forced to anchor due to fog, but was able to arrive in the Tyne on the 30th.

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Sloop FOWEY escorting convoy HG.27 was in a collision with  steamer ARLETTA (4870grt), formerly of convoy HG.27, in 48-58N, 6-37W at 0001/29th west of Ushant. The sloop was able to proceed to Plymouth at five knots. The after cabin flat was flooded between 102 and 113. The sloop was repaired at Plymouth from 3 May to 8 June.

_____

Convoy FP.4 consisting of French liners DEGRASSE (18435grt) and MASSILIA (15363grt), departed Brest on the 26th. They arrived at Greenock on the 29th escorted by French destroyers CYCLONE, MISTRAL, SIROCCO, but the troops were disembarked at Glasgow on 1 May. The French destroyers departed the Clyde the next day to return to Brest.

_____

 

Convoy FS.4, consisting of French steamers VILLE DE MAJUNA (4792grt), ROSE SCHIAFFINO (3349grt), CAP HADID (1700grt), departed Brest on the 27th and arrived at Greenock on the 29th escorted by French sloops CHAMOIS and COMMANDANT DELAGE and minelayer POLLUX. The cargo was disembarked on 1 May. Steamers VILLE DE MAJUNA and CAP HADID departed the Clyde for Brest on 22 May escorted by anti-submarine trawler LEEDS UNITED (405grt) and ARSENAL (398grt).

_____

 

Norwegian steamer ORLAND (1899grt) was sunk by German bombing at Midsund.

_____

 

Estonian steamer BEGONIA (1591grt) was badly damaged by German bombing at Flaam in Aurlandsfjord. One crewman was killed in the bombing.  BEGONIA was sunk by Norwegian military authorities.

_____

 

Norwegian steamer BRAND IV (343grt), en route from Aalesund to Veblunges, was damaged by German bombing.

_____

 

Finnish steamer MARTTI RAGNAR (3989grt) ran aground and was stranded while proceeding from Bergen with a prize crew. The steamer had been renamed HERRENWYK for German service.

_____

 

French destroyers carried out sweeps off the Belgian and Dutch coasts as far as Texel. The destroyers returned to port on the 30th.

_____

 

Convoy HG.28 departed Gibraltar with twenty five ships. The convoy was given ocean escort by sloops WELLINGTON and ABERDEEN from 29 April to 6 May. Destroyer WHITEHALL and sloop ROCHESTER were the escorts in Home Waters from 6 to 9 May. On 6 May, the convoy split into HG.28 and HG.28 B. The latter section was escorted by sloop ROCHESTER. Convoy HG.28 arrived at Liverpool on 9 May.

_____

 

French destroyer MARS, which had arrived at Gibraltar on the 27th to escort British troopship DILWARA, departed Gibraltar on the 29th to return to Toulon. The troopship was ordered to remain at Gibraltar.

_____

 

Light cruiser LIVERPOOL arrived at Aden to join the Red Sea Force, 4th Cruiser Squadron, East Indies Station.

_____

 

Following refitting at Singapore, light cruiser CERES departed Singapore for duty in the 4th Cruiser Squadron in the East Indies. Light cruiser COLOMBO likewise departed Singapore about this time being reassigned from the 5th Cruiser Squadron, China Force, to the 4th Cruiser Squadron, East Indies Station.

_____

 

Australian light cruiser HOBART escorted the 2nd Minesweeping Flotilla in the Red Sea on its voyage to the Mediterranean from the China Force. The 2nd Minesweeping Flotilla arrived at Alexandria on the 29th for duty with the Mediterranean Fleet.

 

 

Tuesday, 30 April

 

German minefield 17 was laid west of Jutland by German minelayers ROLAND, PREUSSEN, COBRA and escorted by destroyers BEITZEN and HEINEMANN and torpedo boats WOLF, KONDOR, MOEWE, LEOPARD. En route, German minelayer PREUSSEN accidently collided with and sank German torpedo boat LEOPARD. Torpedo boat WOLF picked up survivors from the torpedo boat LEOPARD. On this minefield on 1 May, Swedish steamer HAGA (1296grt) was sunk at the west entrance to the Skagerrak. Four crew on the Swedish steamer were lost.Twelve survivors were picked up by German U.30 on 3 May.

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French large destroyer MAILLE BREZE was sunk at 1415 in an accidental explosion at Tail of Bank at Greenock while taking on ammunition. The ship's torpedo tubes were trained fore and aft and one of the torpedoes was accidently discharged, exploding on the bridge. Personnel from aircraft carrier FURIOUS, destroyer FIREDRAKE, boom defense vessel BARFIELD assisting in the rescue of the survivors. Six crew were killed and twenty seven were missing in the destroyer. Forty seven crew were wounded. The survivors left the Clyde on 2 May in French sloops CHAMOIS and COMMANDANT DELAGE.

_____

 

Destroyer ASHANTI departed Scapa Flow at 1000 for repairs at Dundee.

_____

 

Destroyer VANESSA departed Dover for refitting at Devonport.

_____

 

Destroyer VANSITTART departed Invergordon at 0600 with tanker WAR NIZAM for Scapa Flow, arriving at 1600/30th.

_____

 

Submarine SEAL, after embarking mines at Immingham, departed the Humber on minelaying mission FD.7 in the Kattegat.

_____

 

Submarine STURGEON departed Blyth on patrol to relieve submarine TRITON off Skudesnes.

_____

 

Submarine PORPOISE arrived at Rosyth after patrol.

_____

 

In German bombing attacks on British shipping at Aandalsnes, anti-submarine trawlers JARDINE (452grt, Lt K.B. Hopkins RNVR) and WARWICKSHIRE (466grt, Cdr Y.M. Cleeves RNR) of the 22nd Anti-Submarine Group were sunk. They were later salved by German forces as Vp.6117 (trawler CHERUSKER) and Vp.6114 (trawler ALAME), respectively. Skipper S.J. Cory RNR of JARDINE was wounded.

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Minesweepers DUNOON (Lt Cdr H A Barclay) and ELGIN of the 4th Minesweeping Flotilla were minesweeping from 29 April after steamer CREE was damaged. DUNOON was recovering a parted mine sweep when she struck a mine off Great Yarmouth in 52‑45N, 2‑23E in the minefield laid by German minelayer Schiff 11 on 2 April. The four inch ammunition magazine exploded and she sank in 40 minutes. Lt Cdr Barclay, Lt J H C Torr RNR, Temporary S/Lt R A Hill RNVR and twenty five ratings were lost with five ratings wounded.

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Anti-aircraft CARLISLE and sloop BITTERN were stationed at Namsos as anti-aircraft guard ships. Antiaircraft cruiser CARLISLE had departed temporarily on the 28th to refuel and returned during a heavy German air attack on the 30th. Sloop BITTERN was bombed and badly damaged in her stern during this attack in 64‑28N, 11‑30E. Seventeen ratings were killed and three missing in the attack in the attack.Eleven ratings were wounded. Destroyer JANUS took off the wounded from BITTERN and later scuttled the sloop. Anti-submarine trawlers ST GORAN (Lt Cdr N.C. McGuigan RNR), ASTON VILLA (Lt Cdr Sir G.C. Congreve, Bt), GAUL (Temporary Lt H.M. Duff-Still RNVR) were badly damaged by German bombing at Namsos. McGuigan and three ratings were killed on ST GORAN. Destroyer JANUS, en route up the fjord, sent her medical officer to assist ST GORAN's wounded.Two hours later, anti-aircraft cruiser CARLISLE arrived and took the survivors aboard survivors, less Lt P.W. Clark, BITTERN's Navigator, which remained on JANUS.

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Battleship RESOLUTION arrived at Tromso.

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Steamers BELLEROPHON (9019grt) and LYCAON (7350grt) were brought to the Clyde arriving at 1830/27th by destroyer WESTCOTT. Destroyers ISIS, IMOGEN, ILEX departed the Clyde at 0830 escorting these steamers for Narvik.

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Norwegian destroyer SLEIPNER departed Scapa Flow at 1330 for a refit in the Tyne, but was diverted to Rosyth due to German minelaying.

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During the night of 30 April/1 May, the evacuation of Aandalsnes and Molde, codenamed Operations TUNNEL and BRICK No.1, respectively, began under the command of Vice Admiral Sir G. F. B. Edward-Collins KCVO, CB. Light cruisers ARETHUSA and GALATEA and destroyer WALKER, WANDERER, WESTCOTT departed Scapa Flow at 1700/29th. Destroyers SOMALI, MASHONA, TARTAR with troopships ULSTER MONARCH (3791grt) and ULSTER PRINCE (3791grt) departed Scapa Flow at 1230/29th. Destroyer SIKH departed Scapa Flow at 1540/29th to join this force. Molde was evacuated by troopship ULSTER PRINCE escorted by destroyer TARTAR from 2300/30th to 0100 on 1 May. Aandalsnes was evacuated by light cruisers GALATEA and ARETHUSA which embarked troops at the pier and destroyer WALKER and WESTCOTT which embarked troops and ferried them to light cruiser SHEFFIELD in the harbour. Troopship ULSTER MONARCH accompanied this force, but returned empty because the first night's quota had been filled by the cruisers. Light cruiser ARETHUSA was the first ship to leave the area at about 0100 and the others followed soon after. Destroyers SIKH and WANDERER at Alfarnes, six miles north of Aandalsnes, lifted troops and ferried them to nearby light cruiser SOUTHAMPTON. While there was no enemy resistance to the operation, WANDERER went aground and SIKH had to tow her off. Destroyer WANDERER was repaired at London from 6 to 29 May. At Verblungsnes, across the mouth of the Romsdal River, destroyers MASHONA, WALKER, WESTCOTT picked up the surviving troops of the PRIMROSE force.WALKER and WESTCOTT not leaving until 0315 in order to pick up the rear guard units. As the force left the Fjord, they were attacked by German bombers, but anti-aircraft fire forced the bombers to drop their bombs ineffectively. Destroyer SIKH and troopships ULSTER PRINCE and ULSTER MONARCH arrived at Scapa Flow at 1235 on 2 May. Light cruiser SOUTHAMPTON and destroyers WESTCOTT and WALKER arrived at Sullom Voe during the afternoon of 1 May. Light cruiser SOUTHAMPTON transferred 350 troops to destroyer WESTCOTT, which then proceeded to Scapa Flow arriving at 0800 on 2 May. Light cruiser SOUTHAMPTON and destroyer WALKER were to have returned to Aandalsnes, but the operation was cancelled when it was found that German troops arrived in the town during the day. Light cruiser SHEFFIELD arrived at Scapa Flow at 0600. Light cruiser SOUTHAMPTON and destroyer WALKER arrived at Scapa Flow at 1515 on 2 May.

 

Light cruisers GALATEA and ARETHUSA arrived at Scapa Flow at 0208 and 0231, respectively on 2 May.

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Battleship WARSPITE departed the Clyde at 2020 escorted by destroyers HERO, FOXHOUND, FIREDRAKE for Gibraltar and duty with the Mediterranean Fleet. The destroyers arrived back in the Clyde after the escort at 1600 on 2 May.

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At 0630, aircraft carrier GLORIOUS with destroyers ACHERON, ANTELOPE, BEAGLE, VOLUNTEER departed Scapa Flow to fly on aircraft and rendezvous with the aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL.

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Destroyer VOLUNTEER arrived at Sullom Voe at 2330 to make good defects before going to Scapa Flow. Entering the anchorage, she fouled the indicator nets. The nets were cleared by the attendant boom boat with no damage to the destroyer and little damage to the nets.

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Destroyer KIMBERLEY, escorting Danish steamer GUNVOR MAERSK, was ordered at 2034 to Sullom Voe to embark ammunition from destroyer JUNO, which was experiencing defects, then join aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL in JUNO's place.

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French steamer MARGAUX (1463grt) escorted by French auxiliary patrol ship HEUREUX (1016grt) arrived in the Clyde. The patrol ship departed the Clyde on 1 May to return to Brest.

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Trawler ATHELSTAN (202grt) was sunk by German bombing in the North Sea.

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The German 2nd S-Boat Flotilla, off Norway since the start of the Norwegian campaign, was ordered to Wilhelmshaven to prepare for the operations in the North Sea. The lst S-Boat Flotilla remained for coastal defense; three units based at Sognefjord and two at Bergen. They departed to return to Germany on 14 May.

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Convoy OB.136 departed Liverpool, escorted by sloop LEITH from 30 April to 3 May when she was detached to convoy HX.37.

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Convoy FS.158 departed the Tyne. The convoy arrived at Southend on 1 May.

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Danish tug VALKYRIEN departed Lisbon and was taken in prise by destroyer KEPPEL and taken to Gibraltar.

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Convoy HX.39 departed Halifax at 1000 escorted by Canadian destroyers RESTIGOUCHE and ST LAURENT. At 1400 on 1 May, the destroyers turned the convoy over to Armed merchant cruiser VOLTAIRE and French submarine ARCHIMEDE. The armed merchant cruiser and the submarine were detached on 11 May. On 12 May, sloop ENCHANTRESS and corvette GLADIOLUS joined the convoy and escorted it until its arrival at Liverpool on 15 May.

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Light cruiser DURBAN arrived at Singapore.

 

 

April, miscellaneous

 

Mine destructor ship BURLINGTON was damaged by the explosion of a mine in the Scapa Flow area at the end of April. The ship departed Scapa Flow on 5 May in tow of tug MARAUDER and escorted by anti-submarine trawlers PRESTON NORTH END and LINCOLN CITY at 1330. The ship was repaired at the Clyde from 2 June to 8 July.

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One more French troop convoy and one more French supply convoy were organized for the Norwegian campaign. Convoy FP.5, consisting of French liners KOUTOBIA (8790grt), CHANTILLY (9986grt), COMPIEGNE (9986grt), EXPLORATEUR GRANDIDIER (10268grt), departed Brest on 8 May escorted by destroyers GUEPARD, LEOPARD, VALMY and arrived at Greenock on 10 May. The troops were disembarked at Greenock on 14 May, but were reembarked. On 16 May, the convoy left the Clyde escorted by French destroyer EPERVIER and Patrol vessels JASON and GLEANER and returned to Brest on 19 May. Convoy FS.5 of steamers SAINT CAMILLE, CERES, CAP TAFELNEH, DUPLEIX, MONIQUE SCHIAFFINO and convoy FS.6 of steamers SAINT CYRILLE and FORMIGNY did not leave Brest and the sailing of the convoys was cancelled on 15 May.

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Gunboats APHIS and LADYBIRD departed Alexandria for Malta. En route, they ran into heavy weather south of Crete. Light cruiser DRAGON was sent to assist. Cruiser DRAGON took gunboat LADYBIRD in tow due to the gunboat being almost out of fuel and having damage to her starboard propeller shaft. When the weather abated, the two gunboats were able to proceed on their own and arrived at Malta. Gunboat LADYBIRD was repaired and refitted at Malta completed in six weeks. Light cruiser DRAGON departed Malta after completing her escort duties on the 23rd.

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The British continued the destroyer patrol off Cadiz with DOUGLAS on 5 April, WISHART on the 8th, VELOX on the 13th, ACTIVE on the 17th and 18th, and VENDETTA on the 26th and 27th.

 

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