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

NAVAL EVENTS, MAY 1940 (Part 1 of 4)
Wednesday 1st Tuesday 7th

Partly edited by Gordon Smith, Naval-History.Net

HMS Terror, monitor (Navy Photos, click to enlarge)

on to MAY 1940, Part 2

 

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

(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

Wednesday, 1 May

 

Norwegian hospital ship DRONNING MAUD (1488grt) was badly damaged by German bombing at Gratangen.

 

There were twenty casualties on the Norwegian ship.

 

Hospital ship DRONNING MAUD was a total loss and was not salved.

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Submarine NARWHAL at 0727 laid a minefield, designated FD.6, off Frederikstavn in 57-30N, 10-43E.

 

On 3 May, German auxiliary minesweeper M. 1102 (trawler H.A. W. MULLER, 460grt) was slightly damaged on this minefield.

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Submarine NARWHAL at 1825 attacked a German convoy,carrying the 2nd Gebirgsjager Division, nine miles east of Skagen near Hertha, in 57-39N, 11-02. 5E.

 

Submarine NARWHAL fired six torpedoes at a convoy of four merchant ships, German steamers BUENAS AIRES (6097grt), BAHIA CASTILLO (8579grt), KRETA (2359grt), WIEGAND (5869grt).

 

German steamer BUENAS AIRES (6097grt) was sunk and German steamer BAHIA CASTILLO (8579grt) was badly damaged losing her rudder and screws.

 

Sixty men and two hundred and forty horses were lost and sixty four men wounded on the steamer BUENAS AIRES. Ten men and twenty six horses were lost and twenty three men wounded on the steamer BAHIA CASTILLO.

 

Steamer BAHIA CASTILLO was towed to Frederickshavn and was later broken up.

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French submarines CASABIANCA and SFAX arrived at Dundee from patrol.

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French minelaying submarine RUBIS (Lieutenant de Vaisseau G. Cabanier) arrived at Harwich for minelaying operations off the Norwegian coast.

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Destroyers VETERAN, VISCOUNT, VANSITTART departed Scapa Flow at 0500 with French convoy FS.3, consisting of British steamers MARGOT (4545grt) and SEPIA (6214grt), British tanker BRITISH LORD (6098grt), British base ship MASHOBRA (8324grt), French steamers ALBERTE LE BORGNE (3921grt), ENSEIGNE MAURICE PRECHAC (4578grt), SAINTE CLARE (3824grt), VULCAIN (4362grt).

 

These ships had been escorted to Scapa Flow by Escort ships JASON and GLEANER and anti-submarine trawlers. On arrival at Scapa Flow on 28 April, the escorts returned to the Clyde.

 

Off Scapa Flow, these ships were joined by destroyers ISIS, IMOGEN, ILEX with British steamers BELLEROPHON (9019grt) and LYCAON (7350grt) which had departed the Clyde on 30 April.

 

When the two groups rendezvoused, destroyers VETERAN and VISCOUNT took base ship MASHOBRA to the Clyde arriving on the 2nd. The convoy and its escorts arrived safely at Harstad on the 6th.

French steamer PAUL EMILE JAVARY (2471grt) of the convoy was damaged in a collision on 28 April with British steamer PIZARRO (1367grt) sixteen miles east, northeast of Stornoway. She was able to leave Scapa Flow on the 3rd and arrived at Harstad on the 9th.

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Destroyers ESK, EXPRESS, INTREPID with mines for the Narvik area were ordered to return to Immingham.

 

The destroyers departed Scapa Flow at 0540 and arrived at Immingham at 2030.

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French destroyer FOUDROYANT arrived at Greenock escorting French troopship VILLE D'ALGER (10,172grt). She departed that day and arrived at Scapa Flow the next day.

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French convoy FP.3 with French troopships VILLE D'ALGER (10,172grt), COLOMBIE (13,391grt), CHENONCEAUX (14,825grt), MEXIQUE (12,220grt) and British troopship MONARCH OF BERMUDA (22,424grt) departed the Clyde at 0700/1st carrying the last contingent of the 1st Chasseurs Light Division, the French Legion Demi Brigade, the Polish Brigade.

 

These troopships were escorted by destroyers ATHERSTONE, WARWICK, French destroyers EPERVIER and FOUDROYANT, Patrol vessels JASON and GLEANER of the 3rd Anti-submarine Striking Force.

 

Destroyer WHIRLWIND departed the Clyde at 1300 and joined the convoy.

 

British troopships EMPRESS OF AUSTRALIA, REINA DEL PACIFICO, LANCASTRIA, DUCHESS OF ATHOLL and Polish troopships BATORY and SOBIESKI proceeded in company in the convoy for Scapa Flow. The escort vessels JASON and GLEANER escorted this section into Scapa Flow.

 

Destroyer ATHERSTONE was detached for refuelling at Scapa Flow.

 

Troopship VILLE D'ALGER took the place of French liner GENERAL METZINGER (9312grt) which was damaged in St George's Channel while en route to Greenock. British steamer MONARCH OF BERMUDA replaced French liner PROVIDENCE (11996grt).

 

Destroyer ECHO departed Rosyth at 0900/1st and passed May Island at 0900. She arrived at Scapa Flow at 0700/2nd escorting British tanker BRITISH GOVERNOR (6840grt) from Aberdeen.

 

Destroyer ECHO departed Scapa Flow at 1300/2nd to escort convoy FP.3, but was recalled at 1351 to Scapa Flow. At Scapa Flow, the destroyer went alongside troopship ULSTER PRINCE and embarked the Norwegian Naval Commander in Chief Admiral Deisan, three staff officers, three Swedish officers for passage to Tromso. She then proceeded to join the convoy.

 

Destroyers AMAZON and BRAZEN departed Scapa Flow at 0340/2nd to join the convoy.

 

Destroyer ECHO joined the convoy escort on the 4th.

 

Troopships VILLE D'ALGER and MONARCH OF BERMUDA arrived at Harstad on the 5th and the rest of the convoy safely arrived at Tromso on the 5th.

 

On the 7th, escorted by destroyers BRAZEN and ECHO and French destroyer EPERVIER, troopships CHENONCEAUX and COLOMBIE disembarked at Harstad and MEXIQUE disembarked at Salangen and Balangen.

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Battleship RESOLUTION and light cruisers EFFINGHAM (Commander in Chief Norway aboard) and AURORA bombarded German positions in Ofotfjord in the Ankenes area.

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Anti-aircraft ship CURLEW arrived at Scapa Flow.

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Destroyers WOLVERINE and BRAZEN arrived at Scapa Flow at 0525 with details on board from the Namsos area.

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Anti-submarine trawler NORTHERN PRIDE ran aground at Tjelsundet.

 

The trawler was assisted by destroyer WALKER.

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Destroyer JUNO from Scapa Flow arrived at Sullom Voe at 1800 to refuel.

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Destroyer WANDERER searched for a German submarine reported by air at 1515 in 61‑20N, 00‑18E. She searched from 1744 to 2103 and then proceeded to Sullom Voe to refuel.

 

Destroyer WANDERER arrived at daylight at 0635/2nd. She embarked troops in destroyer WALKER.

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Destroyer KIMBERLEY departed Sullom Voe at 0915 after refuelling.

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British operation BRICK 2, the evacuation of southern Norway which began on 30 April, continued.

 

At Romdalsfjord, anti-aircraft cruiser CALCUTTA and sloop AUCKLAND were heavily attacked by German bombers and both ships, almost out of ammunition, were withdrawn at 1600 from the Fjord.

 

That night, a British force under Vice Admiral G. Layton, CB DSO, which departed Scapa Flow at 1700 on 30 April, entered the Romdalsfjord to embark troops with Light cruisers MANCHESTER (CS 18) and BIRMINGHAM, destroyers INGLEFIELD, DIANA, DELIGHT. They joined anti-aircraft cruiser CALCUTTA and sloop AUCKLAND already in the area.

 

As cruisers MANCHESTER and BIRMINGHAM were too large the use the pier, destroyers INGLEFIELD, DIANA, DELIGHT ferried the troops out into the harbour for embarkation on the cruisers.

 

Destroyer SOMALI embarked the PRIMROSE detachment at Aalesund.

 

Destroyer DIANA embarked Norwegian General Ruge and took him, along with his staff, to Tromso arriving at 1100/3rd.

 

Layton with light cruisers BIRMINGHAM and MANCHESTER and destroyers INGLEFIELD and DELIGHT returned to Scapa Flow at 0015/3rd sustaining no casualties in the evacuation.

 

Destroyer SOMALI arrived Scapa Flow at 1630/2nd.

 

Anti-aircraft ship CALCUTTA and destroyer MASHONA arrived at Scapa Flow at 0730/3rd. CALCUTTA had forty one officers and seven hundred and fifteen men evacuated from Aandalsnes. MASHONA carried one officer and nine men, all wounded, the crew of trawler CAPE CHELYUSKIN.

 

Sloop AUCKLAND arrived at Scapa Flow at 1015/3rd.

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Aircraft carrier GLORIOUS, escorted by destroyers ACHERON, ANTELOPE, BEAGLE, arrived off Norway with new aircraft after having been withdrawn for refuelling and aircraft on 27 April.

 

A Skua from aircraft carrier GLORIOUS 803 Squadron was shot down in error by British ships off Namsos. S/Lt G. W. Brokensha and Petty Officer S. E. Andrews were picked up by destroyer NUBIAN.

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Destroyers HYPERION and BEAGLE were detached from the aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL's screen for refuelling at Sullom Voe.

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Destroyers WITHERINGTON and WOLVERINE departed Scapa Flow at 2107 with Polish troopship CHROBRY (11,442grt) and British troopship ORION (23,456grt) to Rosyth, arriving at 1130/2nd.

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In Operation KLAXON 1 and 2, Namsos was to have been evacuated over two days, but when word of a battalion of French troops having gotten away, the entire operation was set to take place on the 1st.

 

The British evacuating force arrived off the coast and found it fog covered.

 

Late on the 1st, destroyer MAORI reached Kya Light off Namsenfjord and Vice Admiral J. Cunningham sent destroyers KELLY, GRENADE, GRIFFIN, French BISON to join her.

 

As the destroyers went up Namsenfjord in dense fog early on the 2nd, destroyer MAORI was damaged by near misses of air bombs and sustained twenty three casualties (five dying of wounds). Cdr G. N. Brewer, Lt Cdr (E) T. T. Brandreth and Acting Gunner (T) S. C. White were among the wounded.

 

The evacuation attempt was aborted at that time due to the German's knowledge of their intentions and operation was rescheduled for the night of 2/3 May.

 

Destroyer MAORI withdrew with her casualties.

 

Destroyer MAORI was able to participate in evacuation the next night.

 

Destroyer MAORI departed Scapa Flow at 0001/6th. Off Sumburgh Head, she met destroyer ECLIPSE, which departed Lerwick at 0420 with one operable engine, escorted her to the Clyde.

 

Destroyer ECLIPSE arrived at Greenock at 1800/7th.

 

Destroyer MAORI went on to Bootle, near Liverpool, where her repairs were completed on the 20th.

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S/Lt H.G. Aitchison was killed when his Hornet Moth aircraft crashed at Golspie.

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Convoy BC.36 of steamers ATLANTIC COAST, BARON NAIRN (Commodore), CAMEO, CITY OF LANCASTER, DORSET COAST, MARSLEW departed Bristol Channel escorted by destroyer MONTROSE. The convoy arrived at Loire on the 3rd.

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Convoy SA.39 of one steamer arrived at St Malo from Southampton.

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Convoy FN.159 departed Southend, escorted by destroyer WOOLSTON and armed patrol yacht BREDA. The convoy arrived at the Tyne on the 3rd.

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Convoy MT.62 departed Methil, escorted by sloops EGRET and WESTON. The convoy arrived in the Tyne later that day.

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Convoy FS.159 departed the Tyne, escorted by destroyers VALOROUS and WALLACE. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 3rd.

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Convoy FS.160 departed the Tyne, escorted by destroyer VALENTINE and sloop WESTON. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 3rd.

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Destroyer BOREAS arrived at Dover from Chatham after refitting.

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Convoy OG.28F was formed from convoys OA.138GF, which departed Southend on 28 April escorted by sloop SCARBOROUGH, OB.138GF, which departed Liverpool on 28 April, escorted by destroyer VERSATILE, with forty five ships.

 

Sloop SCARBOROUGH escorted the convoy on the 1st and was then detached to convoy HG.28 F.

 

Sloop FOLKESTONE and anti-submarine whaler WILLIAM SCORESBY escorted the convoy from 1 to 6 May. The convoy arrived at Gibraltar on the 6th.

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French anti-submarine trawlers LA CANCALAISE (former British SAINT AMANDUS, 400grt), LA NANTAISE (former British SAINT ARCADIUS, 399grt), LA L'LORIENTAISE (former British SAINT ANDRONICUS, 398grt) departed Dover for Dunkirk.

 

Trawler L'LORIENTAISE, damaged on 26 April, was under the tow of French tug BARFLEUR (TUMULTE in some sources).

 

Near Dyck Light Vessel shoal, trawler LA CANCALAISE struck a mine and sank.

 

Twelve plus crew were lost on the French trawler.

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Convoy OA.139 departed Southend escorted by sloop ENCHANTRESS.

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Battleships MALAYA and ROYAL SOVEREIGN, French battleships LORRAINE, BRETAGNE, PROVENCE,from Mer el Kebir, French cruisers TOURVILLE, DUQUESNE, DUGUAY TROUIN escorted by destroyers DEFENDER and DECOY, Australian destroyers STUART and VAMPIRE, six French destroyers, one French torpedo boat passed Malta en route to reinforce the Mediterranean Fleet.

 

Destroyers VELOX and WATCHMAN, escorting the battleships, entered Malta, arrived back at Gibraltar on the 4th.

 

Battleships MALAYA and ROYAL SOVEREIGN, Australian destroyers STUART and VAMPIRE, French battleships PROVENCE, LORRAINE, BRETAGNE, destroyers TIGRE, LYNX, FORBIN arrived at Alexandria at 1820/3rd.

 

Destroyer FORBIN was a replacement for originally designated destroyer PANTHERE which was under repair at Toulon.

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Convoy SL. 30 departed Freetown escorted by armed merchant cruiser CARNARVON CASTLE until 15 May. The convoy arrived at Liverpool on the 18th.

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Australian troop convoy US.3 departed Wellington with troopships AQUITANIA (45,647grt), EMPRESS OF BRITAIN (42,348grt), EMPRESS OF JAPAN (26,032grt), escorted by Australian heavy cruiser AUSTRALIA and New Zealand light cruiser LEANDER.

 

Light cruiser LEANDER had arrived at Wellington on 24 April in preparation for this convoy duty.

 

Australian light cruiser SYDNEY, en route to join this convoy on the 1st, was ordered to Colombo, via Sunda Strait and Singapore. The cruiser arrived at Singapore on the 5th. After refuelling, the cruiser departed Singapore later the same day and arrived at Colombo on the 8th. She departed Colombo on the 12th to meet convoy US.3 in the area of the Coco Islands, but was recalled to Colombo to sail for the Mediterranean.

 

Troopship ANDES (25,689grt) joined en route, escorted by Australian heavy cruiser CANBERRA, all arrived safely off Sydney on the 5th under the escort of Australian heavy cruisers AUSTRALIA and CANBERRA and New Zealand light cruiser LEANDER.

 

At Sydney, the convoy was joined by troopships MAURETANIA (35,738grt) and QUEEN MARY (80,774grt), escorted by Australian light cruiser PERTH, the next day off Melbourne by troopship EMPRESS OF CANADA (21,517grt).

 

Light cruiser PERTH was detached when the convoy formed for ocean passage.

 

Convoy US.3 was at Fremantle from 10 to 12 May when the convoy put back out to sea. New Zealand light cruiser LEANDER was detached on the 16th and proceeded on other duties. The light cruiser LEANDER arrived at Colombo on the 19th.

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Light cruiser DAUNTLESS was refitting at Hong Kong from this date to 4 June.

 

Thursday, 2 May

 

Anti-aircraft cruiser COVENTRY departed Sheerness for trials at Rosyth after refit.

 

The trials were completed on the 7th. Anti-aircraft cruiser COVENTRY arrived at Sullom Voe on the 8th.

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Destroyer WOLFHOUND completed her conversion to fast escort ship. She proceeded to Portland for working up which was cut short by the invasion of France and the Low Countries. On 14 May, she departed Portland for Sheerness.

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At 0926, submarine TRIDENT fired two torpedoes at German steamer CLARE HUGO STINNES I (5294grt) off Skorpa Island.

 

Submarine TRIDENT fired seventy rounds from her deck gun at the German steamer which ran herself aground in Bjoernefjord to prevent sinking.

 

Submarine TRIDENT fired three torpedoes at the grounded German steamer, but all three torpedoes exploded on the rocks.

 

The German steamer was later salved. On 26 July, CLARE HUGO STINNES I was docked at Bergen for repairs. The ship was ultimately lost on 27 September 1944 on a mine.

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Submarine CLYDE departed Dundee for patrol off Fro Havet.

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Submarine TAKU departed Rosyth on patrol.

 

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French destroyers BRESTOIS and BOULONNAIS arrived at Scapa Flow at 1245 with steamers AMIENOIS and SAUMUR.

 

Both destroyers departed at 2130 escorting French steamers AMIENOIS, SAUMUR, CAP BLANC to Greenock, arriving at 1800/4th.

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Destroyer HEREWARD arrived at Sullom Voe for refuelling at 1240/2nd.

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Polish destroyer BLYSKAWICA was damaged by German shore guns near Narvik. She retired to Skelfjord for repairs.

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Late on the 2nd at Mosjoen, destroyer JANUS landed 100 Chasseur Alpins and two anti-aircraft guns embarked at Namsos. The landing was completed at 2350.

 

This operation was attempted on the 1st, but was delayed due to heavy fog.

 

The destroyer was then ordered to meet two Norwegian pulp ships from Salsbruket and one Norwegian pulp ship from Lansless fifty miles off the coast and escort them.

 

Destroyer JANUS was unable to locate any of these merchant ships and arrived at Scapa Flow at 0730/5th.

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Destroyer WANDERER arrived at Sullom Voe at 0635 to refuel.

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Destroyer WESTCOTT arrived at Scapa Flow from Sullom Voe at 0800 with 350 troops on board.

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Destroyer HYPERION arrived at Sullom Voe for refuelling at 2215.

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Destroyer ICARUS departed Scapa Flow at 1200 to meet Danish steamer GUNVOR MAERSK en route to Scapa Flow.

 

Both ships arrived at Scapa Flow at 1800.

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Destroyer JAGUAR departed Rosyth with British A. S. I. S. steamer CROMARTY FIRTH (538grt) for Scapa Flow.

 

Destroyer JAGUAR was returning to the Home Fleet after repairs.

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Late on the 2nd, the British evacuated Namsos in Operation KLAXON.

Anti-aircraft cruiser CARLISLE, which had joined the evacuation force west of Namsos earlier in the day, stood off the town of Namsos while the evacuation took place.

 

The two surviving trawlers at Namsos, ARAB and ANGLE, ferried troops to the French armed merchant cruiser EL MANSOUR and heavy cruiser YORK in the harbour, while French armed merchant cruisers EL D'JEZAIR and EL KANTARA berthed at the pier.

 

Destroyers AFRIDI, NUBIAN, KELLY and French destroyers BISON and FOUDROYANT operated in the Fjord.

 

Heavy cruiser DEVONSHIRE, French light cruiser MONTCALM, Destroyers GRENADE, GRIFFIN, HASTY, IMPERIAL remained at sea off Namsenfjord.

 

Early on the 3rd, British trawlers ST GORAN (565grt) of the 15th Anti-submarine Striking Force and ASTON VILLA (546grt) and GAUL (550grt) of the 16th Anti-submarine Striking Force, which had been badly damaged by German bombing near Namsos on 30 April, were scuttled before the allied ships left.

 

The British and French ships were able to lift 1850 British troops, 2345 French troops, some Norwegian troops, thirty German prisoners from Namsos.

 

Destroyer AFRIDI stayed behind to pick up a late arriving detachment when the other ships left for the relative safety of the open sea.

 

The evacuation was completed at 0445/3rd.

 

Destroyer AFRIDI caught up with the allied force as the Germans launched heavy air attacks on the force. Air attacks concentrated on heavy cruiser DEVONSHIRE and light cruiser MONTCALM.

 

French destroyer BISON was hit by a German bomb which exploded her fore magazine and blew off the fore part of the ship at 1010 in these attacks in 65‑42N, 07‑17E. Her survivors were taken off by destroyer GRENADE which went alongside and destroyers IMPERIAL and AFRIDI which picked up men from the water. AFRIDI had rescued sixty nine BISON survivors.

 

C. V. Bouan, L. V. Merlin, one hundred ratings were lost in destroyer BISON. Also killed on destroyer BISON was British Cdr R. R. Graham DSO, which was an observer.

 

Destroyer AFRIDI scuttled destroyer BISON.

 

Destroyer AFRIDI rejoined the Main Force after picking up BISON's survivors, but then was hit herself at 1400 in further German bombing in 66‑14N, 5‑45E.

 

Destroyer AFRIDI foundered forty six minutes after being hit.

 

Destroyers GRIFFIN and IMPERIAL picked up her survivors.

 

Warrant Telegraphist R. Mellor and forty eight of AFRIDI's ratings were lost with the ship along with three of IMPERIAL's ratings, about 30 of BISON's crew, thirteen military rearguard personnel evacuated from Namsos. Three AFRIDI ratings died of wounds and thirty one ratings were wounded.

 

Light cruiser SOUTHAMPTON and destroyer HYPERION, HEREWARD, BEAGLE departed Scapa Flow on the 3rd to support the British force.

 

Destroyers FURY, FORESIGHT, ANTELOPE, ACHERON also departed Scapa Flow at 2330/3rd to support the evacuation force's return. The British and French ships arrived at Scapa Flow, without further damage, late on 4 and early on the 5th.

 

Destroyers IMPERIAL, GRIFFIN, GRENADE arrived at Sullom Voe at 1700/4th to discharge wounded French and British sailors from destroyers BISON and AFRIDI and the military rearguard from Namsos to French hospital ship SPHINX.

 

The destroyers departed Sullom Voe at 2130/4th and arrived Scapa Flow at 0730/5th. Passengers embarked from Norway were accommodated in battleship RODNEY.

 

Heavy cruiser YORK and destroyer NUBIAN arrived at Scapa Flow at 2030/4th.

 

Destroyers KELLY and HASTY and troopship EL MANSOUR arrived at Scapa Flow at 2130/4th.

 

Heavy cruiser DEVONSHIRE, French light cruiser MONTCALM, light cruiser SOUTHAMPTON, French troopships EL D'JEZAIR and EL KANTARA, destroyers ACHERON, ANTELOPE, MAORI, FURY, FORESIGHT, HEREWARD arrived at Scapa Flow at 0400/5th.

 

Wounded arriving at Scapa Flow were embarked in British hospital ship ISLE OF JERSEY.

Most of the French troops, including some of the BISON survivors, were embarked on French passenger ship PRESIDENT DOUMER (11,898grt), DJENNE (8790grt), FLANDRE (8503grt), PROVIDENCE (11,996grt) which left the Clyde on the 9th escorted by French large destroyers TARTU, MILAN, CHEVALIER PAUL and four British torpedo boats to return to Brest, arriving on the 11th.

 

The rest of the French troops, including the seriously wounded, were embarked on French hospital ship SPHINX which departed Scapa Flow on the 25th escorted by minesweeper HEBE. She arrived at Brest on the 27th.

 

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Minelaying operation BS 1 was conducted in the North Sea by minelayers TEVIOTBANK and PRINCESS VICTORIA escorted by patrol sloops WIDGEON, PINTAIL, PUFFIN, SHEARWATER.

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Light cruisers GALATEA and ARETHUSA departed Scapa Flow for Rosyth.

 

Light cruisers GALATEA and ARETHUSA were transferred on the 3rd to the Nore Command to be based at Sheerness. They departed Rosyth for Sheerness on the 7th.

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Destroyer WILD SWAN was on North Goodwins patrol.

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Destroyer KEITH covered the passage of the B. E. F. Boulogne leave boats.

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Destroyer BOADICEA departed Dover at 0600 for Chatham.

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Convoy FN.160 departed Southend, escorted by destroyer WINCHESTER and sloop LONDONDERRY. The convoy arrived in the Tyne on the 4th.

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During the night of 1/2 May, French large destroyers INDOMPTABLE and MALIN were anchored in the Downs to land British liaison officers.

 

The destroyers arrived at Brest on the 4th.

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Light cruisers ORION and NEPTUNE arrived at Malta from Gibraltar.

 

Light cruiser ORION, with Admiral Sir Andrew Cunningham taking passage on her and Vice Admiral, destroyers aboard, departed on the 3rd and arrived at Alexandria on the 4th.

 

On arrival at Alexandria, Admiral Cunningham hoisted his flag on battleship MALAYA.

 

Light cruiser NEPTUNE departed Malta in the evening of 3 May, arrived at Alexandria on the 5th.

 

Friday, 3 May

 

Large French destroyers CHEVALIER PAUL, MILAN, TARTU (Cdr J. H.Ruck-Keene, British liaison officer embarked) and destroyers SIKH and TARTAR departed Scapa Flow for a raid into the Skagerrak to intercept two German merchant ships escorted by two torpedo boats in 58‑45N, 04‑48E at 2200/3rd.

 

The sortie was without contact and the ships returned undamaged at 0930/4th.

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Aircraft carriers ARK ROYAL and GLORIOUS, battleship VALIANT, heavy cruiser BERWICK, destroyers FURY, ENCOUNTER, ESCORT, FEARLESS, ACHERON, ANTELOPE, FORTUNE, KIMBERLEY arrived at 1030 at Scapa Flow after operations off Norway.

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Aircraft carrier GLORIOUS departed Scapa Flow at 1600 for the Clyde escorted by destroyers IVANHOE, ICARUS, IMPULSIVE.

 

Aircraft carrier GLORIOUS and the destroyers arrived at Greenock at 1630/4th.

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Destroyer BEAGLE arrived at Scapa Flow at 0630.

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Destroyer JACKAL arrived at Sullom Voe at 0800 to refuel and to change her asdic oscillator.

 

Destroyer JACKAL sailed at 1115/3rd.

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Destroyers HYPERION and HEREWARD arrived at Scapa Flow at 1330 from Sullom Voe.

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Polish destroyer BURZA proceeded from Harstad to Skaalanfjord where she towed landing craft with French Alpins to Gratangen. Completing this duty, she returned to Harstad.

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Convoy HK.1 departed Scapa Flow at 2100 escorted by destroyers WESTCOTT and FOUDROYANT and sloop FLEETWOOD. Destroyer VOLUNTEER, whaler ULLSWATER (560grt), trawler WILLOW (574grt) joined during the night.

The convoy was composed of tankers BROOMDALE (8334grt) and BRITISH GOVERNOR (6840grt) and steamers NARVA (1575grt), A. S. I. S. CROMARTY FIRTH (538grt), EMILE JAVARY (2471grt), cable ship LASSO (930grt).

 

Convoy HK.1 arrived at Harstad at 2200/9th.

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British steamers BLACKHEATH (4637grt), DELIUS (6065grt), DALLINGTON COURT (6889grt), HARMATTAN (4558grt), DROMORE CASTLE (5242grt), J. HOLt (3815grt), CISCAR (1809grt), THISTLEFORD (4764grt) departed Scapa Flow at 1100 escorted by destroyer BEAGLE and patrol vessels GLEANER and JASON.

 

Two hours later, destroyer WALKER departed Scapa Flow with stragglers GUNVOR MAERSK (1977grt) and RONAN (1489grt).

 

Destroyers WALKER and BEAGLE escorted the Bristol Channel contingent on from the Clyde.

 

The destroyers after the escort went to Liverpool for boiler clean, arriving on the 6th.

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British troopships ROYAL SCOTSMAN and ULSTER PRINCE departed Scapa Flow for the Clyde to embark troops and stores for Bodo and Mosjoen, respectively.

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Destroyer BASILISK and sloop STORK were sent to intercept unknown ships reported fifty miles south of Vestfjord.

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Old Norwegian torpedo boats DRISTIG and DJERV were scuttled at Kvamsoy in Sognefjord.

_____

 

British Home Fleet destroyers HAVOCK, HEREWARD, HOSTILE, JANUS, KANDAHAR, HYPERION, KELLY, KIMBERLEY were ordered to escort duty on the east coast.

 

The force was later directed to the Humber.

_____

 

Anti-submarine trawlers NORTHERN PRIDE of 12th Anti-submarine Striking Force, ARGYLLSHIRE of 11th Anti-submarine Striking Force, STELLA CAPELLA and CAPE ARGONA of the 12th Anti-submarine Group arrived at Scapa Flow from Romdalsfjord.

 

These trawlers departed for Aberdeen at 2015/4th.

_____

 

Convoy OA.141 departed Southend escorted by destroyer VESPER from 3 to 5 May and destroyer VENETIA on the 5th.

_____

 

Convoy OB.141 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyer VANQUISHER from 3 to 6 May.

_____

 

Convoy BC.35 of seven steamers, including steamers BARON KINNAIRD and DAVID LIVINGSTONE (Commodore) departed Loire escorted by destroyer MONTROSE.

 

The destroyer MONTROSE was detached for anti-submarine operations on the 4th. The convoy arrived in Bristol Channel on the 5th.

_____

 

Convoy FN.161 departed Southend, escorted by sloops GRIMSBY and HASTINGS. The convoy arrived at the Tyne on the 5th.

_____

 

Convoy MT.63 departed Methil, escorted by destroyers VIVIEN and VIMIERA. The convoy arrived later in the day.

_____

 

Convoy FS.161 departed the Tyne, escorted by destroyers VIVIEN and VIMIERA. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 5th.

_____

 

Minesweeper SPEEDWELL completed boiler cleaning at Dover.

_____

 

French sloop ADMIRAL MOUCHEZ arrived at Dover to escort French submarines PASTEUR and ORPHEE to Cherbourg.

 

The French ships departed Dover at 1700.

_____

 

French submarine MARSOUIN departed Casablanca, escorted by armed trawler HERON. The submarine arrived at Bizerte on the 8th.

_____

 

German armed merchant cruiser ATLANTIS sank British steamer SCIENTIST (6199grt) in the South Atlantic at 19‑55S, 04‑20E.

 

One crewman from steamer SCIENTIST was killed and another later died on the German merchant cruiser wounds.

 

Fifteen crew were transferred to steamer DURMITOR on 26 October and they were later interned in Italian Somaliland.

 

Twenty seven crew and one passenger were transferred to the steamer TIRRANNA on the 2nd. One crewman and the passenger were lost when the steamer was sunk returning to France.

_____

 

Australian troop convoy US.2 arrived at Colombo en route to Egypt. On the 5th, the convoy put to sea escorted by battleship RAMILLIES, French heavy cruiser SUFFREN, Heavy cruiser KENT.

 

Convoy US.2 was met off Aden on the 12th by Australian light cruiser HOBART and destroyers DECOY and DEFENDER, which departed Aden on the 10th, in the Red Sea by light cruiser LIVERPOOL and sloop SHOREHAM on the 13th.

 

On 17 May, convoy US.2 arrived at Suez escorted by battleship RAMILLIES, French heavy cruiser SUFFREN, light cruiser LIVERPOOL, Destroyers DECOY and DEFENDER. Battleship RAMILLIES went to Alexandria and went into drydock for refit.

 

Heavy cruiser SUFFREN and destroyers DECOY and DEFENDER joined the Mediterranean Fleet for operations.

 

Light cruiser LIVERPOOL patrolled in the Red Sea for two more weeks before joining the Mediterranean Fleet.

_____

 

Repair ship RESOURCE departed Malta escorted by Australian destroyers VOYAGER, VENDETTA, WATERHEN.

 

On the 5th, repair ship RESOURCE was turned over to Australian destroyers STUART and VAMPIRE which escorted her on to Alexandria.

 

Saturday, 4 May

 

French destroyers FOUGUEUX, FRONDEUR, L'ADRIOT carried out a sweep within twenty miles of the Belgian and Dutch coast, as far north as Egmond.

 

No contact was made.

_____

 

Battleship RESOLUTION and light cruiser AURORA bombarded German positions in Beisfjord.

_____

 

Light cruiser GLASGOW and destroyers JACKAL and JAVELIN arrived at Greenock at 1600 from Tromso.

_____

 

Destroyers HERO and FOXHOUND departed Greenock at 1300 with British tanker ATHELEMPRESS (8941grt) for Scapa Flow where they arrived at 0800/6th.

_____

 

Polish destroyer GROM and destroyer FAULKNOR were on patrol off Narvik bombarding German positions when GROM was struck at 0828 on her torpedo tubes by a German bomb.

 

Destroyer GROM (Cdr A. Hulewicz ORP) was sunk in the explosion and her survivors were picked up by light cruiser ENTERPRISE, which lowered boats to rescue survivors at 0835, destroyers FAULKNOR and BEDOUIN. Light cruiser AURORA picked up four survivors.

 

Polish Lt (JG) A. Krakowski and fifty seven ratings were killed. The survivors were transferred from destroyers FAULKNOR and BEDOUIN to Battleship RESOLUTION, then to Polish destroyer BURZA.

 

The Polish survivors were embarked on a hospital ship for the passage back to England. They departed Harstad on the 10th for the Clyde.

_____

 

Aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL (Vice Admiral Aircraft Carriers) departed Scapa Flow at 1620 after refuelling and reprovisioning with anti-aircraft cruiser CURLEW, destroyers INGLEFIELD (D.3), SIKH, MASHONA, TARTAR, JAGUAR, ENCOUNTER.

 

Aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL arrived off Northern Norway for operations on the 7th and operated aircraft daily in support of allied operations. She refuelled at Tromso on the 19th.

_____

 

Destroyers DELIGHT, FEARLESS, KIMBERLEY, FORTUNE departed Scapa Flow at 0600 with troopships LANCASTRIA (16,243grt), BATORY (14,287grt), SOBIESKI (11,030grt), ULSTER MONARCH (3791grt) for the Clyde, where they arrived at 1230/5th.

_____

 

Sloop AUCKLAND departed Scapa Flow at 1700 for Rosyth where she arrived at 0700/5th.

_____

 

Submarine SEAL arrived off Goteborg and Vinga in the Kattegat to lay mines in 57-33. 5N, 11-35. 5E. Shortly after completing the minelay at 0859, SEAL struck a mine herself and was badly damaged.

 

In this damaged state, SEAL was captured early on the 5th by two German Arado seaplanes of the German Navy and was towed to Frederikshavn by German trawler UJ 128 (trawler FRANKEN, 435grt) of the 12th Anti-submarine Flotilla.

 

Lt Cdr R. P. Lonsdale, Lt T. B. J. D. Butler, Lt T. A. Beet, Lt (E) R. H.S. Clark, S/Lt A. R. L. Henderson, S/Lt R. W. H.Boulnois, forty eight ratings from submarine SEAL were taken prisoner.

 

One rating was lost with the submarine and another rating died while prisoner of war.

 

Preliminary repairs were made to SEAL at Frederikshavn by 9 May and on the 10th, she left under tow for Kiel where she arrived on the 11th.

 

Submarine SEAL was commissioned as German U.B on 30 November 1940.

 

Four ships were lost on SEAL's FD.7 minefield.

 

On 4 May, Swedish fishing boat AIMY (200grt) was lost on this minefield.

 

The entire crew of four of the fishing boat AIMY was lost.

 

On the 6th, German steamer VOGESEN (4241grt) was sunk on the minefield.

On 28 May, Swedish steamer TORSTEN (1206grt) was sunk on this minefield four miles south of Vinga.

 

Sixteen crew were rescued from the Swedish steamer.

 

On 5 June, Danish steamer SKANDIA (1248grt) was lost in the minefield.

_____

 

At 0451, submarine SEVERN off Stavanger in 57-50N, 6-40E intercepted Swedish steamer MONARK (1786grt) which had been seized by German forces at Bergen on 9 April.

 

The Swedish steamer had departed Stavanger on the 3rd.

 

After removing the prize crew, which were crew from sunken light cruiser KONIGSBERG, SEVERN torpedoed and sank MONARK.

 

The Norwegian crew was landed twenty five miles from Stavanger. The German prize crew was taken prisoner and returned to England.

_____

 

French destroyer VERDUN, with Rear Admiral Moreau aboard, departed the Clyde to return to Brest.

_____

 

Submarine TRIDENT departed Rosyth on patrol.

_____

 

British steamer ROYAL ULSTERMAN (3244grt), escorted by destroyer MOHAWK departed Scapa Flow at 2150/1st. The steamer landed 290 officers and men forty five miles north of Mosjoen. The landing was completed at 0645/4th.

 

Destroyer GRAFTON took stores, mail, et cetera from the steamer for Narvik.

 

This was the first of five landings for Operations SCISSORS. There were four more troop landings (the last the night of 13/14 May) at Mosjoen, Mo, Bodo.

 

Destroyer MOHAWK and steamer ROYAL ULSTERMAN arrived at Scapa Flow at 0900/6th.

_____

 

Tugs BANDIT and BUCCANEER departed Scapa Flow at 1740 for Skelfjord with salvage eqiupment on board.

_____

 

British steamers LOMBARDY (3379grt), MACGREGOR LAIRD (4015grt), EMPIRE ABILITY (7603grt) escorted by destroyers HAVANT and ACASTA departed Narvik at 0600/4th. The convoy departed Vaagsfjord during the forenoon of 4 May and was joined by anti-submarine whaler BUTTERMERE (560grt).

On the 7th at 2030, destroyers ANTELOPE and ACHERON departed Scapa Flow to join. Destroyer ACASTA was detached to Scapa Flow and whaler BUTTERMERE to Aberdeen. Both arrived at Scapa Flow on the 9th.

 

Destroyer HAVANT arrived at Scapa Flow at 1500/7th to refuel.

 

Steamers LOMBARDY and MACGREGOR LAIRD were taken on to Newport.

 

Destroyer ANTELOPE took steamer EMPIRE ABILITY to the Smalls and was relieved by corvette CLARKIA. Destroyer ANTELOPE then returned to the Clyde.

_____

 

British tanker INVERADER arrived at Invergordon at 1430 escorted by destroyers CODRINGTON and ESCAPADE.

 

Destroyer ESCAPADE went on to Rosyth to boiler clean.

 

Destroyer CODRINGTON remained at Invergordon to escort the tanker back to Scapa Flow when loaded.

_____

 

British tanker SAN TIBURCIO (5995grt), which departed Scapa Flow earlier in the day escorted by anti-submarine trawler LEICESTER CITY (422grt), at 1910 was sunk on a mine laid by U.9 on 9 February four miles 330 from Tarbett Ness in Moray Firth.

 

Destroyer CODRINGTON (D.1) and a tug were sent to assist the tanker.

 

The tanker broke in two forty five minutes after the explosion.

 

The entire crew were rescued by anti-submarine trawler LEICESTER CITY (422grt) and destroyer CODRINGTON and motor anti-submarine boats searched for the submarine thought responsible.

 

When it was determined a submarine was not responsible, destroyer CODRINGTON returned to Invergordon.

_____

 

Convoy OA.142 departed Southend. No escort vessels were listed.

_____

 

Convoy OB.142 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyer WALPOLE from 4 to 7 May. The convoy was dispersed on the 8th.

_____

 

Convoy FN.162 departed Southend, escorted by destroyers WALLACE and VALOROUS. The convoy arrived at the Tyne on the 6th.

_____

 

Convoy FS.162 departed the Tyne, escorted by destroyer WHITLEY and sloop EGRET. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 6th.

_____

 

Convoy HG.29F of forty seven ships departed Gibraltar. The convoy was escorted by French sloop CHEVREUIL and auxiliary patrol vessel MERCEDITA from 4 to 10 May. The French ships arrived at Lorient on the 11th.

 

Destroyer VIMY escorted the convoy from 10 to 13 May.

 

Destroyer WINDSOR and corvette PERIWINKLE from convoy OG.29F escorted the convoy from 10 to 13 May. The convoy arrived at Liverpool on the 13th.

_____

 

Convoy HX.40 departed Halifax at 0900 escorted by Canadian destroyers SAGUENAY and SKEENA, which ere detached on the 5th.

 

The ocean escort was armed merchant cruiser ESPERANCE BAY.

 

The Canadian destroyers arrived back at Halifax at 1345/5th.

 

The armed merchant cruiser was detached on the 11th.

 

Sloop ENCHANTRESS and corvette ARABIS escorted the convoy from 16 to 18 May. The convoy arrived at Liverpool on the 19th.

_____

 

Destroyer BULLDOG departed Devonport at 1600 for the Clyde where she arrived at 1600/5th to join the Home Fleet.

_____

 

Destroyers ICARUS, IVANHOE, IMPULSIVE after escorting aircraft carrier GLORIOUS departed Greenock at 2100 for Scapa Flow, arriving at 1900/5th.

_____

 

Destroyer DIANA departed Skelfjord for Scapa Flow with tanker ALDERSDALE (8402grt).

 

The ships parted company at Cape Wrath. The destroyer arrived at Scapa Flow and the tanker arrived at the Clyde at 1500/9th.

_____

 

Norwegian steamers BLAAFJELD I (1146grt), PAN (1309grt), SEKSTANT (1626grt) were sunk by German bombing near Namsos.

 

The entire crews of steamers BLAAFJELD I and SEKSTANT were rescued.

_____

 

Norwegian steamer AAFJORD (335grt) was sunk by German bombing at Breiviken.

_____

 

Destroyer GARLAND in dock at Malta was transferred to the Polish Navy to offset the loss of Polish destroyer WICHER in September 1939. The original offer of the transfer was made to the Polish Navy on 6 February.

 

On the 16th, GARLAND (Cdr A. Doroszkowski) departed Malta for Alexandria to join the Mediterranean Fleet. The destroyer arrived at Alexandria on the 18th.

 

Sunday, 5 May

 

Heavy cruiser BERWICK departed Scapa Flow at 1630 for the Clyde.

_____

 

Damaged Heavy cruiser SUFFOLK, troopships EL KANTARA (5079grt), EL D'JEZAIR (5818grt), EL MANSOUR (5818grt), DJENNE (8790grt), PRESIDENT DOUMER (11,898grt), DUCHESS OF ATHOLL (20,119grt), REINA DEL PACIFICO (17,707grt), escorted by destroyers KELLY (D.5), TARTU, GRIFFIN, GRENADE, IMPERIAL, CHEVALIER PAUL, MILAN departed Scapa Flow at 1800 for the Clyde, arriving on the 6th.

_____

 

Destroyer FAULKNOR operating in Rombaksfjord near Straumein Point struck a submerged wreck.

 

Destroyer FAULKNOR sustained damage to her anti-submarine dome and the directing gear. She left with a convoy on the 7th to return to England for repairs.

_____

 

Destroyers VETERAN, VISCOUNT, FIREDRAKE departed the Clyde at 0900 with British troopships ULSTER PRINCE (3791grt) for Mosjoen and ROYAL SCOTSMAN (3244grt) for Bodo.

 

Destroyers NUBIAN and JUNO departed Scapa Flow at 0400 on 6 June to relieve destroyers VISCOUNT at 1030.

 

Destroyer VISCOUNT arrived at Scapa Flow at 1400/6th.

 

The Mosjoen and Bodo groups parted company at 1540/8th.

 

Destroyers JUNO and VETERAN with ULSTER PRINCE proceeded to Mosjoen and destroyers NUBIAN and FIREDRAKE with ROYAL SCOTSMAN proceeded to Bodo.

_____

 

British tanker WAR NIZAM, escorted by anti-submarine trawlers WHITETHORN and LE TIGER departed Scapa Flow for Sullom Voe.

_____

 

British motor torpedo boats MTB.22, MTB.24, MTB.25 arrived at Dover from Portsmouth.

_____

 

Submarine NARWHAL arrived in the Humber after patrol.

_____

Submarine TRITON arrived at Rosyth after patrol.

_____

 

After a German cruiser was reported sighted off Nordeney and a large merchant ship in Nordeney Harbour, all the Nore motor torpedo boats and patrol sloops were brought to one half hour's notice.

 

Submarine patrols off the Dutch coast were reinforced.

_____

 

British auxiliary minelayer HAMPTON laid mines in minefield DML 9 in 51-01N, 2-16E escorted by destroyers KEITH, BOREAS, BRILLIANT, VERITY.

 

An extension of minefield DML 9 was cancelled on the 10th.

_____

 

Convoy OG.28 was formed from convoys OA.140G, which departed Southend on the 2nd escorted by destroyer WHITEHALL, OB.140G, which departed Liverpool on the 2nd escorted by sloop ROCHESTER, with forty four ships.

 

Sloop ROCHESTER and destroyer WHITEHALL escorted the convoy from 5 May and then were detached to convoy HG.28.

 

French destroyer JAGUAR escorted the convoy from 5 to 10 May and French patrol vessel MINERVE joined near Gibraltar. The convoy arrived at Gibraltar on the 10th.

_____

 

Convoy FN.163 departed Southend, escorted by destroyer VALENTINE and sloop WESTON. The convoy arrived at the Tyne on the 7th.

_____

 

Convoy MT.64 departed Methil, escorted by destroyer WOLSEY, sloop WESTON, armed patrol yacht BREDA. The convoy arrived in the Tyne later that day.

_____

 

Convoy FS.163 departed the Tyne, escorted by destroyer WOLSEY, sloop WESTON, armed patrol yacht BREDA.

 

Early on the 6th, destroyer WOLSEY was detached to proceed independently to Devonport. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 7th.

_____

 

Destroyers KEPPEL and VORTIGERN departed Gibraltar to meet arriving battleship WARSPITE, escorted by destroyers DOUGLAS and WRESTLER. Destroyer VELOX later departed the joined destroyers KEPPEL and VORTIGERN.

 

Destroyers DOUGLAS and WRESTLER were relieved in the vicinty of Alboran Island and arrived at Gibraltar on the 6th.

 

On the 11th, destroyers KEPPEL, VELOX, VORTIGERN arrived at Gibraltar from Malta after this escort duty.

_____

 

River gunboat COCKCHAFER lost a propeller after a fracture of her port propeller shaft.

 

The gunboat was towed to Basra by Indian sloop HINDUSTAN.

 

Monday, 6 May

 

Light cruiser ENTERPRISE was near missed by German bombing at Narvik.

 

The ship sustained splinter damage. Cdr M. F. L. Henstock was wounded.

_____

 

Light cruiser SOUTHAMPTON departed Scapa Flow at 2240 for Rosyth.

_____

 

Anti-aircraft ship CALCUTTA departed Scapa Flow at 1941 for the Narvik area.

_____

 

Destroyers WOLVERINE and WITHERINGTON arrived at Scapa Flow at 1430 with British boom defense vessel META (1578grt) from Leith.

_____

 

Convoy NS.2 departed the Clyde at 0230 for Narvik. It was composed of base ship MASHOBRA and British steamers BALZAC (5372grt), CALUMET (7268grt), COXWOLD (1124grt) escorted by destroyers JAVELIN and JACKAL and French destroyers BRESTOIS and BOULONNAIS.

 

On the 7th at 0230, steamers BALZAC and COXWOLD ran aground south of Neist Light in Little Minch.

 

Steamer BALZAC was escorted by destroyer BRESTOIS to Stornoway, arriving at 1330. Destroyer BRESTOIS continued on to Scapa Flow.

 

Destroyer BRESTOIS made an attack on a submarine contact at 0130/8th in 58-43N, 03-50W. Later considered non sub.

 

Steamer COXWOLD was taken by BOULONNAIS and BRESTOIS to Scapa Flow, arriving 0630/8th after being delayed by fog in Pentland Firth.

 

Destroyers WITHERINGTON and WOLVERINE departed Scapa Flow at 0500/7th with steamer META (1578grt) to rendezvous with the convoy at 1500/7th.

 

On joining, destroyer WITHERINGTON was sent to Stornoway to provide anti-submarine protection for steamer BALZAC. She was later relieved by anti-submarine trawler ST CATHAN (565grt).

 

Destroyer WITHERINGTON arrived at Scapa Flow at 1300/9th.

 

The fuel stores on COXWOLD were embarked on British steamer ULSTER MONARCH (3791grt) which departed Scapa Flow at 2130/10th unescorted for Narvik.

 

On the convoy's arrival in the Narvik area, destroyers JAVELIN and JACKAL were ordered to return to Scapa Flow immediately.

 

Destroyers JAVELIN and JACKAL departed Tjelandet at 0700/11th.

_____

 

Destroyer ESCAPADE departed Rosyth at 0900 for Invergordon to escort British tanker INVERADER to Scapa Flow.

 

The ships departed Invergordon at 2030/7th and arrived at Scapa Flow at 0700/8th.

 

Destroyer ESCAPADE went on to Liverpool for repairs. She arrived at 0740/9th.

_____

 

Destroyer CODRINGTON (D.1) departed Invergordon with British tanker WAR BHARATA for Scapa Flow arriving at 1700.

_____

 

Destroyers ESK, EXPRESS, INTREPID arrived Scapa Flow with mines for operation DZ, a minelay in Norwegian waters.

 

However, this operation was later cancelled.

_____

 

Destroyers HERO and FOXHOUND departed Scapa Flow at 1230 for boiler cleaning at Rosyth.

_____

 

Destroyers IVANHOE, ICARUS, IMPULSIVE departed Scapa Flow at 2130 for Immingham to boiler clean and embark mines.

_____

 

At 1400, submarine SEALION attacked escorted German transports MOLTKEFELS (7863grt) and NEIDENFELS (7838grt) 19 miles 240 from Vaderobod Light in 58‑30N, 10‑30E.

 

The submarine fired six torpedoes and claimed three hits, but no damage was done.

_____

 

Submarine TRIAD of the 2nd Flotilla, SEAWOLF, SHARK, SNAPPER of the 3rd Submarine Flotilla, STURGEON of the 6th Submarine Flotilla and French submarines AMAZONE, ANTIOPE, CALYPSO, CIRCE, DORIS ORPHEE, SYBILLE, THETIS of the 10th Submarine Flotilla began patrols in the southern North Sea and blockade of Texel in anticipation of the German invasion of the Low Countries.

 

Submarine TRIAD departed Rosyth on patrol on the 6th, SEAWOLF departed Harwich on the 6th, SHARK departed Harwich on the 7th, STURGEON was already at sea having departed Blyth on 30 April and continued patrol until returning on the 11th, SNAPPER was also already at sea having departing Harwich on 28 April and continued patrol until arriving back at Blyth on the 11th.

 

Submarine ANTIOPE was already at sea having departed Harwich on 28 April and arrived back on the 8th, CALYPSO, which had departed Harwich on 29 April to relieve AMAZON off Texel, arrived back for refuelling on the 11th, CIRCE arrived at Harwich with defects from patrol on the 6th and set off again on the 12th, DORIS and AMAZONE departed Harwich on patrol on the 6th ORPHEE departed Harwich on patrol on the 3rd, LA SIBYLLE already at sea having departed Harwich on 27 April completed her patrol on the 8th when she arrived back at Harwich, THETIS arrived at Harwich from patrol on the 7th and departed again on patrol on the 10th.

 

Reassignments on patrol areas were made on 10/11 May. French submarines THETIS and ANTIOPE were moved to patrol areas off Lowestoft and Yarmouth. French submarine AMAZONE was moved to forty miles west off Texel and French submarine DORIS was ordered to a parallel patrol line fifty miles west of Rotterdam. However, submarine DORIS had already been lost by that time.

_____

 

Destroyer WILD SWAN and minesweeper SKIPJACK began boiler cleaning at Dover.

 

Destroyer WILD SWAN returned to service on the 9th.

_____

 

Convoy FN.164 departed Southend, escorted by destroyers VIVIEN and VIMIERA. The convoy arrived at the Tyne on the 8th.

_____

 

Convoy FS.164 departed the Tyne, escorted by destroyer WINCHESTER and sloop LONDONDERRY. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 8th.

_____

 

German armed merchant cruiser WIDDER departed Kiel to operate in the Central Atlantic, via the Denmark Strait.

 

At 1525 armed merchant cruiser WIDDER was attacked by submarine SNAPPER, which fired two torpedoes in the North Sea in 55-35N, 07-16E. The German ship was not damaged and her escorts of S.boats drove submarine SNAPPER off.

_____

 

British steamer BRIGHTON (5359grt) was sunk on a mine in 51‑03N, 02‑09E.

 

The entire crew was saved.

_____

 

Minesweeping trawler LOCH NAVER (278grt, Skipper G. R. Burwood RNR) of Minesweeping Group 22 was lost off Hartlepool in a collision with an unknown vessel.

 

The survivors of the trawler were rescued by British yacht BREDA (1431grt).

_____

 

German steamer BRAGE (5954grt) was sunk on a mine near Kiel Light Ship.

_____

 

French netlayer GLADIATEUR arrived at Beirut to prepare the port for wartime operations.

 

Tuesday, 7 May

 

Near Narvik in 68-30N, 14-15E, light cruiser AURORA was damaged at 1641 by a German bomb which landed forward of B-turret.

 

A and B turrets were put out of action, but AURORA, required for operations around Narvik, was not withdrawn from the area for repairs until 25 May when she was relieved by light cruiser SOUTHAMPTON.

 

Four Marines were killed and four Marines were wounded by the bomb.

 

Light cruiser AURORA arrived at Portsmouth on the 29th and was under repair until 28 June.

 

Polish destroyer BLYSKAWICA was damaged by splinters from near misses in the same attack. Destroyer FAULKNOR was near missed but not damaged.

_____

 

Destroyers FAULKNOR (D.8), AMAZON, IMOGEN, WHIRLWIND departed Bjervik at 1930 with liners MONARCH OF BERMUDA 22,424grt), EMPRESS OF AUSTRALIA (19,665grt), VILLE D'ALGER (10,172grt) for Scapa Flow arriving at 1400/9th, less destroyer WHIRLWIND.

 

Destroyer FAULKNOR departed Scapa Flow at 0001/10th Grimsby for repair at Grimsby of damage sustained on the 5th. She arrived at Grimsby at 1645. Repairs were completed on 13 June.

 

Destroyer IMOGEN had been ordered to return to England for overdue repairs.

 

Destroyer IMOGEN departed Scapa Flow at 0745/15th for Chatham for damage repairs. She arrived at 1500/16th and the repairs were completed on 12 June.

_____

 

Polish troopship CHROBRY (11,442grt) departed Leith at 2200 for Narvik escorted by destroyers KANDAHAR and HOSTILE.

 

The destroyers were soon relieved by destroyers SOMALI (D.6) and ESCORT which departed Scapa Flow at 1230/8th.

 

Destroyers KANDAHAR and HOSTILE returned to Rosyth at high speed.

Troopship CHROBRY and destroyers SOMALI and ESCORT arrived at Harstad at 1100/11th.

_____

 

British troopship ROYAL ULSTERMAN (3244grt) escorted by destroyer MATABELE departed Scapa Flow at 1330 for Leith.

_____

 

Destroyers GALLANT and BULLDOG departed Greenock at 0800 to escort British troopship ALMANZORA (15,551grt) to Scapa Flow, arriving at 1100/8th.

_____

 

Minesweeper SHARPSHOOTER arrived at Scapa Flow from Scrabser with Vice Admiral Orkneys and Shetlands embarked.

_____

 

Norwegian destroyer DRAUG departed Scapa Flow at 1800 for Portsmouth.

_____

 

French destroyer MISTRAL arrived in the Clyde with French tanker TARN (4500grt).

_____

 

Submarine NARWHAL departed the Humber on minelaying mission FD.10.

_____

 

British paddle minesweeper QUEEN OF THANET sighted a periscope in 56‑07N, 02‑28W in the Firth of Forth.

 

Anti-aircraft cruiser COVENTRY, which was departing Rosyth, was recalled. Destroyer VALENTINE and sloop WESTON attacked a contact 12 miles 072 from May Island that day.

 

The next day, VALENTINE and WESTON were relieved by anti-submarine trawlers BRIMNESS (413grt) and THORNWICK BAY (437grt).

_____

 

Minelayers TEVIOTBANK and PRINCESS VICTORIA escorted by patrol sloops WIDGEON, PUFFIN, PINTAIL, SHEARWATER laid minefield BS 2 extending minefield LB.

 

Sloops WIDGEON and PUFFIN were released from the escort after the minelay to escort Danish trawlers found to Yarmouth. The destination was changed en route and they arrived in the Humber.

 

After the minelay, preparing for operation BS 3, minelayer PRINCESS VICTORIA burnt out her main switchboard and was delayed.

_____

 

Convoy FN.165 departed Southend, escorted by destroyer WHITLEY and sloop EGRET. The convoy arrived at the Tyne on the 9th.

_____

 

Convoy MT.65 departed Methil, escorted by sloops GRIMSBY and HASTINGS. The convoy arrived in the Tyne later that day.

_____

 

Convoy FS.165 departed the Tyne, escorted by sloops GRIMSBY and HASTINGS. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 9th.

_____

 

Norwegian steamer FOLDEN (316grt) was sunk by German bombing off Helgeland.

_____

 

Belgian fishing vessel SAINT PIERRE (15grt) was sunk by a mine off Kwinte Bank.

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Convoy HG.29 with forty five ships departed Gibraltar.

 

The ocean escort was Sloops SANDWICH from 7 to 17 May and BIDEFORD from 7 to 10 May.

 

In Home Waters, the convoy was escorted by British corvette CLARKIA from 15 to 17 May. The convoy arrived at Liverpool on the 17th.

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French submarines MEDUSE and AMPHITRITE departed Oran for Brest. They passed Gibraltar on the 8th and joined convoy 23 RS, escorted by sloop L'IMPETEUSE.

 

On arrival at Brest, both submarines began refitting.

 
 

on to Naval Events, MAY 1940, Part 2
or return to RN Day-by-Day Homepage

revised 7/4/12
further editing is required


 

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