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

NAVAL EVENTS, MAY 1940 (Part 2 of 4)
Wednesday 8th Tuesday 14th

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

on to MAY 1940, Part 3


Note: all vessels and aircraft are British unless otherwise identified - 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






Wednesday,  8 May


At 1736 Submarine TAKU (Lt Cdr V. J. Van Der Byl) attacked German steamers PALIME (2863grt) and PELIKAN (3264grt) escorted by torpedo boats MOEWE and KONDOR in the North Sea, sixty miles off Tyboroen in 56-45N, 06-12E.


The steamers were undamaged and later arrived at Stavanger on the 9th, but torpedo boat MOEWE was severely damaged in the stern.


Torpedo boat MOEWE was towed by torpedo boat KONDOR to Wilhelmshaven and was repairing until April 1941.


After the ten hour counterattack, TAKU was forced to return to Rosyth arriving on the 15th.



Destroyers HYPERION, HEREWARD, JANUS departed Scapa Flow at 0500 with light cruiser BIRMINGHAM for Rosyth.



Destroyers KELLY (D.5) and KIMBERLEY departed Greenock at 0845 with all dispatch for Rosyth to join a force of eight destroyers on duty on the East Coast.



To forestall anticipated German landings on Iceland, armed merchant cruiser CALIFORNIA and armed boarding vessels KINGSTON PERIDOT (356grt), KINGSTON JACINTH (356grt), NORTHERN DUKE (655grt) operated off the Icelandic coast.


Armed boarding vessels KINGSTON ONYX (357grt) and KINGSTON TURQUOISE (356grt) joined armed merchant cruiser CALIFORNIA on the 13th off Iceland and armed boarding vessel DISCOVERY II (1062grt) arrived off the east coast of Iceland on the 22nd.


In Operation FORK, heavy cruiser BERWICK and light cruiser GLASGOW with destroyers FORTUNE and FEARLESS departed Greenock at 0430 for Reykavik where they arrived on the 10th to land a detachment of Royal Marines.


The troops landing was completed at 0700/10th and the FORK ships departed Reykavik at 1900/10th.


The cruisers searched for eastern fjord for German activity and took on board all German nationals for transport to England.


The destroyers were detached at 1500/11th and arrived at Scapa Flow at 1010/12th.


Cruisers BERWICK and GLASGOW arrived at Liverpool on the 12th.


Heavy cruiser BERWICK was refitting at Liverpool until the beginning of August.


Cruiser GLASGOW was refitting from 14 May to 1 July 1940.


Light cruiser GLASGOW departed Liverpool on 7 July.



Heavy cruiser DEVONSHIRE departed Scapa Flow at 1400 to return to Northern Norway.


Destroyers WESTCOTT and VOLUNTEER met the heavy cruiser at 2045/10th. They arrived at Tromso at 2255.


Destroyer WESTCOTT refuelled from the heavy cruiser at Tromso that night.


The destroyers were involved in anti-submarine duties around Tromso from 10 to 14 May. On 14 May, the destroyers were detachedto Vice Admiral Air to escort the aircraft carriers operating off northern Norway.



Destroyer ISIS struck wreckage in Balangen Fjord and was badly damaged. Her propellers were wrecked and her tiller flat was damaged. She was towed to Skelfjord by destroyer ILEX.


Destroyer ISIS departed Skelfjord under tow for England on the 10th.



At 2200, destroyer SOMALI met a Norwegian fishing vessel, en route to the Faroes with twelve Norwegian Air Force officers. The boat was given a boat's compass and directed to the Shetlands.



A Swordfish aircraft of 810 Squadron from aircraftcarrier ARK ROYAL crashed into the sea on landing. S/Lt W. G. Adams, S/Lt H.E. H.Pain, Leading Airman H.G. Edwards were picked up by destroyer MAORI.


Adams died of injuries incurred in the crash on 5 October 1940. Edwards was injured, but not seriously.



French Amiral Jean Abrial was lent six Destroyers of Convoy C for the defense of Belgium. This force was designated "FA" and was dispatched in four sections.


At 1600/10th, destroyers VALENTINE and WINCHESTER departed Dover for operations under Abrial's command.


Destroyer VALENTINE had arrived at Dover on the 9th after escorting convoy FS.66.


On 11 May at 0600, destroyers VIMIERA and WESTMINSTER departed Dover.


Destroyers WHITLEY and WOLSEY arrived at Dover from the north on the 12th. Destroyer WHITLEY departed Dover for FA operations at 0445/13th, followed by WOLSEY on the 15th at 1600.


However, heavy losses cut short the life of this unit. On 19 May at 1815 "FA" was disbanded with VALENTINE and WHITLEY lost, WESTMINSTER and WINCHESTER badly damaged. Only WOLSEY and VIMIERA remained fit for further operations and were ordered to the Dover Command.



French destroyers carried out a twenty four hour sweep within twenty miles of the Belgian and Dutch coast as far north as Egmond.


No contact was made.



Light cruiser SOUTHAMPTON was docked at Rosyth for repairs from 8 to 20 May.



Swedish steamers ALBERT (1745grt) and TYRA BRATT (1301grt) were seized by German forces at Stavanger.


Steamer TYRA BRATT was detained at Haugesand and her crew was returned to Gotenburg. The steamer was renamed NOGAT for German service.



Convoy OA.141 departed Southend escorted by destroyer VIVACIOUS.


Convoy OB.141 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyer VERSATILE from 8 to 10 May. The convoy was dispersed on the 12th.



Convoy FN.166 departed Southend, escorted by armed patrol yacht BREDA. The convoy arrived in the Tyne on the 10th.



Convoy FS.166 departed the Tyne, escorted by destroyer VALENTINE and sloop WESTON. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 10th.



French large destroyers ALBATROS and VAUTOUR departed Brest escorting liner PASTEUR to St Nazaire, where the liner arrived that day.


The destroyers returned to Brest, arriving 1340/10th after spending six hours in Quiberon Bay.



Convoy HX.41 departed Halifax at 0900 escorted by Canadian destroyers RESTIGOUCHE and ST LAURENT, which were detached on the 9th.


The destroyers turned the convoy over to ocean escort, armed merchant cruiser RANPURA and French submarine AJAX at 1800/8th.


The armed merchant cruiser and submarine were detached on the 20th.


Destroyer MACKAY and sloop ABERDEEN joined on the 19th and corvette CLARKIA on the 20th. The escort was detached on the 23rd when the convoy arrived at Liverpool.



French destroyers INDOMPTABLE and MALIN passed Gibraltar en route from Brest for Oran, where they arrived on the 9th.



Thursday,  9 May


French submarine DORIS was sunk by U.9 thirty miles west of Terschelling Bank in 53‑40N, 04‑00E.


British Lt R. E. Westmacott, an observer on submarine DORIS, two British communications ratings were lost with the French crew on submarine DORIS.



There were two SCISSORS landings during the night of 9/10 May.


Landings on 8/9 May were cancelled due to fog.


Destroyers JUNO and VETERAN arrived at Mosjoen escorting British troopship ULSTER PRINCE (3791grt) with 290 officers and men.


After the landings, at 1403/10th, destroyer JUNO was ordered to leave ULSTER PRINCE and proceed to Scapa Flow at high speed.


Destroyer VETERAN and troopship ULSTER PRINCE returning to the Clyde called at Sullom Voe to refuel on the 11th. They arrived at Greenock at 0330/13th.


Destroyer FIREDRAKE conducted a reconnaissance of Ranenfjord on report of enemy activity.


Destroyer NUBIAN and British troopship ROYAL SCOTSMAN (3244grt) arrived at Bodo at 2000/9th with 290 men.


Destroyer FIREDRAKE rejoined destroyer NUBIAN and troopship ROYAL SCOTSMAN at 2100/9th.


Early on the 10th ferried the troops ashore in a SCISSORS operation.


Destroyers FIREDRAKE and NUBIAN then departed Bodo at 0200/10th with the troopship.


Destroyer FIREDRAKE arrived at Scapa Flow at 2210/11th.


Destroyer NUBIAN and the troopship arrived safely at Scapa Flow at 0030/12th.



Eight Skuas of 806 Squadron and six Blenheims of 254 Squadron departed Hatston to attack Bergen, where German training ship BREMSE was reported.


German minesweeper M. 134 was sunk with three dead by British bombing at Bergen, but was later salved and restored to service as patrol boat JUNGINGEN.


One Blenheim of 254 Squadron was lost when it was struck by flak. Observer Lt (A) R. B. Nuthall and the two Coastal Command crew were lost in the Blenheim.


Two Skuas were able to fly directly back to Hatston. However, the other six had to land at Sumburgh for fuelling. One Skua, flown by Petty Officer Airman A. Jopling, crashed arriving back at Sumburgh, but there were no injuries. A second Skua, flown by Probationary S/Lt (A) S. G. Orr RNVR, was damaged by shrapnel, but after repair at Sumburgh, returned to Hatston.



A Skua of 803 Squadron force landed near Grondalen in Haugfjell. Midshipman C. Treen and Naval Airman A. E. T. Goble were later picked up by destroyer BEDOUIN.



In operations from aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL, a Swordfish from 810 Squadron crashed on take off. Lt A. W. Stewart, Midshipman G. T. Shaddick, Leading Airman H.W. V. Burt were picked up by a destroyer.



British Midshipman P. L. Atkinson was killed when his Walrus of 765 Squadron crashed in the Solent.



Destroyers EXPRESS, ESK, INTREPID departed Scapa Flow at 0500 to lay mines for ZMC, minelaying in the North Sea off Helgoland, then proceed to Immingham.



German minelayers ROLAND, COBRA, PREUSSEN, KAISER laid minefield 16 west of Jutland escorted by German destroyers BEITZEN, SCHOEMANN, HEINEMANN, torpedo boat GREIF, Schnellboote S.30, S.31, S.32, S.33 of the 2nd Flotilla.


Light cruiser BIRMINGHAM (Captain I. G. Glennie aboard in command of the sweep) and destroyers HYPERION, HEREWARD, HAVOCK, JANUS departed Rosyth at 0900 to attempt to intercept this German force reported off the Isle of Sylt in 56‑39N, 03‑37E in the North Sea.


Outside Rosyth, destroyers KELLY (D.5), KIMBERLEY, KANDAHAR, HOSTILE rendezvoused with the BIRMINGHAM force. However, KIMBERLEY, just arriving from Greenock and short on fuel, was later detached for refuelling at Rosyth. After refuelling, KIMBERLEY went to Sheerness and arrived at 2120/10th.


Destroyers FORESIGHT, FURY, BULLDOG, GALLANT departed Scapa Flow at 0630 to operate with battlecruiser REPULSE and light cruisers SHEFFIELD and MANCHESTER for gunnery trials east of Pentland Firth. The light cruisers departed Scapa Flow at 0900, but returned at 1020.


The force returned to Scapa Flow and the destroyers, joined by destroyer MOHAWK, were sent at 1200 to operate in coordination with the Rosyth units. These destroyers were to proceed to 57-21N, 2-33E to intercept six German motor torpedo boats and sink them before joining light cruiser BIRMINGHAM.


When destroyer KANDAHAR made a submarine contact, KELLY and KANDAHAR were detached to hunt down the contact. Destroyer BULLDOG, which lost touch with her group, later joined them.


At 2230, destroyer KELLY was torpedoed and badly damaged by German S.31 in 56‑48N, 05‑09E in the North Sea. Twenty seven ratings were killed and Commissioned Engineer E. W. Cole was wounded. KELLY was taken in tow by destroyer BULLDOG.


At 0010/10th, German S.33 in heavy fog collided with destroyers BULLDOG and KELLY, glancing off both ships and doing no further damage to them, but badly damaging herself. She was able to return to Wilhelmshaven.


At 0700/10th, destroyer KELLY in tow of destroyer BULLDOG was in 56-56N, 4-05E and proceeding at five knots. Destroyers KANDAHAR, FURY, GALLANT were escorting the two destroyers.


At daylight on the 10th, destroyer KELLY's wounded were transferred to destroyer KANDAHAR.


Light cruisers SHEFFIELD and MANCHESTER departed Scapa Flow at 0330/10th to provide a screen for damaged destroyer KELLY. The cruisers joined KELLY at 1400.


At 0926/10th, light cruiser BIRMINGHAM and destroyers HYPERION, HEREWARD, HAVOCK, HOSTILE, FORESIGHT, KIMBERLEY came under the Command of Commander in Chief, Nore. They were ordered to proceed towards Terschelling. They later arrived at Harwich on the 10th.


Coastal Command Hudsons of 233 Squadron provided cover for the KELLY through the withdrawal.


Destroyer KANDAHAR departed the KELLY screen at 0410/11th and arrived at Rosyth to refuel and land the wounded at 0400/11th. She departed at 1820 that day and rejoined KELLY.


On 11 May, Commander Cruiser Squadron 18 requested a tug for destroyer KELLY as destroyer FURY could not tow the destroyer faster than three knots and Aircraft had reported two German submarines in the area.


Light cruisers SHEFFIELD and MANCHESTER departed the screen at 1609/11th and arrived at Rosyth that evening.


At 0500/12th, tugs WATERMEYER (621grt) and BRAHMAN (230grt) joined relieving BULLDOG of the tow at 0645.


Destroyers KELLY in tow of tugs WATERMEYER and BRAHMAN, KANDAHAR, FURY, BULLDOG, GALLANT arrived in the Tyne at 1730/13th.


Destroyer KELLY had been in tow for ninety one hours.


Destroyer KELLY was repairing in the Tyne at Hebburn until 18 December 1940.



Anti-aircraft cruiser COVENTRY (Rear Admiral 1st Anti-air Craft Squadron) after refuelling departed Sullom Voe on the 9th for Bogen where she arrived on the 14th.


On her arrival, anti-aircraft cruisers CAIRO and CALCUTTA departed Skelfjord for Rosyth for refuelling and ammunition.



Destroyer GRENADE departed Greenock at 1700 for Liverpool for boiler cleaning.



Convoy OG.29F was formed from convoys OA.143GF, which departed Southend on the 6th, escorted by corvette ARABIS from 6 to 8 May, OB.143GF, which departed Liverpool on the 6th, escorted by destroyer VIMY and sloop DEPTFORD from 6 to 9 May, fromwith fifty six ships.


Corvette ARABIS's role was the first use of the new Flower corvettes in an OG.convoy.


Destroyer VIMY was detached to convoy HG.29 F.


Sloop DEPTFORD escorted the convoy from 10 to 14 May.


Destroyer WINDSOR and corvette PERIWINKLE escorted the convoy on the 9th and then were detached to convoy HG.29 F. The convoy arrived at Gibraltar on the 14th.



Convoy BC.37 of steamers BARON CARNEGIE, GLENLEA, ILVINGTON COURT, KUFRA (Commodore), LOTTIE R, RONAN departed Bristol Channel escorted by destroyer VESPER. The convoy arrived at Loire on the 11th.



Convoy SA.40 of two steamers arrived at St Malo from Southampton.



Convoy FN.167 departed Southend, escorted by sloop LONDONDERRY. The convoy arrived at the Tyne on the 11th.



Convoy MT.66 departed Methil, escorted by destroyers VIVIEN and VIMIERA. The convoy included two Danish steamers under armed guard. The convoy arrived the next morning.



Convoy FS.167 departed the Tyne, escorted by destroyer VIVIEN. The convoy was recalled when it was thought there were mines being laid in the channel.



French large destroyers TARTU and CHEVALIER PAUL departed Greenock escorting steamers DJENNE, FLANDRE, PRESIDENT DOUMER, PROVIDENCE. The convoy arrived at Brest on the 11th.



Aircraft carrier EAGLE departed Singapore after completing repairs and refit. EAGLE called at Colombo on 14 to 17 May.


The aircraft carrier arrived at Aden on the 22nd and continued on that evening, accompanied by light cruisers GLOUCESTER, LIVERPOOL, SYDNEY. On 23 May, light cruiser HOBART relieved light cruiser LIVERPOOL and on the 24th, both HOBART and GLOUCESTER were detached.


Aircraft carrier EAGLE departed Port Said on the 27th for duty with the Mediterranean Fleet and arrived at Alexandria, escorted by destroyers HEREWARD and HERO.



Convoy SL. 31 departed Freetown escorted by armed mechant cruiser DUNNOTTAR CASTLE until 23 May.


On 23 May, destroyer WINCHELSEA, sloop DEPTFORD, corvette PERIWINKLE joined the convoy and escorted it to arrival on the 28th.



German tanker CORRIENTES (4565grt), used for refuelling German submarines, at Las Palmas was sunk by French divers.



Friday,  10 May


On this date, of the surviving ten German destroyers, seven were repairing defects and damages in Germany.


Late on the 7th, destroyer JACOBI departed Trondheim and arrived at Wilhelmshaven on the 9th for repairs and refitting.


Destroyer RIEDEL at Trondheim with serious defects did not leave until 8 June to return to Wilhelmshaven.


Finally, only destroyer SCHOEMANN was operational and capable of duty.



In operation WILDENTE, German troops from Trondheim were embarked on the Norwegian coastal steamer NORDNORGE (991grt), manned by personnel from destroyers JACOBI and RIEDEL.


These troops were landed at Ranfjord on the 10th and their presence facilitated the capture of Mosjoen by German troops.


The only British warships in a position to intercept were the anti-aircraft cruiser CALCUTTA, escorting convoy NS.2 fifty miles to seaward, destroyer ZULU at Skelfjord.


By the time, destroyer ZULU arrived at 2050, the 300 German troops had been completely disembarked at Hemnes. However, ZULU was able to sink NORDNORGE (991grt) at Hemnesberget in Ranfjord with all the supplies for the German troops aboard.


Anti-aircraft cruiser CALCUTTA soon arrived and participated in the British bombardment of the village. Hemnes was set afire and the petrol stores were blown up.


Destroyer ZULU embarked the survivors of No. 3 Platoon of No. 1 Independent Company which had been holding the village before the German landing.



The British Harstad Force at this time was composed of Battleship RESOLUTION, light cruisers AURORA (damaged), EFFINGHAM, ENTERPRISE, anti-aircraft cruisers CAIRO, COVENTRY, CURLEW, various destroyers.



In a German air raid on Skelfjord, light cruiser PENELOPE was damaged by splinters from near misses and destroyer VANSITTART was hit by a small bomb putting her after guns out of action.


The light cruiser had Paymaster Cdr W. A. Sharp and four ratings killed in the attack. Destroyer VANSITTART lost S/Lt C. C. Butt and Midshipman A. B. Meria RNR and Lt Cdr W. Evershed and S/Lt D. C. S. Currey were wounded.


At 2237/10th, light cruiser PENELOPE departed Skelfjord towed by tug BANDIT (840grt).


Also, departing was Destroyer ISIS, which had damaged propellers, under the tow of tug BUCCANEER (840grt). British steamer LOCHEE (964grt) and tanker BRITISH VALOUR (6952grt) proceeded in this convoy.


Destroyers CAMPBELL and WITCH and anti-submarine trawler ST LOMAN (565grt) provided protection for the convoy. The convoy was taken under German air attack on the 10th and anti-aircraft cruiser COVENTRY joined the convoy for support. Following this duty, anti-aircraft COVENTRY arrived in the Lofotens on the 11th.


Anti-aircraft cruiser CALCUTTA was also with the convoy on the 10th after she had dealt with the German steamer NORD NORGE at Ranfjord.


After arriving in Vestfjord at 1100/11th, destroyer ESCORT was detached to join the convoy.


Destroyer ZULU joined the convoy on the 11th from Hemnes.


At 0600/14th, light cruiser PENELOPE, destroyer ISIS, tugs BUCCANEER and BANDIT, destroyers ZULU, ESCORT, WITCH, tanker BRITISH VALOUR, steamer LOCHEE, anti-submarine trawler ST LOMAN were in 62-45N, 4-40W.


Destroyer ACASTA departed Scapa Flow at 1222/14th to relieve destroyer ZULU.


Destroyer CAMPBELL was detached to refuel at Sullom Voe and arrived at 0600. She departed to join at 1030/14th.


Destroyer WITCH refuelled at Scapa Flow arriving at 0430/15th. She departed to rejoin the convoy at 0730/15th.


The ships all safely arrived at the Clyde late on the 16th.


At 2100/16th, light cruiser PENELOPE under tow of tug BANDIT with destroyers ACASTA and ESCORT arrived at Greenock.


At 2369/16th, destroyers CAMPBELL, WITCH, ISIS under tow of tug BUCCANEER arrived at Greenock.

At 1300/18th, destroyer ISIS departed the Clyde under the tow of tug BUCCANEER and escorted by destroyer WITCH. They safely arrived at Falmouth on the 20th.


Destroyer WITCH was detached to Plymouth to boiler and repair arriving at 1810/21st.


Destroyer ISIS was under repair until 13 June when she was taken to Plymouth repairing until 12 September.



French steamers COLOMBIE (13,931grt), MEXIQUE (12,220grt), CHENONCEAUX (14,825grt), ST FIRMIN (4528grt), British steamers BELLEROPHON (9019grt), LYCAON (7350grt), tanker BRITISH LORD (6098grt) escorted by destroyers EPERVIER, ELECTRA, ILEX departed Narvik during the forenoon for the Clyde.


On arrival in North Channel, destroyer ILEX took tanker BRITISH LORD to Liverpool.


At 0700/17th, the British steamers and French steamer ST FIRMIN with destroyer ELECTRA arrived at Greenock.


The French destroyer and the French steamers proceeded ahead of the convoy from 70N, 10E and proceeded to return to France.



French destroyers BRESTOIS and BOULONNAIS and destroyer WITHERINGTON departed Scapa Flow at 0600 escorting British steamers MONARCH OF BERMUDA (22,424grt) and EMPRESS OF AUSTRALIA (19,665grt), French steamer VILLE D'ALGER (10,172grt), French tanker LOT to the Clyde, where they arrived at 1330/11th.



Destroyers HASTY and HAVANT departed Scapa Flow at 2330 for Aberdeen to escort British steamers LOCHNAGAR (1619grt), HORSA (979grt), MACCLESFIELD (1018grt).


The rendezvous was made off Aberdeen at 0500/11th. All the ships arrived safely at Lerwick at 0025/12th.


Destroyer HAVANT was diverted to the Clyde, where she arrived at 2230/12th.


Destroyer HASTY was to wait to escort cable ship MONARCH to Scapa Flow.


At 0815/13th, destroyer HASTY and the cable ship arrived at Scapa Flow from Lerwick.



Polish troopship CHROBRY (11,442grt) with destroyers SOMALI and ESCORT arrived at Harstad.



Destroyers HOSTILE and FORESIGHT arrived at the Humber to refuel at 2140.



Destroyer VISCOUNT departed Scapa Flow at 2330/10th for aircraft carrier escort. She arrived in the Clyde at 1530/11th.



Polish destroyers BLYSKAWICA and BURZA and destroyer GRAFTON departed Vestfjord at 2159 for Scapa Flow arriving at 1820/12th.


Destroyer BLYSKAWICA's steering gear was out of order. She was towed by tug MENDON alongside depot ship WOOLWICH.


Destroyer BLYSKAWICA boiler cleaned from depot ship WOOLWICH before departing Scapa Flow at 1500/16th for Harwich.



Anti-submarine trawler PRESTON NORTHEND, escorting oiler ATHOL EMPRESS to Cape Wrath, attacked a submarine contact in 58-48N, 03-48W.



French submarine RUBIS, which departed Harwich on the 3rd, laid mines on the 10th in minefield FD.14 south of Egersund in 58‑21N, 06‑01E.


Norwegian trawler VANSO (54grt) on the 26th was lost on this minefield.


Norwegian steamer ALMORA (2433grt) was damaged on 7 July.


Norwegian steamer KEM (1706grt) was sunk on the minefield on 24 July, but was later raised and repaired.


Norwegian steamer ARGO (412grt) was sunk on 28 July.


Submarine RUBIS arrived at Dundee on the 14th.



Convoy FN.168 departed Southend. The convoy arrived at the Tyne on the 12th.



Convoy FN.167 had departed the Tyne, escorted by destroyer VIVIEN on the 9th, but was forced to return due to suspected mining. The destroyer was replaced by sloop EGRET. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 12th.



Convoy TM.66 arrived at Rosyth, escorted by destroyers VIVIEN and VIMIERA.



Destroyers DECOY and DEFENDER departed Aden and joined Australian troop convoy US.2 as it entered the Red Sea on the 12th.



German armed merchant cruiser ATLANTIS laid mines off Cape Algulhas, near Capetown, South Africa.


This minefield was discovered by South African minesweeping trawler ARISTEA (261grt) before any damage was done.



Battleship WARSPITE passed Gibraltar on the 5th, escorted by destroyers DOUGLAS and VORTIGERN, which were relieved by destroyers VELOX, VORTIGERN, KEPPEL. On the 7th, she departed Malta escorted by Australian destroyers VENDETTA, VOYAGER, WATERHEN.


On the 10th, battleship WARSPITE arrived at Alexandria. Her destroyer escort was detached for patrol as she entered harbour and arrived later in the day.


Admiral Sir Andrew Cunningham rehoisted his flag on WARSPITE on the 11th.


With the arrival of WARSPITE and subsequent heavy reinforcements, French battleships PROVENCE and BRETAGNE, under the command of Contre Amiral Bouxin, which had arrived on the 3rd, returned to Mer el Kebir in the third week of May.



German forces invaded Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg, France.



Destroyers ESK, EXPRESS, INTREPID of the 20th Destroyer Flotilla were at sea laying minefield ZMC off Heligoland.


On their return to Humber, they were ordered to join minelayer PRINCESS VICTORIA which was being escorted by patrol sloops PUFFIN, SHELDRAKE, WIDGEON en route to lay mines off Egmond near Ijmuiden.


The destroyers relieved the patrol sloops and the minefield, under operation CBX, was successfully laid at 2107 in a 6.06 mile line 280 from 52‑33N, 6‑28E.


The minelayer and destroyers were back in the Humber at 0930/11th.


On 12 May, destroyers ESK, EXPRESS, INTREPID laid another minefield, designated BS 3, off the Dutch coast.


During the night of 14/15 May, destroyers ESK, EXPRESS, INTREPID and minelayer PRINCESS VICTORIA laid minefield BS 4 off the Dutch coast.



Light cruisers ARETHUSA and GALATEA departed the Nore to support naval operations off Holland. Destroyers KEITH and BOREAS departed Dover at 0840 to provide escort for the cruisers.


Light cruiser BIRMINGHAM and most of the destroyers which departed Rosyth and Scapa Flow on the 9th were still at sea and operated off Terschelling.


These ships came under the command of the Commander in Chief Nore at 0926/10th.


Destroyers of this force, including MOHAWK, bombarded the Dutch coast to prevent German gliders from landing on the flat beaches.


Destroyer MOHAWK was near missed in German bombing in the North Sea off the Dutch coast and later required repair from the damage when her rudder failed.


The destroyers of the 1st, 5th, 7th Destroyer Flotillas to join the Nore Command. The destroyers of the 2nd, 4th, 8th Destroyer Flotillas were to be released when relieved.



Destroyers WHITSHED and VERITY were recalled from patrol to embark demolition parties for the Dutch ports.


Destroyer WHITSHED departed Dover with the demolition party XD.A (commanded by Cdr M. G. Goodenough) of 158 naval ratings and sappers for the locks at Ijmuiden and the oil reserves at Amsterdam.


In numerous air attacks at Ijmuiden, destroyer WHITSHED was damaged by near misses and set afire. Four ratings were killed and one officer and seven ratings were wounded. She departed Ijmuiden that night for Dover, arriving at 0530/11th.


Destroyer WHITSHED was repaired alongside depot ship SANDHURST in twenty four hours.


In Operation XD, departing Dover at 1200/10th were destroyers VERITY carrying demolition party XD.C (Cdr P. G. L. Cazalet) for the port of Flushing, WILD SWAN with XD.B (Cdr J. A. C. Hill) for the Hook of Holland, BRILLIANT with XD D.(Cdr A. C. Stanford) for Antwerp.

Destroyers VERITY and BRILLIANT arrived at Flushing at 1620. Destroyer BRILLIANT proceeded on to Antwerp.


Destroyer VERITY departed Flushing at 0545 arrived back at Dover at 1110/11th. Destroyers WILD SWAN and BRILLIANT remained at their ports to support the evacuations.


During the afternoon of 11 May, destroyer WILD SWAN bombarded a wooded area to the east of Hook Of Holland.

Destroyers WILD SWAN and BRILLIANT arrived back at Dover at 2130/12th.


Destroyer HYPERION at sea was ordered to land a party for the demolition of the port of Rotterdam.


Near Hook of Holland, the commercial seaport of Rotterdam, was a Dutch airfield at Waalhaven that the Germans were striving to overrun at the start of the campaign.


Dutch destroyer VAN GALEN, returning from the East Indies, had arrived in the Downs on the 5th from Lisbon. She continued on the 6th for Rotterdam arriving on the 8th for a refit at Den Helder. The Dutch destroyer was sunk by German bombing as she arrived to bombard the airfield.


Destroyers HYPERION and HAVOCK of the BIRMINGHAM force from Harwich and WILD SWAN and WIVERN from Dover were ordered on the 11th to Rotterdam to assist in resisting the Germans and neutralizing the airfield at Waalhaven. However,they were redeployed off Hook of Holland in view of VAN GALEN's fate and German air supremacy in the area.



In addition to the destroyers detached from the Home Fleet, already mentioned, for operations in the southern North Sea, fast escort ship VIVIEN of Convoy C was detached from the Rosyth Command, destroyers VIMY, VERSATILE, WESSEX, WALPOLE, WINDSOR, VESPER, VIVACIOUS, VENETIA came from various Western Approaches Flotillas to come under the command of the Commander in Chief Nore by 10 May.


Destroyer VENETIA had arrived as an escort for an outbound convoy, but she was retained for operations in the North Sea. The destroyer departed Dover at 0400/11th for Harwich.


Destroyer VIMY of the 11th Destroyer Flotilla departed Liverpool on the 7th. Destroyer VERSATILE of the 11th Destroyer Flotilla departed Liverpool on the 8th. Destroyers WINDSOR of the 18th Destroyer Flotilla and VESPER of the 17th Destroyer Flotilla departed Plymouth on the 8th. Destroyers WESSEX of the 17th Destroyer Flotilla and WALPOLE of the 11th Destroyer Flotilla departed Plymouth on the 9th.


Destroyers VIVACIOUS and VENETIA were already at Sheerness on the 10th.


Destroyers VIMY and WINDSOR arrived at Dover at 1925/11th.


Destroyers VERSATILE, VESPER, WALPOLE, WESSEX, WOLSEY arrived at Dover on the 12th.


Within a few days, destroyers CODRINGTON, GALLANT, GRIFFIN, WOLFHOUND, MOHAWK, VALOROUS, VEGA, VANESSA, VERITY also came under his command.


Destroyer CODRINGTON (Captain G. E. Creasy, D.1) departed Scapa Flow at 0910/10th and arrived at 0750/11th at Dover to join the Nore Command.


Following refuelling, she departed at 1420/11th for Ijmuiden to evacuate Dutch Princess Juliana and her family to England on the 12th.


Destroyer GRIFFIN departed Rosyth and arrived at Dover at 1136/11th to join the Nore Command.


Following refuelling, destroyer GRIFFIN departed Dover at 1420/11th for operations off the Dutch coast.


Destroyer GALLANT departed Scapa Flow for Dover on the 9th.


Destroyer WOLFHOUND departed Portland after working up on the 14th and arrived at Sheerness on the 15th.


Destroyer VANESSA was refitting at Plymouth and did not participate.



Destroyer MALCOLM was on North Goodwins patrol.



French steamer COTE D'AZUR (3047grt) departed Dunkirk, escorted by destroyuers FOUGUEUX, FRONDEUR, INCOMPRISE, BRANLEBAS. The escort was joined by destroyers BOUCLIER and MELPOMENE. The steamer arrived at Flushing 11 May.



Patrol sloop PINTAIL escorting Submarine TIGRIS passed Dover westbound.



Submarine SEVERN arrived at Dundee after patrol.



Submarines L.23, L.26, H.28, H.44, H.49, H.50 were ordered to depart the Downs to patrol off the Dutch coast.


Submarines L.23 and L.26 departed on the 10th escorted by armed yacht WARRIOR II (266grt) for patrol.


On 11 May, H.28, H.44, H.49, H.50 departed the Downs escorted by sloop FOXGLOVE for patrol.



Dutch steamer BOSCHDIJK (6872grt) was sunk by German bombing at Rotterdam.



French tug CALAISIEN (202grt) was sunk by German bombing in Calais Harbour.



British steamer HENRY WOODALL (625grt) was sunk by mining three miles east of Withernsea.


Six crew and one gunner were lost with the steamer. The survivors were picked up by Estonian steamer VIIU (1908grt), which was sunk herself the next day.



German steamer CAMPINAS (4541grt) was sunk in mining at Drogden.



Boarding parties of the Dutch sloop VAN KINSBERGEN captured German steamers ESTE (7915grt), VANCOUVER (8269 tons, HENRY HORN(3164 tons ), PATRICIA ( 3979 tons ), FRISIA ( 561 tons ), KARIBIA ( 428 tons ), ALEMANIA ( 1380 tons ) at Curacao.



11 May, Saturday


British troops guarding Mosjoen (brought there on the 2nd by destroyer JANUS) were cut off German troops.


The troops embarked on a Norwegian coastal steamer and headed down Vefsenfjord to Sandessjoen where destroyers JAVELIN and JACKAL, which departed Tjelsndet at 0700/11th for Scapa Flow, met them.


The army commander Colonel Gubbins and 100 troops were embarked on JACKAL while the rest of the troops remained on the steamer which was escorted to Bodo by destroyers JACKAL and JAVELIN.


Destroyer JACKAL bombarded the German headquarters at Sund, above Hemnes.


The troops with provisions and ammunition were landed at Bodo at 1000/12th.


Destroyers JACKAL and JAVELIN arrived at Scapa Flow at 1750/13th.


After this duty, destroyers JACKAL and JAVELIN arrived at Rosyth on the 15th en route to the Humber.



Destroyer JUNO arrived at Scapa Flow at 1130.



Destroyer BEDOUIN was ordered at 2004 to sail from Narvik at her best possible speed. She later departed Narvik for Scapa Flow where she arrived at 1130/13th.


Destroyer BEDOUIN departed Scapa Flow at 1030/14th for boiler cleaning and repairs in the Clyde where she arrived at 0930/15th.



Convoy NS.2 with base ship MASHOBRA and steamer CALUMET (7268grt) was escorted by light cruiser ENTERPRISE, anti-aircraft cruiser CAIRO, destroyer HESPERUS, sloop FLEETWOOD.


British steamer META (1578grt) joined the convoy en route escorted by destroyers WOLVERINE and WITHERINGTON.


Destroyer WITHERINGTON was detached en route and arrived at Liverpool at 2130/11th.  The convoy, another of the SCISSORS landings, safely arrived at Narvik during the morning of 11 May.


Steamer META and destroyer WOLVERINE arrived independently due to the steamer's slow speed.


Light cruiser ENTERPRISE, anti-aircraft cruiser CAIRO, destroyer HESPERUS, sloop FLEETWOOD with storeship MARGOT (4545grt), which carried four field guns and a light anti-aircraft battery, departed Narvik at 1130 to land 320 troops at Mo during the night of 11/12 May.


Light cruiser ENTERPRISE landed troops and supported others ashore.


At Mo on the 12th, destroyer HESPERUS, escorting store ship MARGOT (4545grt), was damaged by two near misses of air bombs.


Destroyer HESPERUS left Narvik with a convoy, consisting of steamers MARGOT (4545grt), SEPIA (6214grt), ULSTER MONARCH (3791grt), CHARLBURY (4836grt), French steamers CHATEAU PAVIE (2047grt) and BRESTOIS (3094grt), Norwegian SADO (925grt), on the 15th for Dundee escorted by destroyers BASILISK, WOLVERINE, HESPERUS and minesweeper HEBE.


Sloop FLEETWOOD gave anti-aircraft support until the convoy was seventy miles clear of the coast.


Destroyer VANOC after escorting submarine depot ship MAIDSTONE departed the Clyde at 0500/21st to join the convoy.


On 21 May, HESPERUS was relieved by destroyer VANOC and arrived on the 22nd for repairs at Dundee completed in late June.


Destroyer HESPERUS arrived at Plymouth on 1 July for operations. The convoy arrived in the Clyde at 1800/22nd with destroyers BASILISK, VANOC, WOLVERINE and steamers MARGOT, SEPIA, ULSTER MONARCH, BRESTOIS, CHARLBURY, CHATEAU PAVIE.



Six Skuas of 806 Squadron departed Hatston escorted by three Blenheims of 254 Squadron to attack fuel tanks near Bergen. No aircraft were lost.


The raid was repeated the next day by six Skuas of 806 Squadron, again escorted by three Blenheims of 254 Squadron. They were to attack an enemy transport, escorted by torpedo boats. The target was located in 65-05N, 5-20E, but no damage was done. No aircraft were lost.



Heavy cruiser YORK and light cruisers MANCHESTER and SHEFFIELD at Rosyth were placed at the disposal of the Commander in Chief Nore for operations in the southern North Sea should German cruisers appear to support the German invasion.



Destroyer FIREDRAKE arrived at Scapa Flow at 2210 from Bodo.



Destroyers WALKER and BEAGLE departed Liverpool at 0900 after boiler cleaning. They arrived in the Clyde at 1730.



Anti-submarine trawlers DANEMAN, WELLARD, BLACKFLY departed Scapa Flow for Grimsby.



Steam drifters STRATHDEVON, STHRATHDERRY, ELDORADO, NEWHAVEN, SANDWICK under the command of Lt Cdr R. D. Fell arrived at Scapa Flow for onward passage to Norway.


On arrival in Norway, the drifters were found to be too large for the purpose intended. They were laid up and Lt Cdr Fell requisitioned ten Norwegian "puffers. "



Submarine SWORDFISH departed Blyth on patrol.



Submarine STURGEON arrived at Blyth after patrol.



Polish submarine ORZEL arrived at Rosyth after patrol.





Destroyer VENOMOUS departed Dover for Dunkirk with the Dutch military missions for Belgium and France.


These missions had been brought from Ijmuiden on light cruiser GALATEA of the 2nd Cruiser Squadron.


At Ijmuiden, light cruiser ARETHUSA and destroyer BOREAS met Dutch steamer IRIS (909grt), carrying gold from Ijmuiden, destroyer KEITH met incomplete Dutch cruiser HEEMSKERCK and Dutch steamer TITUS (1712grt), carrying Dutch gold from Ijmuiden.


Patrol yacht WARRIOR II later on the 11th relieved destroyer KEITH of escorting the Dutch cruiser.


They arrived in the Thames that evening and the next morning, IRIS went into Southend and ARETHUSA and BOREAS to Sheerness.


Light cruiser BIRMINGHAM and destroyers MOHAWK and JANUS arrived in the Humber.


Destroyers HYPERION and WILD SWAN remained in the Hook of Holland overnight.


Destroyer HAVOCK departed Hook of Hollland at 1330/11th and patrolled outside between the Hook and Ijmuiden to deal with landings at Scheveningen from German aircraft.



Destroyer WIVERN departed Dover at 0415/11th with a British miliary mission, which included Major General Heywood and the British Military Mission which had missed passage on destroyer WILD SWAN, for Hook of Holland.


The passage was covered by destroyers HYPERION and HAVOCK.


After her arrival, she was diverted to Flushing where the mission was landed. The destroyer arrived at Flushing at 1200 and departed after disembarkation at 1600.


Destroyer WIVERN then returned to Dover. After refuelling, she joined destroyer MALCOLM off the North Goodwins.



Destroyers VALENTINE and WINCHESTER joined by French destroyers SIROCCO and CYCLONE departed Dunkirk with French steamer COTE D'ARGENT (3047grt) at 1030 and arrived at Flushing at 1323.


The Destroyers remained underway until dusk to give protection to the Breskens - Flushing ferry.


Destroyers WESTMINSTER and VIMIERA departed Dunkirk with destroyers FOUGUEUX, FRONDEUR, INCOMPRISE and sloop DLIGENTE at 1300 with French storeships PAVON (4128grt) and NEWHAVEN (1888grt). Off Wandelar Light Vessel, the destroyers were detached to patrol off Nieuport. Destroyers VALENTINE and WINCHESTER supported the store ships that evening.


On the evening of 12 May, destroyers VALENTINE and WINCHESTER departed Flushing to replenish at Dunkirk. Destroyers WESTMINSTER and VIMIERA proceeded from their Nieuport patrol to relieve them off Flushing.



Destroyers MOHAWK and VERSATILE, after departing the Humber on the 11th, embarked British diplomatic personnel at Hook of Holland.



Dutch liners VEENDAM (15,450grt) and STATENDAM (28,291grt) were sunk by German bombing at Rotterdam.



Dutch steamer STELLA (2818grt) was sunk by German bombing at Flushing Roads.



Dutch steamer PRINS WILLEM VAN ORANJE (1304grt) was badly damaged by German bombing in 51‑26N, 03‑36E.



U. 9 sank Estonian steamer VIIU (1908grt), which was carrying the survivors of British steamer HENRY WOODALL, off Westhinder Buoy and British steamer TRINGA (1930grt) in 51‑21N, 02‑25E.


There were five survivors from the steamer VIIU. They were picked up by anti-submarine trawler ARCTIC HUNTER ten miles east of Noss Head.


Sixteen crew and the pilot were lost on the steamer TRINGA. Destroyer MALCOLM rescued six survivors.



Finnish steamer SALLY (2533grt) was sunk on a mine in the Fairway north of Helsingor.



Departing Dover at 2345/11th, destroyers VERITY and VENOMOUS arrived at Hook of Holland at 0515/12th on Operation HARPOON with a 200 man guard for the protection of the demolition party brought there by destroyer WILD SWAN.


Also arriving on the 12th at Hook of Holland were minesweeping trawlers ARCTIC HUNTER (356grt) and ST MELANTE (358grt).



Submarine NARWHAL laid minefield FD.10 off Haugesand in 62‑58N, 06‑48E.


On 29 May, German auxiliary patrol boat Vp 1109 (trawler ANTARES, 291grt) was lost on this minefield.



At 2359, French submarine AMAZONE fired two torpedoes at Submarine SHARK in 52-55N, 4-28E.


The French submarine had mistaken submarine SHARK for German. Both torpedoes missed.



Convoy OA.146 departed Southend. No escorts were listed.



Convoy OB.146 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyer VANQUISHER from 11 to 13 May



Convoy BC.36 of steamers ATLANTIC COAST, BARON NAIRN (Commodore), CAMEO, CITY OF LANCASTER, DORSET COAST departed Loire with no escort. The convoy arrived safely in Bristol Channel on the 13th.



Convoy FS.168 departed the Tyne, escorted by sloop FLAMINGO. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 13th.



Destroyers ACTIVE and WISHART arrived at Gibraltar, escorting troopship ORONSAY from Cherbourg with troops for the Gibraltar garrison.



After the invasion of Holland, French troops on French light cruiser PRIMAUGUET landed at Aruba to safeguard the oil facilities.


Light cruiser CARADOC and Canadian destroyer FRASER departed Kingston at 1230/11th with two companies of infantry and British steamer JAMAICA PLANTER (4098grt) with motor transport to be landed at Willemstad. Light cruiser DESPATCH was already off Willemstad on patrol.


No landing took place at the request of the Dutch Governor.



Sunday,  12 May


At 0500/12th, destroyers MOHAWK and JANUS were ordered to patrol Brown Ridge.



Destroyer VERSATILE grounded at Sheerness at 0940/12th. Destroyer WALPOLE pulled her off and was later relieved by a tug.


Destroyer VERSATILE proceeded to Sheerness and was repaired in one day.



At 1830, destroyers HYPERION and WILD SWAN departed the Hook of Holland to patrol off the coast. Destroyer HAVOCK had arrived there shortly before.


Destroyer HAVOCK then departed to bombard German troops reported near Hook of Holland. None were found and after dusk, destroyer HAVOCK returned to Harwich.


In Operation J, with Destroyers HYPERION and WINDSOR in company, destroyer CODRINGTON arrived at Ijmuiden at about 2100/12th. Destroyer CODRINGTON embarked Dutch Princess Juliana and her family and evacuated them to Harwich.


Destroyer CODRINGTON was escorted back to Harwich by destroyers VIVACIOUS and VENETIA. They arrived at 0800/13th.


Destroyer HEREWARD arrived at Holland at 2400.


Destroyers HYPERION and WINDSOR departed Ijmuiden at 0100/13th escorting British steamer DOTTEREL (1385grt) carrying British refugees.



Destroyer KIMBERLEY arrived at Flushing during the forenoon of 12 May. She embarked the military mission at Flushing and then proceeded to Ijmuiden.


Destroyer KIMBERLEY departed Ijmuiden that evening.



British motor torpedo boats MTB.22, MTB.24, MTB.25 arrived at Ijmuiden at 2130/12th. The boats operated from Ijmiuden on reconnaisance duties until 14 May.



Destroyers KEITH and BOREAS arrived at Dover after escort duty with the 2nd Cruiser Squadron.


Light cruisers ARETHUSA and GALATEA arrived at Sheerness.



Destroyer WHITSHED departed Dover for Dunkirk with ammunition for the FA force destroyers.



Destroyer MALCOLM departed North Goodwins patrol for Hook of Holland to relieve destroyer WILD SWAN as Senior Naval Officer.



Destroyer VENOMOUS, returning from Hook of Holland, relieved destroyer WIVERN on North Goodwins patrol.


Destroyer WIVERN returned to Dover.



Destroyer WHITLEY departed Sheerness on the 11th to meet Dutch steamer PERSEUS (1307grt) at Ijmuiden. She arrived at 0015/12th also to embark the Dutch Crown Princess, her family, 100 British refugees.


At Ijmuiden, she was not able to locate the PERSEUS or the Dutch Royal Family. Destroyer WHITLEY departed Ijmuiden at 0330/12th and returned to Sheerness.


Destroyers VIMY and WINDSOR departed Dover at 0500 to meet destroyers VIVACIOUS and VENETIA from Harwich off Maas Light Vessel to operate off the Dutch coast.



Destroyers KEITH, BOREAS, WIVERN, WOLSEY departed Dover at 2000 for Hook of Holland with British steamers CANTERBURY (2910grt) and MAID OF ORLEANS (2386grt) with a composite battalion of guards for the port.



British steamer ROEK (1041grt) was sunk on a mine in 51‑54N, 04‑21E in the Nieuwe Waterweg west of Rotterdam.


Twenty crew and thirty one refugees were rescued.



Dutch steamer VAN RENSSELAER (4241grt) with 150 refugees on board was badly damaged on a mine near the south pier at Ijmuiden. She was beached to prevent sinking.


Forty two survivors were landed at Ramsgate from Dutch steamer JOHAN DE WITT (10,474grt) on the 14th.



British steamer ST DENIS (2435grt) was sunk by a mine in the river between Hook and Rotterdam partially blocking the channel.



Dutch steamer PRINSES JULIANA (2908grt), carrying troops from Flushing to Ijmiuden, was sunk by German bombing off Hook of Holland.


Destroyers WILD SWAN and HAVOCK rescued her survivors



Destroyers MASHONA and JAGUAR arrived at Scapa Flow at 2100 from Narvik.



Destroyers ACHERON and ANTELOPE arrived at Greenock at 0700.


Destroyer ACHERON commenced repairs to minor defects and boiler cleaning.



Lt (A) A. S. Downes and Lt R. W. Little in a Swordfish of 815 Squadron, operating from Bircham Newton, shot down in a raid on Wallhaven aerodrome. Both were returned unhurt on the 14th.



Convoy OA.147 departed Southend escorted by destroyer WESSEX and corvette ARABIS. The corvette was later detached to convoy HX.40.



Convoy OB.147 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyer SALADIN from 12 to 14 May.



Convoy FN.169 departed Southend, escorted by sloop WESTON. The convoy arrived at the Tyne on the 14th.



Convoy MT.67 departed Methil, escorted by escort ship VASCAMA and subsequently by sloop GRIMSBY. Sloop GRIMSBY was then relieved by sloop AUCKLAND and GRIMSBY returned to Rosyth.

The convoy arrived later that day.



Convoy FS.169 departed the Tyne, escorted by sloop AUCKLAND. . The convoy arrived at Southend on the 14th.



French Legionnaires were embarked on British assault landing craft landing craft at Ballangen for the assault on Bjervik in Herjangsfjord. The remainder of the 1500 troops involved were embarked on the Light cruisers EFFINGHAM and AURORA.


Four tanks and two mechanized landing craft landing craft to take the tanks ashore were carried on battleship RESOLUTION. A fifth tank in a more modern LC went under its own power.


This landing craft had arrived at Harstad on 27 April on British steamer EMPIRE ABILITY (7603grt).


In addition, repair ship VINDICTIVE, net layer PROTECTOR, destroyers HAVELOCK (Captain E. B. K. Stevens, D.9), which carried a French mortar battery on her forecastle, SOMALI, FAME, BASILISK, WREN accompanied the force.


Aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL provided air support for this operation.


This force departed Ballangen late on the 12th and the troops were landed on the 13th and Bjervik was captured.


The naval ships were dispersed at 0600/13th. Light cruiser EFFINGHAM proceeded to Harstad.



Aircraft carrier FURIOUS escorted by destroyers IMPERIAL and VISCOUNT departed the Clyde at 1100 for flying on of aircraft.


Two hours later, Aircraft carrier GLORIOUS escorted by destroyers DELIGHT and DIANA departed the Clyde, but both groups were recalled at 1415 to the Clyde.



Submarine TRIBUNE departed the Clyde on patrol escorted by anti-submarine trawler NORWICH CITY (541grt).



Submarines SPEARFISH departed Blyth and PORPOISE and TETRARCH departed Rosyth on patrol. PORPOISE conducted minelaying operation FD.11 on the 16th.



Swedish steamer BOTHNIA (1488grt) was damaged by German bombing in the Kattegat.



Swedish steamer INDUS (729grt) was seized by German forces at Bergen.


On 28 May, she was renamed METZ for German service.



Swedish steamer EROS (2151grt) after the crew left the ship was seized by German forces at Bergen.


On 28 May, she was renamed ILLKIRCH for German service.



German trawler KATHE JURGENSEN (346grt) was sunk on a mine near Lubeck.



Convoy OG.29 was formed from convoys OA.145G, which departed Southend on the 10th escorted by destroyers WHITEHALL and WINCHELSEA, OB.145G, which departed Liverpool on the 10th, of fifty ships. The convoy was escorted by destroyer WHITEHALL and WINCHELSEA from 12 May. Destroyer WHITEHALL was detached on the 12th and destroyer WINCHELSEA on the 13th. The convoy was escorted by French sloop LA CURIEUSE and patrol vessel JUTLAND from 13 to 18 May.


Anti-submarine trawler SNAKEFLY escorted the convoy near Gibraltar. The convoy arrived at Gibraltar on the 18th.



Convoy HG.30F departed Gibraltar with forty two ships. The convoy was escorted by French destroyer JAGUAR and auxiliary patrol vessel MINERVE from 12 to 18 May. The destroyer arrived at Brest on the 18th and the patrol vessel at Lorient on the 19th.


Sloops ENCHANTRESS and LEITH from convoy OGF 30 escorted the convoy from 18 to 21 May. The convoy arrived at Liverpool on the 21st.



Sloop FOLKESTONE, formerly with convoy OG.28F, departed Gibraltar for Liverpool.



Spanish cruisers CANARIAS, ALMIRANTE CERVERA, NAVARRA and destroyers ALMIRANTE ANTEQUERA, CISCAR, ULLOA, GRAVINA passed Gibraltar en route from Cadiz for Malaga.



Convoy HX.42 departed Halifax at 0900 escorted by Canadian destroyers RESTIGOUCHE and SKEENA, which were detached on the 13th.


The destroyers turned over the convoy to ocean escort Armed merchant cruiser LACONIA at 1814/13th. The armed merchant cruiser was detached on the 24th.


On 24 May, sloop ROCHESTER and corvette GLADIOLUS joined the convoy. The sloop ROCHESTER was detached on the 27th. The corvette remained with the convoy until its arrival at Liverpool on the 28th.



Canadian troop convoy TC.4A departed Halifax at 1400 escorted by Canadian destroyers ST LAURENT and SAGUENAY. The convoy was composed of troopships ANTONIA (13,867grt) and DUCHESS OF BEDFORD (20,123grt) which carried 932 and 1559 troops, respectively.


Battleship REVENGE was the ocean escort.


Battleship REVENGE accidently collided with and sank Canadian Gate Vessel No. 1 (trawler YPRES, 440grt, Lt A. H.Cassivi RCNR) at Halifax as REVENGE was setting out to escort Canadian troop convoy TC 4 A.


Three ratings were slightly injured in the vessel; no lives wee lost from the eighteen man crew.



Monday,  13 May


Convoy NS.3 escorted by destroyers FIREDRAKE and FOXHOUND departed Scapa Flow at 0800 with tankers OLEANDER (7048grt) and OIL PIONEER (5666grt), collier CARMINSTER, French patrol boat BELFORT.


The Clyde section had departed the day before at 0200/12th escorted by destroyers WALKER and BEAGLE with steamers CYPRIAN PRINCE (1988grt), RUTLAND (1437grt), DROMORE CASTLE (5242grt), GUNVOR MAERSK (1977grt), PEMBROKE COAST (625grt), HEILO (989grt), COWRIE (8197grt).


Tanker ATHELSULTAN (8882grt) joined the convoy in North Channel.


Norwegian steamer MARINA (9898grt) departed Stornoway with cargo that had been on British steamer BALZAC (5372grt), which had run aground on the 7th, joined in the Minches.


Steamer COWRIE and tanker ATHELSULTAN were detached to Scapa Flow.


The Rosyth section departed Leith at 0800/12th escorted by destroyers HERO and FOXHOUND. This convoy included British steamer REDCAR (1475grt)However, this section was delayed due to REDCAR's slow speed.


Destroyer FOXHOUND was detached to arrive at Hoxa Gate at 0700/13th to escort the Scapa Flow section.


When the two sections rendezvoused, destroyer FOXHOUND was detached to Greenock and arrived in the Clyde at 1100/14th. The convoy was split for the passage into fast and slow sections at 1100/14th.


The fast convoy escorted by FIREDRAKE and WALKER consisted of British tankers OLEANDER and OIL PIONEER and steamers PEMBROKE COAST, CYPRIAN PRINCE, DROMORE CASTLE, Norwegian MARINA, Danish GUNVOR MAERSKE.


The slow convoy was escorted by destroyer BEAGLE and two minesweeping trawlers and was composed of RUTLAND, REDCAR, SARITA (5824grt), Norwegian steamers HEILO, GRO (3825grt), INGERFIRE (3835grt).


In Pentland Firth, destroyer HERO escorting the steamer REDCAR joined Norwegian steamers GRO, INGERFIRE, SPICA (500grt) from Kirkwall to join the convoy.


This section was delayed by steamer REDCAR's slow speed, but rendezvoused with the convoy at 1900/13th. Destroyer HERO was detached in 63N on the 14th and proceeded to Plymouth.


Destroyers WALKER and FIREDRAKE with steamers MARINA, DROMORE CASTLE, PEMBROKE CASTLE, GUNVOR MAERSK arrived at Harstad at 0700/17th. The rest of the convoy remained at sea to await orders.



Convoy NP.3 departed Scapa Flow for Narvik with Polish troopships BATORY (14,287grt) and SOBIESKI (11,030grt) and escorted by destroyers DELIGHT and ANTELOPE and French destroyer MILAN. The convoy arrived at 2000/17th escorted by destroyers ANTELOPE, DELIGHT, MILAN.


At 2300/13th, British steamer ROYAL ULSTERMAN (3244grt), escorted by destroyer MATABELE, arrived at Bodo and landed 290 troops in a SCISSORS landing.


These ships had departed the Firth of Forth at 1900/10th.



Late on the 13th, battleship RESOLUTION, light cruiser EFFINGHAM, repair ship VINDICTIVE, destroyers HAVELOCK, SOMALI, FAME, BASILISK, WREN, assisted by aircraft from aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL, bombarded Narvik. This operation was named OB.



Following a reconnaisance, when the weather was too bad to land on the ARK ROYAL, a Skua of 800 Squadron forced landed south of Harstad in the sea. Petty Officer L. E. Burston and Naval Airman G. W. Halifax were picked up by destroyer BRAZEN.


A second Skua of this operation force landed at Sandsoy, north of Harstad. Lt J. A. Rooper and Petty Officer W. Crawford were not injured.



A Swordfish of 810 Squadron from ARK ROYAL landed on a forzen lake near Reisenvann. S/Lt A. N. Dixon, Midshipman H.B. Dangerfield, Naval Airman V. Labross were unhurt. The plane was later taken to Harstad and returned to the UK in French steamer ALBERT LEBOUGNE. A second Swordfsish with Lt N. R. Corbet-Milward, Captain K. L. Ford, RM, Leading Airman J. Black force landed at Skaanland.



A Swordfish of 820 Squadron force landed during a bombing raid of Silvik. Captain A. C. Newson, RM, Lt Cdr G. B. Hodgkinson and Leading Airman R. H.McColl were unhurt. A second Swordfish with Lt G. Hunter and Leading Airman D. Smith force landed two miles south of Harstad.



Destroyers JUNO, JAGUAR, GRAFTON and Polish destroyer BURZA departed Scapa Flow at 1030 for Harwich.


Destroyer JUNO was detached en route to run the D. G. range at Inchkeith.



Destroyer GRENADE departed Liverpool at 1145 after boiler cleaning for Harwich.



At 2036 a periscope was sighted by a shore battery at Holm and at 2045 a report of a crossing on the indicator loops outside the eastern entrance to Scapa Flow.


Destroyers JACKAL and JAVELIN departed Scapa Flow at 2315 to patrol on the line Roseness to Grimness.


Destroyers NUBIAN, AMAZON, ACASTA searched inside Scapa Flow near Water Sound and Kirk Sound.


Destroyers JACKAL and JAVELIN attacked several contacts later determined to be the wreck of tanker DAGHESTAN sunk on 25 March.


At 0800/14th, all destroyers were ordered to return to harbour, leaving destroyer AMAZON patrolling to seaward.



Swedish steamer EDDA (1652grt) was seized by German forces at Stavanger.



Submarine CLYDE, on patrol in the North Sea near Raudoy Island in 62-46N, 03-57W, at 1345 sighted German armed merchant cruiser WIDDER. Submarine CLYDE fired sixty rounds from her deck gun, but did not hit WIDDER. Merchant cruiser WIDDER returned fire and kept submarine CLYDE out of range until she could escape into a rain squall.

Armed merchant cruiser WIDDER arrived at Trondheim to avoid further contact.



Minewsweeping trawlers SATA and RUNSWICK BAY departed Scapa Flow for the Harstad area. En route, they assisted in the escort of a "Narvik convoy".



Destroyer MALCOLM (Captain T. E. Halsey, D.16) departed Dover at 2330/12th arrived at Hook of Holland at 0537/13th to relieve destroyer WILD SWAN as senior naval officer and take charge of the evacuation of that port.



In Operation HARPOON, British steamers CANTERBURY (2910grt) and MAID OF ORLEANS (2386grt) escorted by destroyers KEITH, WOLSEY, WIVERN, BOREAS arrived at Hook of Holland early on the 13th.


The steamers carried a composite battalion of Guards to support the Royal Marines in the port.


After unloading, the force returned to Dover arriving on the 13th.



Destroyers VALENTINE and WINCHESTER departed Dunkirk at 0330/13th for Nieuport.


Destroyer WINCHESTER was detached six hours later to complete replenishing ammunition brought to Dunkirk by destroyer WHITLEY, which had departed Dover at 0400 and arrived at Dunkirk at 0700.


At 1430, destroyer WINCHESTER departed Dunkirk to relieve destroyer WESTMINSTER as SNO off Flushing.



Dutch steamer PERSEUS (1307grt), carrying bullion, departed Ijmuiden at 0400 escorted by destroyer VIMY.



Destroyer HEREWARD, escorted by destroyer VESPER, evacuated Queen Wilhelmena of Holland from Hook of Holland at noon and took her to Harwich, arriving at 1700.



Six destroyers began the evacuation of Hook of Holland at 1800/13th.

Destroyer WINDSOR evacuated the Dutch government, British, Belgian, Norwegian legation staffs, 400 refugees from Hook of Holland during the evening.


Destroyer VERSATILE followed destroyer MOHAWK's turn at the pier.


Destroyer VERSATILE, while alongside the pier, was damaged by one bomb hit at 2140 from German bombing off Hook of Holland.


Her engine room was put out of action and the destroyer could neither steer or steam. Acting Gunner (T) G. L. Turner, Midshipman C. S. T. Shiach RNR, five ratings were killed and thirteen wounded on the destroyer. Destroyer VERSATILE was towed away from the jetty by destroyer MALCOLM and escorted by destroyer HYPERION. Destroyer VERSATILE was taken in tow by destroyer JANUS outside the harbour.


Destroyer JANUS was later relieved by a rescue tug and a motor torpedo boat.


Destroyer VERSATILE with one engine working arrived at Sheerness at 1900/14th and was repaired at Chatham completing on 20 June.


The last party of refugees was embarked on destroyer MALCOLM at 2240/13th. These were transferred to destroyer JANUS outside the harbour and destroyer MALCOLM returned to the Hook arriving at 0120/14th.


Destroyers WINDSOR, VIVIEN, MOHAWK arrived early the next morning from Hook of Holland at Southend.



Destroyer WALPOLE evacuated from Ijmuiden the Dutch industrial diamonds, brought from Amsterdam to prevent their falling into German hands.


Also, at Ijmuiden that evening were destroyers VIVIEN which arrived back at Southend on the 14th and destroyer KIMBERLEY.



Destroyer WHITSHED arrived back at Dover from Dunkirk at 0245.


Destroyer WHITSHED departed again at 0430/14th with more ammunition for the FA ships at Dunkirk and minesweeping gear for the minesweepers working off the Dutch coast from Zeebrugge.



Destroyer WHITLEY, which had arrived during the evening of 12 May, departed Dover for Dunkirk at 0445 with ammunition and to operate with Force FA.



Destroyer WILD SWAN arrived at Dover at 0700 from Hook of Holland with a broken propeller blade on her starboard propeller.


Destroyer WILD SWAN departed Dover at 1607/14th for Blackwall for repairs completed on the 17th.



The 6th Mine Sweeping Flotilla was sweeping mines off the Dutch coast.


After the operation, minesweeper HARRIER proceeded to Dover for boiler cleaning.


The rest of the Flotilla proceeded to Harwich arriving at 1930.



Dutch steamer PHRONTIS (6181grt) departed Ijmuiden on the 13th with 800 prisoners of war. She met her escort of two French destroyers, but they immediately went off on other duty.


Steamer PHRONTIS proceeded unescorted to the Downs arriving on the 14th. She then proceeded to Dover where the prisoners were landed.



Late on the 13th, Dutch submarines O.23 and O.24 departed Rotterdam.


Submarine O.24 had just begun her trials and had never dived, but both submarines safely arrived at Dover. They arrived at Portsmouth on the 16th.



Convoy FN.170 departed Southend, escorted by sloop EGRET. The convoy arrived at the Tyne on the 15th.



British steamer CITY OF BRUSSELS (629grt) was seized by German forces at Brussels.



Danish steamer GORM (2156grt) was sunk on a mine 1. 3 miles 20 from the South Mole Light at Zeebrugge.



Dutch steamer BUSSUM (3636grt) was damaged by German bombing north of the West Hinder Light Vessel. She was abandoned and French torpedo boat BOUCLIER rescued the survivors. BUSSUM was taken in tow by minesweeper HARRIER, later relieved by tug LADY BRASSEY.



Norwegian steamer HIRD (4950grt) was badly damaged at Dunkirk by German bombing. She did not depart Dunkirk until 28 May and was constantly bombed in that period, but did not receive any more significant damage.



Minesweeper FERMOY departed Gibraltar for Malta to rejoin the Mediterranean Fleet.



French destroyer VOLTA passed Gibraltar en route from Brest to Oran, where she arrived on the 14th.



French auxiliary minesweeper VILLE DU BIZERTE (32grt) was sunk on a mine near Cape Guardia in the Bizerte area.



Following repairs at Hong Kong, submarine GRAMPUS departed Hong Kong on 13 April, Singapore on 19 April, Colombo on 25 April, Aden on the 3rd, arriving at Suez on the 7th. Submarine GRAMPUS then departed Alexandria on the 9th and arrived at Malta on the 13th for duty with the Mediterranean Fleet.



During the night of 13/14 May, French submarine ACHILLE during an attack approach on two German transports near Lindesnes was near missed by five bombs dropped from a German aircraft.



On 13 to 16 May, U.38 refuelled from German tanker EGERLAND (9798grt).



Tuesday,  14 May


Aircraft carriers FURIOUS and GLORIOUS departed the Clyde at 2130 escorted by destroyers DIANA, VETERAN, VISCOUNT, WITHERINGTON for operations off Norway.


Destroyer AMAZON was recalled from an anti-submarine force at 1155/14th. She departed Scapa Flow at 2200 to relieve WITHERINGTON.



Light cruiser AURORA, anti-aircraft cruiser COVENTRY, destroyers FAME and WREN bombarded Narvik.



Destroyer SOMALI (D.6) and French destroyer FOUDROYANT departed Harstad with ammunition for allied troops at Mo. The ammunition was delivered.


The destroyers operated in area of Bodo, Ranenfjord, Mo, Hemnes during the day. Destroyer FOUDROYANT bombarded German targets at Hemnes and Sund.


The ships returned towards Harstad early the next day.



Polish troopship CHROBRY (11,442grt) departed Tjelsundet for Bodo with Destroyer WOLVERINE and sloop STORK escorting and screened by anti-aircraft cruiser CURLEW.


In low level bombing attacks, troopship CHROBRY was hit by two or three bombs at 2350/14th in 67‑40N, 13‑50E in Vestfjord and was badly damaged. The troopship was set afire by the bombing and abandoned.


Eleven crew were lost on the Polish troopship. Temporary Lt Cdr J. D. Arrowsmith RNR, of VICTORY was lost on the troopship.


Destroyer WOLVERINE and sloop STORK took off the 1000 survivors and Aircraft from aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL scuttled the wreck midday on the 15th.


The survivors were returned to Harstad.



In air combat off Skaanland near Tranoy, two Skuas of 803 Squadron from aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL were lost.


Lt W. P. Lucy DSO, Lt M. C. E. Hanson DSC, in one aircraft were shot down and lost. Lt T. E. Gray and Leading Airman A. G. Clayton ran out of fuel and force landed the other aircraft, but were rescued by destroyer ENCOUNTER.



Destroyer FEARLESS departed Scapa Flow at 1800 for Middlesbrough for refitting.


Destroyer FEARLESS arrived at 0700/15th.



Destroyer HASTY departed Scapa Flow at 1500 for Plymouth en route to Mediterranean Fleet duty.



Destroyers JACKAL and JAVELIN departed Scapa Flow for Harwich.



Destroyer NUBIAN departed Scapa Flow at 2130 with 1200 extra high explosive shells.


Destroyer NUBIAN arrived at Plymouth en route to duty with the Mediterranean Fleet.



Destroyer KANDAHAR departed the Tyne at 1450 for Plymouth en route to duty in the Mediterranean Fleet.



Destroyer GALLANT departed the Tyne at 1330 for Harwich for duty with the Commander in Chief, Nore.



Destroyer GRENADE departed Liverpool on the 13th and arrived at Dover on the 14th.


As destroyer GRENADE was entered the port at 0930, she collided with Anti-submarine trawler CAYTON WYKE (373grt), which had just left Dover.


Destroyer GRENADE was not watertight above the water line and required docking which was done at Harwich. Boiler cleaning was also accomplished during this docking period, completing on the 25th.



Destroyers INGLEFIELD and SIKH were detached from Vice Admiral Aircraft Carrier's screen for Plymouth.


Destroyer INGLEFIELD arrived at Plymouth for refitting at 1530/17th.


Following the refitting, destroyer INGLEFIELD arrived back at Scapa Flow at 2215 on 8 June.


Destroyer SIKH for boiler cleaning. She was diverted en route to Scapa Flow, where she arrived at 1400/16th.



French light cruiser MONTCALM and destroyers BRESTOIS and BOULONNAIS departed the Clyde to return to Brest, arriving on the 15th.



Destroyers serving with the Home Fleet to reassigned to duties with the Nore Command the Mediterranean Fleet.


To the Nore Command,


1st Destroyer Flotilla, Destroyers CODRINGTON (D.1), GRAFTON, GRENADE, GRIFFIN, GREYHOUND, BURZA. (Destroyer BLYSKAWICA on completion of repairs from depot ship WOOLWICH to join).


7th Destroyer Flotilla, Destroyers JACKAL, JAVELIN, JAGUAR. (Destroyers JERVIS, JERSEY, JUPITER on completion of repairs and refittings).


To the Mediterranean Fleet,


2nd Destroyer Flotilla, Destroyers HYPERION, HOSTILE, HEREWARD, HAVOCK. (Destroyers HASTY and HERO temporarily attached).


3rd Destroyer Flotilla, Destroyers ILEX and IMPERIAL.


4th Destroyer Flotilla, Destroyers NUBIAN and MOHAWK.


5th Destroyer Flotilla, Destroyers KANDAHAR, KHARTOUM, KINGSTON, KIMBERLEY.


7th Destroyer Flotilla, Destroyers JANUS and JUNO.



French torpedo boat L'INCOMPRISE was bombed and damaged while supporting the defense of Bergen op Zoom, Holland.


Despite the efforts of troops ashore and of L'INCOMPRISE, French submarine chasers CH.6, CH.9, CH.41, Bergen op Zoom fell to German forces.


As the fighting progressed in Zuid Beveland towards Walcheren, French destroyers FOUGUEUX and FRONDEUR arrived on the 16th to support troops ashore. They were joined by destroyers WOLSEY and VIMIERA. The French destroyers bombarded the Germans advancing on South Beveland. The Destroyers do not appear to have opened fire.


French destroyers CYCLONE and SIROCCO departed Dover on the 16th with Prince Bernhard and arrived on the 17th. During the forenoon of 17 May, the French destroyers bombarded German troops. Destroyers WOLSEY and VIMIERA provided anti-aircraft protection.


Finally, allied troops were withdrawn to Walcheren and some three hundred more arrived from Zuid Beveland. French Vice Amiral Charles Platon was placed in charge of the evacuation and before Walcheren fell on the 18th, 1800 allied troops were evacuated by French torpedo boats BOUCLIER, BRANLEBAS, FLORE, CORDELIERE, MELPOMENE.



Destroyer VESPER arrived at Ijmuiden at 0700/14th with messages.



At 1330/14th, destroyer HAVOCK entered Ijmuiden and soon departed with some refugees after disembarking an officer on a special mission.


At 2200/14th, destroyer HAVOCK again entered Ijmuiden.



Early on the 14th, destroyer VALENTINE embarked ammunition brought to Dunkirk by destroyer WHITSHED.


Destroyers WINCHESTER and WHITSHED departed Dunkirk to join destroyer KEITH for Operation ORDNANCE, evacuation of the Hook of Holland.


Destroyers WHITLEY and WESTMINSTER from Flushing were also ordered to ORDNANCE.


At 1115, destroyer WESTMINSTER departed Flushing for the Hook of Holland. Destroyers WHITLEY and VIMIERA were actively engaging German aircraft while patrolling off Flushing.


Destroyer VALENTINE arrived back at Flushing from Dunkirk at 2030 to take over duties as SNO.


In Operation ORDNANCE, destroyers KEITH (Captain D. J. R. Simson, D.17), BOREAS (Lt Cdr M. W. Tomkinson), BRILLIANT (Lt Cdr F. C. Brodrick), VERITY (Lt Cdr A. R. M. Black), WIVERN (Cdr W. C. Bushell), WOLSEY (Lt Cdr C. H.Campbell) departed Dover at 0947 to evacuate troops at Hook of Holland. They rendezvoused at sea off the Maas Light Vessel with destroyers WHITLEY (Lt Cdr G. N. Rolfe), WHITSHED (Cdr E. R. Conder), WINCHESTER (Lt Cdr S. E. Crewe-Read) which came up from Dunkirk.


The destroyers joined Destroyers MALCOLM (Captain T. E. Halsey, D.16, Senior Naval Officer), VESPER (Lt Cdr W. F. E. Hussey), WESTMINSTER (Lt Cdr A. A. C. Ouvry) which were already at Hook of Holland and the evacuation took place as planned.


Four Blenheims and twelve Hurricanes operated in support.


Destroyer WHITSHED was the first embarked and she departed at 1230/14th.


Destroyer VESPER was damaged by near misses of German air bombing. Destroyer VESPER was repaired at Dover, completing repairs on 3 June.


Destroyer MALCOLM sustained some damage from near misses of German bombs.


Destroyer WHITSHED, which departed Dover at 0430/14th, evacuated 300 of the Guards Battalion, the Heywood Mission, consular officials left Hook of Holland arrived at Dover at 1900/14th.


Destroyers BOREAS ran into destroyer BRILLIANT's stern off the Hook of Holland.


The destroyers were escorted by destroyer WINCHESTER as far as the West Hinder Buoy. They reached the Downs that evening and anchored for the night.


Destroyers BOREAS and BRILLIANT were repaired at Blackwall, completed on 17 June and 19 June, respectively.


After escorting the damaged BOREAS and BRILLIANT, destroyer WINCHESTER proceeded to Flushing.


Destroyers MALCOLM, VESPER, WESTMINSTER arrived at Dover at 2357/14th with the first load of evacuatees, the Marines landing party, the XD Hook of Holland demolition party, civilians, 150,000 pounds sterling in diamonds on board destroyer MALCOLM.


At 2230, the remaining 350 Guards were embarked at Hook of Holland on destroyer VESPER.


To block the Hook of Holland, torpedoes were to be fired at the North Breakwater to silt up the harbour.


Destroyers KEITH, WIVERN, VERITY, WOLSEY were detached for this duty.


Destroyer WIVERN was damaged by the near miss of two air bombs with Midshipman K. T. Briggs RNR, Probationary Temporary S/Lt R. S. Brown RNVR, twenty five ratings killed and thirty two wounded, including Lt S. E. Pritchard.


Destroyer WIVERN fired one torpedo due to damage. The other three destroyers fired a total of ten torpedoes.


Destroyer WIVERN returned to Dover arriving at 2330/14th.


Destroyer WIVERN departed Dover at 1519/16th for Portsmouth for repairs completed on 20 June.


Early on the 15th, destroyers WESTMINSTER and VIMIERA (Lt Cdr R. B. N. Hicks) arrived at Dover. Destroyer VENOMOUS (Cdr J. E. H.McBeath), which had picked up some of the XD AIjmuiden demolition party and fifty civilians at sea from a tug and a motor launch, arrived at Dover at 1825.


The evacuation was declared completed.



Destroyers KEITH, VERITY, WOLSEY were withdrawn from the Hook of Holland at 1730/14th for Dover. At 1825, the destroyers were ordered to embark Dutch troops at Scheveringen and the Hook of Holland.


British steamers CANTERBURY, MONA'S ISLE, MAID OF ORLEANS, KING GEORGE V and destroyers were sent to Ijmuiden and Texel.


At 2200/14th, the Dutch ceased resistance and the final treaty was signed at 0930/15th. The plans to evacuate Dutch troops from Hook of Holland, Ijmuiden, Schweningen, Texel were abandoned.


The steamers were released for other duties.



Destroyer WESSEX arrived at Dover at 1616 with Vice Admiral Sir Gerald C. Dickens, KCVO, CB, CMB (ret), the naval attache at the Hague, two Dutch engineers.



Belgian steamer VILLE DE BRUGES (13,869grt) was badly damaged by German bombing in the River Scheldt, ten miles from Antwerp.


Two crew were killed and one later died of wounds.


The steamer beached, caught fire, was abandoned a total loss.



Dutch light cruisers SUMATRA and JACOB VAN HEEMSKERCK departed Holland for England rather than be scuttled or fall into German hands.


Light cruiser JACOB VAN HEEMSKERCK, fitting out at Amsterdam, was towed away on the 10th. She arrived in the Downs on the 11th.


Light cruiser SUMATRA arrived in the Humber on the 11th.


Dutch destroyer ISAAC SWEERS, also incomplete, was also towed from Flushing on the 10th by Dutch tug ZWARTSEE to England. The destroyer and tug arrived at the Downs on the 11th in the company of submarines O.21, O.22, tug SCHELDT.


Submarine O.21 departed Flushing on the 10th escorted by Dutch tug SCHELDE. They arrived in the Downs on the 11th.


Submarine O.22 departed Flushing on the 10th in tow for Dover. The submarine arrived in the Downs on the 11th.


Light cruiser JACOB VAN HEEMSKERCK and destroyer ISAAC SWEERS were sent on to Spithead, arriving on the 12th. The light cruiser was able to accompany light cruiser SUMATRA in June on a voyage to Halifax, but returned to complete construction 17 February 1941.


Dutch submarines O.9, O.10, O.13, O.21, O.22, O.23, O.24 were able to escape to England. Submarines O.23 and O.24 departed Rotterdam late on the 13th.


Submarine O.13 arrived at Dover on the 12th escorted by Dutch minesweeper JAN VAN GELDER.


Dutch submarines O.13, O.21, O.22 and minesweeper JAN VAN GELDER arrived at Portsmouth on the 12th.


Dutch submarines O.9, O.10, O.24 arrived in the Downs on the 13th escorted by minelayer WILLEM VAN DER ZAAN.


Dutch submarine O.23 arrived unescorted in the Downs on the 13th.


Submarines O.9, O.10, O.23, O24 arrived at Portsmouth, via Dover, on the 16th.


In addition O.14 and O.15, which were in the Dutch Indies on escort duties, were taken under the control of Commander in Chief, American and West Indies Command.


However, not all naval craft were gotten away. Light cruisers DE ZEVERN PROVICIEN and EENDRACHT, building at Wilton-Fijenoord and Rotterdam, respectively, were captured on the building slips.


Incomplete destroyers GERALD CALLENBERG at Rotterdam and TJERK HIDDES at Nieuwe Waterweg were scuttled.


Submarines O.8, O.11, O.12, under repair at Den Helder, O.25, on the slip at Schiedam, were scuttled.


Submarine O.8 was salved as German UD 1 and commissioned on 21 November 1940; O.12 was salved as UD.2 and commissioned on 14 January 1943; O.25, which had only been launched on the 1st 1940, was commissioned as UD.3 on 8 June 1941; O.26 was launched on 23 November 1940 and commissioned as UD.4 on 28 January 1941; and O.27 was launched on 26 September 1941 and commissioned as UD.5 on 1 November 1941.


None of these submarines were deployed in war patrols.


Also, a number of other small ships were scuttled because they were blocked in ports by ships that had been sunk by mines or bombers or to block channels.


Dutch steamer JAN PIETERSZOON (1140grt) was sunk as a blockship at Ijmiuden.


Dutch tug NOORDZEE (260grt) was sunk by a mine at Flushing.



Swedish steamer FRAMNAS (721grt) was seized by German forces at Stavanger and renamed BORGEN for German service.



On Operation ALABASTER, British troopships LANCASTRIA (16,243grt) and FRANCONIA (20,175grt) departed the Clyde at 1900 with troops to relieve the Marine garrison taken to Iceland the week before. The troopships were escorted by destroyers FOXHOUND and HAVANT.


Destroyer FOXHOUND departed Reykavik at 1200/19th and landed troops at Akreyri during the morning of 20 May.


After safely delivering the troops, the British force arrived back in the Clyde on the 25th at 0540.



Minelayers TEVIOTBANK and PLOVER departed the Humber in convoy FN.172. They were first escorted by destroyers VIMY and WINDSOR. The minelayers arrived at Rosyth on the 17th, escorted by destroyers VIVIEN and VALOROUS.


The minelayers departed Rosyth on the 17th escorted by destroyer SABRE and armed patrol yacht BREDA. They arrived at Scapa Flow on the 18th.


On 18 May, destroyer SABRE obtained a submarine contact in 58‑41N, 03‑54W. She was joined by destroyer MASHONA early on the 19th from Scapa Flow.


The minelayers were to have gone to Narvik, but they were held at Scapa Flow.


Minelayers TEVIOTBANK and PLOVER departed Scapa Flow at 1430/29th, escorted by destroyer ATHERSTONE, arrived at Rosyth at 1230/30th.



Submarine SALMON arrived at Harwich after refitting at Chatham.



Submarine CLYDE sighted an enemy transport ship west of Stadlandet. However, the contact was lost in low visibility before the submarine could attack.



French submarine CASABIANCA sighted a German convoy off Lister, but it was too distant to attack.



On 14 May, armed merchant cruisers PATROCLUS, AUSTURIAS, CARINTHIA, DERBYSHIRE, CHESHIRE were ordered to assume patrol off Vigo and Lisbon in readiness to intercept Italian merchant ships if Italy entered the war.


Four armed merchant cruisers, CANTON, CORFU, MALOJA, MONTCLARE, were ordered on the 21st to replace the armed merchant cruisers on this detail. Armed merchant cruiser ASTURIAS' assignment was unaffected. The patrol was maintained by Commmander in Chief Western Approaches after this duty.


This patrol was cancelled on the 31st.



Convoy FN.171 departed Southend, unescorted due to lack of escort vessels. The convoy was met en route by armed patrol yacht BREDA from convoy FS.170. The convoy arrived at the Tyne on the 16th.



Convoy FS.170 departed the Tyne, escorted by sloop GRIMSBY and armed patrol yacht BREDA. The yacht was detached en route to convoy FN.171. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 16th.



In the South Atlantic, German raider ORION refuelled from German tanker WINNETOU (5113grt), which had departed Las Palmas on 9 April.


German tanker WINNETOU went on to refuel armed merchant cruiser ORION again on 20 June before setting off for Japan.


on to Naval Events MAY 1940, Part 3
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revised 7/4/12
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