Background Events - September-December 1940
packs in Atlantic, Blitz on Britain, Attack on Taranto, German raiders at sea
Tuesday, 1 October
Anti-aircraft ship ALYNBANK departed Scapa Flow at 1100 to cover convoy
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.
Destroyers JACKAL, KASHMIR, JUPITER departed Rosyth at 0200 for Plymouth for
duty in the Western Approaches.
Destroyer VERSATILE departed Invergordon at 1530 with British steamer ULSTER
MONARCH. Both arrived in the Clyde at 2100/2nd.
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.
FN.296 departed Southend, escorted by destroyer WESTMINSTER and sloop EGRET,
and arrived at Methil on the 3rd.
FS.297 departed Methil, escorted by destroyers VANITY and WOLFHOUND, and
arrived at Southend on the 3rd.
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.
Submarine H.49 (Lt M A Langley) attacked a German convoy of six merchant
ships off Texel.
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.
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.
sank British steamer HIGHLAND PATRIOT (14,172grt) in 52‑20N, 19‑04W.
Three crew were lost. There were 141 survivors.
Italian submarine BARACCA sank Greek steamer
(3687grt) in 40‑00N, 16‑55W, 300 miles off Lisbon.
SHX.77 departed Halifax escorted by Canadian armed yachts REINDEER and
cruiser DAUNTLESS arrived at Penang.
Wednesday, 2 October
Destroyer TARTAR departed Scapa Flow at 1200 for Devonport for refitting,
and arrived at 1700/4th.
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.
Destroyer BULLDOG departed Sheerness at 0740 for Rosyth to join the Home
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.
OA.223 departed Methil escorted by sloop SANDWICH. Corvette HEARTSEASE
joined on the 6th and both were detached later that day.
FN.297 departed Southend, escorted by destroyers VALOROUS and WOLSEY. The
convoy arrived at Methil on the 4th.
FS.298 departed Methil, escorted by destroyers WALLACE and WATCHMAN. The
convoy arrived at Southend on the 4th.
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.
sank steamer KAYESON (4606grt) in 51‑12N, 24‑22W. The
entire crew was rescued.
LATYMER (2218grt) in convoy HG.44 was sunk by German bombing
in 51‑20N, 10‑30W, four miles west of Skelligs.
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.
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.
on the 2nd, light cruisers ORION and SYDNEY bombarded Maltezana in
ships arrived back at Alexandria on the 3rd.
British Mediterranean Fleet arrived back at Alexandria.
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.
cruiser HAWKINS arrived at Durban for refitting completed on 16 November.
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
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.
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.
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
Destroyer CLEVELAND arrived at Scapa Flow at 1300 to work up prior to
joining the Nore Command.
FN.298 departed Southend, destroyer WOOLSTON and sloop BLACK SWAN. The
convoy arrived at Methil on the 5th.
FS.299 departed Methil, escorted by destroyer VERDUN and sloop LOWESTOFT.
The convoy arrived at Southend on the 4th.
patrol trawler FORFEIT (262grt) attacked a submarine contact at 1500/2nd in
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.
Destroyers BRILLIANT, BEAGLE, BULLDOG arrived at Rosyth as replacements for
the 5th Destroyer Flotilla destroyers sent to the Western Approaches.
Anti-aircraft ship ALYNBANK arrived at Scapa Flow after covering convoy
OA.223 near Bell Rock.
Italian submarine GLAUCO attacked a British transport without success in
British trawler FRAMLINGHAM (169grt) was damaged by German bombing twenty
miles south of Fastnet.
British trawler IWATE (314grt) was damaged by German bombing five miles
northwest of Mizzen Head.
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
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
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.
cruisers MANCHESTER, DIDO, PHOEBE arrived at Scapa Flow.
Anti-aircraft cruiser CAIRO departed Rosyth to provide
for convoy OA.224 as far as Scapa Flow. At
Scapa Flow, CAIRO embarked stores before going to
the Western Approaches Command.
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.
FN.299 departed Southend, escorted by destroyers VANITY and WOLFHOUND. The
convoy arrived at Methil on the 6th.
FS.300 departed Methil, escorted by destroyer VIVIEN and sloop LONDONDERRY.
The convoy arrived at Southend on the 6th.
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.
SIRDAR (34grt) was sunk by German bombing in Long Reach, River
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.
Submarine RORQUAL laid mines off Benghazi.
Submarine RAINBOW (Lt Cdr L. P. Moore) had departed Alexandria on patrol on
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.
Submarine TETRARCH attacked an Italian merchant ship in the Gulf of Genoa
Destroyer WISHART escorted troopship NEURALIA to Lisbon to embark
and Polish troops from France. The
destroyer waited outside territorial waters and escorted the troopship back
to Gibraltar after embarkation.
NINA BIANCHI (2180grt) was lost in a collision with Italian
steamer VELOCE (5464grt) off Brindisi in 40‑27N, 18‑24E.
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.
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.
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.
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
FN.300 departed Southend, escorted by destroyers WALLACE and WATCHMAN. The
convoy arrived at Methil on the 7th.
FS.301 departed Methil, escorted by destroyers VEGA and VIMIERA. The convoy
arrived at Southend on the 7th.
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
October, at 21‑20W, SC.7 was reinforced by sloop FOWEY and corvette BLUEBELL
from OA.228 escort.
October, the convoy was reinforced by sloop LEITH and corvette HEARTSEASE.
The convoy arrived at Liverpool on the 21st.
Submarine TIGRIS attacked Italian submarine OTARIO without success in the
Bay of Biscay.
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.
steamer OTTOLAND (2202grt) was sunk on a mine four miles south of 20A Buoy,
off Hartlepool. The
entire crew was rescued.
British steamer ORTOLAN (489grt) was damaged by German bombing at Free Trade
French submarine NARVAL arrived back at Malta from a patrol beginning on 25
September. The patrol was conducted with Submarine RORQUAL.
the evening of 5 October, Italian operation CV began.
merchant ships departed Taranto for North Africa escorted by the 12th
Destroyer Division, destroyers LANCIERE, CARABINIERE, CORRAZZIERE, ASCARI.
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
When a British force of battleships and screening forces were
sighted between Kaso Strait and Alexandria, all Italian ships returned to
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
airmen returned to their Squadron at the end of the month.
MARIA GRAZIA (188grt) was sunk in 41-05N, 17-45E by ramming
by submarine REGENT.
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.
Anti-submarine trawler LORD HOTHAM attacked a submarine contact near Almina
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.
Destroyer FAME completed her repairs at Rosyth and joined the 4th Destroyer
Flotilla at Rosyth.
OL.6 departed Liverpool. No escorts were listed.
OA.225 departed Methil escorted by sloop WESTON and corvette GARDENIA from 6
to 11 October.
FN.301 departed Southend, escorted by destroyer VERDUN and sloop LOWESTOFT.
The convoy arrived at Methil on the 8th.
FS.302 departed Methil and arrived at Southend on the 9th.
Swordfish of 825 Squadron from aircraft carrier FURIOUS crashed off Clacton. Temporary Lt (A) D. A. N. Watt RNVR, was killed.
badly damaged British tanker BRITISH GENERAL (6989grt) in 51‑42N, 24‑03W.
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.
sank Norwegian tanker NINA BORTHEN (6123grt) in 54‑00N, 26‑00W.
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).
Drifter SCOTCH THISTLE (84grt) was lost after stranding in the
Steamer HULL TRADER (717grt) was damaged by German bombing in the
Steamer FIRECREST (538grt) was damaged by German bombing two and a
half miles southwest of Sunk Light Vessel, Thames Estuary.
Destroyer VIDETTE departed Gibraltar escorting storeship CITY OF AUCKLAND
for Alexandria, via Durban. The
destroyer detached at dark on the 7th.
Italian submarine TRICHECO sank in error Italian submarine
GEMMA in the
Aegean Sea in 35‑30N, 27‑18E.
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.
Destroyer BEDOUIN departed Rosyth at 0600 for Portsmouth to deammunition.
She then proceeded to Southampton to refit.
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.
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.
October, light cruiser KENYA departed Scapa Flow to escort convoy WS 3
ST LAURENT and DOUGLAS departed Liverpool at 1510 to join the
Anti-aircraft cruiser CAIRO was with the convoys for
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.
OB.225 departed Liverpool with destroyer SHIKARI and corvettes CLARKIA and
PERWINKLE. The escort was detached on the 10th.
FN.302 departed Southend, escorted by destroyer VIVIEN and sloop
LONDONDERRY. The convoy arrived at Methil on the 9th.
FS.303 departed Methil, escorted by destroyer WINCHESTER and sloop EGRET.
The convoy arrived at Southend on the 9th.
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.
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
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.
sank Norwegian steamer TOURAINE (5811grt) in 55‑14N, 10‑34W.
entire crew was rescued.
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.
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.
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.
cruiser DUNEDIN departed Greenock after refitting there in September and
Destroyer MASHONA departed Greenock after refitting at 1840.
She arrived at Scapa Flow at 1630/9th.
Destroyer ESKIMO sank a floating British mine in 59-07N, 3-56W at 1200 in
the Fleet exercise area.
OA.226 departed Methil escorted by sloop ABERDEEN and corvette PRIMROSE from
8 to 11 October. The convoy rendezvoused with convoy OB.226.
FN.303 departed Southend, escorted by destroyers VEGA and VIMIERA. The
convoy arrived at Methil on the 10th.
FS.304 departed Methil, escorted by destroyer WOOLSTON and sloop BLACK SWAN.
The convoy arrived at Southend on the 10th.
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.
Minesweeper KELLET was damaged in a collision with the West Pier at Granton.
She repaired at Rosyth in October.
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.
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.
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.
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
Destroyer Divisions 68 and 71 destroyers were transferred to the Royal Navy
under Lend Lease.
Cdr P J
Cdr C H de
H Bell RD RNR
Lt Cdr T
Cdr E F
Lt Cdr J
Lt Cdr S.R
J Woods RNR
(Lt Cdr M.
The Earl Beatty (Emgcy)
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.
HX.79 departed Halifax at 1330 escorted by Canadian destroyer SAGUENAY and
auxiliary patrol boats FRENCH and REINDEER.
commodore was on steamer SALACIA (5495grt). Patrol
boat FRENCH departed convoy at dusk and destroyer SAGUENAY departed convoy
escort was armed merchant cruiser MONTCLARE and Dutch submarine O.14, which
were detached on the 18th. Armed merchant cruiser ALAUNIA later supplemented
the convoy duty, O.14 arrived at Rothesay on the 29th.
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.
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.
trawler HECHT (222grt) was sunk by enemy action.
the night of 8/9 October, German torpedo boats GREIF, SEEADLER, KONDOR,
FALKE, WOLF and JAGUAR operated off the Isle of Wight.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
Italian battleships and their covering forces were at sea during the passage
of Convoy MF 3.
October, destroyers JERVIS, JUNO, ILEX were sent ahead of the fleet to
investigate a submarine contact reported by aircraft.
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.
cruiser SHROPSHIRE arrived at Aden and joined the Red Sea Force. In
December, she returned to the East Indies Command.
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
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.
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.
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.
OB.226 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyer ANTELOPE, corvettes GERANIUM
and GLOXINIA, anti-submarine trawler HUDDERSFIELD TOWN. The escort was
detached on the 12th.
FN.304 departed Southend, escorted by destroyers VALOROUS and WESTMINSTER.
The convoy arrived at Methil on the 11th.
Destroyer VIMY departed Londonderry at 1400 for Portsmouth for refitting.
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.
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.
October, armed merchant cruiser PRETORIA CASTLE from convoy SL.50 joined the
convoy and remained with it until 27 October.
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.
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.
ALDERNEY QUEEN (663grt) was sunk by German bombing off Grassholm Island, North Wales, 51-38-30N, 5-25-30W. The
entire crew was rescued.
SEA KING (321grt) was sunk by mining 28 miles 310° from
Bull Sand Road, Grimsby Roads.
Temporary Skipper T. Sleeth RNR, Temporary Skipper L. Rushby RNR, twelve
ratings were lost.
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.
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
cruiser DRAGON arrived at Duala.
SLS 51 departed Freetown on the 9th. Sloop
ROCHESTER escorted the convoy on 30 and 31 October, when it arrived
Thursday, 10 October
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.
0333 to 0351 on the 11th, the REVENGE group bombarded Cherbourg.
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.
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.
Destroyer DOUGLAS departed Greenock at 0630 to join the Home Fleet at Scapa
Flow, where she arrived at 1000/11th.
OA.227 departed Methil escorted by sloop ROCHESTER and corvette CAMELLIA
from 10 to 14 October.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
on the 12th, battlecruiser RENOWN and destroyers WISHART, GALLANT, GRIFFIN,
VIDETTE departed Gibraltar.
Friday, 11 October
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.
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
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.
FN.306 departed Southend, escorted by destroyer WOOLSTON and sloop BLACK
SWAN. The convoy arrived at Methil on the 13th.
FS.306 departed Methil, escorted by destroyer WOLSEY and sloop LOWESTOFT.
The convoy arrived at Southend on the 14th.
torpedo boats FALKE, GREIF, KONDOR, SEEADLER and WOLF departed Cherbourg for
another sortie to the area off the Isle of Wight.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
Destroyers MATABELE and PUNJABI departed Scapa Flow at 0800 escorting RFA tanker MONTENOL (2646grt) to Skaalefjord before proceeding to operation
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
Destroyer VERSATILE departed Londonderry for refitting in the Tyne.
Destroyer FEARLESS departed the Clyde at 1700 after refitting,
proceeded to Rosyth for Home Fleet operations in the 4th Destroyer Flotilla.
Steamer THYRA II (1088grt) was damaged by German bombing off East
Barrow Light Vessel, Thames Estuary.
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.
yacht AISHA (117grt) was lost in mining in the Thames Estuary.
Steamer INVER (1543grt) was damaged by German shore guns in the
Straits of Dover.
German air attacks on Liverpool, steamers CLAN MACTAGGART (7622grt),
CLAN CUMMING (7264grt), HIGHLAND CHIEFTAN (14, 135grt) and tanker VIRGILIA
(5723grt) were damaged.
Steamer BANNTHORN (429grt) was damaged by German bombing in Rathlin
O'Birne Sound, Eire.
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.
WELLINGTON escorted the convoy from 11 to 24 October.
Destroyer WRESTLER escorted the convoy from 22 to 24 October,
arrived at Gibraltar on the 24th.
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
Destroyer VAMPIRE was detached at 1410 to refuel at Malta.
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
destroyer NUBIAN, HERO and HAVOCK rejoined the Main Fleet and destroyers
DAINTY, DEFENDER, DIAMOND were detached to refuel.
Italian civilian plane reported the British Mediterranean Fleet 100 miles
southeast of Malta.
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
on the 11th, the Mediterranean Fleet began its return to Alexandria.
AUCKLAND in convoy BS.6 was bombed by Italian bombers at 15‑51N, 41‑25E,
west of Kamaran.
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
aircraft crossed Scapa Flow during the night.
exercises were prohibited and movements were restricted during the day.
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
1230/13th, ESKIMO and DUNCAN were detached to Scapa Flow arriving
at 0900/14th. SOMALI and MASHONA arrived at Scapa Flow at 1400/14th.
Captain D.12 on destroyer KEPPEL was transferred ashore at Greenock.
OA.228 departed Methil escorted by sloop FOWEY and corvette BLUEBELL from 12
to 16 October.
OB.227 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyer ARROW and corvette CALENDULA
from 12 to 15 October.
FS.307 departed Methil, escorted by destroyer VIVIEN and sloop LONDONDERRY.
The convoy arrived at Southend on the 14th.
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
was assigned to the 21st Destroyer Flotilla and joined the Flotilla
following completion of repairs.
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.
Destroyer QUORN departed Scapa Flow at 0900 for Aberdeen,
and left there at 1500 with steamer LOCHNAGAR for
Minesweeper KELLET hit the pier at Leith,
and had to be docked for repairs.
Monitor EREBUS, escorted by destroyer CATTISTOCK, bombarded German
invasion barges at Dunkirk.
sank Norwegian steamer DAVANGER (7102grt) from convoy HX.77 in 57‑00N,
19‑10W. Seventeen crew were missing.
sank steamer PACIFIC RANGER (6895grt) from convoy HX.77 in 56‑20N,
entire crew was rescued.
sank Canadian steamer SAINT MALO (5779grt), a straggler from convoy HX.77,
in 57‑58N, 16‑32W. Sixteen crew were rescued.
Trawler LONGSCAR (215grt) was damaged by German bombing off
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
RESOLVO was beached outside the entrance to Sheerness at the Outer Bar Buoy
and abandoned on the 13th.
schnellboote S.37 was sunk on a mine off Orfordness.
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
Destroyers WISHART, GALLANT, GRIFFIN, VIDETTE were detached from
battlecruiser RENOWN, with GALLANT and GRIFFIN picking up the
survivors, and WISHART scuttling the Yugoslavian vessel.
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.
Steamer STARLING (1320grt) was damaged by German bombing four miles
southwest of San Sebastian Light.
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.
escort was armed merchant cruiser LACONIA, which was detached on the 22nd.
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.
Anti-aircraft cruiser CALCUTTA was subjected to high level Italian bombing
near Crete on the 12th.
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.
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.
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.
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.
cruisers ORION, SYDNEY and AJAX rejoined the Main Fleet during the morning of
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.
hundred survivors were picked up by Italian ships from ARTIGLIERE. Eighty four
survivors from AIRONE and forty one from ARIEL were
Destroyer KIMBERLEY on Perim patrol was attacked by Italian bombers three
miles from Perim. There was no damage in the attack.
Gunboat CRICKET departed Hong Kong in the tow of tanker WAR SIRDAR. Owing
to a typhoon, both ships were recalled.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Flow, except for a small area northeast of the Barrell of Butter, was
declared free of mines and anti-submarine exercises were permitted.
OL.7 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyers HIGHLANDER, HURRICANE,
KEPPEL, HAVELOCK. The convoy was dispersed on the 16th.
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.
FN.307 departed Southend, escorted by destroyers VANITY and WOLFHOUND. The
convoy arrived at Methil on the 16th.
FS.308 departed Methil, escorted by destroyers VEGA, VIMIERIA, WALLACE. The
convoy arrived at Southend on the 17th.
sank British steamer STANGRANT (5804grt) from convoy HX.77 in 58‑27N,
crew were lost.
sank Estonian steamer NORA (1186grt) in 57‑02N, 13‑11W.
Survivors were picked up by sloop LEITH five days later, which was escorting
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.
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.
damaged Norwegian steamer DAGRUN (4562grt) off North Channel.
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
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
October, destroyer MOHAWK was detached from the Main Fleet to relieve
AS 4 arrived at Port Said on the 16th.
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.
Admiral I. B. B. Tower of PRESIDENT was killed in an air raid on London.
OA.229 departed Methil escorted by escort vessel JASON and corvettes
COREOPSIS and HIBISCUS from 14 to 19 October.
FN.308 departed Southend, escorted by destroyer WOLSEY and sloop LOWESTOFT.
The convoy arrived at Methil on the 16th.
FS.309 departed Methil, escorted by destroyers VERDUN and WATCHMAN. The
convoy arrived at Southend on the 16th.
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.
RECULVER (683grt) was sunk on a mine 1.2 miles 195° from
Spurn Point Light House. The
entire crew was rescued.
LORD STAMP (448grt) was sunk on a mine seventeen
miles southwest of Portland Bill in the English Channel.
Skipper J. D. McKay RNR, Lt Cdr M. E. C. Miller RNR and twenty one ratings were
GLYNWEN (1076grt) was lost to enemy attack.
steamer EULER (1879grt) was sunk on a mine near St Nazaire.
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.
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.
Mediterranean Fleet arrived back at Alexandria at 0100/16th.
Battlecruiser RENOWN and destroyers GALLANT, FIREDRAKE, GRIFFIN arrived at
cruiser SHEFFIELD arrived at Gibraltar from a month in Home Waters after
carrying out a patrol off the Azores, and rejoined Force H
armed merchant cruiser ORION sank Norwegian steamer RINGWOOD (7302grt) in
the Pacific at 05‑29N, 159‑42E. The European crew was repatriated to