Background Events - September-December 1940
packs in Atlantic, Blitz on Britain, Attack on Taranto, German raiders at sea
Sunday, 1 September
cruiser FIJI (Captain W G Benn), which departed Scapa Flow on 31 August, was
torpedoed and badly damaged in 58‑25N, 13‑10W northwest of Ireland by U.32
at 1725. Five ratings were killed. Destroyers TARTAR, PUNJABI, JAVELIN, and
JAGUAR departed Scapa Flow at 1930 and joined FIJI. Destroyers BEDOUIN and
ASHANTI departed their escort of convoy HX.67 to join. When FIJI was found
capable of steaming, she was escorted by BEDOUIN, ASHANTI, VOLUNTEER and ANTELOPE. She was able to proceed under her own power at ten knots and
arrived without further incident at 1930/3rd at the Clyde.
Destroyers WOLVERINE, AMBUSCADE, JAVELIN
and JAGUAR were detached to join inbound convoy TC.7, while TARTAR and PUNJABI joined
inbound convoy HX.67A. FIJI's place in
operation MENACE was filled by Australian heavy cruiser AUSTRALIA which
arrived at Greenock on the 1st, and departed the Clyde on the 6th for
was repairing at Greenock through the end of January 1941.
Destroyers VERSATILE and VIMY departed Rosyth at 1700 escorting minelayer
MANCHESTER CITY to the Clyde where they arrived at 2100/3rd.
Destroyers SOMALI, MACKAY, WESTCOTT
and HESPERUS were involved in a search for
a German submarine in 54‑21N, 5‑05W after the U-boat was reported by a
Light cruiser GALATEA, which was with light cruiser AURORA had
departed the Humber on 31 August to meet destroyers KELVIN,
JUPITER and VORTIGERN off Sheringham
Light Vessel, struck a mine off the Humber as she returned to port. It
exploded on the port side abreast B-turret causing minor damage. The two
cruisers arrived in the Humber on the 1st.
OB.207 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyer HESPERUS and corvette
GLADIOLUS. On 2 September, the convoy was joined by destroyers KEPPEL and
FN.269 departed Southend, escorted by destroyer VERDUN, sloop STORK, and
patrol sloop PINTAIL. The patrol sloop was detached on the 2nd, and the
convoy arrived in the Tyne on the 3rd.
MT.157 departed Methil, and arrived in the Tyne later that same day.
FS.269 departed the Tyne, escorted by destroyer WOOLSTON and sloop
FLEETWOOD, and arrived at Southend on the 3rd.
departing Grangemouth at 2130 for Rosyth, submarine SUNFISH sank patrol
launch MESME in an accidental collision. The crew of three were all
Submarine TUNA unsuccessfully attacked a German submarine in 56‑09N, 02‑15E.
badly damaged Greek steamer EFPLOIA (3867grt) in 55‑27N, 13‑17W. The
entire crew were picked up by destroyer ANTHONY, and the Greek ship was so
badly damaged she was sunk by ANTHONY the same day in 55-43N, 13-05W.
ROYALO (248grt) was sunk on an aerial mine laid by German
IX Air Division aircraft in Mount's
Bay, 90° from Penzance Pier. Temporary Lt I W Watt RNR, Temporary Skipper W
D.Warford RNR, and five ratings were lost.
Submarine TIGRIS, which departed Rothesay on 27 August,
sank a French
trawler SANCTE MICHAEL (168grt) off Brest.
HX.70 departed Halifax escorted by Canadian destroyer ASSINIBOINE and
auxiliary patrol boat FRENCH at 1520. Convoy
commodore was on steamer HILARY (7403grt). Patrol
boat FRENCH was detached from the convoy at 2100 and destroyer ASSINIBOINE
stayed until 1605 on the 2nd. Ocean
escort was armed merchant cruiser MONTCLARE which returned
to Halifax when light cruiser EMERALD joined the convoy on the 5th.
BHX.70 departed Bermuda on 31 August escorted by ocean escort, light cruiser
EMERALD. The convoy rendezvoused with HX.70 on the 5th and the light
cruiser was detached. The convoy was joined by destroyers ACHATES, ACTIVE,
and VANQUISHER, sloop WESTON, and corvettes ERICA, MALLOW, and PRIMROSE on
the 13th and the convoy arrived at Liverpool on the 16th.
E. W. Lockwood, Acting S/Lt (A) R. G. D. Kite, and Acting Leading Airman S.
Simpson of 813 Squadron from aircraft carrier EAGLE crashed at sea and were made
prisoners of war after eight days in a dingy.
Aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL launched an air strike on the airfield at
Cagliari in operation SMASH. On 2
September, ARK ROYAL was to have launched an air strike in
operation GRAB for another strike on the Cagliari airfield and the Cagliari
power plant, but the planes could not locate the target in poor weather.
IN THE MEDITERRANEAN, INCLUDING CONVOYS MB.3 AND AS.3
cruiser ORION and Australian light cruiser SYDNEY were detached at 1400 to
rendezvous with escort ship/destroyer WRYNECK coming from Malta, and then join Force F.
Destroyers STUART, DEFENDER, VAMPIRE, and VENDETTA were detached from the
Main Fleet at 2000 to proceed to Malta.
September, anti-aircraft cruisers COVENTRY and CALCUTTA with destroyers
NUBIAN, MOHAWK, JANUS and JUNO were detached to Malta.
0900 aircraft carrier ILLUSTRIOUS (right - NavyPhotos), battleship
VALIANT, light cruiser ORION with destroyers WRYNECK, GALLANT, GREYHOUND, GRIFFIN, and HOTSPUR from
Gibraltar were met by the Mediterranean Fleet.
VAMPIRE and VENDETTA rejoined at 0930/2nd and destroyers HEREWARD
and ILEX were detached to Malta to refuel.
COVENTRY and CALCUTTA arrived at Malta at 1005, and SYDNEY also entered Malta.
1010, VALIANT and destroyers HYPERION, DECOY, HASTY, and WRYNECK
were detached to Malta.
MB.3, consisting of steamer VOLO (1587grt) and oiler PLUMLEAF (5916grt),
arrived safely at Malta at 1130/2nd, escorted by destroyers DAINTY and
third ship of the convoy, steamer CORNWALL (10,605grt), which had
been damaged by Italian bombing on 31 August, was brought into Malta on the
3rd by tugs JAUNTY and ANCIENT, escorted by destroyers JERVIS and JUNO.
1415, JANUS was detached to Malta to refuel.
1504, COVENTRY with JANUS, JUNO, NUBIAN,
and MOHAWK joined the Main Fleet at sea.
HEREWARD and ILEX rejoined at 1645.
Battleship MALAYA, aircraft carrier EAGLE, together with COVENTRY and JANUS, JUNO, DAINTY, DIAMOND, VAMPIRE, and VENDETTA were detached
at 1657 as Force E, and heavy cruiser KENT, light cruisers GLOUCESTER and
LIVERPOOL with NUBIAN and MOHAWK as Force A for Operation MB.3.
GALLANT and ILEX attacked a submarine contact near the fleet at
1856, destroyer VOYAGER was detached to Malta, and at 1900, CALCUTTA with HASTY, HERO, DECOY, and WRYNECK joined the Fleet.
SYDNEY departed Malta at 1908 to rejoin the
2200, GALLANT, GREYHOUND, GRIFFIN, HOTSPUR, and GARLAND were
detached to Malta to refuel.
Destroyers IMPERIAL with the 1st Battle Squadron and JANUS were
unsuccessfully attacked by Italian Ju.87 dive bombers near Malta on the 2nd.
VALIANT with STUART, HYPERION, IMPERIAL and JANUS
rejoined the Main Fleet at 2330.
0700/3rd, destroyer DEFENDER, which had been delayed at Malta with a damaged
Asdic dome, rejoined the fleet.
I for Operation MB.3 was formed with battleships WARSPITE and VALIANT,
aircraft carrier ILLUSTRIOUS, anti-aircraft ship CALCUTTA, plus destroyers
STUART, VOYAGER, DECOY, DEFENDER, HEREWARD, IMPERIAL, HYPERION, ILEX, HASTY,
STUART suffered a burst steam pipe at 2200 and was instructed to
join convoy AS.3 of four steamers.
2230, light cruisers ORION and SYDNEY with destroyers ILEX and DECOY were
detached for a dawn bombardment of Scarpanto.
H arrived back at Gibraltar after HATS on the 3rd.
Anti-aircraft ships COVENTRY and CALCUTTA were detached off the Island of
Hydra and joined convoy AS.3 on the 4th.
Rhodes at 0345, ILLUSTRIOUS launched nine torpedo bombers
of the 815 (Lt Cdr R. Williamson) and 819 Squadron (Lt Cdr J. W. Hale DSO)
at 0345 on the 4th to attack the airfield at Callado. The ninth Swordfish
crashed on take off and observer Lt A E. Ogilvy of 815 Squadron was killed.
Lt L. J. Kiggell and Leading Airman K. Allum of the crew were rescued by
destroyer IMPERIAL. This accident prevented three more Swordfish for the
operation from taking off. Aircraft carrier EAGLE launched twelve torpedo
bombers of the 813 (Lt Cdr N. Kennedy DSC) and 824 Squadron (Lt Cdr A J.
Debenham DSC) to attack the airfield at Maritza.
EAGLE Swordfish aircraft of 813 Squadron were shot down over Maritza. One of
these Swordfish, piloted by Lt (A) R. H. Hain, with a crew of Observer
Probationary S/Lt (A) V. H. Smith RNVR, and Naval Airman W. F. Taylor was
able to successfully make a forced landing on Kasos Island where they were
made prisoners of war. One aircraft crew of the pilot Lt (A) S. Hook and
Leading Airman L. C. White was captured, but the observer Lt K. S. Bell was
lost with the aircraft. Pilot Lt (A) D. N. Collins, Observer R. H. Marsh,
and Petty Officer A Wilson of another aircraft were picked up by an Italian
submarine and made prisoners of war. Pilot Lt (A) D. R. M. Drummond,
Observer Acting S/Lt (A) A M. Todd, and Leading Airman G. E. Derwent were
lost when their aircraft crashed into the sea. Todd's body later washed
ashore on the coast of Egypt weeks later.
ORION with DECOY and SYDNEY with ILEX bombarded Scarpanto and Port Maltezana in Stampalia. ILEX rammed and
sank Italian motor torpedo boat MAS.537. The MAS.536 was also attacked by ILEX, but
was not damaged.
MALAYA and EAGLE, escorted by JUNO, DAINTY,
DIAMOND, VAMPIRE, VENDETTA, and WRYNECK were detached to proceed
independently to Alexandria, arriving at 2100/4th. EAGLE was docked on the 5th.
Battleships WARSPITE and VALIANT, aircraft carrier ILLUSTRIOUS,
destroyers HYPERION, HERO, HASTY, HEREWARD, IMPERIAL, JANUS, and DEFENDER
were some forty miles to the north of the MALAYA group and arrived at
Alexandria at 0700/5th.
cruiser KENT, light cruisers GLOUCESTER and LIVERPOOL, with destroyers MOHAWK
and NUBIAN were detached from the Mediterranean Fleet on the 4th to the Gulf
of Nauphlia to escort convoy AS.3 of four steamers to Port Said. Destroyers
IMPERIAL and HEREWARD sailed on the 5th to relieve destroyers NUBIAN
destroyer GARLAND, returning to Gibraltar from Malta with GALLANT, GREYHOUND, GRIFFIN, and HOTSPUR of Force H, was bombed by Italian
bombers between 1225 and 1430/4th. No damage was done, but GARLAND, with leaks in two boilers, was taken in tow by GRIFFIN
from 1715 to 1845, after which she was able to proceed on one boiler. The
destroyers arrived at Gibraltar late on the 5th. After
repairs, GARLAND departed Gibraltar on the 14th for duty in the
KENT, GLOUCESTER and LIVERPOOL, anti-aircraft ships
COVENTRY and CALCUTTA, and destroyer STUART arrived at Alexandria during the
morning of 6 September while destroyers MOHAWK and NUBIAN arrived in the
afternoon. Convoy AS 3 and destroyers HEREWARD and IMPERIAL arrived at Port
Said on the 6th. Swedish steamer STUREBORG, a straggler from the convoy,
arrived at Port Said on the 8th.
cruiser DRAGON departed Durban for Simonstown.
cruiser DESPATCH departed Kingston to return to England.
SLS.46 departed Freetown escorted by armed merchant cruiser DUNNOTTAR CASTLE
to 13 September when the convoy was dispersed.
cruiser DELHI departed Lagos for Manoca.
BS.3A departed Suez, escorted by sloop GRIMSBY. Light cruiser HOBART with
destroyers KANDAHAR and KIMBERLEY joined on the 3rd. The convoy was
dispersed on the 6th.
Monday, 2 September
Destroyer DUNCAN departed Scapa Flow at 1330 to rendezvous with destroyer
MAORI at 2100 off Aberdeen to escort steamers BEN MY CHREE and LADY
OF MANN to Kirkwall and Lerwick, respectively.
OA.208 departed Methil escorted by destroyer SKEENA, sloop LOWESTOFT, plus
anti-submarine trawlers DRANGEY, FANDANGO, and NORTHERN GEM.
FN.270 departed Southend, escorted by destroyer WOLFHOUND, sloop BLACK SWAN,
and patrol sloop WIDGEON, and arrived in the Tyne on the 4th.
MT.158 departed Methil, and arrived in the Tyne later that day.
FS.270 departed the Tyne and arrived at Southend on the 4th.
sank German steamer PIONIER (3285grt) northeast of Skagen
in 57-50N, 10‑46E. Approximately 1,000 German troops were lost in the
Submarine TIGRIS unsuccessfully attacked U.58 in 47-29N, 4-24W.
air raid over Flushing, an Albacore of the 826 Squadron from PEREGRINE was
shot down. S/Lt (A) H. M. Howard, Probationary Midshipman (A) C. A Wright
RNVR, and Naval Airman T. R. R. Harwood were captured and made prisoners of
sank steamers THORNLEA (4261grt) in 55‑14N, 16‑40W and
(4616grt) at approximately the same location from a group of ships from
dispersed convoy OB.205. There
were no survivors from BIBURY, and three crew from THORNLEA were lost.
Canadian destroyer SKEENA and Norwegian steamer HILD (1356grt) rescued the
sank Belgian steamer VILLE DE MONS (7463grt) in 58‑20N, 12W,
but the entire
crew was rescued.
German bombing attacks were launched again convoy WN.12. Steamer LAGOSIAN (5412grt)
was damaged 13
miles ESE of Peterhead, and her
survivors rescued by anti-submarine trawler SOUTHERN GEM (593grt), steamer ASHBY (4868grt)
and the Dutch DELFTDIJK (10,220grt), both off Rattray
Destroyers DUNCAN and HOLDERNESS joined the escort to
provide further anti-aircraft protection.
SC.3 departed St Johns escorted by Canadian destroyer ASSINIBOINE and armed
yacht REINDEER in the local approaches and were detached on the 4th. Sloop
DUNDEE was the ocean escort, but was lost on the 14th. On the 15th, destroyers OTTAWA, SKEENA, and WITCH,
with anti-submarine trawler DRANGEY joined the escort. The trawler was detached the next day. Destroyers
ST LAURENT and WANDERER joined on the 17th, and the convoy arrived at Liverpool
next day on the 18th.
anti-submarine whaler UJ.121 (whaler JOCHEN, 523grt) was sunk on a mine off
Ostend. The hulk of the sunken ship blocked the channel for the 2nd
Battleship BARHAM with destroyers INGLEFIELD, ECHO, ESCAPADE, and ECLIPSE
arrived at Gibraltar after departing Scapa Flow on 27 August.
ECHO had left on the 28th.
Destroyer VELOX attacked a submarine contact near Alboran Island.
cruiser ENTERPRISE departed Freetown.
armed merchant cruiser WIDDER sank tanker CYMBELINE (6317grt) in the
Central Atlantic at 27‑55N, 36‑01W. Seven
crew were lost, while 25 crew and one distressed British seaman
were made prisoners of war.
Zealand light cruiser ACHILLES departed Melbourne and arrived at Auckland on
Australian light cruiser ADELAIDE departed Sydney on the 2nd for Vila, New
Caledonia, via Brisbane. On the 3rd, she was in a collision with steamer COPTIC
(8533grt). Neither ship was significantly damaged and ADELAIDE
arrived at Vila on the 7th. She departed on the 16th escorting Norwegian tanker NORDEN
(8440grt) carrying the new Free French government to Noumea, and arrived off
there on the 19th
Tuesday, 3 September
movements at Scapa Flow were held up due to mine laying by German IX Air
during the night in the southern entrances.
Destroyer DUNCAN remained at sea after escorting steamer LADY OF MANN to Lerwick. Destroyer HOLDERNESS was delayed in sailing until 1230 to provide additional
escort for convoy WN.12 to Methil .
Destroyers ZULU, SIKH, KASHMIR, and KIPLING departed Scapa Flow at 1200 for
Loch Alsh where they arrived at 1900. On the 4th, they escorted minelayers SOUTHERN PRINCE, PORT QUEBEC, and MENESTHEUS from Loch Alsh at 1400/4th on minelaying operation SN 5A, which
was conducted during the night of the 4th/5th, and arrived back at Scapa Flow at 1400/6th after the lay.
Destroyers BEDOUIN and ASHANTI departed the Clyde for Scapa Flow, arriving at
1635 on the 4th.
Destroyers INTREPID, ICARUS, and IMPULSIVE departed Immingham to lay
minefield MS (A) near South Goodwin Light Vessel. They were escorted by six motor torpedo boats and the minelay was
completed early on the 4th. They departed Immingham again on the 5th and laid minefield MS (B), an
extension of the first field.
OB.208 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyer WESTCOTT, sloop FOLKESTONE,
and corvette PERIWINKLE. The next day, the convoy was joined by destroyer
SCIMITAR. On 6 September, WESTCOTT and PERIWINKLE were detached and on the
7th, SCIMITAR and FOLKESTONE left the convoy.
FN.271 departed Southend, escorted by destroyer VIMIERA and sloop EGRET.
Patrol sloop SHEARWATER joined on the 4th, on which day the convoy arrived
in the Tyne.
MT.159 departed Methil, and arrived in the Tyne later that day.
FS.271 departed the Tyne, escorted by destroyers VALOROUS and WESTMINSTER.
Sloop SHEARWATER joined the convoy en route, which arrived at Southend
on the 5th.
sank steamer ULVA (1401grt) at 55‑45N, 11‑45W, with the
loss of three crew.
was sunk in an accidental collision with Norwegian steamer RONA (1376grt) at Brunsbuttel. Six crew were
lost and 19 rescued,
was salved on 11 January 1941, repaired for training duties, and recommissioned on 30 May 1941.
SHOREHAM intercepted Greek steamer EVROS (5283grt) in the Red Sea.
cruiser DORSETSHIRE departed Simonstown for Durban.
cruiser DRAGON arrived at Capetown from Lobito.
TROPIC SEA (5781grt), captured by German
armed merchant cruiser ORION on 18 May 1940, was scuttled when intercepted
by submarine TRUANT in the Bay of Biscay, in 46-30N, 11-30W. The
survivors, included the crew from steamer HAXBY sunk
by ORION, were picked up by TRUANT. Twenty one survivors were
landed at Corunna. Ten survivors were picked up by a flying boat.
VICHY FRENCH NAVY
Armed merchant cruiser CAP DES PALMES escorted by submarine PONCELET
and sloop BOUGAINVILLE departed Dakar for Libreville where they arrived with
troops on the 10th.
Sloop D'ENTRECASTEUX and submarine AJAX departed
Casablanca for Libreville on the 3rd.
Light cruiser PRIMAUGEUT, sloop GAZELLE, and tanker
TARN also departed Casablanca for Libreville on the 4th.
Sloops D'IBERVILLE, SURPRISE, and COMMANDANT
RIVIERE followed over the next few days, .
the presence of Vichy French submarine SIDI FERRUCH at Libreville, light
cruiser DELHI departed Duala to carry ten French officers to Pointe Noire.
BRIDGEWATER departed Lagos for Freetown.
SL.46 departed Freetown escorted by armed merchant cruiser BULOLO until the 19th,
when the convoy was joined by Polish destroyer GARLAND and corvettes GARDENIA, GERANIUM, and
PERIWINKLE. The convoy arrived at Liverpool on the 23rd.
American light cruiser ST LOUIS embarked an evaluation board under Rear
Admiral J. W. Greenslade to examine base sites acquired under Lend Lease. She departed Norfolk, Virginia on the 3rd, arrived at Bermuda on
the 5th and departed on the 8th to return to Norfolk, arriving on the 10th.
Leaving again on the 12th for St Johns, Newfoundland, she arrived there on the 16th,
and departed on the 18th for Argentia. On the 21st, she departed Argentia, arrived at Boston on the 23rd,
sailed again the same day, and arrived back at Norfolk on the 25th.
Wednesday, 4 September
cruisers MANCHESTER, SOUTHAMPTON, and BIRMINGHAM departed Rosyth at 1300
with destroyer HOLDERNESS,
were joined at sea by destroyers KELVIN and JUPITER, and proceeded to Immingham.
Destroyer JAVELIN departed the Clyde for the Humber.
Destroyer JAGUAR departed the Clyde for Rosyth.
Admiral Destroyers, Home Fleet transferred to destroyer depot ship GREENWICH
Destroyer depot ship WOOLWICH, escorted by destroyers MAORI and DUNCAN
departed Scapa Flow for Liverpool at 1700, and arrived safely at 1200/6th. DUNCAN and MAORI then proceeded to Lough Foyle to escort
submarine depot ship TITANIA to Rosyth. They sailed from Lough Foyle at 1030/7th.
OA.209 departed Methil escorted by sloop FOWEY and corvette CAMELLIA from 4
to 8 September.
OB.209 departed Liverpool escorted by corvettes CLARKIA and HEARTSEASE, and was joined on the 5th by destroyer WINCHELSEA and on the 6th by
destroyers AMBUSCADE and ARROW, plus anti-submarine trawlers ST KENAN and ST
LOMAN. The ARROW detached later on the 6th, followed by AMBUSCADE, WINCHELSEA, CLARKIA and HEARTSEASE
on the 8th. ST KENAN and ST LOMAN remained until the 9th.
FN.272 departed Southend with destroyer WOOLSTON, sloop FLEETWOOD, and patrol
sloop PUFFIN, and arrived in the Tyne on the 6th.
MT.160 departed Methil, and arrived in the Tyne later that day.
FS.272 departed the Tyne, escorted by destroyer VIVIEN and sloop
LONDONDERRY. Sloop PUFFIN joined on the 5th, and the convoy arrived at Southend
on the 6th.
Submarine TUNA made contact a German submarine in 56-26N, 1-17E, but was unable
sank steamer LUIMNEACH (1074grt) in 47‑50N, 09‑12W, picked up
three survivors and made them prisoners of war, while the rest of the crew were
later rescued by Allied ships.
sank steamer TITAN (9035grt) in 58‑14N, 15‑50W and reported damaging
a steamer at the same time and location, also from convoy OA.207. Six crew
were lost on TITAN, and the survivors rescued by Canadian destroyer ST LAURENT and corvette GODETIA.
ATTACK ON CONVOY
motor torpedo boats of the 1st Flotilla launched a highly successful attack on FS.271 northeast of Great Yarmouth in
sank steamers CORBROOK (1729grt) and NEW LAMBTON (2709grt). CORBROOK went
down 30 miles east of Cromer and NEW LAMBTON in 52-50N, 2-07-30E (also
52-52N, 02.40E), but both
sank steamer JOSEPH SWAN (1571grt) and the Dutch NIEUWLAND
(1075grt). Both ships were lost between 56 and 55A Buoy, JOSEPH SWAN with only one
survivor and NIEUWLAND with the loss of eight crew.
sank steamer FULHAM IV (1562grt) two miles north of 55A Buoy, but here entire crew was
S.54 damaged steamer EWELL (1350grt).
SAUCY (Temporary Lt J. Cordery RNR) was mined and sunk off Inchkeith in the Firth of Forth.
Temporary S/Lt F. D. Phillips RNR, Temporary S/Lt D. L. Thomas RNR,
Temporary S/Lt (E) W. H. Anderson RNR, Temporary S/Lt (E) F. W. Jones, and
twenty three ratings were lost.
Estonian steamer JAAK (1351grt) was damaged by German bombing off Royal
US DESTROYERS FOR
British BASES DEAL
first US destroyers for transfer to the Royal Navy, destroyers AARON WARD
(DD.132), HALE (DD.133), and ABEL P UPSHUR (DD.193) departed Boston for
September, American destroyer depot ship DENEBOLA (AD.12) had departed Norfolk,
Virginia, and arrived at Halifax on the 6th to act as a depot ship for the
destroyers. She remained at Halifax in this role until returning to
Norfolk on 3 November.
September, all eight destroyers of Destroyer Divisions 65 and 67 had arrived
British crews for these destroyers arrived at Halifax on troopship
DUCHESS OF RICHMOND (20,022grt).
HG.43 departed Gibraltar with 21 ships escorted by sloop WELLINGTON
and as far as Lisbon, by destroyers WISHART and FORTUNE.
WISHART experienced defects and returned to Gibraltar,
being replaced by destroyer VIDETTE which sailed from Gibraltar on the 5th
with troopship ROYAL SCOTSMAN (3244grt) to join the convoy.
WELLINGTON escorted the convoy from
the 4th to 18th. It was joined
in Home Waters by destroyer WARWICK with corvettes COREOPSIS and CLEMATIS
from the 14th to 18th, and by destroyer WESTCOTT and sloop ROCHESTER on the 18th. The convoy arrived at Liverpool
that same day.
Destroyer VELOX departed Gibraltar escorting steamers BARON VERNON and FIDRA
to within ten miles of Melilla, when they carried on to load iron ore. On
the 8th, destroyer HOTSPUR escorted FIDRA back to
Thursday, 5 September
Submarine TUNA fired five torpedoes in two attacks at 0301 at a German
submarine 65 miles 077° from May Island in 56-26N, 0-43W, and was attacked
herself. Destroyers JACKAL and VORTIGERN were sent to investigate.
Destroyers VERSATILE and VIMY departed the Clyde at 2000 as additional
escort for convoy BAS.3, four ships for Reykavik. They left the convoy
during the afternoon of the 8th and returned to Scapa Flow.
cruisers AURORA, GALATEA, and CARDIFF departed Humber for Sheerness and were
joined at sea off the Humber Light Vessel by destroyers WILD SWAN and
ships arrived at Sheerness on the 6th.
Minelayers SOUTHERN PRINCE, MENESTHEUS, and PORT QUEBEC laid mines south of
the Faroes, escorted by destroyers ZULU, SIKH, KIPLING, and KASHMIR, and
given anti-aircraft protection by anti-aircraft cruiser CAIRO.
Escort vessel GLEANER experienced boiler defects requiring immediate
FN.273 departed Southend, escorted by destroyers VEGA and VIMIERA and patrol
sloop SHELDRAKE. The convoy arrived in the Tyne on the 7th.
MT.161 departed Methil. The convoy arrived in the Tyne later that day.
FS.273 departed the Tyne, escorted by destroyers VANITY and WOLSEY. The
convoy arrived at Southend on the 7th.
Steamer MELBOURNE STAR (12,806grt) was damaged by German bombing
steamer AEGEON (5285grt) was damaged by German bombing 30 miles
southwest of Holyhead.
OG.42 with 51 ships departed Liverpool escorted by destroyers
ANTELOPE and AMAZON from 5 to 8 September, and destroyers SABRE and MACKAY
with corvette GERANIUM from 5 to 7 September. Sloop LEITH escorted the convoy from 5 to 16 September when it arrived at
torpedo boats T.5, T.6, T.7, and T.8 of the 2nd Torpedo Boat Flotilla laid
minefield WALTER in the Straits of Dover.
in operations in the Atlantic lost a crewman overboard.
auxiliary patrol boat Vp.403 (trawler DEUTSCHLAND: 432grt) was sunk on a
mine off Westerschelde.
auxiliary patrol boat Vp.201 (trawler GEBRUDER KAHLER:460grt) was
sunk on a
mine at Dunkirk Roads.
Italian Torpedo Boat Division 12, torpedo boats ALTAIR, ALDEBARAN, ANTARES,
and ANDROMEDA (Seekrieg - ALTAIR, ALCIONE, ARIEL and ARETUSA) laid mines off Valletta, Malta. Thirty
five more minelays were made in Maltese waters by Italian naval units during
the war and these claimed destroyers JERSEY and SOUTHWOLD, Polish destroyer
KUJIWIAK, and submarine OLYMPUS.
Australian light cruiser HOBART, escorting convoy BS.3 at 15‑25N, 41‑46E,
was unsuccessfully attacked eight times by Italian bombers.
Italian torpedo boats M
Aircraft carrier ARGUS arrived at Takoradi with
30 Hurricanes to be
flown overland to Khartoum. They left ARGUS on the 6th.
cruiser DORSETSHIRE arrived at Durban for repairs.
cruiser NEPTUNE departed Durban on patrol to examine anchorages in Southern
cruiser SHEFFIELD departed Gibraltar and arrived in the Clyde on the 8th.
London flying boat of 200 Group force landed 100 miles to the west of
Cape Spartel. Destroyer FORESTER located the aircraft, taking it in tow and
returning to Gibraltar.
HX.71 departed Halifax escorted by Canadian destroyers ASSINIBOINE and
SAGUENAY at 1850. The
ocean escort, armed merchant cruiser RANPURA was met and ASSINIBOINE detached at 2020 and SAGUENAY at 2000 the next
BHX.71 departed Bermuda on the 4th escorted by ocean escort armed merchant
cruiser RAJPUTANA. The convoy rendezvoused with HX.71 on the 9th and
the armed merchant cruiser was detached.
FLEETWOOD and corvettes BLUEBELL and FLOXINIA joined on the 16th, corvette
GLADIOLUS on the 17th, and destroyer WINCHELSEA on the 18th. The
convoy arrived at Liverpool on the 20th.
BS.4 departed Suez, escorted by sloops CLIVE and GRIMSBY. The sloops were
detached on the 8th when the convoy was joined by light cruiser LEANDER,
anti-aircraft cruiser CARLISLE, destroyer KINGSTON, plus sloops AUCKLAND and
PARRAMATTA. The convoy dispersed on the 13th.
armed merchant cruiser KOMET transitted the Bering Straits into the Pacific
Ocean after going across the north of Russia.
Friday, 6 September
GODETIA (Lt Cdr G. V. Legassick RNR), which had been escorting
convoy OA.207, was sunk in an accidental collision with steamer
MARSA (4405grt), a straggler from convoy OA.209, three miles off Altacarry Head off Northern Ireland in 55‑18N, 5‑57W.
Probationary Temporary Surgeon Lt A G. Bellamy MRCS, LRCP RNVR, Acting S/Lt
P. D. Hincks RCNVR, Acting S/Lt F. S. Ker RCNVR, and eleven ratings were
killed, and eighteen ratings were missing with the corvette. Leggasick,
Probationary Temporary S/Lt D. M. Edwards DSC RNR, and about fifteen ratings
Aircraft carrier FURIOUS, battleship NELSON, anti-aircraft cruisers NAIAD
and BONAVENTURE, and destroyers SOMALI, TARTAR, BEDOUIN, PUNJABI, ASHANTI,
ESKIMO, and MATABELE departed Scapa Flow at 0900 on Operation DF to raid
shipping off Trondheim.
0500/7th in 62‑00N, 00‑50E, FURIOUS flew off nine Skuas of 801 Squadron and
twelve Swordfish of 816 and 825 Squadrons. Two ships were sighted and one
was reported sunk between Sognefjord and Grip Light, but no confirmation
exists for this claim.
aircraft returned directly to Hatston, and the force arrived back at Scapa Flow at 2000/7th.
Destroyers JACKAL and JAGUAR departed Rosyth
at 1800 escorting submarine depot ship FORTH and submarine TUNA
to the Clyde, and safely arrived at 0600/9th.
OA.210 departed Methil escorted by escort ship JASON.
FN.274 departed Southend, escorted by destroyers VALOROUS, WESTMINSTER
and patrol sloop PUFFIN, and arrived in the Tyne on the 8th. There
were no convoys FN.275 and FN.276.
MT.162 departed Methil, and arrived in the Tyne later that day. There
was no convoy MT.163.
FS.274 departed the Tyne, escorted by destroyers VERDUN and WALLACE, and arrived at Southend on the 7th. There
was no convoy FS.275.
Submarine TRIBUNE, returning from patrol west of the Hebrides, attacked a
German submarine in 57‑58N, 08‑13W off the Butt of Lewis.
Australian heavy cruiser AUSTRALIA departed the Clyde for Freetown to
replace light cruiser FIJI in the MENACE operation. On 8
September, U.56 unsuccessfully attacked AUSTRALIA, which arrived at Freetown on the 14th.
German air attacks on convoy SL.44A, 15 miles east of Aberdeen,
steamer ST GLEN (4647grt) was sunk in 57‑25N, 01‑38W. Three crew were
lost, and sloop SANDWICH rescued the survivors. Steamer GANNET (1336grt) was damaged
in 57‑25N, 01‑45W and towed to Peterhead.
Trawler IWATE (314grt) was damaged by German bombing in 53‑30N,
Trawler ILFRACOMBE (165grt) was damaged by German bombing in 51‑20N,
SC.2, which had departed St Johns on 25 August, was escorted by Canadian
destroyer SKEENA, destroyer WESTCOTT, sloops LOWESTOFT, SCARBOROUGH,
corvette PERIWINKLE, plus anti-submarine trawlers ST APOLLO (580grt) and
BERKSHIRE (466grt) when it was attacked by U.65. U.47
arrived that night, followed on the 9th by U.28 and U.99, which made attacks. In all
five merchant ships were sunk.
minelayers TOGO, KAISER and torpedo boats GREIF, FALKE, ILTIS, and JAGUAR
of the 5th Flotilla, escorted by torpedo boats T.1, T.2, and T.3 of the 1st
Torpedo Boat Flotilla, laid minefield SW 0 in the southwest North Sea.
Escort was provided by destroyer GALSTER and torpedo boat KONDOR,
and the force arrived at Rotterdam on the 8th.
H units, aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL, battleships BARHAM and RESOLUTION, with
destroyers FAULKNOR, FORESIGHT, FORESTER, FORTUNE, FURY, GREYHOUND, ECLIPSE,
ESCAPADE, and INGLEFIELD, departed Gibraltar on MENACE. Destroyer ECHO with
defects was able to depart the next day and joined the force at sea.
Italian reaction to this sortie, which was viewed as an incursion into the
Mediterranean was the sortie of battleships VENETO, LITTORIO, CESARE, and
DUILO, with six heavy cruisers, and eighteen destroyers.
H joined the MENACE "MP" convoy at sea on the 13th. In addition, Heavy
cruisers DEVONSHIRE, with the convoy, and heavy cruiser CUMBERLAND, which
joined at sea, travelled in company with Force H and the convoy.
Submarines TRIAD and TRUANT arrived from Home Waters at Gibraltar escorted
by destroyer WRESTLER, which departed Gibraltar on the 5th to join, for duty
with the 8th Submarine Flotilla to operate from Gibraltar.
cruiser DELHI arrived off Pointe Noire, French Congo, but two of the three
Vichy steamers there had departed prior to her arrival.
French steamer JEAN LABORDE (11,591grt) departed during the night of 5/6
September and arrived at Dakar on the 8th. Steamer TOUREG (5135grt) departed
on the 5th and was later intercepted by light cruiser DELHI on the 16th.
Steamer CAP PADARAN (8009grt) departed on the 9th for Dakar, via Tabu, but
was forced to put into Conakry on the 23rd to avoid contact with British
cruiser HAWKINS departed Montevideo on patrol and arrived back later that
cruiser CUMBERLAND arrived at Freetown.
cruiser LEANDER, escorting convoy BN.4 with Sloop AUCKLAND, was
unsuccessfully attacked by Italian bombers north of Jebal at Tair. Two
Italian aircraft were shot down.
Zealand light cruiser ACHILLES departed Auckland with staff officers of the
New Zealand Government for government conferences in Tahiti, arriving on the 10th.
She departed on the 15th for further talks at Raratonga, arrived
on the 17th and returned to Auckland on the 23rd.
Italian submarine GUGLIELMOTTI
sank Greek tanker ATLAS (4008grt), a
straggler from convoy BN.4, at 15‑10N, 41‑50E, 14 miles north of Jebel
crew was landed at Aden.
Saturday, 7 September
0048, cruisers and destroyers at Scapa Flow were brought to one hour's
destroyers were kept at one half hour's notice during dark hours.
Battlecruiser REPULSE, heavy cruisers NORFOLK and BERWICK,
ZULU, SIKH, KASHMIR, and KIPLING departed Scapa Flow at 1300 to sweep off
the east coast of Iceland. They
arrived back after an uneventful patrol at 2130/10th.
Destroyers DUNCAN and MAORI escorting submarine depot ship TITANIA departed
Lough Foyle at 1030 for Rosyth.
Destroyer DOUGLAS departed Portsmouth at 1900 to join the 12th Destroyer
Flotilla operating at Scapa Flow. She arrived at 1730/9th, but was found to have faulty boiler tubes
and secured alongside depot ship GREENWICH for repairs.
Destroyers ATHERSTONE, BEAGLE, BULLDOG, and SALADIN at sea on patrol were
ordered to attack German motor torpedo boats off Calais. They were
ordered to be west of Dungeness by dawn and no contact was made.
ABRONIA (Temporary Skipper H. Kerrison RNR) foundered
in the Thames. Five ratings were lost.
trawler NIENDORF (257grt) was sunk on a mine off Calais. (Seekrieg -
U.47 in attacks on convoy SC.2 sank British steamers
(5155grt) in 58‑27N, 17‑17W, JOSE DE LARRINGA (5303grt) and
the Norwegian GRO (4211grt) in 58‑30N, 16‑10W. One
British naval rating was lost in NEPTUNIAN, and eleven
crew were missing from GRO.
British steamer BURDWAN rescued twenty
SALACON (211grt) was sunk on a mine 5.3 miles 114° from
Spurn Light House. Eight crew were lost.
German Luftwaffe launched heavy air attacks on the Port of London, with 300
aircraft dropping 337 tons of bombs. Tug BECKTON (45grt) was
sunk at the Beckton Gas
Works, London River, but there
were no casualties. Many ships were damaged - British steamers BARONESA (8663grt), GOTHLAND (1286grt), BENNEVIS (5264grt),
UMGENI (8180grt), GLENSTRAE (9460grt), KNITSLEY (2272grt), UMTALI (8162grt,
attacked again on the 11th), INANDA (5985grt, attacked again on the 8th and 9th), INKOSI (6618grt, attacked again on 8th and 9th), FRUMENTON
(6675grt, attacked again on 8th and 9th), HETTON (2714grt), EASTWOOD
(1551grt), WILLIAM CASH (1186grt), and OTAIO (10,298grt), Dutch steamers
PRINS FREDERIK HENDRIK (1288grt), SCHIE (1967grt), ABBEKERK (7906grt), MOENA
(9286grt), ANTJE (157grt), REIGER (155grt), and PRINS MAURITS (1287grt),
Belgian steamer SAMBRE (683grt, attacked again on the 11th), and Estonian
steamers LAKE HALLWIL (3165grt) and ELNA (3195grt).
Steamer INANDA at the Albert Docks was outfitting as an ocean boarding
vessel, but because of the damage, conversion was abandoned.
motor torpedo boat S.33 in attacks on convoy FS.273 sank Dutch steamer STAD
ALKMAAR (5750grt) in 52‑25N, 02‑02E east of Lowestoft, but
the entire crew was rescued. S.36 also participated in the attack.
yacht RHODORA (687grt) was sunk in an accidental collision with
steamer NGATIRA (525grt) off Cardiff in the Bristol Channel.
Anti-aircraft cruiser COVENTRY departed Alexandria and proceeded to Port
Tewfik in the Red Sea. She sailed at once with destroyers KANDAHAR and KIMBERLEY to escort
convoy BS.4 to Aden arriving on the 12th.
cruiser CUMBERLAND departed Freetown to intercept reported German steamer
OSTMARK, supposedly en route to Dakar.
September, the heavy cruiser reported Vichy French light cruiser PRIMAUGUET,
two destroyers, and an oiler in 18-27N, 17-40W on a course of 180°. The
light cruiser, sloops LA SURPRISE and GAZELLE, and oiler TARN had departed
Casablanca on the 4th and arrived at Dakar on the 9th.
Sunday, 8 September
the night of 8/9 September, light cruiser GALATEA with destroyers CAMPBELL,
GARTH, and VESPER plus light cruiser AURORA with destroyers HAMBLEDON,
HOLDERNESS, and VENETIA were to shell German shipping concentrations off
Calais and Boulogne. From
0225 to 0245, British Anson aircraft dropped flares over both ports. No shipping was found in Calais Roads,
did not conduct a bombardment. However, AURORA did bombarded the Boulogne harbour area.
Destroyers ATHERSTONE, BERKELEY, BULLDOG, BEAGLE, and FERNIE swept along the
French coast in a broad sweep from Le Tonquet to the southwest up to five
miles north of Cape Antifer. The
cruisers arrived back at Sheerness on the 9th. On her return, GALATEA struck a mine at 0525 off Sheerness
and repaired at Chatham until 8 January 1941.
merchant cruiser CHITRAL was at sea escorted by destroyers AMAZON and
ANTELOPE in the Western Approaches. The two destroyers were detached for anti-submarine operations,
and replaced by Canadian destroyer SKEENA.
OA.211 departed Methil escorted by sloop WESTON and corvette PRIMROSE.
OB.210 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyer SKATE with corvettes ANEMONE
and ARABIS. Destroyer SHIKARI joined on the 9th. The escort
was detached on the 10th.
Motor torpedo boats MTB.15 and MTB.17 attacked and reported
sinking a German ammunition ship and damaging a cargo vessel off Ostend. MTB.14 was also in the attack.
J. C. Carpenter, flying a Hurricane of RAF 46 Squadron from Stapleford
Tawney, was killed when his aircraft was shot down near Sheerness.
Italian submarine FAA DI BRUNO made an unsuccessful attack on a tanker in
continued German air attacks on the Port of London, British steamers
TYNEMOUTH (3168grt) and SHERWOOD (1530grt), Belgian tanker PRESIDENT FRANQUI
(4919grt) and steamer ANNA (695grt), and Dutch steamer THEA (273grt) were
German air attacks, sloop STORK was torpedoed at anchor in Methil Roads. Her
stern was wrecked and she was badly damaged. Gunner
R. Motts was wounded.
STORK repaired at Grangemouth, completing on 16 March 1941. Dutch
steamer STAD VLAARDINGEN (8501grt) was damaged by German bombing, also in Methil
Roads. She was taken in tow by Norwegian destroyer SLEIPNER, but was then in a collision with Dutch steamer ALGORAB (4938grt).
air raid on Malta, submarine OLYMPUS in dock suffered slight damage.
cruiser CORNWALL departed Simonstown for Freetown, arriving on the 15th.
armed merchant cruiser Schiff 21/WIDDER captured Greek collier ANTONIOS CHANDRIS
(5866grt) in the Central Atlantic in 11‑25N, 34‑10W. Twenty
two crew were landed at Rio de Janeiro, and ten at Buenos
Monday, 9 September
Destroyer BEDOUIN was docked at Scapa Flow for repairs to her asdic
directing gear. She was the first destroyer to use the newly constructed
dock, Admiralty Floating Dock, AFD.12 which had arrived on 26 August. On
docking, further defects were found, and damage to her
rudder was also repaired.
Destroyer JAGUAR departed Greenock for Scapa Flow where she arrived at
Destroyers VANOC and VISCOUNT were in a collision at Plymouth. VANOC
received temporary repairs at Devonport, completing on the 10th,
and later received permanent repairs at Portsmouth from 18 to 25 November. VISCOUNT was repaired in one week.
OA.212 departed Methil escorted by anti-aircraft cruiser CAIRO until the 11th, and by sloop ROCHESTER and corvette CLEMATIS.
FN.277A departed Southend, escorted by destroyer VIVIEN, sloop LONDONDERRY,
and patrol sloop GUILLEMOT, and arrived in the Tyne on the 11th.
FN.277B departed Southend, escorted by destroyers VANITY, WOLSEY plus
patrol sloops MALLARD, SHEARWATER, and WIDGEON, and arrived in the
Tyne on the 11th.
MT.164 departed Methil, and arrived in the Tyne later that day.
FS.276 departed the Tyne, escorted by destroyer VERDUN and sloop BLACK SWAN,
and arrived at Southend on the 11th.
British aircraft of the 801 Squadron from Hatston attacked German shipping
in the Bergen area. One
Skua was lost on its return and the crew, Petty Officer H. C. Kimber and
Petty Officer Airman A G. Clayton, were killed. The
raid was repeated on the 13th, when two Skuas were shot down. Petty Officer E. G.
R. Harwin and Naval Airman J. R. Maunder from one aircraft were killed, and Lt T. E. Gray and Lt J. C. W. Iliffe
from the other were captured.
L. A de Sandoval Sievier, in a Battle of RAF Squadron 103 from Newton, was
killed when his aircraft was shot down over Calais. The two RAF crew were
MINNIE DE LARRINGA (5049grt) was sunk by German bombing
the Port of London, but without casualties. She was later salved and sunk as a blockship at Dover
on 5 February 1941.
Steamer RYAL (367grt) was damaged,
also in the Port of
JOHN BAPTISH (290grt) was sunk on a British defensive
minefield south of Coningbeg Light Vessel.
DERVISH (346grt) was sunk on an aerial mine laid by
aircraft of German IX Air Division, 2.6 miles 156° from
the Humber Light Vessel. Four
crew were lost, and eleven rescued.
HARVEST MOON (72grt) and drifter ALFRED COLEBROOK (56grt)
were sunk as blockships in Richborough Channel.
destroyers LODY, GALSTER, RIEDEL, ECKHOLDT, and IHN departed Wilhelmshaven
for Cherbourg, arriving on the 11th, and escorting minelayers Schiff 23 (steamer
CAIRO:4778grt), TANNENBERG, COBRA, TOGO, and SCHWERIN.
U.28 sank steamer
MARDINIAN (2934grt) from convoy SC.2 in 56‑37N, 09W,
crew missing. Trawler
APOLLO rescued 21 MARDINIAN survivors and
sank Greek steamer POSSIDON (3840grt) from convoy SC.2 in 56‑43N, 09‑16W. Seven
crew were killed, and ten survivors rescued by
destroyer ARROW on the 13th.
Italian submarine FAA DI BRUNO
in 36N, 22W.
first eight US destroyers, US Destroyer Divisions 65 and 67, were
transferred to the Royal Navy at Halifax.
Lt I W T Beloe
USS AARON WARD (DD.132)
Cdr F H.E
USS HALE (DD.133)
Lt Cdr M W
USS CROWNINSHIELD (DD.134)
Lt Cdr R D.H.S
USS ABEL P UPSHUR (DD.193)
Lt CdrC Gwinner
USS WELBORNC WOOD (DD.195)
Lt Cdr G EC
Wood, Lt Cdr E Gleave RNR, before sailing to England
USS HERNDON (DD.198)
Cdr G R Cousins
USS WELLES (DD257)
Lt Cdr P G
HX.72 departed Halifax escorted by Canadian destroyer SAGUENAY plus auxiliary
patrol vessels FRENCH, LAURIER, and REINDEER.
1815, patrol vessel FRENCH departed the convoy.
1200/10th, steamer TUDOR PRINCE (7199grt) joined the convoy.
Canadian destroyer SAGUENAY left the convoy to
ocean escort, armed merchant
cruiser JERVIS BAY at 1750/10th, which herself detached on
BHX.72 departed Bermuda on the 8th escorted by ocean escort, armed merchant
cruiser VOLTAIRE. The convoy rendezvoused with HX.72 on the 13th and
the armed merchant cruiser was detached.
September, destroyers SCIMITAR, SHIKARI, SKATE, sloop LOWESTOFT, with
corvettes CALENDULA, HEARTSEASE, and LA MALOUINE joined the convoy, which was then dispersed on the 21st.
on the 8th and into early 9th, German torpedo boats T.5, T.6, T.7,
and T.8 of the 2nd Torpedo Boat Flotilla laid minefield HANNELORE in the
southwest North Sea.
Force Y (Contre Amiral C. J. L. Bourrague), composed of light cruisers
GEORGES LEYGUES (CV A G. Lemonnier), MONTCALM (CV M. H. M. Ferriere), GLOIRE (CV J. P. L. Broussignac) and large destroyers FANTASQUE (CV P. A B
Still), MALIN (C. F. E. J. M. L. Deprez), and AUDACIEUX (C. F. E. Derrien)
departed Toulon for Dakar.
Destroyers HOTSPUR, GRIFFIN, and ENCOUNTER departed Gibraltar on the 9th for
an anti-submarine sweep between Gibraltar and Alboran Island.
cruiser DRAGON departed Simonstown for Lagos.
cruiser DELHI departed Pointe Noire.
BRIDGEWATER arrived at Freetown from Lagos.
German armed merchant cruiser Schiff 16/ATLANTIS sank tanker
ATHELKING (9557grt) at
21‑52S, 67‑20E. Four
crew were killed and 36 made prisoners of war. The
East Indies Station at Colombo received ATHELKING's raider report
and dispatched light cruisers NEPTUNE, CAPETOWN and armed merchant
cruisers ARAWA and WESTRALIA, none of which made contact with the German
Tuesday, 10 September
Admiral H. M. Burrough CB, Cruiser Squadron 10, hoisted his flag on light
cruiser NIGERIA at Scapa Flow.
AP.3, consisting of British steamers BRITANNIC (26943grt, Commodore of
convoy Rear Admiral K. E. L. Creighton, MVO Rtd), ATHLONE CASTLE (25564grt),
BRISBANE STAR (11076grt), IMPERIAL STAR (10733grt), DURBAN CASTLE
(17388grt), ULSTER PRINCE (3791grt), DOMINION MONARCH (27155grt), and
GLAUCUS (7586grt), carrying 6050 troops, and steamers CLAN MACARTHUR
(10528grt) and CLAN CAMPBELL (7255grt) departed Liverpool escorted by
destroyers HAVELOCK, HIGHLANDER, HARVESTER, HURRICANE, WOLVERINE, and
VOLUNTEER from 10 to 12 September. Light cruiser SHEFFIELD and two
destroyers departed Greenock on the 10th and joined the convoy at Lough
Foyle on the 11th.
SHEFFIELD was ordered back to Greenock
on the 11th, and the
destroyers detached after passing the northwest approaches.
ocean escort was mainly armed merchant cruisers - WOLFE and CILICIA from 13th to 23rd, when the convoy arrived
at Freetown, and CANTON and CARNARVON CASTLE from 25 September to 4 October. The convoy arrived at Capetown on 4
October and sailed on the 6th. CANTON escorted from 6th to 9th, CARTHAGE
from 9th to 15th, and heavy cruiser SHROPSHIRE from 15th to 20th.
AP.3 was joined by light cruiser CARLISLE, destroyers KINGSTON, KANDAHAR,
and sloop FLAMINGO, and arrived safely at Suez on 22 October. The
arrival of AP.3 concluded operation APOLOGY.
Destroyers DUNCAN and MAORI departed Rosyth at 0815 to search for an
aircraft down in the sea, and at 1041, were ordered to the Tyne.
Destroyers MALCOLM, VETERAN, and WILD SWAN departed Harwich late on the
10th. Early on the 11 October, they struck at a German coastal convoy off Ostend.
Destroyers BULLDOG, BERKELEY, and BEAGLE departed Portsmouth and joined
destroyers HAVELOCK (SO), HIGHLANDER, HARVESTER and HURRICANE. The
destroyers were to intercept twelve enemy merchant ships escorted by thirty
S-boats reported at 1605, 15 miles 315° from Dieppe. At
1630, the report was amplified to include the presence of five destroyers in
the area. If no
contact was made with the German force, the destroyers were to sweep
northeast towards Le Toquet.
Convoy OB.211 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyer
VANQUISHER plus corvettes
ERICA and MALLOW, which detached on the 12th.
MT.165 departed Methil, and arrived in the Tyne later that day.
FS.277 departed the Tyne, escorted by destroyers VEGA and VORTIGERN, and arrived at Southend on the 11th.
Submarine STURGEON attacked U.43 forty miles southwest of the Naze in
Norwegian steamer ELI (4332grt) was
sunk by German bombing 12 miles 144°
from Skerryvore Light House. Her
naval gunner was lost.
SC.4 departed Sydney, CB at 1000 escorted locally by Canadian armed yachts HUSKY, LYNX and ocean
sloop DEPTFORD, which detached on the
12th. Destroyers ACTIVE, KEPPEL, VANQUISHER, sloop LOWESTOFT, plus
corvettes ARABIS, CAMELLIA, FLEUR DE LYS and HEARTSEASE joined the convoy on
the 23rd and escorted it to its arrival at Liverpool on the 26th.
SHX.72 departed Sydney, CB escorted by Canadian auxiliary patrol vessel
LAURIER and armed yacht REINDEER.
Destroyers JUNO and JANUS departed Alexandria for Port Said for escort
duties with convoy AN.3 which sailed on the 11th.
Anti-aircraft cruiser CALCUTTA and destroyer JERVIS supported the convoy on
the 14th, with JERVIS detaching the same day, and CALCUTTA the next. When
it was found steamer EASTLEA could only make six
knots, she was detached to Alexandria while the destroyers continued
with steamers VASCO and PALERMO, which arrived on the 15th.
Aircraft carrier ARGUS arrived at Freetown after delivering aircraft to
Convoy BN.5 departed Bombay on the 10th escorted by armed merchant cruisers ANTENOR
and HECTOR until the 19th. Light
cruiser LEANDER and sloop INDUS were escorts from Aden from 19th to 23rd,
AUCKLAND and PARRAMATTA from 19th to 22nd.
Submarine X.2 (former Italian submarine GALILEO GALILEI, captured on 19
June) departed Aden with the convoy, but she returned to Aden, escorted by netlayer PROTECTOR, after a mechanical breakdown. Sloops
GRIMSBY and SHOREHAM escorted the convoy from Port Sudan on the 23rd until
its arrival at Suez on the 26th.
September, Vichy French armed merchant cruiser CAP DES PALMES escorted by
submarine PONCELET and sloop BOUGAINVILLE, which departed Dakar on the 3rd,
arrived at Libreville with troops and supplies to augment the Vichy
German armed merchant cruiser Schiff 16/ATLANTIS sank steamer
the Indian Ocean, 480 miles east of Rodrigues in 18‑32S, 70‑07E.
There were no casualties.
Wednesday, 11 September
and ELECTRA departed Greenock for Loch Alsh at 1530/9th, while destroyers VERSATILE and VIMY were ordered to Loch Alsh on the 9th.
The four ships then departed Loch Alsh at
0730/11th with minelayers SOUTHERN PRINCE, PORT NAPIER, PORT QUEBEC and MENESTHEUS on minelaying
operation SN 41. After its completion the ships arrived back at Loch Alsh at
destroyers departed for Scapa Flow at 1945 and arrived at 0630/13th.
Destroyers MATABELE, ASHANTI, TARTAR, and PUNJABI departed Scapa Flow at
0600 for Rosyth.
Destroyers DUNCAN and MAORI arrived in the Tyne at 1800/11th to escort
store carrier KYLE FISHER (520grt) to Rosyth. They departed the Tyne at 1200/12th.
Destroyer SOMALI took over the escort at Rosyth, and departed with KYLE
FISHER at 1500/14th for Scapa Flow.
Destroyers WOLVERINE, VANOC, SALADIN, and VOLUNTEER conducted a BOARD sweep
off the French coast during the night of 11/12 September.
Convoy OB.212 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyer WARWICK,
sloop ENCHANTRESS, and corvette COREOPSIS. Anti-submarine
trawler ARAB joined on the 12th and minelayer SOUTHERN PRINCE on
the 13th. ARAB and SOUTHERN PRINCE detached on the 13th, WARWICK and
COREOPSIS on the 14th, and ENCHANTRESS on the 16th.
FN.278 departed Southend, escorted by destroyers WALLACE and WOLFHOUND, and arrived in the Tyne on the 13th.
MT.166 departed Methil, and arrived in the Tyne on the 12th.
FS.278 departed the Tyne, escorted by destroyers VIVACIOUS and WOOLSTON, and arrived at Southend on the 14th.
Submarine PORPOISE laid minefield FD.26, 48 mines
a 1.2 mile line 205° from 46‑24‑48N, 01‑59‑45W.
Destroyers ATHERSTONE and FERNIE were escorting convoy CW.11 when attacked
and bombed by German aircraft off Ramsgate. ATHERSTONE was badly damaged near South
Edinburgh Buoy, with six ratings killed. FERNIE continued with the
convoy, while tug TURQUOISE towed ATHERSTONE to Chatham, where her repairs
were completed in early January.
Destroyers CAMPBELL, GARTH, and VESPER patrolled off the Dutch coast during
the night of 11/12 September.
was bombed and shelled. MTB.71 was set afire and MTB.29 damaged. MTB.71 required four months to repair,
but MTB.29 was quickly returned to
British attack on Calais, an Albacore of 826 Squadron force landed after
being damaged by German fighters. Lt A S. Downes was slightly wounded,
and together with
S/Lt C. R. Mallett, rescued by a MTB. Naval Airman J. A M. Stevens was
killed in the attack. In a second aircraft, S/Lt
T. Winstanley and S/Lt (A) J. D. Watson were wounded, but got back, and in a
third, S/Lt E. G. Brown and Naval Airman R.
E. Mathews were badly wounded, with S/Lt A M. Tuke escaping unscathed.
in attacks on convoy OA.210 damaged British steamer HARPENDEN (4678grt) and
sank Dutch steamer MAAS (1966grt) in 55‑34N, 15‑56W.
There were only two survivors from the Dutch ship, while HARPENDEN was assisted by escort vessel JASON and towed to Greenock
by tug MAURADER. U.28
also attacked a tanker in the convoy and claimed damage to her, but no
confirmation is available.
U.99 sank steamer
ALBONIC (2468grt) northwest of Ireland. ALBONIC had departed Wabana, Newfoundland on 31 August and was later
declared missing with the loss of all hands. Most sources
showed her as a victim to a German raider.
BEATHWOOD (209grt) was sunk by German bombing one mile
east of Montrose Coast Guard Lookout. Seven
crew were lost, and there were two survivors.
RESPONDO (209grt) was lost off Old Head of Kinsale to
steamer NORMAN QUEEN (957grt) and the Swedish TORKEL (1236grt)
were damaged by German bombing in the Port of London.
Tanker ALEXIA (8016grt) was damaged by German bombing in 57‑26N,
02‑02E, and assisted by tug BUCCANEER.
steamer CORDOBA (4611grt) was sunk on a mine off Le Havre.
ENCOUNTER WITH VICHY FRENCH NAVY FORCE Y
0512, destroyer HOTSPUR, which was submarine hunting with destroyers
GRIFFIN, and ENCOUNTER, sighted French cruiser Force Y.
Battlecruiser RENOWN (presumably in Gibraltar) signalled the French commander and asked their
destination, adding that they would not be allowed to enter a German port.
French replied that they were southbound. The British commander ordered them
into Casablanca and that if they proceeded further they would be stopped. Soon
after this, HOTSPUR lost contact, and
GRIFFIN was sent into Gibraltar to refuel.
RENOWN with destroyers GRIFFIN and VIDETTE departed Gibraltar
at 1600 to intercept French force Y.
Destroyer VELOX, which was refuelling when RENOWN departed, sailed when
refuelling was completed and joined her at sea.
0800/12th, destroyers HOTSPUR, ENCOUNTER, and WISHART, which after refuelling
had sailed at 2100/11th from Gibraltar, joined the RENOWN force.
that time, destroyer WRESTLER was at Gibraltar, destroyers GALLANT, GARLAND
and FIREDRAKE were under repairs there, and the remainding
Gibraltar destroyers were employed on Operation MENACE.
Submarine TRIAD departed Gibraltar on the 11th for patrol, as did submarine
TRUANT on the 12th for patrol off Gibraltar.
Force Y put into Casablanca but the light cruisers left the following
morning at 0400. The
large French destroyers later departed on the 16th for Dakar arriving on the
VIDETTE off Casablanca sighted and fired upon French large
destroyer MILAN at 0405, but no damage was done and the French ship retired
under smoke towards Casablanca.
submarine AMPHITRITE sighted VIDETTE but did not attack her.
Submarines AMAZONE and SYBILLE, also on patrol off Casablanca, made no
contact with the British ships.
Anti-aircraft cruiser COVENTRY joined convoy BS.4
which was being bombed in the Red
Sea, and remained in company until the 13th
SL.47 departed Freetown escorted by armed merchant cruiser CARNARVON CASTLE
until the 26th, when destroyers HARVESTER, HIGHLANDER, HURRICANE, armed merchant
cruiser MOOLTAN, sloop FOWEY, plus corvettes ANEMONE, MALLOW, and PEONY
joined. Sloop WESTON joined on the 27th, with destroyer SABRE only joining
the escort for the 28th. On that date, all the escorts except
MOOLTAN and WESTON were detached, and they left on the 30th,
anti-aircraft ship CURACOA and corvette PRIMROSE joined. The convoy arrived
on 1 October.
Thursday, 12 September
Destroyers MALCOLM, WILD SWAN, and VENOMOUS departed Harwich to patrol off
Boulogne, then sweep towards Cape Griz Nez.
LG.1 departed Liverpool with steamers DUCHESS OF ATHOLL (20,119grt), ROSLIN
CASTLE 7016grt), ORBITA (15,495grt), and MARTIN BAKKE (5484grt), escorted
by destroyers OTTAWA, SKEENA, and ARROW. The convoy arrived at Gibraltar on
OA.213 departed Methil escorted by destroyer ST LAURENT, sloop FLEETWOOD,
and corvette BLUEBELL from the 12th to 16th. Anti-aircraft cruiser CAIRO
was with the convoy on the 12th and anti-submarine trawler COVENTRY CITY on the 13th.
MT.167 departed Methil, and arrived in the Tyne the next day.
FS.279 departed the Tyne, escorted by destroyers VALOROUS and WESTMINSTER.
Patrol sloop SHEARWATER joined on the 13th, and the convoy arrived at Southend
on the 14th.
SALVAGE KING (1164grt) was lost by grounding one and a half
miles west of Duncansby Head.
Destroyer EGLINTON departed Scapa Flow at 0600 to stand by her, but salvage was abandoned by the Fleet tugs and the destroyer arrived back
at Scapa Flow at 2200.
GOTHIC (2444grt) was sunk on a aerial mine laid by German
IX Air Division aircraft, 7500 yards 130° from
Spurn Point. Two
crew, including a naval rating, were killed and ten missing.
Naval store carrier GLENROY (9809grt) and troopship HIGHLAND
PRINCESS (14,133grt) were damaged by German bombing at Liverpool.
Steamer TINTERN ABBEY (2471grt) was damaged by German bombing six
miles 270° from Chicken Rock, Isle of Man.
steamer BORKUM had been captured by British forces and sunk in a German
attack in November 1939. She salved and brought to Kirkwall, leaving there
on the 12th.
1620, battlecruiser RENOWN aircraft reported that there were no French
cruisers in Casablanca and later sighted French Force Y steaming south
towards Dakar at high speed.
Aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL and heavy cruisers DEVONSHIRE, AUSTRALIA, and
CUMBERLAND approaching Freetown, were ordered to intercept the French force.
Reaching their positions on the afternoon of 14 September, the French had
already arrived at Dakar. The
British ships returned to Freetown on the 17th.
Anti-aircraft cruiser CALCUTTA departed Alexandria to escort convoy AN.3
north through the Kaso Strait, and on the 13th, the convoy was attacked
by Italian bombers. Heavy
cruiser KENT, light cruisers GLOUCESTER, LIVERPOOL, plus destroyers HERO,
HASTY, JERVIS and HEREWARD left Alexandria on the 13th to provide anti-aircraft support. HERO and HASTY were detached and arrived back at Alexandria on
the 14th, and after
delivering the convoy, CALCUTTA and destroyers JUNO and JANUS proceeded to Alexandria,
arriving there on the 16th. The
KENT support group was detached to support the air attack on Benghazi.
cruiser CUMBERLAND arrived at Freetown from patrol.
BS.4B departed Suez, was joined on the 14th by light cruiser
HOBART and destroyer KANDAHAR, and arrived at Aden on the 16th.
German armed merchant cruiser PINGUIN sank steamer
BENAVON (5872grt) at
25‑20S, 52‑17E in the Indian Ocean. Twenty
three crew and the naval gunner were lost, and 25 crew
made prisoners of war.
Friday, 13 September
Battleship NELSON, battlecruiser HOOD, anti-aircraft cruisers NAIAD, BONAVENTURE,
with destroyers KASHMIR, KIPLING, ZULU, SIKH, SOMALI (D.6), and
ESKIMO were ordered from Scapa Flow at 0700 to Rosyth for anti-invasion
duties. They left on the 13th and were joined at sea by destroyers
JACKAL and ELECTRA, after refuelling at Scapa Flow.
Anti-aircraft cruiser CAIRO joined off Noss Head, and the force arrived at Rosyth that same day.
force joined battleship RODNEY, which had arrived at Rosyth on 25 August,
the same day destroyers COSSACK and MAORI reached there from
Destroyers MATABELE, ASHANTI, TARTAR, and PUNJABI arrived on 11 September.
Meanwhile destroyer BEDOUIN undocked from the Scapa Flow floating dock at
1600/15th and proceeded to Rosyth at 1945 on the 15th. On the 16th, CAIRO returned to Scapa Flow for convoy
anti-aircraft protection duties.
Anti-aircraft cruiser CURACOA arrived at Scapa Flow to work up.
Destroyer AMAZON and troopship ULSTER MONARCH (3244grt) departed the Clyde
for Iceland, with AMAZON arriving back on the 17th.
The following destroyers were engaged in anti-invasion
operations - CAMPBELL, GARTH, and VESPER at sea during the 13th/14th to
bombard Ostend, but cancelled due to bad weather, BROKE, WITHERINGTON, VANSITTART,
and the Polish BURZA and BLYSKAWICA swept the
French coast westward from Roches Douvres, HIGHLANDER, HARVESTER, BULLDOG, and BEAGLE swept
from Cherbourg to Le Havre, and MALCOLM, WILD SWAN and VENOMOUS from Boulogne to Cape Griz Nez.
Off Boulogne, the latter force engaged German trawlers from 0115 to 0135,
action was broken off when they came under shore gunfire.
OB.213 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyer WINCHELSEA plus corvettes
GLADIOLUS and GLOXINIA.
FN.279 departed Southend, escorted by destroyers VEGA, VERDUN, VORTIGERN,
sloop BLACK SWAN, plus patrol sloops GUILLEMOT and MALLARD,
and arrived in the Tyne on the 15th.
MT.168 departed Methil, and arrived in the Tyne the next day.
FS.280 departed the Tyne, escorted by destroyer WINCHESTER and sloop EGRET,
and arrived at Southend on the 15th.
Submarine PORPOISE laid minefield FD.26
with 48 mines off Ile d'Yeu, north of La Rochelle.
torpedo boats T.1, T.2, and T.3 departed Rotterdam on the 12th. Off
the Scheldt on the afternoon of the 13th, they were attacked by
an RAF Blenheim which near missed T.2, damaging her with splinters, both
underwater and on the bridge. She proceeded to Vlissingen, was temporarily repaired at the
Wilton yard, and continued on to Wilhelmshaven, arriving on the 25th for
repairs completed in May 1941. The
other two arrived at Le Havre on the 15th.
Steamer INISHTRAHULL (869grt) was damaged by German bombing in
auxiliary minesweeper M.1306 (trawler HERMANN KRONE: 449grt) was sunk on a
mine off Hanstholm.
Convoy HX.73 departed Halifax at 1400 escorted by Canadian
destroyer ASSINIBOINE plus auxiliary patrol vessels FRENCH, LAURIER, and REINDEER which later
turned the convoy over to ocean escort, armed merchant cruiser ASCANIA on
the 14th. The armed merchant cruiser was detached on the 24th.
BHX.73 departed Bermuda on the 12th escorted by ocean escort, armed merchant
cruiser AUSONIA, and rendezvoused with HX.73 on the 17th, when AUSONIA detached.
On the 23rd, destroyers ANTELOPE and ANTHONY joined the convoy,
followed on the 24th by destroyer WALKER with corvettes ANEMONE and MALLOW,
and on the 25th by
sloop FOWEY and corvette PEONY. The sloop and corvettes detached on the 26th,
and anti-submarine trawler MAN O WAR
joined the convoy in Home Waters, which arrived at Liverpool on the
Destroyers HYPERION and DIAMOND departed Alexandria for Port Said to escort
convoy LW 16.
Anti-aircraft cruiser COVENTRY arrived at Aden and joined
KIMBERLEY. They departed the same day and joined troopships ANDES, EMPRESS OF BRITAIN,
and EMPRESS OF CANADA of convoy WS.2A. COVENTRY remained with the convoy until the 14th
when it had passed Massawa, and then proceeded to Port Sudan.
Escorting convoy BS.4, Australian sloop PARRAMATTA attacked a submarine
contact in the Red Sea. The convoy continued with New Zealand light cruiser
LEANDER, which returned to Aden when the convoy was dispersed.
French steamers GINETTE LE BORGNE (1619grt) and CASSIDAIGNE (1417grt) were
sunk, and CAP TOURANE (8009grt) damaged on mines west of Sardinia. They were carrying demilitarized troops from North Africa to France.
Heavy cruiser CUMBERLAND departed Freetown for the UK, but
next day, was ordered for join Force M.
Saturday, 14 September
Admiral (Destroyers) Home Fleet transferred his flag to battlecruiser
REPULSE at 0800.
Destroyers ESKIMO and MATABELE arrived at 1200/14th at Scapa Flow escorting
depot ship MAIDSTONE. They then departed at 1600 to search for a
submarine reported by aircraft 20 miles north of Cape Wrath.
Destroyer EGLINTON departed Scapa Flow at 1630 to join them. All three destroyers returned to Scapa Flow
on the 15th without making
Battleship REVENGE and light cruiser EMERALD departed the Clyde to come
under the command of Western Approaches. The ships were escorted from the Clyde by destroyers MACKAY, WESTCOTT, SCIMITAR
and SKATE, and REVENGE arrived at Plymouth on the 15th.
Minelayer TEVIOTBANK departed Immingham to lay minefield ZMD (A) in channels
in the Faroes Islands. Escorted by anti-submarine whalers WASTWATER, BUTTERMERE, and
THIRLMERE, she laid mines in Hestofjord, Dimonfjord and Skuofjord, and then
proceeded to Loch Alsh after the minelay was completed.
OL.1 departed Liverpool, but no escorts were listed. The convoy dispersed on the
OL.2 did not sail.
OA.214 departed Methil escorted by sloop SANDWICH and corvette GARDENIA from
the 14th to 19th.
FN.280 departed Southend, escorted by destroyers VIVACIOUS and WOOLSTON, and arrived in the Tyne on the 16th.
MT.169 departed Methil, and arrived in the Tyne the next day.
FS.281 departed the Tyne, escorted by destroyers VANITY, VIMIERA, and
WOLSEY, and arrived at Southend on the 16th.
anti-submarine trawler UJ.173 (trawler HINRICH WESSELHOFT (510grt)) was
lost by stranding at Hardangersfjord.
Italian submarine EMO sank steamer
SAINT AGNES (5199grt) from
dispersed convoy SLS.46 in 41‑27N, 21‑50W, but the
entire crew was rescued.
SHX.73 departed Sydney, CB escorted by Canadian auxiliary patrol vessel
LAURIER and armed yacht REINDEER.
Battlecruiser RENOWN and her destroyers arrived back at Gibraltar
at 2014 for refuelling.
Destroyers VELOX and VIDETTE had been detached earlier to refuel there.
Destroyer ENCOUNTER, which had been searching for a London flying boat
shot down by French fighters, arrived at Gibraltar the next morning.
Submarines TRITON and TETRARCH arrived at Gibraltar from Home Waters for
duty with the 8th Submarine Flotilla, escorted by destroyer WRESTLER, which
departed to join them on the 12th.
0730/14th, destroyers INGLEFIELD, ECHO, GREYHOUND, FORTUNE, ESCAPADE, and
ECLIPSE from aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL's screen arrived at Freetown to
0900, destroyers FAULKNOR, FORESIGHT, FORESTER, and FURY arrived at Freetown
1215, convoy MP escorted by French sloops COMMANDANT DOMINE and COMMANDANT
DUBOC arrived at Freetown.
1230, battleships BARHAM and RESOLUTION arrived at Freetown.
1350, INGLEFIELD, ECHO, FORTUNE, ESCAPADE, ECLIPSE, and FURY
departed Freetown. ECLIPSE had mechanical problems and reported at
0015 on the 15th that she was returning to Freetown.
0515 on the 15th, FAULKNOR, FORESIGHT, and FORESTER and at 0530, battleships
BARHAM and RESOLUTION and destroyers departed Freetown. These ships were
recalled to Freetown at 1621 on the 15th to refuel destroyers, arriving at
2300 that night.
BRIDGEWATER departed Freetown on patrol, but was recalled later in the day
to return for anti-submarine duties off Freetown.
destroyer GARLAND departed Gibraltar to return to England. On the 15th, she made two attacks on submarine contacts in 37-08N, 10-42W,
arrrived at Belfast for refuelling on the 18th, and reached Plymouth on the
BS.4A departed Suez, was joined on the 17th by sloop SHOREHAM, and arrived at Port Sudan on the 18th.
BS.4C departed Port Sudan, was joined on the 15th by heavy
cruiser SHROPSHIRE, anti-aircraft cruiser COVENTRY, destroyers KIMBERLEY and
KINGSTON, plus sloop FLAMINGO, and arrived at Aden on the 18th.