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

NAVAL EVENTS, OCTOBER 1940 (Part 1 of 2)
Tuesday 1st Monday 14th

Partly edited by Gordon Smith, Naval-History.Net

HMS Douglas, destroyer in 1943 (Navy Photos, click to enlarge)

on to OCTOBER 1940, Part 2

 

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

(for more ship information, go to Naval History Homepage and type name in Site Search)

 


Background Events - September-December 1940

U-boat packs in Atlantic, Blitz on Britain, Attack on Taranto, German raiders at sea


 

 

1940

 

  

Tuesday,  1 October

 

Anti-aircraft ship ALYNBANK departed Scapa Flow at 1100 to cover convoy WN.19 Slow.

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Anti-aircraft cruiser CURACOA was escorting convoy WN.19 Fast when it was attacked by German aircraft at dusk.  Stragglers from WN.19 Slow were also machine gunned in this raid.

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Destroyers JACKAL, KASHMIR, JUPITER departed Rosyth at 0200 for Plymouth for duty in the Western Approaches.

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Destroyer VERSATILE departed Invergordon at 1530 with British steamer ULSTER MONARCH.  Both arrived in the Clyde at 2100/2nd.

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Convoy OB.222 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyers SABRE, WALKER and corvettes COREOPSIS and MALLOW from the 1st to 4th and anti-submarine trawlers ST APOLLO and SPHENE from 1st to 5th.

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Convoy FN.296 departed Southend, escorted by destroyer WESTMINSTER and sloop EGRET, and arrived at Methil on the 3rd.

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Convoy FS.297 departed Methil, escorted by destroyers VANITY and WOLFHOUND, and arrived at Southend on the 3rd.

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Off Cape Barfleur, submarine SWORDFISH (Lt P J Cowell) attacked the four German torpedo boats returning from laying minefield WERNER off Dover.  SWORDFISH claimed sinking one of the torpedo boats, but none were damaged.

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Submarine H.49 (Lt M A Langley) attacked a German convoy of six merchant ships off Texel.

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Minesweeper BRITOMART and minesweeper trawler RETAKO (245grt) were in a collision in the Firth of Forth.  BRITOMART was repaired at Leith, completed on the 18th.

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U.32 attacked Dutch steamer HAULERWIJK (3278grt) in 54-28N, 26-33W, and later sank her  with gunfire in 53-34N, 27-28W.  There were 27 survivors.

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U.38 sank British steamer HIGHLAND PATRIOT (14,172grt) in 52‑20N, 19‑04W.  Three crew were lost. There were 141 survivors.

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Italian submarine BARACCA sank Greek steamer AGHIOS NICOLAOS (3687grt) in 40‑00N, 16‑55W, 300 miles off Lisbon.

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Convoy SHX.77 departed Halifax escorted by Canadian armed yachts REINDEER and HUSKY.

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Light cruiser DAUNTLESS arrived at Penang.

 

 

Wednesday, 2 October

 

Destroyer TARTAR departed Scapa Flow at 1200 for Devonport for refitting, and  arrived at 1700/4th.

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Destroyer MATABELE departed Kirkwall at 1300 to search for a German submarine reported at 1130, seven miles 360 from Lossiemouth.  She was recalled to Scapa Flow on the 3rd and arrived at 1420.

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Destroyer BULLDOG departed Sheerness at 0740 for Rosyth to join the Home Fleet temporarily.

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British floating mines were still being destroyed west of the Orkneys and Shetlands on this date, preventing the carrying out of anti-submarine exercises in the normal area.

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Convoy OA.223 departed Methil escorted by sloop SANDWICH. Corvette HEARTSEASE joined on the 6th and both were detached later that day.

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Convoy FN.297 departed Southend, escorted by destroyers VALOROUS and WOLSEY. The convoy arrived at Methil on the 4th.

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Convoy FS.298 departed Methil, escorted by destroyers WALLACE and WATCHMAN. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 4th.

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In a raid on German shipping in Bjorne Fjord by the British 801 Squadron from Hatston, a Skua was shot down and S/Lt A. Hartoch and Naval Airman E. J. Adlam were killed.

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U.32 sank steamer KAYESON (4606grt) in 51‑12N, 24‑22W. The entire crew was rescued.

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Steamer LATYMER (2218grt) in convoy HG.44 was sunk by German bombing in 51‑20N, 10‑30W, four miles west of Skelligs.

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Anti-aircraft cruiser CURACOA arrived at Scapa Flow at 0400 after escorting convoy WN.19 F. She departed Scapa Flow at 1230 to cover convoy HX.74 A. The convoy was attacked by German bombers which dropped two torpedoes, but both torpedoes missed. Steamer TREHATA (4817grt) was damaged by German bombing off Peterhead in convoy HX.74 A. CURACOA arrived back at Scapa Flow that evening.

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Destroyers HAVOCK and HASTY, returning to Alexandria from convoy AN 4 escort, sank Italian submarine BERRILO south of Crete in 33‑09N, 26‑24E. Forty five crew were rescued. HASTY and HAVOCK joined the Main Fleet at noon on the 2nd and proceeded to Alexandria.

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Early on the 2nd, light cruisers ORION and SYDNEY bombarded Maltezana in Stampalia. The ships arrived back at Alexandria on the 3rd.

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The British Mediterranean Fleet arrived back at Alexandria.

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Heavy cruiser DEVONSHIRE (Flagship Vice Admiral John Cunningham) with destroyers FAULKNOR, FORESIGHT, FURY, ESCAPADE departed Freetown for Duala, Cameroons arriving on the 4th with Dutch liner WESTERNLAND (16, 469grt), carrying 1564 tons, French sloops COMMANDANT DOMINE and COMMANDANT DUBOC. When agreement could not be reached between De Gaulle and the British command on operations, the destroyers returned to Freetown.

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Heavy cruiser HAWKINS arrived at Durban for refitting completed on 16 November.

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Convoy BS.5 A departed Port Sudan, escorted by armed boarding vessel CHAKDINA and sloops FLAMINGO and INDUS. The convoy was dispersed off Aden on the 6th.

 

 

Thursday,  3 October

 

Light cruiser SHEFFIELD departed the Clyde with destroyer VERSATILE to escort Convoy WS 3 A (slow) from Liverpool bound for the Middle East.

 

Destroyer depot ship WOOLWICH, after refitting at Liverpool, departed for duty in the Mediterranean Fleet.

 

SHEFFIELD joined British troopships OROPESA (14,118grt, convoy commodore), DORSET (10,624grt), PORT CHALMERS (8535grt), KHEDIVE ISMAEL (7290grt), ERINPURA (5143grt), PERTHSHIRE (10,496grt), HIGHLAND BRIGADE (14,134grt) escorted by destroyers HAVELOCK, HIGHLANDER, HARVESTER, HURRICANE, WITHERINGTON, VISCOUNT, VERSATILE.

 

SHEFFIELD turned the convoy over to heavy cruiser CUMBERLAND on the 13th. The convoy arrived at Freetown on the 16th.

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After D/F readings of a probable enemy ship sixty miles off Bergen, battlecruiser HOOD, heavy cruisers BERWICK and NORFOLK, available destroyers at Scapa Flow were brought to one hour's notice. Destroyer MATABELE was recalled from Moray Firth patrol and arrived at Scapa Flow at 1420.

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Convoy OB.223 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyer SCIMITAR, corvettes HEARTSEASE and COREOPSIS, anti-submarine trawlers KING SOL and ST ZENO. Corvette HEARTSEASE was detached on the 5th and the other escort ships on the 6th.

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Destroyer CLEVELAND arrived at Scapa Flow at 1300 to work up prior to joining the Nore Command.

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Convoy FN.298 departed Southend, destroyer WOOLSTON and sloop BLACK SWAN. The convoy arrived at Methil on the 5th.

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Convoy FS.299 departed Methil, escorted by destroyer VERDUN and sloop LOWESTOFT. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 4th.

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Armed patrol trawler FORFEIT (262grt) attacked a submarine contact at 1500/2nd in 57-42N, 3-52W. Destroyers DUNCAN and ISIS departed Scapa Flow to arrive before dawn on stations - ISIS 18 miles 315 from Kinnaird Head, DUNCAN 15 miles 315 from Clythness. The destroyers left Moray Firth that evening and returned to Scapa Flow.

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Destroyers BRILLIANT, BEAGLE, BULLDOG arrived at Rosyth as replacements for the 5th Destroyer Flotilla destroyers sent to the Western Approaches.

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Anti-aircraft ship ALYNBANK arrived at Scapa Flow after covering convoy OA.223 near Bell Rock.

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Italian submarine GLAUCO attacked a British transport without success in 36N, 06W.

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British trawler FRAMLINGHAM (169grt) was damaged by German bombing twenty miles south of Fastnet.

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British trawler IWATE (314grt) was damaged by German bombing five miles northwest of Mizzen Head.

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Battleships MALAYA and RAMILLIES, aircraft carrier EAGLE, light cruiser AJAX, anti-aircraft ship COVENTRY, and destroyers VOYAGER, VENDETTA, VAMPIRE, WATERHEN, DAINTY, DECOY, DIAMOND, DEFENDER departed Alexandria to exert a threat upon enemy Libyan convoys and cover Crete. Also, light cruiser AJAX and anti-aircraft ship COVENTRY conducted exercises with aircraft carrier EAGLE. AJAX and COVENTRY arrived back at Alexandria on the 5th.

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Convoy SL.50 departed Freetown escorted by armed merchant cruiser PRETORIA CASTLE to 16 October and armed merchant cruiser ALCANTARA for the day only. On 21 October, destroyer CLARE and corvettes ANEMONE and CLEMATIS joined the convoy and on the 25th, anti-aircraft ship CURACOA joined. The convoy arrived at Liverpool on the 26th.

 

 

Friday,  4 October

 

In another LUCID operation, first attempted on 25 September, Force A, old tankers WAR NIZAM (5605grt) and MYTILUS (5693grt) with destroyers CAMPBELL, CATTISTOCK, MACKAY, WALPOLE, minesweepers SALAMANDER, SUTTON, SELKIRK, MTB.31, MTB.32, ML 108, ML 110 departed Sheerness for Calais. Force B, old tanker OAKFIELD (ex WAR AFRICAN, 5244grt), destroyers HAMBLEDON (Agar embarked), GARTH, VENETIA, WITCH, minesweepers ELGIN, HUSSAR, SPEEDWELL, MTB.34, Norwegian MTB.5, ML 106, ML 110 departed Harwich for Boulogne. Force C was destroyers VERITY, VENOMOUS, WILD SWAN. Heavy weather caused the operation to be once again cancelled.

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Light cruisers MANCHESTER, DIDO, PHOEBE arrived at Scapa Flow.

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Anti-aircraft cruiser CAIRO departed Rosyth to provide anti-aircraft support for convoy OA.224 as far as Scapa Flow. At Scapa Flow, CAIRO embarked stores before going to the Western Approaches Command.

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Convoy OA.224 departed Methil, escorted by sloop HASTINGS and corvette PEONY. Corvette PEONY was detached on the 5th. Anti-submarine yacht PHILANTE joined on 6 September. Later that day HASTINGS and the yacht were detached.

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Convoy FN.299 departed Southend, escorted by destroyers VANITY and WOLFHOUND. The convoy arrived at Methil on the 6th.

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Convoy FS.300 departed Methil, escorted by destroyer VIVIEN and sloop LONDONDERRY. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 6th.

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Destroyer ASHANTI departed Rosyth to cover convoy EN.7. ASHANTI departed Methil at 1000 and proceeded with the convoy to Duncansby Head. The destroyer then returned to Rosyth.

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British tug SIRDAR (34grt) was sunk by German bombing in Long Reach, River Swale.

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Submarine TRITON sank Italian steamer FRANCA FASSIO (1858grt) 16 miles 97 from the Semaphore at Capo Noli in the Gulf of Genoa. TRITON also shelled shore installations off Vado and Savona. She unsuccessfully attacked Italian steamer SPEZIA (1825grt) in Vado Roads on the 8th.

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Submarine RORQUAL laid mines off Benghazi.

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Submarine RAINBOW (Lt Cdr L. P. Moore) had departed Alexandria on patrol on 23 September. On 4 October, RAINBOW was sunk in a collision with Italian steamer ANTONIETTA COSTA (5900grt) in 41-28N, 18-05E. ANTONIETTA COSTA had departed Bari with steamers ORESTE and PREMUDA for Durazzo on the 3rd, escorted by auxiliary vessel RAMB III. Lt Cdr Moore, Lt P. Chapman, Lt M. H. Davis, Lt G. W. Tweed, S/Lt D. J. Adcock, Lt (E) W. R. Withey, the fifty ratings of the crew were lost. RAINBOW was declared lost on the 19th.

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Submarine TETRARCH attacked an Italian merchant ship in the Gulf of Genoa without success.

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Destroyer WISHART escorted troopship NEURALIA to Lisbon to embark British subjects and Polish troops from France. The destroyer waited outside territorial waters and escorted the troopship back to Gibraltar after embarkation.

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Italian steamer NINA BIANCHI (2180grt) was lost in a collision with Italian steamer VELOCE (5464grt) off Brindisi in 40‑27N, 18‑24E.

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Convoy HX.78 departed Halifax escorted by Canadian destroyer ASSINIBOINE and auxiliary patrol ships FRENCH, HUSKY and REINDEER. FRENCH returned to Halifax at 1845.

 

ASSINIBOINE departed the convoy at 1850/5th. Ocean escort was armed merchant cruiser JERVIS BAY, which was detached on the 14th.

 

On 14 October, destroyers ANTHONY and VERITY joined the convoy. Destroyer ARROW, sloop ROCHESTER, corvettes CALENDULA and CAMELLIA joined on the 15th. ANTHONY and ARROW were detached on the 18th. The convoy arrived at Liverpool on the 18th. Anti-aircraft cruiser CURACOA provided protection for the east ships of this convoy on 19 and 20 October.

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Light cruiser DURBAN departed Hong Kong.

 

 

Saturday,  5 October

 

Anti-aircraft cruiser CURACOA departed Scapa Flow at 1030 to provide anti-aircraft support for convoy WN.20 from Pentland Firth to the Firth of Forth. She then proceeded to Rosyth.

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Convoy OB.224 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyer SKATE, sloop DEPTFORD, corvettes ANEMONE, ERICA, PICOTEE. Anti-submarine trawlers PENTLAND FIRTH and STELLA CAPELLA joined on the 6th and were detached on the 8th along with destroyer SKATE. The corvettes were detached on the 9th and the sloop on the 12th.

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Convoy FN.300 departed Southend, escorted by destroyers WALLACE and WATCHMAN. The convoy arrived at Methil on the 7th.

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Convoy FS.301 departed Methil, escorted by destroyers VEGA and VIMIERA. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 7th.

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Convoy SC.7 of thirty four ships departed Sydney at 1115 escorted by Canadian armed yacht ELK as local escort and ocean escort Sloop SCARBOROUGH. The convoy commodore was Vice Admiral L. D. I. MacKinnon, CB, CVO Rtd on British steamer ASSYRIAN.

 

On 16 October, at 21‑20W, SC.7 was reinforced by sloop FOWEY and corvette BLUEBELL from OA.228 escort.

 

On 18 October, the convoy was reinforced by sloop LEITH and corvette HEARTSEASE. The convoy arrived at Liverpool on the 21st.

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Submarine TIGRIS attacked Italian submarine OTARIO without success in the Bay of Biscay.

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British steamer ADAPTITY (372grt) was sunk on a mine (Minefield WERNER) laid by German torpedo boats on 30 September/1 October in 51‑44N, 01‑17E. The Master of the steamer was lost.

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Dutch steamer OTTOLAND (2202grt) was sunk on a mine four miles south of 20A Buoy, off Hartlepool. The entire crew was rescued.

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British steamer ORTOLAN (489grt) was damaged by German bombing at Free Trade Wharf, Stepney.

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Free French submarine NARVAL arrived back at Malta from a patrol beginning on 25 September. The patrol was conducted with Submarine RORQUAL.

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During the evening of 5 October, Italian operation CV began. Two merchant ships departed Taranto for North Africa escorted by the 12th Destroyer Division, destroyers LANCIERE, CARABINIERE, CORRAZZIERE, ASCARI.

 

On the morning of 6 October, heavy cruisers POLA, FIUME, GORIZIA, ZARA and the 9th Destroyer Division, destroyers ALFIERI, ORIANI, CARDUCCI, GIOBERTI, departed Taranto. Heavy cruisers TRIESTE, TRENTO, BOLZANO and the 11th Destroyer Division, destroyers ARTIGLIERE, CAMICIA NERA, AVIERE, GENIERE departed Messina.

 

When a British force of battleships and screening forces were sighted between Kaso Strait and Alexandria, all Italian ships returned to port.

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Temporary Lt (A) I. P. Godfrey RNVR, Naval Airman L. J. Stevens and Acting S/Lt (A) J. Marshall RNVR, Naval Airman A. S. Rush of 806 Squadron from aircraft carrier ILLUSTRIOUS landed their Fulmars in Crete and were interned. The airmen returned to their Squadron at the end of the month.

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Italian steamer MARIA GRAZIA (188grt) was sunk in 41-05N, 17-45E by ramming by submarine REGENT.

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Italian submarine NANI sank armed boarding vessel KINGSTON SAPPHIRE (356grt, Lt L. A. Sayers RNR) southwest of Cadiz, 36-11N, 6-32W. Three ratings were lost. The rest of the crew were rescued by a Spanish trawler and landed at Huelva.

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Anti-submarine trawler LORD HOTHAM attacked a submarine contact near Almina Point.

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Convoy BS.6 departed Suez, escorted by sloops CLIVE and GRIMSBY. The sloops were detached on 11 November when joined by light cruiser LEANDER and sloops AUCKLAND, HINDUSTAN, YARRA. Light cruiser HOBART joined on the 13th. The convoy was dispersed off Aden on the 13th.

 

 

Sunday,  6 October

 

Anti-aircraft ship ALYNBANK departed Scapa Flow at 0900 to meet convoy OA.225 before dusk and escort it towards Pentland Firth.

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Destroyer FAME completed her repairs at Rosyth and joined the 4th Destroyer Flotilla at Rosyth.

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Convoy OL.6 departed Liverpool. No escorts were listed.

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Convoy OA.225 departed Methil escorted by sloop WESTON and corvette GARDENIA from 6 to 11 October.

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Convoy FN.301 departed Southend, escorted by destroyer VERDUN and sloop LOWESTOFT. The convoy arrived at Methil on the 8th.

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Convoy FS.302 departed Methil and arrived at Southend on the 9th.

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A Swordfish of 825 Squadron from aircraft carrier FURIOUS crashed off Clacton. Temporary Lt (A) D. A. N. Watt RNVR, was killed.

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U.37 badly damaged British tanker BRITISH GENERAL (6989grt) in 51‑42N, 24‑03W. The next morning, U.37 attacked again and this time sank her. The entire crew was missing. Destroyer HARVESTER was searching for this British steamer, but was unable to locate her.

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U.103 sank Norwegian tanker NINA BORTHEN (6123grt) in 54‑00N, 26‑00W.

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U.123 sank British steamer BENLAWERS (5943grt) in 53‑20N, 26‑10W. Twenty three crew and the naval gunner were lost. The survivors were rescued by British steamers BENGORE HEAD (2609grt) and FOREST (4998grt).

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Drifter SCOTCH THISTLE (84grt) was lost after stranding in the Thames Estuary.

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Steamer HULL TRADER (717grt) was damaged by German bombing in the London Docks.

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Steamer FIRECREST (538grt) was damaged by German bombing two and a half miles southwest of Sunk Light Vessel, Thames Estuary.

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Destroyer VIDETTE departed Gibraltar escorting storeship CITY OF AUCKLAND for Alexandria, via Durban. The destroyer detached at dark on the 7th.

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Italian submarine TRICHECO sank in error Italian submarine GEMMA in the Aegean Sea in 35‑30N, 27‑18E.

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Yugoslavian steamer VIDO (1919grt) was sunk on a mine eighteen kilometres east of Sulina.

 

 

Monday,  7 October

 

Anti-aircraft ship ALYNBANK joined convoy HX.75 A on meeting in Pentland Firth at 1100. She remained with the convoy until midnight, then proceeded to Scapa Flow.

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Destroyer BEDOUIN departed Rosyth at 0600 for Portsmouth to deammunition. She then proceeded to Southampton to refit.

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The Liverpool section of Convoy WS 3 departed Liverpool with troopships ORONTES (20,097grt), DUCHESS OF YORK (20,021grt), MONARCH OF BERMUDA (22,424grt) escorted locally by destroyers ARROW, ACHATES and WHITEHALL which had departed Londonderry on the 7th.

 

The Clyde section of WS 3 departed the Clyde with troopships GEORGIC (27,759grt), CAPETOWN CASTLE (27,000grt), WINCHESTER CASTLE (20,109grt), ORONSAY (20,043grt) and were escorted locally by destroyers OTTAWA, ACTIVE, ST LAURENT and DOUGLAS which had difficulty meeting the convoy in heavy weather, finally joining in 56‑02N, 09‑35W.

 

On 7 October, light cruiser KENYA departed Scapa Flow to escort convoy WS 3 (fast). ST LAURENT and DOUGLAS departed Liverpool at 1510 to join the escort. Anti-aircraft cruiser CAIRO was with the convoys for anti-aircraft protection.

 

The two sections joined on the 12th and arrived at Freetown on the 18th. They departed Freetown on the 20th and arrived at Capetown on the 28th.

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Convoy OB.225 departed Liverpool with destroyer SHIKARI and corvettes CLARKIA and PERWINKLE. The escort was detached on the 10th.

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Convoy FN.302 departed Southend, escorted by destroyer VIVIEN and sloop LONDONDERRY. The convoy arrived at Methil on the 9th.

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Convoy FS.303 departed Methil, escorted by destroyer WINCHESTER and sloop EGRET. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 9th.

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Once again, the LUCID operation was attempted with mainly the same force as was deployed on 3/4 October, but without MYTILUS. Destroyer HAMBLEDON (Cdr S. H. Carlill; Captain A. W. S. Agar embarked) was mined and badly damaged in 51‑08N, 01‑21E near South Foreland. She was taken in towed by destroyer VESPER. The LUCID operation was again cancelled. HAMBLEDON was repaired at Chatham completing on 14 May 1941.

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Lt M. C. Hoskin and Temporary Lt (A) T. E. Rose-Richards were killed when their Walrus of 765 Squadron was shot down seven to eight miles south of Anvil Point.

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Submarine TRIBUNE after returning from a patrol in Biscay with a defect was repaired at Ardrossan from 7 October to 26 October and in the Clyde from 12 November to 26 November.

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U.59 sank Norwegian steamer TOURAINE (5811grt) in 55‑14N, 10‑34W. The entire crew was rescued.

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During the night of 7/8 October, Italian destroyers VIVALDI, DA NOLI and TARIGO laid mines off Cape Bon. Destroyer HYPERION was later lost on this minefield.

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During the night of 7/8 October, Dutch liner WESTERNLAND put troops ashore off Manoko at the mouth of the Duala River. This operation was covered by heavy cruiser DEVONSHIRE and light cruiser DRAGON. DRAGON grounded briefly on the 7th.

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German armed merchant cruiser PINGUIN captured Norwegian tanker STORSTAD (8998grt) in the Indian Ocean at 15‑07S, 107‑50E. Thirty of the crew were repatriated to Norway. STORSTAD was renamed PASSAT for German use as an auxiliary to PINGUIN, and arrived in Gironde on 4 February 1941 with some of the crew from steamers AUTOMEDON and MAIMOA.

 

 

Tuesday,  8 October

 

Anti-aircraft cruiser CURACOA departed Rosyth at 0830 to overtake convoy OA.226 and give them anti-aircraft cover until midnight. She then proceeded to Scapa Flow arriving at 0720/9th.

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Light cruiser DUNEDIN departed Greenock after refitting there in September and October.

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Destroyer MASHONA departed Greenock after refitting at 1840. She arrived at Scapa Flow at 1630/9th.

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Destroyer ESKIMO sank a floating British mine in 59-07N, 3-56W at 1200 in the Fleet exercise area.

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Convoy OA.226 departed Methil escorted by sloop ABERDEEN and corvette PRIMROSE from 8 to 11 October. The convoy rendezvoused with convoy OB.226.

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Convoy FN.303 departed Southend, escorted by destroyers VEGA and VIMIERA. The convoy arrived at Methil on the 10th.

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Convoy FS.304 departed Methil, escorted by destroyer WOOLSTON and sloop BLACK SWAN. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 10th.

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Submarine TRIDENT and U.31 were in a gun duel in the Bay of Biscay. TRIDENT missed U.31 with torpedoes, but hit the German submarine with gunfire, doing minor damage.

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Minesweeper KELLET was damaged in a collision with the West Pier at Granton. She repaired at Rosyth in October.

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Gunboat LOCUST struck a mine three and a half cables north of N. W. Shingles Beacon, and was seriously damaged. She was able to proceed under her own power until weather deteriorated when she was taken in tow. LOCUST repaired at Tilbury, completing on 7 January 1941.

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U.58 badly damaged steamer CONFIELD (4956grt), a straggler from convoy HX.76, in 56‑48N, 10‑17W, and then sank her before noon on the 9th. One crewman was lost.

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Steamer BELLONA II (840grt) was hit by German bombing four miles east of Gourdon, Kincardineshire, then went ashore at Streathlethan Bay, south of Stonehaven. Six crew and three cargo workers were lost.

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Troopship ORONSAY (20, 043grt) of convoy WS 3 was damaged by German bombing 56‑00N, 10‑00W, and forced to leave the convoy, escorted by armed merchant cruiser CHESHIRE and destroyers ARROW and OTTAWA. ORONSAY was joined by anti-aircraft cruiser CAIRO which took her safely into Lough Foyle.

 

Destroyer SABRE departed Londonderry to join the damaged troopship. CAIRO, armed merchant cruiser CHESHIRE, destroyers DOUGLAS, VISCOUNT and SABRE escorted the troopship to the Clyde arriving at 0937 on the 9th. Destroyer VERITY was also signalled to escort ORONSAY, but was unable to join.

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US Destroyer Divisions 68 and 71 destroyers were transferred to the Royal Navy under Lend Lease.

 

US Name

 

British Name

Commanding Officer

USS SATTERLEE (DD.190)

 

HMS BELMONT

 

Cdr P J Fitzgerald Rtd

USS MASON (DD.191)

 

HMS BROADWATER

 

Cdr C H de H Bell RD RNR

USS HUNT (DD.194)

 

HMS BROADWAY

 

Lt Cdr T Taylor

USS BRANCH (DD.197)

 

HMS BEVERLEY

 

Cdr E F Fitzgerald Rtd

USS AULICK (DD.258)

 

HMS BURNHAM

 

Lt Cdr J Bostock

USS LAUB (DD.263)

 

HMS BURWELL

 

Lt Cdr S.R J Woods RNR

USS MCLANAHAN (DD.264)

 

HMS BRADFORD

 

(Lt Cdr M. T. Collier)

USS EDWARDS (DD.256)

 

HMS BUXTON

 

(Lt Cdr The Earl Beatty (Emgcy)

 

 

On 15 October, BEVERLEY, BELMONT, BROADWAY, BROADWATER, BURNHAM and BRADFORD departed St Johns and arrived at the Clyde on the 26th going on to Plymouth arriving on 28 and 29 October.

 

BUXTON departed with the group, but had to return with defects arriving at St Johns on the 16th, and did not make the Atlantic crossing until September 1941 after a major refitting at Boston. BURWELL departed after the rest of her group and arrived at Devonport on 11 November.

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Convoy HX.79 departed Halifax at 1330 escorted by Canadian destroyer SAGUENAY and auxiliary patrol boats FRENCH and REINDEER. Convoy commodore was on steamer SALACIA (5495grt). Patrol boat FRENCH departed convoy at dusk and destroyer SAGUENAY departed convoy at 1400/9th.

 

Ocean escort was armed merchant cruiser MONTCLARE and Dutch submarine O.14, which were detached on the 18th. Armed merchant cruiser ALAUNIA later supplemented escort. After the convoy duty, O.14 arrived at Rothesay on the 29th.

 

On 19 October, destroyers STURDY and WHITEHALL, escort ship JASON, corvettes ARABIS, COREOPSIS, HIBISCUS, anti-submarine trawlers BLACKFLY and LADY ELSA joined the convoy. The escort ship and the trawlers were with the convoy only on the 19th. Destroyer SARDONYX joined on the 20th. Corvette COREOPSIS was detached on the 22nd. The convoy arrived at Liverpool 23 October.

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German armed merchant cruiser THOR sank steamer NATIA (8715grt) in the South Atlantic at 00‑44N, 32‑12W. Two crew were lost, eighty three crew and the naval gunner were made prisoners of war.

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German trawler HECHT (222grt) was sunk by enemy action.

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During the night of 8/9 October, German torpedo boats GREIF, SEEADLER, KONDOR, FALKE, WOLF and JAGUAR operated off the Isle of Wight.

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The British Mediterranean Fleet with battleships WARSPITE, VALIANT, MALAYA, RAMILLIES, aircraft carriers EAGLE and ILLUSTRIOUS, heavy cruiser YORK, light cruisers LIVERPOOL and GLOUCESTER of the 3rd Cruiser Squadron, light cruisers ORION, AJAX, SYDNEY of the 7th Cruiser Squadron, destroyers HYPERION, HAVOCK, HERO, HEREWARD, HASTY, ILEX, IMPERIAL of the 2nd Destroyer Flotilla, VAMPIRE, VENDETTA, DAINTY, DECOY, DEFENDER of the 10th Destroyer Flotilla, JERVIS, NUBIAN, JUNO, JANUS of the 14th Destroyer Flotilla departed Alexandria to cover Malta bound convoy MF 3 (Operation MB 6) of British steamers MEMNON (7506grt), LANARKSHIRE (11, 275grt), CLAN MACAULEY (10, 492grt), CLAN FERGUSON (7347grt) escorted by anti-aircraft cruisers CALCUTTA and COVENTRY and VOYAGER, STUART, WATERHEN, WRYNECK.

 

At 0524 on the 9th, NUBIAN made a submarine contact in 35-11N, 27-20E and HYPERION reported a torpedo at the end of its run near MALAYA.

 

On 9 October, light cruiser LIVERPOOL and destroyer DIAMOND, which had been delayed in leaving Alexandria, joined the Main Fleet.

 

Submarines TRIAD, ROVER, PROTEUS, RAINBOW, REGENT and PARTHIAN were at sea to cover the operation.

 

The Italian Fleet status at that time at Taranto were in the 1st Squadron, 9th Division, battleships LITTORIO and VENETO; 5th Division, battleships CESARE and CAVOUR; 6th Division, battleship DUILO; 1st Cruiser Division, heavy cruisers POLA, ZARA, GORIZIA, FIUME; 7th Cruiser Division, light cruisers EUGENIO, MONTECUCCOLI, AOSTA, ATTENDOLO; 8th Cruiser Division, light cruisers ABRUZZI and GARIBALDI.

 

At Messina was the 4th Cruiser Division, light cruisers DIAZ and GIUSSANNO. Under repair were light cruisers BANDE NERE, CARDONA at Spezia, and DI BARBIANO at Pola.

 

Four Italian battleships and their covering forces were at sea during the passage of Convoy MF 3.

 

On 10 October, destroyers JERVIS, JUNO, ILEX were sent ahead of the fleet to investigate a submarine contact reported by aircraft.

 

At 1715 on the 10th, battleship RAMILLIES and destroyer NUBIAN, HERO, HEREWARD were detached to refuel at Malta. At 1800, destroyers HYPERION, HASTY, ILEX were also detached to refuel.

 

Destroyer DEFENDER attacked a submarine contact at 1825.

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Heavy cruiser SHROPSHIRE arrived at Aden and joined the Red Sea Force. In December, she returned to the East Indies Command.

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Australian light cruiser ADELAIDE arrived back at Sydney from Noumea, having departed on the 5th.

 

 

Wednesday,  9 October

 

Aircraft carrier FURIOUS departed Scapa Flow at 0800 with destroyers ESKIMO and MATABELE to strike at Bodo. Poor weather conditions forced the operation to be cancelled and the ships arrived back at Scapa Flow at 1630.

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Anti-aircraft cruiser CURACOA departed Scapa Flow at 1600 to cover convoys WN.21 S.and WN.21 F. On meeting convoy OA.227, the cruiser joined the OA convoy and escorted it to Pentland Firth. CURACOA then proceeded to Scapa Flow.

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Anti-aircraft ship ALYNBANK departed Scapa Flow at 0700 to escort convoy SL.48 A from Pentland Firth until dusk. She then returned to Scapa Flow.

_____

 

Convoy OB.226 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyer ANTELOPE, corvettes GERANIUM and GLOXINIA, anti-submarine trawler HUDDERSFIELD TOWN. The escort was detached on the 12th.

_____

 

Convoy FN.304 departed Southend, escorted by destroyers VALOROUS and WESTMINSTER. The convoy arrived at Methil on the 11th.

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Destroyer VIMY departed Londonderry at 1400 for Portsmouth for refitting.

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Destroyer VERSATILE departed Londonderry at 0900 for Rosyth on passage to the Tyne for refitting. Defects forced her to return to Londonderry.

_____

 

Midshipman D. A. C. Hadingham, in a Whitley of RAF 77 Squadron from Topcliffe, was killed returning from a raid over Germany when the plane flew into high ground west of Snape.

_____

 

Convoy HG.45 of forty nine ships departed Gibraltar escorted by local escort destroyers HOTSPUR, FIREDRAKE and WISHART. Troopship NEURALIA departed with the convoy with 1093 Gibraltar civilians. She was detached and proceeded unescorted to Kingston.

 

WISHART was detached on the 10th and HOTSPUR and FIREDRAKE escorted the convoy until 15 October. Escort vessel GLEANER escorted the convoy from 9 to 27 October.

 

On 17 October, armed merchant cruiser PRETORIA CASTLE from convoy SL.50 joined the convoy and remained with it until 27 October. On 20 October, sloop FLEETWOOD joined the convoy and escorted it until 27 October.

 

Destroyer ANTELOPE and corvette MALLOW from convoy OB.230 joined the convoy on the 21st and escorted it until 27 October. Destroyers HAVELOCK, HESPERUS and SKEENA escorted the convoy from 22 to 27 October, which arrived at Liverpool on the 27th.

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U.103 attacked convoy SC.6, sank Greek steamers ZANNES GOUNARIS (4407grt) and DELPHIN (3816grt) and badly damaged British steamer GRAIGWEN (3697grt) in 58‑11N, 13‑57W. GRAIGWEN was sunk late on the 10th by U.123. One crewman was lost on ZANNES GOUNARIS, the entire crew of DELPHIN was rescued, and seven crew were lost on the British steamer.

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Steamer ALDERNEY QUEEN (663grt) was sunk by German bombing off Grassholm Island, North Wales, 51-38-30N, 5-25-30W. The entire crew was rescued.

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Minesweeping trawler SEA KING (321grt) was sunk by mining 28 miles 310 from Bull Sand Road, Grimsby Roads. Acting Temporary Skipper T. Sleeth RNR, Temporary Skipper L. Rushby RNR, twelve ratings were lost.

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During the night of 9/10 October, Italian destroyers VIVALDI, DA NOLI and TARIGO laid mines to the south of Malta. Destroyer IMPERIAL was soon mined on this minefield.

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Submarine REGENT sank Italian steamer ANTONIETTA COSTA (6880grt) in 41-17N, 19-25E off Durazzo. On 11 October, REGENT unsuccessfully attacked a tanker in the Southern Adriatic.

_____

 

Light cruiser DRAGON arrived at Duala.

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Convoy SLS 51 departed Freetown on the 9th. Sloop ROCHESTER escorted the convoy on 30 and 31 October, when it arrived at Liverpool.

 

 

Thursday,  10 October

 

In Operation MEDIUM, battleship REVENGE with destroyers JAVELIN, JAGUAR, JUPITER, KASHMIR, KELVIN, KIPLING, Motor Anti-Submarine Boats 40, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 51 departed Plymouth on the 10th. The battleship group was covered to the west by light cruisers NEWCASTLE and EMERALD with destroyers WANDERER, BROKE, BURZA, GARLAND which departed Devonport on the 10th and to the east by light cruiser CARDIFF and destroyers VANOC and VOLUNTEER which departed Portsmouth on the 9th.

 

From 0333 to 0351 on the 11th, the REVENGE group bombarded Cherbourg. German torpedo boats put to sea from Cherbourg and briefly attacked the minesweeping force before retiring. The battleship force returned to Portsmouth and the cruiser force to Plymouth on the 11th. The CARDIFF group returned to Portsmouth.

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Destroyer JERSEY departed the Humber after repairs, but on the 11th she was damaged off East Knob Buoy by the explosion of a mine close aboard. She went to London for repairs arriving on the 13th, was repaired in fifteen days, and arrived at Plymouth on the 29th for duty with the 5th Destroyer Flotilla.

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Destroyer DOUGLAS departed Greenock at 0630 to join the Home Fleet at Scapa Flow, where she arrived at 1000/11th.

_____

 

Convoy OA.227 departed Methil escorted by sloop ROCHESTER and corvette CAMELLIA from 10 to 14 October.

_____

 

Convoy FN.305 departed Southend, escorted by destroyer WINCHESTER, sloop EGRET, patrol sloop GUILLEMOT. The patrol sloop was detached on the 11th. The convoy arrived at Methil on the 12th.

_____

 

Convoy FS.305 departed Methil, escorted by destroyers VANITY and WOLFHOUND. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 12th.

_____

 

Submarine H.28 on patrol in the Bay of Biscay fired torpedoes at a 1000 ton merchant ship, but no damage was done.

_____

 

In British air attacks on Brest during the night of 9/10 October, German destroyer ECKHOLDT was damaged by near misses and destroyers LODY and RIEDEL were splinter damaged. Pilot Lt Cdr O. S. Stevinson, Squadron Commander, Observer Lt Cdr N. R. Quill, and Petty Officer A. Brimms in an Albacore of 829 Squadron were shot down and made prisoners of war in this raid.

_____

 

Auxiliary patrol vessel GIRL MARY (25grt, Acting Skipper F. B. Plaskitt RNR) was lost on lost on a mine four cables 255 from Inchcolm Monastery. Two ratings were lost; Plaskitt and Temporary Lt E. C. A. Warren RNVR, were wounded.

_____

 

MTB.22, MTB.31, MTB.32 attacked a German convoy off Calais in 51‑02N, 01‑48E, sank German trawler NORDENHAM (234grt) and captured thirty four prisoners.

_____

 

Steamer TILL (367grt) was damaged on a mine in 51‑36N, 01‑12E.

_____

 

Australian heavy cruiser AUSTRALIA arrived at Gibraltar from Freetown and was temporarily assigned to Force H

_____

 

A report was received that French light cruiser PRIMAUGUET had departed Casablanca to escort a merchant ship carrying torpedoes and shells for battleship RICHELIEU and other warships at Dakar. Late on the 11th, heavy cruiser AUSTRALIA departed Gibraltar and proceeded towards Las Palmas. Early on the 12th, battlecruiser RENOWN and destroyers WISHART, GALLANT, GRIFFIN, VIDETTE departed Gibraltar.

 

 

Friday,  11 October

 

At 0920, destroyer ZULU, which was the fourth ship in a line, was badly damaged by an acoustic mine 1.6 cables 064 from Beamer Rock in the Firth of Forth. The mine exploded 40 feet off the starboard side abaft of the bridge. There were no casualties. Many minor leaks, machinery defects and distortion of the bulkheads were caused by the explosion. ZULU was repaired at Rosyth, completed in thirteen weeks on 18 January 1941.

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Destroyer BEDOUIN was damaged when she struck a submerged object in 56‑31N, 02‑15W, and was repaired at Southampton completing on 17 November.

_____

 

British minefield BS.40 was laid by minelayers TEVIOTBANK and PLOVER and destroyers ICARUS and IMPULSIVE.

_____

 

Convoy FN.306 departed Southend, escorted by destroyer WOOLSTON and sloop BLACK SWAN. The convoy arrived at Methil on the 13th.

_____

 

Convoy FS.306 departed Methil, escorted by destroyer WOLSEY and sloop LOWESTOFT. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 14th.

_____

 

German torpedo boats FALKE, GREIF, KONDOR, SEEADLER and WOLF departed Cherbourg for another sortie to the area off the Isle of Wight.

 

Late on the 11th, in an engagement with anti-submarine trawler WARWICK DEEPING (445grt, Skipper J. R. Bruce RNR) and former French armed trawler LISTRAC (778grt, Lt K. P. Kirkup RNR), both of the 17th Anti Submarine Group, in 50‑25N, 01‑50W, torpedo boat GREIF sank LISTRAC with a torpedo, and torpedo boats KONDOR and FALKE sank WARWICK DEEPING with gunfire. Kirkup and eleven ratings were lost on the LISTRAC;  A/S/Lt R. J. Pickford RCNVR and twenty four ratings were wounded. No crew were lost in WARWICK DEEPING.

 

At 0007 on the 12th, the German force contacted and sank French submarine chasers CH.6 (Lt W. B. G. Galbraith, RN) and CH.7 (S/Lt G. A. Gabbett-Mulhallen DSC, RN). The survivors of these ships were picked up by German torpedo boat GREIF. Galbraith, Temporary Acting S/Lt D. B. Walton RNVR and seven ratings were lost on the CH.6; twelve crew were taken prisoner. Gabbett-Mulhallen and eleven ratings were killed on CH.7; Acting Lt R. V. Musman RNVR and eight ratings were taken prisoner from CH.7.

 

Destroyers JACKAL, JAGUAR, JUPITER, KELVIN, KIPLING came out from Plymouth and two destroyers departed Portsmouth. At 0314 on the 12th, destroyer JACKAL engaged two of the German ships at 280, 27 miles from 50N, 1W . Neither side was damaged and the German ships arrived back at Cherbourg mid-morning on the 12th.

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Aircraft carrier ARGUS departed Greenock with destroyer ACHATES for Iceland, arrived on the 17th and departed to return on the 20th. They arrived back at Greenock on the 25th. ACHATES was damaged by weather on the voyage and was repaired at Greenock.

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Lt A. F. Adie and Air Mechanic W. H. Souls were killed when their Skua of 760 Squadron crashed on exercises near Tewkesbury.

_____

 

Anti-aircraft ship ALYNBANK departed Scapa Flow at 0930 to join convoy HX.76 A. German bombers attacked the convoy off Peterhead in 57-41N, 1-41W at 1927. Gunfire from the escorts and the merchantmen in the convoy drove off the attack. ALYNBANK sustained minor damage from near misses, and repaired at Rosyth completing on the 20th.

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Destroyers MATABELE and PUNJABI departed Scapa Flow at 0800 escorting RFA tanker MONTENOL (2646grt) to Skaalefjord before proceeding to operation DH. At 1330, a German submarine was reported by aircraft five miles north of this force, 16 miles 020 from Sule Skerry. PUNJABI investigated the contact without locating the submarine, and then rejoined MATABELE and the tanker.

 

Aircraft carrier FURIOUS, exercising west of Hoy, detached her screen of destroyers SOMALI, ESKIMO and DUNCAN to investigate the submarine report. The destroyers made no contact and the ships returned to Scapa Flow at 0800/12th.

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Destroyer VERSATILE departed Londonderry for refitting in the Tyne.

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Destroyer FEARLESS departed the Clyde at 1700 after refitting, and then proceeded to Rosyth for Home Fleet operations in the 4th Destroyer Flotilla.

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Steamer THYRA II (1088grt) was damaged by German bombing off East Barrow Light Vessel, Thames Estuary.

_____

 

U.48 in attacks on convoy HX.77, sank Norwegian steamer BRANDANGER (4624grt) in 57‑10N, 17‑00W and British steamer PORT GISBOURNE (10,144grt) in 56‑38N, 16‑40W. Six crew were lost on the BRANDANGER and twenty six crew were lost on PORT GISBOURNE. British tug SALVONIA picked up survivors from PORT GISBOURNE.

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Armed yacht AISHA (117grt) was lost in mining in the Thames Estuary.

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Steamer INVER (1543grt) was damaged by German shore guns in the Straits of Dover.

_____

 

In German air attacks on Liverpool, steamers CLAN MACTAGGART (7622grt), CLAN CUMMING (7264grt), HIGHLAND CHIEFTAN (14, 135grt) and tanker VIRGILIA (5723grt) were damaged.

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Steamer BANNTHORN (429grt) was damaged by German bombing in Rathlin O'Birne Sound, Eire.

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Convoy OG.44 with thirty six ships departed Liverpool, Milford Haven, Glasgow escorted by Canadian destroyer SKEENA and corvette GLADIOLUS from 11 to 14 October. SKEENA and GLADIOLUS were detached to assist damaged armed merchant cruiser CHESHIRE.

 

Sloop WELLINGTON escorted the convoy from 11 to 24 October. Destroyer WRESTLER escorted the convoy from 22 to 24 October, which arrived at Gibraltar on the 24th.

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At 0915, during continuing Mediterranean Fleet operations, destroyer DECOY was detached to Malta to refuel and destroyer MOHAWK joined. At 0942, destroyer IMPERIAL was detached to refuel.

 

IMPERIAL was mined at 1105 on the 11th and badly damaged fifteen miles south of Delimara near Malta. One rating was killed in the explosion. She was towed to Malta by DECOY, and IMPERIAL was repaired at Malta, sailing after completion on 28 April.

 

Destroyer VAMPIRE was detached at 1410 to refuel at Malta.

 

Convoy MF 3 and light cruiser ORION arrived at Malta at 1600. Australian destroyers VENDETTA and STUART arrived with the convoy to start refitting in the Malta dockyard.

 

At 1800, destroyer NUBIAN, HERO and  HAVOCK rejoined the Main Fleet and destroyers DAINTY, DEFENDER, DIAMOND were detached to refuel.

 

An Italian civilian plane reported the British Mediterranean Fleet 100 miles southeast of Malta.

 

In anticipation that these warships would pick up some merchant ships recently arrived at Malta, Italian destroyers ARTIGLIERE, CAMICIA NERA, AVIERE and GENIERE with torpedo boats AIRONE, ALCIONE and ARIEL were patrolling an area east of Malta. Four MAS boats were to the north of the Italian force. One destroyer division and MAS boats were stationed to the west of Malta should the British force set out for Gibraltar.

 

Gunboat APHIS, after refitting, steamer VOLO (1587grt) and Fleet auxiliary PLUMLEAF (5916grt) departed Malta at 2245 on the 11th, escorted by anti-aircraft cruisers COVENTRY and CALCUTTA and destroyers WRYNECK and WATERHEN.

 

Late on the 11th, the Mediterranean Fleet began its return to Alexandria.

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Sloop AUCKLAND in convoy BS.6 was bombed by Italian bombers at 15‑51N, 41‑25E, west of Kamaran.

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Convoy BS.6 A departed Port Sudan, escorted by sloop PARRAMATTA. Destroyer KINGSTON joined on the 13th. The convoy was dispersed off Aden on the 15th.

 

 

Saturday,  12 October

 

German aircraft crossed Scapa Flow during the night. All exercises were prohibited and movements were restricted during the day.

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Aircraft carrier FURIOUS, heavy cruisers NORFOLK and BERWICK, destroyers SOMALI (D.6), ESKIMO, MASHONA, DUNCAN departed Scapa Flow at 1800 for operation DH and to cover the destroyer sweep off Egero. Destroyers MATABELE and PUNJABI departed Skaalefjord at 0310/13th to join FURIOUS. At 1230/13th, ESKIMO and DUNCAN were detached to Scapa Flow arriving at 0900/14th. SOMALI and MASHONA arrived at Scapa Flow at 1400/14th.

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Captain D.12 on destroyer KEPPEL was transferred ashore at Greenock.

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Convoy OA.228 departed Methil escorted by sloop FOWEY and corvette BLUEBELL from 12 to 16 October.

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Convoy OB.227 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyer ARROW and corvette CALENDULA from 12 to 15 October.

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Convoy FS.307 departed Methil, escorted by destroyer VIVIEN and sloop LONDONDERRY. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 14th.

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Hunt-class destroyer MENDIP was completed. She worked up at Scapa Flow, but was badly damaged by the explosion of one of her own depth charges on the 24th. She was assigned to the 21st Destroyer Flotilla and joined the Flotilla following completion of repairs.

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Destroyer BULLDOG departed Rosyth at 1500 to join submarine CLYDE off Dundee at 1830, and escorted the submarine to Cape Wrath. BULLDOG arrived at Scapa Flow at 1730/13th.

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Destroyer QUORN departed Scapa Flow at 0900 for Aberdeen, and left there at 1500 with steamer LOCHNAGAR for Lerwick.

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Minesweeper KELLET hit the pier at Leith, and had to be docked for repairs.

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Monitor EREBUS, escorted by destroyer CATTISTOCK, bombarded German invasion barges at Dunkirk.

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U.48 sank Norwegian steamer DAVANGER (7102grt) from convoy HX.77 in 57‑00N, 19‑10W. Seventeen crew were missing.

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U.59 sank steamer PACIFIC RANGER (6895grt) from convoy HX.77 in 56‑20N, 11‑43W. The entire crew was rescued.

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U.101 sank Canadian steamer SAINT MALO (5779grt), a straggler from convoy HX.77, in 57‑58N, 16‑32W. Sixteen crew were rescued.

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Trawler LONGSCAR (215grt) was damaged by German bombing off Hartlepool.

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Minesweeping trawler RESOLVO (231grt, Temporary Skipper A. Affleck RNR) struck a mine six cables 083 from Knob Bell Buoy in the Thames Estuary. Two ratings were wounded, and the survivors rescued by minesweeping trawler PETER CAREY (280grt). RESOLVO was beached outside the entrance to Sheerness at the Outer Bar Buoy and abandoned on the 13th.

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German schnellboote S.37 was sunk on a mine off Orfordness.

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On 11 October, Yugoslavian steamer ORAO (5135grt) had been intercepted by destroyer HOTSPUR and ordered to Gibraltar with an armed guard. Then on the 12th, Italian submarine TAZZOLI torpedoed ORAO in 35‑34N, 10‑35W, with two crew killed.

 

Destroyers WISHART, GALLANT, GRIFFIN, VIDETTE were detached from battlecruiser RENOWN, with GALLANT and GRIFFIN picking up the survivors, and WISHART scuttling the Yugoslavian vessel.

 

The destroyers were then ordered to meet arriving transports ETTRICK and KARANJA, being escorted by destroyer GREYHOUND. The destroyers, plus destroyer FIREDRAKE, rejoined on 0724 on the 13th and the force met the transport convoy at 1300. VIDETTE was detached to join the transport convoy and the next day,  WISHART was detached to join as well.

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Steamer STARLING (1320grt) was damaged by German bombing four miles southwest of San Sebastian Light.

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Convoy HX.80 departed Halifax escorted by Canadian destroyers ST CROIX and NIAGARA and auxiliary patrol boats HUSKY and REINDEER. The local escort was detached on the 13th. Ocean escort was armed merchant cruiser LACONIA, which was detached on the 22nd. On 23 October, destroyers CASTLETON and WANDERER, sloop HASTINGS, corvettes FLEUR DE LYS and PICOTEE, and anti-submarine yacht PHILANTE joined the convoy, which arrived at Liverpool on the 27th.

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Anti-aircraft cruiser CALCUTTA was subjected to high level Italian bombing near Crete on the 12th.

 

Italian and British Naval forces engaged east of Malta. In the first phase of the battle between the Italian torpedo boats and radar-equipped light cruiser AJAX (Captain E. D. B. McCarthy) which was proceeding to cover the eastbound convoy, Italian torpedo boats ARIEL and AIRONE were sunk in 35‑37N, 16‑42E, with AJAX hit three times, twice on the bridge and once amidships starting a fire. Temporary Instructor Lt M. P. Gamon, B. Sc., Acting Temporary S/Lt G. H. K. Strathey RCNVR, and ten ratings were lost, with Lt Cdr J. G. T. Inglis, Commissioned Gunner C. W. Lewis, and twenty two ratings wounded. Italian torpedo boat ALCIONE picked up the survivors of AIRONE.

 

In the second phase of the battle between the Italian destroyers which were coming to the aid of the torpedo boats and AJAX, Italian destroyer AVIERE was damaged and escorted back to base by undamaged destroyer GENIERE. Destroyer ARTIGLIERE was badly damaged and destroyer CAMICIA NERA stood by and later attempted to take her into tow. AJAX was hit four times in this phase putting out action, one four inch gun and her radar.

 

Early on the 13th while under tow, Italian destroyer ARTIGLIERE was subjected to fierce air attacks from aircraft carrier ILLUSTRIOUS after being located by a Sunderland flying boat. Alerted by ILLUSTRIOUS's report, heavy cruiser YORK (Captain R. H. Portal), AJAX, and four destroyers including VAMPIRE and NUBIAN, located ARTIGLIERE.

 

Destroyer CAMICIA NERA cast off her tow and retired, leaving ARTIGLIERE to be torpedoed and sunk in 35‑47N, 16‑25E by YORK, VAMPIRE and NUBIAN. Rafts were dropped and the crew was later picked up by an Italian hospital ship. AJAX and Australian cruiser SYDNEY pursued CAMICIA NERA but did not catch her.

 

The Italian 3rd Cruiser Division, heavy cruisers BOLZANO, TRENTO and TRIESTE with destroyers VIVALDI, DA NOLI and TARIGO of the 14th Destroyer Flotilla departed Messina to support destroyers ARTIGLIERE and CAMICIA NERA, but did not arrive in time and did not contact the British force.

 

Light cruisers ORION, SYDNEY and AJAX rejoined the Main Fleet during the morning of 12 October.

 

At 1000/12th, destroyers DAINTY, DEFENDER, DIAMOND and battleship RAMILLIES with destroyers JANUS, JERVIS, HEREWARD, DECOY rejoined the Main Fleet.

 

Reports of further Italian destroyers caused YORK and light cruisers LIVERPOOL, ORION, SYDNEY to return to support convoy ME 4.

 

One hundred survivors were picked up by Italian ships from ARTIGLIERE. Eighty four survivors from AIRONE and forty one from ARIEL were rescued.

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Destroyer KIMBERLEY on Perim patrol was attacked by Italian bombers three miles from Perim. There was no damage in the attack.

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Gunboat CRICKET departed Hong Kong in the tow of tanker WAR SIRDAR. Owing to a typhoon, both ships were recalled. They departed again on the 18th and arrived at Singapore on the 24th.

 

Gunboat TARANTULA departed Hong Kong on the 22nd, escorted by light cruiser DURBAN and arrived at Singapore on the 29th.

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Convoy SL.51 departed Freetown escorted by armed merchant cruiser ALCANTARA to 31 October. On 30 October, destroyers ACHATES and ARROW, sloop ROCHESTER, corvette PRIMROSE, and anti-submarine trawler ST APOLLO joined. On 31 October, destroyer AMAZON joined, and the convoy arrived at Oban on the 31st.

 

 

Sunday,  13 October

 

Anti-aircraft cruiser CURACOA departed Scapa Flow at 0830 and met convoy WN.22 in Pentland Firth to provide anti-aircraft protection for the convoy to the Firth of Firth.

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In Operation D.N, destroyers COSSACK (Captain P. L. Vian, D.4), ASHANTI, MAORI and SIKH departed the Firth of Forth the evening of 13 October to strike at German shipping off Egero Light. During the night of 13/14 October, the destroyers attacked a convoy of three ships and two small escorts four miles off the Light.

 

While the British ships claimed sinking at least two merchant ships, only German netlayer GENUA (1949grt) was sunk and she was later salved. The only British casualty was a single shell hit in the stern of COSSACK with a stoker wounded. The British force safely returned to Rosyth arriving on the 14th. COSSACK's rudder was repaired at Rosyth completing on the 25th.

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Scapa Flow, except for a small area northeast of the Barrell of Butter, was declared free of mines and anti-submarine exercises were permitted.

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Convoy OL.7 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyers HIGHLANDER, HURRICANE, KEPPEL, HAVELOCK. The convoy was dispersed on the 16th.

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Convoy OB.228 departed Liverpool escorted by sloops FOLKESTONE and LEITH, corvette HEARTSEASE, anti-submarine trawler SPHENE. The escort, less FOLKESTONE, detached on the 16th and she departed on the 17th.

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Convoy FN.307 departed Southend, escorted by destroyers VANITY and WOLFHOUND. The convoy arrived at Methil on the 16th.

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Convoy FS.308 departed Methil, escorted by destroyers VEGA, VIMIERIA, WALLACE. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 17th.

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U.37 sank British steamer STANGRANT (5804grt) from convoy HX.77 in 58‑27N, 12‑36W. Eight crew were lost.

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U.103 sank Estonian steamer NORA (1186grt) in 57‑02N, 13‑11W. Survivors were picked up by sloop LEITH five days later, which was escorting convoy SC.7.

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Drifter SUMMER ROSE (96grt, Temporary Skipper W. G. R. Howes RNR) was sunk on a mine off Sunderland, 4.9 cables 032 from Roker Pier. Two ratings were lost.

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Tug DANUBE III (234grt, Lt R. Sullivan Rtd) was sunk on a mine off Sheerness, 2.5 cables 305 from Outer Bar Buoy. Ten ratings and one Marine gunner were lost.

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U.138 damaged Norwegian steamer DAGRUN (4562grt) off North Channel.

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Hopper barge CARGO FLEET No. 2 (1130grt) was damaged on a mine one cable west of Datum Buoy, off Tees. There were no casualties on the barge, which was taken in tow, but went ashore at Tees entrance, a total loss.

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Light cruiser AJAX and destroyers JERVIS and JUNO met convoy AS 4 of four steamers from Piraeus, which had sailed that morning. At sea, they rendezvoused with anti-aircraft cruiser COVENTRY. Convoy AS 4 joined convoy ME 4 east of Gavdo Island.

 

Steamer VOLO of ME 4 was sent ahead of the convoy to Alexandria with anti-aircraft ship WRYNECK. Anti-aircraft ship CALCUTTA remained with the convoy.

 

On 15 October, destroyer MOHAWK was detached from the Main Fleet to relieve JERVIS. Convoy AS 4 arrived at Port Said on the 16th.

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Australian light cruiser SYDNEY arrived at Alexandria.

 

 

Monday, 14 October

 

Destroyer DOUGLAS made high speed runs in Scapa Flow in view of suspected minelaying, to fire acoustic mines. No mines were located.

_____

 

Destroyer MENDIP arrived at Scapa Flow at 0730 to work up.

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Rear Admiral I. B. B. Tower of PRESIDENT was killed in an air raid on London.

_____

 

Convoy OA.229 departed Methil escorted by escort vessel JASON and corvettes COREOPSIS and HIBISCUS from 14 to 19 October.

_____

 

Convoy FN.308 departed Southend, escorted by destroyer WOLSEY and sloop LOWESTOFT. The convoy arrived at Methil on the 16th.

_____

 

Convoy FS.309 departed Methil, escorted by destroyers VERDUN and WATCHMAN. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 16th.

_____

 

U.138 torpedoed armed merchant cruiser CHESHIRE (10, 552grt) in 55‑13N, 13‑02W. Canadian destroyer SKEENA and corvette PERIWINKLE took off two hundred and twenty crew and the AMC was successfully towed to Belfast Lough where she was beached. She was taken on to Liverpool for repairs requiring six months.

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Steamer RECULVER (683grt) was sunk on a mine 1.2 miles 195 from Spurn Point Light House. The entire crew was rescued.

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Anti-submarine trawler LORD STAMP (448grt) was sunk on a mine seventeen miles southwest of Portland Bill in the English Channel. Chief Skipper J. D. McKay RNR, Lt Cdr M. E. C. Miller RNR and twenty one ratings were lost.

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Collier GLYNWEN (1076grt) was lost to enemy attack.

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German steamer EULER (1879grt) was sunk on a mine near St Nazaire.

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Early on the 14th, aircraft carriers ILLUSTRIOUS, escorted by cruisers GLOUCESTER and LIVERPOOL and destroyers NUBIAN, HAVOCK, HERO, HEREWARD launched air strikes against Leros. The raid was successful and the ships returned to the Main Force at 0840/14th. At 0900, heavy cruiser YORK, which was short of fuel, and destroyer DEFENDER were detached to Alexandria.

 

Destroyers VAMPIRE and VENDETTA attacked submarine contacts at 1132.

 

At 1855 on the 14th, LIVERPOOL was torpedoed by an Italian torpedo plane in the Aegean, in 33‑58N, 26‑23E. A fire was started and an explosion of her petrol and ammunition wrecked the bow which later broke away just ahead of the bridge. Lt Cdr A. H. Browne, Midshipman R. C. Norris, Lt Cdr (E) P. Ross, and twenty four ratings were lost, with three more ratings dying of wounds. Forty two ratings were wounded.

 

Destroyers HEREWARD and DECOY were sent to stand by the cruiser. Tug ST ISSEY was dispatched at 2345 on the 14th.

 

LIVERPOOL was taken in tow stern first by light cruiser ORION and screened by anti-aircraft cruiser CALCUTTA. She arrived at Alexandria on the 16th, with destroyers DAINTY, DECOY, DIAMOND, VAMPIRE, which had been sailed from Alexandria at 1420 and joined at 1900/15th. After temporary repairs at Alexandria, completed in April 1941, LIVERPOOL proceeded to Mare Island, California for repairs from 16 June to 15 November 1941.

 

The Mediterranean Fleet arrived back at Alexandria at 0100/16th.

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Battlecruiser RENOWN and destroyers GALLANT, FIREDRAKE, GRIFFIN arrived at Gibraltar.

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Light cruiser SHEFFIELD arrived at Gibraltar from a month in Home Waters after carrying out a patrol off the Azores, and rejoined Force H

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German armed merchant cruiser ORION sank Norwegian steamer RINGWOOD (7302grt) in the Pacific at 05‑29N, 159‑42E. The European crew was repatriated to Norway.       

 

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

revised 7/4/12
further editing is required


 

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