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

NAVAL EVENTS, OCTOBER 1940 (Part 2 of 2)
Tuesday 15th - Thursday 31st

Partly edited by Gordon Smith, Naval-History.Net

HMS Welshman, fast cruiser minelayer (Navy Photos/Bob Hanley, click to enlarge)

on to Naval events, NOVEMBER 1940

 

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

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

 


Background Events - September-December 1940

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


 

 

1940

 

Tuesday,  15 October

 

Battleship REVENGE departed Portsmouth late on the 15th escorted by destroyers WANDERER and WITCH and Polish destroyer BURZA, arriving at Plymouth early on the 16th.

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In operation D.H.U, Battlecruiser HOOD departed Scapa Flow at 1550 to screen aircraft carrier FURIOUS and heavy cruisers BERWICK and NORFOLK with destroyers MATABELE and PUNJABI to raid Tromso on the 16th.

 

Destroyers SOMALI, ESKIMO, MASHONA departed Scapa Flow at 1550 and were exercising in the Pentland Firth prior to DHU. These destroyers joined aircraft carrier FURIOUS.

 

Aircraft carrier FURIOUS aircraft attacked oil tanks and the seaplane base and shipping at Tromso on the 16th.

 

Lt H. S. Hayes and Lt E. G. Savage in a Skua of 801 Squadron landed in Sweden and eventually to return to England.

 

At 1540/17th, destroyers DUNCAN, ISIS, DOUGLAS departed Scapa Flow to join the FURIOUS force.

 

On 18 October, Phase II of the DHU operation was abandoned due to low visibility. The forces returned to Scapa Flow.

 

Destroyer DOUGLAS and ISIS proceeded to Skaalefjord to meet tanker MONTENOL and take her to Scapa Flow.

 

Destroyers SOMALI, ESKIMO, MASHONA arrived in Pentland Firth and carried out full caliber firings before arriving at Scapa Flow at 1230/19th.

 

Aircraft carrier FURIOUS, heavy cruisers BERWICK and NORFOLK, destroyers DUNCAN, PUNJABI, MATABELE arrived back at Scapa Flow at 1300/19th.

 

Destroyers DOUGLAS and ISIS arrived back at Scapa Flow at 1100/20th escorting tanker MONTENOL.

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British minefield BS.41 was laid by minelayer TEVIOTBANK and destroyer INTREPID, escorted by destroyer VORTIGERN and minesweeper LYDD.

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Anti-aircraft cruiser CURACOA arrived at Scapa Flow at 1000 after covering convoy OA.229 to Pentland Firth.

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Convoy OB.229 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyers CHELSEA, STURDY, WHITEHALL, corvettes ARABIS and HELIOTROPE, anti-submarine trawlers BLACKFLY and LADY ELSA. Destroyer CHELSEA was detached on the 16th and the rest of the escort on the 18th.

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Convoy FN.309 departed Southend, escorted by destroyer VIVIEN and sloop LONDONDERRY. The convoy arrived at Methil on the 18th.

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Convoy FS.310 departed Methil, escorted by destroyer WINCHESTER and sloop EGRET. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 18th.

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Destroyer QUORN departed Lerwick at 1735 escorting British steamer LOCHNAGAR to Aberdeen.

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Submarine L 27 (Lt R. E. Campbell) attacked a German convoy off Cape Barfleur in 47-55N, 1-30E and claimed three torpedo hits on a 7000 ton steamer, escorted by seven trawlers.

 

However, there is no confirmation for the damage.

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U.65, leaving Lorient, was attacked by a British submarine.

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U.93 sank British steamer HURUNUI (9331grt) from convoy OB.227 in 58‑58N, 09‑54W.

 

Two crew were lost on the British steamer. Survivors from steamer HURUNUI were picked up by Sloop FOWEY.

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U.103 sank British steamer THISTLEGARTH (4747grt) from convoy OB.227 in 58‑43N, 15‑00W.

 

Twenty nine crew and the naval gunner were lost on the British steamer.

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U.138 in attacks on convoy OB.228 sank British steamer BONHEUR (5327grt) and damaged British tanker BRITISH GLORY (6993grt) in 57‑10N, 08‑36W.

 

The entire crew of steamer BONHEUR was rescued.

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Italian submarine CAPPELLINI sank Belgian steamer KABALO (5186grt) from convoy OB.223 in 31‑59N, 31‑20W.

 

One crewman was lost from the steamer. Survivors from KABALO were picked up by American steamer PAN AMERICAN (9862grt).

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British drifter APPLE TREE (84grt) was lost in a collision with RAF Pinnace No.50 in Oban Harbour.

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River patrol vessel MISTLETOE (19grt) was sunk on a mine, eight cables 310 from Bull Sand Fort.

 

Four crew were lost from the vessel. Two crew were rescued.

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Submarine TRIAD (Lt Cdr G. S. Salt) departed Malta on the 9th to patrol in the Gulf of Taranto. She was then to proceed, via the Libya coast, to Alexandria to arrive on the 20th.

 

The submarine was on the surface 50 miles south of Cape Collonne in Otranto Strait in 38‑15N, 17‑37E.

 

Early on the 15th at 0140, Italian submarine ENRICO TOTI, which because of a mechanical breakdown could not submerge, encountered submarine TRIAD.

 

In a gun engagement and torpedo engagement, submarine TRIAD was sunk by Italian submarine TOTI.

 

Lt Cdr Salt, Lt M. Keith-Roach, Lt L. J. Brown RNR, Lt (E) W. E. Collinge, S/Lt H. Dean, the forty seven ratings of the crew were lost with TRIAD.

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Battleship BARHAM and destroyer ECHO, ESCAPADE, FORTUNE arrived at Gibraltar from Freetown.

 

Battleship BARHAM, which had been damaged off Dakar, was docked at Gibraltar on the 16th.

 

Heavy cruiser AUSTRALIA arrived at Gibraltar from patrol.

 

Also, arriving on this date were transports ETTRICK and KARANJA, escorted by destroyers GREYHOUND, WISHART, VIDETTE, arriving from Freetown.

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Italian submarine FOCA, while laying a minefield, was sunk in mining off Haifa.

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Convoy SC.8 departed St Johns at 1343 escorted by Canadian armed yacht ELK and ocean escort Sloop SANDWICH.

 

The convoy was joined on the 26th by SLOOP WESTON, corvettes CAMPANULA, CLARKIA, GLADIOLUS, anti-submarine trawlers FANDANGO, MAN O.WAR, STELLA CAPELLA, VIZALMA. Destroyers HARVESTER and HIGHLANDER joined the convoy on the 27th. Destroyer STURDY joined the convoy on the 30th, but was lost that day.

 

The convoy arrived at Liverpool on the 31st.

 

Wednesday,  16 October

 

Battleship KING GEORGE V had completed construction at Vickers Armstrong, Tyne, in mid October and was to be taken away from the Tyne for final completion and working up at Rosyth.

 

Due to the acoustic mine threat, six destroyers were to run up the Tyne to simulate the magnetic field of the battleship prior to KING GEORGE V's departure.

 

Anti-aircraft cruisers NAIAD (Rear Admiral CS 15) and BONAVENTURE and destroyers FAME, ASHANTI, MAORI, SIKH, ELECTRA, BRILLIANT departed Rosyth on the 16th.

 

The destroyers proceeded up the Tyne to detonate acoustic mines. They were then to pick up the battleship and escort her to Rosyth with anti-aircraft cruisers NAIAD and BONAVENTURE.

 

At 0459 on the 17th at Whitburn Rifle Range near Sunderland in 54-47-05N, 1-21W, destroyers FAME and ASHANTI ran aground and were badly damaged and destroyer MAORI ran aground, but was able to get herself off with light hull damage.

 

The damaged destroyer crews went ashore during the night of 17/18 October due to heavy swells. Only the anti-aircraft crews, damage control, salvage personnel remained on board.

 

Destroyer ASHANTI was refloated on 1 November and towed to Sunderland. On 9 November, the destroyer was towed to the Tyne. She was repaired at Wallsend completing at the end of August 1941.

 

Destroyer FAME was refloated on 1 December. She was under temporary repair at Sunderland until 5 February 1941. She then was taken to Chatham and rebuilt on a new hull. She was repairing until 29 August 1942.

 

Meanwhile, battleship KING GEORGE V was joined by anti-aircraft cruisers NAIAD and BONAVENTURE and destroyers MAORI, SIKH, BRILLIANT, ELECTRA at 0900/17th.

 

The screen was augmented at 1000 by destroyers BEAGLE, WESTMINSTER, WALLACE. At 1030, destroyer FEARLESS joined the screen.

 

At 1440, the force reached the Oxcars Boom at Rosyth.

 

Destroyer MAORI lost her asdic dome in the grounding and was repaired at Rosyth by the end of the month.

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Light cruiser MANCHESTER, on passage from the Firth of Forth to the Humber, detonated a mine in 54-21N, 0-18W.

 

There was no damage to the cruiser.

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Light cruiser SOUTHAMPTON departed the Humber for Scapa Flow.

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Convoy OA.230 departed Methil escorted by sloop FLEETWOOD and corvette CLEMATIS. The sloop was detached on the 20th and the corvette on the 21st when the convoy rendezvoused with OB.230.

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Convoy FN.310 departed Southend, escorted by destroyers VEGA and VIMIERA. The convoy arrived at Methil on the 18th.

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Convoy FS.311 departed Methil, escorted by destroyer WOOLSTON and sloop BLACK SWAN. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 19th.

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Submarine TIGRIS sank French trawler CIMCOUR (250grt) in 45-44N, 3-45W.

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German aircraft raided the Orkneys at 1920. Bombs were dropped on Deerness and Shapinsay.

 

There was suspected minelaying in the area 58-20N to 58-30N, 2-20W to 2-35W.

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Anti-aircraft cruiser CURACOA departed Scapa Flow at 1000 to meet convoy OA.230 before dusk and escort her to Pentland Firth.

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In Operation P S, British monitor EREBUS, escorted by destroyers GARTH and WALPOLE, departed the Nore and bombarded Calais from 0010 to 0042 on the 17th.

 

On the return, EREBUS's port engine broke down and the monitor was assisted by British tug ST CLAIR (255grt).

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British escort ship VIVIEN, escorting convoy FN.9, engaged German motor torpedo boats in 52‑55. 5N, 2‑03. 7E.

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Minesweeper DUNDALK (Lt Cdr F. A. I. Kirkpatrick Rtd) of the 4th Minesweeping Flotilla was badly damaged on a mine off Harwich in 51‑57N, 1‑27E at 1831. She was taken in tow by minesweeper SUTTON but sank in tow at 0242 on the 18th.

 

Four ratings were lost in the minesweeper. Seven ratings were wounded.

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Motor torpedo boat MTB.106 (S/Lt I. A. B. Quarrie RNVR) was sunk on a mine near the Nore Light Vessel in the Thames Estuary.

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U.124 sank Canadian steamer TREVISA (1813grt), a straggler from convoy SC.7, in 57‑28N, 20‑30W.

 

Seven crew were lost on the Canadian steamer.

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British motor fishing vessel PRIDE (25grt) was sunk on a mine off Scarborough East Pier.

 

Four crew were lost on the vessel.

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British steamer ACTIVITY (358grt) was damaged on a mine in 51‑31N, 00‑55E.

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Convoy HX.81 at 1130 escorted by Canadian destroyers COLUMBIA and ST FRANCIS and auxiliary patrol boats HUSKY and REINDEER.

 

At 1750/17th, the destroyers returned to Halifax and Armed merchant cruiser VOLTAIRE took the ocean escort. The armed merchant cruiser was detached on the 27th.

 

On 27 October, destroyers CALDWELL, VANSITTART, WALKER, sloop ABERDEEN, corvettes CALENDULA. GARDENIA, GLOXINIA joined the convoy. The convoy arrived at Liverpool on 2 November.

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Destroyers FAULKNOR, FORTUNE, FURY, ESCAPADE, which had arrived at Freetown on the 7th after leaving Duala on the 6th, departed Freetown with destroyer FORESTER.

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Submarine PANDORA on patrol in the Otranto Strait made unsuccessful attacks on Italian submarines on 16 and 17 October.

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Italian steamer VERACE (1219grt) was sunk on a mine at Benghazi.

 

Thursday,  17 October

 

Early on the 17th, German destroyers STEINBRINCK, LODY, IHN, GALSTER departed Brest to raid British shipping at the west exit of the Bristol Channel.

 

German torpedo boats GREIF, SEEADLER, KONDOR, FALKE, WOLF, JAGUAR departed Cherbourg to act as a support force.

 

The German destroyers were sighted at 0719 near Brest by British aircraft.

 

Three convoys were in immediate danger, convoy OG.44 escorted by Sloop WELLINGTON, convoy SL.50 escorted by Armed merchant cruiser PRETORIA CASTLE, convoy HG.45 escorted by British escort vessel GLEANER. These convoys were ordered to steer west until the threat was dealt with.

 

Light cruisers NEWCASTLE and EMERALD with destroyers JACKAL, JUPITER, KASHMIR, KIPLING, KELVIN departed Plymouth at 1100.

 

The German ships were sighted at 1600 and an action ensued that continued until 1800 when the German destroyers had outdistanced the British force.

 

No damage was received by either side, but destroyer JUPITER experienced mechanical problems limiting her speed before the engagement and light cruiser NEWCASTLE had a breakdown in number three boiler room in the pursuit.

 

The British and German forces were never less than 18, 000 yards apart.

 

Both forces were back in their respective ports early on the 18th.

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Convoy OB.230 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyers ANTELOPE and CLARE, corvettes ANEMONE, CLEMATIS, MALLOW, anti-submarine trawlers ST LOMAN and ST ZENO from 17 to 20 October.

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Convoy FN.311 departed Southend, escorted by destroyers VERDUN and WATCHMAN. The convoy arrived at Methil on the 19th.

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Convoy FS.312 departed Methil, escorted by destroyers WALLACE and WESTMINSTER. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 19th.

 

Convoy FS.313 was cancelled.

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Anti-aircraft cruiser CURACOA transferred to convoy SL.49 A east of Pentland Firth and escorted it towards Buchanness.

 

At that point, the cruiser began escorting convoy EN.10.

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U.38 sank Greek steamer AENOS (3554grt), a straggler due to bad weather from convoy SC.7, in 59‑00N, 13‑00W.

 

Four crew were lost from the Greek steamer.

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U.48 in attacks on convoy SC.7 sank British tanker LANGUEDOC (9512grt) and British steamer SCORESBY (3843grt) and damaged British steamer HASPENDEN (4678grt) in 59‑14N, 17‑51W.

 

Forty one crew were rescued from tanker LANGUEDOC. The Master reboarded the tanker on the 18th, but damage was too great to save the ship.

 

There were no casualties on steamer SCORSBY.

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U.93 in attacks on convoy OB.228 sank Norwegian steamer DOKKA (1168grt) 60‑46N, 16‑30W and British steamer USKBRIDGE (2715grt) in 60‑40N, 15‑50W.

 

Ten crew were lost on the Norwegian steamer. Two crew were lost on the British steamer.

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British steamer FRANKRIG (1361grt) was sunk on a mine in 52‑03N, 01‑48E.

 

Nineteen crew from the steamer were rescued by destroyer HOLDERNESS.

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British fishing vessel ALBATROSS (15grt) was sunk on a mine off Grimsby.

 

All but five crew were lost on the fishing vessel.

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British steamer HAUXLEY (1595grt) in convoy FN.311 was torpedoed by German motor torpedo boat S.18 six miles north, northwest of Smith's Knoll.

 

Steamer HAUXLEY sank in tow of Destroyer WORCESTER at 0645 on the 18th in 50-03-30N, 1-35-30E.

 

One crew was lost on the British steamer.

 

British steamers P. L. M. 14 (3754grt) and GASFIRE (2972grt) in the same convoy were damaged by German motor torpedo boats S.24 and S.27 in 52‑52N, 02‑06E.

 

British steamer BRIAN (1074grt) claimed sinking one of the German S.boats.

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Faroes motor fishing vessel CHEERFUL (65grt) was sunk on a mine off the Faroes Island.

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British steamer ETHYLENE (936grt) was damaged on a mine one quarter mile north, northeast of East Oaze Light Buoy.

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British steamer GEORGE BALFOUR (1570grt) was damaged on a mine 12,900 yards 230 from Aldeburgh Light Vessel.

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Australian heavy cruiser AUSTRALIA and destroyers ECHO and GRIFFIN departed Gibraltar, escorting troopships KARANJA and ETTRICK to the United Kingdom. They were recalled when a report was received that French battleship STRASBOURG and twenty other warships were departing Toulon.

 

When the report was found to be incorrect, the heavy cruiser and destroyers ECHO and ESCAPADE with the troopships departed Gibraltar on the 18th.

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British troopship REINA DEL PACIFICO arrived at Gibraltar from Freetown.

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British storeship CITY OF DIEPPE, escorted by destroyer GALLANT, arrived at Gibraltar from Freetown.

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French torpedo boat LA BATAILLEUSE passed Gibraltar westbound escorting submarines PEGASE and MONGE, which had departed Bizerte on the 11th and submarines ESPOIR and VENGEUR, which had departed Toulon on the 11th. These ships proceeded to Casablanca to relieve submarines LE HEROS, LE GLORIEUX, CIRCE, CALYPSO.

 

To return, submarines CIRCE, CALYPSO, LE GLORIEUX, LE HEROS departed Casablanca on 2 November, escorted by torpedo boat LA BATAILLEUSE and in an unnumbered convoy with two steamers, arrived at Oran on 5 November.

 

Friday,  18 October

 

Submarine H.49 (Lt R. E. Coltart) was sunk by German auxiliary submarine chasers UJ.116 (trawler GRONLAND, 447grt) and UJ.118 (trawler ELBE, 462grt) off Terschelling.

 

Lt Coltart, Lt C. H. Peterkin, S/Lt A. Carew-Hunt, Probationary S/Lt L. H. L. Dearden, twenty two ratings were lost with H.49.

 

One rating was rescued and made a prisoner of war.

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Aircraft carrier ARGUS with destroyers BEAGLE, HURRICANE, ACHATES departed the Clyde at 1600 to embark the RAF 701 Squadron at Reykavik.

 

Aircraft carrier ARGUS and destroyer ACHATES arrived at Reykavik at 2300/20th.

 

Destroyers HURRICANE and BEAGLE were detached during the night of 19/20 October and did not arrive at Reykavik until 1035 on the 21st.

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Anti-aircraft cruiser CURACOA transferred from convoy EN.10 to HX.78 off Duncansby Head.

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Convoy OA.231 departed Methil escorted by sloop HASTINGS and corvette FLEUR DE LYS from 18 to 23 October.

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Destroyers KEPPEL and DOUGLAS of the 12th Destroyer Flotilla at Greenock were placed under the command of the Commander in Chief, Home Fleet.

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Hunt-class destroyer EXMOOR was completed. She worked up at Scapa Flow and then was transferred to the 21st Destroyer Flotilla operating in the Nore.

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Anti-submarine trawler KINGSTON CAIRNGORM (448grt), which was mined off Portland on the 17th, sank in tow at 0318 on the 18th.

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U.38 damaged British steamer CARSBRECK (3670grt) from convoy SC.7 in 58‑46N, 14‑11W.

 

Steamer CARSBRECK was escorted from the area by corvette HEARTSEASE.

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U.48 sank British steamer SANDSEND (3612grt) from convoy OB.229 in 58‑12N, 21‑29W.

 

Five crew were lost on the British steamer.

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U.123 damaged with three torpedoes British steamer SHEKATIKA (5458grt) which was romping ahead of convoy SC.7 in 57‑12N, 11‑08W.

 

U.100 damaged with one torpedo British steamer SHEKATIKA an hour later in 57‑12N, 11‑08W.

 

U.123 finally sank British steamer SHEKATIKA early on the 19th in 57‑12N, 11‑08W.

 

The reason that steamer SHEKATIKA was so durable was that she was carrying a cargo of lumber.

 

The entire crew of the steamer was rescued by Sloop FOWEY.

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U.46 in attacks on convoy SC.7 sank British steamer BEATUS (4885grt) in 57‑31N, 13‑10W and Swedish steamer CONVALLARIA (1996grt) in 57‑22N, 11‑11W. In a third attack on a steamer, U.46 claimed damage to a large steamer, but no confirmation is available.

 

The entire crew of steamer CONVALLARIA's were rescued by Sloop FOWEY. The entire crew of steamer BEATUS's were picked up by Dutch steamer BOEKOLO, which was soon sunk herself, corvette BLUEBELL.

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U.101 in attacks on convoy SC.7 sank British steamer CREEKIRK (3971grt) in 57‑30N, 11‑10W and claimed sinking another steamer at the same location, but no confirmation exists for this claim.

 

There were no survivors from the British steamer.

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U.99 in attacks on convoy SC.7 sank British steamer EMPIRE MINIVER (6055grt) 250 miles 310 from Rathlin Head.

 

Three crew were lost on the steamer. Steamer EMPIRE MINIVER's survivors were picked up by corvette BLUEBELL.

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U.46 in attacks on convoy SC.7 sank Swedish steamer GUNBORG (1572grt) in 57‑14N, 11‑00W.

 

Steamer GUNBORG's twenty three survivors were picked up by corvette BLUEBELL.

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In attacks on convoy SC.7, U.101 damaged British steamer BLAIRSPEY (4155grt) in 57‑55N, 11‑10W with two torpedoes.

 

U.101 attacked two other steamers in SC.7 claiming to have sunk one and damaged one, but no confirmation is available.

 

Early on the 19th, U.100 damaged British steamer BLAIRSPEY with two torpedoes in 57‑55N, 11‑10W.

 

However, as with steamer SHEKATIKA, steamer BLAIRSPEY was loaded with lumber and proved very difficult to sink. Steamer BLAIRSPEY was able to continue and was not sunk.

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U.99 sank Greek steamer NIRITOS (3854grt) from convoy SC.7 in 57‑14N, 10‑38W.

 

One crewman was lost on the Greek steamer. Steamer NIRITOS's survivors were picked up by corvette BLUEBELL.

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U.100 in attacks on convoy SC.7 damaged Dutch steamer BOEKOLO (2118grt), which remained behind to rescue survivors, in 56‑40N, 10‑45W.

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U.99 sank British steamer FISCUS (4815grt) from convoy SC.7 in 57‑29N, 11‑10W.

 

There was only one survivor from the British steamer.

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British trawler KING ATHELSTAN (159grt) was damaged by German bombing about fifteen miles off Mizzen Head.

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Canadian auxiliary minesweeper BRAS D'OR (221grt, Acting Temporary Lt C. A. Hornsby RCNR) was lost in the Gulf of St Lawrence while shadowing Rumanian steamer INGINER N. VLASSPOL (3610grt) during the night of 18/19 October.

 

Hornsby, Lt (E) M. Cumming RCNR, Acting Skipper J. H. Ruel RCNR, Temporary Acting Skipper J. P. L. Burton RCNR, Temporary Acting Skipper E. R. Conrad RCNR, twenty five ratings were lost in the minesweeper. There were no survivors.

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Convoy HX.79, which had departed Halifax on the 8th escorted by Armed merchant cruisers MONTCLARE and ALAUNIA and Dutch submarine O.14, was reinforced in the Western Approaches by destroyers WHITEHALL and STURDY, escort vessel JASON, corvettes HIBISCUS, HELIOTROPE, COREOPSIS, ARABIS, anti-submarine trawlers LADY ELSA (531grt), BLACKFLY (428grt), ANGLE (531grt) in the Western Approaches.

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Destroyers FIREDRAKE, WRESTLER, VIDETTE attacked and sank Italian submarine DURBO off Alboran Island in 34‑54N, 04‑17W.

 

Forty eight survivors were picked up by the British ships and landed at Gibraltar. The Italian personnel were placed aboard troopship REINA DEL PACIFICO for transport to England.

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Italian steamer CUMA (6463grt) was sunk off Gela/Licata, Sicily, in 37‑01‑50N, 14‑06‑12E on a mine.

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Heavy cruiser CORNWALL intercepted French steamer INDOCHINOIS, which had departed Casablanca on the 15th for Conakry, in 5-46N, 13-43W.

 

The steamer was sent under prise crew to Freetown, arriving on the 19th.

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Convoy SL.52 departed Freetown escorted by armed merchant cruiser MOOLTAN to 5 November, when the convoy rendezvoused with convoy SLF.52. The convoy arrived at Liverpool on 10 November.

 

Saturday,  19 October

 

Destroyers VENETIA, WALPOLE, GARTH departed Dover on the 18th patrol in Straits of Dover.

 

Returning on the 19th, destroyer VENETIA (Lt Cdr D. L. C. Craig) was mined and sunk in the Thames Estuary near East Knob Buoy in 51‑33N, 01‑10E.

 

Craig, S/Lt D. H. Jones DSC RNR, S/Lt J. S. E. Rogers, Temporary Surgeon Lt S. P. H. Fergus, MB, CHB RNVR, Probationary Temporary S/Lt D. Drew RNVR, thirty ratings were lost in the destroyer. Eighteen ratings were wounded.

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Anti-aircraft cruiser CURACOA arrived at Scapa Flow at 1415 after escorting convoy OA.231 from the vicinity of Buchanness.

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Convoy OB.231 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyers CASTLETON and WANDERER, corvettes ERICA and PICOTEE, anti-submarine trawlers CAPE ARGONA, DRANGEY, PAYNTER.

 

Destroyer WANDERER and corvette PICOTEE were detached on the 22nd and the remainder of the escort the next day.

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Convoy OL.8 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyers MARGAREE, HAVELOCK, SKEENA, HESPERUS on 19 to 21 October. The convoy dispersed on the 22nd. Destroyer HAVELOCK was detached to convoy HG.45.

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Convoy FN.312 departed Southend, escorted by destroyer WINCHESTER and sloop EGRET. The convoy arrived at Methil on the 21st.

 

Convoy FN.313 was cancelled.

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Convoy FN.314 departed Southend, escorted by destroyer WOOLSTON and sloop BLACK SWAN. The convoy arrived at Methil on the 20th.

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Convoy FS.314 departed Methil, escorted by destroyer WOLSEY and sloop LOWESTOFT. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 22nd.

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Destroyer DUNCAN departed Scapa Flow at 1900 for repairs at Liverpool.

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Destroyer CLEVELAND departed Scapa Flow at 0400 to escort the minelayer ATREUS from Kirkwall to Lerwick.

 

On arrival, destroyer CLEVELAND returned to Kirkwall and escorted British steamer BEN MY CHREE to Aberdeen.

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Polish submarine WILK attacked a Danish steamer, identified as NORGE, in Lister Fjord without result.

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British steamer ARIDITY (336grt) was sunk on a mine forty yards northeast of east Oaze Light Vessel.

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British trawler VELIA (290grt, Temporary Probationary L. J. G. Shoobridge RNR) was sunk on a mine near Kentish Knock Light Vessel, 51-48-05N, 1-44E.

 

Trawlers HEKLA and STELLA CARINA rescued the entire crew.

_____

 

In attacks on convoy SC.7, U.101 sank British steamer ASSYRIAN (Convoy Commodore Vice Admiral L. D. I. MacKinnon, CB, CVO Rtd, 2962grt) and Dutch steamer SOESTERBERG (1904grt) in 57‑12N, 10‑43W.

 

Six crew were killed and eleven missing from steamer ASSYRIAN. Six crew were lost on the steamer SOESTERBERG. Survivors from both steamers were picked up by Sloop LEITH.

 

U.101 attacked two other steamers claiming to have sunk both, but no confirmation is available.

_____

 

U.123 sank Dutch steamer BOEKOLO (2188grt), which was rescuing the survivors from British steamer BEATUS (4885grt) in 57‑14N, 10‑38W.

 

The entire crew were rescued by Sloop FOWEY.

_____

 

In attacks on convoy SC.7, U.99 sank British steamer EMPIRE BRIGADE (5154grt) in 57‑12N, 10‑43W, Greek steamer THALIA (5875grt) in 57‑00N, 11‑30W, Norwegian steamer SNEFJELD (1643grt) in 57‑28N, 11‑10W.

 

Five crew and the naval gunner were lost on the steamer EMPIRE BRIGADE. Survivors from steamer EMPIRE BRIGADE were picked up by sloop LEITH. Twenty two crew were lost on the Greek steamer. The entire crew of the steamer SNEFJELD was rescued.

_____

 

U.123 sank British steamer SEDGEPOOL (5556grt) from convoy SC.7 in 57‑20N, 11‑22W.

 

Three crew were lost from the British steamer.

_____

 

U.99 damaged British steamer CLINTONIA (3106grt) from convoy SC.7 in 57-10N, 11-20W and U.123 sank the British ship with gunfire a short time later.

 

One crewman was lost on the British steamer.

_____

 

U.38 sank British steamers MATHERN (7653grt) in 57‑00N, 17‑00W and UGANDA (4966grt) in 56‑37N, 17‑15W, 250 miles west of Skerryvore Light House from convoy HX.79.

 

Nine crew were missing from steamer MATHERN. The entire crew of steamer UGANDA was rescued.

_____

 

U.47 sank Dutch steamer BILDERDIJK (6856grt) from convoy HX.79 in 56‑35N, 17‑15W.

 

The entire crew of the steamer was rescued.

_____

 

U.47 badly damaged British tanker SHIRAK (6023grt) from convoy HX.79 in 57‑00N, 16‑53W.

Forty five minutes later, U.48 sank tanker SHIRAK.

 

The entire crew of the tanker was rescued.

_____

 

German submarines U.46 and U.47 sank British steamer WANDBY (4947grt) from convoy HX.79 in 56‑45N, 17‑07W.

 

The entire crew were picked up by anti-submarine trawler ANGLE (531grt) and Norwegian steamer INDIRA (5041grt).

_____

 

U.46 sank British steamer RUPERRA (4548grt) from convoy HX.79 in 57‑00N, 16‑00W.

 

Twenty eight crew, the naval gunner, one DBS was lost on the steamer. Norwegian steamer INDIRA (5041grt) picked up the survivors from steamer RUPERRA.

_____

 

U.47 attacked a steamer in convoy HX.79 in 56‑45N, 17‑07W, but did not hit the steamer.

_____

 

Destroyers FAULKNOR, FORESTER, FURY, FORESIGHT arrived at Gibraltar from Freetown.

_____

 

British troopship REINA DEL PACIFICO departed Gibraltar for Liverpool, escorted by destroyer FORESIGHT and given local escort by destroyer WRESTLER, which returned to Gibraltar after dark on the 21st.

_____

 

From information found in Italian submarine DURBO, six destroyers (destroyers FORESTER, GALLANT, GRIFFIN, HOTSPUR, et al) departed Gibraltar to hunt for Italian submarine LAFOLE, known to be operating off Cape Tresforcas.

_____

 

Australian light cruiser HOBART was refitting at Colombo from 19 October to 19 November 1940.

 

On completion of this refit, light cruiser HOBART relieved New Zealand light cruiser LEANDER in the Red Sea Force.

 

Sunday,  20 October

 

Anti-aircraft ship ALYNBANK departed Methil at 0630 escorting convoy OA.232 to Duncansby Head.

_____

 

Destroyers FEARLESS, ELECTRA, BRILLIANT departed Rosyth at 1030 escorting battlecruiser REPULSE to Rattray Head.

 

Destroyers SOMALI, MASHONA, MATABELE departed Scapa Flow at 1200 and relieved the REPULSE escort at 1630 at Rattray Head.

_____

 

Destroyer CLEVELAND departed Kirkwall with British steamer BEN MY CHREE. They arrived at Aberdeen at 1400/20th.

 

The destroyer then escorted Submarine L 23 from Dundee to Scapa Flow. En route, the destroyer assisted damaged British steamer CONAKRIAN.

_____

 

Destroyer ESKIMO docked at Scapa Flow to repair oil tank leak.

 

Destroyer ESKIMO was undocked on the 24th to accommodate damaged destroyer MENDIP.

 

Destroyer ESKIMO completed her repairs alongside depot ship MAIDSTONE completing at 1900/25th.

_____

 

Convoy OA.232 departed Methil escorted by sloop WESTON and corvettes CAMPANULA and PEONY from 20 to 23 October.

_____

 

Convoy FN.315 departed Southend, escorted by destroyers WALLACE and WESTMINSTER. The convoy arrived at Methil on the 21st.

_____

 

Convoy FS.315 departed Methil and arrived at Southend on the 23rd.

_____

 

Submarine URSULA departed Portsmouth for the Mediterranean.

 

Submarine URSULA arrived at Gibraltar on the 30th and was under repair through the end of the year.

_____

 

U.100 in attacks on convoy HX.79 sank British tankers CAPRELLA (8230grt) in 56‑37N, 17‑15W and SITALA (6218grt) in 56-37N, 17-15W, one hundred fifty miles southwest of Rockall.

 

One crewman lost from each of the two British tankers. Anti-submarine trawlers LADY ELSA and ANGLE rescued the survivors from these two ships.

_____

 

U.47 sank British steamer LA ESTANCIA (5185grt) from convoy HX.79 in 57‑00N, 17‑00W.

One crewman was missing from the British steamer. Norwegian steamer INDIRA (6041grt) rescued the survivors from steamer LA ESTANCIA.

_____

 

U.124 sank Norwegian steamer CUBANO (5810grt) from convoy OB.229 in 57‑55N, 25‑00W.

 

Two crew were lost on the Norwegian steamer. Canadian destroyer SAGUENAY rescued the survivors from CUBANO.

_____

 

U.47 in attacks on convoy HX.79 sank British steamer WHITFORD POINT (5026grt) in 56‑38N, 16‑00W and damaged British tanker ATHELMONARCH (8995grt) in 56‑45ZN, 15‑58W.

 

Thirty six crew and the naval gunner were lost on the British steamer. Steamer WHITFORD POINT's survivors were picked up by destroyer STURDY.

_____

 

U.124 sank British steamer SULACO (5389grt) from convoy OB.229 in 57‑25N, 25‑00W.

 

Sixty four crew and two naval gunners were lost on the British steamer. Canadian destroyer SAGUENAY rescued the survivors from SULACO.

_____

 

U.46 sank Swedish tanker JANUS (9965grt) which was straggling behind HX.79 in 56‑36N, 15‑03W.

 

Four crew were lost on the Swedish steamer. Steamer JANUS's survivors were picked up by corvette HIBISCUS.

_____

 

U.100 sank British steamer LOCH LOMOND (5452grt) which was acting as a rescue ship picking up survivors behind HX.79 in 56‑00N, 14‑30W.

 

One crewman was missing from the British steamer. Steamer LOCH LOMOND's survivors were picked up by British escort vessel JASON.

_____

 

Italian submarine MALASPINA attacked a British tanker from dispersed convoy OB.229 in 59N, 29W.

_____

 

British steamer CONAKRIAN (4876grt) from convoy OA.232 was damaged by German aerial torpedo, nine miles 130 from Girdleness.

 

Destroyer CLEVELAND took off the survivors from lifeboats and stood by the steamer.

 

The steamer was taken in tow and safely brought into port.

 

Steamer CONAKRIAN was dragged onto the shore one mile south of the Bridge of Don at 2200/22nd.

_____

 

British steamer CITY OF ROUBAIX (7108grt) was damaged by German bombing at Alexandria Dock, Liverpool.

_____

 

Convoy HX.82 departed Halifax at 1300 escorted by Canadian destroyers ST CROIX and ST FRANCIS and auxiliary patrol boats HUSKY and REINDEER. The destroyers turned the convoy over to ocean escort, Armed merchant cruiser ALAUNIA, which was detached on the 31st.

 

On 1 November, destroyers CHELSEA, VERITY, VETERAN, and WITHERINGTON, corvettes CAMELLIA and HONEYSUCKLE of the OB.235 escort joined the convoy. Also joining on 1 November were destroyers BROKE, MALCOLM, SARDONYX and corvettes ARABIS, GENTIAN, HELIOTROPE. On 3 November, destroyers BROKE and MALCOLM and corvettes ARABIS, CAMELLIA, HELIOTROPE were detached. On 4 November, destroyers CHELSEA, VERITY, VETERAN, WITHERINGTON and covette GENTIAN were detached. Destroyer SARDONYX and corvette HONEYSUCKLE arrived with the convoy at Liverpool on 6 November.

_____

 

Destroyers GALLANT, GRIFFIN, HOTSPUR sank Italian submarine LAFOLE off Mellila in 36‑00N, 03‑00W.

 

The submarine had fired a torpedo at destroyer FORESTER.

 

Destroyer HOTSPUR sustained considerable damage to her bow ramming the submarine. She received temporary repairs at Gibraltar from 22 October to 20 November. Then to Malta for repairs from 29 November to 20 February.

 

Destroyer GALLANT picked up one officer and one rating from the Italian submarine. Seven ratings were picked up by destroyer HOTSPUR.

_____

 

Aircraft carrier EAGLE departed Alexandria with destroyers HASTY, HAVOCK, ILEX, DECOY, HEREWARD on exercises. All the ships arrived back at Alexandria at 0915 on the 21st.

_____

 

Heavy cruiser KENT was undocked at Alexandria after emergency repairs for torpedo damage. She was moored astern of submarine depot ship MEDWAY. The heavy cruiser departed Alexandria on the 26th for Port Said.

_____

 

Troop convoy US 6 of British troopships QUEEN MARY (81235grt) and AQUITANIA (45647grt) departed Sydney on the 20th.

 

British troopship MAURETANIA (35738grt) departed Melbourne on the 21st and joined at sea. The convoy departed Fremantle on the 26th escorted by light cruiser PERTH.

 

The light cruiser was relieved on the 30th at 12-30N, 96E by heavy cruiser CANBERRA which continued with the convoy to Bombay. The convoy arrived safely at Bombay on 4 November and the troops went aboard four smaller ships, one of them the British steamer ROHNA (8602grt).

 

The four steamers arrived safely at Suez on 26/27 November.

_____

 

Convoy BS.6B departed Port Sudan, escorted by destroyer KINGSTON and sloop FLAMINGO. The destroyer was detached on the 21st. Sloop INDUS joined on the 22nd. The convoy was dispersed off Aden on the 24th.

_____

 

Convoy BS.7 departed Suez. The convoy was joined on the 21st by sloop GRIMSBY and on the 22nd by sloop CLIVE. Both sloops were detached on the 24th when the convoy was joined by light cruiser LEANDER, anti-aircraft cruiser CARLISLE, destroyer KINGSTON, sloops AUCKLAND and YARRA. The convoy dispersed off Aden on the 28th.

_____

 

Convoy BM.2 departed Bombay with steamers DUNERA (11, 162grt), ISLAMI (5879grt), JALAHOHAM (5100grt), SANTHIA (7754grt), TALMA (10, 000grt), escorted by armed merchant cruiser HECTOR from 20 to 26 October and light cruiser DANAE from 26 to 30 October when the convoy arrived at Penang.

 

Steamer TALMA went on to Singapore and arrived on the 31st.

 

Monday,  21 October

 

Light cruiser GLASGOW arrived at Rosyth.

 

On 29 October, the cruiser departed Rosyth for the Clyde.

 

Light cruiser GLASGOW departed the Clyde for the Mediterranean on the 31st.

_____

 

Anti-aircraft ship ALYNBANK left convoy OA.232 and joined convoy WN.24 east of Pentland Firth.

_____

 

Motor torpedo boat MTB.17 (Lt R. I. T. Falkner) was sunk in mining off Ostend.

_____

 

Convoy OB.232 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyer SABRE, which was detached later that day, destroyers SCIMITAR and SKATE, sloop ENCHANTRESS, corvettes CLARKIA and GLADIOLUS, anti-submarine trawlers FANDANGO, MAN O.WAR, STELLA CAPELLA, VIZALMA.

 

On 23 October, sloop WESTON and corvettes CAMPANULA and PEONY joined the escort. On 25 October, destroyers SCIMITAR and SKATE were detached and on the 26th, the remainder of the escort left the convoy.

_____

 

Convoy FS.316 departed Methil and arrived at Southend on the 23rd.

_____

 

In a group of four minesweepers, minesweeping trawler WAVEFLOWER (550grt, Temporary Skipper R. M. MacDonald RNR) was sunk on a mine off Aldeburgh.

 

MacDonald and fourteen ratings were lost on the trawler. Lt W. J. Curtayne RNVR, six ratings were rescued by trawler THOMAS LEEDS of this group.

 

Searching for trawler WAVEFLOWER, minesweeping trawler JOSEPH BUTTON (290grt, Skipper A. J. Cowie RNR) was sunk on a mine 5.75 miles 275 off Aldeburgh.

 

Five ratings were lost on the trawler.

_____

 

British minefield BS.42 was laid on 21 and 22 October by minelayers TEVIOTBANK and PLOVER and destroyers ICARUS and IMPULSIVE.

_____

 

British steamer KERRY HEAD (825grt) was sunk by German bombing five miles due south of Blackball Head, Eire.

 

Twelve crew were lost on the British steamer.

_____

 

British steamer HOUSTON CITY (4935grt) was badly damaged by German bombing one half mile 225 from East Oaze Light Vessel.

 

The steamer was beached. Steamer HOUSTON CITY was bombed again on 1 November and damaged further. Salvage was abandoned.

_____

 

Russian steamer ASTRID (603grt) was sunk on a defensive minefield near Leningrad.

 

Three crew were killed and ten drowned on the steamer.

_____

 

Operation JUDGMENT, the British air strike on the Italian Fleet at Taranto, was scheduled originally for this date, but the fire on aircraft carrier ILLUSTRIOUS on the 18th forced postponement.

 

Aircraft carrier ILLUSTRIOUS was damaged by a fire on her hanger deck which destroyed four Swordfish of 819 Squadron and damage one Swordfish of 815 Squadron. Two other aircraft were damaged.

 

Repairs to aircraft carrier ILLUSTRIOUS were completed on the 29th.

_____

 

Submarine PARTHIAN attacked and tried to ram an Italian submarine off Cape Colonna without success.

_____

 

Convoy BN.7 departed Bombay on the 10th escorted by armed merchant cruisers ANTENOR and RANCHI from 10 to 16 October.

 

On 16 October, light cruiser LEANDER and sloops AUCKLAND and YARRA took over the escort of the convoy.

 

At Aden on the 19th, destroyer KIMBERLEY and sloop INDUS joined the convoy. The convoy was proceeding up the Red Sea on the 21st escorted by New Zealand light cruiser LEANDER, which departed Aden on the 18th, destroyer KIMBERLEY, sloops AUCKLAND and YARRA, minesweepers DERBY and HUNTLEY.

 

Italian air attacks on the convoy on the 19th managed to near miss French liner FELIX ROUSSEL (17, 083grt) which was carrying New Zealand troops.

 

Italian destroyers MANIN, SAURO, BATTISTI, NULLO sortied from Massawa on the 20th to attack the Convoy which they did at 0219 on the 21st. The convoy escorts drove the Italian destroyers away from the convoy.

 

New Zealand light cruiser LEANDER fired 129 rounds of six inch gunfire in the engagement.

 

Australian sloop YARRA was near missed by a torpedo fired from one of the Italian destroyers.

 

Italian destroyer NULLO developed steering problems and headed back towards Massawa, pursued by destroyer KIMBERLEY and sloop YARRA.

 

Italian destroyer NULLO was badly damaged by their gunfire, but managed to reach Massawa. Destroyer NULLO ran aground on Hormi Island off Massawa and was later destroyed by British bombing.

 

Destroyer KIMBERLEY was drawn into the range of Massawa shore guns which damaged the destroyer at 16‑29N, 40‑13E. KIMBERLEY sustained three men wounded and ruptured steam lines.

 

Destroyer KIMBERLEY was towed by light cruiser LEANDER which was relieved by destroyer KINGSTON that afternoon and they safely arrived at Port Sudan.

 

The damage to KIMBERLEY was temporarily repaired on the 30th. The destroyer departed Port Sudan on the 31st. She could to return to duty but was limited to 25 knots until a new steam pipe could be fitted at Bombay.

 

On 6 November, destroyer KIMBERLEY sailed for Bombay and the damage took ten days to repair.

 

This allied group of escort vessels met convoy BS.7 on the 23rd.

 

Minesweepers DERBY and HUNTLEY joined the convoy on the 19th. After 23 October, the minesweepers proceeded independently to Suez.

 

Sloops GRIMSBY and CLIVE took over the convoy on the 23rd at Port Sudan. On 26 October, the convoy arrived at Suez.

_____

 

Light cruiser ADELAIDE departed Sydney to patrol 120 miles south of Gabo Island to investigate raider reports.

_____

 

New Zealand light cruiser ACHILLES departed Auckland to patrol off North Cape.

 

The light cruiser arrived back at Auckland on 4 November.

_____

 

German armed merchant cruiser ATLANTIS captured Yugoslavian steamer DURMITOR (5623grt) in the Indian Ocean at 08‑30S, 101‑30E.

 

Steamer DURMITOR was renamed RADWINTER and sent to the Italian port of Mogadishu.

 

When that port fell to British forces on 25 February 1941, DURMITOR was returned to allied control. Allied crew on the steamer were freed.

 

 

Tuesday,  22 October

 

Canadian destroyer MARGAREE (Cdr J. W. R. Roy RCN), which had departed Londonderry on the 19th with the five ship OL.8 convoy as her first mission as an RCN ship was sunk in a collision with British steamer PORT FAIRY (8337grt) in 53‑24N, 22‑50W.

 

Destroyer MARGAREE was former Destroyer DIANA transferred to the Canadian Navy on 6 September. Most of the crew were survivors from the destroyer FRASER.

 

Cdr Roy, Lt A. E. McMurtry RCNVR, Temporary Lt R. C. Pope RCNVR, Commissioned Gunner B. A. Lewis, 138 ratings were lost with MARGAREE. McMurtry, Pope, Lewis and eighty three of the ratings were survivors of the destroyer FRASER. Lt W. M. Landymore and Acting Temporary Surgeon Lt T. B. McLean RCNVR which were also survivors from destroyer FRASER, Lt P. F. X. Russell, Lt F. C. Smith RCNR, Acting S/Lt R. W. Timbrell, Commissioned Engineer E. J. Sawdy, twenty eight ratings survived the sinking, but two ratings were lost during rescue efforts.

_____

 

Destroyers SOMALI, MATABELE, PUNJABI departed Scapa Flow at 1120 for Sullom Voe and then for operation DNU.

 

On arrival in Yell Sound, the destroyers were ordered to remain at sea to search for a U.boat reported in 60-00N, 6-47W. They proceeded to Muckle Flugga. They carried out a patrol eastward of the Shetlands in the longitude of 00-30W due to a possibility of invasion that night. At dawn, they returned to patrol off Muckle Flugga.

_____

 

Naval trawler HICKORY (505grt, Lt R. E. Harding RNVR) was sunk on a mine south of Portland in the English Channel.

 

Temporary Lt C. W. Jackson RNVR, Temporary Lt E. K. Karlsen RNR, twenty two ratings were lost on the trawler.

_____

 

Convoy OA.233 departed Methil escorted by anti-aircraft ship ALYNBANK on 22 and 23 October, sloop ABERDEEN and corvette GARDENIA from 22 to 24 October. The convoy rendezvoused with convoy OB.233.

_____

 

Convoy FS.317 departed Methil and arrived at Southend on the 25th.

_____

 

German destroyer BEITZEN, which departed Wilhelmshaven on the 20th, arrived at Brest.

_____

 

The Italian "Special Naval Force" was formed with old light cruisers BARI and TARANTO, destroyers MIRABELLO and RIBOTY, torpedo boats CALATAFIMI, CASTELFIDARDO, CURTATONE, MONSAMBANO, CONFIENZA, SOLFERINO, PRESTINARI, CANTORE, FABRIZI, MEDICI, STOCCO, armed merchant cruisers RAMB III, CAPITAINO CECCHI, LAGO TANA, LAGO ZUAI, four MAS boats of the 13th Flotilla, three landing ships of the SESIA type.

 

Italian torpedo boats ANTARES, ALTAIR, ANDROMEDA, ARETUSA of the 12th Torpedo Boat Division was assigned as a fighting force to support the operation.

 

This force was formed for a landing on Corfu. The force departed on the 31st, but on 1 November, the orders were changed to land troops at Valona instead and the Corfu operation was cancelled.

_____

 

Convoy SLF.52 departed Freetown escorted by armed merchant cruiser DUNNOTTAR CASTLE to 8 November. The convoy rendezvoused with convoy SL.52 on 5 November.

 

On 6 November, destroyers CASTLETON, VANQUISHER, VISCOUNT, WHITEHALL and corvette FLEUR DE LYS joined the convoy. Destroyers SALADIN and SHIKARI joined on 7 November and were detached on 8 November. The convoy arrived at Liverpool on 10 November.

 

 

Wednesday,  23 October

 

Battlecruisers HOOD and REPULSE, light cruisers DIDO and PHOEBE, destroyers ISIS, MASHONA, BULLDOG, KEPPEL, DOUGLAS departed Scapa Flow at 1530 for Anti-aircraft exercises in Pentland Firth and to cover Operation DNU. They proceeded towards Obrestad to cover Anti-aircraft cruisers NAIAD and BONAVENTURE, which departed Rosyth on the 23rd.

 

Light cruiser ARETHUSA (2nd Cruiser Squadron), heavy cruiser NORFOLK, light cruiser SOUTHAMPTON proceeded towards Stadlandet.

 

Destroyers SOMALI, MATABELE, PUNJABI departed Sullom Voe on the 22nd and were on patrol north of the Shetlands. At 1900 they were ordered to proceed towards 62-23N, 4-50E off Egersund to intercept a group of twenty German fishing vessels escorted by one escort ship. The destroyers were ordered to withdraw to the westward at 0330 if no contact was made.

 

In Operation DNU, German weather ship WBS 5 (trawler ADOLF VINNEN, 391grt) was sunk west of Stadlandet in 62‑29N, 4‑23E by destroyers SOMALI, MATABELE, PUNJABI on the 24th.

 

The force and the DNU destroyers arrived back at Scapa Flow at 1700/24th.

 

Anti-aircraft cruiser BONAVENTURE sustained some weather damage to her forecastle.

 

Battlecruiser REPULSE and destroyers BULLDOG and DOUGLAS arrived later on the 24th.

_____

 

Anti-aircraft cruiser CURACOA departed Scapa Flow at 0730 to cover convoy HX.79 A from Pentland Firth to Bell Rock.

_____

 

Anti-aircraft ship ALYNBANK arrived at Scapa Flow at 0830 after escorting convoy OA.233.

_____

 

Aircraft carrier ARGUS with destroyers BEAGLE, ACHATES, HURRICANE departed Reykavik at 0400 to return to the Clyde.

 

The British ships arrived in the Clyde at 1100/25th.

_____

 

Convoy OB.233 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyers CALDWELL and VANSITTART and corvettes CALENDULA and GLOXINIA. On 24 October, destroyer WALKER joined the escort. The entire escort was detached on the 27th.

_____

 

Convoy FN.316 departed Southend, escorted by destroyers VEGA and VIMIERA. The convoy arrived at Methil on the 25th.

_____

 

Convoy FN.317 departed Southend, escorted by destroyer WOLSEY and sloop LOWESTOFT. The convoy arrived at Methil on the 25th.

_____

 

Convoy FS.318 departed Methil and arrived at Southend on the 25th.

_____

 

Probationary Temporary S/Lt (A) J. H. Meyer RNVR, S/Lt G. A. Bragg were killed when their Swordfish of 767 Squadron collided with a Shark aircraft of 758 Squadron near St Vigeans. The pilot of the Shark was unhurt.

_____

 

US destroyers of Destroyer Divisions 64, 78, the second section of Division 73 were transferred to the Royal Navy under Lend Lease at Halifax.

 

US Name

 

British Name

Commanding Officer

USS EVANS (DD.78)

 

HMS MANSFIELD

 

Lt Cdr W A R Cartwright

USS PHILIP (DD.76)

 

HMS LANCASTER

 

Cdr P K Wallace

USS WICKES (DD.75))

 

HMS MONTGOMERY

 

Cdr H F Nash Rtd

USS STOCKTON (DD.73)

 

HMS LUDLOW

 

Cdr G B Sayer

USS CONWAY (ex-CRAVEN, DD 72)

 

HMS LEWES

 

Lt Cdr J N K Knight

USS CONNER (DD.72)

 

HMS LEEDS

 

Lt Cdr W M L Astwood

USS TWIGGS (DD.127)

 

HMS LEAMINGTON

 

Cdr W E Banks DSC

USS YARNALL (DD.143)

 

HMS LINCOLN

 

Cdr A M Sheffield

USS MCCALLA (DD.252)

 

HMS STANLEY

 

Lt Cdr R B Stannard VC RNR

USS RODGERS (DD.254)

 

HMS SHERWOOD

 

Lt Cdr S.W F Bennetts

 

Destroyer LEEDS departed St Johns first and arrived at Belfast on 10 November and went on to Plymouth arriving on 17 November.

 

Destroyers LINCOLN, LEWES, LUDLOW departed Halifax on the 31st and arrived at Plymouth on 15 November for duty in the Western Approaches as 1st Escort Group following refitting and repairs in England.

 

Destroyers MONTGOMERY and LEAMINGTON departed Halifax on 1 November and arrived at Belfast on 11 November, going on to Plymouth arriving on 15 November for service with the 2nd Escort Group following refitting and repairs.

 

Destroyers LANCASTER, MANSFIELD, SHERWOOD departed St Johns on 12 November and after refuelling departed Belfast on 21 November for Plymouth.

 

Destroyer STANLEY, after being under repair at St John from 6 November to 13 December, arrived at Devonport on 2 January 1941.

_____

 

Canadian destroyer SAGUENAY arrived in the Clyde from Halifax for duty in the Western Approaches.

_____

 

Hunt-class destroyer PYTCHLEY was completed. Following working up she was assigned to the 21st Destroyer Flotilla operating in the Nore.

_____

 

British steamer EMPIRE ABILITY (7603grt) was damaged by German bombing at Gareloch.

_____

 

Swedish trawler ESSIE (55grt) was sunk on a mine ten miles southeast of Skagen.

 

Six crew were lost on the trawler.

_____

 

German heavy cruiser ADMIRAL SCHEER departed Gotenhaven and proceeded to Brunsbuttel prior sailing to raid in the North and South Atlantic Oceans and in the Indian Ocean.

 

Heavy cruiser ADMIRAL SCHEER departed Brunsbuttel on the 27th escorted by torpedo boats T 6, T 7, T 8, T 10.

 

Heavy cruiser ADMIRAL SCHEER reached Stavanger on the 28th. Escorted by torpedo boats T 1, T 4, T 9, T 10 as far as Stadlandet, the cruiser departed Stavanger and passed the Denmark Straits on the 31st/1 November.

_____

 

Norwegian steamer PRINSESSE RAGNHILD (1590grt) was sunk north of Bodo on a mine.

 

 

Thursday,  24 October

 

At 1135 three miles southeast of Barrell of Butter, Hunt-class destroyer MENDIP (Lt Cdr G. N. Rolfe DSC) was damaged by the explosion of one of her depth charges.

 

Destroyer MENDIP's stern was blown off and she was taken to Scapa Flow for docking and temporary repairs from 24 October to 7 November when the destroyer was undocked on 7 November. Destroyer MENDIP underwent four more days of repairs prior to departing Scapa Flow.

 

Destroyer MENDIP was towed by tug CHAMPION at 0900 on 11 November escorted by anti-submarine trawler LOCH TULLA south for repairs.

 

The destroyer arrived in the Tyne at 1510 on 13 November for repairs completed on 17 February 1941.

_____

 

Due to the mining of destroyer MENDIP, movement in the Flow was prohibited and the forces returning from the Norwegian coast were delayed in entering harbour.

_____

 

Anti-aircraft cruiser CURACOA transferred from convoy HX.79 A to OA.234 off the Firth of Forth.

_____

 

Convoy OA.234 departed Methil escorted by anti-aircraft cruiser CURACOA, sloop ROCHESTER, corvette PRIMROSE from 24 to 26 October. The convoy rendezvoused with convoy OB.234.

 

OA 234 was the last of the OAseries.

_____

 

Convoy OB.234 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyer ARROW, corvettes GERANIUM and HEARTSEASE, anti-submarine trawlers LADY LILLIAN and ST APOLLO. On 26 October, anti-aircraft cruiser CAIRO, sloop ROCHESTER, destroyer AMAZON, corvette PRIMROSE joined the escort.

 

Anti-submarine LADY LILLIAN was detached on the 27th, anti-aircraft cruiser CAIRO and destroyer AMAZON were detached on the 28th, the remainder of the escort departed on the 30th.

_____

 

Convoy FN.318 departed Southend, escorted by destroyers VANITY and WOLFHOUND. The convoy arrived at Methil on the 26th.

_____

 

Convoy FS.319 departed Methil, escorted by destroyer VIVIEN and sloop LONDONDERRY. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 27th.

_____

 

Destroyer FOXHOUND departed Sheerness at 1330 after repairs.

 

The destroyer arrived at Scapa Flow at 1800/25th.

_____

 

Convoy HX.83 departed Halifax at 1230 escorted by Canadian destroyers ASSINIBOINE and COLUMBIA and auxiliary patrol boat ELK.

 

At 1730/25th, the destroyers turned the convoy over to ocean escort, Armed merchant cruiser ASCANIA and returned to Halifax. The armed merchant cruiser was detached on 2 November.

 

On 4 November, destroyers ACTIVE, BEAGLE, HURRICANE, SAGUENAY, SKEENA, WILD SWAN and corvette PICOTEE joined the convoy. Destroyers SAGUENAY, SKEENA and WILD SWAN were detached on 5 November and destroyer ACTIVE on 6 November. The convoy arrived at Liverpool on 7 November.

_____

 

Convoy SC.9 departed St Johns escorted by auxiliary patrol vessel ELK and Sloop DEPTFORD. The patrol vessel was detached on the 25th.

 

On 4 November, corvette GENTIAN joined the convoy. On 5 November, destroyers GARLAND, SAGUENAY, SKEENA, ST LAURENT joined. Corvette MALLOW joined on 7 November. The convoy arrived at Liverpool on 7 November.

_____

 

German steamer HELGOLAND (3664grt) departed Puerto Columbia, Colombia for return to German waters.

 

Steamer HELGOLAND was able to evade patrolling US destroyers BAINBRIDGE (DD.246), OVERTON (DD.239), STURTEVANT (DD.240) and passed the antilles near St Thomas on 3 November.

 

Steamer HELGOLAND arrived at St Nazaire on 30 November.

 

 

Friday,  25 October

 

Anti-aircraft cruiser CURACOA arrived at Scapa Flow at 0915 from convoy OA.234.

 

The Anti-aircraft cruiser departed Scapa Flow at 1400 to cover convoy SL.50. The cruiser returned to Scapa Flow after dark.

_____

 

Anti-aircraft ship ALYNBANK departed Scapa Flow at 1300 to cover convoy WN.25.

_____

 

Destroyer VIMY arrived at Scapa Flow at 1730 after escorting Armed merchant cruiser CALIFORNIA to her Northern Patrol Station.

_____

 

Convoy OL.9 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyers STURDY, SHIKARI, VISCOUNT from 25 to 27 October, when the convoy was dispersed.

 

This is the end of the OL series which only began on 14 September.

_____

 

Convoy FN.319 departed Southend, escorted by destroyers VERDUN and WATCHMAN. The convoy arrived at Methil on the 27th.

_____

 

U.46 on patrol in the Atlantic was attacked by British aircraft.

 

One crewman was fatally wounded.

_____

 

Motor fishing vessel ENCOURAGE (45grt) was sunk by mine six and a half cables 210 from Breakwater Point, Plymouth.

 

The entire crew of four were lost on the vessel.

_____

 

British trawler WINDSOR (222grt) was sunk on a mine 2.1 miles 174 from Spurn Point.

 

One crewman was lost on the British trawler.

 _____

 

British steam drifter CARLTON (207grt) was sunk by a mine three and a half miles 131.5 from Spurn Point.

 

Ten crew were lost on the drifter.

_____

 

British motor fishing vessel JANET (25grt) was damaged by German bombing at Montrose Quay.

_____

 

Minesweeping trawler LORD INCHCAPE (338grt, Temporary Skipper O. B. Bell RNR) was sunk by mining off Plymouth.

_____

 

British drifter DUTHIES (89grt) was sunk by German bombing alongside the jetty at Montrose.

 

The entire crew was rescued.

_____

 

Anti-aircraft cruiser CALCUTTA departed Alexandria and destroyers HAVOCK and HERO departed Port Said to escort convoy AN 5 of three steamers in operation MAQ 2.

 

Battleship MALAYA, aircraft carrier EAGLE, anti-aircrat ship COVENTRY, destroyers VAMPIRE, HYPERION, MOHWAK, JANUS, VOYAGER, WRYNECK departed Alexandria.

 

During this sortie, Aircraft carrier EAGLE aircraft raided Maltezana without loss.

 

Light cruisers ORION and SYDNEY with destroyers JERVIS and JUNO departed Alexandria on the 25th and operated in the Dardanelles as contraband control. The convoy arrived on the 27th.

 

The forces involved returned to Alexandria on the 28th.

_____

 

British gunboat APHIS bombared an enemy troop concentration fifteen miles east of Sidi Barrani.

_____

 

Four Destroyers (destroyer ENCOUNTER et al) departed Gibraltar to carry out an anti-submarine sweep off Alboran Island.

_____

 

Light cruiser ENTERPRISE departed Buenas Aires.

_____

 

Light cruiser DELHI departed the Cameroons.

_____

 

Convoy SLS 53 departed Freetown.

 

Corvettes ASPHODEL and PICOTEE escorted the convoy on 18 November. The convoy arrived at Liverpool 18 November.

_____

 

Convoy BN.8 departed Bombay, escorted by light cruiser CALEDON and armed merchant cruiser ANTENOR. These ships were relieved when met on 3 November by light cruiser LEANDER, anti-aircraft cruiser CARLISLE, destroyer KINGSTON, sloops FLAMINGO and INDUS. The escorts were detached on 6 November. The convoy arrived at Suez on 11 November.

 

 

Saturday,  26 October

 

British troopship EMPRESS OF BRITAIN (42,348grt) had departed Capetown on the 12th returning from the Middle East to Liverpool.

 

The troopship was bombed and damaged by a German FW 200 bomber seventy miles northwest of Donegal Bay in 54‑53N, 11‑19W.

 

Four hundred and sixteen crew, two naval gunners, two hundred and five passengers were on the liner. The convoy was escorted by destroyer ECHO and Polish destroyer BURZA.

 

Destroyers ECHO and BURZA took 570 survivors from the troopship.

 

Troopship EMPRESS OF BRITAIN was taken in tow by destroyer BURZA and supported by anti-aircraft cruiser CAIRO and destroyer BROKE which sailed from the Clyde on the 26th to assist.

 

Destroyer BURZA was later relieved by destroyer BROKE and escorted by destroyer SARDONYX. A tug, which was joined by a second, later took over the tow and destroyers BROKE and SARDONYX escorted the troopship towards port.

 

Destroyer SCIMITAR was also involved in the escort of the damaged liner.

 

Destroyers ECHO and BURZA arrived in the Clyde at 0800/27th with the survivors from the troopship.

 

On 28 October, U.32 sank troopship EMPRESS OF BRITAIN in 55‑16N, 09‑50W.

 

Twenty five crew and twenty passengers were lost on the troopship. Anti-submarine trawler CAPE ARGONA (494grt) assisted in the rescue of survivors from the troopship.

_____

 

Australian heavy cruiser AUSTRALIA arrived in the Clyde on the 26th after operations off Dakar and in the South Atlantic.

_____

 

Destroyer SIKH was damaged in a collision with a dockyard tug at Rosyth.

 

Destroyer SIKH departed Rosyth on the 27th for Leith.

 

Destroyer SIKH was repairing at Leith from 27 October to 8 November 1940. The destroyer departed Rosyth on 9 November and arrived at Scapa Flow at 0730 on 10 November.

_____

 

Destroyer VIMY departed Scapa Flow at 1200 to escort troopship ROYAL ULSTERMAN (3244grt) with 700 troops for Lerwick. The ships safely arrived at 0800/27th.

 

Destroyer VIMY then escorted minelayer ATREUS from Lerwick to the vicinity of Scapa Flow.

 

Destroyer FOXHOUND departed Scapa Flow at 1530/27th to relieve destroyer VIMY.

 

Destroyer VIMY arrived at Scapa Flow at 1940/27th.

 

Destroyer FOXHOUND and minelayer ATREUS arrived in the Clyde at 2300/28th.

_____

 

Convoy FN.320 departed Southend, escorted by destroyer WINCHESTER and sloop EGRET. The convoy arrived at Methil on the 28th.

_____

 

Convoy FS.320 departed Methil, escorted by destroyers WALLACE and WESTMINSTER. Sloops PUFFIN and WIDGEON joined on the 28th. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 28th.

_____

 

A Swordfish of 821 Squadron crashed into Quendale Bay, Shetlands and Probationary Temporary Midshipman (A) R. T. Chambers RNVR, S/Lt P. B. Laycock, Naval Airman B. F. A. Brewster were all killed.

_____

 

Anti-aircraft ship ALYNBANK left convoy EN.12 at 2359 and returned south to meet convoy EN.13.

_____

 

RAF bombers sank Norwegian steamer KYVIG (763grt) off Sognefjord.

_____

 

U.28 damaged British steamer MATINA (5389grt) in 57‑30N, 16‑31W.

 

On 29 October, U.31 sank steamer MATINA.

_____

 

British tanker DOSINIA (8053grt) was sunk on a mine near Q 1 Black Buoy, Queens Channel, Mersey.

 

The entire crew was rescued.

_____

 

Swedish tanker STROMBUS (6549grt) was sunk on a mine 2.2 miles 112 from Mumbles Light in 51-33-48N, 3-56-48W.

 

The entire crew was rescued.

_____

 

Swedish tanker PEGASUS (9583grt) was damaged on a mine one miles south of Bar Light Vessel, Mersey.

 

 

Sunday,  27 October

 

Light cruiser ARETHUSA, on passage from Scapa Flow to Rosyth, sustained minor damage to her bow in a collision with British steamer FLAMINIAN (2699grt) in convoy EN.12 in 58-03N, 02-12W.

 

Light cruiser ARETHUSA departed Rosyth for repairs in the Tyne on the 29th. Repairs were completed on 26 November. She arrived back at Scapa Flow for duty on 27 November.

_____

 

Destroyers VANOC, VOLUNTEER, FERNIE were ordered to intercept enemy merchant vessels in 49-45N, 1-20W.

 

The destroyers departed Portsmouth, but were unable to make contact.

_____

 

Convoy OB.235 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyers CHELSEA, VERITY, VETERAN, WITHINGTON. The escort was joined on the 28th by corvettes CAMELLIA and HONEYSUCKLE;

 

Corvette HONEYSUCKLE departed the convoy on the 28th, destroyer WITHERINGTON on the 30th, destroyers CHELSEA and VERITY and corvette CAMELLIA on the 31st, destroyer VETERAN on 2 November.

_____

 

Convoy FN.321 departed Southend, escorted by destroyer VIVIEN and sloop LONDONDERRY. The convoy arrived at Methil on the 29th.

_____

 

Convoy FS.321 departed Methil, escorted by destroyer WOOLSTON and sloop BLACK SWAN. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 30th.

 

Destroyer CLEVELAND departed Scapa Flow at 0700 and relieved Norwegian destroyer SLEIPNER off Duncansby Head escorting submarine SUNFISH to Muckle Flugga.

_____

 

Submarine SWORDFISH damaged a merchant ship from an eight ship convoy of Cherbourg.

_____

 

British steamer SUAVITY (634grt) was sunk on a mine in 54‑44N, 01‑05W.

 

The entire crew was rescued.

_____

 

British drifter PERSEVERE (19. 8grt) was sunk by mining in the Firth of Forth, 50-100 yards 074 from East Gunnet Ledge Buoy.

_____

 

British steamer ALFRED JONES of convoy OB.234 (5013grt) was damaged by German bombing in 56‑00N, 12‑08W.

 

Twelve crew of the crew were killed. Destroyer AMAZON claimed damaging the attacking aircraft.

_____

 

British steamer CONISTER (411grt) was damaged by German bombing at Queen's Dock, Liverpool.

_____

 

British steamer NEWLANDS (1556grt) was damaged by German bombing in 45‑10N, 10‑00W.

_____

 

Dutch steamer MARGARETHA (325grt) was sunk on a mine in 51‑22N, 03‑12W.

 

The entire crew was rescued.

_____

 

Minesweepers HUNTLEY and DERBY arrived at Suez on transfer from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean command.

_____

 

Italian submarine NANI sank Swedish steamer MEGGIE (1583grt) seventy miles south east of Santa Maria, Azores.

 

The entire crew from the Swedish steamer rescued.

_____

 

Convoy SL.53 departed Freetown escorted by armed merchant cruiser ARAWA to 17 November.

 

Destroyer BROKE joined the convoy on 14 November. The convoy arrived at Liverpool on 18 November.

 

 

Monday,  28 October

 

British steamer MAHOUT (7921grt) was ordered to heave to by an unknown ship. The British ship made off and reported the incident.

 

Battlecruisers HOOD and REPULSE, aircraft carrier FURIOUS, light cruiser SOUTHAMPTON, anti-aircraft cruisers DIDO and PHOEBE, destroyers MASHONA, SOMALI (D.6), ESKIMO, PUNJABI, DOUGLAS, KEPPEL, CLEVELAND, VIMY departed Scapa Flow at 1430 to operate in the Denmark Strait in search of the German armed merchant cruiser in 56-46N, 25-44W steering east, northeast.

 

Destroyers CLEVELAND and VIMY were detached at midnight and arrived at Scapa Flow at 1000/29th.

 

However, heavy weather culminating in the hurricane damaged the British ships.

 

On 29 October, shells came adrift in light cruiser DIDO in the heavy weather, causing her turrets to jam. She was forced to put into the Faroes for shelter and repairs. She was able to arrive at Scapa Flow at 0040 on 1 November escorted by destroyer KEPPEL.

 

On 30 October, light cruiser SOUTHAMPTON intercepted Finnish steamer DORE K. The light cruiser turned her over to armed boarding vessel NORTHERN SKY which took the steamer to Kirkwall.

 

No contact was made and battlecruisers HOOD and REPULSE, aircraft carrier FURIOUS, destroyers SOMALI (D.6), ESKIMO, MASHONA, PUNJABI, DOUGLAS arrived back at Scapa Flow on 1350 on 1 November.

 

Destroyer MATABELE departed Scapa Flow at 1000/31st to join the battlecruiser HOOD force. Destroyer MATABELE arrived back at Scapa Flow at 2200.

_____

 

British minefield BS.43 was laid by minelayers TEVIOTBANK and PLOVER and destroyers INTREPID and ICARUS.

_____

 

Light cruiser NEWCASTLE after repairs departed the Tyne.

 

The light cruiser arrived at Scapa Flow on 1 November.

_____

 

Anti-aircraft ship ALYNBANK arrived at Scapa Flow at 1400 after escorting convoy EN.13 and carrying out anti-submarine exercises in Scapa Flow.

_____

 

Destroyer WALPOLE, en route to Sheerness, was mined and badly damaged.

 

The destroyer was towed into port by destroyer WINDSOR.

 

Destroyer WALPOLE was repaired at London in twenty two weeks.

_____

 

British steamer DEVONIA (98grt) was sunk on a mine in 51‑23N, 03‑15W.

 

Of a crew of four, three crew were lost on the British steamer.

_____

 

British steamer SAGACITY (490grt) was sunk on a mine at 4000 yards 148 from Spurn Main Light.

 

The entire crew of the British steamer were rescued.

_____

 

British steamer WYTHBURN (420grt) was sunk on a mine in 51‑22N, 03‑15W.

 

Five crew were lost on the British steamer.

_____

 

British steamer SHEAF FIELD (2719grt) was sunk on a mine two miles southwest of Sunk Light Vessel.

 

There were twenty six survivors from the steamer.

_____

 

British drifter HARVEST GLEANER (96grt) was sunk by German bombing 0.75 mile 048 from Southwold Pier Light.

 

Four ratings were killed on the drifter.

_____

 

Belgian steamer KATANGA (5183grt) was damaged by mining three cables 100 from Pillar Buoy, River Mersey.

_____

 

Convoy HX.84 departed Halifax at 1400 escorted by Canadian destroyers COLUMBIA and ST FRANCIS which turned to the convoy over to ocean escort, Armed merchant cruiser JERVIS BAY.

 

The convoy dispersed on 5 November when the convoy was attacked by German heavy cruiser ADMIRAL SCHEER and the armed merchant cruiser was sunk.

_____

 

Force H with Battleship BARHAM, battlecruiser RENOWN, destroyers GREYHOUND, GRIFFIN, GALLANT, FORTUNE, FORESTER, FIREDRAKE departed Gibraltar in response to a rumour that four French destroyers were at sea en route from Casablanca to Dakar.

 

Force H returned to Gibraltar on 1 November without contact.

_____

 

Submarine UTMOST departed Portsmouth for Gibraltar, conducting a patrol in Biscay en route.

 

On 6 November off Cape St Vincent, submarine UTMOST was identified as enemy by destroyer ENCOUNTER.

 

Destroyer ENCOUNTER rammed submarine UTMOST. UTMOST proceeded to Gibraltar arriving on 7 November.

 

Submarine UTMOST was taken on to Malta, arriving on 8 December, was under repair until the 2 February.

 

Destroyer ENCOUNTER escorting Force H was able to continue, but entered the dockyard on her return and was repairing until 23 November.

_____

 

Heavy cruiser YORK, light cruiser GLOUCESTER, destroyer DECOY departed Alexandria on Operation CHURCH.

 

The ships were recalled later in the day. In addition, destroyer ILEX on convoy escort duty was recalled to Alexandria and armed boarding vessel FIONA and destroyer DEFENDER were sailed from Port Said to Alexandria.

 

These ships were to participate in Operation BN, the establishment of a fuelling base at Suda Bay.

_____

 

French destroyers L'ALCYON and TEMPETE departed Toulon and destroyers BRESTOIS, BOULONNAIS, SIMOUN departed Bizerte. The five destroyers were at Oran on 29 and 30 October. On 30 October, the five departed and arrived at Casablanca on 1 November.

_____

 

Italy declared war on Greece.

_____

 

Greek steamers BELGION (2844grt) and LEONTIOS TERYAZOS (4479grt) were seized by German forces at Bordeaux.

_____

 

Greek steamers ATHINAI (2897grt) MARIA NOMIKOU (1165grt) was seized by Italian forces off Messina.

 

The steamers were renamed PALERMO and AREZZO, respectively for Italian service.

_____

 

Heavy cruiser KENT, which departed Alexandria on the 26th for Port Said, departed Suez with convoy SW 20 en route to Plymouth arriving on 27 December for repairs.

_____

 

Heavy cruiser DORSETSHIRE arrived at Capetown.

_____

 

Light cruiser DAUNTLESS arrived at Singapore.

_____

 

German armed merchant cruiser PINGUIN laid forty mines in the Sydney-Newcastle track during the night of 28/29 October.

 

 

Tuesday,  29 October

 

Australian heavy cruiser AUSTRALIA on patrol west of the Hebrides rescued the crew of a Sunderland flying boat.

_____

 

Destroyers DUNCAN, FEARLESS, ISIS departed Liverpool at 1030 with aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL for Greenock where they arrived at 0015 on the 30th.

_____

 

Anti-aircraft cruiser CURACOA departed Scapa Flow at 0900 to join convoy WN.26.

_____

 

Convoy OB.236 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyer BROKE, sloop LEITH and corvettes ARABIS and HELIOTROPE. The escort was joined on the 30th by destroyers MALCOLM and SARDONYX. On 1 November, corvette GENTIAN was with the convoy for the day only and the rest of the convoy escort, less sloop LEITH, was detached. Sloop LEITH was detached on 2 November.

_____

 

Convoy FN.322 departed Southend, escorted by destroyers WALLACE and WESTMINSTER. The convoy arrived at Methil on the 31st.

_____

 

Convoy FS.322 departed Methil, escorted by destroyers VANITY and WOLFHOUND and anti-submarine trawlers AGATE and TURQUOISE. Patrol sloop PINTAIL joined on the 31st. The convoy arrived at Southend on 1 November.

_____

 

Destroyer ELECTRA departed Rosyth for the Tyne.

 

Destroyer ELECTRA escorted refit completed light cruiser EDINBURGH from the Tyne to Rosyth.

_____

 

Destroyer CLEVELAND departed Scapa Flow at 2345 to search for a Sunderland down in Moray Firth, three to four miles off the shore from Wick.

 

The destroyer arrived back at 1600/30th when it was found the flying boat had crashed on the land.

_____

 

S/Lt A. G. Blake, flying a Spitfire of RAF 19 Squadron from Fowlmere, was killed when he was shot down near Chelmsford.

_____

 

Dutch submarine O.24 attacked a steamer unsuccessfully off the Norwegian coast.

_____

 

Sludge vessel G. W. HUMPHREYS (1500grt) was sunk on a mine two cables east, southeastof Oaze Buoy.

 

Seven crew were lost on the British vessel.

_____

 

Norwegian steamer JAMAICA (3015grt) was damaged on a mine 51‑22N, 03‑08W.

_____

 

Convoy SC.10 of fourteen merchant ships departed St Johns escorted by Sloop FOLKESTONE.

 

The convoy was joined by destroyers VANSITTART and WALKER on 10 November. The convoy arrived at Liverpool on 13 November.

_____

 

Convoy OG.45 of twenty two ships departed Liverpool, Milford Haven, Glasgow escorted by destroyers WANDERER, WILD SWAN, CLARE.

 

Destroyers WILD SWAN and CLARE were detached on 2 November and WANDERER was detached on 3 November.

 

The ocean escort was armed merchant cruiser SALOPIAN which departed the Clyde on the 31st and was with the convoy from 6 to 9 November. The convoy was joined by destroyer VIDETTE, which departed Gibraltar on 8 November, on 9 November. The destroyer escorted the convoy until its arrival at Gibraltar on 13 November.

_____

 

German torpedo boats ILTIS and JAGUAR laid minefield ALFRED off Dover during the night of 29/30 October.

_____

 

On this date, submarine PARTHIAN was on patrol off the Gulf of Taranto, submarine PANDORA was on patrol in Straits of Otranto, two Greek submarines were on patrol in the Ionian Sea. Submarine REGULUS was on patrol in the Gulf of Sydra and French submarine NARVAL was between Lampedusa and Kerkenah.

 

Submarine PROTEUS departed Alexandria on the 25th to relieve submarine PARTHIAN.

_____

 

In Operation BN, British forces landed on Crete.

 

A joint reconnaissance party, drawn from all three services, arrived at Suda Bay on the 29th in a flying boat.

 

Battleships WARSPITE, VALIANT, MALAYA, RAMILLIES, aircraft carriers EAGLE and ILLUSTRIOUS, destroyers HYPERION, HAVOCK, HERO, HASTY, HEREWARD, ILEX of the 2nd Destroyer Flotilla, DAINTY, DECOY, DEFENDER, DIAMOND of the 20th Destroyer Division, JERVIS, NUBIAN, MOHAWK, JUNO, JANUS of the 14th Destroyer Flotilla departed Alexandria early on the 29th.

 

Heavy cruiser YORK and light cruisers SYDNEY, ORION, GLOUCESTER departed Alexandria late on the 28th and joined the Fleet off Crete.

 

The Main Fleet swept to the west of Crete to cover the movements to Crete.

 

On 29 October at 1400, a convoy of Royal Fleet Auxiliaries OLNA and BRAMBLELEAF, armed boarding vessels CHAKLA and FIONA, minesweeper FAREHAM, net layer PROTECTOR escorted by anti-aircraft cruisers CALCUTTA and COVENTRY and destroyers VAMPIRE, VOYAGER, WATERHEN, WRYNECK departed Alexandria. This convoy, less CALCUTTA, WRYNECK, OLNA, arrived at Suda Bay on the 31st at 1630. The OLNA group arrived at 0630 on 1 November.

 

On board vessels CHAKLA and FIONA were eleven officers and one hundred and forty seven ratings, under the command of Lt Cdr J. N. Hicks, of a Base Defense Party. This party was composed of crew from damaged cruiser LIVERPOOL.

 

Light cruiser AJAX departed Alexandria on the 31st and arrived at Suda Bay on 1 November.

 

Destroyers JUNO and DEFENDER were detached from the Main Force to refuel at Suda Bay on the 31st.

 

On 31 October, destroyers MOHAWK and NUBIAN, detached from the Main Force, examined Navarin Bay. These destroyers rejoined the Main Force that afternoon.

 

Destroyers JUNO and VOYAGER rejoined the Main Force from Suda Bay. Destroyer VOYAGER was a replacement for destroyer DEFENDER, which had fouled the nets at Suda Bay.

 

Battleship WARSPITE, aircraft carrier ILLUSTRIOUS, heavy cruiser YORK, light cruiser GLOUCESTER, destroyers JERVIS, HERO, HEREWARD, HASTY, ILEX were detached at 1630/31st and returned to Alexandria, arriving at 1900 on 2 November.

 

Light cruisers ORION and SYDNEY arrived at Alexandria late on 2 November. Battleships MALAYA and VALIANT, aircraft carrier EAGLE, the remaining destroyers arrived at Alexandria at daylight on 2 November.

 

On 2 November, tanker OLNA, escort ship WRYNECK, minesweeper FAREHAM departed Suda Bay for Piraeus. Light cruiser AJAX, destroyers VAMPIRE, WATERHEN, DEFENDER, oiler BRAMBLELEAF, netlayer PROTECTOR, armed boarding vessels CHAKLA and FIONA departed for Alexandria.

 

The movements to Crete continued into the first week of December.

_____

 

Minesweeper HUNTLEY arrived at Alexandria for duty with the Mediterranean Fleet.

_____

 

Light cruiser DURBAN arrived at Singapore.

_____

 

German auxiliary minelayer PASSAT laid thirty mines in Banks Straits during the night of 29/30 October.

_____

 

Convoy BM.3 departed Bombay with steamers AMRA (8314grt), DEVONSHIRE (11,275grt), EL MADINA (3962grt), HOSANG (5698grt), JAPAPADMA (3935grt), KAROA (7009grt), PUNDIT (5305grt), RANEE (5060grt), TALAMBA (8018grt), escotted by armed merchant cruiser WESTRALIA from 29 October to 4 November and light cruiser DANAE from 4 November to 11 November. The convoy arrived at Singapore on 11 November.

 

 

Wednesday,  30 October

 

Escorting convoy SC.8, destroyer STURDY (Lt Cdr G. T. Cooper) of the 22nd Destroyer Flotilla was wrecked on Tiree Island off the west coast of Scotland.

 

Five ratings were lost with STURDY. Commissioned Engineer E. J. A. Gibson was injured on the destroyer.

_____

 

Destroyer VIMY departed Scapa Flow at 0145 to search for a Sunderland down ten miles west of Dunnet Head in Pentland Firth.

 

The destroyer arrived back at 1120 after she had been informed the crew had been picked up by a trawler.

_____

 

Destroyer BULLDOG departed the Firth of Forth at 0300 to rendezvous with Minelayer AGAMEMNON and armed merchant cruiser COMORIN off the Tyne at 1100.

 

The ships were escorted to the Pentland Firth and destroyer BULLDOG continued with the minelayer to Loch Alsh and the Clyde.

 

Destroyer VIMY departed Scapa Flow at 1115 on the 31st to escort the armed merchant cruiser to her Northern Patrol station until dark on 1 November.

_____

 

Destroyer FEARLESS was damaged in a collision at 0041 on the 30th with the British steamer LANARK (1904grt) anchored off Gourock.

 

There was heavy damage to the destroyer's bow.

 

Destroyer FEARLESS departed Greenock at 1200 on 8 November for repairs at Troon which were completed at the end of the year.

_____

 

Destroyer ESCAPADE departed Greenock to repair at Troon.

_____

 

Convoy FN.323 departed Southend, escorted by destroyer WOOLSTON and sloop BLACK SWAN. The convoy arrived at Methil on 1 November.

_____

 

Convoy FS.323 departed Methil, escorted by destroyers VERDUN and WATCHMAN. The convoy arrived at Southend on 2 November.

_____

 

Submarine UPRIGHT departed Portsmouth for Gibraltar, patrolling in Biscay en route. The submarine safely arrived on 9 November.

_____

 

Minesweeper LEDA was damaged in a collision with a merchant ship.

 

Minesweeper LEDA was repaired at Aberdeen, completing in November.

_____

 

Motor launch ML 109 (Lt A. Kirk RNR) was sunk on a mine near Chequer Shoal Buoy off the Humber.

 

Kirk and two ratings were lost in the motor launch.

 _____

 

Gate vessel PLACIDAS FAROULt (136grt) was stranded and foundered at Salcombe.

_____

 

British tug SEAGEM (92grt) was lost.

_____

 

Greek steamer VICTORIA (4202grt) was sunk by German bombing 54‑47N, 13‑32W.

 

Twenty nine crew were rescued from the Greek steamer.

_____

 

U.32 attacked British steamer BALZAC (5372grt).

 

The steamer reported the attack and Destroyers HARVESTER and HIGHLANDER arrived on the scene.

 

The submarine was sunk by destroyers HARVESTER and HIGHLANDER in 55‑37N, 12‑20W west of Ireland.

 

Destroyer HARVESTER picked up twenty nine crew from the submarine and destroyer HIGHLANDER picked up four crew for a total of four officers and twenty nine ratings. Nine crew were lost on the German submarine.

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During the night of 30/31 October, German auxiliary minelayer PASSAT laid forty mines in the eastern entrance to Bass Strait.

 

 

Thursday,  31 October

 

Aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL, after refitting in the Clyde, departed the Clyde at 1700 escorted by heavy cruiser BERWICK, light cruiser GLASGOW, destroyers ISIS, FOXHOUND, DUNCAN to Gibraltar.

 

Free French liner PASTEUR (30, 477grt) accompanied this group to Gibraltar. Liner PASTEUR arrived at Gibraltar escorted by destroyers DUNCAN, ISIS, FOXHOUND.

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Anti-aircraft cruiser CURACOA arrived in Pentland Firth after convoy EN.15 escort and proceeded to convoy WN.27 which was sheltering west of Dunnet Head.

 

When the gale eased to permit passage, the convoy continued. Cruiser CURACOA continued with the convoy to Pentland Firth.

 

The Anti-aircraft cruiser arrived at Scapa Flow at 2345 on the 31st.

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Convoy OB.237 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyers ACHATES, ACTIVE, ANTELOPE and corvette PICOTEE. The escorts were detached on 2 November.

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Convoy FS.324 departed Methil, escorted by destroyer VIVIEN and sloop LONDONDERRY. The convoy arrived at Southend on 2 November.

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Motor torpedo boat MTB.16 (Lt P. F. S. Gould) was lost on a mine in the Thames Estuary. MTB.22 was damaged by mining in the same incident.

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U.124 sank British steamer RUTLAND (1437grt), a straggler from convoy HX.82, in 57‑14N, 16‑00W.

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British steamer HILLFERN (1535grt) was lost to unknown external explosion thirty five miles north, northwest of Buchanness.

 

Eight crew were missing on the steamer.

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British steamer STARSTONE (5702grt) was damaged by German bombing in 54‑12N, 15‑32W.

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German trawler ALDEBARAN (433grt) was sunk on a mine off Libau.

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German armed merchant cruiser WIDDER arrived at Brest after having been met in the Bay of Biscay by U.29 on the 29th.

 

This concluded a cruise in which WIDDER sank ten ships for 58, 645grt.

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Convoy HG.46 with fifty one ships departed Gibraltar.

 

Destroyers INGLEFIELD and VIDETTE and sloop WELLINGTON departed Gibraltar with the convoy.

 

Destroyer VIDETTE was detached on 3 November and destroyer INGLEFIELD was detached on 6 November. Sloop WELLINGTON was with the convoy for the entire voyage. On 8 November, sloop WELLINGTON was in a collision with British steamer SARASTONE (2473grt). The sloop was repaired at Liverpool.

 

On 8 November, battlecruiser RENOWN was with the convoy and continued until 10 November. Also, on 8 November, ocean boarding vessel CAMITO joined the convoy and remained with the convoy until 15 November.

 

Armed merchant cruiser DERBYSHIRE with convoy SL.53 was with the convoy from 9 to 19 November. Convoy SL.53 was in company with HG.46 from 9 to 12 November.

 

Heavy cruiser AUSTRALIA escorted the convoy from 11 to 14 November.

 

From convoy OB.241, destroyers VETERAN, VERITY, WITHERINGTON and corvettes CLEMATIS and PRIMROSE joined the convoy escort on 15 November.

 

From convoy OB.239, corvette ARABIS joined the escort on 15 November.

 

From convoy OB.242, destroyers WARWICK, CLARE, WANDERER, WILD SWAN joined the escort on 15 November.

 

British steamer ANDONI (678grt) broke down on 16 November. She was taken in tow by corvette CLEMATIS and escorted by destroyer CLARE, which left the convoy on 15 November.

 

Destroyers VETERAN and VERITY were detached on 17 November and corvette CLEMATIS was detached on 16 November.

 

Corvette ARABIS was detached on 18 November.

 

Corvettes ASPHODEL and PICOTEE from convoy OB.245 joined the convoy on 18 November.

 

On 19 November, destroyers WITHERINGTON, WARWICK, WANDERER, WILD SWAN and corvettes PRIMROSE, ASPHODEL, PICOTEE were detached.

 

On 19 November, convoy HG.46 arrived at Liverpool.

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Destroyer GRIFFIN followed French destroyers BRESTOIS, BORDELAIS, SIMOUN, TEMPETE, L'ALCYON through the Straits of Gibraltar westward.

 

Battleship BARHAM, battlecruiser RENOWN, destroyers FORTUNE, FIREDRAKE, FURY, GREYHOUND departed Gibraltar.

 

Destroyer FIREDRAKE made an attack on a submarine contact in 35-52N, 7-55W.

 

When the French ships turned south, the British ships returned to Gibraltar. The battleship, battlecruiser, destroyers GREYHOUND, FORTUNE, FIREDRAKE, FURY arrived at Gibraltar on 1 November.

 

Destroyers ENCOUNTER and GRIFFIN also arrived on 1 November.

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Greek destroyers SPETSAI and PSARA departed the Gulf of Patras and bombarded Italian positions in Albania.

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Operation JUDGMENT was considered for this date while the Mediterranean Fleet was at sea, but unfavourable moon conditions ruled it out.

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French steamer CONGO (5205grt) departed Fort de France for Casablanca with 1259 passengers, including 1206 naval personnel, on the 24th. The steamer was intercepted by Armed merchant cruiser MORETON BAY at 26-45N, 29-44W and sent to Freetown.

 

Light cruiser DRAGON joined the ships on 6 November and all arrived at Freetown on 7 November.

 

Passengers on the steamer were put on other ships between 14 December and 4 January and allowed to continue to Casablanca.

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During the night of 31 October/1 November, German armed merchant cruiser PINGUIN laid forty mines off Hobart and auxiliary minelayer PASSAT laid forty mines in Bass Strait.

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Light cruiser DANAE departed Penang.

 

 

October, miscellaneous

 

Light cruiser DIOMEDE was refitting at Bermuda.

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Light cruiser NEPTUNE was repairing a Capetown.

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The following destroyers were under repair at the end of October ACHERON at Portsmouth repairing, AMBUSCADE at Greenock repairing, ANTHONY at Greenock repairing, ATHERSTONE at Chatham repairing, ASHANTI at Rosyth aground, BEDOUIN at Southampton repairing, BOREAS at London repairing, BRIGHTON at Plymouth refitting, ECHO at Clyde repairing, ECLIPSE at Scapa Flow repairing, ESCAPADE at Troon repairing, EXPRESS at Humber repairing, FAME at Rosyth aground, FEARLESS at Greenock repairing, FORESIGHT at Liverpool refitting, HAMBLEDON at Chatham repairing, HAMILTON at Halifax repairing, HOLDERNESS at Sheerness repairing, HOTSPUR at Gibraltar repairing, IMPERIAL at Malta repairing, JAVELIN at Humber refitting, KELLY at Tyne repairing, KIPLING at Tyne repairing, MENDIP at Scapa Flow repairing, MONTROSE at Chatham repairing, ROXBOROUGH at St Johns repairing, SABRE at elfast repairing, SALADIN at Liverpool with defects, SIKH at Leith repairing, TARTAR at Plymouth refitting, VALOROUS at Rosyth refitting, VANESSA at Chatham repairing, VELOX at Chatham refitting, VERSATILE at Tyne repairing, VIVACIOUS at Humber repairing, VORTIGERN at Humber repairing, WALPOLE at London repairing, WARWICK at Liverpool refitting, WESTCOTT at Plymouth refitting, WHITSHED at Chatham repairing, WINCHELSEA at Liverpool refitting, WITCH at Portsmouth repairing, WOLVERINE at Falmouth refitting, ZULU at Rosyth repairing, Australian STUART at Malta refitting, VENDETTA at Malta repairing, French BOUCLIER at Portsmouth repairing, BRANLEBAS at Portsmouth refitting, LA CORDELIERE at Portsmouth refitting, and Polish BLYSKAWICA at Clyde repairing.        

 
 

on to Naval events, NOVEMBER 1940
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revised 7/4/12
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