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

NAVAL EVENTS, AUGUST 1940 (Part 2 of 2)
Thursday 15th – Saturday 31st

Partly edited by Gordon Smith, Naval-History.Net

HMS Albrighton, escort destroyer in 1943 (CyberHeritage click to enlarge)

on to Naval Events, SEPTEMBER 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

 

                                                           

Thursday,  15 August

 

Destroyers HAMBLEDON and ATHERSTONE departed Switha at 2330 to be in position 60-30N, 3-30W by 0530/16th to sweep for a submarine. If no contact had been made by 0700, they were to proceed to Thorshavn to escort troopship ULSTER MONARCH to the Clyde. HAMBLEDON and ATHERSTONE arrived at Thorshavn at 1400/16th and departed with the troopship at 1800. All three ships arrived safely in the Clyde at 0630/18th.

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Destroyer WATCHMAN departed Scapa Flow at 0045 to overtake convoy WN.7 and proceed with it to Methil. She then went on to the Humber en route to the Nore.

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Polish destroyer BLYSKAWICA departed Portsmouth at 2100 for Scapa Flow to work up, arriving at 1630/17th. After working up, she proceeded to Portsmouth to join the 1st Destroyer Flotilla.

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Convoy OA.199 departed Methil escorted by sloop SANDWICH and corvette GARDENIA from the 15th to 19th. The escorts were detached to convoy HX.64.

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Convoy FN.253 departed Southend, escorted by sloops BLACK SWAN and HASTINGS. Patrol sloop SHEARWATER was with the convoy on the 16th, which arrived in the Tyne on the 17th.

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Convoy MT.141 departed Methil, and arrived in the Tyne later that day.

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Convoy FS.253 departed the Tyne, escorted by destroyers VALOROUS, VERDUN and sloop STORK, and arrived at Southend on the 17th.

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S/Lt (A) H. W. Begg, on loan to the RAF and flying a Hurricane of 151 Squadron, ditched in the sea near Dover. He was picked up and was not seriously wounded.

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Steamer BRIXTON (1557grt) was sunk on a mine in 52‑06N, 01‑49E, but the entire crew was rescued.

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U.A sank Greek steamer ASPASIA (4211grt) in 35N, 20W with the loss of all her crew.

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U.51 sank tanker SYLVAFIELD (5709grt), a straggler from convoy HX.62, in 56‑39N, 11‑16W. Two crew were killed and one missing.

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Convoy SC.1 departed St Johns escorted by Canadian destroyer OTTAWA and auxiliary patrol vessel REINDEER and Sloop PENZANCE.

 

After destroyer OTTAWA was detached, Sloop PENZANCE continued with the convoy as the ocean escort, until her loss on the 24th.

 

On the 27th, destroyers HAVELOCK and HURRICANE, sloop LEITH, corvette CLARKIA joined. All but the sloop were detached before the convoy’s arrival at Liverpool on the 29th.

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Greek light cruiser HELLE was sunk by Italian submarine DELFINO at Tinos.

 

Greek destroyers VASILISSA OLGA and VASILEVS GEORGIOS I escorting merchant ships away from Tinos back to Greek ports were attacked by Italian bombers off Syros.

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Australian light cruiser HOBART at Berbera was damaged by splinters from near misses in an Italian air attack.

 

Air attacks were conducted by Italian air units on 12, 14, 15, 16, 30 August in the Gulf of Aden and off Berbera.

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Light cruiser NEPTUNE departed Suez with a battalion of troops to reinforce Berbera, but the operation was cancelled before she ever arrived.

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Polish destroyer GARLAND departed Alexandria on escort duties in the Eastern Mediterranean to and from Haifa.

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New Zealand light cruiser ACHILLES departed Auckland and arrived at Wellington on the 16th.

 

 

Friday,  16 August

 

Destroyers INGLEFIELD (D.3), FIREDRAKE, JAVELIN, JAGUAR departed Scapa Flow at 0700 to join Minelayers SOUTHERN PRINCE, PORT NAPIER, PORT QUEBEC, MENESTHEUS departed Loch Alsh at 0530/17th to lay minefield SN.12.

 

Destroyer ECHO departed Scapa Flow at 1030/18th to relieve destroyer FIREDRAKE which went to Scapa Flow.

 

Anti-aircraft cruiser CAIRO provided anti-aircraft protection.

 

After the operation, destroyers INGLEFIELD and ECHO remained at Loch Alsh for the next operation. Destroyers JAVELIN and JAGUAR arrived at Scapa Flow at 0630/18th.

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Battlecruiser HOOD and destroyers COSSACK (D.4), SIKH, MAORI, VORTIGERN departed Scapa Flow at 0620 for Rosyth.

 

The Tribal destroyers were to reinforce the Rosyth Escort Force and the VORTIGERN went on to the Humber for duty in the Nore Command.

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Because of continued heavy German air bombing, light cruisers SOUTHAMPTON and BIRMINGHAM were ordered moved from Sheerness to Rosyth and light cruiser CARDIFF was ordered moved from Harwich to the Humber.

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After a loop crossing in the Firth of Forth, destroyers VIMERA and WOLFHOUND and sloop LONDONDERRY carried out an unsuccessful search.

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Temporary S/Lt (A) H. L. Greenshields RNVR, flying a Spitfire of RAF 266 Squadron Hornchurch, was killed when he was shot down near Deal.

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The first successful attack on a German submarine by British Coastal Command aircraft occurred when U.51 was seriously damaged in an air attack on the 16th 170 miles northwest of Tory Island.

 

U.51 was sunk, while returning to port from her fourth war patrol, in the Bay of Biscay in 47‑06N, 04‑51W by submarine CACHALOT on the 20th.

 

All forty three crew on the German submarine were lost.

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British minefield BS.32 was laid by minelayer TEVIOTBANK and destroyers INTREPID and IMPULSIVE.

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Convoy FN.254 departed Southend. The convoy arrived at the Tyne on the 18th.

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Convoy MT.142 departed Methil. The convoy arrived in the Tyne later that day.

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Convoy FS.254 departed the Tyne, escorted by destroyers VEGA and WESTMINSTER. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 18th.

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Convoy OA.200 departed Methil. No escorts were listed.

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Convoy OB.199 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyer WARWICK and corvette MALLOW from 16 to 20 August an destroyers ANTHONY, ARROW, ACHATES, HARVESTER from 18 to 20 August. The convoy was dispersed on the 20th. Destroyer WARWICK and corvette MALLOW were detached to convoy HX.64.

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British steamer MEATH (1598grt) and British examination vessel MANX LAD (24grt), which was alongside steamer MEATH, were sunk on a mine six to seven cables northeast of Breakwater Rock Light House.

 

The entire crew of steamer MEATH was rescued.

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Probationary Temporary Acting S/Lt (A) D. Drane RNVR, was badly injured when his Shark of 755 Squadron crashed into a hillside three miles north of Ardrossan. Drane died in hospital.

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British steamer CLAN FORBES (7529grt) was damaged by German bombing at Tilbury Dock.

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Minesweeping trawler REGARDO (248grt) was damaged by German bombing in Osbourne Bay.

 

The trawler was towed to Cowes by minesweeping trawler CAPE SPARTEL (346grt) for repair.

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Auxiliary steamer LOCH RYAN (210grt) was damaged by German bombing forty miles northwest by north of Longships Light.

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Convoy HX.66 departed Halifax escorted by Canadian destroyers ASSINIBOINE and OTTAWA at 1523. The destroyers were detached on the 17th.

 

Convoy SHX.66 departed Sydney, CB escorted by Canadian destroyer SAGUENAY and joined HX.66 at sea. The destroyer was detached on the 18th.

 

At 1750, the convoy was turned over to Armed merchant cruiser AUSONIA, but ASSINIBOINE remained with the convoy until 2020. The armed merchant cruiser was detached on the 27th.

 

Convoy BHX.66 departed Bermuda on the 15th escorted by ocean escort armed merchant cruiser ALAUNIA. The convoy rendezvoused with convoy HX.66 on the 20th and the armed merchant cruiser was detached.

 

Destroyer HIGHLANDER, escort ship JASON, corvette HIBISCUS joined on the 27th. The destroyer was detached later that day. The other two escorts arrived with the convoy at Liverpool on the 31st.

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U.30 sank British steamer CLAN MACPHEE (6628grt) in 57‑30N, 17‑14W.

 

Sixty seven crew were lost on the British steamer.

 

The survivors were rescued by Hungarian steamer KELET (4295grt) which was sunk herself on the 19th.

 

Sloop WELLINGTON of convoy OG.41 picked up twenty one survivors of KELET and thirteen survivors of CLAN MACPHEE and arrived with them at Gibraltar on 2 September.

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U.46 damaged Dutch steamer ALCINOUS (6189grt) from convoy OB.197 in 57‑16N, 17‑02W.

 

The steamer was assisted by sloop ROCHESTER.

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U.48 sank Swedish steamer HEDRUN (2325grt) in 57‑10N, 16‑37W.

 

Ten crew were lost on the Swedish steamer.

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U.100 sank British steamer EMPIRE MERCHANT (4864grt) in 55‑23N, 13‑24N.

 

Six crew and one gunner was lost with the steamer. Steamer EMPIRE MERCHANT sank in 55-21N, 13-40W.

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British steamer CITY OF BIRMINGHAM (5309grt) was sunk on a mine 5 1/2 miles 115° from Spurn Point in 53-32-26N, 00-15-30E.

 

The entire crew was rescued.

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Italian steamer MOREA (1968grt) was sunk on the Durazzo-Bari route fifty miles from Durazzo by submarine OSIRIS.

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Aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL, light cruiser ENTERPRISE, destroyers HOTSPUR, GALLANT, GREYHOUND, ENCOUNTER, WRESTLER departed Gibraltar to carry out aircraft practices, then meet with battleship RENOWN returning from England.

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Dockyard mooring vessel MOORSTONE was sunk in shallow water by Italian bombing at Alexandria and later salved. One crewman was killed.

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On the 16th, 17th, 18th, British troops at Berbera, Italian Somaliland, were evacuated to Aden.

 

The evacuation was conducted by armed boarding vessels CHAKDINA (3033grt) and CHANTALA (3129grt) and steamers LAOMEDON (6491grt), AKBAR (4043grt), steamer VITA (4691grt) which was being employed as a hospital ship.

 

The evacuation was covered by Australian light cruiser HOBART, light cruisers CERES and CALEDON, anti-aircraft cruiser CARLISLE, destroyers KIMBERLEY and KANDAHAR, sloops SHOREHAM, PARRAMATTA, AUCKLAND and HINDUSTAN, minesweeper DERBY, net layer PROTECTOR.

 

On 17 August, light cruiser CERES bombarded Italian targets and temporarily halted the Italian advance.

 

On 18 August, light cruiser CALEDON and destroyer KANDAHAR bombarded Bulhar and Berbera roads.

 

The evacuation was completed on the 18th with 5690 troops, 1266 civilians, 184 sick cases evacuated for a total of 7140.

 

Tug QUEEN was lost in the evacuation.

 

Light cruiser HOBART departed Berbera early on the 19th for Aden with remaining personnel and the demolition parties.

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Convoy RS.5, escorted by light cruiser DRAGON arrived at Capetown on the 15th. They sailed the next day and arrived at Durban on the 19th.

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German armed merchant cruiser ORION captured Vichy French steamer NOTOU (2489grt) in the Pacific at 23‑50S, 164‑10E.

 

Twenty six natives were landed at Emirau Island on 21 December.

 

The Europeans on the steamer were made prisoners of war.

 

 

Saturday,  17 August

 

Destroyer KIPLING and Polish destroyer BURZA departed Scapa Flow at 2130.

 

Destroyer KIPLING was to relieve Canadian destroyer RESTIGOUCHE in convoy OA.200.

 

Polish destroyer BURZA was to meet convoy WN.8 in the Minches and provide additional escort to Rattray Head.

 

Canadian destroyer RESTIGOUCHE arrived at Scapa Flow at 2100/17th. She discharged oil fuel contaminated by seawater.

 

The Canadian destroyer departed Scapa Flow at 0600/18th.

 

At 1315 on the 18th, destroyer RESTIGOUCHE relieved destroyer KIPLING on convoy duties. Destroyer KIPLING then returned to Scapa Flow.

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At 0800, 12th Destroyer Flotilla was placed under the control of Captain A/S Belfast.

 

Destroyers ARROW, AMAZON, ACHATES, ANTHONY formed a anti-submarine striking force in the NorthWest Approaches.

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Convoy FN.255 departed Southend. The convoy arrived in the Tyne on the 19th.

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Convoy MT.143 departed Methil. The convoy arrived in the Tyne later that day.

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Convoy FS.255 departed the Tyne, escorted by destroyer WINCHESTER and sloop WESTON. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 19th.

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Leading Airman E. G. Culley of 7 SFTS Peterborough was killed when his Hart spun in from low height and crashed at Deeping St Nicholas, near Spalding. Leading Airman CB Irving was also killed in the crash.

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British steamer ST PATRICK (1922grt) was damaged in German bombing in St George's Channel.

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British steamer YEWKYLE (824 ton) was damaged by German bombing in 52‑27N, 05‑45W.

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Operation MB.2 was the bombardment of Bardia.

 

Destroyers HYPERION, ILEX, JUNO, HERO departed Alexandria at noon on the 15th to sweep off Sollum Bay and join the main fleet at 1400/16th in 31-30N, 29-10E.

 

Battleships WARSPITE, MALAYA, RAMILLIES, heavy cruiser KENT, destroyers HOSTILE, HEREWARD, STUART, WATERHEN, VENDETTA, DIAMOND, NUBIAN, MOHAWK departed Alexandria at 1030/16th.

 

Bardia was bombarded from 0658 to 0720 by Force A with battleship WARSPITE, heavy cruiser KENT, destroyers HYPERION, ILEX, HOSTILE, NUBIAN, MOHAWK, DIAMOND and Force B with battleships MALAYA and RAMILLIES and destroyers STUART, WATERHEN, VENDETTA, JUNO, HERO, HEREWARD.

 

The Fleet arrived back at Alexandria on the 18th.

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Destroyers GRIFFIN arrived at Gibraltar from England, escorted by destroyer VELOX, which joined from convoy HG.41.

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Submarine RORQUAL, which departed Alexandria on the 4th, laid mines east of Tolmeita, Cyrenaica.

 

The submarine arrived back at Alexandria on the 27th.

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United States Naval Reserve Fleet operation.

 

On 17 August from New York, American destroyers LEARY (DD.158, LCDR E. Watts) of the 53rd Destroyer Division of the 27th Destroyer Squadron, HAMILTON (DD.141, LCDR T. C. Evans) of the 55th Destroyer Division of the 27th Destroyer Squadron,BROOME (DD.210, LCDR J. Y. Dannenberg) of the 56th Destroyer Division of the 31st Destroyer Squadron, REUBEN JAMES (DD.245, LT H. L. Edwards) of the 62nd Destroyer Division of the 41st Destroyer Squadron, SHURBRICK (DD.268, LCDR K. D. Dawson) of the 71st Destroyer Division of the 36th Destroyer Squadron, BAILY (DD.269, Cdr E. H. Jones, CDD.72), SWASEY (DD.273, LCDR B. D. Kelley), MEADE (DD.274, LCDR C. A. Printup) of the 72nd Destroyer Division of the 36th Destroyer Squadron, BANCROFT (DD.256, LT E. S. Von Kleeck) of the 73rd Destroyer Division of the 36th Destroyer Squadron departed for operations in the Caribbean south of Cuba.

 

On 17 August from Philadelphia, American destroyers COLE (DD.155, LT C. W. Moses) and DUPONT (DD.152, LT E. M. Waldron) of the 60th Destroyer Division of the 30th Destroyer Squadron and HUNT (DD.194, LCDR J. D. Hayes), SATTERLEE (DD.190, LCDR H. R. Demarest), BRANCH (DD.197, Cdr D. L. Ryan, CDD 68), MASON (DD.191, LCDR C. A. Dillavou) of the 68th Destroyer Division of the 31st Destroyer Squadron departed for the Caribbean.

 

On 18 August from New York, American battleships NEW YORK (BB.34, Captain D. E. Barbey) and ARKANSAS (BB.33, Captain J. F. Hall, Jr) and training ship (former battleship) WYOMING (AG.17, Captain D. F. Patterson) departed for the maneuvers.

 

Many of the destroyers employed in this fleet maneuver would join the Royal Navy over the next few months through Lend Lease.

 

 

Sunday,  18 August

 

Destroyers DUNCAN and CATTISTOCK departed Scapa Flow at 1000 for Liverpool.

 

At Liverpool, the destroyers joined two Western Approaches destroyers to escort convoy "MP" to Scapa Flow.

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Destroyer ACTIVE arrived at Scapa Flow at 0600 to work up prior to joining the 12th Destroyer Flotilla.

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Convoy OA.201 departed Methil escorted by destroyer SKEENA and corvette GODETIA, which was departed on the 22nd.

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Convoy OB.200 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyer WALKER and covette ARABIS from 18 to 21 August. The escorts were detached to convoy HG.41. Destroyer ACHATES escorted the convoy on 20 to 22 August and destroyer ARROW from 21 to 22 August.

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Convoy FN.256 departed Southend. The convoy arrived at the Tyne on the 20th.

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Convoy MT.144 departed Methil. The convoy arrived in the Tyne later that day.

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Convoy FS.256 departed the Tyne, escorted by destroyers VIMIERA and WOLSEY. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 20th.

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Armed merchant cruiser CIRCASSIA was attacked by a U-boat 120 miles 255° from 40N, 20W.

 

The armed merchant cruiser counterattacked and claimed sinking the submarine.

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In a German air raid on HMS PEREGRINE at Ford, Lt Cdr H. H. C. Young Rtd, Lt Cdr W. J. McC Spens Rtd, Lt Cdr the Honourable M. J. R. de Courcy Rtd were killed.

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British trawler VALERIA (189grt) was sunk by German bombing eight miles 35° from The Smalls. The crew of nine was rescued.

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British dredger LYSTER (619grt) was damaged by German bombing at Brunswick Dock, Liverpool.

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Convoy SL.44 departed Freetown escorted by armed merchant cruiser CANTON to 5 September.

 

The armed merchant cruiser proceeded to Greenock for fuel, water, boiler cleaning.

 

Destroyer BLYSKAWICA, sloop SANDWICH, corvette GARDENIA joined on 3 September. On 4 September, destroyers SHIKARI and SKATE and corvette ERICA joined. On 5 September, corvette LA MALOUINE joined. The convoy arrived on 7 September.

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Light cruiser DELHI in the South Atlantic intercepted Spanish steamer CIUDAD DE SEVILLE and sent her into Freetown under armed guard.

 

The cruiser also intercepted Portuguese steamer JOAO BELO and removed six Germans.

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Convoy BS.3 departed Suez, escorted by sloop CLIVE. Light cruiser LEANDER and anti sircraft cruiser CARLISLE joined on the 21st. The convoy arrived at Aden on the 26th.

 

 

Monday,  19 August

 

After emergency repairs at Greenock, light cruiser PENELOPE departed Greenock at 1800/19th for the Tyne escorted by destroyers HAMBLEDON and ATHERSTONE.

 

The destroyers then proceeded on to the Nore Command.

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Submarine CACHALOT laid fifty mines in minefield FD.24 fifty miles off Penmarch in 47‑40N, 04‑23W.

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Convoy OG.41 with twenty nine ships departed Liverpool escorted by sloop WELLINGTON and corvette GERANIUM and from Milford Haven by Anti-submarine trawlers DERBY COUNTY and ARSENAL.

 

Sloop WELLINGTON escorted the convoy from 19 August to 2 September.

 

Corvette GERANIUM escorted the convoy only on the 19th. The convoy arrived at Gibraltar on 2 September.

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Convoy FN.257 departed Southend. The convoy arrived in the Tyne on the 21st.

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Convoy MT.145 departed Methil. The convoy arrived in the Tyne later that day.

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Convoy FS.257 departed the Tyne. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 21st.

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British steamer PROTISLAUS (9577grt), salved from 21 January torpedoing for use as a blockship, departed Swansea under tow for Scapa Flow, escorted by anti-submarine trawlers KINGSTON ALALITE (412grt) and KINGSTON ANDALUSITE (415grt).

 

Later on 13 September, the steamer was under the tow of tugs EMPIRE HENCHMAN and ABEILLE 21 and escorted by anti-submarine trawler KING SOL (486grt) and whaler ELLESMERE (580grt).

 

The tow parted and the ship was declared derelict seven miles southwest of Skerryvore.

 

The steamer was sunk by gunfire from trawler KING SOL.

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U.A sank Hungarian steamer KELET (4295grt) in 50N, 22W. The entire crew was rescued.

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U.48 sank Belgian steamer VILLE DE GAND (7590grt) in 55‑28N, 15‑10W. Fifteen crew were lost were lost.

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U.101 sank British steamer AMPLEFORTH (4576grt) in 56‑10N, 10‑40W. Nine crew were missing and the survivors rescued by destroyer WARWICK.

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Italian submarine MALASPINA attacked a tanker without success in 39‑20N, 21‑25W.

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Italian submarine BARBARIGO attacked British steamer AGUILA (3255grt) without success in 31‑15N, 13‑02W.

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British steamer WALDINGE (2462grt) was damaged by German bombing at Milford Haven.

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Destroyers HOTSPUR, GREYHOUND, ENCOUNTER, GALLANT arrived at Gibraltar to refuel and then departed to rejoin aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL and light cruiser ENTERPRISE to meet battlecruiser RENOWN arriving on the 20th.

 

Detsroyers VELOX and GRIFFIN also departed Gibraltar to meet the battlecruiser.

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American heavy cruisers WICHITA and QUINCY departed Santos.

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British steamer ASKA departed Freetown to deliver troops and refrigerated cargo, brought from the UK in MONARCH OF BERMUDA, to the RAF unit at Takoradi.

 

The steamer arrived back at Freetown on the 31st.

 

 

Tuesday,  20 August

 

German aircraft in small numbers raided Scapa Flow from 0115 to 0315. Movements of all ships larger than trawlers were prohibited due to mining.

 

At 0945, Scapa Flow was declared clear of mines north of Barrel of Butter.

 

The Fleet Channel was swept.

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Floating dock AFD.12 departed the Tyne on the 20th under tow escorted by sloops LOWESTOFT and EGRET and two trawlers.

 

The dock arrived at Lyness on the 26th.

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Convoy OB.201 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyer WESTCOTT and corvette GLADIOLUS from 20 to 24 August.

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Convoy FN.258 departed Southend, escorted by destroyer WINCHESTER and sloop WESTON. Sloop PINTAIL was with the convoy on the 21st. The convoy arrived in the Tyne on the 22nd.

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Convoy MT.146 departed Methil. The convoy arrived in the Tyne later that day.

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Convoy FS.258 departed the Tyne, escorted by destroyers VIVIEN, SIKH, ZULU. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 22nd.

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The first successful attack on a German submarine by British Coastal Command aircraft occurred when U.51 was seriously damaged in an air attack on the 16th.

 

U.51 was sunk, while returning to port from her fourth war patrol, in the Bay of Biscay in 47‑06N, 04‑51W by submarine CACHALOT on the 20th.

 

All hands on the German submarine were lost.

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Midshipman P. J. Patterson, flying a Hurricane of RAF 242 Squadron from Coltishall, was killed when his aircraft dived into the sea five miles northeast of Winterton.

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British minefield BS.33 was laid by minelayers TEVIOTBANK, PLOVER, WILLEM VAN DER ZAAN and destroyers ICARUS and IMPULSIVE.

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U.A sank Panamanian steamer TUIRA (4397grt) in 54‑46N, 20‑30W.

 

Two crew were killed on the Panamanian steamer.

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U.46 badly damaged Greek steamer LEONIDAS M. VALMAS (2080grt) in 55‑13N, 10‑13W.

 

Sixteen crew were missing from the Greek steamer.

 

Two crew were picked up by destroyer ARROW which arrived with them in the Clyde on the 27th.

 

Although, LEONIDAS M. VALMAS was towed into Greenock, she was found to be beyond repair and was declared a total loss.

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Minesweeping trawler RESPARKO (248grt, Temporary Skipper J. Fountain RNR) was sunk by German bombing at Falmouth.

 

The entire crew was rescued.

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Dutch tug ZWARTE ZEE (793grt) was damaged by German bombing at Falmouth.

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British steamer MACVILLE (666grt) was damaged by German bombing in Blacksod Bay.

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British steamer PEEBLES (4982grt) was damaged by German bombing twenty miles east of Tuskar Rock, Irish Sea.

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British trawler OUR MAGGIE (17grt) was damaged by German bombing at Brixham.

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Vice Admiral J. C. Tovey, Commander of the 7th Cruiser Squadron of the Mediterranean Fleet, became Vice Admiral Light Forces.

 

The 3rd Cruiser Squadron became the primary Mediterranean Fleet Cruiser Squadron.

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Vice Admiral Somerville arrived back at Gibraltar in battlecruiser RENOWN. Also arriving were aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL and destroyers HOTSPUR, GREYHOUND, ENCOUNTER, GALLANT, GRIFFIN, VELOX.

 

Vice Admiral Aircraft Carriers departed aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL and took passage in sloop ENCHANTRESS leaving that day in convoy HG.42.

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Convoy HG.42 with seventeen ships departed Gibraltar.

 

Sloop ENCHANTRESS and armed boarding vessel TIERCEL escorted the convoy from 20 August to 3 September.

 

Destroyer WRESTLER escorted the convoy from 20 to 22 August.

 

Destroyer WRESTLER escorted steamer HIGHWEAR, which had collided with steamer POLLUX in the convoy, to Lisbon on the 25th.

 

Anti-submarine trawler MAN O' WAR and anti-submarine whaler ULLSWATER escorted the convoy from 29 August to 3 September.

 

Destroyer VISCOUNT from convoy OB.204 and corvette CLEMATIS escorted the convoy from 30 August to 1 September.

 

On 1 September, destroyers ARROW from convoy OB.204, ACTIVE and KEPPEL escorted the convoy. The convoy arrived at Liverpool on 3 September.

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Convoy HX.67 departed Halifax escorted by Canadian destroyer ASSINIBOINE and auxiliary patrol vessel FRENCH, but much difficulty with fog prevented the convoy from forming up until 0645 on the 21st.

 

Convoy SHX.67 departed escorted by destroyer SAGUENAY, which was detached on the 22nd. The convoy joined HX.67 at sea.

 

At 1325, the ocean escort, armed merchant cruiser LACONIA, was sighted and destroyer ASSINIBOINE remained with the convoy until 2020. The escort was detached on the 21st.

 

Convoy BHX.67 departed Bermuda on the 19th escorted by ocean escort light cruiser EMERALD. The convoy rendezvoused with convoy HX.67 on the 24th and the light cruiser was detached.

 

On 31 August, destroyers WALKER and WARWICK, sloop ROCHESTER, corvettes ARABIS and BLUEBELL joined the convoy. They remained with the convoy arriving at Liverpool on 4 September.

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Light cruiser DRAGON departed Durban for Capetown.

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German armed merchant cruiser ORION sank British steamer TURAKINA (9691grt) on the Cook Strait-Sydney, Australia route in 38‑33S, 167‑12E.

 

Thirty eight crewman were killed and twenty one crew were made prisoners of war.

 

The remainder of the crew were landed at Emirau Island on 21 December.

 

New Zealand light cruiser ACHILLES departed from Wellington and Australian light cruiser PERTH departed Sydney, but no contact was made with the German ship.

 

Light cruiser ACHILLES refuelled at Auckland on the 22nd. She was raider hunting off Campbell Island on the 25th. The light cruiser returned to Wellington on the 27th.

 

Light cruiser PERTH established a patrol off Gabo Island.

 

 

Wednesday,  21 August

 

Minelayers SOUTHERN PRINCE, PORT NAPIER, PORT QUEBEC, MENESTHEUS departed Loch Alsh at 1140/21st escorted by destroyers INGLEFIELD (D.3) and ECHO to lay minefield SN.2, which was an extension of minefield SN.1.

 

Destroyers ESCAPADE and ECLIPSE departed Scapa Flow at 2230/20th and met the minelayers off Loch Alsh.

 

The minefield was laid on 21/22 August north, northwest of Cape Wrath.

 

The destroyers arrived at Scapa Flow at 2040/22nd after the minelay.

_____

 

Anti-aircraft cruiser COVENTRY arrived at Greenock and joined anti-aircraft cruiser BONAVENTURE, which had arrived there earlier in the day.

_____

 

Convoy OA.202 departed Methil escorted by sloop FOWEY and corvette PERWINKLE until 25 August.

_____

 

Convoy FN.259 departed Southend. The convoy arrived in the Tyne on the 23rd.

 _____

 

Italian submarine DANDOLO damaged Dutch tanker HERMES (3768grt) in 38‑57N, 13‑50W.

_____

 

U.48 made two unsuccessful torpedo attacks on two different steamers west, northwest of Ireland.

_____

 

British steamer LETTY (339grt) was lost en route from Liverpool to Buncrana in Lough Swilly, Ireland, to unknown agent.

_____

 

British hulk KENDAL (178grt) was sunk by German bombing at the Woolston Barge Dock, Southampton.

_____

 

Netlayer KYLEMORE (319grt) was sunk by German bombing off Harwich.

_____

 

British hopper barge JAMES No. 70 (182grt) was sunk by German bombing at Southampton.

_____

 

British steamer ALACRITY (554grt) was damaged by German bombing at Falmouth.

_____

 

British trawler WOLSELEY (159grt) was damaged by German bombing nine miles west of Smalls Light.

_____

 

Danish trawler ANO (189grt) was sunk on a mine off the Danish coast.

_____

 

Five miles northwest of Ras Hilal, submarine RORQUAL attacked Italian steamers VERACE (1219grt) and DORIS URSINO (891grt) in Italian convoy escorted by Italian torpedo boat PAPA and was heavily counterattacked in return.

_____

 

Destroyer VIDETTE arrived at Gibraltar escorting patrol ship BRITISH COAST from England.

_____

 

Sloop BRIDGEWATER departed Lagos for Victoria with de Gaulle's representatives.

 

The sloop arrived on the 22nd and departed later that day to rendezvous with Free French transports.

 

When the Sengalese troops refused to sail for the Duala operation, the sloop returned to Victoria arriving on the 23rd.

 

Sloop BRIDGEWATER departed Victoria at 1700/23rd towards Takoradi to meet a possible troop convoy, but was then ordered to return and arrived at Victoria on the 25th.

_____

 

Armed merchant cruiser CARTHAGE and convoy RS.5 departed Durban for Aden.

_____

 

Armed merchant cruiser ASTURIAS and troopship ORION arrived at Freetown from the UK at 1300.

 

At 1715, the troopship and Dutch light cruiser SUMATRA departed Freetown for the Cape. on the 25th, the Dutch cruiser was relieved by Heavy cruiser DORSETSHIRE which took the troopship to Capetown, arriving on the 30th.

_____

 

American destroyers WALKE and WAINWRIGHT arrived at Para.

_____

 

German armed merchant cruiser WIDDER sank British steamer ANGLO SAXON (5594grt) in the Central Atlantic at 26‑12N, 34‑08W.

 

There were only two survivors. They landed at Eleuthera Island after drifting 2500 miles in seventy one days.

 

One of these survivors was lost aboard the Swedish steamer VALAPARISO lost on 31 December.

 

 

Thursday,  22 August

 

Aircraft carrier ILLUSTRIOUS, heavy cruiser YORK, light cruiser SHEFFIELD, destroyer FIREDRAKE departed Scapa Flow at 0730/21st, but due to heavy weather, the Liverpool section could not sail and the ships returned to Scapa Flow at 1430.

 

The force was able to proceed at 1045 on the 22nd.

 

The ships were escorted in the local approaches by destroyers ASHANTI, TARTAR, BEDOUIN. The destroyers were detached on the 24th and joined armed merchant cruiser SALOPIAN, returning from patrol. The armed merchant cruiser was escorted to Liverpool, arriving at 1500/26th.

 

Anti-aircraft cruisers CALCUTTA and COVENTRY and destroyer FORTUNE departed the Clyde at 2030/22nd.

 

Battleship VALIANT, light cruiser AJAX and destroyers FAULKNOR, FORESIGHT, FORESTER, FURY departed Liverpool.

 

These groups joined the Scapa Flow group at sea.

 

Convoy AP.1 of liners DUCHESS OF BEDFORD (20123grt, Convoy Commodore), DENBIGHSHIRE (9100grt), WAIOTIRA (12823grt), departed the Clyde on the 23rd escorted by anti-aircraft cruiser COVENTRY which travelled with this group.

 

Convoy AP.2 of liner SYDNEY STAR (11095grt) and aircraft carrier ARGUS departed the Clyde escorted by light cruiser AJAX later that day.

 

The AP convoys and AP.3 departing in September were designated operation APOLOGY.

 

The British Mediterranean Fleet reinforcements were designated Force F.

 

In the group of merchant ships was also British steamer ROYAL SCOTSMAN (3244grt) which was detached on the 28th Gibraltar.

 

Steamer ROYAL SCOTSMAN arrived at Gibraltar on the 28th, escorted by destroyers VELOX and VIDETTE.

 

Convoys AP.1 and AP.2 continued past Gibraltar escorted by heavy cruiser YORK and light cruiser AJAX and arrived at Freetown. AP.1 with YORK arrived on 1 September and departed later that day.

 

Convoy AP.2 with light cruiser AJAX and aircraft carrier ARGUS arrived on 2 September and sailed later that day. Light cruiser ENTERPRISE arrived at Freetown from Gibraltar at the same time as the convoy.

 

Aircraft carrier ARGUS was detached en route to Takoradi and arrived at Takoradi on 5 September to fly aircraft overland via Khartoum to Egypt. The convoy AP.1 arrived safely at Capetown and the heavy cruiser at Simonstown on 9 September. Heavy cruiser YORK departed Simonstown and the convoy from Capetown on 10 September.

 

Convoy AP.2 and light cruiser AJAX arrived at Durban 13 September and sailed later that day.

 

Convoy AP.1 was escorted in the Red Sea by cruisers YORK and HOBART and destroyers KANDAHAR and DIAMOND and arrived at Suez on 23 September.

 

On 22 September convoy AP.2 was joined by British steamer ARMADALE (5066grt) and heavy cruiser YORK and destroyers DAINTY and KINGSTON. The convoy arrived at Suez on 25 September.

_____

 

Convoy OA.203 departed Methil escorted by sloop LEITH, escort ship JASON, corvette HIBISCUS until 27 August.

_____

 

Convoy FN.260 departed Southend. The convoy arrived in the Tyne on the 24th.

_____

 

Convoy MT.147 departed Methil. The convoy arrived in the Tyne later that day.

_____

 

Convoy FS.259 departed the Tyne. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 24th.

_____

 

In a British raid over Daedereide, Holland, S/Lt (A) R. L. G. Davies and Lt N. M. Hearle in a Swordfish of 812 Squadron from PEREGRINE were shot down and made prisoners of war.

_____

 

British steamer THOROLD (1689grt) was sunk by German bombing two and a half miles south of Smalls, in 51-41N, 5-40W.

 

Eleven crew were lost on the British steamer.

_____

 

Destroyers DIAMOND, ILEX, JUNO and Australian destroyers STUART and WATERHEN departed Alexandria and were joined by Australian light cruiser SYDNEY which departed six hours later.

_____

 

British air attack on Bomba was carried out by three British land based Swordfish, piloted by Captain O. Patch RM, Lt (A) J. W. C. Wellham, Lt (A) N. A. F. Cheesman, of 824 Squadron from aircraft carrier EAGLE.

 

Italian torpedo boat CALIPSO had brought SLC's to Bomba for Italian submarine IRIDE to carry onto Alexandria that night.

 

In this attack, submarine IRIDE and depot ship MONTE GARGANO (1976grt) were sunk and torpedo boat CALIPSO was damaged.

_____

 

Force A of destroyers MOHAWK, NUBIAN, HOSTILE and Force B of light cruisers ORION and LIVERPOOL and destroyersJERVIS and JANUS and departed Alexandria on the 20th to patrol in area of Gavdo Island in Operation MD 7.

 

Light cruiser LIVERPOOL and destroyers JERVIS and JANUS rendezvoused with British steamer MYRIEL (3560grt) and French tanker PHENIX (5907grt) from Chanak en route to Port Said.

 

Destroyers HOSTILE, NUBIAN, MOHAWK, HERO arrived at Malta after an anti-submarine sweep on the 22nd. They refuelled and departed for Gibraltar the next day to assist in HATS. However, destroyer NUBIAN was forced to return to Malta with a lubrication defect.

 

Light cruisers ORION and LIVERPOOL arrived at Alexandria on the 23rd. Destroyer JANUS was detached from the convoy and arrived later on the 23rd. Destroyer JERVIS and the convoy safely arrived at Port Said.

_____

 

Anti-submarine trawler LOCH MELFORT reported a submarine contact at 13 miles 320° from Ras el Tin. Destroyers JUNO and ILEX departed Alexandria to assist, but no further contact was made.

 

 

Friday,  23 August

 

Battleship RODNEY departed Scapa Flow at 0640 escorted by destroyers INGLEFIELD, ECHO, ESCAPADE, JAVELIN. They arrived at Rosyth on the 23rd.

_____

 

In Operation DR, heavy cruiser NORFOLK (Captain A J L Phillips) and Australian heavy cruiser AUSTRALIA (Captain R R Stewart RN) departed Scapa Flow at 1939 to operate in the area of Bear Island to capture German fishing vessels. No contact was made and they arrived back at 0728/29th.

_____

 

Convoy OB.202 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyers WINCHELSEA and WITCH and corvette PRIMROSE from 23 to 25 August.

_____

 

Convoy FN.261 departed Southend. The convoy arrived at the Tyne on the 25th.

_____

 

Convoy MT.148 departed Methil. The convoy arrived in the Tyne later that day.

_____

 

Convoy FS.260 departed the Tyne. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 25th.

_____

 

Destroyer AMAZON departed the Clyde with British steamer ROYAL ULSTERMAN (3244grt).

 

The destroyer arrived back in the Clyde on the 28th.

_____

 

Destroyer PUNJABI departed Scapa Flowat 1130 for Aberdeen where she picked up British steamer LOCHNAGAR (1619grt).

 

The steamer with troops was escorted to Lerwick.

_____

 

Probationary Midshipman (A) J. A. McShane RNVR, Probationary Temporary Acting S/Lt (A) R. H. Read RNVR, were killed when their Swordfish of 767 Squadron crashed near Dunnichen while on exercises.

_____

 

Midshipman (A) A. Taylor, lent to the RAF and flying a Battle of 142 Squadron, was shot down near Boulogne on a mission to attack German S.boats. He and one of the RAF were captured and made a prisoner of war; the third RAF crewman was killed.

_____

 

German torpedo launching aircraft sank two British ships of convoy OA.203 in Moray Firth.

 

British steamers MAKALLA (6677grt) and LLANISHEHN (5053grt) were torpedoed and sank in 58‑17N, 02‑27W.

 

Tugs BUCCANEER and SALVAGE KING were sent to assist the steamers.

 

Eight crew were lost on the steamer LLANISHEHN.

 

There were twelve crew lost on steamer MAKALLA. The survivors from MAKALLA were picked up by sloop LEITH.

 

The survivors from steamer MAKALLA were landed in the Orkneys.

 

British steamer BEACON GRANGE (10,119grt) was damaged by German bombing in 58‑39N, 02‑27W and taken in tow by tug BUCCANEER which was later relieved by tug MAURADER.

 

Destroyer KIPLING departed Scapa Flow at 1230/24th to screen BEACON GRANGE from Clythness to Kirkwall, where the steamer was beached.

_____

 

British steamer OVERTON (426grt) was damaged by German bombing off Bardsey Island.

_____

 

U.37 sank British steamer SEVERN LEIGH (5242grt) in 54‑31N, 25‑41W and Norwegian steamer KERET (1718grt) in 54‑16N, 23‑08W.

 

Thirty two crew and the gunner were lost on the steamer SEVERN LEIGH.

 

Thirteen crew were lost on the steamer KERET.

_____

 

British drifter NEW ROYAL SOVEREIGN (68grt) was sunk by German bombing in Bridlington Harbour.

 

There was no crew aboard at the time.

_____

 

German auxiliary ship Schiff 13 (trawler DUSSELDORF, 259grt) was sunk by a mine off Dieppe.

 

The ship was later salved and recommissioned as auxiliary patrol boat Vp.607.

_____

 

Destroyer HOSTILE (Lt Cdr A. F. Burnell-Nugent DSC) struck a mine at 0317 and was badly damaged off Cape Bon in 36‑53N, 11‑19E.

 

Cdr A. P. Gibson, aboard for passage to Gibraltar, four ratings were lost in the destroyer and three ratings were injured.

 

Destroyer HOSTILE was scuttled by HERO. Destroyers HERO and MOHAWK took the survivors back to Malta.

 

On 24 August, destroyer JANUS departed Alexandria to replace destroyer HOSTILE.

 

On the 27th, destroyers JANUS, HERO, MOHAWK departed Malta for Gibraltar.

 

Destroyer NUBIAN followed on the 28th after her defects were corrected.

 

All four ships arrived at Gibraltar on the 29th.

_____

 

In Operation MB.1, destroyers STUART, DIAMOND, ILEX, JUNO bombarded the Italian seaplane base at Bomba.

 

Australian destroyer WATERHEN, which had departed with these destroyers the day before, had been detached to cover the retirement of Gunboat LADYBIRD, which departed Alexandria for Mersa Matruh on the 20th.

_____

 

Heavy cruiser CUMBERLAND departed Simonstown on patrol, and arrived at Freetown on 6 September.

_____

 

American heavy cruisers WICHITA and QUINCY arrived at Montevideo. Destroyers WALKE and WAINWRIGHT departed Para for Havana.

 

 

Saturday,  24 August

 

Pilots Acting S/Lt (A) A. G. Day RNVR, Naval Airman 1/c H. Newton and Acting S/Lt (A) A. L. Ayres RNVR, Petty Officer Airman S. H. Gould of the 806 Squadron of aircraft carrier ILLUSTRIOUS were lost when their Fulmars of 806 Squadron collided in the Mediterranean.

_____

 

Destroyer MASHONA departed Scapa Flow at 1830 for Liverpool for docking and repair.

_____

 

Destroyer KASHMIR departed the Humber at 1430 for Scapa Flow to join the Home Fleet.

_____

 

British monitor EREBUS was attacked by a German motor torpedo boat eleven miles east of Lowestoft. There was no damage in the attack.

_____

 

Destroyer ACHERON in Portsmouth Harbour was badly damaged by German bombing. Two ratings were killed and three crew were wounded.

 

Destroyer BULLDOG, which was moored alongside, was damaged by splinters and her commanding officer, Cdr J. P. Wisden, was mortally wounded and died on the 29th.

 

French torpedo boat FLORE's bridge in Portsmouth Harbour was damaged by falling masonry in this attack.

 

Destroyer BULLDOG was repaired at Portsmouth completing on 2 September.

 

Destroyer ACHERON was repaired at Portsmouth completing on 2 December.

_____

 

Convoy OB.203 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyer MACKAY and corvette HEARTSEASE from 24 to 27 August and anti-submarine trawlers ANGLE and KING SOL from 24 to 28 August.

_____

 

Convoy MT.149 departed Methil. The convoy arrived in the Tyne later that day.

_____

 

Convoy FS.261 departed the Tyne, escorted by destroyer WINCHESTER and sloop WESTON. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 26th.

_____

 

Convoy HX.68 departed Halifax escorted by Canadian destroyer ASSINIBOINE and auxiliary patrol vessel FRENCH at 1600.

 

At 2030, the local escort left the convoy to ocean escort, armed merchant cruiser AURANIA, returned to Halifax. The armed merchant cruiser was detached on 4 September.

 

Convoy BHX.68 departed Bermuda on the 23rd escorted by ocean escort armed merchant cruiser MONTCLARE. The convoy rendezvoused with convoy HX.68 on the 28th and the armed merchant cruiser was detached.

 

On 7 September, anti-aircraft cruiser CAIRO, destroyer ST LAURENT, corvette FLEUR DE LYS joined the convoy and remained with it until its arrived at Liverpool on 8 September.

_____

 

Convoy SC.1 south of Greenland was attacked by U.34.

 

Sloop PENZANCE (Cdr A. J. Wavish) which was escorting the convoy was sunk in 56‑16N, 27‑19W.

 

Wavish, Lt J. H. Smyth, Probationary Temporary S/Lt G. C. Courtney RNR, Commissioned Engineer C. T. Gaughan, Acting Gunner F. G. Hunt, Temporary Paymaster S/Lt R. A. S. MacDonald RNVR, eighty four ratings were lost in the sloop.

 

S/Lt J. W. T. Draisey was wounded, but was rescued.

_____

 

U.37 sank British steamer BROOKWOOD (5100grt) in 54‑40N, 27‑57W.  One crewman was missing.

_____

 

U.48 sank British tanker LA BREA (6665grt), a straggler from convoy HX.65, in 57‑24N, 11‑21W.  Two crew were missing.

_____

 

U.57 in attacks on convoy OB.202 sank British steamers SAINT DUNSTAN (5681grt) and CUMBERLAND (10,939grt) in 55‑44N, 07‑32W.

 

Fourteen crew were lost on the steamer SAINT DUNSTAN. Four crew were killed on the steamer CUMBERLAND.

 

Steamer SAINT DUNSTAN was badly damaged and taken in tow on the 26th. She sank in tow on the 27th, 4.7 miles 68° from Pladda.

 

Steamer CUMBERLAND sank eight miles 5° from Inishtrahull.

 

U.57 in attacks on convoy OB.202 badly damaged British steamer HAVILDAR (5407grt) in 55‑39N, 07‑18W.

_____

 

Heavy cruiser KENT, light cruiser GLOUCESTER, destroyers HYPERION, HEREWARD, DEFENDER departed Alexandria to cover the movements of two steamers from Piraeus to Port Said. Destroyer JANUS was sailed with this force and was detached to arrived at Malta at 0600/26th.

 

Heavy cruiser KENT and light cruiser GLOUCESTER, escorting two merchant ships from Piraeus to Port Said, were attacked by Italian torpedo bombers in 32‑53N, 27‑00E on the 27th.

 

There was no damage in the attack.

 

The cruisers arrived at Alexandria on the 27th.

 

Destroyers HYPERION and DEFENDER were escorting British steamer PALERMO (2928grt) and Spanish steamer VASCO (1193grt).

 

Destroyer HYPERION arrived at Alexandria on the 28th. Destroyer DEFENDER and the merchant ships arrived at Port Said on the 28th.

_____

 

Early on the 24th, gunboat LADYBIRD, escorted by Australian destroyer WATERHEN, bombarded Bardia in Operation MB‑1.

 

This bombardment was covered by Australian light cruiser SYDNEY and destroyers STUART, DIAMOND, ILEX, JUNO.

 

Destroyer WATERHEN later rejoined the covering force and the entire covering force arrived back at Alexandria on the 24th.

 

Gunboat LADYBIRD arrived at Alexandria on the 25th.

_____

 

Italian destroyers NULLO and SAURO operated without contact in the Red Sea during the night of 24/25 August.

_____

 

Convoy BN.3A departed Aden, escorted by light cruiser CALEDON and sloops PARRAMATTA and SHOREHAM. The convoy was dispersed on the 27th.

_____

 

Armed merchant cruiser ASTURIAS departed Freetown and after full calibre firings proceeded to rendezvous with armed merchant cruiser ALCANTARA for patrol.

_____

 

German armed merchant cruiser ATLANTIS sank British steamer KING CITY (4744grt) in the Indian Ocean at 16‑53S, 65‑17E.

 

Six crew were lost on the steamer.

 

 

Sunday,  25 August

 

Battlecruiser HOOD with destroyers INGLEFIELD, ESCAPADE, ECHO, JAVELIN arrived at Scapa Flow at 0640 from Rosyth.

_____

 

All Home Fleet units, except heavy cruiser BERWICK, at Scapa Flow raised steam with dispatch.

 

At 0140/26th, steam was reverted to normal notice.

_____

 

Light cruisers GALATEA and CARDIFF departed Scapa Flow for the Humber.

_____

 

Convoy OA.204 departed Methil escorted by escort ship GLEANER and corvette CLEMATIS from 25 to 29 August. on the 26th, the escort was supplemented by destroyers JAGUAR, JAVELIN, EGLINTON.

_____

 

Convoy FN.262 departed Southend, escorted by destroyers VERDUN, VIMIERA, GARTH. Patrol sloops GUILLEMOT and PUFFIN joined for 26 August. The convoy arrived in the Tyne on the 27th.

_____

 

Convoy MT.150 departed Methil. The convoy arrived in the Tyne later that day.

_____

 

Convoy FS.262 departed the Tyne. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 27th.

_____

 

British minefield BS.34 was laid by minelayers TEVIOTBANK, PLOVER, WILLEM VAN DER ZAAN and destroyers ESK, ICARUS, IMPULSIVE.

_____

 

U.37 sank British steamer BLAIRMORE (4141grt) from convoy SC.1 in 56N, 27‑30W.  our crew were lost.

_____

 

U.37 sank British steamer YEWCREST (3774grt) in 55‑10N, 25‑02W.  One crewman was lost and she sank on the 26th.

_____

 

Convoy HX.65A was escorted by sloops LONDONDERRY, EGRET, LOWESTOFT and destroyer SKEENA.

 

U.48 sank from convoy HX.65A British tanker ATHELCREST (6825grt) in 58‑24N, 11‑15W and British steamer EMPIRE MERLIN (5763grt) in 58‑30N, 10‑15W.

 

Thirty crew were missing from tanker ATHELCREST. The tanker was sunk by HM ship gunfire. There was only one survivor from steamer EMPIRE MERLIN.

 

U.124 on attacks on convoy HX.65A sank British steamers HARPALYCE (5169grt, Convoy Commodore Vice Admiral B. G. Washington, Commodore 2/c, CMG DSO RNR,) and FIRCREST (5394grt) in 58‑52N, 06‑34W, damaged British steamer STAKESBY (3900grt) twenty three miles north of Butt of Lewis, attacked another steamer in 58‑24N, 06‑34W without success.

 

Thirty seven crew, including Commodore Washington, were lost on the steamer HARPALYCE. There were no survivors from the steamer FIRCREST.

_____

 

U.57 sank British tanker PECTEN (7468grt), a straggler from convoy HX.65, in 56‑22N, 07‑55W. Forty nine crew were lost.

_____

 

U.100 sank British steamer JAMAICA PIONEER (5471grt) in 57‑05N, 11‑02W. Two crew were lost and the survivors rescued by destroyer ANTHONY.

_____

 

British steamer GOATHLAND (3821grt) was sunk by German bombing in 50‑21N, 15‑08W. The entire crew was rescued.

_____

 

British steamer HAMPSHIRE COAST (485grt) was damaged by German bombing six miles SW of St Ann's Light.

_____

 

British steamer OSSIAN (1514grt) was damaged by German bombing in 51‑39N, 05‑51W.

_____

 

British steamer SANFRY (946grt) was damaged by German bombing in 50‑26N, 00‑22W, and attacked by a German motor torpedo boat on the 26th.

_____

 

Convoy SC.2 departed St Johns escorted locally by Canadian armed yacht REINDEER and ocean escort Sloop SCARBOROUGH.

 

The convoy was joined on 7 September by destroyers SCIMITAR and SKEENA, sloop LOWESTOFT, corvette PERIWINKLE, anti-submarine trawlers APOLLO and BERWICKSHIRE. Destroyer SCIMITAR and corvette PERIWINKLE were detached on 8 September. The remainder of the escorts, including sloop SCARBOROUGH, arrived with the convoy at Liverpool on 10 September.

_____

 

At 0730, Aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL, light cruiser ENTERPRISE, destroyers GALLANT, HOTSPUR, GRIFFIN departed Gibraltar to carry out exercises.

 

Battlecruiser RENOWN, destroyers VELOX, ENCOUNTER, GREYHOUND, VIDETTE departed at 2025 on the 25th and joined aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL at sea.

 

This force joined the aircraft carrier ILLUSTRIOUS force and escort them into Gibraltar.

 

The British force was aircraft carrier ILLUSTRIOUS, battleship VALIANT, light cruiser SHEFFIELD, anti-aircraft ships COVENTRY and CALCUTTA, destroyers FAULKNOR, FORTUNE, OFRESTER, FoRESIGHT, FURY, FIREDRAKE from Scapa Flow was met off Gibraltar on the 28th and escorted into harbour, arriving on the 29th.

 

Destroyers WRESTLER and WISHART were involved in local escort duties.

_____

 

Italian submarine BIANCHI attacked an armed patrol boat off Gibraltar without success.

_____

 

Convoy BN.4 departed Bombay, escorted by armed merchant cruisers HECTOR and RANCHI. These escorts were detached on 1 September when light cruiser LEANDER joined.

 

Light cruiser LEANDER turned the convoy over on 8 September to sloops CLIVE and SHOREHAM. The convoy arrived at Suez on 11 September.

 

 

Monday,  26 August

 

Destroyers VERSATILE, VIMY, ANTELOPE, AMBUSCADE departed the Nore to reinforce the Home Fleet.

 

Destroyers VERSATILE and VIMY proceeded to Rosyth.

 

Destroyers ANTELOPE and AMBUSCADE proceeded to the Tyne to relieve destroyers of the 4th Destroyer Flotilla for release to Scapa Flow.

_____

 

Destroyer EGLINTON arrived at Scapa Flow at 0930 to work up after providing additional escort for convoy OA.204.

_____

 

After a German air raid on the Orkneys, mines were found and exploded in the Fleet anchorage. No movements of ships was permitted.

_____

 

Convoy FN.263 departed Southend, escorted by sloops BLACK SWAN and HASTINGS. The convoy arrived at the Tyne on the 28th.

_____

 

Convoy MT.151 departed Methil. The convoy arrived in the Tyne later that day.

_____

 

Convoy FS.263 departed the Tyne, escorted by destroyers VEGA and WOLSEY. Patrol sloop GUILLEMOT joined on the 27th. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 28th.

_____

 

Italian submarine DANDOLO sank British steamer ILVINGTON COURT (5187grt) in 37‑14N, 21‑52W. The entire crew was rescued.

_____

 

German air attacks on convoy HX.65A off Kinnaird Head.

 

British steamer REMUERA (11,445grt) was sunk at 57‑50N, 01‑54W.

 

The entire crew of the steamer REMUERA was rescued.

 

British steamer CAPE YORK (5027grt) was badly damaged 10 miles 45° from Kinnaird Head.

 

The entire crew of the steamer CAPE YORK was rescued.

 

Steamer CAPE YORK was so badly damaged that she was abandoned. The steamer sank on the 27th under tow, eight miles 55° from Rattray Head in 57-42N, 1-33-05W.

 

British steamer CITY OF HANKOW (7360grt) was badly damaged by German bombing off Peterhead.

 

Greek steamer NELLIE (4826grt) was damaged fifteen miles northeast of Kinnaird Head.

 

Destroyers JAVELIN and JAGUAR departed Scapa Flow at 0320 to escort the convoy past Cape Wrath to Pentland Firth due to U-boat attacks on the convoy at 2254 on the 25th.

 

The destroyers were detached at dawn on the 27th for Lerwick.

 

Destroyers JAVELIN and JAGUAR departed Lerwick at 1730 with British steamer LOCHNAGAR for Aberdeen.

_____

 

German steamer LISBETH CORDS (907grt) was sunk ten miles from Kiel Light Ship on a mine.

_____

 

Norwegian coastal steamers AVIELD (127grt) and ODDA (835grt) were lost on mines off the Norwegian coast.

_____

 

Destroyer JERVIS escorting British tanker MYRIEL (3560grt) and French tanker PHENIX arrived at Port Said. The destroyer then proceeded to Alexandria, arriving that day.

_____

 

Submarine PERSEUS attacked Italian steamer FILIPPO GRIMANI (3431grt) off Durazzo without success.

_____

 

Light cruiser DELHI departed Freetown for Lagos to relieve sloop BRIDGEWATER. She arrived at Lagos on the 29th.

_____

 

Convoy SL.45 departed Freetown escorted by armed merchant cruiser CATHAY to 14 September.

 

The armed merchant cruiser proceeded to Glasgow for refitting. The convoy arrived at Liverpool on 15 September.

 

 

Tuesday,  27 August

 

After a German air raid on Scapa Flow, there was a prohibition of ship movements in Scapa Flow.

 

Gutter Sound and Switha were clear of mines. It was possible for the destroyers to proceed to anti-submarine exercises west of Hoy.

_____

 

Battleship BARHAM departed Scapa Flow at 2200 escorted by destroyers INGLEFIELD, ESCAPADE, ECLIPSE for Gibraltar.

 

They were joined at sea by destroyer ECHO which departed at 0100/28th.

 

The ships arrived at Gibraltar on 2 September.

_____

 

Convoy OB.204 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyer VISCOUNT, which remained with the convoy until 29 August, sloop DEPTFORD, French patrol vessel PRESIDENT HONDUCE on the 26th. The convoy was joined on the 27th by destroyers ARROW and ACHATES until 28 August. French sloop SAVORGNAN DE BRAZZA and anti-submarine trawlers NORTHERN GEM (655grt) and LADY ELSA (518grt) joined on the 28th. In this convoy were freighters ANADYR (5278grt), CASAMANCE (5817grt), FORT LAMY (5234grt), NEVADA (5693grt), carrying vehicles for the MENACE operation and British tanker OCEAN COAST (1173grt).

_____

 

Convoy FN.264 departed Southend, escorted by destroyer WINCHESTER and sloop WESTON. Patrol sloop WIDGEON joined on the 28th. The convoy arrived at the Tyne on the 29th.

_____

 

Convoy MT.152 departed Methil. The convoy arrived in the Tyne later that day.

_____

 

Convoy FS.264 departed the Tyne, escorted by destroyers VALOROUS and WESTMINISTER. Destroyer SIKH was also with the convoy on the 27th. Patrol sloop WIDGEON joined on the 28th. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 29th.

_____

 

British minefield BS.35 was laid by minelayer TEVIOTBANK and destroyers EXPRESS, ESK, ICARUS.

_____

 

Destroyers WOLVERINE and VOLUNTEER departed Scapa Flow at 1600 and carried out an anti-submarine sweep west of Flannan Islands and east of St Kilda.

 

After this sweep, the destroyers met convoy SL.43 A and provided additional anti-submarine escort to the Pentland Firth.

_____

 

Destroyers AMBUSCADE and ANTELOPE departed Rosyth to overtake convoy OA.205 and provide additional escort to Cape Wrath.

 

The destroyers then proceeded to Scapa Flow.

_____

 

Destroyer ACTIVE, on completion of exercises off Scapa Flow, proceeded to rendezvous off the northern entrance to the Inner Sound to Loch Alsh at 0600/28th. Destroyer ACTIVE joined the escort of the 1st Minelaying Squadron for minelaying operation SN.14.

_____

 

Canadian troop convoy TC 7 departed Halifax escorted by Canadian destroyers ASSINIBOINE and OTTAWA with British troopships ORONSAY (20,043grt), DUCHESS OF YORK (20,021grt), GEORGIC (27,759grt), PASTEUR (30,447grt), EMPRESS OF AUSTRALIA (21,833grt), SCYTHIA (19,761grt) with 2627, 1548, 2801, 1153, 1625, 1204 troops, respectively.

 

Ocean escort was Battleship REVENGE and Canadian destroyer OTTAWA.

 

On 2 September, the convoy was joined by destroyers WOLVERINE, AMBUSCADE, JAVELIN, JAGUAR. The convoy arrived safely at Greenock at 0600 on 4 September, less troopship EMPRESS OF AUSTRALIA which arrived safely at Glasgow on the same day.

 

Canadian destroyer OTTAWA arrived at Greenock to relieve Canadian destroyer RESTIGOUCHE on the Western Approaches station.

 

Canadian destroyer RESTIGOUCHE then returned to Halifax arriving on 5 September.

_____

 

S/Lt W. J. M. Moss, flying a Hurricane of RAF 213 Squadron at Exeter, was killed when his aircraft flew into the sea off Sidmouth.

_____

 

Lt A. N. Young of 824 Squadron, based at Dekheila, was killed when his Swordfish crashed.

_____

 

U.28 sank Norwegian steamer EVA (1599grt) in 57‑50N, 11‑15W. One crewman was killed, and the wreck abandoned and washed ashore about one mile from the Butt of Lewis Light House.

_____

 

U.37 sank Greek steamer THEODOROS T (3409grt) in 50‑10N, 19‑50W.  The entire crew was rescued by destroyer ECLIPSE and taken to Gibraltar.

_____

 

U.46 sank armed merchant cruiser DUNVEGAN CASTLE (Captain H. Ardill Rtd), proceeding independently to Belfast after SL.43 escort, in 55N, 11W.

 

Acting/Lt Cdr R. L. R. Bull RNR, Temporary S/Lt R. Anderson RNR, Temporary S/Lt D. E. Smedley RNR, twenty four four ratings were lost.

 

Temporary Paymaster Lt J. L. A. Williamson RNR, eleven ratings were wounded.

 

The armed merchant cruiser's 250 survivors were rescued by destroyer HARVESTER and corvette PRIMROSE.

 

The armed merchant cruiser sank at 2300/28th.

_____

 

British steamer SIR JOHN HAWKINS (930grt) was damaged by German bombing at Plymouth.

_____

 

Armed yacht WHITE FOX II (23grt) was lost in a fire.

_____

 

British troop convoy US.4 departed Auckland on the 27th with troopships MAURETANIA (35738grt) and EMPRESS OF JAPAN (26032grt) from Wellington and ORCADES (23456grt) from Lyttleton escorted by New Zealand light cruiser ACHILLES.

 

Troopship AQUITANIA (45647grt) departed Sydney on the 30th to join the convoy escorted by Australian heavy cruiser CANBERRA which relieved light cruiser ACHILLES.

 

Australian light cruiser PERTH joined in the Tasman Sea on the 30th and returned to Sydney on the 31st.

 

New Zealand light cruiser ACHILLES and the convoy arrived at Melbourne on the 31st. The convoy arrived at Fremantle on 2 September.

 

Convoy US.4 departed Fremantle on 5 September escorted by heavy cruiser CANBERRA. On 13 September, light cruiser COLOMBO relieved the heavy cruiser and remained with the convoy until 15 September when the convoy arrived at Bombay.

 

Troopships EMPRESS OF JAPAN and ORCADES arrived at Aden on 24 September. The troops in MAURETANIA and AQUITANIA were delivered in other vessels, rather than risk the large, new troopships in the Red Sea.

_____

 

Sloop BRIDGEWATER departed Victoria and arrived at Duala later that day.

_____

 

Off the south tip of Madagascar, German armed merchant cruiser PINGUIN captured the Norwegian tanker FILEFJELL (7616grt) at 29‑38S, 45‑11E and sank British steamer BRITISH COMMANDER (6901grt) at 29‑30S, 46‑06E and Norwegian steamer MORVIKEN (5008grt) in 30‑08S, 46‑15E.

 

The entire crew on the tanker FILEFJELL were made prisoners of war, as was the entire crew of the steamer BRITISH COMMANDER.

 

The crew of the steamer MORVIKEN later arrived at Oslo.

 

Signals from steamer BRITISH COMMANDER alerted listening stations and British cruisers NEPTUNE and COLOMBO and armed merchant cruisers ARAWA and KANIMBLA put to sea, but no contact was made.

 

Light cruiser NEPTUNE arrived at Durban on the 31st.

 

 

Wednesday,  28 August

 

Minelayers SOUTHERN PRINCE, MENESTHEUS, PORT NAPIER, PORT QUEBEC escorted by destroyers TARTAR, ASHANTI, BEDOUIN, which had departed Liverpool on the 26th for Loch Alsh, departed Loch Alsh at 2130 for minelaying SN.14 in St Georges Channel, screened by anti-aircraft cruiser CAIRO.

 

They were joined at sea by destroyer ACTIVE from Scapa Flow.

 

The minefield was laid during the night of 28/29 August.

 

At 2145 on the 29th, destroyers TARTAR, ASHANTI, BEDOUIN with minelayers SOUTHERN PRINCE, MENESTHEUS, PORT QUEBEC arrived at Loch Alsh.

 

Destroyer ACTIVE and minelayer PORT NAPIER proceeded to the Clyde. On delivering the minelayer, destroyer ACTIVE proceeded to Scapa Flow to join the 12th Destroyer Flotilla.

_____

 

Destroyers SIKH and ZULU arrived at Scapa Flow.

_____

 

Destroyers JAVELIN, JAGUAR, ANTELOPE departed Scapa Flow at 1700 to a position 14 miles 360° from Sule Skerry. From that point, they carried out an anti-submarine sweep towards Sumburgh Head to search for a submarine sighted at 1200, ten miles 270° from Sumburgh Head, steering course 270°.

 

There was no contact with the submarine and the destroyers returned to Scapa Flow at dawn on the 29th.

_____

 

British minefield BS.36 was laid by minelayers PLOVER and WILLEM VAN DER ZAAN and destroyers INTREPID and ICARUS.

 

There were no minefields BS.37, BS.38, or BS.39.

_____

 

Hunt-class destroyer EGLINTON was completed. She arrived at Scapa Flow on the 28th for working up with the 23rd Destroyer Division. She was transferred to Harwich arriving on 29 September for duty with the 16th Destroyer Flotilla.

_____

 

Convoy FN.265 departed Southend, escorted by destroyer WOOLSTON and sloop FLEETWOOD. Patrol sloop SHEARWATER joined on the 29th. The convoy arrived at the Tyne on the 30th.

_____

 

Convoy MT.153 departed Methil. The convoy arrived in the Tyne later that day.

_____

 

Convoy FS.265 departed the Tyne, escorted by destroyer VIVIEN. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 30th.

_____

 

U.28 sank British steamer KYNO (3946grt) from convoy HX.66 in 58‑06N, 13‑26W.

 

Five crew were killed on the steamer KYNO.

 

Destroyers WOLVERINE and VOLUNTEER joined the convoy for support.

_____

 

U.101 sank Finnish steamer ELLE (3868grt) in 57‑43N, 12‑18W.  Two crew were lost and 27 rescued.

_____

 

British trawler FLAVIA (202grt) was lost in the North Sea.

_____

 

Convoy HX.69 departed Halifax escorted by Canadian destroyer ASSINIBOINE and auxiliary patrol boat FRENCH at 1550, which were detached on the 28th.

 

Convoy SHX.69 departed escorted by destroyer SAGUENAY and joined the convoy at sea.

 

Patrol boat FRENCH was detached at 2100 and destroyer ASSINIBOINE at 2010/29th turned the convoy over to the ocean escort, armed merchant cruiser ALAUNIA.

 

Convoy BHX.69 departed Bermuda on the 27th escorted by ocean escort armed merchant cruiser ASCANIA. The convoy rendezvoused with convoy HX.69 on 1 September and the armed merchant cruiser was detached.

 

On 9 September destroyers AMBUSCADE. ARROW, WINCHELSEA, sloop FOWEY, corvettes CAMELLIA, CLARKIA, HEARTSEASE joined the convoy. Destroyers AMBUSCADE and ARROW were detached on 11 September. The remaining escorts and the convoy arrived at Liverpool on 12 September.

_____

 

Light cruiser ENTERPRISE departed Gibraltar for patrol duties from Freetown and escorting British troopship ROYAL SCOTSMAN (3244grt).

_____

 

Italian destroyers PANTERA and TIGRE operated in the Red Sea without contact during the night of 28/29 August.

_____

 

Dutch light cruiser SUMATRA arrived at Lobito from Freetown. After refuelling, she proceeded later that day for Capetown, arriving on 2 September.

_____

 

Light cruiser DAUNTLESS arrived at Penang.

 

 

Thursday,  29 August

 

At 2051, a patrol trawler dropped depth charges on a submarine contact in Hoxa Sound. Later a submarine was suspected at Hoxa Boom.

 

Destroyer patrols were stationed at Nevi Skerry entrance, Hoxa Sound, between Little Risa and Fara, between Cava and the Barrel of Butter.

 

Destroyers KASHMIR and KIPLING escorted light cruisers MANCHESTER and BIRMINGHAM to sea until they were clear of the Pentland Skerries.

 

Precautions were relaxed at 0742 on the 30th.

_____

 

Destroyer MATABELE arrived at Scapa Flow at 1450 after repairs.

_____

 

In a PO sweep, destroyers CAMPBELL, HAMBLEDON, VESPER, GARTH departed Aldeburgh Light Float to sweep off the French coast.

_____

 

Convoy OA.204, escorted by Corvettes GLEANER and CLEMATIS, was attacked by U.100.

 

British steamer HARTISMERE (5498grt) was badly damaged in 56‑04N, 13‑06W. Corvette GLEANER stood by the damaged steamer and escorted her from the area.

 

British steamer DALBLAIR (4608grt, convoy Commodore) was sunk in 56‑06N, 13‑33W.

 

Twenty three crew and one gunner was lost on the steamer DALBLAIR.

 

Survivors from DALBLAIR were picked up by corvette CLEMATIS and Swedish steamer ALIDA GORTHON.

 

British steamer ASTRA II (2393grt) was sunk in 56‑09N, 12‑14W.

 

Five crew were missing from the steamer ASTRA II.

 

Swedish steamer ALIDA GORTHON (2373grt) was sunk in 56‑09N, 12‑14W.

 

Eleven crew from the Swedish steamer were lost. Of the twenty four survivors on board from British steamer DALBLAIR, twenty were lost.

 

British steamer EMPIRE MOOSE (6103grt) was sunk in 56‑06N, 13‑33W.

 

The entire crew of the British steamer was rescued.

_____

 

Convoy OA.206 departed Methil escorted by sloop SANDWICH, corvette GARDENIA and anti-submarine trawlers LADY ELSA, LADY MADELENE, ST KENAN, VIZALMA until 3 September. The convoy was joined on the 30th by Polish destroyers BLYSKAWICA and BURZA which stayed with the convoy until 3 September.

_____

 

Convoy OB.205 departed Liverpool.

_____

 

Convoy FN.266 departed Southend, escorted by destroyers VEGA and WOLSEY. Patrol sloop MALLARD joined on the 30th. The convoy arrived in the Tyne on the 31st.

_____

 

Convoy MT.154 departed Methil. The convoy arrived in the Tyne later that day.

_____

 

Convoy FS.266 departed the Tyne, escorted by destroyer VERDUN and sloop STORK. Patrol sloop MALLARD joined on the 30th. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 31st.

_____

 

British steamer BALTISTAN (6803grt) was damaged by German bombing in 55‑06N, 15‑39W.

_____

 

Convoys FS.264 and FN.264 converged.

 

One steamer was sunk and two steamers were damaged off  19 Buoy.

 

The damaged ships proceeded into the Tyne.

 

The sunk and damaged ships cannot be identified.

_____

 

Light cruiser DRAGON departed Capetown escorting troopship FRANCONIA for Durban.

 

The troopship then joined LLANGIBBY CASTLE and proceeded, escorted by armed merchant cruiser KANIMBLA to join WS.2 A.

 

Light cruiser DRAGON returned to Simonstown.

_____

 

American heavy cruiser QUINCY and WICHITA arrived at Buenas Aires.

_____

 

Japanese submarine I.67 foundered in an operational mishap off Bonin Islands in heavy weather.

 

 

Friday,  30 August

 

Light cruisers BIRMINGHAM and MANCHESTER departed Scapa Flow for Rosyth at 0135 for anti-invasion duties.

 

No destroyers were mentioned in the movement.

 

East coast convoys were instructed to put into the nearest port.

 

The report of enemy vessels approaching the coast later proved to be an enemy convoy of seven or eight vessels.

 

The cruisers arrived at Immingham on 5 September.

_____

 

Destroyers ZULU, SIKH, PUNJABI departed Scapa Flow at 2300 to reach position 60-00N, 4-00W by 0400/31st.

 

The destroyers were to carry out anti-submarine sweeps in a direction 50° to intercept a German submarine reported by aircraft at 0720 in position 60-29N, 1-08E, steering course 300°.

_____

 

Destroyers VERSATILE and VIMY departed Scapa Flow at 0800 escorting Fleet Tenders A, B, C to Rosyth.

_____

 

Convoy OB.206 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyer VANOC and corvette ERICA, which remained with the convoy until 4 September, anti-submarine trawlers BERKSHIRE and ST APOLLO. The convoy was joined on 2 September by destroyers ACTIVE, ARROW, SHIKARI,and SKATE which stayed with the convoy until 4 September.

_____

 

Convoy FN.267 departed Southend. The convoy arrived in the Tyne on 1 September.

_____

 

Convoy MT.155 departed Methil. The convoy arrived in the Tyne later that day.

_____

 

Convoy FS.267 departed the Tyne, escorted by destroyer WOLFHOUND and sloop BLACK SWAN. The convoy arrived at Southend on 1 September.

_____

 

Polish destroyers BLYSKAWICA and BURZA departed Scapa Flow at 0900 to provide additional escort for convoy OA.206 from Pentland Firth to the North West Approaches.

 

The Polish destroyers then proceeded to Portsmouth to join the 1st Destroyer Flotilla.

_____

 

Destroyer WITCH was out of service with engine defects.

_____

 

Destroyer WALLACE was out of service with damage to her port propeller.

_____

 

Lt (A) I. G. Williamson RNVR, Leading Airman R. C. Burden, Leading Airman J. Hare were killed when their Shark of 753 Squadron collided with another aircraft and crashed near St Vigeans.

_____

 

U.32 on attacks on convoy HX.66 A, escorted by British escort vessel JASON and corvette HIBISCUS, sank British steamers MILL HILL (4318grt) in 58‑48N, 06‑49E and CHELSEA (4804grt) in 59‑45N, 07‑00W and Norwegian steamer NORNE (3971grt) in 58‑48N, 06‑49W.

 

Twenty four crew from steamer CHELSEA were missing in the loss of the steamer.

 

There were no survivors, thirty four crew, from MILL HILL.

_____

 

U.59 on attacks on convoy OB.205 damaged Greek steamer SAN GABRIEL (4943grt) in 56‑04N, 09‑54W and British tanker ANADARA (8009grt) in 56‑15N, 09‑10W.

 

Two crew were lost on the Greek steamer. The survivors were rescued by destroyer WARWICK.

 

Steamer SAN GABRIEL was towed into the Clyde on 3 September by British tug THAMES, but found to be a total loss.

 

Steamer ANADARA was towed by British tug SCHELDE to the Clyde.

_____

 

Due to the attacks on the convoys, destroyers WOLVERINE and VOLUNTEER were ordered to leave convoy SL.43 A and join convoy SL.66 A.

 

Destroyers WOLVERINE and VOLUNTEER arrived at Scapa Flow at 0600/31st after the escort duty.

 

Destroyers KASHMIR and KIPLING departed Scapa Flow at 1843 to join convoy SL.43A.

 

Destroyers KASHMIR and KIPLING returning from convoy SL.43 A duty were ordered to Rattray Head to search for an open boat reported by air at 1738 in 58-18N, 00-24E.

 

The destroyers located five Norwegian refugees in the boat and arrived at Scapa Flow at 1800/31st.

_____

 

British hopper barge SH 3 (389grt) was damaged by German bombing at Victoria Dock at Hull.

_____

 

Norwegian steamer MARSTENEN (1832grt), in convoy WN.11, was sunk by German bombing in 58‑23N, 03‑37W, off Duncansby Head.

 

The entire crew was rescued by destroyer CATTISTOCK. The crew was later transferred to examination vessel MINNA.

_____

 

In Operation HATS, the British Mediterranean Fleet, including every single operational destroyer of the Fleet,departed Alexandria to escort a convoy to Malta.

 

The convoy departed Alexandria at 2045 on the 29th. It was composed of British steamer CORNWALL (10,603grt), escorted by destroyer JERVIS and JUNO and steamer VOLO (1587grt) and Fleet Auxiliary PLUMLEAF escorted destroyers DAINTY and DIAMOND. The convoy was covered by battleships WARSPITE and MALAYA, aircraft carrier EAGLE, light cruisers ORION and SYDNEY, destroyers STUART, VOYAGER, VAMPIRE, VENDETTA, DECOY, DEFENDER, HEREWARD, IMPERIAL, GARLAND which departed Alexandria at 0445.

 

Cruiser Squadron 3, heavy cruiser KENT and light cruisers GLOUCESTER and LIVERPOOL, with destroyers HYPERION, HASTY, ILEX departed Alexandria late on the 29th to sweep in the southern Aegean.

 

British Force H departed Gibraltar with battlecruiser RENOWN, aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL, light cruiser SHEFFIELD, destroyers FAULKNOR, FIREDRAKE, FORESIGHT, FORESTER, FURY, FORTUNE, ENCOUNTER.

 

Force H covered the movement of battleship VALIANT, aircraft carrier ILLUSTRIOUS, anti-aircraft cruisers CALCUTTA and COVENTRY, Mediterranean Fleet destroyers MOHAWK, JANUS, HERO which departed Malta on the 27th and NUBIAN which departed Malta on the 28th, Force H destroyers GALLANT, GREYHOUND, GRIFFIN, HOTSPUR which accompanied the VALIANT force to Malta.

 

Diversion for this operation, designated SQUAWK, was by two of Somerville's destroyers VELOX and WISHART north of Balearic Island with radio deception making it seem Force H was about to bombard the Genoa area.

 

Heavy cruiser KENT with light cruisers GLOUCESTER and LIVERPOOL were detached from the Main Fleet at 1554 on the 31st to give anti-aircraft protection to the convoy.

 

British steamer CORNWALL (10,603grt) was damaged by Italian bombing six miles 258° from Elephonisi Island, south of Crete at 1635 on the 31st.

 

Destroyer DECOY was detached at 1815 to join the heavy cruiser KENT group protecting the convoy.

 

Destroyer GARLAND was also slightly damaged near misses of bombing on the 31st.

_____

 

Italian destroyers BATTISTI and MANIN operated in the Red Sea during the night of 30/31 August without success.

_____

 

Due to Free French successes in the Congo, the Cameroons, Chad, Vichy submarine SIDI FERRUCH, which had been at Duala from 10 to 25 August, arrived at Libreville on the 30th to boost failing support for the Vichy government.

_____

 

Light cruiser EMERALD departed Bermuda.

_____

 

Light cruiser DURBAN arrived at Hong Kong.

 

 

Saturday,  31 August

 

Battleship PRINCE OF WALES, building at Birkenhead, was damaged by the near miss of a heavy German bomb.

_____

 

20th Destroyer Flotilla, consisting of destroyers ESK, EXPRESS, IVANHOE, ICARUS, INTREPID departed the Humber escorted by destroyers KELVIN, JUPITER, VORTIGERN to lay minefield CBX.5 off Vlieland.

 

Minesweeper SALAMANDER swept the Humber entrance before their departure.

 

At 2250, an aircraft reported a large number of enemy vessels to the north of Terschelling steering west. The Destroyers were ordered to jettison their mines and attack the German vessels.

 

At 2233 Home Fleet units at Scapa Flow were ordered to raise steam.

 

Destroyers ZULU, SIKH, PUNJABI were ordered to return to Scapa Flow where they arrived at 0345 on 1 September.

 

Forty miles northwest of Texel in 53‑25N, 3‑48E, destroyer EXPRESS struck a mine at 2307 badly damaging the ship and mortally wounding Captain J. G. Bickford DSC, D.20, who died on 10 September.

 

Lt Cdr D. W. Deane, Temporary S/Lt R. P. Lawrence RNVR, Temporary Surgeon Lt A. C. Shelford, MB, BCH RNVR, fifty five ratings were killed on destroyer EXPRESS. Lt C. M. K. Bruton, Lt D. H. Maitland-Makgill-Crichton, twenty ratings were wounded.

 

Destroyers ESK (Lt Cdr R. J. H. Couch) and IVANHOE (Cdr P. H. Hadow) going to her aid also struck mines, at 2325 and 0051 on 1 September, respectively.

 

Destroyer ESK was sunk outright by the mine explosion. Only two crew from ESK were rescued by British ships. Lt Cdr Couch, Lt C. W. Carter, Acting S/Lt M. P. FitzGerald, Acting Gunner (T) H. M. Long, Temporary Surgeon Lt J. F. Newman RNVR,, Lt Cdr (E) E. W. Relph, Temporary S/Lt G. R. Weller DSC RNVR, 128 ratings were lost.

 

Destroyer IVANHOE was badly damaged, but was able to proceed under her own power for a time.

 

Eight ratings were lost in destroyer INTREPID.

 

Destroyers JUPITER, KELVIN, VORTIGERN were at sea to support the 20th Destroyer Flotilla. At 0700 on 1 September, an aircraft report of two damaged destroyers was received. Destroyers JUPITER and KELVIN proceeded to assist, while destroyer VORTIGERN was left tomark the gap in the minefield for their return. Destroyers GARTH and HAMBLEDON, operating near Shipwash Light Vessel, were also dispatched.

 

Minesweepers LEDA and SALTASH, tugs ST CYRUS, IRISHMAN, NORMAN, WHEELDON, motor torpedo boats MTB.29, MTB.30, MTB.31 went to assist destroyer EXPRESS.

 

German aircraft were involved in the rescue of British survivors from the destroyers. They picked up seven ratings from EXPRESS. Lt W. F. C. Elstob and Probationary Temporary S/Lt J. E. Proctor RNVR, twenty three ratings from destroyer ESK were picked up. Gunner J. W. Goble and twenty three ratings from destroyer IVANHOE were picked up.

 

All but thirty seven of IVANHOE's crew were transferred to motor torpedo boats MTB.14, MTB.16, MTB.17 which had arrived at 0800. At 1415, the remaining crew were transferred to MTB.15 and IVANHOE was abandoned as she was rapidly sinking.

 

However, later when IVANHOE was reported as still afloat by a British aircraft, destroyer KELVIN and MTB.30 were ordered to search for her. Destroyer GARTH was also dispatched to assist.

 

Destroyer JUPITER also rescued the crew of a Swordfish of 812 Squadron which ditched returning from a raid on Vlaardingen oil tanks.

 

At 1619 on 1 September, destroyer GARTH sighted IVANHOE under bombing attack from a single German bomber. Destroyer KELVIN arrived and after examining IVANHOE, KELVIN scuttled IVANHOEat 1700 with a single torpedo sinking in about a minute.

 

Destroyer EXPRESS was taken in tow by destroyer KELVIN at 0941 on 1 September, but when the towing line fouled KELVIN's propeller JUPITER took over the tow. The tow was later given over to British tug ST CYRUS (860grt) which was later joined by tugs IRISHMAN (222grt), NORMAN (222grt), WHEELDON (222grt). Destroyer JUPITER turned over to destroyer VORTIGERN the command of the towing operation and with destroyer KELVIN formed a support group. Destroyer HAMBLEDON provided anti-submarine protection.

 

Destroyer EXPRESS was safely towed back to Hull and was repaired on 30 September 1941.

_____

 

The Home Fleet at Scapa Flow reverted to one and a half hour's notice at 0102 and at 0726 returned to four hours' notice.

_____

 

Destroyers TARTAR (D.6), BEDOUIN, ASHANTI departed Loch Alsh at 0600 to carry out an anti-submarine sweep which was soon cancelled due to weather conditions.

 

Destroyer TARTAR returned to Scapa Flow.

 

Destroyers BEDOUIN and ASHANTI met convoy HX.67 A to escort the convoy northward to Buchanness.

_____

 

Convoy OA.207 departed Methil escorted by destroyer ST LAURENT which stayed with the convoy until 6 September and corvette GODETIA.

_____

 

Convoy FN.268 departed Southend, escorted by destroyer VIVIEN and sloop LONDONDERRY. Patrol sloop GUILLEMOT joined on 1 September. The convoy arrived in the Tyne on 2 September.

_____

 

Convoy MT.156 departed Methil. The convoy arrived in the Tyne later that day.

_____

 

Convoy FS.268 departed the Tyne, escorted by sloops EGRET and WESTON. These escorts were detached on 1 September and destroyers CATTISTOCK and WINCHESTER joined. The convoy arrived at Southend on 2 September.

_____

 

US Destroyer Divisions 65 and 67 (eight ships) which had been called to Norfolk, Virginia, departed Hampton Roads this date.

 

After loading torpedoes at Newport and Philadelphia, these ships arrived at Boston 3 September en route to Halifax.

_____

 

The MENACE operation, Anglo French attack on Dakar, ships began to depart England for the forward base at Freetown.

 

Heavy cruiser DEVONSHIRE, destroyer HARVESTER, French sloops COMMANDANT DOMINE and COMMANDANT DUBOC departed the Clyde.

 

This group rendezvoused with convoy "MP" north of Ireland. This convoy was composed of Light cruiser FIJI, destroyers AMBUSCADE, ANTELOPE, WOLVERINE, VOLUNTEER and transports ETTRICK (11,279grt), KENYA (9890grt), SOBIESKI (11,030grt) which departed Scapa Flow at 1300/31st.

 

Convoy "MP" had been brought from Liverpool departing at 1600/24th escorted by destroyers DUNCAN and CATTISTOCK. The escort was joined by destroyers WOLVERINE and VOLUNTEER at sea. The convoy arrived at Scapa Flow at 0700/26th.

 

Transports WESTERNLAND (16,479grt), PENNLAND (16,082grt), KARANJA (9891grt) and store ship BELGRAVIAN (3136grt) with destroyers MACKAY and VANOC and corvette ERICA departed Liverpool on the 31st.

 

On 26 August, convoy OB.204, escorted by destroyers ARROW, ACHATES, VISCOUNT, sloop DEPTFORD, anti-submarine trawlers NORTHERN GEM (655grt) and LADY ELSA (518grt), freighters ANADYR (5278grt), CASAMANCE (5817grt), FORT LAMY (5234grt), NEVADA (5693grt), carrying vehicles for the operation, British tanker OCEAN COAST (1173grt), escorted by French sloop SAVORGNAN DE BRAZZA and patrol vessel PRESIDENT HONDUCE, departed Liverpool.

 

On 30 August, the MENACE units were detached as convoy "MS".

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Submarine H.50 on patrol in the North Sea was attacked by German S-boats. In depth charge attacks, H.50 had one engine put out of action, but was able to escape.

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In a raid over Rotterdam, a Swordfish of 812 Squadron from PEREGRINE was shot down. Acting Lt G. Villiers was killed and Midshipman (A) M V Driver taken prisoner.  A second Swordfish crashed in the sea returning and the crew rescued by destroyer JUPITER.

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S/Lt J G. Vaughan and Air Mechanic E C Woodley were killed when their Roc of 759 Squadron stalled on a climbing turn and crashed at Crawley, near Worthy Down.

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Beginning on the 31st and through 2 September, German minelayers TANNENBERG, COBRA, ROLAND laid minefield "SW.3" escorted by destroyers STEINBRINCK, GALSTER, JACOBI of the 5th Destroyer Flotilla, T.5, T.6, T.7, T.8 of the 2nd Torpedo Boat Flotilla, FALKE, ILTIS, JAGUAR, GREIF of the 5th Torpedo Boat Flotilla.

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U.38 made an unsuccessful attack on a steamer in convoy OB.205 northwest of Ireland in 56N, 10W.

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U.46 sank Belgian steamer VILLE DE HASSELt (7461grt) in 57N, 09W, west of Lewis.

 

The entire crew were rescued by Icelandic trawler HILMIR (306grt) and Belgian trawler TRANSPORT (359grt).

 

Destroyer WARWICK, escort vessel GLEANER, tug ENGLISHMAN were involved in searching for the steamer which was originally thought to be only damaged and abandoned.

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U.59 sank British steamer HAR ZION (2508grt) from convoy OB.205 in 56‑20N, 10W. There was only one survivor.

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U.60 damaged Dutch steamer VOLDENDAM (15,434grt, Convoy Commodore) from convoy OB.205 in 56‑04N, 09‑52W. She was carrying children being evacuated to Canada.  Destroyer WARWICK stood by and she was towed by tug SALVONIA to the Clyde arriving on 2 September and beached. The damage took 10 months to repair.

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Dutch motor vessel MARNE (175grt) was lost on a mine five cables 106° from North Tyne Pier Light. Three crew were lost.

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British tanker BRITISH ENERGY (7209grt) was damaged by German bombing at Birkenhead.

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British tanker ATHELVISCOUNT (8882grt) was damaged by German bombing at the Cammell Laird yard in the River Mersey.

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Armed yacht EMELLE (43grt) was lost, cause and location not known.

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Submarine PARTHIAN off Taranto sighted the Italian Fleet departing port at 0600.

 

Italian battleships LITTORIO, VENETO, CESARE, CAVOUR, DUILO departed Taranto with heavy cruisers POLA, ZARA, FIUME, GORIZIA of the 1st Cruiser Division, light cruisers ABRUZZI and GARIBALDI of the 8th Cruiser Division, twenty seven destroyers.

 

Battleship CESARE suffered condenser problems and returned to Taranto, escorted by torpedo boats PLEIADI and PARTENOPE, arriving on 1 September.

 

Italian heavy cruisers TRENTO, BOLZANO, TRIESTE of the 3rd Cruiser Division and eight destroyers departed Messina.

 

Italian light cruisers EUGENIO, AOSTA, ATTENDOLO, MONTECUCCOLI of the 7th Cruiser Division and four destroyers departed Brindisi.

 

Admiral Cunningham's reconnaissance sighted the Italian Fleet and reported two battleships, seven cruisers, eight destroyers on the 31st.

 

Submarines RAINBOW and PARTHIAN also reported units of the Italian Fleet at sea. Submarine PARTHIAN attacked a group of four cruisers, which included ABRUZZI and GARIBALDI, five destroyers in 37-48N, 18-30E and reported two hits.

 

However, after a very heavy storm on the 31 August/1 September in which very many destroyers suffered storm damage, the Italian Fleet returned to port before ever nearing the British Mediterranean Fleet.

 

 

August, miscellaneous

 

The Admiralty considered taking the guns from long repairing light cruisers BELFAST (mined 21 November 1939) and GLASGOW (collision damage of 16 July 1940) for the defence of Dover.

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Battleship REVENGE, target ship CENTURION, light cruiser NEWCASTLE were brought to Plymouth for coastal defence.  REVENGE arrived on 15 September, NEWCASTLE arrived on 14 July, but was not formally transferred to the Western Approaches Command until 2 September, and CENTURION had been at Plymouth since June.

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Australian sloop YARRA arrived in the Red Sea for convoy duty from Australia.

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At the end of August, the following destroyers were under repair - BOREAS at London repairing, BRILLIANT at Chatham repairing, COSSACK at Rosyth repairing, DIANA at London refitting, DOUGLAS at Portsmouth repairing, ELECTRA at Greenock repairing, ESKIMO at Barrow repairing, FAME at Rosyth repairing, FEARLESS at Glasgow repairing, FOXHOUND at London refitting, HAVOCK at Suez repairing, ISIS at Plymouth repairing, MASHON at Liverpool repairing, MONTROSE at Chatham repairing, QUORN at Southampton docking, SOMALI at Liverpool repairing, VANESSA at Sheerness repairing, VIVACIOUS at Chatham repairing, WATCHMAN at Hull repairing, WHITSHED at Chatham repairing, WINDSOR at London repairing.         

 
 

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revised 7/4/12
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