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

NAVAL EVENTS, JULY 1940 (Part 2 of 2)
Monday 15th - Wednesday 31st

Partly edited by Gordon Smith, Naval-History.Net

HM MTB.234, Vosper-type motor torpedo boat (Navy Photos, click to enlarge)

on to Naval Events, AUGUST 1940

 

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 - July-August 1940

Fall of France, Battle of Britain, War in Mediterranean


 

1940

 

 

Monday, 15 July

 

Battleship NELSON with destroyers BEDOUIN, PUNJABI, and MASHONA departed Scapa Flow in the evening to conduct night firings. Because of heavy fog, they were unable to return to Scapa Flow until 1635 on the 16th.

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Heavy cruiser DEVONSHIRE departed Scapa Flow for Rosyth to change secondary armament.

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Light cruiser AURORA arrived at Scapa Flow from the Humber.

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Escort destroyers HAMBLEDON and ATHERSTONE departed Scapa Flow at 1315 to rendezvous off Aberdeen at 2000 with steamer HIGHLANDER (1216grt) and tanker PRESTOL (2629grt) for Lerwick and Scapa Flow, respectively. On the 16th, HAMBLEDON and PRESTOL arrived off Scapa Flow, but due to heavy fog, the ships could not enter harbour until 1100. ATHERSTONE arrived at Scapa Flow at 1113 on the 17th.

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 A mine explosion close aboard damaged mine destructor ship BURLINGTON at Aultbrea. The ship, escorted by anti-submarine trawler THIRLMERE, proceeded to Stornoway on the 17th for repairs. She returned to Aultbrea on the 18th, again escorted by THIRLMERE.

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Convoy OB.184 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyer WARWICK and corvette HEARTSEASE form 15 to 18 July. The escorts were detached to inbound convoy HX.56.

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Convoy FN.223 departed Southend, escorted by destroyer VALOROUS, sloop STORK, and patrol sloop WIDGEON, and arrived in the Tyne on the 17th.

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Convoy MT.111 departed Methil, and arrived in the Tyne on the 16th.

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Convoy FS.222 departed the Tyne, escorted by sloop BLACK SWAN and HASTINGS, and arrived at Southend on the 16th.

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Convoy HX.58 departed Halifax at 0730 escorted by Canadian destroyers SAGUENAY and ASSINIBOINE which turned the convoy over to the ocean escort, armed merchant cruiser RANPURA, and returned to Halifax at 0835 the next day.

 

While at sea, the Canadian destroyers investigated an aircraft down in the sea.

 

Convoy BHX.58 departed Bermuda on the 14th escorted locally by sloop PENZANCE and an ocean escort of armed merchant cruiser JERVIS BAY. The convoy rendezvoused with convoy HX.58 on the 19th and the armed merchant cruiser was detached.

 

RANPURA was detached on the 28th.

 

On the 27th, destroyers SKEENA, WESTCOTT, sloop ENCHANTRESS, corvettes CAMELLIA and CLARKIA, plus anti-submarine trawlers LADY ELSA and ST KENAN joined the convoy. Destroyer WESTCOTT and sloop ENCHANTRESS were detached, and arrived at Liverpool on the 31st.

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At 1142 on the 15th, suspicious ships were reported southwest of Land's End in 4810N, 7-30W, steering 350°. Light cruiser NEWCASTLE (right - postwar, NavyPhotos) with destroyers BROKE, MACKAY, WOLVERINE, WITHERINGTON, HESPERUS, and RESTIGOUCHE departed Plymouth to investigate. At 1708, the force, less MACKAY and BROKE detached to assist steamer CITY OF LIMERICK, returned to Plymouth.

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U.34 sank Greek steamer EVDOXIA (2018grt) forty miles southwest of Bull Rock, southwest Ireland. One crew was missing. The same U-boat also sank Greek steamer NAFTILOS (3531grt) in 48‑05N, 10‑25W. The entire crew was rescued, but one crewman later died.

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U.58 torpedoed a tanker off Cape Wrath. She observed the torpedo breaking the tanker's back, but there is no record of the damage.

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Steamer BELLEROCK (1199grt) was sunk on a mine in 51‑20N, 03‑47W. Seventeen crew were lost.

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German bombing damaged steamer HEWORTH (2855grt) in convoy FN.223 ten miles south of Aldeburgh Light Vessel. She was taken in tow for Harwich, but was grounded three cables 267° from East Shipwash Buoy. Four crew were lost and the survivors rescued by destroyer VALOROUS.

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Steamer CITY OF LIMERICK (1359grt) was sunk by German bombing, 100 miles 270° from Ushant in 48‑39N, 07‑12W. Destroyers MACKAY and BROKE were ordered to the area to assist and hunt for survivors. Two crew were killed and the survivors rescued by Belgian trawler ROGER JEANNINE.

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German bombing sank Panamanian steamer FOSSOULA (1282grt) 240 miles northwest of Cape Finisterre. Four crew went missing.

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Polish steamer ZBARAZ (2088grt) in convoy FN.223 was badly damaged by German bombing ten miles south of Aldeburgh Light Vessel. She was taken in tow by tug ST OLAVES, but sank near South Ship Head Buoy. There were no casualties and the survivors were rescued by trawler VIDONIA and tug MURIA.

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German bombing sank Estonian steamer MERISAAR (2136grt), captured by U.99 on the 12th, off Queenstown. The German prize crew was rescued and made prisoners of war.

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Portuguese steamer ALPHA (853grt) was sunk by German bombing in 48‑51N, 06‑34W. The entire crew was picked up by destroyers BEDOUIN, MASHONA, and TARTAR which were sweeping in the area.

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Norwegian tug DRAUGEN (184grt) was sunk on a German mine off Salhus, north of Bergen.

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Submarine RAINBOW, which had departed Colombo on 24 June, Aden on the 7th, and Port Said on the 14th, arrived at Alexandria from Singapore for duty with the Mediterranean Fleet.

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Heavy cruiser HAWKINS arrived at Montevideo.

 

 

Tuesday, 16 July

 

Destroyers FIREDRAKE and ECHO departed Reykavik at 1030 with liners ORMONDE (14,982grt) and ULSTER PRINCE (3791grt) for the Clyde where they arrived on the 18th at 0500.

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British Force C, heavy cruisers SUSSEX, SHROPSHIRE, light cruisers SOUTHAMPTON (Vice Admiral CS 18), GLASGOW, and destroyers COSSACK (D.4), SIKH, ZULU, MAORI, FURY, FORTUNE, INGLEFIELD (D.3), and IMOGEN departed Scapa Flow at 1030 to attack German ships off Denmark. The force swept southeast until 1543 when the course was reversed due to negative air reports. SHROPSHIRE was detached at 2315 for the Clyde for refitting.

 

At 2355 on the 16th, off Duncansby Head in Pentland Firth in 58‑34N, 02‑54W, GLASGOW accidentally collided with IMOGEN (Cdr C. L. Firth MVO) in heavy fog. IMOGEN's fuel tanks caught fire and the ship had to be abandoned. The destroyer was not seen to sink. Seventeen ratings were lost, while GLASGOW rescued ten officers and 123 ratings. Temporary Surgeon Lt J. W. Ashley RNVR, and ten ratings were injured, and one ratings later died of injuries.

 

GLASGOW had a six foot gash in her port side 60 feet back from the bow above the water line. Midshipman E. J. M. Lucas and one rating were lost in her. She arrived at Scapa Flow at 0936 with SOUTHAMPTON, with SUSSEX arriving at 1050/17th.

 

COSSACK, SIKH, MAORI, ZULU, FURY, FORTUNE, and INGLEFIELD arrived at Scapa Flow at 1750 after searching for IMOGEN's hulk.

 

Stromna Light House keepers had reported a ship drifting westward in Pentland Firth. Destroyer ATHERSTONE departed Scapa Flow at 1445 on the 18th to search south of Stromna, but returned to Scapa Flow that evening at 1650 after failing to locate her.

 

GLASGOW departed Scapa Flow at 1800/19th with destroyers INGLEFIELD, ASHANTI, and MASHONA. Off Cape Wrath, destroyer DIANA joined while ASHANTI and MASHONA returned to Scapa Flow arriving at 0457 on the 20th.

 

GLASGOW arrived at Liverpool escorted by INGLEFIELD and DIANA at 1200/21st for repairs completed on 4 September.

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Battleship NELSON with destroyers BEDOUIN, MASHONA, and PUNJABI arrived at Scapa Flow at 1640 after full calibre firings.

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Convoy FN.224 departed Southend, escorted by destroyer WOOLSTON, sloop FLEETWOOD, and patrol sloop SHEARWATER. The patrol sloop was detached later that day. On the 17th, destroyers JAVELIN and JUPITER covered the convoy, and arrived at the Tyne 18 July.

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Convoy MT.112 departed Methil, and arrived in the Tyne on the 17th.

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Convoy FS.223 departed the Tyne, and arrived at Southend on the 17th.

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U.61 badly damaged tanker SCOTTISH MINSTREL (6998grt) from convoy HX.55 in 56‑10N, 10‑20W. Nine crew were lost and the survivors rescued by steamer FISCUS (4815grt). (Uboat.net - 32 survivors rescued by corvette GARDENIA). SCOTTISH MINSTREL sank on the 17th.

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Submarine PHOENIX (Lt Cdr G. H. Nowell) attacked Italian escort ship ALBATROS off Augusta and was sunk in the counterattack. Lt Cdr Nowell, Lt G. A. Liversidge, Lt M. G. Henderson, A/Lt K. Barkley, Warrant Engineer F. Pegler, and the fifty ratings of the crew were lost.

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Cable ship MIRROR departed Gibraltar, escorted by destroyer FOXHOUND, to cut to Fayal-Malaga cable and join the Fayal end to Gibraltar. She later returned to Gibraltar and sailed again on the 19th, escorted by destroyer WRESTLER to continue the work.

 

The work continued on the 21st with MIRROR escorted again by WRESTLER, which was later relieved by destroyer VIDETTE.

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German armed merchant cruiser THOR sank steamer WENDOVER (5487grt) in the South Atlantic at 23‑08S, 34‑49W. Four crew were killed, while 36 crew and one gunner were made prisoners of war.

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Heavy cruiser DORSETSHIRE departed Freetown to search for a German naval unit in the South Atlantic.

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Convoy SL.40 departed Freetown escorted by armed merchant cruiser ASTURIAS. Armed merchant cruiser CANTON joined the convoy on 1 August, when convoy SLF.40 merged with SL.40. On 2 August, both merchant cruisers were detached and arrived at Greenock for fuel and water on 3 August.

 

ASTURIAS departed Greenock on 6 August to return to Freetown.

 

On 2 August, sloop ABERDEEN joined the convoy. On 3 August, destroyer WALKER and corvette PERIWINKLE and on 4 August, corvettes GODETIA and PRIMROSE joined, and arrived at Liverpool on 8 August.

 

 

Wednesday, 17 July

 

Destroyers BEDOUIN and PUNJABI departed Scapa Flow at 1120 to patrol in 60-20N, 01‑34E.

 

PUNJABI was detached at 1230 from this force to investigate a trawler reported by aircraft at 1132 in 60-13N, 0-45E, steering 270, and flying the signal "I have sighted a mine in the position indicated. "

 

At 1415 on the 18th, BEDOUIN and PUNJABI were ordered to return to Scapa Flow.

 

The trawler, located by PUNJABI, was found to be manned by Norwegians. PUNJABI escorted the trawler towards Lerwick until 2115 when she parted company and proceeded to Scapa Flow.

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Destroyers ASHANTI and MASHONA departed Scapa Flow at 1120 to patrol in 59‑08N, 00‑12E.

 

When destroyers BEDOUIN and PUNJABI were ordered to return to Scapa Flow, ASHANTI and MASHONA were ordered to move their patrol to 58-30N, 1-45W to cover the passage of convoys across Moray Firth.

 

At 2346, ASHANTI and MASHONA were ordered to return to Scapa Flow by 1000/19th. These destroyers arrived back at Scapa Flow at 1100/19th after being delayed by fog.

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Destroyers HAMBLEDON and FERNIE departed Scapa Flow at 1830 to reinforce convoy WN.1 off Cape Wrath at about midnight.

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Submarine L.23, escorted by Dutch torpedo boat Z.8, arrived at Scapa Flow at 1140. The torpedo boat departed at 1815 that day to return to Dundee.

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British minefield BS.24 was laid by destroyers EXPRESS and IMPULSIVE.

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U.57 sank steamer MANIPUR (8652grt) at 2222 from convoy HX.55A in 58‑41N, 05‑14W. Fourteen crew were lost, but Canadian destroyer SKEENA rescued sixty-four survivors. Destroyers HAMBLEDON and FERNIE in the area to join convoy WN.1 began to hunt for the submarine, and attacked a contact. Destroyers DIANA, BERKELEY, and GARTH departed Scapa Flow at 0645 on the 18th to assist. BERKELEY and GARTH were ordered at 1725/18th to return to Scapa Flow, where they arrived at 0045/19th.

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Convoy OG.38 was to have been formed from convoys OA.185G and OB.185G, but departed Liverpool as an OG convoy. The convoy of twenty ships was escorted by sloop WELLINGTON from 17 to 29 July when the convoy arrived at Gibraltar.

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Convoy OA.186 departed Methil escorted by sloops SANDWICH and DEPTFORD from 17 to 21 July.

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Convoy MT.113 departed Methil, and arrived in the Tyne on the 18th.

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Convoy FS.224 departed the Tyne, escorted by destroyer WOLSEY and sloop EGRET, and arrived at Southend on the 18th.

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U.43 sank steamer FELLSIDE (3509grt) straggling convoy OA184 at 135 miles northwest of Bloody Foreland in 56‑09N, 12‑30W. Twelve crew were missing.

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U.57 sank Swedish steamer O. A. BRODIN (1960grt) in 59‑22N, 03‑40W. Three crew were killed and the survivors rescued by minesweeping trawler SICYON and taken by Kirkwall.

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Mooring vessel STEADY (758grt) was sunk on a mine at Newhaven, two cables south of East Pier Head. There were thirteen survivors.

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Estonian steamer LEOLA (554grt) was sunk by German bombing in 49‑00N, 07‑30W, about sixty miles east of the Scillies. Two crew were lost and the survivors rescued by Belgian trawler ROGER JEANNINE.

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Finnish steamer WIIRI (3525grt) was sunk by Italian bombing 30 miles off Malta. Twenty six crew were rescued.

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Belgian fishing vessel DE ZEESTER (74grt) was damaged by German bombing 15 miles south by west of Bishop Light.

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Commodore F. H. Pegram on heavy cruiser HAWKINS at Montevideo ordered armed merchant cruiser ALCANTARA to patrol the Pernambuco-Trinidade area.

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Sloop MILFORD departed Freetown for anti-submarine patrol in the Cape Verde Islands area. She refuelled at St Vincent on the 25th and was to arrive back at Freetown on 5 August.

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Italian light cruisers BANDE NERE and COLLEONI with the 10th Destroyer Division departed Tripoli. The destroyers were detached to the Sollum area and the cruisers proceeded towards Leros.

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Convoy BN.2 departed Bombay, escorted by light cruiser CERES and armed merchant cruisers CATHAY and WESTRALIA. The armed merchant cruisers were detached on the 26th. Light cruiser LEANDER joined on the 26th and sloops HINDUSTAN and SHOREHAM on the 27th.

 

CERES was detached on the 29th, and HINDUSTAN and SHOREHAM on the 30th. On the 30th, anti-aircraft cruiser CARLISLE, destroyers KANDAHAR and KIMBERLEY, with sloops AUCKLAND and FLAMINGO joined LEANDER and the convoy. Sloop CLIVE joined on 3 August when the other ships were detached and arrived at Suez with the convoy on 5 August.

 

 

Thursday, 18 July

 

Australian light cruiser SYDNEY (Captain J. A. Collins, RAN) with destroyers HYPERION (Cdr H. St L. Nicolson DSO, D.2), HERO (Cdr H. W. Biggs), HASTY (Lt Cdr L. R. K. Tyrwhitt), HAVOCK (Cdr R. E. Courage DSO DSC), and ILEX (Lt Cdr P. L. Saumarez DSC) departed Alexandria. SYDNEY and HAVOCK were to operate in the Gulf of Athens against Italian shipping. The other destroyers were to make an anti-submarine sweep along the north coast of Crete.

 

Destroyers HEREWARD and IMPERIAL departed Alexandria at the same time to escort convoy AN.2 from Port Said.

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Heavy cruiser CUMBERLAND departed Simonstown to search for German armed merchant cruiser THOR.

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German armed merchant cruiser PINGUIN rendezvoused with U.A in mid Atlantic between Belem and Dakar, so that the submarine could be replenished with fuel and torpedoes.

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Heavy cruiser YORK arrived at Scapa Flow at 0750 from Rosyth.

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After D/F reports received at 0940, destroyers ZULU, FORTUNE, and FURY departed Scapa Flow at 1515 and made an anti-submarine sweep towards Cape Wrath. This search was in an area bordered by Cape Wrath, North Rona, and the Butt of Lewis, but no contact was made.

 

Destroyer ATHERSTONE departed Scapa Flow at 1445 on the 18th for anti-submarine duties off Cape Wrath. FORTUNE and FURY arrived back at Scapa Flow at 2330/19th.

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Minesweeper BRITMART departed Scapa Flow at 0415 for Aberdeen, while minesweeper SPEEDY arrived at Scapa Flow at 2000 from Aberdeen.

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British minefield BS.25 was laid by destroyers EXPRESS and IMPULSIVE.

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Submarine H.31 (Lt M. D. Wanklyn) attacked three trawlers and sank German anti-submarine trawler UJ.126 (trawler STEIERMARK, 446grt) northwest of Terschelling in 53-29N, 5-03E. H.31 was unaware she had sunk the trawler, and was undamaged in the counterattack.

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Base repair ship VINDICTIVE (ex-cruiser) departed Devonport for Freetown.

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Anti-submarine trawler CAPE FINISTERRE (591grt) was machine gunned and bombed in the North Sea. Destroyer ARROW and anti-submarine trawler AGATE (627grt) departed Harwich to assist.

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Convoy FN.225 departed Southend, escorted by sloops BLACK SWAN and HASTINGS with patrol sloop PINTAIL, and arrived in the Tyne on the 20th.

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Convoy FS.225 departed the Tyne, escorted by destroyers WALLACE and WOLFHOUND, and arrived at Southend on the 19th.

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U.58 sank Norwegian steamer GYDA (1591grt) in 56N, 10W (Uboat.net - 55, 50N, 09, 00W). Eleven crew were lost and nine rescued by Belgian steamer Ville d’Arlon .

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U.99 sank steamer WOODBURY (4434grt) in 50‑46N, 13‑56W. The entire crew was rescued.

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Steamer GENERTON (4797grt) was damaged by German bombing in the North Sea.

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Trawler LODDON (200grt) was damaged by German bombing in 51‑05N, 08‑35W.

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Italian submarine DELFINO attacked a destroyer in 38‑16N, 24‑47E in the Aegean northeast of Athens without success.

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Lt P. N. Dean and Naval Airman K. L. Jones in a Skua of 806 Squadron from aircraft carrier ILLUSTRIOUS were killed from in exercises.

 

 

Friday, 19 July

 

Destroyers ECHO and FIREDRAKE departed the Clyde at 1130 for Scapa Flow. At 0005 on the 20th, the ships to ordered to reinforce convoy WN.2 and remain in company until joining outbound OA.187.

 

Anti-aircraft cruiser COVENTRY departed Scapa Flow at 1135 on the 20th, also to join WN.2. All three ships were later ordered to return to Scapa Flow after escorting WN.2, but without joining convoy OA.187. They arrived there at 0010/21st.

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Destroyers ZULU, HAMBLEDON, and FERNIE departed their anti-submarine patrol in the Cape Wrath area at 1800 to return to Scapa Flow. HAMBLEDON and FERNIE arrived at Scapa Flow at 0457 on the 20th.

 

Destroyers FORTUNE and FURY remained on patrol to cover convoys passing between Pentland Firth and the Minches, and arrived at Scapa Flow at 2330/20th.

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Destroyers BEDOUIN and PUNJABI departed Scapa Flow at 1410 for the Tyne to cover anti-aircraft cruiser NAIAD on trials. Due to mining, the cruiser was unable to sail and the destroyers remained off the river entrance.

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Dover, which was the anti invasion base for the 1st Destroyer Flotilla, was raided twice by German bombers.

 

Destroyer GRIFFIN was slightly damaged by near misses in the bombing and sustained no casualties. She returned to service in two weeks.

 

Destroyer BEAGLE, en route from Dover to Devonport, was lightly damaged by near misses off Dover, with damage to her gyro suspension. There were no casualties, and she received temporary repairs at Plymouth. On 17 August, she proceeded to Portland and repairs were completed on 28 August.

 

Tanker WAR SEPOY (5574grt) was badly damaged by German bombing at Dover. Beyond repair, she was broken in two and later used as a block-ship at Dover.

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Minesweeping trawler CRESTFLOWER (550grt, Skipper C. Pollard RNR) of the 28th Minesweeping Group was badly damaged by German bombing off Portsmouth and foundered in 50-29-06N, 01-17-08W. Two ratings were killed.

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Convoy OB.186 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyer WANDERER and corvette PERIWINKLE from 19 to 22 July. The escorts were detached to inbound convoy HX.57.

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Convoy FN.226 departed Southend, escorted by destroyer VIMIERA, sloop LONDONDERRY, and patrol sloop SHELDRAKE, and arrived in the Tyne on the 21st.

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Convoy MT.114 departed Methil, and arrived in the Tyne on the 20th.

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Convoy FS.226 departed the Tyne, escorted by destroyer WOOLSTON and sloop FLEETWOOD. Destroyers JACKAL and KELVIN , with patrol sloop SHELDRAKE joined the convoy on the 20th. Destroyers JACKAL and KELVIN were detached later on the 20th, and the convoy arrived at Southend on the 21st.

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German torpedo boats T.5, T.6, T.7, and T.8 of the 2nd Torpedo Boat Flotilla withFALKE and JAGUAR of 5th Torpedo Boat Flotilla screened minelayers ROLAND, KONIGIN LUISE, KAISER, HANSESTADT DANZIG, COBRA, and PREUSSEN laying mines in the northwest North Sea in minefield designated "NW 1".

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Convoy HX.59 departed Halifax at 0730 escorted by Canadian destroyers OTTAWA and SAGUENAY. At 1430, the convoy was turned over to armed merchant cruiser VOLTAIRE and the destroyers arrived back at Halifax at 0050/20th. The armed merchant cruiser was detached on the 30th.

 

Convoy BHX.59 departed Bermuda on the 18th escorted by ocean escort, armed merchant cruiser AURANIA. The convoy rendezvoused with HX.59 on the 23rd and the armed merchant cruiser was detached. On the 31st, destroyer WARWICK, sloop FOWEY, with corvettes HEARTSEASE and HIBISCUS joined the convoy, which arrived at Liverpool on 3 August.

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U.62 sank steamer PEARLMOOR (4681grt) in 55‑23N, 09‑18W. Thirteen crew were lost.

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Italian light cruisers COLLEONI and BANDE NERE entering the Aegean between Crete and Cerigotto engaged Destroyers ILEX, HERO, HASTY, and HYPERION supported by Australian light cruiser SYDNEY and Destroyer HAVOCK. COLLEONI was badly damaged by SYDNEY and later scuttled by ILEX and HYPERION. BANDE NERE was damaged by HYPERION, but was able to escape. During the engagement, the only damage sustained by the British force was a shell hit in SYDNEY's funnel.

 

After the battle, HAVOCK, ILEX, and HYPERION picked up 525 survivors from COLLEONI, but the rescue was cut short by Italian bombing attacks. HAVOCK was damaged by a near miss three miles south of Gavdo Island and temporarily lost way.

 

Light cruisers ORION and NEPTUNE departed Alexandria at 0915 to carry out a sweep to the northwest.

 

Battleship WARSPITE and destroyers departed Alexandria at 1100 and also swept northwest.

 

Battleships BARHAM and MALAYA and aircraft carrier EAGLE with destroyers departed Alexandria at 1230 and swept to the west.

 

HAVOCK was escorted back to Alexandria by SYDNEY, HYPERION and ILEX, later joined by light cruiser LIVERPOOL. Destroyers HASTY and HERO returned independently. All forces arrived back at Alexandria on the 20th. HAVOCK arrived at Suez for repairs on the 27th, which were completed on 15 September, and she departed Port Said on 19 September.

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Troopship ROYAL ULSTERMAN, escorted by destroyer VELOX, departed Gibraltar with evacuees to Madeira. The destroyer parted company at 2100/20th and returned to Gibraltar.

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Australian heavy cruiser CANBERRA departed Simonstown to patrol the southern half of the Cape-Freetown route, but her aircraft was left behind as defective. She arrived back at Simonstown on the 28th.

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German armed merchant cruiser THOR sank Dutch steamer TELA (3777grt) in the South Atlantic at 14S, 33W. The 33 crew were made prisoners of war.

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On a goodwill cruise, American heavy cruisers WICHITA and QUINCY and destroyers WAINWRIGHT and WALKE arrived at Rio de Janiero. The heavy cruisers departed Rio on the 25th for the north. The destroyers departed Rio Grande on the 29th for Buenos Aires.

 

 

Saturday, 20 July

 

Australian heavy cruiser AUSTRALIA arrived at Scapa Flow from the Clyde.

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Light cruiser SHEFFIELD arrived at Scapa Flow from Sheerness.

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A report was received that German battlecruiser GNEISENAU had departed Trondheim at 0900. The Home Fleet came to short notice for steam and the destroyers at sea were recalled at 1938.

 

Anti-aircraft cruiser COVENTRY, destroyers ECHO and FIREDRAKE departed convoy WN.2 and arrived at Scapa Flow at 0010/21st, while destroyers FORTUNE and FURY departed their anti-submarine patrol off Cape Wrath and arrived at Scapa Flow at 2320/20th.

 

The Home Fleet at Scapa Flow was organized for the interception of GNEISENAU:

 

Force D - battlecruisers RENOWN and REPULSE, cruisers SHROPSHIRE, SUSSEX, and SOUTHAMPTON, with destroyers COSSACK, SIKH, ZULU, MASHONA, FORTUNE, and FURY.

 

Force E - battleships RODNEY, NELSON, and BARHAM, aircraft carrier FURIOUS, anti-aircraft cruiser COVENTRY, with destroyers ECHO, FIREDRAKE, HAMBLEDON, ATHERSTONE, FERNIE, GARTH, and BERKELEY.

 

The Fleet did not sail as the information was later found to be incorrect, and returned to usual notice at 0838 on the 22nd.

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On the report that GNEISENAU might have left Trondheim, submarine TRIDENT was ordered to remain off Korsfjord and TRUANT, returning to Rosyth, was ordered to patrol west of Sognefjord. On the 21st, these orders were cancelled with TRIDENT proceeding to Stadlandet and TRUANT returning to Rosyth, arriving on the 24th.

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Light cruiser SOUTHAMPTON departed Scapa Flow for Sheerness. .

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Destroyer MAORI departed Scapa Flow at 0700 for Invergordon to embark the new Flag Officer of the Shetlands/Orkney Command, Admiral of the Fleet Lord Cork, and his staff. She departed Invergordon that evening at 2100 and arrived at Lerwick at 0700/21st.

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Anti-aircraft cruiser NAIAD departed the Tyne at 1600 for trials, escorted by destroyers BEDOUIN and PUNJABI.

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Destroyers BOREAS, VERSATILE, and WINDSOR were escorting convoy CW.7 off Dover, with destroyer BRAZEN and anti-submarine trawler LADY PHILOMENA on patrol with the convoy, when they were attacked by German bombers. BRAZEN (Lt Cdr Sir Michael Culme-Seymour, Bt) was badly damagedi, taken n tow by tug LADY BRASSEY, but sank next day. One rating was lost and BOREAS took off the crew. Destroyer SCIMITAR joined the convoy on the 21st and escorted it until the 22nd.

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Destroyer ACHERON was attacked by German bombers ten miles south of St Catherine's Point, near missed by nine bombs and suffered some damage. She later proceeded to Portsmouth for repairs begun on 6 August. However, before they were completed, she was further damaged in German bombing on 24 August.

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Destroyers HAVELOCK and VANOC were in a minor collision leaving Liverpool. Both were repaired at Liverpool, HAVELOCK completing on 3 August, and VANOC on the 28th.

_____

 

Submarine SWORDFISH undocked at Blyth.

_____

 

Submarines TRITON and SNAPPER arrived at Rosyth.

_____

 

Submarine H.50 arrived at Harwich.

_____

 

Submarine NARWHAL departed Blyth for the Humber where she arrived later the same day.

_____

 

Convoy OA.187 departed Methil escorted by destroyer HESPERUS from 20 to 25 July, sloop WESTON from 20 to 22 July, and destroyer RESTIGOUCHE from 22 to 25 July. RESTIGOUCHE was detached to convoy SL.39.

_____

 

Convoy FN.227 departed Southend, escorted by destroyer WOLSEY, sloop EGRET, and patrol sloop GUILLEMOT, and arrived at the Tyne on the 22nd.

_____

 

Convoy MT.115 departed Methil, and arrived at the Tyne on the 21st.

_____

 

S/Lt G. G. R. Bulmer was killed when his RAF Hurricane of 32 Squadron from Biggin Hill was shot down five miles northeast of Dover.

_____

 

Steamer PULBOROUGH (960grt) from convoy CW.7 was sunk by German bombing, two and a half miles southeast of Dover Pier. Trawler LADY PHILOMENA (417grt) took off the seventeen survivors.

_____

 

German bombing damaged steamer WESTOWN (710grt) off Dover.

_____

 

Steamer TROUTPOOL (4886grt) was sunk on a mine, eight cables 3° from Bangor Pier Light in 54‑40N, 05‑40W. Eleven crew were lost.

_____

 

The Mediterranean Fleet, which departed Alexandria on the 20th, launched air attacks on Tobruk searching for the damaged Italian light cruiser BANDE NERE. Six Swordfish of 813 Squadron (824 Squadron according to Seekrieg) of aircraft carrier EAGLE took off from Sidi Barrani and sank Italian destroyers OSTRO, NEMBO and steamer SERENO (2333grt) in Tobruk harbour.

 

One Swordfish crashed, with Lt G. R. Brown and Lt K. C. Grieve wounded and Petty Officer R. J. W. Wynn dying of wounds on the 21st. Cdr W. L. M. Brown and Lt P. N. Medd from 700 Squadron in battleship WARSPITE were forced to land in Italian territory. Medd was later able to escape, while Brown was later repatriated.

 

After this raid, the Italians abandoned Tobruk as a sea base. The guns from the two sunken destroyers were later salved and used in the defense of Bardia.

_____

 

Convoy SLF.40 departed Freetown escorted by armed merchant cruiser CANTON to 1 August when convoy SLF.40 merged with SL.40. On 2 August, both CANTON and ASTURIAS of SL.40 were detached, and proceeded to Greenock for fuel and water before returning to Freetown.

 

Sloop ABERDEEN joined the convoy on 2 August, destroyer WALKER and corvette PERIWINKLE on the 3rd, and corvettes GODETIA and PRIMROSE on the 4th. The convoys arrived at Liverpool on the 8th.

_____

 

Sloop BRIDGEWATER departed Simonstown for Walvis Bay to refuel, and then proceeded to Lagos to relieve light cruiser DRAGON. She arrived at Lagos on 1 August.

_____

 

Light cruiser DELHI, detached from Force H, departed Gibraltar for Freetown to rejoin the South Atlantic Command. Patrolling in the area of Cape Verde Island en route, she arrived at Freetown on the 27th.

_____

 

New Zealand light cruiser ACHILLES departed Auckland for Suva, carrying the Chief of the General Staff and the Chief of the Air Staff for defense conferences. She arrived at Suva on the 23rd, departed on the 26th and proceeded to Tonga for further conferences, reaching there on the 28th. ACHILLES arrived back at Auckland on the 31st.

 

 

Sunday, 21 July

 

Light cruisers LIVERPOOL, CAPETOWN and destroyers STUART and DIAMOND departed Alexandria with one steamer for convoy AN.2, while destroyers DAINTY and DEFENDER departed Port Said on the 21st with five steamers of convoy AN.2.

 

The two sections joined on the 22nd. The convoy sailed on the 19th escorted by destroyers IMPERIAL and HEREWARD, but was recalled due to the Italian cruisers engaged by Australian light cruiser SYDNEY.

 

This convoy supported by Battleship RAMILLIES and destroyers HYPERION, ILEX, HEREWARD, and IMPERIAL which departed Alexandria at 0400/23rd. The convoy was dispersed on the 26th.

 

The escorts escorted southbound convoy AS.2 back to Alexandria.

_____

 

Destroyers MOHAWK and NUBIAN departed Alexandria on the 22nd to intercept the Greek vessel ERMIONI (440grt) which was carrying petrol from the Corinth Canal to the Dodecanese.

 

The patrol was unsuccessful and the destroyers arrived back at Alexandria on the 24th.

_____

 

Submarine RORQUAL laid mines east of Tolmeita, Cyrenaica in 32-39N, 21-03E, and was then attacked an Italian steamer. The steamer, SECURITAS (5366grt), was struck by a torpedo which did not explode. Italian steamers CELIO (3872grt) and LEOPARDI (3298grt) were lost on this minefield on the 24 July and 14 August respectively.

_____

 

Convoy HG.39 of 18 ships departed Gibraltar escorted locally by anti-submarine trawler ARCTIC RANGER (493grt) from 21 to 24 July. Sloop SCARBOROUGH joined from 21 July to 5 August, and corvette GERANIUM in Home Waters from 30 July to 5 August. The convoy arrived at Liverpool on 5 August.

_____

 

Australian light cruiser HOBART was unsuccessfully bombed off Aden by Italian bombers.

_____

 

Destroyers INGLEFIELD and DIANA arrived Liverpool at 1200 escorting light cruiser GLASGOW. The destroyers then eparted Liverpool at 1405 that afternoon with destroyer WATCHMAN to meet arriving aircraft carrier ILLUSTRIOUS and light cruiser FIJI and escort them to the Clyde. On the 23rd at 0851, DIANA was damaged when a fish hit her asdic dome, and put her asdic out of action. With leaks in her fore store, her speed was limited to 22 knots. The ships arrived at Greenock at 1945/23rd, and DIANA departed the Clyde at 2200/24th for repairs at Sheerness.

_____

 

Submarine H.50 departed Harwich to patrol in the vicinity north of the Hinder to watch for the laying of dan buoys.

_____

 

Submarine THAMES and submarine tender WHITE BEAR arrived at Dundee. Submarine THAMES departed on patrol later that day.

_____

 

Submarine tender ALECTO and Dutch submarine O.9 arrived at Tobermory.

_____

 

Submarine TALISMAN was docked at Glasgow.

_____

 

Leading Airman J. A. Seed, of 1 SFTS Netheravon, was killed, when German fighters shot down his Hart aircraft over Old Sarum airfield.

 

_____

 

Convoy OB.187 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyer WALKER and corvette MALLOW from 21 to 25 July. The escort was detached to inbound convoy SL.39.

_____

 

Convoy FN.228 departed Southend, and arrived at the Tyne on the 23rd.

_____

 

Convoy MT.116 departed Methil, and arrived at the Tyne on the 22nd.

_____

 

Convoy FS.227 departed the Tyne, escorted by destroyer VIVIEN and sloop LOWESTOFT, and arrived at Southend on the 22nd.

_____

 

U.30 sank steamer ELLAROY (712grt) in 42‑30N, 12‑36W. Sixteen crew were rescued.

_____

 

Steamer TERLINGS (2318grt) was sunk by German bombing 10 miles southwest of St Catherine's Point. Ten crew were lost, but destroyer SCIMITAR rescued 17 crew and one naval gunner.

_____

 

Norwegian tanker KOLLSKEGG (9858grt) was damaged by German bombing fifteen miles west of St Catherine's Point. Destroyer GREYHOUND rescued the survivors.

_____

 

Norwegian tanker NINA BORTHEN (6123grt) was damaged by German bombing 14 miles 240° from St Catherine's Point.

_____

 

Troopship ULSTER MONARCH departed Gibraltar with evacuees for Madeira, escorted by destroyer VELOX, which detached at 2100/22nd.

 

 

Monday, 22 July

 

Light cruiser AURORA arrived in the Humber.

_____

 

Destroyers ZULU and FIREDRAKE departed Scapa Flow at 1200 and 1215, respectively, to hunt for a German submarine bombed by aircraft in 58‑19N, 2‑31W.

 

Sloop ROCHESTER and Canadian destroyer ST LAURENT had already carried out a depth charge attack.

 

ZULU and FIREDRAKE after making depth charge attacks returned to Scapa Flow that day.

 

The contact was later assessed to probably be a wreck.

 _____

 

Submarine NARWHAL departed the Humber on minelaying mission FD.22 off Trondheim in 63‑16N, 07‑13E, but was lost, probably about 23 July, before the mining scheduled on the 27th. She was declared missing on 1 August. (Seekrieg: sunk by Do 17, Lt. Karl Müller of the 1/Kü.Fl.Gr. 606 in the Northern North Sea with bombs. UKDTD; Norwegian Sea at 55 30N 01 10E.)

_____

 

Submarine CLYDE fired six torpedoes at a submarine off Fejeosen off the Norwegian coast. The submarine was the TRUANT, which escaped undamaged. At the time, TRUANT was on patrol off Fejeosen to observe enemy activity, but none was sighted.

_____

 

Submarine TRITON was ordered to patrol off Selbjornfjord for 48 hours before proceeding to Korsfjord.

_____

 

Submarine H.34 encountered a submarine on patrol in the North Sea, which was later determined to be H.31.

_____

 

Armed patrol trawler CAMPINA (289grt, Temporary Skipper F. Wellburn RNR) was sunk on a mine one and a half cables 88° from the Holyhead Breakwater Light. Wellbourn and ten ratings were missing.

_____

 

Convoy OA.188 departed Methil escorted by corvette CAMELIA on 22 to 26 July and destroyer SKEENA with anti-submarine trawlers ST KENAN and LADY ELSA, and arrived in the Clyde on the 24th.

 

Convoy OA.189 did not sail.

_____

 

Convoy FN.229 departed Southend, escorted by destroyers VERDUN and WOOLSTON, sloop FLEETWOOD, and patrol sloop PUFFIN. Destroyers JACKAL, JAGUAR, and JUPITER were with the convoy on the 23rd and were detached that day, along with patrol sloop PUFFIN, and arrived at the Tyne on the 24th.

_____

 

Convoy MT.117 departed Methil, and arrived in the Tyne later that day.

_____

 

Convoy FS.228 departed the Tyne, and arrived at Southend on the 23rd.

_____

 

Convoy FS.229 departed the Tyne, escorted by destroyers VIMIERA and WINCHESTER, and arrived at Southend on the 24th.

_____

 

Steamer SWYNFLEET (1168grt) was damaged by German bombing in 53‑33N, 00‑56E.

_____

 

Italian bombers unsuccessfully attacked light cruiser COLOMBO off Italian Somaliland.

_____

 

Seven Swordfish aircraft were landed from aircraft carrier HERMES at Freetown to form Y flight of 814 Squadron while the aircraft carrier left the area for repairs.

 

 

Tuesday, 23 July

 

At 1958, British aircraft reported eight destroyers and six camouflaged vessels in 57-18N, 4-23E, steering 315. All cruisers at Scapa Flow raised steam, and destroyers COSSACK (D.4), ZULU, MAORI, FORTUNE, FURY, and FIREDRAKE came to immediate notice. At 2356, notice was lengthened to one hour, and all ships reverted to four hour notice at 0930/24th.

 

Nine Skuas of 801 Squadron, led by Lt Cdr H. P. Bramwell, and six Swordfish of 823 Squadron, led by Lt Cdr D. H. Elles, departed to attack this force. The Swordfish located and attacked the German ships without success. One Swordfish was damaged and her observer was wounded.

 

The ships were German minelayers ROLAND, KONIGIN LUISE, KAISER, PREUSSEN, COBRA, and HANSESTADT DANZIG, which departed Wilhelmshaven on the 23rd, screened by torpedo boats T.5, T.8, T.6, and T.7 of the 2nd Torpedo Boat Flotilla and FALKE and JAGUAR of 5th Torpedo Boat Flotillas and minesweepers M.18 and M.19. German minefield "NW 2" was completed in the northwest North Sea ninety miles east of Aberdeen at 0010/24th. They arrived back safely on the 25th.

_____

 

Destroyers ARROW, ANTHONY, AMAZON, and ACHATES departed Harwich at 1800 to join the Home Fleet for minelaying operations. En route, ANTHONY and AMAZON were diverted for a rendezvous with steamer LOCHNAGAR off Aberdeen for passage to Lerwick. On the 24th, also en route, ARROW and ACHATES searched for a German submarine reported by aircraft in 57‑58N, 3‑17W at 1255, were then ordered at 1110/25th to Scapa Flow , and arrived later on the 25th.

 

ANTHONY and AMAZON reached Lerwick, delivering LOCHNAGAR at 1030/25th. They then set off for Scapa Flow and en route searched for a submarine in 60‑55N, 0‑53E reported by aircraft on the 24th. The destroyers swept through Fair Isle Channel, and arrived at Scapa Flow at 2150/25th.

_____

 

Convoy OB.188 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyer WINCHELSEA, sloop ENCHANTRESS, and corvette CLARKIA from 23 to 27 July. The sloop and the corvette were detached to convoy HX.58.

 

Convoy OB.189 did not sail.

_____

 

Convoy FN.230 departed Southend, escorted by destroyer VIVIEN, sloop LOWESTOFT, and patrol sloop SHELDRAKE, and arrived in the Tyne on the 25th.

_____

 

Convoy MT.118 departed Methil, and arrived in the Tyne later that day.

_____

 

Convoy FS.230 departed the Tyne, escorted destroyer WOLSEY and sloop EGRET, and arrived at Southend on the 25th.

_____

 

Convoy HX.60 departed Halifax escorted by Canadian destroyer OTTAWA and auxiliary patrol vessel FRENCH at 0730, which were detached on the 24th.

 

The local escort turned the convoy over to the ocean escort, armed merchant cruiser AUSONIA at 2105. The armed merchant cruiser was detached on 4 August.

 

Convoy BHX.60 departed Bermuda on the 22nd escorted locally by sloop PENZANCE and an ocean escort of armed merchant cruiser ALAUNIA. The convoy rendezvoused with convoy HX.60 on the 27th and the armed merchant cruiser was detached.

 

On 4 August, destroyers FORTUNE, ST LAURENT, VANOC, and WINCHELSEA with sloop SANDWICH joined the convoy. FORTUNE was detached on 5 August, and VANOC and WINCHELSEA on the 6th. The remaining escorts and the convoy arrived at Liverpool on 7 August.

_____

 

Canadian troop convoy TC.6 departed Halifax escorted by Canadian destroyers ASSINIBOINE and SAGUENAY with troopships BATORY (14,287grt), ANTONIA (13,867grt), MONARCH OF BERMUDA (22,424grt), SOBIESKI (11,030grt), DUCHESS OF YORK (20,021grt), and SAMARIA (19,597grt) which carried 1198, 881, 1328, 1611, 1061, 982, and 1016 troops, respectively.

 

Troopship EMPRESS OF AUSTRALIA (21,833grt) departed with the convoy and was detached to Iceland.

 

Ocean escort was Battleship REVENGE and light cruiser EMERALD which departed Halifax with the convoy. The convoy, less MONARCH OF BERMUDA which safely arrived at Glasgow, arrived safely at Greenock at 1430 on 1 August, escorted by destroyers INGLEFIELD (D.3), AMAZON, SIKH, KEPPEL, WANDERER, VISCOUNT, HIGHLANDER, and VANQUISHER.

_____

 

Submarine CLYDE arrived at Dundee.

_____

 

Submarine TRUANT was bombed in the North Sea, but sustained no damage.

_____

 

Steamer THE LADY MOSTYN (305grt) was sunk on a mine one and half miles 79° from Formby Light Vessel. All the crew was lost.

_____

 

British Force H departed Gibraltar with aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL, light cruiser ENTERPRISE, and destroyers FAULKNOR, ESCAPADE, FORESIGHT, and FORESTER to launch an air attack on Bordeaux. This operation was cancelled due to bad weather and the forces returned to Gibraltar on the 26th.

_____

 

Light cruiser ORION with destroyers VAMPIRE and VENDETTA departed Alexandria and appeared off Castellerizo on the 24th as a diversion for the movement of convoy AN.2. After the demonstration on the 25th, ORION proceeded to Haifa, and the destroyers to Port Said.

 

As mining was suspected in the approaches, minesweeper ABINGDON was sent to sweep off Port Said and the destroyers proceeded to Alexandria.

 

 

Wednesday, 24 July

 

Aircraft carrier ARGUS with destroyers GALLANT and GREYHOUND departed Portland for Gibraltar to participate in HURRY. Armed merchant cruiser MALOJA proceeded with these ships. Off Northern Ireland, they were joined by convoy RS.5 of troopship REINA DEL PACIFICO and steamer CLAN FERGUSON, escorted by destroyers ENCOUNTER and HOTSPUR, en route to the Mediterranean, via the Cape. ARGUS and the destroyers arrived at Gibraltar on the 30th.

 

REINA DEL PACIFICO and CLAN FERGUSON departed the UK with personnel and stores for the Middle East and Malta, escorted by armed merchant cruiser MALOJA, and arrived at Freetown on 4 August. Departing Freetown on 5 August, the convoy was escorted by aircraft carrier HERMES.

 

Light cruiser DRAGON, after refuelling at Lobito on 8 August and departing on the 9th, joined the convoy on the 11th. RS.5 arrived at the Cape on 17 August.

_____

 

Anti-aircraft cruiser NAIAD was completed. Escorted by destroyers BEDOUIN and PUNJABI, she was in the Firth of Forth for gunnery trials.

 

After the trials, the destroyers proceeded to Scapa Flow. En route, they were ordered at 2249 to investigate a U-boat contact reported by aircraft in 59‑25N, 00‑45W at 2135. BEDOUIN and PUNJABI attacked a submarine contact. They arrived at Scapa Flow on the 25th.

 

NAIAD arrived at Scapa Flow on the 26th to work up and joined the 15th Cruiser Squadron.

_____

 

Destroyer INGLEFIELD departed Greenock at 1700 and destroyers HAMBLEDON, ATHERSTONE, FERNIE, and GARTH departed Scapa Flow escorting anti-aircraft cruiser COVENTRY at 2100.

 

All the destroyers arrived at Loch Alsh at 0745 on the 25th for escort duty with the 1st Minelaying Squadron in operation SN 31.

_____

 

Destroyer TARTAR departed Liverpool at 2100 for Scapa Flow after repairs. Destroyer TARTAR arrived at Scapa Flow at 2210/25th.

_____

 

British minefield BS.27 was laid by minelayer TEVIOTBANK, escorted by destroyers INTREPID, ICARUS, and IMPULSIVE.

_____

 

A heavy submarine disposition was ordered off the Norwegian coast.

 

Submarine TAKU departed Rosyth to be off Fro Havet by 3 August.

 

Submarine SNAPPER was to be relieved by submarine SPEARFISH on 2 August.

 

Submarine SEALION departed Rosyth on the 27th to operate in the Skagerrak along 57-50N, between 8E and 9E.

 

Submarine TRIAD departed Rosyth on the 27th to patrol off Fejeosen.

 

Submarine SWORDFISH departed Blyth on the 27th and submarines TRIBUNE and SUNFISH departed Rosyth on the 27th to patrol between the German declared mined area and Lister.

 

Submarine PORPOISE, after laying mines in operation FD.23 was to be off Lister.

 

Submarine SEAWOLF was to sail on the 28th to patrol off Skudesnes.

 

Submarine TRIDENT to leave her patrol area on the 30th to return to base.

 

Submarine H.28 was to be relieved by submarine STURGEON which in turn was to be relieved by submarine URSULA when available.

_____

 

Submarine TRUANT and Polish submarine WILK arrived at Rosyth.

 

Submarine WILK reported she had been bombed three times while on patrol, but no damage had been done.

_____

 

Submarine PORPOISE departed Blyth for the Humber.

 

Submarines SPEARFISH and URSULA departed Blyth for Rosyth.

 

All three submarines arrived at their destinations later the same day.

_____

 

Submarine CACHALOT departed Plymouth for Rothesay.

_____

 

Minesweeping trawlers FLEMING (356grt) and BERBERIS (540grt) of the 4th Minesweeping Group were sweeping mines in the Thames Estuary. German bombing sank FLEMING (Skipper E. G. Gurney RNR). Nineteen ratings were lost, and three survivors rescued by trawler CORENA (352grt), also of the 4th Minesweeping Group.

_____

 

Anti-submarine trawler KINGSTON GALENA (550grt, Skipper S. Jackson RNR) of the 9th Anti-submarine Group and minesweeping trawler RODINO (230grt, Temporary Skipper J. C. Winning RNR) were sunk by German bombing off Dover. Jackson and fifteen ratings were lost on KINGSTON GALENA, and four ratings on RODINO.

_____

 

Convoy FN.231 departed Southend, and arrived in the Tyne on the 26th.

_____

 

Convoy MT.119 departed Methil for the Tyne, and arrived later that day.

 

There was no convoy MT.120.

_____

 

Convoy FS.231 departed the Tyne, escorted by destroyer WALLACE, and arrived at Southend on the 26th.

 

Convoy FS.232 was cancelled.

_____

 

Midshipman C. G. Mortimer, flying a Battle of RAF 12 Observation Training Unit from Benson, was killed when his aircraft hit a cable and crashed near North Stoke, Oxford.

_____

 

French steamer MEKNES (6127grt), carrying 1277 French sailors being repatriated to Marseilles. was sunk by German motor torpedo boat S.27 in 50‑04N, 02‑14W. Three hundred and eighty three of the passengers died in the sinking, and of the 104 crew, thirty three were missing. Destroyers VISCOUNT, WOLVERINE, SABRE, and SHIKARI rescued the survivors.

_____

 

Finnish steamer TRIO (1451grt) was lost on a mine near Borkum. The entire crew was rescued.

_____

 

Trinity House Vessel steamer ALERT (793grt) was damaged by German bombing near South Goodwin Light Vessel.

_____

 

Italian steamer CELIO (3864grt) was sunk 10 miles off Tolmeita on a mine laid by submarine RORQUAL on the 21st .

 

 

Thursday, 25 July

 

German heavy cruiser ADMIRAL HIPPER departed Trondheim to sweep the Barents Sea between Tromso and Bear Island and west of Spitzbergen as a diversion for battlecruiser GNEISENAU's return to Germany. She took the Finnish steamer ESTER THORDEN (1940 BRT) as a prize and her floatplane searched the Finnish steamer WAPPU (1540 BRT), which was then released. No other contact was made and ADMIRAL HIPPER arrived at Kiel on 9 August.

_____

 

German GNEISENAU, light cruiser NURNBERG, with destroyers GALSTER, LODY, JACOBI, and IHN departed Trondheim for Kiel. Off Utsire, they were joined by torpedo boats LUCHS, JAGUAR, KONDOR, ILTIS, and T.5. On the 26th, German torpedo boat LUCHS was sunk by submarine THAMES in the North Sea in 58‑30N, 4‑30E (or on a floating mine off Karmoy.) The ships arrived at Kiel on the 28th.

_____

 

Shortly after the attack on LUCHS, submarine THAMES (Lt Cdr W. D. Dunkerley) was lost southwest of Stavanger, most likely mined on the night of 2/3 August in 56‑45N, 03‑26E. (Official sources indicate that THAMES, which was not heard from after departing Dundee on the 21st for patrol, was mined on the 23rd in 57‑20N, 03‑10E. However, only two submarines were in the area of the LUCHS sinking and submarine SNAPPER reported no attack. Submarine SWORDFISH, which is generally credited with the sinking was not in the immediate area.). Lt Cdr Dunkerley, Lt F. R. C. Talbot, Lt F. H. Morris, Lt D. E. T. Newell RNR, Lt Cdr (E) B. E. O'Brien, Acting S/Lt J. E. W. Worrall RNVR, and the fifty-six ratings of the crew were lost with THAMES.

_____

 

Anti-aircraft cruiser BONAVENTURE arrived at Scapa Flow from working up in the West Indies.

_____

 

Submarine PORPOISE departed Immingham for minelaying operation FD.23 off Lister.

_____

 

Destroyers BEDOUIN and PUNJABI, which were submarine hunting, were ordered to return to Scapa Flow at 1110.

_____

 

Temporary S/Lt (A) F. Dawson-Paul RNVR, flying a Spitfire of RAF 64 Squadron from Kenley, was shot down off Folkestone. Dawson-Paul died of wounds as a prisoner of war on the 30th.

_____

 

German forces launched air and motor torpedo boats attacks on Convoy CW.8, composed of 21 steamers in the Dover Strait.

 

The first attacks, by Ju87s fof I/STG.1 and IV/LG.1 sank steamers CORHAVEN (991grt), POLGRANGE (804grt), LEO (1140grt), all off Dover, HENRY MOON (1091grt) two miles off Folkestone, and PORTSLADE (1091grt) four to five miles NE of Dungeness, and damaged steamers TAMWORTH (1332grt), NEWMINSTER (967grt), HODDER (1016grt), SUMMITY (554grt), and GRONLAND (1264grt) off Dover. The entire crew of CORHAVEN was rescued, two crew from POLGRANGE were missing. two crew killed and four missing from LEO, one crewman killed on HENRY MOON, and the entire crew of PORTSLADE rescued. MTB.69 and MTB.70 were involved through the day in the rescuing survivors.

 

Late on the 25th and early into the 26th, German 1st S-Flotilla motor torpedo boats S.19, S.20, and S.27 attacked the convoy. S.27 sank steamer LULONGA (821grt) 15 miles south of Shoreham, S.20 sank BROADHURST (1013grt) 14 miles south by west of Shoreham, and S.19 sank LONDON TRADER (646grt) 13 miles south by west of Shoreham. One crewman was lost on LULONGA, four crew missing on BROADHURST, and one crewman killed on LONDON TRADER.

 

Destroyers BOREAS and BRILLIANT of the 1st Destroyer Flotilla were sent out from Dover with MTB.69 and MTB.70 to repulse the German motor torpedo boats then attacking convoy CW.8. Pursuing the S-boats away from the convoy and towards Calais, the destroyers were attacked by German bombers. Ju87s from I/STG.1 and IV/LG.1 badly damaged BOREAS with two hits on her bridge. S/Lt O. J. Pemberton RNVR and sixteen ratings were killed and another five died of wounds. Temporary Surgeon Lt J. F. Buchan RNVR, Midshipman R. B. Mann RNR, 22 ratings, and a NAAFI staff member were wounded. They also badly damaged BRILLIANT with two bomb hits in the stern, although neither bombs exploded until they had passed completely through the ship. The tiller flat was flooded and boiler room fan support cracked. There were no casualties. Norwegian motor torpedo boats MTB.5 and MTB.6 from Dover also assisted the destroyers.

 

Both destroyers were towed into Dover by tugs, BOREAS by LADY BRASSEY. She was repaired at London completing on 23 January 1941. While in dock at London, she was damaged by a near miss on 19 January 1941. This damage required three days to repair. BRILLIANT was repaired at Chatham completing on 19 September.

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Minelayers SOUTHERN PRINCE (Flag Rear Admiral W. F. Wake-Walker), MENESTHEUS, PORT NAPIER, and PORT QUEBEC with survey ship SCOTT departed Loch Alsh (Port ZA) at 1130/25th to lay a minefield, designated SN 31, on 26/27 July at the southern entrance of St George Channel between Anglesey and Dublin Bay.

 

Destroyers INGLEFIELD, ATHERSTONE, FERNIE, HAMBLEDON, and GARTH escorted the minelayers and anti-aircraft cruiser COVENTRY operated as anti-aircraft cover for the operation.

 

INGLEFIELD arrived in the Clyde at 1750/28th. The Hunt-class destroyers at Loch Alsh at 1830/28th, and then proceeded to Scapa Flow arriving at 0740/29th. COVENTRY arrived at Plymouth on the 27th.

_____

 

Convoy FN.232 departed Southend, escorted by destroyers VIMIERA, WINCHESTER and patrol sloop SHELDRAKE, and arrived in the Tyne on the 27th.

_____

 

American light cruiser TRENTON (CL 11), carrying the Luxembourg Royal Family, and destroyers DICKERSON (DD.157) and HERBERT (DD.158) arrived at Norfolk, Virginia. This ended the active service of Squadron 40-T.

_____

 

Light cruiser DESPATCH departed Bermuda for Trinidad.

_____

 

Palestinian steamer ARNON (558grt) was damaged by Italian bombing at Alexandria.

_____

 

Convoy SL.41 departed Freetown escorted by armed merchant cruiser BULOLO to 8 August when the convoy merged with convoy SLF.41.

 

The armed merchant cruiser proceeded to Greenock for fuel and water prior to returning to Freetown. The convoys arrived at Liverpool on 14 August.

 

 

Friday, 26 July

 

Anti-aircraft cruiser NAIAD arrived at Scapa Flow after commissioning trials.

_____

 

Destroyers ZULU and MAORI departed Scapa Flow at 1300 to search for a German submarine reported by aircraft in 60-55N, 00-53E at 2105/25th and in 61‑00N, 00‑20E at 0840/26th. No contact was made.

_____

 

Destroyers FORTUNE and FURY departed Scapa Flow at midnight to sweep toward North Minch then escort east bound convoy WN.3, escorted only by anti-submarine trawlers ST ELSTAN (564grt) and KING SOL (468grt). No submarines were encountered.

 

The destroyers escorted the convoy was far as Rattray Head and joined outbound convoy OA.191 for the return passage to Cape Wrath.

_____

 

Submarine CACHALOT arrived at Rothesay.

_____

 

Submarine H.31 arrived at Blyth.

_____

 

Dutch submarine O.23 escorted by Dutch torpedo boat Z.5 departed Rothesay for Dundee. They arrived at Stornoway on the 27th, departed on the 28th, but were then diverted to Rosyth because mining had closed Dundee. O.23 and Z.5 arrived at Rosyth on the 29th.

_____

 

Nine Skuas of 801 Squadron from Hatston attacked German installations near Haugesand. One Skua was lost with S/Lt J. E. H. Myers and Naval Airman S. A. Bass who were killed when their aircraft collided with another Skua. The second Skua was able to return to Sumburgh but was not repairable.

_____

 

Convoy OG.39 with 21 ships departed Liverpool escorted by corvette GERANIUM from 26 to 29 July and sloop FOLKESTONE from 26 July to 6 August, and arrived at Gibraltar on 6 August.

_____

 

Convoy OA.190 departed Methil escorted by sloop FOWEY and corvette HIBISCUS from 26 to 30 July and sloop HASTINGS. Sloop FOWEY and corvette HIBISCUS were detached to inbound convoy HX.59.

_____

 

Convoy FN.233 departed Southend, and arrived in the Tyne on the 28th.

_____

 

Convoy MT.121 departed Methil, and arrived in the Tyne later that day.

_____

 

Convoy FS.233 departed the Tyne, escorted by sloops BLACK SWAN and HASTINGS, and arrived at Southend on the 28th.

_____

 

U.34 sank steamers ACCRA (9337grt) in 55‑40N, 16‑28W and VINEMOOR (4359grt) in 55‑43N, 16‑25W.

 

ACCRA carried 499 passengers and crew. Four passengers and four crew were killed, and eight passengers and eight crewmen missing in the sinking. The entire crew from VINEMOOR and the survivors from ACCRA were picked up by Sloop ENCHANTRESS (79 survivors), corvette CLARKIA (45 survivors), British steamer HOLLINSIDE (4172grt) (215 survivors), and Norwegian steamer LOKE (2421grt) (126 survivors).

_____

 

Steamer HAYTOR (1189grt) was sunk on a mine in 51‑47N, 01‑48W. One crewman was lost.

_____

 

Norwegian steamer BALZAC (963grt) was sunk on a mine one mile 124° from Roker Pier Light, Sunderland. Six crew were lost.

_____

 

German minesweepers M.61, M.89, and M.136 were sunk on mines laid off Hook of Holland by the 20th Minelaying Destroyer Flotilla on 15 May.

_____

 

German steamer MONTAN (1275grt) was sunk on an aerial mine off the Ems river mouth.

_____

 

Light cruiser DANAE arrived at Penang.

_____

 

Italian submarine GUGLIEMOTTI and destroyers BATTISTI and NULLO sortied from Massawa to search for a British steamer reported en route through the Red Sea from Suez.

_____

 

Light cruiser ORION departed Haifa and joined destroyers VAMPIRE and VENDETTA, which had refuelled at Alexandria on the 26th, with armed boarding ships CHAKLA and FIONA. The ships proceeded to Castellerizo with the armed boarding ships and simulated a landing for diversion purposes, arriving back at Alexandria on 30 August.

_____

 

Troopship ATHLONE CASTLE with civilian evacuees departed Gibraltar, escorted by destroyer VELOX. After being detached at 1200/27th, the destroyer proceeded to a position off Casablanca to embark a party during the night of 27/28 July. No contact was made and she returned to Gibraltar. VELOX sailed again on the 29th, in an attempt to embark the party, but again returned to Gibraltar on the 30th without making contact.

 

 

Saturday, 27 July

 

At 1248, the battlecruisers, cruisers, and destroyers at Scapa Flow were brought to two and a half hour's notice. At 1628, eight destroyers were brought to immediate notice and the remaining destroyers to one hour's notice.

 

Force A, battlecruisers RENOWN (Vice Admiral Battlecruisers) and REPULSE, heavy cruisers YORK, DEVONSHIRE, and AUSTRALIA of the 1st Cruiser Squadron, light cruiser SHEFFIELD, with destroyers ASHANTI, MASHONA, TARTAR, PUNJABI, FIREDRAKE, FORTUNE, ARROW, ANTHONY, and ACHATES departed Scapa Flow at 1915 in response to reports that German battlecruiser GNEISENAU was breaking back to Germany.

 

DEVONSHIRE was detached to join heavy cruiser NORFOLK escorting an Icelandic convoy.

 

The cruisers with ASHANTI and MASHONA acted as an independent striking force.

 

Destroyers FORTUNE and FURY were recalled from escort duty with convoy WN.3 and arrived at Scapa Flow at 1800.

 

Destroyers ZULU and MAORI, on anti-submarine patrol northeast of the Shetlands, were ordered at 2201 to rendezvous with Force A in 60‑00N, 01‑50E at 0400/28th.

 

No contact was made and the forces arrived back at Scapa Flow at 0620/29th.

 

DEVONSHIRE and NORFOLK arrived at Scapa Flow on 2 August.

_____

 

Destroyer KEPPEL, on passage from the Western Approaches to Scapa Flow, was diverted at 0827 to the Clyde for escort duties.

 

The destroyer arrived in the Clyde at 1600.

_____

 

British minefield BS.28 was laid on 27/28 July by destroyers EXPRESS, ESK, INTREPID, ICARUS, and IMPULSIVE.

_____

 

Polish submarine WILK was docked at Rosyth.

_____

 

Submarine SWORDFISH departed Blyth on patrol at the mouth of the Skagerrak.

_____

 

German aircraft launched heavy air attacks on the Dover area.

 

Destroyer CODRINGTON (Captain G. F. Stevens-Guille DSO, OBE, D.1), under refit, was badly hit in Dover Harbour and run aground with a broken back, but was damaged beyond repair. Three ratings were wounded.

 

Destroyer WALPOLE alongside depot ship SANDHURST in Dover Harbour was badly damaged. She was towed to Chatham by tug LADY BRASSEY, escorted by destroyers VIVACIOUS and damaged BRILLIANT and later moved to London for repairs completed in March 1941. SANDHURST was also badly damaged. She was further damaged in another raid on the 29th and was towed from Dover on 1 August for Portsmouth and then eventually Liverpool.

 

Following the loss of CODRINGTON, all destroyers were temporarily withdrawn from Dover.

 

Destroyers MONTROSE and WREN of the 18th Destroyer Flotilla were escorting six minesweeper trawlers off Aldeburgh when they were attacked by He111 aircraft from KG.53. WREN (Cdr F. W. G. Harker) was sunk in 52‑10N, 02‑06E and MONTROSE badly damaged by near misses. WREN's survivors were picked up by MONTROSE and minesweeper HALCYON. Cdr Harker, S/Lt G. D. Astley-Cooper, Temporary S/Lt E. A. Dicks RNVR, Warrant Engineer V. S. T. Hunt, and thirty one ratings were lost. Temporary Surgeon Lt D. L. P. de Courcey RNVR, Lt G. K. Horsey, and six ratings were wounded. MONTROSE was towed to Harwich and repaired at Chatham completing in June 1941.

_____

 

Light cruiser GALATEA arrived at Rosyth.

_____

 

Convoy OB.190 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyer WARWICK and corvette HEARTSEASE from 27 to 30 July. The escort was detached to inbound convoy HX.59.

_____

 

Convoy FN.234 departed Southend, and arrived at the Tyne on the 29th.

 

Convoy FN.235 did not sail.

_____

 

Convoy MT.122 departed Methil, and arrived in the Tyne later that day.

_____

 

Convoy FS.234 departed the Tyne, escorted by destroyer VIVIEN and sloop LOWESTOFT, and arrived at Southend on the 29th.

_____

 

Convoy HX.61 departed Halifax at 1000 escorted by Canadian destroyers OTTAWA and SAGUENAY.

 

Destroyer OTTAWA was detached on other duties on the 28th and did not return immediately to Halifax.

 

The Canadian destroyers turned the convoy over to the ocean escort, armed merchant cruiser LACONIA and destroyer SAGUENAY returned to Halifax early on the 28th. The armed merchant cruiser was detached on 8 August.

 

Convoy BHX.61 departed Bermuda on the 26th escorted locally by sloop PENZANCE and an ocean escort of armed merchant cruiser RAJPUTANA. The convoy rendezvoused with convoy HX.61 on the 31st and the armed merchant cruiser was detached.

 

Destroyers VANQUISHER, VISCOUNT, sloop DEPTFORD, and corvette MALLOW joined on 8 August. Destroyers ACHATES and ANTHONY joined on 9 August. On 10 August, ACHATES, ANTHONY and MALLOW were detached. The remaining escorts arrived with the convoy at Liverpool on 11 August.

_____

 

U.34 sank steamers SAMBRE (5260grt) in 56‑37N, 17‑53W and THIARA (10,364grt) in 56‑37N, 17‑56W, and attacked another steamer traveling with SAMBRE without success. Both ships were dispersed from convoy OB.188. Destroyer WINCHELSEA rescued the entire crew (48) from SAMBRE, but 25 from THIARA were missing

_____

 

Sand dredger DURDHAM (477grt) was sunk on a mine 1.54 miles 140.5° from Lavernock, Bristol Channel, 51-23-18N, 3-08-48W. Eight crew were lost.

_____

 

Tanker SALVESTRIA (11,938grt) was sunk on a mine 2.8 miles 42° from Inchkeith Light House. Ten crew were lost.

_____

 

Belgian fishing vessel CHARLES MADELEINE (99grt) was lost, cause unknown.

_____

 

Steamer WESTAVON (2842grt) was damaged by German bombing in 52‑01N, 01‑51E.

_____

 

Greek destroyers and submarines on neutrality patrol in the Gulf of Patras were attacked by Italian bombers.

_____

 

Convoy AS.2 of four steamers started its voyage south with light cruiser CAPETOWN and destroyers DEFENDER and STUART. On the 28th, the convoy rendezvoused with light cruiser LIVERPOOL, destroyers DAINTY and DIAMOND and passed through Kithera Strait.

 

Battleships MALAYA, WARSPITE, RAMILLIES, aircraft carrier EAGLE, and destroyers JERVIS, JUNO, NUBIAN, MOHAWK, HYPERION, ILEX, HERO, HEREWARD, IMPERIAL, and DECOY departed Alexandria at 0300 to cover the convoy movement.

 

Australian light cruiser SYDNEY and light cruiser NEPTUNE departed Alexandria to meet the Mediterranean Fleet south of Crete.

 

MOHAWK operated off Derna during the night of 28 July to pass wireless messages, and rejoined the main force during the morning of 29 July.

 

WARSPITE, ILEX, IMPERIAL, and HYPERION proceeded ahead of the Fleet and were joined by destroyers HOSTILE and JANUS from Alexandria. The ships arrived at Alexandria at 2000/29th.

 

MALAYA, RAMILLIES, EAGLE, and escorting destroyers STUART, DEFENDER, JERVIS, JUNO, NUBIAN, MOHAWK, HERO, HEREWARD and convoy AS.2 with LIVERPOOL arrived at Alexandria on the 30th.

 

CAPETOWN and destroyers DAINTY and DIAMOND proceeded with the convoy to Port Said.

_____

 

Submarine PARTHIAN attacked two steamers southeast of Sicily without result.

_____

 

Italian convoy Operation TVL began when steamers MARIA EUGENIO, GLORIA STELLA, MAULY, GBAINSIZZA, COL DI LANA, FRANCESCO BARBARO, and CITTA DI BARI departed Naples, escorted by torpedo boats PROCIONE, ORIONE, ORSA, and PEGASO of the 4th Torpedo Boat Division. From Catania, destroyers of the 10th Destroyer Division with MAESTRALE, LIBECCIO, GRECALE, and SCIROCCO joined the convoy escort, and arrived at Tripoli on 1 August, despite an attack by submarine OSWALD.

 

On 29 August, steamers MARCO POLO, CITTA DI NAPOLI, and CITTA DI PALERMO departed Naples for Benghasi. The convoy was escorted from Naples to Messina by torpedo boats CIRCE, CLIO, CLIMENE, and CENTAURO of the 13th Torpedo Boat Division. From Messina, the convoy was joined by torpedo boats AIRONE, ARIEL, ALCIONE, and ARETUSA of the 1st Torpedo Boat Division.

 

Providing distance support on the 30th and 1 August, heavy cruiser POLA (Flagship of 1st Cruiser Division), ZARA, FIUME, GORIZIA, and TRENTO of the 1st Cruiser Division with destroyers ALFIERI, ORIANI, CARDUCCI, and GIOBERTI of the 9th Destroyer Division, LANCIERE, CARABINERE, CORZZIERE, and ALPINO of the 12th Destroyer Division,Light cruisers DA BARBIANO, DI GUISSANO of the 4th Cruiser Division, destroyers PIGAFETTA, ZENO, and MALOCELLO of the 15th Destroyer Division, light cruisers EUGENIO DI SAVIOA, DUCA DEGLI ABRUZZI, ATTENDOLO, MONTECUCCOLI of the 7th Cruiser Division, and destroyers GRANATIERE, FUCLIERE, BERSAGLIERE, and ASCARI of the 13th Destroyer Division, and arrived at Benghasi at midnight on the 31st.

_____

 

Convoy HG.40F of three ships departed Gibraltar with a local escort of destroyer VIDETTE from the 27th to 31st. Destroyer MACKAY escorted the convoy from 31 July to 3 August. VIDETTE arrived at Plymouth on 2 August for refuelling, and the convoy reached Liverpool on the 3rd.

_____

 

Light cruiser DAUNTLESS departed Penang.

 

 

Sunday, 28 July

 

Heavy cruiser NORFOLK and destroyer WATCHMAN departed Greenock at 0200 with British steamer GEORGIC (27759grt) and Dutch steamer KONINGIN EMMA (4135grt) for Reykavik. Off the Mull of Kintyre at 0500, destroyer VORTIGERN joined the force from Belfast.

_____

 

Anti-aircraft cruiser COVENTRY arrived at Plymouth for drydocking. On 19 August, COVENTRY departed for Greenock arriving on the 21st.

_____

 

Derelict Norwegian yacht MASKI was sunk by gunfire of submarine SWORDFISH in 55-32N, 1-31E. Four Norwegians were rescued by the submarine which arrived back at Blyth on 8 August.

_____

 

Submarine URSULA departed Rosyth for Blyth, arriving later that same day.

_____

 

Submarine H.44 departed Harwich for patrol north of Hinder.

_____

 

Dutch submarines O.21 and O.22 were undocked at Rosyth.

_____

 

Submarine depot ship TITANIA departed the Tyne for Blyth, where she arrived later the same day.

_____

 

Convoy OA.191 departed Methil. No escorts were listed.

_____

 

Convoy MT.123 departed Methil, and arrived in the Tyne on the 29th.

_____

 

Convoy FS.235 departed the Tyne, and arrived at Southend on the 30th.

_____

 

U.99 sank steamer AUCKLAND STAR (13,212grt) in 52‑17N, 12‑32W. The crew rowed for Ireland and arrived three days later.

_____

 

Steamer ORLOCK HEAD (1563grt) was badly damaged by German bombing in 58‑44N, 04‑21W. She was hit by three bombs and also hit by strafing, and sank later that day 6.7 miles 320° from Strathie Point. Six crew were lost. Destroyers BERKELEY and AMAZON departed Scapa Flow at 0530 to assist, but although they did not locate the ship, did find the survivors in their boats, who were landed at Thurso.

_____

 

Armed patrol trawler STAUNTON (283grt, Skipper S. W. Campbell RNR) was sunk on a mine eight cables 50° from East Knoll Buoy. Campbell and twelve ratings were lost, and there were no survivors.

_____

 

Small Greek steamer ERMIONI (440grt), carrying military supplies to Italy, was intercepted and captured by light cruisers NEPTUNE and SYDNEY in the Aegean. Together with destroyer DECOY, they had been detached from the Main Fleet to intercept the ship and were sweeping in the Aegean. ERMIONI was scuttled.

_____

 

Steamer MATHURA (8890grt) was damaged by Italian bombing at Aden.

_____

 

German armed merchant cruiser THOR damaged armed merchant cruiser ALCANTARA in an engagement off Trinidade, off the coast of Brazil. Lt R. W. Pickersgill RNR and one rating were killed and seven crew wounded in the British ship. Heavy cruiser DORSETSHIRE returned to Freetown for refuelling, arriving on the 29th, and left to search for the German raider, but did not make contact. ALCANTARA arrived at Rio de Janiero for repairs on 1 August.

_____

 

Due to the political situation with the Vichy French at Duala, light cruiser DRAGON departed Duala and proceeded to Lagos, arriving on the 29th. She was relieved by sloop BRIDGEWATER on 1 August.

_____

 

Convoy SLF.41 departed Freetown escorted by armed merchant cruiser PRETORIA CASTLE to 10 August. Armed merchant cruiser BULOLO joined on the 8th when convoy SL.41 merged. On the 10th, both escorts were detached. Destroyers HESPERUS, SKEENA, WARWICK and corvettes CLARKIA and CLEMATIS joined the same day and escorted the convoy to Liverpool, arriving on the 14th.

 

 

Monday, 29 July

 

The Home Fleet at Scapa Flow was brought to four hour's notice at 0905.

_____

 

Destroyer DELIGHT (Cdr M. Fogg-Elliot DSO) of the 3rd Destroyer Flotilla departed Portsmouth at 1500 for the Clyde, but was sunk by German bombing off Portland. (Seekrieg - The new “Freya” radar, 60 miles away, spotted the destroyer and vectored in the bombers.) Eight ratings were killed, four missing, and six died of wounds. Fogg-Elliott, Midshipman R. T. Hale RNR, and Gunner (T) W. W. G. Hubbert, and fifty six ratings were wounded. Her survivors were rescued by ML.102, ML.105, MA/SB.1, MA/SB.5, destroyers BROKE, VANSITTART, and auxiliary patrol boats PILOT (103grt) and CONQUEROR (177grt).

_____

 

Destroyers SIKH and AMAZON departed Scapa Flow at 0400, INGLEFIELD and KEPPEL the Clyde at 0535, and HIGHLANDER, VISCOUNT, VANQUISHER, and WANDERER from Liverpool to join inbound Canadian troop convoy TC.6. The convoy was met in 57-12N, 21-50W at 2000/30th, and safely arrived at Greenock at 1430/1 August.

_____

 

Destroyer ZULU departed Scapa Flow at 1600 for the Tyne where she arrived at 0700/30th for a refit. Part of the refit included the placement of a twin 4in anti-aircraft gun in her X gun position.

_____

 

Destroyer FERNIE departed Scapa Flow at 1315 for Dover to join the Dover Command, but en route, was diverted to Portsmouth.

_____

 

Submarine PORPOISE laid minefield FD.23 in 55‑56N, 06‑18E off the Norwegian coast. After this minelay, the minelaying submarines were diverted to the Bay of Biscay, and there was no more submarine minelaying off Norway until January 1941.

_____

 

Submarine SEALION attacked a U.62 with gunfire and torpedoes west of Jaederens. Neither submarine iwas damaged.

_____

 

Submarine TRITON sighted a German submarine off Korsfjord steering west.

_____

 

Submarine H.50 arrived at Harwich.

_____

 

Submarine L.26, Dutch submarine O.23, and Dutch torpedo boat Z.6 arrived at Rosyth.

_____

 

A Swordfish aircraft was lost in a torpedo exercise near Lady Isle. Probationary Temporary Midshipman (A) G J A Shelley RNVR, was killed.

_____

 

Anti-submarine trawler DANEMAN (516grt) engaged German motor torpedo boats 22 miles WSW of Beachy Head between 0044 and 0315.

_____

 

Convoy OB.191 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyer WALKER and corvette PERIWINKLE from 30 July to 2 August. The escort was detached to inbound convoy SL.40.

_____

 

Convoy FN.236 departed Southend, and arrived in the Tyne on the 31st.

_____

 

Convoy MT.124 departed Methil, and arrived in the Tyne later that day.

_____

 

Convoy FS.236 departed the Tyne, escorted by destroyer WINCHESTER and sloop WESTON, and arrived at Southend on the 31st.

_____

 

U.99 sank steamer CLAN MENZIES (7336grt) in 54‑10N, 12W. Six crew were killed.

_____

 

Steamer GRONLAND (1264grt), which had been damaged on the 25th, was sunk in outer Dover Harbour by German bombing. Nineteen crew were killed.

_____

 

Patrol yacht GULZAR (197grt) was sunk by German bombing in the submarine basin in Dover Harbour. The entire crew was rescued.

_____

 

Steamer OUSEBRIDGE (5601grt) was sunk on a mine in Queen's Channel, Liverpool, 800 feet 5° from Q. 5 red buoy. Her bow was blown off and back broken. Two crew were killed.

_____

 

Steamer MOIDART (1262grt) was sunk on a mine in 51‑59N, 01‑49E. Eleven crew were killed.

_____

 

Steamer CLAN MONROE (5952grt) was badly damaged on a mine in 51‑52N, 01‑48E. Thirteen crew were lost. She anchored off South Shipwash on the 30th with a broken back, was taken in tow on the 31st but grounded 3.8 miles 224° from Orfordness Light House.

_____

 

Trawler LEACH'S ROMANCE (44grt) was sunk on a mine 10½ miles due south of Kemp Town. The crew of four were lost.

_____

 

Special service vessel UMVOTI (5183grt) was sunk as a blockship.

_____

 

Attacked by Italian bombers, light cruiser LIVERPOOL of the AS.2 escort was struck by a bomb which passed through B gun deck without exploding. One rating was killed and two wounded.

_____

 

Light cruiser GLOUCESTER arrived at Port Said.

 

 

Tuesday, 30 July

 

Destroyers MAORI and FURY departed Scapa Flow at 0010 to search for a German submarine reported at 2050 by anti-submarine trawler LE TIGER (516grt) in 56‑42N, 5‑33W, astern of her convoy off Cape Wrath. The destroyers were recalled at 1238 later that day .

_____

 

Battlecruiser REPULSE with destroyers FORTUNE, ECHO, and FIREDRAKE departed Scapa Flow at 1800 for low angle and high angle full calibre firings.

_____

 

Heavy cruiser NORFOLK arrived at Reykavik.

_____

 

Armed merchant cruiser MOOLTAN departed Devonport for Freetown. Off Land's End, she was damaged by German bombing, and proceeded to Liverpool for repairs which were completed 23 August. MOOLTAN departed Liverpool on 30 August to return to Freetown.

_____

 

British minefield BS.29 was laid by minelayers PLOVER and WILLEM VAN DER ZAAN with destroyers INTREPID and ESK.

_____

 

Submarine URSULA departed Blyth on patrol off southern Norway.

_____

 

Dutch submarines O.21 and O.22 departed Rosyth on patrol.

_____

 

A Swordfish of 812 Squadron collided with another Swordfish south of North Coates during an exercise. Lt J. H. Barnes and S/Lt R. M. Andrews were killed in one, and S/Lt J. Gaillard and Lt D. Groome in the other.

_____

 

Minesweeper NIGER was damaged in a collision with minesweeping trawler LAUREL (590grt) in the North Sea. NIGER was repaired at Grimsby completing in August.

_____

 

Minesweeper TEDWORTH was damaged by German bombing at Dover, and repaired at Portsmouth from 6 August to 12 December.

_____

 

Convoy OA.192 departed Methil escorted by destroyer ST LAURENT and sloop SANDWICH from 30 July to 3 August , then anti-submarine trawler ST KENAN from 30 July to 1 August. The destroyer and sloop were detached to inbound convoy HX.60.

_____

 

Convoy FN.237 departed Southend, escorted by destroyer VIVIEN and sloop LOWESTOFT. Destroyers JAVELIN and JUPITER joined on the 31st, and the convoy arrived in the Tyne on 1 August.

_____

 

Convoy MT.125 departed Methil, and arrived in the Tyne later that day.

_____

 

Convoy FS.237 departed the Tyne, and arrived at Southend on 1 August.

_____

 

Belgian motor trawler JOHN (197grt) was damaged by German bombing 35 miles WNW of Bull Rock, southwest Ireland.

_____

 

Aircraft carrier ARGUS, with destroyers ENCOUNTER, HOTSPUR, GALLANT, and GREYHOUND arrived at Gibraltar.

_____

 

Convoy HG.40 with 24 ships departed Gibraltar escorted locally by destroyer WISHART and anti-submarine trawler LEYLAND, which was detached on 3 August. Sloop WELLINGTON escorted the convoy from 30 July to 14 August. Destroyer WESTCOTT from outbound convoy OG.40 escorted the convoy from 10 to 14 August, which arrived at Liverpool on 14 August.

_____

 

Units of the Mediterranean Fleet, including battleship RAMILLIES and the light cruisers and destroyers operating in the Aegean on the 28th, arrived back at Alexandria.

_____

 

Submarine OSWALD departed Alexandria on the 19th for patrol in the Straits of Messina. On the 30th, she sighted an Italian cruiser and later in the day, four other cruisers escorted by destroyers, but was unable to attack either contact. She then made an attack against an Operation TVL convoy of steamers MARIA EUGENIA, GLORIA STELLA, MAULY, BAINSIZZA, COL DI LANA, FRANCESCO BARBARO, and CITTA DI BARI en route to Tripoli from Naples escorted by destroyers MAESTRALE, LIBECCIO, GRECALE,and SCIROCCO with torpedo boats PROCIONE, ORIONE, ORSA, and PEGASO but this attack was also unsuccessful.

_____

 

Submarine REGULUS, which arrived from Hong Kong at Singapore on the 2nd, departed Singapore on the 3rd, but on the 4th encountered bad weather with damage to her superstructure. She arrived Colombo on 9 July, departed Colombo on the 10th, arrived Aden on the 20th, departed Aden on the 23rd, and Port Said on the 28th. REGULUS arrived at Alexandria for duty with the Mediterranean Fleet on the 30th.

 

Submarine REGENT, which departed Hong Kong on 30 June, arrived Singapore on the 6 July, departed Singapore on the 11th, Colombo on the 18th, then arrived with Australian sloop PARRAMATTA at Aden on the 30th. She left Aden on the 31st for Suez and duty with the Mediterranean Fleet, while PARRAMATTA began escort duties in the Red Sea.

 

 

Wednesday, 31 July

 

Destroyers WHITSHED and WILD SWAN of the 18th Destroyer Flotilla and AMBUSCADE of the 16th Destroyer Flotilla departed Harwich late on the 30th to conduct a sweep in the North Sea off the Zuider Zee. Returning to Harwich after the sweep, WHITSHED was mined off Harwich and badly damaged with the forward part of the ship collapsing. Partly under her own power until it was gradually lost and partly in tow of WILD SWAN, she was taken stern first to Harwich, screened by AMBUSCADE. Patrol sloop PUFFIN and two MTBs also assisted, and tug KROOMAN was also sent to assist. WHITSHED repaired at Chatham completing on 21 December.

_____

 

Submarine H.28 arrived at Harwich.

_____

 

Convoy OB.192 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyer VANOC with corvettes MALLOW and GLADIOLUS from 31 July to 4 August. The destroyer was detached to inbound convoy HX.60.

_____

 

Convoy FN.238 departed Southend, and arrived in the Tyne on 2 August.

_____

 

Convoy MT.126 departed Methil, and arrived in the Tyne later that day.

_____

 

Convoy FS.238 departed the Tyne, escorted by sloop FLEETWOOD. On 1 August, destroyers WOOLSTON, JUPITER, and KELVIN joined. Destroyers JUPITER and KELVIN were detached later that day. On 2 August, destroyers AMBUSCADE, MALCOLM, and WILD SWAN joined, and arrived at Southend on 2 August.

_____

 

U.99 sank steamers JAMAICA PROGRESS (5475grt) at 56‑26N, 08‑30W and JERSEY CITY (6322grt) in 55‑47N, 09‑18W. Six crew and one gunner were lost on JAMAICA PROGRESS, and two on JERSEY CITY. Steamer GLOUCESTER CITY (3071grt) rescued 43 survivors from JERSEY CITY, who were taken into Liverpool by destroyer WALKER. (Uboat.net - trawler NEWLAND rescued thirty JAMAICA PROGRESS survivors.)

_____

 

Norwegian steamer STALHEIM (1298grt) was sunk on a mine one half mile WSW of South Pier, Port Talbot. Five crew were lost.

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Convoy HX.62 departed Halifax escorted by Canadian destroyer SAGUENAY and auxiliary patrol vessel FRENCH at 0715. At midnight the convoy was turned over to armed merchant cruiser AURANIA. FRENCH detached on 1 August and SAGUENAY on the 2nd,

 

Convoy BHX.62 departed Bermuda on the 30th escorted locally by sloop PENZANCE, and with ocean escort provided by armed merchant cruiser MONTCLARE. The convoy rendezvoused with convoy HX.62 on 4 August when MONTCLARE detached. AURANIA continued on with the convoy until the 11th, when she detached. HX.62 reached Liverpool on the 15th.

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Cruiser Squadron 7, light cruisers ORION, NEPTUNE, and SYDNEY, with destroyers NUBIAN, JUNO, and GARLAND departed Alexandria at 0600 to operate in the Aegean as a diversion for operation HURRY, the transfer of aircraft to Malta by Force H

 

Battleships ROYAL SOVEREIGN and MALAYA, aircraft carrier EAGLE, with destroyers JERVIS, HERO, HASTY, HEREWARD, IMPERIAL, ILEX, HOSTILE, and VENDETTA departed Alexandria at 1420 to carry out gunnery practices and proceed westward towards Gavdo Island until after dark on 1 August.

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Convoy BS.2 departed Suez, escorted by sloops GRIMSBY and CLIVE. The sloops were detached on 3 August when anti-aircraft cruiser CARLISLE, light cruiser LEANDER, and sloop FLAMINGO joined. The convoy was dispersed on 9 August.

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German armed merchant cruiser PINGUIN sank steamer DOMINGO DE LARRINGA (5358grt) in the South Atlantic in 05‑27S, 18‑21W. Eight crew were lost, and 30 made prisoners of war.

 

 

July, miscellaneous

 

From early July to late August, light cruisers (mainly) of the Home Fleet were deployed in the south of England for invasion defense under operation PURGE.

 

At Humber and Sheerness - AURORA and GALATEA of the 2nd Cruiser Squadron.

 

Between Humber, Sheerness, Firth of Forth, and Southend - SHEFFIELD and BIRMINGHAM of the 18th Cruiser Squadron. They arrived at Sheerness from the Humber at 0750/2nd.

 

At Portsmouth - MANCHESTER of the 18th Cruiser Squadron.

 

At Plymouth - NEWCASTLE of the 18th Cruiser Squadron.

 

At Clyde - heavy cruiser DEVONSHIRE of the 1st Cruiser Squadron.

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At the end of July, the 5th Destroyer Flotilla was transferred from Scapa Flow to Immingham for invasion defense duties. Destroyers transferred at that time were JAVELIN, JAGUAR, JUPITER, JACKAL, KIPLING, and KELVIN.

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At the end of July, submarines were assigned to patrol in the Bay of Biscay off Bordeaux. The first two were TIGRIS, which departed Rothesay on the 16th and returned on 5 August, and TALISMAN, which departed Greenock on the 27th to relieve TIGRIS.

 

In August, the patrols continued with CACHALOT sailing on the 15th, TRIBUNE on the 16th, TIGRIS for a second patrol on the 27th, and TALISMAN for a second patrol on the 29th, all from Rothesay.

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Dutch submarine O.15 was out of service with defects at Bermuda.

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At the end of July, the following destroyers were under repair - ACHATES at Scapa Flow boiler cleaning, ANTELOPE at Tyne repairing, ANTHONY at Scapa Flow boiler cleaning, BEAGLE at Portsmouth repairing, BEDOUIN at Scapa Flow boiler cleaning, BRILLIANT at Chatham repairing, BOADICEA at Portsmouth repairing, BOREAS at London repairing, BROKE at Plymouth boiler cleaning, DIANA at London refitting, DOUGLAS at Portsmouth refitting, ESKIMO at Barrow repairing, ECLIPSE at Clyde refitting, ELECTRA at Greenock repairing, FAME at Rosyth repairing, HARVESTER at Liverpool boiler cleaning, ISIS at Plymouth repairing, IVANHOE at Chatham repairing, JERSEY at Hull repairing, KASHMIR at Hull repairing, KELLY at Tyne repairing, MATABELE at Falmouth repairing, MONTROSE at Chatham repairing, SHIKARI at Portsmouth refitting, SOMALI at Liverpool repairing, VANESSA at Sheerness refitting, WALLACE at Rosyth refitting, WATERHEN at Suez refitting, WHITEHALL at Plymouth reboilering, WISHART at Gibraltar refitting, WITCH at Plymouth repairing, ZULU at Tyne repairing, Polish BLYSKAWICA and BURZA, both at Portsmouth repairing.

 
 

on to Naval Events, AUGUST 1940
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revised 7/4/12
further editing is required


 

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